Female Hormone Restoration

August 30, 2009

Well, it’s time to get back in the saddle.

I’ve been reluctant to get this post out there for many weeks. In large part because it covers a subject about which I have no direct experience and never will. I have an enormously healthy respect for the female endocrine system and bow down to its complexity and nuance. Us guys don’t have a clue. However, I have been getting more and more inquiries from the women in my life to share what I’ve learned over my years of reading about health issues.

I’m timing this post with the online availability of an extensive take on the bio-identical hormone replacement issue from Life Extension Foundation. Many of you may remember that the goddess of daytime TV herself, Oprah Winfrey, took on this issue (quite courageously, in my opinion) back in January. She clearly promoted the idea that the decline in hormone creation that comes with peri-menopause and menopause can be offset (carefully and under the care of a knowledgeable physician) by using compounds that are identical to those synthesized by your own endocrine system (hence the term bio-identical). This is in contrast with the FDA-approved (and quite often detrimental) compounds synthesized from the hormones of horses that do not have a chemical structure like those hormones circulating in human beings.

For this, she gets slammed by Newsweek (whose major advertisers include pharmaceutical makers) for putting forth Crazy Talk.

Life Extension has Oprah’s back. If you have any interest in this topic please carefully read this recent article at Life Extension that goes into considerable detail on this controversy and provides a good foundation for understanding the issues pertaining to female hormone restoration.

If you want to go into more depth, there are a couple of authors whose work I’ve read helped me understand the complexities in my own simple way – and I think might have much better guidance than I can give you:

The Natural Hormone Makeover: 10 Steps to Rejuvenate Your Health and Rediscover Your Inner Glow

I consider Dr. Cohan a mentor even though I’ve never met her. It is primarily through her work I came to understand how little I knew. But once I read it I was hooked. She goes into substantive detail about how to best manage your hormone balance (for women at any age) to ensure optimum health and get maximum energy.

The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Testosterone: How to Revitalize Your Sexuality, Strength and Stamina

One of those unfortunately-titled books, because it’s about way more than testosterone, but I think the publisher thought it might sell better with the title. I like it as a complement to Dr. Cohan’s book because it covers much of the same material from a different angle.

There are other books out there too: The Venus Week, several of Dr. Christiane Northrup’s books that provide other points of view, but for my money Dr. Cohan strikes the right balance on a number of fronts.

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