Jamieson Health Center

Newsletter

September 27, 2011

Volume 3, Number 6

 

Dear patients, dear friends,

 

I wanted to share with you some good news about the progress thats recently being made in understanding the complexity of perimenopause and menopause.

 

It is not a secret that many women are suffering from the effects of perimenopause/menopause in silence. Im not just talking about hot flashes, but about the immunological and neurological impact it can have. Many women are suffering from depression and anxiety. Their personalities change. They lose their passion. They cant handle life anymore. They cant concentrate and their memory fails. They are tired all the time. They can be in constant pain and nothing seems to help. Families fall apart because the mother or grandmother who made life run smoothly is falling apart.

 

A large body of evidence now suggests that estrogen fluctuations in peri/menopause are associated with a spontaneous increase of proinflammatory cytokines causing a fire of inflammation in your body, especially in those areas that are already a problem.

 

Most people know that the decline in estrogen affects the tissues of the body. In the conventional medical world, the decrease in tissue proliferation of the breast, vagina, skin, nail and hair is managed with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, the increase in systemic inflammatory cytokine production is typically ignored until symptoms develop that can be diagnosed as a disease.

 

I hope you dont wait to get help but stop the decline now:

          For those of you who have not yet reached perimenopause, there is a way to lessen the problems or avoid them altogether. The key to a healthy transition is a healthy adrenal system, because the adrenals compensate for the loss of estrogen.

          But for those of you who are suffering, we need to identify where the fires are and support the adrenals, the immune system, the brain and the gut.

 

How can you avoid or stop the fire?

  The most important step is to regulate your blood sugar by eating every two hours and avoiding sugars, sweets and simple carbohydrates.

  Second is to reduce your stress and take time to unwind.

 

This will allow the adrenals to make estrogen instead of constantly trying to regulate blood sugar levels or handle stress. Estrogen fluctuations will stop and cytokine production will stop.

 

In addition, once there is a fire, you need expert help to support your adrenals, immune system, gut and brain by using supplements and treatments to put out the fire.

 

So I hope you dont suffer in silence and call us to get help.

Yours in good health,

Dr. Samuel Jamieson, D.C.

 

 

Perimenopause & Menopause: Stop your Decline.

Healthy adrenals for a healthy transition.

 

A womans health drastically declines at perimenopause.

Statistics show that for many females, there is a rapid decline in their health once they reach perimenopause. And Im not just talking about hot flashes. Women are challenged with other issues. They become depressed. They struggle with anxiety. Their memory and concentration fades. They feel different. Their personalities change. They lose their passion and their drive. They find themselves often in rage. They observe changes in their skin tone. Their hair starts to thin. They are in constant pain. They dont sleep well. They suffer.

 

Symptoms of perimenopause:

  Hot flashes

  Vaginal dryness

  Changes in skin tone

  Depression & Anxiety

  Poor concentration and memory

  Irregular periods

  Hair loss and thinning

  Pain and inflammation

  Weight gain

  Decreased cognitive function

  Dysglycemia (irregular blood sugar levels)

  Cant enjoy & handle life anymore

  Regular ups & downs

  Brain fog

  Tired all the time

  Crash after meal

  Insomnia irregular circadian rhythms

  Struggle with visual stimulation (flashing of lights and TV)

  Bone density loss

  Headaches

 

Many women are prone to develop serious diseases after perimenopause.

Studies show that the following conditions increase in risk with perimenopause and menopause:

          cardiovascular disease

          stroke

          osteoporosis

          dementia and Alzheimers disease

          arthritis

          autoimmune diseases

 

Perimenopause starts a fire in your body.

As estrogen declines and if your body is not prepared for this transition, a spontaneous surge in proinflammatory cytokines can cause a huge fire, a systemic inflammation in your body. With the decline of estrogen, women lose a hormone with protective characteristics, since estrogen is known to decrease neurodegeneration and oxidative stress.

 

Once this fire starts, women are more vulnerable to:

          Antigens causing an immune activation

          Body fat which produces inflammatory cytokines

          Increase of proinflammatory prostaglandins

          Microglial cell activation and neuroinflammation in the brain

          Compromised blood brain barrier

          Free radicals and oxidative stress

          Nitric Oxide Isomer shift

          Low plasticity of the limbic system in the brain

          Stress response

          Increased HPA axis activity

 

For more information about perimenopause and menopause, call our office at 408-517-0706 or visit our website at http://www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com.

 

Why do women deteriorate when they reach perimenopause?

