Power Surge News

Issue 28


A Free E-Mail Newsletter
of the Power Surge Women's
Midlife and Menopause Community
The Power Surge Web Site
Dearest (Alice Stamm)
Founder and Facilitator

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"The women deserve a change of attitude . . . for they have wrought well. In forty-seven years they have swept an imposing large number of unfair laws from the statute books of America. In that brief time these serfs have set themselves free -- essentially. Men could not have done so much for themselves in that time without bloodshed-- at least they never have; and that is argument that they didn't know how. The women have accomplished a peaceful revolution, and a very beneficient one; and yet that has not convinced the average man that they are intelligent, and have courage and energy and perseverance and fortitude.

"It takes much to convince the average man of anything; and perhaps nothing can ever make him realize that he is the average woman's inferior- yet in several important details the evidence seems to show that that is what he is. Man has ruled the human race from the beginning- but he should remember that up to the middle of the present century it was a dull world, and ignorant and stupid; but it is not such a dull world now, and is growing less and less dull all the time." -- Mark Twain, 1882

Mark Twain said that in 1882. Starting in 1945, the post-war population explosion resulted in millions of baby boomers, the first wave of which is hovering about the "50" mark - IN, or about to ENTER menopause!

The medical field is still predominantly run by males. It has become necessary for women to take charge of their health care. We are weary of being patronized, often addressed as though we had no logic, that most of our physical complaints were nothing more than the result of "nerves" or some emotional occurrence and, thus, scurried out of our doctors’ offices, prescriptions for HRT, anti-depressants, tranquilizers in hand, as though we're to be satisfied (patronzed) with this unsatisfactory solution. Morever, without a single word regarding what options are available to us.

Our generation asks questions. Our generation expects answers from professionals. When our generation doesn't get them, or senses others haven't properly researched something as important as menopause, we go out in search of our own answers.

Women have empowered themselves and taken control of their bodies. When their primary health care providers don't *provide* -- the women educate them instead. It may be a convoluted way to get health care, but we'll educate them yet!

Future Power Surge Newsletters will be sent via the Power Surge mailing list. Power Surge hopes to continue to provide valuable and honest information to the new generation of technologically savvy "WOMEN" -- (W)omen (O)f (M)enopause (E)xploring the (N)et by way of the new areas, Educate Your Body and Newsworthy Items.

"Sharing Is What Power Surge Is All About"

Whatever your propensity
in treating your menopausal issues,
the most peaceful journey possible.


'Power Surge recommends Revival Soy Protein for menopause health' - Dearest

The #1 Doctor-recommended
Alternative to HRT


Approximately 8 million patients at risk for coronary artery disease undergo noncardiac surgery annually in the United States. This study defined the appropriateness and cost of evaluating these patients with stress imaging tests. [Am Heart J 134(1): 83-93, 1997]

Natural menopause occurs in 25% of women by age 47, in 50% by age 50, 75% by age 52 and 95% by age 55. Menopause due to surgical removal of the ovaries occurs in almost 30% of U.S. women past the age of 50.

"Last week I was talking about the importance of soy foods in the diets of women, because they comprise the only plant food that mimics human sex hormones -- bio-mimetics, a new term we'll be discussing more with Power Surge Pharmaceutical Consultant, Pete Hueseman, R.Ph, R.D., without all the side effects caused by hormone replacement therapy. Some claim there is enough in 4 oz. of tofu or 1 tsp. of miso. Sure, small doses of soy may reduce menopausal symptoms, but studies have shown that it's the combination of protein and the larger amounts of soy isoflavones that provide the protection from heart disease, lower cholesterol and protect us from osteoporosis. The average Japanese woman consumes 180+ mg. of soy isoflavones per day. It would take ONE POUND of tofu to equal the amount of isoflavones you get in one Revival Soy Protein shake, and how many of us are going to eat a pound of tofu? Further, the National Food Review Board reminds us that 93% of the nutrients are destroyed when you cook tofu. How many of us are going to eat it raw? -- Dearest

Estradiol is naturally produced by human females during their pre-menopausal years, whereas estriol is made by pregnant women. Estrone is produced by post-menopausal women. Estriol is available in Europe, but not the U.S. (source: Dr. Susan Love's Hormone Book).



Alpha, Beta, Omega 'n Meta-pause?

"She flys off the handle then the next minute she's back. Can it be caused by metapause?"

This quote, replete with typo, came from an actual e-mail I received from a concerned husband. I couldn't help but chuckle at the typo, but I was sensitive enough to send a serious and, hopefully, helpful reply. However, I had to literally sit on my hands as my mind went into high-gear with "metapause."

  • Alpha-pause: The beginning of 26 months of guaranteed lack of order.
  • Beta-pause: The test period - trying HRT, herbs, anything we can get our hands on
  • Meta-pause: In the throes of a major transformation
  • Omega-pause: The final acceptance that we're "out-of-this-world" and have actually come to like it :)

© by Dearest



By Alice Stamm 

I have sampled literally hundreds of products to treat my menopausal symptoms, including nearly many soy protein shakes and soy milk products currently on the market. Power Surge has never endorsed any product. There are so many false promises. So many hungry to cash in on the tens of thousands of baby boomers in menopause that some will tell us us anything knowing how desperate so many of us are to be relieved of the miserable discomfort of menopause. I know. I'm in menopause. I have to share with you what I discovered three years ago. Revival Soy Protein Shakes stand head and shoulders above every soy shake I've tried in integrity, quality, amount of soy isoflavones contained in each shake, flavor, texture. SOY is a natural food supplement and this product is richer in soy isoflavones than any other soy protein shake on the market. It has blown me away.

Take a few minutes out of your day and read my story about discovering Revival Soy Protein.


By Judy Foreman, The Boston Globe 

For more than 50 years now, there has been only one drug around to combat the immediate and longer-term effects of menopause: estrogen.  The plusses of estrogen are extraordinary _ reduced hot flashes, less vaginal dryness, lower levels of "bad'' and higher levels of ``good'' cholsterol, reduced risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and maybe even Alzheimer's. Not to mention better mood and intellectual function, at least for some women.

But the minus is a frightening one: a possible 30 to 40 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer. That's not huge if you're at normal risk to start with, but it's big enough that many women say ``No, thanks,'' even though the lifetime risk of dying of cardiovascular disease is six times higher than the risk of dying of breast cancer.

At long last, there may soon be an option for women trying to juggle the risks and benefits of estrogen therapy. It's called raloxifene, the first of the ``designer estrogens'' that manufacturers are racing to bring to market.

On Thursday, an advisory panel of the US Food and Drug Administration will consider whether to recommend approval of Raloxifene as a way to prevent one post-menopausal problem, osteoporosis. If it passes that hurdle, the FDA will probably approve it for marketing soon.

But like Premarin _ the 40-cents a day pill used by most American women who take estrogen supplements -- Raloxifene, whose price has not yet been set, falls well short of the ideal.

The big advantage, researchers say, is that it seems not to stimulate breast tissue, as estrogen does. In fact, if early studies are correct, Raloxifene may actually lower the risk of breast cancer.

That's probably because, like its chemical cousin Tamoxifen, which is already being marketed to treat breast cancer and is being studied as a way to prevent it in high risk women, Raloxifene acts like estrogen in some tissues, but in others like an estrogen blocker. Estrogen is known to promote some breast tumors.

Moreover, unlike both estrogen and Tamoxifen, Raloxifene does not seem to stimulate uterine tissue, which means it does not cause bleeding and may not raise the risk of uterine cancer. (To offset the increased risk among women taking estrogen, doctors often prescribe another hormone, progesterone.)

Like estrogen, Raloxifene also prevents bone loss, though not as powerfully. In studies of 12,000 women in 25 countries, Raloxifene increased bone mineral density by 2 to 3 percent, according to Eli Lilly, the manufacturer, though it's too soon to tell whether this translates into fewer broken bones.

