Don’t Overlook the Benefits of Hormones
Julian Whitaker, MD
I just returned from the American College for Advancement in Medicine’s (ACAM) 63rd International Educational Conference on Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Medicine. The focus of this conference was menopause and andropause (“male menopause”).
I learn a lot sitting through two or three days of presentations at the medical conferences I attend, but what’s most valuable to me is “What can I do on Monday?” Don’t get me wrong. Learning more about the molecular mechanisms of various diseases and early research on promising therapies is interesting, but what I’m really looking for are things that I can use to help my patients and subscribers improve their overall health and well-being.
The take-home from this conference was that natural hormone replacement therapy is safe, it’s effective for a wide variety of conditions, and we’re not using it enough.
Is It Time to Start Using Testosterone?
I was particularly impressed by the presentations on testosterone. Belgian physician Thierry Hertoghe, MD, described many of the signs and symptoms of aging in men that are fueled by declines in testosterone levels. These include fatigue, abdominal obesity, depression, sexual dysfunction, increased risk of heart disease, and prostate problems—and all of them can be improved with supplemental testosterone.
Eugene Shippen, MD, author of The Testosterone Syndrome, talked about testosterone as a therapy for specific diseases. He reported on a patient with a 10-year history of chronic ulcerative colitis who had been recommended to have a colectomy, or removal of a portion of the colon. After he began treatment with testosterone injections, his symptoms began to resolve. Today he is off all colitis medications and doing great.
Dr. Shippen also reported on studies showing distinct correlations between low levels of testosterone and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic infections like HIV, asthma, sleep apnea, diabetic ulcers, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular disease—and that all of these conditions may be ameliorated by supplemental testosterone.
Female Hormone Replacement Therapy
My enthusiasm for estrogen and progesterone replacement is also renewed. Hormone replacement therapy took a direct hit a few years ago when the Women’s Health Initiative, a large study of hormone replacement therapy, showed that women taking Prempro (a Premarin-Provera combo) had an increased risk of invasive breast cancer, heart attack, and stroke.
Several talks at the conference confirmed what I’ve been telling you for years: Whereas horse estrogen and a chemical knockoff of progesterone have no place in a woman’s body, natural estrogen and progesterone are safe and well tolerated—and they’re not just for menopausal symptoms. Women who use natural hormone replacement therapy generally have stronger bones, more satisfying sex lives, better sleep, and improved mood and sense of well-being.
- The problem with natural hormone replacement therapy is that most physicians don’t know anything about it. HRT isn’t for everyone, but if you think it’s for you and your doctor won’t try you on natural hormones, give the Whitaker Wellness Institute a call at (866) 944-8253.
Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Copyright 2005. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healing, click here.