1. August 2011 09:33
In over 10 years of prescribing Bio-Identical hormones we receive many questions, one of the most frequently asked is, "My doctor says that there is no difference between synthetic and Bio-identical hormones, is this true?" Absolutely not and here are some points to consider when choosing to start hormone replacement therapy:
1) Bio-identical Hormones are synthesized to compounds that are exactly human; therefore the compounds will behave exactly the way human hormones behave. Many "Big Pharma" hormones (Estrogen/Progestin for example) are not synthesized to be human and they may behave in an abnormal way when given to humans. This results in a decrease in effect and an increase in side effect.
2) Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) Doctors can be found on Medical Society Websites like www.worldhealth.net or www.acamnet.org.
3) Insurance: Variable. If your BHRT doc does not accept insurance <which is common>, you may still bill your insurance carrier directly. Your MD needs to supply you with a receipt of payment, a ICD-9 diagnosis code and a CPT procedural code. Many insurance companies consider BHRT an experimental therapy and they may refuse to reimburse for it.
4) The Pellet Implant mode of therapy is the most physiologic (nothing beats mother nature when it comes to hormone delivery, but this is a close second), it is the most potent (as defined by the milligram dose that achieves a therapeutic effect) and it is the longest lasting (~4 months dosing as compared to 1-2 times per day dosing). Obviously this requires some Face-Time and Ye Ole "Laying on of Hands". This mode of therapy has actually been around since the late 1940's early 1950's.
5) We used to prescribe Cow/Pig insulin to patients. Now the Endocrinologist will think of you as strange if you asked for those prescriptions. They now insist on prescribing Humalin (Human and Bio-identical) instead. The same holds true for Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone, Growth Hormone, Thyroid Hormone....and so on.
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