If you are suffering from a hormone imbalance, many great treatment options are available to you. One of the most popular and effective solutions for addressing these imbalances is known as bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT.
Below, the ALC Medspa team explains what bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is and how it compares to traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
ALC Medspa has helped a multitude of patients throughout the Gurnee, IL area. By taking advantage of our bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, patients have corrected hormone imbalances and alleviated the symptoms associated with this condition.
In this introductory guide, we also explore symptoms of a hormone imbalance and discuss how BHRT is administered. You can use this information to better understand your options and choose the best intervention for your needs.
What Is BHRT?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a specific type of HRT that utilizes exogenous (from outside the body) hormones. The molecular structure of these hormones is identical to the structure of those produced by your body, hence the name “bioidentical.”
Hormones are responsible for regulating a wide range of biological processes. When your body lacks sufficient amounts of key hormones, these processes cannot be effectively carried out. A few processes that are regulated by hormones include sexual function, metabolism, sleep cycles, and mood.
The purpose of BHRT is to correct hormone imbalances by supplementing your natural hormone levels. The hormones delivered via BHRT will vary based on each patient’s needs. However, male patients typically experience deficiencies in the hormones testosterone and DHEA.
Conversely, female patients are more likely to experience an estrogen or progesterone deficiency.
BHRT vs. HRT
Both bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and HRT are designed to correct hormone imbalances. Each form of therapy is administered similarly. Common methods of administration include topical gels, patches, oral medications, and injections. BHRT is also available in the form of bioidentical hormone pellets.
The most notable difference between HRT and BHRT is how they are made. Standard HRT compounds are made from synthetic hormones and the urine of pregnant horses. Conversely, BHRT substances are produced from various plant sources, which yields compounds similar to those your body can make on its own.
Signs of a Hormone Imbalance
Since hormones play an important role in so many different biological processes, an imbalance can manifest in a variety of ways. If you are experiencing a hormone imbalance, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Development of skin tags
- Unusual distribution of body fat
- Hair loss
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
- Irregular cholesterol levels
- Weight gain
- Lean muscle loss
- Heartbeat irregularities
Female patients experiencing deficiencies in estrogen or progesterone might also have symptoms like infertility, irregular periods, hot flashes, excessive body hair, and heavy periods.
Potential Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may be able to reduce their severity. Some patients can eliminate these symptoms altogether by correcting hormonal imbalances.
The exact timetable of experiencing symptom improvements will vary from patient to patient. However, you will likely begin noticing symptom improvements a few weeks after beginning treatments.
The ALC Medspa staff will need to recheck your hormone levels approximately two to three months after you begin treatment. This secondary phase of testing allows our staff to determine whether your hormones have reached optimal levels. If your hormone levels are still low, our team will likely alter your dosage of exogenous hormones.
How Is BHRT Administered?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be administered in several different ways. The most common approach involves administering BHRT via injections. These injections may be performed either in-office or at your residence.
In recent years, another type of BHRT delivery method has become exceedingly popular. This alternative is known as bioidentical hormone pellets.
When administering bioidentical hormone pellets, your ALC Medspa care provider will numb the area using a local anesthetic. We will then make a small incision and gently insert the pellet. The incision site is then closed with a suture or skin glue. Bioidentical hormone pellets are typically inserted in the upper hip area.
Bioidentical hormone pellets last for several months. They release a steady supply of hormones into your body in order to correct your hormone imbalance.
Why Many Patients Prefer Bioidentical Hormone Pellets
Many patients prefer bioidentical hormone pellets over injections due to the convenience they offer. To receive hormone therapy via injection, you will visit our clinic at least once per week or self-administer the hormones at home every few days. Many patients prefer not to self-administer hormone therapy.
When receiving therapy via bioidentical hormone pellets, you will only need to undergo a treatment procedure two or three times per year. For the rest of the year, you can enjoy the benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy hassle-free.
Is BHRT Right for Me?
If you are experiencing any symptoms of a hormone imbalance, you may be a good candidate for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. However, you will need to undergo testing to verify that you are experiencing a hormone imbalance.
These tests will also reveal the severity of the imbalance so that our care team can create a customized treatment plan designed around your unique needs.
If you are located in or around Gurnee, IL, and would like to find out whether BHRT is right for you, it is time to connect with the ALC Medspa team. We will gladly schedule a consultation and help you make an informed treatment decision. Contact us today to get started.