Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Is a trans fat the same as an Omega 3 fat? No, therefore an altered, synthetic hormone is not the same as a bioidentical hormone which is the same chemical structure found in your body. Each has its risks and benefits and to treat them equally is erroneous thinking. All are not created equal yet a week doesn’t go by without an article on the dangers of hormone replacement therapy in women and they don’t distinguish between the type and dose of hormones a woman is taking.

Healthy aging

Healthy aging

Consider that most, if not all of the studies they reference refer to synthetic hormones such as conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) made from horses urine and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), often referred to as progestins and sometime erroneously called progesterone. Both are confused with the naturally occurring hormones estradiol, estriol and progesterone. If you are not taking these, then the findings may not apply to you.

While none of the studies using bioidentical hormones will ever be of the magnitude of the Women’s Health Initiative, there are many that compare the effects of synthetic versus bioidentical. To make policy statements that affect large populations, the medical community requires rigorous double blind controlled studies or very large scale studies and rightly so. Making decisions that will affect large groups of people is not the same as making decisions for an individual. However, in an individual’s case, one size does not fit all.  One must consider the risks and benefits of any choice. There is more freedom
in establishing a treatment regimen for an individual with unique risks, symptoms and metabolic differences. You as an individual have a choice. Choose wisely and make sure you have all of the facts.

Before you condemn a class of compounds, read the fine print, compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Don’t take anything for granted. Educate yourself. Weigh the risks and benefits of any treatment. I post a very well done review article The Bioidentical Hormone Debate on my website howtoliveyounger.com. Therefore, comparing bioidentical hormones to synthetic hormone replacement. There are differences and studies that document them. Read and make up your own mind and don’t be fooled by scary headlines. If you feel that you may benefit from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, find a doctor who is well trained in their use that completed a fellowship (extended training and certification) not someone who just took a weekend course. The overall debate may continue for the overall population, but until this debate is settled, you can make a personal choice based on valid, scientific studies, not scary headlines.

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