Both men and women experience changes in hormone levels as they get older. Hormones are critical for building muscle, burning fat, maintaining energy levels, mood, immune function, bone density and brain function. A decrease in or imbalance of critical hormones due to aging can lead to obesity, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, joint pain, diabetes and heart disease. At Balance of Life Clinic, we provide alternatives to traditional hormone replacement therapy using natural bio-identical hormones.
What Are Bio-Identical Hormones?
Bio-identical hormones are identical in molecular structure and function to the hormones produced by your body and are derived from plant estrogens. Hormones used in traditional hormone replacement therapy are made from pregnant horses’ urine and other synthetic hormones. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are the most commonly replicated hormones used in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) and are believed to have fewer side effects than those used in traditional HRT. Bio-identical hormones may come in the form of pills, patches, creams, gels, and injections.
Benefits Of BHRT For Women
BHRT can be beneficial for both men and women as they age, particularly for women who are in menopause or perimenopause. BHRT increases the levels of the hormones that have dropped in the body. It can greatly improve moderate to severe menopause symptoms, including:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood changes
- Memory loss
- Weight gain
- Insomnia and sleep issues
- Vaginal dryness
- Low libido
In addition to helping with these symptoms, this alternative to traditional hormone replacement therapy may also reduce the risk of diabetes, tooth loss, and cataracts and may improve the thickness, hydration and elasticity of your skin. BHRT has been shown to be effective in improving the general well-being and quality of life of women who have undergone cancer treatment that affects their estrogen levels. Bio-identical hormone therapy may also be used to help treat thyroid disorders, low sexual desire, premenstrual syndrome, and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).
Benefits Of BHRT For Men
Men who suffer from low testosterone may experience symptoms such as weight gain, depression, sexual dysfunction, irregular sleep patterns, and fatigue. Many men dismiss the signs of hormonal imbalance as normal signs of aging, but those who have been treated with bio-identical hormone therapy report benefits such as:
- Increased energy
- Increased muscular strength
- Lower body fat
- Maintenance of lean body mass
- Improved mood
- Less anxiety
- Boosted sexual performance
Risks And Side Effects Of BHRT
Although numerous research studies have shown that bio-identical hormone therapy may have fewer side effects and negative outcomes when compared to synthetic hormones, it’s vital to keep in mind that it’s not for everyone. Some people cannot take BHRT or any form of hormone replacement.
Both traditional and alternative hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk for certain conditions and diseases, including gallbladder disease, blood clots, stroke, heart disease, and breast cancer. As your body adjusts to the hormones, you may experience common side effects like acne, bloating, weight gain, fatigue, and mood swings. Risks and side effects vary depending on your health history.
It is important to talk with your doctor and seek BHRT from a knowledgeable health care professional. Dr. Sonnie is experienced in hormone replacement therapy. He will perform a thorough examination and discuss your health history and symptoms with you. Depending on your specific needs, he will create an individualized treatment plan that complements your existing health care with a whole-body approach to healing through alternative medicine and integrated health.
Contact Us To Learn More About Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
At Balance of Life Clinic, we’re dedicated to taking a proactive and preventive approach to our patients’ health and helping patients lead healthier, happier lives. For more information about alternatives to hormone replacement therapy, contact us at 330-764-4242 or toll-free at 877-764-4242.