How many times have you done something to improve your health, only to stop doing it because you felt it was not working?? If you have, you are not alone. I have seen this time and again. Someone will be doing something positive for their health but when the results are not there, they stop doing it. But Optimal Health is not attained from one thing. It is achieved by doing a wide variety of positive things for your health. Many of these things seem insignificant, and yet they are not.
I find that comparing our bodies to a car can help you to better visualize the different parts that are needed to feel Optimal. For a car to function properly it needs to have gas in the tank, oil in the engine, a working ignition switch, coolant, spark plugs, etc. Imagine putting gas into your car and trying to start the car but for some reason the car does not start. Do you stop putting gas into the car because that did not work?
No! We know better than that. You would keep a full gas tank and investigate for other issues. You would not stop putting gas in the car. It takes having the gas, the oil, the coolant, working parts, etc to get a car to work. If a car does not run right, you keep ensuring that all of these pieces are addressed. You would not let the gas tank or oil reservoir go empty and expect the car to work.
This may make sense not to do this to your car, and yet I have seen people do this to their health. I have often seen someone who is exercising and not losing weight, simply stop exercising. This does not make sense. Healthy exercise is an important piece of having a healthy weight but it’s not the whole puzzle. Trying to lose weight and stopping exercise while you address something else important for weight loss, is like having an empty gas tank in your car expecting it to still run once you fix the engine.
I see a lot of people for Hormone balancing because they wish to feel better. Feeling optimal takes a variety of things. Taking Bio-identical Hormones helps tremendously and is an important piece, they are not the only piece. Testosterone, Progesterone, Estrogen, and Thyroid Hormones are like the gas in the car. An Optimal level of these hormones is critical for your body to function. You also need other things to be working properly. If the other aspects of your health are not addressed, you will still function better on Bio-identical Hormones, just not as optimal as you can when your “car”(body) is fully tuned up.
Urinary tract infections are quite common among women. They are annoying and can affect your quality of life while you are suffering from them. There are some things that you can do to decrease the chance of getting them and there are also some natural treatments to minimize your suffering if you do have an infection.
Here are a couple of simple things that you can do to prevent getting a urinary tract infection:
- 1. Hydrate properly. Drink enough water to properly hydrate your body and it also helps to ensure bacteria get flushed out of your bladder. Your kidneys and bladder need to have water in order to function properly.
- 2. Urinate on a regular basis. Holding your bladder for an excess amount of time can make it easier for bacteria to grow and create an infection.
- 3. Urinate after sexual intercourse. There are bacteria on our skin and sexual intercourse can make it easy for the bacteria to travel up your urethra and into your bladder. By urinating after sexual intercourse, your urine will wash the bacteria into the toilet. You do not need to urinate a large quantity for this to help.
- 4. Balance your hormones. An imbalance of hormones in your body can contribute to “atrophy” of the vaginal tissue–dry and irritated tissue. Since your urethra is in the same area as your vagina, the atrophy affects it as well. When the tissue is dry and more irritated, it makes it easy for bacteria to travel into the bladder. In menopause, I find that topical Estriol (a bio-identical Estrogen) applied in the vaginal area can reverse the atrophy and greatly reduce your risk of getting a urine tract infection.
- 5. Wipe front to back when wiping after going to the bathroom. If you wipe back to front, you run the risk of introducing bacteria from the rectal area into the urethra and bladder.
- 6. Avoid bubble baths and scented lotions, etc in the vaginal area. This area of your body is quite sensitive and it is best not to introduce lotions, etc as they can cause irritation which makes it easier for bacteria to enter your bladder.
- 7. Avoid spermicides or other chemicals in the vaginal area. These can be irritating and make it easier for bacteria to take hold and cause an infection.
- 8. Get an ozone blood treatment to help increase the functioning of your immune system. Ozone is an IV treatment that is effective in assisting your body in increasing its oxygen utilization. This results in improved cellular functioning, including your immune system.
The adrenal gland is located on top of each kidney–the human body has a total of two adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are responsible for producing a variety of hormones. They produce aldosterone–which helps with blood pressure, epinephrine–the fight or flight hormone, cortisol–affects the immune system and metabolism, and precursors that allow our bodies to make sex hormones–Progesterone, Estrogen, and Testosterone.
In today’s world our adrenal glands are getting overwhelmed and this can lead to what we call adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands are not equipped to handle the constant stress that we have today. They are equipped to deal with intermittent stress and then be given a chance to recover. But, in today’s world of 24/7 emails, texts, negative news, traffic, increasing work demands, decreasing sleep, etc we demand more from the adrenal glands. These glands are not being given the rest that they need.
Adrenal fatigue is the term that we give to overworked adrenal glands. When the adrenal glands are overworked they are unable to keep up with the demand for the hormones that they produce. The result can be one or more of the following: feeling fatigued, having lower sex hormones, a decreased immune system, salt cravings, trouble getting up in the morning, increased energy at night, an increased reliance on caffeine, and an inability to handle stress.
Most people in today’s world have some adrenal fatigue. Treating it takes a multifactorial approach. The first thing to do is unplug and give your body rest. Turn off your phone alerts and check your phone when you want to. Turn off your phone at night and one day a week if you can. Give yourself quiet time to sit and simply breathe. Avoid watching or listening to news since they over dramatize things and cause mental stress. Take yoga or tai chi. Ensure that you get to bed at a reasonable time. Picking one day per week to recharge and completely unplug would be a great goal to have.
Pellets are a great option for men and women who want to optimize their hormones. Sterile pellets are implanted in the soft tissue (fat) of your upper gluteal (buttocks) or abdominal area during a simple office procedure. Each pellet is about the size of a grain of rice. Women typically get 1 to 3 pellets and men typically get 8 to 12 pellets. The dosage and quantity of each pellet depends on your particular needs–it is customized for you.
The pellets contain compressed bio-identical Testosterone (men and women) or Estradiol (women-if needed) that delivers physiologic doses in a steady state–providing consistent delivery of the hormones that your body needs. The sterile pellets dissolve over a period of 3 to 6 months–depending on your body’s needs. At that time, new pellets are inserted. There is no need to remove prior pellets as they dissolve with time. Re-pellets serve to keep your hormone levels optimal.
Bio-identical pellets require a simple office procedure that involves having a small amount of local anesthesia injected. A small incision is then made and the pellets are inserted with specialized sterile equipment. The anesthesia may sting a little but the pellet insertions are typically non painful.
After the procedure, it is important to ice the area intermittently over the next 4 to 6 hours. Men are asked to refrain from heavy lifting, bending, squatting or running for 7 days. Women are asked to refrain for 3 days. Your regular daily activities are usually fine during this time. After these time periods you may engage in any activity you desire with no restrictions.
It is best to have no immersion in water for 4 days after a pellet insertion for both men and women. After that, you can swim or use the jacuzzi if desired. Walking, light activity, and showering are fine during the entire time period. Most people find that it is easy to follow these recommendations and they love the freedom that pellets give them. Adhering to these recommendations prevents losing any pellets and eliminates discomfort.
Getting bio-identical hormone pellets can help you to regain your life back–giving you more energy, a better mood, enhanced sleep quality, and usually a better sex drive. The first step is to get your hormones properly evaluated by a bio-identical hormone specialist and then schedule a consultation to discuss your treatment options. Bio-identical pellets are simply one option you may wish to try.
The simple office procedure requires a small local anesthetic injection in the insertion area, then a tiny incision is made in the skin. A device called a trocar, is then inserted into the subcutaneous layer beneath the skin. The needle end of the trocar is removed, the pellets are placed into the trocar device and a blunt obturator is inserted into the trocar to gentle advance the pellets down into the insertion tract. Once pellets are placed, the practitioner will typically close the tiny incision site with a simple sterile strip closure and then cover with an adhesive bandage.*
Are you struggling from health information overload syndrome? Not knowing what to do?? Sometimes it can feel like you are swimming in a vast ocean of wellness information. Each day, a new “miracle” diet or supplement promises to be the answer to your problem. Trying to figure out what you should do can be exhausting and confusing.
The overload of information has not empowered us to be the healthiest society. Instead, quite the opposite is true: people in general are more stressed, overweight and suffering from more chronic stress-related disease than our “less-informed” ancestors.Sometimes more information isn’t what you need.
Too much health and wellness information can lead to anxiety, confusion, and lack of motivation to follow any of the advice, which is often conflicting. Ultimately, this information overload is doing us more harm than good. Work, food, stress, exercise, and yes, even information, are better in smaller packages.
What people really need is customized guidance. We know everyone should eat real food, walk more, get your hormones balanced, manage stress, eliminate known toxins, and get good quality sleep. But what does that look like for you specifically?? And, for those who have specific health complaints, finding the right advice gets more tricky. There are lots of great programs out there, and there is more than one path to ultimate health. The good news is you don’t have to learn them all. All you need is proper guidance to find the path that you need to take to get where you desire.
Bio-identical hormones are effective at helping you feel better, sleep better, and have an overall improved vitality. In addition to getting on the right hormone therapy, there are things that you should do to maximize their effect and improve your overall wellness.
- Eat a diet that supports a healthy endocrine system. This is a diet based on vegetables, fruits, poultry, fish, and nuts. Avoid processed foods, soft drinks, and foods high in sugar.
- Decrease your toxin exposure–use healthier personal care products , food items, and household products. Ewg.org is a great resource. Many toxins disrupt your hormone balance and can also predispose you to cancer.
- Minimize stress and create healthy habits to deal with stress. Meditation, yoga, epsom salt baths, massage, and unplugging from electronics are all healthy habits to help you deal with life’s stresses.
- Keep healthy sleep habits and get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis.
- Get regular physical activity.
- Utilize quality supplements to replace deficiencies in your diet.
By taking a holistic approach, you can safely restore your Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone, Cortisol, Thyroid, and Growth Hormone levels. This will enable you to feel your best.
In order to rebalance your hormones we utilize bio-identical hormones. There are choices when it comes to taking bio-identical hormones. The specific hormones that you receive are tailored to your needs.
Progesterone is helpful for aiding sleep and it gives a calming effect. It is best taken at night. You can get Progesterone as a capsule, troche or as a cream. Troches dissolve in your mouth and must be refrigerated; most people find them distasteful. The choice between cream and capsule depends on your preference, however the capsule version seems to give a better sleep induction.
Estrogen is helpful for alleviating hot flashes and helping your mood. You can get bio-identical Estrogen as a cream, troche, or pellet. I don’t advise getting Estrogen as a pill since this administration form comes with an increased blood clot risk and liver issues. The troche was mentioned above. Creams and pellets do not cause liver concerns and are safe and effective. Creams are easy to apply but must be remembered twice a day. Pellets are about the size of a thin tic tac and are inserted in a simple office procedure. Pellets last 3 to 6 months, depending on the person.
Testosterone is helpful in eliminating night sweats, improving focus, helping your mood, increasing energy and overall well being. It can also help increase libido, but libido is also linked to our mental state of mind. You can get bio-identical Testosterone as a cream, troche, or pellet. Pill versions of Testosterone are not recommended as it could cause liver problems. The cream, pellet, and troche administrations are mentioned above. All of these forms are safe and effective. Men also have the option of injectable Testosterone but please note that your liver does need to process this form to turn the Testosterone into a bio-identical structure. If you choose this option, it can be given safely with proper laboratory monitoring.
At your consultation your customized treatment plan will be discussed with you. Our goal is to get you to an optimal balance using the treatment forms that work best for you. We work with you to safely optimize your hormones.
My office often gets calls asking about health insurance coverage. I realized that most people don’t really understand how health insurances work. They just know that they pay a lot in monthly premiums and are led to believe it should cover what they need.
Sadly, health insurances reimburse doctors based on the diseases that you are diagnosed for. This means that spending time with you to help you to feel optimal and prevent disease is not a service that health insurances reimburse. They may cover some basic wellness services but they do not understand or appreciate optimal health. I prefer to work outside of insurance and help people to feel their best, rather than working within insurance to keep people in a disease state.
Part of achieving optimal health is addressing your nutrition, evaluating your toxin exposure, and getting your hormones balanced utilizing bio-identical hormones (Testosterone, Progesterone, Estrogen, Thyroid, etc). This takes time and customization–something that health insurances do not understand or reimburse for. You are a unique individual and you have unique needs. If you wish to feel optimal it is important to be willing to think outside the box and realize that you must take control of your health.
Health insurance is great if you break a bone, have appendicitis, or have a serious illness. If you want to prevent disease and feel the best that you can, forget about what health insurance should cover and invest in you. You are worth it!
Stress affects your hormones. Excess stress depletes your Cortisol and Progesterone, and it affects your Testosterone and Estrogen levels. Depletion of your hormones causes fatigue, insomnia, depression, irritability, anxiety, decreased focus, poor memory, and an overall decreased vitality.
Replacing your deficient hormones with bio-identical hormones helps you to feel and function better. Optimal hormone levels helps you to combat the daily stress of life. Taking bio-identical hormones is an important piece of what we need to feel great in today’s world. It is not the only piece.
Decreasing the stressors in your life is also important–it will reduce the strain on your body. Do what you can to avoid toxic people and situations. Avoid watching the news and turn off your phone at a set time every night. Be aware of things that cause stress and minimize or avoid what you can.
You can also help your body deal with the stressors you can’t avoid by taking regular deep breaths–breathing deeply and slowly is calming and detoxifying. Taking epsom salt baths, participating in restorative yoga classes, getting regular massages, meditation, getting acupuncture treatments, etc are all great ways to help your body and mind detoxify and recover from stress.
Obtaining optimal health involves addressing multiple things. Bio-identical hormone replacement is a great start to get you feeling better. It is also important to destress your life as much as possible and to do regular activities that helps your body cope with today’s world.
A common question that I get from patients on their initial consultation is “when will I feel better”. That is when I wish that I had a crystal ball!! Every person is unique and each person’s bio-identical hormone treatment is customized.
Typically I expect you to start feeling some improvement after 3 to 4 weeks. I ask my patients to check in with me at 4 weeks even if they don’t need a follow up visit at that time. That way I can adjust your treatment based on how you are responding after a month. If you happen to feel something that is not in the positivr direction that is feedback to me and helps me to adjust things. Every response gives me feedback on how to better treat you.
About 80 percent of my patients are 90 percent to our goal after 2 months (which is also when I usually see people back for their first follow up appointment). The other 20 percent of the patients require a little more time and patience–their issues are more complex. It is difficult to predict exactly when you will feel better but you should notice improvement within the first few weeks.
How quickly you respond and get to our goal for you depends on how deficient you are with Thyroid, Growth, Testosterone, Estrogen, and Progesterone hormones. It also depends on your Cortisol levels and the stress on your adrenal glands. What you eat, your exercise regimen, and overall life stressors all affect how quickly you improve.
Proper hormone balancing is a customized therapy and it involves personalized care along with time and patience. The good news is that you will feel better once you start your journey towards optimal health and hormone balancing.