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Hormonal Imbalance and hypothyroidism, auto-immune diseases, osteoperosis

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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:52 PM
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Hormonal Imbalance and hypothyroidism, auto-immune diseases, osteoperosis
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 06:15 PM by Dover
Pioneered by Doctor John R. Lee, who had written a book called, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, among others, the hormonal imbalances in women and men alike, are being connected to all sorts of health issues.

Lee contends that we live in an estrogen dominant environment - in foods, birth control, estrogen replacement therapies, etc. - which in turn is causing all kinds of problems as a result of hormonal imbalances....from weight gain, fatigue, depression, to endometriosis, fibroids, osteoperosis, cancers, etc. He discovered a link between estrogen dominance in the body and what was being diagnosed as hypothyroidism, but was in fact NOT.

He says: As I became aware of estrogen dominance syndrome, I noticed that the taking of thyroid supplements was especially common in women with this condition. When I attempted to correct their estrogen dominance by adding (natural) progesterone, it was common to see that their need for thyroid supplements decreased and could often be successfully eliminated. Thus I became aware that estrogen, progesterone and thyroid hormones are interrelated.

Many of these women had come to me from other doctors' offices for PMS or osteoporosis prevention and/or treatment. On reviewing the laboratory studies that had led to their presumed diagnosis of hypothyroidism, I often found that their T3 and T4 levels had been normal and their TSH levels only slightly elevated. Their thyroid supplement had been prescribed on the basis of hypothyroid-like symptoms such as feeling tired or sluggish, a little cold intolerance and thinning hair, for example. While the thyroid medication had improved their tiredness a bit, it had not corrected the symptoms I had learned to associate with estrogen dominance such as fat and water retention, breast swelling, headaches, and loss of libido. When their hormones were balanced, meaning progesterone deficiency was adequately treated, not only did their estrogen dominance symptoms decrease or disappear but so did their presumed hypothyroidism. (p.146-147).

Dr. Lee has recommended women take a good quality blood or saliva test to determine their real hormone levels. And based on those findings begin to use a NATURAL (not synthetic) progesterone cream.
These can be made by a compounding pharmacy (cusom formulas) to combine other ingredients that may be deficient...or you can just buy a progesterone cream by itself. They are available without prescription. But read up on all this before making a decision, and consult with a doctor who has studied these hormone issues. Surprisingly many doctors are not informed.

Here's more:

John Lee: /


Environmental oestrogens

The exposure of humans to environmental oestrogens is believed to increase over the years through the consumption of meat and milk products of livestock that are fed with synthetic oestrogens.145,146 Moreover, oestrogens are increasingly used by postmenopausal women and for contraception. Chronic oestrogen exposure in prepubertal non-immune mice has been shown to influence thymic development and hence immune tolerance.145 It is therefore plausible that exposure to oestrogenic compounds during fetal life could be a potential immunological hazard. In fact, prenatal diethylstilbesterol exposure has been linked to autoimmune disorders, although further confirmation is needed.147 HRT and the use of OC pills have also been associated with a small increase in the risk of SLE development.37,38 Thus, environmental oestrogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals may be important triggers for autoimmunity in susceptible individuals. The ultimate development of the disease will depend upon several factors, which include genetic background, sex, age, dose and duration of exposure, and immune status at the time of contact with these agents.



Role of Estrogen

Don't you wonder why lupus is more common in women than men? Well, it turns out estrogen is very important in the development of lupus. In mice, things are so simple, that if you get rid of estrogen or give male hormone, you can stop lupus. Estrogen can actually activate the immune system in many different ways.

In the 1980's, it was discovered that women who have lupus are "super women." Their estrogen is metabolized using pathways, so the metabolites are still active. Not only is their estrogen working on their immune system, but the metabolized estrogen is as well. This was also true in their healthy, female family members. This may be one of the genetic predispositions to lupus. The metabolized estrogen still works on the immune system. Now, Doctor Lahita has suggested it may be possible to reverse these pathways. One way to potentially reverse these estrogen pathways is through diet changes. It was suggested that vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower might affect estrogen metabolism. This was finally tested in Boston. Half the lupus patients had the active ingredient in broccoli in pill form, while the other half took a placebo. It is possible to reverse these estrogen metabolism pathways. However, it made no difference on the activity of the lupus. We need further research in this area.

