Hormone Replacement Standard of Care
Medicine is one of the last hierarchal systems in the modern world in which an elite at the top still set the standards for the rest of the group. In this guild system, when a researcher, doctor, or academician make a pronouncement, it is rarely challenged by the specialists and family physicians who will, in turn, direct the course of treatment in their patients. As a patient seeking a chosen treatment, you will rarely challenge the wisdom of your doctor because, as a patient, you assume that visiting your doctor means an expert opinion garnered from a wealth of sources.
When you go to the doctor for natural estrogen and progesterone to be prescribed in a cyclical rhythm, it won't be an easy feat because your doctor's mentors have indicted synthetic hormones as the go-to hormones. To physicians who have been educated by the researcher/doctor/academician (who is most often paid by a drug company), the hormones most readily available are synthetic. Doctors think there is only one way to supplement hormones, and are not given any information to the contrary in medical school. Not only has your physician not been made aware of any other kind of hormone replacement, she has no instructions on how to prescribe or monitor them. This happens because there are very few studies conducted on women using natural hormones. Most hormone research studies involve rodents and low, static dose synthetic hormones. Pharmaceutical companies fund research they can make a bundle on through patents. You can't patent a natural substance like dirt, water, air, or plants so why would the drug companies fund studies on something they couldn't make a great deal of money on? There have been millions of studies conducted on synthetic hormones because of drug company funding, but unfortunately, this is what sets the standard of care for hormone replacement therapy in medicine.
Standard of care is a medical or psychological treatment guideline, and can be general or specific. It specifies appropriate treatment based on scientific evidence and collaboration between medical and/or psychological professionals involved in the treatment of a given condition. Doctors are told which prescriptions to write for every condition, including hormones based on pharmaceutical companies biased "studies" that do not include bioidentical hormones. Our standard of care isn't getting to the root cause and fixing it naturally. Basically, the standard of care in our country is about treating the symptoms of the disease with the pills the drug companies dictate, but keep the patient ill.
The standard of care for hormone replacement therapy in this country is to give the patient the lowest dose possible of a synthetic hormone to treat the maximun amount of symptoms, but keep her in a state if hormone deficency. A more reasonable standard of care for HRT is to restore hormones to healthy levels, with bioidentical hormones, and dose them in a cyclic method mimicking a woman's own cycle. When women go to their doctors and tell them they want something other than Premerin or Prepro for HRT, the doctor will tell her it's not the standard of care and prescribe a synthetic alternative. Teresa Wiley wrote a book entitled Sex, Lies, and Menopause that discusses the truth about synthetic hormones, and the benefits of natural ones. She is a pioneer in gathering the data needed to shed light on this subject. It's a must-read for any woman who is doing her own research for the truth about hormones and hormone replacement therapy.
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