Does It Cause Weight Gain
Some people worry that hormone treatment might lead to weight gain, but there is no evidence to support this.
Eating a healthful diet and getting plenty of exercise can help manage the weight gain that commonly affects both females and males in midlife.
There are various ways of delivering hormone therapy, and the different types provide different combinations and amounts of hormones.Common types include:
Estrogen-only HRT: A doctor may recommend this if a person has had their uterus and ovaries removed, in which case progesterone is not necessary.
Cyclical, or sequential, HRT: This may be a good option if symptoms occur before menopause the dosage can align with the menstrual cycle.
Continuous HRT: After menopause, a doctor may prescribe a continuous combination of estrogen and progesterone.
Local estrogen: Vaginal tablets, creams, or rings can help with urogenital symptoms, including vaginal dryness and irritation.
The doctor will prescribe the lowest possible dosage that addresses the persons symptoms, and arriving at this dosage may take some trial and error.
Ways of delivering HRT include:
- vaginal rings
- skin patches
When a person no longer needs the treatment, the doctor will describe how to stop it gradually.
Various lifestyle adjustments can help manage the symptoms of menopause.
Also, it is a good idea to ask the doctor about nonhormonal treatment options.
Always speak to a doctor before using any supplements.
Hormone Therapy And Cardiovascular Disease
The incidence of cardiac disease is heightened in postmenopausal women. This finding has been linked to a causative pathogenic role of ovarian hormone deficiency.
When the concept of HT was initially introduced, it was believed that replacing ovarian hormones would reduce the observed increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, this expected result has not been unequivocally demonstrated in various trials over the years.
The WHI study revealed an increased annual risk of heart attacks of 7 per 10,000 women who took combined therapy as opposed to women who took estrogen alone, in whom no significant difference was noted. Subsequent re-analysis showed similar results for breast cancer, demonstrating no increased risk in the fifth decade, though the risk rose with advancing age.
Two important clinical trials have been conducted to examine the relationship between cardiac disease and HT: the Postmenopausal Estrogen/Progestogen Interventions Trial and the Heart and Estrogen-Progestogen Replacement Study .
PEPI investigators looked at the effect of estrogen alone and combination therapies on bone mass and key risk factors for heart disease. They found generally positive results, including a reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol by both types of therapy.
Other Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms
Studies have shown that some prescription medications can reduce hot flushes and sweats. These treatments may be an option if HRT cannot be used for health or other reasons, and should be discussed with a doctor.
The herbal medicine, black cohosh, may take the edge off hot flushes and sweats, but there is no data to support long-term use. There is also a rare liver condition that may be associated with the use of black cohosh.
Other complementary and alternative medicines have not been shown to be effective for menopausal symptoms when compared with dummy or placebo treatment in research studies.
Commercially available vaginal moisturisers may reduce vaginal dryness if used regularly. Consult your doctor about what will work best for you.
You May Like: Blue Cross Blue Shield Trt
Estrogen Treatment: Topical Creams Gels And Sprays
- What are they? Estrogen gels , creams , and sprays offer another way of getting estrogen into your system. As with patches, this type of estrogen treatment is absorbed through the skin directly into the bloodstream. The specifics on how to apply these creams vary, although they’re usually used once a day. Estrogel is applied on one arm, from the wrist to the shoulder. Estrasorb is applied to the legs. Evamist is applied to the arm.
- Pros. Because estrogen creams are absorbed through the skin and go directly into the bloodstream, they’re safer than oral estrogen for people who have liver and cholesterol problems.
- Cons. Estrogen gels, creams, and sprays have not been well-studied. While they could be safer than oral estrogen, experts aren’t sure. So assume that they pose the same slight risk of serious conditions, like cancer and stroke.One potential problem with using this type of estrogen treatment is that the gel, cream or spray can rub or wash off before it’s been fully absorbed. Make sure you let the topical dry before you put on clothes. Always apply it after you bathe or shower.
Because the estrogen is absorbed right through the skin, don’t let other people in your family touch these creams or gels. If they do, they could get dosed with estrogen themselves. For the same reason, make sure your hands are clean and dry after applying the medication.
What Are Bioidentical Hormones
Bioidentical hormones are defined as compounds that have exactly the same chemical and molecular structure as hormones that are produced in the human body.
Bioidentical hormones are made by compounding chemists, often in the form of lozenges or troches that are dissolved in the mouth or as creams. They are composed of a mix of hormones, such as different types of oestrogens, progestogens and sometimes testosterone.
Bioidentical hormones are often touted as being more natural than MHT, but in fact all hormone preparations are synthesised. In addition, there is no scientific data to support the safety or effectiveness of bioidentical hormones in relieving menopause symptoms, and there is insufficient evidence showing that these products are free of contaminants. Their use is not supported by the Australasian Menopause Society.
Recommended Reading: Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Testosterone Therapy
Hormone Therapy Can Cause Side Effects
Because hormone therapy blocks your bodys ability to produce hormones or interferes with how hormones behave, it can cause unwanted side effects. The side effects you have will depend on the type of hormone therapy you receive and how your body responds to it. People respond differently to the same treatment, so not everyone gets the same side effects. Some side effects also differ if you are a man or a woman.
Some common side effects for men who receive hormone therapy for prostate cancer include:
Important Questions To Ask About Menopause Hormone Medicines
- Are hormones right for me? Why?
- What are the benefits?
- What are the serious risks and common side effects?
- How long should I use hormone therapy?
- What is the lowest dose that will work for me?
- Are there any non-hormone medicines that I can take?
Want more information about menopause? Check the FDA website at: www.fda.gov/menopause
The drug and risk information in this booklet may change. Check for the latest facts on each product listed in this booklet.
Recommended Reading: What Causes Breakthrough Bleeding When On Bioidentical Hormones
Who Shouldn’t Take Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy is not usually recommended if you:
- Have or had breast cancer or endometrial cancer.
- Have abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Less common side effects of hormone therapy include:
- Fluid retention.
- Skin discoloration .
- Increased breast density making mammogram interpretation more difficult.
- Skin irritation under estrogen patch.
How To Use Estrace
If you are taking the extended-release tablets, do not crush, chew, or dissolve them. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day as directed. Follow your dosing schedule carefully. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often or for a longer time than directed.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Menopausal Hormone Therapy And Cancer Risk
For decades, women have used hormone therapy to ease symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and sweating. This is called menopausal hormone therapy, and you may see it abbreviated as HT or MHT. You may also hear it described as hormone replacement therapy , postmenopausal hormone therapy , or postmenopausal hormones .
In the past, many doctors and their patients believed that MHT didnt just help with hot flashes and other symptoms it had important health benefits. But well-conducted studies have led many doctors to conclude that the risks of MHT often outweigh the benefits.
This information covers only how MHT can affect a womans risk of getting certain cancers. It does not cover other possible risks of MHT such as heart disease or stroke.
You can use this information when you talk to your doctor about whether MHT is right for you.
Does Having Or Not Having A Uterus Make A Difference In Deciding What Type Of Hormone Therapy I Should Take
Yes, it does.
If you still have your uterus:
Progesterone is used along with estrogen. Taking estrogen without progesterone increases your risk for cancer of the endometrium . During your reproductive years, cells from your endometrium are shed during menstruation. When the endometrium is no longer shed, estrogen can cause an overgrowth of cells in your uterus, a condition that can lead to cancer.
Progesterone reduces the risk of endometrial cancer by making the endometrium thin. If you take progesterone, you may have monthly bleeding, or no bleeding at all, depending on how the hormone therapy is taken. Monthly bleeding can be lessened and, in some cases, eliminated by taking progesterone and estrogen together continuously.
If you no longer have your uterus :
You typically won’t need to take progesterone. This is an important point because estrogen taken alone has fewer long-term risks than HT that uses a combination of estrogen and progesterone.
You May Like: Can I Give My Cat Melatonin
What Are The Types Of Hormone Therapy
There are two main types of hormone therapy :
- Estrogen Therapy: Estrogen is taken alone. Doctors most often prescribe a low dose of estrogen to be taken as a pill or patch every day. Estrogen may also be prescribed as a cream, vaginal ring, gel or spray. You should take the lowest dose of estrogen needed to relieve menopause symptoms and/or to prevent osteoporosis.
- Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy : Also called combination therapy, this form of HT combines doses of estrogen and progesterone .
What Are The Risks Of Mht/hrt
The main risk is that some types of MHT lead to a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer or thrombosis . However, it can prevent other conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease, fractures, diabetes and some types of cancers.
Current international recommendations say that the benefits outweigh the risks in women who are having significant symptoms from menopause, and that MHT is effective and safe for most healthy women.
Some women have side effects such as nausea, fluid retention, bloating, breast tenderness and swelling, and irregular bleeding. These often go away with time.
MHT may not be suitable for you if you have or have had:
- breast cancer, endometrial cancer or other cancers that are dependent on hormones
- coronary heart disease, stroke or dementia
- blood clots in the legs or lungs
- untreated high blood pressure
The risks of MHT depend on your age, the type and dose of hormone therapy you take, duration of treatment, and your medical history.
Talk to your doctor to find out which risks apply to you. If you are unable to take MHT, your doctor may suggest other medications that may be helpful.
Also Check: Nugenix Estro Regulator Review
What Are The Risks Of Taking Hormone Therapy
While hormone therapy helps many women get through menopause, the treatment is not risk-free. Known health risks include:
- An increased risk of endometrial cancer .
- Increased risk of blood clots and stroke.
- Increased chance of gallbladder/gallstone problems.
- Increased risk of dementia if hormone therapy is started after midlife. HT started during midlife is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimers disease and dementia.
