Volume 3, Issue 16
April 22, 2010
Insulin’s Evil Twin
This overlooked hormone might be the real reason you still struggle with out-of-control blood sugar. But most doctors (even alternative doctors) ignore it completely.
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If you’ve gone through menopause and you’ve started losing your hair, you’re not alone. I recently received the following letter from one of our subscribers. She asked:
“Can you please address the causes and cures or remedies for postmenopausal women who are losing their hair without taking hormones? What tests can be done? What supplements would help?”
Believe it or not, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can stop your hair loss. That’s because a decrease in hormone levels is the cause of most hair loss in postmenopausal women. This typically means a deficiency in the thyroid hormones T3 and T4, the adrenal hormone DHEA, or the sex hormones progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen.
If you do have a deficiency of any of these hormones, you may develop other health problems, such as osteoporosis, dementia, and heart disease. Please don’t be afraid to take hormones if you’re deficient. Just make sure you take bioidentical hormones, not the drugs passed off as hormones.
Of course there are medications such as topical minoxidil (Rogaine). But I stay away from these because they don’t address the cause, only the symptom.
Hair is made primarily of sulphur-bearing amino acids. So from a nutritional standpoint, be sure that you’re eating enough animal protein (veggie protein doesn’t have much sulphur). Eggs are very high in sulphur. Also, make sure that you’re digesting the protein you do eat. Many older folks just don’t make enough stomach acid. Some don’t make any acid at all. And poor stomach acid production can interfere with protein digestion.
But poor stomach acid production does more than just interfere with digestion. It also allows infections to develop in the stomach that are a common cause of heartburn and reflux esophagitis (GERDS). Additionally, a deficiency of stomach acid leads to a deficiency of vitamin B12, which can cause numerous health problems.
To find out how well your stomach is digesting food, a trial of some digestive enzymes might be helpful. In my clinic, we use a test called the Heidelberg capsule test. In this test, you simply swallow a harmless capsule containing a small radio transmitter. When the capsule reaches your stomach, it beeps back information to a receiver that tells the doctor whether or not your stomach is able to make enough acid. Your integrative physician should have the test available.
If needed, I prescribe stomach acid capsules. These capsules consist of acids (typically betaine HCl and glutamic HCl) that do a great job substituting for the acids your stomach is no longer making. One or two capsules (250-500 mg of each) are taken at the end of each meal as needed. You can find these capsules in most health food stores and on the Internet.
Finding your Real Cures,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Copyright 2010 Soundview Publishing, LLC
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