Hormones control almost every bodily function, says Marla Ahlgrimm. These chemicals work to ensure proper communication between the cells. Hormones direct everything from libido to immune function. Bioidentical hormones are often prescribed to treat hormone imbalance.
Q: What are bioidentical hormones?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Bioidentical hormones are those made to exactly mimic human hormones. They are typically made from plant hormones, which are surprisingly identical to that of humans. Bioidentical hormones are available in a number of delivery devices including creams, injections, patches, tablets, and suppositories.
Q: Where do women obtain bioidentical hormones?
Marla Ahlgrimm: There are many generic formulations available at retail pharmacies via prescription. These are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies. However, women in need of a custom approach may opt for a compounded variety, which is mixed at a pharmacy based on her doctor’s orders. Compounding provides a tailored solution for women suffering with hormone issues, including PMS, PMDD, and menopause.
Q: What is the difference between traditional and bioidentical hormones?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Bioidentical hormones, as mentioned above, are chemically the same as those already found in the body. They can serve as a replacement when the body quits making necessary hormones. In addition to plant extracts, many products used in hormone replacement therapy are derived from chemicals found in the urine of pregnant horses.
Q: What are some issues that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can ease?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Bioidentical hormone replacement is an option for women suffering with mood changes, night sweats, hot flashes, and insomnia. There is some evidence that it may also help with skin conditions, such as waning elasticity. Hormone replacement therapy does not “fix” a problem. Instead, it is simply a way for women experiencing hormonal fluctuations to level things out, so to speak. In doing so, these women may experience a restored quality of life and improved overall well-being.