The Most Significant Health Advice All Women 45+ MUST Hear!

My Consultation With Dr. Minkin

Face to face with Dr. Minkin, I gave her the results of my medical tests that would weigh in her decision to recommend whether I resume estrogen therapy, from my lipid panel to my coronary calcium scan (a test that looks for specks of calcium in the walls of the coronary arteries); from my blood pressure to my carotid artery calcium scan (the carotid artery is in the neck.) She knew that I didn’t smoke or drink, had a reasonably healthy diet, exercised four times a weeks, 30 minutes each time, and stopped taking estrogen seven years ago.

Dr. Minkin was glad to hear that I stopped taking estrogen at the beginning of 2009, since I originally thought I stopped over a decade ago. “A recently released clinical study by Dr. Howard Hodis, a cardiologist, divided women into two groups, those who started receiving estrogen therapy within six years of menopause, and those who started later than 10 years after menopause,” she explained.

Measuring plaque in the neck (carotid) vessels, his study revealed that women in the first group had substantially less plaque than the ladies in the second. “Estrogen therapy didn’t protect those women  in the second group against coronary disease, but it didn’t harm them, either,” Dr. Minkin explained.  Although I hadn’t taken estrogen for seven years, I more closely resembled the women whose hearts were protected by estrogen therapy, she said. Potentially great news! The fact that I exercise and eat right, and don’t smoke or drink, will also help my cardiovascular protection, she noted.

Dr. Minkin agreed with my frustration that all kinds of doctors had little, no, or fallacious knowledge about  the benefits of estrogen therapy. “When the WHI results were released in July 2002, menopause education literally ground to a halt,” she said. ”So doctors who were being trained beyond that point were most vulnerable.”

Read More…

Please follow and like us:
RSS
EMAIL
FACEBOOK

10 Responses to “The Most Significant Health Advice All Women 45+ MUST Hear!”

  1. AnneBayer says:

    I was taking estrogen as HRT after a complete hysterectomy in my early 40s. With the exception of about a 2-year period in the early 2000s (my doctor referenced the study you mentioned and immediately took me off of estrogen. I suffered horribly with hot flashes and night sweats and begged him to put me back on and he finally agreed.) Last year, at age 55, following minor foot surgery, I had a DVT in the calf of the same leg as the foot surgery and my doctor immediately took me off of estrogen, saying it probably was the culprit. After months of blood testing and scans, I’m permanently on the blood thinner, Xarelto because all of the resting found a specific mutation in my DNA that says I’m prone to clots. My (new) doctor says that because of that, taking estrogen is never going to be possible. Now, after reading your article, I’m worried… I know she won’t put me back on estrogen.

    REPLY
    • geribrin says:

      Hi Anne,
      If tests showed that you’re prone to clots, I’m going to guess that estrogen isn’t a good idea. But don’t be worried, please. Maybe bio-identical hormone therapy would be possible. Ask your doc. And, if you need the name of someone who specializes in menopausal and post-menopausal women, let me know and I’ll get the name of an expert in your area. Best, Geri

      REPLY
  2. Dandi says:

    I’m 53 and i’m in Menopause….do I just need to ask my doctor to give me the the low dose patch??

    REPLY
    • geribrin says:

      Hi Dandi,

      If your doctor isn’t well educated in menopausal women, he or she probably won’t have much of a clue what to recommend, despite the fact he or she is an OBGYN.

      You should speak to a doctor whose specialty is menopausal and post- menopausal women. There aren’t many of them now, but their numbers are growing. Let me know where you live and I can get a recommendation for you in your area, if there is a specialist there.

      Fondly, Geri

      REPLY
      • Dandi says:

        Hello! and thank you so much for responding. 🙂 I live near Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Thank you again. Regards! Teri (Dandi)

        REPLY
        • geribrin says:

          Hi Teri,

          I will get back to you, hopefully with a name of an expert in your area.

          Best,
          Geri

          REPLY
  3. Shelley O'Hara Plunkett says:

    While I agree that estrogen is vital, it’s not the only hormone that we need. Estrogen should always be balanced with the other necessary hormones that naturally occur in our systems when we are younger. I am on a regimen of Tri-est, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA all delivered in a sublingual troche’ that I put under my tongue at bedtime. This is bio-identical hormone therapy which my doctor believes to be superior to typical estrogen replacement therapy in that it is not “engineered” to be slightly different than my own hormones for the sake of a drug company’s profits. It is exactly the same in molecular structure to my own hormones and because he works with compounding pharmacies, he can design a hormone mix that is exactly right for me. We have tweaked mine a bit over the last year until we have hit on the right combination. For example, at one point my estradiol was too high and was causing sexual problems. Sexual lubrication had become so profuse that neither I nor my husband could feel anything. It was frustrating (and messy). My doctor cut the estradiol in half and the problem was solved. Most OB/GYNs will say that bio-identical hormone therapy isn’t effective or that it doesn’t really differ that much from pharmaceutical hormone therapy. I disagree. Hormones from pregnant horses are not as safe as hormones made from plant compounds. Humans are meant to consume plants, not horse urine. Not only that, I can get a mixture of hormones just right for me. You cannot get that with a pharmaceutical dose. I turn 60 this year. I feel wonderful. I run a mile every day and Zumba twice a week. My bloodwork is that of a 30 year old and my blood pressure still runs 117/65. The only “medication” I take is my hormones. Add to that that I am 40 lbs overweight. The reason my health is what it is is because I’ve taken care of my gut health for the last 20 years and I consider that to be the biggest piece of my health story. The microbiome in your gut is the key to your health, mentally and physically. It breaks my heart to see so many people taking medications and suffering from heartburn, acid reflux, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, diabetes, severe menopausal symptoms, etc. when the onset and severity of these problems depends on how healthy our gut bacteria and enzymes are. This is being backed up by scientific research and thankfully, is finally starting to come to light. I am just thankful that I found out about it two decades ago.

    REPLY
    • Geri Brin says:

      Thank you, Shelley, for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment. Doctors do debate about “bio-identical” v. non bio-identical hormones, so I believe each of us has to do what we think best for our body and work with a doctor we respect. Continued good heath and happiness to you. Best, Geri

      REPLY
    • Laura Gannon says:

      Thank you so much for your input. I read every word. It was very helpful. And thank you Geri also. Your article is so appreciated .

      REPLY
      • Geri Brin says:

        Hi Laura,

        You are welcome!

        Best,
        Geri

        REPLY

Leave a Reply