Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another Hot Night

You've waited for this evening for weeks. Finally you and your husband have the time and a few dollars to go out for the night to spend some romantic time together. The grown kids are now gone off to college, married, or are chasing their promising career and the house is essentially empty. No longer do you hear the calls of, "Mom, I can't find my...", "Did you wash my...", or "What's for supper? I'm starved!" Those days are gone.

Instead you hear the phone ring or once in awhile, the door bursts open without a knock and your tiny, precious baby now stands there tall and strong with the grin you've loved for years and a black garbage bag full of dirty laundry. No, you'll never stop being 'Mom', but the role of 'Mom' has now changed. However, for tonight, you are Mrs. Romantically Female; an actual woman again.

As you look in the mirror, the maturity of all the things you've experienced for the past decades is evident; the long nights with sick kids, the rushing to sports' events and concerts, the tedious jobs of folding clothes and cooking meals.

You slip on that special pink dress and maybe even don a pair of heels if they still fit. The hairdo has to be just right so after every hair is in place you spray it lightly. You put on your foundation, shadow, eyeliner and mascara. Then you add just a touch of blush to brighten the now slightly sunken cheeks. As you're applying the final touch of lipstick, it hits.

That dreaded hot flash! As you begin to feel your insides heat up you start fanning yourself trying to cool off before the well-known affects of the last hour's hard work begin to cause a meltdown. Your deodorant kicks into second gear; and then third; as the perspiration begins to run between your breasts at an alarming rate.

The temperature rises as the beads of sweat try to seep from under your make-up. You can feel the evaporation from your hairline, and under your nose, and you dab at it with a tissue hoping to head off the inevitable while still keeping collateral damage to a minimum.

As your scalp begins to moisten and your perfect hair begins to lose all the body you worked so hard to instill, you lean forward to keep your back off the chair hoping a little air circulation will help. It doesn't.

Your heart races a mile a minute and it seems the more you panic to cool off, the more you heat up. As the panic turns to frustration, the hairdo begins to fall, the mascara runs under your eyes, the shadow collects into creases on your lids, and your clothes display their own personal imprints of perspiration in the most uninviting places.

Now you try to hold back the tears so you can salvage what's left of the make-up, change into something more casual... that's not sweat laden... in darker colors... and replace the nylons and heels with socks and sneakers. Deciding that a burger and fries tastes just as good as lobster and salad, you pull yourself together and announce to your husband maybe a more casual evening like a movie and McDonalds would actually save money anyway.

Don't despair. Any woman who's going through menopause has been there. Just when you think you can begin to have a life of your own, now that the kids are old enough to fend for themselves, you begin turning the corner into "older" age and the hot flashes (or "flushes" as they're also referred to) remind you of your more mature age. There is hope!

Sure you can get hormone replacement therapy to ease some of the symptoms of menopause, but not everyone is comfortable with taking them. There are dozens of rumors about all the serious side effects, and although many women can take them without any negative repercussions, many others are just not ready to take the chance. So, what's a woman to do?

There are some new products and methods that are either just now being introduced into the market, or that are currently being tested and are soon to be available.

One of those is called Verita`. Unlike regular medicines or drugs, Verita` is not ingested. Rather, it is a topical spray that is intended to cool your skin during a hot flash.

When you begin to feel a hot flash coming on, this topical application is sprayed directly on any exposed skin such as your arms, legs, neck or chest. It comes in an easily accessible and compact bottle that can be kept in your purse, your car, a tote bag, a desk drawer, or anywhere else you happen to be. It's advertised to break the cycle of hot flashes on contact.

Because Verita is comprised of a blend of botanicals and marine algae, and because it's topical in nature, it can't upset any hormone balance in your system. The maker has also considered the fragrance so she's added a light blend of aloe and cucumber scent. Melissa France from ME Cosmeceuticals is the developer and states that product sales are doing well locally.

There is also a new treatment that comes in the form of a gel and it's called "Low-dose Transdermal Estradiol (E2) Gel". Ronald Ackerman, MD., the Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director of Comprehensive Clinical Trials in West Palm Beach, Florida is quoted as saying, "The treatment goal is to provide the least amount of estrogen over the least amount of time which can be effective for the individual patient. Transdermal is a growing trend owing to its ability to bypass the liver and be given at lower doses."

The testing of Transdermal was done on 488 women between the ages of 18 to 65 who experienced more than 50 hot flashes per week, regardless of whether the flashes were due to age or other medical factors such as a hysterectomy. After twelve weeks of applying the gel alternately to each thigh, 92% of the tested women reported that their hot flashes were now mild to moderate, with the more adverse symptoms being experienced by only those who were being treated with the higher doses.

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) suggests that Low-dose Transdermal Estradiol just may be an alternative to the traditional hormone replacement therapy.

Because many women have a fear of cancer and heart disease from the widely taken medications known as Prempro and Premarin, a new pill has been developed and is being tested. This most recent menopause pill is a combination of bone-loss therapy and estrogen and in recent studies Aprela is boasted to have reduced hot flashes from 80%.

The parent company Wyeth also reports that Aprela should be available in about a year, provided it passes the testing and is approved.

So, in the meantime, keep your tank top and your sweater handy for the thirty second temperature explosions followed by the cold chill three minutes later. Carry an extra roll-on deodorant and can of hairspray in your purse, keep cotton swabs handy for make-up touchups, and put a smile on your face. After all, the kids are still on their own, you can come and go as you please without first getting a sitter, the food bill has diminished significantly, and you have some wonderful memories that came with every one those laugh lines.

Wear them proudly! They're proof you've earned time for you.

Dawn M. Olsen is an Advocate for Better Women's Health through Education, Recipe Developer, Soy Food Enthusiast and the Author of "Menopause A to Z - A Definitive Guide to Modern Menopause available online now at a Find out more about how to deal with menopause symptoms.

Conkus of the Bonkus

I first heard this term used by my colleague Dr. Steve Nugent. Dr. Nugent is the Chief of Alternative Medicine for a nutritional research and development company.

Give a name to a symptom and call it a disease.

Conventional medicine has long taken the position that if you have a symptom, there is probably a disease associated with it that has either a Latin or Greek root.

Here are a few examples: Rheumatoid Arthritis, "The name is derived from the Greek. Rheumatos means "flowing", and this initially gave rise to the term 'rheumatic fever'. The suffix -oid means "resembling", i.e. resembling rheumatic fever. Arthr means "joint" and the suffix -itis, a "condition involving inflammation". Thus rheumatoid arthritis was a form of joint inflammation that resembled rheumatic fever."

Diabetes Mellitus, "The term diabetes (Greek: διαβήτης) was coined by Aretaeus of Cappadocia. It is derived from the Greek word διαβαίνειν, diaba�nein that literally means "passing through," or "siphon", a reference to one of diabetes' major symptoms-excessive urine production. In 1675 Thomas Willis added the word mellitus to the disease, a word from Latin meaning "honey", a reference to the sweet taste of the urine. This sweet taste had been noticed in urine by the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, and Indians. In 1776 Matthew Dobson confirmed that the sweet taste was because of an excess of a kind of sugar in the urine and blood of people with diabetes"

So our medical system takes a symptom and gives it a fancy word. Or better yet, we have disease conditions associated with the doctor who "discovered" a particular set of symptoms and seeing no other name for it, used their own name. Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Crohn's, etc.

So then Conkus of the Bonkus can mean, "hit upon the head".

That is what I wish I could do with those in control of our so called "health care" system - hit them upside the head! They just don't get it, and unfortunately many of you don't either. This is why America ranks 37th in the world for health care.

Somewhere along the line of learning the marvelous wonders of our body, scientists and doctors forgot one important fact. The body has the innate intelligence to heal, repair, restore, defend, cleanse, feed, regulate, and regenerate itself, without the need for toxic pharmaceuticals. If we provide the body with what it needs, the body will do the rest.

