The Estrogen Errors: Why Progesterone Is Better for Women's Health Hardcover – May 19 2009
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"The Women's Health Initiative study in the 1990s upended the conventional wisdom concerning hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. Medical writer Baxter (Simon Fraser U.) and Prior (medicine, U. of British Columbia) trace the history of the estrogen-deficiency disease paradigm of menopause. Instead of the myth that estrogen is a female hormone that needs replenishing, these self-identified feminists advocate consideration of the complexities of what is ‘normal' and the use of progesterone among options to ease menopausal symptoms. Appendices include further information about perimenopause, 'the forgotten transition,' and menopause management." - SciTech Book News
"In this engaging book, Baxter (Simon Fraser Univ.) and Prior (Univ. of British Columbia) combine detailed explanations of women's reproductive endocrinology and physiology with deconstructions of social, medical, and cultural narratives about women's hormones. The result is an insightful survey of current and historical dogma, scientific research, and medical practices in women's health. . . . Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers." - Choice
"The book is well written, clearly laid out, and understandable to an educated reader. It points out what we now know are inconsistencies and outright errors in the previously widely accepted prescription of estrogen to normal women during their transition to menopause….I think the book offers a significant amount of information for both physicians "treating" and women approaching menopause, from both an estrogen and progesterone perspective. I'm really glad I read it….I appreciated the clarification of terminology, the effort to demedicalize a natural process, and the confidence to look outside the box at commonly accepted doctrine surrounding what has been happening to women since the beginning of human life." - British Columbia Medical Journal
"The Estrogen Errors is an informative text written for providers and women that questions the hypothesis that estrogen is the deficient hormone during the perimenopause, and that this deficiency is responsible for the varied symptoms experienced by many woman during this transitional phase. Dr. Prior is an endocrinologist who clearly has studied and researched the topic thoroughly. " - Medpedia.com
"Estrogen Errors is, quite simply, the truth! Dr. Jerilynn Prior has done women a huge service by uncovering the real truth about estrogen and the hidden secrets of progesterone! A must read for anyone concerned about women's health." (Jerilynn C Prior MD FRCPC
Professor of Endocrinology
University of British Columbia)
" 'Estrogen Errors tells the story of efforts to set the record straight about how healthy ovulatory menstruation - with its ebb and flow of estrogen and progesterone - protects our hearts, breasts and bones, and details with sound scientific evidence the implications of this knowledge for women's health. It is also a call to action for women to become body literate. We owe it to ourselves and our daughters to understand and appreciate our bodies if we want to make conscious, informed decisions about our health throughout our reproductive lives - from menarche through to menopause and beyond." (Laura Wershler
Executive Director, Sexual Health Access Alberta)
"In this provocative book, Jerilynn Prior and Susan Baxter raise many key questions that women's health researchers and clinicians have failed to ask or investigate. They are especially effective in deconstructing prevailing myths about 'too little estrogen' during the peri-menopause." (Judy Norsigian
Executive Director, Our Bodies Ourselves)
"Jerilynn Prior can always be trusted to go beyond the surface to what is really happening in women's bodies. She is a true champion in women's health. This book will help you finally understand your body and hormones." (Susan Love MD
President of the Dr Susan Love Research Foundation and author of Dr Susan Love's Breast Book)
Top Customer Reviews
Baxter and Prior have done extensive research on women's hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone. In clear language they explain how they fluctuate throughout a women's cycle and life and how they interact with each other. It's not low estrogen that causes those night sweats - and all the other symptoms that can occur during perimenopause - it's actually high estrogen and the resulting imbalance between the two hormones. The authors also examine cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and breast cancer - `aging' diseases often associated with menopause - and their connection to hormones. They explode the myths around estrogen keeping you young, reducing cardiovascular risk and preventing bone loss. They also discuss hormones and breast cancer and the role of mammograms.
Aside from explaining the medical side, what I found of particular interest was the explanation for why menopause is seen as a medical problem and how estrogen came to be the solution. The authors provide an historical, socio-cultural and political context for the medicalization of menopause.
One of the authors' stated goals in writing this book was to provide women with tools to help question their doctors and the advice they are given. Understanding more about how your hormones work and the reasoning and history behind that medical advice can only benefit all women.
