yogaladyThe human body is wonderfully made and capable of withstanding continuous assault. Regardless of this construction, time and assault take their toll and it becomes more and more difficult to recover. We have at our disposal the use of devices and supplements to make up for many of the functions that are not working as well as we’d like.

Many of us wear reading glasses. Others wear braces on their legs or backs. Replacements for limbs are becoming more useful and common. When it was revealed that many of us don’t have adequate levels of vitamin D, we were offered numerous supplements to help us raise our levels.

The same methods can be used when our hormone levels fall or imbalances develop. There are supplemental hormones available that can help us re-establish our hormone levels. This idea took hold in the 1960s because of marketing efforts of the drug companies who made conjugated estrogen products. The most popular was Premarin and it was derived from the urine of pregnant mares. While it offered some human estrogens, it also provided substances that the human body had never before been exposed to.

To offset some of the negative effects of the conjugated estrogen, the companies added synthetic progesterone in the form of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA, or Provera). Instead of alleviating problems, this combination of drugs could be implicated in higher risks of bone disease and cancer. A study of these drugs found the risks of negative results elevated enough that it was halted early. Doctors and patients were advised to carefully weigh the benefits of hormone drugs vs. the potential for harm.

While the entire dialog was happening over conjugated estrogen and MPA, some clear thinking doctors and pharmacists were offering real human hormones to their patients. The process for making real human hormones in a laboratory was discovered back in the 1920s and 1930s by a scientist named Russell Marker. It is illegal to patent a natural substance. The real hormones are exact duplicates of human hormones. Not to be deterred, the drug makers used the natural hormones to make their synthetic versions – which could be patented. It is all about profits.

The natural hormones are sometimes referred to as bioidentical – because they are actually identical to the ones we all make in our bodies.

Sometimes an astute practitioner can offer advice for simple hormone replacement with very safe preparations that contain progesterone. Commonly, though, people prefer to have a better idea about what to use, and how much. This is where testing is appropriate. Our preference USED TO BE saliva testing.

The saliva test kits are no longer available from The Compounder. Read about Larry’s change of heart back in 2012 here.