Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Hormone Cure. (2009, July 13). First, 34-39. FROM OPRAH!!

The Hormone Cure Feeling anxious, tired and blue? You’re not alone. Between public health scares and economic woes, 80 % of American women are suffering, according to the American Psychological Association. But just as life has become more challenging, endocrinologists and Oprah Winfrey have come through with a natural antidote: bioidentical hormones. Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of the secret Pleasures of Menopause, explains, “No matter what’s happening in the world, getting hormones in healthy balance can help women conquer stress, regain optimism, boost their confidence, sharpen brain power and basically get their mojo back.Indeed, while hormone imbalances are classically associated with reproductive symptoms such as menstrual irregularity, a wonky endocrine system can result in everyday complaints like brain fog, mood disturbances, body aches, digestive difficulties and weight gain, maintains Dr. Northrup. And such imbalances aren’t just concerns for menopausal women, she adds: “Estrogen and progesterone levels often become skewed as early as women’s thirties.” But try telling that to most traditional doctors; They simply are not trained to pick up on hormonal problems in younger women, cluing in only to serious conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome, maintains C.W Randolph Jr., M.D., coauthor of From Hormone hell to Hormone Well.

The result “Women with normal imbalances end up living half lives, “ he says. The Power of Believing What your Body Says:Given that conventional medicine isn’t attuned to the hormonal fluctuations that can bring on chronic tiredness, weight gain, insomnia and more, who can you, trust? Your own body. “Homing in on key symptoms can usually reveal which hormone is causing trouble, explains Dr. Northrup. Then women can correct their levels by making dietary adjustments and if necessary, pursuing treatment with a bioidentical hormone.” When the problematic hormone is progesterone, women can self treat with an over the counter cream; when its estrogen, and ob-gyn can prescribe bioidentical estrogen. (EXCEPT THAT PROGESTERONE NEEDS THE RECEPTOR MADE BY ESTROGEN IN THE FIRST 12 DAYS)It’s really that simple. Why your doctor is less familiar with bioidenticals? The history of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) often omits one critical fact: When pharmaceutical companies created the hormones that go into their formulations, they intentionally used compounds that had been chemically tweaked. The motive? Profit. Such altered hormones can be patented and patented medicines bring in many millions of dollars more than medicines that aren’t. The downside is that this can cause trouble for patients: IF you think of a hormone receptor as a lock and the hormone itself as a key, it’s easy to see how a key that’s altered could jam the lock. So why do doctors favor these faulty keys? The pharmaceutical industry puts billions of dollars into funding research and the continuing education of medical personnel. Those dollars also pay for studies that prove efficacy and safety. Bioidentical hormones, on the other hand, are chemically identical to the hormones that occur in the human body and so can’t be patented. At the most basic cellular level, the body recognizes and uses bioidentical hormones just as it would its own,” explains Dr. Randolph. Mounting research concurs. A recent review of more that 200 clinical studies in the Postgraduate Medical Journal found that bioidentical hormones are more effective than their synthetic counterparts. Plus, compared with synthetics, bioidenticals come with a sharply reduced risk of breast cancer and heart disease. “These results cemented my conviction that bioidentical hormones should become the preferred method of hormone therapy,” says study author Kent Holtorf, M.D., head of the Holtorf Medical Group in Torrance, California. Fortunately, there’s no need to wait. FIRST discovered that it is possible to find supportive doctors and natural hormonal help. Here, the stores of women in their thirties, forties and fifties who did it and ended up feeling more amazing than they ever expected. Oprah’s Bioidentical break-through: When Oprah Winfrey touted the benefits of bioidentical hormones on their show, she drew fire from mainstream doctors. But despite the controversy, she’s a firm believer. “After one day on bioidentical estrogen, I felt the veil lift,” She wrote of her menopausal symptoms in O, The Oprah Magazine. After three days the sky was bluer, my brain was no longer fuzzy, my memory was sharper. I was literally singing and had a skip in my step.”The Hormone Cure. (2009, July 13). First, 34-39.

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