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USING PROGESTERONE WITH BIRTH CONTROL PILLS AND PATCHES

Category: Hormone Balance  |  Permalink

Published: Monday, February 23, 2015

An Interview with Dr. David Zava


    

 

A common question  is whether it' s OK to use progesterone cream while taking contraceptive pills or patches. Dr. Lee' s response was always, "Probably, but we need more information to be sure."
Here is an interview with Dr. Lee' s friend and colleague, Dr. David Zava, with an update on this topic.

 

Dr.Zava: "Let' s answer this question by first looking at what the synthetic hormones in birth control pills and patches do in a woman' s body. Overall, they drop your estradiol [an estrogen], progesterone and testosterone levels, they interfere with cortisol levels and they increase the risk of insulin resistance. Women on birth control pills tend to gain weight around the waist, which is a hallmark of insulin resistance.

 

About 95 percent of the natural hormones found in the blood are inactivated by serum hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This is one of your body' s control mechanisms for maintaining hormone balance. Think of SHBG as a sponge that soaks up excess hormones. The synthetics found in birth control pills aren' t soaked up by SHBG so there is no real regulation of them.

 

Let' s take ethinyl estradiol, a synthetic estrogen, as an example. Unlike your natural hormones, it doesn' t bind to SHBG, so it remains available to the tissues. At the same time, it causes the liver to produce huge amounts of SHBG. That means ethinyl estradiol is freely available but the natural hormones, which do bind to SHBG, are very unavailable."

 

Contraceptive Chemicals "Shut Down" Your Own Hormones

 

In women, SHBG particularly soaks up testosterone, so women on birth control pills tend to have very low testosterone levels. Low testosterone can mean low libido, slow metabolism and weight gain, vaginal dryness and bone loss. If you' re taking birth control pills you' re probably missing out on the benefits of normal testosterone levels.

 

Synthetic hormones are also going to the brain and shutting down gonadotrophins, specifically the LH and FSH that regulate the menstrual cycle, so women taking birth control pills aren' t making their own estrogen, progesterone or testosterone, and they aren' t ovulating. If you suppress that part of the brain long enough it will shut down because you are not asking it for anything. If you go off the birth control, it may take awhile to kick back in and in some women it never comes back. Meanwhile, your body is accustomed to making all this SHBG, so even if you do start making your own hormones the SHBG is soaking up every bit of them.

 

Women who go off birth control pills can be extremely hormone deficient for weeks or months, sometimes years.

 

Synthetic Hormones have an Identity Crisis

 

A synthetic hormone is very schizophrenic. It doesn' t know which receptor it belongs to. Take medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) for example, a progestin [synthetic progesterone]. Yes it hits the progesterone receptors and acts something like progesterone, but it also hits glucocorticoid receptors and acts like a cortisol, which suppresses your adrenals. So I frequently see women on birth control with low cortisol. It has some cortisol activity but it' s not consistent. This is why women on birth control pills can get so tired and depressed. MPA also has some androgen [male hormone] activity as well as some

anti-androgen activity. Pretty soon the body doesn' t know what it wants or needs because its hormone balancing systems aren' t working.

 

Your own natural hormones are very specific. Testosterone doesn' t see estrogen receptors or cortisol receptors, it only sees testosterone receptors. Estradiol doesn' t see progesterone or testosterone receptors. Mother nature made these hormones very unique for the receptors that they bind to and they don' t bother with much else-within physiologic ranges. If you start taking high doses of natural hormones it' s a different story, you' ll get side effects and hormone imbalance. MPA on the other hand will bind to all of them. It' s a mess and it' s why you get all the side effects. It' s just awful. It doesn' t happen to every woman, but when it happens it' s horrible.

 

Now we can get back to the question of whether you can use progesterone cream when you' re taking birth control pills. The progestin in the birth control pills goes to the brain and shuts down ovulation. No ovulation, no pregnancy. Meanwhile, the progesterone cream can help counter some of the side effects of the synthetic hormones. I' ve seen many women who are having side effects from birth control use progesterone cream and feel much better."

 

BARBARA:  Thanks to Dr. Zava for explaining how progesterone cream can alleviate the negative side effects of synthetic hormones on a woman's body.  ProHELP to the Rescue! 

 

 

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7 Things You Should Know About Estrogen Dominance

Category: Hormone Balance  |  Permalink

Published: Monday, February 16, 2015

7  Things You Should Know About Estrogen Dominance

 

Estrogen Dominance refers to the state where the key hormones estrogen and progesterone are not in balance and estrogen is present in a higher ratio than progesterone. There are over 23 unpleasant symptoms, especially weight gain, hot flashes, insomnia and mood swings.

 

1.   Women produce estrogen all of their lives.  After the ovaries are gone or have shut down, estrogen is produced in fat cells of the stomach, abdomen & thighs.  Progesterone levels drop to near zero, so progesterone supplementation is key.

2.   Balance: At every stage of a woman's life from puberty onwards, estrogen needs to be balanced by progesterone for hormonal health. If not you can have heavy bleeding, PMS, PCOS, infertility, endometriosis, fibroids, hot flashes, night sweats osteoporosis.

3.   You can have high levels of estrogen, or low levels, and both can result in estrogen dominance. It is not the levels of estrogen and progesterone that are important in themselves, it is their ratio to each other that matters and whether they are in balance so that one does not predominate over the other.

4.   Every effect of estrogen is balanced by progesterone so they work in harmony: for instance estrogen causes fluid retention, but progesterone is a natural diuretic. Estrogen wants to store fat, progesterone wants to burn fat. Estrogen can raise blood pressure, progesterone can lower it.

5.   Estrogen dominance is linked to a number of conditions including breast cancer as estrogen stimulates breast tissue but progesterone protects it. The same is true for the risk for heart disease and strokes as progesterone is protective of heart health.

6.   You may think you do not have any excess estrogen risk but estrogen is present in the environment and plastic products and even drinking water as well as in medications such as the Pill and HRT.

7.   Estrogen dominance causes weight gain: Estrogen is the "fat storage" hormone. The more estrogen-dominant you are the more likely you are to look like a "Pear".

 

Want to tackle Estrogen Dominance? Increase your progesterone levels to restore the normal estrogen/progesterone ratio in the body. The most effective way to do that is by using a bio-identical natural progesterone hormone cream to deal with symptoms and bring back hormonal balance.

 

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ESTROGEN DOMINANT? There is help!

Category: Hormone Balance  |  Permalink

Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A supplement exists that can "detox" your body from excess estrogens

DIM (di-indolylmethane) for Protection against

Estrogen Dominance

Here are the symptoms of estrogen dominance.  Take a look:

IS THIS YOU?

  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia, restless sleep
  • Headache, including migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Heavy periods
  • Memory loss
  • Fibrocystic breast disease
  • Irritability
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Acne
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Infertility
  • Irregular menstrual flow
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Depression
  • Urinary frequency
  • Anxiety / Panic attacks
  • Dry eyes
  • Osteoporosis, osteopenia
  • Increased body fat
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Hair loss
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Thyroid imbalance / hypothyroid
  • Blood clots
  • Increased breast cancer risk
  • Bloating / fluid retention

These symptoms may sound common to some of you, but they are not normal. If you have any of these symptoms, it is essential to get your hormones back in balance as soon as you can.

 

Estrogen is the common factor among perimenopause, PMS, enlarged prostate, and early heart attacks. Luckily, new studies have shown that certain phytonutrients found in cruciferous vegetables offer a natural approach to resolving estrogen imbalance. Taking dietary supplements that contain these phytonutrients, called di-indoly methane (DIM), helps promote healthy estrogen metabolism.

 

What is DIM, and how can it help hormones?

DIM is a phytonutrient found in cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rutabaga, and turnip. When consumed in food or absorbable supplements, DIM's  metabolic pathway overlaps precisely with the pathway needed for healthy estrogen metabolism. Simply put, DIM supplements help restore healthy estrogen balance.

 

What is estrogen dominance?

