Hey Guys, It’s planting season and I’ve been busy in my garden. Don’t have much time to respond ,but I usually stop by the board everyday to see how everyone is doing and say a prayer for those who need it. I just ran across this article about autoimmune disease and thought I’d print it up for those who are researching autoimmune disease and and how it relates to these diseases. It is taken from the book “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause” by Dr. John Lee page 258. AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS Autoimmune disorders are those disease states in which your own antibodies attack some gland or tissue in your body. Normally your antibodies protect you from harmful invaders, but in this case they go after normal tissue, The actual cause is generally never found. Autoimmune disorders, in general, are more common in women. Why should this be? It is natural to suspect estrogen, the one hormone that is more plentiful in women than men over the course of a lifetime. After follicle depletion or menopause, some women make less progesterone than men of the same age. The onset of autoimmune disorders is often middle age, when estrogen dominance becomes common. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Sjogren’s disease, Grave’s disease (toxic goiter), and lupus erythematosus are all not only more common in women, but appear to be related to estrogen supplementation or estrogen dominance. Recent studies have shown that women who use hormone replacement therapy containing estrogen are more likely to get lupus. Many of my patients with autoimmune disease who began using natural progesterone to relieve menopausal symptoms reported that their disease symptoms also gradually abated. This is a clinical question that haunts my mind: Is this an unrecognized symptom of estrogen toxicity, or the fact that progesterone itself may “tune down” the antibody-modulated disorder? Further research would be nice. On the front page of the Immune Support website the article “Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” by Jill McLaughlin states that: “Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) disproportionately affects women, but has long been under-recognized and under-diagnosed” “CFS was found to be more common in women, with 522 females per 100,000 versus 291 males per 100,000. When comparing the prevalence of CFS in women to the prevalence of other diseases, CFS emerges as a serious women's health concern.” Candida can have a direct effect upon your estrogen levels. Dr. Sherry Rogers, who has been treating candida for years, has this to say on page 250 in her book “Tired Or Toxic” : “Candida organisms can raise havoc by producing hormones that mimic human hormones and even receptors for our hormones on their surfaces!(Fungal Metabolites, VolII, Turner, WB, Academic Press, 1983) to which we can react or which can cause feedback inhibition of our own hormones.” I’ve been sick and tired for the longest time. At one time I was told that my constant sickness and fatigue could be candida related, but finding a doctor who cares about treating candida is a miracle. If you are lucky enough to find one they usually have a waiting list a mile long. When I look back at some of the symptoms I had during my periods I do see evidence of estrogen excess. I had what I thought were small black and blue marks which always developed at a certain time of my cycle. I now believe them to be purpura because they were purplish in color. Their appearance was so regular, coming at that time of the month when my estrogen levels would have been at their highest. In Rhodale Press’s “The Complete Book of Vitamins” page 721 it says; Some physicians believe that because of the increasing use of estrogens, both for birth control and as a menopausal crutch, more and more women are becoming prone to a condition known as purpura, the disease of the purple spots, a hemorrhagic disorder characterized by spontaneous bruising or bleeding, petechiae (tiny bumps) in the skin and mucous membranes, and sometimes a marked decrease in circulating platelets. It has already been determined that estrogen is a known vitamin E antagonist. It can cause a deficiency of this important nutrient which among other well-documented benefits to your body, can actually help to preserve the integrity of the capillary walls and prevent such spots. Purpura, according to a study published in the Journal of Vitaminology (18,125-130, 1972) could very well be just such a colorful manifestation of a vitamin E deficiancy. As an interesting sidebar, I know of two cases of endometriosis (growth of endometrial tissue outside the endometrium) in men. How can that be? As far as I know men don’t have endometriums. The outstanding similarity in both of these cases was that the men were each receiving estrogen supplementation. I also have endstage endometriosis. The Endometriosis Assoc. has stated that there appears to be a relationship between candida and endometriosis. They recommend treating candida and balancing hormone levels as part of their treatment plan for endometriosis. Studies say that women with CFS have a greater incidence of endmetriosis than what you would normally find in the general population. Because woman with CFS are more apt to have endometriosis I feel they should be following the Endometriosis Assoc. recommended plan for treating endometriosis. It might actually help prevent them from developing endometriosis. I have received lots of antibiotics in my past. One of the theories about CFS I entertain is that maybe this illness is the long term result of the use of antibiotics. It seems to parallel that time frame and no one has really studied long term effects of these medicines. It has long been known that antibiotics can wipe out intestinal flora yet little is done to replenish it. I don’t think it has been determined whether our bodies can recover naturally from this onslaught of antibiotic medication or if we function at less then optimum from then on and this causes a reduction in disease resistance which allows secondary infections such as candida to invade and reek havoc. Well, this is just one of the theories that I entertain as to the cause of CFS. There are several well thought out theories for the cause of CFS so I hope you don’t jump to any conclusions. To determine if there is any validity to this theory it is necessary to study long term results of antibiotic use. For those healthy individuals using antibiotics, it is possible to build up the natural intestinal flora to prevent further infection from secondary illnesses and maybe avoid future problems. Also, Dr. Lee posed several areas that needed further research before it could be determined if autoimmune disease is an unrecognized symptom of estrogen toxicity, or whether progesterone itself may “tune down” the antibody-modulated disorder. I would urge caution to anyone thinking about taking hormone supplements such as progesterone. I have seen reports of progesterone possibly causing cancer. Hormone supplements should be strictly monitored by a doctor because they can cause really serious problems (and you think you got problems now). (Just curious- as a side thought-I wonder if men with CFS may have been taking hormones for body building at some time in their past.) There are saliva tests that monitor hormone levels. Supposedly these tests are available for at home testing (ex.-ovulation tests- for pregnancy). Does anybody know of any good ones. I thought I’d look into it. I could use them to keep track of my hormone levels and if I found any imbalances then I could go and see my doctor about them to get them properly checked out.