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Menopause is a natural part of every woman’s life.
Also referred to as a transition or the change, menopause manifests itself through an array of symptoms and changes in the body that range from mild to severe.
Women experience menopause differently.
Some ladies find their menopause symptoms tolerable while others do not. Proper management of menopause-related symptoms improves a woman’s overall wellbeing and makes this chapter of her life easier.
In order to help their patients manage menopause adequately, doctors recommend different approaches, depending on the symptoms, overall health, and other factors.
Biest has a significant role in menopause management, and in this article, we are going to focus on everything you need to know about.
What is Biest?
Chances are you have already heard of Biest, but weren’t quite sure what it was.
Simply put, Biest is a type of treatment used in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) for anti-aging treatment and management of symptoms of menopause.
The term BHRT refers to supplementation of hormones that are molecularly identical to the hormones produced by the human body.
Unlike CHT (conventional hormone therapy) such as medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and conjugated estrogen (CE), BHRT hormones don’t consist of extra structural moieties which could change hormone receptor binding and function in a person’s body.
Bio-identical hormone therapy is also referred to as natural hormone therapy due to the fact that these hormones act just like those our body produces[i], as mentioned already. The word “bio-identical” should not deceive you, though. These are still manmade hormones derived from plant estrogens that just act as their counterparts made in our body.
Biest is an ideal example of BHRT and is mainly used to treat menopause symptoms, low estrogen. Basically, Biest is a combination of estrogens formulated into one compound. Here, bi means two, and est stands for estrogen.
Two estrogens included in Biest are estradiol and estriol.
Estradiol is dubbed as the most powerful form of estrogen in the body while estriol is weaker. These two types of estrogen are combined on purpose so that they can balance each other out and help alleviate symptoms of menopause in a natural, healthy, and safe manner.
How can I get Biest?
Biest treatment is not some random product you can get online or on the drugstore shelf. In order to get Biest, you need a prescription from your doctor.
Make sure your doctor is familiar with Biest, its effectiveness, and potential side effects before you ask for a prescription or consult them to see whether you could benefit from this medication.
Different forms available
Biest treatment is highly individualized as it is based on hormone levels and other factors.
Two women do not necessarily need the same form of Biest to tackle symptoms of menopause. The most common form is given in 80:20 ratio. More precisely, most women can benefit from 80% estriol and 20% estradiol.
That being said, the doctor may choose to prescribe different combinations such as 65:45, 70:30, but in some studies, 50:50 formulation was administered too.
Is Biest effective?
Now that you know what Biest is, you are probably wondering whether it truly works.
Various studies have examined the efficacy of compounded BHRT, which includes Biest, but more research is needed to know more about this subject.
Ruiz et al. carried out a study whose main objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of compounded BHRT in a total of 296 women with mean age 52. Biest 50/50 was used by 51% of participants and Biest 80/20 by 45% of women in the study.
Moreover, Biest was the most common topical estrogen combination therapy. Results showed that women who took BHRT experienced significant reductions in moderate-to-severe mood symptoms within three to six months.
Women experienced a decrease of 25% in emotional liability, a 25% reduction in irritability, and a 22% decrease in anxiety. Subjects also experienced improvements in other symptoms of menopause such as night sweats and hot flashes.
Scientists concluded their study explaining that their findings supported the effectiveness of BHRT in reducing menopausal symptoms. However, they call for larger studies on the subject to examine the impact of BHRT on myocardial infarction and breast cancer risk[ii].
A different study, carried out by Stephenson et al., enrolled 75 women whose hormone levels were measured after which they received Biest and/or progesterone for eight weeks.
Experimental subjects were monitored for 36 months. Subjects who received transdermal BHRT showed significant favorable changes in anxiety scale, depression scale, pain scale, glucose, and triglycerides.
Moreover, the therapy relieved menopausal symptoms in peri- and postmenopausal women. The treatment also positively influenced cardiovascular biomarkers, inflammatory factors, immune signaling factors, and overall health outcomes[iii].
What to expect with Biest?
When using Biest regularly and the right dosage, women usually experience improvement in symptoms of menopause.
Even the above-mentioned studies have confirmed that Biest works for this purpose. Biest can help manage:
- Hot flashes
- Loss of interest in sexual intercourse or pain during sexual activity
- Night sweats
- Sleep problems
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
- Memory loss
Of course, more studies are crucial to inspect other effects of Biest, all mechanisms of action, and even potential risks associated with this therapy.
As mentioned earlier in this post, Biest therapy is quite individualized. The doctor recommends the best form for a specific patient and her symptoms. Generally speaking, the best approach to take when using Biest (and other hormones for that matter) is to start with the absolute minimum to resolve the symptoms you experience in a safe manner.
One should never start using Biest in higher doses immediately, but begin with lower dosages first.
Your doctor will recommend the ideal ratio of estriol and estradiol. The main objective here is to use no more estradiol than it’s necessary. Remember, it’s the strongest type of estrogen.
