The Hormonal Nightmare

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The Strength Of The Bio–Identical Hormones

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One of the benefits of a woman using individually compounded biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones instead of the biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones that are made by the pharmaceutical companies, is that the pharmaceutical companies only make biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones in specific strengths or doses. This means that women only have limited choices as to how much biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones they can take if they use the biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones produced by the pharmaceutical companies. As each woman is an individual, and her hormonal levels are different than that of another woman, the individual compounding or making of biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones can be done to suit the levels of hormones that each individual woman needs to take.

Another real concern is about the two different goals that health practitioners have when they prescribe biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones. Some health practitioners will prescribe doses of biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones that create a pharmacological level of hormones in a woman’s body, while others will prescribe doses of biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones that create a physiological level of hormones in a woman’s body.

The following table shows an example of the hormone levels in a 58 year old woman’s body when her medical doctor prescribed doses of biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones that created a pharmacological level of hormones in her body.

  • Salivary Hormones
  • Sample #1
  • Sample #2
  • E1 – Estrone
    Range 0 to 12 pmol/L
  • 1,728
    (extremely high)
  • 1,185
    (extremely high)
  • E2 – Estradiol
    Range 2 to 20 pmol/L
  • 11,715
    (extremely high)
  • 9,046
    (extremely high)
  • E3 – Estriol
    Range 14 to 38 pmol/L
  • 28,480
    (extremely high)
  • 8,130
    (extremely high)
  • Progesterone
    Range 20 to 800 pmol/L
  • 184,443
    (extremely high)
  • 28,095
    (extremely high)
  • Testosterone
    Range 15 to 90 pmol/L
  • 819
    (extremely high)
  • 100
    (high)

When this woman complained about still having symptoms, all the health practitioner did was increase the doses of her biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones without ever retesting her. Having such excess levels of hormones puts her at risk for many symptoms of hormonal excess, leads to a saturation or inactivation of her hormone receptors which then can’t use the biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones no matter how much she takes, and leads to her having symptoms of hormonal deficiencies.

One of the reasons that some health practitioners recommend that a woman should take biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones at pharmacological levels is in order to create regular periods in menopausal women.

Therefore, many women who are in menopause are hesitant to take biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones as they do not want to have periods again. Sometimes, until their correct dosage is established, women may have periods or break through bleeding. Although this is upsetting and frustrating for some women, being patient leads to not only the elimination of menopausal symptoms but, with the establishment of the correct amounts of hormones in a woman’s body, the periods / spotting stops, and a woman can eliminate the health risks that come once her hormonal levels decrease below the level of hormones that she had during her reproductive years.

Although there are health professionals who believe that it is natural for women to use biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones in amounts and in a manner that allows them to have regular periods for the rest of their life, anthropologists point out that, before the introduction of the birth control pill in the 1960s, most women had less than 50 periods in their entire life [between their first period and menopause]. This was a result of these women either being repeatedly pregnant or breastfeeding. One health advantage that resulted in these women, who had several children and breast fed them for long periods of time, was a lower incidence in breast cancer.

Many health practitioners, believe that every women should be taking only as much biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones as she needs to keep her hormones within the reference range. The reference range tells us how much of each of the sex hormones that a woman’s body is physically capable of making [the physiological range] and using.

If every woman had a baseline hormone test done during her peak reproductive years [if she wasn’t having any problems], it would be easier to prescribe biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones for her once she has gone through the change as the health practitioner would know what are the normal hormonal levels for her. This is very important to know, as every woman is an individual who makes different amounts of hormones throughout her reproductive cycle, her body uses them at different rates, and then breaks them down and eliminates them at different rates compared to other women.

Unfortunately, most menopausal women have not had a baseline hormonal test. Therefore, not having any idea of how much hormones the woman produced during her peak reproductive years, a doctor needs to look at the individual’s test, and based upon the test results, needs to prescribe the lowest dose. By monitoring the woman while she is on the biologically identical [bio–identical] hormones and doing follow–up testing, the dose can be slowly increased if necessary within the physiological range.

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