What Should I Do If I Am Taking Hrt
If youre taking HRT, do not panic. Visit your doctor before making any changes to your therapy. He or she will consider your menopausal symptoms and your risk for developing certain diseases. Your doctor will give you advice about the pros and cons of continuing HRT. Some of your options may include stopping treatment altogether, taking a lower dose of medicine, or switching to another type of treatment.
Are Other Kinds Of Drugs Used In Hrt Safe
Researchers arent sure, but it is possible that other HRT drugs arent safe to use, either. Women who use them could be at higher risk for breast cancer, blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. Even so, many doctors believe that short-term use of HRT to control menopausal symptoms is still safe for most women. Women who have a history of heart disease or blood clots are at the highest risk and should most likely not receive HRT.
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. You should have a complete physical exam, including blood pressure measurements, breast and pelvic exams, and a Pap test at least yearly. Follow your doctor’s directions for examining your breasts report any lumps immediately.
If you are taking hormone replacement therapy to treat symptoms of menopause, your doctor will check every 3 to 6 months to see if you still need this medication. If you are taking this medication to prevent thinning of the bones , you will take it for a longer period of time.
Before you have any laboratory tests, tell the laboratory personnel that you take hormone replacement therapy, because this medication may interfere with some laboratory tests.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from heat and moisture .
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
Hormone Replacement Delivery Methods
There are several hormone replacement delivery methods. No method is inherently superior. The right delivery method will depend on your hormonal imbalance, symptoms and lifestyle. If you are a good candidate for hormone replacement, we will discuss your symptoms, lifestyle and preferences thoroughly to identify the ideal delivery method for you. The most common delivery methods are:
The benefits associated with each delivery method will be discussed during your initial consultation. Note, each hormone replacement method can be modified as required to restore and maintain your optimal hormone levels. If your lifestyle changes and you need to change your hormone replacement delivery method, we are more than happy to accommodate your unique needs.
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Can Increase The Risk Of Blood Clots
Studies have shown that HRT may raise your risk of blood clots and stroke. This risk may be highest for people over 60 or who started menopause over a decade ago. The longer you take HRT, the greater the increase in your risk.
Because of this risk, health experts recommend the lowest possible HRT dose for the shortest period of time for people over 60 or who are 10 years past the onset of menopause.
Insomnia Lack Of Sleep
Heres one thing we can all agree on: a good nights sleep is vital to living a healthy life. When our sleep cycle is tampered with, a simple day at work can seem like an impossible task. If you are experiencing disturbances in your sleep cycle, hormone imbalances may be the main force keeping you up at night.
Other side effects you may feel when hormones interrupt sleep include:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Brain fog and memory loss
As you can see, all of these are very negative symptoms of a lack of sleep and can be easily improved with hormone replacement therapy. So, how can you safely and effectively replenish your hormones through hormone replacement therapy?
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Bioidentical Hormones In Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical hormones are selected based on your individual hormone deficiency and the associated symptoms. Various bioidentical hormones are used during pellet hormone replacement therapy.
These should be selected with the guidance of your healthcare professional prior to undergoing any hormonal therapy whether natural or synthetic. Taking hormone supplementation without seeking the guidance of a therapist could cause irreversible damage to your body and prove dangerous. Those with adrenal fatigue also might not be able to handle the hormones in their body, making their symptoms worse if their body isnt primed to take in the hormones.
With those precautions in mind, the following are some of the hormones that can be used in hormone therapy:
Is Bhrt Safe Plus Other Treatments To Consider First
BHRT products have not been proven to be safe or unsafe. Because not enough is known about their long-term efficacy or safety, theyre still considered controversial. Be aware of potential side effects, and know that claims stating BHRT is protective against cancer or heart disease in women has not been validated. If you do decide to use them, do so using the lowest dose that helps and for the shortest time period needed to help reduce the chance for side effects.
How Else Can You Balance Hormones Naturally?
Before considering BHRT, I urge you to make lifestyle changes that are truly natural to see how you feel. Chances are your weight, sleep, mood and energy would greatly improve if you tried some of the following hormone-balancing solutions:
Final Thoughts on Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
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Traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy Vs Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy: Whats The Difference
Although they do still need to be processed in some ways to make them effective for human use, natural hormones used in BHRT are derived from products like plants and animal sources, rather than being created synthetically in a lab like some products.
