Physiology of Hormones
by Dr. Sherrill Sellman
Women and hormones equal big business these days. Like animals lured into
a snare by a trail of crumbs, women have been cajoled with scientific studies,
media advertising, patient handbooks and drug samples to accept Hormone
Replacement Therapy as a magic potion. HRT is praised as the cure for hot
flashes and all the other symptoms assigned to the menopause pantheon. In
addition, it is considered an anti-aging medicine acting as a talisman to ward
off osteoporosis, heart disease and even Alzheimers.
Millions of menopausal women flock to their doctors' offices each year seeking relief from such complaints as
hot flashes, night sweats, bloating, indigestion, allergies, headaches, insomnia, fatigue, depression, high blood
pressure, weight gain, head hair loss facial, hair growth, mood swings, aging skin, irritability, foggy thinking,
lack of concentration, anxiety attacks, heart palpitations, bone loss, and heavy bleeding. The common panacea
prescribed for all these symptoms is usually HRT. All these presenting symptoms are lumped together into the
menopausal pigeon hole, estrogen deficiency is the diagnosis and synthetic estrogen replacement becomes the
cure. An obvious and simple solution for hormonal imbalance ! Or so we
are led to believe.
But what if these symptoms that most plague forty and fifty year old wom-
en are not at all about menopause? What if it's not estrogen deficiency,
but rather estrogen excess that is the cause of these discomforts? What if
the real physiological problems are, in fact, being ignored, misdiagnosed or
misunderstood? And what if the pathological condition of "menopause",
the supposed cause of a midlife woman's lament doesn't even exist?
Unfortunately, women have been intentionally led on a merry hormone
goose chase. While medicalizing and pathologizing of menopausal wom-
en with potent, carcinogenic and dangerous steroid drugs has filled the cof-
fers of the drug companies and doctors alike, the real cause of these health
problems has been ignored.and so have safe and effective solutions. Menopause, far from being a stage in
a woman's life that leads her into a dark dungeon of discomfort and decline, is actually a time when the abuses
of life style, poor diet, environmental toxicities, and stress finally take their toll. Hormonal imbalances are, in
fact, symptoms of poor health. If the symptoms are addressed only with various HRT formulations,, the real
underlying problems are not just ignored but in all likelihood, worsened. When you add in the possible 120 the
side-effects from HRT, you have a frightening recipe for disaster.
Digestion, Malabsorption and Candida
A healthy digestive and a gastro-intestinal system are the keys to good health. It begins with the first bite.
Proper digestion depends on the proper secretion of digestive enzymes and the digestive system's ability to
assimilate and absorb foods. Most health problems begin here. No matter what foods are eaten, everything in
our diets are composed of proteins, carbohydrates and fat, sugars, and fiber. The essential digestive enzymes
(protease, amylase, lipase, disaccharidase and cellulase) are necessary to break then down during digestion. 1
While hypothyroidism is also one of the least understood health conditions by the medical profession, the
causes are readily known by alternative medicine. Radiation is probably the greatest environmental cause .
This includes both ionizing radiation such as emitted by nuclear reactors and non-ionizing radiation from the
electromagnetic fields of common electrical appliances and geopathic stress zones. Another significant cause
is estrogen dominance ( an excess of estrogen in relation to progesterone). Estrogen dominance interfers with
the uptake of thyroid hormones and can result from taking birth control pills, estrogen replacement therapy, or
exposure to pesticides, powerful estrogen mimics and other environmental toxins. Stress and nutritional defi-
ciencies such as selenium, glutathione, iodine and zinc also have a key role. And once again an imbalance in
microflora of the gut decrease the body's ability to uptake thyroid hormone.
Other thyroid inhibitors include excess intake of unsaturated fats ( liquid oils at room temperature), flouride,
heavy metal poisoning, mercury amalgam fillings, low protein diet, soy products, raw cruciferous vegetables (
cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli etc) , and endurance exercise. The most popular thyroid medication, Synthroid
which is an inactive form of the thyroid hormone actually shrinks the thyroid gland, suppresses the pituitary
and suppresses cellular respiration. Another side-effect of synthroid is osteoporosis.
