In a new study just published on August 27 in the journal Menopause, Phillip Sarrel, MD and colleagues have shown that moderate to severe hot flashes in menopausal women are not being treated in the majority of women. Women with hot flashes due to lack of hormonal replacement have many other symptoms in addition to just feeling hot. Other frequently occurring symptoms include fatigue, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety and impaired shortterm memory.
Dr. Sarrel, the lead author, is quoted as saying “Not treating these common symptoms causes many women to drop out of the labor force at a time when their careers are on the upswing…This also places demands on health care and drives up insurance costs.”
The researchers analyzed data on health insurance claims from over 500,000 women. Half of these women had hot flashes and the other half did not. All were insured by Fortune 500 companies.
The findings are startling. Women who experienced hot flashes had 1.5 million more healthcare visits than women without hot flashes. “Costs for the additional health care was $339,559,458. The cost of work lost was another $27,668,410 during the 12 month study period.”
“Women are not mentioning it to their healthcare providers, and providers aren’t bringing it up,” said Sarrel.
“The symptoms can be easily treated in a variety of ways, such as with lowdose hormone patches, nonhormonal medications, and simple environmental adjustments such as cooling the workplace.”
From his comments I can see the Dr Sarrel is in agreement with me. Most, but not all, women in menopause will be significantly helped by bio identical hormone replacement therapy.
I want to remind all my readers and patients that the Women’s Health Initiative, which is the study that caused the reduction in the use of hormone replacement therapy was not reported correctly to us. The headlines did not indicate that the estrogen used in the study was from horses rather than human hormones. In addition the progesterone used in the study was not human progesterone, but was rather a pharmaceutically manufactured chemical that had progesterone – like effects.
With these startling statistics about women dropping out of the task force, please talk to your physicians about considering the use of bio identical hormone replacement when you or your loved one, goes into menopause.
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Wishing you the best of health!