Bioidentical hormones - hormone replacement therapy

Hormone Therapy: Bioidentical Hormones vs Synthetic Hormones

Correcting hormonal deficiency is the most powerful way to prevent age related diseases. When examining your options for hormone replacement–just like understanding the complex food industry–often the most natural and least processed is the better choice.

Hormone replacement therapy is by far the most effective treatment for not only pesky symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, low thyroid and other menopausal and andropausal (male menopause) symptoms, but also in the prevention of age related diseases.  There is no better preventative medicine that is as powerful as hormones. The goal with any hormone therapy is to re-establish the delicate balance in which the body was originally able to maintain.

The Body Does not Respond the Same to Synthetic Hormones

While our options today are synthetic hormones or bioidentical, and both are made in a laboratory, the bioidentical hormones are derived from natural sources such as plants.  Plants such as Red Clover can be extracted and formed into the right compounds to mimic or appear identical to our own hormones, hence their name bioidentical. The body also responds to these hormones as they would hormones produced by the body.

Synthetic hormones on the other hand are completely synthesized and man-made and do not derive from plants. Drug companies cannot patent bioidentical hormones extracted from plants so they have to recreate their own synthetic chemical versions that they hoped will act the same. We know how our body responds to processed foods and synthetic chemicals – it is much the same with synthetic hormones.

Despite the fact that many woman recognize that their bodies adapt to bioidenticals more easily and comfortably than synthetics, and most certainly they feel better on them and get more benefits, doctors still often prescribe synthetic hormones because of the insurance coverage and the pharmaceutical industry’s push.  However, those benefits come with greater risks than bioidentical hormones.

Synthetics and Risk

Examples of synthetic hormones are patented pharmaceutical brands Premarin and Provera.  Premarin is a form of synthesized estrogen created from the urine of pregnant mares, and the end product’s potency can have undesirable consequences as far as how that chemical compound acts on the body. Provera is a synthetic progestin that acts differently in the body compared to natural bioidetical progesterone. Many doctors and the medical media think all hormones act the same, whether synthetic or bioidentical, but this simply is not the case.

Women for many years have shied away from hormone replacement therapy for fear of cancer. Doctors have backed that information with wrong statistics provided to them by the Women’s Health Initiative who only showed the results of a study that used the synthetics Premarin and Provera.  We cannot extrapolate that study to mean that ALL hormones cause cancer. That is far from an accurate conclusion to make, but despite this, the medical media and many doctors began warning patients to stop all hormone therapy, whether synthetic or bioidentical.  Even though the results of that study showed a greater risk when taking Provera, a completely different chemical compound than natural progesterone. This was a terrible disservice because the reality is that there are far greater risks associated with hormone deficiencies (age related diseases) if women do not take hormones than the risks associated with taking them.

Hormone Replacement as Preventative Medicine

Women who suffer through perimenopause and menopause without doing hormone replacement are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, memory problems (Alzheimer risk increases) and ironically, cancers increase due to hormonal deficiencies.

Thankfully now there are many savvy clinicians and doctors who realize how important it is to optimize hormones and correct deficiencies and begin a treatment that not only includes bioidentical estrogen but also includes progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, thyroid, and Vitamin D.

Hormone deficiencies are now proven to be tied to an increase in heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of chronic age related diseases. These age related diseases can be prevented by optimizing all hormones so that we can age in a way that is most healthful and promotes disease prevention.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is preventative medicine at its best. Add in a healthy diet and regular exercise and you are surely going to live longer, be happier and experience greater health in your golden years.

A common question I will get is whether doing hormone replacement is “natural” versus letting nature “take its course” without intervention from hormone therapy. I can understand this question and would answer it by saying that nature is not always kind in the way we are designed to age.  Diseases associated with hormone deficiencies are natures cruel way of getting us out of the way when we age and a woman is no longer is able to procreate. The aging process decreases hormones and brings on the age related diseases that basically take us out, as part of nature’s design.  If we want to live longer and healthier, we have to sometimes think outside the box and realize that there are interventions worth embracing so that we live longer, healthier, happier lives despite some of nature’s more cruel designs.  We shouldn’t blindly accept the way aging is designed to create disease, and if we can find ways to prevent those diseases (hormone replacement) it ought to be embraced for our own longevity and well-being.

About Maturo Medical Weight and Wellness: Dr. Lisa Maturo, of Maturo Medical Weight and Wellness, offers bio-identical hormone therapies for men and women experiencing difficulties related to hormone deficiencies or imbalances. For more info on Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy, visit: http://maturomedical.org, today!

 

Author Info

Dr. Lisa Maturo, Naturopathic Thyroid Doctor

Dr. Lisa Maturo, Naturopathic Thyroid Doctor

Dr. Lisa Maturo is a naturopathic doctor who focuses her practice on preventive medicine and hormonal imbalances, with a strong emphasis on treating thyroid disease. Dr Maturo is one of the few practitioners in Arizona certified in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and she is also a partner on Forever Health Network, a listing of hormone balancing experts selected and promoted by Suzanne Somers. Dr Maturo suffered for over 15 years with undiagnosed Hashimoto's, and went through what many of her patients have gone through with multiple frustrating doctor visits before getting it properly diagnosed and treated, so she has the unique perspective of being both doctor and patient when it comes to understanding Hashimoto's and Hypothyroidism, and can truly empathize with her patients.

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