About 25 million women enter menopause annually. Estimates show that by the year 2030, that number will increase to 47 million women per year. Relief of menopausal symptoms such as improved sleep could translate into a more productive woman whether she works or is a mother or spouse. Quality of life would improve for most symptomatic women. How? By way of hormone replacement, an important choice for women, since estrogens are known to be the only effective treatment for estrogen-depleted states.
In the wake of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), getting hormones is difficult. Doctors are leery of even the “Standard of Care” approved synthetics in this time and place. Getting legitimate insurance-covered physicians to prescribe even bio-identical hormones is a challenge.
The majority of Western medicine has been on a wild goose chase for the elusive proof that being completely hormone-less will save our lives, in the face of massive evidence that even with all of our estrogen blocked at every turn, we still keep dying of cancer. In the burst of the Baby Boomers becoming menopausal, doctors from all specialties have clamored to the forefront to be of service. Few doctors have any idea how hormones should be prescribed for women.
Since 1900, in the developed countries, the life expectancy of women has increase from age 47 to well over age 80, however, the average onset of menopause has remained at 50 as recorded for the last 150 years. Most women are living at least thirty years longer than they did at the turn of the century. It’s estimated that eighty percent of women experience a variety of transiently debilitating symptoms in menopause and 30 percent of those are classified as severe.
Ten years before women ever have a hot flash or a migraine, they get odd, short menstrual periods and are up half of every night, feeling and looking old. Exhaustion coupled with plummeting sex hormones creates a life in tatters. Our joints twinge and we can’t stay asleep. The symptoms of menopause, which can begin for women as early as their late thirties, are the same as the daily challenges the elderly face, and in fact, we get “old and sick” when our hormones start to plummet.
The sick and old in our culture means usually means cancer, diabetes, heart disease, glaucoma, depression, even Alzheimer’s. If menopause might really equal cancer, diabetes, heart disease, glaucoma, depression, and Alzheimer’s, why is it, then, that no one ever mentions any of the life-threatening disabilities associated with hormonal decline and urges women to accurately replace those hormones that are now missing?
Instead, women are told that the FDA sanctioned hormones from Big Pharma are really way too dangerous to take (WHI) and bioidentical compounded hormones have never been studied (AMA). That’s what women in 2003 got from the WHI historic report on synthetic drugs with hormone-like effects, PremPro and Premarin.
These substances were donated by the pharmaceutical company that had sold them since 1942 because the assumption was the drugs would be found safe and effective. Nothing could have been further from the truth. After nearly 800 million taxpayer dollars and 14 years later, the overly emphasized negative results of the Women’s Health Initiative were released in May 2002. This study was poorly designed, strangely monitored and incompetently analyzed.
Interestingly, the WHI never looked at hormones, only drugs with “hormone-like” effects that were dosed in a regimen far from that of human replacement. This study has led us to believe that conjugated equine estrogens (from pregnant mare urine) and a synthetic progestin (Prempro) dosed on a daily basis in static doses is clearly very harmful to women after only a few years, and yet, in contradictory reports from the same agency, PremPro seemed to have had positive effects as well. The other drug studied, daily Premarin, seemed to show substantially less harmful effects. Even though the death rate for all arms of this study was equal, the study was dramatically halted early in a very public effort to “save lives.”
This confusing and frightening media spin caused millions of women to immediately stop taking their Premarin or Prempro, or any other product deemed a hormone. Physicians also threatened by the negative media reports stopped prescribing them, thus leaving millions of symptomatic women without any reasonable clinical guidance, except the ludicrous exception to the bad news, that lower doses of Prempro, the killer drug, taken for less years is safer. This advice has not left women feeling safe.
But, what if real hormone replacement could really mimic youthful hormone levels, not just mask a few symptoms, and therefore; was a cure for those diseases? After all, young women don’t have those diseases and the difference between young women and old women is reproductive capacity and the attendant hormones. It’s logical that the majority of women with normal hormones don’t have those diseases.
Common sense is that natural (not synthetic drugs with hormone-like effects) hormone replacement, in and of itself, could not cause cancer. If estrogen and progesterone, or even testosterone, caused cancer, all young women would be dead. Logic tells us that estrogen doesn’t actually cause cancer in and of itself, so there must be more to the story such as what kind and how much estrogen and when to take it.
It’s not up for debate whether or not women should replace their missing hormones. Living without them is far too miserable and dangerous. So then, the question becomes “how”?
One California-based researcher and author named T.S. Wiley asked, “What if hormone replacement was made of real bio-identical hormones and dosed to mimic the ups and downs of the hormone blood levels in a normal menstrual cycle in a 20 year-old woman, would all of the symptoms and disease states of aging decline or even, disappear?”
Shortly thereafter, she developed a trademarked patent pending delivery system consisting of bio-identical estradiol and progesterone in topical cream preparations dosed in a rhythm to mimic the natural cyclic hormone levels replicated in serum blood produced by a twenty year-old woman.