066: Confused About Bio-Identical Hormones During Menopause? w/ Dr. Edwin Lee

Controversy and Clinical Insights into the Health Effects and Breast Cancer

Today on Couch Talk I am talking with Dr. Edwin Lee. He is a past Couch Talk guest and one of the best physicians I know.

And we’re talking about one of my favorite topics, the use of bio-identical hormones in the treatment of menopausal symptoms in women.

Couch Talk with Dr. Edwin Lee

Dr. Lee believes that the best way to treat hormonal imbalance is by natural bio-identical hormone therapy. Natural hormones are the exact and identical hormones that are made in your body (versus synthetic hormones which are not chemically structured the same as in your body).

He feels that the use of bioidentical hormones with estradiol, estriol, progesterone, and or testosterone in women is essential, whereas the use of testosterone in men is crucial to prevent early mortality.

Dr. Lee combines functional medicine to determine the root problem with the use of bioidentical hormones to help his patients achieve wellness – along with an emphasis on improving on diet, lifestyle, and nutrition.

Listen to the interview:

A Great Way to Kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

It’s the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month, so this Couch Talk interview was very well timed!

We talked a lot about our own patient and clinical outcomes over our decades of combined practices in using bio-identical hormones to treat hot flashes, depression, anxiety, mood swings, vaginal atrophy and other symptoms commonly seen in menopause. We also talked a lot about the confusion relating to breast cancer risk.

In this interview, you will learn,

  • Why Dr. Lee tells his menopausal patients that menopause itself is a dangerous disease with a higher rate of Alzheimer’s or dementia, heart disease, and osteoporosis…and what he feels they can do to prevent all of this.
  • The importance of both an individual patient’s ability to detox and their current lifestyle (diet, exercise, sleep, etc.) in determining the right menopausal treatment plan for them.
  • Why he doesn’t recommend oral estrogen therapy (Premarin, Prempro) ever be used.
  • Why bio-identical progesterone is truly the “wonder hormone” that helps with sleep, anxiety, irritability, PMS…and more…and how it is protective against breast cancer (and could save your marriage!)
  • Why oral synthetic progesterone (Provera) is a bad choice, clearly linked to increasing the risk of strokes and heart disease.
  • Why just taking a hormone is never enough (hint: you need to improve your lifestyle decisions)!
  • What plant-based estrogen SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator) Dr. Lee has recommended that helps with hot flashes (and is safe).

And We Covered So Much More!


prevent breast cancer

Why is it that less than 1% of women who have taken HRT therapy in his clinical practice have developed breast cancer (compared to 11% of women developing breast cancer in the general population)?

We discussed both of our clinical observations as to what the answer to this might be.

Finally, we talked about our “polite disagreements” with the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (of which Dr. Lee is a member) recently stating in a position paper that they do not recommend the use of bio-identical hormone therapy in many cases… What? Well...we both feel that endocrinologists already use bio-identical hormone therapy all of the time for standard care with insulin, cortisol, thyroid, progesterone, testosterone, transdermal estradiol, etc.! So what is going on in this position paper? Is it the definition of what is “synthetic” versus “natural”? Is it a bit of bias from the Big Pharm companies? Such an interesting discussion with my favorite endocrinologist!

Meet Dr. Edwin Lee

A little bit about Dr. Edwin Lee, and I hope you’ll listen to our interview in the audio posted above!

He’s board-certified in internal medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism, and has completed special training in regenerative and functional medicine.

He is an author and an international speaker and educator. Dr. Lee founded the Institute for Hormonal Balance in 2008. Currently, he is the Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine.

Feel Good Look Younger

In addition to writing his books, including two awesome children’s books, one called, Your Awesome Brain, and the other is Your Amazing Heart—I highly recommend these—he’s written, for those of us that really want to get a better understanding on hormones, a couple of other books.

One is called Feel Good, Look Younger: Reversing Tiredness Through Hormonal Balance, and the book, Your Best Investment: Secrets to a Healthy Body and Mind. 

Dr. Lee has also published many articles on internal medicine and endocrinology. He is an author in the fourth edition of Textbook of Critical Care. He’s an active member of the Age Management Medicine Group and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology.

Find out more about Dr. Lee

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Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dr. Anna Cabeca

Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging and Integrative Medicine expert and founder of The Girlfriend Doctor. During Dr. Anna’s health journey, she turned to research to create products to help thousands of women through menopause, hormones, and sexual health. She is the author of best-selling The Hormone Fix, and Keto-Green 16 and MenuPause.

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