Women’s Health: destined to disease or liberated by balance

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | July 29th, 2011

 “If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny.” Benjamin Franklin
 
Franklin’s sage advice is more relevant now than ever.
 
It is difficult and frustrating to sift through conflicting and complex health information to make healthy choices. Reports over past decades, supported by scientific evidence, have unfolded the life cycles women experience and how there appears to be an epidemic of hormonal disruptions and the drive to medicalize women’s health, governed by prescription medicine.
 
Women Classified as Diseased
 
Ponder this for a moment. Why:
 
…are more babies born with brain tumors and cancers?
…is a girl’s age of menarche (the first menstrual period) younger today than three or four decades ago?
…do women increasingly suffer from dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), irregular periods and eating disorders?
…do girls begin physical development earlier?
…do so many women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), fibroids, endometriosis, infertility, breast and other cancers?
…is it that twenty years ago the breast cancer rate was 1 in 20 and today it is 1 in 8?
…does the United States have one of the highest hysterectomy and cesarean rates in the world?
 
Are these valid questions to explore?
 
Until the advent of modern pharmacology (the science of drugs), physicians were trained in nutritional and botanical medicine. Doctors understood that specific nutrients were effective in treating specific disorders, particularly deficiency syndromes. Many substances found in nature prevented disorders from occurring.
 
Pregnancy and childbirth are now classified as medical conditions and treated as such, despite a several millennia history of being a normal and natural occurrence. Between 1938 and 1971 women who suffered miscarriage were administered diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen with assurances of a healthy pregnancy. Unintended consequences, covering more than three decades, included an increase in infant deformities, cancer in offspring and the mother, and infertility problems not only in the offspring but in their offspring a generation later.
 
The remedy to this devastating situation was electronic fetal monitoring (EFM), adopted as the standard of care, absent valid research. New discovery has shown this technology leads to more delivery complications and is associated with higher cesarean section rates, lower five-minute Apgar scores, and a higher rate of respiratory distress.
 
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), formerly known as Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT), was popularized by Robert Wilson, MD. in the 1950’s. He coined the term “feminine forever” as he espoused a better life through chemistry. Unwarranted enthusiasm, perhaps over profits, and skewed scientific evidence increased the use of these synthetic hormones. Research now indicates they increase the incidence of cancer and other deadly conditions in women.
 
It was not until the Women’s Health Initiative in 2002 reported an increase in heart disease, stroke, breast and uterine cancer and Alzheimer’s disease that enthusiasm floundered for the use of Premarin, the most widely used of the HRT synthetic hormones.  
 
Oral contraceptives are also synthetic hormones. They have been popular since the 1960’s and supposedly liberated women from the jaws of a committed marital relationship and allowed for multiple partners without fear of pregnancy. “The Pill” has been widely prescribed for other female maladies such as PMS, dysmenorrhea and other hormonal difficulties. Evidence has raised fear in women who use them due to an increase in cancer, blood clots, anxiety, weight gain, osteoporosis and infertility. It’s those unintended consequences again.
 
Additionally, infertility has skyrocketed over the past 15 years and continues. Medicine’s answer to this dilemma is fertility clinics offering solutions that range from in vitro fertilization to procedures that require injecting a woman with high doses of synthetic hormones in hopes of stimulating an egg and sperm connection. Reproductive specialists control pregnancy through invasive procedures that do not come without risks.
 
Keep this in mind. Biogenesis is the natural law that states “life can only be passed on by living things”. Just like only living food can sustain a living organism. All life contains a vitalistic component that promotes and sustains the chain and cycle of life. Remove the vitalistic component or replace it with synthetic substitutes and the cycle of life begins to deteriorate.
 
Women are being diagnosed with depression and mood swings at an alarming rate which is perceived as being “normal” due to PMS and other hormonal irregularities. A class of anti depressant drugs known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s), have been accepted as the “gold standard treatment”, however, little inquiry focuses on the serious side effects of these drugs.
 
Might these conditions, symptoms, breakdowns or maladies be the result of pharmaceutical therapies? Is the body drug deficient? Does it make sense to prescribe a drug or modality to treat a symptom or condition knowing that the side effects may cause other glaring problems that not only increase risk to other diseases and death, but also foster the need for the use of more drugs? Aaaah! Maybe, that is the purpose.
 
 
Restoring Women’s Health …a cultural movement
 
A fresher approach is needed to help women avoid the cycle of synthetic substitutes and restore their health and obtain balance. Rather than treating or suppressing a symptom, the body’s attempt to heal, a better approach is looking for the cause and treating it while avoiding, or at least, diminishing risky lifestyle choices.
 
The science of nutrition can be traced back to 400 BC when Hippocrates stated “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” A perfect example of this is demonstrated in the use of folic acid.
 
For about 15 years the March of Dimes has been teaching mothers about the need for folic acid (vitamin B9) prior to and during pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube birth defects and spina bifida by as much as eighty percent. One study reported that multivitamins fortified with folic acid could lower the chances of contracting brain tumors by twenty-seven percent, leukemia by thirty-nine percent and neuroblastoma by forty-nine percent. There is healing power in real food.
 
 Women’s hormones are influenced by diet and lifestyle choices in many ways through:
 
•fats
•fiber
•gastrointestinal flora
•amino acids
•dairy products
•processed foods
•xenobiotics (artificial hormones not known to man)
•hormones and antibiotics in feed lot animals (factory farming)
•trans fats
•sugars and carbohydrates
•artificial sweeteners
•alcohol
•environmental toxins (pesticides, herbicides
•cosmetics
•drugs
•hormones
 
The inextricable link between nutrition and health is well documented. Unfortunately, there is a major disconnect the way we look at chronic disease and conditions. What is worse is the mindset that convenience, not only in foods, but everything we do supersedes common sense and personal responsibility.
 
Creating Balance
 
Hormone balance can be achieved through diet and lifestyle changes with the help of supplements. Hormones can be stabilized and balanced through diet that in turn will decrease symptoms that plague women including:
 
•hot flashes
•mood swings
•loss of libido
•joint pain
•bloating or weight gain
•headaches
•tender enlarged breasts
•depression
•uterine fibroids
•cystic breasts
•irregular menstrual cycles
•heavy bleeding
•infertility
 
Learning to make healthy, rational choices daily as a part of a new way of life is very different than popping pills to suppress symptoms, eating at fast food restaurants, and living as a couch potato. The benefits are noteworthy in that you reduce risk of disease and enjoy a better quality of life.
 
Nutrition and Lifestyle… a safer and long term solution, Avoid drug therapies and consider the following if you experience painful breasts, cervical dysplasia, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) endometriosis, uterine fibroid tumors, vaginal dryness, mood swings, depression, weight fluctuations and lupus:
•Avoid organochlorine chemicals such as vinyl chlorides, dioxins, and PCB’s that are endocrine disrupters. They are found in household products, cleaners, wall coverings, furniture and other artificial substances.
•Avoid chemicals such as phthalates found in nail polish products and other plastics.
•Avoid medications such as hormone replacement, oral contraceptives, tamoxifen and cimetidine.
•Avoid feed lot animals that are injected with agricultural hormones that fatten them up quicker for market.
•Consume foods close to nature such as fruits and vegetables including beans, peas, clover, alfalfa, lignans, flaxseed, wheat and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
•Exercise. Managing weight is very helpful to facilitate estrogen metabolism and excretion which has a profound effect on many illnesses and diseases.
•Drink pure water preferably from a home water system.
•Consume fiber daily to improve digestion and to assist in reducing levels of free estradiol, one of the most potent estrogens our bodies produce.
•Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids in the form of cold water fish like wild salmon (not farmed), sardines, and herring.
•Avoid simple carbohydrates and artificial sweeteners. They have detrimental effects on blood glucose levels and stimulate the production of insulin resulting in hormonal imbalances.
•Consume Isoflavones in moderation. Soy isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein, consumed in traditional Japanese diets are associated with low rates of hormone-dependent cancer. American culture consumes genetically modified soy products such as soy nuts, beans, crackers, cookies and tofu that have been highly processed. These are not the fermented forms like miso, tempeh and soy sauce consumed by the Japanese.
•Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) is a naturally occurring compound derived from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage that actively promotes the breakdown of estrogen. Because our modern diets are deficient in these rich compounds, it is beneficial to consume concentrated I3C in supplemental form for those with health issues related to estrogen dominance.
•Consume supplements that include a multi vitamin, probiotics, and DHA/EPA fatty acids. The multivitamin should contain minerals like calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, all B vitamins like folate and B6, which plays a role in the development of brain neurotransmitters, helps prevent heart disease, and can relieve symptoms of morning sickness and carpal tunnel syndrome and  antioxidants such as selenium and vitamin E. Augment these with Evening Primose oil and or GLA.
•Magnesium promotes estrogen detoxification and is necessary for calcium to enter the bones. Take a good combination mineral supplement.
•Good hormone modulating herbs include black cohosh, chasteberry, ginseng (Panax ginseng), dong quai and licorice. These herbs, valued by women for centuries, promote healthy estrogen balance.
•Use natural progesterone crème. To learn more about the benefits of this miraculous cream, purchase a copy of Do You Know What You Don’t Know…About Women’s Health Issues at
and visit JohnLeeMD.com
The evidence is clear. Women’s bodies are breaking down and they are NOT drug deficient. Drugs beget drugs and are not necessary for women to be healthy. The rules of Nature provide a comprehensive approach for women who wish to thrive and remain healthy. A more natural approach will ensure a safe and smooth transition during all phases of a women’s life.
 
 
References
 
1. Veurink M. Koster M. Bert LT. The history of DES, lessons to be learned. Pharm World Sci. 2005;27(3):139-143. Review.
2. McCusker, D R Harris, and D W Hosmer, Jr, Association of electronic fetal monitoring during labor with cesarean section rate and with neonatal morbidity and mortality. Am J Public Health. 1988 September; 78(9): 1170–1174
3. Prenatal Multivitamin Supplementation and Rates of Pediatric Cancers: A Meta-Analysis, Journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, February 2007
4. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients-February/March 2004 Pgs. 106-107
5. Hyman M A, MD, The Life Cycles of Women: Restoring Balance, Alternative Therapies, May/June 2007, Vol. 13. No. 3

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