A lot of terms get thrown around these days and as a result, there is a lot of confusion. I want to clarify what we are actually talking about when we say bio-identical hormones.
First, what is a hormone? A hormone is basically a chemical structure that your body makes in one organ, it gets transported to another organ and tells the receiving cells a message. It is essentially the body’s version of a letter–holding a message that causes the receiving cell to take an action. What action the cell takes depends on the exact hormone. Each hormone has a specific message that it sends.
Bio-identical simply means biologically identical to what your body naturally makes. It has the exact duplicate of the chemical structure of the hormone. It can come from a plant source, it can be made in a compounded pharmacy; it simply is an exact replica of the hormone. This means that your body understands how to deal with it, it acts as if your own body made it.
Non bio-identical hormones have some extra chemicals added to it. This is usually done in order to patent a product. The extra structures may or may not have an effect on how the hormone acts in your body. Often, the non bio-identical hormone will do some of the same things as your own hormone but has side effects that your own hormone would not have.
There are those in the medical community who state that bio-identical hormones have no advantage to non bio-identical hormones. Just like soda as a drink is like water?? Interesting thought, isn’t it?? Doesn’t it make sense that if your body is missing an ingredient (a hormone), that you would want to replace exactly what it is missing. Why would you replace it with something “close enough”?? Why risk your health for the unknown side effects of using non bio-identical hormones?