Bioidentical Hormone Replacement for Women
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy has changed the manner women age. In the past, women died more frequently in childbirth, PMS was an imaginary problem, and menopause, with all of its age related infirmities, was just another stage of life to be endured and lived with. Today, we know that women don’t have to accept hormonal imbalance as a grim reality. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy has helped improve not only the quality of women’s lives, but also how long they live them. Some doctors continue to say that women should stop whining and embrace their menopausal woes, but there is no reason to accept unpleasant symptoms when the remedy is as simple as replacing missing hormones.
Estrogen Imbalances and Bio-identical Hormone Replacement
Estrogen is a woman’s most important hormone. Without Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, the loss of estrogen puts her at increased risk for premature ovary failure, osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, tooth loss, impaired vision, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes. The longer a woman is without the protection of her own estrogen, the greater the risk for serious health consequences of these conditions.
There are estrogen receptors in a variety of organs throughout the body and brain. That’s why hormonal imbalance produces different symptoms such as loss of skin elasticity, bone shrinkage, and mood or cognitive decline. On the other hand, when estrogen levels rise as they do in the first week of the menses, their overall effect is to increase the amount of serotonin available in the spaces between the brain’s nerve cells, which improves mood. Within the brain, estrogen may in fact act as a natural antidepressant and mood stabilizer. It is therefore essential that a woman suffering from premature ovary failure or surgical menopause receive treatment from a BHRT physician who understands the many ramifications of the disease and is willing and able to meet her endocrine and emotional needs.
Testosterone Deficiencies and Bio-identical Hormones
Bio-identical testosterone hormone therapy gives a woman her mental clarity, libido, and muscle tone and mass. When this hormone is at low levels, women often complain of mental confusion, weight gain, and poor muscle growth even with regular exercise. The effects of a testosterone deficiency on the brain, muscle, bone, heart, and metabolism can be significant without Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, and it can be dangerous to long-term health. The brain needs normal amounts of testosterone in balance with estrogen to produce serotonin, which supports emotional balance.
When lacking in these hormones, a woman will experience emotional instability that often results in increased anxiety, irritability, sleep disturbances, anger, sadness and depression. The musculoskeletal system is also adversely affected by the loss of testosterone. By not having bio-identical hormone therapy, the deficiency or imbalance of testosterone can lead to muscle atrophy, osteopenia, osteoporosis, and pain in the muscles and joints.
Delivery Methods of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Most patients usually opt for what seems to give the best results and is most convenient, which would be the pellet form; however, if cost is the main focus, most patients choose capsules or troches. The thought of having a foreign object inserted into the body may sound displeasing and unnatural. However, it is the only form of Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy that will give a person a constant level of hormones 24/7 without the hassle of applying creams or gels, having to stick oneself with a needle, or remembering to take pills every day. The pellets are implanted into an area with the most fat, which is usually on the buttocks.
The procedure is painless and affordable, but it is not covered by insurance. Pellets avoid the roller coaster effect or the waxing and waning levels of hormones, seen with all other forms. The reason for this roller coaster effect is because the half-life, or the amount of time that the other forms of BHRT are effective within the body is short lived. They only last six to ten hours more than most other therapies, and because of this short half-life, all forms of hormones except the pellets, must be taken at least twice a day.