Your complete guide to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
Bioidentical hormones are a relatively new advancement in medicine but are already helping to alleviate the uncomfortable side effects of perimenopause, menopause and andropause, part of the natural ageing process for both men and women.
What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
Put simply, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is the process of treating hormonal imbalances within the body.
Hormones play a vital role in the human body. From emotions and growth, right down to body hair, these chemicals send signals to almost every part of the body.
Naturally, as we age and the body changes, our hormone levels begin to decline. For both men and women, this can pave the way for some uncomfortable symptoms, known as andropause for men and menopause for women.
The most common symptoms associated with menopause include hot flashes, low libido, irritability, and insomnia. These symptoms typically begin around ten years before periods stop, the perimenopause, and last around five years afterward.
For men, the most common symptoms of the andropause are lowered sex drive, reduced motivation and energy and reduced muscle mass and strength.
Bioidentical hormones work by mimicking the production of your natural hormones to replenish your individual deficiencies.
Since everybody is different, bioidentical hormone therapy is completely unique and tailored to your individual needs. It seeks to identify and replenish the exact hormones and chemical compounds you are deficient in, to help alleviate the unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause and andropause.
How do bioidentical hormones differ from synthetic hormones?
Although both synthetic and bioidentical hormones are manufactured in a lab, they differ in chemical structures.
Derived from diosgenin found naturally in Mexican yams, bioidentical hormones share the same chemical structure as those produced naturally by the body.
Synthetic hormones have a chemical structure that differs slightly from our natural hormones, and these differences can mean they act differently in the body and produce different effects.
How does bioidentical hormone therapy work?
As with all medical treatments, bioidentical hormone treatments are prescribed by a doctor
or specialist nurse.
The first step is to attend a consultation with a specialist
who will gather all relevant information and arrange for an at home blood sample to identify your current hormone levels and identify what is needed.
From there, you will be prescribed a tailored hormone treatment plan
that is unique to your needs and lifestyle. Bioidentical hormones are usually prescribed as a lozenge, cream or gel specially formulated to replenish the specific hormones you are deficient in and restore the body to optimum performance.
As menopause and andropause are personal, your prescription will be delivered in discreet packaging directly to your door. Your package will contain your unique prescription, dosage, and other helpful information to guide you along your journey, to ensure you have the best experience and everything you may need at your disposal.
Throughout the course of your treatment, you will be required to attend regular follow-ups with your doctor, which can be booked via the Bio ID app. Your doctor will continually monitor your hormones, to ensure your current plan is working for you and identify if you need your prescription changing.
Gradually, the deficiencies in your hormone levels will disappear as the replacement hormones restore them to optimum levels, therefore alleviating symptoms. Since bioidentical hormones are exact replications of the ones you already produce, your body won’t reject them, and you will experience fewer side effects.
What are the benefits of bioidentical hormones?
Hormonal imbalance is natural as we age, but it does mean your body can go through some unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms can include:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Low energy levels
- Loss of sex drive
- Memory loss
By replacing the hormones that your body no longer produces, in the exact quantity it needs, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can reduce symptoms and help you achieve a better quality of life.
Each prescription is tailored around your body and its’ individual needs and is regularly monitored throughout the course of treatment. This ensures you are getting the exact hormones you need, at the time you need them, so you can enjoy the things that are important to you without the unpleasant side effects.
Who can benefit from bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones can be beneficial for anybody experiencing a hormonal imbalance and seeking treatment.
Traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not often considered a viable treatment for older men who are otherwise healthy. This is because the risks often outweigh the benefits. But, with bioidentical hormone replacement, men of all ages can benefit from it because the hormones are structurally identical to the natural testosterone in the body.
Whether you’re male or female, taking the hormones that your body is deficient in will improve your health and overall well-being.