Thanks to recent published reports, specifically one entitled “The Hormone Hoax Thousands Fall For” in the October 2013 issue of More, assumptions about the safety of bio-identical hormone therapy (BHT) are again being called into question.
First comes the issue of the descriptor: bio-identical makes it sound safer, less synthetic than any manufactured counterpart, and more natural. But the reality is that none of those things is necessarily true. The report in More exposes the fact that a compounding pharmacy is usually involved in the production of BHT, and these facilities are simply not regulated, monitored or required to provide the appropriate disclosures that manufactured treatments must carry. This has led to the somewhat widespread belief that BHT is a far superior choice than traditional hormone therapy that undergoes stringent FDA approval processes.
I’m pleased to have been asked to comment for the article in More, as it gives me the chance to point out to patients that compounded BHT is not a better option, as is often assumed. It’s another one of those instances that demonstrate patients need to seek advice from a knowledgeable health professional who can provide direction based on real expertise. Without that, especially in the case of BHT, it is simply too easy to be influenced by marketing methods that fail to disclose some critical information.
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