Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is the use of hormones that are molecularly identical to the hormones that our bodies naturally produce. They are prescribed on an individual basis in order to restore hormonal balance after specific hormone testing demonstrates the need.
Why use BHRT?
When thorough testing shows a hormonal imbalance or hormone levels are low for age, correcting these issues by properly giving individualized BRT as part of an overall program can be of great benefit.
Who can benefit from BHRT?
Both women and men can benefit from BHRT when testing shows that it is warranted.
Women of all ages can have hormonal imbalances. It is seen in conditions like PMS, infertility, menopause, postpartum depression, thyroid disorders, and adrenal dysfunction.
In men, the decline of hormone function is called andropause and can start after 40 years old. Decline in sexual function, energy levels, and overall strength are symptoms, as well as depression and irritability.
What are bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones include estrogen, specifically estradiol and estriol, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone. Thyroid and adrenal hormones can be included as well.
How is BHRT prescribed?
Generally, bioidentical hormones can be taken orally in capsules, used topically in a cream, or taken sublingually.
Initial thorough hormone testing is done and the results will indicate if BHRT is appropriate. Then an individualized treatment plan is developed to replenish and balance hormones to physiologic levels.
After starting BHRT symptoms are expected to improve, but in some cases the prescription will need to be adjusted. Follow-up testing is necessary to ensure that hormone levels are safe and balanced.
Is BHRT safe?
BHRT is safe when replacing physiologic levels of demonstrated hormone deficiencies and is monitored by testing. When taken in excessive doses and without testing, adverse effects and illness can develop.
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