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What Is Estrogen Hormone Replacement Therapy

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Added Benefits Of Hrt

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (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.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Treatments

There are several different types of hormone treatments. For menopause and sex hormone-related conditions, many women take either estrogen, progesterone, or a combination of both.

Types of hormone replacement therapy

Hormone therapies can be taken in several ways including:

  • Estrogen cream, tablets, or rings inserted into the vagina
  • Estrogen cream, lotion, or gel applied to the skin
  • Progesterone cream applied to the skin
  • Estrogen or estrogen-progesterone skin patch
  • Estrogen or progesterone tablet taken by mouth
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone cream inserted into the vagina

Some women prefer to use bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which involves natural, plant-derived, or compounded hormone preparations. These may offer some benefits, however, there isnt enough research to know the risks.

Your doctor may start with a low dose for several months to monitor the effects on your body and see if it helps. Many doctors disagree about how to use hormone therapy and studies indicate there are some risks associated with hormone replacement therapy.

You should speak to your doctor about whether hormone replacement therapy is right for you if you:

Lifestyle For A Lifetime

The most effective alternative to hormone therapy, however, doesnt come in a bottle. Physicians say that preventing heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer often boils down to lifestyle, one that includes regular exercise and a healthy diet. A diet high in calcium along with weight-bearing exercise bolsters bones. Avoiding high-fat foods and participating in regular aerobic exercise keeps the heart healthy.

These habits can prevent the diseases studies have proven it over and over again. Consider it, Greenwood advises. Those things are so much more effective than any pill you can put in your mouth.

Nelson Watts, MD, director of the Osteoporosis and Bone Health Program at The Emory Clinic in Atlanta, and principal investigator at the Atlanta site of the Womens Health Initiative, offers a word of caution. Often, diet and exercise are not enough by themselves. he tells WebMD. A woman needs to first talk with her doctor about what symptoms she wants to relieve, and look at the treatment options.

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Hormone Replacement Therapy For Men

Overview

Hormone replacement therapy is a bit of a misnomer. Its natural for mens testosterone levels to decrease as they get older. So, hormone therapy doesnt replace anything that is naturally missing.

Testosterone is required for:

  • maintaining healthy levels of red blood cells
  • maintaining bone density

However, the natural decrease of this hormone in men typically doesnt affect overall health any more than the aging process does. Medical experts disagree about the significance of a testosterone level decrease. They also disagree about the health benefits of hormone therapy use to combat the natural aging process in men, especially given the risks.

What Is Estrogen Replacement Therapy

Types of Estrogen Replacement Therapy

Estrogen replacement therapy refers to the replacement of the hormone estrogen when the ovaries no longer are able to produce it. While providing relief from menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness, estrogen replacement therapy may also include the use of hormones called progestins. When a woman goes through menopause, either natural or surgical, her ovaries stop producing adequate amounts of estrogen. Surgical menopause refers to the removal of the ovaries.

Generally, estrogen replacement therapy no longer is recommended for long-term use. Women taking estrogen replacement therapy for short-term relief of symptoms from menopause, however, may garner some protection from osteoporosis, heart disease, and colorectal cancer. Estrogen replacement therapy may prevent bone loss that could occur after menopause, thereby decreasing the risk of bone fracture.

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  • Menopausal symptoms can be managed with education, lifestyle changes, support and hormone replacement therapy , also known as menopausal hormone therapy .
  • In the early postmenopausal years, HRT is an effective therapy for menopausal symptoms. In most women with moderate to severe symptoms, the benefits outweigh the small increases in risk.
  • The long-term use of HRT has some benefits, but also has some risks.
  • The current role of HRT is for menopausal symptom relief, at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest duration required for the control of bothersome menopausal symptoms.
  • The decision to use HRT, and for how long it should be used, must be based on individual assessment and needs.

Signs You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy is not for everyone, but some people find the treatment provides relief from the symptoms of menopause.

Signs that you may need hormone replacement therapy include:

Other conditions caused by hormone deficiency may also benefit from hormone replacement therapy.

