Despite widespread publicity, the 2002 landmark study on the potential dangers of hormone therapy for postmenopausal women is completely unknown to most women.
New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine discovered that only 29 percent of the women surveyed knew anything about the study two years later. Additionally, only 40 percent of the women were able to identify possible risks and benefits linked to hormone therapy.
Hormone therapy is used to ease your symptoms of menopause, but has also been widely prescribed for preventive purposes, based in part on earlier observational studies that had suggested it could help protect women against heart disease, weak bones, and dementia.
In July 2002, the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) abruptly ended its combination of estrogen and progestin therapy study, as their data discovered higher rates of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in the population taking the hormones, compared to those taking placebos.
Later, in April 2004, WHI also halted the portion of the study for estrogen-only therapy, after finding the hormone did not offer any protective heart disease prevention, but rather increased your risk of stroke and blood clots.
The WHI findings triggered enormous changes in the use of hormone therapy, and prescriptions had dropped 38 percent by 2003.
Senior author Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, said their latest survey indicates there's a huge problem in communicating crucial health information to patients effectively, which in turn is indicative of an even larger problem – ensuring that people can make informed decisions about their medical care.
WHI March 2, 2007 (The Estrogen-Alone Study Links)
Women's Health Initiative (The Estrogen-Plus-Progestin Study Links)
I have been posting information about the dangers of synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) two years before the WHI studies were even completed – or halted, I should say -- due to the devastating health complications for the women who participated in the studies. It was crystal clear to me back then that this was a disaster.
However, I didn’t always believe this and in the mid-80’s I was actually a paid speaker for the company that makes Premarin. I used to lecture to physicians about its benefits in preventing diseases like osteoporosis, and used their industry funded studies to support my delusional belief.
Fortunately, I was (and still am) a truth seeker and I finally understood how I was being deceived by the drug companies. That is one of the reasons I am on this mission, as I am a reformed brainwashed physician who has seen the light of truth.
One of the primary purposes of this site is to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your health BEFORE you end up a victim of conventional drugs.
A Fake Disease Gets a Phony Cure
Meanwhile, the powers that be -- namely, the multi-national drug companies -- kept prescribing these useless, dangerous drugs for the "disease" of menopause, which is in fact a completely natural condition that happens to most women.
Menopausal symptoms are not signs of illness, and they can be effectively relieved without toxic chemicals.
Unfortunately, doctors usually have you take an HRT regimen that includes the completely unnatural progestin. Synthetic progestins (like Provera), are responsible for many of your side effects of HRT, which include:
- Blood clots
- High blood pressure
- Vaginal bleeding
- Rash and acne
- Weight gain
While HRT was previously believed to protect you against heart disease and stroke, and therefore prescribed as a form of “prevention,” several studies have since proven the opposite.
One such study, published in the British Medical Journal in January 2005, found that synthetic HRT is actually linked to an increased risk of stroke, typically ischemic (caused by blockages of blood flow to your brain), and severe.
In fact, synthetic HRT boosts your risk of stroke by almost one-third, and your risk of fatal or disabling stroke by more than half.
One of the trials reviewed in that meta analysis also linked synthetic HRT with higher risks of both breast cancer and heart attack. The trial (which included almost 17,000 women over 50), also found taking HRT for five years doubled your risk of life-threatening blood clots.
If estrogen supplementation is in fact indicated, and necessary, such as after you’ve had your ovaries surgically removed (surgical menopause), many experts believe your optimal bioidentical hormone estradiol is all you would really need.
I also believe that menopausal hot flashes that do not resolve with phytoestrogens such as black cohosh, are another valid indication for short-term estrogen use. However, if estrogen is used, it is nearly always wise to use it in conjunction with natural progesterone.
Estradiol is bioidentical to the primary human female hormone, as opposed to Premarin (the most popular estrogen replacement), which comes from horse estrogens.
You should avoid using animal estrogens for hormone replacement, as there are excellent human bioidentical estrogen hormones easily available through any compounding pharmacist. The one that seems to work the best for most women is a transdermal preparation of human estrogen.
Application through your skin allows lower doses than oral, and decreases production of potentially dangerous estrogen metabolites.
Unfortunately, there is still much unnecessary concern about bioidentical estradiol supplementation. What the FDA, most doctors, and patients do not realize is that bioidentical hormone supplements can actually optimize your health.
Ideally, your hormone levels should be monitored by either blood, urine, or saliva, to ensure they reach a target level that corresponds to the reference ranges for healthy young women.
Conquering Menopause With Simple Lifestyle Changes
Simple lifestyle changes can offer you your natural means to optimize your hormone levels as well:
- Adopt a better diet based on your personal nutritional type
- Balance your omega-3 and omega-6 fat intake
- Start an exercise program, even of the low- to moderate-intensity variety
- Eliminate grains and sugars as they cause yeast overgrowth that worsen hormone levels
- Eliminate caffeine and alcohol, as they can also have adverse effects on hormone levels