The big drawback to Raloxifene is that it does nothing for hot flashes, the main reason many women start taking estrogen around age 50. In some women, Raloxifene actually triggers them. It also does nothing to combat vaginal dryness and doesn't boost good cholesterol as much as estrogen. Perhaps most important, raloxifene has only been studied for three years, versus decades for Premarin, which is made by Wyeth-Ayerst.

"Many view this as a wonder drug,'' says Dr. Nananda Col, an internist at New England Medical Center who has analyzed the risks and benefits of estrogen. "But I am very cautious.'' Raloxifene ``has a lot of promise, but we don't have concrete information on long-term risks and benefits," she says, adding that some drugs initially thought to be safe, like the fen-phen diet pills, later turn out not to be.

On the other hand, it's progress "just to have any alternative to estrogen," says Dr. Bruce Kessel, a reproductive endocrinologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center who also advocates diet and exercise to keep the heart and bones healthy.

Dr. Isaac Schiff, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital, agrees. ``I believe this is a big step forward, but it's not necessarily going to be the last agent we come to,'' he says.

Currently, Pfizer Inc. is working on one new drug called Droxolifene, Wyeth-Ayerst on something they call TSE-424, and SmithKline Beecham on Idoxifene.

As with all designer estrogens or SERMS, selective estrogen receptor modulators, the goal is to concoct a drug that prevents hot flashes, vaginal dryness, osteoporosis, heart disease, and possibly Alzheimer's, but does not raise breast cancer risk. Unfortunately, nothing in the pipeline so far can do all this. And because Raloxifene, to be marketed under the name EVISTA, does not reduce hot flashes, estrogen will likely remain the drug of choice for women in the immediate throes of menopause.

"Raloxifene isn't a substitute for estrogen for menopausal symptoms. That's not what this is all about," says V. Craig Jordan, director of breast cancer research programs at the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and a consultant to Eli Lilly. But after a few months or years on estrogen, when hot flashes naturally abate and the reason for taking estrogen becomes prevention of heart disease and osteoporosis, it might make sense to switch to raloxifene, says Kessel, who is about to start a study on the new drug.

"If you're taking estrogen for osteoporosis and you're concerned about breast cancer, I would make the switch,'' adds Schiff in Boston, though he notes that women should always taper off estrogen slowly and under a doctor's supervision. And Raloxifene would be a good initial choice for a woman who has no hot flashes and is concerned about osteoporosis,'' says Dr. Ethel Siris, a Raloxifene investigator for Eli Lilly and director of the osteoporosis program at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York.

Another option for such women, she and others note, is Fosamax, an already approved drug that prevents osteoporosis but has none of the other risks or benefits of estrogen.

What has people most excited about Raloxifene is its apparent lack of effect on breast tissue.

"It is clear that you don't stimulate breast cell growth with Raloxifene,'' Siris says, adding that preliminary data suggest there may even be "a decreased risk of breast cancer, but we don't want to overly excite people.'' In fact, when Jordan, the Chicago researcher, studied the mammograms of thousands of women taking Raloxifene or a placebo in research studies, he found ``about half as many women develop breast cancer on raloxifene as on placebo over a two-year period." Jordan and other researchers caution that longer studies are needed. With estrogen, for instance, the increased risk of breast cancer shows up only after five or more years of use.

Another unanswered question is what effect Raloxifene and its chemical cousins may have on the brain. Some scientists hypothesize that estrogen has a positive effect, which might be why women on estrogen may be less susceptible to Alzheimer's disease. If Raloxifene acts as an anti-estrogen (or estrogen blocker) in the brain as it does in the breast, it would theoretically have no such protective effect.

Figuring out precisely why the same drug boosts estrogen in some tissues yet blocks it in others is big puzzle itself, especially now that scientists know there are at least two distinct types of estrogen receptors, molecules in cells with which estrogen and estrogen-like drugs interact.

But many researchers believe that even before all these answers are in, many women may turn to raloxifen if it gets FDA approval.

That would be good news for women. And there might even be a silver lining for Wyeth-Ayerst, which makes more than $1 billion a year worldwide selling Premarin, until now without competition.  "Raloxifene will have a niche,'' according to the company's party line, "but it will not replace Premarin. It will broaden the market.''



Eating more soy products like tofu or soymilk can reduce the risk of cancer of the uterus, researchers reported Wednesday.

The report adds to a growing body of evidence that phytoestrogens -- substances resembling hormones found in plants -- can be beneficial to health. Marc Goodman and colleagues at the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii studied 332 women who got endometrial cancer, or cancer of the uterus, between 1985 and 1993. They compared them to more than 500 other women from Hawaii's multi-ethnic population.

They found that women who ate the most food rich in phytoestrogen, such as legumes and tofu, had a 54 percent reduction in risk of endometrial cancer.

"This is the first study to show an inverse association of soy consumption with the risk of endometrial cancer," Goodman said in a statement. "Our data support the notion that diets low in calories and rich in legumes (especially soybeans), whole grain foods, vegetables and fruits reduce the risk of endometrial cancer."The study, in the American Journal of Epidemiology, noted that women in Japan and China, who eat large amounts of soy, have lower levels of breast and endometrial cancer.



Breast cancer strikes about 180 thousand women each year. Thousands more undergo painful biopsies only to discover there is no cancer. New research may
offer an alternative to breast biopsies and a new method for detecting breast cancer.

Cathy Clous designs landscapes for a living, spending much of her time in beautiful gardens. But two years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and found it hard to find beauty in anything.

Today, Cathy is examined regularly using a new technique for detecting breast cancer. It's an experimental process that could eliminate many unnecessary
biopsies and pick up where mammograms can leave off.

Iraj Khalkhali, M.D., Researcher: "We also like to use this in a group of patients
that have very dense breasts on mammograms that often enough these patients can have cancer and cancer can be missed by this dense breast."

When a radioactive fluid or tracer is injected, it travels to the breast tumor. Once the tumor is highlighted, a special camera identifies it. The new method correctly identified 90 percent of the tumors in 147 women. If further studies prove successful, the technique could be widely available in two years.

Cathy Clous, Breast Cancer Patient: "It's still scary just because it's a test and
you have to wait for the results but I feel so good because I know that it's the most advanced and if anything is going to find it, this test will do it."

Doctors are more cautious about their optimism, although hopeful of future
findings. In the present, at least for Cathy, the research provides peace of
mind allowing her to stop and smell the flowers.

Currently, to detect tumors, physicians must perform biopsies which can be
painful, disfiguring and expensive. The new technique costs about $600. The manufacturer is furthering the research through an ongoing clinical trial enrolling
600 women nationwide. If you're interested in participating, please have your physician call 1-800-551-9767.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Linda Diggles
Harbor UCLA - Division of Nuclear Medicine
1000 W. Carson Street
Torrance, CA 90502
(310) 222-2842


by Alice Stamm

Many women are asking their doctors about "natural" estrogenic products they might use to address their menopausal issues, rather than take the conventional, synthetic hormones their doctors frequently prescribe. Due to the tremendous demand and numerous studies that have been done on phytoestrogens and naturally compounded hormones, the tide is turning and doctors won't be handing out prescriptions for the #1 selling estrogen replacement therapy in the country, Premarin -- made from the urine of pregnant mares. Doctors are now seeing their patients who are using soy are having positive results. Soy has been found to be also be beneficial when used with conjunction with conventional hormone replacement therapy in that soy isoflavones act in anti-estrogenic ways to reduce the risk of breast and endometrial cancer associated with HRT.

You may want to read more about your hormones and how they work.

I would be cautious when starting herb therapy. If you're interested in using herbs to address your menopausal symptoms, it's wiser to add one herb at a time. If you start with a women's formula with eight herbs in it and you have an adverse reaction, how do you know which herb is causing it? Remember, too, that natural doesn't mean that one can't become toxic from certain preparations and that more is not always better!

Read more about phytoestrogen's balancing effects, receptors, blockers, et al.

Alice Stamm / Dearest



Combination Patch Estalis(TM) An Option in the Treatment of Menopause

An estrogen progestogen patch -- Estalis(TM)/Estalis(TM)Sekvens (sequential in Swedish) for hormone replacement therapy in patients with symptoms of estrogen deficiency and for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis in women with an increased risk of osteoporosis. This combination patch, manufactured by Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVN), provides women with the convenience of estrogen and progestogen in one patch.

Menopause normally occurs in women around the age of 50, when blood estrogen levels decrease, causing hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and other symptoms. By the year 2000, there will be approximately 43 million women in the menopausal age range (50-59) in Europe and 16 million in the US.

The Estalis patch, designed to be comfortable, cosmetically appealing and easy to use, incorporates innovative matrix technology in which the adhesive also functions as the drug delivery system. "At RPR we recognize that, with today's busy lifestyles, women need a simple and convenient way to take both estrogen and progestogen," said Dr. Gary T. Shearman, Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Drug Development at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer. "Our new combination matrix patch regimens can offer healthcare providers a new hormone-replacement option to satisfy the needs of millions of women in the menopausal age range."

Hormone replacement therapy is a very personal decision and not all women want or need the same treatment regimen. In response, Estalis provides a choice of regimen: the Estalis patch alone -- a continuous combination of 50 mcg of estrogen (17-beta estradiol) and 250 mcg of progestogen (norethisterone acetate NETA) per day -- or Estalis Sekvens -- a sequential 28 day regimen consisting of 50 mcg/day of estrogen for 14 days and estrogen and progestogen combined (50/250mcg/day) for the remaining 14 days.

In phase II and III clinical studies involving more than 2,500 post- menopausal women, Estalis/Estalis Sekvens regimens were well tolerated and resulted in rapid relief of vasomotor symptoms, adequate endometrial protection and excellent skin adhesivity. The most significant side effects linked to the treatment were breast pain, dysmenorrhea and application site reactions.

Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVN), an industry leader in the development and commercialization of transdermal and transoral drug delivery systems, will manufacture Rhone-Poulenc Rorer's combination patch and is the innovator of the product's matrix technology.

SOURCE Rhone-Poulenc Rorer
CO: Rhone-Poulenc S.A.; Rhone-Poulenc Rorer; Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
ST: Pennsylvania



"The type of calcium I take is calcium Lactate. Don't know the difference between carbonate or lactate. Anyone know what kind menopausal women should be taking?"

Dr. Susan Love, former Power Surge guest and highly regarded breast surgeon says in her new "Dr. Susan Love's Hormone Book:"

"Calcium supplements come in a variety of formulations. Calcium citrate (Citrical) is the easiest to absorb on an empty stomach. But calcium carbonate (Tums, Os-cal, and their generic equivalents) is the most commonly used. It's absorbed well when chewed and taken with meals. It's also the least expensive and has tthe highest concentration of calcium. (And it's very well advertised--with the catchy tune borrowed from Dragnet and an ad campaign that seems strongly focused on women.) Calcium gluconate and lactate are less concentrated, so you have to take more tablets to get the same amount of calcium. You want to avoid dolomite, bonemeal, and oyster shell, since they're generally contaminated with lead and other minerals."

She also says to read the label carefully. Whatever kind of calcium you take it's not the overall calcium amount listed that matters but the amount of *elemental* calcium. A label might say, "Each tablet contains 500 milligrams of calcium carbonate or 200 milligrams of elemental calcium."



Some additional information I think you'll find this excerpt helpful from the Dr. Karen Anne Hutchinson and co-author, frequent Power Surge guest, Judith Sachs book, "What Every Woman Needs To Know About Estrogen:Natural and Traditional Therapies for a Longer, Healthier Life." (Plume, July 1997).

"The Regimens You Might Follow:

"There are a variety of different options for taking hormones and Power Surge recommends naturally compounded, bio-identical hormones.

  • Q. What are the various different ways of taking HRT?
  • A. All regimens of HRT include a progestin or natural progesterone along with estrogen:
  • "Oral, combined continuous: Estrogen and a progestin or natural progesterone are taken daily. After the first six to nine months, your breakthrough bleeding may stop.
  • "Oral, cyclic: Estrogen is given for the first 25 days of the month. A progestin or natural progesterone is added for days 1 throuth 12 or days 12 - 25 inclusive You take no supplements for the remainder of the month and experience two or three days of light bleeding.
  • "Oral, cyclic progestin and continuous estrogen: You take estrogen throughout the month: the progestin or natural progesterone for the last 12-14 days of your cycle. Most women experience 2-3 days of light bleeding.
  • "Patch: You may wear an estrogen transdermal patch on your hip or buttock, whichyou change every 3 days or every 7 days, depending on the product you use. You must apply the patch smoothly, allowing no bumps or bubbles, in order to get effective transmission of the estrogen into your system. The medicaion, contained in the plastic barrier, gets into your bloodstream directly through your skin, which acts as a semipermeable membrane.
  • "Percutaneous gel: This estrogen gel is spread daily on the skin, including both arms, forearms and shoulders. It dries in a couple of minutes and is absorbed completely.
  • "Injection: This is not a preferred method of taking estrogen and would only be prescribed for a woman who has had a hysterectomy. Estrogen is delivered by a once-monthly injection, which enters the bloodstream directly. Because of the need for either regular doctor visits or self-administered injections, few physicians recommend it. It gives higher estrogen levels in the body that can taper off too quickly and is, therefore, not safe for a woman with an endometrium that might overgrow.
  • "Subcutaneous implant: Similar to the Norplant contraceptive, this little pellet contains estrogen. It is set in place near the ovary and the hormone is slowly released into the bloodstream over a period of 6 months. Although common in Europe, the FDA has restricted the use of these pellets because there have been problems with removing them if a woman has to go off hormone replacement due to some medical problems. This is not a common method of administration.
  • "Estrogen cream: This cream is used only to alleviate vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. The usual administration is twice weekly, but not right before intercourse. It is not useful for alleviating other menopausal symptoms or protecting your heart and bones. Estrogen cream can be used without a progestin whether or not you still have a uterus -- as long as you follow the instructions on the prescription and do not overuse the product. The low dosages prescribed do not give a concentration of estrogen strong enough to thicken the endometrium.

Other less commonly used products:

  • "The Vaginal Ring: The ring fits into the vagina like a diaphragm and emits estrogen in a timed-release fashion. It contains very small amounts of estrogen, not enough to be absorbed into the bloodstream, and it is, therefore, useful for the treatment of vaginal dryness, but not for protection against heart disease and osteoporosis.
  • "Sublingual estrogen tablets (buccal estrogen): dissolve in the mouth and go from the muccous membranes into the bloodstream. This form of estrogen is apparently effective in relieving hot flashes.
Our continuing education.



A more comprehensive list of brands and doses

Premarin (tablet) conjugated estrogens .3mg/ .625mg/ .9mg/ 1.25mg
Premarin with Methyltestosterone (tablet) conjugated estrogens with testosterone .625 mg E. & 5mg. T.1.25 mg E. & 10 mg T.
Estratest (tablet) esterified estrogens & methyltestosterone .625 mg E. & 1.25 mg T.1.25 mg. E & 2.5 mg T.
Estrace (tablet) estradiol 1 mg/ 2mg
Estraderm (patch) estradiol .05mg/ .1mg
Ogen (tablet) estrone .625mg/ 1.25mg/ 2.5mg/5mg
Estrace (vaginal creme) estradiol 1 gram= .1mg
Premarin (creme) conjugated estrogens 1 gram= .625/1.25/2.5mg
Estriol (creme or gel)(natural product from soy) estriol 1 gram=.5mg/1mg/2mg



(Reuters) - In women who have experienced menopause, a nonhormonal medication, known as alendronate, can prevent the bone loss that may lead to osteoporosis, a new study suggests. A report published in the February 15th issue of the Annals of of Internal Medicine concludes that "in early postmenopausal women, alendronate given for three years at dosages of 5 mg/day or greater prevented the loss of bone mineral density at the spine and hip and in the total body." To read more, click here.



