WTF!: Women Continue to Be Misled in Menopause (A Reaction to the NYT Magazine Article)
The New York Times Magazine recently published a front page article titled: “We Have Been Misled About Menopause,” which has been making waves for its coverage, yet the contents of the article FURTHER mislead women about their options for safe, hormone replacement therapy in menopause! (NOTE: this is a topic that is relevant to women in perimenopause also!).
Our founder, Hormone Health Educator, Candace Burch (MA), has been working in the hormone health field for over 25 years, including lobbying on Capitol hill in the early 2000’s, advocating for greater access to bioidentical (plant derived) hormones (OTC and prescription) in this country. These days, bioidentical hormones are available in various formulations and doses, and there are many FDA approved brands on the market, yet this article never mentions “bio-identical hormone replacement therapy” (BHRT) by name! Instead, it focuses solely on synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and significantly downplays its side effects and safety profile.
Bioidentical Hormones VS. Synthetic Hormones
Bioidentical hormones are designed to match the exact structure of our naturally-occurring hormones: like a key in a lock, they fit the cells of the body! Only a bio-identical hormone fits the hormone receptor of the cell perfectly so that the body recognizes that hormone as its own and knows what to do with it!
Synthetic hormones such as those found in HRT (Premarin/Prempro), birth control pills, hormonal IUD’s and/or hormone-injected meat and dairy are unnatural and considered by a growing number of researchers, physicians, scientists and other experts to be toxic to the human body. The primary reasoning for this stance being that these pharmaceutical hormones have a completely different molecular structure that does not properly “bind” to receptor sites at the cellular level where hormones do their work!
…Now back to the article: the author also omits the fact there are HIGH quality, peer-reviewed studies regarding the efficacy of bioidentical hormones, and she omits the importance of testing your hormones BEFORE introducing hormone replacement therapy! This is a dangerous omission, considering that supplementing with hormones of ANY kind will impact our natural balance of hormones, and thus, hormones should only be introduced if testing indicates a need (along with relevant symptoms). We work with many women who've been OVER prescribed hormones (often without being tested by their doc), which generally results in new and worsening symptoms that could have been avoided.
Our founder was so FIRED up about this article (and its omissions), that she wrote the editor of the New York Times Magazine requesting that a part 2 article be created to spotlight the benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She also recorded a NEW episode on her podcast “WTF: Women Talking Frankly,” along with her co-host, Kyle McAvoy, NP, in response to that article, where they breakdown the benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy! Tune into the episode HERE.
You can also listen to another recent podcast episode HERE with Dr Kenna Stephenson, M.D., a pioneering Family Medicine physician who has dedicated her life’s work to helping women in menopause find safer solutions for symptom relief and quality of life as we age, backed by science and rigorous research. This includes a discussion around Kenna’s landmark "CHOIICE" study that proves bioidentical hormones WORK and with a much better safety profile than synthetic HRT.
Finally, make sure to watch Candace’s full “WTF" rant (top of article), where she expands upon her issues with the NYT magazine article. (This is part of a new "WTF" series we’ll be doing on Instagram in response to issues facing women across the hormone health sphere! Make sure to follow us @yourhormonebalance so you don't miss a thing!
And if you’re a woman who has experienced the power of bioidentical, plant based hormones, we’d love to hear from you via the comments below! We also encourage you to write the New York Times Magazine Editor and echo our sentiments that bioidentical hormones deserve MORE of the spotlight!
(We’re team BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES all the way!)
REFERENCES / RESEARCH:
- Read our full article about the difference between HRT and BHRT HERE (including studies)
- The CHOIICE Study: “The effects of compounded bioidentical transdermal hormone therapy on hemostatic, inflammatory, immune factors; cardiovascular biomarkers; quality-of-life measures; and health outcomes in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23627249/
- The Gospel of Women's Health: Awakening Athena Again; Kenna Stephenson MD
- What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, John R. Lee, MD
- The Hormone Cure, Sara Gottfried MD
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