Recently a dear friend of mine, a lawyer, called because her sister-in-law was experiencing dire throat neuropathy secondary to chemotherapy treatment for pancreatic cancer. My friend wanted to know if there were any natural treatments that might reduce the discomfort and allow her sister-in-law to eat normally again. Answer? Natural biologically-identical progesterone.

Progesterone has long been regarded as mainly a female hormone, but now a growing appreciation of the diverse physiological actions of progesterone reveal its use in a variety of disorders in men, women, and sometimes even in children.

A review article, from researchers at several Departments of Pharmacology associated with medical schools in India, presents emerging uses of progesterone therapy. This article focuses on research highlighting novel uses of progesterone in disorders of central and peripheral nervous system for both men and women.

Progesterone has potential benefit in treatment of traumatic brain injury, various neurological disorders like neuropathies, male-related diseases like benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), prostate cancer, and even osteoporosis.

Progesterone is presently being tested for traumatic brain injury and recently entered Phase III trials, administered intravenously (in the bioidentical form) to boys, girls, men and women with acute head trauma. Progesterone replacement is also being looked at in Alzheimer’s disease, diabetic neuropathy, stroke, and the treatment of nicotine addiction and crush injuries. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2012

This article highlights a new era in the use of hormone replacement for disease and disorders, not just for peri-, post- and andropausal issues. Hormone replacement is no longer limited to mid and later life to treat aging issues.

For many years, multiple illnesses were thought to occur mainly in adults, so they were labeled “adult onset chronic degenerative diseases.” These included diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and even heart disease. These are now being seen in younger and younger children. They are no longer only adult diseases.

The same is happening with hormones. Hormone issues were mainly thought to occur in adults, too. But, this perception is changing. We are seeing hormonal deficiencies, imbalances, and disorders in younger and younger children, and in men as well as women. These imbalances manifest not only as reproductive or sexual issues, but can affect diverse aspects of health such as issues in the brain, and with cognition, sleep, the nervous system, and behavior and even in healing.

There are many theories as to why we are seeing an increas in earlier hormonal dysfunctions. It may be that the environment is overflowing with hormonally active pollutants, which gain entry into the bodies of pregnant young health women through air, water, and food, which deregulate genes in the developing fetus. It may be 24/7 stress, or chronic malnutrition from overconsumption of under-nourishing foods. We don’t know for sure. It may be all of the above.

But a wider application of hormonal influence, and the need for assessment and treatment, is having a revolution in avant-garde health care from the womb to the tomb.