Bioidentical HRT vs. Traditional HRT

Hello, it’s Dr. Kevin Aister.  I’m the medical director here at Peak Health Group in Scottsdale, Arizona. We’re a clinic that specializes in the correction of erectile dysfunction as well as health optimization through hormone replacement therapy. 

That’s what we’re going to talk about today, the difference between bioidentical hormone replacement and hormone replacement. Are the terms the same or are they interchangeable? That question was asked of me recently in a discussion with a patient, and it’s a distinction we need to make. So, what is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy… it’s using hormones that are exactly identical to what’s in your body. When you look at this, males have a preponderance of testosterone and they have some estrogen. Females have a preponderance of estrogen, but they have some testosterone. We are born with that. We will live with those proportions of hormones throughout our lifetime, male or female. And so what happens is that as we age, those levels start to decline and there are some distinct side effects that we can talk about that develop because of that loss of hormone. So when you’re talking about replacing hormones, it makes sense that if it’s been in the body for all those years, shouldn’t we replace what’s there with exactly the same thing? That’s where the keyword “bioidentical” hormone replacement therapy comes in. 

Bioidentical means that it’s chemically and structurally identical to what’s in your body. These types of hormones are derived from plant or plant-based products. They are extremely safe and natural, and they are exactly what is being produced in your body. 

Hormone therapy, on the other hand, is a term that’s used, and generally, when they do that, people are talking about synthetic hormones. Synthetic hormones are chemical analogs and have similar properties, but they’re not bioidentical. Why is that important? Well, if you look at the history of hormone therapy in general, one of the things we know is that when we started using birth control pills, for instance, it was a bioidentical pill form. It was estrogen and progesterone in a pill form that you put in your mouth. And once you put it in your mouth, as soon as it hit the GI tract and was processed by the liver, you had all these byproducts and it was not bioidentical anymore; and it was actually the byproducts that caused all the adverse effects that gave hormone replacement therapy a bad rap. Well, we’ve come a long way, and we now use bioidentical hormones for that reason. If it’s bioidentical and it’s placed in the body properly, the risk is minimal and the outcome for a healthy lifestyle is much greater. So when I say putting it in the body in the right way, we have to put it directly into the bloodstream, because if you put it in the GI tract through the liver route, it breaks down into products that are no longer bioidentical.

So how do we put it in the body? Well, this again, is very important. We use pellets. These pellets are created from plant-based materials. The pellets go in a male’s body two or three times a year, and they dissolve over time, and what happens is you get this raised level of hormone, and you get a nice steady state of hormone for months at a time. That produces optimal health. It improves glucose production, muscle mass, mental clarity, vitality, and libido or sexual wellness. There are all these things that it does that help create a quality of life even at an older age. 

So is it safe? Extremely safe. You’ve lived with these hormones in your body your whole life, and now we’re putting in the exact same hormone that’s been there. So there is nothing unsafe about this. Now let’s contrast that with traditional hormone replacement therapy. Those synthetic hormones, while similar, are not bioidentical. And that’s where some of the problems lie. Some of those hormones are produced from the urine of pregnant horses…yeah. So they’re very similar in quality structural makeup, but they act differently, and that’s where some of the problems can come in. 

Here is an example of a BIG bait and switch, they say they will put you on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, but instead, they give you testosterone cypionate. Testosterone cypionate is a synthetic hormone, and it must be given in injection form. So you’re taking injections once or twice a week, and what happens there is you get levels that spike very high and then come back down. So there are these peaks and valleys. You don’t get a steady state. Then there’s the uncomfortable way to do that; I have to inject myself once or twice a week, and that’s not natural. 

If you look at the overall efficacy of bioidentical versus synthetic hormones, hands down, bioidentical hormones are much more efficacious and safer. So when you are looking at potentially going to somebody to care for you to obtain your optimal health, look for somebody who does bioidentical hormones. That’s what we do here at Peak Health Group. I invite you to come to see us. Request a consultation with me. I would love the chance to talk with you.

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