Bioidentical Hormones 101: What You Should Know
New You Wellness Center | Serving Tomball, Cypress, Spring, and Houston
If you’ve heard some of the latest conversations surrounding medicine, you will have noticed that bioidentical hormones and hormone replacement therapy are gaining spotlight, growing in popularity, and becoming more and more talked about among medical professionals.
Recognizing why these hormones have gained a spot at the forefront of conversation helps us understand how they can benefit us on our journey to a balanced body and a healthy lifestyle.
So, why exactly are bioidentical hormones growing in popularity and what should you know about them?
What are Bioidentical Hormones?
To understand their effectiveness, it’s important to understand what they are and the purpose they have in hormone replacement therapy.
As our bodies age and are exposed to various factors, shifts in hormone production disrupt the equilibrium, causing undesirable side effects. Many individuals are turning to hormone replacement treatment options as a way to regain that lost balance. With bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, the hormones that are administered are bioengineered to be chemically identical, on molecular levels, to the hormones created by the human body.
Whether estrogen, progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone, or adrenal hormones, these chemically identical, recreated hormones mimic the hormones that we create naturally.
Bioidentical Hormones and Hormonal Imbalance
When we begin to experience hormonal imbalance, a number of side effects may present themselves. Facing these side effects can lead to a decreased sense of well-being and can affect our quality of life. Below are recognizable side effects of hormonal imbalance:
For both sexes:
- Constant mood changes
- Weight gain
- Lack of energy
- Decreased sex drive
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Pain during sex
- Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
- Decreased muscle mass
- Weight gain
- Motivational issues
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy seeks to eliminate these side effects by replacing those essential hormones that our bodies require to feel heightened and healthy. Because bioidentical hormones more closely resemble the hormones a healthy, youthful version of our body produces, our biological processes are enhanced and healthy levels recovered.
Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Improved Sex Drive and Decrease in Vaginal Dryness—Because BHRT improves and restores ideal testosterone and estrogen levels, both men and women can expect to experience an increased sex drive. In addition to this, men may experience the benefit of increased sperm count while women may find a decrease in vaginal dryness.
- Increased Energy—A common symptom of hormonal imbalance is a lack of energy or decrease of energy on a daily basis. Through undergoing BHRT, patients often find an increased level of alertness and energy throughout their day. Furthermore, they mention having more clarity and focus when at work, more motivation, and the ability to sleep better.
- Stronger Bones—Numerous studies have discovered that both estrogen and testosterone help in reducing the risk of bone loss. Today, studies have revealed that BHRT could help protect an individual’s bones, preventing problems such as bone loss, hip fractures, and osteoporosis.
Are Bioidentical Hormones Commonly Used?
According to the North American Menopause Society, over 1.4 million women are utilizing compounded bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. That equates to roughly 40% of all prescriptions that are used for women undergoing menopause.
In 2009, Oprah Winfrey talked about her experiences with menopause in O, The Oprah Magazine, sharing that she took bioidentical hormones to help with the sudden shift in hormones. She wrote that “After one day on bioidentical estrogen, I felt the veil lift. After three days, the sky was bluer, my brain was no longer fuzzy, my memory was sharper. I was literally singing and had a skip in my step.”
It’s important to note that Winfrey does not widely promote bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, but rather encourages women to put their health first and see a trained medical professional for the best options.
How do you take Bioidentical Hormones?
These hormones can take many forms, making them an accessible option for a variety of patients. Upon visiting your healthcare professional for a thorough consultation, you will discuss the different options that are available. These treatment options include the following:
- Implant Pellets
While the goal of each is to restore hormones to their optimal levels, you and your doctor will decide on which treatment method is best suited for you based on your goals, lifestyle, and required dosage. Regardless of the treatment option chosen, routine blood checks, saliva tests, and urine sample may be utilized to monitor hormone levels.
Safety of Bioidentical Hormones
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is whether or not it’s safe. Numerous studies have showcased both the safety and effectiveness of this type of hormone replacement, with many bioidentical treatments being approved by the FDA. While some bioidentical hormones are still being extensively researched, progress continues to be made showing the effectiveness of this treatment option.
At New You Wellness Center, we work closely with each of our patients to develop a custom treatment plan dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and attain optimal health.
Schedule your hormone consultation with one of our Hormone Specialists today and see how he can help get your life back on track with BHRT!