The onset of menopause is a perfectly natural phase of life in most cases. In others, surgery delivers this phase much more quickly and abruptly. Either way, as the body slows and ceases its production of estrogen and progesterone, some symptoms are likely to be felt. Treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy and custom hrt, can prove useful to help women deal with some of the more problematic symptoms.
The most common symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings, sleep problems and more are all considered “normal” symptoms of menopause. If the severity of these symptoms is great, however, they are considered anything but normal. This is when many women seek out help. One answer that has been found is through custom HRT or custom hormone replacement therapy.
Custom HRT and regular hormone replacement therapy both work by helping replenish the hormones the body is no longer producing. They can be incredibly effective at easing symptoms and even eliminating them. The differences between regular and custom HRT, however, are rather pronounced and bear paying attention to.
Unlike regular hormone replacement therapy that tends to rely on pre-set doses, custom hrt strives to match a woman’s unique needs on an individual basis. This therapy is generally prescribed through alternative medicine practices and not typically from regular physicians.
Custom HRT – the Therapy
The therapy relies on natural bio-identical hormones rather than synthetic medications, which have been linked with strokes, cancer and heart disease. The substances included in custom HRT are based on plant estrogens and are crafted into a structure that is considered identical to a human’s own natural progesterone and estrogen. This is considered a major breakthrough by many.
In addition to the natural design of custom HRT, the “custom” comes into play when the dosages are set for individual patients. In many cases, an exact hormone pattern is ascertained to enable an alternative medicine physician to recommend the correct dosage. A special pharmacy will then fill the prescription to order. The custom HRT prescription might come in a cream or pill form. Follow up visits will likely be needed on a regular basis to ensure the custom balance is maintained.
Although custom HRT has many fans, there are some precautions that go along with its use. Currently, this form of therapy has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It has also not been proven one way or the other to be safer or even more effective than regular hormone replacement therapy. Some studies have suggested no link between custom HRT, cancer and other side effects, but federal approval has not been granted.
Despite some potential pitfalls, the North American Menopause Society does acknowledge custom HRT can have some perks. The individualized and personalized doses are particularly of interest. Since FDA approval has not been granted, however, these medications are not tested for safety, purity or even potency. With this in mind, the society doesn’t necessarily recommend custom HRT over regular hormone therapy with approved medications. Many physicians suggest that women enter into this form of therapy at their own risk.
Other natural alternatives to the individually mixed HRT drugs do exist. The FDA has approved several drugs and are considered bio-identical hormones. They, however, are not offered in customized dosages.
When the symptoms of menopause become particularly troublesome, hormone replacement therapy is often advised. Hot flashes and night sweats are no fun to live with. Hormone replacement therapy and custom HRT have proven effective in dealing with these individual symptoms, but they are not a panacea. They do not treat all the symptoms of menopause and they are not considered 100-percent safe. Those who choose to go with hormone replacement therapy – custom or synthetic – are advised to seek medical advice and keep follow up appointments to monitor the effects.