Bioidentical hormones can be used effectively to treat menstrual complaints or relieve symptoms (hot flashes and sleeplessness) that can occur during or after menopause.
Bioidentical hormones are hormones that have the same (identical) chemical composition as those produced by the body itself. These should not be confused with synthetic hormones, that only look like the hormones that the body produces. This is why bioidentical hormones tend to be tolerated more easily and have far fewer side effects. There are different kinds of bioidentical hormones of which estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and pregnenolone are the most common.
Since not a lot of people have heard about bioindentical hormones, I think it would be nice to kind of educate you as to what this is all about. Some people have heard about it but they don’t really have a real idea as to what it is.
Basically bioidentical hormones are ones that are the same as you produce in your body, and that’s why they’re call identical, because they are the same. As opposed to the synthetic hormones, like birth control pills, that are similar, but not the same. This explains why a lot of women tend to have problems in terms of side effects when they use the conventional birth control pills, as opposed to bioidentical hormones. The nice thing about bioidentical hormones is that you can use it to treat menstrual problems, but you can also use it to treat menopausal problems, but they can also be used as a part of anti-aging treatment.
And interestingly, bioidentical hormones can also be used by men. This idea that it’s just a woman’s thing,that’s not true. Men can also use bioidentical hormones because we all in the course of time, as we get older, loose certain important hormones.
It may be interesting to give an example of a recent patient that I saw, a fairly young woman in her mid-thirties who had already started to go into menopause. And that was a huge problem because from one moment to the next was developing all the symptoms that you don’t get until you are way in your fifties … from hot flashes, depression, not sleeping well … a wide array so obviously she wanted to have something done in terms of dealing with her symptoms. So she was started on conventional birth control pills … her GP couldn’t really handle it because she couldn’t handle most of the pills … she was switching back and forth. She was getting headaches and not feeling well. She went to a gynecologist … same thing tried a whole wide array of different pills, but she was basically replacing one problem for the next. So she was suppressing the menopausal symptoms, but in return she was getting tremendous migraines to the point where she couldn’t function, so somewhere also the line she decided o.k. I’m just going to quit this because I can’t even go and work anymore … and I will have to live with all my menopausal complaints.
At that point she came to me with the question: am I a candidate for bioidentical hormones? And of course I thought she was. Obviously I can never predict that it’s going to work for everybody because it’s not magic. We are all different, so saying that it’s 100% foolproof is silly, but given what she had already been going through, I thought it would definitely be worth a try.
We are now, I would say, one and one-half years down the line with her being on the bioidentical hormone treatment and she’s doing tremendously well, already within 6 months … she was greatly improving and what was most important for her was not having the side effects. And here we are. She went on bioidentical hormones and she’s doing great, going back to work and living a normal life.
Lydia Boeken MD
I founded the Amsterdam Kliniek in 1996 because it appeared that numerous patients were not being served by conventional medicine, whereas an integrative approach would resolve their issues. Integrative medicine seeks to present a responsible balance between conventional and complementary treatments. The aim is to promote health and fight disease in a more natural way. To learn more, visit www.amsterdamkliniek.nl
Ever since menopause I suffered from vaginal dryness. Regular hormone treatment didn’t work and intercourse became impossible. Dr. Boeken put me on a bioidentical oestrogen gel that I rub on the inside of my arms and has turned my sex life around: no more mess and pain free sex. My husband and I are very grateful!
Get in touch to know more about bioidentical hormones.