Breast Cancer And Hrt
Women over 50 years of age who use combined oestrogen and progestogen replacement for less than five years have little or no increased risk of breast cancer. Women who use combined HRT for more than five years have a slightly increased risk. Women on oestrogen alone have no increased risk up to 15 years of usage.
There is no evidence to suggest that a woman with a family history of breast cancer will have an added increased risk of developing breast cancer if she uses HRT. The risk with combined oestrogen and progestogen is greater than with oestrogen alone, or with newer HRT agents such as tibolone , and may also depend on the type of progestogen used. Studies suggest that medroxyprogesterone acetate and norethisterone have higher risks than dydrogesterone and progesterone.
Symptoms Of Hormone Imbalance In Women
Hormones play a key role in regulating most major body processes, including metabolism, appetite, heart rate, sleep cycles, fertility, sexual function, mood, stress and body temperature, as well as growth and development. When even one hormone is out of balance, your entire wellbeing may be affected. If you have been experiencing symptoms like those listed below, your hormone levels may be out of balance.
Hormonal imbalance can affect women of all ages and early symptoms are easily dismissed as stress from daily living, leaving many women suffering longer than necessary. Premenstrual syndrome , premenstrual dysphoric disorder , perimenopause and menopause are all influenced by hormonal fluctuations. None of these conditions should cause extreme discomfort or anxiety, therefore if your symptoms are distressing, this is a sign you need to speak to an expert physician about your hormone health.
Symptoms Treated By Hormone Therapy
Whether its a thyroid disorder, menopause or chronic fatiguethe symptoms of hormone imbalance are vastly similar. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, you can find relief with hormone replacement therapy:
- Higher incidence of injury or illness
- Slower healing from illness or injury
- Increases in body fat
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Are Compounded Bioidentical Hormones Bad
There are risks to taking compounded bioidentical hormones, but in some cases, they may be a better choice. Compounded bioidentical hormones are not FDA-approved. They are not tested for safety or effectiveness. Many major medical groups do not support using them because not enough is known about their safety and long-term side effects.
Menopausal Hormone Therapy After Breast Cancer
Taking post-menopausal hormone therapy , also called hormone replacement therapy , to help with menopause symptoms may not be safe for women who have had breast cancer. If you are bothered by menopause symptoms, talk to your doctor about ways to get relief.
Many women have menopause symptoms such as hot flashes after treatment for breast cancer. This can happen naturally as women get older, but it can also be caused by some breast cancer treatments. Some pre-menopausal women have menopause symptoms as a result of chemotherapy or from hormone therapy drugs used to treat breast cancer . Women who are past menopause might also get symptoms if they had to stop taking PHT when they were diagnosed with breast cancer.
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What Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Bioidentical hormones are a form of hormone therapy that has existed since the 1930s and has had resurgence in popularity over the last two decades. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has helped thousands of men and women enjoy a healthier, higher quality of life by restoring hormonal balance without the side effects commonly associated with synthetic hormones.
Bioidentical hormones are hormones derived from naturally-occurring sources, such as soy or yams. Bioidentical hormones are compounded in a lab and designed to be structurally indistinguishable from the natural hormones made by the human body. The term, bioidentical, refers to this structural replication. The exact-match replication of bioidentical hormones enhances the effectiveness of the treatment as well as reduces side effects and risks.
What Are The Risks Of Bioidentical Hormones
It has been shown in research studies that there are risks to taking hormones. It can increase the risk of blood clots, stroke, and gallbladder disease. Your risk of heart disease and breast cancer may also increase if you are older or use hormonal therapy for an extended period. Many healthcare providers who use bioidentical hormones claim they are safer than traditional hormone therapy treatments. But there have been no large research studies of bioidentical hormones to show evidence of this.
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Natural Estrogen Hormone Therapy For Women
Hormonal imbalance affects millions of women in the United States. Conditions, such as menopause, thyroid dysfunction, and hypoactive sexual desire disorder are linked to out-of-balance hormones. The symptoms of hormonal imbalance can be life-altering. From mood swings and insomnia to weight gain and hair loss, women suffering from symptoms of hormone imbalance can find relief. Better yet, women can experience better health and a higher quality of life when hormone balance is safely and effectively restored with bio-identical hormone therapy and a comprehensive treatment plan from a qualified practitioner specializing in hormone health and hormone therapy.
Menopause And Hormonal Imbalance
Menopause is among the leading causes of hormonal imbalance among middle-aged women. On average, most women begin to experience menopausal changes around the age of 51, however symptoms can occur much sooner. Some women endure symptoms, like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, difficulty concentrating and short-term memory lapses, for as many as 14 years, limiting productivity at work, affecting relationships at home and seriously degrading health and quality of life.
