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H-Happy Hormones- Part 1 & 2

 Other reasons for estrogen dominance are the steroids and hormones in meats and dairy products, and the xenoestrogen toxins in our environment, usually from petroleum products.

   During the first part of a menstrual cycle, estrogen dominates and builds the uterine lining in preparation for possible pregnancy. Then ovulation occurs, and the follicle becomes the corpus luteum which begins to produce up to 20 mg. of progesterone a day.

   In their 30s, women begin to have some cycles where they don't ovulate, so there is a month of unopposed estrogen. I feel this progesterone deficiency is what accounts for increasing PMS, and the beginning symptoms of perimenopause.

   The chart below, written by John R. Lee, MD, compares the effects of estrogen and natural progesterone. Obviously, the key to balanced hormones is to keep natural progesterone levels up. In cultures that eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, progesterone deficiency is almost unheard of, and women go through menopause with few symptoms. So, increase your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. There are more than 5,000 types of plants that make progesterogenic sterols. Produce that is picked unripe, as found in stores, has low levels of vitamin C and sterols. Because the adrenal glands are very active in producing progesterone, many career women who are under stress go through early menopause from worn-out adrenal glands. I feel the natural steroid saponins in the yucca, ginseng, barley and alfalfa that make up Dynamite® Herbal Green™ are excellent for adrenal support.    Dynamite® Manganese Plus™ with ovarian glandulars also provides excellent nutritional support for women, as manganese is the main fertility mineral for females. For males, the main reproductive mineral is zinc.

   Dominant estrogen levels cause magnesium levels to fall. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include water retention, calcium loss, anxiety and depression, chocolate cravings, and constipation. Dynamite® P.M.S. Premium Magnesium Supplement™ is an excellent source of 100 percent amino acid chelated magnesium.

   Dynamite® Tri-Mins Plus™ contains chelated calcium and magnesium. To relieve water retention, I also recommend drinking celery juice for organic sodium, and Dynamite® Elixir™ as a great source of potassium.

 

Estrogen Effects:

creates proliferative endometrium
breast stimulation
increased body fat
salt and fluid retention
depression and headaches
interferes with thyroid hormone
increased blood clotting
decreases libido
impairs blood sugar control
loss of zinc and retention of copper
reduced oxygen levels in all cells
increased risk of endometrial cancer
increased risk of breast cancer
slightly restrains osteoclast function
reduces vascular tone

 

Progesterone Effects:

maintains secretory endometrium
protects against breast fibrocysts
helps use fat for energy
natural diuretic
natural antidepressant
facilitates thyroid hormone action
normalizes blood clotting
restores libido
normalizes blood sugar levels
normalizes zinc and copper levels
restores proper cell oxygen levels
prevents endometrial cancer
helps prevent breast cancer
stimulates osteoclast bone building
necessary for survival of embryo
precursor of corticosterone production

 

Happy Hormones- Part 2

Dr. Regan Golob, DC

      Many women resort to HRT (hormone replacement therapy) for symptom relief, making Premarin (Pregnant Mare Urine) conjugated estrogen one of the most prescribed drugs on the market, along with Provera synthetic progesterone. Last month we looked at the symptoms of estrogen dominance, which are also the side effects of synthetic estrogen supplementation. Synthetic progesterone (like Provera medroxyprogesterone) also has serious side effects. Some of those listed in the Physician's Desk Reference are: fluid retention, migraine, asthma, depression, decreased glucose tolerance, jaundice, partial loss of vision, blood clots, hair loss, increase in facial hair, nausea, sleep disorders, etc.

Compare these with the beneficial effects of natural progesterone, listed last month.

   For women who want replacement hormones or desire to "wean" off the synthetic hormones, holistic MD, Dr. Christiane Northrup recommends an all-natural estradiol/natural progesterone capsule made by Delk's Pharmacy in Tennessee. There are also formulations on the market of tri-estrogens, a combination of three natural estrogens. Your practitioner can give you details or a prescription.

      Other options to use with the above or instead are natural progesterone skin creams and/or oral products that contain diosgenin (wild yam extract) which is a precursor to progesterone. Most physicians do not realize that patent hormones are also made from diosgenin, but which has been chemically altered by the pharmaceutical companies so they can patent it, even though it is no longer compatible with the body. There are a number of these natural creams and capsules on the market now, some good and most not so good. Many do not use the saponin-rich root of the plant, or may contain harmful alkaloids. (See the note below for my favorites and their sources.)  The change from synthetics must be done slowly. A knowledgeable health-care professional should be consulted for guidance with the change.

      Many times, estrogen is not needed if the progesterone levels are adequate. This is because progesterone is the precursor for all the other sex hormones, including estrogen, testosterone and the corticosteroids, Pregnenolone, DHEA, and others are intermediate hormones all coming from progesterone.

      Keep your fat intake up. Today's low-fat diets lacking in essential fatty acids are contributing to hormone imbalances in women and men. Cholesterol is the precursor to progesterone and all the other hormones, so I like to see women's cholesterol no lower than 225, with favorable HDL levels. Do this by using olive oil, fish oil from salmon, mackerel, sardines, or by taking evening primrose, borage seed oil, or black currant oil daily. Essential fatty acids also help skin and tissue elasticity. Avoid the trans-fatty acids found in coconut oils, margarine, etc. Eat unsalted butter instead of margarine. Avocados are also a great oil source.

      Keep your liver cleansed for optimal hormone conversion. My carrot salad recipe is great for this. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, preferably raw, and drink distilled or reverse-osmosis water. Support your adrenals by reducing stress, eliminating or reducing caffeine, sugar and stimulatory high protein foods. After menopause, the adrenals are the main producer of estrogen and DHEA, so they need to be healthy.

      Remember that all hormones, enzymes and glandular functions are dependent on bio-available minerals, whether you choose drugs or natural alternatives, Dynamite Nutritional Supplement for Adults and Children or Dynamite Plus™  provide a great base of mineral support, and Dynamite® Tri-Mins Plus™  are important to provide adequate calcium, magnesium and potassium. Keep your calcium level up and your bones strongly exercising, staying away from soda pop, eating a low protein diet, and not taking antacid products. As I mentioned last month, additional magnesium from Dynamite® P.M.S. Premium Magnesium Supplement™ and manganese from Dynamite® Manganese Plus™ may also be needed in addition to the above. Dynamite® Dyna-Lite™ is another great source of manganese, combined with iodine for optimal thyroid support, and targeted directly to the hypothalamus. This is the part of the brain that triggers the whole hormone-producing process by activating the pituitary gland and then the thyroid. If menopausal weight gain is a problem, or if you feel fatigued or cold, try the Dynamite® Dyna-Lite™. Many of my patients find that three or four capsules a day work well. See my article, "How's My Thyroid?" for details.

   And, remember, thoughts are things and can definitely affect the endocrine system. In many cultures, menopausal symptoms are non-existent, because woman are considered to become wiser and more powerful after menopause so they celebrate the aging process rather than dreading it. We have all seen older women who are just as vibrant and beautiful (or more so!) as their younger counterparts. Keep your energy up with yoga, meditation, prayer and ritual, and celebrate all parts of the cycle of life.

 

NOTE: The phone number for the progesterone cream is 1-800-455-5182 I prefer this one due to the fact that it does not contain proplenegylcol.  The other hormone helper I often use is Wachters'® Women Herbal Guardian™.