As more men and women are learning about the many benefits of bioidentical hormone therapy, the procedure is becoming a popular option for treating hormonal imbalance. Despite this, there is still a lot of misinformation about hormone therapy, and some people are not exactly sure what bioidentical hormones are.
What are bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are similar in molecular shape and structure to the hormones the body naturally produces. They also act in the same way. Bioidentical hormones are derived from plant sources specifically yams, so they are considered a safer option to synthetic hormones.
Hormones are chemical substances made by glands in the body that regulate the cells and organs. There are a variety of hormones, but estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are the most common. Hormones regulate a range of body processes including metabolism, sexual development, growth, and reproduction. They also control mood, weight, insulin sensitivity, and appetite. The glands normally produce the exact amount of hormones required to perform these processes.
However, if hormones are out of balance, which means there is either too much or too little, it can prevent everyday functions from running smoothly, and lead to an increase in disease.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)
BHRT is used to ease the symptoms of hormone imbalance, by replacing the hormones the body no longer makes. It is a suitable treatment for both men and women wanting to return their hormones to a natural rhythm, and improve quality of life.
Hormone imbalance often occurs as a result of aging, as natural hormones start to decline by about the mid-30s. BHRT is therefore frequently used for women with perimenopause and menopause symptoms, and for men going through andropause.
In women, the decline in estrogen and progesterone can lead to a range of symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss, mood swings, depression, hot flashes, and muscle atrophy. Men experience low levels of testosterone (low-T) as they age, resulting in symptoms such as low energy, anxiety, weight gain, and low libido.
Methods of bioidentical hormone delivery
Bioidentical hormones may be delivered through several non-invasive methods including creams, patches, or pills.
BHRT creams come in pre-measured doses and are topically applied. Creams are considered a very effective method of delivery, because the hormones are sent directly into the blood stream.
HRT skin patches are a common form of hormone delivery. The patch, which is stuck to the skin, contains a specific dosage of hormone that is gradually released after the patch is applied.
Oral HRT capsules contain a customized dose of hormones that will alleviate the symptoms being experienced by the patient.
The preferred method of delivery will depend on what works best based on the dose needed, and the patient’s preference.
Benefits of BHRT
Bioidentical hormones are recognized by the body and are not considered a foreign substance, so the body knows exactly what to do with them. They are able to replicate the exact chemical response of natural hormones, and provide crucial support to the body’s cells and organs. In this way, bioidentical hormones are able to relieve the symptoms of hormone imbalance.
BHRT is tailored to meet the specific needs of each patient. The bioidentical hormone treatment is designed to deliver the precise amount of hormones each patient needs based on their age, weight, and metabolic profile.
BHRT can be discontinued as soon as hormone levels return to normal. After this, patients can have annual checks done, or visit their doctor if symptoms return.
The hormones in the body are found in specific ratios, to ensure proper function of the body processes. Hormone therapy must therefore be precisely done to rebalance the hormones, and restore these ratios. In order to get the best results, the procedure must be administered by an experienced medical provider that fully understands BHRT. An experienced provider has the expertise needed to customize a treatment program for optimal hormone balance.
Do you think you may be experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance?
If you are in the Westlake Village and Camarillo, CA areas, contact Dr. Cheryl Geer at Best Self Medical Art for an evaluation. Dr. Greer provides BHRT for both men and women.
Call (818) 318-1200 today to schedule your consultation.