Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and hormone replacement therapy are two ways of addressing imbalances that occur in the body's natural hormone levels. In the body, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are responsible for instigating changes, and maintaining health, in the female reproductive system. At certain times, the body may experience hormonal imbalance, in which the levels of these hormones may be too high or low. This provokes uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches, fatigue, and mood swings. Read on to learn more about bioidentical hormones and HRT.
What Are Bioidentical Hormones?
HRT involves introducing external, synthetic hormones into the body, to stabilize its natural levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
What Is HRT?
Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are produced in a laboratory, from chemical extracts from yam and soy beans. They are then introduced into the body to supplement low levels of its natural hormones.
Bioidentical hormones and HRT are used to prevent hormone imbalance and its effects. However, both have been associated with uncomfortable and potentially dangerous risks and side effects. Read on to learn more about whether bioidentical hormones are safer than HRT.
Side Effects of Bioidentical Hormones
There are a number of side effects that have been identified as a result of bioidentical hormones. These include:
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Breakthrough bleeding
- Breast enlargement
- Chest, leg, or arm pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid weight gain
Side Effects of HRT
- Tender breasts
- Water retention
- Weight gain
- Heavier periods
Risks Associated with Bioidentical Hormones
The following risks are currently linked with bioidentical hormone therapy, although more studies need to be done to determine how severe these risks are:
- Blood clots
- Heart attack
- Increased triglycerides
Risks Associated with HRT
It is thought that HRT increases the risk of:
- Blood Clots
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Both methods of treating hormone imbalance are associated with considerable risks and side effects. Bioidentical hormones may appear to be the safer option, as less is known about them, and studies are still being done to ascertain the degree of risk. It is thought that bioidentical hormones are no safer than HRT.
While HRT and bioidentical hormone therapy may be appropriate solutions for severe cases of hormone imbalance, there are other, less drastic, options available. Click on the link below for more information on bioidentical hormones, and other available treatments.