Bioidentical Hormones Restore Balance in Men and Women
Dec 26, 2012 06:46PM
By Connie Jackson
As people age, their hormone levels can decline or become out of balance. Hormonal imbalances are the root cause of many chronic health problems, and they can increase the risk of serious disease. Biodentical hormone therapy can help both men and women to enhance and restore their well-being, health and vitality at any stage of life.
Derived from yams and soy, bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure as hormones that are naturally produced in the human body. This means that they can be metabolized properly, unlike synthetic hormones, which are not metabolized well and can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots and various types of cancer. Synthetic hormones are made in specific doses, which creates a one-size-fits-all approach, whereas bioidentical hormones are specifically formulated to meet each person’s individual needs and symptoms.
Bioidentical hormones are primarily made by compounding pharmacies accredited through the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board. These hormones are most often available as transdermal creams, gels and patches that do not have to be metabolized in the liver, unlike synthetic oral hormones. This eliminates the clotting risk associated with oral estrogen, and also allows bioidentical hormones to be prescribed in much lower doses than oral medications.
The main bioidentical hormones prescribed are estradiol, estriol, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA. They can relieve such symptoms as hot flashes, night sweats, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, urinary problems, hair loss, fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, memory loss, depression and irritability. Bioidentical hormones also help with PMS, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, irregular menstrual cycles, bone loss, weight gain and loss of muscle mass.
Because both men and women need estrogen, progesterone and testosterone at various concentrations, bioidentical hormones can be prescribed for both sexes. Estrogen, which affects libido and sexual desire, plays a role in the development of sexual characteristics and reproduction in men and women. It also regulates such physiologic processes as bone building and cholesterol metabolism.
Progesterone makes additional hormones that are important for brain function, bone health, blood sugar regulation, thyroid hormone production and libido. It also affects sleep, mood, blood clotting and immunity. Testosterone is important for improving and maintaining bone density, boosting memory and cognitive function, decreasing hair loss, building muscle and maintaining sexual function.
When considering bioidentical hormone replacement to restore normal function, it’s crucial to consult with a trained and experienced hormone specialist. Treatments can then be tailored to meet individual needs and bring about the best results.
Dr. Connie Jackson practices at 55 Pond Ave., Brookline; and 132 Great Rd., Stow. For more information, call 617-232-0202 or visit ConnieAJacksonMD.com.