JUDITH INGALLS MD SUPPORTS BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES
Bioidentical hormones are derived from a plant source. A substance called a “sterol” is extracted from a plant, usually soy or yam, and changed in the lab to estradiol , progesterone, and sometimes testosterone. These hormones are chemically identical to the hormones we produce in our bodies.
Very few studies have been done comparing bioidentical hormones with synthetic, however, one recent study suggests that the bioidentical progesterone (used with estrogen) may be safer for the breast than the synthetic. I prefer the bioidentical hormones for a few reasons. First, I can prescribe the amount I think a client needs to relieve symptoms and keep the dose as low as possible. In the past this has not been possible with synthetics. It was a “one size fits all” dosing philosophy. Another reason I prefer the bioidenticals is because they can be measured in blood (or saliva). When I prescribe bioidenticals hormones I like to occasionally check hormone levels to make sure the person is not taking too much. In the past twelve years of prescribing the bioidenticals I have observed minimal negative side effects. Women (and men) feel better.
Bioidentical hormones are available from compounding pharmacies that make the exact prescription that your doctor recommends; it is a “customized” product just for you. There are a few bioidentical products available from regular pharmacies. Examples are Vivelle Dot patch, estradiol tablets, and Prometrium (the only bioidentical “progesterone” available).
The controversy around bioidentical hormones made by the compounding pharmacists is that the final “customized” product is not FDA regulated.
How could it be? Those bought from a regular pharmacy, i.e., Vivelle Dot patch are FDA regulated.
So, it is important to find a reputable compounding pharmacist. Physicians who use compounding pharmacists know who they are.
Women feel better when using bioidentical hormones and repeat blood levels show improvement as well.