General, Hormones

Restoring Your Balance: BHRT What to Expect

BHRT What to Expect

Are you sick of hormone imbalances wrecking your life? Then it’s time to deeply consider real solutions. Solutions like BHRT. It can be a little scary to think about starting a new therapy so let’s start with the basics of what to expect from BHRT.

But first, let’s answer the question that may be frustrating you the most right now: Why can hormone imbalances be so devastating to one’s overall wellbeing?

Hormones are the chemical messengers of the body. The endocrine glands create them, and then they travel around in your bloodstream, giving instructions to your organs and tissues. They support many of your body’s major processes, including growth, metabolism, reproduction, and mental and physical functions.

If your body has too much or too little of a specific hormone, you have a hormone imbalance. The way the body works, if one hormone gets out of balance, it cascades out to other hormones and causes serious effects throughout your whole body. Some hormone levels fluctuate throughout your lifetime, like puberty or pregnancy, menopause, or andropause, while others occur when your endocrine glands aren’t functioning properly.

The obvious solution to a hormone imbalance is to get the hormones back into balance. But exactly how do you do that?

Hormone Replacement Therapy

If you were making lemonade and it was too tart, what would you do? Add more sugar. That’s exactly how hormone replacement therapy works. If your estrogen levels are too low, then you need to add estrogen. But where does that estrogen come from?

Hormones can now be made in the lab. Testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone are among those most commonly replicated and used in treatment.

Traditional Synthetic HRT hormones come from horse urine/estrogen and are slightly different in structure than bio-identical hormones. To be patented, synthetic hormones require side chains added to a natural substance. These hormones are not found in humans and are not identical in structure or function to the hormones they intend to replace. For hormone therapy to work, the replacement hormones must be the exact chemical structure as the one’s in your body. That’s where Bio-Identical hormones come into play. These plant-derived hormones have the same chemical structure as the hormones made by your body. That’s why Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy(BHRT) is so effective.

What Is BHRT?

When hormone levels drop or become unbalanced, BHRT brings the system back into balance. Most frequently, you hear about it being used to ease symptoms of perimenopause, menopause, and even andropause, but it can also be used to improve symptoms of cancer treatment or to treat conditions such as:

The Benefits of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement

Both men and women can benefit from BHRT. Women of any age, but definitely those entering or already in menopause, can enjoy relief from the following symptoms when using BHRT:

  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Maintenance of bone density
  • Restoration of sleep patterns
  • Improvement in sex drive
  • Libido
  • Sexual response and performance
  • Fatigue
  • Mental acuity
  • Relief of depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • And many other symptoms

Men can also benefit from the use of BHRT, usually through testosterone treatments. Men’s testosterone levels start to decline in their early 30’s. Most men need to have their testosterone levels tested around 45 years of age.

Symptoms of testosterone deficiency in men include:

  • Fatigue
  • Lack of mental acuity
  • Weakness
  • Loss of libido
  • Difficulty achieving or sustaining an erection

BHRT Delivery Systems

BHRT can be delivered into your body in various ways, which is good news because everyone is different. One person may respond best to one delivery system, while another person may not respond at all to the same system. You may need to try 2 or 3 different delivery systems until you find what works best for you. Delivery options are:

  • Troches
  • Sublingual
  • Gels
  • Capsules
  • Injections
  • Pellets
  • Creams
  • Patches

How They Are Used

Troches and sublingual give about 20% absorption, whereas gels and oil capsules give 10 – 12% absorption. The best way to take troche, oral, sublingual, and topical doses is one-half of the daily dose every 12 hours. However, a testosterone troche or sublingual for libido is best to take 2 hours before bedtime. Progesterone is best to take at bedtime since it may make you sleepy.

Shots are primarily used for men and must be given every three days. Oral, transdermal, and injections do not provide an even release, and symptoms will still come and go depending on when the shot was given and hormone released. Pellet Therapy achieves the sustained levels of hormones that would be produced in a normally functioning body.

Side Effects and Risks of BHRT

The FDA has approved some standardized bioidentical estradiol and progesterone preparations, but it hasn’t yet approved compounded bioidentical hormones because they are blended per dose by compounding pharmacies.

Studies have shown that any type of hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk for certain conditions and diseases, including:

As with all medications, BHRT comes with side effects as your body adjusts to the hormones. Common side effects of BHRT may include:

When You Can Expect to Feel a Difference

Every patient’s journey is unique. Some patients feel relief within days. Most patients start reporting symptom relief within 2-4 weeks, but full relief may take up to 6 months. It can take some time to get the dosage required to optimally balance your hormones, so your provider will meet with you regularly to assess your progress and make any changes needed.

Getting BHRT: What to Expect

It’s a three-step process:

Your first step? Schedule a consultation! We prefer the personal touch, so you can get in touch with us by calling or texting us.

Your second step? Get your labs & a comprehensive health report. We’ll take it from there by putting together a treatment plan to address your specific needs.

Third step? Take your meds and start feeling your best with Health on your Horizon!

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