Hormone Replacement Therapy Benefits And Side Effects

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In today’s fast-paced world, hormonal imbalances have become increasingly common, affecting both men and women of all ages. These imbalances can lead to undesirable symptoms and may significantly impact overall well-being. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) has emerged as a popular treatment option, offering a more natural and personalized approach to restoring hormonal balance. We explore HRT and its principles, benefits, potential risks, and considerations for those considering this therapy as a comprehensive guide to BHRT.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormones regulate various bodily functions, including metabolism, reproduction, mood, and sleep. When hormones become imbalanced, individuals may experience fatigue, weight gain, low libido, mood swings, and hot flashes. These imbalances can occur due to aging, stress, poor diet, environmental toxins, and medical conditions.

What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) involves using hormones structurally equivalent to the hormones naturally produced by the body. Unlike traditional hormone replacement therapies, which often use synthetic hormones, BHRT utilizes hormones derived from plant sources, such as soy or yam.

The BHRT Process

The first step in BHRT is a comprehensive assessment, including a detailed medical history, symptoms analysis, and hormone level testing. Based on the findings, a personalized treatment plan is developed, considering the individual’s unique hormonal needs. BHRT can involve various delivery methods, including creams, gels, patches, pellets, or oral preparations.

Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

  1. Hormonal Balance: BHRT aims to restore hormonal levels to their optimal range, helping to alleviate symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances.
  2. Personalization: Unlike traditional hormone therapies that offer standardized dosages, BHRT focuses on tailoring treatment plans to the specific needs of each individual. This personalized approach ensures that hormone levels are adjusted according to the patient’s unique requirements.
  3. Natural Ingredients: Bioidentical hormones are derived from plant sources and have a molecular structure identical to the hormones naturally produced by the body. This natural aspect of BHRT may appeal to individuals seeking a more holistic approach to their healthcare.
  4. Symptom Relief: BHRT has shown promise in relieving symptoms associated with menopause, perimenopause, and andropause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, low libido, and fatigue.
  5. Potential Health Benefits: Emerging research suggests that BHRT may offer potential health benefits beyond symptom relief, including cardiovascular protection, improved bone density, cognitive function, and overall quality of life.
  6. Natural and Biocompatible: Bioidentical hormones are derived from natural plant sources and possess molecular structures identical to those produced in the human body. As a result, they are considered more biocompatible and may be better tolerated than synthetic hormones.
  7. Treatment of Menopause and Andropause: BHRT is often utilized to manage symptoms associated with menopause in women and andropause (age-related decline in testosterone) in men. By restoring hormonal balance, BHRT can relieve hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disruptions, and mood swings, among other symptoms.

Considerations and Potential Risks

While BHRT offers several potential benefits, it is essential to consider certain factors before undergoing treatment:

  1. Qualified Practitioners: BHRT should be administered by experienced healthcare professionals who specialize in hormone therapy. Seek a qualified provider who can guide you and monitor your progress.
  2. Individualized Approach: Each person’s hormone levels and needs are unique. It is crucial to have a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific requirements.
  3. Potential Risks: As with any medical intervention, BHRT carries some risks. These can include adverse reactions, hormone imbalances, and, in rare cases, increased risks of certain conditions. Regular monitoring and follow-up appointments are crucial to ensure treatment efficacy and safety.
  4. Lifestyle Factors: BHRT should be considered part of a comprehensive approach to overall health. It is essential to address lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, stress management, and sleep to optimize treatment outcomes.

HRT Side Effects

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can have both positive and negative side effects. The specific side effects experienced can vary depending on factors such as the type of hormones used, the dosage, the method of administration, and individual factors such as age, overall health, and genetic predispositions. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience the same side effects, and some individuals may not experience any side effects at all.

Here are some common side effects associated with HRT for postmenopausal women:

  1. Estrogen-related side effects:
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Changes in sexual desire

2. Androgen-related side effects:

  • Acne or oily skin
  • Increased body or facial hair growth
  • Thinning scalp hair
  • Changes in libido

3. Other side effects:

  • Fluid retention
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes or depression
  • Hot flashes (in menopausal women)
  • Increased risk of heart disease or stroke (especially in older women)
  • Increased risk of certain cancers (e.g., breast cancer, endometrial cancer) in menopausal women, although this risk can be mitigated with the use of specific hormone formulations and monitoring

It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional specializing in hormone therapy to discuss the potential side effects, benefits, and risks associated with HRT. They can provide personalized information based on your situation and help you make an informed decision.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy offers a personalized and potentially more natural approach to restoring hormonal balance. By addressing the root cause of symptoms, BHRT aims to alleviate the discomfort associated with hormonal imbalances and enhance overall well-being. However, it is crucial to work with qualified practitioners, undergo thorough evaluations, and consider potential risks before starting BHRT. As with any medical intervention, an individualized approach and a comprehensive therapy understanding are essential for achieving optimal results.

