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Dr. Sibthorpe featured in Sheerluxe “Bio Identical Hormones”

Though the work hormones do is subtle, when they fall out of balance, the effects on your health can be anything but. And when it comes to the menopause, countless hormones are at play, leading to a variety of issues including mood swings, memory loss and low bone density. But with traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) getting a bad rap – it has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, heart attack and stroke – it was only a matter of time before an alternative came into play.

Step forward Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), which supports menopausal and peri-menopausal women, as well as those with hormone imbalances, to reboot libido and energy levels, sharpen mental agility and memory capacity, strengthen bones and boost confidence by using all-natural hormones. Pioneering a two-pronged attack on ageing, SL spoke to Dr. Richard Sibthorpe – cosmetic doctor and leading anti-ageing medical practitioner – for the lowdown on BHRT.

Can you bring us up to speed on Bio-Identical Hormones?

In 2002, a large study discovered an increased risk of breast cancer, heart attack and stroke in post-menopausal women using regular hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This sparked an interest in Bio-Identical Hormones (BHRT) – unlike conventional HRT that uses synthetic or animal-based hormones that are slightly different from a woman’s own hormones, bio-identical hormones are exactly the same as those made by a woman’s body, meaning the body treats and processes these hormones as if they were its own.

What does the treatment involve?

The hormones are applied via various creams, as transdermal application is safer than being taken orally. It’s non-invasive and the creams are tailored to each individual’s specific imbalance.

Who would benefit from BHRT?

It all depends on what your symptoms are and which hormones your body needs. Signs and symptoms of an imbalance may include muscle wastage, low energy levels, insomnia, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats and anxiety, all typically occurring around the menopause.

On a Similar Note

And is the treatment suitable for all women?

While it is typically used for post-menopausal women as well as peri-menopausal women (the years leading up to the menopause, which can occur in women as young as their mid to late 30s), younger patients who have hormonal imbalances such as PMS could also benefit from BHRT.

The therapy can work really well during the peri-menopause – while patients’ symptoms may be mild at this stage, BHRT is crucial to prevent further deterioration. It is quite common for women to have imbalances in their sex hormones (progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone) during the peri-menopause, but attention should also be given to vitamin D, which is actually a hormone, as well as the thyroid and cortisol levels.

How do you test for a hormone imbalance?

A simple blood test will provide the information needed to ascertain which hormones are deficient or imbalanced. The profile will also assess vitamin and mineral levels to see whether you may benefit from any dietary or lifestyle changes. Using this information, we develop a bespoke hormone programme, which is centred around a cream, to be applied topically to the skin daily.

Where and how should you apply the cream?

The creams are applied either once or twice daily on specific areas of the body depending on the hormonal imbalance. For example, a testosterone-heavy cream should be applied to non-hairy areas, such as the wrists, whereas a progesterone cream is usually best applied twice a day to assist with sleep.

And how quickly can you see results?

The majority of patients begin to feel better within a few months although results can be felt as soon as a couple of weeks, especially when it comes to sleep and energy levels. Every patient has a different experience but the end result is the same – a healthier, balanced life.

Finally, how do you see BHRT in the future of ageing?

BHRT is a step forward in the science of healthy ageing as it enables us to directly address the causes of ageing rather than just its symptoms. In short, maintaining hormonal balance is the key to staying youthful, and BHRT can enable us to do just that.



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