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The Estrogen Alternative

A Guide to Natural Hormonal Balance

Foreword by John Hart
Published by Healing Arts Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

With almost 100,000 copies sold in earlier editions, this revised edition provides the most up-to-date information on natural alternatives to synthetic hormone replacement therapy

A must-read for any woman taking synthetic hormones for infertility, birthcontrol, PMS, or menopause

• Includes the latest research on using natural progesterone to combat osteoporosis, endometriosis, heart disease, PMS, fibroids, and breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer

More and more women are seeking alternatives to synthetic hormones and their harmful side effects. Despite increasing awareness of the dangers of synthetic hormones, over-prescription of estrogen is still rampant, as is confusion among doctors and patients whether the benefits of conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) outweigh the risks.

This updated fourth edition offers the latest information on how botanical progesterone therapy, also known as natural HRT, can provide safe, natural relief for many of the problems women face from hormone deficiency, including PMS, fibromyalgia, depression, menstrual irregularity, miscarriages, uterine fibroids, and infertility. Botanical progesterone supplementation can be also extremely effective in relieving hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and even cancer. The authors sift through misinformation and contradictory studies, warning against corporate-sponsored research in a multi-billion dollar menopausal industry, and guide readers to natural alternatives. This fourth edition also includes new studies regarding the dangers of a diet rich in soy contributing to the onset of premature menopause, as well as thyroid disorders. The dangers of mammography and the importance of focusing on safer, more effective methods of cancer detection are also well documented.


A Bombshell That Changes HRT Medical History

A shock wave hit the country on July 10, 2002, when the news regarding the dangers of synthetic hormone replacement was brought to public awareness. It was first broadcast on TV and radio stations and then transmitted to all the major newspapers and Internet sites. From The Wall Street Journal to holistic health magazines, they all reported, one after another, that a major study--known as the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study--had shown an increased risk of coronary heart disease, breast cancer, strokes, and blood clots for women using the conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The findings came from a research project sponsored by the National Institute of Health, a study that followed 16,000 women who were prescribed the estrogen/progestin drug called Prempro. According to the results published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), there were a total of 2,082 cases of breast cancer in this group of women.

All this news came as a shock to the medical community because they have sworn by these synthetic hormones since they were first introduced approximately 50 years ago. Warnings about such dangers first surfaced when it was found they were associated with the development of endometrial cancer. In 1947 Dr. Saul Gusberg of Columbia University “called the ready use of estrogen ‘promiscuous’ and warned that what was going on was a human experiment.” He had observed too many estrogen users coming in for D&Cs for abnormal bleeding caused by endometrial over-stimulation, as well as documented cancerous and pre-cancerous changes of the uterus.

None of this was new news. In fact this old news has continued to surface and resurface throughout the years. The dangers of orthodox hormone therapy was reported in the first edition of this book seven years prior to all this recent media focus. We wrote then: “Millions of menopausal women are taking such potentially lethal combinations daily. And sadly, the recommendation to do so is justified by the statistics that heart disease is the number one killer of postmenopausal women--the persuasive rationale for taking HRT.” Now that this rationale has been proven wrong, perhaps it’s time for us to delve into the studies showing what has been, and will always be, a far superior alternative to synthetic HRT.

The World Health News couldn’t have stated it better: “The simplicity and safety of the solution is almost shocking. One might ask why every suffering woman is not using botanical progesterone,” and why is there such a lack of education concerning the dual relationship between estrogen and its essential but neglected partner called progesterone?”

After reading about these studies and witnessing the tragic results of breast cancer, strokes, heart disease, and other side effects from the Premarin/Progestin combination that has been taken for so long without question, I reflect on the words stated years ago: “Perhaps someday the prescribing of synthetic hormones to women will be labeled malpractice, and the prescribing of any form of estrogen unopposed by natural progesterone will be a violation of insurance codes.”

The statistics from the JAMA report during the summer of 2002, hit women hard. It’s frustrating to not be able to reach each and every one of them to show that there is a far better choice than conventional HRT. It’s sad when they are not informed by their medical doctors about how supplementing (transdermally) with progesterone will re-balance their hormone levels. And, how progesterone is the hormone that is even proactive in building bone mineral density (BMD), which can help women prevent and even reverse osteoporosis. Progesterone is not to be confused, however, with Provera or any of the other progestins or progestagens prescribed in conventional HRT. As studies proved years ago, they have numerous side effects and lack any physiological health benefits.

Today there may be a new name for such designer drugs, but they all have their list of harmful and often long-term side effects. If you’re thinking of taking such medications, I encourage you to read further in this book where we document the dangers reported by those researchers who are not in the business of selling drugs. We all need to be alert to these facts especially when reading articles and reports that are often quoted in popular journals and on the internet that use research sponsored by drug companies, which are slanted to make us think it is still okay to use synthetic hormones.

We have tried to be extremely cautious about sources and sensitive to who has sponsored studies that we have used for our investigation in the writing of this book. In contrast and seldom mentioned, Wyeth-Ayerst, the giant drug company, financed the book Feminine Forever, which was enthusiastic about the drug Premarin. It is not a coincidence that in 2001, Wyeth received more than two billion dollars in sales from Premarin. Further evidence of such bias comes from Dr. Nadin F. Marks (associate professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison) where he explains that the industry sponsors scores of promotional articles, written for gynecological and obstetrical journals and textbooks, in which the doctors are convinced that “a woman’s life could be destroyed if she didn’t have estrogen in her body.” Do these words still sound convincing to us? How much longer will these incomprehensible deceptions continue to be imposed upon us through such powerfully clever organizations? When will we realize the impact that this well-organized propaganda has on our health?

Unfortunately, we can realistically predict that with all the vested interests at stake another estrogen or combo drug will soon show up under a new label. And it will likely have similar lethal, or debilitating side effects. And sadly, the new substances will once again be hailed as a miraculous “breakthrough” and will surface with different names and different promises. In another generation when all the recent studies have been forgotten, there will be more experimental trials using other women in order to feed this multi-billion dollar menopausal industry.

About The Authors

Raquel Martin’s experience of her own serious health problems taught her that the beneficial effect of chiropracti care could be reinforced by means of nutritional and hormonal rebalancing. She has since dedicated herself to spreading information about the need for safe natural alternative therapies, co-authoring The Estrogen Alternative and Preventing and Reversing Arthritis Naturally. She lives in Georgia.

Judi Gerstung, D.C., is a chiropractor and radiologist with a special interest in the detection and prevention of osteoporosis.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press (November 22, 2004)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781594776199

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Raves and Reviews

"If you are a woman and do not read this book, you are very possibly denying yourself the most important information of your physical life. . . . A powerfully persuasive, well-written, and extensively documented case. . . . A must-read if you value your health."

– So Young

"Any woman who is considering synthetic hormone therapy or who wishes to get off of it owes herself the reading of this densely informative book. The simplicity and safety of the solution is almost shocking. One might ask why every suffering woman is not using botanical progesterone."

– World Health News

"Books like The Estrogen Alternative are important: people have to become so knowledgeable that they don't let the health establishment get away with its systematic deceptions."

– Raymond F. Peat, Ph.D.

"I was thrilled to read The Estrogen Alternative. . . . The writing style incorporates the research into a narrative that is easy for the layperson to read. The book is thorough, well-referenced, and prepares the reader to make educated choices about her homonal health."

– Marcia Smith, N.D., Ph.D.

"This is an enlightening, easy-to-read book of vital interest to every woman. It assesses information not generally forthcoming from medical doctors and offers information that can help women decide how to manage the seriously important question of whether or not to take synthetic hormones. This book is a valuable tool if you are interested in maintaining your health naturally."

– Catholic Women's NETWORK, March/April/May 2001

"The Estrogen Alternative is a book that women should be reading now to get ready for the changes in their lives."

– Barbara Ardinger, SageWoman, Autumn 2002

"Produced in consultation with alternative health practitioners, this very important reference is a one-of-a-kind guide to very good health."

– The Book Reader, Fall/Winter 2002-2003

"A very informative book, helping to give women back the power to make their own decisions without having to depend on a medical doctor."

– Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf, December 2002

"It reads easily, explains clearly why natural progesterone should replace synthetic hormones, and has that added level of personal experience."

– Irene Alleger, Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, October 2002

"...insightful advice on diet, and appendixes that offer a wealth of information on everything from hormone application and infant soy milk formulas to preventative medicine....a worthwhile resource for doctors and patients."

– Publishers Weekly, Dec. 6, 2004

"This is a terrific source book for women of any age. There is no padding here and it is packed with information. . . . Recommended for anyone interested in women's health and wellbeing."

– Jennifer Hoskins, New Dawn, Sept-Oct 2005

"[Readers] seeking information on safe ways to ease symptoms of menopause and treat various female health problems will appreciate this thoroughly researched healthcare handbook for women."

– New Age Retailer, Vol. 19, No. 7, Gift 2005

"The Estrogen Alternative is not just for women searching for relief from menopausal systems but for women of all ages seeking optimal health. . . . Through their thought-provoking and accessible text, Martin and Gerstung successfully assist women in making informed health decisions."

– Edge Life, March 2007

"I really enjoyed this well-researched and informative book on hormone balance. The authors clearly present many of the complicated issues surrounding menopause. I would not hesitate to recommend this resource to my menopausal patients, as well as add it to my own reference library."

– Robyn Barlow, ND, Lotus Guide, May-June 2007

"Raquel Martin and Judi Gerstung have performed a tremendous service to women, who need a book like The Estrogen Alternative to understand what is happening to their bodies during pre-, peri-, and postmenopause. It is a terrific resource for practitioners to recommend to their patients. I believe all women can greatly benefit from reading it."

– John Hart, M.D.

"This book, in its third edition, is hailed as a must-read for women."

– Frontier Perspectives, Fall 2002

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