Natural substitutes for HRT

Last month, I wrote an article explaining facts and fiction about breast cancer. October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I received many e-mails from women who were very upset with their medical doctor, for they have been on Hormone Replacement Therapy (estrogen), and there is now link between breast cancer and high estrogen levels.

As a naturopathic doctor, I have known this for many years. Naturopathic doctors are trained in nutrition. With all the hormones in our food, clothes and environment, how can we not all be estrogen dominated?

Another concern that was addressed to me is the issue of soy. Soy is a phytoestrogen. This means that soy has all the qualities of estrogen.

Every day in my office, I hear women telling me that their doctors are telling them to eat soy. We are led to believe that the Japanese and Asians eat soy and have a lower incidence of cancers of the breast, uterus and prostate.

Just how much soy do Asians eat? A 1998 survey found that the average daily amount of soy protein consumed in Japan was about 8 grams for men and 7 for women. This is less than two teaspoons.

Too high estrogen levels plague the modern woman. Over-estrogenized women are on an emotional rollercoaster. Estrogen levels are important for fertility, but too high levels can cause infertility.

I received many e-mails about breast lumps. As we age, our breasts should be saggy and soft. I can tell just by examining a breast if there is too much estrogen or too little progesterone. Breast lumps definitely invite breast cancer. Know what your estrogen/progesterone levels are. There are many causes of breast cancer, but one thing that the medical and the naturopathic community can agree on is family history, hormonal replacement, and making good lifestyle choices.

Dr. Julia Whipkey-Michniewicz is a Naturopathic Doctor and a Colon Hydrotherapist. You can hear Dr. Julia on WROK the first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. You may reach Dr. Julia at her Rockford office at 962-3326 or in her Belvidere office at 547-7211 or e-mail her at

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