Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is an effective treatment using hormones that are identical to the hormones naturally made by your body. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) has transformed the healthcare of men and women as they enter the later stages of life. It provides an alternative to hormones that are synthetic, such as injectable testosterone, or hormones concentrated from horse urine (Premarin). Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is made by compounding pharmacists in customized dosages based on the individual needs of the patient as opposed to the narrow choices available with mass-produced, or “one size fits all” hormone therapies.
A more natural approach to hormone therapy often referred to as “natural hormone therapy” has focused attention on bioidentical hormones that are identical in molecular structure to the hormones that the male and female body naturally produces for itself. Although not found in this form in nature, they are derived and made from plant compounds extracted from yams and soy. The result is often the relief from symptoms of hormone deficiency, from insomnia, chronic fatigue, memory loss, and loss of libido.
Blood tests that measure total estradiol or testosterone are used to detect both a deficiency or excess of estrogen or testosterone the body produces as well as to monitor the effects of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. On the other hand, Premarin, the old standby estrogen used for decades, is metabolized into various forms of estrogen that can be dangerous and cannot be measured by standard laboratory tests. Proponents of bioidentical hormones say that an advantage is more precise monitoring of hormone levels and individualized treatment. Other benefits include calmer mood, reduced body fat, increased energy levels, increased sex drive, stronger mental clarity, and improved muscle tone and mass, among others.