When our bodies no longer produce our hormones in adequate amounts to maintain good health, we should restore our faltering hormone levels with the same biologically identical hormones that our bodies currently make.
The term bio-identical does not refer to the source from which they are derived. Because the supplemented bio-identical hormone molecules are the same as those which we produce, then they are identical in action.
The cells of the human body benefit from the supplemented bio-identical hormones in identically the same way they benefit from the hormones which the human body produces.
The cells of our body have receptors for each of our bio-identical hormones. When we supplement with bioidentical hormone supplementation, then we are replenishing the body with the same hormone molecules that our body has always made.
Because these hormones are bioidentical they bind quickly to the receptors and cause the appropriate effect. Our body has enzymes that break down the bioidentical hormones quickly and metabolize them so that they can be excreted from our system.
Bioidentical hormones are derived from diosgenin, a plant molecule found in soybeans and wild yams. Diosgenin is extracted from these plants and converted into progesterone in the laboratory. Progesterone can then be converted into the three human estrogen hormones (estrone, estradiol, and estriol) and also converted into human testosterone, cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and pregnenolone.
Counterfeit hormones produced by drug companies have different molecular structures than bio-identical hormones. They bind to the receptors in our cells in such a way that they are not easily broken down and removed by a human's body. It may take several months for the counterfeit hormones to be cleared from the body. This can cause an exaggerated hormonal effect, which can lead to a host of side effects.
Counterfeit hormones, including birth control pills, are produced by pharmaceutical companies and do not occur naturally in the human body. The counterfeit hormones are synthetically produced by making chemical changes to the bio-identical human hormones. The drug company's counterfeit hormones are not biologically identical to naturally occurring human hormones. The counterfeit hormones include those hormones commonly used by mainstream medicine for hormone replacement therapy and birth control. They do produce some effects similar to the bio-identical hormones in a woman's body but are also associated with numerous side effects, many of which are serious.
The counterfeit hormones create a state of estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency. Common side effects of counterfeit hormones are headaches (including migraines), breast tenderness, mood swings, fluid retention, weight gain and loss of libido.
They are also associated with an increased incidence of breast cancer, heart disease, strokes, and blood clots in the lungs. The numerous and severe side effects of counterfeit hormones are listed in the Physician's Desk Reference or the package insert of the drugs.
The counterfeit hormones also prevent the production of women's own natural female hormones and pheromones making them less attractive to men. There is no reason for any woman to poison her body every day with counterfeit hormones when safe and effective natural, bio-identical hormones are available.
The use of natural, bioidentical human hormones is not taught in medical schools. You are probably wondering, "Why not?". It is because medical schools have adopted the belief, propagated by the drug companies, that the medical problems of aging can be treated with drugs or surgery.
Medical schools do not teach future physicians how to help people get well and stay well. Rather, they teach budding physicians how to intervene when people get sick. The mainstream medical establishment does not view illness as caused by a decline or imbalance of our own naturally occurring hormones. Illness is seen as an opportunity to prescribe drugs.
If you do not think that this is the case, then take a look in your medicine cabinet.
Many health food stores carry wild yam creams which contain diosgenin. Diosgenin is termed a phytohormone (which means plant hormone). Often these products are claimed to contain progesterone or progesterone-building phytohormones.
Diosgenin is not progesterone and cannot be converted by our bodies into progesterone or any other hormone. While some women may experience a partial improvement of their symptoms using wild yam creams, you should not be misled into thinking that this is the same as bio-identical hormone supplementation or replacement. Plant hormones do not build bone, help with infertility, or help with thyroid utilization which helps with weight loss.
Many different brands of over-the-counter progesterone cream products are available. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) limits the maximum amount of progesterone that can be present per ounce of these creams. The FDA only allows these products to be sold as skin care products. In many of these products, the amount of progesterone present is not even listed. The purity of the progesterone in these over-the-counter creams varies greatly from company to company. Contrary to what some authors have written, progesterone is poorly absorbed through the skin. This is why I recommend slow-release progesterone which is released over twelve hours in the small intestine.