Ask the Expert: Hormone Replacement Therapy and Your Heart
Q. I’m worried about my heart as I segue into menopause. With a family tree riddled with heart disease, I need to know if Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is safe for me and my heart? And, will it offset the potential for heart disease if I start now?
A. The confusion surrounding HRT continues, with good reason. First we were told it was not only safe but protective of the heart (As Corrected). Then we were told that it actually caused cancer and did not protect the heart at all.
Here’s the latest on HRT safety and heart benefits.
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First, it’s important you understand the terms synthetic and bio-identical. Hence a distinction must be made between synthetic HRT and natural bio-identical HRT. Synthetic can be injurious. Simply put, this type of HRT is riddled with HRT-triggered problems such as depression, mood swings, weight gain, fluid retention and high blood pressure—and worst of all, increasing your potential for certain types of cancers. Studies show synthetic HRT does not protect the heart.
Bioidentical HRT appears to protect against heart attacks if you start within five years of menopause. But, the wrong hormone dosed incorrectly can cause blood clots and should not be used as a preventive against heart attacks. So, always take a saliva hormone test before anyone attempts to randomly prescribe, (even bio-identical) estrogen, progesterone or testosterone for you. Saliva Hormone Testing creates exactitude in dosing you while helping to eliminate guesswork and potential risks. Your saliva test should be taken at least two times a year until you’ve completely transitioned through menopause and your dosage needs are not cycling or variant due to the body’s hormone production.
Bottom line: Take HRT with caution—if you have a heart problem, don’t take it at all. OR WHATEVER IS THE BOTTOM LINE.