Postmenopausal--anyone here NOT on bioidenticals?

Newcomer introductions, personal anecdotes, caregiver issues, lab results, and n=1 experimentation.
anne from california
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:17 pm

Postmenopausal--anyone here NOT on bioidenticals?

Postby anne from california » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:28 pm

I gave it my best try, but bioidentical hormones aren't working out for me. Too many side effects, despite lots of tinkering and expert advice from Dr. Ann Hathaway herself. So I will be weaning off.

Are there any ladies here who are postmenopausal, NOT taking hormones, but doing other things instead? I know hormones are just one potential leak in the 36-hole roof, but I'd love to know if anyone here has any specific strategies for plugging that particular leak without actually taking hormone therapy.

Open to any and all suggestions.
57 years old, ApoE 3/3, eager to save brain and optimize health.
Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!

Plumster
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:19 pm

Re: Postmenopausal--anyone here NOT on bioidenticals?

Postby Plumster » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:26 am

I came across Red Clover recently in my online research, as something that can maintain estrogen and prevent osteoporosis. I don't know much about it, but might be worth a search?
e3/4 MTHFR C677T/A1298C COMT V158M++ COMT H62H++ MTRR A66G ++ HLA DR

User avatar
TheresaB
Mod
Mod
Posts: 1032
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:46 am
Location: Front Range, CO

Re: Postmenopausal--anyone here NOT on bioidenticals?

Postby TheresaB » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:09 am

anne from california wrote:Are there any ladies here who are postmenopausal, NOT taking hormones,


I'll step up. I am post-menopausal. Last year at the ApoE4 meet-up, I was at Dr Ann Hathaway's presentation regarding Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Treatment, it was very impressive, but I've also listened to other doctors and decided not to pursue it.

In January of this year I had my bloodwork done, which included a female health hormone assessment, my estradiol back then was <5.1. My pregnenolone was 40. You may recall Dr Bredesen likes prenenolone to be in the 50 - 100 range for both men and women.

My doctor, Dr Steven Gundry, has a fair amount of ApoE4 patients, about 30%. He said Dr Bredesen convinced him that pregnenolone is something everyone should have fairly high as we age but that it's particularly useful for ApoE4 carriers. So Dr G recommended I take 50 mgs of pregnenolone (I'm 5'4" 140 lbs, he recommended 100 mg for my husband who's about 35 lbs heavier). Pregnenolone is available over the counter, although because it's a hormone, sometimes it's hard to find at your local health food or vitamin store, but it can be readily purchased on-line via Amazon and other websites too, I'm sure.

From Dr Bredesen's book, "The End of Alzheimer's"

Pregnenolone is the master steroid hormone, from which estrogens, testosterone, and cortisol (among others) are derived, if you are under stress, you may "steal" the pregenolone to generate cortisol, reducing your ability to produce estradiol or testosterone.


I started taking pregnenolone right after that consult. I have bloodwork taken every six months and just got my latest results. My estradiol went up to to 13.5 from <5.1, my progesterone went up to .42 from <.06, my testosterone went up a smidge, and my Pregnenolone is now a lovely 109.

So that's a thought for you to consider. Another thought, probably lower in priority, is that I've heard CBD, the hemp extract, is said to help balance hormones.
-Theresa
ApoE 4/4

Lindajane
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:14 pm
Location: Ga

Re: Postmenopausal--anyone here NOT on bioidenticals?

Postby Lindajane » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:21 am

Thanks anne from california and TheresaB. After over 6 months on biodentical hormones and not feeling as well as before them, I've finally made up my mind to titrate off them. I've struggled with this decision, reading numerous studies and research on the subject. I can find none on women my age (65) starting the hormones and improving cognition. I am convinced my problems resulted from years of very high stress. In addition to exercise and diet changes I am learning to do things I enjoy and making myself and my health a priority in my life. So thankful for this forum!

NF52
Support Team
Support Team
Posts: 1322
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:41 am
Location: Eastern U.S.

Re: Postmenopausal--anyone here NOT on bioidenticals?

