women

  1. Early menopause, early death

    No woman likes reaching menopause -- and not just because of the physical problems that come along with it.

    It's a reminder that you're aging... and who wants to be reminded of that?

    So naturally, menopause isn't exactly welcome news at any age. But when women reach "the change" early, they face even more problems -- and not just the emotional toll of a premature aging milestone.

    I saw a 48-year-old patient recently who went into menopause early, at 42. Sure enough, she had all sorts of health problems -- including fatigue, poor memory, and even the beginnings of bone loss.

    I explained to her that a doctor should have had her on natural hormones years ago. Needless to say, we got to work on replenishing her body's vital hormones.

    It's not just her.

    A new study of 390 Swedish women confirms the risks of early menopause, including double the risk of osteoporosis, a 70 percent increase in the risk of bone breaks, and a 60 percent higher risk of an early death when compared to women who reached the change after they turned 47.

    Early menopause can be triggered by any number of factors. Some, like genetics, aren't entirely within your control. But others are -- and if you're a smoker, quit now. The habit can boost your risk of early menopause by up to 60 percent.

    Exposure to toxic chemicals can also up your odds, and you don't have to work with hazardous waste to have high levels of dangerous toxins.

    Some of them are in your home right now.

    One study last year found that high levels of the perfluorocarbons used in many household products can increase the risk of early menopause by up to 40 percent. These PFCs are often used to make products waterproof, wrinkle-free, stain resistant, and non-stick.

    In other words, they're all around you. That's why I write to you so often about how to avoid these chemicals and how to detoxify when you have been exposed.

    Whatever the cause of your change -- whether it's early or right on time -- and you need more than just nutritional support, you can get over the worst of it with the help of hormones.

    And by that, I don't mean the drug industry's dangerous artificial hormones.

    Turn to bioidentical hormones instead. Bioidentical hormones are custom-made to match your body's needs -- and are exactly the same as what your body produces.

    I have an in-depth article on testing and treating menopausal women with bioidentical hormones in an upcoming issue of my Health Revelations newsletter. Sign up here, and you'll be among the first to get it.

    For more help in identifying and treating hormone imbalances, visit a holistic doctor or schedule a visit with me at my clinic.

  2. Do women really need less of this life saving test?

    If there's any cancer screening that actually works -- one that saves lives without ruining any in the process -- it's the Pap smears used to detect cervical cancer in women.

    Yet the mainstream is starting to back away from them -- and now, the latest recommendations say women can get smeared much less frequently. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says most women can get Pap smears every three years between the ages of 21 and 65.

    Under 21 and older than 65 can skip the test altogether, and women between the ages of 30 and 65 can get theirs every five years if they get an HPV test at the same time as their Pap smear.

    That's a test that checks for the presence of the sexually transmitted HPV virus that causes the cancer.

    The Task Force says it just wants to cut back on screenings to lower the risk of overtreatment, since many cervical lesions will go away on their own -- and that's all true enough.

    But the Pap smear doesn't have the same issues as some of the other cancer screenings, like the radioactive mammograms that can actually cause the very breast cancers they're supposed to detect -- so the risks here are minimal.

    Dr. Mark Stengler put it best when I asked him about the new recommendations.

    "I have no problem with yearly screenings with a procedure that is nontoxic," he told me.

    On the other hand, he said some women can indeed safely go three to five years between screenings: women who are not sexually active and have no history that would suggest they're at risk for cervical cancer.

    But a Pap smear is really just a small piece of the picture here, because the best way to beat this cancer is to avoid getting in the first place.

    Dr. Stengler says one of the simplest ways to avoid the cervical dysplasia that can turn into cancer -- and even help beat the HPV infection that causes it -- is with a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, especially those rich in vitamin E.

    In his book "Prescription for Natural Cures," Dr. Stengler also offers seven natural remedies for cervical dysplasia, including indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and diindolylmethane (DIM).

    The names don't exactly roll off the tongue, but all you really need to know is that they're extracts from the cruciferous vegetables -- like broccoli -- that you should be eating anyway.

    I'm not done with women's health yet. Keep reading for the latest natural solution for hot flashes.

  3. Turn down the heat with therapy

    It's one of the Holy Grails of the drug industry: A pill to end hot flashes. Think that's a big market? You bet it is! Up to 80 percent of all women battle hot flashes during menopause, making a would-be treatment a billion-dollar dream for the drug industry.
  4. How to know when you're having a heart attack

    You might think heart attacks don't discriminate, but that's not actually true. They do discriminate -- and it's a form of discrimination that's killing women.
  5. The part-time diet that really works

    Researchers put women on a low-carb diet up against women on a low-calorie diet -- but with a huge catch: The low-carb eaters would stick to the plan for just two days a week… and eat whatever they wanted the rest of the time.
  6. Risky vitamins? Don't believe it!

    Common, safe nutrients and ordinary multivitamins are being blamed for everything in the book -- and now, a new study claims any number of vitamins will cause women to die early.
  7. When it comes to exercise, less is more

    Everyone should make sure they get moving during the day -- but no one needs to turn into a treadmill-racing workout fiend to get the benefits of exercise.
  8. Sex can help women age better

    Sex doesn't just get better with age -- age gets better with sex, especially for women.
  9. Wives save lives

    A new study finds that married men who suffer a heart attack are more likely to get to a hospital quicker than their bachelor counterparts -- and researchers believe it's because their wives are urging them to go at the first sign of trouble.
  10. Wrinkles linked to bone loss

    What's on your skin might offer real clues about what lies beneath: Researchers say women with more wrinkles have less bone.
  11. Working women face stroke risk

    A new study finds that women with high levels of work - related stress have nearly double the risk of heart attack of women with less stress. And since other studies have found a similar risk for men, it looks like women have achieved the wrong kind of workplace equality.
  12. Diabetes hospitalizations on the rise

    Too many young adults are spending too much time in the hospital.
  13. Sudden cardiac death linked to antidepressants

    Some drugs can be worse than the illnesses they treat.
  14. Vitamin research doesn't pass the sniff test

    The latest study on multivitamins concluded that women who take multivitamins face the same risk of cancer and heart disease as women who don't.

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