Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

February 6, 2013

HRT is a last resort for menopause

TAHLEQUAH — Menopause might begin with the occasional hot flash, night sweats or an errant hair sprouting from the chin. And it might mean misery for many women.

One thing most pre- and menopausal women will agree on is that the symptoms, which increase with frequency and severity over time, can be more than just a passing distraction.

According to Dr. Jena Rogers, M.D., of Tahlequah Medical Group, women often suffer symptoms in their 40s.

“Perimenopausal symptoms occur during the stage of a woman’s reproductive life that begins several years before menopause,” said Rogers. “These symptoms may start in a woman’s 40s, but can start in her 30s or earlier [if early ovarian failure occurs]. This stage in a woman’s life may last from a few months to 10 years.”

Symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, breast tenderness, decreased libido, fatigue, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, urine leakage, urinary urgency with incontinence, mood swings and difficulty sleeping.

Rogers said treatment options to relieve symptoms varies.

“[Options] that enhance one’s sense of well being [can include] exercise, smoking cessation, improving sleep habits, reducing alcohol consumption, and getting to a healthy weight and maintaining it,” said Rogers. “And for bone health, get enough calcium in your diet.”

Those who suffer mood swings may find relief in having an antidepressant prescribed, and lubricants are available to remedy vaginal dryness.

Another option is hormone replacement therapy.

“Last, but not least, HRT is considered for the treatment of hot flashes, night sweats, decreased libido and vaginal dryness,” said Rogers. “But with HRT, there comes an increased risk for endometrial cancer, blood clots and breast cancer. All these things should be discussed with your physician to determine the appropriate therapy for you.”

According to an article by the Mayo Clinic staff, long-term systemic hormone therapy to treat symptoms is no longer routinely recommended, but some data suggest estrogen can decrease the risk of heart disease.

Dr. Paul Plowman, OB/GYN at Tahlequah City Hospital, said a woman can be considered as a candidate for HRT when symptoms become moderate to severe.

“Various types of hormone replacement are available: pills, patches, gels, intravaginal rings and even pellets which are placed under the skin,” said Plowman. “The amount an type of hormone replacement should be tailored by a qualified health care provider to the patient’s specific needs.”

According to Plowman, all medications have side effects, which can be both good and bad, and patients should have a thorough discussion of the risks and benefits of HRT prior to beginning treatment.

Some women are reluctant to supplement Mother Nature’s natural course of aging with chemicals, and instead rely on natural, homeopathic remedies to alleviate symptoms.

Deana Franke, owner of Oasis Health Foods, has found success in a combination of natural alternatives.

“What I’ve ended up doing is combining several different natural alternative to make my own mixture to deal with my symptoms,” said Franke. “There are a lot of things that work well, including black cohosh, passion flower and plant-based phytoestrogen. I change combinations every six months or so, and have never had any big problems [with menopausal symptoms] that way.”

Franke chose the natural route, as she believes it reduces her risks of developing cancer.

“My best friend was told outright she got breast cancer because she took HRT for 20 years,” said Franke. “Of course, I’m sure the medications have improved since then.”

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals

    One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • alcohol-info.jpg Alcohol screening can be critical

    It has been decades since Prohibition brought Americans gangsters, flappers and speakeasies, but statistics for alcohol addiction are staggering.
    Millions of Americans suffer from alcohol addiction and abuse, which affects families and friends.
    Today, April 10, is the annual National Alcohol Screening Day, and raising awareness through education, outreach and screening programs is the goal, according to the website at www.mentalhealthscreening.org.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn-CCSO-2.jpg Law enforcement agencies to get new facility

    Area law enforcement agencies will soon have a new training facility in Cherokee County.
    The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is building the new training room near its gun range, located north of the detention center. Sheriff Norman Fisher said tax dollars were not used for the building.
    “This is something we’ve been trying to work on, and it was built with no money from the taxpayers,” said Fisher. “It was paid for with drug forfeitures and gun sales.”

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Stocks