Why Medicine Hates Hormones

It is often a difficult conversation that I have with my clients.  I tell them “you need to be aware that the medical industry and your doctors will not like you taking hormone replacement”. They will dissuade you, berate you, or in some cases, refuse to work with you or tell you that I am trying to “kill” you. Why then do doctors and the medical industry hates hormones so much? Many reasons.

Most of the current culture on hormone replacement started in 2002, with the Womens Health Initiative (WHI) trial.  This landmark study investigated the use of 2 synthetic hormones;  Premarin (a synthetic form of Estrogen), and Provera (a synthetic form of Progesterone).  The study had several arms (divisions looking at different aspects of the experiment), but overall, it looked at the health of post-menopausal women over several years taking these synthetic hormones. The study was stopped early because it was concluded that the incidence of breast cancer, strokes, heart disease, and blood clots were significantly increased in those women taking Premarin and Provera.  This hit the media as well, and the general consensus was “hormones are bad for you”. There were many women on hormone replacement at the time, and all their doctors took them off.  It was over.

However, it came to be realized that there were several design flaws in the WHI trial.  The researchers “concluded” things about the study which were not verified in the actual data.  After a period of time, the researchers eventually retracted many of the statements they made in their conclusions.  This however, did NOT make the media, as good news never sells as well as bad news.

Also, after doctors got news of the WHI, the doctrine of “hormones are bad” stayed around, and eventually became dogma. Since the WHI, there  have been hundreds if not thousands of research articles identifying bio-identical hormones as safe and effective.  However, in the medical community, the thought is “If Premarin is bad, then you have to assume that bio-identical estrogen is bad also”.  The statement is logical, but unfortunately it has not been proven in the literature; in fact just the opposite.  Bio-identical hormones have been shown over and over to not have the same deleterious effects that there synthetic counterparts have, and yet, doctors continue to assume that bio-identicalls and synthetics are the same.

Hopefully, in the near future, doctors will come to understand their own literature and see that hormone replacement therapy is not the evil we once thought.  Until that time however, be mindful that your doctors will continue to resist and dissuade you from taking bio-identical hormones.

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