Some health care providers who prescribe BHRT products perform saliva or blood tests in their patients first in order to assess their unique hormonal needs and then prescribe customized treatment solutions. This is called custom-compounded hormone therapy. Not all BHRT is customized, however. There are also FDA-approved hormone therapy products that are commercially available which are not specialized for each patient, and those that are not naturally produced.
The FDA has reported that, according to clinical studies, hormones that are marketed as bioidentical or natural dont appear to be any more effective or safe compared to hormones used in traditional hormone therapy products. Some research also shows that hormones that are marked as bioidentical might not be much different at all from those in traditional hormone replacement therapy and might even be riskier in some cases.
FDA-approved hormone therapy drugs undergo a lengthy process to meet federal standards for approval, but custom-compounded BHRT drugs usually dont meet these standards. Its possible for some BHRT mixes to contain other inactive ingredients that help bind pills, creams or lotions, which can cause side effects or allergies in some patients.
What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is the use of hormones to help resolve symptoms related to hormonal imbalance or decline in hormone production tied to aging. Certain hormone treatments are called bioidentical or sometimes natural because the types of hormones used are chemically identical to those produced by the human body.
Specific hormones that BHRT aims to increase or balance include those tied to reproduction and youth, such as estrogen , progesterone, and sometimes testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone and adrenal hormones. During the years leading up to menopause, and then through this transition, a womans body produces less of these hormones , which may lead to symptoms like fatigue, hot flashes/night sweats, vaginal dryness and thinning bones. Various hormone therapy products are used to overcome these symptoms, some of which have been approved by the FDA and are available by prescription through health care providers, but many of which have not.
BHRT treatments include creams, lotions, injections, gels, sprats or tablets that have the goal of raising hormone levels back up to a more youthful state. Examples of popular bioidentical hormone replacement therapy products now on the market include Estrace, Premphase, Prempro, Activara and Vivelle-Dot, just to name a few .
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What Is The Womens Health Initiative
The Womens Health Initiative was a set of studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Through these studies, researchers gathered information about the health of women who have gone through menopause. In the HRT trial, researchers were studying the effects of HRT on the health of postmenopausal women. Researchers were trying to determine whether using HRT affects a womans chances of developing:
- breast cancer
Do Local Formulations Of Menopausal Hormone Therapy Have Different Risks
Both systemic and local treatment options for MHT are available in the United States. Which option a woman receives depends on the menopausal symptoms the treatment is meant to address. Systemic MHT is usually prescribed to treat hot flashes and to prevent osteoporosis. Systemic MHT with combined estrogen plus progestin or with estrogen alone can be given as oral medications as transdermal patches, gels, or sprays and as implants.
Local MHT is prescribed to treat genitourinary symptoms such as vaginal dryness. Local MHT contains low-dose estrogen only and is prescribed to women regardless of their hysterectomy status. Local MHT with low-dose estrogen alone includes creams, tablets , and rings.
Findings from the Womens Health Initiative Observational Study showed that, among women with an intact uterus, those who used vaginal estrogen and those who didnt had similar risks of stroke, invasive breast cancer, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, and pulmonaryembolism/deep vein thrombosis .
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For Use In Certain Men
Some men with unnaturally low levels of testosterone can benefit from hormone therapy. For example, the condition hypogonadism can cause unnaturally low levels of testosterone. Its a dysfunction of the testicles that prevents the body from producing the right amount of testosterone.
Whats less certain is whether testosterone therapy can benefit healthy men whose testosterone decline is simply caused by aging. This has been a difficult question for researchers to answer. Not many studies have observed the effects of testosterone therapy in men with healthy levels of the hormone. The studies that have were smaller and had unclear results.
What Is Known About Hormone Therapy And The Risk Of Heart Disease
Scientists continue to learn about the effects of HT on the heart and blood vessels. Many large clinical trials have attempted to answer questions about HT and heart disease. Some have shown positive effects in women who started HT within 10 years of menopause some have shown negative effects when started greater than 10 years of menopause. Some studies have raised more questions about the potential benefits of HT.
Based on the data, the American Heart Association issued a statement for use of HT. They say:
- Hormone therapy for the sole purpose of preventing heart disease is not recommended.
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What Types Of Hormone Replacement Therapy Are Right For You
When it comes to choosing types of hormone replacement therapy, you should discuss all your options with a health care provider. Whether you prefer medicinal or more natural options, you do have choices when it comes to your health.
