When the symptoms of menopause get to be too much for a woman to handle, help is available. Whether it’s natural hormone replacement therapy or another treatment that targets individual symptoms, there’s no reason to go it alone.
Natural hormone replacement therapy, or bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, is becoming more commonly used. Just like regular hormone replacement therapy, this form of treatment seeks to help replenish the body’s hormonal levels during menopause. If successful, this can ease or even eliminate some of the symptoms of menopause.
Although there are similarities between regular and natural replacement therapy, there are some fairly sharp differences.
Herbs – the Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy
The first thing that sets most natural hormone replacement therapy products apart is the fact they tend to be herbal. This means they are not created synthetically by man to mimic natural hormones in the body. Instead, they are derived from plants that have “bio-identical” progesterone or estrogen signatures.
This means what is being taken to relieve the symptoms of menopause brought on by a reduction in hormones actually is similar to the makeup of those same hormones. The similarity comes from nature rather than a science lab.
The other thing that really sets natural hormone replacement therapy apart from synthetic medications is how it is prescribed. This form of treatment is generally set on an individual basis. An alternative medicine practitioner or even mainstream doctor will measure hormone levels present in a woman’s body and then set the dosage and prescription based on what the body actually needs.
In essence, this treatment can be very personalized and tailored to fit. This can be a very big perk for natural hormone replacement therapy. It is also possible in some cases to buy ready made natural hormone replacement products over the counter. Pharmacies and online outlets both tend to carry one form of natural hormone replacement product or another.
Natural hormone replacement therapy has proven useful in treating a number of different menopause symptoms. It is beneficial for helping with hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness and irritation and even night sweats. The effectiveness will likely vary based on the type of natural hormone replacement therapy involved.
Although natural hormone replacement therapy is considered an alternative to synthetic hormones, there are some precautions. The therapy that relies on bio-identical hormones has been linked to strokes, cancer and heart disease in some cases.
Many consider it to be a much better alternative to synthetic hormone replacement, but others feel more study needs to be done to determine the exact risks and benefits. Long-term studies have not been done on most form of natural hormone replacement therapy.
Another potential concern with natural hormone replacement therapy is the fact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved its use. This means that potency, purity and other factors are not overseen with regard to individual products. Without approval, the assurances for effectiveness and safety must come from the individual companies that make the products.
Natural hormone replacement therapy is seen as an alternative to the use of synthetic hormones that have strong links to cancer and other serious illness.
Although not a lot of study has been done to confirm or deny their benefits and their long-term impacts, many swear by this alternative.
Whether this treatment is prescribed through an alternative medicine practitioner or purchased over the counter, it is generally advised to use caution when using it. Patients should look for any signs of side effects and pay heed to not take this or any form of hormone replacement therapy longer than it is needed. If concerns exist, there is no replacement for sound medical advice.