Can Chinese Medicine Heal Your Gut?

Our rapidly changing world is challenging our health, in particular our digestive health. In this era of a degrading food supply, systemic inflammation and overuse of drugs (i.e. antibiotics), the landscape of our guts has been altered. As a result of antibiotic overuse, superbugs (a.k.a. deadly antibiotic resistant bacteria) are on the rise. The question is, can we heal our gut and reverse the damage already done? A solution you may not have considered is Acupuncture and Eastern /Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A Licensed Acupuncturist/Chinese Medicine doctor is well trained to help you repair and improve your digestive health and gut bacteria.

Never before in history have we had to overcome the effects of man-made drugs in the quantities we are The real definition of Alternative Medicineseeing today. Would you believe, this is not the first time in history that doctors needed to find a cure for the gut? A cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine is a healthy digestive tract. Solutions for digestive health were pondered over 800 years ago when many TCM books and theories were first written on the importance of the stomach, pancreas and the entire digestive system. Chinese /Eastern medicine approach is very different than the Western medicine approach. Eastern medicine relies upon several holistic healing methods including healing cuisine, herbs and acupuncture and lifestyle modifications. Licensed Acupuncturists in the U.S. are trained in these theories and can help you get your gut back on track.

With the advent of the worldwide Microbiome Project science is confirming microscopic bacterial colonies living in our digestive tract have important jobs for both our physical and mental well being. Chinese/Eastern medicine has always known if we nourish our gut, we in turn nourish ourselves. Today we are at a crossroad, we can no longer ignore our guts. Because, “for hundreds of thousands of years bacterial and human cells have existed in a peaceful symbiosis that is responsible for the health and equilibrium of our body. Now, this invisible Eden is being irrevocably damaged by some of our most revered medical advances—antibiotics—threatening the extinction of our irreplaceable microbes with terrible health consequences. “ 1

Chinese/Eastern medicine teaches the connection between a healthy gut and a healthy body. Here are 10 reasons why a Licensed Acupuncturist/Doctor of Oriental Medicine is the best health practitioner to help you heal your gut.

1. A Licensed Acupuncturist trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine will counsel and treat your particular health challenge with several modalities, foods, acupuncture treatments, herbs and counseling. (Check that your Acupuncturist is comprehensively trained and received a Masters or Doctorate degree in Oriental Medicine or Chinese Medicine, not just a few weekend courses.)

2. Acupuncture treatments received quarterly can improve your general health and digestive health by strengthening your spleen and stomach channels. (In Western medicine terms this is your digestive system.) The World Health Organization has approved acupuncture treatments for worldwide use and throughout Asia acupuncture is covered by national health insurance policies. The U.S. is lagging behind but quickly catching up, as California Insurance providers are now mandated to cover acupuncture treatments.

3. Acupuncture treatments including ear protocols can help reduce food cravings. This is especially important since processed foods are the most commonly craved foods. Processed foods and supplements contain emulsifiers which are harmful to your gut. Limiting ingredients commonly called “lecithin” derived from soy (likely GMO), Datem, (found in commercial breads) Calcium propionate, Cmc and polysorbate 80, is a first step at repairing gut absorption problems. 2

4. An Acupuncturist will tell you to avoid antibacterial hand sanitizing products. Eastern medicine recognizes bacterial diversity is good. There are safe, natural cleaning products for your body and surroundings. (Ok, you can do this on your own but it took an Acupuncturist to tell you this and get your attention on this subject.)

5. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese herbal remedies can boost your immune system and reduce or eliminate the need for prescription antibiotics.

6. An Acupuncturist will tell you to avoid meat fed antibiotics. (Again, possible without an Acupuncturist, but more importantly, a Licensed Acupuncturist is trained in nutrition and can help you look at your food journal and together you can create a healthy eating plan.)

