Banning natural progesterone


"Banning natural progesterone" is an issue that leaves me lost and bewildered. In fact it is not really an issue since most women do not even know what it is, let alone what it could do for their health. I do not know who will ever tell women about it, now that it is banned. What is even worse, is that doctors do not know about it. Who will tell the doctors? Not the pharmaceutical companies and that is for sure.

I learned about natural progesterone, coincidentally, from reading various Articles in alternative health books. But the book that has absolutely astounded me is "What your doctor may not tell you about Menopause" which is written by a doctor, Dr. John R. Lee. I am still only two thirds of the way through the book. It is difficult for me to read this book because I don't know whether to sit down and cry as I read it, or to stand up- and scream "how could this happen How can the pharmaceutical industry do this?"

When I read this book, I want to cry because I see myself in it in many places. How my female health problems were trivialized by the doctors, until years and years go by trying various drugs, nothing seems to help, then end up with surgery (hysterectomy) and another whole new series of health problems, which were still insolvable through doctors and drugs. When I think that a little jar of cream could have changed my health issues 20 years ago, how is it possible that I could have avoided surgery, I don't know whether to cry or to be angry. I realize that it is not the doctors' fault, they do the very best with what they have been taught, and that is drugs and surgery. The doctors are educated by the drug companies and it's accompanying promotional literature, journals and seminars. But what I am going to do, to make a difference. I am going to make a difference by telling as many women , as I possibly can, to get this book and read it.

Now I am threatened by the medical community of heart disease & osteoporosis if I don't take HRT! For this is the threat of not getting on the HRT promotional bandwagon. When you read in Dr. Lee's book how drug companies came to the conclusion that HRT prevents heart disease you will most certainly feel ill.

Then on my own, using various alternative health products and visiting various alternative health practitioners, I get the relief I need, feel better than I have felt in 20 years, and change my whole health care regimen to one of "prevention" Natural progesterone is a product that I use and will continue to use. Hello! Is anybody listening? Drugs are not the only answer.

There are two key issues to address in banning natural progesterone.

First, the issue of "freedom to choose" in personal health care. The medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry focus on "disease care". Many complementary health users and practitioners focus on "health care", the maintenance of good health and prevention of disease. I should have the right to choose for myself.

Choosing to use natural progesterone cream is not about being "forever young" as in the article which references this product in Maclean's Magazine. IT IS about balancing "out of balance" hormones. IT IS about daily living. IT IS about the possibility of bringing relief for PMS, menopausal symptoms, fibroid tumors, fibrocystic breasts, post partum depression. IT IS about breast cancer prevention. IT IS about offsetting "estrogen dominance"

Natural progesterone was developed in 1939. Why is it being taken off the market now? For all of these years it has been suppressed by the pharmaceutical companies. It is a natural products, a skin cream made from wild yams, which is not patentable. It was suppressed so that women must buy drugs and consequently, we suffer all the related drug side effects and exposure to breast cancer. Natural progesterone cream is now a threat to the pharmaceutical companies' HRT drugs. Representatives of the pharmaceutical industry have gone to health Canada and had this wonderful product removed, so that it protects their market and eliminates competition. Who suffers? The women of Canada. Most women do not even know about natural progesterone thanks to the pharmaceutical industry. If women knew about the benefits of natural progesterone, its lack of side effects and how "safe" it is, we would not allow the government to do this to us. We would fight it tooth and nail. The second issue is the age-old issue of "money & power". It is becoming clear to the pharmaceutical industry that the health benefits of many natural substances, vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements and natural progesterone cream will erode their market share, sales and profits in the trillion dollar health care industry. It is just that simple. So it is in the best of the pharmaceutical industry to promote the negative aspects of natural products and the positive aspects of drugs. Pure, plain and simple. It is about money and nothing else. The Canadian government, or Health Canada, has fallen for it, hook, line and sinker. This is to the detriment of our own personal health choices. Natural progesterone is a perfect example; this product will directly undermine the HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) market of the drug companies. Premarin (an HRT drug) is one of the top selling drugs in the USA. The menopause market is millions of women and billions of dollars to the pharmaceutical companies.

For women who are concerned with all of those "female problems" there is a book you must read; "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, the breakthrough book on Natural progesterone" by John R. Lee. Md.

To quote Dr. Lee, from the Sunday Telegraph, London 12 May 1996;
"We will soon regard making estrogen the key ingredient in Hormone Replacement Therapy as a major medical mistake".

In his book, Dr Lee also lists about a dozen different companies that supply natural progesterone. So if you are interested, you can at least find a supplier. I would like to remind women at this point about thalidomide and DES. These were wonder drugs from the pharmaceutical industry that had disastrous side effects. We may soon find the same with HRT and breast cancer.

It is your body. Do some homework. Make informed decisions.

The Canadian Government is not listening to the alternative health care practitioners, they are not listening to the health food distributors, they are not listening to alternative health care lobbyists. They only seem to listen to the pharmaceutical lobby. We have not made enough noise. Remember the "squeaky wheel gets the grease".

Our Government continues to remove many worthwhile, beneficial and safe supplements from the market. It is time that we wake up and let the government hear from the general population. Maybe they will listen to the common every day people. I think I will become a social activist advocating "Freedom of Choice" in personal health care.

And for Maclean's Magazine; Good Work, Dig a little deeper, there are many worthwhile issues to investigate here. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

Thank you for reading this.
Elaine Dow, Reader Maclean's Magazine

Article published on the Macleans' Magazine Web- Site dated July 28 1997.

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