Wednesday, March 3, 2010

For Women Only....Hormone Replacement Therapy....yes or no?

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.


Willow said...

I don't comment much, but, Sue, I TRULY & FULLY believe GOD knew what He was doing when he placed things in the Earth for our benefit! I believe God knows BETTER than men. And I have NOT believed, for a very long time, that "Doctors are led by God to heal us"... ESPECIALLY considering the average doctor is an Atheist! The second majority are something close to it!
I think you've made a healthy, sane, Spiritual, Peaceful move, and given time, you will reap God's glorious benefit!
Blessings & Prayers on you new Journey to Wholeness!!

"Virtuous Wannabe" said...

Thank you Willow, I know this comment came from your heart....encouragement is greatly appreciated. I have encountered some discouraging words since I made this decision. Mostly from people in the medical field.

Jesusistheparty! said...

Hey Sue, sorry to hear about your situation. Hang in there!!! Let the Holy Spirit lead you step by step on this. I always think about the women in the days of "old" and how they didn't have synthetic anything!!! I am not "anti-doctor" since I'm married to one who just happens to be a genuine Believer!! His practice is his ministry and he prays with his patients in the office and points them to Christ! God will lead you down His path whatever that looks like and will write a customized Rx for you! Love in Christ, Dana

"Virtuous Wannabe" said...

Thank you Dana! You gave encouragement that I needed to hear....I am not anti medicine either, I know that medicine has it's place and is absolutely necessary and we are blessed to have it, but I am truly allowing God to lead me on this one...the easiest thing would have been to go back on the therapy....Praise God that your husband is a Christian physician, this blesses my heart and I know he has an opportunity to minister through his job everyday (as I do in nursing)....hope you and your family are doing well!

anita said...

I think that is a great decision. The good Lord did not put us on this earth to suffer. There are so many natural remedies for menopause, but HRT whether bioidentical or traditional is a Godsend for many women including me. I also have found tremendous relief from my night sweats and hot flashes by adding soy and omega 3 to my diet and wearing wicking pajamas.

"Virtuous Wannabe" said...

thank you Anita for your input....I did not know about pj's made with wicking material (I don't know why but I'm tempted to call them wicked pajamas (LOL)....after I rec'd your comment, I went to a website that sales them and believe I may invest in a pair. Thank you again :)