Unlocking the Benefits of BHRT: Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: June 23, 2023

Most adults experience changes in their hormones as they enter middle age, and the resulting imbalances often cause unpleasant symptoms that can interfere significantly with daily life. 

Because we tend to associate these symptoms with age, there’s a common misconception that nothing can be done to treat them. But this is very much not the case! There is so much we can do to manage our hormones, including bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) which allows us to naturally restore balance in the body and support healthy aging.

What causes the hormonal imbalance? 

For both males and females, it is typical for hormone levels to drop significantly in middle age, leading to a range of symptoms that can impact quality of life and contribute to compounding health problems.  

In addition to these age-related changes, hormonal imbalances can be caused by several other lifestyle factors, including stress, poor nutrition, and illness, such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders that damage key hormone-producing organs like the thyroid or adrenal glands.

What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance?

There’s a reason that so much of my practice centers around hormonal balance: our hormones are involved in all aspects of our health and are responsible for many of our body’s most essential processes. 

They are responsible for maintaining homeostasis (a state of balance among all body systems); controlling growth and development; facilitating reproduction; producing, storing, and utilizing energy; and managing mood and behavior. So naturally, when they become out of balance, a wide range of symptoms can result. 

These are some of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance I see in my clinic:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Skin problems like acne, itchy skin, dry skin and wrinkles
  • Weak bones and joint pain
  • Anxiety, irritability, and mood swings
  • Low libido 
  • Heavy periods
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches or weakness
  • Sweating, sensitivity to cold or heat
  • Increased thirst or hunger
  • Constipation
  • Thinning hair

You don’t have to live with the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Schedule a consultation with me to get started on a hormone balancing treatment designed just for you.

Book Now

What happens when a woman’s hormones are out of balance?

Hormone imbalance is most common among women in their 40s and 50s during perimenopause and menopause when women’s hormones—primarily estrogen and progesterone—begin to fluctuate and decrease. Some of the most common symptoms women experience during these transitions include hot flashes, sleep troubles, and mood changes. However, a number of other symptoms and complications, such as osteoporosis, can result as well.

bioidentical hormone replacement therapy,
a girl seeing the sunset sitting on mountain

What happens when a man’s hormones are out of balance?

Often referred to as “male menopause,” andropause refers to the decline of hormones—particularly testosterone, DHEA, and thyroid hormones—that often occurs in men between 40 and 70 years old. Hormonal imbalance in men is often overlooked, but its impact can be huge. It’s typical for these hormone levels to decrease as much as 60 percent—a decrease that can cause depression, low sex drive, fatigue, irritability, loss of muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, and more.

bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, a man walking in the forest

How can you fix a hormonal imbalance?

You may have been led to believe that if you can’t restore hormonal balance through lifestyle changes, there’s nothing more you can do. But this is not true. Hormonal imbalances can be treated using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, a natural approach to hormone therapy. 

BHRT is very different from the non-bioidentical hormone replacement therapy that has been used for decades. This is because bioidentical hormone replacement therapy uses hormones that are chemically identical to those naturally produced by our bodies. As a result, this preferred form of HRT restores balance with a much lower risk of rejection, side effects, or other health complications.

Ebook Cover

Enjoying this article?
Subscribe + don’t miss the next one!

We’ll also send you our e-book: Live Younger 25 Ways to Age Gracefully—Starting Now.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What are bioidentical hormones?

Bioidentical hormones are identical in molecular structure to the hormones naturally produced by our bodies. This means that your system can’t tell the difference between BHRT hormones and your own, and that you can reap the benefits of higher hormone levels quickly and safely.

Who should get hormone replacement therapy?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be highly customized to treat a wide range of health conditions and symptoms. BHRT is often a good option for patients experiencing symptoms associated with menopause or andropause, as well as patients facing chronic conditions, like adrenal fatigue and thyroid disorders. At my clinic, where I specialize in complex chronic disorders, BHRT has proven a safe and highly effective treatment option for many of my patients.

It’s important to note that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is one of multiple natural approaches to treating hormone-related symptoms and that it should only be considered after consulting with a qualified healthcare provider who can develop a safe and comprehensive treatment option.

Are you curious if BHRT could be right for you? Book an appointment with me, and I’ll help you determine the best approach to restoring hormonal balance and recovering optimal wellness.

Book Now

How does hormone replacement therapy work?

Because bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a means of replenishing low-level hormones, this treatment should always be preceded by comprehensive hormone testing to see if hormonal deficiencies could in fact be the cause of your symptoms. 

There are a few options for hormone testing including dried urine, blood serum, and saliva tests. The most accurate of these is saliva testing, which can assess a broad spectrum of hormones, including bioavailable hormones and hormone metabolites, for an accurate read even at very low levels. This is crucial to safe hormone therapy management, which is why saliva testing is the most common method I recommend to patients.

