Since the diminishing of hormones is a normal part of aging, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is often perceived as taking the easy way out. Just the mere contemplation of using hormones to lessen menopausal symptoms is enough to make some women feel like cop outs. Despite being miserable, this way of thinking is also behind why many choose to just tough it out. As if guilt and shame were not enough, there is a great deal of worry involved as well. Women want to know; “Is it safe?” and “Is it natural?”.
Seeing that HRT doesn’t stop us from being menopausal or from aging (sorry), copping out of it isn’t even possible. Also, since HRT is often a last ditch effort, most women only wish they had, earlier on, found an easier way out. In an effort to put things into perspective, it can be helpful to think about how women with the least diminished hormone levels, during menopause, generally have the fewest symptoms. HRT allows symptomatic women to lessen the diminishing of their hormones. Beyond symptom relief, this lessening can also have a positive impact on bone, heart, and brain health. As for
deciding to tough it out when miserable, it’s just not necessary.
As for safety, compared to more traditional options (including those linked to cancer and cardiovascular disease in the Women’s Health Initiative Study), most modern HRT comes with different and improved risk profiles. Also, there are enough options, available today, to match just about any woman’s needs given her lifestyle and unique risk factors. In some instances, and depending on the individual, there can actually be more risk associated with foregoing HRT.
These days, it is difficult to find any information, related to HRT, that doesn’t speak to what is or what is not “natural”, especially when the topic is bioidentical hormones. Because “natural” can mean many different things, depending on the context, and since it does not exclude that which may cause us harm; I think it best to ask, instead, what is beneficial? Bioidentical hormones are synthesized from plant compounds and are identical in structure to the hormones our bodies produce. Because their use is essentially replacing like for like, our bodies know what to do with them. For this reason, many consider a hormone that is bioidentical to be more beneficial than one that is nonbioidentical.
Misplaced guilt, shame, and worry shouldn’t stop a symptomatic woman from considering hormone replacement. By lessening the diminishing of hormones, HRT, when appropriate, can be an effective way to take the edge off of menopause. Whether a woman is on hormone replacement or not, it still remains that diet and lifestyle have the greatest impact on her handling of hormones.
Considering HRT? To find a “menopausally” minded practitioner in your area, check out the Dr. Who? section of my eBook Menopause Happens: Own the Change!
I highly recommend listening to Dr. Daved Rosensweet’s interview on the Dr.LoRadio Show. He is a pioneer and expert in the field of BHRT with 20+ years working with menopausal women. His responses are informative and comforting. Listen HEAR/HERE! This week’s BFB Badge Recipients :
Own the Change!