In my opinion, as a medical doctor, most cases of primary Raynaud's disease is easily cured by taking magnesium, avoiding xenoestrogens, and taking progesterone. The one characteristic of this easily curable type of primary Raynaud's disease is that it has a hormonal component. If and only if, the primary Raynaud's Syndrome that you have has a hormonal component, then my working hypothesis is that Estrogen Dominance causes a Magnesium Deficiency. The Magnesium Deficiency enables small arteries to vasospasm. Vasospasm in the small arteries is diagnosed as Raynaud's disease.
Raynaud's disease or Raynaud's phenomenon or Raynaud's syndrome is a disease characterized by vasospasm of the small arteries in the toes, fingers, earlobe, and nipple. The quintessential case is a woman with Raynaud's syndrome will put her hand in cold water. The fingers will turn white and pale. This is because the arteries going into the fingers become smaller and stop blood flow into the fingers. So, because there is no blood flow into the fingers because the arteries become smaller, fingers turned white, pale, and cold as the blood drains out of them. The veins are relatively unaffected. The diameter of the veins do not change as much as the diameter of the arteries. After a while, the fingers begin to use up the oxygen, and the fingers may turn blue. Later, the woman will warm up her fingers and the arteries stop their vasospasm. The diameter of the arteries returns to normal. Blood flow to the fingers is returned. Now, the fingers may turn red and swollen. The fingers may also be painful. The fingers may feel pin pricks. It is similar to the feeling you get when your leg falls asleep and blood flow is returned to it.
Typically, there is a hormonal component. During pregnancy, Reynaud's syndrome disappears. Progesterone is the hormone of pregnancy. Normally, a woman produces 20 to 40 mg of progesterone during the latter half of her menstrual cycle. However, during pregnancy progesterone levels ramp up the normal 20 to 40 mg per day to 400 mg during one day of third trimester pregnancy. Pro-means for. Gesterone refers to gestation. So, progesterone means for gestation. Thus, progesterone is the main hormone that dominates during pregnancy. Progesterone usually counters the effect of estrogen dominance.
Estrogen dominance means too much estrogen. Where is this too much estrogen coming from? Estrogen dominance usually comes from the synergistic action between your own estradiol and xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are chemicals or herbs that mimic estrogen and fit into the estrogen receptor. They are not the same molecule as estradiol. These of xenoestrogens merely look like estrogen to the body. Therefore, xenoestrogens do not show up on the hormone test because they are not the same molecule. The quintessential case of xenoestrogen dominance is premenstrual syndrome.
Progesterone can counter the effect of estrogen dominance. If you have estrogen dominance caused by weak xenoestrogens, then taking progesterone will counter balance these weak xenoestrogens. However, taking progesterone with one strong xenoestrogens can make your symptoms of estrogen dominance much worse. I will explain this later.
So, during pregnancy, Raynaud's syndrome disappears, and then Raynaud's phenomenon reappears after pregnancy. This corresponds exactly to progesterone levels in the body. When the progesterone level is high during pregnancy, then Raynaud's syndrome disappears. After delivery, progesterone levels fall to zero. Then, when progesterone levels fall to zero, Raynaud's syndrome reappears. Raynaud's syndrome therefore has a hormonal component that is tied to the level of progesterone.
During a pregnancy, estriol levels go high. Estriol is considered to be a weak estrogen. Estradiol is considered to be a strong estrogen. During pregnancy when estriol levels go high it goes into the estrogen receptor and blocks the stronger estradiol and also all xenoestrogens. Estriol therefore, can also reduce estrogen dominance.
Thus, because Raynaud's syndrome becomes better during pregnancy, this implies that estrogen dominance causes Raynaud's syndrome. Progesterone, a hormonal pregnancy, opposes and reverses the effect of estrogen dominance. Raynaud's disease getting better during pregnancy is evidence that Raynaud's disease is caused by a magnesium deficiency.
Estrogen dominance causes a magnesium deficiency. A magnesium deficiency causes muscles to spasm. You can get a Charlie horse or leg cramp. You can get menstrual cramps. You can get neck cramps. This is because a magnesium deficiency causes of the muscles to spasm and cramp up. A magnesium deficiency can cause your intestines to constrict and cramp up and cause constipation. The most important effect of a magnesium deficiency in Reynaud's disease is that the arterial muscular sheathe will cramp up. The artery will become very sensitive to temperature and cramp up with cold temperature. The magnesium deficiency will cause the artery to be susceptible to vasospasm.
