The Facts about Hormone Replacement Therapy
–Bio-Identical Hormones are only natural if they are Biomimetic–
If you are debating hormone replacement therapy, you’re not alone. Women everywhere are looking for answers and when they can’t find them, they look to their healthcare providers and pharmacists for help. According to the US Census Bureau, there were an estimated 78.2 million baby boomers, as of July 1, 2005, and over 47 million of them are women experiencing discomfort from menstruation to menopause, to loss of libido and beyond.
For those who still do not use any Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), the idea of anti-aging and bio-identical hormones has become intriguing. A myriad of products on the market make the right choice difficult.
People have become accustomed to talking about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) in menopause and anti-aging medicines versus synthetic big pharmaceutical products like Prempro from Wyeth. Bio-identical hormone products are usually created from natural sources of plant hormones which match the chemical structure of hormones produced by the human body. The premise is that the body can’t distinguish created bio-identical hormones from the ones the female ovaries produce naturally. The term bio-identical has basically become a catch all phrase for anything that is not a synthetic hormone. However “bio-identical” hormones can only be truly accurately bio-identical if the hormones for replacement mimic, not only those found in the body, but mimic the natural biological process as well.
In other words, natural plant derived hormones can accurately be termed bio-identical only when they are dosed in a Biomimetic fashion; that would be in a rhythm. Biomimetic hormones, the scientifically accurate term, are derived from plant sources and mimic the natural undulating or wavelike rhythms of the hormone blood levels in a normal menstrual cycle in a healthy young woman. It is this natural rhythm that is missing from all other bio-identical and synthetic hormone replacement therapies. It is the absence of this natural rhythm, according to T.S. Wiley, the developer of the Wiley Protocol, that is responsible for the vast side-effects in both camps.
So what exactly is meant by “the rhythm”? The body has rhythms that are governed by a master clock that works much like a conductor. It strikes up one section of the body's orchestra as another quiets down, taking its main cue from light signals in the environment to stay in sync with the 24-hour day. Our body's hormones surge and ebb to this maestro's baton, controlling all endocrine function, predominantly a woman’s health for reproduction.
It is the circadian clock in our cells that measures one 24 hour spin of the planet. For 28 days the moon adds its light to create the menstrual rhythm for the body. The Wiley Protocol uses these natural rhythms in nature to establish the proper doses of estradiol and natural progesterone that mimic the natural hormones which would be produced by your body if you were young. The topical creams and their amounts vary throughout the 28 day cycle to restore the hormone levels of youth because young women, for the most part, don’t have heart attacks, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, or type 2 diabetes.
Uncertainty about any HRT began when The National Institute of Health (NIH), sponsored the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). This study of more than 161,000 women was designed to identify the benefits and risks of using hormone restoration therapy to prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, breast cancer and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Many people, including doctors, did not realize that the results of WHI Study dealt with only women over 65 who were taking only synthetic hormone replacement therapy which consisted of the drugs PremPro and Premarin only. The study was ended mid-stream in 2002 when, WHI investigators found that the risks of this approach using synthetic therapy exceeded the safety limits established at the beginning of the study. They never looked at compounded bio-identical hormones in static doses because they are prescribed and dosed too many different ways.
Women deserve something proven to be safe and reliable. A new study, Bio-identical Hormones On Trial, or B.H.O.T., will soon begin at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Texas, Tyler. The principal objective of the study will be to examine clinical outcomes and quality of life indicators of patients receiving BHRT at 10 to 12 primary care provider's practices. This study will be the first of its kind to track and quantify outcomes based on dosing and patterns of administration of BHRT.
In 2030 there will be 57.8 million baby boomers living with many of the health issues that we may suffer between the ages of 66 and 84. There’s a chance that those who choose rhythmic replacement, the Wiley Protocol, could age to a healthier more graceful tune. Think about it.