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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Hormone Replacement? Hopefully It Contains Estriol And Here's Why

So I think by now everyone knows that I customize hormone replacement therapies for men and women. I just met with two OB/GYN's today in their clinics to discuss current studies, treatment options, and best practice approaches.  They are fully on board and refer patients for the custom therapy ALL THE TIME!!  Yeah!  Because of  making a full time living at the helm of the hormone ship, I am privy to many published studies, online networking groups, clinical consultant forums, and so on. 

I rarely ever customize a therapy without including this "magic" estrogen, Estriol.   It's not magical because it makes all of the symptoms go away (it can), but it's magical because it's been found to have an anti-cancer effect and it critical to have on board for women truly wanting to mimic the body's normal production.   There are plenty of studies out that that also show us that Estrogens are protective and can delay the onset and progession of Alzheimers Disease if that is a risk factor in your family blood line.  We also know that hormone replacement therapy builds bones and prevents or retards osteoporosis. 

Plain and simple ladies, we all have estriol in our bodies and it's needed to protect us on many fronts.  Sadly, commercial and synthetic versions of hormone replacement therapy DO NOT include Estriol in the mix.  Not in the U.S. anyway.  In Europe, they use Estriol and have for 40+ years as you'll see from the information I'm sharing below.  Conversely, Premarin, one of the largest marketed hormones to hit Western medicine, does NOT include estriol, but rather a conjugated mix of horse estrogens.  Yes horse urine is used as the source of human hormone replacement for one of the top selling products of all time Premarin.  What a tragedy.....   Pre'MARE'in. (the name is the guide) I'm not kidding, look it up for yourself. Who wants that in their body?  Not this girl.  EVER!! 

Here's a clip from an article I was able to read today on the topic of Estriol.  I have formulated just estriol alone for hot flashes, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, wrinkling on the face and neck, and many other things that patients are experiencing. However, I mostly include it in a multi-ingredient formulation to mimic the body's normal production.  Now that makes sense!  AND I CAN TEST THIS HORMONE TO SEE IF YOU ARE DEFICIENT!!! 

Estriol, the missing-in-action hormone
You may have noticed that one estrogen, Estriol, is completely absent from Premarin and other forms of conventional estrogen replacement regimens, although it comprises as much as 80-90% of triple estrogen. This is not an insignificant omission. Most conventional physicians and pharmaceutical researchers have long dismissed estriol as a weak and unimportant estrogen. They have considered it to be primarily a metabolite of Estradiol and Estrone, which are far more potent in producing estrogenic effects, such as inducing endometrial tissue growth. "Why go through all the trouble of putting Estriol into a pill if you don’t really need it?" seems to be their reasoning.

Well potency isn’t everything. In fact, Estriol is vitally important precisely because it is a weak estrogen. A number of studies, published over four decades, have demonstrated that estriol’s unique and perhaps most important role, may be to oppose the growth of cancer, including cancer promoted by its more potent cousins, Estrone and Estradiol. We’ll talk more about this in a moment.
Estriol plays more than just a defensive role though. European physicians have been open to the potential benefits of Estriol in menopausal women than those in the US. As a result, most of the clinical research evaluating Estriol has been conducted in Europe. In general, these studies show that menopausal women who use natural Estriol to replace their natural estrogen experience a reduction in typical menopausal symptoms like, hot flashes and thinning of the vaginal tissue (vaginal atrophy) (4).
• In one major trial, 22 practicing gynecologists from 11 large hospitals in Germany treated 911 premenopausal women with Estriol and evaluated them regularly for 5 years. They found Estriol to be "very effective" against common menopausal symptoms and "well-tolerated" with "no significant side effect." (5)
• A Swedish study evaluated 40 postmenopausal women with urinary incontinence (leaky bladders) for up to 10 years. The researchers found that Estriol treatment resulted in significant improvement in 75% of the women, including eight whose ability to regulated urination completely returned to normal. (6).
• The same Swedish study found that symptoms of vaginal atrophy disappeared in 79% of the women after just 4 months of Estriol treatment. After 12 months, all but one woman were symptom free (6).

Built in cancer protection

There is no doubt that reasonable doses of horse estrogens and 100%Estradiol patches and creams stimulate excessive proliferation of endometrial cells, a precursor to endometrial cancer.

It is to reduce this risk that any woman taking these drugs must also take natural progesterone or a synthetic progesterone substitute (or "progestin") like the Provera (see box). This is in stark contrast to Estriol, which appears to actually antagonize the proliferate effects of Estrone and Estradiol, while having far less tendency to stimulate endometrial proliferation, itself. Studies in experimental animals have shown that the proliferate dose of Estriol (the dose that produces full endometrial growth) is at least double that of horse estrogens and Estradiol (7).
Estriol apparently accomplishes its protective role by benignly binding to estrogenic receptors in the uterine lining and possibly the breast. Unlike the more potent estrogens though, it does not stimulate growth nearly as much. At the same time, receptors covered by Estriol are shielded from more carcinogenic Estrone and Estradiol (4).
This is thought to be the same mechanism by which other weak estrogens, such as those found in soy products, protect against cancer. In laboratory animal studies totaling more than 500 rat-years, Estriol has been shown to be the most protective estrogen ever tested against cancers of the breast induced by several potent carcinogenic agents, including radiation (8,9).
There is important evidence dating back to the 1960’s suggesting that Estriol may protect against breast cancer as well. At that time, Henry Lemon, MD, who was head of the division of gynecologic oncology at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, hypothesized that some women who develop breast cancer have too little Estriol relative to Estradiol and Estrone circulating in their bodies.
To test this hypothesis, Dr. Lemon ran a preliminary study in which he employed a urinary estrogen quotient (EQ), which was simply a measure of the ratio of Estriol to the total of Estradiol and estrogen in the urine over a 24-hour period. The higher the quotient, the more Estriol there is relative to Estradiol and Estrone (10).
In a small study of 34 women with no signs of breast cancer, Dr. Lemon found the EQ to be a median of 1.3 before menopause and 1.2 after menopause. Only 21% of the women had an EQ <1.0 (i.e. Estriol was less than Estradiol and Estrone combined). For 26 women with breast cancer, however, the picture was quite different. Their median EQ was 0.5 before menopause and 0.8 after menopause; 62% of these women had an EQ <1.0.

Thus, the women with breast cancer seemed to be making substantially less Estriol relative to the other estrogens, compared with the women without breast cancer.

...............  There you have it!  Make an educated decision, call me, and get with your doctor ASAP if you need to make a BIG change in what you are doing.....or, should I say, not doing to better your hormone health.

Just sharing for your good hormone health,
Dr. Sonja

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Iodine, Lyme Disease, Fluoride Exposure, Thyroid Symptoms, and More.

Iodine : Why You Need It. Why You Can't Live Without It.

By David Brownstein M.D.

Iodine deficiency has become rampant in our society. Dr. David Brownstein has found, through the years he has tested his patients for iodine, that over 90% of these patients have been deficient in this trace element. In my experience I have noticed that most Lyme disease sufferers have problems with their thyroid gland. All Lyme patients that I have met, report subnormal body temperatures. They also complain of being cold and very fatigued. It is thought that the Lyme disease pathogen attacks the thyroid which in turn would lower immune system function. 

Throughout the book it is stressed repeatedly, that certain chemicals, such as the halides... bromide, chloride and fluoride, compete with iodine for absorption into the body tissues and glands, including the thyroid gland. If there is a shortage of iodine in the body, these toxic elements will be absorbed in place of the iodine. So, then, not only would many people have an iodine deficiency but as a result they may also have accumulated toxic levels of halides. Dr. Brownstein assures his readers that supplementing with adequate iodine (above the RDA) will help their body to detoxify. He also speaks of how to lessen the detoxification reaction.

Another important point made was....if one is being treated with thyroid hormone, while the body is deficient in iodine, then the thyroid hormone could exacerbate the iodine deficiency. So, while one may feel better in the short run on thyroid hormones, iodine deficiency may eventually worsen the thyroid condition, despite prescribed hormones. Many times people do well on both the iodine and the thyroid hormones together. However, Dr. Brownstein tells us that about one third of the patients are able to discontinue the thyroid hormone and take only iodine. Also included are iodine dosage guidelines and a question and answer section.
Dr. Klinghardt, one of the most recognized Lyme specialists in the world, views Iodine as the most critical element in Lyme patients. He feels filling up the body's mineral reserves has always been the most essential part of his heavy metal detox program. It is also the most essential part of his Lyme treatment. 

Iodine is a trace mineral produced by the body that is essential for normal growth and development. Seventy to eighty percent of iodine is found in the thyroid gland in the neck. Your thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland, located in your neck, wrapped around the windpipe, behind and below the Adam's Apple area. The thyroid produces several hormones, of which two are key: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones help oxygen get into cells, and make your thyroid the master gland of metabolism.
All the blood in the body passes through the thyroid gland every 17 minutes. During this 17-minute passage the gland's secretion of iodine kills weak germs that may have gained entry into the blood. Without iodine the germs can pass the thyroid uneffected.
Iodine is used by every hormone receptor in the body. The absence of iodine in your diet causes a hormonal dysfunction that can be seen with practically every hormone so it become easy to understand why many doctors think iodine is the missing link to many, many health problems!

endocrine system, thyroidIODINE DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS

Here's just a few symptoms that could be caused by not enough iodine in your diet:
  • Anemia
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Excess mucous
  • Dry skin
  • An enlarged tongue
  • Slow speech
  • Puffiness of the hands and face
  • Problems with skin and hair
  • Drowsiness and/or Fatigue
  • Mental apathy / Brain fog
  • Hoarse throat
  • Increased body fat
  • Enlarged thyroid gland or Goiter (Goitre)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Muscle soreness and stiffness
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Elevated blood cholesterol
  • Heavier than normal menstrual periods
  • Cretinism

There are several ground-breaking brave doctors out there that have had great success treating diseases with iodine. These diseases include:
  • Aids
  • Autism
  • Lyme Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Heart Disease
  • Colds and Allergies
  • Candida
  • Cancer
    including thyroid cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer
  • Thyroid Disease
    (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiter, autoimmune issues)
  • Graves Disease / Hypothyroidism
  • Hashimoto's Disease
  • Lupus & more!

The only foods that are truely rich in iodine are foods from the sea. The highest content coming from sea kelp or seaweed. Other seafood such as cod fish or haddock are also food with iodine. The level of other foods containing iodine vary greatly depending on the region they came from.
There's a simple home test that you can do to see if you are iodine deficient.  We can ship the kit to your home and you can do it at your convenience.  Non-invasive by using twice daily urine samples. 

WARNING - A small number of people are allergic to iodine.  Also, people with kidney disease or tuberculosis should avoid iodine.


 Iodine tincture (topical use only)
Tincture of iodine (3% elemental iodine in water/ethanol base) is an essential component of any emergency survival kit, used both to disinfect wounds and in an emergency can be used to sanitize surface water for drinking (3 drops per liter, let stand for 30 minutes).

Lugol's iodine, also known as Lugol's solution, first made in 1829, is a solution of elemental iodine and potassium iodide in water, named after the French physician J.G.A. Lugol.

Povidone iodine
trade names: ACU-dyne, Aerodine, Betadine; drug class: iodophor This is a nonirritating disinfectant to be used topically. The iodine is usually mixed vegetable glycerin (unlike iodine ticture which is alcohol based) so it won't burn or sting on wounds.

Iodoral is an iodine supplement in the form of tablets that contains both iodine and iodide for the most biological activity.

It should be noted that high levels of iodine in your body can be just as toxic as low levels so do your homework!

If you wish to learn more about the health benefits of iodine and how to use iodine to treat disease I highly recommend Dr. Brownsteins book, Iodine Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It.  
I also recommend that you call my office
and get an iodine testing kit. ($25 kit/assessment fee, $75 lab fee) 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lyme Disease

Well Summer is here and that means the bugs, chiggers, and ticks are preparing themselves for their assault on humans.  BTW, I hate bugs!!!!  I thought I should just get that out right up front.  I do understand that they have their place in the food chain of nature, but I just really hate bugs.   I also hate that ticks, in particular, can cause a very significant inflammatory disorder that affects multiple systems in the human body.  Sadly, I have more than one account I could share about people who have been infected with the organism Borrelia burgdorferi (hard to say), which is transmitted by the bite of the Ixodes dammini tick.

