BHRT = Human Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement: The natural HRT choice
Throughout a woman’s lifetime she may encounter numerous hormone-related symptoms or problems.
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Low libido
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
- Painful menstruation
- Fibrocystic breasts
Today there is an alternative to traditional synthetic hormone replacement (conjugated equine, or horse estrogens and medroxyprogesterone). It’s natural human-identical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and Healthway Compounding Pharmacy has it for you.
Human-identical HRT includes estrogens (estrone, estradiol & estriol), progesterone, testosterone, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and pregnenolone. These are the same hormones your body has made all your life, unlike synthetic hormones which are not identical to your body’s naturally occurring hormones.
Healthway Compounding Pharmacy has helped thousands of women with hormone-related problems and we can help you. We offer private consultations with our specially trained pharmacists. Private consultations allow patients with concerns or questions about hormone replacement therapy to have their questions answered. We will work with you and your physician to develop a customized hormone replacement plan that best suits you.
Many women experience significant changes in their health before, during and after menopause. Many of these health problems are associated with hormone imbalances that may be overcome with HRT. Hormones are powerful chemical messengers that circulate throughout the bloodstream to specific target cells where they generate biological responses. The interdependent relationship between adrenal function and sex hormones has a profound effect on many organ systems.
Women have traditionally used “synthetic” estrogens and progestins (traditional HRT) to protect against osteoporosis and heart disease. It has been suggested that these “synthetic” hormones offer some protection against heart disease and osteoporosis but may have unwanted side effects. Because of these side effects many women abandon traditional synthetic HRT very soon after starting. This has led to a strong interest in the use of human-identical hormone replacement therapy.
Human-Identical or “Natural” vs Synthetic
Human-Identical means that the hormones are an exact match to the hormones produced by the human body. This is often also called natural hormone replacement therapy. These hormones get their start in nature, an ingredient found in soybeans and wild Mexican yams, can be chemically converted into the exact hormones that the body makes. The body can recognize these human-identical hormones and uses them just as it would if they were being produced by the ovaries, testes, or adrenal glands. Many side effects seen with human-identical hormones are associated with incorrect dosing. By making slight variations in the dose, or dosage form, the side effects often disappear.
Synthetic hormones, or traditional hormone replacement, are not easily recognized by the body even though they may produce similar effects. Because they are hundreds of times more potent than the hormones that our bodies make, they are linked to many side effects. Synthetic hormones are approved by the FDA (The Food and Drug Administration). Compounded hormones are not approved by the FDA, however all of the hormones used in compounding are shipped from FDA approved manufacturers,
Human-identical hormone replacement products need to be compounded by a compounding pharmacy, like Healthway Compounding Pharmacy. Compounding offers you and your physician a choice for individualized hormone treatment.
*BHRT requires a written prescription by a licensed medical practitioner.
No two women are alike, of course, and the value of human-identical hormone replacement therapy is that it can be adapted to fit your individual body and hormone levels. In fact, hormones can be made in a variety of strengths and dosage forms including capsules, topical creams and gels, suppositories and sublingual troches or lozenges. With the help of your doctor and a compounding pharmacist, a woman can start and maintain a human-identical hormone replacement regimen that closely mimics what her body has been doing naturally for years.
There are over-the-counter products for perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms. For more information please call or visit our pharmacy.
*Consultation with the pharmacist is not deemed in place of or equal to a thorough review and check by your physician. Nothing herein is intended to replace or influence the independent judgement of any licensed professional. Consult with your healthcare professional. Our pharmacy works with prescribers to provide compounded solutions to medication problems. No claims are made as to the efficacy, safety or use of compounded formulations. Formulations not FDA approved. The information provided herein is for reference only and is not to be relied upon as making any representation as to the efficacy of any particular formulations.
Estrogen – Natural Human-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Estrogen is not a single hormone. It is a group of three different, but related, hormones that perform functions that we normally attribute to “estrogen”.
The three different natural estrogens that predominate in adult women are:
- Estrone (approximately 10-20% of circulating estrogens) = E1
- Estradiol (approximately 10-20% of circulating estrogens) = E2
- Estriol (approximately 60-80% of circulating estrogens) = E3
Conjugated equine estrogen, in contrast, contain the following estrogens:
- Estradiol + Others
Derived from the urine of pregnant female horses is only natural to horses.
