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The Effects of Bio-Identical Hormones on the Body
by Leila Turner, ND
Editor's Note from Rebecca Snowden: Confused about bio-identical hormones? This article gives a nice overview of the synthesis of bio-identical hormones, their effects, and where you can go to learn more.
Because bioidentical hormones are identical in structure to our own body’s sex hormones, their actions are relatively gentle and effective. Bioidentical natural hormones attach themselves to the human cell binding sites, which are areas on the cell surface that specifically recognize substances cells need to use in order to maintain their healthy function. Estrogen and progesterone receptors recognize bioidentical hormones (taken as prescription) the same way that they recognize hormones produced naturally by our own human bodies. Natural, bioidentical hormones are derived from a plant molecule called diosgenin found in soybeans and wild yams. After diosgenin is extracted from these plants, it is converted into bioidentical progesterone in the laboratory. In turn, progesterone can be converted by a chemist into the three human estrogen hormones: estradiol(E2), estrone (E1), and estriol (E3).
Symptoms of hormonal imbalances occur as we get older due to deficiencies or lack of main female hormones in our body after menopause: estrogen and progesterone. These deficiencies require replacement in order for the imbalance to be righted and symptoms to be resolved. In our body, natural hormones act directly to target the root cause of hormone deficiency symptoms.
The 2008 evidence-based position statement regarding recommendations for menopausal hormone therapy (HT; refers to both estrogen alone and estrogen plus progesterone) for postmenopausal women, published by The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), considers the current best practice of medicine from a clinical perspective. The undue fear and confusion generated in recent years by overrepresentation or misinterpretation of clinical studies mandates a clearer explanation of the therapeutic benefit-risk ratio of HT at various times through menopause and beyond, and how these benefits and risks impact both health providers and the women weighing the use of such therapy.
To read more about the highlights of NAMS statement Click Here!
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About the Author
Dr. Leila Fosdick Turner is a licensed naturopathic medical doctor (N.D.) in the state of Arizona. She is licensed as a general family practitioner, and is considered an expert in women’s health. Additionally, Dr. Turner is on faculty at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, where she teaches classes, is part of curriculum development and supervises clinical rotations. She see’s patients out of her private practice with Naturopathic Specialists, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Dr. Turner utilizes natural remedies to treat many common conditions such as hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, abnormal pap smears, uterine fibroids, depression, anxiety, menstrual irregularities, PCOS, menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis and other hormone related issues. Each patient is treated individually and is often prescribed herbs, nutritional supplements, and nutritional and lifestyle counseling.