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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Encore Presentation: Interview With Actress Suzanne Somers
Aired March 14, 2004 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Suzanne Somers will open up about the late John Ritter, her friend and "Three's Company" co-star, about surviving cancer and about her secrets for good health and great sex. Suzanne Somers for the hour, with your phone calls, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We're in New York tonight with Suzanne Somers. What a great pleasure to welcome her any time she wishes to come to this program. Her new book is "The Sexy Years: Discover the Hormone Connection, the Secret to Fabulous Sex, Great Health and Vitality for Women and Men."
One note. Tomorrow night, Jason Blair, his first live primetime interview, with your phone calls, the former writer with "The New York Times." Jason Blair tomorrow night.
First and foremost, it was three years ago that you came on this show to reveal that you had breast cancer. How are you doing?
SUZANNE SOMERS, ACTRESS: Yes.
KING: How are you doing?
SOMERS: Great. "NED" they say on my chart, "no evidence of disease." So I've got another year-and-a-half, about, until I'm out of the woods. And I feel great.
KING: How was it treated?
SOMERS: Well, you know, I didn't do the conventional chemotherapy and after-care drugs, but I did find -- you know me, I'm a searcher, and I found this drug, an anthroposcopic (ph) drug called Iscador (ph). And it was used in the Rudolph Steiner clinics in Europe since the '20s, having the exact same results as chemotherapy with no side effects. So when I was going through all this -- and so much information is bombarding you all at once -- the idea for me -- and I never give advice, it's just what I do. The idea for me was either I take chemotherapy where it kills the bad cells and kills the good cells, too, and you hope the good cells come back, or try this other medicine, which must be prescribed by a doctor, which works that it builds up the immune system to the point where nothing can attack and invade.
KING: Why doesn't everybody use it?
SOMERS: Because it's not patentable because it's anthroposcopic because it's -- it wasn't legal before I found it. Because of you and I, it's now legal in this country. But you have to... KING: Because of that show?
SOMERS: Because of that show. But it's not FDA-approved, but your doctor can prescribe it for you.
KING: Can prescribe it.
SOMERS: So in a year-and-a-half, when I really feel I'll be out of the woods, I'd love to come back and then really talk about it. But right now, I can't say it works, but I think...
KING: But I do remember there was a tabloid that sort of -- like you were doing this for breast augmentation. Remember that show?
SOMERS: Well, you know, when you have breast surgery, they take part of your breast, and you try to do whatever you can do. And so...
KING: How's your sister doing?
SOMERS: My sister's doing great.
KING: She had it, too, right?
SOMERS: My sister had breast cancer, too. Nobody else in the family's ever had it. I don't know what the link is. I don't know...
KING: In your book you have a strange line. You write, "Cancer was going to be my blessing." Explain that.
SOMERS: Well, I'm just different now. I look at everybody differently. I look at every child differently. I look at every flower differently. I'm grateful for every day. It's a cliche, I know, but it really is true because one -- well, you were -- you've had a serious...
SOMERS: ... you know, scare in your life. So it's like before and after. Once you've had it, you just appreciate everything. You take your health -- you don't take it for granted, and you know...
KING: Do you still stand by your diet of low carbs? Do you still eat your bacon and your meat? You're an Atkins kind of girl, right?
KING: No? I thought...
SOMERS: Well, I mean...
SOMERS: No, but you know, this whole -- this whole controversy with Atkins -- I think that Dr. Atkins was fantastic. I think that...
KING: That's what I mean.
SOMERS: He changed the way people eat. My program's a little different, in that I eat real fats. I eat protein. I eat -- I don't eat any sugar. I don't eat anything that the body converts to sugar. But do I eat carbohydrates.
KING: You don't eat bread, right?
SOMERS: No, I do. I eat carbohydrates, but they're complex carbohydrates, like whole grain breads and whole grain cereals. I don't think that you can eliminate one food group. And I don't think Dr. Atkins did, either. But his initial -- his initial program, from what I understand, is absolutely carbohydrate-free, and that's where we differ.
KING: I see.
SOMERS: I give -- I give my readers, which are 10 million people on the program now, which is really quite exciting -- and I give them whole grain pancakes, which you can buy, you know, Somer-size (ph) pancakes. I think I've sent you some of that stuff.
KING: You've sent me everything.
SOMERS: I sent you everything!
KING: Like, every product in the world.
SOMERS: Well, we have -- we have the breakfast cereal. We have pancake mix and waffle mix, and we have the waffle makers and we have slow cookers and...
KING: You're an industry.
SOMERS: Know what I am? I am a virtual department store. It's the new -- it's a new kind of store. I -- there's -- if you imagined...
KING: You're on the Internet, right?
SOMERS: It's on the Web site. It's Suzannesomers.com. If you walk -- you imagine there's a first floor, and that's all cosmetics. The skin care, the hair care, foot care, the...
KING: Do you supervise it all?
SOMERS: I do. I do. Allen (ph) runs the...
KING: That's your husband.
SOMERS: You know, Allen is the visionary and runs it. But I run day to day with a lot of it.
KING: I'm going to get to the book in a couple of minutes. SOMERS: I know.
KING: All your books have been best-sellers, by the way. How did you react to the death of John Ritter, who you for a long time were estranged?
SOMERS: I just still can't believe it. you know, I'm watching "Nick at Night" these days. I don't know if I'm watching because of him or because I never really saw them when I was on them. And I just can't believe it. And what was really interesting, that his daughter and my granddaughter were both starting school together this year, and I was so looking forward to that. I thought, Oh, good. I'm going to see John.
KING: Same school?
SOMERS: Same school. Same class. And I thought, Oh, good. I'm going to see John at all these events, because I go to all of them. So sad. So unfinished.
KING: What was the break-up over? What was it, over the show, a lawsuit?
SOMERS: The break-up? I asked to be paid what the men were being paid. I was on a No. 1 show. The network decided to make an example of me being a female asking for it, so all the other women wouldn't ask for it. And then the producers of the show created a mob fury, where you were either with them or you were with me. And of course, everybody had to choose to be with them. And somewhere in there it just got all off track. It was stupid.
KING: But is it true that his wife, Amy, got you back together?
SOMERS: She did. She did.
SOMERS: Here in New York City, we were at the premiere of "Victor/Victorian," and I was in the bathroom and this beautiful, beautiful woman walks in. Do you know her? She's...
KING: Oh, great.
SOMERS: Red hair, lips, eyes, skin, cheeks. And she introduced herself. She wasn't married to John at the time. And she said, You and John have to get together. So she dragged me out to him because I was nervous because I hadn't seen him in so long. And I always loved John Ritter, and he always loved me. And it was -- you know when you have a fight with somebody? It's so stupid, especially now in the light of -- that he's not here any more.
KING: Like, what...
SOMERS: And what was it all about, Alfie? You know? So stupid.
KING: Did you know he had any kind of heart problem? SOMERS: No. No. No. No. No.
KING: Was he a lot greater talent than we realize?
SOMERS: Yes. And I think along the way -- I think we really got to see him -- to me, he's like the Dick Van Dyke of our generation. And he admired Dick Van Dyke so much. And Dick's a friend of mine and I -- John was -- John knew how to do physical comedy in a way that it was a dance. You don't just fall over a couch. You've got to know exactly where your foot's going to be each time, so that the fall happens perfectly. And I remember seeing "Sling Blade," and I was sitting there, and halfway through the movie, I said to my husband, Was that John Ritter? He so morphed into that character, very much in the way that Charlize Theron morphed into "Monster." John morphed into that character in "Sling Blade," and I went, Wow! That was an incredible performance. But I always felt that he had more, comedically, to pull out of his hat. And I don't think he had the properties yet. We were looking for a property to do together.
KING: Really? Oh, you were going to do something?
SOMERS: Yes. Yes.
KING: You write in your book that you learn lessons from everything. Did you learn a lesson from his death?
SOMERS: Enjoy each day. It's the same one you learn when you get cancer, when you have a heart attack, you know? I -- I mean, in the years that I've known you, I've seen you enjoy your life so much more.
KING: Oh, yes.
SOMERS: You know? And you just don't take anything for granted and try to be nice to people...
KING: It's not a bad way...
SOMERS: ... and not have stupid fights.
KING: ... to live. Dumb.
SOMERS: Stupid fights.
KING: We'll take a break and come back. More on the new book and your phone calls coming for Suzanne Somers. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "THREE'S COMPANY")
JOHN RITTER: Hey Chrissie (ph), let me ask you something. Did that Indian giver really take his money back?
SOMERS: Jeff, that's uncalled for! What a terrible way to talk about Rama McGee (ph)!
RITTER: I just want to find out... SOMERS: You should never joke about things you don't understand until you understand them. And even then, you shouldn't joke about them because you don't understand. Understand?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "THREE'S COMPANY")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Darn!
SOMERS: What's the matter, Fingers (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's locked!
SOMERS: Well, now what are we going to do?
RITTER: Chrissie, just slow down. Relax.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got it! Jack, you won't mind shaving your arms, will you?
RITTER: Shave my arms?
SOMERS: Yes, you'll have to. Otherwise, the blow torch will burn your hair right up to your elbow!
RITTER: Blow torch?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Thought he was a little impressive.
KING: Suzanne Somers. Her new book is "The Sexy Years: Discover the Hormone Connection, the Secret to Fabulous Sex, Great Health and Vitality for Women and Men." We'll talk about the book. We'll take your phone calls.
But what are your thoughts, since you're a brand name, about Martha Stewart?
SOMERS: You know, I learned a lot from Martha Stewart. She elevated the art of making a home. And I think because of Martha Stewart, we all live better lives. I really do. I bought her products, and she has quality products. And I love when that magazine comes. I get one French magazine and I get Martha Stewart's magazine. And when these two magazines come in, I take my cup of coffee and go off into a corner and I just spend an afternoon with them.
KING: How you react to what happened to her?
SOMERS: Oh, I think -- I -- it's all tragic. It's tragic -- it's tragic all the way around. I hope they don't send her to jail. It sounds like they will. I hope they don't. If not, I hope -- if they're going to, I hope they give her house arrest because, man, will her house look great!
KING: All right, "The Sexy Years" -- now, are you writing about menopause?
SOMERS: I am.
KING: As sexy years?
SOMERS: I am.
KING: I thought it was -- menopause as anti-sexy.
SOMERS: Well, I'll tell you, I went into menopause on my 50th birthday, at my 50th birthday party.
KING: How old are you now?
SOMERS: I'm 57.
KING: How do you know you go into it? What happens?
SOMERS: Because this is what happened. All that's near and dear around this lovely table, my family and friends, my children, my son, who I had at 17, stands up and gives me the toast that, as a mother, you just hope your son will say when you reach this point in life. And he's standing there going, You know, Mom, you were my life. And I said, yes, that's great. Could we just wrap this up? I'd just like to go outside because I am so hot!
SOMERS: And I just -- I couldn't believe how hot I was. And I didn't know what was happening to me. The way I liken it is it's like somebody took a cork out of me and all my hormones just landed on the floor. And it feels awful. And there is nothing, nothing that men can biologically even relate to what that feels like.
KING: OK. But you describe it as the "seven dwarfs of menopause."
KING: You list them as, "Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful and All Dried Up." How could that be sexy?
SOMERS: It's sexy because I figured out how to get rid of the seven dwarfs. I really -- I really have found something that I...
KING: Another new drug?
SOMERS: Well, it's not a drug. But I have found something that I really think is life-changing. Women -- we women lost 90 percent of our hormones over a two-year period. It's so in our face. There's no getting around it. It's like having PMS day and night, every day until you figure this thing out. Men also lose your hormones, but it's more gradual, over a 10 to 12-year period. And that's why they do movies called "Grumpy Old Men." And loss of testosterone is very significant in men because when you are low in testosterone, if you work out, your muscles shrink, you know? And it doesn't matter how -- you can work out night and day, but if you're not making testosterone, you won't -- testosterone...
KING: Are you saying there's a male menopause?
SOMERS: There is. There absolutely is. And here's the thing about testosterone. I don't like to get too scientific, but I really love science. Testosterone is a sex hormone, but it's also an anabolic steroid. So anabolic steroid builds bone and muscle. The heart is the largest muscle in the body. There are more testosterone cell receptor sites in the heart than any other muscle in the body. So testosterone is protection for the heart. It's one of the greatest protections for the heart. So men always think it's about erections, but that's the last thing to go.
KING: What did you take for your menopause?
SOMERS: OK. So you can't even say it, can you? Men -- meno -- men...
KING: No, what did you take for your menopause. It's not a hard word.
SOMERS: It is...
KING: What did you take for that thing you had when you were...
SOMERS: So I went from doctor to doctor to doctor, and I couldn't find any satisfactory answers to this at all because what I discovered -- and I am not against Western doctors or against pharmaceuticals because as a cancer patient, I needed my drugs and I needed my doctors and I loved them. But doctors have only -- in our medical set-up, in school -- get approximately four hours of instruction in the hormonal system. It's a huge subject. But up until my generation, women never lived beyond menopause. We are the first generation to live beyond it and expected to have a life way beyond it. We're going to live to be 90 and 100 years old.
So how can you live when you're living with Itchy, Bitchy, Sleepy, Sweaty, Bloated, Forgetful and All Dried Up? And I started this book thinking, Why do middle-aged men leave their middle-aged wives? We look good. We look better probably at this age than women in the history of middle-aged women ever looked. We eat right. We've work out. We've taken good care of ourselves. They leave because when you live with a woman who's having all those symptoms, plus, the big unmentionable is that you lose your sex drive -- so if a woman is, you know, nagging and weeping and can't sleep and taking it out on you, and then on top of it, she doesn't want to have sex...
KING: Are you saying -- you put it in the title of your book, "Discover the Hormone Connection." You discovered a hormone that changed that?
KING: And what is that hormone.
SOMERS: So I just have to -- I just have to lead you into it a little bit. So none of these doctors...
KING: Lead me. Lead me.
SOMERS: So I went -- I found an endocrinologist who has chosen to specialize in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. And here's how it works. It's not guessing. It's not "one pill fits all," which is what they've been giving us women for so many years. They take your blood work. They look where your levels are -- Oh, you're a little low on this, you're a little high on this. They make a bio-identical compound in the form of a capsule or drops or cream or whatever you want just for you.
KING: Specific for each person.
SOMERS: Just for you. It's an individualized thing.
KING: Anyone can do this?
SOMERS: Anyone can do this. If you find...
KING: Go to an endocrinologist?
SOMERS: If you find an endocrinologist who has chosen to specialize...
KING: You list doctors in the book, right?
SOMERS: I list doctors in the book. I interview doctors in the book. I -- these are all cutting-edge doctors. They're compassionate...
KING: How often do you take the pill?
SOMERS: Every -- I -- well, I take -- I actually take mine twice a day because when you're young -- the reason young people don't get the diseases of aging is because they make a full compliment of hormones. So as we get older...
KING: You lose it.
SOMERS: ... we lose our hormones. Aging is loss of hormones. And without your hormones, you won't live.
KING: So with these individual pills, specifically made -- and the doctors in the book... SOMERS: Right.
KING: ... you no longer have Itchy, Sweaty -- you no longer have that, right?
SOMERS: No. So what happens...
KING: Can you get a sex drive back?
SOMERS: Yes. So that is what's incredible. I mean, it took a while for this to build up. And all of a sudden, my good nature was back. My happy self was back. I...
KING: Oh, so it's more than just physical aspect?
SOMERS: Oh, it's -- it's -- I got my life back, and the big result was, I got my sex drive back, like I'm a 30-year-old.
KING: How quickly after taking it?
SOMERS: It takes -- they build up slowly because it takes a long time to lose them, so they can't give them to you all at once. But it builds up slowly. It took me a few months to reach balance. And the key is balance. Now, Allen, my husband, is looking at me. I'm bouncing around the house, happy and life is so great, and I'm sleeping through the night -- and really, sleeping through the night is just such a wonderful thing. I told Allen, Why don't you go have yours checked? He had his checked. His testosterone was low. His VHEA (ph) was low. She made up a bio-identical -- she, the endocrinologist, made up a bio-identical hormone patch for him.
KING: And now the two of you are raging.
SOMERS: Well, it's pretty great.
KING: OK, let me get a break.
KING: Now, some argue that hormone therapy is against the natural pattern of life.
SOMERS: I'd love to talk about it.
KING: That we will do.
KING: That's the way I do the show. See, that's called a "grabber." It's called a "teaser."
SOMERS: A grabber?
KING: They say that hormone destroys the natural pattern of life. And you say, We'll talk about it. I need to say...
SOMERS: See, this is why my talk show failed and yours succeeded. I don't know the grabbers.
KING: We'll be right back.
KING: Don't go away.
KING: We'll be going to calls at the bottom of the hour. The book is "The Sexy Years." The guest is Suzanne Somers. The book was officially published today.
OK, what about the idea that hormone therapy fights the natural pattern of life?
SOMERS: Well, I mean, as a society, we alter things. If you're hip needs replacing, we replace it. If your heart needs replacing, we replace it. To me, if your estrogen needs replacing, replace it. Here's what's been going wonky with hormones. Women have been given synthetic hormones, which really suppress the nastiest symptoms of menopause but do nothing to replace what's been lost in the aging process. So if technology is going to keep us alive to be 90 and 100 years old, those extra 25 years that we're going to get, I'm going to have quality in those lives. You're not going to have quality if you can't sleep and you itch and you bitch and you weep and you cry and you bloat and you can't remember anything and you don't have a -- well, sex drive, you could do without, but why do you want to, you know, really?
So these synthetic hormones -- all the alarming reports that have been put out on hormones are not on bio-identical hormones. They've all been done on synthetic hormones. Synthetic hormones are the ones getting the bad rap. And what -- what -- the Women's Health Initiative came out in 2002, and it said that one of them -- one of the major hormones that women have been given all these years -- they absolutely discontinued the study at five-and-a-half years and it was supposed to be an eight-year study because they concluded that it'd be better that women not take anything at all than to take these because -- now that I really understand hormones, the key -- the key to hormones are keeping balance. Too much is not good. Too little is not good. It has to be just right. Well, synthetic hormones, most of them mimic pregnancy. It's high levels of estrogen, higher levels of progesterone. And if you have a woman pregnant for 10, 20 years, she's going to end up with type II diabetes and heart attack and stroke and pulmonary embolism and all sorts of things.
KING: All right.
SOMERS: So my thinking was, I don't want to take these. You know me. And I went on this search. And when I found these bio- identical hormones, it was absolutely...
KING: How did you find this endocrinologist? SOMERS: Because I couldn't -- because I couldn't sleep -- ever. I was up all night because -- you know, when you don't -- when you don't have hormonal balance, there's nothing to regulate the temperature in your body. That's where that heat comes in.
KING: So you searched?
SOMERS: So I searched. I went on Nexis. I asked people. And then I found this -- my doctor, although all the doctors are my book are incredible.
KING: They're all over the country?
SOMERS: They're all over the country.
KING: Do you still get a period?
SOMERS: Yes, I do.
KING: Do you like that?
SOMERS: Well, it comes with the territory. See, I'll tell you why it makes sense to me. I don't want my body to be in a state of pregnancy, false pregnancy. I know what that does. Having a period mimics normal physiology. And I interviewed women from 20 to their 80s in this book. And my 80-year-old I just love. Her name is Eve. And I wanted to find out -- she's been on bio-identical hormones now for 20 years. And I wanted to find out -- you're 83 years old and you have a period. Is it worth it?
So I -- we had a long talk, and I interviewed her. And she said, You know, I get up every morning. I make my bed because at my age, it's easy to fall in love with your bed. But while I'm making my bed, I dance and exercise to Roy Orbison or the Beatles. She said, My friends can't remember everything. I've got to drive them everyplace. They're don't -- they -- they're -- they're getting old. She said, I go to exercise class to exercise, they go there for social reasons.
I said, yes, but what about a period? She said, That goes with the territory. She said, It's such a small price to pay for how good I feel. And that's what this is all about, is feeling good.
KING: Is depression part of the equation, too?
SOMERS: Depression is a big part of menopause because it's hormonal imbalance.
KING: And this changes that, too.
SOMERS: My mood is even.
KING: Without antidepressants?
SOMERS: I'm happy almost all the -- see, that's the other thing. Women on synthetic hormones, because it's not solving the -- it's not working. It's just not working. They're getting fat... KING: So they have to take antidepressants.
SOMERS: ... and they keep going to their gynecologist, who's not a hormone specialist, and complaining. And doctors want a fix. So to appease them, they give them an anti-depressant or an anti-psychotic. And that takes away your sex drive and your vibration of living. And it's -- you become a pharmaceutical product.
KING: Our guest is...
SOMERS: Again, I'm not against pharmaceuticals.
KING: Our guest is Suzanne Somers. The book is "The Sexy Years." We come back, and we'll go to your phone calls. Jason Blair, formerly of "The New York Times," his first live primetime interview, with your phone calls tomorrow night. Don't go away.
KING: Entertainer, entrepreneur, "New York Times" best selling author Suzanne Somers. The new book is "The Sexy Years: Discover the Hormone Connection, the Secret to Fabulous Sex, Great Health and Vitality for Women and Men."
Let's go to call.
CALLER: Hi, Suzanne. I'm a relatively new Somersizer. I was wondering how did you develop the Somersize way of eating? It's so different, with incorporating the carbohydrates, and it's awesome.
SOMERS: Well, it's science. Everything that I do is always based in science. Larry, was just talking to me because I'm just so fascinated by science. But I know that every cell in the body requires protein, fat and carbohydrate to reproduce itself. And we are, as human beings, cells, reproducing. So it seems to me we had to have each of those food groups to reproduce cells. Started with that. And then I spent 18 years living in the south of France in the summer. All my French friends were so skinny, and they were eating all the foods that I wanted to eat. And I would look at what they were eating and while I'm eating poached chicken with no sauce and salads with no dressing and boring vegetables, they had sauces but they weren't eating any starch. They weren't eating high starch vegetables. They weren't eating anything that the body converts to sugar. And I know they didn't realize they were food combining, but I realized that when I watched them. So, that's how kind of how it became.
KING: You have to have some sugar?
SOMERS: I have Somersweet.
KING: You have to have some sugar.
Doesn't the body need sugar?
Body doesn't need any sugar?
SOMERS: I have never been asked that question, and I don't know. I don't have an answer. I will have one next time I come on.
KING: Find out. Come prepared.
SOMERS: I find -- I find me, prepared. I find that we get plenty of sugar in this country. I know my last book when I started writing the statistic was that 55 percent of all American adults are overweight. By the time I finished the book at the end of the year it had risen to 65 percent of all Americans.
KING: We lead the world?
SOMERS: We do.
KING: Read Boiling Spring, Tennessee, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Suzanne. I had breast cancer nine years ago, an aggressive type. Sometimes I have often wondered about you.
Do you ever, even though it's been four years, and it's been nine with me, does it ever just come over you in the night when you just think, I can't stand it, you know, that feeling you have, that sick feeling, how you first feel when you first find out?
KING: Scared you're going to get it again?
SOMERS: You know, that's always in the back of your mind. I find -- I try not to dwell on it, but you know what I mean. You get a pain in your elbow and there's that little thought that says, is that it coming back?
So I guess it's always there, but I try not to live there. I focus more on living and living today. I think we all have to do that. All of us have gone through this breast cancer thing.
KING: Omaha, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Suzanne. This is an Sandra (ph). I just wanted to tell you that you look great.
SOMERS: Thank you.
CALLER: And wanted to know if you use homeopathic medicine and eat a lot of organic foods since you're diagnosed with breast cancer.
SOMERS: I eat real food. I don't eat preservatives, trans fats, hydrogenated oils and things like that. But, I mean, I eat butter cream, sour cream, olive oil, full fat cream cheese. I eat steak. I eat lamb chops with the fat on the side real crispy. I have caesar salad with caesar dresser on the side.
KING: I had a little caesar salad tonight. I just take a little dressing and I don't eat the whole thing.
SOMERS: I'm proud of you. You're coming along, Larry.
KING: You never -- what about at Christmas time, you don't take a peppermint stick?
SOMERS: I don't want it. If I'm going to eat...
KING: How much harm is it going to cause you?
SOMERS: If I eat candy, I'm not going to waste it on a peppermint stick. I'm going to eat some chocolate thing that just drips down the side of my mouth and really go for it.
KING: I have that too. I've had pure delight (UNINTELLIGIBLE), they're terrific. Your chocolates.
SOMERS: You should have my chocolate. My chocolates are amazing.
KING: I have got 8 million years of your chocolate.
New Orleans, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Mr. Larry, and Miss Suzanne. I wanted to know how you searched and found that cancer drug, because we lost my dad from the chemo.
SOMERS: Well, you know, I never get advice. This is what I did, and I'm not out of the woods, so I don't want to tell anybody to do what I'm doing. But I went on Nexus and I -- it was a process of just, you know, peeling back and peeling back. And Then i had a doctor in Los Angeles who was an eastern/western and holistic doctor who had also heard of it and was giving it to his patients. So I felt pretty good about it. And it's not that I haven't been sick since I have taken it, but I actually have been healthier since I have been on Iscador than I have ever been in my life. Maybe it's because I'm taking better care of myself or maybe because this has built my immune system to where it's hard for me to catch things.
KING: To Normal, Illinois, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Suzanne.
CALLER: I have a question for you. I had a hysterectomy about a year ago and I, of course, am on Estrace and Prometrium.
SOMERS: Great, those are bio-identical.
CALLER: They are?
SOMERS: Yes. Yes.
CALLER: I didn't know that.
SOMERS: You get that at a compounding pharmacy. Now here's the thing. If you have a doctor who is specialized in bio-identical hormones, then they can even tailor it better for you. Because when you're getting those two, Estrace and Prometrium, it comes in pre- prescribed dosages. And what you really want is get your lab work done, see where your levels are and have your doctor tailor it so that you get exactly what you need, that you get exact balance so that you can feel absolutely amazing. It's amazing how you feel when you get it balanced. Give that a try.
KING: Do you have a follow-up question, dear?
CALLER: Pardon me?
KING: Do you have a follow-up?
CALLER: No. I was going to march in to my doctor and talk about this, not knowing that I was on a bio-identical hormone.
SOMERS: You've got a good doctor. You've got a cutting edge doctor. And I really think in the future that this is going to be the way all doctors will be doing it, because the synthetic hormones are not doing it for us. Women are getting fat. And they're trying to diet and eat right. And certainly it helps to normalize your hormones and keep your weight down if you eat right. But when your hormones are off, if one hormone is off, they're all off. And so if they're all off that means your insulin is off. If your insulin is off, that why you start gaining weight. And synthetic hormones do not balance hormones because you're not replacing anything. So, women, go on synthetic hormones and they get fatter and fatter and more and more depressed. And life is to be enjoyed. It feels so good to feel good.
KING: Topeka, Kansas, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Suzanne.
CALLER: I'd like to ask, when you were on "Three's Company" did you ever get frustrated you lad to play the dizzy blonde?
Because I know you're brilliant.
SOMERS: No. I loved being her. If you knew my history -- I grew up in a very difficult household as a child. My father was a very abusive alcoholic, and I really never got to have a childhood. It was interesting for me to play Crissy on "three's company." If you analyze the show, Jack and Janet acted like the parents and I was the child. And this strange, weird way, I lived out my childhood on that show. By the time I left I had worked through all that. But for me, it was very healing. And I love her to this day. And I wanted in this project that John and I were going find together, I real wanted to play that character again with him and finish it off, whatever that would have been.
KING: You never minded the T and A image of it?
SOMERS: You know, I would have taken the part of a monkey at that point. Honestly. I had been slogging around for so many years. Really, the only steady job I ever had was on "The Tonight Show." Johnny Carson loved me. He would have me on every month as the girl who read him poetry. My first book was a book of poetry called "Touch Me." And Johnny gave me my career. That led to everything.
KING: We'll take a break, be back with more phone calls for Suzanne Somers on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
SOMERS: That's what's depressing me. Don't you two understand?
But you both have good moods, bad moods, in between moods like normal people. I have to go through life all the time always being happy, always being...
RITTER: Hold on, Chrissy, you're unhappy right now.
SOMERS: That doesn't count.
SOMERS: Being unhappy because you're not unhappy is just as bad as being happy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Suzanne Somers. The book, "The Sexy Years." Suitland, Maryland, hello.
CALLER: Hi there, Larry and Suzanne. Suzanne, I was diagnosed with colon cancer of March of last year. And I went through the radiation and chemo. I was 39. I'm now 40.
SOMERS: That's young.
CALLER: I'm sorry. What?
SOMERS: That's very young.
CALLER: Yes, yes. And my problem now is that I think I'm going through menopause. My doctor, they ran tests that shows my level was off. I'm going through depression, the hot flashes, the dryness is killing me.
SOMERS: Isn't it awful?
CALLER: It really is.
SOMERS: When you go through such a harsh chemical treatment like that, it blows out your hormones. When I was going through radiation even though I was still taking my hormones, it kept blowing out my hormones. We had to up my dose and up my dose. I urge you to read my book. I have spent hundreds of hours studying the hormonal system.
KING: By the way, is this expensive?
SOMERS: These hormones? These hormones are about $65 a month. So it's not terrible. Women on HMOs...
KING: They pay it or not?
SOMERS: The HMO will not pay for bio-identical hormones.
KING: What do they pay? Band-aids.
SOMERS: They won't pay for an endocrinologist and that to me is short-sighted because bio-identical hormones are going keep women healthy longer. It's the greatest prevention against heart and brain. Please get the book, read it. It will help you so much. It will empower you to have this information.
KING: Rockland, California, for Suzanne Somers. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Suzanne. This is Milan (ph) calling you.
CALLER: I used to work with you a long time ago in a hospital in San Francisco.
SOMERS: Oh really. At Kaiser (ph)?
SOMERS: When I passed out multiphasic tests to people. I took in urine samples, too.
CALLER: Right. I was in the laboratory.
SOMERS: Well, gosh. There we go.
CALLER: I want you to know how proud we are of you. We talked about you often and on through the years.
SOMERS: Thank you.
CALLER: But my question for you is, when I was on hormone replacement, I did not have periods, which I guess is normal. But why when you go on this other therapy, do you have periods?
SOMERS: Because it mimics normal physiology. You cannot get pregnant at this age because you're no longer producing eggs. Don't have to worry about that. Normal physiology is, we make estrogyl (ph) every single day of the month and days one through 14 our body makes progesterone. To mimic normal physiology, that's what they must do. That's what works best. Otherwise, the hormones you're on, high levels of estrogen and higher levels of progesterone and that tricks your body into thinking it's pregnant which is why you don't have a period. But you probably noticed that when you were on those hormones that you had bloating and swelling at the ankles and breasts. That's the way it was when you were pregnant.
So that's not a healthy state for a woman to be in. Women are healthy when they're pregnant when they're young but at our age that's too much of a strain on our body and leaves us open to a host of diseases. Read the book and give it a shot. I tell you, even if you've gone through menopause and are on the other side, this hormone replacement bio-identical is for the rest of your life. It improves the quality of your life. Keeps your brain sharp.
Every doctor I interviewed talked about the connection they're making that is not known out there between low estrogen and Alzheimer's. Now, if this were true, if this turns out to be true, how incredible if it's as simple as in our prime we get a hormone panel done to see our baseline and keep it checked over the years so that -- men have estrogen, by the way, and it's a very important part of your physiology. So if along the way your estrogen levels go low, that's an alarm to the doctor that he wants to raise it up. And if you're not making enough testosterone, then you, as a man will overproduce estrogen.
KING: Fords, New Jersey, hello.
CALLER: Hello. Could you please spell the name of your cancer fighting medicine.
CALLER: Iscador. Thank you. I would like to know since you were able to avoid chemotherapy, did you have to have radiation or...
SOMERS: I did. They removed the cancer from my breast, which -- it was a large tumor, so it was...
KING: No mastectomy?
SOMERS: No. That is why I put -- the fat was moved from one side of the breast to the other. You remember that. What was your question?
CALLER: Did you have a mastectomy or radiation?
SOMERS: I had a lumpectomy and radiation and I took the most massive dose of radiation that I could tolerate because I wasn't taking chemotherapy because I wasn't taking the after care.
KING: And that knocked you out?
SOMERS: It did. I'll tell you a story. I was lying in bed. I live at the beach. I only had one day where I felt sorry for myself. Why me? Why did I have to get this? Why did I choose this? That's the way I think. Out of the corner of my eye, I look out -- I live on the ocean. And I see something. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a whale leap out of the sea and in my line of sight, this whale leaped three times until I could no longer see it. If I hadn't called Alan in to see it, I would think that I was seeing something. It was, whatever I understand to be God talking to me. Life goes on, joy, spring forward, look to the future and it was really at that moment that I thought, I'm going to be OK.
KING: Maybe you have a Jonah complex. God sent the whale to you? Is that it?
SOMERS: Well, Jonah -- now, we could talk about Jonah.
KING: OK. We'll be back -- we'll be back with our remaining moments with Suzanne Somers. I started out this show healthy.
SOMERS: Now you're seeing Jonah. I'm going get you on testosterone.
KING: And I'm checking estrogen levels and I thought my testosterone was OK, and now I'm in panic. We'll be back with more.
SOMERS: You'll be happy we had this conversation.
KING: We'll be right back.
KING: Don't look bad.
SOMERS: See, that's menopause.
KING: Hurt (ph), Virginia, hello.
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: This is Wisconsin, but that's OK.
KING: They told me Hurt, Virginia, but go ahead.
CALLER: Suzanne, nice to see you. You're looking great.
SOMERS: Thank you.
CALLER: I have a question regarding growth hormones. I have gone to a lot of health food stores and have kind of studied them that and they say you could almost produce your own hormone levels up by kind of working on your growth hormone. I'd just like to know if you know anything about that?
SOMERS: I just wouldn't guess. I did -- I think human growth hormones are interesting and I talked to all these doctors that I interviewed about them but there's not enough data and not enough studies done on them yet. But they all feel that in the future they are going to be the answer. But right now there's not enough data. But find yourself a -- someone who specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement and don't guess with it. It's dangerous to have too much or too little. You want it just right.
KING: The book lists doctors. SOMERS: The book lists doctors in the back. I have got a list of compound pharmacies in the back. All the doctors I interviewed, their websites are there. Everything I'm saying is backed up by these doctors.
KING: Brick, New Jersey, hello.
CALLER: I think you look ageless. I wonder if you'll ever come back in sitcoms or on a talk show or anything?
SOMERS: Never know. I have a crazy career. One of the great things about my career is that I'm never looking over my shoulder because nobody has a career like mine. I don't even know what my career is. Next year I'm doing a one-woman show on Broadway. I go from writing books to doing a one-woman show to selling chocolates and jewelry on home shopping.
KING: One-woman show on Broadway doing?
SOMERS: Yes, all by myself for two hours. I debuted it last month in San Diego to just stunning reviews and sold0-out houses and standing ovations so great, so long I could hardly take it. It was just wonderful.
KING: Would you do a sitcom again?
SOMERS: The right one. But I don't want to be a mother again. When you're the mother on a sitcom, you got to do the right thing, so you can't go for the joke. I felt muzzled. I loved "Step By Step" and I loved all my kids. That was the greatest working experience I ever had. But the mother doesn't get to be the funny one.
KING: North Hampton, Massachusetts, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry, Suzanne. You look amazing.
SOMERS: Thank you.
CALLER: You're a great inspiration for women, too. I have two quick questions. With all your achievements, singing, dancing and acting, what has been your most rewarding achievement?
SOMERS: Believe it or not at the moment, this book. I have spent years working on this book. I have spent so much time on this subject. I have researched this so much. I have gone after this like it's a thesis. And I really feel that this is my gift to the generation coming up so that they don't have to go through the hell of menopause. And because our medical schools are not involved in teaching about the hormonal system, we women on our own have to be pro-active and find it. If you want to have a quality of life and have a happy marriage, and if you want to sleep through the night. Sleeping through the night. Women, I know, I can feel them going, I know. But the first time you sleep through the night is so wonderful.
KING: Do any women not get it?
SOMERS: Every once in awhile -- always preface everything with most women. Every once in a while woman says, it didn't bother me at all. I'm sure there are. When your hormones are draining out of you, you cannot feel good. Once I got to balance, my skin got better, my hair got shiny again, my eyes got clear. My breasts even poofed up more. When you lose your hormones everything drains out. They kind of went poof.
KING: We only got 30 seconds. Any side effect?
SOMERS: With bio-identical? None. You just have to work at keeping balance. You work with your doctor in concert so that you are in tune to your symptoms. If my leg starts to itch which is my first symptom, I'll call her and say, my leg itches. She'll say, what are your stresses this month? Because stress blunts hormone production and I have a high-stress life.
KING: Thank you. Suzanne Somers, the entertainer/entrepreneur, "New York Times" bestselling author. Her new book, "The Sexy Years. Discover the Hormone Connection, the Secret to Fabulous Sex, Great Health, and Vitality for Women and Men." Got me on the testosterone kick here.
SOMERS: I'm going get you on testosterone.
KING: I'll be back in a couple of minutes to tell you about tomorrow night if I'm here.
KING: Thanks for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Stay tuned for more news on CNN, your must trusted name in news.
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