Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Also known as “natural” HRT or “human-identical” HRT, BHRT is identical in structure and function to human hormones. It is derived from the plant oil Diosgenin, which is produced abundantly in soybeans and wild yams, then chemically altered to match our human bioidentical steroid hormones. With compounding, BHRT can be altered to replace any of several types of imbalanced hormones for women and men.
There are several different symptoms or conditions under which men and women can qualify for BHRT. However because no two people are exactly alike, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be altered and adapted to the exact needs and hormone levels of each individual. In addition to chemical adaptation, the forms in which BHRT is administered can vary greatly with the availability of capsules, creams, gels, suppositories, sublingual drops, and lozenges in most situations. By working with their doctor and compounding pharmacist, patients can begin a bioidentical hormone replacement regimen that closely mimics what their body has been doing naturally for years.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance (Female)
Diminished feeling of well being
Cravings for sweets
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
Symptoms of low progesterone
Breast swelling and tenderness
Craving for sweets
Heavy irregular menses
Low thyroid symptoms
Exacerbates symptoms of estrogen deficiency
Male-pattern hair growth
Deepening of voice
Loss of scalp hair
Same symptoms as low coritsol
Andropause or “male menopause” affects aging men every year in a variety of ways. Over a period of years, men begin to see the results of andropause which include decreased libido, impotence, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, and anxiety. The traditional form to administer testosterone has been injection, however other compounding options (as stated above) are now available.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance (Male)
Muscle pains and aches
Inability to sleep
Thinning of bones or bone loss
Testing for and Acquiring BHRT
Before BHRT can be prescribed, an in-depth patient history is necessary to evaluate the reason for each patient’s symptoms. Some examples of steroid hormone imbalances are progesterone deficiency with estrogen dominance, progesterone and estrogen insufficiency, testosterone deficiency, and cortisol and DHEA imbalance. Once the imbalance is determined, your doctor can provide a prescription to be compounded and the course of treatment will begin.
For our patients, we also offer a wide variety of services including educational information, nutritional supplements, and counseling on lifestyle changes. We also offer a small library of educational materials that patients may find helpful when going through bodily changes and hormone therapy. While going through counseling and by learning more about your body, you may find that additional supplements, lifestyle changes, or a combination of factors are needed to achieve ideal results.
One way to determine hormone imbalance is by using saliva and/or blood spot testing. Through testing, clinical symptoms can be matched to specific hormone imbalances, and the pharmacist, the doctor, and you can formulate a treatment plan. Through follow-up testing, your progress can be tracked and compared to see the new results of your therapy.