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Bioidentical Hormones Risks and Side Effects


A popular choice among women going through menopause is bioidentical hormones. It is widely assumed to be a safe, “natural” option when dealing with menopause symptoms. However, in recent years, the medical community has spotted certain disadvantages to their use.

Bioidentical hormones have been linked to a range of different side effects in each of their various prescribed forms, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The following article provides a brief synopsis of the consequences resulting from use of bioidentical hormones.

Risks of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

BHRT is only considered to be “safer” when compared to HRT.Although hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been widely discussed in the last few years, there is still little scientific information about the risks of using bioidentical hormones in women: the major risk is the hype that the use of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has created in many areas, without conclusive studies or scientific data to affirm its safety. So far, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy  is only considered to be “safer” when compared to HRT. Some of the risks related to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy are:

  • Risk of heart attack and other heart- related conditions
  • Risk of stroke
  • Risk of blood clotting that could ultimately lead to fatal pulmonary embolism
  • Risk of increased triglycerides

Some women are at a higher risk of experiencing the above if exposed to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Factors could be:

  • Family history of breast or uterus cancer
  • Family history of blood clots in the veins, legs, or lung
  • Chronic disease of the liver
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Older women with blood clotting tendency
  • Smokers

To make things clear, the Endocrine Society has issued a statement explaining their position. They restate that little research has been done, and more studies are needed to explore the long-term side effects of Bioidentical replacement therapy in all of its forms: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

Bioidentical hormones have been linked to a range of different side effects.

Bioidentical hormones have been linked to a range of different side effects in each of their various prescribed forms. The following article provides a brief synopsis of the consequences resulting from use of bioidentical hormones.

Side Effects of Bioidentical Estrogen

Migraines and headaches are side effects of bioidentical estrogen. The side effects associated with using bioidentical estrogen are identical to the side effects of estrogen dominance and may include any or a combination of the following: breakthrough bleeding and spotting; breast enlargement; chest, leg, arm, or groin pain; nausea and vomiting; migraines and headaches; abdominal pain and swelling; rapid weight gain; and  yellowing of the eyes or skin.

Side Effects of Bioidentical Progesterone

The side effects of bioidentical progesterone are related to an excessive, imbalanced amount of progesterone in the body and can be particularly severe, including, but not limited to the following:

Quick Fact
Estrogens can make the body retain fluid, causing swelling in the fingers, ankles, and feet, and possibly raising blood pressure.
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Blood clots
  • Stroke
  • Chest pain
  • Blurred vision or loss of vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vaginal bleeding

Side Effects of Bioidentical Testosterone

Side effects are very likely to occur with the use of bioidentical testosterone. A testosterone imbalance can cause uncomfortable and embarrassing side effects. The list below outlines the symptoms associated with the use of bioidentical testosterone.
Depression is a side effect of bioidentical testosterone.

  • Hives or rashes
  • Itching
  • Chest tightness
  • Swelling
  • Breast pain
  • Depression or mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Poor urinary health

Alternatives to Bioidentical Hormones

Bioidentical hormones are just one of many treatments available for hormonal imbalance. In fact, in a majority of cases bioidentical hormones are not the recommended treatment.  Many women are surprised to learn that a hormonal imbalance can be corrected without the use of supplements.

Stress reduction techniques like yoga can help to stabilize hormone levels. The easiest and most practical way to address hormonal imbalance is to keep the body fit and healthy. Regular exercise and a health-conscious diet are tremendously influential in stabilizing hormone levels. Because stress is also often a key factor in upsetting hormonal balance, stress reduction techniques like yoga can help to stabilize hormone levels and improve overall health.

While a healthy lifestyle approach should be adopted in all stages of life, alternative medicines have been proven to stabilize hormone levels. These medicines are often significantly cheaper than natural hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and take a more direct approach to the issue of hormonal imbalance: they work with the endocrine system to help the body produce its own hormones naturally.

For a better understanding of alternative options, click here to learn more about alternatives to bioidentical hormones replacement therapy.

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