Archive for the ‘Suzanne Somers’ Category

8 Steps To Healthier Breasts

Wearing the Black

At my house I have declared November Breast Cancer Prevention month. I will wear black for two reasons. One I like the color and it makes me feel good. Two, I will wear black in memory of those who have died of breast cancer and/or been affected by breast cancer. I would say in memory of those who “took the Komen cure” and died but that just adds more controversy to an already debatable subject.

I will wear black in honor of  those brave people who have fought the good fight, followed their doctor’s advice and died, not of breast cancer mind you, but bone and brain cancers. People like my sister-in-law, Janet Ewald Carver, who died at age 40 in the 1980’s  leaving behind a grieving husband and three young children.

Can you tell I have had it with the Komen foundation and all their pink sponsors? Well in case you didn’t catch that drift, I am. All these good people, dressed in a Pepto-Bismol pink outfits walking their very sincere and well meaning hearts out, but for what? To raise money for an organization that is known to spend most of the money on anything but research. In the name of “curing” breast cancer the American Cancer Society and organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation have teamed up and successfully convinced the public that it is all for the victims of this horrific disease.

Recently my spousal unit  found himself trapped on a Delta flight from Albuquerque, NM. I say trapped because there was an overzealous flight attendant who said she was going to keep going up and down the aisles soliciting for donations until she had raised $300 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Apparently she was doing this on every one of her flights and had met her goal every time. Are you kidding me?

I am repelled by the very idea that some person, be they man or woman, could hold a plane load of innocent folks hostage and it brings out the rebel in me. I am done with the Pink, so here is my idea for those who fear breast cancer and want to help. First take charge of our own health and then spread the word, and the word is prevention. Cure implies that you have to get it first and then “they” will supply you with the cure. In the name of prevention you really must wear anything but pink, wear black, purple, orange just not Pepto-Bismol Pink (she says knowing she just bought a pink top, oh well, I’m not wearing it this month).

I contend that the proliferation of cells in the breast may be happening all the time and most of them can be healed in their early stages and the chemo and radiation that “treat” breast cancers  prevented all together. With an healthy immune system we can prevent further proliferation of cells.

To that end,  I have developed an 8 step program. The way and means to prevention are not only plentiful but so simple that no one will have to walk or hold plane loads of people hostage to raise money. There will be no reason to raise millions of dollars just  to pay for high powered executives who ride around in limousines, live in New York City in penthouse apartments with views of Central Park and frequent various soirees and celebrations in the name of raising monies for “the cure”.

My autumn trail

Step One, Smile

First find something to smile about every single day, maybe something that actually makes you laugh. Walking around my property makes me happy and while I don’ t laugh I smile a lot. My dogs make me smile (they also make me frown but for the moment I am smiling). My grandson makes me smile so much my face hurts. My spousal unit make me smile. You get the idea.

Step Two, Take Off That Bra

Second, go braless whenever you can. Allowing the girls to bounce and move helps the lymph move and stagnant lymph is a recipe for disease. Honestly, I know you can’t let them hang to your waist but let them bounce and move, don’t capture them in cloth, bind them with metal and basically stop all the natural “all systems go” kind of thing that they were designed to do. Another good lymph mover activity is to brush your skin as taught by Teresa Tapp. Last but not least, what could be more fun than jumping on a rebounder? Do it every day to move the lymph and just for the joy of it.

Step Three: Strong Immune System

Keep your immune system fighting fit. This means getting restorative sleep every night. Sleep in a dark room free of televisions, cell phones, etc. Avoid poisons in your food like milk and other dairy products from hormone fed cows. Take probiotics and/or include fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi in your diet every day. A healthy gut equals a strong immune system.

Step Four: Take Vital Supplements

Supplements. Yup that’s right take supplements which flies in the face of the totally irresponsibly reported news story that was splashed across the telly screen one recent evening. It was based on a bad research project where 40,000 women were sent a questionnaire but there was no background information required, so we don’t know how ill these women were when they filled out the form much less their lifestyle.

Supplements can help you fight cancerous growth of cells in your breast tissue. Ann Louise Gittleman recommended that women take 300 mg of Ubiquinol (the fast absorbing form of CoQ10 for women over 40) per day. At my recent appointment Dr. Bruley recommended that I take Triple Action Cruciferous Vegetable Extract by Life Extension (DIM is much the same).  It has all the benefits of cruciferous veggies without harming our thyroid health as goitrogens can do. Omega 3 fish oil and/or krill oil is showing remarkable benefit for women and one of them is as part of a program to prevent breast cancer. 2000 mg a day is best for inflammation and inflammation is one reason why cancer cells get a foothold.

