Millions of women suffer from symptoms of hormone imbalance every year, and as their hormones change due to age or illness, symptoms such as hot flashes and sleeping problems may occur. Hormone therapy can help women suffering from menopausal symptoms and it also provides other benefits for women within 10 years of the onset of menopause, such as increased bone health and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Hormone therapy is a decision which needs to be taken seriously, and made according to each woman’s symptoms and her individual health history. You should always talk to your doctor before starting or stopping any medication.
Natural hormone therapy has been prescribed in Europe for the past 70 years, and in the United States for the past 40 years. Natural hormones include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and natural thyroid hormone. Our compounding pharmacists can compound medications in the best dose and for the best route of administration for each patient. It has been our experience that individualized hormone replacement therapy yields the best results.
There have been many studies about the benefits for cardiovascular health and longevity of compounded natural hormones in a transdermal form Overall quality of life and health outcomes in peri/postmenopausal women within the context of hormone replacement therapy have been studied thoroughly. In study after study, women receiving hormone replacement therapy soon after menopause had a significantly reduced risk of mortality and heart disease without any apparent increase in risk of cancer or stroke.
Estrogen deficiency during menopause contributes to the development of abdominal fat and insulin resistance, and could represent a major step in the development of diabetes and obesity in women. In a 2006 meta-analysis of 107 trials, Salpeter et al. concluded that appropriate HRT reduces abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, new-onset diabetes, and lipid levels, in women without diabetes.
Testosterone therapy is being increasingly used to treat symptoms of hormone deficiency in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Testosterone is essential for physical and mental health in women as well as men. A source of confusion concerning the safety of testosterone therapy in both men and women is the extrapolation of adverse events from high doses of oral and injectable anabolic-androgenic steroids to testosterone therapy, despite a lack of evidence. Testosterone in proper doses is mood stabilizing and protects the heart and breast.
Research has indicated that up to half of women with breast cancer may benefit from progesterone therapy, which modulates the actions of the estrogen receptor. More clinical trials are needed to determine whether giving progesterone to women with ER/PR double-positive breast cancer alongside estrogen-blocking drugs like tamoxifen will help more women survive this disease.
The risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy for women differ depending on type, dose, duration of use, route of administration, timing of initiation and whether a progestogen such as progesterone is used. Treatment should be individualized using the most appropriate hormone(s), dose, formulation, route of administration, and duration of use to maximize benefits and minimize risks, with periodic reevaluation of therapy.
Our compounding pharmacists work with patients and practitioners to provide customized hormone therapy with the needed hormones in the most appropriate strength and dosage form to meet each woman's specific needs. Hormone therapy should be initiated carefully after a woman's medical and family history has been reviewed. Every woman is unique and will respond to therapy in her own way. Close monitoring and adjustments are essential.