HRT, anyone?

Lori JLori J Registered Users Posts: 52
Hi Girls,

Last June I had a hysterectomy with my one remaining ovary removed because of stage IV endometriosis. I've been doing progesterone cream, but I've stayed away from estrogen and everything else because I didn't want to stimulate any more endo growth. My doc now wants me to start with a bio-identical estrogen patch and sublingual testosterone. I agreed to this because I am now experiencing arthritis (!) and a nonexistent sex drive.

Have any of you guys done this kind of HRT (progesterone, estrogen and testosterone)? What happened? Any info you're comfortable sharing is much appreciated.

I have some concerns about the estrogen because of the endo. I've had four surgeries (one after the hyst even!) to try to handle this, and though I have no more organs for the endo to grow on except my cervix, I just don't want any more surgery.

TIA for your help and support!

:)
Lori

Comments

  • alim1216alim1216 Registered Users Posts: 240
    Hi Lori J

    sorry to hear you've gone through a bad time. Personally have never used bio-identical patches, but I have been on transdermal progesterone creams and intra-vaginal estrogen cream for over 7 years. Considering I haven't had a level re-check in about 4 years, I'm not doing too badly with them and have had no ill effects (I've written on other threads about the pulmonary embolis I suffered after a year on synthetic HRT - am not a candidate for those :( ) Though it's not exactly the same thing, I just thought I'd mention that, in my experience, the bio-identicals have cause no ill effects, and they usually give you the lowest dose possible to start till they balance you out. Hope you hear from someone who's actually using what you plan to use, though. Best of luck! :)
    Hair 3a/3b.
  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Registered Users Posts: 15,402 Curl Neophyte
    I say go for it and just get regular hormone level checks. I just finished Suzanne Somers The Sexy Years and am actively researching HRT. I wish my doctor was as open to bio-identical HRT as yours. I'm going to have to go to someone who specializes in this (endocrinologist?). I have fibroids (myomectomy 12 years ago and 2 have regrown, not large). Also endometriosis (which is not limited to uterus -- it can spread anywhere). I have been in perimenopause since 46-47 (I'll be 54 in July) and still get my periods. My issues are persistent/resistant weight, disappearing sex drive, and roughened skin -- also forgetfulness and minor depression. Good luck and keep us posted.
    My blog - http://suburbanbushbabe.wordpress.com/
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  • alim1216alim1216 Registered Users Posts: 240
    I say go for it and just get regular hormone level checks. I just finished Suzanne Somers The Sexy Years and am actively researching HRT. I wish my doctor was as open to bio-identical HRT as yours. I'm going to have to go to someone who specializes in this (endocrinologist?). I have fibroids (myomectomy 12 years ago and 2 have regrown, not large). Also endometriosis (which is not limited to uterus -- it can spread anywhere). I have been in perimenopause since 46-47 (I'll be 54 in July) and still get my periods. My issues are persistent/resistant weight, disappearing sex drive, and roughened skin -- also forgetfulness and minor depression. Good luck and keep us posted.

    problem is most MD's (western medicine) are not trained in Natural medicines so they haven't a clue about bio-identicals. And many either think it's a waste of time - the closed-minded ones - and others are interested and open to it, but are afraid because of the issue of lack of training. Check for alternative and complimentary medicine providers. You may have some luck there.
    Hair 3a/3b.
  • cara4curlscara4curls Registered Users Posts: 336 Curl Neophyte
    "problem is most MD's (western medicine) are not trained in Natural medicines so they haven't a clue about bio-identicals. And many either think it's a waste of time - the closed-minded ones - and others are interested and open to it, but are afraid because of the issue of lack of training. Check for alternative and complimentary medicine providers. You may have some luck there." - alim1216

    So-o agree with this! Personally, I would recommend checking in with a good acupuncturist, as Traditional Chinese Medicine has an impressive track record in treating womens' conditions, often way better than Western medicine. You've already had the surgery, so the follow-up of balancing one's system will be surely aided by the acupuncturist. Likely they will prescribe an herbal formula or two that will balance you out and improve general health. Sometimes one can feel the effects of the herbs within just a few days too. Good luck.
    health-conscious, visionary artist in transition
  • icequeenicequeen Registered Users Posts: 590
    cara4curls wrote:
    "problem is most MD's (western medicine) are not trained in Natural medicines so they haven't a clue about bio-identicals. And many either think it's a waste of time - the closed-minded ones - and others are interested and open to it, but are afraid because of the issue of lack of training. Check for alternative and complimentary medicine providers. You may have some luck there." - alim1216

    So-o agree with this! Personally, I would recommend checking in with a good acupuncturist, as Traditional Chinese Medicine has an impressive track record in treating womens' conditions, often way better than Western medicine. You've already had the surgery, so the follow-up of balancing one's system will be surely aided by the acupuncturist. Likely they will prescribe an herbal formula or two that will balance you out and improve general health. Sometimes one can feel the effects of the herbs within just a few days too. Good luck.

    This is a double post and I think a guano but looking for advice on the chinese herbs.

    I just went to a acupuncturist for the first time last week. I am totally needle phobic so that tells you my level of desperation to stop hair loss and feel normal again. It was a great treatment with no pain and I felt absolutely relaxed when I left. Better than a massage. She also used "ear seeds" to help increase energy which seem to have helped the past few days. I'm going again next Thursday and can't wait. Maybe this will help whatever female roller coaster I seem to be on.

    Has anyone used chinese herbs? I'm looking at the Quality Life Herbs site which is mentioned in Dr. Northrups book on menopause. She mentions the Shou Wu Pian which I'm tempted to try. The acupuncturist suggested "7 treasures of beautiful hair" but admitted she wasn't that familiar with any of the herbs. I have been taking Effisoy for the past three weeks and that also seems to be helping.
    3a Colored, Layered
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  • Lori JLori J Registered Users Posts: 52
    Thanks for the support, girls. I've been reading some stuff on Hystersisters, which Jessicurl turned me on to last year, and the pendulum swings really wide on both estrogen and testosterone. Oy.

    Suburbanbushbabe, my doc is a reproductive endocrinologist, so I think you will have good luck with a similar kinda doc. He did my last surgery in Feb and did a really thorough check of everything and is handling stuff all the other docs missed.

    Alim and cara, I agree with what you said about Western MDs. It's really been an interesting experience being on those lines for the past two years. Thanks for the suggestion about acupuncture, that's a good one. Alim, also glad you're off the synthetics and have found things that work for you. Yikes!! I have to say, I've been eating more soy lately, and that's really helped with the little moodiness I've been experiencing and I've also been sleeping more soundly.

    Icequeen, don't have any info on the herbs, but I hope you get that sorted out. Keep us posted on what you come up with.

    I'm gonna talk to my doc tomorrow, as I think I actually have endo in my colon (!), and I'm having a colonoscopy in three weeks. I had the endo removed from the outside of my colon a few times, and I think it wound up inside. So, I don't want to do any estrogen till I find out exactly what's up there. Sorry if that's TMI! I think the endo doc and the colon doc are gonna have to hook up and talk about my innards.

    Again, thanks for the support. I really appreciate it.

    :)
    Lori
  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Registered Users Posts: 15,402 Curl Neophyte
    Lori J wrote:

    I'm gonna talk to my doc tomorrow, as I think I actually have endo in my colon (!), and I'm having a colonoscopy in three weeks. I had the endo removed from the outside of my colon a few times, and I think it wound up inside. So, I don't want to do any estrogen till I find out exactly what's up there. Sorry if that's TMI! I think the endo doc and the colon doc are gonna have to hook up and talk about my innards.

    Again, thanks for the support. I really appreciate it.

    :)
    Lori

    As long as it's not causing any adhesions or other health issues, you should be okay. When I had my myomectomy, my appendix had adhered to part of my small bowel due to the endo (or so my obgyn told me) and they ended up removing part of it and doing small bowel resection (tough recovery BTW; I don't recommend it). Other than that I haven't had any problems. I was told endo can show up anywhere in your body.
    My blog - http://suburbanbushbabe.wordpress.com/
    My FOTKI - http://whatsnew.fotki.com/suburbanbushbabe/
    comic-p.jpg

    Playing with my hair is a hobby. Fluffy, fine natural 4a. Goal= Healthy, beautiful hair that retains its length.
    Hear that crash? It's me falling off the CG wagon.
  • alim1216alim1216 Registered Users Posts: 240
    Lori J wrote:

    I'm gonna talk to my doc tomorrow, as I think I actually have endo in my colon (!), and I'm having a colonoscopy in three weeks. I had the endo removed from the outside of my colon a few times, and I think it wound up inside. So, I don't want to do any estrogen till I find out exactly what's up there. Sorry if that's TMI! I think the endo doc and the colon doc are gonna have to hook up and talk about my innards.

    Again, thanks for the support. I really appreciate it.

    :)
    Lori

    As long as it's not causing any adhesions or other health issues, you should be okay. When I had my myomectomy, my appendix had adhered to part of my small bowel due to the endo (or so my obgyn told me) and they ended up removing part of it and doing small bowel resection (tough recovery BTW; I don't recommend it). Other than that I haven't had any problems. I was told endo can show up anywhere in your body.

    Gads, you and Lori J have been through so much, I feel bad about complaining about anything going on with me. But I agree with cara. Many acupuncturists are also knowledgeable in Oriental Medicine and Herbs. Some also know about homeopathy and naturopathy and may be able to steer you in the right direction. Plus, I believe every state has their own restrictions on what they allow and don't allow legally within the acupuncturist scope of practice. I'm wondering if any states allow acus to RX? FL does NOT, though they do have primary care physician status here. In other words, they can be used as a primary care physician if your insurance plan allows it. Wierd, huh?
    Hair 3a/3b.
  • cara4curlscara4curls Registered Users Posts: 336 Curl Neophyte
    ". Many acupuncturists are also knowledgeable in Oriental Medicine and Herbs. Some also know about homeopathy and naturopathy and may be able to steer you in the right direction. Plus, I believe every state has their own restrictions on what they allow and don't allow legally within the acupuncturist scope of practice. I'm wondering if any states allow acus to RX? FL does NOT, though they do have primary care physician status here. In other words, they can be used as a primary care physician if your insurance plan allows it. Wierd, huh?" - alim1216

    As part of their training, acupuncturists have to learn all about the Chinese herbs. And yes, many add other alternative modalities that they are drawn to to round out their practice. So these days, one has an interesting mix of the traditional, and the mix of other relavant disciplines. Even more reason to go this route esp. if Western medicine isn't doing it for you.
    Since my mother died of breast cancer when I was only 31(she would have been 59 the year she died)there is no WAY I'd go near any hormones. But I'm 9 years past menopause anyway.
    health-conscious, visionary artist in transition
  • Lori JLori J Registered Users Posts: 52
    Suburbanbushbabe, I feel you on those adhesions! I've heard the bowel resection is no picnic. I'm glad you're past that. My last surgery handled a huge adhesion that was basically strangling my colon. I've read stuff about endo in the colon, brain and lungs.

    Alim, that's great that an OM dr can be your primary care physician. I know my insurance wouldn't allow it. Go for it if you can!

    Cara, so sorry about your mom. I have female cancers in my family, so I've decided to keep on with the progesterone cream and bag the other stuff. This has been such a wild ride!

    :)
    Lori

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