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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Great quote!

Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.
--Earl of Derby

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

PHYSICIAN FOCUS: The power of vitamin D

Another article on Vitamin D ----- I don't know if I am more aware of these articles on cloudy days, or on sunny days (like today in NC----the sky looks so pretty!). Click here to read the complete article...

Study: Ginkgo flunks test as brain booster

I've never taken Ginkgo (my doctor never recommended it, and I only take supplements that he and I have discussed and decided together will benefit me) but a lot of my friends and blog readers have told me they currently are or have taken Ginkgo Biloba thinking it would improve their cognitive function. After a six year study ---- the results are in and it does not help with brain function. Click here to read the full story from Time Magazine.

Eating smart is all in your mind

This article was in yesterday's edition of the Charlotte Observer, and I thought it was a good one to share as we go into the new year. I've taken several classes/seminars on mindful eating, and have learned something from each one. It's one of my "goals" (I hate the word resolution) for 2010, to stop and be aware of why I put something in my mouth----too often it's because I'm stressed or in pain, not because I am physically hungry.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A really interesting excerpt from The Youth Effect

Full disclosure, I maintain the Twitter and Facebook pages for Dr. Ronald Brown in Charlotte, NC. He is what I consider (and not because I am involved in a very small way with his practice) the "go to" doctor in this area for bioidentical hormones, if I were not in a practice in CA for my hormonal care, I would absolutely be seeing Dr. Brown as a patient.

For his Facebook page, I use short excerpts from his book, The Youth Effect, as postings twice a week (Dr. Brown is listed on Facebook under Dr. Ronald L. Brown if you want to "friend" him---it's pretty interesting reading). The excerpt I chose today to post really clarifies how absurd some of the criticism/concern/whining by some in the medical field about bioidentical hormones:
"Insulin is an excellent model of bioidentical hormone replacement. No one thinks twice about giving it to a patient who makes insufficient amounts of that vital hormone, but there is a lot of scuttlebutt about giving some other bioidentical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone to people whose bodies have become deficient in those hormones." (The Youth Effect, pp41-42)

I've read Dr. Brown's book (more than once, and way before I started doing any of this social media marketing) and yet until today I didn't realize what a profound statement this is, and how well it puts some of the nonsense about BHRT from so called "mainstream" medicine practitioners right back in their court. Just thought it was important to share it with you. By the way, you can get Dr. Brown's book on Amazon.com or through Dr. Brown's office, his office number is 704-333-4817.

Growing Evidence Suggests Progesterone Should Be Considered a Treatment Option for Traumatic Brain Injuries

From ScienceDaily.com-----most of us know at least one family who has been affected by traumatic brain injury, and so many of our soldiers fighting overseas come back with brain injuries. Wouldn't it be great if progesterone (safe, relatively inexpensive and readily available) was of aid to those affected? I can tell you from personal experience that progesterone has had a positive effect on my cognitive function---before I went on BHRT in 2006, I had taken Ritalin/Concerta for over 12 years for ADD, and within three weeks of starting the progesterone cream, I was completely off the Concerta and haven't looked back.

Stack your immune system

Yes, another reminder to get your Vitamin D3 is tucked in this article from the GlobeGazette.com, but it also contains a list of foods to include in your diet --- especially this time of year when so many illnesses are going around.

I just got back from the Y, and our water fitness instructor was so sick she couldn't even talk. I appreciate her dedication, but honestly ----- folks, if you are sick, STAY HOME and don't try to infect the rest of us. Drives me nuts.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

'D' Is for Do It

My weekly reminder about Vitamin D (which, all together now, is a prohormone, not a vitamin)-----click here to read the article. As usual, the caveat is to talk to your doctor/healthcare professional, but I've been taking 5000 IUs Vitamin D3 for over 3 years, and my levels are just fine.

Wow, in many ways this quote sums up the whole bioidentical hormone issue in mainstream medicine:

"In science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs."

- William Osler

Friday, December 25, 2009

Low thyroid levels linked to complicated labor: Study | TheMedGuru

Low thyroid levels linked to complicated labor: Study TheMedGuru

You learn something every day-----this article from MedGuru.com is important information if you or someone you love is pregnant or planning to get pregnant at some point.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Menopause Not Life Pause

A light, yet meaningful article today from BellaOnline.com ---- it makes you think about how we as a society and as individuals see menopause.

For those of you who celebrate the holiday season---wishing you a great day tomorrow. For those of you who don't (like me) --- hey, we only have to deal with it for a few more days!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Warning, Osteoporosis is a Threat Affecting Women With Menopause

A quick little read from 2Articles.com overviewing osteoporosis----something that should be of concern to every woman at every age. I think learning I had osteopenia about four years ago spurred me to start taking better care of myself, and I am now pleased to say that with dietary changes, a regular exercise regimen, supplements, and of course, biodientical hormones, not only do I no longer have osteopenia, but my last DEXA scan showed my bone density measurements to be comfortably in the normal range. I am thrilled, of course, as are my doctors. I fell a couple weeks ago --- pretty hard, actually, and didn't get hurt, whew!

Consumer Reports offers ways to reduce winter's health risks

The Washington Post published an article by Consumer Reports on ways to stay healthy this winter----nothing earth shattering, but some good reminders nonetheless. One caveat---check with your doctor about the amount of Vitamin D3 you need to be taking daily----the 800-1000 IUs listed in the article are woefully inadequate for many people. I take 5000 IUs daily, and here in NC, I get more sun exposure year round than my friends up north (I grew up in the Syracuse/Oswego, NY area, and I am here to tell you that the sunshine up there from October to March is minimal).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nutrition Breakthroughs Provides Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress, Sleep Better and Stay Healthy

I found this article on PR.com----some pretty good tips for coping with holiday stress, particularly in regards to eating (I shuddered when I read the part about eating 2 1/2 cups of ice cream in 5 minutes----Oh, God, I would have a headache to beat all headaches!).

Local Woman Invents "DidIt!" To Remind People to Take Medication

I have no problems remembering to take my progesterone three times a day (it took me less than a week to figure it all----probably because it makes me feel so good I'm not likely to forget) but I did have to make a concerted effort to remember a second T3 pill and Diaxinol when my doctor upped my dosage earlier this year. This morning, this article from KESQ.com popped up----I noticed it because it's local to the Palm Springs area, where my doctor practices. It's a device called "DidIt"---uses some sort of tab system on your pill/medication bottle to stay compliant with medicaiton dosing.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Today is-----

the shortest day of the year, which means two things: a) be sure to get sufficient Vitamin D, and b) tomorrow the days start getting longer, the countdown to spring is on!

Have a good week, I do not observe the Christmas season, but for those of you who do celebrate a winter holiday-----wishing you much happiness, health and peace.

Skull Bone May Hold Key To Tackling Osteoporosis

The thought has crossed my mind more than once that the skull bone, even in women/men who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis/osteopenia, is exceptionally strong. This article from RedOrbit.com discusses research being done into the skull bone, and the findings are helping researchers better understand this condition that affects half of women by the time they are in their 50's and about one fifth of men at some point in their lives. By the way, bioidentical hormones can greatly aid bone health, my last DEXA scan showed marked improvement in my levels from thre years earlier (taken just before I went on BHRT).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Many factors contibute to low vitamin D

Now, you KNEW I would have a Vitamin D article sometime around now----after all, tomorrow is the first day of winter (such as it is here in NC) and also the shortest day of the year (yay----starting Tuesday, the days get longer!). This article from the Missulian.com has some good information about Vitamin D, it's benefits, how to get your levels tested, and more. Good reading.

Leptin May Be the New Key to Effective Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention

This article from Healthnews.com is one of many I have gotten on my newsfeeds this week ----- a potentially important discovery in the relationship between leptin and Alzheimer's Disease. I know it's something most women of peri/menopausal age worry about, either with aging parents, or with themselves, particularly when menopausal symptoms like brain fog become so troublesome.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Health and Well-Being: Stress interrupts a good night's sleep

It's ironic that I am posting this article from Newburyportnews.com today----I have been up since about 5:30 am! I did, however, sleep fairly well up until then (sleep issues are a chronic challenge for me, although with the melatonin I do much better than I did). Sleep is important at every time of the year, but it's especially important to get adequate rest this time of year when so many of us are burning the candle at both ends.

Hope my blog readers on the East Coast stay safe during this weekend's snowstorm---my area of NC only got about 1-2" of snow, but the storm is heading up the coast and sounds like it will be a whopper. Don't get out in it if you don't have to!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Health Tip: These Symptoms May Indicate Uterine Fibroids

I get asked a lot about how I knew I had uterine fibroids (that necessitated a hysterectomy in 2002---I wish I had known then what I know now about BHRT). I ran across this article on Yahoo Health News----thought I would share it with you----it lists a number of the symptoms of uterine fibroids.

Pregnant Women can Read Emotions with more Accuracy

I realize most of the women reading this blog are not pregant (nor do they wish to be at this stage of life) but I was fascinated by this article from Topnews.com (UK site) ----- it says that elevated levels of progesterone cause women to be able to read others facial emotional cues better than women who are not pregant or men (who do not have as much progesterone at any time in their lives). This makes me curious as to whether women who are taking supplemental progesterone (like me) are also better able to read a person's face. I've always had a heightened sense of intuition (even before progesterone supplementation) ----- and trust me when I tell you I tend to be very sensitive (sometimes to the point of being annoying.)

Those of us in the Southeast are bracing for a possible "snowstorm" of 2-4 inches of snow---and around here, that's a big flippin' deal! I'm originally from Upstate NY (Central NY) where we measure snow in feet, so I'm bemused by all the hysteria in the local media about the storm. That being said, if it does snow, I will be staying huddled in the house, as people in this part of the country do not know how to drive in bad weather. No worries for me, I actually enjoy an "in" day every once in a while-----I have plenty of projects to keep me busy, from researching blog articles, to cleaning/organizing the bookcases, to at least three knitting projects in the works! Bored is not a word in my vocabulary. Stay safe everyone, you will know the storm hits either tomorrow or Saturday if you see about a half dozen articles posted on the blog(s).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Menopause increases bad cholesterol levels

Short but informative article from Presstv.com ----- menopause can increase the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. As always, talk to your health care practitioner about this!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Alternative Medicine Took a Beating in 2009

Oh, boy, when I first came across this article in LiveScience.com I was sure they were going to slam bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (they didn't). I found the article interesting reading, however, so I thought I would share it with you.....click here to read. Leave me a comment if you have found relief utilizing any of the therapies listed!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Exercise can help overcome stress of holidays

I don't think anyone is saying that exercising your way through this season will completely eliminte your holiday stress----but it can help. I don't celebrate the holiday season at all, but since I live in a very conservative, "what do you mean you don't celebrate Christmas, I've never heard of that" part of the country, I get very, very stressed this time of year. I find keeping a regular routine really helps, I workout my normal 6 days a week, even if it means I do a workout at home when the gym isn't open or classes are cancelled (just found out we have not water aerobics classes on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve----damn). Check out this article from the Oregon Statesman-Journal.com on exercise and holiday stress.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shedding Light on Sunny LA's Vitamin D Deficiency

From HuffingtonPost.com-----even if you live in a sunny part of the country----you need to be aware of Vitamin D levels! Check out this article.

You Need Your SLEEP

Why does this have anything to do with hormones-----read the article from Foryourhealth.com. All the bioidentical replacement in the world will not bring you back to optimal health if you are only getting a few hours of sleep a night. Trust me on this one----

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bright Ideas for Treating the Winter Blues

One of the many reasons I moved from Upstate NY to North Carolina was the severity of the winters in NY---I truly suffered from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). There were times when I wasn't able to get out of the house for 3-5 days a time, and I finally made the decision that I was not going to spend the rest of my life that way. As I write this, my NY friends are suffering the effects of the nasty winter storm hitting the Northeast-----I do not miss it at all. It was serendipidous that this article on seasonal affective disorder and its treatments (I still have my SAD light, but don't use it anymore as we get far more sunlight in NC than in NY in December, January and February) came across my newsfeed this morning----it's from the Wall Street Journal----click here to read it.

Adrenal glands awaken the body to stress

From the National.com-----an overview of adrenal fatigue (which I have a particular interest in because I have it----mostly from chronic pain from a car accident many years ago.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The verdict is----

Some of you who have been reading my blog for a while will remember this story (I posted about it over the summer) ---- this guy in got caught smuggling over the counter progesterone cream (which is apparently illegal in Canada----I need some clarification on prescription progesterone cream----I'm pretty sure it is legal as long as it is by prescription and compounded at a pharmacy). Well, he's been "sentenced"----no jail time, just a fine. Read the story by clicking here!

Two articles from the Charlotte Observer this morning...

The first article caught my eye on the front page----NC has added information to their website about doctors' malpractice judgements. Here's the link to the article---I included it on the blog because I constantly harp to blog readers/email correspondents the importance of checking out any new physician (BHRT doctor or otherwise) with the state medical board!

The next article is a little off topic, but still health related. Most of my blog readers are over 40 (there are exceptions) and as we know, the older we get the more likely we are to experience pain----and chronic pain can be debilitating. I am constantly amazed by the number of people who have significant pain issues (back/neck, etc) that refuse to go see a pain management specialist. You would be amazed at the modalities now available to help. I'm blessed--my own pain management physician is FABULOUS, and I don't even have to travel far to see him. His name is Dr. Mark Hines at Southlake Spine and Sports Center in Huntersville, NC (just north of Charlotte) and his number is 704-894-9800. If you are anywhere in the Piedmont area of NC, or even into the northern part of SC, he is absolutely worth the trip, he has done more to help me than even the doctors at the Mayo Clinic or the Cleveland Clinic. The Observer had an article this morning in their Health/Wellness section about getting help with chronic pain---good reading----check it out by clicking here.

Menopausal Women of the Bay Area Hormone Replacement Therapy Relief Found at Koshland Pharm: Custom Compounding Pharmacy in San Francisco

I'm a fan of Peter Koshland's blog - The Compounder - he has great information on bioidentical hormone therapy. We've corresponded several times. I'm happy to share with you the press release about the opening of his new compounding pharmacy - click here to access the article. Good luck Peter, hope your new venture is a great success!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Don’t Miss Out on 3 Health Benefits of Strength Training

Good article from HealthOutlook.com ------- I get in two weight workouts a week, I really need to bump it up to three!

Huge Loss for Synthetic Hormones in Court Case

Go, Dr. Dach! Click here to read his take on the Wyeth Pharmaceuticals/Premarin court case...

Female Hormones - How are they Affecting Me?

From Empowher.com ----- good article on the effects of estrogens on our bodies throughout our lives. Click here to read the article...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Hidden Dangers Of Pre-Menopausal Mammography

Another perspective on the controversy surrounding mammogram guidelines for women in their 40's ---- check out this article on The Huffington Post.

Popular diet product recalled in US amid bacteria fears

A little off topic, but potentially a safety issue for some of my blog readers. Check out this product recall (Slim Fast) from Yahoo News!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hormone replacement therapy tied to mental benefits

My usual caveat is talk to your doctor----but I absolutely disagree with the part of this article from Reuters that states that women should use the lowest dose of hormone therapy (the dose should be a physiological dose, what works for one woman does not necessarily work for another) and for the shortest possible time (I plan to take bioidentical hormones for the rest of my life---I doubt that as I reach my late 50's and early 60's that I am going to spontaneously start generating hormones again---good grief). The bioidentical hormones do so much more than alleviate menopausal symptoms, as my blood work, DEXA scan results will attest. I know without a doubt the progesterone (bioidentical) that I take has helped with mental clarity.

Menopause & Anorexia: Why Later Life Eating Disorders are on the Rise

I (like most people) didn't realize that anorexia/eating disorders really occured in middle age women----so I found this article on Empowher.com to be quite interesting. Click here to read it...

Knowing What’s Worth Paying for in Vitamins

Ugh. On the one hand, The NY Times is telling us that the chain stores are a good place to purchase vitamins, and on the other hand, most of our doctors are telling us that we need to purchase "pharmaceutical grade" vitamins (at a much higher cost.). I try really hard to find a balance, my vitamin bill is over $250 per month and it is killing my budget. One supplement, Cortisol Manager, is over $40 per month alone.

I'm sharing this article with you to make you think, question your doctor/health care practitioner/pharmacist about what you need to be taking (and don't be afraid to have an honest discussion with your doctor about the costs involved in vitamins---I know sometimes they aren't really aware of how quickly the costs add up!) I do have a personal recommendation---I have had good success with ordering from Total Discount Vitamins (no, they are not paying me to tell you this----I just did my research online)---be sure to sign up for their newsletter to get special monthly discount codes. They have good prices on my Diaxinol (glucose support) and the above mentioned Cortisol Manager. Leave me a comment if you have good online pharmacy recommendations!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cookie recipes!

Off topic today. I do not celebrate/observe the holiday season (thus the very generic blog background this month) but I know that many/most people do observe some sort of holiday at the end of the year. I used to love to bake (broke that habit when I moved south and decided to make at least an attempt to eat healthier). I had several requests from my friends for my cookie recipies, so this afternoon I posted my five favourite recipies on my Needle Notes blog ---- click here if you are in the mood to bake this weekend! I'll be back to blogging about bioidentical hormones and related topics tomorrow (I did not sleep well at all last night so I am not very functional today). Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Discomfort food: How to calm carb cravings

Oh, I need to read (and reread, and reread) this article from NationalPost.com----click here to read!

In Fibroid Surgery Patient's Weight Not Linked To Success

From MedicalNewsToday.com-----I know many of us have/had uterine fibroids, so this article may be of interest to you. Click here to read the entire article....

Menopause-cardiology consensus statement on cardiovascular disease and on HRT

Important reading for those of us "younger" menopausal women---click here to read the article.

Kids work their apps, not abs

The percentage of children who are Vitamin D deficient is staggering, and is likely to have long term consequences on their health. This article from the Myrtle Beach Sun popped up on my newsfeed this morning and I thought it was interesting enough to share with you. Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Check this out!

I know all of us have been touched by breast cancer in some way, this video is really cool. Check it out!

Custom Compound Pharmacy Has Meds for Thyroid Medication During Mfg Backorder

Peter Koshland has a great blog on bioidentical hormones and related matters, and he has recently opened his own pharmacy in San Francisco. If you are one of the patients who is taking Armour (thyroid medication) and having trouble getting it (there's a big shortage), check out this article----it can be compounded.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Vitamin D deficiency may increase risk of stroke, heart disease and death, finds study

You know it wouldn't be a complete week without a post on Vitamin D (altogether now, it's a prohormone, not a vitamin)----this week's article is from medical-news.net----check it out by clicking here.

Hormone Boosts For Men Get A Test

From PharmaLive.com---read this article to the guy in your life.

Menopause-Cardiology Consensus Statement On Cardiovascular Disease And On HRT

My only comment on this article from RedOrbit.com is that it is absolutely crucial that you not only talk to your doctor about hormonal therapy (assuming your doctor knows what he/she is talking about----and sadly, in some cases that's a huge IF) and that you get a hormone panel done to assess your level of hormone deficiency. Too many women telling me that their doctors are just sticking an estrogen patch on them without doing any blood work (a lot of women are estrogen dominant----I'm one of them---my estrogen levels are still premenopausal), but many are deficient in progesterone. I know the progesterone cream cured my hot flashes in about 3 days. Talk to your doctor, and if you feel your doctor has insufficient knowledge/interest in balancing your hormones bioidentically, then you need to find another doctor. Email me if you want a list of resources to help you find a doctor/compounding pharmacy in your area.