“H” of the H.O.P.E. Formula

The H.O.P.E. Formula by Brenda Watson is a program for everyone to adopt into their daily lifestyle. It’s not reserved for those with digestive problems. It’s a program to prevent future problems and keep your digestive system (and the rest of your body) running smoothly and effectively.

When addressing any health problem, most experts agree that the first place to start is the digestive system. Supplements, hormones, amino acids and other treatments will not work effectively if the digestive system is not functioning properly. Overlooking this important process could be the barrier to improved health.

Let’s start with the “H”, for High Fiber.

Why Fiber?

  • Absorbs toxins and gets them out of your body (soluble fiber)
  • “Sweeps clean” and tones the colon muscles (insoluble fiber), reducing/eliminating constipation.
  • Slows glucose absorption, helps keep blood sugar levels balanced and good for diabetics
  • Absorbs water soluble cholesterol, reducing cholesterol levels and helps reduce formation of gallstones.
  • Improves hemorroids, varicose veins and colitis.
  • Promotes weight loss, prevents colon cancer and controls carcinogens in intestine.
  • helps remove unwanted heavy metals and toxin and reduces the effects of radiation therapy.
  • A blend of soluble/insoluble fiber will both bind toxins and increase elimination. Using only one type of fiber will not give you all these benefits.

Insoluble Fiber Sources

  • Whole grains
  • Wheat bran
  • Veggies/fruit skins
  • Flax seed
  • Peanuts, brazil nuts

Soluble Fiber Sources:

  • Barley, oats, rye
  • Fruits/veggies
  • Legumes
  • Seeds (incl flax)
  • Guar gum
  • Psyllium husks (not recommended)

How much?

35 grams per day. Very difficult to get only from diet. Fiber supplements are almost always necessary to achieve 35 gm/day. Look for one with a blend of both soluble/insoluble fiber. Flax, acacia and oat bran make a good blend. You can find Brenda’s line of products at Whole Foods to make it easy.

Why not psyllium?

Psyllium is a popular type of fiber seen sold in stores. It absorbs 40 times its weight in water and can have a dehydrating effect on the colon and can cause costipation and bloating. Psyllium can increase intestinal permeability and possible contribute to stomach or bowel cancer. Additionally, psyllium can encourage overgrowth of the normal intestinal bacteria which can deprive your body of vitamin B12 and produce an increase in the concentration of bacterial toxins.

Information presented here is from The H.O.P.E. Formula by Brenda Watson.

Educate Yourself on Bioidentical Hormones

Who’s going to help you balance your hormones?

You are! You’ll get the best results by putting yourself in the driver’s seat and learning as much as you can.

Your hormones affect everything in your body. Your thinking, your energy level, your fat to lean ratio, your sleep and your appetite and much more. Hormones are of the sex hormone type (testosterone, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, etc) and the insulin type (cortisol, adrenaline, relaxin, insulin, etc).

If you’re not getting the results from exercise and diet, sometimes hormones are the trouble. Remember, hormones include insulin, cortisol, adrenaline and thyroid. Don’t think you have to be menopausal to have hormone problems.

The best way to learn about hormones is to read. The information is out there and you CAN learn on your own. A book list is included at the bottom.

First, keep in mind that hormone therapy is not necessarily the first step. Work with your diet, supportive supplements and lifestyle before diving into hormones.

However, if you’re unable to sleep and/or you’re having severe symptoms, starting with hormones can certainly make sense. Just know that it’s not wise to use hormone therapy in place of a healthy lifestyle. Not everyone needs hormones.

Once you have a working knowledge of hormones, find a health care practitioner you can work with. This isn’t necessarily easy. Not many doctors work with bioidentical hormones.┬áDon’t expect your doctor to have all the answers. You must form a successful partnership with your provider and do your part. No one can do it all for you.

When choosing a provider, be sure he/she works with adrenals and thyroid, in addition to the sex hormones.

It’s important you first understand how your body works and a good understanding of hormones before you go to your first appointment. You’ll learn more as you start your therapy and see how your body responds.

Here is a short list of Twin Cities health care providers who work with bioidentical hormones:

Noelle Radcliffe M.D at Edina Sports Health and Wellness

Rob Bruley, MD, DC at the Bruley Center in Linden Hills
612 455 0444

Sandi Greenquist at the Minnesota Menopause Center

Nancy Gossard NP at Park Nicollet 952 993 3282


Book List:

For men: The Testosterone Syndrome by Eugene Shippen, M.D.

Change Your Brain Change Your Body by Daniel Amen M.D. (also good for men)

Female Brain Gone Insane by Mia Lundin, R.N.C., N.P.

The Schwartzbein Principle II, by Diana Schwartzbein, M.D.

The Miracle of Bioidentical Hormones by Michael Platt, M.D.

Before the Change, Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause, by Ann Louise Gittleman, M.S., C.N.S

Perimenopaue the Natural Way, by Deborah Gordon, M.D.

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Perimenopause, by John Lee, M.D.