Using bioidentical hormones, we can replace our missing hormones without the risks associated with using synthetic hormones or HRT.
Why is that important?
As our hormones decline, so does our strength, our youthfulness and our health.
What Are Hormones?
Hormones affect almost every function in our body. They allow our bodies to communicate between cells. Without hormones we slowly lose our health. Hormones are molecules that are made and secreted by several glands in our body. This is the endocrine system. Each gland produces hormones that produce specific information to specific cells or organs. All aspects of cellular function are influenced by our hormones.
One of the mechanisms involved in the aging process is a decline in our hormones. This first occurs in our 30's and then accelerates as we get older. Our hormones affect nearly every process in our bodies, low levels of hormones can create problems with our cardiovascular system, our immune system and our gastrointestinal system. It can also affect our body's detoxification. Low levels of hormones can also contribute to chronic illnesses as well.
The most important hormones are thyroid, DHEA, cortisol, insulin, growth hormone, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. In addition to the normal aging process, exposure to toxins, nutritional deficiencies, stress and lack of exercise can all reduce our hormone levels. When our hormones are out of balance, we not only feel badly, but we often are emotionally out of balance. Restoring our hormones can restore balance in our bodies and our emotions.
The best way to achieve this hormone balance is through bioidentical hormones or by supporting your hormones naturally through diet and supplements.
Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone are made from natural plant products and have the same chemical structure as the natural female hormones in our bodies. These hormones are produced from natural sources (for example soybean and wild yams.) Their molecular structure is identical to that of the hormones produced by our bodies. They can also be compounded (made into a cream) to suit an individual's specific hormone replacement needs. This allows for individualized treatment.
Synthetic Hormones (Hormone Replacement Therapy)
Synthetic hormones are produced by changing the natural structure of the hormones. Drug companies do this so that they can patent the synthetic version of the hormones. They are unable to patent the bioidenticals because they are a natural substance. Without a patent, the drug companies are unable to make money on selling hormones. So they developed synthetic hormones that can be patented.
Synthetic hormones have long been associated with cancer. One of the most recent studies has been the Women's Health Initiative. The study was supposed to have lasted 8 1/2 years, but was stopped after 5 years because of the risks associated with synthetic hormones. The Women's Health Initiative showed the following:
Synthetic hormones are drugs and not really hormones. Because of this, they can cause havoc in our bodies. They can produce unwanted side effects like nausea, fluid retention and dizziness.
Bioidentical hormones, though, are an exact replica of the hormones that our body makes. Our body recognizes them and is able to use them efficiently. Some advantages of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy are:
Signs of Hormonal Decline in Women
Signs of hormone decline start to appear around the age of 40 for women. Some of the signs of declining hormones are:
How To Begin Bioidentical Hormones
Bioidentical hormones are identical to our own hormones. They do, however, need to be obtained by prescription from a doctor.
The best way to begin is to find a doctor in your area that specializes in bioidentical hormones. This is important because a doctor that specializes in natural or bioidentical hormones will have experience adjusting the dosage specifically for the needs of your body. Also, they won't try to put you on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) from the drug companies.
Once you find a doctor, the doctor will test your hormones levels either through a saliva test (which can be done at home and mailed to the lab), or through a blood test. This will help to show where you may be deficient.
After the doctor prescribes the bioidenticals, you will need to go to a compounding pharmacy to fill the prescription.
After you have taken the hormones for awhile, your doctor will likely want to re-test you to ensure that the prescribed dosage is adequate for you. For some people, the initial dosage prescribed is adequate. For others, the dosage may need to be adjusted based on another hormone test and how you are feeling.