Sept. 20, 2007, Vol. V Issue 19
Due to human error and technical difficulty, last Thursday’s issue is getting published today, Tuesday, Sept. 25. We’re coming up on October, traditionally a month honoring breast cancer awareness, so that’s what we will feature today and in our next issue. Exuberant motivational speaker Bonnie Dean just returned from the 3-Day Seattle Walk for the Cure. “What an awesome experience! ” she said. I met so many fascinating people — all with their own stories to share. I experienced Seattle like few people ever get the opportunity to do — walked across the floating bridge under the airport runway, and through the entire westside. My heart can barely hold in all the people I shared those three days and 60 miles with!”
But first I want to note that the article in our last issue by Marie Savard, MD, reporting on new developments in hormone replacement therapy, stirred up a response from one of our other speakers, Silvia Jimenez, MD. Dr. Jimenez objected to Dr. Savard’s conclusions and pointed out that bio-identical hormones are an option for women seeking relief from menopause symptoms. In the end, the two surprised me by coming to agreement, and I want to share that dialogue with you. Once you read it, you will understand why.
And, as promised last time, we finish this issue with a chocolate treat.
Dr. Silvia Jimenez:
Another Option for HRT — Bio-Identical Hormones
Dr. Sylvia Jimenez
In the summer of 2002, a Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study on pharmaceutical hormones replacement was halted. WHI’s announcement read in part: “In a move that may affect millions of women, U.S. government scientists stopped a major study of hormone replacement therapy on the risks and benefits of combined estrogen and progestin in healthy menopausal women, citing an increased risk of invasive breast cancer. Researchers from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health also found increases in coronary heart disease, stroke and pulmonary embolism.” As you may recall, this caused quite a stir, with women frantically calling their doctors, and the reports, questions, and news reports have continued.
Dr. Jimenez took issue with the implications of this finding. There is a vital difference, she asserted, between the pharmaceutical hormones used in the WHI study and the hormones she and others are using successfully, called bio-identical hormones.
“Bio-identical hormones have been around for a long time with hundreds of clinical studies that prove both effectiveness and safety, and lack of side effects,” Dr. Jiminez said. “Bio-identical hormones can be tailored for every patient’s own needs, according to lab tests – not one size fits all pharmaceutical hormones. That is not the answer,” she continued. “Particularly pharmaceutical hormones like Climara, equine estrogen, are hundreds of times more potent than a woman’s own estrogen, and are molecules that our bodies do not recognize. Progestins, too, are pharmaceutical hormones, not the natural alternative bio-identical progesterone.
“Bio-Identical hormones have the same molecular structure as the hormones that we manufacture in our bodies. Let’s put it this way: if you take bio-identical progesterone or estrogen under the microscope, and estrogen and progesterone from a woman’s body, you cannot tell the difference. And there are no harmful side effects. Natural estrogens and progesterone synthesized from wild yams or soybeans, that are identical to those made by the human body, are easily available by prescription in the form of creams, tablets, and patches. These are estrone, estradiol or estriol, or progesterone. There is no reason to take horse estrogen.
“I have used them personally for 5 years with wonderful results; so have hundreds of women now around the country. There is a growing number of allopathic physicians (internists, OB/GYN’s, and from other specialties), working now with bio-identical hormones — the safest way to treat pre-menstrual syndrome, peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopausal hormonal imbalances.”
Want to know more? Dr. Jimenez recommends the book, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause,” by John R. Lee, M.D. “This doctor is a pioneer in bio-identical hormones. This book is simple to understand because is not written for physicians, it is written for any woman who wants to understand hormonal balance,” she said.
Dr. Savard’s response surprised me: “I couldn’t agree more with your comments,” she wrote. “Furthermore I, too, am concerned about the use of the pharmaceutical product, PREMPRO (the specific type of hormone combination used in the WHI study you referred to) when there are so many other ways to safely and effectively take hormones in the peri- and post-menopausal period including taking bio-identical hormones. I was careful not to recommend any specific brand or type of hormones other than to highlight that natural progesterone (rather than synthetic progestins) and transdermal rather than oral delivery of estrogen makes the most sense and in my opinion is optimal.
“Although your patients apparently are fortunate to have you make the option of bio-identical hormones available to them, many patients I meet and talk to throughout the country do not have physicians who will prescribe them – nor are they easily available and always affordable. For that reason, I try to give women general information so at least they won’t close the door to discussing the use of hormones with their physicians. I lecture to women all the time and include my personal bias that bio-identical hormones make a lot of sense despite the lack of 60 years of research demonstrating their safety and effectiveness in a wide range of women.”
Drs. Jimenez and Savard are both available to discuss this and other women’s health issues at your women’s health events. Dr. Jimenez is also a strong draw for Hispanic audiences.
Visit our website or give me a call at 503-699-5031 to check availability.
NOTE: Since this publication date, Dr. Jimenez has retired from speaking.
Walks her Talk
in 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk
Bonnie Dean walks her talk, literally. She’s been described as a blow-the-doors-off, knock-the-chairs-over, rattle-the-walls one-woman show. In fact, she’s the speaker who always shows up in a pair of snazzy sneakers – she owns dozens of them in a dazzling array of colors and sparklies – and has been dubbed “the speaker with SOLE.”
