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Topic: questions about diet change and DIM suppliments

Forum: Alternative Medicine —

This forum is a safe, judgement-free place to discuss Alternative medicine. Alternative medicine refers to treatments that are used INSTEAD of standard, evidence-based treatment. Breastcancer.org does NOT recommend or endorse alternative medicine.

Posted on: Feb 20, 2012 10:32AM

ej01 wrote:

I did not do any hormonal therapy despite being ER+.  I am working on my diet and exercise, hopefully restoring estrogen balance that way.     I have also been researching DIM.  For thos of you that take DIM, how do you know how much to take?  Did you have a naturopathic (or other) doctor check your hormone level and recommend a dosage?  Do you get your hormone levels checked regularly (quarterly?  annually?)  I know that the active ingredient comes from foods like brocolli, but how much brocolli would one need to eat to have an effect on your estrogen balance?  Did anyonone's naturopathic doctor recommend only diet change without doing suppliments?

Since I knew I didn't want Tamoxofin, I never had a MO, but am thinking of visiting a naturopathic doctor.   I would prefer to restore estrogen balance by only diet change and exercise, but I am not sure how I would ever know if I am having an effect without having my hormone levels checked. 

Dx 7/26/2011, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Feb 20, 2012 10:49AM sweetbean wrote:

There is an estrogen test that you can have done.  It's typically not covered by insurance, although maybe it would be post-diagnosis.  I think the company's name is Metamatrix.  Your ob-gyn could order it.  It will tell you how your body is metabolizing the estrogen.  I eat broccoli and broccoli sprouts every day, plus lots of other cruciferous veggies.

Dx 11/18/2010, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 2/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH)
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Feb 20, 2012 04:59PM ej01 wrote:

Thanks Sweetbean.  I will check with my regular physician next time I go. (I dont go to a ob/gyn)

Dx 7/26/2011, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Feb 20, 2012 05:08PM sweetbean wrote:

I don't know if your regular MD is up on this stuff.  I have a CAM-friendly ob-gyn.   If you are looking to modulate your estrogen with alternative methods, then you need a CAM friendly obgyn (or endocrinologist) to get you this test.  And you should probably speak with a naturopath.  I'm pretty sure that your regular doc will look at you like you have grown another head.

Dx 11/18/2010, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 2/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH)
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Feb 20, 2012 06:13PM Ruby- wrote:

Hello ej01, hormone levels vary and I don't know if you should be concerned about them when taking DIM. 

Although I'm on Tamox (thinking of phasing it out), after much research, I've started taking Estro-Smart formulated by Dr. Lorna Vanderhaeghe (she has an interactive website and you can ask her anything) 

 http://www.healthyimmunity.com/forum/section.aspx?id=19

Hope this helps, hugs 

“The cell’s intracellular cytoplasmic sea is an ocean of symphonic motion awash with incomprehensible complexity.” Howes, M.D., Ph.D Dx 2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 3/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 20, 2012 08:51PM ej01 wrote:

Maud,  thanks for your response.  I will look at that website.   Did a doctor do some sort of test that showed you would benefit from this?  Or are you just assuming that because you are ER+ that you would benefit from it?  From  what I have read it seems like that might be a good assumption.   

Dx 7/26/2011, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Feb 20, 2012 09:19PM - edited Feb 20, 2012 09:23PM by Ruby-

EJ01, when I was doing my research including this site, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many ER pos women take DIM instead of Tamox; try doing a BCO search, you'll see a whole lot of discussion.  One has to be careful coz many formulas out there contain soy and that's a no no for us pos girls.

"Because of its various potent anticancer properties, the National Cancer Institute of the United States has begun clinical trials of DIM as a therapeutic for numerous forms of cancer"

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3,3'-Diindolylmethane

Re hormones:  I've had my hormone panel done by my ob/gyn which confirms that I'm menopausal but my onc refuses to even look at the results, that's how much they mean to him.....