- Increased risk of breast cancer with long-term use.
Will Thyroid Hormone Help Me If I Have Hypothyroid Symptoms But Normal Thyroid Hormone Levels
Some people with normal thyroid blood tests have symptoms that are similar to symptoms of hypothyroidism. Several scientific studies have looked at whether T4 therapy would be of benefit to patients with symptoms that overlap with hypothyroid symptoms and normal thyroid function. In all cases, there was no difference between T4 and a placebo in improving symptoms or well-being.
Don’t Miss: Does Nugenix Have An Estrogen Blocker
Different Types Of Hormone Replacement Therapy And Their Uses
Now that you know more about the different types of hormone replacement therapy and their different uses, you can figure out what option may help you. If youre dealing with menopausal symptoms or symptoms due to hormone imbalances, seeking out hormonal treatment options may help. Look into the solutions that are out there for you to go back to feeling more like yourself.
Are you ready to get started with hormone replacement therapy? If so, contact us today to book an appointment with our wellness professionals.
Brief History Of Hormone Therapy
Estrogen has been used to treat symptoms of menopause since the 1950s and 1960s. By 1975, estrogen had become one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States.
In the mid-1970s, studies demonstrated that postmenopausal women who used estrogen therapy alone had a significantly increased risk of endometrial cancer. Researchers found that adding progestogen to estrogen provided protection against uterine cancer. As a result, progestogen was added to HT regimens prescribed for women with an intact uterus.
Over the years, HT became a popular treatment, as it was recommended not only for treating menopausal symptoms but also for providing long-term protection against osteoporosis and related fractures, heart disease, and even Alzheimer disease. However, in 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative , a large-scale study conducted by the National Institutes of Health , was stopped early because evidence linked HT to a slightly increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and breast cancer. As a result of this study, many women turned to nonUS Food and Drug Administration approved compounded bioidentical HT , or natural HT, as a perceived safer alternative. However, no clear evidence suggests that custom CBHT formulas are safer or more effective than FDA-approved HT products. Physicians may wish to use custom formulas for those patients who cannot tolerate standard HT.
You May Like: Estradiol And Progesterone Side Effects
Added Benefits Of Hrt
HRT reduces the risk of various chronic conditions that can affect postmenopausal women, including:
- diabetes taking HRT around the time of menopause reduces a womans risk of developing diabetes
- osteoporosis HRT prevents further bone density loss, preserving bone integrity and reducing the risk of fractures, but it is not usually recommended as the first choice of treatment for osteoporosis, except in younger postmenopausal women
- bowel cancer HRT slightly reduces the risk of colorectal cancer
- cardiovascular disease HRT has been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease markers when used around the time of menopause.
Traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy
Often, traditional hormone replacement therapy is used to treat the symptoms of menopause in women. When an estrogen imbalance is being treated, there are four hormone replacement therapy options, including:
- Local estrogen
- Estrogen only
However, the reason for your hormone replacement therapy will determine which option is likely most suited for you. Your physician and pharmacist can advise you accordingly based on the individual circumstances of your case.
Hormone replacement therapy isnt just for women suffering from menopause. Men can also benefit from the different types of hormone replacement therapy.
If a man is suffering from abnormally low levels of testosterone, for example, hormone replacement therapy could be used to help increase his levels of testosterone. This could alleviate the symptoms associated with low testosterone levels including:
- Erectile dysfunction
Read Also: Does Nugenix Have An Estrogen Blocker
What About Natural Thyroid Hormones
Desiccated animal thyroid , now mainly obtained from pigs, was the most common form of thyroid therapy before the individual active thyroid hormones were discovered. People can still buy it over the Internetlegally if its sold as a food supplement, but illegally if its sold as a medicine. It is also available still as a prescription. Since pills made from animal thyroid are not purified, they contain hormones and proteins that never exist in the body outside of the thyroid gland. While desiccated thyroid contains both T4 and T3, the balance of T4 and T3 in animals is not the same as in humans, so the hormones in animal thyroid pills arent necessarily natural for the human body. Further, the amounts of both T4 and T3 can vary in every batch of desiccated thyroid, making it harder to keep blood levels right. Finally, even desiccated thyroid pills have chemicals in them to hold the pill together, so they are not completely natural. Desiccated animal thyroid is rarely prescribed today, and there is no evidence that desiccated thyroid has any advantage over synthetic T4.
What Symptoms Can Menopausal Hormone Therapy Help
Menopausal hormone therapy is the most effective treatment available for the relief of hot flushes and night sweats. It is also effective in treating vaginal dryness.
MHT may also help with:
- mood swings during menopause and
- muscle aches and pains.
Another benefit of MHT is that it helps maintain bone density and reduces the risk of fractures due to osteoporosis . However, other medicines are available for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, and MHT is not routinely recommended for this purpose alone.
Recommended Reading: Estradiol Patch Price