5 Hormone Myths BUSTEDPosted on: January 8, 2020, by : Claire
5 HORMONE REPLACEMENT MYTHS BUSTED
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) causes cancer
- Progesterone is not needed if you no longer have a uterus
- All HRT is created equal
- You don’t need hormones until you reach menopause
- Any doctor can balance your hormones appropriately
- HRT causes cancer: Did you know that most women who have breast cancer have never taken hormone replacement therapy? The truth is, the number one risk factor for getting breast cancer is AGE. While hormones certainly CAN be a contributing factor, along with other factors such as body weight, stress, lack of exercise, etc., the important thing to consider with regards to HRT is HOW and WHAT. For example, ORAL estrogen in combination with ORAL progestins (which is not the same as progesterone) has absolutely been associated with breast cancer. Estrogens, in general, should never be given orally because of how your body processes it. Overall, it’s more about balance than anything else. HRT must be properly dosed, properly monitored, and all the hormones must be properly balanced with each other. (See Dancing Druggist post The Hormone Symphony 2/13/2019) http://www.wheelercompounding.com/index.php/the-hormone-symphony/
- No Uterus, no Progesterone needed: It is a known fact, that when a woman still has a uterus, that progesterone is necessary to balance any estrogen that is given to help prevent uterine cancer. However, many practitioners believe that the uterus is the only place progesterone has any effects, and thus when a woman no longer has her uterus that progesterone is no longer needed. FALSE! Progesterone not only naturally balances estrogen, but it has hundreds of different functions ALL OVER YOUR BODY including protecting the brain, preventing bone breakdown, improving mood, maintaining a healthy body weight, improving sleep, reducing swelling, improving immune system function, and reducing inflammation. This is the short list! Women who have had a hysterectomy and are given estrogen only oftentimes wind up with weight gain, constipation, insomnia, and irritability.
- All HRT is created equal: Once again I am going to BUST this myth! This may be difficult to hear, but “Big Pharma” is much more interested in making money than in YOUR health. There, I said it! Their money buys politicians, funds research, and influences the prescribing habits of doctors. Now hear me out…I am not saying that all commercially available dosage forms of hormones are bad, I’m just saying that they aren’t all good. I highly recommend reading The Dancing Druggist post The Cow, The Horse, and The Human 3/7/2019. It explains in detail about the different types of hormones available to women. http://www.wheelercompounding.com/index.php/the-cow-the-horse-and-the-human/
- Hormones are only needed when you reach menopause: To understand how this myth gets busted, we must first understand the different phases women go through. Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when she has permanently stopped ovulating (producing eggs) and has not had a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months. It typically begins between the ages of 48 and 52, but can be surgically induced at any time, as is the case of a hysterectomy. However, there is a period of time leading up to it called peri-menopause, which is basically the transition phase between the reproductive years and menopause. During this peri-menopause phase, which typically occurs between the ages of 35 and 50, everything starts to get really out of whack! This is partly due to the fact that ovulation becomes erratic. Ovulation is the “time keeper” of a women’s menstrual cycle. So, when ovulation doesn’t occur, the other steps in the cycle are also disrupted and confused, leading to irregular periods and an overall imbalance of hormones. This is the time in a woman’s life that she should begin working with her healthcare provider to get things back in balance! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.
- Any doctor will do: If you get nothing else from this blog today, let it be this. YOU MUST do your homework when it comes to finding the right healthcare provider to manage your HRT or you could wind up hurting your overall health in the process. You must ask questions and research their credentials. Ask them about their education, training, and experience with HRT patients. Be wary of any large franchise type organizations. I have seen firsthand the damage they can do with their cookie cutter one size fits all approach and frequent turnover of medical staff. Also be wary of anyone that does not also evaluate your overall health, nutrition, medications, stress, thyroid, lifestyle, etc., because all of these things can contribute to, and are affected by hormone imbalances. Taking hormones, without addressing everything else, is a waste of time. Speaking of time…the GOOD ones will take as much time as necessary with their patients to address all of the aforementioned issues. Many doctors are under a lot of pressure to get patients in and out as quickly as possible due to insurance requirements and shrinking reimbursements. So be ready to pay out of pocket for the right person, because they may not accept your insurance.