Deciding on Bioidentical Hormones
All of us want to be fully informed when making health related decisions, and this is very important, especially when deciding on starting hormone replacement. You deserve for a medical expert to tell you what the best product is, how to take it, and explain how it is supplied and covered by your available resources. At your appointments, you will be guided and educated by Lauren Schweizer, ARNP to find an individualized hormone plan that best meets your needs because there are many different options and hormone replacement is not “one-size-fits-all”.
We understand that the information available to us regarding supplemental hormone therapy is complex and often confusing. There is not one superior product or hormone type and there is often conflicting messaging as to the pros and cons. We are all unique and come with different priorities and concerns, health histories, and available resources. A team effort to hormonal health is often the best approach. This means coming to your appointment with ideas and priorities. Answer the question, what is most important to you in regards to your overall hormone health? This is a great place to start the process, and makes our job easier.
So, whether you are needing help with bothersome PMS or irregular menstrual cycles, are having symptoms of peri-menopause or menopause, have concerns with Osteoporosis, or just want to optimize your hormonal or sexual health, the decision to supplement hormones and how best to accomplish this is a very individualized process that requires some time and even experimentation.
What’s up with Bioidenticals?
Bioidentical hormones are hormone supplements whose molecular structure is identical to the hormones we make naturally within our bodies. They are FDA approved and formulated from a natural plant base, usually wild yams and soybeans. Because they are the same as our natural hormones, they bind to the body’s receptor sites in a predictable way that can optimize effectiveness and minimize risks and side effects. In addition, they are often compounded individually based on a Health Provider’s orders by an expert Compounding Pharmacist, so they can be individually tailored to a client’s unique hormonal needs and in some cases daily doses can be adjusted to accommodate cyclical or fluctuating hormone needs. Because of these benefits, choosing this type of hormone supplementation makes a lot of sense to many women and NHH supports and encourages this option.
However, Bioidentical “compounded” hormones are not the only appropriate option. When making the decision to supplement hormones, there are many things to consider: personal preferences, access, financial resources to name a few. Currently, there are several products produced and marketed by major drug companies that do offer similar benefits and properties as bioidentical hormones. In some instances, even synthetics can prove to be a viable choice. Understanding these options and offering them to clients is also a part of this practice that I consider important when presenting the complete picture of options and considerations.