Skip to main content

The value of hormones for menopause

Published February 11. 2014 05:00PM

Q. What is the value of taking hormones for menopause?

To help control menopause symptoms, there is Hormone Therapy (HT) or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

The most comprehensive evidence about taking hormones after menopause comes from the Women's Health Initiative Hormone Program sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Cancer Institute.

The WHI Hormone Program involved two studies the use of estrogen plus progestin (a synthetic progesterone), and the use of estrogen alone.

Women who have undergone a hysterectomy are generally given estrogen alone. Women who have not undergone this surgery are given estrogen plus progestin, which have a lower risk of causing cancer of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus.

The estrogen/progestin study was stopped in 2002, when investigators reported that the overall risks outweighed the benefits. The estrogen-alone study was stopped in 2004, when the researchers concluded that estrogen alone increased the risk of stroke and blood clots.

I have read comments from doctors who say that HRT may be OK for some women. The best course is to get a personal assessment from your own physician.

Q. Any advice about how to stay healthy during a trip abroad?

Here are a few tips:

• First, see your doctor and your dentist to make sure you are starting the voyage in good condition. You may need vaccinations.

• Guard against infection by washing your hands often, especially after you've been on a plane, train or bus.

• If you are in a country where traveler's diarrhea is common, avoid street vendors, uncooked food, unpasteurized dairy products, tap water and ice.

• To battle jet lag, drink a lot of water on your flight.

• Get up and walk on a plane or train to protect yourself against blood clots forming in your legs.

• If you suffer from motion sickness, make sure your eyes are seeing the same motion that your body senses. For example, on a rocking boat, go up on deck and watch the horizon. Don't sit in a windowless room below deck where your body feels movement, but your eyes don't see it. That difference is what makes you seasick.

Q. What exactly happens during LASIK eye surgery.

LASIK, which stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, improves vision by reshaping the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye. Using a laser, an eye surgeon can free patients of eyeglasses and contact lenses.

During the eye exam prior to LASIK, the surgeon charts your eye to determine which areas of your cornea need to be altered. The surgery is then done with a laser programmed to remove the right amount of tissue in each location on the cornea.

During the surgery, you lie on your back in a reclining chair in an exam room. The surgery usually takes less than a half-hour. Often, LASIK is done on both eyes in the same sitting. In most cases, your vision won't be better at first. Vision improves over several months.

If you would like to read more columns, you can order a copy of "How to be a Healthy Geezer" at

The Times News, Inc., and affiliates (TIMES NEWS) do not endorse or recommend any medical products, processes, or services or provide medical advice. The views of the author do not necessarily state or reflect those of the TIMES NEWS. The article content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Classified Ads

Event Calendar


October 2017


Upcoming Events

Twitter Feed


Faith Alive UMC hosts ‘Revival on Purpose!’

40.804927, -75.656958

Faith Alive UMC, 678...

Pumpkin social in Tamaqua

40.7986307, -75.9683447

Zion Lutheran Church...

Feed the People hosts Halloween celebration

40.830215, -75.88356

Feed the People is h...

STEP-Up Tamaqua to meet Monday

40.798347, -75.970851

STEP-Up Tamaqua will...

Reader Photo Galleries