7. Acupuncturists can teach you which Pre-biotics foods to eat every day and counsel you on what foods are right for your body. Prebiotics foods are commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and food is medicine. Prebiotics enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria and can be found in fermented foods such as kimichi, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, miso and other fermented foods. A daily sampling of new live bacteria from fermented foods makes your gut community more adaptable. (Hint, Eastern medicine doctors are trained to know this stuff.)

8. Ask an Acupuncturist if Chinese herbs can help you. There are many traditional herbs used throughout Asia and Chinese/Eastern medicine to support healthy gut bacteria. For example;
Astragalus (also known as Huang Qi) is an extremely powerful herb used alone or in formulas. Huang Qi’s high polysaccharides content is fantastic at improving overall immune health and the growth of healthy bacteria.3
Other beneficial herbs for the spleen and stomach channels are codonopsis (dangshen), atractylodes (bai zhu), Chinese angelica (dang gui) dioscorea (shan yao), lotus seed (lianzi), roasted ginger (paojiang), longan (long yan rou) and baked licorice (zhi gan cao). 4

9. A Licensed Acupuncturist, trained in herbs will know which Chinese herb formula can best help you. Treating a compromised or weak digestion with herbs should be done by only individuals who are Licensed professionals. Look for a Licensed Acupuncturist and/ or Oriental Medicine Doctor’s (DOM) trained in herbs to prescribe a custom or patent herbal blend such as the following. Oneherbal combinations for a compromised gut is Si Jun Zi Tang also known as Four Gentleman Decoction.

As we learn more about our gut bacteria and the origins of our immune systems we must explore all the healing options. In today’s world we can no longer ignore the effects of superbugs, toxic foods and toxic lifestyles. Licensed Acupuncturists / DOM can help you fortify your overall health and vitality. Many insurance plans cover acupuncture visits and in California insurance companies are required to cover Licensed Acupuncturists. Don’t wait another day to improve your overall health and vitality. TCM is one of the world’s oldest systems of medicine, is proven effective and has treatment protocols for today’s biggest health challenges.


References:

1. Blaser, M. 2014 Missing Microbes, How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues, Henry Holt and Co. April 2014

2. Food Quality & Safety magazine, Re-Evaluating Additives on the GRAS List by Maybelle Cowan-Lincoln April/May 2013

3. Terry Bone, Principals and Practice of Phototherapy, Modern Herbal Medicine 2nd Edition Elsevier 2013 pg. 381-389

4. Institute For Traditional Medicine, http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/spleen.htm

“Some of My Best Friends are Germs”. The New York Times Magazine May 15, 2013. Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Stanford Microbiologist.

 

Ancient Chinese Medicine Finds Buried Treasure in Bamboo

Chinese herbs

What can bamboo tell us about Chinese herbal medicine?

 

Once upon a time, bamboo was used as paper and notes about the medicine of the day were written on it.

Then one day, after many years, someone decide to build a subway. What they dug up is legendary, 920 bamboo strips, dating back to the year 260 BC. This writing on bamboo strips  is proving to be some of the earliest known writings from Traditional Chinese medicine. The remarkably well preserved bamboo is telling us much about Chinese Medicine and Chinese herbs used over 2000 years ago and still used today.

A total of 9 medical books were found, records from the Chinese doctor Bian Que, who is called the “Grand Historian”. The archaeological discovery is one of the worlds richest for Traditional Chinese Medicine. A truly incredible and rare. Bian Que was said to have invented pulse taking. It’s amazing to learn the same Chinese herbs and Chinese medicine techniques which have now been practiced and perfected for over 2000 years ago.

Want to learn more about how bamboo is used to heal our body in TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Check this out.

 

What are Herbal Decoctions Anyway?

Ever Heard of a Decoction?    

Does it conjure up images of a witches brew?

 

Decoction literally means to concentrate the essence of a substance by heating or boiling, especially a medicinal preparation made from a plant.

This is exactly the method of preparation Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses to extract or release the chemicals stored in botanicals used for medicinal purposes. 

