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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

More springtime pictures!

Honest, ladies-----I am not ignoring you or the Holy Hormones blog! It's been a case of a shortage of articles on menopause, hormones and related subjects----that happens every once in a while. I think I have found a couple articles today that I will post over the next couple days. Meanwhile, I took advantage of another beautiful day here in NC to head out to the gardens for more pictures, posting a few here. I hope that all of you are enjoying similarly beautiful weather wherever you are, and that for those of you in the Southeast, that your area has been spared by the devastating storms.

Monday, April 25, 2011

He Wants Sex, she Doesn't-Are Beads the Answer?

Female Sexual Dysfunction is an all too common symptom of hormone imbalance, and one that is not taken seriously enough by health care practitioners. Most bioidentical hormone experts will tell you that it's the decrease in testosterone, and I know from personal experience that testosterone got my libido back on track. Somewhat on that same subject----I came across this article in Time.com, and I thought it would either interest, amuse, or annoy my readers. It's worth sharing---I put it up on my personal Facebook page, and I am guessing the reaction from some of my friends will make for some interesting reading.

The Female Viagra scam

I ran across this article in TheMail.com (UK newspaper). Interesting reading, and all too common these days-----to expect and accept that a woman will lose her libido, it's "normal" and c'est la vie.......nothing should be done about it. It's "normal" for a woman to lose her hormones as she ages, but it's not optimal and it needs to be addressed (bioidentically, of course).

A second point to be made-----and I know I am largely preaching to the choir about this as most of my readers know the only way to get your hormones balanced is to consult with a doctor/healthcare provider who specializes in bioidenticals-----but these online places who claim to balance your hormones and direct you to places to buy estrogen (I've even heard of women who are using dog estrogen) or testosterone are TROUBLE. It's illegal to sell over the Internet like that, and hormone balance is not a hit or miss proposition. Don't do it. Ever.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dr. Philip Sarrel Discusses New Findings About Hormone Therapy

From Empowher.com.......check out this article and video, and yes, I did comment at the end of the article. This kind of reporting drives me crazy-----the doctor refers to the WHI study in a vague way, and then becomes even more evasive by referring to the progestin used in that study as "the second hormone". I found it very odd. In the WHI study that was stopped in 2002, women with uteruses were given progestin along with their estrogen (Provera was the drug used) as giving unopposed estrogen is dangerous ----- it thickens the lining of the uterus and increases (significantly) the risk of uterine cancer. Progestin is NOT the same as progesterone, one is a drug, one is a hormone.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter everyone!

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter, Passover, Spring----whatever you celebrate. Make memories, here in NC we are expecting gorgeous weather (which is good because today it is cloudy, rainy, dreary and COLD!)----highs on Easter Sunday should be around 85 here. Stay safe, see you all Monday (if not before!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Most popular drugs in America and how much we spend on medication

There are variations of this information all over the Internet right now, I found this article in today's online edition of The LA Times. I couldn't help but comment on it at the end of the article. Most of the medications listed as the most widely described are for conditions that can be treated with balancing the hormones----and I so hope that "mainstream" medicine will finally wake up and realize that hormonal balance is preferable to a handful of pharmaceuticals. All pharmaceuticals have side effects, some more toxic than the condition they are trying to treat!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vitamin D protects women's eyesight

Bright and sunny (but windy) day here in NC ---- I think I was out long enough today to get my Vitamin D, and even if not, I took my 5000 IUs this morning with my vitamins. Just ran across this article from WRAL.com ----- high levels of Vitamin D in older women reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Be sure to check with your doctor----but if you have never had your Vitamin D levels checked, ask about it at your next visit. Most people are Vitamin D deficient and don't even know it.

Cholesterol Lowered in Post-Menopause with an Apple a Day?

I don't know how valid this is----but since I like apples, I thought I would share this quick little article with your from Gather.com . I can't live without my Pampered Chef apple wedger/corer---just lay it on top of the apple, push down, apple is instantly cut into wedges and removed from the core. Yummy afternoon snack----not as much fun as a bag of M&M's (sigh), but a fun snack.

