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The Estrogen Dilemma

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  • #16
    I was in the 'suck it up' camp too, until a close friend started having perimenopausal issues at barely 40. Aparrently estrogen is responsible for the 'maintenance' of the urogenital tract. So issues with continence, vulnerability to UTIs and chronic urinary tract irritation, as well as massive drops in libido and issues with sexual function. It's not just about mood swings.


    • #17
      Makes sense about the adrenals.... right about the time my thyroid tanked and my adrenals got worn out ... my periods starting getting whacky. starting for an hour then stopping for two days, then starting for a couple of days, then stopping.... etc. etc. etc. I know I'm perimenopausal, which is fine... but I think my adrenals being messed up really made things worse. Hopefully it'll all come together eventually, LOL. Good to hear stories of women who are going through it fine... we'll see what happens!!
      sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


      • #18
        I went through menopause at about age 57 --- but then, I'm very overweight, and fat does provide estrogen.

        The only experience of hot flashing I had (very mild) was during a day or two just before a period, for the last couple of years. After I stopped cycling I never felt flashes.

        I used some progesterone cream for a few years, to lower the levels of LH and FSH as they tried and tried to make ovulation happen when it no longer could. Since progesterone is released after ovulation, one can set up an artificial rhythm by using the progesterone cream all month except for five days in a row without. This resets the receptors so they don't get too used to it, and also mimics ovulation, which keeps the LH and FSH within bounds. They were asking for an egg, and when progesterone rises after the five days without, they assume they succeeded, and everything settles back down.

        I had no mood swings, no hot flashes, no night sweats, no vaginal dryness, no formication. It was all just a relief to be rid of cycling and cramps and bleeding.

        Anyway, that's how it worked for me. I felt better on the progesterone, and gradually tapered off it over a few years. If I had too much, I'd still get acne, just like when younger.

        Your mileage may vary if you aren't carrying a lot of fat. At least this is something which body fat is good for!


        • #19
          I read on Dr Eades' blog about how a ketogenic diet can help reduce the symptoms of the menopause:

          How do ketones treat these symptoms? They do so by replacing glucose that’s lacking from the estrogen-deprived brain.

          Dr. McCleary provides a fascinating discussion of what happens in the brain that results in hot flashes when estrogen is withdrawn after many years of constant exposure. During these years of exposure estrogen becomes intimately involved in the development of the shuttles that transport sugar into the brain cells. With estrogen present – as it is in the premenopause years – these shuttles transport about 40 percent more sugar into the brain cells than would be transported without the estrogen. When the estrogen goes away at menopause, the shuttling of sugar into the brain cells decreases, and the brain cells become a little starved for energy. Dr. McCleary explains how the hypothalamus responds to this starvation by

          stepping up the release of norepinephrine [adrenaline], which acts to raise the level of sugar in the blood, to raise the heart rate, and to raise the body temperature. The hot flash, then, is a specific outward sign of the brain’s trying to protect itself from blood sugar starvation.

          Long time readers of this blog will know that ketone bodies are water-soluble fat breakdown products that can pinch hit for glucose in the brain and other tissues. Dr. McCleary shows how ketones do this to prevent hot flashes, and he even gives a recipe for a ketone cocktail to provide even more ketones to feed the hungry brain that isn’t getting enough sugar.

          Link here:
          My website:


          • #20
            I like piano-doctor-lady's account of using progesterone cream. I've read a lot about this stuff. One of the better books was What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause by John Lee. I think he's also got a book with a similar title about Menopause.

            I think it's interesting to make the connection between the thyroid, the adrenals, and the sex hormones. The whole endocrine system is linked, and when one hormone gets out of balance, others tend to be affected.


            • #21
              Jo, Thanks so much for sharing that information about Dr. McCleary's ketogenic cocktail. I just ordered his book, "The Brain Trust Program" and can't wait to read it. I will be trying his ketogenic cocktail in hopes it will knock down some of these debilitating symptoms. I have just started to increase the coconut oil in my diet in hopes it will help with energy levels, I understand it is much more easiliy metabolized as energy than many other forms of fat due to the abundance of medium chain fatty acids. Dr. Christine Northrup recommends L-Glutamine supplements to quickly supply the brain with energy and knock down sweet cravings when they occur. She recommends you take it as needed - when you feel tired and hungry and craving. It should be able to supply the brain with energy almost immediately, bypassing the need for glucose. I ordered some of that too, we'll see if it helps.


              • #22
                Hey ladies!
                I just listened to a fabulous radio show on female hormones and the adrenals, hosted by Nora Gedgaudas of Primal Body-Primal Mind: