Originally published January 23 2009
Hormones Part IV: Bioidentical Replacement Defends against Aging and Degeneration
by Barbara L. Minton
(NaturalNews) All the migraines, irritability, depression, sleeplessness, and weight gain are trying to tell us something. The message is that time is running out. These events are the early signs of an aging process that leads to pain, disability, drugs, degenerative disease and decline. At the end of this road is either early death or a nursing home. The key event that starts us careening down this road is hormonal decline. Once we enter hormonal decline, life is never the same again, but it doesn't have to be this way. Bioidentical hormone replacement can restore you to the person you were when you were in your prime.
Your doctor may be killing you, and he doesn`t even know it
For nearly a century medical therapies in the U.S. have been dominated by the use of patent medicines. The goal of medical schools is to teach upcoming doctors how to prescribe them. Then later, when these doctors are practicing, using patent medications as the first-step therapy is automatic. The prescription pad is carried in their pockets where it can be easily whipped out at the end of the eight minute visit. Medical schools don`t teach therapies using molecules normally present in our bodies or in nature, although it seems like common sense that patent molecules would only be used when the natural ones have been tried and didn`t get the job done.
Anyone seeking medical attention from a traditional physician walks away thinking drugs are the answer to everything. If the drugs don`t work, a larger dose is prescribed or the patient is blamed. There is seldom any mention of the natural alternatives. All the while this is going on, the underlying condition that prompted the visit in the first place is still there. It may be masked, but drugs cannot make it go away. After a period of time it will worsen or reappear in another form. And each patent medicine has a list of side effects to make matters worse. Pretty soon more drugs are needed to deal with them. This is the down-hill run that leads to premature death from debilitating disease.
Bioidentical are exact replicas of the hormones made in the body
Bioidentical hormones are created in compounding pharmacies to have the identical molecular structure as the hormones made by your own body. They are completely different from the synthetic hormones used in HRT, sold by pharmaceutical companies, and implicated in breast cancer during the Women's Health Initiative Study in 2002. Bioidenticals are not perceived by the body as foreign substances and require no detoxification. They do not threaten the immune system or cause any other side effects. Bioidenticals simply make the hormonally deprived body sigh with relief. And unlike the one-size-fits-all regime of HRT, bioidentical protocols are tailored to each individual based on symptoms and test results.
Although bioidenticals have been around for years, most doctors are completely unfamiliar with them, since they are never mentioned by drug salesmen. If you ask your doctor about them, he will probably say they are no good, just what the pharmaceutical companies want him to say. If you are interested in bioidenticals, it is pretty much up to you to educate yourself unless you come across a cutting edge physician who practices anti-aging medicine or hormone replacement.
An actress will tell you what you should be hearing from your own doctor
In your quest for self-education about bioidenticals, you have one teacher who you can count on to tell you the truth as she knows it. Actress Suzanne Summers, a breast cancer survivor and user of bioidenticals, is a passionate educator on the subject in the books she has written. Don`t dismiss her with a laugh because of her acting stereotype as a dumb blond. Suzanne is amazingly intelligent and insightful on the subject of bioidenticals and anti-aging. She brings a wealth of experience to her writing, along with interviews of leading physicians practicing bioidentical hormone therapy. After reading what they have to say, you will probably have no more doubts about bioidenticals or the need to replace declining hormones to retain your youth.
Research supports the safety of bioidenticals
Bioidenticals eliminate vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, osteoporosis, sleep disturbance, migraines, emotional instability, loss of brain function and loss of libido. They help you look and feel like you did when you were young and had a full complement of hormones coursing through your body. They offer the best protection there is from the horrors of aging and the onslaught of degenerative diseases experienced by those in hormonal decline. Yet, in the face of all this good news, everyone still seems to be worried about their safety, especially whether they promote breast cancer. This is because there is no campaign to make you a believer like there is to create believers for pharmaceutical products.
