Estrogen helps ADHD women’s brains function better, but when ADDivas enter perimenopause, estrogen waxes and wanes, wreaking havoc on our memories, our concentration and our moods. Estrogen therapy sounds like the answer, but hormone therapy is fraught with potential dangers.
That’s why I was so happy to discover an app (there’s an app for everything!) that helps you narrow your risk as you decide whether ET is appropriate for you.
MenoPro is available in the iTunes store for iPhones and on Google Play for Android phones. It was developed by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), a non-profit dedicated to research and support of women at “that time of life.”
It’s completely free with no “in app purchase” required (I hate that). The app asks several pertinent questions, then tells you the risk (low or high) of starting hormone therapy. You can even take your results to your doctor – there is a professional’s section of the app, too.
Keep in mind that the results are not specific to estrogen only therapy (ET), which is recommended for ADHD women (progesterone can cause brain fog and worsen focus and concentration). And there is no medication or therapy that has zero risk to your health. Side effects are part of the package, even with supplements and “natural” remedies.
There are scary tales out there about hormone therapy. The Women’s Health Initiative stopped its study of combination hormone therapy (both progesterone and estrogen) because researchers felt it was too risky for the women involved. Even though this part of the WHI was found to have some flaws on later evaluation, there are still a lot of jitters out there.
Our job is simply to evaluate that delicate balance between good side effects and bad side effects. You and your doctor will decide what’s best for you based on your medical history, family history and current health. I’ve listed some red flags for ET below:
Hormone therapy may not be advised if you:
- Are a smoker
- Have a history of breast, ovarian or endometrial cancer
- Have liver disease
Have fibroids or endometriosis
- Have had a stroke
- Have blood clots
- Have coronary heart disease
- Have elevated triglycerides
- Have porphyria (very rare skin and nervous system disease)
If you are seriously considering ET or HT, your doctor will order a battery of tests to make sure you are a good candidate.
Is it worth it? For me, yes. I don’t have any of the risk factors listed above and have no familial history of cancer. The effect of that little estrogen patch (Vivelle Dot) has worked miracles for me – mentally I am not back to where I was in my 30s but I’m so much better than I was before ET.
Yet, I take the risk of cancer and cardiac complications seriously. I have a mammogram each year. I have an ultrasound to check the thickness of the uterine lining. And I monitor my blood sugar levels and my cholesterol.
MenoPro won’t answer all your questions. In fact, it may only create MORE questions. But it’s a handy first step if you are investigating whether hormone therapy is good for you!