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What to Do if You Have Low Estrogen Levels and Your Doctor Prescribes an Aromatase Inhibitor

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives to Anti-Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Boosting Estrogen, BPA and breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Natural Aromatase Inhibitors, Uncategorized on May 17, 2018 at 9:00 am

Despite the fact that estrogen is essential for both quality and quantity of life, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are regularly prescribed to most post-menopausal women with estrogen-sensitive breast cancer — even if they have low estrogen levels. AIs are associated with numerous life-challenging issues such as heart damage, osteoporosis, musculoskeletal symptoms, and increased risk of bone fracture. AI treatment reduces nearly all circulating estrogen which exacerbates post-menopausal symptoms and increases mortality.

Most of my post-menopause clients have VERY LOW ESTROGEN LEVELS. This is important to note as the last thing they need is even lower estrogen levels. Many, in fact, have low estrogen across the board (meaning the pro-cancer as well as protective estrogens). Often they have low progesterone as well, so their hormones are actually in balance, offering protection against breast cancer.  (While progesterone, in most cases, is protective, it is good to be balanced). However, low hormone levels leave these women with unpleasant symptoms and an increased risk of debilitating and life-threatening issues. Plus, when I look further at their labs they often even have favorable estrogen metabolism, which is also associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. (More on estrogen metabolism in a pending post). It simply makes no sense to block the production of estrogen in most post-menopausal women even if they have breast cancer. (For more information on why aromatase inhibitors may not be right for you, please read: Why You May Want to Reconsider Estrogen-Blocking Aromatase Inhibitors and Tamoxifen).

So, what can you do if you have estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer? First of all, it is important to resolve the real reason for the cancer. Estrogen may feed it, but does not really cause it. Environmental toxins, emotional trauma, and viruses such as Epstein-Barr are some of the most common triggers. Lowering estrogen with a harmful drug will not resolve any of these issues and may be detrimental to your health. If you have high estrogen, there are natural alternatives to AIs; please read: Natural Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer. If you have low estrogen or even if you don’t, read on:

Estrogen is Essential

We need estrogen for aiding in the prevention of heart disease and for strong, healthy bones. In fact, estrogen is essential to the health of all parts of your body, from your eyes to your heart to your brain to everywhere else.  Estrogen also increases insulin sensitivity and is protective against diabetes.

In general, estrogens are not always bad, and some are even protective, particularly Estriol (E3).  True, Estradiol (E2) can stimulate cancer cell proliferation, but not when opposed by sufficient progesterone. Keeping one’s progesterone levels up will offset your own more aggressive Estradiol. Sad that most doctors do not order hormone panels prior to subjecting patients to aromatase inhibitors.

Xenoestrogens (chemical estrogens), however,  should always be avoided. Xenoestrogens are chemicals that mimic natural estrogen compounds. They are close enough in molecular structure to estrogen that they can bind to estrogen receptor sites and stimulate proliferation of human breast cancer cells. Some examples of xenoestrogens are BPA (bisphenol A), found in plastics, paper products, cash register receipts, plant pesticides, and can linings, and parabens, which are found in many personal care products, cleaning products, and scented candles.

Boosting Estrogen

If you have low estrogen and would like to increase it, consider consuming more flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and other phytoestrogens (plant estrogens). Phytoestrogens are plant derivatives that have a similar structure to estrogen and can bind to the estrogen receptor sites. They are weaker endogenous estrogens and, through competitive inhibition, can prevent the receptor binding of more potent estrogens. These will not raise your risk of breast cancer, and can actually lower it.

Importantly, research conducted by the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University indicated that eating plant-based foods that contain phytoestrogens may  help women raise estrogen levels, relieving symptoms of low estrogen.[i]

herbs Estrogen

The increased cancer risk associated with anti-hormone therapies has encouraged many women to seek non-hormonal alternatives. Many foods, such as herbs, grains, vegetables and fruits provide compounds with estrogen-like effects.  Below is a list of some plant-estrogens you may wish to add to your diet:

  • Seeds such as flax, pumpkin, poppy, sunflower, and sesame
  • Apricots, oranges, strawberries, peaches, many dried fruits
  • Yams, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, kale, celery
  • Soy foods such as tempeh, tofu, miso soup, and soy yogurt (all soy should be organic and with no sugar added).
  • Dark rye bread
  • Lentils, peas, lima beans, pinto beans
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Chickpeas
  • Fresh herbs, such as parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
  • Licorice root*

 

Here’s what you really need to know. Estrogenic cancers can be managed with a sensible diet and lifestyle changes. Drugs are not necessary to manage estrogen, and in fact will often fail for many reasons, as addressed in the links below. What women with breast cancer are rarely told is that in lieu of taking harmful medication (which creates its own set of problems and serious side effects), they can adapt diet and lifestyle strategies which can effectively reduce high levels of the antagonistic estrogen, estradiol.

If you still suffer from low-estrogen symptoms despite a change in diet or other lifestyle activities, then you may want to consider bio-identical hormones or an inexpensive paraben-free estriol cream.

*I want to highlight one phytoestrogen that seems to worry many women with breast cancer–licorice root. There is no cause for alarm. In fact, licorice root has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antiangiogenetic (meaning it inhibits cancer cells from generating their own blood vessels), and other anti-cancer properties. Licorice root is toxic to human cancer cells, but not to healthy cells. It also promotes an increase in progesterone by inhibiting the enzyme necessary for its breakdown, which helps to block the cancerous activity of estradiol, the most potent form of estrogen created within the body. Further, it is an adaptogenic herb, so if your estrogen is too low, it will increase it, and if it is too high, it will bring it down.  Licorice root tea is a delicious way to enjoy this herb. It is not advised to take licorice root during pregnancy or for those with high blood pressure, or for extended periods of time unless under the direction of a professional. Use of any medicinal herb should always be done under the direction of a knowledgeable physician or professional.

You may also wish to read:

Why You May Want to Reconsider Estrogen-Blocking Aromatase Inhibitors and Tamoxifen

Natural Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer

Vitamin D Better than Aromatase Inhibitors

Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen

Natural Alternative to Aromatase Inhibitors

Why Aromatase Inhibitors Fail Women

You may wish to read my articles on flaxseed:

Demystifying Flaxseed and Estrogen 

Flaxseed: Better Than Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer

Flaxseed: The Anti-Cancer Power Seed

To read about one of the major contributors to most cancers, please read this article on Epstein-Barr and Cancer.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo anti-hormone therapy. It is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist and make your own decisions.  The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link, and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

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[i] https://www.aao.org/eyenet/article/watch-ocular-effects-of-breast-cancer-drugs

[i] http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/lignans

Hot Flashes and Night Sweats May NOT be What You Think

In Hot Flashes and Night Sweats, menopause, Uncategorized on April 2, 2018 at 7:33 am
hot flashes

A Cancer Coach Explains How Hormones Might NOT Be the Reason for Your Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

Hot flashes and night sweats are a common complaint from many of my clients. Most have been told by their doctors that these symptoms are related to hormonal changes during menopause or are just one of the side effects of cancer treatments that they must endure. However, contrary to what you have been told, hot flashes are rarely just hormone driven, and therefore we could be barking up the proverbial wrong tree when we try to remedy them as such.

It is natural to assume that when you dramatically lower the production of estrogen, hot flashes and night sweats may be more problematic. I do believe there is some truth in that, and not coincidentally, hot flashes and night sweats are a common side effect of aromatase-inhibiting drugs. However, there is more to the story than just that–or at least that is what I have learned from Anthony William.

William makes perfect sense. I wondered why bioidentical hormone treatments help some people for a short time, but not always in the long run, and for others, have no effect at all.  When I read about this in one of his books, Thyroid Healing, I had the big AH-HA moment.  Hot flashes and night sweats have very little to do with menopause, and hormones in general! According to William, much of the time the Eptein Barr Virus (EBV) and environmental toxins are at the root of what most of think are menopausal symptoms. In other words, most of these symptoms are actually caused by EBV, and not the so called ‘change of life’. He adds that radiation exposure  may be contributing to the problem, so it is very important to protect yourself from EMF (Electromagnetic field) exposure as well as radiation from other sources, such as diagnostic testing.

Why Toxins Contribute to Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

According to William, those miserable bursts of sweat are the result of a toxic liver. He says that when the liver fills up with toxins, it becomes over-burdened and starts to run hot. The body, being efficient, tries to cool itself down. The process involves expelling the heat form the liver, which then pulses through the body making you feel hot and sweaty. It also stands to reason that the body produces these heat reactions to rid the body of toxins through the pores (a natural defense mechanism). Arguably, it would be preferable to sweat the toxins out during exercise or sauna.

These toxins can include, but are not limited to, viral poisons (such as Epstein Barr Virus) heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, EMFs, and the remnants of prescription drugs.

Interestingly, ‘menopausal’ symptoms typically appear in mid-life, but it could well be that this is about the time when toxins have overwhelmed the liver. This also explains why the hot flashes and night sweats often continue well beyond menopause.

In the 2015 SWAN study, researchers found that hot flashes can go on for an average of 9-10 years. Importantly, those who experienced hot flashes for a longer time tended to be former smokers, overweight, stressed, depressed, or anxious.[i] These are also things that feed EBV (think emotional and environmental toxins) and trigger its rising out of dormancy. If it were just the sudden decline of estrogen prompting the sweating, perhaps this would not be the case.

According to William in an article on his blog, “the fact that symptoms [of menopause] manifested around the age of menopause was a coincidence.”[ii]  He talks about how prior to the 1950’s women actually looked forward to menopause. He explains that it is actually the fallout of radiation exposure from World War II, exposure to the pesticide DDT, and EBV — which was just beginning to affect the general population, and which resulted in mysterious symptoms — that we now associate with menopause. But since the blame was placed on hormones, women were given synthetic HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and then bioidenticals after HRT was linked with cancer. However, the effects were not lasting, and the suffering continued. Sadly, no one looked beyond hormones for the cause, or the solution.

What You Can Do NOW

Following the antiviral diet I describe for EBV in What You Need to Know About the Epstein Barr Virus and Cancer could be very helpful in alleviating the symptoms of EBV-related hot flashes and night sweats (and has many other benefits as well). Keeping the virus dormant is critical.

It is also important to support the liver so it can remove pathogens (try herbs such as milk thistle and dandelion root). Of course, it is essential to reduce exposure to radiation and to use protective nutrients and devices to lessen the effects of everyday, unavoidable exposure (yes, you can get rid of your hairdryer, but the refrigerator? ouch). Mint, blueberries, and flaxseed are just a few foods that help protect the body from radiation. The less toxins you feed your body and viruses the better (not just environmental toxins, but emotional toxins as well).

bitdot on watch

A device such as the bioDot that is attached to the back of my watch harmonizes EMFs so they are no longer harmful. To purchase a bioDot, see the link below.

Of course, we cannot ignore hormones completely. When we have thyroid issues or adrenal fatigue, our reproductive hormones become out of balance, contributing to not just hot flashes, but cancer as well. The point is we cannot just point the finger at hormones if we want to feel better.

Regardless of your take on this, it is food for thought — especially if despite all, you are still troubled with hot flashes and night sweats. It sure can’t hurt to keep an open mind, and the remedies are good for you and may lower your risk for cancer and it’s progression!

One note —  in this excellent article by William, What Doctors Are Missing About Your Menopause Symptoms, he recommends Schisandra berry to help flush estrogen from the body (it helps with night sweats too). Excellent recommendation, but please do not take this if you are taking Tamoxifen as it may decrease the effects of the medication. Please also know that tamoxifen is a known carcinogen. If that concerns you like it does me, know that there are alternatives.

For more interactions between drugs and herbal substances, please read the following:

Recommended Books for Herbal and Drug Interactions:

Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions: Plus Herbal Adjuncts with Medicines, 4th Edition

Herb, Nutrient, and Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies, 1e

You may also enjoy reading some of Anthony William’s books, and I highly recommend you do:

Thyroid Healing

Life Changing Foods

Medical Medium

Liver Rescue (Preorder)

To purchase a bioDot, click HERE and use the code energy10 for a 10% discount. I also use smartDots on my phone, hairdryer, router, and other devices.

This post is dedicated to all my amazing clients who are looking for answers. I hope this helps you to feel better and to propel you to ultimate wellness.

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link, and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

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[i] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/menopause-related-hot-flashes-night-sweats-can-last-years-201502237745

[ii] http://www.medicalmedium.com/blog/the-truth-about-menopause

Why EMF Exposure is a BIG DEAL

In Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cell Phones, EMFs and Health Risks, Fertility and Sperm Counts, Radiation, Uncategorized on March 18, 2018 at 10:25 am

Like it or not, exposure to health-challenging radiation is part of our lives these days. There is now little doubt that prolonged exposure to high levels of EMFs can affect our health. What researchers are trying to determine is just how severe the cumulative effects of EMFs are on our health.

Numerous studies show that mobile phone radiation causes brain tumors and should be classified as a probable human carcinogen.[i] There has also been an alarming trend over that past fifty years showing rapidly declining fertility rates. Many researchers attribute this in part to lower sperm counts from EMF exposure. EMFs have been linked to everything from eye and ear pain, impaired vision and hearing, and neurological symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, memory and concentration difficulties, insomnia, depression, and anxiety.

Sources of EMF Exposure:

hair dryer bio dotMost everyone these days knows that routine medical tests such as mammograms, CT, PET scans, and cellphones subject the body to significant doses of radiation. Even a mere trip to the dentist can result in a hefty dose.  But did you know that flying at high altitudes, sitting in front of a computer screen, placing a laptop on your lap, using a clock radio near your bed, using a cordless phone, blow-drying your hair—all of these seemingly innocuous activities are fraught with danger.

EMFs aren’t going anywhere. We need to begin to think seriously about how to find safe ways to use all of our electronics. Importantly, new 5G cellular technology in cell phones will have put the population at increased risk for many serious health problems with its ultra-high microwave frequencies. They use higher frequency bands than previously thought possible, increasing the health risks.

A Few Key Points and Studies:

  • Exposure to radiofrequency energy from mobile phones held next to the ear is associated with an increased incidence of brain cancers such as malignant gliomas
  • A strong correlation has also been found in women who tend to carry their cell phones in their bras with a high incidence of breast cancer in the area closest to the phone—many have reported the area of concern to ‘copy’ the form of the phone
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that, “electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones are possible carcinogenic to humans. A very recent study suggested that wireless transmitting devices (WTDs)–mobile phones, cordless phones, mobile phone-based stations, and Wi-Fi routers–be classified as a “probable human carcinogen”[ii]
  • EMFs from laptops directly impact DNA in reproductive organs and tissues, especially since there is no bone to protect this fragile area that houses the ovum or testicles[iii]
  • A 2014 study revealed that use of cell phones decreases human sperm mobility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation[iv]
  • A 2007 U.S. study found that the use of cell phones reduces the sperm count, motility, viability, and normal morphology of sperm in men[v]
  • A 2009 study confirmed that cell phone radiation leads to oxidative stress in human semen and that keeping a cell phone in pockets around the area of the genitalia can negatively impact male fertility[vi]
  • A 2102 study determined that laptops should be renamed as when these mobile devices are used on one’s lap, adverse health effects to adults and significant harm to a child in the womb can occur. [vii]
  • A 2014 study found that use of a laptop connected to internet through WiFi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation.[viii]
  • A recent 25 million-dollar government study by the National Toxicology Program has concluded that wireless radiation causes cancer

 What You Can Do to Lower Risk

First and foremost, it is extremely important to lower our exposure to these risks by keeping a distance from harmful devices. Also key is limiting the strength and length of time we are exposed to EMFs. It is recommended to eat a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods in order to minimize the adverse effects of EMFs. Dietary iodine helps to reduce the effects of radiation.

For those interested in fathering children, it would be best to avoid storing your cell phone in your pants pocket or putting that laptop on your lap (if you read the fine print, manufacturers warn about the dangers, likely as they see lawsuits on the horizon).

Some of the best ways to protect yourself from the negative impacts of EMFs are:

  • Reduce the time you are exposed to EMFs
  • Create distance between you and your electrical devices—keep routers, especially, in another room
  • Try not to put a cell phone directly to your head, in your bra, on your hip, or in your pocket. If you do store your cell phone against your body, try to limit how much time you do so and use protective devices
  • Use speaker phones or radiation-free headset devices for listening privately
  • Turn cell phones, tablets, and laptops on airplane mode whenever you can
  • Turn off Wi-Fi and use ethernet cables to wire your devices to the internet
  • Eat a diet rich in organic fruits, vegetables and other foods rich in antioxidants
  • Eat iodine-rich foods such as watercress, kale, kelp, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. An iodine supplement can also be helpful.

As time goes on, there will likely be more and more conclusive studies emerge about the effects of devices such as headphones, laptops, cellphones, and WiFi upon human health. To me, there are enough studies –you don’t have to wait for the damage to be done.

Recommended Devices (that I love):

This post has been updated to include an additional option for EMF protection.

Aires Shield series devices were designed to be used with small devices such as cell phones, cordless phones, tablets, and baby monitors.  Aires Defender product range includes devices that provide universal protection for the human body. These devices are designed as personal protectors, which are worn by the individual. Utilizing the full range of devices will help you reduce the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation that are impacting your health today. Right now AriesTech has a 30% off sale going on. Once this sale is over, enter the code elyn10 to get get 10% off.

BIO-SMART-DUO

Energy Dots —The duo pack bioDOT-smartDOT  includes a self-adhesive bioDOT and a self-adhesive smartDOT.  Wear the bioDOT to strengthen and support your energy.  Stick the smartDOT to your mobile device (or hairdryer, as pictured above) to re-tune the toxic emissions.  Use the two to protect yourself from radiation and increase your energy levels. Use this link and the code energy10 for 10% off all products.

Vibes Up Earth Grounding, EMF Protection and Sleep Aids (they have an excellent selection of remedies for sleep and EMFs).

EMF Detector (There are more expensive versions, for my needs, this works great)

 For More Information:

Are Your Headphones An EMF Health Risk?

How to Protect Yourself From EMF Radiation

Can Cell Phones Cause Cancer, Infertility; Are Our Children at Risk?

 Podcasts:

Dr Devra Lee Davis, PhD MPH shares with us the truth about cell phone radiation, what the industry has done to hide it, and how to protect your family: http://hipcast.com/podcast/HNqVpywQ

Lloyd Burrell talks about EMF’s and Your Health:  http://hipcast.com/podcast/Hr4YrrWs

[i] International Journal of Oncology, 46(5): 1865-1871. Morgan LL, Miller AB, Sasco A, Davis DL (2015); https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/radiation/electromagnetic-fields-fact-sheet

[ii] International Journal of Oncology, 46(5): 1865-1871. Morgan LL, Miller AB, Sasco A, Davis DL (2015)

[iii] http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(11)02678-1/abstract

[iv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074720/

[v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17482179

[vi] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19578660

[vii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22315933

[viii] http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(11)02678-1/abstract

Information on hairdryers and other personal care items:

Hairdryers, electric shavers, electric toothbrushes and similar personal grooming products can create very high (20-200 milligauss) magnetic fields at their normal operating distance. By comparison, EMF strengths as low as 2 milligauss are thought to increase the risk of leukemia and cancer in susceptible people[i]

[i] http://emwatch.com/emf-radiation-from-domestic-appliances/; https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/161/2/136/256503; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK232733/

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:
Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link, and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

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