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, February 26, 2014

Hysterectomy & The Ovaries: Take Them or Leave Them?

Ovary Removal Might Raise Odds for Bone Loss, Heart Disease

FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who had their ovaries removed before menopause are at increased risk for bone loss and cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.
Researchers looked at 222 healthy postmenopausal women in the Los Angeles area. Among women who were more than 10 years past menopause, the rate of bone mineral density loss was twice as high in those who'd had their ovaries removed before menopause than in those who still had their ovaries.
The women without ovaries also had more evidence of hardening of the arteries, according to the study published Feb. 14 in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
The researchers at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine noted that the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease are common conditions in women as they grow older, particularly after menopause.
Decreasing levels of hormones affect the severity of both health issues. While hormone levels gradually fall through menopause, they can decline suddenly if a woman's ovaries are removed.
"Most women in the United States having a hysterectomy have their ovaries removed as well as their uterus, even those who do not have increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer," Dr. Rebecca Sokol, acting president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, said in a society news release. "As we learn more about the protective effects the ovaries may exert on bone and cardiovascular health after menopause, this practice could be reconsidered."
Sokol said a physician's careful analysis of a woman's individual risks for cancer, as well as for bone loss, heart disease and stroke, could help her decide whether ovary removal is the best course.

Women faced with a hysterectomy (aka surgical menopause) often have concern and should discuss the issue of taking or leaving the ovaries with this life changing surgery. I do understand that sometimes there is just simply no choice in having a hysterectomy with prolonged issues of bleeding, pain, and cancer risk, but I also think women need to be aware of this information before going in for the surgery in situations where there might be an option to retain the ovaries.

William Parker MD and Cathleen Rivera MD reported that removing the ovaries is detrimental to overall health and results in increased mortality. Now this is a big study and it's why I like to share it for purposes of this blog. Here are the facts of the study found in the National Institutes of Health library:

Dr. Parker followed 30,000 women for 24 years after their hysterectomy. Half had the ovaries removed and half did not. The group with the ovaries removed DID have lower rates of ovarian and breast cancer. BUT, they also had a MARKED increase in death from heart disease and other cancers. :( The group with the ovaries removed had a HIGHER ALL-cause morality rate.

And another study:
Dr Rivera followed 1,000 premenopausal women (under 45 yo) after hysterectomy and found that the removal of the ovaries resulted in a disturbing 84% INCREASE IN DEATH from heart disease. That word death should get somebody's attention.

I haven't even traveled down the trail of osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and Alzheimers Disease in this blog all which now show a strong association to hormone imbalance.

Now sometimes there's not a choice to have the ovaries removed. It is necessary in some cases. The experts would agree that if a woman has a high risk of ovarian or family breast cancer, and positive genetic markers, then it would make sense to remove the ovaries.

Now, what about those who HAVE to have the ovaries removed? Well, there is a good ending to this post for those facing this surgery and if you've already had a hysterectomy with your ovaries removed, there is also hope for you. Modern science and studies do prove that hormone replacement therapy can reduce the increased risks or heart disease associated with ovary removal with hysterectomy. The bio-identical hormones are the best plan for patients (over synthetics) and can be customized to an individuals needs and hormone levels. The testing is simple and I can work with your personal physician to provide the necessary hormones that you have lost due to a hysterectomy. I just finished up two hysterectomy patient charts this morning with each showing varied hormone levels, varied family histories, varied physical attributes, varied concerns, etc. etc. Each will receive a unique formulation to match their imbalance and symptoms. It's great to be able to provide this option for women. I also provide testing and individualized treatment for men.

Get tested and get treated!

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Monday, February 17, 2014

If Hormone Balancing Was An Olympic Sport


Today has been an incredible day.  I'm just now tapping into my social media links, emails, and voice messages and it's 4 o'clock in the afternoon. In fact, if there were an Olympic sport for hormone balancing, I would sign right up to compete. (smile)   Just kidding.  I'm not kidding though when I watch competitive sports and wonder which athletes are using the advantage of balanced hormones to perform at their optimum level.  I promise you that the statistic would be very high.  Balanced hormones are just a known benefit to health, performance, and strength.  Truth!

The word is getting out on the importance of hormonal balance and the benefits that a person can find in restorative therapies unique to an individuals needs. We have been providing this patient service for almost 15 years and I think the experience, education, technology, and facilities we provide is what keeps bringing more and more new patients our way.   Our team is amazing in this area of expertise and both patients and providers have found out about what we do so well each and everyday.  You see, word of mouth is our greatest advertisement.  Why?  Because people talk hormones quite openly these days and I love that!  Add on the integrative supplements designed for a persons particular lifestyle, family history, and disease state, and you've got a good thing going.  Believe me, there are great things going on around here. 

