Hormone Replacement Therapy

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A brief history

As far back as 2000 years ago, Chinese alchemists were extracting human urine precipitate, mixing it with herbs and spices, and prescribing it to the wealthy interested in life longevity. Urine from healthy teenagers was especially valued because it was considered rich in sex hormones.

FDA approved Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for treatment of menopausal symptoms, in 1940, after which numerous clinical studies were conducted both supporting and opposing this treatment approach.

With BHRT as an option, things have rapidly changed and many women suffering from age transition symptoms have found relief and improved quality of life.

What does BHRT mean?

A common misconception is that bio-identical are natural hormones, whereas regular synthesized hormones are not. To clarify, both are isolated from natural sources, bio-identical from plants (wild yam and soya), regular hormone replacement from pregnant mares’ urine. Very important difference comes with the word bio-identical which means life-identical, chemically identical or exactly the same as human progesterone, estrogen. What this infers to is that they bind the receptors with the exact same capacity as human hormones and our body recognizes them as our own. On the other hand, the synthesized hormones are usually pro-drugs, which means they would need to be metabolized in liver in order to become active. That may increase the possibility for drug-drug, drug-food interactions therefore increase incidence for side effects and safety concerns. In addition, they may stimulate the hormone receptors differently from our body’s hormones.

Why is compounding pharmacy your solution for BHRT?

Everyone differs in the doses of medications required, in particular with delicate chemicals such as hormones. By compounding medications, we could tailor every preparation to individual’s specific needs. This is accomplished by having an individual approach to patient’s symptoms, exact hormonal status as a diagnostic parameter, administration route comfort, sensitivity, allergy diversity and much more. The logic behind the HRT is to balance the hormonal status, restore what is depleted and not to overload on what is already abundant. The only way to accomplish this is by looking at you as an individual, with all the unique characteristics that make you what you are.

In addition, the absorption of hormones is better through skin, rather than from oral administration of tablets, and administering them as a cream with a precise dose may be a better solution. Other options are available (e.g. troches, suppositories, injections) depending on your preference and unique medical needs.

One thing is certain, with compounding these preparations we can have the most customized approach possible, and with the knowledgeable health professional beside you, the path to balanced and healthy life may be much easier to follow.

What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance?

High progesterone:

  • Depression
  • Somnolence
  • Sleepiness

Low progesterone:

  • Swollen Breasts
  • Headache
  • Low Libido
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Depression
  • Food Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Acne
  • Insomnia
  • Cramps
  • Emotional Swings
  • Painful Breasts
  • Weight Gain
  • Early Menstruation
  • Bloating
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Painful Joints
  • Asthma

High estrogen:

  • Water Retention
  • Fatigue
  • Breast Swelling
  • Fibrocystic Breasts
  • Premenstrual-like mood swings
  • Weight Gain
  • Loss of Sex Drive
  • Heavy or irregular menses
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Craving for Sweets

Low estrogen:

  • Hot Flashes
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Night Sweats
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Dry Skin
  • Anxiety
  • Mood Swings
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Memory Loss
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Yeast Infections
  • Vaginal Shrinkage
  • Painful Intercourse
  • Inability to reach orgasm
  • Lack of Menstruation

Hormone replacement therapy common dosage forms

  • Capsules
  • Injections
  • Sublingual drops or troches
  • Suppositories
  • Topical or vaginal creams, gels, foams, vaginal inserts

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