Middle-aged women (and men) often experience changes in hormone production that result in an excess of estrogen. There are three basic forms of this imbalance.

  1. Perimenopause - In the few years before menopause, known as perimenopause, many women experience faltering estrogen metabolism. This is characterized by abnormally high levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone.
  2. Middle-aged men - Rising estrogen levels are often a problem for men over 45. In overweight men especially, testosterone is increasingly converted into estrogen and can accumulate in the prostate gland.
  3. Acquired estrogen imbalance - Acquired estrogen imbalance affects both men and women by stimulating the growth of too much "bad" estrogen and too little "good" estrogen.

What benefits can DIM offer?

Supplementing with DIM helps to shift the production of estrogen away from the "bad" kind and towards the "good" kind. This improves estrogen metabolism and helps resolve all three forms of estrogen dominance.

 

Why not just eat more cruciferous vegetables?

Although higher intake of cruciferous vegetables is associated with lower rates of prostate cancer, you would have to consume at least two pounds per day of raw or lightly cooked cruciferous vegetables to achieve the same results as two capsules of DIM would.  Supplementing with DIM is equivalent to eating 3 pounds of broccoli, cauliflower or brussel spouts per day and can effectively & positively shift the balance of hormones

 

What are the effects of DIM on premenstrual syndrome?

PMS symptoms, which include irritability, aggression, tension, depression, mood swings, water retention, and breast pain, have been shown to improve with  DIM supplementation. This may be due to the fact that DIM helps correct the estrogen imbalance that can occur during the 2 weeks leading up to the menstrual cycle. Pregnenolone levels are also elevated during PMS, which can cause anxiety, but DIM supplementation keeps levels balanced and promotes healthy metabolism.

 

How can proper estrogen metabolism promoted by DIM benefit men?

Many men also experience estrogen dominance as a result of midlife changes such as weight gain around the middle, hair loss, and prostate enlargement. Thus, DIM plays a role in helping to intervene with excess estrogen and offset these conditions.

 

Can DIM help improve the safety of synthetic hormone replacement therapy?

I do not think synthetic hormones are safe. In my view, the negative side effects are unacceptable. These include an increased risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer, and life-threatening blood clots. However, if you are taking HRT (synthetic), studies have shown that supplementing with DIM will increase the level of protective estrogen and may reduce the risk of cancer and the risk of blood clot formation.

 

So, in a nutshell... here is what DIM can do:

Regulates & Promotes healthy estrogen metabolism and balance

  • Stimulates detoxification enzyme systems
  • DIM appears to have anti-proliferative effects in prostate cancer cells
  • May reduce production of 2 proteins needed for breast and ovarian cancer to spread
  • May promote a beneficial shift in the balance of the sex hormones, estrogen & testosterone
  • Can promote fat loss by reducing levels of unhealthy estrogens that can cause excess weight to  be deposited around the abdomen, thighs & hips of both men and women.

Taking DIM can help with these disorders:

  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroid tumors
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Irregular periods
  • Chronic, recurring breast pain
  • PCOS ( Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

The product I really like to supply you with DIM is called IndoleGard or you can look for a product that supplies 300 mg of DIM per day.  It is also known as Indole-3-carbinol.

Find IndoleGard here:  http://www.bhnformulas.com/indolegard.html

 

 

 

What is the best way to take DIM?
Take 300 mg per day.  DIM can be on the pricey side, but a  3 month course of DIM can be all you need to restore proper estrogen levels.

 

"Optimal estrogen balance is key to cancer prevention, losing weight and feeling great in both men and women. A 3 month course of indolegard can be all you need." - Barbara Hoffman

 

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SLUGGISH GLAND QUIZ

Category: Hormone Balance  |  Permalink

Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2015

  

You may have slow thyroid if...

  • You're sensitive to the cold
  • You have frequent blue moods
  • You have persistent fatigue
  • You've gained more than 15-20 pounds in the past two years
  • You store water weight easily
  • You have a low libido
  • You have weak, brittle nails and chronic dry skin
  • You have thinning hair, particularly on your outer eyebrows
  • You are often forgetful or scattered

 


       BEST SUPPLEMENT:

           L-TYROSINE 

 

 

 

 

You may have burned-out adrenals if...

  • You have hard belly fat
  • You frequently feel overwhelmed and run down
  • You experience extreme salt cravings
  • You have dark circles under your eyes
  • You suffer from frequent colds and flu
  • You can be irritable or moody
  • You feel more awake and alert after 6pm than you do during the day
  • You have trouble sleeping or wake up frequently in the middle of the night
  • You have blood pressure fluctuations that leave you dizzy one moment and anxious the next

 

                       BEST SUPPLEMENT: 

                       DR.JAMES WILSON

                        SUPER ADRENAL

                       STRESS FORMULA

 

 

 

You may have a sluggish liver if...

  • You are more than 25 pounds overweight
  • You bruise easily
  • You have problems with memory or concentration
  • You often feel light-headed, dizzy, or weak
  • You suffer daytime sleepiness
  • You suffer from indigestion and bloat, especially after eating fatty foods
  • You have skin discolorations around your neck, knuckles, elbows, or knees

                                                                     

                    BEST SUPPLEMENT:     

                        MILK THISTLE           

 

                              

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Prevent Brain Aging

Category: General Health Information  |  Permalink

Published: Monday, January 05, 2015

 6 SUPER WAYS TO...

 

1. Nourish your brain with phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is essential to support memory functions and maintain the brain's ability to replace damaged neurons and generate new ones. These functions are crucial to preventing age-related cognitive decline and can also alleviate stress and anxiety. Studies show that in just 15 weeks, taking 300-400 mg of phosphatidylserine per day significantly improved memory and restored essential mental skills such as concentration, learning, and vocabulary in men and women between 67 and 80 years of age.

 

 

2. Protect your memory by walking

Taking a brisk 20-minute walk every day can cut your risk of dementia and Alzheimer's in half, according to a new study. Without regular exercise, your brain's memory center begins to shrink by 1% every year after you turn 50. But with exercise, your memory center can actually grow by 2% every year, keeping its long and short-term memory intact. This is because exercise stimulates the release of a chemical that is essential for healthy new brain cells to grow.

 

 

 

3. Avoid trouble with more seafood

Preventing cellular inflammation is as easy as loading up your plate with shrimp, tuna, salmon, or orange roughy at least twice a week. The omega-3 oils found in seafood are one of the biggest brain agers ever discovered. It's never too late to reap these protective benefits-in one study, seniors who ate fish every week reduced their risk of Alzheimer's by 60%! And don't worry if you aren't big on seafood. Instead, you can take 1,000 mg. of fish oil every day to achieve these same results.

 

4. Improve your focus with popcorn

Popcorn is a whole grain, which makes it a super healthy snack. New studies revealed that popcorn can boost focus, concentration, and memory by 16% and even cut your risk of Alzheimer's by 31% if eaten in place of chips and other junk food. Popcorn has this effect because whole grains are absorbed much more slowly than white flour products and thus produce smaller, more well-controlled changes in blood sugar. This helps your brain function at its peak and prevents the erratic surges in blood sugar levels that can damage brain cells.

 

 

5. Cut your Alzheimer's risk with nuts

Enjoying a handful of nuts every day can slow brain aging and protect cells against the minor damage that can snowball into Alzheimer's disease. Research suggests that adding this quick snack to your daily diet can cut your risk of the disease by at least 68% due to the healthy plant fats found in nuts. Another option would be to have a peanut butter sandwich for lunch or each 2 tablespoons of sugar-free peanut butter every day.

 

 

6. Think faster with dried fruits

Dried fruit is nature's most concentrated source of boron, a mineral that stimulates electrical activity in the front half of the brain to improve alertness, thinking ability, and long-term memory by at least 10% in as little as three months. Eating a modest ¼ cup of any dried fruits (such as raisins, prunes, etc.) every day does the trick.

 

Weren't these EASY??  And FUN??  Take care of your fabulous brain and it will take care of you... for the rest of your days!

Love, Barbara

 

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