DRS. OZ AND ROIZEN: Hormone therapy update
Like the wildfires sweeping New Mexico, menopause can leave women feeling scorched and doused. Hot flashes, heart palpitations and brain fog can make daily life challenging.
Unfortunately, alarms about hormone therapy have scared many women away from a treatment that banishes symptoms. An update by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests estrogen, alone or taken with progesterone, increases the risk for stroke, blood clots, and gallbladder and urinary problems. While they DO admit the recommendations don't apply to women thinking about HT for menopausal symptoms, or those who have had a hysterectomy before age 50, they make women hesitant to take advantage of the benefits.
So we want to say again: If you're at increased risk for breast cancer or heart disease, HT may not be for you (unless you do it with two baby aspirins a day). We like 162 milligrams of aspirin daily for everyone on HT; it decreases clot and cancer risks substantially. Check with your doc. You may be able to use an estrogen ring or cream vaginally to counteract dryness; it can make sex fun again and keep you from peeing in your pants!
For the rest of you: Oral estrogen decreases the risk of breast cancer and relieves menopausal symptoms; estrogen, or estrogen plus progesterone, reduces bone fractures and menopausal symptoms. But you need the right kind of hormones. Ask your doc about bioidentical estradiol and micronized progesterone plus 162 milligrams of aspirin.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.