Hi Miss Vicki
I can say been there (with hot flashes, etc.) done that before I was diagnosed with MS and HRT definitely helped me with those symptoms.
I was diagnosed at age 57 after they took me off HRT and am now on 8 mg estriol and 500 mg progesterone (recommendation from having my hormone levels tested). I've done some reading about hormones and potential relationships to MS. If you don't have any contra-indications I'd say definitely consider both estrogen and bioidentical progesterone.
Here's a link A pilot study of the effect upon multiple sclerosis of the menopause, hormone replacement therapy and the menstrual cycle
Of the postmenopausal women 54% reported a worsening of symptoms with the menopause, and 75% of those who had tried hormone replacement therapy reported an improvement.
There was also some research presented at ACTRIMS 2007
that HRT improved neuronal health in menopausal women (small study).
P20 HRT contributes to neuronal health in postmenopausal women with MS
K Fuchs1, AP Haley2, MD Goldman1, J Knight-Scott3 and VI Simnad1
Results: The groups were comparable in age (mean 50.5 years, p 0.07) and disability level as assessed by the MS Functional Composite (mean z 0.08, p 0.72).
There was a significant difference (p 0.015) in the NAA/Cr ratio between the women on HRT (1.91 0.39)and the women not on HRT (1.41 0.32).
When age, level of disability, and use of immunomodulatory therapy were used as covariates in the statistical analysis, the signicant difference between the groups remained.
Conclusions: In this small sample, we demonstrated that use of exogenous estrogen may contribute to neuronal health as measured by MRS.
There are links in this thread
to a bit more info and articles with risk information.
also gave a presentation at the 2007 MS Care Consortium Annual Meeting Hormonal Therapy of MS
. I think it's worth a look--it's a slide show.
Hope that helps a bit. Personally I think estrogen and progesterone can help with menopausal symptoms and maybe even the MS. I'm optimistic about the potential of hormones to help manage MS--both estrogen and progesterone have neuroprotective properties.