"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another good quote----

"Optimism is a kind of heart stimulant--the digitalis of failure."
- Elbert Hubbard

Eight Natural Ways to Boost Serotonin and Mood


Our brain produces neurotransmitters like serotonin which play an important role in how we feel each day. Many people experience pain, stress, depression and anxiety associated with low serotonin levels. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ways we can boost our mood by helping our body produce the right amount of serotonin.

1. Get Enough Rest Sleep gives the body an opportunity to rejuvenate itself and prepare for another day of life. Lack of sleep disrupts hormone production and can keep your brain from producing enough serotonin. Most people need at least seven hours of quality sleep each night to feel their best. Encourage a good night's rest by dialing down activity and dimming the lights an hour before bedtime. You can also take magnesium and calcium or tryptophan an hour before bed to aid in the production of melatonin, which is nighttime's form of serotonin. Click here for more ways...

Boosting levels of vitamin D 'could cut cancer by up to 25%'

By Harcharan Chandhoke
Last updated at 2:15 AM on 31st May 2009

Giving everyone higher levels of vitamin D as part of a public health drive could cut the incidence of breast cancer by a quarter and bowel cancer by a third, scientists say.

The finding is based on a review of 2,750 research studies involving vitamin D - which show that taking daily supplements could play a key role in cancer prevention. Click here to read the rest of the article...

(note from Andrea: I take 5000 units of Vitamin D every day----I feel great!)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wyeth’s Menopause Hormones Increase Risk of Lung Cancer Deaths

By Lisa Rapaport

May 30 (Bloomberg) -- Wyeth’s hormone replacement therapy, a menopause treatment whose use has declined after being linked to heart attack, stroke and breast cancer, increases the risk of death from lung tumors, a study found.

After five years on Wyeth’s Prempro, a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin, 67 women died from non-small cell lung cancer, compared with 39 on placebo, the research showed. Results of the trial, which examined women age 50 to 79 and included current and former smokers, were presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Orlando.

Click here to continue reading...

(important to note, the hormone being talked about here are synthetic hormones, NOT bioidentical hormones!)

Low vitamin D levels in blacks could contribute to higher rates of cancer, other diseases, researcher says28

May 2009 20:55

Low vitamin D levels in blacks could contribute to health gaps between white and black U.S. residents, Michael Holick, a professor at Boston University and a vitamin D researcher, said recently, the GNS/Chicago Sun-Times reports.

According to Holick, blacks have lower levels of vitamin D than whites in part because the higher amount of pigment in their skin makes it harder for their body to absorb the nutrient, which is produced in response to sun exposure. Read the rest of the article...

Exercise: 4 Reasons to Start Today


It's difficult in this age of too-much-advice-from-too-many-experts to know how to exercise smart. Unless you and your spouse are truly motivated to exercise for the right reasons, you won't do it. Here are four reasons why you and your spouse should be exercising:
1. We living longer.The advancements of modern medicine, along with other factors, have combined to keep us alive longer. With the aging of our Baby Boom generation, the senior population is growing ever larger. Currently, 31 million people, or 12 percent of the total U.S. population, are aged 65 and older. The Census Bureau anticipates that 62 million people, or almost one in five Americans, will be aged 65 and older by 2025. And by 2045, the elderly population is expected to reach 77 million. Continue reading click here....

There's a gender difference in losing weight

There are a variety of excuses as to why losing weight can be a daunting challenge for women. But women can and do lose weight.
By Cindy Boggs


Dear Cindy,
Why is it that men can lose weight faster than women? When my husband and I diet, we eat the same foods and it falls off of him. With me, I am lucky to lose half of what he does. We both exercise. I walk every evening (briskly) and he doesn't work out at all except that his work (he's is a contractor) does keep him active. I am so frustrated with my results. Can you help? -- Jill
Dear Jill,
Your question reminds me of a commercial I've seen depicting dieting cartoon male and female figures. She complains that when her husband diets, he becomes a stick figure and she basically stays the same. It is frustrating to witness men and women on the same weight-loss program with equal dedication turn out very different degrees of success.
But there are several reasonable explanations for the inconsistency in weight loss between men and women. To lose weight, you have to create a negative calorie balance - you must expend more than you consume. Click here to continue reading...

Friday, May 29, 2009

I love this quote!

I ran across this today, and as most of you who have corresponded with me know, I am very into women educating themselves about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. My favourite books are on the Amazon.com carousel on the right side of the main blog page.

"Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year."

- Horace Mann

A little off topic:

If you took Celebrex or Bextra between 2001 and 2005, visit this website by clicking here!

FOXSexpert: 6 Ways to Boost Your Sex Life After Menopause

Thursday, May 28, 2009 By Yvonne Fulbright

It should be a time of new sexual beginnings. But, from hot flashes to mood swings, menopause is often cast as the end of sexual intimacy. Yet its transformations don’t have to be for the worse.
Contrary to popular belief, menopause is a chance to reflect upon and strategize about one’s sex life. Often requiring new tricks and sexual experimentation, it can invite some of a couple’s most exciting sexual moments.

According to a 2003 article in “Sexual and Relationship Therapy,” while society perceives older women as less attractive and less functional, these women still feel young in many ways. As stated by the National Institute of Health, some women actually feel liberated post-menopause, even reporting an increased interest in sex. Read the rest of this article by clicking here...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Natural Menopause Relief-Turn Down Your Internal Thermostat

Women experiencing menopause and peri-menopause often wonder if there is anything they can do alleviate their symptoms naturally. Hot flashes, headaches, mood swings, weight gain, fatigue, sleepless nights and decreased libido are some common symptoms that can be reduced by some simple diet and lifestyle changes. With all the debates on hormone replacement, isn’t it nice to know you have the power to change how you feel naturally. Click here to continue reading...

Uterine lining can be found in distant places

Dear Dr. Donohue: My daughter, 21, is in her last semester of college. She has had painful periods since her late teens. Now they have gotten so bad that she has had a tough time keeping up with her schoolwork. At the college health service, they told her she has endometriosis and have put her on birth control pills. Please explain this to me. Click here for answer......

(Note from Andrea----a good, quick overview of endometriosis, something that commonly affects women with hormonal imbalances)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What Are Fibroids? What Are The Treatments For Fibroids

Medical News Today

Fibroids are non-cancerous (benign) tumors that grow from the muscle layers of the uterus (womb). They are also known as uterine fibroids, myomas, or fibromyomas. The singular of uterine fibroids is Uterine Fibroma. Fibroids are growths of smooth muscle and fibrous tissue. Fibroids can vary in size, from that of a bean to as large as a melon.

Fibroids affect at least 20% of all women at sometime during their life. Women aged between 30 and 50 are the most likely to develop fibroids. Overweight and obese women are at significantly higher risk of developing fibroids, compared to women of normal weight. Click here to read the rest of this article....

Menopause transition may cause trouble learning

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The largest study of its kind to date shows that women may not be able to learn as well shortly before menopause compared to other stages in life. The research is published in the May 26, 2009, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

For a four-year period, researchers studied 2,362 women, who were between the ages of 42 and 52 had at least one menstrual period in the three months before the study started.
The women were given three tests: verbal memory, working memory and a test that measured the speed at which they processed information. Scientists tested the women throughout four stages of the menopause transition: premenopausal (no change in menstrual periods), early perimenopausal (menstrual irregularity but no "gaps" of 3 months), late perimenopausal (having no period for three to 11 months) and postmenopausal (no period for 12 months).

The study found that processing speed improved with repeated testing during premenopause, early perimenopause and postmenopause, but that scores during late perimenopause did not show the same degree of improvement. Improvements in processing speed during late perimenopause were only 28 percent as large as improvements observed in premenopause. For verbal memory performance, compared to premenopause, improvement was not as strong during early and late perimenopause. Improvements in verbal memory during early perimenopause were 29 percent as large as improvements observed in premenopause. During late perimenopause, verbal memory improvement was seven percent as large as in premenopause. Combined, these findings suggest that during the early and late perimenopause women do not learn as well as they do during other menopause transition stages.
"These perimenopausal test results concur with prior self-reported memory difficulties--60 percent of women state that they have memory problems during the menopause transition," said Gail Greendale, MD, with the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. "The good news is that the effect of perimenopause on learning seems to be temporary. Our study found that the amount of learning improved back to premenopausal levels during the postmenopausal stage."

The study also found that taking estrogen or progesterone hormones before menopause helped verbal memory and processing speed. In contrast, taking these hormones after the final menstrual period had a negative effect: postmenopausal women using hormones showed no improvement in either processing speed scores or verbal memory scores, unlike postmenopausal women not taking hormones. "Our results suggest that the 'critical period' for estrogen or progesterone's benefits on the brain may be prior to menopause, but the findings should be interpreted with caution," said Greendale.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Nursing Research and the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health supported the study.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 21,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, restless legs syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, narcolepsy, and stroke.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com/ or http://www.thebrainmatters.org/.

If You're Going To Eat Fat, Make Sure It's Healthy Natural Fat

Written by Richard Simmons Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Your body needs and craves fat and if you completely cut out this essential foodstuff from your diet you will not be as healthy as you should. Fat plays an essential function in the production of hormones and provides your body with much of the important daily energy that it requires. Click here to read the rest of the story...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Dance!

(tap, tap, tap) I'm doing a happy dance, the blog has now passed the 5000 mark for hits! You all (or in the parlance of the south Y'all) are great, and I am learning so much by maintaining this blog. Have a great day everyone, I am off to the hairdresser for a trim (I'm letting my hair grow----let's see how far I can get until I run screaming to Dee, my stylist, screaming---cut it!)

Researchers See Link Between Vitamin D, Flu Immunity

If the current strain of H1N1 swine flu is like flu strains of years past, it likely will mysteriously subside in the coming weeks.

For whatever reason, in temperate areas such as North America, flu largely is a fall and winter phenomenon.

A couple of theories have tried to explain that seasonality, but in recent years an intriguing new idea has emerged:

Levels of flu-fighting vitamin D reach their lowest point in the winter when ultraviolet light disappears.

Continue reading this article by clicking here...

Vitamin D may offer hope to sufferers of MS

CTV.ca News Staff

New Canadian research is shedding light on intriguing evidence that vitamin D may cut relapse for some multiple sclerosis patients.

According to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, high doses of the vitamin appear safe for patients with MS and may even lead to a reduction in disease relapses. Read the rest of the article by clicking here...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Specialist needed for osteoporosis


I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 1998 following an abnormal bone-density test. I was first prescribed Evista, which I stopped after about a year because of side effects. The primary complaints I had were weight gain and hot flashes. I never had problems with menopause and didn’t have hot flashes until trying the Evista. After I stopped it, the side effects disappeared.

Next, my gynecologist put me on Fosamax. I took that for about five years...click here to read the rest of the article (it will validate some of your concerns about taking these osteoporosis medications...so many ladies have told me they have really awful side effects from the meds, but their doctors tell them to just live with the side effects.)

Link Between Low Levels Of Vitamin D And Common Vaginal Infection In Pregnant Women

Pregnant women with low levels of vitamin D may be more likely to suffer from bacterial vaginosis (BV) - a common vaginal infection that increases a woman's risk for preterm delivery, according to a University of Pittsburgh study. Available online and published in the June issue of the Journal of Nutrition, the study may explain why African-American women, who often lack adequate vitamin D, are three times more likely than white women to develop BV.

"Bacterial vaginosis affects nearly one in three reproductive-aged women, so there is great need to understand how it can be prevented," said Lisa M. Bodnar, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., assistant professor of epidemiology, obstetrics and gynecology, University of Pittsburgh. "It is not only associated with a number of gynecologic conditions, but also may contribute to premature delivery - the leading cause of neonatal mortality - making it of particular concern to pregnant women." Click here to read the rest of the article...

Note from Andrea---I am aware that most of my blog readers are past the point of pregnancy, but many of you have friends, daughters, and other loved ones who are expecting....good information to pass on to them.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Testosterone is the 'hormone of vitality'

Tribune correspondent
Published: May 23, 2009

Did you know that a 40-year-old woman has half the testosterone of a 20-year-old? Symptoms of hormone imbalance begin as early as the mid-30s and can include anxiety, depression, weight gain, fatigue, memory loss, PMS and more. Click here to read the rest of the article...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Progesterone and Hypothyroidism

From the Mason County, TX newspaper, click here to read the article. Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gel to boost female libido tested

U.S. researchers are testing the drug LibiGel to see if it will safely boost the libido of post-menopausal women.

The drug is a gel formulation of testosterone that delivers the hormone....click here to read the rest of the article...

Note from Andrea: a little compounded testosterone cream works great for libido, as well as building muscle tissue, and I pay less than $20 monthly.

Fish Really Is 'Brain Food': Vitamin D May Lessen Age-related Cognitive Decline

ScienceDaily (May 22, 2009) —

University of Manchester scientists in collaboration with colleagues from other European centres have shown that higher levels of vitamin D – primarily synthesised in the skin following sun exposure but also found in certain foods such as oily fish – are associated with improved cognitive function in middle-aged and older men.
The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, compared the cognitive performance of more than 3,000 men aged 40 to 79 years at eight test centres across Europe. Click here to read the rest of the article....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rx vs. XXX

By Tony Dokoupil Newsweek Web Exclusive
May 20, 2009 Updated: 12:39 p.m. ET May 20, 2009

Porn or prescriptions? It hardly sounds likes a typical fork in the road. But it's the choice that middle-aged American men males apparently may face if they suffer from symptoms of low testosterone—as around five million men do, a figure that seems to be growing along with male girths, diabetes and the aging boomer generation. Click here to read the rest of the article...

Note from Andrea: This medicine is available by prescription only. I checked out two "online pharmacies" for pricing, one listed a 30 day supply as $138, and the other $264! That's a huge disparity in price. For women testosterone replacement is quite cheap (a three month supply for me is less than $50), but of course women do not need nearly as much testosterone as men. If male testosterone replacement is something you or your loved one is considering, it might be worth checking into the price comparison (and insurance coverage) of compounded testosterone replacement vs. commercially prepared products. Since testosterone itself cannot be patented, the drug companies are making big bucks by patenting the delivery method, and that may be largely what you are paying for. The advantage of compounded cream is that the dosage can be tailored to the individual need, just like women have widely varying levels of hormone deficiencies, so do men.

Nature's Viagra: Why Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men Is Hotter Than Ever

Jacksonville, Fla. (PRWEB) May 21, 2009 --

All the attention celebrities have been giving bioidentical hormones in recent months is paying off for credible practitioners who can successfully prescribe the therapy as an anti-aging and menopausal treatment option. Bold-faced names such as Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Suzanne Somers have brought more attention to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) than ever before. Unfortunately, with all the focus on how bioidentical hormones help women going through "The Change," no one is letting the guys know that BHRT can also be their sexual salvation.

C.W. Randolph, Jr., M.D., board certified gynecologist and Medical Director of the Natural Hormone Institute, says the vast majority of the patients in his practice used to be women. But now, one in every three patients he sees is a man. "Men are excited to learn that they have options besides Viagra to maintain a healthy sex life as they get older," says Dr. Randolph. "And, because of recent medical studies released by Harvard University Medical School, the importance of reversing age-related testosterone level decline is being recognized as a key factor in promoting long-term prostate health."

Male patients who seek BHRT are primarily focused on erectile performance, says Randolph, but after their testosterone deficiency is treated with bioidentical testosterone they quickly reap the added benefits of increased energy, improved mood and more lean muscle mass.
Randolph, co-author of the bestselling book From Hormone Hell to Hormone Well, says "Growing research also suggests that low testosterone levels may be intimately linked with insulin resistance and its related conditions of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors - high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels and abdominal fat - that make heart disease and diabetes more likely."

Randolph works with male patients by testing their hormone levels to determine individual hormone level deficiencies. Then a man's optimal hormone balance is restored via a personalized prescription of bioidentical testosterone. "A regimen of bioidentical testosterone is less expensive and more effective than Viagra, without the side effects. Even better, a man doesn't have to allow a 30 to 45 minute window before he can spring into action. Once lagging testosterone levels are replenished, a man can be as spontaneous in his 40's, 50's, 60's and beyond as he was in his rambunctious 20's."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More about bones, progesterone, and anti-aging ..



Last week I started a discussion about the role of progesterone and bone building. Dr. John Lee is undisputedly the world's foremost clinician on progesterone and hormone balancing. He spent considerable time investigating the wide-ranging effects of progesterone, including rebuilding bone.

Here are some snippets of information from his book and seminars:

A common medical treatment for osteoporosis is estrogen therapy, which may help to preserve bone throughout menopause and our senior years. Estrogen does not, however, rebuild bone. That is one of the roles of progesterone. Read the rest of the article by clicking here...

Note from Andrea: I am scheduled for my bone density test next month, the first one I have had since I went on BHRT. I am curious (and will report to my blog readers) as to how much my bone density has improved with the bioidentical hormones and the exercise regime.

Blitzed by Menopause

I debated a little bit before I posted this------but since some people might find it helpful, I decided to share the link.

There is a relatively new (to me at least) website out there called Planet Sweet Pea, and they have just released a DVD designed to be watched by couples who are going through a wife's menopause. The DVD is entitled "Blitzed by Menopause", and you can watch the trailer at the website ---- click here. I watched the trailer a couple times, I didn't see anything harmful in it, but it wouldn't interest me since I'm not married, and it's basically designed for couples to watch together, hoping it will motivate the husband to be more sympathetic to what his wife is experiencing in menopause. Some of it appeared to be lighthearted, some of it serious, one segment is with a psychologist/counselor conducting a session with two couples.

I blogged about "Menopause the Musical" about a month or so back, and got a really tense email from someone who thought I was making fun of menopause struggles. Not at all, hey, I'm one of the many millions of women who really strugged with menopause, so I am absolutely empathetic to other's strugges. I also have a terrific sense of humour, and I went to see "Menopause the Musical" way before I got on BHRT. It made me laugh so hard my ribs hurt, and in fact, three weeks later I went to see it again with a second group of friends! Not everyone deals with any life issues the same way, so if the thought of a bunch of middle aged women singing about hot flashes (one lyric that comes to mind is "My personal summer is really a bummer") and other mid life issues bothers you, don't go see it!

Have a great day, everyone, after my water aerobics class today I am going to a "Lunch and Learn" about how to improve my balance----I hear the physical therapist who is presenting it is really cute (hey, hate to waste that testosterone boost!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Most Women Are Too Embarrassed To Discuss Vaginal Dryness And Pain With Their Physician

From RedOrbit.com

The majority of post-menopausal women are uncomfortable talking about vaginal dryness and pain and are reluctant to seek medical help, according to results from a new international survey presented today at the European Congress on Menopause in London. Results from the survey show that over a third (39 percent) of post-menopausal women experience these symptoms of vaginal atrophy and 40 percent of women who have recently experienced vaginal dryness and pain said it interferes with their sex life, yet seven out of ten would not discuss the problem with their physician (only 30 percent of women would consider talking to a gynaecologist, and only 29 percent would consider talking to a GP). Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

This survery was done in Europe, but my guess is a similar survery in the US would produce similar, if not worse results. So many women are afraid to speak with their doctors, even females, about sexual health issues. I've been there on being afraid to talk to a doctor openly, although I have been lucky and nearly always had a doctor I could talk to about sexual issues. I had a bunch of different physicians after a severe car accident, and some of them were absolutely unapproachable. I think so many of us still feel we are taking up the doctor's valuable time, that he/she will think we're crazy, or that we will come across as looking stupid.

My best advice is to always write down questions to ask your doctor, you won't get as flustered, and to not be afraid to tell the doctor to just wait a minute, you have something to ask him and it's important. You (or your insurance) are paying for his services. In their defense, doctors who are part of most insurance plans have a very limited amount of time to spend with patients because of the low reimbursements, and therefore jam their schedulese every day. This is why so many doctors who specialize in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy refuse to take insurance, they want (and need) to be able to spend an hour with a patient, listening to symptoms, and individualizing treatment.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Laughter really is the best medicine!

From the FoodConsumer website, click here to read the article!

Anyone from my "real" life will tell you I have a wicked, offbeat sense of humour, and I guarantee you it has helped me more times in my life than I can tell you. It's a great stress reliever and pain management tool, and I look for every chance I get to laugh as much as I can. I got my sense of humour from my Mom, who taught me a lot about the absurdity of life!

My joke for the day from NPR (Prarie Home Companion):

Q----Why don't cannibals eat divorced women?

A----Too bitter.

How to stay young after menopause

By William Loeffler
Monday, May 18, 2009
William Loeffler can be reached via e-mail or at 412-320-7986.

In Chinese Culture, a woman's midlife transition is known as her Second Spring.
That's also the title of a new book -- "Second Spring: Hundreds of Natural Secrets for Women to Revitalize and Regenerate at Any Age" (Free Press, $17.99). It's authored by Dr. Maoshing Ni, a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine who co-founded the Tao of Wellness Chinese Medicine Center in southern California.

His clients include Sheryl Crow, Debbie Allen and Arianna Huffington. Ni's book lists natural Chinese remedies that purportedly can increase a woman's sexual energy and vitality, control appetite, reduce wrinkles and spots, and improve memory. Read the rest of the article here......

(Note from Andrea----I haven't read this book yet, but it is now on my list to order from Amazon!)

Happy Monday!

Yes, I know I am late posting today.....I was up and out of the house early. I went with my friend Chris from the YMCA to a program called "Senior Scam Jam" put on by the NC State Attorney General Office, the Better Business Bureau, and several other organizations. There were close to 400 people in attendance, many senior citizens, some who work with seniors, talking about ways for older adults to take care of themselves and not be scammed financially.

We got a lot of little freebies and giveaways, and one that was in the bag was a health diary. It helps to keep track of medications, doctors appointments, tests, etc. to help someone compare their notes with their Medicare and health insurance statements. Mistakes in Medicare reimbursements are common, and they make a mistake it can affect the reimbursement for the secondary insurance, Medicare Part D, etc.

Most of my blog readers are not yet eligible for Medicare, so why am I telling you this? A couple reasons---------you might have parents or grandparents receiving Medicare, and it's important to keep them informed of ways for them to make their lives a little easier. So many people just toss their Medicare statements without looking at them, and that can be a very costly mistake.

My other reason, however, is to remind everyone of the importance of having your medical information available at ALL TIMES in case of an emergency. For years I have carried with me a sheet of paper with my name, address, phone number, emergency contacts, surgical history (which for me is substantial, I had 15 surgeries after the car accident), my doctors' names and phone numbers, and -------------this is critical----------an updated list of all of my medications, supplements, HORMONES, and their dosages.

I cannot overemphasize that this piece of paper could save your life. If you are in a car accident you need it at the hospital. If you go to a new doctor, they will absolutely adore you if you present this kind of a document to them, all nicely typed out and easy to read. I guarantee you in a very stressful situation, you might not be able to remember all of your meds right off the top of your head, and I still can't list all of my supplements without looking at the paper. Hormones----I suspect a lot of women who are taking bioidentical hormones have not bothered to tell their other doctors that they are taking hormones, but this information could be crucial in an emergency. Drug interactions are a huge problem in health care today, and having a list of everything you take can really cut down on mistakes.

Put getting this list together at the top of your to-do list for this week! I need to update mine as I have a couple new supplements to add to the list. Don't put this off........My mom passed in 1998, and the morning I took her into the hospital for the final time, I had some jackass doctor in the Emergency Room (Mom's primary care physician was on the way) who pulled me aside and asked me what meds she was on. I told him that I had given a copy of the list to the admitting nurse, and he snapped at me "Do I look like I have time to look at some stupid list, just tell me what she's on!" First of all, I was so upset I could barely remember my own name, secondly, Mom had been ill for quite some time and was on at least 8 medications. There was a huge chance if I tried to recite them I would have made or or more possibly critical errors. I pulled another copy of the list out of my purse and thre it at him----------he's lucky I didn't tell him to shove it up his butt when he was done reading it. I have a copy of my own list, as does each o f my doctors.

Off to rest my back for a while, the program was held in a church sanctuary, the pews were padded, but it was a long time to sit (I got up several times and went to the back of the sanctuary to stretch my low back). Take care, everyone!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Menopause an important topic during Women's Health Month

C'mom, menopause is an important topic every day of the year! Click here to read the article.....off to lunch and the movies with a friend (the simple joys of life are also an important part of taking care of yourself during menopause!) Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Science of Sleep

For many menopausal women, sleep is a huge issue! I have struggled with it for years, even before menopause, because of a chronic pain condition from a car accident in 1992. This article talks about the science of sleep , it's got some pretty good information to learn more about insomnia. One caveat, however, one does not always need prescription sleeping pills to alleviate the problem, and in some cases, long term use of prescription meds can make the problem worse. I take 5 mg of Melatonin each night, it isn't perfect, but lots better (and way, way cheaper) than the Ambien I used to take. There is another product out there that my doctor recommends, it's called Nature ZZZZs, I had so so results but everyone is different.

FDA Orders Warning Labels For Testosterone Gels

These gels are not the same as the testosterone cream routinely used as part of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for women, but if you come into routine contact with children, this is something to be aware of and perhaps ask your doctor about. Click here to read the article from ABC News.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Salon Magazine Vs. Oprah Winfrey

Sometimes we all need to be reminded that not every person in the world is a big fan of Oprah Winfrey. She certainly has her detractors at Salon Magazine, an article about how her show treats medical issues is featured on the front page of the magazine's website.....click here to read it!

I wrote a "letter" (that's how Salon Magazine refers to its reader comments) that is now appearing on the website under my Holyhormones name. I've been pretty blunt here on the blog that I think Oprah, Dr. Phil, and "The Doctors" TV shows have all done a substandard job of presenting bioidentical hormone replacement therapy as little more than a chance for some celebrities to shill their books. I think all four shows did little to dispel the myths that BHRT is something that is available to wealthy women and that the only place to obtain treatment for BHRT is fancy women's clinics in CA. I have answered over 80 emails in the last few weeks from women who have had very valid, legitimate concerns and questions about bioidentical hormone therapy ------------ concerns that could very easily have been covered in one or more of these shows had they not been so busy gushing over celebrities. Keep those questions coming, if the shows don't want to cover actual information like finding a compounding pharmacy, a doctor, and recommending books written BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS, I am happy to do it to the extent I am able.

Salon covered how Oprah has dealt with thyroid issues on her show, and again, it was way less than complimentary. I don't watch Oprah very often (almost never unless the show is on BHRT) but I have read several web articles that indicate her message to women was not medically sound. In addition to the hormonal imbalance, I am being treated for hypothyroidism, I take Levoxyl and a compounded T3 preparation --------- works great!

Go read the article, then come back and post your opinion in the comments section. Have a great Friday everyone-------it's cloudy and humid here in Charlotte. I am off to the pool for my water aerobics class, and then I have about 10 little projects lined up for this afternoon, including catching up on a few emails for the blog.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hot Flashes May Prompt Closer Look At Bone Health

From the Yahoo News Wire service, click here to read the article. One note, it was progesterone cream that cured my hot flashes (in less than three days!)

Talking to your doctor about menopause

Yes, we all wish it could be as simple as reading and article and we would know how to talk to our doctors about menopause--------but you have to start somewhere! Actually, this article from Women In Balance is about as good as any I have seen out there. Obviously, they cannot cover all the aspects of this important conversation, and it doesn't deal with the possibility that your doctor might be dismissive or absolutely dead set against any form of bioidientical hormone replacement therapy, but this is a good start. One point that particularly struck me is that women need to do their homework.....walking into the doctor's office totally unprepared, and telling him/her you want to go on BHRT because you heard about it on the Dr. Phil Show is not going to set a positive tone for the visit. Read some books (email me if you want my list of recommendations, most of them are on the Amazon carousel on the right side of this page), visit some websites, read articles, TAKE NOTES! Your doctor will be more amenable to at least hearing you out if you come across as having done a little research on your own. Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oprah, Dr. Oz and Thyroid Disease

I ran across this article in the About.com forum on thyroid disease. Good reading!


I noticed on a message board about three weeks ago a women saying that she had gotten an appointment with a doctor in NJ ------ and that the doctor was board certified in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. It just didn't sound right to me, so I asked my personal physician about it. Board certification in bioidentical hormone therapy does not exist!!!!!! If a doctor tells you she/he is board certified in BHRT, ask him or her for the website so you can verify it. My doctor is board certified in Internal Medicine, and that is easily checked by going to this site for the American Board for Internal Medicine. On the front page of the website is an area to plug in the physician's name, state, etc. and find the status of his certification. It will also tell you if a doctor's certification has been suspended----usually as the result of a state medical board action.

I believe there are 24 different specialties available for a doctor to be board certified. I will try to get the list of websites for verification and put it on the blog soon. This is very important, particularly if you are going to a new doctor and you are unfamiliar with him/her----always check these things out!

Drug price disparity galls Charlotte couple---

This article was on the front page of this morning's Charlotte Observer. I know many of my blog readers are not yet at Medicare age, but you probably have parents or other loved ones who are---to put it mildly, Medicare Part D is a mess. Hopefully we all live long enough to receive Medicare benefits, so this will affect those of us at the latter end of the boomer generation. The timing of this article is particularly fascinating to me, as most of you know, I did a little informal survery of about 80-90 compounding pharmacies across the country earlier this week (via email). Less than 10% of the pharmacies have responded. Interesting. I am deeply appreciative of the pharmacies who have responded, and I will post the results within a couple weeks. Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hey, some positive coverage for BHRT!

Wow, this just made me smile! We hear so much negative press about biodientical hormone replacement therapy, that I am happy to share this link. It's to a story by TV station WRDW in Augusta, GA, the reporter is Richard Rogers. Take a look at it, good story!

This is starting to feel like my daily post on Vitamin D

But today there is a pretty extensive article in The Washington Post (I subscribe to their email newsletter on health, it's really quite good). Click here to read the article. I take 5000 IU's of vitamin D daily, and have for several years with no problems. I was pretty deficient, I'm sure all the years I spent up north didn't help!

DHEA and Bone Health

From Newswise, information on how DHEA can help improve bone health. Read the article here. A word of caution, however..........yes, DHEA is available over the counter, no, you should not be taking it without a doctor's supervision. This is pretty powerful stuff, in Europe it's by prescription only, so I am somewhat perplexed about the ease of availability here. I take 25 mg daily, and my blood levels should be between 200 to 400 ----- mine was 301, doesn't get much better than that!

Natural Remedies for Sleep!

This article is from the Online Journal Review, and discusses some natural ways to improve sleep. I am a HUGE fan of melatonin, it has helped with my sleep far more than Ambien or any of the other pharmaceuticals. Read and enjoy!

Monday, May 11, 2009

I found another great resource for finding compounding pharmacies!

It's called Project AWARE-----click here to get there!

Today's Project for the Blog!

The more I get into this whole bioidentical hormone replacement subject, the more I find I need to learn. I've been getting some interesting emails lately (and keep them coming, I love it!) on a variety of subjects.

One thing I am finding a little disturbing, however, is the huge variation in costs for bioidentical hormones from state to state. Many women do not have insurance coverage period, or their insurance will not cover any portion of the cost of bioidentical hormones, so this is a concern to a lot of people. I've had more than one person tell me their BHRT monthly costs are over $300-350 per month, and I wondered how costs varied in different parts of the country.

With that in mind, I decided I would email a number of compounding pharmacies in all different parts of the country (the only state I couldn't cover was Hawaii, both pharmacies I tried had broken links in their emails). This is the email I sent to about 75-80 pharmacies:

Good afternoon! My name is Andrea Duran, and reside in Cornelius, NC. I am very happily on bioidentical hormone therapy, and have been for nearly 3 years. I am very much into educating women on this very important subject, and I have a blog that is dedicated to BHRT at holyhormones.blogspot.com . (If you are wondering about the origin of the name, everyone in NC is evangelical about something, with me it's just hormones instead of religion.)

I get questions all the time from woman about compounding pharmacies, and specifically, what is the cost for bioidentical hormone therapy. Of course, there is no one answer, but I am attempting to do an informal "study" of how much a "starter set" (for lack of a better term) would run financially in various parts of the country. I hope to get at least one compounding pharmacy in each of the 50 states to participate in this study, and when completed I will post the information on my blog.

With that in mind, if I could ask you to email me the following information:

Name, City, State, website address and Phone number of your pharmacy

The cost each for the following compounded prescriptions (all are 30 day supplies):

Progesterone 10% cream 1/4 tsp TID dispense 90g
Testosterone 1% cream 1/8 tsp. QD dispense 30g
BiEst 2.5 mg 1/4 tsp. BID dispense 60g

Does your pharmacy do mail order in state and out of state?

Does your pharmacy bill insurance companies?

If you prefer to not have your company information listed on the blog when I post the results, I absolutely understand and respect that, just let me know and I will list the pharmacy as just a city and state location. If you would prefer not to participate, that's also fine, and you do not need to respond at all.

I will make it absolutely clear on the blog that these prices are not etched in stone, that supply costs vary widely and that the prices are not quotes, merely a guideline. As I am sure you know (because your pharmacy has gotten flooded with calls!) that Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil and the Doctor's TV shows have all done entire shows on BHRT, which of course has piqued the interest of thousands of women.

I am very disappointed that none of the shows listed above have done anything to dissuade their audiences of the idea that BHRT is something that women who are wealthy can afford, and many women are automatically assuming that their insurance will not cover any portion of their therapy. In many cases I know it doesn't, but the patient won't find out unless she contacts her insurance company. It's very, very frustrating to read the posts on some of these message boards for the shows.

I thank you in advance for your time and assistance with this project, I realize this is one of the more unusual requests you may get this week. Your assistance will benefit a number of women, many of whom have never before used a compounding pharmacy and are absolutely unfamiliar with costs, procedures, etc. Oh, and if you are wondering where I got your email address, I have done some Google searching, checked a list on the Natural Woman Institute website, the AWARE project site, and in some cases gone through the IACPRX.ORG website.

With best wishes for hormonal and business health.
Cornelius, NC

I have heard back from two pharmacies already who were gracious in sharing their information. I am going to compile the results I get and post them here on the blog in about two week's time. Two other pharmacies have responded that they do not wish to share that information, and of course, that is their right. I will keep you posted on how this "study" progresses. Have a great evening, everyone!

Protein Shake "Recipes"

I've posted several times on message boards and probably on the blog that my normal breakfast is a protein shake before I go to the YMCA for my workout. I've had a few emails asking me if the protein shakes taste good (they do, they are not a Wendy's Frosty, but certainly palatable), how do I prepare them, and what kind of protein powder do I use.

I have been using GNC protein powder, my favourite flavours are banana and chocolate caramel. It also comes in vanilla, cookies and cream, strawberry, plain chocolate, and a couple other berry flavours. I use the regular whey protein powder, not the super juiced up stuff. It does have a bit of sugar in it, but it's a balance between a little sugar and artificial sweetener (I still drink too much diet soda, I'm working on it). Stay away from cheap stuff like from Walmart, the taste will turn you right off.

To make the shake, combine two scoops of protein powder, about 3/4 cup combined crushed ice and cold water (I have a dispenser on the door of my fridge that crushes the ice for me), and a splash of half and half (it's about 1 oz.). Throw everything in the blender, then I add a couple tablespoons of Fiber Sure (I'm not as good on veggies as I need to be, so this is a bit of extra daily fiber). Hit the blend button, and about 30 seconds later-----voila! It holds me until lunch easily, and works out to be about 280 or so calories.

You can get fancy and add some flavourings, in the Fall I get some of the vanilla powder, mix it up the usual way with some cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice, and yummy-----a pumpkin shake. Some people add fruit, I do this time of year to vanilla because local strawberries are in season here.

Since I don't like to cook, this is a quick and easy way to get one meal a day out of the way. I even have two blenders so if I decide I want a second shake to replace a second meal (sometimes in the summer when it's hot), I don't need to clean out the first blender to do it (I can be lazy sometimes). The other big advantage to having a protein shake for breakfast is it gives me something thick to wash down my vitamins and supplements with, they go down easier with a thicker liquid.

Have a great day, everyone, take care!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Methadone Frequently Causes Menopausal Symptoms in Young Women

Read the article here from Red Orbit. One of the things I found very interesting in the article is that narcotic drugs can also severely suppress hormones in young women. I was in a very bad car crash in in 1992, shattered my pelvis, broke both legs, crushed my hand, wrist and forearm, internal injuries. I was 33 at the time, and believe me, narcotic pain medication was part of my recovery. Thinking back, I now wonder if it didn't contribute to a lot of other problems, it was never mentioned to me by any doctor, including my doctors at the Mayo Clinic or the Cleveland Clinic. Have a great Mother's Day, everyone!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Got Vitamin D?

From the Albany Times Union newspaper. Vitamin D, by the way, is not a vitamin, but is considered a prohormone-----it's a substance that converts into a hormone. We're just now realizing the importance of this vitamin to overall health.

An Explanation of Thyroid Issues

Since thyroid issues are very common in women of perimenopause and menopausal age, I thought I would share this article with you from the Anderson, SC newspaper. Have a great day, everyone, it may be our first 90 degree day here in Charlotte!

Friday, May 8, 2009

This never occured to me last night----

But this morning my email was filled with news alerts about different types of hormones (I get both Google and Yahoo news alerts with common hormone related terms, it helps me find articles to post for the blogs)-----and many of them related to the Manny Ramirez baseball drug scandal! I heard about the news last night, but didn't really stop to think about how it would affect my news alerts. It's my understanding that the drug he got busted for is a woman's fertility drug.........insert your own joke here........Keith Olbermann quipped last night on MSNBC that Ramirez is giving Octomom a run for her money. And I am sure the jokes will continue, but I'm sure Ramirez is not laughing about a 50 game suspension without pay. I'll be back with a real post later today, I am off to fix my protein shake and then head to the gym (and then head to the yarn store, which is a whole different workout!)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Male Birth Control

Personally, I wouldn't trust my partner to get a monthly shot as a way of pregnancy prevention for me, but I know there is a lot of buzz out there that men should take the initiative and be on birth control. Whatever, Web MD (among other publications, this is getting a huge amount of press) outlines why monthly shots of testosterone have a 99% chance of rendering a man incapable of getting his partner pregnant. Interesting reading.

Why You Should Be Getting More Sun

Forbes Magazine presents this article on how most Americans are not getting enough Vitamin D. I know it seems like I've had a number of articles on this topic in the last few weeks, but everywhere you turn there is another doctor, health organization, etc. touting the benefits of Vitamin D, not only for bone health, but immune system, Seasonal Affective Disorder (something I really worry about in my northern friends), and much more. As a side note, since I started taking 5000 IU's of Vitamin D, when I am out in the sun, I turn the most delicious shade of tan, I do not burn. I don't bake myself on a regular basis, but I do develop a nice little tan by the begining of summer (I live in NC).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

There's a gender difference in losing weight

From the Charleston, WV Newspaper Website

There are a variety of excuses as to why losing weight can be a daunting challenge for women. But women can and do lose weight.

By Cindy Boggs


Dear Cindy,
Why is it that men can lose weight faster than women? When my husband and I diet, we eat the same foods and it falls off of him. With me, I am lucky to lose half of what he does. We both exercise. I walk every evening (briskly) and he doesn't work out at all except that his work (he's is a contractor) does keep him active. I am so frustrated with my results. Can you help? -- Jill

Dear Jill,

Your question reminds me of a commercial I've seen depicting dieting cartoon male and female figures. She complains that when her husband diets, he becomes a stick figure and she basically stays the same. It is frustrating to witness men and women on the same weight-loss program with equal dedication turn out very different degrees of success.

But there are several reasonable explanations for the inconsistency in weight loss between men and women. To lose weight, you have to create a negative calorie balance - you must expend more than you consume.

Reason No. 1: You mention you are eating the same foods and dieting together. This is significant because most men are taller and weigh more than their female counterparts. There is a big difference between a 6-foot-2-inch, 300-pound man and a 5-foot-5-inch, 180-pound woman in terms of calorie needs. If they eat the same portions of the same foods, it makes sense that the man will lose weight faster than the woman. A smaller person requires smaller portions.

Reason No. 2: Men naturally have more lean muscle and are able to build more muscle mass because of higher levels of the hormone testosterone. Men are genetically blessed to shed weight faster and easier than women. Testosterone plays an important role in weight loss because it enables men to produce muscle, which is metabolically active tissue. This active tissue increases metabolism, which in turn burns more calories as rest - an average of 15 percent more! Build muscle to raise your resting metabolic rate.

Reason No. 3: Women naturally have more estrogen, which enables women to store fat. They also have less muscle tissue, and that makes shedding pounds a little harder. Women need to change the way they work out. Include a healthy dose of strength training on a regular basis to burn more calories.

Reason No. 4: Studies show that men can lose weight by exercising without reducing calories. Women, on the other hand, have difficulty losing weight without dieting even if they increase the amount of exercise substantially.

Reason No. 5: Men typically aren't yo-yo dieters. Women diet much more than men and this slows metabolism and disturbs hormone production, which can promote the storage of fat.
Obviously there are a variety of excuses as to why losing weight can be a daunting challenge for women. But women can and do lose weight. We must be mindful of the amount of calories we eat, which means watching portion size. When dieting, we need to eat nutritious foods that keep our bodies supplied with the energy it requires to stay physically active.
Although it seems your husband is not exercising, he is lifting, pushing, pulling and challenging his muscles on a daily basis. That is keeping his muscles strong and gives him the edge over your daily walks with regard to weight loss.
It makes little sense to diet without exercising because exercise is what will leave you with a strong, healthy physique eager to burn more calories once the weight is lost. Dieting without physical activity is more difficult and leaves you with a thinner yet saggy frame primed to burn fewer calories than it did when you began.
Seems like an easy choice for us to make - eat nutritious foods and plan to participate in regular exercise including strength training to achieve the energetic body you desire. Get busy with some weights or bodyweight exercises - push-ups, squats, lunges, pull-ups - and you'll start realizing some results.
Let's forget about all the reasons weight loss is easier for men and instead think in terms of outsmarting our systems. By understanding how our bodies work, we can go about the business of being our personal best.

Cindy Boggs has been an ACE-certified coordinator/instructor since 1989. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311, or e-mail cindys...@aol.com. Look for Cindy's fitness advice book, "CindySays ... You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her Web site www.cindysays.com or contact the YMCA at 340-3527.

Lack of Vitamin D in kids linked to risks later in life

From Monday's Globe and Mail
May 4, 2009 at 11:05 AM EDT
The first Canadian study to investigate vitamin D levels in toddlers has found that more than 80 per cent of the children tested didn't have enough of the sunshine vitamin and nearly a third had such low amounts that doctors classified them as deficient.
The finding, based on blood tests of two-year olds from the Toronto area, suggests that shortfalls in vitamin D may be widespread in young children across the country, potentially placing them at an elevated risk of developing a wide range of diseases later in life, including multiple sclerosis, cancer and juvenile diabetes.
"Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a number of chronic medical conditions," observed Jonathon Maguire, a researcher at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children and lead author of the study, who called the results "concerning." Click here to read the article (and if you are in a silly mood, check out some of the comments after the article----whoa, those women are in a catfight-----it's pretty funny!)

Bad Mood Lowers Immune Function

Some tips from the Shreveport Times!

Women with History of Hypothyroidism Face Increased Risk of Liver Cancer

This is not intended to scare you, but to inform you (and maybe urge you to get your thyroid levels checked!) Click here to read the article on Medical Net.

Hydroxycut Recall Has Dieters Looking For Safe Solutions- 'Sexpert' Genie James Says BHRT Can Jumpstart Weight Loss Safely

Jacksonville, FL (PRWEB) May 6, 2009 -- As health officials warn dieters and body builders to stop using the weight-loss supplement Hydroxycut, health practitioners are pointing out there's another way to lose weight that's effective AND safe - bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT.
On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration said the makers of Hydroxycut had agreed to recall 14 of its products, which are available in grocery stores and pharmacies, and are marketed as being made from natural ingredients. However, the supplement has been linked to cases of serious liver damage and at least one death.
Genie James, M.M. Sc., is Executive Director of the Natural Hormone Institute, and says the Hydroxycut recall is indicative of a larger trend. "People are realizing that quick fixes don't work, and that there's no magic pill that can provide instant weight loss without dangerous side effects," she says. "However, natural hormone balancing has been clinically proven to aid in slow, safe, weight loss, in conjunction with diet and exercise."
James, the co-author of "From Belly Fat to Belly Flat," explains that weight gain in middle age is usually due to hormonal imbalance, in particular, estrogen dominance. "As women head into their 40s, their production of progesterone declines. For men, testosterone production also declines. In both sexes, the excess estrogen in your system contributes to 'middle age spread.' When hormones are balanced using BHRT, excess weight around the abdomen comes off when combined with exercise and a healthy diet."
James' upcoming new book, "In the Mood Again," (Simon & Schuster, January 2010), will explain how natural hormone balancing, diet and lifestyle changes can help adults of both sexes both lose weight, and regain lost libido. "Bioidentical hormones, which are identical to the hormones produced by the human body, are the 'first-class' weight loss option," says James. "But if you want to fly 'coach,' there are other, herbal approaches to hormone balancing that can also jumpstart weight loss, and they are available to everyone. To get fit, all you really need is a pair of sneakers and a trip to the health food aisle of your grocery store."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

25 Things You Might Not Know About Your Body and Health

Some interesting (and some funny) things you might not know from Mercola.com---click here!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dr. Oz ROCKS!!!!!

