Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Latest News
In covering bioidentical hormone therapy we aim to keep you up-to date on all the new advances and innovations in BHRT. We will also not shy away from covering any negatives or challenges that come up, all with the goal of providing unbiased coverage of this medical procedure. Of course we also have our blog which will continue to provide timely tips, information, and advice, but this page will be dedicated to news from the world of natural hormone treatments, unfiltered and presented openly. Bioidentical hormone therapy is as exciting as ever, and as it grows in popularity it naturally the latest news is difficult to follow and weed through. Of course this is a good thing – any up and coming medical advance is bound to attract a media following. But the resulting increase in coverage can be hard to follow and decide what is real and what is merely promotional.
As always we appreciate and encourage your participation and feedback. If we post a news story here that you disagree with or feel is missing pertinent information, please let us know. IF you notice some news about natural hormones that we have missed, please let us know that too. This site is a collaboration between our editors and our readers, and this builds trust. As hard as we will work to gather news and present it openly, we’d love your help in making sure we are on target.
Beware of fake bioidenticals
Beware fakes in the bioidentical hormone therapy world. And we mean a broad cross-section of types of fake natural hormones and natural hormone practitioners. Let’s start with fake bioidentical hormones. Of course if you are having your BHRT done by a skilled doctor or other practitioner you should be all set (if you’ve properly done your homework). But many people are turning to over the counter bioidentical hormones which in itself is not a bad thing, but it certainly opens things up to the possibility of fakes or unproven claims. If you are pursuing an over the counter approach to BHRT you should still consult with a natural hormone practitioner at least at first, or be very careful to be guided by a store that is reputable.
And be careful of companies that use the term bioidentical hormone therapy too widely, either making claims that are too grand or claiming that certain ingredients will provide hormone like changes when really they will not. “Bioidentical hormones” have become more popular and sought after, and of course in competing for a niche companies may be all too willing to stretch the claims and introduce new and exciting products. As new as they are, bioidentical hormones are actually quite advanced in what works and does not, and any new product on the scene that uses new ingredients should be met with some skepticism.
The good news is that there are more and more reports of the effectiveness of bioidentical hormone therapy, but with that notoriety we may see more and more stretches of the truth and altogether false claims. Make sure you are getting good guidance and doing your homework about where to buy over the counter solutions in your area.
Natural Hormones Backlash
The backlash against bioidentical hormone therapy seems to be calming as time goes on. We believe that there are a combination of factors at work, most significantly the fact that when in the hands of a qualified and experienced practitioner, bioidentical hormones really do work. Other factors include a quieting of the natural tendency for the medical establishment to fight against something new that has not been extensively studied in the lab, the fact that there are fewer mistakes being made by practitioners first learning their craft, and the fact that the uses for natural hormones have consolidated around those symptoms that they can truly affect.
In some ways, however, we think the established medical community and in particular pharmaceutical companies who are not in the bioidentical hormone therapy arena are poised to pounce should there be any well-publicized problems with this form of natural hormone replacement. In other words, we don;t necessarily think we are completely done with the negative press, but rather merely in a quiet period where many are reassessing their positions. What happens next is hard to predict.
If you are reading this and you are a prospective bioidentical hormone therapy patient you can be part of the “good” story about BHRT by being careful with who you choose to be your practitioner and what symptoms you decide to address. Through doing your homework both here and elsewhere, and also being very diligent in your choices along the way, you will be part of the movement for acceptance of BHRT and most importantly you will get your own symptom relief along the way!
Growing Acceptance of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Will we ever see a day when bioidentical hormone therapy is widely accepted by the medical community and a first line approach by your regular doctor? Maybe not, unfortunately. The medical profession seems to prefer the highly scientific approach that involves using synthetic medications created in labs to treat many issues. Natural hormones, including bioidentical hormones, will always seem to many doctors to be less powerful because they are somehow not manufactured as scientifically as the synthetics.
But despite that, we do expect that more doctors will accept bioidentical hormones as they see them work. Their sense of science will be prodded by the fact that their patients are actually responding to bioidentical hormone therapy. In other words, their own studies – the data they keep in their head – will suggest that this is a viable treatment for hormonal issues. When the doctor sees that a woman who was low in estrogen responds to a natural treatment, or the man with low testosterone does well on BHRT, his or her own sense of science will be triggered.
So bottom line, the news for this month is that while bioidentical hormone therapy continues to be a secondary thought in most doctors’ minds these days, there seem to gradually be converts who are willing to more fully embrace this approach. And at the very least we expect that while the medical community may still tend to prefer synthetics they may come closer to being okay with bioidentical hormones for their patients who want them or who do not do well on synthetics.
What do the Custom Compounding Scandals mean?
There have been scandals in some parts of the country involving compounding centers, most notably in Boston. Some who were considering bioidentical hormone therapy were likely put off by these scandals, wondering whether this was an indictment on bioiudentical hormones and the trustworthiness of those who do custom compounding. It certainly didn’t give people confidence in these approaches, and fed into the hesitation many people already had. But should these compounding scandals affect your decision to potentially pursue bioidentical hormone therapy? We say no, and here is why:
Custom compounding of medicines is relatively new, and compounding in general is an emerging field. Unfortunately these facts often conspire to cause trouble because often the government or other oversight agencies are not yet equipped to know exactly how to oversee things and ensure that proper processes are being followed. In addition, in the race to open their doors and be a part of this new and exciting market, more and more businesses open their doors before they put adequate safeguards in place or trained employees well enough.
And a side issue is that any new business becomes a much more interesting news story when someone doing it fails – the public may be eager to learn more about this new field, and the story of failure and difficulty may be just a bit more sensational when the new service or product has an air of fascination around it.
Now all of this is not to say that there is any excuse for the corners cut by these custom compounding centers. What they did produced to be a huge problem and could have been prevented. But we suggest that this should not taint the entire field of compounding and in particular there is no reason to think that bioidentical hormone therapy is any more dangerous than it was before, or that your custom compounded bioidentical hormones should now be avoided.
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy in Younger People
Bioidentical hormones are being used with people who are younger and younger. For example, young women in their late teens and early 20s are discovering that bioidentical hormone therapy can help reduce the effects of menses on acne breakouts, and may generally alleviate symptoms related to hormonal rhythms. In addition, given that hormonal changes and perhaps more importantly the development of hormone levels and rhythms is occurring in earnest in late adolescence and early adulthood, many younger people are beginning to develop what they at least think are hormone-related issues at that time.
So is natural hormone replacement like that done with bioidenticals a good thing or a bad thing for younger people, given that it has up to now primarily been used in those who are not only older but specifically experiencing the effects of aging? We are reserving opinion right now. While BHRT certainly has proven its power and value when in the hands of a qualified and experienced practitioner and compounder, most of that experience and qualification likely has to do with older patients. Does that mean that the practitioner can easily transform their practice and serve people who are younger with bioidentical hormones? Perhaps.
We will certainly follow this issue of natural hormones and their use in younger people closely. We may or may not get to the point where we can give a clear recommendation, but in the meantime we hope to provide enough information to help you make a well-informed choice.
Trends in Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
A common question that people ask about bioidentical hormone therapy is what the current trends are. It is helpful to know what the advances are in the BHRT field, and what the newer drawbacks and cautions are. In addition, people seek to see what new groups are seeking this kind of intervention. For this update we want to provide you with information about one of the faster growing groups as far as bioidentical hormone therapy, and that is men who are experiencing a hormonal imbalance of some type.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy used to be mostly only pursued by women, and almost always due to low estrogen due to the aging process. This remains the top reason why bioidentical hormone therapy is pursued, and it is certainly one of the most effective uses of these techniques. But men with low testosterone (“low T”) are also discovering natural hormone treatments, and many have found that this approach is serving them very well. Women are not the only ones who want to be able to pronounce and recognize the ingredients that they are putting into their bodies!
The nice thing about this kind of trend is that usually scientific evidence in the form of studies and outcomes research often follows, given that those who manufacture and provide bioidentical hormone therapy want to show even more people that this is a valid approach. As a technique gets more popular, so does the drive to prove it. We will certainly be following this trend in our blog and elsewhere.
As far as other trends, bioidentical hormone therapy often comes on strong in the spring as more people consider this form of natural hormone replacement for the symptoms they are having. But why then? Is there something about springtime that sends people in the direction of bioidenticals? Has there been any particular news about BHRT? Or is this just part of the natural progression of this form of treatment for certain symptoms of hormone deficiencies and imbalances? While we think the answer could be all three, our lean is toward the first possibility.
Many people feel down in the winter, slow and sluggish and perhaps a bit sad or at least indifferent at work and/or socially. They may blame these symptoms on the weather and the time of year, believing that spring will bring positive change. However, when spring comes and there is no significant change they may become a bit alarmed – why is everyone around them seemingly feeling better and more active, yet their own symptoms of being in the doldrums not subsiding? At that point they realize that wintertime may not be to blame, and other possibilities must be explored. Of course one such possibility, especially in those who may be prone, is a hormone deficiency or imbalance.
Thus springtime may be a time of reflection for people who were misunderstanding their symptoms, and during that reflection they realize that they should be checked out for hormone issues. Given that the symptoms are relatively new – presumably not existing or not strong as of last fall, they are open to an approach involving natural hormone replacement with bioidenticals.
In addition to the news we cover here, there are many celebrity endorsements of bioidenticals.
Best of luck, and we will continue to add information here as we get news on bioidentical hormone therapy.