PLEASE NOTE All the research papers on this Web have been written by Sue Visser and will be forming part of a book she is writing. Although you are welcome to read them, you will have to ask for permission to publish or lecture about any part of her original work. You would be held responsible for any errors they might contain. (There are often important updates that have to be included )
HORMONAL IMBALANCES. STRESS, H.R.T., LOW SEX DRIVE,STEROIDS
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY by : Sue Visser April 1999
A hormone is a substance that is released into the bloodstream to regulate bodily functions. Hormones act as chemical messengers to create specific effects that control and coordinate activities in the body such as metabolism, reproduction, growth and development.
Over 30 hormones are produced by the human body. Hormone is a Greek word, meaning : to set in motion and hormone means: to stir up. Hormonal activity is controlled by the pituitary gland that is situated at the base of the skull. This gland reacts to stimuli from the hypothalamus of the brain that monitors our emotional status as well as direct feedback from glandular output. The body uses hormones to tell various organs what to do .The situation is assessed by the brain, based on the way you are feeling as well as the condition of each organ, hormonal level and system in the body.
The hypothalamus of the brain is like a central processing unit of a computer. The hormones from the pituitary gland only give specialised instructions to endocrine glands and other sites of hormonal manufacture. An endocrine gland is a ductless gland, so hormones are secreted directly into the bloodstream where they are rapidly transported to tissues and organs. The pancreas has a duct for releasing other digestive enzymes but within it are the islets of Langerhans, the beta cells that secrete insulin. The hormone glucagon also comes from this gland. These two hormones raise or lower our blood sugar by giving out instructions that are then carried out by the liver and other groups of cells and tissues. Even a single cell can respond to a hormone as it is equipped with special receptor sites that the hormones attach to when they arrive at the end of their journey from an endocrine gland.
The cell has many receptor sites but each has a particular shape that accepts or rejects the messenger. Foreign substances such as fats or sugar often take over these receptor sites and block the activity of the hormone. Even when endocrine glands are healthy, hormonal activity may not be effective due to this type of communication error.
The genetic make up of plant and animal cells ensures the possibility of hormonal activity being expressed from within each cell and to neighboring cells. Cellular communication takes place with the aid of hormones and neurotransmitters. Hormones of all types circulate around the body and often bear no relationship to their site of manufacture or to the organs they may be present in. This is why we find gastrointestinal hormones in the brain, for instance.
Cancer cells in abnormally acidic areas with a faulty DNA structure (from, for instance, free radical damage by the sun or toxins) can unexpectedly start to make hormones and this in turn may explain how other cells can become cancerous. In the human body specialist glands and cells produce a diversity of hormones but they have to be controlled by the pituitary gland which in turn is controlled by the brain which responds to your own mental and emotional state of mind. This may serve as an explanation as to how the mind can cause or cure cancer of a hormonal type. We can communicate directly with hormones via our thoughts to our brain and they can communicate directly with each cell, tissue and organ of the body.
Hormones rely on enzymes and specific precursors for their manufacture. If there is a lack of a particular hormone the body will respond by making a new supply. Communication takes place between the stimulating agents and the hormone producing mechanisms. For example, calcium and adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP) initiate the making of steroids or (steroidogenesis). We know that athletes are disqualified for taking steroids. We immediately think of Russian females with hairy chests and huge muscular thighs. Anabolic steroids can do that. But a steroid is merely a 17 carbon atom arranged in a 4 linked ring. The diagram looks like a piece of honeycomb with four cells and is easy to recognize. Carbon, hydrogen or oxygen atoms latch onto these hexagons in different ways, giving rise to a large family of steroids and the original sponsoring substances we call precursors. Basically they are all constructed in the same way, with the distinctive four rings. Steroid hormones are made in specialized plant and animal cells from certain nutrients and enzymes according to instructions given by other hormones. We consume steroids in foods such as soy beans, sweet potatoes and liquorice.
