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

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 entrĂ©e.

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.