Estrogen is probably the most poorly understood hormone in healthcare, in the understanding of its true role in the body, in the need to supplement it, and in which forms.
Synthetic and new-to-nature horse urine derived chemical estrogens were used in women for years as a direct result of menopause being labeled an illness instead of a beneficial turning point in women's life. The WHI study showed that chronic illnesses in these women were greatly increased.
The combination of estrogens with and without progesterone / progestins is also a contributing and additionally confusing factor, with a very poor understanding of traditional medicine of the total body effects of progesterone, and that its benefits are not confined to the uterus.
And the recent rise in the use of bioidenticals has left even more scratching their heads as an increased understanding in the risk / benefits of this, and other, hormone replacement combinations has yet to reach the mainstream consumer.
Estrogens - Found in the body naturally in three forms...Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), Estriol (E3). E2 is the major player, whose main effects are increased cell division, stimulation, and inflammation, in the uterus and ALL tissues of the body. Estrogen is a very powerful growth hormone primarily responsible for the monthly growth of the womb and mammary glands. Other effects, water retention and swelling are some of the unwanted side effects, but also an increased feeling of well-being that can be somewhat addictive when used in BHT. E1 and E3 are argued to be less potent forms of estrogens that can be used more safely for BHT, however the science is still fairly unclear on these questions.
Synthetic Estrogens - new-to-nature chemicals, lab-created from pregnant mare urine, not bioidentical to human estrogen and known proliferative chemicals. While possessing the same primary effects of the natural estrogens, these also bring much stronger 'toxic' side effects, thus being unnatural and 'toxic' to the body itself and necessitating liver clearing. These are found in Premarin and most birth control pills.
BioIdentical Hormones - biochemically identical hormones to those in the body, produced mainly from plant products (soy, yams) that are easily converted to the correct compound. Theoretically much safer and more appropriate to use than the synthetic and toxic hormones, and more easily and naturally cleared from the body.
Progesterone (androgens) - the balancing hormone to estrogen.....known to be the primary hormone for the maintenance of the health of the uterine and mammary tissue. With varying effects and not as widely prescribed in the past, its use (synthetic Progestin) was confined to women who had NOT had hysterectomies. Current research shows it's health benefits are throughout the body.
Synthetic Progestins - as with the synthetic estrogens, not of natural origin and lab created. Can have effects completely opposite of natural progesterones. Frequently found in PremPRO and most birth control pills.
THE OLD UNDERSTANDING - THE ERA OF SYNTHETIC HORMONE TREATMENT
Menopause is an illness, a difficult and unnatural process during which a woman's body experiences significant drops in estrogen which result in hot flashes, mood swings, depression, weight gain, and increased risks of chronic illness. Lab-derived and very profitable synthetic estrogens restore a sense of wellbeing and reduce the chances for chronic illness. There was no observible benefit in weight reduction. Later, WHI study showed most of these to be misconceptions and that women had greatly INCREASED RISKS of cancer and heart disease. Synthetic progestins (new to nature and toxic as well, with many effects OPPOSITE to their natural progesterone counterparts) were used in combination only in women with their uterus intact, as their protective effect was only thought to be on the uterus alone. Most women who were post hysterectomy with surgically induced and more severe menopausal symptoms received synthetic estrogens alone. This was actually the opposite of what should have been done, and more of the cause of their uterine problems.
THE NEW UNDERSTANDING BEFORE NMF - THE RISE OF BIOIDENTICALS
Especially after the WHI study, and with the rise of very successful books and spokespoeple such as Suzanne Sommers, many women who had both been on synthetic hormones or never on hormones at all flocked to bioidentical hormone replacement......Estrogens, Progesterones, Testosterones, and DHEA were Rx'd to women by providers of all backgrounds, typically in creams and fairly inaccurate dosing. Reponses were mixed, but typically the use of any BioIdentical Hormone preparation will have a somewhat beneficial response, whether it is biochemically accurate.
The traditional Western medical world questioned the validity of the use of bio-identicals, and some of the major Big Pharma synthetic producers lost large amounts of profits as women switched over to the more natural sourced hormones. A case was brought against one of the most popular forms of BHT, ESTRIOL, and won, thus basically outlawing its use. This was a groundbreaking and troubling verdict for most.....that a naturally identical molecule could be disallowed for use by healthcare professionals, while synthetic and known toxic and carcinogenic chemicals were valid. The power of the dollar was becoming very obvious in our worsening sick-care system.
THE AGE OF NEW MEDICINE - ESTROGEN DOMINANCE AND TOXICITY, ANDROGEN DEFICIENCY
With over a decade of research and practice in the perfection of BioIdentical Hormone treatment, NMF believes that the replacement of deficient hormones is an absolute necessity and one of the 3 large causes (along with toxicity and nutrient deficiency) of chronic illness, disease, and premature aging. However, it is most often done incorrectly and with the improper combination of hormones. While no two patients are unique, the following are the basic principles behind proper BHT:
1. ESTROGEN TOXICITY - we are living in a world now toxic with estrogen. Those Rx'd as synthetic as described above (menopausal and birthcontrol being the most common), xeno-estrogens (toxic petro- and plastic based chemicals that act as estrogen in the body), synthetic estrogens used in our livestock to accelerate their growth rates, naturally occurring but overused and genetically manipulated soy sources, and even the natural bioidentical estrogens Rx'd improperly are now only adding to the estrogen toxicity problems of our world.
Our children are now born estrogen dominant. Estrogen is primarily a hormone of pregnancy, and very high levels must be endured by a woman's body every month and during pregnancy to allow the womb to proliferate and support her growing baby. This dominance is a very large part of the health problems we are seeing......early / mis-development of girls and boys, early menarche, difficult menstrual problems, fibroids, obesity, inflammation, immune activation, fibroids, and cancers. The same uterine problems are being experienced by men with their prostate glands. These are embryonically from the same tissue developmentally.
Problematic menopause symptoms (a natural and welcome change from a woman's childbearing years) is more from Estrogen / Progesterone imbalance and adrenal fatigue than estrogen deficiency (actually excess).
MOST WOMEN DO NOT NEED NOR BENEFIT FROM ESTROGEN REPLACEMENT AND ARE IN FACT ESTROGEN TOXIC.
2. ANDROGEN DEFICIENCY - Women have been misdiagnosed as estrogen deficient for decades, and have been given the wrong hormone. As previously mentioned, estrogen is present in EXCESS today, and is Rx'd to many women in many different forms, and is present in increasingly toxic amounts in both our foods and environment.
One of the primary deficiencies in our bodies is of the couterbalancing and nourishing ANDROGENIC hormones, primarily PROGESTERONE in women and TESTOSTERONE in men. Progesterone (and not synthetic progestins) are the primary hormone a women needs replacement of, while reducing and educating on the excessive sources and levels of Estrogens, especially synthetic Rx estrogens. While removing a problematic uterus and prescribing more estrogen can temporarily make a women feel better, the problem of Estrogen / Progesterone dominance becomes worse. Similarly in men, who are also Estrogen dominant from food and environmental sources, this chemical must be removed and its avoidance taught, and their TESTOSTERONE levels replaced. This E / T imbalance is the primary cause of the epidemic prostate problems, as well as other chronic diseases.
3. TESTOSTERONE / DHEA IN WOMEN - most women (80%) do very well with appropriately Rx'd DHEA to help support a secondary hormone deficiency, Adrenal glands, however not all. Also, contrary to popular belief, nearly all women do not do well with testosterone replacement. 20% of women do excessively convert DHEA to testosterone and are better off without.
4. PROGESTERONE, in balanced and accurate dosing, is very important in Men for the health of their prostate. Testosterone should not be prescribed to men without the balance of dhea and progesterone in tested and confirmed levels to balance adrenal support and di-hydrotestosterone levels.
4. TIME- RELEASE ORAL COMPOUNDS are much more accurately dosed and easy for patient compliance. CREAMS are messy and and difficult to dose correctly. NMF finds excessive treatment in nearly all patients using cream preparations.
5. A COMBINATION OF SALIVARY AND BLOOD TESTING IS NECESSARY TO ACCURATELY SHOW ALL BIOCHEMICAL LEVELS.
So in summary:
MOST WOMEN DO NOT NEED NOR BENEFIT FROM ESTROGEN REPLACEMENT AND ARE IN FACT ESTROGEN TOXIC.
Only from over a decade of research, testing, and treatment has the above information been compiled. Unfortunately, to date most hormone replacement done is still with toxic synthetics, inappropriately with bioidenticals, and without proper testing.
Please spread the word about the importance of these principles of proper BHT and the NMF reliance on science.
Best in health,