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Power Surge News

Issue 65


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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Another year has passed (I still can't believe it's been that long). I sent this message last February ** in celebration of our 9th year online. It came from the same heart and the feelings haven't changed except that we're a year older :) 

** This month, much to my own amazement, Power Surge celebrates
the beginning of its TENTH year online -- from its humble beginnings
as a small message board on America Online created in February, 1994
to an AOL partnership and "the" Web site featured in a cover article of the
best Web sites in Forbes Magazine, being named one of the 25 best health
sites by Health Magazine, being called an Internet Lifesaver by Prevention
Magazine,  CBS Heath Watch says, "Power Surge has had a powerful
effect on the mental and physical health of women." The list goes on and
on and to be included as a top resource in every menopause book
that's published, plus the only non-government site recommended by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, by Scientific American Magazine and
other governmental agencies -- well, it's wonderful.

I'm amazed because to me it's just a great community of which I'm very
much a part -- not something run by a large organization with nameless
people and dozens of popup windows with advertisements that drive us
crazy pushing every conceivable product. That it's such a highly praised,
popular and very supportive Web community for women at midlife and in
menopause that has been able to maintain its integrity for the past nine years without "selling out" in order to push products on women that Power Surge felt were and are questionable and might be dangerous to their health.

Power Surge only recommends the most stellar methods of treatment for
menopausal symptoms  -- treatments that are SAFE! Options that won't
compromise the health of the menopausal woman who come to a community they can trust and trust they do and that makes me very proud.

(Not surprisingly, this paragraph was written 5 months before the Women's Health Initiative Study  on women and hormones was abruptly halted in July, 2002 and *they* finally caught on that synthetic hormones weren't what they had thought)

"Since the inception of Power Surge, I have always been forthright about synthetic hormone therapy  and my concerns about all the breast cancer among women in our age group and among women who took birth control pills back in the 60's and 70's, or who have been on synethetic estrogen and progesterone. I've stood by the belief that conventional HRT was more than it was cracked up to be and look what's happening now -- articles everywhere about 'The Dangers of Synthetic Hormones.'"

I guess you've figured out by now that I'm very proud of this community and knowing it's helped so many women become more educated about their options in treating menopause. That it's been a conduit -- a lifeline for women who didn't know where else to turn when they were overcome with feelings of diassociation, anxiety, confusion and even fear in thinking, as many of us have at some time or another,  that those palpitations had to be heart disease, it couldn't be due to menopause. That the severe depression meant mental illness, but all the while thousands of other women in menopause were going through the same thing. That the internal shaking inside of them had to be from some grave disease and not simply a matter of imbalanced hormones.

I am grateful for all the fabulous testimonials I've received from so many of you. I've saved each and every one of them and want you to know that all this work has been very gratifying and knowing that Power Surge has helped even ONE woman get through this oftentimes very difficult passage makes it all worthwhile.

If you haven't already, I invite you to join our wonderfully supportive Web Discussions comprised of the most caring, loving, compassionate women, who are going through the same thing as YOU.

You'll find them here: /php/forums

I've said this before and will say it once again, remember that getting older is natural and no matter what anyone tells you, it's going to happen, although it may be fraught with difficulty. However,  accepting where you are in life, who you've grown to be and how you interact with the world as a more mature, seasoned and wise woman can't help but make you feel better about yourself and the new woman you are evolving to through these transitional years.

We'll grow older and wiser together!  We'll overcome the difficulty of menopause.

Power Surge hopes to continue to provide in our tenth year
with the same integrity and support as it has the past nine! 


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Thursday, Feb. 27th, 9 PM, ET

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Dr. Erika Schwartz Will Soon Join Our Esteemed Ask The Experts
Area as "Ask Dr. Erika." We'll Have A Female Doctor, Specializing in Menopause (And Going Through It, Too) To Answer Our Daily Questions With A Click Of The Mouse.


Women's Physician, Menopause Specialist

With a passion and commitment to the empowerment and
education of women of all ages to be the healthiest they can
be is what defines her. Specializing in women's health, she
has been practicing medicine for 20 years. Dr. Schwartz gives
scientifically proven and caring combinations of alternative
and conventional medicine. In her continued search for
women's health issue solutions, Dr. Schwartz addresses
the problems of hormone imbalance. As a result of her
research and the clinical data she has accumulated, she
has become an expert in the treatment of hormone imbalance.

The author of The Hormone Solution: Naturally Alleviate Symptoms of
Hormone Imbalance From Adolescence Through Menopause

Read the transcript of Dr. Erika's previous visit to Power Surge.

