For those of you who have already seen our first five videos on bio-identical hormones I think it's time to deal with some frequently asked questions as well as help you refresh your memory about the nature of bio-identical hormones. They are so very different from synthetic drugs, which can damage your body. So let me explain by answering a few simple questions. Well-known examples of bio-identical hormones like estrogen, progesterone, pregnenolone, DHEA, melatonin, and testosterone can be obtained from a compounding pharmacy provided you have a prescription from your doctor. The rules and regulations governing bio-identical hormones vary dramatically from one country to another. In the United States a number of bio-identical hormones are sold over the counter. This does not mean that they are the best. It is far better to locate a good quality pharmaceutical compounding company in whatever country you're in, such as United States, Great Britain, New Zealand, or Australia and, with your doctor’s help, order them direct from the compounding company.
A good compounding pharmacy can make medications to suit your individual needs in a safe and correct way—in capsule form, cream, gel, oil, pessary, or even in the form of a suppository—whichever your doctor decides is right for you.
Another question that I am often asked is: Can bio-identical hormones be beneficial for men? The answer is an unequivocal yes. There are many symptoms that can be relieved or resolved for men by using carefully selected bio-identical hormones. These include disturbed sleep, muscle weakness, irritability, poor concentration, memory lapses, erectile dysfunction, reduced sex drive, and depression.
As a reminder, bio-identical hormones are chemically identical to the hormones that are produced in the glands of your own body. They bear no resemblance to synthetic hormones, which in truth are not hormones at all but drugs, such as those used in HRT. Your body's cells are incapable of making good use of synthetics. This is a major reason why so many dangerous side effects can be experienced from using these pharmaceutical synthetic drugs.
Where do bio-identical hormones come from? Most are made from diosgenin taken from wild yam. Our bodies can't obtain these hormones directly from these plants, so diosgenin is synthesized in the laboratory into the chemically identical equivalent of whatever hormone is being made.
Another question I am often asked is: If I have a hysterectomy does that mean that I may still need bio-identical hormones? The answer to this question is yes: You see, hormone receptors are found in many areas all over your body, not just in the uterus, breasts, and bones. Your body still needs adequate hormones to function properly.
Okay, here's some other stuff that you need to remember about the complete hormonal picture:
Bio-identical progesterone, which has the same molecular structure as the hormones that your body produces naturally, is a long way from “progestin” synthetic drugs commonly prescribed by mainstream medicine. Progesterone—the natural hormone—has shown itself beneficially able to protect your body from arteriosclerosis, help maintain healthy HDL levels, decrease the risk of blood clots, and improve cardiovascular health all round.
There are three major types of estrogen produced naturally in a woman's body. These are estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). Estriol is well known to promote youthful skin, improve sexual function, enhance urinary health, and improve bone density. Estriol is also highly effective in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Progesterone (the real thing) balances and complements estriol in its bio-identical form. One study showed that this combination substantially improved how much time women with a history of heart attack or coronary heart disease were able to work out on the treadmill before blood flow to the heart was reduced. Progesterone—the real thing—plays a major role in relieving menopausal symptoms. The beneficial effects of bio-identical progesterone compared to progestin drugs include a 50% reduction in anxiety, a 60% reduction in depression, a 30% reduction in sleep problems, a 25% reduction in menstrual bleeding, and a 40% reduction in cognitive problems as well as a 30% improvement in sexual function. In four studies 80% of women reported overall satisfaction with bio-identical progesterone formulation.