A new study to be published this month in a peer-reviewed journal says that the hysteria and fear about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an overreaction to the 2002 findings of the Women’s Health Initiative. What a relief! My OB-GYN doc was right … so maybe I won’t keel over of a heart attack or stroke or mysterious illness that eats my nose off after all!
I know my admission of using HRT in a past blog entry was a bit controversial. After all, it was my choice, not a recommendation. But it raised some hackles. Many women are intent on using soy or over the counter remedies to counteract the symptoms of menopause.
My symptoms were awful, though. Fifty hot flashes a day, brain dead, a walking zombie. What kind of life is THAT? My doc recognized that and strongly urged me to consider and reconsider HRT. It took a year but I finally gave in..and what a difference it made!
I swear my ADHD brain was improved by 100% when I started using the Vivelle patch – an inconspicuous transparent patch that I wear just below bikini level. Double blind studies have shown NO cognitive improvement with HRT, but that wasn’t my experience. The new study now admits there may be cognitive improvement with hormone replacement — does ANYBODY know what’s really going on? It’s frustrating to get so many conflicting opinions.
I finally decided that I needed to make choices for me. And I went for the estrogen patches .. unopposed estrogen, mind you. And I have an ultrasound every year to watch for signs of cancer. So far, so good.
I am seeing my doc this week to find out what’s next. HRT is appropriate for about seven years and I’m in year six. Do I stop? Do I continue? What will happen if I take off those patches for good? Stay tuned. We’ll see what professional medical advice this wise woman gives me. If it’s pertinent, I’ll pass it along…..for your review only.
Remember, I’m not a doc. Just a woman trying to think straight!
Somehow, I am a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Yes, I do have ADD. It was actually my getting ready to go to school for my NP, and having a son with ADD, that spirred me onto getting testing done.
Anyway, as I see girls and women every day in my job, many of them are perimenopausal and menopausal. I am a big advocate of HRT. It can make the world of difference in a woman’s quality of life.
I have a friend who said she thought she had to “suffer through it.” She began HRT and her life is immeasurably better.
The current recommendation is: “the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time.”
I have been unable to join the last couple or so times due to being extremely busy. I am sharing with you what I have experienced for myself. I do use bio-identical hormones and find them to be very helpful. I am better able to cope with all of life’s challenges better than when my hormone levels are low. I have more energy, I think more clearly, my libido functions better etc. I am a firm advocate of a person learning about things such as this for themselves and a person needs to know that a majority of doctors out there have very little actual knowledge for themselves of bio-identical hormones. It is important to have the balance between the various hormones in order to avoid possible repercussions that are warned about. Remember that when we are younger and our bodies are full of all of the hormones normally our health is at its best. It isn’t until the levels head south that we start having all of these other issues. Something that I have given quite a bit of thought to. There are some excellent authors out there on the subject with good information if you search for it.
I hope that I haven’t given any offense in the above comments, none was intended.