5 Ways To Calm A House Full Of Hormones

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

familywalk2Women are getting married later in life and having their children later as well. There are advantages to this, because moms and dads have more emotional maturity before they begin their family. However, one of the big disadvantages is that for women it’s becoming more and more likely they will go through menopause while their daughter is going through puberty.

Going through peri-menopause, menopause and puberty are rites of passage and each one tough. You feel moody, irritable, bloated, and exhausted. For moms with small children, it can be overwhelming during this time. But even worse than caring for small children is going through the change of life with a daughter who is going through puberty. You may imagine being on a deserted island where you have only your inner conflicts to deal with, but most moms don’t have that luxury and that means dealing with a daughter who is as moody, irritable and frustrated as you.

There are changes for moms and daughters during this time, and being aware of the body’s changes helps moms react less and keep communication open between themselves and their daughters. With menopause, the changes in hormones affect sleep, worsen moods, cause acne, worsen headaches, lowers libido and decreases the ability to deal with stress–and what mother isn’t stressed? When girls go through puberty, their hormones are just as imbalanced, which causes bloating, weight gain, acne, fatigue, headaches, and an attitude that clear screams, “Leave me alone!”

There are things women can do that will help both themselves and their daughter(s) get through this life passage together without hating each other or becoming arch enemies. It will demand more understanding on moms’ part because, after all, mom is the adult.

Solutions to calming a house full of hormones:

1. As much as possible, keep family peace as a priority in your home. When you’re feeling irritable, hot, or stressed, understand this is hormonal and temporary. Evaluating if some issue is really necessary to confront “right now” will prevent additional drama.

2. Enlist the help of your partner. Ask them to try to be supportive and understanding. Let them know that sometimes the best way to help will be to just let the anger be vented and not to react. The partner can also say, “Take a deep breath. It will be okay.” That might diffuse a pending explosion, and if it doesn’t, the partner should just put on a flame-retardant suit and back away.

3. Exercise with your daughter. Weight gain is a symptom of both menopause and puberty. Going to an exercise class together or taking long walks or bike rides together can open communication and help you both deal with stress.

4. Get closer with your partner. Getting away with your partner and telling him how you feel can help you feel supported and loved at a time when you are feeling miserable about yourself.

5. Talk to your health care provider if your symptoms interfere with your daily life. No one can function if they cannot sleep or if they suffer severe fatigue. When hormonal shifts become severe, it is wise to talk to your physician. Depression as well as heightened anxiety are frequently seen and are usually easily treated.

With menopause–as with puberty–there is a grieving of the past but also an opportunity for a new sense of freedom. People who breeze through menopause are the same ones who embrace the change and keep a positive attitude. Weight gain, frustration and increased stress are symptoms of hormonal shifts, but that doesn’t mean you have to gain weight, be frustrated or stressed out.

– Preparing your mind to help your body go through the changes is a big predictor in determining how disruptive the change of life will be for you.
Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at maryjorapini.com.

Natural Hormones – Can They Extend Your Quality Of Life And Help You Live Longer?

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By Dr. Michael Wald

seniors2Who wants to live longer with impaired memory, loss of sex drive, heart disease and diabetes? Optimizing one’s hormone levels has been shown to improve sex drive, increase ones overall sense of wellbeing, burn fat, strengthen bones, help maintain muscle throughout the body, lower cholesterol levels, improve memory and help ward off almost every major killer of modern living…and that’s not all!

Human beings age and die largely because our hormone levels diminish or fade away completely, resulting in loss of quality of life and shorter life span. Women are outliving men in part because of estrogen levels. Estrogens signal longevity genes in the body that reduce the formation of molecules I like to call “cell-killers”, otherwise known as free radicals. Free radicals cause genetic damage, resulting in shorter lifespan from disease. Studies of men demonstrate similar health promoting effects of testosterone, but in both men and women, it is the combined effects of many dozens of hormones that get the job done! My research has demonstrated that every single thing you eat has an effect, either positive or negative, upon hormonal levels. Because of this, it is possible to “turn the hormonal tide” in your favor – live better!

How do you get the hormone balance right? Endocrinologists, or hormone doctors, are seemingly not interested in longevity approaches. Their education is focused on correcting obvious hormone deficiencies in children that fail to thrive (largely by giving them growth hormone), providing people with low thyroid hormones, synthetic hormone replacement, and similar approaches in other deficiency conditions. Hormone-blockers are used if hormone levels are too excessive. Beyond just these patients who are “obviously deficient” in hormone levels, there are also those who can potentially benefit from “optimal hormone levels” and not merely “average hormone levels”. In longevity health care, we utilize different laboratory measurements to determine where “optimal” hormone levels should be. (see – intmedny.com).

seniorcoupleexercisesmallAs you age and experience disability and disease your hormone levels are declining. Doctors say that the decline in hormone levels are natural, but longevity doctors say that they are contributing to your loss of of life. Lifestyle factors such as exercise, stress reduction, sleep and diet can help keep hormones at “optimal” levels for far longer than what normally occurs in our fast-paced, stressed society. It cannot be claimed that the loss of quality of life and disease experienced today by so many of us is “normal,” or to be expected. Why? Simply because we are aging unnaturally and inappropriately due to too much stress, bad food, air pollution, radiation and other adverse environmental factors.

Laboratory testing by a longevity practitioner, careful consultation, and questionnaires are used to discover how to best balance hormone levels. After all, do you want to have the average heath of a person your age? Look around – it’s not so fantastic! Obesity, overweight, poor memory, loss of aerobic capacity, high cholesterol, arthritis and bone loss are just a few of the problems resulting in part from a decline in our hormone levels throughout our lives. However, with the use of what are known as bioidentical hormones (hormones that are exactly identical to those made in the human body naturally), scientific studies suggest that we can stay biologically younger for far longer than was ever expected.

Health issues including anxiety, weight gain, depression, pain, memory loss, loss of libido, sleep disturbances, acne, muscle strength and tone, and pre-and postmenopausal are often helped when one supplements with natural hormones, makes improvements to his or her diet, and takes the right nutritional supplements.

– Dr. Michael Wald, aka The Blood Detective, is the director of nutritional services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, located in Westchester New York. He has appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Channel 11 PIX, Channel 12 News, CNN, The Food Network and other media outlets. Dr. Wald earned the name Blood Detective for his reputation to find problems that are often missed by other doctors. He earned an MD degree, is a doctor of chiropractic and a certified dietician-nutritionist. He is also double-board certified in nutrition. He has published over a dozen books with three additional titles due for release late 2013 including: Frankenfoods – Genetically Modified Foods: Controversies, Lies & Your Health and Gluten-A-Holic: How to Live Gluten Free and the Blood Detective’s Longevity Secrets. Dr. Wald can be reached at: www.intmedny.com or www.blooddetective.com or by calling: 914-242-8844.

Natural Hormones

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qaQ & A With Dr. Michael Wald

1. True or false: The term “natural hormones” implies that the hormones given are all derived from plant sources?

Answer: Not really. The term “natural hormones” is a misnomer. There are no natural hormones found in plants such as soy or red clover or wild yam, for example. There are hormonal-like molecules in plants that have chemical structures resembling hormones, but they do not necessarily act as hormones in humans, although they may. However, these compounds may also act as hormone blockers. These plant hormone-precursors must be converted in a laboratory with a certain enzyme not found in humans.

2. True or false: The term bioidentical hormone is a more appropriate term describing hormones that are exactly the same in structure as those found in women and men?

Answer: True. The term “bioidentical” means the hormone is identical to those found in humans, even though it may be synthesized in a laboratory. Therefore, bioidentical hormones can be synthetic.

3. True or false: Bio-identical hormones carry some potential risk of adverse reactions and serious disease such as cancer.

Answer: Yes. Bioidentical hormones are still hormones and, although weaker than non-bioidentical synthetic hormones, may still cause problems in some individuals.

4. True or false: Saliva testing is the best way to check hormone needs?

Answer: Absolutely False. Saliva is said to be the best test for some hormones, but a combination of blood work and urine testing and, most importantly, careful consultation and a look at other organ systems, all work together to best determines one’s hormone needs. Besides, it is an out-of-pocket expense to pay for saliva DHEA and testosterone while both of these hormones are equally well measured in blood (some hormones are not equally valid when tested in blood) and are covered by most insurances. Many people are surprised to learn that bioidentical hormone are usually recommended based on symptoms and other non-hormone tests as opposed to merely measuring blood, urine or saliva hormone levels.

