Hormone therapy aids in easing the symptoms of menopause in women including vaginal dryness, mood swings and hot flashes. It is known to improve bone strength and lower the risk of heart diseases. Studies in 2002 warned against the prolonged usage of these traditional hormone therapies citing the increased risk of blood clots, strokes, heart disease and breast cancer. Due to this warning, alternate methods were developed.
Bioidentical hormone therapy was introduced which use bioidentical hormones to deliver the desired effects. Bioidentical hormones have same molecular and chemical structure as the hormones produced by the body. These hormones are made from plant chemical extracts. These hormones behave just like natural hormones and a human body isn’t able to distinguish between these hormones and the ones produced by the ovaries.
Benefits of bioidentical hormones:
- More energy
- Better sex drive
- Treats hot flashes
- Improves sleep
- Reduces bloating
- Better thinking
Who can benefit from bioidentical hormones?
Women going through perimenopausal phase may be apprehensive about trying this therapy because of the controversies surrounding it and instead try other hormonal therapies. Traditional hormonal therapies aren’t for everyone. For such women, bioidentical hormones are a better alternative.
Some clinical providers advise this therapy for those who are allergic to certain ingredients. Take for instance a woman is allergic to peanut oil which is present in FDA-approved oral product Prometrium. Before starting this therapy, lifestyle changes can be made. Some additional measures include taking vitamin supplements, more workouts, working towards reducing stress and eating a balanced diet.
Custom-compounded recipes are prepared by pharmacists to suit the needs of an individual patient. They are custom-made by testing the saliva to assess the unique hormonal needs of an individual. The resulting medication prepared isn’t approved by the FDA since these individually mixed compounds aren’t tested to prove if the ingredients are absorbed by the body appropriately and produces the desired effects. Also there is no substantial evidence that these medications are effective and safer than the one approved by the government.
Finding bioidentical hormones:
Bioidentical micronized progesterone and estrogen are available in a number of products that are approved by FDA which can be purchased using a prescription from a local drugstore. The commercially available ones come in different forms such as pills, patches and creams.
Work closely with your GP and discuss about your options. Talk to him/her about your concerns and you will able to see that bioidentical hormones work for you.