What is the Difference Between Bioidentical Hormones and Traditional HRT?
When you have symptoms of menopause that cause ongoing discomfort or when declining hormone levels cause other health issues, hormone therapy is a common form of treatment. Traditional hormone therapy (HRT) involves the use of manufactured hormones from synthetic sources, while bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT) involves the use of hormones derived from natural sources. Understanding the difference between these types of treatment is an important part of determining which option is best for you.
Ingredients and Structure
Hormones made for traditional hormone therapy contain synthetic ingredients created in a lab. These hormones do not have the same structure as the hormones that are found naturally in your body. Bioidentical hormones, however, are made from yams, soy or another natural source rather than a synthetic one. These hormones do have the same structure as those found in your body. Compounding pharmacists design and customize these hormones to provide patients with the treatment they need to relieve symptoms.
Side Effects of Hormone Therapy
When you’re deciding whether you should take HRT or BHRT, you need to know more than just the types of ingredients that go into these hormones and their structure. Hormones used in HRT have been linked to negative side effects because they do not have the same structure as natural hormones. Bioidentical hormones are not associated with these side effects, and they tend to be more effective at easing symptoms since they have the same structure as natural hormones in your body.
Some of the negative side effects associated with HRT include the following:
- Higher risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of having a stroke
- Higher risk of developing blood clots
- Increased risk of breast cancer
- Higher risk of cataracts that can impair vision
Benefits of Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy is meant to alleviate symptoms of health problems caused by a decrease in estrogen, testosterone and other hormones that typically occur as part of the aging process. Traditional hormone therapy can provide effective treatment, but the risks associated with it need to be carefully considered before use. Bioidentical hormone therapy also offers an effective way to ease symptoms without putting you at risk of serious health problems. In fact, BHRT can help lower your risk of stroke, heart attacks and certain types of cancer. These hormones work more efficiently at a molecular level than synthetic hormones since they have the same makeup as natural hormones.
If you need hormone therapy, please contact us at Arena District Pharmacy for information on bioidentical hormones. Our pharmacy provides private consultations to help you determine if this type of treatment is the most suitable option for you. We develop bioidentical hormones with specific formulations that are designed to ease your symptoms.