From: Guy R. Schenker, D.C. December, 2000 Dear Doctor, How would your body respond if you were subjected to the overwhelming stress of burn trauma? Hormonally, you would be devastated. Those hormones that promote health and longevity would take a precipitous plunge -- thyroid hormone levels crash, progesterone plunges, and testosterone all but disappears. Meanwhile, your catecholamine levels skyrocket, and cortisol surges, as does the other stress hormone, estrogen. What would be your body's response to surgical trauma? Again, thyroid, progesterone, and testosterone crash while the stress hormones, including catecholamines, cortisol, and estrogen, are produced in excess. What would be your hormonal response to the stress of alcoholism, or starvation, or to extreme cold exposure, or to a severe infection? You guessed it -- healthy hormone levels tumble, while catecholamines, cortisol, and estrogen rise to dangerously unsustainable levels. Check the following references: Yu, Effect of endotoxin on hormonal responses, Am J Vet Res. Feb, 1998. Doleck, Endocrine changes after burn trauma, Keio J Med, Sep, 1989. Dennhardt, Patterns of endocrine secretions during sepsis, Prog Clin Biol Res, 1989. Keck, Alcohol and endocrinologic homeostasis, Z Gastroenterol, Oct, 1988. (German) Vagenakis, Diversion of peripheral thyroxin metabolism from activating to inactivating pathways during complete fasting, J Clin Endocrine Metab, 1975. Elliot, Sustained depression of the resting metabolic rate after massive weight loss, Am J Clin Nutri, 1989. The point I am making as clear as I possibly can is that ESTROGEN IS A POWERFUL STRESS HORMONE ANALAGOUS TO THE CATECHOLAMINES AND CORTISOL ... in that it is used in defense against extreme stressors. Like all stress hormones, estrogen is essential for dealing with a crisis, but is damaging when it is present in excess quantity, or present out of time with need. And that is our problem -- you, I, and most all our patients, are producing stress hormones far in excess of what should be produced in response to activities of daily living. Some of us (particularly those who are anaerobic, ketogenic, or parasympathetic) respond to stress with excess cortisol. Some of us (particularly those who are dysaerobic, glucogenic, or sympathetic) over-react to stress with excess catecholamine production. Some of us respond to stress with both too much cortisol and too much catecholamine production. And, nearly all of us respond to stress with excess estrogen. It is common knowledge that excess catecholamines and cortisol are associated with cardiovascular disease, with hypertension, with decreased immune function, with predisposition to cancer -- in short, with all the killer diseases. Largely unknown, however (thanks to very effective propaganda by the pharmaceutical industry), estrogen contributes every bit as much to the deadly diseases to which most of us eventually succumb, and, it contributes to an amazing diversity of "ordinary" miseries from which most of your patients suffer. Consider carefully this list of conditions associated with excess estrogen: - Estrogen causes seizures. - Estrogen causes allergies. - Estrogen causes cancer (not just the obvious breast cancer, uterine cancer and cervical cancer, but many forms of cancer, in both men and women). - Estrogen causes anxiety. - Estrogen causes cystic breast disease. - Estrogen causes uterine fibroids. - Estrogen causes endometriosis. - Estrogen causes dysmenorrhea. - Estrogen causes premenstrual syndrome. - Estrogen causes prostate disease. - Estrogen causes gall stones and gall bladder disease. - Estrogen causes fluid retention. - Estrogen causes weight gain. - Estrogen depresses thyroid function. - Estrogen causes osteoporosis (and you will learn how the deceitful lie that estrogen protects against osteoporosis was fabricated on a half-truth). - Estrogen causes hypoglycemia and associated food cravings. - Estrogen increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Do you see any symptoms on that list that are common among your patients? Do you see any symptoms on that list that you would like to be able to effectively control or eliminate altogether? Certainly you do. Most of these symptoms or conditions can be benefited (often dramatically) with NUTRI-SPEC but -- the vast majority of your patients with these symptoms who do not completely respond to NUTRI-SPEC are generally suffering the effects of excess estrogen. Let us focus on these symptoms one by one and see how they relate to estrogen stress, and particularly how you can use NUTRI-SPEC to help patients suffering from these conditions. Look at the second symptom on the list ... ESTROGEN CAUSES ALLERGIES. I'll bet you didn't know that. I'll bet you won't find one in a hundred or maybe not even one in a thousand doctors who knows that. Why doesn't anyone know that simple fact? Simply because there are a lot of very powerful influences that don't want you to know that. How many patients do you have that walk around with a head full of boogies virtually all the time? Most of these patients (including most of the men) are suffering from estrogen stress. Sadly, many of these patients who are females are either on birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. Perhaps you have done NUTRI-SPEC on these patients and achieved some success. With the proper supplementation, and the proper diet (including the prostaglandin dietary recommendations) these patients will improve markedly. But, how many of these patients, even under the best NUTRI-SPEC care, reach a plateau beyond which further improvement seems impossible? Excess estrogen is the only barrier preventing you from 100% success with these patients. Below are just a few of several hundred references demonstrating the fact that estrogen potentiates the activity of histamine. By that mechanism, and by several others involving immunoglobulins, estrogen exacerbates symptoms of allergies and asthma. 1. Prudhomme A. Influence of Female Sex Hormones on Asthma. Rev Pneumol Clin 1999 Oct;55(5):296-300. This study showed that sex hormones have a clear effect on 30-40 percent of asthmatic women. It also showed that hormone replacement therapy has an unfavorable effect on the incidence of asthma in peri and post-menopausal women. So, in addition to your NUTRI-SPEC metabolic imbalances, including prostaglandin imbalance, on all your asthmatic patients you must also consider estrogen stress. Estrogen will be exacerbating the asthma directly, and also indirectly by virtue of being a causative factor in virtually all your NUTRI-SPEC metabolic imbalances. 