Bioidentical Hormones

If you watch Oprah, you saw this week that Suzanne Somers was talking about something called bioidentical hormones. What is this? Well, this goes into the discussion of the controversial topic of hormone replacement therapy at menopause. In years past, it was standard practice to place patients on estrogen to combat the symptoms of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.

You may remember a big deal being made about estrogen a few years ago, It was in fact something called the Women's Health Initiative in 2002 which revealed that estrogen therapy, according to their data, actually slightly increased the risk of heart disease. According to this WebMD article, subsequent studies have somewhat confirmed that data.

Anyway, all these questions have left women to wonder whether prescription hormone replacement therapy was for them. Then, steps in the alternative medicine community. Especially since 2002, this industry has been trying to find alternatives to prescription therapy.

In the video above, the newsmagazine 20/20 analyzes the claims that Suzanne Somers made in a 2007 book. This report is almost a year old, but brings up some of the same claims that Ms. Somers made on this week's Oprah show. In addition to checking out the video above, there is this news article with quotes from an Ob/Gyn physician on the topic of bioidentical hormones.

The day after the Oprah show ran, I received many questions from my patients on bioidenticals. What did I tell them? Well, for me, there are still a lot of questions of whether they substances work. I just don't see good data out there yet to convince me. In addition, I don't believe that there have been adequate safety studies done on these substances yet.

What are your thoughts on bioidentical hormones? Leave them in the comments below. And, I invite you to my live internet radio show tonight called The Night Shift with Dr. A in which we're scheduled to discuss this topic as well tonight.