Bioidentical hormones, though made in a lab, are identical in structure to the hormones produced in the human body. They are manufactured from plant extracts, usually from yams or soy.
This form of therapy is becoming an increasingly popular way of treating imbalances of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone hormones that can occur in females. When introduced into the body, they supplement natural hormones, effectively stabilizing hormone levels. This method of treatment has the desired effect of alleviating the uncomfortable symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
However, despite its popularity, there have been a number of costs and health risks associated with estrogen bioidentical hormone therapy. Research is still being conducted to ascertain all of the possible risks that taking bioidentical hormones may pose to one's health, but it is thought that the risks are similar to those of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Estrogen imbalance is one of the more common forms of hormonal imbalance. It is common for estrogen levels to fluctuate, particularly in menopausal women, and the effects of estrogen imbalance can often be felt acutely. Though bioidentical hormone therapy may be appealing as a solution to the problem of hormonal imbalance, there are numerous potential side effects that may result. Read on to learn more about the potential risks and side effects of bioidentical hormone therapy for estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone imbalances.
Serious Costs of Estrogen Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Some of the side effects of bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy can be severe, and disruptive to your daily life. These include:
- Breakthrough bleeding and spotting
- Breast enlargement, milk production and unusual discharge
- Chest, leg, arm, or groin pain
- Nausea, vomiting
- Severe migraines and headaches
- Severe abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling or rapid weight gain
- Vision or speech problems
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
Mild Costs of Estrogen Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Less severe side effects of this form of treatment include:
- Decrease in sexual desire
- Mildly upset stomach
- Mood swings, anxiety, frustration
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Skin rash or acne
- Constant tiredness
- Vaginal yeast infection
Estrogen Bioidentical Hormone Therapy and Other Medications
Estrogen bioidentical hormone therapy can have undesirable effects if used in conjunction with other medications. The following medications are known to negatively interact with this type of treatment:
- Antibiotics used to treat infections
- Medications used to treat HIV
- Ascorbic acid and vitamin C supplements
- Barbiturates used for treating seizures
- Medications for diabetes
- Medications for treating migraines
- Thyroid hormones
It is important to be aware of all the costs and benefits of bioidentical hormones, and any other treatments that you might be considering, before embarking on a course of treatment. If bioidentical hormones are not for you, and you deem the risks and costs too great, there are other options you may wish to pursue. Alternatives to estrogen bioidentical hormone therapy include lifestyle changes to combat symptoms of hormonal imbalance, herbal remedies, or HRT. To find out more about alternative solutions for treating hormone imbalance, click on the link below.