The Basics About Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement continues to puzzle patients and doctors even after more than half a century of use.
Hormones act as natural messengers all over the body, giving and receiving signals. They incite, fortify and sustain the life and dependability of a big number of body tissues and functions. It is understandable how the lack or excess of hormones at a specific time or stage of life or its presence in a way that is hard for the body to assimilate can cause crisis, discomforts or disease in a person's organism.
A lowering of hormones will have clear effects in the work of the organs they support: For example, estrogen reduction will affect vaginal lubrication or even mental capacity.
A hormone replacement therapy was developed in the early twentieth century, among other things, to help diminish the effects of pre- menopause, menopause and post- menopause in women. Discomforts like fatigue, mood swings, joint pain, vaginal dryness, hot flashes and night sweats had importantly affected women's daily lives and health for centuries and finally there was aid on the way.
In the beginning, this therapy was based on the use of synthetic hormones as the best option to lessen the signs of menopause. Doctors exchanged poor estrogen and progesterone with the necessary amounts of its synthetic variety. These were helpful for lessening many women's discomforts and were even believed to diminish chances of chronic conditions.
Eventually and after a conscientious study developed by the Women's Health Initiative, it was discovered that, in reality, the use of synthetic hormones enhanced the danger of chronic illness and its application subsided dramatically.
Today, hormone replacement therapy has changed severely to the point that many doctors completely discourage synthetic hormones' use. Currently, any treatment decision is dependant on the patient's age and symptoms instead of assuming the same treatment or dosage works for every patient.
Bio identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) was developed in the late twentieth century as a more natural option for treating menopause imbalances and discomforts. In theory, it implies the generation of a tailored blend of hormones for an individual patient, providing a “custom- compounded” hormone product of individual doses. The patient's hormonal needs are detected by means of a saliva test.
The Bio identical Hormone Replacement Therapy's approach is based on the application of hormones that are molecularly identical to the ones produced by the body. These are removed from soy and yams' plants and animals, specifically pigs and horses, to be adjusted in a lab to a completely equal molecular body structure condition and will be given to the patient in the form of a cream or injections. This lab adjustment is necessary for plants because these need to be chemically modified since they don't generate progesterone, estrone, estradiol, testosterone or estriol.
This therapy is being extensively used and encouraged worldwide. It is not natural in its totality since it is adjusted in a laboratory, but according to the FDA, its natural origin rules out bioidentical hormones for patenting. In order to be patented, the hormone has to be different from the natural structure to some degree. This is the key factor for the continuous drug companies' support and encouragement towards synthetic hormones' therapies.
Still, several bioidentical hormones are FDA approved, some versions of estrogen and progesterone are and estradiol is present in some authorized products. Custom- compounded doses are not approved, thus, they are not checked for purity, effectiveness and safety and may have contaminants in the mixture.
The logic behind the Bio identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is that the fact that these hormones are identical to the ones the body produces makes them easier and more natural for the body to employ, assimilate and organize. The body is capable of metabolizing bioidentical hormones the same way it was designed to deal with its own, minimizing side effects and since every mix matches its user, they are more likely to alleviate individual symptoms.
Still is important to question the safety of hormone treatments, no matter its kind. Any remedy can be dangerous if it is not applied according to the patient's specific body condition and functioning. It has been concluded that, in general, a Bio identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is better than a synthetic hormone's one, but there is no perfection anywhere. The first one seems to be safer but further long- term studies are needed to undeniably affirm this fact.
While there is undeniable proof about the risks that the synthetic hormone therapy presents, the Bio identical Hormone Replacement Therapy has been questioned too because of the lack of research, even though there is lots of background on it in regards to its use in the treatment of other diseases or conditions related to thyroid, diabetes, melatonin and testosterone.
Some bioidentical products are:
- Bioidentical Estrogen
- Micronized estradiol/ Estrace- Synthesized from soy and yam
- Estradiol/ Climara- Synthesized from soybeans
- Estradiol/ Estraderm- Synthesized from Mexican yams
- Estradiol/ Vivelle, Vivelle- Dot- Synthesized from Mexican yams
- Estradiol/ Estring- Synthesized from Mexican yams
- Conjugated estrogens/ Premarin- Pregnant mares' urine
- Conjugated estrogens/ Cenestin- Synthesized from soy and yams
- Esterified estrogens (estrone, equilin)/ Estra Tab- both estrone and equilin are synthesized from soy and yams
- Esterified estrogens (estrone, equilin)/ Menest- Both estrone and equilin are synthesized from soy and yams
- Micronized estradiol/ Estrace- Synthesized from soy and yams
- Estropipate/ Ogen- Synthesized from Mexican yams
- Estropipate/ Ortho- Est- Synthesized from yams
- Ethinyl estradiol/ Estinyl- Synthesized from Mexican yams
The most important point regarding health at any age is to never underestimate the power of taking care of the body and soul. No one should consider any drug as completely safe. It is vital to encourage every person to live a healthy life that will help diminish menopause's discomforts as well as any other disease or serious health condition.A healthy and balanced diet, stress prevention and control activities, exercise routines and beneficial sleep patterns are the best allies to keep the body strong and capable of responding efficiently to hormonal changes as well as to emotional situations.
Contact Kenton Bruice, M.D. with your questions about bioidentical hormone therapy.