At the Nourishing Wellness Medical Center, we address hormonal imbalance from a comprehensive approach. After the age of thirty-five, hormone levels decline due to aging, stress, and environmental factors such as exposure to toxins. We test for multiple hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, pregnenolone, free and total testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, a complete thyroid panel, leptin, adoponectin and Vitamin D (a pro-hormone). These hormones work together like instruments in a symphony. The goal is to find the ideal harmony of hormones for your body
Are Bio-identical Hormones Safer and More Effective than Synthetic Hormones?
Bio-identical hormones are derived from wild yams and soy and are designed to replicate the same chemical structure as the hormones produced naturally by our bodies. Based on your hormone levels, a specialized compounding pharmacy can individually tailor a bio-identical hormone regimen designed for you.
On the flip side, synthetic hormones are not biologically identical to human hormones and are recognized by the body as “foreign.” For example, Premarin®, is an example of synthetic estrogen and derived from pregnant mares’ urine. In fact, there are more than 50 horse estrogens in Premarin®. Because horse estrogen is foreign to the human body, women lack the enzymes and cofactors to metabolize it safely. Also, dosages can’t be adjusted with synthetic hormones – it’s more a one-size-fits-all approach to symptom relief.
Because these hormones occur naturally in the female body, they cannot be patented and so large pharmaceutical companies have no financial incentive to fund research on these types of hormones. Despite this, there is large body of evidence that proves that bio-identical hormone therapy is safer and as effective as synthetic hormone replacement with less side effects.
|Bio-identical Progesterone||Pharmaceutical Progestins|
|We use a compounded cream or pill form.||Names include: Prempro, provera, Orvette, Micronor, Aygestin|
|Reduces incidence of breast cancer by 10%||Increases incidence of breast cancer by 25-255%|
|Decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke by maintaining or augmenting the the cardio protective effects of estrogen||Increase the risks of heart attack and strokes by negating the cardio protective effects of estrogen|
|Normalizes blood sugar levels, improves the use of fat for energy, improves thyroid function||May increases insulin resistance and weight gain, decrease in thyroid regulation|
|Reduces blood pressure , natural diuretic||Can cause a rise in blood pressure and fluid retention|
|Stimulates osteoblast-mediated bone building. Decreases osteoporosis and hip fractures||Decreased osteoporosis and hip fractures|
|Improves sleep, natural anti-depressant, reduces anxiety, headaches||May cause headaches, migraines, depression, cognitive issues|
Estradiol and Estriol
|Pharmaceutical Oral Estrogen|
|We prescribe it in a cream form||Names include: Premarin, Menest, Cenestin, Enjuvia, Ortho-Est
Comes in patch form,too
|Not associated with breast cancer||Significant increase in breast cancer risk|
|Reduces hot flashes||Reduces hot flashes|
|Protects against heart attack and stroke through reduction of atherosclerosis and decrease in cholesterol and HDL||Mild reduction in Cardiovascular heart disease|
|Reduction in all cause morbity and mortality||Increase in stroke, pulmonary embolism, venous thrombosis, peripheral vascular disease|
|Reduces mood swings and depression||Increase in gallbladder disease|
|Reduction in urinary sepsis, atrophy of the urogenital tract and less urinary infections||Increase in stress incontinence|
|Lowers cortisol and body fat||Increases insulin resistance and weight gain|
|Dramatic (80%) reduction in Alzheimer’s and memory loss||Probable increase in dementia|
|Reduction in osteoporosis and tooth loss||Reduction in hip fractures|
|Reduction in diabetes and urinary sepsis||Reduction in diabetes|
|Impact of using both progesterone and bi-est together:
No known increased risks and reduction in all cause morbidly and mortality
|Impact of using both synthetic progestins and oral estrogen:
Associated with a 24% increase risk of heart attack, 31% increase risk of stroke, 213% increase risk of pulmonary embolism, 206% risk of deep vein thrombosis, 59% increase risk of gallbladder issues, 87% increase risk of stress incontinence, 205% increased risk of dementia
In Women Health Initiative study, there was a reduction of colorectal and endometrial cancers and diabetes.
What About Bio-Identical Hormones and Breast Cancer?
We are asked on a daily basis if we are concerned about hormones causing breast cancer. We are very concerned about breast cancer in general, but are very confident that the bio-identical hormones will not increase any cancer risks.
Studies show that the high levels of hormones in pregnancy, including estriol and natural progesterone (not synthetic hormones like Premarin and Progestins) protect women from breast cancer.
Breast cancer is most prevalent in women over 50 years of age and who are in menopause. While estrogen levels drop during menopause so do many other anti-aging, cell protective hormones such as melatonin, thyroid, testosterone, estriol, progesterone and DHEA. Lack of these hormones is related to the aging process. Medical studies show that women who have had multiple pregnancies tend to have the lowest breast cancer risk. Studies show that the high levels of hormones in pregnancy, including estriol and natural progesterone (not Premarin and Provera/progestins) protect women from breast cancer. Ratios of estrogen metabolites (16-OH/2-0H estrone) can also be checked to identify an increased risk of breast and other cancers.
Treatment and reversal of such risk factors and immune system enhancers can help as adjunctive treatments for cancer and prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of cancer. We can also run state-of-the-art laboratory tests to determine your risk for developing cancer and integrate anti-cancer strategies into treatments to significantly reduce your risk.
What about the Impact of Testosterone and Prostate Cancer?
Over the past 70 years, there are many studies documenting the effectiveness of testosterone in producing increased vitality and improved health outcomes in men. There has NEVER been a study showing an increase in prostate cancer by taking testosterone supplementation. However every precaution should be taken not to give it to a patient with known prostate cancer.
How many young men do you know with a diagnosis of prostate cancer? Why is that? Young men have plenty of testosterone and but its aging men age with declining levels of testosterone that get prostate cancer. Aging men may also get an in increase in estrogen. If you are experiencing symptoms of weight gain, man boobs, gall bladder problems, anxiety, insomnia and prostate enlargement that is making you run to the bathroom, then you could be experiencing an increase in estrogen. In the prostate, there is an enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone(DTH). Increased DHT levels is a primary cause of male pattern baldness and it also proliferates prostate cells which leads to an enlargement of the prostate gland and narrowing of the urethral channel. Our goal is to get your testosterone levels optimal while ensuring that it is not converting to DTH.
If you take transdermal testosterone, this might lead to an increase in DHT with theoretical hair loss or an increase in estrogen with the possibility of gynecomastia. This is just one of many reasons why you want to work with a medical doctor who specializes in bio-identical hormone therapy.