Possible Unwanted Effects of Conventional “Estrogen” Replacement
- Breast Tenderness
- Leg Cramps
- Worsened Uterine Fibroids and Endometriosis
- Vaginal Bleeding
- High Blood Pressure
- Blood Clots
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Fluid Retention
- Impaired Glucose Tolerance
- Increased Risk of Endometrial Cancer and Breast Cancer
Functions of Natural Progesterone
- Precursor of other sex hormones (e.g. estrogen and testosterone)
- Maintains secretory endometrium
- Protects against fibrocystic breasts
- Natural diuretic
- Helps use fat for energy
- Is a natural antidepressant
- Helps thyroid hormone action
- Normalizes blood clotting
- Restores libido
- Helps normalize blood sugar levels
- Normalizes zinc and copper levels
- Restores proper cell oxygen levels
- Protects against endometrial cancer
- Helps protects against breast cancer
- Stimulates osteoblast-mediated bone building
- Necessary for survival of embryo and fetus throughout gestation
- Precursor of cortisone synthesis of adrenal cortex
Possible Adverse Reactions to Progestins (e.g. medroxy-progesterone)
- Breakthrough Bleeding
- Breast Tenderness
- Cerebral Bleeding
- Change in Weight
- Cholestatic Jaundice
- Decreased Glucose Tolerance
- Fluid Retention
- Gastric Regurgitation
- Loss of Scalp Hair
- Mental Depression
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Respiratory Depression
Testosterone – Natural Human-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
The ovaries continue to secrete testosterone following menopause, but there is a gradual decline as a woman ages. This decline is not as rapid or substantial as the decline in level of estrogen and progesterone.
At physiological doses, testosterone has been shown to function like estrogens in reducing menopausal symptoms. It can be converted to estradiol in the hormone cascade.
Natural Human Testosterone (When replacing inadequate testosterone levels) can:
- Protect the Heart
- Improve Mental Alertness
- Make Bones Stronger (increase calcium retention)
- Revive a Lagging Sex Life
Women receiving testosterone postmenopausal increases in:
- Sexual Response
- Frequency of Sexual Intercourse
- Sexual Desire
- Number of Sexual Fantasies
- Level of Sexual Arousal
Pregnenolone and DHEA – Natural Human-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands and synthesized directly from cholesterol. It, along with DHEA, sits atop what is known as the hormonal cascade. From DHEA and Pregnenolone, all other steroid hormones are created.
Pregnenolone, which is made by the supporting tissues of the brain, can both stimulate and calm the brain. It activates the neuroreceptors, which take up glutamine, a substance which stimulates the brain. Pregnenolone seems to calm the brain by activating GABA receptors.
- Improves Mood Disorders
- Improves Memory Loss
- Improves Psychomotor Performance, especially in the face of fatigue
DHEA is referred to as the “mother” hormone because it’s more prolific than any other hormone produced by the adrenal glands. This hormone, like the others, decreases with age. A peak level occurs at ages 25-30.
- Restoring DHEA to youthful levels may help safely boost estrogen and testosterone levels
- Prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer
- Increased feeling of well-being and a more positive outlook on life
Healthway Compounding Pharmacy offers a customized approach to human-identical hormone replacement therapy before, during and after menopause. At Healthway Compounding Pharmacy we offer consultations with a pharmacist for BHRT. This would be done as a referral from your provider. If you are interested in BHRT, and your provider is as well, but is having some difficulties on where to start or how to start we are here to help support you along the way. We follow a 4-step process to lead to the best possible outcomes of therapy.
A Four Step Customized Program
Step One – Patient Questionnaire
As part of a comprehensive program, the Meno-Pausitive ApproachTM analyzes your individual needs through a completely confidential patient evaluation form. The patient questionnaire inquires about your health history as well as symptoms you may be experiencing. Your answers help us to identify the symptoms that bother you the most and develop a plan to address them.
Print and complete the appropriate pre-consultation questionnaire.
Step Two – Hormone Levels
Test results from saliva hormone samples that you can do at home, or blood serum lab work ordered by your physician (preferred), are utilized to determine your exact needs. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and cortisol hormone can be determined. Saliva hormone tests can be purchased directly from Healthway Compounding Pharmacy and taken in the privacy of your home. Saliva hormone measurements may have an important advantage over serum blood draws for the following reasons:
-They can be collected at precise times
-The procedure is accurate
-Collecting saliva samples is non-invasive and safe
-The hormones measured in saliva represent those immediately available in the body’s cells
Step Three – The Consult
Your personal consultation can be scheduled in person or by phone. During your scheduled consultation with one of our highly trained pharmacists, your patient questionnaire and hormone levels will be reviewed, as well as any other concerns you may have. In addition, specific nutritional interventions may be addressed at this time. Call for pricing.
Step Four – The Prescription
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy requires a prescription from your healthcare provider. Since pharmacists are not able to prescribe medications, you will need to consult with your healthcare provider. If your provider is unwilling to write your prescription, we would be happy to provide you with a list of physicians who have written for human hormone replacement.
Healthway Compounding Pharmacy will be happy to assist you with the proper paperwork in seeking reimbursement for your compounded prescription(s).