Last but not least  take Vitamin D3, 2000-5000 mg per day and get your levels tested. You need to make sure your Vitamin D levels are at least 60 ngs/ml (higher if you have an autoimmune disease). Personally, I use the Sunsplash Renew sold at Mercola.com. It is more expensive than taking a supplement but very effective.

Step Five: Exercise

Take your bra off and walk, run, use your rebounder. Teresa Tapp has some great exercises using your arms that clean the lymph in your neck and underarms. Check her Lady Bug workout, it is specifically designed for menopause and those going through hormone changes but it is great exercise for anyone.

Step Six: Control Your Weight

There is no concrete proof that obesity causes cancer but obesity puts your body at risk for all sorts of illnesses and no one would say it is healthy. If you are overweight try to lose the extra pounds.

Step Seven: Don’t Eat or Wear Chemicals

Check your cosmetics, if they have chemicals in them you can hardly pronounce throw them out. Your skin is your largest organ and clogging it with chemicals is a recipe for illness and cancer. Stop using anti-perspirants that stop natural perspiration. We perspire for a good reason and disrupting natural ways for the body to get rid of waste is like asking for problems. The odor of perspiration is from bacteria that forms under your arms. You can counteract some of it by using a light dusting of aluminum-free baking soda, or taking chlorophyll tablets or interestingly making sure your magnesium levels are optimum.

Step Eight: Balance Your Hormones

Last and most controversial is the balancing of hormones. Hormones include thyroid hormones as well as sex hormones and as all my readers know if your thyroid is not working properly your body is not working properly and that makes it vulnerable to dis-ease.

Taking bio-identical hormones is probably one of the most controversial subjects around and I find most people don’t want to talk about it. The more I read the more I believe females and males alike should balance their sex hormones and breast cancer prevention is only one of many good reasons to take BHRT. The more you know the better the choices you can make. In the past I have recommended books by Suzanne Somers and Breakthrough is a great source of up to date information on bio-identical hormone replacement (BHRT). Having read all that Suzanne has to say I am currently reading a book by Dr. Jonathon Wright Stay Young and Sexy, so there are a number of well written books to help you educate yourself.

In Conclusion

There you have it my 8 Step Program to Breast Health. You will agree with a step or two, disagree with a few more but what I know is there will be almost as much success following these 8 steps to Breast Health as anything the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation can come up with to cure the proliferation of wildly growing cells in places you never wanted them.

See you next week for an update on this week’s ultrasound,

Kris

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Is Your Life in Balance?

What a perplexing spring this has been so far. In Minnesota one is left in a quandry as to whether the air conditioning needs to be on high or turned off. Furnace on; furnace off. Fan on; fan off. Winter coats upstairs; winter coats downstairs. Boots, What? Puleeze no more winter boots. It is the 16th of May for goodness sake.

I wish that Mother Nature would just make up her mind and let us poor northerners enjoy a little of the fabulous season called spring before our hot and humid months begin and we all speak of “dog days” and other such maladies of summer.

(After duly complaining about our non spring I would like to say a small prayer for those southerners who live in the Mississippi River delta regions and ask that Mother Nature be gentle on them. They really have had enough.)

As I write I am left wondering if good ol’ Mother Nature (heretofore being referred to as Mother N) is in a hormone crisis and should be investing her time in studying bio-identical hormones instead of brewing up monster weather patterns that routinely devastate large swaths of our great country. Mother N reminds me of some women I know who have or are soon to enter menopause and they seem to leave a trail of discontent and unhappiness wherever they go, whatever they do.

If you will allow me to stay on this theme of Mother N being a female, and a human one at that, I have a suggestion for her.  Run, don’t walk, to the closest practicing medical person who is knowledgeable on cycling bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT). Ask this medical person to test your sex hormones, test your thyroid hormones and test adrenal hormones. Seriously whether you are Mother N or a human, female or male, and you find yourself consistently blowing up a big storm and devastating the lives or even just the moods of everyone around you it is time to run some blood tests and find the source of your angst. Hormone imbalance is a bitch to suffer with and honestly a bitch to live with.

Before making any appointments perhaps Mother N should read. I have made lots of suggestions in the past about books to read on the subject of BHRT like Suzanne Somer’s books Ageless, The Sexy Years and now I can add T.S. Wiley’s book titled Sex, Lies and Menopause. I have not finished the book but I can report that it is a book filled with interesting facts and reasons why you should at the very least consider BHRT and once you consider replacing your missing hormones then do your studying and perhaps consider doing it following the Wiley Protocol. Mother N would do well to enter her doctor’s office informed and able to discuss pros and cons of BHRT and the Wiley Protocol.

Personally, I find the idea of replacing my hormones based on the cycles of the moon somehow very comforting even if, and this is a huge IF, it brings back monthly periods. I have mulled this over and decided that I could handle it if bringing things in to balance will allow for a normal life span and more freedom from diseases that plague women of today (no one can really guarantee that but I have to tell myself that to get excited about a return of the shedding of endometrial lining every month).

