Women's Health

The Four Faces of Premenstrual Syndrome

By Janet Gulland | Contributing Writer - Vol. 4, No. 1. January, 2003

"PMS" has become a catch-all category for a wide variety of physical and emotional symptoms, some of which have nothing to do with the menstrual cycle, said Wendy Warner, MD, a holistic gynecologist. She has found that women with cyclic symptoms tend to fall into 4 distinct categories, each of which benefits from a somewhat different treatment approach.

Soy and Breast Cancer: Unravelling the Riddle

By Vic Hernandez, MPH | Contributing Writer - Vol. 5, No. 1. Spring, 2004

Medical opinion about the effects of soy in preventing and helping to treat breast cancer has been highly variable over the years. The controversy may be in large part because most researchers fail to differentiate between fermented and unfermented soy. Fermented soy contains isoflavones that are beneficial in reducing cancer, and compounds within fermented soy stimulate immune responses that may be helpful in eliminating cancer cells.

Common Herbs Provide Uncommon Relief for Menstrual Cramps, UTIs

By Janet Gulland | Contributing Writer - Vol. 5, No. 1. Spring, 2004

Menstrual cramps, urinary tract infections and other common gynecological conditions can often be safely and effectively managed with readily available and inexpensive herbs including Black Haw, Dong Quai (Angelica), and Cranberry. Marcey Shapiro, MD, a clinical herbalist and primary care doctor, shares her years of experience.

Phytomedicines and Pharmaceuticals in Women's Health

By Tori Hudson, ND - Vol. 5, No. 4. Winter, 2004

Holistic Primary Care is pleased to welcome Dr. Tori Hudson, one of the nation's leading experts on holistic women's health care, to our editorial team. In this, the first of her Women's Health Update features, Dr. Hudson looks at data suggesting that antibiotic use may increase risk of breast cancer, as well as several studies suggesting that St. John's wort does compromise the effect of oral contraceptive pills. .

New Studies Underscore Complexity of Soy Effects on Women's Health

By Tori Hudson, ND - Vol. 6, No. 2. Summer, 2005

Our medical minds like simple answers, a tendency sometimes at odds with the complexity of biological phenomena. Take the question of soy and women's health, for example. There's little doubt that overall, soy is a healthy food, and a great source of protein for women. But when one looks at specific tissues, and tries to determine whether soy isoflavones enhance or inhibit endogenous estrogenic effects, the simple answers quickly evaporate.

Botanicals, Nutrients and Chemotherapy: Oncologists' Fears May Be Unfounded

By Tori Hudson, N - Vol. 6, No. 3. Fall, 2005

Most conventionally trained cancer specialists believe herbs and nutritional supplements will interfere with chemotherapy, but new studies are showing that selenium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and black cohosh can actually reduce chemo side-effects and may improve outcomes.

Does Lactobacillus Prevent Post-Antibiotic Vaginal Yeast Infections?

By Tori Hudson, ND - Vol. 6, No. 3. Fall, 2005

Contrary to popular belief, a new study shows that use of vaginal probiotics after antibiotic treatment does not reduce the rate of yeast (candida) infections. However, vaginal probiotics do have a role in preventing bacterial infections of the vagina.

Iodine Therapy Gains Favor for Thyroid Problems, Chronic Fatigue

By Staff Writer - Vol. 6, No. 4. Winter, 2005

Iodine, once a mainstay medical therapy that was largely abandoned after WWII, is experiencing something of a resurgence for treatment of thyroid problems, chronic fatigue, women's health problems, and even diabetes.

Women's Health Update: News from NAMS

By Tori Hudson, ND - Vol. 6, No. 4. Winter, 2005

Despite its conservative orientation toward natural medicine, the North American Menopause Society annual meeting is a great place to catch up on the latest menopause-related research. Dr. Tori Hudson offers her gleanings from this year's meeting.

HRT and Breast Cancer: Synthetic Progestins May Increase Risk

By Tori S. Hudson, ND | Contributing Writer - Vol. 7, No. 1. Spring, 2006

A massive French study suggests that the type of progesterone used in postmenopausal HRT is the decisive factor in determining the breast cancer risk associated with hormone therapy. Synthetic progestins appear to increase risk, while bio-identical progesterone does not. Digital mammography can improve detection of breast cancers in younger women with dense breasts, but the cost is high.