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Newsweek Cover:  'Beyond Hormone Therapy'

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  • Chief Cushie

Sunday July 14, 11:33 am Eastern Time

Press Release

SOURCE: Newsweek

Newsweek Cover: 'Beyond Hormone Therapy'

Alternatives to Estrogen Include Diet Changes, Exercise, Cutting Back on Caffeine and Alcohol


NEW YORK, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- For many women who choose to stop taking hormone replacement therapy, a host of options are available to treat menopausal symptoms and help ward of disease, reports General Editor Claudia Kalb in the July 22 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, July 15). From diet and exercise changes to herbs and medications, women have many alternatives to estrogen. The age of one-stop shopping may be over, but a new tailored approach to treatment could be even better for women's health in the long run.



For decades, women were told that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) would protect their hearts and preserve their youth. But when federal health officials announced last week that HRT drugs cause significantly more harm than good when taken for long periods, the results sparked a near panic among the estimated 13 million American women now using the drugs. Still, the news may have positively illuminated a fact that could improve future treatment: every woman experiences menopause differently, some sail through, while others spiral into a sweaty, moody exhaustion. "We can never look for one golden scientific truth," says Dr. Christine Northrup***, a holistic gynecologist. "One size does not fit all and never will."


While there are few, if any, long-term conclusive studies on HRT alternatives to combat the symptoms of menopause, some women have noticed improvements after trying other options, some of them quite simple. Cutting back on spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol, and increasing aerobic exercise, vitamin E and soy (through foods like tofu and soy milk) can reduce hot flashes. And herbs have been used for hot flashes and night sweats for years. Foods rich in calcium -- milk, nuts, and dark leafy vegetables -- build bone density. And a diet low in saturated fats lowers the risk of cancer and helps reduce cholesterol levels, protecting against heart disease.


Still, last week's findings don't rule out the use of the drug as a short-term remedy for menopausal symptoms and they don't apply to women who take estrogen without progestin following hysterectomy. But for millions of women, juggling the pros and cons of long-term HRT, the new findings offer something virtually unprecedented, which is clarity, report Senior Editor Geoffrey Cowley and Correspondent Karen Springen. But how could it take so long to assess the risks of estrogen? "The incestuous relationship between the pharmaceutical companies and the medical establishment is part of it," says Dr. Susan Love***, a prominent women's health specialist and longtime critic of HRT. "A lot of information doctors get is channeled through the companies. I would bet the average doctor thought this was already proven."


*** Power Surge guests - read their transcripts in the Power Surge Library at http://www.power-surge.com/library.htm

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