Friday, July 21, 2017

Are You A Good Candidate For Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Are you a middle-aged woman struggling with hot flashes, insomnia, low sex drive or uncomfortable vaginal dryness?  Have you tried a number of therapies to find relief but have not found sustainable improvement in your symptoms?  As we age, hormone production and metabolism change.  Between the ages of 40-55 there begins to be a natural decline in the production of estrogen and progesterone and these hormonal shifts often contribute to these unpleasant symptoms.

Bio-identical Hormone Therapy (BHRT) is a safe and effective option that is now available through prescription from some naturopathic doctor to help you through this transition.

Do any of these signs and symptoms relate to you?  If so, hormone imbalance may be a contributing factor.



Bio-identical Hormones - What are they?

Bio-identical hormones refer to natural hormones that have a molecular chemical structure identical to that of the body's own hormones.  This is very important since the structure of each hormone will define the reaction it has at the cellular level.  The identical molecular structure of these hormones allows a "key in lock" reaction causing a more natural and physiological effect from the body.  These natural hormones are most often extracted from plants such as soybeans or Mexican wild yam root.

Benefits from using Bio-identical Hormones vs. Synthetic Hormone Replacement

1. How they're metabolized.

The body innately knows how to metabolize its own estrogen over a synthetic form.  Natural estrogen is not only broken down and eliminated from the body much faster than its synthetic counter-part, but we also know now that the by-products from this metabolism are less harmful to the body.

2. Fever side effects.

Natural hormones have fever side effects than synthetic hormone replacement (HRT), especially in the case of progesterone.  Bio-identical progesterone balances the effects of estrogen in the breast tissue and, in some cases, is used to reduce breast cancer risk.  Other benefits include reduction in anxiety, irritability, help with sleep, lower cholesterol and reduced water retention.

3. Individualized dosages.

Bio-identical hormones are compounded at your local pharmacy.  Therefore, your naturopathic doctor can create a customized dosing regimen and potency to fit your individual needs.  This allows us to adjust and taper dosages when necessary.

4.  No additives, preservatives or fillers.

Any drug that is patented contains preservatives, binders, fillers and dyes.  Individualized compounded formulas are often free of these agents.

Would Bio-identical Hormone Therapy be good for you?

Bio-identical Hormone therapy (BHRT) can be very effective if you are suffering from hot flashes, vaginal dryness contributing to pain with intercourse, increased frequency of vaginal and urinary infections, insomnia and anxiety related to menopause. BHRT is often considered an effective therapy when perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms are extreme.  There is evidence that BHRT may provide some benefit to women who are at mild risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is not a stand-alone therapy.

Our physiology depends on balanced hormones, neurotransmitters and chemical reactions to take place in order for proper functioning. The building blocks from all these reactions come from proper nutrition, optimal digestive function and a balanced lifestyle.  The naturopathic approach takes into account the whole person, addressing not only the hormonal component of our health, but also other essential tenants such as our nutrition,  influences from our environment and mental/emotional aspects.  Further, your naturopathic doctor will often combine hormonal support through the use of bio-identical hormones together with nutritional, herbal, dietary and lifestyle recommendations for a comprehensive treatment plan.  We will also work with you to support optimal functioning of different body systems such as our liver, digestion, nervous system and immune system.  This will allow treatments to be more effective and sustainable.

To prescribe bio-identical hormone therapy, a naturopathic doctor must first pass a board-certified pharmacy exam.  At Naturopathic Foundations Health Clinic, Naturopathic Doctors Iva Lloyd, Kimberley Ramberan, Beata Skorka and Leena Athparia can prescribe bio-identical hormones.

For more information about bio-identical hormone therapy or to book a consultation with any of our naturopathic doctors please call Naturopathic Foundations Health Clinic at 905-940-2727.