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The story behind the Rimkus Method

Before Dr. med. Volker Rimkus set up his medical practice, he was assistant medical director at the Universitätsfrauenklinik in Kiel for many years (a gynecological university hospital). There, he played an important role in developing modern ultrasonography.

Even though the Universitätsfrauenklinik’s chief physician Prof. Dr. med. Senn had already announced him as his successor, Dr. Volker Rimkus decided on establishing his gynecological practice in a suburb of Kiel, which he led successfully for many years along with his wife, Dr. med. Barbara Rimkus, a physician like himself.

With his research, he was the first worldwide to establish the treatment method with human-identical (bio-identical) hormones in individual dosages at the end of the seventies, and was also the first worldwide to dare to also treat men with the “female” hormones estrogen and progesterone.

He is the founder of the Rimkus®Therapy, which was initially patented only in Germany, later however in the entire world.

On Dr. Dr. Thomas Beck’s initiative, both of them together founded the Hormone Network, a platform offering information and the possibility to communicate for anyone who is interested in the topic, but also for physicians regarding further education.

Research on hormone therapy (hormonal treatment) – how it all began

The history of therapy with steroid hormones experienced a boom in the 1920s as a result of LUDWIG HABERLANDT’s discovery.

In 1921, Haberlandt published his findings that transplantations of ovaries from pregnant rabbits into non-pregnant rabbits caused these to be temporarily sterile. The rabbit with the transplanted ovary temporarily did not become pregnant; so the ovary contained something that was capable of temporarily suppressing pregnancy.

During the years 1929 to 1934, ADOLF BUTENANDT discovered the structure of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. He was a German scientist, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1939 for his research on sex hormones.

The production method for hormones

In 1938, RUSSELL EARL MARKER successfully developed a significantly improved method, which made it possible to produce steroid hormones much more easily, compared to the extremely complicated process using ox gall, which had been applied up until then.

It was now possible to use phytogenic sources, which made the procedure a lot more inexpensive. The method involved mechanical-physical extraction of DIOSGENIN from wild yam (or from other plants containing diosgenin).

This diosgenin was then converted by MARKER DEGRADATION, a process named after him. That made it possible, following a few simple and inexpensive steps, to produce a progesterone that was identical to human progesterone in every respect.

Wild yam (or rather diosgenin) is therefore the starting material from which steroid hormones are produced. But patients are NOT treated with wild yam (or diosgenin), but with steroid hormones produced from it. We are therefore talking about REAL hormonal therapy – and not about herbal remedies (phytotherapy).

The “Marker process”: from wild yam to progesterone
source: Natürliche Hormone, Südwest Verlag, ISBN: 978-3517094540, 20€

So, a starting material extracted from plants (diosgenin) had become the starting point for synthesizing steroid hormones, offering great economic advantages.

Modified hormones – hormone-like substances

The initially human-identical hormone progesterone that is obtained, was then, however, further modified in order to achieve certain desired characteristics.

That goal was achieved; but, by doing so, a whole new group of hormone-LIKE substances had been created: the HORMONE DERIVATES or HORMONOIDS that now conquered the whole world in the form of the “pill”.

Following an initial enthusiasm in the sixties, there were more and more indications not more than ten years later during the seventies that modifications of hormone structure were linked to considerable changes in the way they act in the human body.

This, unfortunately, led to serious side effects, such as an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic changes, psychological changes, and others.

These observations resulted in a number of scientific studies. The most well-known one is the WHI study from 2002, which established a clear connection between modified hormone derivates and the risk for developing various diseases (e.g. breast cancer); however, WITHOUT differentiating between modified hormone derivates and unmodified original hormones!

That caused an intensive scientific debate about the danger of hormone therapy, which is still going on today.

The type of hormones is important!

But quite often the decisive difference between unmodified original hormones and synthetically modified hormone derivates is ignored.

What’s important, is the type of hormones!
And that’s what Dr. Rimkus realized, using human-identical (bio-identical) hormones in individual dosages.

Because of the fact that these hormones are not modified, there are also no undesired effects and risks, which are caused by the modifications.

For more information, have a look at the next article on the Rimkus Method:

Bioidentical hormones according to Rimkus – experiences, side effects, costs. Details & differentiation

The complete article series:

Menopausal signs and symptoms

Recognizing premature menopause – and what you can do about it

Hormones during menopause

Why choose hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during menopause – pros and cons?

What are bioidentical hormones and their advantages? Rimkus

Bioidentical hormones according to Rimkus – experiences, side effects, application, costs

Bioidentical hormones – preparations, source, physicians