Hormone Health MD Bioidentical Blog

April 19, 2012

Weight Loss and Hormones

Filed under: estrogen,growth hormone,progesterone,testosterone,thyroid — Dr. Bhuiya's Bioidentical Hormone Blog @ 12:00 am
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Tired of fighting the battle of the bulge? Following a strict diet and exercising, yet still unable to lose weight. You may be suffering from hormone imbalance.

There are several hormones that contribute to weight control.

Most of us know about how increased stress hormone, cortisol, can increase belly fat. But several other hormones contribute to weight gain and inability to lose weight.

In women, lack of progesterone, that is natural bioidentical progesterone, not progestin, can cause you to gain weight. Estrogen is responsible for 400 functions in the female body, but without progesterone to modulate the building up effect of estrogen, you will gain weight. Both estrogen and progesterone fall with age, but progesterone goes first leaving most women with a relative estrogen excess in comparison to progesterone. Estrogen without enough progesterone can cause a weight gain of about 10 pounds. Progesterone is a natural diuretic and modulates this effect of estrogen, making it easier to lose weight.

Another hormone deficiency that increases weight gain in men and women is lack of thyroid hormone. The active thyroid hormone to lose weight is T3, but most doctors measure the inactive hormones T4 and TSH, giving an inaccurate view of thyroid function. In addition, parameters for normal are too broad. You may also be thyroid hormone resistant due to yo-yo starvation diets, stress, and nutrient deficiencies. To make matters worse, thyroid hormone naturally decreases with aging. A thorough thyroid blood work evaluation can detect if your weight problems are due to lack of thyroid hormone.

Lack of testosterone in women, but especially in men, can cause weight gain. Testosterone helps to build up muscle which burns fat. In men testosterone improves energy to exercise, burn fat, and build muscle.

DHEA is another hormone that helps to lose weight. Studies have shown people who take DHEA have more success losing weight than those who do not. DHEA helps burn fat, raise metabolism, decrease appetite, and decrease fat storage in and of itself.

Last but not least is adult growth hormone deficiency.  Growth hormone helps to increase lean body mass, and decrease fat mass. It improves energy and outlook including desire and ability to exercise. It increases muscle mass which increases fat burning.

  Hormones and nutrients go hand in hand and there are many nutrients that help lose weight including chromium, CLA, GLA, zinc, selenium, green tea, ginseng, and Co Q 10, among many others.

Of course, diet and exercise and very important to weight loss as well. If you feel you’re doing everything right but can’t lose weight, check you’re hormones.

 

For further informattion contact:

Aref Bhuiya M.D., 5655 Lindero Canyon Rd., Ste. 202, Westlake Village, CA 91362, 818-597-3223.

July 26, 2008

Hormones, Osteoporosis, and Hip Fractures

Elderly women are at greater risk of death after a hip fracture than after breast cancer, according to a recent article in Medscape Medical News citing a study by Jane A.Cauley, DrPH,  at the University of Pittsburgh. The death rate was 48.1% after a hip fracture versus 25.1% after a breast cancer diagnosis.

What causes hip fractures?  Osteoporosis! Women with osteoporosis are the most likely to sustain a hip fracture. Osteoporosis advances rapidly after menopause due to the dramatic drop in hormones.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, half of the women over 50 will have an osteoporotic fracture before they die. Half of the women surviving a hip fracture will not be able to walk and a quarter will need long term nursing care. A woman’s risk of hip fracture is equal to her combined risk of developing breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer.

Women are not the only ones who suffer from this problem. Men also get osteoporosis, although it is poorly recognized by the medical community.  Men typically develop osteoporosis slower and it appears later than in women.  Testosterone begins to diminish in the early 30’s and decreases 1-3%  per year, increasing the risk for bone loss. Men over 65 have a hip fracture rate of 5 in 1,000. Men over 65 are at risk and should have a bone density test done, as well as calcium, magnesium, thyroid, Vitamin D, and hormone levels.

            By 2010, over 52 million men and women age 50 years and older will either have osteoporosis or be at increased risk because of low bone mass per the National Osteoprosis Foundation. Approximately 20% of those that develop hip fractures will die the year after the fracture from surgery complications such a pneumonia or blood clots in the lung according to the CDC.

            The best therapy for osteoporosis is replacing lost hormones. In women, estrogen saves more bone tissue than very large doses of calcium according to the National Institute on Aging. In the May 2004 Journal of the American Medical Association, British researchers described a link between hormone replacement therapy and a reduced risk of bone fracture in post-menopausal women.

            Poor nutrition and inadequate intake of nutrients, lack of adequate exercise, unhealthy lifestyle including cigarettes and alcohol, and race also contribute to osteoporosis. Hormone replacement in men and women is of key importance for bone health.

            Replacemen with biodentical hormones is key. All three hormones are necessary in order to build and maintain bone: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. If you are taking Premarin, you are only getting an estrogen effect, and a dangerous one.You don’t want to trade one problem for another by taking alien synthetic molecules orally, like Premarin and Provera,  that can increase heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer. Remember all estrogen, even bioidentical, should be taken transdermally. Any oral estrogen can increase C-reactive protein which correlates with a higher incidence of heart disease. Provera or medrxyprogesterone has no benefit for bone, and in fact inhibits beneficial progesterone production and effects by binding to progesterone receptor sites.

            The synthetic pharmaceutical medications for osteoporosis, like Fosamax, are problematic. They do not allow for the natural turn-over and remodeling of bone and what you essentially wind up with is a lot of old brittle bone. In addition, one study showed that combining estrogen with Fosamax may increase fractures. In addition, Fosamax is correlated with bone problems in the jaw.

           Vitamin D is very important to build bone and prevent osteoporosis. Even in the sun belts, Vitamin D levels are low among men and women due to interior jobs, sun-screen over-use, and lack of ability of aging skin to convert sunlight to Vitamin D. Get your 25 hydroxy Vitamin D levels checked with a blood test, and if they are low step up your supplementation until they come up.

             Nutrient supplementation needs to be more than just calcium to build bone. Calcium citrate is OK, but calcium hydroxyapetite is best. Don’t exceed 1600 mg total of calcium per day unless you want calcium in your arteries and kidneys too. Other important nutrients for bone building are Vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, boron, and strontium. Othomolecular makes a great supplement that has all you need for bone maintenance or improvement of osteoporosis called ProBono. Patient report joints feeling better on it as well.

            Make sure you get a baseline bone density scan when you are in the perimenopausal years so you know where you are starting out. If you have osteopenia, take action. You can prevent osteoporosis!

For further information contact:

Aref Bhuiya, M.D., 5655 Lindero Canyon Rd., Ste. 202, Westlake Village, CA 91362, 818-597-3223..

July 20, 2008

Weight and Hormones

Filed under: estrogen,growth hormone,progesterone,testosterone,thyroid — Dr. Bhuiya's Bioidentical Hormone Blog @ 7:39 am
Tags: , , , , ,

 

Tired of fighting the battle of the bulge? Following a strict diet and exercising, yet still unable to lose weight. You may be suffering from hormone imbalance.

There are several hormones that contribute to weight control.

Most of us know about how increased stress hormone, cortisol, can increase belly fat. But several other hormones contribute to weight gain and inability to lose weight.

In women, lack of progesterone, that is natural bioidentical progesterone, not progestin, can cause you to gain weight. Estrogen is responsible for 400 functions in the female body, but without progesterone to modulate the building up effect of estrogen, you will gain weight. Both estrogen and progesterone fall with age, but progesterone goes first leaving most women with a relative estrogen excess in comparison to progesterone. Estrogen without enough progesterone can cause a weight gain of about 10 pounds. Progesterone is a natural diuretic and modulates this effect of estrogen, making it easier to lose weight.

Another hormone deficiency that increases weight gain in men and women is lack of thyroid hormone. The active thyroid hormone to lose weight is T3, but most doctors measure the inactive hormones T4 and TSH, giving an inaccurate view of thyroid function. In addition, parameters for normal are too broad. You may also be thyroid hormone resistant due to yo-yo starvation diets, stress, and nutrient deficiencies. To make matters worse, thyroid hormone naturally decreases with aging. A thorough thyroid blood work evaluation can detect if your weight problems are due to lack of thyroid hormone.

