Archive for August, 2012
Today is nothing important. Just me rambling. It’s times like this where blogs serve as journals or diaries, and you really hope that there aren’t people out there following you.
Life is a roller coaster. Some days up, some days down. Today is one of those down days. I could blame it on something or not. It really doesn’t matter. Things don’t have to happen for moods to swing. They always do and they always will. The good news is that when you are feeling down, you know the roller coaster is going to be chugging up the ramp to the top of the next rise, and soon you are going to be feeling great again. Of course, it doesn’t help that I forgot to pick my St. John’s Wort in Dublin so I could make some tea. That works wonderfully on days like today. I’ll be sure and make some when I go to Dublin this coming weekend.
When I feel down, I start playing computer games. A pure waste of time, but it gets me through the day. So far this morning I’ve checked email, put a few things on facebook, and played Burger Shop 2. Not a lot to say for my time, but everything else will still be there tomorrow.
Well, I guess I’ve rambled enough. There are some things I really do need to do. Now I just have to get up the energy to do them. One, two, three–up!!
6. Stay away from synthetic hormones. Now this direction presents a problem. How do you avoid pregnancy without birth control pills? I give this direction only to women who have the ability to be in control of their bodies and be responsible. If you can’t be responsible, then continue to use OCPs, and just try to supplement your libido with natural remedies. But if you can be responsible, then do away with synthetic hormones. Barrier methods of contraception such as the diaphragm, or the IUD have 95% or greater success. A very simple procedure to help prevent pregnancy is the cervical mucus test. Around ovulation the mucus changes character. This period can then be identified and avoiding intercourse can prevent pregnancy. If a woman wants to follow natural methods for contraception, but whose cycle is irregular can be returned to a regular monthly cycle with homeopathic hormones given according to the lunar calendar.
It is important to understand that the endocrine system works together. When one hormone is deficient, other hormones follow suit. Consider hormones like the legs of a stool. If one leg gets short, the body tries to stabilize the stool by robbing hormones from the other legs, shortening them. So adrenal insufficiency brought on by overstimulation of the adrenals can lead to other endocrine deficiencies, such as the sex hormones and thyroid. The immune system and the thymus are involved, too, because immune response is inhibited by abnormal hormone levels.
Both hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are necessary in the female cycle and their balance is key for full health. Many women in our culture have an imbalance of these hormones, especially, insufficient levels of progesterone to counter excessive estrogen — an imbalance further exacerbated by chronic stress. Progesterone is a hormone important to a number of body functions. During times of stress or conditions of chronic adrenal hyper-stimulation, progesterone is capable of being converted into the stress hormone cortisol.
When one goes through chronic or severe long-term stress, the hypothalamus at first triggers an overproduction of the adrenal hormones (especially cortisol and DHEA). This eventually leads to adrenal insufficiency, a state in which the exhausted adrenals cannot respond adequately.
The thyroid gland is also adversely affected by chronic stress.This gland’s roles include regulating calcium metabolism and glycolysis, the breakdown of glucose for body energy fuel. Under normal conditions, the fight-or-flight response causes the thyroid to increase glucose breakdown. In conditions of chronic stress, however, the thyroid is continually overstimulated and eventually becomes depleted. Thyroid function is also disrupted by excessive estrogen, but this can be prevented by adequate progesterone levels.
Symptoms of Overall Endocrine Deficiency
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid functioning) and especially hypothyroidism (low functioning) have become more common in women. The classic symptoms of hypothyroidism include sluggishness, early morning fatigue, cold extremities, lowered basal temperature and menstrual problems, including scanty periods.
Adrenal and other hormonal gland dysfunctions can cause some of the above symptoms and more, including cravings for sweets, weight gain, allergies, heart palpitations, insomnia, depression, fatigue, poor memory, foggy thinking, headaches, nervousness, inability to concentrate, recurrent infections and glucose intolerance.
One very damaging adrenal dysfunction is excessive cortisol production, which causes, among other serious problems, increased calcium mobilization from the bones, leading to osteoporosis, or loss of bone density. In a person with a healthy stress response, excessive levels of cortisol are automatically buffered. Constant stress destroys this feedback loop.
Testing to Establish a Baseline
Comprehensive hormonal testing should be performed to establish a baseline before a woman chooses any kind of hormonal treatment, and then should be repeated periodically thereafter. Note, however, that “normal” (negative) results from conventional laboratory diagnostic tests do not always mean normal function. It is better to use a laboratory like Genova Diagnostics. There testing can be done and interpreted through more enlightening alternative methods.
