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Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)


Bio-identical hormones are identical to hormones occurring in the human body. Bio-identical has to do with the chemical structure of a hormone and not its source. Other hormones like Phytoestrogens (from plants) or Premarin (from animals) or Synthetic hormones are not identical in structure or function to our body’s own hormones.

Examples of bio-identical hormones include:

  • Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), Estriol (E3)
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • DHEA

Is there a difference between bio-identical and synthetic hormones?

YES!! Bio-identical hormones cause the same response as your own hormones. Synthetic hormones cause some of the same actions, but because they have been chemically altered have many different and/or unintended effects. Frequently the synthetic hormones will block the hormone receptors, so that other hormones can not work. Our hormones are very specific chemicals & changing only 2 molecules converts Estrogen into Testosterone! We can not fool with mother nature and use man made chemicals to replace our body’s own chemicals.

Why should I consider BHRT?

Lot of younger women have signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance (breast tenderness, fibrocystic breast disease, PMS, migraines, headaches, bloating, mood swings, anxiety, and hot flashes.) Use of bio-identical hormones in the proper doses will not only control menopausal and peri-menopausal symptoms, but will greatly improve quality of life both short-term and long-term. This is true for younger men, though less noticeable symptoms. Chronic fatigue, generalized weakness, increase belly fat, decrease libido and erectile dysfunction are some symptoms men report.

Benefits of BHRT

Protection against heart disease, reduced risk of breast, ovary & prostate cancer, improved cholesterol and lipid profiles, and osteoporosis prevention are all valid reasons for using individualized bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

Types of BHRT: Estrogen has many benefits including helping with hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, sleeplessness, mood and mental clarity. Cardiovascular benefits include increasing HDL and decreasing LDL cholesterol. Estrogen is important for preventing bone loss, but only if it is balanced with Progesterone and Testosterone.

Progesterone is the 2nd most abundant hormone in the body for men and women with receptors present on every cell wall. It balances the negative side effects of estrogens (anti-estrogen).

Testosterone is the “Vigor” hormone and helps with sex drive as well as mental and physical drive. Women need it as much as men do.

Side Effects of BHRT: Are usually minimal if physiologic (body’s own dose) estrogen is balanced correctly by bio-identical progesterone and testosterone. Side effects may include headaches, breast tenderness, nausea, water retention, facial hair, and anxiety or irritability.

What are the different types of Estrogens? There are 3 types of estrogens natural to the human body:

Estriol (E3) – The Gentle & Safest Estrogen

  • about 80% of circulating estrogen prior to menopause
  • Weakest estrogen, not stimulating to breast and uterine tissues
  • May be protective for cancer
  • produced in high amounts during pregnancy
  • excellent for vaginal dryness
  • available through compounding pharmacies

Estradiol (E2)

  • about 10% of circulating estrogen prior to menopause
  • most potent human estrogen; stimulating effect on breast and uterus
  • deficiency or excess is often related to symptoms
  • precursor to estrone and estriol
  • available through compounding pharmacies, and commercially as tablets, patches, and vaginal products

Estrone (E1) – The Worst Hormone for Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer

  • about 10% of circulating estrogen prior to menopause
  • most abundant estrogen after menopause due to formation in fatty tissues
  • can be metabolized from estradiol
  • available through compounding pharmacies

Adrenal Fatigue: If you have the following symptoms, consider testing Cortisol & steroid hormone levels.

o Nervous
o Morning Fatigue
o Fibromyalgia
o Difficulty Sleeping
o Allergies
o Decreased Stamina
o Headaches
o Anxious
o Sugar Cravings
o Irritable
o Dizzy Spells

Hormonal Imbalance

Estrogen dominance (excess estrogen levels or too much estrogen in relation to progesterone) can be created by both an excess of estrogen and a deficiency of progesterone. Estrogen Dominance can occur naturally or as a result of use of birth control pills, estrogen alone therapies and can be countered by body’s natural mechanism of progesterone. Studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in decreasing the risks of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Estrogen Dominance:

  • Foods that have hormones added to them, such as commercial meat, BST produced milk, eggs, and dairy products
  • Herbs that have an estrogenic effect in the body, such as licorice, black cohosh
  • Birth control pills that contain estrogen
  • Environmental toxins that mimic the actions of estrogen (known as xenoestrogens); the largest source of xenoestrogens is pesticides
  • Exposure to radiation, which increases estrogen levels in the blood
  • Chronic constipation which interferes with the body’s ability to eliminate estrogen properly, which builds up in the colon and can be reabsorbed by the body
  • Estrogen supplements as part of a hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms

Progesterone Deficiency may be caused by:

  • Birth control pills or HRT with synthetic progestins, which decrease the body’s natural production of progesterone.
  • Chronic stress & nutritional deficiency
  • Pre-Menopause with lack of sufficient ovulation (which is a natural consequence of going into menopause)
  • Damage to ovaries during pregnancy
  • Heavy metal toxicity