I'm not too surprised. It sounds similar to what "alternative" MDs have been saying for some time.So, what do we do? I currently use a bit of pro. cream... Who knows, maybe 10 years later they'll discover that's a no-no too.
I heard on the evening news that they are telling women to stop taking Prempro because it can have serious side effects like increasing your risk of cancer, heart disease, strokes. Forvermore...I could hardly believe it--I have been taking it for about six months. Maybe I haven't taken it long enough for it to hurt anything. A person never knows what he should do.
I think menopause is a very natural process of growing older. And it is un-natural to be taking hormone replacement.I think it is sad that so many are taking these hrt and will feel even worse that they have no other alternatives.
There are other options for hormone replacement. This particular study was focused on the combination of estrogen and progesterone. It doesn't apply to women taking estrogen alone; that is a separate study which has not been stopped because they haven't been seeing the same worrisome results.Interestingly enough, I had decided for now not to do HRT after lots of reading and consulting a GYN several months ago. She felt that if I could counteract my symptoms with other methods, that would be preferable. And the information about HRT not being beneficial to the heart had just come out.There are many women who really need HRT; my sister-in-law was a raging maniac without it--miserable. Menopause is natural, all right, but for some women it is hell.
There are new artificial hormones that will be even better than prempro etc., and will probably come out in the next two yrs. Evista is available now. So far I don't know how it's doing, does help with bone loss, and keeping you younger.
Hi Jan!! no shock to me at all.You know my mother did all herbal things and she is just fine,she used vitamins/herbals and she went through it fine.I know she still takes certain ones for bones,etc. but thats the way i plan to go too,lord knows hormones & me don't mix at all!! Hope your doing fine. Krissy
This isn't new information, just a new larger study. They have known for some time that HRT increases the risk of breast cancer, especially with long term (more than 5 years) use. What is interesting is that HRT was touted to be beneficial for the heart for many years, and may still be after the first year of use, but increases the risks in the first year. It definitely helps prevent bone loss, but so does calcium and strength (weight lifting) training. Unfortunately, for some women, the hot flashes and night sweats interfere with life and sleep to such a degree that HRT is the only option. Some women get relief with herbal remedies like black cohosh and dong quai. Even the herbs have side effects like increasing anticoagulation and interfering with blood pressure medications. This is not an easy answer for women. I think there will be alot more detailed information in the next three to five years as the results of the on-going heart study that is part of the huge sample of the Nurse's Study are evaluated.
I was going to say the same thing!This has been known for something like 20 years! I'm glad mainstream medical science has finally accepted it and released the facts to the mass media.I am not of menopausal age yet, but I understand herbs and excercise plus a healthy diet go a long way in relieving menopausal symptoms.Good luck to all!
What I got from the news reports on the study.HRT, *long term* has been thought to give health benefits beyond taking it for *short term* for menopausal relief.The study contridicts some of what is "clincial knowledge" basically stuff that people believe because of the patients they see.At least some part of the HRT patients are healther when doing it long term may be the "healthy patient" effect. Woman with $$ have better access to health care and are also more likely to take HRT long-term. In a more controlled study the benefits weren't seen, and often in these studies you get both High $$ and low $$ woman in both groups instead of seeing high $$ taking it and low$$ not taking it.I think most of the long term HRT has been the dual hormone therapy because of risks (not sure if fully studied or again percieved) of estrogen alone therapy.So should the study pan out fully (and no matter how flashy it is in the press releases some things pan out much better than others in the long run) it would tend to indicate, to me, that taking HRT should be done primarily for short-term symptom relief rather than being used to stave off health problems later in life. There have been some doctors that tend toward this approach even before this study came out (they interviewed one of these doctors) and generally what she did was HRT for 6 months then wean off to see if ready, if not take for a few more month then wean off.The really bad menopausal symptoms tend to, for most woman, be something that lasts around a year, so sometimes all woman may really need is something to get them over the hump, but taking it for extended periods of time seems, from the press releases about the study (haven't gone to the original source at this time) probably won't be all that useful, at least for the general population of woman.There may be some woman with some specific needs that will still be good candidates for long-term HRT. Like if you have a total hysterectomy in your 20's or 30's that is a lot different from going through natural menopause. And some woman may be so at risk for bone loss that it is worth it (since it did help with that) but there are now other treatments for that sort of thing. What the relative risk is for that I dunno.K.
Ther are newer "designer" estrogens like Evista that won't help the hot flashes but will prevent bone loss. There are also drugs like Fosomax to treat osteoporosis that are not hormones at all.I think you're right Kmottus, providers are treating menopausal symptoms with short term hormone therapy. I have a family history of breast cancer, and unless I go completely crazy, I'm not planning to take HRT.
Well before this news came out, I'd decided I was going to do my darndest on my own or just take HRT for a short while. I'm not sure how I'll fare, though, and I'm wondering if I'm going to have to have a hysterectomy in the next year or two. I'll try to keep toughing it out.According to alt. docs who've written some books I've read, the ill effects of HRT have been known or suspected for quite some time, as others have also said here. Also, it was suspected that HRT (esp. estrogen) didn't necessarily have any heart benefits. But apparently no such formal, thorough study had been done before this one. I think the results of the study turned out to be even worse than suspected (except for being beneficial in the case of osteo. and colon cancer; cc is something I need to be quite concerned about) - and that's why this is particularly big news. What I've been reading over and over (and it's hard to know just what to believe) is that estrogen supplementation is BAD, except for a few women who might really need it. It's like estrogen is the main culprit, but as it turns out, that may not necessarily be quite the case. It's hard to know what stuff in the Pempro is the most dangerous: estrogen (though, again, maybe not), progestin, or the unique combination of the two, for some reason.
Also, is it true what alt. docs say - that progestin has both negative and positive effects but that "natural progesterone" has only benefits (and some minor side-effects for some)? Or, is this pro. cream going to turn out to be a bad thing too? I sure hope not, as I rather depend on it.
Another question for you all: In one article I read, it said that Prempro is the only combo HRT on the market - really?!?! I had no idea; isn't, for example, FemHrt a combo? Also, Prempro hasn't been out there for too long; I guess its popular predecessor was Premarin.
There are other HRTs on the market (Activella, Estratest, FemHRT, PremPhase). Any woman who still has a uterus (i.e. has not had a hysterectomy), has to combine the estrogen with a progestin to prevent uterine cancer. Premarin is the formula without progesterone and PremPro has progesterone. They have been around and studied longer than the other HRTs.
Lubner, I think my newspaper article got some info. screwed up...they said Prempro was the only combo HRT on the market. (Hmmm.) Also, they said it's only been around since 95 or 96; my mother had been taking it for longer than that!
Well, I remember several years ago doing a bit of research in this area. I swear that estrogen supplements is what caused my mother to acquire lymphoma. She died in the late 70s when not much was really known about the effects of taking estrogen injections. She died at age 45 (way too young!) At about age 20-22 I became very curious about what caused her death and requested her medical records and worked with a Dr. that I was working for to try to put the pieces together for my own mind. It can supress the immune system, etc. I swore I would never take HRT as I got older. I am now 42 and I honestly have no clue about the latest studies etc. but I have read Christine Northrup's books and I think for me trying the natural alternatives might be the way to go.From what I have understood that the combination is better than just taking estrogens alone...
Hi all,Just had to comment on this thread as it is so relevant to me too. I had a complete hysterectomy 6 years ago due to ovarian cancer and have been taking HRT ever since. I don't feel that the HRT has affected my IBS at all, but I am concerned about the results of the HRT study last week.I am actually quite upset about the whole business, as they only talked about menopausal women and HRT. As I am only 33, I don't qualify as menopausal, and I am certain that there are other women out there taking HRT that are also on it for reasons other than menopause. I worry that I have been on HRT for 6 years already, and likely to be for at least another 20 or more.I take Oestrogen only, but for a couple of years after my surgery, I took the combination. Seems presently there are no study results available on the long term effects of Oestrogen only HRT. I am understandably nervous waiting to see what they will be.For me what are the alternatives? At 33 I am far too young yet to go through menopause, and I can't just stop taking it as I don't have any ovaries at all.What do others think/feel? I would be interested to know. Thanks.
Well, the breast cancer risk is a problem (although the numbers still do work out to be quite minimal). But the cardio-risk shouldn't surprise anyone who is familiar with Provera, which is the other hormone in PremPro. The combination pill HAS only been around since '95 or '96, althoguh women could take them separately for much longer. Doctors have known for years about the adverse effects of Provera; hell, a PEPI study completed in '96 (I think), showed the adverse affects Provera (synthetic progesterone), had on the heart (as well as insomnia, anxiety, etc, and the wise, forward-looking doctors began prescribing natural progesterone). But the "Gold standard" was Provera, so the old-fashioned ones insisted there wasn't enough evidence that natural progesterone protected the uterus (until the PEPI study, that is -- you'd still have to beg them). -- Anyway, I can't believe they aren't taking the inclusion of the "Devil Provera" more into account, but I guess they'll have to find out. Gail Sheehy, in "The Silent Passage," wrote, "I can't think of a drug that makes women feel worse" (and boy, is she ever right!)The physicians' desk reference, 1993, lists as adverse effects: may cause fluid retention, epilepsy, migraine, asthma, cardiac or renal dysfunction. May cause or contribute to depression. The effect of prolonged use of this drug on pituitary, ovarian, adrenal, hepatic, or uterine function is unknown. May decrease glucose tolerance; diabetic patients must be carefully monitored. May increase the thrombotic disorders associated with estrogens."(none of this is true of natural progesterones, by the way). The adverse effect Estrogen MIGHT have on the heart may have to do with high blood pressure and strokes -- don't know. But wearing a patch may solve that. If I were just starting out, and not having been on HRT for 10 years, I would reconsider. But what they say about keeping women on hormones 5-6 months and "weaning" them off. Heheh, I'd love to watch some of these doctors (particularly the young women ones), age and have to go through it themselves! By the way, as Dr. Wolf Utian, head of the North American Cancer Society just said, "The snake oil alternatives are going to start coming out of the woodwork!"It will be interesting to see how they try to cash in. And by the way, Black Cohash is a form of plant estrogen, so no-one knows what effect THAT can have on the uterus if unopposed, ditto soy milk. Evista not only doesn't prevent hot flashes -- it can CAUSE them, and the other remedies like Clonodine (a high blood pressure medicine), which I tried -- causes insomnia. Which is why I tried it in the first place.
I have been on HRT for ten years. After hearing the recent report, I contacted my doctor and he told me I could quit cold turkey. However, he said in a couple of weeks, I will likely experience hot flashes, etc. My main reason for the visit was about the swelling in my feet and ankles. The doctor gave me a prescription for a diuretic, but told me that it could also be caused from the HRT. Since discontinuing it, I have been great so far! But....as I was leaving the office, the Mammogram Clinic called and said they have found a "spot" on my breast and I have to go back for another x-ray. This will be my third x-ray. I am scared.Granny
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