Nutrispec Logo


Volume 12 Number 2


Guy R. Schenker, D.C.
February, 2001

Dear Doctor, 

Imagine one of your female patients who is hypoglycemic, and who has a little
trouble with her weight, and who suffers from allergies, plus   anxiety.  Her
menstrual cycle is a never ending source of grief, as she experiences PMS
accompanied by fluid retention and increased anxiety for nearly two weeks out
of the month, followed by menses which include painful cramping.  She has
also had indigestion for years, and it seems to be getting steadily worse.            


Providing care for this patient shouldn't really be too complicated.  All you
need do is give her a high protein diet and mega doses of nutrients for her
hypoglycemia; give her antihistamines for her allergies; give her antacids for
her indigestion; give her prostaglandin inhibitors for her menstrual cramps; give
her antidepressants in the morning and tranquilizers in the evening to stabilize
her mental/emotional state; and, of course, give her a diuretic to control her
fluid retention.  Or -- you could simply apply the knowledge you have learned
from your experience with NUTRI-SPEC to understand that all those many
and diverse symptoms derive from one fundamental cause -- estrogen stress. 

A couple of months ago we gave you a long list of devastating conditions
associated with excess estrogen.  We then began to explain how this catabolic
stress hormone specifically causes each of those listed conditions.  We gave
you all the references from the scientific literature explaining how estrogen is
not only a cause, but perhaps the primary cause, of allergies and asthma.  We
showed that it can even cause allergies and asthma in children of women who
have used estrogen.  Last month we gave you the complete story on how
estrogen not only does not protect against osteoporosis, but rather is actually a
destroyer of bone.                                                                             

Among the estrogen associated conditions we have not yet discussed in detail
are seizures, anxiety (often accompanied by hyperventilation), and
hypoglycemia with its associated food cravings.  I have an interesting case
from my own practice to illustrate these three symptoms of estrogen stress in
one patient.                                                                               

I had been treating a teenage patient chiropractically since she  reached puberty
for an osteochondrosis of the knee.  She had been stable and reasonably strong
for several years and was only coming in several times a year.  Then, at about
age 16 she experienced what she and her mother referred to as a, "spell." 
What she had actually experienced was an absence seizure.  Her mother
brought it to my attention and asked for my opinion, at which time we did
NUTRI-SPEC testing on the girl.  Our tests showed parasympathetic and
respiratory alkalosis -- so we explained to the mother and daughter how the
"spell" was related to low blood sugar and what they could do about it from a
dietary standpoint (and recommended the parasympathetic dietary
recommendations).  We did not offer any specific NURTI-SPEC

The brat only sporadically followed our advice and had several more absence
seizures during the next year.  When we tested the patient and found the
parasympathetic and respiratory alkalosis patterns persisting  consistently, we
explained to mother and daughter that we could give the patient supplements
that would probably help considerably in controlling these mild seizures, but
that dietary compliance was essential along with the supplementation --  and
that since the diet itself would probably control the seizures, why not just be
more conscientious about the diet just to prove that it would work?  They
agreed, and the girl went many months without a seizure.  

Regrettably, however, she slipped up at the most inopportune time.  She had a
seizure while driving a car, and had an accident. Following is a summary of the
letter I wrote to the neurologist who reviewed her case to determine whether
she should or should not be permitted to drive, along with the references I

Our office has been monitoring Jennifer Adams' seizure disorder since its onset
in the Spring of 1998.  

The patient's history plus our clinical tests suggest that there may be three
causative factors underlying her seizure disorder:  

1. Hypoglycemia

2. Excess estrogen

3. Hyperventilation/respiratory alkalosis

Virtually every time Jennifer has had a seizure it has been either when she is in
a fasting state or within a couple of hours after consuming a concentrated
sugar unaccompanied by fat or protein.  

The second interesting point from her history is that virtually all her seizures
have occurred while she was premenstrual.  

We have tested the patient repeatedly and found that she consistently shows
signs of hyperventilation/respiratory alkalosis, including elevated respiratory
rate accompanied by elevated urine and saliva pH's.  

Several references have been attached showing causative relationships 
between seizures and each of these three factors.  Also, it is worth noting that
these three conditions are interrelated in that they can cause or exacerbate each

We have suggested that since there is much evidence in the literature
supporting use of a Ketogenic Diet to control seizures, and, since Jennifer
appears to have seizures which are exacerbated by high carbohydrate and low
protein and fat intake, that she modify her diet to include fat and protein at
each of three meals daily.  


Adams D., Lueders H.,  Hyperventilation and 6-hour EEG recording in
evaluation of absence seizures.  Neuro.  1981, Sep;31(9):1175-7.

Meiley C., Forster F.,  Activation of partial complex seizures by
hyperventilation.  Arch Neurol.  1977, Jun;34(6):371-3.


Steel J., et al.  Hyperventilation or hypoglycemia?  Diabet Med.  1989,

Drake M., Paroxysmal hyperventilation responses in the adult EEG.  Clin
Electroencephalogr.  1986, Apr;17(2):61-5.


Chiodera P., etal.  Effects of estrogen induced hypoglycemia on plasma
oxitocin levels in bulemia and anorexia nervosa.  Metabolism.  1991, Nov;

Bough K., etal.  Higher ketogenic diet ratios confer protection from seizures
without neurotoxicity.  Epilepsy Res.  2000 Jan; 38(1):15-25.

