The Miracle of Bio-identical Hormones – An Interview with Michael E. Platt, M.D.
Michael E. Platt, M.D. is a bio-identical hormone expert and wellness physician. Unlike most physicians, Dr. Platt believes in being pro-active and treating the causes of illness rather than solely the symptoms. He has successfully helped patients relinquish medications and use natural bio-identical hormones to increase health in his patients. He has devoted thirty-four years to balancing hormones. Dr. Platt explains the Miracle of Bio-identical Hormones in an in depth interview.
Welcome, Dr. Platt. To begin, could you give us a definition of “bio-identical hormones” for readers who are not familiar with the term?
Dr. Platt__Bio-identical hormones are molecularly identical to the hormones the body produces; they are readily recognizable to the body and can reproduce the same functions.
Dr. Platt, would you tell us a little bit about your medical background and education and how you became interested in bio-identical hormones?
Dr. Platt__I went to medical school at N.Y. Medical College and did my internship and residency in Washington, D.C. at Washington Hospital Center. I practice Internal Medicine. I started out my career working with various HMO’s because in the old days their “reason for being” was preventive medicine. When insurance companies bought them out, preventive medicine was thrown out and it became “managed care.”
This was their way of saying: what’s the least amount of money we can spend and still keep the patient alive? Subsequently, I worked at various medical groups, became a hospitalist, and also took care of a large number of convalescent home patients. The latter ingrained in me a strong appreciation for preventive medicine. Putting everything together–my work in clinics, hospitals, convalescent homes–gave me a strong exposure to traditional medicine. It became clear that medicine practiced this way often ignores the causation of illness. This led me into the world of bio-identical hormone therapy.
I understand balancing hormones is still not a common topic in medical school, yet you have devoted most of your life to studying it. Why do you think it hasn’t gained more attention?
Dr. Platt__Most doctors appear to be more comfortable with advice provided by drug companies. Since bio-identical hormones are natural and cannot be patented, drug companies have no interest in promoting them for health. As you may or may not be aware, almost everything doctors learn in medical school is based on research done by drug companies. Needless to say, there is no mention of bio-identical hormones. In spite of this, the popularity of Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy (BHT) will continue to grow due to patient demand and successful BHT outcomes with patients.
The subtitle to your book is “how I lost my fatigue, hot flashes, ADHD, ADD, fibromyalgia, PMS, osteoporosis, weight, sexual dysfunction, anger migraines.” Would you give us an example or a success story detailing how balancing hormones has helped someone with one of these ailments?
Dr. Platt__I approach a patient’s problem from the cause; I do not prescribe band-aids. Hormones control every system in the body so it is easy to see there are a lot of medical conditions that can be positively influenced by getting hormones into balance. Throughout my book, patients tell their own stories about being un-well and how hormones have restored them to optimum health. Instead of relating a particular example of a specific patient who was helped, please allow me to approach your question from a different direction.
The majority of patients who come to me with “incurable” diseases often have a condition known as ADHD. ADHD may be one of the most unrecognized and misunderstood of all medical conditions. It is a condition that has been misrepresented by the medical community as many doctors do not actually focus on or understand its underlying cause.
I approach ADHD strictly from a hormonal aspect, since it represents an imbalance of hormones–too much adrenaline, too much insulin, and too little progesterone. It is possible to eliminate this condition, in many cases, within 24 hours. The reason I mention this particular condition is that it is associated with many other conditions such as fibromyalgia, restless leg syndrome, bipolar disorder, rage problems, endometriosis, prostate cancer, and type II diabetes. When you view it from this perspective you can appreciate right away how restoring hormone balance can be life altering.
Dr. Platt, you have been described as a physician who is not a favorite of pharmaceutical companies. What do you see are the dangers of large pharmaceutical companies and their relationship with the medical field?
Dr. Platt__The medical system in the U.S. is a multi-trillion dollar a year industry. It thrives on profits it makes from disease and illness, not on wellness. It provides millions of jobs, if you include all the ancillary industries involved with medical care. The medical system also provides a huge source of tax revenue for the government, so there is no incentive to change things. If people want to be healthy, they must become pro-active about their health and not rely on an industry that is not dedicated to their well-being. Drug companies obviously have no interest in a person who is healthy; and drug companies have almost complete control over how most doctors practice medicine.
You have expressed frustration that pharmaceutical companies fund much of the research being done, but research is seldom done on natural hormone supplements because no patents are available for these products and patents are where the real money is. Could you explain why patents aren’t available for these products, and do you have any suggestions for how this matter can be resolved?
Dr. Platt__It is estimated that prescription drugs are perhaps the leading cause of death in this country. The body cannot recognize synthetic chemicals; synthetic chemicals can create toxicity in the body. The body can recognize natural products and can accept them according to need.
