I'm 45yrs old and I had a hysterectomy about 6 yrs ago. I was on HRT for 5 yrs. I have a history of CA (malignant chondrosarcoma right femur). I went off HRT once and couldn't handle the hot flashes. Got back on for about 6 mths and decided 8 wks ago to stop again. I am just fearful of the effects they have on my body. I do have osteoporosis (spine, hips, femur(s) ). I have decided that I can deal with the hot flashes, but I feel horrible. I'm afraid I'm harming the rest of my body. Bones, circulation, mood, depression, etc. . . . Any info would be appreciated.
Hi Patti, I?m not clear as to whether you?ve tried other alternatives to prescribed HRT, but in case you have not and wish to consider herbal symptom relief, below is an excerpt from my book ?The Big M? that addresses some options. Of course, few studies have been done; most of the data we have is anecdotal (which means stories from real women about their individual responses.) There has been some research that natural progesterone cream not only helps with symptoms, but is protective of bone and prevents further osteoporosis. If I were you, I?d probably start there.
With herbs or other natural remedies, it generally takes 1-2 weeks for optimal effect although it can be shorter. So try one thing at a time and give it time to work before changing or adding.
Excerpt from ?The Big M? (thebigmwebsite.com) Herbal Supplements Dong Quai, Burdock Root, Red Clover, Black Cohosh, Evening Primrose Oil Studies show that women in Japan and China have much lower incidence of PMS or menopausal symptoms than do Americans. This could be due to DNA, but also could result from the usual Japanese diet which is high in soy. Dong quai is taken by many Chinese women from the time they are young.
Black cohosh, primrose oil, red clover, and burdock root are also time-honored remedies for menopausal symptoms. Side effects do exist, however, and some women cannot tolerate these herbs. Black cohosh and dong quai have been associated with high blood pressure in some women. It is also important to assess whether there might be potential interactions with other medications that you are taking, before you take ANY supplements. There are plenty of products that contain more than one of these herbs, however many also contain soy so read the labels if you are soy sensitive. Emerita makes a popular multiherbal supplement that contains no soy called ?Menopause Plus Formula? (www. emerita.com). Remifemin is a popular black cohosh remedy. (www.remifemin.com) Both are sold in health food stores and many grocery stores as well.
Natural progesterone cream was a godsend for some of us - and didn?t work much for others. Emerita?s Pro-Gest (www.emerita.com), and Natural Woman (www.prodnature.com) are the Venus group?s favorites, but there are others on the market. In the beginning of peri-menopause, progesterone levels drop, which can begin the annoying symptoms of hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings. A cautionary note: Mexican wild yam cream is not as effective as natural progesterone cream, as it is a precursor to the hormone and not in a usable form for our bodies.
Our first drugs came from plants. Herbs are drugs too, with side effects, potential for overdosage, and interaction with anything else you are taking. You MUST research all medications and herbal supplements carefully and inform your health care practitioner/partner about every little thing that you are ingesting. Otherwise, you may be playing with fire, instead of quenching it.
Please keep in touch and let me know how it goes. You can find more info on my blogsite below or write me on Wellsphere again if you have questions. all my best, Lynette www.menopausegoddessblog.org
Also, to address the beginning question you had, indeed women can be healthy without HRT. I'm guessing that you are most concerned about osteoporosis. Again, I recommend natural progesterone cream as well as weight bearing exercise to keep bones strong and dense.
In addition, certain drugs, such as Fosamax, Actonel and Boniva , specifically treat osteoporosis. Check with your physician about the feasability of these drugs and whether they are indicated considering your history of bone cancer.
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