We were recently featured locally across the airwaves! Have a listen!
We were recently featured locally across the airwaves! Have a listen!
In a previous post, we learned that hormones can actually change our genes, which changes our chances of developing cancer, or diabetes, or Alzheimer’s, etc. But how does this work?
Hormones enter into all 100,000,000,000,000 (that’s 100 trillion) cells in our body. Inside the cells, hormones start a cascade of reactions which causes the “target cell” to perform the intended functions, to produce energy, to aid in memory, to increase the sex drive, to increase muscle development, to build bones, etc. Without this action by hormones these functions gradually decline. That is called menopause in women and andropause in men. When hormones begin to decline this is a sign of the beginning of the dying process. Our bodies cannot function as well (cannot function at all) without hormones.
This is why it is crucial to replace these lost hormones. But the key is to replace them (estradiol, progesterone and testosterone) with hormones that are an exact duplicate of those we had when we were 25 year old. We have learned from years of using the synthetic hormones (Premarin, Provera, and Prempro) that these can cause many negative side effects. In a study involving 16,608 women, the Women’s Health Initiative Trial, it was shown that when using these synthetic hormones, women are more likely to develop breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. Natural hormones, as we had when we were 25, do not have the side effects associated with synthetics.
Many studies have been done showing the beneficial effects of replacing these hormones as they decline. As a matter of fact, these studies show that the earlier the better, even replacing diminishing hormones in perimenopause (the early stages of menopause) is more beneficial than waiting until menopause. Many studies can be found on medical web sites showing there is less osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, depression, an increase in sex drive, elimination of hot flashes, vaginal dryness and night sweats, an increase in muscle mass in men and women, less need for erection dysfunction medication in men, greatly improved sleep, more energy, much improve self-esteem, and a resolution of restless leg syndrome.
It is very important to have blood tests done to confirm if you are deficient in hormones before beginning therapy. It is important to balance these 3 essential hormones to have optimal health. Without blood testing one cannot know what dosages to use. Many of our patients are able to get off of their antidepressants and pain medications and sleep medications under the guidance of their PCP. We all have to go to our reward eventually, but we can slow down the dying process until that day comes. I want my years of health to last as long as my years of living.
Next week we will be talking about how to prevent illnesses using a balanced approach to our hormones.
The term “bioidentical hormones” has been used for many years, but there is still confusion as to what this mean s. Some use bio-natural. Some use bio-available. They all can be used interchangeable.
All these terms are trying to indicate that the hormones we use at Nova are just like the hormones our bodies make. Or, in most cases “made”. As we age the ovaries in women and the testicles in men gradually decrease production of these very important hormones. Or, in some cases “suddenly decreased” production of these hormones as is seen with a complete hysterectomy. This cause chaos in our body…..hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, tiredness, loss of focus, decrease (or no) sex drive, weight gain, depression, anxiety, poor sleep, restless leg syndrome, osteoporosis, erectile dysfunction, loss of muscle mass, and may more symptoms.
For hundreds of years physicians have tried to replace these lost hormones. In Egypt 2000 years ago physicians had their patients drink the urine of young women, preferably pregnant women trying to reproduce the positive effects of youth. Drinking young women’s urine did not help.
In more modern time the hormone drug Premarin came about as an effort to restore youth. This is even worse. It is derived from horse urine, not human urine.
When yams are used as a source of the natural hormones to replace lost hormones we used to produce from the ovaries or testicles these are the mirror image to what we lost. These natural hormones have the advantage of being able to be used by our body. We call this bio-available, or bioidentical hormones. These hormones are available in the blood as it circulates throughout the body. All 100 trillion cells in our body are crying out for hormones. There are over 1000 receptor sites on each cell that are open and ready to be stimulated. Some artificial compounds (drugs) are designed to be “something like” our natural hormones. These un-natural hormones do not fit into the receptor sites….not exactly. They are not fully available.
The bioidentical hormones used at Nova do fit into the receptor sites of the cells exactly. This makes all the difference in the world. We see lives changed. Marriages are returned to that courtship time of years passed. Many are able to get of their antidepressants. Men and women develop muscle as they had. Sleep is returned to the way it was when we were young. You may be looking for those long-ago times when you felt good. You may have seen multiple doctors that told you, “You are just getting older. It is part of life. There is nothing can be done.” Don’t give up. Nova can make a difference with Bio-Available hormones.
In a recent article by Mayo Clinic July 2011 “Bioidentical Hormone Therapy” (BHRT) notes the Endocrine Society defines bioidentical hormones as, “compounds that have exactly the same chemical and molecular structure as hormones that are produced in the human body.” Drugs are very different than the definition noted above. In a book by Thierry Hertoghe, The Hormone Solution—Stay Younger Longer says “Drugs are medically defined as therapeutic substances whose structure and nature are foreign to the human organism. Hormones, then, are not drugs.”
This is significant as Nova Medical uses only hormones that are chemically the same as the hormones we produced when we were 25 years old, in other words, they are bioidentical just as they were, which we produced on our own, when our ovaries (or testicles in men) were functioning normally. In a young normally functioning female her ovaries will produce estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. Bioidentical hormones are derived from a chemical, diosgenin, from the root of yams.
The reason drugs should be taken only with great care and research is exactly the fact that they are foreign to our body. The side effects are often more lengthy than the positive effects.
These natural bioidentical hormones have the same possible side-effects as an excess of the natural hormones we produced would be. If we had too much testosterone we may have pimples or excess hair. If we had excess estradiol we might have heavy periods or sore breasts. If we had too much progesterone we could have increased appetite and fat storage. This is the reason at Nova Medical we are constantly checking your serum blood levels to assure you are not given an excess of any of these hormones.
An example of a drug versus a bioidentical hormone, or natural hormone, is Premarin or Prempro, a combination of Premarin and Provera. To explain just one reason for the dramatic side effects of the drug Premarin is demonstrated by the fact that Premarin, produced from the urine of a pregnant mare, requires 13 weeks to be eliminated from the body; whereas, natural bioidentical estradiol is excreted in 24 hours. The reason our bodies cannot eliminate the unnatural chemicals found in horse urine is because we do not have the enzymes a horse has. But we do have the necessary enzymes to breakdown natural bioidentical estradiol.
Drugs may be life-saving in some circumstances, but when we can do something that is natural for our bodies to process, it just makes sense to take advantage of this.
Our bodies are miracles in motion. It is amazing to study and understand how intricate we are, how every part is connected and influenced by another part.
The same is especially true when studying hormone balance. Hormones control so much of who we are, how we think, our weight, whether we are muscular or flabby, our sex drive, how we feel……are we depressed, excited, energetic, forgetful, wise, loving, compassionate, a leader, a follower, or even if we are healthy or not.
Part of being healthy depends on our hormone balance. As we age this balance begins to be distorted. Especially in women the essential hormones testosterone, progesterone and estradiol begin to decline.
The first hormone a woman loses is testosterone. This usually begins to decline at age 30 but can begin much earlier even at age 20. This is often seen in the form of weight gain. Testosterone is the energy hormone. It helps build muscle. As we all know, muscle uses more energy (calories) than fat. We look and feel better with muscles instead of too much fat. Testosterone also increases our sex drive and our sensuality. This is seen as a loss of the love-life we had when we were younger. All of these losses can be re-gained by returning your testosterone to values we used to have.
At Nova Medical this causes some of the most rewarding comments we hear…..My husband is so happy to have his wife back. This saved my marriage. I will do whatever it takes; keep those hormones in my wife. Comments like these are what keep Nova motivated to offer the best hormone balance treatments for our clients.
The second hormone women lose is progesterone. This is seen as a change in the menstrual cycle, sleep disturbance, agitation and depression. This is sad to see because often the patient will see their primary care doctor and after a short conversation will be told, “I am going to put you on an anti-depressant. This will help with your anxiety and help you cope.” This is so sad because you do not have a “Prozac deficiency”, you have a hormone deficiency. There are many side effects to these medications including: weight gain, markedly decreased sex drive and an inability to have an orgasm. Last year there were 118,000,000 prescriptions written for anti-depressants. This does not have to happen. When your hormones are balanced you will sleep much better, have an active sex life and be able to get off your anti-depressants.
The third hormone women lose is estrogen. This occurs by age 40 in most women, but 8% of women will go through menopause before 40. This is seen as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mental fatigue, forgetfulness, and loss of sexual desire. Loss of estrogen causes osteoporosis. Hormones that are not balanced can lead to breast cancer, ovarian cancer and Alzheimer’s. This is so sad because we see more divorces after age 50 than before. Couples drift apart losing interest in each other. Estrogen brings back that spark, that youthfulness that we once had. Wouldn’t it be fun to have that same excitement you had when you were 22? You can with proper hormones balance.
<a href=”http://novahealththerapy.com/contact-us/”>Click here to learn more about bioidentical hormones and how they can help you get your life back!<a>
HEALTH CARE—NOT SICK CARE
Sometimes I get discouraged when I think about our Health Care System. It seems to me the emphasis is on Sick Care. You are encouraged to see the doctor because you are SICK. Can you imagine seeing your doctor saying, “I feel good most all the time, but I want to know how to stay this way until I die.” Your doctor may very well say, “I have a waiting room full of sick people. Come back to see me when you are SICK.”
I believe we need a new paradigm in medicine, one in which physicians are concerned about keeping our patients well instead of just treating disease. Just because one is healthy is not the same as absence of disease. We need to think about upstream medicine, looking for the reasons we get sick. When we see dead fish in the river or poisons or trash or other pollutants, we go up river and look for the source of the problem. We need to do the same in medicine. Doctors need to be asking the question, “Why did this patient get sick? Why did he have a heart attack at 48 or 58? What could have been done to prevent this from happening?”
But we are so involved with caring for this medical emergency now we forget to ask, “Why did this happen?” Doctors are not paid to figure out WHY they are paid to get us well when we are sick.
I believe we have adolescent diseases that cause adult / geriatric results. Some adolescent diseases are: eating too much fast food, not exercising, obesity, computer games, smoking, and drugs. And the consequences are seen 30 or 40 years later.
The evolution of our medical care system can be understood when we consider the history of medicine. In the late 1800’s it was discovered that a certain germ caused a certain disease. The tuberculosis germ caused TB. The pneumococcal germ caused pneumococcal pneumonia. In 1865 Louis Pasture discovered that microbes (germs) can cause infectious disease. Infectious disease can spread by the spread of microbes. This was followed by Sir Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin. One may call this, “The single bullet concept. I found a germ… a problem, and there is a pill that will treat that problem. There is an external invader and we have to kill that invader.”
The problem is that usually the problem (the illness) is not one dimensional….there are multiple causes for why the patient is sick today. It all started 30 or 40 years ago. We cannot limit our thinking to just one cause. The patient may have pneumonia but the reason is he has smoked for 30 years. He may have heart disease but the problem started 40 years ago with too many fast food hamburgers. We need to treat diseases before they occur.
I will discuss next week the first step in prevention. It begins with hormone balance.
There are 3 important “sex” hormones—testosterone, progesterone and estrogen. The testes produce
a lot of testosterone and a little progesterone and estrogen. The ovaries produce a lot of estrogen and
progesterone and some testosterone. We should say, the above is true when we are younger. Loss of hormones over the years leads to uncomfortable symptoms for many people.
At age 30 both men and women start producing less testosterone. Many men will decrease by 90% their
production of testosterone from age 25 to 70. Most of us do not want to be producing 90% less of
anything we had when we were 25. Men will usually develop a belly even though they haven’t changed
their diet. They do not have the energy to participate in sports, but just watch. To perform at optimal
levels (our peak in life) we need to replace this lost testosterone. Even in the penis the normally
functioning smooth muscles that cause strong erections and propulsions is replaced with fat. This is
seen by erectile dysfunction but also what is known as a “flacid (flabby) penis”.
Women will see a much greater drop in testosterone because the ovaries stop production of all sex
hormones fairly quickly at menopause. The production of testosterone is the first hormone to begin
decreasing. Men and women see this as weight gain and loss of muscle mass. Most will lose 10 ounces
of muscle per year after age 30. This is about the size of a good steak. Lost every year. And replaced
The loss of testosterone is seen as loss of energy, stamina, erectile dysfunction in men, decreased sex
drive, decreased intimacy, decreased orgasm, being more forgetful, not able to maintain concentration,
loss of calcium from the bones (osteoporosis) in men and women, loss of muscle strength, and
Women depend on progesterone for stability of mood. Progesterone begins to decline by age 35. This
is seen as more irritability, poor sleep, depression, anxiety, and hair loss. The menstrual cycles may
begin to change. With the loss of progesterone there are more breast cysts, uterine fibroids, ovarian
cysts, and breast cancer.
Estrogen begins to decline very quickly when the ovaries fail. This is usually after age 40 but 8% of
women go through menopause before 40. Most have complete failure of the ovaries by 50. This is seen
as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, dry skin, thin skin, osteoporosis, urinary leakage,
forgetfulness, skin wrinkles, loss of sex drive and inability to have an orgasm. With loss of hormones
there is an increase in coronary artery disease and Alzheimer’s.
One author said, “Losing our hormones is like a vacuum sweeper sucking the life right out of you.”
But the good news is that we do not have to tolerate the ravages of loss of hormones. These hormones
can be replaced by natural hormones that are exactly like the hormones you had when you were 25.
You can live a longer and healthier life. We all want our health to last as long as our life. Please let us
help at Nova Medical.
Hormones affect every cell in our body. Some have one affect and a different hormone causes something else to happen. There are a group of three hormones called the “sex hormones”—estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. They are vital to our health, how we feel, how we look, how long we live, how we think and what diseases we will develop.
As Suzanne Summers says in her book, Ageless, “Hormones are our life force. Without hormones we are an empty shell of our former selves.” Each of these 3 hormones begins to decline after age thirty.
The first to decline is testosterone. This is in men as well as women. (Yes, women have testosterone too.) Loss of testosterone is seen as weight gain, loss of sex drive, tiredness, memory loss, restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia, erectile dysfunction, and loss of muscle mass and exercise tolerance. Testosterone is the one that gives us energy and enthusiasm, love of life. This hormone gives men their manly physique and helps them maintain strength and stamina in all parts of their life. Testosterone in women gives the ability to maintain a healthy weight, to have an active sex life, to have the energy to carry out their busy daily activities and keep (or get back) that firm sexy figure they used to have.
By age 35 the hormone progesterone will begin to drop off in women. This causes changes in the menstrual cycle, agitation, poor sleep and hair loss. Without progesterone we become moody, and irritable. When progesterone is replaced we sleep better. Progesterone is known as a “mood stabilizer”. Lack of progesterone has been shown to be a factor in causing fibromyalgia.
Then last is loss of estrogen which is seen as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, depression, osteoporosis, dry skin that begins to show wrinkles. Loss of estrogen is known as menopause. This is a time in the life of women when menstrual cycles cease. This can be a freighting for women. Menopause is much more than just not having a period. Loss of estrogen causes the breast to sag, changes in the vagina mucosa that can cause painful intercourse, with a loss of all that makes a woman a woman. Estrogen performs 400 vital functions in a woman. These vital functions are not going to be replaced without replacing this vital hormone.
The answer to the loss of these 3 hormones that do so much for us to keep us healthy and feeling young is to replace these with natural bio-natural hormones, not synthetic artificial drugs. Many patients are given antidepressants for the symptoms of loss of hormones. Others are given estrogen manufactured from the urine of a pregnant horse, Premarin. Some are told, “Suck it up. You’ll be over it in 6 months.” Or, “This is just part of life. Just live with it.”
The good news is you do not have to just live with it. You can have the same natural hormones you had when you were 25. You can regain that youthful feeling. You can prevent many of the negative consequences of the loss of hormones. Let Nova Medical help you.