If you want to learn more about hormone therapy for either women or men, check out what options we offer. We can help you restore balance and feel more rejuvenated and revitalized.
Reducing The Cancer Risks Of Hormone Therapy
If you and your doctor decide that MHT is the best way to treat symptoms or problems caused by menopause, keep in mind that it is medicine and like any other medicine its best to use it at the lowest dose needed for as short a time as possible. And just as you would if you were taking another type of medicine, you need to see your doctor regularly. Your doctor can see how well the treatment is working, monitor you for side effects, and let you know what other treatments are available for your symptoms.
All women should report any vaginal bleeding that happens after menopause to their doctors right away it may be a symptom of endometrial cancer. A woman who takes EPT does not have a higher risk of endometrial cancer, but she can still get it.
Women using vaginal cream, rings, or tablets containing only estrogen should talk to their doctors about follow-up and the possible need for progestin treatment.
For women who have had a hysterectomy , a progestin does not need to be a part of hormone therapy because theres no risk of endometrial cancer. Adding a progestin does raise the risk of breast cancer, so ET is a better option for women without a uterus.
Women should follow the American Cancer Society guidelines for cancer early detection, especially those for breast cancer. These guidelines can be found in Breast Cancer Early Detection.
Information For Your Doctor To Read Includes Ams Information Sheets:
If you have any concerns or questions about options to manage your menopausal symptoms, visit your doctor or go to the Find an AMS Doctor service on the AMS website.
NOTE: Medical and scientific information provided and endorsed by the Australasian Menopause Society might not be relevant to an individuals personal circumstances and should always be discussed with their own healthcare provider. This Information Sheet may contain copyright or otherwise protected material. Reproduction of this Information Sheet by Australasian Menopause Society Members, other health professionals and their patients for clinical practice is permissible. Any other use of this information must be agreed to and approved by the Australasian Menopause Society.
Hormone Imbalances Due To Stress
Many hormone imbalances are caused by aging, but these conditions can often be worsened by stress. Hormone imbalances that are caused by stress bear special mention because the factors that cause them can be ongoing and create a cycle of symptoms that supplementation alone does not solve. Many of these imbalances start with the adrenal glands, which are the main organs responsible for responding to stress.
The adrenal glands secrete numerous important hormones. Excess stress can overburden your adrenal glands, decreasing the secretion of crucial hormones, including cortisol. This leads to deficiency or imbalance of hormones in your body. Hormone imbalance can lead to various health issues including thyroid problems, hair loss, mood swings, memory degradation, infertility, and adrenal fatigue. Stress is a major contributing factor to hormone imbalance in your body. Therefore, managing stress can significantly help in preventing adrenal exhaustion and maintaining healthy levels of hormones in your body.
The Hormone circuit of the NEM includes the ovaries/testis, thyroid, and adrenal glands. It is responsible for regulating stress hormones , body temperature, and thyroid hormones. Any imbalance in this circuit can lead to weight gain, thyroid problems, fatigue, hair loss, reduced libido, miscarriage, and infertility. Imbalances in cortisol cause hormone imbalances leading to a dysfunctional Hormone circuit. This affects your bodys NEM stress response system.
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Types Of Hormone Therapy For Prostate Cancer
Hormone therapy may be part of prostate cancer treatment if the cancer has spread and cant be cured by surgery or radiation therapyor if the patient isnt a candidate for these other types of treatment. It may also be recommended if cancer remains or returns after surgery or radiation therapy, or to shrink the cancer before radiation therapy.
Additionally, hormone therapy may be combined with radiation therapy initially if theres a high risk of cancer recurrence. It can also be given before radiation therapy to shrink the cancer and make other treatments more effective. Other types of hormone therapy for prostate cancer include:
What Concerns Can Hormone Deficiency Cause
Aging is a natural process, but you dont need to live with its side effects. Hormone deficiency can cause physical symptoms such as chronic fatigue, sleeping issues, and weight gain, as well as sexual performance and pleasure concerns in both men and women.
It can also lead to brittle bones, thinning hair, and dry, cracked skin. Hormone deficiency can also impact your mood, making you experience dramatic mood swings, anxiety, and depression for no apparent reason. Finally, hormone deficiency can affect your memory and general mental state, often making patients feel like theyre living with brain fog.
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