Hot Flashes, and More It's Not All In Your Head
The many signs and symptoms of menopause can vary from person to person. But they are REAL.
Here is a list that we have acquired from our many women.
• Hot flashes, night sweats • Palpitations • Mood swings, crying, depression • Insomnia • Loss of
sex drive • Dry vagina • Anxiety • Difficulty concentrating, mental confusion • Incontinence • Itchy,
crawly skin • Breast tenderness • Headaches • Fluid retention, especially in the abdominal area •
Weight gain • Painful intercourse
Not all women will have these symptoms - some women will have one or two of them - others may
have six or seven of them. It varies from woman to woman.
But they do happen and can be extremely uncomfortable and make us crazy. There are some things
you can do to help yourself in these times. Check with your doctor and see what your estrogen,
progesterone, and testosterone levels are. You can also send for a saliva test and have it done
yourself. The hormones that can be tested through your saliva are Estradiol, Progesterone,
Testosterone, DHEA, and Melatonin. Aeron LifeCycles can provide this kit for you; results are
returned in seven days. This way you will have an accurate idea as to what your body is missing or
low in. Estrogen and other hormones can help many of these symptoms. But this is a choice you
must make along with your doctor.
There are a lot of natural herbs, relaxation tapes, and yoga, which also help. You may also want to
try a compounding pharmacy. They can customize your hormones especially for you and your body.
You will need an Rx from your doctor. Most doctors are willing to let their patients try this form of
hormone replacement therapy, especially if they have not gotten good results on conventional
treatments. Many women swear by this method. You can write to the pharmacies, and they will send
you information on how they compound and what forms of hormones are available, but usually they
can make just about any dose and combination. Many women in Europe are using this method; it is
becoming extremely popular.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy: What's A Woman To Do?
One of the likely reasons for the increased incidence of breast cancer in the U.S. in recent years has
been the increasing number of women who have been taking supplemental estrogen to replace the
estrogen lost during and after menopause.
Although estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) can eliminate the negative effects of the menopause
(including hot flashes, sweats, headaches, and nervousness), and is effective in preventing
osteoporosis (bone loss), heart attacks, and (perhaps) colon cancer, it also increases the risk of
endometrial (uterine) cancer, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer.
Scientists have found that the risk of endometrial cancer can be eliminated by giving women
supplemental progestin (a synthetic version of progesterone-another hormone depleted after
menopause) in addition to estrogen. However, it appears as if the combination of these two
hormones does not reduce the estrogen induced risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. A recent
story in TIME magazine dealt with a study in The New England Journal of Medicine showing that
women taking estrogen and a synthetic progestin had a 32%-to-46% increase in their risk of breast
cancer. This increase translates into large numbers of women when you consider the degree of risk
(1 in 8) that all women face when it comes to breast cancer.
What Is The True Risk Of Breast Cancer?
At the Life Extension Foundation, they have taken the position that ERT causes breast cancer for
years because of the laboratory studies showing that estrogen is a growth hormone that induces
cellular growth, which, under certain circumstances, can lead to the uncontrolled cell proliferation
that occurs in malignant tumors.
As a result, they have introduced the anti-cancer benefits of melatonin and natural progesterone
cream to counter the potential cancer effects of estrogen. We'll discuss the role of these therapies in
preventing breast cancer later in this article, as well as an alternative form of estrogen that does not
increase the risk of breast cancer, but first let's take a look at recent studies regarding the risk of
estrogen for breast cancer.
short-term Vs. long-term Studies
Some short-term studies have shown that estrogen does not cause cancer. However, in those studies
in which women taking estrogen and/or a synthetic progestin were followed for more than ten years,
there appears to be a significantly elevated risk of breast and ovarian cancer (and uterine cancer in
women taking estrogen alone). The Life Extension Foundation bases its warning about the
carcinogenic risk of estrogen and estrogen/progestin replacement therapies on these longer term
The New England Journal's report that women using estrogen alone, or estrogen combined with a
synthetic progestin, had an increased risk of breast cancer of 32%to-46% was based upon data
from the famous Nurses' Health Study conducted at Harvard Medical School. The nurses
participating in this study represented 725,550 person-years of follow-up. Because of the sheer size
of this study, its findings are persuasive. It is also persuasive because it is a prospective study, in
which every woman was healthy when the study started, with differences in disease incidence
delineated with the march of time.
Strikingly, the New England Journal study showed that women who took estrogen plus a synthetic
progestin actually had a higher rate of breast cancer than women who took estrogen alone!
The authors concluded that: "The addition of progestin to estrogen therapy does not reduce the risk
of breast cancer among post menopausal women. The substantial increase in the risk of breast cancer
among older women who take hormones suggests that the trade-offs between risks and benefits
should be carefully assessed."
Elevated Risk Of Ovarian Cancer
All the hoopla over The New England Journal's report about the elevated risk of breast cancer from
estrogen replacement therapy obscured another report in the American Journal of Epidemiology,
showing that long-term estrogen therapy increased the risk of fatal ovarian cancer. This year study
included 240,073 peri- and post menopausal women. After adjusting for other risk factors, women
who used estrogen for 6-8 years had a 40% higher risk of fatal ovarian cancer, and women who
used estrogen for 11 or more years had a 70% higher risk of fatal ovarian cancer!
Cancers of the breast, uterus, and ovary account for 41% of cancer incidence in U.S. women, with
breast cancer running at epidemic levels. Clearly, an alternative is needed to provide women with the
anti aging benefits of estrogen, while protecting them against its potential cancer causing effect.
In addition to increased cancer risks, some of the risks of estrogen/progestin therapy include:
1.weight gain, 2.abnormal blood clot formation, 3.breakthrough uterine bleeding. 4.increased risk of
gallstones, fibroid tumors, headache, 5.premenstrual type symptoms (irritability, bloating from fluid
Some of these side effects are probably attributable to the synthetic progestins prescribed with
estrogen, and not necessarily to estrogen itself.
Estrogen's are steroid hormones that promote youthful cellular division, and regrowth of cellular
components in target organs of the body, including the brain. Too much estrogen increases the risk
of cancer, yet estrogen is an important anti aging hormone that provides us with many health benefits.
This creates a dilemma that conventional medicine has yet to resolve.
Remember , that there is no sure way " When it comes to Menopause" Just the topic alone is
enough to make us nuts, trying to figure out the right or wrong things to do with our body's.
The information that we provide for you is a " Learning tool" to help you know of all the information
and options that are out here for us. Make sure that before making any changed in your medication,
that you speak with your Dr first.
If you would like to tell your story, Please write to us, and you will be herd. So that other women
will know that they are not alone. Your name will be with-held.