Hormones derived from natural sources that replicate the ones synthesized by the human body are popularly referred to as bioidentical hormones.
These resemble human hormones in chemical composition and function. Compared to synthetic hormones, these are considered safer and more effective.
Bioidentical hormones help people with hormone deficiency, such as women undergoing menopause and men having low testosterone. Although hormone therapy can alleviate the symptoms of deficiency, it is essential to learn the safety and uses of bioidentical hormones.
What Are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical Hormones are artificially prepared hormones made with naturally-derived materials like wild yams, soy, or cactus. Diosgenin is extracted from them, which is a plant steroid and processed in a laboratory to prepare the hormones. They function the same way as human hormones. These are highly beneficial for those with a low level of hormones in their bodies.
The human body’s endocrine glands are responsible for producing hormones under the control and command of the hypothalamus in the brain.
The pituitary gland produces the three main reproductive hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Together, they help maintain a healthy balance in the body.
As the human body ages, the production of these hormones slows down, which brings an imbalance. It causes the person to experience several symptoms that may fade away over time.
However, some people may experience severe symptoms and need assistance to stay and age healthily.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can relieve the symptoms, bring back the lost energy, and restore the body’s balance.
What Are the Uses of Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormone treatment aims to replace the body’s lost or low hormone levels. Most patients see an improvement in their symptoms after hormone levels are raised.
The objective is to alleviate symptoms at the lowest achievable dose in the shortest time. Depending on your doctor, you could get regular testing to assess your hormone levels.
Hormones come in a variety of dosages and forms, including gels, pills, creams, sprays, and vaginal inserts.
The best BHRT for you will depend on your medical needs, so be sure to discuss them with your doctor. Depending on your changing hormone demands, your doctor may alter your dose. Bioidentical hormones can treat deficiency symptoms in both men and women.
Benefits for Women
- Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, or pain with sexual activity, also known as dyspareunia, may be alleviated by hormone treatment.
- Hormones may lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, which causes brittle, thin bones that are easily broken.
- In some cases, it may also treat brain fog, irritability, and bladder problems.
Benefits for Men
- Improves sleep and reduces bodily aches.
- Greater sexual performance and sex drive.
- Higher energy levels.
- Strengthen and increases muscular mass.
- Enhancement in mood, memory, and focus.
- Skin and complexion improvements.
- Accelerated muscular growth and fat removal.
When Should Women Consider Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
Women who are in their perimenopausal stage or undergoing menopause may consider bioidentical hormones. If you are experiencing following the symptoms, a healthcare professional can help you get started on them after analyzing your health condition.
- Your menstrual flow may differ, or the duration between phases may have changed.
- You get hot flashes which is a condition when you feel warmth in the neck, face, or chest, sometimes experienced without perspiration.
- Night sweats may cause difficulty sleeping and a sense of fatigue, stress, or tension.
- The onset of vaginal changes as the vagina may start to feel dry and flimsy, making intercourse uncomfortable.
- Experiencing bone thinning that can cause bone breakage (osteoporosis) and height loss.
When Should Men Consider Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
Men with an exponentially low testosterone level can also undergo bioidentical hormone therapy using FDA-approved testosterone. They may experience symptoms like mood changes, hair loss, erectile dysfunction, and the late onset of puberty in boys.
You are a good candidate for the treatment if you have any of the following conditions.
- The inability of the testicles to generate testosterone is due to factors like chemotherapy or hereditary issues.
- If you experience issues with the brain regions known as the hypothalamus and pituitary, which regulate the release of testosterone.
Are Bioidentical hormones Safe?
Since bioidentical hormones are sourced from plants, people think it’s safe to use. However, only a certain number of these hormones have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These types are safe to use and show minimal side effects and long-term complications.
Moreover, the FDA has authorized drugs that mimic the hormones that women naturally produce during their reproductive years.
However, according to the administration, estriol-containing medications are not “safer forms of estrogen” as they lack supporting data. It has not authorized the compounded medications that are sold and contains estriol.
Many commercially available “bioidentical hormones” are compounded medications that are not FDA-approved. It is so because studies have not shown that synthetic “bioidentical hormones” are either more or less safe or effective than hormone treatment that has been granted FDA approval.
The FDA advises women to utilize hormone therapy that has received FDA approval because they have undergone safety and efficacy testing.
How to Know If You Are A Good Candidate for Bioidentical Hormones?
Healthy women between the ages of 45 and 59 are considered good candidates for bioidentical hormones.
The majority of medical professionals concur that hormone treatment is safe for menopausal symptoms in healthy women who are within the first 10 years of menopause. They have a low chance of experiencing any side effects from the treatment. They also have a low risk of developing a heart attack or cancer.
However, hormone treatment may make certain women more susceptible to blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, breast cancer, and gallbladder problems, depending on their health history.
Estrogen raises the risk of endometrial cancer in female uterus users, which is a cancer of the uterine lining. However, taking progestin along with the estrogen reduces this risk.
Bioidentical hormone treatment has numerous positive effects on your life. The situations when they would need the treatment differ due to their anatomy. However, it can help you sleep better, have more energy, have fewer urinary tract infections, protect your bones, raise your good cholesterol, and keep your weight in check.