A Natural Alternative To Hormones and Hot Flashes

Natural Menopause treatments I was so thoroughly impressed with Carolyn's article below I had to re-post it.  If you're one of the millions that suffer from menopausal hot flashes and night sweats you should know there is a natural solution.  Traditional Chinese Medicine has been using combinations of herbs, (herbal formulas) for over one thousand continuous years successfully.   Our Menopause Relief Herb Pac  is based on  one of these formulas.  Written originally in 1113 AD, it's the synergy of the herbs working together that makes the difference.  The 12 herbs in our Menopause Relief gently restore your body's natural "thermostat".  The tea taste delicious and results are guaranteed.  There is a better, safer answer for menopause symptoms than HRT  and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has embraced it for centuries.  Just because you live in the West does not mean you can't experience the healing power from the East.  We didn't recreate the wheel here, we just repackaged it for you.  Now for the Nag!

By:  The Ethical Nag – Carolyn Thomas

How is it possible that half of all gynecologists are still prescribing hormone replacement therapy to their patients for uses that are clearly unsupported by evidence – despite the alarming warnings of the largest randomized, placebo-controlled trial of HRT ever performed?

This reality is “curious”, according to Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman at Georgetown University Medical Center, in a new study* examining 340 medical journal articles about HRT. Her research was published yesterday in the journal, Public Library of Science Medicine.

But even more curious are her findings that the majority of the doctors who have written pro-HRT papers for medical journals have been funded by the very drug companies that manufacture hormone replacement drugs.

These companies were financially hurt by 2002 results of the massive Women’s Health Initiative study, which meant an almost immediate catastrophic loss of sales revenue for manufacturers of all HRT drugs. Prescriptions dropped by 80% – a major blow to companies like Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, whose HRT drugs Prempro and Premarin had earned the company over $2 billion just one year earlier.

Dr. Fugh-Berman now explains how pharmaceutical companies may have successfully begun to address and even reverse this loss of income by attempting to influence what doctors are learning about HRT since the WHI findings went public:

“The pharmaceutical industry has supported publication of articles in medical journals for marketing purposes. For example, of the 10 journal authors we studied who had written 4-6 articles each:

* eight were found to have declared payment for speaking or consulting on behalf of menopausal hormone manufacturers or for research support
* seven of these eight were speakers or consultants for the drug company

In addition:

* 30 of 32 medical journal articles (90%) evaluated as promoting HRT were authored by those with financial conflicts of interest
* journal articles promoting the use of HRT were almost two and a half times more likely to have been authored by authors with financial conflicts of interest as by authors without conflicts of interest
* in articles from three authors with financial conflicts of interest, some of the same text was repeated word-for-word in different medical journal articles

We know that physicians read medical journals, and Dr. Berman reminds us that about half of gynecologists still continue to distrust the results of WHI while prescribing HRT for uses that are not supported by evidence.

She reported that common themes in journal articles, editorials and letters that were identified as “promotional” included:

* attacks on the methodology of the WHI
* arguments that clinical trial results should not guide treatment for individuals
* arguments that observational studies are as good as or better than randomized clinical trials for guiding clinical decisions.
* arguments implying that the risks associated with hormone therapy have been exaggerated and that the benefits of hormone therapy have been or will be proven.

WHI, a major independent 15-year research program begun in 1991, reported that the demonstrated risks of HRT outweighed benefits in asymptomatic women. Risks were so clearly demonstrated that the HRT study was stopped early. These findings on the use of estrogen-progestin and estrogen-only HRT drugs were alarming, according to Dr. Fugh-Berman’s team:

“Both therapies increased the risk of stroke, deep vein thrombosis, dementia, and incontinence; estrogen-progestin therapy also increased rates of breast cancer.

“Neither therapy reduced cardiovascular risk, and neither markedly benefited health-related quality of life measures.”

A follow-up study by the Canadian Cancer Society found there was a significant decrease of 10% in the rate of new breast cancers among post-menopausal women between 2002 and 2004 — coinciding with a huge drop in the use of HRT after the WHI study was published.

But the WHI results were no surprise to many women’s health organizations, according to Kathleen O’Grady of the Canadian Women’s Health Network:

“We have been following the questionable methods used to promote the prescription of HRT to healthy midlife women. Short-term use of HRT has been documented in a variety of studies as a useful treatment for alleviating the temporary symptoms associated with the onset of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. However, long-term use of HRT (more than 5 years), and the practice of prescribing HRT to healthy women—those not experiencing severe menopausal symptoms—is another matter.

“The WHI results are only the latest in a long series of studies demonstrating that longterm use of HRT should be considered only with extreme caution.”

If you’re like me, and you question even the term “hormone replacement therapy” – which somehow implies that, when diagnosed with the medicalized “disease” of menopause, our hormones need “replacing” in the first place – you’ll be interested in reading Dr. Fugh-Berman’s paper in the Public Library of Science Medicine. Or learn more on the Women’s Health Initiative FAQs page.

*Fugh-Berman A, McDonald CP, Bell AM, Bethards EC, Scialli AR (2011) Promotional Tone in Reviews of Menopausal Hormone Therapy After the Women’s Health Initiative: An Analysis of Published Articles. PLoS Med 8(3): e1000425. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000425