By Timothy Blend, MD –
Hormone replacement therapy HRT has been around for many years as a way to help women relieve menopausal symptoms. Yet, HRT has been a confusing topic for medical professionals and patients. There are still medical professionals in our community who do not distinguish synthetic from bioidentical hormones. The debate over the safety of HRT has been questioned since the Women’s Health Initiative study in 2002, which showed the therapy could have greater health risks than benefits.
To clarify this study, researchers found that women taking Prempro (a combination of Premarin and Progestin, all synthetic) significantly increased breast cancer, heart attack, and stroke risks. Bioidentical hormones (BHRT) are another method for treating menopause and hormonal imbalances. This form of HRT, called BHRT, comes from natural compounds and contains a molecular structure that is identical to hormones found in the body, hence the term bioidentical. The body uses BHRT the same way it uses hormones naturally produced in the body.
Hormones in the body are vital messengers that communicate between body tissues. When hormone levels become unbalanced or decreased, they can leave you feeling exhausted, irritable, depressed, with hot or cold intolerances, weight gain or the inability to lose weight. All this can wear on your physical and mental abilities and impede your performance in the gym and in the bedroom. If they stay unbalanced for too long, they can lead to greater health risks, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cognitive ailments, and certain forms of cancer
What are some key factors to feeling old?
• Oxidative stress from diets high in sugar and
• Raised cortisol levels from poorly
• Overuse of prescription drugs
• Sleep deprivation
• Limited activity leading to weight gain
• Low thyroid function
• Hormone imbalances
Age is also a factor in reduced levels of hormones, creating feelings of imbalance in everyday pursuits. For example, testosterone levels in women begin going down after age 20. By age 40 a woman’s testosterone level will be half of what it was when she was 20 years old. This is why getting hormone levels checked even while in your 20′s might be necessary if you aren’t feeling yourself. For women between the ages of 40–60, testosterone levels can remain pretty constant but estrogen and progesterone can change dramatically. After menopause testosterone declines once again.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can balance hormone levels that become upset or deficient through lifestyle habits and aging. Unlike conventional HRT, BHRT is derived from plant sources and structured similarly to hormones circulating in the body. Since the bioidentical hormones are recognized in the body, they are effectively assimilated and used. BHRT replenishes the body with the healthy hormone levels your body needs to function optimally. Typical forms of BHRT include progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone although there are others that often need to be balanced.
It is important to note that most physicians are not trained in prescribing BHRT and they may be unfamiliar with the medical literature that supports this treatment. Fortunately, there are physicians specializing in age-management medicine who can help you determine which BHRT treatments are best for you.
Timothy Blend, MD
Dr. Tim Blend is a graduate of Ross University Medical School and board certified in Internal medicine. He is also a board certified Nutritional Specialist (CNS) and has completed a fellowship in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Blend has over 30 years of experience practicing medicine and is the Medical Director for the Blend Institute, which is an advanced medical practice that provides a blend of specialities to help individuals achieve and maintain optimal physical and mental health.
Whether the goal is to maintain good health and prevent disease or reverse the ill effects of disease and restore good health, the Institute’s professional staff is dedicated to improving patient health.
The Blend Institute offers a science based health care approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing on the biochemically unique aspects of each patient and then individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological and structural balance.
To learn more about The Blend Institute or to schedule an appointment, please call 941-722-5600 or visit us online at www.blendinstitute.com.