What are bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are identical in molecular structure to the hormones that we produce in our body. Bioidentical hormones do not exist in this form in nature but need to go through a process of extraction from plants. It is important to point out here that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is not the same as hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) typically employs the use of synthetic hormones which are not identical in structure to our body's hormones. A common misconception is that BHRT is "natural" whereas HRT isn't. Certain HRT hormones are indeed sourced from plant products and could be considered "natural" but the key factor is that they do not possess the same molecular structure as our endogenous hormones that our body naturally produces.
What conditions can bioidentical hormone replacement therapy help with?
Hormones are chemical messengers that control and affect how our bodies function. All our hormones function in a tightly interconnected manner and an imbalance in one hormone will affect the function of the other hormones. When we age, our hormone levels naturally decline and this can lead to hormonal imbalances. Other causes of hormone imbalance include malnutrition, environmental toxicity, physical and emotional trauma, stress etc. This imbalance will eventually manifest itself in diseases such as diabetes, obesity, fatigue, chronic pain, thyroid problems, mood disorders and the list goes on. In the early stages of disease we might be able correct for these hormonal imbalances through the use of herbs or supplements. In later stages, the body might need a little more assitance to heal in the form of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
How can I test my hormone levels?
Testing is done via blood, saliva or urine collection. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Through the use of hormone testing, we can monitor and tailor the therapy to suit your individual requirements. A baseline test is usually conducted to assess what hormonal imbalances or deficiencies are present. After a period of treatment, we run the test again to reassess your hormone levels and to fine tune the treatment if needed.
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