Your hormones not only affect your reproductive organs, but all parts of the body, from your bones to your brain.
With this knowledge, we can understand that as we age, the natural decline of our hormone levels do affect many other parts of the body
In fact, hormones control many of your basic — and necessary — bodily functions.
Hormone levels typically peak in healthy adults between their 20s and 30s, and unfortunately decline not long after.
Although this drop in hormone levels is unavoidable, there is treatment available to help counteract the negative effects of low hormone levels.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a natural treatment developed to help those who are suffering from the effects of low hormone levels.
If you’re over the age of 35 and believe that low hormone levels are having a negative impact on your life, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may be the solution.
Let’s delve into bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and how it may be helpful for you and your body.
What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT, is a now widely available treatment option that provides you with natural version of your hormones to improve your wellbeing.
The goal of BHRT is to balance your hormone levels and therefore counteract any uncomfortable or painful conditions related to low or imbalanced hormones.
BHRT treatments are incredibly diverse, ranging from creams and lotions to injections and tablets.
Bioidentical Vs. Traditional Hormones
The key difference between BHRT and other kinds of hormonal therapy is the word “bioidentical”.
Bioidentical hormones are created to be chemically identical to the hormones naturally produced by your body.
They are usually compounded from plant estrogens, as opposed to the synthetic hormones used in traditional hormone replacement therapy.
Thus, they are more natural compared to other hormone treatments, allowing your body to be familiar with the treatment and utilize the hormones properly.
As for how these hormones differ in terms of effectiveness – this 2006 study compares the disparities between synthetic and bioidentical hormones and finds the latter tends to be more effective in addressing menopausal symptoms.
In fact, it concludes that “there is currently sufficient evidence to support their preferred use over that of their synthetic cousins”.
BHRT was also found to be not only more effective but also safer, with a lower risk of side effects.
Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Low or imbalanced hormone levels manifest in many different ways and affect various parts of your body.
If you’re experiencing any of the following signs, you may benefit from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
1. May Help With Low Energy
Hormones are a major factor in your energy levels.
If you’re over 30-35 and you experience regular fatigue, this may be a result of low or imbalanced hormones.
BHRT can help improve exhaustion and muscle weakness, giving you more energy to live your best life.
This treatment can also help with the repercussions of low energy, such as sleep quality and mental clarity.
2. May Help Decrease Menopause Symptoms
If you’re a woman over the age of 40, you may already be experiencing symptoms of perimenopause. Hot flashes, changes in body temperature, and night sweats are common symptoms of both perimenopause and menopause.
Menopause is obviously not something that can be cured, but its often uncomfortable symptoms can be eased with certain natural therapies.
BHRT is a great treatment option if you’re experiencing menopause and looking for relief from symptoms such as hot flashes, chills, sleep issues, mood changes, weight gain, vaginal dryness or discomfort, or thinning hair.
Regulating and balancing your hormone levels can have a big impact on your health, especially during a time when your body is drastically changing its production of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones.
Hormone replacement therapy has been found to be very effective in helping with symptoms of menopause. A clinical study from 2001 shows that patients receiving estrogen therapy experienced an average 77% reduction in hot flashes. This is also a good option for women experiencing premature menopause, or premature ovarian failure.
3. May Help Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a relatively common bone disorder in those over 40 years of age.
In fact, Osteoporosis Canada states that at least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer from a fracture due to osteoporosis during their lifetime.
This is why it’s so important to address your musculoskeletal health as early as possible, to prevent as much bone density loss as possible.
A healthy bone is filled with little pockets, akin to a honeycomb, and osteoporosis causes these tiny spaces to enlarge.
This results in weak, thin bones, which are prone to painful fractures.
Osteoporosis may be caused by age, menopause, or a thyroid condition such as hyperthyroidism.
Menopause can be particularly problematic because of fluctuating hormone levels that cause you to lose bone mass very quickly over a short period of time.
Estrogen replacement therapy is approved for osteoporosis prevention, so if you’re over the age of 40 or experiencing menopause, this kind of hormone therapy may help ensure your bones stay strong and healthy.
Although there is no ideal treatment for osteoporosis, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has been shown to be effective in preventing bone loss and preventing fractures.
4. May Improve Sexual Health
Almost half of all women who are experiencing or have experienced menopause may be affected by vaginal atrophy as a result of imbalanced and dropping hormone levels.
Symptoms of vaginal atrophy include vaginal dryness, itching and irritation, and discharge.
Low hormone levels can also lead to a loss of interest in sex, and may even cause pain during sex.
Balancing your hormone levels through BHRT can relieve these uncomfortable symptoms and greatly improve your sexual health.
5. May Be Used As A Treatment For Fibromyalgia
For those suffering from fibromyalgia, you know firsthand how difficult it can be to find treatments that actually work.
Fibromyalgia is largely misunderstood, and we don’t yet know exactly what causes it.
Part of this confusion stems from a wide variety of symptoms, including pain, sleep issues, memory loss, fatigue, and mood issues.
Something we do suspect about fibromyalgia is that it amplifies how your brain processes pain, which makes this disorder even more difficult to cope with.
Many individuals with fibro have turned to bioidential hormone replacement therapy for symptom relief, particularly for pain and fatigue.
Hormones such as progesterone have been used to minimize inflammation, which may affect your overall pain levels.
Your naturopath can work with you to formulate a specific treatment plan designed specifically for you and your body with the goal of lessening the uncomfortable symptoms of fibromyalgia.
6. May Help Reduce Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is a condition that often flies under the radar for many years, due to its lack of noticeable symptoms.
When you’re insulin resistant, the communication between the hormone insulin and the cells in your muscles and fat tissue fails.
This results in your cells leaving glucose in your bloodstream, rather than taking it and using it as fuel.
Signs of insulin resistance include high triglycerides, elevated blood pressure, and being overweight – but the surest way to know is to have your blood glucose levels regularly checked.
BHRT can be a powerful tool in your toolbox if you’re dealing with insulin resistance, as it helps your body regulate hormone levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Hormone therapy, specifically estrogen therapy, has been proven to positively affect insulin resistance and balance your hormones.
Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Right For You?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a natural treatment option with a variety of different benefits, especially if you’re suffering from a condition that impacts your body’s hormone production.
When your hormones are imbalanced, you will feel the repercussions in numerous ways, from your brain to your musculoskeletal, immune, and reproductive systems.
Contact Annex Naturopathic
We know that hormone levels drop as people age, particularly in women who are experiencing perimenopause or menopause.
However, you don’t have to live with the discomfort that can stem from fluctuating hormones.
If you’re tired of your chronic fatigue, concerned about your sexual health, or experiencing any other negative effects such as those listed above, contact Annex Naturopathic for help.
Annex Naturopathic provides natural solutions and will work with you to determine the best treatment for you and your lifestyle.
If you qualify as an ideal patient for prescribing BHRT, this may be the treatment you need to alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life.
BHRT is not for everyone – a qualified medical professional must assess you before starting this treatment.
Contact Annex Naturopathic to explore natural treatment options today.