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 What Doctors Don't Tell You: DEAR READERS: 
What Doctors Don't Tell You © (Volume 4, Issue 11)
Our two part series on HRT (WDDTY vol 4 nos 9 and 10) generated perhaps more mail than any other subject we've ever covered. Among your comments were a number of questions that deserve thoughtful answers, so we decided to devote an entire page to answering them.

Some readers, such as Lisa Saffron (Consumers' Association) wondered how we could condemn estrogen replacement via HRT, but go on to recommend plant estrogens, in food and herbal tablets which haven't been tested and can be toxic if consumed in concentrated dosages.According to our Alternatives columnist naturopath Harald Gaier (Int J of Alt & Comp Med, September 1993), Phytoestrol, the product we mentioned, has been studied since the 1950s far longer than many estrogen replacement drug products. As long ago as April 1963 Dr Albert Lehmacher in his address to the 24th Congress of the Study Group of the Empirical Medicine Alliance reconfirmed the findings of the German Medical Journal (June 1956): namely, that Phytoestrol doesn't work as quickly as conventional hormones but will eventually provide lasting improvement (as opposed to the transitory improvement with HRT, which reverses as soon as you stop taking the drug).

Two decades later Gerhard Gerster, a German doctor who reviewed earlier experimental studies, also showed many successes with the use of Phytoestrol (The Journal of Applied Medical Phytotherapy, 1981, 111/8, 1-8).

Like any conventional drug, says Gaier, this product is manufactured by a German drug company (Chemisch Pharmazeutische Fabrik Goeppingen) and is subject to government control. According to the German Federal Board of the Pharmaceutical Industry, there are no known side effects, drug interactive effects or any known incompatibilities. Each tablet of the Phytoestrol preparation marketed in the UK contains 4 mg rhubarb root extract. At the recommended dosage, 2-4 tablets a day, this level of intake of rhubarb is not dangerous. Phytoesterol is available from the NutriCentre (The Hale Clinic, 7 Park Crescent London W1 Tel: 071-436 5122), but do remember to work with a qualified herbalist if you wish to take it.

Other readers like Bobby Freeman of Newport argued that menopause is a deficiency disease and therefore "needs" hormone replacement. Still others agreed that HRT is untested and potentially harmful but wondered what real alternatives they had in treating patients (Michael Hutchinson, Winchester chiropractor) or being treated (S B, Cheshire).

We rang a variety of doctors, including some panel members with great experience in treating women during the menopause to ask what they believed caused severe menopausal symptoms.

They agreed that it was a "deficiency disease" but not simply of estrogen. The root of the problem was deficiency in one of a number of vital micronutrients, food intolerance or the inefficient function of certain organs. Here are their views, based on extensive clinical work:

Ellen Grant (from her forthcoming book Sexual Chemistry, Cedar, 1994, an essential read for anyone going through or treating the menopause): "Hot flushes are not a sign of estrogen deficiency . . . [but] a result of an allergic reaction. Flushes are very similar to headaches, migraine and rises in blood pressure."

In her book, Dr Grant also notes the work of American Dr Guy Abraham who has demonstrated that most cases of osteoporosis are not caused by calcium deficiency and "cannot be prevented by calcium megadosing." . . . Instead he found that magnesium deficiency plays a key role. Grant cites a study of osteoporosis, which showed that none of the osteoporotic women participating had low blood calcium levels. In his own study (J Nutr Medic 1991; 2, 165-78), Dr Abraham gave magnesium to 19 women taking HRT. "After eight months, the bone mineral density in the women taking the supplements had increased by 11 per cent, while there was no increase in the women taking HRT alone," writes Grant. "Bone minerals were still improving after two years." Grant provides copious evidence that some of the biggest causes of osteoporosis are hormones like the Pill and HRT.

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What Doctors Don't Tell You What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't......more
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