We live in a thyroid toxic culture and environment. No wonder it is such a common disorder. However there
are very effective natural approaches to help in regulating the thyroid. Natural progesterone balances the thy-
roid inhibiting effect of estrogen dominance. As does supplementation with thyroid glandular extracts, enzyme
therapy, and herbal remedies such as the Auyervedic herb, gulgulipid.
Dietary recommendations to support thyroid function include getting adequate protein ie organic beef, poultry,
eggs, fish, cultured milk products such as kefir and yogurt.
Thyroid healing foods include these high in the B vitamins such as wheat germ, whole grains, nuts, seeds, dark
greens, legumes and Brewer's yeast. Other foods include seaweeds, wheat germ oil or natural Vitamin E,
Another great thyroid promoting food is organic, non-hydrogenated coconut oil . Contrary to negative public-
ity, current research shows that it is incorrect to think that all saturated fatty acids raise cholesterol levels. There
are two groups of saturated fats – medium and long-chain. Medium-chain saturates found in non-hydrogenated
coconut oil, do not clog arteries nor do they cause heart disease. Instead, medium-chain saturated fats convert
into energy, do not store as fat and enable the body to metabolize fat efficiently - all vital thyroid functions. In
addition coconut oil acts as an anti-histamine, an anti-diabetic, an anti-infective and even an anti-cancer agent!
Unfortunately most of the standard thyroid tests often fail to pinpoint an underactive thyroid, leading physi-
cians to make erroneous diagnoses. Subclinical conditions abound. However, there are effective self-diagnosis
tests. Taking an underarm temperature reading with an oral thermometer first thing in the morning for 5 con-
secutive days. Leave it under the arm for 5-10 minutes. It is even more effective is you keep you eyes open and
have exposure to bright lights for half and hour before taking the test. But remember to say in bed and remain
inactive. A ,low functioning thyroid will show an average temperature of under 97.5 F. Also check the resting
pulse Less than 85 beats per minute plus a low basal temperature may indicate hypothyroidism.
Another simple test is to paint an area on your thigh or belly with a 2 inch in diameter with a 2% tincture of
iodine. If the yellowish stain disappears in less than 24 hours, it indicates your body has an iodine deficiency, a
cause of hypothyroidism. Continuing to paint different areas of your body every 24 hours until the stain re-
mains a full 24 hours will increase your iodine levels. Seaweeds and Celtic sea salt will rich sources of iodine.
The Adrenal Glands
The glands which works hand in glove with the thyroid are
the adrenal glands, two small prune-shaped glands that sit on
top of the kidneys. Although small in size they are very big
in function. They are involved in manufacturing 28 different
hormones, the digestion of food especially carbohydrates and
sugar, the regulation of the body's minerals, producing and
maintaining the body's energy levels in conjunction with the
thyroid, producing hormones that monitor stress. Progesterone
is the primary raw material for producing adrenal gland hor-
Prolonged stress, whether as a result of emotional, environmen-
tal or physical causes is disastrous for the adrenals. Initially it
increases the output of the adrenal hormone, cortisol. Cortisol
helps to regulate blood sugar, the movement of carbohydrates,
proteins and fats in and out of the cells. inflammation and
muscle function. Chronic stress causes chronically elevated
levels of cortisol resulting in weight gain ( especially around
the midsection), blood sugar imbalances, thinning skin, muscle wasting, memory loss, high blood pressure, diz-
ziness, hot flashes, excessive facial hair, and other masculinizing tendencies.
Overworked adrenals will eventually crash leading to adrenal exhaustion and unable to maintain adequate
production of adrenal hormones. Symptoms of overtaxed adrenals include extreme fatigue such as in Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome, irritability, inability to concentrate, frustration, insomnia, addictions to either sweet or salty
foods, allergies, nervousness, depression, PMS sensitivity to cold, diabetes and headaches. Chronic low blood
pressure is a key symptom of adrenal exhaustion.
