HRT Replacement therapy that works. Chinese herbs have always been used to help balance the bodies natural thermostat.

Why Staying Current On Menopause News Matters

On the same day that I received a wonderful testimonial from a woman taking Menopause Relief Herb Pack, I read the news announcement from the Annals of Internal Medicine, that  HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) creates significant health risks, including stroke and breast cancer.  

 

Wow, what a day!

 

This news is not really a shocker to alternative medicine practitioners like myself. The  Complementary and Alternative Medicine community understands the risks of artificial hormones because we are taught to look at the body from a different point of view than Western medicine doctors.  We don't try to cover up menopause symptoms with a drug rather we look for the root cause of the disease and treat the whole body.  

 

Holistic minded doctors have always known that HRT is not the miracle drug it was once made out to be. Yesterdays announcement that risks outweigh the benefits is something we've known all along.

 

"In this case, the harms – the risk of blood clots, gallbladder disease, those types of things – led us to conclude that, on balance, the harms outweigh any potential benefit" said Dr. Bibbins-Domingo.

 

She added that for conditions such like heart disease and dementia, there was no evidence of any benefit.

Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School who worked on the WHI study, said the latest recommendations track with current medical practice.

 

Manson said it is important to distinguish between hormone therapy used for prevention of chronic disease and short-term use of hormone therapy to treat menopause symptoms, which the guidelines do not address.

 

She said many of the same professional societies that caution against use of hormone therapy for prevention endorse its use in healthy women whose lives are being disrupted by symptoms of menopause.

 

"That is the really key point here," she said.

Because of the potential risks, doctors prescribe hormone therapy for menopause symptoms at the lowest possible dose for the shortest period of time.  "We understand that there is a different balance of benefits and risks when hormone therapy is used for short-term symptom management versus long-term disease prevention," Manson said.

 

The task force said more study is needed on the effects of hormone therapy in younger women.

 

World Menopause Day Healthy Summit Online October 18th

natural menopause treatmentWorld Menopause Day is October 18th. If you suffer with hot flashes or night sweats or other symptoms of menopause please join me at an online event called:

World Menopause Day Health Summit

 

Come and join the on-line conversation. Ask the panelist your most pressing menopause questions.

The list of expert panelists will be breaking taboo and talking everything menopause. 

 

Don’t feel alone any longer. That foggy brain feeling you’re not quite sure about…. we’ll be talking about solutions.

 

Weight gain around the middle that you simply can’t get rid of…. well we’ll be talking about solutions that have worked for that too. 

 

Most women feel their doctor should give them the answers to all their health questions as they age, unfortunately, doctors today often don’t have natural solutions. What they have is a prescription pad. 

 

If you’re like me, you just don’t trust the pills anymore. If you feel confused by all the conflicting information about HRT, (hormone replacement therapy), YOU are not alone. 

 

We’re going to talk about all the other options that work.  Diet and life style solutions such as herbal alternatives that really work and have been used for centuries.  I guarantee you will walk away with useful information you won’t hear anywhere else.      

End the confusion and the mysteries

behind the big “M”,

 

 

 

Is This A Trend? Breast Cancer Lawsuits Against HRT and Wyeth

Breast cancer has climbed to 1 in every 8 women and now the finger is beginning to point to drug manufacturers. Wyeth and Pfizer have made combination hormone drugs for over 30 years and these HRT drugs (hormone replacement therapy) are commonly used for menopause treatments. About 10,000 cases against these pharmaceutical giants have already been filed and Pfizer has spent nearly $900 million to resolve about half of them.

 

Some go to trial, others settle more quietly out of court. Just last week, a Utah jury found Wyeth responsible for one woman’s breast cancer and awarded her $5 million in compensation.  Utah does not allow for punitive damages.

 

Studies, such as the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study, released this statement with it’s results:  “Women using Hormone Replacement Therapy (“HRT”) are more likely to develop breast cancer than those who are not using HRT.”

 

The National Institute of Health completed the Million Women Study in Britain a few years ago. Based on the results, the NIH concluded that the “Current use of HRT is associated with an increased risk of incident and fatal breast cancer; the effect is substantially greater for oestrogen-progestagen combinations than for other types of HRT.” 

 

One expert testified that his research showed as many as 15,000 cases of breast cancer per year occurred in women taking the combination hormone drug. Yet the “defense witnesses told you the same thing, the same story line, that Wyeth wanted them to tell you over and over — that no one knows what causes breast cancer,” said Russell T. Abney, another attorney representing Okuda. “We are not arguing that Ms. Okuda didn’t have an abnormal cell in her body. What we are arguing is that [estrogen plus progesterone] promoted that abnormal cell to grow.”

 

Women don’t have to choose between drugs and cancer for debilitating symptoms of menopause. There are other choices of menopause treatment.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12927427

 

Menopause Hormone Therapy Connected to High Blood Pressure

natural menopause treatmentWhat's new in hormone therapy today?   For starters, the name HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy is being substituted more with just the HT (hormone therapy)  label.   If you've found this confusing join the club.  Maybe next it will be Health Therapy (HT)? Any name that is both benign and friendly seems to be a better way to present these drugs, right?

 

However, now even more new research is proving these drugs have dangerous side effects. There is nothing healthy or therapeutic about artificial hormones. There is more than abundant data on artificial HRT, hormone replacement therapy, and its connection to an increase risk of breast cancer and stroke.  There are ongoing studies in other arenas like this one just published.

 

Hot off the press from Austrailia! This study concluded the longer a woman used HRT or HT or articial hormones (call them whatever you wish)  the higher her risk of developing high blood pressure.  

 

The study, not smalll by any means, included 43,405 postmenopausal women and was led by Joanne Lind of the University of Western Sydney.  Dr. Lind explained that the study shows that "longer use of menopausal hormone therapy is associated with having high blood pressure".

 

If you are looking for a natural alternative for menopausal hot flashes and night sweats, learn why Chinese herbs are the first choice for millions of women around the world who want a safe natural alternative.    

 

Hopefully this message will be conveyed to women who are considering using hormone therapy for menopause symptoms.  Talk to your doctor if you have high blood pressure and are using and form of HRT or HT.

 


References:

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0040260

Citation: Chiu CL, Lujic S, Thornton C, O'Loughlin A, Makris A, et al. (2012) Menopausal Hormone Therapy Is Associated with Having High Blood Pressure in Postmenopausal Women: Observational Cohort Study. PLoS ONE 7(7): e40260. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040260

Editor: Pedro A. Jose, University of Maryland School of Medicine, United States of America

Received: March 27, 2012; Accepted: June 4, 2012; Published: July 11, 2012

Hormones and Your Health – Natural Solutions to Menopause Symptoms

Hormones and Your Health – Natural Menopause Solutions

There is breaking news from the American Association for Cancer Research. A study presented in Chicago on March 31, 2012  proved long term hormone use dramatically increases a woman's risk factor for developing breast cancer.  Whether you use hormones or not (birth control or HRT) there are many great ways to reduce extra estrogen in your body.  

This video give you 6 easy tips to help you balance your hormones naturally.

 

Breaking News Hormones and Your Health

The study was conducted at Harvard Medical School where they studied over 100,000 registered nurses for approximately 25 years. The results found that the women who used any type of hormone therapy for more than 10 years had a significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer. The longer your hormone use, the higher your risks factor.

I wanted to talk about this because so many women take birth control pills when they are young and HRT (hormone replacement therapy) for menopausal symptoms as they age.

Now we have this long term study showing the results of this hormone use. Doctors like Dr. Wendy Chen the lead researcher of the study, is saying  women should use the lowest dose of hormones needed for the shortest time possible.

The good news is there are many ways to balance your hormones and reduce the estrogen in your body. I want to give you a couple easy and natural tips on how to do this.

1. First, try to eat meat that is hormone free. Whether it's chicken, beef or pork, look for meat that says raised without hormones. The same goes for milk. Certified Organic milk  (or raw organic) milk is the only milk that does not contain hormones.

2. Add a powdered green supplement to your diet everyday. Something that contains the herb milk thistle and or dandelion root and this will help your liver process estrogen and remove it from your body.

3. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower all help reduce estrogen dominance. If these are not your favorite vegetables, you can take a supplement that does this is called indinol 3.

4. Drink filtered water is another good idea because there are large amount of hormones in our water supply.

5. Also reducing your caffeine intake will help balance your hormones and stop microwaving your food in plastic containers because this leach toxin that act as estrogen into your body.

6. If you are dealing with menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes, there are natural alternatives to HRT – Chinese herbs have been used for centuries and are a safe solution. Pacific Herbs sells a Menopause Relief Herb Pack that works fast for these symptoms and is made from herbs that have more than 500 years of use.  You can find Menopause Relief here.

I hope you will research the new study results for yourself and please pass on this information to other women.  It could be a life saver.

 

Study link:   http://www.abstractsonline.com/Plan/ViewAbstract.aspx?sKey=489622a8-6ba9-4309-b54c-6e00a5886d06&cKey=726a2cb6-a357-418f-8fe2-cc997d8ce387&mKey={2D8C569E-B72C-4E7D-AB3B-070BEC7EB280}

More studies on Estrogen:

It is generally accepted that high levels of estrogen are associated with cancer of the breast, uterus and cervix; with cystic breast disease, uterine fibroids and endometriosis; with heavy bleeding and premenstrual syndrome; with depressed thyroid function; and with fluid retention and weight gain. Some lesser known associations are the following, as reported in the Nutri-Spec Letter of Guy R. Schenker, DC (1-800-736-4320):

Estrogen levels increase under the stress of injury, surgery, exposure to cold, infection and fasting. (Am J Vet Res, Feb 1998; Keio J Med, Sept 1989; Prog Clin Biol Res, 1989; J Clin Endocrine Metabl, 1974; Am J Clin Nutri, 1989)

Postmenopausal women with higher levels of circulating estrogen experience greater cognitive decline. (J Am Ger Soc 1998, Vol 46, Pages 816-21)

Alcoholism is associated with abnormally high levels of estrogen. (S Gastroienterol, Oct 1988 German)

Estrogen exacerbates symptoms of allergies and asthma. (Rev Pheumol Clin, Oct 1999, Vol 55, No 5, Pages 296-300; Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol, Sep 1998, Vol 81 No 3, Pages 243-6) One study presented evidence that the increasing incidence of asthma in children is due to the mother's oral contraceptive use prior to pregnancy. (Pediatr Allergy Immunol, Nov 1997, Vol 8, No 4, Pages 200-4.)

