During my drive to work today, I received a phone call (with my ‘hands free cell’) from a close work colleague pertaining to new regulations from Medicare. We were discussing very boring stuff actually, and not the content of this blog. While talking about these potential new regulations, my dear friend used the word “Radical” describing the type of treatment of Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy (NHRT). The word ‘Radical’ seemed quite strong to me as descriptive of NHRT. Since she was a very close friend of mine, I questioned the use of that word. Integrative, Complimentary, Non-Traditional, or even Alternative would be terms that could be swallowed easily, but ‘Radical’?
My friend was not offended naturally, as she is reaping the benefits of hormonal restoration and balancing since she understands how and why it works and its safety. What did offend me, and does every time I see natural hormone replacement referred to in the main stream media as radical, snake oil, untested, not FDA approved, or my favorite innuendo, “Maverick” therapy!
Whenever these types of comments and articles attempt to discredit NHRT, I quickly remember the words of one of the founders of NHRT in the U.S. In the Introduction of one of his more famous books, “The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones” by Dr. Michael Platt, and I am paraphrasing here, stated; “It would seem to me that I am not the one using Experimental or Alternative Medicine by replacing what was natural in the human body. The physicians who hand out chemical mixtures that are totally foreign to the human body would be the ones using Experimental or Alternative Medicine!” I am always calmed when that thought comes to me.
I want to make myself perfectly clear here, as these statements could be taken out of context or interpreted in the incorrect manner. I am not in any way discrediting the miraculous discoveries, scientific development and the successes of modern medicine. There have been tremendous advances, cures and treatments developed by what is commonly referred to as Conventional Medicine. Beginning with Aspirin, (Hmmmm, that was used as early as 400 B.C. derived from the bark and leaves of the willow tree) to Penicillin, the first real antibiotic (Hmmmmm, derived from a naturally occurring fungus) to the incredibly complex chemical formulations used in today’s medical world that treat, cure, and save countless lives. These scientific achievements should be supported wholeheartedly with the hope of more success as time marches on.
But, when words such as radical are used to describe the completely natural treatment of Menopause, Andropause, Hypothyroidism, etc., it is quite erroneous. History has shown us that medications that have withheld the test of time were derived from natural substances. There are many more medicines, currently used, that originated from natural sources, in fact way too many to bore you with.
Perhaps I am too concerned with semantics of the English language, but I think not. It is this incorrect ‘name calling’ that will make many people shy away from NHRT and go in favor of Experimental Medicine’s “Black Box Warning” synthetic hormones for treatment. It is my hope that these descriptive names do not hinder the continued growth of the safe and effective treatment that NHRT gives.