Bio-identical Hormone Therapy
Your hormones control almost all of your essential bodily functions, and they keep them performing at peak levels. However, when hormone levels are unbalanced or drop, bio-identical hormone therapy can be a treatment alternative to consider. We’ll discuss what it is, benefits, how your doctor gives you bio-identical hormone therapy, and more below.
Defining Bio-Identical Hormones
Your body has glands that produce specialized chemicals called hormones. They tell your other body systems how and when to function. When your hormones are unbalanced, you start to present with odd symptoms. This is where bio-identical hormones come in. Bio-identical hormones are man-made hormones that mimic hormones your body produces. Estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone are the most common hormones that this therapy matches. These hormones can come pre-made by a drug company when a doctor orders them by a prescription, or a pharmacist can custom make them using a doctor’s order. You can take these hormones as sprays, gels, pills, vaginal inserts, injections, and creams.
Defining Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy
Bio-identical hormone therapy is the process of introducing synthetic hormones to treat unbalanced or low hormone levels. It’s very popular for easing perimenopause and menopause symptoms. However, it’s also common to have this therapy if you have thyroid or adrenal disorders, insulin resistance, fibromyalgia, cancer treatment, or osteoporosis.
What to Expect From Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy
The end goal is to help you feel better, no matter your age. Since every person has different symptoms, each patient’s hormone therapy path is unique. Some patients start to feel relief in as little as 7 to 10 days after starting it. However, having the symptoms completely go away can take up to six months of therapy.
Your doctor will customize your treatment with the intent to balance out your hormone levels and return them to peak amounts. It takes more than a few weeks for your hormones to drop to low levels or fall out of balance, so it’s not realistic to expect them to go back to normal immediately.
While your doctor administers the bio-identical hormone therapy, they’ll monitor you very carefully. They do this so they can adjust your doses according to your needs and symptoms. They want to keep the dose as low as they possibly can while helping you hit your goals.
Your doctor may order routine saliva, urine, or blood tests to check your hormone levels throughout the treatment. The standard procedure is to draw blood once every 30 days to check your hormones. The FDA recommends not using hormone levels to decide the correct dosage amounts in women because they fluctuate, especially salivary hormone levels. However, your doctor will determine with you which method of testing is best.