So what do we need? Food, fresh wholesome food in abundant quantity that has all the nutrients we need, adequate amounts of naturally induced sleep, clean water, clean air, exercise, and no stress.

Obviously we do not live in an optimal world so we need to address the areas that we can change.

Let's look at our food supply first. Over 90% is processed with chemicals that have never been evaluated by the EPA or FDA for safety. They want to eliminate vitamin companies but the bigger threat is our food. Vitamins are relatively absent in our food supply so companies attempt to "fortify" our food with synthetic vitamins and minerals that have about as much a chance as being absorbed and assimilated as does the Rock of Gibraltar. Food is grown in nutrient deficient soil with chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides added. I'll pass thank you. Water is often contaminated and the air is so dirty you can't see mountains 5 miles away. All of our fruits and vegetables are harvested "green". This means they are harvested prior to the necessary nutrients even reaching the part of the plant we eat.

This resulted in the AMA in 2002 publishing an article in JAMA that stated it would be prudent for all American's to take supplements.

The problem then is, what supplements do I use? The ones that have what your body is missing!

Nutritional companies for the most part focus on one area for the most part. While a particular exotic juice may have several fruit extracts, our body needs more than just sugar and flavonoids.

We need to address our immune system. This can be seen by all the autoimmune conditions we see. In the 1940's we had only 4 autoimmune conditions. Now we have over 80. Better science? Perhaps. Poor food supply? Definitely.

Cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, etc.

We need to address our endocrine system. We have an estimated 87 hormones in our body that controls and regulates many of our body's functions. Sleep, moods, sexual drive, reproduction, metabolism, healing, digestion, etc. While we use 17 for the reproductive system, the other 70 are crucial for optimal health.

Contrary to popular belief hot flashes are not caused by a deficiency in Premarin (manufactured from horse urine).

We need to address our defense mechanisms from attack of free radical damage, a result of oxidative stress. Cancer, cardiovascular conditions, etc.

We need to address our digestive system through proper intake of probiotics, enzymes, essential fatty acids, a natural source of soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as amino acids.

We need to address our total lack of vitamins and minerals. We need a supplement that is food sourced, plant based, that can provide absorbable amounts of what is required.

But more importantly than all the above, is that our cells have to have the proper structural configuration to utilize what we ingest. Improper structure means improper function. Improper function means we get to go the doctor and get a fancy name attached to our symptoms and then get a drug to mask the symptoms.

Glyconutrients therefore are required for complete cell to cell communication to facilitate proper structure and allow other supplements to be bioavailable.

So it becomes apparent that there is no one supplement that addresses all these areas. There is no one exotic juice, or shake, or pill, or potion that has it all.

Part 2 of this series will detail glyconutrient technology followed by anti-oxidants, immune support, digestive support, vitamins and minerals.

For detailed science prior to part 2 being published, please contact me and I can provide you with resources.

"Doctor, do I have Conkus of the Bonkus?"

Dr. Tom has trained thousands in lifestyle improvements over the course of 9 years. As a Lifestyle Adjusting Coach Dr. Tom takes what you bring him and helps you to see the potential of your health and wealth.

Dr. Tom can be contacted at or 760-446-1088.For information on weight loss go to: blog is

Women's Hormone Replacement Therapy - Are You In Balance?

It has been two years since the Women's Health Initiative Estrogen plus Progestin (WHI) arm of this large trial was stopped early because it caused harm. The WHI showed the opposite of what was expected--Estrogen (Premarin) plus Progestin (Provera) caused heart disease and breast cancer as well as blood clots and strokes. WHI results show that estrogen does not improve the quality of life for women. WHI estrogen plus progestin results are "evidence-based."