Despite being a common issue, menopausal treatments are often limited. In fact, research has shown that the average doctor is ill equipped to help modern women manage menopausal symptoms. An antiquated system that fails to keep up with the times or an inept review of current research may be the reasons many general practitioners are uncertain of the most effective treatments for menopause. Either way, women over 50 who want to continue to grow their career or travel the world rather than sit home and fan off hot flashes can do just thatthere are viable treatment options for the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
Since then, reviews of the WHI have opened the eyes of the medical community and led many to seek more effective treatments for menopause. Physicians specializing in hormone health realized that bio-identical hormones, which are a structural match to the hormones found in the human body, reduced or eliminated symptoms of menopause, while improving safety and effectiveness.
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When Is The Right Time For Hormone Replacement Therapy
When one becomes deficient in any hormone, it is optimal to replace it. Generally women will become deficient in progesterone and/or testosterone in their late 30s to early 40s. A lack of estrogen usually doesnt occur until shortly before or at the menopause . Replacing all three hormones after the menopause is usually necessary for optimal hormone balance.
Talking To Your Doctor About Hormone Replacement Therapy
Talking to your doctor and discussing the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy can help you understand your options and whats best for you and your health.
It’s important to tell your Moreland OB-GYN provider everything you know about your medical history. Let them know if you have a history of blood clots, high blood pressure, cancer, and if you are a current or former smoker. Keeping a close track of all your menopause symptoms can also help your doctor decide the best treatment course.
Once you start hormone replacement therapy, it’s essential you follow up with your doctor to discuss any symptoms or side effects you experience. If you decide hormone therapy is not the best option for you, your doctor can discuss natural ways to help alleviate uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Stress management through relaxation and meditation
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Avoiding alcohol
- Developing a relaxing bedtime routine and sleep schedule
Moreland OB-GYN is proud to have Menopause Practitioners certified by the North American Menopause Society on staff. All of our providers are dedicated to helping women through this stage of their life by providing in-depth knowledge of the treatments available.
Our team of caring providers will take the time to listen and answer any questions you have about hormone replacement therapy. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and start your journey towards a happier, healthier life during and after menopause.
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Risks Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
The risks of HRT vary with the type, dose, route of administration, duration of use, and age of initiation. Results from the WHI, with treatment consisting of oral estrogen and medroxyprogesterone acetate, demonstrated an increased risk of invasive breast cancer and cardiovascular events including heart attacks, cerebrovascular events, and blood clots.. Further analysis and research has shown that oral HRT increases the risk of thromboembolic events, with risk of stroke increasing with age and with initiation of therapy > 10 years from onset of menopause. Estrogen plus progesterone therapy is associated with a small increased risk of breast cancer, which is greater with use of synthetic progestins . HRT is also associated with an increased risk of gallbladder disease, although overall risk is low.
Making An Informed Choice For An Alternative
A large industry produces and sells these alternative health care products, in much the same way that pharmaceutical companies promote the drugs they make. Alternative health care practitioners are subject to influence by these companies, just as conventional doctors are influenced by drug companies.
Regardless of whether they are recommended by a doctor, a nurse practitioner, a naturopath, or the cashier at a health food store, women should be skeptical of products that claim to extend life, reverse aging, restore youth, or prevent disease without any adverse effects. In too many cases, these products not only don’t do what proponents claim but also have dangerous health effects.
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Side Effects And Risks Of Bhrt
While the FDA has approved some preparations of bioidentical estradiol and progesterone, it hasnt approved any compounded bioidentical hormones. There are claims that bioidentical hormones are safer and more effective than traditional HRT because theyre identical in structure to those produced in the body. But these claims have not been confirmed by large-scale, reputable studies. The FDA urges caution when using compounded products.
Research has shown that hormone replacement therapy in general may increase the risk for certain conditions and diseases including:
Talk to your doctor about which form may be best for you and your lifestyle. Youll likely need to be monitored regularly once you begin BHRT to evaluate your bodys response. However, the FDA cautions against monitoring hormone levels via blood and saliva tests. These only tell you your hormone levels at a moment in time and can vary widely throughout the day.
The FDA recommends that if you do choose any form of hormone therapy that you use the lowest dose that produces results. The FDA also says you should use it for the shortest length of time possible.
Venous Thrombosis And Hrt
Venous thromboses are blood clots that form inside veins. Women under 50 years of age, and women aged 50 to 60, face an increased risk of venous thrombosis if they take oral HRT. The increase in risk seems to be highest in the first year or two of therapy and in women who already have a high risk of blood clots. This especially applies to women who have a genetic predisposition to developing thrombosis, who would normally not be advised to use HRT.
Limited research to date suggests the increased risk of clots is mainly related to combined oestrogen and progestogen in oral form, and also depends on the type of progestogen used. Some studies suggest a lower risk with non-oral therapy or tibolone.
