With Respect to Hormone Health, the FDA Does Not Know All
When it comes to your hormone health, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is not God. So there: I said it out loud. When it comes to advocating for women and their health, I can be a real loud mouth. Somebody needs to be, otherwise, we will all be like sheep following the blind, who lead us all into a ditch.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating an adversarial relationship with the FDA. What I am saying is that just because something is FDA approved, does not mean it’s good for you or even remotely healthy. I’m also saying that just because something is not FDA approved, does not automatically mean it is bad for you either.
In fact, FDA approved doesn’t mean anything more than clinical studies have proven a drug, product, or device to be more helpful than harmful, for specific diseases and conditions. It also doesn’t guarantee that the drug, product, or device is 100% safe and effective either.
It is saying that it is sufficiently safe and effective when used within the limits defined by whatever testing it has undergone for “indications, side effects, and contraindications.” It also means that any risks or benefits of a drug, product, or device may change if tested in larger or more diverse groups of patients.
So what does this mean to you? Well, it means a lot, actually. When you are trying to decide if you want to use hormone replacement therapy for your perimenopause or menopause symptoms, having an understanding of what it means when something is said to be “FDA approved” is valuable information.
When you factor in that the medical community is split and divided over bioidentical hormones which are not FDA approved, versus those bioidentical hormones which have been FDA approved then this information is darn near priceless.
There are no easy answers when it comes to healthcare choices, I know. And if you’re anything like I am, trying to sort through volumes of information where “qualified experts” contradict each other right and left, it can be simply overwhelming.
This is all the more reason that we should take the time to educate ourselves before we try to make those decisions. While it is certainly helpful to have a regulatory agency such as the FDA to help us make those decisions; it is equally as helpful – in my view – to know that the information they provide is not written in stone.