- Do hormones cause cancer?
Unequivocally no. Hormones do not cause cancer.
That fallacy came about thanks to several different studies in the early 2000’s, primarily the Women’s Health Initiative in 2002, which conflated synthetic hormones with Bioidentical Hormones. But there is an enormous difference between the two.
These studies pertain only to synthetic hormones, which can cause cancer. The problem is, they made no distinction between synthetic hormones and Bioidentical Hormones, so they created much confusion and misinformation among the public about hormone replacement therapy. Synthetic hormones include progestins, artificial progesterones, and horse-urine-derived estrogen.
Bioidentical hormones, on the other hand, are identical copies of the natural hormones that exist in our bodies. When you put those identical compounds back in the body, all your body does is get healthy. And while there may or may not be minor, aggravating side effects, any side effects are directly related to what the actual hormones do. That’s natural, normal, and expected. But Bioidentical Hormones do not cause any serious problems and they certainly do not cause cancer.
In fact, if you look at studies dealing only with Bioidentical Hormones, the rates of cancer either stay the same or decline, and the better studies show a decline in the rates of a variety of cancer, not just breast cancer.
- Do hormones cause heart attacks in men?
No, they don’t. And just as with question number one, we can point to some bad studies as the culprit in perpetuating this myth. In the past couple of years, about four or five poorly done studies came out. A few are meta-analysis, where they looked at all the studies across the literature; and a couple of them are more observational studies. There’s not one good, randomized, prospective, double-blind control study, which is the gold standard in medicine.
In any case, these studies looked at the testosterone administration and came up with the premise that they may increase things like adverse cardiac arrest – the buzzword people are seeking when they’re looking for heart irregularities.
The problem is these studies considered swelling and edema as a major adverse cardiac event. And while this does happen with the administration of bioidentical testosterone, it’s short-lived and reversible. All the randomized, prospective, double-blind, controlled studies show substantial cardiac protection. Two of them even have shown that mortality rate and incidents of cardiac arrest go down.
So, what’s really going on?
In mainstream medicine, there’s an agenda against hormone therapy, which means they’ll create studies to say what they want them to say. In some of these studies, the way they determine the testosterone is based on a doctor giving a prescription to a patient. That’s scientifically disingenuous.
How do we know they filled the prescription? How do we know they took it properly? How do we know that testosterone did something physiological in the body, like raise the level of testosterone? And if it did raise the level of testosterone, did it raise it to a cardio-protective level? If you don’t raise testosterone levels to protective, you’re going to have cardiac events in the studies.
So, to answer the question, a couple of bad studies suggest that hormones cause heart attacks in men, but many excellent studies prove that raising testosterone levels is cardio-protective.
- Will Hormones Help Me Lose Weight?
Hormones are not necessarily a weight loss program. However, your body cannot lose weight if it’s hormonally imbalanced. By restoring hormonal balance, many of the regular, everyday things you do to lose weight will become much more effective. Once we restore balance, we’ll look at metabolic factors like cholesterol. After that, we’ll make some nutritional and supplemental recommendations that will facilitate your weight loss. If these measures don’t work, I have an excellent weight reduction program you can adopt after we balance your hormones, cholesterol, and sugar.
- Will I Have to Take Hormones for the Rest of My Life?
It’s a natural process of aging to lose your hormones. When you lose your hormones, you’re going to get sick; you’re going to get a lot of disease; and you’ll likely die younger. We have the technology to maintain and replace hormone levels. By doing that, we’re not guaranteeing or eliminating the risks of aging or dying of many different things – but the likelihood of you dying early or dying from one of the bad illnesses declines.
On a positive note, you’re also going to do better, feel better, and live a more vigorous life. You’re going to enjoy being alive because your quality of life will be vastly improved. So, you ask the question: Do I have to take this for the rest of my life?
Well, if you recognize that the body goes into normal hormonal decline as you age, you must take the hormones as long as you want to maintain the benefits – benefits that include reducing the risks associated with aging and of dying early.
When people tell me Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is an expensive treatment, I ask: How expensive is Alzheimer’s and how much do you want to live without it?
I mean, you can suffer with Alzheimer’s for 25 years. But you can avoid that fate because hormones create a substantial reduction in the development of dementia. If you can prevent Alzheimer’s and take hormones to reduce your risk of dementia and, inevitably, ending up in a facility, wouldn’t it be worth it? What’s the cost of trying to live your life blind after macular degeneration? Yeah, maybe it costs money to do hormones every year and maybe you’ll take them for the rest of your life, but consider the higher cost of not taking them.
If you can budget your BHRT with an effective payment plan we can build for you (because we build payment plans) and BHRT becomes a normal part of your everyday living – thereby reducing the risk of dementia, blindness, and other debilitating diseases – isn’t that a good thing? What would it be like to have to live with the consequences of a stroke the rest of your life? When you put it in perspective, you can’t afford not to undergo BHRT.
- Why Doesn’t the FDA Recommend It?
The FDA may regulate certain drugs, but it does not recommend or approve medical treatments. They are approved and/or recommended by the medical literature. At Florida Center for Hormones and Wellness, the substances we use are, indeed, FDA approved. Because we practice personalized medicine, we may use a compound that is a specific formulation of a medication or substance designed for you as an individual. And that compound is not FDA approved. However, every single substance within the compound – testosterone, progesterone, estrogen – is FDA approved.
Why doesn’t the FDA approve the compound if it’s comprised of FDA-approved substances? Because it’s not a standardized, manufactured dose. We use the same FDA-approved hormones used in commercial hormones, but since we create personalized dosages designed for each patient’s specific needs, they are not FDA approved.
- How Long Will It Take to Get My Sex Drive Back?
If you want your sex drive back, you will get it back – probably better than it was when you were younger. And the good news is, it can be safely dialed in to meet your needs and desires.
- I Feel Fine. Why Should I Take Hormones?
It is crystal clear that hormonal decline is linked to mortality. If your hormones are unbalanced, you will die at a younger age than people whose hormones are balanced. You may feel fine, but:
- Your heart is aging
- You’re building up cholesterol
- You have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, heart attacks, colon cancer, macular degeneration, a metabolic imbalance, a cholesterol imbalance, and a sugar-metabolism imbalance
Often, people with a hormone imbalance don’t feel good and age faster. They look older and have less energy, focus and determination. In many cases, you don’t feel “bad” because you’ve gotten used to how you feel. If you compare the way you feel today with the way you felt 10 years ago, if I could restore you to the way you felt 10 years ago, you would say, “Golly, I can’t believe I was putting up with the way I felt!”
Yes, you may feel fine, but the diseases of aging are progressing, and the diseases of aging are worse when you’re hormonally imbalanced.
- How Long Will It Take Me to Feel Better?
Most people tend to feel better within a few days, particularly with pellets. But we generally advise our patients that they may not feel any significant benefit until 4-6 weeks after treatment. You may feel good right away, but then it may take 4-6 weeks to really notice a difference. Within about a month or so, you should be dramatically improved from where you were when you walked into the office. Beyond that, it takes about a year to fine-tune everything so that you’re completely balanced and on the road to good health. You feel good quickly, but it takes a year to really dial it in – meaning, smooth, even and predictable.