Have Your Menopausal Cake and Eat it Too!

You can pretty much sum it up like this:  1  Menoapause – feels awful, big topic, hard to understand, scary, don’t know what to do about it.  2  Treatment for Menopause – risky, may also feel awful, big topic, scary, don’t know what to do about it.  Unfortunately that is how most women face, or more accurately do NOT face menopause.  They are paralyzed by fear and lack of information and end up doing nothing, trying things that feel safe but don’t help and mostly they simply end up suffering like crazy.

Suffering… lets see, no sleep, depression, extreme irritability, anxiety, debilitating heat, brain fog, weight gain, pain with intercourse, loss of libido, headaches… the list goes on.  What was once a beautiful life is now lost and where did it go?  How can you get it back?

I read an article in Redbook magazine several years back that carried a title something like “I’d rather die of breast cancer (implicating the choice to go on synthetic hormone replacement therapy) than live like this!”  Sad sentiment of the day, and that though pervades the American Woman’s paradigm!

What is even more sad is that it doesn’t have to be true at all.  You don’t have to choose between your safety and your sanity!

Making the right choice in hormone to begin with, can make a huge difference.  They are NOT all created equally.  Then support the body’s ability to break that hormone down in healthy ways – ways that fight risk!  (Yes, you read that correctly – if you do it correctly you could be less risky with some hormone around, breaking it down correctly, than if you had none at all) and finally – you can also fight Alzheimers by getting those healthier hormones going within the first ten years of your last period or the last time you took hormones.

See?  You can have your menopausal cake and eat it too!  Inform yourself.  You have options!  Follow me on FB and keep up with the day to day latest on all things health.  Find out when my next free lecture is and access much more and more easily simply by “Liking” me here: http://www.facebook.com/LiveWellCenter

 

Estrogen – Fights Cancer?!

“Estrogen can fight cancer?  I thought it caused cancer.”

This is the puzzled question I get from my patients when we discuss healthy estrogen metabolism.  When you figure out how estrogen breaks down in the liver, you quickly learn that while the type of estrogen you take makes a big difference – what your body does with that estrogen, makes all difference in the world.

Whether you take it or you make it… estrogen must break down in the liver.  Once in the liver, it faces different pathways or opportunities for breakdown.  It can break down in a healthy good way or it can choose a bad path.

When estrogen breaks down in the healthy good way, it makes substances that balance hormonal symptoms (such as PMS), resolves hormonal challenges (such as bad mammograms, lumpy breasts, ovarian cysts, and abnormal menstrual periods) and that prevent and fight cancerous changes in the body.  These substances are shown to be protective for estrogen sensitive tissues (breast, ovarian, uterine and cervical tissue) as well as lung and colon tissue as well. 

In all fairness to the popular press, when estrogen follows the bad path in the liver, many undesirable situations arise.  These toxic metabolites create greater risk for bad mammograms, lumpy breasts, ovarian cysts, abnormal menstrual bleeding and estrogen-related cancers.  We don’t want that!

When a woman suffers from PMS, ovarian cysts, fibrocystic breasts, bad mammograms, uterine fibroids or endometriosis – she may be breaking her estrogen down in an unhealthy way in her liver.  Re-directing that activity can deliver health and reduce risk going forward.

Did you know, that as men age… they make more estrogen and they tend to process it more down the bad pathway in the liver?  Not only does this increase the risk for breast cancer in men, but it aggravates prostate health.  80% of men are found to have some degree of prostate cancer, on autopsy.  Prostate health is an important health issue for the men in your lives.

Diindolylmethane, when properly absorbed, can completely re-direct those pathways toward good pathways.  Further, targeted nutritional support for the liver can further enhance the health and function of those good pathways.  Diindolylmethane is tricky, though.  I have worked with doctors all over the country where they are using various diindolylmethane (DIM) formulas that simply do not work in the clinical setting.  I have always used a patented form of it that guarantees “bio-availability” or absorption and have had predictable and dramatically effective results.  So quality matters in this case!

