Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical hormones are defined as man-made hormones that are very similar to the hormones produced by the human body. These are then used as treatment for men and women whose own hormones are low or out of balance.
What are bioidentical hormones?
Hormones are special chemicals made by parts of the body called glands. They are messengers that tell other parts of the body how and when to work. Hormones control almost all tasks in the body. These include sex and brain function, growth and the breakdown of food. When hormones are out of balance, symptoms can occur.
Bioidentical hormones are defined as man-made hormones that are very similar to the hormones produced by the human body. Common hormones that are matched are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. These are then used as treatment for men and women whose own hormones are low or out of balance.
Some prescription forms of bioidentical hormones are pre-made by a drug company. Other forms are custom-made by a pharmacist based on a doctor’s order. This is called compounding.
At our clinic in Zignagenix we understand the important role that low testosterone plays in the health and well-being of men and women. Our Age Management physicians have been regarded as the pioneering medical science leader in bio-identical hormone replacement therapies and supplementation.
Why are bioidentical hormones used?
As we age, the levels of some hormones in our body start decreasing. These include estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. This can lead to certain symptoms. Some are very common to women who are in the perimenopause and menopause. Some common effects of low hormones include:
- Hot flashes.
- Night sweats.
- Vaginal dryness.
- Loss of interest in sex.
- Pain during sex.
- Loss of energy.
- Loss of muscle mass.
- Weight gain.
- Memory loss.
Hormone levels can also be decreased in men. Some men can have unnaturally low levels of testosterone and can benefit from hormone therapy. For example, the condition hypogonadism can cause low testosterone levels. A steady decrease in production of the hormone testosterone typically begins in the early 40’s. Some effects of low testosterone levels are:
- Alterations in sexual development.
- Decreased libido.
- Decreased reproductive function.
- Decreased in muscle mass.
- Erectile and sexual dysfunction.
The treatment is to replace the hormones that have been lost with the hormone therapy. As a result, hormone levels will increase and symptoms will improve.
In addition to helping with symptoms, hormone replacement therapy may also reduce your risk for diabetes, tooth loss and cataracts. There’s some evidence that it can help improve skin thickness, hydration, elasticity and even reduce wrinkles.
For those with cancer who have undergone treatments that affect their estrogen levels, BHRT has been shown to be effective in improving their general well-being and quality of life. In one study, people with cancer who underwent BHRT found relief from treatment-related symptoms such as migraines, incontinence, low libido and insomnia. The study also found their recurrence rate of breast cancer was no higher than average.
What is the difference with traditional hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are different from those used in traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in that they’re identical chemically to those our bodies produce naturally and are made from plant estrogens. The hormones used in traditional HRT are made from the urine of pregnant horses and other synthetic hormones.
How are they given?
There are many ways to get bioidentical hormones. These include pills, patches, creams, gels, shots and implanted pellets. Your doctor will decide which method is best for you. You may try more than one way before you find one that works well for you.
Are you a candidate for Bioidentical hormone therapy?
Bioidentical hormone therapy may be an option to help people who have symptoms associated with hormone levels that are low or otherwise unbalanced.
At our clinic one of our physicians will evaluate you to decide if you are a candidate for the therapy. We offer bioidentical hormone therapy with the highest quality standards and according to your specific needs.
Our doctors have designed a safe and proven program for our patients to maximize many benefits which include but are not limited to:
- Increased muscle mass.
- Increased libido.
- Reduced fat.
- Improved sexual performance.
- Helps with cholesterol.
- Strengthens bones.
- Helps with diabetes.
- Sharpens mind.
- Improves mood.
- Improves skin tone and elasticity.
- increases energy and stamina.
These benefits are seen when low hormone levels are treated in hypogonadal and andropausal men.
After 90 days of beginning the hormone replacement therapy program, the patient will be required to follow up with additional labs. This is to determine that the diagnosis and dosages are on target. If your levels are not at the optimal range, the regimen will be altered in order to achieve the best results for the patient.
Files JA, Ko MG, Pruthi S. Bioidentical hormone therapy. Mayo Clin Proc. 2011;86(7):673-680. doi:10.4065/mcp.2010.0714