Natural health alternatives for HRT to combat menopausal symptoms
The Natural Doctor, Nyjon Eccles, explains the benefits of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
For years, HRT has been the preferred option offered to women to help address their hormone imbalances and keep menopausal symptoms at bay. Dr Nyjon Eccles, The Natural Doctor and a specialist in natural women’s health addresses other options that are now available to women and talks through the correct steps needed to help women get a full diagnostic picture before they make any decisions.
HRT for many women is no longer a preferred option whether this be due to the negative press and risks that have been attributed to talking it but suffering and soldering through the menopause is also not an option for many women as life can be horrendous and the emotional and physical symptoms often begin between the ages of 45 and 55.
Dr Eccles takes a look at an advanced hormone balancing treatment called Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, which works by supplying your body with adequate levels of key hormones like oestrogen and progesterone and testosterone. BHRT is suitable for both men and women and works by restoring deficiencies of the key hormones it needs by using compounds that have the exact same chemical and molecular structure as those naturally found in the body. Like HRT, Bio-Identical hormones relieve the symptoms of hormone imbalance and menopause and improve quality of life and well-being.
Dr Eccles says, “Each person must have a hormone assessment test before they begin BHRT treatment which involves a comprehensive baseline hormone test that includes a urine, blood, or saliva test so we can check the following:
Oestrogen, progesterone, pregnenolone, testosterone, DHEA, Vitamin D (a hormone not a vitamin). In addition, I also look at cholesterol, which is important for hormones, plus we look at cardiovascular risks and markers for inflammation and all of this then gives me a lot of useful additional information about the patient’s physiology. Once I know what all these hormone levels are and if they are deficient we look at ways of restoring these levels which will help improve positive physiological benefits.”
When should you do this test?
Timing of when to do the hormone panel test depends on whether a woman is still menstruating and if they are no longer menstruating then any time is fine but if they still have a regular cycle then they should do the test day 19 to 21 days into their cycle.
Who should consider BHRT /natural hormone replacement therapy?
• Suffer from moderate to severe hot flashes
• Have reduced bone mass
• Have premature menopause (before the age of 40) or suffer from premature ovarian insufficiency
• Experience other menopausal symptoms
• Who have emotional symptoms and mood swings associated with menopause
• Have loss of libido
• Have poor concentration and brain fog
• Want to help support their skin collagen
How is BHRT taken/administered?
In bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, the hormones can be administered in different ways. The hormones are available as:
- Topical gels or creams (the preferred method)
- Vaginal creams, rings, and tablets
What hormones are actually used in BHRT?
Women’s bodies have many different hormones and estrogen is a group of compounds but BHRT focuses on key hormones such as:
Recognized as one of the primary female sex hormones, estrogens are a group of compounds that play a crucial role in women’s menstrual and reproductive cycles. As far as structural changes go, estrogens help:
- Accelerate one’s metabolism (always good for losing weight)
- Improve brain function
- Minimize bone reabsorption while increasing bone formation
- Keep the vagina moist and more youthful
- Keeps skin more supple and youthful
- And MORE
In bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, two types of estrogen are prescribed most of the time. They are:
For pre-menopausal women, estradiol comprises the majority of estrogen that the body produces. It serves as a growth hormone for tissues of the reproductive organs – adding more support to the lining of the vagina, fallopian tube, the cervical glands, and the endometrium.
Produced by the body during pregnancy but also an important estrogen in pre-menopausal women, this hormone has been used to minimize the symptoms of multiple sclerosis in pregnant women.
This hormone, which can be used orally or transdermally, has been approved by the FDA for treating endometrial hyperplasia and for relieving menopausal symptoms. Moreover, it has been proven to be extremely reliable in treating menopausal sleep problems.
Why consider Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Safe and effective relief from menopausal symptoms like decreased sex drive, night sweating, hot flashes, mood swings, etc.
- Higher energy levels
- Better metabolism and decreased body fat
- Increased bone mass
- Enhanced immune system
- Better-looking skin
- Devoid of the side effects of synthetic hormones
How long do you need to take it for?
This really depends on what the reason is they are taking them for. Most women elect to keep taking them to get the functional and anti-ageing benefits afforded by being on them. Advantage – No known downsides as with the synthetic hormones. Yearly monitoring is important in any event.
How much does it cost?
Depending on what hormone you need each hormone is about £50 each and on average three to four are prescribed per month.
Dr Eccles believes, “The overall positives of natural hormones is they don’t have some of the downsides that synthetic hormones may have.”
Finally Dr Eccles says “Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can be an effective remedy against menopausal symptoms … but only if it’s administered in a way that suits the individual and that’s why the correct testing is needed and patients need to monitored and to get the levels optimal for that individual.”
Our review of Dr Nyjon Eccles; The Natural Doctor
The quick read: An expert in nutritional, hormonal and anti-ageing medicine. Dr Nyjon Eccles has spent many years studying and researching natural and non-invasive ways to improve cellular health. His mission is to empower people to better health, mainly by testing people for things not routinely tested by their GPs and advising on supplementation. He set up The Natural Doctor at 69 Harley Street in 1998 to specialise in breast health and cancer support work, and he devises nutritional programmes for private clients all over the world suffering from conditions such as hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue and diabetes. You can have sessions with him at his clinic on Harley Street, or by Skype or telephone.
How was it for us: I first encountered Dr Eccles in a telephone consultation before embarking on a de-stress retreat at Verdura spa in Sicily – though he is an independent doctor, he advises the spa on their wellbeing programmes. ‘How are you?’ was his very first question, which he asked in a gentle voice. ‘Tired’, I said, not quite realising until then just how tired I really was. Years of travelling as a journalist and firing on all cylinders in my life in general had given me a certain feeling of tiredness that I couldn’t explain away anymore by a couple of restless nights sleep. But real help was at hand, for this wasn’t just a chat based on feelings – Dr Eccles had my real blood, saliva and urine test results in front of him on which to base his advice, from carefully devised DIY tests I’d done at home in Devon.
Dr Eccles explained that I was suffering from a low ratio of DHEA in my blood, the youth-giving, anti-ageing parent hormone that declines when we are stressed and as we get older, but that gives us hormone and adrenal support and helps regulate many of our other hormones (which is why it’s a supplement favoured by anti-ageing experts). Increasing my DHEA levels would support my adrenals and make me less tired, he said – and it was a relief to hear there was something practical I could do instead of wondering about why a good sleep the night before hadn’t already cured me of my tiredness.
Classified as a medicine in the UK, DHEA is only available on prescription, so I was slightly wary of it. But Dr Eccles reassured me that the only side effect was oily skin, that he himself had been taking it for years, and that it was available over the counter in the US. (He provides his own pharmaceutical grade supplements to his UK clients, but also suggested that Life Extension are his tried and trusted brand of choice).
It turned out I was also low in Vitamin D, Iodine and Omega 3 – typical, in fact, of most westerners. ‘If we all ate more like the Japanese, we’d be far more healthy’, said Dr Eccles. He advised me to eat more seaweed (particularly kelp) to increase my iodine levels, and to embark on a course of supplements to increase the levels of DHEA, Vitamin D and Omega 3 in my body.
I have gone on to have two more sets of blood tests, three months apart, and two more phone consultations with Dr Eccles, to check the levels each time, and my journey continues. The idea is that slowly, over time, I will change my physiology and take stress off my system. I’ve always found him to be friendly, kind, straight up and with a generous sense of humour. And I’ve also learnt some marvellously interesting things.
The Natural Doctor, Nyjon Eccles
Over 70% of people in the western word are deficient in Vitamin D, for example, which is vital for immune and bone support and to protect the heart and nervous system – yet it’s not routinely tested by GPs. About 50% of Europeans are also deficient in iodine, mainly because of diet, and we’re also usually low in Omega 3 and should be taking at least 2.5g of it a day – more if we already have an existing inflammatory condition such as arthritis or bowel disorder.
What fascinates me most is that Dr Eccles is doing what I think my GP should be doing anyway – checking, on a cellular level, how my body really is, routinely measuring physiological imbalances and correcting these imbalances to reduce my risk of ill health and today’s degenerative diseases. I live in hope.
More on Dr Eccles: Nyjon has an excellent reputation for his practice of evidence-based Complementary Medicine, and is one of the leading Integrated Medicine Physicians in the UK – he is acknowledged in “Who’s Who” in Medicine & Healthcare, 2011-2012, for outstanding contributions in the Medical field, and received a Medical Science Award of Excellence 2011 for Natural Medicine Research. He is also pioneering the introduction to the UK of Medical Infrared BreastThermal Imaging, for very early non-invasive detection of breast cancer and screening of musculoskeletal disorders.
