Hormone Replacement Therapy: Help Or Hype? - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Hormone Replacement Therapy: Help Or Hype?

Posted: Updated:

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - For years, gynecologists prescribed hormone replacement therapy to relieve hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of menopause. But that all changed when a large clinical trial found the treatment actually posed more health risks than benefits. Now, more and more doctors are bringing the therapy back.

Cherie Mason's day starts with a good workout, but it wasn't that long ago the 60-year-old didn't feel like herself. After a hysterectomy, menopause hit her at just 40 and depression set in.

"I just don't even want to be here anymore," Cherie told Ivanhoe.

Cherie's menopause caused her hormone count to plummet.

"Estrogen controls 400 different functions in our bodies," Jennifer Landa, M.D., Chief medical officer at BodylogicMD told Ivanhoe.

Hormone expert doctor Jennifer Landa recommended Cherie try something not so new, hormone replacement therapy.

"It helps them sleep better, helps them feel better, it helps them think better, it helps them look better," Dr. Landa said.

The therapy was the standard treatment for menopause symptoms for years, but that stopped when studies linked it to cancer, heart attacks and stroke.

"Hormone replacement has gotten very controversial," Dr. Landa said.

But, it's gaining popularity again, sometimes in lower doses. Critics have pointed out flaws in older research and several experts have changed their views, or concluded the warnings were over-generalized. A recent study shows women who start HRT before age 60 or within ten years of menopause have a lower risk of heart disease and overall mortality. The research shows for heart health, hormone therapy is more beneficial than statins or aspirin.

Dr. Landa said the key is personalized hormone treatment and while it might not work for everyone, it worked for Cherie. After starting HRT her symptoms disappeared in a few days.

"It was amazing, amazing," Cherie concluded.

So, does hormone replacement therapy help or is it hype? It's something each woman will have to decide for herself.

Hormones decline as we age naturally. Research by Johns Hopkins suggests postmenopausal women who want to use estrogen to reduce symptoms should not use it for more than five years.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

WHAT IS HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY? Hormone replacement therapy — medications containing female hormones to replace the ones the body no longer makes after menopause — used to be a standard treatment for women with hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. Hormone therapy (as it's now called) was also thought to have the long-term benefits of preventing heart disease and possibly dementia. Use of hormone therapy changed abruptly when a large clinical trial found that the treatment actually posed more health risks than benefits for one type of hormone therapy, particularly when given to older postmenopausal women. As the concern about health hazards attributed to hormone therapy grew, doctors became less likely to prescribe it. Hormone therapy is no longer recommended for disease prevention, such as heart disease or memory loss. However, further review of clinical trials and new evidence shows that hormone therapy may be a good choice for certain women, depending on their risk factors. (Source: MayoClinic.com)

BENEFITS OF HORMONE THERAPY: Systemic hormone therapy contains systemic estrogen (pill, skin patch, gel, cream or spray form) and is the most effective treatment for relief of hot flashes and night sweats. Estrogen can also ease vaginal symptoms of menopause (dryness, itching, burning and discomfort with intercourse). Low-dose vaginal preparations of estrogen (cream, tablet or ring form) can effectively treat vaginal symptoms and some urinary symptoms, while minimizing absorption into the body. Long-term systemic hormone therapy for the prevention of postmenopausal conditions is no longer routinely recommended, but some data suggest that estrogen can decrease the risk of heart disease when taken early in postmenopausal years. A randomized, controlled clinical trial — the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) — exploring estrogen use and heart disease in younger postmenopausal women is under way. Reports of results are expected in the near future. (Source: MayoClinic.com)

RISKS OF HORMONE THERAPY: The risks of hormone therapy may vary depending on whether estrogen is given alone or with a progestin, and depending on your current age and age at menopause, the dose and type of estrogen, and other health risks such as your risks of heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease, cancer risks and family medical history. Serious risk factors include heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer. (Source: MayoClinic.com)

WHO SHOULD USE HORMONE THERAPY?: Your age, type of menopause and time since menopause play a significant role in the risks associated with hormone therapy. Talk with your doctor about your personal risks. (Source: MayoClinic.com)


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Jennifer Landa, MD
Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD
(888)799-5821 ext. 4.

  • Medical News HeadlinesMedical News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Growing Stem Cells In Space?

    Growing Stem Cells In Space?

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:15:09 GMT
    Hemorrhagic stroke is responsible for more than 30 percent of all stroke deaths. It happens when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain.more>>
    Hemorrhagic stroke is responsible for more than 30 percent of all stroke deaths. It happens when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain.more>>
  • New Laser Treatment Stops Some Epileptic Seizures

    New Laser Treatment Stops Some Epileptic Seizures

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:00:21 GMT
    More than two million adults in the United States have epilepsy and 150,000 more will develop the condition each year. Usually, medication can control seizures, but about 30 percent of patients do not respond. Now, patients have a new treatment option that uses lasers to stop the seizures.
    more>>
    More than two million adults in the United States have epilepsy and 150,000 more will develop the condition each year. Usually, medication can control seizures, but about 30 percent of patients do not respond. Now, patients have a new treatment option that uses lasers to stop the seizures.

    more>>
  • Heating Up Breast Cancer

    Heating Up Breast Cancer

    Monday, April 21 2014 6:15 PM EDT2014-04-21 22:15:09 GMT
    Two years ago, doctors told Lisa Ridgeway she had triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive disease with no cure. Lisa had surgery, radiation, and chemo, but her cancer came back two more times. Now she’s trying something new.
    more>>
    Two years ago, doctors told Lisa Ridgeway she had triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive disease with no cure. Lisa had surgery, radiation, and chemo, but her cancer came back two more times. Now she’s trying something new.

    more>>
  • Migraine Relief: Stopping Pain & Relieving Pressure

    Migraine Relief: Stopping Pain & Relieving Pressure

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:15:06 GMT
    Meredith Messerli is thankful she can study without pain. The college freshman spent two years of her life battling severe migraines.more>>
    Meredith Messerli is thankful she can study without pain. The college freshman spent two years of her life battling severe migraines.more>>
  • Hope For Lanie: Curing SMA

    Hope For Lanie: Curing SMA

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:15:09 GMT
    SMA attacks the body's motor neurons and causes paralysis. There is no cure, but for the first time doctors are studying an experimental therapy that targets more than just symptoms.more>>
    SMA attacks the body's motor neurons and causes paralysis. There is no cure for SMA but for the first time doctors are studying an experimental therapy that targets more than just symptoms, it targets mutated SMN genes, which are responsible for SMA.more>>
  • Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:15:09 GMT
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
  • Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Friday, April 11 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-11 21:15:07 GMT
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a rare type of melanoma that targets the eye. It can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a type of melanoma that targets the eye. It affects about 2,000 people a year in the United States. Although rare – it can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
  • Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Thursday, April 10 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-10 21:15:09 GMT
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
  • Pedaling For A Cure

    Pedaling For A Cure

    Wednesday, April 9 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-09 21:15:09 GMT
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
  • Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-08 21:15:13 GMT
    CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Eric Robinson alive after he went into cardiac arrest. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
    A year ago, while jamming with his son's band, Eric Robinson went into cardiac arrest. CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Robinson alive. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.