Written by Kate Roth, FNP-C, MS, APRN
Hormones are chemical messengers that affect the function of virtually every cell in the body. Brain, heart, bone, muscle, and reproductive organ function, in addition to the metabolic activity of the pancreas and thyroid gland, are largely controlled by hormones. When in balance, hormones are our friends. Imbalance, however, makes hormones seem less friendly to the body and mind.
Hormone balance is negatively affected by stress, poor nutrition, inadequate sleep, sedentary lifestyle, and synthetic medications. Normal life processes such as menopause and andropause, also known as “Low T”, are major causes of hormone imbalance.
For several decades, highly skilled and specially trained medical professionals have used Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) to alleviate the symptoms of menopause and to help people achieve optimal hormone performance. BHRT is adding plant-derived hormones to the body. Bio-identical hormones behave exactly like the hormones humans naturally produce, and they are scientifically indistinguishable from human hormones.
Bio-identical hormones are given orally, topically, or by placing time-release hormone pellets right beneath the skin. When prescribed correctly, symptoms diminish and overall wellness improves because the protective benefits of hormone balance are strengthened. Some of the most common life-changing benefits of BHRT in patients include: increased energy, libido, mental clarity, muscle contractility, and bone preservation.
For many years, though, skeptics have questioned the effectiveness and safety of BHRT due to a lack of research. However, as the result of the demonstrated effectiveness and low-risk profiles among appropriate candidates in the past few years, this skepticism has subsided. In order to officially compare the risks and benefits between synthetic and non-synthetic hormones, a large number of studies will need to be conducted.
As with any medical treatment, making informed decisions is encouraged. One size does not fit all. Risks associated with any hormonal product aren’t simply related to how the hormone is made or delivered; associated risks really depend on individual and family history in addition to one’s current state of health. If you are considering BHRT, find a clinician with considerable expertise. Patients should complete a thorough health history, consultation, examination and lab work prior to deciding whether hormone replacement therapy is right for them. Significant benefits versus potential risks will be addressed on an individualized basis.
Schedule a Consultation with Kate Roth, FNP-C
For more information on BHRT, Kate Roth, FNP-C, a board-certified family nurse practitioner at Bingham Memorial Family Medicine, is accepting former and new patients to her new practice. She sees patients at 353 N. 4th Street in Pocatello. To schedule an appointment, please call (208) 239-8022. Kate has specialized training and expertise in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy for men and women, thyroid disease, women’s and adolescent health, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
For more information on BHRT, please visit: http://www.holtorfmed.com/pdf/01-Bioidentical-hormone-debate.pdf