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Hormone replacement treatments are sometimes used to treat a range of medical issues in post-menopausal women. The Wiley Protocol refers to a specific form of hormone replacement therapy created and advocated by author T.S. Wiley. This type of hormone replacement therapy usually uses naturally derived hormones that are applied topically in high doses. It is said to mimic a youthful woman's natural hormone cycle and is intended to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health risks associated with menopause. Despite Wiley's claim that the treatment is more effective than conventional treatments, the Wiley Protocol has been heavily criticized by the medical community.
The Wiley Protocol differs from conventional hormone replacement therapy in a number of ways. First, the dosage of hormones is much higher and based on a 28-day menstrual cycle. Second, the hormones used are derived from natural sources rather than synthetic preparation. Hormones are also usually applied as part of a topical cream at varying levels throughout the 28-day cycle rather than through oral administration. The Wiley Protocol is based on the fact that a 20-year-old woman with a normal menstrual cycle is much more likely to have a lower risk for cardiovascular issues, type 2 diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's disease than an older, menopausal woman.
Conventional hormone replacement treatments, by contrast, often utilize specific hormones to treat specific symptoms. An example of this might be the interruption of a natural cycle due to ovarian cancer or surgery related to the female reproductive system. Conventional treatments typically utilize smaller doses of estrogen, synthetic or otherwise, over shorter periods of time. Hormone replacement treatments may cause complications in some women, and minimum doses and short treatment periods might reduce the risks of hormone replacement treatments. This method of treatment might be perceived to be at odds with the Wiley Protocol, which usually advocates higher doses of specific hormones used over a long period of time.
Criticism of the Wiley treatment plan has centered on the method of testing success, significant side effects in some patients and dosage levels. Success of the Wiley Protocol is based on serum blood tests that might not be accurate markers of hormone levels. Some patients using the Wiley Protocol might have claimed to have experienced side effects, including heart palpitations, anxiety and headaches after using the Wiley Protocol or stopping the treatment altogether. Additionally, criticism has fallen on the author, who critics say has no medical qualifications, education or verification as a medical expert.