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.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Available NOW!

A copy of my new book can be purchased for $10 if you are in the surrounding areas and want to stop by and pick one up onsite.   We also will be carrying new items in the store that will help with hormonal imbalance, beauty and skin therapies, mood support products, adrenal support products, along with a host of other little secrets that I share with my clients based on their needs and concerns.

Breast Cancer Risk and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Bioidentical hormones are again shown be superior to synthetic hormones, and this study is continuing proof that bioidentical hormones are not associated with breast cancer while synthetic versions significantly increase the risk of breast cancer.

Unequal risks for breast cancer associated with different hormone replacement therapies: results from the E3N cohort study. Fournier A, Berrino F, Clavel-Chapelon F. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2007

One of the largest studies to date comparing the risk of breast cancer with the use of natural bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormone replacement therapy demonstrates that the natural hormones have significantly less associated risk of breast cancer. This study published in a 2007 issue of Breast Cancer Research reported the association between various forms of HRT and the incidence of breast cancer in over 80,000 postmenopausal women who were followed for over 8 postmenopausal years. This study found that, compared to women who never used any hormone replacement therapy, women who used estrogen only (different preparations analyzed together) had an increased risk of breast cancer that was 1.29 times those who never used estrogen. If a synthetic progestin was used in combination with estrogen, there was a significant increase in the risk of breast cancer compared to those on the estrogen only that was 1.69 times the risk of those who never used estrogen.

If, however, a woman used natural progesterone in combination with estrogen, the increased risk of breast cancer was eliminated, having no increase riskof breast cancer as compared to those who never used estrogen. In addition, estriol containing products was found to have a further protective effect against breast cancer, resulting in a lower risk of breast cancer than even those who never used any hormone replacement.

This study adds to the mass of previous medical literature that demonstrates the superior safety of bioidentical hormone replacement as compared to synthetic hormones.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Feelings....Whoa Whoa Whoa...Feelings...

In my new book Living Hormoniously, I included a couple of chapters that would correlate well with this blog title.  The two chapters are named Irritability and Hissy Fits.  I couldn't help but revisit this in my mind as I consulted with a married couple yesterday who came into the office for concerns and frustrations with many things, but one in particular was short, snappy, outbursts of emotion that were affecting them significantly in relationship. 

Today I just wanted to include a little snippit from those chapters to let you take a peek at the view from my world.  It's not uncommon for me to hear this and so I felt that it was "book worthy".

From the Chapter Irritable:
The 10 count rule is certainly a reasonable and rational method to squelch outbursts of emotion.  Hey, and don't knock it until you try it.  But in all honestly, it would be difficult for many menopausal women to pass the 6 or 7 mark.  Countless women complain that their fuse gets shorter and shorter as they walk through the years of "the change".  And as a warning, the fuse can be lit by even the slightest spark of opposition (whether real or imagined)......

From the Chapter Hissy Fits:
Everyone will become irritated from time to time.  But when the irritability turns into an avalanche of wrongs committed against others you love, it might be time to wrangle the internal emotion. ......Being more aware of when potential meltdowns are coming on and identifying the people or things that cause them, can often diffuse or lessen such hissy fits from happening.  Physiologically, hormonal deficiencies can present in various ways (emotional, physical, mental), and noticing out-of-character behaviors can be a result of declining hormones for some women as they go through the aging process......

I haven't written a book for men...yet....but....
This goes for men too.  I visited with a woman yesterday who shared concern for her husband.  She mentioned that he was "snappy" and acting crazy about the littlest things.  Guys go through hormonal change too.  It's called Andropause and can be linked to many things.  I was pleased to see this couple that I mentioned earlier in my blog walk out of my office with a "his" and "hers" testing kit.  I will  be able to report back to them in a couple of weeks if there are imbalances that need to be addressed which could help them in many different ways.  Love it!

If you have noticed that you are being guided by "feelings" more and more these days, please don't hesitate to give me a call.  I'm more than happy to advise and guide into a more healthy direction.

Have a great day!

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Depo-Provera injections REVEALED!

Today I was doing a review of some of the articles I have captured in my office throughout the years.  I like to revisit my files from time to time, just to stay "current" on both new and old information as a guide to helping people have better health.  Today was no different, except that I read about something that is perhaps considered a popular option for young women TODAY.  There are various forms of birth control on the market, but I couldn't help but highlight one in particular.  This BLOG is not at all intended to be pitched from the "dark" side but simply as a means to make young women aware of what they are putting in their bodies.  In this case, it's what they are having injected into their bodies. 

