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, December 20, 2017

Food Allergy Testing NOW Available

I was asked the question this week, "Dr. O'Bryan, what diet plan do you suggest I follow? There are so many options out there and I'm not sure what to choose."

Often this question comes from a person wanting to shed a few pounds, but in this case, it was someone wanting to combat foggy brain, fatigue, and joint pain.  This person could not help but notice that certain foods seemed to be triggering an inflammatory response.  I assured her that she was on to something and gave her guidance on an easy, affordable, and convenient option to more clearly identify if this was the case.   She was delighted to know that she could test food allergens and become more strategic with her dietary habits. Makes sense that if you don't know the basic frameworks of what a persons body is doing from within, it becomes difficult to give an answer to such a question about diet plans right? And we all know that certain things work for some people but not for others. My research shows that elimination of food allergens can play a significant role in the realm of healthcare and even in weight loss. 

 Here's how I like to guide people on knowing what to eat, and especially what NOT to eat for better health. 



Consider FOOD ALLERGY testing!
Testing immunoglobulin antibodies to indicate food allergens can be such a helpful tool to a person.   Did you know that your body will raise antibody titers to indicate your immune response to certain foods, which if high, can lead to health problems?  Plain and simple, what you eat can cause many symptoms and, my oh my, do we live in an environment of food allergens. Don't believe me?  Take a look at this in regards to food allergies and symptoms.  Do you notice anything affecting you?  Have you been suspicious of certain foods causing your problem?  Have you considered testing to find out?  You might want to... 

Indications for FOOD ALLERGY TESTING

Fatigue
Constipation
Diarrhea
Irritable Bowel
Suspected Celiac
Acid Reflux/GERD
Dermatology/Skin Diseases
Asthma
Rhinitis
Ear Infections
Headaches/Migraines
Autism Spectrum Disorders
ADHD
Depression
Anxiety
Weight Gain
Joint Pain
Blood Sugar Problems
Autoimmune Disease!!!!  (a big one)
Fibromyalgia
Menstrual Pain
PMS
Incontinence
Fluid Retention



  Is your problem dairy, meats, eggs, grains, gluten, fruits, nuts, vegetables, coffee, or even candida (yeast) overgrowth?   It's very possible!

I provide a consultation/testing kit that will give Low, Moderate, and Avoid criteria for foods that are the biggest offenders when it comes to creating an inflammatory response, symptoms, and reactivity from the 95 most commonly eaten foods.  That's right!  95 'yes' or 'no' foods that you should or should not eat.   I already have patients signing up left and right to find out their personal food allergen profile.  It's wonderful to be able to provide this option in the mix of everything else that we can offer in functional medicine.

We're getting close to the New Year and if you plan on making your health a priority, this is a great way to start.   Give our team a call today and we can share all of the details and pricing information to help you succeed in achieving that goal.

All the Best!
Dr. Sonja O'Bryan




Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Are You Practicing Sleep Hygiene? Some Insight Into A Good Nights' Sleep

