A "Charlie horse" is a slang term for painful spasm or cramps in the leg muscles and is caused by a magnesium deficiency. These painful spasms or cramps may last anywhere from a few seconds to a day. Most of the time for my patients with estrogen dominance issues, the reason for these painful cramps is a magnesium deficiency. If the cramps occur in conjunction with heavy exercise and a lot of sweating, then it may be due to a potassium deficiency. Why do the patients with estrogen dominance have magnesium deficiency? The answer is xenoestrogens cause a magnesium deficiency.
Xeno means foreign. Xenoestrogens literally means foreign estrogens. Xenoestrogens are chemicals and herbs that fit into the estrogen receptor. They have sort of like estrogen responses, but they are not really estrogen. They are strange estrogens. These xenoestrogens have strange effects like breast cancer. For instance, oral contraceptives contain synthetic xenoestrogens that cause breast cancer according to the physicians desk reference. One of the side effects of oral contraceptives is a magnesium deficiency according to the physicians desk reference. The estrogen in oral contraceptives is a type of xenoestrogen.
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Nicotine patches and estrogen patches deliver nicotine and estrogen into the body directly through the skin. Anything taken by mouth is 90% prefiltered by the liver. Thus, anything put directly on the skin is 10 times the potency of anything taken orally. Therefore, laundry detergent, soaps, deodorant, shampoo, cosmetics, lipstick, lotions, and mascara should be scrutinized 10 times more carefully than what you eat.
One good example of hormone disruption is that of chemicals used in sunscreens. Margaret Schlumpf and her fellow researchers from the Institute of pharmacology and toxicology, Zürich, Switzerland found that sunscreen chemicals mimic estrogen and start developmental abnormalities in rats. Her researchers tested six chemicals that are used in sunscreens lipsticks and facial cosmetics. Five out of six chemicals benzophenone-3, homosalate, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), octyl-methylcinnamate, octyl dimethyl paba acted similarly to estrogen strongly in test tube lab tests caused breast cancer cells to grow more rapidly. Only one chemical, butyl-methoxydibenzoylmethane (B-MDM) a UVA blocker showed no estrogenic activity. 4-MBC mixed with olive oil and applied to rat skin caused a doubling of the rate of uterine growth in the rat before puberty. Schlumpf used concentrations that were routinely used in commercial sunscreens. Three of the six chemicals created developmental abnormalities in animals.
Natural herbs can also have hormone disruptive effects. One good example of endocrine disruptive effects is sheep clover disease in Australia. Mediterranean clover known as subterranean clover was imported and planted in Australia to provide protein for the sheep after World War II. The sheep began to have miscarriages. After several years, the sheep did not have any baby lambs at all. The subterranean clover contained the natural hormone disrupter formononetin. Continued exposure to high levels of formononetin can lead to permanent infertility. In Australia, they have now tried to classify different varieties of subterranean clover and other types of clover into safe, moderate, and high potency estrogenic varieties. In the event that a field is dominated by high estrogenic clover, they will try to seed the field with a low estrogenic variety.
The Australia's agricultural department also notes that annual medics, lucerne, and white clover can also produce coumestrol, another estrogenic compound produced naturally by plants, a phytoestrogen. Coumestrol also affects ewe fertility. These plants produce high levels of coumestrol when grown under stress. The most common stress causing coumestrol production is leaf infection by a fungal disease. Damage by insects, viral infection, and poor plant nutrition may also lead to increase coumestrol levels. The coumestrol impact on ewe fertility is not as bad as formononetin. Coumestrol results in reduced ovulation and delayed estrous. There have been no reports of permanent effects of cholesterol on fertility unlike formononetin. You may download the PDF on coumestrol effects on ewe fertility here.
If you purchase any product from us, you will get a list of safe products to use on your skin that are free of chemical xenoestrogens and organic and natural phytoestrogens. You will also get a list of common chemicals and herbs that cause hormone disruption found in cosmetics and toiletries. Is essential to avoid these things if you want to avoid estrogen dominance and Charlie Horses.
