Hormone replacement therapy is a medication containing female hormones to replace the ones the body no longer makes after menopause. It was used as a standard treatment for women with hot flashes, night sweats and other menopause symptoms.
This therapy at one time was also thought to prevent heart disease and possibly memory loss (or any problem associated with unbalanced hormones).
The use of this therapy was changed abruptly when a large clinical trial found the treatment actually posed more health risks than benefits.
Although not now recommended for disease prevention, it is still thought by medical doctors, due to clinical trials, that it may be a good choice for certain women, depending on their risk factors.
The medical doctors often prescribe both estrogen and progesterone
together as they need to be balanced.
Risks of hormone therapy
In the largest clinical trial to date, a combination estrogen-progestin pill (Prempro) increased the risk of certain serious conditions, including:
• Heart disease
• Blood clots
• Breast cancer
A related clinical trial evaluating estrogen alone (Premarin) in women who previously had a hysterectomy found no increased risk of breast cancer or heart disease. The risks of stroke and blood clots were similar to the combination therapy.
The benefits of these medications are that it handles the symptoms.
Somehow giving hormones artificially is supposed to fix this problem.
Of course, every drug (medication) brings with it side effects as it is trying to manipulate the body into not having symptoms instead of finding the
real cause of the problem.
What Bioidentical Replacement Therapy?
Is it a Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Mayo website claims “The term "bioidentical" means the hormones in the product are chemically identical to those your body produces. In fact, they are — but so are the hormones used in many FDA-approved hormone replacement products.”
If bioidentical hormones are purchased at a compounding pharmacy, a cocktail of hormones is created, uniquely tailored for each individual patient from a saliva test. At a regular pharmacy, there is a wide range of doses that tries to do the same thing.
It is thought by some that anyone over the age of 40 who begin to experience hormone imbalances should take
bioidentical hormones. A person is exposed to environmental and dietary toxins which contribute to the decline of hormones. It is believed that there is a natural decline of hormones as we age.
Is it really bio-identical?
It is claimed the bioidentical hormones are products that are chemically identical to what’s made in a woman’s body.
“There seems to be a lot of confusion around the definition of "natural" versus "bioidentical versus "synthetic" hormones. One thing to remember when making this distinction is that "bioidentical" refers to the shape of the molecule itself rather than the source of the hormone. By this, I mean that hormones can be marketed as "natural" or "plant-based," yet not come near to being "bioidentical" to native human female hormones or performing as such in the body. Examples of this are the numerous proprietary HRT options being marketed as "plant-based" and "natural," as well as purely yam-based creams” from
Also, whenever you are substituting something naturally made by a gland, that gland will shut down as it doesn’t think it's needed. Does that not matter as the ovaries have shut down already as in menopause? Is there another gland that makes estrogen? Read on.
What is the problem with HRT?
The underlying, and unproven, assumption of this therapy - HRT - was that women's lives were being improved now that they were spared the horrors of aging, menopause, osteoporosis, and the loss of femininity. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true due to this program of synthetic hormones.
HRT estrogen dosage is usually too much, and too different from normal hormones for the body to deal with. Synthetic hormones have molecular forms that do not occur in nature. They are manmade.
The main problem with HRT hormones is that they last too long. All the natural hormonal feedback loops, which are not even completely understood, are disrupted because the synthetics can't act the same as the body’s natural hormones.
The hormone system works as messages from one gland to another and
they then return messages. It is like a communication that goes from one person to another and the second person answers the first letting the first person know he’s been heard and also answering his message.
With hormones this becomes fragmented with millions of one-way orders that are supposed to have return messages. The synthetics keep coming in. The result is loss of proper communications between the reproductive, adrenal, and thyroid systems. They now all suffer.
Is it true that you need HRT?
Many factors can contribute to imbalances of hormones such as adrenal fatigue, thyroid insufficiency, metabolic syndrome, etc. The symptoms of hormone imbalance are believed to be what is known in the medical field as “classic symptoms of aging”. These include weight gain, limited energy, hair loss, low sex drive, depression, mood swings, sleeplessness, poor concentration, memory loss and fatigue.
The problem with this is it is attempting to cover up a problem in the body, an “imbalance of hormones.”
American women arguably are among the most stressed people in history, emotionally and nutritionally, as well as environmentally. It is well known that stress depletes the adrenal glands.
The hormone estrogen stimulates the release of eggs. As soon as a woman's supply of eggs has ended, estrogen levels start to go down as the ovaries stop producing estrogen. This is what is believed to cause the imbalance.
However, the body is not constructed to lower a necessary hormone and create an imbalance. When the ovaries stop producing estrogen, the adrenals are designed to pick up the slack.
There seems to be missing information when it comes to understanding hormonal imbalances.
As we said before, environmental and dietary toxins can affect the hormones. It is the adrenals that are hit the hardest by these and creates adrenal fatigue. So when the call comes to the adrenals to produce estrogen as the ovaries have stopped producing, there is not a good response. What happens if the adrenals are tired and not at their best? You get a hormonal imbalance.
"Menopause is not a disease. It is a natural biological process that has gone awry in some women because of less than optimum environment."
Dr. John Lee
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