Hormone Balancing – The Next Level After Herbal Products
Lyle Sunada, Compounding Pharmacist
Hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, mood swings, hair loss, stress, low sex drive, low energy, memory loss, bladder problems, vaginal dryness, PMS, heavy periods, and depression all could be caused by some sort of hormonal imbalance. Herbal products can work very well for lots of women that have hormonal problems but there are some women that find that herbs just aren’t able to provide the benefits that they were hoping. For some women they have worked at the beginning but then stopped working. For others the herbs have worked for some symptoms but not all of them. These women may benefit from bio-identical hormones.
Bio-identical hormones are identical in all aspects and absolutely indistinguishable to the hormones found in the human body. With Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), you are replacing the hormones that your body is low in to levels no greater than what they were when you were younger i.e. back to normal physiological levels. Instead of using hormones that are synthetic or foreign to the body, we want to do true replacement therapy (vs. substitution therapy). You can’t be allergic to your own hormones because…they are your own hormones. When you are substituting with horse estrogens (e.g. Premarin) and synthetic hormones, you are putting yourself at a greater risk for side effects and problems because they are foreign hormones. Our hormones and receptors are like a lock and key and must fit perfectly together to provide the hormone benefits. If the foreign hormone doesn’t fit properly into the receptor you are more likely to see side effects like what we saw in theWHI study which showed greater risks of heart disease and cancer when using synthetic hormones.
Herbs do not replace your own hormones. They can act on the receptors to provide a weak effect that might help with your symptoms but for some women the herbs are just not strong enough. Herbs can not provide the exact identical function of your own hormones and may not provide the same benefits as your own hormones (e.g. preventing bone loss and osteoporosis). Some anti-aging doctors feel that if you can put the hormones that decline with age back to younger levels, you may be able to retard the aging process. If a woman did not have problems with their hormone levels at that younger age (for a total of 25-30 years), one wouldn’t expect her to have them now. One would expect a lot higher incidence of breast cancers, strokes, heart disease, etc. in women in their 20’s if that were the case. Why would your own hormones at normal physiological levels harm you?
BHRT involves going through an expert to sort through the issues that play a role in hormone balancing including stress, thyroid function, and blood sugar regulation. Sometimes it is necessary to test your hormones to figure out what you are low in and how much to take. Many of the hormones like progesterone, estradiol, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, etc. are best suited to be tested from saliva (vs. blood tests). Bio-identical hormones are generally compounded by a compounding pharmacist and must be prescribed by a physician or naturopath. Talk to a hormone consultant/expert regarding hormone balancing or attend a seminar on Hormone Balancing and you may find the next piece of the puzzle to help the symptoms that couldn’t be helped with herbal products.
Contact Us to book an appointment with a Compounding Pharmacist to see if BHRT is right for you.
Click HERE to check for upcoming BHRT seminars with Lyle Sunada.