All About Bio Identical Hormone Therapy
Bio identical hormones are used in hormone replacement therapy. They are much safer and more efficacious than synthetic or animal derived hormones. Here’s why: bio identical hormones are derived from either the soybean or the mexican yam and they are created in a lab to mimic the exact molecular structure of human sex hormones. Synthetic hormones (which are what is in every birth control pill) are also created in a lab but in order to get a patent and make money on their product, pharmacological companies add a chemical component to the structure of the hormone molecule (an extra hydrogen atom here or there, an extra molecular arrangement here or there) in order to say it is a unique and newly created item and thus get the patent.
The problem is, the body doesn’t recognize this synthetic hormone as a natural hormone chemical because it isn’t. Instead, it sees this foreign chemical as something masquerading as a hormone and reacts to it like its a free radical. The body reacts to these synthetic hormones or xenoestrogens as it would to any other harmful foreign substance or poison. (Xenoestrogens are industrially made endocrine disrupting compounds which disrupt communication within the bodies’ endocrine/ hormone producing organs). This is why the rates for cancer, stroke, clots, and heart disease are so high for synthetic hormone replacement therapy. But there is actually a great deal of scientific data now showing that bio identical hormones have the exact opposite effects- they actually can reverse the signs of aging, and prevent stroke, heart disease, cancer, bone density loss and more.
Bio identical hormones are cruelty free (plant derived). Big Pharma has also used pregnant horse urine to make estrogen (Premarin). It is an extremely cruel practice where a female horse is forced into pregnancy and then to stand in a cage for years with a catheter in her urethra so they can harvest the estrogen in her urine. It is torture. The human body doesn’t recognize this type of estrogen as natural either, because it’s from a different animal, and has all kinds of other types of estrogens in it not found in the human body. This horse estrogen has been proven to cause heart disease, stroke, and cancer in women who take it. It’s dangerous and cruel to everyone invloved.
Why So Many Women Require Bio Identical Hormone Support
Bio identical hormone supplementation is extremely important. These hormones eliminate the unpleasant side effects of peri-menopause or menopause including hot flashes, lowered libido, loss of muscle tone and bone density, aging, and mood swings. Even young girls with hormone imbalances and bad periods (PMS or cramps etc) who are traditionally prescribed birth control pills to even out their cycle could, depending on their case, benefit from bio identical hormones. The risk of stroke and cancer is considered very low with bio identical hormones and studies actually show that bio identical hormones can prevent heart disease, bone diseases, many cancers, and other disorders. It’s actually much safer and healthier for menopausal women to be on bio identical hormones than it is to not be on them.
Decades ago, women had fewer options and often had to suffer though menopause without any treatment. Of course, there were no genetically modified organisms and far fewer preservatives in the food supply- all of these poisons have inflammatory and often xenoestrogenic effects in the human body. Their absence in the food supply decades ago is why women enjoyed easier menopauses and stronger, more vital older age back then. But women needed bio identical hormone support back then too. Thankfully today it is available to us!
Basically, the female body requires a steady supply of sex hormones in order to not degenerate into dysfunctional old age. These hormones not only remove uncomfortable menopause related symptoms- they literally keep the body functioning like it did when it was younger. Sex hormones are responsible for and required for healthy organs, healthy bones, healthy hair and skin, cancer prevention, strong heart and circulatory system, mental wellness, and a vast array of endocrinological processes.
Here is an excerpt from T.S. Wiley’s brilliant book “Sex, Lies, and Menopause” in which she describes the importance of hormone replacement:
“Sex hormones determine which genes are expressed (turned on) or silenced (turned off) in the nucleus of every cell in the body. Estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, testosterone, insulin, prolactin, and melatonin reach all the way down into the nucleus of every cell in every organ in your body to hit “promoter regions” and “response elements” on genes that literally control the stuff of life. Hormones not only cause you to think, behave, and react in ways that enhance your chances for survival, but they also cause you to go forth and multiply.
Without regular ovulation, which must be stimulated by high enough levels of estrogen, and without the progesterone that follows ovulation, the regulatory genes involved in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and autoimmunity are left “deranged,” or uncontrolled.”
