Why do I need hormones?
Hormones are an essential part of the metabolic process of living and important for the
cells, organs, and metabolism. Hormones decline through aging, disease, menopause, or trauma. When this
happens, we begin to accelerated the aging process. Hormone loss is one of the major reasons for our
deterioration as we get older, both physically and mentally. Hormones are beneficial at any age, but the
best long-term protective benefits are achieved if hormones are replaced when you begin to lose them,
usually in our 40's.
How are bio-identical hormones produced?
Natural hormones that are identical to human hormones are found in soy. The hormones
are extracted from soy and then processed by a specialty compounding pharmacy into a prescription dose
and form. The body accepts and metabolizes these hormones as if it made them.
What are synthetic hormones?
Synthetic estrogen (Premarin) and progestins (Provera) are produced in a laboratory and
patented by the pharmaceutical companies. They are not identical to human hormones. They are designed to
trick the body as natural hormones. Because synthetic hormones are not identical to human hormones, they
may adversely stimulate the cells and lead to side effects, including cancer. Premarin is an estrogen
obtained from pregnant horses and is not human identical. Provera is a progestin. Both have been
implicated in causing problems in some women, including breast cancer. AMC does not offer synthetic
What are the problems with synthetic hormones?
At first, synthetic hormones were well received because they provided some control for
symptoms of menopause and fighting heart disease and osteoporosis. However, long-term effects have shown
that synthetic hormones sometimes create a negative metabolic result. While some women may tolerate the
side effects from synthetic hormones such as bleeding, bloating, or mood swings. In other patients,
synthetic estrogens and progestins have contributed to the development of breast and uterine cancer.
How come my gynecologist doesn’t prescribe bio-identical hormones?
Many physicians learn about synthetic products from drug companies promoting their line
of products. Natural supplements such as vitamins and hormones are protected by federal regulation and
may not be patented by pharmaceutical companies. Bio-identical hormones do not come under specific brand
names. Your physician must be self-educated and experienced in prescribing and monitoring natural
hormones. The truth is your gynecologist probably just doesn't know much about natural hormones or
chooses to prescribe within the constraints of your health insurance plan.
What is low Progesterone and how does it effect my health?
Progesterone balances estrogen and the female reproductive cycle. Low progesterone
results in symptoms of bloating, breast tenderness, cramping, headaches, irritability, mood swings, and
PMS. Progesterone deficiency can be a factor in miscarriages.
Research shows that natural progesterone stimulates bone-building osteoblasts, thus
providing protection against osteoporosis. Progesterone reduces the mitotic change in breast and uterine
tissue, thereby protecting against cancer. Progesterone is necessary for adequate sexual response,
lubrication and vaginal vasodilation. Progesterone is responsible for the physiologic equilibrium with
estrogen. At menopause, women lose both estrogen and progesterone and both should be replaced.
Progesterone replacement is important, even if you have had a hysterectomy because it does much more
than just protect the uterus.
Source: Neil Rousier, MD, 2015