View Full Version : BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES
03-23-2009, 08:05 AM
There are not too many people I trust as much as this group. I am considering bioidentical hormones and want to know if any of you are currently doing this, have done it and would never do it again or what other experiences you might have. Let's not make this an opinion thread (believe me I have enough opinions on both sides). I just need to know what experiences (good and bad) that you personally have had.
Thank you so much!
03-23-2009, 10:00 AM
I wish I could tell you I've experienced them, but I'm still making arrangements to travel to an expert to do this. Hopefully, 2 months from now, I'll have success stories to share. I have a friend who is just getting started, maybe she'll come on in a few weeks with her experiences. I know she is very impressed with the doctor she's seeing, who is also recommended in Somers' books. It was definitely different from the ridiculous apathy and runaround she's been getting from her other "providers".
I've been researching and praying about this for months and absolutely feel led in this direction. It will be interesting to see what responses this thread gets!
03-23-2009, 10:55 AM
I'm using bio-identical progesterone suppositories and it seemed to help some as I was trying to regulate my period, but I stopped because it was so irritating to my cervix and my periods still were erratic.
I began taking the Parent Omega Essentials and my period regulated (twice in a row on time and no spotting in between) and my gums were no longer bleeding, etc., and now we are pregnant.
I am using the progesterone suppositories again as added protection for this littlest, precious life and am hopeful.
A good compounding pharmacist will have a lot of helpful information if you call them and maybe set up an appointment to talk with them. Some give a thorough questionnaire and charge $50.00 for their time but I've heard it is worth it.
Kayla Howard, a wonderful T-Tapp trainer, may have some input on this as well.
03-23-2009, 12:47 PM
Pamela, are you using a set amount, or a specific dose to make up the amount you're lacking? Have you tried any other delivery methods, such as oral, or topical gels or creams?
03-23-2009, 05:29 PM
It is a set amount of 100 mg. vaginal suppositories. I've not done the blood test I would like to do. I have used Progesterone Cream with good success over the years, but not a topical bio-identical cream.
03-23-2009, 05:59 PM
I am using a compounded progesterone for PMS and miscarriage prevention as well. I started with an oral "natural" progesterone, but felt it was hard on my liver. I've used the cream since 4 yods and really like the way I feel post-partum as well as during my monthly cycles. I literally have hardly any PMS now.
I have mine compounded at a pharmacy 20 minutes away where the head pharmacist is VERY knowledgeable about bio-identical hormones. I did a questionnaire and interview, both very comprehensive, for $50 (as Pamela said) and it was worth every penny.
If I need more help going through menopause, you can bet I will probably go this route! I am trying to remember---I think it was a book by Dr. Jonathan Wright that really explained the estriol, estrogen and estradiol ratios that should be in BHT for menopausal women. If I can find the name of it, I'll post it.
HTH! (BTW, I'm 46)
03-23-2009, 06:10 PM
He's written several books, was it Hormone Replacement for Women over 45? I just read Suzanne Somers' interview with him, over the weekend, and he is positively delightful! His website is: www.tahomaclinic.com (http://www.tahomaclinic.com) I think all his books are listed there, too.
03-23-2009, 07:04 PM
You guys are so great. I spoke with one of the nurses today and feel quite confident about it. It is very expensive and none of the methods are covered by insurance! I am waiting until next month to make my appointment and will report in. I am going in for hormone, thyroid and yeast testing with a doctor that is also mentioned in the Somer's book. His name is Steven Hotze and is right here in Houston.
I will report in after my visit next month.
If anyone else has any experience with this, please let me know!
03-23-2009, 11:37 PM
Any chance you have flexible benefits? My bio-identicals weren't covered under insurance, but I could use our flexible benefits plan to pay for the exam, blood work and monthy prescription. I have been on bio-identical progesterone (oral capsule taken 15 days out of the month starting with day 12 after 1st day of period) and testosterone cream 2x/day for a little over 2 years (am 42yo). I feel I am sailing through peri-menopause! So many of my friends are experiencing terrible PMS and periods, etc... and some are even being mis-diagnosed with depression (a travesty), when I believe it's just their hormones out of whack. I tell everyone I know about bio-identicals and how great they make me feel!
03-24-2009, 04:38 AM
I have used compounded bioidentical hormones for a number of years. I just received a reimbursement from my FSA for my first prescription of them in 2009.
Our GP in Michigan was the original prescriber and it was filled through Women's International Pharmacy (look on their website) and mailed to me. The website has a lot of good info.
When I moved to Houston in mid 2007, I decided to wean myself off the hormones and WHAT A MISTAKE. Six months later I was miserable in in hot flash hell...up to 50+ flushes per day. I found the most embarrassing thing to be when just my ears would turn beet red ( I have very short hair). Located a Gyno that prescribes bioidentical hormones and made an appointment.
Both doctor prescribed the E3/Progesterone/Testosterone based on labs. There are plenty of compounding pharmacy's in Houston...the one I use is actually in Tomball, TX, about 8 miles from my home. BTW, a 3-month prescription costs me $54.
