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Hormones play a key role in how your body functions, and control everything from your immune system to how you grow. When hormone levels are unbalanced, the communication between your cells is interrupted and major changes can occur in your body. Many of these differences are negative, so it is important for a doctor to try to get your hormones back in balance as soon as possible. This can be achieved through the use of treatments that involve hormone replacement. Recently, a more natural solution has been introduced: bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT.
What is BHRT?
Bioidentical hormones are made using plant estrogen, but are essentially identical to the hormones created naturally by humans. Although there are many types of hormones, estrogen and testosterone are most commonly used to treat hormone imbalance. These various forms of bioidentical hormones can be introduced to the body through supplements, injections, creams, and patches when hormone levels drop, and are commonly used to treat conditions such as osteoporosis and fibromyalgia. BHRT has also been proven to relieve symptoms of menopause, and has helped show improvement in cancer patients.
Differences Between Bioidentical and Traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy uses hormones that are chemically the same as those that the body naturally produces. These bioidentical hormones are created using plant estrogens, while the hormones normally used in traditional therapy are synthesised using horse urine. Because they are natural, bioidentical hormones from plants may be safer than the hormones derived from animals.
How Can Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Help Me?
BHRT can be used to regulate hormones as you age, or when hormone levels drop due to a major illness or disease. Some of the symptoms associated with a decrease in hormones include:
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Memory loss
Because hormones also help control your body’s communication and immune system, BHRT can also help decrease your chances of developing serious health conditions, such as diabetes and dementia. It can also improve your skin, reducing wrinkles and reducing signs of aging. For cancer patients, BHRT can lower pain levels and help relieve symptoms such as headaches and incontinence.
What Are the Side Effects of BHRT?
Bioidentical hormones that have not been compounded have been approved for medical use by the FDA. As with all medical procedures, however, there are some risks. As your body begins to acclimate to the introduction of hormones, you may notice temporary effects such as:
- Weight gain
- Increased hair growth
Taking hormone replacement therapy may also increase your chances of developing certain illnesses, including:
- heart disease
- blood clots
You should always consult with a doctor before beginning hormone replacement therapy.
BHRT can be taken in many ways, including patches, injections, and supplements. Depending on your lifestyle, any of these options might be a viable choice for you. Once you begin bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, you will require several more visits to the doctor to check on the progress of the treatment. When using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, it’s important to begin with small doses that gradually increase until you begin to see results. For more information on BHRT, as well as other treatments offered at CORE Medical & Wellness, visit https://coremedicalwellness.com/services/mens-and-womens-health/.
Ready to Get Started?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy could be just what you need to improve your quality of life. For more information, or to set up an appointment, call CORE Medical & Wellness at 888-521-0688 or visit us online.
Dr. Richard Kang is double board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine, and he completed an interventional pain medicine fellowship at the prestigious New York Presbyterian Hospital / Columbia University – College of Physicians and Surgeons. Read his full bio here.