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    Old 05-22-2005, 10:20 AM   #1
    Earlene
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    Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    Is anyone familiar w/bioidentical hormone replacement or aka human-identical hormone replacelent as an alternate to synthetic hormone replacement therapy? I think there is a "movie star" who promotes it highly but I had never looked into it. There are several new books out by doctors who are promoting this therapy. I am concerned now because it seems that my standard HRT is not working as well as it has in the past. The bioidentical is supposed to be made especially for the patient and exactly what women's bodies produce. I do know that only special doctors prescribe them and they have to be compounded at compounding pharmacies. They supposedly do not have the side effects of the synthetic hormones. Is there anyone using these that have switched over and what is your opinion? Anyone w/info pro or con, please comment. I also read somewhere that they are expensive.

     
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    Old 05-22-2005, 10:28 AM   #2
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    The only thing I can tell you is that I have been using a natural progesterone cream made by Emerita that has helped me a great deal. You can buy it online without a prescription. It is absorbed into your skin and is completely natural and produces the same type hormone as your own body.

    I'm seeing my gyno next month because I want to see about taking some testosterone also, since those hormone levels also become low during menopause. Lack of testosterone causes lack of sex drives and I am experiencing that unfortunately. I finally met a nice man and now my sex drives are about nilch! Yuck!

    The testosterone comes in cream form. Natural progesterone comes in a capsule, but I believe the cream form is aborbed more readily.

    Do a search on the internet for "estrogen dominance". That's when I realized I had all the symptoms of it and started on the progesterone cream. It's made a world of difference in my mood and it's also a natural diuretic and got rid of at least five pounds of water weight. No more tender breasts either and my depression has lifted!

     
    Old 05-23-2005, 01:19 AM   #3
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    I use the climara patch which is bio-indentical estrogen..its prescribed by my Dr and easier than having a compounding pharmacy make them up for me. The compounding creams have the advantage that its easier to adjust the dose. The patch does come in 4 different doses, I feel the best on the highest dose. I change my patch once a week and dont have to worry about it.

    I also use natural progesterone cream that you can get at the health food store.

     
    Old 05-23-2005, 12:56 PM   #4
    katidid95
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    Earlene:
    The book you're probably thinking of is "The Sexy Years" by Suzanne Sommers. I've read it and it was suprisingly informative about bioidentical hormones and how they work in your body, etc. I had been prescribed a progesterone cream by my GP from a compounding pharmacy, but recently stopped using it because I just went through a terrible 6 weeks of having a death in the family then this spiral of symptoms ranging from heart palps, chest pains, insomnia, etc. (but don't want to go into all that now). So far, my dr's have not really found anything physical (anxiety maybe?), but I don't feel right physically.

    While I think it did relieve some of my symptoms (especially PMS) I stopped taking the progesterone cream because I keep reading of the importance to have ALL your hormones balanced and there is know way of knowing that until they are tested. In the back of Suzanne's book was a list of references, one being a website of dr's and clinics that specialize in hormones and anti-aging and I found a place close to me and will be getting tests done this week. It will be interesting to see where I'm at. So many posts on this board talk about anxiety as a symptom of peri and menopause. My thinking is because our hormones are so out of whack, that we can't cope with anxiety they way we did when younger. We'll see - I'll certainly post any findings and/or changes as I pursue this avenue.

     
    Old 05-23-2005, 04:21 PM   #5
    Earlene
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    I was on a Combi-patch after using generic Provera and Estrace. The patch did nothing for me. After the patch, my doc had me put on 2 patches for the extra estrogen and I started my period. (Hadn't seen that for a looong time.)
    Back to the generic, didn't help. I read in the newspaper that sometimes generic thyroid and hrt meds are not as strong so I asked for brand hrt.
    I felt great for about 3 months, got the flu and most of my symptoms came back. I just think that bioidentical hormones might work if they are for my particular deficiency. I'm going to the library and see if I can get the Suzanne Sommers book to see if there are any docs near me. One question, how does one know how much progesterone cream to use?
    My doc also wanted to add a little testerone to my hrt. Greeneyes, let us know how you feel after you start taking it. That's the second time it had been mentioned to me.

