When the women's health initiative released their study in 2002, the Anti Aging Clinic began a passionate research study on this issue. What was this study? The study was on post menopausal women who were taking Prempro and Premarin, both products from Big Pharma giant Wyeth. Women on Prempro had more blood clots, heart attacks strokes and breast cancer than women taking a placebo. It was a total shock to the medical community and menopausal women were made to think that ALL hormones caused the same problems seen with the products mentioned. The next fact is going to shock you. The estrogen mixture is derived from the urine of a pregnant mare. The last time I checked, my anatomy is quite different than that of a horse.
Big Pharma lobbied hard and fast, and the FDA gave a strong warning against all estrogens and progestin's, even though the WHI only used one product with pharmacologic properties and risks very different from Bioidentical Hormone Replacement therapy. Wyeth was trying to recupe their market share and profits which dropped by 2/3 within a few years of the study. They are striking back by trying to ban the compounding of bioidentical hormones and saying that they have the same risk profile as premarin and prempro. This is simply not true.
What are bioidentical hormones? They are an exact copy of hormones produced by the human body. BHRT dates back to 1975. Our research at the AAC has led us to the leaders in this industry. We began to study with Dr. Bob Fishman in 2005. One of the areas of Dr. Fishman's research led him to discover that women never stop cycling. It makes no difference if they had their ovaries removed or a complete hysterectomy, women cycle from the day they begin menstruating until they die. One of the more telling pieces of evidence of this can be seen from the results of a 30 day 11 panel saliva test. 11 samples are collected over the course of a month. Women, who are still menstruating, will begin their test on the morning of the first day of the period and will continue to collect on specific days as per our instruction sheet. The samples are kept frozen and sent to our lab when all 11 are collected. When a woman is premenopausal or postmenopausal, the first sample is collected the very next morning after the consultation.
Dr. Fishman's research has been enhanced by his finding from the past 15 years with thousands of women's case studies that helped him recognize that conventional testing was not good enough. At first, he tested the hormone panel with blood tests and he found that that when he followed the findings of a single blood test, most women did not respond well to the BHRT. He would then take another blood sample during the same month and he noticed that the results were always different. He then decided to take samples throughout the month. In all of these cases he was unable to balance hormones to the point where symptoms would reduce substantially. During his research he discovered that the samples that were sent to the lab were centrifuged before testing. The process of centrifuge separates the plasma from the red blood cells. The hormone panel is derived from testing the plasma or serum and not the red blood cells. It then dawned on him that it is the red blood cells that bind the free hormones. Instead of analyzing the bioavailable hormones, blood testing analyzes the hormones attached to proteins from the liver and is not bioavailable. Dr. Fishman now knew that his testing method had to change. Saliva became his next choice of testing and he began the same slow process to determine the amount of testing that would be required to obtain accuracy. Our salivary glands produce about 2 pints of saliva a day. Saliva glands have an extremely high blood flow. Researchers have found that the free hormones from the red blood cells and plasma filter through the saliva gland into the saliva where they can be measured accurately. So the conclusion is that saliva reflects bioavailable level of hormones present in the bloodstream, therefore saliva testing is far more accurate and relevant test than blood when measuring bioavailable steroid hormones. Just as important as the saliva test is a lengthy questionnaire that needs to be answered in order to determine the extent of the symptoms that our client is experiencing. Based on the test results and the answers to the questionnaire, a tailored BHRT program will be recommended by our compounding pharmacist. In order to titrate the dosage, every month for 6 months our clients will call in and answer the questions. The micronized mini lozenges dosage will then be adjusted based on the degree of the symptom.
Many medical doctors question the effectiveness of the sublingual steroid hormones. They believe that they are not absorbed into the bloodstream and therefore do not have a physiological effect. This argument is based on the traditional medical training that sublingual therapy will not raise the blood levels of the hormones. This is easily disputed with our know accuracy of the saliva tests. Not only have doctors been taught this but it is re-enforced by Big Pharma, who we now know has only their best interest in mind and that is to sell their synthetic hormones. Pleases do not forget pregnant mares urine.
From most of the medical community's perspective, the response from the pharmaceutical industry was the end of the argument. This is an understandable way to deal with the fact that neither doctors nor anyone else can keep up with the speed of biochemical and medical discoveries, much less breakthroughs in the wellness industry. It is really up to the doctors who are willing to expand their knowledge in this area. In most cases it is the patient who becomes knowledgeable about his or her problem and will attempt to educate themselves and then educate their doctor. In contrast to conventional medicine, a small group in the wellness industry of researchers, scientists and Nature-O-Paths, and a some MD's have been successfully improving the health of women and men by balancing their hormones with BHRT. Yes, men can have hormone imbalances as well. Men do not cycle and can be tested with 4 saliva samples taken over the course of one day.
Stephanie and David Tippie
Steve Lohr is a reporter for The New York Times on technology, business and economics. In 2013, he was a member of the team that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting
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