This is why we can have certain reactions to certain foods. Eating a lot of liquorice will cause one to swell up because liquorice contains the steroid hormone : aldosterone which controls the balance of sodium and potassium in your body and this affects the amount of water you retain or excrete. This hormone prepares you for a stressful event such as running through the desert whilst you flee for your life so it retains water for the journey by shutting off the diuretic hormone and activating the antidiuretic hormone.
If you drink a glass of apple cider, the potassium it contains will cancel the antidiuretic hormone, reactivate the diuretic hormone and you run to the toilet and excrete far more liquid than you had to drink! We make our own steroids effortlessly although we often neglect to supply vital nutrients for the stress hormones we run out of in later life and our steroid factories pack up, leaving us dependent on supplements in order to survive. The steroid we all enjoy making is Vitamin D. Believe it or not, Vitamin D is also a 19 carbon atom with a 4 ringed structure. All we have to do is expose our skin to the sunlight in order to photosynthesise Vitamin D out of the raw material, cholesterol which is transported in the blood in the low density format we are familiar with as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. We think of this as “bad” cholesterol but LDL is the only form used for making all our steroids out of. This substance is converted to pregnenolone and then progesterone which gives rise to: cortisone, aldosterone, DHEA, estrogen and testosterone.
Some people do not have enough cholesterol to make these hormones and they become seriously ill. The main cause for reduced hormonal output is a lack of enzymes, essential fatty acids and micronutrients. The body makes steroids out of its own cholesterol. Plant precursors with a similar structure known as ecdysteroids, eg: yam, hypoxis, typhus, soya, etc. can also contribute to steroid manufacture within the body. However, some of these plants are toxic and hormones like estrogen and cortisone are developed from them in laboratories to be used for hormone replacement therapy. THE THREE GROUPS OF SEX STEROIDS ARE:.21-carbon series- corticoids and progesterone 19-carbon series- androgens eg: DHEA, testosterone 18-carbon series- estrogens: estriol, estrone, estradiol
Does it work? Are there alternatives? Do we really need extra hormones ?
by Sue Visser
We develop medicines to do the work that our bodies were designed to do and create a complex new chain of incurable chronic diseases. By not stimulating and supporting our immune systems we have fallen victim to a host of killer viruses that we cannot defend ourselves against. We pollute our air, land and water. We eat plants and animals that have assimilated these toxins and when we get sick, we unquestioningly consume medications and hormones to get better, regardless of dangerous or toxic side effects. If we don’t improve, we demand more chemicals and toxins, pay more money and complain bitterly.
Can you believe it? We were created with magnificent bodies that are fully equipped to cope with diseases, stress and other hardships. Has the instruction manual been forgotten in the rush to spend more time achieving less and less? Health is our greatest asset. As it declines, money cannot buy it back for you and hormone supplements could be causing more damage than you bargained for. Even Hippocrates used to say: Let your food be your medicine. Do you believe that you can make your own hormones throughout your life?
Today many of us seem incapable of granting our creator with any intelligence with regard to how we have been designed to cope with all the natural processes we experience in a lifetime. The assumption is that, as highly civilized beings, there are many things we can do better than the body does. For instance, we have taken it upon ourselves to produce and supply hormones for ourselves. What a splendid idea, we say. Let us convince people that the only way to survive is to take hormones. We will not bother to investigate the initial cause of the deficiency. There is also no need to understand the delicate interplay between the body and it’s hormonal activities. That would not do. If a symptom can be taken at face value, all one needs is a prescription for the hormone we suspect is not doing it’s particular job and away we go. Or better still, we can jump onto the natural hormonal bandwagon and help ourselves to all sorts of hormonal panaceas.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Let’s be honest. If this way of thinking and acting has genuinely renewed our constitutions and released oodles of health and well being along the way, our hospitals would not be so full. Our Medical Aids would not be groaning and our doctors would not be so frustrated by patients who can’t seem to make any sense out of a complex and tangled web of therapeutic options. Hormone supplements do have a vital role to play in the Medical world. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, hormones have saved and improved the lives of thousands of people without causing any negative side effects. Hormonal replacement therapy has also caused the deaths of thousands of people, causing cancer and major constitutional imbalances along the way. Fortunately most death certificates can be filled out to deny the actual cause of death. Cardiac arrest and hypoxia will usually suffice .
