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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Talk To Your Gyno Before Stopping Hormone Therapy

The chronic progression of estrogen changes on the vaginal health of women has been in focus that women are coming to understand that some aspects of menopause have to be managed beyond the first few years of menopause. But, the concept of risk management for more serious consequences after we stop hormone therapy is just now coming into focus. If a woman started hormone therapy during the time she transitioned into menopause most studies acknowledge she will have a lower rate of heart disease, but now a new study confirms that over time there are potential serious consequences of stopping the therapy. In 2014 we reported the findings of a group of New York researchers out of Columbia in conjunction with scientist at Bethesda and Gynuity and Christiana Care Health Systems in Newark, DE looked at weight, your cholesterol, and other chronic disease progression, such as hypertension, in women stopping hormone therapy. Hormone Therapy will protect against osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Over time these conditions worsen off hormones. The newest data looking at stroke and heart disease is even more shocking. Tomi Mikkola, MD, from the Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland looked at the fact that women have more heart disease if they don’t take hormone therapy, and both strokes and heart disease increase in the first year off of hormone therapy. Dr Mikkola presented the results, which were published simultaneously in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, during the North American Menopause Society 2015 Annual Meeting. Some reviewers of the new study are very forceful in their review as reported on Medscape: “"These are irrefutably consistent data that say that hormones lower mortality — and the message is, you stop, you die," said Howard Hodis, MD, from the atherosclerosis research unit at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles, who was not involved with the study.” Exactly how you stop: not the actual stopping of the pills, but the lifestyle behavioral factors, will affect how your health is affected by stopping hormone therapy. You have double the risk of having high blood pressure needing treatment when you go off your hormone therapy. In short, there are effects of stopping medications, as well as effects of continuing the medications, and both still require gyno visits to be monitored. If you are not obese, if you stop your smoking, give up excessive alcohol ingestion, exercise and sleep well, among other positive behavioral changes, you are less likely to have health problems with stopping your hormone therapy. Some effects of hormone use seem to persist even with positive changes so in your 50s and 60s the thought is that continuing hormone therapy may be the best option for health. At Women’s Health Practice we realize that there is no one size to fit all.

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Thank you for your comments and questions. This blog is not intended to replace medical care, but is informational only. We hope you will become a follower or visit Womens Health Practice. We offer a variety of unique services including MonaLisa Touch, Coolsculpting, Labiaplasty, and Gynecoloigic Clinical Research Trials. For more information on menopause see http://www.amazon.com/Menopause-Make-Peace-Change

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