1

votes

Hormone replacement therapy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 24, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Luckily I'm a ways away from needing this. I always was against it, but I have to admit that the women in my family that have used HRT are in better condition physically than those who haven't. Maybe it's just luck, but menopause is a little scary (vaginal atrophy anyone?).

Bad? Good? Certain types better?

16ac9720030cbf0908f56da404ab01b9

(289)

on September 26, 2010
at 10:44 PM

But it doesn't help that the Women's Health Initiative study was stopped for flimsy twisted reasons too. When it was halted due to perceived risks to the test participants, thousands of women quit taking their HRT. It all makes me wonder who the players are in this game and how to follow the money trail, because they seem to be on both sides of the fence.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 25, 2010
at 04:08 PM

My concern is the flimsy twisted research behind HRT is similar to the flimsy twisted research behind statins. In fact, the stink behind HRT was so big that the US inacted a new law requiring ALL research by biotech companies to be published instead of just the positive only research that had gone before. For HRT, what big pharma had done was do study after study and not publish them until finally they found one or two that gave some small positive results. Then they trumpeted that all published research was positive! Very deceptive.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 25, 2010
at 12:30 AM

Just a note: this may be one example of "we live longer than paleolithic (wo)man, and have the opportunity to improve on things". No matter how paleo you are, old age will introduce symptoms that modern medicine can sometimes address. e.g. Knee replacements can great tools for older people who led active lifestyles, wearing down their natural knees.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 24, 2010
at 09:24 PM

Does it treat the cause or the symptom?

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9 Answers

3
16ac9720030cbf0908f56da404ab01b9

(289)

on September 24, 2010
at 08:00 PM

I'm 51, and after a year of hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and increasing forgetfulness, I had my gyno put me on the Vivelle patch, which is bioidentical estradiol. My symptoms have disappeared, and the medical studies I've read back up my decision. The beauty of transdermal is that doesn't go through the liver first like the oral medications, so your dosage is a lot lower. My gyno told me that if I decided to do it, it's critical to start as soon as I went into menopause, because that's when the brain and vaginal tissue deterioration starts, and taking it later won't bring it back.

Ladies, it's the 21st century. You don't have to suffer!

2
0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on September 26, 2010
at 01:44 PM

I took evening primose oil capsules when I went through menopause some time ago. I was exposed to excess estrogen in the 60's when the first birth control pills came out. I felt like they were killing me. I had numerous mini strokes before I figured out what was causing them and got off "the pill." I was not tempted by HRT. I was fortunate. Menopause was not a bad experience for me. Vaginal atrophy was. I have a wonderful husband and we enjoy sex. I tried many different lubes: Astroglide was the best for a long time and estrogen cream the creepiest. Researching I found Sylk a product made from New Zealand kiwi vine extract. An all natural product, it has been wonderful for us. We have fun sex life. I am 68 and my husband 78. I've been on the paleo diet for two months and am looking forward to going to my 50th high school class reunion next month in a red silk dress that is the same size as I wore my Sr. year of high school.

2
4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284

on September 25, 2010
at 12:15 AM

I took a course on functional endocrinology and it seems that replacing hormones, for the most part, doesn't actually help to support balancing out the system but rather is the same medical model that we have for every other supposed problem, illness or sickness that exists. I have personally had my adrenals and female hormones tested and was given some replacements to support what was low at the time and it felt whacky. After learning the difference between a replacement model and a functional model, I see now that the replacement model is standard of care in the US vs a functional model that looks deeply for the underlying causes and attempts to fix the part of the system that is "broken" and support it to rebalance the person out.

All that said, I imagine that a menopausal woman may not feel quite as menopausal if she were to go Paleo long enough before that time came. Apparently the symptoms we feel in that time aren't "normal" and are a result of imbalanced hormones throughout life... as are menstrual cramps. I guess the pain of being a woman doesn't really have to exist?! I know my cramps are FAR reduced since going Paleo...

