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Educate for the Empowerment Series : Ever had hormone replacement therapy?

By: Rhonda Keagy

May 2024

The third article in a series to answer in detail why certain questions are asked on your thermography intake forms.

Question #11

“Have you had or are you currently on hormone replacement therapy?”

[ ] Yes-pharmaceutical [ ] Yes – Bio-Identical [ ] No

What relevance does this question have for female breast screening on the history intake you fill out before your first screening? It may seem like a quick question, but the answer is not so quick. According to Dr. Peter Leando, the Director of Electronic Medical Interpretation (EMI)*, the answer rolls out like this…

“…any type of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an important modifier for risk evaluation and is part of a combined ‘weighted’ prioritization risk evaluation that is used by reading (interpreting) doctors both objectively and subjectively in relation to the thermal findings and any thermal changes.


The question encompasses pharmaceutical as well as bio-identical HRT of any type, as the fundamental reason for the treatment in general establishes a likely hormonal imbalance/dysfunction which increases a risk factor in breast health.


Increased estrogen (estrogen dominance) is probably the most common (and well known) risk factor (due to the fact that a large % of breast cancers are estrogen receptive) …. but the balance between estrogen and progestogen is like a pendulum

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which can cause all sorts of problems while it is swinging backwards and forwards in an attempt to reach the optimum balance of both of these major women’s hormones (increase of one hormone will stimulate a counterbalance of other hormones).”

Estrogen Dominance Defined

Estrogen is a steroid hormone that plays a role in blood sugar, brain function, and bone metabolism in women (and men). It's also responsible for ovulation. High estrogen (estrogen dominance) happens when the ratio of estrogen is too high compared to the level of the hormone progesterone.[1]

Why is this problematic?

High estrogen can cause painful symptoms like irregular bleeding, breast tenderness, insomnia, mood swings, low libido, and more. It's associated with a number of chronic health issues like endometriosis and PCOS. 

How does one become estrogen dominant?[2]

  • Being overweight or obese (fat cells produce excess estrogen)

  • Being overly stressed (adrenal hormones are overly stimulated)

  • Poor diet choices

  • Autoimmune conditions

  • Gut conditions (like constipation)

  • Environmental toxins (Xenoestrogens – see below)

What are the symptoms of dominance?[3]

  • Weight gain, mainly in hips, waist, and thighs

  • Menstrual problems such as light or heavy bleeding

  • PMS

  • Hot flashes

  • Fibrocystic breasts

  • Uterine fibroids

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of sex drive

  • Depression or anxiety

Xenoestrogens (pronounced “zE-nO-estro-gens”) are individual chemicals that mimic the behavior of estrogens. They’re everywhere in our modern environment; they’re in our food, in our personal care products, furniture and clothing. From the water we drink to the food we eat; we encounter a shocking number of these endocrine disrupting xenoestrogens in the course of a day. Want a list of what these disruptors are, contact Insight Holistic for more information.

So, the relevance of the hormone therapy question on intake is great. Thermal reading doctors will consider all of the gradable factors in the intake questionnaire where they relate to your history and symptoms. Ideally being as thorough as you can be by providing additional information on your hormone therapy experience (like how many years you were or are on it, what did you take, etc.) can be very helpful regarding thermographic findings related to your personal imaging leading to a more conclusive report.


*Dr. Peter Leando is the current Director of Electronic Medical Interpretation. Inc. the service that reviews and produces written results on thermographic imaging done with a Meditherm camera system.

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