We wanted to reiterate Sherrills’ message from yesterday’s interview – so we’ve highlighted some key points from an article she’s written some time ago.
” When it comes to the menopausal years, it seem that women are as confused as ever about what’s happening to their hormones.
Unfortunately, much of what women have been taught about their bodies and especially hormonal changes at menopausal is in fact, incorrect. Unraveling the many myths, misinformation and in some cases lies about menopause, is crucial in ensuring safe passage through the menopausal years. Without a firm foundation of truthful information regarding the physiological changes that occur at this time of life, it is difficult to make truly effective and safe choices.
There have been many ‘idea’s about what happened to women as they progressed through menopause. Most interestingly was that which suggested (and it’s still often suggested) that oestrogen declines at this time.
Gynecologist Robert Wilson… proclaimed that menopause was an estrogen-deficiency disease and that estrogen was the long sought after youth pill. He wrote, “Many physicians simply refuse to recognize menopause for what it is – a serious, painful and often crippling disease.” But as we have discovered, menopause isn’t a disease – it is in fact a transition – one that doesn’t have to be dreaded given the right tools and knowledge. Interestingly however, was that this idea of oestrogen deficiency has fuelled the foundation of our convention menopause treatments.
Dr. Wilson successfully convinced doctors and women that estrogen was the salvation for the horrors of this living decay. He wrote, “The myth that estrogen is a causative factor in cancer has been proven entirely false. On the contrary, indications are that estrogen acts as a cancer preventive.”
Dr. Wilson is credited with enshrining the belief that estrogen efficiency was the hormonal profile of all menopausal women. He also convinced the medical fraternity that estrogen replacement was the obvious solution. This paved the way for making menopause a medical condition that required treatment with estrogen and synthetic progestins (Hormone Replacement Therapy).
Fortunately, Dr. Robert Wilson and his unfounded theories were proven to be entirely wrong. He was also very wrong about the non-carcinogenic effects of estrogen. This was a tragic medical mistake that had drastic consequences for millions of women.
In 1975, the New England Journal of Medicine published two studies documenting a strong association between cancer of the lining of the uterus and estrogen therapy. By 2002, The Women’s Health showed that women who took the combination of estrogen and progestin had increased their risk for breast cancer, stroke, heart attack, and blood clots. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences listed all steroidal estrogens and progestins as known human carcinogens. “
Dr Sherrill tells us more:
“The Failing Ovary Myth”
Research has discovered that the perimenopausal ovary (the period 5- 10 years before cessation of menstrual cycles) is more active than it has been since adolescence.
One leading researcher, endocrinologist Dr. Jerilynn Prior, has found that “the perimenopause ovary produces erratic and excess levels of estrogen, with unpredictable moods, heavy flow, hot flashes and mucous symptoms that appear suddenly and unexpectedly.” The many symptoms that women experience during the perimenopause years, such as weight gain, irrational hunger, increased migraines, heavy periods, worsening endometriosis, breast swelling (with pain or lumps), new or growing fibroids, new or increasing PMS, pelvic pain and uterine cramps are caused by high levels of estrogen.
Dr. Prior has found that the average estrogen levels in perimenopausal women are higher than in younger women. The older women not only had higher levels of estrogen but also had lower levels of progesterone.
It’s not only perimenopausal ovaries that remain active; it’s also menopausal ovaries. According the research of Dr. Celso Ramon Garcia, M.D., after menopause the ovaries continue to function working in conjunction with other body sides such as the adrenal glands, skin, muscle, brain, pineal gland, hair follicles and body fat to produce hormones.
It is now known that postmenopausal ovaries maintain a steroid capability for several decades after menses has ceased. “ Older ovaries, replete with stroma material, are now understood to actively produce androstenedeione – the hormone that, in the menopausal woman, is converted to estrone, in the fat deposits of the body. This pathway can be significant in preventing osteoporosis”
Far from shriveling, the ovaries of menopausal women continue to secrete androgens, often late into the menopause, which support a woman’s well being.
These are just a few highlights from the very informative article written by Dr Sellman. If you’d like to see the full article which goes on to speak about Oestrogen Dominance – you can find it here.
And of course as always – we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. More women need to know this stuff!