Hormone Replacement Therapy Cedar Falls IA

There's reason to believe at least one of the most popular alternatives, soy, may not be so safe after all—at least when you get the high quantities needed to ease hot flashes.

Marianne Bethke, MD
1824 W 8th St
Cedar Falls, IA
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Toronto, Fac Of Med, Toronto, Ont, Canada
Graduation Year: 1966

Data Provided by:
Stephen Lee Styron
(319) 266-5491
1824 W 8th St
Cedar Falls, IA
Specialty
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Data Provided by:
Stephen Lee Styron, MD
(319) 268-4248
1824 W 8th St
Cedar Falls, IA
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ok Coll Of Med, Oklahoma City Ok 73190
Graduation Year: 1982

Data Provided by:
Randall James Bremner, MD
(319) 268-9600
602 Clay St
Cedar Falls, IA
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Male
Languages
English
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ia Coll Of Med, Iowa City Ia 52242
Graduation Year: 1984
Hospital
Hospital: Sartori Mem Hosp, Cedar Falls, Ia; Covenant Med Ctr, Waterloo, Ia; Allen Mem Hosp, Waterloo, Ia
Group Practice: Covenant Clinic Medical Assoc

Data Provided by:
Marilyn Wilcox Hines, MD
(641) 682-4978
1015 S Hackett Rd
Waterloo, IA
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ia Coll Of Med, Iowa City Ia 52242
Graduation Year: 1982

Data Provided by:
Randall J Bremner
(319) 575-5800
226 Blue Bell Road
Cedar Falls, IA
Specialty
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Data Provided by:
Barbara Lynn Weno, MD
Cedar Falls, IA
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ia Coll Of Med, Iowa City Ia 52242
Graduation Year: 1995

Data Provided by:
Elvia Elena Vallejo, MD
1824 W 8th St
Cedar Falls, IA
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Inst De Cien De La Salud, Fac De Med, Medellin, Colombia
Graduation Year: 1993

Data Provided by:
Robert Emmett Hedican, MD FACS
(319) 234-5764
821 Wendy Rd
Waterloo, IA
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Wisconsin
Graduation Year: 1966

Data Provided by:
Suzanne Barbara Glascock, MD
(319) 234-5764
1015 S Hackett Rd
Waterloo, IA
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ia Coll Of Med, Iowa City Ia 52242
Graduation Year: 1996
Hospital
Hospital: Covenant Med Ctr, Waterloo, Ia; Allen Mem Hosp, Waterloo, Ia
Group Practice: Ob Gyn Specialists

Data Provided by:
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Hormone Replacement Therapy and the Estrogen Dilemma

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By Catherine Guthrie

Walk into any health food store and you’ll see shelves packed with natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy (HRT). And as evidence of the risks of HRT continues to pile up—namely, heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke—the market for these products should only expand. If they’re natural they must be safer, the thinking goes.
But are they?

There’s reason to believe at least one of the most popular alternatives, soy, may not be so safe after all—at least when you get the high quantities needed to ease hot flashes. (As part of a balanced diet, soy has protein and bone-building properties you don’t want to pass up.) But there’s also encouraging news about a hot flash tamer that turns out to be safer than we thought—as well as other HRT alternatives to consider.

First, here’s how soy works and why it’s problematic. The reason it may ease hot flashes is that it’s a phytoestrogen, or plant-based estrogen, which means it behaves in the body much the same way synthetic estrogen does. Specifically, its isoflavones park in the same cellular spot the body reserves for estrogen. So when a woman’s natural estrogen levels dwindle during menopause, causing those famously uncomfortable overheated moments, soy’s isoflavones offer the body an estrogen fix that may cool the fire.

But the very fact that soy is a powerful phytoestrogen complicates the picture. The reason HRT raises breast cancer risk is that too much estrogen is thought to stimulate breast cell growth, which can lead to cancer. Because soy isoflavones behave like estrogen in a woman’s body, the concern is that they may have the same cell-stimulating effect. And the problem is, scientists don’t know how much is too much.

“We know that the phytoestrogens in soy are somewhat weaker than the estrogens in HRT,” says Colleen Piersen, a researcher at the Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research at the University of Illinois, at Chicago. “But we just don’t know if they’re safer.”

Ounce for ounce, soy supplements may be even chancier than soy foods. “A lot of these supplements aren’t just crude extracts,” says Piersen. “They’ve been purified to further concentrate the active ingredient, which is where the potential danger lies.”

The bottom line? “Women at high risk for breast cancer shouldn’t take soy supplements,” says Piersen. As for soy foods, she’s reluctant to make specific recommendations, but she says the best approach is to eat them as part of a regular diet and not load up on them disproportionately. Several factors can put a woman into a high-risk category, including having a first-degree relative (a mother, sister, or daughter) who had the disease, particularly before menopause. Other red flags include having already had breast cancer, early menstruation, and late onset of menopause.

And what about women who aren’t at high risk? The problem is that it’s not easy to say who will develop cancer and who won’t. Keep in mind that only a small...

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