Where Do Bioidentical Hormones Come From?
Over the past few weeks we’ve discussed bioidentical hormones, their make up, history, and methods of delivery. Today we will conclude our discussions on bioidentical hormones by taking a closer look at bioidentical hormones and compounding pharmacies.
As we discussed in our last blog, bioidentical hormones offer a range alternative to the synthetic hormone replacement found in the Women’s Health Initiative. Bioidentical hormones are derived from soy and yams and are extracted in a laboratory setting so that they may be administered in their various forms. Their chemical and molecular structure is identical to our own natural hormones, which makes them easier for the body to metabolize. This means that bioidentical hormones don’t have to be broken down in order to be utilized. This leaves our bodies free from the waste products and other chemicals that result from the use of synthetic hormones.
Bioidentical hormone replacement (depending on the specific hormone) can offer relief from many of the negative side effects associated with aging.
Aging Symptoms Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Can Alleviate:
- Decreased libido
- Low bone density
- Decreased metabolism
- Lower energy/fatigue
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
- Low motivation
- Loss of muscle mass
- Decreased ability to exercise
- An overall lack of enjoyment in day-to-day activities
Bioidentical hormones can also have a profound positive impact on the cardiovascular system and protect against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, alzhemer’s, dementia, and even some forms of cancer. There is a great deal of research and literature to back these claims and show the efficacy of bioidentical hormone replacement. Much of this information can be found in our blogs and resources.
Since the popularity of bioidentical hormones, there has been a surge of FDA approved medications. There is even an FDA approved 75mg testosterone pellet called Testopel®.
Even though there has been a gradual increase in the number of pharmaceuticals companies offering bioidentical hormone therapy, many formulations still come from compounding pharmacies. Compounding pharmacies existed well before the pharmaceutical companies that we are familiar with today. It was during this time that a patient would get a prescription and take it to a compounding pharmacist who would use a mortar and pestle to concoct the right formulation.
Although compounding pharmacies have changed over the last hundred years or so, they are still utilized by medical professionals and patients today. Compounding pharmacies are used most often when specific formulations of a medication are needed. Maybe a patient needs to take a medication in a different form or maybe a patient needs a specific combination of medications not found through pharmaceutical companies. No matter what the reason is, the general idea is the say; medication are made to fit the individuals specific needs.
It’s somewhat analogous to buying custom clothing. If you were to buy a wedding dress, or for men, a suit; would you just grab one size and hope it fits? In most cases, it’s not as simple as one size fits all. Unless you like playing russian roulette, it would be wise to get your dress,or suit tailored to your individual needs; and the same goes for hormone replacement. Compounding pharmacies offer this individual specification by tailoring their prescriptions to the patients needs.
However, along with the rising popularity of compounding pharmacies, there has subsequently come an increase in attacks. Those arguing against compounding pharmacies say that they do not have the proper oversight and that the consumer cannot be sure what they are receiving. Interestingly enough, many of these arguments come from individuals who hold compounding pharmacies in high regard for the many other services which we listed above. Now this is not to say that their concerns are not all valid. In fact, it is likely that the truth falls somewhere in the middle. Like with most things in life it is not all good or all bad. As a consumer it is important for you to do your research and seek out a reputable physician who uses a well-known compounding pharmacy.
The debate between Pharmaceutical and Compounding Pharmacies is likely to continue as bioidentical hormone therapy grows in popularity. Whether or not compounding pharmacies or pharmaceutical companies become the “go to” for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy remains to be seen. However, one thing is for certain; bioidentical hormones have provided relief from many age related symptoms and offer hope for those looking to ward off the negative effects of aging.
For more information on whether or not hormone replacement therapy is right for you please contact Vitali-T Medical Clinics, and stay tuned to our future blogs.