Customized Medicines

Customized Medicines
Dr. Sonja O'Bryan, Pharm.D., ABAAHP Board Certified Health Practitioner Diplomate-American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine: "Creative Medicines" for Hormones-Weight-Pain-Fatigue-Skin Diseases-Pediatrics-Autoimmune Disorders-Veterinary Needs. Using Complimentary, Integrative, Regenerative, Bio-Identical, and Lifestyle Medicine For Health and Healing.

Monday, February 25, 2019

GENETIC TESTING IS HERE! ~The Answer May Be In Your Genes

I'm excited to share that I will be rolling out genetic testing March 1, 2019.   For almost 2 decades, I've offered testing of all kinds (hormones/adrenals/thyroid/heavy metal toxicity/metabolites/neurotransmitters/iodine/fertility), but there was a gap in my client offerings when it came to getting down to the literal "DNA" of health and wellness matters.  That was until I discovered a world-renowned research team, testing data providing robust scientific evidence, and a way for people to conveniently and affordably obtain a genetic testing profile (45 genetic markers) from the convenience of their own home.   I took the leap personally and sent off my own sample for genetic analysis so that I could understand the process, costs, and personal discovery involved in offering this to others.
I've posted screen shots (below) of a few pieces of my final report for you to see.

My final report is 40 pages long, displayed in an easy to read color brochure that goes with me now.... for life.  My DNA is not going to change and that's what I love about this testing.  It's a roadmap for my entire life on nutrient metabolism, eating habits, injury risk, physical activity, food intolerances, and more.  The human genome is simply fascinating and definitely helpful as a guide.

You might be reading this blog and find yourself doing all of the right things, or best things, yet hitting some barriers.  What if I told you that the reasons for those barriers may be in your genes.  Your DNA sometimes requires you to do things differently compared to others and in doing so, you have a more identifiable method and plan for your personalized healthcare.  We now know that specific variations in our genes can explain how we will respond to foods, beverages, and supplements that we consume.  But not only that! Here is a list of the contents that are included in the genetic testing.  I provided a summary using a screenshot from my own personal booklet.

Genetic and Personalized Nutrition testing provides answers to some of the big questions that people are concerned about.  Should I limit salt intake?  Should I limit caffeine?  Do I have a gluten intolerance? Do I have a sugar preference? Am I prone to Vitamin D or Calcium deficiency? Am I motivated to exercise? Do I have a high pain tolerance?  Genetic variation determines not only the color of our eyes and hair, but how we metabolize and utilize the foods, nutrients, and supplements we ingest. The one-size-fits-all approach is definitely not the personalized approach when we consider the technology that is now available to us.  Genetic testing is certainly the way of the future, but thankfully it already exists now for those that want to discover more about themselves in their quest to live, look, and feel better.  Why wait?

 Mention this blog and get a 15% discount on the genetic consultation/testing kit fee through March 31, 2019.

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Friday, February 8, 2019

Is Stress Affecting Your Health?

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints of those living in today's high paced, fast food, deadline driven world and interruptions in a persons schedule can make seizing the day near impossible.  I'm not sure what the statistic would be of those coming my way for help, but I'm guessing that >90% of those that I interview will express fatigue as a noticeable concern.  What about you?  How are you feeling in the area of stress and fatigue?  Not sure?  In this blog, and because stress and fatigue seem to be so prevalent, I want to simply cover a little background to help you determine if something can be done to help you get "back on your game".

If you have symptoms such as tiredness, difficulty concentrating, inability to lose weight, anxiety, or depression, then you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.  This clinical condition dates back as far as the medical texts of the 1800's, and the prescription for treatment then was simply to "relax".  That's about as helpful as telling someone who is depressed to "cheer up" while you softly pat them on the shoulder.  It just doesn't quite work like that.  Despite effective diagnostic tools and treatment regimens, most clinicians are not informed or prepared to treat adrenal fatigue as a significant concern to health.  I personally wonder how often there are car accidents, falls, illnesses, and diseases that can be connected to long term fatigue, insomnia, poor focus and mental exhaustion, anxiety, etc.  After all, stress is really the underlying reason as to why people go to the doctor in the first place. 

Does this list describe you?

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:
Tendency to gain weight and inability to lose it
High frequency of illness and difficulty getting well
Tendency to tremble under pressure
Reduced sex drive
Lightheaded upon rising
Lack of concentration and mental sharpness
Need for coffee or stimulants
Dry and thin skin
Low body temperature
Unexplained hair loss
Alternating constipation and diarrhea
Upset stomach
Emotional behaviors and expressions
Rapid Aging

The reality is that stress is no longer a mystery to treat and our body has a built is mechanism to give clinicians diagnostic identifiers.  The mission control center of our body are the adrenal glands and when they get short circuited due to stress, the whole body can go somewhat haywire and physical manifestations can present (see list above).  The good news is that hormones produced by the adrenals can easily be tested, and if out of range, can be treated through natural and restorative therapies.   It's rare that I recommend only an adrenal hormone panel because the sex hormones and thyroid hormones are also intricately connected to everything in the endocrine system as well.  Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone along with T3 and T4 can have a significant impact on well being, energy, weight, emotions, mood, etc. 

If this hits home with you, then certainly give my team a call or send an email to get the process started for testing.

Dr. Sonja O'Bryan, Pharm. D. ABAAHP
Board Certified Health Practitioner Diplomate
American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Experience Is What You Need! Dr. Sonja O'Bryan's BIO

Sonja O’Bryan, Pharm.D., received her Bachelor’s degree from St. Louis College of Pharmacy and her Doctorate from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  She also is a Board Certified Healthcare Diplomate, with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and uses natural, complimentary, pharmaceutical, and integrative approaches in her expertise with patients and their personal needs.  Use natural when possible and pharmaceutical ONLY when necessary is a position statement that she follows in her approach to patient care.  The American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners was founded in 1999 to provide advanced education, representation, and specialty recognition of scientific and healthcare professionals. The long-term objective of ABAAHP is to achieve formal sub-specialty recognition and a new status for Anti-Aging medicine and for those practicing it as qualified clinicians. Together, the A4M and ABAAHP represent over 26,000 physicians, scientific and healthcare practitioners from 120+ nations. The process involves a written examination, which demonstrates proficiency in several key areas of Anti-Aging medicine. Along with proved competency by examination, the candidate must also provide documentation of 150 hours over 8 years of applicable continuing education to the field of anti-aging medicine, medical licenses and obtained degrees, and curriculum vitae showing professional experiences in customized, integrative, complimentary, and regenerative clinical care. After passing the written exam and completion of certification criteria, a certificate is issued to the healthcare practitioner confirming their status as a Diplomate of Anti-Aging Medicine.

“Dr. Sonja” has a broad range of experience including administration, hospital, retail, long term care and geriatrics, consulting, oncology, and in academia as a university professor and student preceptor.  She has a tremendous passion to help people become healthy in all areas of their life and meshes the spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional sides of care in her approach to better living.  Dr. Sonja currently does a great deal of teaching to community, church, and medical groups across the U.S., and in the past, she has collaborated with several major pharmaceutical companies as an Advisory Board member for medicines coming to the U.S. market.  

She offers health and wellness testing of many kinds to help people live better.  These include: hormone testing, thyroid testing, general wellness testing, neurotransmitter testing, adrenal testing, heavy metal toxicity testing, food allergy testing, and MORE.   In her book, “Living Hormoniously: A Hormone Handbook for the Everyday Women”, Dr. Sonja exposes the real life issues of the day with stories of women going through the changes of “The Change.”  Every woman, no matter her stage of aging, can find useful information in her book.  

Dr. O’Bryan also consults with patients on customized therapies for a host of other conditions such as psoriasis, Alzheimer’s disease, wounds, fatigue, stress, pain, gastrointestinal issues (Crohn’s, IBS, diverticulitis), rashes, anxiety and depression, and conditions associated with cancer.  She works closely and directly with physicians, nurse practitioners, chiropractors, and naturopathic physicians using her knowledge and experiences of the past 25 years+ to formulate customized therapies for specific needs.  To her colleagues, she is known as a practical, ‘go-to’ resource with out of the box ideas and options for health and healing. This while maintaining integrity and high standards in the regulatory scope of her professional practice as a consultant and medicine designer.  ~Catch Dr. Sonja O’Bryan’s Facebook page to stay tuned to updates and information in the Anti-Aging and Hormonal Imbalance World under 'Sonja Pinnell O’Bryan'.  

Personally, Dr. Sonja O’Bryan has been married to her husband Dean O’Bryan for 28 years.  She will tell you that her family is the greatest joy in life.  Rev. Dean and Rev./Dr. Sonja are both licensed ministers with the Assemblies of God and can be found on weekends traveling and ministering in churches locally and across the United States in their position and role as Missionary Associates with Convoy of Hope/Rural Compassion.  The O'Bryan's also own their own small business, The White River Coffee Co., in Rockaway Beach MO along with other small entrepreneurial endeavors they are a part of.  On any given day, they truly enjoy meeting the needs of others, whether at home, at the office, or on the field of ministry or missions.

To book Dr. Sonja for your next event, email  Or to set up a private appointment inside Providence Medical Spa in Branson MO call 417-334-4032.  

