I told her that it would be a mistake to do that, because HRT would increase the levels of estrogen in her body and that her symptoms were caused by estrogen levels that were too high!
She replied by saying “I thought my symptoms are caused by falling estrogen levels”.
I then explained to her that perimenopause symptoms are caused by high estrogen levels…not low estrogen levels …. and that later on when her period vanishes permanently, the symptoms she may experience will be caused by low levels of estrogen.
I think that most menopausal women do not understand that the cause of perimenopause symptoms is the opposite of the cause of any symptoms they may experience in post menopause.
I showed Ellen an outstanding article written by a top gynocologist, who is also Scientific Director for the Center for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research.
Perimenopause Symptoms Are Caused By High Estrogen Levels….Not Low
Here is an excerpt from that article
I survived a rough perimenopause and my own experiences told me that the experts had it all wrong about dropping estrogen!
What’s the evidence that perimenopausal estrogen levels are high?
A dozen or so studies in the last 20 years have set out to measure hormone levels in perimenopausal women. Each study reports the data and summarizes by saying that estrogen levels are dropping. Surprisingly, few bother to mention the high levels they found (2). When all of the studies are put together, and the average perimenopausal estrogen levels are compared with average levels in young women, it is clear that the levels are higher, and significantly so (3).
Let’s consider estrogen levels from 300 Australian perimenopausal women taken during the end of flow (2). The data presented as a scatter plot indicates a wide range of hormone levels. Not only are most of the levels as high or higher than the average end of flow estrogen level for 20-35 year olds but many are even higher than the average mid cycle estrogen levels (peak in the cycle) in 20-35 year olds. Clearly many of these perimenopausal women had very high estrogen levels.
Later it says
Dr. Patricia Kaufert, a scientist from Winnipeg who has done one of the best studies about what women experience during perimenopause, found that women were likely to have a flooding menstruation just before their periods changed from regular to skipping(5). But heavy flow, bleeding at shorter intervals than 3 weeks, continual spotting or flow every two weeks, and clotting with cramping are all signs that estrogen is too high and progesterone is too low. Any period is too heavy if you soak more than 16 pads or tampons.
It is normal for the breasts to swell during the week before flow and it is sometimes normal to feel tenderness in the front or nipple area when estrogen hits a high midcycle peak. But swollen breasts most of the time, or front-of-the-breast soreness for more than a couple of days of the month means high estrogen.
The reason for the confusion about estrogen during perimenopause, is that almost all researchers have reported that they had found that estrogen levels were falling in their perimenopausal subjects…..but they failed to say that they were falling from a high level!
Based on the information in this article, HRT will exacerbate peri-menopause symptoms. As estrogen levels are already high, HRT will increase the levels of estrogen in the body and further distort its relationship with progesterone.
The author of the article says that if any balancing of hormones is to be done, to relieve perimenopause symptoms, the level of progesterone should be increased.
I do not advocate progesterone treatment, as the first course of action to relieve perimenopause symptoms. I think the first course of action falls under the category of lifestyle changes.
Studies have conclusively shown that changes to diet, daily exercise, and the adoption of stress reduction techniques from yoga or meditation, lowers estrogen levels. If perimenopause symptoms are still severe after these lifestyle changes, then it is time to consider progesterone treatment.
Please LIKE this post and SHARE it with friends to let them know that perimenopause symptoms are caused by high estrogen levels…not low estrogen levels .