Former TV personality, has appeared on numerous TV shows and movies, including Three’s Company TV series (with John Ritter), She’s the Sheriff (with Patrick Duffy), Step by Step, and others
Author of 17 books, including 8 NYT best-sellers
Business woman, founder of ThighMaster personal fitness products
Has performed in Las Vegas; named Las Vegas Entertainer of the Years in 1986
Suzanne Somers: Cut the Pharmacy Cord
By Mimi Elliott
The 700 Club
CHOOSING ALTERNATIVE THERAPY
Suzanne was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2000 and agreed to try radiation to treat her cancer. At the same time, Suzanne began researching natural remedies on her own. She chose to use alternative therapy as part of her treatment and declined to use chemotherapy against doctors’ wishes. (She says if she had to do it all over again, Suzanne would not choose radiation to treat her cancer.) Suzanne was openly challenged about her decision and has spoken about how she took Iscador, an extract of mistletoe that some claim stimulates the immune system and helps fight cancer and other diseases. Since then, Suzanne has researchered anti-aging medicine and the more progressive study of bioidentical hormones.
Suzanne says the first step to wellness is bioidentical hormone replacement. She discovered in her research over the years that it is important to replace lost or declining hormones with real bioidentical ones. Conventional doctors push aside these treatments because they are not rooted in double-blind studies (what traditional doctors use to measure effectiveness).
“Because we are dealing with nonpharmaceutical medicines, pharmaceutical companies are not making huge amounts of money from these hormones,” Suzanne said.
She says the people who take them have experienced the well-being of natural hormone replacement and love their treatments. While Suzanne has been practicing what she calls “breakthrough medicine” with her anti-aging doctors for over 10 years, Suzanne says each person must start down the path of breakthrough medicine on their own.
KNOW YOUR HORMONES
Suzanne says to understand what hormones your body produces and what happens when you lose them.
Estrogen: one of the most powerful hormones in the body, primarily a female hormone but also in males; affects many of our tissues and organs, including brain, liver, bones and skin as well as uterus, urinary tracts, breasts and blood vessels. Deficiencies include weight gain, bloating, itching, sweating, hot flashes, bladder infections, depression, fatigue, heart palpitations, etc. Must be balanced with progesterone. Once hormone levels decline, there should be a replacement of estrogen and progesterone for each individual determined by a blood test.
Progesterone: produced in the ovaries and the adrenal glands; has a calming effect; primarily a female hormone but found in males. Repairs and maintains healthy brain, builds bones, natural diuretic, burns fat, prevents cancer, helps maintain normal blood suger levels, assists in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, has a sedative effect on the central nervous system. Also balances estrogen. Low levels will result in sleep disturbances, irritability, anxiety, weight gain, breast swelling, breast tenderness, itching, bloating, sweating, loss of memory, loss of libido.
Testosterone: primarily in men but found in women; for women, produced in the ovaries. Loss of testosterone in women leads to fatigue, feeling of imbalanced, memory loss, abdominal fat, weight gain. Proper levels decrease inflammation (protects the heart), protects bone density, lowers LDL cholesteral levels, raises HDL cholesteral levels, enhances blood glucose levels, improves muscle strength, improves brain function, decreases body fat.
Pregnenolone: the memory hormone; clarifies thinking, stimulates concentration, prevents memory loss, reduces fatigue, fights depression, protects the joins, relieves arthritis, speeds healing. Produced in adrenal glands, ovaries and testicles before they are metabolized into DHEA.
DHEA: dehydroepiandrosterone, called the “mother hormone” of the body. Made in the brain and in adrenal cortex. One of the most plentiful hormones in the body. Increases testosterone levels, increases muscle mass, decreases body fat, improves memory, decreases depression, improves the immune system by controlling cortisol levels and adrenaline levels. Protects against diabetes, decreases the risk of cancer, helps prevent decrease in mental function (precursors to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) and protects neurons in the brain.
Melatonin: the sleep hormone, creates day/night rhythym; also a powerful antioxidant, captures free radicals, protects the heart and arteries, reduces cardiovascular disease. Relaxes muscles, relieves tension, reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure. Without it, you will feel tense, anxious, irrable, aggressive. You will have a hard time sleeping and grey prematurely. (We need the amino acid tryptophan, found in many foods including turkey, to produce serotonin which produces melatonin. So a healthy diet still plays a major role in our bodies’ ability to manufacture hormones.)
Human Growth Hormone: released during deep sleep. Without it, we lose muscle mass, fat begins to accumulate, hair turns grey, wrinkles appear, etc. Improves blood flow to the brain and heart, increases lung function; promotes less fat, more muscles, stronger bones.
Thyroid: Considered the most important; controls the efficiency and speed at which our cells work. Without the influence of thyroid hormones, proper maturation and function of other hormone glands is not possible. Imbalances include symptoms of chronic pain, fatigue, dry skin, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, sleep apnea, sensitivity to hot and cold, unexplained weight gain, brittle nails, repeated infections, low blood pressure, join/muscle pain, swollen gums, TMJ, etc.
Adrenals: Affect the rest of the endocrine system; dysfunction causes weakness, fatigue, allergies, low blood sugar, low blood pressure.
Cortisol: vital to life; a mood hormone; helps the body respond to stress. Stimulates appetite, boosts energy levels, fights cancers, stimulates the brain, muscles, heart, circulatory system. Deficiencies symptoms include digestive problems, exzema, psoriasis, difficulting getting aroused, etc. Determined through blood or urine test.
Insulin: directs glucose from bloodstream through cell membranes into the cell where it is burned as fuel. Elevated levels include high blood pressure, abnormal immune system functioning, accerlated biological aging, acne, burning feet, constipation, decreased memory, fluctuating high blood pressure readings, irregular menstrual cycles, sugar cravings, water retention, weight gain.
Suzanne says hormone replacement is like a song. In order to be in tune, you need to understand how each hormone is affected by the next. They all work together. For example: from progesterone, we make cortisol. From DHEA, we make androstendione, which turns into estrone and testosterone. Estrone is converted to estriol and estradiol is made from testosterone. Suzanne says with many people, once their hormones are balanced, they no longer need sleep medications, anti-inflammatories and statin drugs like Lipitor. Cases of high cholesterol disappear.
Her eight steps to wellness include:
1. Get bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
2. Avoid Chemicals; Detoxify Your Body
3. Take Nutrition Seriously
4. Create a Healthy GI Tract
5. Avoid Pharmaceuticals Unless Absolutely Necessary
6. Supplement Your Diet
7. Exercise Regularly
8. Get Proper Sleep
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