Most hormone replacement therapy is made up of synthetic (made in the lab) hormones. They can act differently in the body than the hormones you produce in your ovaries and other places that hormones are made.
Here is the difference between bioidenticals and synthetics.
Bioidentical progesterone is an exact natural structural copy to the body’s hormone. Therefore, progesterone will have a perfect fit with all available body’s progesterone receptors, and produce the desired effect.
Progestin on the other hand is a synthetic analog or look-alike that closely resembles progesterone structure. It will potentially act on progesterone receptors as well as other body receptors, producing desired and undesired effects. Hoye, K. (2015, May 5) Is there a difference between progesterone and progestin [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.hoyespharmacy.com/difference-progesterone-progestin/
There is a lot of literature being published that recommends balancing hormones to maintain or improve health. Dr. Dale Bredesen mentions balancing hormones as one of the 36 holes to be filled in treating Alzheimer’s. Dr. Mark Hyman (Director of the Functional Medicine Clinic at Cleveland) talks about the effects of unbalanced hormones.
Hormones are very potent messengers. They control much of how your body works. A lot of people think of sex hormones when you talk about hormones. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Insulin is a hormone. there is a thyroid hormone. Cortisol is the stress hormone. The list goes on and on. Do not just pop hormones into your mouth or body mindlessly.
That being said, there is a significant drop in progesterone in women after menopause.
This drop can cause, or be associated with, anxiety, weight gain (or inability to lose weight), hot flashes, cognitive issues, difficulty sleeping, mood issues, pain and the list goes on.
My results with bioidentical progesterone
I am the eternal skeptic so when I agreed to try bioidentical progesterone, I really didn’t expect much.
I have been using a bioidentical progesterone cream from a compounding pharmacy for 30 days.
These are my current results:
- I’m sleeping better (more soundly)
- I have started to drop more weight. Yes, I’m trying to lose weight through lifestyle changes so it’s not just falling off. (32 pounds so far :-))
- More energy (not crazy energy just more willing to drag out the vacuum cleaner if you know what I mean)
- Fewer hot flashes
- Lower blood pressure
- Overall less anxiety. I have a strong family history of anxiety disorders. I have had panic attacks. My desire is to control this without drugs.
- A little less overall achiness. I used to take an Advil (One 200 mg tab) every day. Now I take it once or twice a week.
I would say we have a WINNER. I refilled the prescription anyway.
Is this for everyone. No. Nothing is.
See your functional medicine or integrative medicine provider or an open-minded conventional medicine provider to see if your hormones need balancing.
You can check your hormones without a doctors order.
You can also get your own hormone tests done by going to Your Lab Work. Doctors orders are not needed. Labs are drawn by Quest Labs ( a nationally known laboratory with a drawing station near you). You pay cash (probably a lot less than your deductible) and the results come to you. You may share these with your provider (or not). If there is an alarming lab value, you will be contacted by Quests physicians. (The link to Your Lab Work is an affiliate link and I do make a couple of bucks if you use it. Thank you). I am open to discussing the results with you if you wish. You can email me at Theresalohman00@gmail.com.
All discussions are protected by HIPPA and do not constitute a patient-provider relationship even though I am a licensed board certified nurse practitioner.
I act as a health-coach in these matters and will refer you to the appropriate place if you need a referral.
Until we meet again:
You have a choice. Choose Health.
Terri Lohman DNP FNP-BC, BC-NC