Side Effects of HRT
and Suggested Solutions
Many women who try hormone replacement therapy discontinue
it because they are bothered by side effects such as weight gain, headaches, or fluid
retention. In many cases, side effects can be minimized or even eliminated by making
adjustments in dosage or method of administration. Listed below are some of the most
common some side effects of HRT and suggested solutions for them. This is for information
only. Never make any changes in your HRT program without first consulting your doctor.
Breast swelling and tenderness, heavy menstrual bleeding, menstrual cramps.
Breast tenderness and heavy menstrual bleeding may be due to too much estrogen. Reduce
the dosage of estrogen and possibly increase the dosage of progestogen. Also take 3,000 mg
of evening primrose oil and 50 mg of vitamin B6 daily.
Premenstrual symptoms such as depression and/or irritability during progestogen
Depression and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome can be caused by too much progestogen.
Reduce the dosage of progestogen or change to natural progesterone tablets, suppositories,
or injections. Natural progesterone is less likely to cause mood disorders. Take
progesterone less often, every two or three months instead of every month. Take 50 mg of
vitamin B6 and 3,000 mg of evening primrose oil daily.
Inability to tolerate menstrual bleeding.
Take both estrogen and progestogen continuously, every day.
Migraine headaches, nausea, and vomiting
Nausea and headaches can be a sign of too much estrogen. Change to a non-oral form of
estrogen such as patches. Begin with low-dose estrogen patches.
Increased blood pressure, fluid retention, bloating, weight gain, aching legs.
Fluid retention can be from too much estrogen. Reduce the dosage of estrogen. Or try
changing to a non-oral form such as patches. Reduce the dosage of progestogen.
Depression, irritability, mood changes, loss of sex drive.
Change to a non-oral form of estrogen such as patches or injections. The addition of
testosterone injections may be necessary, often for three to twelve months only.
Change to a natural progesterone.
Development of large varicose veins or worsening of existing varicose veins
Reduce the dosage of estrogen or change to estrogen patches. Take 500 IU of vitamin E
Chloasma (dark and/or blotchy brown facial pigmentation).
Reduce the dosage of estrogen and change to estrogen patches. Avoid exposure to
sunlight; wear a hat and sun block when outdoors.
Estrogen deficiency symptoms while on HRT.
Have a blood test to check your blood level of estradiol. If it is on the low side,
increase the dosage of oral estrogen or add or change to estrogen patches or injections.
For vaginal dryness, add estrogen cream.
You have decided to give up on HRT altogether, due to the side effects.
What Should You Do Now?
Check with your doctor first. You may be losing the significant advantages offered
estrogen replacement therapy. Consume plenty of foods that are high in calcium, vitamin D,
and natural plant estrogens. Eat foods that are high on natural plant estrogens such as
green beans and soybeans. Check on natural hormone
replacement therapy and Alternative Medicine given
Next Topic: Administering
Natural Hormone Therapy
[Menopause and HRT
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