What Are Bio-identical Hormones?
Bio-identical hormones are substances that have the same molecular structure as the hormones our bodies naturally produce, which means they can play an important role during the middle years when the body produces lower levels of the hormones that can help us maintain good health.
Hormones and health
Hormones play an important role in our lives and in our health, regulating many vital processes. But as we age, the body’s production of some hormones declines, often resulting in an elevated risk of specific types of diseases or medical conditions.
For instance, during the middle years, many women experience sharp declines in natural production of the primary sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. This decline in production has been associated with several health risks, including heart disease, certain types of cancer, and osteoporosis.
Hormone replacement therapy enables women to supplement their natural hormone production. But supplementation with non-bio-identical hormones has been linked with significant side effects, including increases in cancer, stroke and heart attack risk. That’s because the body processes non-bio-identical hormones differently than natural hormones, leaving some residues that can cause serious health risks.
Bio-identical: A better choice
Bio-identical hormones have the same molecular structure as the natural hormones our bodies produce, which means the body is able to process, utilize and eliminate or excrete them in the same way.
In fact, current studies suggest that unlike non-bio-identical forms of progesterone, which have been linked with increases in breast cancer risk, the bio-identical form of progesterone is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer.
In addition, bio-identical progesterone has been linked with improved cardiovascular health, including a lower risk of atherosclerosis (“hardening” of the arteries) and blood clots, which can cause stroke. In addition, it seems to promote healthy levels of HDL, the so-called “good cholesterol.”
Likewise, although non-bio-identical estrogen has been shown to increase a woman’s risk of uterine cancer, the bio-identical form, topical estriol, does not. Studies also suggest that topical estriol doesn’t increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, making it a safer alternative to non-bio-identical estrogen. Estriol has also been shown to improve bone density, enhance sexual health, promote more youthful skin, and help ensure good urinary tract health.
Both bio-identical progesterone and bio-identical estrogen have been shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, sleeplessness and other symptoms.
Replacing lost hormones can provide significant benefits for women as they age, and you don’t need to be having menopause symptoms to experience the anti-aging benefits of bio-identical hormone therapy. To learn more about bio-identical hormones and how they could help you, schedule an appointment with the Waller Wellness Center today.