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Risks & Benefits of Hormones in Menopause

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So what are the real risks and benefits of taking hormones?

In the estrogen/progestin arm of the WHI study:

  • There was a 26% increase in breast cancer risk, which means that if 10,000 women were taking hormones for one year, 8 more women would develop breast cancer when compared to 10,000 women not taking hormones. Women in the estrogen only arm did not have a higher risk of breast cancer.
  • There was a 29% increase in heart attack risk, which means that if 10,000 women were taking hormones for one year, 7 more women would have a heart attack when compared to 10,000 women not taking hormones.
  • There was a 41% increase in stroke risk, which means that if 10,000 women were taking hormones for one year, 8 more women would have a stroke when compared to 10,000 women not taking hormones.
  • There was a 37% decrease in colorectal cancer risk, which means that if 10,000 women were taking hormones for one year, 6 fewer cases of colorectal cancer would be seen when compared to 10,000 women not taking hormones.
  • There was a 34% decrease in hip fracture risk, which means that if 10,000 women were taking hormones for one year, 5 fewer hip fractures would be seen when compared to 10,000 women not taking hormones.

Itís also important to understand that the WHI study evaluated the use of Premarin and Provera, which are not bioidentical hormones. (Read more about bioidentical hormones here.) No studies have been done to prove that bioidentical hormones are any safer than Premarin and Provera, but it makes sense, intuitively, that your body would respond better and more safely to something it recognizes as your own hormone rather than to something it recognizes as foreign. Although more studies are needed, early data suggests that bioidentical hormones are, indeed, safer. But no study as big as the WHI study has been done.

Why? Because you canít get a patent on a natural substance. And usually, itís Big Pharma thatís funding these big studies, and without their deep pockets, itís hard to get the data. Sadly, we may never truly knowÖbut I hope Iím wrong.

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Read more: Alternative Therapies, Guidance, Health, Menopause, Natural Remedies, Self-Help, Women's Health, , , , , , , ,

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at†LissaRankin.com and also created two online communities -†HealHealthCareNow.com and†OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.

46 comments

+ add your own
12:57PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

I appreciate the great info. Thank you!!

5:16PM PST on Jan 29, 2013

Thanks for the info Lissa

4:39AM PDT on Sep 17, 2012

Ty

7:32PM PDT on May 6, 2012

thank you!!

8:53PM PST on Feb 26, 2012

good info & suggestions in all articles, thank you for sharing.

9:51PM PDT on Jun 7, 2011

THANKS 2 INFORM

8:45PM PDT on Jun 3, 2011

Good one, thanks!

4:19PM PDT on May 22, 2011

Ty.

11:46PM PDT on May 15, 2011

Thanks for sharing:)

7:09PM PDT on May 8, 2011

noted thx

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