Many postmenopausal women with lupus wonder if they should take estrogen. Now, we're concerned for two reasons. One, if a woman is more likely to make clots because she has the antiphospholipid antibody, we don't want her to take estrogen because it further increases the risk of having a clot. We've also been concerned that estrogen in pill form might increase the risk of lupus flare-ups.

A study in the United States, called the "Safety of Estrogen Study," is currently underway and should be completed within a year. We will know if taking estrogen in pill form increases the risk of having a flare. Our impressionwithout the datais that the answer is probably no. This has been suggested in several studies, including one from Toronto. So, the use of HRT is probably not so bad if you don't have an antiphospholipid antibody.

The Women's Health Initiative study found that taking estrogen in pill form after menopause might increase heart disease. Since everyone with lupus is already at greater risk of heart disease, most lupus doctors are no longer giving hormone replacement therapy.


Autoimmune Diseases and hormonal imbalance

Conventional medical intervention for a variety of autoimmune diseases has been disappointing at best. Therapy is generally initiated to control some of the symptoms and slow the progression of disease. However, conventional treatment does not offer a "cure" and long term prognosis for remission still remains poor. Also, many of the drugs used to treat these disorders have serious side-effects such as bone loss, ulcers, joint and organ damage and a further worsening of immune function and symptoms over time. Women should demand a greater focus and more research dollars be spent on autoimmune disease since it is significantly more likely to affect a woman in her lifetime compared to a man.

Some studies have focused on an estrogen connection with respect to autoimmune disease. In the Nurses Health Study ever users of estrogen replacement had a relative risk (RR) for lupus of 2.1, current users RR 1.2 and past users RR 1.8. A proportional increase in risk was observed with the duration of use of postmenopausal hormones. More recent studies have shown that for some types of autoimmune disorders exogenous testosterone replacement may actually be therapeutic (e.g. lupus, rheumatoid arthritis). DHEA supplementation of 200 mg daily has been shown to benefit lupus patients. A theoretical article on melatonin suggested it may benefit MS patient since melatonin modulates the thermogenic regulatory mechanisms of the pineal gland. Additionally, many American women have "hyperestrogenism" or estrogen dominance due to dietary factors such as estrogens added to livestock that finds its way into meat, chicken, veal and dairy products. Also, two-thirds of Americans do not eat a single fruit or vegetable on a given day. Fruits, vegetables, and legumes are important sources of phytohormones which can modulate estrogen levels in the body by enhancing the metabolism of estradiol to estrone and finally to estriol. High levels of estradiol have repeatedly been implicated in breast cancer. Japanese women and other cultures eating a more plant based diet that is also rich in soy appears to protect against many of the negative effects of having high estradiol levels. It would be interesting to see if there is a connection between phytohormone ingestion (e.g. vegetables, soy) and prevention of autoimmune disease.

Surprisingly, scientific studies have shown that specific dietary supplement, dietary modification and lifestyles changes may greatly benefit patients with autoimmune disease as demonstrated by extended clinical remissions, improvements in symptoms and/or reduction in the dosage of steroids and other drugs used to control the disease. Although a more natural intervention is best utilized at the very onset of disease, it can also be combined with conventional therapy to assist in symptom relief and help lessen the side effects with later stage patients. Despite the significance of results, further research into nutritional intervention for autoimmune disease has been quite slow coming.

Low fat diets have been reported to benefit patients with lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Very long term studies of 34 and 36 years, have shown that patients following a very low fat diets (<20 grams fat/day) experienced significantly less deterioration and much lower death rates when consuming low fat diets. Approximately 95% of patients followed during these long term studies survived and remained physically active. An even lower fat diet (10-15 grams of fat/day) resulted in better improvement in energy and fatigue levels. In patients who consumed >20 grams of fat/day the death rate approached 80%. Low fat diets could potentially modulate prostaglandin metabolism, specifically arachidonic acid and inflammatory prostaglandins. High meat diets are rich in arachidonic acid and high fat diet are generally quite high in linolenic acid - both of which may result in an imbalance of prostaglandin metabolism by encouraging the production of inflammatory prostaglandins. Also, lower fat diets would result in lower levels of oxidative stress, and those consuming low fat diets would be eating a more vegan based diet that would provide a variety of potent plant antioxidants.
Vegan diets and gluten-free diets have been shown to benefit RA patients, patients with inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis eczema and those with dermatitis herpetiformis. Milk and meat consumption has been shown to increase the incidence of MS. Overall patients with autoimmune disease in particular those with lupus, have a much higher incidence of food and other allergies compared to normal healthy patients.