*A note on men: Most men don’t require bio identical hormone therapy. What they must do is work out. Testosterone is made in the testes, but also is also generated in the muscles. If a man is eating right and maintaining healthy muscle mass, he will have healthy, virile levels of testosterone. Losing weight (if overweight) and gaining a solid muscle mass is the key to building up and sustaining healthy levels of testosterone. Also, men should adhere to an organic diet to the best of their ability and use natural body products so they cease being exposed to harmful xenoestrogens. This will also facilitate weight loss, muscle growth, and a youthful healthy body. For the men who for medical reasons do require hormonal support, bio identical hormones are safe and life enhancing for them too.
The Safest Way to Take Bio Identical Hormones
Bio identicals are safest when administered transdermally through the skin. This way the hormones go directly into the bloodstream and the liver doesn’t get stressed having to process them, as it does if taken orally. Even cancer survivors can safely take bio identical hormones. The creams are the best method. However, some people are unable to absorb the creams properly or they experience transference (which is where some of the hormone is absorbed by a person or animal they are in close contact with due to skin to skin contact.) For situations like this, oral hormones are best.
Here’s info on why taking hormones using creams is the best option to try first:
“None of your circulating hormones are secreted into your digestive tract as a means of total body distribution. Glands typically secrete hormones into the local circulation where, eventually, they reach complete systemic circulation. This is physiologically natural. Hormone delivery via the digestive tract is not.
When hormones are swallowed, they are exposed to digestive acids and enzymes and metabolism as they are absorbed through the gut wall. Then, like virtually everything absorbed by the digestive process, they are carried directly to the liver in what is called first-pass metabolism.
As a total day’s amount of hormones reach the liver in a very short period of time, this does several things. First, it is just plain hard on the liver. And if other medications are being taken, this adds to the liver’s burden and increases the risk of liver toxicity, injury and gall bladder disease.
Next, the liver does not know that this rapid rise in hormone concentration is short-term. It operates on the basis that hormone levels are way too high, and begins to make changes to counteract this effect. The net result is that it affects the way your body has access to the hormones. It affects the estrogen and progesterone you might be taking, but also affects other circulating hormones and chemicals as well. This includes thyroid hormone, cortisol and a substance called antithrombin III that helps to protect you from strokes and heart attacks.
These changes can increase your blood pressure and cholesterol, affect your mood, lower your thyroid and cortisol potential and increase your risk for a stroke or heart attack.”
Note: Progesterone pills taken orally do not have the same risks as estrogen pills. These pills can still be taken in such a way as to mimic the natural rise and fall of hormones throughout the month. Estrogen is the hormone one should really strive to administer through a non oral route.
Some women do absorb the estrogen hormones best orally though and under the care of a doctor, it can be safer to be on bio identical hormone support (even with the added risks of the oral route) than it is to not take any at all. Taking bio identical estrogen in a oil base (like olive oil) appears to be safer and more effective than estrogen tablets.
If one is taking hormones orally, daily aspirin therapy can help counteract risk of stroke.
Why the Bio Mimetic method is so important
There are some people who may not wish to follow the bio mimetic method but it is best if they do. The body depends on the natural, cyclical rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone in order to function healthily.
These hormones work together and are not designed to be taken apart from one another. To put it extremely simply, estrogen encourages new cells to grow, and progesterone tells them to stop growing and to die. This alternating cycle of cell growth and death is the essence of what makes a body healthy and high functioning. It isn’t safe to disrupt that cycle.
Do not allow a health care provider to tell you you only require estrogen and no progesterone. Again, these hormones work together and are not designed to be taken apart from one another. To put it extremely simply, estrogen encourages new cells to grow, and progesterone tells them to stop growing and to die. This alternating cycle of cell growth and death is the essence of what makes a body healthy and high functioning. Without progesterone’s mitigating effects, side effects from estrogen include cancer and stroke.
