Bioidentical Hormones: Getting Past Misconceptions
While most people are aware of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), key misconceptions still exist. HRT is most typically associated with women and menopause. And while it’s true that many women seek out help for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can offer benefits far beyond this one issue, improving patients’ lives in a variety of ways.
It’s important to note the difference between bioidentical and synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Because synthetic hormones do not match the molecular structure of human hormones, they often result in unpleasant side effects, some as severe as cancers and cardiovascular issues. Conversely, bioidentical hormones, derived from natural plant sources, provide an exact match to those produced by the human body, offering relief from symptoms while minimizing the potentially dangerous side effects. As Marla Viturello, of Philadelphia Professional Compounding Pharmacy, states, “The value of customized BHRT is critical in restoring balance. Because these prescriptions are naturally derived and can be compounded in different strengths and dosage forms, patients can benefit from a regimen designed for their distinctive needs.”
So, what are the top misconceptions regarding BHRT?
BHRT is for women only. The truth is that men can suffer the effects of declining hormones just as much as women do. Symptoms of andropause (often referred to as male menopause) include decreased libido and muscle mass, impotence, and mood and sleep disorders.
Sleeplessness is just a fact of modern life. Insufficient sleep can have a detrimental effect on health and negatively affect all other areas of life. Sound sleep is possible at any age and is often a reflection of proper hormonal balance.
Declining enthusiasm for life is a natural result of growing older. While life events can certainly present challenges at times, middle age is not a disease of waning vitality. Restoring hormonal balance can elevate and even out mood, resulting in a better overall outlook and renewed flair for life.
Memory and concentration naturally decrease with age. Properly balanced hormones can and often do greatly help to restore cognitive function, resolving what many term “foggy thinking”. After BHRT, patients often report that they are better able to concentrate at work, with sharper thinking skills.
Decreased libido is a normal part of aging. The truth is that libido is a direct reflection of hormonal balance, in both men and women. Restoring the proper balance of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone to optimal levels will restore the libido, enabling patients to have a healthy, fulfilling sex life at any age.
Considering each of these benefits, it’s easy to see that the number one benefit of BHRT is a greatly improved quality of life. Vibrant health and vitality are possible at any age.
Monica Gavin, MD, is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. She provides BHRT services in Bethlehem and Hatboro. For more information, call 610-625-3000 or visit AzaniMedicalSpa.com.
Philadelphia Professional Compounding Pharmacy is located at 23 South York Road, in Hatboro. For more information, visit PPCPharmacy.com or call 877-637-7727.
May 2016 Issue