As we know, in order to be healthy and fit our hormones need to be in balance as they are responsible for all the activities of our systems like digestion, immunity, mood regulation, libido, and appetite.
During the transition phase of Menopause, in particular, hormones can be out of balance and cause unpleasant symptoms.
Nowadays we hear a lot of talking about Hormone Replacement Therapy as a treatment for menopause and perimenopause symptoms, but what do we really know about it? And how can we know if it’s appropriate for us?
What is HRT?
It is a treatment that contains hormones, doses, and types of hormones that vary according to the woman and her needs, however, all HRT contains estrogen, a hormone that is no longer produced by ovaries after menopause and responsible for the increased risk of heart disease and osteoporosis as well as many other symptoms of menopause (hot flushes, vaginal dryness, depression),
HRT is available in skin patches, tablets, or gel.
What are the benefits of HRT?
The benefits of HRT are:
· reduce the possibility to get osteoporosis and,
· if taken before 60 years old, avoid developing cardiovascular problems together with
· reducing hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and low sexual drive.
And the risks?
The risks of HRT depend on age and general health, but also on other factors like the type of HRT, for example, tablets are not indicated for smokers, people who had stroke or clot in the past or that are obese, in this case, gel or skin patches are more advisable.
Many women worry about breast cancer when taking HRT. Some types of HRT do not increase the risk of breast cancer whereas others may increase the risk. This increased risk is very small and is similar to the increased risk associated with drinking a couple of glasses of wine each night, but still, there is, although there have never been any studies showing that taking HRT increases the risk of death from breast cancer. In addition, it seems that there is no increased risk of breast cancer in women who take HRT under the age of 51 years.
What about the side effects of HRT?
Taking HRT is associated with nausea, vomiting, bloating, and abdominal cramps.
As HRT doesn’t seem to be completely risk and side-effect-free, is there a natural way to balance hormones?
We can balance hormones naturally through lifestyle changes and specific foods, nutrients, herbs, and exercise (a key hormone balancer) which can also lessen the severity of menopausal symptoms and improve bone health effectively, research shows that changes in diet and exercise are a lot more effective and certainly safer than HRT.
However, sometimes we need extra help in fighting symptoms especially when we are dealing with menopause.
If you still would like to go down the hormonal route, there are what they called Body-Identical Hormones available.
Let’s see what are these, how they differ from Non-Identical Hormones, and why many women are now using them as a safe and effective alternative to HRT.
Body Identical Hormone Therapy is the natural response to HRT.
They are hormones made from plants estrogen chemical identical to human-produced hormones.
The most commonly replicated and used as a treatment are estrogens, progesterone, and testosterone.
They come in pills, gel, patches, injections, creams and the good news is that they are available on NHS.
While HRT is made from the urine of pregnant horses and other synthetical hormones BHRT is made from plant estrogens and for this reason they have fewer side effects.
Are the body identical version of the hormones safer and more effective than HRT?
BHRT has been associated apparently with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and some studies say they are more efficacious than their synthetic and animal-derived counterparts. Although further trials are needed, until evidence is found to the contrary, bioidentical hormones remain the preferred method of HRT for many people who find that regular HRT doesn’t agree with them.
Even if there is no major risk for the health, BHRT has also side effects, especially at the beginning like acne, bloating, weight gain, fatigue, mood swings, increased facial hair in women and it’s not for everyone, this is because it is important to be assessed by a specialist before using any of them.
Please book your free consultation with me if you would like to know more on how to balance your hormones naturally or be assessed for bioidentical hormone therapy.
That’s all for now.
See you soon.