 

In fact, this was the way I was first introduced to Chinese herbal medicine.  I visited a Licensed Acupuncturist/Doctor of Oriental Medicine whom I was referred to me by my OB/GYN.  Yes, I was extremely fortunate to have an alternative minded OB/GYN who understood just enough about herbs to refer me to a professional.  I was 9 1/2 months pregnant.  (A small exaggeration, but this is how I felt.) The baby was overdue and there were no signs of labor.  I wanted a natural, gentle way to encourage my body into labor.  Rather than experimenting with a bottle of capsules my doctor insisted I see a Licensed Acupuncturist/Herbalist for a safe herbal prescription.

 

After a lengthy visit with the Chinese Medicine doctor,  I had my bag of roots, barks and berries boiling in my kitchen.  I cooked them as instructed. The correct word is actually, “DECOCTED”. This is generally boiling them at the appropriate temperature, for a certain amount of time, with a set amount of purified water. I drank them for three days and on the third day I went into labor.  Ok, the baby was due anyway but this was my introduction into Chinese herbal medicine.  It’s been over 20 years since I decocted my first Chinese herbs.


Herbal decoction methods have been used throughout the ages. Before the industrialized revolution built factories to produce herbal medicine into capsules and pills, people boiled herbs. Today we still have many traditional cultures which use herbal medicine the “old fashioned way”.   Boiling a pot of roots, bark and berries and then drinking the water left behind is the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

 

The question remains, is drinking a pot of herbal medicine a better, faster, more effective way to use herbs than swallowing a handful of pills? 

 

The answer is without a doubt YES!   The average size of pills and capsules are very small and can hold only about 1/2 a gram of herbal extract. 

Even if the herbal extract is at a very high concentration, 1/2 gram per capsule (about 1/4 tsp)  is a very small amount to get a desired effect from the herbal medicinal.  Most encapsulated bottled products recommend taking 2-3 capsules once or twice daily.  This equals an extremely small dose of raw herbs or decocted herbs.  Practically speaking pills and capsules are fairly easy to take, that is, until you have to take 20 or so pills a day.  

 

Drinking your herbal medicine not only allows the chemical components from the plants to be more readily bio-available, it is also the way your body understands receiving nourishment.   Research has been conducted on the dissolution of herbs in our body.  Dissolving herb granules in hot water or decocting them allows the solvents to release their effect immediately thereby working more quickly in the body.  Whereas, herbal medicine combined with fillers such as dextrin in capsules or pills, (also used to prevent clumping), need very hot,  near boiling water to dissolve. This high dissolution temperature of dextrin inhibits the fast absorption.

 

With so much information available on the use of decoctions, it’s hard for me to choose a pill or capsule over granule medicinal herbal extracts.   Besides, who would want all those fillers in capsules and tablets anyway?

Boost Your Immune System With A Pet

Not that we needed another great reason to get a pet, but this reason rocks! Now we have research that shows dogs and cats help build healthy bacteria in your gut which builds a healthy immune system and protects you from allergies. Wow, go adopt a pet now if you don’t already have at least one.

 

The latest research shows how it works. Turns out it all starts in your gut, also know as our digestive system. No surprise, the gut has been labeled in recent years your second brain and the hub of your immune system.

 

In a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, mice exposed to dust from homes with dogs were protected against allergens known to trigger asthma. This dog-associated dust enriches the variety of gut bacteria in the mice with Lactobacillus johnsonii, a type of bacteria that protects the airway against allergens and infection by beefing up mucous membrane immunity. Cats have been found helpful too. The earlier in life your body is exposed the stronger your immune system becomes.

 

“In our previous research, we demonstrated that homes with indoor/outdoor cats also exhibited a more diverse house dust microbiome,” says study author Susan Lynch, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California in San Francisco.

 

Many folks find it difficult or stressful to own a pet.  A natural solution to keeping pets calm and stress free is a new product from Pacific Herbs called Natural Pet Calm Herb Pack and can be found online at www.PacHerbs.com.

 

Reference: KE Fujimura et al. House dust exposure mediates gut microbiome Lactobacillus enrichment and airway immune defense against allergens and virus infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1310750111 (2013).