Further, Calcium D Glucarate (not like the calcium you take for your bones) and Potassium D Glucarate (not like the potassium you take for your heart) can support the timely elimination of estrogens and fat soluble toxins in the bowel.  This means that when your liver prosses estrogens and toxins and dumps them into the bowel so that they will leave the body… that they actually do leave the body instead of being reabsorbed… which would not be good!

My recommendation?  If you choose to pursue Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) make a bio-identical choice and dose those hormones in a bio-identical way.  Further, attend to the way your body breaks those estrogens down in the liver to maximize the health benefits of HRT. 

Targeted Nutrtional Formulas that I use in my practice every day, to achieve better estrogen health for my patients include:

Est Right – Non-hormonal symptom balancing support for estrogen in the liver, which contains the patented DIM combination that works!

Estro Smart – Non-hormonal symptom balancing support for estrogen in the liver – important for all of the biochemical pathways  in the liver that support estrogen breakdown.

Smart Fish – Non-toxic omega 3 fish oil to support estrogen and whole body health

Ovarian Cysts – Causes and Solutions

Ovarian cysts can be uncomfortable, even painful.  They are not typically considered a serious medical condition, and until they interfere with normal life activities or fertility, they most often go untreated.  When they are treated conventionally, suppressive hormonal therapy is typically administered.

As a Naturopathic Doctor, whether “life-threatening” or not… an ovarian cyst is an indicator of a health imbalance.  Bandaging that imbalance with suppressive therapy falls short of treating the cause and providing real health.

When cysts are simple, often the underlying cause is that of poor estrogen metabolism in the liver.  Eventually estrogen reaches the liver and breaks down.  It is the path that estrogen “chooses” in the liver that determines health or disease. 

When a woman suffers from PMS, ovarian cysts, fibrocystic breasts, bad mammograms, uterine fibroids or endometriosis – she may be breaking her estrogen down in an unhealthy way in her liver.  Re-directing that activity can deliver health and reduce risk going forward.

Diindolylmethane, when properly absorbed, can completely re-direct those pathways toward good pathways.  Further, targeted nutritional support for the liver can further enhance the health and function of those good pathways.  Diindolylmethane is tricky, though.  I have worked with doctors all over the country where they are using various diindolylmethane (DIM) formulas that simply do not work in the clinical setting.  I have always used a patented form of it that guarantees “bio-availability” or absorption and have had predictable and dramatically effective results.  So quality matters in this case!

Further, Calcium D Glucarate (not like the calcium you take for your bones) and Potassium D Glucarate (not like the potassium you take for your heart) can support the timely elimination of estrogens and fat soluble toxins in the bowel.  This means that when your liver prosses estrogens and toxins and dumps them into the bowel so that they will leave the body… that they actually do leave the body instead of being reabsorbed… which would not be good!

When cysts are multiple and called “polycystic” this typically results from a completely different health system.  Often the woman will be diagnosed with something called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.  This will completely interfere with fertility!  In later years, it can completely disrupt the normal menstrual cycle.  This is not healthy.  Although it would seem hormonally based, because it affects the ovaries, you will have to dig a little deeper to get to the root cause.  In this case it is unhealthy blood sugar metabolism.  Unhealthy blood sugar metabolism will increase risk for late onset or “Type II Diabetes”.  In this case, supporting all aspects of healthy blood sugar metabolism (diet, exercise and nutritional supplements) is essential for success.  In this case, the low-refined carbohydrate diet and the exercise are just as important as the targeted nutritional supplement support for every aspect of blood sugar biochemistry.  I see the best results when they are all used in combination.

My recommendations often include:

Low Glycemic Diet – Lean, organic meats, lots of vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, whole grains and no refined sugars or white flours.

Exercise – Daily vigorous exercise is best.

Est Right – Non-hormonal symptom balancing support for estrogen in the liver

Estro Smart – Non-hormonal symptom balancing support for estrogen in the liver

Sugar Smart – Comprehensive support for every aspect of blood sugar metabolism and carbohydrate cravings

Smart Fish – Non-toxic omega 3 fish oil to support estrogen and whole body health

Hormone Balance – Hormonal Health

The ability of the body to break estrogen down in a healthy manner is most clinically promising for people suffering from hormonal imbalances, and poor breast, prostate and uterine health. Certain herbs and nutrients can encourage estrogens in the body to select certain enzymatic pathways that result in break-down products that are actually balancing for hormonal health.  As a result, they are cardio-protective, and cancer protective for certain tissues in the body including those found in the breast, prostate and uterus.

The effects can be measured in laboratory testing on urine.   When the body produces unhealthy estrogen break down products, they are measured in high levels, while the healthy breakdown products are measured in low levels.

The good news is that research has shown that these levels can be influenced with the proper formula of herbs and nutrients.

Hormone replacement therapy, especially when taken in a natural form, has the ability to enhance health and quality of life for many women facing peri-menopausal and menopausal changes. The health benefits include decreased mortality, increased memory, lower risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, stronger bones, a decreased incidence of cancerous changes in breast and uterine tissues, and a significant reduction in cardiovascular disease.  The quality of life benefits include an increased sense of vitality and well-being, enhanced sexual function, and a decrease in hot flashes, insomnia, mood changes and urinary incontinence. The body’s ability to obtain the health benefits of estrogen, when supplemented, depends upon its ability to break estrogen down in a healthful fashion. Healthy estrogen metabolism ensures this healthful breakdown of estrogen. The consequences of the unhealthful breakdown of estrogen include cancer cell initiation and promotion in estrogen related breast and uterine cancers. Even women that choose not to pursue hormone replacement therapy have much to gain from the use of a formula that enhances hormonal balance at any age. It will help her metabolize the limited estrogen that her body makes on its own into break down products that are quality of life enhancing and cancer and cardio protective.

Many women, starting with their first menses, are unable to metabolize estrogen in a balanced fashion.  The unhealthful breakdown of estrogens, resulting in increased levels of a particular type of “bad estrogens,” called 16 Hydroxylated estrogens, is associated with cervical dysplasia.  Without conducting a laboratory test, a woman that demonstrates symptoms such as heavy bleeding, cramping, pms, fibrocystic breast changes, uterine fibroids, endometriosis or ovarian cyst formation is obviously suffering from a hormonal imbalance. If the birth control pill was prescribed in order to treat these symptoms, it is simply masking them. This leaves the underlying problem of poorly metabolized estrogens unchanged.

The symptoms of hormonal imbalance listed above can be resolved with the healthy breakdown of estrogens throughout her life.  When a woman is looking to treat the cause of her hormonal imbalance, in lieu of simply masking the symptoms, supporting healthy estrogen metabolism (breakdown) in the liver, may be the support her body needs to bring itself to normal. The long-term health benefits of hormonal balance, and the healthful breakdown of estrogens are preventative for estrogen related risks in breast and uterine tissues, cardiovascular disease, and bone density losses.

Physician quality nutritional supplements that dramatically support hormonal health include:

Estro Smart – Herbal and nutritional formula that supports healthy estrogen metabolism and detoxification while supporting overall hormone balance.  (This formula has not been researched in combination with birth control hormones and should not be used if pregnancy prevention is a concern.)

Testo Balance – Herbal support for the healthy shifts in testosterone that provide improved quality of life without increasing risk.  This product is not shown to increase total testosterone levels, but to support the body in making the best use of what it already has.

Smart Fish – Omega 3 EPA and DHA in a convenient higher dose gel-cap.  Documented to be non-toxic and non-rancid (stable)… a very important distinction in the fish oil industry.

Fol Active – The active form of folate (5 methyltetrahydrofolate) necessary for optimal folic acid health when folate status is challenged by genetic variation.

Smart Bones – Comprehensive bone nutrients in a cold-processed formula that preserves organic factors shown to support bone health.

Pro-Collagen – Silica that will not polymerize once taken.  This is important so that it may support collagen production for healthy joints, skin, hair, nails and bone.