Postby NF52 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:31 am

anne from california wrote: Are there any ladies here who are postmenopausal, NOT taking hormones, but doing other things instead? I know hormones are just one potential leak in the 36-hole roof, but I'd love to know if anyone here has any specific strategies for plugging that particular leak without actually taking hormone therapy.

TheresaB wrote:I started taking pregnenolone right after that consult. I have bloodwork taken every six months and just got my latest results. My estradiol went up to to 13.5 from <5.1, my progesterone went up to .42 from <.06, my testosterone went up a smidge, and my Pregnenolone is now a lovely 109.
So that's a thought for you to consider. Another thought, probably lower in priority, is that I've heard CBD, the hemp extract, is said to help balance hormones.

Lindajane wrote:Thanks anne from california and TheresaB. After over 6 months on biodentical hormones and not feeling as well as before them, I've finally made up my mind to titrate off them. I've struggled with this decision, reading numerous studies and research on the subject. I can find none on women my age (65) starting the hormones and improving cognition. I am convinced my problems resulted from years of very high stress. In addition to exercise and diet changes I am learning to do things I enjoy and making myself and my health a priority in my life. So thankful for this forum!
Hi Lindajane,

I am a year older than you and about 13 years post-menopausal. I think that many women our age come to a realization that we had "years of very high stress" from one or more factors beyond our control. Knowing that we survived, and are now able to take measures to improve our health and cognition, is very powerful!

It sounds like you are feeling like you have a good plan with your functional medicine doctor, and your choices on diet and exercise. I don't think you've mentioned in past posts your ApoE 4 status, but we can both be confident that our future selves will thank our mid-60's selves for making health a priority--and listening to what our bodies and brains are telling us works!

I also noticed that no one specifically "welcomed" you back when you joined last fall. So let me belatedly give you a warm welcome and thanks for your contributions to forum discussions on hot topics (sleep and HRT). You've probably long since found the PRIMER by Stavia, a physician/member who is 4/4, and has wise advice on many topics. A recent addition to the WIKI is the How to guide, with tips and screenshots of how to quote members so they see your reply, how to subscribe to topics to get notified of new posts, and how to search for topics or authors.
I've taken the liberty of "quoting" both anne from california and TheresaB so they will get your kind thanks for their help.

Hope the forum continues to help. Your experiences will also help lots of others.
4/4 and still an optimist!

Lindajane
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:14 pm
Location: Ga

Re: Postmenopausal--anyone here NOT on bioidenticals?

Postby Lindajane » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:48 am

NF52 wrote:A recent addition to the WIKI is the How to guide, with tips and screenshots of how to quote members so they see your reply, how to subscribe to topics to get notified of new posts, and how to search for topics or authors.


Thanks NF52 for the how to guide link. I had not seen that. This forum is so full of wonderful folks like you and I am grateful. I have not been tested for my ApoE 4 status and right now do not plan to. I have no alzheimers in my family. After reading Dr. Bredeson's book I am convinced my problem was brought on by stress. I am slowly getting better and still learning day by day what works best for me.

anne from california
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:17 pm

Re: Postmenopausal--anyone here NOT on bioidenticals?

Postby anne from california » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:58 am

Lindajane wrote:Thanks anne from california and TheresaB. After over 6 months on biodentical hormones and not feeling as well as before them, I've finally made up my mind to titrate off them. I've struggled with this decision, reading numerous studies and research on the subject. I can find none on women my age (65) starting the hormones and improving cognition. I am convinced my problems resulted from years of very high stress. In addition to exercise and diet changes I am learning to do things I enjoy and making myself and my health a priority in my life. So thankful for this forum!


Lindajane, I had my last period 10 months after an extremely stressful surprise at work, a buyout that basically turned my job into something I didn't want and had never wanted, complete with new bosses who are ice cold bottom-line types, difficult employees and lots of new and unwelcome responsibilities. Handling all that while managing overbleeding and hot flashes and the strange chemical moods and the instant around-the-middle weight gain (almost 10 percent of my body weight) . . . looking back with a much clearer head, I can see that it was a perfect storm. No wonder I woke up crying every day and couldn't find the right words in a snap!

