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Hrt, to try or not to try?

(10 Posts)
dee1960 Thu 04-Aug-11 19:09:30

Hi there, i joined this forum today and would really like some help.
My doctor wont prescribe HRT because i smoke and have high(ish) bp so i wondered if anyone could recommend some sort of replacement oestragen that may help with some (or all) of my symptoms, which are probably pretty much the same as everyone else's
Hot flushes
loss of libido
weight gain
mood swings etc etc etc
I have read that some people swear by serenity cream, while others buy various replacement hormone cream/patches/pills
while i know that not everything works for everyone, any bit of positive help would be more than appreciated

ameliagrey Thu 04-Aug-11 19:49:28

You can try a whole range of herbal pills etc from Boots etc- Menoleve etc et. BUT to be blunt, you are ruining your health by smoking, so why are you not taking the support from your GP/NHS to quit?
Sorry but you seem to be coming at this from the wrong angle.

dee1960 Thu 04-Aug-11 19:59:58

what do you mean 'the wrong angle'
I may be a smoker, so are millions of other people, does that mean that i have to suffer the problems the menopause causes, am i the only one on here who smokes?

ameliagrey Thu 04-Aug-11 22:51:45

Dee- if you smoke and have high BP then your GP is correct not to want to give you HRT as your risk of strokes and heart disease would be increased. You cannot buy any hormonal products over the counter- simply herbs and supplements. You can buy Serenity cream which is made from yams and some people say helps.

What I meant by coming at it from the wrong angle was- if you want to try HRT then you would have to quit smoking and generally imrpove your overall health, as you have risk factors with your current lifestyle choices.

I asked whether your GP suggested you quit smoking but you seem to imply that you don't want to stop smoking. You don't need me or anyone to tell you that there is a whole load of health problems waiting for you if you carry on.

Why do you not want to quit?

dee1960 Fri 05-Aug-11 08:15:41

i actually do want to quit and have tried several times, i do know about the health issues and actually keep trying but like some people turn to food or drink when stressed i tend to turn to cigarettes i'm afraid, its not something i am proud of but until i find something that helps it seems i am stuck.
Willpower is not my strongest point and i have tried the patches, tablets and chewing gum to date but with no luck, it is not that i wont stop trying, its just that i need to find something that works for me thats all.
My apologies if i sounded abrupt x

ameliagrey Fri 05-Aug-11 10:43:46

I'm sure it's hard. have you thought about giving hypnotherapy a try? some people find it really works.

serajen Fri 05-Aug-11 10:54:37

Hello Dee, I'm a smoker too and in week 3 of HRT, luckily my blood pressure is normal. Am already feeling benefits although it's early days and I now have a period for the first time in a year, but to be honest that's a small price to pay for everything that was going on before HRT, I truly couldn't take the madness of menopause any longer

dee1960 Fri 05-Aug-11 16:57:55

thanks serajen, i was begining to think i was the only smoker in the world going through the menopause, so happy to hear that things are working well for you and that you have an understanding gp, am thinking about changing doctors to someone that is a bit more sympathetic, i dont mind if its not the full hrt i get but just need something to help me feel a little more normal.

PrettyCandles Fri 05-Aug-11 17:11:56

There is no such thing as not getting the full HRT. You get the dosage and formulation that works for you. But everything that effectively replaces missing oestrogen, whether via HRT or natural substitutes, has similar risk factors. And those risks are all made much worse by smoking and high bp.

It's not a matter of prejudice or a more sympathetic GP.

I started menopause early, and looked into alternatives to HRT because I am obese.

Here are some websites I found helpful:

ameliagrey Fri 05-Aug-11 18:18:22

Prettycandles is right, Dee.

You can't have 50% HRT or whatever you are thinking! You can have a low dose and some drs might give it to you as a smoker. However, as a smoker and with high BP ( are you overweight at all?) you would be putting yourself at risk.

The menopause matters website is very good. You will see evidence there that smokers tend to have an earlier menopause, worse symptoms, including hot flushes.

I don't want to preach but stopping smoking should be your number one goal, as once that is under control your menopause symptoms might be better anyway.

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