Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement
There is a lot of misinformation associated with the term “Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy”, or BHRT. Both men and women are confused whether bioidentical hormones are helpful or harmful to the body. Bioidentical simply means the same or identical biology. Bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure as the hormones made by your own body. Synthetic hormones have a similar molecular structure to the body, but are not identical. These chemical differences cause the synthetic hormone to act differently and produce different, often detrimental, effects from the original or bioidentical hormone.
Hormones play a key role in health. As we age, certain hormones in our bodies decline. New research has shown that replacing hormones to optimal levels can restore health and well-being as well as help to prevent disease. The key to hormone replacement therapy is to use bio-identical hormones, which the body readily recognizes. Excellent results are achieved by using hormones that have the same molecular structure as the ones produced by the body and in appropriate and therapeutic doses. Hormones used in practice may include estradiol, estriol, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, DHEA, oxytocin, and vitamin D.
Why Do I Need Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy produces many beneficial results that help patients enjoy their later adulthood with the same energy and enthusiasm as they did during their youth. There is no reason to let decreased hormone levels hold you back from continuing an active life. BHRT can increase and enhance your energy level, libido, memory and immunity to optimal levels. One of the largest appeals of bioidentical hormones is that they are natural, so our bodies can metabolize them as they were designed to do, minimizing side effects. Synthetic hormones frequently produce unpleasant side effects. Additionally, bioidentical hormones are individually matched to each patients’ specific hormonal needs, as opposed to general, mass-produced synthetic hormones.
Hormones used in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Estrogen refers to a group of similar hormones produced in the body. The main three are estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estrio (E3). Estrogen protects against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis (thinning bones), Alzheimer’s disease and memory disorders.
Progesterone is primarily produced by the corpus luteum in the ovary just prior to and after ovulation. It is also produced in large quantities by the placenta during pregnancy and in small quantities by the adrenal glands. Progesterone reduces symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. It protects against uterine and breast cancer, osteoporosis, fibrocystic disease and ovarian cysts. Progesterone also enhances mood and sleep.
Testosterone is present and extremely important in women as well as men. In men, testosterone is mainly produced by the testicles and in smaller quantities by the adrenal glands. In women, testosterone is produced in both the ovaries and the adrenal glands. Testosterone contributes to maintaining muscle mass, strength and endurance, decreased body fat, increased exercise tolerance, and enhancement of well-being and psychological status.
DHEA is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. This hormone is a precursor to other sex hormones. In addition to having its own hormone effect, it results in a shift to an anabolic or protein building state. Recent studies point to DHEA as an anti-stress hormone, reversing the effects of stress on the immune system.
Pregnenolone is the parent compound of all the adrenal and gonadal hormones and is produced in the adrenal glands. It is also produced in the brain, liver, ovaries, testicles, and the myelin sheath of nerves. Pregnenolone may enhance mood, energy, memory, and brain and nerve tissue repair.
Thyroid refers to a group of metabolic hormones produced in the body. The two main thyroid hormones are thyroxine or T4, and triiodothyronine or T3. T4 is produced by the thyroid gland. It is the inactive thyroid hormone in the body. T3 is produced in the brain and liver via the conversion of T4. It is the active form of thyroid hormone in the body. Thyroid hormone regulates temperature, metabolism and cerebral function.
Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland. It is a circadian rhythm hormone-thereby affecting the patterns of sleep. Research has shown that the cells of the body rejuvenate and repair during the deeper stages of sleep. Improved sleep patterns serve to energize the body and improve mood.
Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands. It helps boost the immune system to assist in recovery from infections, illness, or stress.