Let us get acquainted with hormones. If we want to take them, let us at least know what they do, where they come from and how they are manufactured. Can we make our own hormones or change the levels of some hormones ourselves, by thinking and acting differently? Yes we can.
Hormones affect the mind, body and soul. Conversely, the mind, body and soul affect our hormones. the endocrine system happens to coincide with the seven major chakra points. These are known as energy gateways and any Kirilan photograph or aura scan on a computer will show you the activity of the energy fields that reside over your endocrine glands. So, yes, the mind does affect the endocrine system and you can see the changes happen in these energy fields.
Thoughts of fear, anger, hate and envy stimulate the release of adrenalin. The energy field shows this, quite clearly. Some people can see this energy and read it like a book. Most of us think they come from another planet and no orthodox scientist would believe them. That’s like saying you have never seen a movie on cable TV. Just because you don’t have a decoder, it does not mean the movie wasn’t showing. It simply means that you don’t have a decoder and you don’t pay a monthly fee to see the movies that other people see. At this stage, all we are concerned about is the fact that hormones do have a relationship with our metaphysical component and there is sufficient evidence of this.
Hormone levels are different in people because of their mind and body interactions. A stressed individual will soon burn out his adrenals, just because of his attitude. People who meditate regularly have much healthier adrenals. People who feed their bodies correctly, supply sufficient raw materials for adequate hormonal output. There are those who know of the exact quantity of herb, vitamin or mineral to take to restore any hormonal function providing an endocrine gland is not already beyond repair. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine are superb examples of how this is done, using just about any plant, animal or mineral substance as a medicine.
Some people have sufficient faith to achieve miracles, using only prayer, meditation and a positive attitude. Spontaneous remission of an incurable or terminal disease has been well documented and many people have been fully restored to health again without any medications or surgery. Brilliant scientific research has achieved another miraculous breakthrough : complete restoration of a damaged endocrine gland using cellular transplants from foetal tissue. This renders the patient a lifetime of freedom from having to take daily hormonal supplements such as insulin. At this stage, simply know that we can make positive and negative changes to just about any hormonal level without administering a single foreign hormone or dangerous drug that may have side effects. We can gather this evidence in laboratories by analysing blood, urine and saliva specimens.
The liver breaks down most of the hormones we swallow. Could this be beneficial or counterproductive for us? What of the high levels of xenoestrogens we ingest from chemically aberrated foods: these counterfeit estrogens aggressively latch onto normal estrogen receptor cites. They interfere with our hormonal activity and have alerted us to the condition of “estrogen dominance” in males, females and our precious wildlife. In turn, this has lowered the age of reaching puberty by a few years and some young boys develop increased amounts of breast tissue.
Infertility has risen by over 50% in the last number of years. These false estrogens accumulate in the liver if they are not broken down and excreted. During the estrogen dominant phase of a woman’s monthly cycle she often complains of sore breasts, especially around the armpits. She also gets headaches or migraines. The estrogen overload in the liver takes it’s toll at this time. The body has to cope with hormonal excesses as well as deficiencies. A healthy liver is able to recognise and eliminate foreign compounds and toxins more efficiently than a sluggish, fat bound organ that cannot even process normal meals, let alone fake hormones.
Estrogen can be displaced by progesterone and vica versa . Treating symptoms of estrogen dominance that have been mistaken for signs of hormonal withdrawal cannot justify additional HRT in the form of even more estrogen. As many a lady will tell you, it really is not the answer. Bloating, fatigue, bad moods and continuous weight gain will get worse with more estrogen.
Estrogen supplements will certainly increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. In the cases where estrogen is contraindicated, alternatives are not always given. Nor is any nutritional advice. Thus, one wonders if it is the well-being of the menopausal woman that is of primary concern or the sales of estrogen? Triumphant purveyors of progesterone have a more justified case. Progesterone will shift back the excess estrogen and exert a more positive influence on the tissue acidity that estrogen causes. In turn this helps to prevent cancer from developing.
