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The Forgotten Hormone; Weight Gain, Loss of Libido, Osteoporosis, Ovarian Cysts and more

Posted on 12th Dec 2010 @ 12:21 PM

Estrogen dominance is one of the main causes of osteoporosis, cancer, ovarian cysts, fibroids and a host of other female problems in the U.S. Yet, we persist in prescribing synthetic hormone therapy to women, knowing full well there are better ways to deal with the problem of estrogen dominance. And it isn't limited to women alone. We have the mindset (mostly in the U.S.) that declining estrogen is the hallmark of menopause. It is actually common for women to experience surges of abnormally high estrogen levels during the menopausal and pre-menopausal periods as well as earlier in life.                                                                                                                                           

From extensive and complex research, there has been found that there is more of a deficiency of progesterone than estrogen. After researching and referring to much of what Life Sources has learned from the late pioneer researcher, Dr. John R. Lee, the use of natural progesterone (not progestin) is an aid in dealing with this syndrome. And, since Dr. John Lee's  passing a few years ago, we are hearing all too much about Vitamin D plus Calcium as the "cure-all" to just about anything and everything that ails us, especially, for conditions as bone loss. While Vitamin D deficiency can be the case in certain states without much sunshine, or, not enough natural Vitamin D from Omega 3’s, eating certain fresh fish (with caution), we can rest assured that just about all foods have been fortified with plenty of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is also a fat-soluble Vitamin, so, it's not going to leave your body as quickly as many claim.  It is also known as a Hormone, as most people are not fully aware. So, what can one do to make certain they are taking necessary steps toward healthier bones with all the confusion from so many experts?  My simple answer is this; “moderation in everything”.

Taking a good multi-vitamin, enzymes and amino acid combination that includes 300 mg. (for adults) of Calcium daily (taken per recommendation) can certainly be necessary for children.  Pregnant and pre-menopausal women's needs for calcium are necessary for the rest of their lives as long as Magnesium and Boron are the two other minerals added to allow better assimilation of the calcium.  However, calcium supplementation alone is not enough for bone loss.
What is Estrogen Dominance?

Estrogen dominance can start early on in a woman's menstrual cycle. Many young women who suffer from this enter menarche with tremendously difficult periods, and doctors sometimes give these teenage girls (as well as women suffering from fibroid tumors, endometriosis, etc.) more estrogen by prescribing birth control pills to ""help"" regulate the frequency and severity of their menstrual periods.

Many women will develop the estrogen dominance syndrome much later in life, because of a poor diet, causing liver impairment and/or environmental factors or also as a result of anovulatory cycles before menopause, meaning, menstrual cycles in which no ovulation occurs. (Ovulation is necessary in order to produce the corpus luteum, which means ""yellow body"" and is found on the surface of the ovary after ovulation. Surrounding the ripening egg, the corpus luteum remains after ovulation to produce progesterone for the last half of the menstrual cycle. Without ovulation, less progesterone is produced, which can cause estrogen imbalance in some women.)

What diseases can occur that are related to or affected by excess estrogen and deficient progesterone?

  • Acceleration of the aging process
  • Allergies
  • Breast tenderness
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Foggy thinking
  • Headaches
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Infertility
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Miscarriage
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premenopausal bone loss
  • PMS
  • Thyroid dysfunction (often misdiagnosed as hypothyroidism)
  • Uterine cancer
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Bloating
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Autoimmune disorders such as lupus eryhematosus and thyroditis and possibly Sjõgren's disease
  • Weight gain
  • Migraine
  • Menstrual disturbances-irregular and heavy bleeding
  • Endometriosis, the uterine tissue disorder, which is helped by the use of estrogen blockers
  • Ovarian cysts

The "cause" of Estrogen Dominance Syndrome

     Because of the natural hormonal fluctuations of menopause, certain lifestyle choices and conditions can also contribute to estrogen dominance syndrome, especially a low-fiber diet, overloading the liver with internal toxins, and absorbing toxins from the environment.