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Society And Public Perception

Wyeth, now a subsidiary of Pfizer, was a pharmaceutical company that marketed the HRT products Premarin and Prempro . In 2009, litigation involving Wyeth resulted in the release of 1,500 documents that revealed practices concerning its promotion of these medications. The documents showed that Wyeth commissioned dozens of ghostwrittenreviews and commentaries that were published in medical journals in order to promote unproven benefits of its HRT products, downplay their harms and risks, and cast competing therapies in a negative light. Starting in the mid-1990s and continuing for over a decade, Wyeth pursued an aggressive “publication plan” strategy to promote its HRT products through the use of ghostwritten publications. It worked mainly with DesignWrite, a medical writing firm. Between 1998 and 2005, Wyeth had 26 papers promoting its HRT products published in scientific journals.

Estrogen And The Cardiovascular System

What is hormone replacement therapy?

Scientists are still learning about the actions of estrogen in the body. Studies have shown that estrogen affects almost every tissue or organ system, including the heart and blood vessels. Estrogens known effects on the cardiovascular system include a mix of positive and negative:

  • Increases HDL cholesterol
  • Promotes blood clot formation, and also causes some changes that have the opposite effect
  • Relaxes, smooths and dilates blood vessels so blood flow increases
  • Soaks up free radicals, naturally occurring particles in the blood that can damage the arteries and other tissues.

Estrogen probably affects the cardiovascular system in other ways that are as yet undiscovered. New research continues to give scientists and physicians more information and raise more questions about this important and controversial hormone.

Over the years, evidence was accumulating that suggested estrogen also helped protect women against heart disease. With heart disease is the number one killer among women over age 65, this is an important issue. Women develop heart disease 10 years later than men, but by age 65, their risk is equal to that of men.

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Can Symptoms Be Prevented From Returning After Hrt Is Stopped

It has been suggested that slowly reducing the therapy dose over a period of months may help reduce the return of flushes, but there is no scientific evidence for this. Unfortunately, the symptoms will return if they are going to, whether therapy is stopped gradually or suddenly.

Active women may suffer fewer symptoms than inactive women, so regular exercise may help. Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake may help reduce hot flushes. Dietary changes can also help with symptoms, such as increasing foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, and reducing sugar intake. Some prescription medications from the doctor such as clonidine may help with hot flushes. Some antidepressants may also help the hot flushes and night sweats, although NICE guidelines state that there is no evidence that antidepressants will help with low mood.

NB HRT is NOT the same as transgender hormone therapy, or cross sex hormone therapy, where sex hormones and other hormone medications are administered for transgender individuals.

Other resources:

Does Menopause Cause Bone Loss

The lower estrogen levels of menopause can lead to progressive bone loss that is especially rapid in the first five years after menopause. Some bone loss in both men and women is normal as people age. Lack of estrogen after menopause adds another strain on the bones in addition to the usual age-related bone loss. When bone loss is severe, a condition called osteoporosis weakens bones and renders them susceptible to breaking.

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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.

Balance Your Hormones With Whole Health Jc

hormone replacement therapy

If you are experiencing negative symptoms from a hormone imbalance, look no further than Whole Health JC. Our clinic offers Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy treatment options for both men and women. Through a simple lab test, we can assess your hormone levels and create a BHRT treatment that fits your individual needs! Contact us at 573-893-5500.

Dr.Su

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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.

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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Do Menopause Supplements Work

As already mentioned, menopause supplements may work for some women, but because the studies on these products and their ingredients are inconclusive, we cannot know for sure.

What we do know is that women taking these supplements claim they offer relief and these claims often come from clinical trials.

Menopause supplements containing black cohosh are most likely to work, but so are those containing other botanicals that affect the hormones, and neurotransmitters.

Some of the botanicals used in menopause supplements address anxiety and depression symptoms, which might directly impact the severity of menopause symptoms.

This is because the severity of hot flashes and night sweats can become worse as a result of depression and anxiety as found in one study published in the journal Menopause.