What’s queenly: Dr Eccles is an advisor for some health retreats – including the wellbeing programmes run by Verdura spa in Sicily and the healing programmes on offer at Amchara detox retreat in Somerset.
What’s lowly: If you’re doing blood tests at home, you might need some patience – there’s something excruciating about pricking your own finger and dropping your blood onto a piece of card.
Prices: Introductory consultations cost £250, either in person, by telephone or via Skype. Follow ups are £200 at the clinic or £150 via tel/Skype.
ARE YOU VITAMIN D DEFICIENT?
Have you noticed how sensitive the Towie cast are to jokes about their fake tans. They should lighten up…. Meanwhile us deliberately pale and genetically pale types need to get serious about vitamin D deficiency. Health experts claim it’s an epidemic waiting to happen.
I met one of the world’s leading anti-ageing doctors, Dr Nyjon Eccles, late last year before a trip to Verdura, above, where he oversees the excellent Vita Health programme. He estimated that about 70% of us are Vitamin D deficient – including many who have tans (using sun creams blocks the beneficial effects of sunlight).
Why does it matter? Because vitamin D (which is a hormone rather than a vitamin, by the way) protects the body against the degenerating effects of inflammation, which can contribute to all sorts of conditions including cancer and heart disease. Our lack of vitamin D has led to a new word inflamm-ageing – as soon as the medical world coins a trendy term, you know you have to take it seriously. Dr Eccles takes 5,000 i u (international units) of vitamin D daily. Tests showed I was deficient and I now dose up every day too. Dr Eccles thinks everyone should be tested. I’m glad I have been.
GD Biosciences Announces Availability of the PULS Cardiac Test in London, UK
Global Discovery Biosciences (GD Biosciences), developer of The PULS Cardiac Test, a 9-protein biomarker based blood test that detects and diagnoses early-stage heart disease in asymptomatic patients, today announced its strategic partnership with The Natural Doctor to help bring prevention and enhanced detection methods direct to London, UK. The announcement is part of a strategic international expansion plan. The company launched the PULS Cardiac Test in India just last month.
“The PULS Cardiac Test is a powerful diagnostic and predictive assessment that has demonstrated significant improvement in identifying patients with early stage cardiac lesions and has been validated in a multi-ethnic population,” said Douglas S. Harrington, M.D., CEO of GD Biosciences and co-developer of the PULS Cardiac Test. “With its ongoing success in the U.S., the PULS Cardiac Test aims to catalyze improved cardiac disease detection and management around the world.”
The PULS Cardiac Test has seen significant growth in the U.S. since its launch earlier this year. As an affordable blood test, reimbursed by most healthcare insurance in the US, it is a breakthrough in disease management and prevention.
Eighty percent of heart disease is preventable through healthy lifestyle choices, education and early detection.
Dr. Nyjon Eccles, founder of the Natural Doctor in London UK, comments:
“Since 1998, I have been practicing Preventative Medicine. The Medical profession tends to use tests that are not sensitive enough for early detection, hence, we tend to detect disease late in the day when it is well established. Fifty percent of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels and this highlights the fact that the current cardiovascular risk blood markers that we doctors use are missing a large proportion of people at risk. I believe that the PULS Cardiac Test will prove a game-changer in this respect”.
“The Natural Doctor is excited to be working with GD biosciences, since part of our mission is to help prevent diseases through early detection, education and offering non-invasive, cost effective solutions to keep people away from diseases like heart disease”.
The Natural Doctor will be the sole representative of GD Biosciences for their PULS Cardiac Test in the UK.
Anyone interested in knowing more about this test can email queries to email@example.com
About GD Biosciences
Global Discovery Biosciences is a pioneer in the field of diagnostic medicine. The company works on the cutting edge of medical research, turns discoveries into innovative products and brings those products to the global marketplace.
The company works with advanced research teams to develop, manufacture and distribute innovative technology platforms to address the needs of the global disease burden. Its CLIA-certified and GMP laboratory performs a menu of clinically effective tests targeting key health issues. Our goal is to equip physicians with the tools they need to transform health care – one patient at a time.
About the PULS Cardiac Test
The PULS Cardiac Test is a simple blood test that uses breakthrough medical technology to identify individuals with active, yet undetected subclinical Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), who are at risk of experiencing a Heart Attack, and for whom early intervention can help. Check out our recent news coverage: