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The Natural Hormone Solution
by Henry C. Sobo, M.D.

Synthetic female hormones are among the most widely prescribed medications in our country today. They are prescribed most often at menopause for symptoms such as hot flashes, but also as a preventive measure against osteoporosis. In younger age groups they are prescribed for other hormone related problems. There are many side effects associated with hormone therapy (just look at the package insert) and there are also great concerns over the long term risks, such as an increased risk of cancer. Many women thinking that there is no choice but to accept the risks, are among the millions on standard synthetic hormone replacement. Other women knowing about the side effects and risks refuse to take hormones, possibly denying themselves help with problems they suffer from. Many women are switching to the use of natural hormones to get the help they need and avoid the side effects and risks.

What are "natural" hormones? There are some misconceptions about them. First, natural hormones are not herbs, and they are not combinations of nutrients and plant sources which are meant to mimic the effect of hormones. Natural hormones are true hormones made by a compounding pharmacy and available by a doctor's prescription only. You might ask, how are they called natural if they are hormones made by a pharmacy? Natural hormones are also called "bio-identical" hormones because the compound, extracted from a natural source, such as soy or yams, is the same hormone that the women's body has produced for itself over the years. Therefore when these natural hormones are prescribed, what the women is getting is a replenishment of something that has become deficient in the body. The logic of the treatment is that it seems safer to replenish a deficiency of a hormone by giving it, rather than using a synthetic chemical to mimic the effects of the women's own natural hormones. Studies showing risks of hormone replacement have been done on women taking the synthetic hormones.

One more comment about what passes as "natural" hormones in many cases. Over the counter in health food stores are what are labeled as natural progesterone creams. These creams may not reliably deliver progesterone to the body. It's important to understand that applying a cream made from yam is not the same as a pharmaceutical extraction from yam leaving you with true progesterone.

Finally, it is important to mention we can treat men as well as women with natural hormones. From young adulthood to the elderly natural hormones may be used to treat many conditions including PMS, mood swings, sleep disorders, migraine and other headaches, weight gain, bloating, breast tenderness, food cravings, hair loss, hot flashes/ night sweats, depression/anxiety, loss of sex drive/ difficult intercourse, osteoporosis, digestive problems and acne.

Dr. Sobo practices Holistic Medicine in Stamford, CT. More information is available at:
Dr. Sobo can be reached at 203-348-8805 or contacted at [email protected]. Dr. Sobo completed his Medical residency training in Internal Medicine at the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. He is a Board Certified Member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. This is the certifying national organization of physicians with a specialty interest in weight reduction. He is also a member of the American College for Advancement in Medicine. This is the largest national organization of doctors practicing nutritionally oriented medicine.





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