Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy means that the hormones one takes looks just like the hormones your body makes. This is not to be confused with natural or synthetic, as estrogen from pregnant horse urine, (marketed under the trade name Premarin, which stands for pregnant mare urine) is considered natural but it looks nothing like the body's estrogen. We offer bio-identical therapy because it is a safer and more natural way to use hormones and allows us customized therapy. Hormone replacement therapy needs to be individualized because we all have different genetic make ups, nutritional status, and stress levels which affect the response of hormone supplementation.
The decision to take hormone therapy is a personal one and it must be considered along with all other hormones in the body such as insulin, thyroid, adrenals and others. The WHI study, (Women's Health Initiative) results have made most women shun hormone replacement therapy for fear of breast cancer. Although it is true that particular study showed this, it is also important to point out that women were not given the same type of hormones or method of delivery as is used in our practice. Hormone replacement therapy may have numerous benefits in women including bone health, brain health, heart health, insulin regulation and thus weight as well as an overall improved quality of life. These facts and others along with your personal beliefs about hormone therapy are discussed in detail before the decision to begin therapy is made. Also important to note is that for decades and even now, many women and men are given hormone therapy and never have any monitoring of levels. Because symptoms of high and low hormone levels can overlap, it is important to monitor. If one is given cholesterol medicine, the cholesterol levels are monitored and the same should be true of hormones.
Men too need hormone monitoring as low testosterone predisposes to heart disease, cancer, depression and diabetes. One myth about testosterone therapy is that it causes prostate cancer and that simply is not true. Many men who have had prostate removal due to cancer suffer from low testosterone and with the right monitoring benefit from therapy. If you have a history of prostate cancer, Dr. Sievers works closely with your urologists.