     
    Old 05-24-2005, 08:07 AM   #6
    greeneyes100
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Earlene
    I was on a Combi-patch after using generic Provera and Estrace. The patch did nothing for me. After the patch, my doc had me put on 2 patches for the extra estrogen and I started my period. (Hadn't seen that for a looong time.)
    Back to the generic, didn't help. I read in the newspaper that sometimes generic thyroid and hrt meds are not as strong so I asked for brand hrt.
    I felt great for about 3 months, got the flu and most of my symptoms came back. I just think that bioidentical hormones might work if they are for my particular deficiency. I'm going to the library and see if I can get the Suzanne Sommers book to see if there are any docs near me. One question, how does one know how much progesterone cream to use?
    My doc also wanted to add a little testerone to my hrt. Greeneyes, let us know how you feel after you start taking it. That's the second time it had been mentioned to me.
    What kind of doctor are you seeing for your hormones? I was going to ask my gyno about them when I go in for a well woman check. Can my regular family physician prescribe them also? I'm really frustrated about the sex drive thing because I just started dating this very attractive man and am afraid to get intimate with him due to lack of sex drive!

     
    Old 05-24-2005, 08:56 AM   #7
    armadillo pie
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    I have gone to one of the Dr's Susanne Sommer's mentions in her book. I have gone to him when I was having PMS- long before peri-menopause. He is very good and really knows his stuff- but very expensive and does not take insurance- ( he gives you the bill and you send it in). He is almost walking distance from my house so it was convient as well. I really like him and think he is good. However, I rcently switched to another Dr., a woman, who does the same thing. She is local too and we are now working on getting me the right combo of hormones that are bio-identical.
    Since I started accupunture ( which both of these Dr.'s think is good as a compainion to their services- my acupuncturist was a gyno in China, so I am in great hands with her and she knows both of these Drs. ), I am feeling better. I still have some anxiety and other stuff going on, but so minor now. I get Chinese herbs compounded for me that I take daily in a tea form. I am going this morning- I go weekly.it's been 48 days since my last period so I may be entering menopause. I haven't had any hot flashes at all, the breast tenderness is totally gone sonce the acupunture, and my sleep cycle is almost back on track. So I see a big difference. I am making a three month commitment on a weekly basis for acupunture. Most of all I feel like I am taking care of myself and that's empowering. The cost is high money wise, so I cut back on other expenses, but I think it is worth it.

     
    Old 05-24-2005, 09:12 AM   #8
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    I have gone to one of the Dr's Susanne Sommer's mentions in her book. I have gone to him when I was having PMS- long before peri-menopause. He is very good and really knows his stuff- but very expensive and does not take insurance- ( he gives you the bill and you send it in). He is almost walking distance from my house so it was convient as well. I really like him and think he is good. However, I rcently switched to another Dr., a woman, who does the same thing. She is local too and we are now working on getting me the right combo of hormones that are bio-identical.
    Since I started accupunture ( which both of these Dr.'s think is good as a compainion to their services- my acupuncturist was a gyno in China, so I am in great hands with her and she knows both of these Drs. ), I am feeling better. I still have some anxiety and other stuff going on, but so minor now. I get Chinese herbs compounded for me that I take daily in a tea form. I am going this morning- I go weekly.it's been 48 days since my last period so I may be entering menopause. I haven't had any hot flashes at all, the breast tenderness is totally gone sonce the acupunture, and my sleep cycle is almost back on track. So I see a big difference. I am making a three month commitment on a weekly basis for acupunture. Most of all I feel like I am taking care of myself and that's empowering. The cost is high money wise, so I cut back on other expenses, but I think it is worth it.

     
    Old 05-24-2005, 06:23 PM   #9
    Earlene
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    I went to MD who specialized in hormones. I believe any MD can prescribe them. So far, I haven't found the right combination though. I called the library tonight and ordered Suzanne Sommers book.
    How is the test to determine your hormone level taken for the bioidentical hormones? Is it blood test or saliva? Is one more accurate than the other?
    If anyone knows, please post.

