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What is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

by Lara Pizzorno, MDiv, MA, LMT

What is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is treatment to restore declining human hormone levels to those seen in healthy, 30-year-old humans by supplementing with hormones bio-identical to human hormones, i.e., with exact molecular duplicates of the estrogens, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA the human body itself produces.

If you have already reached an age at which your hormone levels have begun to wane (typically mid-40s to early-50s for women), you are likely to have begun noticing unwelcome changes not only in your menstrual cycles, but also in your skin, libido, mental acuity and general vitality.

You may also be experiencing some or all of the unpleasant symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness, which can greatly diminish your joy in living.

Fortunately, you don’t have to put up with any of this!

BHRT can restore your former normal, healthy levels of hormones -- whose lack is the cause of all of these symptoms – and enable you to age vibrantly, not just valiantly.

Each prescription for BHRT is tailored to specifically meet your individual needs

After testing to determine what your current hormone levels are, and thus your specific requirements for supplementation, the human-identical sex hormones you now have in insufficient supply are provided for you.

And they are given in just the right doses to restore your hormone levels to those normally found in the lower range produced by healthy, 30-year-old human women’s bodies.

BHRT copies Nature as closely as possible

In addition to using exact molecular copies of the hormones supplemented, and providing them in doses specifically calibrated after testing to meet your individual needs, BHRT administration further mimics Nature by:

  • Providing administration instructions that copy the ebb and flow of estrogen and progesterone during a healthy 30-year-old woman’s natural monthly menstrual cycle. Thus, for women who had the “typical” 26 to 30 day cycle during their menstruating years, estrogen is used on days 1-25 of the cycle, and progesterone is added during days 12-25. If testosterone is also found to be deficient, it is used day 1-25 along with estrogen. DHEA is used days 1-30 (or daily throughout the cycle). Days 26-30 are days off, when no estrogen, progesterone or testosterone is used. Days 26-30 mimic the days of menstruation (although with the low levels of hormones used in properly prescribed BHRT, having a “period” is unnecessary).
  • Utilizing creams to deliver the hormones via topical application to the vaginal labia, the area of the skin’s surface where they are especially well absorbed and delivered directly into the same pelvic veins that the ovaries use to send these hormones into the general circulatory system.
  • Delivering the hormones transdermally via application to the labia rather than taking them orally as pills that are swallowed is very important. Why? Hormones taken orally are immediately sent to the liver, the body’s screening and detoxification facility, where they are changed by the processing they undergo there before being released into the general circulation. Estrogen, for example, although typically prescribed in the form of estradiol, a weaker human estrogen, is likely to be converted in the liver into a more potent and potentially carcinogenic form called estrone or into pro-carcinogenic estrogen metabolites. When taken orally, estrogens have also been shown to increase risk for blood clots, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Topical administration of estrogen has the exact opposite—and highly beneficial effects—of decreasing insulin resistance, improving blood sugar control, and decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

BHRT includes regular testing to monitor your hormones

Every 3 to 6 months, especially early in your therapy, your hormone levels should be checked, not only to make sure they are within the safe and effective range, but also to verify that they are not being metabolized in a way that could increase hormone-related cancer risk.

Should potentially harmful “downstream metabolites” be found, their production can then be quickly remedied with dietary modifications and targeted nutritional and/or botanical supplements.

After you have been on BHRT for a year, and not only are all your menopause-associated symptoms gone, but you are feeling wonderful, and your tests results have stabilized, your doctor will likely tell you that testing can be done once yearly.

For further information about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy along with other drugs and formulations used in hormone replacement therapy, please see these articles:

Bio-identical Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy vs. Conventional (Traditional) HRT

Side Effects of the Progestins – the Drugs Used to Replace Human Progesterone in Conventional Hormone Replacement Therapy

Progestins – what other risks and side effects could they cause besides breast cancer, bone loss, cardiovascular disease and loss of libido?

Hormone Replacement Therapy & The Women's Health Initiative Study

Doctors and Prescribed Hormones: HRT & BHRT

Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy Safety

Conventional Hormone Replacement Therapy is NOT Safe!

Stay Young & Sexy with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement: The Science Explained

This article summarizes key points presented in-depth in almost 500 pages in Stay Young & Sexy with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement: the Science Explained by Jonathan V. Wright, MD, and. Lane Lenard, PhD. This book is the definitive resource on Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy and fully explains why BHRT is the best option for women, not only to alleviate the discomforts of menopause, but to prevent the long-term negative health consequences of our aging-related decline in sex hormones.

Editor's Note:

The natural health solutions described in this article are available through many on-line retailers including those listed below. By clicking these links you help support the important alternative health research we provide.

Visit International Antiaging-Systems for hard to find therapies. They specialize in Tomorrow's Treatments Today™.

Visit www.amazon.com – a great way to find competitive deals on supplements offered by many different manufacturers.

Visit VitaE8 - The Ultimate Vitamin E – to learn more about the importance of full-spectrum vitamin E supplements.

This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with a physician before embarking on a dietary supplement program.

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