I have been enjoying the benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) for over 4 years now. I can honestly say that this protocol opened the door to a whole new life for me. But so many people actually don’t know what BHRT is and how it differs from the old fashioned medical version which uses pharmaceutical drugs.
First of all, bioidentical hormones are made in a lab from plants, and they are comprised of molecules that are the same as the endogenous hormones made in a person’s body.
Bioidentical hormones are not exactly the same as our own bodies make, but the molecules are “identical” and that is why they are given the name bioidentical hormones. We will also hear people refer to the bioidentical hormones as natural hormones.
Some women are afraid of taking hormones, and some doctors advise you not to. In fact when I walked into my regular check up with my gynecologist I brought him some books to read about the new protocol I was following, because I knew he would hit the roof when I shared with him exactly what I was doing. First thing he noticed was that everything in my exam was perfectly normal. Will wonders never cease! Something natural offering optimal results.
The reason medical doctors get nervous today is because they remember the news that came out surrounding the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). This was a government sponsored study that ended up with overly emphasized negative results released in May 2002, which therefore caused women and doctors to discontinue the use of hormone replacement therapy. This was never prescribed for me so fortunately I never did that!
Many experts believe that this initiative was not monitored properly and was also incompetently analyzed. The report was done with synthetic drugs with hormone-like effects, PremPro and Premarin, the drugs most commonly used at the time were donated by the pharmaceutical company that had sold them since 1942. They were, of course, hoping that the drugs would be found safe and effective, but this backfired on them and the rest is history. There are still doctors out there prescribing these drugs or their newer incarnations, just like all the rest of the drugs the pharmaceutical industry “pushes” on them and also through TV advertisments for us to push on the doctors, as well!
Both men and women can take bioidentical hormones in several ways which includes compunded capsules done to the precribers specifications, gels, drops under the tongue, or via topical creams which is what I do.
There are various approaches to the dosing and blood levels and these have all been clumped together as ‘natural,’ but the reality is that none of them are actually natural because they may be bioidentical but they are not bio-mimetic. In other words they don’t mimic the rhythm that your body can recognizes as natural in you.
After experimenting with many forms of so called bioidentical hormones, some of which were over the counter in cream form, I ultimately found a doctor that Suzanne Somer’s recommended in one of her books. He switiched me to a compounded projesterone capsule and tested me, not with blood analysis but with an energy testing method. I went on for years thinking that I was truly doing bioidentical hormones even though my period had stopped and I was fully into post-menopause. It didn’t dawn on me then that taking a capsule orally would not be very efficient as stomach acids, etc., interfere with its up take.
Then I happily discovered The Wiley Protocol, developed, by author T.S. Wiley whose protocol offers a standardized rhythmic, cycling of the hormones, estrogen and progesterone which mimic the body’s rhythm. This method uses topical creams which are an extremely efficient method of delivery, our skin being the largest organ in our bodies. I began with two hormone creams, estrodial and progesterone cream and then ultimately added The Wiley Thyroid cream protocol, as well. My levels began from the basic dosage but were tweaked after my new anti-aging doctor reviewed my blood work which I do periodically.
I have to say, I personally experienced great results from this protocol right from the beginning and with the first 28 days of use regained my normal cycle as if I was a 30 year old women again. This was such a profound discovery for me that I switched my focus from holistic health care just for dogs and cats to holistic health care and anti-aging protocols for people as well as pets! I have put together a supplement protocol to augment the bioidentical hormones which includes an organic, cold extracted, Omega-3 anti-inflammatory and antioxidant supplement, made from New Zealand greenlip mussels, grape seed husk extract and kiwifruit seed oil, as well as a natural form of Nascent Iodine and various other whole food supplements that are the basis for my anti-aging protocols, not only for myself but also the very ones that I share with my clients in consultations and life coaching sessions.
Everyone of us is so unique that I firmly believe we need a guide to help us through life and I am there by their side for that purpose if you need me. I also help my clients understand that there are cautions as to not letting our companion animals, nor our partners or children come in contact with these creams. I simply advise that the places (usually our inner elbows) that the creams are applied to topically be covered by a long sleeve tea shirt or some other garment, for at least two hours after applied and I also advise that our hands be washed immediately after application. Because, the bioidentical hormone creams can provoke symptoms where we don’t want them to occur, such as with our spayed or neutered cats or dogs (who can also uptake these creams and have symptoms that mimic that of unaltered animals) or our children and grandchildren that we are in close contact with.