Adrenal exhaustion creates havoc with the endocrine system. Many hormonal imbalances in women of all
ages are caused by over worked adrenal glands. Nutrients that have special importance to the adrenal glands are
the B vitamins (especially B5), vitamin C, proteins, magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium, plant enzymes,
adrenal extracts, and the amino acids, tyrosine and phenylanoline. Rest is the best when it comes to rebuilding
the adrenals. And so is stress reduction. Shedding one's life of those stressful events, people, demands, high
pressure jobs as well as addressing unresolved emotional wounds is vital for healing the adrenal glands.
As more and more women awaken from the spell that has been cast upon them, it becomes apparent that meno-
pause is not the enemy of their quality of life. Popping a hormone pill is certainly not the solution. Regain-
ing the knowledge of their female physiology, reducing their hectic lives, honoring the needs of their bodies
and returning to the healing power of natural foods and natural medicines, is, indeed, the greatest challenge for
women in this new millennium.
Sherrill Sellman, author of the best-selling book, Hormone Heresy: What Women MUST Know About Their
Hormones, international lecturer and pyschotherapist. Email: [email protected]
DRAFT FOR CONSULTATION Menopause: diagnosis and management NICE guideline Draft for consultation, June 2015 If you wish to comment on this version of the guideline, please be aware that all the supporting information and evidence is contained in the full version. Menopause: NICE guideline short version DRAFT (June 2015) DRAFT FOR CONSULTATION
CEU DO MONTREAL VISITOR'S GUIDELINES PREPARATION FOR A SANTO DAIME WORK . 2 CEU DO MONTREAL MISSION STATEMENT . 4 CODE OF ETHICS . 5 THE TENETS OF THE FAITH . 7 MEDICATION INFORMATION . 10 DIETARY INFORMATION . 14 VISITOR FORMS / GENERAL INFORMATION . 17 CÉU DO MONTRÉAL PREPARATION FOR A SANTO DAIME WORK Welcome. You are about to participate in what, for us, is the most sacred and profound experience that we can share with you. Enclosed are a few pages of practical suggestions to make your Work most comfortable. First, we would like to share with you something of the spiritual nature of this Work. The Daime offers an opportunity to align with the divine. Your bodies (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) become open allowing access to and communion with spiritual energies, guides, healers, and teachers. It opens your consciousness, giving you the opportunity to experience love and truth at depths you may never have imagined. Within this space you will see and feel many things. Some will be very beautiful and some may be painful. The Daime opens you to what is highest and lowest in yourself. The purpose is to use the highest in you to transform the low. To a certain extent, each is not complete without the other. Know that whatever happens is for the highest good; we cannot transform and heal what we don't recognize as part of ourselves. Also know that, whatever you experience, you are not alone. There will be "guardians" (specially trained members of the Centre) to help you, and whether or not you can see them, spiritual guides and healers. 1. PRACTICAL GUIDELINES TO PREPARE FOR THE SPIRITUAL WORK FOOD: Most people prefer not to eat for several hours before a Work. What you choose to do will depend on your constitution. Eat lightly if you choose to eat; choose simple, fresh wholesome foods. For reasons of safety, certain foods and medications must be avoided or discontinued for prescribed time periods before and after ingesting the sacrament. (See drugs and foods to avoid in the sections MEDICATION INFORMATION and DIETARY INFORMATION). VISITOR'S ATTIRE: White clothes – women should wear a blouse or sweater with sleeves and skirt or dress, below knee-length. Men wear white pants and a long-sleeved shirt or sweater. Hair – wear your hair loose (no ponytails, braids, etc.) with the exception of barrettes. Shoes – again, white or light colored are ideal. Please don't wear red ones. For dancing Works, shoes should be comfortable and offer good support – you will be on your feet for many hours. For sitting Works, light shoes, slippers or socks work well. CLEANSING: It is helpful to cleanse on the physical, mental and emotional levels, in order to be more open on the spiritual level. This can be done through bathing, yoga, walking, praying, meditating, or whatever helps to center, ground and relax you. Part of the Centre's tradition is to be mindful of activities and habits for three days before a work and for three days following a work. Healthy self-care is important; please abstain from alcohol and drugs for several days before and after the Work.