Several of my patients have asked me to talk a little bit about bio identical hormone therapy, and the advantages I’ve seen in my practice in how it might improve the lives of patients suffering from symptoms of menopause, premenstrual syndrome or pre-menopause.
In brief, bio identical hormone therapy emerged as a leading alternative to treatments that had traditionally been met with synthetic hormone replacement therapy, largely as a result of concerns some physicians and patients had with indications that synthetic hormone therapies might be contributing to a higher incidence of heart disease, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer. Indeed, while many chose to stop hormone therapy completely, the move to bio identical hormone therapy seems to bring an excellent balance for patients who want to experience the beneficial effects of hormone therapy with the improved safety from hormones that are extracted from plant material.
And that’s what bio identical hormones are: hormones the human body cannot distinguish from the hormones it manufactures on its own, created (interestingly enough) from soy and yams. Our practice has seen bio identical hormones prove themselves as part of a broader health program, in that they assist in balancing the body’s hormone levels and thus improve women’s health in areas such as increasing bone density, raising the levels of the body’s muscle mass, and decreasing the percentage of fat stored within the body — essentially turning the tide against the more common physical responses women face later in life.
Hormones in general are the chemical carriers of the instructions to the body on how physical processes should respond to various events; by introducing bio identical hormones through a comprehensive, physician-guided program, women (and in many cases, men) can reduce the effects of these late-life events and improve their individual levels of health and well-being.
One of the great things about our practice is our patients; they take it upon themselves to learn so much about their own care, and their interest and “buy in” with regard to the therapies they’re planning to undertake goes a long way in helping those therapies be successful. We’ve heard a lot of interest from them lately about bio identical hormone therapy, and we agree for many patients it is a great alternative to traditional synthetic hormone replacement therapy.
Hormone replacement therapy has been a popular and successful treatment for patients who suffered from the effects of menopause, perimenopause, and premenstrual syndrome; but a few years ago, there were a number of studies which suggested hormone replacement therapy had at least some link with increasing a patient’s chances of developing various illnesses including breast cancer, blood clots, stroke and heart disease. Hormone replacement therapy fell out of favor with many patients and doctors, and there was something of a void in treatment options until the advent of bio identical hormone therapy.
Bio identical hormone therapy, as the name suggests, involves hormones that a patient’s body can’t tell from the ones it makes on its own; usually created from soybeans, bio identical hormones help women improve their health by increasing muscle mass and bone density while lowering the body’s tendency to store fat — all fantastic results for any patient, but of particular assistance to our patients whose bodies are responding to typical late-life issues.
For patients (and physicians) who seek the benefits of hormone therapy but are concerned about the potential health risks — and who see a hormone created from plants as possibly a safer alternative – bio identical hormone therapy is a wonderful “compromise” treatment that can have profound effects on a patient’s general health.
In the seemingly never-ending struggle to maintain or lose weight, Tampa residents are presented with an equally never-ending deluge of new information on what sorts of diet plans can be most effective. One of several we often recommend for our patients is hormone therapy — particularly for those who are experiencing some of the more common issues that come later in life.
With hormone therapy, the patient’s body is supplemented with estrogen and/or progesterone, two hormones that are naturally produced in the ovaries. These hormones regulate all sorts of body functions that relate to overall health and well-being; under certain conditions, including but not limited to menopause, the amount of estrogen and progesterone the ovaries create is reduced, leading to a wide variety of symptoms that can be uncomfortable and unhealthy for women.
More relevantly, depletion of hormones can have the effect of simply slowing down a patient’s metabolism; this has the visible effect of redistributing fat deposits around our bodies, a commonly seen increase in fat around the waist and face. These are particularly difficult areas to target, especially with a slower metabolism, and simple diet and exercise might not be enough to reach the weight loss goals you’ve set for yourself.
Hormone therapy replaces and replenishes the body’s supply of the hormones so critical for metabolic regulation, improving and in some cases altogether alleviating the more commonly seen symptoms. One of the many benefits of hormone therapy Tampa patients see is weight loss, but there are also other measurable improvements, including a lowered risk of diabetes, colon cancer, and osteoporosis. All this of course comes on the heels of markedly improved energy levels, which elevate mood and can make you more successful in whatever you’re undertaking — including a weight loss program.