Research article titles can be very different from the actual research results.
Don’t stop at the headline of a written article or blog about hormones or you who take hormones will unnecessarily feel anxiety all the time. Journalists and bloggers often get you to read an article by first scaring you with a scary title….then reassuring you in the article. This is the first and primary problem with making assumptions about hormone therapy from, including estradiol, testosterone and progesterone.
Research Translated into Lay Language Generalize All Hormones into One Big Group
When reading anything about “Hormone Therapy being dangerous or safe, the author is lumping hundreds of types of hormones into one category and by doing that, dooming hormones to look like a failure, when they are not.
Not all hormones are alike, and the difference between how you take a hormone (oral, pellet, vaginal, etc.) changes the safety and effectiveness. The other factors that change the effectiveness of hormones like estradiol and testosterone include:
- Whether they are they are synthetic or bio-identical (made from vegetables to look just like your own hormones)
- What type of hormone is it? For example Estrogen has 3 human forms: Estradiol (young women’s estrogen), Estrone (old women’s estrogen from adrenal), and Estriol (pregnancy estrogen)…the type you take matters. Horses have over 17 types of estrogen and none of them are human, but we use pregnant horse urine to make Premarin for humans.
- The dose (the amount given). By lowering the dose of any hormone, you can make it ineffective!
- The number of times you take it ( 2-3 times a Day, daily, weekly, monthly) determines whether you can keep up with the dosing or not. This determines compliance.
- How you take it : oral,. Transdermal, pellet, or intramuscular determines the activity and the effectiveness as well as the side effects of a hormone
All of these factors change the effectiveness of a hormone treatment in humans. Most of the time, the investigator of a medical study uses one type of hormone for his scientific tests, but generalizes the side effects or the effectiveness of that one specific type of hormone, to ALL hormones in that category, eg. Testing Oral Premarin and generalizing it to every type and kind of estrogen on the market.
For instance, Premarin® a synthetic estrogen from Pregnant Horses, was the estrogen used in a study that determined that “estrogen” causes a woman to be at risk for blood clots. This is true of the oral hormone Premarin and many doctors took their patients off all estrogens based on that one study. Much later, years, other types of estrogen were tested for increasing the rate of blood clots and were found NOT to increase the rate of blood clots. After many studies of different delivery systems of estrogen, the final agreement is that all non-oral forms of Estrogen Do NOT cause blood clot formation in women taking them.
That sounds like justice was served, but for the 10-20 years in between the Premarin study and the other studies and the time it takes to get a final agreement of doctors, women were denied all forms of estrogen from their doctors based on this inaccurate interpretation and generalization of one medical study!
For example, if a scientific study stated that all ice cream flavors tasted the same, could I convince you that all ice cream, of all flavors, taste the same? Of course not, because you have experience eating different flavors of ice cream and you know that every flavor of ice cream and even different companies making the same flavor tastes different! That is the biggest clue to doctors reading a study. If the results don’t match their experience, they question it and should follow their experience until more study is done. Some doctors follow blindly the results of studies or follow the ones they WANT to follow because it relieves them of work. That is one factor in causing doctors to stop prescribing estrogen based on the study that said all estrogens caused blood clots, was that of laziness! Hormone therapy requires hours of explanation, which means time in the office and doctors who are overworked found a way out for themselves to shorten their days! Not talking about hormones and stating, “I don’t believe in hormone replacement therapy”, was their mantra and the cause of so many women being untreated with postmenopausal estrogens! If your doctor says that, then flee! Find someone who can take care of you properly.
The doctors aren’t the only ones who create the atmosphere of false information. The medical research community is trying to do with the medications (hormones) called HRT (Hormone replacement therapy) and Testosterone. Researchers are trying to tell us that all hormone treatments are the same with the same side effects and the same qualities, no matter what they are made of (plants vs chemicals) or what hormone is contained in them (horse estrogen with 18 types of horse estrogen, none of which are similar to human estrogen) that the way they are given (oral, transdermal, injection or pellet) matters to the effect that they have on a patient.
The effect the hormone makes, and the metabolic effects are all lumped together by the research community. It’s like saying all Labradors are great hunters. They aren’t, but to do a study you need to make a blanket statement to prove a point. This doesn’t make sense in many areas of study, but it is really misleading in hormone research.
To get to the truth one must use a specific hormone in their tests and to get anyone to read about it they must inaccurately generalize to all hormones! They spend their time writing papers about how “estrogen” (all of them) and “testosterone “(every type, brand, and delivery system) cause side effects and diseases. These grossly overgeneralized conclusions about hormone replacement, leads to false beliefs and fears that cause doctors and patients alike to be afraid of prescribing or taking any of these medications, hormones, that are desperately needed by women to feel and be healthy.
Remember a title about hormones can be misleading! Even studies are often overgeneralized, so their results are alarming for no reason! You have to ask someone who sees many hormone replacement patients what they actually see! Experience is everything when deciding what research is really true!
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com • (314) 993-0963. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel and please check “ Like “. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at BioBalanceHealth.