Opinions on using HRT?

Kuri and Kona
Kuri and Kona Posts: 182 ✭✭✭

A friend here in Japan, who is going though menopause, just asked for my opinion on HRT. I told her that I would look into it and get back to her. She is in her 50s, and is dealing with hot flashes and trouble sleeping. She read an article about using hormone replacement and asked for my feedback. It didn`t sound like a great idea to me, but I am hoping to get some more feedback. If this is something you have tried and want to share, you are welcome to PM me as well. Thank you!

Comments

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    Let me start by saying I have never taken HRT and I have never treated anyone who is on HRT. So I don't know that much about it. However, there are risks and side effects as with any medication. Those have to be considered against how much benefit would be received. It has to be taken for quite a while (2-10 years) and even when you stop taking it, symptoms could recur. I have heard of some women who are still taking HRT many years later (into their 80s).

    This is a link to the Mayo Clinic with more info.

    There are a number of herbal choices that can ease symptoms. Vitex, Black Cohosh, Motherwort, Dong Quai, Shatavari, White Peony and Wild Yam among others and there are quite a few "menopausal" combinations on the market. There are several other remedies that may be used to treat specific symptoms. For example sage is often recommended for hot flashes and lemon balm, lavender and peppermint are cooling, calming herbs. Dandelion root, Schisandra, Rosemary, Turmeric and Motherwort are all suggested as herbs to clear a build up of hormones in the liver, which may be causing some symptoms. Adaptogens are also highly recommended to support the adrenals; Eleuthero, Licorice, Ashwaghanda, Gotu Kola, Borage, Rehmannia, Astragalus, Reishi, Holy Basil, etc. Motherwort will ease anxiety and help with sleep as will Valerian, Skullcap and Hops. Oatstraw can be very beneficial for strengthening bones which may be an issue during menopause and Nettles are good for mineral support.

    I would suggest doing some research with Aviva Romm, Susun Weed and Rosemary Gladstar. All three are well known for assisting women with hormonal issues.

    I hope there are some solutions here for your friend.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,604 admin

    @Kuri and Kona I highly recommend using vitex (chaste tree). It works very well for hot flashes and more. I found that the results were fast.

  • Kuri and Kona
    Kuri and Kona Posts: 182 ✭✭✭

    @torey Thank you for all of these ideas. I relayed the sum of what you said to my friend, and she is very grateful for your help. She said that the biggest issue that she is having right now is excessive sweating, but I know she also talks about hot flashes and sleeping problems. Thank you for all of your help.

    @LaurieLovesLearning Thank you for the idea. I passed it on. I actually take chasteberry myself during PMS, and it seems to help me.

  • stephanie447
    stephanie447 Posts: 404 ✭✭✭

    As horrible as it sounds as I am a holistic practitioner, I went on HRT a few years ago because I was getting my period every two weeks and my body was super stressed, and I was already doing a bunch of herbs for my other symptoms. I first tried progesterone cream, which didn't help much after a while, and so I talked to my OB/GYN about HRT.

    So now I am on the lowest possible dose of estrogen via a patch and it did help quite a bit. However, I want to transition off of it due to the risks. I have spoken with my integrative doctor about moving over to "bio-identical" HRT, which is another option. I want to do more research before switching things, and as I am dealing with chronic illness, want to make the change when I feel stable enough. So we'll see.

    I have no idea if "bio-identical" HRT is available in Japan, but it's something else to look into.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    @Kuri and Kona I was on HRT years ago because my mother had osteoporosis and I was already on the Osteoporosis/Osteopenia continuum. Cut to the chase, just fairly recently, I was talking with my doctor about a stroke I may have had. He asked if I had ever been on HRT as it has been documented as causing strokes.

    Anyway, that being said, I see some doctors who recommend Bio Identical HRT which is supposed to have no side effects. I personally think that for me and my particular history that the risk verses the rewards don't make sense.

    Good luck on your search for an answer.

  • Kuri and Kona
    Kuri and Kona Posts: 182 ✭✭✭

    @stephanie447 @marjstratton Thanks for the input. My friend is not super gung ho about taking HRT; she is just looking for a treatment for frequent menopausal sweating. I think HRT would be expensive here. She is also not a big fan of taking medicine. She would be prefer something natural, when possible.