Hormone Replacement Therapy Q&A Webcast Transcript
Christie: Hi, Dr. Northrup.
Dr. Northrup: Hi.
Christie: Hi. I am 46 years old. I am on the raw food diet right now, and I feel fabulous. But I have had my hormones tested, and they are pretty much nonexistent. What would you recommend for me?
Dr. Northrup: Well see this is one of those situations where you feel fabulous, right?
Dr. Northrup: You're on a raw food diet. Do you have sex drive?
Christie: I'm getting that back now. I didn't, but I've been on this for about four months and, yes, now I do.
Dr. Northrup: Now, see, I would go with that. You're doing this wonderful thing where you're detoxing your body with an extraordinarily healthy diet, right?
Dr. Northrup: And you're noticing changes right away, which means that your body is starting to restore itself. The body is self-healing.
Dr. Northrup: So I love what you're doing. You haven't had a hysterectomy, have you?
Christie: No. I haven't had a period in two and a half years.
Dr. Northrup: Okay. So what I would see you doing is you're restoring your adrenal health. You are taking proactive steps to restore balance in your body. Are you on any vitamins and supplements? Omega-3 fats, anything like that?
Christie: No. Since I started the raw food diet, I took all of that out completely because I don't feel like I need it. You know, I feel better than I've ever felt ever in my whole entire life.
Dr. Northrup: I just love to hear that. You're doing that in a completely natural way. It's costing you very little money, and that is the wisdom of the body. I would just stick with that.
Dr. Northrup: Okay? Thank you so much.
Christie: Thank you so much.
Dr. Northrup: All right. Carol is calling in from Boulder, Colorado. One of my favorite places in the world.
Carol: Oh, it's wonderful.
Dr. Northrup: Yes, it is.
Carol: Thanks for taking my call, doctor.
Dr. Northrup: Yes.
Carol: I've been on hormone replacement for 13 years. Never had a problem with it. Loved it. My moods are great. Slept great. No hot flashes. Well, now I'm trying to wean myself off it. And I'm not sure if I'm doing it the right way. But I feel like I've been on it a long time, and maybe this is the time I should get off it.
Dr. Northrup: Okay.
Carol: What is your recommendation?
Dr. Northrup: You're how old?
Dr. Northrup: Sixty-one. Okay. Here's what I would do. I would—now are you on pills or creams or what are you on?
Carol: I'm on a low-dose pill.
Dr. Northrup: A low-dose pill. Okay. What you could do with that is you could begin by dropping off one pill a week. Okay? So that one week you drop a pill. One pill. The next week you drop two pills. And I want you to know, no one has ever figured this out so I'm making it up. Okay? And the third week you drop three pills and you wean off very, very slowly. So maybe we say that by April or May you're off everything and just see how you are. In the meantime, make sure your vitamin D level is checked. Make sure you're on a good omega-3 fat regimen and that you're taking a good multivitamin. You're in Boulder, so you can't live in Boulder without exercising, right?
Carol: Oh, that's true.
Dr. Northrup: Okay. They'll shame you into it.
Carol: I mean, I do it all. I bike, treadmill, everything. Swim. Yes.
Dr. Northrup: So I would just—I would just try this and see what happens. But, you know, I wouldn't be afraid to go back on if you're doing well. Particularly with the bioidenticals. We do have some pretty robust studies from Europe and so on that show that many women do well. Not everybody has a problem. So just go with what your body's telling you and what you and your doctor do every year at your annual physical.
Carol: Yeah, they've been recommending I go off it.
Dr. Northrup: That's because the pendulum has swung. Now when I was a med student, the pendulum was, "Everybody into the pool. Everybody needs to be on it." And then the pendulum swung again, and it's swinging again, and I have been on the pendulum now since I was in my 20s in terms of the medical opinion. So I want you to know it's going to swing again, sure as shootin'. So thank you, Carol. Go with the authority of your body.
Carol: Thank you so much. Bye.
Dr. Northrup: Bye. Susie joins us on Skype from New Albany, Ohio.
Susie: Hi, Dr. Northrup.
Dr. Northrup: You saw the show today, right? Oh, I remember you, Susie.
Dr. Northrup: You were loving your estrogen, but you don't have it.
Susie: You have a good memory. Yes. I want it back, and I still want it back. I'm a 48-year-old mother of four and—
Dr. Northrup: You look 20.
Susie: Pardon me?
Dr. Northrup: You look 20.
Susie: Oh, thank you. That's in my genes. We can thank my mom and dad for that.
Dr. Northrup: Okay.
Susie: My question for you is, are there risks associated with the bioidentical hormone therapy for one who has had a heart attack?
Dr. Northrup: Okay. Now the heart attack question, there's some really, really exciting research coming out of the University of Orlando Medical School where they have used very small amounts of transdermal progesterone in women with angina, because we know that in—in women, heart attack is most often caused from a coronary artery spasm. Not from a blockage, per se. There's a big difference between men and women. And part of the reason women get coronary artery spasms is a withdrawal of progesterone, and progesterone seems to keep the coronary arteries more open. And, in fact, in some of the initial studies, when a woman just rubs on a little bit of natural progesterone on her skin, it will help with prevention of angina and, therefore, prevention of the spasm of the coronary arteries. So in my view, and I believe that science and history will prove me right on this, a little bit of natural progesterone is probably preventative for heart attack. Okay? So it's—it's worth considering and there—there are starting to be some good evidence from that. So look up the research of Dr. Kent Hermsmeyer on that particular issue.
Susie: Okay. Would it be, suffice to say, that it's possible that since I had early menopause because I'll be—I've gone 22 months without a period, that possibly the early menopause could have been part of what caused me to have a heart attack?
Dr. Northrup: Absolutely. Now tell me how severe was the heart attack?
Susie: It was mild. It was in the apex of my heart, and I was 41.