Ask Dr. JoAnn Manson
Can Hormone Therapy Treat Bipolar Disorder?
Q: My doctor is encouraging me to consider HRT for my bipolar disorder. His thinking is that hormone imbalances will contribute to bipolar disorder instability. I still have periods monthly, though I do experience night sweats. I am 52. Do you think HRT will help? Are there any concerns?
— ???, Virginia
A: There's no evidence that hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, is beneficial for the treatment of bipolar disorder. In fact, it's not even a recommended treatment for depression, unless the depression is clearly linked to hot flashes, night sweats, or other menopausal symptoms. There's also no clear evidence that hormonal imbalances contribute to bipolar disorder instability, and that this instability can be altered with hormone therapy (unlike SSRIs drugs, which may reduce the instability).
If you have menopausal symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with your sleep and affect your quality of life, you may be a candidate for hormone therapy. (This therapy, however, would be related to the menopausal symptoms rather than the bipolar disorder.) If this is the case, know that you're at an appropriate age for hormone therapy once your periods stop, but double-check with your doctor that HRT makes sense in your particular circumstances.
Show hospitality to strangers for, by doing that, some have entertained angels unawares.
Never stop helping others because others think that they abuse you. That stranger can be Jesus and you lose the opportunity to serve, even in something simple.
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