Why would anyone want to take bioidentitical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)?
The answer? To ‘cure’ menopause hot flashes, night sweats and dry vagina.
Many women know that the conventional estrogen replacement pills, creams, patches, etc. have been linked to increased cancer rates. Now, because pharmaceutical companies have deveoped chemical drugs from natural substances (soy and yams) that they call ‘bioidentitical’, we’ve been encouraged to believe that somehow this type of added estrogen is safer – even though no long-term studies have been done. Many women have bought into the industry’s marketing strategy that says so-called bioidentitical hormones are harmless and they are the only effective menopause solution for every woman.
In fact, this is a huge misconception, if not a downright lie, or if I want to be ‘Pollyanna-ish’ about it I could say doctors and the pharmaceutical industry have been merely ’looking only on the bright side’.
There are downside consequences to taking ANY hormones. Even tiny amounts of hormones can be very powerful.
Bioidentitical hormones have only been on the market for a few short years. What are its long-term consequences for their use? People were quite excited when HRT was first introduced in 1958, and when The Pill was introduced in the early 1960s, and when estrogen replacement therapy was used extensively in the 1980s and 1990s. It became a different kind of excitement when the Women’s Health Initiative Study of 16,608 healthy, ethnically diverse women, aged 50 to 79 years ended in 2002, three years prematurely, because results revealed that conventional HRT was killing these women.
Did you know that estrogen is a cancer-causing chemical? It is. But don’t take my word for it.
In its 12th Report on Carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released in 2011, estrogen is listed as a carcinogen – as it has been since 2002. The actual report describes exactly what it is labelling carcinogenic: ”Steriodal estrogens are a group of structurally related hormones that control sex and growth characteristics and are commonly used in hormone or estrogen replacement therapy to treat symptoms of menopause, and in oral contraceptives.” It does not make a distinction between conventional estrogen and bioidentitical estrogen. It’s too early to do that.
You can look up the Report on Carcinogens, 12th Edition yourself by going to the report.
This knowledge about the damaging effects of estrogen has been around for quite awhile. In 2005, Dr. Joel Wallach, BS, DVM, ND, reported that animal studies in the 1950s indicated that hormone replacement should not be used on human females. But it was. Wallach says side-effects of estrogen and progesterone replacement therapy increases the risk of…
- Breast, uterine, ovarian cancer by 78%
- Dementia & Alzheimer’s disease by 200%
- Cardiovascular disease 200%
- Asthma – 100%
- Gradual deafness as you get older – 30%
This begs the question: ‘Why add more estrogen to a woman’s body that could increase her risk of developing such devastating consequences?
Do you use hormone replacement for menopause and suffer from migraine headaches? That’s an expected potential side-effect.
Did you know that bioidentical replacement therapy may never actually reduce the menopause symptoms for which it is taken? Some women report no benefits, only side-effects.
You’ve got to know that there’s no magic bullet when it comes to menopause.
Don’t rely on Band-Aid remedies. Go deeper – ask yourself, ‘How do I improve my lifestyle to improve my menopause?’ instead of ‘How do I find a magic bullet or a quick fix?
Every woman is an individual having an individual menopause experience. We must take 100% responsibility for our own health and wellness by making the most informed choices that are right for us.
I recommend that if you have menopause symptoms that interfere with your quality of life, start by making lifestyle improvements or see what happens when you consistently use high quality food, supplements, nutritional cleansing, gentle herbs, aromatherapy, homeopathy, Emotional Freedom Techniques, acupressure, etc. Don’t start with added hormones unless you’ve waited until your symptoms are severe before seeking help with them. Otherwise, it’s a little like using a bulldozer when a hand trowel would get the job done.
If you decide to use any type of hormone replacement, treat it like the drug it is, and use it with caution. If you decide to add hormones to your body to ‘cure’ menopause hot flashes, night sweats and dry vagina, you’ll see this advice from many sources: take so-called ‘bioidentical hormones’ only in the lowest dose and for the shortest time to alleviate symptoms.
I urge you to approach your menopause challenges holistically and find out how you can adjust your lifestyle to better support long-term health and wellness. Women with upsetting menopause symptoms, diabetics and people with hypothyroidism who use hormone replacement are highly encouraged to improve their lifestyle choices in addition to the drugs they’re taking.
This is a good long-term strategy because after six months of using added hormones, you may find that you need to keep increasing the hormone dosage to achieve your desired results, or you may find that the side-effects from taking added hormones become unacceptable and you want to discontinue their use. Always work with your prescribing physician if you decide you want to safely wean yourself off added hormones.
I’ve written several other blogs about bioidentitical hormones. If you want to read them to continue your research for your best menopause choices, please use the ‘Search box’ to the right and type in ‘bioidentitical hormones’.
I would love to know what you think about this or any of my blogs and if they’ve helped you make your menopause choices. Please share your thoughts and experiences below. I look forward to reading your comments.