Improving Sleep For Healthier Patients



Meredith Murray, ND
In today’s society where “being connected” and always “doing” is encouraged, getting inadequate sleep can sometimes be worn as a badge of honor. One-third of Americans report getting an insufficient amount of sleep[1]. When I started to prioritize sleep in my own life, I was surprised at how other aspects of my life drastically improved—physically, mentally, and emotionally. When I shifted my clinical practice to really focusing on sleep as a crucial and non-negotiable first step that needs to be improved for my patients, I saw similar outcomes for them. After implementing simple interventions to improve sleep, issues previously difficult to treat seemed to lessen or resolve.
Although it is known that sleep is as necessary as food, water, and oxygen, the intricacies behind it are still mostly unknown. Sleep can be broken down into two systems: sleep-wake homeostasis and the circadian rhythm (or cycle). Sleep-wake homeostasis is the accumulation of sleep-inducing substances in the brain which alert the body that sleep is necessary after a period of time since the last period of sufficient sleep[2]. The body’s circadian cycle is governed by the circadian clock, which is regulated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus and reacts to the body’s exposure to light and dark. While one is sleeping, there are two different cycles and stages: REM and Non-REM (NREM). NREM sleep makes up a majority of the portion of times sleeping and is mainly parasympathetic activity resulting in lowered heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, etc. REM sleep is often thought of as the “dream period”; however, a study released in 2017 showed that dreams can occur in NREM sleep as well[3]. An author of a study that came out of University of Rochester in 2013 likened sleeping to a dishwasher cycle for the brain where it cleans itself of toxic metabolic byproducts[4]. That alone should be a reason to encourage your patients to obtain the best sleep possible.
In daily practice, many of us face patients dealing with chronic diseases. The connection between chronic diseases and sleep health is astounding. The associated health consequences of sleep deprivation include hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression, and anxiety.
It is now known that lack of adequate sleep is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, with length of sleep acting as a predictor of HbA1c. Sleep apnea, a common but often poorly diagnosed condition, has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. To screen for sleep apnea, it is important to ask patients about snoring and refer them to a sleep study if they have multiple risk factors. Obesity has been linked to sleep apnea as well as short sleep duration.
The other health consequence of sleep deprivation that needs to be discussed more regularly is drowsy driving. The effect of driving after 18 hours of wakefulness is equivalent to a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05% and after 24 hours: a 0.10% BAC (0.08% is considered legally drunk[5]).
Sleep deprivation can also affect a person on a genetic level. Gene expression is altered with insufficient sleep and influences inflammation, brain function, and neural plasticity. It also changes gene transcription responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm thus compounding the effects of sleep deprivation[6],[7].
Sleep is something our body should do naturally, yet 50-70 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder, resulting in the pharmaceutical industry for sleep aids being a multi-billion dollar industry[8]. The use of sleep aids is 1 in 8 adults with reported ‘trouble sleeping’ and 1 in 6 with a diagnosed sleep disorder[9]. These medications, such as the popular Ambien, are not without serious side effects. There are very effective and simple ways you can work with patients every day to improve their sleep and avoid taking these medications (or help them resolve the need for them).
Discussing Sleep Hygiene
At this point in time, it’s safe to say that a majority of the people seen in clinical practice are looking at some sort of screen the majority of the day. They are also likely working long hours and neglecting sleep in order to take care of other life responsibilities.
It is so incredibly important to discuss sleep hygiene patterns with patients. Most people will agree these are things they should do, but it is the responsibility of the practitioner to encourage these as if they were a prescription. These habits can positively affect the sleep-wake cycle and return patients to a normalized sleep pattern, resulting in adequate amounts of sleep. It is also important to counsel patients and their families on regularly reaching the recommended amount of sleep for optimal health (see table).
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Have a relaxing nighttime routine (that does not involve screens).
  • Do not eat or drink within 2 hours of going to bed.
  • Stop screens (phones, laptops, television) for 1-2 hours before bed.
  • Keep bed for sleeping and sex only. Encourage patients to leave their bedroom if having delayed sleep latency.
  • Try to avoid alcohol or smoking or using stimulants in the evening.
  • Get regular exercise and have regular exposure to natural light.
 Nutrients and Herbs to Support Sleep
While trying to implement these sleep hygiene habits, herbs, nutrients, and nutritional supplements can offer support. Below are a few of the most common and popular ingredients in sleep products. They are often combined to work synergistically.
  • Neurotransmitters and hormones:
    1. Melatonin – This is one of the most widely used natural sleep aids. Melatonin is a hormone of the serotonin cascade and naturally increases during nighttime/darkness when it is secreted by the pineal gland. Supplemental melatonin for sleep is non-addictive, has a short half-life, and helps people fall asleep. It is beneficial because it does not have a negative feedback to the natural production of endogenous melatonin. It is recommended to start with a small dose similar to what is naturally produced, 1-3 mg, and dose this 30-60 minutes before bed[10].
    2. Tryptophan (and 5-HTP) – Tryptophan has shown to help improve sleepiness and decrease wakefulness. It has also been demonstrated that acute tryptophan depletion inhibits REM and prolonged REM sleep. Supplementing with tryptophan can modify serotonin levels, with serotonin being a precursor to melatonin[11]. The average dose of tryptophan is 500 mg. Similarly, 5-HTP is used because it is the derivative of tryptophan and the direct precursor to serotonin and subsequently melatonin. 5-HTP is generally dose at 50-100 mg.
    3. L-theanine – This is a naturally occurring amino acid and has been shown to counteract the effects of caffeine, reduce stress response, and promote relaxation at a dose of 250 mg[12].
  • Herbs
    1. Magnolia – Traditionally used to treat anxiety and depression, it affects the GABAA The compounds honokiol and magnolol have both been used successfully for insomnia. Honokiol can shorten sleep latency to NREM sleep. Magnolol can also have similar effects and has shown to increase the number of REM and NREM sleep cycles[13].
    2. Valerian – This is a very familiar herb used as a sedative and relaxant. It also binds to GABAA receptors and has a similar mechanism to benzodiazepines, though weaker. The volatile oils can also inhibit degradation of GABA. It is indicated for nervous excitement to improve quality of sleep and also has been shown to be successful in women with menopausal insomnia[14]. It can be used throughout the day for anxiety as well as in a higher dose (300-500 mg dried root capsules) before bed. This may make people groggy upon waking, so use caution.
    3. Passionflower – A wonderful gentle herb for sleep issues, though best used as a synergist. It is another herb that binds to GABAA It is indicated for people feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities that are affecting their ability to sleep. It also has an anti-spasmodic effect, which can be helpful for people who have muscle spasm as a result of anxiety. Dose of 200-500 mg; crude herb extract nightly.
    4. Adaptogen/stress support
      1. i) Utilizing herbs that are commonly known as adaptogens (such as Ashwagandha, Reishi and cordyceps) can be beneficial for addressing the HPA-Axis and subsequently sleep.
Overall, in addition to considering someone’s diet, activity level, and mental health, one should also always focus on ways to improve sleep. Sleep, often overlooked, is one of the pillars of health and well-being.
Recommended amount of sleep per age group[15]
Age:
4-12 months12-16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
1-2 years11-14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
3-5 years10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
6-12 years9-12 hours per 24 hours
13-18 years8-10 hours per 24 hours
18+ years7+ hours per night
[1] CDC – Data and Statistics – Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Cdcgov. 2017. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html. Accessed July 30, 2017.
[2] HOW SLEEP WORKS – THE TWO-PROCESS MODEL OF SLEEP REGULATION – HowSleepWorks. HowSleepWorks. 2017. Available at: https://www.howsleepworks.com/how_twoprocess.html. Accessed July 30, 2017.
[3] Siclari F, Baird B, Perogamvros L et al. The neural correlates of dreaming. Nature Neuroscience. 2017;20(6):872-878. doi:10.1038/nn.4545.
[4] Xie L, Kang H, Xu Q et al. Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain. Science. 2013;342(6156):373-377. doi:10.1126/science.1241224.
[5] Dawson D, Reid K. Fatigue, alcohol and performance impairment. Nature. 1997;388(6639):235-235. doi:10.1038/40775.
[6] da Costa Souza A, Ribeiro S. Sleep Deprivation and Gene Expression. Sleep, Neuronal Plasticity and Brain Function. 2015:65-90. doi:10.1007/7854_2014_360.
[7] Moller-Levet C, Archer S, Bucca G et al. Effects of insufficient sleep on circadian rhythmicity and expression amplitude of the human blood transcriptome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2013;110(12):E1132-E1141. doi:10.1073/pnas.1217154110.
[8] Sleep disorders and sleep deprivation: an unmet public health problem. Choice Reviews Online. 2007;44(10):44-5682-44-5682. doi:10.5860/choice.44-5682.
[9] Prescription Sleep Aid Use Among Adults: United States, 2005–2010 – Products – Data Briefs – Number 127 – August 2013. Cdcgov. 2017. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db127.htm. Accessed July 30, 2017.
[10] Ferracioli-Oda E, Qawasmi A, Bloch M. Meta-Analysis: Melatonin for the Treatment of Primary Sleep Disorders. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(5):e63773. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063773.
[11] Jenkins T, Nguyen J, Polglaze K, Bertrand P. Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis. Nutrients. 2016;8(1):56. doi:10.3390/nu8010056.
[12] Dodd F, Kennedy D, Riby L, Haskell-Ramsay C. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood. Psychopharmacology. 2015;232(14):2563-2576. doi:10.1007/s00213-015-3895-0.
[13] Shi Y, Dong J, Zhao J, Tang L, Zhang J. Herbal Insomnia Medications that Target GABAergic Systems: A Review of the Psychopharmacological Evidence. Current Neuropharmacology. 2014;12(3):289-302. doi:10.2174/1570159×11666131227001243.
[14] Alschuler L. Sleep Well, Sleep Safely: An Exploration Of The Importance Of Sleep And Botanical Alternatives To Conventional Hypnotics. Gaia Professional Solutions; 2014:1-15.
[15] Paruthi S, Brooks L, D’Ambrosio C et al. Recommended Amount of Sleep for Pediatric Populations: A Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2016;12(06):785-786. doi:10.5664/jcsm.5866.

