Volume 19, Number 9

The Bridge

                  May 2003


By Judy Nance, R. N.

The Bottom Line on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)

Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, MD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and one of the principal investigators on the Women's Health Initiative states her bottom line on HRT currently is, "The lowest dose of hormones for the shortest period to treat symptoms of menopause that are severe enough to interfere with the quality of life. For avoiding chronic disease…the emphasis should be on lifestyle and, if necessary, other well-tested medications". She is cautious in her recommendations about herbs because there have been minimal studies and there is limited regulation for purity. She did suggest one to two glasses of soy milk/day or tofu along with Vitamin E may be beneficial. She also mentioned Clonidine and anti-depressants for mild to moderate relief of hot flashes. (Article excerpts from Tufts University, Health and Nutrition Letter, December 2002 from an article entitled, "Life After Hormone Therapy").

Grapefruit and Medications

The January 2003 edition of the Harvard Health Letter discussed the effect of taking grapefruit juice with medication. It enhances the effects of many medications due to a binding effect on an enzyme that aids in digestion of medication. The article stated, specifically in regard to taking statins, separate juice and medication intake.

Benefits Check-Up

A service of the National Council on the Aging, BenefitsCheckUp helps thousands every day to find programs for people ages 55 and over that may pay for some of their costs of prescript drugs, health care, utilities, and other essential items or services. Visit them on the web at: www.benefitscheckup.org.

9-1-1 Cell Phones for Seniors

Senior Loan-A-Phone is a program of the Area Agency on Aging, Region One to assist seniors who would benefit from the ability to call 9-1-1 but find the cost too prohibitive. If you know of a senior who may have need for this service, please call (602) 264-4357.