The following is an Email that I wrote to a woman who was suffering terribly from chemo-induced menopause, resulting in signs of estrogen dominance (night sweats hot flashes, insomnia, etc.). She was prescribed Tamoxifen and told that her cancer was estrogen-receptive so that she couldn’t use the typical remedies used by other women. The Email discusses the benefits of The G.A.R.D. in situations like these as well as the use of lignans, antioxidants, essentials sugars, and other supplements in the fight against estrogen-related disease. Hopefully this letter serves to tie many of the topics covered on this Website together and helps the reader to see the big picture of medicine more clearly.
An Email to a Reader Concerning Estrogen Dominance:
It was great to hear from you and have you sign up for my Email group. By now you’ve received the introductory Email but I wanted to drop you a note with a few thoughts about your individual issue. I am so sorry that you are going through this very troubling time but I know that there is much that can be done to mitigate the damage that has been done and the symptoms you are experiencing.
First of all, The G.A.R.D. is really for everyone. There is no medical condition on earth that could not benefit from its application. In many cases, it is the solution and in others it is the only solution that will help at all. The biggest paradigm shift of man’s entire medical history is resulting from the knowledge that the very staples of our diet- gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye), dairy, soy and corn- are killing millions of us with each and every bite. What man has done to these “foods” (e.g. GMO) adds to our plight but most of these foods were mistakes from the very start. Wheat was the only healthy thing thousands of years ago but, even then, it may have been one of the things that limited man’s lifespan. But when we changed it forever 1500 years ago by blending original wheat with two “weeds” (triticum species) to create “common wheat”, it was changed forever. The other three of the “big 4” were mistakes from the moment we put them in our mouths for the very first time. Goat milk was and still is the universal foster milk. Soy should have been left in the ground in Asia and corn should have never been cultivated thousands of years ago from the useless plant it was back then.
Once we grasp the damage these four foods do the intestinal lining and the malabsorption syndrome they create (including the “leaky gut syndrome”), we are off and running. Then all we have to see is the direct harm these proteins can cause when they attach to individual tissue cells in our body (neurons, joints, liver, eyes, muscles, kidneys, etc.), inducing inflammation in those cells and changes in their function. From there, we should be able to grasp the universal benefits of eliminating these trouble foods from our diet as well as those of our carnivorous pets.
But then come the estrogenic effects of soy and dairy. We know that the estrogens in dairy brought the age of the first menses in our young girls down from 15 to 12.5 years. Soy has brought it down to single digits, with approximately 16.7% of our little girls having their first menstrual cycle by age 8. Wow! Add to that the xenoestrogens from the environment and the birth control pills in common use (many of which reportedly make their way into our city water supply) and we can easily see how estrogen dominance is occurring in both women and men (with erectile dysfunction being a sign).
Of course, yours is a special problem due to the chemo. But I wanted to go over the basics first because many tend to forget these when they have a particular diagnosis handed to them. It’s human nature and can even be a fault of doctors. “Oh, but we know the cause of your problem” kind of thing. A specific diagnosis does not negate the basics. It simply tells us what we need to focus on.
In your case, we also need to focus on the pituitary gland and adrenal glands which may have been injured by the chemo while we cover all of the rest of the bases. As you probably know, the adrenals produce cortisone and progesterone, the two most powerful anti-inflammatory agents in our body. Without them, inflammation runs rampant, which then triggers the residential organisms in our body- viruses and bacteria- to go into “over-adaptation mode”. They hate this kind of inflammation and cause the cells in which they reside to change in a desperate attempt to overcome the storm taking place outside their “home”. These changes often attract the immune system’s attention, leading to an escalating degree of inflammation that we call “autoimmune disease”.
This is what I call “phase two”- immune mediated diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid, sarcoidosis, scleroderma, etc.- which later gives way to phase three…cancer…when the immune system fails. As long as we have a competent immune system, we stay out of phase three unless we are simply overwhelmed by carcinogens. But when our immune system does fail- due to our ailing intestinal tract, malnutrition, continued intake of carcinogens, lack of rest and exercise, dehydration, etc.- we experience the final phase of adaptation that these viruses and bacteria can employ- tumor formation, which they perform in order to protect themselves and the cells they were put in charge of protecting. This is what these residential organisms are all about- adaptation. They don’t “cause” disease as much as they react to the insults that we keep tossing at them. Many have been lifetime residents, never causing problems in countless individuals. But when we do enough wrong, they will react. It’s what they do.
Estrogens, both our own and especially those we take into our body, pour gas all over this fire. So, part of the approach is to drastically reduce the amount of estrogens we are consuming by eliminating as many as we can and neutralizing the rest. That is where the study of xenoestrogens comes in. Everyone needs to Google that term. We then eliminate as many of those as possible.
The dietary sources of estrogen are mainly dairy and soy. While restricting our intake of these two, we should then begin to consume more of the estrogen-blocking foods, which are rich in lignans– weak estrogens that take up estrogen receptors and prevent the attachment of other estrogens. This is the basis of the Budwig Diet, which I believe to be partly correct in its formulation. This anti-breast cancer diet uses flax, which is a very effective lignan. But the diet also includes cottage cheese as the source of sulfur-containing amino acids (cysteine and methionine), reportedly needed for this diet to prevent and treat breast cancer. However, cottage cheese could contain estrogens (as well as potentially harmful microorganisms that can be derived from cow’s milk) that might reduce the effectiveness of the diet or even contribute to breast cancer. Why the formulator did not pick eggs as the source of these amino acids I do not know, unless it was the public misconception at the time that eggs contributed to high cholesterol (which they do not) or that dairy products are innately healthy (which they are not). Eggs are the richest source of sulfur-containing amino acids that we know of and should be great for this purpose without opening the door to all of the dairy intolerance issues we see so commonly.
So, the approach should be to focus on intestinal health, proper nutrition, the elimination of estrogens/xenoestrogens from the diet and environment, the health of the pituitary and adrenal glands, the elimination of as many toxins/pollutants/carcinogens as possible, and the use of antioxidants and nutriceuticals to neutralize the action of as many of the free radicals of pollution that we can’t control. That’s where the vitamin C, E, and grape seed extract come in as they are the main antioxidants, which help to neutralize the inflammation-provoking free radicals we are breathing in, eating and drinking every day. Omega three fatty acids are also crucial here as they are naturally anti-inflammatory and a critical nutrient when it comes to supporting our innate immune system, that part of our immunity that works to keep insults from ever reaching the cells. Essential sugars like glucosamine do the same thing. Glucosamine does much more than to simply protect our joints. The improvement in joint health is simply the thing we know the most about. This essential sugar helps other tissues as well. Glucosamine is converted to sialic acid by the liver which in turn becomes part of the protective coating of other cells, including the neurons. See how it all comes together.
I have mentioned the pituitary and adrenal glands. This letter is getting a little long so I would just encourage you to Google “adrenal health” and “pituitary health” and do a little reading. They, too, suffer from malnutrition and most of what we do to correct our overall health will benefit these glands. Plus, they will not be so over-worked once we stop the insults and reduce the inflammation. They get exhausted from being “over-worked” (excessive inflammation) and “under-paid” (malnutrition from poor and gut-damaging diets). Hey also suffer from the same “autoimmune” processes that affect other tissues. We now know that Addison’s Disease (severe adrenal insufficiency) is an immune-mediated disease just like hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s Disease).
Magnesium is worth mentioning here, though. Researchers estimate that 76% of people in the US are deficient in magnesium, which is crucial for the health of the pituitary and the other two areas of the brain- the hypothalamus and thalamus- that control pituitary function. Google “magnesium deficiency” and it reads like a “who’s who” of disease. Well, once we damage the “master gland” (the pituitary) or the areas that tell it what to do, what can’t happen to us? In fact, low thyroid, poor adrenal and ovarian functions, and many more problems can and do occur when this happens.
The main supplements I take are listed in the paper How to Start Treating Just About Anything. These include vitamin D3 (the vitamin of the millennium), omega three/grape seed extract combo (Moxxor), B complex (sublingual), selenium (for thyroid and immune function), kelp tablets (iodine for thyroid function), glucosamine, and vitamin C. I eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies and get as much sunlight as I can. I eat three eggs every morning along with millet and flax bread, citrus, dates, figs, pecans/walnuts and other fruit. I drink lots of filtered water and get as much exercise as time allows. I cook most meals and avoid sugar and junk food like the plague. A little dark chocolate goes a long way for me. J
I know this might seem like an impossible task but I have been doing this for almost ten years now and it has become a lifestyle that I will never change. I am now “addicted” to feeling good. I haven’t been sick in years, which is amazing when I look back at my medical history.
I believe that anyone can do this if they truly understand the importance of diet and are motivated enough to change. This takes some time to sink in for most people but hopefully makes sense. There have been numerous fad diets come down the pike, many of which have spoiled people’s ability to see the truth about nutrition. Many diets (e.g. Atkins and Blood type diets) are pieces of the puzzle.
The GARD’s approach is grounded in known medical fact and the results prove it. I have seen medical miracles occur, especially in neurological conditions such as epilepsy, ADHD, autism, peripheral neuropathy and MS. The IBS, heartburn, and allergies are easy. They are part of “phase one” and the symptoms experienced in that period are easily reversed. But as we progress into phase two- the “autoimmune diseases”- things get tougher. Once we’re in phase three, we have to be exceptionally vigilant in our approach. But I no longer put any limitations on what these miraculous bodies can do. The only limitations that I know of are what we are willing and able to accomplish in the way of correcting our own mistakes, most of which we didn’t even know we were doing. The damage from cigarettes should be a no-brainer but the true paradigm shift comes when we see that the very staples of our diet- the “big 4”- are doing immeasurable amounts of harm to countless individuals- two and four legged- with every single bite. When we grasp that, we are off and running down the path of improved health and experiencing recoveries that we never thought possible.
I hope this helps,
John B. Symes, D.V.M. (aka ” Dogtor J “)
Now on facebook (DogtorJ)
Read- How to Start Treating Just About Anything