Whether you’re approaching menopause or you’re deep in the throes of it, you may be considering hormone replacement therapy to get your life back on track. But a quick internet search can make you more confused than ever.
At Optimized Wellness, we help you sift through the rumors, myths, and misconceptions about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) so you can make an informed decision about what’s right for you. Our patients in Centennial, Colorado, and the surrounding communities, trust Jordan Bernard, ARNP, board-certified family nurse practitioner, to identify the hormonal imbalances responsible for a long list of symptoms and to guide them back to wellness.
As a highly trained bioidentical hormone therapist, Jordan hears questions and concerns about hormones and their role in overall health. Here are some of the top myths she’d like to dispel.
Myth 1: HRT leads to breast cancer
In 2002, a study by the Women’s Health Initiative caused a big stir in the medical community and media. It indicated that HRT causes breast cancer — bad news for women suffering from the symptoms of menopause who relied on HRT for relief.
Unfortunately, the public (and many health care professionals) didn’t get the full story. Alarmists scared women into abandoning the idea of HRT altogether, and few bothered to look at the details of that study or examine the follow-up studies since then.
The truth is that HRT’s relationship to cancer risk depends on how old you are, how long it’s been since you started menopause, and the type of hormones you take. The truth is that while a combination of estrogen and progestin may lead to an increase in your risk of breast cancer, balancing testosterone and estrogen alone may actually decrease your risk.
We determine your exact blood hormone levels and develop a treatment plan that is safe and effective for you.
Myth 2: Menopause symptoms are no big deal
You may be tempted to just tough it out and suffer through the inconveniences caused by the hormonal changes of menopause. But you might change your mind when you look at the list of possible symptoms:
- Painful sex
- Low libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood swings
- Bone loss
- Digestive issues
- Weight gain
Maybe you could tackle one or two of those on your own, but if you experience any of these symptoms severely or in multiples, your quality of life suffers as well as your relationships and your health. We can help prevent those consequences and keep your symptoms under control by balancing your hormones.
Myth 3: I can get the same benefit from calcium and other supplements
Osteoporosis, or bone loss, one of the conditions linked to low estrogen, is a real problem that affects about 10 million Americans. But if you think that popping a few calcium tablets every day is going to keep your bones safe, think again. Teens and young women have a window of opportunity to prevent osteoporosis by consuming enough calcium and vitamin D throughout their lives, but older women who have already lost bone density can’t reverse it that way.
Estrogen is the key to strong, healthy bones; so when you have an estrogen deficiency, your bones get weaker and more brittle. Taking calcium to reverse bone loss doesn’t work, but HRT may.
Taking over-the-counter supplements to self-treat your hormonal imbalance can also set you up for disappointment and additional problems. The FDA doesn’t regulate herbal supplements with the same stringent standards reserved for the medical community. That’s why it's in your best interest to come in and see Jordan Bernard for expert testing and customized treatments.
Myth 4: All hormone replacement therapies are alike
Hormone replacement therapy has come a long way since its inception. Because so many variables play important roles, including dosage, frequency, duration of treatment, your age, the reason you’re taking it, your health history, and the formulation of your therapy, a one-size-fits-all approach is more harmful than helpful.
Jordan Bernard recommends bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in the form of a tiny pellet she inserts under your skin. Her vast experience has led her to trust this method over others, because it’s an identical match to the molecular structure of your body’s own hormones. Also, it’s derived from a plant source rather than horse urine (as most traditional formulas are), so it’s more natural. It’s also timed-release to keep your hormone levels steady.
If you have questions about HRT and want to get answers you can trust, call us or book an appointment online today.