Discover What the Buzz on Bioidenticals is All About

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: May 26, 2010

Written by Menopause Minute® Editors

Oprah and other Hollywood celebrities have placed bioidenticals and compounded hormones in the spotlight as a natural approach to easing those pesky menopause symptoms.  Bioidenticals are often touted as a better, safer approach for women offering less side effects than traditional hormone therapy.  The FDA says these claims are false and misleading. One thing everyone (including Oprah) agrees upon is that bioidentical hormone therapy and compounded hormones are controversial and confusing to many people.

So, what is all the controversy about? Are they safer and more effective than conventional hormone therapy? What exactly are bioidenticals made from? Are they right for me? Do you find yourself brimming with questions about bioidentical hormones?

Red Hot Mamas and The Female Patient (a leading medical journal for obstetrician-gynecologists) are teaming up to offer “The Buzz on Bioidenticals”, a multimedia program that will clarify common misunderstandings regarding bioidentical hormone therapy. If you’re considering bioidentical hormone therapy, or are interested in learning more about it, we invite you to participate in the following events:

The Webinar features 2 dynamic speakers:

  • Karen Giblin, President and Founder of The Red Hot Mamas, a menopause education organization for women. More information can be seen on the Web at www.redhotmamas.org.

  • Elizabeth Lee Vliet, MD, women’s health physician, hormone therapy expert, author, and radio show host. Educational materials and information about her practice can be seen at www.herplace.com.

“Our clinician readers tell us that their patients are coming to them with many questions about bioidentical hormones,” said Margo Ullmann, publisher of The Female Patient. “We developed this program so that women across the country can get the facts from reputable sources. For example, many women don’t realize that there are many FDA-approved bioidentical hormones available at their local pharmacy. These medications are covered by most health insurance policies.”

A bioidentical hormone is one that is chemically identical to the hormone produced in the body (in women, mainly in the ovaries), during women’s reproductive years. It is not considered a medical term, but rather a marketing term. Many FDA-approved hormone therapy medications are bioidentical (particularly transdermal formulations).

Compounded hormones allow women to customize their hormone preparations for specific situations.  They are useful for women who may be allergic to an inactive ingredient in a traditional, FDA-approved product.  But, many times compounding pharmacies can mislead women into thinking they are the only place bioidenticals can be obtained.  Also, regulating compounded hormones can be tricky due to differing oversight processes from state to state.

As many of you know, weathering the symptoms of menopause can be a trying undertaking.  Wretched hot flashes can leave you drenched and miserable.  Life between the sheets can vanish entirely and sleep can seem like a thing of the past.  When you’re truly at your wits end, you feel like you’d try just about anything to relieve the symptoms. 

These days, we are fortunate to have options to lessen the severity and at times fully alleviate our menopause symptoms.  Finding a treatment requires an open dialogue with your healthcare provider along with a little research.  Studies on traditional, FDA-approved hormone therapy products have received mixed results in the past decade. The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) left many women and their healthcare providers confused and looking for alternatives.

Today, a more natural approach to treatment looks ever more appealing to some women because they think they are the best, safest option.  The terms bioidentical and compounded hormones are becoming more familiar terms for women looking for an alternative type of hormone therapy.  Familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of bioidentical hormone therapy. Join us for some special events and activities to  learn more about what exactly “The Buzz on Bioidenticals” really is.

To discuss this article with others, go to our bulletin board.

For more information on bioidenticals, go to:
Bioidenticals: Sorting Myths from Facts

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