"According to a JAMA article, Estriol has been shown to exhibit ANTI-cancer properties even in women with breast cancer (normally, estrogen is a No-No for women at risk for breast cancer."

Dear Lori, There was an article in JAMA in 1978 or 1979 that indicated this. But, I haven't seen anything recently and don't have any good current references done in a big (numbers-wise study). Anecdotally, there may be something to this. I have women come in with breast soreness on Estradiol. Since they had reasons to continue on HRT and wanted to do so, we tried Bi Est which is 80% Estriol and 20% Estradiol. Every one of these women no longer had breast soreness.

But who knows? We are in uncharted territory and are the pioneers. Sound weird, but it is true.

Dr. Diane Eisman



FDA Panel Backs Ultrasound Device That Measures Bone Densitometry

ROCKVILLE, MD, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The US Food and Drug Administration's Radiological Devices Advisory Committee voted unanimously, with one abstention, on Monday to recommend approval of an ultrasound device to measure bone densitometry.

The Soundscan 2000, made by an Israeli company, Myriad Ultrasound, was at least as effective as dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in predicting osteoporosis risk, the panel said. But the panel cautioned that DXA and ultrasound, which measures speed of sound across bone, can't be directly compared since DXA and ultrasound are two different technologies. DXA measures both cortical and vertebral bone, while Soundscan measures cortical bone only, and only in the tibia.



Author and columnist Jean Carper calls Vitamin E "this golden capsule" and says new benefits from Vitamin E intake are being shown for "better functioning brains, immune systems and hearts." Writing in USA Weekend, Carper said research also shows "possible prevention of gallstones and cataracts and treatment of asthma and male infertility." "And hear this," she wrote. "The death rate from all causes was 34% lower in older people taking Vitamin E supplements, according to National Institute of Aging research."

* Tests at Tufts University by Simin Meydani showed that 200 milligrams of Vitamin E daily for eight months dramatically increased immune functioning in healthy elderly people and "cut infections by 30%," according to Carper. * Research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas by E. Ishwarlal Jialal, Carper wrote, found that 400 IU daily is "required to help keep arteries from clogging."

"The evidence is impressive," she said, that increased Vitamin E intake is linked to lower heart disease. "Primarily, Vitamin E discourages the buildup of plaque on artery walls and the formation of blood clots that trigger heart attacks and strokes." Carper also discussed how much Vitamin E should be used by individuals: "Among researchers and physicians," she said, "the typical daily supplement dose is 400 IU."

(Dearest ed: Be advised that women with any history of hypertension should seek the advice of their personal physician before embarking on vitamin E therapy. Vitamin E has been known to elevate blood pressure. In addition, if one does have a history of hypertension (or it's familial), individual each doses should be no higher than 200 IU - international units).

Read more about vitamins and minerals needed by menopausal women on the recommendations page.



"Does the book mention anything about phytoestrogen capsules? I'm wondering if there are any side effects, i.e. weight gain as with estrogen. These capsules were recommended to me at the health food store and because I'm feeling desperate. I'm going to try them, but would like any feedback. Thanks, Loeee."

Which phytoestrogen *capsule* are you taking? There are three classes of phytoestrogens...lignans, isoflavones, and coumestans. I take a soy isoflavone tablet called Genistein. Soy isoflavones / phytoestrogens can be found in tofu, miso, tempeh, soy yogurt, soy nuts, and whole, dry and fresh green soybeans (or canned, frozen, or dried in health food stores and in Asian markets, plus asparagus bok choy, fennel and "apples" (never knew this, but is so according to Ruth Jacobowitz).

There are even soy protein products made to resemble typical American foods, such as hot dogs and burgersz. Soy, flaxseed are phytoestrogens.

To get your 25 mg of isoflavones per day, you could eat any of the following:

  • One serving of Revival Soy Shake or bar
  • 4 ounces of tofu
  • 2 1/2 cups of soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon of soy nuts
  • 1/8 cup cooked soybeans
  • 1/2 cup soy yogurt

Soybeans are high in isoflavones . . . which are phytoestrogens -- "phyto" means plant. During menopause, when naturally occurring estrogen is decreasing, adding phytoestrogens to the diet may help the body adjust to the lower level of the hormone, thus decreasing menopausal symptoms. Women in Japan and China consume a large amount of soy products. In fact, they excrete up to 1,000 times more phytoestrogens in their urine than American women do.

So how much soy do American women need to eat to decrease menopausal symptoms? Currently, American women average less than 5 mg of isoflavones per day, while Asian women consume approximately 25 to 45 mg per day.

Besides containing phytoestrogens, soybeans are an excellent source of protein and a significant source of calcium, folacin, iron, zinc, B vitamins, and fiber. Studies suggest that soybeans may even lower the risk of cancer, coronary disease, osteoporosis, and kidney disease.



More comprehensive recommendations list here
by Alice Stamm (Dearest)

People passing through Power Surge are always querrying me about which vitamins I take. Every woman has different issues to address during menopause, but here's a list of what I take, which might be a fairly generic menopause recommendation. All my vitamins are free of yeast, corn, wheat, salt, sugar, starch, preservatives and artificial color/flavor. See the updated Power Surge Recommends page for more info.

  • Mega-Portency Multi-vitamin (one per day); Mega potency multi-vitamin with Amino acid Chelated minerals plus 25 trace minerals (also contains the very, very important 400 mcg of folic acid for heart health among women our age, especially)
  • Calcium/Magnesium/Potassium (2 per day): Contains calcium (500 mg); magnesium (500 mg) and potassium (99 mg).
  • B-6 tablets (100 mg) 3x per day - Excellent natural diuretic, anti-depressant. B-Complex works well for many people. I develop stomach problems from one of the ingredients in the complex, and have never been able to isolate the problem, so I take my "B" vitamins individually.
  • Selenium (one per day):  Excellent heart and cancer anti-oxidant (200 mcg)
  • Genistein tablets (two per day):  Soy isoflavone extract (1000 mg) One of the richest sources of phytoestrogens and the only source of the most studied isoflavone called Genistein. Extensive research exists to demonstrate that specific forms of isoflavones found in soy may help regulate hormonal balance while positively effecting bone mass and have potent antioxidant and cholesterol lowering properties. The findings are so impressive that the Nat'l Cancer Inst. is studying the potential benefit attributed to soy isoflavones. Soybeans are also a very high source of vitamin E.
  • St. John's Wort capsules - (1-2 per day):   0.3% hypericin (300 mg); helps improve depressive symptoms (common during menopause) Used and researched (documented studies) successfully for hundreds of years in other countries for depression, it's being touted as nature's prozac.
  • Flaxseed Oil softgel (organically grown), Cold pressed-unrefined (2-3 per day); contains 1000 mg. organic virgin flaxseed oil (rich source of phytoestrogens); linolenic acid (omega 3); oleic acid (omega 9); linoleic acid )omega 6) - very rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids (fish oils).
  • Inositol (capsules): (650 mg):   In the "B" vitamin family. I've taken this for years on an as needed basis - Dr. Robert Atkins calls it "nature's own tranquilizer".. I now take 3 capsules every morning, but will take up to 4 when I'm very stressed out.
  • Kava Kava (150 mg. as needed):  Excellent herb for anxiety attacks. Be very careful not to overdo this one. Has been found to cause liver problems if taken in large doses. When in doubt, don't!
  • Soy Lecithin granules (1-3 Tbsp in juice per day):   A natural emulsifier, excellent for lowering cholesterol and source of soy. I was weaned on lecithin by a very nutrition-conscious mother. I learned early on to look at labels. If you check every cake and candy bar you purchase, you'll find that lecithin is included as an emulsifier. Lecithin goes into your blood stream, and the granules attach themselves to the fat in your arteries and absorbs it. That's how she explained it. When she entered menopause, her cholesterol shot up to over 300. My mother's 85 today, has never taken any cholesterol medication and has taken lecithin granules for over 40 years, 2 heaping tablespoons per day in juice. Now you know why I'm a believer. I don't fall for every herb that becomes trendy. I follow the tried and true. They must be adding lecithin to the cakes and candy we eat for a reason. Dare I say one of them is because of the inferior lard/fats they use in preparing them? Time will tell. Truth will out.
  • Gar-Tabs (odorless garlic tablets): Each coated tablet contains 100 mg. specially processed garlic (Allium Sativum) which is equiv to 300 mg. fresh garlic from natural garlic cloves (I also eat at least 2 garlic cloves per day in cooking). I have come to believe that garlic is the most important food we can eat. It has a positive effect on every function of our bodies.
  • Ester-C capsules with Echinacea and Goldenseal Root: (the extent of the herbs I take). Abpit sox (6) capsules per day. Ascorbic acid gives me stomach problems. Each contains 500 mg. Ester C (a gentler form of vitamin C; Echinacea, 100 mg., Goldenseal Root, 50 mg.
  • CO Q10 - Coenzyme Q-10 capsules (30 mg):   2 per day. Another anti-oxidant against free radicals (the garbage in our society.. pollutants, preservatives, etc.) said to improve energy utilization and keep the body's functions running "in tune" and excellent for maintaining heart health.
  • Vitamin E - 200 IU's (Int'l Units) (3-4x per day):  Excellent for menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats & for heart health, palpitations (don't forget your magesium (500 mg at a shot). Be cautious with vitamin E if you suffer from hypertension. Vitamin E can cause elevated blood pressure. If you do take vitamin E, be sure to take it with meals as it's an oil soluble vitamin and take in doses of no more than 200 IU's at a time and limit daily intake.
  • l-Carnitine - 750 mg. (2x day) ; l-Carnitine is an amino acid that helps improve lipid metabolism and strengthens the heart muscle . As with other amino acid supplements, it should be taken apart from me als to assure longer maintenance of high plasma concentration.
  • Ginkgo Biloba - 60 mg. (2-3 per day):  It's great when you remember to take it! Excellent for menopausal "brain fog." Be sure, as with all other herbs, it's 24% "standardized." 60 - 120 mg per day
  • I avoid many herbs because, in all honesty, I don't react well to the more powerful ones, such as Dong Quai and Black Cohosh, which are quite beneficial to women at menopause.

