Correcting Estrogen Deficiency after Menopause: Is It Safe?, Correcting the estrogen deficiency that occurs during menopause can help you lose weight and maintain good health. However, in recent years, the results of a large research study have raised concerns about boosting estrogen levels after menopause.
Restoring Estrogen Levels: Results of the Women�s Health Initiative
The Women’s Health Initiative or WHI, was a large research study initiated by the National Institutes of Health.
The study invovled more than 16,000 women between the ages of 59 and 70, and was designed to examine the effect of hormone replacement therapy on the risk of coronary artery disease in postmenopausal women.
However, part of study was stopped early when researchers noted an increased incidence of several diseases including breast cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, dementia and blood clots in the women who were taking the hormones compared with those who were not.
The findings of the WHI were widely publicized by the press and led many to believe that estrogen replacement therapy increases one�s risk of developing these diseases.
But, there were many problems with the interpretation of the WHI study.
Horse Estrogen Versus Natural Estrogen
One of the biggest problems with the WHI was that the estrogen the women in the study were taking was in the form of a drug called Premarin.
Premarin is made from the urine of pregnant horses (PREgnant MARes urINe) and consists of horse estrogens. And horse estrogens are different than human estrogens.
Some of the women in the study also took progestin, a synthetic form of progesterone. Like the estrogens in premarin, progestin is significantly different than a woman�s natural hormones � and its effects are very different as well.
In addition, the estrogens the women in the study took were taken by mouth. Estrogen that is taken by mouth passes through the liver where it is metabolized. And some of the metabolites that are formed in the liver are known carcinogens which may account for the cancers seen in this study. (This is why estrogens should never be taken by mouth!)
Finally, the estrogen levels of the women participating in the study were not monitored nor were their initial levels of estrogen measured. Everyone in the study was simply assumed to be estrogen deficient and everyone received the same standard dose of Premarin.
However, given the fact that obesity and environmental pollutants can increase estrogen levels, it�s not unlikely that some of the participants who took these medications ended up with estrogen levels that were higher than normal. The Use of Natural EstrogenNow here�s the good news:
There are natural estrogens that can be used to restore a woman�s estrogen levels. Unlike the estrogens in Premarin, these natural estrogens are identical to a woman’s own estrogen.
Through the use of a simple saliva test it is also possible to measure estrogen levels and to adjust the dosage of estrogen to deliver the exact the amount of hormone required to correct an individual’s estrogen deficiency – no more and no less.
Correcting Estrogen Deficiency after Menopause: Is It Safe?, Addressing Postmenopausal Estrogen Deficiency , How Hormone Depletion Affects You and How do Hormone Levels Change in Postmenopause?
And, this natural estrogen can be used as a cream which is applied to the skin or used intra-vaginally. This means that the estrogens do not pass through the liver so they do not form carcinogenic metabolites like oral estrogens do. When used intra-vaginally, natural estrogens also relieve vaginal dryness and urinary incontinence and decrease the incidence of urinary tract infections.
And, of course, restoring estrogen levels in this manner will also improve insulin resistance and help menopausal women lose weight.Shoud YOU Restore YOUR Estrogen Levels?
Among other things, correcting the estrogen deficiency that occurs as a result of menopause can help women:
maintain muscle mass
maintian bone density
prevent memory loss
decrease the risk of hear disease (by 40-50%!)
reduce wrinkles and
increase the thickness, softness and elasticity of the skin.
However, because one of the natural functions of estrogen is to increase cell proliferation (estrogen is responsible for the build up of the lining of the uterus each month when a woman is having menstrual cycles) it is likely that some estrogens � paricularly the stronger ones � are potentially carcinogenic.
This potential adverse effect of estrogen therapy can be overcome to a large extent by using progesterone with estrogen.Progesterone �balances� estrogen and causes cells to mature.
Another way to decrease the risk of cancer is to correct your estrogen deficiency using weaker forms of estrogen that do not have the carcinogenic potential of the stronger estrogens. By using natural
estrogen cream comprised of the weaker estrogens and by simultaneously restoring progesterone levels most women can safely correct the estrogen deficiency associated with menopause and reap the health benefits of doing so.
Correcting Estrogen Deficiency after Menopause: Is It Safe?, However, if you have a strong family history of breast cancer or uterine cancer, or if you have had one of these cancers yourself, you may not wish to boost your estrogen levels.
It is important to talk to your physician � or better yet a
trained in the use of natural hormone replacement therapy � regarding your individual situation.