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More and more women are turning to “bioidentical” hormones (natural hormones) to alleviate menopausal symptoms such as insomnia, irritability and loss of libido. Concurrently, more women are avoiding traditional hormone therapy due to study results indicating an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease associated with the pill. The pharmacist makes up the individuals dose according to the doctor's prescription which is determined by measuring existing hormone levels through a saliva test. Some experts believe this doesn't work as women's hormone levels change from hour to hour. Experts warn that these bioidentical hormones are no more natural than synthetic hormones and also it is unnatural for women who are past childbearing years to consume high levels of sex steroid hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. They claim that there is no evidence that they don't pose a risk. All the hormones in the bioidentical concoction are FDA approved even though there has been no long-term assessment of its safety and efficacy. A large study found that Premarin (estrogen medication) was associated with a higher risk of strokes in post-menopausal women compared to those on placebo. Also, Prempro (combination of Premarin and a synthetic progesterone) was associated with breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes. This resulted in many women staying away from these two products. Experts claim that this is proof that bioidentical hormones should be more closely scrutinized even though they are more identical to our hormones that the synthetic versions.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Newsday
About: More women using natural hormones for menopause therapy
Date: 4 January 2004
Author: Judy Peres
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