By evaluating hormonal changes over a 24-hour period, a pattern can be determined and a treatment protocol designed. An effective plan involving natural hormones, nutritional support and various stress-relief therapies can be successfully implemented to reestablish the proper menstrual dynamics, hormonal balance and well-being.
Transdermal Delivery System for treating hormone deficiencies.
The first treatment consideration for improving libido is, as mentioned earlier, that the maladaptive stress response must be interrupted so that sex hormones will no longer be converted for stress purposes. Women must know that, until these conversion pathways are closed, supplementation with the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone is of little value because they will easily be converted. First, therefore, proper levels of the adrenal hormones cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) need to be reestablished.
Once that is accomplished, hormonal restoral of estrogen and progesterone is best accomplished with transdermal creams using a dual-phase approach, which uses estrogen-dominant (only if estrogen is deficient) supplementation during the first 14 days and progesterone supplementation during the second 14 days.
In general, women are not estrogen deficient. In fact, often there is an overabundance of estrogen effect in the body. Now much of this estrogen effect is not from naturally produced human estrogen, however, but from the estrogen-mimicking chemicals we ingest in our food. Hormones fed to cows for milk production and growth, estrogen-like compounds in plastics, even the water we drink contains estrogen, probably from oral contraceptives released in our water supply. So generally what women need to balance the estrogen effect is more progesterone. This is especially true as women get older and accumulate more fat deposits because fat also releases estrogen. Unfermented soy, as in soy milk, soy nuts, or soy substitutes should therefore be avoided by women, as they add to the estrogen effect.
A transdermal (rubbed onto the skin) hormonal cream supplement works best. It is easily applied and delivered. Hormones that are taken by mouth get digested just like any other substance, and the hormone is lost. Transdermal application bypasses the obstacle of breakdown in the digestive system or liver. Also, the best placement is as close to nature as possible, through the vaginal mucosa. That provides placement close to the ovaries where their effects are most important, or distribution through the same pelvic blood vessels that nature would use. While the use of these creams or any other hormonal therapy should be initiated under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner, the creams provide an individual the ability to adjust the dosage to the exact amount needed during each phase. Supplementing with both phyto-estrogen (from natural plant sources) and progesterone will re-balance the natural monthly cycle. Pre-menopausal women should use the phyto-estrogen cream from day one through 15 of their monthly cycle (day one is first day of menses); the progesterone cream should be used from day 16 through 28. Postmenopausal women can create a cycle by using the lunar cycle. From new moon to full moon is estrogen and from full moon to new is progesterone. After four cycles, women should get fully retested to see whether the dosages of the creams and other supplements need further adjustment.
Transdermal Supplementation of Progesterone
Hormones need only be rubbed once or twice a day into the mucous membranes. However, what typically works wonderfully initially can invariably stop working because of “dermal fatigue”. Progesterone is highly fat-soluble and once applied will store itself in fat tissue. The fat tissue becomes saturated with the hormones and they will actually stop working or can even make symptoms worse. When one initially uses the cream, there aren’t any problems as the fat stores are very low. But as time goes on, the cream accumulates and contributes to disruptions of the adrenal hormones such as DHEA, cortisol, and testosterone. Although progesterone cream is an enormously useful tool, it needs to be used very cautiously. Progesterone is normally a cyclical hormone and the body really needs to see a change in the concentration to affect a proper physiological response. If the level is constantly above the concentration that it recognizes as “off” or low, this is not possible. Therefore, it is imperative to check levels with treatment, and use pulse therapy.
For most premenopausal women the dose is applied for 14 days before expected menses, stopping the day or so before menses. So the cream is applied for twelve days and then stopped, typically starting on day 12 of the cycle and stopping on day 26. The abrupt lowering of the progesterone level is the primary stimulus for menses to start. Hopefully when it starts any PMS and painful periods will be dramatically reduced.
When a women is in menopause she should use the lunar cycle, starting on the full moon and ending 2 days before the new moon.
For most women a single daily application will work. However, because the half-life is relatively short, some women find that they get a more satisfactory response by splitting the daily dose in two, half in the morning and half in the evening.
