Menopause Without Symptoms Part III
Hopefully, you’ve read Menopause Without Symptoms Part I, and MWS Part II. If you have gotten this far, congratulations. You’re more than curious, you are focused on boosting your health. I’ve extended this topic to say you don’t have to get HRT. You don’t have to get on statins to lower your cholesterol. That by changing your diet (not radically, by the way), and making conscious lifestyle choices you can avoid drugs. In other words, the goal is for you to retake control of your body. The time to do it is now, before you start down the never-ending yellow pill road.
Let’s talk about hormones. Now, the media has led you to believe that once you go into menopause at 50 or 52, you stop producing hormones. That makes no sense. If you’re meant to live to 85, 90 or longer, are we supposed to believe that your hormones simply disappear? It makes no sense when Doctors tell women their hormone production after menopause has stopped, so they should take estrogen or Progesterone. Consider this: The highest receptors for cancer are women over 50. If in fact a woman stops making hormones after the age of fifty, then why are there such high rates of hormone related cancer after age 50?
Of all the sources of hormones in the female body, the Adrenal glands are at the top of the list. Once you’re in menopause and your ovaries are taking a hard-earned rest, your adrenals will kick in and make your hormones for you. Your adrenals make cortisol and DHEA, Testosterone, estrogens, Progesterone. So you want to be good to your adrenals, because they’re your backup hormone system. Of course that sounds silly, like you’re supposed to go out and buy them a nice gift. And the gift you can give your adrenals is to lower your stress levels. To some degree we can decouple from the flight or flight syndrome that is prevalent these days. Yes, there are harsh stressors: Money, relationships, our health and that of those we love, insecurity about the state of the world…things that for the most part are outside our ability to control. And they’re the things we stress is about. We feel we are not doing enough to control our little corner of the universe and that therefore we need to DO MORE. Perhaps the answer is simply to do less. To take three minutes to simply breathe and give ourselves a positive image. Self-hypnosis is very good for this. And your adrenals will love you for it.
You can think of your thyroid as your Master Hormone now. The thyroid tells the others what to do, and it’s directly connected to the adrenal. When you have tired adrenals you’ll often have low thyroid. This connection is so important that your ovaries have little receptors on them to the thyroid hormone. And when women have low thyroid they have ovarian issues and fertility problems that are directly related to the fact that their thyroids are low.
The liver is the sentinel organ for thyroid function. Taking good care of your liver means eating healthy food, drinking little alcohol, and laying off drugs—Tylenol included—as much as possible. Your liver is involved in turning one hormone into other hormones; it decides if your testosterone will turn into estrogen, if your progesterone will turn into cortisol or testosterone. And your liver also decides if your estrogen’s going to turn into cancer causing estrogens.
Fat cells are a disease factory, which is where estrogen comes in, and not good estrogen, but cancer creating estrogen. So keeping relatively thin is about keeping down estrogen production as well.
The bottom line is that you need a healthy liver in order to have balanced hormones. And the liver is involved with conversion of hormones and the detoxification of hormones when toxin levels get too high. Gas, burping, bloating, constipation, diarrhea—these may be signs that you’re having problems with your hormones as well as your liver/gall bladder.
Cholesterol is the source of all steroid hormones (progesterone, estrogen, DHEA, testosterone, cortisol, etc.) So although cholesterol gets a bad rap—they had to pin the obesity epidemic on something—it’s the basis of vitamin D, and it’s the building block for all your female hormones. As you reach your late 40’s and early 50’s and your hormones are declining and you’re entering menopause, your cholesterol levels start to go up. A doctor who is smart, rather than putting you on a cholesterol-lowering statin, will instead look at your hormones, and the state of hormone producing glands.
For years no one knew what would happen when you put women on cholesterol lowering statins such as Lipitor, Mevacor, and Zocor. They know now. The ‘side effects’ include muscle pain, liver damage, digestive problems, rash or flushing, and even neurological damage.
A study published in Procedures of American Society of Clinical Oncology found that the incidence of breast cancer goes up when women use statins to lower cholesterol. Partly because of its negative effect on the liver, Estradiol levels rose dramatically. Another culprit seems to be that statins deplete the body’s supply of enzyme CO Q10.
In the US we have the highest levels of hysterectomy in the world. Just turning 40 puts you in the highest category at risk of having hysterectomies related to heavy periods caused by uterine fibroids. If you’re peri-menopausal with heavy periods, it’s essential that you get rid of those sources of estrogen that I mentioned in my last blog.
What do we do?
- First off, eliminate xenoestrogens (“foreign” estrogens often widely used industrial compounds such as PCB, BPA and Phthalates) from your diet and your home. This is especially true if you have a history of endometriosis, ovarian cysts, heavy periods or uterine fibroids.
- Go on a dairy free diet (And while you’re at it, knock out that Soy Milk too—it raises estrogen levels insanely).
- Eat 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruit per day.
- De-stress as much as possible. Find a system that works for you and stick with it. That may include meditation, massage, acupuncture, yoga, self-hypnosis, a walk in nature, or a combination thereof.
- Walk 30 minutes every day.
- Find an acupuncturist who is knows his or her way around this issue. We have a solid rate of success in treating the adrenals, the liver and the thyroid through the meridians.
- Part of my focus is detoxifying the body, particularly of heavy metals, chemicals, food allergens and immuno-suppresants.
- -Stay away from hormone treatments. NO HRT, no Lupron, and no birth control pills, which are causing everything from fibroids, to heavy periods to ovarian cysts. BCP are there for one thing: birth control.