Should Women Pick Natural Hormone to Avoid Heart Attack?
Posted Jul 24 2009 10:06pm
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or in Britain, Hormone therapy (HT), is a system of medical treatment for women with symptoms of menopause. It employs one or more of a group of medications designed to boost artificially hormone levels. The main types of hormones involved are estrogen, progesterone, progestin, and sometimes testosterone.
According to a study, more and more Australian women are running away from HRT and using untested alternatives like herbs and so-called natural hormones to tackle their problems with the menopause. The finding of the study was published in the journal Climacteric in April 2009.
Nevertheless, the researchers who carried out the study warned that such natural alternatives were in fact unproven for safety and efficacy and more importantly, not approved by national health authorities.
953 women of age above 40 were interviewed by the researchers in 2008 to find out what they used for replacing their loss of hormones. Results obtained were compared with the data collected in health surveys carried out in 8 similar studies conducted between 1991 and 2004.
There was a sharp drop in both overall prevalence and length of use of conventional HRT from 2003. According to the researchers, this was due to the announcement in 2002 of a study that appeared to link HRT to a higher risk of breast cancer, heart attack and stroke.
However, they also indicated that though recent studies did endorse the benefits of HRT and revise downwards the possible risks on heart attack etc., women did not seem to go back to HRT.
The study found that 15.8 percent of women above the age of 50 were using HRT in 2004, down from 22 percent in 2000, and uses on HRT further dropped to 11.8 percent in 2008. On the other hand, use of alternative hormonal therapies was rare in 2004 but the number had risen to 4 percent in 2008.
To most health experts, HRT is still the best way to treat menopausal symptoms for most women. It is unfortunately that women who need help for their menopause are turning to some unproven and possibly unsafe alternatives because of scares. Women are therefore urged to contact their doctor before starting any treatments for menopausal symptoms.