Is Natural The Only Way To Go?

by Leisa on January 4, 2008

This is a question that I often ask myself, especially when dealing with people that are often not willing to change what needs to be changed, to allow healing to take place.

I think there are many perspectives that can come out of such a question, but the important one for me is “What can help the patient in front of me, have a better quality of health, within the circumstances of their life?”  And the answer is not always something completely natural.

Now, if people were willing to do what it takes to get well – then that would be a different story, it would be natural medicine all the way.  But when people are caught up in a lifestyle that doesn’t allow true healing, do we dismiss these people as not worthy of being helped, or do we do the best we can within those limitations?

One area that comes to mind in this situation, is women who are having problems with menopause.  They are often suffering an hormonal imbalance that presents with high oestrogen, low progesterone and adrenal fatigue.  Many women at this age have been under stress for the past thirty years, with marriage, raising children, developing a career, being under financial pressure, and trying to be everything to everyone.  It is no wonder that their adrenal glands are fatigued.

Now if I was a Dr. practicing about 150 years ago, my prescription for adrenal fatigue would be “six months by the seaside”.  With nothing to do but rest in the sun, do gentle exercise, eat fresh food, drink clean water and de-stress, many cases of adrenal fatigue and ensuing hormonal imbalances would resolve.  The only problem is that in today’s society we never get the opportunity to “opt out” for any period of time to rest and to get well.  This is where medications such as Bio-identical Progesterone cream can be a life-saver for some women – but it is not considered “natural” and in Australia is only available on prescription.

Our busy 21st century lifestyles can inhibit our ability to heal.  We can’t think that changes in out diet and some gentle herbs are going to correct our imbalances if we are still choosing to live an incredibly stressful, fast paced life.  The two are totally incongruent and we won’t get complete results from natural medicine unless we endorse lifestyle changes as well.

As not every patient is ready to take on a complete lifestyle change, my preferred way of working is to implement as many dietary changes and natural medicine options as possible; but then if there is an imbalance such as an hormonal one that can be helped by a Bio-identical medication, then I will recommend we move in that direction.

Everyone is at a different level of understanding in health matters, and rather than being so righteous that we alienate those who need our guidance, as a health practitioner it may be better to be open enough to meet people on their level and offer the best advice we can for their individual situation.  Even though the treatment options we recommend, may not be OUR preferred choice.



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3 commentsAdd comment

Deborah Morgan January 4, 2008 at 1:03 pm

Just saw your note on Progesterone cream therapy being not completely the most natural way to go. I have just taken a test to test my levels. My progesterone is off the charts high after 9 months of therapy. I had not supplemented in 2 months. I am going to retake the test to see if I contaminated the sample.
This has never happened before. Before it was always low and the estridol was off the charts. I have heavy periods for 2 to 3 days every month and have experienced low iron levels because of this.
I think this is strange. I am a hyper over achiever do to much person. I traded a lot for a very successful real estate career. I have paid a price with feeling poor in health. But there is nothing wrong with me that you can put your finger on. I think it is total stress related. I hope I am coming to a point in my life where I will still work hard to achieve but I can drop the stress and relax a little bit. Build a nest egg and kick back. When is enough enough? Any thoughts on super high progesterone levels. I was using a popular progesterone cream with 20 mg. per dose. Progesta Care I think it is,recommended by the good Doctor in his book on pro-suplementation

Leisa January 6, 2008 at 9:43 am

Hi Deborah,

Thankyou for your comment. There are a few reasons why you could have registered a high Progesterone reading, and as you mentioned a contaminated sample could be one. Saliva readings of hormones done when there has been bio-identical supplementation are not always accurate, and a full evaluation of your hormone profile would need to be done by your Dr.

One area that may need support is the liver, as I often find that if there is a build up of hormones showing up on a test, the liver hasn’t mangaged to clear the excess properly from the body. That can definitely be addressed with natural medicine.

Feeling poor in health when you are a high achiever is likely to mean that you have stressed your adrenals out and are running on empty. And if there is low iron, then that will just make the energy problem worse. (See my blog post Did Your Dr. Miss This?). Often Progesterone can support adrenal function, so quite possibly your Dr. was taking this into consideration when he first prescribed the hormone.

A book I would recommend is “Adrenal Fatigue – The 21st Century Stress Syndrome” by James L. Wilson. In there he discusses the balance between work and leisure and finding what works for you, so that you can still achieve, but have a quality of life and good health.

Warm regards,

Susan Sylvia March 26, 2011 at 5:32 am

I have suffered from chronic fatigue for my entire adult life, along with many other symptoms. I had a PCOS diagnosis long ago, but no doctor ever connected this with my fatigue, although it seems clear to me now that the lack of progesterone must be related somehow. Thankfully a friend told me about taking transdermal progesterone a few years ago, and since taking this, my fatigue is nearly gone. What a relief! Of course, my GP called this a ‘placebo effect’, but if it is, I don’t care. All I can say is that my life is radically improved, starting within weeks of taking the progesterone, and it has continued to this day. Even if I don’t understand it all, I am so happy just not battling fatigue and other symptoms anymore. I have five teenagers in the house now, and without this change in hormone balance, I think I would have gone over the edge. It has made a tremendous difference in my life, and I am so grateful!

I did find that I would start to get fatigued a few days before I was to begin taking the progesterone (on day 14 of the cycle) so I started applying a little dab daily at about day 10, and this has seemed to help that, although I know this is not generally advised. My theory is that perhaps naturally occurring progesterone may act longer in the body (through those weeks of menstruation and the week after) than the cream does. All I can say is that it helps me where nothing else has, and I have been to every kind of doctor. Too bad it took a girlfriend to help me!

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