Links on Hypothyroidism:

Endometriosis: Quote from John Lee, MD from What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause

"Endometriosis is a serious condition in which tiny islets of endometrium (inner lining cells of the uterus) become scattered in areas where they don't belong: the fallopian tubes, within the uterine musculature (adenomyosis), and on the outer surface of the uterus and other pelvic organs, the colon, the bladder, and the sides of the pelvic cavity. With each monthly cycle, these islets of endometrium respond to ovarian hormones exactly as endometrial cells do within the uterus - they increase in size, swell with blood, and bleed into the surrrounding tissue at menstruation. The bleeding (no matter how small) into the surrounding tissue causes inflammation and is very painful, often disabling. Symptoms begin seven days to twelve days before menstruation and then become excruciatingly painful during menstruation. The pain may be diffuse and may cause painful intercourse or painful bowel movements, depending on the sites involved. Diagnosis is not easily established, as there is no lab test to identify endometrial islets, nor are they usually large enough to show on an X ray or sonogram. Laproscopy (a minimally invasive surgery enabling a doctor to look into the abdomen with a small scope) is very useful in this regard.

The cause of endometriosis is unclear. Some authorities argue that these endometrial cells wander out through the fallopian tubes. Others suggest they are displaced through some sort of embryological mix-up when an embryo is just forming its tissues. The fact is, however, that endometriosis seems to be a disease of the twentieth century. Given the severity of the pains and the association with monthly periods, it seems unlikely that earlier doctors would not have described the condition. Now that we know about xenoestrogens and the fact that the tissues of the developing embryo are especially sensitive to the toxic effects of xenoestrogens, it is tempting to speculate that our petrochemical age has spawned diseases we've never known before--and that endometriosis is one of them.

Mainstream treatment of endometriosis is difficult and not very successsful. Surgical attempts at removing each and every endometrial implant throughout the pelvis is only temporarily successful. Many of the tiny islets are simply too small to see, and eventually they enlarge and the condition recurs. Another surgical venture is even more radical: the removal of both ovaries, the uterus and the fallopian tubes, the aim being to remove or reduce hormone levels as much as possible--not a pleasant prospect.

When women with endometriosis delay childbearing until their thirties, they are unable to conceive. Pregnancy often retards the progress of the disease and occasionally cures it. With this in mind, other medical treatments attempt to create a state of pseudopregnancy, with long periods of supplemented progestins to simulate the high progesterone levels of pregnancy. Unfortunately, the high doses needed are often accompanied by side effects of the progestin and breakthrough bleeding.

As an alternative, I have treated a number of endometriosis patients, some after failed surgery, with natural progesterone and have observed considerable success. Since we know that estrogen initiates endometrial cell proliferation and the formation of blood vessel accumulation in the endometrium, the aim of treatment is to block this monthly estrogen stimulus to the aberrant endometrial islets. Progesterone stops further proliferation of endometrial cells. I advised such women to use natural progesterone cream from day six (6) of the cycle to day twenty-six (26) each month, using one ounce of cream per week for three weeks, stopping just before their expected period. This treatment requires patience. Over time (four to six months), however, the monthly pains gradually subside as monthly bleeding in the islets becomes less and healing of the inflammatory sites occurs. The monthly discomfort may not disappear entirely but becomes more tolerable. Endometriosis is cured by menopause. This technique is surely worth a trial, since the alternatives are not all that successful and laden with undesirable consequences and side effects."

"This treatment requires patience. Over time (four to six months), however, the monthly, the monthly pains gradually subside as monthly bleeding in the islets becomes less and healing of the inflammatory sites occurs. The monthly discomfort may not disappear entirely but becomes more tolerable." /

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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. thank you....... recommended
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 06:10 PM by sam sarrha
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. I ran a PMS support group in the late 1980s
and some of our members reported using a natural progesterone cream to reduce their symptoms. It was difficult to obtain, however.
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. Don't rush into a hysterectomy due to fibroids without first getting a
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 07:26 PM by Dover
second opinion, preferably from a doctor informed about hormonal issues. Many urine and blood hormone tests recommended by doctors don't even measure progesterone levels! Why isn't progesterone included?

