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.

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