Bio identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is quickly becoming the treatment of choice for hormonal imbalances. Among its most common uses is to address symptoms of menopause and andropause – the natural hormonal shifts that affect women and men as they reach age 40 and beyond. These shifts, unfortunately, often result in hormonal imbalances.
As BHRT has become more widely known and used over recent years, a lot more information about what it is has become available. Unfortunately, along with that good information, a lot of misinformation has emerged as well. To help clear the air for people who are considering this therapy, here are 3 things that bio identical hormone replacement is, and 3 things it isn't.
What BHRT Is:
- An effective treatment for menopause symptoms
Bio identical hormone replacement therapy uses natural hormones to restore proper amounts and ratios of hormones in the body, correcting imbalances and deficiencies that occur as women navigate the menopausal transition. Restoring the body's natural hormonal balance provides relief from the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, sleeplessness, mood swings, fatigue, brain fog, low libido, and vaginal dryness.
- An effective treatment for andropause symptoms
Low testosterone levels are the hallmark of andropause – often referred to as male menopause, This can cause symptoms that include hot flashes, sleep disturbances, irritability and mood swings, forgetfulness, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and muscle loss, among others. By restoring more youthful levels of testosterone and, if necessary, other vital hormones, BHRT can help relieve these symptoms.
- A treatment with a long history of safety and efficacy
Bio identical hormones have been in use for decades. A body of scientific evidence accumulated over the past 25 years shows that they are safer and more effective than conventional synthetic alternatives in treating hormonal imbalances.
What BHRT is Not:
- The same as HRT
While both HRT and BHRT are commonly used to treat hormonal symptoms, they are very different therapies. BHRT uses natural, plant-derived hormones that are molecularly identical to those produced naturally by the body, providing true replacement of native hormones that diminish with menopause and andropause. Conventional HRT uses synthetic or animal-derived hormone drugs as a substitute for human hormones. These drugs are not a molecular match to nature and merely mimic some actions of natural hormones to provide some level of symptom relief.
- Foreign to the human body
Bio identical hormones are exact copies of human hormones – right down to their molecular structure. The body cannot distinguish them from its own native hormones, so it uses them in the exact same way as it would those native hormones. HRT drugs, on the other hand, contain hormones that have a different molecular structure, which can confuse our cells and lead to reactions within the body that can be opposite to natural effects.
- As risky as HRT
Conventional HRT is known to have serious side effects, including increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, blood clots, stroke, and some forms of cancer – effects that many experts attribute to their foreign molecular structure. BHRT, however, although not potentially without some side effects, has been shown to have a markedly better safety profile, offering relief of hormonal symptoms with fewer risks of endangering long-term health.
The bottom line, then, is that if symptoms of menopause or andropause are making your daily life difficult, BHRT can provide safer, more effective relief by gently restoring your natural hormonal balance. It can smooth out the mood swings, help you sleep well, restore your energy levels, and improve your sex life, helping you get back to enjoying your life – free of hormonal symptoms and the risk of health issues and side effects that comes with conventional HRT.