Q 1. What is a Compounding Chemist?
A Compounding Chemist is a pharmacist who is specifically trained to prepare tailor-made medications to suit the exact requirements of a particular patient. Over the past 50 years this skill has all but disappeared from the modern chemist, being replaced by medications which are mass produced by large mult-national pharmaceutical companies. Visionary Health Compounding Chemist has modern compounding laboratories with advanced equipment to individualise a medication required.
Q 2. Why Compound?
Visionary Health can:
- Provide products such as natural hormones, pain control medications and dermatological preparations not otherwise available
- Prepare medications free of preservatives, dyes, chemical allergens and intolerances such as salicylates, lactose and the like
- Vary strengths of “commercial” medications
- Prepare palatable flavoured dosage forms for children, pets etc.
- Prepare older discontinued lines such as Milk of Magnesia, Edinburgh Camphor Cream, Colourless Iodine etc.
Q 3. What is Progesterone?
Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone produced in the ovaries and is essential for many vital functions of the human body. Progesterone relieves pre-menstrual tension, menopausal symptoms like hot flushes, and night sweats; it reduces osteoporosis and improves mood. In addition, progesterone enhances fat breakdown and prevents blood clots, reduces carbohydrate craving that may promote obesity and cardiovascular risk. Natural progesterone comes as a cream, capsule, troche or pessary.
Q 4. What are bio-identical hormones?
Bio-identical or natural hormones are hormones identical to those made by the human body in the ovaries, testes and adrenal glands in woman and men. Typical bio-identical hormones are Progesterone, Oestrogen, Testosterone, DHEA, Thyroid, Pregnenolone, Melatonin and Cortisol. These prescription only hormones are prescribed by medical practitioners in order to supplement the body’s declining production and therefore restore the normal physiological level. In the last century, normal endogenous production of hormones has declined as a result of industrialisation, pollution and stress. Synthetic hormone tablets have to be converted by the body to natural hormones in order to work and often unwanted side-effects are exhibited.
Q 5. Is Progesterone safe?
Pro-gest-erone stands for – Gestation Hormone, which is produced by the ovaries during the second half of the menstrual cycle to help prepare a woman’s uterus for a possible pregnancy. During pregnancy Progesterone levels rise 10-20 times the normal cyclical level to prevent miscarriage. No other human hormone shows this degree of variation and safety. It is often referred to as the “happy hormone”, demonstrating signs of soft glowing skin, soft hair and happy disposition, as are seen in pregnancy. Progesterone pessaries are an integral part of the IVF programme.
A lack of progesterone after childbirth has been implicated in patients who suffer from post-natal depression.
Q 6. What are the benefits of Progesterone compared to synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?
Natural Progesterone, a naturally occurring steroid hormone in both men and women, is essential for many vital functions of the human body. It is an exact chemical copy of the progesterone produced by the body with little, if any, side-effects. Synthetic HRT contains synthetic man made progestogens and oestrogens which increase risks of abnormal bleeding, fluid retention, nausea, depression and cancer. The 2002 Women’s Health Initiative Studies showed increased risks to women on synthetic HRT.
By contrast, natural progesterone is used throughout Europe and the United States anti-ageing clinics, in IVF clinics and by holistic doctors world wide with pleasing results. In Visionary Health we have witnessed thousands of patients who have benefited from natural progesterone and bio-identical HRT. Mimicking mother natures design, using bio-identical hormones, must be a safer and more natural alternative than man made or horse derived hormones.
Q 7. What can help me with hot flushes, night sweats, ‘fuzzy’ thinking, poor sleep, mood swings, irritability?
Symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause are treated effectively by firstly determining hormone levels with blood tests and then, secondly, restoring any imbalance of hormones to normal physiological levels with bio-identical hormones. Fine tuning of various natural hormone combinations has successfully hormonally balanced hundreds of thousands of women. Side-effects are minimal and will disappear with dosage modifications by the medical practitioner.
Q 8. How do I change from synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to natural hormones?
A slow transition from powerful synthetic HRT to natural human hormones may be necessary to reduce the risk of the body going into shock. A medical practitioner, trained in this area, can calculate the bio-identical hormones one’s body needs. Once the new natural hormone prescription is started, the dependence on synthetic HRT can be gradually reduced. Dr. John Lee, a world authority on natural progesterone, recommends reduction of the HRT by 1/3 (one third) each month.
Q 9. Will bio-identical hormones make me gain weight?
Weight gain is due to an imbalance between oestrogen levels and progesterone – testosterone levels and possibly diminished thyroid hormone production. If one has an excess of oestrogen production, the body may gain weight easily (as if one was taking cortisone) and it would be difficult to lose weight. This can be overcome by using progesterone, which helps use fat for energy and helps normalise blood sugar levels. When bio-identical hormones are taken as part of natural hormone therapy, they are balanced and so no weight gain will occur.
Q 10. Why does my medical practitioner not believe in nor recommend bio-identical hormones?
Synthetic HRT was discovered in the 1950s and patented by large multi-national companies. During the last 50 years medical practitioners have been shown the “benefits” of patented HRT by powerful wealthy multi-national companies who do not elaborate on the long term risks. These same companies are quick to denigrate natural hormones to medical practitioners as rubbish. One would question why the human body manufactures these natural hormones itself. One would also question whether these powerful multi-national companies are more interested in their profit than the risk to your health?
Q 11. Why do I feel so tired and why am I losing so much hair? The doctor said my thyroid levels are normal.
When the ovaries shut down during menopause, the production of many hormones, including thyroid hormone, are diminished. The hormones of the thyroid gland regulate metabolism in every cell of the body. The medical treatment for hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) usually involves a prescription of synthetic thyroid hormone (thyroxine or T4). It is generally assumed that one has a problem converting the inactive T4 hormone to the active thyroid hormone T3 but this is not always the case.
Some people, whose T4 levels are normal, still experience fatigue, lack of energy, difficulty losing weight and lose more hair than normal. These cases clearly benefit from Visionary Health’s compounded desiccated thyroid extract capsules containing T4 and T3 in the correct ratio. A consultation with Visionary Health’s naturopath can clarify this.
Q 12. What is the difference between a troche and a cream?
A troche is a compounded hormone lozenge formulated to a patient’s exact requirements. This slowly dissolves in the cheek cavity to absorb bio-identical hormones and other medicines across the mucous membranes into the blood stream. A troche generally takes 30 minutes to dissolve in the mouth and should not be actively sucked like a sore throat lozenge.
A hormone cream, formulated to an individual’s requirements, transports solubilised hormones in its transdermal base across the skin into the blood stream. A dosage applicator accurately measures the cream which is rubbed into soft tissue areas such as inner arms, face and neck or upper chest. Creams should be rubbed in for 30 seconds after the skin appears dry and then the hands washed. Serum levels, following cream administration, are maintained for a longer period than when troches are used and less hormone bypasses the stomach and liver.
Both troches and transdermal creams are regarded as modern transport vehicles and medical practitioners will prescribe one or the other administration, according to his/her professional experience. If one form does not give the required result, he/she will change. In some circumstances, capsules containing micronised hormones may be prescribed. In a patient undergoing IVF, pessaries containing bio-identical progesterone are administered.
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