Many women experiencing menopause today seek relief through natural compounds. If you’re looking for information on such compounds, we have a few tips for you. Let’s start with a few basic facts about Biest.
What is Biest? Biest is a bi-oestrogen compound used to treat menopause. Treating menopause symptoms with bio-identical compounds is known as bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Bio-identical compounds act in the body in much the same way as the hormones that our bodies produce. A bi-oestrogen (Biest) compound contains two such natural oestrogen components: oestriol and oestradiol. It does not contain the third natural occurring oestrogen, oestrone.
Why use bio-identical hormones instead of non-biological hormone replacement? Up until about 2002, hormone therapy consisted of progestin, or progestin and oestrogen in combination; however, women taking such drugs had a higher risk for breast cancer, heart disease, blood clots and stroke. The Women’s Health Institute halted its study of progestin and oestrogen due to these increased risk factors and women moved away from hormone therapy toward more natural substances. Today, while the medical establishment remains focused on pharmaceutical HRT, for many women the focus is on bio-identical substances which many women consider natural hormone therapy.
Do I need a prescription for Biest? Companies make bio-identical hormones from a plant chemical that appears in soy or yams. If you are in the USA, the FDA has approved several Biest products that you can buy at your local pharmacy with a prescription. The bio-identical oestrogen hormones come in several forms like pills, patches, and vaginal products. Other forms of BHRT‘s in use are DHEA, progesterone, testosterone, and pregnenolone. However, in the UK you will need to see a BHRT specialist doctor.
What strength do I look for? Some physicians will order specific compounds tailored to a particular patient’s needs. In other cases, women use common compounds of Biest that consist of 20% oestradiol and 80% oestriol when expressed on a mg for mg basis, and this is often the best starting ratio. Pharmacies carry Biest for patients to use in the forms of sublingual (under the tongue) lozenges and liquids, transdermal creams and gels. Oral compounds are less recommended. Biest is the most common compound prescribed for menopause patients.
Now, what we just talked about defines the Biest compound; however, doctors will vary the actual dose of biest and other BHRT according to the symptom level and response to treatment of the patient. As a result, compounding pharmacies will vary the total amount of compound dispensed per dose according to the doctor’s prescription. In other words, you may be given 1.25 mg of Biest (.25mg of oestradiol and 1.0mg of oestriol) per dose, varying up to 2.5mg of Biest (.5mg of oestradiol compounded with 2.0mg of oestriol) or more.
Do I have to take a compounded product? The concentration of the oestriol in the compound Biest is higher than that of oestradiol, as the oestradiol is more potent & so effective at lower doses. A combination is recommended as it more closely mimics the natural release of oestrogens during the childbearing years. Oestriol is considered the safest oestrogen, as it stimulates the oestrogen alpha receptors which inhibit breast tissue proliferation. Oestrone is considered the least safe oestrogen in the postmenopausal years. At the same time, it is the one found in highest concentrations naturally post-menopausally as it is produced in the adrenal glands once the ovaries have stopped producing oestrogens. Oestrone stimulates the oestrogen alpha receptors, promoting the proliferation of breast tissue.
In the US, natural hormone therapy is only available as a compounded product. Oestriol as a single ingredient is not available commercially in the US but is available commercially in Europe, mostly as vaginal oestriol to improve vaginal symptoms.
What other considerations should I think about before starting BHRT? If you are thinking about getting a personal compounded prescription prescribed for your symptoms, you should consider these issues:
- Compounding matches your drugs to your situation which means the recipe was not tested for efficacy or safety like FDA-approved pharmaceutical BHRT. You will be the only participant in your own compound drug test.
- So far there is no evidence that personal BHRT compounds are safer or more effective than the FDA-approved compounds.
To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. We look forward to answering all your questions on treating menopause symptoms.