Monday, November 20, 2017

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
nausea/vomiting
headache/migraine
fluid retention
BP elevated
mood changes
yeast overgrowth
glucose intolerance
hair growth on the face (not cool in women)
acne

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.  And, we are one of the few compounding centers who accept major prescription insurance plans for customized hormone replacement therapy treatments. It's really a win/win situation though whether insured or not.  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 31, 2017

Does Your Probiotic Contain the Secret Sauce?

One of the top recommended products that I suggest to a patient for a core daily regimen is a probiotic.  If you're not already taking a probiotic, then do your body a favor and get started on one right away.  But listen....all Probiotics are NOT created equal and I'll get to that point in this very important blog. 

Probiotics are essential in so many processes throughout our intricate physiological system with hormone metabolism being near the top of the list.  Probiotics also provide wellness in terms of gut metabolism, in bolstering the immune system, fending off candida overgrowth, and in helping to overpower and eradicate other toxins from our system.  Again, I can't stress the importance of using a probiotic enough.  But what probiotic is best?  I'm glad you asked. (smile)

Here's an important back story:
In the 1920's a French microbiologist named Henri Boulard was in Southeast Asia studying yeast and wanted to find a heat-resistant option that he could use in wine making.  Little did he know that a massive Cholera outbreak would take place in 1923 pointing him to a key ingredient that was unknown until that time.  He noticed that the locals would chew on the skin of the lychee and mangosteen fruit, or make teas with the skins to help in relieving their diarrhea from the Cholera.  An AHA moment took place for Mr. Boulard and the microbial analysis began for what he was witnessing in these very ill patients.  Saccharomyces, it turns out,  was the secret sauce in the plant helping to alleviate the gut disturbances leading to diarrhea. He named the 'strain' after himself and today we see it included as "Saccharomyces Boulardii in the BEST probiotic products.  Does your probiotic contain S. Boulardii?  If not, I would suggest another product option over what you are using.



I carry one of the best Probiotics you can find that does NOT have to be refrigerated making it great for daily use, travel, and convenience.  It is a one-stop shop blend and it is especially a great option for those with irregular bowel movements and those that are prescribed antibiotics. This multi-ingredient blend contains a patented technology that increases it viability and effectiveness through expiration.   Something that is also very important.  You might be using a Probiotic, but is it fully effective, or is it waning over time?  For those that have GI and inflammatory challenges, I can raise the bar a few notches and provide a suggestion on something even more powerful for a rapid immune response, inflammatory control, and microbiome restoration.  Don't struggle through another day with GI disruptions.  Give my team a call and we can guide you.  We only provide the BEST for YOU and YOURS.  Hand selected and personalized medicine!  That's what it's all about.

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Exciting!!!! Say GOODBYE to Allergies by Brushing Your Teeth

I've been incredibly excited to share this information.  (and hopefully you will be too, so please SHARE this blog) 

After customizing creative medicines for over 20 years now, it's rare that I see something so unique as what you are going to read about in this blog. 

 I was delighted to have this friend and practitioner reach out to me a few months ago and ask if I would review the information and consider customizing a treatment option for patients suffering from allergies.  I began to get excited when I thought about this at-home treatment option that was affordable, effective, and easy enough for children and adults to use without having to face injection needles, weekly doctors visits, and interrupted family schedules.  That's BIG!  And I really had an "Aha Moment!" when I realized that it was something that our expert team could provide with our compounding lab facility, our equipment, and our many years of experience in launching new approaches in creative medicine.  After all, that's what we're all about.  THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE NOW!

We are delighted to be the exclusive compounding pharmacy to provide this treatment in the Branson area in collaboration with Carolyn Clark, NP of Tri-Lakes Family Care.  But don't worry....if you live away, Carolyn can provide an e-visit and get you all set for your allergy testing and then our compounding lab @ Lakeland Pharmacy (417-231-4544) can design a toothpaste product for your specific allergies.  A Toothpaste?  That's right!!!    



Brush Away your Allergies
If you could brush your teeth every day and get rid of allergies would you do it? Well, if I have your attention, read on…
In years past if you suffered from allergy symptoms you would simply be told you have three options:
1. Purchase over the counter medications and use daily to hopefully reduce your symptoms.
2. See an allergist and be offered immunotherapy through weekly injections. This would require going to a health care provider’s office on a weekly basis. Therapy takes 3-5 years.
3. Purchase sublingual therapy and place two drops under the tongue without swallowing for 2 minutes every day again for 3-5 years. (great for adults, but you ever try to make a 5 year old not swallow for 2 minutes?)
Now, there is a new method that I have been SO excited to launch in partnership with Lakeland Pharmacy. It is called oral immunotherapy. We test you for respiratory allergens such as dust mites, rag weed, cat and dog dander, etc., and then compound a toothpaste that has those specific allergens in it. You then brush your teeth daily for 2 minutes with the toothpaste and after 3-5 years you develop immunity to those allergens! Typically patients experience relief of allergy symptoms within a 3-9 month period of toothpaste use. However, in order to build up lifelong immunity it is best to continue brushing your teeth for 3-5 years.
Check out a video on the toothpaste(NOTE that the price in the video is NOT our price):
Are you ready to start brushing away your respiratory allergies?
Then here is what you need to do:
  1. Schedule a consultation with one of our health care providers by calling the office at 417-332-3639, or scheduling an Evisit(video chat) by clicking here.
  2. We will then set up allergy testing by a simple blood draw either at our office or the nearest Quest Lab near you.
  3. Once the results are in, we can compound(through Lakeland Pharmacy) up to 10 allergens into one toothpaste for you for a price of $180 per 3 Month Supply.
  4. You then brush your teeth daily for 2 minutes. (We do recommend doing the first dosage with a health care provider present)
Typically side effects are mild and include: tingling, itching, or mild swelling in the lining of the mouth and all typically resolve after the first 2 weeks of therapy.
Don’t live in the Branson area? This doesn’t mean we cannot assist you in getting started with immunotherapy. Feel free to schedule an Evisit to discuss how we can do as much treatment/testing for you right where you live.
Is this just for adults? Absolutely not! It is for ages 5 and up.
Finally, I know it may seem costly to pay $60 per month for allergy therapy. However, The average price of Flonase is $19 per month, Zyrtec is $18/month, and Benadryl is $5/month. If you are having to use these daily to cover up the problem instead of fixing it you are already spending an average of $42 per month.
We are so excited to start using this new and innovative method to treat your allergies. Please contact our office today for an appointment! Visit our website to get to know us even better and feel free to connect directly with one of our staff to ask further questions/information by clicking here.
As always, I hope you stay happy and healthy,
Carolyn Clark, NP-C

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Facing a Hysterectomy? The Ovaries...Take Them, or Leave Them?


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.

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 in having 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 must have the ovaries removed? Well, there is a good ending to this post for those facing this surgery or if you've already had a hysterectomy with your ovaries removed.  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 patient charts this morning with each person showing varied hormone levels, varied family histories, varied physical attributes, varied concerns, etc. etc. after having her hysterectomy.   Each woman will receive a unique formulation to match her imbalance and symptoms. It's great to be able to provide this option for women.

So what physical changes have you experienced since having your hysterectomy?

Get tested and get treated if you've noticed symptoms and concerns!

To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Friday, August 18, 2017

Are You Tired of Being Tired?

Are you tired of being tired?  If you are like most Americans you will probably answer "yes" to this question. Stress and fatigue are the main reasons that people go to the doctor and they present themselves in the most unusual of ways.  Honestly, symptoms of stress can look very similar to hormone imbalance, so getting to the root cause of the problem is key in making a patient feel better.  A simple at-home testing kit can provide clear and measurable identifiers to eliminate the guesswork in determining what sex and adrenal hormones are out-of-balance for a person.

But before we get to that, here's some simple facts on the issue of stress and running around like a crazy persona all the time.  See how you measure up.....

