"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Suzanne Somer's Book Knockout

I got a copy of Suzanne Somer's latest book Knockout from the library, and read most of it. I will tell you that some of it is quite honestly, over my head, and I read a lot of health books/articles/websites, mostly as they relate to bioidentical hormone therapy. I watched Ms. Somer's interview on Larry King Live, and thought she got nailed big time by the two "conventional" doctors on the show. I was especially struck by the doctor who asked her what a "43" meant in terms of her immune system, she stumbled over the answer and finally just said "it's means my immune system is strong".

I am also somewhat troubled by the opening chapters in her book where she details her "full body cancer" scare, and her misdiagnosis by six doctors. I guarantee you that if 6 doctors in one hospital misdiagnosed me and I had as high a public profile as Ms. Somer's does----I would be on every talk show in America listing the hospital, the doctors, you name it. Full page ads in a bunch of newspapers-----I would be out for blood. I am all too well aware of what screw ups there are in the medical profession, sadly, I've been to a few (which is why I am so adamant about women checking out any new doctor). I think the public would be educated by Ms. Somers and these six doctors coming together to talk about how her case was handled. I'm not holding my breath that it's going to happen.

If I were to be diagnosed with cancer, I know that I simply could not, on a limited, fixed income, afford the alternative treatments that Ms. Somer's is detailing in this new book. Most people of modest means are struggling to maintain the health care they have, and sadly, too many have no coverage at all ----- I have gotten no less than 50 emails in the last several months from women who are feeling terrible effects of peri/menopause, and yet they feel stuck because they can't afford some of the very high professional fees charged by some of the doctors who are (or claim to be) experts in bioidentical hormones. I have detailed before that most of the doctors who work with bioidentical hormones (including my personal physician) do not take insurance of any kind----because the insurance companies generally will flatly refuse to pay for hormonal balance (unless it's a five minute office appointment to get a prescription for pregnant mare's urine---synthetic hormones). I am furious at how close minded, obstinate, and ignorant the US medical community is about the issue of bioidentical hormone replacement. and I bless my hormone doctor every day for being progressive enough to "think out of the box" and want his patients to feel well without the toxicity of the myriad of prescription drugs that are all too often routinely prescribed. I hope that in time this attitude by the mainstream medical community will change, and I hope I live long enough to see it --- another reason to down that handful of vitamins every day.

I have both praised Ms. Somer's for her tireless advocacy in bringing the subject of biodentical hormones to the forefront, and cricitized her sometimes "over the top" attitude that a) makes a lot of women who might want to take BHRT give up before they start because they think this is a therapy only available to women of means, b) antagonizes a lot of doctors into digging in their heels on the issue of bioidentical hormones, and c) sometimes makes her look like she feels superior to those who are not proponents of BHRT. I have said more than once on this blog that I have read Ms. Somer's books on hormone therapy, but that my preference for women who ask me to recommend books is to provide them with book titles that have been written by physicians and other healthcare professionals.

I'm providing you with two links to articles today, both from The Daily Beast. The first link is to an article written by Suzanne Somers, and the second is, shall we say, an opposing viewpoint written by Gerald Posner. Have a great, hormonally balanced day, everyone!


  1. A woman entering menopause can (1) opt to fall apart and live that way, (2) pump a one size fits all therapy into her body or (3) have her physician order comparative labs (saliva against blood work covered by insurance - otherwise $500) and decide where to go from there. The choice of therapy should be ALWAYS be determined by the woman's personal chemistry (i.e. her labs). Ask women who are taking a one size fits all therapy if their physician ran labs to determine which therapy would work best and why. I am personally stunned by the number of woman who are using synthetic hormone therapy WITHOUT ever having undergone lab work from the prescribing physician. No labs is a disservice to the woman. That is scary. Suzanne Somers and other high profile individuals who are pro bioidentical therapy tell readers how to approach this therapy through their own personal physicians (insurance covers labs and consults). You don't have to spend a lot of money to get this therapy. Get the labs done and decide for yourself if you want to medicate the symptoms or replenish the hormone levels. If your physician is willing to prescribe a one size fits all therapy to treat the symptoms of menopause without ordering labs, you many want to consider another medical professional who specializes in hormone therapy and is recognized for this by his/her peers.

  2. Hi, I'm an Ozarks farm chick who is in the throws of menopause. I dedicated a recent post on menopause and just thought you might get a hoot out of it. The post is Burning Ring Of Fire on www.cowpattysurprise.blogspot.com.

    I enjoyed my read here and realize that everybody has a different chemical makeup. What work for one may not work for someone else. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I found out about Bioidentical Hormones
    from Suzanne Somer's first book and of course from Oprah!
    From my research I came across Dr. Ghelfi who focuses on BHRT. So far I cannot say enough about him! Wonderful doctor who really knows his stuff. Best of all I'm starting to feel like my old self again!

  4. Another topic I should look into along with ultrasound technician as a career.