Just a few short years ago, the term “bioidentical hormones” didn’t register with many people. But enter that phrase into any Internet search engine today, and you’ll come up with hundreds of thousands of hits. I’ve been prescribing and promoting bioidentical hormones for more than 20 years and here’s why.
They are better than synthetic. Bioidentical hormones are identical to the hormones produced in a woman’s body. Because these are compounds the body is already familiar with, most of the concerns that arise with conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are not an issue.
According to a recent review of published studies, “Physiological data and clinical outcomes demonstrate that bioidentical hormones are associated with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and are more efficacious than their synthetic and animal-derived counterparts. Until evidence is found to the contrary, bioidentical hormones remain the preferred method of HRT.”
Natural hormones are also better tolerated. Drugs come in a limited number of standardized dosages and delivery systems, so there’s little room for addressing individualized needs. That’s one reason so many women have a hard time adjusting to Prempro, Premarin, Provera, and other conventional hormones. With bioidentical hormones, however, your doctor decides on the precise amount and combination of hormones that are right for you.
For example, a small amount of testosterone can be added to estrogen cream for women dealing with low libido, and special vaginal preparations can effectively relieve dryness. The physician then sends the prescription to a compounding pharmacist, who prepares it per these specifications. Imagine, a personalized prescription designed for your unique individual needs!
They are beneficial for women and men. Hormone replacement isn’t just for women. Much as we men hate to admit it, testosterone levels slowly decline as we get older, and the results start to become noticeable in our mid-40s, with reductions in libido, muscle mass, bone density and so on.
At the Whitaker Wellness Institute, our doctors regularly prescribe natural hormones to men and women alike. Restoring your hormone levels to those of a young adult with bioidentical HRT can make a world of difference in how you look and feel.
If you ask your conventional doctor about bioidentical hormones, expect a blank stare. He probably won’t know anything about them. Nevertheless, it’s worth the effort to find a physician who will work with you.