Does Estrogen Have Side Effects?

This is a response that I posted to an online message board in response to somebody’s claim that “estrogen can have some awful side effects”.

Why would the human body make estrogens (estradiol, estriol, and estrone) if they have side effects?

The link that […] provided refers to women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative and who received PremPro.

It is very important understand that these women did not receive bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Instead they were POISONED with a combination of estrogens from horses (the Premarin component of the PremPro) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (the Provera component of the PremPro). None of these non-bioidentical chemicals are naturally found in the human body.

Needless to say that it is not surprising that these women had an increase of heart disease, breast cancer, blood clots, and stroke, causing this arm of the study to be aborted in 2002.

Unfortunately, many doctors and women still don’t understand this and continue to believe that these women suffered adverse reactions because of “hormone replacement therapy” or “HRT” even though these women did not receive any human hormones.

I have not seen any such adverse reactions in all my years of using properly balanced and monitored bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

Estradiol, progesterone, and all the other hormones play an essential role in the human body, so I am not surprised that hormone replacement therapy could be helpful for women with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

As a matter of fact, many mood disorders in women are related to hormonal disorders and I have seen marked improvements in women using BHRT.

Fred Bloem, MD

— In …@yahoogroups.com, […]> wrote:
>
> Estrogen can have some awful side effects :-
>
> http://www.estrogen-replacement-side-effects.com/html/effects.html
>
> On Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 1:47 PM, <…> wrote:
> >
> > Estrogen in the Fight Against Schizophrenia
> >
> > ScienceDaily (Jan. 25, 2010) — Many American women are prescribed estrogen
> > to combat the negative effects of menopause, such as bone loss and mood
> > swings. Now, new evidence from a Tel Aviv University study suggests that
> > hormone replacement therapy might also protect them — and younger women —
> > from schizophrenia as well.
> >
> > Prof. Ina Weiner of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Psychology and her
> > doctoral student Michal Arad have reported findings suggesting that
> > restoring normal levels of estrogen may work as a protective agent in
> > menopausal women vulnerable to schizophrenia. Their work, based on an animal
> > model of menopausal psychosis, was recently reported in the journal *
> > Psychopharmacology.*
> >
> > *Continued at
> > http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100120112212.htm

Does Homeopathic HCG Work?

While I know a few people who have had success using homeopathic HCG drops, I don’t have enough experience in my practice to comment on its efficacy compared to real HCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin).

I can say that I have had patients come to my practice after having disappointing results with the homeopathic HCG. Patients typically have a greater than 80-90% success rate if they follow the HCG Diet Protocol correctly and follow up with me consistently.

Here are some things to consider with regard to homeopathic HCG:

  • “Homeopathic HCG” is believed to contain the energetic imprint of HCG but does not actually contain HCG. It is made with a minute amount of HCG that is diluted millions of times following homeopathic manufacturing practices.
  • There are many websites that claim to sell oral HCG (which I am able to legally offer to my patients in my medical practice, in addition to injectable HCG, HCG cream, nasal HCG, and HCG tablets) but instead provide homeopathic HCG.
  • One of the most commonly sold brands of homeopathic HCG contains 16% USP Alcohol which would be unacceptable for some people for religious or medical reasons.

I recommend that people find an experienced physician who will do a thorough medical evaluation before prescribing HCG. Although the HCG Diet Protocol is very safe, it does requires close monitoring to ensure optimal results. Another benefit of working with a physician (especially one who holistically oriented) is that other health issues will be recognized and treated as well.

HCG Diet for Skinny People? Does Size 00 Equal Anorexia?

After reading I am down from a size 4-6 to a size 00 a few people sent messages like these:

“This is not good news. A size 4-6 is very small..a double 00 is anorexic and shouldn’t be supported in a clinical environment. Boo”

“Size 00? Sounds TOO THIN to me!”

It is not possible to make an adequate assessment without having evaluated the patient like I have and taking into consideration a patient’s body build, size, and body composition.

In conventional circles patients are not considered medically overweight until their BMI (body mass index) is over 25. Likewise, a person is not considered medically obese until their BMI is over 30. The BMI is determined by dividing a person’s weight (in kilograms) by their height (in meters) squared (kg/m2).

I do not use this definition when I work with my patients. I consider patients obese if they have abnormal fat deposits regardless of their weight.

For example, the small framed patient in the referenced article presented to me 5 feet tall with a weight of 107.2 lbs. Accordingly, her BMI was 21 and she was not able to find any physicians willing to treat her even though she had clear evidence of abnormal fat deposits in the area of her buttocks and her thighs.

Most clinicians with little experience in the evaluation and treatment of obesity would not even consider treating her until she was “medically overweight” at 128 lbs (BMI 25) or “medically obese” at 154 lbs (BMI 30). Why should a patient have to wait so long to qualify for obesity treatment?

This patient had a very good response to the HCG Diet Protocol and quickly lost 17 lbs of abnormal and unwanted fat deposits. This returned her to her normal young adult weight of 90 lbs (BMI 17.6).

Clinical evaluation confirmed that she had maintained her muscle mass and structural fat and she did not look anorexic at all. One of the primary benefits of the HCG Diet Protocol is that it targets the abnormal fat deposits without causing muscle atrophy or disappearance of structural fat in the face and other areas of the body that is typical patients who are anorexic.

It has been my experience that once patients have eliminated the abnormal fat deposits by using the HCG Diet Protocol they will stop losing weight and muscle mass and normal, structural fat are maintained. I have not seen any patients who became anorexic or who developed an anorectic appearance while under my care.

NMT Success: Significant Relief of Headache

This morning a patient presented with an acute onset of a splitting headache, vomiting and diarrhea, muscle aches, restlessness and shakiness. The patient asked for a NeuroModulation Technique session. By the time she contacted me the vomiting had already stopped.

I performed the session using the advanced NMT Treeview software which greatly facilitates the delivery of the NMT pathways.

After I had performed the Consciousness Self Universe Pathway for the patient she reported that the headache which initially had an intensity of 8 on a scale of 10 had subsided to 5 on a scale of 10. Throughout the 30-minute NMT session she felt very relaxed.

The patient slept throughout the remainder of the day and when she woke up in the afternoon the headache had subsided even more and she was much more comfortable. The muscle were much better too. She felt ready to go back to work the next day.

Please go to the NMT website to learn more about NMT or to find a qualified practitioner.

Use of Potentially Harmful Chemicals Kept Secret Under Law

From WashingtonPost.com:

Use of Potentially Harmful Chemicals Kept Secret Under Law

By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 4, 2010; A01

Of the 84,000 chemicals in commercial use in the United States — from flame retardants in furniture to household cleaners — nearly 20 percent are secret, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, their names and physical properties guarded from consumers and virtually all public officials under a little-known federal provision.

The policy was designed 33 years ago to protect trade secrets in a highly competitive industry. But critics — including the Obama administration — say the secrecy has grown out of control, making it impossible for regulators to control potential dangers or for consumers to know which toxic substances they might be exposed to.

At a time of increasing public demand for more information about chemical exposure, pressure is building on lawmakers to make it more difficult for manufacturers to cloak their products in secrecy. Congress is set to rewrite chemical regulations this year for the first time in a generation.

Under the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, manufacturers must report to the federal government new chemicals they intend to market. But the law exempts from public disclosure any information that could harm their bottom line.

Government officials, scientists and environmental groups say that manufacturers have exploited weaknesses in the law to claim secrecy for an ever-increasing number of chemicals. In the past several years, 95 percent of the notices for new chemicals sent to the government requested some secrecy, according to the Government Accountability Office. About 700 chemicals are introduced annually.

Some companies have successfully argued that the federal government should not only keep the names of their chemicals secret but also hide from public view the identities and addresses of the manufacturers.

“Even acknowledging what chemical is used or what is made at what facility could convey important information to competitors, and they can start to put the pieces together,” said Mike Walls, vice president of the American Chemistry Council.

Although a number of the roughly 17,000 secret chemicals may be harmless, manufacturers have reported in mandatory notices to the government that many pose a “substantial risk” to public health or the environment. In March, for example, more than half of the 65 “substantial risk” reports filed with the Environmental Protection Agency involved secret chemicals.

“You have thousands of chemicals that potentially present risks to health and the environment,” said Richard Wiles, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization that documented the extent of the secret chemicals through public-records requests from the EPA. “It’s impossible to run an effective regulatory program when so many of these chemicals are secret.”

Of the secret chemicals, 151 are made in quantities of more than 1 million tons a year and 10 are used specifically in children’s products, according to the EPA.

The identities of the chemicals are known to a handful of EPA employees who are legally barred from sharing that information with other federal officials, state health and environmental regulators, foreign governments, emergency responders and the public.

Last year, a Colorado nurse fell seriously ill after treating a worker involved at a chemical spill at a gas-drilling site. The man, who later recovered, appeared at a Durango hospital complaining of dizziness and nausea. His work boots were damp; he reeked of chemicals, the nurse said.

Two days later, the nurse, Cathy Behr, was fighting for her life. Her liver was failing and her lungs were filling with fluid. Behr said her doctors diagnosed chemical poisoning and called the manufacturer, Weatherford International, to find out what she might have been exposed to.

Weatherford provided safety information, including hazards, for the chemical, known as ZetaFlow. But because ZetaFlow has confidential status, the information did not include all of its ingredients.

Mark Stanley, group vice president for Weatherford’s pumping and chemical services, said in a statement that the company made public all the information legally required.

“It is always in our company’s best interest to provide information to the best of our ability,” he said.

Behr said the full ingredient list should be released. “I’d really like to know what went wrong,” said Behr, 57, who recovered but said she still has respiratory problems. “As citizens in a democracy, we ought to know what’s happening around us.”

The White House and environmental groups want Congress to force manufacturers to prove that a substance should be kept confidential. They also want federal officials to be able to share confidential information with state regulators and health officials, who carry out much of the EPA’s work across the country.

Walls, of the American Chemistry Council, says manufacturers agree that federal officials should be able to share information with state regulators. Industry is also willing to discuss shifting the burden of proof for secrecy claims to the chemical makers, he said. The EPA must allow a claim unless it can prove within 90 days that disclosure would not harm business.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is trying to reduce secrecy.

A week after he arrived at the agency in July, Steve Owens, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, ended confidentiality protection for 530 chemicals. In those cases, manufacturers had claimed secrecy for chemicals they had promoted by name on their Web sites or detailed in trade journals.

“People who were submitting information to the EPA saw that you can claim that virtually anything is confidential and get away with it,” Owens said.

The handful of EPA officials privy to the identity of the chemicals do not have other information that could help them assess the risk, said Lynn Goldman, a former EPA official and a pediatrician and epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“Maybe they don’t know there’s been a water quality problem in New Jersey where the plant is located, or that the workers in the plant have had health problems,” she said. “It just makes sense that the more people who are looking at it, they’re better able to put one and one together and recognize problems.”

Independent researchers, who often provide data to policymakers and regulators, also have been unable to study the secret chemicals.

Duke University chemist Heather Stapleton, who researches flame retardants, tried for months to identify a substance she had found in dust samples taken from homes in Boston.

Then, while attending a scientific conference, she happened to see the structure of a chemical she recognized as her mystery compound.

The substance is a chemical in “Firemaster 550,” a product made by Chemtura Corp. for use in furniture and other products as a substitute for a flame retardant the company had quit making in 2004 because of health concerns.

Stapleton found that Firemaster 550 contains an ingredient similar in structure to a chemical — Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP — that Congress banned last year from children’s products because it has been linked to reproductive problems and other health effects.

Chemtura, which claimed confidentiality for Firemaster 550, supplied the EPA with standard toxicity studies. The EPA has asked for additional data, which it is studying.

“My concern is we’re using chemicals and we have no idea what the long-term effects might be or whether or not they’re harmful,” said Susan Klosterhaus, an environmental scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute who has published a journal article on the substance with Stapleton.

Chemtura officials said in a written statement that even though Firemaster 550 contains an ingredient structurally similar to DEHP does not mean it poses similar health risks.

They said the company strongly supports keeping sensitive business information out of public view. “This is essential for ensuring the long-term competitiveness of U.S. industry,” the officials said in the statement.

Staff researcher Madonna Lebling contributed to this report.

How Safe Are Bioidentical Hormones?

Bioidentical hormones therapy is safe as long as the amounts of hormones used and the levels of hormones in the body are carefully monitored. I recommend the Wiley Protocol, which uses bioidentical estradiol and progesterone in a rhythm that mimics the cyclical fluctuation of hormone levels that we see in healthy young women.

The word bioidentical means that the hormones are exactly the same as the hormones that the human body produces. Bioidentical hormones include estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, human growth hormone, thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3). I don’t recommend non-bioidentical chemicals such as medroxyprogesterone and norgestimate because they are not produced by the human body and because they have known side effects such as cancer, hypertension, depression, and fluid retention. They are more appropriately referred to hormone disrupting chemicals.

Can bioidentical hormone replacement therapy be used in “asymptomatic perimenopausal or postmenopausal women”?

Yes, they can. Not all women experience hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, or any of the other classical symptoms of perimenopause. However, sometimes there more subtle changes that occur. These may include decline in memory (“senior moments”), decreased libido or sexual satisfaction, skin changes, hair changes, vaginal dryness, and loss of sense of feminity.

There are two main reasons for recommending bioidentical hormone replacement therapy: 1) Relief of symptoms, 2) Reduction of disease risk. We know that properly dosed and monitored bioidentical hormone replacement is a safe and effective therapy for relieving symptoms of perimenopause. We also know that the risk for heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease increases as people get older and their hormones levels decline. Young people with high hormone levels tend to be at very low risk for these health conditions. There are indications that bioidentical hormone replacement may reduce the risk for developing such health problems and allow people to have a better quality of life.

For how long can bioidentical hormone replacement therapy be used?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be used for as long as a patient desires. Suzanne Somers is 63 years old and is using the bioidentical Wiley Protocol hormone replacement regimen. She takes very good care of herself in many different ways and it shows! She intends to use this therapy for as long as she lives. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be stopped at any time. This will return the patient to their previous (usually) hormone deficient state.

Does bioidentical hormone replacement therapy increase the risk of cancer?

I have not seen any evidence that it does. Bioidentical hormones such as estradiol and progesterone are a normal part of the human body. Why would the human body produce messenger chemicals that are carcinogenic? I believe that bioidentical hormones are as safe as water as long as they are dosed and monitored correctly. At least 70% of our bodies consists of water. Are we demanding proof or double blind, randomized, placebo controlled studies to prove that water does not cause cancer?

On the other hand, we know that the Women’s Health Initiative Study showed that women using a combination of non-bioidentical chemicals (Premarin and Provera) had an increased risk of heart disease, blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer. These women did NOT receive hormone replacement therapy. Instead they were drugged with chemicals that are not normally found in the  human body.