diets for women

Women's Weight Loss Over 40: Herbal Solutions to Fight Middle-Aged Spread

Nearly everyone faces a disconcerting body thickening and slow rise in weight in their 40s, even people who have always been slim, who eat a healthy diet, and who exercise regularly. In fact, body fat typically doubles between the ages of 20 and 50. Sometimes diet and exercise really isn’t enough! What’s happening to our bodies?

For women, a major calorie-burning process grinds to a halt after menopause. The metabolic rise in the last two weeks of the menstrual cycle accounts for 15,000–20,000 calories per year. Those calories really start to add up when the menstrual cycle stops. Further, women tend to develop more abdominal fat as estrogen levels are reduced. For men, lower testosterone levels caused by andropause leads to a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in fat storage.  Research shows that with age, men burn less fat during exercise, so older men actually need to work out longer to lose weight!

Healthy lifestyle changes are critical to achieve long-term weight loss goals, but it often takes more at mid life. Whole herbs are an ideal choice for weight loss after 40. They are not habit forming like stimulant anti-obesity drugs, and they support natural weight loss processes, like thermogenesis.

Thermogenesis’ Role in Weight Loss Over 40

Thermogenesis is all about fat burning. About 75% of the calories you eat work to keep you alive and support your resting metabolic rate. The balance of calories are stored as white fat, or burned up by brown adipose tissue (brown fat), your body’s premier fat burning factory. The more active your brown fat is, the more efficient your thermogenesis is, and the easier it is to maintain an optimum weight. Differences in brown fat activity explain why some people can overeat and stay slim, while others put on the pounds even though their diet and exercise plan is sound.

Starting in our early 40s, a genetic timer begins to slow down the thermogenic mechanism. Instead of calories being burned off, more of them get stored as white fat, leading to weight gain, especially around the middle. In addition, some people are simply not born with enough brown fat. These people gain more weight at middle age because the little brown fat they do have is reduced even further. Nature in her wisdom provides a solution. You can reactivate your brown fat activity after 40, and using thermogenic herbs is a key.

Fat Burning Herbs: The Good & Bad News

Most of us have heard of the herb, ephedra as a thermogenic aid to stimulate weight loss. Unfortunately, misuse and abuse of ephedra in highly concentrated, chemical ephedrine products has led to cardiovascular side effects and health risks for consumers. Today, ephedra is banned from use in dietary supplements in the U.S. But, ephedra is not the only herb that stimulates brown fat activity. Green tea, mustard seed, cinnamon and ginger are a few other thermogenic herbs that you can use without the side effects or health risks.

As a traditional herbalist, I only formulate with whole herbs, because they are much less likely to produce side effects or interactions than standardized herbs or highly concentrated herbs. Further, whole herbs in combination offer the advantage of addressing multiple body systems and needs. For “after 40” weight loss concerns, I combine thermogenic whole herbs with herbs that control appetite and sugar cravings, and herbs that relieve bloating. Whole herbs support the whole person.

Losing weight at mid life does present new challenges, but once the body adjusts to its new hormone levels, weight gain stabilizes, and becomes more manageable. Whole herbs can help you get over an “after 40” weight loss plateau, and have the added benefits of improving body chemistry and reestablishing better metabolic rates.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page

More Healthy Holiday Recipes!

Cranberry Walnut Bread

60 minutes prep time  |  Makes 2 loaves

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bread-cranberry-251-resized-600

a little indulgence for the holidaysMakes: 12 servings

3 cups cranberries three fourths cup chopped walnuts, toasted 2 cups unbleached flour 1 and one half cups whole wheat pastry flour 1 and one half tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda one half tsp. sea salt one quarter cup grapeseed oil three quarters cup date sugar 2 eggs 1 cup orange juice 1 tsp. orange zest

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil and flour 2 loaf pans. In a bowl, sift together the unbleached flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. In another bowl mix the grapeseed oil, date sugar, eggs, orange juice, and orange zest. Gently combine flour mixture and batter. Fold in walnuts and cranberries. Pour the batter into loaf pans and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from pans and let cool

Double Ginger Dessert

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dessert-297049-resized-600

20 minutes prep time | Makes 4 servings

a light dessert with one of my favorite healing spices

Makes: 4 servings

5 cups Vanilla Rice Dream frozen dessert one foruth cup diced crystallized ginger three fourths tsp. cardamom one half tsp. cinnamon ginger ale

Slightly soften the Vanilla Rice Dream by letting it stand at room temperature about 10 minutes. Scoop into a large bowl. Add crystallized ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon; swirl ingredients together. Place bowl in freezer until dessert is firm enough to scoop… about 1 and one half hours; if storing up to 1 week, cover air-tight. Divide into 4 large water goblets. Slowly fill glasses with icy ginger ale, and serve immediately.

More Light, Healthy Recipes for Summer!

Rose Petal Fruit Salad- Edible flowers are light, healthy and delicious

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petals-resized-600

1½ cup blueberries, rinsed 3½ cups nectarines, sliced ½ cup rose petals ¼ cup violets or nasturtiums 2 tbsp. raspberry vinegar 1½ tsp. rose flower water 2 pinches fructose

Arrange the blueberries and nectarines on a platter. Sprinkle fruit with the rose petals and violets. In a small bowl, mix the raspberry vinegar, rose flower water and fructose. Pour over fruit. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Sushi Salad- A friendly addition to modified macrobiotic diet

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sushisalad-resized-600

1 cup short-grain sushi rice 1 cup mixed brown and wild rice 4 cups cold water 2 cups broccoli, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 2 carrots, diced 1 rib celery, diced 4 scallions, thinly sliced 2 tbsp. pickled ginger, minced ½ cup almonds, slivered 2 sheets toasted nori, sliced into small squares ½ cup brown rice vinegar 2 tbsp. soy sauce 2 tsp. wasabi paste

In a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the sushi rice, mixed brown and wild rice, and 4 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, stir, then cover and cook for 15 minutes, lifting the lid to stir only once. Remove pan from heat, stir, cover again, and set aside for 20 minutes. Brown and wild rices should be chewy in texture. Cool in a large bowl.

In a soup pot, blanch the broccoli, red bell pepper and carrots in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking; set aside. When rice is cool, toss with blanched vegetables, celery, scallions, ginger, almonds, and toasted nori. Make the dressing: whisk together the brown rice vinegar, soy sauce, and wasabi paste to make a dressing. Toss with salad and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Enzyme Booster Green Soup- Chlorophyll and Enzyme Healing

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greensoup-resized-600

1 tbsp. olive oil 2 garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup leeks, minced ½ cup green onions, minced 2 tbsp. shallots, minced ¼ cup celery, minced 1 tbsp. wheat germ 1 cup leafy greens (spinach, chard, endive, romaine, etc.), finely chopped ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced ¼ cup watercress, minced 4 cups miso soup 1 tbsp. lemon juice ½ tsp. herb salt ¼ tsp. white pepper daikon white radish, thinly sliced

In a skillet, sauté the garlic, leeks, green onions, shallots, and celery in 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Sprinkle with the wheat germ and toss to coat. Remove from heat and toss in: the leafy greens, fresh parsley, and watercress. In a soup pot, heat the miso soup briefly. Add the sautéed vegetables, lemon juice, herb salt, and white pepper. Heat just through; top with the daikon white radish. Makes 6 servings.

Bone Building with Herbs

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lindapiccropped-resized-600

Few things age a person as quickly as osteoporosis (porous, brittle bone), a disease that robs bones of their density and strength, making them thinner, more prone to break. Eventually, bone mass decreases below the level required to support the body.  Over 28 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis today, and experts from the National Osteoporosis Foundation predict 40 million Americans will suffer from osteoporosis by the year 2015. Long considered a woman’s problem, because of its female hormone involvement, osteoporosis affects from 35 to 50% of women in the first 5 years after menopause. For women, osteoporosis risk is greater than the combined risks of breast, uterine and ovarian cancers. In fact, half of all women over 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture in her lifetime. Most of these are vibrant women at the height of their careers with no outward signs of poor health. Most have no idea their bones are becoming weaker and more brittle until they actually break. Bone loss is greatest in the high weight-bearing bones—hips, spine and ribs.

Osteoporosis also affects men, just at a later age, with less ferocity. Some bone loss occurs in both sexes around 45 years of age. But a greater testosterone supply and more bone tissue offer men some protection from osteoporosis. Yet today’s men, in ever-increasing numbers are suffering from the disease. In America, by age 75, one-third of all men are affected by osteoporosis. One in eight men will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture.

Check yourself for the following osteoporosis risk factors:

•    Post-menopausal with family history of osteoporosis (high risk for women who have not had children).

