What You Should Know If You're Considering Holistic Hormone Therapy

Holistic hormone replacement therapy, which uses bio-identical hormones instead of the synthetic hormones many women are prescribed, can be very helpful for women who find synthetic hormone side effects too harsh or too worrisome. But you don't have to have those harsh side effects in order to use bio-identical versions of hormones. The structure of the hormones is closer to that of your natural hormones, making the bio-identical versions easier to process. Still, if you choose to take bio-identical hormones, you should know about some information first.

They're Still Made in a Lab

This actually shouldn't be a surprise because you can't really extract hormone building blocks from plants without some laboratory intervention. This doesn't make the hormones synthetic, however; they're still derived from natural sources and configured to match your regular hormone structure. If you're trying to be as natural as possible in your treatment of menopause and think supplements might be a better choice, remember that those supplements are made in a lab, too. In other words, it's not the place where the hormones are put into a usable form that matters. They are from natural sources and match what your body uses much better than synthetic hormones do.

You Don't Have to Wait Until Your Symptoms Are Unbearable

You can take bio-identical hormones if you have any symptoms of menopause or peri-menopause. You don't have to wait until the symptoms are unbearable, as so many women seem to do. That's understandable, since who wants to deal with medications if they don't have to? However, many women wait too long before coming in to find out if they should take hormone replacement therapy. If you're uncomfortable, contact your doctor about bio-identical hormones.

You Should Undergo Thorough Testing for Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Some of your symptoms can be worsened by a vitamin or mineral deficiency. If you don't have yourself tested for these, you could end up with an inappropriate dose of hormones. For example, "brain fog" is often a sign of menopause, but it's also a sign of a vitamin B12 or iron deficiency. You're better off treating the deficiency separately from taking the hormones, meaning that increasing the hormones without doing anything about the deficiency would not be as effective. Treating the deficiency with the right vitamin or mineral allows you to get the right dose of the hormone.

You don't have to take hormones when you go through menopause, but they do help a lot of women who are suffering from severe effects of the menopause process. Bio-identical hormones may be even more beneficial due to how your body works with them.