OnlineHost: DemarcoDOC has entered the room Dearest: Tonight's guest in Power Surge is Dr. Carolyn DeMarco, author of the best selling book, TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR BODY, WOMEN'S HEALTH ADVISOR. Recommended by women's groups across the country, this book is the gold standard for women's health information. For over twenty years, Dr. DeMarco has been a leading advocate for women's health and was among the first to promote the pro-active approach to health care and warns about the dangers of the overuse of drugs and surgery. Dr. DeMarco takes her message to the media via television and radio and a nationally syndicated newspaper column on women's health and alternative medicine. Anyone interested in purchasing Carolyn DeMarco's book can do so easily by calling the toll-free number: 1- 800- 387-4761. Dearest: Carolyn, what was the impetus behind the writing of this book? DemarcoDOC: I found in my office that women were suffering needlessly because they didn't have basic information about their choices in the system.Around menopause our choices have been distorted by the propaganda, some of which is very sophisticated, generated by the drug industry that sees an unlimited potential for profit. Justadyke: Is menopause different for women who have had kids than for those who have not? DemarcoDOC: Menopause is completely different for every woman, whether you have had kids or not. Some things that do influence menopause include whether you are thin or overweight. Excessive exercisers do not seem to do as well either. Justadyke: What are the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy (HRT)? DemarcoDOC: The main risk associated with HRT has to do with an increased risk of breast, uterine and possibly fatal ovarian cancer as well. These risks have to be weighed against the benefit of possibly preventing bone loss and heart disease. However there are alternative ways of preventing both including the use of natural hormones. Menopause demands a total lifestyle change. Hot flashes are variable, some lasting a long time and others not. DL N CO: I have gone through menopause, but I still have an occasional hot flash. Will I have these forever? It is the only symptom that still remains and they seem different DemarcoDOC: You can stop hot flashes through vitamin E, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, dong quai or a new black cohosh preparation known as remifeminin. DL N CO: Should they completely cease at some point? DemarcoDOC: Theoretically yes, but we don't really know. Fatty tissues can keep on producing estrogen for a long time that can cause hot flashes. WLVJean: Finally, something that being overweight helps! My question concerns my mother who started menopause at about age 50 and finished (she says) 3 years later. However, her mood swings that were always a problem have gotten worse. She prides herself on not taking hormones. Should I try to persuade her to go the doctor about this? DemarcoDOC: B vitamins with breakfast and lunch may be very helpful. Also eliminating sugar and junk food from the diet may help. Kava kava is a new natural preparation available in health food stores and is very helpful for anxiety, especially around menopause. Is your mom depressed? WLVJean: I don't think she's depressed, but she goes into inexplicable rages. LPooler: What's the alternative for HRT if you have had breast cancer? DemarcoDOC: You could use natural progesterone skin cream plus herbal medicines like dong quai. CAJASS: What about being more than a little overweight? DemarcoDOC: If you are too overweight, you increase the risk of breast and uterine cancer but the good news is that you can protect yourself from this risk by using a natural progesterone skin cream like Pro-gest, days 12 to 26 of the calendar month. Palla96: How important is it to know your mother's history of menopause tolerance? Do health professionals need to know? DemarcoDOC: I don't pay too much attention to that information. Our lifestyle has changed so much. However, a strong family history of heart disease or bone loss is very important PZukow: What are the best natural herbs or vitamins for breast tenderness? DemarcoDOC: Evening of primrose capsules, two to six a day usually work. Some women rub natural progesterone cream on their breasts, but you have to add that extra iodine liquid to the natural progesterone. There is a whole chapter in my book on iodine that can get rid of cysts and scar tissue. Cougma: I have been on Remifemin for two days and have not had any hot flashes. I have tried all other herbs and this seems to be working wonderfully. Are there any side effects and what do you know about Remifemin? DemarcoDOC: Remifemin was tested for forty years in Europe. It can cause sore breasts and vaginal bleeding since it causes estrogen-like effects. I believe it must be balanced with natural progesterone cream as indicated above. CAJASS: I am in peri-menopause. On average, how long does this last? I know there is no exact answer. DemarcoDOC: Some women feel peri-menopasue is the worst time. Sometimes, symptoms can go on for years. The good news is that diet, vitamins and herbs can really help. Sante4: Is it okay to use progesterone cream sporadically or must I use it two weeks on and two weeks off? DemarcoDOC: That is a good question. Dr. John Lee who pioneered the use of this natural progesterone feels cyclic is best because it mimics the natural cycle better. You can cut down to half a jar per month though. Rrasey82: I had possible thrombophlebitis at age 21. I am now 49 and I am in peri-menopause. What are the risks of hormone therapy versus osteoporosis? Dearest: I had thrombophlebitis, too, after taking birth control pills years ago. Don't use HRT, Rrasey. DemarcoDOC: Premarin does not increase the risk of deep venous phlebitis that much, but there are other ways to prevent bone loss. Some believe natural progesterone alone will do it plus exercise and vitamins. Bone loss accelerates if you go off HRT. Postrain: I also use Remifemin for hot flashes. I also take Vitex, and wild yam cream. Is this enough to balance? DemarcoDOC: It seems as if you have a good protocol. The only problem is that many wild yam creams