Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
Bio-identical hormones are manufactured hormones derived from natural plant based substances that have a molecular structure identical to hormones that are naturally produced by the human body. Ideally our body would produce optimal levels of the hormones that we need, to keep it functioning at the highest level, throughout our life time. Unfortunately, our hormones can decline due to aging, disease, or surgery. Because we live so much longer than our ancestors did, because of the modern day toxins we are exposed to, and the stress we are under our body may not be able to keep up with our needs. This is where bio-identical replacement therapy (BHRT) fits in.
Some of the earliest research on bio-identical hormone therapy was done in the late 1930‘s and 40‘s by a Penn State, Chemist, Mark Russell. He discovered that a substance extracted from wild yams, diosgenin, had the same chemical structure of hormones in the human body. Much of the research involved in creating the bio-identical hormones we use today stemmed from this early research. The bio-identical extracts from these plants are processed into bio-identical hormones that can be used to supplement our own hormones to keep our body functioning at it’s optimal level.
Today we know that there are significant differences between bio-identical and synthetic hormones and how our bodies are able to accept and process them. Because bio-identical hormones have the same chemical structure as those that are naturally produced by our body they are able to follow our normal metabolic pathways. Our body accepts them and can process them in a natural way. Hormones that are synthetic (artificial, non-bio-identical) are hormones that have been chemically produced and are not identical in structure or activity to our own hormones. Our body may react negatively to these because they are seen as a foreign substance.
The majority of large scale research studies have been done on synthetic hormones, as they are produced and patented by large pharmaceutical companies. Bio-identical hormones can’t be patented because they are sourced from natural ingredients. Unfortunately, because of this there have not been large scale studies on bio-identical hormones. There are many people studying the effects on bio-identical hormones on a smaller scale and the research is promising. Dr. Erika Schwatz, MD and Dr. Kent Holtorf, MD have done a great job of publishing there findings in an easy to understand format. Please feel free to go to our Educational Articles Page to find a link to their publication titled, “Hormones in Wellness and Disease Prevention: Common Practices, Current State of the Evidence and Questions for the Future” to learn more.
Both men and women have many hormones in their body, but the three hormones that are typically evaluated when checking for hormone imbalance and replacement therapy include; Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone. Each of these have key functions in your body. They are designed to stay in balance, and keep each other in check. They work together to keep your body healthy. When one falls out of alignment you may have symptoms that alert you that something isn’t right.
Common Symptoms Associated with Hormone Imbalance Include:
- Weight Gain
- Mood Swings
- Sexual Dysfunction – (For Men-Erectile Dysfunction)
- (For Women- Vaginal Dryness, Pain with Intercourse)
- Decreased Libido
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Poor Memory
- Night Sweats
- Chronically Feeling Fatigued
- Decreased Stamina
- Urinary Issues – increased urgency, incontinence or decreased flow
- Hot Flashes
- Loss of Strength
- *For Women- Irregular menstrual cycles, fibrocystic/painful breasts, vaginal thinning/vaginal dryness, painful intercourse)
We believe bio-identical hormone therapy can relieve these symptoms while providing additional health benefits. Before we begin BHRT one of our providers performs an exam and we obtain laboratory blood tests to check your hormone levels. By pin pointing where you are at and comparing it to where you should be we can get to the root cause of any issues you may be experiencing. We work with you to review your results and come up with a plan that you are comfortable with. We feel that by having your hormones in balance your body is able to function at it’s optimal level. We believe this may decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, may lower blood pressure, may reduce the incidence of colorectal, prostate, uterine, and breast cancer, may prevent muscle loss and osteoporosis, and last but certainly not least, may have a positive influence on your mental health.
Our goal is to help you live your BEST LIFE no matter your age or situation. If you are in a relationship and suspect that both partners may have issues we encourage you to come in together so that you can both be evaluated. We have found that when both individuals in a relationship have balanced hormones the synergistic effect is profound. We invite you to see how life changing this can be!
You can reclaim your balance, reclaim your energy, and reclaim your life!
Please take the first step towards better health by calling us today!