Bioidentical hormone replacement means to replace low levels of hormones with hormones that are structurally similar to your very own hormones.
Bioidentical hormones differ from synthetic in that they look and act just like the hormones in your body that you once had in larger amounts and most of them are plant-derived, not synthetically produced in a lab.
Women often choose to use bioidentical hormones to treat menopausal and peri-menopausal symptoms, such as:
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- mood swings
- weight gain
- decreased sex drive
- vaginal dryness (which can lead to painful sex)
However, many women who are premenopausal are noticing improvements in:
- premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- mood swings
- fibrocystic breast disease
- estrogen dominance- not enough progesterone to balance estrogen in the body- often fat accumulation around the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks is a sign of possible estrogen dominance as well as symptoms that mimic hypothyroidism (fatigue, weight gain)
- the ability to get pregnant if a woman has a deficiency of progesterone in the Luteal Phase of her menstrual cycle (also known as a Luteal Phase Defect)
How to identify any hormone deficiencies?
A combination of blood and saliva tests can be used to identify any hormone deficiencies that you have, although saliva is more accurate because it reflects intracellular or bioavailable levels of your hormones.
Men can also suffer from a condition similar to menopause but known as andropause.
Andropause occurs in older men when their bodies fail to produce the levels of testosterone they once did when younger. However, younger men as well can suffer from low testosterone levels which can have a quite a negative impact on their health and wellbeing.
Low testosterone symptoms in men can include:
- feeling tired
- depression and/or anxiety
- inability to achieve or maintain an erection (aka erectile dysfunction)
- loss of muscle mass with an increase in body fat percentage
- gynecomastia (the formation of male breasts)
- decreased sex drive and stamina
Studies show that bio-identical hormone replacement can decrease the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and will significantly decrease your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
It also has been shown to decrease the progression of aging, with patients experiencing greater skin elasticity and fewer wrinkles as well as maintenance of lean muscle mass. In men, testosterone replacement has been shown to significantly reduce deaths from all causes.
If you have any of the mentioned symptoms then the first step is scheduling an appointment with our doctors, discussing your symptoms, and having your hormone levels checked. If you don’t have a deficiency, you could very well have an imbalance of hormones, which is very important to have treated for your optimal health and well being.
What You Need To Know About Bio-identical Hormones versus Commonly Prescribed Synthetic Hormones
- Non-bio-identical hormones are not identical in structure, proportion or activity to the hormones naturally produced within the body. The use of non-bio-identical estrogen and progesterone are associated with increased risk of breast cancer, heart attack, and stroke.
- Bio-identical hormones have the same exact molecular structure as the hormones produced naturally within the body. The body does not distinguish between supplemental bio-identical hormones and the hormones produced within the body. As a result, bio-identical hormones are properly utilized and are then able to be more easily metabolized and excreted from the body.
- The use of bio-identical progesterone is not associated with increased risk of breast cancer. In fact, the use of bio-identical progesterone is associated with decreased risk of breast cancer. However non-bio-identical synthetic progestins significantly increase the risk of breast cancer.
- There are three types of estrogen produced in the body: estriol, estrone, and estradiol. The use of bio-identical estriol is not associated with increased risk of breast cancer. While non-bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy is known to increase the risk of uterine cancer. The use of topical estriol is not associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer.
- Bio-identical progesterone has beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, including decreasing the risk of blood clots, protecting against the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), as well as maintaining healthy HDL-cholesterol levels.
- Bio-identical progesterone is superior to non-bio-identical progesterone in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Estriol is highly effective in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Estriol has been shown to improve bone density, promote youthful skin, and enhance sexual and urinary health
- Foods and nutrients that can protect against the development of breast cancer include green tea, soy isoflavones, fish oil, vitamin D, plant lignans, DIM, indole-3carbinol (found in cruciferous vegetables), and D-gluconate.
Gordon, Mark M.D. Bioidentical Hormones Why are They Still Controversial.
Note: The above paper was peer-reviewed by 17 Doctors which included MDs, DOs, NDs, and PhDs. The paper is supported by 262 scientific references and is commonly known as the “White paper”.
Below is the White Paper on Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. It is a compilation by Dr. Mark Gordon MD of almost 300 studies on hormone replacement therapy, comparing synthetic versions with natural or bioidentical hormones. The comparisons are staggering. To view a copy please click on the following file: