Natural bioidentical hormones or BHRT (bioidentical hormone restorative therapy) are hormones that protect from disease. These bioidentical hormones are not to be confused with synthetic hormones or HRT (hormone replacement therapy). HRT is a combo drug of synthetic estrogens and progestin known as PremPro. These hormones increase the risk of heart disease and breast cancer. So, what is BHRT and how can it protect us from disease?
What is BHRT?
The Harvard Medical School states that bioidentical hormones are “hormones that are identical in molecular structure to the hormones women make in their bodies. They’re not found in this form in nature but are made, or synthesized, from a plant chemical extracted from yams and soy. Bioidentical estrogens are 17 beta-estradiol, estrone, and estriol. (Estradiol is the form of estrogen that decreases at menopause.) Bioidentical progesterone is simply progesterone. It’s micronized (finely ground) in the laboratory for better absorption in the body.”
The aim of BHRT is to balance the hormones connected to youth and reproduction which women’s bodies produce less in the years leading to menopause. These hormones are:
- Estrogen (estrone or estradiol)
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
- Adrenal hormones
BHRT treatment could include gels, tablets, creams, injections or lotions.
Might Help Protect Bones
Results from studies from the US National Library of Medicine have listed estrogen and testosterone with benefits for preventing bone loss. Research suggests that BHRT could help protect against osteoporosis or hip fractures. The Women’s Health Initiative study demonstrated that restoring estrogen and progesterone levels reduced hip fracture risk. However, there are no proven claims that BHRT can prevent or rebuild bone loss.
May Help Improve Energy (but may not help to achieve a Healthier Weight)
According to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, “There is no evidence of an effect of estrogen or combined estrogen with progesterone on body weight and on the BMI increase normally experienced at the time of menopause.” Using BHRT may improve mental clarity, better sleep, motivation, and alertness. This may occur because BHRT helps restore the decline of hormones like testosterone, progesterone, and DHEA.
Can Help Decrease Hot Flashes/Night Sweats & Improve Sleep
Certain studies from the US National Library of Medicine found that hormone replacement therapy vs. a placebo reduced the frequency of symptoms in an average of 77 percent to alleviate hot flashes and night sweats. The placebo had a 50 percent reduction.
May Improve Sex Drive and Reduce Vaginal Dryness
According to a statement from The North American Menopause Society, “first-line treatment for vaginal atrophy should include non-hormonal vaginal lubricants and moisturizers, as well as continued sexual activity.” At the same time, it reports the benefits for the prescription of hormone replacement drugs (vaginal rings, creams) to alleviate vaginal irritation, itching, dryness, burning or pain during sex may help alleviate these symptoms.
Always check with your medical doctor to prescribe the best course of action. An expert pharmacist can work with your doctor to tailor the prescription for your unique condition and later treatment.