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The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women: Exploding the Estrogen Myth Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 9, 2003
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
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*Starred Review* Science journalist Seaman, cofounder of the National Women's Health Network, takes no prisoners in this scathing indictment of hormone replacement therapy in general and estrogen in particular. Her account of pandemic abuse of the trust women place in their doctors cuts a wide swath of guilt that begins at medical practitioners but scores drug manufacturers as well as the Food and Drug Administration. The experiment with hormone replacement--called an experiment because the drugs were manufactured, marketed, and prescribed either without or in defiance of scientific proof of their safety--began in 1938 in England when a biochemist published his formula for synthetic estrogen, diethylstilbestrol (DES). The ensuing story reads like an X-Files conspiracy script as, for the next 65 years, doctors and authorities ignored mounting evidence of the sometimes-fatal consequences of taking these hormones. Seaman has long been an outspoken opponent of what she calls medicalization, which places such normal occurrences as pregnancy and menopause under medical control, and has advocated full drug disclosure so that women may be made aware of drug side effects and health hazards. She has been accused of being an alarmist, but recent evidence of the dangers of such drugs as DES rather validates her alarm. A wake-up call to women about unquestioningly accepting doctors' orders. Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A splendid history that exposes how menopause was transformed into a medical problem . . . " -- Ruth Rosen, San Francisco Chronicle
"Lively and impassioned . . . [Seaman] certainly makes her point." -- Gina Kolata, New York Times
"Seaman's story is sometimes astounding." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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but wisdom on the part of the patient needs to be used and excercised. the facts in this book need to be part of the education of all docotrs and others who care for people in a medical setting. One person can make all the difference.
Then I would keep the following in mind:
- hormones are primarily the result of life processes, not their cause. A healthy female body will produce the amount of estrogen best suited to her constitution. External estrogen "success" is merely based on the 'high' provided versus any real correction of the female hormonal status or balance.
- hormonal substitution or augmentation is (at best) a crude method of furnishing the desired hormones. It is impossible to supply the hormones at the natural rate of grandular secretion, or to know exactly what secretions need augmentation in order to balance the entire female endocrine system.
- there is no discussion of the nutritional toll external estrogens have on the body, thus further reducing female reproductive health and hormonal balance.
I think its safe to say estrogen produced by a healthy female body is not the problem here - per Ms. Seaman synthetic estrogens are, additionally I would say because bio-identical estrogen (balanced or not) still provide an artifical interference with the wisdom of the body, in no way provide for the corrective production of hormonal status or balance, and would also be a problem.
But women should read Ms. Seaman's information and then judge for themselves whether the medical community has provided the whole story or even an accurrate one to support the practice of prescribing hormones (synthetic or bio-identical).
Barbara cautions the reader on hormonal products as a cure-all
for women. She points out how the pill can impact the liver
adversely resulting in jaundice and irregular sugar metabolism.
There is a section describing the downside of oral
contraceptives. The author debunks the myths about the breakage
of bones . She goes on to state that bones break due to a lack
of lean muscle mass, cigarette smoking, tranquilizers etc.
Bone mass may be preserved with a rigorous exercise regimen.
This book is helpful in identifying the science or lack thereof
with regard to a number of health products directed toward women.
I would recommend this book as an integral part of any
health library for adults readers.
Seaman details story after story of why women should question their doctors and pharmaceutical companies. From taking drugs that destroyed their babies to taking cancer provoking concoctions, women have served as uninformed guinea pigs for years.
Accordingly, Seaman gives women a reason to say "No" to new drugs and new therapies that promise to make our lives easier in the ever popular crusade to ease "woman problems".
The female physique is inundated with mystique. That which is not understood faces constant scrutiny and treacherous attacks. Seaman sends a message loud and clear to all women- Take control of your own health because there are thousands of people out willing and waiting to experiment with your well-being while hailing promises of new found youth and renewed vigor.
I suggest your cross read The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women with Uzzi Reiss' Natural Hormone Balance for Women. Reiss claims that estrogens have a "bad" rap because studies such as those covered by Seaman only address synthetic hormones or those derived from horses. I did not find Reiss' arguments compelling, it just offered another view of the women's hormone scene.