The good part is that the infection does respond to antibiotic therapy, but more importantly, a regimen of immune support may be protective against acquiring an active infection in the first place.  That's important because, just this week, I probably addressed poor immunity with >10 patients who resulted with very low adrenal markers.  This can be indicative of a poor functioning immune system and almost 90% of the time people explain that they get sniffles, colds, and fatigue quite commonly.  Lyme disease can be a difficult diagnosis especially if patients seek answers after a prolonged or late interval of time since exposure.

The course of human Lyme disease is divided into three stages, but overlaps in time can happen as symptoms progress.  The first stage involves a reddened ring the center of which is the site of the tick bite.  A rash can develop from 3 to 32 days afterwards.  Sometimes secondary rings begin to show up around the original ring of the bite.  Headaches and muscle aches are common at this stage but fever is fairly unusual to see at this point in the process of infection.  Crazy symptoms can include a stiff neck and facial nerve palsies, at this stage, which becomes really scary for people because they tend to think of other diseases.

In the second stage, which happens several weeks later, things such as facial pain and facial weakness can occur and the facial nerve can be involved which can cause facial paralysis.  There can be inflammation of the spinal nerve roots with radiating pain.  Additionally, cardiac involvement can happen leading to left ventricular dysfunction.

The third stage appears several months later after the time of infection and was originally classified as chronic arthritis.  This stage may mimic MS, psychiatric illness, nerve swelling, and present with difficulty moving.   It's crazy to imagine, but sometimes people may not recall (or may be unaware) of the tick bite.  The rash may seem mild, attributed to other reasons, and may be forgotten.

Once a diagnosis of Lyme Disease is made, antibiotics should be started.  This is usually successful in preventing the later stages of the disease if caught early enough.  I also recommend that certain supplements be used to compliment the body's reactive processes.  (antioxidants, vitamins, probiotics, etc) If neurological symptoms present, then intravenous antibiotics are preferred.   I mentioned that I know of patients with confirmed Lyme Disease and many of these people will tell you that they have constant joint pain and fatigue.

Preventative efforts are so important with something like this.   Avoiding areas with high tick infestation are suggested, but that's not always possible for careers and activities that require going into that environment.  Sprays and lotions can be used to repel ticks but also clothing that covers skin is helpful to minimize the risk.  Although it helps, it cannot always be a guarantee to prevent one of those little critters from attaching to you.  I have no idea how they get where they get, but rest assured they will find their way into the nooks and cranny's of your body.  Here's a home remedy for you on this note that you might enjoy.  I spoke with a farmer the other day who uses dawn dish soap if he ever sees a tick taking hold.  He states that it makes the tick back right out.  I have no scientific proof to tell you that this works, but it sure couldn't hurt anything and he was fairly convincing in telling me about it.  If you are ever bitten by a tick, please take notice of the time, date, and especially monitor the skin for reddening or swelling of the area.  This can be a strong indicator that antibiotics are needed asap.  Do not delay getting an appointment with your doctor if this happens.

Make a note to yourself on this!!!  Remember, you can be bit by a tick and the hard core symptoms may not present until years later.  Bells palsy, eye inflammation, fatigue, joint pain, and more can all be traced back to an infection of Borrelia burgdorferi.   Not everyone will get the classic rash and symptoms right away.  This is such a tricky disease in some cases because of that fact alone.  I would imagine that Lyme's Disease is misdiagnosed as something else, or ignored as a possibility because of no gleaming signs, and people suffer unnecessarily for a long time.  Check yourself over and over for ticks if you think you are in an area where you might be exposed!!!

A healthy immune system is also important for this and other offenders in our world.  If your system is struggling to keep up due to stress, lack of sleep, infections, etc., it's worth getting an evaluation to determine how you can bolster your immune system to ward off toxins and infections.  This goes for anything, but I make mention of it in this blog because the immune system can take a huge hit with Lyme Disease.  I can create a custom regimen of nutraceuticals to help you and your family stay healthy for the long haul.   Focus on healthcare instead of disease care and get started with your evaluation.  Summer is here and we want to keep you and your family happy and healthy.

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Big Sexy Hair

I mentioned in a Facebook post yesterday one of my favorite quotes from a TV sitcom.  "Pardon me, my hair is usually much bigger than this!!", Suzanne Sugarbaker from the show Designing Women. I couldn't help but think of the one liner as I sat in an 8 hour class last week to learn how to evaluate and assess nutritional status just by reviewing the 'body language'  of a person.  The class was designed to evaluate things from head to toe about a person and they just happened to start with hair. That's when the thought popped in my mind and I had to chuckle at myself for retaining such useless information in my brain.   If you remember, Suzanne always had a way of making an entrance and bringing attention to the female "issues of the day."   In that particular episode, it was her hair that she was struggling with and that is what made her so appealing, I suppose, to the estrogen dominant viewers who really wished they could walk into a room and do the same. 

 We all know that women, especially, love a full head of big bouncy goldilocks.  Or brunettelocks...or auburnlocks...or fill in the blank. (smile)   In my consultations, I often hear women comment that their hair, skin, and nails exhibit noticeable changes  as they age.  There can be many reasons for this to happen, and much is related to hormone shifting within the body. But, hair 'symptoms' can also be a sign of some other key nutrient deficiencies and endocrine related conditions. 

Here's a few examples: 

Hair Loss in Pre-Menopausal Women: 

Some of the key contributors to this include gastric hypochlorhydria (lack of acid in the gut for digestion), low iron, low minerals, low amino acids, and hypothyroidism.  In the case of hypochlorhydria, the symptoms can appear much the same as having too much acid resulting in prescriptions or remedies for suppressing acid which is a bad idea.  Hypothyrodism always makes the light bulb go off in my head when hair loss is mentioned, and I suggest a thyroid panel be tested along with the hormone work-up.  Everyone is becoming more aware these days (I hope) that thyroid lab values cannot always be trusted.  There are some great books that I will point you to if you want to dig into that statement further.  "Overcoming Thyroid Disorders", David Brownstein M.D. (the thyroid guru today) and " Hypothyroidism, the Unsuspected Illness (1976), Broda Barnes, M.D. (the thyroid guru of yesterday).  Both are on the same page about misdiagnosis and what to look for.

Hair Loss in Pregnancy or Birth Control Pills:

B-complex vitamins and in particular B6 and folate are important to have on board in the daily vitamin regimen to prevent or lessen this problem.

Hair Loss in Post-Menopausal women:

The list is similar to Pre-Menopausal women: hypochlorhydria, low iron, low minerals, low amino acids, hypothyroidism (especially), but also low DHEA. 

Hair that is Dull and Lifeless:
Hurry right out today and get started on Essential Fatty Acids (with mixed tocopherols) and B-Complex Vitamins.  Now AGAIN I will mention that ALL nutraceuticals are NOT created equal.  That's why I carry specific brands and high pharmaceutical grade products.  Prescribed Supplements is the way to go and they need to be recommended and managed by a TRAINED and LICENSED professional.

Hair (scalp) HURTS when brushed:  VITAMIN D-fiency. (smile)  No really, it's true.  Start taking Vitamin D3.  I can help you with the dosing for your age and lifestyle. 

Now here's the fun part for me today!!!!  I attended a training session last week with Dr. Jonathan V. Wright.  The doctor who wrote this and other blogs for Suzanne Somers.  Here's his article and interview with Suzanne on all-things-hair.  You will want to read this if your pony tail is getting thinner.  

I had the pleasure to interview Dr. Jonathan Wright for my last two books, BREAKTHROUGH and KNOCKOUT. Subsequently he has agreed to do a series of interviews on my blog to provide vital information for many of the issues women face today. The first was on Vit K and its benefits to help menstrual clotting. Today we will tackle the issue of thinning hair and weak nails.
SUZANNE: Hi, Dr. Wright. Thank you for continuing this important series for my readers. I meet so many women who are complaining they are losing their hair or have weak nails. What causes this?
DR. WRIGHT:There are several conditions which cause women to lose their hair. First we have the relatively rare condition called “alopecia areata”, in which an entire “patch” or even multiple “patches” of hair fall out, surrounded by entirely healthy scalp with lots of hair. Secondly, we have even more rare “alopecia totalis” in which all the hair—everywhere on the scalp—drops out. But the much more common condition I want to discuss today commonly begins at peri-menopause (and sometimes even before then!) and is just “thinning out all over”, when we find too much hair in the shower or bathtub drain type of hair loss. A typical observation about this kind of hair loss is “Gee, when I put my hair in a ponytail, the ponytail is getting skinnier and skinnier!”
SUZANNE:This is a big problem for women. I remember when I was young there was a certain age where women just didn’t wear their hair long anymore because it got too thin. Everyone got those “mom” cuts by age 40. And also I hear a lot of complaints about nails getting weaker and weaker.
DR. WRIGHT: Some women will tell me their nails have been in poor condition for years, while others will say they are gradually getting worse and worse. Even adding gelatin or calcium – the nails chronically chip, peel, crack, “layer back”, are too thin and break way too easily.
SUZANNE:Do thinning hair and weak nails have same cause?
DR. WRIGHT:Yes, they do have the same cause, but surprisingly, even though both problems have the same underlying cause, I’ve very rarely heard, in 37 years of natural medicine practice, from one woman who has both problems at the same time.
SUZANNE: So what is the cause?
DR. WRIGHT:Recent research has established a link between low levels of iron and relatively uniformly distributed female scalp hair loss.
SUZANNE:So if we supplement with iron will it help our hair and nails?
DR. WRIGHT:It goes deeper than that. Finding the connection to “thinning all over” hair loss and low iron levels is progress, but surprisingly, low iron levels, hair loss, and poor quality nails all have the same underlying cause for women of all ages: it’s “gastric hypochlorhydria”, translated into English: low stomach acid.
SUZANNE:Most people would never link low stomach acid to these other issues. How does low stomach acid cause iron deficiency, hair loss, and nail weakening?
DR. WRIGHT:If stomach acid is low, protein isn’t efficiently digested – and hair and nails are made up of… protein! If we are deficient in protein, our bodies know that we can live without hair or nail proteins, but we can’t survive without heart muscle proteins or other important body proteins. So if we are short in supply of protein, the hair or nails are the first to go. Optimal stomach function—which includes optimal stomach acid—is also key to optimal digestion and absorption of iron, many other minerals, and at least two key B vitamins. It’s no wonder hair or nails “go bad”! If a woman in her twenties or thirties is losing a lot of hair, we now know it’s from too little stomach acid and pepsin. This can be replenished with Hydrochloric Acid with Pepsin capsules. (HCL-pepsin). With women in their forties who are losing their hair, often it’s a combination of low stomach acid, low thyroid, and sex hormone loss – mainly estrogen and progesterone. In this case we replace missing hormones with bioidentical estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid. Then we also replace the missing or low hydrochloric acid. But there is one more key element on the outside track – DHEA. Sometimes DHEA is the key missing element.
SUZANNE:That’s your cocktail for hair loss, I love it. How great to have a natural remedy to replace what’s missing rather than a drug to put a Band-Aid on things. So in women losing their hair, you would look for a doctor who specializes in anti-aging medicine and ask for a gastric analysis?
DR. WRIGHT:And from my experience, I would say it will probably reveal low stomach acid for sure, and/or low thyroid, and/or a lack of DHEA and/or natural sex hormones. Once those are replenished, the hair and nails get thicker and stronger.
SUZANNE:I have a friend who was very upset that she was losing her hair. She started taking 3-4 Hydrochloric Acid with Pepsin (HCL-pepsin) capsules (available at health food stores) with each meal and her hair is coming back and her bloating is subsiding. She’s thrilled! I’ve been taking HCL-pepsin for several years, and I’m happy to say, my nails and hair are both in great shape. I’ve covered many of these topics in my book, BREAKTHROUGH. If my readers want more extensive information on low stomach acid, hair loss and nail weakening, where should they look?
Dr. WRIGHT:For a brief review of low stomach acid and related problems, you might see my recently published book Stomach (Praktikos Books, Mt. Vernon, Virginia, 2009) or the older book Why Stomach Acid is Good for You (M. Evans & Company, New York, 2001) written by Lane Lenard, Ph.D., and me.
Thank you, Dr. Wright.