In 2001, she learned that FIVE women friends, aged 30-73 had been diagnosed with breast cancer, plus, one male friend, making it SIX. She noted that three of the women found the lump themselves not long after clean mammograms. One of them was her best friend since childhood, a woman, Rachel, with whom she still celebrates life. While she was still living in southern California in 2001, Bonnie walked the Avon 3-Day Walk from San Jose to San Francisco, in their honor. “It was grueling. I couldn’t imagine ever doing it again,” she told me.
Now, you must know that Bonnie was one of the original fitness instructors, marathon runners and Kauai backpacking guides in the 70’s. She pointed out that running a marathon is a matter of hours while walking for three days, is, well, walking for three days! Not to mention the training – walking every weekend since February, working up from 2 miles to 20 miles – The Seattle 3-Day walk was 60 miles. This is a woman who knows the meaning of a “walk in the park.” “I’ve walked every inch of Bellingham, WA [her home since 2003],” she said. Connections in her new community were actually the inspiration for her 2007 participation in Seattle’s Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure.
“When we moved here, my husband, David, got involved in the Lions Club. Last year, the wife of the president-elect, was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. When I saw her at the Christmas party, she had had an eye removed because of a tumor in her eye. She was a gorgeous woman in her prime and I admired her courage. She died in January and I felt a great loss for never having really known her.” Bonnie said.
“So I joined the E-Babes, Ellen’s group of adventurous women who did things like river rafting together. Twenty-seven of us walked in her name, and raised $60,000 for breast cancer research, along with the E-Rats, Ellen’s husband, son and 4 other supportive men.”
The whole experience has brought incredible people into my life,” Bonnie said. “When I was walking, I’d break away from the group and join other walkers. I always asked people about their story. “Everybody comes with their own story of pain, joy and passion. “They’re walking because they can’t walk away.”
While walking 60 miles may not be a piece of cake, Bonnie reported that the race organizers and 400 volunteers do their best to make it a fun experience. She said the “Grab & Go” pit stops were complete with themed décor and costumes and jokes and inspirations on the walls of the Porta Potties. And imagine a camp of 1500 pink tents!
I got to taste a little of the energy and excitement. I happened to be in downtown Seattle headed for the train station to come back to Portland, on Sunday, Sept. 9, when I noticed groups of energetic, smiling women all dressed in pink, striding along the sidewalks of downtown Seattle. We honked and cheered them on. “The support and love is just incredible,” Bonnie said. “The whole city embraces you.”
Being a speaker, Bonnie couldn’t help but come up with a few points she learned from her experience:
- Stretch. If you don’t, you’re going to hurt yourself. Nobody grows by staying in their comfort zone. We were told to stretch 5 minutes for each one hour you walk. If we did that in life, we’d have so much personal and professional growth, it would blow us away.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – Every day fill up your mind, heart and how you look at things.
- Urinate – Get rid of all the toxic energy in your life, don’t participate in it.
- Connect as you go. Take a magical moment to learn about other people and you’ll discover so much more about yourself.
- Celebrate. The little victories along the way as well as the goals accomplished. Help others celebrate their successes, large and small.
“Commit daily to these challenges.,” Bonnie says. “Remember… a little, a lot, becomes a healthy habit that has trickle-down value into the life of your business and the business of your life. A life by design, not by accident!”
I’d say she walks her talk. A few hours with Bonnie, and you’ll see attitudes change, relationships deepen and people’s sense of responsibility shift. Their hearts and souls and spirits will be re-filled so they can learn more, be more, do more and enjoy it more. To learn more about Bonnie Dean’s programs, call me at 503-699-5031 or visit our website.
NOTE: Since this publication date, Bonnie Dean has retired from speaking.
Confessions of a Chocoholic
For as long as I can remember, I have LOVED chocolate – that goes all the way back to chocolate chip cookies, the only cookies I crave. Many sweets I can leave alone, like cut-out sugar cookies that I love to bake and decorate, or fudge (too sweet), but not chocolate. A few years ago, a dear friend of mine, Rob Abramovitz, introduced me to the nuances of really good dark chocolate. After that, no more Hershey’s kisses for me. I now revel in developing a discerning palate for very good dark chocolate.
If this gets your attention, you, like me, eagerly read the news articles touting the benefits of high quality dark chocolate. Mood enhancing? YES. Tastebud Satisfaction? YES. Heart healthy benefits. YES!
One day earlier this summer, when I went to my Nia class in downtown Portland, I was effortlessly pulled into a chocolate tasting at the counter outside the dance studio. This was intriguing. It wasn’t chocolate in a bar, it was chocolate in a jar. You can just dip in and get a taste — that’s enough to satisfy my sweet tooth – without the fat. You see, my confession is that I’m never satisfied with one or two squares of a good quality chocolate bar, the daily allowance recommended by the diet gurus. I want more. Can you relate?
This, however, is organic raw chocolate spread and comes in various flavors. The one I brought home is “Velvet.” I haven’t given up my squares completely – I have to have energy stand-bys for a kayaking trip or an emotional meltdown, but this at least gives me an option. You can find retail locations or order it on their website.
Here’s to life with good healthy chocolate and choices that feed your soul as well as your tastebuds. Until next time, be good to yourself for your good health and those you love.
PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.