The key in any hormone replacement therapy is restoring hormone balance within the endocrine system. Hormones used during regular hormone therapies are synthetic chemicals which may perform the same function as natural hormones.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy uses synthesised hormones but the difference is in their chemical structure. BHRT hormones have the same molecular structure as natural hormones hence they work in the same way. Wild yam and soy are used for production of bioidentical hormones.
This chemical structure ensures the hormones are recognized by the cells in the body as their own, this allows the same chemical response and hormone assimilation as with natural hormones.
Many women going through menopause praise the effects of BHRT, some say they have their lives back. What causes this this positive response is restored balance of hormones and in effect diminished symptoms of menopause.
Menopause has been considered an ageing process, but it is clear that the severity can be stopped and even reversed in regards to certain symptoms. This is due to the way the endocrine system works, meaning a problem in one area can cause a reaction in another part of the body as everything is interlinked.
This domino effect is especially visible when major hormone producing glands are affected. Thyroid hormones, for example, regulate many functions of the body, so decreased hormone release causes problems with weight, heart, brain, fatigue, hair loss and others.
Main hormones in women’s bodies related to menopausal complications are estrogens. One of them, estradiol, suddenly changes it’s levels which creates a domino effect. Ovaries suddenly decrease estrogen production causing the imbalance and side effects.
Some estrogen can be generated by woman’s fat cells but the rest has to be externally supplemented. It takes a while before the most of the production stops but the symptoms can be experienced throughout entire phase.
It’s not only estrogens that are important during menopause, there is a number of hormones that come into play during that period. In normal reproductive cycle the ovaries also synthesize testosterone and progesterone. All hormones are affected in one way or another.
This also applies to women who had their ovaries removed. In that case they have to go through hormone replacement therapy to counteract the effects of extreme hormone withdrawal symptoms.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is one of the treatments restoring hormonal balance. If multiple hormones need to be replaced they will be compounded by specialist pharmacy based on a prescription for a specific patient. Different hormones may have a different method of administration, some take a form of oral drugs, creams, injections, dermal patches.
Risk involved in any hormone therapy comes from the dose and length of treatment. Doses can be adjusted by the doctor based on frequent monitoring of the patient for side effects. Basically, too small a dose will show no improvement, too big a dose may cause side effects.
In case of menopause hormone replacement therapy is designed as a temporary treatment. In post menopause period the levels of hormones stabilise and symptoms caused by hormone fluctuations will lessen.