Suzanne Somers

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Progesterone Imbalance-You Likely Have It

....Continuing discussions on each of the hormones, with Progesterone as today's highlight.  Progesterone is VERY important for perimenopausal women, premenopausal women, menopausal women, pregnant women, and NO woman should be without it. 

Progesterone, like estrogen, is secreted by the ovaries; therefore when women go through menopause their levels begin to slide towards zero.  It is a very good hormone for premenstrual syndrome, a great therapy for menopause, and the only suggested treatment for perimenopause.  If used in appropriate doses and individualized to a person's needs, it can decrease headaches and bloating associated with menstrual cycles.   I have tons of peri-menopausal and menopausal women on progesterone therapy and they LOVE it!!

Natural and Bio-Identical Progesterone protects against cancer, osteoprosis, fibrocystic disease, ovarian cysts, and coronary artery disease.  Conversely, "synthetic" versions, aka medroxyprogesterone, commonly cause bloating, headache, fatigue, weight gain, depression, increased symptoms of PMS, dementia, increased risk of clots, cancer, and cerebrovascular disease.  "Synthetic" versions are found in the products Provera, PremPro, and birth control pills.  That makes you want to rush right out and get some, right?  Not!  Please see all of the other blogs that I have written on synthetic hormones and their dangers.  The bio-identical progesterone, because it's an exact match to the body's natural structure, is not associated with any of these. 

The focus often tends to become the ovaries with hormone therapy, but progesterone has receptor sites located throughout the entire body including; uterus, breast, vagina, blood vessels, and brain tissue as an action site. Whether or not a woman has a uterus does not impact whether she needs progesterone.  Why?  I just answered that question by stating all of the progesterone action sites in the body.  You can tell how "up on things" your doctor is by their position statement on progesterone therapy needs.   Progesterone moderates estrogen balance.  Progesterone can be given transdermally (through the skin), in oral capsules, or in sublingual drops.  The choice depends on patient symptoms, dosing needs, and compliance with therapy. 

Here's a guide to progesterone related symptoms:

Abundance: mild depression and sleepiness

Deficiency: headache, low libido, anxiety, moodiness, foggy thinking, depression, food cravings, irritability, cramps, painful breasts, weight gain, water retention, painful joints, and decreased urine flow, and the biggie, difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep. 

If you want to see where your levels are sitting, give me a call.    This is a hormone worth knowing about.  Your body might be running on empty and the effects could be more significant than you realize.  Literally!

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bioidenticals safer and more effective than synthetic HRT, studies show | Anti-Aging News

Bioidenticals safer and more effective than synthetic HRT, studies show | Anti-Aging News

Estrogen According to Suzanne-BTW I Agree

Does Estrogen Deserve the Bad Rap?

For years, the medical community has been railing against estrogen replacement for women, based on studies that showed an increased risk of breast cancer when women took Premarin, a version of estrogen derived from horse urine. And that’s led many women to avoid replacing this necessary hormone, causing imbalances that lead to hot flashes, sleepless nights, weight gain, and loss of libido — not to mention throwing all your other hormones completely out of whack!)But most of the medical community now agrees that the past research on estrogen replacement and cancer was flawed. If you skip the synthetic version of estrogen and use bioidentical formulations, you can help bring the body back into balance without increasing the risk of cancer. Here’s how to do it:
  • Contact a doctor who specializes in antiaging medicine. He’ll be able to run the appropriate blood and urine tests to determine your hormone levels and bring you back into balance.
  • Balance out the estrogen with progesterone. You’ll need to take the estrogen with a natural (not synthetic) version of progesterone two weeks out of every month, to help counter the cell proliferation that estrogen can cause — and to get you closer to the hormonal balance you had when you were younger.
  • Pay close attention to your estriol levels. Low levels of this essential component of estrogen can contribute to your likelihood of developing cancer. But bioidentical hormones can help boost your levels of estriol.
  • Don’t go overboard. Too much estrogen (or any other hormone) can have many of the same ill effects as too little — for instance, too much estrogen can actually cause the same bloating and weight gain that too little causes.

