Bioidentical hormones – a better choice?
Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Suzanne Somers have brought bioidentical HRT
onto center stage. Some women may not have heard about this option for menopause
symptoms and many are asking, “Is bHRT right for me?” There are several forms of
bioidentical HRT, and because each woman’s physiology is unique, customized treatment
often provides the best results.
It’s also important to remember that while bHRT works well for some women, others
need more support — or different kinds of support — to get the same relief.
Just what are “bioidentical hormones”?
Bioidentical hormones are manufactured in a lab to have the same molecular structure
as the hormones made by your own body. This makes them unlike synthetic hormones
which are intentionally made to be different from natural hormones. That’s because
drug companies can’t patent a bioidentical structure to make it exclusively theirs,
so they have to invent synthetic hormones that are patentable (Premarin, Prempro,
and Provera being the most widely used examples). That’s how they make money.
Though bioidentical hormones have been around for years, many practitioners aren’t
familiar with them. There are several branded versions now available for use, though
their one-size-fits-all dosage regimen is very similar to that of synthetic hormones.
We recommend getting a hormone panel so that you and your doctor can get a more
precise picture of specific hormones and dosages for your body. Then a formulation
can be prepared just for you at a registered compounding pharmacy.
It’s also important to have regular follow-up hormone panels to be sure your dosage
is still right.
Are bioidentical hormones “better” and safer than synthetic hormones?
We concluded long ago that the answer to these questions is yes. Synthetic hormones
are quite strong and often produce intolerable side effects but bioidentical hormones
are natural, and our bodies can metabolize them, which minimizes side effects. Compounded
bioidentical hormones can also be matched to each woman’s needs — which is just
impossible with mass-produced products.
European medical studies suggest that bioidentical hormones are safer than synthetic
versions. But because they have not been well studied, especially for long-term
use, we recommend that women never assume that bHRT — or any drug — is completely
If you are considering bHRT or HRT of any kind, your risks increase if you:
- are over the age of 60.
- are more than ten years past menopause.
- have a personal or family history of breast, endometrial, or ovarian cancer or liver
Can bioidentical hormones be used for breast cancer patients?
Very few practitioners will prescribe any type of HRT — synthetic or bioidentical
— for women who have had breast cancer or even a family history of breast cancer.
In fact, many are given anti-estrogen drugs. We prefer to look at each woman’s particular
situation, history, pathology, and blood work.”
There are some former breast cancer patients who, like Suzanne Somers, use low-dose
bioidentical hormones by choice. These women typically have researched the issues
and discussed them with their healthcare providers in order to make well-informed
decisions for themselves. It’s always important to advocate for your own health,
especially if you have done your homework and feel strongly about what’s best for
Is bHRT the only way to achieve hormonal balance?
Our Hormonal Health Package includes:
- Herbal Equilibrium with plant-based support to rebalance estrogen, testosterone,
- A high-quality multivitamin/mineral complex and omega-3’s.
- e-Guide with everything you need to enhance your diet and lifestyle to balance your
Our products always come with phone support from women right here in Maine, who
can help you personalize your approach to menopause symptom relief.
Bioidentical hormones can work wonders, but they aren’t necessarily the first place
to turn when hormonal imbalance is a problem. In our experience, the great majority
of women can rebalance their hormones without the use of drugs or HRT — in any form.
About 85% of our customers find relief through a natural approach that combines
our multibotanical Herbal Equilibrium,
a high-quality multivitamin, and dietary and lifestyle changes. This three-pronged
approach will support a woman’s hormonal pathways “upstream” of where problems arise.
This can head off full-blown symptoms down the line, ones that could require the
stronger and more invasive hormonal replacement therapy.
A minority of women may need to temporarily add hormone support for complete relief,
at least through a transition period. For this, we recommend bioidentical hormones
but we don’t suggest that any hormones be used long-term unless essential for symptom
relief and quality of life, and then only with a complete risk assessment. We also
don’t support the idea that bioidentical hormone therapy should be used indefinitely
as some kind of “fountain of youth.”
Are bioidentical hormones right for you?
Ideally, your hormonal balance is dynamic, shifting from day to day, week to week,
and through the years. When you give your body the support it needs, it can effectively
reset itself toward balance and wellness.
We recommend beginning with the gentlest form of support possible to relieve your
most distressing symptoms, and then adjusting as you go. Our
Hormonal Health Package is a great way to start. The good news is that you
can feel wonderful throughout your midlife transition.
Last Modified Date: 10/13/2013