Now the problem I face (and Mother N really doesn’t as she is everywhere at all times) is finding a practitioner who will prescribe the Wiley Protocol hormones. There are none in Minnesota or if there are they aren’t advertising on the Wiley Protocol site. The closest practitioner to me in the Twin Cities is in Des Moines, IA and I cannot justify traveling 245 miles, I just can’t. I am going to contact a physician who is listed on the Wiley Protocol site and see if I could arrange a phone consultation with blood test results sent to them but it seems unlikely that anyone will do it. I even follow a Wiley Protocol practitioner from California on Facebook and perhaps Shira Miller would consider phone consultations. I will keep you up-to-date on that one and if anyone has any experience with a Wiley practitioner please share your information by leaving a comment.

Oh before I close for this week, what should we do about Mother N? Today she is blessing south central Minnesota with sunshine but as if to remind us that she is still the bitch in charge the winds are whipping at gale force 4 and birds are crabbing to stay in the air. Gosh until she sees her doctor I wonder if a bit of chamomile tea would help or a tincture of Vitex or even Rosemary (rosemary tincture is good for everyone, right?). We need good weather restored to the center of the country and the restoration of peace and tranquility, so hurry up Mother N find your doctor and get those hormones in balance.

See you next week,

Kris

Still Full of Ideas

‘Tis the season to draw blood. Yes, you read that right get your blood drawn but for less. If you are not aware of it, Life Extension Foundation (recommended by Suzanne Somers) is having their yearly sale on blood tests until June 6th. You have to join Life Extension for $75 and you will feel compelled to wade through their monthly magazine that I find to be mostly an advertisement for their multitude of supplements that they claim extend your life.

However there is a reward. Once a year they mark their blood panels down. These blood panels are very complete and a doctor’s order is not required. You do need to locate a LabCorp in your area for your blood draw but the price and scope of various panels is hard to beat. The knowledge you glean from your results is priceless.

This week I purchased the Female Weight Loss Panel for the sale price of $224.25. I was pleasantly surprised when the requisition form arrived in my email as on the site you are left feeling the requisition form will be mailed to you by no less than “snail mail”. I quickly printed off the order for the phlebotomist at the lab and headed off to the nearest LabCorp about 30 miles from my house. It is, fortunately for me,  near my daughter’s house and an opportunity to hold the sweetest baby.

It is not often one brags about a phlebotomist but the technicians at the LabCorp in Edina, MN are fantastic. I have never once been hurt by them. They are professional and very good at what they are trained to do, drawing your blood from a vein in to a portal that empties in to vial. Not only are the techs good the facility is clean and LabCorp does most drug testing for big companies in the Twin Cities. This is not a dank, dark lab hidden deep down some disreputable street it is an office on the 6th floor of the Fairview Professional Building next to one of the larger hospitals in the Twin Cities. The first time I went I was most fortunate that my daughter had just had her drug test for a new job, so she knew precisely where LabCorp was and told me it was totally professional. It put my mind to rest and now I can help you, LabCorp is a reputable company and most online labs use them for the blood draws.

I had my blood drawn on Monday morning at 8:00 and was on my way by 8:05. My test results were in my “inbox” on Thursday evening not weeks later as they would be if your doctor’s office orders the tests. I got home late Thursday night and questioned the intelligence of opening the results before I went to bed but decided no one was home and if I was up late there would be no repercussions.

I don’t know if you face test results with the same trepidation. Basically, I want to know but I don’t want to know, so test results are always a source of stress for me. This may come down to what I wrote about last week, that sort of base pessimism that I have, or just some bad memories of doctors looking at my results and saying “you will have a heart attack if you don’t lower your cholesterol”. I have since learned that cholesterol has very little predictive powers when it comes to your heart but it doesn’t stop those words from ringing in my head when looking at blood test results.

I will not bore you with too many numbers. I can tell you there were some pleasant surprises like my low CRP result and my uric acid reading was also very good. Disappointingly my sex hormones were still almost non-existent and I have increased the amount of almost all my bio-identical hormones. My FT3 was too low but my SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) was high indicating a good saturation level of T3 in my tissues. The high SHBG is the reason my hormone levels are so low and I will have to do my research to rectify that as it is binding all my sex hormones and not letting my body utilize them.

For my thyroid friends my TSH was suppressed at .034 but it should be on T3-only and my FT4 was negligible at .03, again perfectly normal with T3 only and indicative of having my RT3 under control. My low FT3 was 3.2 and should be closer to 6 when I am taking T3 only as there is no T4 to turn in to T3, so I will have to increase my T3 but not until my adrenals can take the load. I feel confident that I am no longer pooling any FT3 but my issue is that higher levels of T3 cause sleeplessness and exaggerated heart palps. My iron was good at 107, so my intolerance is not due to anemia.

