Bio identical hormone replacement and supplementation therapy
It is said that we age as our hormones decline, not the other way around.
There is increasing understanding of how hormonal imbalance causes accelerated aging of our skin, our thinking processes and impairs our overall well-being. Most of us who have experienced menopause or have a loved one going through it will know how there is a rapid onset of aging changes in the face and body soon after the menopause. It is not just about the hot flushes – it is about overall aging.
Both men and women may benefit from bio-identical hormone replacement and supplementation therapy (BHRT). Hormone balancing treatment can provide relief from most of the symptoms experienced during the menopause. And it is not just for the menopause, but also for the andropause in men.
Other hormone-related conditions that are known to improve with hormone balancing treatment include premenstrual syndrome (PMS), postnatal depression, endometriosis and menstrual problems.
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is not the same as conventional HRT. The chemical structure of Bio-identical hormones is the same as the naturally occurring hormones we produce in our bodies. Bio-identical hormones are derived from diosgenin, a substance which is sourced from Mexican yams. Because they are completely identical in their chemical structure to our own hormones, their effects and benefits are very similar to what we would expect from our own hormones.
Bio-identical hormones can therefore be very beneficial to patients who have a hormone imbalance or have previously tried other hormonal medications, including HRT, and experienced unwanted effects.
Some commonly prescribed hormones, their uses and side effects
British Menopause Society consensus statements regarding hormone replacement, which hormones may be safer, and how to enhance postmenopausal health
- All women should have access to advice so that they can make informed decisions about diet and lifestyle and treatment options to optimise their menopause transition and postmenopausal health.
- HRT dosage, regimen and duration should be individualised, with annual evaluation of advantages and disadvantages.
- Transdermal estradiol is unlikely to increase the risk of venous thrombosis or stroke above that of non-users and is associated with lower risk compared with oral estradiol.
- Limited evidence suggests that micronised progesterone and dydrogesterone may be associated with lower risk of breast cancer and venous thrombosis compared to other progestogens.
- Arbitrary limits should not be placed on the duration of use of HRT; if symptoms persist, the benefits usually outweigh the risks.
- HRT prescribed before the age of 60 or within 10 years of the menopause has a favourable benefit /risk profile and is likely to be associated with a reduction in coronary heart disease and cardiovascular mortality.
- If HRT is used in women over 60 years of age, low doses should be started, preferably with a transdermal estradiol preparation.
- Women with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency should be encouraged to use hormonal therapy at least until the average age of the menopause. HRT or the
combined contraceptive pill would be suitable. However, HRT may confer a more favourable improvement in bone density and cardiovascular markers compared with the combined contraceptive pill.
Reference: British Menopause Society consensus statements December 2016
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy treatment information
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy or BHRT, is used to treat the spectrum of pre-menstrual, peri-menopausal, and post-menopausal symptoms.
Symptoms of menopause, perimenopause and premenstrual tension can be grouped into:
- Emotional symptoms including Irritability, Mood Swings, Depression, Premenstrual Stress, Anxiety
- Vasomotor (relating to circulation) and temperature control symptoms including Hot Flushes, Night Sweats
- Psychosexual symptoms including Low or absent libido, difficulty in achieving orgasm, lack of enjoyment of sexual intercourse
- Cognitive (relating to the brain and its functioning) including Loss Of Concentration, Sleep Difficulties, Fatigue, Memory Loss
- Post-menopausal skin aging changes including dry & wrinkled Skin, loss of elasticity, increase in sagging and jowling, thin skin, thread veins increase.
Aging, menopause and estrogen deficiency even in the years leading upto the perimenopause have profound effects on your skin, circulation and internal organs. We are only now scratching the surface of how hormonal balancing and supplementation can improve how we age, and how we look as we age.