•    Women and men over 75 years; women over 45 with a history of calcium and vitamin D deficiency.

•    A consistently high consumption of tobacco, coffee and animal protein.

•    Long courses of steroid drugs. Research shows that over a long period of time these drugs tend to leach potassium from the system, weakening the bones.

•    Long use of synthetic thyroid. The drug Synthroid increases risk for both osteoporosis and high cholesterol, and may also aggravate weight problems.

•    Women who had their ovaries removed before menopause, who had an early menopause (before 45 years old), or those with a history of irregular periods. Hormone and calcium deficiencies are common in women with irregular menstrual cycles, those who exercise excessively or who have eating disorders.

If you think you’re at risk, ask your physician or local pharmacy about bone mineral density screening.

Osteoporosis involves both mineral and non-mineral elements, so your bones need a full range of support nutrients. Although it is a life-threatening disease, osteoporosis is a lifestyle disease… that means we can do something about it. Bone loss can be arrested; remaining bone can be preserved; new bone mass can even be rebuilt with a vigorous osteoporosis intervention program. The most successful approach involves not only normalizing hormone levels, but also improving lifestyle (like lack of exercise) and dietary habits (like excess consumption of red meat and soda) that we know accelerate bone loss. It’s not just a case of adding estrogen, progesterone or even testosterone.   Note 1: Flexibility may be more important for preventing fractures than was ever realized. Here’s why: While flexibility allows even thin bones to bend easily, stiffness can cause even thick bone to break. In addition to weight training, consider incorporating yoga or T’ai chi in your natural bone building program. Note 2: A 2001 year study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that increasing intake of vegetarian protein sources while reducing your animal protein intake can decrease bone loss and the risk of hip fractures.

For a complete Healing Diet for Osteoporosis prevention, please see pg. 144-159 of the book, Diets for Healthy Healing by Linda Page Ph.D., Traditional Naturopath.

Mineral Rich Protein sources: Calcium losses decreases when you include vegetable protein sources that are also high in minerals

Nettles: Rich in iron, silicon, and potassium. When dried, sources indicate nettles are about 40% protein.

Oatstraw: rich in protein, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Comfrey leaf: the leaves are rich in protein and calcium.  Also called “bone knit” for its ability to support bones. (The leaf is free of the toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids found in the root.)

Nori: the highest protein content of all the sea vegetables.

Rice protein: an easily digested vegetarian protein source.

Nutritional yeast: a complete protein food, and excellent source of vitamins, minerals and trace minerals.

Bee pollen: it contains all 22 amino acids, high minerals and has 5-7 times more protein than beef.

Dulse: after nori, dulse has the second highest protein content. It contains 22% more protein than chickpeas, almonds or whole sesame seeds.

Wheat germ: contains about 29% protein, essential fatty acids, B vitamins and minerals.

Alfalfa: high chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and high quality protein.

Silica Source Herbs

Horsetail: high silica

Parsley: a good source of silica.

Burdock: a rich source of silica.

Asian ginseng: contains silica.

Oatstraw: a concentrated source of silica that can help build bones.

Alfalfa: an excellent source of herbal minerals, including silica.

Nettles: a very high mineral source, including silica.

Dulse: a source of silica.

Hormone Balancing Herbs- EFA Sources

Evening Primrose oil: essential fats are critical for hormone production and mineral absorption. Very low fat diets or restrictive diets accelerate bone loss.

Flax seed oil: essential fats are critical for hormone production and mineral absorption.

Sesame seeds: high in essential fats and boron

Hemp seeds: a complete protein source , high in EFA’s and trace minerals.

Red clover: a high protein and plant estrogen source.

Black cohosh: a premier hot flash remedy and hormone balancing herb for menopausal women.

Wild yam:  a source of diosgenin, the precursor to progesterone.

Royal jelly: a rich source of B vitamins, minerals, hormone-like components and all eight essential amino acids. A rejuvenating food and anti-aging aid.

Ipriflavone: (semi synthetic isoflavonoid with chemical structure similar to estrogen) Note: Ipriflavone interacts with many medications and could reduce white cell counts. Ask your holistic physician.

Bioflavonoid-rich herbs: bioflavonoids are structurally similar to natural estrogen, but are about 1/50,000th the strength. 

Bilberry: high in proanthocyanidins, bioflavonoids which can build collagen, the main protein component of bone.

Green tea:  It is though that flavonoids in tea help to counteract calcium depletion caused by caffeine.

Hawthorn: high in bioflavonoids

Cranberry: a good source of bioflavonoids and premier women’s bladder support herb

Turmeric: high flavonoid (curcumin) content

Horsetai: high in naturally occurring bioflavonoids and silica.

Rose Hips: high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids.

Enzyme-rich Herbal Catalysts

Ginger: high in protein digesting enzymes, enhances assimilation of other herbs in the formula.

Cinnamon: a warming digestive aid and herbal catalyst. Improves digestion of fats.

Capsicum: high vitamin C, enzymes (including the antioxidant, superoxide dismutase), flavonoids and carotenoids.

Barley grass: high in enzymes, including the antioxidant, superoxide dismutase. Mineral rich for strong bones.

Chlorella: high in enzymes. An alkalizing food that can help prevent mineral losses caused by over-acidity.

Spirulina: high in enzymes. An alkalizing food that can help prevent mineral losses caused by over-acidity.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page

All about Healthy Healing 14th Edition- Now available as an eBook!

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Avoid side effects, drug interactions and skyrocketing medical costs! Explore your natural options in my latest book, Healthy Healing 14th Edition, now available as an eBook!. You are the real champion of your health, not your doctor or even your naturopath. Healthy Healing is the only book on the market, which allows you to customize your own personalized natural health program for more than 400 ailments.

Healthy Healing offers step-by-step recommendations on the foods you put on your table, the supplements you purchase, and the stress-relieving therapies and exercises you choose for healing. Natural remedies work—by themselves or with conventional protocols—for many health concerns. For over 25 years, Healthy Healing has proven this philosophy and is America’s Original Guide to Natural Healing.

New & Updated Sections in Healthy Healing 14

  • Using Enzyme Therapy To Speed Illness Recovery

  • Are Alternative Vaccine Schedules a Better Choice?

  • Infertility Solutions & Natural Pregnancy Care

  • Is a Gluten-free Lifestyle Right For You

  • Green Living & The Importance of Following a Plant-based Diet

  • Healthy Diets for Dogs and Cats- Homemade vs. Commercial

  • Genetically Engineered Foods – Are they “superfoods” or a disaster in the making?

  • Organic 101-The most heavily sprayed foods to avoid and much more!

Brief Table of Contents

Customize your own personal healing program using natural therapies for more than 400 ailments through diet, whole herb supplements and exercise.

  1. Your Health Care Choices today

  2. Holistic Recovery from Surgery or Illness

  3. Herbal Healing

  4. Foods for Your Healing Diet

  5. A Special Guide to Detoxification

  6. Lifestyle Healing Programs for People with Special Needs

  7. Ailments and Health Conditions- over 400 healing programs

  8. Look it up in the Alternative Health Care Arsenal

  9. Product Resource Listing--Where to Get What We Recommend

To Life-long health,

Linda Page

Adrenal gland health is the key to an easy menopause

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menopauselady-resized-600

Adrenal stress symptoms are similar to menopausal symptoms—nervous tension, mild to severe depression, irritability, fatigue, and unpredictable mood swings. Stressful living and poor eating habits mean many women reach their menopausal years with prematurely worn out adrenals. Depleted adrenals cannot help a woman achieve her new hormone balance after menopause. As I travel around the country, talking to women about more natural ways to deal with menopausal symptoms, it’s almost the first question I ask when a woman complains of dramatic symptoms. Excessive hot flashes, and extreme fatigue are the first two things I hear, so it’s a pretty safe bet that she has swollen, exhausted adrenals. Results are quick for many women. Changing your habits to support long term adrenal health will almost certainly result in eliminating unpleasant menopausal symptoms. Are your adrenals exhausted? Three or more yes answers should alert you.

Lack of energy or alertness? Unexplained moodiness, unusual crying spells, unfounded guilt? Severely cracked, painful heels? Nervous moistness of hands and soles of feet? Brittle, peeling nails or extremely dry skin? Frequent heart palpitations or panic attacks? Chronic heartburn and poor digestion? Chronic lower back pain (adrenal swelling)? Hypoglycemia and cravings for salt or sweets? High incidence of yeast or fungal infections? Severe reactions to odors, or to certain foods?

Stress is toxic to the adrenal glands. Adrenal exhaustion can keep you locked in a low-energy/high-stress loop. Herbs are some of the best therapy I know for revitalizing swollen, exhausted adrenal glands. For acute stress reactions: try herbal nervines like scullcap, St. John’s wort, kava, passionflower, valerian, chamomile.  Chronic stress: consider herbs like licorice, black cohosh, ashwagandha, Siberian eluthero, sarsaparilla, gotu kola. For adrenal integrity, try Vitamin C 5000 mg daily.

You can revitalize your adrenal health with seaweed. Sea vegetables act as total body tonics to restore female vitality during menopause. Add seaweeds to your diet like nori, wakame, dulse, arame and kelp (2 tbsp. daily, chopped into salads and soups). Sea vegetables are a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins like D, K which assist with production of steroidal hormones like estrogen, and DHEA that support the female body during menopause. New studies indicate that up to 40% of the U.S. population is deficient in Vitamin D. Eating sea veggies is a great way to shore up a Vitamin D deficiency while supporting adrenal gland health.

To Life-long health, Linda Page

All About BHRT (Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy)

With celebrity endorsements from Suzanne Somers and Oprah Winfrey, today bioidentical hormones are an incredibly popular approach to relieve menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and low libido. One reason is bioidentical hormones avoid high doses of estrogen common to conventional HRT drugs like Prempro. Early research suggests they may even be safer with less breast/uterine cancer risk than traditional drugs. Common side effects like weight gain and mood swings are often dramatically reduced, too. How are bioidentical hormones unique?

Bioidentical hormones are synthesized from plant sources and are chemically identical to what is produced in the body. Estradiol, estrone, estriol, DHEA, progesterone and testosterone are all available. Some bioidenticals are FDA approved and sold in a standardized dosage. However, most are produced on a case-by-case basis. Your physician tests your blood or saliva in order  (sometimes at different times of day) to develop the formula for you to reach a targeted level of hormones. A compounding pharmacist then produces a customized hormone Rx in the exact proportions that your body needs.

Natural physicians recommend a few follow-up hormone panels to make sure you are getting your relief at the lowest, safest possible dosage. Some men are also using bioidentical hormones like DHEA and testosterone for help with andropausal issues like low energy, loss of muscle mass or sexual dysfunction.

The best source for information on bioidentical hormones: I like www.salivatest.com. and www.johnleemd.com

Update: Wyeth pharmaceuticals has petitioned the FDA to ban bioidentical estriol (most think to boost sales of its HRT drug, Prempro). However, no adverse event had ever been associated with its estriol.  As of this writing, the proposed ban is not in effect.

Sarah Abernathy

Herbal Consultant

All about plant hormones

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Plant or phyto-hormones are remarkably similar to human hormones. They can be accepted by hormone receptor sites in our bodies, and, at  only ¹⁄₄₀₀ to ¹⁄₁₀₀₀  the strength of human hormones, they are extremely gentle and safe, exerting a tonic effect rather than drug-like activity. Although used for centuries by both men and women, we are just beginning to understand their power. Studies on soy foods and herbs like ginseng, black cohosh and wild yam clearly show hormone-normalizing effects.Many Women Find That Herbs Are A Better Choice For Hormone Balance

Many of the phytoestrogen containing herbs, like black cohosh for instance, are not just natural (instead of chemical) estrogen balancers. As living medicines, they can work intelligently with your body. In many cases, these herbs don’t compete for receptor sites or have a direct estrogenic activity in the body. In fact, they work mainly as adaptogens which balance glandular activity and normalize body temperature fluctuations. They do what herbs always do best no matter what the problem is—they are body normalizers.

For hot flashes and night sweats: • Crystal Star Est-Aid capsules, 4 to 6 daily; •wild yam cream or Pro-Est balance roll on; • Vitex extract; vitamin E 800IU; • Evening Primrose Oil caps 3000mg daily.

For side effects from synthetic hormones or birth control pills: • Vitamin E 800IU; • B-12, 2500mg and folic acid 800mcg daily; •Ester C 550mg with bioflavonoids, 6 daily; •Maca caps.

