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Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Know the Risks

It has been interesting following bio-identical hormone therapy in the news media lately. There have been at a minimum three Oprah shows, and an



It has been interesting following bio-identical hormone therapy in the news media lately. There have been at a minimum three Oprah shows, and an article in the February issue of O magazine. Suzanne Somers has been writing about this for years, and one of her latest books focuses on this topic primarily. Having graduated 20 years ago this summer from naturopathic medical school and prescribing these medicines for almost as long, it has been fascinating to see how this treatment modality is reaching a fever pitch pace. From clinical experience there is much more to this than simply "Hormone replacement therapy."

Bio-identical hormones are a treatment modality used to treat women and men of all ages with hormonal imbalance. Patients, both men and women, are looking to feel and be in their best health whether in their 20's, 30's, 40's or beyond. For many patients with the philosophy of prevention, bio-identical hormones have been just the next step in their health care treatment plan in optimizing health and wellness.

However, just because these medicines are "natural," it does not make them benign, or without risk factors. It is important to have a comprehensive evaluation including labs, paps, mammograms, PSA's, DEXA scans, coronary and carotid artery screenings, etc. to diagnose and treat the individual case. Choosing a clinically competent physician, experienced and trained in this area is important.

As more attention is focused on the role of how and why metabolic and hormonal balance is so important in the treatment and prevention of chronic disease, for example, in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, fertility and Alzheimer's, I believe bio-identical hormone therapy has become a standard treatment option for many patients. Suzanne Somers says: "Restoration or Deterioration." I would offer "Balance, Prevention, and Restoration."

Evelyn Brust, ND L.Ac

Westside Family Clinic

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