Stop the Madness!


Recently, I received a phone call form a woman who wanted to talk to me about a “balancing cream” that she was “representing”.  She told me how excited she was about the product, and how it was the same formula recommended in Dr. Lee’s book.  I realized that this meant it was a progesterone cream.  I asked her if she did any hormone testing before trying to sell people this “balancing cream”, and if she tested people after they were on the cream in case they were getting too much, and how much she knew about how hormones behave when absorbed through the skin, and the extent of her medical background.  The answer to all of these questions, of course, was no or none. 


The majority of natural supplements are safe, even if used in excess of recommended dosages on the bottle.  However, there are a number of products that, in my opinion, should not be generally available to people who do not know how to properly use them.  In general, these products fall into the category of hormones.  Progesterone, DHEA, Melatonin, and Pregnenolone are all readily available to the consumer.  However, we need to ask ourselves if using products that will, not just might, but will change our hormonal balance is a good idea without first knowing something about your hormonal balance.  Is it enough that the “kid in the health food store isle” said that he’s heard that melatonin can help with sleep?  I think we need to much more carefully approach the idea of changing the levels of one of the most important hormones in our brain.


DHEA is especially troubling with very severe side effects if used in high doses – which can be as low as 50mg for some people, and DHEA is commonly sold in 25mg pills making it very easy for someone to get themselves into danger without knowing it, and without knowing why.  DHEA use can be associated with heart irregularities, hormonal disturbance, increased risk of certain cancers, and aggressive behavior – but only if used incorrectly.  I never suggest that someone takes DHEA unless I have measured it to be low. 


There are too many people trying to capitalize on the billion dollar natural health industry who do not belong selling hormonally active product to people without knowing what they are talking about.  I am not saying that everyone needs to come see me.  I am saying that you need to think about what you are doing and understand that not all natural products are safe.  There will come a time when most of these more problematic products are regulated correctly.  Until that time, it is up to the consumer to make intelligent choices about what they put into their bodies.  Please, make good choices based on the advice of people who know what they are talking about and who are trained to use those products safely. 

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