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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Another fresh new year is here...
by William Arthur Ward

Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!"

Thursday, December 30, 2010

a New Year's Resolution EVERYONE can keep!

I am not big on New Year's resolutions ----- as most of you already know, they are generally broken by mid-February, and then when you break them, you feel so bad you do something unhealthy. For me, it would be stuffing my face with a half box of Oreos just because I fell off my "diet"-----I don't "diet" anymore, I work every day to eat healthy---- some days I'm better at it than others!

However, I have one New Year's project/resolution that absolutely every one of you can keep. Before next Monday, sit down at your computer and compile (or update) your health history. Include:

  • Name, full address, and telephone number
  • Surgical history (for me this is a big one---I had 15 surgeries post accident and there is no way I could remember them all without a written list)
  • Current medications (name, dose, frequency)
  • All bioidentical hormones (names, dosages)
  • Supplements/Vitamins (complete list, this is important especially if you see more than one doctor)
  • Names, specialty, and phone number of every doctor who is treating you
  • Emergency contacts

I'm updating my list this afternoon, and I always keep a copy in my purse. I also make sure any physician that treats me has an updated copy of the list (trust me, doctors love it when a patient does this!), and I give a copy to any new physician that treats me.

Don't make excuses, don't put it off-----DO IT! And have a happy, healthy, peaceful 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Diet, exercise and vitamin D help SAD sufferers

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real condition ---- and I had it bad when I lived in Upstate NY and often didn't see the sun for a week or more at a time. It's one of the reasons I moved south.

I ran across this article from Ifpress.com that gives a quick outline of SAD, the symptoms and treatments. Note that is says besides the light therapy (that works for some people, not all, I had one of the SAD lights up north and I do think it made a difference) and getting out to exercise, it is important to have an "adequate" Vitamin D level (I would replace the word adequate with optimal, and remember Vitamin D is really not a vitamin but is a prohormone).

The Optimal Treatment for Hypothyroidism: Erika Schwartz, MD

I know that many of my readers suffer from hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) along with their other hormonal imbalances. I am hypothyroid myself, so I know how lousy it makes you feel. So many women tell me that their doctor prescribes only Synthroid or Levoxyl for them, without taking into account their T3 function (T3 is the active part of the thyroid). I take Levoxly for my T4 and a compounded preparation (prescription) for my T3. Check out this article from About.com --- Dr. Erika Schwartz talks about thyroid function and the need for both T4 and T3 managment.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yes, Virginia, it does snow in Charlotte:

I'm not a big fan of snow, in fact, I moved out of Upstate NY because I hated the long, cold, snowy winters. Charlotte gets about 5 inches of snow per year on average, but this is the first white Christmas in many, many years (since before I was born!). This picture was taken out my front door:

And these two views are looking out from my deck (very nippy out there in jammies and slippers!):

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Fix vitamin D prior 
to surgery

This article from The ClinicalAdvisor.com might be of interest to you if you (or a loved one) will be undergoing orthopedic surgery in the near future. The article discusses that insufficient levels of Vitamin D can impede bone healing post operatively. Note that the levels of "sufficiency" in this article are considered to be 30 ng/mL ---- my own phyisican prefers his patients to be at an optimal level of 70-100 ng/mL---as always, check with your health care practitioner.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Menopause: Don't Let it Steal The Holiday From Your Holiday Season

I don't celebrate the holiday season (actually, I celebrate when the holiday season is over and life gets back to some semblance of normal!) but I know that many of you do. I ran across this article today from Empowher.com and it talks about the toll menopause can take on you, and the stress of the holiday season can exacerbate symtoms you may be feeling from hormonal imbalance.

However you spend it, holiday or not, I am wishing you a wonderful weekend. We may actually have a white Christmas here in Charlotte, which is kind of a big deal because anything more than a trace of snow (about an inch is predicted) will make it the third snowiest Christmas EVER in Charlotte, and the first since I think 1947. Coming from an area that routinely gets between 150-200 inches of snow----all the hoo haa about this "storm" is pretty funny! I may or may not be posting over the weekend, but by Monday I should be back on schedule. Stay warm, stay safe----

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Health Buzz: Echinacea Does Not Cure Colds

I heard this on last night's national news, and this morning the newsfeeds are full of articles about the latest findings on the herbal supplement echinacea.....this one is from USNewsandWorldReport.com. Apparently a study done with 700 participants of varying ages, the supplement was found to reduce the duration of a cold by no more than a half day (if that, that amount could be attributed to just chance) and had only a minimal effect on the severity of a cold.

I've never taken echinacea----but I have friends who swear by it. Since I got my hormones balanced and started taking Vitamin D3 (almost 4 1/2 years now), I've had only two very light colds......my immune system seems to be very good!

Monday, December 20, 2010

How Much Vitamin D? What's Missing From the New Recommendations

Hi Everyone, sorry I haven't posted in a few days. This time of year the Internet is scarce of good articles on hormones and related issues!

I did find this article by Dr. Mark Hyman this morning on TheHuffingtonPost.com. He talks about the recent report from the Institute of Medicine and their (in my opinion woefully conservative) recommendations for Vitamin D3. Dr. Hyman points out a number of issues with the study. Two in particular I want to point out:

Paragraph 4 " An important distinction to keep in mind is that the DRI's are intended as general population based guidelines. They do not differentiate or take into account a person's unique medical history, genetics, dietary intake, clinical symptomatology, environmental conditions including sunlight exposure or biochemical and nutritional assessment."

Bullet point #3 "An important distinction to keep in mind is that the DRI's are intended as general population based guidelines. They do not differentiate or take into account a person's unique medical history, genetics, dietary intake, clinical symptomatology, environmental conditions including sunlight exposure or biochemical and nutritional assessment."

As I always cautioin my readers, check with your doctor about what Vitamin D3 level is right for you, but by all means, have the discussion, and don't let him/her put you off with "don't worry, your levels are normal". It's normal for us to have hormonal imbalances as we age, too, but it certainly isn't in the best interest of our health.

I don't celebrate or observe the holiday season (and honestly, I can't wait until all the hoopla is over and the holiday commercials disappear!) but for those of you who do celebrate Christmas, may it be filled with great times, great memories, and abundance of love.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The sanity pause

I'm a big believer in meditation ---- I have used it for pain management and stress management. I don't celebrate the holiday season (and that's its own stress!) but I know that from talking to my friends over the last few weeks, many are feeling overwhelmed by all that they have to do/participate in over the next few weeks. I ran across this article in today's Charlotte Observer that explains a few of the basics of meditation.

Another meditation tip if you have an IPhone ---- I have downloaded several apps from ITunes from Andrew Johnson. They are meditation programs, I have one for losing weight, one for sleep and another for positivity. His voice has a Scottish brouge that I just love, and I find listening to one of his podcasts really helps me to focus. There are a bunch of different apps out there, you just have to find the best one for you.

Rainy and cold here today in Charlotte, hope everyone is staying safe and warm!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Resolve to make your menopausal health a priority

First of all, today is a good day. One of my friends had a health scare, but she got great news today---no cancer. Whew. Double whew!

The title of today's article from KPVINews.com caught my eye ---- Resolve to make your menopausal health a priority. Normally I do not make resolutions because when I don't keep them I feel like a failure, but I believe every woman who is not already doing so should resolve/promise themselves that they are going to take care of their peri/menopausal health in 2011. Many of you already are (pats on the back to you!). Some ideas for making menopausal health a priority:

  • Learn all you can about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy so that you can discuss it with your doctor intelligently (and I am willing to bet that some of you could actually educate your doctor about bioidentical hormones, way too many doctors still don't know much about it!)
  • Make a list of questions to take with you to your next office visit. I even do this when I have a phone consult with Dr. Carr---I email him the list of questions ahead of time, then we can go over the answers and I can take notes.
  • Understand that no question is too embarassing to talk to your doctor about, and if you find it embarassing and/or uncomfortable (or he or she does!), think about finding another doctor!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Too Many Women Being Prescribed High Dose HRT

Check out this article from Bio-HormoneHealth.com ---- far too many women are being prescribed high doses of synthetic hormones, according to a recent study out of the Stanford School of Medicine. This frustrates me to know end, because with all we know (and if I know it as a lay person, why can't the medical community at large figure it out?) We as consumers need to be proactive---learn all we can about the choices for hormones and challenge doctors who routinely hand out anti-depressants and/or synthetic hormones to combat menopausal symptoms. We have definitive data that shows an increased risk of health issues for women who use synthetic hormones, and as my physician has said more than once "patients at the peri/menopausal transition have a hormone deficiency, not a Prozac deficiency."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

No, no, and NO!

