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The Truth About Hormone
Replacement Therapy

by Dr. Theresa Dale, CCN, ND, NP

HRT is based on the Incorrect Assumption that your body becomes incapable of producing appropriate amounts of hormones simply because you reach a certain age.

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Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), whether natural or synthetic, is based on an incorrect assumption. Your body does alter its hormone production as you pass through the stages of life, but hormone problems are a function of how healthy you are, NOT how old you are. This myopic viewpoint has caused thousands of deaths from cancer.

Natural hormone usage has grown since synthetic HRT has been deemed toxic and a potential cancer risk. Millions of women are now using synthetic, plant-derived and synthesized "bio-identical" hormones. The problem for the consumer is education about product safety. Natural progesterone, estrogen, and wild yam creams can cause an extreme toxicity in hormone levels--as I've seen in over 1,000 saliva tests based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. For example, if a woman's normal progesterone range is 100 and she is using a progesterone cream, the level may jump to 6,500 and become a toxin burdening the liver.

An advanced saliva test, based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine "body clock," should be performed on every person before they consider hormone replacement therapy. The difference between this test and so many others is that specific times of organ function may be tested accurately, including hypoglycemic events (one high cortisol level) and diabetes (two or more high cortisol levels). Most important is that initial baseline hormone levels are determined-before, during, and after product usage.

Any hormone replacement, whether it is natural or synthetic, actually causes the body to slow down the production of its own natural hormones including melatonin, DHEA, progesterone, and human growth hormone. HRT does not treat the cause of any problem; it only addresses and perpetuates the symptoms.

Moreover, life-threatening symptoms can be easily camouflaged by using natural hormones. A virus, bacteria, parasite, or drug can stress adrenal cortisol levels causing hormone imbalances. When cortisol levels become stressed, a patient can experience hot flashes, depression, mood swings, hair loss, and weight gain. If we use natural hormones, it is similar to placing a band-aid on the health concern, instead of treating the cause.

A patient with undiagnosed Hepatitis C can easily have hormonal symptoms due to the fact that the liver conjugates hormones. If we use hormones to address the symptoms, the body may stop communicating, which could have pointed the practitioner in the direction of a correct diagnosis, the underlying Hepatitis C.

Since women are no longer willing to accept the risks associated with synthetic hormones and are searching for safer alternatives, they are vulnerable to the marketing concepts of natural hormone replacement-portrayed as a safe answer to HRT. But it may not be as safe as claimed.

A naturopathic approach to balancing hormones is different. It begins with saliva testing and using a pure homeopathic medicine proven to work and not toxify the body. The naturopathic doctor uses an advanced program incorporating diet, nutrition, detoxification, and exercise. Actual patient test results (before and after) indicate the homeopathic formulas needed. This is effective even with women who have undergone surgery for a complete hysterectomy.

I have seen women who have had a hysterectomy produce enough of their own hormones by using homeopathic formulas. HRT will only exasperate the condition, causing dependency and adrenal cortisol stress.

Diet and exercise also have a great influence on hormonal balance. Caffeine dehydrates the adrenal glands, affecting cortisol levels, while sugar exhausts them. An endocrine rebuilding diet is a must for all hormonally challenged patients.

Natural and Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy has side effects. The synthetic U.S.P. hormonal creams sold over the counter (synthesized from soy or wild yam), are no longer natural. In addition, they have not been thoroughly researched for safety.

Saliva is considered a better indicator of biologically active circulating hormone levels than serum or urine--more accurately reflecting the body's functional hormonal status. Over 20 years of research has proven the effectiveness of using saliva as a diagnostic medium to measure the "free" (unbound) bioavailable, biologically active fraction of circulating hormone. These concentrations are independent of saliva flow rate. But this testing is not nearly as accurate if the collection time of the saliva does not correlate to the TCM Five Element Theory. Instructing a patient to give a saliva specimen at any convenient time will not yield specific and accurate measurement of hormones related to meridians, organs, and glands that are producing hormones. The target collection times need to be performed according to the "Chinese Medicine Body Clock".

I believe that saliva testing and hormone ratio interpretation according to biological age (not chronological age) is crucial for creating an effective program. Saliva testing is also an accurate method of evaluating how HRT, topical hormone creams, sublingual drops, diet, herbal therapy, and exercise influence hormone levels.

Hormones have a powerful influence on all physical, intellectual, and emotional behavior. Prolonged exposure to stress may be devastating to the body and mind. My research, from assessing over 1,000 salivary tests using my homeopathic protocol, indicates that low cortisol stress is more common than high cortisol stress. However, test results indicate that when two or more cortisol levels are elevated, there is a strong probability that the patient has diabetes or a genetic predisposition for it. If one cortisol level is elevated, it may indicate hypoglycemia. This can be treated most effectively with my homeopathic formulas. However, if HRT is used in this situation, it will create further stress.

Theresa Dale, Ph.D, DNS, CCN, NP is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Traditional Naturopathic Practitioner, and President of The Wellness Center. She is also founder of The California College of Natural Medicine based in Santa Cruz, CA and author of the book Revitalize Your Hormones. For more information visit www.wellnesscenter.net or www.traditionalnaturopathy.com or call (800) 928-9088.

Related Info:
Dr. Christiane Northrup on Menopause and Nutrition
Menopause: Symptoms & Common Sense Solutions
Hidden Signs of Heart Attack in Women
Living Well: A Guide to Anti-Aging
Do You Have Thyroid Problems?
The Truth About Hormone Replacement Therapy
Balancing Your Energy Hormones 
Preventing Osteoporosis
Feeling Fat, Fuzzy or Frazzled?
The Hormone Question
Reduce the Effects of Aging with Natural Supplements
Estrogen, Menopause, and Your Thyroid

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