This Article is About
dr oz
womens health initiative
symptoms of menopause
female cancers
national institutes of health
hormone replacement therapy
loss of libido
synthetic hormones
night sweats
long periods of time
dr phil
roller coaster
Do Oprah, Suzanne Somers And Dr Oz Know The Secret?
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Do Oprah, Suzanne Somers And Dr Oz Know The Secret?

Have you gained 10 pounds, or so, over the past year?

Are you bothered with night sweats and hot flashes?

Are you unable to sleep through the night?

Do you have a loss of libido?

Do you have thinning hair?

You've seen it on Oprah. You've heard Suzanne Somers talk about it. Heck, even Dr Oz is talking about it. Dr Phil even gave a whole show to his wife, Robin, so she could talk about it. What is it, that they are talking about?

It is menopause and remedies that might help with the first symptoms of menopause.

As a woman in my 50's, I know intimately the signs and symptoms of menopause. As a health-care professional, I even know what to do about my changing hormones. But, it doesn't make it any easier. I get to ride the roller-coaster just like every one else.

Is there something we can do to bypass the signs and symptoms of menopause? No. Some people think we can just take hormone replacement therapy for the rest of our lives and we can bypass menopause. Many well-meaning doctors even prescribed hormone replacement therapy (hrt) to their female patients for years on end, without any thought of consequence. That all changed abruptly in July 2002, when The National Institutes of Health, via the Womens Health Initiative, abruptly halted the long-term studies of hormone replacement therapy. The study was initially slated to end in 2005. The results up through July 2002 showed that long-term use of estrogens (used alone) and/or estrogen-progesterone combined INCREASED the risk of heart disease and very aggressive female cancers.

So, in a day, many women stopped taking their hormones. And many women started having the symptoms of menopause they were hoping to avoid.

There are two pieces to this story, however, that didn't necessarily make it to the mainstream media.

  1. The hormones used in the NIH study were synthetic hormones.
  2. The hormones were used for LONG periods of time.

So, what the heck does any of this have to do with Oprah, Suzanne Somers or Dr Oz? Well, they are all strong proponents of bio-identical hormone therapies. Bio-identical hormones are certainly better than synthetic hormones, but they should still be used wisely and sparingly.

For many years I counseled women on lifestyle changes during menopause and did little to encourage the use of bio-identical hormones. That all changed on the day I met Dr Jay Mead and his partner, Dr Erin Lohmann. Dr Mead is a classically trained medical doctor and Dr Lohmann is a naturopath and they practice together in Oregon.

At a conference, I questioned why we would need to use any type of hormone replacement therapy, synthetic or bio-identical. Dr Meads answer stopped me in my tracks. We all know that menopause is a naturally-occuring process of aging. We know it's not a disease. We know that our estrogen levels should be dropping....that is the natural progession of things. What I didn't account for were the dietary factors. We have heard about our milk having bovine growth hormone in it. We've heard that animals are given growth hormones so they can get to slaughter faster. But, did we think about what is in growth hormones? Well....it's estrogen. Why? Because estrogen is the hormone that will fluff you up quickly....so that coupled with a corn diet, gets our farm animals to slaughter in record time.

What does this have to do with menopause? Well, as women, our bodies are trying to naturally decrease the production of estrogen as we age, yet we are eating foods that puts estrogen right back in our bodies. Our bodies FREAK OUT. What the heck....we keep trying to ramp down the production and you keep adding it right back in. We women aren't able to go through menopause the way nature intended. Knowing that we aren't on a level playing field helped me to understand the need for bio-identical hormones in some women for a window of time.

The most important thing you can do to help yourself get through the first symptoms of menopause easily is to modify your diet. You don't have to give up the foods you like. But you do need to make sure they come from a clean source. Red meats need to specifically say they are free-range, grass fed and grass finished, with no hormones or antibiotics. Our chickens need to also specifically say they are free-range, cage free, fed an organic feed (preferrably a corn-free feed). Our dairy (and this includes cheese, yogurt and ice cream) needs to be free of bovine growth hormone, antibiotics and steroids.

If, after modifying your diet, you are still struggling with the first signs of menopause, I would encourage you to find a healthcare professional who has a special interest in functional endocrinology so that you can get your hormones (all of them, not just estrogen and progesterone) checked.

In a perfect world, you would not need to be on bio-identical hormones forever, just until you rebalance your body.

Don't ever forget, we are all divinely created and we can function well. We just need to give our body what it needs and let it do the rest.


Street Talk

C4rmen  

Good article Dr Becky. Shows again what a big role diet plays in everything.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Yes it does. That's why Hippocrates said so many years ago, Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food. Unfortunately there are many doctors who forgot that part of Hippocrates when they took their Hippocratic Oath.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

great info

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Joan S  

Very interesting to get your take on bio identical hormones. Suzanne Somers seems to be on constant hormone supplementation. One of the doctors she interviews is Dr. Eric Braverman, and he's a strong proponent of those hormones. My niece is going to him for bone issues. The hormone stuff worries me, but Braverman says he only prescribes what the body needs. Thanks for this excellent article.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

My wife used many of the creams applied to her skin which helped her....Nice and informative information Dr. Becky..

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Very difficult subject. The cost of these clean products are prohibitive for many people, myself included. I know we will spend money on what is important to us but at the end of the day the books need to balance. It's a worthy topic to discuss though. Thank you for raising awareness on this.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

So many articles and so many authors have expounded the misuse of hormone implants in cattle. (Me included, as author not cattle) this I have personally watched the miss use of, and the consequences for others is horrifying. More control etc needed.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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