Lack of testosterone in women, but especially in men, can cause weight gain. Testosterone helps to build up muscle which burns fat. In men testosterone improves energy to exercise, burn fat, and build muscle.

DHEA is another hormone that helps to lose weight. Studies have shown people who take DHEA have more success losing weight than those who do not. DHEA helps burn fat, raise metabolism, decrease appetite, and decrease fat storage in and of itself.

Last but not least is adult growth hormone deficiency.  Growth hormone helps to increase lean body mass, and decrease fat mass. It improves energy and outlook including desire and ability to exercise. It increases muscle mass which increases fat burning.

  Hormones and nutrients go hand in hand and there are many nutrients that help lose weight including chromium, CLA, GLA, zinc, selenium, green tea, ginseng, and Co Q 10, among many others.

Of course, diet and exercise and very important to weight loss as well. If you feel you’re doing everything right but can’t lose weight, check you’re hormones.

 

For further informattion contact:

Aref Bhuiya M.D., 5655 Lindero Canyon Rd., Ste. 202, Westlake Village, CA 91362,

818-597-3223.

Making Sense of Hormones

 

As we age we lose our hormones. All of our good building up hormones start declining after age 30.   Cortisol and insulin tend to increase, which can harm our health. These changes are detrimental to our vitality and our health.

 

These hormone changes are part of the cycle of life, a building up and then shutting down. Hormones are the highest in our most vital and healthy time of our life, our teens and twenties when we have our highest energy and best health, our “child-bearing years”. After this time, about age 30, our genetics dictate that our good hormones decline: testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, thyroid hormone, and growth hormone.  Hormones that can harm us, cortisol and insulin, start to rise.  At about age 40, hormone decline accelerates in women as the ovaries begin shutting down hormone production in the peri-menopause. Men’s hormones continue to decline. This is nature’s way of shutting us down and eliminating us. It is not a coincidence that the healthiest time of our lives is when we have our full complement of hormones, nor that we begin developing the diseases of aging, heart, bone, brain, and eye problem, as our hormones decline. We age because we lose our hormones!

 

This was not as issue prior to 1900, when the average age of death was 50. Most men and women did not experience the full force of hormone loss. Now with the average age of death at 80, we can live 30 years or more without our hormones and the consequences.

 

Certainly, lifestyle, exercise, body weight and exercise, nutrient supplements all contribute to being healthy and may help make the process of hormone loss easier or make certain hormone loss slower. But none of these things will put your hormones back. Acupuncture, chiropractic, yoga, and Aruvedic medicine may also help alleviate hormone symptoms, but none will not put your hormones back. The only way to keep your youthful compliment of hormones is by replacing them, and only with hormones that have the same exact molecular structure that is native to the human body.

 

When we enter our 40’s women start feeling these changes as ovaries start to shut down production of sex hormones in peri-menopause and menopause. Nature is most cruel to women because symptoms of perimenopause can be swift and profound. Menopause has been often likened to falling off a cliff where men’s andropause is likened to rolling down a hill. Men begin noticing the more gradual decline in testosterone called andropause. Meanwhile thyroid hormone and growth hormone also declines.

 

In women testosterone is the first to start declining, then progesterone. In their 40’s, women start noticing insomnia, irritability, mood swings, depression, low libido, hair loss, and migraines directly associated with low progesterone. Estrogen also starts declining, but is the last to go with hot flashes, weepiness, night sweats, and lack of energy. The symptoms of hormone change can continue for 15-20 prior to loss of menstruation.

 

With loss of testosterone, men experience fatigue, memory loss, loss of libido, loss of muscle mass, weight gain, decreased athletic ability, muscle aches, and decreased interest in activities.

 

Thyroid hormone and growth hormone play vital roles in hour health and energy as well, and need to be replaced and even optimized (but not abused) when deficient with bioidentical equivalents.

