Frequently Asked Questions About Bioidentical Hormones
Q. Why does my family doctor not treat me with bio-identical hormones?
A. Special training and study is needed to safely and effectively prescribe bio-identical hormones. These hormones and the intricate balance of all the different hormones is not taught in medical schools. Special post-graduate training is available for MD’s who wish to learn the safe and effective use of bio-identical hormones. Naturopathic Doctors are trained in the use of bio-identical hormones. Bio-identical hormones are not made by drug companies. Rather, they are made in a special pharmacy known as a compounding pharmacy. Bio-identical hormones have been used for over 20 years in Europe and several studies and publications have also been available for many years. However, in North America, drug companies have the greatest influence regarding both the selection and funding of medical studies.
NOTE: some pharmacy drugs are actually bio-identical. While neither Premarin nor Provera are bio-identical, both 17-B- estradiol and Prometrium are bio-identical hormones, so the use of these medications could be congenial with your desire for ”natural” hormones.
Q. How often do I have to visit the clinic?
A. After treatment begins, you will need to return for a follow up visit within 3 months. Once we have determined that your cancer risk is not elevated and that your hormones are all balancing well, you can return at less frequent intervals.
Q. Why is nothing prescribed at my first visit?
A. We won’t know enough about you yet. It would not be prudent to prescribe anything until we assess your hormonal health as well as other health concerns.
We also need to look at your risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and other diseases that are commonly associated with the aging process. We do this because we now have sophisticated testing that can alert us to certain health risks, years before your regular physical examination can detect them.
Depending on what we discover and what needs attention – you will need to come in so we can look after your entire health and find your SUCCESS ZONES. We do not simply recommend a hormone to eliminate one particular symptom. That is like tuning only one key on a piano and leaving all the other keys untuned. It’s not a solution to a problem. We believe in FIXING it, which means paying attention to, and restoring your physical, mental, emotional and hormonal health. Remember that your general health, as well as stress and diseases, will all affect your hormonal health. Dr. Iyer introduces the Triangle of Health and how to reach your SUCCESS ZONES at her seminar” Health Is Your First Wealth”
Q. How are bio-identical hormones different from synthetic hormones?
A. In some ways, it is like comparing fraternal twins to identical twins. Synthetic hormones are similar, far more like fraternal twins, while bio-identical hormones are exact matches, more like identical twins. Synthetic hormones have a different molecular structure from what your own body makes and knows, and you can have side effects to these drugs. Bio-identical means that there is no difference at a molecular level to the body’s own hormones. That is why your body recognizes them as familiar and your risk of side effects and cancer is not any different from when your body is making its own hormones.
Q. Is taking hormones dangerous?
A. Any hormone can be dangerous when out of balance. We also know that there are numerous factors involved in the creation of cancer cells and the body’s inability to defend against it. If estrogen and progesterone were the only factors in making cancer grow; then the highest incidence should be seen in the years after pregnancy when the body has its HIGHEST exposure to estrogen; and during the most fertile years when the female body makes the most progesterone. There are cultures where women are making adequate estrogen and progesterone in the 60′s without an increase in breast cancer; in fact, those populations have a low incidence of breast cancer.
At Better – A Medical Centre for Complete Living, we understand all the other reasons that raise a woman’s risk for breast cancer; we do many safety checks and follow-ups. Hormones are not prescribed randomly and our staff are highly educated and in constant learning about bio-identical hormones.
We have women in the 60′s in our clinic who have adequate, endogenous levels of estrogen and progesterone without any breast cancer. These levels in them are the same levels we try to mimic when we are replacing bio-identical hormones.
Current research in Europe is indicating that Estriol could in fact be protective post Breast Cancer. This confirms that hormones alone are not the only reason a person gets breast cancer.
Q. Does every person need hormones?
A. Yes! Every individual needs the right amount of hormones to function at an optimal and healthy level. Some hormones are critical to life. However, not every patient will actually need a prescription for hormones. That is why it is so important to test and then treat for hormones, regardless of symptoms. Perhaps you are having symptoms for complete different reasons; in such cases, they can be resolved or remedied without hormones. Just because “bio-identical” hormones are ‘ natural’, does not mean they should be used without extreme care and attention. When used incorrectly, bio-identical hormones can lead to an increased cancer risk, as well as other complications including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Bio-identical hormone replacement treatment must therefore be monitored very carefully and closely to ensure that you become healthier and live with vitality, energy and enthusiasm.
Calgary Bioidentical Hormones Expert and Medical Doctor, Dr. Natasha Iyer M.D. has extensive training in Women’s Health and specializes in using Bio-identical Hormones to help you achieve Peak Performance in every area of your life and health. Her collaborative team of doctors can help you get exceptional results, by helping address your issues from each dimension of health. Working with clients from across Canada, the USA and abroad, Dr. Iyer’s knowledge and skill has helped improve the quality of life of many hundreds of people.