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Many people, men and women, come to our office curious about the benefits of phoenix bioidentical hormones. Most admit they are still a bit confused about the term bioidentical, and the risk and benefits of bioidentical hormones. This article will address these facts.
What makes a hormone “Bio-identical”?
The first thing that distinguishes bioidentical hormones from synthetic, is the the fact that they are bioidentical. "Bioidentical" refers to the actual shape of the molecule itself rather than the source of the hormone, and it means that this hormone is in the exact shape that is found in the human body. Some hormones can be marketed as natural, or plant-based, but this does not mean they are bioidentical, unless they are in the human molecular shape. On the other hand, some hormones are from plant-based sources, such as yam, but are converted into the bioidetical shape that is found in the human body, which is how bioidentical progesterone is derived. These types would be referred to as plant based and bioidentical. Non- bioidentical hormones are also called synthetic. These can come from horse urine or synthesized in a laboratory. When these synthetic forms are introduced into the body, they need to be processed by the liver in order to be used in the human body. This extra processing increases inflammation in the body and is one of the reasons to use bioidentical over synthetic hormones.
Why use Bio-identical hormones?
Our bodies make many types of hormones all of which are derived from a solid steroid base called cholesterol. Yes, this artery clogging substance is actually vitally important for your body..... mainly in hormone production. This natual process starts to decline as we age and the amount of hormones in our bodies do too. With the hormonal decline, we see the signs of aging become more apparent. Such signs as thinning skin, osteoporosis, change in body composition, sleep issues, energy, and libido can all be attributed to decreased hormones. That is why hormones are a vital aspect of anti-aging. When you stabalize the hormonal decline, you stablize and lessen the aging process.
Thus, there are two reasons for people to go on Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)............ one reason would be to treat a specifc symptoms or conditions, and the other reason would be for their anti-aging effect.
Treating a specific condition.
A woman may be experiencing 20 hot flashes a day, and just as many night sweats, causing her to lose sleep, become irritable, have less energy, and quite frankly, be miserable. In this case, we want to improve the quality of her life and get the hot flashes under control so that she can continue living a life of optimal health and wellness.
The anti-aging effect of bioidentical hormones.
Some women report that they are not really experiencing any symptoms, but they want to bring their hormone levels up a bit so that they are not susceptible to things like osteoporosis, change in body composition, and a rapid decline in cognitive function.
Bioidentical Hormone Safety.
Most studies adressing saftey have been performed on conventional or non-bioidentical HRT. Pharmaceutical companies cannot recieve a patent on what is naturally occurring in the human body, and therefore there is not enough funding for research on bioidentical HRT. Fortunately, the Europeans have paved the way for us regarding Biodentical Hormones, and we can utilize much of their experience and studies on the matter. In these studies, bioidentical hormones appear much safer than synthetic. The main reason that these bioidentical compounds are much safer is because they do not have to be metabolized by the liver. And therefore are not adding to inflammation in the body. Having said that, it is important to use hormone prescriptions with caution. Not everyone is a candidate for this treatment. For instance, it is not advised for anyone with a history or current hormonally driven cancer. For most, it seems bioidentical HRT have more benefits than risks. Still, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits, as this is key to making that decision.