opinions on Hormone Replacement Therapy

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kjs, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    what is everyones opinion regarding HRT?
    From what I have been reading, menapause casues
    muscle wasting, weight gain, hot flashes and it
    also causes your good cholesterol to go low and bad
    cholesterol to go higher.
    The article also said hot flashes should go away about one year after menopause begins. I had a total, complete hysterectomy three years ago, and my hot flashes are worse than ever. A year ago my cholesterol was borderline but my good chloresteral was high and by bad chloreterol was low. Now it is the otherway around. Bad is up, good is down. Menapause causes that too. So if I take hrt, it could help my chloresterol, muscle and hot flashes. I know there is a higher chance of cancer.
    Dr. said if my cholesterol did not go down he was going to put me on nistaten. On the news tonight, it said Nistatin puts you at risk for cancer. Don't know what to do. I just don't feel very good for a long time.
    Anyone here do hrt?
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I did for a long time. Had a complete hysterectomy in my late 20s and really didn't want to go through menopause that young. I finally quit estrogen about 5 years ago. I hate the menopause symptoms, especially the hot flashes but cannot go back on HRT because of questionable mammograms and a history of breast cancer in my family. If I could, I'd go back on an HRT treatment in a heart beat. However, I admit to being pretty relaxed about my health and willing to take chances. I've always driven fast, smoked most of my life and love carbs to death.

    Given the fact that your cholesterol is increasing it almost sounds like you're exchanging a known risk factor (high cholesterol and all that is put at risk by it) for a potential risk factor. You might want to try one of the homeopathic treatments (St. John's Wort, etc.) to see if it helps before going the HRT route since you have concerns.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've been on HRT since my early 20s (which means I've been on it for 22 years)as I went through Primary Ovarian Failure. My doctors have always said I have no choice because for me the risks of not taking it are far worse than taking it (and that's with my mom's history of breast cancer). My doctor wants me on it until I'm 50. I have to say even though it was a long time ago I hated the hot flashes! For me they were really bad.

    What does your doctor say? Does he recommend it?
  4. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    I'm on Bioidentical HRT. It is a plant-based replacement. There is not as much testing to back it up yet.
    If you want to read about it, Suzanne Sommers wrote a book called "The Sexy Years" which discusses it.
    I'm not 100% convinced either way. I'm still having thyroid issues so I don't know what is pre-menopausal and what is thyroid.
  5. Terryforvols

    Terryforvols Member

    I've been on Premarin 1.25 mg daily since age 27 when I had a complete hyst. Over the last year, I've not been as conscientious about taking it every day and go weeks without it UNTIL I wake up in the middle of the night with the worst hot flashes!! I really need to get back on it regularly. I've never had any bad lab results, etc., from it, have just been on it 23 years (just turned 50!! on June 30). From time to time, I worry more about the breast CA problems, although that seems to come from estrogen/progesterone not just straight estrogen.
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was on HRT for over 10 years because of premature ovarian failure I was just taken off HRT two years ago after the latest medical reports came out I have osteoporosis and my bone density results show mild to moderate bone loss in both my hips and spine, so HRT was a necessity Both myself and my dr weighed the risks and decided the benefits outweighed the risks at that time.

    I think each person has to evaluate that for themselves. If your history puts you at low risk and the benefits outweigh the risks, then it's something to consider I did tell my dr that when he weened me off, if I had very severe and unpleasant side effects I would ask to go back on and he agreed I did not have any.

  7. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I've been on hrt since I started menopause about 6 yrs ago. I was having migraine headaches (from fluctuating estrogen), terrible hot flashes, insomnia, just felt crummy. Even with the hrt I still get hot flashes but they aren't very frequent. Oh, I also totally lost my sex drive (had just been married 3 yrs) too and I knew it was hormonal, not "emotional". I am on estratest hs (has a small amount of testosterone and I am convinced it has given me back the sex drive) and progesterone. My dr. says I can't stay on it forever but I am not ready to stop at this point.

    I have 2 co-workers who had hot flashes for 7 or 8 yrs so I don't know where the 1 yr thing comes in! I hate menopause! But with the hrt at least it is more bearable....

  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sounds like I'm the only one going through a conventional menopause here! Technically I'm perimenopausal, but I hit 50 and hit menopause like a brick wall, in my opinion. No hot flushes (I don't think) but I do get the hot face etc plus sweats anyway, especially in summer. Not sure if it's just me, or menopause.

