Bioidentical Hormones Doctors Reveal Guidelines for Deciding if Hormone Replacement Therapy is Right for You
Menopause is an inevitable stage in a woman's life, which different women experience in different ways. While there are many symptoms that are shared by women all over the world, for the majority, menopause is a lonely, painful process. With such a wide range of possible symptoms, from hot flashes to dizzy spells, to general discomfort, it is difficult to produce a single drug that will be beneficial to all women.
For decades, physicians have been able to prescribe synthetic hormones, manufactured by pharmaceutical companies. But these synthetics are unnatural, and therefore cause many unwanted side effects, as well as potential risks, like inducing breast cancer. Moreover, synthetic hormones can't be made to match the individual hormone replacement needs of patients, so doctors can't guarantee that a given symptom will be relieved.
So, if you want nothing to do with synthetic hormones, what are your options? Grin and bear it, like women did for centuries? Although, it is a natural process, the inevitable effect of aging, you're not expected to withstand this on your own.
Fortunately, there is another option available to you: bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Bioidentical hormone doctors can tell you it is a very effective way to combat the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause and improve your overall quality of life.
Bioidentical hormones, contrary to synthetic hormones, are extracted from natural sources, plants like soybean and wild yams, and their molecular structure is identical to that of the hormones produced by our bodies. They can also be compounded to suit your specific hormone replacements needs, allowing you to receive a tailor-made treatment.
This sounds fantastic, but how can you know if BHRT is right for you? Bio identical hormone doctors provide some basic guidelines to help you decide.
1) Be informed.
It won't just go away if you ignore it. Nor is it likely it will pass and go unnoticed. Learn everything you can about menopause. Take comfort in the fact that although it is different for every woman, every woman must go through this. There are some basic symptoms that may indicate the process has begun. Has it been more than two or three months since your last period? If so, are you sure you're not pregnant? Are you gaining weight for no apparent reason? Are you having trouble sleeping? If you're not sure what you are feeling is menopause-related, do some research, and consult your doctor.
2) Compile a list of symptoms and medical history.
Bring this information with you to your consultation. Express your most pressing concerns, and what things you'd like to improve. If you're interested in consulting bio identical hormones doctors, inform your physician about your decision.3) Bear in mind that hormone replacement should not be prescribed to all women entering menopause, just because. It should only be administered to individuals who are truly hormone deficient.
Some doctors routinely prescribe estrogen or other sex hormones
without ever testing for hormone deficiency. This is a huge
Traditional medicine assumes that women after menopause have an estrogen deficiency. This is not always the case.
Research shows that women will likely continue to produce the necessary amount of estrogen until their 80's.
4) How do you know if you are estrogen-deficient?
A typical sign that you are clearly not, is if you still have monthly periods. If, on the other hand, you're not having your periods on a monthly basis, and if you experience vaginal mucosal atrophy and vaginal dryness, there most likely is an estrogen deficiency.
If you're unsure about these signs, a saliva hormone test is the best way to determine hormone deficiency, and it will clear up any doubts. Hormone levels vary from woman to woman. What could be considered normal for one woman, may not necessarily be a normal level for another woman. Saliva hormone testing is an accurate and reliable method for testing hormonal levels.
5) Consider the advantages of bioidentical hormone replacement over synthetic hormone replacement.
Synthetic hormones are manufactured in laboratories rather than
within a biological organism. This is why the molecular structure
of synthetic hormones is different from that of hormones naturally
produced by the body. On the other hand, the hormones prescribed by
bio identical hormones doctors are natural hormones, extracted from
plant sources, and thus are chemically the same as the hormones
your body naturally makes.
Also, synthetic hormones differ from natural hormones in the activity that occurs at the receptor level. Synthetic hormones may activate receptors in a similar way to that of natural hormones, but usually synthetic hormones will have no effect on the receptors or completely block it. Therefore, hormones that aren't bioidentical, such as synthetic hormones, won't provide the same total physiologic activity as the hormones they are intended to replace. Also, if the hormones used in hormone replacement aren't bioidentical, they may likely provoke undesirable side effects not found with the human hormone.
6) Use only in dosages that provide normal physiologic tissue levels.
What physiologic levels are considered normal? Hormones are powerful chemical messengers that circulate around in your bloodstream and target specific cells. Hormones don't work just by circulating in the blood. Hormones (estrogen, progesterone, etc) travel through the bloodstream and find their matching receptor sites on both healthy cells and cancer cells. Progesterone is found in serum and is also largely protein-bound.
Receptors are highly specialized protein molecules that sit on
the outside or inside of the cells in your body. Protein-bound
progesterone is not readily bioavailable to receptors in target
tissues throughout the body. When progesterone is measured by serum
levels, this is mostly a measure of progesterone that is not going
to be used by the body. A serum test can be used to compare one
woman's progesterone production to that of another woman. Also, a
serum test can show how much progesterone is being made by a
7) Consult bio identical hormones doctors and l earn as much as you can about BHRT.
There are countless articles available on the internet, just make sure they are reliable medical sources. Bioidentical hormones doctors are qualified to clear up all of your doubts, inform you about symptoms, hormone testing, and will provide the general guidance you need. You need to be fully informed before making the final decision. Keep in mind that women who are treated with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy are less likely to: get fat, have problems sleeping, have fibrocystic breasts, have mood disorders, but most importantly gain the added benefit of a decreased risk of strokes, breast cancer, or heart attacks.
Consult bioidentical hormones doctors today and see how they
can help you live a full, carefree, happy life.
Contact Kenton Bruice, M.D. with your questions about bioidentical hormone therapy.