Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bioidentical Hormones

If you watch Oprah, you saw this week that Suzanne Somers was talking about something called bioidentical hormones. What is this? Well, this goes into the discussion of the controversial topic of hormone replacement therapy at menopause. In years past, it was standard practice to place patients on estrogen to combat the symptoms of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.

You may remember a big deal being made about estrogen a few years ago, It was in fact something called the Women's Health Initiative in 2002 which revealed that estrogen therapy, according to their data, actually slightly increased the risk of heart disease. According to this WebMD article, subsequent studies have somewhat confirmed that data.

Anyway, all these questions have left women to wonder whether prescription hormone replacement therapy was for them. Then, steps in the alternative medicine community. Especially since 2002, this industry has been trying to find alternatives to prescription therapy.

In the video above, the newsmagazine 20/20 analyzes the claims that Suzanne Somers made in a 2007 book. This report is almost a year old, but brings up some of the same claims that Ms. Somers made on this week's Oprah show. In addition to checking out the video above, there is this news article with quotes from an Ob/Gyn physician on the topic of bioidentical hormones.

The day after the Oprah show ran, I received many questions from my patients on bioidenticals. What did I tell them? Well, for me, there are still a lot of questions of whether they substances work. I just don't see good data out there yet to convince me. In addition, I don't believe that there have been adequate safety studies done on these substances yet.

What are your thoughts on bioidentical hormones? Leave them in the comments below. And, I invite you to my live internet radio show tonight called The Night Shift with Dr. A in which we're scheduled to discuss this topic as well tonight.


"Spite" said...

I don't have a completely informed opinion about bioidenticals, but I've watched many women in my family go through menopause. It is something I fear to face in my own future. I can't afford the increased risk of cancer or heart disease though. When I get to that point in my life I will have to do without either.

As for the horse urine... I wasn't aware of that and I'm grossed out by it.

OHN said...

I am in the throes of this lovely time of life. To be honest I never even considered hormones. I feel that women have been going through menopause for centuries as a normal process of aging, and now it is my turn.

Though I certainly could do without the weight gain, hot flashes, crankiness, insomnia and the aging part :)

Jacqueline said...

If you don't want to read Suzanne Somers books for info about bioidenticals, where else can you can you go? So far I've found this article from Marcelle Pick, OB GYN NP:

Andrea said...

I've been taking bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for over 2 1/2 years, and I wouldn't be without it. I am off six medications, down 80 pounds from my high weight, and I have more energy now than I did when I was 30 (I'll be 51 in June). This is not just about hot flashes, it's about quality of life. if you would like to read about my experiences!

Bioidentical Hormones UK said...

It is an interesting topic this Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and it should be noted that it refers to the treatment of symptoms of menopause using hormones that are molecularly identical to the endogenous hormones found in the human body.

Lance Chambers said...

I believe that bioidentical hormones is safe and effective in relieving menopausal symptoms because these hormones can be customized to address every woman's need as opposed to synthetic hormones. In fact there are various research about bioidentical hormones showing safety and efficacy.

Lyn said...

The horse pee issue grosses me out. The better way to go is through natural compounded hormone therapy. It works for me.