What Are Your Hormone Replacement Options?

Before discussing options, we want to make one thing clear: we are NOT recommending that you abandon your current hormone therapy, whatever it may be. Your current therapy MAY be your best option at this time.

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We DO recommend that you educate yourself and consider all of the available options.

There's no "right" or "wrong" answer to HRT. There is only the "best" answer for you, according to your unique health needs and goals.

Here are some options to think about.

Get a Second Opinion

Consult with a physician who is knowledgeable about "native" hormone therapy. If you're unsatisfied with your physician's insistence on using conventional hormone replacement therapy with foreign hormones, you may want to get a second opinion. But this is easier said than done.

We estimate that less than 1% of physicians are qualified to counsel you regarding the use of native hormones such as progesterone, estriol, estradiol, and estrone.

We suggest you find a naturopathic physician, a holistic-oriented medical doctor, or an osteopathic physician. They are the most likely to know something about native hormone therapies. You can visit these websites for directories of doctors in your area.

Naturopathic doctors:  www.naturopathic.org

Medical doctors - members of the American College for Advancement of Medicine:  www.acam.org

Osteopathic physicians:  www.osteopathic.org

Use Natural (Native) Hormones

Use native hormones. Hormone therapy using native hormones such as progesterone, estriol, estradiol and estrone allows the physician to customize hormone therapy according to your specific lab results and medical condition. There is no "one size fits all" approach.

You also avoid potential future health problems by reducing or eliminating your intake of foreign hormones.

Your prescription can be filled by a compounding pharmacy that will create a customized medication just for you. There are about 1,500 compounding pharmacies scattered around the country.

WARNING: It is foolish and risky for you to experiment on your own with progesterone creams. Progesterone is a powerful hormone and we urge you consult with a knowledgeable physician first about its proper use.

Progesterone from creams is starting to show up in abnormally high levels in women's diagnostic lab assessments. It can take months to clear this excess progesterone out of the body.

Read labels of all cosmetic creams. Some contain progesterone and you may be exposed without knowing it.

Improve Your Diet

Diet profoundly affects your hormonal balance. One striking example is Japanese women who consume a traditional diet. These women seldom experience unpleasant menopausal symptoms. In fact, hot flushes are so rare in Japan that there is not even a word in the Japanese language to describe them. Plus, Japanese women have a much lower rate of breast cancer. 

What's their secret? It appears to be the soy and other foods they eat. There are dozens of ways that food can help you maintain healthy hormonal balance throughout your life.

Modify Your Lifestyle and Environment

How you behave can reduce hormonal problems. Regular exercise, stress management, low alcohol consumption, and smoking cessation all help to normalize your hormones.

There are numerous estrogen mimics or hormone disrupting chemicals in your environment, which can disturb your hormonal balance. It's to your advantage to reduce your exposure to chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, solvents and artificial food additives.

Consider Special Herbs and Supplements

There are vitamins, minerals and herbs that can help you to better manage PCOS and your hormones. Some of them also tonify and nourish your reproductive and glandular systems. A licensed naturopathic doctor is probably your best source of information on the safe and effective use of herbal medicines and nutritional supplements.

CAUTION: Some herbs and specialty nutrients will influence your hormonal balance, which may necessitate a review or modification of your hormonal medication by a knowledgeable physician. Also be aware that there is significant variability in the quality of any particular nutrient. Therefore selection of a trustworthy brand is an important factor.

Make Sure Your Liver Is Healthy

One of the primary functions of your liver is to metabolize or detoxify hormones and other substances that accumulate in your body, and to prepare them for removal. This function is important for maintaining proper hormonal balance; if your liver did not do this job, hormones would simply build up in your body until they became toxic, creating serious symptoms.

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