What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Your hormones control most of your basic bodily functions. They serve as an internal communication system between cells throughout the body. They coordinate everything from digestion and growth to your appetite, immune function, mood, and libido. So, when your hormones are out of balance, even slightly, it can have a big impact on your health and well-being. Often, when hormone levels drop or become unbalanced, men and women turn to hormone replacement therapy to ease symptoms. There are many options for hormone replacement therapy. One option is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). BHRT has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. It promises a “natural” solution to hormone issues. But what exactly is BHRT, and how is it different from other options for hormone replacement therapy? Read on to learn all you need to know about BHRT and whether it may be right for you.
Traditional vs. Bioidentical
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. Bioidentical hormones are generally sourced from plants. When the body recognizes these bioidentical hormones, they can easily use them for various bodily functions.
While synthetic hormones were used by women for many years, many women find that they feel better using bioidentical hormones. Studies have also suggested that synthetic hormones, specifically synthetic progestin, can increase the risk of developing breast cancer and can lead to numerous symptoms, including irritability and weight gain.
Why are Bioidentical Hormones Used?
As men and women age, the levels of some key hormones in the body go down. These include estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This can lead to many symptoms. Some common complaints related to low hormone levels are:
• Hot flashes
• Night sweats
• Vaginal dryness
• Loss of interest in sex
• Pain during sex
• Problems sleeping
• Loss of energy
• Loss of muscle mass
• Weight gain
• Foggy thinking
• Mood changes
• Memory loss
The goal is to replace the hormones that have been lost and to return the body to balance through the use of hormone therapy. As a result, hormone levels will increase and symptoms will improve. Your provider can discuss with you the variety of options available, and guide therapy based on your individual needs.
Bioidentical Therapy for Men
Men experience a similar decline in hormone levels that women experience when they go through menopause. This is known as andropause, and this change occurs more slowly often starting as young as 35. Testosterone levels in men typically drop about one percent per year. Testosterone plays a critical role in the quality and quantity of life for men. The decline in testosterone levels has been shown to be a risk factor for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Men also experience many of the symptoms listed above.
The goal of hormone replacement (HRT) in men is to optimize testosterone levels and to eliminate symptoms.
Therapy Designed for You
Vibrant Health of Colorado takes the benefits of bioidentical hormones further by providing a personalized approach to natural hormone replacement therapy. We study your individual hormone levels in order to determine precisely what you need to optimize your hormone levels and return you to vibrant health. We have many hormone replacement therapy treatment options available. Call 303-730-2229 or click here to schedule an appointment with a hormone specialist.