Nowadays, many women want to know about bioidentical hormonal therapy. Though bioidentical hormones have been around for years, most practitioners are unfamiliar with them. The use of natural bioidentical hormones are not taught in medical schools, which have adopted the concept that medical problems can be solved with drugs and surgery. Classically-trained doctors are primarily experts in disease and not experts in “health”. If you are interested in knowing how to become healthy and stay healthy, you need to visit someone who understands the causes of health.
The term “hormone” is derived from the Greek root “hormaein” which means to arouse to action. Hormones are chemical messengers naturally produced by the special glands in the body, known as endocrine glands. These chemical messengers secreted into the blood stream allow the body to respond to any changes of both internal and external conditions in order to maintain the body’s balance. Hormones travel to different areas of the body to exert their effects. They control our growth, sex characteristics, reproduction, energy, metabolism and much more.
When our bodies do not produce hormones in adequate amounts to maintain good health, we should restore hormone levels with the same biologically identical hormones. The important thing to remember is that for a hormone to be considered “bioidentical”, its structure must replicate exactly the structure of hormones produced by the body. Only in this way can we replenish the body with the same identical hormonal molecules that our body has always made. Because these supplemented hormones are bioidentical they bind quickly to the receptors and produce appropriate effect. Only bioidentical hormones could be metabolized quickly by body enzymes and will be appropriately excreted from our system.
The term “bioidentical hormones” does not refer to the source from which they are derived. They could be synthesized in laboratories using pharmaceutical-grade products or be derived from a plant molecule found in soybeans and wild yams. It is important to know that many counterfeit hormones produced by drug companies may have a structure similar to, but not exactly the same as natural hormones produced by our body. These chemical differences can mean that the synthetic hormone acts differently in the body and produces substantially different effects. They bind to the cellular receptors in such a way that they are not easily broken down and removed from the body. It may take several months for synthetic hormones to be eliminated from the body and, thus, can lead to exaggerated adverse effects.
The most commonly used birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy drugs (Premarin, Prempro, Ogen, Cenestin, etc.) contain synthetic hormones produced from horse estrogen and may have adverse effects, including headaches, 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 thrombosis. The synthetic progestins (Provera) are similar to the body progesterone, but subtle chemical differences can significantly influence the hormone’s action in the body and cause side effects of irritability, nausea, depression and water retention. The side effects of counterfeit hormones are too numerous to mention, but can be found listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference. There is one more thing that is not discussed often, but should be taken into consideration; the counterfeit hormones also may prevent the production of women’s own natural female hormones and pheromones making them less attractive to men.
If you decided to take hormone replacement therapy, you should discuss your symptoms, risk factors, branded versions of HRT, typical side effects of synthetic hormones and contraindication (if any in your case) with your doctor. Ask your doctor about the possibility of bioidentical hormone therapy.
The specialists at the Breiner Whole- Body Health Center assess possible hormonal imbalance with an assessment questionnaire and laboratory tests (so-called “hormone panel”).
Dr. Elena Sokolova, MD, ND
To schedule a time to speak with Dr. Elena Sokolova about a natural approach to your health concerns, call Whole-Body Medicine at
About Dr. Sokolova
Elena Sokolova, MD, ND is a graduate of the First Medical Institute in St.Petersburg, and of the University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine. Currently licensed and practicing exclusively as a Naturopathic Physician, she previously spent eighteen years as a practicing physician in the former Soviet Union and Russia. Dr. Sokolova was a primary care physician in the St. Petersburg Hospital and went on to become Chief Medical Consultant in holistic medicine for “Enrich-International.” She has advanced certifications in Botanical medicine, Homeopathy, Valeology, Family Medicine, Massage Therapy, and Physical Therapy. Dr. Sokolova has published numerous articles and has lectured to professional and lay audiences throughout Russia and The United States.