Natural versus Synthetic Hormone Therapy

The usual aging process leads to slow decline in the levels of estrogen and progesterone in women and testosterone in both men and women. The decline in hormone levels begins during middle age and slowly progresses long before symptoms occur. Women often experience premenopausal or postmenopausal symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, fatigue, mental fog, memory problems, insomnia, headaches, decreased libido, breast tenderness, or skin and vaginal atrophy which may affect sexual activity. For men symptoms related to low testosterone are evidenced by reduced muscle strength, irritability, mental fog, reduced concentration or erectile dysfunction. Both men and women who have hormone replacement therapy experience relief of these symptoms and receive other benefits such as increased bone strength, decreased cholesterol, cardiovascular protection, increased muscle strength, and reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s dementia.

Controversy regarding synthetically manufactured hormones is based on the known and possible negative consequences of long term use. When significant health safety concerns arose in 2002 for women using synthetic hormone replacement, millions stopped taking it according to one survey.1 Patients and physicians alike began to search for alternatives. Fortunately, several forms of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy exist and follow in a long line of drugs derived from natural plant sources. According to a Vanderbilt review, for thousands of years we’ve turned to plants for relief from disease. Examples include morphine derived from opium poppies, aspirin from willow bark, and hormones (estrogen and testosterone) from soy and yams. Thus, bio-identical hormones provide a safe and effective alternative to proprietary, synthetic hormones.

The wide assortment of available bio-identical hormone treatments often leads to confusing and complicated situations for consumers who are interested in pursuing this therapy. Bio-identical hormone preparations include creams, oral forms, injections, and hormone pellets. These approaches have differing effectiveness, side effects, absorption and metabolism depending on each preparation and route of administration. For more information contact us at http://www.greenbayintegrativehealth.com/