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Clearing the Confusion of Hormone Therapy

From the Show: Health Radio
Summary: What's the deal with hormone replacement therapy?
Air Date: 7/6/16
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Diana Bitner, MD

Diana BitnerDiana Bitner, MD, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and a certified menopause practitioner. She received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is a member of the Spectrum Health Medical Group.

Dr. Bitner has special interests in women's wellness and prevention of heart disease, menopause, perimenopause, laparoscopic and robotic pelvic surgery, and pelvic pain. She enjoys helping women through times of health concerns and life phase transitions with an integrated and evidence-based approach. Her professional goal is to help women be as healthy as they want to be. She is also fluent in Portuguese.

Dr. Bitner has a weekly media engagement with WXMI Fox 17 Morning Mix discussing health topics of importance to women. She regularly engages in media and online chats and authors a blog, titled Midlife & Menopause Moments, which can be found on Health Beat, Spectrum Health's e-news website.

Clearing the Confusion of Hormone Therapy
Eighty percent of women will have menopause symptoms that affect health and quality of life.

If you fall in that group, you may want to talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy. When symptoms become cyclical, it's probably time to start. Typical symptoms include weight gain that doesn't make sense, night sweats, forgetfulness, and difficulty sleeping.

If you still have your uterus, it's advised you take something that has estrogen and progesterone. There should be equal amounts of both hormones in whatever you use.

Systemic hormones go into your bloodstream. Prescribed by physicians, systemic hormones are not advised for those with heart disease, cancer or history of stroke. Systemic hormones are available in IUDs, pills and patches.

Vaginal or topical hormones do not go into the bloodstream. These are typically available as creams and sprays.

Starting hormone replacement 5-10 years from the last period has proven to be good for heart health and bone density. It slows the thickening of the carotid artery, decreasing risk of heart attack and stroke.

In past research studies, women experienced fewer symptoms when they were following good menopause habits. Avoiding sugar, keeping the weight off and working out can help.

Listen in as Dr. Diana Bitner shares what you need to know about hormone replacement therapy.

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