More and more people are using bioidentical hormones to restore their health back to normal. I’m not just talking about thyroid conditions, but many other conditions as well. In fact, many doctors are building their practices by using natural hormones to help their patients. Although I personally don’t think natural hormones should be used as frequently as they are, at the same time I can’t deny that they have the ability to help many people who would otherwise be suffering with severe symptoms.
And while I don’t recommend bioidentical hormones to my patients unless if they’re absolutely necessary, one of my favorite books is by Dr. John R. Lee, entitled “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, The Breakthrough Book On Natural Hormone Balance”. I’ve mentioned in the past that everyone with a thyroid condition should read this book, regardless of whether they are in menopause. I even recommend it to any man who has a thyroid condition. However, even though this book contains a lot of great information, I do caution those who read it to realize that while bioidentical hormones have some wonderful benefits, there are numerous risks as well.
Why Are Bioidentical Hormones So Effective?
Bioidentical hormones are so effective because many people have hormonal imbalances. This is especially true when it comes to progesterone, as a lot of people with thyroid conditions have a progesterone deficiency. I’ve spoken about this in the past, as many women with thyroid conditions are in a state of estrogen dominance, which is due to an imbalance in the hormones estrogen and progesterone. While sometimes this condition is due to too much estrogen, it is most commonly caused by a progesterone deficiency.
A progesterone deficiency can cause many different symptoms. This is why so many of Dr. John Lee’s patients with different conditions received great results by taking natural progesterone. Many people underestimate the impact a hormone imbalance can have on the body. But being deficient in one or more hormones can cause many problems. And part of the reason for this is because hormones interact with one another, and so a deficiency in one hormone is likely to affect other hormones as well.
Of course progesterone is just one example of a hormone whose deficiency can lead to many symptoms, and this explains why taking bioidentical progesterone can be so effective. But of course there are many other hormones, and a person can also be deficient in these. While most people aren’t estrogen deficient, some people are, and therefore might need some bioidentical estrogen. Others might be deficient in DHEA or testosterone. While one can guess which hormones they’re deficient in based on their symptoms, it’s best to obtain a male or female hormone panel to verify this. Taking this approach is the best way to confirm that you have a hormone imbalance, and it will show which hormones you have a deficiency in, which ones you have an excess of, and which ones are at normal levels.
Why Don’t I Recommend Bioidentical Hormones More Frequently?
Since bioidentical hormones can be so helpful in managing one’s symptoms, then why don’t I recommend them to my patients more frequently? The reason is simple: even though they can be helpful, most people don’t need them. For example, while the symptoms of estrogen dominance which involves a progesterone deficiency can be helped by taking natural progesterone, this isn’t going to fix the problem. In other words, what caused the progesterone deficiency to begin with? While in some cases it might be caused by a complete hysterectomy in which natural progesterone might be necessary, this is an extreme example. In most cases, a progesterone deficiency can be corrected through a natural treatment protocol.
And the same concept applies with other hormone imbalances. For example, if a male with a thyroid condition obtains a hormone panel and it shows he has a testosterone deficiency, giving testosterone will most likely make him feel great, but it won’t fix the cause of the problem. Plus, sometimes giving such a hormone will help the person’s symptoms for the first few months, but then after a few months the symptoms will return. And the bad news is that giving more of the hormone will often times not help nearly as much the second time around.
Plus, even though bioidentical hormones are natural, this doesn’t mean they are risk free. While I do recommend them to some of my patients, they need to be extremely careful with regards to the dosages they take. Unfortunately, many people treat hormones as if they were nutritional supplements, and figure that taking a higher amount than is recommended won’t do them any harm. But hormones have a powerful effect on the body, and if you overdose with them, which is easy to do, you can feel even worse than you did when you had the deficiency.
How Do I Determine Who Is A Good Candidate For Bioidentical Hormones?
You might be wondering how I make the decision as to which patients should receive natural hormones, and which ones shouldn’t take them. To be honest, sometimes it’s not so clear as to who should take a certain bioidentical hormone, while at other times it is obvious that someone needs some additional support. I use a combination of factors to determine what someone needs to take, including the person’s symptoms, their case history, and of course their hormone panel results. But sometimes I’ll be wrong, as there are times when I’ll recommend that a person refrain from taking any bioidentical hormones, but then if they’re not responding as well as I’d like them to when following a natural treatment protocol I’ll give them the extra support.
But I think my approach is better than just automatically giving everybody who has a hormone deficiency bioidentical hormones. After all, my goal is to ultimately fix the problem. I’m sure I could make a good profit just putting all of my patients with hormone imbalances on bioidentical hormones for the rest of their life, but if at all possible I want to restore their health so they won’t have to take any bioidentical hormones. While this isn’t always possible, in most people it is. And by the way, I’m not suggesting that all doctors who recommend bioidentical hormones to all of their patients do this just to make money, as I know that doctors like Dr. John Lee truly wanted to help his patients, and I’d like to think that most doctors feel this way.
In summary, bioidentical hormones have helped a lot of people who would have otherwise been living with their symptoms. On the other hand, many people who currently take bioidentical hormones on a regular basis might be able to have their hormones balanced through a natural treatment protocol. While this isn’t possible for everyone, in my opinion it’s definitely worth consulting with a competent natural endocrine doctor to see if this is possible.
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