Bioidentical Hormone: Pragmatic Approach To Managing Menopause
Hormonal therapy has long been used as an effective and practical approach to treating the symptoms of menopause including hot flashes and irregular bleeding. Estrogen is the most commonly used hormone for HRT, and clinically used hormonal formulations are FDA approved and therefore proven to be safe and efficient. Aside from minimizing perimenopausal problems, hormonal therapy also offers other cosmetic benefits by cutting down signs of aging. Women over 50 undergoing HRT report significantly improved skin tightening and diminished wrinkles.
While not all women experience side effects, some do report breast tenderness or bleeding post hormonal therapy. A number of clinical trials and tests reveal that combination therapy using measured doses of both estrogen and are not only more successful but show fewer side effects.
The term “bioidentical hormone” includes hormonal formulations that are identical in chemical composition and molecular structure to the hormones naturally synthesized by the human body. The application of hormonal preparations extracted from natural sources has found widespread acceptance among the medical community. Also termed as natural hormonal therapy, these are synthesized using plant , including protein-rich sources such as soy and yams. While such formulations are virtually indistinguishable by the human body, laboratory tests can the total hormone strengths to help monitor levels and adjust therapy doses appropriately.
Since the various hormones are recognized differently by the various cells in the body, in some cases conjugated hormonal therapy is preferred. For clinical application, bioidentical hormone preparations such as estriol and estrone are sometimes used in conjugation with other hormones such as bioidentical progesterone. This not only helps clinicians customize the treatment plan per individual needs but also adequately monitor patient progress.
While using compounded hormones is a significant decision so also is the method of hormone preparations and the delivery system chosen. For instance, estrogen taken as a pill is by far the most effective since it is processed in the liver before being delivered into the blood, releasing stimulatory C-reactive proteins and clotting factors that can seriously reduce chances of heart-related conditions. On the contrary, transdermal application of estrogen delivered at the same concentration is significantly less efficacious.
Hormonal therapy is not restricted for usage during menopause alone. Testosterone replacement therapy is often recommended for men facing symptoms of, natural or owing to surgical intervention. While not all aging-related problems in men are testosterone-related, a number of men do find testosterone supplements to be efficacious in alleviating andropause symptoms.
Regardless of the exact nature of hormonal imbalance, HRT can be a virtual boon to helping minimize the downsides of aging, thus proving to be vital in restoring one’s physical and emotional equilibrium. Consult a specialist to discuss bioidentical hormone therapy and traverse menopause while ensuring a healthy and positive outlook towards life.