By the time I started HT (two years after my last period), my job stresses had leveled off, the morning depression had mostly gone and I felt like my mental sharpness had mostly returned, but by then I'd done the research and read Bredesen and felt I could benefit from HT on many levels: cognition, bone health (I've already been diagnosed with osteopenia), and those tenacious menopause symptoms like hot flashes and that bone dry sensation from top to toe. HT didn't seem to affect my brain or moods much--because, again, by the time I started it, those symptoms had pretty much settled down--but it killed the hot flashes, improved my sleep and... unfortunately... brought sporadic and unpredictable bleeding (sometimes heavy), a lot of breast issues, and way too many fights with my prescribing doctor about biopsies and ultrasounds and IUDs. In the end, my regular gynecologist would not prescribe any more HT unless I had a uterine biopsy and agreed to a Mirena IUD. Dr. Hathaway could prescribe, but then everything is out of pocket, and the progesterone alone is $100 a month. I suspect the bleeding issues would continue to the point where she, too, would insist on further testing. I've had a pelvic ultrasound, at my regular doc's instructions, and it came back showing no problems, and that doc was perfectly happy with that until I expressed disinterest in the IUD. Then she changed her tune. I just saw a long future of weird bleeding, shoving expensive progesterone bullets up my hoo-ha (I'm intolerant to the oral) and ultrasounds and biopsies--and for what? The hormones haven't been enough of a panacea to put up with all this hassle and expense. I'm a 55-year-old 3/3 and I'm plugging as many other "holes in the roof" as possible--and I thought I was done buying tampons three years ago!

I will actually see Dr. Hathaway in a week or so, and will see if she's got any other tricks up her sleeve for her cognition patients who are intolerant to HT. We'll be talking about all my test results from the past few months: 23andMe, a GI test, a nutritional panel, hormone levels (going to be mostly moot now, but if the progesterone comes up low, I will get the biopsy to make sure things are all good indoors). I'll be interested to see if pregnenolone comes up in our conversation. Going to look into red clover, too.

So much great info here at this site--I'm always, always grateful.
57 years old, ApoE 3/3, eager to save brain and optimize health.
Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!

Lindajane
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:14 pm
Location: Ga

Re: Postmenopausal--anyone here NOT on bioidenticals?

Postby Lindajane » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:15 am

anne from california wrote:looking back with a much clearer head, I can see that it was a perfect storm. No wonder I woke up crying every day and couldn't find the right words in a snap!


A perfect storm, anne from california, that's it. Life happens and we struggle to just get through it. I'm thankful I finally figured out that what I was feeling was not right and made my way to a functional medicine doctor. His recommendations to read Dr. Bredeson's book and try the Mito diet have made an enormous difference. It's still a struggle to figure out plugging all the holes and what works for each of us (especially vitamins and supplements). I have figured out sleep, exercise and diet make the most difference in how I feel. Memory is better, and critical thinking is improving.

How are you coming off the hormones? My pharmacist said I could just stop, but I rather titrate down.

anne from california
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:17 pm

Re: Postmenopausal--anyone here NOT on bioidenticals?

Postby anne from california » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:43 am

Lindajane wrote:How are you coming off the hormones? My pharmacist said I could just stop, but I rather titrate down.


I was on .050 estradiol and Dr. Hathaway is taking me down to .0375 for two weeks, then says to cut those patches in half (they're matrix) for the next two weeks, then stop. She didn't give me any progesterone advice, but I may keep taking that, at least some, for sleep help, unless there's a big reason not to. I'll decide after I actually see Dr. Hathaway next Tuesday and we discuss it. So far going from .050 to .0375 has been fine. No hot flashes!
57 years old, ApoE 3/3, eager to save brain and optimize health.
Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!

rrmolo
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:08 pm
Location: Brookfield
Contact:

Re: Postmenopausal--anyone here NOT on bioidenticals?

Postby rrmolo » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:30 am

For what it's worth...I had ovarian CA at age 41 and had a complete hysterectomy and was advised to go through everything cold turkey. I found vitamin E very helpful. Of course that was 37 years ago and my body has adjusted. I am 78, 4/4, and do fine with just a pea size shape of estradiol vaginal cream before bed. Medical advice is different now of course but I'm healthy and active in every way! Much luck to all!


Return to “Our Stories”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 22 guests