Miriam shares her experience on when she stopped hormone use.
My name is Miriam Hinrich. I am 60 years old. I live in Hong Kong most of the time, but I also travel and have homes in other places around the world, and I would like to share my story about hormones and the solution that I have found for them. About 10 years ago, I was prescribed hormones for the first time because I was borderline osteoporosis. I had osteopenia. I used hormones and I tolerated it very well until the big scare came about five years ago when people got really scared--women got scared-- about whether they should use hormones or not and whether it causes cancer. So I decided to go off the hormones. I went off the hormones for a little while, and of course I almost went crazy because I was moody, I was bitchy, I was fighting with my husband and trying to find reasons to quarrel with the whole world. So then my husband said, please go and fix this thing and do something about it. So I went to the doctor and he said, well these studies were not totally accurate. They omitted this and they omitted that, so I do not think you have anything to worry about. Then he prescribed hormones again. But for some reason I could not tolerate that anymore. Then he prescribed patches. I became very allergic to the patches. I had these big red welts, and then I was scratching, so I had to get off that as well. Then he prescribed something that you take for 10 days and you stop, but then you go back on it, and that did not suit me. Then he gave me something that were two pills, and I did not like that either. I mean, it is not that I did not like it; it is my body that did not like it. So I was just about to commit suicide because I could not figure out what would work and meanwhile, I thought maybe I can do without hormones, but obviously I could not do without hormones. Then the doctor pointed out to me, saying, you know, hormones actually prevent colon cancer, they prevent osteoporosis, they prevent this, they do that. He was pointing out all the positives of the hormones. So I thought, I have to get back on the system where I can get the hormones but maybe tolerate it. That was really my problem, that I could not tolerate it very well. That is with my gynecologist because I used different doctors. I went to Mayo Clinic in the United States. I had doctors in the United States, in Europe, in Hong Kong. Finally my gynecologist in Hong Kong suggested a solution that really, really worked for me. He said the part that most women do not tolerate is the progesterone. That is what really makes you put on weight, makes you retain fluid. So he said we have now an IUD for birth control that is called Mirena, which is this one here, and I know that they prescribe it in the United States. He said this IUD releases minute amounts of progesterone into the uterus. So that will take care of the progesterone combination of the hormone so that you do not get the uterus cancer. He said, and then for the estrogen part, you can use a gel, which is called Estreva. This gel I know is from France. It is manufactured by Theramax Laboratories in Monaco. I am sure you can get it in other places as well. I buy them in Hong Kong over-the-counter. I use 2½ to 3 palms every night on the skin, the thighs, the stomach, the buttocks, and it does not go through your liver. It does not get ingested through the body. I tolerate it very, very well, have no side effects whatsoever. No water retention, no moodiness. It is really no hot flashes. All the problems that are associated with hormone replacement, this combination really actually takes care of it. So I am very, very happy. I have been using them now for 2-3 years, and I think the Mirena is good for five years. So once you insert it, you are good for five years. In five years I will have it removed and maybe put another one and let us see by then, maybe then there are new things in the market that we have not thought of that.
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