Estrogen Therapy And Cancer Risk
In women who still have a uterus, using systemic ET has been shown to increase the risk of endometrial cancer . The risk remains higher than average even after ET is no longer used. Although most studies that showed an increased risk were of women taking estrogen as a pill, women using a patch or high-dose vaginal ring can also expect to have an increased risk of endometrial cancer.
Because of this increased cancer risk, women who have gone through menopause and who still have a uterus are given a progestin along with estrogen. Studies have shown that EPT does not increase the risk for endometrial cancer.
Long-term use of vaginal creams, rings, or tablets containing topical estrogen doses may also increase the levels of estrogen in the body. Its not clear if this leads to health risks, but the amounts of hormone are much smaller than systemic therapies.
ET is not linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. In fact, certain groups of women taking ET, such as women who had no family history of breast cancer and those who had no history of benign breast disease, had a slightly lower risk of breast cancer.
The WHI study of ET did not report any results about ovarian cancer.
To put the risk into numbers, if 1,000 women who were 50 years old took estrogen for menopause for 5 years, one extra ovarian cancer would be expected to develop.
ET does not seem to have any effect on the risk of lung cancer.
The Risks & Benefits Of Mht
Many studies have investigated whether MHT increases the risk of cancers, further illness and disease. There have been many reports in the media about the risks of MHT.
In 2002, researchers from a large study in the United States reported that the risks of MHT outweighed the benefits of taking it. This caused an 80% drop in the use of MHT in the United States, and 50% of women in Australia stopped using their MHT. Professor Henry Burger, a founding director of Jean Hailes, says, “At least half of those women saw their symptoms return and that meant their quality of life significantly suffered”, and “I think that was one of the worst consequences â the decreased quality of life and feeling that you couldn’t do anything about it”.
However, a recent comprehensive review of evidence on MHT has found MHT is an effective and safe treatment for the relief of menopausal symptoms for healthy women. The data from this study has shown that in women between 50 and 60 years, the risks of MHT are low.
Artificial Estrogen And Natural Estrogen
With the side effects mentioned above, many doctor advise the intake of natural estrogen. Natural estrogen can be found in beans and fruits. Estrogen that are found naturally in plants is called phytoestrogen. Significant amount of phytoestrogen can be found in soya beans and papaya. See health benefits of wholegrains.
Moreover, phytoestrogen contained in plants are easier to be absorbed, and has just the exact amount needed by our body. It is also easier to be elliminated from our body. Nowadays, it is easy to find soya bean products worldwide, such as tofu, tempe , soya milk, and energy bars that contain soya. Papaya can be found in any fruit market now, although the price can be expensive in subtropical countries. However, the highest amount of phytoestrogen is found in soya milk.
Soya products are cheap in Asian countries, therefore much more economical than artificial estrogen.
To get the best result of getting rid of pre-menopause syndrome, it is advised to combined estrogen with regular exercise, not smoking, consuming calcium and foods that contain calcium, and consuming a lot of fruits, vegetables and beans. Young women can also take natural estrogen, to prevent osteoporosis and pre-menopause syndrome which could happen decades later.
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Is There A Test For Menopause
You may be able to self-diagnose menopause by paying close attention to its symptoms. You may start noticing symptoms of menopause months to years before it actually starts. This transition period is called perimenopause. Some of the symptoms of menopause are:
- Thinning hair
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of fullness of breasts
Your doctor can also help you determine if you are going through menopause. They may ask you about your symptoms, perform some tests for menopause, and track your menstrual cycle.
Presently, no single menopause test is definitive enough to predict for sure when a woman is in menopause. But doctors may do several different kinds of tests for menopause to find out whether your symptoms are caused by menopause or something else.
How To Control Menopause Hormone Levels
In fact, there is no one magic pill that can control hormone levels in menopause. But, there is an efficient therapy that can eliminate most of these symptoms. Have you ever noticed that West women are more active at this age? They take hormone replacement therapy and live longer. The designated preparations contain estrogens and progesterone needed in our body in a small amount. So, hormone levels after menopause or during it will be stable, and women can feel comfortable.
Keep in mind, there is one myth around this therapy aimed to affect hormone levels in menopause, that a woman will get fat from these hormones. It is completely untrue. A woman is gaining weight only because of a lack of estrogens that once were normal. Without them, fat accumulates.
Accordingly, hormone therapy will help you to avoid such things, and menopause and hormone levels care will keep you fit. Moreover, doctors are trained enough to determine the right strength and dosages of a hormonal treatment so that a woman does not even notice any ailments or negative consequences. If you have a chance to undergo it, use this option because as of now it is the most efficient solution invented by dedicated experts for moderating and controlling hormone levels in menopause.
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Important Questions To Ask About Menopause Hormone Medicines
- Are hormones right for me? Why?
- What are the benefits?
- What are the serious risks and common side effects?
- How long should I use hormone therapy?
- What is the lowest dose that will work for me?
- Are there any non-hormone medicines that I can take?
Want more information about menopause? Check the FDA website at: www.fda.gov/menopause
The drug and risk information in this booklet may change. Check for the latest facts on each product listed in this booklet.
The Cons: Reasons To Lean Against Hrt After Surgical Menopause
- Your menopausal symptoms aren’t bothering you, or other treatments work fine. Some women don’t have very severe symptoms after surgical menopause and don’t want or need treatment. Even if you do have acute symptoms, HRT is not the only way to control them. Other drugs or lifestyle changes can help. Talk to your doctor.Ã
- You’re 50 or older. Many women who go into surgical menopause at 50 or older — the natural time of menopause – decide not to get HRT. That’s because their supply of estrogen would naturally drop during menopause anyway. There is some evidence that the older you are when you start HRT, the higher the cardiovascular risks – at least initially.Ã
- You have liver disease. Estrogen pills can put a lot of stress on the liver. So if you have liver disease, your doctor may not want you to take oral HRT. Other ways of getting estrogen – like patches and gels – bypass the liver and are safer options.Ã
- You’re concerned about the side effects. HRT can also cause symptoms of its own. Many resemble the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome — swollen and painful breasts, headaches, and nausea.Ã
- You’re at a higher risk of health problems like:
o Strokes. Hormone therapy can increase the risk of stroke, although your odds are still very low.
o Blood clots. Oral estrogen, at least, may also raise the risk of blood clots. Estrogen patches and creams may pose a lower risk, but that’s still unclear.
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Taking Estrogen With A Progestin Vs Estrogen Alone
Treating menopausal symptoms with estrogen and progestin together is known as estrogen-progestin therapy or combined hormone therapy. Although estrogen alone improves the symptoms of menopause, it increases the risk of cancer of the uterus . Adding a progestin to the estrogen lowers the risk of endometrial cancer back to normal. Because of this, EPT is given to women who still have a uterus . EPT can be given 2 ways:
- Continuous EPT means the same dose of estrogen and progestin is taken each day. Women often prefer continuous EPT because it rarely leads to menstrual-like bleeding.
- Sequential EPT means different amounts of each hormone are taken on specific days. There are different ways to do this. For example, estrogen can be taken by itself for 14 days, then estrogen plus progestin for 11 days, then neither hormone for 3 to 5 days. Other schedules involve taking progestin only every few months. This lowers the amount of progestin that you are exposed to. Monthly regimens are also thought to result in hormone levels that are more like the natural menstrual cycle. Cyclical EPT can produce bleeding like a menstrual period, but it can occur less often than monthly.
How Does Mht Work
Because the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness, are related to low or fluctuating oestrogen, replacing oestrogen for a period of time helps to control these symptoms.
There are many ways to treat hot flushes and vaginal dryness, but no other treatment has been shown to be as effective as oestrogen replacement therapy.
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Balance Blood Sugar To Feel Balanced Overall
Increased abdominal fat and weight gain, experienced by nearly 90 percent of women during menopause, are often directly connected to blood sugar imbalances.
The number 1 issue? Insulin resistance.
Your blood sugar levels are responsible for giving you stable energy and a feeling of overall body balance throughout the day.
Roller coaster-like blood sugar levels, on the other hand, bring about many of the same symptoms associated with menopause.
Insulin Resistance 101
Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for controlling your blood sugar balance, acting like a director for how your body uses the food you eat.
Insulin ensures that the just right amount of glucose and energy is in your blood at any one time.
However, if we have too much insulin circulating in the body at once , fat storage and menopause-like symptoms of blood sugar imbalances are common byproducts.
How does insulin resistance happen in the first place?
Imbalanced nutrition, poor gut health and elevated cortisol levels.
You dont necessarily need to be eating Hersheys candy bars or donuts every day for breakfast to experience insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can happen when:
The bottom line: Insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalances are common during the menopausal years. This is primarily because your body is more sensitive to the impacts of stress.
The GOOD news?
You can positively impact and support healthy blood sugar levels with these Do-Now Action Steps:
When To Stop Taking Hrt
Most women are able to stop taking HRT after their menopausal symptoms finish, which is usually two to five years after they start .
Gradually decreasing your HRT dose is usually recommended, rather than stopping suddenly. You may find that your menopausal symptoms come back after you stop HRT, but these should pass within a few months.
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Menopause And Bioidentical Hormones In 2021
In traditional education, studies about the human body are dominant in teenage years usually in Biology classrooms. It is at that time that the students are going through certain changes and arguably a good time to explore how the human body changes over time. People everywhere, no matter their gender, are often taught as they get older, they will start noticing changes and sometimes certain issues they never had or noticed before.
Furthermore, it is taught that the problems they are coping with are merely a part of the fact they are getting older and that barely anything can be done. Because the bodies degrade over time, they are told that their decreased intercourse drive, menopause symptoms, weight gain, fatigue, lack of psychological readability, and other problems are all because of their increased age.
Therefore, it is a well-known fact for most that it is an unavoidable moment in every persons life to grow older and experience fluctuations in the hormones. The diminished production of crucial hormones is the problem that affects both men and women, and it typically results in feeling inexplicably anxious, out of place, uncomfortable, and worried.
How Do I Know If Hormone Replacement Therapy Is Right For Me
Your doctor can help you weigh the pros and cons and suggest choices based on the severity of your symptoms and your medical history.
Here are some questions to ask:
- Based on my medical history, is there any reason I shouldnât use HRT?
- Do you think it could help my symptoms, especially hot flashes, sleep issues, and vaginal dryness?
- Are there other treatments I should consider?
- Do you think Iâll have side effects from HRT?
- Does my family medical history make me a good or bad candidate for HRT?
- What type of HRT might be best for me?
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Hormonal Causes Of Perimenopause
The relationship between perimenopause and hormones is very clear. As the female body approaches middle age, hormones – specifically estrogen and progesterone – begin to decrease in production. Because these hormones regulate various bodily functions, many women experience symptoms typically associated with menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, mood swings, irregular periods, and loss of libido during perimenopause.
Despite the unpleasant symptoms that occur due to hormone fluctuations, having the right information can make the perimenopausal transition easier. Learn more about the relationship between perimenopause and hormones, as well as the different hormonal treatments available to alleviate symptoms.
Treating And Managing Symptoms Related To Midlife Hormone Flux: What To Know
Mood swings, hot flashes, and many of the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause are treatable. When you consult with a physician, bring a list of your experiences so far, and what you have done to cope. Also, check with your doctor before taking herbs and supplements, because some can interfere with your current medications, or are not recommended for women who have had breast cancer.
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What Are The Risks Of Taking Hormone Therapy
While hormone therapy helps many women get through menopause, the treatment is not risk-free. Known health risks include:
- An increased risk of endometrial cancer .
- Increased risk of blood clots and stroke.
- Increased chance of gallbladder/gallstone problems.
- Increased risk of dementia if hormone therapy is started after midlife. HT started during midlife is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimers disease and dementia.
- Increased risk of breast cancer with long-term use.
Womens Health Initiative Studies Of Hormone Therapy And Cancer Risk
Several large studies have looked at possible links between systemic hormone therapy in menopausal women and different types of cancer.
The main randomized studies of MHT were part of the Womens Health Initiative . The WHI included 2 randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials of MHT in healthy women:
- One study looked at estrogen therapy in post-menopausal women who didnt have a uterus. Over 5,000 women in the ET group took a daily dose of estrogen in the form of conjugated equine estrogen for an average of about 6 years. The researchers then continued to follow them for several years to look for any further effects of the hormone. The women were compared to more than 5,000 in the placebo group.
- The other study looked at estrogen-progestin therapy in post-menopausal women who still had their uterus. Over 8,500 women in the EPT group took a daily dose of CEE plus a progestin called medroxyprogesterone acetate for an average of about 5 years. This group was compared to a group of more than 8,000 women in the placebo group.
The WHI also conducted some observational studies. However, when we mention a WHI study below, were referring to one of the randomized studies.
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How To Get Started On Hrt
Speak to a GP if you’re interested in starting HRT.
You can usually begin HRT as soon as you start experiencing menopausal symptoms and will not usually need to have any tests first.
A GP can explain the different types of HRT available and help you choose one that’s suitable for you.
You’ll usually start with a low dose, which may be increased at a later stage. It may take a few weeks to feel the effects of treatment and there may be some side effects at first.
A GP will usually recommend trying treatment for 3 months to see if it helps. If it does not, they may suggest changing your dose, or changing the type of HRT you’re taking.
Are Post Menopausal Symptoms A Normal Part Of Aging
Contrary to popular belief, Julie says that the physical symptoms that occur during and after menopause are not inevitable. Or, at the very least, we can influence them through simple lifestyle changes.
For example, lets consider constipation, which many older women experience. Julie explains that there is a simple reason that this may be a problem for many women. As our bodies get older, they produce less bile. This contributes to soft stools.
This means that it is even more important for older women to make sure that they are getting the right amount of fiber in their diets. There are many ways to do this, but, Julie suggests we look into flax seeds, also known as linseeds, which can help to keep our bodies regular. Be careful though. They need to be prepared in the right way.
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