03-24-2009, 08:52 PM
I have been taking bio-identicals for about 3 months now. I can tell you I finally feel like myself again. No more hot flashes, night sweats, no situational nervous sweats, etc. before I felt it was all I could do to keep putting one foot in front of the other to make it through a day. Once again, I sleep through the night, moodiness and ill temper is gone, libido is back. Life is good. I am 54, had the sotto pelle, pellets injected on Dec 26, 2008, take 200 mg progesterone. I did not want to start having periods again, didn't feel good when I had them before, why bother with it now. So my doctor has not cycled me off the progesterone to make them happen and that is fine with me. My body was so starved for estrogen, it seems to have shot through the pellets fairly quickly and will be tested next month to see if I already need another injection of pellets. I think as my body gets back on track I will settle down to the 6 months refreshers most ladies get.
This isn't a cure all, I am still a slow loser, but at least I am loosing now.
Good luck, hope this helps.
03-25-2009, 07:48 AM
I've been taking them for years and won't stop taking them ... ever. I'm 65+ and have found that my body is thriving on them. The best thing about bioidenticals is that they match your body's receptors perfectly, whereas patented hormones do not. I think that's why there has been so much trouble reported with them. My pharmacist initially gave me a book, "Natural Hormone Replacement" by Jonathan Wright MD & John Morgenthaler. What a wealth of information!
03-27-2009, 09:54 AM
How wonderful to hear of someone who has been on bio-identicals for the long-term and is thriving!! It seems like a new idea to those of us just discovering them. How often do you "tweak" your doses? I am just on the same thing I started with 2 years ago~ progesterone and testosterone. I have had the testosterone dosage upped twice because it kept getting lower each time on my blood test. No kidding, I've had no lidido since the last child was born 9 years ago! My doctor said I will just know when it is time by the way my body feels, and he assured me it will happen eventually. Has that been your experience? Also, is the book you mentioned still available in bookstores?
03-28-2009, 11:03 AM
I don't know if the book is still on the shelves, but you could always try Amazon.
Here's the ISBN #. 0-9627418-0-9 Publisher is Smart Publications.
I have been on the lowest doseage but that shouldn't be YOUR guide. It should match what your body needs. My pharmacist is so knowledgeable about these compounds, more so than my internist! Just listen to your body.
03-28-2009, 01:45 PM
I am still looking for a good doctor in my area and will probably have to pay out of pocket. My doctor will not work with me on biodenticals. So I use Estro 500 from Progest.com and Progesterone from Naturally better.com. I am 43 and needed both of the hormones so badly. This was my life before being told i was Perimenopausal. I was running to the bathroom all the time. I had no bladder control. I did not enjoy sex nore could i even feel anything anymore. I ordered Vaginal Estriol from Naturally better. One dose and the pain and bladder problems started to go away! I also was at the urgent care for 3 months in a row with no sign of a urinary tract infection but symptoms of one. My quality of life was crap. Sorry to say that so blutly but it was horrible. I was moody, hot flashes, no bladder control, pain, and kept forgetting stuff all the time! I was examined and was told i needed estrogen but didn't want to go the Premarin way. Since being on the hormones for 6 months I have my life back! I am so happy and I would recommend them to anyone who is suffering with perimenopausal symptoms or are in total menopause. I cycle my hormones. Its better for me to do so. I have never had any hormones problems until I turned 42. Boy did i miss my estrogen. I am the type that needs more estrogen for my body to function right. Less progesterone but do take the 2 week dose but lower than what is recommended cause the progesterone got be bloated and constipated. This is my experience. Hope this helps anyone who is going thru this time of life. I totally apppreciate hormones so much more now.
03-28-2009, 02:57 PM
I have been on bio-identicals for a year now. I love them. I am using the progesterone cream and the bi-est cream. I do not need testosterone at this time. I tried the bio-identical progesterone capsules, but they burned my stomach. I went back tot he cream. I truly like them.
I started on them through my endocrinologist. She is very knowledgeable. However, my insurance quit covering her partner. I am now using my gynecologist, who is heavy into the bio-identicals and getting the whole body healthy. She also said I was on adreneal overload. She is treating this with herbs. She also has me on DHEA. These are sublingual. My endocrinologist used very expensive blood tests. My gynecologist uses saliva testing. She said that this is the more accurate way to test. I must agree that I do feel a lot better since she has tweaked everything from my original doctor. She also said that once you go through perimenopause you do not want your cycle to return. You just want those parts to stay healthy. She is not in agreement with Somers 100%.
What I know is that I love them and I would not give them up for anything. I am a new woman in that area. However, keep in mind it does take a while to tweak the dosages.
You will not feel 100% over night. The hormones need to build up again.
