Bioidentical Hormone Replacement
Article By: Dr. Fred Bloem
As people age, their hormone levels decline, starting in their twenties and thirties. In addition, toxins and other insults from the environment and food supply are believed to contribute to the development of hormonal imbalances.
Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are identical to those that the body makes on its own. Some are available through regular retail pharmacies. Others are only available through compounding pharmacies. The main advantages of bioidentical hormones are that they are very well tolerated and that they have no side effects when they are properly dosed and integrated in a holistic treatment plan. This cannot be said of non-bioidentical “hormones”, such as Premarin®, PremPro®, and Provera®, that most physicians prescribe. We should avoid using the term hormones when we refer to these non-bioidentical chemicals. These chemicals have many known side effects, in many cases even at the “recommended dosage levels.” Most people do not realize that treatment with non-bioidentical chemicals cannot even be monitored properly because physicians and laboratories do not offer testing for drugs like Premarin®, PremPro®, and Provera®. We certainly don’t know what the optimal levels of horse estrogens are in human beings!
THE WILEY PROTOCOL®
When I first started helping my patients with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy I used non-rhythmic, statically dosed protocols. What this meant in the context of replacement of estrogens and progesterone was that I used the same dosages of estradiol (with or without estriol and estrone) and progesterone for specified number of days in a 28- to 30-day cycle.
In February 2007 I started treating patients with the Wiley Protocol®. The Wiley Protocol® is different in that the dosing of estradiol and progesterone is not static. Instead, the dosages of estradiol and progesterone change cyclically, following either a woman’s personal cycle (if she still has a regular menstrual cycle) or the cycle of the moon (lunar cycle) if has stopped having periods or her menstrual cycle is irregular.
In a healthy young woman the levels of estradiol and progesterone are low on day 1 of the cycle. Estradiol levels rise gradually during the follicular phase, peak on day 12, and drop abruptly on day 13. After ovulation and after development of the corpus luteum the progesterone levels start rising on day 14, peak on day 21, and finally decrease gradually over the next 7 days if a woman does not get pregnant. When a woman is on the Wiley Protocol® the hormone levels follow the pattern that we see in healthy young women. My patients have responded very well to this protocol, especially in cases where they did not respond to other types of hormone replacement therapy.
The Wiley Protocol® has been found to be beneficial for women of all ages who experience signs and symptoms related to disorders of reproductive function. These include women with a diagnosis of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), endometriosis, uterine fibroids, PMS (premenstrual syndrome), irregular periods, painful periods, heavy periods, infertility, hot flashes, insomnia, and acne.
The main reasons that patients have responded so well is that I carefully monitor my patients’ signs and symptoms and hormone levels on day 12 and day 21 of the menstrual cycle. Unlike other methods of bioidentical hormone replacement, women of all ages who follow the Wiley Protocol® will have a period every month unless they don’t have a uterus. More than 90% of female patients who are bioidentical hormone replacement therapy are on the Wiley Protocol® because it results in superior symptom relief and because the cyclical dosing schedule makes sense to them intuitively and physiologically. For postmenopausal women who prefer not to have a menstrual period every month again I offer statically dosed therapy.
The following rhythmic, bioidentical Wiley Protocol hormones are available:
- Wiley Protocol Estradiol and Progesterone for Women
- Wiley Protocol Testosterone for Women
- Wiley Protocol Thyroid for Women (transdermal)
- Wiley Protocol Face Creme for Men and Women
- Wiley Protocol for Men (includes Testosterone and DHEA)
- Wiley Protocol Growth Hormone for Men and Women
- Wiley Protocol SNOOZE to support healthy sleep
- Wiley Protocol SPARC for adrenal support
OTHER BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES
Often patients are deficient in other hormones, such as thyroid hormone, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, and growth hormone. I offer bioidentical therapies for these hormonal imbalances as well.
Dr. Fred Bloem has a holistic and integrative medical practice in Olney, Maryland. He specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement, nutritional therapies, the HCG Diet Protocol for treatment of obesity, NeuroModulation Technique. In addition, he offers raw and living food instruction and maggot debridement therapy for wound healing.