Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) - an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Throughout the course of a woman's life she may experience many hormone related symptoms or problems, including premenstrual syndrome, hot flashes, unexplained mood swings, osteoporosis, weight gain and low libido. Many of these symptoms are caused by hormonal imbalances, often from menopause. However, there is no reason a woman's life should be turned upside down by hormone imbalance.

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is an alternative to the controversial synthetic hormone replacement therapy, derived from horse urine. Because every woman has individual needs, BHRT is customized to meet personal hormone requirements resulting in fewer, if any, side effects from the treatment.

Synthetic hormones aren't easily recognized by the human body, even though they can alleviate symptoms of hormone imbalance. Women's bodies pay a price for synthetic hormone use because of their potency, which can lead to many unwanted side effects, such as an increased risk of cancer and other disease. Bio-identical hormones, on the other hand, are a natural match. These hormones are derived from plants and are converted to the exact hormones a woman's body produces. They are as easily recognized by women's bodies as the hormones their own ovaries produce.

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy medicines are available only from compounding pharmacies, such as Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy's Downtown Boulder location at 1647 Pearl St. These custom compounded medicines offer women and their physicians a choice for individualized hormone replacement.

"Many of my patients are concerned about traditional hormone replacement therapy as treatment for menopause and other hormone imbalances," said Dr. Ann Mattson, M.D., of the Boulder Valley Women's Health Center. "As a doctor trained in integrative medicine, I believe that bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is a beneficial treatment for a complex problem."

To find out more about BHRT, women can talk to their physicians or Pharmaca pharmacist, Chris Turf, RPh, at 303-442-5164. BHRT does require a written prescription, but it offers women the option to take control of their health the natural way.

Pharmaca is a member of the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA), a professional association with more than 3,000 pharmacist members located throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, and New Zealand. http://www.pharmaca.com

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