Hormones are best described as carriers of messages from glands to
cells to maintain chemical levels in the bloodstream that achieve
homeostasis. The name ‘hormone\’ comes from a word that means, ‘to spur
on.\’ This goes to show how the presence of hormones acts as a catalyst
for other chemical changes at the cellular level necessary for growth,
development, and energy in the body. Bioidentical hormones can play an
important role in menopause.

Menopause and Bioidentical Hormones: How Hormones Work
As a part of the endocrine system, glands produce these hormones.
Hormones flow freely in the bloodstream, waiting to be accepted by a
target cell, which is their intended destination. The target cell has a
receptor that can only be activated by an explicit type of hormone.
Once this cell is activated, the cell starts a certain task within its
walls. Genes might get activated, or energy production resumed. As
special categories, autocrine hormones act on the cells of the
secreting gland, while paracrine hormones act on nearby, but isolated,
cells.

Menopause and Bioidentical Hormones: Types
Hormones are categorized into classes like steroids and peptides.
In general, steroids are sex hormones related to sexual maturation and
fertility. The placenta makes steroids from cholesterol either when
we\’re in the womb, or by our adrenal gland or gonads known as the
testes/ovaries in layman\’s terms, after birth.

Cortisol, an example of a steroid hormone, breaks down damaged tissue
so it can be replaced. Steroids determine physical development from
puberty on to old age, as well as fertility cycles. If you are not
synthesizing the correct steroidal hormones, you can sometimes
supplement them pharmaceutically as done with estrogen and
progesterone. This has become a popular therapeutic practice to treat
certain menopause symptoms.

Menopause and Bioidentical Hormones: Treatments
Hormonal Replacement Therapy or HRT is practiced on many women
for various reasons, including early menopause, hysterectomy, and
perimenopause. However, this treatment has some serious side effects,
which include fluid retention, depression, headache, dizziness,
insomnia, raised blood pressure, and migraines.

To counter this, the medical community has come up with treatment to
substitute the hormones with plant compounds, known as Bio-identical
Hormones. Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, BHRT, has become a
popular alternative to traditional HRT. BHRT is prepared from plant
compounds and is identical in formation to human hormones.

Menopause and Bioidentical Hormones: Advantages of BHRT
Studies reveal that BHRT is more effective than HRT in relieving
the symptoms for which it is prescribed. It is also much easier on the
body\’s delicate system and has minimal side effects as compared to HRT.
BHRT may just leave behind the annoying side effects of HRT.

Bioidentical hormones get their start in a plant and are rich in
molecules that can easily be transformed into hormones. Natural hormone
therapy such as bioidentical hormone functions precisely like those the
human body produces and the chemical construction matches that of the
hormone it is intended to substitute. The molecular structure of these
hormones is impossible to differentiate from that of natural hormones
produced in the body.

The best thing about bioidentical hormones is that they are natural,
and our bodies can metabolize them as it was intended to do, minimizing
side effects. This is the advantage of using bioidentical hormones
because in contrast, synthetic hormones are strong and often produce
intolerable side effects.

The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.

Cathy's passion for the internet, as well as her own transition into peri-menopause, was the impetus to create her first website Everything Menopause. She writes often regarding menopause and issues that concern women at mid-life including healing the mind, body and emotions. You can also find some of her health-related articles online at www.ezinearticles.com/?expert=Cathy_Taylor