Confused About Hormone Replacement? Are Hormones Good or Bad?
When I first graduated from medical school back in the early 2000’s, I have to admit was thoroughly confused by whether hormone replacement therapy was good or bad, and I wasn’t sure if I should recommend it. I also did not understand the differences between synthetic and bioidentical hormones. I thought they were basically all the same.
Most people, even practitioners, are confused by hormone replacement therapy and don’t have a good understanding of the facts.
It wasn’t until years later when I stumbled upon information from Dr. Neal Rouzier, MD that I began to understand the differences between synthetic hormone replacement and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. A light when off in my brain finally and I began to realize that all hormones are NOT created equally.
Bioidentical hormones are made from plant based sources (most commonly yam and soy) and are created to be recognized by the body as identical to what we make naturally.
The body recognizes these naturally derived compounds as the same as what we make on our own. Synthetic hormones are compounds that differ greatly from what our bodies naturally produce and are not recognized as the same. Synthetic hormones are the ones that have more risks and unfavorable side effects. There is a huge difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones.
The body views synthetic hormone compounds as foreign to what the body naturally produces, and synthetic hormones many more unwanted side effects and risks. The confusion happens when practitioners and the media start lumping all forms of hormone replacement together and viewing the negatives as applying to ALL hormones, bioidentical or synthetic. That is where it gets misunderstood. The studies that showed risks related to breast and uterine cancer were from taking synthetic hormones only. No such study to date shows the same risks for bioidenticals.
Have a listen to video below of Dr Rouzier as he answers many of the common questions about hormone replacement and bioidentical hormone replacement. He delves deeper into the details of the study that created fear of hormone replacement therapy and helps clear up the confusion!