Synthetic hormones are derived from animal hormones, for example the hormone Premarin is synthesized from the hormones of pregnant horses. Synthetic hormones are not structurally identical to human hormones but are deemed close enough to work.
Bio-identical hormones are synthesized from plant sources to identically match the structure of human hormones, making it a much more natural approach to hormone therapy.
How do I know which one to use?
People use synthetic and natural hormone therapy for many reasons. In men, testosterone influences gender differentiation, changes in puberty, potency, distribution of fat and muscle, and more. Decreases in testosterone levels may cause decreased libido, increased body fat, erectile issues, and depression. In women, estrogens are vital, and decline of estrogens cause many problems like mood swings, memory loss, fatigue, hot flashes, anxiety and depression, and stress. Other symptoms may occur in both men and women, but these issues can be addressed through hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
It’s not uncommon to have questions about HRT. One key issue that you may want information about is bioidentical hormones vs synthetic hormones, and more than that – the differences that arise in BHRT vs. HRT. Are they the same thing? If they are not the same thing, how are they different? Which is the better choice for you, your lifestyle and your loved ones?
Downsides of Synthetic Hormones
When comparing bioidentical hormones vs synthetic, the natural hormone therapy is the smarter choice. Because synthetic hormones are not identical to human hormones, they may mimic human hormones on basic biological paths, but lack the effectiveness of a true human hormone. They may also cause side effects that are uncomfortable for humans — not surprising, given that they are created from hormones that are natural to animals, such as horses.
Another key point to consider in the BHRT vs. synthetic HRT comparison is that there are indications that synthetic hormones may be associated with some cancers, especially breast cancers.
Synthetic hormones may also be patented by pharmaceutical companies who control dosages and limit the flexibility of the hormone in humans who require fine-grained differences in dosage.
Advantages of Bioidentical Hormones
Bioidentical hormones, unlike synthetic, have been crafted to be exact duplicates of natural human hormones. Bioidentical hormones offer greater effectiveness than synthetic on more biological channels at all levels of human anatomy. Doses of bioidentical hormones can be finely adjusted to meet the needs of everyone. Because bioidentical hormones are exact duplicates of the natural human hormones there are rarely side effects, and if there are small side effects, they are often cured by small variations in dosage.
Recent studies by the National Institutes of Health have confirmed that bioidentical hormones are safer than synthetic hormones and are less likely to cause serious illnesses, like breast cancer, in humans than synthetic hormones. The study states that, in the BHRT vs. HRT debate, bioidentical hormones are the preferred method for hormone replacement therapy.
In sum, the advantages of bioidentical hormones in BHRT vs. HRT with synthetic hormones include:
- Greater effectiveness
- Treats the full spectrum of human needs
- Greater flexibility and customization for individual needs
- Few or no side effects
- Preferred by the National Institutes of Health for HRT in humans
Apollo Medical Associates is a holistic functional medical clinic. Our doctors use a comprehensive approach to evaluating hormone levels. In both men and women, we check testosterone, thyroid, Vitamin-D and DHEA levels. For some women we also evaluate estrogen and progesterone levels.
Our labs are drawn in clinic, so you never have to travel to get blood drawn. Then, based on our assessment of your labs we will develop a customized plan to restore your energy, physical function and overall health in a series of treatments designed for your lifestyle and individual requirements.
Apollo Medical Associates also offers help with Medical Weight Loss and Functional Medicine. In all, the clinic offers a single holistic location to provide you with the help you need to live a full healthful life and lifestyle.
Because of this holistic approach, bioidentical hormone therapy from Apollo Medical Associates is your best choice when seeking natural hormone replacement therapy.