  • Natural Progesterone cream: An over the counter cream with 400 mg. or higher per ounce. You can order OTC progesterone creams and higher doses of prescription progesterone in various modalities from Power Surge's Pharmaceutical Consultant, Pete Hueseman. See the Ask The Power Surge Pharmacist.

    See the Aeron Cycles list. Natural progesterone is touted as an excellent remedy for many menopausal issues, such as hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, vaginal dryness, bones, depression, hair thinning, etc.

    EPO or Evening Primrose Oil: excellent for hot flashes, breast tenderness, other menopausal and PMS symptoms

    Remifemin: the commercial preparation of black cohosh, a hormone precursor and some find it excellent for treating menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.

    Dong Quai: hormone precursor, recommended for hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety.

    Vitamin B complex - for energy, depression

    Melatonin: taken occasionally for insomnia. 0.03 mg. Remember that Melatonin, like DHEA, is a "hormone." Use sparingly.



    Q.   In the last two months I have started having the most horrendous headaches. They wake me up around 3:30 am out of a good sleep. Nothing seems to help. In the last two weeks I have been cramping as though I am going to start but nothing happens except a bloated sick body. I also suffer from headaches the week before my period. Dearest suggested magnesium, but that gives me diarrhea :( Any suggestions, Dr. Eisman?

    A.  If you are having diarrhea, then you do need to back off on the magnesium. Oh, the horrible tyranny of headaches!! But there are so many causes that this is where detective work comes in. Sometimes, headaches are caused by a change in hormone levels: either a drop or a rise. Other things need to be checked such as thryoid levels, because, it it not rare for women to become hypothyroid as they get older ( and better, of course!).

    If you feel that you are retaining fluid, I believe some kind of cerebral edema occurs and cause headaches. That is why it is so important to drink you 6-8 glasses of water a day...to "flush out" the excess fluid. Salt and certain spices can cause this fluid retention (as well as lots of things that you need to see your doctor to check out)

    Food allergies can precipitate headaches. Some of the common offenders are red wine, red grapes, cheeses. Here, you can be your own headache sleuth and keep a record of what your eat and when. Sometimes headaches can occur 24-48 hours after ingesting the offending food.

    Magnesium often helps headaches. In fact, a neurosurgeon, called Russell Blaylock wrote a whole book about it. He recommends Mag SR, which is about 160 mg taken twice a day. The SR is a sustained release so you always have stuff on board. The biggest side effect of this is diarrhea. Check with your doctor, but Dearest is right, this often helps.

    Regular aerobic-type exercise can decrease the incidence of headaches. Brisk walking, running, biking. In fact, I have a couple of patients that run when they feel a migraine coming on. They tell me that it is still there for the first few minutes....then ....poof!....it is gone

    If no other source is found, there are meds like Tenormin that you can take in small doses every day that stop the headache.

    Please get in to your doctor for a thorough evaluation to make sure every thing is OK and that there is no serious underlying problem here. Good Luck...and there is help out there.

    Dr. Diane Eisman
    Power Surge Medical Consultant



    "My recent blood tests show FSH of 4.0 and progesterone of 0.20.

    I've not had a period since March-until earlier this month (Sept.), when I started a doozy. I welcome input into the above blood test results. Thanks  

    "I admit to being a bit in the dark about interpreting these numbers, but I took the numbers from a letter from my Dr. which I now have in my hot little hand. He says, "your result is 4.0 which does not put you in the menopausal range which has to be reater than 20 ," in regards to the FSH level. Then, he says the progesterone level is 0.20, which is" borderline."

    "I recall in previous posts that others have discussed specifically what these numbers indicate and was hoping for a little illumination. If these numbers make no sense, perhaps there was an error in transcription. Do they not make any sense? If not, I will contact his office again. Please inform. Thanks!" 

    "Hmm. I think -- but I defer to the doctors who post here -- that FSH over 30 is considered menopausal." 

    (He says, "your result is 4.0 which does not put you in the menopausal range which has to be greater than 20 ," in regards to the FSH level)

    I saw your question, and thought I would pass on to you the ranges that the FSH fall within it is as follows:


    Follicular  1.1 - 9.6
    Midcyle  2.3 - 20.9
    Luteal  0.8 - 7.5
    Pregnant  less than 0.1 - 0.9
    Post-menopausal  34.4 - 95.8+
    Contraceptives  1.5 - 16.1

    As you see this has quite a wide range.

    Julia Elliott

    "I saw the FSH levels you posted (copied below) and now I guess all I need is for you to tell me what these terms mean: follicular, luteal; and when you say midcycle do you mean when we're ovulating?"

    This chart is the means in which the lab provides a range for your reference. It is quite complex, but I will try to explain. A certain set of hormones regulate our cycles, preparing for pregnancy. Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone, (FSH & LH) are made by a gland at the base of our brain. Estrogen and Progesterone are made in our ovaries, where our egg (follicles) are stored. When we start menopause, the ovaries run out of eggs, and make less estrogen in the months before and after menopause, (Which, for some brings on flashes, etc) causing irregularities.

    The pituitary hormones, move up production to try to stimulate your estrogen production, but the eggs are no longer there, so estrogen is not produced as it was when eggs were present. So, this whole system is in a state of confusion. Your brain is saying lets go!! and the ovaries are saying, nobody is home. Tests are sometimes taken to see where these levels stand and help identify the stage that you are in.

    Julia Elliott

    (This chart is the means in which the lab provides a range for your reference. It is quite complex, but I will try to explain)

    Okay, thanks for trying to help me understand... I guess I took those terms to describe a certain time frame, or part of some kind of cycle (because of the terms "midcycle" and "postmenopause"). Guess I have a lot to learn (duh). 