Speaking of cholesterol as I was earlier I was unhappy about my increased LDL numbers as that has always been low but my ratio was still acceptable. My bilirubin numbers were slightly elevated and while I would like them lower they have been elevated for several years. Two puzzlers were high hemoglobin and high hematocrit. I could very well have been dehydrated and that will raise the level of both. I need to peruse Lab Tests Online to see what I can learn about elevated hemoglobin and hematocrit.

I feel like this has been a big week and for once blood test results have made me feel like I am full of ideas on how to improve the numbers I don’t like. In the past test results have seemed more like a harbinger of bad things to come and ideas on how to improve things have been out weighed by the negative news from my doctor. There is nothing like fear and trepidation to paralyze a person and when inertia sets in nothing gets done and Big Pharma becomes the victor. This time I am in charge of my health and I am ready for the challenge.

Happy Summer Solstice and All that Jazz

Today is the longest day of the year 2010 and if I were with my friend in Salisbury near Stonehenge  or standing once again in proximity to the Callenish stones I would feel more acutely the rite of passage from the cool days of spring to the warm and now not so long days of summer but alas I stand in Stillwater, Minnesota and will rise and slumber on the same schedule I always do. I think I will celebrate the day just being grateful for all the good things in my life and will be forced to leave the pagan celebrations to someone else.

Somehow summer solstice, long days and short night reminds me of a blog I did recently, Mellow Tones, that discussed the use of Melatonin and the Melatonin patches sold by Life Wave and touted by Suzanne Somers. I subsequently dispersed the patch and melatonin (1omg) to various folks and asked for their response, so I thought I would share the experience and let you decide for yourself.

I thought the most interesting response was from my son-in-law who has terrible insomnia and always has had. I asked him if he would wear the patch one night to see what effect it had. He was blunt and to the point when he said “No.”  He went on to explain that he can’t stand anything on his skin and the patch would be on his skin and would drive him to distraction. This coming from a man who has his entire upper body tattooed with some Norsk mythological symbolism, which made an even bigger impression on me because I can think of nothing more uncomfortable or invasive than having my body tattooed. From his response I concluded that if you have a problem with something on your body or touching your body and in particular in the region of your third eye, the web of your right big toe or the right temple the melatonin patch may not be for you. You can feel it on your skin when you first put it on but that does gradually subsides.

I, personally, find a strange enervation response when I put the patch on the “liver” spot in the web of the right big toe. I can feel a tingling that lasts for several minutes and I have found my sleep to be interrupted when it is in that position. I have no explanation other than the possibility of a clogged liver that responds to the acupressure stimulation. If I use it on my right temple I do seem to become increasingly groggy within 10 minutes of placing it there and it does seem to make the melatonin work longer and more profoundly but it is all too subjective to be conclusive. The third eye position was too uncomfortable for me, somehow to invasive and perhaps helped me understand even more so what my son-in-law would experience should he try a patch.

I gave a Lifewave patch to a friend of mine who was experiencing a bout of sleeplessness having gone through a rough patch for several months of breast cancer surgery and subsequent radiation resulting in adrenal fatigue, according to the self appointed Dr. Kris, aka me. She tried the patch and 10 mg of melatonin by Life Extension with mixed results. The patch most likely did relax her and if not for the cost she would have pursued that avenue.

Unfortunately, melatonin does not have an immediate effect and needs to be taken over a long period to get the hormones back to a normal level. My providing her with three capsules was not sufficient to really test its potency and besides if she already is in adrenal fatigue as I suspect, 10 mg of melatonin will knock her for a loop if taken long term. It is generally recommended that you take no more than 3 mg of melatonin if you have adrenal fatigue. In one of Suzanne Somer’s books she states that she takes 20 mg of Melatonin (a therapeutic dose for those who have had cancer) every night and sleeps soundly for 8-9 hours. The doctor responded “that dose of melatonin will increase your adrenal fatigue”. I could be wrong but I believe that since Suzanne also takes bio-identical hydrocortisone she is unbothered by the knock her adrenals get from the 20 mg of melatonin. Her daily dose of Cortef compensates for the toll the melatonin takes on her adrenals. In the meantime being a cancer survivor she gets the cancer protection she  needs by taking 20 mg of melatonin (the therapeutic dose for cancer survivors) every night.

