BIO-IDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT
More and more physicians agree that synthetic hormone replacement therapy is
fraught with problems. A growing number of holistic doctors, however, offer the less
toxic bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. In our experience, bio-identical
hormone replacement is rarely advisable and should generally be avoided.
BIO-IDENTICAL HORMONE THERAPY PROBLEMS
1) Hormone therapy is rarely needed. We find that if one corrects the diet, toxic metals,
the oxidation rate and other imbalances through nutritional balancing science, most
hormonal problems go away without the need for any hormone replacement. If
nutrient therapy is not sufficient, herbal therapy is often excellent.
2) Hormone therapy rarely addresses the cause of health problems. Instead, it just
treats symptoms. Causes of hormone imbalances are nutrient deficiencies, toxic metal
excesses, toxic chemicals, effects of radiation, emotional imbalances and stress from
other causes. The only time hormone replacement addresses the cause is when the
organ that produces the hormone is irreparably damaged so that it cannot function.
For example, at menopause or after a hysterectomy with oophorectomy, the
adrenal glands should produce enough estrogen and progesterone to prevent hot flashes
and other symptoms. Millions of women do just fine without hormone replacement if
their adrenal glands are functioning normally.
3) Hormone replacement therapy masks underlying problems. One may receive relief
from hot flashes, exhaustion or other annoying symptoms. However, underlying
problems such as heavy metal toxicity, nutrient deficiencies or chemical toxicity
continue unrecognized and unaddressed. This wastes time and money, and leads to
more serious problems in the future.
4) Hormone replacement upsets the delicate hormone feedback systems in the body.
This is especially true of the of the steroid hormones (DHEA, pregnenolone, estrogen,
progesterone, cortisone, androsterone and testosterone).
We have found that hormone replacement usually does much more harm than good
by upsetting the delicate feedback mechanisms. Giving any hormones affects all others,
and affects many areas of physical functioning. The feedback systems are exceedingly
complex. We know of no way to monitor and figure out exactly how to regulate
5) One cannot provide the correct dosage of replacement hormones, as natural
hormone secretion varies every minute of the day and night. Replacement therapy
substitutes a rigid routine for the delicate balancing act the body performs all day and
all night long. This can have many adverse consequences on body systems.
A very important determinant in natural hormone secretion is one's lifestyle.
Exercise, rest, mental versus physical activity, emotional ups and downs, eating
patterns, illnesses and other biochemical factors all affect natural hormone secretion on
a moment-to-moment basis.
6) A hormone's metabolic effect is what is most important, not its serum, urine or saliva
level, yet that is how they are usually measured. This is particularly a problem with
thyroid and adrenal hormone monitoring. The metabolic effect depends less on the
level of circulating hormone and more on how much enters the cells and is metabolized
properly within the cells. For this reason, cellular tests such as hair mineral testing
often reveal a very different picture than blood, urine and saliva tests that measure
circulating hormone levels.
7) Even bio-identical hormones are toxic. This is most evident with insulin. Every
physician is familiar with the care that must be used in administering insulin to avoid
often-fatal insulin shock.
Estrogen is extremely toxic. Many believe it is the primary carcinogen. Studies of
menopausal women on estrogen replacement would tend to support this. Toxicity of
DHEA, pregnenelone, testosterone, growth hormone and others are also well-known.
Yet often these are prescribed casually with little consideration of possible toxic effects.
8) Hormone replacement therapy is costly. The cost includes not only the substance
itself, but repeated testing required to prescribe them in a responsible fashion. Yet
another cost is the need for long-term therapy. Since they do not address causes, one is
usually forced to remain on the replacement hormones for life. In addition to the
financial burden, one becomes dependent on tests and doctors that in itself extracts a
human cost. While this is better than dying of diabetes or Addison's disease, there are
better ways to handle these conditions discussed below.
Diabetics on insulin still suffer many complications of diabetes including vascular
disease, blindness, infections, premature aging and much more. I consider it a crime to
put people on insulin without first addressing nutritional and other factors related to
Most diabetics have iron and at times vanadium toxicity. Lead, cadmium, mercury
and other toxic metals are also very commonly present. They also have chromium, zinc
and manganese deficiencies. Their cell permeability is often reduced. Their diets are
often high in carbohydrates, and many use stimulants such as coffee or colas that
worsen nutritional imbalances.
Simply eliminating most carbohydrates from the diet often has a dramatic glucose
lowering effect. Combining this with a nutrition program and detoxification with sauna
therapy can reduce blood sugars often in a matter of a few weeks.
THYROID HORMONE REPLACEMENT
The feedback system for thyroid hormone production is simpler than the feedback
system for the steroid hormones. Only two hormones are involved, and their
metabolism is relatively simple. Therefore, thyroid hormone replacement is less
harmful and indeed helpful at times.
However, many of the same problems arise as a result of thyroid hormone therapy
as with the replacement of other hormones. It often masks deeper imbalances, and it
does not address factors such as copper, mercury or fluoride toxicity which can affect
the thyroid and pituitary glands.
Adrenal weakness often contributes to thyroid imbalance as the thyroid gland seeks
to compensate. Exhaustion of the sympathetic or fight-or-flight nervous system also
contributes to thyroid imbalance. Adrenal exhaustion even contributes to
hyperthyroid conditions or Grave's disease. This is revealed on hair mineral tests that
often reveal low cellular thyroid effect. In these individuals, cell permeability is
impaired and the thyroid gland compensates by secreting more hormones, causing
symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Most of these people are also pushing themselves with exercise or other activities,
which aggravates the hyperthyroid condition. Copper toxicity is also a factor in many
cases. The solution is not to destroy the thyroid gland or replace hormones, but to
correct the biochemical imbalances and lifestyle.
If one must replace thyroid hormonea, most patients do better on natural thyroid
(Armour thyroid or Westhroid), which contain all the hormones and nutritional factors
Health & Wellness Blog
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