Any other treatment or supplement for HRT (hormone replacement therapy)?
I am a basically healthy 51 year old female. I have been having problems with menopausal symptoms notably spotting. I went to my health care provider and she recommended that I get a prescription for birth control pills and start the hormone replacement therapy because of a hormone imbalance. I absolutely refuse to take the hormone therapy. It increases the risks for osteoporosis, heart disease and stroke. I asked her for a safe alternative and she said that was the only course of therapy for my condition. I believe in taking safe medications. I use to work as a nursing assistant a few years back. I saw perfectly healthy patients become ill then suddenly die after starting new medications. For instance, an Alzheimer patient started Aricept treatment. 3 months later she died from liver cancer. She had no signs of physical illness then died from liver cancer. Another resident started on Aricept then tragically died from liver cancer. This has led me to be cautious with medications. I take only what I need to for illness. I use vitamins and supplements to keep my health.
This is the reason I'm wondering if there is a safer method for therapy. Thanks.
- MeMeMeLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
I was just reading some studies about heart disease and HRT, as my mother is 54 (and a surgeon) and has refused to go on hormones for menopause, but is suffering with the symptoms (and a concurrent thyroid disease she's had for many years). Ironically though, my father is a heart surgeon and is very familiar with the link between hormone replacement therapy and health risks, but he has been trying to get my mother on something for her symptoms for years. So I think sometimes the risks outweight the benefits, and vice versa. HRT is definitely not for everyone and is not a one-size-fits-all approach to treating menopausal symptoms.
So... I hear what you're going through!
There are alternatives to HRT, but they are mostly holistic or involve simple lifestyle changes (exercise, healthy eating, etc.). I found a link you may want to read through from the Mayo Clinic. It is a basic overview of the pros and cons of taking hormones for menopause, and the second page is about alternatives. You can read it here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hormone-therapy/W...
They are pretty vague with what types of alternatives there are, but you can do a simple Yahoo or Google search. I'm hesitant to list specific supplements, herbs, or vitamins because I am not menopausal and haven't tried them on myself. However, I was put on HRT several years ago due to a hormone imbalance from an autoimmune thyroid disease. The symptoms I was experiencing in my early 20s were exactly the same as my mother in her early 50s. It was a joke in the family that whenever we got together, my mother and I were always having hot flashes. Anyway, the side effects of hormones are noticeable with some medications, but after getting my thyroid and hormones back in check, I stayed on birth control because I found it helped regulate my period and cramps, as well as other symptoms I was used to having around my menstrual cycle (hot flashes, cold sweats, nausea, etc.).
If you go holistic, just be patient! It's a difficult road, as it can take a while to find something that works. I've been diagnosed with two more chronic illnesses due to taking immunosuppressants for my thyroid for the last 11 years and have chosen to go strictly natural to treat these. My mistrust in medication is probably about the same as yours. As for the birth control I'm on (Microgestin FE), it has been a lifesaver for me, literally. It is a low-dose progestin-only BC that has worked fabulously for me, and I've noticed no side effects. I found this pill after a lot of trial and error with other newer medications. I went through OB-Gyns until I found the one I have now who will only prescribe older medications, as she believes they are safer due to being studied long-term. Right up my alley!
Anyway, good luck to you! I really do wish you some peace with your menopausal symptoms, and I hope that you find something to help you through this time!
- JustineLv 44 years ago
Not all women are affected by menopause in the same way. Some have severe symptoms and can benefit from HRT while others have such mild symptoms it really isn't recommended or necessary. It is important to remember that even with HRT you will need to go off that be decreasing the dosage and essentially you are only prolonging the symptoms. I have managed quite nicely without HRT.