The Wellness Revolution
Managing Menopause and Hormonal Imbalances Naturally: Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been around for decades, but did you know there is an alternative to conventional HRT referred to as Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) that is just as effective, naturally sourced, and well researched? BHRT may be your answer to managing those uncontrollable hot flashes, mood swings, or irregular cycles.
What exactly is BHRT?
Bio-identical hormones are natural compounds derived from plant sources, typically yams and/or soy. These hormones are structurally similar to the hormones our bodies produce, meaning they are easily recognized by our body and utilized. Hormones are one way our bodies send messages to organ systems and tissues; they play a key role in our overall health and well-being. When these hormones become unbalanced it can leave you feeling tired, irritable, depressed, and anxious among other symptoms. Longer term hormonal imbalances can even lead to chronic health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, or cognitive dysfunction.
When should you consider using BHRT?
BHRT can be helpful in women with hormonal imbalances due to a variety of conditions or concerns such as:
- Symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes and night sweats
- Mood disorders
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Dysfunctional sleep due to peri- and post-menopause
- Vaginal dryness
- Low libido
- Cognitive decline
However, BHRT isn’t necessarily the first treatment option, it is important to get the appropriate assessment and testing completed by a qualified practitioner. A thorough investigation of your personal health history, family history, and lab testing is used to determine if bioidentical hormone replacement is right for you. Once a BHRT prescription is started, follow up assessments including blood work are scheduled every 6 months to ensure dosage is correct.
Is BHRT safe?
Hormone replacement has advanced a lot over the years. New research has shown the bioidentical form of the hormones, compared to the conventional synthetic versions, to be associated with lower risks of breast cancer and cardiovascular issues compared to standard HRT. Furthermore, BHRT uses a combination of progesterone and estrogen creams or suppositories, estrogen is never used on its own, as unopposed estrogen can have higher health risks.
Interested in learning more about BHRT or having a hormonal assessment? Contact our naturopathic doctors by visiting our website www.yourhealthcollective.ca.
Yours in health,
Dr. Kate Klein, ND
About the Author
Dr. Kate Klein is a licensed naturopathic doctor and clinic director at Your Health Collective, an integrative wellness clinic located in the heart of Ajax. Dr. Klein and her team offer services including, naturopathic medicine, holistic nutrition, acupuncture, osteopathy, and psychotherapy to patients of all ages. Practitioners at Your Health Collective provide a collaborative approach to patient care through a variety of natural treatments and solutions for health concerns ranging from disordered sleep, allergies, fertility, headaches, digestive concerns, and much more. We believe that health is more than just the absence of disease; health is when we function at our best through proper nutrition, exercise, a balanced lifestyle, positive emotions, thoughts and actions. For more information about Dr. Klein, naturopathic medicine, or our clinic please visit: www.yourhealthcollective.ca