Chinese Herbs From A Western Medicine Viewpoint

How a Harvard-trained doctor began to appreciate Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM.

by Leana Wen, M.D.

As a child growing up in China, I was always aware of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is what we refer to as Eastern medicine, in contrast to the Western medicine we know from U.S. hospitals. I never understood much about TCM, only that it somehow involves herbs and that many Chinese people used it. The more I progressed in my medical training in major U.S. academic centers, the more distanced I felt from TCM. Why should I learn about something that lacks evidence, when there’s so much to know about for which there is good research?

 

Last fall, I went to China on a research trip. While my study is primarily on its Western medical system, I was so fascinated by what I learned of Eastern medicine that I spent many free evenings observing TCM practitioners. There is so much I didn’t know. As a discipline, TCM is far too complex for me to understand in my short observation, but there are some very important “lessons from the East” that are applicable to our Western medical practice:

 

#1. Listen—really listen. The first TCM practitioner I shadowed explained to me that to practice TCM is to “listen with your whole body”. Pay attention and use every sense you have, he said. I watched this doctor as he diagnosed a woman with new-onset cervical cancer and severe anemia the moment she walked into his exam room, and within two minutes, without blood tests or CTs, sent her to be admitted to a (Western) medical service. I’ve seen expert clinicians make remarkable diagnoses, but this was something else!

“How could you know what you had and that she needed to be admitted?” I asked.

“I smelled the cervical cancer,” he said. “I looked and saw the anemia. I heard her speak and I knew she could not care for herself at home.” (I followed her records in the hospital; he was right on all accounts.)

 

#2. Focus on the  diagnosis. I watched another TCM doctor patiently explain to a young woman with long-standing abdominal pain why painkillers were not the answer.

“Why should we treat you for something if we don’t know what it is?” he said. “Let’s find out the diagnosis first.” What an important lesson for us—to always begin the diagnosis.

 

#3. Treat the whole person. “A big difference between our two practices,” said one TCM doctor, “Is that Western medicine treats people as organs. Eastern medicine treats people as a whole.” Indeed, I watched her inquire about family, diet, and life stressors. She counseled on issues of family planning, food safety, and managing debt. She even helped patients who needed advice on caring for the their elderly parents and choosing schools for their child. This is truly “whole person” care!

 

#4. Health is not just about disease, but also about wellness. There is a term in Chinese that does not have its exact equivalent in English. The closest translation is probably “tune-up to remain in balance”, but it doesn’t do the term justice, because it refers to maintaining and promoting wellness. Many choose to see a TCM doctor not because they are ill, but because they want to be well. They believe TCM helps them keep in balance. It’s an important lesson for doctors and patients alike to address wellness and prevention.

 

#5. Medicine is a life-long practice. Western medicine reveres the newest as the best; in contrast, patients revere old TCM doctors for their knowledge and experience. Practicing doctors do not rest on their laurels.

“This is a practice that has taken thousands of years to develop,” I was told. “That’s why you must keep learning throughout your life, and even then you will only learn just a small fraction.” Western medicine should be no different: not only are there new medical advances all the time, doctors need to continually improve their skills in the art of medicine.

 

#6. Evidence is in the eyes of the beholder. Evidence-based medicine was my mantra in Western medical training, so I was highly skeptical of the anecdotes I heard. But then I met so many patients who said that they were able to get relief from Eastern remedies while Western treatments failed them. Could there be a placebo effect? Sure. Is research important? Of course. But research is done on populations, and our treatment is of individuals. It has taken me a while to accept that I may not always be able to explain why—but that the care should be for the individual patient, not a population of patients.

“In a way, there is more evidence for our type of medicine than for yours,” a TCM teacher told me. “We have four thousand years of experience—that must count for something!”

