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
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 hormones.
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.
Neil Rousier, MD, 2015