Bioidentical Hormones are the new way of countering the hormonal imbalance within the human body. These hormones are mostly used by women during their menopause and by all the people to combat aging effects on the body. They are similar in structure to the hormones produced by human body and thus, they are also known as ‘natural’ hormones. In fact, it is said that biodentical hormones are similar to hormones produced by human body and offer effectiveness like that of synthetic hormones. A large number of women around the globe, especially in Europe and North America use- hormonal treatment to counter the menopause problems.
- To understand this, first you need to get to some basics. Hormones are basically produced by glands in the human body to regulate the body’s physiology and behavior. Sometimes glands fail to produce required amount of hormones leading to shortage of hormones in the body. This affects routine activities and results in fatigue, decrease in sex drive, sleep disorder, inhibited growth, menopause, and others. On the other hand, doctors have found a solution to the shortage of bodily hormones. Until recently, synthetic hormones were prescribed to the patients. However, these were rarely a solution to the atypical problems of various people although they definitely reduced the symptoms. On the contrary, Bioidentical hormones are natural hormones that cure such problems.
- Most of the people who take hormones generally bank on it for anti aging treatment. This is the time of life when a person is free from the hassles and troubles he has encountered earlier. This person wants to sit back and enjoy his time. But the body is not as fit as it used to be and this is when(BHRT) comes in as a savior. There is another term HRT, which generally refers to the conventional way of administering synthetic hormones.
Where Can I Get This Treatment?
- In the state of New Jersey or anywhere else in the US the question is not “What are Bioidentical hormones?”, but where do you get them. A meeting with your doctor, lab work, and a look at your medical history will tell if you are a candidate for this treatment. Also visit our question and answer section to learn more.
What about compounded hormones?
- Once the doctor diagnoses you and reaches a conclusion regarding your body’s need for hormones, he or she issues a prescription to you. When you take this prescription to the pharmacist, he prepares the mixture by putting together prescribed quantities of the hormones. The product thus prepared is called compounded hormones. There are several dedicated pharmacies which perform the task of putting together several hormones to form compounded hormones.
- However, a prescription is necessary and without it, you go nowhere. The advantage of using compounded hormones is that they are prepared from micronized ingredients. Micronized refers to using the fine grain quality of the ingredients, thus, leading to quick absorption by the body. The digestive system discards little of it while the major portion is absorbed. Several doctors prefer such treatment over the synthetic hormones. The reason is that such treatment can be administered over a longer period of time without producing much of the side effects, which are very common with synthetic hormones.
- Generally the prescribing doctor conducts saliva or blood test of the patient. Based on this, he writes down a prescription. However, detractors claim that saliva testing itself is unproven and hence unreliable. Insufficient research is also mentioned as a reason for its unreliability. Since the pharmacy has to put together hormones on the basis of the prescription, there is a lot of human element involved in the preparation process. This also potentially increases the human error element. Further, since each blend is customized according to individual requirements, further testing on them becomes even more challenging. Although the FDA approves the use of bioidentical hormones, it does not approve the use of compounded hormones prepared in pharmacies on doctor’s prescription.
- Bioidentical hormone therapy is administered transdermally which is different from the conventional pills treatment. Transdermally administration leads to direct absorption of the hormones into the body. Pellet therapy is used for transdermal administration. In this therapy, the hormones shaped in the form of a grain of wheat or rice is inserted under the skin. This hormones’ pellet then keeps meeting the shortage of the bodily produced hormones. It relieves the patient from the symptoms for about four to six months however, it has to be administered about thrice in a year. There are no marks or traces left on the skin thereafter.
- Thus the complete process of metabolism that has to be gone through with pills can be avoided. Since the hormones are administered in small doses, there is no danger of overdose which is generally associated with synthetic hormones which are administered only in pills. The similarity in structure with the bodily hormones lead to them being quickly accepted in the body. Their metabolism is also quicker as compared to synthetic hormones.
- Bioidentical hormones help you retain your energy level and make you feel healthy again. During menopause, primarily two hormones are imbalanced. These are estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone shortage might lead to anxiety, painful and tender breasts, sleeping issues and so on. Estrogen deficiency might result in getting obese and bloated, hot flashes, depression, low sexual desire, tiredness and so on.
- Bioidentical progesterone benefits include increased energy level. It is also known for restoring your sexual drive and its anti-depressant qualities. It also provides protection against certain types of cancer. As compared to synthetic hormones, bioidentical hormones dosages can be prepared as per the need of the patient. On the contrary, synthetic hormones come in standardized packets of pills. So if a patient needs only a certain amount and not the whole, even then he or she has to take the complete pill. And it might not even be a proper solution. Sometimes the body has imbalance of several hormones at the same time. Bioidentical hormones are mixed according to customized requirements of individual patients. Non bioidentical hormones generally increase the risk of cancer and strokes, a study says. Also, it is obvious even to the naïve eye that hormones with similar structure as that of bodily hormones would be better than those without the similarity.
- Although the fact remains that there is some controversy associated with the bioidentical hormones. The biggest of them is that the compounded bioidentical hormones are not approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some doctors are skeptical toward them and in fact refrain from prescribing them. However, there are many who strongly believe in the benefits of bioidentical hormones.
Regardless if you live in NJ, New York, or anything in the United States treatment should be available. Further study on bioidentical hormones is necessary but for the time being, you will have to bank on your judgment. If you go by present results and experiences of patients, biodentical hormones have not shown any significant side effect and are safe to use. So if it is necessary to go for hormone replacement, then better go for biodentical than the conventional synthetic one. However, there are cases when this treatment is not advisable, so it is always advisable to consult your doctor before going ahead with any therapy you like.