 

There is so much I have not covered about TCM. Its practices vary regionally, and no doubt, there are more and less capable practitioners (as there are in Western medicine). More research into TCM methods will be important. However, regardless of whether we Western doctors want to prescribe TCM treatments, we should recognize there is much to learn from Eastern medicine, including what it means to be a physician to really care for our patients. Upon my return from China, I, for one, have a new found appreciation for Eastern medical practice and a renewed understanding of holistic medical care.

The 5 Biggest “Health Insurance” Tips You Will Ever Need

Love your body, be healthy and prevent disease.I having been surrounded (quite literally) for the past three days by so called “healthy products”,  everything from fortified lolly pops, safer nail polish to every type of infused water possible. I had three days of endless conversations with wellness experts from around the world, Naturopaths, Dieticians, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Herbalists, Homeopaths and Bio-Chemists to name a few. Every health professional I spoke to had the same resounding theme, the key to better health is not in any one of these hot new health products that you’ll find at the Natural Products Expo and later on a store shelf.  It’s not about curing a disease, it’s about PREVENTING it in the first place. The key is and always has been about PREVENTION.

So how do you PREVENT disease?  It’s actually not that difficult. Everyone can do it.
What you eat of course plays a big part and being a fast food society does cause “eating challenges”. (the subject of a later blog)
However, every health practitioner that I spoke with agreed that since all dis-ease (disease) is associated with inflammation and hormonal imbalances, getting those two area of the body in balance is the beginning to true prevention.
Think of prevention as the most cost effective “health insurance” available. Here are 5 tips to help your body be less acidic and more alkaline to keep inflammation to a minimum and a couple easy steps to balancing your hormones. (especially essential for women)
1. Reduce the sugar, it leads to inflammation. This includes fruit juices and products sweetened with fruit juice.  Most fruit is highly acidic.
2. Stay away from artificial hormones such as birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy and artificial “muscle building” powders. You can easily balance your own hormones through exercise and diet and you won’t need hormone replacements.
3. Get good quality sleep. Sleep helps the body heal and restores natural energy. When you sleep well, you will naturally produce more hormones. You won’t need that artificial, sugar laced energy drink and one cup of coffee will be enough. 
4. Add tea’s rather than coffee to your diet. There a thousand types of teas to choose from bags, loose leaf everyone can find something pleasing. Green teas (and others) naturally reduce body acidity and help reduce inflammation. Don’t misunderstand coffee has health benefits, but adding variety to your diet with tea’s provides other unique health benefits.
5. Exercise and learn some new stress releasing techniques like Yoga, Qi Gong breathing, Tai Qi and other types of relaxation / breathing exercises to reduce your stress. (All sorts of Youtube videos are freely available on these subjects) Get at least 45 minutes of sustained exercise everyday even if it’s just a brisk walk. Movement helps stimulate natural hormone production in your thymus, pituitary, adrenals and thyroid glands. Do it daily, for the greatest disease insurance.
It’s been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, I think it’s something closer to a ton of cure.
This post is proud to be part of “Prevention Not Prescription Tues” at The Kathleen Show

Harvard Says Menopause Hormone Therapy Carries Proven Heart Risks

A very important study was just released from Harvard School of Public Health by the National Institute of Health.  This study on women’s health confirmed that combination hormone therapy used commonly for symptoms due to menopause increases a woman’s risk for heart disease.
 
 
“New analysis from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) confirm that combination hormone therapy increases the risk of heart disease in healthy postmenopausal women. Researchers report a trend toward an increased risk of heart disease during the first two years of hormone therapy among women who began therapy within 10 years of menopause, and a more marked elevation of risk among women who began hormone therapy more than 10 years after menopause. Analysis indicate that overall a woman’s risk of heart disease more than doubles within the first two years of taking combination HT.”
 
 
My hope is that this study will be read by the throngs of women who visit their medical doctors looking for a quick fix for hot flashes and night sweats.  Understanding these proven risks will surely save lives. There is a better way to treat menopausal symptoms using Chinese medicine and Chinese herbs. This less understood Complementary and Alternative Medicine has been practiced in Asia for centuries with truly remarkable results. Today nearly every community across America has an Acupuncturist and the profession is growing.
 
