What Are Bioidentical Hormones, and Are They Safe?

Hormones control many basic functions in the human body. They act as internal communication systems between cells all around the body. They coordinate various functions, including appetite, digestion and growth, libido, immune function, and mood. So, when hormones are slightly out of balance, it can greatly impact your overall well-being.

Often, when hormone levels drop and become unbalanced, many people consider hormone replacement therapies to fix their symptoms. Bio-identical hormones can be used since they promise natural therapy.

But before you commit to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), you’d like to understand it better. Fortunately, Eastshore Healthcare has mastered the art of using bio-identical hormones to yield the best results.

Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation, and we’ll guide you.

What Are Bioidentical Hormones?

Hormones can be described as chemicals produced by the endocrine glands. The hormones are released into the bloodstream and transported to specific body parts. Some functions controlled by hormones include:

  • Reproduction
  • Growth
  • Sexual function
  • Metabolism

Bioidentical hormones are a form of man-made hormones. They are made in a lab to mimic regular hormones made by the endocrine glands so that the body can easily absorb them. Natural hormones are different in that they are made from plants like soybeans and yams.

But although labeled as ‘natural,’ they go through heavy processing for FDA approval and are market-ready. Hormones are available in different forms, including gels, injections, creams, and pills.

Compounded Bioidentical Hormones

When people discuss bioidentical hormones, they are often referring to compounded hormones. Compounded bioidentical hormones are customized by compounding pharmacies. They can be created in different dosage forms, with varied strengths to meet your needs.

Some compounded lab-made hormones include:

  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • Estrogen
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

Compound hormones can have one or a combination of hormones. For instance, healthcare providers may combine different types of estrogen and progesterone.

Synthetic vs. Bioidentical Hormones

Bioidentical hormones have a similar molecular structure to the hormones in your body. On the other hand, synthetic hormones don’t share in the molecular structure of hormones created by the body, but the body can convert and use them.

Although bioidentical hormones are marketed as natural, it’s assumed they are safer compared to synthetic hormones. However, there are no studies to support the claim. Both hormone types are created in a laboratory, the only difference being the raw materials used. Biomedical hormones are created from natural sources, while synthetic hormones are created from man-made chemicals.

What Are Bioidentical Hormones Used For?

Lab hormones help to ease symptoms of hormone imbalance and low hormones. This is especially true for individuals going through menopause and perimenopause.

Low hormone levels often result in menopausal symptoms, including night sweats, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, issues sleeping, confusion or memory loss, weight gain, fatigue or energy loss, and pain during sex or loss of interest in intercourse.

Some hormone products can also be used in preventing some medical conditions like osteoporosis that can be affected by hormone levels. Lab-made hormones can be used by women and men too. Men can use BHRT to ease symptoms like erectile dysfunction and hair loss.

Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones

Restoring natural hormone levels can profoundly affect your health and quality of life. One study found that lab-made hormones are more productive than their synthetic counterparts and are associated with lower risks (like less chance of breast cancer or cardiac disease).

Other benefits of using lab-made hormones include:

  • Reduced risk of osteoporosis and improved bone density.
  • Reduced menopausal symptoms.
  • Better maintenance of muscle mass and strength.
  • Improved cholesterol levels and reduced risk of heart disease.

Are Bioidentical Hormones Safe?

FDA-approved hormones are thoroughly tested for safety standards to guarantee safety. But like any hormone treatment, there are risks to be aware of.

Risks of bioidentical hormones

Some of the potential risks of lab-made hormones include gallbladder disease, stroke, and blood clots. Additional risks could include cardiovascular disease and an increased risk of breast cancer if you’re older or use bioidentical hormone therapy for a long time.

How long do bioidentical hormones take to start working?

The time it takes for bio-identical hormones to start working varies. Some people might experience some relief in a couple of weeks. But on average, it takes three months to experience the full benefits of any hormonal replacement therapy.

Contact Eastshore Healthcare

Only you and your healthcare provider can decide about your health and well-being. To find out if FDA-approved hormone therapies may improve your condition, contact Eastshore Healthcare to set up your complimentary consultation with one of our doctors.