Treating Significant Menopause Symptoms
Q: I am a 51-year-old woman who is entering menopause. I am having severe
sweating experiences, daytime and nighttime. I become very flushed and clammy
and then become very cold. I am also having dizzy spells and feel tired, weak
and like I may faint after one of these spells. I am experiencing depression
on a daily basis and become very emotional.
Is this a normal occurrence of menopause? I have talked to my doctor about
HRT, but I declined it after hearing the media reports. Should I explore this
option? Also, I would like information about chemical imbalances as I have heard
these are symptoms of that condition also.
Dr. Donnica: I am sorry to hear that you're having difficulty with these
symptoms, but I'm even sorrier to hear that you're making personal medical decisions
based upon media reports. The most important information FOR YOU is the recommendations
that your doctor may have made. IF your doctor recommended hormone replacement
therapy (HRT), I think you should consider it.
Your doctor probably explained to you that the majority of the media reports were
based on a study called the Women's Health Initiative, which was designed to evaluate
whether there were long-term preventive benefits of HRT for women without significant
menopausal symptoms. It sounds as though you have the opposite situation. It sounds
as though your menopausal symptoms are significant and causing you great difficulties.
If you decide not to take HRT, there are still other treatment options you
can and should discuss with your doctor, however, none of them will be as comprehensive
as taking estrogen therapy. You should know that this does NOT mean you have
to take this medicine for life! Consider a short-term trial and see how you
feel. This decision can always be reviewed and reconsidered.
For more information on menopause and HRT, click here.
With best regards,
Donnica Moore, MD
Created: 12/20/2003  - Donnica Moore, M.D.