 
Jacques E. Rossouw, M.D., chief of the NHLBI Women's Health Initiative Branch and a coauthor of the paper, added, "Although the number of recently menopausal women who would be expected to suffer a heart attack during the first years of combination hormone therapy is small, the risk is likely to be real.”
 
 
The risk  of taking hormone therapy is real!   It can’t be much clearer than that. Yet, to me it sounds like Dr. Rossouw’s statement doesn’t want to cause panic so he says the risk is small. But if even one women dies unnecessarily from a heart attack due to hormone replacement therapy, in my book, that’s one heart attack and one life to many.     
 
 
I treat many women with menopausal symptoms and I understand how uncomfortable hot flashes and night sweats can be. Routinely I hear the common complaints about quality of sleep, how difficult it is to dress comfortably and all the other dryness issues from hair to nails to skin, etc.   I treat women with Acupuncture and with Chinese herbs. I don’t do anything miraculous as an Acupuncturist, but my patients get great results.  It’s the acupuncture and herbs that balance the body naturally and help ease the symptoms of menopause.
 
 
It’s also not a quick fix, many patients come for three to six months on a  weekly basis and are very compliant about taking the herbal formulas. Again it’s not me, it’s Chinese medicine that understands the relationship of Yin and Yang energy in the body and has been perfected throughout the last 2000 years.
 
 
My hope is that all women will ease into the change of life and experience little to no uncomfortable symptoms. But when they do, spread the word that help is available using Chinese Medicine and Chinese herbs that does not carry proven risk factors such as heart attacks. Acupuncture is safe and effective when performed by a licensed Acupuncturist. If you need a referral we are here to help. Use the yellow contact button on the left and just let us know your looking for an acupuncturist in your hometown.  
 
 
I always give links to studies in my articles, here’s the link for this one. http://www.nih.gov/news/health/feb2010/nhlbi-15.htm

Hormone Use Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Newly released research sugherbs for menopausegests that the long-term use of any type of hormones (this includes the birth control pill) can increase the risk of breast cancer. Women taking  long-term hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause symptoms are at an even greater risk. 

Research has already shown that taking birth control pills with combined estrogen and progestin, the most common type, can increase breast cancer risk.

 

The outcome from this new study states any type of hormones (i.e. birth control pills, HRT ) after many years of use, results in cancer.

 

This new study tracked the health of over 100,000 registered nurses and found that use of any kind of hormones for 10 years (or more) raised the chances of developing breast cancer. "There's a continued increase in risk with longer durations of use and there does not appear to be a plateau," said study leader Dr. Wendy Chen of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

 

There are natural and safe answers to menopausal hot flashes, night sweats and other menopause symptoms.Traditional Chinese herbal medicine has been used for generations of women to elliminate the uncomfortable symptoms on menopause such as hot flashes and night sweats. See our Menopause Relief Herb Pack here.

 

 

The hormone picture has been confusing and now doctors say women should use the lowest dose needed for the shortest time possible.

– Estrogen use with progesterone for 10 to 14.9 years had an 88% higher incidence of breast cancer

– Estrogen use with progesterone for 15 to 19.9 years had an increase risk of “more than twofold”

– Estrogen use alone for 10 to 14.9 years had a 22% increased risk of breast cancer

– Estrogen alone for 15 to 19.9 years had a 43% increased risk of breast cancer

"It's hard to be surprised that if you keep taking it, sooner or later it's going to raise risk," said Dr. Robert Clarke of Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

——————————————————————————————-

Reference:

American Association for Cancer Research –    http://www.aacr.org/

See study here:

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}

New Research Says Breast Cancer Triggered By Artificial Hormone Progestin

Another day and another friend/mother/sister/daughter diagnosed with breast cancer.  Today breast cancer is affecting one in every eight women sometime during their lifetime  in the USA, Europe and the UK.   Looking around at my friends, family and extended family we need no reminders of the impact of these statistics. But there is good news, actually GREAT news– medical researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna identified a key protein that triggers breast cancer and in December 2012 received a grant of $7.4 million from the USA Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for ongoing research.

