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Cannot tolerate HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)

Messages
7
I've had CFS for 17 years. I cannot tolerate HRT. I'm using the bio-identical transdermal creams, but I get so tired on the HRT even on very small doses. Anyone else here have the same problem? Anyone know what causes this sensitivity to HRT? (I'm sensitive to most supps and meds). Any solution to this?
 

knackers323

Senior Member
Messages
1,625
I have tried to raise hormones and it makes me tired also. I think our bodies are just that run down they can't handle anything else
 

minkeygirl

But I Look So Good.
Messages
4,678
Location
Left Coast
I am currently using an OTC progesterone. I had to try a bunch before I found one that I could tolerate. Kokoro made me feel horrid. I am now using Ess'pro leve. It has no crap in it, no smell and I fell fine. Without it I am nauseated with migraines.

I also had a horrible problem with compounded biest. I felt like I was on speed. You didn't say if the cream is estrogen or progesterone or both. Maybe you are you are out of balance

I know people use progesterone at night because it makes them tired. Can you use it then? It might be trial and error to figure out which one you can tolerate.
 

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,657
Who prescribed the HRT? It's my understanding that they aren't prescribed after menopause because of the risk of Cancer.
 
Messages
7
I just got 3 prescriptions for BiEst, progesterone and testosterone, all three compounded separately. I just tried half the dose of the progesterone Friday night and all the next day I was drowsy and non-functional. My doc feels the natural/bio-identical hormones do not cause cancer. I wanted to try one for a couple of days before adding in the next hormone to see which one was causing which symptoms.
 

minkeygirl

But I Look So Good.
Messages
4,678
Location
Left Coast
Cancer is usual only a risk if you have not had a hysterectomy and use unopposed estrogen.

I would find out what the base is to the progesterone. That could be part of the problem.
 
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Ema

Senior Member
Messages
4,729
Location
Midwest USA
Who prescribed the HRT? It's my understanding that they aren't prescribed after menopause because of the risk of Cancer.
That's not true at all. The early conclusions of the WHI studies have been almost summarily reversed to very little fanfare by the authors.

And most of the ill effects can be attributed to the synthetic hormones chosen by the study.

Formatting errors are mine in the quote below:

Comments by Dr. Hurlock about the “Latest WHI Study” published Oct 20, 2010 which reports increased breast cancer diagnosis and breast cancer mortality in Prempro users.

This is yet another somewhat misleading follow up report from the WHI. This time the authors report that women who were on Prempro (not estrogen by itself), were 25% more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer and also were more likely to die from breast cancer.

The increased detection of breast cancer is very consistent with many other studies showing a slight increased rate of detection in HRT users. To put this in perspective, having a college degree is associated with a 36% increased risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer and being obese is associated with a 48% increase in the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. So a 25% increase is not too impressive.

As for the increase in breast cancer mortality, that does not match most of the preexisting data. Most of the other studies that have measured breast cancer mortality in HRT users have reported a decrease in mortality from breast cancer. So therefore, the jury is still out on that, and it would not make sense to think that this study is correct when so many other studies have found the opposite result. We simply need to see more data on this to really know what the truth is.

But the biggest problem with this report is that the authors conveniently did not report total mortality rates in the entire group, they only reported mortality rate among those who had breast cancer. I e-mailed the lead author this morning to ask why the total mortality rates were not reported, and his answer was the following: “We have not reported all cause mortality for the 11 year follow up in the E+P trial. That analysis is pending and will be included in a separate publication.” Of course that really does not answer the question of WHY those data were not included, it just says that they were not included, and the writers group has chosen to continue to sit on those data and not share them with the public for now. But the reason that that omission is important is that breast cancer mortality is not a very big contributor to total mortality for women. Only 4 out of every 100 mortalities in women are due to breast cancer. In contrast, about 44 of those mortalities are due to heart disease. So, in the worst case scenario, if Prempro does indeed slightly increase mortality from breast cancer as this study claims, but at the same time it is dramatically reducing mortality from heart disease, which is a much more common cause of mortality, then we still have a large net benefit to mortality. Most good studies that have measured the effect of HRT on mortality in women who start HRT at the onset of menopause have shown about a 40-50% reduction is heart disease mortality. If that were true also in this study (we don’t know yet because they continue to hide those data), then for example, out of 100 women, HRT might save 20 women from cardiovascular death while 3 more women may die from breast cancer. So we have a net benefit of 17 lives saved out of those 100 women.