Estrogen can actually cause osteoporosis! (Menopause 1991 1(3):131-136) According to Dr. Schenker, between the ages of 21 and 40 there is a considerable increase in women's estrogen production. However, bone loss has been shown to actually begin around the age of 23 and progresses through the years when estrogen levels are actually rising. Weight gain patterns in middle age women can interfere with bone mass scans, leading to false conclusions about the effects of estrogen on bone health.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Feel Compelled to include this information from Dr. John Foster MD

We are living in the age of estrogen. The food supply is laden with traces of herbicides, pesticides and petrochemical residues from plastics, all of which have estrogen-like, endocrine disrupting effects in animals and humans. These xenobiotics, or foreign biological substances, have been linked to abnormalities and cancers of human tissues that are hormone sensitive, including fibrocystic breast disease, breast cancer, cervical cancer and dysplasia, endometrial cancer, endometriosis and ovarian disease as well as prostatic hypertrophy and cancer.

How can we protect ourselves from these influences? Eating a whole food diet of organic or biodynamic foods, free of pesticides, is an important first step. Healthy water is the next. Municipal water supplies may be sources of many chemicals and water in plastic bottles can contain residues of polycarbonate plastics called phthalates, which are endocrine disrupters. It is important to drink only pure mineral water or water that has been treated by a reverse osmosis (RO) system.

Our bodies regulate and eliminate estrogens by the action of detoxifying enzymes in the liver. There are two pathways of estrogen oxidation and conversion, one of which converts it to a beneficial and non-toxic form 2-OH estrogen and another which converts it to the 16-OH estrogen form. The 16-OH form is carcinogenic and causes diseases of tissues that are responsive to hormones, including disorders and cancers of breast, uterus, cervix and prostate, and probably lung and colon. Xenoestrogens push the system toward the 16-OH pathway both directly and indirectly.

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, bok choy, Brussels sprouts and cabbage contain a substance called indole-3-carbinol (I3C) which is activated and liberated when the vegetables are crushed in a wet environment, that is, when they are chewed, chopped or pounded. In the presence of stomach acid, I3C combines with itself to form DIM (di-indollyl methane). DIM induces certain P-450 enzymes in the liver to block the production of the toxic 16-OH estrogens and enhance the production of the beneficial 2-OH forms.

Studies have demonstrated that DIM reduces the incidence of fibrocystic breast disease, cervical dysplasia, endometriosis and prostate enlargement. In fact, the 2-OH form is not only benign but also enhances the process of apoptosis, the spontaneous death of damaged and cancerous cells. DIM also acts as an active surveillance for cancer cells. This is very exciting and while there is much to learn and more to say, I can state with assurance that this phyto-nutrient may be one of the most important protective substances of this new century.

It is very important to eat cruciferous vegetables every day for protection against diseases that may be induced by exposure to environmental estrogens. As raw cruciferous vegetables contain goitrogens, it is best to eat them fermented, because fermentation neutralizes these thyroid-depressing substances. (Cooking also neutralizes the goitrogens, but also deactivates I3C.) In fact, low rates of breast cancer in Polish women have been attributed to their daily consumption of sauerkraut. (Science News 9/23/00)

The amount of vegetables needed to supply adequate DIM for full protection or as part of a program of cancer treatment is at least two pounds daily. Of course, it is not always practical or possible to eat such large amounts of pickled vegetables. Fortunately, DIM is available as a supplement. I recommend it to almost any patient over 40 and anyone with a family history of breast or uterine problems as well as cancer of the lung, colon or prostate. I also add DIM to any hormone replacement therapy program for an added safety factor to prevent the above diseases.

 

Women Want Non-Medical Treatment For Menopause Symptoms

Studies now state the obvious!  Menopausal women prefer non-medical treatment for their menopause symptom relief and want more support from their doctors.  This was the finding in a February Journal of International Obstetrics and Gynecology.

This community based study looked at 4407 women aged 45 to 54 living in north east Scotland. The participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about their menopausal symptoms and their management.

The questionnaire included a symptom checklist which asked about problems such as stiff joints, aches and pains, headaches, vaginal dryness, hot flushes, night sweats, depression, anxiety, mood swings, decreased sexual interest and menstrual symptoms.

Participants were asked whether they had experienced the symptom in the last month and how bothered they were by this.

The study found that nearly half of the women (46.7%) experienced hot flushes, 46.4% night sweats and 28.2% vaginal dryness. Approximately two-fifths of women reported these symptoms as quite a bit or extremely bothersome.

Surgically menopausal women (participants who have had a hysterectomy and/or oopherectomy) reported the most bother from menopausal symptoms and the greatest frequency of bothersome symptoms.

The study also looked at the different management strategies women adopt, from HRT to alternative therapies and social support. It found that the most common management strategy used by menopausal women was social support through talking to friends or family. This was reported by more than 60% of women.

Moreover, the questionnaire found that women reported taking vitamins, minerals and supplements and herbal remedies rather than HRT, for example, 38% of postmenopausal women had used herbal remedies.

Dr Lisa Iversen, Academic Primary Care, Division of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen and co-author of the paper said:   “Our results provide a powerful reminder that the menopause is a time of life when women experience numerous symptoms, many of which are bothersome.”

“We found that many women used non-medical approaches to help relieve the symptoms suggesting a large need for effective non-hormonal management options for menopausal women.”

John Thorp, BJOG Deputy-Editor-in-Chief added:

“The results of this questionnaire show that women during the menopause face many different symptoms and have different coping strategies,

“As so many women use herbal remedies,(approx. 38%)  it is important that they are tested for efficacy and safety to the same standard as hormone replacement therapy.”

Couldn’t agree with that last statement more.  Check out Menopause Relief Herb Pack, for natural Menopause Relief the most trusted and tested herbs used safely for centuries.    (See how they are tested here.)

 

 

Hormone Therapy and Breast Cancer – The Real Risk

HT Hormone Therapy RisksThe largest study on on HRT has been completed.  One million British women participated and the results are no surprise.  Well, no surprise to many of us.  As a result of this study the British drug regulator has ordered doctors to now talk to their patients.  Yes, talk, something many doctors don't have time to do. 

British doc's have been ordered to appraise their patients of the risks of prolonged hormone therapy (HT), and they must do this annually.  This order came about because the study concluded women are twice as likely to develop breast cancer when taking combined HRT (Hormone-replacement therapy)1.

Millions of British women take HRT to alleviate menopause-associated hot flushes, sweating and mood swings. Around half take a combination of the hormones oestrogen and progestogen.

Over the past decade, some 20,000 extra cases of breast cancer in British women aged between 50 and 64 are attributable to HRT, the new study finds – three-quarters of those are linked to combination therapy. This risk is only associated with HRT taken for ten years or more – cancer incidence falls appreciably the less time a woman spends undergoing the therapy.

Breast cancer due to HRT has also been found to occurs earlier than previously thought.  After only two to three years of therapy. The risk after just one year is negligible, and five years after stopping HRT the risk returns to baseline.

The study also reveals that the risks associated with tablets, patches and implants are the same. "Now we can actually give women an evidence-based answer," says Julietta Patnick, director of cancer screening with the UK National Health Service.

If you are one of the millions of women trying to balance your quality-of-life benefits with the choice of using hormone therapy consider there are other alternatives which have been used in other cultures for centuries. Chinese herbs for menopause like Menopause Relief Herb Pack is one of those alternatives.   There is no risk of uterine cancer and NO increased risk of breast cancer.  Even bio-identical hormone therapy has risks.  We just don't know about them yet because it is so new. Do you really want to chance it?

There is an easier and safer solution. You can have quality of life during the

menopausal years. You can sleep through the night and have a day

without flashes.  

 

You owe it to yourself to do some research and try a natural safe alternative. 

 

References:

Beral, V. and the Million Women Study collaborators. Breast cancer and hormone replacement therapy in the Million Women Study. Lancet, 362, 419 – 427, (2003).

Hodis, H. N. et al. Hormone therapy and the progression of coronary-artery atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women. New England Journal of Medicine, 349, 535 – 545, (2003).

HRT Causes Nutrient Loss – Learn The Supplements to Add To Your Diet

A little known, but potentially life-saving fact is that common medications deplete your body of a host of vital nutrients essential to your health. In this practical guide I’ll show you how to avoid drug-induced nutrient depletion and discuss options for replacing nutrient-robbing medications with natural supplements.

America has been called a pill-popping society, and the statistics bear this out. Nearly 50 percent of all American adults regularly take at least one prescription drug, and 20 percent take three or more. (1) Our increasing reliance on prescription medications has contributed to the growing problem with nutrient depletion. The truth is that every medication, including over-the-counter drugs, depletes your body of specific, vital nutrients. This is especially concerning when you consider that most Americans are already suffering from nutrient depletion. Additionally, many of the conditions physicians see in their everyday practice may actually be related to nutrient depletion. The good news is that, armed with information and the right supplements, you can avoid the side effects of nutrient depletion, and even better, you may be able to control and prevent chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

A Common Scenario

I have seen case after case of patients who have experienced nutrient loss from taking prescribed medications. Too often, neither the patients nor their doctors are aware that the medications are the real cause of their symptoms.

Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion is Widespread

Physicians often tell their patients that symptoms arising from nutrient depletion are simply “part of the illness” or just signs that they’re “getting older.” To make matters worse, physicians frequently try to address the symptoms arising from drug-induced nutrient depletion by prescribing even more drugs, further compounding the problem.

On the flip side, some drugs can deplete nutritional status by increasing the desire for unhealthy foods, such as refined carbohydrates. Many of the neuroleptics (anti-psychotic drugs) and some antidepressants cause insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome, with results in blood sugar swings. Patients then crave simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, bread and pasta. Steroid drugs, including those given by an inhaler, can create similar issues as well.

