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Bio-Identical Estrogen Replacement Hormone Therapy

 

As a woman ages, she undergoes hormonal changes that can create a range of symptoms. The ovaries, which produce estrogen and progesterone, begin to shrink just a few years before menopause sets in. Menopause can occur anywhere between the ages of 40 and 58. The symptoms associated with menopause can vary from woman to woman, as there can be a range of different experiences that can be shared, some similar and some different. With the ovaries naturally decreasing their amount of estrogen output due to their shrinking, hormonal replacement therapy can be an effective turn-to aid to help keep a steady estrogen level in the body.

 

Bio-Identical Estrogen Replacement Hormone Therapy (BHRT) is one alternative to help for not just menopause, but also peri-menopause (the phase before menopause) and Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS). BHRT utilizes extracts from natural sources to create “bio-identical” hormones that are similar to the hormones that a human body makes, this holds true for insulin products for diabetic patients also, which can be classified as bio-identical.

 

All BHRT therapy must be tailored to meet each woman’s estrogen level needs to keep a healthy, steady balance. Commercially available products that can be bought through a prescription only come produced in a limited number of strengths, with patients having to cater to these manufacturing companies. By settling for one of these manufactured medicines, the patient can experience side-effects due to too much or too little of estrogen. Luckily, there are pharmacies that specialize in compounding estrogen medicines that cater to the patient’s estrogen level, forgoing any unnecessary side-effects and giving the patient the exact amount of estrogen her body needs.

 

Estrogen products come in many different ways such as capsule, patch, gel, or vaginal ring. It is up to you and your physician to decide, not only the correct amount of estrogen to take, but the best way to take it. There are lifestyle changes that you can incorporate that will decrease your symptoms, such as exercise/weight-loss and diet changes. There are also over-the-counter herbal products you can take advertised for use in menopause, consult your pharmacist or physician for more information on these herbal products.

 

Menopausal symptoms that can occur:

 

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Changes in sleeping pattern and insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings, such as irritability
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Urinating frequently
  • Diminished sex drive
  • Headaches
  • At increased risk for Osteoporosis

 

 

References:

National Institue of Health. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. No. 05-5200. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. June 2005. Web. 8 July 2012

Pavlic, Brenda. Bio-Identical HRT-Balancing Hormones Naturally. Saveway Pharmacy. Web. 5 July 2012

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