Is it possible to avoid EDS?

     Let's consider the diet issue again. If you choose to eat foods low in fiber; you are setting yourself up for `overloading' toxins in the liver. So, making a healthy decision to increase fiber into your daily regimen by either eating a high fiber diet consisting not only in lots of fresh vegetables (when available) or taking daily psyllium husk with plenty of (magnetized) water (at least 64 ounces daily) will indeed help! Why? Excess estrogen is excreted in the bowel. When stool remains in the bowel for a longer time, the estrogen is reabsorbed. Studies have shown that women on a vegetarian/high fiber diet have lower levels of circulating estrogen. Lower levels of estrogen mean less estrogen stimulation of breast tissue, for example, which reduces the risk of breast cancer. It also eliminates liver stress.

What happens when the liver is on "overload"?

     The liver is one of the body's main `filtration' organs. It detoxifies our body and protects us from the harmful effects of chemicals elements in food, environmental toxins, and even natural products of our metabolism including excess estrogen. Anything that impairs liver function or interferes with the detoxifying process will result in excess estrogen levels, whether it has a physical basis, as in liver disease or an external cause, i.e., exposure to environmental toxins, drugs (pharmaceuticals) or dietary substances.

     Estrogen is produced not only internally, but is also produced in reaction to chemicals and other substances in our food including antibiotics. When estrogen is not broken down adequately, high levels of estrogen build up! This can happen not only to women, but to men as well although the effects are more easily recognized in men. Alcoholic men with impaired liver function develop a condition called gynecomastia, with estrogenic characteristics including enlarged breasts, loss of male pubic hair and eunuch-like features.

     Further, the estrogen dominance syndrome can be evoked in women by too much alcohol, drugs or environmental toxins, all of which limit the liver's capacity to cleanse the blood of estrogen. It has been found that circulating estrogen levels increase significantly in women who drink. In one study, blood and urine estrogen levels increased up to 31.9 percent in women who drink alcohol. Consequently, breast cancer risks are higher for women drinkers.

What can I do to ""reset the balance?""

  • Increase dietary fiber!
  • Use dietary supplements. Lecithin (a phospholipid) and the sulfur-containing L-taurine and L-methionine amino acids are compounds that will promote bile circulation, which enhances estrogen's excretion out of the body. These lipotropic formulas support the liver metabolism of estrogen. A good herb known to support the liver is milk thistle.  In addition two very popular supplements that reverse liver problems are; Selenium and Vitamin E (taken together) and, some others are; choline (a concentrated form of lecithin), inositol, taurine and methionine. These supplements are found in Life Sources' Daily Health "Plus" Formula; Daily Health® Formula and Forever Young formulas (also a favorite for body builders) and people who love to "work out", but, dislike the lactic acid “burn”.
  • Use Nature's Balance by Life Sources (a 100% natural progesterone crème) to balance the excess estrogen, which can be absorbed through the skin. Many progesterone creams contain almost no progesterone.
  • Eat soy foods like bean curd or tofu. They contain phytoestrogens including diadzein and genistein. They act as estrogen blockers at the tissue level, blocking receptors that could promote cancer. (Caution should be exercised to avoid all GMO soy products).
  • Avoid red meat, poultry (chicken and turkey) and, yes, even pork unless it is certified organic/pesticide/hormone and antibiotic free meat. Studies (for years) indicate that these animals are now being injected with dangerously high levels of hormones (to increase size of animal) and, antibiotics to help keep these animals disease free. If you stop and think about this, the levels of hormones already posing major health risk(s), it seems more important than ever to increase daily fiber intake as well as put back the `friendly' bacteria into the colon (Life Sources' Probiotic) even adding George's aloe vera juice twice daily to `seal up' the porous colon.

Comparison of the physiological effects of estrogen and progesterone.

Estrogen effects

Progesterone effects

Creates proliferative endometrium

Maintains secretory endometrium

Causes breast stimulation

Protects against fibrocystic breasts

Increases body fat

Helps use fat for energy

Salt and fluid retention

Natural diuretic

Depression and headaches

Natural antidepressant

Interferes with thyroid hormone

Facilitates thyroid hormone action

Increases blood clotting

Normalizes blood clotting

Decreases sex drive

Restores sex drive

Impairs blood sugar control

Normalizes blood sugar levels

Zinc loss and copper retention

Normalizes zinc and copper levels

Reduces oxygen in all cells

Restores levels of cellular oxygen

Increases risk of endometrial cancer

Prevents endometrial cancer

Increases risk of breast cancer

Helps prevent breast cancer

Slightly restrains osteoclast function

Stimulates osteoclast bone building

Reduces vascular tone

Restores vascular tone

Increases risk of gallbladder disease

Necessary for the survival of embryo

Increases risk of autoimmune disorders

Precursor of corticosteroids


     With the addition of Nature's Balance Progesterone Crème to the skin, the above conditions decrease dramatically. And, it's ON SALE right now!

     Interestingly, progesterone is absolutely necessary to make the protective myelin sheath around nerve endings and this may be of significant benefit to CFS/CFIDS and M.S. Sufferers. (see "Gerald E." testimony).

     It has also been noted that some elderly women who were confined to nursing homes with ""dementia"" suddenly became alert, resumed interest in communication and began carrying on coherent conversations once they received progesterone cream.

     Nature's Balance by Life Sources is an all natural Progesterone Crème formulated to provide the user with easy to use hypoallergenic concentrated progesterone.

     Each bottle of Nature's Balance contains 1,000 mg of natural progesterone in a base of de-ionized water and aloe vera. It is a soothing and naturally fragrant blend women have come to enjoy.

Using Nature's Balance

     Nature's Balance should be used for 3 weeks with a week off, repeating the cycle for at least 3 months for optimum results.
     It is not unusual to experience some ""health"" reactions such as sleepiness, fatigue or slight headaches during the initial use of Nature's Balance. This is perfectly normal and should subside within a few days.

Progesterone Deficiency/Estrogen Dominance

A 42 year old women with regular menstrual cycles complained that over the past two years breast tenderness, headaches and fluid retention have increased before her menses. Her fibrocystic breasts and uterine fibroids have continued to worsen. The salivary progesterone level in the second half of her cycle (luteal phase) was found to be low relative to estrogen, which was high-normal. Supplementation with progesterone skin cream plus Life Sources' Immuzyme® during the luteal phase resulted in an improvement in her symptoms. Her edema also showed marked improvement by adding in OPC-165TM to prevent excessive fluid retention.

Testosterone Deficiency

A 73-year-old man complained of excessive fatigue, loss of interest in sex, and general mental lethargy. His saliva testosterone level was found to be low, and use of testosterone resulted in a marked improvement. Inappropriate Hormone Replacement; A 53 year old women stopped menstruating at age 52, and was convinced to take oral estrogen and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA, a synthetic form progesterone) for relief of hot flashes. She complained of weight gain, fluid retention, migraines, and the persistence of hot flashes. Her ratio of salivary progesterone to estrogen was very low, indicating a lack of progesterone and a relative excess of estrogen. Use of progesterone skin cream in place of the MPA allowed her to halve her estrogen dosage. Her flushing stopped, and her other symptoms disappeared. She was ecstatic to report that she felt normal again.

