Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) began over 20 years ago. It is a safe and effective way to fight the aging process. When administered properly, BHRT helps improve a whole host of symptoms and prevent osteoporosis, mental decline, heart disease, loss of energy and vitality, and even breast cancer in some cases. BHRT use is aimed at the restoration of natural hormone levels in men and women.
At Integrated Skin Care and Root Causes Holisic Health and Medicine, we use only bio-identical hormones compounded to your individual needs. We work with you to establish your optimal levels and reduce or resolve symptoms associated with hormone imbalances and deficiencies.
Bioidentical hormones are plant-derived, and chemically and biologically identical to the hormones produced naturally in the body. They are produced by compounding pharmacies, according to specific patient needs. Commercial preparations simply cannot do this. While bioidentical hormones are most commonly associated with the treatment of menopause and andropause (low testosterone), they have many other uses as well. Men and women can derive benefit from increased or balanced levels of estrogens, testosterone, progesterone, melatonin, pregnenolone, DHEA, cortisol, thyroid hormones, and growth hormone.
Conversely, synthetic hormones are typically chemically derived and not identical to those produced in the body. Some synthetic hormones come from animal sources, like synthetic estrogen that comes from the urine of pregnant horses. Synthetic estrogens are very potent and can break down into dangerous metabolites while bio-identical hormones are metabolized, stored, and converted into metabolites as nature intended. There are fewer side effects with bioidentical hormone use.
If you are considering hormone replacement therapy, be sure to request only bioidentical hormones.
Bioidentical hormones have excellent safety records. Topical creams are preferred to oral medications for estrogen replacement because oral compounds can result in toxic metabolites that may lead to estrogen-related cancer, deplete IGF-1, increased risk of gallbladder disease, increased inflammatory markers related to heart disease, and increased risk of thrombosis. There are three forms of natural estrogen: Estrone, Estradiol and Estriol. Estrone is the strongest and has the most potential for adverse effects. This form of estrogen is typically not used in BHRT creams. The most common BHRT cream is Bi-Est. It contains estriol and estradiol, the two weaker estrogens. The amount of each varies according to each patient. It is usually not recommended to use unopposed estrogen. So Bi-Est is often combined with progesterone and other hormones the patient may require. The practitioner may include: topical progesterone and testosterone, as well as oral DHEA, pregnenolone, and thyroid hormones. These all have excellent safety records as well when administered properly.
Watch out for environmental estrogens called Xenoestrogens. They are potent estrogen-like chemicals that have the potential to cause major health problems. Even small daily doses, like what you pick up from regularly drinking out of soft plastic water bottles, can cause hormone imbalance symptoms. These common chemicals can be found in products and food that we use every day such as: skincare, plastics, some foods, pesticides, and building supplies. Avoid contact with xenoestrogens as much as possible to prevent any harmful effects.
Phytoestrogens are healthy, estrogen-like compounds that we get from plants. They may enhance heart health, reduce or prevent certain types of cancer, improve health during menopause, help with weight loss and boost libido. Too much can cause hormonal imbalance and stimulate some types of breast cancer. Balance is key. Soy is not a phytoestrogen. It is typically genetically modified and contains hormone-disrupting pesticides. Unfortunately, most women do not realize the negative impact that soy can have on the body. If soy is used, be sure that it is fermented to prevent any adverse effects.
Balance is the key to hormone health. When your hormones are out of balance, both men and women may experience: