My attention has been drawn to statements about HRT made recently on one of the main TV channels during a conversation about menopause. I have now done some research myself on these claims which are listed below together with my findings.
- HRT Massively Reduces the Risk of Dementia and Diabetes
I can see no mention of this claim on either of these page; there is mention of HRT being an “option” on the diabetes page, but nothing else.
There are ways to minimise your risk of Type 2 diabetes by cutting out all processed foods and those that contain sugars and in particular Fructose. Much of the work done in the was undertaken at Newcastle University and you can find further information from their website. Fasting can help to improve conditions such as PCOS.
- HRT Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease by 50%
Do read this page put together by our NHS; in particular, please pay attention to the section which comments on the conflict of interest. Pharma companies pay research institutes and other companies to do the studies; this is how much of these companies get their funding.
The other issue to bear in mind is the notion of “Confirmation Bias in Science”: data can be selected to support hypothesis and predeterminations.
- The newer types of HRT are Much Safer
When I ask medical practitioners why these oestrogens are safer, I am told “because they are derived from natural sources such as yam”. Which raises further questions:
(a) Do the pharmaceutical companies get deliveries of yams every day to use in their production or have they now synthesised (manufactured in a laboratory) “the bits” of yam that they need to produce the pills, patches and gels from chemicals?
(b) Do they use the actual bits of “Yam” or have they played around with these bits and tweaked a few genes?
If they are using genuine extracts of yam and making these directly into the drugs, then I would agree that they are potentially safe as yams have been eaten for many generations. However, if the yams have been modified in any way, then in my opinion, they cannot be described as either “natural” or “safe”.
Additionally, remember how everyone thought that the early forms of HRT were safe? I do believe that it will be some 30+ years before we can start to properly document the safety of these new forms of HRT by comparing the rates of disease, cancer and earlier deaths associated with them compared to women who have chosen a true natural route (no drugs) as well as the risks that have been documented in the WHI trials.
- HRT Reduces the Risk of Osteoporosis
If you have a family history of osteoporosis/osteopenia, your GP will be able to discuss drugs other than HRT which can help with this.
Additionally, there are exercises you can do which can help you reduce your risk of osteoporosis and prevent falls from balance and other gait issues.
Please contact Ali via www.alinewellfitness.com for a consultation.
There are also a number of supplements you can take which help with bone health; the sooner you start the better, so get in touch with us.
All those gym classes, netball and athletics you did at school will have done wonders for long term health as your body will have developed some good foundations. Specialists now talk about muscle memory, so this too will help!
- Without HRT the Midriff Thickens
My midriff thickened within a couple of weeks of starting HRT; it became distended and I also put on three quarters of a stone within 6 weeks (which of course took over 6 months to get rid; I was not a happy bunny ?).
Over the past 18 years, I have spoken to thousands of women who have told me that they stopped HRT because they had the same belly overhang issues.
Thickening of the midriff is also connected to another medical condition relating to insulin which tends to raise its head around the same time as we are going through the menopause. So if a woman has an issue with insulin resistance for example as a result of poor nutrition choices in preceding years, they are very likely to have a midriff.
If you have a bad diet and do very little exercise, you will likely have a midriff and no amount of HRT is going to cure this.
- Even Women with No Symptoms Need to Think of Taking HRT
Why on earth would anyone want to take a drug with well-known side effects and health risks if they did not need it?!
Our Medical Control Agency are concerned with the safety, quality and efficacy of all medicines which are prescribed to patients in the UK. I can remember one of its former chairmen, a great family friend always used to say that “safety was paramount”.
You will see from the above link that Prescribers of HRT are urged to discuss the updated risks of cancer (revealed in 2019) with their patients together with their constant message that HRT should only be:
(a) prescribed for symptoms that are adversely affecting quality of life and
(b) used for as short a time (for the relief of symptoms) and at the lowest dose possible.
I see no statement from the MHRA that HRT should be used as a rest of life approach; any medical practitioner that tells women otherwise in in breach of this guidance.
- We (women) are Designed to Live with Oestrogen
This appears to imply that women will die without oestrogen; I do not believe this to be true. Simply look at the Blue Zone regions where both men and women live well beyond average.
Do women in Sardinia and Okinawa take HRT (I don’t think this is the case) or it just their lifestyle, diet and social that is giving them this advantage?
- Without Oestrogen, there are Health Risks and Symptoms
Our #40shadesofmenopause lists the symptoms that are linked to the menopause and there can be no doubt that some of the women going through peri menopause can experience one or more symptoms. Others may not notice any symptoms other than the variation in the frequency/duration of their periods until the latter stop completely.
We are all at risk of health issues once we get to “middle age” (40 years and above) and this is why I started Squaring off the Curve. For those looking to live as long and healthy a life as possible, we need to start planning for this in advance.
The major health risks such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes, osteoporosis and even dementia can largely be avoided by preparation and planning; with the necessary information we can all take steps to minimise medical intervention/drugs simply by looking at lifestyle changes and good nutrition choices.