Polycystic Ovaries

A 29 year old woman presented with excessive facial/body hair growth, acne, and weight gain about the waist. She had suffered with these problems since puberty. She had been on several of the popular low fat/high carbohydrate diets, which helped with weight temporarily, but resulted in a rebound shortly thereafter with even more weight gain. Menstrual periods were also irregular. Saliva testing during the second half of the menstrual cycle (luteal phase) indicated high-normal estradiol, low progesterone, and high androgens-both DHEA and testosterone. Further examination by her doctor revealed cystic ovaries. Dietary modification (removal of refined carbohydrates-pastas, chips, pastries, sodas (included no aspartame drinks); less sodium and no sugar, and use of natural progesterone has helped restore normal menstrual cycles and resolve the cystic ovaries. Infertility; Saliva estrogen and progesterone levels on day 21 of the menstrual cycle of a 33 year old woman having difficulty conceiving for more than one year revealed normal estradiol but subnormal progesterone output, suggesting a possible reason for her infertility.

Testosterone Deficiency

A 43-year-old had a hysterectomy/oophorectomy only 2 years prior because of endometriosis. She now complains of a low sex drive and weight gain, despite supplementation with oral triple estrogen and progesterone skin cream. Her saliva testosterone level was below normal, and supplementation has resulted in an improved sex drive and a modest weight loss.

Multiple Hormone Insufficiency

A 47-year-old woman complained of excessive fatigue, hot flashes and marked chemical sensitivity. Saliva testing revealed low levels of cortisol (am and pm), DHEA and estradiol, pointing strongly toward adrenal exhaustion.

Age-Related DHEA Decline

A stressed-out, 53-year-old businessman complained of poor recovery from workouts, loss of muscle tone, and flagging energy. His saliva DHEA-S level was low. Oral DHEA supplementation resulted in weight loss, increased energy, an improvement in muscle tone, and an overall improved sense of wellbeing.

Progesterone/Estrogen Insufficiency

A 63 year old woman had never taken hormones since her menopause at age 51. She complained of vaginal dryness with painful intercourse, urethral irritation with urination and a bone density scan revealed osteoporosis in her hip and spine. Both her salivary estrogen and progesterone levels were low. Supplementation with natural progesterone skin cream improved her symptoms to some extent, but complete resolution of her complaints was obtained with the addition of an oral biestrogen (estradiol + estriol). Her bone density will be followed with yearly measurements, and is expected to improve. Appropriate nutritional interventions and a weight bearing exercise program have also been made.

Cortisol/DHEA Imbalance

A 45 year old vegetarian woman complained of hypoglycemia and fatigue. Salivary Cortisol was low whereas DHEA was high. Her sex hormones were relatively normal. Empirical supplementation with DHEA would not have been successful for this patient. Her problem was thought to be related to low protein intake.

For information on how to obtain a Saliva Test Kit and/or a Blood Spot Test, please contact us by telephone.

References

Prior, J.C., Y.M. Vigna, M.T. Schecter, and A.E. Burgess. 1990.Spinal bone loss and ovulatory disturbances. New England Journal of Medicine 323:1221-27

Sherman, B.M., J.H. West, and S.G. Korenmam. 1976. The menopausal transition: analysis of LH, FSH, estradiol and progesterone concentrations during menstrual cycles of older women. Journal Clinical Endocrinol Metab 42:629-36

Aldercreutz, Herman; Yaghoob Mousavi; Jim Clark; Krister Hockerstedt; Esa Hamalainen; Kristina Wahala; Taru Makela; and Tapio Hase. Dietary Phytoestrogens and Cancer: In Vitro and In Vivo Studies. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 41:3-8 (1992) 331-337

Leary, Warren E. 1995. Progesterone may play a major role in the prevention of nerve disease. New York Times, June 27, C3.

Bergkvist, L.H.-O. Adami, I Perrson, R. Hoover, and C. Schairer. 1989. The risk of breast cancer after estrogen and estrogen-progestin replacement. New England Journal of Medicine 321:293-97.

Stevenson, J.C., K.F. Ganger, et al.1990. Effects of transdermal versus oral hormone replacement therapy on bone density in spine and proximal femur in postmenopausal women. Lancet 336:265-26

Lee, John R., M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. 1996. Warner Books

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The information is not presented as medical advice or treatment and is for informational purposes only.
Please refer to your physician for any questions regarding advice or treatment.