Body identical versus bio identical hormones – whats the difference? Which is best?

Body identical versus bio identical hormones – whats the difference? Which is best?

March 21, 2020 19 By Jose Scott


Hi everybody and welcome to my VLOG. So
this week’s VLOG is going to be short and sweet, but really important. So I’m
going to explain to you the difference between body identical hormones and
bioidentical hormones. There’s a very good reason why I’m doing that!
So I belong to a Facebook group of 11,000 women; it’s called the
Latte Lounge and it’s for women over 40 to discuss absolutely anything they want,
and it’s amazing! So you should join (if you’re over 40 of course, because that’s
one of the prerequisites) and I will put the address of that in the notes
afterwards. Health issues are often discussed and I’m often there to advise.
And menopause is one of those as are hormones generally. And there is a
spin-off group from that called The Menopause Support Network and I’m going
to list that for you afterwards because it’s a really useful group. But I’m
seeing more and more often in these groups confusion between body identical
and bioidentical as terms for HRT. So I’m going to try and dispel that confusion
today. So the first thing to know is that what most women are after with their HRT,
or any other drug for that matter is that it’s natural, and that’s
understandable because you want to think that anything you’re putting into your
body is as natural as possible. I think a warning to sound here is that
just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe!
So laburnum seeds on a tree are natural but they’re not safe they can kill a
child. Deadly nightshade is natural but it’s not safe. So natural does not equal
safe; that’s the first thing to know. Many many medicines are made from
plants and they are therefore natural, but they’re not always safe. Getting your
HRT from an NHS GP or a private GP (and we subscribing the same things as an NHS
GP) ie as per the NICE guidelines, is safe and
that’s a really important point. And it doesn’t mean that because it’s an NHS
GP, or private GP prescribing the same, that it isn’t natural, it
probably is! We’ll go into that. But this is why it’s really
important to understand the difference between body and bio-identical hormones.
So let’s start with body identical Oestrogen, because the oestrogen is the
hormone that you lose at menopause and the one that it’s really important to
replace because it’s the one that takes away the symptoms. So previously, and this is I think where the confusion starts, HRT was made from horses urine! So it
wasn’t identical to our own hormones it was identical to horses hormones.
And therefore it contained oestrogens that we don’t use and it made oestrogens
that we don’t need. So most HRT is now not made from horses urine, it’s made
from plant extracts. Body identical oestrogens are readily available on the
NHS from your GP and hopefully this VLOG will allow you to go to your NHS GP
armed with the information you need and say “this is what I want`’. Body identical
HRT is made under strict UK medicine management guidelines, in a laboratory.
Its tested, there have been trials and every single product is made to a
certain standard and we know what it’s going to deliver into your body with
every dose. And that’s really important. You can’t manage a medicine if you don’t
really know exactly how much of an ingredient is in it. So that’s crucial.
It’s made from plants, usually yam extracts, but it’s completely natural yet
has the same molecular structure as the oestrogen in our body; the one that we had
before we lost it at menopause. And that applies to Progesterone as well. Body
identical progesterone is exactly the same structure as the progesterone in
your body. So body identical hormones are natural, manufactured to an absolutely
safe standard and identical to your body hormones. So, to just start threshing that
out a little bit; when you get your prescription from your GP (whether that’s
private or NHS), all patches that deliver oestrogen and
all gels are body identical – that’s all you need to know. The tablets are not, so
that’s important. I will put some details at the end and I’ve got one to show you
here today so that you know what you are asking for. So this is oestrogel and
this is a body identical hormone available from your GP. It’s a pump. So
it’s a nice pump dispenser that delivers exactly the right amount of hormone onto
your skin to be rubbed in everyday. There it is. So that’s important to know. So if
you’re asking for a gel it’s OESTROGEL. So thats oestrogen. We also have
body identical progesterone. So there are many types of progesterone.
So you get progesterone only pills, progesterone only coils, progesterone only
implants; they are not actually progesterone. They are a mimic of progesterone; a synthetic progesterone which is called progestin, and that is not body
identical. So the only way you can have body identical progesterone as part of
your HRT is as a capsule that you swallow or you place into your vagina.
And that’s micronised progesterone and it is body identical and the brand that
we use in the main in the UK is called UTROGESTAN and I’ve got some here
so you can see how that’s spelt, there we go. So that’s utrogestan and these are the vagina capsules so they’re 200
milligrams but there’s an oral one as well which is a 100 milligrams. When
you get the vaginal one or if we get the vaginal one it comes with an applicator
that you actually just pop it to the top of your vagina. The vaginal one is
actually not licensed for HRT but some doctors do use it because if there are
side effects when taking the oral one, the vaginal ones sometimes avoids those side
effects. Because this is a body identical hormone and it’s actually
matching your own body’s progesterone there are less side effects than the
synthetic ones. Progesterone you have to have as a tablet or vaginal capsule – you
can’t have it as a cream to rub in the skin. There is no evidence to suggest