 

Bioidentical hormone replacement will alleviate the symptoms of menopause and andropause.   I am often asked, “Do I have to take them forever?”.  The answer is yes. If you stop taking hormones all your symptoms will come back. Once you stop making your hormones, they are gone. They do not come back unless you put them back with bioidentical hormone replacement.

 

The long term consequences of lack of hormones are weight gain, loss of muscle mass, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, colon cancer, macular degeneration, cataract formation, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. A lower chance of having these problems keeps me happily taking my hormones and vitamins each day.  I also feel the same way I did in my 30’s!

 

We all will die some day. The fact is that our cells can only divide so many times. Each time they divide they lose some DNA, and when a critical limit is met, they die. Current maximum age is believed to be 120 years due to this effect.

 

Of course we have to fuel our cells with nutrients and vitamins, limit our exposure to toxins and chemicals, and detoxify. 

 

We are living longer because we have great living conditions and can prevent mortality from many diseases and accidents. But most of us will feel lousy for the last 30 years struggling with symptoms and disease until we come to accept our age and poor state of wellness. 50% of those who live to be 85 will have Alzheimer’s (estrogen can prevent Alzheimer’s disease).

 

It doesn’t have to be that way. With bioidentical hormone and nutrient replacement you can enjoy feeling good for the rest of your life. The means is available. The choice is yours.

For further informattion contact:

Aref Bhuiya M.D., 5655 Lindero Canyon Rd., Ste. 202, Westlake Village, CA 91362, 818-597-3223.

 

July 15, 2008

Emotional and Hormonal Health

We often think of emotional health in terms of what’s going on in our lives, but more often it is tied to what’s going on in our bodies.

 

Emotional health is very much tied to our hormones. Depression in particular can be governed by deficiencies and imbalances in our hormones.

 

In men, testosterone deficiency is linked with depression, irritability, and lack of motivation. The term “grumpy old men” is often used to describe the emotional changes that occur in men with testosterone deficiency. In women, lack of testosterone can be associated with lack of emotional shield and panic attacks.

 

In women, estrogen enhances formation of serotonin and estrogen deficiency can cause depression, but lack of progesterone is also tied to depression, irritability, and mood swings. With decreasing estrogen and progesterone in the pre- and peri-menopause it makes sense why women experience more depression in mid-life. Lack of estrogen can also effect concentration and memory.

 

 Post- partum depression is really a disorder of a precipitous drop in progesterone after childbirth and inability to rebound from this drop. Some informed obstetricians treat this change in mood not with anti-depressants but with bioidentical progesterone with great success.

 

 Many young women on the birth control pill or other forms of hormonal birth control experience increased depression, irritability, and mood swings. This is because the synthetic hormones in these drugs interfere with normal hormone balance, occupying normal progesterone receptors in addition to decreasing the production in progesterone eliminating the natural calming effect of this hormone.

 

Another hormone that can affect emotional health is cortisol (the stress hormone) excess or deficiency. These conditions can cause irritability, confusion, sleep disturbances, mood disturbances, depression, emotional imbalances, foggy thinking, and panic disorders.

 

Thyroid hormone deficiency can also cause depression, anxiety or panic attacks, decreased memory, inability to concentrate, slow speech, insomnia, and agitation.

 

Growth Hormone deficiency can also manifest not only as a lack of motivation but also as a lack of sociability.   In addition, a prominent characteristic of low growth hormone is an inability to concentrate and a failing memory.

 

A deficiency in any of our major hormones can have mental and emotional effects. The best way to determine if hormone loss is a factor in your mental health is to see a doctor familiar with the emotional effects of hormone loss, discuss your symptoms, and have hormone testing. If deficiencies are detected, replace lost hormones only with bioidentical hormones. It could make all the difference!

For further informattion contact:

Aref Bhuiya M.D., 5655 Lindero Canyon Rd., Ste. 202, Westlake Village, CA 91362, 818-597-3223.

