The earth has moved under our feet!! Last month the North American Menopause Society, aka “NAMS” that august body of expert clinicians and researchers in the medical mainstream who (in lock step with the pharmaceutical industry) have steadfastly supported synthetic, ‘one-size-fits all’ hormone replacement therapy, finally, amazingly, have modified their position on HRT .
In the 2012 Hormone Therapy Position statement
(www.menopause.org/aboutmeno/consensus.aspx), the NAMS-sayersnow say that individualizing of hormone therapy (HT) may in fact be the best way to go: “Tailoring the dose to a woman’s individual needs represents an appropriate strategy in HT management” – not only, they say, in respect to quality of life but especially for women concerned about personal risks for heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer risks. Time out: aren’t all women concerned about their personal risks for blood clots, breast cancer and all the above? These are the very same diseases that HRT was found in the Womens Health Initiative (WHI) to be causing, rather than protecting us against, as we had been led to believe by NAMS and big-Pharma for far too long.
It was the WHI in 2003 that finally delivered the slam-dunk truth many researchers had been pointing to for decades – that HRT, specifically the synthetic combination of estrogen and progestin, is dangerous – period. When the bad news hit the headlines, an estimated half of the 15 million women who were on the stuff flushed their poison pills down the loo and started looking for more natural alternatives. In the face of the evidence (followup data from WHI has revealed more invasive breast cancers than previously thought) and women’s continuing rejection of old school tactics, NAMS has had no choice but to drop their outdated stance on what’s best for women and get real. Their new position reflects a grudging acceptance that this train has left the station and its time to get on board with the new normal: hormone balance vs. replacement with bioidenticals not synthetic hormone therapies. But we are not there yet. NAMS still supports synthetic HT and refuses to recognize compounding pharmacy practices, but nevertheless they have heard that whistle blowing ….
Another breath of cobweb clearing air in the 2012 statement was that transdermal hormone therapy (the method by which most bioidentical hormones are delivered through the skin and directly into the bloodstream, thus mimicking mother nature) could conceivably be an improvement over taking hormones orally: “With transdermal therapy, there is no significant increase in triglycerides, C-reactive protein … little effect on blood pressure…and … growing observational evidence that transdermal ET may be associated with a lower risk of deep vein thrombosis.”
Two steps forward. YAY! And in a nod toward the benefits of bioidentical hormone therapy (BHT), the position paper does make mention of micronized progesterone and low dose bioidentical estradiol patch therapies. Yet at the same time the NAMS-sayers cannot resist the urge to invalidate: “In the absence of efficacy and safety data for BHT….” Wrong! There is plenty of substantiated evidence in the scientific literature pointing to the superiority of bioidenticals (www.womeninbalance.org), much of it from the European Union (EU) where they have been way ahead of us on the bioidentical front for decades…and oh, by the way, the EU does not allow synthetic growth hormones to be injected into their cows chicken or pork proteins either…but I digress (please see my March 3rd blog post on that subject: www.menopausibilities.wordpress.com
To sum up, it’s a good day for women when the immovable, moves. The NAMS shift spells real progress for women’s hormonal health and research. Millions of women who have switched from HT to BHT are already finding safer solutions and symptom relief by testing for hormone imbalances (www.salivatesting.com) and rebalancing with bioidenticals and optimal aging approaches. Recently, Dr. Oz the omnipotent, stuck his neck out to proclaim the “BS or bad science” behind synthetic HT . “Hormones are better now,” he said, “and women should insist on the bioidentical versions especially estrogen and natural progesterone,” which in the right amounts and unlike their synthetic imposters can effectively protect us against heart disease and breast cancer (www.theseventhwoman.org) and the madness of menopause.
Join in the conversation and tell us your experience of getting off HRT and on to bioidenticals…how you felt then and now. How you forgot how good you could be feeling until NOW!