Working for the last ten years, the research team has been able to show the synthetic female sex hormone progestin used in HRT and contraceptive pills can trigger RANKL (a protein found in breast cells).  As a consequence of this trigger, mammary cells start to divide and multiply and fail to die when they should. Moreover, stem cells in the breast become able to renew themselves, ultimately resulting in breast cancer.

The research around the artificial sex hormone progestin, used in hormone replacement therapy, HRT, and in birth control pills has been the center of  work for  Professor Josef Penninger, (IMBA director) who found the first genetic evidence that this protein RANKL is the master regulator of healthy bones and breast cell multiplication.

“Ten years ago we formulated the hypothesis that RANKL might be involved in breast cancer and it took us a long time to develop systems to prove this idea”, says Prof. Josef Penninger. ” I have to admit it completely surprised me just how massive the effects of the system were. Millions of women take progesterone derivatives in contraceptives and for hormonal replacement therapy. Since our results show that the RANKL system is an important molecular link between a synthetic sex hormone and breast tumors, one day women may be able to reduce their risk by taking blocking medicines in advance to prevent breast cancer”.

Alternative answers are available for women suffering with menopausal symptoms and want relief from hot flashes and night sweats without adding artificial hormones to their body.  Natural solutions used in Traditional Chinese Medicine are available that are safe and are made from natural plant sources, not artificial hormones.

Alternative birth control methods beyond the pill include the  IUD’s  without hormones, condoms, diaphragm,  natural rhythm method and permanent birth control in the form of tubal litigation.

The research results presented here was an  international collaboration between lead researchers at IMBA and scientists at the Medical University of Vienna; the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia; the Ontario Cancer Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and the Ragon Institute of MGH/MIT and Harvard, Boston, USA; the Institute for Genetics, Centre for Molecular Medicine (CMMC), and Cologne Excellence Cluster (CECAD), University of Cologne, Germany; University College London, UK; and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

http://phys.org/news/2011-01-progesterone-breast-cancer.html

 

 

 

 

Bio- Identical Hormones & Menopause Relief

Soy for menopause or bio-identical homrmones

 

 

The question many women suffering with menopausal hot flashes and night sweats are asking is whether bio-identical hormones such as progesterone cream and phytoestrogen (plant sourced estrogen) are safe and effective AS  the chemical hormones found in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs?

 

Many women today are being told “bio-identical” hormones are identical to those your body makes. Even though progesterone and estrogen bio-identical creams may be closer to what your body produces there are certainly risks in using any hormone therapy.   Some doctors believe the risks are just as great as taking an hormone replacement therapy drug (HRT) others believe the jury is still out because we have no long term data since these products are still very new to the market.  Risks may be tied to the dosage which varies greatly from women to women.

 

Bio-identical hormones made from plant sources may be perfectly safe in low doses, which is the way we would ingest these chemicals found in yams, soy beans and a handful of herbs but at higher doses may be harmful. Nearly every substance found in nature can be safe in minute doses yet toxic at a higher dose. Even water can kill us when taken in to large a dose over a very short time period.  Knowing what dose is right for your body can be tricky depending on blood, urine and saliva testing which may not give an accurate reading of circulating hormones in your blood which changes daily and even hourly.

 

Bio-identical hormones, make no mistake can be just as powerful and dangerous as taking a prescription hormone replacement drug.  Phytoestrogen  used in minute doses the way we find in nature may be completely safe and effective.  Asian women have a long history of eating soy beans nearly everyday of their life from childhood through adulthood and experience very few menopausal symptoms.  The isoflavones in soy are known to act as a hormone balancing chemicals.

 

So, which should you choose, bio-identical hormones or synthetic hormone replacement therapy for your menopausal symptoms?  How about neither!   There is a third option that women in Asia have used for centuries and the Western world is just beginning to see on store shelves.  Traditional Chinese herbs are another option for menopause symptom relief.   You can learn more about it here.