This morning a family friend called to inquire about testing and treatment for he and his wife.  His thoughts were that they were both sitting at the age of many changes and he wanted to get some insight into how to get things reset.   His wife had actually questioned her co-worker as to why there was such a spring in her step.  The co-worker revealed the secret....testosterone replacement therapy.  The husband had questions for me about that, and I assured him that the best way to approach this was to get a hormone panel on each of them ASAP.  Both women and men experience hormonal imbalance.  Saying that one hormone is the culprit is rarely ever the case and I'm your girl when it comes to balancing things out.

Now, you too might be at the verge of decisions regarding this integrative and more natural approach to health and wellness, so I wanted to give some quick snippits about the things that people experience and call me about. 

Some of these symptoms appear sooner than others (even as young as 35) in the aging process, but all have been directly tied to hormone imbalance.   A hysterectomy often will be a quick catalyst to hormonal imbalance especially if the ovaries have been removed.  If you are a hyster sister or will soon become one, please call me about a plan to combat the hormonal tsunami that could strike.

Hot Flashes
Night Sweats
Vaginal Dryness
Mood Swings
Loss of libido
Hair growth on the face
Panic attacks
Urinary tract infections
Vaginal itching
Vaginal Pain and Atrophy
Yeast Overgrowth
Aching ankles, knees, wrists, shoulders, and heels
Hair Loss
Frequent urination
Urinary leakage
Dizzy spells
Migraine headaches
Memory fog and lapses
Weight gain
Weepy or Tearful
Sensitive and Unusually Emotional
Short tempered

Men can have many of these same symptoms (male appropriate of course) but irritability, poor stamina, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, loss of muscle strength, and fatigue tend to be the most mentioned when I talk with them about their noticeable changes. 

 We have had the privilege of helping hundreds of people throughout the years.  And let's just be honest shall we? People from EVERY walk of life experience hormonal imbalance.  I even have plenty of physicians that I provide custom therapies for personally because they need extra help in this area too.   I can't tell you exactly what's happening, but I can tell you that we are steadily seeing more and more patients coming in to get professional help for their needs. I enjoy hearing feedback from each of them as they share all of the improvements and benefits they have noticed as a result of achieving hormonal balance again. If you are having problems on this list, give me a call. Don't suffer another day.  We have a GOLD MEDAL TEAM that can walk you through the process, no problem!

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Middle Age Spread: The Double Whammy Of Fat Cells

Women have about thirty billion fat cells. (I thought that would get your attention right off the bat. LOL!) These fat cells perform various functions in the body and one, in particular, is to produce estrogen. Prior to perimenopause, your ovaries provide the estrogen fuel that your body needs. But, the birthdays seem to speed up and the ovaries slow down. Your fat cells basically increase their production to pick up the slack for the ovaries poor performance. It's simply your body's way of trying to maintain balance.

To increase estrogen production, the fat cells multiply and get bigger to be able to store more fat. (Can I get a witness? I see those hands.) The fat cells in the belly area are usually the largest and best equipped to produce estrogen than those in the buttocks, hips, and thighs. Therefore, the fat tends to find it's way right to the mid-section area where we need those pants to button. (How convenient right? NOT!) This is what we call "The Middle Age Spread".

And as if it couldn't get any worse, its does (Murphys's Law...) There's a Double Whammy problem here!!! Not only are the fat cells working overtime, but the metabolism tends to slow down at midlife. (Get the kleenex quick) In her book, Outsmarting the Mid-Life Fat Cell, Debra Waterhouse explains that from age 35 on, the average woman loses about 1.5 pounds of muscle a year while gaining 1.5 pounds of fat. Plain and simple, when you lose a half pound of muscle, you burn less calories in a day. The more muscle you lose as you age, the less calories that you need and any extra calories are rerouted to, you guessed it, Fat Cells!! (sigh!)

A weight gain of up to 10 pounds is generally considered OK and somewhat normal through menopause. Any more than that and your chances become increased for breast cancer and heart
disease. Boo!!!

Just sharing some little tid-bits of information here. I hope it helps you to "Battle the Bulge" (so to speak). I strongly suggest that every woman have their hormones tested if weight gain is a significant problem. In consultations, weight gain is one of the biggies that come up in the complaint department by women. With supplementation of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and other key hormones, the body won't have to work so hard to keep things in check. Estrogen Dominance is running rampant these days as I review charts on women having their hormones tested. And that number is growing by leaps and bounds. BTW, men are also coming in too. I can't tell you the number of couples that I've visited with in the last 6 months. It's great to see.

