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Hormones are chemical messengers produced in the body that have specific effects on other cells and organs. Examples of hormones include thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone, melatonin, and growth hormone.

Hormonal decline as we age causes a multitude of disturbing symptoms including fatigue, mood swing, insomnia, vaginal dryness or erectile dysfunction, low libido, weight gain, night sweats, hot flashes,  bone loss and cardiovascular changes.

Many women are concerned about the risk of breast cancer, strokes and heart disease after research published in the Women’s Health Initiative. This research was conducted using  synthetic estrogens (called conjugated equine estrogens) and synthetic progesterone  (called medroxyprogesterone acetate or progestin). These are hormones are found in the prescriptions called  Premarin , Provera, PremPro, Cenestin, Estratest, Menest, and Cycrin.  Natural bio-identical hormones were not included in this study.

Conjugated equine estrogens are derived from pregnant mares’ urine. Most of the estrogens derived from these horses are NOT naturally produced by humans. These hormones can have different effects in your body than bio-identical human hormones. For example, synthetic progesterone (also referred to as micronized progesterone or  progestin) such as Provera can cause birth defects, but natural progesterone can be safely given during pregnancy to prevent first trimester miscarriage.

Bio-identical hormones are derived from natural sources, such as, soybean, yam, or other plants, and are designed to appear identical to human hormones, unlike synthetic hormones. Bio-identical hormones use estradiol (E2), estriol (E3), micronized progesterone and sometimes androgens such as DHEA or testosterone to provide symptomatic relief of peri-menopause, menopause and andropause. Non-synthetic hormones have not been studied by any large trial, but have been proven effective and safe for many years.

Bio-identical hormones can be individualized to meet the needs of the patient verses the “one size fits all” approach of common HRT drugs. Available forms include suppositories, gels, creams, lozenges, pellets and capsules. Determining which hormones require replacement is first determined either by blood, saliva, or urine testing.  After speaking with Dr Gentry, reviewing your symptoms and your lab results, you will be able to decide the best approach that suites your needs.

More information is available through local compounding pharmacies:

Articles on Bioidentical HRT: Bioidentical Testosterone: The best male anti-aging tool the experts don’t want you to have :
FDA Approved “HRT” IS Risky:

Estriol & hot flashes: How the right forms of estrogen may help fight cancer, MS and more:

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement: risks you should know and how to reduce them: