Monday, June 5, 2017

You have a message from Kathryn

You have a new Google Drive message from Kathryn.


Google Drive: Have all your files within reach from any device. 
Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
Logo for Google Drive

Kathryn R. Simpson, M.S.
Cerulean Pharmaceutical
Santa Barbara, CA
805.688.6712 Fax

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Suzanne Somers praise for Kathryn's new book "The Women's Guide to Thyroid Health"

"Misdiagnosis is rampant in today's world. Maybe you don't have MS, maybe you don't have bladder problems, maybe you don't have arthritis, or chronic fatigue, or neuropathy…maybe it's your thyroid!   So many are being treated for diseases they don't have. In today's world you have to do your own research. The 'Women's Guide to Thyroid Health' is the most informative, thorough guide to understanding the thyroid you will ever read.  Discover why you are not feeling well. Kathy Simpson has done the work, you will be the beneficiary. This is the best book explaining the thyroid that I have ever read."

-Suzanne Somers

Women, Hormones & MS

The similarities between the progression of MS and women's progressive loss of hormones are obvious, with this coincidence most conspicuous in our ovarian function. Men's levels of testosterone generally decline gradually as they age, but women lose 90% of their estrogen and progesterone production within a short two-year period at menopause. Menopause is also when many women with MS are hit the hardest, and the "progressive" stage of the disease begins with symptoms becoming chronic.
Our ovaries produce "sex hormones," including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Tied to our menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone are produced in a cyclic fashion. In the first two weeks of the cycle, an egg ripens until approximately day 13, when ovulation occurs and it's released for fertilization. Estrogen levels increase throughout this time and reach their peak when we ovulate. Progesterone is only produced in high levels after ovulation, as it's made by the empty egg sac left behind after the egg is released. Estrogen causes cell proliferation, and progesterone tempers it. So, if you don't ovulate, this balance is thrown off, causing problems as minor as sore breasts and as major as increased risk of neurological problems and cancer.

You're born with your lifetime supply of eggs, so although you start out with about 2 million, by your mid-to late 30s you only have 5,000 to 10,000 left. Every month when you ovulate, you reduce a bit more of this supply. This decrease starts to lower the levels of all of your ovarian hormones as early as your 30s. Is it just a coincidence that the mean age for diagnosis of MS is 32-just as many women experience their first significant drop in hormone levels?

Many women have inherited genetically lower levels of ovarian hormones to start with and tend to lose estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone earlier than women with naturally higher levels, which may explain why some women get MS symptoms earlier than others. All women have genetically programmed levels of hormones, and breast size offers a good clue to individual levels. High estrogen levels cause more stimulation to breast tissue, which is rich in estrogen receptors, and the result is larger breasts. Clinical studies have shown that women with large breasts and narrow waists have much higher levels of progesterone and estrogen than do other women. The voluptuous women in the study had 26% higher overall estrogen levels, and were 37% higher at ovulation.

Progesterone and estrogen ebb and flow during the normal menstrual cycle. The chart below makes it easy to visualize the problem that cycles without ovulation can cause. The production of progesterone requires ovulation, so when you don't ovulate, the healthy, buoyant peaks of estrogen at ovulation and of progesterone in the second half of your cycle don't occur. This lack of ovulation can affect nerve health profoundly, as both estrogen and progesterone are critical in nerve health and remyelination. Most women can attest to the importance of progesterone, as they experience sleeping and mood problems, headaches, brain fog, cognitive difficulty, and sore breasts when they don't ovulate.

All of our sex hormones are important in myelination and overall nerve health. Many studies have shown that they can affect the course of multiple sclerosis, but for some reason mainstream researchers don't seem to have connected the dots yet. Sex hormones in both men and women have a huge effect on MS. The same hormones have different consequences for men and women, although the basic functions of the individual hormones are much the same for everyone. 

Read The Perimenopause & Menopause Workbook (New Harbinger Publications) for more information on this critical hormone connection.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Pathways of Immunity—T1 and T2

In talking to your doctor or during the course of your research, you might have encountered the terms "T1" and "T2" in relation to MS. T cells are lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell made in your thymus gland that is very important to optimal functioning of your immune system. Simply put, T1 cells are pro-inflammatory and T2 are anti-inflammatory. MS is basically a T1 pro-inflammatory condition, as are all autoimmune diseases. Interestingly enough, aging and hormone deficiency also cause us to travel down this T1 path. Studies have shown that replacing deficient hormones can shift you back to T2 dominance and increase anti-inflammatory activity. Testosterone is key in causing this shift, but other important hormones involved are progesterone, estrogen, and Vitamin D (which is actually a hormone, not a vitamin). <>

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Connection Between Multiple Sclerosis and the Endocrine System

We have only to apply common sense to see the connection between hormone levels and MS. There's an obvious relationship between age, hormones, and the progression of MS <>:

