Bioidentical Hormone Replacement

What are bioidentical hormones?

Bioidentical hormones are an exact biochemical match to the hormones that naturally occur in the human body. These chemicals are extracted from yam and soy plants and are synthesized to be identical to the molecules of the hormones naturally produced by our bodies. The body recognizes these hormones the same as they would the hormones produced from the ovaries and testicles. It is important to know that the route of administration (oral, topical on the skin or injection) and absorption pathway can make a difference in the effectiveness and the side effects.

Are bioidentical hormones approved by the FDA?

Custom made mixtures of bioidentical hormones are not approved by the FDA because they are chemically synthesized from a natural plant source and the molecules have not been altered and cannot be patented. Any naturally occurring substance or hormone cannot be patented. Synthetic hormones however, which are decisively different from the yam or soy plant chemicals, are known as Premarin, Provera and Prempro. They are approved by the FDA because they are chemically altered.

How do bioidentical hormones differ from synthetic hormones?

The human body can metabolize bioidentical hormones naturally because once the chemical has been taken from the plant; yam or soy is processed in a way that its molecular structure is completely identical to that of the androgen hormones; estrogen and progesterone. Bioidentical hormones provide people with the option to have their hormone supplements individually tailored to fit the person’s unique biological system. Synthetic hormones are mass-produced and have stronger side effects than those of a bioidentical nature. Since they are mass-produced there is no way to individually tailor the amounts. Synthetic hormones are made from the progesterone of plants or the estrogens of animals and are not identical to the hormones found within the human body. What distinguishes synthetic hormones from bioidentical hormones is the molecular structure. The synthetic hormones have an addition to the chemical structure. The body doesn't recognize or metabolize these altered synthetic hormones the same as its normal hormones and the body may treat them as a toxin.

Signs & Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

  • Hot Flashes & night sweats
  • Fluid retention & weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness, itching, & discomfort in women
  • Heavy, painful or irregular menstrual cycles in women
  • Infertility
  • PCOS, endometriosis, uterine fibroid tumors or ovarian cysts in women
  • Gynecomastia (development of breasts in men)
  • Erectile Dysfunction in men
  • Decrease in sexual interest or function
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sleep disturbances and insomnia
  • Slower healing & physical recovery
  • Decreased energy & increased fatigue
  • Decreased strength & cardiovascular condition
  • Increased body fat & loss of lean muscle
  • Sore muscles & joints
  • Sluggish mental function and memory
  • Decreased strength & cardiovascular condition
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Hair loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sleep apnea

Benefits of Hormone Replacement

  • Improves energy levels
  • Improves mood
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves memory and concentration
  • Improves sex drive
  • Improved erectile function in men
  • Regulate heavy and painful menstrual cycles in women
  • Reduced recurrence of endometriosis in women
  • Shrinkage of uterine fibroid tumors in women
  • Improved symptoms of PCOS, endometriosis and ovarian cysts in women
  • Eliminates night sweats and hot flashes
  • Prevents vaginal thinning & dryness
  • Promotes fat loss
  • Increases muscle mass, strength and tone
  • Decreases skin winkles
  • Improves hair loss
  • Protects bones from osteoporosis & increases bone strength
  • Reduces risks of heart disease

Specifics of Hormone Replacement

There is much more to bioidentical hormone replacement than just giving hormones.  Our hormones are greatly affected by all of our other metabolic processes in our bodies such as blood sugar and lipid (blood fats) metabolism.  Hormones are really just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to optimal health.  If you have a chronically high level of inflammation in your body that goes unaddressed, it could make hormone replacement ineffective and in some cases dangerous.  Our bodies also need critical amounts of vitamins and nutrients in order for our hormones to function properly.  Therefore, adequate supplementation with vitamins and proper nutrition is critical.

Regular follow up is imperative:

  • Hormone levels need to be measured initially and periodically throughout treatment to ensure to safety and efficacy of management.
  • We need to monitor for signs and symptoms of overtreatment as well as under treatment.
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Seaside Integrative Medical Center
317 N. El Camino Real
uite 406
Encinitas, CA 92024
Phone: 760-452-2305
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