What is down-regulation? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with football, four downs and you give up the ball!
Down-regulation is a phenomena associated with cell receptors. Cell receptors are like identical key switches that are activated by a substance like a hormone which then allows other substances into a cell. For example, insulin is a hormone and one of its functions is to turn on a cell’s ability to let glucose (sugar) into it, thereby lowering the blood sugar.
A cell membrane can have thousands to hundreds of thousands of receptors at any given time, depending on the concentration of hormone keys outside of a cell.
Imagine, a single cell, using proteins to construct (up-regulate) or deconstruct (down-regulate) thousands of these receptors in response to a variety of hormones. Isn’t that amazing?
Excess or vacuous levels of hormones in the blood stream can be due to dysfunction of of the glandular source or it could also be from an artificial or external source.
OK, enough of the physiology lesson, here’s a practical application.
Links to Lichen Sclerosis
According to Dr. Ronda Nelson PhD., in Redding, a city in northern California with a population of about 90,000 people, there are 30-40 cases per week of women suffering from a disease linked to the abnormal down-regulation of estrogen receptors in female genetalia. Their receptors are down-regulated to such an extreme that the tissues cannot get support.
Extreme symptoms can include:
1) No labia
2) Exposed urethra
3) Clitoral scarring
5) Atrophy of the vagina canal
6) Rough and thick tissue
7) Tissue easy to tear or bleed
8) Sensitive to wiping
One probable cause is found in a strong association with the overuse of steroid cremes. Based on clinical observations, many women are saying to themselves, “if a little is good, more should be better” overloading their bodies with estrogen.
As a woman ages, the tissues normally lose some of its vitality, but an accelerated progression of symptoms should not be ignored, particularly since this disease may effect women and girls of all ages.
What to do?
You can get help.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from a condition that could be exacerbated by an extreme imbalance in hormone levels, you can suggest they get saliva testing.
As part of a comprehensive medical history and evaluation, saliva tests check for presence of free and unbound hormones, these are the ones that are affecting cell change. It is easy to administer (no needles), especially since several samples will be needed to evaluate a monthly cycle.
Note that blood serum test check, mainly, protein-bound hormones and, therefore, is not an accurate indicator of what is going on in the local tissues. Many doctors will only diagnose using blood testing and in the process, missing vital information to evaluate a patient’s hormone condition.
Once an excess hormone condition is assessed, there are tools that can help to normalize hormone levels.
1) Liver cleansing program.
2) Dietary guidance to help detoxify the body and restore health.
3) Treatments to relieve symptoms of affected areas.
4) Nutritional or herbal therapies can be prescribed to support the healthy recovery of glands and tissues.
5) Pharmaceutical can be used, but should as part of a holistic approach to solving the root problem.
6) Stress management guidance.
7) Being involved in with a community of fellow sufferers to share and learn. Don’t go through tough conditions alone if you don’t have to.
Lichen sclerosis is only one of a myriad of chronic conditions that are the result of or have an association with hormone imbalances. The excessive down (or up) regulation of cells is affected by excesses (or deficiencies) of hormone level, possibly from external sources. Effort must be taken to understand the cause of a problem to cure the root rather than only treating the symptom.