First let's start off with the common causes of stress these days:
Anger/fear
Worry/anxiety
Depression
Guilt
Overwork/physical or mental strain
Excessive exercise
Sleep deprivation
Poor digestion
Chronic illness
Chronic severe allergies
Use of steroids
Insufficient sleep
Surgery/trauma
Death
Divorce
Injury
Inflammation
Infection/Injury
Chronic pain
Temperature extremes
Toxic exposure
Malabsorption
Hypoglycemia
Nutritional deficiencies
Jobs
Family issues
Alarms clocks/deadlines
Finances
and many others that you can add to the list



The Effects of prolonged stress:
Weakness
Unexplained hair loss
Nervousness
Lowered body temp
Weak muscle tone
Irritability
Depression
Difficulty with weight
Apprehension
Hypoglycemia
Inability to concentrate
Excessive hunger
Poor memory/confusion
Digestive dysfunction
Feelings of frustration
Osteoporosis
Auto-immune disease
Heart palpitations
Dizziness
Lowered resistance to infection and colds
Low blood pressure
Insomnia
Sweet/salt cravings
Headaches
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Weight gain
Inability to make decisions-Indecisiveness.
Respiratory illness/colds/bronchitis
Fatigue and reduced stamina



It's common to hear that people are worn out these days and just can't seem to get enough sleep.  "I'm dragging", "I'm asleep by 8 o'clock", or "I'm just tired of being tired." I hear these from men and women all the time.  In fact, I visited with a physician group today and in their assessment forms for patient referral they were delighted to see an evaluation area for stress and lifestyle influences.  Why? Because stress and lifestyles factor in to the equation of hormonal imbalance and it's important to include. 


Other reasons to test:
The "stress hormones" are important to evaluate because if a woman has low DHEA 'prior' to menopause, her chances for cancer are increased.  Conversely, if the levels are high 'after' menopause, her chances for cancer are increased.  It's important to know how your body is adapting to stress, the influence it has on you at your age, and ways to compliment your body's response to stress for health and longevity.  If your Cortisol is plummeting, then you're going to feel like you're running on empty. It's a fatigue indicator that can be evaluated.  Listen up! These same hormones, if out of balance, can cause a host of other problems as well.  The list goes from depression, to weight gain, to vaginal dryness, to poor blood sugar control, to immune problems, and on and on.  You better believe that I test my hormones and my adrenal EVERY year without fail.  It's key to an individuals peak performance.

So how do you test for stress? 
Call and our team can explain the process to you.  It's very, very simple and affordable.  A testing kit can be mailed to your home and we can guide you on the best day and time to send your sample.  A common profile to assess key sex hormones and stress hormones typically costs $130.  If the kit comes from my office, I will be the one to read the results and connect with you personally. If you have great insurance and want to have your doctor do a lab evaluation, the same key hormones can be tested by blood.   I just met with a client who has great insurance and will head in to her doctors office to get tested soon. 

So, if you're tired of being tired, call us ASAP.  Our staff is ready to help and I personally can direct you on the best supplements for your lab profile and additional health problems.
 
To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

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 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!
 
So let's talk about hormones and 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.  And the components that make up Premarin are not even close to human physiology. No surprise since we as humans consume food and not grass as our primary source of sustenance. 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. She is also "a hot mess" as she describes herself.  The production process involves putting horses into stalls, collecting estrogens from their urine, and giving the final product to you (the literal consumer) in a pill form.  That is likely 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 they also will complain that they feel "unnatural" on Premarin.  Maybe it's because women weren't born with four hooves, I don't know. 

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

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

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 to our bodies and has been used for decades.  In general, studies 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.  I customize Estriol in the majority of patient hormone therapies.  It's simple good medicine and the truth is that I have many physicians who use the compounded hormone therapies for their symptoms and age related concerns.

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 derived from 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 live, look, 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.   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 where you must fly to California or Florida costing you hundreds of dollars.   In fact, the average cost is about $49 per month for a customized treatment. Wow!!!  A small price to pay to feel better.  And, we are one of the few compounding centers who accept major prescription insurance plans for customized hormone replacement therapy treatments. It's always worth us sending an online claim to see if the insurance plan you have will pick up some of the cost.  Regardless though, it's really a win/win situation whether insured or not because the price for a customized therapy specific to you is so affordable.  What better way?

Call my office if I can answer your questions and don't put off feeling your best any longer. 


To your good health,
Dr. Sonja

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Are Hormone Imbalances Connected to Weight Gain?

