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dr. phuli's blog

Thanks Oprah for Speading Some Light on Hormones!

Monday, January 26th, 2009

I recently saw Oprah’s first show on hormones (1/23/09). It is great that  some much needed light is being spread on this topic. Hormone use doesn’t have to be confusing. Myths and fear prevent women from taking charge of their health and feeling better. Here is what I would add to Oprah’s last discussion:

  1. Most women avoid using hormones because they fear developing breast cancer. These women are missing out on the short and long term benefits of hormone support.
  2. Women continue to make estrogen as they age. Avoiding estrogen does not lower a woman’s breast cancer risk (avoiding Progestins, synthetic progesterone, does).
  3. Estrogen is not a single hormone, it is a family of hormones, some good and some dangerous. As women age they tend to make more dangerous forms, that is why breast cancer rates increase as women grow older.
  4. The WHI study did not show any increase in breast cancer from synthetic estrogen. Only women using estrogen with Progestin had an increase in breast cancer. Thousands of studies have shown that Progestins are linked to breast cancer and should never be used to treat menopause.
  5. Diet, life style, and genetics determine what types of estrogen a woman makes.  Women can alter their breast cancer risk with foods and certain supplements.
  6. Hundreds of studies have proven that estrogen prevents heart disease, bone fractures, depression, memory loss, sexual dysfunction, and even wrinkles.
  7. The WHI study showed that women using estrogen alone, (not with Progestins), in the first 10 years of menopause, had less hardening of the arteries in the heart.
  8. Studies show that increases in blood clots with the use of estrogen occur only when women take estrogen orally. Women should not eat estrogen. They should apply it to their skin with a lotion or patch.
  9. Most women do not need to measure their estrogen and progesterone levels before starting therapy. These hormones should be measured while on therapy to make sure these hormones are being absorbed and breaking down safely.
  10. We are living older than ever before and we must do everything we can to ensure that we reach these bonus years with a strong mind, bones, heart, and spirit. Smart hormone support helps to ensure this will happen.

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Testosterone Does Not Cause Prostate Cancer In Men!

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

This week my local paper (Boston Globe) finally acknowledged what those of us in the anti-aging community have long understood. Testosterone does not cause prostate cancer when given to men who need it. Ladies, do the men in your life (age 45 and older) a favor and ask them to have their doctor check their Free and Total testosterone levels. It is estimated that there are 4 to 6 million men in this country suffering from testosterone deficiency and only 5% are ever treated.  Men will live longer and be better lovers, friends, brothers, fathers and husbands if they are hormonally balanced.

What are the  symptoms of low testosterone in men?

  1. Fatigue, depression, less passion about sports and sex
  2. Lack of confidence, feeling less interested in career
  3. Difficulty having and maintaining an erection
  4. Weight gain with a tendency to a big belly and “man boobs”
  5. Cranky, irritable, ill tempered, not much fun to be around

What are the signs and health risks of having low testosterone?

  1. Bone Loss (loss of height and increased fracture risk)
  2. Muscle loss and weakness (hunched over appearance)
  3. Heart disease
  4. High cholesterol
  5. Diabetes

So if a man you care about has any of the above and his Total testosterone level is less than 400 ng/dl (considered “normal” by many doctors) and his Free testosterone is less than 15 pg/ml- they should be given testosterone.

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Happy Healthy New Year 2009!

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Greetings from snowy New England. This year has been filled with challenges and miracles for all of us. This year my challenge has been recovering from Lyme disease (more on that in the future). As with all illnesses there are many lessons to be learned…here are some of my lesson highlights:

1. Good medical care is hard to find, but it is out there. If your doctor says, “we’ve done all we can” or “your tests show you are fine,” but you don’t feel right, get another doctor.

2. You must be determined to get well, in order to get well, never give up.

3. Rest, setting limits, and saying “no” to stuff you don’t want to do is undervalued.

4. Being perfect and getting everything done on time is overvalued.

5. If you don’t feel good, there is a reason. It is NEVER because you are “just getting older” or “just too stressed” or “just run down.”

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