How to make HRT decision - best book recommendation?

marys1000May 15, 2008

I recently saw an OB/GYN for an annual, since I have moved a couple of times over the last few years this was yet again a new Dr.

I told him my periods had been decreasing and skipping and I haven't had one now in about 5 months, my longest stretch without one. My biggest issues have been mood swings (sad, depressed for 2 weeks, then ok for 2) tiredness which also swings about 1 week really tired, a couple sort of normal and 1 pretty energetic - and memory problems. (Oh and some eh hm, urine leaking) Being at a new job with memory problems is really hard.

I was sort of surprised when he suggested HRT. My symptoms really don't seem that devasting, the memory thing is a little scary because of possible job impacts but still its not THAT bad.

He said they are relooking at the data and if your going to do HRT its best to start early. He suggested a light dose of a synthetic (I won't do the mare's urine ones unless I'm truly incapacitated). I got the impression (could be wrong it was sort of a short conversation) that he considered this a long term thing.

I don't know what to think. There is a very VERY large part of me that thinks the longer I can stay off meds, and any all meds for whatever problem, the better off I am. Seems like once you start something pretty soon your popping 8 pills a day.

But since I'm just starting menopause things could get worse? My family is very small, most died in WWII. My sister (58, I'm 51) had major cystic tumors which caused real serious pain, HRT took care of it - after she went off HRT 1.5 years later she had no other symptoms - no hot flashes or anything. FWIW we are nothing alike and I don't expect to have the same issues or nonissues. My mother had a hysterectomy in her late 30s, I dont think she ever took anything and was a depressed, anxious beeatch a lot - (I don't mean to be mean, I love her but she's had issues) but she's had a real tough life and has other reasons for any issues so who knows?

Are the choices - no HRT => bone loss, muscle loss and ?

vs. HRT => which helps maintain bone and muscle, heart health etc. but may risk cancer?

I'm not sure what the ins and outs of this are, I've tried to pay attention but its easy to get confused. I haven't had kids. Does that change things? They say no kids = a higher risk of breast cancer right? But what does estrogen have to do with that?

The Dr. basically left it up to me (?)

Honestly I'm not looking foward to periods again either though thats a small thing.

Is there a one good book I could read?

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yes, here is the link....
You have to ask yourself, "are the pharmaceutical companies funding these HRT studies?" Don't be their guinea pig!
And, do you know what they call the doctor who graduates at the bottom of the class?? ...they call that person "Doctor".

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 8:02PM
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I recommend reading Suzanne Somers book: The Sexy Years. I did and ended up with bioidentical hormones. While she doesn't specifically talk about subcutaneous pellets, that is what I have. I wrote a thread here with alot of detail. It's called Bioidentical Hormone Pellets"

In short, I get estrogen and testosterone pellets implanted in my hip. They are the closest to what I make, not metabolized by the liver and does not have near the breast risk that synthetics or pills do. The deliver a consistent low dose. I get them every 3-4 months.

I do not believe in suffering with symptoms when there are options. I would never use synthetic from a pregnant mare. I've read how they are abused to obtain the urine.

I have never felt better in my life. I'm 54, had a hysterectomy 20 years ago, have never had kids.

I also recommend seeing a doctor that specializes in bioidentical hormones and menopause.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 11:03PM
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I recommend Screaming to be Heard by Elizabeth Lee Vliet.

It's a very thorough book about all female hormones and how they relate to our bodies. I'm only half way through the book and have learned so much. I now can go to my doctor, educated about my body and what I'm experiencing. I also know what tests need to be run.

Being educated is a powerful thing! I highly recommend this book.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 3:00PM
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I too recommend Dr. Vliet's book. I was 100% against HRT, but after reading the book four times (it is a hard read), I changed my mind completely. I have referred her to many of my friends, including professional women.

She also had a show on blogtalk radio, which is very interesting.


Here is a link that might be useful: Dr. Vliet on BlogTalkRadio

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 4:09PM
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I've been reading The Wisdom of Menopause by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 5:49PM
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