We have a lot of questions from readers regarding the menopause. Here Marion Gluck from the Marion Gluck Clinic talks to Fab after Fifty about the Bio-identical hormones – what they are and the role can play in addressing menopause symptoms.
What is bio-identical HRT?
Bio-identical hormones are used to treat hormonal imbalances in men and women. Bio-identical hormones have the same molecular structure as those found in your own body.
Bio-identical hormones are derived from diosgenin, which is sourced from soya beans and Mexican yams. They need to be prescribed by a doctor and prescriptions are designed for each individual patient. Bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT) is usually administered in the form of creams, lozenges or capsules. The treatments are then compounded under strict guidelines of good manufacturing practice by a specialist pharmacy.
How do Bio-identical hormones differ from normal HRT?
Bio-identical hormones are considered a safer option than synthetic hormones as used in conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT). As bio-identical hormones are consistent with your normal biochemistry, side effects are minimised. Bio-identical hormones are 100% the same as the hormones produced in the body, normal HRT uses synthetic hormones and can cause dangerous side effects.
How do you know if you need them?
As we age our hormones naturally decline, which can bring about unwanted symptoms such as poor memory, low libido, hot flushes, depression, low mood, low energy, dry skin, headaches, anxiety, irritability, joint pain, low self esteem to name a few. Both women and men go through the menopause/andropause and the symptoms of these can be relieved by balancing hormone levels through bio-identical hormone treatments. Bio-identical hormones may also assist in treating certain conditions in both men and women such as insomnia, osteoporosis, depression, infertility and PCOS.
How do you decide which bio-identical hormones are right for me?
Our doctors listen closely to every patient’s symptoms and medical history. They also take comprehensive blood tests to assess each patient’s individual hormone make-up. A bespoke bio-identical hormone prescription will then be written.
How do you take bio-identical hormones
Bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT) is usually administered in the form of creams or lozenges. The treatments are then compounded under strict guidelines of good manufacturing practice by a specialist pharmacy. Each prescription is tailor made for each individual patient.
What are the benefits of bio-identical hormones?
Optimising hormone levels using bio-identical hormones has been shown to help treat a number of symptoms and conditions in both men and women. We have many patients who’s symptoms have been relieves and who feel happy and healthy again. Bio-identical hormones also have many protective benefits in preventing certain conditions and diseases such as heart disease, stroke and dementia.
How long do you need to take them for?
Every patient is different and individuals stay on the hormones for different periods of time. We like to review patients every six months to identify whether their prescriptions need tweaking or changing. As long as the patient is happy and healthy they can remain on the bio-identical hormone treatments.
Are bio-identical hormones something that can be prescribed by your GP?
Bio-identical hormones are available on the NHS but unfortunately not many GPs know how to prescribe them. They are also only able to prescribe one dosage which may not be suitable for all patients, they aren’t able to tailor make prescriptions for individual patients.
Practitioners from Marion Gluck’s clinic will be speaking at the Anti-Ageing show on May 10th and 11th if you would like the opportunity to find out more about bio-identical hormones. For details on the anti-ageing show and a special offer for Fab after Fifty readers click here.