that that is safe and I’ll go on to that later. Sadly the progesterone that you get in HRT patches and the tablets are not body
identical, so if you want a completely body identical HRT you need to have an oestrogen patch and the progesterone tablets or an estrogen gel and the
progesterone tablets. But I’m going do a list for you afterwards so that you can
refer back to this. And then there’s body identical testosterone. So we have that
as a gel as well. Here’s one now: this is TESTIM. There are lots of different
brands. But again this rubs into the skin and it’s absorbed straight into the
bloodstream and that’s the safest way to have it. We don’t give testosterone when we give it to women as anything but that gel. All of these hormones; the oestrogen the progesterone and the testosterone,
are available from your GP on the NHS. You might need to help them sometimes..
give them the information, and I will put it afterwards, but they are all
available. And they are completely safe and we’ve tested them and we know how
much is in every single dose that we give you and that’s the really important
thing. So what’s are bioidentical hormones? Because you will hear this all of the
time; it actually means exactly the same as body identical, in that the hormones
contained within them are completely the same as your hormones in your body. They
match your hormones, so in that respect they are actually the same
however they are absolutely not the same as the body identical’s available on
the NHS! Bioidentical hormone practitioners (and there are lots of them
out there) use preparations which are not regulated in any way by UK medicines
management. There are no standards of how much is in each
preparation and there is no real quality control. Quite often the practitioners use a
saliva test to check your hormone levels before before prescribing and there’s no
evidence that these saliva tests are accurate or give a true picture of your
hormone levels. The products that they give you, which are normally creams and
gels that rub in or tablets that dissolve under your tongue, are made in what’s called a compounding pharmacy. And these pharmacies, as I’ve
said, are not subject to the same standards or checking or regulations as
pharmacies that make these drugs (these are pharmaceutical companies). They are
custom made to you and there are combinations of the different hormones
so that oestrogen is mixed with progesterone or testosterone. And you
get an all-in-one cream that is made for you. This has appeal, and I can see why people want to do it, and it all sounds fabulous that it’s made exactly for you, in the right dose and the right combination. But there are several flaws.Firstly, as I’ve said, we don’t know exactly how much you’re getting each time and it’s the dose right? We also know that progesterone delivered through the skin in a cream may not give enough protection to your uterus and that’s the most important role for progesterone in HRT. There haven’t been enough tests or trials to actually prove
that it is adequate. And if it isn’t adequate, and you are using it for a
period of time, you’re putting yourself at risk of endometrial hyperplasia.
So the lining of your womb building up. And that can cause cancer. So it’s it’s
not an insignificant flaw, it’s important! And these creams often contain other non
tested or unlicensed drugs, for example DHEA, that you weren’t intending on
getting and don’t actually need, and that’s a major concern as well. There is
no evidence that these bioidentical hormones that are made up in compounding pharmacies are any more effective or have fewer side effects or are safer than the HRT that you can get from your GP; the body identical preparations are safe and tested. They’re very expensive, they’re potentially dangerous they’re unregulated and therefore they’re not necessary because with the right GP and the right information you can get the treatment you need with body identicals from them. The British Menopsause Society, which is a great resource for all of the studies and the research on what’s new and whats current, have actually looked at this in depth and I’ve got a quote here from them where they say; “These products are an unregulated compounded mixture of various hormones put together without
the vigorous licensing standards which apply to normal pharmaceutical products.
The FDA in America is concerned about the claims for safety, effectiveness and
superiority of these preparations that are made in compounding pharmacies
they have no proven efficacy or safety and their use is not recommended”. And the BMS is the go-to resource in the UK for practitioners and members alike to go to
for well research scientific evidence on all of these products. So I’m quite happy
with the research that I’ve looked at to actually make this video and you can see
from the statement from the BMS (which I’ll also put in the notes) that it’s not
just my view on here, it’s backed up by this research and science. So what’s the
answer? So the answer is yes – you need body identical hormones for the best HRT
result and the fewest side effects. Oestrogen delivered through the skin is
the safest and has the fewest bad estrogens to cause other problems which
is why there is no risk of DVT or stroke. Progesterone needs to be taken as a
tablet or vaginally, not delivered through the skin, for maximal safety.
Testosterone needs to be delivered through the skin. And if you have a
combination of these, if you need testosterone (and most women don’t), all of these products are available on the NHS. And they’re all tested, proven and safe. And I’m going to put a list of the different products that you can expect in the notes afterwards so that you’ve got a crib sheet should you need to go and have this conversation with your GP. So hopefully that’s clarified everything for you. And I hope it’s been useful. Please don’t
hesitate to ask me any questions at all at the end, and menopause always
generates lots of questions! And please suggest subjects that you’d like me to
cover for the future because I’m more than happy to do it! Take care and as ever thank you!