To rebalance prostaglandin formation: (Prostaglandin imbalance can lead to breast and uterine fibroids, menstrual difficulties, and a tendency to gain weight.) Avoid saturated fats, especially from red meats and pasteurized, fatty dairy foods. Take • high omega-3 oils from cold water fish or flax seed oil 3x daily. Or use • Evening Primrose 3000mg daily.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page, Ph.D., Traditional Naturopath

About Linda Page, Ph.D., Traditional Naturopath

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Dr. Page's career as a leader in natural health and healing spans over three decades. She is a prolific author and educator. Her best-selling book, Healthy Healing, is used as a textbook at many higher educational institutions teaching natural health courses. She has also written other books including: Diets for Healthy Healing, Healthy Healing’s Detoxification and a popular series of library books which address specific healing therapies for topics like menopause, weight loss, sexuality, colds and flu and cancer. A master classical herbalist, she founded the herbal nutrition company Crystal Star in 1978 and she has formulated over 250 whole herb combinations. She received some of the first United States patents for herbal formulations for her women’s hormone-balancing formulas.

Linda is in demand by the media and she has appeared weekly on CBS television with a report on natural healing; she is a principle speaker at national health symposiums and conventions; she is featured regularly in national magazines and newspapers; she appears on hundreds of radio and television programs and she regularly contributes to WebMD and other health websites. She is considered the herbal authority on anti-aging, women’s health and beauty.

Today, Linda delights in having come full circle. “I am so grateful that knowledge of healing through herbal formulas and good foods is becoming so widespread. I see it as an opportunity for people to seize the power to heal themselves. Knowledge is power. Whether one chooses conventional medicine, alternative healing avenues, or combines them both in a complementary process, the real prescription for healing is knowledge.”

What Causes Endometriosis And Fibroids?

While scientists are still not entirely certain why endometriosis and fibroids develop, here are risk factors to be aware of: Excess Levels of Estrogen / Deficient Progesterone: Excess estrogen fuels abnormal tissue growth and is a direct cause of both fibroids and endometriosis for many women. When estrogen production declines during menopause, fibroids normally go away on their own. However, quite understandably, this isn't nearly soon enough for women who are suffering from the problem.

X-Ray Consequences: Even low dose radiation may mean increased risk for fibroids. Breast tissue is so sensitive that the time between a mammogram and fibroid growth is sometimes as little as three months.

Too Much Caffeine and Commercial Meat: Drinking 4-5 cups of coffee daily increases estrogen, triggering fibroid growth. Research from a 2001 study reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility shows women who consume 500 milligrams of caffeine daily, the equivalent of 4-5 cups of coffee, produce 70% more estrogen in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle than women who consume less than 1 cup of coffee. If you like beef, you should know that Italian research reported in Obsetrics and Gynecology shows while eating red meat doubles the risk of developing uterine fibroids, eating plenty of vegetables cuts fibroid risk in half! Experience with the problem has me convinced that eliminating caffeine and hormone-injected meats can dramatically reduce fibroid problems for many women.

Oral Contraceptives: Feedback I've had from birth control users suggests that even the newest low dose oral contraceptives can cause breast swelling, and aggravate fibroid problems and endometriosis for susceptible women.

Natural Therapies To Balance Hormones for Fibroids & Endometriosis Relief

A low fat, vegetarian diet. What you eat can make a big difference. Breast swelling and painful uterine cramping can be significantly improved within weeks after a change to a low fat, vegetarian diet.

Reduce caffeine. Caffeine from coffee, chocolate and colas can aggravate fibroids. Women with a predisposition to fibroids have a hard time metabolizing caffeine in these forms. Some women report they can consume green or white tea without ill effect.

Rethink high fat dairy foods like cheese, milk, and ice cream. Naturopaths and practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine routinely suggest eliminating fatty dairy foods from the daily diet to reduce toxic accumulations like fibroids, fatty tumors, cysts and boils. This diet change by itself can produce amazing fibroid relief. Cultured low fat dairy products like yogurt and kefir, are generally well tolerated.

A short cleanse can really help. A 24 hour vegetable juice diet helps clean out acid wastes and reduce body congestion. Consider the 24 hour cleanse in Linda Page's bestselling book, Healthy Healing 12th Edition: A Guide to Self-Healing For Everyone.

Foods that are high in essential fatty acids (EFAs) are a healthy choice. EFAs are liquid fats that help to metabolize hard, clogging saturated fats that contribute to fibroid growths. EFAs also help maintain hormone balance and reduce inflammation- important for fibroid relief. Sea greens like dulse and nori (also a good source of iodine- a proven fibroid fighter), seafoods, dark greens like spinach, cantaloupe, olive oil and avocado are healthy sources of EFAs.