When we address the procedure of supplying hormones in response to what we observe as symptoms of hormonal deficiencies, the process of hormone manufacture by the body is unnaturally altered. If circumstances for hormonal production are not ideal, the stimulating mechanisms for releasing hormones will continue to make demands which can no longer be met by the various sites of hormone manufacture. This process can be compared to the simple analogy of Mary baking cakes. She needs eggs, flour, butter, milk, sugar and baking powder. If she has to supply five cakes for a party, but the flour is missing, there will be no cakes. She apologizes to the disappointed family who ask her to buy five cakes from the shop. They did not ask her why there were no cakes and she didn’t tell them. Next time there’s a party, even more cakes are bought from the shop. Mary’s feelings are hurt. Nobody had brought her the flour. She has a perfect oven, all the other ingredients and plenty of time. Now her friends prefer cakes from the shop. After a while Mary’s eggs go rotten, and she becomes too lazy to bake her own cakes. She gives up because her friends no longer want them. She throws away her stove
Mary can be compared to one of our endocrine glands that produce hormones. If hormone levels drop, should we immediately supply hormone tablets ? What if the gland is still healthy but certain enzymes, nutrients or communications are out of balance. How do we know that hormone supplements are not going to cause an endocrine gland to atrophy or become damaged ? For example, a low thyroid hormone status : Could it be symptomatic of other deficiencies? Regular doses of thyroxin will restore the hormone levels but the feedback loop of supply and demand will change and before you know it, the body begins to prefer the new replacement to making it’s own hormones and the gland will atrophy. Just like Mary when she ran out of flour.
We all know that iodine is essential for making thyroid hormones. Who would dare to treat an iodine deficiency with thyroxin? What of insulin, cortisone or estrogen? Isn’t it easier to dose patients with these hormones anyway, regardless of the deficiency of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes ? In acute cases, if the body needs a boost of cortisone, it seems to be beneficial, but administering the essential micronutrients will also work, as it will restore the endogenous supply of cortisone, at exactly the correct levels, thus avoiding harmful side effects, withdrawal symptoms and long-term cortisone dependence. In the meantime, are we aware that cortisone, especially regular doses interfere with insulin which forces the blood sugar up for long periods of time.
Cortisone is an insulin antagonist. Who told you that? We develop diabetes in later life and some of us eventually regress to full-time insulin dependence. Why? Because nobody helps us to make our own insulin. Nobody teaches us about glucose tolerance or how to improve the potency of insulin. We don’t believe in eating the proper foods to control blood sugar levels in the first place because we are taught to treat low blood with sweets, glucose , chocolate bars and Coke.
We also have to take cortisone for other diseases we develop along the way. Why? because we thought that cortisone only comes from pills and injections. We prefer to put the adrenal glands to sleep, they burnt out a long time ago. Nobody warns us that cortisone is one of the major insulin antagonists and so is too much thyroxine. How can diabetes be avoided when we use hormone supplements that are given according to prescription?
The communication between the natural hormone sites and the pituitary gland has been bypassed and there is no control. The insulin cannot function due to these antagonists and it should be no surprise to find higher sugar levels in the urine. Is the insulin at fault? The impaired glucose tolerance in this case may have nothing to do with a so-called lack of insulin. If we now supplement with insulin, the circus can continue. Too much insulin causes the classic attack of hypoglycemia. The patient is taught to immediately remedy the situation with glucose before they collapse into a coma.
Some little children go to school with their diabetic kit and a chocolate bar. Adults have been encouraged to drink fizzy drinks.(8 spoons of sugar and loads of phosphates to add to the acidic burden). The glucagon that should be naturally restoring the blood sugar has long been forgotten. A steady stream of insulin encourages obesity as a bonus. Who needs to complicate matters by releasing stored blood sugar when eating the real thing is now fully justified. Of course, unlike endogenous glycogen released in the exact quantity, the latest pig out on sugar by the uninitiated diabetic causes the sugar levels to surge up again, requiring more insulin. By now the patient is not feeling too good. Increased acidity in the blood is beginning to take it’s toll and the free radicals are setting in for a feast. Without sufficient antioxidants for protection, the pancreas is vulnerable to attack. Beta cells are steadily destroyed, heralding the initial stages of true insulin dependent diabetes. With many years of uncontrolled insulin therapy and no adjustments from the pituitary gland, the classic diabetic patient emerges.
We have all heard of a total burn out. It’s very easy to achieve. All you need is loads of stress and a deficiency of one B Vitamin : Calcium D Pantothenate or Vitamin B5. This vitamin is vital to the production of cortisone, the stress hormone. After constantly producing copious quantities of cortisone, the adrenals run out of essential raw materials.
As your levels of cortisone decrease, you become quarrelsome, hot-tempered, tearful or easily upset. You develop low blood pressure, dizziness, extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, sleepiness, constipation, rapid pulse on exertion, sore throats, lots of colds and flu and asthma. Your stomach churns and twists into knots and it feels like an ulcer is on it’s way. The feeling of excessive acidity is, ironically, a sure symptom of a lack of hydrochloric acid. Other digestive enzymes begin to falter and so does your digestion.
Allergies develop as do food intolerances. Sugar cravings increase and hypoglycemia sets in. If other stress nutrients such as Vitamin C, E, B2 and B6 are in short supply, the symptoms can become even more severe ,if not fatal. Cortisone supplements are usually given to take the place of these nutrients and continued doses of this hormone creates imbalances that in turn , require more and more hormones. Is this the way to go?
Changes during menopause
During the menopause we also tend to override this delicate mechanism of supply and demand and the body will react accordingly, just like Mary and the cakes. What we must understand about the female menopause is that it is a changeover from ovarian production of the sex steroids : estrogen, progesterone, and the androgens: testosterone and DHEA to the alternative site in the adrenal cortex where other steroids like cortisone are also made. It is a time of glandular adjustment and some of the discomforts involved are merely just that: hormones under new management.
Given the correct circumstances and raw materials, the new post reproductive phase can be launched and maintained without any additional foreign hormones. The logic in only replacing the estrogens with an extract from pregnant mare’s urine as a justification for relieving women of their midlife crises is mysterious. Especially as the risk of cancer is increased to say nothing of heart disease. Other indignities are: bloating, increased fat deposits and unavoidable weight gain. Now that these effects have been caused, we seem to feel the need for having a crack at adding progesterone. So-called natural progesterone is just a lucrative manoeuvre to load another naturally artificial hormone into the body without again seeking to understand the circumstances that may be inhibiting the synthesis of the woman’s own hormones.
As soon as we give medicines that prevent the body from performing its own natural functions we are once again reverting from the simple to the complicated approach. The body is going to react. Firstly by shutting down it’s natural communication and feedback system and then by going on strike at the sites of hormone manufacture. If you supply the real thing instead of the raw materials, the gland will cease to excrete any more hormones. When the gland begins to atrophy or suffer from free radical damage within the inner structures, it can become tumorous or the tiny blood vessels clog up with dead blood cells and scar tissue. All because we ignore the need for hormonal precursors and correct nutrition during menopause.
The final blow is dealt by now having adrenal glands that are unable to function as a back up system at this stage. Throughout our lives we use our adrenals to deal with stress. Copious quantities of stress hormones are excreted in response to negative emotions we indulge in such as anger, jealousy, hate, frustration or envy. These are apart from everyday stresses resulting from work, environment, travel and our modern lifestyles. We service our car and fill the petrol tank regularly, knowing full well that we have to look after our wheels. How about the adrenal glands and the extra load they are having to carry? Before we think of helping out with more cortisone, HRT and other hormones off the shelf, let us look at the type of maintenance they require and what has to be done at the panel beaters before they can perform again at peak levels.
Estrogens are not only manufactured in the ovarian stroma ( connective tissue surrounding the ovary). They are also found in abundance in males as well as plants . All steroid hormones have the same basic structure. A minor variation in the configuration of the carbon atoms determines their diverse functions. There are three groups of sex steroids and they are all derivatives of the major building block: cholesterol. They all share the same four-ringed structure that is linked together to form a base to which the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms attach themselves . These atoms can be altered by various mechanisms. In laboratories, any hormone can be synthesized. Basic plant materials such as soya are converted into hormones or animal glands and urine can provide a base for hormonal extraction. Hormones are interchangeable between mammals as well as plants. A low hormonal output can thus be rectified in two ways: by adding new hormones or encouraging the body to make its own hormones .
The body is able to transform plant precursors into steroid hormones and does so in response to any low level of hormone that is reported to the pituitary gland, given the appropriate substances to undertake this activity. Although the subject is debatable, there is new evidence to support this fact.
A lack of enzymes and micronutrients to complete the chemical reaction may have accounted for earlier results that were not as convincing. The Mexican Yam controversy is an example of a withdrawal from using a phytosteroid precursor and replacing it with the finished hormone in a subcutaneously absorbable cream. Today many natural progesterone creams contain the actual hormone and as Mexican Yams are no longer so abundant, soy beans are used. This is just another form of HRT and the body is not being encouraged to make it’s own hormones.( 8 ) Plant steroids known as ecdysteroids belong to a group of phytosterols that can be metabolized by mammals to either androgen or estrogen-like substances.( 7 ) It is important for the body to respond to it’s own lack of hormones before swamping it with the finished commercial product. By providing the correct enzymes and hormonal precursors to these endocrine glands, we can restore their normal function and avoid having to take hormonal supplements or HRT for the rest of our lives.
If the body makes it’s own selection, the hormones are provided at the correct time in the right quantities. Making our own hormones bypasses the hit and miss approach we have in trying to override the intricate planning and timing of the pituitary gland that God gave us. This natural process is not limited to the number of years it is considered to be safe to take HRT before the threat of developing cancer becomes a reality.( 8 ) Thus phytosterols offer us an opportunity to give our endocrine systems another chance to make up for the shortfall of hormones we think we need so badly at the time of menopause.
All we need to do is supply the right ingredients and the body does the rest! If we eat a progesterone precursor from the yam species, it may be toxic or be destroyed by the liver. So we can either rub it onto our skin so that it bypasses the liver or we can introduce it directly into the bloodstream. The safest way of doing this is to make a tincture from a non toxic yam. When a correct dosage has been calculated, all we have top do is take a few drops into the mouth so that it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This plant extract can then be converted into progesterone, estrogen, androgens or any other steroid hormone the pituitary gland gives the signal to make.
The lifespan of the ovaries as a site for estrogen manufacture is limited to the menopause. Subsequent adjustments are then activated via a complex series of communications between the hypothalamus of the brain, the pituitary gland and the adrenal cortex. At this stage the adrenal glands become the primary source of estrogen. Thus the postmenopausal woman begins to make her estrogen in the same way that males do. Her testosterone levels increase slightly, the post reproductive phase begins naturally and easily as it is a normal process, not an illness.
We are constantly warned of the connection between high levels of cholesterol and heart disease and we believe the myth to such an extent that we consume poisonous trans-fatty acids in margarine to stay healthy. Does cholesterol come from all the fatty foods that we are forbidden to eat? The cholesterol confusion causes high blood pressure. People argue about it and get so angry about defending their point of view that their blood pressure rises. We can make cholesterol in the liver out of carbohydrates like pasta and white bread, believe it or not. Some people eat loads of eggs, fats and red meat. Yet they have very low cholesterol levels. It depends on your genetic make up.
Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance that is found in all animal fats and oils including the blood and most bodily tissues. It is another member of the steroid family with the same four ringed structure as estrogen, Vitamin D, etc. It thus serves as the precursor of many other steroid hormones as they all originate from it .
