How Safe Are Bioidentical Hormones?

Bioidentical hormones therapy is safe as long as the amounts of hormones used and the levels of hormones in the body are carefully monitored. I recommend the Wiley Protocol, which uses bioidentical estradiol and progesterone in a rhythm that mimics the cyclical fluctuation of hormone levels that we see in healthy young women.

The word bioidentical means that the hormones are exactly the same as the hormones that the human body produces. Bioidentical hormones include estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, human growth hormone, thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3). I don’t recommend non-bioidentical chemicals such as medroxyprogesterone and norgestimate because they are not produced by the human body and because they have known side effects such as cancer, hypertension, depression, and fluid retention. They are more appropriately referred to hormone disrupting chemicals.

Can bioidentical hormone replacement therapy be used in “asymptomatic perimenopausal or postmenopausal women”?

Yes, they can. Not all women experience hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, or any of the other classical symptoms of perimenopause. However, sometimes there more subtle changes that occur. These may include decline in memory (“senior moments”), decreased libido or sexual satisfaction, skin changes, hair changes, vaginal dryness, and loss of sense of feminity.

There are two main reasons for recommending bioidentical hormone replacement therapy: 1) Relief of symptoms, 2) Reduction of disease risk. We know that properly dosed and monitored bioidentical hormone replacement is a safe and effective therapy for relieving symptoms of perimenopause. We also know that the risk for heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease increases as people get older and their hormones levels decline. Young people with high hormone levels tend to be at very low risk for these health conditions. There are indications that bioidentical hormone replacement may reduce the risk for developing such health problems and allow people to have a better quality of life.

For how long can bioidentical hormone replacement therapy be used?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be used for as long as a patient desires. Suzanne Somers is 63 years old and is using the bioidentical Wiley Protocol hormone replacement regimen. She takes very good care of herself in many different ways and it shows! She intends to use this therapy for as long as she lives. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be stopped at any time. This will return the patient to their previous (usually) hormone deficient state.

Does bioidentical hormone replacement therapy increase the risk of cancer?

I have not seen any evidence that it does. Bioidentical hormones such as estradiol and progesterone are a normal part of the human body. Why would the human body produce messenger chemicals that are carcinogenic? I believe that bioidentical hormones are as safe as water as long as they are dosed and monitored correctly. At least 70% of our bodies consists of water. Are we demanding proof or double blind, randomized, placebo controlled studies to prove that water does not cause cancer?

On the other hand, we know that the Women’s Health Initiative Study showed that women using a combination of non-bioidentical chemicals (Premarin and Provera) had an increased risk of heart disease, blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer. These women did NOT receive hormone replacement therapy. Instead they were drugged with chemicals that are not normally found in the  human body.

The Mirena Menace: Are IUDs Intra-Uterine Disasters?

From time to time patients come into my office who are using the Mirena birth control method.

Mirena is a T-shaped, plastic IUD (intrauterine contraceptive device) that is inserted by a physician into the vagina, passed through the cervix, and implanted in the uterus. It stays in place for five years while it releases levonorgestrel.

Levonorgestrel is a chemical that is not normally found in the human body. Many health professionals refer to levonorgestrel as a “progestin” or “progestagen”. This misleading term leads many to believe that progestins are somehow related to the hormone progesterone that the human body produces. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because their biochemical structure is different, all progestins have hormone disrupting effects and their effects are opposite to the effects of progesterone. Therefore it is not surprising that many women experience adverse reactions while they are using Mirena.

Levonorgestrel is found in many oral contraceptives and it was also the active ingredient of Norplant which consisted of implants that were injected into women’s upper arms. Some Norplant users experienced significant side effects.

Some women choose Mirena because they tend forget to take oral contraceptives and because they want the security of knowing that for five years they will not have any children unless they remove it. It is believed to be 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancy.

This is how Mirena works:

  • It blocks sperm from reaching or fertilizing the egg.
  • It makes the lining of your uterus thin (this may also result in less menstrual bleeding over time).
  • It stops the release of your egg from the ovaries.

