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An Introduction to Bio-identical Hormones From Our Toronto Functional Medicine Clinic


When you visit a functional medicine Toronto clinician, you can uncover new facts about your wellness. For example, did you know that bioidentical hormones may be considered for relieving a hormone imbalance? 

Hormones synchronize our bodily functions, so no matter what, we need them! They’re integral because they transport “signals” from your bloodstream to other body sites, such as your muscles. These “signals” tell the body what (and when) to conduct a task – take sleeping, for instance. 

When you have excessive or inadequate amounts of hormones, this is a hormone imbalance, and it can affect both the female and male body. These wonky levels can happen on a short-term or long-term basis, and living with uneven hormones can burden brain health, metabolism, and other elements. In some cases, treatments are required for improving the quality of life. 

So, if you were to take a hormone treatment, why should you consider bioidentical hormones? Our Toronto integrative & functional medicine clinic explores how this approach to wellness works.

What exactly are bio-identical hormones?

Also known as BHRT, these are plant-derived hormones that are chemically similar to the human body’s hormones. Through these plant-derived ingredients, testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, progesterone, and adrenal hormones are simulated; they may be administered through injections, capsules, creams, or patches. It can be compounded for perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, as well as fibromyalgia, adrenal issues, poor thyroid function, and osteoporosis. 

Suggested Reading: What You Didn’t Know About Perimenopause: A Functional Medicine Toronto Explanation

Depending on the patient’s clinical symptoms and lab results, BHRT may also be considered for: 

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Issues with weight loss
  • Poor skin health
  • Night sweats
  • Mood swings, depression, anxiety
  • Poor cognitive function (i.e. brain fog, low concentration)
  • Birth control hormone rebalancing

How does this differ from traditional hormone replacement therapy? 

BHRT is not usually linked to hormone replacement therapies (HRT) prescribed by medical doctors who practice conventional HRT. HRT does not use plant ingredients; instead, synthetic hormones are created to replace any depleting hormones. 

When it comes to understanding side effects, some patients opt for BHRT. This is because scientists have warned that long-term HRT use can augment your chances of forming cancers (i.e. breast, uterine, ovarian), heart disease, pulmonary embolism and strokes. 

That being said, numerous articles from medical journals, including a review from the Postgraduate Medical Journal, explain that BHRT ingredients “…are associated with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.” 

There may be some potential interim risks involved with BHRT, though, which may include digestive issues, mood swings, and an increased risk for some cancers. Ultimately though, using HRT or BHRT is a personal decision and should be discussed with your functional medicine provider. 

Can bio-identical hormones relieve your current symptoms? 

This is something you should ask your healthcare provider! Getting BHRT actually depends on some personal elements, such as medical history, lifestyle factors, health goals, and family history. Patients with a family history of hormonal-responsive cancers or who are predisposed to blood clots are not advised to use it. 

At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, a complete diagnostic session takes place prior to getting your compounded bioidentical hormones. Core tests, including our DUTCH test for adrenal and sex hormones, may be conducted to quantify hormone levels. Once test results and your health status have been sorted, we can personalize your treatment plan. This comprehensive strategy may include BHRT and other supportive strategies, such as naturopathic medicine, IV therapy, and lifestyle modifications.  

How does your hormonal health hold up? Find out with functional medicine testing and we’ll introduce you to our personalized integrative medicine services. We invite you to become a new patient today.

About our functional medicine approach to health care

A customize wellness strategy can benefit a wide range of conditions, such as those related to active thyroid function, sexual health, nutritional deficiencies, body aches, autoimmune illness and chronic symptoms. 

Inside our clinic and IV Lounge, integrative medicine services are available. This can inspire you to take ownership of your health while exploring the synergy of alternative treatment options. By combining modalities, you can support individual symptoms and address the origin of your health issue. 

Some of the functional medicine therapies we offer include (but are not limited to): 

  • Western medicine (allopathic)
  • Naturopathic medicine
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Bioidentical hormones (bio-Identical thyroid hormone therapy)
  • Intravenous therapy (IV therapy)
  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal medicine

Each of our therapies, including drips from our IV Lounge, is correlated with integrative functional medicine wisdom. Our compassionate health team respects each patient’s unique expression of health. With that, a tailored comprehensive treatment plan can impact your health goals – this is because a custom program caters to your biology only. 

What does your body need to unlock improvement? Let’s help you promote disease prevention and hormonal balance. Clinical nutrition and functional medicine from our Toronto clinic can help you step towards optimal wellness – call us to request your first appointment.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.



Harper-Harrison G, Shanahan MM. Hormone Replacement Therapy. [Updated 2023 Feb 20]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:

Holtorf K. The bioidentical hormone debate: are bioidentical hormones (estradiol, estriol, and progesterone) safer or more efficacious than commonly used synthetic versions in hormone replacement therapy? Postgrad Med. 2009 Jan;121(1):73-85. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2009.01.1949. PMID: 19179815.

Moskowitz D. A comprehensive review of the safety and efficacy of bioidentical hormones for the management of menopause and related health risks. Altern Med Rev. 2006 Sep;11(3):208-23. PMID: 17217322.

Sites CK. Bioidentical Hormones for Menopausal Therapy. Women’s Health. 2008;4(2):163-171. doi:10.2217/17455057.4.2.163

Sizar O, Schwartz J. Hypogonadism. 2022 Jun 27. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 30422528.

Thompson, J.J., Ritenbaugh, C. & Nichter, M. Why women choose compounded bioidentical hormone therapy: lessons from a qualitative study of menopausal decision-making. BMC Women’s Health 17, 97 (2017).


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