What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) are types of hormone therapy that are regaining popularity among women.
The therapy involves the use of hormones and when possible, structurally identical to the hormones produced by the human body, in order to alleviate symptoms of hormonal imbalance or deficiency.
The history of using more natural hormone replacement therapy for menopause dates back as early as the 1970’s where women began seeking more natural treatment options with the advice of naturopathic physicians and the earliest functional medicine doctors.
Perimenopause vs. Menopause
Hormone therapy is particularly relevant for women experiencing menopause or perimenopause. Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years and is marked as being one full year without having a menstrual cycle and is typically associated with a decline in estrogen levels.
Perimenopause, on the other hand, is the period of time leading up to menopause when a woman’s hormone levels begin to fluctuate and symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness may occur. Perimenopause can last anywhere from 6 months to 10 years or longer.
How to Alleviate Symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause
Hormone therapy seeks to restore hormone balance and alleviate symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. In the past, conventional hormone therapy, used synthetic hormones that are not identical to those produced by the human body.
We have many more suitable hormone treatment options that can be prescribed now, including hormones that are identical in structure to those produced by the body.
Natural Hormones vs. Synthetic Hormones
The more similar the prescriptions may be to what women’s body make, the fewer side effects we typically see.
Because these hormones are identical to those produced by the body, they may be better tolerated and less likely to cause adverse reactions. The prescriptions can also be catered to a patient’s bio-individual needs which may vary from one patient to the next.
What are the Risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy?
It is important to note that hormone replacement therapy is not without risks. These may increase the risk of certain health conditions, such as blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer.
The risks associated with the use of these hormones may depend on factors such as the type and dose of hormones used, as well as the individual patient’s medical history.
Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor on Hormone Replacement Therapy
Before starting hormone replacement therapy, it is important to speak with a Naturopathic Doctor to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the therapy, as well as any other treatment options that may be available.
Naturopathic Doctors are experts in providing safe and natural treatment options that could also be used in place of hormone replacement therapy depending on the symptoms and the patient’s goals.
Hormone replacement therapy may not be appropriate for all women, and it is important to weigh the potential benefits and risks with your health care provider before making a decision.
Hormone replacement therapy may restore hormone balance and alleviate symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. Naturopathic physicians are licensed and regulated to safely prescribe these medications in the province of British Columbia. Talk to the Naturopathic Doctors at Arbour Wellness Centre and stop suffering with your symptoms.