HORMONE THERAPY—RARELY WORTH THE RISK
Dr. Jeffrey Carls Family Medicine and Aesthetics is all about the overall wellness of the patient, so when Dr. Carls is asked to prescribe hormone therapies, he rarely gives the green light. Hormone therapies—in many forms such as tablets, capsules, pellets, and creams—are used to replace hormones the body no longer makes during menopause. For Dr. Carls, the risks far outweigh the benefits, with certain exceptions for severe symptoms that impede a woman’s normal daily functions, such as hot flashes so severe that she loses sleep.
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I THOUGHT HORMONE THERAPIES WERE A SAFE SOLUTION FOR PERIMENOPAUSAL AND ALSO MENOPAUSAL WOMEN.
Not so fast. A 2018 article in American Family Physician lists staggering side effects of long-term hormone therapy in perimenopausal and also menopausal women. Patients had an increased risk of coronary events, probable dementia, breast and lung cancers, venous thromboembolism (blood clots), and gallbladder disease. While there are many factors that increase these risks such as genetics, existing conditions, age, health, and lifestyle choices, Dr. Carls finds that most women who inquire about hormone replacement are not suitable candidates.
SO WHAT ARE MY OTHER OPTIONS?
If you aren’t extremely bothered by menopausal symptoms or they don’t significantly disrupt your daily life, Dr. Carls recommends staying away from hormone replacement therapy. Healthy changes in lifestyle can yield promising results. Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, keep cool, and practice relaxation and breathing techniques. For vaginal dryness, use a vaginal lubricant or moisturizer.
There are, of course, benefits and risks with any treatment, and a visit to Dr. Jeffrey Carls Family Medicine and Aesthetics and a review of your lab results and chart can determine what the safest, most healthy course of action is for you.