Leaving Hormone Hell

Danaheadshot by Dana Taylor


angry-womanBeing a woman has never been easy. Historically dominated in a patriarchal society, women suffered multiple, unstoppable pregnancies, child birth, child bed fever, early death. All that laundry….

Life now is definitely better, generally speaking–in Western cultures–anyway. Personally, I’ve enjoyed freedom and choices as an American woman heretofore never known in recorded history. However, we gals still struggle with what I call Hormone Hell. Ups and downs, weight issues, irritation, depression, skin problems, fatigue, insomnia, hair loss, mysterious maladies. You know what I’m talking about. Hormone Hell.

At this point I’ve reached a certain age when I’ve experienced most of the stages in a woman’s life (except death). One thing I’ve learned is not to count on doctors and Big Pharma to solve all my health issues. PREMARIN (short for Pregnant Mare Urine) is still the go-to solution advertised for most female complaints, despite decades of revelations of connections to heart disease and cancer. Somehow ingesting horse piss (yes, that’s actually where it comes from) simply goes against common sense. Read an article about PREMARIN at Dr. Mercola for more information here.

So what’s a girl to do? Well knowledge is power. Read some books, open your mind to solutions. Follow your inner guidance. Learning about hormonal imbalances is a good place to start.

71LAJ6B0m2LThe winner of The Indie Spiritual Book Awards this year in the Alternative Medicine Category is Adrenaline Dominance: A Revolutionary Approach to Wellness by Michael Platt, MD.  Dr. Platt lays out a compelling argument for hormonal imbalances contributing to a wide range of illnesses–insomnia, chronic illness, mental instability and much more. From the description:

Adrenaline is a powerful hormone whose effects have been virtually ignored by the medical community. “Adrenaline Dominance” explains how this hormone might be a major underlying cause of many conditions currently considered incurable. This book explains why people produce this “fight-or-flight” hormone even when they are not facing danger. It presents a natural protocol for rapidly reducing excess adrenaline. In most cases, this protocol allows patients to reassess their need for taking prescription medications, which treat symptoms rather than address the root cause of their conditions.

This book brought to mind the now classic books from Dr. John Lee on estrogen dominance and the incredible toll hormones-gone-wrong take on a woman’s life.

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These books largely focus on exploring PROGESTERONE levels as the missing link to balanced hormones.  From Natural Hormones.net

Progesterone is key in the normal function of the reproductive system, the regulation of a woman’s menstrual cycle, and a number of other systemic functions including skin, blood, and bone health. Read full article here

Another avenue of exploration is the rise of Bio-Identical hormone treatments, as touted by Suzanne Somers. This is an emerging field and has stirred its own pot of controversy. There are many books on the subject. An overview can be read at Natural Hormones.net here.

Natural Approach

Believing more in nature than laboratories, I explored supplements from whole food sources. Eating well is the first step to hormone balance–green, leafy and organic as much as possible. “When estrogen levels are high, progesterone levels will drop. Studies have shown that diets rich in foods that promote stable estrogen levels such as soy, apples, alfalfa, cherries, potatoes, rice, wheat, and yams go a long way toward regulating or preventing symptoms of progesterone imbalance. Avocados, nuts, seeds, and olives promote progesterone production.” (Natural Hormones.net)

Herbal Remedies

pic_Transitions

After my first hot flash, I visited my local health food store, which was run by a Korea-trained doctor. She did some muscle testing with various products on me and we chose Transitions from Pure Essence Labs. This blend of female-friendly herbs helped me sail through the often rough seas of perimenopause. I stayed on Transitions for a couple of years.

Progesterone Supplements

Progesterone creams became all the rage for a while. You can read an excellent article about them on How Stuff Works here. Sold as over-the-counter products from health and cosmetic companies, they make many promises for balance and health, but results vary from person to person. The ones I tried didn’t feel balanced. One of my favorite natural health providers claimed they were all too “hot.” Progesterone pills can also feel too powerful.

4640The product that has worked for me is the Progessence Plus Serum from Young Living Essential OilsProgessence™ Plus serum is a pure, harmonizing serum that is designed specifically for women. Along with wild yam and vitamin E, Progessence Plus is formulated with Frankincense, Bergamot, and Peppermint essential oils for optimal results.

Just one drop over the thyroid after a shower several times a week has been key in keeping my hormones in balance, meaning I sleep well, have excellent energy, good moods and generally enjoy life.

In other words, I escaped Hormone Hell

Reducing stress, eating well, exercising and seeking the right supplements can be the path out of Hormone Hell. Be pro-active about your health. Educate yourself, take back your power, and life can be downright Heavenly.

