With popularity growing daily, bioidentical hormones are being used for the replacement of insulin, thyroid hormones, gonadal (sex) hormones and the trend continues to be natural. For insulin dependent diabetics, the last decade saw a transition away from using porcine based insulin derivatives to that of recombinant human forms. Some doctors also prefer to prescribe a natural bio-identical thyroid replacement of both T3 and T4 in the correct ratios, rather than the single synthetic-T4 drugs offered, for thyroid disorders. Instead of synthetic blends, physicians are also prescribing natural compounded sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone when the need arises for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
Bioidentical hormones are manufactured in the lab to have the same molecular structure as those made by the human body and are therefore referred to as natural. By contrast, synthetic hormones are intentionally different due to the fact that drug companies cannot patent a bioidentical structure, therefore synthetic hormones are invented that can be patented. Even though bioidentical hormones have been around for years, many practitioners are still unfamiliar with them. One of the major issues remaining concerning bioidentical hormones is efficacy—reported well designed double blinded studies to prove effectiveness and the long-term study of potential side-effects. While efficacy is a priority, the smaller number of controlled scientific studies for natural hormone therapy is due in part to the lack of financial support or underwriting of scientific trials on all things natural. With increased interest, that fact is changing as more studies are being published with growing acceptance of research outside the USA.
What we replace in our bodies as the need arises should be of the same biochemical composition as what our own endocrine organs produce. Cost is another factor to consider as many natural and bioidentical therapies are much less expensive than more widely recognized synthetics. Side effects are another major consideration as many women choose bioidenticals that offer an almost exact replica of what the body once produced. Other important considerations include the biochemical components, dosage and timing (chronopharmacology). Appropriate testing to determine each individual’s needs and current state of health is the first step. Once a deficiency is detected, bioidentical hormone replacement (bHRT) may be the best solution.
More details on bHRT are available on Dr. Saleeby’s medical blog site at DocSaleeby.blogspot. com. For a limited time, he is offering free consultations for bHRT (a $300 value) to the first two new patients who qualify based on income and lack of health insurance status—patient will be responsible for lab testing and any prescriptions. See listing page 35.