 This blog looks at one family of hormones, the steroid hormones, that have been closely linked with how your body manages to control your weight, and when “out of balance” may result in weight gain. This family of steroid hormones can be grouped into the sex-hormones and adrenal hormones. The sex hormones include the estrogens (estradiol, estrone, and estriol), progesterone, and testosterone. The adrenal hormones include DHEA and cortisol.
Estrogen and testosterone
Estrogens are known as the female sex hormones and testosterone as the male sex hormone. While both estradiol and testosterone in fact have a wide variety of functions in both sexes, women in their youth have about ten times more estrogen than men, and men have about 10 times more testosterone than women. These stark differences in estrogen and testosterone levels in women and men define many of the characteristics that make men and women look and behave differently, including the way our body fat is distributed.
Women tend to have fat stores under the skin (subcutaneous fat), around the hips, and in the breasts. This results in the characteristic female curves that contribute to the characteristic hour-glass figure. When estrogen levels are high, excessive fat deposition occurs primarily around the hips and thighs leading to the typical pear-shaped body type, referred to as “gynoid obesity” or female type obesity.
Normally, healthy men have very little estrogen and subcutaneous fat. When they start gaining weight, it tends to be in the belly, in the intestinal space, and is known as “visceral fat” or “central weight gain”. This results in the characteristic apple-shaped body type, known as “android” (male type) obesity, when weight gain becomes excessive. However, this is also the type of fat that is the most metabolically active and therefore easiest to lose – men generally lose weight more easily than women for this reason. Visceral fat is very easily mobilized in response to adrenalin (the “fight or flight” hormone) and strenuous activity. Think of the hunter-gatherers from which we are descended – the males would store visceral fat preferentially when food was plentiful so that it could be easily used as fuel for the muscles when hunting for the next meal.
The picture is a little more complicated in postmenopausal women, when estrogen levels become very low while testosterone continues to be produced from the ovaries and adrenals. Normally estrogen rules over testosterone at the tissue/cellular level, but when estrogen levels drop at menopause and testosterone levels remain the same this estrogen/testosterone ratio shifts in favor of testosterone dominance. The presence of testosterone that is not counteracted by estrogen, a relative “androgen excess”, tends to promote the male type body fat distribution, and women who tend to gain weight during and after menopause often find that their waistline thickens and they become rather more apple-shaped than pear-shaped. The same effect is seen in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), who over-produce androgens. Studies of estrogen replacement therapy in postmenopausal women consistently show that this can prevent central weight gain, by maintaining a relatively higher level of estrogens than testosterone.
Fat tissue itself is an endocrine (hormone-producing) organ. It contains the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone to estradiol and androstenedione to estrone. In obese postmenopausal women, estrone can become the predominant circulating estrogen, rather than estradiol. Estrone is about ten times less potent than estradiol and its presence in the absence of estradiol is a hallmark of menopause.
DHEA
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is the precursor for the production of estrogens and testosterone in tissues where they are needed, and it therefore circulates in the body in significantly greater quantities than the other steroid hormones. Studies of DHEA supplementation have found no significant effect on body weight, but one of its natural metabolites, 7-keto DHEA, is known to increase the metabolic rate and has been found to help with weight loss.
Progesterone
Progesterone is well known for its ability to balance and optimize the effects of estrogens. With each monthly cycle, estradiol stimulates the proliferation of the breast epithelial cells and those of the reproductive tissues. Progesterone produced in the second half of the menstrual cycle then slows the estrogen-stimulated proliferation, allowing for tissue specialization and differentiation. For the same reason, progesterone is needed to balance estrogen replacement therapy to prevent excessive growth and proliferation of the uterine lining to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. We know that synthetic progestins are also used for this purpose, but while they effectively suppress endometrial proliferation they have been found to have adverse effects in other areas, notably the cardiovascular system and the breast. Natural progesterone is without these adverse effects, and indeed has many beneficial effects in the body. But some women find that it can contribute to weight gain or bloating. Studies have found that women tend to have an increase in appetite and food intake in the latter half of the menstrual cycle, and during pregnancy, when progesterone levels are higher than usual. An encouragement to eat more in preparation for a pregnancy and during gestation would make sense physiologically, but we don’t need excessively elevated progesterone levels otherwise. Some forms of progesterone replacement therapy may lead to excessive progesterone levels that can increase the risk of insulin resistance, which will promote fat storage rather than utilization for energy. It is important to monitor progesterone levels, as with all hormones, during supplementation to ensure that levels are not out of physiological range and well balanced with estradiol and testosterone. Bloating or weight gain could mean you are using too much progesterone.
Cortisol
Cortisol is an adrenal hormone essential for blood glucose regulation, fat storage and utilization, and control of other body functions like the immune system.  Cortisol acts in synergy with many other hormones to help regulate their actions. Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands in response to stressors sensed by the brain. These stressors come in many different forms and include low glucose levels, emotional or physical stress, or invasion of the body by pathogens. Cortisol mobilizes glucose from the glycogen stores in the liver to be used as short-term energy for the muscle. While normal physiological levels of cortisol are essential to survival, excessive levels caused by chronic stressors shut down non-essential body functions, such as the immune system, and by suppressing the production of other hormones, such as sex hormones, growth hormone, and thyroid hormones. When stressors are present for extended periods the system goes awry and we develop a chronic stress condition and persistently elevated cortisol levels. When this happens, the effects of cortisol on blood sugar result in an increased appetite, particularly for carbohydrates (“stress eating”) and storage of more glucose as fat, especially in the visceral area, which has more cortisol receptors than other types of fat tissue. Stress-related weight gain can be treated by finding and reducing sources of stress, as well as relaxation techniques to reduce the harmful effects of stress on the body.
Conclusions
When you understand more about your body and how it is hormonally regulated, it is easier to see that hormones, when in balance, are friends rather than foes.  The entire endocrine system includes many more hormones than are mentioned above, which are involved in metabolic processes and other bodily functions that can affect our weight and our overall health. But even taking just the reproductive hormones and cortisol, and a little common sense, we can conclude that:
  1. We have changing reproductive hormone levels as we age. In our attempts to replenish hormone levels back to youthful levels, we sometimes upset the balance as we replace hormones to levels outside an ideal range, and we don’t recognize the effects this hormonal imbalance has on weight gain.
  2. Weight gain itself affects hormone balance.
  3. Our bodies have highly efficient stress responses, but the extreme, prolonged stresses of modern life have created an unhealthy hormonal imbalance (excessive cortisol) that has contributed to weight gain.
It is important not to ignore the elephant in the room, the highly palatable and refined foods that dominate the “Western” diet, which are clearly associated with the obesity epidemic. These are not the foods our ancestors ate.Our bodies have not adapted hormonally to the challenges of regulating fat stores when presented with these foods in excess.
Keeping our hormones in balance while maintaining a healthy diet, following an exercise program, and aiming for a stress-reduced lifestyle is key to optimal wellness and longevity.  (ZRT blog)


So what are you waiting for?  Give me a call and get your hormones tested?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Experience Is What You Need- Dr. Sonja's BIO

Sonja O’Bryan, received her Bachelor’s degree from St. Louis College of Pharmacy and her Doctorate from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  She 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 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 O'Bryan has a broad range of experience including hospital administration, community pharmacy, long term care and geriatrics consulting, oncology care, and in academia as a University Professor and graduate 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. O'Bryan currently does a great deal of teaching to community, church, and medical groups across the U.S., and has collaborated with several major pharmaceutical companies as an Advisory Board member for medicines coming to the U.S. market.  She writes and publishes a blog that reaches across the world and has over 87,000 hits on HOT topics that affect men and women as they go through the aging process. 