    (Tell me what these terms mean: follicular, luteal; and when you say midcycle do you mean when we're ovulating?

    Lynn, if you are ovulating and were to take your basal body temperature every morning before you get out of bed, you could see the follicular, luteal and midcycle phases of the menstrual cycle. In the first half (follicular) the follical is developing and the temp is relatively low. Right before ovulation the temp drops to a low point and at midcycle (ovulation), rises a whole degree. The temp stays relatively high during the last half of the cycle (luteal). Progestrone production during the luteal phase causes a rise in temp. It's another way to understand what you are doing hormonally during this "unpredictable" time. It's been really useful for me to track my temp daily.

    I can actually "see" what my hormones are doing from day to day - and they are pretty busy!!

    Enid Fox
    Power Surge GIGS™ Fitness Expert



    Dear Dearest,
    "My main complaint is I feel like I've stuck my finger in a electric socket --my head buzzes and I feel quite "out of it" and dysfunctional. This buzzing is a new sensation for me and I am not certain if it is related to the headaches I experienced when I first started HRT or just a new menopausal symptom to contend with. Therefore, I've even tried cutting the patch in quarters and still get "the buzz" about 4-8 hours after it is applied." Thank you, Carol

    Dear Carol,
    I wouldn't think the buzzing is a side effect of the HRT because I hadn't tried any type of HRT (and the only form I've ever used has been naturally compounded, bio-identical, plant-derived hormones) and suffered from the exact malady (and posted about it frequently). Interestingly enough, the buzzing was particularly problematic during the time I was suffering from severe migraines - which was during the cessation of my period. When I asked my doctor about the buzzing, and he's one of the finest diagnosticians I've ever known, his thoughts were that it was related to a nerve. I'd explained it seemed to happen more severely when I'd fallen asleep in a certain position. I'd wake up and the zzzzzzzzzzzz would ring through my head like someone was giving me electro-shock therapy :( I'm convinced it was definitely related to peri-menopause - another of those whacky things women suffer from at this not-so-stellar time of life.

    The very annoying and frightening buzzing did stop once my period was gone for many months. I'd never had it prior to peri-menopause, suffered from it almost daily for the better (?) part of a year, and for the most part, it's gone now.

    As a final note, be sure to check with your healthcare practitioner to be certain there's nothing else going on that might account for the sensations you're experiencing. Chances are, if you're perimenopausal, that's what it's due to. However, it's always advisable to be examined and eliminate any other possibilities before attributing any symptom you experience during your menopausal years TO menopause.

    I hope this is some consolation. As I've said thousands of times in Power Surge, "The only consistent thing about menopause is that it's consistently INconsistent."



    by Julia Elliott

    Interest in soyfoods continues to increase, in part because of new research findings that indicate soyfoods may provide even more health benefits than previously thought. Mark Messina, PhD, former researcher for the National Cancer Institute, noted that scientists have discovered that a soy component called isoflavones which appears to reduce the risk of cancer, as related to hormone-dependent cancers ("Good Food, Good Health," Better Homes & Gardens, Oct. 96). It appears that as little as one serving of soyfoods per day may be enough to obtain the benefits of this anti-cancer phytochemical.

    Soyfoods are found to provide protection against:

    • Heart disease
    • Cancer,
    • Menopausal symptoms and
    • Other chronic diseases

    Scientists in Brussells shared the latest data in ongoing research related to soy and heart disease and cancer, and also provided unpublished data on new areas of research, like kidney and bone disease, and menopause symptom management. You can find the studies pertaining to this at Second International Symposium On The Role of... The "Baby Boomers" are a large chunk of today's population. This is a generation that seeks the "natural way."

    They have seen the effects of prescribed medications and have decided to find a better way. Many people have turned to the alternatives for their health needs. This is where soy enters the picture. Consider the following:

    Soy contains a protein that may help lower cholesterol levels. For every point you reduce your cholesterol, you reduce your risk of heart disease by two points. The genestein found in the soy protein helps to stabilize your blood vessels by keeping arterial plaque from building up. Compared to taking cholesterol medications which have side effects and can damage the liver, soy is a much better way.

    The genistein in soy has properties which can help prevent some hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast cancer, uterine, endometrial and prostrate cancer. The phytoestrogen (plant form of estrogen found in soy) can block the cancer-causing effects of estrogen. It is believed that the properties in soy might cause changes at the cellular level that discourage cancer cell growth (Stephen Barnes, Univ. of Alabama).

    Post-menopausal women who were fed soy for six months showed an increase in bone mass by 2.2 percent. The amount ingested was 90 mg of isoflavones daily, equal to about 1 cup of cooked soybeans per day. Even the elderly can improve bone health by eating soy. And it's an inexpensive way to protect yourself against brittle bones. Soybeans sell in most health food stores for about 85 cents per pound; a pound of soybeans being approximately a week's supply.

    Menopausal women have found that soy is a good natural way to balance and restore their estrogen. Synthetic Hormone Replacement carries with it the risk of cancer, water retention, weight gain, and vascular problems, not to mention that some of these preparations are derived from pregnant mare urine -- no wonder there are side effects associated. Soy can give nearly the same benefits as a synthetic hormone, but without the side effects and the cancer risks.

    Soy, when used as a natural hormone replacement therapy at menopause, protects naturally. It removes the risk of cancer because it has the ability to act as an anti-estrogen when not needed and a pro-estrogen when needed. The phytoestrogen is found in many foods, mainly fresh fruits and vegetables, but the highest concentration is found in soy. Women have successfully used soy as an alternative for this purpose for years.

    Julia Elliott is a "soy source" spokeswoman who has authored two books about the benefits of soy -- Beating Menopause & Early Ovarian Failure With The Help Of One Natural Ingredient, which discusses why and how soy has been a large part of her life for over four years, and With A Little Help From The Soybean, which provides ways to prepare homemade soy foods.

    Julia Elliott holds workshops and "soy sessions" to share this important information with people who are not happy with the solutions offered for their health problems. Julia is determined that people become aware that there is a safe choice!

    In addition, she has been a guest on a local access TV program, "Valley Health," as well as various radio programs in the New York area.

    Julia Elliott lives with her husband of 32 years in Kingston, New York, and has three grown daughters, two granddaughters, and an 88-year-old mother.

    Julia Elliott



    Q. Dear Dearest,

    What are tri-estrogens? Do they require a prescription?

    A. Tri-estrogens require a prescription. I believe Dr. Vliet prescribes them a great deal. Generally, tri-estrogen is 10% Estrone, 10% Estradiol and 80% Estriol. The theory being that Estriol is the weakest estrogen and MAYBE the safest.

    Dear Dearest,

    "For the past 6 months or so I have felt like I have been going crazy! I think I am in pre-menopause but everyone thinks I am nuts (I am 32) I had my tubes tied in Feb of this year and shortly after I started to feel really *angry* mad at the whole world for no good reason, been waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat (often have flashes during the day)"

    Dear Teri,

    This is something I have read and heard of more than once. Someone mentioned on the Power Surge message board that her cousin was complaining about the same exact thing after having her tubes tied. Suddenly she was almost impossible to live with. I sent her a quote from Dr. Elizabeth Vliet's book, Screaming To Be Heard about that very subject. (P. 76) Vliet found prematurely low estradiol levels were more likely in somen who had had tubal ligations or hysterectomy, even when the ovaries were left in place. In measuring hormone levels, she found they had reached the endocrinological stage of perimenopause. She offered the women low dose estrogen supplementation and had good results. They had improved mood, diminished irritablilty, improved sleep, improved libido, improved energy level, and diminished mood swings piror to periods, after starting on a low dose of native human estradiol. There are, of course, other options available, such as fairly substantial doses of phytoestrogens or phytohormones -- soy isoflavones, genistein. Hope this helps. Dearest

    Q. Dear Dearest,

    Q. "My doctor still feels that my back pain has nothing to do with menopause?"

    A.Some common lines women in menopause have heard from their doctors upon complaining about the discomforts of menopause ...