Therefore, if you can track that your Raynaud's syndrome varies with your menstrual cycle and has a hormonal component, then your Raynaud's syndrome is due to estrogen dominance and a magnesium deficiency until proven otherwise.
So the path of causation looks like this. Xenoestrogen exposure leads to estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance leads to magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiency leads to muscles cramping. Muscles cramping leads to vasospasm. Vasospasm leads to smaller diameter of the arteries feeding the fingers. Smaller diameter of the arteries feeding the fingers leads to Raynaud's syndrome. In some cases you may get a mere constricting of the arteries instead of vasospasm and just have cold hands and cold feet. However, in a major deficiency of magnesium when your fingers are exposed to cold water, the arteries have a vasospasm, and this will be labeled as a Raynaud's syndrome by your physician.
Table Of Contents
Xenoestrogens ==> Estrogen Dominance (too much estrogen - your own estradiol plus "strange" estrogens)
Estrogen Dominance ==> Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium Deficiency ==> Vasospasm of Small Arteries in Cold Water
Vasospasm of Small Arteries ==> Pale fingers or toes in Cold Water
Pale fingers or toes in Cold Water ==> Diagnosis of primary Raynaud's disease
Primary Reynaud's syndrome gets better in pregnancy.
Pregnancy has lots of progesterone.
Progesterone balances out Estrogen Dominance (too much estrogen - your own estradiol plus "strange" estrogens).
Estrogen Dominance causes a Magnesium Deficiency.
Magnesium Deficiency makes it easy for the small arteries to vasospasm.
Mainstream medicine believes that primary Raynaud's syndrome is idiopathic. Idiopathic means "self disease". Idio means self. Pathic means disease. Idiopathic means "self disease". Idiopathic is medical jargon for "we don't know why".
Secondary Raynaud's syndrome is a totally different animal. Secondary Raynaud's phenomenom maybe due to a primary autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Sojourn syndrome, temperal arteritis, Buerger's syndrome, or dermatomyositis. Drugs that may also cause a secondary Raynaud's syndrome include cytotoxic drugs, bromocriptine, or beta blockers. Atherosclerosis is also a cause of a secondary Raynaud's syndrome. The above is an incomplete list.
However, the purpose of this article is to effectively treat primary Raynaud's syndrome. Treating primary Raynaud's disease is simple easy and permanent. If and only if your Primary Raynaud's syndrome has a hormonal component, then the vasospasm of the arteries is due to an magnesium deficiency. The magnesium deficiency is caused by xenoestrogens. Weak xenoestrogens may be balanced by the use of progesterone. One strong xenoestrogen effect on the body can be made worse by progesterone. Why? This is explained below.
I usually recommend my patients to take dermal progesterone 20 to 40 mg per day during the latter half of her cycle. Again, progesterone can only balance out weak xenoestrogens. If progesterone is taken with the strong xenoestrogens, the patient will get worse. Why is there this paradoxical effect?
Most women in the modern world are exposed to a witch's brew of xenoestrogens. The body to protect itself shuts down the estrogen receptors. The technical term for this shut down is "down regulation ". It is sort of like going to a noisy stadium. Initially, is very noisy. But after a while, your ears get used to the noise. And it seems like the noisy stadium is not very noisy. Has the noise changed? No, your ears have "down regulated" and become less sensitive to the noise to protect themselves.
Similarly, the constant exposure to xenoestrogens makes the body down regulate the estrogen receptors to xenoestrogens. You become less sensitive to xenoestrogens. Progesterone wakes up the estrogen receptors and you regain your original sensitivity to estrogen and xenoestrogens. Thus, your body reacts more to the xenoestrogens around you. You get sicker. The vasospasm becomes worse. The Raynaud's syndrome becomes worse. This is because the progesterone has woken up the estrogen's receptors and you have become more sensitive to the xenoestrogens. It is not the progesterone's fault. It is that your sensitivity to estrogen has increased.
Do not blame the progesterone. Blame the xenoestrogens.
Again, progesterone increases your sensitivity to estrogen because the estrogen receptor was asleep because of the constant intake of xenoestrogens. Constant intake of xenoestrogens decreases your sensitivity to estrogen because of the phenomena of down regulation.
Thus, progesterone can only balance out "weak" xenostrogens. One strong potent xenoestrogen taken with progesterone will make you worse because you have regained your original sensitivity to estrogen.
