The Telegraph: The doctors treating long Covid with HRT

January 26, 2022


The Telegraph recently published an article that discussed long Covid and HRT.

Extract

“Initial research has pointed to a connection between Covid and hormone levels. A February 2021 study using the Oxford Royal College of General Practitioners database found that women already taking HRT were 78 per cent less likely to die of Covid. In September 2021, the Zoe app demonstrated that women on the contraceptive pill were less likely to catch it in the first place. And in a survey by menopause specialist Dr Louise Newson in October, 80 per cent of women with long Covid reported their menstrual cycles hadn’t returned to normal, with 62 per cent saying their symptoms were worse just before their period – when hormone levels are at their lowest.

This spurred Dr Glynne to do her own research: she now estimates that approximately a third of all long Covid patients are women in that perimenopausal or menopausal age bracket, and for whom oestrogen deficiency might be driving symptoms.

MEA Comments

Dr Charles Shepherd, MEA Honorary Medical Adviser comments:

Despite the rather misleading headline this article contains some very useful information and guidance about the way in which some of the symptoms of Long Covid are very similar to those that can occur during the perimenopause (time leading up to the menopause) and the menopause.

So careful consideration needs to be given to this overlap in women with Long Covid who are at an age (ie over 40) when perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms and falling levels of oestrogen can start to occur, or are occurring – as treatment with HRT can be very effective at relieving some of these symptoms.

This finding comes as no surprise because we know that exactly the same thing happens in ME/CFS.

Many women with ME/CFS who are going through the perimenopause or menopause start to experience an exacerbation of some of their ME/CFS symptoms, especially fatigue levels, cognitive dysfunction/brain fog and problems with temperature regulation – and that treatment with HRT can also be safe and helpful.

The MEA has an information leaflet covering the Menopause, HRT and research into female hormone status in ME/CFS:

Dr Charles Shepherd
Hon. Medical Adviser ME Association

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