Add cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts. Cruciferous veggies are one of my favorite healing foods. Indole 3 carbinole is the constituent responsible for their bitter flavor. It's a natural antioxidant with powerful anti-tumor activity. Indole 3 carbinole improves estrogen metabolism and the body's ability to eliminate excess estrogen. New tests show that women who eat plenty of vegetables containing indole-3-carbinole may lower their risk of breast cancer. Indole 3 carbinole vegetables may also reduce fibroid symptoms by improving estrogen metabolism.

More fiber in your diet is a natural estrogen balancer. Studies have shown that women on a high-fiber diet have lower levels of circulating estrogen. More fiber in your diet means less circulating estrogen and reduced body congestion because excess estrogen is excreted through the bowel. Having an apple or pear every day keeps your system free flowing.

Finally, maintaining a healthy weight is another key to reduce fibroids and prevent their recurrence. Fat is a storage depot for hormones and wastes that fuel fibroid growth.

To Life-long Health,

Linda Page

Do you have Fibroids or Endometriosis

Fibroids and endometriosis are two of the biggest health complaints I hear about from women. There is hardly a week that goes by that I don't get an office call or a letter from a woman who is trying to avoid fibroid surgery or who is looking for relief. I decided to write this article in response to all of these wonderful women. It offers suggestions for safe and gentle natural therapies, like diet and whole herbs, that you may want to explore with your holistic physician or natural health practitioner. At Crystal Star, we always suggest you consult with health professional before starting a self-help program. The incidence of fibroids and endometriosis has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. More than a half million American women have hysterectomies every year because of complications caused by fibroids and endometriosis. As much as 40% of American women 35 and older have fibroids. Some data suggest uterine fibroids are more common than blue eyes.

Having a hysterectomy is major surgery, sometimes requiring a month or more of recovery time. A 2000 study in the journal Lancet shows women who have undergone hysterectomies have a 60% greater risk for urinary incontinence later in life. In addition, a hysterectomy induces a premature, unnatural menopause with all of its attendant problems- hot flashes, bone loss, weight gain, and mood swings. Most women tell me they would rather deal with the fibroids! The medical community's answer to this is usually a prescription of hormone replacement drugs that we now know are linked to breast cancer, gallbladder disease and blood clots.

The majority of these problems could have been avoided. The latest research shows that only 10% of hysterectomies are medically necessary.

What are Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are benign growths between the size of a walnut and orange that appear on or within uterine walls. Their symptoms can be mild to severe with excessive menstrual bleeding, abdominal pain, bladder infections, painful intercourse and infertility topping the list. Further, most fibroids are not cancerous, and, according to some estimates, have less than 1/2 of 1% chance of becoming cancerous before menopause. In fact, research suggests most fibroids go away on their own after menopause.

Breast fibroids are also highly common. Breast fibroids feel like moveable, rubbery nodules near the surface of the breast. Women complain they cause swelling and that getting a hug is too painful. In a small number of cases, breast fibroids can be fast-growing and may require medical treatment. Even then, you should know that a recent study in National Cancer institute shows radiologists report false positives 16% of the time. Click here for more Breast Fibroids information.

How is Endometriosis Different? Endometriosis is caused by excess growth of endometrial tissue that is not shed during menstruation. The tissue escapes the uterus and spreads, attaching to other areas of the body- ovaries, lymph nodes, fallopian tubes, bladder, rectum, even kidneys and lungs. It grows abnormally, bleeding severely during the menstrual cycle, from the vagina or rectum, or bladder or back through the fallopian tubes, instead of normally through the vagina.

Endometriosis can mean heavy periods and pain all month long, and it increases risk for benign uterine and breast fibroids. It's credited with up to 50% of infertility cases in American women.

In many cases, natural therapies can help a woman's body normalize naturally. Further, symptoms of fibroids and endometriosis can be reduced by making simple diet changes and following specific herb and supplement protocols.

Do You Have Warning Signs Of Fibroids Or Endometriosis?

A visit to your holistic physician will give you a definitive diagnosis, but two or more yes answers to the symptoms below should alert you of a potential problem.

  • Severe abdominal cramping and shooting pain; and abdominal-rectal pain
  • Excessive, painful menstruation; passing large clots; prolonged abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Chronic fluid retention, abdominal bloating
  • Irregular bowel movements or diarrhea during menses
  • Urinary frequency
  • Sensation of fullness or pressure in the abdomen

To Life-long health,

Linda Page