HRT is a Common Nutrient Robbers

Nutrients are essential to the metabolic activities of every cell in the body. They’re used up in the process and need to be replaced by new nutrients in food or supplements. Some drugs deplete nutrients by speeding up this metabolic rate. These drugs include antibiotics (including penicillin and gentamicin) and steroids, such as prednisone, and the gout medication, colchicine.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Many baby boomers are on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which can deplete vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid and magnesium. These nutrients are critical for heart health, as well as for mood. Rather than an antidepressant prescription, these women should be given the appropriate supplements to restore balance. I have seen many women do well once these nutrient depletions were addressed.  This applies to younger women on oral contraceptives as well.  (Well said Dr. Cass, I couldn’t agree more.)

For women on standard HRT (estrogen and progesterone, orally, including as an oral contraceptive, or as a transdermal skin cream) I may also recommend calcium (1,000 mg to 1,200 mg daily), folic acid (400 mcg to 800 mcg), magnesium (500 mg), vitamin B2 (25 mg), vitamin B6 (50 mg), vitamin B12 (500 mcg to 1,000 mcg), vitamin C (500 mg to 1000 mg) and zinc (25 mg to 50 mg).   

Summary

Drug-induced nutrient depletion is far more common than has been acknowledged. In evaluating patients’ symptoms, doctors must assess whether symptoms are due to the illness, to the side effects of the drugs, or to drug-induced nutrient depletion. Considering the inadequate nutritional status of the majority of the population, we must remember that the illness itself may be due, in part, to nutrient deficiency. For insurance, it is easiest to provide baseline coverage: a daily high potency multivitamin mineral formula, CoQ10 (200 mg), omega-3 fatty acids (2 grams) and additional vitamin D and probiotics.

The bottom line: Physicians must look more deeply and determine underlying causes to determine whether drugs are harming patients – and what we can do to reverse these effects. As a consumer, be aware of these drug-nutrient depletions, and do what you can to avoid taking medications whenever you can, using natural products instead.

For more information, see my book, Supplement Your Prescription: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutrition [http://www.cassmd.com/SuppYourPrescrpBk/SupYourPrescp_bk.html] available at my website, www.cassmd.com.

References
1. Centers for Disease Control and Statistics. Health United States 2006. www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus06.pdf#093.
2. The ALLHAT Officers and Coordinators for the ALLHAT Collaborative Research Group. JAMA 2002;288:2998-3007.
3. Clayton JA, Rodgers S, Blakey J. Thiazide diuretic prescription and electrolyte abnormalities in primary care. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2006 Jan;61:87-95.
4. Pak CY. Correction of thiazide-induced hypomagnesemia by potassium-magnesium citrate from review of prior trials. Clin Nephrol 2000;54:271-275.
5. Khedun SM, Naicker T, Maharaj B. Zinc, hydrochlorothiazide and sexual dysfunction. Cent Afr J Med 1995;41:312-315.
6. Zenuk C, Healey J, Donnelly J, et al. Thiamine deficiency in congestive heart failure patients receiving long term furosemide therapy. Can J Clin Pharmacol 2003;10:184-188.
7. Kishi T, Watanabe T, Folkers K. Bioenergetics in clinical medicine XV: Inhibition of coenzyme Q10-enzymes by clinically used adrenergic blockers of beta-receptors. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol 1977;17:157-164,
8. Stoschitzky K, Sakotnik A, Lercher P et al Influence of Beta-blockers on Melatonin Release. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. Apr1999;55(2):111-15.
9. Langsjoen PH, Langsjoen AM. The clinical use of HMG CoA-reductase inhibitors and the associated depletion of coenzyme Q10: A review of animal and human publications. Biofactors 2003;18(1-4):101-111.
10 Crane FL. Biochemical functions of coenzyme Q10. J Am Coll Nutr 2001;20:591-598.
11. Folkers K, Langsjoen P, Willis R, et al. Lovastatin decreases coenzyme Q levels in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1990;87:8931-8934.
12. Valuck RJ, Ruscin JM. A case-control study on adverse effects: H2 blocker or proton pump inhibitor use and risk of vitamin B12 deficiency in older adults. J Clin Epidemiol 2004;57:422-428.
13. Russell RM, Golner BB, Krasinski SD. Effect of antacid and H2 receptor antagonists on the intestinal absorption of folic acid. J Lab Clin Med 1988;112:458-463.
14. Sturniolo GC, Montino MC, Rossetto L, et al. Inhibition of gastric acid secretion reduces zinc absorption in man. J Am Coll Nutr 1991;10:372-375.
15. Yang, YX, Lewis JD, Epstein S, Metz DC. Long-term proton pump inhibitor therapy and risk of hip fracture. JAMA 296 (24): 2947-53
16. Zhao-Wei Ting R, C Chun Szeto, M Ho-Ming Chan, et al. “Risk factors of vitamin B12 deficiency in patients receiving metformin.” Archives of Internal Medicine Oct 9, 2006: 1975-1979.
17. Wulffele MG, Kooy A, Lehert P, et al. Effects of short-term treatment with metformin on serum concentrations of homocysteine, folate and vitamin B12 in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Intern Med 2003;254:455-463.
18. Bottiglieri T. “Folate, vitamin B12 and neuropsychiatric disorders.” Nutrition Review Dec 1996; 54(12): 382-390.,
19. Bottiglieri T, M Laundy, R Crellin, et al. “Homocysteine, folate, methylation, and monoamine metabolism in depression.” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry Mar 2001; 70(3): 419.
20. Landau D, Kher KK. Gentamicin-induced Bartter-like syndrome. Pediatr Nephrol 1997;11:737-740.
21. Elliott C, Newman N, Madan A. Gentamicin effects on urinary electrolyte excretion in healthy subjects. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2000;67:16-21.

Breast Cancer Linked to HRT Menopause Treatment

Chinese herbs for menopause treatmentThe climb in breast cancer rates over the last two decades in the U.S. has been unprecedented.

Now Premarin and Preplus, artificial hormones used for menopause treatment are being blamed by thousands of women in both the U.S. and Canada.   A  Canadian Supreme Court has taken the first stem and certified a class-action lawsuit on behalf of women who contracted breast cancer after taking hormone replacement therapy also known as HRT.

The drugs in question, Premarin and Premplus were used by women to control hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of menopause.  The lawsuit alleges the makers of these drugs, Pfizer Pharmeceutical, failed to inform patients about research that demonstrates a link between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and breast cancer, and even went so far as to hire ghostwriters to downplay those risks in medical journals.

Dianna Stanway of Sechelt, B.C., is the main plaintiff. She took Premarin for seven years, but stopped when she read news reports warning it could cause cancer. Two months after quitting, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I never would have taken Premarin if I had been told of the risks. Fortunately, I won my battle with breast cancer. Not everyone is so lucky. I want my lawsuit to help all Canadian women, and their families, who have been harmed by this drug,” Stanway said in a news release issued by her law firm, Klein Lyons.

But the defendant in the lawsuit, pharmaceutical company Wyeth, which has since been purchased by Pfizer, says there’s no way to prove HRT gave Stanway cancer.

“It is widely accepted that science cannot determine what caused or contributed to any individual woman’s breast cancer except in rare circumstances where genetics play a role. Wyeth acted responsibly by conducting or supporting more than 180 studies on hormone therapy’s benefits and risks, and including science-based information in Premarin and Premplus’ labels that accurately communicate these benefits and risks to doctors and patients alike,” Pfizer said in a statement.

Pfizer has already used that argument successfully. A jury in Charleston, West Virginia, recently ruled in favour of the pharmaceutical giant, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to show HRT caused Leah Royce Hines’s breast cancer.

But Pfizer has also lost battles in the many lawsuits it has faced, and still faces, over HRT.

In 2009, Donna Scroggin of Arkansas, who developed breast cancer after taking HRT, won $29.5 million in a lawsuit against Wyeth.

The state of Nevada is currently involved in a lawsuit against Pfizer, alleging the company gave Nevada doctors deceptive information about the benefits of HRT.

“We look forward to bringing this case to trial. Many similar lawsuits have already been successfully tried to conclusion in the United States, resulting in repeated verdicts against the defendants,” said David Klein, Stanway’s lawyer.

Stanway’s lawsuit alleges the company tried to cover up the risks associated with HRT by hiring people to write positive articles for scientific journals, a practice also alleged in a 2010 investigation published in the Public Library of Science’s medical journal.

Adriane Fugh-Berman of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., who was an expert witness in a U.S. lawsuit against Pfizer, told QMI Agency at the time that the company hired ghostwriters to pen articles to spin the benefits of HRT, and published them under the names of actual doctors.

Wyeth hired a company called DesignWrite to co-ordinate its communications strategy, said Fugh-Berman. DesignWrite recruited doctors to appear as authors, chose journals, and set about to “position the product appropriately to influence prescribers,” she said.

Wyeth dismissed the allegations.”This article completely — and conveniently — ignores the fact that the published manuscripts were subjected to rigorous peer review by outside experts on behalf of the medical journals that published them,” the company said at the time.

Internal Pfizer documents made public during litigation revealed DesignWrite created over 50 peer-reviewed articles and over 50 scientific abstracts and posters, journal supplements, internal white papers and slide kits between 1997 and 2003, Fugh-Berman said.

In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative published a five-year study of 16,608 women ages 50 to 79, and concluded that HRT actually increases the risks of most of the things it claims to prevent, including heart disease, and greatly increases a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer.

Compared to women who received placebo treatment, women who used HRT saw a 41% increase in strokes, a 22% increase in cardiovascular disease, a 29% increase in heart attacks, a 26% increase in breast cancer, and double the likelihood of blood clots.

We hope more women will learn about herbal options for menopause treatment of hot flashes and night sweats.

Chinese herbs have been used for centuries to reduce menopause symptoms.

Menopause Treatment Food Options

natural menopause supplementsMenopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, brain fog and other symptoms seem to be considered the norm for women over the age of 50, yet this is not true for women around the globe. Researchers from the Department of Integrated Health at Westminster University polled 1,000 British women ages 45 to 55 and compared their answers to those of women from the U.S., Canada, Japan and China. The conclusion was that Japanese and Chinese women suffer the least amount of menopause symptoms. British women suffer the most and Americans are somewhere in between.
If you want to know how to turn down your body’s internal “thermostat” you are in the right place. Alternative medicine, including food therapy, is a viable option for managing menopause symptoms.

What causes this disparity between menopausal women in the East and West? In Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China women do not generally seek medical attention for menopause symptoms.9 The reasons for these cultural differences are complex. Certainly diet and lifestyle choices play a key role. The question is why don’t women in these cultures need Hormone Replacement Therapies (HRT) or medical treatments the way that the majority of Western women do?

 

The last year has been a confusing time with medical flip-flops on the benefits and dangers of artificial hormones. I see more and more women who are giving up on trusting research produced by the health care establishment and looking to alternative medicine for answers.

 

Not only is it difficult to stay keep up with the latest menopause drug treatment information, but much too often this advice is influenced by drug companies or doctors who fail to disclose their ties to study outcomes. One truth every doctor knows is that medicines have risks. Medicines should be prescribed only when the benefits outweighs the risks, including the risks of side effects which may not show up until years later. Healthy diet and lifestyle therapies have no risks. Cooking with Chinese herbs and incorporating food therapy have been done for centuries and have absolutely no known risks.

 

This article is part two on the subject of alternative medicine for menopause. Part one (see it here) explained how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views menopause. TCM recognizes menopause as part of the natural aging process and is often termed Kidney Yin Deficiency. The manifestations of aging include gray hair, dryness and the end of menstruation — in other words, signs the kidney energy is waning.

TCM views the kidney energy as sustaining the metabolic process and decreases naturally as we age. When the balance of kidney yin and yang energy is “upset,” symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats may appear. Throughout Asia it is Chinese herbs and food that are most commonly used to gently tonify the kidney energy and restore the balance between yin and yang. Acupuncture is also used to restore this balance and studies have proven its effectiveness.10 The role of herbal medicine was discussed in part one and I now want to address the roll diet plays in menopause.

 

It seems Asian cultures understand Hippocrates, the father of medicine’s credo, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Asian cultures blend four important principals into every meal.

1.    Meals consist of varying food temperatures, i.e. peppers are a hot food, seaweed is cold and black beans are warm.

2.   A large variety of foods with five flavors are eaten in every meal. The five flavors are sour, sweet, pungent, bitter and salty.

3.   Organic (Non-GMO) freshly prepared soy products are eaten nearly every day.

4.   An old Chinese Proverb says, “He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skill of the physician.”
Food Temperatures
Since our goal here is to turn down the thermostat, let’s start the discussion with “cold” foods — or foods that cool us off. This is the same principle applied to eating watermelon on a hot summer day. Asian cultures use food temperatures to balance the body’s needs.

Cold herbs and foods simply cool you off. But the principal is best practiced in combination. Mixing cold foods and warm foods is best. Too much cold food inhibits digestion and may lead to diarrhea. A few of the best cold foods are: cucumber, diakon radish, mung bean, dandelion greens, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, celery, carrots and romaine lettuce. Eat a least two servings of these a day for your internal air conditioner to kick into action. Cold fruits include lemon, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mulberry, apples, pears, watermelon, apricots and persimmons.

 

Five Flavors
Incorporating the five flavors into your meals may be a new concept but is not all that difficult. There are several good books on this subject. One of my favorites is The Tao of Nutrition by Ni and McNease. Bitter foods will help the most for those suffering with menopause symptoms. They operate as an internal air conditioner, because bitter foods disperse heat. Examples of bitter foods include kale, green tea, watercress, turnips, asparagus and tangerine peel. Tangerine peel is used in Chinese herbal medicine and in TCM food therapy. Adding tangerine peel to meat or vegetables helps by promoting the circulation of stomach Qi, (energy) thereby improving digestion. Its bitter and acrid flavor not only helps digestion but relieves indigestion. Tangerine peel strengthens the stomach and works like a carminative to clear excess mucus. (More herbs for menopause here.)

 

Soy Foods
One interesting cultural advantage for menopausal women in Asia may be the amount of soy or tofu eaten daily. Soy is full of protein, rich in vitamins and enzymes. It’s an isoflavone, a class of phytoestrogen (plant derived compounds) with estrogenic activity.11 Soy has been part of the Asian diet for thousands of years. Unprocessed tofu is made fresh and sold in nearly every market. Soy tofu is eaten in small amounts daily from the time children are very young to the end of their lives.

But, the key here is the soy and tofu they eat is made from “unprocessed and non-gmo” soy beans. Sadly, this is increasingly difficult to find in American stores and nearly all American soy beans are derived from genetically modified organisms (GMO). Not a healthy choice to start with and unfortunately most of our tofu is manufactured through a highly refined process. For this reason, I would not consider soy tofu a healthy food in the U.S. right now.

Refined food products almost always lose their nutritional value after being heated to extreme temperatures. This process kills all of the nutrients and all of the important enzymes which the body needs to digest them. As a result, eating processed American soy tofu can give you terrible gas, bloating and indigestion and even worse, it’s becoming a common allergen. A small serving of soy a couple of times a week won’t harm you, but I recommend eating only fermented and non-GMO soy. Products such as miso, sprouted tofu, soy yogurt and tempeh are my first choice. A little organic soy sauce is also ok . If you can be certain your tofu is organic and unprocessed I would consider it a healthy choice.

 

Changing the way you look at food according to temperature and taste takes some time. Maybe this is a new concept for you and maybe you’ve never seen some of the foods listed above. Although you may not choose to eat everything on this list, you can certainly eat some.

 

Tapping into your body’s internal thermostat doesn’t work exactly likethe thermostat on your wall. So, be patient. Be consistent with dietary changes and enjoy the food you eat. Find some recipes you like and bring variety to your diet every day. Incorporate the five flavors of salty, bitter, sour, pungent and sweet into your lifestyle. Chinese medicine uses food therapy full of phytochemicals, vitamins and nutrients to restore vibrant health and balance to the entire person. This therapy has been adopted for thousands of years without any side effects.

What part of your diet will you change to help your menopause symptoms?

 

References:

1. Women of UK study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2233879/

2. Lock M. Menopause in Japanese women. Womens Health Iss. 1995;274(16):12-65.

3. Kagawa-Singer M., Kim S., Wu K., Adler S.R., Kawanishi Y., Wongvipat N. Comparison of the menopause and midlife transition between Japanese American and European American women. Med Anthropol Q. 2002;16(1):64-91.

4. Haines C.J., Rong L., Chung T.K.H., Leung D.H.Y. The perception of the menopause and the climacteric among women in Hong-Kong and Southern China. Prev Med. 1995;24(3):245-248. [PubMed]

5. Lam P.M., Leung T.N., Haines C., Chung T.K.H. Climacteric symptoms and knowledge about hormone replacement therapy among Hong Kong Chinese women aged 40-60 years. Maturitas. 2003;45(2):99-107. [PubMed]

6. Chen Y.L.D., Voda A.M., Mansfield P.K. Chinese midlife women’s perceptions and attitudes about menopause. Menopause. 1998;5(1):28-34. [PubMed]

7. Tsao L.I., Chang W.Y., Hung L.L., Chang S.H., Chou P.C. Perimenopausal knowledge of mid-life women in northern Taiwan. J Clin Nurs. 2004;13(5):627-635. [PubMed]
8. Ismael N.N. A study on the menopause in Malaysia. Maturitas. 1994;19(3):205-209. [PubMed]

9. Chim H., Tan B.H.I., Ang C.C., Chew E.M.D., Chong Y.S., Saw S.M. The prevalence of menopausal symptoms in a community in Singapore. Maturitas. 2002;41(4):275-282. [PubMed]

10. Acupuncture for Menopause hot flashes and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20060667

11. Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/soyiso/

Menopause Hormone Therapy and Breast Cancer Concealed

Supreme Court Says Wyeth Must Pay $60 Million Prempro Verdict

Wyeth failed to conduct appropriate studies on breast cancer and concealed material facts about its products' safety (p. 35)

– The warnings provided by Wyeth were misleading and “reassuring.” (p. 39)

– Internal Wyeth documents showed that Wyeth responded to studies suggesting a possible breast cancer risk by downplaying the risk through public relations campaigns and its sales representatives' interactions with physicians. pg. 8

–  Wyeth engaged in extensive ghost-writing of scientific articles in order to influence prescribing physicians.  Published under independent doctors' names, at least 51 ghostwritten medical articles touted the benefits of hormone replacement therapy while minimizing the breast cancer risk. (p. 11)

– Wyeth implemented a policy to dismiss scientific studies that showed any link between breast cancer and hormone therapy drugs and to distract the public and medical professionals from the information. (p. 40)

–  Substantial evidence was introduced that Wyeth acted with malice, conduct that supports a punitive damage award. (p. 41)

 

Dedicated to all the women who have died of breast cancer and to those who have fought cancer and those who unknowingly trusted their doctors menopause treatment suggestions and were told HRT was safe. Now we know good doctors were lied to by pharmaceutical companies like Wyeth.

Source: Nevada Supreme Court      http://www.nevadajudiciary.us/index.php/oralarguments/720-wyeth-vs-rowatt

Flax Out – Chinese Herbs In For Hot Flashes

hot flashes gone with Chinese herbsWe understand women are looking for natural products for as menopause treatment options.  Unfortunately,  flax seeds do not significantly lessen hot flashes according a study done at the Mayo Clinic and reported today in the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago.

Researchers enrolled 178 women who had at least 28 hot flashes per week.  About half were breast cancer survivors.  

The women were given snack bars with or without flax seed to eat once a day. After six weeks, only a third of each group reported 50 percent fewer hot flashes, and all reported more bloating, diarrhea and nausea.”This we suspect was due to the fiber content in the bars,” According to Dr. Sandhya Pruthi of the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis.

If flax seeds don’t help hot flashes what does help? Chinese herbs have been used for over two thousand years successfully throughout Asia and help women naturally go through the change in life without severe hot flashes and night sweats.  

Chinese herbs such as Rehamniae, Discorea, Horny Goat Weed, Moutan and others have a long history of helping women balance their energy and bring their bodies back to homeostasis.  Herbal medical products for the treatment of menopausal symptoms have been studied and used continuously throughout Asia. Most American’s are familiar with a few Chinese herbs such as Ginseng, Dang Gui and Ginger.  Yet, hundreds of herbs have been  time tested and are safe and effective. These Chinese herbs may be new to the Western woman for menopause treatment, but Asian women have known the power in natural herbs by being raised in a culture which accepts and treasures their history, culture and learned knowledge that has been pasted down through generations.  

For more information on Chinese herbs for menopause hot flashes click here.

You may also be interested in this blog post: A Natural Alternative to Hormones and Hot Flashes.