many years experience
Judy is a registered naturopath and medical herbalist with many years’ experience working in complementary medicine. She specialises in natural hormone balancing for women and has been continuously researching the subject since 1996. Due to the vast amount of knowledge acquired over the years, Judy is often asked to lecture to groups of women and write articles for newspapers and magazines. Judy is also founder of a support group which provides information to those interested in natural treatments for hormonal imbalances.
Judy was awarded her diplomas in naturopathy and herbal medicine after completing five year’s study at the College of Natural Medicine in London and Bristol. She studied the following subjects:
- Anatomy, physiology and pathology
- Western Herbal medicine
- Traditional Chinese medicine
- Ayurvedic medicine
- Auricular acupuncture
- Clinical practice and differential diagnosis
Being a military wife for over 30 years, I found it hard to pursue my chosen career remaining loyal to my husband as he was frequently posted from place to place. My passion has always been to work with people in a caring environment which led me to study the social sciences a subject I found extremely interesting and enjoyed immensely. However, I had to postpone my degree course when we were posted abroad for a number of years hoping to resume on our return.
From a very young age I had always been interested in health and fitness. Most of my time was spent at the gym, playing sport (squash was my favourite) and attending dancing school. After becoming a professional dancer at 16, I knew the importance of keeping fit and already had an awareness beyond my years of how to keep the body at its optimal condition.
However, I soon became aware that each month no matter how well I looked after myself, I had absolutely no control over my hormones. PMS wasn’t well known in those days (1970’s) and I certainly hadn’t heard of it. What I had established though was that I felt ‘not too good’ just before I had a period, but I didn’t know why. I guessed it was something connected to hormones and hoped it would pass quickly.
As the years went by, my PMS became much worse and I went to great lengths to alleviate it in the most natural way possible. I had an excellent diet and took various supplements one of which was Evening Primrose. This seemed to work well although the PMS was always there and I braced myself each month hoping it wouldn’t be too bad for that month.
Whilst living abroad, my symptoms became much worse and I had difficulty finding my regular supplements. I was swimming in the Mediterranean Sea nearly every day and consuming a wonderful diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, chicken and fish. I didn’t smoke or drink much alcohol and attended regular aerobic classes. I was extremely happy for 20 days of the month, but 8 days before my period was due I would start to feel dreadfully low and very irritable.
Finally, I couldn’t bear it any longer and went to the doctor who promptly put me on the pill after telling me I had a hormonal imbalance. This did alleviate my symptoms, but it came at a cost. I started to suffer side-effects such as weight gain and headaches. Also brown patches were appearing on my face and neck and also thread veins were breaking out on my face and legs. I knew the pill wasn’t good for me, but I didn’t want to suffer PMS again.
On my return to England, I wanted to stop taking the pill and try to help myself as naturally as possible. I began by studying a myriad of books all about the pill and hormonal imbalances, but it was only after I had discovered Dr John Lee’s book in 1996 ‘What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause’ shortly after it was published, that I really started to understand exactly how hormones work. The most important information I gained after reading his book (7 times over!) was that most women in Western societies are experiencing a syndrome know as oestrogen dominance due to low or insufficient progesterone levels to keep it in balance. The reasons for this are many not least environmental factors. See Environmental Poisons.
After meeting several UK doctors who were experts in progesterone therapy, one of whom became a mentor to me, I changed direction with my social science studies and spent 5 years studying naturopathy and herbal medicine at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London and Bristol.
My thirst for knowledge became great and I devoured nearly every book related to hormones and hormone balancing. Everything about natural progesterone made so much sense and it was soon very obvious why had been suffering so much and, more importantly, what I could do to help myself in the most safe and natural way possible.
My doctor didn’t know much about progesterone except that it was listed in his British National Formulary (BMF) as Cyclogest a suppository administered vaginally or rectally for PMS, post natal depression and menopause. I wasn’t keen on the way I had to take it, but take it I certainly did as I knew so much about how it could help me now that I had stopped taking the pill.
Within 2 months all my PMS symptoms were gone which was astounding having suffered every month since my periods began. This is when I became more curious and took up further research. I met the great man himself, Dr Lee after attending his lecture in Bangor in 1997 and other lectures and workshops later.
I studied hundreds of medical and scientific research papers and helped many other women by starting a support group when I realised how we were all kept in the dark about natural progesterone and its many roles within the body.
The Cyclogest was good, but I knew that progesterone would be better absorbed topically in a cream form. This is because Cyclogest contains huge amounts of progesterone suspended in a vegetable fat, 200mg and 400mg most of which can be lost with one trip to the loo due to gravity. The ovaries (in a non-pregnant state) only produce around 15mg – 30mg of progesterone in the second half of each cycle which can be measured and delivered well with a good progesterone transporter compound such as the one in Unique progesterone cream.
The support group grew from strength to strength with our monthly meetings growing larger each time. By now I and many other women were able to obtain natural progesterone cream on prescription from our doctors. For three years all was well and I saw some great results from women taking the progesterone cream for all kinds symptoms caused by hormonal imbalances such as Menopause, PMS, Post Natal Depression, Infertility and Osteoporosis. The word was spreading, Dr Lee’s books were flying off the shelves and women on progesterone were flourishing. Then bang!! Out of the blue, all doctors in my health authority area were told that they could no longer prescribe progesterone as it was not a licenced drug like the conventional HRT in the UK.
All the women who had been benefitting from the progesterone cream had it stopped overnight. This was so sad as we knew how safe it was. Even though doctors were happy to prescribe it, they just didn’t know enough to have the right level of confidence in it. A few doctors did carry on prescribing it to their patients on the NHS as they had taken the time to research it and had found it to be perfectly safe and beneficial. This was fortunate for some, but it meant that most women would have to pay privately for the cream or go without. Most doctors who prescribed it are private, although very good; they are out of reach for most, both for distance and financial reasons.
It was just at this time when we were all wringing our hands frantically wondering where we were going to find a supplier, that myself and my doctor colleague were introduced to Unique natural progesterone cream form America. We were told that women could import it legally for their own personal use and it would be much less expensive than paying privately.
The doctor immediately made arrangements for the cream to be sent for testing at an independent laboratory where it showed excellent results. I now use saliva testing to show absorption levels.
I have now been providing information by way of my own lectures and support since 1996. I have written articles for magazines and newspapers and I still continue to research progesterone and natural hormone balancing. I have marched in large demonstrations in London waving banners about our right to choose what we feel is best for us by way of our natural health supplements.
I have taken a national newspaper to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and won my case after a year of fighting which involved a drug company, the PCC and the national newspaper who admitted they erroneously misinformed women about their hormones and reassured me that they would make every effort to get it right in future articles. See more here
I also had the great honour of being asked to become a patron of CANCERactive a unique cancer charity that takes an integrated approach providing support and information to cancer suffers and advice to help stop people developing cancer in the first place.
Dr John Lee was an incredible person who had amazing insight into women’s hormonal imbalance which spans further outside the body to the wider environmental issues. It was a sad day indeed for women when he suddenly passed away in 2003. His work for women was immense. This is why I organised a memorial service for him at St Clement Danes Church in London shortly after his death.
The church was very fitting being a military church. The connection to me and him was fight for the truth and what is right and for the freedom to express that.