I don't believe you need to rely on a hormone panel to take DIM or not EJ0.  I guess the best assumption one can make is if the onc wanted to prescribe Tamox to you, then you are a good candidate for DIM.  And yes, you would have to eat tons of broccoli, lol 

The formula I told you about is a comprehensive one, it includes other helpful elements, not just DIM 

PS The link is broken, you'll need to copy and paste 

“The cell’s intracellular cytoplasmic sea is an ocean of symphonic motion awash with incomprehensible complexity.” Howes, M.D., Ph.D Dx 2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 3/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 20, 2012 09:36PM Bluebird-DE wrote:

I almost ordered the Lorna product but there was I3C and I would need too much, you can only take so much and it is toxic overload, but the DIM is not.  Am s ticking with the BioResponse, hoping it is best for me, I take 2 DIM and 1 Breast Balace a day for now, the BB supports the thyroid.  Now I am wondering if it does because so much cruciferous vegs and those are said to cause thyroid to underfunction and goiters to form.  And my thyroid already is caputz.  Wow, if not one thing it's another even in alternative, hmmm.

My integrative med dr told me 400 mg of the DIM was good, and I have readotehr women are on similar dose.  

"Every mistake I have made has proven to be invaluable information for someone. Namely, me." Me. Diane Dx 7/15/2011, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs/other, Grade 3, 3/11 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/5/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib) Radiation Therapy External: Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Left
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Feb 20, 2012 09:55PM - edited Feb 20, 2012 10:00PM by Ruby-

Yes, I know Essa, I never take the recommended posology either - when I give up Tamox, I'm looking at 3 tabs of EstoSmart daily.   Was looking at BB when shopping for HRT many years ago.  Aren't you wary of the many phytoestrogens in that formula ?  God, I've got so many notes all over the place: I recall reading not so good info about I3C and also cruciferous vegs and hypo, but you would have to consume tons of it to have any goitrogenic effect - will have to find my notes

Essa, just looked up Bio-Response, it contains soy Frown 

“The cell’s intracellular cytoplasmic sea is an ocean of symphonic motion awash with incomprehensible complexity.” Howes, M.D., Ph.D Dx 2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 3/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 20, 2012 10:44PM Chocolaterocks wrote:

EJ

hi, at present i don't take tami- to many problems with it. I take DIM by Nature Way- two pills per day,  1000 mg per day -Metformin, fish oil, 1 baby aspirin, circumin, ..... hope this helps....

take care CR

Dx 1/13/2011, ILC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 20, 2012 10:51PM sweetbean wrote:

How much DIM is everyone taking?

Dx 11/18/2010, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 2/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH)
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Feb 21, 2012 12:01AM BarbaraA wrote:

I take 200mg of DIM, 500 grapeseed extract, 1160 Curcumin C complex, fish oil, 500 Calium D Glucarate and a multi.

Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield. Dx 4/30/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/24/2014 Femara (letrozole) Dx 11/25/2014, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+
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Feb 21, 2012 05:49PM ej01 wrote:

That's good news that they are starting clinical trials for using DIM to deter breast cancer..  I did a search and found one clinical trial for those that have the 'breast cancer gene' (which I do not) and another trial in Arizona ... i did not read through that one because I don't live there.  From what I am reading there are not many downsides to taking this suppliment. 

Dx 7/26/2011, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Feb 21, 2012 06:02PM - edited Feb 21, 2012 06:03PM by truebff

I am just beginning my work with a Chinese medicine practioner (from a reputable Chinese Medicine college). He has ordered a 24 hour urine test -it's $450.00 and he says I will need it once a year to see how I am doing. He also expects me to do "regular" things pap smears, mamograms, etc. with Western Medicine.

But I will NOT be doing Tamax or AIs.

He has ordered several things for me - some to rebuild me after radiation (did not do chemotherapy), some to balance my estrogens. Among these is a DIM (with something else) in a cream as that's how he wants me to best absorb this. I will be getting it this week from a compounding pharmacy.  Other things include: high powered probiotics, VitD3, glutothione (again from a skin vehicle not orally, which he says is very important), fish oil. Some of these will only be for about six months as I rebuild my immune system from rads and then will be adjusted, then a reasonable sustained regimen. 

Hope this is helpful. I felt much more confidence finding and working with this practitioner than on my own as there is so much *internet* info that I am not qualified to know how to assess myself.

Dx 7/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 21, 2012 06:35PM momoschki wrote:

I am on an alost identical regimen to Chocolaterocks above-- plus also shiitake mushroom and chaga mushroom and D3.

ADH dx 3/11 Surgery 3/11/2011 Lumpectomy: Left
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Feb 21, 2012 09:34PM Chocolaterocks wrote:

Hi Momoschki

 I also take D3, grapeseed extract, chrondriton glucosamine, tumeric/ginger, fish oil,.... why the 2 mushrooms? If you don't mind me asking?

thanks

Chocolate

Dx 1/13/2011, ILC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 22, 2012 12:36AM Ruby- wrote:

Thank you all for sharing, everyone's protocol varies and it's always helpful to compare.

truebff, I've never heard of DIM as a cream, when you get the product, could you post its name, thanks in advance Smile I like your doctor's approach about topical meds which are absorbed much more efficientlly from what I've read

Blessings 

“The cell’s intracellular cytoplasmic sea is an ocean of symphonic motion awash with incomprehensible complexity.” Howes, M.D., Ph.D Dx 2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 3/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 22, 2012 01:36AM - edited Feb 22, 2012 01:36AM by truebff

Hi Maud,

It's a compounded cream prescribed to a compounding pharmacy by my Chinese medicine practitioner - when I get the specifics, I'll let you know, but it's not a product so much as a compounded set of ingredients.

It's all pretty new to me too and I am happy to share and hear others' approaches as well. Together, we all benefit from information here.

Blessings All

Dx 7/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 22, 2012 01:37PM momoschki wrote:

Chocolate-- I think my doctor is somewhat of a "maximalist" and believes in hitting hard with everything in the potential arsenal-- thus, 2 mushrooms.    He has me on a load of other stuff too that are antiinflammatories and immune boosters.

ADH dx 3/11 Surgery 3/11/2011 Lumpectomy: Left
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Feb 22, 2012 02:34PM truebff wrote:

momo, can you tell me/us more about the mushrooms, where you get them, how much you take, etc.. and the reasoning behind them? I am always interested in learning more about natural and non-"drug" foods and herbs. Thank you.

Dx 7/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 22, 2012 03:12PM momoschki wrote:

Here is a link about Chaga mushrooms, which come from Siberia:  http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/chaga-mushroom

 and for shiitake mushrooms:  http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/shiitake-mushroomhttp://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/shiitake-mushroom

I get these in pill and capsule form from a pharmacy in NYC.    My doctor specifies the dosage.  Obviously, none of this is FDA approved, but my doctor is pretty unorthodox (to say the least.)  Btw, no Dx of BC for me-- only ADH which puts me at high risk, so all of this is prophylactic.  Also add to the list-- krill oil, black raspberry powder, resveratrol. 

ADH dx 3/11 Surgery 3/11/2011 Lumpectomy: Left
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Feb 22, 2012 08:13PM Bluebird-DE wrote:

Crap!  How did I miss the soy in BioResponse - I am going for my bottles next.  Good I did not reorder yet tonight.  I apologize for not noting it so people could decide if they want soy or not, I only consume a little formented soy myself, so taking it in capsules, no thanks, I don't want it.

I know what people say about this being expensive.  The alternative would be co-pay for 'traditional' treatments, and I prefer this for now.  

Off to spend $150 in one fell swoop.

"Every mistake I have made has proven to be invaluable information for someone. Namely, me." Me. Diane Dx 7/15/2011, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs/other, Grade 3, 3/11 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/5/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib) Radiation Therapy External: Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Left
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Feb 22, 2012 08:24PM truebff wrote:

Thanks Momo!

Maud, I have a DIM/Chrysin combination in a non-scented, non-oily cream that my body absorbs through rubbing it into hairless, thin skin areas, like forearms, once a day. The pharmacy makes it up for my Chinese practitioner. Did you need more info? I just started using it today.

Dx 7/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 22, 2012 08:26PM Mandy1313 wrote:

truebff:

I would be interested in your DIM/Chrysin combination. How do you control the amount that you use? What other ingredients are in it?

Thanks.

Mandy

Dx 6/2008, IDC, 1cm, Grade 1, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 22, 2012 08:53PM - edited Feb 22, 2012 09:02PM by truebff

It just says those two and the pharmacist crushed them (into tiny fragments somehow in a way they can) with a non-scented cream so that they can be absorbed through the skin. My practitioner ordered a syringe to extract 1 ml a day to rub in. It has to be made by a compounding pharmacy so that it is at the right consistency (very fine cream like) to be absorbed by the skin. My Chinese practitioner said a mortar and pestle would not be fine enough.

Post edited to include:

It came with this notice:

"This medicine ws specially compounded in a pharmacy to fill the prescription your doctor write especially for you and your special needs..."   ..... (plus doctor consult info and also about possible interactions with other meds)...

"Compounding is a pharmacy practice that allows doctors to treat their patients' individual needs without being restricted only to off-the-shelf medicines or devices. This medicine was prepared in a compounding pharmacy to meet the specifications order by your Doctor."

In other words, one size may not fit all women. I'd suggest consulting with a Chinese medicine practitioner  (or other qualified trained professional) regarding any meds, Chinese or western, just to be safe and sure what you are getting.

Dx 7/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 22, 2012 09:35PM - edited Feb 22, 2012 09:42PM by Ruby-

Essa, i only consume miso and tamari sauce.  Unfortunately, there's soy in everything ! but you definitely don't want it in a supp.  The other ingredient it goes by is isoflavones

Thanks so much truebff !  I will definitely look into finding a TCM practitioner and get that cream. 

Momo, I want a "pretty unorthodox (to say the least.)" doctor too Lol, how do you find them ?

The mushroom blend I take contains: Cordyceps, Reishi, Chaga, PoriaCocos 

Blessings sisters

Are you still there ejo1 Smile 

“The cell’s intracellular cytoplasmic sea is an ocean of symphonic motion awash with incomprehensible complexity.” Howes, M.D., Ph.D Dx 2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 3/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 22, 2012 10:37PM truebff wrote:

Yes, I also need to know how -in my healthcare system if possible- to find at least a doctor who is sympathetic to alternative. ANy leads are really appreciated.

Maud, Would love to know what you learn and how it goes. Please let me know. 

Blessings All.

Dx 7/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 22, 2012 11:00PM ej01 wrote:

Yes Maud, I'm still here.     Thanks for all of the responses.   I tend to be somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to medicines (and I consider suppliments medicines),  so I am tempted to try a low dose of DIM.    I get overwhelmed by all of the suppliments out there, its hard to know what's good for me and what's not.  

Dx 7/26/2011, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Feb 22, 2012 11:29PM - edited Feb 22, 2012 11:34PM by Ruby-

ej01, I know exactly how you feel, I've been 'researching & studying' for two years now and only scratching the surface - give yourself time, this whole BC business is very demanding and the learning curve so steep. Because of your ER status, just make sure that there's no soy in the formula you choose as a lot of them do, hugzz little sister

Will do Truebff Wink 

“The cell’s intracellular cytoplasmic sea is an ocean of symphonic motion awash with incomprehensible complexity.” Howes, M.D., Ph.D Dx 2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 3/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 27, 2012 11:45AM chrissilini wrote:

Hello all. New to this thread and looking for info. My 'tumor" was ER 34% and less than 1cm. The MO I saw didn't recommend any further treatment,no chemo or HT. I'm fine with that as I really don' think I would have taken Tamox anyway. I'm 40, premenopausal, and just don't think I would have benefitted from it.

But, I want to do everything else I can to prevent recurrence and just be healthier. I've been taking Vit D, 2000 iu a day (my level is very low-15!) and just started Biotin for hair loss (was always thin but trauma of surgery has made it worse). My PCP has also mentioned a multi vitamin and fish oil. Any suggestions? How much? Normal dose on bottle? What brand and is there a difference? Anything else I should take? Sorry for all of the questions but I'm just trying to figure it all out.

I am exercising every day and trying to eat healthier. Hoping all of this helps.

Dx 11/11/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 3/14/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Feb 27, 2012 03:33PM ej01 wrote:

I just wanted to follow-up.  So I decided to try DIM...starting with a small dose (50 mg)/day.  I had headaches after 2 days.   Doing some searches it seems like this is a somewhat common side effect of DIM.  Anyone else had this?  Does the headache go away if you keep taking it?

Dx 7/26/2011, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+

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