Tag Archives: BHRT

Women’s Hormones: The Safety of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy 

The field of hormone replacement therapies, and in particular bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), has received considerable attention in recent years as it may offer a potential natural alternative treatment for hormonal balances affecting both men and women. While BHRT has been most commonly prescribed for the treatment of menopause symptoms, it can also be used to improve symptoms related to cancer treatment, insulin resistance, thyroid disorders, and many other health conditions. The use of this therapeutic method is increasing in popularity as awareness of the natural alternative grows and patient preferences continue to change.

The Benefits of BHRT

Chemically identical to hormones produced by the body, bioidentical hormones are derived from plant estrogens and come in a variety of forms including pills, gels, and injections that allow for ease of use that strengthens treatment adherence. BHRT is often prescribed as patients age and their hormone levels begin to decrease, especially in the case of women who enter perimenopause or menopause to improve the moderate-to-severe symptoms associated with this transition. Furthermore, hormone replacement therapies have been found  to reduce the risk for diabetes, tooth loss, as well as cataracts while potentially improving skin thickness, hydration, and elasticity. For post-treatment cancer patients with decreased estrogen levels, BHRT has shown efficacy in improving general wellbeing and overall quality of life; it may also alleviate some treatment-related symptoms such as migraines and insomnia.

Associated Risks

Nonetheless, this class of therapeutics has been tied to side effects with current research showing that hormone replacement therapy in general may increase the risk of certain conditions including blood clots, stroke, heart disease, and breast cancer. Additionally, BHRT therapy has been associated with acne, bloating, weight gain, fatigue, and mood swings as common side effects, which may deter some patients from the treatment. The risks and potential for side effects should be evaluated on an individual basis as they vary among women depending on their health history.

Compounded Bioidentical Hormones and FDA Regulation

Custom made by pharmacies per physicians’ orders, compounded bioidentical hormones typically include ingredients combined or altered to meet the specific needs of an individual patient. While such formulations may be effective when tailored correctly, it is important to note that the FDA has not approved any custom-compounded bioidentical hormone therapies to date. Also, many bioidentical hormones are manufactured and sold with limited safety, quality, and purity controls. As such, clinicians are encouraged to maintain caution in prescribing compounded bioidentical hormones.

To safely and effectively prescribe bioidentical hormone replacement therapies and other similar therapeutics, clinicians are invited to join the upcoming Women’s Hormones online course taking place from October 5-17, 2021, expertly designed to build clinical confidence and prepare practitioners for any patient scenario.

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The Truth Surrounding Hormone Replacement Therapies

Earlier this week, JAMA published findings surrounding the uses and consequences of menopausal hormone therapy: a subject that has been considered contentious and controversial for several decades–in large part due to the outcome of the Women’s Health Initiative Study, which was halted prematurely in 2002 because of data that indicated the combination of Premarin (estrogen) and Provera—an artificial form of progesterone known as progestin—increased heart disease and breast cancer.

Yet the results are far more complex and nuanced: most people are unaware of the fact that women who had hysterectomies only received the premerin, while other women received the combination pill. The only increase in breast cancer that occurred was in the latter group; when estrogen is combined with progestin, the ability of estrogen to cause stimulation of breast tissue is increased—yet estrogen alone does not. The group who only received estrogen actually showed a decreased risk of breast cancer; moreover, the estrogen was protective even when women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Jennifer Landa, MD, Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD, has dedicated her practice to bioidentical hormone therapy and preventive medicine, in order to assist men and women resolve menopausal and andropausal symptoms. Dr. Landa explains that results are often contingent upon the ways in which hormones are administered, in addition to the fact that not all hormones are created equally. “Only someone trained as an expert knows the good and bad, and really understands the studies. When we talk bioidentical, it is a way of saying the same exact chemical structure of what is in our body naturally. People do not realize that there are already plenty of prescriptions with bioidentical hormones.”

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy technically refers to the use of hormones that mimic the endogenous hormones produced by our bodies. Landa clarifies that much of the hormone literature is inaccurate, because most of the studies are conducted with ‘bad’ hormones, like progestin. Landa further discusses a study at Yale, years after the 2002 study—after which women came off of hormones in droves—in which researchers and scientists state that the women only taking estrogen should have stayed on it, and that many more women died of heart disease because they were taken off of their hormones. After retrospectively analyzing and assessing the data of the Women’s Health Initiative study, it was found that women who began hormones during menopause had decreased risks of heart disease. Landa terms this the ‘timing hypothesis,’ stating: “Timing is of the essence in hormone therapy. Unfortunately, many doctors are still not schooled properly in this area. Even the American College of OBGYN has agreed that we should not be taking older women off of hormones, as symptoms will likely recur.”

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International Blog Spotlight: India

IV Nutrition Detox and Chelation Therapy in Cancer
Kalpana Gupta Shekhawat, MBBS, DNB, DFM, MD Clinical Nutrition 

A healthy diet rich in nutrients is the best way to nourish the body.

I have observed in my practice that most of the patients suffering from cancer are very low on nutrients and high on toxic heavy metals, with poor livers, low kidney function, poor dental health, amalgam fillings, leaky gut, immune dysfunction, and an inability to detox due to low sulfur levels, leading to inflammatory reactions, which lead to manifestation of the symptoms and tumor formation. If the underlying chemistry is not addressed, it leads to metastasis in the whole body!

It is surprising that a fatal disease such as cancer is largely due to a basic lack of understanding on the part of the patients, which leads them to stray to various available therapies, which do not address the root cause.

I have been treating my patients for the last 7 years in a different way than conventional practitioners by addressing the root cause, and trying to understand the risks associated with their current health statuses, and providing them with a plan to prevent chronic diseases.

I have observed that once disease is established, metabolic correction with IV detox and nutrition therapy is the best solution.

IV therapy gives the most rapid recovery to the metabolism, as compared to oral nutrient therapy.

IV Nutrition therapy has given me enormous fulfillment in terms of patient outcomes when treating cancer patients.

I have seen inflammatory markers significantly reduce as I give up to 10 sessions of IV nutrients, Glutathione, and EDTA chelation: customized to each patient.

I advise my patients surrounding nutraceutical supplementation, dietary guidelines, and IV Nutrition & Detox therapies:

  • High doses of Vitamin C: This critical therapy provides lifelong maintenance for cancer patients; it typically involves a slow IV over a period of 1 to 2 hours.
  • EDTA chelation: For extracellular heavy metal removal, this works best for patients who have high levels of heavy metals in their urine.
  • Glutathione: This is a master detox, and when given through an IV, it works very well for intra cellular detoxification.
  • COQ10: Added to detox drip supports mitochondrial health.
  • Alfa Lipoic Acid: This antioxidant tackles free radical damage.
  • N Acetyl Cystein: Naturally boosts level of Glutathione in cells.

Dr. Kalpana Shekhawat is a Functional and Regenerative Medicine consultant, with an extensive educational and professional background in clinical nutrition and BHRT. In addition to having published various articles surrounding lifestyle disease management, Dr. Kalpana runs a lifestyle disease management clinic: “Freedom Age.” She works to manage disease by addressing nutritional deficiencies, and integrating her knowledge of conventional medicine with Functional medicine. 

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