TO HRT OR NOT TO HRT?Issue #30
That is the question…..
Dear lovely readers!
How are you all? Keeping well, I hope and enjoying the odd sunny day we are getting occasionally?
In this issue, I thought I’d talk about HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). It’s a bit of a hot topic and has been for a while thanks to celebrities like Davina McCall and Mariella Fostrup being very vocal about their experiences and, more importantly, the latest findings from medical science.
If you’re of the same generation as me, you’ll be aware of the dire warnings of using HRT because of its considered connection with cases of breast cancer. These studies were undertaken in the 1980’s and 1990’s and the common advice was - don’t go anywhere near HRT unless you’re on your knees with your menopause symptoms because of how dangerous it was.
However, the medical profession is looking again at evidence to check whether using HRT is as much a risk as it first thought. And although the jury is out for a definitive answer on this one, there are some medical experts who are challenging the original thinking.
Dr Louise Newson is one of these and is fast becoming the menopause guru. Her website - Newson Health - is a gold mine of information that’s available to everyone who struggles with menopause. It’s certainly worth checking out to read her very balanced take on what is available to us currently.
As I mentioned above, female celebrities of a certain age are flag waving for menopause and how its treatment should be at the forefront of medical science.
They have a point.
But what they don’t have a point with is that if you decide to take HRT that it’s the silver bullet that cures all your menopausal troubles in a pill or a patch. They lead you to believe that on taking your first dose of HRT - whether that’s pills, patches or gels - that after a couple of weeks that you’ll be back to being the “you” you were in your 30’s.
Speak to any worthwhile medical professional who works with menopausal women, and they will tell you that it isn’t that easy. On being prescribed your first HRT, it’s highly unlikely that you will hit the optimum dose for you straight off the bat. Because HRT is trying to work every woman’s very individual bio-chemistry , it can be a trial and error situation getting the balance of the the two main hormones - oestrogen and progesterone - in the perfect balance for you. And that can take quite some time and many combinations to find. I recently read about a mid-life female doctor who stated that she had found the perfect HRT combination for her and that she “felt like she was a 20-something again”, but it had taken her four years to achieve and about 9 different combinations of HRT.
Do we want to put ourselves through that?
This is such a huge, evolving topic and one where more and more evidence is being uncovered over time, that it’s probably far too much to cover in one edition of the newsletter.
For this reason, I will come back to this topic in a later edition of the newsletter. And having a bit of a hiatus on the subject will allow me to do some more research and publish the latest findings and trends in the topic.
So, in the meantime, I wish you well with any menopause hell you might be going through and to stay strong.
I’ll be back in a fortnight’s time with another edition of the newsletter. Wishing you peaceful, cool nights and flush-free days :)