More than six months ago–Wednesday, April 20th, to be precise–I put on my first Estradiol patch, which dispenses 1 mg of estrogen a day through my skin.
I started taking estrogen again after bidding it adieu seven years earlier, because I could no longer stand what was happening to my body without it. Weight gain. Thinning hair. Lipid levels out of whack. Skin sagging on my face, not to mention elsewhere. Bones weakening.
It was especially disturbing when the cardiologist I was seeing started pushing statins to lower my cholesterol, and I mean pushing. My good and bad cholesterol numbers had always been impressive (a doctor once joked that I could get infusions of bad cholesterol and still have great numbers!) but they started creeping up, post estrogen, and it took me years to connect the two. The cardiologist, a woman in her fifties, didn’t have a clue about the benefits of estrogen for our lipid levels, or heart health, but she sure sounded like she was a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical companies that sell statins, one of the most prescribed drugs in the US.
I recently had a full blood workup and a fasting 24-hour urine test and, lo and behold, my cholesterol numbers markedly improved. Here’s how they look.
Although my overall cholesterol, at 206, is still a bit high, the numbers that are far more significant are the 20 percent improvement in LDL (bad) cholesterol and a 19 percent improvement in non-HDL cholesterol.