That’s why estriol is included to balance the estradiol out. Women who use Biest may want to monitor their symptoms and keep a log. Write down the symptoms you experience and their severity.
Do it regularly. These logs can help your doctor determine whether the Biest therapy is working or whether it is necessary to alter the estradiol – estriol ratio.
How is Biest used?
Let’s say you want to give Biest a try.
How do you use it?
Well, Biest usually comes in the form of gel or cream. The treatment is formulated by a compounding pharmacy.
While many hormone-related medications are taken orally Biest is different. But don’t worry it’s not difficult to use it and it can be more effective. When taken orally medications need to be broken down and ingested first. That means it can take a while before they start working.
On the flip side, the transdermal application avoids the intestinal tract, and effects occur at a faster rate. Therefore, you apply Biest right on your skin. But, when you’re applying, it’s important to put the cream or gel on an appropriate place on your body.
When it comes to the hormone medications forearms are the ideal spot.
The skin on your forearms is thin and doesn’t have much fat. The superficial veins, then, carry the hormone straight to the heart which pumps it throughout the body. Besides forearms, it’s also practical to apply Biest on the vaginal area, neck, peri-anal area, and inner thighs.
As you can notice, all these areas on your body have relatively thinner skin than others meaning the cream or gel is absorbed faster.
Side effects of Biest
Every medication we take to address some health problem or symptoms we experience carries the risk of adverse reaction.
Therapies for management of symptoms of menopause are not the exception, including Biest. Side effects of Biest can occur from either overdosing or underdosing.
Using a lower dose than necessary leads to the persistence of the current symptoms of menopause a woman is experiencing. For instance, you may notice that hot flashes, night sweats, depression, and even weight gain still persist despite regular adherence to the therapy.
In this situation, it’s easy to think that Biest is causing those symptoms, but the truth is that your doctor will just probably increase the dose to manage menopause more adequately. That’s why it’s crucial to track symptoms when using Biest.
The more likely scenario is that side effects of Biest occur due to overdose i.e., when you are using too much of it. Common side effects associated with using too much Biest include[iv]:
- Continued hot flashes i.e., hot flashes decrease first, but as you continue using excessive doses of Biest they may return and aggravate
- Pelvic cramps with or without bleeding
- Breast tenderness
- Nipple tenderness
- Menstrual bleeding
- Abdominal cramps
- Fuller and enlarged breasts with or without tenderness
- Bloating or water retention
If you experience the above-mentioned symptoms, make sure you consult your doctor or healthcare provider. In most situations, the solution to this problem is to reduce the dose or stop using Biest for two to three days.
When discussing the side effects of Biest, it is worth noting that BHRT is generally considered a safer choice for the management of menopause symptoms.
To the reason for that takes us back to the beginning of this post where we have already explained that BHRT revolves around hormones that mimic or act like the ones our body produces. That’s exactly why it is a relatively safer option for management of menopause than other kinds of hormone therapies.
BHRT may also induce adverse reactions such as increased facial hair in women, mood swings, fatigue, and acne.
Of course, this doesn’t mean these changes will happen for sure. In order to minimize the risk of Biest side effects, you should adhere to the recommended dosage, report symptoms to your doctor, an avoid taking lower or higher dose than necessary.
Do I really need Biest?
Most women are reluctant to see the doctor regarding the symptoms they are experiencing at first. Many believe that symptoms and problems they cause will go away on their own.
But as problems become more severe, their quality of life suffers. When experiencing symptoms of menopause, you should definitely see your doctor. In order to improve the general health and quality of life, it may be necessary to treat symptoms properly. Various treatment options are available, and Biest is one of them.
Now you probably think about whether you really need it. Well, Biest has a simple mechanism of action as hormones act just like the ones produced in your body. Studies have confirmed this therapy really works, although more research is needed to uncover more.
And it’s also worth noting that Biest is safer than other kinds of hormone treatment. Ease of use is yet another reason why you may benefit from Biest creams or gels.
Menopause induces a wide range of symptoms that can be mild, moderate, or severe. These symptoms affect your quality of life and need to be managed properly. Biest is an effective treatment for menopause symptoms, and its efficacy was confirmed by studies, but more research is needed to learn more about this therapy.
Your doctor will recommend the best ratio of hormones based on the intensity of symptoms you deal with. Side effects occur in cases of overdose or underdose. Make sure you track your symptoms properly so the doctor can have full insight into the treatment course.
[i]. What are bioidentical hormones? (2006). Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/what-are-bioidentical-hormones
[ii] Ruiz, A. D., Daniels, K. R., Barner, J. C., Carson, J. J., & Frei, C. R. (2011). Effectiveness of compounded bioidentical hormone replacement therapy: an observational cohort study. BMC women’s health, 11, 27. doi:10.1186/1472-6874-11-27 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131235/
[iii] Stephenson K, Neunschwander PF, Kurdowska AK. (2013). The effects of compounded bioidentical transdermal hormone therapy on hemostatic inflammatory, immune factors; cardiovascular biomarkers; quality-of-life measures; and health outcomes in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding, 17(1):74-85. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23627249