What are Bioidentical Hormones? BHRT in Michigan Oaks - Grand Rapids, MI
Let's Start With Hormones
Before you can truly grasp the concept of bioidentical hormones or bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), it's best to begin by establishing the definition of “hormones.” Hormones are chemical messengers the body sends out to control a variety of functions and processes. They are secreted into the blood stream through the endocrine glands, like the:
- Pituitary gland
- Adrenal glands
Once hormones are secreted from these glands, they bind to receptor sites where they induce chemical changes. These changes allow hormones to control such bodily functions as:
- Stimulating growth
- Sexual arousal
Detecting Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalance is more common than most people think. Unfortunately, this is an issue that is often ignored or misidentified. Most people fail to make the link between physical or mental changes and hormone deficiency/imbalance. This may lead to certain symptoms going untreated. This often includes symptoms such as:
- Weight gain
- Excessive sweating
- Low libido
Once an imbalance is detected, however, the solution is often simple. If you have low testosterone, find a treatment to raise your testosterone levels. If you've got low estrogen (oestrogen), find a treatment to raise your estrogen (oestrogen) levels. This pattern applies to many treatment strategies and shown to be effective in restoring balance in the body.
The Bioidentical Difference
Traditional hormone replacement therapy has been the subject of much debate in recent years. Evidence points to an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, and certain cancers for those using hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Arguments have been made for the increased safety and effectiveness of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). This is because bioidenticals are designed to imitate the structure of your body's hormones. This means the body has a hard time telling them apart from hormones it naturally produces. Their mimicry of naturally produced hormones is believed to play a role in the seemingly reduced risk of negative side effects and increased effectiveness.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Another key benefit of BHRT is that the treatment is custom-tailored to your hormone levels for maximum effectiveness. It is, in part, because of this, that BHRT has yet to be approved by government regulatory authorities. It becomes infinitely harder to test for safety and effectiveness when each treatment and condition are unique to the patient.
The lack of solid scientific support of BHRT's safety over traditional HRT has fueled a great deal of debate over its use. However, much of the research that does exist regarding the safety of BHRT points to it being safer in the long-term.
Bioidentical hormones are widely delivered via injection. However, the implantation of a hormone pellet which releases hormones over an extended period is an option that is becoming increasingly popular. The popularity of pellets may be due in no small part to the fact that pellet therapy extends the intervals between treatments to once every 3-5 months.
Balancing your hormones with BHRT may help treat a wide variety of symptoms and conditions. Some of these include:
- Hot flashes (hot flushes)
- Muscle loss
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Damaged skin
- Poor memory
- Hair loss
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a treatment worth considering when struggling with these conditions. It is believed to be a stronger, healthier and safer approach to getting your hormones back on track. Learn more about BHRT treatment options today! Call (616) 426-6163 or contact Dr. Naveed Naeem online.
Holtorf, Kent. "The bioidentical hormone debate: are bioidentical hormones (estradiol, estriol, and progesterone) safer or more efficacious than commonly used synthetic versions in hormone replacement therapy?." Postgraduate medicine 121.1 (2009): 73-85.
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