Perimenopause Symptoms

Post image for Hormone Replacement Therapy isn’t as Scary as You Think

In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative study sent the medical professionals prescribing hormone replacement therapy to their patients into a bonafide tail spin.

Terrified of putting women at risk for coronary heart disease, stroke or breast cancer, physicians abandoned HRT all together, advising their patients to do the same.

Few would argue the value of the study. The results were crystal clear:  Hormone replacement therapy put a study group at a 24 percent increased risk of breast cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke.

What wasn’t so crystal clear, however, and unfortunately rarely made the nightly news, were other equally important results of the study, along with a few variables which greatly impacted what the overall results meant.

But, such is the way of the media, which always seem to be in search of the next great American health scare rather than digging deeper to understand the sometimes tedious details and facts.

Synthetic Hormones were the Problem

One of those tedious details and facts is that the hormones which caused the problem were synthetic hormones and not bio-identical hormones.

This is an important distinction.  Because despite this fact, many women abandoned all hormone replacement therapy based solely on the results of the study – an unfortunate and proverbial case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

What’s more, it wasn’t just synthetic hormones that were the problem either. It was the synthetic progesterone Provera which was in question, and more specifically when it was combined with synthetic estrogen Premarin in the form of Prempro, which was the actual problem.

When the women in the study group took Prempro, they did show an increased risk for breast cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke. However, it should also be noted that another group in the study which did not take Prempro, but only Premarin (estrogen), did not show an increase in risk for any of these issues.

In fact, after five years, these same women actually showed 61 percent less calcified plaque in their coronary arteries compared to their counterparts who took a placebo. This suggests strongly that estrogen plays an important role in protecting women from coronary heart disease and stroke.

Again, a salient result in the study which hardly saw the light of day.

The Age of the Women in the Study Group was a Significant Factor

Another important variable which seemed to fall by the wayside amid the hysterical din is that the women who had an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and breast cancer were all over the age of 60.

In contrast, the women who did not show an increase in any of these risk factors were all under the age of 60: another important factor to consider when making judgments on the outcome of the study.

What Can We Learn From the Women’s Health Initiative Study?

Without question, the results of the Women’s Health Initiative were significant and have had an important impact on our understanding of the safety and risks of hormone replacement therapy. But what is also important is that we should take all of the data and results of the study into consideration as a whole.

While it is abundantly clear that synthetic hormones pose a serious health risk to many women, it is also abundantly clear that it was synthetic progesterone rather than synthetic estrogen that was the bigger culprit.

Knowledge Empowers You AcronymCombine this with the fact that all of the women who had problems were over the age of 60, and you have a remarkably different picture than just “all hormones are unsafe for all women.”

The truth is, all hormones are not unsafe. There has not been one published study stating that bio-identical hormones are unsafe or put women at an extraordinary health risk.

On the other hand, it has been proved that synthetic hormones under certain conditions when given to a specific age group of women are unsafe and put them at a higher risk for specific health issues.

Certainly choosing hormone replacement therapy is a personal decision that should be made between you and your physician. But, if you are concerned that all hormones are unhealthy and will put you at an increased risk for heart disease, breast cancer or stroke, that is just simply not the case.

Yes, any substance we put in our body, both synthetic and bio-identical, will come with some risk. However, understanding what those risks are and under what conditions those risks are possible is a relevant and important information that can help you make an informed decision.

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Hot Flashes & Night Sweats: The Replenish Trial Study

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Ice cubes, fans, cranking the AC, sticking your face in the freezer… nothing seems to help when you are eager to cool down from your hot flashes. They come out of nowhere and occur multiple times a day, leaving you irritable and feeling frustrated.  Sometimes, they even interrupt your night’s sleep! If you wish there [...]

September 28, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Relizen for Hot Flashes and Night Sweats & A Giveaway!

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The following post is a sponsored guest post and does not necessarily reflect the beliefs or opinion of this blog.  In publishing this post, it should not be assumed that The Perimenopause Blog is in any way endorsing or supporting any opinions or points of view contained in the post.  The Dog Days of Summer [...]

September 24, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: Adrenal Fatigue

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A common complaint among women in perimenopause is an overwhelming sense of fatigue and exhaustion.  Often described as crashing fatigue. While many women might chalk it up as the result of sleepless nights associated with night sweats and insomnia, the real culprit is likely adrenal fatigue. What are the Adrenal Glands and What do they Do? The adrenal glands are two walnut sized [...]

September 22, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

35 Symptoms of Perimenopause

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When I was in the midst of the worst of my perimenopause symptoms, I had one over-riding thought: “I feel like I’m going crazy” Yes, I had hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods and those gawdawful mood-swings. But without question, the underlying and most compelling emotion was that I was certain I was finally going [...]

September 5, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: Heavy, Flooding Periods

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When the average woman thinks of perimenopause symptoms she usually thinks of the proverbial night sweats and hot flashes. Perhaps even a few mood swings thrown in for good measure. What many do not know, however, and are often surprised to find out, is that heavy, flooding periods with painful cramping and large blood clots are a common complaint for many women [...]