Did you know that after years of recommending hysterectomy due to fibroid growth issues and fear of malignancy, that it has just recently been determined that so few of the uteruses/fibroids that were removed and examined actually had cancer or the potential for it, that they have stopped recommending this as an automatic reason for hysterectomy (at least as the first suggestion). Better yet, does your doctor know this?

The problem is finding a doctor with expertise in biopsying the fibroids to be certain that any growth is not due to malignancy...not an easy procedure that all doctors can or are willing to do.
But a doctor who is up on the hormone issues (and requests progesterone readings along with other hormones in their tests) might suggest attempting to affect fibroids first with the use of a progesterone cream or less invasive treatment.

It could be as simple as hormonal imbalance (estrogen gone wild, causing the fibroid to grow), which can be easily corrected.
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philb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-15-06 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Glyconutrients have been found to often be effective for such- as
documented at

I know someone who took Mannatech Plus that helped with this condition
I think there are also similar products by other companies.

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philb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-15-06 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Mercury and nickel(and other endoc. disrupting chemicals) also often cause
Edited on Wed Mar-15-06 10:50 PM by philb
endocrine problems like hypothyroid, thyroiditis, thymic disregulation, diabetes, infertility, etc. (other endocrine disrupters-dioxins, PCBs, organochlorines, organophosphates,etc.)

there are tests to determine the cause of such
blood lymphocyte immune reacticity tests:

fractionated porphyrin (urine) test- that measures level and type of metabolic waste in urine caused by toxic blocked metabolic processes, and gives indication of cause by pattern of porphyrins most big labs

hair element test can inexpensively screen for toxic exposures and essential mineral imbalances
imbalance of Cu/Zn is often a factor in such problems; as well as in neurological problems

home thyroid test: take temperature under arm for 5 minutes before getting out of bed in morning and if one degree low or more
there is indication of thyroid problem to be followed up on; chills for no good reason also is indicator

General detox such as BioCleanse/IonCleanse; Gerson Clinic type therapy(coffee enemas,etc.); Colonics, kidney and liver cleanses, also generally are helpful in dealing with any toxic related hormonal or neurological or cardiovascular problems
according to experience of lots of those with such conditions who contact our organization for information on testing and treating such conditions and clinics that have success with such.

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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. Epidemiologic Studies of Environmental Agents and Systemic Autoimmune Dise
Epidemiologic Studies of Environmental Agents and Systemic Autoimmune Diseases
Maureen D. Mayes

Division of Rheumatology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan USA

Exogenous Sex Hormones and the Risk of Developing Systemic Lupus
Sex Hormones and the Risk of Scleroderma
Silica and Silicone
Solvent Exposure
Mercuric Chloride
Hair Products
Opportunities for Future Research

Systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic scleroderma are autoimmune diseases thought to have an exogenous trigger. This review summarizes relevant case-control and cohort studies that investigated exogenous sex hormones, silica, silicone, solvents, pesticides, mercuric chloride, and hair dyes as putative risk factors for the development of these diseases. These studies indicate that estrogen replacement therapy in postmenopausal women increases the risk of developing lupus, scleroderma, and Raynaud disease, although the increase in risk is relatively modest. Oral contraceptives may also play a role in disease susceptibility in lupus but not apparently in scleroderma. Environmental endocrine modulators, in the form of pesticides, may represent another opportunity for estrogenlike effects to occur, but there is scant evidence that these agents play a role in human systemic autoimmune disease. Although exposure to silica dust increases the risk of scleroderma in men occupied in the industry, this does not explain most male scleroderma cases. When this exposure was investigated among women, no significant risk was found. Additionally, silicone in implanted devices as well as occupational exposure to silicone-containing compounds did not pose an increased risk among women for scleroderma. The role of solvent exposure has been investigated as a risk factor for scleroderma with mixed findings. One study suggested a potential role in male patients or in those individuals with Scl-70 antibody positivity either male or female. Two other studies were unable to corroborate this finding. Mercuric chloride causes antifibrillarin antibodies and immune complex glomerulonephritis in susceptible mouse strains. Antifibrillarin antibodies, but not glomerulonephritis, occur in a subset of scleroderma patients and preliminary evidence suggests that mercury levels may be higher in this group of individuals. Hair products have been studied as possibly raising the risk of developing lupus, since such products contain an aromatic amine similar to a compound known to cause drug-induced lupus. A 1986 study suggested a positive association, but two subsequent studies did not support this association. Key words: environmental agents, estrogen, lupus, scleroderma, solvents, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis. -- Environ Health Perspect 107(suppl 5) :743-748 (1999).