The only thing I want you to take away from this article from MyHealthNewsDaily.com is that the hormone therapy they are talking about in this article is using SYNTHETIC (or as I refer to them, MONSTER) hormones, not biodentical hormones. I am so, so angry that this article refers to "progesterone" when what it really is they are talking about is progestin. Big, big, difference, and this kind of blatant, obvious error in mixing up the two words is inexcusable. As I always caution patients, talk to your doctor about your hormone regeime, and I stress, find a doctor who is knowledgeable about bioidentical hormones.

Just one cigarette can harm DNA, Surgeon General says

Even before I started making major steps to improve my health and get my life back on track, I was vehemently anti smoking. I can't even stand to be around it, and I consider people who smoke around their children to be commiting child abuse (and yes, I know, back in the day everyone did it, including my father). Turns out even a small amount of second hand smoke can be harmful, check out this article from USAToday.com. Do not tolerate family members or friends smoking anywhere near you. Period.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sorry I haven't posted today-----

I was out of the house all day today, one of my friends is having a medical issue and I took her into Charlotte for a medical test. Keep her in your thoughts/prayers.

I know many of you join me in sadness at the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. I had the absolute joy of meeting her once; she was in Charlotte in 2006 for a book signing. She spoke to the audience for about 30 minutes before she signed the books, and she was just an absolute delight, warm, funny, articulate, and loving. I was still into rubber stamping at the time, and I had made a bunch of pink bookmarks to give to my friends to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I took three of the bookmarks to the signing, and gave them to her---one for her, one for Cate (her oldest daughter) and one for Emma Claire. She grasped both of my hands and told me how blessed I was to have such talent, and how much she appreciated handcrafted gifts. I thought about that exchange yesterday and both smiled and cried. I hope the outpouring of affection and respect for this great woman will sustain her family in the days ahead. Blessed be.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Getting Women To Wake Up And ... Discuss Insomnia

Read this article from MediaPostPublications.com blogs and see if it frustrates you as much as it did me. It talks about a study done that shows 61% of menopausal women have sleep issues (I'm a little surprised the percentage isn't even higher.) What makes me crazy is that of those women who are having sleep issues, 62% of them have not bothered to talk to their doctor about it! Sleep deprivation is bad enough on its own, but it can also contribute to/exacerbate other health problems.

I know it's hard because I have been there (I used to think I attracted jackass health care professionals), but you have to be able to talk to your doctor about your health issues, and if you can't, you need to reevaluate your relationship with your doctor. If she/he seems too busy to be bothered with you, that's detrimental to your health and you need to look at finding another health care provider.

Many Men Over 75 Still Sexually Active: Study

I'm not entirely sure if this is good news or not......check out this article from BloombergBusinessWeek.com.....but it's an important study, especially in light of the fact that we are living longer lives. Being hormonally balanced (men or women) will increase the chances of having a healthy libido in our later years. Sexual health is important!

Great quote for the day!

"When we truly care for ourselves, it becomes possible to care far more profoundly about other people. The more alert and sensitive we are to our own needs, the more loving and generous we can be toward others."

- Eda LeShan

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Doctors Persist On Prescribing High-dose Menopausal Hormone Therapy

A couple things to take away from this article in MedicalNewsToday.com... Number one, the hormones being discussed in this article are synthetic hormones (Premarin, Prempro), the ones used in the Women's Health Initiative study in 2002. High or low doses, bioidentical hormone therapy is absolutely preferable to synthetic hormones, and there are a ton of studies out there to prove it. Secondly, this is a clear example of an all too common physician mind set ---- if this is the way we did it in medical school, this is the way we do it 20, 30 years later.

I still remain steadfast that we will look back on this in another 10-15 years and wonder why bioidentical hormones were so controversial --- my heartfelt wish is that they will be common place and we will hear no more about synthetic/monster hormones like Premarin and Prempro. We will see that BHRT is not just for hot flashes, it's about optimizing to the greatest extent possible overall health and vitality, as we know that hormones affect every system in the body.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone---good grief, it snowed yesterday here in Charlotte (ugh!). It's cold but pretty sunny this morning. I have a busy day ahead--lunch and movies with friends (we are going to see Burlesque), and then this evening I will be at a 60th birthday party for one of my other good friends. Whatever you do, be safe, be healthy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pregnancy Loss and Thyroid Levels

I'm pretty sure most of my readers are not trying to get pregnant, but this article from Empowher.com is interesting from a couple of standpoints: it talks about thyroid balance, something I know affects a lot of peri/menopausal women, and the information in this piece may be important to a loved one or friend who is trying to get or stay pregnant.

A short post today, I was up early for a hair stylist's appointment (my hair looks too cute!), then a double workout. I'm tucked in for the day now, after a late lunch (I didn't realize the time, no wonder I'm hungry) I'm going to rest my back for the remainder of the day. Tomorrow I have an appointment with the pain managment doctor (that's ok, I really like him), then later in the day I am going to have lunch with about 8 of my friends (there can never be too much friend time for me), and then we are going to see Morning Glory. I love days when I get out and about with the ladies for quality time. Hope everyone has a great week---stay warm, it's really nippy here in Charlotte today!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How much vitamin D, calcium is right?

I was really hoping when this report from The Institute of Medicine came out today that it would recommend a higher intake of Vitamin D for everyone----but that is certainly not the case. Check out this article by CNN.com (my newsfeed is flooded with articles today)-----and please, please get your Vitamin D levels checked and talk to your doctor about this. I am now taking 10000 IUs (yes, that says ten thousand IUs) of Vitamin D3 daily, as my latest bloodwork shows I am still a little below the optimal range of 70-100 ng/mL (and that's with being out in the sun all summer!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Osteoporosis isn’t just a women’s disease

While I agree with most of this article from the DuxberyTimes.com---- especially the point that men are also affected by osteoporosis, especially as they get into their 60's and beyond, I want to make one cautionary point. The end of the article says something about all patients need to be taking calcium and Vitamin D ----- please check with your doctor before starting any new supplements, particularly calcium. Patients who have a personal history of heart disease, or who have heart issues in their families, may not be candidates for calcium. I have never taken calcium, and after I got my hormones balanced, got on a regieme of Vitamin D3, and started regular exercise, my osteopenia was resolved.

Court OKs $58 million judgment

The Nevada Supreme Court just upheald a $58 million settlement against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals----finding that the drugs Premarin and Prempro caused the breast cancers of three women in Nevada. Click here to read the rest of the article from the LasVegasReview-Journal.com -----

I realize I am preaching to the choir here, but these drugs (synthetic hormones) are dangerous. That they are still on the market astonishes and angers me.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Greek Yogurt Recipes

Hi everyone, I was clearing out emails earlier today and ran across a note I got from a representative of Yoplait Greek Yogurt ---- you may remember that this spring I did a blog giveaway of a gift pack that contained some coupons for packages of this brand of yogurt. I wasn't particularly even a fan of yogurt when I did the blog giveaway, but I will tell you that I really like this stuff --- I keep a container of the strawberry and usually one of the honey vanilla in my fridge for a healthy snack. Lacey from the company sent me a couple of recipes, and I am sharing them with you (and I am dying to try out the chocolate mousse one---yummy!)

Dark Chocolate Mousse
Prep Time: 15 min
Start to Finish: 15 min

1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 box (4-serving size) chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 container (6 oz) Yoplait® Greek Fat Free honey vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) reduced-fat whipped topping
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

1. In small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup milk and chocolate chips. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. 2. In medium bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups milk and pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk for 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture is well blended and thickened; stir in yogurt. 3 Blend melted chocolate into pudding mixture; fold in whipped topping. Spoon into individual dessert dishes. Top each serving with additional whipped topping and raspberries. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time. Store covered in refrigerator.

Greek Turkey Burgers With Tzatziki Sauce
Prep Time: 20 min
Start to Finish: 20 min

IngredientsTzatziki Sauce: 1 container (6 oz) Yoplait© Greek Fat Free plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill weed or1 teaspoon dried dill
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 oz)
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 whole wheat burger buns, split
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

1. In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup yogurt and remaining sauce ingredients; refrigerate until serving.
2. Heat gas or charcoal grill. In medium bowl, mix all burger ingredients and remaining yogurt. Shape mixture into 4 patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
3. Place patties on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 8 to 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes, until thermometer inserted in center of patties reads 160°F. Place burgers in buns with tomato slices and sauce.

How-To Broil patties with tops about 6 inches from heat 4 minutes; turn patties. Cook 6 to 8 minutes longer or until meat thermometer inserted in center of patties reads 160°F.
Substitution Finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese can be substituted for the feta cheese.

Discount at Total Discount Health Vitamins

I get some of my vitamins and supplements through Total Discount Health ----just letting you know that through the weekend, they are running a special discount of 15% off a total order (some exclusions apply) by using the promo GOBBLE at checkout. I just placed an order, and it saved me about $40 (yes, it was a big order, I am running out of a bunch of stuff!)

Have a great weekend!

Hormones Influence Our Attention

Although there is a lot of conflicting information out there about estrogens effect on the brain, it is now thought that high levels of estrogen may impair a person's ability to pay attention and to learn. I certainly subscribe to that theory, as (now) I know I was estrogen dominant for most of my life, and I am certainly ADD (I'm much better now that my hormones are balanced, but I still have a tendency to be scattered). Check out this article from PsychCentral.com to learn more.....

Child/Teen Sexual And Physical Abuse Linked To Fibroids In Premenopausal Women

Interesting article about an increased incidence of uterine fibroids in premenopausal women who were subjected to sexual or physical abuse early in life----click here, the article is featured on RedOrbit.com.

Vitamin D tests not covered for most Ontarians

I am willing to bet this news from CBCNews.com is going to start getting a bunch of play here in the US with our big debate over healthcare reform. As of December 1, the Health Ministry of Ontario Canada will no longer cover Vitamin D testing unless the patient has a diagnosis of osteoporosis, rickets, etc. I suspect the US insurance companies are going to pick up on this and start refusing to pay for Vitamin D testing ---- bad move, in my mind.

Trust me when I tell you that most of my friends have heard me go on and on about the benefits of Vitamin D, and they all know that even with supplementation, my levels were way too low this spring (which frustrated the hell out of me!). I get from them "well, I take Vitamin D in my multivitamin" (yeah, right, maybe 400 IUs ---- my doctor has most of his patients on 5000 IUs, and this winter, I am on 10000 IUs daily), "oh, I get out in the sun, I don't need any supplements" (spare me, I live in NC, and in the summer bake outside without sunscreen for at least 40 minutes 4-5 days a week in the pool), "my doctor says testing me is a waste of time" (get another doctor.) After I get the first two excuses, some of these women have had a doctor check their Vitamin D3 levels, and ----- gasp! ------ tell me in a shocked tone of voice that they are Vitamin D deficient. You think? If the insurance companies stop paying for the test (and it's pretty inexpensive now, usually between $25-45 at most of the major labs), I'm afraid the Vitamin D deficiency problem will just get worse.

No Vitamin D from the sun here today in NC, very dreary and gray---two days in a row. I know that I live north enough that even in a full sun day, I will not get enough Vitamin D from the sun, but sunny days are just plain nicer! Hope whatever you are doing this holiday weekend (no, I am not hitting the Black Friday sales----I do not celebrate or observe the holidays, so I am just waiting for all this madness to be over) you are staying warm, healthy and safe.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Just want to wish you all-------

a happy, healthy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for your support this year ----- this blog is a blessing in my life, and I learn so much from it and from all of you. Eat joyfully today (she says as she munches on a pumpkin donut!)---the gym and calorie counting will be there tomorrow (and besides, I bet a bunch of you will burn calories out Black Friday shopping!) Have a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Middle-aged Americans unhappy about sex

The results of this study as described in the TheStarOnline.com are pretty typical of what I am hearing from a lot of my readers --- sexual dysfunction and problems are very common in women of peri/menopausal age. Some of it is hormonal and the physical changes that come with it, some of it is psychosocial (married a long time, empty nest syndrome, exhaustion from caring for aging parents are just a few examples), but it is a growing concern. I have detailed in earlier posts how few women are willing to talk with their doctors about vaginal dryness and other urogenital problems, and of course this lack of communication makes finding a solution even more difficult. Ladies, if you feel you cannot talk to your healthcare practitioner about sexual issues, it may be time to start looking for a new practitioner who is more responsive to your needs. Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Genetics Determine Winter Vitamin D Status

When I saw Dr. Carr a couple weeks ago, one of the things I was most interested in was my Vitamin D level. It was very low last spring (30 ng/mL) despite faithfully downing 5000 IUs of Vitamin D3 daily (I use the Ortho Molecular brand). I upped the dose to 10000 IUs for 60 days, and this summer I was busy out in my condo pool (outdoors) at least 4 days a week, so I knew I was getting additional supplementation from the sun. My latest lab level shows that I have more than doubled my level to 62, but I am still a bit below the optimal level of 70-100 ng/mL. Rats. Back to 10000 IUs daily through the winter.

This article from MedicalNewsToday.com caught my eye this morning ----the study results indicate that our winter Vitamin D levels are more the restult of our genetics, whereas our summer results are more influenced by our lifestyle choices (sun exposure, etc.) I moved to NC in 2004 from Upstate NY partially because I could no longer take the dreary, gray, long winters up north---my depression issues would get way worse in the winter time (this was before I got my hormones balanced----I had been on antidepressants for at least 10 years before that). Living here in Charlotte, the sun in the wintertime still doesn't give me adequate Vitamin D levels without supplementation, but our winters are generally pretty mild with a fair number of sunny days, so I can get out most days and not get holed up in the house (I don't mind one "in" day because of weather, but more than two and I start getting very antsy---not to mention wanting to scarf down junk food!).

Have a great day!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Prehypertension linked to low vitamin D

Check out this article from EndocrineToday.com---it discusses a research study done to see if there was a correlation between prehypertension (the borderline area before a patient is diagnosed with hypertension/high blood pressure) and low levels of Vitamin D3. Just one more reason to keep up your Vitamin D3 levels! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday---it's beautiful here in Charlotte--got in a fitness walk this morning!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Infant Estrogen Levels Tracked Through Diaper Research

I've found quite a few articles on this topic over the last few days ---- hormone levels in infants. It's being studied now by using fecal matter found in the babies diapers....and may provide some important clues about hormonal development from infancy forward. It doesn't particularly relate to menopausal issues, but I find it interesting nonetheless---check out this article from HealthNewsDigest.com.

Choosing apples over cookies may help bone health

Yeah, but the cookies taste better (just kidding, calm down.) Here's a study published by the American Journal of Nutrition that seems to indicate a correlation between healthier eating and bone density (not that it's a big surprise). I'm glad I finally got my act together and started taking care of myself before my osteopenia (former osteopenia) got any worse---I'm seeing an increase in fractures in women not that much older than my sprightly 52 years. I do not want to be in that category. Check out this article from The VancouverSun.com for more details----and then go eat an apple!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gwyneth dances great on 'Glee,' despite osteopenia

I'm a fan of Glee---and I really enjoyed Gwyneth Paltrow's appearance on the show Tuesday night. However, it never occured to me that her dance moves were "despite" her osteopenia. This article in the WashingtonPost.com caught my eye when it popped up on the newsfeed yesterday.

Osteopenia, for those of you who aren't familiar with the term, is a condition that is a precursor to osteoporosis, thinning of the bones, making patients more susceptible to fractures as they age. I had mild osteopenia about 4 years ago, just before I started bioidentical hormones, exercising regularly (and it has to be resistance/weight training, just walking won't help and neither will swimming--although each has its benefits), Vitamin D3, and eating healthier (I'm not perfect but way better than I used to be). I had a repeat bone density test done in the summer of 2009---and it showed that not only do I no longer have osteopenia, but that my bone density was comfortably in the normal range. Both Dr. Carr and my pain management doctor, Mark Hines, were thrilled!

I just had a Vitamin D test done with my regular blood work, and it showed that my level was 62 ng/mL (and that was after a summer of being out in the condo pool at least 4 days a week for 45 minutes, and 5000 IUs of Vitamin D daily). Dr. Carr likes his patients to be at a range of 70-100 ng/mL, so I am now on 10,000 IUs daily at least through the winter.

Good news, ladies: Estrogen makes you smarter

Oh, I have so many smark aleck remarks I could make about the headline from this article on MSNBC.com----but I will refrain. I think you will be hearing more about this in the upcoming months, as scientists are desperately looking for solutions to Alzheimer's and dementia.

How to Sleep Through Menopause

Even with hormonal balance, my sleep is not quite where I would like it to be, but far better than it was. I share that issue with a huge percentage of menopausal women---and next to hot flashes, sleep disturbances are the most common complaint I hear from my "hormonal" readers.

Check out this new article by Saness Jonekos from The HuffingtonPost.com. One of the points that struck me is that many menopausal women (including the author) have not discussed their sleep disturbances with their doctor. You are paying your practitioner to take care of you---there should be no topic concerning your health that you do not feel comfortable talking about. Sleep is hugely important to your physical and mental well being---I cannot overemphasize this point enough ----- and believe me, I speak from first hand experience! The article also has some good tips for what is known as "sleep hygeine"---keeping the room dark and cool, don't exercise too close to bedtime, things like that. I take Melatonin every night, and it has helped me (along with the balanced hormones) far more than any of the prescription meds I used to take (and with no side effects, something none of the sleeping meds can claim).

Sweet dreams to all!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm back!

I've been away from the computer for a few days ---- as I am sure you have noticed! I flew to Rancho Mirage, CA last Wednesday (11/10) for a visit/consult with my hormone physician John Carr. It was a great experience---I finally got to meet Audrey, Dr. Carr's medical assistant:

She is utterly delightful!

I had a wonderful visit with Dr. Carr, we went over my lab work, and my numbers looked great (including a further drop in my cholesterol---yes, I am bragging!) He was impressed and excited over my weight loss (over 110 pounds altogether)----I told him without being hormonally balanced, it never would have happened, and I am very grateful.

I am finally, officially post menopausal----my FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) is now 34 (up from 5.4 in the spring), and my estrodiol level is 40.6 (down from 89.5 in the spring). Since I am not having symptoms of estrogen deficiency (hot flashes, night sweats, etc) I don't need any further estrogen supplementation. All my other levels were great----but I need to up my Vitiamin D3 intake for a while, I am still at the low end of optimal, and of course, this winter I won't get as much D3 from the sun.

After my appointment, I headed off to San Diego to visit the zoo and do some sightseeing---it was a wonderful, fun trip (will share the vacation photos in a separate post). I'm pretty jet lagged today, so bear with me, I will be back on track in a couple days with articles to share with you!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menopause and insomnia

Oh, believe me, from first hand experience I know how awful insomnia in menopause can be! I still struggle some with sleep issues, although I am far better now that I am hormonally balanced (I have a chronic pain issue from my back that makes sleeping tough). Check out this article on menopause and insomnia from BellaOnline.com ---- some good suggestions for what is known as sleep hygeine.

Women better at surviving trauma than men

More good news about being a woman--and from the Johns Hopkins Newsletter, no less! It seems that the hormone estrogen helps women survive trauma better than men (in fact, according to this study, their high levels of testosterone work against them). I'm very curious to ask my doctor about this, as I survived a very bad car crash almost 19 years ago, and I have been way estrogen dominant all of my adult life.

Estrogen Not Associated With Lung Cancer Incidence and Mortality Among Postmenopausal Women, Study Finds

Two caveats in this study reported by ScienceDaily.com --- one, the study was conducted on a small number of women (about 10,700---not a large number for a study this size) and two, the hormones they are talking about these women taking are NOT bioidentical hormones---the progestin discussed in the article is far different than bioidentical progesterone.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lack of vitamin D in patients with leukemia 'ups death risk'

I sure hope none of you are dealing with this issue (or ever have to, be it personally or with a loved one) ---- but check out this article from NewKerela.com. It deals with a study on the correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and progession of decline in leukemia patients. I was just giving the Vitamin D3 "pep talk" to one of my friends last night!

Have a great weekend everyone! It's very chilly here in NC----

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sex 101 -- for Midlifers

Good grief, I thought Dr. Ruth (Westheimer) was old back when I was a teenager (and she first became popular in mainstream culture) but she is still going strong. I enjoyed reading this article she wrote for FamilyGoesStrong.com about how to incorporate the changes, both physiological and psychological that come with midlife into our sex lives. Read it with your partner!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hormones and Breast Cancer: The Latest Findings from WHI

I want to thank my friend and reader Jane for passing this article along to me from Health Watchers News and Views (I got a broken link on it from my own newsfeed, so this link was doubly welcomed!) ---- important clarification about all the media hype on HRT and how it differs from BHRT (bioidential hormone replacement therapy) as it relates to the risk of breast cancer. Be sure to read it---and enjoy the rest of your day!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

I'll be back later with a real post-----but I wanted to share this picture with all my readers.

My mom would have been 90 years old today (she passed in 1998)---and this picture is her being awarded the Bronze Star while serving as a nurse in World War II. That was at a time when women didn't have the opportunities that they have today, and I always say a lot of people can say their dads/granddads were in WW2, but not an awful lot can say their moms were!

Mom, her brother Jack, and sister Betty (I called her Aunt Rocky) were all in the service at the same time---I cannot imagine what my maternal grandmother went through. Mom never talked much about her time in the Army (she had me about 12 years after she was discharged, she married relatively late in life) but I am so glad I have these pictures. I love you and miss you!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Doctor appointment tips every patient can use

I'm working on Dr. Carr (my hormone physician) to write a guest post for me about the top 10 questions you should ask a new bioidentical hormone physician. I can guide you as to how to find a doctor, check his board certification status, and any activity with the state medical board, but Dr. Carr's input into what makes a good hormone physician will be a valuable tool for every patient. Don't worry, I am tenacious and will keep after him

Meanwhile, I found this interesting article on KevinMD.com --- written by a nephrologist. Some very good tips for working with any doctor, new or familiar. Check it out, well worth reading.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

'Taboo' of menopause leaves women suffering in silence

I posted an article a couple of weeks ago about how many women are afraid to discuss the issue of vaginal atrophy/vaginal dryness with their health care practitioner. This article from the DailyMail.com (UK) expands on the subject, and indicates that a substantial portion of women are afraid to discuss menopause honestly with their doctors and/or their partners! This is 2010, this should not be a taboo subject (of course, this is from a woman who has chronicled most of her menopause, vaginal dryness and all, all over the Internet!) I posted a comment at the bottom of the article, it may take some time to appear online.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Suzanne Somers Breakthrough Tour (updated information)

OK, finally found out the ticket price for Suzanne Somer's Breakthrough lecture appearance at theaters nationwide Thursday, November 4 ---- $12. Actually, that's not bad, I expected it to be more than that. Click here for more information about a theater near you, I will be at the one in Mooresville, NC, if you are going, drop me an email at holyhormones@gmail.com and perhaps we can meet!

Brisk walkers have lower breast cancer risk

This study is getting a lot of press (at least 10 articles popped up on the newsfeed this morning) --- this one is from Stuff.nz.co. (New Zealand). Women who exercise regularly, according to the latest study, have a lower incidence of breast cancer--even if they didn't start exercising regularly until later in life (like me....is 46 considered later in life?) One of the reasons I love spring and fall in NC is that the mild weather really entices me to get out and walk around our subdivision (I can make it on a good back day about 1.5 miles)----I plug my IPod into my ears, and use the Nordic Walking Poles (love those---really increases your upper body workout).

Hormone Foundation and Endocrine Society Make Controversial Claim: Adrenal Fatigue Does Not Exist

Hi everyone, sorry I haven't posted in a couple days---we had terrible storms roll through here on both Tuesday and Wednesday---severely limiting my computer time! Everyone safe here, but areas just west of me got hammered big time with damage. The weather has settled down, so back to blogging!

Mary Shomon writes a great blog (and has written books) on thyroid function and related women's health issues. Today's blog entry is about the Endocrine Society's "fact sheet" on Adrenal Fatigue. It has caused a great deal of controversy, as some doctors dismiss adrenal fatigue as a myth or non existent, and other doctors take it seriously. I have it, my cortisol levels have been consistently elevated---partially because I deal with a chronic pain issue, and partly because I still need to do a better job of managing my stress level (I'm one of those people who is always sort of wound up!) Mary interviews Dr. Shames, who is widely recognized as a leader in the area of adrenal fatigue. Check out the article, great reading.

Happy Halloween to everyone ---- I saw a great greeting card last week, and it said something to the effect of Halloween is such a great holiday --- when else can you walk up to a check out counter with 10 bags of candy and not be embarassed?!?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Male Menopause: The Effects of Dwindling Testosterone

I haven't done an article on andropause (male menopause---although I don't like that term) in quite a while, but this is a good article from Dr. John Whyte--in the HuffingtonPost.com. It details the symptoms of low testosterone in an easy to read list form---share the article with the guy(s) in your life!

Wednesday Bubble me this: end the ‘silent suffering’

I know I have brought up this topic before ---- but it makes me so sad when I get emails from women who tell me that having sex with their partner is difficult or impossible because of vaginal dryness. Usually in the next sentence they tell me that their doctor either doesn't want to discuss it with them (which really upsets me---my doctor and I talk about EVERYTHING!) I was heartened to see that the International Menopause Society has chosen to publicize the issue and encourage greater communication between doctors and their patients. I ran across this blog on Wordpress called Flash Free (dealing with menopausal issues) and the author dealt with the subject in this post ---click here to read it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blog Giveaway! (Deadline extended!)

I extended the deadline on the current blog giveaway to Thursday, October 28, 2010 as I had several readers tell me the comments section on the blog was doing funny things. Here's the original post, so head on over there, leave a comment and don't forget to visit Hershey's Moderation Nation website!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In the news today-----

I know that many if not all of you have heard that more information is being released about hormone replacement therapy, the incidence of breast cancer, and the severity/increased mortality from breast cancer in women who have taken HRT. The LA Times had an article about it this morning, and so has almost every other newspaper in the country. What the articles do not tell you is that the HRT in the Women's Health Initiative study is NOT bioidentical.

I believe in going to the expert in these matters, and so I am sharing with you what my own physician, Dr. John Carr, has to say on the subject (this will be up on his Facebook page later this evening, and I am very grateful to him for allowing me to share it on this blog):

In the news today are more reports about data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), that terribly flawed study that continues to confuse women and, quite frankly, irritate me.

Here is the conclusion from the current JAMA article:

"Estrogen plus progestin was associated with greater breast cancer incidence, and the cancers are more commonly node-positive. Breast cancer mortality also appears to be increased with combined use of estrogen plus progestin."

I do not dispute the data-we have know for YEARS that this combination of horse urine (what they refer to as estrogen) and medroxprogesterone (a drug, NOT bio-identical progesterone) increases the risk of breast cancer.

The WHI simply confirmed results from several other studies demonstrating that a synthetic progestin significantly increases the risk breast cancer, heart attack and stroke. It is a DRUG. Drugs have side effects. All of them do.

The only conclusion from this study should be to never to use synthetic horse urine (unless you are a horse) or medroxyprogesterone.

The irony of all of this is that these drugs are still on the market and prescribed by doctors every day to unknowing women. On Good Morning America they said you should not stop these medications without consulting with your doctor. I completely disagree. You have to ask yourself why they are even still available, right? Ask your congressman about that. And about cigarettes.

The bottom line is that the data from these drug trials cannot be extended to the use of bio-identical hormones that have been in your body your entire life.

HRT, which stands for Hormone Replacement Therapy, is a bad term. We should not be REPLACING human estrogen or progesterone with horse urine and synthetics. Instead, our goal should be to OPTIMIZE natural hormones to healthy levels on an individual basis.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Survey reveals impact of insomnia during menopause

Hi everyone, I am back from my day at the NC State Fair (pictures later!) We had a wonderful time, I ate too much, so now it's back to daily workouts (and my blog!)

Next to hot flashes, the most common complaints I hear from women in peri/menopausal transition is "I can't sleep", "I'm exhausted", "I'm so tired I can't stand it". I remember saying all those things to my doctors before I got my hormones balanced. Getting on bioidentical hormones (along with melatonin and regular exercise) has improved my sleep greatly, although I still do have a little issue with it because of chronic pain in my back.

This morning's article is from News-Medical.net -----and there are a couple things I want you to take away from it. The study talked about in the article reveals that well over half of the women polled had not talked to their doctor about sleep issues in menopause, and that of the women who had talked to their doctors, over 90 percent of the time it was the patient who initiated the conversation about sleep issues with their physician. First of all, since sleep issues are such a common problem for women at this stage of their lives, doctors need to be more proactive in asking patients about their sleep, and secondly ------ don't be afraid to bring up any health concern with your doctor! If he/she tries to blow you off, stop them, stand in front of the treatment room door to bar them from leaving if you have to (I actually had a patient tell me a few months ago that she did this---good for her!) You know if you don't sleep well, it affects every aspect of your life ----- partner relationships, your ability to deal with your children, coworkers, friends. It's a health issue and a safety issue----far too many people in this country drive when they are sleep deprived (I so often have women tell me that as they reach peri/menopause, they have to stop at Starbucks on the way home from the office just so they are alert enough to drive---that scares me more than I can tell you!)

Speaking of sleep---although I rarely do this, I might get in a quick nap this afternoon, I was so wound up last night after a long day that I didn't fall asleep until after 1 am, and I was up at 7 to limber up enough to go work out. Yawn----yep, tiny little power nap after lunch and I will be good to go. Make it a great day, everyone!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'll be playing hookey until Tuesday----

I am off on an annual Fall tradition --- a day trip to Raleigh to the NC State Fair (with 12 of my friends, we are going on the Amtrak Train!) I'll post new articles on Tuesday, and meantime, do not forget to enter the blog giveaway I posted last week ------ click here for that post and to leave a comment and enter! Have a great Sunday, a great Monday (does such a thing exist?) and I will see you Tuesday!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Perimenopause: Signs and Solutions

<!--googleoff: anchor--> 1 2 3 next >> <!--googleon: anchor--> The average American woman enters menopause by age 51, but the hormone...

Food for Thought: What to Eat During Menopause

From MSN.com Health------check out what foods may help you with menopausal symptoms! I can attest to the one about spicy foods----when I was having hot flashes (before I got my hormones balanced) I used to like some spicy foods---they definitely aggravated my hot flashes BIG TIME! I gave up spicy soups, sauces, etc. for a while---now, no problem!

Breast Cancer Risks Reduced for Vegetable Eaters

Today a quick article from ThirdAge.com ----- a study done to investigate the correlation between estrogen-receptor negative breast cancer and African-American women who eat two or more servings of vegetables a day (something I will admit to you is difficult for me---fruit, yes, veggies---well, let's just say I try!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blog Giveaway!

Hi everyone! The nice folks at Blogspark and Hershey's made me aware of a new website called ModerationNation.com. It's a site devoted to educating people on how to achieve balance in their lives through moderation, both in nutrition and physical activity.

The program features online and face-to-face engagement tools, such as Moderation Menus and a new iPhone mobile application, to help people understand what moderation means for them and their families and how to apply it to their everyday lives. While the concept of moderation has been espoused for decades, this campaign represents one of the first concerted efforts to turn the theory of moderation into practice on such a widespread scale.

I went on over to look over the site and I must say I am impressed---lots of information on eating in moderation, including healthy recipes and ways to get a little more exercise in your day. There are opportunities for us to connect with a registered dietician, and information on keeping a food journal ----- the theory being you are more careful about what you eat when you make yourself accountable to journal it.

Hershey's and Blogspark sent me a lovely gift package to promote their new site: a Tshirt (which I will wear to work out in!), a great little journal to track food, and (oh, yum!) a bag of York Peppermint Patties! Now, most of you know I am in the midst of dropping a bunch more weight (pictures soon), but I am allowing myself the occasional treat, even when I am on restricted eating. I put the York Peppermint Patty Minis in the freezer, and I allow myself on about every other day (at 50 calories each, it's not going to wreck me----and oh, they melt slowly in your mouth from the freezer, so you can really savour the flavour.)

Even better, I have a gift package to give away to one of my blog readers!

You may enter the contest one of two ways:

1. Leave me a comment below with what one food you have either learned to eat in moderation, or need to work on learning to eat in moderation!


2. Link this post on your blog, and then leave me a note in the comment section with the link to your blog post!

You may enter once on each of my blogs, this one or my Holy Hormones blog!

Deadline for entries is Thursday, October 28, 2010 at midnight (I extended the deadline as we had an issue with comments being posted). I will use a random number
generator to pick a winner, who will be notified so I can get your mailing address. Please make sure I have access to an email address to contact you---thank you and good luck!

FDA: Osteoporosis Drugs May Raise Thigh Fracture Risk

I had at least 4 people ask me about this yesterday....I wasn't home much of the day so until I sat down at the computer this morning, I wondered why all the sudden interest in the osteoporosis drugs. Apparently yesterday the FDA issued a warning about the increased risk of thigh bone fractures in patients using these medications-----click here to read more about it from the WebMD.com site. I'm so grateful that my doctor is dead set against these drugs...we cured my osteopenia with Vitamin D3, daily weight bearing exercise, and of course, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Negative Perceptions of Menopause Contradicted by New Study

Hmmmm---I'm not sure how to feel about this article from ScienceDaily.com. A study done for the Journal of Health Psychology concludes that psychological and social factors are the biggest influence on a woman's libido during the peri/menopausal period. I think they have a definite influence, but I still think a lot of it is about (bioidentical) hormonal balance. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think!

Monday, October 11, 2010

TV Alert!

Sorry for the short notice on this one --- tomorrow the Dr. Oz Show will feature at least one segment on the symptoms of peri-menopause. Click here for more details ---- and check your local listings for time/channel in your area (in Charlotte, it's WBTV channel 2 - 10 am!)

Moderation Nation!

I know----you are wondering why anything to do with Hershey (oh, yum!) is being featured on a health related blog! Read the press release below-----and stay tuned, by Wednesday I will have a blog giveaway to share with you (and it involves chocolate!) The giveaway might be up tomorrow, but it might be Wednesday, stay tuned!

The Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition has launched a new website called Moderation Nation. Here is their press release:

HERSHEY, Pa., Sept. 15, 2010 – Today, the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition® (HCHN) joined with the American Dietetic Association (ADA) to unveil Moderation Nation™, a new national program which kicks off by providing complimentary visits with ADA member registered dietitians to consumers, age 18 or over. Moderation Nation seeks to educate people on how to achieve balance in their lives through moderation, both in nutrition and physical activity.

The program features online and face-to-face engagement tools, such as Moderation Menus and a new iPhone mobile application, to help people understand what moderation means for them and their families and how to apply it to their everyday lives. While the concept of moderation has been espoused for decades, this campaign represents one of the first concerted efforts to turn the theory of moderation into practice on such a widespread scale.

Moderation Nation reflects an emerging national movement toward improving consumers’ access to the nation’s food and nutrition experts: registered dietitians. In fact, according to ADA’s public opinion survey, Nutrition and You: Trends 2008, 61 percent of consumers reported interest in a diet and nutritional consultation if the cost were covered by the person’s health insurance; other studies have shown that people who receive regular nutritional counseling successfully avoid unwanted pounds and have better eating habits.

As part of a three-year collaboration with ADA, announced in mid-July, HCHN will initially commit a half million dollars to the program to cover the costs of consumer visits with ADA-member registered dietitians through one-on-one counseling. To participate in this first-of-its-kind program, consumers can visit www.TheModerationNation.com to download a visit certificate and to arrange a consultation with any of the thousands of ADA-member registered dietitians through ADA’s Find a Registered Dietitian resource. Consumers will be reimbursed for their visits by The Hershey Company through mail-in rebate.

ADA’s public opinion survey, Nutrition and You: Trends 2008, indicates that more than half of Americans claim they need more practical information in order to eat right, and 41 percent don’t know or understand diet and nutrition guidelines,” said Debra Miller, Ph.D., Director, Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition. “This program helps people easily access registered dietitians to help them make a major impact on people’s attitudes and behaviors toward food, and support balanced eating habits and better overall health.”

“The evidence clearly points to the need to emphasize the concepts of a total diet approach,” said registered dietitian and ADA President Judith Rodriguez. “Americans can greatly benefit from the individual counseling provided by registered dietitians, who play a critical role in translating science and helping the public adopt eating patterns consistent with the total diet approach. We need to continue to explore new and innovative strategies that bring people together with RDs.”
Moderation Nation will include a number of unique engagement programs to empower people with new approaches to understand how to achieve a balanced diet and lifestyle, including:

The Balance Board: Moderation Nation’s advisory board featuring nationally recognized registered dietitians, including Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”; Keri Glassman, author of the O2 Diet; Regina Ragone, Food Director for Family Circle magazine and author of Stop Dieting and Lose Weight: The Easiest Way to a Slimmer You; and Elizabeth Ward, author of Expect The Best: Your Complete Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy.

TheModerationNation.com: A robust online resource with new, unique tools and resources to show people how all their favorite foods, including chocolate, can be responsibly incorporated into their lives. ADA’s survey shows that 73 percent of people say not wanting to give up their favorite foods is a significant reason for not doing more to eat healthier; and a national survey by HCHN of registered dietitians found 95 percent believe chocolate can fit into a balanced diet if consumed in moderation.

Moderation Nation Menus: Easy-to-follow, realistic, weekly menus developed by registered dietitians that enable consumers to map out balanced meal menus based upon lifestyle and course-correct throughout the day and week to maintain balance.

Moderation Nation Meal Balancer: An interactive tool through which visitors can enter a main dish for a meal they are preparing, along with its preparation method and receive suggestions for side dishes that complement – and balance – the entrée.

Moderation Nation iPhone App: A new, free app that will encourage users to take short 10-minute activity breaks to achieve the recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. The app enables users to set reminders to take a brief activity break during their day and enables them to track the number of minutes of activity they achieve each week, even for activities they may not consider “exercise,” such as walking the dog or playing outside with their children.

Moderation Nation Facebook Page: A forum where experts and consumers can interact, share insights and learn specific tips and information on maintaining a balanced diet and lifestyle.

About the Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition
The Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition was established in 2005 to promote the chemistry and health benefits of cocoa, chocolate, nuts and other ingredients. The Center draws upon clinical studies and scientific analysis to help guide new products and product development for The Hershey Company in the area of healthy snacking. For more information, visit www.hersheys.com/nutrition-professionals.

About the American Dietetic Association The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.

About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has operations throughout the world and more than 12,000 employees. With revenues of more than $5 billion, Hershey offers such iconic brands as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Kit Kat, Twizzlers and Ice Breakers as well as the smooth, creamy indulgence of Hershey's Bliss chocolates. Hershey is a leader in the dark and premium chocolate segment, with such brands as Hershey's Special Dark and Hershey's Extra Dark. In addition, Artisan Confections Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company, markets such premium chocolate offerings as Scharffen Berger and Dagoba. For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making a positive difference in the communities where we live, work and do business. The Milton Hershey School, established by the company's founder in 1909, provides a nurturing environment, quality education, housing, and medical care at no cost to children in social and financial need. The School is administered by the Hershey Trust Company, Hershey's largest shareholder, making the students of Milton Hershey School direct beneficiaries of Hershey's success. Please visit us at www.hersheys.com.

Testosterone Could Boost Health of Heart Failure Patients

Hopefully we are all going to stay in great shape as we age (with the help of bioidentical hormones, of course) so heart failure won't be an issue....but I thought this article from HealthDay.com via Yahoo News was worth mentioning. It discusses a small research study done to evaluate the effects of testosterone in patients with heart failure. The heart is essentially a muscle, and it's already proven that testosterone builds muscle, so it makes sense---further research needs to be done.

Get out there and exercise those heart muscles today!

Frequent Inaccuracies In Testosterone Testing Lead To Call For Standardization

Good morning everyone! Back after a very busy weekend----I went to a social media conference on Saturday, and yesterday I went out and enjoyed the beautiful day with friends (we went and ran errands---did a little craft store shopping!)

There's been some discussion lately that there have been some problems with testosterone level testing---apparently some of the labs are a little lax about standards, and some inaccurate numbers have been reported, which can cause problems for patients. Both too much or too little testosterone given to a patient can be detrimental to their health. The issue is not widespread, but it's worth being aware of. This is not where you want to cut corners on health care costs---make sure the lab you are using is reputable. For more information, click here to check out an article on the subject from MedicalNews.net.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency Rampant In Patients Undergoing Orthopedic Surgery, Damaging Patient Recovery

Many years ago I was in a horrific car accident---broke both legs, crushed my right arm, and broke my pelvis in 23 places. I've had 15 orthopedic surgerys to get put back together, the last in 2002. This article from Medical News Today.net caught my eye----a study done to measure the frequency of Vitamin D deficiency in pre-operative orthopedic surgery patients. This may be of particular interest to those of you with parents/elderly relatives that are undergoing joint replacements or any other orthopedic surgery (and the incidence of Vitamin D deficiency in older people is very high).

Fall here in the Carolinas is just gorgeous --- today it's sunny, mild and the high will be in the 70's! Even though the days are short enough now that I can't get adequate Vitamin D from the sun....I'm going to sit out for a while this afternoon in the sun and fresh air---it's good for the soul. Enjoy the rest of your week!

IMS launches new Recommendations to manage postmenopausal vaginal atrophy

This article from News-Medical.net makes me both happy and sad. Happy that the International Menopuase Society is recognizing the need for promoting honest discussion with practitioners and patients about vaginal atrophy. Sad that there is still poor awareness and understanding of this condition among patients and that it is still largely considered a taboo subject between doctors and patients (and I have heard from a number of women who have said that when they try to bring up the subject with their physicians---they are either blown off or their doctor is clearly uncomfortable talking about it.) I never forget how blessed I am to have a doctor who wants me to talk honestly with him and is passionate about women having a good quality of life no matter what the age.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Suzanne Somers Breakthrough Tour

Good afternoon, everyone! I went to the movies (Social Network---exccellent film and I recommend it) with three friends yesterday afternoon. As the theater darkened I settled back for movie previews-----and Suzanne Somers popped up on the screen! I immediately leaned forward to focus, and it was just a hoot, the three friends immediately turned to me and started laughing ----- being friends with me often means learning more about bioidentical hormones than they might want to know! Anyway, Ms. Somers was announcing that she is bringing her Breakthrough Tour (which is a live show she has been doing in the US and Canada for about the past year) to movie theaters ---- she will be doing a live show and it will be beamed to theaters all over the country.

Those of you who have been following the blog for a while know that I have somewhat conflicted feelings about Suzanne Somers. I think some of her ideas are kind of whacky. On TV when she is talking about bioidentical hormones, supplements (I can still picture her lining up 60 vitamin pills on her kitchen counter to swallow every morning), etc. she sometimes comes across as a zealot and a fanatic ------ and I have seen her be dismissive and disrespectful of those who don't fall in line with every one of her opinions. Ms. Somers acts like the entire medical community is against bioidenticals, and that simply is not true----there still aren't enough doctors out there who are willing to be open minded enough to know that there are better ways to deal with menopause and aging than a handful of pills, but it's slowly getting better and that needs to be supported and celebrated. She also needs to do a better job of getting to the nuts and bolts of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for women of modest means----I get the sense that she doesn't fully grasp that most women are on a limited budget and can't run from doctor to doctor. I've had more than one woman tell me that she acts like you aren't trying hard enough to improve your health if you don't follow all Ms. Somers' edicts.

That being said, I respect her passion for this issue, and the truth of the matter is --- a lot of women are going to listen to a celebrity talk about bioidentical hormone replacement than a physician. She has brought what I consider to be one of the greatest protocols in healthcare today to the forefront, she has started and kept up the debate, she has educated women that menopause can be a wonderful, healthy time of your life. I have no small amount of admiration for her, and I hope to get to meet her someday.

The theater broadcast for her live presentation is November 4 and November 9 (the 11/9 broadcast will be in limited release). Here is the link for more information ---- when I checked it just a minute ago, ticket prices were not listed, but I am guessing it will be about $20-$25. I plan to go ------ and take notes, which of course I will share with my blog readers.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why belly fat increases in women after the age of 40 & what to do about it

This article was of interest to me (I've lost over 100 pounds now, but still struggle with the belly fat issue) and I am sure it will be to many of you also. It's from the Sacramento Examiner.com, and you can click here to read the entire article.

Sketchers update ---- for those of you new to the blog, I finally bought a pair of the Sketcher's Shape Up workout shoes, and since several people emailed me to ask how I was doing with them, I decided to update them on the blog. I wore them Monday for a fitness walk, made it about 1.5 miles (that's pretty good for me, my back can't walk more than that even on a good day). I did pretty well ---- I walk with the Nordic Walking poles. The next morning, I could feel a bit of tightening in my gluteal (butt) muscles, so I think they do work out the muscles differently. I have now worn them to three circuit training classes at the YMCA, and the only thing I have to be very careful of is stepping up on one of the fitness ramps---it moves my foot out of allignment.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Combating The Symptoms Of Menopause

OK, I'm feeling a little snarky today, so I decided to take on this article in from NJToday.net. The author, who is the president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynogologists, is obviously not a fan of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Fact---although numerous studies have been done overseas studying the efficacy and safety of bioidentical hormones, there will likely never be large studies done in the US, because the pharmaceutical companies have no interest in studying substances they can not patent (US law prohibits patenting anything that occurs in nature). Since the FDA is pretty much in Big Pharma's pocket----you can see where I am going here.

Make it a great day ---- much needed rain here in Charlotte. I'm up and running early waiting on the plumber, guess I will get in a weight workout as soon as he leaves (fitness walk if the rain abates).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Study Shows that the Addition of T3 is Superior to Levothyroxine/T4-Only Thyroid Treatment for Hypothyroidism

Hello everyone! Late posting today----I took a trip to a local botanical garden today---somewhat of a waste for two reasons: 1. mysteriously the memory card was missing from my camera (I have never taken it out that I know of, and I live with three stuffed animals), 2. the brutal summer heat really whipped most of the flowers, it was nowhere near as beautiful as last year. That's ok, I still have a couple more gardens to visit this month, and goodness knows I have a lot of flower pictures already.

Today's article comes from Mary Shomon's Thyroid Blog (if you don't subscribe to it and you are one of the many peri/menopausal women who have thyroid issues, subscribe, I have learned a great deal from her weekly emails)---and it confirms what many patients have long suspected -----a combination T3/T4 thyroid medication protocol is superiour to a T4 only regime. I have been taking T4 (Levoxyl) and T3 (compounded) medications for over 4 years, and I know it's the two meds together that keep me feeling well. It breaks my heart when patients email me with all the classic symptoms of thyroid imbalance, and their doctors either refuse to test them, or only test TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and tell the patient it is in "normal" limits.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Can't Focus? Maybe It's The Wrong Time Of Month

This article from RedOrbit.com may be of particular interest to those of us who are estrogen dominant (like me, I am still making estrogen at premenopausal levels, although I am clearly post menopausal). It makes a lot of sense in my case, I am ADD and took Ritalin for about 15 years. When I went on progesterone cream (which counterbalances estrogen) I was able to get off the ADD meds within two weeks. I am still ADD to be sure, but the progesterone cream does as much (or more) to alleviate the symptoms as the Ritalin ever did, and without raising my blood pressure!

It finally rained here in NC, and now come the cooler, fall-like temperatures. Hope everyone has a great Sunday!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stress and Adrenal Health

Interesting article from JournalLive.com (UK) on stress and adrenal health. Click here to read the article.....

Update on my experiences with the Sketcher's Shape Ups---I wore them to my circuit training class on Thursday (circuit training is a minute of aerobic activit, a minute of weight machines--if you've ever been to Curves, that's circuit training). I did pretty well, the only things I noticed are I have to be careful when steping up on the ramp boards (throws off the balance a bit), and when I got on the leg press machine, my knees were a bit more crunched up around my ears (I already have the seat set as far back as it will go, I have long legs). Today is (hopefully) the end of the hot weather, I am hoping to get out and fitness walk early next week. That will be the real test of how I do with them. Overall, so far I am satisfied with their performance. If you wear them, leave me a comment and let me know of your experiences!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Teaching Doctors About Nutrition and Diet

I love this article from the NYTiimes.com --- and I was so struck by the last line:

“You can’t just keep writing out script after script after script of new medications when diet is just as important as drugs or any other treatment a patient may be using.”

I finally have two doctors who "get it" -- and I am much happier and healthier because of it.

Sketchers Update!

Day 1 with the new Sketcher Shape Ups----I wore them for several hours to go run errands. Since it is still about 90 degrees here, they felt hot to me, but that's because I have claustrophobic feet. I quickly learned that they do help me not rock back on my heels so much, which I think will be a help in the long run. Went up and down 4 flights of stairs, did it slowly as one of the things to get used to is that you can't really feel the ground like you do in regular workout shoes.

Didn't feel anything in my muscles yesterday, but when I got up this morning I definitely could feel my gluteal muscles (insert your own joke here!) All in all, I like them about as much as I will ever like a pair of workout shoes (grin)----tomorrow I am going to wear them to Quick Fit at the Y (circuit training class) and I will report back then. Make it a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How To: Fight night sweats

Night sweats are the one menopausal symptom I DIDN'T have when I was in the menopausal transition---but I have heard from many women how terrible they are. You can't sleep when you are bursting into flames! I ran across this little article from The Denver Post.com --- some good tips!

Health Tip: Recognizing Hypothyroidism

I get a lot of requessts for a list of symtoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)---here's a quick list from HealthDay.com.

OK---everyone, I need your input on this!

I have been eyeing the Sketchers Shape Ups for almost a year now---and when I asked my pain managment doctor about them (I have a very screwed up back and hip from a car accident) he encouraged me to get a pair. Now, I will tell you honestly that I hate sneakers in general, about the only time I wear them is when I am working out (said car wreck meant I had to wear only sneakers on my feet for almost two years post trauma, and I am one of those women who just loves pretty shoes!) I bought this pair at the Charlotte Women's Show last week:

and they are now on my feet as I head out the door to run errands. If I don't post for a few days, you will know I fell off them.
I'm curious, do any of you have these (not necessarily Sketchers Brand, any of the fitness shoes with the thick, rocker like soles)---how do you like them, do you notice a difference in your muscles? How much do you wear them (some people live in sneakers---I am not one of them), what's the best thing about them, what's the worst (they make me about 2 inches taller, and I am 5'9" barefoot!) Leave me a comment, and I will post again later this week with my experiences!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prioritizing your health when money is tight

Believe me when I tell you that I truly do understand that hormonal balance is not inexpensive---some places charge an arm and a leg for a consultation, I am fortunate to have a physician who believes that hormone balance should be available to women of modest means. I scrimp and cut back on other things to do the bioidentical hormones.

I ran across this article today on Womentowomen.com ---- it gives some great tips on low cost/no cost ways to improve your health. Enjoy---Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Women's Hormones--What do Female Sex Hormones do?

From EmPowerHer.com----a look at the functions of estrogen and progesterone. Click here to read the article!

Stay Sharp

Good morning! I ran into this article from USAWeekend.com on ways to keep our minds sharp as we age. It's interesting reading, I was particularly interested in the paragraphs about Googling and growing new brain cells.

Speaking of exercising----I just got a new pair of the Sketchers sneakers with the curved soles. My pain managment doctor recommended them---said it really helps with propioception (balance). He cautioned me, however, to start out slowly so I don't fall off them (how embarassing would that be to end up in the ER with the explanation ---"uh, I fell off my workout shoes!") Do any of you have these shoes, what has been your experience with them? Leave me a comment!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Those popular joint-pain supplements? They don't work.

I took glucosamine/chondroitin for several years, didn't do a thing for me, and they were expensive! Guess I was right to stop them according to this article in the NYTimes.com. I found that hormone balance (reduced inflammation) helped my joints more than anything else.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

B vitamins found to slow progression of dementia

This article from MSNBC.com comes with the usual caveat of talk to your doctor. The information presented caught my eye because my homocysteine level (measures the stickiness in your blood) was just over the upper end of normal about 2 years ago, and Dr. Carr suggested I start taking Cardio B by Integrative Theraputics. I did, and within 6 months, my level was cut in half. Menopause is cognitively impairing enough, I need to do everything I can to stay sharp!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Stop singing the Beer Belly Blues

I'm not advocating this author's book (I've never heard of it so I don't know anything about it one way or the other), but I am sharing this link from the OttowaCitizen.com so that you can read the "lyrics" the article's author envisions for andropause (the male menopause). If you can't laugh, you can't live, so I offer the article with that thought. Share it with the guy you love. Have a great weekend!

