Everyone is looking to have balanced hormones, which is essential to maintaining good health, long life and slower aging process. In contrast, the level and bioavailability of hormones declines with increasing age. For example, men lose the ability to produce testosterone at a rate of about 1%-2% per year from their mid twenties, and women lose Progesterone at a similar rate in their early thirties. However, once women become menopausal, their Estrogen declines so rapidly that they reach a point of having increased risk for osteoporosis, dementia, hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, vaginal dryness, low libido and more. Additionally, an under active thyroid (Hypothyroidism) has become an epidemic. However, this epidemic that is largely ignored by conventional medicine since 80% of patients will not show any blood test abnormalities, yet they “talk, walk, and look like” under active Thyroid. More specifically, a Free T-3 level of 2.4 in a 40 year-old woman is considered normal by conventional medicine standards. This is because the "normal" range is measured in the general population. In contrast, most patients having a T-3 level of less than 3 are likely to have under active thyroid, which leads to fatigue, brain fog, memory issues, dry skin, constipation, infertility, hypertension, unexplained weight gain, hair loss, puffing of the skin, etc.
Lab results showing patients having "normal" levels of hormones do NOT always represent an accurate health picture. As such, many patients ask:
"Why do labs show my hormones in a 'normal' range, but I feel terrible?"
The answer is multifaceted, but generally labs do not represent the true patient’s story? Here is one specific example - A reference range consists of a wide variety of people who have been tested. More specifically, a LabCorp's reference range may contain all types of people that can consist of distinct subgroups. One example may consist of: a) 80-year-old men; b) a 20-year-old men; c) obese men; d) super fit men; e) men with pituitary gland problems; and f) men with glands that work like champs. The range of testosterone levels in all of these men is about 348 – 1197 ng/dl (nanograms per decilitre) for total testosterone levels. If a 30 year old male has a testosterone level of 383 ng/dl, it will be considered in the "normal range," according to LabCorp's range of all tested subjects, however, that low number is more closely related to an 80-year-old man with Type 2 diabetes!
The fact that reference ranges don’t break patients down by age and/or health status explains why a 30-year-old man can go to his doctor with the symptoms of low T, only to be told that his T levels are fine because they’re within the “normal” range. If you’re 30 (or even 50), but have the same testosterone level as an 80-year-old, diabetic man, many doctors may tell this 30-year-old man is fine, but the truth is that he is not.
Bio-Identical hormone Replacement, when needed, and taken the right way, can change a person's life in as little as one month. It is important to note that there is a major difference between Bio-Identical Hormones and Synthetic hormones, especially when it pertains to Estrogen and Progesterone. For example, prescription drugs like Provera are being “sold’ to the medical community as Progesterone. To be clear, Provera is NOT Progesterone. More specifically, Provera synthetic progesterone that has a modified chemical structure for the purpose of obtaining patent protection. The results from one of the largest studies ever conducted on the subject clearly show that modified hormones like Provera and Premarin increases cancer and heart disease in women. In contrast, bio-identical hormone replacement studies have consistently shown beneficial effects.
To be clear, the term bio-Identical does NOT mean that the hormones are “natural.” Bio-Identical hormones are synthesized through pharmaceutical production methods like other drugs but have the same exact structure to your body’s own hormones. “Natural” implies a source from nature such as soy, which while similar in structure, is NOT the same as in the body. Drugs like Provera and Premarin have no bio-identical counterpart made by the human body. The chemical structure of Provera and Progesterone are shown below.
The differences are indicated by the black circles (most notably having a reactive ester group and a methyl group) in the Provera structure. It is believed that the subtle difference in structure between non-natural Provera and naturally-occurring and bio-identical progesterone is main contributor to the varying side-effect profiles between the two products, making bio-identical progesterone safer.
If you are taking Provera or Premerin you should tell your physician at Dr. CAREing to have them replaced with bio-identical hormones. If you have symptoms of hormone deficiency, ask the Dr. CAREing physician to see if hormone replacement is right for you.
Call today to make an appointment with Dr. Astrid Gutsmann in Allen, Texas (972) C-A-R-E-i-n-g (227-3464) to feel better and younger again.
Opra Talks Hormones
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Dr. Oz Talks Hormones
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Synthetic vs. Bioidentical
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