There Is A Better Way-bHRT
There's no doubt about it. When a public personality, movie star or someone of equal status endorses a product or program, then it becomes the greatest thing ever. Sometimes, what they are promoting has great value and sometimes it doesn't. In the case of bioidentical hormones, the bandwagon is valid. Suzanne Somers, in several of her books, and more recently, Oprah Winfrey, are both lauding the praises of bioidentical hormone replacement or bHRT.
What Are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are replicas of the hormones produced in the body, but they are produced in a lab instead. They have the same molecular structure as the actual physical hormones do and, because of that, they are utilized in the body in the same way naturally produced hormones are used. Synthetic hormones, in contrast, are intentionally different. Since the pharmaceutical companies cannot patent a bioidentical structure, they invented synthetic hormones that can be patented. Examples of these types of hormones are Premarin, Prempro, and Provera-the most widely used synthetic hormones in the United States to treat the symptoms of menopause.
HRT-Once The Panacea Of Menopausal Women
Hormone replacement therapy, using synthetic hormones, has been around for more than 30 years. Women who were entering menopause and suffering with the symptoms of menopause, were prescribed hormone replacement therapy in order to help them cope with the transition. That transition period can last for many years, meaning those women have been using synthetic hormones, in many cases, for decades. Synthetic hormones alleviated many of the symptoms of menopause and one of their "bonus" features was that they appeared to protect women from cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. These two diseases are leading causes of death in older women.
What They Didn't Know Hurt Them
What has been discovered recently is that using synthetic estrogens and progestin (synthetic progesterone) to treat menopause greatly increases the risks for breast and endometrial cancers in menopausal women. In addition, studies have also indicated that rather than protecting women from cardiovascular disease, synthetic hormones do quite the opposite. Coronary disease, increased risk of blood clots, gall bladder disease, and stroke have now been linked decisively to synthetic HRT. A 2002 report from the Women's Health Initiative noted that women taking HRT were 26 percent more likely to contract breast cancer than women who did not take HRT.
A Safe And Effective Alternative To HRT
Very recently, bHRT has surfaced as a safe alternative to synthetic HRT and most women have great success with treatments. What has been found by the many clinics that are now offering bHRT in the United States is that women do best when their treatments are specifically designed for their own specific needs. bHRT has many different forms that work in different ways. Each woman responds to these hormones according to her own physiology. Therefore, it is important that a woman consult with a specialist in order to develop the program that will fit her own needs perfectly.
Thankfully, women do not have to be subjected to harmful drugs as the only recourse to menopausal symptoms. By replacing natural hormones with bioidentical hormones, women can have a quality of life that surpasses what women had during menopause in the past.
Learn more about the benefits of HRT in our menopause forum.