A common preparation used for progesterone replacement is Dioscorea villosa or wild yam. One of the problems, however, with buying products in America is just because it claims to be something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. So I prefer to buy my products from Seroyal where they are made in Europe. By European standards, they must have in the product what they say they have. And the Genestra brand is the highest quality pharmaceutical grade product I’ve found.
A combination product, Multi Gyn, has been helpful for women to get hormonally balanced. Both Multi Gyn and Dioscorea cream can be ordered here: http://stores.lindacheekmd.com/-strse-Nutriceuticals-cln-Hormonal-support/Categories.bok
Testosterone is just as important for the woman’s libido as it is for men. Progesterone serves as the testosterone precursor in the ovary’s production of testosterone. So when progesterone is deficient, so is testosterone. Hysterectomies with bilateral oophorectomies are much more commonplace today, as symptoms of hormone deficiency causing abnormal uterine bleeding are often treated by unnecessary surgery. Women should avoid removal of their reproductive organs, even when not useful anymore. The body should be considered a whole, and all parts contribute to the entire well-being. Surgery to remove organs that are, by conventional standards, considered unnecessary, should be eliminated. Luckily, for women who have had their ovaries removed, the body can still produce testosterone through the adrenals. However, testosterone deficiency is still a problem. Testosterone levels should be checked if there is plan to treat with any form of testosterone cream. Treating women with testosterone is not conventionally accepted at this point, but there are a lot of doctors doing it. The problem is that there are side effects of testosterone treatment that make this method difficult.
What I would like to recommend is a natural testosterone replacement that the body uses as it needs. This is with the gemmotherapy, Quercus pedonculata, and is the “magical treatment” for libido that I mentioned at the onset of this article.
Gemmotherapy is a branch of phytotherapy (more specifically embryophytotherapy) which was discovered by Henri Pol Bruxele and colleagues in 1965. Gemmotherapy incorporates the buds of fresh plants or embryonic tissues in the growth phase, such as young shoots. These tissues are rich in growth factors, including phyto hormones, auxins and gibberellins. The active principles in the gems are present which start to disappear after a plant reaches a certain point in its growth. Glycerin is used to concentrate these embryonic factors in the remedy.
Quercus pedonculata, or oak buds, acts on adrenal insufficiency and decreased libido. It acts not as testosterone itself, or it would be broken down by the digestive tract since it is taken orally. Instead, it is the precursor to testosterone, and the body uses it to produce its own testosterone. In this manner, you don’t get overdosed or have side effects of being overtreated.
For women, the standard dose is 50 drops (1/2 teaspoon) twice a day. It is recommended to take Quercus for three months before evaluation of its effect. If the desired effect is not achieved, look more at adrenal stress, continue to treat that, and then continue with the Quercus in a pulsed treatment–3 months on, one month off. This helps the body avoid treatment fatigue.
Quercus can be purchased on my website. Go to http://stores.lindacheekmd.com/-strse-Nutriceuticals-cln-Hormonal-support/Categories.bok.
Tonight I had the privilege of being a host on Dr. Veronica’s blog talk radio show, Wellness for the Whole World. Dr. Vernonica and I have something in common. We have both been introduced to media enrichment by going to Steve Harrison’s Publicity Summit. She has gone much farther than I have in reaching people, but someday I will be there too. Especially as all of you who read my blog pass the information on to friends. Someday I’m going to be famous. I’m already infamous as the “Felon for Healthcare” and current charges of being Southwest Viriginia’s Drug Lord for calling in a doctor’s legitimate prescriptions. But you know all that already, and I want to share the topic that Dr. Veronica and I talked about. SEX!!! And How to Make it Better!!!!
Basically there is too much to put in one blog post, so I will break it down into several. In the end, I will share with you the wonderful remedy that I’ve used and my patients have used for improving sex drive. As I tell my patients, “The mailman never looked so good!” But anyway, first we need to understand why sex drives are so low in women. Here is the basis of my talk with Dr. Veronica:
Anxiety and acidity
Since the beginning of mammalian existence, hormones have played an important part of survival. One of the key components in survival is the “fight or flight” response. This response alerts one of danger and prepares the body for escape. Does sex have a role here? No. You would not see a caveman on a rocky cliff facing a saber-toothed tiger suddenly have an erection. And if he were in the middle of lovemaking when the danger appeared, any erection would suddenly disappear. So adrenal stimulation decreases sexual response. And today we have adrenal stimulation almost continuously, from the ringing of the alarm clock in the morning to the sports contests in the evening. We even promote anxiety with the foods we eat, heavy in sugar and caffeine. Sugar and caffeine are primary acidifiers of the body. Other acidifiers are grains, fats, red meats, alcohol and dairy, all primary agents in the standard American diet. With acidification of the body, there is continuous anxiety. The body is literally destroying itself with acid and can’t get away from it. This sets up a continuous internal anxiety that creates a continuous fight or flight response, ergo decreased libido. The body can’t distinguish real physical danger to survival from the innocuous caused by adrenal stimulation. But the reaction is the same–no SEX, please!!