We now have evidence-based proof that "HRT" is harmful to women. But people are still taking Hormone Replacement Therapy and are concerned about estrogen deficiency. Why? "Little has changed because the fundamental, negative ideas about women and about menopause have not changed. Universal menopausal hormone therapy ... (is) based on a cultural belief that women are inferior and need fixing. For over twenty years I have been saying that menopause is a natural part of women's life cycle, the low estrogen levels after menopause are healthy and not abnormal. This made me unpopular--I have been labeled as "way-out" or worse. Therefore the WHI results for me were a vindication", says Jerilynn C. Prior BA, MD, FRCPC Professor of Endocrinology, Scientific Director, Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research, University of British Columbia. And, she is correct.

Two years after the WHI study little has changed. If you go to your doctor today and request HRT most will prescribe it for you. Despite the fact that The Women's Health Initiative, the largest controlled trial of ovarian hormone therapy ever performed, provided the strongest proof that Medicine (which has been strongly influenced by the Pharmaceutical Industry) causes harm for women. The website for the WHI study said, "Women should stop their study drugs immediately." Following that order led to hot flushes in many women who were on hormone therapy because their body had adjusted to that higher level of estrogen. Women who heard the news of the study in the media also often stopped their therapy abruptly. That led to severe hot flushes in hundreds of thousands of women and in virtually all women who had previously experienced them. "Because it is well known that rapid withdrawal from estrogen causes night sweats and hot flushes, all physicians should have been ready with advice for women wanting to stop estrogen." Says Dr. Prior.

For Lack of helpful information, and because the resulting symptoms of night sweats/hot flushes were so miserable, many women, in desperation, reluctantly restarted unwanted HRT treatment. It seems logical to now say that the WHI results require re-thinking of the concepts on which menopausal "replacement" and "estrogen deficiency" were based. The primary assumption that all women needed estrogen because they were deficient still needs to be addressed. I like what Dr. Susan Love said, "If estrogen deficiency is a disease, all men have it!" Destroying the concept of estrogen deficiency will be hard and may take many years to achieve. In the mean time where does that leave you and I?

Estrogen Dominance not estrogen deficiency, according to Dr. John Lee is at the crux of our dilemma and bringing our hormones back into balance will be the key to hormonal health.

STEP 1. Become informed. The "Let's Talk About Hormones" video provides valuable information on hormone balancing. Dr. Lee's "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause" has just been updated. Information is the key to your power!

STEP 2. Evaluate your own hormones with a saliva test whether you are on hormones currently or not. Find out if you have adequate hormone levels or are truly deficient.

STEP 3. Work with someone who understands the issues. Dr. Lee felt that most women can themselves oversee their hormonal challenges. If you must select a healthcare provider choose one who like Dr. Prior says, "I will never again prescribe estrogen as a pill. There is now overwhelming controlled trial evidence that pill forms of estrogen cause unacceptably high rates of clots and perhaps, through clotting, also increased strokes and heart disease. There are not yet strong data but it is likely that estrogen given through the skin (as a gel, cr�me or patch) will be less likely to activate liver clotting factors and thus safer. To me it means "bio-identical" or "natural" kinds of estrogen and progesterone both given in physiological doses."

STEP 4. Just know that balancing hormones is not just about taking additional hormones but about diet and lifestyle changes. I believe that we have a unique opportunity, right now, as women on this second anniversary of the initial WHI results. We can become pro-active about our own hormone health and share with those women around us who are struggling with their hormone challenges. Women reaching out to other women will have a greater effect than waiting for the research to catch up. Each of us must practice living with these important ideas. Then hormonal health will be ours.

This Article Is Copyright 2006 Jackie L. Harvey & Saliva Testing com

Jackie Harvey is an International speaker, radio program host, seminar leader, business trainer, and a mother of seven. She works in partnership with nurses, medical doctors and health care practitioners.

Jackie is a men & women's health advocate specializing in hormonal and menopausal health. Thousands of men & women have watched her informative DVD "Let's Talk About Hormones". Jackie is committed to making a positive change in peoples lives.

