Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
The philosophy of functional medicine is to support the body's individual and unique state of health and well being. Hormones are the language of our body. This specific language follows a feedback system that travels fluently and continuously throughout every cell in our body to maintain overall health.
When reviewing hormone levels, it is important to think in terms of balance. Research shows that environmental toxins, industrialized foods and stress may inhibit the natural production of hormones. Eating foods that contain adequate protein and saturated (good) fats may help increase hormones naturally. When hormones are out of balance there is an increase in cardiovascular disease, metabolic imbalances and cancer. Research also demonstrates that when testosterone levels are low, there is an increase in Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, cardiac disease and the development of chronic muscle wasting.
What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
The simplest definition of HRT is medicinal therapy that uses hormone supplementation to balance and restore hormone levels to what they were when you were experiencing optimal health. This not only aids in a feeling of wellbeing, but HRT is also helpful in preventing or managing chronic diseases.
It is well documented that one of the hallmarks of the aging process is a decline in hormone levels. The synthesis of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, DHEA, melatonin, human growth hormone and other hormones begin to steadily decline in our 30s and 40s. It is also important to know that toxins in the environment such as BPA (Bisphenol A) can further contribute to hormone imbalance by disrupting our innate hormone metabolism.
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) uses natural, plant-based, professionally compounded hormones that are the same identical structure to the hormones your body naturally produces. This makes them a safer alternative than synthetic ‘one size fits all’ off-the-shelf hormones, which have been associated with negative side effects and serious health risks.
The Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Fluctuations in hormones can result in glucose not being processed and metabolized properly, leading to feelings of fatigue. When hormones are balanced, the body can effectively produce energy to restore and increase vitality. Other benefits of HRT include but are not limited to: balanced moods, increased sense of wellbeing, increase in muscle mass and bone density, fat loss, increased libido, healthier sleep patterns and increased vitality.
Research continues to reveal that chronic conditions may benefit from balancing hormones naturally. A few of these conditions are: depression, diabetes, fatigue, heart disease, insomnia, migraine headaches, obesity and osteoporosis.
How is HRT treatment evaluated and managed?
Functional medicine providers are trained in evaluating and managing hormone therapy that is specifically tailored for each individual. HRT treatment includes hormone testing, a personalized hormone therapy program and follow-up evaluations. Part of the evaluation may include the following bio-identical hormones: progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormones, melatonin, DHEA and adrenal hormones in addition to any competing body burden of toxins that maybe disrupting the body’s ability to produce hormones naturally. It will be important to re-evaluate your hormone levels periodically to ensure that you are maintaining optimum balance.
To learn more about the role of individualized hormones please visit www.MyLabsForLife.com for a more in depth description of hormones.