Cholesterol is transported by lipoproteins of which there are five categories. All types of cholesterol are made from the original substance called a chylomicron that is composed of 10% cholesterol and 90% triglycerides. Lipoproteins transport fats in the bloodstream. Cholesterol in the high-density lipoprotein format (HDL) is also derived from this initial substance but the low-density (LDL), very low -density and intermediate-density lipoproteins are stages in between whereby the protein is converted to its highest phospholipid content. The conversion process from low- to high- density lipoproteins relies on fat soluble anti-oxidants such as vitamin E and Vitamin A . Otherwise the level of oxidized low-density lipoproteins gets too high in the bloodstream and the risk of heart disease increases. Conversely, as soon as these levels are lowered by cellular uptake, liver metabolism or the conversion to high-density lipoprotein, there is a decreased risk of heart disease although the overall cholesterol reading may appear to be high, ( 1)
INCREASED RISK OF ATHEROSCLEROTIC DISEASE = low HDL + high LDL
DECREASED RISK OF ATHEROSCLEROTIC DISEASE= high HDL + low LDL
Some of this low-density lipoprotein is also used up in the process of making hormones for the body or it can be broken down and excreted by the liver. The rate of cholesterol metabolism depends on the individual amount of LDL receptor sites you have in your cells, especially in the liver where LDL cholesterol is lowered.
We make our own hormones throughout our lives. A deficiency of a steroid hormone such as cortisone or dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) will arise in later life, especially during prolonged stress if an endocrine gland runs out of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, enzymes and hormonal precursors. Another reason for a lack of hormones is from a direct injury to the gland or from an autoimmune disease. In such cases, a lack of anti-oxidants will result in free radical damage to the hormone releasing cells inside the gland. If an endocrine gland does not produce hormones continuously, it will also shrivel up and cease to function. This can happen if we supply the body with hormone replacements without sufficient proof that the affected gland no longer functions. By automatically supplying hormones such as cortisol in response to a low blood level, we place our adrenal glands in a precarious position: They are still functioning but the low output of cortisol may be due to one or all of the following dietary deficiencies:
PANTOTHENIC ACID: VITAMIN B5.A deficiency causes the glands to shrivel and fill up with dead cells. This vitamin helps to replace the cholesterol in the endocrine gland once the cortisone has been released. All steroid hormones are based on cholesterol. Even if all the other nutrients are present, if there is no cholesterol in the gland, due to this one missing vitamin, these hormones cannot be produced. An adequate dose of Vitamin B5 can restore hormonal production within 24 hours.(A D p 12)
CHOLESTEROL. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is the soluble form of cholesterol used as the base material for making all our steroid hormones. It requires Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid for transport into endocrine glands from the bloodstream. This LDL cholesterol is converted to pregnenelone and becomes progesterone which gives rise to: cortisone, aldosterone, DHEA, estrogen, testosterone and pituitary hormones. (Gyne p7)(DHEA p4-7) In exceptional cases, very low cholesterol also prevents these hormones from being made. Plant sterols and sterolins are often used to boost the human endocrine system by supplying raw materials to make hormones. They are insoluble waxy substances like cholesterol and ergosterol which is a plant precursor to Vitamin D (collins)
LINOLEIC ACID, ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS,VITAMIN A, B2, & E. These nutrients are also crititcal to the production of hormones and any deficiency will cause a decreased output that can be restored by as much as 90% if the missing vitamins are once again made available.
Although this vitamin is not critical to the manufacture of hormones, a deficiency causes endocrine glands to haemorrhage and clog up with dead blood cells. When this happens, hormonal output is affected. Vitamin C. also accelerates and improves the utilization of steroid hormones.
EXCESSIVE CORTISOL : THE CAUSE OF DIABETES AND OSTEOPOROSIS? By Sue Visser
Although we need cortisol all the time, constantly high levels of this hormone affects us adversely.
