Bioidentical hormones are human-made hormones made to resemble those produced by the humanbody. Contrary to popular opinion, these hormones are not “natural,” even if they come from natural sources like plants. They undergo intense modification in laboratories to ensure that their chemical structure is identical to that of hormones that are naturally produced by the body. Some of the most common bioidentical hormones are progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
What does Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Entail?
As you age, your body produces less and less essential hormones like estrogen and testosterone. The dwindling levels of critical hormones can take a toll on your well-being. Some of the effects of low hormone levels include:
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Lack of energy
- Vaginal dryness
To combat these and other unpleasant effects, many people turn to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. An increase in hormonal levels can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with decreasing hormonal levels, especially in menopause.
How Are Bioidentical Hormones Administered?
You can get your dose of bioidentical hormones in various ways, including:
Your doctor will prescribe the best delivery method for you based on your unique situation.
What Dosage of Bioidentical Hormones is Appropriate?
The rule of thumb when it comes to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is that you should get the least amount of bioidentical hormones that your body requires. You will undergo several tests to determine your hormone levels. These tests include saliva, urine, and blood tests. Saliva tests alone are considered unreliable since they vary a lot. Your doctor will also assess the amount of bioidentical hormones that are enough to alleviate the symptoms of menopause or other hormone-related condition. They will then adjust the amount of bioidentical hormones you receive accordingly.
Are Bioidentical Hormones Safe?
Because they are often portrayed as being natural hormones, bioidentical hormones are considered safer than other hormones. This is not necessarily true. First, the claim that they are natural has been dispelled owing to the intense alterations they undergo in laboratories. Secondly, although they are FDA approved, they still carry potential severe risks and side effects. Some of the risks associated with bioidentical hormones include:
- Blood clots
- Gall bladder disease
- Breast cancer
- Heart disease
In addition to these health risks, there are also side effects that can arise after using the hormones. These include:
- Blurred vision
- Fatigue Headaches
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Cramping and spotting
What Increases Your Risks of Suffering from the Side Effects?
According to research, you are more likely to suffer from the side effects of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for the first few months after you start it. This is because it takes some time before your body can adjust to the change in hormone levels. With time, the intensity of the side effects should subside, and you will be able to enjoy the relief that you need from the therapy. Concerning the risks, if you have been previously diagnosed with breast cancer, you should avoid any hormone replacement therapy. Using the hormones for a long time, especially for longer than ten years, also increases your likelihood of suffering from breast cancer. Additionally, people who have cardiovascular disease or venous thrombosis should steer clear of hormone replacement therapy as it can exacerbate their conditions. Age is also a risk factor when it comes to biomedical hormone replacement therapy. If you start the treatment later on in life, your chances of developing complications are higher than for those who start it in their younger years.
How to Combat Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Risks
The first step towards minimizing your risk of suffering from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy side effects is to get the best delivery method for you. If a decline in your hormonal levels only causes vaginal dryness, then getting a vaginal patch will be better than getting hormonal shots. In the same breath, make sure you receive the least possible amount of hormones that will offer you reprieve from your symptoms. The less the amount of hormones you expose yourself to, the more likely your body is to adjust seamlessly, causing you less pain. Additionally, have regular checkups with your doctor to monitor your hormone levels. During these checkups, be sure to discuss with your healthcare provider any concerns you might have regarding the treatment. This will help to forestall any serious issues before they develop. Finally, make wise lifestyle choices to boost your health.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy offers numerous benefits to those whose hormone levels are below the required threshold. However, these human-made hormones come with dangerous side effects such as blurred vision and cramping. To protect yourself from these side effects, talk to your doctor about your dosage and mode of delivery. Leading a healthy lifestyle can help lower the risks too. If you are ready to start your bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, call us right away. We can’t wait to hear from you. Call us today at (205) 352-9141.