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Menopause and Food

A reader writes:

This is the first time on your web page. My biggest concern is I am 56 yrs old and in the middle of menopause. I use herbs to help with the symptoms but sometimes the hot flashes are so strong and frequent i get depressed. I believe there is a correlation between hot flashes and food.

My response:

Although the specific causes of menopause symptoms are not well elucidated, the general consensus is that it is due to decreasing estrogen levels in the body. When a woman is in childbearing years, estrogen causes growth of the inside layer of the uterus (called the endometrium). Progesterone, produced from the ovary after ovulation takes place, matures this endometrial layer in preparation for a fertilized egg. If no fertilization takes place, this endometrial layer is sloughed off (called a period) and the cycle repeats itself. As the ovary ages, it becomes less and less capable of producing the same levels of estrogen and progesterone, the cycles change and finally after 1 year of no menstrual cycle, a woman is in menopause. During this peri-menopause and post-menopause period some women have menopausal symptoms–hot flashes, night sweats, dryness, brain fog, insomnia, decreased energy. Treatment consists of stimulating estrogen receptors so the symptoms diminish. The over-the-counter herbs have weak estrogenic properties, often called phytoestrogens. They work in some women because there is more stimulation of the estrogen receptors than before, and that small amount is all they need. If that does not work, you may need to see a physician trained in bioidentical hormones. I use progesterone first because it improves the estrogen receptors to be more receptive to whatever stimulus that may be present. If that is inadequate, then I add bioidentical estrogen until the symptoms improve or are eliminated.

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Reflux (GERD)

A reader writes:

Well i been diagnosed with Gerds by endoscope since 2006. It was so bad i went from 130lbs to 115lbs. Dr put me on prevacid 30 Mg am and 30 Mg pm.during this time i was able to eat and gain and gained my weight back. Off meds 2009 . I stayed with a bland diet. I thought i was cured so i started eating what i should not eat in 2012 and now feb 2013 i am with Gerds again. Worser than in 2006. Dr put me back on prevacid same disagree. Symptoms now are mid upper back pain, growling stomach,pain in stomach, tickling in mid upper stomach that makes me cough. Dr put me on liquid carafate, to coat ulcers or damaged stomach while it heals. Nothing was working.so i read about juicing cabbage. It has L-Glutamine which is a botonic acid that cures ulcers. But its so nasty. So i put cabbage, carrots, apple, cucumber, Brussels spout, and beets or broccoli. But i wash veggies off with vinegar and water to kill pesticides and bacteria. Since this is a raw produce once u juice it, u have to drink it right away cause the nutrients disappears quickly when air hits it. Also it can develop bacteria if u store it, but if u store it add 1 lemon to preserve juice. But i Jus drink mines right up. After i drink my juice i eat 1 hour later, whole grain oatmeal with raisins. I make this from scratch that way i know what’s in it. Scramble 1 egg in olive oil. And drank soy milk or water. For lunch i will eat fruits. For dinner boil chicken or baked fish with corn or sweet peas. No bread no junk food no sofas no candy. And i am seeing results and its march 11 2013. I stopped carafate last week and use DGL tabs to coat my stomach. Carafate is good but it was making my heart skip beats. No pain in stomach, no more coughing spells at night, no bloatness, no pain in upper mid back. I am gonna keep this routine up and will update once i stop all meds. Hopes this helps and GOD BLESS

My response:

I’m delighted that you are enjoying greater health.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is common, but often responsive to safe and effective supplements and life adjustments. What causes it?  The problem is that the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus does not adequately close, thus permitting the highly acidic stomach juices to reflux or regurgitate up the esophagus. Since the esophagus tissue that lines it does not tolerate this acid, it causes damage to the esophagus. Over time, changes may occur in the lining of the esophagus that may eventually be a precursor to cancer, called Barrett’s Esophagus. Conventional medicine treatment typically consists of two options.  One is to take antacids, which have aluminum in them (as Carafate does). This may build up in the body as a toxic metal. The other treatment is to reduce the production of stomach acid. Unfortunately, the stomach acid has several uses–it kills the viruses and bacteria that may be on the food we eat, and it is the major player in the breakdown of proteins. This is why people on these medications often have amino acid deficiencies months and years later.

My treatment approach is as follows:

1) Try to identify what foods are contributing to the problem and avoid them–usually they are carbohydrates or meats, but the cause may be almost anything. Processed foods are a common cause of GERD.

2) Coat the esophagus and stomach lining with a soothing substance, like aloe vera or vitamin E oil.

3) Some supplements have proved helpful–DGL helps heal the stomach lining, homeopathic Nux Vomica helps to tighten the gastroesophageal sphincter; pancreatic enzymes help to break down poorly digested food which may contribute to reflux; Betaine stimulates gastric acid production to help digest proteins (undigested proteins may be the cause of reflux); Probiotics to improve the whole intestinal tract.

I have additional options that can be of help to you.

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Supplements, Science and Politics

Nutritional therapies have a strong–in fact–irrefutable basis in science and medical literature.  The overwhelming majority of conventional physicians ignore this fact, due to a medical education system that is virtually controlled by the large pharmaceutical companies.

In addition, for a doctor to structure a practice around the tenets of nutrition puts him or her at professional risk of censure by the state agencies that control the medical profession.

As Benjamin Rush, a physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, once said, “Unless we put medical protection into the Constitution the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship.”

Michael Janson, MD in The Vitamin Revolution in Health Care

We begin a study of vitamins, minerals and herbs from one of the greats in Integrative Medicine, Michael Janson, MD. He lays a strong foundation about medical care, health care, and where we are today. Follow along. I urge each of you to recognize your paramount role in achieving and maintaining your own health.

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POSTPONED – Habits of Highly Health Humans, with Dr. Gardner Presenting

Title: Habits of Highly Healthy Humans
Location: Keys to Healing Medical Center, 2332 W. 12600 South, Suite 2B, Riverton, UT 84065
Link out: Click here
Description: Learn how to get and keep your body healthy, with the incredible P.O.W.E.R. Person!  You’ll learn more about how you can STEP UP to POWER, and you’ll get some valuable tips to keep you healthy beyond your years.Call our number, 801-302-5397, to reserve your seat. We’ll see you at 7:00 p.m.
Start Time: 7:00
Date: September 4, 2012 – POSTPONED: watch the website for a new day