Just my .02

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 25, 2010
at 05:18 AM

My mother only had occasional hot flashes and no other symptoms. About 10 years ago, we discussed putting her on HRT. I thought about it and decided she had not symptoms of any of the diseases that HRT, at that time, was purported to help with. No osteoporosis, no heart disease, etc. So we decided that nature was no fool and decided to stay with the natural way when in doubt. Some years later, it was all over the news that newer studies on HRT showed more overall harm than good for the general population on HRT. Sure, some individuals may benefit, but others would actually become worse. So we were glad we decided as we did. She continues to have no problems and the hot flashes went away on their own. No vaginal problems either and she is 73.

If she had more serious suffering, I guess we would have been more motivated to try it, and if it alleviated serious suffering, then there would be a clear quality of life benefit. But otherwise, I would not do it. I don't trust big pharma. Doctors say what they are told is the truth by big pharma who pays for most of the research and then tells the doctors a skewed version of the truth. Most doctors never go over each piece of research in detail to figure out what is really happening. Most doctors are well meaning but do not check the details of what they are taught by other well meaning doctors who also have not looked at the research.

Therefore, I now no longer consume any medication without researching it thoroughly first. Just because "a doctor told me" is no longer good enough reason for me to do something. It took me 40 years and a lot of really bad doctor's advice and botched diagnosies to figure this out. I think more than half of what doctors have told me has turned out to be very very wrong. They have told me that medications would work and they didn't work. When I was a kid, they told my mother that since nothing showed on an xray, therefore the pain at the back of my foot that I was complaining about was probably just a made up story. It wasn't and I suffered from intense pain for 3 months until whatever it was slowly started to heal. All the while, my mother accused me of faking it and she knew this for sure because "The doctor told me." Now I suspect it was some kind of achilles tendonitis or tear.

So now I use the doctor's word as merely a starting point to begin my decision making process. I research what they said and I research other options. THen I come back with questions and expect good answers. Some doctors impress me in this process and others fail miserably. The good ones are ready for my questions and have answers or admit they don't know and they really help me with my decision. The bad ones become angry the more questions I ask and don't like to be 'challenged.' The good ones like when I am educated about the issue and the bad ones hate it. The difference is quickly apparent.

1
D738a5b2a67f3c36518a2ac9f32d27af

on September 25, 2010
at 01:26 AM

For what it's worth, Mark Sisson's wife says she tried everything natural and now uses bioidentical hormones:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dear-carrie-reader-question-roundup/

She said it was the memory loss that made her give in.

(See her answer under the first question under the section "Women's Issues".)

0
C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on September 26, 2010
at 12:49 PM

I have a very different perspective to this. After years of suffering with health problems caused by producing too much oestrogen which were not relieved even after an early total hysterectomy I am now receiving a monthly injection which stops all sex hormones - and I feel better than I've ever felt. I am getting a few hot flushes but nothing else. I think many of the symptoms of menopause - muscle and bone loss in particular - are caused by the reduction in testosterone and that a paleo diet plus weight bearing exercise deals with this. Jared Diamond in Why Sex is Fun explains how the female menopause is evidence that humans are supposed to live well into their 60s and 70s - the 'wise woman' has a role to play in ensuring the survival not just of her children but also her grandchildren. So I would say memory loss is not a symptom of a 'normal' menopause but yet another symptom of the effect of our unnatural lifestyles. Living paleo now does not, unfortunately, undo all the damage done over a lifetime and the older you are when you start the more damage has been done I suppose. As for vaginal problems - there might be an element of 'use it or lose it' there!

0
C90eecdd76cf57a387095fa49de23807

(960)

on September 24, 2010
at 09:41 PM

My mother was on bio-identical hormones before beginning paleo, along with a suite of supplements for other problems, including extreme joint pain. Since beginning this diet one year ago, she has weaned herself off of all medications. Unfortunately, though I do know she had low thyroid activity, I don't know what her symptoms were like before the HRT. She is now completely symptom free (and is no longer getting her knees replaced.) :)

0
29959ae795359b64d3244dffc72e6eb9

on September 24, 2010
at 07:52 PM

talk to your doc about estradiol - it is enough to combat the meno-problems - i choose quality of life over quantity. good luck

0
65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

on September 24, 2010
at 07:47 PM

My mother tried out HRT when she was younger. She told me how she had some very bad reactions to it, including lots of hair loss. The conversation came up when I was discussing some of the downsides of eating soy, which she uses to help combat her hot flashes. Apparently the pseudo-estrogen compounds are enough to limit their occurrence for her.

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