Monday, April 1, 2013

This is NOT an APRIL FOOLS JOKE! Estrogen Imbalance Happens

Don't let hormones fool you.  They can wreak havoc on the body, mind, and relationships.  It's important to get hormones tested because what you think is the problem, may not be the problem.  (Years of experience talking there) And there's education and information to be shared with each and every person related to what they are experiencing.  Slathering yourself up with the hormone cream your friend or family member recommended may not be the best advice.  In fact, I strongly recommend against that.  Please, don't be fooled!

I hope to highlight some the specific hormones this week and what each does for us as women.  Today we'll talk ESTROGEN.  Ladies, we love our Estrogen right?  Right!!  If you haven't realized it yet from reading these blogs, there is a tremendous impact on the body when hormones are out of balance.  And what about aging more gracefully? Studies show that women on hormone therapy look younger when evaluated by random spectators assigning an age to a person.  I did a blog just on that...check it out if you have time.  But that's not the reason for the note to you today. 

Estrogen is a hormone primarily secreted by the ovaries.  We also take estrogens (altered forms) in from our environment (plastics, pesticides, chemicals), and through food sources.  This is why we see the trending and training towards healthier habits including BPA free, Paraben free, free range food sources, elimination of dairy products, pesticide free, etc. etc.  The reasons for these lifestyle changes comes down to endocrine disruption and hormonal imbalance.  We live in a hormone saturated environment.

Estrogen helps protect against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease and memory disorders.  It also helps protect against urinary incontinence and vaginal atrophy which are common complaints of post-menopausal women.  Estrogens are also the common fix to squealching those horrible hot flashes and temperature swings.  So if you don't have enough estrogen in your body, guess what's likely going to happen?    Not just that, but estrogen also has multiple neurologic benefits, helps with macular degeneration and cataracts, and helps reduce cancer risk when appropriately balanced.  Estrogen also helps with moisture to skin, hair, and nails.  I can't tell you the number of times throughout the years that women have shared their improvements in these areas.  No more eye drops, clarity in thought, bladder benefits, etc. etc. 

If a woman finds themselves in a state of estrogen deficiency, besides the urogenital complaints, she also will likely develop sagging skin and breasts, increased skin wrinkles, fatigue, depression, mood swings, and decreased libido.  You'll be saggy, baggy, foggy, crabby, and _______(fill in the blank). It's important to consult with a professional who understands the nature of the various types of estrogens to determine the best "fix" to the symptom or concern.  Each person is unique in their symptoms, family history, medical history, and goals of resetting the balance of hormones.  All estrogens are NOT created equal and that's why a customized Bio-Identical formulation is the BEST choice for each person.  The "synthetics" are BAD MEDICINE in my professional opinion (increased cancer risk and side effects),  and finally and thankfully, the medical literature now supports bio-identical hormone replacement therapy because of less side effects and complications.  If you want to spend a day reading with me, just stop by. (smile)

What if Estrogen is high? Yep, sometimes women test and have too much estrogen.  I actually see it pretty often around here.  This can happen when estrogen is not appropriately balanced by progesterone, by eating poorly, by being overweight, or by exposure to these endocrine disruptors that I mentioned.  These Estrogen Dominant gals will often complain of anxiety, water retention, fibrocystic breasts, weight gain, bleeding changes, irritability, fatigue, and so on.
Can I get any witnesses?  Are you raising your hand saying that's me?

So, what do you do with this information?...  Get tested!! 

If you have any kind of a family history of "female trouble", cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, eye disease etc then that warrants assessment.  Get tested!!

If you can relate to any of the symptoms noted in this blog, get tested!! 

If you have had a hysterectomy, get tested!!

If you are having abnormal menstrual cycles, infertility issues, unexplained weight gain, or ANYthing that you suspect might be hormonal, get tested!! 

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja