HRT

I've read through some of the older posts on hormone replacement therapy but still have a few more questions.

I've never taken HRT. I'm 3-4 years post menopausal and never really had debilitating symptoms but do get very mild hot flashes once in awhile, dryness and my skin and hair seem to be making big changes (most likely from RA meds) but I wonder if HRT may help with overall well being? I'm convinced hormonal changes were a big part of my RA.

My dexa scan revealed osteopenia and being an athlete/runner my whole life just doesn't add up so I also wonder if HRT can help prevent osteoporosis along with supplemental vitamin D and calcium?

If HRT, then which one? Do those of you on HRT take a combination of estogen and progesterone? Or just take progesterone? Anyone also take DHEA or testosterone with it? My Rheumatologist is great but admits he doesn't really know the answer to that and my gynecologist is of no help. GP also no real help. None of them want me to take HR but then add that they really don't know what they would suggest for me. I'm looking into finding a new gyno but thought to ask here to see how others are getting on.

Thanks so much.

12 Replies

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  • HRT is suggested as part of treatment for Osteoporosis. But you have to weigh up the risks of developing Breast Cancer.

  • Hi, I've taken HRT patches for 20 years , now I'm on oestrogen only. I was put on it when I was peri menopausal and it's been great. I developed RA 2 years ago but continued to take it. My GP wasn't keen but now just prescribes it when I ask, doing the usual checks of course. I say it helps with my general well being and I have researched it and it does seem beneficial. I keep my weight down and have low Blood pressure.

  • my nurse said not to come off hrt because if I get Osteoporosis as well as RA to put not to finer point on it I would be up shit creek. Ive been on hrt for nearly 30yrs and thrive on it. Read carefully the risks of getting breast cancer (they are not that much higher than if you dont take hrt) and the effects of osteoporosis combined with RA. My worse nightmare is not been able to do personal care (eg go to toilet, pull up my knickers etc ) Its a very personal choice taking HRT and only you can take it.

    best wishesx

    ps I live on my own so if I became dissabled I would need carers - this influences my decision,

    pps not every one gets osteoporosis if they dont take hrt.

  • Supplementing with natural progesterone is the safest and in fact protects you against breast cancer. Look at link below😊

  • I'm about the same time-line as you post-menopause Lucy & when I had my FSH levels checked my GP definitely agreed, they were through the roof! We discussed how I'd coped (I had) & other important factors, that my both my Mum & Dad had heart disease, my Nan had breast cancer & such. As I was keeping progressing to osteoporosis at bay, considered to be with just daily AdCal-D3 & Omega 3 fish oil & it's assumed my varied healthy diet & exercise also helps (I've remained borderline oseopenic/osteoporotic for the last 2 DEXA scans, 4 years now) we decided I'd not start HRT. Another concern was she thought I was taking plenty of meds already but if I did feel I needed something she could increase one of my existing meds. I didn't want to be coping with menopausal symptoms, RD & progressive OA later in life when I'd have to come off it, thinking along the lines of I may not be as well controlled as I am now.

    So you see it's all very personal. Maybe best to do as I did & ask the advice of your GP, talk through any concerns you may have & reach a decision that's the right one for you.... as long as you're well informed you'll make the right choice. Oh, one thing my GP said to definitely not be tempted to try is black cohosh. I assured her I wouldn't consider it for RD so I certainly wouldn't consider it for post-menopausal symptoms.

  • Dont fake hrt i develpped breast xancer from it xxx

  • Was your tumor Oestrogen positive? I had grade 3 ductal invasive Oestrogen and Progesterone positive breast cancer through taking HRT, so I am taking an aromatase inhibitor every day. Damned if we do, damned if we don't. Now I've got 4 fractured vertebra.

  • Yes it was but that was 20 years ago now so wasnt given any inhibator but am 71 and here to tell the tale xx

  • Thank you all for your replies. It's something I will have to work out for myself but reading your experiences helps me take a closer look.

    I find that I often struggle with making medical decisions as every single doctor I've had thus far leaves all the decisions of meds up to me. They basically say, "What do you want to try?" Or, "I don't know who to send you to for that."

    I'm never pushed in one direction or another which is good I suppose but I often leave the office with very little professional input. I'm often left feeling that I'm treating myself and feel extremely unqualified to do so.

    I very much want to be the CEO of my disease but just can't help but feel seriously unqualified for the job and I'm dancing as fast I can to catch up but often feel overwhelmed with all the research.

    Thanks for all of your support. It means a lot to me.

  • Hello Lucy11,

    I have really done a lot of research on hormonal balance and how it affects RA. HRT for postmenopausal woman with artificial hormones is no longer recommended. Seems that what we need is progesterone in a natural form. Usually the estrogen-progesterone balance is estrogen dominant after menopause, for many especially AI patient, all their lives, which causes low grade inflammation and many other symptoms. There are a lot of good articles and studies on estrogen-progesterone balance on the net. One name of a knowledgeable doctor was Northrop. I can look up links for you if you need help😊 Good luck. XxSimba

    .

  • Thanks for this Simba. Do you have a link readily available that explains what ratio of estrogen to progesterone one should strive for? Is this also individual?

    I don't want you to dig too deep for it as I can fish around the net as well.

    thanks again.

  • Hi again Lucy,

    You could start with this one😊

    drnorthrup.com/estrogen-dom...

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