do not actually contain natural progesterone. If you feel good, that may be your judge. You can actually test your hormone levels through a saliva test available by calling 1-800-866-9085. You could then see whether the wild yam cream effective. DEL2342: I have been on hormone therapy for over a year and I am still having fairly heavy periods. Do you have any suggestions? DemarcoDOC: What type of hormone therapy are you on specifically? DEL2342: I use Premarin with a testosterone/progestin combination. DemarcoDOC: Your doctor can switch you from the synthetic progestin to oral, natural progesterone. With the oral natural progesterone, bleeding will usually stop. You could also use chasteberry herb and dong quai. In the United States, the natural progesterone must be ordered through specialized pharmacies. You can call the Women's International Pharmacy at 1-800-279-5708. CAJASS: Does age effect the length of peri-menopause? I started at age 35 and it is three years already. DemarcoDOC: Yes, if you started menopause at age 35, it will be a much harsher situation. I find women feel crazy. None of the peers know what she is going through. The mood swings predominate for a much longer period of time without your hormones. I usually suggest natural hormones. In addition you may need help to sleep with something like tryptophan, a natural sleep aid. I find it to be very safe and effective. A1st n 10: I am 29 years old and my doctor says my estrogen level is very low (25). Could this possibly be pre menopausal? Do you have any tips? DemarcoDOC: Do you still have your uterus? A1st n 10: Yes, and one ovary, but no tubes. DemarcoDOC: I suggest using the salivary hormone test described earlier. Also, herbs like dong quai and chasteberry will balance your estrogen. Natural progesterone will also help. APLPWR: Can you give any information about DHEA? DemarcoDOC: Dhea is very helpful in doses of 15 to 30 mg. and is usually combined with an adrenal glandular. Extra vitamin C and pantothenic acid are also useful. Adrenals usually need support during menopause. The key to treatment is to use a lot. It is best to see if DHEA is lower than normal. It is best to get a salivary DHEA. CAJASS: My symptoms started shortly after having a tubal ligation. What is your opinion? Was the ligation the cause or was it a coincidence? DemarcoDOC: There is a doctor in Australia who believes it could be the cause if the blood supply to the ovaries is affected. He has observed it many times. Postrain: How can we find a doctor like you? Mine won't discuss natural remedies. My naturopath is not very helpful. DemarcoDOC: That is difficult to answer. The American College for the advancement of Medicine will send a list of medical doctors using alternatives. You could call 1-800-532-3688. JUDITH LEE: Would you advise natural progesterone as the hormone of choice over estrogen? DemarcoDOC: Yes, for the peri-menopause and uncomplicated menopause, but if you are losing bone mass or you are already at high risk for heart disease, you will need natural or synthetic estrogen as well. Natural estrogen is derived from soy and may be less cancer causing. It is also available from Women's International Pharmacy, and they will help educate your doctor. LMDMDB: Does a prior history have any effect on the severity of symptoms? I had postpartum depression and find many of my symptoms mimic depression, except moods all over the place! DemarcoDOC: Unfortunately, some women seem extraordinarily sensitive to hormone shifts, especially if you have also had severe PMS. The perimenopause can seem like endless PMS. St. John's wort, 300 mg. three times a day, can be as good as an antidepressant. Food allergies and mold allergies can make everything much worse. WLVJean: I get really confused when everyone starts throwing around hormones, and all that stuff. It's so complicated. How can I make this all easier? DemarcoDOC: If you are feeling fine, just attend to diet, antioxidant vitamins and exercise. For uncomplicated menopause, you just need perhaps a little natural progesterone and some herbs. You don't need to get tested nor do you need to get a prescription. Patrice214: I have been having peri-menopausal symptoms for l l/2 years. I am 44 and my blood test shows hormone levels are normal. Everything else is normal except PMS. My period is now 14 days long and hell. What is going on? DemarcoDOC: Blood levels don't reflect active hormone levels at all. Only with a salivary or spit test will you get an accurate picture. Your estrogen levels can be going up and down all over the place and the test may come back as normal. I might suggest natural progesterone, acupuncture and Chinese herbs to balance your system. CAJASS: I had a procedure called VABRA and it relieved most of the physical symptoms for a while. Do you know anything about this? It was explained to me as mini D & C. DemarcoDOC: A mini D & C may help temporarily, but you still need lifestyle changes. Postrain: Will herbs that are estrogen precursors protect from heart disease and bone loss or only ease the symptoms? DemarcoDOC: This is the question that no one knows the answer to. It has not been properly studied. JUDITH LEE: Which natural estrogen would you prescribe: estradiol or estriol? DemarcoDOC: Preparations that contain one part estradiol, one part estrone and eight parts estriol are preferred. Estriol by itself is supposed to protect from breast cancer. Another safe alternative is remifeminin that is a standardized extract of black cohosh and appears to be very safe. Among the prescription estrogens, Ogen is derived from wild yam. DemarcoDOC: I try to give a lot of references in my book; and I hope you enjoy it. Dearest: The book is very easy to read. It is almost like a reference book more than the traditional menopause book. You can order it by calling the toll-free number, 1-800-387-4761. Thank you for sharing all this wonderful information with us tonight in Power Surge, Carolyn. We all hope you'll return to visit with us again soon End of Dr. Carolyn DeMarco log - 9/18/96 Dearest aka Alice Stamm Power Surge Founder, Host, Facilitator Webmaster Power Surge E-mail Dearest Copyright©1994-1998 by Power Surge. All Rights Reserved.