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Archive for February, 2007

New Heart Guidelines - Old News about Aspirin and Lots of Confusion over Hormones

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Yesterday the American Heart Association announced the publication of new guidelines for women and heart disease from their article in the journal Circulation.

 To no surprise, the main recommendation was for women to start taking a baby aspirin in the dose of 81 mg per day as a mild blood thinner to reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes.  This recommendation is officially new for women, but has been in  place for men for several decades.

The guidelines also downplayed the importance of vitamin and dietary supplements in the form of vitamins C and E, beta carotene and folic acid as “worthless for preventing heart disease”.

The final comment by the authors was to point out that oral Premarin causes blood clots at four times the rate of a bio-identical estrogen skin patch called Climara. 

 I want to discuss mostly the confusion, if not intentional mis-representation, of hormones in women.  We all knew 40 years ago that high doses of chemically altered, synthetic estrogens in the form found in Premarin and birth control pills (BCP’s) causes a high incidence of blood clots.  Nothing has changed - it still does.  What is worse is when you combine these unnatural estrogens with chemically altered, synthetic progestins that the incidence of blood clots rises even further.

What the authors of the heart guidelines failed to tell the press (or even understand themselves) is that the estrogen product in the Climara patch is pure unaltered estradiol - that circulates naturally right in your own body.

 Did you know that Premarin is a derivative of horse urine?  A multitude of horse estrogens (from pregnant mares) are being packaged and sold to women.  Even the name “Premarin” is derived from “PREgnant MARes urINe.”  This is not a joke.

Is it any wonder then that a natural hormone, bio-identical to the estradiol found in women should not only be safer than a laboratory-derived, Frankenstein-altered estrogenic chemical but also was found to be safer than taking nothing at all?

That’s right.  The statistics from the study pointed out that the incidence of blood clots in women taking Climara, the natural estrogen known as estradiol, was 0.9 the incidence found in women without any medication!  I am not necessarily advocating that women go out willy-nilly and start taking large doses of Climara, but that it is mis-represented by mainstream medicine.

Medical doctors who are supposed to be “experts” in the field surprisingly do not know that synthetic, chemically altered hormones (like those found in all BCP’s, HRT (Premarin, PremPro) are all POISONS.  Go to http://www.DitchThePill.org for an in depth discussion on this very topic.

These same “experts” do not understand the difference between natural or bio-identical hormones that we advocate and the drugs pushed on women by big pharmaceutical companies. 

For example, the word “progesterone”, which should be reserved for the exact meaning of a natural hormone found in a woman’s body, is probably the most misunderstood medical term in all of medical literature today.  Nine doctors out of ten do not understand that the progestin found in PremPro or in all BCP’s is NOT PROGESTERONE that is found in nature, but rather a chemically altered version of it to satisfy patent laws.

This is important for the treatment of migraine headaches in which natural hormone supplements are recommended (among other items) to achieve a cure rate of 80% in our women patients of our clinic. 

Andrew Jones, M.D., Medical Director

Women’s Health Institute of Texas

https://Migraine-Headaches-Information.com

Public Citizen Jumps on Our Bandwagon – Calls for Ban on Certain Birth Control Pills – What Took You So Long?

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

The Women’s Health Institute of Texas, under my direction, has been speaking out for quite some time to anyone who would listen about the dangers of birth control pills (BCP’s).  It appears that Public Citizen, a non-partisan consumer advocacy organization, has picked up the trail and is attempting to induce political changes on users of BCP’s.
 

Public Citizen earlier this week just filed a complaint with the FDA calling for a total ban on “Third Generation” birth control pills.  In a press release yesterday, Public Citizen called for a total ban on a class of BCP’s that contain the synthetic, chemically altered progestin called “desogestrel”.

Desogestrel Doubles the Rate of Blood Clots

They stated that BCP’s containing desogestrel have been shown to cause an incidence of blood clots, including clots in the lungs which are frequently fatal, at twice the rate of prior BCP’s.  This information has been known since 1995.

