Tags: Health Topics | Hormone Therapy | Health | Bioidentical | Dos | Dont

The Do's and Don'ts of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

By    |   Friday, 27 Mar 2015 05:04 PM

After a Women's Health Initiative study in 2002 suggested that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could be harmful, the use of synthetic hormones to treat menopause decreased considerably. As an alternative to the hormone therapy, "bioidentical HRT" was developed.

The therapy uses hormones indistinguishable from those produced within the body. Although marketed as natural and safe, there are some important facts to consider before you decide on bioidentical HRT.

The FDA does not regulate Bioidenticals because they are "natural" supplements. Without this scrutiny, the quality control can't be guaranteed. According to Harvard Health Publications, while bioidenticals are the same as those found in the body, a particular hormone might not match your particular body chemistry, so it's possible to overdose or under-dose.

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Individualized or "compounded" bioidenticals are available from compounding pharmacies. The prescription is based on results of saliva hormone testing at the pharmacy, according to The Huffington Post. However, saliva tests are unreliable in determining prescriptions. Hormones can vary greatly from day to day. Insurance often does not cover compounded bio-identical hormones.

Custom-compounded hormones may relieve menopause symptoms in some women, according to the North American Menopause Society, which recommends that bioidenticals should only be used in women unable to use traditional HRT.

According to Life Extension, studies suggest that bioidentical progesterone may decrease the risk of breast cancer. Women may experience less bleeding and less puffiness when on natural progesterone instead of some synthetic progestins. Still, as with synthetic HRT, bioidenticals have risks. Women who have had breast cancer, strokes or blood clots are not candidates for hormone therapy of either type. Although often marketed as a cure for age-related diseases, there is no evidence bio-identical hormones can cure Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, or cancer, reports The Huffington Post. 

Neither standard or bioidentical hormone therapy is a cure for aging, but there are reasons for women to choose the therapies. It's recommended that women use the lowest dose found to be effective, select HRT only when hormone levels are lower than normal, and decide on hormone therapy when menopause symptoms are troublesome.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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After a Women's Health Initiative study in 2002 suggested that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could be harmful, the use of synthetic hormones to treat menopause decreased considerably. As an alternative to the hormone therapy, "bioidentical HRT was developed."
Hormone Therapy, Health, Bioidentical, Dos, Dont
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2015-04-27
Friday, 27 Mar 2015 05:04 PM
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