    Katidid95
    Let us know what your hormone levels are if you can.
    My anxiety is getting worse. Tonight a small child whined behind me at dinner and I was almost going thru the roof. I never used to be that way.
    Something is out of whack for sure.

     
    Old 05-25-2005, 07:35 AM   #10
    greeneyes100
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    I'm going to my regular doctor on Friday and am going to ask about the testosterone patch I heard about. If he won't give me that, Wellbutrin helps with depression and also increases libido. I think they use a simple saliva test to check your hormones. I really don't want to take estrogen though because I've read so much about estrogen dominance. Actually, during menopuase your body still produces estrogen, but is low in other hormones like progesterone and testosterone.

    I'll keep you updated about the testosterone if he gives it to me.

     
    Old 05-25-2005, 03:20 PM   #11
    Earlene
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    Is there anyone who may know of a good GYN (hormone specialist) in the Missouri/Kansas area? I know all can treat; but some maybe specialize in imbalances. I don't have the S. Sommers book yet - dr. doesn't have to only prescribe bio-identicals.

     
    Old 05-28-2005, 05:22 PM   #12
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    I saw this new Dr. to get my hormones tested and luckily I hadn't started my period (I was late, usually I'm early!) and I took the salivary tests and mailed it in today. I think it takes a week or so to get the results and I'll post.

    I'm feeling very frustrated with my symptoms now. The main thing for me is a pounding heart, which is a little elevated, chest pains, headaches/pressure. AND I feel really weird when I drink a glass of wine (mainly my head symptom is worse). I'm feeling extremely tired all the time, but don't sleep well (may decide to go back on the sleeping pills for a week or so). I found out I'm not anemic, so that isn't causing my elevated HR and palpatations. I guess I'm almost afraid my hormone levels will be normal and I won't know what the heck is wrong with me other than plain anxiety, which will be hard for me to accept.

    We'll see....

     
    Old 05-29-2005, 08:35 AM   #13
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    Earlene,
    I went to a compounding pharmacist down by St. Luke's Hospital on the plaza in KC called O'Brien's Pharmacy and had a lengthy appointment with their pharmacist to get on bio-identical hormones. The interview was very informative and helpful, unfortunately the first time I used the hormones (in lozenge form) it made my heart beat so hard, fast, and increased every horrible menopausal symptom I already had, that I pretty well knew that this wasn't for me. As far as a good gyno. in the KC area, I just haven't found one. Have been told by many people that James Mirabile is very good, he is in Louisburg, and Overland Park Regional. Good Luck!

    Katidid,
    I've had those exact symptoms for almost four years now, and they are scary and frustrating. I had to give up any time of alcohol, no matter how small the amount because the palpitations and HR plus very irregular heartbeat would just be out of control. I don't know how old you are but you definitely sound like you are "enjoying" the perimenopausal part of life. I started all these things at age 39, and I'll be 45 this summer. I've had so many weird and awful symptoms that I've truly almost become housebound sometimes, but I've started acupuncture and it's helped tremendously! My anxiety and palpitations are easily 85 to 90% less, and I sleep better too. The fatigue still sets in, but I'm better able to cope with it. Good luck to you also!

     
    Old 05-29-2005, 01:33 PM   #14
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    Re: Premenopausal Symptoms

    Does anyone know if prolonged menstrual periods are normal for pre-menopausal women? I am 50, and for the past 2 months, I have been having off and on bleeding. Any info would be appreciated!

    Last edited by susan0327; 05-29-2005 at 01:44 PM.

     
    Old 05-29-2005, 04:19 PM   #15
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    Re: Bio-identical hormone replacement help

    It is not a normal thing but it is common in the perimenopausal phase because the hormones start to get out of sync with each other and the natural cutoff cues malfunction. The biggest problem with this is possibility of anemia which will in turn make everything worse. If you are bleeding longer than 5 days or heavier than normal see your gyn especially for the anemia part. That can keep things miserable a lot longer than necessary.

     
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