`Natural' Hormone Assailed as Cruel

By Joe Graedon and Dr. Teresa Graedon | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), March 27, 1995 | Go to article overview

`Natural' Hormone Assailed as Cruel


Joe Graedon and Dr. Teresa Graedon, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Q: It was with astonishment and great concern that I read your promotion of Premarin for hormone replacement therapy. I can only assume you have yet to be alerted that the collection of "natural" pregnant mare urine condemns tens of thousands of gentle horses to months of cruel isolation each year.

The true natural way to deal with the health concerns of menopause is to combine weight-bearing exercise and a low-fat vegetarian diet high in plant sources of estrogen.

A: We were deluged by letters from angry readers like yourself regarding our column about natural sources of estrogen. We did not intend to promote Premarin or any other estrogen-containing product for that matter. We merely pointed out that Premarin is derived from a natural source.

Researchers are now delving into the benefits of plant estrogens, especially those contained in soy products. One reader found that estrogen pills gave her "blinding headaches" and high blood pressure. She found ginseng and wheat germ oil helped relieve the hot flashes that followed a hysterectomy.

Women who have ethical concerns about Premarin should discuss this issue with their physicians. If a drug derived from pregnant mares' urine disturbs them, alternatives are available.

***** Q: I fear I am addicted to Ativan. If I miss a pill, even for a few hours, I feel miserable. I also worry about my memory. I forget things so easily and feel embarrassed when people remind me about something that happened the day before.

I used to take Xanax but the same thing happened. How long does it take to wean yourself off these drugs?

A: Anti-anxiety agents like Ativan (lorazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam) may cause unpleasant symptoms if they are discontinued too abruptly. …

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