Bioidentical hormones are used to treat symptoms of menopause, andropause, and other hormonal imbalances. This is often referred to as “natural hormone therapy.” Bioidentical hormones are created from chemical extracts found in some plants. This synthesized hormone closely relates to the molecular structure of natural hormones that patients produce in their bodies, like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Because these hormones have the same structure as your natural hormones, they’re less likely to cause uncomfortable side effects.
If you have been experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance for more than a few months, you should be tested. Symptoms may include: sleep disturbance, unusual fatigue, moodiness/crankiness, worry/anxiety/agitation, hot flashes/night sweats, hair loss, unusual hair growth, sex drive changes, vaginal dryness (women), prostate enlargement (men), and many more.
A better question is: Is having a hormone imbalance safe? No.
All bioidentical hormone therapy should be followed closely with appropriate testing. Our protocol involves saliva hormone testing and sometimes urine hormone testing so that we have the data to indicate imbalances are resolved. Any bioidentical hormones can contribute to cancer risk if they are not balanced properly. If your health care provider is going by “how you feel,” just know that high or low levels of specific hormones can produce the same symptoms.
Blood testing is flawed with regard to the sex steroid hormones. Steroids are fat soluble. Blood is mostly water. Blood is a transporter of the hormones as they are on their way to wherever they need to act. Blood is NOT an indicator of the true cumulative effect of the hormones in the body.
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