Healthy Living

What Is Hormone Therapy?

Hormone Therapy

What Is Hormone Therapy?

Hormone therapy is often used to relieve menopausal symptoms. However, since estrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health, hormone therapy is another treatment option for osteoporosis.

How does hormone therapy work?

Following menopause, your body produces less estrogen and progesterone leading to an intensive loss in the bone density. Hormonal treatments aren’t intended to replace the sex hormones, but to serve as supplements to these hormones so as to prevent the occurrence of bone loss. Such treatments can consist of estrogen only or a combination of progesterone and estrogen.

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Hormone treatments enhance bone density and prevent the development of spinal or hip fractures. This form of treatment is used to cure osteoporosis in menopausal women who are also experiencing severe symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and night sweats.

How is it taken?

0.625 mg of conjugated equine estrogen is taken every day. Unless you’ve undergone hysterectomy before, progesterone is also prescribed to minimize the risk of contracting vaginal cancer. Hormonal treatments are available as pills or patches and in several regimens.

Side Effects

Side effects associated with hormone therapy include weight gain, depression, breast tenderness, skin irritation, headaches, and premenstrual disorders. At times, menstrual bleeding might occur abnormally. Experimenting with different kinds of doses, regimens, and types can help in minimizing these side effects.

There is a high risk for stroke, cardiovascular, and breast cancer in women who take hormonal treatments for more than 5 years. Such women are encouraged to adopt frequent breast and cardiovascular monitoring programs with medical specialists. A greater risk is also existent for blood clots, just like that for people using raloxifene.

The danger of developing endometrial cancer is accelerated by the use of estrogen alone, without the inclusion of progesterone. Nevertheless, this risk is suppressed by the use of progesterone for women having an intact uterus.

Certain potential risks like invasive breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases might result in undesirable risk/benefit ratio with persistent use of hormone treatments when utilized solely in the curing of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Consuming a healthy diet also contributes to appropriately maintain one's bone strength. Nutritious foods include:

  • Dairy products: cheese, yoghurt, low-fat or non-fat milk
  • Fish
  • Fortified foods that are highly enriched with calcium and vitamin D
  • Fatty fish: sardines, salmon, and mackerel
  • Beans
  • Meat
  • Spinach and foods that are highly rich in oxalates
  • Wheat bran

You can take immediate action to improve the health of your bones at every point of your life. Sufficient calcium intake, specific exercises, and proper vitamin D intake are all essential for boosting the health of your bones. For people suffering from osteoporosis, calcium, vitamin D, and exercises are very important.

Remember, the symptoms accompanying osteoporosis aren’t usually visible. Therefore, if you think that the pain you’re experiencing is related to the condition, be quick to see your doctor.

Other Treatment Options for Osteoporosis

If your doctor confirms that you’re suffering from osteoporosis, he/she may recommend the following treatments if you’re a non-fit candidate for hormone therapy:

• Regular exercises
• Certain drugs like Forteo
• Healthy dietary habits

If you want to better your condition, simply observe a regular exercise habit, healthy lifestyle, and useful dietary regimens. They will greatly help you in managing your condition and experiencing improved symptoms. Osteoporosis is not permanent. If managed properly, the effects will be less visible.