Bio-identical Hormone Therapy
Well balanced hormones is the secret to health, energy, stamina and eventually happiness. This statement is true for men and women alike and it affects all hormones. We are not born balanced, we grow up to become one but sadly not for long before the hormones start to fail. The human body passes through stages of puberty to achieve the balance but unfortunately not all achieve the ultimate balance! Once again when we start to approach forty the balance starts to slip, our bodies gradually slow down.
Hormones control everything in the human body, I think most of us know that hormones are responsible for more than an angry teenager, weepy pregnant women or squeaky voices! To simplify the balance, I have divided the hormone to circles inner, outer and extended. The inner circle is the most important one and it is the starting point.
- The inner circle of hormones is made of Oestrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone.
- The outer circle of hormones is made of Thyroid hormone, Vitamin D, DHEA, Cortisol “including related hormone” and Pregnenolone.
- The extended circle includes Serotonin, melatonin, Growth hormone, insulin and many more hormone and peptide that we can recite in one place.
When the hormones productions start to fail and our bodies start to make less and less the balance will gradually slip away. This will result in unpleasant or distressing symptoms some of these symptoms are shared by women and men and some are gender specific. The following are few of the commonest symptoms:
- Fatigue / low energy
- Memory disturbance
- Fluid retention “swollen ankles”
- Mood changes
- Loss of Libido
- Changes of body fat
- Skin and hair changes
- Women: menopausal symptoms “hot flushes, night sweat, breast tenderness”
- Men: erectile dysfunction
GPs and menopause clinic doctors can deal with most of these problems by prescribing conventional HRT, yes there is an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease the risk is small and the benefit outweighs the risk. On a different note them main limitations of conventional HRT are:
- No testosterone suitable for women
- Limited strength and doses available “ one size fit all”
- Men’s hormonal balance is widely un-diagnosed and accepted as an ageing process
- Most importantly, the wide variety of the hormones used in the conventional HRT are not the exact hormone which is now known to have an unfavourable side effects profile.
On the other hand, bio-identical hormones are derived from natural sources which are identical to the exact molecule of the hormones made by the body some of these can be found in conventional HRT and FDA approved. In addition, BHRT Clinics and doctors tailor made the treatment to fit the patients. Blood sample will be measured for the inner circle hormones. Once blood result are back the doctors will estimate the amount and the type of hormones needed to achieve the ultimate balance. This will require follow up and repeat tests. BHRT Clinic works closely with compounding pharmacies to tailor the prescription to the individual in term of does required and the method of delivery.
The biggest question now is BHR safer and more effective than the conventional? This is where the controversy starts. Specialist with conventional HRT say there is no evidence that they are, they may also warn they could be dangerous. Although many studies but these studies don’t have high number of participant to make statistically powerful yet. French study of 80000 post-menopausal women demonstrated women who took BHRT has no increased risk of heart disease or cancer.
In Summary, bio-identical hormones are efficacious, as safe as HRT if not safer and most importantly the prescriptions and choice of hormones to treat is highly personalised to the patients’ needs and wants.