Customized Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is the replacement of deficient hormones with hormones that are identical to those that the body naturally produces. Hormone deficiencies can occur due to aging, illness, other medications, or environmental factors.
BHRT hormones are derived from the yam plant; therefore, they have a natural source of origin. They are converted into hormones that have an identical chemical structure to the natural hormones produced by your body. Synthetic hormones, that are used in birth control pills, are not identical to your biological hormones. Because of this, they tend to have more short and long-term negative effects on the body.
Customized BHRT has improved the quality of life for millions of women who suffer from hormonal imbalance. The ideal process for achieving hormonal balance includes an assessment of hormone levels, signs and symptoms, followed by replacement of the deficient hormones, and monitoring to fine tune the therapy. BHRT is most often compounded into topical, sublingual or oral dosage forms.
Estrogen is prescribed to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and various urinary disorders. Estrogen has also been shown to decrease the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
Progesterone is commonly prescribed in combination with estrogen to prevent “estrogen dominance” and to relieve menopausal symptoms such as insomnia and anxiety. In addition, it may enhance the beneficial effect of estrogen on the cardiovascular system. Pre-menopausal females may also benefit from progesterone. It is often prescribed to regulate the menstrual cycle and decrease symptoms of PMS.
Androgens are a class of hormones that include DHEA and testosterone, which are normally produced in a young healthy woman, and are important for vitality, libido, and the integrity of skin, bone, and muscle. When women enter menopause, testosterone and DHEA levels may decline. Experts now recognize the importance of supplementing androgens for women who are deficient.
While women have benefited from therapy with estrogen, progesterone, and androgens that are bio-identical, researchers and healthcare professionals realize that this is just the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to achieving hormonal balance. Thyroid and adrenal function, as well as nutritional status, should also be evaluated and treated, when indicated.
Potter’s House Apothecary specializes in BHRT. Our pharmacists have received post-graduate training and attend seminars regularly to stay current with the latest techniques in compounding BHRT. We also offer private consultations and free educational seminars for patients wanting to learn more about BHRT and the benefits of having your medication compounded at Potter’s House Apothecary.
WOMEN PREFER NATURAL HORMONES
Mayo Clinic researchers surveyed 176 women taking natural micronized progesterone who had previously taken a synthetic progestin (medroxyprogesterone acetate, or MPA) to see if progesterone improved the women’s overall quality of life, menopausal symptoms, and satisfaction with BHRT. After one to six months, the women reported an overall 34% increase in satisfaction on micronized progesterone compared to their previous HRT, reporting these improvements: 50% in hot flashes, 42% in depression, and 47% in anxiety. Micronized progesterone was also more effective in controlling breakthrough bleeding. In other studies, women using micronized progesterone had specific improvements in the areas of cognition, sleep, and menstrual problems.
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