To answer this question, we need to understand how estrogen affects the female body. Estrogen is responsible for tissue proliferation in the breast, vagina, skin, nails and hair. But estrogen also has a modulating effect on the immune system. As a result, once estrogen declines, there will be a loss of tissue proliferation, but also an increase in immunological and neurological consequences. As a matter of fact:

 

          Recent studies show that the decline in ovarian function with menopause is associated with a spontaneous increase in proinflammatory cytokines. And that the magnitude of the increase in cytokine production may greatly depend on the proinflammatory stimuli that are present in the cellular environment at the time of menopause. (Endocr Rev. 2002 Feb;23(1):90-119)

 

          Other studies show that there is an inhibitory effect of estrogen on spontaneous proinflammatory cytokine release but not after the cytokine secretions have been stimulated. (Bone, 2001 ul;29(1):30-34)

 

          Studies say that inflammatory cytokine response is attenuated by estrogen replacement therapy (Prac Natl Acad Sci USA. 1989 Apr;86(7):2398-2402)

 

          In addition, research shows that estrogen deficiency also enhances the responsiveness of cells towards inflammatory cytokines (Clin Endocrinol (Oxf.),1999 Dec;51(6):801-807). This means that not only the cytokines increase, but the tissues are more receptive to the cytokines which amplifies the inflammation even more.

 

          Studies show that estrogen deficiency increases the production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins from diet (PGE2). (J Clin Invest. 1995 July;96(1):539-548)

 

What this means is that:

1.     If there is a decline in estrogen levels in a female patient in perimenopause, the inflammatory cytokine system is up-regulated and may stay up-regulated even after estrogen levels are restored.

2.     This also means that even HRT cannot solve the issues, but will likely make them worse.

3.     The patients preexisting inflammation will determine which systems or tissues will be mostly impacted.

4.     Even when a patient is otherwise healthy and eats a healthy diet, once there is preexisting inflammation, perimenopause will aggravate it. A healthy diet alone cannot dampen it. On the contrary, prostaglandin production from diet is now shifted to PGE2 pro-inflammatory.

 

In other words, estrogen fluctuations cause an immunological effect that triggers extreme inflammation in areas with a pre-existing condition. If this fire is not dampened, the inflammation becomes systemic and the entire body starts deteriorating.

If you are approaching perimenopause, can this fire be avoided?

Yes, it can. As mentioned above, what really causes the fire is a fluctuation of estrogen. Once a woman enters perimenopause, the pituitary FSH/ovarian feedback loop to the brain is not working properly anymore. Her cycles change and estrogen levels start to fluctuate. When estrogen levels drop, the adrenals start to produce estrogen to compensate for the loss. All of this is part of a normal transition into menopause.

 

However, when the adrenals are exhausted, they cannot make up for the drop in estrogen and women start to have hot flashes and an avalanche of other issues. So the key to moving through this period with ease is the health of your adrenal function as well as your focus on the fundamentals of health.

 

A healthy adrenal system is the key to a smooth transition.

We need to understand that the function of the adrenals is not just to make up for a loss of estrogen. They are also producing other hormones such as the stress hormone cortisol and constantly play a role in regulating blood sugar and insulin levels. The adrenals can either make cortisol or estrogen, but they cant make both at the same time.

 

          When you are under a lot of stress, your adrenals will need all the pregnenolone to make cortisol, they cant make estrogen. Thats why patients on HRT still have hot flashes in stressful situations.

          When you suffer from hypoglycemia or insulin resistance, your adrenals produce cortisol to trigger the production of insulin to regulate blood sugar. They cant make estrogen. Thats why patients with dysglycemia dont get better, even with supplements and a healthy diet.

 

To ensure healthy adrenals, it is imperative to:

  Reduce stress change your lifestyle to reduce stress in your life and take time to unwind

  Avoid blood sugar imbalances Eat every two hours & choose a diet rich in proteins, fats and vegetables, and avoid all sugars, sweets and simple carbohydrates to maintain optimal blood sugar levels.

 

If you are in peri/menopause, how can you put out the fire?

Since the surge in inflammatory cytokine production has consequences throughout the entire body, we need to put out fires in many different systems.

 

1      Nurse your adrenals back to health.

As mentioned above in the section about avoiding the fire, we first need to work on getting your adrenal system functioning properly. Eating regularly and reducing your stress is the key.