 

Can Cash Register Receipts Cause PMS?

As women, our hormonal cycles can make us an emotional mess! From our first period to our last, we are dominated by our hormones.  These tricky little messengers can run around amuck in our bodies for years and are often never “on a short lease and house trained.”  This is my motto and the way I like my hormones.

 

In other words, I want some predictability.   I don’t want the unknown creeping into my day and then I blow a fuse without any warning.  I think my family appreciates this too, especially my kids!   But life is not always so predictable and neither are our hormones.  If you agree, then it’s time to do something about them!

 

Hormonal balance is possible, in fact it’s absolutely essential to maintaining our good health. This has become harder to do with all the chemicals we find everywhere and so many products we take for granted our safe to us.  The fact is our bodies absorb many chemicals through our skin that can throw our hormonal balance into a spiraling nose dive.  As you probably know hormonal imbalance is the precursor to PMS, menstrual cramps, peri-menopause and menopause symptoms. So keeping the balance is crucial no matter what your age.

  

Here's one tip on a chemicals you may have already heard about but didn't realize it could be sneeking into your body in ways you never considered.

The chemical is BPA’s (Bisphenol A)  a known endocrine disrupting chemical which acts like estrogen in our body. Did you know that cash register receipts are made from thermal papers that contain high amounts of BPA’s.  When you touch these receipts or even handle cash today, (much of the BPA’s are landing on our cash) you potentially have high amounts of BPA’s on your hands. The cumulative effect is the effect we are worried about here.  Your action step to prevent BPA’s entering your body is easy.

Wash your hands before you eat or touch you mouth.

It should be part of our daily hygiene anyway.  But often times we eat on the run, pick up fast food and have just touched the receipt of the food we bought.   Just be cognitive, that you may not really need that receipt.

Politely decline taking the receipt. Washing your hands may seem like a simple baby step to creating better health and healing for your body from PMS to menopausal symptoms.  But,  adding a whole lot of small healthy steps together takes you from a standstill to a full sprint in creating better health.  If you have more questions revisit the information on BPA’s in the book, Stop Your Bitching…naturally! or get "30 Days of Tips To Stop Your Bitching…naturally!  The book of tips is an easy to follow guidebook with one TIP for everyday of the month to help you bring balance back to your hormonal shifts..NATURALLY.  

Get 30 Days of Tips FREE from October 18-20th, 2013 on Amazon downloadable books. 

 

 

Natural Menstrual Cramp Relief fast with PMS Relief Herb Pack from Pacific Herbs

Supplement During Menopause Treatments

Hot flashes and night sweats for 3 years, Oh MY! I friend of a friend just confided in me she’s been suffering with menopause symptoms in silence for years. When I inquire as to why, she said, “I just didn’t know what to do and I didn’t want the artificial hormones”.

 

Not all women need a menopause treatment plan. Menopause is a time of change and all women over 50 will experience an ending to their menstruation sooner or later.

 

But, not all women will need a treatment plan during their menopause years. According to Dr. Elaine Jolly, director of Ottawa’s Shirley E. Greenberg Women’s Health Centre, “Menopause is seen as not very sexy,” says Jolly. “And the menopause curriculum in medical schools is horrible. And that’s a pity, because mature women benefit from preventive care.” she says.

 

Jolly suspects she knows why the (menopause treatment) field is not a popular choice for medical students contemplating a specialty. It takes a full hour to have a proper consultation with a menopausal patient — and the pay is lower than other medical specialties. “You don’t get kudos for health prevention,” says Jolly. “In France, if you spend time counseling and talking about these things, you get paid.” Many frustrated women are turning to complementary and alternative medicine, she says. “They are not getting satisfaction through conventional medicine.”

 

I agree with you Dr. Elaine Jolly, women are turning to alternative medicine especially Chinese herbs for menopause treatment. The herbs used in Menopause Relief Herb Pack are the same ones used for centuries to help women balance their hormones and give them relief from hot flashes and night sweats.