What Hormones Actually Make You Gain Weight
Why You Might Want to Consider Hormone Therapy
In recent years, hormone therapy (HT) has gotten a bad rap, but doctors no longer discourage it for everyone. It can be helpful for those with severe menopausal symptoms, and for certain women it might even be protective, says David Katz, MD, a preventive medicine expert at Yale and author of . A study published in theAmerican Journal of Public Healthfound that some women who had had hysterectomies—and so had especially low estrogen levels—may have died due to heart attacks because they avoided taking estrogen for menopausal symptoms. (Some estrogen is necessary to guard your heart.)
RELATED: Do Hormones Work for Menopause?
Here's what to know:
You may be a candidate if…You have severe hot flashes, night sweats or other symptoms that impair your quality of life—and you reached menopause in the last five years.
You shouldn't take it if…You have a high risk of stroke, blood clots, breast cancer or uterine cancer, because hormone therapy can increase the risk for these conditions.
Bottom line:HT is not one size fits all. "It's a balance of benefits and risks, and it's up to your doctor to help you decide," says JoAnn Manson, MD, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and author ofHot Flashes, Hormones & Your Health.
Fasten Your Seat Belt
How your hormones rise and fall over the years—and how to ease your ride.
Photo by Getty Images; Illustration by Brown Bird Design
SOURCES: Joy Bauer, RD. Rebecca Brightman, MD, Woman's Day advisory board member. Jessica Shepherd, MD, MBA, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, University of Illinois at Chicago. North American Menopause Society.
Video: Hormone replacement therapy - What you need to know
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