It is known that HRT’s preventive effects are strongest if HRT is initiated at the onset of menopause, when the blood vessels are still healthy. If HRT is started after some hardening of the arteries has already occurred, then HRT cannot prevent heart disease as well.

Because the population in the WHI was so old at the onset of this study (average age 63), it is unlikely that we will see a 40% reduction in cardiovascular mortality in this group. The benefit will likely be smaller. But even at 7 years in this population the total mortality was beginning to be lower in the Prempro group compared to the placebo group as reported in their 2002 publication. So perhaps we may see a 15% reduction in total mortality (if they ever decide to publish their data!). This would still yield a net reduction in total mortality even if breast cancer mortality is doubled (which is not yet clear.) Consequently, that would have significantly watered down the SHOCK and FEAR effect on current HRT users of their current report.

This is likely the answer to my question of “Why?” the total mortality data were not included in this report. After all, as the previous leader of this study, Dr. Jacques Rossouw, stated in the Wall Street Journal July 9, 2007: “Study officials wanted to make a dramatic statement. Our main job at the time was to turn around the prevailing notion that hormones would be useful for long-term prevention of heart disease. That was our objective. That was a worthy objective which we achieved.” Their admitted anti-estrogen agenda was and still is pervasive in every report that has come out of the WHI. Hint: Perhaps “WHI” stands for “We’ll Hide Information”. Seems like it. My recommendation is to ignore them.
 

Ema

Senior Member
Messages
4,729
Location
Midwest USA
I've had CFS for 17 years. I cannot tolerate HRT. I'm using the bio-identical transdermal creams, but I get so tired on the HRT even on very small doses. Anyone else here have the same problem? Anyone know what causes this sensitivity to HRT? (I'm sensitive to most supps and meds). Any solution to this?
Have you done any sex hormone testing to determine your levels?

What hormones are you taking and in what doses?

How old are you and what is your menopause status?
 
Messages
7
I'm 54 and stopped menstruating about 2 years ago. High FSH confirms I'm in menopause. Blood tests show extremely low estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone levels.

Dosages are: (these are all transdermal creams)

Biest: 1.5 mg 2x daily
Progesterone: 7.5 mg 2x daily
Testosterone: 0.25 mg 2x daily

I only used the progesterone alone this time for just one day to see what symptoms it caused before adding in the others, but I tried the estrogen alone a couple of years ago and had similar problems... it really caused my gut to get bloated. I have serious gut problems and I think that causes me to have serious sensitivities to meds even when given transdermally or intravenously.

P.S. I only used half the progesterone dose so it was only 3.75 mg for one night. I'm very sensitive to meds.
 
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Ema

Senior Member
Messages
4,729
Location
Midwest USA
@Ema Who is Dr. Hurlock and where can I find this article?
Her name is Dr Donna Hurlock and she is a board certified gynecologist with more than 25 years of experience with HRT.

The essay is on her website.

I also encourage anyone interested in HRT to get a copy of her booklet discussing estrogen and the problems with the WHI study. It's available for a small mailing fee from her office.

http://drhurlock.com

Women may also be interested in this article from the peer-reviewed journal Climacteric discussing their official position on HRT.

http://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/2013/ims-ht-ps-2013.pdf
 

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,657
Okay, now I understand. This is the Suzanne Sommer's type of medical protocol, which I am not a fan but won't get into that in this thread. I misread the original post and was thinking HRT and not BIH, as I thought she was talking about Allopathic medicine.

There is indeed a link between HRTs/BIHs and cancer so standard medical practice only advocates HRTs,if the benefits outweigh the risks. The following talks about the Ten Myths about BIH.

It’s the dosages and protocols, which are commonly recommended, that have never been shown to be safe, much less safer or more effective than conventional prescription estrogen products. Transdermal progestogens from a compounding pharmacy are potentially dangerous since there is no evidence that they prevent the lining of the uterus from developing pre-cancerous or cancerous cells. Only oral progestogens have been proven to offer that protection.

http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/lauren-streicher-md/buyer-beware-bioidentical-hormones-myths
 

Ema

Senior Member
Messages
4,729
Location
Midwest USA
I'm 54 and stopped menstruating about 2 years ago. High FSH confirms I'm in menopause. Blood tests show extremely low estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone levels.

Dosages are: (these are all transdermal creams)

Biest: 1.5 mg 2x daily
Progesterone: 7.5 mg 2x daily
Testosterone: 0.25 mg 2x daily

I only used the progesterone alone this time for just one day to see what symptoms it caused before adding in the others, but I tried the estrogen alone a couple of years ago and had similar problems... it really caused my gut to get bloated. I have serious gut problems and I think that causes me to have serious sensitivities to meds even when given transdermally or intravenously.

P.S. I only used half the progesterone dose so it was only 3.75 mg for one night. I'm very sensitive to meds.
Here are some thoughts to consider:

Many of my menopausal friends say that adding in progesterone when estrogen levels are low does not work very well. A low estrogen state more closely approximates the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. During this time, progesterone would also be low. So I would consider putting aside the progesterone until such a time as you are able to get sufficient estrogen levels.

Bloating is a common side effect of estrogen spikes. If it were me, I would consider trying an estrogen patch at the lowest dose which would provide a steady state dispensing of hormone rather than a cream. Vivelle Dot is bioidentical estradiol and that can interconvert to other estrogens as needed.

I think after being very low in hormones for a while you also have to expect some hypersensitivity of the HPO axis to having hormones present again. This may also translate into some CNS sensitivity since they are related. I don't know how long you were able to stick with the hormones but many side effects dissipate with continued use as your body gets used to "normal" hormone levels again.

I think this is worth pursuing despite the sensitivities under the care of a doctor experienced with BHRT beyond "more hormones good for all women". Even moderate estrogen levels at your age confer cardiac benefits and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Testosterone is also a great help in maintaining muscle.
 

Ema

Senior Member
Messages
4,729
Location
Midwest USA
Okay, now I understand. This is the Suzanne Sommer's type of medical protocol, which I am not a fan but won't get into that in this thread. I misread the original post and was thinking HRT and not BIH, as I thought she was talking about Allopathic medicine.

There is indeed a link between HRTs/BIHs and cancer so standard medical practice only advocates HRTs,if the benefits outweigh the risks. The following talks about the Ten Myths about BIH.



http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/lauren-streicher-md/buyer-beware-bioidentical-hormones-myths
Sorry, but she is not a Suzanne Somers type of doctor.

Suzanne Somers advocates the use of higher than physiological doses of hormones a la the Wiley Protocol. This is not the same thing at all.

As far as the blog post on Dr Oz's website, she's right about the bioidentical vs bio-mimetic difference. I say that all the time in terms of thyroid hormone meds as well. But she's dead wrong about progestogens (synthetic progesterone) and compounding pharmacies (they are regulated). Win some, lose some, I guess.
 
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Messages
7
Ema, thanks so much for the insights! I'll try the estrogen first, maybe at really low doses spread out through the day at first and go from there. :) Will then try the patch if that doesn't work. Thanks again!
 

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,657
Sorry, but she is not a Suzanne Somers type of doctor.

Suzanne Somers advocates the use of higher than physiological doses of hormones a la the Wiley Protocol. This is not the same thing at all. It's disparaging of a fully board certified doctor to compare her to Suzanne Somers who, while entitled to her opinions, is not a doctor at all.

As far as the blog post on Dr Oz's website, she's right about the bioidentical vs bio-mimetic difference. I say that all the time in terms of thyroid hormone meds as well. But she's dead wrong about progestogens (synthetic progesterone) and compounding pharmacies (they are regulated). Win some, lose some, I guess.

Please educate yourself and actually read the current medical literature and try to avoid the propaganda. Your bones and heart depend on it!

Ema, diifferent opinions are just that, opinions that are not the same. I hope my posts don't come across as dispaging other's with different opinoins nor telling others that there is only one right way to see things. I just provide information from my perspective like everyone else here or debate the subject and not the person. Is that so terrible? People can take it or leave what I post. That is their choice.

I think you are assuming that I don't read all the literature. I do a lot of researchI on many issues here. It's just that my conclusions are different than yours.:)

ETA. If this thread was in the alternative forum or hormone forum, I wouldn't have posted.as I don't care to comment on those forums..
 
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Ema

Senior Member
Messages
4,729
Location
Midwest USA
Sometimes "opinions" are actually verifiable facts though. I would actually call repeating those no better than lies. I can say it is my "opinion" that it is night at noon over and over again but it still doesn't make it any less daytime.

We are all welcome to our own opinions.
 
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