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Bio Identical Hormones. Do you need them too?

Getting the right balance of hormones affects not only your monthly period and chances of conceiving – it can also dramatically influence your mood, waistline and long-term health. For Natasha, bio identical hormones were ‘life changing.’

This month we speak to her practitioner, Dr. Martin Galy, from the Bio Rejuvenation Clinic[1] to learn more.

Can you explain a bit about bio identical hormones? 

Bio identical hormones have nearly the same chemical structure as the hormones that we make naturally. The ones that I prescribe are produced from plants. They are derived from Mexican yam (progesterone) or soy (estrogen), and are altered in laboratory conditions to almost match the structure of human hormones

Traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has a bad reputation. How are bio identical hormones different? 

Many of the hormones used in traditional HRT are significantly different in molecular structure to natural hormones, and may have significant long-term side effects as a result of these differences. But even with traditional HRT, the newest guidelines from NICE released in November 2015, are encouraging women and their GP’s to reconsider their attitude to HRT.

Are bio identical hormones available on the NHS?

Several brands of bio identical hormones are available on the NHS and it is up to your GP to prescribe these pharmaceutically manufactured hormones. However, these hormones can only be given in multiples of fixed doses, which sometimes may not suit every woman, as each woman has her own fingerprint of hormonal balance. For instance, a lady in her mid 40’s with low progesterone might need just 50mg daily. However the only natural progesterone that is pharmaceutically available in the UK is in 100mg tablet form.

How can you tell if you have low progesterone? 

You can ask your GP to have a progesterone blood test on Day 18-21 of your cycle [when progesterone peaks]. If you have low progesterone - or too much estrogen - you might find you suffer from exaggerated symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome, like tender breasts, excess bloating and water retention, irritability, low mood and poor sleep. 

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