Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Tampa area bioidentical hormone replacement therapy doctor, Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. at Innovative Gynecology & Obstetrics in Lakeland, FL, is a hormone replacement specialist dedicated to educating patients on hormone therapy and discussing whether it is the right choice for you.
What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Structurally and functionally identical to human hormones, bioidentical hormones are a unique alternative to other forms of hormone replacement therapy—their identical nature allows them to be quickly accepted and used in the body. They fit like a lock and key with the body’s cell receptors, whereas non-identical hormones are often only partially recognized by the body, and they often take up cell receptor sites that they should not be attached to. Because bioidentical hormones are an exact fit to cells and they mimic the body’s hormones, most patients do not experience unpleasant side effects with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Another positive side to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is that the bioidentical hormones are customized and can be dosed to meet exact and specific needs. Previous forms of hormone replacement often prescribed the same dosage of a particular hormone to different patients with varying degrees of hormone imbalance. For example, a woman with a mild estrogen deficiency going through perimenopause may have received the same hormone dosage as a post-menopausal woman with a much greater hormone deficiency. The excess estrogen received through previous hormone therapies would have put the woman with a mild estrogen deficiency at risk for estrogen dominance, and the insufficient dosage for the post-menopausal woman would not have been enough to reduce her symptoms of hormonal imbalance. With bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, each person’s unique levels are taken into account so that the exact required amount of a hormone is prescribed.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can improve numerous conditions related to hormonal imbalances. While some of these imbalances occur with aging, wildly elevated levels of stress and poor lifestyle factors can lead to disproportionate hormone levels in anyone. Some of the conditions that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can improve include perimenopause, menopause and andropause; and stress-related conditions, such as adrenal fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome. Autoimmune conditions that can also benefit from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, and fibromyalgia. Restoring hormone balance with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can reduce many symptoms associated with conditions related to hormonal imbalances.
Some of the symptoms that can be alleviated include:
- Weight gain
- Bone loss
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Low libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Erectile dysfunction
- Facial flushing
- Intolerance to cold
- Reduced immune function