2. Hamano N, et al. Effect of Female Hormones on the Blood Production of IL-4 and IL-13 from Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells. Acta Otolaryngol Suppl 1998; 537:27-31. This study demonstrated that estrogen aggravates nasal allergy symptoms by increasing immunoglobulin E synthesis and inducing selective eosinophil infiltrations. One thing we have noticed in the hundreds of problem cases we review for you each year is the high percentage of women either on birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy whose allergic symptoms stubbornly refuse to respond, and who are taking Claritin or some other antihistamine -- a drug to reverse the side effects of another drug -- needed only because of allergies caused by estrogen. 3. Derimanof G: Oppenheimer J. Exacerbation of Premenstrual Asthma Caused by an Oral Contraceptive. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1998 Sep;81(3):243-6. This study is one of many showing that exogenous estrogen and/or contraceptive pills produce an exacerbation of asthma. 4. Wjst M, Dold S. Is Asthma an Endocrine Disease? Pediatr Allergy Immunol 1997 Nov;8(4):200-4. This study presented evidence that the increasing incidence of asthma in children is due to the mother's oral contraceptive use prior to pregnancy. This is stunning! There has been an inexplicable increase in childhood asthma in the last several decades. Now we see that one (there are probably several others) major cause of this asthma epidemic is children unfortunate enough to be born to women who didn't know any better than to use birth control pills prior to choosing to be pregnant. You can bet the pharmaceutical companies will spare no expense in suppressing this study and others like it. 5. Hamano N, et al. Expression of Histamine Receptors in Nasal Epithelial Cells and Endothelial Cells-The Effects of Sex Hormones. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 1998 Mar;115(3):220-7. In this study the exacerbation of histamine activity by estrogen was demonstrated. Definitive evidence was given that estrogen is the primary cause for the preponderance of allergic rhinitis after puberty in females, and the further exacerbation of these allergic symptoms during pregnancy. There was certainly nothing wishy washy about this study. It did not just implicate estrogen as a causative factor in allergies, it unequivocally stated that estrogen is the primary cause of allergies in females, and the sole reason for an exacerbation of allergies in women during pregnancy. Now that you are acquiring a thorough knowledge of the devastating effects of estrogen, how do you use this information clinically? You simply must convince all your women on hormone replacement therapy to decrease if not completely delete the estrogen. The first step is, obviously, to convince each woman that she must get off the estrogen. To do that, present her with the list of estrogen-related conditions and symptoms listed above. Emphasize in each individual woman's case those symptoms that she already has, or that are most unappealing to her. (It is amazing how many women are more easily convinced to get off estrogen by the fact that it causes weight gain than by the fact that it causes cancer.) Along with assuring the woman that she will avoid all those symptoms and conditions by getting off the estrogen as soon as possible, you must also convince her that there is no risk in getting off the estrogen. The next issue or two of this Letter will complete the case against estrogen including giving you all the references from the literature you need to present a convincing case that estrogen does not protect against heart disease and above all, does not prevent (and actually contributes to) osteoporosis. Once you have the woman convinced that most if not all of her symptoms are caused by or at least exacerbated by estrogen, and, that many more miserable symptoms are certain to come her way in the future if she stays on the estrogen, then you must put her on the proper plan for getting off the drug. Under no circumstances should she quit the estrogen cold turkey. The withdrawal must be gradual enough that there is no radical upset to her hormonal balance. The procedure is really quite simple. She continues on her present dose of estrogen but simply deletes one day of the week -- Monday for instance. After one or two weeks of taking the estrogen six days a week she deletes a second day -- Friday. After taking the estrogen five days weekly for two weeks she deletes Wednesday, so that now she is only taking estrogen four days a week. After a week or two at that level she will start to take the estrogen on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. After a couple weeks at that level she will reduce it to taking it only Monday and Friday. And after a couple weeks at that level she will reduce it to one day a week, and then eventually she can delete it altogether. Along the way if the woman begins to experience hot flashes of frequency and intensity that are more than just slightly annoying, then she should stop at that level of estrogen intake until things stabilize, which could be an extra week or two or much longer. If the hot flashes reach what could be called an extreme level, and/or she experiences some vaginal dryness, then she should go back a step -- add back one more dose of estrogen each week until things stabilize. Then, after stabilization, resume the gradual withdrawal again to whatever extent is possible. There is only one other consideration in this estrogen phase out procedure and that is the possibility that you can supplement with other hormones and hormone precursors to physiologically help the woman attain hormone balance. There are combinations of natural progesterone (not Provera), DHEA, and pregnenolone that can be very beneficial adjuncts to the phase out of estrogen (and at the same time very valuable to help maintain NUTRI-SPEC metabolic balance in these patients that are hormonally challenged). We will cover the protocol for the use of these supportive hormones next month. Sincerely, Guy R. Schenker, D.C.