Bioidentical hormone therapy
What are hormones?
Humans, animals and plants share one common feature that drives life: hormones. They are messenger substances, acting as triggers in many of our body’s control centres. Together with genes, they determine looks, growth, procreation, emotions, health, nutrition, sleep and love. Theirs is a complex world, with complicated chain reactions and interconnections. Hormones are like a network, they are all interconnected.
Their tasks are both perplexing and exciting, for example the release of adrenaline prior to appearing on stage, the love hormone oxytocin released when people embrace each other for longer than 30 seconds or the sudden tinnitus triggered by a lack of oestriol, to name but a few. The mother of all hormones is known as pregnenolone, from which a wide range of hormones is produced, including progesterone.
What is a bioidentical hormone therapy?
Bioidentical hormone therapy (BHT) has been known about since the 1970s and was developed by Dr Jonathan Wright. Each hormone has its own unique chemical structure, a code that works like the lock-and-key principle. This chemical structure can be copied. The plant hormone dioxin is extracted and micronized from yam roots. Through the addition of individual carbons, the chemical structure of various human hormones can be imitated. The plant-based chemical structure thus becomes identical to that of our human hormones, i.e. bioidentical. This makes it possible to add missing hormones naturally and without side effects. Natural progesterone, for example, is essential for pregnancy to occur. Not only, because it maintains the pregnancy, but because the sperms can “smell” progesterone and thus get to the ovum faster in order to fertilize it.
“Progesterone makes women and men more attractive and increases sperm mobility.”
What can be treated with a bioidentical hormone therapy?
This list is not exhaustive
- Behҫet’s disease
- Breast cysts
- Memory problems
- PCO syndrome (polycystic syndrome)
- Joint pain
- PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
- Hair loss
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hashimoto thyroiditis
- Postnatal depression
- Hot flushes
- Fertility problems
- Lack of libido
- Mood swings
- Lichen sclerosus
- Underactive thyroid
The key insight: A well functioning hormonal balance is the basic requisite for life-long health. A drop in hormone levels is noticeable from as early as 27 years, not, as previously thought, only during meno- or andropause.
Comparison of artificial and bioidentical hormones
The notion of “hormone therapy” is often met with spontaneous rejection. But is there a difference between hormone therapies? What hormones are being used? What are they made from and what is their effect on the human body? Here we explain the differences:
There is the regular hormone therapy, also known as hormone replacement therapy; it is a therapy with synthetic, i.e. artificially produced hormones. The best known synthetic hormones are used in hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, the hormonal coil, the birth control shot (three-monthly injection), the vaginal ring or the hormonal implant as well as in the treatment of complaints associated with the menopause. Their chemical structure is not the same as that of human hormones and has no ability to develop, thus severely limiting its many functions.
This kind of therapy is only used in the treatment of acute symptoms, for example in cases of severe menstrual problems, and these hormones harmless to health when taken over extended periods, as various side effects  may develop, such as loss of libido, hair loss, depression, lack of energy, insomnia, cysts, myomas, fertility problems, thrombosis or cancer associated with hormonal contraception. They also promote the aging process.
Bioidentical hormone therapy or natural hormone therapy is a gentle treatment that addresses the causes of a diseases, replaces the deficient hormones, thus contributing significantly towards the abatement and healing of the disease. These hormones are produced from yam roots and are identical in structure to human hormones, hence the term “bioidentical”. Their effect is based on the lock-and-key principle, they can transform into other hormones and are free from side effects, when used properly.
Anti-aging or pro-aging?
Bioidentical hormones have an anti-aging effect. Depending on the hormone, the anti-aging effect acts on skin, bones, muscles, joints, soft tissue, hairs and more. After one year of consistent treatment with bioidentical hormones, the rejuvenating effect is already obvious.
Is a hormone treatment dangerous?
Two studies  compared bioidentical hormones with synthetic ones. Bioidentical hormones did not promote mammary cell growth. Synthetic hormones, by contrast, increased mammary cell growth, resulting in denser breast tissue in breast screening, a known risk factor for the development of breast cancer.
Besides treatment of symptoms and anti-aging, preventive treatment with bioidentical hormones is an important factor for a very good quality of life into old age. Numerous studies have proven that diseases such as Alzheimer’s , cataracts  and breast cancer  or the development of health problems such as migraine, menstrual problems or insomnia as well as premature birth  are associated with several low to very low hormone levels. This can also be observed in daily medical practice. A well adjusted treatment with bioidentical hormones can prevent this and maintain functional capacity as well as quality of life at a high level into very old age.
- Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2011;38(3):225-7. Br J Pharmacol. 2014 Nov;171(22):5032-48. Eur J Intern Med. 2017 Jul;42:54-60. Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Aug;124(2 Pt 1):292-9. N Engl J Med. 2017 Dec 7;377(23):2228-2239.
- Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2007 Jan;101(2):125-34. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2012 Oct;28 Suppl 2:12-5.
- Endocrinology. 2010 Jun;151(6):2713-22.
- PLoS One. 2017 Feb 21;12(2):e0172306.
- Maturitas. 2015 Nov;82(3):291-5.
- J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2017 Feb;31(3):388-394. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2017 Mar 6;17(1):78.
How are hormones measured?
“Normal levels are standard, but not ideal,” Dr Farmini explains.
Hormonal balance can be assessed by testing saliva, blood or urine. Results from a saliva test are more significant than those from a blood test, as it measures active hormones not bound to proteins. In a blood test, only protein-bound, i.e. inactive hormones are measured. This can result in a distorted assessment, and a potentially necessary therapy may thus not happen. Urine tests primarily measure the metabolic products of hormones.
A distorted assessment can also happen (in saliva- as well as blood- and urine-based diagnostic tests), when therapists interpret normal ranges as ideal ranges. Hormone levels within the supposed normal range (laboratory reference range) does not mean that a patient’s hormones are at the ideal or optimal level.
“Not just the absolute values are important, but also the interrelationship between them,” Dr Farmini points out.
Blood hormone tests are generally paid for by statutory health insurers. The costs of saliva and urine tests, by contrast, are only assumed by private health insurers, depending on contract.
On request, we are happy to provide you with further information and a saliva test set and/or a referral for a blood test.
How are bioidentical hormones administered?
Bioidentical hormones can be prescribed in a range of different administration forms: creams, lipocaps (known as lozenges), capsules, pens, suppositories or vaginal pessaries.
Creams are convenient and easy to apply in daily use. The dosage is flexible and adaptable and thus the most popular option with patients.
Lozenges are oil-filled capsules, hence their name lipocaps (Greek lipos = fat). They are small tablets placed inside the cheek pouch. The hormones are thus rapidly absorbed through the mucous membranes. Thanks to their compact form, lozenges are particularly practical for those on the move.
Capsules are preferred in certain cases in order to achieve a specific effect in terms of concentration and stamina.
A pen is a concentrated hormone preparation. It is no larger than a writing pen and thus very convenient and easy to use on the move. Pens can be used in the genital area and in areas where the skin is comparatively thin.
Suppositories or pessaries are inserted into the vagina and absorbed through the vaginal skin. In that way, the bioidentical enter directly into the bloodstream without the risk of contamination through rubbing off (affecting family members, pets or other people), as in the case of cream, for example.
Each bioidentical hormone preparation is individually produced for our patients by our trusted pharmacy. We make sure that hormones are of the highest quality and are produced on a basis that is as natural and high-grade as possible, as quality plays a crucial role in therapeutic success.