Are you feeling moody, depressed, irritable, or have brain fog? Are you losing hair or libido or feeling hot or aged? Are you finding it difficult to lose weight or perhaps having acne? These are some of the signs of having a hormonal imbalance. One of the hallmarks of getting older is a decline in hormone levels. Production of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, DHEA, melatonin, human growth hormone, and other hormones tapers off after we reach our 20s and 30s. Age-related hormonal deficiencies contribute to the signs and symptoms of aging. That’s why bioidentical hormones—which are identical to those produced in the human body—are a cornerstone therapy at our clinic! Our goals at Solutions is restore hormone levels to physiologic levels as best as possible and to provide the protective benefits of the hormones to the entire system as well as: 1. Replenish only the hormones that are necessary and deficient. 2. Correct cortisol, thyroid, and progesterone first 3. Use the lowest amount required to alleviate symptoms and achieve desired physiologic effect. 4. Start low and adjust slow 5. Monitor symptoms 6. Re-test levels
Myths about Bioidentical Hormone Replacement
Women who suffer from PMS and hot flashes usually just need depression medication or estrogen supplementation.
Hormone imbalances can present as a wide variety of symptoms, from PMS to depression, as well as weight gain, headaches, sleeplessness, anxiety, decreased sex drive, fatigue, dry hair or skin, even hair loss. Properly diagnosing and treating hormone imbalance symptoms requires a holistic approach – one that evaluates a broad range of the patient’s physical and psychological attributes.
Hormone therapy is risky. It can increase morbidity and mortality from breast cancer, cervical cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease.
The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Study of 1991 caused confusion and widespread panic among patients and practitioners. But it was flawed. It focused on synthetic estrogen-only treatments in (older) postmenopausal women. It failed to consider the inherent weaknesses of synthetic estrogens and that the age of the subjects predisposed them to such risks. In March 2004, that part of the study was also closed down. The press release announced that: “After careful consideration of the data, NIH has concluded that with an average of nearly 7 years of follow-up completed, estrogen alone does not appear to affect (either increase or decrease) heart disease, a key question of the study. It has not increased the risk of breast cancer during the time period of the study.”
All hormone supplements are the same.
Hormone treatments such as Premarin, Prempro and Ceestin are synthetic, i.e. they are not true hormones. Molecular differences between synthetic progestins and progesterone result in differences in their pharmacological effects on breast tissue. Some of the pro-carcinogenic effects of synthetic progestins contrast with the anti-carcinogenic properties of progesterone, which result in disparate clinical effects on the risk of breast cancer. In other words, bio-identical hormones are associated with lower risks of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and are more efficacious than their synthetic and animal derived counterparts.
If a hormone supplement doesn’t appear to resolve symptoms, increase the dosage.
The symptoms of imbalances among the family of endocrine hormones are subject to significant overlap.
An above-normal level of one hormone can present the same symptoms as a below-normal level of another. In many cases, both below- and above-normal levels of the same hormone can present the same symptoms. It is critical to assess and evaluate all of the endocrine hormones to determine which may need adjustment.
Saliva testing is the only acceptable method for measuring hormones.
Testing is not a “one-size-fits-all” proposition. Saliva, blood spot, serum and urine testing each have their advantages and disadvantages. The best approach is to evaluate every situation independently, and proceed based upon the patient’s symptoms, current treatment regimen, and the hormones being measured.
Bioidentical hormones are not FDA approved.
The fact is that there are many FDA-approved bioidentical hormone products available in the U.S. today. In fact, they have been available in the U.S. since 1975! Most all FDA-approved bioidentical hormones have been available in the U.S. for a long time and have extensive studies to support their safety and effectiveness. As an example, EstroGel was one of the first bioidenticals in the world with use in France since 1974, FDA-approval in the U.S. in 2004, and now used in more than 70 countries.
All women who take FDA-approved MHT drugs are going to get blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, or gall bladder disease.
Like all medicines, hormone therapy has risks and benefits. For some women, hormone therapy may increase their chances of getting these conditions. However, there are no convincing data that there is less risk of developing a blood clot, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, or gall bladder disease with a “BHRT” product. When taking BHRT, it is best to use hormones at the lowest dose that helps for the shortest time needed.