 

Strategy:

  Once diet and stress are addressed, additional therapies and supplements may be needed to modulate the stress response and stabilize blood sugar imbalance

 

2      Support and supplement the systems that directly interact with cytokine activity

Recent studies show that compounds directly interacting with cytokine activity are more effective in neutralizing the effects of menopause. (Endocr Rev 2002 Feb;23(1):90-119). So its important to support those areas of the immune system that can dampen cytokine activity. Those are:

 

Strategy:

  Optimize nitric oxide system with Nitric Balance

  Optimize the glutathione recycling system with Glutathione Recycler

  Increase your vitamin D levels to avoid the pro-inflammatory prostaglandin shift.

 

3      Dampen the fire in your brain.

The loss of estrogen and the surge in cytokine production have numerous effects on different parts of the brain. They dysregulate neurotransmitter receptors, activate the mesolimbic system which causes continuous stress and fight or flight responses, compromise the blood brain barrier and open the door for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. You may struggle with:

  Brain fog

  Memory and concentration issues

  Depression and anxiety

  Handling life (going to a restaurant can be too much for you)

  Regular ups & downs

  Insomnia irregular circadian rhythms

  Visual stimulation (flashing of lights and TV)

 

Strategy:

In addition to strategies under 1 and 2, you may need the following therapies:

  Dampen inflammation in the brain with supplements such as NeuroFlam, Vitanox and/or Herba-Vital

  Modulate neurotransmitter pathways with supplements supporting GABA, Serotonine, Dopamine and ACH

  Increase plasticity and build new pathways in your brain with neurofeedback therapy, improving memory, cognition, anxiety and depression

 

4      Fix your leaky gut.

The drop in estrogens and activation of the cytokine surge not only activates the glial cells in the brain, it can also cause the loss of intestinal tight junctions leading to intestinal permeability and leaky gut. Unfortunately, at this point a vicious cycle starts which causes systemic inflammation. You will struggle with multiple food sensitivities and GI issues and are at risk of developing autoimmune disorders.

 

Strategy:

In addition to eating every 2 hours to balance blood sugar, we suggest that you:

  Follow an intestinal repair program, which consists of dietary restrictions and additional pro- and prebiotics, dietary powders, etc. To learn more about how to heal from a leaky gut, read our April 2011 newsletter .

 

5      Treat your osteoporosis.

Studies show that the surge in pro-inflammatory cytokines caused by the drop in estrogen negatively impacts the bones. As a matter of fact, they are among the most powerful stimulants of bone resorption that are known (J Bone Miner Res. 1993 Dec;8(Suppl 2):S505-S510)

In addition, there is a second reason why we need to be worried about bone loss. Since the bones store toxic materials such as heavy metals like lead, during bone loss those toxins are freed up and can reach the brain. There they can cause additional neurodegeneration and neurodegenerative diseases.

 

Strategy:

  Dampen cytokine activity as described under 1 and 2 above.

  Promote bone health with Vitamin D, Calcifood wafers and other supplementation.

 

For more information about perimenopause and menopause, call our office at 408-517-0706 or visit our website at http://www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com.

 

 

JAMIESON HEALTH CENTER

Samuel R. Jamieson, D.C.

Applied Kinesiology

Nutrition

Emotional Stress Relief

Total Body Modification

Advanced Neurofeedback

 

1175 Saratoga Ave, Ste 8

San Jose, CA 95129

Phone 408.517.0706

Email drjamieson@sbcglobal.net

 

 

Were on the Web!

www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com

 

 

Seminars weve taken.

Since I want to make a difference in your lives and that of your children, Im constantly trying to keep up with the latest developments in healing practices, clinical research and new discoveries in the area of integrative holistic medicine. To that end, I have attended the following seminars and conferences over the last several months:

 

          Neuron Theory and Neuromuscular Applications

          Understanding the complexity of gluten sensitivity

          Breaking the complex web of leaky gut

          Neurochemistry of childhood brain developmental disorders

          The neuroendocrine immunology of perimenopause

          The aging brain

          The brain-gut axis

          Nutrition Response Testing

          NeuroIntegration therapy Level 1 and Level 2 training

          Autoimmune regulation

          Functional Endocrinology

          NeuroEndocrine-Immune Axis of Andropause

          Metabolic Biotransformation: an overview of detoxification and weight management

          Restoring Gastrointestinal Health

          Practical Blood Chemistry

          Functional Neurology for the Primary Care Provider

          Neurotransmitters and Brain

          The Thyroid-BrainImmuno Connection

          Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Female Hormones in Menopausal Women

          Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Hormones in Cycling Women

          The Impacts of Estrogen on the NeuroEndocrine-Immune Axis

          Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Male Hormones

          Advanced Nutrition Therapeutics for Addictions and OCD

 

Some patients have asked about previous newsletters and they can be found on our website at http://www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com/archive.htm

 

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