Thursday, May 6, 2010

Women To Women - Not Hormones, Only Vitamins.

When you search Google for “bioidentical hormones”, what’s the first site to come up? It’s Women to Women. I find this astounding because Women to Women has nothing to do with bioidentical hormones.

“Women to Women” is a vitamin sales website that proclaims it’s devoted to women’s health. They say they use phytotherapy to achieve natural hormone balance. So what is phytotherapy? It’s vitamins and herbs. On Women to Women, they are basically saying you can rebalance your hormones with vitamins.

Hormones decline in women because our ovaries shut down with age. There is no vitamin in the universe that will bring back ovarian function or hormones once in the process of menopause. Some vitamins may improve your symptoms and improve health, but no vitamin can replace the beneficial functions of estradiol, progesterone, or testosterone. As far as balancing your hormones, eventually they will all be balanced by being gone, and no vitamin will prevent that!

Don’t get me wrong. I am a devoted believer in using vitamins to help treat many problems including adrenal fatigue, adrenal stress, thyroid problems, hypertension, high cholesterol, osteoporosis and a number of other disorders. Vitamins and herbs can overall improve our general health. But without hormones to direct your cells functioning, vitamins are limited in what they can do. The fact is that you need both hormones and vitamins, and the way you get hormones just like with vitamins, is with replacement! Hormones can totally relieve your symptoms and keep you healthy. Vitamins, even with diet and exercise, cannot do this.
Women to Women has an extensive library of many legitimate disorders and there is a lot of good information there. However, most every conclusion is that there is no good hormonal treatment and the best treatment is to use their vitamins. Admittedly, those writing the articles are very skillful in coming round to this conclusion, but be aware that the people writing the articles are nurses without any specialized hormone training, not doctors with bioidentical hormone training.

The fact is Women to Women is basically a site dedicated to making money by selling vitamins to women who are suffering from menopause. Granted vitamins may mildly and usually temporarily improve some symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, but they falsely claim that women can “rebalance women’s hormones without the use of drugs”. O.K. I agree with balancing your hormone without the use of drugs; that is, without the use of pharmaceutical drugs like the synthetic hormones Premarin and Provera (HRT), but bioidentical hormones (BHRT) are not drugs. They are natural hormones with the exact same molecular structure as in the human body.

Women to Women goes on to say “We have found that about 85% can find relief through an approach that combines medical-grade nutritional supplements, gentle endocrine support, and dietary and lifestyle changes.” Relief of what and for how long? This is a fundamental misunderstanding or misrepresentation of menopause and hormone imbalance.

Menopause is a hormone deficiency of estrogen and progesterone caused by ovarian failure and cessation of ovulation that is genetically dictated by our life cycle. How can you balance hormones that are not there? Vitamins will not put back your hormones or keep you ovulating until you are 90. The symptoms, aging, and decline of menopause are due to losing your hormones. As you become deficient, the only remedy is to replace your hormones.

Estrogen is the woman’s hormone for health. It has 400 functions in the human female body. It is responsible for heart health, eye health, brain health, and bone health. When estrogen is started early (at least in your 50’s) the medical literature has shown it can help prevent heart disease, osteoporosis, cataracts, macular degeneration (blindness), Alzheimer’s disease, depression, colon cancer, wasting of our genital tissues, urinary leakage, cholesterol problems, loss of sexual desire, loss of skin beauty, loss of memory and other things. (Estrogen-Natural Bioidentical Hormone Replacement) The current medical literature has shown that bioidentical hormones are safe. They do not cause breast cancer. To prevent disease, bioidentical hormones need to be used on a long terms basis. At least 10 years use is needed to prevent Alzheimer’s. Current bioidentical experts recommend lifelong use to stay healthy and vital.

Women to Women has said bioidentical hormones are not the fountain of youth. Well that may be. None of us will get younger with hormones (except maybe with growth hormone), but we don’t have to experience the disorders of aging either that are more likely to occur without our sex hormones. Progesterone has its very own functions (Progesterone Deficiency) and is necessary to balance estrogen.

Women to Women staff comes from a sect of alternative medicine that believes in aging naturally by allowing your hormones to decline and only alleviating, if necessary, the symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, etc.) of this slow and painful decline. But what about the diseases that occur due to hormone loss like Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and colon cancer? Why not try to prevent these diseases by replacing our hormones?

Women to Women recommends using vitamins first to treat the symptoms of menopause (remember vitamins don’t put hormone back). Why? Well maybe because they sell vitamins…that’s their business. They do not recommend bioidentical hormones. Why? Well, because they can’t sell a pharmacy product online with the click of a button and a charge of the card, and that would put their vitamin business out of business. Their articles minimize Suzanne Somers’s writings and claim that she is in the minority of women needing replacement. Why? Maybe because she writes about bioidentical hormones as the basis of health, and again, they can’t sell hormones online.

Let the buyer beware. The formula used by Women to Women is not anything special and can be easily duplicated at a lower cost. Their lifestyle coaching might prove beneficial if personal support is your goal
What’s my problem with all this? The vitamins won’t hurt, right? Wrong. It shakes confidence in real medical treatment, deters seeking treatment, and is a financial drain. I have had several patients that have come to me after trying Women to Women’s program which did not work. They spent a large amount of money with Women to Women without relief (of course you have to do the 3 month program). This financial loss discouraged and inhibited them from seeking medical advice from doctors trained in hormone replacement therapy. For about the same price of their premium plan you can get bioidentical hormones for replacement from a pharmacy.

So how does Women to Women get to the top of Google search for bioidentical hormones? They spend huge amounts of money on advertising with Google Adwords for one thing. In addition they have a large amount of content on their website which pushes them up in the page rankings.

There is a way to actually balance and replace your hormones that really works and has immediate and long term benefits – and that is natural bioidentical hormone replacement

Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at


Jen M said...

Women-to-Women is linked in some way to Dr. Christiane Northrup. I believe she helped found the clinic initially but then left the practice.

I believe that's why they lean toward her beliefs about menopause -- it's a natural process, use the least amount of hormones you can for the least amount of time possible. Very dangerous advice!

Many use Dr. Northrup's "The Wisdom of Menopause" as their menopause bible (ex: Oprah). I believe Dr. Northrup is doing women a disservice everywhere. I recently heard her on a radio interview where she said she'd tried "all the hormones on the market" and none of them helped her. She currently uses none and also claims she's having the best sex of her life in her 60s.

I HIGHLY doubt she's tried the Wiley Protocol because IT IS different from the others! And I find it hard to believe she's having the best sex of her life WITHOUT hormones! You can't "feel" sex without them.

I agree with T.S. Wiley! Thank you for getting the word out.

Love My Hormones said...

Thank you for your comment. I don't have the time or staff to publish a webpage like Woman to Woman but I can tell you this I understand hormones and how they work and the Wiley Protocol is the closest thing I have found that works amazingly well. It is pretty self evident once you try it you will know. Gretchen Jones

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