Weight gain after menopause and premenopause is a common story. The root cause of your weight gain is xenoestrogens. The xenoestrogens cause a slowing of your metabolism and also a craving for food. The main mode of operation of xenoestrogens is to build up fat for the pregnancy. It does this by suppressing your thyroid hormone sensitivity and increasing your desire for food.
After the age of 35, for most cycles but not all cycles, progesterone is not produced. However, you are still producing estradiol at full strength after the age of 35. After menopause, your estradiol goes to 40% of production of estradiol before menopause. The ovaries and the body fat produce estradiol. The fatter you are, the more fat cells you have, and the more estradiol you produce. In fact, a heavy set woman after menopause produces more estradiol then a skinny woman before menopause. After the age of 35 for most cycles but not all cycles, you're producing estradiol without the balancing effect of progesterone. After the age of 35, you are not producing progesterone for most cycles. Dr. John Lee has labeled this syndrome as Estrogen Dominance. Estrogen Dominance is a syndrome in which you are producing estradiol without the balancing effect of progesterone, thus causing the weight gain.
In addition, you are receiving a large amount of xenoestrogens from your environment. These xenoestrogens act in synergy with your own estradiol to produce Estrogen Dominance. In my opinion, it is not only the loss of the balancing progesterone the causes estrogen dominance, it is also the synergistic action of xenoestrogens with your own estradiol that causes Estrogen Dominance. I believe that if you totally remove xenoestrogens from the patient's environment, the estrogen dominance will go away and disappear even without the addition of progesterone.
For instance, as of 2014, my wife is 52 years old and had just finished menopause. She has not had any hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, or any other symptoms associated with menopause. For the last 12 years, she is not had any PMS symptoms. She has not had any bloating before her period. She has not had any breast tenderness. She has not had any cramping. She has not had any abnormal bleeding. She has not had any mood swings. She has not had any outbursts of anger before her period. She has not had any migraines before her period. My household has totally eliminated xenoestrogens from our environment in the last 12 years. She has not taken any progesterone at all for the last 12 years. She has been completely free from the effects of Estrogen Dominance despite taking no progesterone at all and despite producing no progesterone. She weighs 105 pounds and is 5'2". She has had no weight gain for the last 12 years.
It is the synergistic action of your own estradiol in combination with xenoestrogens that is causing your weight gain. If you take away xenoestrogens, the weight gain goes away even in the face of your body producing little or no progesterone at all. You must avoid all xenoestrogens because xenoestrogens are causing your weight gain.
During the normal cycle before the age of 35, the ovary produces a follicle. The follicle produces estradiol. The follicle grows like a pimple, and the follicle pops out an egg. The used follicle becomes the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum produces progesterone. Thus, during a normal cycle before the age of 35, the first half of the cycle is dominated by estradiol, and the last half the cycle is dominated by progesterone.
After the age of 35, for most cycles but not all cycles, you are producing little or no progesterone. This is because your body is not ovulating even though you're having a menstrual cycle. After the age of 35, the ovary produces a follicle. The follicle produces estradiol. The follicle grows like a pimple, and the follicle does not pop out an egg. The follicle just goes back down. There is no corpus luteum. Since there is no corpus luteum, no progesterone is produced. If there is no progesterone produced, then there is no progesterone to balance out xenoestrogens and your estradiol. Thus, Estrogen Dominance is produced and weight gain after or during menopause occurs.
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What are xenoestrogens? Xenoestrogens are chemicals or herbs that act like estrogen. "Xeno" means foreign. So, xenoestrogen means foreign estrogen. These foreign estrogens are strange estrogens that act and mimic estrogen in a strange way. Xenoestrogens have estrogen like effects but may have other weird effects as well. For instance, brand name prescription estrogens found in the drugstore mimic estrogen, but will also stimulate breast cancer to grow. In one example, young women before the age of 18 taking synthetic estrogen found in birth control pills will increase their chance of breast cancer by 600%. This is an example of a drug that acts like estrogen but is not identical to the estrogen that your body produces. The estrogen found in a birth control pill is a xenoestrogen.
Xenoestrogens can also be natural and organic as well. For instance, there is a chemical produced by a type of fungus that is used in the veterinary industry that is estrogen like. This chemical is zearalenone. The synthetic derivative of zearalenone is zeranol. As of 2014, zeranol has been used for 30 years in the cattle and pork industry to grow them faster and fatter. Zeranol make the beef and pork fatter, bloat, and retain water so the ranchers and farmers can make more money and have a "better" product. Zeranol is used extensively in the United States and Canada and is one reason why the United States beef is banned in the European Union.
