Most of your body’s basic functions are controlled by hormones act as a form of internal communication within your body. Your digestive system, immune system, mood, and libido depend on them. A small difference in your hormone levels can significantly impact your health.
People typically turn to hormone replacement therapies when their hormone levels drop or become unbalanced. Recently, BHRT therapy has received a lot of attention. The procedure is marketed as a “natural” solution. How does BHRT differ from other hormone replacement therapies?
Bioidentical hormones: What Are They?
The endocrine glands manufacture hormones and are released into your bloodstream to reach the right body part. Hormones control your body in many ways, including reproduction, metabolism, sexual function, and growth.
A hormonal imbalance makes it difficult for you to function properly. You can develop mood swings or weight gain from a hormone imbalance. People who lack enough hormones or whose hormone levels are unbalanced can benefit from hormones.
Artificial hormones include bioidentical hormones, among others. Bioidentical is the closest to the real thing when it comes to hormones. Chemically, these hormones are identical to the ones your body produces, so they are easily absorbed. In a laboratory, bioidentical hormones are created. They can take different forms.
There are also natural hormones available today. Yams and soybeans are natural sources of these hormones. The name itself is deceptive, however. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of natural hormones takes a lot of processing. Various hormones come in pill, cream, injection, and gel form.
The benefits of BHRT
Women in perimenopause or menopause are usually prescribed BHRT as they age, and their hormone levels drop. When used for moderate to severe menopause symptoms, it increases levels of hormones that have dropped, including night sweats, hot flashes, memory loss, mood changes, sleep issues, weight gain, and loss of interest in sex.
A hormone replacement therapy may not only help with symptoms but may also lower your risk for diabetes, tooth decay, and cataracts. Studies have shown that it can improve skin thickness, hydration, and elasticity and even reduce wrinkles.
BHRT effectively improves the general well-being and quality of life of cancer patients undergoing therapies that affect estrogen levels. According to one study, cancer patients who underwent BHRT experienced reduced migraines, incontinence, low libido, and insomnia. Additionally, their breast cancer recurrence rate was not higher than the average.
The risks of BHRT
In contrast to bioidentical estradiol and progesterone, the FDA approved no compounded bioidentical hormones. Because bioidentical hormones have identical structures to those produced by the human body, they’re claimed to be more effective and safer than traditional HRT. Large-scale, reputable studies have not supported these claims. FDA advises caution when using compounded products.
Certain conditions and diseases may be made more likely by hormone replacement therapy in general, including gallbladder disease, blood clots, heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer. As you adjust to the hormones, you may also experience side effects from BHRT. These include weight gain, acne, mood swings, bloating, increased facial hair in women, and fatigue.