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The Fountain of Youth: Bio-identical Hormone Replacement

Posted By Frank O. McGehee, Jr, MD, CCN, Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Updated: Thursday, May 7, 2015
Recently Linda S. (57 years old) presented to us. She is post menopausal by two years, severely depressed, and lacking energy to perform everyday tasks. Treated by a psychiatric practitioner, she was taking a potpourri of anti¬ depressants. She was seriously considering checking herself into a psychiatric facility. After an interview, it was determined the patient was probably in desperate need of female hormones, as she ceased cycling two years ago. Testing for Estradiol, Estriol, Progesterone, DHEA, and Testosterone revealed she had no significant levels of any hormone. A bio-identical hormone blend was quickly formulated by a compounding pharmacist. Days later, the patient resumed her active and productive life. The patient will be followed for any adjustments necessary to her hormone blend.

"Dear Suzanne Somers,
My wife and I have been together since high school in east Texas and have enjoyed a thirty-five year love affair that produced four great kids. Last year, she suddenly became this other person I did not know who complained a lot about the smallest things, was sharp with our children and on top of all that, the "love" disappeared from our love affair. We were sleeping in the same bed, but were not together. She was up and down all night, with the Harlequin books and the refrigerator door opening and closing, which led to her packing on about twenty-five pounds. She was a petite little gymnast in school. Our oldest daughter saw you talking about your book "Ageless" and ordered it. There was some resistance from my wife at first and then she sat down and read your book start to finish without a break; she was really into it.

Next thing I knew we were on our way to Houston to consult with one of the doctors you mentioned. I don't know what he gave her, but within a couple of days, things started getting better and now four months later, we are once again one happy family. The weight is dropping off, the love has returned, and I can now look forward to many more wonderful years with the girl of my dreams.

Now its my turn. I have an appointment with the doctor next week. Thank you, Suzanne Somers. You have given our family the greatest gift of health and happiness and we toast you at every opportunity.
Sincerely, Dustin R" 1.

"Perimenopause affects women from the early thirties on, and is the most dangerous passage we as women experience. This condition is the hormonal precursor to menopause; and the time period when most disease begins. Dangerous because it is not understood by physicians, as a general rule, and dangerous because hormones are surging one day when estrogen is sky high, then the next day the estrogen may plummet. The same is true for progesterone and other sex hormone levels. Most young women become estrogen dominant, meaning they no longer are making adequate supplies of progesterone, and other hormones, which are needed to initiate the menstrual cycle. This is dangerous because it is a set up for cancer" 2.

Estrogen dominance occurs when women take birth control pills, as they are composed of estrogen only. This condition can cause women to cease to cycle before they should. The hormone produced during the menstrual cycle protects the body against disease in so many ways. Those of us who understand the protection against diseases offered by menstruation, hope to cycle as long as possible.

Sadly, most physicians are unaware or uncaring about the differences between bio­identical or natural hormones; and synthetic hormones; made in the lab. Often, practitioners cite the 2002 NIH study of 10,000 nurses that was performed using the synthetically made combination of estradiol and progesterone; Prempro. The discontinuation of the study is frequently given as reasons why women should never take hormones of any kind.

The results of the study were an increase in cardiac and blood clot events, breast cancer and pulmonary embolisms. Those patients given sugar pills experienced none of these side effects. "Yes, the volunteers on Prempro also had fewer bone fractures and less colon cancer, but not enough to balance out the risks."3. The study was immediately halted. Synthetic hormones are 78% identical to our body. Imagine trying to use a key on a lock that was 78% correct! Bio-identical hormones are made from yam sources. They are plant based substances; 100% identical to our bodies.

Drug companies are the vehicles for funding clinical trials; and trials are unbelievably expensive. Natural medicine practitioners do not hold a patent on natural medicine, therefore; no study will ever be performed by drug companies about their effect on the body. If a study were performed, results would actually show a decrease in cardiac and blood clot instances. If there were reports of increased cancer, blood clots, or heart disease reported by patients taking natural hormones, the news would be broadcast incessantly. Unfortunately, news reports make no distinction between bioidentical and synthetic hormones. The increase in disease the news reports are all synthetic hormone reports.

Premarin is an equine urine estrogen pharmaceutical product given routinely to women for menopausal symptoms. "First, because of the potential risk of heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, and blood clots, use of Premarin should be limited to the shortest duration possible. Equilin is the horse estrogen found in Premarin. The amount of Equilin you get from Premarin is seven times higher than human estrogens. Because it is so strong, it appears to tax your liver more than non-equine estrogens do; which could be a problem, especially if you have a history of liver disease in your family, smoke, are obese, or have high blood pressure.

Before taking conjugated or synthetic estrogens, tell your doctor if you have angina, heart disease; take Synthroid, have high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides in your blood, asthma, epilepsy, migraines, diabetes, depression, gallbladder disease, uterine fibroids, or have had a hysterectomy."4 No such warning is required with bio-identical hormones.

The usual age that perimenopause began used to be 45 years old, but today's lifestyle, birth control pills, growth hormones in food, pharmaceutical medications, and synthetic hormones have accelerated this process. Today, we routinely hear mothers report their child has started to cycle at 9 or 10 years of age, and began to grow breasts at 8 years of age. The reason for acceleration in the beginning of menstrual cycling can be the growth hormones found in all non organic dairy and meat products. Once again, pursuit of profit by the food industry has compromised our health as a society.

Because of the toxic factors associated with life in the year 2014, 30 year old women are often in initial stages of perimenopause. Many physicians will tell the patient they are just depressed and place them on an anti-depressant without hormonal testing. If the woman is "lucky" the practitioner will offer them a "one size fits all” hormone patch composed of synthetic estradiol and possibly synthetic progesterone. The symptoms associated with perimenopause are weight gain for no reason, acne, sleep interruption, loss of interest in sex, depression, hot flashes, tearfulness, anger for no reason, forgetfulness, and fatigue.

Postmenopausal women need hormones even more than those in perimenopause. Bio-identical hormones control blood pressure, sleep cycles, build bones, maintain muscle tone, lubricate joints, and BURN FAT!! They fight stress, prevent fatigue, calm anxiety, and relieve depression. Hormones also maintain the correct level of glucose in blood and tissues. They help us resist allergic reactions, infections, and soothe pain. Hormones control sex drive, virility, fertility, and stimulate the brain and immune system.

Bio-identical hormone replacement can actually prevent hysterectomies in some cases! A true story is that an OB-GYN doctor was asked by his friend, a compounding pharmacist, when he was going to start prescribing bio-identical hormones. His response was "why in the world would I do that? Those natural hormones would take away about 80% of my hysterectomy surgery business. I have a high maintenance lifestyle and wife to keep up." The patient should carefully consider the choices.

Testing for hormones should be accompanied by a complete fifty value blood chemistry, to assure there are no other primary medical conditions that should be addressed. Blood testing for hormones only reveals hormones bound to globulin or albumin. Saliva testing is the most accurate method of testing hormone levels in women. All five sex hormones should be measured. They are Estradiol, Estriol, Progesterone, Testosterone, and DHEA. For some strange reason, physicians believe women only have estradiol and progesterone.

Intimately involved with sex hormone replacement therapy is testing of the adrenal gland function. The glands have long been ignored by the majority of physicians unless a severe disease condition existed. The adrenal glands sit atop both the kidneys and modulate the stress for the body. The glands produce a substance called cortisol, which is sometimes over supplied at night time when we are trying to sleep, or undersupplied when it is time to awake and start the day. Other patients report a "slump" about mid afternoon.

We, in our practice, use Bio-identical Cortisol for hypo-adrenal function. The Cortisol compound is the actual substance produced by the adrenal gland, and is from a yam source. Modulation of output of cortisol is intimately involved with successful hormone supplementation. ZRT laboratories perform our hormone/adrenal saliva testing for us. For those patients who are unable to produce saliva, blood testing can be substituted.

Not the least important of the three components of hormone testing is proper regulation of the thyroid gland. The current thinking by the majority of physicians is to administer T4 only for hypothyroid conditions. There are three components of the thyroid gland. T4 is the reserve or the passive part of the thyroid gland. "The thyroid gland is regulated by pituitary gland. The pituitary gland releases a hormone; thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)”5. The third part of the thyroid gland is T3, which is the active form of thyroid.

A T4 medication called Synthroid is the only form of thyroid most of our patients who present to us are prescribed. There are problems with conversion of T4 to T3 caused by the depletion in the soil of iodine, selenium, and other minerals over the years. Our thyroid function has been impaired by the unbridled use of pesticides, growth hormones, herbicides, genetically altered wheat, corn, fruit, vegetables, MSG, flavor enhancers, preservatives, coloring, and overuse of prescription drugs in our society. Our answer for the problem of T4 to T3 conversion is a porcine thyroid T3 and T4 combination. It is called Naturesthroid, and available by prescription at a reasonable cost at a pharmacy. The percentage of T3 and T4 in Naturesthroid is identical to the percentage of T3, T4 hormone found in the body.

The Metamatrix 2/16 is a urine test, and is a substitute for mammogram, and is performed at home. The bone density measurement test can be added to the urine test. The 2/16 Estronex test is preferred, because the patient will not be exposed to radiation. If there is no choice between which modality of testing use, please ensure the mammogram test is digital, as it reduces the radiation significantly by 2/3.

Current literature estimates with each non digital mammogram test a woman has performed increases her risk of developing breast cancer by 3%. Therefore, after 20 years of mammograms the risk of cancer is increased 60%; without consideration of genetic, hormone, or environmental factors that may also add to the cancer risk. Sadly, breast cancer awareness has had little or no
impact on cancer risk of the society. Cancer occurrences are actually higher than when women did not routinely have a mammogram.

Another group of women is in even greater danger of harm from non­digital mammograms. Those women are BRCA1 and BRCA2 positive. A dose of radiation delivered by non-digital mammogram can cause not only cancer, but a very aggressive cancer. In addition, women who have a family history of breast cancer, and have fibrocystic breasts are advised to have a mammogram every six months instead of once a year. If they also are BRCA1 and BRCA2 positive, their risk of cancer now increases exponentially.

In addition, we ask the patient to fill out an extensive Health Questionnaire, which touches all organ symptoms, and the patient also reports a full accounting of medications. Environmental and Family Health Questionnaires are also furnished. Although the answers are subjective, most patients are able to tell you exactly what is bothering them. The combination of laboratory testing, symptom reports and consultation allows our team to address many problems often overlooked in the rush involved with a regular physician appointment.

The dangers of synthetic testosterone or Testosterone Cypionate should be known. Mainstream doctors mistakenly believe that an infection of Testosterone Cypionate will bring a man lost vitality. What it can also bring is blood clots, coronary artery disease, and strokes. Our bodies are unable to assimilate chemicals. Bioidentical hormones made from plants are a much better answer.

A one hour plus consultation is part of the hormone/adrenal replacement protocol, once results are received. The prescription is valid for one year, and there is no charge for follow up phone calls.

1 Suzanne Somers, "Breakthrough" Copyright 2008, pg. 142.
2 1bid p: 146.
3."The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women", Barbara Seaman
Copyright, 2003 pg. 341bid p: 240 and 241.
5 David M. Brownstein, "Iodine Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live
Without It", Copyright 2008. p.130.

Tags:  bio-identical hormone replacement  fountain of youth 

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