Dear Women: Menopause is natural, but it is an endocrine catastrophe--the complete failure of your major sex-steroid producing gland. It is equivalent to a man losing his testes. Menopause is natural, but it is the result of an evolutionary compromise. It prevents more pregnancies so that women can assure the survival of their existing children. Imagine the contrary--if women remained fertile their entire life! Your ovarian hormones were essential to your health and quality of life before menopause and they remain so after menopause. To maintain your health in menopause, your need only enough estradiol supplementation to you the same low estradiol levels as men! Ovarian hormone replacement is not dangerous--it is vital to your health and quality of life. What was shown to be dangerous in the 2002 WHI study was the use of the non-human hormone substitutes: Premarin and Provera (Combined as PremPro). Human bioidentical molecules, delivered by the correct route and in correct balance with other hormones provide all the natural benefits without the risks seen with non-human molecules. Transdermal estradiol does not increase the risks of blood clots and strokes like oral estrogen tablets do. Progesterone counteracts estradiol in the breasts and uterus, reduces proliferation in those tissues. The combination of estradiol and with sufficient progesterone does not increase the growth of cancers in those organs. On the contrary, Provera and many other progesterone-substitutes (progestins) promote breast cancer. You'll also want to restore your testosterone to youthful levels as it will improve your mood, libido, energy and muscle strength and will cause no health problems. Testosterone also antagonizes estradiol in the breasts, reducing proliferation and the risk of breast cancer. You have the right to demand that your ovarian failure be treated. Your physician is ethically obligated to provide ovarian hormone replacement if you so demand. You can demand transdermal estradiol in either FDA-approved gels or patches from regular pharmacies or in a cream from a compounding pharmacy. You must also demand progesterone, whether you still have your uterus or not. Progesterone is available in FDA-approved capsules (best inserted vaginally or punctured and rubbed into the skin). From compounding pharmacies you can get progesterone in creams and sublingual/vaginal tablets. You can only get testosterone from a compounding pharmacy as misinformed "women's advocates" prevented the FDA from approving a testosterone patch for women. Your doctor can call a compounding pharmacy for the appropriate testosterone product and dose. You should read, and refer your physician to, my powerpoint Sex-Steroid Restoration for Women. Pages 59 to 68 contain detailed guidance concerning prescriptions and dose adjustments for both FDA-approved and compounded hormone products.
Dear Thyroid Patients: If you have thyroid gland failure--primary hypothyroidism--your doctor is giving you a dose of levothyroxine that normalizes your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Abundant research shows that this practice usually does not restore euthyroidism--sufficient T3 effect in all tissues of the body. It fails particularly badly in persons who have had their thyroid gland removed. Unfortunately, the medical profession has clung to the misleading TSH test since the some physicians decided to do so in the 1970s. Doctors are taught that hypothyroidism is a high TSH--when it is, in fact, the state of inadequate T3-effect in some or all tissues. They are taught wrong. TSH not a thyroid hormone and is not an appropriate guide for either the diagnosis or treatment of hypothyroidism. The hypothalamic-pituitary secretion of TSH did not evolve to tell physicians what dose of inactive levothyroxine a person should swallow every day. A low or suppressed TSH on replacement therapy is not the same thing as a low TSH in primary hyperthyroidism. IF you continue to suffer from the symptoms of hypothyroidism, you have the right to demand that your physician give you more effective T4/T3 (inactive/active) thyroid replacement therapy. Your physician can either add sufficient T3 (10 to 20mcgs) to your T4 dose, or lower your T4 dose while adding the T3. The most convenient form of T4/T3 therapy, with a 4:1 ratio, is natural desiccated thyroid (NDT-- Armour, NP Thyroid, Nature-Throid). If you have persistent symptoms, ask your physician change you to NDT and adjust the dose to keep the TSH at the bottom of its range. The physician cannot object. This may be sufficient treatment, but IF you continue to have persisting hypothyroid symptoms, and no hyperthyroid symptoms, ask your physician to increase the dose to see if your symptoms will improve, even if the TSH becomes low or suppressed. You can prove to your physician that you're not hyperthyroid by the facts that you have no symptoms of hyperthyroidism and your free T4 and free T3 levels are normal in the morning, prior to your daily dose. They may even be below the middle of their ranges. Your free T3 will be high for several hours after your morning T4/T3 dose, but this is normal with this therapy and produces no problems. You should insist that testing be done prior to your daily dose, as recommended by professional guidelines. If you have central hypothyroidism, the TSH will necessarily be low or completely suppressed on T4/T3 therapy. In all cases, your physician must treat you according to your signs and symptoms first, and the free T4 and free T3 levels second.
