Dr Sherill Sellman talks candidly about Perimenopause and Menopause and shines the light on how in the past, these stages of transformation in a woman’s life cycle have been misrepresented and diagnosed in a culture of denial.
“Let’s face it, when it comes to our hormones, most women are in the dark We may know the name of some more infamous ones such as oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone but beyond this cursory knowledge, it’s all rather murky.”
When I first began my journey to healing my hormonal imbalances, I was really clueless about hormones. In all honesty I was pretty clueless about the functioning of most of my female body.
I was forced to do a crash course when I suddenly found myself with anxiety attacks, insomnia, night sweats and a diagnosis of the autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I made a decision to go down the natural route. So I turned down thyroid
hormones, anxiety meds, and other hormone replacements. It lead me on a journey that not only healed my body but changed my life and destiny.
My research and new understandings culminated in writing my best-selling book, Hormone Heresy: What Women MUST Know About their Hormones.
I learned that in order to restore hormonal balance for whatever issue we may be addressing, it is first necessary to gain greater knowledge about our body and what’s really going on with our hormones. Otherwise, it’s like trying to hit the bullseye with your eyes closed. There’s a lot of wasted energy without achieving your outcome.
Discerning hormone myths from truths is essential for getting on the right path. It is certainly plays a big part in regaining our hormonal balance. Unfortunately, so much of what we have been taught about our hormones and women’s health issues, in general, is based on pervasive myths.
Myth – A Woman’s Body is Innately Flawed
Without a firm foundation of truthful information regarding the physiological changes that occur during perimenopause and menopause, it is difficult to make truly effective and safe choices.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, rhetorically asked, “What is Woman?”
His shocking answer was – “Disease!”
The belief that a woman’s physiology is innately flawed dates back 2,600 years to the time of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who rhetorically asked, “What is Woman?” His shocking answer was – ”Disease!”
This idea has persisted into modern times. In 1966, New York gynecologist, Robert Wilson published the best-selling book, Feminine Forever. He reinforced the cultural myth that a menopausal woman “becomes the equivalent of a eunuch” because her ovaries shrivel up and die at this time. He also proclaimed that menopause was an oestrogen-deficiency disease and that oestrogen was the long sought after “youth pill”. He wrote, “Many physicians simply refuse to recognise menopause for what it is – a serious, painful, and often ‘crippling’ disease.”
Really, Menopause is a disease?
He won women over with scientific-sounding promises of beauty and good sex, even though the FDA banned Wilson from certain research for making unsubstantiated claims. Not to be dissuaded, Dr. Wilson successfully convinced doctors and women that oestrogen was the salvation for the “horrors of this living decay of menopause!”
Really? Menopause is a living decay?
He wrote, “The myth that oestrogen is a causative factor in cancer has been proven entirely false. On the contrary, indications are that oestrogen acts as a cancer preventive.”
Dr. Wilson is credited with enshrining the belief that oestrogen efficiency was the hormonal profile of all perimenopausal and menopausal women. He also convinced the medical fraternity that oestrogen replacement was the obvious solution. This paved the way for making menopause a medical condition that required treatment with oestrogen and synthetic progestin, i.e., Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Really? Menopause is a medical condition?
The little know history of how the medical model transformed a natural process of a women’s life into disease, a medical condition requiring dangerous drugs, has altered the health destiny for millions of women worldwide.
Truth – Women’s Can Regain Hormonal Balance Naturally
After two decades, Dr. Robert Wilson and his unfounded theories were proven to be entirely wrong. He was also very wrong about the noncarcinogenic effects of oestrogen. This was a tragic medical mistake that had drastic consequences for millions of women who not only embraced oestrogen replacement therapy, but also the later version of hormone treatment, Hormone Replacement Therapy.
In 1975, the New England Journal of Medicine published two studies documenting a strong association between cancer of the lining of the uterus and oestrogen therapy. The publication of these studies coincided with the increasing incidence of uterine cancer in women who were prescribed oestrogen therapy. In fact, the increased incidence of uterine cancer from oestrogen therapy was a shocking 800 percent!
To this day, the only known cause of uterine cancer is from oestrogen excess. As a results of this major medical mistake, tens of thousands of women who were diagnosed with uterine cancer either had to undergo a hysterectomy as the only acceptable form of treatment or they lost their lives to this cancer.
But it wasn’t just uterine cancer. By 2002, The Women’s Health Study showed that women who took the combination of oestrogen and progestin had increased their risk for breast cancer, stroke, heart attack, and blood clots. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences listed all steroidal oestrogens and progestin’s as known human carcinogens.
As a footnote to history, Wilson’s original research, which was the basis of his book, was eventually recognized as flawed by the FDA, and Dr. Wilson himself, was discredited as a researcher. It was also discovered that Dr. Wilson’s book and lecture tour were financed by a pharmaceutical company that manufactured – of guess what….Oestrogen of course!
It is said that history is written by the winners. When it comes to the little known history of women’s health and treatment of women’s bodies and hormonal issues over the decades, it has been recognised that women has been medicalised and pathologised for profit.
It is now known that the use of oestrogen without progesterone ( as found in a woman’s natural hormonal production)causes many serious health conditions, including cancer.
Oestrogen must never be prescribed or used on its own. Even in these modern times, many in the medical fraternity continue to maintain that women require medical intervention as well as treatment with dangerous hormonal drugs in order to restore hormonal balance and wellbeing.
Nothing can be further from the truth. Nature has a bounty of effective and natural solutions to restore health and hormonal balance. This is the path to the awakening of Feminine Power!
In the next part of this series, more important myths and truths will be
Dr. Sherrill Sellman, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor, educator, women’s natural health expert, psychotherapist and journalist in the field of holistic health. She is a passionate advocate for regaining hormonal health naturally and reclaiming Feminine Wisdom. Dr. Sherrill is the best-selling author of Hormone Heresy: What Women MUST Know. To read more go to www.drsherrillsellman.com