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foofer
11-01-2010, 01:27 AM
I'm wondering what anyone/everyone has learned about the role of hormone replacement therapies for women as it affects bone density.

In 2000, when I first visited an orthopedic surgeon for my scoliosis, he wrote in his report that I needed to be very diligent with checking bone density, and if it was found to be decreasing, I would need to take Fosamax or Calcitrin. This same doctor also recommended that I do HRT for bone density.

I used Bioidentical hormone cream for a few years, and went off this treatment in January of this year. A friend of mine had gone through breast cancer and radical mastectomies of both breasts. All of her doctors warned her that bioidenticals had no significant follow-up research done, and they all felt that it contributed to her cancer. My own GP told me that it was not proven to help bone density and although there were not yet any solid studies, it made sense to her that estrogens, whether bioidentical or synthetic, would "feed" cancer cells in the body.

Stopping usage of the estrogen/progesterone cream was easy- no side effects - no hot flashes, no sleep impairment, no mood changes....although in the last couple months I've been more pensive- not as easy to be upbeat or serene, which is more my usual state. So...wondering how long it stays in the body...

It seems that we, the aging babyboomers, are the guinea pigs and the votes are not all in.

Please post if anyone digs up some decent studies. I'm looking for someone to do my homework for me. :)

jrnyc
11-01-2010, 04:29 AM
hi Amy
i am still on bio identicals...it's been a few years now...maybe 4-5 by now...

dont know if you read Suzanne Somers books...especially the first and 2nd ones...or whether you know that she had breast cancer, & stayed on her hormones thru out ...with her doctors' permission....her books detail specialists who explain why they believe their research shows bio identicals are safer, etc etc....

i had to go off Fosomax, etc, because i am having dental implants done...long story short, it involves many sections of my mouth, & many procedures (sinus lifts, bone grafting, etc...long process)...none of my doctors or my dental specialists will allow me to stay on any of the bone density meds like Fosomax while having such extensive work done..

all in all, i do believe (personal opinion) that bio identicals are far better than synthetic ones...& they are right for me...they have made a world of difference to my physical, mental & emotional health! my doctors tell me the hormones are good for bone density...but i do have osteopenia, diagnosed before i went on hormones of any kind...of course, my specialist ( in CA) who prescribes my compounded hormones is the biggest believer...
i don't know how much difference the compounded hormones will make to my personal bone density situation...i guess i'll see as the years go by...but i am on them for a whole lot of reasons...

i don't know the answer to your question...how long they stay in the body...but i don't think it is very long (my own opinion, & a little knowledge of meds from my drug counseling work)...i would suggest research on the internet, check some of the medical books, and look it up in Suzanne's books, too...

jess

mamamax
11-01-2010, 05:31 AM
When it comes to natural hormone replacement, the name Dr. John R. Lee M.D., immediately comes to mind.

Here's a web link that outlines some introductory information on some research that has been done in this area: http://www.osteopenia3.com/osteopeniatreatments.html

About ten years ago I actually used Dr. Lee's method and was happy with the results. This required an Rx (using the non genetically modified soy based formula outlined in his book), and a formulating pharmacy. I was fortunate to also find a pharmacist who was familiar with his work. Which was quite something almost ten years ago in a small town in the middle of nowhere.

Hope this helps - also, his book (co-written with Virginia Hopkins), What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, is very informative on this subject.

Karen Ocker
11-01-2010, 12:51 PM
http://www.breastcancer.org/news_research/ask_expert/12_2008/question_16.jsp

There are many physicians making good money prescribing "bio-identical hormones".
I used regular hormone replacement therapy for 8 years and tried bioidentical for around a year. This was responsible for me needing a hystrectomy for endometrial hyperplasia(hormone overgrowth in uterus which is pre-cancerous) and then I ended up with 3 breast cancers: 2 on the right side one on the left(never found on screening) all of which fed off estrogen/progesterone.

Menopause is natural not a disease to be fought.

jrnyc
11-01-2010, 02:48 PM
it was NOT natural for me!! it took my personality away, left me feeling miserable, all kinds of discomfort, and taking bio identical hormones has been a LIFE SAVER! synthetics did nothing for me, except take my money at the drug store..i'd rather pay the expensive prices for bio identicals & feel like a human being again, than waste money on horse urine hormone!!

i am so grateful to Suzanne Somers for publicizing it...i dont care if she made money off of her books...they helped a lot of people!

jess

Karen Ocker
11-02-2010, 11:21 AM
The human body has hormone receptors. It doesn't matter one bit where the hormones came from. The only estrogen not implicated in breast cancer is estriol which is helpful as a vaginal cream for breast cancer survivors.


Although hormone replacement is thought to strengthen bone a very large study showed negative consequences: increased incidence of strokes,dementia, and breast and lung cancers. I did not want to take it but was convinced by my GYN who was following the crowd.

http://thorax.bmj.com/content/65/4/282.extract

http://www.npjournal.org/article/S1555-4155(09)00143-3/abstract

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1440-1800.2009.00456.x/full

http://www.ahjonline.com/article/S0002-8703(10)00526-0/abstract

Possible association between HRT and brain cancers: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/19/10/2562.abstract

jrnyc
11-02-2010, 02:34 PM
you haven't read the books i have read...the ones with the doctors and researchers explaining how/why bio identicals work....
nor do i believe every woman who takes them will have cancer one day...

i will continue to do what GIVES ME A LIFE!! i didnt feel like i had one worth living before the bio identicals...

nuff said!

jess

foofer
11-03-2010, 09:55 AM
Comrades,

I'm grateful for your replies and references.