Designer Birth Control Pills Manipulated over 50 Years

Over the last 50 years, BCP’s have undergone an evolution in chemical makeup and designer alterations to the main components.  The typical Pill contains a synthetic, chemically altered estrogen and another chemically altered progestin.  The estrogen dosages have dropped considerably over the years while the progestin component has seen a variety of chemical substitutions.
 

In the 1980’s, drug companies introduced “third generation” progestins for the Pill.  These chemicals became the darlings of the industry with names like desogestrel (DSG), gestodine, and norgestimate acetate (NORGac).  Many drug companies manufactured a number of brands using these third generation progestins.  These were supposed to be the panacea for oral contraception in women. 

Blood Clots Occasionally Fatal in Young Women

Early studies following the introduction of third generation progestins within the Pill showed a problematic increase in the risk of blood clots, called venous thrombo-embolism.   Blood clots typically include a clot in the leg veins frequently extending up into the pelvis.  Oftentimes, these clots become dislodged with the clot actually ending up in the lungs for a potentially fatal lung clot.  Many young women under the age of 40 have died as a result of fatal lung clots.
 

Desogestrel is one of three major progestins of the third generation BCP’s.   Interestingly, desogestrel was the only third generation progestin cited by Public Citizen.  One of the other two remaining third generation progestins, gestodine, was equally implicated along with desogestrel.  But the third one, norgestimate, was shown just last year to be merely equal to the already unacceptable risk of blood clots of BCP’s of previous versions. 

Desogestrel Containing BCP’s are Just the Tip of the Iceberg

And as much as we here at the Women’s Health Institute of Texas appreciate Public Citizen taking a stance, they didn’t go all the way when they have a responsibility to do just that.
 

Blood clots did not begin with the third generation Pills, however.  They were already a significant problem with the earlier versions as well.  What shocked the industry was the research that actually showed a DOUBLING of the incidence of blood clots with the newer Pills.  As far back as 1995, studies showed this prompting the FDA to issue a warning about blood clots in these drugs. 

Banning BCP’s versus Educating the Public

Again, I welcome Public Citizen’s entrance onto our bandwagon exposing the dangers of birth control pills, I do not necessarily endorse the heavy-handed efforts at a total ban of the Pill.  Government agency bans and confiscations merely assume that women are not smart enough to make their own decisions and it comes across as paternalistic, in my view. 
 

Educating women on the dangers of the Pill and allowing them to weigh options available to them would be more advantageous, particularly when there is a strategy as outlined on the non-profit organization located at www.DitchThePill.org

“Match the Pill” Strategy Neutralized the Side Effects of BCP’s

I wear many hats.  In addition to being the Medical Director of the Women’s Health Institute of Texas and publishing a treatment cure for migraine headaches, I am also the Chief Medical Advisor to www.DitchThePIll.org .  In conjunction with them, a strategy was devised for those women who would not or could not get off the pill.  This strategy is called “Match the Pill”. 
 

As much as I dislike the dangers of BCP’s and would, in a perfect world, ask that women not take them at all, many women do appreciate the benefits and conveniences that the Pill offers them.  The “Match the Pill” strategy simply gives women the ability to continue taking the Pill AND take supplemental natural (bio-identical) progesterone on the same days they take the Pill.

Have Your Cake and Eat it, Too!

What the “Match the Pill” strategy accomplishes is by adding the natural progesterone the way mother nature really intended it, not only does this significantly neutralize the side effect risks of BCP’s but also enhances contraception at the same time.  It is like having your cake and eating it at the same time.
 

You can read more about this clever strategy along with a lot of great information about BCP’s on their website:  www.DitchThePill.org  .

Let’sWelcome Public Citizen to Our Bandwagon

So, to the fine folks at Public Citizen:  Welcome to our bandwagon.  There is room for everyone and we are glad you are aboard. 
 

Andrew Jones, M.D.
Medical Director, Women’s Health Institute of Texas
Migraine-Headaches-Information.com
 
 

 

Xeno-Estrogens Showing Up in Environment

Monday, February 5th, 2007

A report from Boston last week stated that two types of oils found in shampoos, skin lotions, hair gel or soap were causing breast growth in young boys.  A study reported that the breast growth condition, called gynecomastia, occurred in three boys ages 4, 7 and 10.

