"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A wasted decade: How one HRT scare has 'caused thousands of women 10 years of needless suffering'

This article from The Daily Mail.com is from Great Britain (and yes, that is me commenting at the bottom of the article, if you have time, read some of the comments, pretty interesting!)  but the message is universal. Thousands of women, in the US, Great Britain and everywhere, have needlessly suffered because of the very flawed findings of the Women's Health Initiative Study of 2002. 

I won't list all of the problems with the study here, but two of the most glaring problems are the age of the participcants in the study, mostly in their 60's and far past menopause, and the study used Premarin and Prempro, which, as you likely know by now, are NOT bioidentical hormones, they are drugs. Premarin is made from the urine of pregnant mares (and they are horribly abused to get the urine). 

Bioidentical hormone balance is an entirely different issue, far safer and merely replacing in the body what is lost as we age.  I so often hear the "oh, but estrogen causes cancer" arguement.  No, it doesn't.  If it did, teenage girls, who are full of estrogen (as many of you know who still have drama queen teenagers in your house) would be full of cancer, and they aren't.  If cancer is present in the body, estrogen can stimulate the cells and cause growth, which is why it is important to get regular mammograms to be sure you are cancer free if you are on estrogen. 

Despite all the newer evidence and studies, so  many doctors are still telling their patients that "a hormone is a hormone" and I am sorry, but that simply is not true.  So often the statement is made out of ignorance, if the doctor didn't learn it in medical school 30 years ago, then it isn't worth knowing.  One of the things I most admire about bioidentical hormone specialists is their willingness to think outside the box and understand that old research is just that, old research.  We already know that Premarin and Prempro have caused problems for many women (some who have sued Pfizer Pharmaceuticals for millions of dollars in damages) and yet too many doctors are still prescribing it, which frustrates me and many others.  There are safer, more effective options out there, and if your health care provider is not willing to discuss them with you, or blows you off, then it is likely time to find another practitioner.  If your doctor says "I don't know much about it, but if you want to explore bioidentical hormones and I'll help you find someone who is an expert"------give him or her a hug for admitting that it's not his/her field of expertise and caring enough about you to help you get the care you need!