Tallian K., etal.  Role of the ketogenic diet in children with intractable seizures. 
Ann Pharmacother.  1998 Mar;32(3):349-61.


Areif, A., et al, Mechanism of seizures in hypoglycemia.  J Clin Invest 1974,
Sept; 54(3): 654-63.

Burton, R., Raskin N.  Remediable seizure disorder due to alimentary
hypoglycemia.  Neurology.  1970, Apr; 20(4): 380.

Sussman, K., et al.  Plasma insulin levels during reactive hypoglycemia. 
Diabetes.  1966, Jan; 15(1): 1-4.

Bolli, G. Fanelli C., Unawareness of hypoglycemia.  N Engl J Med, 1995, Dec
28; 333(26): 1771-2.

French J, Frengley P.  Hypoglycemia induced seizures following a marathon. 
NZ Med J.  1983 May 25; 96(732):407.

Ratcheson R, Blank A,  Ferrendelli J.  Regionally selective metabolic effects of
hypoglycemia in brain.  J Neurochem 1981 Jun; 36(6):1952-8. 

Soykal, Glass A.  Ketotic hypoglycemia, an important cause of seizures.  Clin
Pediatr.  1967, Jun; 6(6):368-72.


Jacono J., Robertson J.  The affects of estrogen, progesterone, and ionized
calcium on seizures during the menstrual cycle of epileptic women.  Epilepsia. 
1987, Sep-Oct; 28(5):571-7.

Backstrom T., Epileptic seizures in women related to plasma estrogen and
progesterone during the menstrual cycle.  Acta Neurol Scand 1976, Oct;

Buntner B., Rosciszewska D.  [Urinary excretion of estrogen fractions in
women with epileptic seizures during the pre-menstrual period.]  Neurol
Neurchir Pol.  1975, May-Jun;9(3):311-7. (Polish)

The references you have just read do a very nice job of illustrating how
everything is related to everything -- and the folly of treating isolated

Note particularly the reference on estrogen as a cause of hypoglycemia.  This
study is one of many to show the connection between estrogen and
hypoglycemia, but I chose this one because it goes a step further -- implicating
estrogen excess as causative in bulimia and anorexia nervosa.  

The three references cited on estrogen as a direct cause of seizures are also
particularly interesting.  You must use this information clinically.  If you have
any patients who have seizures who are either on birth control or considering
estrogen replacement therapy, please show them these references and stop
them from making a big mistake.  The neurotoxic effects of estrogen don't stop
with seizure disorders.  There is considerable evidence implicating estrogen as
at least a contributing factor in such diverse neurological diseases as multiple
sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease.  

Can I make the point any more clear?  Estrogen makes you old, makes you fat,
makes you tired, makes you depressed, makes your sinuses inflamed, makes
you miserable in almost every conceivable way.  Get your patients off the
estrogen, now.  The osteoporosis issue is the last ditch stand of the estrogen
peddlers.  After several decades of trying to promote estrogen as a cure for
everything under the sun including heart disease and certain types of cancer,
their claims became so obviously dishonest that they had to withdraw them. 
Osteoporosis is the only alleged benefit that most people have still been
snookered into believing is valid.  Now you (and your patients) know the truth. 

So -- should any woman, under any circumstances take estrogen?  If 
menopause has been surgically induced at an early age, then a woman definitely
needs hormone replacement therapy.  But, all the hormones should be
replaced, not just estrogen.  At the very least a woman should take enough
progesterone to balance the very small dose of estrogen that she needs.  Since
the typical doctor understands nothing of the many physiological roles played
by progesterone, it is assumed that progesterone is unnecessary.  After all,
since the two most obvious roles of progesterone are to initiate menstruation
when implantation does not occur, and to support a pregnancy if implantation
does occur -- and since after menopause a woman will be neither menstruating
nor having a baby, why use progesterone?  Their ignorance of the importance
of progesterone is appalling and inexcusable. 

If a woman needs hormone replacement she should do everything possible to
make sure that the estrogen to progesterone ratio is maintained near its
physiological normal.  Quantitatively speaking, the amount of estrogen she
needs (even after surgical menopause) is a tiny fraction of what is typically
prescribed.  A prescription for Premarin or Ogen contains several times as
much estrogen as a woman made when she was in her 20's.  Why is such a
huge dosage prescribed?  Because such a pharmacological dose will
immediately relieve the distressing hot flashes and other symptoms associated
with a drop in estrogen.  

Recently I tested a 63 year old woman on Premarin who was given the lowest
dosage of the medication available.  Her estrogen levels were more than 6
times as high as normal for her age, and higher than the normal levels for a 25
year old woman during much of her monthly cycle.  This woman has suffered
terrible physical and emotional symptoms from this estrogen, not the least of
which is the destruction of her thyroid. 

When a woman is faced with menopause that is not surgically induced, it is
virtually never a good idea to take estrogen.  If the menopausal symptoms are
more than she cares to handle, then she ought to consider hormone
replacement therapy, not with estrogen but with the important hormone
precursors pregnenolone and DHEA.  Pregnenolone and DHEA are hormones
with many physiological activities of their own in addition to being the
precursors to progesterone and estrogen and testosterone.  Next month we'll
give you the specific protocols for these.  Meanwhile, get your patients off
estrogen using the gradual withdrawal we described last month.  


Guy R. Schenker, D.C.


Nutri-Spec Letters