Volume 3, Issue 25
July 8, 2010
The #1 cause of heart disease, osteoporosis, and dementia in women
If you're a woman over the age of 50, your risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and dementia goes up significantly. Fortunately, the reason is easy to explain. And, more importantly, it's easy to fix.
What's more, this is strictly a female issue. Unless it is his wife who has it, and then it can become a distinct issue, men don't have to worry about this cause. That's because the obvious reason for this increased risk is menopause. When menopause hits, a woman's body slows way down in its production of hormones, particularly estrogen.
Fortunately, of all the hormones, estrogen deficiency is the easiest to diagnose. This is because it happens to women so suddenly — when they hit menopause and stop menstruating. At that point, you know you're deficient. You also may notice other problems. You may start to lose your hair, your breasts might sag, you might see more facial hair, and you may have more bladder problems (including infections and incontinence).
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What's more, you can encounter a number of common symptoms of estrogen deficiency. These can include:
Stiff, achy joints, particularly the fingers and hands
Vaginal and/or bladder irritation
Forgetfulness — "brain fog"
Depression, moodiness, anxiety
Feelings of despair
As I've said before with other hormones, lab tests aren't the best way to determine if you're deficient. The symptoms are all you need. If you have a significant number of these symptoms, ask your doctor to give you a trial of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. I always start with a cream that contains estradiol (0.5 mg), estriol (2 mg), progesterone (40 mg), testosterone (0.5 mg), and DHEA (2 mg) in every gram of cream. Your doctor can order this cream through a compounding pharmacy.
Yes, it's easy enough to prescribe the estrogen as a separate cream. But the reality is that any woman who needs estrogen therapy is likely deficient in the other hormones as well. So I put them altogether.
Start off with one-half gram per day. Increase the dose by one-quarter gram every one to two weeks. Continue to increase the dose until either the symptoms are gone, or signs of estrogen excess show up. This is easy to spot. You will feel very similar to the way you felt in the days leading up to your menstrual period. You may experience irritability, swollen breasts, water retention, vaginal bleeding, and a swollen feeling in the lower abdomen. In most women the correct dose is the lowest amount that keeps the hot flashes and night sweats down to one to two per week.
In next week's alert, I'll show you some easy remedies you can take at home that can really help. Don't miss it.
Finding your Real Cures,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
REF: Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, 8th Edition edited by Jean Wilson, MD and Daniel Foster, MD.ÿ W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, PA.
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