Making the Most of Your Post Menopausal Years

By on January 1, 2012

By Dr. Marina Johnson –

Because every woman goes through menopause, it’s often not even considered a medical problem. In the past, women were often patted on the head and told “Honey, you’re getting older and you just need to accept it.” As an endocrinologist who’s specialized in women’s health for 25 years, I’m here to tell you there’s much you can do at menopause to help you age gracefully and make the most of those years after 50! When postmenopausal women are empowered with knowledge, they will not allow themselves to be placated with such condescending attitudes.

I assure you if a man’s testosterone level dropped to zero at age 50, he would be demanding that his physician do something about it. Why should it be any different for women? Estrogen is a vital hormone with over 400 actions in a woman’s body. Doesn’t it make sense that depriving your body of estrogen leads to adverse consequences when suddenly it’s gone?

A major reason women deny themselves the benefits of estrogen because of their fear of breast cancer. From my perspective as both a physician and a pharmacist, I can assure you that all drugs have risks but what’s important is determining the degree of risks relative to the benefits. You can get killed when taking an airline flight but that does not prevent most people from taking plane trips.

Here’s the actual published data on breast cancer risk from hormone replacement (HRT). If you follow 10,000 women for 5 years and they never take one drop of estrogen, there will be 30 cases of breast cancer. Many women are surprised by this thinking that if they just avoid estrogen that at least they won’t get breast cancer! Women need to know that 30 cases in 10,000 women is considered the natural occurrence of breast cancer. The more important question, however, is how much MORE breast cancer occurs if a woman does decide to take HRT? If 10,000 women take HRT for 5 years, there will be 38 cases of breast cancer! This is only an increase of 8 cases of breast cancer from taking HRT! What about the other 9,962 women who took HRT, DID NOT get breast cancer and were protected against heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and enjoyed a better quality of life? 400,000 women die each year from heart attacks and strokes compared to 40,000 that die from breast cancer. When women hear these statistics they’re better able to put things in perspective and see that there are more risks to NOT taking estrogen.

Women are confused by the term “bioidentical hormones,” another term for natural estrogen and they think they can only obtain them at compounding pharmacies. These very same bioidentical hormones are easily available as pharmaceutical preparations at all pharmacies. I always choose pharmaceutical hormones because they must meet stricter standards for quality control. The purpose of compounding is to provide innovative products that are not commercially available or for patients with allergies to standard preparations.

Hormones given topically as patches, gels and creams are safer and more effective than tablets taken orally.

Women need to know that you can’t dose estrogen by “how you feel.” Hot flashes often go away even without taking estrogen! Early heart disease, osteoporosis and dementia have no symptoms. Women vary in how they absorb topical estrogen so it’s important to monitor blood levels to ensure you’re getting an adequate, protective dose.

To help women everywhere, I’ve described my method that I call the Johnson Menopause Method, in my recently released book, “Outliving Your Ovaries:  An Endocrinologist Reviews the Risks and Rewards of Treating Menopause with Hormone Replacement Therapy.” My book is based on my review of 500 published medical journal articles and supported by over two decades of my clinical experience. By arming yourself with the facts, you’re better equipped to work with your own physician to determine the HRT that’s best for you.

 

Marina Johnson, M.D., F.A.C.E., a UCLA-USC trained physician, is a board-certified endocrinologist and pharmacist with no ties to any pharmaceutical company. She’s the medical director of the Institute of Endocrinology and Preventive Medicine in Dallas, Texas. In her 29 years of clinical practice, she’s managed over 100,000 female patient visits. She’s appeared on Joni’s Table Talk on Daystar Television Network, The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television and the Daybreak USA radio show. Website: www.DrMarinaJohnson.comwww.OutlivingYourOvaries.com, Facebook, YouTube

About Dr. Marina Johnson

Marina Johnson, M.D., F.A.C.E., a UCLA-USC trained physician, is a board-certified endocrinologist and pharmacist with no ties to any pharmaceutical company. She’s the medical director of the Institute of Endocrinology and Preventive Medicine in Dallas, Texas. In her 29 years of clinical practice, she’s managed over 100,000 female patient visits. She’s appeared on Joni’s Table Talk on Daystar Television Network, The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television and the Daybreak USA radio show. Website: www.DrMarinaJohnson.com www.Facebook.com/DrMarinaJohnson www.YouTube.com/DrMarinaJohnsonTV www.OutlivingYourOvaries.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Making the Most of Your Post Menopausal Years