What are bio-identical hormones?
The molecules of these hormones are identical in structure to the hormones naturally found in our body. The molecules of these hormones are identical in structure to the hormones naturally found in our body and are considered bio-identical.
This applies for all hormones:
Bio-identical hormones are natural to the human body. Since these hormones are identical to our own hormones, they cannot be patented which gives pharmaceutical companies no reason to produce them commercially. As a result, they must be compounded by specialist pharmacies which acquire the pure, pharmaceutical grade hormone and compound it into the dose and form ordered by the physician. The pharmacy can produce pills, liquids, or creams, depending on the doctor’s requirements, and makes the program very customized for each patient.
What is the Difference Between Bio-Identical and Synthetic Hormones?
Other commercial hormones (synthetic) are not identical to our natural hormones. For instance: Consisting of conjugated estrogens from pregnant mare, Premarin contains more than ten different horse estrogens not found in the human body; a synthetic progestin, medroxyprogesterone Provera has a very long list of side effects and risks as listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference including breast cancer, depression, weight gain, blood clots. These synthetic hormones produce abnormal metabolites that can cause side effects and increase the risk of cancer. A natural hormone is a perfect fit in the body; it is a biologically identical hormone the body recognizes as its own.
According to Holtorf, K., in Postgrad Med, 2009/01/31, Physiological data and clinical outcomes demonstrate that bioidentical hormones are associated with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and are more efficacious than their synthetic and animal-derived counterparts. Until evidence is found to the contrary, bioidentical hormones remain the preferred method of HRT. This is only one of the many studies that have demonstrated the possible harmful effects of synthetic hormones, whereas the medical literature supports no harmful effects of natural hormones, only beneficial ones.
Understanding Hormone Roles
Produced by the thyroid gland, Thyroid Hormone regulates body temperature, energy, metabolism and cerebral function. At optimal levels it breaks down fat, resulting in weight loss and lower cholesterol. Deficiency results in fatigue, depression, immune dysfunction, weight gain, thinning hair and brittle nails, feeling cold, high cholesterol and triglycerides levels, sluggish thought process, constipation, menstrual abnormalities.
Although it is the primary male hormone, women also benefit from having adequate levels of this hormone that is produced in the testis, ovaries and adrenal glands. At optimal levels testosterone increases bone density and aids bone formation, increases muscle strength and muscle mass, enhances energy and sex drive, improves erectile function, decreases body fat, has a positive effect on lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) increasing HDL (good cholesterol), lowers blood pressure, creates a sense of well being, and protects the brain against the protein deposits that lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
The adrenal glands produce DHEA, the most abundant hormone in the body. It not only acts on its own but also converts into testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. It has a significant effect on the immune system, sex drive, metabolism and emotional stability and protects against stress, cognitive decline, and cardiovascular disease. It also increases libido and memory, induces a sense of mental and emotional health while promoting stamina, reduces insulin resistance in women, and acts as an antioxidant.
Also a product of the adrenal glands cortisol is one of the factors that trigger the “fight or flight” response. This important hormone is involved in coping with stress, inflammation and infection, influences body metabolism and glucose levels, increases energy, and regulates blood pressure. Adequate blood levels are important, but continuously high levels are detrimental.
This hormone is produced by the ovaries, adrenal glands and body fat. Estrogen protects against heart disease and stroke, decreases cholesterol, prevents and lowers the incidence of Alzheimers disease, improves memory, increases libido. Adequate levels also improve skin tone, decrease symptoms of menopause, prevent osteoporosis, and decrease insulin resistance. Estrogen is an essential hormone that not only mitigates the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, but also helps maintain a healthy and youthful environment within the body. Replacement with bio-identical hormones is important to prevent side effects and risks.
The ovaries and adrenal glands produce progesterone, which works with estrogen to relieve menopausal symptoms, protect against uterine and breast cancer, stimulates bone-building osteoblasts, improve heart health, aids brain function and enhances overall feeling of well-being. For pre-menopausal women, progesterone eliminates painful menstrual cramps, mood swings, heavy bleeding, dysphoria, bloating, and menstrual migraines.
Produced by the pineal gland, melatonin controls the activities of virtually every cell in the body. It regulates the circadian rhythm as well as the deep stages of sleep, and stimulates the immune system. It is a powerful antioxidant, and a potential anti-cancer agent.
Growth hormone (HGH), produced by the pituitary gland, is responsible for growth and healing; increase in muscle mass and strength; decreased body fat; decreased cholesterol; higher energy level. It improves the immune system, strengthens bones, enhances sexual performance, increases physical and psychological well-being. This hormone is only prescribed after all other hormones have been optimized and a comprehensive examination reveals clinical and laboratory signs of adult deficiency.