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Managing Hormonal Balance

 

Hormone Balance can be a significant issues for men and women. Whether it is PMS, Menopause or low testosterone in men, hormonal issues can cause havoc both to your life and that of your partners. But it is not only the sex hormones that can be out of balance, adrenal exhaustion and thyroid problems can also tak a toll on health and happiness.

 

What can be done about Hormonal Imbalances?

 

A thorough assessment that may include clinical testing is very important. How a hormone imbalance is treated may differ depending upon signs and symptoms as well as test results. The key is to individually tailor any hormone balancing programme to your personal requirements and review regulatly to continulaly balance your prescription.

 

Nutrients, Herbs, Bioidentical or Pharmaceutical Hormones?

 

All have their place depending upon the hormonal balance in questions. Herbs and nutrients are usually gentler on the body but bioidentical and pharmacutical approaches can be quicker and more direct. The key is to personalise the prescription to your individual needs. See the conditions menu for more information.

 

What are Bioidentical Hormones?

 

Bio-identical Hormones are derived from plant sources (primarily Mexican wild yam) as opposed to the oestrogens in HRT that are derived from the urine of pregnant horses. Unlike HRT, B-HRT includes hormones that are biologically identical to those found naturally in the female body (eg. Progesterone compared with Progestogen).

 

These hormones are compounded and should be customised to each individual woman’s needs. They may include combinations of oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA (adrenal gland hormone) and come in a variety of forms, the most common of which are buccal troches (like lozenges).

 

What is there so little evidence regarding Bio-identical Hormones?

 

As for many complementary therapies, there is currently limited evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of B-HRT compared with conventional HRT. However, it should be known that B-HRT has been used for at least 40 years with only 3 cases of endometrial (uterine) cancer having been reported for women taking B-HRT (including progesterone, dose unknown) for several years.

 

Many integrative doctors use B-HRT rather than conventional HRT in their clinics if the use of hormones is definitely required. Although formalised studies are limited, there is overwhelming anecdotal evidence from women and clinical experience by integrative doctors that the correct and judicious use of B-HRT is both safe and effective.

 

So should you use Bio-identical Hormones?

 

Most integrative practitioners would agree that any form of hormonal therapy should only be used when absolutely necessary, HRT or Bioidentical.

 

Often a 6 -12 week trial of a particular herb and/or nutrient combination is trialled before hormones are prescribed.

 

Please consult your individual practitioner with regards to such formulations as many “Practitioner-Only” formulations are considerably more effective than simple over the counter preparations.

 

Why may an Integrative Practitioner not want to use Bio-identical Hormones?

 

Unfortunately, as there are no current in depth studies of B-HRT, its use is a grey area of care, which extends itself to the medico-legal implications of usage.

 

It is often assumed that the risks of B-HRT are equivalent to that of synthetic HRT, yet this has never been scientifically established. Although there have been suggestions of a link between B-HRT and endometrial cancer risk, this concern has been raised based upon a single source of evidence reporting 3 apparent cases.

 

Until these issues are resolved, B-HRT usage will remain a contentious issue amongst both integrated and mainstream practitioners. Before using B-HRT, you should be personally responsible for understanding the issues its prescription presents and you may need to sign a disclaimer documenting that you understand the issues of using B-HRT (including the risks) before a practitioner is prepared to use them.

 

What is the problem with Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?

 

HRT has been used for many decades to treat the symptoms of menopause. However, alarming results of the Women’s Health Initiative Trials (over 26,000 women) has dramatically changed HRT prescribing throughout the world.

 

These trials have shown that the risks of breast cancer (with combined oestrogen and progestogen) and endometrial (uterine) cancer (with oestrogen only in women with a uterus) increase with the duration of HRT therapy.

 

Both oestrogen only and combined HRT also increase breast density and abnormal mammography, which is a concern of itself.

 

The risk of coronary heart disease, blood clots and strokes may also be elevated in the first year of combined HRT in women over 60 years. In this same post-menopausal age group, there has also been shown there are no benefits in the case of cognition, dementia or reduced mortality.

 

It is also important to note that combined low-dose oral contraceptives can be assumed to have similar risks to HRT for women older than 40 years.

 

So what is the answer for your Homronal Imbalances?

 

As with all integrative approaches, a personalised prescription based around your own individual needs.

 

 Looking for an individualised integrated evaluation of your hormonal requirements? Make an appointment at to see Dr Lily Tomas at the Beach Street Centre.

 Make an Appointment

at the Beach Street Centre with Dr Lily Tomas to have all your Hormonal Balance  needs met.