For Those Not Taking HRT

lulie___wayneSeptember 5, 2002

Hello Everyone. I have read several of the posts about the HRT's and side affects and other alternatives, but I would like to hear from those of you who are not taking the traditional HRT's, exactly what your doctors have told you is safe and recommended to take instead to safeguard against the osteoporosis and all of the other wonderful things that come along with menopause.

I am presently taking Provera and Estratest but I got off of them just a few days ago. I never did have really bad hot flashes but I am concerned about the heart, bones, etc.

Forgive me if this has already been discussed, but I haven't seen doctor's recommendations. Thanks a lot.

Lu from Louisiana

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Hi, my doctor recommented Evista. I haven't started taking this pill yet, I'm waiting for a bone density test. Unlike you my big problem is hot flashes.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2002 at 3:49PM
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Sue, my doctor recommended Evista also. It was so expensive. One of the side effects of this is HOT FLASHES that are worse, so beware. I think it was $70.00 a month, so I bought one month's supply and didn't even finish it. Oh well. I think I am going to just take a lot of calcium and be done with it all. Really.
Let me know how the Evista works for you.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2002 at 4:38PM
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Hi Lu ~

I have been off HRT since January of 2002.

This past May I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis in the hips, and Osteopenia in my spine. My doctor prescribed Actonel (once-a-week) which I have been on now four months. I have no side effects as yet. I will have another bone scan done next May and hope there will either be no change or maybe even some improvement in my bone density.

The only other thing my doctor recommended was Black Cohash for Hot Flashes. I have found a cream that I have been using for about two or three months. It is called Feminine Balance and can be ordered through the link below or via The Vermont Country Store ( I use one pump full, twice a day. I rub the cream (almost a gel) on both arms. It has helped a great deal with my hot flashes.

Other than an occasional hot flash, I have no other menopausal symptoms.

Take care.

Here is a link that might be useful: Radiant Life Systems

    Bookmark   September 25, 2002 at 12:35AM
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Thanks for you input, Sarah. Right now, I am not taking anything and just have an occasional hot flash. I think that I will just keep it this way, unless I begin to have any menopausal problems. I had a bone density test done last month and it looked really good showing no problems at all, so I will take my calcium and hope for the best in the years to come. I appreciate the sites that you gave me. I will check them out. I hope that your next bone density test shows improvement. Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2002 at 12:59AM
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Hi Lulie,
At 41 years of age, my periods just stopped and menopause began! I am now 54 years old, both my Mother and Aunt have had breast cancer. My Mom has had 4 different cancers and beaten all of them so far. Because of the history of cancer I never went on HRT. My doc would discuss it with me and recommend it, but it was all ways my choice. I did have a bone density test at age 50 and they said I have the bones of a 20 year old (what happened to the outside? turn me inside out please!). Lucky for me. Yes, I had and have hot flashes. Irritable, not that I have noticed, but don't ask hubby and kids. Moody, naw, but don't ask hubby and kids. Sometimes the hot flashes are a bit much, but remember, just wait 5 minutes and it will pass. Isn't it amazing how you never get one when you are cold!
Kathy G in MI
It helps to keep smiling!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2002 at 7:10PM
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My doctor told me that it was my choice to take medications or not. He personally advises against them if symptoms are manageable. He said that actually only about 10% of menopausal women take anything. My Grandmother, Mother and older sister went through it and never took a thing and I will not either. I'm also not really big on any type of medication much less a hormone and so I'm happy that my doctor concurs. His wife is also experiencing menopause and is doing fine without meds. I've been having irregular periods and other symptoms for about 2 years now. I think the end is coming near!!!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2003 at 12:42PM
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Rosie, your post was just what I was hoping to hear. I wanted to "hear" it from the doctor's mouth that we really don't need to take anything. I'm like you, I will keep from taking any kind of medicine if I possibly can. I think that if we can, we should go the natural way.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2003 at 1:08PM
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I don't know if this will help any or not, but, I am now 10 years post menopausal and I never took anything while I was going through menopause. I never even thought about going to a doctor. I was older than my co-workers and my friends and didn't have any idea what symptoms went with menopause. I did have the night sweats for a while and the sleeplessness but at the same time I was going through a severe emotional problem and thought that was what was causing the sleeplessness. I had hot flashes and sometimes would have as many as 4 or 5 an hour and they always came at the worst times. Within 2 years I was past all of that and I never thought any of the symptoms were anything more than an annoyance.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2003 at 2:25PM
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What about depression? I seem to be having bouts of depression, menopause alone is not enough obviously, lol. Can anyone tell me if they are experiencing some depression. Mine usually lasts a day and that happens a few times a week. Maybe I'm just going crazy, lol. Let me know what you have experienced and perhaps I can find some strength to take the days one day at a time. Thank you for the feedback.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2003 at 1:03AM
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I have had a little of that, but I think it was mainly when I decided to take it upon myself to get off of the hormones myself. I have done it twice and noticed it then. I am going to the doctor next month and plan to get a hormone level blood check. I am going to find out once and for all if I need the stuff or not. My sister is 55 and has never taken anything and feels fine. Neither one of us have had a hysterectomy, so I really think that I am going to continue to stay off of the stuff if I can help it.
Depression lasting a full day a few times a week sounds a little much to me. I know that depression can be an awful thing. Maybe you should tell your doctor and if you don't want estrogen, maybe a low dosage of antidepressant would help you if it is affecting your quality of life. Let us know.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2003 at 1:13PM
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Thought I'd drop by and share my experience on this thread. I'm eight years post-menopausal. My main symptoms were hot flashes (w/night sweats) and emotional swings that included some impressive rages. At the time I was also having heart palpitations and some chest pains, and had been diagnosed with lupus. In addition, I started menopause about 35 lb. overweight and added ten more once it was underway.

I argued with three doctors who wanted me to take HRT. I felt, as I do now, that for most women menopause is like childbirth: a natural process rather than a medical condition. Although my mother died before reaching menopause, I felt I would come through it in better shape if I didn't mess with nature.

I added hawthorne with motherwort to my supplements, which helped with the palpitations, and took a couple of doses of a homeopathic remedy (essence of pit viper!) for the rages. Other than that, the biggest changes I made were to my lifestyle. I traded my "healthy" high-carb, mostly vegetarian diet for a low-carb, high-protein one and lost my excess weight. I upped my consumption of tofu and soy milk for isoflavones. I joined a gym. And I went out and got a full-time job.

These many years later, I am no longer going to gym, but I'm taking up yoga. I had to quit my job to take care of my husband, but I'll eventually go back. Almost all the weight is still off. The hot flashes are long gone, along with the rest of the symptoms. I stopped the hawthorne, etc., ages ago, but still take vitamin supplements. I still eat (and enjoy) the soy foods. I'm often told that I look a lot younger than I am. My health isn't perfect, but I'm convinced HRT would have made things worse rather than better. I'm so glad I didn't listen to those doctors.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2003 at 5:32PM
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I thought I was post-mentopausal - NOT! I hadn't had a period since April and then opening night of the church Christmas play - there I was again. I put it down to the emotional content of the play. I had to cry every night for over a week. I have had no adverse symptoms with menopause - and I am surprised because my periods were horrendous and PMS just awful. I have always read that trouble with the menses go hand in glove with trouble with being post-menopausal. My mood swings are gone - no hot flahes, no headaches - Not all good come to think of it. My libido is way down. As an experiment I started taking SAM e two weeks ago. I am sleeping better and my moods are even more stable than before.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2003 at 11:00PM
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Reading with interest..I am 56 years old very active, gym, jet skis and work. I have been taking Premarin since ovaries removed 10 years ago. I am cutting back to 1/2 of the .625 each day and I purchased over the counter Estovin. I thought I would get it in my system as I taper off the premerin and I guess I need to start with calcium from what I read here. Any thoughts on that? My Dr. tells me nothing about nothing so going to just do it. (Just think it is time to get off of it)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2003 at 9:12PM
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I'm 50 and last Summer my periods stopped for 3 months, I had horrendous hot flashes and nightsweats with insomnia. I started on Premphase. I didn't notice any improvement for 6 weeks and I still don't know if it was the Premphase or just nature taking its course. Finally, I started feeling like I had an estrogen overload, so I quit the Premphase. I've had 3-4 periods since, but now it's been 6 weeks without any. Having occasional nightsweats, sleep disturbance again, but no daytime hotflashes yet. I see my doc on Feb. 24, so not sure what I'll do. I think I'm due for my 1st bone density test this year.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2003 at 11:00AM
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I take Soy Isoflavones from Costco (no additives) - know tons of women taking it instead of HRT - we all run up to Costco for our Isoflavones. I still have occasional, very mild hot flashes but never have had another night sweat. My skin is not dry and my moods are even. I take calcium three times a day along with several other vitamins and feel great. I'm 52 and have been on the soy for 1 year.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2003 at 11:22AM
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My grandmother on my mothers side had breast cancer. Her other daughter, my aunt had breast cancer. I am NOT taking HRT. Several friends of mine had breast cancer, a couple of these were told, their cancer was "fed" by estrogen.

I have hot flashes, night sweats and don't sleep worth a darn. I also have my "menopausal" days. Had one of those yesterday.

Some of my hot flashes are so embarrassing... like when I stand in a store, and all of the sudden I feel the sweat running down my legs.

Thank goodness, these are not to frequent. About 2 or 3 per year, but I have had them now about 4 years.

I still get periods, but not regular, and less then 10 per year.

Thanks for starting this thread. I feel better, knowing I am not alone.

I also feel, if my mom and grandma could get through this without hormones, I most likely can too.

Meanwhile, I am doing my darnest to enjoy life when I don't have any dratted symptoms.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2003 at 8:24AM
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Just thought that I would post an update for anyone who may see this.
I having been taking Black Cohosh and Soy for about a year now, and I hardly have any hot flashes at all. I can see the difference if I miss a day or two.
No more hormones for me! :-)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2004 at 8:05PM
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Years ago I took Evista for years but did not see any results from taking it. I have never been on HRT. I have a history of fibroids etc so my doctor has kept me off them. I have hot flashes and night sweats but not really that bad. Nothing I can't live with. The past 8 months or so I have noticed I'm depressed and have never been so in my life. Can't get motivated to do anything. I am also very anxious but I have been most of my life. I was perscribed Zoloft and an anxiety pill - the anxiety pill because once again I am having surgery for a very large polyp on my cervex and I am very anxious about it. I hate surgeries. She told me I am not a depressed person but I just need a little help right now. She said once your seratonin level drops to a certain stage it cannot build itself up without help. Makes sense to me so I am on a starter pack of Zoloft and I will see how I feel. I'm sure anything will help at this stage. I just want to have motivation again. Also want the surgery over with.

Ain't getting old fun!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2004 at 3:23PM
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I wouldn't worry about bones, what are bone problems compared to heart and stroke problems. Take a good look at your mother and grandmother, if they had osteo problems talk to a bone doctor and see what he recomends, calcium and excercise I think. Petite women are more prone to Osteo.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 10:09PM
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My doc suggested I try Remifemin, which contains black cohosh.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2004 at 4:24PM
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This site is wonderful.........
Has great forums questions and answers to taking or not taking HRT.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 2:31PM
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I have had no post-menopausal problems including hot flashes. This was a pleasant surprise to me because I had such horrible periods and PMS and I had read that the two are linked. My emotional state is the best it has been in my entire life. That surprised me too. I think getting off the estrogen roller coaster was good for me. I also reconnected to my faith so it is hard to say what comes from what. I have finally been released from a lifetime of painful shyness. It is such a joy not to have to plan every outing, every vacation, and weigh job offers on the basis of "when is my period due and what facilities will be available" Spending entire days in the bathroom because the flow was so relentless are over. Lying in bed trying not to scream from the cramps is over. Becoming suicidal once a month is over too. I have taken nothing and am glad for it, but all of my friends are either on HRT or tranquilizers to handle their post-menopausal problems. I guess I am just lucky or maybe I used up all my bad karma on the 44 years I spent trying to deal with all that mess and pain.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2004 at 1:31AM
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I agree with the Evista. I was on it for quite some time a few years back and it DOES NOT HELP with hot flashes. My doctor has me on an anti depression not only because I need it but is suppose to help with the night sweats. Since I just started 150mg (which she says helps most with the hot flashes) I cannot say one way or another yet whether it will help.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2004 at 6:01PM
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I take soy isoflavones and have never been on traditional HRT...I have few hot flashes and no night sweats. I regularly exercise - biking (about 50 miles a week) and long walks (4+ miles 4 times a week) and my weight is normal - I believe that exercise and not being overweight helps me feel better physically and mentally. I take calcium 3 times a day as my doctor told me that it is extremely important to take calcium throughout the day - not just once a day....I also take lots of other supplements. I feel wonderful but do have problems sleeping but seem to have lots of energy.

Feeling good during menopause has a lot to do with good diet, not being overweight, regular exercise and being happy....I think that is the best combination for combating the problems of menopause.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2004 at 4:17AM
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since I last posted on this thread there was an announcement on TV that most herbal treatments for hormone loss are blood thinners. And it warned women to be careful if they use aspirins or other blood thinners along with the herbal treatment. I also was told by a doctor that if any herbal treatment stops the menapause symptoms it's just as dangerous as the prescribed meds. Does anyone know what is in the HRT meds that cause heart attacks and strokes, maybe it it is a blood thinner also.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2004 at 6:40PM
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