Monday, December 3, 2018

Personal Healthcare

There's no doubt that healthcare is changing.  The internet has opened up so much information and accessibility to people wanting to take charge of their own health, and fortunately, personal research has opened the door to more educated and informed decisions about healthcare.  The high cost to enter the Western medicine machine is a moving monetary target when it comes to doctors visits, lab work, and suggested treatments to make one feel better.  For instance, do you cringe when your physician wants to order labwork?  Do you wonder, what it's going to cost?  Is it covered by your insurance?  Or maybe you're not insured at all??   We can all agree that there's nothing quite like the shock and surprise of a big bill in the mail for something that's supposed to make you feel better. That's no way to feel better at all.   In fact, research is showing that people are not going to the doctor simply because of the expense to do so these days. 

Did you know that I can offer a private consultation for hormone testing, adrenal testing, thyroid testing, food allergy testing, and comprehensive blood testing for other general wellness and nutritional needs?  The cost will be very clear and definite right up front so that you won't feel the shock of an unexpected expense to take better care of yourself.  Then, with your involvement, we can discuss a personal plan to match your testing profiles, your symptoms, and your goals.  It's very customized and individualized and something that is growing at a very rapid pace as people search for better and more affordable options to manage their personal healthcare.    Being healthy doesn't have to be expensive.

So how can you get started?

Appointments can be set up by calling 417-334-4032 Lakeland Wellness inside Providence Medical Spa.  If you haven't seen inside the new medical spa location, you're missing out.  WOW!! WOW!! WOW!!  So beautiful.....

If you live away from Branson MO or possibly in another state, we can set up an internet connection to do a remote consultation.  Don't let distance be a barrier.

This is a list of some of the most common services, treatments, and testing options that I am asked to provide:

Hormone Testing and Evaluation
Adrenal Testing and Evaluation
Thyroid Testing and Evaluation
Iodine Testing
Neurotransmitter Testing and Evaluation (anxiety, A.D.D., insomnia, depression)

Personalized Supplement Regimens

Blood profiles (cholesterol, nutrition, MTHFR, women's health, men's health, hormones, thyroid, glucose, insulin, vitamin D, etc.)

Food Allergy Testing and Evaluation

Allergy Toothpaste personalized to your allergen profile

Customized Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Multi-ingredient Pain Creams
Adrenal Fatigue Testing and Treatment Protocols
High Quality Supplements and Nutraceuticals
Weight Loss
Autoimmune Disease Protocols and Treatments
Dermatology/Skin therapies
Anti-Aging Regimens
Hemorrhoid and Fissure Treatments
Gastrointestinal disease
Fertility Testing and Evaluation
Erectile Dysfunction
Mens Health and Hormone Therapies
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Diaper Rash Remedies

Thank you for stopping by this BLOG and I do hope that you will reach out soon to take the best possible care of yourself.

All the Best!
 Dr. Sonja O'Bryan

Friday, November 2, 2018

Declining Hormones and Escalating Symptoms

Book and article on estrogen and hormones
We've heard Dr. Zava call it the "angel of life, and the angel of death." Too much can be hazardous. Too little can be problematic also.
Not many people realize this, but estrogen plays a role in more bodily functions than just reproduction. In fact, estrogen has many important functions in the brain.
Studies show that decreasing levels of estrogen can cause two of the most common perimenopause symptoms – hot flashes and mood fluctuations. Curious how this happens? Read on to learn the details of this biochemistry.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Horsing Around With Your Hormones

The hormone replacement pill that many physicians prescribe for menopausal and premenopausal women is a pill known as Premarin.  However, I want to interject at this point that I have a growing number of physicians (especially OB/GYN's) who are referring their patients to me like never before to get them converted to bio-identicals.  It's been amazing to watch the shift in their treatment approach with their patients.  Yay!
Let me break this down for you so that you understand the title of my blog a little better.  The root, "pre"gnant-mare-urine is where the medicine name Premarin comes from.  (I think I heard your gasp from here).  I'm not horsing around with you on this little known fact, so please take the time to research it for yourself.  The truth is that Premarin is literally a way to horse around with your hormones by using a non-human source and placing it into the human body as an FDA approved treatment option for menopausal symptoms.  How can that be good right? The production process involves putting horses into stalls, collecting estrogens from their urine, and giving the final product to you in a pill form.  That is likely going to make you feel a mess.  Common horse sense right?!?! Blah!!!

Now don't get me wrong, some women will benefit from this "synthetic" version of hormone replacement therapy, but many will complain that they feel "unnatural" on Premarin.  Maybe it's because women weren't born with four hooves, I don't know. 

I just received results on a patient this morning who wants to convert from synthetic hormone replacement therapy (Premarin) to bio-identical hormone therapy.  Her hormone values are a mess due to the foreign chemicals her body is trying to process.

