By: Pamela Egan, DNP, CDE
Natural Hormone Therapy Slows Down Aging
A preliminary U.S. study finds that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy significantly reduced peri-menopausal and post-menopausal related symptoms.
While the use of synthetic hormone replacement therapy has left uncertainty about its safety, bioidentical natural hormone replacement therapy or nBHRT, has been proposed as an alternative. Like its synthetic counterpart, it requires a practitioner’s prescription, but nBHRT is derived from plants rather than synthetic chemicals and is prescribed in person-specific doses and compounded by a pharmacist. No, the liver doesn’t metabolize synthetic chemicals & plant based hormones to the same thing.
The group was subdivided into menopausal and peri-menopausal women with estrogen-related symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness and progesterone-deficiency related symptoms of mood swings, increased irritability and water retention.
They were treated daily with individualized, dose-specific nBHRT transdermal cream estradiol-estriol; individualized, dose-specific transdermal progesterone; and a multivitamin.
Of the 50 women, 82% showed improvement in their estrogen-related symptoms, and of the 50 women, 74% showed improvement in progesterone related symptoms, according to the findings presented at the 21st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians in Portland, Oregon.
One of the synthetic hormones, Prempro, was thrown out of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) in 2002. Briefly, the combination therapy was stopped because of an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, & blood clots and because, overall, risks from use of this synthetic hormone outnumbered the benefits.
What’s important for women to know is that the Progestin in Prempro does not equal natural Progesterone. Natural Progesterone is produced by the ovaries. It is the “feel good” hormone. It reduces depression, anxiety, insomnia, fluid retention, weight gain and helps to balance your other hormones. Progestin on the other hand only sloughs off the lining of the uterus- which is why it is only prescribed for women who have a uterus. All women on the other hand need Progesterone for quality of life!
We now have plant based, bio-identical, plant based prescriptions that are far superior to the synthetic chemicals. Natural hormones are a large part of anti-aging. They keep the body functioning optimally.
It is essential that peri-menopausal (35 – 50 y/o) & menopausal (50+ y/o) women educate themselves on Hormone Replacement Therapy so that they can make an informed decision on whether they wish to take synthetic vs. natural bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. It is not necessary that women deny themselves quality of life because of the fears posed with synthetic hormones.
Pamela Egan, FNP-C, CDE is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Certified Diabetes Educator & Clinical Specialist in Mental Health. She practices in Women’s Health with Kathy Posey, MD & can be reached at 985-867-1700 or www.pamelaegan.com.
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- – Marketing of natural hormones may be deceiving
- – Menopause symptoms
- – So you’ve hit menopause – now what?