What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is the use of man-made hormones to treat the symptoms of menopause, perimenopause, and other hormone-related conditions, including:
- Adrenal disorders
- Insulin resistance
- Thyroid problems
Additionally, BHRT can be used to help individuals suffering from less severe hormone conditions like hormone imbalance.
How Does BHRT Work?
Bioidentical hormones are produced from plant estrogens that are chemical twins to the hormones your body creates. Thus the name, “bioidentical.” These hormones can be delivered to the body in a variety of ways, including:
- Topical creams
- Vaginal suppositories
- Oral capsules and pills
- Sublingual (under the tongue) drops or lozenges
That said, BHRT is a little more complex than simply popping a pill.
If you come into Port Orchard Natural Medicine, Dr. Robertson will walk you through a holistic process that ensures your dosage and method of entry is tailored to your unique health situation. This could look like taking a routine blood, urine or saliva test. As well as coming in for regular symptom check-ups and monitoring.
Why all this work to simply determine dosage?
This is because it’s important for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to keep the dosage to an absolute minimum. Bioidentical hormones are designed to work with your body’s own hormones, not compete with them.
Hormone Replacement Therapy vs. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy: What are the Differences?
HRT vs. BHRT: hormone ingredients
The main difference between traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and BHRT is where each of these man-made hormones originate from.
HRT hormones are created from the urine of pregnant horses, steroids, and other synthetic substances. While they still produce results, these hormones are truly artificial.
BHRT, on the other hand, is created from plant estrogens and has the same chemical makeup as hormones produced by the human body. While there is a significant amount of chemistry that goes into creating bioidentical hormones, many patients feel more comfortable taking this kind as it features more natural ingredients.
HRT vs. BHRT: synthesizing process
Another difference is the process by which HRT and BHRT hormones are created and packaged.
Both HRT and BHRT hormones are synthesized according to the regulations and requirements of the United States Pharmacopeia (an industry authority that determines standards for drugs).
BHRT hormones are created and packaged in a compounding pharmacy, where the hormones are inserted in a suppository, cream, or other delivery vehicle. The dosage amounts inserted in each vehicle vary depending on your doctor’s recommendations.
HRT hormones are manufactured and packaged by pharmaceutical companies. But unlike BHRT, HRT hormones are inserted into delivery vehicles in a standardized way — not following a doctor’s dosage recommendation, but according to FDA testing and approval.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women
An unfortunate reality of life is that hormone levels inevitably decline as you age.
As your hormone counts slowly decline, you might find yourself struggling with everything from lack of libido to skin tone changes. These symptoms stem from decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone.
Some of the more alarming signs and symptoms of female hormone imbalance or menopause include:
- Hot flashes
- Weight gain
- Low libido
- Mood swings
- Bone density loss
- Memory loss
Understandably, experiencing symptoms like these in your own life can be alarming. But don’t worry!
All is not lost.
Countless women around the Puget Sound region have been able to mitigate and even reverse symptoms like these by visiting Port Orchard Natural Medicine. Here, Dr. Robertson will use BHRT to help you restore your hormone levels.
And you won’t be alone. BHRT is an extremely common healthcare choice for women in the United States.
In fact, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) recently reported that over 1.4 million American women are currently using BHRT. Of these, 40% are using bioidentical hormone therapy to alleviate symptoms caused by menopause.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men
Women aren’t the only ones with hormone fluctuations. Men can experience periods of hormone imbalance as well, and while women suffer from menopause, men are faced with the onset of andropause.
As a man ages, his testosterone levels drastically decrease. This results in andropause (also known as Low-T).
Low testosterone symptoms include:
- Low libido
- Memory loss
- Joint pain
- Poor concentration
BHRT is a common testosterone treatment only because it is effective. If you are concerned about a decrease in your testosterone, stop by the Port Orchard Natural Medicine clinic and speak with Dr. Robertson about how BHRT can help you get back to full health.
Other Uses of BHRT
In addition to treating the symptoms caused by andropause, menopause, and perimenopause, BHRT can also be used to treat thyroid disorders like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Other hormones that can be administered via BHRT treatment include:
- Cortisol, which regulates energy and stress.
- T4/T3, which controls thyroid function.
- DHEA, which is converted by your body to other hormones.
- Melatonin, which regulates your sleep.
Here at Port Orchard Natural Medicine, Dr. Robertson uses a naturopathic process to ensure that her patients are following the best health practices available for a better body and mind.
Are you concerned about hormone issues within your body? Contact us today to learn more about how BHRT can get you back on the path to full health.