Hormones: One Size Doesn’t Fit All!

By Frank J . Nuber, Pharmacist

Today we have one size fits all slippers, underwear, polo shirts and many other items that are marketed as “one size fits all”. Today most everything we buy is made with very little customization to our individual needs, tastes and wants. Traditional Hormone therapy can be considered a “one size fits all”. Does one size fit us all?

Severity of problems caused by the use of synthetic hormones led to a landmark decision in 2002 by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a long term health study of postmenopausal women. After discovering that instances of breast cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s increased with the use of medroxy progesterone and pregnant mare’s urine conjugated estrogens, research was halted. Bioidentical hormones were brought into the spotlight after women began seeking a safe alternative for synthetic hormone replacement therapy.

The difference between bioidentical (humanlike) and synthetic hormones starts at the molecular level. Bioidentical hormones have the same chemical structure as hormones made by the human body and can replicate the actions of those made naturally. Side effects and risk factors are minimized when your body recognizes its own molecular structure, fills its receptor sites efficiently, and can utilize, break down and detoxify hormones effectively. Bioidentical hormones can be tailored to match each individual’s needs by a compounding pharmacist. Synthetic hormones, on the other hand, have an altered molecular structure that the body does not recognize completely, thus their actions are not straightforward and they are not detoxified from the body as easily. Side effects are common with these types of hormones because they are foreign to the body. Synthetic hormones are prescribed as a “one size fits all”, and cannot be specifically made for an individual.

It makes sense if Jane weighs 145 and if 5’9’’ and Jenny weighs 175 and is 6 foot tall that the dose would be different for each person, also there probably is a difference in dose if Jane is 51 and Jenny is 38 years old. That is just the basic physical difference between the two women, what about their ethnic differences and condition of their liver and kidney’s as well as body composition. These differences should change the dose of the hormone therapy.

An individualized approach of bioidentical (human-like) hormone treatment should begin with a Saliva Hormone Test. This will measure only active (free/unbound) hormone levels unlike serum tests (blood), which reflect inactive (total/bound) levels. Measuring inactive hormone levels is not useful in assessing function or balance. When testing the sex hormones through saliva, it is also important to assess adrenal status (DHEA and Cortisol). Even if the chief complaints seem to be an imbalance of the sex hormones, the adrenal and sex hormone pathways are so closely linked that an imbalance in one area will affect the function and efficiency of the other area.

The state of the art delivery system for bioidentical (human-like) hormones is transdermal. (Through the skin) By applying hormone to the skin rather than taking by mouth it is not affected by the stomach or liver on the first pass, this allows therapeutic levels with far less hormone. This method also allows for the hormone to trickle in during a longer period more like your body does naturally. Transdermal is painless without problems of swallowing tablets or capsules and easy to do, one application may also last up to eight hours if most individuals.

At the Medicine Shoppe we have been using Saliva Testing for 6 years and both of our Consultant Pharmacists have had extensive experience in guiding you in which hormones to test for and how to do the test when you take it home. We can help you achieve balance through testing and CUSTOMIZING your hormone therapy.

The solution to hormonal imbalances is simple and straightforward. Consult with your health care practitioner for salivary hormone testing and an INDIVIDUALIZED treatment approach to include bio-identical hormones.  Call me I can help.

Pharmacist Frank

Contact: (636) 794-5189 or (800)899-6561 or http://www.myhormonesonline.com


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