Each of the hair or skin products contained lavender or tree oils.  Exposure to these oils disrupted the hormone system in the boys causing the development of female type of breast tissue.

This hormonal affect mimicked the action of the predominantly female hormone, estrogen.  Thousands of chemicals in the environment and manufactured daily contain pre-estrogenic compounds called xeno-estrogens (pronounced “zeeno” extrogens).

The mainstream press has been slow to report the findings of xeno-estrogens in the environment.  Doctors such as myself, who treat women on a regular basis have known about xeno-estrogens for quite some time.  Mainstream medicine as a rule has never even heard of the terminology and would tend to dismiss the whole concept of chemicals acting with hormone-like effects in the body.

Other examples of xeno-estrogens include: all pastics, especially the ever-present plastic water bottles, detergents, petroleum products, commercially raised beef and chicken, and methyl paraben preservatives in skin lotions and hair gels.

The same estrogenic effect similar to what the young boys in the report were exposed to, are also causing hyper-estrogenic effects in women.  This is why young girls are reaching menarche (their first periods) at incredibly young ages, having precocious puberty with well developed breasts at age 8, 10 or younger.

This is also why girls in their teens are having such difficult problems with heavy or painful periods at age 15 and 16, which was something not seen in their grandmother’s generation.

Unfortunately, what so frequently happens in response to a teenage girl with heavy or painful periods is for the doctor to place them on birth control pills (BCP’s).    BCP’s will definitely make the periods lighter, regular and easier - but these girls will pay the price with the myriad of future side effects such as:

blood clots

strokes

heart disease

heart attacks

high blood pressure

depression (including post-partum depression)

anxiety

migraine headaches

PMS

increased risk of breast cancer

increased risk of uterine cancer

uterine fibroids (and eventually the hysterectomy for such)

and the list goes on…

 

There is an alternative to birth control pills, however.  This is discussed by the non-profit group on www.ditchthepill.org   It is called the “Match the Pill” strategy.

I object to BCP’s because of their ability to cause and/or worsen migraine headaches.  Aside from our successful treatment program on curing migraines in women, one of the first recommended actions is to get off birth control pills altogether.

Andrew Jones, M.D.

Medical Director, Women’s Health Institute of Texas

Migraine-Headaches-Information.com

 

 

FDA Scrutinizes Birth Control Pills - Newer drugs have up to twice the failure rate due to lower hormone levels

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

The FDA recently released a report stating that the newer versions of birth control pills (BCP’s) are twice as likely to get pregnant.  The reason why is that drug manufacturers continue to lower the synthetic, chemically altered hormones within the Pill.

Why are the drug companies trying to lower the synthetic hormone levels?  Because of too many side effects like blood clots in the legs and lungs, as well as heart disease problems and strokes. 

Drug companies that manufacture BCP’s are now finding themselves caught in a “Catch-22″ situation.  The higher the synthetic hormone levels, the more effective they are at preventing pregnancy, but the greater the incidence of nasty side effects.

On the other hand, as they continue to lower the synthetic hormones to lessen the side effects, they become less effective in preventing pregnancy - which is the reason they were designed to begin with.

There is one more deadly catch:  The newest generation of BCP’s, even though they are at their lowest hormone levels ever, have actually DOUBLED the rate of blood clots in the legs and lungs!

The reason why the newest BCP’s are deadlier than ever (and simultaneously least effective at preventing pregnancy) is because they changed one of the chemically altered hormones for another entirely different hormone class.  So the hormone levels don’t matter because they are dealing with an entirely new synthetic hormone class.

Why did the drug companies opt for an entire new chemically altered class of hormone in the Pill?  Because the earlier versions were androgenic - meaning they resembled the effects of anabolic steroids like testosterone.  They had too many complaints in women of changes in them like facial hair, aggressive behaviour and increased acne. 

Women who started shaving beards do not make good long term customers.  So the drug companies altered a chemical that resembles a diuretic called spironolactone.  This had far less androgenic effects, but turns out it doubled the rate of blood clots.

There is a much more detailed discussion of the dangers of BCP’s on the website: www.ditchthepill.org if you want to see just how nasty BCP’s really are.  Don’t forget that BCP’s are one of the primary causes of migraine headaches in women.

The good news is that many of the toxic effects of BCP’s can be neutralized (partially).  This is explained in the www.ditchthepill.org website, too.   Pretty simple, too.

Obviously, I am an advocate of getting rid of BCP’s altogether, but for many women, if not most, the convenience of BCP’s outweighs the actual dangers.  For those women, there is the strategy of “Match the Pill” described in the ditchthepill website.

As far as migraine headaches are concerned, virtually 100% of women will get off BCP’s if only they knew how much they are involved with their migraines.

Andrew Jones, M.D.

Medical Director, Women’s Health Institute of Texas

Migraine-Headaches-information.com

Women’s Health Initiative in the News Again

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

The headline article in this morning’s local newspaper, The Houston Chronicle, announced yet another finding learned from the Women’s Health Intitiative (WHI) study.  I have discussed this study on numerous occasions before in my websites, varous articles and my books. 

The WHI is turning into the next great study that will supplant the Framingham Study, which was the main study followed for the last 40 years on heart disease in Framingham, Massachusetts.  The Framingham study is the one where all of our cholesterol recommendations came from.  The WHI study is also the one that rocked the world in 2002, 2003 and 2004 with revelations on the nasty side effects of synthetic, chemically altered hormones found in HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and in birth control pills.

Back to the WHI:  Analysis of data from the large number of women that participated in the study indicated that women living in cities high in air pollutants died of heart ailments 76% more than those who lived in cleaner areas.

 The report was collected from data supplied by the WHI which was originally set up in 1993.  As many as 160,000 post-menopausal women participated in the study.  The sub-group for the heart study was made up of nearly 66,000 women.  It was studied for heart deaths relating to three dozen cities with fine air pollution particles.

The conclusion was made after factoring out physical activity and weight.  Because of the study group size, the conclusions of nearly double the death rate from heart disease from living in urban areas with air pollution was definitive according to the study authors.

Fine particles in air pollution are about 35 times smaller than a very fine grain of beach sand.  These circulate in the air and we breathe them in certain urban areas.  Once in the lungs, they act as a source of inflammation.  Asthma in children is already an epidemic in some areas.  To cause nearly a doubling of the death rate from heart attacks should not be a surprise.

This report made the Houston paper front page news because Houston is located just north of the nation’s densest areas of oil refineries and one of the busiest ports in the world.

Frankly, no one should be surprised by these results.  Anyone with common sense can just walk outside and smell the air.  Sometimes it stinks pretty bad for those folks south of town.  They have been complaining for years. 

What is amazing is how well the human body performs despite breathing dirty air for several decades.  It really should be worse.  It is not just Houston, it is in 30 other cities, too.  You know it if you live in one of them.  Most of the U.S. population probably resides in those 30 cities.

The finger pointing has been going on for some time.  The blame game is well established between industry on the ground, automobile manufacturers, no growth advocates and government planners who want to run people’s lives.  That politics is not likely to change anytime soon because of seismic costs that no one wants to pay.

But what I don’t see discussed are some options that individuals can make right now.  These will never be discussed in the mainstream press nor medical literature.  But anti-oxidants supplements, vitamins and the whole industry of nutraceuticals can have an enormous effect if you start taking them now.  

There are an amazing array of products out there that mainstream medicine dismisses with arrogance that can help you combat whatever you are exposed to in the environment.  Not everyone can live in pristine conditions.

I have no affiliation with anyone producing these products, but my family and I do take them ourselves.  I personally take over 30 pills containing these supplements every day.  Some may or may not work as advertised, but who has 30 years to wait and find out? 

Once you get chronic lung disease or heart disease, it is too late.  Do your homework and start now.

At the Women’s Health Institute of Texas we advocate numerous vitamins and supplements for our patients.  Even though we have specific treatment plans for our migraine headache patients, we also recommend that everyone, regardless of health condition, gender or where they live, start taking a number of supplements.

Andrew Jones, M.D.

Medical Director, Women’s Health Institute of Texas

Migraine-Headaches-Information.com