What are Bio-identical Hormones and What is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate through the blood stream and control every function of our body. Bio-identical Hormones have the same molecular structure as naturally occurring hormones (such as testosterone, progesterone and oestrogen) produced in the body. They are derived from diosgenin which is sourced from the Mexican yam plant.

Synthetic hormones used in conventional hormone replacement therapy, have a chemical structure that may be similar to, but not exactly the same as, the hormones produced by the body. These chemical differences can mean that synthetic hormones act differently in the body and can produce different effects.

Bio-identical hormones can be very beneficial to patients who are experiencing hormone imbalances and are looking for treatment, or alternatively may have tried synthetic hormone treatments but had unwanted effects as a result.

Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), is the process of treating hormonal imbalances with Bio-identical Hormones, instead of synthetic hormones. Both men and women can experience significant benefits from using BHRT. It can not only relieve the debilitating symptoms commonly associated with hormone imbalance but also helps improve your life’s quality, vitality and well-being while at the same time contributing to slowing the ageing process.

BHRT can help with:

  • Hot flushes and night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Forgetfullness
  • Increase in heartbeat/palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings, anger and/or irritability
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Bloating
  • Fluid retention
  • Changes in period cycle or intensity
  • Breast tenderness/pain
  • Aching and painful joints
  • Dry and wrinkled skin
  • Decreased muscle tone
  • Urinary track infections and/or sudden bouts of incontinence
  • Vaginal dryness or erectile dysfunction
  • Low/loss of sex drive
  • Painful intimacy

BHRT can be used to treat a wide variety of hormonal imbalances including:

  • Perimenopoause/Menopause in women,
  • Andropause in men
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Post-Natal Depression
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids

As with all medical treatment, before a patient is treated using BHRT a doctor should carry out a comprehensive review of their medical history and any follow up treatment recommended should be specific to the individual’s needs. BHRT medication is usually prescribed as a lozenge or cream, formulated to the individual patient’s requirements. Any treatment plan should always include regular follow ups and ongoing monitoring to help achieve optimum results.

Menopause: Signs to Look Out

Menopause officially occurs when you stop menstruating. But many women will notice changes in body and mind, months and years before this happens. This is called the ‘Perimenopause’ and is the time when the effects of reproductive hormonal changes will become evident.

The Perimenopause can last for 10 years or more and you may experience symptoms of this as early as 35, although most don’t become aware until they are in their mid to late forties.

The timing of this phase often follows a similar pattern to their mother’s own transition but the duration and severity of symptoms can vary considerably.

As you start to transition through the Perimenopause, your levels of Progesterone will begin to fall resulting in oestrogen dominance. Common symptoms typically associated with this phase include:

  • Tiredness/sleep disturbance
  • Forgetfulness
  • Increase in heartbeat/palpitations
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Anaemia
  • Mood swings, anger and/or irritability
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Weight gain
  • Bloating
  • Fluid retention

As time passes your levels of oestrogen and testosterone will gradually begin to fluctuate in a downward trend too. This phase of the Perimenopause may result in further adverse symptoms, such as:

  • Changes in period cycle or intensity
  • Hot flushes
  • Breast tenderness/pain
  • Aching and painful joints
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • Bloating
  • Fluid retention
  • Urinary track infections and/or sudden bouts of incontinence
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Low/loss of sex drive
  • Painful intimacy

It is no secret that we are all living longer which means we are having children later and for many working into our twilight years. This can be extremely challenging for women who are trying to juggle family, careers and the debilitating symptoms of the Menopause. It is not uncommon to hear women in our clinics talking about walking away from their successful careers because their symptoms are simply too overwhelming and they are struggling to function normally.

If women are to remain productive during these years it is vitally important there is much greater awareness and acceptance of the Menopause. Women should feel empowered to take control and seek the advice and treatment they need to traverse this period of their lives without feeling embarrassed, a burden or in some way inadequate.

The side effects of the Perimenopause and Menopause can be successfully treated by replenishing hormones and bringing them back into balance. It is worth noting however that the menopause is unique to every individual so it is important that any hormone treatment is bespoke to the individual’s needs.

If you would like to learn how ‘Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Treatment’ may help you please request a 15 minute free telephone consultation.

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