Get tested!!!!

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Stress-O-Meter: How High Is Your Number?

Stress is one of those things that's difficult to fully evaluate, but the importance of mitigating stress is of utmost importance for good health, graceful aging, and believe it or not, safety.  Accidents and illness can both be brought on by operating in super-duper stress mode all the time.  Lack of attention to details could leave a person in a real predicament and how many of you know that "life" brings plenty of those on it's own?  To give people an idea of where they measure up on the Stress-O-Meter, I like to have them assess their stress through a point system.  What is your total?

Point Value and Life Event

15 -Change in social activities
15-Change in sleeping habits
20-Change in residence
20-Change in work hours
20-Change in church activities
25-Tension at work
25-Small children in the home
25-Change in living conditions
30-Outstanding personal achievement
30-Problem teenager in the home
30-Trouble with in-laws
30-Difficulties with peer group
30-Son or daughter leaving home
30-Change in responsibilities at work
30-Taking over financial responsibility
30-Foreclosure on mortgage or loan
35-Change in relationship with spouse
35-Change to a different line of work
35-Loss of a close friend
40-Gain of a new family member
40-Sexual difficulties
45-Change in the health of a family member
50-Loss of job
50-Change in quality of religious faith
50-Marriage problems
50-Personal Injury or Illness
60-Loss of self-confidence
60-Death of a close family member
60-Injury to reputation
65-Trouble with the law
65-Marital separation
100-Death of spouse

A score of 150 or less is normal.
With a score of 150-250, one-third of all persons may experience illness or accident.
With a score of 250-300, you have a 50:50 chance of accident or illness
Above a score of 350, you may be 75% sure of accident or illness in the months ahead.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Artificial Sweeteners: A Sweet Little Packet of Trouble?

(NaturalNews) Do you put Splenda in your coffee? Or use it in your baked goods, instead of regular sugar or other natural alternatives? You may think you are making a better choice, but in fact, you may be doing more harm than good. Many foods labeled as "healthier for you," low calories, no/low fat, are typically worse for you than the real thing. Ingredients that are chemically altered and processed are not better for you. Although long-term studies performed on Splenda and their effects on humans have not been performed, willingly ingesting possibly carcinogenic materials is unsafe.

The many problems with Splenda

Splenda, also known as sucralose, is a combination of maltodextrin and dextrose and is 600 times sweeter than regular sugar. Splenda is a synthetic compound discovered in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formation and is similar in chemical composition to DDT. Splenda is found in countless products and advertised as a "safe" alternative to sugar. "The inventors of Splenda admit around fifteen percent (15 percent) of sucralose is absorbed by the body, but they cannot guarantee us (out of this 15 percent) what amount of chlorine stays in the body and what percent flushes out" (Brahmini, 2012). Chlorine is considered a carcinogen. Possible side effects of Splenda include: "gastrointestinal problems (bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea), skin irritations (rash, hives, redness, itching, swelling), wheezing, cough, runny nose, chest pains, palpitations, anxiety, anger, moods swings, depression, and itchy eyes." (Brahmini, 2012)

A 12-week study performed by Duke University on rats determined that Splenda caused pH imbalances in the body, disrupted absorption in the intestinal tract, depletion of good bacteria, swollen livers, kidney calcification and promoted weight gain (Gerson, 2008). No long-term studies have been performed regarding the dangerous effects of Splenda on humans, yet this product continues to be put on the shelves of our grocery stores, advertised and bought by "health conscious" consumers, trying to make healthier decisions.

Au naturale

Our society needs to get away from the common perception that sugar substitutes are safer, healthier options; they are NOT! Agave is an example of a natural sweetener that is not chemically processed. Sugar in the raw form and Stevia are some other examples of natural, healthy sweeteners. Organic honey can also be used to sweeten many things naturally. Just because a product is on the shelf, does not mean it is safe. The Food and Drug Administration has approved many unsafe products for human consumption. NutraSweet is a known neurotoxin that has been proven to cause tumors and had been previously banned in Europe; yet was previously deemed safe for human consumption, like Splenda has been today. The truth is, the long-term consequences of ingesting man-made chemical substitutes are unknown, but it is better to be safe than sorry, and avoid products containing such ingredients at all costs.

Always read labels and question anything that has a long name that you cannot pronounce; more than likely it is a chemical you should steer clear of.