What is Hormone Replacement Therapy? • Holtorf Medical Group
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What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Hormones are essential substances that act as the body’s primary mode of internal communication. These naturally occurring chemicals convey information between systems, trigger activity, and regulate numerous functions. Metabolism, physical attraction, and mood are just a small sampling of the areas influenced by hormones. Sadly, many unknowingly live with a hormone condition or hormone imbalance that has a negative impact on their wellness.

Fortunately, through the use of effective hormone replacement therapies you can restore hormone balance and support better bodily function.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Basics

It is common for those suffering from hormone-related conditions such as thyroid disease, adrenal fatigue, and menopause to undergo hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement involves providing specific hormones in the form of a pill, cream, patch or otherwise, to help normalize bodily function or alleviate a hormonal deficit. The goal of hormone replacement therapy is to achieve optimal hormone balance.

There are two distinct approaches to hormone replacement therapy; one using synthetic hormones and the other utilizing bioidentical hormones.

Traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) employs synthetic or man-made hormones that mimic those naturally produced by the body. These imitations are patent-able products because they do not have identical molecular structure to those found in humans. Because of this, pharmaceutical companies are able to create and promote their own product to be used for HRT.

Unfortunately, synthetic hormones come with a variety of drawbacks. Extended periods of hormone therapy using synthetic hormones is associated with greater risk of blood clots, stroke, heart disease, breast and ovarian cancers, and dementia. Because of this, most doctors recommend patients remain on HRT for as short a time as possible. However, drug companies often pressure doctors to prescribe their product despite the potential risk and drawbacks of synthetic hormones.

The safer and more effective alternative to synthetic HRT is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). The hormones used in BHRT are sourced from natural organisms, oftentimes plants, and are structurally identical to those produced by humans. Unlike treatment with synthetic hormones, remaining on BHRT is associated with long term benefits including improved bone density, cardiovascular protection, neurological fortification, and a reduced risk of various cancers, heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Additionally, hormones used in BHRT are produced by compounding pharmacies. Compounding allows for greater customization and individually optimized treatment of patients. This quality of BHRT is part of why it is so effective at resolving hormone imbalances and dysfunctions among a diverse patient population.

Is Hormone Replacement Right for You?

Hormonal issues, imbalances, and disorders are increasingly common. Because of this, a greater number of patients are receiving aid in the form of hormone replacement therapy. Sadly, many patients who are treated with traditional HRT using synthetic hormones are not getting the outcome they expect. Those who are dissatisfied with HRT may find that BHRT provides notable improvements without the risk of greater dysfunction associated with synthetic hormone treatment. If you are suffering from hormone imbalances and disease or are dissatisfied with the outcomes of your current treatment, speak with your doctor about pursuing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.


1. 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.

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy? was last modified: December 4th, 2018 by Holtorf Medical Group

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