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Old 02-12-2005, 10:52 AM   #1
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Mimi45 HB User
Question Does anyone here take Natural BioIdentical Hormones?

Hi:
I've just finished reading "The Sexy Years" by Susanne Somers. She clearly is a supporter of bio identical hormones. I also read Dr. John Lee's book "What your doc maynot tell you about premenopause" and "The Hormone Solution" by Erike Swartz. They also are BIG supporters of natural bio identical hormones. Matter of fact, Dr. Lee is the pioneer of these hormones from what I've read. I believe I'm peri menopausal and have an appt with a GYN next week who prescribes these hormones as opposed to synthetic hormones. Does anyone here have any experience at all with natural hormones? Does anyone here know of anyone who is taking them? I wish I knew someone who is actually taking them or took them. The closest I've come to natural bio identical hormones is the natural progesterone cream that I'm currently using for only a week now. Any thoughts on these hormones? anybody read any of the books mentioned above? Any feedback is welcome. Thanks!
Mimi

 
Old 02-13-2005, 04:33 AM   #2
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rheanna HB Userrheanna HB User
Re: Does anyone here take Natural BioIdentical Hormones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimi45
Hi:
I've just finished reading "The Sexy Years" by Susanne Somers. She clearly is a supporter of bio identical hormones. I also read Dr. John Lee's book "What your doc maynot tell you about premenopause" and "The Hormone Solution" by Erike Swartz. They also are BIG supporters of natural bio identical hormones. Matter of fact, Dr. Lee is the pioneer of these hormones from what I've read. I believe I'm peri menopausal and have an appt with a GYN next week who prescribes these hormones as opposed to synthetic hormones. Does anyone here have any experience at all with natural hormones? Does anyone here know of anyone who is taking them? I wish I knew someone who is actually taking them or took them. The closest I've come to natural bio identical hormones is the natural progesterone cream that I'm currently using for only a week now. Any thoughts on these hormones? anybody read any of the books mentioned above? Any feedback is welcome. Thanks!
Mimi
Hi mimi,

I read the book by Dr Lee (also one he wrote earlier with the same title except about menopause). Haven't read the others, but I've seen Suzanne Somer's website. I was on HRT for years (currently 55, had first obvious symptoms of night sweats etc at age 39). A year ago I tried to wean myself off the pills by slooowly reducing the dosage, but by the time I got to 1/4 the original dosage, I was in flaming menopause again (brain fog, emotionally unstable, hot flashes, etc), so I told the doctor I was reconsidering my original decision and what could we do?

He gave me a patch with estradiol, which I think is bio-identical estrogen (I could be wrong, as I often am ). It gives a dosage of 25 micrograms per day (which cannot be compared to the dosage in a pill, as it enters the body by a different route) -- this is a relatively low dosage, which keeps the hot flashes to a minimum (not altogether gone, but tolerable), and allows my brain to function and my emotions to be more or less normal -- that is, only as unstable as I was before I started going through menopause!

As I cannot let ANY recipe alone, I've modified the usage to be: one patch lasts for 6 days instead of the prescribed 3-4 days, and I count 3 patches and then a 6-day "rest". I use the progesterone cream for the second and third patch-"weeks". (That's 6 days patch only, 12 days patch and cream, and 6 days rest.) So my cycle is 24 days, which is closer to what I had when I had "normal" periods. This lower dosage of estrogen is not enough for my vagina so my doctor gave me some estrogen vaginal cream so I could have "loving time" with my hubby and not scream in pain and have vaginal and urinary infections afterwards.

I got tired of using the progesterone twice a day because it takes 3-5 minutes to rub the greasy stuff into my skin. So I figured that since I'm currently taking a low dosage of estrogen, I can get away with a low dosage of progeserone. So I use it only in the mornings after I've washed up, and I eyeball what looks to me like 1/4 teaspoon.

My understanding is that the progesterone cream is NOT a substitute for estrogen. Dr Lee's book talks about restoring the balance when the body has too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. It may be that if your body has stopped producing estrogen entirely, the progesterone alone may help, but I don't know. I've lived long enough to be skeptical that ANY substance is a miracle cure for everybody. And my bulls--t meter goes into overdrive when I read or hear that something has NO side effects and can do only good things for everybody. Even diabetics who need insulin have to try different combinations of drugs and diet to see what works for them personally, and the life-saving insulin DOES have side effects that they have to take into consideration.

I DO feel better using the estrogen patch rather than the pills. I always felt like I was artificially medicated when I took the pills, especially during the progesterone part of the cycle. Depending on the formula, I often found my PMS symptoms coming on during that time, and I tried to alter the dosage to have a minimum amount of progesterone -- just enough to "counter" the estrogen so I wouldn't get the heart attacks and other dire things which are threatened for folks who take estrogen alone. Now that I'm using the progesterone cream, I can tell that the hormones are affecting my body, but it's more subtle and I don't have PMS (well, you'll have to ask my hubby!) and I don't feel as though I'm artificially medicated.

I'm not sure yet what to do in the long term. I assume I'll have to go off the hormones eventually, but I'm not ready yet.

Good luck with your explorations.

 
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Old 02-13-2005, 10:53 AM   #3
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LucyPearl HB User
Re: Does anyone here take Natural BioIdentical Hormones?

rheanna,
thank you so much for your input and sharing your experience. I couldn't agree with you more about "no side effects"...ANYTHING that you put in your body has side effects...some good some not so good. I'm going to talk to my gyn on Friday and see what her opinion is and just try to make the best decision I can based on the info that I have. I appreciate your help ... thanks.

Mimi

 
Old 02-15-2005, 06:36 AM   #4
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Re: Does anyone here take Natural BioIdentical Hormones?

I was under the impression; and if you read Suzanne's book carefully; that bio identical hormones are creams that are mixed by a compounding pharmacy to match your hormones exactly. This is done after your doctor has taken blood tests and/or saliva tests to determine your hormone levels. I had this done, and my compounding pharmacy mixes up a special progesterone cream for me that I start on day 10-12 of my cycle and continue to day 26-28. Everyone's mixture would be different. It relieves all of my symptoms but it does every now and then have a couple side effects, but they are not as bad as not being on the cream. I would rather have a few minor side effects than nausea, anger, pelvic pain, weight gain, etc., etc. I don't know what kind of cream would be so greasy that it takes 5 minutes to absorb; mine takes about 30 seconds. And you alternate locations of where you rub it in; inside of arms or thighs, chest area, breasts, and backs of your hands. It is NOT the same as the over the counter progesterone creams; these are not regulated for your own body. I tried these prior to going to my doctor and had all kinds of bad effects.

 
Old 02-15-2005, 11:32 AM   #5
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rheanna HB Userrheanna HB User
Re: Does anyone here take Natural BioIdentical Hormones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by danigirl
I was under the impression; and if you read Suzanne's book carefully; that bio identical hormones are creams that are mixed by a compounding pharmacy to match your hormones exactly. This is done after your doctor has taken blood tests and/or saliva tests to determine your hormone levels. I had this done, and my compounding pharmacy mixes up a special progesterone cream for me that I start on day 10-12 of my cycle and continue to day 26-28. Everyone's mixture would be different. It relieves all of my symptoms but it does every now and then have a couple side effects, but they are not as bad as not being on the cream. I would rather have a few minor side effects than nausea, anger, pelvic pain, weight gain, etc., etc. I don't know what kind of cream would be so greasy that it takes 5 minutes to absorb; mine takes about 30 seconds. And you alternate locations of where you rub it in; inside of arms or thighs, chest area, breasts, and backs of your hands. It is NOT the same as the over the counter progesterone creams; these are not regulated for your own body. I tried these prior to going to my doctor and had all kinds of bad effects.
Danigirl, Thanks for clarifying what bio-identical hormones are.

I would love to have a specially compounded progesterone cream if only to have some say in what sort of cream the hormone is mixed in. But I live in Germany where over the counter hormones are NOT legal, and therefore I can't even shop around on the internet to try various brands, to see if I can find one that is more compatible with my skin (not so greasy). It is not legal to ship the stuff through the post into Germany, so I rely on friends who make periodic trips to America and bring me back a few extra tubes over what they're buying for themselves -- I consider myself fortunate to be able to get it at all. It's taken a while for my doctor to calm down about this strange American custom so that we can calmly discuss how to fit it into my overall hormone treatment. I haven't gotten him so relaxed about it that he's ready to discuss coming up with a prescription for me to take to the Apotheke (drug store) though! I do use alternate body locations to rub it in each day, but it still takes a while.

---Rheanna

 
Old 02-15-2005, 12:15 PM   #6
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not40 HB User
Re: Does anyone here take Natural BioIdentical Hormones?

rheanna, i had to add with a chuckle that i never leave a recipe alone either. My husband always kids me about that. But, that is not the topic, just that it was funny you mentioned that.

mimi45, i take bio-idents. They certainly made a difference for me in the way I felt and they took care of my problems. Although recently, I started having some hot flashes in the night. I was changed to the estrogen and progesterone creams. I don't like them because I don't like having the cream on me at bedtime. I would like to be able to go back to the pill form of each soon.