Here we discuss this with Dr. Daved Rosensweet, a physician, to get his thoughts on this topic.

Hormone Changes During Perimenopause

NourishDoc:  What can women do as the first line of defense during peri-menopause?

Dr. Daved Rosensweet: The first thing to do is go shopping for a healthcare provider knowledgeable on this issue of perimenopause and menopause. Our peak hormonal output is when we’re 20 plus or minus a couple of years. And we love these hormones. These are the most powerful biochemicals in our body; the hormone decline makes a difference. It starts happening at 20. A woman in her 30s; has less estrogen, less progesterone, and less testosterone and DHEA coming out of her ovaries than she ever did. And there comes a point where women feel this their decision-making ability is dropped.

When I saw that hormone decline was taking place and bio-identical same molecular hormones were available. I went to them immediately. Because I although I had been studying herbs in homeopathy, I realized that hormone decline could address in one or two ways. You could take medicines. Or you could take bioidentical hormones. And if you take in a molecule that’s different than what’s in the body, technically, that’s medicine. There are herbs or medicines. And what herbs do is stimulate, and they trigger responses in the body. 

The safest, most effective way to address hormone decline is as early as a woman and her prep provider can figure it out. Start replenishing the hormones. The first to go is progesterone. It is a critical female hormone. The first symptom tells us that her progesterone is declining faster and deeper than our estrogen, and she can get over-the-counter progesterone in a topical cream and apply it to her skin. And that can alleviate a lot of PMS, mood issues, and sleep issues. But at the same time, she should go shopping because every woman is so individual.

HRT Vs. Medicine

NourishDoc:  Talk about HRT versus medicine when the molecule is going inside the body

Dr. Daved Rosensweet: For 1000 years, hormones have been replenished by human beings. The Chinese had young women urinate into big containers and young men urinate into different containers; they dried that urine out, and the aristocrats took those hormones. They’re in the urine. And then, in the 1940s, the pharmaceutical industry realize that half the human population, women need hormones.

They extracted the urine from pregnant mares and produced the most popular and profitable drug of all time, Premarin Pregnant Mare urine. Before this medical study came out, that was false. And that study said there was an increased risk for breast cancer, heart attack, and stroke if you didn’t do what was in this study. Now it was false. This is horse urine drive estrogen? They should never have reported this.

This occurred coincidentally when the medical world was individuating into specialties. So there was internal medicine and orthopedic surgeon and urologist and endocrinologist. But no specialties in women’s medicine related to hormones developed because everyone was frightened. So that’s one of the reasons you’re having so much trouble finding people. And most providers and women still live off this false information that hormones put you at risk. 

Preserve Muscle Loss

NourishDoc: Bio-identical hormones, should we take them or not

Dr. Daved Rosensweet: It’s almost certain that a woman who does not take hormones will lose their bones, their vagina, and their bladder controls their muscles. How do women wind up in walkers and wheelchairs and assisted living facilities and nursing homes? They lose their muscles. And that’s primarily because they lose the ovarian output of a hormone called testosterone, which is not a male hormone. Women have more testosterone than they have the most potent estrogen, estradiol. So you want to replenish all of these.

The best way to do it is through compounded bioidentical hormones because they can be individualized. At the same time, almost any hormone replenishment done by a physician or nurse practitioner will be a benefit. Premarin and Prempro were of benefit to these women. That’s what the compounded bioidenticals are, the best way to dispense the hormones applied to the skin, certified organic oil base, rather than the creams and creams gels. 

Women’s main job, whenever they suspect that you’re getting into hormonal imbalance, is to shop until they find a healthcare provider that’s, licensed that you like. Trust and has received special education and training in treating women in menopause with compounded bioidentical hormones. And the best of the best in those who are getting extra education and treated with compounded by identicals.

Ayurvedic Herbs

NourishDoc: Do you recommend any Ayurvedic herbs?

Dr. Daved Rosensweet: Well, Ayurveda medicine is, you know, so well. It’s been around for 1000s and 1000s of years. And it would not be around if it didn’t have a lot of benefits and herbs. That’s not the only part of Ayurvedic medicine, that’s for sure. But herbs are one of the tools; as I said earlier, the primary issue is the loss of biochemicals called hormones. And herbs are not hormones. Now at best, they can stimulate the production of hormones or mimic hormones. But that to me is I love herbs.

I love Ayurvedic medicine, but I like it too well for what herbs are intended to they’re intended to be medicines to be used for a short term, to have a special effect. Now, anyone in the world can try this. If that’s the affinity, they feel the interest they have felt. I can say that for a lot of women who’ve tried herbs, it hasn’t worked for them. They need to get the results. I mean, they protect bones protect muscles. The best thing a woman can do is use Ayurvedic medicine and other forms of medicines, natural medicines, for other issues, but not for menopause. Use, find someone who understands compounded bioidentical hormones, and go to that. That’s the best thing you can do. Or, if you feel attracted to trying Ayurvedic, try it out. 


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