    "You're too young to be in menopause."

    "Here's a prescription for hormones."

    "It's all in your mind."

    "Take this anti-depressant and you'll feel better."

    "I'm giving you some tranquilizers to help you."

    "It has nothing to do with menopause."

    "You might consider talking to a psychologist."

    I don't think any doctor can say without a human doubt that your back pain is not related to menopause. There are so many things that "hurt" during menopause, anything is possible. Back pain is something I've never had a problem with, although I suffer from a great deal of arthritis. However, during the worst part of peri-menopause, I developed all sorts of back issues -- ebbing and flowing with my hormone levels. So, I wouldn't immediately dismiss the possibility that the back pains are related.

    The causes for breast pain aren't necessarily going to show up on a mammogram either. Not only that, but FSH tests may not indicate hormone levels commensurate with painfrul breasts.

    Breasts can become severely sore, tender, swollen any time during menopause. Some women say that they have found relief in HRT, while others say that breast tenderness and pain first became a problem once they started HRT. There's no universal answer for every woman. Everyone reacts differently to hormones, just as everyone reacts differently to any drug they ingest. I developed terribly severe breast tenderness, swelling and pain. Many women have said they get relief from breast tenderness with natural progesterone creams. You might want to try one a little stronger than the OTC creams available. You can consult Pete Hueseman, Power Surge's Pharmaceutical Consultant, who'll be This Week's Guest! in Power Surge this Sunday night. Feel free to stop in and ask him any questions you may have about the creams, or E-mail him.

    The dizziness and indigestion may be a side effect of the hormone therapy, or simply another complaint associated with menopause in general. These are commonly mentioned problems by women in menopause -- including nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach distress, gas, etc..

    "In february of 98 i started getting irregular bleeding and had an endometrial biopsy done this came back showing hyperplasia so i had to discontinue the premphase and go back on provera . now the breast and back pain have come back."

    Therapy with estrogens alone can cause endometrial hyperplasia (overgrowth), a precursor to cancer in certain women. In some studies, estrogen treatment of menopausal symptoms for longer than a year has increased the risk of endometrial hyperplasia/cancer.



    About the incredible benefits of garlic . . .

    Garlic is a powerful natural medicine in addition to being a strong-flavored seasoning for food. Garlic has abilities to lower cholesterol and reduce the clotting tendency of the blood. It can also help lower high blood pressure. In addition raw garlic is a potent antibiotic, especially active against fungal infections, with antibacterial and antiviral effects as well. The best home remedy I have found for colds is to eat several cloves of raw garlic at the first onset of symptoms.

    Eating raw garlic does not appeal to everyone, but garlic loses its antibiotic properties when you cook or dry it, and commercial garlic capsules do not preserve the full activity of the fresh bulb. You can make raw garlic more palatable by chopping it fine, mixing it with food, and eating it with a meal. Or cut a clove into chunks and swallow them whole like pills. If it gives you flatulence, eat less. If you eat garlic regularly and have a good attitude about it, you will not smell of it. Chewing some fresh parsley after eating garlic also minimizes the odor.

    By the way, a clove of garlic is one of the segments that make up a head or bulb. I once told a patient with a sore throat to eat two cloves of raw garlic. He called me several days later to say that he was cured but that the treatment had been one of the hardest things he'd ever done. It turned out he thought "clove" meant the entire head.

    I have in my files a recent paper from a Chinese medical journal describing the use of intravenous garlic to treat a rare and very serious fungal infection of the brain called cryptococcal meningitis. (We are seeing this more commonly now as an opportunistic infection in AIDS patients.) The Chinese researchers compared intravenous garlic to the standard pharmaceutical treatment, a very toxic antibiotic called amphotericin B. In this study the garlic worked better than the drug and caused no toxicity in any dosage.

    A good home remedy for the early stage of ear infections in children is to put a few drops of warm garlic oil in the ear canal, then plug the ear loosely with a piece of cotton. To make garlic oil, crush a few cloves of garlic into some olive oil, let it sit a few days at room temperature, and strain it. Keep the oil in a container in the refrigerator and warm a bit for use as needed. Some people even suggest putting a small clove or piece of a clove of raw garlic directly into the ear, keeping it in with a plug of cotton. It will eventually dissolve.

    Dr. Andrew Weil recommends one or two cloves of garlic a day to people who suffer from chronic or recurrent infections, frequent yeast infections, or low resistance to infection. Try it; it really works.




    Flax is very high in lignans which have anti-tumor properties, antioxidants of 800 ppm and could mimic the results of Tamoxifen ---- the anti-cancer drug for breast cancer. Omega-3's lower high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels by as much as 25% and 65%. Omega-3's decrease the probability of a blood clot blocking an artery. They are necessary for visual function, sperm formulation, brain development, and adrenal function.

    Omega-3's also lower high blood pressure, and help to decrease allergic response, and may help inflammatory conditions with the diseases ending in ---"itis." Omega-3's lower the insulin requirement of diabetics and have been used in the treatment and prevention of arthritis.

    Cancer --- omega-3's dissolve tumors and are being researched continually. Dr. J. Budwig in Germany, has over 1000 documented cases of successful cancer treatment using flax oil and lo-fat cottage cheese.

    PMS and menopause ---Many cases of premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms are completely relieved within one month of flax ingestion.

    Flaxseed can also be helpful in multiple sclerosis (in places where essential fatty acid consumption is high, MS is rare); some behavioral problems (schizophrenia, depression, manic-depressive disorder); the oil in the seed has a calming effect under stress. Omega-3 fatty acids prevent excess toxic biochemicals which our bodies produce under stress.

    Asthma can be relieved noticeably in a very short time (one week) of taking flaxseed(s) or oil.

    Vitality is another one of the most noticeable signs of improved health from the use of flaxseeds. Athletes notice that their fatigued muscles recover from exercise more quickly and flax increases stamina.

    Fiber is another important factor in our diet. The average person in America has a fiber intake of 8.75 Grams per day. To prevent certain forms of cancer, colon and or breast, a high fiber diet has been known to be beneficial. Flaxseed ground in juice or flaxseed oil, provide at least 20 Grams of fiber, plus the 8.75 gives you a total of 28.75. It has been reported that if you maintain between 25-30 Grams of fiber, it greatly reduces chances of colon and breast cancer.





    The pap smear revolutionized the way women are tested for cervical cancer, but the test is less than perfect. In some studies false-negatives have run as high as 50%. Doctors have boosted the test's accuracy with some high-tech help.

    Critical care nurse Yvonne Johnson knows how devastating cancer can be. Not only does she witness it at work, Yvonne lives with the knowledge that she's at risk of getting the disease.

    Yvonne Johnson, Candidate for Study: "I have a long family history of cancer of ovary, breast, lung. I have yearly checkups and I always keep my own information."

    This year's checkup included a regular pap smear that got special treatment from two new devices; Papnet and Autopap. Papnet seeks out suspicious looking cells.

    Bill Tench, M.D., Pathologist, Palomar Hospital: "They've actually trained the computer to look for these cells and to do the best job that it can."

    Papnet produces 128 highlighted images from each slide. The device also tells the pathologist where to find specific cells on a slide and magnifies them for a closer look.

    Autopap detects cervical cancer cells in a different way. It scans slides, analyzes the cells, then tells the technician if the cells look suspicious. In test runs, Autopap detected abnormal cells in 75 percent of the slides that were previously called normal.

    Bill Tench, M.D.: "We know that we're never going to reduce the number to zero. But the two technologies do provide different information and different answers."

    Papnet helped technicians track down abnormal cells on Yvonne's pap smear. Neither device will replace the need for technicians, but they will help give women like Yvonne more accurate, lifesaving results.

    The Autopap system is available at 12 sites across the country. Meanwhile, PapNet recently received FDA approval and is available worldwide.

    If you would like more information, please contact:

    For Autopap:8271 154th Ave. NE Redmond, WA 98052 Source: ©Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc. 1997



    By Deborah Moskowitz, N.D.

    "Phytoestrogen" seems to be the new buzz word these days when discussions turn to menopause and alternatives to hormone replacement therapy, but what are phytoestrogens and how do they affect us? Phytoestrogens are a group of compounds found in plants that influence our own estrogen activity. They can either act as a weak estrogen, or provide precursors to substances that affect our estrogen activity. To understand how phytoestrogens work, it is important to understand a little about how our hormones work in general.

    Viewed simplistically, hormones are typically manufactured and released by various glands, organs and tissues into our blood stream where they can travel to target tissues. These target tissues contain receptor sites that are specific to certain hormones. When the hormones bind to the receptor sites, they can initiate an effect on the target tissue.

    For example, estradiol, our body's strongest estrogen, can be released from the ovary and travel to any number of target tissues, including the breast and the uterus. At the breast, estradiol can bind to receptor sites and increase cell division; at the uterus, estradiol can cause the endometrial lining to thicken. These receptor sites are not so sensitive that other substances can't bind to them.

    However, just because a substance can bind to a receptor site doesn't mean it will have a positive effect on the target tissue. Such is the case with Tamoxifen, a drug which is used as a treatment for breast cancer. Tamoxifen can bind to estrogen receptors in the breast without causing an increase in cell division, thereby acting as an estrogen "blocker." At the same time, it can bind to receptors in the uterus and cause proliferation of the endometrium. In other words, Tamoxifen can have an anti-estrogenic effect on the breast, but have a pro-estrogenic effect on the uterus.

    Phytoestrogens can bind to estrogen receptors in our bodies and have either pro-estrogenic effects, or anti-estrogenic effects on the target tissues. How it affects the tissues depends in part on how much estrogen our bodies are already producing and how saturated our receptor sites are. If our estrogen levels are low, as in menopause, empty estrogen receptor sites can be filled with phyto-estrogens which can exert a weak pro-estrogenic effect. (Phytoestrogens may be anywhere from 1/400th to 1/1000th the strength of estradiol.) If our estrogen levels are high, as in some women who suffer from PMS and endometriosis, then phytoestrogens can compete with our own estrogens for binding to receptors. When the phyto-estrogens are successful, they decrease overall estrogen activity because their effect on the target tissues is less than if estradiol had been allowed to bind.

    Other factors that can affect phytoestrogen activity other than its ability to bind to receptor sites include how long it remains bound to the receptor, how rapidly it is broken down and removed from the bloodstream and how it affects other aspects of estrogen load, such as levels of sex steroid binding globulin.

    There are hundreds of plants that contain phyto-estrogens, with some of the more well-known including red clover, licorice, Dong quai, soy beans, flaxseeds, black cohosh and alfalfa. Historically, many of these plants have been used to regulate hormones and control fertility.

    Animals have even been known to graze selectively on plants to enhance or diminish fertility. Much of the early research on phyto-estrogens was done with animals and interest was likely induced by the observation that sheep who grazed too much on clover became infertile. Recently, there has been a resurgence of phytoestrogen research as more women have demanded options to hormone replacement therapy. Furthermore, epidemiological studies comparing native Asian women to other cultures has suggested that the high phytoestrogen content of their diets may be responsible in part for their low rate of breast cancer and the ease with which Asian women pass through menopause.

    Certainly, more studies on women using phytoestrogens need to be done to establish both benefits and risks. However, given the bulk of information available, phytoestrogen use can be considered a relatively safe method of affecting estrogen activity given the options currently in practice.



    By Alice Stamm

    No, you're not a hypochondriac, but how you think about and treat menopause is very important to how menopause will think about and treat you in return. It's a give and take situation.

    Since creating Power Surge in February of 1994, I've come into contact with tens of thousands of menopausal women. my inclination would be to caution you against "expecting" or "preparing" yourself for the worst case scenario. It would seem a woman's "mindset" at this juncture of her life is MORE important than anything else. The understanding that there are certain preventive steps women can take prior to entering peri-menopause, but, most importantly, the realization that this is a very natural life's event for women. That by reading, educating, learning - you empower yourself. By empowering yourself, you don't fall into that "victimized" state created by the antiquated thinking of many phsysicians. That these (male, for the most part) physicians would have us believe that the only viable option for women in menopause is HRT and that without HRT you will fall prey to one complication after another -- serious heart disease, osteoporosis, body deformation, melancholy, loss of memory, perhaps mind, disorientation, atrophying of body tissue and a general decay of your body, mind and spirit. In short, without HRT, you're "asking for it," or "doomed." This is hardly accurate in 1997 when such many strides have been made in the area of alternative/integrative medicine.

    Empower yourself to make your own decisions. Own Your Body!

    In familiarizing you with this rite of passage, you must be aware of all the pitfalls, the positives, the negatives, the possibilities and YOUR options.

    When the intial shock of turning 40 was gone for me, a sense of elation kicked in -- a feeling I could liken to none I'd ever known. Great career. Having had my children in my early 20's, they were almost grown, busy with school, boyfriends, making many of their own decisions. This wonderful sense of freedom had replaced years of wondering if I'd ever time for myself again. There I was, with *time* to reinvent myself. I rode the crest of this phenomenal wave of independence for about 3-4 years until something changed. One's natural inclination toward Murphy's Law thinking, "This is too good to be true. Something's gotta go wrong to change this," was exactly what I felt.

    I started having problems sleeping. My anxiety level rose. There were no changes in my period. My moods were becoming unpredicatable, and there were times I felt consumed by a sense of panic, fear and confusion. I started experiencing palpitations at the most unexpected times -- without any exertion. The worst part seemed to be the depression - that swept over me with no warning.

    I believe all the factors "alive" in our lives at the time that peri-menopause begins contribute to the way we react to the symptoms of same. Many women finding themselves in the throes of peri-menopause have numerous other issues with which to cope simultaneously. Everything is connected. Everything is exacerbated by menopause. Women who may live with anxiety will often find themselves coping with a greater degree of anxiety as a result of menopause. It's like, "Who needs this now. I already have enough on my plate." Well, there's no skipping menopause. Would it were so that there were some magical formula containing some magical potion.

    The symptoms of menopause are many and varied! We're all different and our bodies react in different ways. The more common symptoms are: hot flashes, nite sweats, insomnia, depression, forgetfullness, mood swings, lighter periods, heavier periods, fatigue, shorter cycles, longer cycles, vaginal dryness, skipped heartbeats, digestive problems, palpitations, and more.

  • Index


    The Power Surge Newsletter disclaims any representation for the accuracy or completeness of information contained herein. The sharing of information herein is not indicative of Power Surge's personal endorsement of same. It is purely for informational purposes. Health matters should be taken up with one's personal physician. Nothing in the Power Surge Newsletters, chats, message base, bulletin boards is intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Opinions expressed are Dearest's and the authors who contribute to Power Surge and don't reflect the opinions of America Online.

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    'Power Surge recommends Revival Soy Protein to replenish estrogen

    Doctor-formulated Revival Soy Protein is the #1 doctor-recommended soy protein in the country. Soy isoflavones eliminate menopausal symptoms.

    Read one of Medical Director,
    Dr. Aaron Tabor's transcripts

    Ask the Soy Doctor 

    'For natural, bioidentical hormones, Pete Hueseman and Bellevue Pharmacy Solutions

    Why put your body through the rigors of adjusting to the "one-size-fits-all" HRT when naturally compounded, bio-identical hormones can be tailor-made to your body's needs?

    Read Pete Hueseman's,
    most recent transcript about natural, bio identical hormones.

    Ask The Pharmacist

    Also, read Paul Hueseman, PharmD's transcript
    on bio-identical hormones


    Visit our recommendations page for tips and advice on multi-vitamins and supplements to help ease menopausal symptoms, and improve your overall health.


    If you haven't already done so, why not check out our extensive Educate Your Body area. There you will be able to read articles on midlife issues, as well as answers to commonly asked questions such as:

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