Seriously though, these are side effects listed from the package insert on a stock bottle of Premarin:

vaginal bleeding
breast changes
abdominal bloating
fluid retention
BP elevated
mood changes
yeast overgrowth
glucose intolerance
hair growth on the face (not cool in women)

For the last hundreds of years, the human female system has been running quite well on three separate estrogens: estriol, estrone, and estradiol which occur in a particular ratio, with estriol being the most abundant.  Pregnant-mare-urine (sorry I couldn't help myself) consists mostly of estrone, equilin (a nice name for horse estrogen), and estradiol.  Where is the Estriol?  Not there.  Notta.  Nill. Zilch. 

So what's the big deal about that?

Estriol plays an important role and has been used in European countries for decades.  In general, studies from Europe show that menopausal women who use natural estriol to replace their natural "human" estrogen have a reduction in typical menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and thinning of the vaginal tissue (vaginal atrophy). Estriol is also considered as an estrogen with built in cancer protection.  It tends to bind to the receptors in the uterine lining and the breast to bump off cancer producing estrogens and therefore sends them through the process of elimination from the body.  It's not just available in Europe though, we carry and use Estriol is the majority of our menopausal patients.  It's simple good medicine.

Now that you know this, what should you do?  Get to a provider that understands the physiology of a female and leave the horse work to the veterinarians.  After reading this, you should understand why more and more women are seeking the bio-identical hormone replacement route for their menopausal needs.  Who in the world wants to take a pill made out of horse urine? 

So, what should you do?
Read about hormone replacement therapy options and especially bio-identical hormones. 

Check out a few books at the library before making your move.  I enjoy when women (and men) come to my office asking questions from their own research.  Remember hormone replacement therapy is now showing benefit in cardiovascular health, cognition, osteoporosis, alzheimers, along with many other things.  And, it simply helps patients look younger and feel better. 

Hormone levels should be tested in every female before considering treatment, and an individualized therapy can be formulated to meet each individuals needs.  A family history is also of critical importance when determining how best to treat symptoms.  Using the mildest dose and a customized approach is where it's at as far as I'm concerned.  I have been providing this care for hundreds of women for over 20 years now and our services are spreading across the country to those women wanting a better option in addressing their hormonal imbalances.  This treatment option is not new.  It's been around for many years.  Oh, and it's not just celebrity (Robin McGraw, Oprah, Linda Evans, Dr. Oz) medicine, or a treatment that you have to fly to California or Florida for which could cost you hundreds of dollars.   In fact, the average cost is about $50 per month for a customized treatment. Wow!!!  A small price to pay to feel better.   Very affordable and personalized to your needs.

Call my office if I can answer your questions and don't put testing off any longer.  I can offer saliva testing or blood testing to get your levels evaluated and from there develop an action plan with you.

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

An Estrogen Drought: 1 in 2 Women May Experience This....

Vaginal burning, itching, dryness, and discomfort are usually the ways that women describe the pain they feel with deficient hormones.  Hot flashes are certainly the most talked about aging symptom, but almost 50% of post-menopausal women experience what's called atrophic vaginitis.    And remember when I say menopause, I'm talking BOTH surgically induced (hysterectomy) and natural aging menopause.

The decline in estrogen with aging or hysterectomy basically causes thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls. Over time and left untreated, this nuisance can lead to other things like discomfort during sexual intercourse, recurrent urinary tract infections, and incontinence. Ooooh....Ouch!  So how is this atrophy condition treated?

Often, Estrogen therapy applied vaginally 2-3 times weekly can give resolution.  We have a specialized estrogen formulation that works really, really well and we get lab orders on a daily basis from physicians who know about our services and how we can help patients uniquely with things like this.  A soothing cream base, active estrogen agents, moisturizing ingredients, and it being VERY affordable make this creative medicine a TOP seller for our female clients. And here's another note regarding this therapy for vaginitis...** Physicians and Practitioners prescribe a custom compound estrogen cream for their patients all-the-time because the copays on some of the commercial products are reaching $300 and $400. 

And since I'm covering a topic like this I should also share some other things. Today I consulted with a patient who has a condition called vulvar lichen planus. This clinical problem goes even further beyond the vaginitis and REALLY affects skin integrity. These women deal with cracking skin, itchy patches, sores, and other painful matters in the uro-zone. The incidence is fairly low, but over my 20+ years of customizing medicine, I've been consulted by physicians for a custom approach for it many times. For these women with lichen, the treatment plan often includes a multi-ingredient customized medicine to treat multiple aspects of the pain and dryness. No problem!  Again, something we are familiar with and can design a therapy for that's effective and affordable. Because common sense says that you have to be able to afford a therapy to continue on with it, right?  Right!

What an honor it is to provide personalized medicine unique to the individual.  Very real stuff but also very treatable. When I visit with patients one on one, it's amazing to hear the 'hidden' problems they are experiencing.  Things that we customize remedies for on a daily basis here in the compounding lab. One phone call or email to share the problem could change everything, and I, and my team, hope to do just that.  Reach out!

All the Best,