A fungus found in food originally produced zearalenone. Zearalenone has produced precocious puberty in young girls. Precocious puberty is a known risk factor for breast cancer. Young adult female mice given zeranol revealed increased mammary branching and growth similar to changes found in breast cancer. These pathologic changes may also be found in mice given estradiol. Zearalenone is an example of a naturally occuring estrogen mimic. Zearalenone is a xenoestrogen.
Many other fragrant herbs that are natural and organic can also have estrogen like effects. I have observed patients with active fibroids increase their fibroids size and number of fibroids in response to rubbing rosemary extract on their skin. The rosemary is used in many topicals and lotions as an antioxidant preserve the freshness of the oil in the lotion. However, rosemary will make my endometriosis patients much worse. Rosemary can also be found as an antioxidant in the omega-3 fish oil supplements. I also observed endometriosis patients getting much worse when eating omega-3 fish oil supplements with rosemary. When the same patient eliminates all xenoestrogens, and eats omega-3 fish oil supplements without rosemary, she is markedly improved. Similarly, by eliminating the xenoestrogens, weight gain around menopause can be avoided.
It is startling to realize that most xenoestrogen exposure comes from things that are in contact with your skin. This is because anything on the skin goes into the body and bypasses the liver detoxification. In the drugstore, you can buy estrogen or nicotine patches. Estrogen or nicotine is delivered through the body when you put a patch on the body. The estrogen or nicotine diffuses through the skin and into the body. Similarly, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, laundry detergent, perfumes, deodorant, toothpaste, and cosmetics contact the skin. And the skin absorbs the chemicals and herbs that are in these products. Startlingly, anything on the skin is 10 times in potency to your body compared to what you eat because it bypasses your liver and goes directly into your body.
If you buy any product from us you will get a list of recommended products free of xenoestrogens both natural and synthetic. You also get a list of chemicals and herbs I have found to be estrogenic. Some of these herbs and chemicals have solid scientific background. However, some of these herbs do not have a solid scientific background and their inclusion is questionable. Other herbs that I have listed, I have observed to make my patients' weight gain during or after menopause worse consistently.
Taking a natural Progesterone can balance out the remaining xenoestrogens you cannot eliminate. There are five outcomes from taking progesterone:
1. You eliminate all xenoestrogens. You don't need progesterone. You become normal. Why? Xenoestrogens are causing your disease.
2. You eliminate all strong xenoestrogens, but still have some weak xenoestrogens left in your environment. Taking progesterone can balance out the remaining xenoestrogens, your weight gain stops.
3. You ignore my advice about avoiding xenoestrogens, or eliminate them imperfectly. You still have strong xenoestrogens in your environment. You take progesterone. You get worse. This is explained below.
4. You eliminate xenoestrogens imperfectly and ignore my advice. The progesterone "works" for the first two months. The progesterone does not work after that. This is explained below.
5. You take herbs that block progesterone at the receptor level. Progesterone does not seem to have any effect. There seems to be nothing in the bottle. These herbs typically are used to create miscarriage. Progesterone is the hormone of pregnancy and is needed to maintain the pregnancy. Any herb that creates miscarriage blocks progesterone at the receptor level.
The vast majority of women in America have a chronic xenoestrogen exposure. In order to protect itself, the body shuts down its sensitivity to estrogen. Your body becomes less sensitive to estrogen under the stress of chronic xenoestrogen exposure. It is similar to going to a noisy nightclub. Initially, the noise and music in the nightclub is extremely loud and almost painful. Then, after one half hour, it seems as if the noise is not that loud anymore. Has the noise level changed? No, your sensitivity to the noise has been decreased. This biological phenomenon is known as down regulation. Your ears down regulate or become less sensitive to the chronic loud noise. Similarly, under chronic xenoestrogen exposure, you become less sensitive to xenoestrogens. When you take progesterone, your sensitivity to xenoestrogens goes back up to normal. In the previous example, the noise becomes loud again. When you take progesterone with strong xenoestrogens, the headache becomes worse. When you take progesterone with strong xenoestrogens, the bloating gets worse. When you take progesterone with strong xenoestrogens, the weight gain becomes worse, you get fatter. When you take progesterone with strong xenoestrogens, your breast tenderness gets worse. It is not the progesterone that is causing you to become sicker. It is the combination of progesterone and strong xenoestrogens that is causing you to become sicker because the progesterone is waking up your ester receptors back to normal. Please do not blame progesterone, blame the xenoestrogens.
Taking progesterone with xenoestrogens also explains why progesterone "works" for the first two months and then does "not work." It takes about two months for estrogen receptors to wake-up because of the progesterone.
Usually patients that experience weight gain after menopause or pre-menopause are hypothyroid. However, when their thyroid hormones are measured, their thyroid hormones are normal, or low normal. The unalert physician will dismiss the patient exclaiming their thyroid hormones are normal. The savvy physician will give their patients some thyroid hormone. The savviest physician will eliminate xenoestrogens.
Xenoestrogens cause hypothyroid because they lower your sensitivity to thyroid hormone. You are less sensitive to thyroid hormone because of xenoestrogens exposure. So, your thyroid hormone levels can be normal, but your reaction to the thyroid hormone is smaller. Xenoestrogens tell your body to become fat by lessening your thyroid hormone sensitivity.
Basically, the physician usually only considers thyroid hormone levels. However, the physician also it needs consider the patient's sensitivity to the thyroid hormone. The physician should test the entire system of the thyroid hormone and its receptor together. This is most easily done by measuring the temperature of the patient. You need to use an extremely sensitive thermometer. The problem is that grocery store-bought thermometers may be off by as much as 1° F, even the electronic ones. You need to have a very expensive thermometer that can be usually found in a physicians office. These thermometers usually cost about $300. An alternative is to calibrate your store-bought thermometer to the physicians office. Then, you can use the store-bought thermometer to match that number. Your normal body temperature should be 98.6° F. However, most patients that I treat have a temperature of the high 96's degrees F or the low 97's degrees F. You can measure the temperature by putting the thermometer under your tongue. However, a more accurate reading may be obtained by measuring the temperature of the urine when you first wake up from sleeping. When you first wake-up, urinate into a Styrofoam cup. Then, measure the temperature of the urine. Do this for three consecutive days to get an average temperature. If your temperature is 98.6° F, then you have a normal thyroid or are euthyroid. However, if your temperature is lower, then you are hypothyroid.
Hypothyroid patients usually have thinning hair, thinning eyebrows, fat on the belly and hips, feel loss of energy and ambition, feel tired, and feel cold. Usually, the elimination of xenoestrogens in the environment is enough to wake-up the thyroid receptor after 6 to 9 months. Temperature goes up to 98.6° F. Hair begins to thicken. Fat on the belly and hips begins to disappear without exercise and without diet.
The thyroid hormone is measured as to different molecules-T3 and T4. T3 has three iodines. T4 has for iodines. If you look in the periodic table and remember your high school chemistry, iodine and bromine are closely related. They have relatively the same size and valence electrons. It may be possible that Bromine may be able to substitute for iodine in T3 and T4. If this is the case that bromine can substitute for iodine in T3 and T4, this would render T3 and T4 useless to signal your body's metabolism. Abraham, M.D. head of Optimox Corporation has found that many of the side effects associated with iodine supplementation are really due to toxic bromine coming out of the body. Bromine is a poison that poisons your thyroid and thyroid receptor system. Bromine poisoning can lead to hypothyroidism.
When patients are given iodine, bromine is forced out of the body and into the urine. Abraham, M.D. measured the bromine coming out through the urine. Side effects associated with iodine supplementation is really due from bromine coming out of the body. Some of these side effects from bromine coming out of the body when giving iodine are racing mind, insomnia, foot twitching, tingling in the hands and feet, rash, mouth and nose sores, runny nose, headache, heart palpitations, bodywork, rash, vision changes, irritability, increased salivation, and transient breasts tenderness. The most disconcerting side effect is a sore thyroid. What is happening is that when iodine is taken bromine is forced out of the thyroid tissue and the thyroid cells begin to break up. When thyroid cells break up your body develops antibodies against them and you could develop a Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Therefore, it is important to take iodine very slowly at first to minimize the side effects of bromine detoxification.
For myself, I struggled with a low body temperature of 97 for 15 years. I myself, am a Medical Doctor. I went to 10 medical doctors for this problem of low temperature. They gave me thyroid hormone, but this did not fix the problem. Then, I started to take iodine. I had vivid dreams, insomnia and started to feel warm. Within two months, my temperature recovered to 98.2° F. After I got rid of most my bromine, the vivid dreams stopped and insomnia from the iodine also stopped.
Bromine is used in brominated vegetable oil to dissolve citrus oils into soft drinks. As of 2014, PepsiCo quietly took out most the brominated vegetable oil in their soft drinks. Coca-Cola is considering to do the same. Brominated vegetable oil is banned in the European Union in the use of soft drinks. Bromine may also be found in sports drinks, commercial bakery products, sleep aids, and asthma inhalers. Some people brominate their swimming pools instead of chlorinate swimming pools. Bromine is also used as a fungicide to sterilize strawberry fields from fungus and microbes.
Taking iodine also seems to reduce women's sensitivity to xenoestrogens because taking iodine helps to force estradiol into estriol. Estradiol is the "strong" estrogen. Estriol is the "weak" estrogen.
Brownstein, M.D. and Michigan tested over 500 people and determined that above 90% of the people he tested were deficient in iodine. The gold standard to test for iodine deficiency is to give a 50 mg oral dose of iodine and then collect a 24 hour urine. If you get back 80% of the 50 mg oral dose in the 24 hour urine collection, then you have enough iodine. If you get back less than 80% of the 50 mg oral dose in 24 urine collection then you are iodine insufficient.
Because of bromine toxicity, hypothyroid disease is an epidemic. Get rid of bromine by taking iodine slowly, then your hypothyroid may improve. If you order any product from us you will get a protocol and how to take iodine in the signs to watch out for bromine toxicity. If you get sick taking iodine, please don't blame iodine. Blame the correct villain, bromine.
Chromium is a cofactor for insulin. There are little or no chromium deposits in North and South America. Chromium is used as a cofactor for insulin in regulating sugar levels. There is no chromium in the soil. There is no chromium in the grass. There is no chromium in the cows that eat the grass. And there is no chromium in the beef. The only place even get chromium is from a vitamin bottle. In one small study at University of Texas women who took chromium nicotinate lost weight while the women who took chromium picolinate did not lose weight, the women gained weight. Chromium is extremely important to get rid off insulin resistance and the fat on your belly and hips.
I could not find the article, but there's a small study from Europe that showed that women with gestational diabetes could get rid of the gestational diabetes by taking a chromium supplement.
Vanadium seems to be able to act like insulin to maintain blood sugar levels in a healthy range. One study showed type II diabetics taking 50 mg of vanadyl sulfate twice a day. After four weeks, they had a set reduction in fasting blood sugar.
The state-of-the-art diet is the diet advocated by Terry Shintani M.D. in his book, "Eat More, Weigh Less." Shintani M.D. focuses on a diet based on calorie density. A food with low calorie density would be something like lettuce or carrots. The carrot as a high volume and small amount of calories. A food with high calorie density would be something like oil or beef. Beef would have a low volume with a high amount of calories. Shintani, M.D. believes that you should eat the majority of your food with low calorie density. You can save meat for special occasions.
The stomach has receptors that senses whether or not it is full and the stomach walls are stretching. If the stomach is not the full, then your body believes that it is starving. And the body will slow metabolism slowing loss of weight. This is the problem with calorie limiting diets. Suppose a normal diet is eating a hamburger and a milkshake. You feel full. If you eat half a hamburger and half a milkshake, you feel hungry. This is because the stomach does not expand physically. Because you are hungry, this is a primal urge, and you start looking for other things to eat. Not only that, but because your body thinks it is starving, body metabolism is slowed and you don't lose weight very easily.
This can be contrasted with Shintani, M.D.'s diet. Shintani, M.D. encourages you to eat low calorie density foods like carrots and lettuce and vegetables. Hamburger and a milkshake is equivalent to 100 cobs of corn calorie wise. Instead of eating a hamburger and a milkshake you could eat 30 cobs of corn. Your stomach would be full. You would feel full. You would not be hungry. You would not look for food to eat. But most importantly, your body would think that it is full and not slow metabolism. Thus, by eating 30 cobs of corn, you would have one third of the calories of a hamburger and a milkshake and feel full. Body metabolism would remain constant and you would burn off calories, and at the same time you would only being a third of the calories of a hamburger and a milkshake.
I have lost weight using Shintani, M.D.'s diet without exercise. No exercise is necessary to lose weight.
Here the things you need to do to fight weight gain around menopause:
1. Avoid xenoestrogens because xenoestrogens are the root cause of the gain during menopause.
2. Take progesterone to balance out the xenoestrogens that you could not avoid.
3. Take iodine to flush bromine out of your system and because you are most likely iodine deficient.
4. Take chromium nicotinate 400 µg per day to increase the action of insulin. Take 10 milligrams of vanadyl sulfate as well because it acts like insulin.
5. Get the book, "Eat More Weigh Less" by Terry Shintani, MD. and follow the calorie density of foods eating low calorie density foods.
I do have a Registered Dietician Nutritionist. She does phone consultations. Her name is Karen Bishop, RDN, LD. You may see her here on her website.
1. Grant KE, Chandler RM, Castle AL, Ivy JL, "Chromium and exercise training: effect on obese women." Med Sci Sports Exerc. Aug; 29 (8): pages, 992-8, 1997.