Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) rebalances hormone levels that begin to decline as part of the aging process. The advantages of optimal hormone levels include more energy, vitality, and strength as well as improved sex drive. Other advantages include better sleep, improved focus, younger-looking skin, and help keeping extra weight off.
As you become older, your body’s hormone levels gradually decrease as part of the normal aging process. Weight gain, low energy, and low sex drive are some common side effects of hormonal imbalances that can reduce your quality of life and increase your risk of a range of serious health and medical conditions. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT, is a safe, effective method of improving your hormonal balance in a natural way without the risks and side effects that come with many conventional hormone replacement therapies.
What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
BHRT is a type of hormone replacement therapy that uses plant-based hormones identical to those produced naturally by the human body. Conventional hormone replacement therapy uses synthetic hormones and hormones derived from horse urine — both of which are different in molecular structure compared to hormones produced by humans.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy helps boost and balance the body’s hormone levels to stave off common problems that stem from hormonal imbalance. Stress, mood swings, weight gain, and fatigue are just some symptoms of hormonal imbalance that can be improved using BHRT.
Why take bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
BHRT helps restore your hormones to normal levels, promoting improved overall health and well-being, and reducing your risk of common health problems caused by hormonal imbalances.
Studies show that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy works more quickly than other conventional hormone therapies, and offers relief from many common symptoms of menopause and andropause.
Benefits of BHRT include:
- Improved sleep
- Increased libido
- Reduced body fat
- Restoration of bone strength
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Better maintenance of muscle mass and strength
- Reduced vaginal dryness
- Fewer hot flashes
- Improved cholesterol
- Improved bladder control
- Improved memory and concentration
- Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Reduced risk of anxiety and depression
- Reduced risk of breast and endometrial cancers
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Improved mood and well-being
BHRT is prepared at a compounding pharmacy, where the dose, blend, and strength of the treatment is customized for your unique hormonal health needs. In comparison, conventional HRT is available with a prescription at nearly every pharmacy — meaning the treatment isn’t customized and is used on a “one size fits all” basis that may not be effective for everyone who needs help regulating hormone levels.
How does bioidentical hormone replacement therapy work?
BHRT can be administered in many different ways. Hormone pellet implants have been shown to be the most efficient delivery method for BHRT.
BHRT pellets contain estradiol or testosterone that is pressed and fused into tiny, solid cylinders about the size of a grain of rice. The implantation of BHRT pellets is usually performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia so you can go home the same day. BHRT pellets are usually implanted in the upper buttocks, where your doctor will make a small incision for the pellet after the site has been anesthetized. Your doctor then inserts the pellet and covers the insertion site using a small bandage.
Following BHRT pellet insertion, your doctor will advise you to avoid using bathtubs, hot tubs, and swimming pools for one week. You will also be instructed to avoid strenuous lower body exercises that may interfere with the healing of your incision. You can resume normal activity following the removal of your bandage.
When will I see results from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
Women who receive estrogen pellets will often experience noticeable improvements in symptoms within 24 to 36 hours. Men and women who receive testosterone pellets will notice improvements in symptoms within 10 to 14 days. BHRT pellets will continue to release consistent, healthy levels of hormones for 3-5 months in women, and for 4-6 months in men.
Pellets contain only natural hormones, and gradually dissolve on their own to leave nothing behind at the end of therapy. BHRT pellets can be implanted 2 to 4 times per year based on the rate at which your body metabolizes the hormones. Your doctor will test and evaluate your hormone levels after each round of pellet therapy, so your medication can be tailored to your exact hormonal needs.
Side effects of bioidentical hormones
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy does not come with the same risks and side effects as those associated with conventional hormone replacement therapy, such as a high risk of breast cancer. However, BHRT comes with its own side effects just like any other medical treatment.
BHRT pellets that deliver estrogen may cause mild breast tenderness and water retention, though these side effects are often temporary and resolve on their own.
Pellets that deliver testosterone may increase the production of red blood cells and cause slight facial hair growth in women. Possible complications that may arise from BHRT pellet insertion include minor bleeding, bruising, skin discoloration, infection, and extrusion of the pellet.
How safe is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
BHRT has been used in the U.S. since 1938 to improve symptoms of hormonal imbalances. There are many studies available globally that document the advantages and safety of BHRT, and that report the benefits of BHRT over conventional HRT and other prescription drugs.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy uses natural plant-based products that share the same molecular structure as hormones produced by the human body. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy should not be confused with synthetic forms of HRT, which are created using horse urine and other man-made substances created in a lab, and are associated with a number of potential risks, side effects, and complications.
Can bioidentical hormone replacement therapy help with weight loss?
Weight gain can be caused by many different factors such as an underactive thyroid, chronic inflammation, stress, and insulin resistance. These and many other underlying factors contributing to weight gain are often driven by hormonal imbalances. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy helps regulate the body’s hormone levels so your body can function on a more optimal level and help prevent weight gain.
BHRT can also indirectly help with weight loss by increasing energy, improving sleep quality, boosting sex drive, and more. Talk to your doctor today to learn more about how bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can help you balance your hormones, improve your overall wellness, and lose weight.
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