What is BioIdentical Hormones?
BHRT can be used to treat men and women when their hormone levels drop or become unbalanced. It’s most frequently used to ease symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. It may also be used to improve symptoms of cancer treatment or to treat conditions such as:
Bioidentical hormones are manmade hormones derived from plant estrogens that are chemically identical to those the human body produces. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are among those most commonly replicated and used in treatment. Bioidentical hormones come in various forms, including:
Components of bhrt
Some bioidentical hormones are made by drug companies. Others, known as compounded bioidentical hormones, are custom made by a pharmacy, according to a doctor’s orders. This process is known as compounding. Compounding typically involves ingredients being combined or altered to meet the needs of an individual.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved some forms of manufactured bioidentical hormones, including bioidentical estriol (a weak form of estrogen) and progesterone. However, the FDA hasn’t approved any custom-compounded bioidentical hormones.
Most bioidentical hormones are manufactured and sold without controls for safety, quality, or purity. Many medical organizations have taken a stand against the marketing and use of unapproved bioidentical hormones.
Compounded bioidentical hormones are often touted as being safer and more effective than synthetic hormones. But the FDA and most doctors will caution that those claims haven’t been proven in reputable studies, and that these hormones may even be potentially dangerous in some cases.
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First, BHRT most commonly treats the symptoms of menopause. However, other conditions result in a decrease in hormone production. Some of these conditions are: insulin resistance, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and adrenal disorders.
From injections to creams, these hormones can be delivered to the body in several forms according to their purpose. In some cases, pellet therapy can be used to deliver the hormone over a period of time. A “pellet” is inserted through an incision in the skin, where it is placed to slowly metabolize over time.
Additionally, bioidentical hormones enter the system through patches, creams, gels, pills, or injections.
The method of delivery will depend on the hormone and the cause for which it is needed.
Hormones produced by drug companies, like estradiol, a bioidentical estrogen, are FDA approved. Other bioidentical hormones, such as those prepared in compounding pharmacies are not FDA approved. While these hormones may not be FDA-approved, that doesn’t mean that they’re unsafe.
The advantage of a compounded hormone is that it’s formulated according to the individual’s needs. Beyond that, hormones can be combined to produce a therapy that treats multiple causes for symptoms.
Many women use conventional hormone replacement therapy to treat the symptoms of menopause. Interestingly enough, these hormones are derived from the urine of pregnant horses or other animals.
Unlike bioidentical hormones, these synthetic hormones may cause unwanted side effects.
Hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, weight gain, and night sweats cause significant discomfort to women who are in menopause. Not to mention, memory issues like “brain fog” plague many other women. Luckily, bioidentical hormones may provide much needed relief.