I've been fighting a battle for the past two months. On Jan 1 of this year I made the decision to stop taking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) COLD TURKEY! Yes, I know that was crazy. I started on it 12 years ago when I was diagnosed with early menopause. It was prescribed to combat symptoms (night sweats, hot flashes) and to prevent bone loss. It worked like a charm! BUT...every few years an opinion would flash from a medical journal or some other form of media that told me it was unsafe if taken more than 5 years. During my time on HRT, I began to notice gastrointestinal issues, weight plateaus that would not move regardless of diet or exercise, abdominal bloating, and bone loss. I can't say that HRT was to blame but I always had this nagging thought, "What if?"
One of my assistant nurse managers shared with me within the past several months that she had began seeing a physician that specializes in hormone wellness and bio identical (plant derived) hormones. I wish that I had journaled daily about my journey without hormones since Jan 1, but the few times I did journal were not so nice. Let me sum it up by telling you that I haven't liked the person I am without HRT, both physically and emotionally. The side effects without the HRT was almost enough to make me cave in and go to the pharmacy and had it not been for knowing that I had an appointment on the books for today with the hormone wellness physician, I'm sure I would have. I JUST WANT TO BE NORMAL AGAIN! (Or my version of normal anyway). The side effects have included hot flashes, night sweats, sleepless nights, daytime fatigue, irritability, moodiness, headaches, heart palpitations, forgetfulness, crying, OH....and not to mention that I've said some very odd & random things at very inappropriate times.
Anyway, today I went to my appointment and met with a Nurse Practitioner named Nicole. Nothing profound happened today....lab work was ordered, medical history and symptoms were reviewed, optiions discussed....yet.....I left feeling hopeful. So tonight I will start on Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (BHRT). It is costly compared to the synthetic brand of hormones (why does everything healthy cost more), but I have to know if it works. I plan to chart my course over the next month, I hope it doesn't bore you to tears but I pray that it helps someone. If you are currently taking BHRT, please drop me a line and let me know if it has worked for you.