    I can't take iron, but I was losing so much that I was rapidly becoming anaemic. Each period (which suddenly changed from a clockwork 28 days to 14 or less) I would lose a vast amount. I've had flooding before, but never like this. Even post-partum was never a patch on this - I was wearing double everything and having to change every fifteen minutes. Being of a scientific bent, I actually weighed it all before and after, calculating I was losing close on 100 ml every half hour.
    And it would last for 10-14 days, then start again almost immediately!

    The doctor put me on HRT. It was either that, or take it all out. And the HRT stopped it like turning off a tap. Literally, within hours. And it stayed stopped, so my iron levels not only stopped falling, they've been slowly creeping back into the normal range (by eating lots of red meat - the only iron I can have).

    We keep hearing that HRT is linked to this cancer, or that problem - we don't hear what doctors have also known, that post-menopause, we lose calcium like I was losing iron. HRT stops this. The loss of calcium is directly connected to the change in hormone status after we stop producing so much estrogen.
    Dang - I went looking for my textbook and can't find it. So from memory - when we stop producing the usual hormones from our reproductive organs, our pituitary gets worried (sorry to anthropomorphise) and sends out chemical messengers to trigger hormone production. But the factory has gone out of business. The pituitary doesn't understand and keeps sending out more. And it is these stimulatory hormones that get produced in big quantity by the anterior pituitary (plus the absence of estrogen & progesterone, which we've cut back on making), which can cause some of the weird things we notice, as well as the massive increase in leaching of calcium from our bones. We can take extra calcium which will help, but it won't prevent it. You just can't force that calcium into the bones fast enough. We WILL lose it. Can't be avoided. Load-bearing exercise encourages our bones to take up more, so walking regularly will help reduce calcium loss.

    Basically, we weren't meant to live this long. While a few rare women in past centuries would have reached menopause, this would have been rare. Back in the cave days, it would have been almost unheard of.
    But now, we live a lot longer and want to live with quality. So medicine invents a way to mimic how our bodies function.
    HRT won't turn back the clock, but it does stop the pituitary from throwing a hormonal tantrum. Whether from your body or a pill, the pituitary doesn't care. If it thinks there's enough hormone, it stops asking for more. And without the corpus luteum (from the recently-ovulated follicle) to push out more hormones monthly, the pituitary can have a rest.

    Does it cause cancer? maybe. But simply being female is a cancer risk. If you have a family history, then screening is a darn good idea. Reading up on the implications for you personally is a good idea. But for the most of us, HRT while we're still fairly young (middle-aged, at most) shouldn't be a health risk. If anything, it improves our prospects by saving calcium. It's later on as we get even older that we need to re-think and maybe let nature have its way with us.

    I'm going to have to find that textbook now.

  9. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    So far, I have not hit the menopause wall of symptoms but I know they are around the corner with being over 50. I do plan to use hrt if there are no contraindications.
  10. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    After weighing in all the good / bad, and a discussion with husband, I decided I want to do the HRT. Another issue I didn't mention is that I had the bone density test done a year ago..on the ankle, and it was -3. Then Dr. sent me for a scan of my hips. I was told it was pre - osteo. Can't think of the word. So they put me on Fosomax. Don't always remember that. My teeth have been breaking off, lots of them in the past year. So, with the calcium issue (do not drink milk), Cholesterol issue, headaches, hot flashes, I decided to call doctor. So..I call, and the office is closed for 10 days! Not like I am in any kind of hurry, just took so long for me to decide, and now they are closed.
    The hot flashes are just so horrible. My clothes just get ringing wet, dripping off my face. Then I am freezing, I think the people at work (all Males) think I am crazy. I go from holding my hair up to sitting in front of a heater.
    Anyway, to counter act all the other things, all that medication has more of a risk than just HRT.

    Thanks for your input.
  11. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi Marg,
    I, too, am going through a "normal" menopause, it just hit me a little early (I was 46). I have also put on about 12 lbs since hitting menopause and have a lot of trouble getting it off--my body just doesn't want to lose it! I was really depressed over menopause at first but am okay now. Sure doesn't seem fair though that we have to go through this! I know some women are glad to be done with their periods but I never had much trouble with them so I didn't really care if I had them or not.