Check here for on going articles and points of interest that will help you maximize your well being.
Danielle Henry, Kinesiologist, DOMP
Maple Shores Health Centre is excited to introduce its newest member to the team, Danielle Henry. Danielle is a certified Osteopath and Registered Kinesiologist. Her professional background includes: clinical rehabilitation, ergonomics, physical demands analysis, and functional ability evaluations in the workplace. Since completing her Osteopathy education, Danielle has continued her training by taking additional courses in advanced cranial and visceral osteopathy. Currently residing in Paisley, Danielle enjoys staying active and healthy with regular yoga classes and swimming. She takes pride in her coaching abilities and giving back to the community.
Danielle is now available for Osteopathic services at Maple Shores Health Centre. Please contact our office for appointment bookings.
As I stated in last week's post, hormonal imbalances create disruptive symptoms for many women. Since the Women's Health Initiative results were released more than a decade ago, many women have been afraid to stay on or start hormone replacement therapy. In that study, it was found that women on conjugated equine estrogens (estrogen from the urine of pregnant horses) and progestins (synthetic progesterone) had an increased incidence of cancer, deep vein clotting, pulmonary embolism, stroke and heart attacks. Sounds scary, doesn't it?
An important point to consider is that our estrogen is not the same as pregnant horses, so while Premarin does have estrogenic activity in humans, it does not behave exactly the same. That means we may have to take higher doses than structurally similar hormones, and there is the potential for more side effects. Also, the study was done using orally administered hormones, which require higher doses than topically administered hormones because they first need to be digested before they can get into the blood stream.
So what other options are there? I find that often I can help patients restore their hormonal balance without the use of exogenous hormones (I will discuss that further in a future post). In circumstances where that won't work, then I explore the option of using bioidentical hormones. As a Naturopathic Doctor who has passed the Therapeutic Prescribing exam, I can prescribe topical bioidentical estrogen and progesterone. Bioidentical hormones are structurally similar to our own hormones, so we are able to have benefit with lower doses, and the evidence (although limited) suggests that they have fewer side effects. Using them topically allows them to be absorbed right into the blood stream, and eliminates the need for them to be digested first.
Testing the levels of hormones in the saliva or urine before and/or after using bioidentical hormones helps to individualize the treatment to the patient. The goal is to help a patient relieve their symptoms, while using the smallest dose for the shortest amount of time possible. At the same time, I work to boost their adrenal glands so that they are better able to produce adequate amounts of hormones on their own and/or support their liver and digestive tract so that they can break down and eliminate the hormones optimally. So, the long answer to my initial question is that although it is limited, the current evidence suggests that topical bioidentical hormones are safe. My job is to explain the pros and cons of this option, and help my patients to decide if this is the best choice to help them feel better…now and into the future.
Yours in Health,
In the more than 12 years that I have been practicing, female hormone imbalances are one of the most common health concerns that patients come in with. Whether it is PMS or infertility or menopausal symptoms, I have seen the drastic effect that these imbalances can have on the quality of life of those affected (and the people around them!).
How do we figure out which hormones may be out of balance? Testing blood levels of hormones will usually only show imbalances if the levels are far from normal (i.e. to confirm pregnancy or menopause or some type of pathology). Otherwise our body does a pretty good job of keeping blood hormones in a tight range, so we usually can't use blood to determine which hormonal imbalances are causing PMS or menopausal symptoms. Salivary hormone testing is an option that I use in my practice. It tests for saliva levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and cortisol. Since the hormones have to be absorbed into the salivary cells in order to show up there, this test gives us an idea of how our body is using the hormones that are in the blood.
What do the salvary test results tell us? The ratios of certain hormones, like estrogen:progesterone tell me a lot about why a person might be experiencing symptoms. For example, PMS is often due to a progesterone imbalance and the test tells me if that is due to elevated estrogen levels (causing a relatively low progesterone level), if progesterone itself is actually low, or both. The same can be said about menopausal symptoms: they can often be due to too much or too little estrogen. So, knowing this information is very important for directing treatment - do we need to focus on helping the body to eliminate certain hormones or help it to make more? Or if cortisol is out of balance, this can indicate a maladaptive response to stress, and the focus needs to be on helping the adrenals so that they are getting the message to make more hormones.
You can see that we are definitely complicated beings:) The good news is that once we determine what hormones are out of balance, there are lots of naturopathic options that can help to restore it. Stay tuned for next week's post where I will discuss some of those treatment options...
Your's in Health,
Dr. Jennifer Haessler
2016 CSA sign up is now open!
Persephone Market Garden is a 100 acres of forest, swamp, pasture and vegetable fields, located between Owen Sound and Sauble Beach. They strive to grow food that is good, clean & fair!
Good - grown to be delicious and nutritious
Clean - grown in a way that protects natural resources, the farmer's health and eater's health
Fair - affordable for the eater and a living wage for the farmer
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a mutually beneficial relationship in which a farm supports the community’s needs for fresh, nutritious food, and the community supports farmers in farming.
Members commit to the farm by purchasing a share and making a deposit at the start of the growing season. Farmers commit to their customers by growing fresh and delicious vegetables. Throughout the summer and fall, members receive a weekly share of the farm's produce. In turn, the farmer can focus on planning and growing fresh, delicious and nutritious vegetables, rather than worrying about marketing perishable produce in the summer.
Benefits for Members
access to fresh, local, and delicious vegetables at a reasonable price
varieties selected for taste, nutrition and quality, not for long distance transportation
opportunity to discover new vegetables
a guaranteed market for farm products throughout the season
income at the start of the season when many production expenses occur
a close relationship with customer
Persephone Market Garden runs a 20 week share from June to the end of October and offer's three different weekly shares ranging in cost ($360.00 - $600.00) with low income options available. To register or for more information click here.
Would you like to have more energy, better quality sleep, less joint pain, improved digestion, and as an added bonus, lose some weight?
If you answered yes to any of these, then the Xymogen 6 Day Detox is a great way to kickstart healthier lifestyle habits that can help you feel your best.
The detox kit includes a guidebook with instructions for following a hypoallergenic diet, a probiotic, the medical food OptiGHI which helps with digestion, liver function and reducing inflammation, and ColonX to help with optimal elimination.
As part of a naturopathic visit, I check body composition at each visit so that you can track objective changes like hydration, body fat and muscle mass.
I am planning on starting the detox on Sunday, February 7, and I would love for some of my patients to join me. Call the office if you would like to book an appointment to get started.
Let's make 2016 the year we start to look and feel our best!