I have now done The Wiley Protocol under the supervision of my physician who specializes in this rhythmically dosed bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, as I mentioned for many years now. I even have a video testimonial up on the Wiley Bioidentical Channel on YouTube which many people have seen over the years since I first started this regime. I might add I have no connection to this company financially. I am just a fan sharing what has worked for me and my clients. I have attended the seminars that T.S. Wiley puts on for medical practitioners and have been amazed at how comprehensive they are, even to those MD’s who specialize in this subject matter.
The thing we need to remember is that women go through various hormone stages in life; 1) young and cycling 2) pregnant, 3) breastfeeding or 4) declining hormones. It’s pretty nice to hang out in that number 1 slot — young and cycling – which seems to replicate that optimal state of hormonal health where women usually feel their best. What this means is that women cycle up to a peak of estrogen and then the body lets it fall and then brings it down again for a second smaller peak. Progesterone peaks on its own rhythm on day 21. Healthy women have a period that lasts for about five days with a heavier flow on day two and three. Therefore, one might easily conclude that bioidentical hormones can only be truly bio-mimetic, if the hormones for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy actually mimic not only those chemically found in the body, but also mimic the natural biological rhthmic process as well, ie on a lunar calendar.
On my other bioidentical regime which consisted of the progesterone only capsule which I took for several years with the same dose every day for half the month, I never had a period. Once I learned about not only bioidentical hormones, but bio-mimetic rhythmic hormone use, it made cyrstal clear sense to me and resonated in that way that we all have when we trust our bodies to tell us what works and what doesn’t. I am not alone in my feelings about this regime as there are some very high profile, famous names, in the bioidentical arena today who have made this method quite famous!
Research is focusing more and more on healthy hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and it suggests that women must cycle their hormones and have a menstrual bleed to be truly safe from cardiovascular events. According to a Danish study, a combined cyclic regimen with monthly bleeding creates a lower cardiovascular risk for women than continuous-combined estrogen/progesterone therapy, which does not cause a menstrual bleed. The study also found that overall there was no increased risk of heart attacks in current users of HRT compared to women who had never taken hormones.
The principal investigator of this research, Dr. Ellen Løkkegaard, is a gynecologist at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark. She said, “The main message is that when hormone therapy is indicated for a woman, then a cyclic combined regimen should be preferred, and that application via the skin or the vagina is associated with a decreased risk of myocardial infarction. “ The observational study, the largest to look at the effects of HRT since the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trial in 1991, followed 698,098 healthy 51-69 year-old Danish women.
On a recent visit to my doctor, even after reading the books I brought him, he ordered an ultra-sound of my uterus, as he was still worried about how a woman my age could still be having a normal period. He was surprised to see the results concluded I was perfectly normal and doing beautifully.
There is a rhythm to the way hormones work, and it has a beat just like music offers. Pills, gels, drops and static dosing do not honor the bodies beautiful, natural music nor its elegant rhythm. But the Wiley Protocol bio-mimetic, rhythmic, bioidentical hormone therapy does.
When women have enough hormones they feel good, and some even feel better than they did during their entire lives. This is something T.S. Wiley explains in her book “Sex, Lies & Menopause,” Harper Collins, 2003. Her previous book, “Light’s Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival,” Pocket Books, Simon and Shuster, 2000 are both must reads that I recommend every man and woman read sooner than later! “Sex, Lies and Menopause” offers some great resources to find doctors who specialize all over the world in this and other anti-aging therapies. There are even special pharmacies worldwide who compound these protocols and others as well. I am available as a holistic life coach to help and guide both men and women on their anti-aging protocols and often work closely with peoples primary physicians, nutritionally in order to be of support. Its very encouraging when holistic practitioners and traditional medical doctors are all reading from the same sheet music and playing in the same symphony. The patient is truly the winner when this type of cooperation occurs amongst professionals.
Artwork courtesy of Nazim Artist