Try natural solutions for insomnia

Good morning! Hope you all had a restful night's sleep........I know, sleep disruption is one of the most common (not to mention distressing) symtoms of peri/menopause. Check out this morning's article from the DailyJournal.com ----some good, basic reminders about sleep hygeine, and a few suggestions of supplements that may help you get a better night's rest (and be sure to read the caveat about checking with your doctor before adding new supplements to your regeime.)

It's a tough day for our nation ---- none of us will forget what happened on September 11, 2001. Pray, meditate, remember, but then get on with your day----that's the best way to honour those lost. Blessed be.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Vitamin D Levels and Vaginal Infections

This is one study I hadn't heard about before, but it does make sense. Check out this article from EmPowHer.com ----- a study done of pregnant women showed a marked increase in vaginal infections in women with low levels of Vitamin D. Since Vitamin D helps the immune system, this makes sense. I am one of those lucky women who have not had a vaginal infection in years, but then again I haven't been on antibiotics in years (and trust me when I tell you that BHRT will boost your immune system big time)----and back in the day, I used to be on antibioitics all the time (I taught in a public school). The doctor that I had at that time just routinely handed me a prescription for Monostat along with the antibiotic prescription.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

TV Alert!

Hi everyone, sorry for the short notice on this:

Tomorrow (September 9) the Dr. Oz Show will have a segment called Insomnia Clinic: Are Your Hormones Keeping You Awake? Here's the link to the show's website so you can check the time and channel in your local area!

Have Asthma? Vitamin D May Help

This article from Newswise.com may be of interest to you if you or a member of your family suffers from asthma----adequate Vitamin D levels may be an important part of your treatment plan. This was first mentioned in several medical journal articles about a year ago, and now articles seem to be popping up all over. As always, check with your doctor for the Vitamin D level best for you.

Wyeth paid writers to promote hormone therapy: study

This isn't new, just an update from Reuters.com --- Wyeth Pharmaceuticals paid ghostwriters to generate "scientific" articles touting the benefits of their synthetic hormone preparations Premarin and Prempro. It's disgusting.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Vitamin-D Debate: How Much is OK?

Maybe all the Vitamin D articles are popping up because it's sunny out (yeah, that must be it!)---here's a good article on the benefits of Vitamin D from TimeMagazine.com.

Have You Taken Your Vitamin 'N' Today?

This article from The HuffingtonPost.com really doesn't have much to do with menopause ---- but I do think what it says can improve our overall health. I know when I lived up north (I am an Upstate NY native) that I did not get out for fresh air nearly often enough. It was one of the reasons I moved to NC, and my health is certainly better for it. In the summer, I swim outdoors in a pool about 4 days a week, and in the other seasons I take fitness walks at least 2-3 days a week. In a few weeks, I will be making my twice yearly trips to all the gardens in the area to get flower pictures---and all the while I will be absorbing Vitamin D from the sun!

Low Vitamin D Linked to Heart Failure Deaths

You are taking your daily Vitamin D, aren't you? If not, here is another reason to start----check out this article from WebMD.com......a study done on heart patients with varying levels of Vitamin D indicates that the risk of heart failure is higher (by about 30%) in those with the lowest levels of Vitamin D. As always, check with your doctor!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sleep 101

Next to hot flashes, disrupted sleep is probably the most common complaint I hear from women as they enter the peri/menopausal stage. I know, I've been there, and while the hormonal balance has certainly helped, I still struggle with getting a good night's sleep (I have a chronic pain issue in my back and hip that makes it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep).

Check out this article from EmPowHer.com. It lists some basic (but often overlooked) ways to help you get a good sleep ---- my pain managment doctor refers to them as sleep hygeine. Enjoy your day!

360 Menopause!

Good morning and happy Labour Day! It's a gorgeous day here in NC, I have the air conditioner off and the windows wide open---I'm looking forward to autumn.

A news brief came across my newsfeed this morning for a new site called 360Menopause.com. I checked it out, and there are some interesting articles on their to educate women about wellness, exercise and nutrition as they reach their menopause stage of life. I think it's worth checking out, and you can access it by clicking here. Have a great day, everyone!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rough transition into menopause

This article from the LATimes.com caught my eye this morning----it's written by a female physician who is going through the peri/menopausal transition and she is lamenting the limited treatment options for her symptoms. As far as I can tell, the biggest limit on treatment options is the limited number of doctors who are progressive enough to know that women (and men) need hormonal balance, not a handful of pharmaceuticals to help them age with dignity and grace and quality of life. I wrote a comment at the bottom of the article.

Happy Labour Day weekend, everyone, I hope you are enjoying this last "official" weekend of summer!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

National Menopause Awareness Month

Did you know that September is National Menopause Awareness Month (ok, snark here ---- I'm pretty sure if you are experiencing menopause, you are aware of it every single day!) I ran into this explanation on the Office of Research on Women's Health site. I had to laugh---the article directs you to NAMS (North American Menopause Society) which has some pretty archaic ideas about menopause and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy----oh, well, c'est la vie.

I think all menopausal women should be put on a pedastal this month-----and little gifts, like goody bags full of bioidentical hormones, skin care products, chocolate, perhaps the keys to a new sports car-----ok, that one is a little out there, but it would be nice!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

For those of you in the Charlotte, NC area----

This is from the Holistic Health Network Charlotte, NC newsletter:

Monthly meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month (September-November and January-May) at 6:45 pm at Presbyterian Hospital in the Bobcat Room on the first floor (near the cafeteria). After entering the door from the parking deck, turn left immediately and go down the corridor. Parking in the hospital visitor's parking deck is free for HHN meeting participants--just sign your parking ticket and present it to the attendant when you leave.


Tuesday, September 7 - 6:45 pm "Healing with Hypnosis: Tranceformative Altered States." Joseph Lefcoski, a licensed psychologist, who specializes in behavior medicine and integrative approaches to healing, combines a strong clinical background with mind-body focus. He works with adults, children and adolescents in their journeys toward a more balanced and integrated self. Office: 704-372-1595.

Tuesday, October 5 - 6:45 pm Janet Handy, RN, MS, NE-A, BC, FACHE. Chief Nurse Executive and VP Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy, Charlotte will speak on the topic of Patient and Family Centeredness.

Tuesday, November 2 - 6:45 pm Dr A. Cushing of the Holistic Wellness Center of Charlotte . Dr. Cushing will explain the NES System/ Neutra Energetic Scan, which is a full body, non evasive scan of the deepest parts of the body energy field along with a new class of FDA approved remedies call Info-ceuticals. He will also demonstrate his own technique to desensitize the body to allergies using the Allercease tm Technique. www.theholisticdoctorisin.com.

Tuesday, December 7 - Annual Holiday/Solstice Dinner at Providence Cafe - all are welcome! We will have the annual blessing of the hands before dinner. Details to come....

Tuesday, January 4 - 6:45 pm Dr. Robert Cynowa, DC, CCEP of Complete Wellness Chiropractic. Dr. Cynowa will speak on the topic of Living Unlimited...Opening Up the Potential of Your Life. Learn specific ways of integrating the latest in chiropractic, exercise, nutrition and positive thinking to aid the body....a self healing masterpiece that is preprogrammed for homeostasis and health, in moving toward more positive, healthy living.

Tuesday, February 1 - 6:45 pm Paras Mehta, MD will speak on "Gandhi’s Diet: The case of Minimalism and Lifestyle Change in Medicine". Dr Mehta has a broad interest in the often over looked role of nutrition and lifestyle in prevention and even reversing of disease processes. He has trained in Integrative, Functional and Rehabilitative Medicine as well as Acupuncture.

Tuesday, March 1 - 6:45 pm Dipti Tiwari will present YOGArts Harmony, combining yoga postures, breathing exercises, and meditation with visual arts to help promote physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. She has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and has a background in art, writing, and dance. Her experience includes language interpretation in health care and human services as well as teaching languages. Come relax and increase your energy, balance, flexibility, and concentration. YOGArtsHarmony@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 5 - 6:45 pm Jay Patel, R.Ph of Family Care Specialty Pharmacy explains the role of compounding pharmacies in providing customization of prescribed medications, bioidentical hormones, and even pain medications can be compounded into topical applications for individuals who cannot tolerate oral medications. familycare@ctc.net.

Tuesday, May 3 - 6:45 pm Darren Holman L.Ac, M.A.O.M. (Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine will present learning howacupuncture unlocks
your body's own healing potential, increasing intracellular communication and removing obstacles to your ultimate well being.

Holistic Acupuncture Clinic, 167 S Trade Street , Matthews, NC 28105 (704)942-5300