July 8, 2008

Progesterone in Women

  Progesterone is one of your sex hormones and is made inyour ovaries before menopause. After menopause, some progesterone’s made in your adrenal glands. As we age, we lose our hormones, and progesterone is one of the first to go. In women, progesterone declines first, then estrogen. You could suffer from progesterone loss for 15 years before you lose your period.

   In our 40′s, we usually start to experience progesterone decline. Symptoms of decreased progesterone include anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings, insomnia, pain and inflammation, osteoporosis, decreased HDL, weight gain, and excessive menstruation. Why do we gain weight with low progesterone? Estrogen is a building up hormone, and if you do not have enough progesterone to balance the estrogen you have, then you will gain weight. Estrogen without progesterone equals gaining about 10 pounds.

   Causes of low progesterone levels are peri-menopause, impaired production, low luteinizing hormone (LH), increased prolactin production, stress, sugar, and saturated fat, deficiency of vitamins A, B6, C, zinc, and decreased thyroid hormone.

    Be aware that progestin is not bioidentical progesterone. I have spoken to doctors and nurses who did not know the important difference. Synthetic non-bioidentical progesterone is called progestin. It is very different from natural bioidentical progesterone since it does not have the same chemical structure nor the same effects as the progesterone that your body makes on its own. Natural bioidentical progesterone is biologically identical to what you produce. Also, progestins do not reproduce the actions of natural progesterone. Progestins are contained in birth control pills, Provera, and Prempro. Don’t be fooled by the similarities in names.  Medroxyprogesterone is a progestin, not progesterone.

   What’s the difference? It could be your life. To start, progestins have many side effects. The side effects of progestins (synthetic progesterone) that do not occur with natural bioidentical progesterone include: increased appetite, weight gain, fluid retention, irritability, depression, headache, decreased energy, bloating, breast tenderness, decreased sexual interest, rash, acne, hair loss, nausea, insomnia, breakthrough bleeding/spotting. Progestins interfere with your bodys own production of progesterone and do not help balance estrogen. They remain in your body longer and can cause spasm of your coronary (heart) arteries. Progestins stop the protective effects estrogen has on your heart, attaches to many of your bodys receptor sitesnot just your progesterone receptors (long-term affects of this are unknown), and may make the symptoms of progesterone loss worse. Progestins increases LDL (bad cholesterol) and decreases HDL (good cholesterol). Progestins counteract many of the positive effects of estrogen on serotonin and may cause depression.

    Here’s the life-threatening part: a recent study has shown that the use of synthetic progesterone or progestinincreases the risk of breast cancer by 800%as compared withthe use of estrogen alone. Another study showed that women taking natural bioidentical progesterone had a 10% lower rate of cancer than the general population. 

     Natural bioidentical progesterone helps balance estrogen, leaves your body quickly, helps you sleep, has a natural calming effect1, lowers high blood pressure, helps your body use and eliminate fats, lowers cholesterol, may protect against breast cancer , increases scalp hair, normalizes libido, helps balance fluids in the cells, and increases the beneficial effects of estrogens on blood vessel dilation in atheroscelerotic plaques (hardening of the arteries), has an anti-proliferative effect (decreases the rate of cancer)on all progesterone receptorsnot just the ones in the uterus, does not change the good effect estrogen has on blood flow, increases metabolic rate, is a natural diuretic and a natural antidepressant.

      Natural bioidentical progesterone offers a safer approach to hormone replacement therapy than synthetic progesterone (progestin). It is very important that you have your levels of progesterone

measured before you begin bioidentical hormone replacement and then on a regular basis to confirm that you are on an optimal dose for you.

   If you have had a complete hysterectomy you still need natural progesterone since it  has the many positive affects on your body discussed above. Progesterone can be prescribed as a pill or a topical cream. A compounding pharmacist would fill your prescription. It is made from an extract of soy beans or yams with an enzyme added to convert the diosgenin in the yam into bioidentical progesterone. Over-the counter progesterone frequently does not contain this enzyme. If one of your main symptoms is insomnia, then choose the pillform which affects the GABA receptors in your brain, having a calming effect which allows you to sleep.

   If you think you have progesterone changes, consult with a doctor who has experience with peri-menopausal hormone changes and bioidentical hormone replacement.