If you cannot obtain the sex-hormone, thyroid, or adrenal care from your primary care physician, call local compounding pharmacies to see if they know of a physician that provides such care.
Hormones are the most powerful molecules in our bodies, controlling the function, growth reproduction, metabolism, and repair of every cell. Our bodies require optimal hormone levels, just as they require optimal levels of essential vitanutrients: vitamins, fats, amino acids, and minerals. Insufficient hormone levels have been shown to contribute to many disorders and diseases--diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, fatigue, loss of muscle strength, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, cognitive decline, increased cholesterol levels, blood clots, increased belly fat, loss of libido, anxiety, depression, and some cancers. In addition to age-related losses, many persons have hormone insufficiencies or imbalances due to hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction, endocrine gland failure, hormone resistance and metabolic disorders. Women are especially affected by hormonal disorders because their complex hormonal system is adapted to produce and feed babies; not to optimize their vitality as in men. Women have a much higher incidence of hypocortisolism than men (fatigue, aches, insomnia, anxiety,depression, hypoglycemia, low blood pressure, PMS/PMDD, allergies, and autoimmune diseases). They also have more hypothyroidism (fatigue, aches, cold hands and feet, dry skin, weight gain, constipation). Women then suffer complete ovarian failure at menopause. Women are being poorly served by the prevailing ignorance concerning hormones.
Conventional medicine today grossly underestimates the importance of optimal hormone levels. It remains disease-oriented, stuck in old ideas from the early 20th century. Endocrinologists are taught to diagnose only the few severe hormonal deficiencies caused by identifiable disease or damage affecting a gland, and to provide only enough hormone replacement to "normalize" certain tests. They are actually taught to ignore the patient's signs and symptoms and all the complexities of the endocrine system. They practice "Reference Range Endocrinology"; accepting any hormone level anywhere within the laboratory's reference range as "normal", meaning "no disease". They fail to understand that population ranges do not define what is optimal for our species, or for any individual. The laboratory ranges include 95% of a group of "apparently healthy" adults who were not screened for symptoms. They include almost everyone! Worse, physicians ignore a person's actual thyroid hormone levels and their symptoms and rely almost entirely on the wrong test, the TSH, to diagnose and treat hypothyroidism. This illogical TSH-T4 thyroidology makes them incapable of diagnosing or properly treating hypothyroidism. It has also corrupted the laboratory ranges for free T4 and free T3. Laboratories include physician-ordered tests from hospital and clinic patients in their ranges--as long as the TSH was normal. Laboratories are reporting hypothyroid patient ranges!
In fact, most hormone deficiencies are not due to failure of a gland--except for menopause. Most deficiencies are partial central hormone deficiencies--caused by hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction--and/or partial resistance syndromes caused by genetic mutations of enzymes, receptors and other proteins needed for hormone action in the tissues. Endocrinologists are also practically incapable of diagnosing or treating hypocortisolism. Physicians are actually afraid of cortisol--the most powerful hormone in the human body. They have seen the long-term negative effects of "steroids" like prednisone and Medrol. However, cortisol (hydrocortisone) restoration at physiological doses, and accompanied by DHEA, does not have any negative Human hormones have no "side effects" by definition! For certain, even bioidentical-human hormone replacement can cause problems when given in the wrong way, in excessive doses, or without proper balance with other hormones.
Read Dr. Lindner's submission to the Scottish Parliament for a brief summary of the failures of conventional endocrinology, their causes, and the legal reforms necessary to assure that the population has access to effective endocrine care. Because it still clings to the old disease-based Reference Range Endocrinology, and because of pharmaceutical corporation and FDA corruption, endocrinology is an ineffective, moribund specialty, dominated by hormone myths. Indeed, all of medical practice is now essentially a pharmaceutical disease-drug scheme.
Medicine requires an entirely different conceptual foundation: it should first and foremost try to find the biomolecular causes of all symptoms and disorders, and should attempt to address the causes. In many cases all that is needed is to optimize the amounts and balance of important natural molecules--among them hormones and vitanutrients. Doctors should be taught "Restorative Endocrinology". See my E-book for much more detailed information and advice.
Hormone Restoration for Health and Quality of Life
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Unfortunately, Dr. Lindner's practice is full. He cannot accept new patients. This site contains practical advice for persons who need hormonal therapies.