Depo-Provera has been on the market for a many years now and is often preferred by women seeking birth control because one can have an injection every 3 months instead of having to remember to take "the pill" everyday to prevent pregnancy. And, the bonus seems to be (for young women) that they won't have to have a menstrual cycle each month.  That sounds fantastic to most women, but I believe "nature's way" is that women should have a period each month.  (That's a topic for another BLOG and actually something that I did highlight in my book, Living Hormoniously.)  There is a BIG problem  that many may not be aware of when deciding to use DP.  This is a known fact and can be researched quite easily.  You see, Depo-Provera has a BLACK BOX WARNING on it's labeling because it's known to cause bone loss in women.  The longer the use the more risk of loss.  I've known some young women to be on it for yearssssss....  (gasp!) This bone loss info tidbit is especially true for women who are under 21 years old.  The reason is likely that it reduces natural hormone levels known to build bone density. 

To keep this simple and to honor your time, let me just wrap this up in a quick format so you can understand.  This is a listing of COMMON REACTIONS tied to DP use.  Here goes...

Menstrual irregularities
Weight gain
Abdominal Pain
Decreased sex drive
No Menstrual Cycles
Back Pain
Breast Pain
Leg Cramps
Loss of Hair
Hot Flashes
Hair growth on the face
Glucose Intolerance

Remember these are listed as COMMON.  The ones listed in the SERIOUS category would make you cringe even more.  Birth control is a huge issue and I have a few (strong) opinions on what options are best for health, but I'll leave you to discuss that with your personal physician.  Today I'm just injecting (no pun intended) some information that I think you should know.

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Monday, September 17, 2012

Are You Guilty of Mindless Eating?

How many food related decisions do you make a day?  Most people according to the author of "Mindless Eating," by Brian Wansink will say around 30.  BzzzzzTT,WRONG!!!!

The average person during the course of an average day makes over 200 food related decisions.  He even goes on to say that if we give people a larger plate size, in some cases, they will end up eating 25-50% more food just because of sizing things up wrongly with our eyes.  Our eyes are bigger than our stomach I guess you could say. 

Today I simply want to give a listing of some things that will help you keep your eating in CHECK.  After all, 200 decisions in one day is a lot to handle.  I personally was probably more in the 30 decision per day group until I read this article and actually began to stop myself with any thought I had related to food.  I think the 200 in right on!!

Mindless Eating Tips
1)      No open glass bowls in the office.  (See chocolate, eat chocolate!  No chocolate, no guilt!)
      2)      Convenience leads to eating.  (Candy bars, soda, McDonalds...need I say more?)
      3)      Don’t get rid of the evidence. (leave the chicken wing bones and pizza crust as evidence)
      4)      How many food choices are you making a day?  Are you consumed by food? (literally)
      5)      Slow down. 
       6)      The ‘eating pause’. (Stop for a few minutes and give yourself time for the I'm Full pause)
       7)      Don’t be seduced by labels
       8)      Don’t eat by the clock.  (If you're not hungry at noon, don't eat)
      9)      Food doesn’t belong in the Living Room
     10)   Drink Water before eating or snacking.  scientific evidence proves that you will eat less)
      11)   Sunday Fasting (other countries practice fasting more than we Westerners. It's good for you)
      12)   Minimize the sweets or eliminate them all together. 
      13)   No food 2 hours before bed.
      14)   Last meal, salad only.
      15) Food is not something you do, it's something you eat. Resist using food for boredom.
      16)   30 chews per bite
      17)   30 per day keeps the blubber away.  30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week. 
      18)    Eat only half.  Portion control!!  We all know that 1/2 is more than enough.
       19)   Peel that bun off the top.  Get rid of half the bread. 
        20)  Get rid of the soda, artificial sweeteners, and sweet tea.  Water is a great choice!

20 little "Tips" to help you "tip" the scale in the right direction with all those food related decisions you have to make.  I hope you all have a great week.

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pain Pills and Hormone Deficiencies? Yes Sir!!!

I recently looked at the top 10 list of medications prescribed in America.  It's sad but true that  pain medications take the lead in our society in terms of use and abuse but did you know that they are also linked to hormone imbalance?  Surgeries, accidents, and diseases sometimes require prescription pain medications to be added to a patients regimen, but long term chronic use can bring on hormone deficiencies and especially for men. 

Loss of muscle strength, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, and worsened pain can be brought on by the long term use of pain medications.  The medical literature is saturated with evidence of this, but often it's not the first thought as to why men might be struggling with these issues.  One of the things that I review when I go to work on a patients hormone imbalance issues is the list of medications that they are currently taking for other conditions.  I wrote another BLOG article on "statins" for cholesterol.  They are known to cause hormone deficiencies but so are pain pills like Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and so on.  Over time, these medications cause suppression of the endocrine system and in men inhibit Testosterone production.  Often this little fact goes unrecognized by primary care doctors and clinicians. Interestingly, another problem with long term use is hyperalgesia which simply means aggravated sensitivity to pain. 

Tolerance can also develop from long term use of narcotic pain killers which means that patients have to use higher doses to get the pain control effect.  Memory and cognitive function also take a huge hit when patients take narcotics for a long period of time.  I don't know about you, but I need all the brain power that I can get.   Immune function can also be affected by long term use and that simply goes back to that suppressive effect to the immune system.  Long term use of pain medications is simply not good for a person. 

So why do pain pills affect hormone production?

Low Testosterone is brought on by inhibition of LH (Luteinizing Hormone) which is produced by the pituitary gland and instrumental in Testosterone production.  Pain medications also suppress the endocrine system and the adrenal hormone system.  So, in essence, a person is taking one thing that is causing a ripple effect in bringing about other problems.

Symptoms of Low T:
Fatigue, depression, hot flashes, night sweats, decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, poor mood, weight gain, and so on are often expressed by men who later test and discover they have Testosterone deficiency.  Many guys also have diminishing bone density, anemia, and loss of muscle mass. 

So what do you do if you have chronic unresolved pain?
Get your Testosterone checked!  Administration of both topical and injectable Testosterone have been studied and have been found to be effective for men with low Testosterone on pain pills.  Vitamin and mineral deficiencies should also be considered as well as doing a review of the adrenal hormones.  I do understand that this is only a band-aid treatment of sorts, but it can certainly get things going in the direction to obtain the goal of reduced narcotic use and hopefully elimination if possible. 

If you are a man suffering from any of these symptoms and you are using pain medications to make it through the days, please give me a call and I can walk you through the simple process of testing and treatment.  I've always had a balance of about 85% women in our patient pool, but these days, the guys are tipping the scales and those percentages because they are looking for answers to their decreased quality of life as well.  I love it!!

Please don't hesitate to call me.

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Personal Pioneer


This picture is of a special lady.  She's special for many reasons but one is particular is that she is holding her 80th birthday cake in this photograph.  Another special reason is that she has a sense of humor that is so attractive and welcoming when you are in a room with her.  I couldn't help but give her a big hug on the way out of a consultation we had just a few weeks ago.  Notice that her cake also states, "Still Looking for a Younger Man With Older Money."  LOL!!  That makes me smile every time I read it because she laughs about it hysterically herself. 

I call Evangeline a pioneer because she has been using bio-identical hormones for almost as long as I've been alive.  When she came in for her private appointment she stated to me that the form I require for consultations and her personal medical history could not be filled out because "there was just too much to share".  After quickly glancing at the paperwork she brought in hand, I quickly agreed.  This lady had taken more than good care of herself throughout the years.

I think I remember her saying something like this as well, "Listen darlin', I've got my original teeth, I don't wear glasses, I drive a motor home and pull a car behind it, and have been doing bio-identicals when doctors didn't even know about them."  In my seat as the hormone consultant, that certainly got my attention.  I had the privilege of meeting with Evangeline for about 45 minutes and offered my ideas and interjections into her care plan.   I was certainly mesmerized with this trailblazer in hormone replacement therapy. Wow! Wow! Wow!

The really fun part of this story and why I am sharing this with you (with Evangline's full permission of course) is that Evangeline took the drivers seat in her care and didn't take "no" for an answer when she met opposition all those years ago.  Like that old country song, "I was country when country wasn't cool," Evangeline was singing, "I was bio-identical when bio-identical wasn't cool."  Evangeline knows "her stuff" and knows her body, VERY well.  She is a pleasure to take care of and work with.  I love her spirit all the more because she quickly invested in me also. She provided to me a list of resources and references that I had never read in my studies and educational path.  I suddenly became the student again.   She resourced me so that I could invest in other women wanting these same things for their body and their health for the long haul.  It's not about the gift, it's about her knowledge and desire to see others benefit and live a long healthy life so they can get their 80th, 90th, or 100th birthday cake with their own saying that makes them smile.  I love that!  What a pioneer!!!

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja