The symptoms of menopause can be absolutely devastating for some women; hot flashes, painful intercourse, mood swings... the list can go on and on.
When is it time to start looking at other alternatives to ease some of these symptoms?
Author of The Target Method: A Woman’s Guide to Navigating Menopause, Dr. David Rosensweet, shares insight on hormone replacement.
He answers questions like:
Is hormone replacement safe?
When is it time to start asking my doctor about hormone replacement?
If you suffer from menopause and have been thinking about hormone replacement therapy, tune in to this insightful segment.
RadioMD Presents: Wellness for Life Radio | Original Air Date: April 3, 2015
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest: Daved Rosensweeit, MD
You're listening to RadioMD. She's a chiropractic, holistic physician, best-selling author, international speaker, entrepreneur and talk show host. She's Dr. Susanne Bennett. It's time now for Wellness for Life Radio. Here's Dr. Susanne.
DR. SUSANNE: The symptoms of menopause can be absolutely devastating for some women. These hot flashes, painful intercourse, mood swings, the list can go on and on. So, when is it the best time to start looking for alternative methods to ease some of these symptoms?
Now, my next guest is the author of The Target Method: A Woman's Guide to Navigating Menopause and he is here to share some of these methods for menopausal relief.
Welcome to the show, Dr. Daved Rosensweet.
DR DAVED: Thanks, Susanne.
DR SUSANNE: Dr. Daved, you know, in my natural medicine practice, I have women transitioning to the menopausal times from the peri-menopausal states meaning we start early so that the symptoms are much less when the change is coming. But, some patients come into the office at a very late stage into their menopause and they really have a much more difficult time. So, what I actually recommend to them is to go ahead and contact their integrative doctor or their integrative gynecologist so that they can get a prescription of hormone replacement therapy. Specifically, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. I'm sure that this is what you recommend as well.
DR DAVED: Absolutely. One hundred percent. Yes. How good that you're starting early. I can't emphasize, once again, the importance of like when a woman starts losing her progesterone in the mid 30's, adding some transdermal progesterone which can be purchased in health food stores and over the counter. It can be such a benefit to the women and, yes, like you say, there comes a time when the other hormones need to be replenished as well. And, bioidenticals, absolutely. The same molecules that are in the female body. There are other methods of treating with other hormone analogs, but they're problematic, just to cut to the chase. Why not choose the same molecule that's in the body?
DR SUSANNE: That's right. A lot of us women are given, by our gynecologist, a hormone called Premarin. Premarin, and we all know that that actually, now we all know, but what people don't realize is that estrogen comes from horse urine. You know? It's called conjugated equine estrogen. CEEs and, you know, I personally would rather get it bioidentical just as you spoke. Can you give us a little more information about the differences?
DR DAVED: Well, in the early days, women have been treated with hormones for menopause for a long, long time. The best that could be produced to supply large numbers of women came from the horse urine. That was the original manufacturing technique. You know, I must say that a lot of women out there who got Premarin in the 1950's and 1960's, etc., they benefitted from it. They liked it. Now, the Premarin itself is not the ideal substance, of course. Who would not want the bioidentical? It was also associated with another molecule called Prempro. It was Provera that was added to that molecule. That's problematic. That was part of the study that blew up in the early 2000's showing that women that were, it was pretty small, but at increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease from taking Prempro—not Premarin. Premarin actually was associated with reduced risk for breast cancer. The bioidenticals, though, along with progesterone, the estrogen with progesterone and ultimately, the androgens, the medical literature is great. It's very clear on that. That this one results in a reduced risk for breast cancer, heart disease, etc. So, why not go to the very best? Bioidentical. It makes perfect sense.
DR SUSANNE: Absolutely. One of the things that a lot of my patients come in, since I'm a natural health practitioner and use natural medicine, they are concerned that hormones are dangerous and I don't believe that they're dangerous, but what I do find is that some of the prescription that they're getting are overly prescribed. What I mean by that is, higher dosages than they really need to ease the physiological symptoms. From that, they end up having breast growths or uterine tissue growths and increased in the buildup of that uterine lining. Can you share a little bit about that because I want everyone to know that bioidentical is not bad at all. I want you to be able to know that, yes, it will ease some of your symptoms and make you feel so much better. But, we've got to do it in the right, appropriate manner.
DR DAVED: Yes, in the knowledge base, how to treat with hormones, in general, has expanded enormously in the last 30 years and it does matter greatly. I mean, 40 years ago, we didn't know how to do it and over dosages were done commonly. Yes. You get an overdose of estrogen and you get the stimulation of the breast glandular tissues. We don't want that. It turns out, interestingly enough, that the lowest dosages can do such great good to the bones, to the brain, to the vagina, to the bladder, these things that matter so much in the long run. So, it's a precise medical approach and this is why we train doctors. This is one of the main missions I have. We train doctors all over the country and if you can't find a local expert in your area, because that's what I'm recommending. Get an expert. Get this one done right. Hormones are powerful. Too much of them are going to give you trouble. You can go to our website and find a doc. You send us an email, we'll send you an address of a local doctor or we'll help your local doctor, if they want, with further information themselves.
DR SUSANNE: That's great.
DR DAVED: Getting it properly, get it precise really matters. Most women will get away with imprecise errors in hormones because there is so much resilience out there, but there are a few that won't. They're sensitive and they've got risk factors and we're trying to make menopause and treatment of menopause as safe and as efficient as absolutely possible. Get it down to how close to zero can get that risk? We can't take it to zero. We're all at risk, including myself for a lot of trouble, sooner or later, including some of the harsher diseases. But, we can get that risk as absolutely close to zero, based on the terrific information and the terrific hormones that are available.
DR SUSANNE: Yes. That's great. On your website, you actually give physicians as well as…I mean, if you're a physician, you can actually learn from that. And, if you want to find a physician, you can actually find that as well.
You can go to the website, DrSusanne.com/TargetMethod. All of the RadioMD listeners will be able to get $5 off of your book, The Target Method: A Woman's Guide to Navigating Menopause as well as finding yourself a physician that can help you in your area.
Now, should a woman stop taking these hormones that you recommend at a certain age? You know, if the menopause symptoms are starting to ease, should we stop taking it after you find that the hormone fluctuations are better?
DR DAVED: It's an individual issue that one should really discuss with a very knowledgeable practitioner. We definitely cover this in the book, but for most women, I say "no". You start losing androgens and you starting muscular strength and the ability to stand and walk with stability and we don't want to get into weak muscles. If you look at many elderly people that's what's happening. There's a big relationship to low hormones in there. The muscle that supports the bladder, for example. A lot of women get into bladder issues can wind up in Depends and they don't like it. These kinds of things matter greatly. Protecting the arteries, protecting the brain. We even have a specially designed hormone formulation for the elderly, but in most instances if a woman's on a low dose and the risk factors are not there, I have women who keep on taking it, for good reason. We've treated elderly women who couldn't get out of a chair and we've treated them for a while and they could stand up on their own. I shifted my attention the elderly at a certain point and I think, "Boy, it matters a lot to elderly women. They have a lot of things that they care about, too, and to be strong and the best that they can be. Hormones can really help them."
DR SUSANNE: I totally agree on that one because what we don't want is the condition where, as you said, where we lose muscle mass. It's called sarcopenia, everyone. That sarcopenia will actually. So, it's super important that you regulate your hormones. Of course, we're not asking women to still have their cycle in their 70's and 80's. I'm assuming that, Dr. Rosensweet.
DR DAVED: Sure. Those take very, very robust, huge levels of hormones to pull those off. I say absolutely not.
DR SUSANNE: Great. Thanks so much, Dr. Rosensweet.
Alright, his latest book, The Target Method: A Woman's Guide Menopause. Please go to DrSuanne.com/targetmethod. You'll get $5 off that book as well as find some physicians and you can go to my Wellness for Life Radio show page on RadioMD.
Until next time, this is Dr. Susanne sharing natural strategies for ultimate health and wellness right here on RadioMD.
Stay well everyone