Brace yourself! This was spoken by a local ob gyn in our area, at a talk earlier this year, on women’s health and wellness. When the subject of hormone replacement came around, and he touched on the hormone drug (conjugated estrogens) made from horse urine, those words above actually came out of his mouth! I almost fell out of my chair when I heard this. I was reminded of these words when I read an article in today’s paper, “Menopause often a Reminder,” and this same doctor was interviewed. I could feel my heart begin to palpitate as I started reading. Actually the first part of the interview wasn’t bad, as it addressed the importance of women going through menopause making sure they check in with their healthcare practitioner for vital screenings that are important to our health. Then he goes off on the path I was so hoping he wouldn’t–the subject of bhrt, since he is obviously not a fan. I have found my bumper sticker, “Condemnation without investigation is the height of arrogance” to often be the case.
I find a big part of my job is to clear up the confusion surrounding hormones and hormone imbalance….confusion that comes from the misinformation and untruths that are constantly being perpetuated in the media, and often with the pharmaceutical company agenda. In this article, our conventional doctor advises women to understand the facts before turning to alternative methods of therapy. “The biggest misconception is that ‘bio-identical’ hormones are safer and more effective than FDA-approved MHT (menopause hormone therapy). However, the FDA is not aware of any credible scientific evidence to support these claims.” He encourages women to talk to their physicians at the onset of menopause symptoms. The article goes on to report “The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the North American Menopausal Society’s (NAMS) recommendation on hormone therapy simple: If you are symptomatic and it is interfering with the quality of your life, then don’t suffer. If it isn’t, then don’t treat it.”
First of all, we have many, many studies and books on the subject of BHRT—most of them written by doctors. I have many of these studies on the safety and efficacy of bhrt on my website’s (www.invigom98.sg-host.com) Recommended Reading and Resources section. And in fact, I have compiled a majority of them in a special “Practitioner’s Resources” section to make it easy for practitioners to find and read the studies. Just because some doctors and apparently the FDA (according to this doctor) are not familiar with these studies, does not make them any less valuable. They ARE out there and they are scientific and evidence-based. I actually collected several of these and dropped them off at the doctor-in-the-interview’s office for his perusal, and hopefully, learning curve.
Secondly, if this is an example of the lack of knowledge and lack of perspective shared by other healthcare providers, how will women learn the truth? To only share one side of a biased opinion, seems to me, to be doing a huge disservice to the patients of these practitioners. How can they educate their clients when they themselves are not educated in this area? I am not being rude. I am just asking the question. This is another example of why I suggest to women that they NOT blindly talk with their doctors about their hormone health and why I help educate them so they CAN have a dialogue WITH their practitioner. (not to be talked to BY their practitioner). In this arena of women’s health, it is imperative that we gather the information we need, read the studies and books on hormone imbalance, and take charge of our journey.
Another important facet for me is the fact the ACOG and NAMS recommend using hormone therapy only for the relief of “menopause symptoms.” I never narrow my perspective down to menopause. I look at hormone imbalance, beginning at age 35, and recommend using customized bhrt for women as a means of:
-optimal hormone balance
-health and wellness
This information comes from A4M-the Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. This is in the realm of Functional Medicine, which is all about holistic health. We DO have studies that show the immense benefits to our breast health, bone health, heart health and brain health by, as Suzanne Somers says, “refilling our hormone tanks” for our best health naturally. Again, it is up to us to persevere, read media reports with a critical eye, get educated, learn of our options, and the truth of natural hormone replacement therapy for our best health naturally.