Dr. Mehmet Oz, who as most of you know appears regularly on the Oprah Winfrey Show, was gracious enough to donate his time to the Mooresville Community Clinic last week---he did a talk on health issues as a fundraiser and the Center raised more than $25,000. I purchased one of the $25 tickets, and I can tell you it is the best value for money I have spent this year. His talk was informative, and he is charming and funny ---- and really, really nice looking too (glad to know I'm not just wasting those hormones!) Here are a few highlights from his talk:

  • The number one cause of bankruptcies in this country over the last 8 years ----- medical bills! Even more frightening, over 70% of those bankruptcies are from people with health insurance.
  • One of his points was that emotions drive 90% of the change in our habits --- he thinks in order to get people to look at their lives and change unhealthy habits, you need to target a patient's emotions-----make them see they are worth the changes they need to make.
  • His hospital tried to initiate some sort of a medical study on people who smoke, and they only wanted to use people who smoke but who do not suffer from depression----in the entire NYC area, they could not find one person who smoked but who did not exhibit signs of depression. He went on to say that berating people who smoke by calling them idiots (and a lot of people were looking guilty on that one---including me) is simply counterproductive, they're already beating up on themselves for smoking. I think the same principal could be applied to weight management.
  • His guiding principle in what subjects to talk about on Oprah, or on his new show upcoming this Fall ---- make it "News You Can Use". He practices what he preaches, I learned so much listening to him.
  • Approximately 10% of the general population get the flu each flu season.
  • The BEST way to improve your immune system----EXERCISE!!!!!!
  • Resistance training (I use stretch bands) is the best way to ward off osteoporosis.
He talked about the 5 Life Adjustments that everyone needs to take seriously:
  • Strive to get your blood pressure down to 115-75 (this is lower than the previously considered normal 120-80)
  • No cigarettes or toxins (he didn't specifically say diet soda was a toxin, but I got the idea that he included them in the category)
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day
  • Eat a healthy diet, one that you can live with, it's a lifestyle change not something to be started and stopped
  • Control stress
He stressed that each individual controls more than 70% of how well and how long they live! I think the most important statement he made was when he looked out into the audience and said "Are you willing to admit your life is so out of control that you can't find 20 minutes a day to exercise?" Whoa.

He had everyone stand up about half way through the talk and do some deep breathing. Most people do it wrong, when they breath in they try to suck in their abdomen. He demonstrated with an audience member that the proper way to breathe in deeply is to have the abdomen push out, thereby allowing full use of the diaphram.

This one is really important (and something I need to work harder at): Your height in inches, divided by 2, is where your waist measurement needs to be in order to be your healthiest. He spoke at length about abdominal fat and how it stresses the heart and other vital organs. Do the math!

Another important note: If you are taking more than 6 medications (including over the counter medications) there is a 95% chance that there will be some sort of a drug interaction. Yikes!

He talked about hunger and eating: his most important tip was that if you can, at the half way point in your meal, get up and leave the table for 20 minutes, and it is most likely you will not feel hungry when you sit back down. It takes the brain and stomach that long to communicate with each other about the sense of fullness when eating. He also said that eating a handful of nuts or an apple about 30 minutes before a meal will speed up the process of the brain and the stomach sensing a feeling of fullness.

Like most doctors, Dr. Oz is big on restorative sleep, something that plagues a lot of us. His tips included:
  • Dim light in the room (don't watch TV in bed)
  • loose clothing
  • reduce noise
  • cool room
He also said if your neck size is bigger than 17", you more than likely have sleep apnea.

He put up a slide on the PowerPoint presentation about all of the vitamins he takes, I couldn't write that fast but he did mention they were on the Oprah.com website. I will look them up later this afternoon and post it separately with a link to the site. One thing he did mention, and I was surprised at this one, is that everyone over 40 should be taking 2 baby asprin a day, I've been taking one for years now. I will check with my doctor on this, and you should too!

Honestly, I was just star struck and tickled that I got to see the presentation, I learned so much and I plan to go back and reread all of his books (most I have already read, but it's been a while). I enjoyed it both as a blogger on a health issue, and also just as a person who is trying hard to evolve from being part of the problem with our health care system (there's a joke) to being part of the solution.

As I posted before (quite excitedly) Dr. Oz took questions after he spoke, and I got the first question! Of course, I asked him how he felt about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. He said he absolutely supports it, and then went on to explain to the audience how bioidenticals differ from synthetic hormones, about the Women's Health Initiative study in 2002, and why he feels BHRT is safer than synthetic hormones. Since I estimate there were about 350-400 people in the room it was great to have so many more people hear a positive experience about BHRT. A terrific experience, and I'm happy I was able to take so many notes to share this post with you. Have a great day, everyone!

From The Edmonton Journal

I'm trying to reach a couple compounding pharmacies in Canada to see how the socialized health care system up there handles bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. I may even write to the lady featured in this article, I would enjoy talking with her. Meanwhile, check out this article, interesting reading!

From EmpowerHer Website

Click here to read the article. One line of the article struck me, and it was something to the effect you are not dealing with a deficiency of drugs (particularly common drugs used to treat menopause like antidepressants) in your body, it's a deficiency of hormones! Something t think about......

Sunday, May 3, 2009

If this doesn't convince you to take Resveratrol, nothing will!

For All You Book Lovers (like me!)

I found this site several weeks ago, and it's called Health Book Summaries. I get an occasional email from them with the summary of one or more (usually only 3-4 maximum) recently released health books. I have really enjoyed reading about them, and I would encourage anyone who shares my interest in health related books to sign up for a free account!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

If you really like your hormone doctor-----

One of the common complaints I hear from women who want to learn more/explore/see a doctor about bioidentical hormone therapy is that they can't find a doctor or a compounding pharmacy. I went to a networking seminar last week, and learned about this relatively new website called Yelp!, it's a site that was developed for people to write reviews about good experiences with local doctors/health care providers, and other businesses that an individual deals with. The keynote speakers at this seminar (they wrote a book on social media and how it can be used to promote or help a business) were very high on this site. I looked into it, and got a free account, and my first review was of my hormone physician, Dr. John Carr in CA. This is what I wrote:

Dr. Carr's practices specializes in utilizing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. This goes way beyone curing hot flashes or mood swings, properly balanced hormones can add quality years to your life. Dr. Carr takes the time to carefully listen to his patients concerns, issues and questions, and is dedicated to properly balancing hormones using compounded topical medications individualized according to patient needs. His office does not take insurance of any kind, however, I have found him and his staff to be very sensitive to patient financial concerns. He is kind, friendly, compassionate, very accessible and easy to talk to, and his staff friendly and professional. I feel very comfortable entrusting my health care to this physician and I would highly recommend his services to any woman who feels she can benefit from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

Time Magazine lists Yelp! as one of it's Top 10 essential sites. If you have found a hormone physician or compounding pharmacy that you have had a good experience with, consider writing them a positive review on this site. The sign up is free! I'm very big on using social media to educate women about BHRT, as many of you know, I am on Facebook as Holy Hormones, ditto for Twitter, and I can see where sites like this will help women find resources for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Jack In The Box Goes Menopausal

FDA Issues Recall ------

WASHINGTON – Government health officials are announcing the recall of popular weight loss pill Hydroxycut, after reports of liver damage and other health problems. Read the rest of the article here...

I'm off to see a wizard----

The wonderful wizard of Oz--------no, really, I have a ticket to go see Dr. Oz from the Oprah Winfrey Show in Mooresville. I'm excited, I don't watch Oprah much, but I have seen Dr. Oz on that show several times and he seems pretty down to earth and reasonable. He is taking questions, and if I get a chance, you know what I'll ask----------about bioidentical hormone therapy! I'll be back tonight with a report!
Hormones Part V: Bioidentical Pellet Replacement Most Closely Relicates Nature

NaturalNews) More people are discovering bioidentical hormones. They have realized that just like our brains, hearts, arms and legs, hormones are part of the human body for a reason. It is not usually until hormone levels begin to sag and lose balance that we start to experience health problems. We live in a world of deteriorating food quality, increasing toxic chemical load, and high stress that is causing hormonal decline at an earlier age than ever. We are outliving our hormones.

The choice now is not whether to use bioidenticals, but what form of bioidenticals to use. Pellet therapy is rapidly gaining acceptance as the form of hormone replacement that most closely replicates the natural action of the body.

What is pellet therapy?Pellet therapy uses bioidentical hormones to create true hormone replacement, not the hormone substitution offered by synthetic patented hormone drug replacement. These hormones, estrogen and testosterone, are identical in molecular structure to the hormones produced by the human body. Pellets have been used with great success since the 1930`s in countries not in the grip of drug companies. There is more scientific data to support the use of pellets than any other method of hormone delivery.Pellets are easily inserted in the fat pad directly under the skin. Pellets are made by compounding pharmacies from plant sources, and packaged in sterile glass viles.

But don`t think that compounding pharmacies are something that just sprung up to make bioidenticals. Compounding pharmacies have been around for centuries, even in the U.S. They custom made all the medicines used by people until they were pushed out of the way by the giant drug companies that only offer one-size-fits-all products. Compounding pharmacies have always made medicines that were tailored to the needs of individual patients and reflected specifics ordered by doctors.

Each hormone pellet looks like a very tiny cylinder. It is inserted under the skin of the upper hip with a special device made for this purpose. The doctor or nurse numbs the area with a shot of lidocaine. Then she makes an incision about 1/8th inch long and inserts the pellets into the fat pad directly beneath the skin. She covers the insertion with a small piece of tape. After the area has been numbed, the actual insertion takes no more than a minute. The only restriction for the patient is to curtail exercise for the rest of the day.

Many women in their late twenties to their forties receive only testosterone pellets. This usually involves the insertion of one or two pellets. If a woman has declining or low estrogen levels, an estradiol pellet is also inserted. For men who are receiving testosterone, the insertion can involve as many as six pellets of testosterone only.Pellet delivery most closely copies natureBeing implanted under the skin in this way provides hormonal delivery in a manner that most closely mimics what the body would do naturally if it could. There is a consistent release of small, physiologic doses of hormone to provide optimal therapy. Pellets provide a self-adjusting hormonal dose. If the person is quite active, there is an increase in blood flow around the pellets that provides for a greater amount of hormone release. When the person sits down to rest and blood flow decreases, the amount of hormone released also decreases. This is the way the body was made to function.For women, the pellets last from 3 to 5 months depending on metabolic rate and level of activity. Women get to know how long their pellets will typically last and schedule their next appointment for insertion accordingly. Testosterone pellets in men tend to last for a slightly longer period, typically 4 to 6 months. When men receive testosterone replacement, they can throw away their viagra.The affect of the pellets is almost immediate.

Many women report symptom relief in a matter of an hour following insertion. Others report an incredible feeling of well being descending upon them shortly after they receive their pellets. For women who have been hormonally deprived for years, getting pellets is like coming out of the shadows into the sunlight again.Pellets avoid the fluctuations or ups and downs of hormone levels seen with every other method of delivery. Pellet therapy frees the person from having to remember to administer the hormone each day or several times a day. And most importantly, pellets create psychological freedom. Instead of viewing herself as a patient in some ritual everyday when she administers her hormones, pellets really create the feeling of being carefree that was so symbolic of youth.Pellets protect through proper hormonal balance.

Estrogen delivered by subcutaneous pellets is the best way to maintain the normal ratio of estradiol to estrone that is important for optimal health and disease prevention. To assure optimal health, many women add progesterone cream to their hormonal regimen for two weeks out of every month, or three weeks out of the month if they are post menopausal. There are progesterone receptors in the bone, brain, heart, bladder, breast and uterus, and progesterone undoubtedly has a health promoting effect on each of these sites.

There is also evidence to support the conclusion that estradiol and testosterone when administered in pellet form offer breast protection even without the addition of progesterone. Testosterone administered by pellets has been shown to be protective of breast tissue and decrease breast cell proliferation.When compared to conventional hormone replacement, pellets have been shown to be superior for the relief of menstrual symptoms, restoration of sleep patterns, and improvement of libido. Women report significantly improved sexual response, interest and performance. Many women who reported lack of success with other forms of hormone therapy have had success with pellets, at least in part because of the convenience and freedom they offer.

In younger women, hormone levels are checked with blood or saliva testing before hormones are administered to determine which hormones need to be supplemented and by how much. With women at the age of menopause or above, hormone therapy is begun immediately, as the need for hormones is a given. Testing is done after about 2 months to see how the body is responding and to make adjustments if needed. This testing usually includes follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone, estradiol, estrone, testosterone, free testosterone, DHT and thyroid function (T3, T4 and TSH) for women. Once levels and intervals are established testing is done yearly or even more infrequently unless signs of imbalance manifest.The cost of pellet therapy beats the costs of hormonal decline.

The cost for the pellets is about $35 for each one. The cost of the insertion is about $300 to $400. It seems expensive at first glance, but if you think of it in terms of being able to be a much more productive person throughout your life, it begins to seem like a bargain. Pellet therapy and hormonal balance have such a profound impact on health that other medical expenses are drastically cut. Drugs for insomnia, depression, sexual dysfunction, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, dry eyes, and migraines will no longer be needed. The increased energy level provided by pellets allows for cutting back on foods now used to stimulate energy. And maybe best of all, pellets free you from the need to save up for an old age spent in a nursing home.It's too bad that insurance companies haven`t wised up yet and are unwilling to cover the cost of something that would end up saving them so much money in the long run. However, insurance will usually cover the cost of the lab work and the cost of your consultation.How to find pellet therapy.

Most large cities have a physician practicing anti-aging medicine or an obstetrician/gynecologist who is knowledgeable in hormone balancing. These people should at least be able to provide some type of bioidentical hormone replacement regimen. Pellets are rapidly gaining popularity and most states have at least one physician practicing pellet therapy. Once women have experienced the benefits of pellet therapy, they willingly make a trip every few months to get their inserts.Some women report feeling better than they ever have in their lives.

What can a woman look forward to with bioidentical pellets? Mental clarity, improved mood, increased bone density at up to four times the rate with oral therapies, diminished migraine headaches, enhanced energy and vitality, sound and consistent sleep, end of dry eyes, and renewed sex drive are the some of the usual rewards of pellet therapy. Women report feeling more in control of their bodies and their lives. Zest, enthusiasm for life and motivation return, and response to exercise is heightened. Physical performance, balance, and strength are also increased, as are concentration and memory. Skin tone and hair texture and thickness improve with pellets, and most women tend to look younger.For many women, the ability to stop worrying about breast cancer is the biggest return from the pellets.

Rebecca L. Glaser, M.D., Millennium Wellness Center.
Gino Tutera , M.D., Medical Director of Sotto Pelle Center. You Don`t Have To Live With It.
Kathy Maupin, M.D., O.B./GYN, Founder of BioBalance for Women.