What are Bioidentical Hormones? Bioidentical hormones are a type of hormone replacement therapy in which the bioidentical hormones are derived from natural sources like soy and yams and in effect, are therefore chemically identical to the ones the human body naturally produces; thus your body responds to them much more efficiently than they would synthetic ones. Bioidentical hormones can mimic the natural hormones of DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Who are good Candidates for Bioidentical Hormones? People who are good candidates for bioidentical hormones are people who suffer from hormone imbalance due to adrenal fatigue, menopause, perimenopause, or andropause. Most often hormone imbalance is caused by aging and stress or a combination of both. Hormone imbalances can affect both men and women. Symptoms of hormone imbalance often include the following:
- Forgetfulness and fuzzy thinking
- Sagging skin
- Hot flashes
- Moodiness and irritability
- Poor sexual libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Sleep issues
It mainly begins to affect people in mid-life although can affect people younger as well, especially if there is adrenal fatigue due to stress or a genetic propensity of hormone imbalance.
What are the benefits of Bioidentical Hormones? The benefits of bioidentical hormones include relief and/or improvement of many symptoms e.g.: Improved memory and clearer thinking, improved sense of well-being and mood, reduced irritability, improved energy, younger looking skin with fewer fine lines and wrinkles, reduction or complete resolution of hot flashes, improved sexual libido, improved erectile function, and improved fertility. Most people who take bioidentical hormones remark a significant improvement in the way they think, feel, and behave. It is seriously a life-changing experience for those who have been burdened by the symptoms of hormone imbalance.
How is Bioidentical Hormone Treatment Administered and Monitored? When someone comes in complaining of symptoms that suggest a possible hormone imbalance those symptoms are first recorded and then usually a test is needed to ascertain the root of the symptoms. Hormone levels can be measured either through blood or preferably, through saliva at different times of the day to determine what the patient’s body is doing and how it is regulating those hormones. Often times, the lab-work verifies that the symptoms are caused by imbalanced hormones. The next step is to look at other factors that will determine the cause of the hormone imbalance. Is it adrenal fatigue due to stress? Is it menopause or andropause that is common as one ages? This will help me determine the best treatment plan for the patient: one that may not just include bioidentical hormones, but also physical exercise, diet, homeopathy, herbs, and/or stress-reducing exercises. A combination of bioidentical hormones are given to you at standardized doses or custom tailored to your specific needs through a compounding pharmacy. They can be administered as a transdermal crème, capsule, drops or an injection—depending on your needs. We then monitor the effectiveness of the bioidentical hormone treatment through monitoring of symptoms as well as repeated lab tests to determine how the body is utilizing the bioidentical hormones. Sometimes the doses will be increased or decreased until the patients overall well-being is improved and the lab levels look healthy. Monitoring is definitely influenced by the patient’s feelings and symptoms as well as the actual hormone levels showing up in the lab tests. Both are important.