Here is a list of common side effects:

  • Prolonged menstrual bleeding
  • Prolonged uterine cramping
  • Dizziness
  • Weight gain
  • Low back pain
  • Headache
  • Stuffy nose
  • Depression
  • Abnormal Pap smears
  • Ectopic pregnancy (which can be life-threatening and result in infertility)
  • Intrauterine pregnancy (birth defects are a possibility)
  • Sepsis (an infection which can be fatal)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (which can result in infertility)
  • Irregular Bleeding and Amenorrhea (no periods)
  • Embedment (in the uterine wall)
  • Perforation (of the uterus or cervix)
  • Ovarian cysts (can cause severe mid-cycle pain)
  • Breast cancer
  • Risk of Mortality (risk of dying is low)
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Leukorrhea (abnormal vaginal discharge)
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Vaginitis (irritation or inflammation of the vagina)
  • Dysmenorrhea (cramps or painful periods)
  • Breast pain
  • Skin disorder
  • Acne
  • Decreased libido
  • Hypertension
  • Sinusitis

Many women don’t even come back for follow up with the physician who inserted the IUD. As a result physicians often don’t make the connection between these women’s health complaints and the levonorgestrel that is being released from their Mirena IUD. Some women even forget to mention to their physicians that they are using Mirena because they don’t consider it a medication or a drug that they are using. Something else that may make it difficult to correlate certain symptoms with the Mirena IUD is that many of the side effects are nonspecific and that they may be ascribed to other factors.

Some women consider the lack of menstrual periods to be a blessing. However, having normal, regular menstrual periods is a normal and essential part of being a healthy woman.

Medications and devices that contain levonorgestrel are marketed without regard to the health of women and children. They are marketed to pregnant women for use after pregnancy. A study done in Mexico with breastfeeding Norplant users found that their infants had significantly modified thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels.

According to Bayer, the manufacturer, the Mirena IUD is an effective, long-acting and reversible method of birth control that delivers 20 µg/day of levonorgestrel directly into the uterus and protects against pregnancy for up to 5 full years. Due to the local action of levonorgestrel on the endometrium, there is often frequent irregular bleeding or spotting during the first 3-6 months of use. The number of days with bleeding or spotting decreases gradually, and by the end of the first year approximately 20% of women will experience a total absence of bleeding. A decision to use Mirena® must include consideration of the risks of PID [pelvic inflammatory disease]. Candidates should have no history of ectopic pregnancy or a condition that predisposes to ectopic pregnancy.

In Norway there was a one six-year followup study that followed breastfeeding infants exposed to levonorgestrel (Norplant) and that found that they had higher incidence rates of respiratory infections, skin conditions and eye infections than the control group. They were later were found to have a higher proportion of neurological conditions.

My advice to women who are using Mirena is to have it removed as soon as possible. It’s not worth it. Please don’t gamble with your health. Stay away from any chemical contraceptive method, including oral contraceptives and contraceptive injections such as Depo Provera. I have seen many women whose health was drastically altered because of these poisonous drugs. Instead, I recommend natural family planning or barrier contraceptive methods such as condoms, cervical caps, diaphragms in combination with the use of spermicides.

10 Facts about the Breast Cancer Industry You’re Not Supposed to Know

From NaturalNews.com, October 19, 2008:

With Breast Cancer Awareness month fully upon us once again, retail stores have been invaded with everything pink, including “pink ribbon” candies and personal care products made with blatantly cancer-causing ingredients. Retail grocery stores like Safeway even hit up customers for donations at the cash register, promising to raise funds to find “the cure for cancer.”

Consumers of course, have virtually no idea where the funds they donate actually go, nor do they know the truths about breast cancer they’ll never be told by conventional cancer non-profit organizations. In this article, I’ll reveal ten important myths about breast cancer, and the truths that can save your life.

Myth #1: Breast Cancer is not preventable

The Truth: Up to 98% of breast cancer cases can be prevented through diet, nutritional supplements, sunshine and exercise

It’s true: Breast cancer can be almost entirely prevented through commonsense changes in diet, the addition of anti-cancer nutritional supplements, boosting vitamin D creation from sunlight, avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals in consumer products, pursuing regular exercise and eating a live foods diet.

The breast cancer industry — which depends on the continuation of cancer for its profits and employment — has so far refused to teach women even basic cancer prevention strategies (such as increasing the intake of vitamin D, which prevents 77% of all cancers). See: http://www.naturalnews.com/021892.html

Myth #2: Pink ribbon products are sold to raise money to support breast cancer victims.

The Truth: Nearly 100% of the funds are used to recruit more breast cancer patients into highly-lucrative treatments that do more harm than good.

Click here to read the complete article.