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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Garden pictures!

Getting to the gardens to take flower pictures is good for the soul (which in turn is good for the hormone levels----you keep your hormone levels up by keeping your stress down). Although the garden was in rough shape today (I think they must be having financial problems, as it looked very overgrown and unkept), I did manage to get a few good shots that I will turn into notecards. Enjoy, and you can see the entire album by clicking here, it will take you to my Facebook Album (you do not need to be on FB to see the pictures). Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hip Fractures Tied to Death in 60-Something Women.

Hi everyone, back from a mini vacation (Gatlinburg/Pidgeon Forge, TN). Had a great time, even got to take a "mini" hike in the Smoky Mountain National Park-----felt wonderful!

This article from the Wall Street Journal (blogs) should concern all of us! Women in their 60's who break a hip are 5 times (yikes) more likely to die within a year than women of the same age group who don't break a hip. As most of you know, I am not at all in favour of the osteoporosis drugs....neither is my doctor, he doesn't prescribe them. Before I started the biodientical hormones 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with osteopenia, but two years ago my bone density showed that not only do I no longer have osteopenia, my bone density is comfortably in the normal range. I was thrillled! I attribute it to testosterone optimization, Vitamin D, and regular weight training exercise (3 times a week----I lift light weights and use the weight machines at the gym). I'm all about bone health-------and studies like this make me only more dedicated!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Soy protein reduces progression of atherosclerosis in women within 5 years of menopause

Good news for those of you who consume soy products! A new study out from the USC Keck School of medicine shows a reduction in the progression of atherosclerosis (thickening of the coranary arteries) in women who consume soy products if (and this is important) the introduction of soy into the diet occurs within about five years of the onset of menopause. Read more about it from News-Medical.net.

I'm going to be away from my computer for most of next week, so don't think I have disappeared if I don't post until the end of next week. I am taking a much needed break and getting away for a few days!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ten Questions To Ask Your Doctor

I'm whining and wheedling trying to get Dr. Carr to write a guest post about important questions to ask a doctor you are considering as a (bioidentical) hormone specialist, but in the meantime, check out this article from NPR.org.

Stress and aggressive breast cancer go together, study finds

Not that you really need another reason to do everything you can to reduce stress, but an interesting article from the LA Times discusses the topic of breast cancer and stress. A University of Illinois---Chicago study has linked an increased stress level with an increase in high grade tumor/estogen receptor-negative breast cancers. Check out the article by clicking here.

Estrogen therapy can reverse progression of pulmonary hypertension

This article from News-Medical.net piqued my interest this morning----many years ago, I lost a student to pulmonary hypertension. She was only 19 years old, and at that time was one of the youngest patients diagnosed with the condition. This was back about the mid 1980's, and not a lot of research was being done with hormones at the time.

The study detailed in the article has found that low dose estrogen therapy can significantly improve advanced pumonary hypertension-----this is great because many patients with this condition eventually end up needing a lung transplant (Cindy, my student, died waiting for the transplant----you all have signed the donor card, haven't you?) Studies like this further reinforce the fact that hormones affect every system in the body.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

UR study examines menopause's overlooked issue

I'm one of the many women who think that research in general on menopause is woefully lacking. I was heartened to see this article from the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle on a study (University of Rochester) is conducting on how peri/menopause affects memory (cognition). I know when I started the peri/menopausal transition I truly wondered if I was in the early stages of dementia, I grasped for words, couldn't remember anything, and had a terrible time comprehending textbooks (I was in graduate school at the time, so it was a mess!). We already know that progesterone, one of the hormones that drops in the peri/menopausal transition, is important for brain function, and it is also known that estrogen protects the brain. Stands to reason that when the body loses those two important hormones, then yes, cognition will be affected.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Birth Control Pills May Explain PTSD Syndrome Differences between the Sexes

Hopefully neither you or someone you love will ever have to deal with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), but I thought this article from EmaxHealth.com was worth sharing with you. A study done at the University of California-Irvine shows that women who are on birth control pills (which suppress hormones) remember traumatic events differently than women who are not on birth control pills. Women on the pill seem to remember the overall gist of the event more clearly, while those not on the pill seems to remember details more clearly. As someone who has dealt with PTSD (car accident) and who took birth control pills for less than a year in college (they messed with my vision)------I do know that the medical professionals were amazed at some of the strange details I remembered about the accident and the aftermath. Guess now I know why!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stronger Cautions Backed on Bone Drugs for Women

It's been well documented on this blog that I am NOT a fan of bisphosphonate (bone density) drugs---I wouldn't take them on a bet. They don't work, and are linked to some pretty serious side effects. I was diagnosed with osteopenia (the precursor to osteoporosis) about 7 years ago, and I started bioidentical hormones about two years later. The hormone balance, along with a commitment to weight training exercise and Vitamin D optimization, cured my osteopenia and in fact, put my bone density comfortably in the normal range.

The drugs are in the news again because an advisory panel is urging the FDA to put more specific warnings on the osteoporosis meds that they should only be taken for a limited amount of time (my time frame would be zero, but I wasn't asked). For more information, check out this article in the NYTimes.com.

On another note, today is an important day in our history. Pause and reflect, then get out and find joy in the day------it's the best way to honour those lost 10 years ago. Have a great week!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Prescription Drug Side Effects

I'm a proud member of AARP (and yes, I know that is going to offend a number of my blog readers), and this morning I took my AARP magazine to the gym to read while I was working out on the recumbent bike (I'm so ADD I can't just sit and bike for 20-30 minutes without something to do).

I read this article about the side effects of prescription drugs, and I thought it was important enough to share with you today. When I got my hormones balanced, I was able to get off 7 medications, and for the life of me, I do not know how I functioned when I was on all that stuff (actually I didn't, I was just existing not living). I know the side effects all the interactions caused, and with so many of us seeing multiple doctors, often drugs are prescibed that likely wouln't be if the physician had an accurate record of what a patient was taking. Remember, and I know I hound on this all the time, you MUST tell any health care practitioner treating you all of the medications, HORMONES (no not avoid telling your doctor you are bioidentical hormones because you think he/she won't approve----if you feel that way, get another doctor) and any and all vitamins and supplements. I can't stress this enough! I keep a one page document in my purse that lists all my surgeries, medications, hormones, supplements, and emergency contact numbers------if you don't have such a list, make one and run copies before the week is out. Do the same for your spouse/partner, parents/inlaws, and encourage your friends to do the same!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Could Lack of Deep Sleep Fuel High Blood Pressure?

My sleep has been off now for several weeks, so this article from TimeMagazine.com piqued my interest. There are a number of issues with the study that make it less than definitive (only measuring levels for one night, subjects tested in their own beds, only two blood pressure readings), but we do know that insomnia can stress the body and stress can make your blood pressure shoot up. Read it and relax this holiday weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Insomnia costs U.S. $63 billion annually in lost productivity

I guess sleep (which is one of the most common issues women write to me about) is my topic of the week. Check out this article from CNN.com ---- the amount of lost work productivity from insomnia is staggering! I was not working outside the home when my peri/menopausal symptoms were at their worst, but I often wondered how I would have gotten through the day. There were many nights I didn't sleep more than about 3 hours, and that wasn't in a row. Chronic pain issues were part of the problem, but at least part of my sleep difficulties were hormone imbalances. My sleep still isn't perfect, but much better than it used to be-----I take melatonin and a supplement called Cortisol Manager (it can be purchased through Dr. Carr's office by clicking here).