There has been an ongoing debate about hormone replacement safety for the past 20 years. If you talk to ten doctors, you will probably get ten different opinions about whether hormone replacement is safe for women.
Surprisingly, there still remains confusion surrounding testosterone replacement for men, even though the data is overwhelmingly in favor of it. It stands to reason that if hormones are health-enhancing for men, the same should be true for women. However, until recently this was merely an assumption, with no hard evidence to support what seemed to be an obvious conclusion.
The “C Word”
When we talk about hormone safety, what is usually inferred is “cancer risk”. The C word is very scary as it implies a death sentence, although so much has changed in regards to dealing with this disease. And, it is only one issue when discussing hormone replacement, as hormone deficiency is related to so many health problems.
For instance, it is well known and accepted that estrogen for women is heart protective and bone protective. These are two major health concerns facing aging women. Heart attacks alone in women outnumber ALL cancer related deaths in women combined. Heart attack rate in women before menopause is almost zero, and after menopause it rapidly becomes equal to that of men. I would think this alone would be a good reason to take estrogen after menopause.
Yet how many doctors have you heard talk about women taking estrogen after menopause to help prevent heart attacks? Everyone is afraid of “The Big C”.
Dispensing with the Monster
Well, thankfully now, I believe we can put that big ugly monster away!
Multiple published studies were reviewed surveying over 80,000 women using bioidentical hormones. A number of important conclusions were determined.
- Bioidentical progesterone lowers the risk of breast cancer in women taking bioidentical post-menopausal estradiol.
- The closer the woman starts the hormones to the start of menopause, the lower the breast cancer risk.
- Starting hormones before the age of 60 is lower risk.
- The type of progesterone used seems to be the cause of breast cancer risk, not the estrogen.
- Cyclical natural micronized progesterone affords breast cancer protection by causing cellular turnover and death (called cellular apoptosis) thus resulting in any early cancer formation to be halted both in the breast and uterus. This point is extremely important as many doctors believe progesterone for women with a hysterectomy is unnecessary. However, this is totally wrong as progesterone can also protect the breast from cancer.
- A study showing that women with higher levels of progesterone had an 88% lower incidence of breast cancer.
- The type of progesterone used (or lack thereof) seems to be a greater factor in determining breast cancer risk than estrogen.
- A retrospective analysis of published literature on hormones in Pub Med came to this conclusion: “Physiological data and clinical outcomes demonstrate that bioidentical hormones are associated with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and are more efficacious than their synthetic and animal-derived counterparts. Until evidence is found to the contrary, bioidentical hormones remain the preferred method of HRT.”
On the Right Track
I think we can finally rest assured that we are on the right track by replacing hormones with chemically identical hormones in the same pattern as we had them before, and that by so doing, enhances our health, with minimal or no risk or unwanted side effects for both men and women.
I believe that if doctors are telling you anything to the contrary, they are living in the dark ages and have not taken the time to read the most up to date literature on the subject.
Find out how Bioidentical Hormone Balancing can help you. Call (310) 393-2333 or book online for a consultation with Dr. Liebowitz.