A Note on Other Phytoestrogens
Avoid foods or creams containing other phytoestrogens such as flax seeds and oil, soy, and evening primrose. They reduce the effectiveness of the bio identical hormones medicine. These plants contain phytoestrogens that are much weaker. What happens is these weaker much less effective estrogens compete for the limited amount of estrogen receptors in the body and much like a key fitting into a lock, they “take up” an estrogen receptor that should be getting filled by an estrogen from one’s prescribed bio identical hormones. The end result is even if one is taking the bio identical hormones as prescribed, one will end up feeling like they aren’t receiving enough to stop their menopausal symptoms. Please avoid flax, soy, evening primrose, and other plants with their own phytoestrogens.
Finding a Provider
A list of bio identical hormone providers can be found below. It’s important to find a doctor who actually understands bio identical hormones. The reason there aren’t as many studies out about Bio Identical Hormones is they are generic- you can’t hold a patent on them as they are derived directly from a plant. Most pharmaceutical conglomerates (Big Pharma) are only interested in investing the five or ten million dollars it requires to run a study if they are going to get that money back when they sell their patented medicine.
Fortunately, there are many doctors out there who do understand the benefits of bio identical hormones and the dangers of using anything but.
Bio identical hormones such as progesterone, estradiol, and testosterone are still powerful chemicals though and must be prescribed by a physician who needs to know your medical history and will conduct regular blood testing to ensure you are receiving the correct dosages.
Again: Do not allow a health care provider to tell you you only require estrogen and no progesterone. Again, These hormones work together and are not designed to be taken apart from one another. To put it extremely simply, estrogen encourages new cells to grow, and progesterone tells them to stop growing and to die. This alternating cycle of cell growth and death is the essence of what makes a body healthy and high functioning. Without progesterone’s mitigating effects, side effects from estrogen include cancer and stroke.
Please try the transdermal applications first because they are proven to be much easier on your liver and are linked with a lowered risk of stroke as well.
The Wiley Protocol
The Wiley Protocol is a respected company specializing in bio identical hormone therapy creams. They were developed by a pioneer in the field T.S. Wiley and her researchers. These are great bio identical hormones because the company and the compounding pharmacists that prepare them employ a rigorous quality control system that regulates and checks the measurement dosages in each prescription so that each applicator is guaranteed to have the exact dosage inside it. The applicators are prefilled syringes and they are much more effective at delivering an accurate dose of hormones than say, a jar or single large tube in which all the active ingredients could sink to the bottom.
The Wiley Protocol also follows a cyclical dosage schedule (also called multi-phasic or biomimetic) which is designed to mimic the natural rise and fall of hormone levels in a healthy young woman’s cycle. If you’ve had a hysterectomy, you are still instructed to follow the cyclical dosage schedule, only you use a lunar calendar to time the dosage. Studies show this rhythmic dosing is healthier for the body and more natural than simply receiving a steady stream of hormones in the blood stream.
The Wiley Protocol recommends a woman’s blood levels be in a certain range and these are the numbers to shoot for, not the ranges found on lab reports which frankly, can be unhealthily low. These Wiley recommended blood levels are very important because they mimic the same levels of a young woman in her early twenties- when the body is at it’s fittest, both reproductively and healthfully. Also, one’s symptoms might not go away until you’re at these levels so make sure you look at your lab results yourself and find a doctor who understands the Wiley Protocol ranges and agrees with them:
Day 12 Estradiol: 350-550 pg/ml
Day 21 Estradiol: 150-250 pg/ml
Day 12 Progesterone 1-2 ng/ml
Day 21 Progesterone: 10-22 ng/ml
For more information, T.S. Wiley wrote this groundbreaking book on the health benefits of bio identical hormones. It’s called “Sex, Lies, and Menopause”. This book is a must read because it presents strong and compelling scientific data showing the safety and efficacy of bio identical hormones. There are countless scientific studies in the book which are explained so they are clear to the layman.
Here is a list of Wiley Protocol providers: http://www.thewileyprotocol.com/wp-directory.html
Here’s where to buy “Sex, Lies, and Menopause” by T.S Wiley:
Here is a fascinating article written by T.S. Wiley on how bio identical hormones prevent Alzeimer’s disease: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ts-wiley/estrogen-dilemma-there-is_b_543522.html
Note: I am not paid by or affiliated in any way with the Wiley Protocol company.
Note: I am not a medical doctor. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.