The issue of synthetic vs. natural will slowly be resolved through patient education. Please be aware that although my book addresses some of these issues, it is not intended to be a diatribe against the medical field; I am proud to be a practicing internist. I include discussion of these issues to outline part of the reason some people are not well.
I understand one of your major concerns is about estrogen replacement. Would you elaborate on that issue, please?
Dr. Platt__Estrogen, to my way of thinking, is a toxic hormone. It can cause six different cancers in women, as well as strokes and heart attacks. It causes women to have cramps, PMS, and migraine headaches with their period, and can cause fibroids, endometriosis, fibrocystic disease, gall bladder disease, asthma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Interestingly, women never stop making estrogen. So why is this hormone being replaced with such regularity in light of the fact that it is such a toxic hormone? The only hormone that has to be replaced is progesterone–a hormone that prevents every downside of estrogen.
I understand the issue of estrogen has a personal connection to you in relation to your mother. Would you mind telling our audience a little bit about your mother’s illness and how it affected you?
Dr. Platt__My mother died at the age of 61 of breast cancer. She had been estrogen dominant her whole life, developed fibroids, had a hysterectomy and was subsequently placed on Premarin. At the time of her death I was looking toward the causation of illness. It was readily apparent that estrogen was the contributing factor for her problems. However, I put a number of things together and realized the cause of her problems was actually lack of progesterone–even to this day an unknown hormone to most doctors.
My mother had a large abdomen, but no fat on her extremities. The only hormone that can cause this is insulin. Could her increased estrogen and increased insulin be related? Shortly after her death, I had what you might call an epiphany. I remembered that men and women have identical hormones. I suddenly realized I had inherited her low progesterone because my whole life I had been over-producing insulin (daytime fatigue, sleepy when driving, craving sugar, fighting weight, ADD in school, etc.) At this point I started using natural, bio-identical progesterone and my whole life changed course. Needless to say, my mother’s illness had a profound effect on what I do today.
The second edition of “The Miracle of Bio-identical Hormones” is being released this summer. Why did you feel a need for a second edition?
Dr. Platt__The second edition was primarily the result of my reading about a tragic event that occurred in December, 2006, in Massachusetts. A beautiful four-year old girl died of an overdose of medication she was receiving to treat her “bipolar disorder.” Both of her parents were arrested and will stand trial for the child’s death.
The child was more than likely ADHD. Her doctor had been treating her with dangerous prescription drugs for two years and apparently had never seen her. The people at her school, as well as the social service department that was following her case, apparently observed she was being overdosed. The pharmacist, as reported, provided refills of the medications, apparently every other day, another example of overdosage.
The question is, who is responsible? The parents? The whole medical/social system? Were the parents even aware their daughter might have ADHD? I approach maladies such as ADHD and bi-polar disorder, from a hormonal aspect. I believe I am able to heal patients such as this little girl with natural bio-identical hormones. As far as I know, I may be the only physician in the world who approaches such challenging conditions with this protocol. Note: It is a documented fact that thousands of children a year die from prescription drug overdoses for a disorder few doctors seem to understand.
So, I felt it was necessary to share my approach to this condition, and I added more about it in the second edition. In addition, I added a chapter about osteoporosis. In my opinion, women’s bodies and emotions become brutalized with the use of medications such as Fosamax, Actonel and Binova, all of which actually prevent bone from healing.
Dr. Platt, your work remains controversial and the pharmaceutical companies remain powerful. Do you think there is hope for change in the near future? Is the future of medicine going to be pro-active and about preventive medicine?
Dr. Platt__My work is certainly controversial because I take people off their drugs and put them on bio-identical hormones. Prescription drugs are the leading cause of death and morbidity–this is the standard of care. As long as drug companies continue to tell doctors how to practice medicine, this will not change. However, I predict there will be a ground swell of people who will rebel against the status quo, and many doctors will give in and grudgingly change the way they practice. Again, not because they embrace it, but because their patients will demand it. I love medicine. It is very rewarding to have a patient say to me, “Doc, in my entire life I have never felt so good.” I hear this all the time; traditional doctors never hear this. So yes, people will become proactive about their health and will become aware of the power of preventive medicine.
Thank you, Dr. Platt, for being here today. Do you have any last advice you would like to give to our readers?
Dr. Platt__In “The Miracle of Bio-identical Hormones,” my patients share their own stories; they describe how they felt before arriving in my office, and how their lives transformed once they got off medications and received bio-identical hormones. I carefully explain, in a reader-friendly way, why they may not be well, and, how they can get better. Readers will be able to identify with many of my patients. Hopefully, they will receive the understanding that they too can achieve wellness.
To learn more about Bio-Identical Hormone Therapies,
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