Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement for Women

Hormone replacement therapies can be a godsend to women suffering from the symptoms of menopause. Recently, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy has been thrust into the limelight as an alternative to synthetic therapies. This raises many questions – and one question always seems to be at the forefront: are bio-identical hormones really better than synthetic? The answer is a resounding yes.

Bio-identical hormones are taken from plant sources such as wild yam and soybeans, then altered in a lab until they are molecularly identical to the hormones that women naturally produce. Since they're just like the hormones found in the body, they are metabolized much more easily, thereby minimizing unwanted side effects. Synthetic hormones are not identical to those found naturally; drug companies cannot patent a bio-identical structure, so they intentionally made synthetic hormones different enough to be able to patent. Some of the side effects of synthetic hormones can include depression, fluid retention, vaginal bleeding, dizziness, and nausea – which makes little sense when you're trying to alleviate symptoms in the first place!

Another advantage is that bio-identical hormones can be given in custom-mixed doses to better target a specific problem, matched to each woman's individual needs rather than the “one size fits all” approach taken by traditional synthetic hormone replacement therapies.

Many women can effectively manage hormone imbalances through lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, high-grade nutritional supplementation, and gentle exercise. But if they still need help resetting the delicate hormonal balance, bio-identical hormones are a decidedly safer choice.


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