In her book, “Living Hormoniously: A Hormone Handbook for the Everyday Women”, Dr. O'Bryan 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 easy to read handbook.  She offers testing, evaluation, and treatment of hormonal, adrenal, and thyroid imbalance in helping women and men to look better, live better, and feel better.  For a private and personal consultation call 417-334-4032 (Lakeland Wellness inside Providence Medical Spa Branson MO) or email: drsonjaobryan@gmail.com

Dr. O’Bryan also consults with patients on customized therapies for a host of other conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, Alzheimer’s disease, wounds, fatigue, stress, pain, gastrointestinal issues (Crohn’s, IBS, diverticulitis), anxiety, 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 27 years to formulate customized therapies for specific needs.  To her colleagues, she is known as a practical, ‘go-to’ resource with highly effective and customized options for health and healing.   ~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 almost 27 years and they have three incredible children who help them in their numerous roles and responsibilities.  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 Rural Compassion.  The O'Bryan's also own their own small business, The White River Coffee Co., in Rockaway Beach MO.  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 drsonjaobryan@gmail.com.   Here’s just a few of the great titles  and teaching programs that can be customized for the interest of your audience and event.

~Weight Loss: The Skinny on Losing Fat

~Fierce, Female, and Fabulous: Women’s Health and Healing

~Extreme Hormone Makeover:  Hormones, Stress, and All the Hot Topic "Issues" of Aging

~The Impact of Stress on Your Health and Longevity and What YOU Can Do!

~Help! I'm a HOT Mess!!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Are You A Hot Mess?

Aging is natural, if you live long enough to experience it!  We can all attest that as the birthdays come, so do other strange and unusual things.   Why is that happening?  Do I look as bad as I feel?  Did I just lose it? What's up with that?  These are common questions you might be asking yourself.    Various symptoms often accompany aging including loss of energy, weight gain, brain fog, irritability, achy/squeaky joints, insomnia, decreased libido, sluggish bowel function, bladder leaks, sensitivity to heat and cold, irregular menstrual cycles, restless sleep, afternoon fatigue, and so on.  But is it "normal" to have to deal with these things year after year, after year? For some sufferers, they just commit to the reality of the advancing biological clock and move on.  For others, they choose to fight and conquer what others think is "normal".  My opinion is that these symptoms are a sign of decline in biologically identical hormones.  It's like your body is suffering a drought.  I'm personally in the latter group and test my hormones EVERY year (without fail) to make sure things are ship-shape and keeping me at the best performance possible. I'm not suggesting that 40&50-somethings have the levels of a 20 year old, but getting reasonably near that mark is where most feel their best.  I can write that with a lot of confidence and experience because our team takes care of hundreds of men and women who are addressing their hormonal imbalances.   And, this area of healthcare is growing daily.   Please, look at the possibilities of aging (lists above and below) and check yourself before you wreck yourself trying to cope with the changes. 



All hormone therapy is not created equal and the best option, in my professional and personal opinion, is customized, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.  That simply means it's a direct structural match to what the body produces on it's own and to what you as an individual are missing.  Give someone what's missing and in the dose appropriate to address their hormonal deficiencies, and they will live, look, and feel so much better.  Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) simply replenishes what the hormonal drought has caused with the aging process.  Lifestyle, diet, and exercise also play a beneficial role in bringing everything together for a person who is struggling along in the aging process.

Here's an example of what hormonal shifts can do:
Estrogen Dominance (aka Progesterone Deficiency) is something that I commonly see in the patients that seek testing and evaluation of their hormones.  They may be common symptoms, but they are not to be considered normal for someone wanting to feel and look their best.  Here's a list of the effects from this type of natural hormonal shift in the body and what can happen to women of ANY age:

Premenstrual breast tenderness
Mood swings, irritability, and depression
Fluid retention and weight gain
Headaches, including migraines
Anxiety and panic attacks
Irregular menstrual cycles
Insomnia and restless sleep
Sagging skin and wrinkles
Dry eyes
Elevated blood pressure
Elevated cholesterol
Low thyroid function
Fatigue
Infertility
Loss of sexual desire
Bladder leaks with coughing, laughing, or sneezing
Uterine fibroids
Foggy thinking
Emotional sensitivity
Breast cancer
Joint aches
Sweats
Agitation


If you are experiencing any of these, I would suggest you call our team.   A baseline test to evaluate and treat your hormones is key in feeling normal again.  Trust me, aging happens to everyone, but not everyone seeks professional help.  You have the most compelling of information right here, but you have to own it and address it. For a private appointment call 417-334-4032 or email: drsonjaobryan@gmail.com


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tomorrow's Medicine TODAY! People Are Seeking Better Ways

The realm of integrative, complimentary, restorative, and anti-aging medicine is growing at an unprecedented rate.  It's exciting, because for years and years, myself and the team trudged along building a foundation for something that we knew would come.  Our team has been together for years now, which I love and I think is important. Yeah for us! Attending conferences, joining webinars, teaching programs to community groups and churches, going back to the classroom myself with the A4M, and talking to physicians was the norm for so long.  The time is here!!  Now, the calls are coming in to us with questions on how we might provide unique solutions to individuals needs.  I'm grateful for that and look forward to additional growth in the future.  It's coming!