TWENTY FREE copies of Dr. Erika Schwartz's
bestselling book will be given away at the chat.

Join Erika Schwartz, M.D.


Power Surge Live! Chat Room

(no password required)

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Use quotes / affirmations / positive thoughts
"The vibes you give out come back to you!"

*  I treat myself with kindness and patience
*  I am an important person
*  I am beginning to establish my limits
*  I am in charge of my life
*  I forgive myself and others who have hurt me
*  I am a friend to myself
*  I can enjoy leisure without guilt and anxiety
*  I can express my anger openly, honestly & appropriately
*  I open my heart to my inner child
*  I can handle criticism with ease
*  Today I will put all negativity behind me

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If you've never read it on the Web site, you'll garner a lot
of helpful information in treating menopause and related
symptoms in our Menopause Survival Tips

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One of the most popular areas of the Web site is the
Recommendations area. 

Midlife is generally a time of awakening, but not always a gentle
one! By the time most women are 40-something (give or take a
few years), they suddenly find themselves being introduced to an
unfamiliar body, but as their transitional years pass, they will
become more familiar with that body than ever before in their lives.

Read about your options for treating menopause

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If you're more confused than ever since the abrupt halting of the WHI
(Women's Health Initiative) Study on women and hormones, a
compilation of experts discuss what to do now!

* The HRT Controversy With Phytoestrogen Expert, Aaron Tabor, M.D. 
* The HRT Controversy With Pharmacist, Pete Hueseman
* The HRT Controversy With Research Scientist, Elizabeth Plourde

* * * * * *  * * *  * * *  * * *  * * *  * * *
* * *  * * *  * * *  * * *  * * *  * * * * * *

"My mom never talked to me about menopause."

"She says her mother never talked about it either."

"Am I losing my mnd?"

"I'm not sad I'm past menopause. I’m just glad those monthly
periods are over."

"Is it hot in here, or is it me?"

"Will I *ever* feel like my old self again?"

These are commonly heard expressions by women going through

We haven't done a survey of the comments made by the males in
the lives of women going through menopause. If you ask most
menopausal women about their husbands or partners comments,
they'd respond, "Who cares. I'M the one going through it!"

Menopause, aka the "change of life," affects each woman in a different
way. Maybe hot flashes and sleep problems troubled your sister during
menopause. Your cousin may be feeling a new sense of freedom and
boom of energy. You, on the other hand, are having ONE hot flash a day,
ALL DAY, insomnia, night sweats, vaginal dryness, depression, itchy
all over your body. You may be moody, crying with no provocation at all.
You may feel unable to control your anger. There may even be moments
of rage that frightens you. Your anxiety levels may be going through the
roof and your heart is palpitating and skipping beats at a mile a minute
while your best friend has hardly noticed any changes at all (which leads
you to consider murder for the first time in your life) :)

What Is Menopause?

Just like puberty, menopause is a normal part of life. It is really
the end of a long, slow process. When you are in your mid-30’s, your
ovaries begin to change how much estrogen and progesterone, two female
hormones, they make. These are both important for normal menstrual
cycles and successful pregnancy. Estrogen helps to keep bones healthy.
It may also have an effect on cholesterol levels in your blood, help
keep skin and arteries more elastic, and possibly help memory.

Although very rare before the age of 40, menopause can happen anytime
from your 30’s to your mid-50’s or even later. Smokers often begin
menopause earlier than non-smokers. If you have both ovaries removed
(bilateral oophorectomy) during a hysterectomy (removal of the
uterus), you may be thrust into menopause, despite your age. Once
your uterus is removed, your periods will stop.

Some of the hormone-related stages in your life are:

Puberty. This is the age when body changes begin and breasts develop.
A young girl begins to have a monthly period, often around 12-1/2
years of age.

Perimenopause. This probably begins about 3 to 5 years before your
last menstrual period. It lasts until 12 months after your final
period. Some signs or symptoms of menopause may appear during this

Menopause. The event that marks menopause is your final menstrual
period. You will know for sure that you have experienced menopause
when you have not had a period in a year. Only then can you be sure
that you are no longer able to get pregnant.

Postmenopause. Because this time follows menopause, it begins with
your final period and lasts the rest of your life. Like menopause, you
do not know you are there until 1 year later. The signs of menopause
usually go away in a few years. You no longer have to worry about
periods or getting pregnant. You are, however, at greater risk for
some health problems.

