FEMALE HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
For many years the controversy about hormone replacement in women, specifically the use of estrogen, has been raging. After 30 years we feel that the answer is clear. Proper hormone replacement in women lowers the risk of heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, and bone loss. However, research shows that the use of estrogen does show a statistical increase in breast cancer and uterine cancer. On strictly risk to benefit basis, the use of estrogen shows clear benefits. However, the emotional factors concerning breast cancer are still real. The question then becomes, “Is there a better and safer way to replace female hormones, particularly estrogen, and lower the risk?” And the answer is, “Yes.”
Research has shown that the estrogen called estrone and to a secondary extent the hormone called estradiol are the most likely to be involved in female breast cancer and in uterine cancer. We now have available a urine test that can measure the estrone metabolites. This gives us more information in evaluating your risk for cancer. The female hormone estriol has been shown to be protective in breast cancer and uterine cancer. The major hormone replacement in the United States is either through synthetic estradiol or through the use of the hormones extracted from horse mares’ urine called Primarin. The custom blending of varying amounts of estradiol with larger amounts of estriol have been shown to be superior to the synthetic estrogen or Primarin approach. The addition of natural progesterone, particularly in women who still have their uterus, also is a protective factor against uterine cancer and possibly breast cancer. Never use synthetic progesterone (called progestins).
The hormone testosterone, which is considered a male hormone, is also found in smaller amounts in the female and should always be addressed when balancing out the sex hormones. The custom blending of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone has been part of our armament since 1982.
The hormones can be given either by mouth or by transdermal gels or creams. Each patient is an individual with different needs, therefore custom blending is necessary.
In an anti-aging program, the sex hormone replacement along with the use of DHEA and human growth hormone can supply a well rounded cellular protection.
The beginning step in a hormone replacement program is to measure the levels of the sex hormones in women—that is, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone—as well as the Somatomedin C (human growth hormone), and the DHEA level, this provides a base for sensible hormone replacement. Our motto is, “Start low and go slow.” By following this approach, we minimize any of the side effects or problems that might arise from over stimulation using the various hormones. Dr. Ahner will be happy to provide you with a consultation to discuss the application of hormone replacement to your specific case.