The Bioidentical Debate

When Oprah, Robin McGraw and Dr. Christiane Northrup started a national conversation about hormone replacement therapy (HRT), they struck a nerve with women all across the country. “We heard you loud and clear,” Oprah says. “You’re sick and tired of feeling awful.” In The Great Debate: Should You Replace Your Hormones?, Oprah said all women over 35 will eventually face hormone imbalance, which can cause you to feel flat and tired. “This is about your hormones being out of whack, and you don’t even know—we haven’t had the language to talk about it yet,” she said. “All women need to be armed with this information.” During the conversation, Robin McGraw, Dr. Phil’s wife, opened up about her own experience with HRT, saying she went from feeling tired and lifeless to feeling vibrant. Dr. Northrup, author of The Wisdom of Menopause, helped navigate the HRT maze, breaking down the basics of menopause, perimenopause and bioidentical versus synthetic hormones. “‘Bioidentical’ means it matches exactly the molecular structure of the hormone that your own body produces,” she said. “[Synthetic hormones are] made from horse urine and are natural for a horse, but they’re synthetic for a human body. … It has completely different effects, [but] many women do well on these.” Get more answers about HRT. After the initial dialogue, thousands of women wrote in to The Oprah Show to say enough is enough, and they are ready to take charge of their health. The conversation isn’t over, Oprah says. “There’s so much to learn,” she says. “Is it right for you?” As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.