I had never heard of BHRT until doing some research to find a paleo supportive physician. From my understanding, conventional medicine has a problem with the accuracy/necessity of various tests that are performed in order to prescribe a dose that is tailored to the individual and then the conflict of interest marketing that sometimes may accompany some practices.
Mark's Daily Apple has several pro BHRT posts, but I have not been able to find any other paleo-type bloggers discussing either pro or con.
http://paleohacks.com/questions/11050/hormone-replacement-therapy#axzz1GaOTsCop This question discusses HRT in general, but I am curious as to specific experiences with BHRT.
Have you/will you/do you use BHRT and why? (menopause, pre-menopause, aging etc)
asked bytexasleah (4101)
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on March 15, 2011
at 01:40 AM
The most important thing to know about hormone supplementation is that it very frequently results in a reduction in the body's endogenous production. This can lead to issues particularly when hormones are normally secreted in a pulsatile pattern; applying a hormone transdermally, or in some cases enterically, will result in the hormone presenting to the body in a long slow wave - instead of a pulsatile pattern. Some key hormones that are pulsatile in nature include growth hormone and testosterone.
The best example of this is topical testosterone application - it always results in suppression of the hypothalmic-pituitary-testicular axis. This is because the hypothalmus senses the increased testosterone and then stops signaling the pituitary to make LH and FSH, messengers which tell the testis (adrenals in females) to produce more testosterone. Eventually the testis atrophy.
"Bioidentical" refers to the type of hormone used. For example, bioidentical testosterone matches what is in the body already, while testosterone enthanate, a synthetic form, does not.
After studying this for quite some time I'm convinced that a far more beneficial route is to encourage the body's own system to increase it's own endogenous secretion. The only exceptions should be when the body no longer produces the hormone - but that conclusion should only be reached after trying methods of stimulation first. A paleo diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol provides many of the building blocks for many types of hormone synthesis, as just one approach. Obviously, if your body won't make enough estrogen, that can be a significant issue as it can lead to bone demineralization.
on March 14, 2011
at 05:18 PM
I've only ever heard bad things about HRT, specifically with regard to cancer rates increasing. I think it's wise to get a comprehensive endocrinological panel to see if the levels of everything are appropriate and then use that information for dietary decisions first. If micronutrient deficiencies are the cause of the imbalance, it's clearly preferable to address that problem before using exogenous hormones that will downregulate endogenous production and make the individual reliant upon the dosing forever. Organ meats are the most concentrated sources of micronutrients and might make a big difference.
on March 14, 2011
at 05:53 PM
I was very against HRT, because I have seen the negative effects of hormonal contraceptives. But most of the negative effects relate to child bearing. Once you are older and aren't worried about that, HRT has costs and benefits. Luckily about half the older women in my family has done it, while the other half hasn't...so it's like a mini-study of people genetically similar to me. The HRT group is more in-shape and active in general, so I'll probably do HRT. There is no cancer in my family.
on August 02, 2012
at 09:21 PM
Do some research on the Wiley Protocol and go in for a consultation. I did just this past Tuesday. The doc I met with believes in healing yourself first with proper nutrition, then supplement if necessary. Everyone would benefit from having their hormones at optimal levels whether that be with HRT or without.
on August 02, 2012
at 04:00 PM
As far as I know the difference between bio-identical HRT and conventional HRT is in the progesterone supplementation. Natural progesterone cannot be patented so there's no money to be made so the pharmacy companies change it ever so slightly and call it progestagen in the UK and progestins in the US. These changes are what can cause the hormones to be a problem.
When a woman reaches menopause oestrogen production declines but progesterone production stops altogether. The idea of bio-identical HRT is to supplement with natural hormones only if necessary and only in the small doses that nature would supply.
I use natural progesterone (I am 64) daily and oestrogen occasionally transdermally. (Oestrogen is a natural hormone anyway)
on August 02, 2012
at 03:47 PM
I am aware that it is mostly older individuals who do this, but let me relay my experience and perspective.
If you're considering HRT, I'd first makes sure if there aren't any diet/lifestyle factors that you could improve upon. Once those are ruled out, then I'd consider. when I was 14years old I recieved low-dose, oil soluble Testerone injections (into my quadricep) and higher dosages of Human Growth hormone. The reason I got these was because I had an eating disorder during a key growth phase in life, and my doctor belieived that this would help me catch up with the other kids. I stopped after a year because I ended up with elevated liver enzymes (which may or may not have been because of the testosterone). Once I stopped abusing my body, I ended up going through puberty and having a large growth spurt, but it took entire year of maintaining a normal bodyweight to do so. I continue to get get biannual hormone panels and maintain very healthy hormone levels. So, I managed to get on track in the absence of HRT, and probably largely through simply maintaing a healthy diet and lifestyle. Something to consider before embarking upon such therapy.
In restrospect, the more I learn, the more glad I am that I only stayed on these two for a short period of time.
on March 14, 2011
at 06:10 PM
I have to admit I have never really understood the distinction between BHRT and conventional HRT outside of the more consistent practitioner monitoring, which is something that should be happening with a trusted endo anyway. Most of the compounds are derived from the same sources (soy, horse pee, etc) for both treatment protocols, so it seems disingenuous when BHRT is presented as safe and natural in opposition to HRT. (If my severe lack of knowledge is leading me to faulty conclusions, feel free to steer me towards some info on the subject.)
Personally any form of HRT scares the crap out of me and I would have to be provided rock solid proof of the benefits outweighing the side effects before even considering taking anything. The history of treating normal aging in women as pathological is really gross to me and is the rationale for a lot of totally unnecessary hormone replacement. The history of America's (thankfully waning) obsession with "treating" menopause is really fascinating/infuriating (I strongly recommend Chapter Five in John Abramson's Overdosed America, available for free here) and just compounds my already heavy resistance (which is colored by my negative experiences with hormonal birth control and, more importantly, with the fact that several women in my family have developed breast cancer after HRT) to considering it as a treatment option. That being said, I am certainly not opposed to all forms of hormone replacement when medically necessary (no way to treat the underlying imbalance, extreme circumstances preventing someone from doing so, quality of life being negatively affected) and closely monitored. For instance, I've seen amazing transformations in people with thyroid problems and, on the home front, in my boyfriend who takes corticosteroids for irreversible adrenal insufficiency resulting from radiation therapy on a pituitary tumor.
on March 14, 2011
at 05:22 PM
I would not use supplemets (hormones) but find the cause for the problem. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is better than the conventional crap. But it can be dangerous.
Dr. Janet Lang DC explains why.
Janet Lang on Nora Gedgaudas' Show: Female Hormones . Restoring lost function instead of managing symptoms!
Thyroid & Adrenals http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/ra ... 072209.mp3
Dr. Lang doesn't want crutches when healing is possible. I would look for a doctor who is trained in Dr. Lang's approach. http://www.restorativeendocrinology.com ... ative.html
I found a public lecture from Dr. Lang (pdfs).Very helpful to get a basic understanding of your endocrine system and the shortcomings of conventional medicine. Everybody with hormonal, thyroid, PMS or menopausal problems should read the stuff.
Part 1: female hormone problems from PMs to menopause. Why "normal" lab test ranges are wrong. http://www.triadofhealth.net/images/for ... 202008.pdf
Part 2: thyroid, bone health, benefits and dangers of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy http://www.triadofhealth.net/images/for ... 202008.pdf
Part 3: stress hormones disturb sex hormone balance http://www.triadofhealth.net/images/for ... 0Notes.pdf