Hormone Replacement with Natural Bioidentical Hormones
Since the Women's Health Initiative report on hormone replacement therapy, many women are afraid to take hormones. For some women, however, hormone replacement was a lifesaver. The hot flashes and other symptoms are intolerable for them. For these women, hormone replacement with natural bioidentical hormones may be the answer.
Natural bioidentical hormones differ from the HRT studied in the WHI report. Those hormones were synthetics, and they are slightly different than human hormones. HRT had been used for many years with good results, and it took a large-scale study like the WHI to discover the risks involved in taking the hormones. It may be that natural bioidentical hormones are a safer option.
Why Would Natural Bioidentical Hormones Be Safer?
First of all, studies have not yet confirmed that natural bioidentical hormones are safer. It should also be noted that most physicians believe traditional hormone replacement therapy is safe for many women. With that said, however, natural bioidentical hormones may be safer than synthetic hormones simply because they are identical to the hormones our bodies produce.
Because these hormones are identical to ours, our body accepts them as natural and uses them normally. This may not be true of synthetic hormones, which are made from equine or porcine estrogen. Our bodies may recognize the foreign proteins on the synthetic hormones, and may react to them.
An example similar to natural bioidentical hormones is the use of insulin. Prior to the availability of recombinant technology, insulin was made from equine, porcine or bovine insulin. Over time, people would build up antibodies to the foreign protein and would develop some resistance to the insulin. When bioidentical human insulin became available, antibody formation and resistance to injected insulin were no longer problems. The same thing may be true of bioidentical hormones for menopause.
Natural Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Natural substances cannot be patented, so pharmaceutical companies rarely manufacture them. Since the pharmaceutical companies don't manufacture and promote them, physicians don't think about natural hormones. Natural bioidentical hormones are available with out a prescription, but there are some drawbacks in going to your local drugstore or surfing the net and getting the first natural hormone you come across.
You still need to know what kind of hormones and how much to take. You can simply experiment until you find the right combination, but that would take some time and could be costly.
Another option is to find a healthcare provider who is familiar with the use of natural bioidentical hormones. There are physicians, nurse practitioners, naturopaths and other providers who prescribe bioidentical hormones. Many provide individualized treatment plans so that you get exactly what you need to replace your natural hormones.
Natural bioidentical hormone therapy can be the option that provides you with relief from the symptoms of menopause.