Xenoestrogens are chemicals and herbs that act or mimic estrogen. Xenoestrogens will not show up on the hormone test either in the blood or in the saliva. This is because xenoestrogens are not the same molecule as estradiol. They fool your body into thinking they are estrogen but they are really not the same molecule. Xenoestrogens are "fake estrogen". Xenoestrogens have estrogen like effects but are different from estradiol. They cause cancer.
Counterintuitively, the most important exposure to xenoestrogens is on the skin. You would think that the most important exposure to xenoestrogens is what you eat. However this is not true. Most important exposure to xenoestrogens is on the skin. This is because anything on the skin goes directly into the body. Whatever is on the skin goes directly to the body and is not filtered by the liver. Nicotine patches from the drugstore rely on dermal absorption of nicotine through the skin. Similarly, shampoo will be absorbed by the scalp and goes directly into the body. Also, laundry detergent is not fully wash from your clothes. Laundry detergent is absorbed by the skin and goes into the body. The dose of a estrogen patch on the skin is 10 times in potency compared to that of the oral dose. Therefore, anything on the skin has 10 times the effect on the body than what is taken orally. If you take an oral hormone, the oral hormone is 90% first pass metabolized by the liver. Thus, if you want to control your intake of xenoestrogens, you must control what goes on your skin. Diet is secondary.
In the book, Our Stolen Future, Patricia Whitten, an antropologist at the Laboratory of Reproductive Ecology and Environmental Toxicology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia states that plants containing estrogen mimics may be beneficial in some instances and hazardous in others. Whitten found that exposure to plant estrogens to fetus rat pups sabotaged their ability to reproduce later in life. Whitten's experiment involved rat mothers given low dose coumestrol. Coumestrol is a plant estrogen found in sunflower seeds and sunflower oil and alfalfa sprouts. Coumestrol was passed on to the rat pups through the rat mother's milk. Rat pups at birth are less developed than human babies at birth and still are undergoing development at birth that humans go through in the womb.
The rat pups exposed to coumestrol had no obvious defects in genetalia or physical abnormalities of the reproductive tract like those seen in DES. However, the rat pups showed permanent changes that affected their abilty to reproduce effectively.
Whitten believes that the coumestrol altered sexual differentiation of the brain of the rat pups. The female rat pups did not ovulate. The female rat pups are sterile because their brains are not responding to the hormone that triggers ovulation. Whitten concluded that they have been masculinized. Males conversely, are feminized demonstrating less mounting behavior and fewer ejaculations. For rat pups, the first 10 days after birth are critical for development of the parts of the brain responsible for sexual behavior .
To be balanced, soy powder in high amounts taken daily was shown to decrease breast cancer, but soy powder in low amounts taken daily was shown to increase breast cancer according to the Breast Cancer Prevention Diet by Bob Arnot PhD. Soy is credited for decreased breast cancer rate in Japan and China. However, when these same Chinese and Japanese immigrants move to America and live the American lifestyle, their breast cancer rate approaches that of a white American woman.
Pediatricians widely debate the use of soy in infant formulas because of the endocrine disrupting effects.
Theo Colborn in her book published in 1997 claimed that researchers have discovered 51 synthetic ubiquitous chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system in the human body. Some mimic estrogen. Others disrupt the action of testosterone and thyroid. In 1997, the list included 209 classified as PCB's, 75 dioxins, and 135 furans. Many of these synthetic chemicals resist break down in the body and environment. They differ fundamentally from plant estrogens. The body has no mechanism for breaking them down. These synthetic endocrine disruptors resist being excreted from the body and accumulate in the body. They expose both humans and animals to long term exposure.
I usually give my patients Magnesium Citrate. Magnesium Citrate is a chelated magnesium that has an absorption rate of 40% in the gut. If the patient has a malabsorption problem in the gut, then a good magnesium oil on the skin may also be used. Do not use a Magnesium Oxide. Magnesium Oxide may only have an absorption rate of 4%. Magnesium Oxide does not absorb well. I usually council my patients to take 400-600 mg/day of Magnesium Citrate. A magnesium deficiency usually causes muscles to tense up. A magnesium deficiency causes constipation and cold hands and feet. Keep on increasing the magnesium until you get diarrhea, then back off on the dose. This is the fastest way to get magnesium into the body. The magnesium brand "Jigsaw" Magnesium is supposed to have superior absorption characteristics. You may buy it here.
Malabsorption in the gut is most easily diagnosed if the woman has a "puffy" stomache after certain meals. If the woman eats large amounts of food and is still skinny as a rail, you may have to consider a diagnosis of celiac disease or "wheat allergy". This allergy is causing a "rash" inside of the intestine and causing a malabsorption.
According to Jonathan Wright, MD of the Tahoma Washington Clinic taking the correct iodine can reduce Estrogen Dominance because iodine helps the body convert strong estradiol to weaker estriol. He has never seen it written up, but he has observed in several hundred patients that when he has given sufficient iodine to them that the ratio of estradiol to estriol drops. When strong estradiol goes down and weak estriol goes up, then Estrogen Dominance improves.
The late Abraham, MD of optimox.com made a career of giving iodine to patients. Abraham, MD maintained that some human tissues take up atomic iodine or I2 and that some human tissue take up iodide ion or I-. Abraham, MD maintains that both types of iodine are needed for optimal functioning of the human body. Abraham, MD gives 12.5 mg made of both iodine and iodide per day citing that this is the average intake of a Japanese citizen in Japan. He says to start at a low dose of 6 mg/day or less and then slowly ramp up over a period of weeks to months to get to 50 mg/day. He keeps it at 50 mg/day for 3-4 months and then maintains the dose at 12.5 mg/day indefinitely. Abraham, MD sells Iodoral.
The most common side effect from taking iodine is Bromine Toxicity. Bromine is found in soft drinks and some electrolyte replacement drinks as brominated vegetable oil or BVO. BVO is used to get the citrus oils to mix into the water of the soft drink. BVO is banned in Europe. As of 2014, Pepsico quietly took it out of its soft drinks in the USA. Bromine is also used as a leavening agent in flour and commercial bakery products. Bromine is used in some asthma inhalers and to suppress lactation.
The problem with bromine is that it displaces iodine in the thyroid hormone and tissues leading to a mild hypothyroid problem.
The second problem with bromine is that when you take iodine, you get a bromine detoxification reaction. Taking iodine forces bromine out of the tissue and you get sick. The most common bromine detox from taking iodine is vivid dreams and heart palpitations. However, there is a myriad of symptoms from a bromine detox including bromine acne, rash, pins and needles feeling, cough, increased salivation, mental confusion, anxiety, and many others. It is important to take iodine slowly to minimize the bromine toxicity. It is important to blame the bromine. Don't blame the iodine.
No, it is not an iodine allergy. Iodine allergies occur with iodine radio opaque dyes used in Radiology. This is NOT the same iodine. One is a iodine dye. The other is iodine, the element.
Your body needs iodine as a nutrient. Iodine is used in the thyroid hormone. Your body does NOT need iodine dye as a nutrient.
Bromine is a toxin.
Blame the Bromine, the real culprit. Don't blame the Iodine.
To fight primary Raynaud's syndrome is simple and easy. If and only if there is a hormonal component to the Raynaud's syndrome then the cause is known. The main question to ask is: "Does the Reynaud's Disease vary consistantly with the menstrual cycle?" If the answer is, "YES". Then, the Battle Plan is EASY. Xenoestrogens cause a magnesium deficiency. The magnesium deficiency causes vasospasm in the arteries of your fingers and toes. This may be mislabeled as Primary Raynaud's syndrome by mainstream medicine.
Battle Plan for Primary Raynaud's syndrome - If and only if there is a hormonal component.
The simple solution in three easy steps
1. Taken easily absorbable magnesium like magnesium citrate. Increase the magnesium until you get loose stools, then back off on the dose. This is usually 800 to 1000 mg of magnesium citrate per day. The absorption rate of magnesium glycinate may be as high as 40%. Do not use magnesium oxide. Magnesium Oxide may only have absorption rate of 4%.
2. Avoid xenoestrogens. Get a list of tried-and-true xenoestrogens use in our practice since 1999. Also get a list of recommended products which are devoid of xenoestrogens. It is not easy to find products that are devoid of xenoestrogens. I looked at 500 shampoos and only found three that were xenoestrogen free. Buy a bottle of Progestelle and get a list of xenoestrogens and also a recommended list of products to use that are free of xenoestrogens.
3. Take progesterone. Most progesterone creams contain additives that blocks progesterone or that are xenoestrogens. These other greens will make you worse. Progesterone contains only natural progesterone and coconut oil.
4. Take iodine. Take either Iodoral or Lugol's iodine. If you buy the iodine for us you will get a usage protocol. Remember that you may have a detox from bromine that may make you sick. People typically blame the iodine but it is really the bromine being forced out by the iodine that is making you sick.
1. Theo Colborn PhD, Dianne Dumanoski, John Peterson Myers, Our Stolen Future, Penguin Group,1996,1997, pages 79-82.