September 1, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Dear Magnolia……Not Every Woman Hates Their Husband in Perimenopause

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Today’s “Dear Magnolia” post is featuring a comment by a reader named Julie.  Julie left her comment in response to the post “Why Do Women Hate Their Husbands in Perimenopause: A Wife’s Perspective”  A post which featured another reader’s story where she explained why she decided to leave her marriage once she had started going [...]

August 30, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

A Review of the Nutribullet: One Amazing Gadget!

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I never, and I mean, I never could imagine that I would shill for a gadget like some infomercial babe.  But, here I am. I’m doing it. Full Disclosure:  I’m not speaking on behalf of Nutribullet, and this is not a sponsored post. Though I am an affiliate with Amazon.com.  So if you purchase a Nutribullet through [...]

August 30, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Hot Flashes in Perimenopause: The Replenish Study

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For the next three months The Perimenopause Blog is partnering with the researchers of The Replenish Study.   One blog post will be posted per month. The Perimenopause Blog is not endorsing any product or insuring any outcome of the study. Any questions or comments related to the study will be answered by the sponsors. [...]

August 24, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Dear Magnolia……Does Anybody Really Give a Crap?

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Today’s Dear Magnolia post is from Lisa. Lisa is grieving. Yes, she’s also experiencing other symptoms of perimenopause, namely,  anxiety, depression, and other symptoms related to estrogen dominance.  But, she’s also struggling with grief . Grief is the part of perimenopause that no one talks about.  Well, not very much. Grief doesn’t sell, I guess. You can’t [...]

August 22, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Holy Hot Tamales Batman!

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I have begun skipping menstrual cycles. How bad can that be, right? Well, it’s not.  It’s wonderful. But, for some nutty reason (and let’s face it – perimenopause is nuts) I have been having night sweats and hot flashes like I haven’t had in years.  I really thought I was beyond this crap, but apparently, [...]

August 19, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Are Lab Tests Accurate in Testing for Perimenopause?

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In Western medicine lab work is king. Blood work can tell you if you’re pregnant or if you’re not. You can determine if you’re diabetic or have kidney disease. If you have an infection, a high white blood cell count will tell all. And if law enforcement authorities want to determine if you are legally drunk, blood-alcohol levels can also send [...]

August 11, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Dear Magnolia…..about that Vertigo & Dizziness in Perimenopause

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It’s time for another “Dear Magnolia” installment.  I picked a comment by a reader by the name of “Michelle” for this post. Michelle has been having trouble with vertigo and dizziness in perimenopause, along with balance issues, brain fog, and feeling spaced out.  She said she also suffers with migraines and wacky periods. Typical perimenopause [...]

August 2, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Natural Remedies for Itchy Scalp in Perimenopause

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One of my more popular blogs here has been “Dry, Itchy Skin in Perimenopause.”  Apparently, we’re all itchy and scratchy when hormone imbalance hits. Go figure. For me, the biggest issue has been an itchy scalp. But, truth be told, I’ve always had issues with an itchy scalp.  As long as I can remember.  However, by the [...]

July 17, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

AZO Bladder Control Product Giveaway – Winners Announced!

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Good Monday morning, ladies!  I’m hosting a giveaway today with a bladder control product called AZO Bladder Control™ with Go-Less®.   Rather than do a regular sponsored post, I’m going to post the product information for you here which gives you all the information you need in terms of  product description, the ingredients, suggested use, and [...]

July 14, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

DHEA: What is it & Why Should You Care?

If you’re anything like me, prior to perimenopause the only thing you knew about hormones was that you had them, and that about every 28 days or so, you had a deep and passionate longing for a luscious piece of chocolate and a high powered firearm with bulls-eye accuracy. In prior generations there wasn’t much talk about [...]

July 9, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Clinical Depression in Perimenopause

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In her ground breaking book, The Female Brain, physician and neurobiologist, Dr. Louann Brizendine, tackles the issue of hormones and depression in women. Intrigued by research data which shows that women suffer from depression at a ratio of 2 to 1 compared to men, Dr. Brizendine deftly outlines the different stages of a woman’s life and the effect that [...]

July 7, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Does Estrogen Cause Breast Cancer? Part III

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This is the final post in Dr. Joseph Mazzei’s series on the relationship between estrogen therapy and breast cancer.    If you wish to contact Dr. Mazzei or any of his colleagues in the Body Logic medical group, please see his byline at the end of the post.  As always, the views expressed in this post [...]

July 2, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Does Estrogen Cause Breast Cancer? Part II

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Today’s post is a continuation of  Dr. Joseph Mazzei’s post on the relationship between estrogen therapy and breast cancer.  The views expressed in this post are not necessarily the views held by The Perimenopause Blog and are for informational purposes only. Please see your physician or healthcare provider for personal medical evaluations.  Let us continue our conversation from [...]

June 29, 2014 CONTINUE READING →