The hormone boogeyman is out again, just in time for Halloween. A new rehashing of the same old poorly done hormone study, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), is back in the news. The New York Times online) is reporting once again on the dangers of hormones. This study originally was reported in 2002 and in the 11 years since, has risen up like a boogeyman multiple times to scare women all over again. The journalists almost never report on the tremendous health benefits and low risk of bioidentical hormones. That doesn’t make for sensational news that sells newspapers, does it?
AVOIDING ESTROGEN THERAPY KILLED 50,000 WOMEN
What about this report from the Los Angeles Times? “Avoiding Estrogen Therapy Proved Deadly for Nearly 50,000 Women.” Between 2002, when the WHI results were revealed, and 2011, it is estimated that 50,000 women who had hysterectomies died prematurely because they did not use estrogen after surgery. We know that hormones prevent early death, but they need to be prescribed properly.
The hormones used in the WHI were Premarin and Provera. Just to review, Premarin is a pill. It is made from Pregnant Horses Urine (get it? Pre-mar-in). Clever naming, huh? It contains twenty-some estrogen-like substances which are not found in humans. These estrogen-like chemicals stimulate breast tissue, causing swelling and soreness. Estrogen should not be taken in pill form since it thickens the blood when used orally. This increases risks of blood clots (which means things like strokes, blood clot in the legs, and heart attacks). Estrogen is safe when given as a cream, patch or pellet since these formulations do not cause increased clotting. Risks are also decreased when bioidentical forms of estrogen rather than horse urine are used.
The other hormone used in the WHI was Provera. It is carcinogenic. It increases the risk of breast cancer as shown in the WHI. It should be taken off the market. If any of you are taking it, demand to get a bioidentical progesterone medication. Progesterone in its natural, or bioidentical form, does a beautiful balancing dance with estrogen. Many scientific studies using bioidentical estrogen and progesterone show their safety.
HORMONES ARE NOT JUST FOR REPRODUCTION
Hormones are the master regulators in our bodies. We get so focused on estrogen and progesterone actions in our reproductive systems, that we forget the incredibly important roles they play in keeping us youthful and healthy. Progesterone and estrogen nourish the development of new brain cells which keeps our minds working into old age. Estrogen keeps the linings in our arteries smooth and supple, which prevents heart attacks. Estrogen helps buffer us against the harmful effects of stress on our bodies. Restorative Medicine believes in using hormones as a strategy to maintain youthful vigor and delay the decline of aging.