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philb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-15-06 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Nickel and Mercury are common causes of autoimmune conditions like lupus,
MS, Scleroderma, etc. though there are also other factors.

There are blood lymphocyte immune reactivity tests such as MELISA ( )
to identify the toxic causes responsible for autoimmunity.
If the cause is determined and expsoure reduced, the condition is cured or improved:

Mercury & autoimmune conditions/MS/CFS
Prochazkova J, Sterzl I, Kucerova H, Bartova J, Stejskal VD; The beneficial effect of amalgam replacement on health in patients with autoimmunity. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2004 Jun;25(3):211-8.

Results of lymphocyte reactivity measured with MELISA indicate that in vitro reactivity after the replacement of dental amalgam decreased significantly to inorganic mercury, silver, organic mercury and lead. Out of 35 patients, 25 patients (71%) showed improvement of health. The remaining patients exhibited either unchanged health (6 patients, 17%) or worsening of symptoms (4 patients, 11%). The highest rate of improvement was observed in patients with multiple sclerosis, the lowest rate was noted in patients with eczema

. Metal-specific lymphocytes: biomarkers of sensitivity in man.

Stejskal VD, Danersund A, Lindvall A, Hudecek R, Nordman V, Yaqob A, Mayer W, Bieger W, Lindh U. Neuroendocrinology Letters 1998;
Dept Clinical Chemistry, Danderyd Hospital and Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Many patients attribute their health problems to amalgam and other dental metals. In genetically susceptible indviduals, mercury and gold may function as haptens and elicit allergic and autoimmune reactions. The frequency of metal-induced lymphocyte responses was examined in 3,162 patients in three European laboratories using MELISA(R), an optimized lymphocyte proliferation test. The patients suffered from local and systemic symptoms attributed to dental restorations. The effect of dental metal removal was studied in 111 patients with metal hypersensitivity and symptoms resembling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). After consultation with a dentist the patients decided to replace their metal restorations with non-metallic materials. The changes in health and in vitro lymphocyte reactivity were studied by inquiries and follow-up MELISA(R). Lymphocyte reactivity was also analyzed in 116 healthy subjects with no complaints of metal allergy. A significant number of patients had metal-specific lymphocytes in the blood. Nickel was the most common sensitizer, followed by inorganic mercury, gold, phenylmercury, cadmium and palladium. As compared to lymphocyte responses in healthy subjects, the CFS group had significantly increased responses to several metals, especially to inorganic mercury, phenylmercury and gold. Following dental metal removal, 83 patients (76%) reported long-term health improvement. Twenty-four patients (22%) reported unchanged health and two (2%) reported worsening of symptoms. Following dental metal replacement, the lymphocyte reactivity to metals decreased as well. We propose that an inflammatory process induced by metals may modulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) and trigger multiple non-specific symptoms characterizing CFS and other chronic conditions like myalgic encephalitis (ME) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).
12. Mercury-specific lymphocytes: an indication of mercury allergy in man.

Stejskal VD, Forsbeck M, Cederbrant KE, Asteman O.
J Clin Immunol. 1996 Jan;16(1):31-40.
Astra AB, Safety Assessment, Sodertalje, Sweden.

In this study, 18 patients with oral lichen planus (OLP), adjacent to amalgam fillings, were tested in vitro with an optimized lymphocyte proliferation test, MELISA (memory lymphocyte immunostimulation assay) and with a patch test. Twenty subjects with amalgam fillings but without oral discomfort and 12 amalgam-free subjects served as controls. The results show that patients with OLP have significantly higher lymphocyte reactivity to inorganic mercury, a corrosion product of amalgam, compared to control groups. Removal of amalgam fillings resulted in the disappearance of oral mucosal changes, thus indicating a causal relationship. Positive responses to phenylmercury (phenyl-Hg), a bactericidal agent in root fillings and in pharmaceutical preparations, were also noted in the oral lichen group but not in the control groups. Thus, low-grade chronic exposure to mercury may induce a state of systemic sensitization as verified by Hg-specific lymphocyte reactivity in vitro.

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