I’m an avid supporter of normal, balanced bio-identical hormone levels for people with MS, men and women, of all ages. I do take bio-identical hormones (and will continue to do so as long as the FDA allows it).
I had my hormone levels tested and subsequently spent time reading about possible relationships between hormones and MS. I’ll definitely get the book. It seems like it could be a valuable resource for people with MS who are considering this. Frankly I think the services as described at least in the link should be readily available to all people with MS and offered as an ancillary service at all MS specialty centers.
From my perspective the point in the article about paying attention to hormone levels in your 30s and 40s really needs to be emphasized, especially for people with MS. From the reading I’ve done I think it’s entirely possible that a factor in the transition from RRMS to SPMS could be related to a decline in hormone levels. Hormones seem to offer a lot of neuroprotection and it at least makes sense on the surface that as our hormone levels and hence neuroprotection decline the disease progresses. As one of the progesterone abstracts I’ve read noted, it’s produced in the brain, by the brain and for the brain and it starts declining before estrogen.
I’m curious, did your husband have his estradiol and progesterone levels tested when he had his hormone levels checked? Low levels of estradiol have been linked with disability levels in men (small study), and on a personal note, I found out I didn’t have any progesterone, among other things, when I had my levels tested.
The interest in MS and hormones seems to be maintaining some steam. I saw two new abstracts on the topic this week.
Hormonal influences in multiple sclerosis
The function of hormones has expanded to include immunomodulation and neuroprotection in addition to their classic roles. The story of how hormones influence inflammation and neuron and glial function is being slowly unraveled. There is increasing evidence that estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone contain immune responses and influence damage repair in the nervous system.
Now, what’s striking about that abstract, at least from my perspective, is that it’s actually coming out of the Mayo Clinic. I think it was just last year Mayo published results of a small trial that involved treating women with MS who regularly experienced a worsening of their MS symptoms during their menstrual cycle with aspirin. They found it didn’t work and postulated there might be something more to it. At the time I couldn’t even fathom that they hadn’t considered the possible influence of fluctuating hormone levels as a factor in the worsening of MS symptoms in that scenario. Looks like now they are at least considering a possible relationship between hormones and MS. It’s great news as far as I’m concerned.
Here’s the second abstract. There’s really no new information in it but I thought I’d post it anyway. A rational approach on the use of sex steroids in multiple sclerosis
Integrated therapies appear to be effective in both male and female MS patients.
I really appreciate the info and links AC. When I was diagnosed about 4 1/2 years ago one perspective was that MS treatment would need to focus on immune modulation, remyelinization and neuroprotection. I soon discovered bioidentical hormones do all three—at least in animals. Now it looks like there's a possibility hormones might help with damage repair as well.
Take care all