29 August 2013
We have Oprah, Suzanne Somers, Christiane Northrup and even Dr. Phil's wife, Robin McGraw on the bio-identical bandwagon, but we're still as confused as ever and I personally feel there is still pressure to sell us (middle-aged women) some very expensive drugs that are being hyped as the fountain of youth!
At least one of them is a doctor (Northrup), but honestly, you can always find equal numbers of doctors, scientists and researchers who either agree or disagree with the safety and the efficacy. I wanted to laugh when the opposing doctor in the audience stated that the drugs you get from the compounding pharmacy (she doesn't accept the bioidentical term) are not monitored by the government, so you don't know what you're getting and if it's safe, etc. The laughable part was because of the 20+ years that the FDA was in bed with the pharmaceutical industry and pushed Premarin and Provera on women like it was candy, saying it would "make you feel like a young woman again"! How is that any different than people saying bioidentical hormones can help a woman get her quality of life back?
If the FDA did nothing to protect us until they were forced to by the WHI report, why should we have confidence in them now when their chain is still being jerked by the pharmaceutical companies? The compounded hormones have been used for many years, but no one said anything about them until the traditional hrt drugs were forced off the market because they were proven to cause cancer, etc. THEN the pharm
companies started demanding that the compounding pharmacies not be allowed to do what they've been doing all along--creating prescribed, individualized doses of hormones for women.
I actually tend to trust what Suzanne Somers says because I can see that she has done the research and does use everything herself. She clearly states that her regimen is not for everyone, but she is proof that she's doing something right if she feels as good as she says she does. She certainly looks good at 62. And so does Dr. Northrup, but I'm pretty sure both have had some kind of cosmetic enhancements.
The bioidentical hormones are very expensive and most insurance companies don't cover them yet. Of course, for the millions of women who don't have insurance, ANY of hormones are expensive! Just going to the doctor and getting the prescription is out of their reach.
What I'm seeing now after 12 years of talking to women on my website (www.minniepauz.com), is that we are much more informed these days and we're taking control of our healthcare. We're making decisions based on our own research and family history and we're possibly taking on the risks for a chance at a better quality of life.
I continue to refrain from taking any hormones based on the continuing confusion offered by our medical advisors. If they cannot come to some kind of reliable, cohesive conclusion about what women should do, then we just have to make the decision for ourselves. The sad part is there doesn't seem to be any organization willing to study ALL of us to find out if it was all a bunch of hype or if bioidentical hormones are any better. We continue to be "guinea pigs" for society when it comes to keeping women safe.