Secondly, the raw ingredients for hormones are lacking.
Sex hormones are composed of a cholesterol skeleton. In order to make hormones, there must be cholesterol in the body. Due to the erroneous blaming of cholesterol in the last century for the development of heart disease, conventional medicine has made it imperative that people decrease the cholesterol in their body. Instead of being a bad guy, cholesterol is actually a good guy. The reason why cholesterol is laid down in arteries is to protect the artery against the acidity. This is why, in spite of our lowering cholesterol in the body to unnatural levels, heart disease is still not controlled, and is actually worse.
So instead of limiting our cholesterol, we should be controlling our acidity with diet. That would leave cholesterol for the formation of hormones. Proper balance of hormones in the body is one of the components of a healthy libido.
Hormones work on a feedback mechanism. Another problem with female hormones is the use of synthetic hormones in the form of birth control and estrogen replacement therapy during menopause. For years it would have been considered malpractice for a doctor to not put menopausal women on ERT, until the Nurse Study became public. Then we found out that ERT created more risk for heart disease and cancer than it did benefit. Artificial hormones such as Premarin, Provera, and the hormones in oral contraceptives all create the feedback on the pituitary so that natural hormone production is curtailed. However, these synthetic hormones do not act in the body like our own hormones. Ergo, libido is again reduced.
So What’s a Body to Do?
In order to increase female libido the right way, you must allow the body to do what it is designed to do, unencumbered. There is no magic pill or potion to undo the damage of conventional medical ignorance. You simply can’t keep poisoning your body and expect it to perform. Now at the end of this article, I will introduce you to an almost magical libido enhancer. But if you don’t change your lifestyle and allow your body to return to the natural health it is entitled to, the product I will tell you about could only have partial effect, and you could still end up short of your full potential.
So here are the steps a woman should take to increase her libido and enjoyment of sex.
1. Decrease anxiety. Eliminate sugar and caffeine from the diet, or at least make them only a special treat once in a while. Limit stresses. Eat regularly. Maintain the same schedule every day. Try to wake up naturally without an alarm clock. That means getting the right amount of sleep every night, going to bed at a decent hour. Watching news or crime shows on TV is unhealthful and increases anxiety. Exercise regularly. Wake up every morning with joy and look forward to the day. Do daily devotions.
2. Tapping. There is a wonderful treatment for the emotions called tapping. When we don’t achieve our sexual desires, we can develop depression, anxiety, and railroad future performance. Tapping, or EFT, can help the person get things back on track emotionally. Tapping is explained in books or on the Internet. It is useful for almost anything, and everyone should use it.
3. Alkaline Diet. Treat acidity in the body by adhering to the alkaline diet. Eat primarily fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugar, breads, dairy, red meats, fats, and alcohol. Check your salivary and urinary pH. Try to maintain a salivary pH of 7 or slightly higher. Urinary pH will vary as a reflection of the acids being removed from the body, but should never be higher than the salivary pH or there is an indication of renal insufficiency. Usually 1 point lower is standard.
4. Do not take cholesterol medication. Since cholesterol is not the enemy, you need to focus on what really is important to the body’s health–its acidic overload. By following the alkaline diet, excess cholesterol is not produced, arteries do not have to be protected, and the cholesterol your body produces can be used to make hormones.
5. Take supplemental vitamin D and get your vitamin D levels checked. Even though America is a sun-worshiping country, we don’t get regular daily exposure to the sun for natural formation of Vitamin D. Fifteen minutes per day of sun exposure would be enough, and if you could walk daily for exercise and sun exposure, great. If not, take supplements. Especially people on cholesterol medicine are deficient in Vitamin D.
6. Stay away from synthetic hormones. This topic will be continued in tomorrow’s blog along with treatments.