At my clinic, I use ZRT saliva testing, which is not only highly advanced and widely accepted, but also noninvasive and convenient, allowing at-home sample collection.

Once we’ve identified your hormonal deficiencies, I prescribe a tailored compound of bioidentical hormones—most commonly comprising testosterone, progesterone, estrogens, and/or DHEA

An individualized approach is crucial for safe and effective bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. For this reason, the frequency and method of hormone administration varies, but some common BHRT regimens among my patients include:

  • Testosterone injections once per week or topical testosterone applications once per day for men
  • Testosterone cream, progesterone cream, or progesterone capsules daily for women
  • Estrogen patches twice per week for women

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is most effective when integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan that involves supplementation and lifestyle modifications.

What are the benefits of hormone replacement therapy?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is one of the most effective natural treatments for symptoms of menopause, andropause, thyroid disorders, and adrenal fatigue, among other conditions. In addition to targeting specific symptoms, BHRT can improve a person’s overall health and wellbeing, as well as offer numerous other health benefits, such as:

Cardiovascular Protection: Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has been shown to have a protective effect against cardiovascular disease in females by improving blood flow and reducing atherosclerosis (excess plaque in the arteries).

Bone Health: Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has been found to help maintain bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis that increases significantly with menopause.

Improved Sexual Health: BHRT can support sexual health in a number of ways, improving  sexual function, boosting libido, and enhancing sexual pleasure. 

Ebook Cover

Enjoying this article?
Subscribe + don’t miss the next one!

We’ll also send you our e-book: Live Younger 25 Ways to Age Gracefully—Starting Now.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, Woman hold hand to show support for each other

Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Clarity: The fatigue and mood problems associated with hormonal imbalances can lead to mental fog and memory issues. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy not only addresses these issues, but can restore chemical balance in the brain directly, to improve both mental wellbeing and cognitive function.

Improved Skin Health: Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone each play a role in maintaining healthy skin; by ensuring sufficient levels of these hormones, BHRT can support healthy, hydrated, youthful skin.

bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
, a smiling woman in white dress

Will I lose weight on BHRT?

One common symptom of thyroid dysregulation and the resulting hormonal imbalances is weight gain. While bioidentical hormone replacement therapy will not cause weight loss directly, by restoring balance of the thyroid hormones, BHRT can make weight management easier and more sustainable.

Is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy safe?

Unless your doctor has been specifically trained in bioidentical hormones, it is likely that they are largely unfamiliar with proper treatment methods for hormone replacement therapy. For this reason, I urge you to be informed about hormone replacement therapy and to choose a provider who is well trained in the most advanced techniques in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. 

What are bioidentical hormone replacement therapy side effects?

Because bioidentical hormone replacement therapy involves changes in your hormone levels, it is possible that side effects will result. However, these are usually mild and outweighed by the benefits of therapy. When done properly, BHRT is closely monitored and adjusted as needed, which means that if treatment is not providing you with the desired effect, it can be adjusted for better results. 

What are some other ways to improve hormonal imbalance?

It’s crucial that patients understand that treating hormone-related symptoms is about treating the root cause of hormonal imbalance. While bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be the best way to do so, I always recommend that patients begin with a series of guided lifestyle modifications to treat the underlying issue. Some of the most important factors in maintaining hormonal balance include:

Regular exercise, which can help maintain healthy hormone levels by reducing insulin resistance, decreasing inflammation, and promoting healthy weight management. 

A stable, healthy weight can also contribute to balanced hormones, as excess body fat can lead to increased estrogen levels. 

Stress reduction is essential to lowering levels of cortisol, a hormone which can, in excess, cause a number of health issues like sleep disruption, weight gain, and depression. 

Good quality sleep itself is important for regulating hormones, because sleep is the time when our bodies produce and release certain hormones. 

A hormone balancing diet, which focuses on whole foods, healthy proteins, and vegetables and avoids sugary and processed foods, can also support hormone balance. I want to emphasize that eating a hormone balancing diet does not mean relying on a few hormone balancing superfoods, but consistently maintaining a supportive diet.

black grapes held in the palm

Targeted hormone balancing supplements based on lab testing and managed by a certified functional or integrative medicine physician can help to address specific imbalances and optimize overall hormonal health.

If you are struggling with symptoms of hormonal imbalance, you do not have to simply live with them. Between guided lifestyle modifications and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, I can help you restore hormonal balance, enhance your energy levels, and improve your overall health and wellbeing for a healthy, vibrant life. 

I specialize in working with chronic, complex health conditions, so whether you’re experiencing age-related hormonal changes or seeking the source of unidentified symptoms, I can tailor a treatment to get you back on track. 

If you are interested in learning more about BHRT or other paths to hormone balance, schedule a consultation with me today

Ebook Cover

Enjoying this article?
Subscribe + don’t miss the next one!

We’ll also send you our e-book: Live Younger 25 Ways to Age Gracefully—Starting Now.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Hit enter to search or ESC to close