Whilst speaking to a work colleague yesterday, I was horrified to hear that for her persistent headaches, she had last year been put onto HRT, because she is of “a certain age”. HRT is of course in itself not all that horrifying. After all, it is very common for it to be prescribed to women. What I found disturbing about the particular case of my work colleague was the fact that the treatment had just been prescribed “blind”. What do I mean? I asked her which of her hormones had been shown to be low on her blood tests. Her reply was “I didn’t have any blood tests, they just put me on the HRT.”
Recently, the BMA (British Medical Association) issued a statement that the use of HRT is now largely considered to be far less necessary than was originally thought, and that every patient that was to potentially receive it should be assessed on a “risk to reward” basis, since the adverse effects of “supplementing” with hormones are well known. It would appear that this information had not yet filtered down to my colleague’s doctor, or indeed the doctors of many of my other clients who have been prescribed these potentially hazardous chemicals, whose side effects include bleeding, thrombus formation, breast cancer, endometriosis, stroke, uterine cancer…
I then asked her further. Which hormones was she on, and had she been put onto a bioidentical type, or was it synthetic? She confessed that she didn’t actually know, and was surprised to learn that there was a difference between the two types.
Why, then, should I be horrified by this situation? Firstly, HRT has become so widely accepted that peri- and post-menopausal women have been brainwashed into thinking that it is good for them, so they rarely feel the need to question its relevance in their individual situation. Secondly, that the differences between synthetic and bioidentical hormones are not being adequately explained to patients, since this will impact whether or not any dangerous side effects of the medication are experienced. Primarily though, what disturbs me most about this particular story is that no blood tests were taken to establish whether or not the symptoms were as a result of a hormonal irregularity in my colleague. Surely this has to be questioned? How can anyone possibly know what is happening in someone else’s body without the vital information that blood tests reveal? What if the headaches were due to stress, dehydration, poor diet or a myriad of other possibilities? Were these possibilities considered? Were they investigated? And, dare I ask, was the doctor male or female?
To my female readers: there are 6 sex hormones that need to be evaluated before you should EVER allow HRT to be used. These are oestradiol, oestriol, oestrone, DHEA, progesterone and testosterone. If any of these are deficient, you should be supplemented with the spectrum of those that are low, not just one or two of them. And you should never, ever, allow synthetic hormones into your body. Only the natural, bioidentical type should ever be used. It may mean that you have to go to see a clinician who specialises in this type of sex hormone endocrinology. If that is the case, do it. Your body is far too valuable to allow anyone treat it “blind”.