Do Local Formulations Of Menopausal Hormone Therapy Have Different Risks

Hot Topic 4 Hormone Replacement Therapy

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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Post Menopausal Hormon Replacement Therapy

How prevalent is heart disease among women?

Female Reproductive Organs

Cardiovascular disease is NOT just a mans disease. Cardiovascular disease is the Number 1 killer of women over age 25 in the United States, regardless of race or ethnicity. Once a woman reaches the age of 50 , the risk for heart disease increases. In young women who have undergone early or surgical menopause, the risk for heart disease is also higher, especially when combined with other risk factors such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Elevated LDL cholesterol
  • Low HDL cholesterol, sometimes called “good” cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Family history of heart disease

What is menopause?

Menopause is a normal stage in a womans life. The term menopause is commonly used to describe any of the changes a woman experiences either before or after she stops menstruating. As menopause nears, the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen , causing changes in the menstrual cycle and other physical changes. The most common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, emotional changes and changes in the vagina .

Technically, menopause is the end of a womans reproductive cycle, when the ovaries no longer produce eggs and she has her last menstrual cycle. The diagnosis of menopause is not confirmed until a woman has not had her period for six to twelve consecutive months.

How is heart disease associated with menopause?

What can be done to reduce the risk of heart disease for menopausal women?

Hrt For Breast Cancer Survivors

It is advisable for women with a history of breast cancer to avoid HRT unless other treatments are ineffective, and their quality of life is made intolerable by menopausal symptoms. In these circumstances, HRT should only be prescribed in consultation with the womans breast surgeon or oncologist.

Evidence has not conclusively shown that HRT will increase the risk of breast cancer recurring in a woman with a history of the disease. However, oestrogen and progestogens may stimulate some types of cells in the breast and some types of HRT use have been associated with an increase in the risk of breast cancer in women without a history of breast cancer.

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Telltale Signs You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy

At different stages in our lifecycle, hormone deficiencies can cause major changes in our bodies. Although these hormone imbalances are just a natural part of the aging process, they can cause a number of negative symptoms to our everyday health. Luckily, the benefits of hormone replacement therapy, also known as HRT, can help reduce many of these unwanted symptoms.

In fact, the benefits of hormone replacement therapy can improve the health of both mind and body for men and women alike. And the best part? One of the major benefits of hormone replacement therapy is that most HRT treatments can be tailored to fit your bodys individual needs.

But, what are the signs that you need hormone replacement therapy? And how can treatment help you feel happy and healthy again?

In this article, we are going to give you the top 5 telltale signs that you need hormone replacement therapy. We will also tell you everything you need to know about treatment and who you can go to for the best results.

Ready to get started? Lets take a look at our first telltale sign.

What Are Estrogen Therapy And Hormone Therapy

5 Signs You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy

Estrogen, in pill, patch, or gel form, is the single most effective therapy for suppressing hot flashes.

The term estrogen therapy, or ET, refers to estrogen administered alone. Because ET alone can cause uterine cancer , a progestin is administered together with estrogen in women who have a uterus to eliminate the increased risk. Thus, the term estrogen/progestin therapy, or EPT, refers to a combination of estrogen and progestin therapy, as is given to a woman who still has a uterus. This method of prescribing hormones is also known as combination hormone therapy.

The term hormone therapy is a more general term that is used to refer to either administration of estrogen alone , or combined estrogen/progestin therapy .

All forms of hormone therapy that are FDA-approved for therapy of hot flashes are similarly effective in suppressing hot flashes.

It is still controversial which of these side effects are due to the estrogen component as compared to the progesterone component. Therefore, if side effects persist for a few months, the doctor will often alter either the progesterone or the estrogen part of the hormone therapy .

Contrary to common belief, recent research has confirmed that women who take commonly prescribed doses of hormone therapy are no more likely to gain weight than women not taking hormone therapy . This is probably because menopause or aging itself is associated with weight gain, regardless of whether or not a woman takes hormone therapy.

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