Life Extension Magazine August 2005
Women and Coronary Heart Disease
By Dr. Sergey Dzugan
Patient Case Study #1
A 50-year-old Caucasian woman presented with the following complaints during her initial visit in April 1999: high blood pressure that was poorly controlled with prescription drugs; migraine; high cholesterol; depression; severe anxiety; irritability; fatigue; poor libido; low sex drive; genital herpes; poor short-term memory; trouble falling asleep; weight gain; arthritis; and irregular menstrual cycle. Her vital signs: height, 5’4”; weight, 125 pounds; blood pressure, 150/90 mmHg; pulse, 64 beats/minute.
Many of these signs and symptoms are risk factors for CHD, including hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and depression/anxiety. We indicated that broad-spectrum treatment of these risk factors could dramatically reduce her chances of experiencing debilitating or deadly CHD.
The patient had complained of most of her symptoms for the last 10-15 years. She did not exercise, noting that despite her desire to lose some weight, she felt tired all the time.
The patient was taking the following drugs: triamterene/ hydrochlorothiazide, Procardia XL®, and Nifedical XL® (for high blood pressure); Premphase® (for hot flashes and vaginal dryness); Zoloft® (for depression); Butisol Sodium® (sedative) and Ambien® (for sleeping disorder); and Zovirax® and Valtrex® (to manage genital herpes recurrences).
Initial laboratory evaluations revealed high total cholesterol (241 mg/dL). Her profile of basic steroid hormones also was significantly imbalanced. The patient’s hormone levels are shown in Table 1 (reference ranges shown in parentheses).
The patient had an extremely high level of total estrogen and low levels of the four other steroid hormones. She demonstrated a relative dominance of estrogens, which can stimulate sympathetic system activity and might explain why she had serious difficulties correcting her blood pressure.
The patient’s initial treatment program focused on correcting what we considered her “foundational problem”: hormonal imbalance. The patient started the following treatment with bioidentical hormones taken in the morning:
Additional supplements included in her treatment were: Life Extension Mix, three tablets taken three times daily; omega-3 fatty acids, 1000 mg taken in the morning; glucosamine sulfate, 2000 mg taken in the morning; phosphatidylserine, 200 mg taken in the morning; and NutriCology® ProGreens® (containing green foods, plant fibers, bioflavonoids, herbal extracts, and probiotics), one scoop taken in the morning. After three days on the program, the patient discontinued her use of Premphase®.
During the first month of treatment, the patient’s blood pressure improved to 130/90 mmHg, her migraines decreased in frequency and severity, and her joint pain disappeared completely. We increased her dose of DHEA to 100 mg in the morning and 50 mg at noon, and added 0.2 ml of progesterone and 420 mg of magnesium citrate to be taken one hour before bedtime.
During the next three months, the patient’s depression and anxiety were so improved that she decreased and then discontinued her use of Zoloft® and Butisol Sodium®. She later stopped taking Ambien® because her sleeping disorder had resolved. The patient reported that she was on only one drug for hypertension (Procardia XL®) and that her energy level had improved tremendously. She started exercising four to five times weekly. At this time, we added to the patient’s regimen human growth hormone (HGH), 0.5 IU daily taken six days per week, and androstenedione, 50 mg taken 30 minutes before exercise. We decreased DHEA to 50 mg and increased pregnenolone to 200 mg taken in the morning.
After one year of treatment, the patient had experienced no recurrences of genital herpes and thus decided to discontinue her prescription medications for herpes. Her quality of life had vastly improved, with no occurrence of migraine, which she described as the “first sustained relief in several years.” Her total cholesterol had dropped to 187 mg/dL and her blood pressure was 120-130/70 mmHg, though she no longer was using any medication to control blood pressure. She also reported no memory problems. Today, the patient enjoys a healthy lifestyle, exercises regularly, eats a balanced diet, and continues her hormonorestorative therapy and supplements.
Patient Case Study #2
A 56-year-old Caucasian woman presented in September 1999 with a history of chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, severe shortness of breath, hypertension, type II diabetes, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, arthritis, body aches, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, no sex life, vaginal yeast infection, short-term memory problems, and “chocoholism.” Her height was 4’10,” her weight 232 pounds, her blood pressure 168/86 mmHg, and her pulse 72 beats/minute.
The patient began having most of these symptoms after the age of 44, soon after her divorce. Her body weight at that time was 118 pounds. At the age of 30, she had a complete hysterectomy secondary to fibroids. This patient had numerous risk factors that, left untreated, could lead to a major cardiovascular event. Heart disease does not happen in isolation, but instead results from a system-wide breakdown in the body. We indicated that by intervening and diminishing her risk factors, we could help her decrease her risk for CHD.
At the time of her first visit, she was taking Glucophage® and glyburide (for type II diabetes), Zestril® and hydrochlorothiazide (for high blood pressure), Wellbutrin® (for depression), Premarin® (for hot flashes and sex disorder), Tylenol® (for pain), multi-vitamins, liquid minerals, vitamin E, niacin, and two weight-loss supplements.
In this case, we again found a high estrogen level (699 pg/mL) and low levels of progesterone (0.2 ng/mL), testosterone (16 ng/dL), DHEA-S (35 ug/dL), and pregnenolone (less than 10 ng/dL). We recommended the following program (all taken in the morning except where noted):
After two days on the program, the patient discontinued her use of Premarin®. We recommended that she decrease her carbohydrate intake and begin an exercise program.
One month later, she returned to the clinic, reporting no complaints whatsoever. Her energy levels had improved significantly, she had lost 10 pounds, and she had elected to discontinue her use of Wellbutrin® and Tylenol®. We added to her regimen glucosamine sulfate (2250 mg taken in the morning), androstenedione (50 mg taken 30 minutes before exercise), and 0.2 ml of progesterone and 420 mg of magnesium citrate, taken one hour before bedtime.
After four months on the program, the patient had lost an additional 28 pounds and said that she felt like a different person. Her blood pressure had normalized to 120/80 mmHg and her blood glucose was stable. At this time, we added the following supplements to her regime: conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), 8 grams taken in the morning before breakfast; chitosan, two capsules taken before lunch and two capsules before dinner; hydroxycitric acid (HCA), one (1000-mg) capsule taken three times daily before meals (for weight loss); B-complex vitamins, one tablet daily; and omega-3 fatty acids, 3000 mg taken twice daily. We also suggested a one-month parasite-cleansing program using Unicity™ Paraway® Pack.
At the patient’s one-year follow-up visit, she reported that she was no longer taking prescription drugs for high blood pressure or type II diabetes, and that her blood pressure and blood glucose levels were normal and stable.