Clearing Up the Confusion about Hormone Replacement Therapy

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

January 8, 2016

  • Why hormone replacement therapy sounds so appealing
  • …But leads to a boatload of disaster
  • The natural way to revitalize your hormones

Once you hit your 40’s, it’s hard not to consider the idea of taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) at some point. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female.

Believe me. I know both scenarios by heart.

If you’re a man with a flagging libido, low energy, loss of muscle mass and problems in the bedroom, those television commercials for testosterone therapy can look pretty appealing.

Suddenly, you’ll be manly again! Your muscles will rapidly pop back to life, right along with your libido. Those unmanly breasts will disappear, and your gumption for life will return.

Once these concepts work their way into your psyche, they’re hard to shake.

And if you’re a woman in the grips of menopause…

Well, anything sounds good when it comes to getting rid of those hot flashes and regaining your sanity. If the same “anything” kicks up your desire and ability to have a pleasurable bedroom experience and improve the health of your bones, skin and hair, all the better.

Either way you look at it these results make the idea of HRT sound like nirvana. But it may be short-lived if you turn to synthetic hormone treatment. These manmade chemicals come with a boatload of side effects that you don’t want to live with.

In men, synthetic testosterone replacement can trigger prostate enlargement and prostate cancer.

It may also increase red blood cell mass and blood clotting which, in turn, raises your risk of stroke and heart attack. In some men, it can even increase the chances of developing breast cancer.

And women! The news is even worse for you.

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  • A sex drive that's shifted into neutral...or worse

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One of the greatest research disasters in history occurred with the Women’s Health Initiative. In this study, postmenopausal women took part in estrogen and progesterone therapy. Except that it wasn’t estrogen and progesterone that was being used, it was synthetic chemicals!

The results were so devastating that the trial was called to a halt. It turned out that the therapy ended up increasing the risks of heart disease, coronary artery disease, stroke, blood clots, dementia and breast cancer.

Well, with concerns like these, I don’t recommend synthetic hormone replacement therapy for anyone. However, there is a way to get the rejuvenating benefits of HRT without these disastrous side effects.

It’s something called bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT. And it works equally as well for men as it does for women.

Now, if you go to a mainstream doc, chances are good you’ve never heard of this type of treatment before. But those of us who practice integrative medicine are “in the know.”

Exactly what is it that we know?

  • Synthetic hormones aren’t identical to those found in the human body. In fact, they aren’t hormones at all. They’re manmade and designed as a “one-size-fits” all solution. So they have nothing to do with your own, personal physiological make-up, or normal metabolism of those hormones.
  • Plant-based, bio-identical hormones are exact copies of the hormones your body naturally produces. This means your body will naturally respond to them and give you the results you’re looking for.
  • Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is much less expensive than synthetics. And since it works better, too, you get more bang for your buck.

My recommendation?

If your sex hormones are low, your symptoms are consistent with those levels and you’re serious about correcting the problem, find an integrative physician in your area that specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.

He or she will run a complete hormone panel to find out which hormones you’re low on. Then, they’ll work together with a compounding pharmacy to customize a therapy that’s exactly right for you.

Osterberg EC, et al. Risks of testosterone replacement therapy in men.Indian J Urol. 2014 Jan;30(1):2-7.

Rossouw JE, et al. Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results From the Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2002 Jul 17;288(3):321-33.

Shumaker SA, et al. Conjugated equine estrogens and incidence of probable dementia and mild cognitive impairment in postmenopausal women: Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study. JAMA. 2004 Jun 23;291(24):2947-58.

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