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Individualized Treatment Programs Include:
- Highly trained bioidentical hormone practitioners specializing in natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and treatments for women
- Comprehensive hormone level testing including blood, saliva and urine
- Thorough analysis of lab results, symptoms, medical, family and personal history
- Personalized female hormone replacement therapy programs that match solutions with symptoms
- Quality compounded hormones and pharmaceutical-grade supplements
- Nutritional guidance and support
- Customized womens health and fitness programs
Women can achieve balance. With the support of experts, like the practitioners of the BodyLogicMD network, you can succeed through proven ideologies, such as balanced nutrition, routine fitness and advanced therapies, including bioidentical hormone therapy. The practitioners of the BodyLogicMD network are dedicated to partnering with you to ensure you reach your goals for health and wellbeing year after year.
Menopause: Whats Really Going On
Menopause is a widely-known condition of hormone imbalance and rapidly becoming the most common as the number of women over 50 in the United States soars higher. Menopause is the top reason women seek hormone therapy.
Menopause often begins in a womans late 40s to early 50s, when her ovaries cease producing eggs and stop the subsequent release of hormones that initiates the monthly menstrual cycle. Perimenopause is the stage just before menopause when a womans menstrual cycles begin to become irregular and she may be affected by symptoms similar to menopause. A woman is considered menopausal when her menstrual cycle has been absent for 12 consecutive months. Perimenopause and menopause both leave many women struggling with their health, well-being and even their sense of self. Its hard to resume normal living when plagued by disruptive symptoms like hot flashes, anxiety, weight gain and fatigue. Some women may also be affected by more serious conditions such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome or cancer that can intensify the menopausal experience.
The benefits of a comprehensive treatment plan for hormone balance extends well beyond addressing symptoms. At the biostation, we strive to deliver medically-based solutions to low testosterone and other conditions of aging affecting women.
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Menopausal Scripts And The Search For Hormonal Solutions
There were two interrelated reasons why the patients we interviewed sought the services of anti-aging practitioners. First, women sought out practitioners to receive hormone treatments for unwanted symptoms that women interpreted as being the direct result of hormonal decline and imbalance due to menopause or a hysterectomy. Second, their previous search for symptom relief had created frustration with traditional physicians who had been unwilling or unable to adequately treat their hormonal imbalance, which led to a search for an alternative practitioner. Anti-aging clinicians shared their patients frustration with conventional medicine and offered an alternative therapy, thereby offering mutual legitimation for the use of bioidentical hormone treatments .
Well I had a hysterectomy in 1997 and they left my ovaries in . and within the first year my ovaries started to fail and I went to over nine physicians over the years and they all told me it was in my head. And finally, it was eight years and I found this doctor who did anti-aging. He did a proper test on me, a saliva test, which tested everything, all my hormones and my cortisol, and he found that I was so totally out of whack. And my life turned around once I started taking all these supplements and the proper hormone replacement. So I am a firm believer.
Similarly, a patient who also works for an anti-aging provider described the typical experience:
Do Bioidentical Hormones Cause Weight Gain
Yes, weight gain is a side effect of bioidentical hormones.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Bioidentical hormones are used to help people manage symptoms of menopause or other hormonal imbalances. The FDA does not approve some bioidentical hormones. All hormone replacement therapy comes with risks. Compounded bioidentical hormones may come with more risk because their effects are not well studied. Talk to your healthcare provider about the pros and cons of hormone replacement. Most importantly, know that you do not need to live with unpleasant symptoms of low hormones. Your provider can help safely manage your symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/15/2022.
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Beware Of Medications And Birth Control
Are you aware of your medications side effects? Some can disrupt your hormone balance, leading to side effects like fatigue, appetite changes, altered sleeping patterns, low libido, sadness and even depression.
Some medications that can mess with your hormone balance include corticosteroids, stimulants, statins, dopamine agonists, rexinoids and glucocorticoids. Beware of your medications, talk to your doctor about the side effects and research natural alternatives whenever possible.
Birth control is another medication that alters hormone levels. The pill is a type of hormone therapy that raises estrogen levels to levels that can cause many complications.
Studies show that the health risks of taking them, especially long term, may include issues like:
- Breakthrough bleeding between cycles
- Increased risk of uterine bleeding, blood clotting, heart attack and stroke
- Breast tenderness
Clinician Recruitment And Sample
As part of a larger study on anti-aging science and medicine in the United States, clinicians were recruited from the online directory of the American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine , where consumers can identify US-based anti-aging clinicians. A4M is the first hit in a Google search of anti-aging medicine . The A4M directory was intentionally chosen because clinicians voluntary choose to advertise themselves as providing anti-aging medicine, which was the target of our larger research project. It is important to note, however, that while these physicians were members of A4M and had requested to be included in the online directory, they also referred to and marketed themselves using other monikers and via other organizations ) and could have been found by patients in ways other than through the A4M directory or the anti-aging label.
After receiving approval for this project from the Institutional Review Board at , we randomly selected every tenth directory entry, generating a list of 130 clinicians. Eight mailed packets were returned as undeliverable, yielding a final list of 122 potential participants. After mailing recruitment packets, physicians were contacted to schedule a telephone interview.