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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Experts say the best way to avoid menopause weight gain, is to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. 

How do hormones affect weight gain?

Although maintaining a healthy weight can be a challenge for women of all ages, as time goes on, it get becomes more and more difficult to keep the weight off. On average, women will gain about 10-15 pounds beginning in perimenopause and then gain approximately one pound per year, throughout menopause. Menopause weight gain is the result of a hormonal imbalance. Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, cortisol and testosterone are either dangerously high or sorely deficient, resulting in a series of symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, low libido, irritability and mood swings.

However recent studies suggest that women tend to gain more weight after menopause, rather than during. This is because post-menopausal women burn 300 fewer calories per day. Menopause symptoms tend to precipitate into life after menopause and often continue to wreak havoc on the body, if left untreated.

Curtailing the blood sugar roller coaster

Being that women burn fewer calories after menopause, it’s important to closely monitor blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are constantly changing, the fluctuation inhibits the body’s metabolism, often resulting in menopause weight gain and adrenal fatigue. When a woman maintains a steady blood sugar level, her body can break down stored fats more easily, thus improving her metabolism, making it easier for her to achieve and maintain an ideal weight.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Researchers at the New England Research Institute studied the link the between male sexual activity and cardiovascular health.

For most men in their 40’s and older, it’s safe to say that their sex drive isn’t exactly what is used to be. Men often attribute their waning libido to the stress they encounter on a day-to-day basis. However, low libido in men is often a tell-tale sign of an underlying hormonal imbalance. The most common hormonal imbalance that men experience is the male menopause, known as andropause. Andropause can manifest through a variety of symptoms, the most common being low libido, chronic fatigue, depression, hair loss and erectile dysfunction (ED).

The study examined a group of men, all ages 40 to 70 and tracked the sexual activity of the men for a 16-year study period. Taking into account sexual function variables such as ED and the subsequent development of ED, the team concluded that men who had sex more frequently had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. (Men who had sex twice a week were 50% less likely to suffer from a heart attack) 

Don’t forget that intimacy doesn’t just improve your body, but also your mind. The physchological benefits are endless. Sexual arousal prompts the release neurotransmitters that are necessary to regulate mood such as norepinephrine and serotonin. It has also been found that intimacy decreases the production of the stress hormone known as cortisol – the hormone known for causing adrenal fatigue.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

We’ve all heard a lot about how too much sunshine is never good thing. From sun burns to melanoma, the reality of overexposure to sunlight has been made abundantly clear over the past decade. But what if we’re not getting enough sunshine?

Vitamin D has recently received widespread attention throughout the media. Experts touting the benefits of milk and sunshine and often warning that the majority of today’s population is vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D has been known for a long time as a “helper nutrient,” responsible for calcium absorption, which in turn makes for stronger bones. However, recent studies are emerging suggesting that vitamin D may help prevent cancer (77.7% of all cancers) and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in women and men.

The following excerpt was taken from an article published by Fountain of Youth Examiner of Louisville, John Abell, M.D. on Examiner.com:

There is well-documented evidence that Vitamin D supplementation can add up to five years to your life. Vitamin D has been shown to have protean effects and studies suggest that it can help promote strong bones, strengthen the immune system, help improve memory function and is also crucial in preventing diseases and disorders such as hypertension, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, asthma and heart disease.”To find out your vitamin D levels, there is testing is available. Ask your doctor to check your 25 Hydroxy-Vitamin D level. If the level is <50 ng/ml, you’re considered vitamin D deficient and supplementation is necessary to bring your levels back to normal.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Are you tired all of the time? Do you find yourself more irritable than usual? Do you feel dizzy upon standing? Is your libido down for the count? Are you experiencing difficulty concentrating? Is your immune system acting up? If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, chances are you’re suffering from 21st century syndrome, also known as adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is an umbrella term used to describe a set of symptoms, commonly associated with hormonal imbalance. Adrenal fatigue begins right above the kidneys, with the adrenal glands. Along with 50 other hormones, the adrenal glands produce cortisol, which is also known as the “stress hormone.” Cortisol is released as the body’s fight or flight response to stress.

When the adrenal glands become overworked, it results in the overproduction of cortisol. The excess cortisol in our bloodstream can cause waning energy, irritability, depression, low libido, weight gain and a whole host of other symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue.

The term “21st century syndrome” was recently coined to reflect the turbulent times of the millennium and the mounting stress and high tensions left in wake. Instead of life getting easier, it would appear that our daily lives become more and more afflicted as time goes on. Busy work schedules, pressing engagements and conflicting appointments make it impossible to take life “one bite at a time.” In the midst of this frenzy, we’re also dealing with war and facing a potential economic collapse.

Although women are affected more often than men, anyone at any age can suffer from adrenal fatigue. The best way to avoid adrenal fatigue is to find healthy, productive ways to relieve stress. Stress-reduction techniques are an excellent way to blow off some steam and reduce cortisol levels within the bloodstream.

If you think that you or someone you known may be suffering from adrenal fatigue, there are treatments available that are designed to balance cortisol levels within the body and can help women and men regain their energy and vitality.

Click here for more information on treatment options for cortisol imbalance and adrenal fatigue

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Our bones become more fragile as we age. Women generally begin to experience a change in bone strength with menopause as men see a change with andropause (men’s menopause). New research published in PLoS ONE and conducted by scientists at Queen Mary, University of London offers an explanation for why skull bone (bearing no weight) remains strong while arm and leg bone becomes weak and vulnerable when not maintained by weight bearing exercise. Researchers believe that these new findings could lead to new ways to treat or prevent osteoporosis.

 

“People who develop osteoporosis have fragile bones which are prone to breaking. The condition becomes more common as we age, especially in post-menopausal women when levels of estrogen fall dramatically. In the over 50s it affects half of all women and a fifth of all men.” In an effort to understand why the skull bones are resistant to bone thinning as they age, even in post-menopausal women, researchers looked in detail at rat bone cells from the skull and compared them with cells from limb bone. “They found differences between the appearance of the cells and how they behaved in the lab. They also noticed that treating the cells with estrogen had a far greater effect on the cells from the limb bone.” They believe that these differences are established at a very early life stage, probably when the bones are still forming in the womb.

 

When examining the genetic differences of the two types of bone cells, they found that 4% of the genome was showing different levels of activity in the two types of bone cell. "Now we understand this phenomenon better, we also understand osteoporosis better. And this has opened up many new lines of research into how the disease could be treated or even prevented."
Tuesday, January 05, 2010

According to a study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, scientists are considering the use of the hormone progesterone to treat cases of head trauma and injuries of the central nervous system.

What is progesterone?

Progesterone is a precursor hormone, meaning that it aids in the production of other hormones such as testosterone, estrogenDHEA and cortisol (the stress hormone). In women, progesterone is necessary to balance out the effects of estrogen on the body and together they serve as the primary reproductive hormones and regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle.

How does progesterone affect the nervous system?

Donald G. Stein and his colleagues from Emory University believe that progesterone is a viable treatment for head trauma and brain injuries. It has been found that progesterone naturally protects against oxidative stress within the body. The hormone is also responsible for the regulation of neuronal development. In addition, progesterone also helps prevent and correct degenerative disorders of the brain and central nervous system.  

The Bottom Line:

According to a recent article published on WorldHealth.net, progesterone therapies are safe, relatively inexpensive, they can be easily administered and they’re readily available. Although scientists are quite certain that progesterone can help to improve the central nervous system, it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a perfect science; there is still much to be learned about the brain, how it works and why.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In response to the infinite number of questions received by readers, the two authors of Newsweek.com’s popular column on women’s health, Pat Wingert and Barbara Kantrowitz decided to publish The Menopause Book. 


There are over 37 million women between the ages of 40 and 60 currently in some stage of
menopause in the U.S. alone! Wingert and Kantrowitz wanted to provide these women with the up-to-date, readable, and comprehensive advice on this scary, transitional stage that they are seeking. In addition, they discuss the role of hormones, the latest advances in hormone therapy, findings on why it's difficult for menopausal women to lose weight, the impact of menopause on sexuality, and how to counteract a “wavering libido.” Most importantly, the book offers reasons “why this period of your life can be a natural springboard to staying healthy, feeling great, and looking beautiful for the next act of your life.”

 

Here are some key topics discussed in The Menopause Book:

 

·         Experts have more confidence that there's a fairly low risk associated with a symptomatic women using a low-dose HT for a few years, right around the time of menopause (typically 51).

·         More options are a good thing: It's true that "bioidentical" hormones more closely match the chemistry of your own hormones and some women find them more effective.

·         Smartest strategy: stick with FDA approved bioidenticals: they are certified for dosage and purity, something you don't get with HT prepared at compounding pharmacies. Another advantage: The FDA approved ones are also covered by insurance.

·         Why can't I lose weight!--It's not your imagination, it's tougher to lose weight and more fat tends to accumulate around your middle during the menopause transition.

·         Move more, eat less: To maintain your current weight, you'll likely need to walk 15,000 steps a day (everyone else needs about 10,000) AND eat less.

 

Watch an interview with one of the book’s authors on Chicago’s ABC 7 News here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Many of us are well aware of what foods we should be eating and what foods we should avoid, but what many Americans don’t know is that when you’re eating is just as important as what you’re eating.

According to the American Heart Association, 47 million Americans are at risk of developing moderate to severe metabolic disorders due to risk factors including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and increased belly fat. When several risk factors align, physicians refer to the cluster of symptoms as metabolic syndrome.

Individually, each of these risk factors comes with its own set of problems; however when two or more conditions exist simultaneously, the risk of heart attack and stroke and the chance of developing diabetes increases dramatically.

In addition to adhering to a diet that sustains healthy cholesterol, triglyceride and blood sugar levels, it’s important to understand that binge eating – of any kind – should be avoided at all costs – this includes the healthy stuff too!

Our bodies have a natural biological time clock, often referred to as the circadian clock. When we eat varied portions at sporadic intervals throughout the day, our circadian clock can’t achieve regularity. This “clock” helps the body regulate the metabolism, making it easier to shed unwanted fat, build lean muscle mass and makes it possible to avoid many if not all of the risk factors associated with malnutrition and metabolic failure.

Recent studies have revealed a link between late-night snacking and the onset of pre-diabetes and other metabolic-related disorders. When our metabolism is functioning optimally, sugars are broken down almost immediately following a meal. Irregular eating habits inhibit the “normal” metabolic process and make it more difficult for the body’s enzymes to break down materials.

When we eat meals at clearly defined intervals (i.e. no food between 8pm-8am) we help to reset our circadian clock. Once our body recognizes this routine, the metabolism is able to function at an optimal level. 

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Corporations have begun to realize that healthier employees mean happier, more productive employees. Because regular exercise boots employee morale, enhances productivity, and reduces signs of burnout or depression, companies are making more and more lee-way for how employees are conducting business if it means allowing them to fit in some “good-health time.” According to an article in The Times of India, the World Health Organization reported that “India could incur losses to the tune of $237 billion by 2015 due to rise in lifestyle diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer, because of unhealthy workplaces.”  Imagine what that number is for the U.S., where the number of lifestyle diseases has grown tremendously in the last decade.

 

Here are some everyday tips for staying healthy and fit while at the workplace:

1. Stay Hydrated: “Water helps your body with physical and mental performance, detoxification and digestion. Keep a water bottle at your desk and you’ll find it much easier to drink the recommend eight glasses of water each day. It will ease stress and result in sustained energy throughout the day.

 

2. Make Reasons to Walk Around: “Give yourself several reasons to take a break and move around after every 40 minutes. Simply getting up and moving around for a few moments can keep you focused, less fatigued and feeling better.”

 

3. Hit the Office Gym During Lunch: Take half of your break to exercise for 30 minutes, and then grab a bite to eat at your desk afterwards.

 

4. Take the Stairs

 

5. Pack Healthy Snacks: Such as raw veggies, fruit, or granola.

 

6. Conduct meetings on the go: “When it's practical, schedule walking meetings or brainstorming sessions. Do laps inside your building or take your walking meetings outdoors.”

7. Participate in different office games: “Office games such as table tennis, basket ball are an interesting way to keep healthy and fit. These games not only keep your energy levels high but also keep your body in good shape.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009

According to for the Gainesville Sun’s Dear Pharmacist Columnist, Suzy Cohen weight and hormone balance are two very important factors for breast health. Studies have proven that estrogen promotes cell proliferation in breast tumors. An over-abundance of fat cells can increase production of cancer-causing hormones, including a dangerous form of estrogen, thus increasing the risk of cancer.

 

As for hormones, DHEA, testosterone, progesterone and estrogen have to remain in balance like a seesaw. “Estrogen breakdown is even more crucial than the total amount of estrogen you have. When estrogen breaks down in the human body, it can form several smaller molecules. The safest by-product is called ‘2-methoxyestradiol.’” Cohen refers to the “bad” forms of estrogen that may increase your risk of cancer as 4 and 16 estrogens.

 

Cohen explains how you can reduce your risk for cancer in her new book “Breast Cancer Prevention.” One of her tips: “You can increase your production of 2 estrogens with broccoli and rosemary extract, flax seed, folic acid and a few others.”

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