Jess: I was circling the drain before I took bioidenticals, and I did have full doc support, both orthopedic and GP, at the time. Looking back, I wonder how I would have fared if I had not used them. I was quite nervous about abandoning ship and was pleasantly surprised not to notice any symptoms. I am now believing that my recent bout of melancholy, unnoticed by others BTW, is more about advancement of scoli symptoms as well as life concerns. I think we all weigh out the info and make decisions based on our personal load. I plan to stay off hormones based on the info at hand, not to mention watching my friend- not something to shake off easily. I appreciate your input and know exactly what you are saying.

Karen: Thank you for the websites. I read them all and will continue to go natural - easy to do because all-in-all I am doing well with it. I hope your health continues to improve - sound like you have been to hell and back. I am sorry. You are so smart and I always read your posts. I wish you well and then some.

Seems to be a sleepy topic and I wonder why. For me, it's huge - seems like growth spurts in young women (and men) and later menopause brings it on- scoli awakenings- big time.

Hope more science majors and other geniuses weigh in....

jrnyc
11-03-2010, 05:25 PM
i agree...everyone must weigh the risks & benefits and makes the best decision for themselves...had i not felt so awful...(i couldn't remember who i was...if i was female!) perhaps my decision would have been different...i couldn't live inside the body menopause gave me!!! so i give thanks the bio identicals work for me!! thank goodness for alternatives to horse urine!

best of luck...
jess

skevimc
11-10-2010, 05:25 PM
There are a lot of references on HRT and osteoporosis/penia on pubmed. Reading through a few abstracts can give you a basic idea that the results seem to be mixed. Diet and exercise can also dramatically influence the results so finding studies that control for all of those factors is difficult. But the fact that there are continued studies on HRT and bone health also suggests that there is something to it. I wrote a review earlier this year on hormones and muscle health and one thing I found was that the drugs or products that showed very little promise generally weren't continued. As well, if the results were not very promising there might still be studies, but will usually be prefaced with "The effects of XX hormone on bone health has been very controversial" or some other such statement. Growth hormone is a good example from the muscle world. Lots and lots of studies with basically inconclusive results and several side effects. Yet, people keep trying it out and products keep getting developed.

From a safety point of view, HRT definitely has risks involved. Risk factors take into account personal and family history of breast, ovarian, cervical cancers. I believe frequent check-ups with MD are also highly recommended. The remainder of the risk boils down to chance. Some will have bad reactions and others won't. Scientists simply don't know why.

As far as how long it stays in your system... I know for testosterone, trans-dermal patches and gels leave the body pretty quickly. On the order of days or maybe a week or two depending on if any gets stored in the fat. I'd imagine estrogen is pretty much the same. Hormones' main functions are usually very specific so the action will be pretty quick and will shut off pretty quick as well. But, it's certainly possible that some of the benefits, mood, appetite, energy, etc... could last longer for various reasons.

Large doses of Vit D combined with calcium is now in vogue for osteo treatments, aside from specific pharmaceuticals.

foofer
11-12-2010, 01:14 AM
There are a lot of references on HRT and osteoporosis/penia on pubmed. Reading through a few abstracts can give you a basic idea that the results seem to be mixed. Diet and exercise can also dramatically influence the results so finding studies that control for all of those factors is difficult. But the fact that there are continued studies on HRT and bone health also suggests that there is something to it. I wrote a review earlier this year on hormones and muscle health and one thing I found was that the drugs or products that showed very little promise generally weren't continued. As well, if the results were not very promising there might still be studies, but will usually be prefaced with "The effects of XX hormone on bone health has been very controversial" or some other such statement. Growth hormone is a good example from the muscle world. Lots and lots of studies with basically inconclusive results and several side effects. Yet, people keep trying it out and products keep getting developed.

From a safety point of view, HRT definitely has risks involved. Risk factors take into account personal and family history of breast, ovarian, cervical cancers. I believe frequent check-ups with MD are also highly recommended. The remainder of the risk boils down to chance. Some will have bad reactions and others won't. Scientists simply don't know why.

As far as how long it stays in your system... I know for testosterone, trans-dermal patches and gels leave the body pretty quickly. On the order of days or maybe a week or two depending on if any gets stored in the fat. I'd imagine estrogen is pretty much the same. Hormones' main functions are usually very specific so the action will be pretty quick and will shut off pretty quick as well. But, it's certainly possible that some of the benefits, mood, appetite, energy, etc... could last longer for various reasons.

Large doses of Vit D combined with calcium is now in vogue for osteo treatments, aside from specific pharmaceuticals.

Thank you for responding to this...I purposely did not get back on right away, because I wanted to leave your name up there as final poster for awhile, as I believe that many forum readers- like myself- will jump in and read when they see yours. I look for your name, so thanks.

As for hormones, for now they are in the back seat and I won't use them. I'm doing fine without them. Until there is a shift and the studies lean in one direction more than the other, I'll abstain. I'm using a calcium/magnesium, Vit D, and strontium combo, doctor approved, so I'm doing what I can. The rest will be whatever it is. :)