SYNTHETIC HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY: UNAVOIDABLY DANGEROUS: AN ANSWER*
by Mayer Eisenstein, MD, JD, MPH, graduate of the University of Illinois Medical School, the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Public Health, and the John Marshall Law School. Since 1973 he has been in private medical practice and is currently the Medical Director of Homefirst® Health Services, the largest physician attended home birth service in the country. In his thirty years in medicine, he and his practice have delivered over 15,000 babies at home. He is the author of numerous books including the award winning Give Birth at Home with the Home Birth Advantage. His guest appearances on television include "The Phil Donahue Show" and "Oprah Winfrey Show." Since 1987 his weekly radio show "Family Health Forum," has aired in the Chicagoland area. He is a NOHA Professional Advisory Board Member.
Sometimes an answer is so simple it escapes everyone. More than 20,000,000 women today take some form of synthetic HRT (hormone replacement therapy) risking increased breast cancer, ovarian cancer, stroke, blood clots, and no reduction in heart disease, gallbladder disease, and atherosclerosis. I use the word SYNTHETIC because the HRT drugs that women take have estrogenic and progesteronal activity, but they are not "bioidentical" to human estrogens and progesterone. Bioidentical means that the chemical structure is "identical" to that hormone, which is found in the human body. There is not even one structural difference, no matter how small, between the molecules. Anyone who has ever studied chemistry or biochemistry understands that even the change of one element in a complex biochemical structure can drastically alter its function. Any minute molecular change can alter the molecule's effect on the body and can also alter metabolic pathways leading to undesirable changes. The difference between testosterone, a masculinizing hormone, and estradiol (one of the body's natural estrogens), a feminizing hormone, is ONE ELEMENT, so seemingly insignificant that at first glance they look exactly the same, but the difference speaks for itself.
More than 20,000,000 women today take some form of synthetic HRT (hormone replacement therapy) risking increased breast cancer, ovarian cancer, stroke, blood clots, and no reduction in heart disease, gallbladder disease, and atherosclerosis.
These synthetic hormones do help with menopausal symptoms, i.e. hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, etc. Does this mean that women must suffer with pre- and menopausal symptoms, if they were to stop taking these unavoidably dangerous hormones? No, many women have no menopausal symptoms and they will do fine without any hormonal treatment, natural or synthetic. Some women will do fine with lifestyle changes, i.e. low carbohydrate diet, exercise, etc. Over 90% of women who have menopausal symptoms will greatly benefit from a simple, safe (bio-identical) product - natural progesterone cream (NPC). I have treated over 3,000 women with NPC with incredible success. Why is this treatment such a well kept secret? The answer goes back to physicians belief versus scientific evidence. In my book, UNAVOIDABLY DANGEROUS, I bring you the scientific evidence explaining why the synthetic hormones are unavoidably dangerous. I bring you excerpts from the "Women's Health Initiative Study" (WHI), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which in the summer of 2002, after five years of study, stopped short of completing their study of Prempro [synthetic, conjugated estrogen and synthetic progesterone]. They found that the incidence of: 1) breast cancer; 2) ovarian cancer; 3) blood clots; and 4) heart disease; in the synthetic HRT group far exceeded that of the control group, and decided it was too dangerous to continue. I outline the link between estrogen and breast cancer while presenting excerpts from the National Toxicology Program (NTP-a division of NIH) whose committee has recommended that steroidal estrogens be placed on the cancer list for the "10th RoC" (Report on Carcinogens).
[During menopause] . . . Some women will do fine with lifestyle changes, i.e. low carbohydrate diet, exercise, etc.
I then outline programs for safer alternatives for women with menopausal symptoms,
i.e. hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, etc. Will these programs work
for everyone? No, but they will work for more than 90% of hormone related problems.
What should you do? Start by familiarizing yourself with the complex and confusing
medical language of hormone replacement therapy by going to the "DEFINITION
OF HRT TERMS" in my book. If you are presently taking any synthetic HRT,
read Unavoidably Dangerous and go to my website: www.homefirst.com.
*This article first appeared as the Introduction in Unavoidable Dangers: Medical Hazards of Synthetic HRT Hormone Replacement Therapy, by Mayer Eisenstein, MD, JD, MPH, CMI Press, 2003. With minor changes, the introduction is republished here with permission from Dr. Eisenstein.
Article from NOHA NEWS, Vol. XXIX, No. 4, Fall 2004, pages 1-2