Is Estrogen Making You Fat?

May 10, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Dr. Sherrill Sellman on how excessive amounts of estrogen and the eliminating of progesterone can make women gain weight. For more information, visit Twitter: Facebook: Myspace:

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

The Pill at Work (Sex Health Guru Tip)

April 13, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Want to know how the birth control pill works? Here’s the scoop! See videos all about sex and contraception –

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Thyroid Issues

April 3, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it! Dr. Sherrill Sellman the many problems women can have with their thyroid and what health problems hypothyroidism can cause, including weight gain. She says most hormonal issues are associated with the thyroid. For more information, visit http *Rate – Comment – Subscribe* Twitter: Facebook: Myspace:

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

The heart, the thyroid and medications

February 9, 2011 by  

When it feels like your heart is jumping erratically inside your chest, you ask yourself “What’s wrong with me?” If you are a health-conscious person like me, you will ask “Where did I do wrong?” Was it the coffee this morning? Was it the glass of wine I had last night? Was it the jogging run in the cold?

My palpitations started last weekend and worsened on Monday. Monday night was a sleepless night as I felt my heart regularly “missing a beat.” I was wreck on Tuesday, walking around like a bear with a sore head. So I sat down and went through my risk factors for heart problems.

  • Family history of heart disease – no
  • Weight/Body Mass Index – normal
  • Physical exercise – regular jogging runs and walks
  • Diet – not perfect but okay
  • Smoking – no
  • Alcohol – 1 glass a week
  • Coffee intake – 1 cup a day
  • Stress levels – manageable at the moment
  • Sleep – 6 to 7 hours a day is not bad
  • Postmenopausal – no yet
  • Blood pressure – always low
  • Lipids – never had any problems before

So my risk profile makes me a very unlikely candidate for a heart problem. So what is wrong with me? Do I need to see a doctor? Many people tend to put off seeing the doctor because of the feeling of being foolish when told “there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you.” Many times last Monday I started reaching for the phone and many times I changed my mind.

Then I began to think back. Have I felt like this before? What has changed in the last few months? And it dawned on me…

…racing pulse, irregular heartbeat, sleeplessness, nervousness, mood swings

Gosh! It’s my thyroid hormones again! In 2001, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and had my thyroids taken out. Since then, I had to have hormone replacement therapy and take levothyroxine in the form of tablets every day. It is a challenge to find the right dosage as it is dependent on age, body weight, and pre-existing medical conditions including pregnancy, menopausal stage, etc. I have had major problems a couple of years back when I moved to another country and had to change the brand of my medication – same dosage, same active ingredient, different brand name. It took us (me and my new doctor) almost a year of trial and error to figure out the right dose for me. Then silly of me – we changed to another brand late last year.

So now I believe I know what’s wrong with me. And in an hour, I have an appointment with my doctor.

I have learned a few lessons in this experience:

What happened before can happen again. Be careful when changing medication brands. The concept of “personalized medicine” is really important. In my case, the drugs in theory were the same – bioequivalent – but my body reacts differently to different brands.

No, I have to run to my doctor for a new prescription.

When hugs and medications don’t mix

November 11, 2010 by  

A hug can mean a lot of things, almost always positive. Unless it comes with something else. Hormones, for example.

Many medications contain hormones, medications that can be in the form of creams, gels and sprays. An example is Evamist, a drug that is prescribed to menopausal women suffering from hot flashes. Evamist contains estradiol, a form of estrogen hormone. It is administered as a spray inside the forearm between the elbow and wrist.

The US FDA issued a warning in July this year regarding adverse events associated with accidental exposure to Evamist, especially children and pets. Exposure may be through direct contact when Evamist is not safely stored or when a child or pet is hugged by an Evamist user and come in contact with area of application. The reported adverse effects in children are:

  • premature puberty, nipple swelling, and breast development in girls
  • breast enlargement in boys

Other accidental exposure includes pets licking application area or pet owners petting their animals after drug application, without proper hand washing. The effects in pets include:

  • Enlargement of the nipples and swelling of the vulva in females in pets
  • Fur loss
  • Undersized sexual organs in male pets

To avoid inadvertent exposure to Evamist, the FDA gives the following recommendations:

Another drug called Dovonex, which is a hormone derivative of vitamin D, can also possibly cause similar effects. Dovonex is a cream used to treat the skin disorder psoriasis. Pet who inadvertently lick the cream present with “unusual thirst, appetite loss, and severe vomiting or diarrhea.”

What should you do if your child or pet comes in contact with these drugs. The US FDA recommends:

Pregnancy after breast cancer

July 27, 2010 by  
Filed under CANCER

One of the main concerns of cancer survivors is loss of fertility and the ability to bear children. However, although a large number of breast cancer survivors still retain their reproductive potential, doctors are worried that pregnancy for these women can lead to hormonal changes that cause recurrence of the cancer.

A recent study however reports that these concerns are unfounded and that pregnancy for breast cancer survivors is quite safe and does not seem to increase the risk for recurrence.

Belgian researchers lead by Dr. Hatem Azim of the Institute Jules Bordet conducted a meta-analysis of results from 14 previous trials that involved 1,400 pregnant women with a history of breast cancer. Their outcomes were then compared to outcomes of more than 18,000 breast cancer survivors who were not pregnant. Surprisingly, pregnancy seemed to actually lower the risk of recurrence of the cancer – by 42%.

According to Maria Leadbeater, a cancer expert at Breast Cancer Care:

“For many years, pregnancy was considered a risk for women who had breast cancer…  But this study seems to show the risk is not an issue once you’ve been treated.”

Experts used to believe that pregnancy is too risky for breast cancer survivors due to the complex relationship between the female hormones and the development of cancer.

“Estrogen is known to trigger breast cancer and women typically have more estrogen when they’re pregnant. But very high doses of the hormone can also kill cancer cells… Other hormones that are elevated in pregnancy, like the one for breast-feeding, have been proven to protect against breast cancer.”

However, the issue of pregnancy needs to be seriously discussed with doctors because this might not be advisable for all patients.  Some factors to be taken into consideration are:

  • type of breast cancer
  • response to treatment.
  • time after treatment

Doctors’ opinions as to the time between treatment and trying to have a baby vary.

  • Hormone therapy for breast cancer typically lasts for about 5 years, during which pregnancy is not advisable.
  • Others believe a waiting time of 2 years as this is the period when relapse rate is highest.

The study results give hope to women who would like to have children despite cancer. The researchers hope that doctors should more open-minded and encouraging.

According to Dr. Azim:

“I hope this changes what doctors tell their patients. There’s no reason to tell women who survive breast cancer not to get pregnant.”

Estrogen therapy for schizophrenia?

June 21, 2010 by  

Hormones can affect our moods. Women can attest to this and some men learn to recognize the signs. When I am feeling out of sorts, my husband would ask: “are you ill or is it just the hormones?”

Hormone replacement therapy is a common strategy in managing postmenopausal symptoms in women, symptoms that include hot flashes and mood swings

A recent study by the researchers at the Tel Aviv University reports that hormone replacement therapy particular estrogen may also have protective affects against a more serious problem – schizophrenia.

The researchers have demonstrated this in lab rats wherein removal of the ovaries induced not only menopausal symptoms but also development of psychotic symptoms. When the animals were given estrogen replacement, the psychotic symptoms disappeared. Estrogen was replacement was even more effective than the anti-psychotic agent haloperidol in this animal experiment.

According to Prof. Ina Weiner of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Psychology

“We’ve known for some time that when the level of estrogen is low, vulnerability to psychotic symptoms increases and anti-psychotic drugs are less likely to work. Now, our pre-clinical findings show why this might be happening.”

The link between low estrogen levels and psychotic symptoms are not nothing new. A woman’s hormonal levels are regulated by her menstrual cycle, yet still fluctuate during her lifetime. There are times when drastic changes bring about psychological problems, such as in cases of postpartum depression or postmenopausal symptoms.

The results indicate a potential for estrogen supplement as a stand-alone treatment or adjunct therapy to convention treatment of schizophrenia.

“Antipsychotic drugs are less effective during low periods of estrogen in the body, after birth and in menopause. Our research links schizophrenia and its treatment to estrogen levels. Men seem less likely to begin schizophrenia after their 40s, which also suggests that estrogen is the culprit.”

However, estrogen replacement therapy has been questioned in recent years due to its association with increased risk for cervical cancer and heart attacks. The risks and benefits of estrogen replacement therapy should therefore be weighed seriously before this “hormonal treatment can be used for a behavioural condition.”

Hormones And MS

April 25, 2006 by  

It is interesting that pregnancy can be the healthiest time for many women. I am convinced that the hormones are very protective of our bodies.

I was 52 when diagnosed in 2000 and suffered quite a bit until I finally went to a wellness doctor instead of a sickness doctor 🙂 I was put on hormone replacement, but NOT Prempro or Premarin any longer. We use bio-identical hormones. The difference is remarkable. Read more

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.