As cortisol is designed to raise the blood sugar levels to prepare the body for physical activity in order to execute the fight or flight instruction from the pituitary hormones, too many false alarms are given when we express negative emotions. The blood sugar is not used up and it has to go somewhere. Insulin is released to mop up the glucose and convert it back into glycogen and triglycerides for storage. This in turn overstimulates the pancreas and beta cells begin to take strain. As the blood sugar goes up and down, the situation is aggravated by excessive sugar intake due to one’s own reaction to hypoglycaemia. When this low level of blood sugar is detected, the adrenals are forced to release more cortisol in order to raise it again. Sooner or later insulin sensitivity decreases and so does the output of insulin. Blood sugar surges up, escapes into the urine and the patient becomes thirsty. Urination increases and essential water balancing minerals like potassium begin to leach out of the cells. This typical prediabetic condition is often a direct result of excessive cortisone from medications used for allergies or asthma, etc. as well as prolonged stress reactions. Additional micronutrient deficiencies also play a role in decreased insulin sensitivity and output and a lack of protection for the endocrine glands under stress.
Raised cortisol levels suppress immune function and cause acidity in cells and tissues. This acidity has to be constantly neutralised by removing calcium from the bones if dietary intake is insufficient. High cortisone levels are directly associated with osteoporosis.(Silent p 19) The hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is used to balance an excess of cortisol. As DHEA levels decline rapidly during stress in later years, it can no longer match cortisol levels as it should. Especially when cortisol medications are given. Thus, it is preferable to always administer DHEA with steroid hormones to restore the balance, especially in cancer patients as it has other immune boosting properties.(Serf p 99-100) . Attending to low levels of DHEA before such diseases are manifest is an even greater advantage.
The link between DHEA and cortisol is progesterone. It is a precursor to both these hormones, so the body is able to supply them throughout our lives. The only problem would be in supplying the correct information and materials to the endocrine glands involved. Without progesterone and cholesterol these hormones cannot be made. Estrogen production has similar requirements. They require all the appropriate nutrients, but progesterone is of prime importance. The name : progesterone makes us think of pregnancy and rightly so. The reason females have to produce large amounts of progesterone every time the endometrium builds up in anticipation of nurturing a foetus is for providing the new baby with a means of making it’s supply of corticosteroids, including high levels of DHEA. (Phys p 497)
Both males and females require progesterone to make corticosteroids. If we supply the body with a ready made progesterone, we interfere with the health of our endocrine glands and their delicate feedback mechanisms to and from the pituitary gland. The only alternative we have is to provide an adequate supply of endocrine nutrients : essential fatty acids, calcium D Pantothenate, and vitamin B2, B6, etc. as well as steroid precursors we get from plants like yams, soy, etc. The development of non toxic medications from these miraculous plants now enables us to take a measured dose of these ecdysteroids (plant hormonal precursors) both safely and effectively . By measuring and recording the dosages and the individual’s reaction to them, an ideal system of fine tuning can be established. The use of soya as a means of moderating estrogen dominance is also important.. An amount of 25 g of soya protein is recommended as a daily supplement, especially for those at risk of breast, uterine or prostate cancer.
REFERENCES USED IN THIS SECTION
1 Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility by L.Speroff, R.H. Glass, N.G.Kase
2 Conversations with God by Neale Walsch. p 278, 297
3 Dr Schuessler’s Biochemistry by J.B. Chapman
4 Health trough God’s Pharmacy by Maria Treben
5 How to use the 12 Tissue Salts by E. Chapman
6 Let’s Get Well by Adelle Davis.p12,13
7 Medicinal Plants of South Africa by B. Van Wyk, B. Van Oudtshoorn, N. Gericke.
8 Natural alternatives to HRT by Dr. M. Glenville
9 Textbook of Physiology by G. Bell, D. Smith, C. Paterson. p 39, 90, 91, 490, 491, 462, 463,
10 The Collins Concise English Dictionary. Second Edition
11 The Penguin Medical Encyclopedia by P Wingate.
12 World Book Encyclopedia.
13 Your Gateway to Health and Wealth by Prof. W. Serfontein