Wishing you the best of health–

Dana Taylor

 

 

 

“Ancient Healing for Modern Women” by Xiaolan Zhao, C.M.D.

Ancient Healing for Modern Women: Traditional Chinese Medicine for All Phases of a Woman’s Life is a wonderful blend of East meets West ideas on women’s health. Xiaolan Zhao was raised behind the closed doors of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. She was exposed in her early life to the time-honored traditions of Chinese medicine and living close to the cycles of nature. Later, she was sent to medical school and became a Western-trained M.D. Her life journey took her to practicing medicine in Canada. She became aware of the struggles Western women have with the normal stages of feminity–puberty, sexuality, pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause.

The Chinese have poetic names for these phases and deal with them gracefully. Women in the West can benefit greatly from the wisdom of the East. The chapter titles are:

  • Heavenly Water–Menstruation
  • Lotus Blossoms–Breast Health
  • Clouds and Rain–Sexuality
  • Ripening the Fruit–Pregnancy
  • Golden Month–Postpartum
  • Second Spring–Menopause

This book offers a very balanced way to look at the phases of a woman’s life. It also offers traditional exercise Chinese foods and teas to ease through what we call PMS and other female challenges. The chapter on looking upon Menopause as the “Second Spring” is particularly encouraging. Xiaolan Zhao has a foot in both Eastern and Western medicine. This book offers a rare opportunity for women to educate themselves and take charge of their female health.

Highly recommended!

Dana Taylor

World Menopause Day–Seriously…

October 18th, 2012 has been declared World Menopause Day by the International Menopause Society.  I must have been inspired to write about menopause from the cosmic group consciousness going on.

World CongressLast night I attended a fundraiser dinner for our local symphony. As often happens when women-of-a-certain age gather around a table, the subject of hot flashes and menopause came up. The conversation went something like this:

50-something woman–“These hot flashes are driving me crazy. Guess it’s just part of life now. My mother still has them and she’s in her 80’s.”

70-something woman–“Mine started when I was 45 and I’ve been having them ever since.”

There was a lot of nodding and commiseration as everyone seemed to simply accept the inevitable discomforts of feminine aging.  I wanted to yell, “You don’t have to take it! Menopause is a passage, not a curse. You can take charge of your health.”

Of course it was neither the time nor the place to get on my health-conscious soap box. That place would be here…

THE CHANGE

The Change doesn’t necessarily mean you turn into a Werewolf. Change can be a good thing, too. As the body shifts its chemistry, women need to focus on finding a new way to bring balance and harmony to their systems. Hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and weight gain do not need to be your Next Chapter.

When I turned about 50, I experienced a few classic menopausal symptoms. I believe my symptoms were less severe than most American women largely because I have been ingesting the Quinary Formula of Chinese Herbs from Sunrider International for about twenty years.  This formulation of over 50 herbs to balance the five basic systems of the body is the biggest bang for your buck for over-all health–in my opinion.

However, after one particularly powerful, nauseating midday hot flash, I hied myself over to my favorite Korean Herbalist/Health Food Store Owner, Lady M. She is a porcelein-skinned healer in La Habra, California. We did some muscle-testing with a row of female formulas and settled on one called Transitions from Pure Essence Labs.

Pure Essence Labs Transitions, 60 VegicapTransitions contains black cohash, dong quai and other herbs known to bring relief to menopausal symptoms. I stayed on the product for a couple of years and found it very beneficial. The hot flashes and increased appetite disappeared. There is no one-pill-fits-all, but there are many formulas to try. Working with a skilled diagnostition can help you find  the right product for you.

PROGESTERONE CONNECTION

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM): Menopause: The Breakthrough Book on Natural Progesterone (What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About...)Dr. John Lee wrote the now classic What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. He writes persuasively about how the estrogen-rich plastics and oil-based products in modern society are throwing our bodies out of balance. He touts progesterone as a way to restore balance. There are now many progesterone creams on the market. They are not all equal. Personally, the ones I tried made me too “hot,” until I started using the Young Living Essential Oil version.

progessence plusToday, Young Living has a new generation answer to the progesterone product in a serum called PROGESSENCE PLUS.  Information about this product can be found at:

Young Living PDF

Dr. Dan Purser FAQ on Progessence Plus

If you want to order a bottle, you can use my membership number–57763.

BE PRO-ACTIVE

The point is, if you are not functioning at optimum health–DO something about it. If you’re in hormone hell, educate yourself about what is happening to your body and then take action to alleviate your symptoms. You should be able to enjoy life at every stage. Take the misery out of menopause.

Celebrate World Menopause Day!

Dana Taylor

Reiki Therapist, Author of Ever-Flowing Streams