What is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement?
You’ve likely heard of it, but what is it?
Bio-identical hormones are basically what your body already produces. BHRT (Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy) is the process of finding what your deficiencies, surpluses, and imbalances are, then correcting them with the compounds similar to those normally found in your body.
It’s really all about balance, as opposed to replacement, in many cases.
An important thing to realize is the typical estrogen replacement therapies and oral contraceptives are not bio-identical. They are structurally very different than what our bodies produce and they may actually worsen certain symptoms. They also may exist in your body at very high levels for very long times. The dosages we use in BHRT are generally much, much lower. We seek to supplement and mimic natural function, not overpower and take over your body's natural processes. The results are generally much better tolerated and result in improvement of symptoms, as opposed to creation of a whole new set of them.
Many people who would benefit suffer from common symptoms: fatigue, irritability, decreased libido, bloating, and sleeplessness. Specific symptoms in women may be PMS, post or peri-menopausal flushing, night sweats, and breast tenderness. Men may undergo a similar change in the form of andropause, a natural drop off in the Testosterone level after a certain age. It may present as decreased energy, decreased libido, weight gain, and decreased muscle mass.
Additional hormones may play a role besides sex hormones, such as thyroid and adrenal hormones.