What are Bioidentical Hormones?
The terms “natural” and “bioidentical” as applied to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may cause confusion. Natural means “existing in or derived from nature; not made, caused by, or processed by humankind.” Bio-identical means “exactly the same as that which exists in the human body.” In 1943 Russell Earl Marker isolated diosgenin from Mexican yams and developed the process known as “Marker Degradation;” a three-step process by which mammalian sex hormones can be synthesized from a natural source.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy vs. Traditional HRT
As we pointed out, bioidentical hormones are produced by isolating and synthesizing hormones from a natural source, like plants. Hormones utilized during traditional HRT are made from the urine of pregnant horses and other synthetic hormones.
One example of a replacement estrogen made from the urine of pregnant horses is Premarin, which binds itself more tightly to human estrogen receptors than the estrogen naturally produced by a person, making it more reactive and increasing the risk of cancer in long-term use.
Symptoms of Menopause Alleviated by BHRT
Menopause is something many women may feel uncomfortable talking about or addressing, despite the fact that it affects nearly all women at different points in their lives, whether through natural aging or as a side effect of certain procedures or other medical issues. Common symptoms include hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness or pain during sexual intercourse, hair thinning, irritability, reduced sex drive, anxiety, and depression. The use of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy works to lessen these symptoms or even get rid of them entirely. You can enjoy reduced fatigue, a better sex drive with more comfortable sex, reduced bloating, improved sleep, a clearer mind, and a variety of other positive benefits.
Can You Use Bioidentical Hormones if You Have Plant Allergies?
Yes, you can. Patients are often concerned about the source of their hormones if they have a sensitivity to soy or other plant products from which the diosgenin is isolated. Because hormones are synthesized, or made by a chemical process to imitate a bioidentical product, we can say they are bioidentical. This process removes all the parts of the product that do not exactly resemble that which the body would identify as its own. None of the products compounded contain diosgenin, soy or yam. The product used in compounds contains only the bioidentical hormone desired by the patient or prescriber.
Joleen M. Lake, APRN is an Advanced Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Practitioner who is highly trained to provide superior diagnoses and treatments for patients looking to maintain hormone optimization. Her extensive experience and passion for wellness continue to make her a sought-after medical provider specializing in hormone therapy. If your hormone health has put you on a bumpy path and you’re ready to make the right choice for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, call Optima Medical Hormone Replacement in Omaha for a free consultation today at 402.205.7926.
For more information on hormones please visit this article on women’s hormone health.