Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers and are part of the endocrine system. Endocrine glands make hormones, which travel through the bloodstream to tissues and organs, and control most of our body’s major systems. The endocrine system regulates our heart rate, metabolism – how the body gets energy from the foods we eat – appetite, mood, sexual function, reproduction, growth and development, sleep cycles, and more. Hormones are responsible for controlling the delicate biochemical balance in our bodies. When they are in proper balance, hormones help the body thrive. But sometimes hormone levels are too high or too low. Hormone imbalances can occur at any time regardless of one’s age and can cause serious health problems.
Bioidentical Hormones vs. Synthetic Hormones
Bioidentical hormones are derived from plant sources. They are exactly the same chemical and molecular structure as hormones naturally produced by the body.
Synthetic hormones are pharmaceutically prepared drug combination hormones such as Premarin (conjugated equine estrogens) and Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate). Premarin is derived from pregnant horses and contains mostly estrone and a number of equine (horse) estrogens that are not natural to humans. Many of these foreign estrogens bind very tightly to the human estrogen receptors, making them highly stimulating and carcinogenic.
BHRT for Women
In women, hormones start to decline the most during perimenopause and menopause. This leads to hormone imbalances and can manifest in a variety of symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, emotional lability, low libido, urinary/bladder health issues, dry skin/hair and weight gain.
Using BHRT to restore hormone levels can reduce the risk of breast cancer, prevent cardiovascular disease, improve metabolism, alleviate depression and reduce anxiety, prevent cyclic migraines, promote normal sleep patterns, build bone and decrease joint pain, improve libido and sexual function, increase muscle tone, energy and strength and enhance memory and cognition.
BHRT for Men
Testosterone levels begin to decline as men age, usually at the age of 30. The levels continue to decline steadily until men reach their 40s and 50s when they experience a significant drop. Testosterone is the key male sex hormone that regulates fertility, muscle mass, fat distribution, and red blood cell production. As levels decline a large number of men start to have symptoms related to andropause (male menopause) and low testosterone levels. These symptoms include insomnia, fatigue, reduced muscle mass/strength, erectile dysfunction, depression/anxiety, memory impairment and low libido.
BHRT is normally prescribed after the proper assessment and laboratory tests. We prescribe custom-compounded bioidentical hormones at a concentration, dose and strength tailored to meet each individual’s needs. The goal of BHRT is to achieve optimal levels of hormones to improve overall health and wellness.