Hot Flashes: End Them!
"The Swanson Health product, 7-HMRlignans Enterolactone Enhancer from Norwegian Spruce Tree, has eliminated menopausal hot flashes and interrupted sleep for me and other women. I take one capsule every morning. I also use the Swanson Health product, Menogest, a natural progesterone cream and apply to the skin as suggested on the label. In less than one week, my energy level, mood and overall health were restored. It also decreased vaginal dryness. These products last approximately two months and cost less than $15 total." - Anonymous
Hot Flash - Wild Yam Cream by Beth Ellyn Rosenthal
Everything Your Doctor Hasn't Shared With You About The Causes of PMS and Menopausal Discomfort . . . and the Revolutionary Natural Solution Why women from 13 to 60 need the Wild Yam Cream . . . and some men too.
Ninety percent of American women suffer from some type of menstrual problem. I suspect your PMS story can’t be as bad as mine. But parts of our stories probably match. If you’re like me, you’ve suffered from the day you had your first period: Debilitating cramps. Wild mood swings. Super sensitive breasts. Pain that would make a line backer double over. Fortunately, I’ve finally found relief. Now you can, too.
Here’s my tale. In the late 1940s, my mother desperately tried to have a baby. After two heartbreaking miscarriages, she heard about a special study at the University of Chicago. The researchers there were testing a promising new drug that would allow her to carry a baby to term.
During her pregnancy my mother received 52 injections of a drug called DES, which turned out to be an artificial form of estrogen. The stuff did everything it promised! She got her dream: me. But DES turned out to be my nightmare. Later, as we DES babies grew up, these same researchers discovered this massive exposure to estrogen as fetuses caused severe deformities in the sexual organs of both males and females. (What will they find out 20 years from now about estrogen replacement therapy?)
In my case, I was born with cervical cancer. And I only have one working ovary. My uterus is in backwards. And I’m too embarrassed to tell you the rest! But the point here is, my messed up system created menstrual problems I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I take that back. I would!
PMS: The Bitch From Hell
Ovaries alternate releasing eggs once a month. When it’s my non-working ovary’s turn, I suffer no menstrual cramps or hot flashes. But I dread the months when the egg comes from the functional ovary. For 10 days before my period, I experience pain equal to natural child birth. Only drugs with strong narcotics put a dent in the agony. My sister, who lives in Canada, sends me pain pills that are not available here so I could have enough presence to get dressed and go to work. Talk about PMS. Hey, it was no secret in my case. I am the bitch from hell! Things got worse as I got older. The physicians felt my exposure to DES intensified the typical symptom of menopause.
At age 44, I am perimenopausal. (Perimenopause is the decade before menopause when women’s bodies slowly and subtly begin to prepare for menopause. Perimenopause typically starts around age 40, but can begin as early as 35.) The hot flashes, which I had only experienced right before my period, intensified and became common throughout the month. My wild mood swings, which before had only been the hallmark of PMS, affected me all month long. There were times when an emotional cloud engulfed me for 30 days straight, choking me in a fog of malaise. And, for the first time in my life, I couldn’t fall asleep. Or stay asleep.
Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. In fact, I had become a prisoner of my menstrual cycles. I prayed for relief. But I was very picky about the solutions I sampled. After spending a lifetime coping with the sad side effects of an artificial “wonder” drug, I was not about to make the same mistake twice. I certainly wasn’t going to take more artificial estrogen. (Been there, done that.)If the solution wasn’t 100 percent natural, I wasn’t interested.
The Natural Solution
Last year I got lucky. I learned about a natural form of progesterone made from a wild Mexican yam. This jar of peach colored cream looks, smells and feels like an expensive cosmetic. I rub one-quarter teaspoon of the sweet smelling cream on different parts of my body twice a day during the second half of my menstrual cycle. (You’ll read why the timing is so critical later.) My friend who turned me onto the cream promised this was the panacea I was looking for. I was willing to invest the meager sum to find out.
I have to admit, at first I was skeptical. That a simple cream could take the pain away. Or exorcise my mood swings. Or cool the hot flashes. But this natural form of progesterone did all of that and more.
What follows is my story. I can only tell you what happened to me... and I have no idea what the wild yam cream will do for you. However, if the cream could work for me, a woman toxic with estrogen -- which is the worst case scenario -- imagine what it could do for you, a normal female?
The First Week: Increased Libido
I started rubbing the cream on the soft areas of my body on day 9 of my menstrual cycle. (Day 1 is the day my period begins.) For that first week (days 1-8), my body is producing all the progesterone it needs. My ovaries, which produce the hormone, don’t need any help from their friends! I only start applying the cream when my body can’t produce enough progesterone to keep my hormones (specifically the ratio between estrogen and progesterone) in balance.
I apply the cream transdermally, which means absorption through the skin. Have you seen people on cruise ships with patches behind their ears? That was scopolamine, which helps fight motion sickness. The nicotine patch works the same way.
If you are trying to get pregnant, don’t use the cream until day 15 (after you’ve ovulated.) One of progesterone’s tasks is to keep the egg in the other ovary from being released. (If that happens, fraternal twins could result.) However, this job makes progesterone a mild form of birth control. So women trying to get pregnant should start the cream after ovulation just to be safe.
Progesterone has another job. It increases female (and male) sexual libido. And that was the first thing I noticed. Suddenly, I became a very sexual creature. My life is busy -- the kid, work, house work, taking care of the dogs -- usually I barely find time to work out, much less make love. But the progesterone cream rearranged my priorities. Forget the house work! The man in my life noticed a big change and vowed to pay for all future jars of wild yam cream.
Adding the cream to my regimen also created a wonderful sense of euphoria. What it did was even out my mood swings. It made my depressions less depressing but made my “wins” so much more wonderful. I found myself losing my temper less because I was not as irritable as usual. I now could handle the roadblocks life put in my path with more equanimity. I had this wonderful sense of calm despite the storm around me.
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, because I got downsized right out of a job. Instead of panicking, my typical reaction to money pressures, I calmly crafted a plan to look for new opportunities. This was the first time in my life I didn’t overreact. I shook my head in wonder!
This new feeling extended through PMS week. With enough progesterone in my system, my bitchiness just disappeared. Everything in the world seemed too wonderful.
PMS Week: No Pain, All Gain!
But the true test of the cream’s efficacy came during the week before menstruation with the working ovary. I typically start getting hot flashes seven days before the onset of my period. That’s when my family and my co-workers start avoiding me. The day before my period the crippling cramps begin. For four days I live in a narcotics-induced haze to quell the pain.
But this time, none of this happened. When I got my period, I experienced slight cramping. I rubbed one-eighth of a teaspoon of the cream on my abdomen every 30 minutes until the pain subsided. In two hours, I felt nothing! No more pain killers. I didn’t even need an aspirin! The yam cream passed its acid test.
Women who have migraine headaches right before their periods can rub the cream on the back of their necks every 30 minutes until they get relief.
Why does this happen? Because nature’s natural balance is upset: the system is rebelling against too much estrogen and too little progesterone. Scientists don’t really know what causes this imbalance. Either the ovaries just don’t produce enough progesterone. Or they produce too much estrogen. In my case, I had too much estrogen to start with. Either way, the ratio is off, making your life miserable.
But the week before menstruation is exactly the time your body is counting on the right amount of progesterone to be coursing through your veins. You see, one of progesterone’s tasks is to relax all your smooth muscle tissues, including the ones contracting the uterus to dispel the unused uterine lining. Without this hormone, which is one of the best muscle relaxers in nature, your uterus and other involuntary muscles will contract with greater force than necessary, causing cramps and migraine headaches. Add the progesterone and poof! The aches go away.
A Month Later: Bigger Breasts
I’m small and athletic. All my life, except during pregnancy, I barely fit into a A cup bra. I wear lace teddies instead of lace bras because I really have nothing to support. The instructions with the cream say to apply it to various parts of the body, including the breasts. So I began applying the cream to my breasts every fourth day.
Deep into my second cycle on the yam cream, I began to notice my shirts were becoming a bit tight across the front. Then I stared in the mirror. My breasts were growing! Here, on the cusp of menopause I’m going through puberty.
Three months later, I’m spilling out of a B cup. One friend, who is flat chested like me, has gone up two cup sizes. However, another friend of mine paid good money for breast reduction surgery. The last thing she needs is bigger breasts. She makes sure the yam cream goes nowhere near her chest. Instead, she applies it to her stomach, inner thighs, neck and arms. So far, she’s noticed no change.
Why is this happening? Beats me! But I’d guess the correct amount of progesterone triggers puberty-like reactions in women. Maybe age has nothing to do with it!
Three Months Later: Bye Bye Wrinkles
After 90 days of use, I had an unusual experience. My son and I were having dinner at our favorite restaurant. He was dallying while the waitress impatiently waited for his order. I said, “Son, please tell the women what you want.” The waitress stared at me in shock. “Son?” she said. “This can’t be your son!” The waitress thought I was his date! He’s 17 and I’m 44. I was flattered, but I knew this was an anomaly. But then we went to New Orleans for his college interview at Tulane. The waiter at the N’Awlins Cookery thought the same thing. That was twice in one month. I never intended to have the cream make me look younger! Having my life back was certainly enough.
Can Men Use The Wild Yam Cream?
I sold a jar of wild yam cream to a man in my office who wanted the jar for his wife. Three days later the wife called on the phone. He was out of the office, so I asked her how she enjoyed the cream. She said, What cream?
When he returned, I asked him what he was doing with the cream. After he turned red, he explained that as he got older, he had trouble reaching orgasm. He wanted the cream to help him out here. He felt extra progesterone would give him the boost he needed. It must have worked, because he bought a second jar for his wife!
How Your Biochemistry Can Work For You
Why does progesterone make all this happen? Here’s a basic science lesson.
Nature likes balance. PMS and menopause are caused by an natural imbalance, typically too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. The result makes your life a misery.
A Science Lesson
The science comes from Dr. Betty Kamen, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition. Her wonderful book, “Hormone Replacement Therapy: Yes or No? How To Make An Informed Decision About Estrogen, Progesterone & Other Strategies for Dealing with PMS, Menopause and Osteoporosis” is an easy-to-read and informative primer on the subject. I will just excerpt the easy parts here.
Hormones are biochemical substances that are produced by your glands. Even your ovaries are a gland because they also produce hormones. Your body uses hormones to control other actions in your body. For example, your thyroid controls your metabolic rate. Since most of those actions take place far from the producing site (your thyroid gland is near the neck; your stomach digests food), the glands deposit hormones into the bloodstream. The hormones keep floating downstream until specialized receptors recognize them. The hormones and their receptors are like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. They fit together exactly No other piece can take their place. In the body, hormone A won’t fit into hormone B’s receptors; Hormone A just floats by hormone B’s receptors in its search for a perfect match.
Your glands manufacture their own hormones. They use three basic building blocks: amino acids, proteins and cholesterol. Hormones made from cholesterol are called steroid hormones. Your sex hormones are steroid hormones made from cholesterol. (Isn’t that interesting.)
Before puberty, the adrenal glands manufacture all sex hormones. Between puberty and menopause, the ovaries take over in women. Both glands split the job after menopause. The testes manufacture hormones in men.
Progesterone is the natural building block for all the steroid hormones, making both estrogens (associated with females) and androgens (for males.) Your body makes all the progesterone you need during the first eight days of your menstrual cycle. The progesterone levels shoot up to halt ovulation and trigger menstruation on about day 12. They continue at a high level until eight days after ovulation. If fertilization has not occurred, the muscles in your uterus contract to expel the rich uterine tissue that would nourish a pregnancy.
Women who are prone to PMS typically suffer from low progesterone levels. The natural solution is to return the two hormones to the balance nature intended for your body. During the second half of your cycle, if your body has more estrogen than progesterone, it is important to try to recreate the correct ratio to eliminate the symptoms. That includes:
Maintaining your body’s ability to produce progesterone and/or adding progesterone to the body naturally
Avoiding foods that will keep your estrogen levels high.
Correcting the Ratio: Eating Right
Eating properly can go a long way in encouraging your ovaries and/or adrenal glands to produce more progesterone. Here I’m on firm ground. My company, Meltdown International, uses a scientific test that accurately measures your body’s biochemistry. The test results are an Owner’s Manual to your body that includes a road map that leads you back to health. The road map includes how to eat properly to fix the problems. I call it the grocery store solution, since you can find your “cure” in the supermarket.
All the research here comes from Dr. David Watts, another Ph.D. in nutrition, who is the research director of one of the six federally approved labs licensed to perform this test, the Tissue Mineral Analysis.
No Junk Foods
First, junk foods have to go. If you can use very little sugar and not much salt, you’ll go a long way toward returning your body to its natural balance. That means avoiding processed foods and eating more fresh fruits and grains (complex carbohydrates).
Second, eat foods high in zinc. Zinc is one of the controlling nutrients for progesterone production. The old wive’s tale about oysters being a great aphrodisiac is scientifically correct, since oysters are loaded with zinc.
This may not be politically correct, but lean protein has the greatest single impact on zinc absorption. Lean protein consists of lean meat (top round, not greasy hamburgers), lean pork, chicken and turkey (without the skin), fish, shellfish and eggs. If you are a vegetarian and suffer from PMS, you might want to start eating protein two days before PMS is scheduled to begin and then stop when your period begins.
Cut Out Copper
You can lower estrogen levels by slashing your copper intake. Copper keeps estrogen levels high. The following foods are high in copper in relation to zinc. Avoid these until you get your menstrual/menopausal problems under control:
I know you’ll have no trouble giving up liver, but chocolate, lobster, mushrooms and grapes? Sigh.
How do you know if you have too much copper? Brown spots on your face or skin are a good sign. This means the liver has filtered out so much copper it is depositing the excess amounts in your skin. If your nipples turn from pink to brown, that’s another sign of copper poisoning. Of course, a Tissue Mineral Analysis (TMA) is a good way to know for sure.
Judging from the hundreds of TMAs I’ve seen in the last five years, American women are severely toxic with copper. It’s my guess this is why we’re having a much harder time with PMS and menopause than our grandmothers did. We have to get our copper/zinc ratios in balance, ladies!
How did our generation get so toxic with copper? Birth control, for one. Copper is a primary component of the Pill since it helps control the ovulation cycle. Most IUDs are made of copper, too. Today, you might be using these forms of birth control. But so did your mother! You might have been born with too much copper to start with. And now you’re adding more! Which means your system may have much more copper than it needs.
There are other sources of copper poisoning. Copper pipes also leach the metal into drinking water. If you have a swimming pool, your green algicide is pure copper. And if you love your copper pots, guess what? They’re seasoning your food, too.
Here are the aches and pain of copper toxicity: frontal headaches, depression, fatigue, constipation, emotional volatility, weight gain and food cravings. Sounds like PMS to me!
Avoid external sources of estrogen
Another consideration: Avoid external sources of estrogen, which means dairy products and beef that were commercially raised. These animals are loaded with estrogen and other growth hormones on the feed lot. These hormones remain in the flesh and/or milk and can be absorbed by your body when you eat them. Hopefully your liver will filter them out. But some might get through. You need less estrogen, not more!
Myself, I don’t eat dairy products, except for plain yogurt. I get my chicken from an organic farm (The Good Earth Farm in Celeste, Texas) where I know they are range fed and killed the day before I purchase them. Most of my vegetables come from the Good Earth Farm, one of only 16 organic farms certified by the state of Texas. And I only buy beef at Whole Foods, a health food market in Texas whose integrity I trust in these matters. The store guarantees its beef is naturally grain feed with no hormones.
Correcting the Ratio: Adding Progesterone
Of course, the progesterone cream takes up where Mother Nature left off. I’m sold on the natural solution, the wild yam cream. But what about artificial forms of progesterone? Will they help? Not as much. Because one of your liver’s most important functions is to break down foreign hormones by returning them to your digestive tract. There, they bind with other substances so they can be excreted, not absorbed. Birth control pills became a reality when scientists found a way for the artificial estrogen to be absorbed by the intestines. But this is not yet true with estrogen replacement hormones, making them difficult to administer by mouth. It’s tough to fool your liver!