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Articles on HRT & Synthetic Hormones

Why Not Take Estrogen Alone?
Estrogen Should Always Be Balanced By Natural Progesterone Because...

1. Progesterone is a primary precursor in the biosynthesis of the adrenal corticosteroids. Without adequate progesterone, synthesis of the cortisones is impaired and the body turns to alternate pathways. These alternate pathways have masculine-producing side effects such as long facial hairs and thinning of scalp hair. Further impaired corticosteroid production results in a decrease in the ability to handle stress, e.g., surgery, trauma or emotional stress.

Many peri- or post-menopausal women with clinical signs of hypothyroidism,
such as fatigue, lack of energy, intolerance to cold, are actually suffering from unrecognized estrogen dominance and will benefit from supplementation with natural progesterone.

3. Estrogen and most of the synthetic progestins increase intracellular sodium and water uptake. The effect of this is hypertension. Natural progesterone is a natural diuretic and prevents the cell's uptake of sodium and water, thus preventing hypertension.

4. Whereas estrogen impairs homeostatic control of glucose levels, natural progesterone stabilizes them. Thus, natural progesterone can be beneficial to both those with diabetes and those with reactive hypoglycemia. Estrogen should be contraindicated in patients with diabetes.

5. Thinning and wrinkled skin is a sign of lack of hydration in the skin. It is common in peri- and post-menopausal women and is a sure sign of hormone depletion. Both estrogen and progesterone restores skin hydration.

6. Progesterone serves a role in keeping brain cells healthy. A disorder such as premature senility (Alzheimer's disease) may be, at least in part, another example of disease secondary to progesterone deficiency.

7. Progesterone is essential for the healthy development of the myelin sheath which protects the nerve cells. Low progesterone levels lead to recurring aches and pains.

8. Progesterone creates and promotes an enhanced sense of emotional well being and psychological self-sufficiency.

9. Progesterone is responsible for enhancing the libido. [John R. Lee, M.D., Slowing The Aging Process with Natural Progesterone, BLL Publishing, CA, USA, 1994,p.14] 



Estrogen's role in osteoporosis is only a minor one. Estrogen replacement will reduce bone breakdown, but only progesterone increases new bone growth or deposition. Progesterone deficiency results in bone loss. In a three year study of 63 post-menopausal women with osteoporosis, women using transdermal progesterone cream experienced an average 7 to 8% bone mass density increase in the first year, 4 to 5% the second year, and 3 to 4% in the third year. Untreated women in this age category typically lose 1.5% bone mass density per year.[3] Dr. Lee believes that the use of natural progesterone in conjunction with dietary and lifestyle change can not only stop osteoporosis but can actually reverse it - even in women aged over 70.

Effects of Estrogen Dominance

1. When estrogen is not balanced by progesterone, it can produce weight gain, headaches, bad temper, chronic fatigue and loss of interest in sex - all of which are part of the clinically recognized premenstrual syndrome.

Not only has it been well established that estrogen dominance encourages the
development of breast cancer thanks to estrogen's proliferative actions, it also stimulates breast tissue and can trigger fibrocystic breast disease - a condition which wanes when natural progesterone is introduced to balance the estrogen.

3. Excess estrogen implies a progesterone deficiency. This, in turn, leads to a decrease in the rate of new bone formation in a woman's body by the osteoblasts - the cells responsible for doing this job. Although most doctors are not yet aware of it, this is the prime cause of osteoporosis.

4. Estrogen dominance increases the risk of fibroids. One of the interesting facts about fibroids is that, regardless of the size, fibroids commonly atrophy once menopause arrives and a woman's ovaries are no longer making estrogen. Doctors who commonly use progesterone with their patients have discovered that giving a woman natural progesterone may cause fibroids to atrophy.

5. In estrogen-dominant menstruating women where progesterone is not peaking and falling in a normal way each month, the ordered shedding of the womb lining doesn't take place. Menstruation becomes irregular. This condition can usually be corrected by making lifestyle changes and using a natural progesterone product. It is easy to diagnose by having a doctor measure the level of progesterone in the blood at certain times of the month.

6. Endometrial cancer (cancer of the womb) develops only where there is estrogen dominance or unopposed estrogen. This, too, can be prevented by the use of natural progesterone. The use of the synthetic progestins may also help prevent it, which is why a growing number of doctors no longer give non-human estrogens without combining them with progesterone drug during HRT. However, all synthetic progestins have side effects.

7. Water logging of the cells and an increase in intercellular sodium, which predispose a woman to high blood pressure or hypertension, frequently occur with estrogen dominance. These can also be side effects of progestins use. A natural progesterone cream often resolves this problem.

8. The risk of stroke and heart disease is increased dramatically when a woman is estrogen-dominant. [Leslie Kenton, Passage to Power, Random House, UK, 1995]

References & Further Information

[1] Lee, John R., M.D., Natural Progesterone: The Multiple Role of a Remarkable Hormone, BLL Publishing, California, USA, 1993, p.29.

[2] Kenton, Leslie, Passage to Power, Random House, UK, 1995, pp.19-20.
[3] Lee, John R., M.D., "Osteoporosis Reversal: The Role of Progesterone," International Clinical Nutrition Review (1990), 10: pp.384-391.