August 5, 2013
Hormone replacement is a complex topic, and medical recommendations
have fluctuated back and forth when it comes to replacing hormones like
estrogen in women suffering from symptoms of menopause and surgically
induced medical menopause following a hysterectomy.
In the past, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was also widely
prescribed for preventive purposes, based in part on early observational
studies that had suggested it could help protect women against heart
disease, weak bones, and dementia.
In fact, many may not know this, but I was a paid speaker for the
drug companies in the mid-80s, promoting the benefits of hormone
replacement therapy. This was about 10 years before I converted to
natural medicine and 15 years before the landmark studies showed the
serious dangers of standard hormone replacement therapy.
The tide quickly turned a decade ago…
In July 2002, the 15-year long Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)
abruptly ended its combination of estrogen and progestin therapy study,
three years ahead of schedule, when their data revealed higher rates of
breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in the population
taking the hormones, compared to those receiving a placebo.
The WHI findings triggered enormous changes in the use of hormone therapy, and by2003, prescriptions had dropped by 38 percent.