•    MS is approximately four times more prevalent in women than in men. Ovaries shut down at menopause and testicles don't, so women lose much more of their hormone levels (and much earlier) than men do.
•    The mean age of onset of MS is 32. Hormone production in the ovaries drops significantly in the mid-30s, closely mimicking the typical time MS starts.
•    The increased levels of sex hormones produced during pregnancy are associated with a significant reduction in symptoms of MS, while symptoms often worsen postpartum, when there's a significant drop in hormone levels.
•    The first clinical symptoms of MS develop after puberty, when hormone issues begin.
•    The disease moves to the "secondary progressive" phase, characterized by chronic, progressively worsening symptoms, in the same general time frame as hormone levels decline. Of MS cases, 50% become progressive within 10 to 15 years, and an additional 40% do within 25 years of onset. MS generally progresses faster in those who experience their first symptoms after age 40. 
•    The symptoms of MS are also well-known symptoms of hormone deficiency. Look at the list and then at the inhabitants of your local retirement home: numbness and tingling; chronic fatigue; bladder and bowel problems; balance problems and decreased coordination; vision abnormalities; cognitive impairment; sleep problems; gastrointestinal reflux; emotional problems; mood swings; depression; sexual dysfunction; muscle stiffness and cramping; and neuralgia. Do you see the similarities? Neither of us has any hormones left.

All this, albeit anecdotal, evidence shows a clear connection between hormones and MS. Fortunately we do not have to go on supposition and detective work alone. There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of well-documented studies that support this hypothesis. "The MS Solution" by Kathryn R. Simpson, M.S., looks at these studies and the role that individual hormones play in neurological health.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Multiple Sclerosis and the Hormone Connection

MS research has been focusing on ways to stop and treat the symptoms of damage done by inflammation. But what's been overlooked is that all of our "sex hormones"-- in other words, those that are made in ovaries in women and testicles in men -- as well as hormones made in other glands like the thyroid and adrenals, do a remarkable job of reducing inflammation, along with the demyelination and excess immune activity that inflammation causes.

It's important to say that I do not believe that MS is caused solely by deficient hormones. If this were the case, all women would have MS after menopause. There are clearly many factors involved. Genetics and the environment both play a role. Environmental factors include the chemicals, bacteria, and viruses you're exposed to; the food you eat; the substances you use; exercise, sleep, and stress; and every other aspect of your daily life. All these factors affect your hormone levels and can also permanently compromise your endocrine glands. At the present time, we have only one way to ensure optimal health for the remainder of our lives: Evaluate your endocrine function and replace any hormones that are low or out of balance. <>

The recently released book,
The MS Solution <>, details the science and medical therapies behind this approach.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is a confusing disease. It's thought that our variable and distressing symptoms are caused by the loss of myelin, the fatty substance that coats our nerves. This process occurs in the central nervous system and prevents our nerves from conducting impulses as they should. Pockets of scar tissue, which are called plaques or lesions, form in these areas of nerve damage in the brain and spinal cord, thus the name multiple sclerosis or "many scars."

After this, everything gets murky. To begin with, a lot of other conditions can cause these plaques. And the confusion surrounding MS continues, as there's no unanimous agreement as to what causes it. Many speculate that the loss of nerve myelination, called
demyelination, is caused by an autoimmune process in which the body's immune system "attacks" its own healthy tissue by mistake while trying to get rid of some foreign object such as a bacteria or virus. This theory has spurred drug companies to develop the current class of "immune modulating" drugs to treat MS. These medications (
Avonex, Betaseron, and Rebif) resemble the natural substance called interferon that your immune system produces in response to disease. It's not completely clear how these medications work, but it's known that they affect the immune system to help fight viral infections and prevent inflammation. (

It may well be that there is some autoimmune element in MS, but because there's no known way to cure an autoimmune disease, let's look at the process that we know causes the demyelination that wreaks so much havoc on our bodies-inflammation. Everyone seems to agree on one thing: MS is widely acknowledged to be an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. When I set out to solve the riddle of my MS, my thinking was that if this inflammatory process could be resolved, then the demyelination would also be resolved and my symptoms would go with it.

Inflammation's involvement in demyelination has been studied extensively and understood well for many years. But for some peculiar reason, this concept has not been followed to its logical conclusion-which is finding out what basic biological events cause inflammation and resolving them. (

Extensive research has shown that loss of key hormones starts the inflammatory cascade of events that can end in neurodegenerative disease. We need to consider that if loss of hormones causes the problem, then maybe replacing these natural substances to treat our symptoms makes a lot of sense. When our levels of estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, thyroid, cortisol, and growth hormone are robust, we have little inflammatory activity in our bodies-no obvious signs such as aches, pains, swollen joints, or allergies. And, not surprisingly, when we add them back, the aches and pains and other symptoms of inflammation disappear.