If you take progesterone with weak xenoestrogens, progesterone can help. If you take progesterone with strong xenoestrogens, you will get worse temporarily until you stop progesterone. Sometimes taking progesterone with xenoestrogens will "work" for the first two months and then stop "working". If you take herbs that block progesterone, at the receptor level, then the progesterone becomes impotent and you wonder if anything's in the bottle. If you completely eliminate xenoestrogens, you will not need any progesterone at all.
Progesterone is the same chemical your body produces during the latter half of your cycle for cycles before the age of 35. Pro-means "for." Gesterone means "gestation." So progesterone means for gestation. Progesterone is the hormone that maintains pregnancy. Progesterone is produced by the body 20 to 40 mg/day during the latter half of the menstrual cycle. During pregnancy, progesterone ramps up in concentration until the human body produces 400 mg per day during one day of third trimester pregnancy. Thus, there is a large range of progesterone that can be used safely in human being. Remember that the baby is exposed to a large variation in progesterone and that is a normal occurrence.
In contrast, a synthetic progestin is a drug that is slightly chemically modified from progesterone. This is because that progestin can be patented and sold for a higher profit. The high profits can be used to run expensive advertising campaigns. The high profits can be used to hire hundred thousand dollars a year drug reps to push these unnatural hormones on doctors. The high profits can be used to harass alternative medicine practitioners.
Synthetic progestins such as those found in birth control pills cause breast cancer according to the physicians desk reference. Synthetic progestins cause birth defects. Natural progesterone does not cause birth defects. The test tube fertility doctors routinely use natural progesterone to stop miscarriage. The use of synthetic progestins during pregnancy is contraindicated because they would cause birth defects. Which would you rather use synthetic progestins or natural progesterone?
Most American women use chemicals or herbs that are highly hormone disruptive or estrogenic. The body in order to protect itself will shut down its sensitivity to estrogen. Thus, chronic xenoestrogens intake forces the body to become less sensitive to estrogen. When you take progesterone, the estrogen receptors wake up. And you become more sensitive to estrogen, regaining your original sensitivity to estrogen. This is why taking progesterone with strong xenoestrogens makes you worse. This is why taking progesterone with xenoestrogens causes the progesterone to "work" for the first two months and then "not work". Sometimes, it takes 1-2 months for the estrogen receptors to wake up. Then, when the estrogen receptors wake up, the progesterone "stops working". The solution is to get rid of xenoestrogens and then take progesterone. Taking herbs that blocks progesterone at the receptor level, for instance, aloe or mint, will of course render the progesterone useless and it seems like nothing is in the bottle. This is a common complaint. "Your progesterone does not work!" (Because you are taking an herb that is blockin the progesterone from working).
I prefer to recommend my patients that they take magnesium glycinate 400 to 600 mg per day or until they almost have diarrhea. Taking too high does of magnesium will result in diarrhea. The diarrhea is easily reversible by lowering the dose of magnesium. In fact, some patients like to take magnesium just to have good bowel movement. Magnesium glycinate absorption rate is on the order of 40%. However, magnesium oxide has absorption of about 4%. Therefore, magnesium oxide is a waste of money.
Typically people with a magnesium deficiency have a chocolate craving. Chocolate is one of of foods that is extremely high in magnesium. That is why patients crave chocolate because there are magnesium deficient. However, chocolate contains theobromine like which acts as like an estrogen and makes the magnesium deficiency worse.
After you eliminate xenoestrogens, which may take one to three months to excrete from the body, the magnesium deficiency will disappear. Then, if you continue to eliminate xenoestrogens you will not have a magnesium deficiency. If you do not have magnesium deficiency then you don't need magnesium. The chocolate craving will go away. When the chocolate craving goes away your Charlie Horses will also go away.
1. Avoid xenoestrogens because they cause a Magnesium Deficiency. Buy any product from us and get a "safe" product list free of xenoestrogens.
2. Take transdermal Natural Progesterone.
3. Take a Maganesium Glycinate 200-600 mg/day. If you get rid of all your xenoestrogens mainly on the skin and let them wash out of the body for 3 months, the Magnesium Deficiency will go away.
1. Schlumpf, Margaret; Beata Cotton, Marianne Conscience, Vreni Haller, Walter Lichensteiger. In feature of an in vivo estrogenicity of UV sunscreens. Environmental health perspectives. Volume 109 (March 2001) pages 239- 244.