It is also made in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands in both sexes and by the testes in males. Progesterone is the precursor of estrogen. It is also the building block of testosterone, and of all important adrenal cortical hormones.
From progesterone are derived not only other sex hormones but also corticosteroids, which are essential for stress response, sugar and electrolyte balance and blood pressure, not to mention survival.
Natural progesterone is not a patentable product and have been molecularly altered to produce synthetic progestins which are commonly used in contraceptives and HRT. Synthetic progestins are not exact replicas of the body's natural progesterone. Therefore they disrupt many fundamental processes in the body. Progesterone is an essential hormone that plays a part in the development of healthy nerve cells and brain and thyroid function. Progestins tend to block the body's ability to produce and utilise natural progesterone to maintain these life-promoting functions.
Everybody who is anybody will tell you that menopause is an estrogen-deficiency disease and that you will need to take more estrogen as you approach mid-life. What may surprise you is this........not only is most of such commonly given advices on menopause are wrong, a great deal can be positively dangerous.
ESTROGEN is a general term for three seperate hormones: estriol, estradiol and estone. It is produced in three main places in a woman's body: the ovaries, the adrenal glands and the fat cells.
It is estrogen which proliferates the changes that take place at puberty: the growth of breasts, the development of the reproductive system and the shape of a woman's body.
For the first 8-11 days of the 28-day menstrual cycle, a woman's ovaries make lots of estrogen. The main purpose of estrogen is to make the uterine lining, the endometrium, ready to implant a fertilised egg in the event fertilisation occurs. To aid in this function, estrogen will promote water retention and fat storage.
All of the above is fine if pregnancy is likely, but 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, disrupted copper/zinc ratios in brain cells, mood swings, fibroids and endometriosis.
CANCER CAUSE: Unless balanced by progestin, estrogen alone can cause uterine cancer. That's why doctors do not prescribe estrogen alone for women with uteruses (they are given estrogen plus progestin instead, to prevent this). Estrogen is only given to women who have had hysterectomies. A lot is still not known about the use of estrogen. However, topical estrogens are reported to be useful in treating vaginal dryness without having much effect on the rest of the body.
The estorgenic effects of HRT are similar to the contraceptive pill which also contains estrogen. For over 30 years, doctors had been touting the pill as the safest drug ever developed. But experts' studies showed that all women taking the pill regardless of age, had an increased risk of breast cancer.
For a better understanding of the risks of HRT, one needs to understand the role that hormones play in the natural stages of a woman's life.
NATURAL SOLUTIONS TO MENOPAUSE: A low-fat, high-fibre diet will help the body adjust more easily to changing hormonal levels. As a basic rule, go for whole grains, fresh vegetables, beans, seaweed, miso, tofu(soybean curd), tempeh, and seeds and nuts (especially sunflower seeds). A well-balanced diet, with adequate intake of fruits and vegetables, if started in early years, will also help protect women from heart disease later. Certain foods may trigger hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal discomforts, and other menopausal symptoms. These sulprits include sugar, caffeine, alcohol, refined foods and spicy foods.
PYYTOESTROGENS: are naturally occurring plant compounds similar in their structure and function to the estradiol produced by the ovaries before menopause. Raw whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and soy products contain mild amounts of this natural estrogen, which helps prevent hot flashes and other symptoms of estrogen depletion. If phytoestrogens are part of the lifestyle prior to menopause, there will not be such a radical drop when the body begins to downshift away from the demands of always preparing for reproduction.
Physiologists' studies revealed significantly, lowered estrogen levelsin the sample group help limit exposures to the hazardous substances. Estrogen plus progestin significantly increased risks of invasive breast cancer, stroke, blood clots in the lungs and legs, and heart disease in the women. Most women take the drugs to replace the hormones lost at menopause. Some are encouraged to remain on HRT for the rest of their post-menopausal lives. In fact, the HRT combination of estrogen and progestin has become the second most frequently medication in many countries or worldwide with millions of women using the treatment, not just in the hope of overcoming unpleasant menopausal symptoms, but also to prevent a "widow's hump", remain forever young and to be supposedly healthier than they would otherwise be. The latest findings show that from a heart and breast cancer point of view, the treatment should be clearly outlawed.
THE MEDICAL BLUNDER OT THE CENTURY: The HRT story is a story of deception, betrayal, hidden agendas, propaganda and misinformation. Although the treatment has been around for over 70 years, it was actually used and introduced without really being studied in a rigorous way. There are many reasons to be concerned with this treatment.
There is a lot of uncertainty about HRT. Doctors are still learning the truth as they go along with the treatment, as is evident in the latest findings on its effects as a human carcinogen.
The two most significant reasons given to women to encourage them to take HRT are to prevent or lessen the effects of osteoporosis, and to prevent cardiovascular disease. These claims are highly disputable.
As for osteoporosis, there is a limit to how much bone mineral can be increased with hormone replacement but clinical trial found that beyong three years of therapy, no futher gains were seen in bone density. As such, they cannot claim it is an effective treatment. The truth is, bones can be protected in other safer and much more effective ways. Research indicated that HRT does not appear to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
It does not overcome menopausal symptoms. Getting off HRT may not be easy. Sometimes women suffer terrible hot flashes when they try to quit. This shows that HRT only delays, but does not overcome menopausal symptoms.
It doesn't improve quality of life. Women on HRT do not have a better quality of life than women who don't. Those on HRT reported having less energy. Study showed that taking HRT after menopause does not make women feel more youthful, active and vibrant. It also does not improve emotional well-being in women without hot flashes. Instead, it may actually worsen physical functioning.
It's a major medical mistake. Today health experts are calling the promotion synthetic hormones to women a major medical mistake. Research show little evidence that HRT is playing a key role in disease prevention, while risks associated with its use remain. The therapy is nothing more than the manufacturing of disease, a vast but uncontrolled experiment with powerful hormones, with unsuspecting women as the guinea pigs. It has been heavily promoted to women more because it spells big business to drug manufacturers than because of good health reasons.
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