What Are The Signs?

Changing levels of estrogen and progesterone can cause a variety of
symptoms. You may have little or no trouble with hot flashes or other
signs of menopause. Some women, however, have slight discomfort.
Others experience a difficult transition.

Common changes you might have are:

Irregular periods. One of the first signs is a change in your periods.
They may become less regular. They could be lighter. Some women have
short times of heavy bleeding. These are all fairly common. Very heavy
bleeding for many days, periods less than 3 weeks apart, periods that
last longer than 10 days, or spotting between periods may also happen.
Check with your doctor if you find any of this troublesome.

Hot flashes. A hot flash or flush is common in perimenopause. Possibly
85% of American women have them. Suddenly you feel heat in the upper
part or all of your body. Your face and neck become flushed. Red
blotches may appear on your chest, back, and arms. Heavy sweating and
cold shivering can follow. Flashes can be as mild as a light blush or
severe enough to wake you from a sound sleep (called night sweats).
Most flashes last 30 seconds to 5 minutes. They should disappear
within a few years after menopause.

Problems with the vagina and bladder. Body tissue in the genital area
becomes drier and thinner as estrogen levels change. Sexual
intercourse might become painful for you because of this dryness. You
might also be more likely to have an infection in your vagina. As you
get older, you may begin to have urinary tract problems. These could
be more infections, trouble holding urine when you feel the need to go
to the bathroom (urge incontinence), or problems holding urine when
you sneeze, cough, laugh, run, or step down (stress incontinence). If
you have any of these problems, see your doctor.

Sex. Until you have gone 1 year without a period, you should still use
birth control if you do not want to become pregnant. Around the time
of menopause, your feelings about sex might change. You might have
trouble becoming sexually aroused because of hormone changes,
discomfort due to changes in the vagina, or medicines you are taking.
Or, you might feel freer and sexier after menopause---relieved that
pregnancy is no longer a worry. Remember that after menopause you can
still get sexually-transmitted diseases, such as HIV/AIDS (acquired
immunodeficiency syndrome).

Fatigue and sleep problems. Feeling tired is another common symptom. You might have trouble getting to sleep, waking early, or getting back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night. Women may be
awakened by night sweats or the need to go to the bathroom.

Mood changes. Some people think that women may be more moody,
irritable, or depressed around the time of menopause. There might be a
connection between changes in the estrogen level and your emotions.
Other causes for these mood shifts might be stress, family changes
such as children leaving home, and feeling tired.

Changes in your body. Visible changes with menopause may include a
thickening at the waist, loss of muscle mass and increase in fat
tissue, or thinning and loss of stretchiness in the skin.

Other possible signs. Some women may experience headaches, memory
problems, and joint and muscle stiffness or pain.

What About Heart and Bones?

You may not even notice two important aspects of menopause. These are
a loss of bone tissue, which can weaken bones and cause osteoporosis,
and higher cholesterol levels, which may lead to cardiovascular
(heart) disease.

Osteoporosis. Many people do not know they have weak bones until they
break a hip, wrist, or vertebrae (bones in the spine). Osteoporosis
develops as people age because their bones grow thinner and become
less dense. With time bones may become weak and may break. For women, the loss of estrogen around the time of menopause means that they may lose bone strength faster.

The good news is that the risk of osteoporosis can be lowered. First,
get plenty of calcium and vitamin D, both before and after menopause.
Second, exercising often may also help keep muscles and bones strong
and lessen the chance of falls and broken bones. Aim for 30 minutes of
weight-bearing exercises like walking, jogging, or weight lifting 3
days a week or more. Third, taking estrogen or one of several other
drugs available will also prevent further loss of bone. Drugs approved
for osteoporosis by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) include
raloxifene, alendronate, and calcitonin.

Supplements To Help Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis

Vitamin D
Age 51 to 70 - 400 IU Age 70 and over - 600 IU

Age 50 (on HRT/ERT) - 1000 mg (not more than 2000 mg)
Age 50 (not on HRT/ERT) - 1500 mg (not more than 2000 mg)
Age 65 - 1500 mg (not more than 2000 mg)

Heart disease. Young women have a lower risk of heart disease than do
men. This changes with age. Falling estrogen levels during menopause
may lead to higher cholesterol levels in older women. This, in turn,
increases the chance of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases that
affect the heart and blood vessels. After menopause, a woman’s risk of
heart disease grows to almost equal the risk for a man. In fact, heart
disease kills more women than lung or breast cancer.

