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

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I thought this was important to share with all of you.....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

10 Open Courses on Human Happiness

One of the neatest things about my new iPad is the educational opportunities it will afford me-----I haven't yet taken a free online course but hope to over the summer.  I'm a lifelong learner, and I know that keeping my mind challenged will help ward off cogntitive decline.

I received an email from onlinecollegecourses.com asking to to share an article with you about 10 courses available online (all free) on human happiness.  I'm happy to do so, and if you take one of the courses, drop me an email through the blog and tell me what you learned!

Today is the first day of summer-------wishing you a happy, healthy and memory filled season!

Bioidentical Hormones Prevent and Reverse Osteoarthritis

Anyone besides me dealing with osteoarthritis?  Raise your hands.......yep, thought so!

If you are not already reading Bioidentical Hormone Health, you need to add it to your list of must read blogs.  Some excellent information!

I'm a fan of Dr. Jeffrey Dach (he's the doctor who refers to synthetic hormones as "monster hormones"), and I was particularly interested in his guest article today on BHH.  I particularly like that he makes the point that the cellular degeneration (from lack of hormones) may be "normal" (mainstream medicine's favourite word when it comes to bioidentical hormone balance and why we should not worry about getting our hormones optimized) but it certainly isn't optimal.  The article also discusses how estrogen replacement can help reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis. 

Although I have had osteoarthritis for a number of years (family history of it), I know without a doubt that the hormone optimization has limited the progression of the disease.  It has also allowed me to the flexibilty and strength to exercise every day, which in turn further limits the damage to my joints from the arthritis.  I know, too, that the testosterone I take has strengthened my bones and my muscles, again allowing me to exercise harder, which in turn has helped my mobility.  Because of the problems in my back and hip, I still fall occasionally, but am strong enough to get up on my own and recover more quickly. 

An Hormonal Remedy for Brain Injuries Is Explored

I've talked about the studies being done about using progesterone as a therapy to help with traumatic brain injuries (we know it helps with protecting brain function in those of us who use it as part of bioidentical hormone optimization), but I am so pleased to see that now these studies are being discussed in the mainstream media.  Check out this article from the NYTimes.com.  I know that some of my readers have had to deal with traumatic brain injuries either personally or with someone close to them, so this is an exciting development. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Aging gracefully.......

This picture was taken 53 years ago....I'm celebrating my 54th birthday today! I am blessed to have absolutely great people in my life, and they go out of their way to make my birthday so special each year. I had two birthday celebrations last week, a birthday breakfast this morning, tomorrow night some friends are taking me out to dinner, and next week another friend and her triplets are taking me to lunch and to see Brave (I'm such a kid at heart, I love Disney).

My blessings include two doctors who care deeply for their patients and want them to be the healthiest they can be. I talk about Dr. Carr (my hormone physician) here on the blog.........I am grateful to him every day for his passion for bioidentical hormones. I know that without the hormone optimization, I would not enjoy the quality of life that I have now.........my health is much improved, and I feel so much better!!!! Dr. Mark Hines is my pain management physician in Mooresville, NC. I have chronic pain issues (back, hip and pelvis) from a bad car accident, and Dr. Hines is by far and away the best pain management specialist I have had (and that includes stints at the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic for pain care). He is totally supportive of my hormone optimization (he and Dr. Carr know each other so I don't have the problem of my doctors not communicating), and Dr. Hines great about taking care of the whole patient.....I'm not just a set of symptoms to him. He is a great patient educator (as is Dr. Carr), and is always willing to teach me about any aspect of my my injuries, limitations, etc. They are both my biggest cheerleaders in my efforts to exercise regularly, and are generous in their praise at my progress. Both doctors make me feel like I'm worth the effort, and that means even more to me because I had several doctors post accident who acted like because I was fat, I deserved to be in pain and immobile. I want every patient to have the opportunity to have doctors as dedicated as mine.

I'll be back with a real post by tomorrow.......enjoy the rest of your day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Something to ponder (and celebrate!)

.....and with help from (bioidentical) hormone optimization, the potential for healing is even greater!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fifty Shades of ??????

Full disclosure, I have not (yet) read Fifty Shades of Gray or the other two books in the series.  It's on my summer reading list, but then again, so are a lot of other things, and life has been busy lately.  I also have not read Ellen Dolgen's book Shmirshky-The Pursuit of Hormone Happiness.  I plan to (I just checked, it's available at my library).......I've heard good things about it, I just need to get past my distaste at someone referring to their vagina as a "shmirshky." 

I am, however, very much into advocating for women's sexual health, so I enjoyed reading Ellen Dolgen's article this morning in the HuffingtonPost.com.  I use estriol cream for vaginal atrophy/dryness, it's inexpensive (by prescription) and is often covered under insurance plans.  If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, talk to your doctor about using it, addressing the underlying problem (lack of hormones) is far preferable to masking the problem with KY Jelly or other lubricants.

Happy Father's Day weekend to all!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Warning: Hot Temperatures May be Hazardous to Your Drugs

If you are not reading Mary Shomon's blog on thyroid disease, be sure to add it to your reading list (remember, thyroid is a hormone too!) 

