Our bodies coordinate a sprawling web of interconnected bodily functions through the use of hormones. The influence of these essential substances can be seen in areas including metabolic activity, neurological function, reproduction, and much more. It is important to maintain appropriate hormone levels and activity as a deficiency or malfunction can significantly disrupt bodily function and impede wellness.
Many people unwittingly suffer from hormonal issues that contribute to serious conditions such as depression, heart disease, and PMS. These and other common conditions may be prevented or resolved by improving hormone levels through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
What is BHRT?
Hormone replacement therapy is a common practice that involves supplying the body with specific hormones in order to resolve imbalances or deficiencies. By restoring hormone balance through hormone therapy, the various systems of the body work more harmoniously and efficiently. However, it is important to be aware of the two types of hormone replacement therapy and their distinct differences.
Traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) employs synthetic hormones which mimic those produced by humans and have been shown to have a negative impact on health. Those who remain on synthetic hormone treatments for an extended period have a greater risk of major health issues. Alternatively, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) utilizes natural hormones that are structurally identical to those found in the human body. BHRT provides many long-term benefits and may also be used to treat a variety of conditions without fear of major side effects and increased risk of future conditions.
The Influence of Hormones on Common Health Conditions
Resolving hormone imbalances and dysfunction through the use of BHRT can have a positive impact on many conditions. Hormones interact with virtually every bodily region. As such, BHRT can positively influence many systems and alleviate difficult to treat disorders. Below is a small selection of the many conditions that may be improved through treatment with BHRT.
Achieving better balance of mood-influencing hormones is made possible through BHRT. Depression is an increasingly common condition that, according to the World Health Organization, is experienced by over 300 million people worldwide on an annual basis. There are multiple factors that can contribute to depression, one of which being an underlying hormonal imbalance. Perhaps the most influential hormones regarding the occurrence of depression are thyroid hormones, cortisol, and the sex hormones testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. Recent research shows that by restoring these and other hormones to the appropriate level is greatly beneficial in treating depression and reducing depressive symptoms.
Optimizing hormone levels through BHRT may provide great benefits regarding heart health. Multiple hormones play a significant role in heart function. Of particular importance is testosterone. Levels of testosterone decline with age. It is estimated that by the age of 70, most men will have only 25 percent of the recommended level of testosterone. This is concerning as even minor deficiency of testosterone is associated with greater risk of cardiac disease. Fortunately, multiple studies have shown that restoring testosterone levels through appropriate hormone therapies can reduce the risk of cardiac episodes.
Normalizing hormones that influence neurological activity can significantly improve ADD/ADHD symptoms and the efficacy of treatments. Although the cause of attention disorders such as ADD/ADHD is not entirely understood, studies suggest that hormone deficiency and malfunction play an important role in their development. Hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone greatly influence mood, focus, and cognition. These are areas of major importance among those with attention disorders.
Hormones have powerful influence in regions relating to neurological function, which may explain why ADD/ADHD are exceptionally common during times of hormonal disruption such as puberty, childbearing years, and menopause/perimenopause. Hormonal imbalances and symptoms of ADD/ADHD caused by these events may be eased or resolved entirely through BHRT.
Many individuals experience a loss of libido after a certain age. Most incorrectly accept this as a normal part of getting older and do not realize that normalizing hormone levels through BHRT may actually resolve reduced sex drive. As you would expect, the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen play an important role in sexual development, function, and drive. Among both men and women, a reduction in sex hormones is a significant contributor to sexual dysfunction. It is estimated that about 70 percent of low libido cases are caused by hormonal dysfunction or deficiency. Currently, the safest and most effective method of resolving such issues is through appropriate treatment with BHRT.
PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
PMS is most often experienced by younger women who are entering their childbearing years. During this time, hormone levels can shift erratically resulting in emotional changes, weight fluctuations, cognitive difficulties, and uncomfortable physical symptoms. A primary factor of these symptoms is an imbalance of progesterone and estrogen. Correcting the ratio of these two important hormones through BHRT can significantly reduce symptom intensity.
Perimenopause and Menopause
During a certain point in the aging process, women can begin to go through perimenopause and ultimately menopause. During this time, hormones begin to shift dramatically. Specifically, perimenopause and menopause cause estrogen levels to alternate erratically between low and high. This brings with it many symptoms and discomforts that may decrease wellness and interrupt your daily activities. Using BHRT to normalize levels of specific hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can provide notable relief for those going through perimenopause and menopause.
Restoring Balance with BHRT
Hormones play an integral role in wellness and their influence can be seen in many different areas. Because of this, hormonal imbalances and dysfunction can lead to serious health issues. Fortunately, many forms of hormone disruption may be resolved through the use of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Appropriate use of BHRT may prevent or alleviate major health issues including heart disease, mood disorders, and sexual dysfunction. If you are suffering from a hormone-related condition, consider using BHRT.
1. Kent Holtorf, MD. “Low Testosterone and Longevity.” https://www.holtorfmed.com/download/testosterone/Low_Testosterone_and_Longevity.pdf
2. Kent Holtorf, MD. “The Bioidentical Hormone Debate: Are Bioidentical Hormones (Estradiol, Estriol, and Progesterone) Safer or More Efficacious than Commonly Used Synthetic Versions in Hormone Replacement Therapy?” Postgraduate Medicine, Volume 121, 2009 – Issue 1.
3. Kent Holtorf, MD. “Natural (Bio-identical) vs. Synthetic HRT.” https://www.holtorfmed.com/download/natural-hormone-replacement/Natural_vs_Synthetic_HRT_Literature_Review.pdf
4. Martel, Michelle M et al. “Potential hormonal mechanisms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and major depressive disorder: a new perspective.”Hormones and behavior vol. 55,4 (2009): 465-79.
5. WebMD Staff. “The Link Between Hormones and ADHD.”https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/hormones-adhd-connection
6. Krajerska-Kulak, Sengupta P. “Thyroid Function in Male Infertility.”Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2013; 4:174.