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Naturally Balanced Hormone Health

By Phyllis R. Nelson

I want to begin by saying that I am not a physician and I am not giving medical advice. I simply want to share information that has been helpful to me about a topic of interest to many women – hormones.

While the available information about hormones and hormone imbalance is vast, much of it conflicts. One thing most can agree upon is that there are significant health and wellness issues that can be related to hormone imbalance.

It is important to understand that even though there are similarities amongst women, we must be aware of our own individual health and that we do our own research. It may seem easier to simply “take a pill” and think we are done with whatever ails us, but it’s wiser to understand, via specific tests, what our bodies need and all the possible approaches to those needs. Which one can make the most difference while doing the least harm?

Specifically I want to discuss progesterone and its ability to oppose, or to balance estrogen, especially synthetic estrogen. There are many things that affect hormone health:

  • diet/nutrition
  • exercise
  • stress
  • environment
  • ingredients we apply to our skin

All of these have the potential to create over 100 health issues related to progesterone deficiency and estrogen dominance. According to research done at Harvard, 85% of women are progesterone deficient and estrogen dominant by the time they are 30. When one begins to understand the roles of progesterone and synthetic estrogen, it is easy to see why we need to take charge of our daily health routine, in order to tip the hormone balance back in our favor.

When I speak about progesterone, I am referring to the naturally occurring hormone that is produced by the corpus luteum of the ovary. It also refers to a non-patentable hormone-like substance called diosgenin, found in many plants. Diosgenin is easily turned into a bio-identical progesterone that the human body identifies as its own product, which makes it ideal for use as a supplemental transdermal cream. I am not referring to progestin, which is a patentable synthetic, manufactured product.  Progestin is not bio-identical to humans.

From progesterone are derived not only the other sex hormones, including the estrogens, but also the corticosteroids, which are essential for stress response, sugar an electrolyte balance, blood pressure and even survival. With progesterone as a precursor to so many other hormones, it becomes easy to see why a progesterone deficiency can cause a range of problems. When one researches the area of hormone health, one becomes very aware of just how important hormone balance is to our overall health. Hormones affect most everything.

Estrogen dominance is a term coined by natural hormone health pioneer, Dr. John Lee, in his first book on natural progesterone. It describes a condition where a woman can have deficient, normal or excessive estrogen, but have little or no progesterone to balance estrogen’s effects in the body. Even a woman with low estrogen levels can have estrogen dominance symptoms if her progesterone is depleted.

Some of the symptoms and conditions associated with estrogen dominance are: autoimmune disorders, breast tenderness, decreased sex drive, depression or anxiety, fatigue, fibrocystic breasts, hair and skin issues, mood swings, infertility, insomnia, PMS, osteoporosis, polycystic ovaries, thyroid dysfunction, irritability irregular periods, headaches and many more.

One route is investigate is bio-identical hormones. Look for a traditional or naturopathic physician that specializes in bio-identical hormone health. This person will have an excellent understanding of the hormonal system and what is available from non-chemical sources to restore balance. One of the best ways to understand the state of one’s hormonal health is to have saliva testing done.

According to Dr. David Zava, a prominent hormone researcher, “70 to 80 percent of ovary-made progesterone is carried on red blood cells and thus is not measured by serum or plasma blood tests. This progesterone is available to the body for use and readily filters through the saliva glands into saliva where it can be measured accurately.”

Both urine and blood testing are used as well. There are many types of hormones so the difference in testing methods reflects this. As a side note, saliva testing is expensive and usually not covered by insurance.

If you find yourself with any of these symptoms or conditions, or suspect that your hormone health may be a contributing factor in other areas, then it would behoove you to do some research. My own experience and the experiences of many others who have chosen the bio-identical hormone path, tells me that it is possible to rectify many of these issues with natural hormone replacement therapy – a therapy that not only makes a wonderful positive difference, but without complications or serious side effects.

Some Resources for Bio-Identical Hormone Health

  • Dr. John Lee-pioneer and author of: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Premenopause, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Menopause, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Breast Cancer, and Hormone Balance Made Easy  (Virginia Hopkins) www.johnlee.com
  • www.theseventhwoman.org focused on research for cancer prevention rather that treatment
  • www.womeninbalance.org advances research and education for natural solutions to women’s health
  • www.natural-progesterone-advisory-network.com/ Catherine Rollins also offers ebooks
  • www.salivatest.com
  • The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed On Women, by Barbara Seamans
  • Dr. Jessica Sedita N.D. 23 Clara Dr., Suite 105, Mystic, CT 860-572-7711
  • Olympia Gregory, CNM, MSN New London Tpke, Norwich, CT 860-859-3612
  • I also sponsor Natural Hormone Health workshops.

If you are interested in attending one of these events, please call me at 860-822-6416 or email me at balancedliving282@sbcglobal.net.

Phyllis R. Nelson, Arbonne International
Leader, Natural Hormone Health Workshops
Member and Past President, SECT Women’s NETWORK

As profiled on GRACE magazine website, www.graceforwomen.com

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A registered not-for-profit organization founded in 1976.

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