Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)
The medical community has been slow to recognize and provide the truth about synthetic hormones and bioidentical hormones. The biggest misperceptions have centered around the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), initiated in 1991, which linked an increased incidence of cancer, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and Alzheimer’s disease with taking Premarin and Provera. These are synthetic hormones which do not resemble the hormones made by the human body. Furthermore, women who have tried synthetic hormones are frequently miserable taking them, experiencing depression, weight gain, and other side effects.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) prescribes hormones that are identical in molecular structure to the hormones made in the human body. They are obviously more compatible with our body and allow for a natural response, resulting in a much lower chance of any side effects.
Benefits to BHRT
- Increased energy (increased sensitivity to insulin allows the body to more effectively produce energy)
- Better sleeping profile
- Increased muscle mass
- Increased bone density (preventing osteoporosis)
- Loss of fat: fat cells produce estrogen, so having adequate estrogen levels means less fat storage.
- Balanced moods: lessening feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger. Fewer mood swings and improved cognition.
- Increased libido
- Increased skin elasticity, increased vaginal lubrication, and decreased hot flashes for women
- Restored muscle mass, improved erectile function, and reduced hair thinning for men
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) slows the aging process in men and women by restoring the body’s naturally identical hormone levels. It enhances longevity and health, revitalizes energy levels, and improves the overall quality of life.
The Big Players
Regulates metabolism, temperature, cerebral function and energy. Protects against cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, fatigue, weight gain, and memory loss. Increases fat breakdown resulting in weight loss as well as lower cholesterol. In spite of “normal” lab values, many individuals have inadequate amounts of thyroid hormone due to an age-related decline in enzymatic conversion of T4 to T3 and decreased receptor site sensitivity.
Protects, in women and men (a percentage of testosterone always converts to estradiol), against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancer, cataracts, and memory disorders. In women, protects against vaginal atrophy, urinary incontinence, and UTI’s. Prevents menopausal hot flashes and temperature dysregulation.
Secreted only by the ovary, so all menopausal women need replacement. Protects against uterine and breast cancers, osteoporosis, fibrocystic disease, ovarian cysts, and coronary artery disease. Excellent therapy for menopause and is the only treatment for perimenopausal symptoms and PMS (by moderating the effects of excess estrogen). Frequently referred to as the “feel good” hormone (since it elevates the mood).
For men and women! Enhances muscle mass, strength, endurance, well-being, psychological status, and cognition. Increases libido and sexual performance. Decreases fat and cholesterol. Improves healing, bone density, skin tone, and cognition. Protects the cardiovascular, neurologic, musculoskeletal, vascular and immune systems.
Named the “mother” hormone because it is a precursor to other hormones. Reduces abdominal fat, decreases insulin resistance, protects against metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Stimulates the immune system, restores sexual vitality, elevates mood, improves memory, increases energy, protects against cancer and heart disease. Is a natural antidepressant.
Primarily secreted at night and known for improving depth and quality of sleep. Modulates immune function, increases natural killer cells, and has potent anti-oxidative effects. Helps protect against colon, prostate, and breast cancer. Increases energy and enhances mood. There is an abundance of short-acting, poorly effective versions sold over-the-counter.
Primarily responsible for the growth of children, but subsequently crucial to the regrowth of cells, repair of injuries, and overall vitality. It declines by about 15% for every ten years of adult life
Honorable mention to Vitamin D. In reality, it is a pro-hormone that is produced in the skin when UV light acts on the cholesterol that is secreted in skin oils. It is critical for bone health, reduces risk of diabetes, lowers chances of heart attacks, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Low levels have been linked to increased type 1 diabetes, muscle and bone pain, and breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, lymphatic cancers. Healthy Vitamin D levels are crucial for preventing and treating depression.