Menopause is a time of transition, and for many women that transition includes some very uncomfortable symptoms, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood changes. These symptoms can last for years and can cause discomfort to an unacceptable degree.
At Osteopathic Center for Healing in Rockville, Maryland, our medical team, led by Neil Spiegel, DO, and Jennifer Gularson, PA-C, encourages you to embrace a healthy lifestyle.
We understand how difficult that can be if you’re thoroughly exhausted because you’re having night sweats or if you’re experiencing unusual levels of fatigue. The symptoms of menopause can make your days more difficult than they need to be. Hormone balancing may help.
In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative found that certain women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) had a greater risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and other conditions, as well as lower risk of colorectal cancer and bone fractures.
This report created a great deal of confusion among both providers and women about the safety of hormone replacement therapy.
But in the decades since, researchers and experts have agreed that the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy must be weighed individually for each woman.
Your age, your medical history, the symptoms you’re experiencing, and other factors help us determine whether hormone balancing is appropriate for you, as well as which hormones are likely to ease your symptoms.
HRT is effective in treating hot flashes and night sweats, which are vasomotor symptoms. It can also help reduce bone loss and lower the risk of fractures.
Some women have vasomotor symptoms for years, and for them, HRT can be an excellent solution. For women with an increased risk of bone fracture, HRT may also be a good solution.
Experts agree that generally healthy women within 10 years of menopause who have moderate to severe symptoms can safely use HRT. On an individual basis, risk of blood clots, heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer should be considered.
Additionally, it’s important to take the lowest effective dose of hormones. For example, women who have vasomotor symptoms likely need to take a combined dose of estrogen and progesterone, while women who are only experiencing vaginal dryness may find relief from estrogen alone.
Your endocrine system is complex and plays a big role in how you feel day to day, as well as how your entire body operates. Menopause can upset the balance of hormones in your body.
When you come to us at Osteopathic Center for Healing, we don’t stop with estrogen and progesterone, although those may be especially important in treating the symptoms of menopause. We also consider your levels of thyroid hormone, testosterone, and DHEA.
The key to hormone balancing is understanding your specific, individual situation. We always begin with blood work, your medical history, and an evaluation of lifestyle factors that could be contributing to your symptoms.
Hormone replacement therapy is only one part of addressing your symptoms, though it could be a very vital part.
If you’re not feeling well, but can’t quite put your finger on why, schedule an appointment with us today. Hormone replacement therapy could be the best path to resolving your symptoms.