Dense, factual research is rendered into an enjoyable, readable format taking us through the medicalization of women's issues, the estrogen conspiracy and finally, the evidence based solution.
The history of women's health and hormones is littered with contradictions and unfounded social/cultural bias. Myths or 'explanations' have been created and contorted to order the facts, and suppress rationales that have a sound basis in science.
The authors simplify the evidence, allowing us to understand the roles of estrogen and progesterone. High doses of estrogen are harmful. It causes heart disease, blood clots, stroke and breast cancer. It has not been shown to prevent anything that it has been touted as 'good for'. Progesterone, a co-star, plays an important role in women's balance and whole health, yet has been largely ignored. Progesterone balances out wildly spiking estrogen, serving as a physiological anchor; while providing positive impact on bone density, ....
Case studies are profiled where women are led through invasive procedures that exacerbate the problem yielding nightmarish results. Prior's frequent simple advice: a 2 week trial of progesterone, has freed women of oppressive symptoms, resulting in the cessation of surgeries and prescription refills. I know all about this. Due to Jerilynn Prior's diligence, holistic, thoughtful, and compassionate care. I survived a horrendous perimenopause, and fortunately avoided a hysterectomy and prescriptions that made me feel weaker and more vulnerable.
The book is complete by empowering reader with an appendix devoted to Understanding/ Surviving and Thriving in Perimenopause.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Time after time Prior over-rides the disinterest and obstructing ignorance of her peer medical community. She choses the difficult, but higher, road of practicing evidence-based medicine, causing her to question the sketchy research on estrogen. This book is shot through with more science, intelligence and rational sense, in terms of women's health, than anything else available currently. This is true of all her publications and website [...]
'The Estrogen Errors' is expensive [...], however a portion goes to running the non-profit cemcor website. The book gives you the most current bio-medical science on women's bone, breast and heart health from Dr. Prior's researched and elite point of view. A major focus of the book is that span of life starting in the late 30s or early 40s which has only recently been identified and labeled as perimenopause. A significant cohort of women, but not all women, have from mild to extreme difficulty through what can be a decade (plus or minus) of transition. If this is you, get this book and go straight to Chapter 3 'Perimenopause: The Forgotten Transition" for the very best science-driven information and management available to the lay public.
The amount of morbidity (suffering and misery) and premature mortality (death) that women might be spared if 'The Estrogen Errors' had wide readership and understanding is scary to think about.
April Heather Ewart Andrews RN BN, [...]
There are factual errors.
- women in the PEPI trial took Premarin alone or Premarin & Provera, but the writers did not mention that there was a group who took micronized progesterone and they did well. It's still a surprise that researchers were prescient enough in the early '90's to INCLUDE micronized progesterone at all.
- "those colonoscopies that Katie Couric wants us to have can nick the bowel and cause internal bleeding." True, however, it is cavalier and irresponsible to suggest a sigmoidoscopy, which is "flexible, shorter and safer" is an adequate tool to detect colonoscopy. In fact, no reputable physician in the US uses sigmoidoscopy any more as a screening tool for colonoscopy. Sigmoidoscopy examines only the very end of the colon and misses the polyps (cancerous or pre-cancerous) in the majority of the colon. Katie Couric helped public health efforts to prevent colon cancer - colonoscopy is one of the only ways to PREVENT cancer by removing precancerous polyps (as opposed to mammograms, which DETECT, not prevent, cancer).
- finally, the WHI. In 2002, the researchers concluded that hormone therapy caused an increase in breast cancer and heart disease. Then Baxter writes "after a brief flurry of negative news about estrogen, the excuses and the justifications began pouring in..." Well, it was the authors of the WHI who published further analyses that showed that women in their 40's and 50's who took Premarin, or Premarin & Provera had no increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease, but that the risk is increased in women who take hormones in their 60's. This is important because as Jerilynn Prior has written, hormone levels in your 40's are different from your 50's and from your 60's. Secondly, it wasn't hormone apologists who published the data on safety, it was the WHI authors themselves.
There is lots of good information in the book, and Jerilynn Prior deserves a platform for her views. However, it is important that when the writers are criticizing the medical industry (and deservedly so) that they keep their facts straight so as not to undermine their argument. Nothing is all good or all bad - including hormones.
-Judy Norsigian, Executive Director of Our Bodies Ourselves