Tag Archive | wild yam

Conflict of Interest

I’ve had a hormone discussion with several women in the past week or so, so I thought it might warrant revisiting the topic. I frequently hear women complain about menopausal symptoms and/or am asked how I manage those symptoms myself. Chemotherapy ensured I went to directly to menopause. Do not pass Go.  Do not collect $200. Femara turbo-charged any menopausal symptoms and completely depleted all of my hormones.

After quitting the Femara, and with the help of my amazing naturalist, I have been able to get my hormones back in check. Currently, I experience none of the usual symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, and I view my herbal supplements as a God-send.

Below is a list of what I take for hormonal support.  All items I take are from Natures Sunshine, except where noted (if you want to sign up for them, let me know; I can share my account number as a referral).

  • FlashEase (which is the first one my naturalist recommends, because most women are lowest in estrogen). FlashEase is Dong quai root, black cohosh root, and rhizome extract.
  • Wild Yam
  • Black Cohosh
  • Women’s X-Action (Maca root extract, l-arginine, eleuthero root, oat straw extract, red raspberry leaves, damiana leaves, licorice root and sarsaparilla root.)  Maca root is the key ingredient in this one.
  • Vitamin D3 (I take an oil based D3; not from NS)
  • Xenostat (also not from NS) – This one is to help rid my body of xeno-estrogens (bad estrogens).
  • I was taking NF-X (Goldenseal root, capsicum fruit, ginger rhizome, uva ursi leaves, cramp bark, squaw vine whole plant, blessed thistle aerial parts, red raspberry leaves and false unicorn root) but I stopped taking it in the past few weeks as my naturalist didn’t think I needed that one any more.

It might seem like a lot of things, and maybe it is, but it’s worth it not to have to deal with those symptoms. If you don’t want to go full throttle on the list, start with the FlashEase first.

*****

I’ve finally found a few minutes to go back through my notes from my conference in February.  I can’t believe it’s been 3 months already.  The time is truly flying by.  I’m hoping over the next week or two to report out on the majority of my remaining notes.

To that end, I wanted to mention PCRM.org.  This organization (PCRM = Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) is another great resource for information, and their session was titled “The Politics of Food: How Conflicts of Interest Sabotage America’s Health”. As indicated on their website, PCRM “advocates for preventive medicine, especially good nutrition, conduct clinical research, and advocate for higher ethical standards in research.”  They led the charge in getting the nutritional guidelines changed in 2010 and continue to fight the good fight.

I was not surprised to see that their advisory board included T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., John McDougall, M.D.,  and Baxter Montgomery, M.D.  All four were speakers at the February event.

What was most interesting to me in listening to the speaker from PCRM was the deep conflict of interest that exists at the USDA.  While they (the USDA) are, on one hand, responsible for establishing dietary guidelines, they are also, on the other hand, responsible for promoting commodity products.  The USDA manages “check off programs” that essentially promote the meat, egg and dairy industries.  “Got Milk?” “The Incredible Edible Egg.”  “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.”  “Pork. The Other White Meat.”  All of these advertisements (propoganda?) come out of the check off programs and the USDA.  How then can they objectively determine what the correct nutritional guidelines are?  They can’t. They are never going to tell you straight out not to eat meat, since it’s their job to sell more meat.  The conflict of interest just boggled my mind.  I had no idea.

The other mind boggling statistic from this speaker:  80% of antibiotics sold in the US are used on animals.  Think of that next time you are biting into your burger!

*****

IMDb: Conflict of Interest (1993)

Drugstore Cowboy

For the last two weeks, I have been taking my Femara every three days and monitoring my blood pressure.  So far, so good.  As of yesterday, I moved to my “every other day” mode.  I will continue to monitor my blood pressure and the other side effects to determine if that frequency makes sense.  I have been taking two herbal hormones diligently for the past few weeks also — Flash Ease, which is Black Cohosh and Dong Quai Root, and Wild Yam & Chaste Tree.  Those really seem to be helping both my energy level and the joint pain.  While the joint pain is not completely gone, it has certainly lessened.  I am hoping that prolonged taking of the herbal hormones will help even more over time.

I had a call tonight from my dear college friend, Michele, who offered her support and perspective on the whole Femara topic.  As a 10 year survivor of breast cancer, she’s “been there”, and understands what I’m feeling more than most.  She also started with Femara, way back when, and was switched to Tamoxifen after the Femara was causing similar side effects.  Eventually, she was given permission to stop taking it all together.  As she reminded me, it really is a crap shoot sometimes.  You can follow the doctor’s orders to the letter of the law and still get a recurrence.  Or you can be completely a bad patient, not listen to a word, and live a long life.  It’s really up to each person to listen to their own intuition, make the right decisions for themselves, and make the most of life.  All great advice!  (Love you, Michele!)  I’m encouraged that her doctor gave her permission to stop taking it and she’s a 10 year survivor.  (I have no delusions that MY doctor will give the same permission.  She, of course, would not be happy with my Femara vacation, nor my self-imposed schedule…hence my cowboy reference.)

So for the time being, we will try the every-other-day approach and monitor vitals and side effects.  And we’ll go from there!

In other news…

Dad is down to SIX radiation treatments and it can’t end too soon for him and Mom.  He’s really tired, has lost more weight, and was nauseous this week.  I”m glad the weekend is near for him to recover a bit before the final week.

In a conversation with someone at work today about supplements, it occurred to me that I have not been taking my Vitamin B (which is recommended for vegetarians).  Oops!  Need to get back on that!

My wheat grass is growing nicely.  Sprouting like crazy!

wheat grass 2013-08-22

Force of Nature

Time for my quarterly visit to the naturalist today — always something I look forward to!

It was interesting to see the effects of the Femara based on the results of today’s biofeedback scan.  Last time I went, I believe all of my organs were in a healthy range.  Today?  Five items out of range, with my adrenal glands being way out of whack.  This is, of course, related to the poor sleep patterns I have had since starting the Femara in April.  Three months of sleep will fatigue even the strongest adrenals!  It certainly explains why it is so very hard to get out of bed in the morning.  Also not surprising was that ALL of my hormones were significantly depleted.

Among today’s recommendations…

  • Indole 3 Carbinol.  I think this is one I will likely take “forever”.  I have mentioned this before, but this one but as a reminder, Indole 3 Carbinol “is produced by the breakdown of the glucosinolate glucobrassicin, which can be found at relatively high levels incruciferous vegetables such as broccolicabbagecauliflowerbrussels sproutscollard greens and kale.” (per Wikipedia)  This supplement helps to break down xenoestrogens, which may contribute to breast, prostate and uterine cancers.   (Xenoestrogens can be synthetic or natural chemical compounds that imitate estrogen in your body.)
  • Collagen Complex is a combination of shark cartilidge, glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM, all intended to help with the joint pain.
  • Xenostat is a supplement, along with Insole-3-carbinol, that will support the body to detox xeno-estrogens.
  • Aloe Vera Juice and Colostrum to detox some funky “micro organisms”.  These are short term items.
  • I will continue with my usual Nature’s Harvest green drink, Curcumin, E-tea and CoQ10.
  • We talked about doing some herbal hormal support (natural estrogens) like wild yan.

It’s always fascinating to review the results and see how all the puzzle pieces come together throughout each session.  I’m so glad that so many friends and family have taken the step to see my naturalist.  I think they are all thrilled with the results!  Nature is the way to go… for both food and support!