YOU WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY?

 
In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative released a study about hormone replacement therapy. There were about 17,000 women, aged 63-64, and most of them smoked, had heart disease or diabetes.
 
The first group of women were give synthetic equine estrogen (made from horse urine) and these women did not have a uterus. The second group of women were given the same synthetic equine estrogen as well as synthetic progesterone (progestin) and these women still had a uterus.
 
The women who only took estrogen had increased risk of blood clot and stroke and the women who took estrogen plus progestin had an increased risk of breast cancer. Because of these risks, the study was stopped. The evidence was misconstrued. Estrogen was demonized for causing breast cancer when in actuality it was the progestin in the study (the same progestin found in our birth control).
 
Hormone replacement therapy was deemed dangerous but there were SO MANY FLAWS in this study. For starters, these women were already 10 years past menopause; not producing hormones so of course they were going to have a reaction. The hormones they were given were SYNTHETIC which we know now are very harmful. Lastly, these women were riddled with disease beforehand and that skewed the results even further.
 
Doctors started taking everyone off their HRT overnight without weaning and having no regard for how the women felt. Women were afraid of their hormones and some believed they were going to get breast cancer and die.
 

Essentially,

 what this study did was inform us that synthetic hormones are not safe. They do have risks associated with them and we should be very careful when taking them.
 
Here’s the truth about hormone replacement therapy: Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is totally different than hormone replacement therapy with standard synthetic hormones. They are plant based and attach to your receptors like a key to a lock.

 

 
It’s safe to say hormones run our lives! The cool thing is, there are bio-identical hormones out there in prescription form that your regular doctor can give you and you don’t need to suffer!
 
It’s important to know how they get out of balance in order to know how to get them back in balance. We need to know how to test them so we can be our best, in every phase of life. In this day and age where instant gratification is expected, let’s remember that getting control of your hormones is a journey! 
 
Sure, hormones are only one piece of the puzzle but they are an important piece and a piece that can get patients feeling better quickly.

 

It depends on your age and what your goal is. Are you trying to conceive? Going through perimenopause? Are you 70-80 years old struggling with bone density?

Once the goal is determined, your functional gynecologist will want to examine your comprehensive history. You might be asked what the timeline of events was that lead you to this point. It’s important to determine what the CHIEF COMPLAINT is and work back from there.  

YOUNGER PATIENT

  • If they are cycling and have cyclical symptoms like headaches
  • May want to do a saliva hormone test because it’s the easiest to collect versus drawing bloodwork multiple times throughout the month
  • Urine or saliva test to map out the cycle and pair symptoms with labs
  • At what point are they having these symptoms and is their estrogen/progesterone low or high
  • This can be very helpful for younger patients and patients trying to achieve fertility

MIDDLE AGED PATIENT

  • We want to see if their progesterone levels are optimal or not and they usually peak a week after ovulation
  • Can do saliva, urine or bloodwork a week after
  • Bloodwork is more cost effective but urine lets us see more than hormone levels
  • We see cortisol levels, how liver is eliminating and detoxifying estrogen
  • We look for estrogen dominance

OLDER PATIENT

  • The goal here would be to protect bone and brain health so we would look at bioidentical hormones and evaluate if they were the right solution for you
  • If so, we would start conservative with a gel or cream.
  • If those weren’t working, we’d move on to patches, oral progesterone, lozenges or pellets (for estrogen and testosterone).
  • The main goal here would be to find the right provider because conventional gynecologists still use synthetic hormones.
  • It all depends on your goals, your budget and what you want to achieve. 

HERE’S THE TAKEAWAY:

Comprehensive testing is so helpful in personalizing care. There is value in all types of testing. There are people who understand hormones and aren’t afraid of them. Listen to your body and the cues it’s sending you. Get your body back in balance so that it can do what it needs to do!

I want you to know is that you don’t need to keep suffering, even if you are quote-on-quote “older” like me! 100 years ago women were dying in their 50’s and now it’s the prime stage of life. We still have hopes and dreams and goals and your hormones should not get in the way of your kick-assery, am I right?!

 

 

In health and love,