Natural healing, natural wellness

Archive for May, 2010

Exercise To Reduce Estrogen Load

One cancer-fighting tip that is often recommended on cancer forums or discussion boards everywhere is EXERCISE. When you have a life-threatening disease like cancer, getting fighting-fit is absolutely essential, and regular exercise helps to achieve this.

Exercise is particularly important with hormone-dominant cancers like estrogen-positive breast cancer. Fat cells harbor estrogen, so the more weight you lose, the lesser your estrogen load. Having a “spare tyre” is dangerous for people with estrogen-sensitive cancer. Exercise also helps to alleviate many side-effects associated with drugs prescribed for cancer like aromatase inhibitors.

Since I started on the aromatase inhibitor Letrozole (Femara) a couple of months ago, I have been putting on weight, a common side-effect of AIs. This is not good for someone with my condition. I had actually been losing weight steadily over the last couple of years, until Femara came along. Now, it seems to me that no matter what I do I just can’t seem to lose weight. It’s so frustrating.

So I bought myself a pedometer last week, to help keep track of the number of steps I walk daily. The recommendation is to take at least 10,000 steps each day. Not counting the steps I take when I’m indoors, this translates (for me) to two hours of brisk walking. Each time I walk my dog, Ginger, it takes 25-30 minutes, and I do this twice a day. Either I walk her four times daily (ha! ha!) from now on, or I’ll just have to find some other way to get the other 5,000 steps in. So far, by taking an additional long walk each day, I’m averaging 9,000 steps. At least the pedometer reminds me to walk at least 10,000 steps everyday.

I’ve also been looking at other things I can do naturally to help lose weight, like drastically reducing sugar intake. I already hardly consume any sugar, so I’ve just switched from drinking “reduced-sugar” soy milk daily to “sugar-free” soy milk. Hopefully, that will help. I’m also thinking of taking virgin coconut oil daily, as my research shows that it assists weight loss, besides providing many other health benefits.

Weight-bearing exercises are supposed to help burn fat too. I used to have a pair of barbells. Wonder where they are now? Must look for them. Meanwhile, I bought an exercise band yesterday, so I can do some resistance-based stretching and pulling, even while sitting at my computer. I spend hours working at my desk, so every bit of exercise I can work in helps.

If you have any other ideas to help me lose weight safely and quickly, please share. I’m not doing this for vanity’s sake, but for my life.

Natural Cold Sore Remedy

A certain spot on my upper lip started tingling one morning last week. For me, that’s usually a sign that a cold sore is developing. So I grabbed my tube of cold sore ointment and applied it immediately. Normally, if you do this before a blister forms, you should be able to nip the cold sore in the bud. To my consternation, the blister formed within the next couple of hours.

Now, if you’ve ever suffered from cold sores, you know that they are not a pretty sight. They can spread quickly all over the mouth, which is a very embarrassing as well as painful condition to be in. Once they are established, they can linger for seven to 10 days on average. I had meetings scheduled for the week ahead, and I was desperate to get rid of the blisters. I don’t know why, but I decided to try dabbing apple cider vinegar on the sores. I hadn’t heard about that being a natural remedy for cold sores but, somehow, I just felt it would help.

The vinegar was certainly soothing. I kelp applying it to my lips for the next few hours, using a cotton bud. Before I went to bed, I applied the apple cider vinegar again.

To my amazement, when I woke up the next morning, the cold sore had dried up and flattened out. It no longer hurt. Wow! That took less than 24 hours, the fastest healing time ever for a cold sore. No medicine has ever achieved that before for me.  Yay for another natural cure!

There’s a lot of controversy about consuming phytoestrogens like flaxseed and soya when you have estrogen-dominant breast cancer. Some say you should avoid them as they mimic estrogen and may aggravate the breast cancer. Others reason that phytoestrogens are a weak and harmless form of estrogen, so it is better for them to occupy the estrogen-receptor sites in the body which feed the cancer, rather than have those sites occupied by harmful estrogens like estradiol and estrone. By competing to fill the estrogen-receptors, phytoestrogens are actually cancer-fighting, or so the logic goes.

After following the Budwig protocol for 14 months and consuming large quantities of flaxseed oil combined with cottage cheese daily, as well as ground flax – an essential part of the program – I’ve come to the conclusion that flaxseed is harmful for my estrogen-sensitive breast cancer. Tumors as large as oranges developed during that time and covered my breast, bleeding profusely. That was a horrifying period. No more flaxseed for me!

Soy, on the other hand, seems to have helped keep the cancer under control for several years since I was first diagnosed. I drank soy milk daily and used it in my cereal until my husband and I sold our house and moved in with his folks for almost a year while we were looking for a new home. During that interval, we could not use the kitchen freely, so we did not buy groceries or prepare our own meals and beverages then. Not only did I stop consuming soy milk daily, I even stopped my daily juicing routine. Whether it was due to these changes in my diet or to the stress of living with the in-laws, the cancer started getting active and the small tumor I had then bled for the first time ever. Shortly after moving into our new home, I started on the Budwig protocol and the breast cancer grew exponentially thereafter.

I’m back to consuming soy daily now. I love drinking fresh soya milk every day, the natural, clean-tasting type which Asians have been drinking for generations, not the additives-loaded fake substitute for dairy milk sold in the West. I also enjoy cooking with soy products like tofu and tempeh, a fermented pressed soy cake. Interestingly, my oncologist suggested I consume more soy products to counter the side-effects of Femara (Letrozole), an estrogen inhibitor. I blend my own fresh vegetable and fruit juices daily too. I even make sauerkraut regularly and eat it daily for its cancer-fighting and estrogen-regulating properties. When I can find space in my fridge, I also make a big batch of coleslaw, one of my favorite salads which also happens to have cancer-fighting properties.

I know what flaxseed did to my body and I also remember how soy protected me against breast cancer so, as phytoestrogens go, my vote is for soy.