In 1993 a study was launched called the Women’s Health Initiative. The study enrolled over 160,000 women aged 50-79 into a number of randomized clinical trials testing the health effects of hormone therapy, dietary modification, Calcium and vitamin D supplementation. The study’s goal was to look at the beneficial effects of using these therapies to counteract many of the problems women see as they age. It was noticed that after menopause, many women start to have many of the problems that men see at an earlier age such as more heart trouble and Osteoporosis. The thought was that since women, once they are going through menopause are making less hormones, then if we give them hormones we can reverse these problems or at least stop their progression.
The study was stopped though when it was observed that there was actually increased risks of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and blood clots in women using HRT. While the study also found hormone therapy reduced the risk of fractures and possibly colon cancer many women stopped using and many doctors stopped prescribing hormone therapy.
However there is great evidence that hormone restoration therapy can help lessen the risk of osteoporosis. One of the problems with the study is that the researchers were using hormones that are medications and not the hormones that the body produces. Part of the funding for the study came from drug companies. While this is good, as it provides funding for studies that may not otherwise happen, however this meant they were providing the hormones they produce. The source of those estrogen hormones came from pregnant mares. The other hormones used was medroxyprogesterone. This is a progesterone like medication used to balance the estrogens in the body. Medroxyprogesterone has been shown to protect the uterus from excess estrogens. However there are many other problems with using medroxyprogesterone.
If you are trying to restore hormones to natural levels, it makes sense that you would use the hormones that the body produces to do that. What that is called is bio-identical hormones restoration therapy. The term “bio-identical” is short for biologically identical. They are the exact same hormones the body produces. The term “restoration” means we want to restore those hormones to physiological levels. When these hormones are compounded at a compounding pharmacy you can be provided with the exact amount of hormones that you need to restore those levels.
As I wrote last month there are many things you can do to limit your risk for osteoporosis and restoring your hormones to physiological levels is a part of that. Stop by to get more information.