"The Great Hormone Debate" by Danniece Bobeché, MSN, WHNP, PLLC, Women’s Healthcare Nurse Practitioner

"In 2002, four short years after Viagra was introduced to mankind, women were told to stop taking their hormones. What? Now visuals of men chasing their hot flashin’, cranky women around wanting some action appeared in my head. That’s when I made a conscious effort to find alternatives for my patients and myself to replace menopausal therapy of days past.

The National Institute of Health’s Women’s Health Initiative studied postmenopausal women on hormone pills made with conjugated pregnant horse urine as well as progestin, a non-human, synthetic progesterone. This study was halted abruptly due to unexpected incidents of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. Stopping a clinical trial of this magnitude is unheard of in medical science and raised understandable alarm for health care professionals and women alike. It was difficult to tell patients to stop their hormone therapy without other options. Instead we were to put band-aids on their symptoms with anxiety, depression, and insomnia treatments. Now women were going to think they were just plain crazed.

International Options
After over 100 hours of advanced, professional training focusing on Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and countless hours of reviewing professional literature, I am rewarded daily by my patients’ positive response to treatment. Women have realized that they don’t have to accept the troublesome hormonal imbalances that often begin in their 30s. European women have benefitted from BHRT for decades and have provided researchers valuable data supportive of this therapy. 

US Pharma Politics
Our FDA does not recognize or regulate BHRT because they are not manufactured in a pharmaceutical laboratory. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) defines bio-identical hormones as “plant-derived hormones that are biochemically similar or identical to those produced by the body.” BHRT is compounded by specially trained pharmacists for each individual; there is no one size fits all like the synthetics. Because most BHRT is topically applied, absorption is safer than oral forms metabolized thru the liver. Current thought is that the oral form of hormone replacement interacted with the receptors in a way that increased the blood clot, stroke and heart attack risks.

Personalized Treatment
Whether it is hot flash havoc, mental pause, leaky coughs, or shriveled tissues down under, women are discovering they don’t have to take it anymore. There are alternative options with benefits far outweighing the risks. Each patient is unique and deserves individualized diagnosis and care."

- Danniece Bobeché, MSN, WHNP, PLLC, Women’s Healthcare Nurse Practitioner

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