I tried taking 10 mg of melatonin for several nights and one night I took 20 mg of melatonin just to experiment with its effects on me. I have stage 2 adrenal fatigue from a long standing  sub-optimal thyroid treatment and 10 mg of melatonin knocked me on my gluteus maximus. 20 mg of melatonin had the same effect as a 10 mg dose, I am left feeling groggy and totally uninspired the next day. Having tried the smaller dose of 1.5 mg of melatonin (Mercola’s oral melatonin spray) and it having no effect and the 10-20 mg dose being too much, I find 3 mg of melatonin is just about right. Gosh I suddenly feel like Goldilocks and the Three Bears and trying all the beds. “Nope that one is too hard.”  “That one is too soft.” “Hmmm, this one is just right!” I now take 3 mg of melatonin every night about 30 minutes before I want to sleep and just like Goldilocks, I could sleep and awake to three bears discussing their messy beds.

You will find proponents for melatonin and folks who are opposed to taking any supplements (but often they see nothing wrong with taking acetaminophen, ibuprofen and Ambien) but in my opinion  the proof is in the pudding. High doses of melatonin have been tested by poison control labs and even doses of 45 mg have had no deleterious effects. The 10 mg capsules sold by Life Extension at iHerb will provide you with some flexibility if you want to try 10 mg or even higher doses (read the reviews at iHerb, one guy took 5 capsules one night when he couldn’t sleep and then slept the rest of the night). I am currently taking NOW brand 3 mg capsules and I think that is perfect.

As for the LifeWave patch there are many opponents, in fact, there are many who think they are a hoax. My feeling is if you have the money to spend, and they are spendy at $49 per package of 15, try them. These nanotechnology patches fall under the category of  health care that I attest to “First do no harm”. If you are suffering from sleep deprivation that is dangerous and harmful. Lack of sleep has been proven to increase your chances of disease including cancer and heart disease, so if a patch helped you reclaim your life giving sleep I say why not try it. They will not make you sick. They will not damage or harm your children or furry friends should they find them and eat them or stick them on. They will not pollute our ground water should you, in disgust, throw them away. They might help you sleep more tranquilly, they might not, but in the end they are better than almost any pharmaceutical product touted to help you sleep all of which  come with a list a mile long of possible side effects including sleeplessness. What?

In the end, if sleep alludes you on this summer solstice night stay up and party with all the folks who live in the dark 6 months of the year. Tomorrow night if sleep still comes with difficulty my best advice is to brew up a pot of lemon balm-hyssop tea, take one 3 mg capsule of melatonin and read Matrix Energetics by Rich Bartlett, D.C., N.D. If that doesn’t put you to sleep try 40 mg of melatonin and call me in the morning.

Swinging Moods

I love to swing. Yes, I love to swing from those big old fashioned seats that hang precariously from ropes of hemp or metal chain linked together. The romantic swings that are sometimes hung from giant oak trees are the best but it is much more likely you will find swings in a city park. I adore the feeling of flying up in the air with my body fully reclined, air rushing through my hair, higher and higher until the swing shudders slightly with the abuse and then I just let it glide, pulled by gravity to a stop. I find it soothing and all my cares seem to dwindle in to nothingness.

However swings of another sort can be really disconcerting and alarming and those are the swings of the human psyche. One friend recently described her daughter’s mood swings as “scary” which prompted me to do a little research and put my thoughts together. If you were asked by someone “What can I do for my child and her “scary” mood swings would you automatically have the answer? Well to be honest,  I didn’t and my answer went on for days as I picked through the cobweb covered information in my “files”.

Hormonal mood swings are accepted as a rite of passage for women and just never discussed when it comes to men. Chemical imbalance is referred to as “mental illness” and discussed in hushed tones only and with some ridiculous sense of shame. However, I think it is unacceptable to assume we need to suffer from the ups and downs of hormonal imbalance and/or mental illness. Not just unacceptable but dangerous if the imbalance leads to thoughts of suicide or to illness like endometriosis. There are methods to help us cope with mood swings be they chemical or hormonal imbalances. If you seek medical advice you will most likely be the recipient of a piece of paper that instructs the pharmacist to fill a prescription for birth control chemicals or for a “wonder” drug like Prozac or its myriad of clones. I think this borders on criminal, as you already know by my previous posts.  There are far less harmful treatments that in many cases have even better results than the aforementioned.

First and foremost is Vitamin D3, not really a vitamin at all it is actually “a secosteroid hormone that targets over 2000 genes (about 10% of the human genome) in the human body”. I have recommended Vitamin D3 to several friends and family and all have had positive experiences with mood elevation and energy renewal. The best source of Vitamin D3 is the midday sun on your entire body for 20 minutes.

However, sunshine on your skin is not instantly transformed to Vitamin D3 in your body, so once you have exposed your skin you need to leave it as is for at least 30 minutes and you should not soap exposed areas for 24 hours. This characteristic of Vitamin D was discovered when they puzzled over surfers in Hawaii who showed signs of Vitamin D insufficiency. How could people exposed to the sun so unrelentingly have low levels of the sunshine vitamin?

Eventually they realized a common link, surfers are in and out of the water constantly and from there it was proven that you need to leave the exposed skin untouched for a period of time to allow for complete assimilation otherwise you are just washing it off your skin and there is no time for absorption. Personally I try to expose my skin to sunlight or my Sunsplash Renew right after a shower when my skin is clean and free of lotions. I then don’t need a shower or bath for 24 hours and I don’t use soap on places like my belly or back ever, it only dries out my skin.

If being in the sun for 20 minutes is too frightening for you (first of all read the latest reports on sun exposure) then supplementing with D3 is acceptable. However, before you supplement you should test your D levels. The unfortunate thing about taking a supplement is you could really upset the swing if your levels are already high for some reason. If your levels are terribly low you may need large doses of Vitamin D2 until your D levels are within range (40-65 ng/ml) and it will take awhile because D2 is not easily assimilated by the body and changed from D2 to D3.

There are other solutions to elevating your mood that are simple and can be kept in your refrigerator. A high quality fish oil like the fish oil Vital Choice sells can do wonders for your mood. In an article on Mercola,com it stated “there have been a number of studies that have examined national and international fish consumption data and compared them to rates of depression. Dr. Joseph Hibbeln of the National Institutes of Health is a pioneer in this area. He, and his group, have shown that higher national consumption of fish for a nation equals lower rates of depression versus countries consuming the least amount of fish. He has also shown that higher fish consumption is correlated with lower risk of postpartum depression and seasonal affective disorder.

A larger study published in Archives of General Psychiatry replicated these findings (from a previous study published by The American Journal of Psychiatry) however, this time various doses of EPA were examined. Those on ineffective antidepressants were given 1g, 2g or 4g of pure EPA or a placebo in addition to the medication. Interestingly, the 1g daily dose of EPA led to the most significant improvements over the three-month study; it appeared that less was more. There were significant improvements in depressive symptoms, sleep, anxiety, lassitude, libido and thoughts of suicide.”  Dr. Mercola recommends trying a high quality fish oil and also EFT, emotional freedom technique, as it heals from within by helping you deal with hidden angst and fears.

If diet, exercise, EFT and sunshine exposure have failed you it might be time for blood tests. Hypothyroidism often causes depression and it is not good enough to settle for your doctor reporting that your TSH is “fine” or ‘okay”. You need to step up to the plate and require your doctor to do a complete thyroid panel including tests for autoimmune thyroiditis. If your health care provider won’t do a complete thyroid panel you can get your own done for a reasonable cost. Your TSH could be within normal limits and you could still be suffering from all the symptoms of hypothyroidism. If your health care provider just takes the time to run a full thyroid panel they may find that you do have a thyroid problem and need natural dessicated thyroid to properly treat the situation and rid you of the mood swings caused by an undertreated thyroid.

Much of depression or a mood swing comes down to hormones because not only is your thyroid run by hormones but your sex hormones can be a very likely cause of mood swings if they are out of balance. I found what Dr. Uzzi Reiss is quoted as saying in Suzanne Somer’s book The Sexy Years really fascinating and somewhat revealing. Dr. Reiss stated that estrogen is extremely important to a woman’s peace of mind. Estrogen dominant women are happier women. They sleep better and are less stressed. He then went on to talk about body types and specifically mentioned fashion models describing them as “tall, thin and usually sort of subtly depressed” The tall, thin, small breasted woman often has low estrogen and testosterone but good human growth hormone (because she is tall). And then he talks about the woman who is five feet one, D-size breasts, has no hair over her body, is not very athletic, and does not have strong muscles; this woman has extremely high estrogen, and low testosterone. The last group of women are the athletic type. Most athletes have small breasts, not because they have low estrogen but because they have high testosterone.

Who of the above group will be happiest? The small round woman with high estrogen. “Women of this type are happier and less complex, and it seems that their approach to sexuality is much simpler. The thin model type when asked about the times they were pregnant will respond that “when I was pregnant it was the happiest time of my life”. Why? Their hormone levels were different and the extra estrogen made them happy and more progesterone made them calmer. Hormones have a language of their own and if your hormones are out of whack there is a barrier to communication from one part of the body to the other that results in mood swings.

If you have tried everything else ask your primary care provider to test your hormone levels by running a blood test. You should always ask to see a copy of your blood tests and when you see the levels of your hormones if things seem out of whack bio-identical hormones are a possible answer. A word of caution do not settle for chemically copied Big Pharma versions like Premarin or Progestin as they have been known to contribute to an increase in cancers and heart disease. They are not bio-identical and it is possible that your body will not find its equilibrium with the chemical version.

While I haven’t specifically mentioned men’s body types and their hormones (Dr. Reiss didn’t specifically mention men and their shape), men are affected by out of balance hormones too. Everyone talks about women and their pesky hormones but men are victims of this problem as well and need to request sex hormone blood tests just as women do. Andropause is the term used for men’s hormone upheaval; it is the male counterpart of menopause, when the production of testosterone decreases and there are accompanying mental symptoms. If you are male and suspect you may be in andropause talk to your health care provider or go to Canary Club and request the tests you need. No one needs to suffer from unnecessary mood swings or depression caused by hormones waxing and waning and bio-identical hormones can help males as well as females.

I wish the answer was more simplistic, like hopping in a swing and letting it all hang out, but as we are all so different dealing with mood swings is multi-layered and complex. If you feel desperate and the day is looking bleaker by the moment you should always seek help now, not tomorrow. There should never be any shame in acknowledging a need for counseling. If today seems bright but tomorrow is a bit darker, if you do indeed swing with your highs and lows then what I have offered is a possible solution and worthy of your attention.

I’ll be swinging to good health until next week.

Kris

Writing in Romance

I have never written a romance novel but I have read a few of the more innocent variety, so I am going to attempt to write in “Romance” to avoid attracting the attention of any readers surfing for a thrill. Why? Because I want to provide some interesting information for those males and females who use bio-identical hormones. I will not pretend to be an expert with boring scientific facts and figures and numerous studies to quote I am only sharing this information to possibly help you use your bio-identical hormones to their best advantage because sometimes (and definitely in my case) your doctor will not fill you in on the nuances of proper application.

I have been searching for answers to many female issues for years and hormones were never my bag unless you want to refer to 3% natural progesterone as a real hormone (something Uzzi Reiss basically discounts). I did try it and then stopped when Dr. Mercola stated that it “accumulates in the fat of your body” and unnatural levels of hormone might be attained. When I started to see a functional medicine doctor he mentioned bio-identical hormones to me and I filed it away for two years and then decided to experiment with a cream, estriol one of the most beneficial forms of estrogen, that you insert in to the sheath like part of the female body (Romance).  Dr. Bruley also suggested that I read some of the information Suzanne Somers has written about bio-identicals, so I started with “Knockout” and now have her book titled “Breakthrough” both of which I highly recommend. I think the book that is fully dedicated to the power of bio-identical hormones is “The Sexy Years” and I have yet to read that one but I have read Uzzi Reiss’ “Natural Hormone Balance” so with my background revealed let me share with those who are interested some of the things I have learned that might make your experience more successful and possibly exciting.

When using bio-identicals it matters where you apply it (female sheath, facial skin, thigh, arm, etc), it works better in certain forms (pill, gel, drop, cream) and times of day all make a difference. These are all things my doctor didn’t share with me. so the following is information above and beyond the necessary. Male readers do not discount this as solely a female issue as many times males could use bio-identicals to their advantage. For example, testosterone in particular will protect you from cardiovascular issues as well as diabetes issues.

Where you apply it is vital because it will be more completely absorbed when applied to certain areas. For instance, estrogen, mostly commonly Tri-est (estrial, estradiol and estrone) and Bi-est (Estradiol and Estriol), is best used in a gel or cream and in this form it should be applied to the face, neck, brow and the inner skin of your lower and upper arm. Testosterone is best utilized when applied in its cream or gel form to the inner thigh, buttocks, small labia or the non-hairy area  between the vagina and rectum called the perineum. It is also used quite successfully, according to Suzanne and Uzzi, when a small amount is gently rubbed on an area of the female body that was best described by the Italian anatomist, Mateo Renaldo Colombo, in 1559 as “amor Veneris, vel dulcedo” the “love or sweetness of Venus”. Yes, “Romance” talk again but apparently its effect is most profound. I will once again use “Romance”  and say that applying Testosterone strategically to the male “shaft of love” can help regain lost rigidity. I bet you would never have thought of these things on your own!

The mode of application you choose is critical. Progesterone is best to take in a slow release tablet according to my pharmacist but it can be applied in droplet form under the tongue (Uzzi Reiss likes the droplets; my pharmacist stated that it is too hard to determine exact quantities and therefore they will do it but they don’t recommend it). Vaginal creams that are inserted, I mean creams inserted in to the “female sheath” (Romance) are a very direct application of the hormone and unlike what many of us have been told it does affect the entire body not just the “female sheath” area. These creams can make the difference for menopausal women or even peri-menopausal women between good conjugation (not so much Romance as Biology 101) and very bad, very painful conjugation. Overall the preferred application for the ones I mention is using a cream or gel for all but Progesterone.

The last but not the least important extraordinary detail is frequency of application. Uzzi Reiss suggests taking Progesterone every 12 hours, so that you have a constant level of Progesterone protecting your body from harm (the Big C). For instance if you are taking it in pill form you could cut your tablet in half and maybe half again, so that you can take most of it at night (it helps you sleep better) and then half with breakfast to keep the level up until bedtime. Tri-est and Bi-est cream (I have no information or knowledge of estrogen patches) may be applied twice a day or as needed to rid you of hot flashes and that pit in your stomach feeling menopausal women sometimes suffer. Dr. Riess suggests experimenting with application and using this “Estrogen Quick Check”:

1. The Breast Check. Touch and feel your breasts if they are tender or painful you are getting too much estrogen. If they seem less full or they are drooping you need more.

2.The Ring Check. Are your rings easily removed and put on? If so, you are taking the right amount. If not, you are taking too much.

3.The Sleep Check. If you are having trouble getting to sleep or your nights are restless you aren’t getting enough. If you wake drenched in sweat you are low. If your hot flashes are minimal but still exist you are still not optimum and you need slightly more.

4.Mind and Mood Check. Are you a little down in the morning? Do you not care how you look? Do you lack a zest for life? You need more estrogen. Are you feeling uptight? Irritable? But your mind is clear? You are probably taking too much and need to take less.

Testosterone cream should be applied in the morning only unless you are using it for recreation purposes and then only tiny amounts are necessary. Signs of too much Testosterone might be increased levels of aggression or bossiness. Suddenly oily skin and/or acne. Also for women coarse facial hair growth and loss of hair on your head may indicate that your levels are too high.

This is only the tip of the iceberg as there are more hormones to be made aware of like DHEA, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Cortisol, a corticosteroid produced by the adrenal cortex. HGH (human growth hormone) and thyroid hormones. Rather than go down like the Titanic in to cold, murky unknown territory I am going to keep my head above water and deal with the hormones of which I have some knowledge.  No not carnal knowledge, and no there are no Romance novels being written at our house but suffice it to say I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to “writing” a novel or two, so stay tuned.

It’s a One Two Punch

I promised a review of Suzanne Somer’s latest book “Knockout” and I am anxious to carry out my promise. It is a book everyone should have in their library and even if you don’t read you might find yourself referring to page after page of cancer specialists if you ever face the little devil ravaging your body.

Suzanne Somers is no stranger to rapidly dividing cells  and she certainly isn’t unfamiliar with the allopathic world of medicine that all of us deal with. Her stated mission is to share what she knows in that off chance it might help someone who finds themselves in a situation like the one she faced. The book begins with her rather horrific situation of contracting a disease that few know anything about, Valley Fever, and being wrongly diagnosed and treated. She rightly states that if this could happen to her with all of her fame and connections it could happen to anyone. When I read that I found myself feeling very afraid because she is so correct. If faced with the conditions she was faced with the average person would blindly follow every prescription handed out by your doctors and never even blink an eye. Luckily for her she knew Jonathon Wright very well and when she called him he told her to do whatever she needed to do but to get out of the hospital immediately. I wouldn’t know how to call Jonathon Wright and he wouldn’t talk to me if I did.

The chapters that deal with several specialists and their specific alternative cancer treatments are riveting. Names like Burzynski, Gonzalez, Wright, Blaylock, Schmidt, Galitzer, Paul, Goldberg, Taguchi, etc. should be in your hard file and they will be permanently within your reach if you have this book on your shelves. Their patients have written essays at the end of each chapter to tell their story and you will be slack jawed with awe at some of the success stories. People who were told they had days or weeks to live at esteemed institutions like the Mayo Clinic but who are here 17 years later to tell their story. In some cases these same patients were willing to come thousands of miles to defend the person who had saved their lives as happened with Dr. Burzynski in Texas. Our government, specifically our wise and wonderful FDA, tried to put him in jail and his patients flocked to Texas to defend him with their amazing stories of surviving some of the worst cases of cancer.

I can’t recommend this book enough to the people I love and care about. I want it on my library shelves with a big orange sticker on it to guide my spouse to it should anything ever happen to me and I am somehow left with no control over the situation. I never want someone to inject me with chemotherapeutic drugs or to be forced to accept categorically some ill thought out treatment or diagnosis from physicians I don’t know and may not trust.

If you think that your general practitioner is not influenced by Big Pharma and all the drugs they produce, think again and ask them. Ask them if you were facing cancer of the breast or lung would they recommend traditional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation or would they be able to think outside the box. Ask them and if they say that is the only way to successfully treat cancer, run, don’t walk to the nearest exit and never look back.

Should you read “Knockout”? Most definitely yes, but be prepared for an epiphany. If you aren’t up for an”Aha” moment, if you feel like allopathic medicine is the only road to health then don’t even open the book.