A compelling defense of Hormone Replacement Therapy, exposing the faulty science behind its fall from prominence and empowering readers to make informed decisions about their health.
For years, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was hailed as a miracle. Study after study showed that HRT, if initiated at the onset of menopause, could ease symptoms ranging from hot flashes to memory loss; reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and some cancers; and even extend a woman's overall life expectancy. But when a large study by the Women's Health Initiative announced results showing an uptick in breast cancer among women taking HRT, the winds shifted abruptly, and HRT, officially deemed a carcinogen, was abandoned.
As it turns out, however, that study was seriously flawed. Now, sixteen years after HRT was left for dead, Dr. Bluming, a medical oncologist, and Dr. Tavris, a social psychologist, track its strange history and present a compelling case for its resurrection. They investigate what led the public—and much of the medical establishment—to accept the Women’s Health Initiative’s often exaggerated claims, while also providing a fuller picture of the science that supports HRT.
A sobering and revelatory read, Estrogen Matters sets the record straight on this beneficial treatment, and provides a path to wellness for women everywhere.
· There is no current way to prevent or reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia—except estrogen.
· HRT is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness, and loss of sexual desire—symptoms that can last an average of seven years. Yet many women do not realize that heart palpitations, joint and muscle aches, headaches, bladder problems, and depression are also often symptoms of menopause, which HRT can alleviate.
· There is no evidence to support the current medical advice to take HRT at the lowest dose for the shortest period of time.
· Seven times as many women die of heart disease as die of breast cancer annually. In fact, heart disease, not cancer, is the leading cause of death among breast cancer survivors, and HRT can decrease that risk by 30 to 50 percent.
· Women taking HRT live, on average, several years longer than those not taking it.
· As many women die annually following osteoporotic hip fracture as die of breast cancer, and HRT can cut this risk in half.
· Most studies have found that estrogen does not increase the risk of breast cancer, and it can often be given safely even to women who have had breast cancer.
· Taking hormones in menopause does not cause weight gain, a common bodily change in midlife. On the contrary, women on HRT tend to lose weight.