The following is a synopsis of the article entitled THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HORMONE CONTROVERSY in the April, 2009 issue of MORE magazine. The article was written by Winifred Cutler, Ph.D. who has written eight books on women’s health, and has published two respected medical textbooks on hormones. Dr. Cutler is a scientist and has the training to analyze scientific findings. Her agenda is not influenced by malpractice fears, nor has she ever received consultant fees, funding or stipends from any pharmaceutical company.
The MORE article explains why we veered off course so dramatically in 2002. Dr. Cutler asks “could doctors have been wrong about hormones again?” In 2002, authors of the large study called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) set women in panic mode when the news media announced that the WHI study was discontinued early because “the risks outweighed the benefits.” Millions of women discontinued their hormone replacement therapy ( HRT) and were left with panic, confusion, sleeplessness, headaches, mood instability, loss of memory, libido, and a host of other symptoms. Women were told that there was no answer and they would need to tolerate their symptoms for the rest of their lives. Politically, this was a difficult hit for the pharmaceutical industry as well since Prempro was the number one prescribed medication when I was a medical resident. Billions and billions of dollars were lost, and women became hormonally barren via that news broadcast in 2002.
Dr. Cutler explains why the WMI Study was flawed. The average age enrolled was 63, most of the women never took HRT, half of the women smoked, and more than half were overweight or morbidly obese. The women were given only one hormonal medication Prempro, which combines horse estrogen and Progestin (which is not Progesterone. ) This major study about one type of HRT (synthetic) was then erroneously applied across the board to all types of hormones and all women. This tragic scientific error has germinated hysteria, tremendous loss of quality of life, and confusion. IT IS SYNTHETIC PROGESTERONE (PROGESTINS AND PROGESTOGENS) THAT CAUSE BREAST CANCER. That is what the WHI Study proved.
The major question asked is whether or not HRT increases your risks for breast cancer. Only one hormonal program, namely Prempro, increased the risk of breast cancer. The Prem in Prempro stands for Premarin which is pregnant mare’s urine which is made into estrogen for human females. The Pro in Prempro stands for Progestin which sounds a lot like Progesterone but is not. Progestin is a synthetic Progesterone and constricts coronary (heart) arteries. Since heart disease is our number one cause of death, synthetic Progesterone (Progestins and Progestogens) need to be revisited. ONLY ONE HORMONE REGIMEN INCREASED THE RISK OF BREAST CANCER AND THAT WAS PREMPRO.
Bioidentical hormonal replacement therapy has been used in Europe for 50 years and in the US for more than 30 years. Real Estrogen and real progesterone have only shown benefit for heart and breast health, and the dozens of other symptoms that often accompany peri and post menopause. There are hundreds of kinds of Estrogen and many kinds of Progesterone – so please keep that in mind when you hear the news.
The European endocrinologists tell the American doctors that if they think they are going to prescribe BHRT via a compounding pharmacist and magically fix all their patient’s symptoms, please reconsider. Hormones work best with a healthy lifestyle: a real food diet, daily exercise which I call movement doing something you enjoy, and stress management. Then you will have a glow.