By: Dr. Keara Taylor, Naturopathic Doctor
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is a treatment used to correct hormonal imbalances that can occur through the different phases of life; from menstruation to perimenopause to menopause.
Symptoms of a hormone imbalance include:
- PMS symptoms
- Heavy or absent menstrual bleeding
- Menstrual cycle irregularities
- Migraine headaches
- Anxiety, depression and other mood disturbances
- Menopause symptoms – including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, low libido
Bio-identical hormones are identical in shape and function to human hormones and are manufactured from soy or yam. Synthetic hormones, on the other hand, are not identical to our internally-made hormones. Studies have shown that bio-identical hormones are effective, and in some contexts safer than synthetic hormones in the treatment of hormonal imbalances.
In addition to symptom identification, a hormonal imbalance is diagnosed using one or more of the three main testing methods; serum (blood), saliva, and urine.
- Serum tests provide information on how much bound and unbound hormones are travelling through the bloodstream at a point of time.
- Salivary testing will tell us more about the unbound hormones, and therefore what and how much is actually available to be used by the body.
- Urine testing provides information on the break-down metabolites of hormones, which can be helpful for identifying potential issues with various types of estrogen pathways in the body.
One of the main tenets of naturopathic medicine is to address the root cause of symptoms to bring the body back into balance with the most natural means possible. In conjunction with dietary and lifestyle recommendations, as well as botanical and nutraceutical support, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can be a great tool to bring your hormones back into balance, and help you feel like yourself again!
Get in touch with us to find out how naturopathic medicine and potentially bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can help you achieve your health goals!