I always like to start out by stating I am not a doctor, I am not offering cures or medical advise. I am a concerned citizen who is interested in researching alternative options for health and wellness.
Since the 1930’s, American women have been trained to think that a “natural” part of growing older is Menopause, this “disease condition” requiring treatment. If Menopause is a disease, how did millions of women go through history without Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) drugs to deal with it? How do women in third world countries handle going through it without HRT’s?
Diet plays an enormous part in how we “go through” Menopause. For instance, Shangri-La place in the Himalayas called Hunza Land, famous for longevity to 120 years old, symptoms of Menopause were unheard of.
Natural Phytoestrogens (plant-estrogens) are found in plants like, licorice, soybeans, alfalfa, and many others. Phytoestrogens are weak estrogens and have the ability to block the stronger forms.
In 1966 a best seller, Feminine Forever, by Robert Wilson, a New York Gynecologist, explained that Menopause is an Estrogen- dificiency disease. Insufficient Estrogen supposedly caused women to lose her youth, beauty, cheerful attitude, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, bone density, all at once, with the onset of Menopause. The drug industry in a heart beat donated $1.3 million to set up the Wilson Foundation for the sole purpose of developing and promoting Estrogen drugs. The FDA’s approval for sythetic Estrogen was given based on one study. Throughout 1964 and 1965, fueled by advertising powers, Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT), a synthetic Estrogen was being popularly prescribed.
In 1975 a little snag came up, findings of increased Endometrial Cancer cases had gone up by 5 times. Unless they had been using the drugs for longer than seven years, then it was 14 times the normal incidence.
WHAT IS ESTROGEN?
Estrogen is really a general term for three seperate Hormones, Estriol, Estradiol and Estrone.
Estrogen is produced in three main places in a woman’s body, in the Ovaries, Adrenal Glands and the Fat Cells.
What is Estrogen’s Main Purpose? The main purpose of Estrogen is the make the uterine lining, the endometrium, ready to implant a fertilized egg in the event fertilization occures. To aid in this function, Estrogen will promote…water retention, fat storage and maturation of the female adolescent. This is all fine, if pregnancy is likely, but EXCESS Estrogen throws off the timing. Excess Estrogen causes the body to prepare for embryo implantation all the time. This state of over-preparation is the cause of , sluggish blood circulation, migraines, increased clotting, high stroke risk, fibroids, endometriosis, weight gain and a host of other conditions as well as disrupted copper/zinc ratios in brain cells attributing to mood swings.
Estrogen has a sister hormone called Progesterone, whose functions are equally important.
What is Progesterone? Progesterone is the other primary female hormone. It is produced in the ovaries. It is the precursor for both Estrogen and Testosterone. Progesterones functions include, maintaining the endometrium in pregnancy, new bone formation, regulation of blood pressure, fat conversion, sugar metabolism, maintaining myelin sheath (nerve insulation) and regulates the Estrogen Production.
When an egg is presented once a month from the ovaries, wrapped in an envelope called a follicle. After the follicle lets go of the egg, the egg journeys down the Fallopian tubes on its way to the uterus, where it awaits possible fertilization. The burst follicle still has an important job to do: it begins to produce Progesterone, for the next two weeks. Progesterone’s job is to maintain the uterine lining until one of two things happen. Pregnancy or no Pregnancy, if Pregnancy occurs Progesterone production is taken over by the developing lining itself – the Placenta. If no Pregnancy occurs, the follicle stops producing Progesterone, which triggers the collapse of the blood-rich lining, which is then expelled as the woman’s monthly cycle.
So, these two hormones are responsible for entire infastructure of reproduction. So what then is the problem?
Back to Estrogen Dominance. If Estrogen is too high, Progesterone cannot keep the dynamic of balance. How does Estrogen get too high? Overrefined diets, external toxins from the environment, (xenoestrogens), and lack of excersise. These can raise abnormal levels of Estrogen. Lets focus on Xenoestrogens, or “foreign” Estrogens. Many external Toxins have been found to have Estrogen-like effects in the body, most are from Pesticides and Fertilizers, Petroleum Derivatives, Plastics, Soaps, (foaming agents, hormone laced meat and milk products, etc. This affects everyone on a daily basis, men, women and children. The research has shown that high levels of Estrogen in Men show Gonad shrinkage as well as up to a 50% drop in sperm count, in Women, overdeveloped Ovaries as well as the host of problems listed earlier and in children early onset of Puberty. Progesterone is simply overwhelmed by the dominance of Estrogens.
As Estrogen levels build up to twice the normal level, many systems of the body are adversely affected. Our Body Fat stores Estrogens. Estrogen Dominance can cause Sugar Metabolism Defects leading to Diabetes, Endometrial Cancer is increased by 5-14 times, Osteoporosis, Toxemia ( blood poisoning), leading to autoimmune disorders such as, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue, and Arthritis. The increase risk of Stroke is 50% with extrogen, according to an extensive project, known as the Boston Nurses Questionnaire Study, of 121,000 nurses. Estrogen Dominance can lead to Fibroids, Breast Cancer and it has a detrimental affect on B Vitamin depletion, leading to fatigue, sluggish memory and hair loss. “The only known cause of Endometrial Cancer is unapposed Estrogen,” Dr. Lee, author “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause.”
A growing number of medical researches who do not represent interests of the drug cartels are stepping forward to show that the symptoms of menopause are not caused by too little Estrogen, but by too much. American women arguably are among the most stressed people in history, emotionally and nutritionally, as well as environmentally. It is well known that stress depletes the Adrenal Glands. When this happens, Progesterone is converted to Adrenal Hormones, like Cortisol, to take up the slack and try to keep up with Adrenal demands. Remember Progesterone is their precursor. The result is further depletion of Progesterone, again promoting Estrogen Dominance.
Hormone Replacement Therapy, is this the right option?
There are MANY side effects of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), those of you who have either been on them or researched them know the whole list of possible side effects, many deadly. Synthetic Drugs, even ones that include “Synthetic Progesterone” is not handled by your body like a “Natural Progesterone,” one that is bio-identical to your bodies own Progesterone Hormone.
What Solutions are available to combat Estrogen Dominance?
Many of you may have already heard of Natural Progesterone Therapy. This is usually of Topical Cream applied for Transdermal absorption of a “Bio-Identical Progesterone Hormone”, one that your body will recognize and utilize. This is extremely important to incorporate into your daily routine to start reducing the effects of Estrogen Dominance.
We also need to focus on eliminating or at least becoming aware of the Xenoestrogens around us and find Alternatives. Many companies now are making Green Alternatives, including Natural Pesticides, SLS Free Shampoo’s, Soaps, Laundry and Dishwashing Detergents, Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps, (which help combat negative ions in the air), Air Purification and Water Filtration, (filtering Chlorine & Flourides from your bathing and drinking water), Organic Clothing, (processed without chlorines, dyes and chemical agents), Solar options to try and avoid emitions from electronics, and much more. Also, supplementing with B Vitamins that can become depleted through Estrogen Dominance and the usage of an Organic Natural Progesterone Cream. One that I have found is NATPRO, an Organic All Natural Progesterone, made in the USA and available at http://www.mysmartalternatives.com
There are also, many of the other Green Alternatives and Supplements available at that website that you can start making positive changes to a healthier you!
I hope some of this information was helpful and can lead you to do some of your own research and educate and explore what options may be available to avoid the need for HRT’s. I would like to explore in a future article more in depth information on HRT’s and Health Related Issues to long term and in some cases short term use of these types of drugs.