Holiday Stress

Have you had a holiday season with no stress? You may have to go back in time to when you were a child to get that memory. When I was a kid the holidays were all about fun and I did not have to worry about shipping, wrapping, or cooking. I am sure that no matter how you grew up, you did not have the same stress during the holidays that you do now.
Woman Stressed Out
So how do you get through the next month or two and come out unscathed? The first thing to do is to sit down and look at your calendar and block off time for you. Block at least a night a week (a full day is better) where you have no plans. That means absolutely no plans. When people invite you to something you answer NO. You already have something scheduled- have an appointment with you. An easy thing to do on a daily basis is to take a minute and take 6-10 deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose very slowly then out through your mouth very slowly. Focus on your breath. Turn off the news, it just contributes to stress. Focus on the good things in your life instead.

Buy gifts for those close to you that will appreciate the gift and that you want to buy for. If you find yourself stressing about buying gifts then change what you do. You can choose to donate to a charity on their behalf or choose to buy something for people throughout the year and not do all of your gift buying and giving during December. Make a choice about what you want to do and that greatly decreases the stress.

No matter what you decide to do you will do the right thing for you. You will find yourself focusing on relationships and the meaning of the Christmas season. You will start the New Year in a more refreshed state than you have before.

Change Your Health For The Better

Many people come to me wanting to make a change in their health. The first thing that we must all do in order to change is to realize that where we are today is a direct result of decisions as far back as fifty years ago, and as recently as yesterday. We are personally responsible for the way our life turned out, and we are equally responsible for steering it in the future.

Taking responsibility gives us the power to change things. No matter what is done to us or around us, we are ultimately responsible for our actions. Take a moment and really embrace the power that you have when you take full personal responsibility for where you are. It can be hard to swallow this concept at first but it really makes a lot of sense. You can always control you–this is an empowering concept!

Couple Holding each Other

Every decision you make is important. If you eat a bag of chips today instead of eating vegetables, you may have a heart attack later in life and not have the energy to play with your grand kids. If you choose to watch TV or sleep late instead of exercising, you may develop diabetes later and deteriorate slowly the last decade of your life. If you choose to let your hormones stay out of balance, you may develop dementia or osteoporosis later in life.

There is no right or wrong to what you choose, simply results. You get to decide what results you wish to have. If you truly wish to be healthy, this realization empowers you to make small positive choices on a regular basis that will result in you feeling and looking healthier.

This is not about being perfect! This is about making choices and having the realization that the daily small choices we make are what really matter and we control each and every one of these choices!! When you make 80% – 90% of your daily choices based on the fact that you choose to be healthy, then you will be on the path to health. Even if 10-20% of the time you may have made a choice that was not in the interest of health, the 80-90% of the time where you made the healthy choice will win out. Over time you will feel more energetic, think more clearly, and look younger!

Embrace the fact that we are personally responsible for where we are and that we are capable of changing the future. Do not feel self pity, guilt, or regret!! Feel the strength and power in knowing that you can, and will, change for the better!!

What is Optimal Health?

Hormone Pellets

Optimal health is basically when you are able to have the energy and vitality to enjoy your life in the manner that makes you happy. Everyone has a different definition of what happiness is. Thus, everyone has different optimal levels of mind and body fitness. You simply need to decide at what level of functioning you are happy with-what allows you to do the things that you enjoy. It is not about being perfect, it is about feeling balanced and alive.
In order to have optimal health it is important to address your nutrition (diet, supplements, and food allergies), sleep, exercise, stress, toxin exposure, and your hormone levels. There is no magic fix to achieving optimal health. It takes time and a desire on your part to achieve optimal health as well as a willingness to spend money on yourself. As a physician, it takes me spending time getting to know your unique needs and desires.

My goal as a physician is to aide you in achieving a fulfilling life: living well and not deteriorating for years before you leave this Earth. This takes team work and patience by both of us. It takes ongoing communication—I want to know if there are any issues or concerns that you have.

Together we will focus on you making progress over time and not on being perfect. That is the path to optimal health and a fulfilling life!!

Feeling fatigued????

Feeling fatigued????

tired male worker

Do you get tired more easily?  Feel older than your chronological age??  Lack the energy to do the things you want to do??

Fatigue, feeling tired, is a common complaint.  You want to get a work up for this as it can be caused by many things: sleep apnea, heart issues, anemia, infections, poor water intake, poor nutrition, lung issues, etc.  It is important to have your physician, who knows you well, evaluate you to make sure everything is OK.

The problem arises when your evaluation is “normal” and there is no apparent cause of your fatigue.  This is where anti depressants are often prescribed (sometimes they are needed but generally they are not).  This is when you really should think about a hormonal imbalance  causing your issues—especially if you are between 35 and 55 years old.  Of course, hormonal imbalances can affect men and women younger or older than this.

Most people think of low thyroid as a cause of fatigue and it can be overlooked by physicians when the levels are “normal” but not optimal.  However, low Testosterone in men and women is more often missed in traditional office settings and is a common cause of fatigue, as well as brain fog, muscle mass loss, loss of overall vitality, etc.  Men are typically not treated until their Testosterone levels are critically low, and then they are only offered synthetic replacements and their Testosterone levels are not even brought up to optimal levels. Women are generally not even treated at all for low Testosterone in a traditional medical setting.  Medical training programs forget that women need Testosterone too, just at lower levels than men.

The long term risks of not correcting low Testosterone is bone loss (osteoporosis), dementia, possible increased heart disease risk, etc. plus an overall decrease in vitality and energy.  If you feel that you may have a hormonal imbalance and you have not gotten the help you need, you naturally want that help.

The Cholesterol Myth

Cholesterol is in every cell of your body. Why would the human body be designed with the use of cholesterol in every cell if it were bad for us?? Why would studies show that higher cholesterol i.e. above 250 is associated with a lower overall death rate than those with lower cholesterol i.e. under 200??

cholesterol

Cholesterol is a necessary substance for your body. It is used by the body to build your steroid hormones among other things. These hormones include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and cortisol. Cholesterol is also needed in order to make Vitamin D. Cholesterol is so important to your body that you only get 1/4 of it through diet and the rest is actually made by your liver!

What the researchers are finding out is that it is not the cholesterol that causes your arteries to clog, rather it is inflammation in your body that changes the cholesterol from good to evil. If you can decrease the inflammation in your body, you decrease your risk of heart disease!! Just lowering your total cholesterol number is not the answer. To lower inflammation requires a customized diet that generally includes low carbohydrates (max 60 g/day), avoiding gluten, etc. (notice that statin drugs are not mentioned as a treatment!)

We know that optimizing your hormone levels helps you to reduce heart disease. When you adjust your lifestyle and balance your hormones with bio-identical hormones you feel and look better plus reduce your risk of heart disease, among other things.

Living Optimally

Balanced Hormones

I once read a quote “Our hormones do not decline because we age, rather we age because our hormones decline”. After treating people over the years for hormone imbalance I have to agree. Many of the age related things that happen to us are a result of a hormonal imbalance. Of course we are all going to die at some point, but it does not mean that we have to deteriorate for many years before then. Our bodies are designed to allow us to live vibrantly as we age. You should be able to live well and die quickly (at an advanced age). Most people are dying slowly with several chronic diseases.

Aches and pains, mental fogginess, bone thinning, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, mood changes, weight gain, etc have all been linked to an imbalance in hormones. Doesn’t it make sense to prevent the chronic diseases rather than just treat the symptoms?? Why wait until you have diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, severe arthritis, cancer, etc. before you do something about it?

Hormones are critical to your overall mental and physical well being. It takes a healthy diet, proper sleep, regular exercise, the right supplements, and the avoidance of toxins in order to balance your hormones. Using bio-identical hormones to also help balance your hormones is the price we pay to live in this toxic world. I look at the use of bio-identical hormones as a piece of the optimal wellness puzzle. When you address all the pieces properly, you live well: full of energy and vitality.

Adrenal fatigue And Hormones

Fatiuged

Feeling tired? Overwhelmed?? Adrenal fatigue may be the culprit. Your two adrenal glands are located on top of your kidneys (one on each side). These glands help produce your sex hormones (Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone) among many other things. Cortisol is also a hormone produced by your adrenal glands and this hormone is critical for dealing with stress.

Our bodies are not made to endure the day in and day out stresses that we have today. You are constantly bombarded by stressful things. Your adrenal glands can not keep up and you can get what we call adrenal fatigue.

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue can be:

Anxiety, depression, chemical sensitivities, sweet and salt cravings, insomnia, daytime fatigue, etc.
If you have these symptoms get a saliva test for cortisol and have an evaluation by a Regenerative medicine specialist. Yoga, meditation, proper supplementation, and nutritional changes will assist you in your recovery.

Lower Cholesterol

Lowering your cholesterol has become a popular thing to do but is it the right thing to do?? Cholesterol is necessary for your body to function correctly. Current research is showing that inflammation is what is behind heart disease, not actual cholesterol amounts. In fact, the only people who gave been shown to even benefit a little bit from cholesterol lowering medications are people between the ages of 55 and 65 who have already had a heart attack or stroke (and mainly men).

hdldl

It appears that the protective benefit is more from decreasing inflammation than from the actual lowering of cholesterol. There are better ways to decrease inflammation.

Cholesterol is a necessary building block of the sex hormones Testosterone, Estrogen, and Progesterone. The use of cholesterol lowering medications have been shown to lower libido for men and women, and cause erectile dysfunction in men.

Cholesterol lowering medication can also decrease your COQ10 levels. COQ10 plays an important role in producing cellular energy.
If your cholesterol is high it does indicate some likely inflammation in your body. It does not mean that you need medications. Work on your diet (low sugar, no or little processed foods, lots of vegetables, free range meats when you eat meat, wild caught fish, etc) and also have regular exercise. Get plenty of fiber in your diet. Green tea, fish oil and Niacin (a B vitamin) can also help.

Heavy Metal and You

Heavy Metal Testing California

Heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium poison the body’s key enzyme systems and play an important role in the degenerative, age related diseases that are common place. Our bodies were not designed to deal with these toxic substances. They accumulate over time. As a young person, your body can handle these toxins but eventually your body gets overloaded and our enzymes begin to be affected.

The effects of this are that we start to get sick. It can start with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, or you can simply feel tired and perhaps in pain for no apparent reason. In later years, metal toxicity may show up as heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, etc. There are many reasons for the chronic diseases that are becoming commonplace, do not overlook heavy metal toxicity as a potential cause.

The first step is in obtaining a specialized urine test to evaluate if you have a heavy metal toxicity. If you do, then chelation therapy is a good way to “de-poison” you. Chelation therapy involves the administration of agents that will bind to the heavy metals stored within your body and then escort them out. Standard medicine offers you drugs and surgery, but it does not make sense to just do that without at least attempting to detoxify your body.

I3C-Indole 3 Carbinol

When I treat patients with bio-identical hormones I like to share with them natural ways to ensure that their body processes estrogen correctly. Your body has several different metabolites of estrogen–some help to prevent cancer and others help to promote it. Obviously you want your body to metabolize estrogen in a way that does not promote cancer and helps your body to prevent cancer formation.

Estrogen

I3C is a naturally occurring compound that is derived from cruciferous vegetables (brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage). I3C actively promotes the breakdown of estrogen to the beneficial metabolite (2 OH Estrone).
According to a fairly recent study in both men and women, supplementation with I3C (500 mg men and 400 mg women) resulted in a significant improvement in the production of 2 OH Estrone.

I3C not only helps to promote a healthier estrogen metabolism, it also appears to be able to help the body detoxify against xenoestrogens (false estrogens).

You can get I3C by eating a large amount of the cruciferous vegetables and you can also use a supplement form of I3C. Whether or not you are on bio-identical hormones, I advise that you follow this advice. You want your body to properly process the estrogen that your body naturally makes as well as the hormones that you give it.