You can lower your chance of heart disease by eating low-fat foods,
fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods; not smoking; losing weight;
and exercising regularly. Experts used to believe that using estrogen
or estrogen/progesterone supplements might lower the risk of heart
disease in women after menopause. We've found out differently since
the abrupt halting of the Women's Health Initiative Study last July when,
among other discoveries (all of which Power Surge has talked about
since its inception in 1993), it was noted that the group of women on
Prempro (Premarin and Provera) had a higher incidence of heart disease
than those on a placebo. So much for synthetic estrogen and progestins
protecting us from heart disease.

What Can I Do About Menopause?

You may first try to make some changes in the way you live. Start with
a nutritious diet. Contact the National Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute for more information about reducing your risk of heart
disease. Also, be careful in your use of alcohol and caffeine, and
try to avoid stress. For vaginal discomfort, use a water-based lubricant,
but not petroleum jelly. Be sure to get a Pap test, mammogram, and
pelvic and breast examinations every year.

If you are having hot flashes, try making a diary of when they happen
and what may start them. This may help you find out what to avoid.

When a hot flash starts, go somewhere that is cool. Sleeping in a cool
room may keep hot flashes from waking you up during the night. Dress
in layers that you can take off if you get warm. Use sheets and
clothing that let your skin "breathe." Try having a cold drink (water
or juice) at the beginning of a flash. What About Estrogen

Once you have reached peri or postmenopause, your doctor might
suggest estrogen and progesterone, known as hormone replacement
therapy or HRT. For women without a uterus, the doctor will recommend
estrogen alone. This is called estrogen replacement therapy or ERT. The
hormones are usually taken as pills, but can be given as skin patches,
creams, or vaginal inserts, depending on a woman’s particular needs.
Taking hormones for a short time (less than 5 years) may help relieve
symptoms of menopause in some women. Taking HRT/ERT for more
than 5 years will also help delay osteoporosis. It might improve your
cholesterol levels and may also help your memory.

However, there are side effects and known health risks, especially with
synthetic hormones. This is particularly true if you have liver problems,
high levels of triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood), gallstones, a family
history of breast cancer or a history of blood clots. Blood clots and an
increase in your chance of developing breast cancer are two risks of HRT/ERT.

If you decide to use HRT, Power Surge recommends the use of naturally
compounded, bio-identical hormones, rather than synthetic hormones.

What About Phytoestrogens?

Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like materials found in cereals,
vegetables, legumes (beans), and some herbs. They may work in the body
like a weak form of estrogen. Some may lower cholesterol levels. Soy,
wild yams, and herbs such as black cohosh, dong quai, and valerian
root have been suggested to relieve the symptoms of menopause. If you
decide to eat a lot more foods with phytoestrogens, be sure to tell
your doctor. Any food or over-the-counter product that you use for its
drug-like effects could interact with other prescribed drugs or cause
an overdose.

The effectiveness of these "natural" estrogens has not been proved.
Some plant estrogens are under study now. Scientists want to know
whether they can have the same helpful effects as the estrogen doctors
now prescribe. Also, just as important, are they safe? Do they have
the same risks as estrogen or different ones? Unlike prescription
drugs, herbal medicines are not supervised by the FDA. They do not
have to be proven safe or effective. In addition, their strength may
vary between batches or manufacturers.

To read more about phytoestrogens, click here.

How Do I Decide?

The decision about how to handle menopause is best made by
talking with your doctor. First, decide how bothersome your
symptoms are. Then think about your own medical history and risk
of heart disease, osteoporosis, and breast cancer and your family
history of these illnesses.

Remember any decision is not final. You can, and should, review it
with your doctor every year during your annual checkup. You can see a
gynecologist, or a general practitioner or internist. It is important
you have routine breast and vaginal exams and a Pap test. Be sure to
contact your doctor right away if you notice spotting, a lump in your
breast, or a sense of fullness or bloating in your abdomen.


For your grandmother or great-grandmother, life expectancy was shorter
and reaching menopause did mean that their life was nearing its end.
Not so for you because today we are all living longer—on average,
until 78. Make the most of the 20, 30, or more years you have ahead.


Not enough can be said about support during menopause. It seems as
though women going through menopause need support more than ever
in their lives. You'll find excellent support in the Power Surge chats on the Web site, on America Online, (AOL members only),  on the
message boards and in our Insta-Chat where someone is always
readily available to swap war stories :)

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A couple of years ago, a woman who frequented Power Surge
and suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks brought
to my attention an Australian woman by the name of Bronwyn
Fox. Bronwyn has accomplished amazing things helping people
with anxiety and panic attacks. She, too, suffered with severe
panic attacks until she cured herself.

I've participated in her very effective and successful six week
online Mindfulness Panic Anxiety Management Program
and she's excellent.  

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I usually share humor with you in this section. However, this
month I thought you'd enjoy this unusual site a friend shared
with me: Juan Albuerne's Movie Stars

It can't help but bring out the inner child in you.

Remember, you don't stop laughing because you grow old.
You grow old because you stopped laughing.

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One of the most popular areas of the Web site is the
Recommendations area

Midlife is generally a time of awakening, but not always a gentle
one! By the time most women are 40-something (give or take a
few years), they suddenly find themselves being introduced to an
unfamiliar body, but as their transitional years pass, they will
become more familiar with that body than ever before in their lives.

Read about your options for treating menopause

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You can read more of what the most prestigious experts
in the area of women's health have said when they've
guested in Power Surge chats in the Library

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Menopause: With Marcie Richardson, M.D.
Vulvovaginal Health:  With Elizabeth Stewart, M.D.
Weight Loss: With Dr. Howard Shapiro
Anti-Depressants & Panic Attacks: With Stuart Shipko, M.D.
Eating Disorders:  With Dr. Denise Lamothe
Body Blues:  With Dr. Marie-Annette Brown

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If you've never participated in or read the transcripts
of this series, you really shouldn't miss it.
Reclaiming Ourselves At Midlife

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The Most Caring & Supportive
Award-Winning Mesage Boards
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Forbes Magazine Selects Power Surge a "Best of The Web"
Web site and "Best of the Web" Health / Menopause Boards

Join other women in menopause and choose from
over 60 menopause and midlife-related message
boards filled with compassion, information, support
and caring. Be prepared for an abundance of support,
information and love!  The Web Message Boards

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Informative articles on menopause and midlife-
related issues in Educate Your Body

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The one thing that eliminated my hot flashes, depression,
fatigue, vaginal dryness, mood swings, lowered my
menopause-related cholesterol by over 100 points and
generally gave me back my life the past 4 1/2 years has
been doctor-formulated Revival Soy Protein. I've seen Revival
help not only me, but thousands of other women experiencing the
typical symptoms of perimenopause. Soy is SAFE and has been
used as a staple in the diet of Japanese women for thousands of
years. They are considered among the healthiest women in the
world. Soy is effective and reliable, especially for those who can't
or choose not to use hormone replacement therapy. The FDA
approves the use of SOY in lowering cholesterol and providing
general heart health. It's made from non-genetically engineered
soybeans, as are most of the soy products out there and the
isoflavones are taken from the "heart" of the soybean where
they are most concentrated. Read more

Ask Medical Director, Aaron Tabor, M.D. aything at
Ask The Soy Doctor
View Dr. Tabor's last transcript in the Library  Click Here

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How are you handling menopause and
how is Power Surge helping?
We'd love your feedback!  Click here

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If you're dealing with menopausal issues you can't resolve
with other natural modalities and with all the controversy
surrounding conventional / synethetic hormone therapy, you
if you want to switch or start using hormones, make sure they're
NHRT (natural hormone replacement therapy) or HIH, Human
Identical, naturally compounded, plant-derived hormones.
Pete Hueseman, R.Ph., P.D., a Power Surge
Pharmaceutical Consultant
who will discuss with you and
your doctor low-dose natural hormones to suit your body's needs,
not the typical "One size fits all."

Ask Pete Hueseman directly at Ask The Pharmacist
View Pete's last transcript in the Library: Click Here

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Feel free to FORWARD THIS ISSUE of our Newsletter
to a friend who would appreciate what Power Surge
has to offer. If you're on this mailing list, you've already
found out :)  Tell them they can easily sign up for the
mailing list here: Click Here

If you're receiving this mailing, it's because you signed
up for it. Should you wish to unsubscribe, Click here
Type in your E.mail address and click on "unsubscribe"

If you have problems subscribing or unsubscribing through
the Web site, simply reply to this E.mail and type in the
subject line: "Subscribe" or "Unsubscribe"

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I hope to see you at the chats and on the boards.

Until then, remember... menopause may have you
feeling like you're going to hell in a handbasket, but,
there are treatments that work for your issues. It isn't
terminal and it does eventually pass.


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.

Sharing is what Power Surge is all about


Good Health!


Power Surge Bookstore

Books! Books! Books!

'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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Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited.