Bioidentical Hormones: One size does not fit all
From Jay Mead MD at Labrix, a salivary hormone test site.
The severity of problems caused by the use of synthetic hormones led to a landmark decision in 2002 by the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), a long term health study of postmenopaual women.
After discovering that instances of breast cancer [JAMA 2001], heart disease and osteoporosis increased with the use of medroxy-progesterone and pregnant mare's urine conjugated estrogens, research was halted. Bioidentical hormones were brought into the spotlight after women sought a safe alternative for synthetic hormone replacement therapy.
The difference between bioidentical and synthetic hormones starts at the molecular level.
Bioidentical hormones have the same chemical structure as hormones made by the human body, and can replicate the actions of natural hormones produced in the body.
Side effects and risk factors are minimized when your body recognizes its own molecular structure, fills its receptor cites efficiently, and can utilize, break down, and detoxify hormones effectively.
Bioidentical hormones can be tailored to match each individual's needs by a compounding pharmacist.
Synthetic hormones, on the other hand, have an altered molecular structure that the body does not recognize completely, thus their actions are not straightforward and they are not detoxified from the body as easily. Side effects are common with these types of hormones because they are foreign to the body. Synthetic hormones are prescribed as a "one size fits all", and cannot be specifically made for an individual.
Customized fits are the future in hormone treatment and replacement. Recent search on bioidentical hormones in Google Scholar: 4700 articles.
More in the next post on the specifics of measurement and treatment, references to follow.