Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a medical treatment that involves the use of hormones to supplement or replace the body's natural hormone levels, typically estrogen and progesterone in women or testosterone in men. HRT is commonly prescribed to alleviate symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances or deficiencies, such as menopause or andropause. It can help manage symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and decreased libido.
HRT can be administered through various methods, including pills, patches, gels, creams, or injections. Determining where you get your HRT treatment from is critical. While certain hormones like progesterone and estradiol are bioidentical, there are distinctions between obtaining them from a compounding or traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacy. Conventional pharmacies utilize pharmaceuticals that, despite containing the same fundamental hormones, also incorporate various fillers and toxins. These additives may not be desirable for regular consumption, introducing a concern for consistent intake. Aside from the heightened purity without fillers or additives, compounding pharmacies can administer more precise dosages. Compounds like Biest, a combination of estradiol and estriol with certain protective effects, are exclusively available through compounding. Some examples of fillers in non-compounded HRT medications include:
Oral progesterone - Common inactive ingredients include: lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and sodium starch glycolate. I think we all see potential issues with these excipients.
Estradiol topical - Silicon dioxide, lactose monohydrate, polyethylene glycol, magnesium stearate, starch, and hypromellose.
Progesterone peanut-filled capsules - Peanut oil, gelatin, glycerin, titanium dioxide, D&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Red No. 40
The decision to undergo HRT should consider the individual's medical history, risk factors, and potential benefits and risks associated with the treatment. Regular monitoring and adjustments may be necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of HRT.