I have felt so much better on the bio-idents. I am not sure if I have side effects. BUT, I do feel better and I urge anyone to try them out. It may take a few months and adding or taking away, but the pharmacist should know what you need to alter by your symptoms you pass along to them.

Good luck, try them out!

 
Old 02-16-2005, 10:59 AM   #7
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West Coast Girl HB User
Re: Does anyone here take Natural BioIdentical Hormones?

I've been taking Estrace (estradiol 2mg pill) everyday since 1974 due to surgical menopause. I'm now 52 and have decided to reduce this medication and am taking one pill every 3 days. My doctor is comfortable with me taking this medication but also has no problems with trying to reduce it. I'm finding after 6 months of taking a pill every 3 days the only menopausal symptom I'm having is occassional hot flashes. There still seems to be positive feedback on this medication but one never knows what future studies might find so I figure the less medication the better.

 
Old 02-18-2005, 07:48 AM   #8
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JinL HB UserJinL HB User
Re: Does anyone here take Natural BioIdentical Hormones?

rhenna,
"But I live in Germany where over the counter hormones are NOT legal, and therefore I can't even shop around on the internet to try various brands, to see if I can find one that is more compatible with my skin (not so greasy). "

Compounded hormones require a doctors prescription, they are not over-the-counter in the USA. Try {removed} for what you need, if you do not have compounding pharmacies in Germany.


[ please do not post commercial websites ]

Last edited by moderator2; 02-18-2005 at 07:56 AM.

 
Old 02-18-2005, 10:13 PM   #9
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rheanna HB Userrheanna HB User
Re: Does anyone here take Natural BioIdentical Hormones?

thanks for clarifying that compounded hormones require a doctor's prescription. I'm a little out of touch with what's happening in America here. Since progesterone in tubes is over-the-counter (which I was flabbergasted to learn a couple of years ago) I just assumed that all this discussion in various threads about compunded hormones was over-the-counter as well. Your link was removed by the moderator before I could read it -- but thanks for trying! If you were referring in your link to a place outside Germany where one can order something to be delivered through the mail, I must repeat that it is ILLEGAL to ship prescription drugs through the mail here without an accompanying doctor's prescription. If customs figured out what was in the package, they'd confiscate it and I'd be out the money and the drugs. Pharmacies here will make up mixtures according to doctors' orders, and are very cooperative about mixing things for you with non-prescription ingredients. The trick will be not the pharmacies, but convincing my doctor to be open to the concept to compounding hormones outside the usual medicines as listed in his book of things he usually prescribes.

-- I'll see if I can track down the friend who said she would lend me the Suzanne Somers book, but it would be nice if I can learn about the concept from several sources.

--Rheanna

Last edited by moderator2; 02-19-2005 at 09:25 PM.

 
Old 02-19-2005, 09:18 PM   #10
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rheanna HB Userrheanna HB User
Re: Does anyone here take Natural BioIdentical Hormones?

I will be visiting my gyno within the next month to renew prescriptions, and I'll discuss the ideas of formulating individual dosages with him then. In the meantime, my estrogen patch has estradiol, and the vaginal cream has estriol, both of which are listed as bio-identical hormones. They may not be individually formulated for me, but, as I mentioned above, I am constitutionally incapable of following anyone else's recipe, so maybe I'm individualizing the hormones myself anyway based on my own observations!

--Rheanna

Last edited by moderator2; 02-19-2005 at 09:24 PM.

 
Old 02-21-2005, 10:09 PM   #11
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faces HB User
Re: Does anyone here take Natural BioIdentical Hormones?

What are the side effects that you are talking about with the Bioidentical Hormones? And is there a risk of cancer taking them? Thanks Faces

 
Old 12-31-2006, 07:26 PM   #12
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Re: Does anyone here take Natural BioIdentical Hormones?

I had a complete hysterectomy when I was 29 I am now 56. I took Ogen until 2000 then started phytoestrogen and took it for 6 years. The phytoestrogen was like taking nothing too weak!!! So I started bio-identical hormones compounded by the pharmacist. I started them this February and stopped them in June. My eyelids became swollen and have still not returned to normal. The hormones were the only thing I changed so I would have to contribute the swollen eyelids to the bio-identicals. So in July I started back on my Ogen. I know there are risks involved but I had very good results with Ogen. No menopausal nightmares and I took them for 20 years!

 
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