By Sherrill Sellman, author of Hormone Heresy
The recent HRT breaking news brought with it great media fanfare. The Berlin Wall of Hormone Replacement Therapy came tumbling down on July 17th with the formal announcement in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the 600 million dollar study called the Women’s Health Initiative would be stopped three years earlier than planned. The study presented irrefutable evidence of the harm that estrogen-progestin therapy was doing to women. It was official – HRT increased the risk of developing breast cancer, strokes and blood clots. It was there for all to see. Prescribing HRT to protect women’s health is a major medical mistake.
The drug companies are furiously attempting to reinterpret the results to reduce defection from the ranks of once loyal customers. The doctors, who must now question their most dependable treatment, are in a true quandary about what to do and what to advise their female patients It appears that the HRT debate still rages. Do the findings apply to other non-Pill forms of HRT such as the patch or implant? Are the non-Premarin (horse urine derived) varieties safer? Can women still be safely taking them without adverse effects for up to 5 years? Are the risks as great for women under the age of sixty?
While doctors and drug companies may try to minimalize the disastrous effects of HRT to a woman’s health, the most important point about the use of estrogen and progestins has been entirely missed. These are two drugs that been acknowledged by theUSgovernment and the World Health Organization to be known carcinogenic substances. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has included them in their list of known carcinogens. Together, they also have over 120 possible risks and side-effects
In addition to the findings from the Women’s Health Initiative, there has been overwhelming evidence from decades of studies that have shown that estrogens and progestins initiate and promote breast, uterine, ovarian, cervical, lung, brain, gall bladder and skin cancers. In light of their well-established carcinogenic effects, it is indeed perplexing as to why estrogens and progestins have not only been so
heavily promoted but also enthusiastically championed by doctors.
Strangely, this most important question of all seems to have eluded all researchers and doctors. Sometimes we truly cannot see the forest for the trees. In light of what is known, not just from this latest study, but from research going back as far as the 1930’s, this is the question everyone concerned about women’s health should really be asking: How can we truly justify prescribing menopausal women HRT which has been proven to be, without a shadow of a doubt, A COMBINATION OF TWO KNOWN CARCINOGENIC DRUGS?
Unfortunately, women have been intentionally led on a merry hormone goose chase. While the medicalizing and pathologizing of menopausal women with potent, carcinogenic and dangerous steroid drugs has filled the coffers of the drug companies and doctors alike, the real cause of these health problems has been ignored and so have safe and effective solutions. Menopause, far from being a stage in a woman’s life that leads her into a dark dungeon of discomfort and decline, is actually a time when the abuses of life style, poor diet, environmental toxicities, and stress finally take their toll. Hormonal imbalances are, in fact, symptoms of poor health. If the symptoms are addressed only with various HRT formulations, the real underlying problems are not just ignored but in all likelihood, worsened. When you add in the possible 120 the side-effects from HRT, you have a frightening recipe for disaster.
What is now known about menopausal changes, as explained in my book “Hormone Heresy”, is that the ovaries do not fail at menopause, menopausal women do not become exhausted of estrogen, peri-menopause and its accompanying symptoms of hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings etc. are indicative of high estrogen/low progesterone levels, and most of the common symptoms are due to a decline of adequate progesterone levels, Other health issues including exhausted adrenals, sluggish thyroid, blood sugar imbalances, compromised liver functioning, inflammation of the digestive tract, dehydration, candida, parasites and heavy metal toxicity all which contribute to hormonal
imbalances and what has been defined as menopausal symptoms.
Naturopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, Auyervedia, Chiropractic treatments, Osteopathy and other recognized holistic modalities have not only successfully alleviated menopausal symptoms but also ensured that as women enter into their Wise Wisdom years, they remain healthy and vital for decades to come.
Entering the menopausal stage of life is not an inevitable downhill slide. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Nature has provided dozens of proven, effective and safe ways to balance hormones, re-grow bone, and repair and maintain the heart without ever having to take one toxic drug to do so. Menopause is not a disease and it does not require toxic, carcinogenic steroid hormone treatments….ever!
Only ignorance fuels fear. Only ignorance allows healthy women to be prescribed these cancer causing hormone treatments. The more informed women become about their bodies and the many other choices available to them, the less they will be under the spell of medicine’s mass marketing of menopause and its dangerous drug treatments. It’s up to women to demand safe and effective health care options. Women have a choice and they have a voice. It’s time for us to use both.
There are many safe, effective and natural ways to eliminate hot flashes, the primary reason HRT was originally prescribed and the justification to continue recommending it. The following are some, but by no means all, of the many options available.
First of all it is important to eliminate what I call the “Hormone Wreckers” from ones’ diet. These are guaranteed to set off hot flashes and night sweats. They include sugar, refined carbohydrates, caffeine, alcohol, fried foods, hydrogenated oils, and spicy foods. Of course, these are the same foods that are the culprits behind most illnesses and chronic degenerative diseases. so it would be in everyone’s best interest to give them a wide birth!!! Make sure that your diet is filled with a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, good quality oils like virgin olive oil, flax seed oil and coconut oil and proteins. Of course, organic whenever possible. Keep your body well hydrated with pure water. Include daily exercise and stress management,deep relaxation or meditation practices. stress is the major hormone disrupter and will always aggravate hot flashes and night sweats.
Nutritional supplements include:
A good multi -vitamin/anti-oxidant vitamin and absorbable mineral supplement daily
Natural vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) 400-1200 IU daily
Bioflavinoids such as hesperidin – 1000 mg
Vitamin C – 500 mg – 4x daily
Evening Primrose Oil
Gamma-oryzanol, a component of rice bran oil
Zinc – 25-30 mg of either zinc picolinate or zinc methionine
B Complex – 50-100 mg
Essential Fatty Acids – fish oils, flax seed oil,
Herbal remedies include:
Vitex ( ChastetreeBerry)
Velvet Deer Antler
Supplementing with Natural Progesterone
Homeopathic Remedies: (Homeopathic remedies are best prescribed for specific symptoms and most effective when the remedy is matched with the appropriate set of symptoms).Use 6x or 12x potencies
Lachesis – when heat is felt all day long, severe flushing, night sweats and head aches
Pulsatilla – for more sensitive and emotional women with milder hot flashes
Sepia – for women who are also exhausted and emotional
Belladonna – Many hot flashes