The Hormones affect virtually every function in the body and exert a powerful influence on how you look and feel. Hormone levels will decline naturally with age and if hormones are no functioning properly, or are unbalanced, there can be many health implications. Many of these problems are illnesses we associate with the ageing process, or with menopause in women. Other symptoms may include fatigue, depression, weight gain, loss of libido or premenstrual symptoms.
What are Bio-identical (or Natural) Hormones?
A bio-identical hormone is a hormone that is biochemically and molecularly identical to the human hormone. It is derived originally from a plant and converted by biochemists into one of the various human hormones, e.g. oestrogen, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone.
Synthetic hormones do not occur naturally in the body. They are in some ways similar to the human hormone but in other ways very different. There are more likely to be side effects with the use of synthetic, artificial hormones. Synthetic forms of HRT are still very commonly used and we know there are some increased risks of breast cancer and heart disease from using these.
A much safer path to follow is using bio- identical hormones. It is also possible to monitor the level of these hormones with blood and saliva testing. Every individual is different and will require different hormones and different doses to improve symptoms and to achieve hormone levels in the optimal range. Therapy is customised and needs to be monitored with ongoing assessment and pathology testing.
The Benefits of Hormone Balancing
Because hormones have effects in virtually every part of the body, the benefits of hormone balancing are widespread.
- Increased energy and physical endurance
- Improved weight management
- Improved memory
- Improved mood and libido
- Treatment of hot flushes and night sweats
- Improved bone density
- Improved menstrual cycle
- Improved skin elasticity and texture
- Improved immune system
How to have your Hormones Checked
If you suspect you have a problem with hormone imbalance, request an appointment for initial assessment. This appointment can take approximately one hour and will involve discussing your full medical history and an examination. Various testing may be required and ordered at this visit. At follow-up visits, test results will be discussed and an individual treatment plan will be advised, which will include dietary and lifestyle advice as well as bio-identical hormone prescription and/or nutritional supplements, if needed.