For further informattion contact:

Aref Bhuiya M.D., 5655 Lindero Canyon Rd., Ste. 202, Westlake Village, CA 91362, 818-597-3223.

July 7, 2008

Natural Bioidentical Hormone Estrogen Replacement

   There are several reasons to consider natural bioidentical estrogen replacement when approaching menopause. Relief of menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, low libido, vaginal dryness, wrinkling skin, fatigue, and urinary incontinence usually send us to the doctor. But the long term benefits of estrogen are maintenance of  eye health, prevention of memory loss, heart health, bone production (prevention of osteoporosis)and tissue repair.

   What is natural bioidentical hormone replacement? It means using hormones that are biologically the same identical molecule as what your body makes. In other words, the hormones are the same chemical structure as the ones that your body made before menopause. A customized dose of natural bioidentical hormonal therapy is the only way to replace hormones safely. Studies have shown that women who use hormone replacement live longer than those who do

   There are several reasons to consider natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy when approaching menopause. Relief of menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, low libido, vaginal dryness, wrinkling skin, fatigue, and urinary incontinence usually send us to the doctor. But the long term benefits of estrogen are maintenance of  eye health, prevention of memory loss, heart health, bone production (prevention of osteoporosis)and tissue repair.

   Estrogen has 400 functions in your body. It increases your metabolic rate, enhances energy, improves insulin sensitivity, and regulates body temperature. It prevents muscle damage and helps maintain muscle. In the cardiovascular arena, it helps maintain the elasticity of your arteries, dilates your small arteries, increases blood flow, inhibits platelet stickiness, decreases the accumulation of plaque on your arteries, decreases blood pressure, decreases LDL(bad cholesterol) and prevents its oxidation,  acts as a natural calcium channel blocker to keep your arteries open, decreases lipoprotein A ( a risk factor for heart disease), reduces homocysteine (another risk factor for heart disease), increases HDL (good cholesterol) by 10 to 15%, and reduces the overall risk of heart disease by 40 to 50%.

   Estrogen has many benefits for your brain and nervous system. It helps maintain your memory, increases reasoning and new ideas, helps with fine motor skills, enhances the production of nerve-growth factor, improves your mood, increases concentration,  helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease, improves your mood, aids in the formation of neurotransmitters in your brain such as serotonin which decreases depression, irritability, anxiety,and pain sensitivity.

   For eye health, it protects against macular degeneration and helpsprevent cataracts.

   For beauty, it maintains the amount of collagen, increases the water content, thickness, and softness of your skinand decreases wrinkles.

   For bones, it maintains bone density and helps prevent tooth 1oss.

   It increases sexual interest and decreases your risk of colon cancer

   So with decreased estrogen you get thinner skin, more wrinkles/aging skin, decrease in breast size, stress incontinence, oily skin, acne, decreased sex drive, decreased dexterity, increase in insulin resistanceand possible diabetes, vaginal dryness, decreased memory, osteoporosis, urinary tract infections, and increased cholesterol. Sounds like getting old, huh?

   Peri-menopause and menopause occurs in our 40’s and 50’s.  Most women of that age group can expect to live to be a mean age of 83. You may spend 30-40 years without the benefits of estrogen and will experience the resultant decline.

   With a safe and effective way of replacing estrogen with bioidentical hormones, women no longer need to bear the decline of deficiency with aging.

    A few things to remember. Never take any kind of estrogen orally. It increases circulating inflammatory factors that can increase inflammatory disease, increases C-reactive protein which can increase heart disease, and can decrease IGF-1, the active growth hormone in the body. Estrogen should not be taken without progesterone to balance it whether or not you still have your uterus. Estrogen is a building up hormone and needs to be balanced with natural bioidentical progesterone to prevent breast tenderness, weight gain, and an increased thickness of the uterine lining. Estrogen is best administered as a cream or gel by applying it to the skin.

For further informattion contact:

Aref Bhuiya M.D., 5655 Lindero Canyon Rd., Ste. 202, Westlake Village, CA 91362, 818-597-3223.

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