There are things I've learned over the course of my professional career and some transitions that are taking place.   I encourage you to add you thoughts and comments about the view on "modern medicine".  Here's my two cents:

~People want NATURAL when possible. 

~People are seeking options that used to be considered "alternative".  Now we're finding that they should have been included all along.

~Hormonal imbalance affects everything from menstrual cycles, fertility, mood, vitality, heart health, bone strength, cognitive function, sexuality, rapid aging, weight management, sleep and the list could go on and on.  And except for menstrual cycles, that's a statement for both men and women.  We are seeing more and more attention being drawn to this in the media and in health articles.

~"Normal" ranges aren't always in sync with a patients symptoms.  For 30 years we had a "normal TSH range" for thyroid that has now been adjusted ~6 points lower.  That means that for decades, people were being told they were 'normal'.  They would be on therapy by today's tightened ranges.  Sad!  Medical oopsie that cannot be reversed.  We can't afford these kind of oo-boo's.   It really makes people wonder what the word "normal" really means, and if it can be trusted.

~Often nutraceuticals (vitamins, herbs, and supplements) can be used to treat/prevent common things.  If you are NOT on certain nutritionals (omega's, Vitamin D, core vitamins ), you are more prone to disease.  The studies prove it's true.

~Band-aid medicine is NOT the best answer.  It just covers up the problem.  What is the underlying reason?  That's what people want to know. 

~People can't afford to go to the doctor and are looking for other avenues and options to treat their problems or better yet, to prevent or minimize them from happening. I design custom regimens tailored to family disease and inherited risks.  If you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s, it's absolutely necessary for you to get started in prevention.  That's Anti-Aging medicine at it's best. If you are doing nothing, then take the next step and email: drsonjaobryan@gmail.com

~ Customized medicine is often much less expensive than the pharmaceutical approach.  It's not just for the celebrities in Hollywood.   We have hundreds of women and men on Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy and we've had some of them for many years.  Why is that?  They feel better and want to maintain their health and longevity as much as possible.

~Bio-identical Hormones are the best approach in treating imbalances and can change the "issues" men and women are having.  If you have never heard this term, please do some reading.  If you've never heard about Adrenal Fatigue, do some reading.  Please, please.

~Anti-depressants, Anti-anxiety medicines, pain medicines, and sleeping pills are prescribed as the magic cocktail for aging when other options need to be investigated.  Sadly, they have done a poor job at mitigating these conditions for the long haul.

~Diet and Lifestyle awareness is trending.  We all know we could do better.  Some choose to, some not so much, but overall I think there's an increased awareness.  (Maybe I'm just looking with a glass-half-full mentality??)

~Our modern day foods are saturated with pesticides, chemicals, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and hormones but the truly organic versions are way more expensive, so people can't afford to buy them.  Bringing those prices down is an economic benefit to healthcare costs in the end.  Reward farmers who want to provide quality and not quantity.  Reward consumers who want to eat better. Healthy should not only be for the wealthy.  Can I get an amen?

~People need more time with their doctor for their needs to be fully expressed.  The average time is about 7 minutes.  Sad! I hope you don't forget to remember (smile) what you're supposed to talk about in that short of a time period with your physician or practitioner.  Have you ever left the office saying, "Crud, I forgot to ask about that!"?  Of course you have.  When I wrote my hormone handbook, I included a section at the back of each chapter to allow personal notes as a reminder to discuss those issues with the doctor.  It has worked well for women. 

~We will see a growing number of physicians abandoning the corporate practice world to provide specialty care and to truly build relationships with their patients.  Its already happening and I can give you specific names.  High five to them!!

~There's something to this autism and ADHD  thing with children.  I don't have the answer, but I believe there's a need for funding in research and programs to evaluate every possible cause. (vaccines, food, maternity care, etc.). Integrative Medicine has done a great job in leading the way for possible reasons and interventions to help.  Parents of these children are heroes and sheroes!!

~People are starting to talk more openly and seek answers.  A referral is the highest compliment to me and I'm always thankful when a friend refers a friend.  Tell your story and your success and cheer each other on. 

~Statistics are now showing that half of Americans are headed for obesity.  That number is higher than ever.  There will be a tremendous burden to our healthcare system and to each of our pocket books if we don't turn this cat around.

~Pain management is a huge issue and prescription pain pills are known to cause problems with hormonal imbalance, gastrointestinal motility, respiratory function, and mental clarity.  We are providing a greater amount of customized pain therapies for those patients needing control of pain.  Physicians are now being educated about topical pain management more than ever before. 

~Customized therapy is not always a first thought with people.  But, you need to know it IS an option and the last thought should sometimes be your first thought.  Call us and we can offer options and bill your prescription insurance. 

~People are seeking physicians who are in tune with this niche of medicine.  The textbooks of 50 years ago are good, but we've come a long way baby and we now know so much more.  That's called progress and some providers just aren't willing to change. Thankfully, I work with some of the best and brightest this country has to offer and who take time to update their intellectual data bank.  They're out there, you just have to find them.

Okay, enough for today.  I would absolutely LOVE to hear your perspective on this note.  This is a compilation of what people are talking about in my world.  Comment away!



To your good health,
Dr. Sonja