Made-to-order medicine

If any of you live in the Philadelphia area, you may want to check out this program discussed in this article from Philly.com . Doctors/healthcare providers who practice with bioidentical hormones are integrative medicine providers --- integrative medicine includes the mind, body and spirit as important pieces of overall health.
Two points:
Paragraph 2: "But it's not just the pellets - containing estradiol, testosterone, and progesterone - that foster her sense of well-being." I have an email in to my own doctor on this for clarification - I am pretty sure he told me that progesterone is likely never to be available in pellet form, as the molecule that makes up progesterone is too "oily" to be absorbed well intramuscularly. I will update this as soon as I hear back from him.
Paragraph 18 "Not everyone in the field agrees. Harvard emeritus professor Arnold Relman insists integrative medicine is "all nonsense." "I believe it's a whole collection of things said to be effective that have never been proven or tested. When patients who are tired or depressed or have no energy say they feel better" after trying integrated medicine, "it is only a placebo effect. They'd be better off going to church or joining an exercise program. Medicine is for people who are sick, not for people who are unhappy. This is just a waste of money." Placebo effect? Are you kidding me? My blood levels are so much better on bioidentical hormones, I am off 7 medications, my DEXA scan shows I no longer have osteopenia, and this is all a placebo effect? I would love about 15 minutes of uninterrupted conversation (one sided, with me talking) with this doctor. This sort of stuff drives me nuts. Thank you for allowing me to vent.

If You Want To Keep Smiling Through Menopause – Get More Dental Checkups!

Check out this article from BioidenticalHormoneHealth.com on dental visits and menopause. There has been a lot of discussion about this recently, it's definitely worth talking to your dentist and/or doctor to see if increasing your dental cleanings/checkups is right for you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Women’s Health: What to Believe?

Last week the NY Times ran a piece called The Women's Health Initiative and The Body Politic, and it talked about the ever changing advice the media/mainstream medicine dictates to women about hormone replacement therapy (and it should be noted here the HRT the article talks about is synthetic hormones ie: Premarin and Prempro---NOT bioidentical hormones). Today's Letters To the Editor section contains some interesting responses to the article. Click here to check them out!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm celebrating spring!

Hi everyone, I have been off on another adventure----this time to the Biltmore House and Gardens in Ashville, NC (about 2 1/4 hours from where I live). I have been to the Biltmore before, but never when the tulips were at peak------and the views were breathtaking. As you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed it-----I will post a link to the album of pictures soon, but wanted you to know I haven't forgotten you all----but this time of year it's tough keeping me on schedule. Make it a great day, and I will be back with hormone postings by the end of the week!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just letting you know-----

That the Dr. Oz show finally has message boards! Click here to access.....

The Women’s Health Initiative and the Body Politic

From the NYTimes.com-----it's good reading. That sound you hear is my grinding my teeth over the line in the article that states "Women without a uterus only take estrogen". Maybe in the WHI Study they did, but lots of women now (the ones taking bioidentical hormones who have doctors who know how to prescribe) are taking progesterone along with estrogen (or in some cases without taking estrogen for women who are estrogen dominant.).

In Pain? Try Meditation

I know that a lot of my readers are dealing with chronic pain issues of one kind of another, either from arthritis, fibromyalgia, trauma, or any other number of issues. I think most of you know that I deal with chronic back and hip pain from a car accident many years ago. I see a pain management specialist regularly in addition to seeing Dr. Carr for hormone balance.

Many years ago, after the accident, I was in therapy with a psychologist for a number of years. He helped me with a lot of issues and one of the things we worked on was ways to cope with the pain. He taught me a number of meditation techniques, and I found them very helpful learning to relax my muscles (tight muscles can worsen pain, but it's a catch 22 situation---when you hurt, you tense up). When my pain gets really bad, I sometimes go in my bedroom, lay down on the bed, and practice my meditation techniques. It helps distract me from the pain and it also allows me to not feel quite so rigid in my muscles. When my blood pressure used to get high, it even helped with that.

I have an IPhone, and I have found I particularly enjoy the programs by Andrew Johnson. He has a number of different programs for meditation focusing on relaxation, succcess, anger management, etc. He has a wonderful Scottish brogue that I find very soothing. I came across this article in the HuffingtonPost.com and thought it was worth sharing with you. If you have any particular meditation techniques or tips, share them with us in the comments section.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Playing hookey again-----

I just can't stay out of the gardens----today was a picture taking day! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone, I'll be back Sunday or Monday with a hormone post!

Another day in the gardens!

I play hookey frequently from late March to mid May ---- it's the most beautiful time of year here in NC, and I love to get out and take flower pictures to make into notecards (I usually make enough that they last me for a year). Today was just too pretty a day in Charlotte to waste on the every day routine----here are a few pictures from today's shoot, and you can see more by clicking here (you don't need to be on Facebook to view the album of photos). Have a wonderful weekend, everyone----I'll be back posting Sunday or Monday (tomorrow I am off to a quilt show!)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Medicine on the Move

Good morning everyone---another beautiful day in Charlotte! A lot of news reports out now about how the infamous WHI study is being looked at again, and that it appears that for women who only took estrogen, and who were in their 50's, seemed to have a decreased risk of breast cancer. Bear in mind the hormones used in the WHI study were NOT bioidentical---they used Premarin and Prempro, which are synthetic (or as I like to refer to them, monster hormones). They are not the hormones that hopefully my readers are taking. Check out this article in this morning's NYTimes.com --- it gives you a pretty good idea of how confusing all these studies can be to the average lay person.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D? 5 Really Good Reasons to Pay Attention

Little to no Vitamin D from the sun today in much of the Eastern half of the country---we had wicked thunderstorms and wind blow through NC/SC last night----it woke me up several times. I guess today I will get my Vitamin D by supplements (I do that every day anyway!) and by sharing an article with you on Vitamin D (and five reasons you should take it) from The HuffingtonPost.com. One other thing to note (and I know I have mentioned this before, but I know I have some new readers)---always take a good brand of Vitamin D. Some of the drug store brands are ok, but some of the cheaper ones may not have the amount of Vitamin D that they say they do. I take Ortho Molecular brand---I get it through Dr. Carr's office, but it is also available online from a number of outlets. Make it a great Tuesday!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fleur Women's Health Center is now on Twitter!

My hormone doctor, John Carr, works with Fleur Women's Health Center with three other practitioners. Their office has recently joined Twitter, so if you are a Tweeter, click here to access their page and become a follower!

Link Between Vitamin D Levels And Blood Vessel Health

On this lovely, sunny day in NC----another reason to get out and get some Vitamin D (and it just reminded me to take my vitamins!). From MedicalNewsToday.com, a study linking Vitamin D levels and the elasticity/stiffness of arteries. Remember, Vitamin D is actually a prohormone---and we all want to be hormonally balanced, right? Make it a great day!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Vitamin D levels are adequate in most Americans, survey finds

From the LA Times comes an article that says "most" Americans have "adequate" Vitamin D levels. OK, first of all, there is a big difference between "adequate" and "optimal" (Dr. Carr's optimal range for Vitamin D is 70-100 ng/ml, as always, check with your provider). Secondly, even here in the Southeast, where the sun is relatively abundant most of the year, I have very few friends/acquaintences who are anywhere near optimal levels. Most are only taking Vitamin D supplementation as part of a multivitamin, or in the case of women, with their calcium---and I know a bunch of people who have ended up taking the 50,000 IU pills once weekly to try to get their levels up. I personally take 5000 IUs daily, and in the winter I take 10,000 IUs (we get some sun in the winter here, but it's not strong enough to produce much Vitamin D.) My last Vitamin D reading was 60 ng/ml, which is close to optimal range. Blood testing again the end of this month. Good day to post a Vitamin D article, as it is very sunny here in NC. Tomorrow I am off on a mini-vacation adventure, so I will be back about Tuesday with new postings. Have a happy, safe, and sunny weekend!