Pardon Me, Newsweek, While I Disagree…

Hi there, it’s Stefani again! Yesterday, a good friend forwarded me an article from that made me want to throw my computer across the room. Titled “Uh, O!” the article was a rant about Oprah’s eye-opening shows regarding bio-identical hormones and hormone replacement therapy (or HRT). While I love a good controversy and respect the writers’ (Barbara Kantrowitz and Pat Wingert) opinions about Oprah, Suzanne Somers, hormone therapy and bioidenticals, I wanted to try and (as politely as possible), disagree with their points.

1 – Why didn’t Newsweek seek out any bioidentical hormone therapy doctors to comment?

Kantrowitz and Wingert only quoted OB/GYNs to back up their arguments. While their doctors are undeniably highly skilled professionals, they are not as learned in hormone replacement therapy, bio-identical or not, as strictly bio-identical hormone doctors. I’m sure one of them would have been happy to speak with the writers, and try to correct or amend some of their concerns about the Oprah shows.

Doctors such as Dr. Erika Schwartz, Dr. Kent Holtorf and Dr. David Brownstein are informing the public about the benefits of bio-identicals over traditional HRT through education and timely information. Their Bioidential Hormone Initiative speaks directly to the fears and misinformation raised by the media and other doctors, whom have put doubt into women’s minds about the right path to take regarding HRT. Did you read their Wall Street Journal article last week, Newsweek? I hope so!

2 – How much information CAN you squeeze into an hour-long show?

Kantrowitz and Wingert claim Oprah wasn’t well-rounded enough about disclosing results from health studies, personal stories and other information in her shows. Personally, I think Oprah did a great job putting the most relevant and exciting topics about bioidenticals and HRT out there. And you know how Oprah gets when she’s passionate about something, right? Oprah never claims to be the end-all about topics – she wants YOU to get psyched, so YOU can take the next step.

And what about completely ignoring the amazing amount of information available on-line, Oprah-haters? Sites like the group BodyLogicMD put so much info out there about bioidenticals and HRT. It’s only a click away from Oprah’s site – why couldn’t these writers give their readers similar information? By leaving one aspect out, they’re limiting their readership and are just as guilty as to what they’re accusing Oprah.

3 – Who’s “downplaying risks”?

The article sends readers to what they call “high quality studies” regarding hormones and cancer. Yes, cancer is down regarding the amount of time spent on HRT. But, what I’ve been reading is that the reason for lower cancer rates is also because fewer women are taking SYNTHETIC hormones. Considering how new bioidenticals are to the HRT scene, there aren’t enough women in the US taking bioidentical hormones at that time to even put a dent in that information.

Of course there are risks, just as there are risks taking any medication these days. It’s a patient’s right and responsibility to learn about these risks – as well as rewards! I thought Oprah did a great job trying to give the spotlight to every expert and every issue. And I think Suzanne Somers is a beacon of hope for so many women, to empower women about educating themselves and taking steps to making decisions about their bodies. And isn’t that the most important part? Why keep scaring women about attempting to better their health?

Now, I know I’m not any kind of expert, about hormones, Oprah, or Newsweek. But I am a women looking to get through a tough time in my life safely, comfortably, and the most informed. Perhaps Suzanne Somers and Oprah had a little better information than Newsweek was able to source.  After all, Oprah invited the “experts” to participate. Let’s hope women are taking all the information available to them, speaking to their doctors, and making up their own minds about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy!


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  • Wow-tak about a one sided article..The way they downplayed menopause, you would think it was like the common cold. Thank you for posting the WSJ article..a good balance..I have noticed that mainstream medicine is so threatened by “the lay person” All I know is if someone is telling me I can feel better than ever in my 50s after menopause, I am probably more apt to listen to that person than the eternal skeptic!

  • Interesting info. I always thought traditional HRT would be safer, but perhaps that isn’t necessarily the case. I need to do something for night sweats and hot flashes, but I’m not sure if it will be the bioidentical or traditional route.Perhaps I’ll just stick with my wicking pajamas instead.