Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hormone Replacement Therapy - Part 2
Estrogen Dominance and Natural Progesterone

While many troublesome menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, insomnia and anxiety are caused by too little estrogen, other symptoms during perimenopause and menopause can be caused by estrogen dominance. This is most often due to either too much estrogen or a reduction in progesterone. Estrogen dominance can be a problem even for younger women who experience PMS, painful menstrual cramps or long, heavy periods.

In my post of October 7, 2007, Hormone Replacement Therapy – Part 1, I focused on Estrogen Replacement Therapy. Because of the known side effects of estrogen replacement, especially its known effects on the hyper-proliferation of both breast and uterine tissue, many women suffering from menopausal symptoms are looking for a natural alternative.

As I stated in my previous post: It has long been known that estrogen (both natural and synthetic) can increase the risk of certain cancers, yet these hormones continue to be prescribed by physicians. Estrogen has a direct effect on the uterine lining and is known to increase a woman’s risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer and some pre-cancerous conditions such as atypical hyperplasia. Estrogen can also increase the risk of breast cancer because of the effect of estrogen on breast tissue as well as the development of potentially deadly blood clots.

In my previous post, I recommended the use of black cohosh, red clover, and soy which contain natural phytoestrogens which can reduce and eliminate annoying menopausal symptoms without the dangerous side effects of estrogen. Since women during perimenopause and menopause experience a reduction in both estrogen and progesterone, it seems quite natural to add natural progesterone to balance the phytoestrogens in the formula. Natural progesterone is available in creams available in health stores and as Wild Yam Root which contains diosgenin from which progesterone can be synthesized. I will not recommend any specific products, but combinations of natural herbs with both estrogenic and progesterone effects can be found in pharmacies, health product catalogs, and on the internet.

And what about estrogen dominance? In this case, we will want to use progesterone to counteract the effects of too much estrogen secretion. This is a common occurrence in both menopause and perimenopause and is responsible for extremely heavy, anemia causing periods during perimenopause and the spotting that can occur during early menopause. While synthetic progesterone such as Provera and generic version medroxyprogesterone can have serious side effects such as proliferation of breast tissue, increase in blood glucose, anxiety, weight gain, blood clots, and even cancer, women can enjoy the benefits of progesterone therapy through the use of natural progesterone cream or Wild Yam Root cream or capsules without these side effects. These products can be easily found in pharmacies, health stores and catalogs, or online.

Although there is some controversy over the effectiveness of Wild Yam Root, probably brought on by the big pharmaceutical companies, in a future post, I will describe how Wild Yam Root cured my estrogen dominance.

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kab625 said...

Hi Helene,
Happy New Year.
I have used Black Cohosh with success. What I noticed is that if I didn't purchase it in "standardized" form, it did not help as much. Remifemin seemed to work well. Clover - nothing noticeable. Also, simply adding Calcium and Magnesium seems to be of benefit (personally). Not that I'm that old. (lol)

Helene said...

This is good information. Thanks. I have had good results with Wild Yam Root for estrogen dominance.


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