Visit for more information Saliva Hormone Tests Kits & her Best Selling 1-hour DVD "Let's Talk About Hormones with Jackie Harvey". Click For More information on Men's & Women's Saliva Hormone Testing and Saliva Test Kits.

Top Tips To Treat Low Back Pain

Low back pain is practically a universal problem. The crucial things to remember are that this problem is common (most people get it), painful (incredibly), medically minor (most of the time), and that the cause is nearly always an injury that requires time to heal completely. Medication cannot speed the healing process. If there is any sign of nerve damage, if a fracture might have occurred, or if the pain just won't go away, see the doctor. Sudden pain with minor or no injury occurring a bit higher in the back may represent a collapsed fracture of a vertebrae; this is the most common complication of osteoporosis and is a very frequent problem. This kind of fracture usually requires about six weeks to resolve, and many older people will have several such fractures over time.

The purpose to treat acute low back pain is to prevent chronic, long-lasting low back pain. You want natural healing, and then you want to strengthen the involved parts so that the problem doesn't happen again.

Think of low back problems as similar to a sprained ankle. An injury causes bruising and swelling for two or three days, and then slow healing begins to become evident, even though you cannot see what is actually happening. The pain improves in less than a week, but six weeks is required fro full healing. Re-injury is costly, since the healing process will have to start again from the beginning.

Do not take painkillers and muscle relaxation and then go on as if your back were all right, this practice will likely result in re-injury. Either take medication and rest flat in bed, or listen to the pain message and do only what you can do in reasonable comfort.

Don't apply heat to the area the first day; if anything, use cold packs to decrease pain and swelling. Heat may be cautiously applied after the first day, but it won't help much. A firm mattress or a bed board is part of the standard advice. Back problems vary, however, and if you are more comfortable at night and the following morning with a slightly softer mattress, use that. Aspirin or other mild pain relievers are probably all right, but they won't help much. A small pillow or folded towel beneath the low back may increase your comfort when sleeping flat. When you get up, draw your knees up, then roll side-ways and sit up. The position of lying on your side, knees up, is more comfortable than lying on the back for many people, and it is all right.

You doubtless have some accompanying muscle spasms. Although painful, they are protecting your injured back. If you can outlast the discomfort without muscle relaxants and without a lot of pain medication, your back may heal more strongly, and you decrease the chance of re-injury.

Exercises shouldn't be started for a week or so, until things feel much better, and then they should be begun slowly. Exercise is designed to make recurrence less likely by toning the muscles and ligaments so that the spine has greater strength. Abdominal muscles assist spinal stability and should be part of the exercise program. If you have some weight to lose, get started with the weight reduction right away.

Exercises should be repeated twice daily and gradually increased in number and in exertion. Toe-touching, side-bending, and twisting exercises are not particularly good. For the back, you are more interested in strength than in suppleness.

Good posture helps. Sit in a straight chair. Keep your shoulders back and down. Have a good mattress on your head. Lift heavy objects using your legs, not your back. Never lift from a bending forward position. Avoid sudden shifts and strains, particularly those actions that throw the upper body backward. Tennis, for example, should not be rushed as your back recovers. You can safely walk, swim, or bicycle along before it would be safe to resume an activity like tennis.

Adequate calcium in your diet is important to minimize the chance of fractures. If you don't have four servings a day of calcium-rich foods such as non-fat milk or low-fat ice cream, then calcium supplementation is advisable. This is very important for women. Women over 65 should have at least 1,500 mg of calcium daily and men at least 1,000 mg. a glass of milk contains about 250 mg. The best supplementation is calcium carbonate, which is available as Tums, Os-Cal, or other similar brands. Women should discuss the pros and cons of estrogen supplementation with their doctor. Premarin and similar drugs can significantly reduce the chance of osteoporotic fractures.

Raymond Lee Geok Seng is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is a writer specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He has spent countless of time and efforts conducting research and share his insightful and powerful secrets to benefit men and women all over the world. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit for more information.

Are There Any Side Effects of a Hysterectomy?

It's a logical and frequently asked question - are there any hysterectomy side effects?


Hysterectomy is defined as the surgical removal of the vital organ called the uterus. Most hysterectomies are performed on women between the ages of 20 and 49. In the United States, the rate of hysterectomy is higher among African-American women and is higher in the Southern states. There are 600,000 hysterectomies performed in the United States every year.

There are two types of hysterectomy, the partial hysterectomy and the total hysterectomy. In a partial hysterectomy, the uterus is removed and the ovaries are left in place. In most cases, because the circulation of blood to the ovaries is diminished, the ovarian function will cease all together, although it's unknown why this happens. In a total hysterectomy or "surgical menopause", the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries are removed which results in the interruption of the ovarian hormone production.

After the surgical procedure called hysterectomy, since hormone production has been altered, a woman may experience one or more of the following side effects:

- Anxiety

- Depression, mood swings

- Dizziness and nervousness

- Fatigue

- Hair loss

- Headaches

- Heart palpitations

- Insomnia

- Irritability

- Joint pain

- Low sex drive, painful sexual intercourse

- Memory lapses

- Unexplained weight gain

- Urinary incontinence

- Vaginal dryness

Women who have had a hysterectomy are at increased risk for developing heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis.

There are medical conditions for which hysterectomy may be needed, especially if malignant cancer is involved. However, many hysterectomies are used to remove fibroids and to treat other related conditions. For these kinds of conditions, hysterectomy may be not needed, but women may not know of effective less radical and alternative treatments that should be considered and discussed with their physician. And women are frequently mistakenly afraid of developing cancer if a hysterectomy is not performed and may decide to have the procedure, according to a study as reported by the Reuters News Agency.

When a woman undergoes a hysterectomy, she goes into surgically induced menopause that results in the condition called "hormone imbalance", even if the ovaries are left intact. Even with the ovaries not removed, the blood supply to the ovaries lessens after the surgery and the ovaries usually cease functioning within 1-3 years.

The body needs hormones to function properly. And for a woman -- progesterone, Testosterone and estrogen are vital. How and when does a woman's body produce progesterone? It's produced in the regular menstrual cycle when ovulation occurs. No ovulation, no progesterone!

After a hysterectomy, women will experience a deficiency of two critical hormones -- progesterone and Testosterone. If only the uterus is removed in a partial hysterectomy, progesterone levels will fall dramatically in one to two months and estrogen levels will decrease in one or two years. Progesterone deficiency is related to numerous side effects including the side effects of a hysterectomy listed above. Progesterone deficiency is related to increased risk of developing certain kinds of cancer, including endometrial cancer. Testosterone deficiency in women causes low sex drive, low energy levels, thyroid deficiency and depression, for which there is no clear medical explanation.

Women who enter menopause as a result of hysterectomy should monitor their estrogen (estridiol), progesterone and Testosterone levels -- and natural estrogen alone should not be taken without natural progesterone. Hormone levels are easily and accurately measured with the saliva test, which will indicate the levels of the critical hormones in the body. Since a hysterectomy creates a deficiency of vital hormones in the woman's body, hormone replacement therapy should be considered. However, using synthetic hormones comes with additional risks and side effects.

Instead, women considering hysterectomy or already having had the procedure should seek the help of physicians trained in the use of natural bio-identical hormones. Bio-identical hormones are hormones that are identical to what the body makes and what normally would exist in the body. Synthetic drugs such as Premarin, Provera and Prempro are not natural nor the same as the body makes, and these kinds of synthetic drugs have numerous side effects. Naturopathic physicians, alternative medicine and holistic physicians are educated and trained in both conventional medicine and the use of bio-identical hormones, including bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.

Hysterectomy is a permanent, irreversible surgery that will likely result in unwanted side effects. Unless malignant cancer or other life-threatening condition exists, instead of hysterectomy, consider natural bio-identical hormone replacement therapy to treat fibroids, endometriosis and other conditions related to hormone imbalance. Read all you can and learn more about what to expect after a hysterectomy and effective alternative treatments that may be better for your health.

Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing

If you or someone you know has had a hysterectomy, visit hysterectomy recovery to learn more about what to expect after a hysterectomy and related health issues. Olinda Rola is President of InfoSearch Publishing and webmaster of - a website of physician-recommended natural solutions for a variety of women's health problems.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Follicular Cysts And Corpus Luteum Cysts

A cyst can rupture be it a, most likely it's a follicular cyst or a corpus luteum cyst. These are the so-called functional cysts, or the functional cyst with pregnancy. When they rupture generally nothing happens. In fact, there's usually a pressure relief.

Because any distended cyst is often what gives, as a cysts nerves are increased by the distension, by the fluid, that's often what causes the pain. The relief of the pain comes whenever it ruptures. Often like, unfortunately a ruptured appendix. Sometimes when a patient feels an appendix ballooning up and brings him to the doctors the fact that the appendix becomes distended. Immediately after that there's a rupture and they don't feel the pain. Unfortunately what causes the problems with ruptured cysts is if the cyst has a very rich blood supply and that blood supply, the arteries start pumping blood and don't seal off and the abdomen can fill up with blood. And I've dealt with many cases both as an ectopic pregnancy, but the conditions usually much worse, but also, as a, rarely as a ruptured cyst that's bleeding off a cystic pregnancy. And often times the abdomen can literally become distended. In a severe case woman can go into shock meaning their blood pressure falls out, it's an emergency, life threatening situation that if undiagnosed can be fatal. Fortunately, with emergency rooms being equipped the way they are, doctors being as smart as we are - we rarely miss this. But once in a great while this is a complication. And when the cyst ruptures it doesn't, you can usually preserve the ovary. Usually it can be sutured over, quarterized. The ovary stays in tact and even in a rare case if it had to be removed, again that does not affect fertility.

Generally if you have weight loss - unexplained weight loss is always a problem and should be looked into by a doctor. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's ovary cancer. But a benign cyst, a functional cyst, any of these cysts that we talked about with the exception of the cancerous cysts which are rare, will not be associated with a weight loss. Obviously if we have pain or anxiety about a tumor or cyst often times that's the cause of the weight loss. As far as weight gain, the weight gain is not because of a cyst. However, in the case of the polycystic ovary it's a condition that's sort of related. The cyst doesn't cause the obesity but they seem to be related. And the reason for polycystic ovary disease is unknown. Dr. Christopher Freville describes it as multi-factor but again one of the treatments I mentioned was to try to get the patient to lose weight and it often helps the other symptoms.

Some health pills such as Noni- Tahitian. Noni-Tahitian is the Indian mulberry Plant. It grows in the South Pacific and like a lot of the natural foods there's a lot of claims around all of these. In fact Noni-Tahitian, this is just an example. One company called Morinda, Inc. was pretty well known. It was 1998. Morinda, Inc. was investigated by the FDA - Federal Drug Administration, because they were actually labeling their Noni Tahitian, which I think is a drink. I've never had it myself. But they had all these claims, and the FDA said listen, we no longer - the FDA in this country will leave a company alone as long as it's considered a food supplement, nutrition supplement. When you start making claims, as Morinda did, they said, "No you can't do that."

They did an extensive investigation and charged them $100,000.00 for that investigation, and had them cease and desist. So any type of health food that claims that they're going to prevent cysts is unfortunately bogus. I will say while I'm on that, other things that are associated with cysts, women who take estrogens. This has always been a controversy since estrogens came out, and there's so much data on estrogens.

Drugs like Climara, various forms of Estradiol, Premarin, they're all various categories of the same type of drug, they're estrogen supplements. Estrogens do not cause cysts. If anything, estrogens, especially those in birth control pills can decrease cysts. Which brings up a point if a woman on birth control pills, oral contraceptives, develops a cyst, that's rare.

Hillary Templeton gives advice to women of all types of ovarian cysts on her website. Click here for more information on ovarian cysts and pregnancy.

Garden Variety Estrogen

"Estrogen is estrogen," my sister says matter-of-factly. The voice of authority has spoken. And I know that I cannot convince her otherwise.

Sarah works for a very successful group of family physicians in Williamsburg, VA. Steeped in conventional pharmaceutical wisdom, the docs there make the same mistake docs everywhere make: they trust their drugs reps to give them the skinny on the latest drug research. And then they pass that wisdom onto their staff and patients. To think any differently about this system of information is to be called alternative.

Problem is, those companies perform their own latest drug research. Data is routinely skewed, and then the FDA puts their stamp of approval on it. Why? Because the FDA receives 80% of funding from testing drugs.

Perhaps a slight conflict of interest, but I digress. . .

Estrogen is not estrogen. There is no such thing as a garden variety hormone.

HRT, hormone replacement therapy, uses synthetic estrogen. The same is true with progesterone. The drugs Prempro and Premarin were the two culprits identified in the 2002 Women's Health Initiative studies. Horses' hormones were used as the foundation for these two drugs. (The manner in which these horses were used and abused is deplorable, but that's another post)

Although similar, equine hormones are not the same as human hormones. Still, drug companies insisted there was no viable alternative. There was and is an alternative, just not a patented one.

Pharmaceutical companies developed synthetic hormones so that the drugs could be patented. Their hope was that this slight difference, creating synthetic hormones, would not make a real difference in women's bodies.

But, time has proven otherwise. Escalating evidence of the dangers of HRT persist. And drug companies recite the litany of their safety. But if "estrogen is estrogen," then why is there such controversy over HRT? And why are drug companies lobbying to have bio-identical hormones removed from the market?

You guessed it; the money tree.

Bio-identical hormone treatment, or BHT, has been around for years. But most practitioners are unfamiliar with the treatment. Drug companies have done a thorough job in skewing physicians, and their patients, toward their risky line-up of products.

Bio-identical simply means that the structure of the hormone is perfectly identical to the hormone produced in women's bodies. BHT is natural and our bodies can metabolize the hormones, as they were designed to do. Sounds good so far, doesn't it?

The problem is, drug companies can't patent it. So they're on a rampage to outlaw it. Again, unable to stem the fallout from WHI's initial study, pharmaceutical companies have put their own spin on BHT. With the new Climara patch, companies have created a patented sticky transdermal hormone delivery system. The estrogen cannot be patented because it is identical to the human estradiol.

And there's the rub. Isn't the market big enough for both products, bio-identical and Climara? Evidently not. The drug industry is hell-bent on outlawing BHT.

Like a spoiled child, they don't want to share. The malarkey posted by drug companies that there is no alternative to synthetic hormone treatment is ludicrous. Especially when it falls on the heels of their introduction to Climara. A desperate attempt, at best, to continue their stranglehold over our health, drug companies are waging all out war for control over our bodies.

We all need a safety blanket. We want to believe our doctors have our best interests at heart. I want to believe that. I love my doctor. But when it comes to drug counseling, I do my homework.

I also consult my Naturopathic Doctor. If there is any way I can avert the use of prescription drugs, I take that exit first. If not, I explore the risks.

I'd love to believe in a magic pill. But the only magic here is the massive effort by drug companies to pull the wool over our eyes. Hence, my sister's na�ve statement about hormone replacement.

The bottom line is: estrogen is not estrogen. And it's your job to question everything, including this article. Find the answers you can live with. And remember, money only grows on pharmaceutical trees.

Spa owner for seven years, Susan has a passion for healthy living. She regularly writes for her own spa on health & wellness issues facing women today.