In Suzanne`s latest book, Breakthrough, she interviews gynecologist Dr. Prudence Hall, founder of the Hall Center and one of her own personal physicians. Prudence references a new study from Sweden that looked at 23,000 women for causes of death. Twelve major categories were identified. Women using bioidenticals had a decrease in every single category of death compared to women not using bioidenticals. Main causes of death were stroke, heart attack, breast cancer, and colon cancer. In each category there was a 12 to 86 percent decrease in terms of death.
The Founier Study was published in 2005 in the International Journal of Cancer. It followed 54,000 women who were taking bioidentical estrogen and either bioidentical progesterone or the synthetic version called progestin. (Progestin is fake progesterone that is not bioidentical in any manner).
The women taking the bioidential progesterone had a 10% decrease in the risk of breast cancer, and the women taking the synthetic progestin had a 40% increase in the risk of breast cancer. These are the same progestins that were taken by the women participating in the Women`s Health Initiative in 2002 that sparked an increase in breast cancer.
In an extension of this study, published in 2007 in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 80,000 women were evaluated. Those on bioidentical estrogen and progesterone had no increase in the rate of breast cancer. Those on the drug progestin had a 69 percent increase.
A ten year study directed by Dr. Gino Tutera, a pioneer of bioidentical pellet hormone therapy, set out to prove that although the use of conjugated estrogen combined with synthetic progestin does increase the incidence of breast cancer, it does not mean that bioidentical estrogen and progesterone, or even bioidentical estrogen alone, increase breast cancer incidence.
His study, from 1992 to 2002, involved 976 women between the ages of 25 and 82. These women used subcutaneous bioidentical estradiol and testosterone. Some also used bioidentical (natural) progesterone cream. They were followed with yearly exams. Findings indicated that using bioidentical estradiol, testosterone and progesterone did not increase the risk of breast cancer. In fact, study results showed a reduction the incidence of breast cancer. Nearly 96 percent of the women in the study were peri-or post menopausal, the age at which breast cancer usual strikes. Nearly 70 percent had used other forms of estrogen replacement therapy for an average of five years before switching to the pellet therapy.
Given that the typical incidence of breast cancer is one out of nine, there should have been many women who developed breast cancer during their ten year participation in this research. However, during the course of this study, only one patient developed breast cancer. She had used conjugated estrogen with progestins for the four years before starting the bioidentical pellet therapy. These results lend tremendous support to the conclusion that bioidentical replacement keeps away breast cancer.
The de Lignieres study from journal Climacteric that was published in 2002 found the risk of breast cancer is not increased with bioidentical hormones but is increased with synthetic progestin. Other studies have consistently shown that the higher the natural progesterone levels over the course of a woman`s life, including during pregnancy when progesterone is at its highest levels, the greater the protection from cancer.
If this information were being made available to doctors it would eliminate the fear they have due to lack of correct information. As it is, they are kept in the dark by an industry that puts profits before the health of women and also by their own lack of insight into how they are being manipulated by the pharmaceutical industry. And if this information were made available to women through TV ads like the constant bombardment of ads for drugs, women would flock to their doctors demanding prescriptions for bioidenticals. Because this information is kept from mainstream media, ignorance continues to rule and many women are left to suffer needlessly. Doctors easily prescribe synthetic concoctions to prevent pregnancy and even to shorten or to do away with women`s periods. Yet there is still this notion of fear that persists about bioidenticals. It is almost as though there is a concerted effort to ruin the health of women.
Bioidenticals are part of a whole health regimen
As wonderful as bioidenticals are, they can`t do it all without help. Bioidenticals provide the foundation for good health. On that foundation must be added nutrition, exercise, detoxification, stress reduction, sleep and a purpose in life. This is the total regimen that will allow you to reach and keep your ideal weight. And this is the regimen that will allow you to reach the vibrant health that has eluded you for so long.
Source of information about Dr. Tutera`s study is his book You Don`t Have to Live With It.
About the authorBarbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.
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