Mary republished a good article that needs to be heeded in this hot weather.......be careful about exposing your medications (especially your thyroid medications) to excessive heat in the summer.  Even leaving your purse/tote bag/suitcase in a hot car can adversely affect the potency of your meds.  I keep my car super air conditioned in the summer, partly because I carry around my bottle of progesterone cream to dose when I am out and about, and I don't want it turning into an ugly, runny mess!  I am careful with my T3 thyroid med too, I carry several pills with me in my purse so that I can take my afternoon dose on time (my Levoxyl doesn't go in my purse unless I am travelling, as I only take that in the morning).  As always, talk to your doctor (or better yet, your pharmacist, s/he probably knows more about it than the physician) about protecting your medications against the summer heat. 

Don't forget in this weather, too, to stay hydrated!  I now just automatically carry a water bottle with me wherever I go (and yes, I know at our age this means sometimes having to find a bathroom!), but I would rather not get dehydrated, the inconvenience of an extra bathroom trip is more than worth it. 

What you need to know about fibromyalgia

I have long known that progesterone cream has helped a number of people who are dealing with fibromyalgia, I have talked personally to several women who tell me that their symptoms of the disease have markedly decreased with hormone optimization.  I know Dr. Carr has patients with fibromyalgia that he is successfully treating with bioidentical hormones.   It makes my heart sing to hear that, as although I do not have the disease myself, I know how hard it can be to deal with a chronic pain issue, and so many patieints with fibromyalgia go through a frustrating ordeal with doctors who don't know what to do for them, or worse, don't care. 

I've seen very little written about hormonal balance and fibromyalgia, so I was glad to see this article from FoxNews.com written by a physician who specializes in bioidentical hormone therapy.  I know the women I have spoken to tell me that the progesterone cream is what seems to really make the difference, which makes sense since progesterone is known to reduce inflammation.  I hope you will share this article with anyone you know who may be struggling with fibromyalgia.

Menopause Mondays: Testosterone Therapy & Prostate Cancer with Dr. Josh Trutt

There is a blog out there called Shmirshky by a woman named Ellen Dolgen (shmirshky is what she calls her vagina, whatever.)  She wrote a book (that I have not yet read), and each Monday I get an email update about her latest blog post. 

This Monday's post is important reading for any of you who have any men in your life.......it talks about the now largly debunked myth that testosterone causes prostate cancer.  I know of a number of men in my life who have dealt with this disease, and are not feeling their best but are afraid to get a hormone evaluation because they have been told (often by their doctors) or heard that they cannot take testosterone because of the cancer issue.  There have been some other articles out there on this subject, but they are often written in medical jargon that is impossible for the lay reader to understand.  Share this article with as many men as possible!

The article references a Dr. Morgentaler, and I highly recommend his book Testosterone For Life (best price is per usual, on Amazon.com).  Dr. Carr recommended this book to me about a year ago so that I could learn more about testosterone therapy in men, and it's very interesting.  I am at that age where a number of my male friends are dealing with prostate cancer, and I have recommended this book to several of them ----- to read and then discuss with their doctor, and if necessary, to get a second opinion. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pocket Yoga

Hi everyone, will be back with a hormone post later on today or tomorrow (computer issues), but wanted to let you know that I just got a notice that the app POCKET YOGA (available for the iPhone and the iPad) is available free through Monday, June 11. A number of my readers have shared with me that they enjoy yoga as a form of exercise, and this app looks pretty good.......I just put it on my iPad and will try it out this weekend. Just go to the Apple app store, type in "Pocket Yoga" and it should come up.

Gorgeous weather here in NC, I've had the air conditioner off for 5 days, unheard of this time of year in the Southeast! Supposed to get hot over the weekend. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Women's Health Initiative: An unforgettable decade

The Women's Health Initiative: An unforgettable decade

You are seeing articles like this and similar out of just about every news outlet lately. Do not forget, the "hormones" used in the WHI study were not hormones at all, but drugs (Premarin and Prempro). Premarin and Prempro are made from the urine of pregnant horses, so they are hormones only if you are a horse! Additionally, this study made no effort to balance all three of the sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone). To my knowledge no testosterone was used in the WHI study, and progestin (which is synthetic/fake progesterone) was only used in women who still had their uteruses, as was the common clinical practice of the day (and actually in mainstream medicine is still the standard of care). I do not have a uterus, and yet progesterone cream was the first of the hormones that I had optimized, and it made a HUGE difference in the quality of my life. Cured my hot flashes in less than three days, and my restless leg syndrome, acid reflux and seasonal allergies in less than two weeks. My doctor, John Carr, doesn't have a uterus either, and he certainly takes progesterone!

The WHI study is now thought to be seriously flawed, and sadly, many peri/post menopausal women have suffered needlessly because of it. Bioidentical hormones, synthesized in a lab but molecularly identical to what is in the body, offer a far safer alternative. This goes way beyond the discomfort of hot flashes and menopausal weight gain, don't forget that hormones affect every system of the body (and my seasonal allergies being cured by hormonal balance proves it!) Talk to your doctor, and if your current practitioner is not on board with bioidentical hormone optimization (or doesn't know anything about it), then don't be afraid to seek alternate care. You are always welcome to contact me through the blog if you need a list of resources to help you find bioidentical hormone care in your area.