03-28-2009, 09:01 PM
selinewright, which programs are you going to do? I've spoken with them and am debating between going there or to another recommended doctor from the books in Georgia. Their protocols are so different it's about impossible to compare prices, but I'm attempting it anyway. Did they say how long it takes to get in there, once you call for the appt.? I forgot to ask that and they haven't answered my e-mail yet.
03-30-2009, 02:56 PM
Can anyone direct me on how to find a compounding pharmacy in my area (Alexandria, Va) that would be able to create bioidentical hormones for me? What kinds of questions should I ask the pharmacist to make sure they know what they are talking about?
03-30-2009, 05:31 PM
When I called the clinic in Katy (Houston) they told me that they had just added one doctor (she is incredible and I was thinking of going to her clinic in Tomball). After a one hour interview over the phone they take about 2 weeks to get you in. I am frustrated because the insurance does not pay any of this! I cannot believe they will pay for the chemicals that go into your body when you get sick, but will in no way assist with preventive! I cannot afford to do the program for another month, so I will have to wait to give you all an update. However, I did start on B-12 shots last week and feel incredible! My skin looks great, I am calm and I am sleeping through the night. I spoke to that particular doctor about bio-identicals and she believes on staying with the B-12 even when you start on the hormones.
Oh...so much to learn!
03-30-2009, 05:46 PM
Ines - I just googled "compounding pharmacy Alexandria, Virginia". It came up with a couple of names. They will also give you doctors names that work with that pharmacy on bioidenticals.
For those of you that insurance will not cover, my insurance covered the blood tests by one doctor. They just would not cover the creams. We had a medical reimbursement account so it came out of there. My last bill for the creams was $80.75. It was $34.80 for the 10% progesterone and $40.95 for 30 gm of biest. This will last me two months.
It is very helpful if the doctor and blood tests are covered. These would be the routine tests they would run even if you were not using bioidenticals. You should only have to cover the prescription part.
04-04-2009, 02:51 PM
I am 62 now and started with hormones (not bi) when I was around 55. They helped somewhat, but I hated taking something that I had to check my liver all the time, and one size fits all did not make since to me.
Started reading about bio-identicals and thought that it the route I want to take. I've been on bio-identicals for about 3 years now. I started with a clinic run by an Endocrinologist for a couple of years. Then found a Gynecologist right by my house that I am using now.
I love bio-identicals! I have gone through menopause. I am taking Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone. I use the creams , I like them because the do not go through your liver. Having had a partial hyso (still have my overies) I cycle them as if I was still having a period (although I don't). My insurance does not pay anything for the office visit or perscriptions. The first visit was, I think $100, and once a year now it is $50. The test were about $150, but my new family medicine Dr. will order them for me so my insurance will pay for them now. The meds equal out to be about $75 a month. I buy a 3 months supply, it is cheaper that way. I try to buy them at different times so I don't have to spend so much at one time.
I feel normal again with bio-identicals. No hot flashes, night sweats, my libido is back, I think my hair and skin look better, my moods are better. I have not had and problems with them at all, thank god. They are worth the extra cost I pay for them!!!!!
I've read a lot of books on the subject, but a few that I would recommend are, Suzann Somers, Ageless, The Sexy Years and Breakthrough (which is about so much more). Also Dr. Christiane Northrup, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom (gave a copy of this to my daugher-in-law and my other sons girlfriend, they loved it) and The Wisdom of Menopause.
04-05-2009, 01:08 PM
I have been a patient at Dr Hotze's clinic for about a year and a half. His staff is very knowledgeable. He uses compounded hormones pills and they are adjusted as you go along. You can get some of the costs covered by getting lab orders ahead of your visit (at least two weeks) and using your insurance co approved labs. I also take armour thyroid and they give me the scrip and iIget it filled through the ins mail order house. Other test such as bone density you can get from your pc and have results sent to them. If you need allergy help use your insurance approved drs to save. I'd be glad to talk privately if you have other questions. Send me a message
04-05-2009, 03:35 PM
I would love to visit with you via email. How do I do that?
04-25-2009, 10:28 PM
Okay, I just got Uzzi Reiss' book, Natural Hormone Replacement for Women, from the library and it is FABULOUS! I would highly recommend it to ANYONE interested in BHRT, even if you have found a great doctor. It's basically a primer to take you step by step through knowing when you have too much or not enough of any of the various hormones you're trying to balance, as well as great tips to help you work with your doctor. Even though it's fairly technical, he is so interesting and explains things so well that it's not boring at ALL. I'm going to order a copy from Amazon, as I know I'll want it as a reference book. (I have an appt. with Dr. Michael Galitzer in June! Yippee!!)
ETA: I ordered it this morning from Amazon and I can't wait to get it and mark it all up with highlighter! I also ordered his newer book, which was very highly rated in reviews, particularly by a couple doctors who said they love his new (different) one even more than they loved the first (which is a LOT). I can't wait to get them. I've also ordered Dr. Hotze's book and one by Jonathan Wright, who was also interviewed in Breakthrough and has very high ratings, too (his is more about overall holistic health, though, not BHRT).
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