5. True or false: Cortisol is a stress hormone. Salivary, cortisol and DHEA testing should be performed to check for the health of the adrenal glands?

Answer: False. More accurate testing is available.

6. True or false: The best way to fix hormone imbalances is to give bioidentical hormones?

Answer: Not necessarily. Many factors in life affect hormone levels other than hormones themselves. Hormone levels change in the body in response to pollution, psychological and physical stress, exercise, diet, vitamins, minerals, herbs, medications and many other factors.

7. True or false: If one has low levels of hormones such as DHEA, progesterone and testosterone, they should be fixed by giving bioidentical hormones?

Answer: Not necessarily. The body may reduce the production of these hormones, while creating unpleasant symptoms, as a protective mechanism. For example, fatigue and loss of libido caused by a drop in testosterone may reduce one’s risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer (as testosterone is a precursor to estradiol).

Comment: As you can see, managing hormone imbalances may involve more than just addressing the hormone levels themselves or providing bioidentical hormones. A careful nutritional and medical consultation is the best “integrated” way towards balancing hormones and improving longevity and quality of life.

– Dr. Michael Wald, Brain-Energy Blast

For more information about this or other topics please go to: www.intmedny.com

The Science Behind Bioidentical Hormones

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By Phyllis Bronson, Ph.D.

womanAs a biochemist I have been a researcher and clinician in the area of bio-identical hormone use, and their impact on women’s mood.

I have come to believe the ignorance surrounding this topic is the dark area of women’s health.

In 1997 Science News published its summary of two major studies detailing the huge difference between synthetic progestin and bio-identical progesterone; this research clearly underscored the potential for negative impact on cardiac function in women; this was not reported in medical journals. At that time I was starting my molecular research into the difference in the molecules and the results were astounding as evidenced in the following quote:

Phyllis Bronson has done years of molecular research; see the important quote below from her great chemistry colleague and mentor, Dwight Smith, Ph.D., former chancellor of the University of Denver:

“The research which Phyllis and I pursued here, resulting in a significant finding, involved the spectroscopic study of natural progesterone and the synthetic version developed by pharmaceutical companies. The structural differences between the natural and synthetic progesterone have significant implications for women’s health. The work which Phyllis has done generally in the chemical and physiological effects of bioidentical hormones has received wide attention through her numerous lectures and publications.”

I found that real progesterone has a profound calming influence on the nervous system and brain, and that women felt calm but not sedated.

I found that real progesterone has a profound calming influence on the nervous system and brain, and that women felt calm but not sedated. Often medical journals use the words progestin and progesterone interchangeably but they are not the same. In the Women’s Health Initiative Study which was halted in 2002; the major culprit was the progestin (Provera was mainly used in that study). The women using just Premain (though not ideal estrogen) did not have the problems found in women using the combination which halted the study.

This was an interesting time to be doing original research in women’s hormones.

We saw many women struggling with years of benzodiazepine use and even addiction who were able to eliminate their use after getting started on real progesterone, under a knowledgeable physician’s care. Properly made transdermal progesterone is made in a cream at a reputable (most are highly reputable) compounding pharmacy. The creams found in health food stores are simply too weak to impact mood and emotion, our area of concern.2

Estrogen is of vital importance to mood in women, for those who can use it.

Women are profoundly affected by fluctuations in their hormones, both natural as well as those from exogenous sources such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In 2002, after the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) was halted due to unexpected safety concerns, the medical establishment largely recommended that doctors take women off their hormones. Women, particularly those vulnerable to chronic depression and related mood issues, knew they did not do well without their hormones, notably estrogen, but they had no place to turn.

According to the eminent scholar of women’s hormones, Jeffrey Dach, M.D., it is wrong to put women on anti-depressant drugs generally when what their bodies and minds and moods are crying for is primary estrogen (estradiol).3

As the less desirable estrogen, E1, rises as we age, the vitality-enhancing estrogen, E2, decreases, and brain fog and depression often set in. These are two of the first signs of serious estrogen imbalance.4

Phyllis Bronson, Ph.D. – My book: “Moods Emotions and Aging: Hormones and the Mind- Body Connection” is being published July 15 by Rowman- Littlefield.