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TESTOSTERONE DEFICIENCY FROM THE FEMALE PERSPECTIVE

Yes, Gertrude women produce their own testosterone said her gynecologist.  This fact was very surprising to her as she was of the opinion and belief that men only produced testosterone. Well knowledge of this fact certainly caught her attention.  This caused her to wonder just exactly how this hormone affected her.  Would she raise hair on the face, sing bass in her church choir or better yet as she exercised become muscle bound and compete in the Miss Jane Atlas competition?  These were questions that shot through her mind as she left the doctors office but was too embarrassed to ask.

So, Gertrude decided to explore these questions and seek out answers on her own. So that when she visited again with her gynecologist she would be better prepared to ask more pertinent and thought provoking questions. 

Gertrude was not happy with her own current state of affairs. For her entering menopause was no picnic and wasn't totally content with continuing to digest medication that was made from pregnant mare's urine. She just did not appreciate the mood downturns nor the lack of sexual interest which she has experienced since embarking on this journey called menopause. She just felt it was not fair that her body should be forced into this downturn which felt like her body was falling apart.  She thought she ate healthfully and exercised but was told by her doctor that she already was experiencing osteopenia and gained twenty-five pounds. Lastly, she wanted some answers as to why her joints and muscles ached and more times than not had experienced feelings of insecurity and lack of assertiveness which she noticed was beginning to affect her performance at work and home.

In her research, Gertrude discovered that testosterone was produced in women by the ovaries and the adrenal gland.  The testosterone level in women is about 10 percent of the amount that is found in men.  She also learned that the total testosterone reported in a lab result represented a bound and a free portion. The bound portion was attached to the sex hormone binding globulin and the free portion of the testosterone was the bio available portion which exerted its effects at the cellular and tissue levels. Testosterone is as essential to a women's well-being and health as are estrogen and progesterone but it is far less prescribed and intentionally left out of the female hormone roster. This exclusion leaves women not quite altogether themselves. The irrational fear that permeates our society over prescribing supplemental testosterone to women and causing the previously mentioned facial hair, deepening voice, and masculine temperament is the result of an overactive imagination.  In the hands of a capable physician the hormonal program will be tailored to the specific needs of the patient.  Blood levels will be tested for periodically and hormone adjustments are made accordingly. Studies that raised concern about women taking testosterone or that had ill-effects used doses that were too high. Without testosterone in the hormone replacement program the woman gets the main course without dessert. About one to three percent of testosterone is free to link up with the tissues and produce the hormonal response.  Even in these small amounts there is a time related drop in testosterone which begins to occur in a woman's twenties. This decrease is further augmented when a woman goes through menopause.  Her ovaries go into dormancy along with a gradual slowing of the adrenal glands.  When this decline happens a woman experiences a stark decline in her feelings for sexual arousal. 

Testosterone Deficiency from
     the FEMALE PERSPECTIVE
Health benefits of Vitamin D

Over the years much has been written about the benefits of Vitamin D. It is made in the skin by exposure to the ultra violet light rays from the sun.  Twenty minutes of total body exposure to the sun's rays from noon until 3 p.m. during the summer months will help the body produce about 10,000 I U of Vitamin D.

The basic chemical structure of vitamin D very much resembles the sex hormones.  The vitamin D that is effective is known as vitamin D3.  When checking this level in the blood you test for 25 hydroxy vitamin D levels.  Normal ranges of blood levels are reported to be between 32 nanograms (ng) per ml and 100 nanograms per ml.


When using sunscreen with SPF ratings greater than eight effectively blocks 95% of all vitamin D synthesis in the skin.  SPF 15 blocks 99%.  So does glass.

There are 14 disease states associated with low vitamin D levels.

Osteoporosis
Multiple sclerosis
Irritable bowel syndrome 
Myocardial ischemia
Breast cancer 
Prostate cancer 
Colorectal cancer
Depression 
Schizophrenia
Rheumatoid arthritis 
Fibromyalgia 
Chronic pain
Cardiovascular risk
Infertility/PCOS


Some symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are chronic bone pain and/or soft bones, frequent bone fractures, bone deformities, proximal muscle weakness, frequent falls, poor proprioception and loose teeth.



The seven disease states improved with vitamin D repletion:

1. Decreased cancer risk
2.  Improvement in hypertension
3. Improves survival in prostate cancer
4.  Decreased risk of falling 
5. Improved  bone mineral density
6.  Improved psoriatic skin lesions
7.  Decreased mortality


Forms of vitamin D supplementation can be oral, injectable, transdermal, analogues and tanning. There is no currently recommended RDA for vitamin D. The Canadian pediatric Society recommends pregnant and lactating women consider taking 2000 I U (International Units)  of vitamin D daily especially during the winter months.  In two US government sponsored studies, Dr. Bruce Hollis is studying vitamin D supplementation of up to 6000 I U daily in nursing women and 4000 units daily in pregnant women.  So far "not one single adverse event" has been observed in women on the highest doses.


To be on the safe side, one may take lower levels of vitamin D during summer months if there is regular safe exposure to the sun for brief periods of time without sunscreen.  During the fall and winter months, higher levels of vitamin D supplementation may be utilized. According to the Council on vitamin D, between 4,000 and 10,000 units per day from all sources, including exposure to the sun, food and supplements may become the norm with regular monitoring of 25 hydroxy vitamin D blood levels to maintain a blood circulating level of 65 ng per ml. The caveat here is to maintain regular monitoring of blood level. Should there be higher levels the simplest way to treat is to stop supplementation and increase fluid intake.  Vitamin D toxicity is least likely to occur with overexposure to the sun and oral supplementation and more so with giving Calcitriol and its analogues.  Remember the two-edged sword effect of using sunscreen is that excess sun causes skin cancer and blocking the sun leads to lower vitamin D levels, a powerful protection against skin and other chances.



Health benefits of Vitamin D !
OSTEOPOROSIS  EPIDEMIC

Very often this condition is diagnosed too late.  By this I mean, neither perimenopause nor menopause should be the time that physicians begin to think about osteoporosis treatment but rather prevention should focus from the time that young girls are born into this world.  This can be accomplished initially through education.  Depending on the Standard American Diet is truly SAD since our food industry has been modified through the introduction of so many chemicals that raw and natural foods are the only real food sources of vitamins and minerals.

 

Half of all women and one quarter of men in the U.S. will suffer disabling bone fractures. When an elderly person slips or loses their balance, it could lead to their early demise.  It is estimated that about twenty percent of those who break a hip die within one year of their fracture.  Sadly very few doctors concentrate on prevention of this silent disease by recommending life style changes of passive weight- bearing exercises, bio-identical (natural) hormone replacement therapy, vitamin D therapy, and mineral supplementation to feed and nurture healthy bones.

 

Researches recently discovered the benefits of collagen in achieving optimal bone tensile strength.  Collagen makes up most of the structure of bone.  You would be surprised to know that Vitamin C helps make collagen and is very useful in healing skin burns of second degree faster and healing tissue which is in imminent danger of decay as you oftentimes see in people with compromised blood flow. This most frequently is achieved through intravenous administration of high does of Vitamin C.  Interestingly, the compression strength of bone is found to be greater than reinforced concrete. The direct and indirect cost of osteoporosis is $60 billion dollars a year in the USA.

 

Some of the risk factors:

a.       female gender

b.      Caucasian and Asian races

c.       Small thin body frames

d.      Postmenopausal

e.       Family history

f.       Abnormal absence of menstruation

g.      Long-distant runners

h.      Low testosterone levels in men

i.        Nutritional deficiencies i.e. Vitamin D, calcium

j.        Sedentary lifestyle 

k.      Smoking

l.        Medications that reduce natural hormones

1.      Steroids, prednisone

2.      Lupron therapy

3.      Seizure medicines

4.      Aluminum containing antacids

5.      Chemotherapy

6.      Overactive  thyroid and parathyroid

m.    Surgical procedures and diseases of the GI tract

1.      Gastric Bypass

2.      Colitis and Crohn’s disease

3.      Gallbladder removal

 

The best available method of diagnosing is measuring the bone mineral density of the hip and vertebral column using a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) machine.  The diagnosis is based on how thin the hip and vertebral bones are compared to normal values for your age.    OSTEOPENIA occurs when bone density is recognized to be less than 85% from normal, which represents a 15 % loss of bone density and OSTEOPOROSIS is when bone density is less than 75% of normal and reflects 25% loss of bone density.  This is clear why prevention of osteoporosis should be recognized sooner rather than later.

 

Certainly, a program of passive weight bearing exercises should be started along with replacement mineral therapy, i.e. calcium and magnesium.  Avoid beverages high in phosphates since they bind free calcium. Vitamin D supplementation to maintain circulating blood levels around 80ng/ml in order to achieve full preventive benefits of Vitamin D. Bio-identical (Natural) hormone replacement i.e. estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, and bisphosphanates(such as Fosamax and Actonel) can be considered. However, remember that the bisphosphanates work by reducing bone resorption, not by building bone.

 

Osteoporosis  Epidemic
BE YOUR OWN HEALTH CARE ADVOCATE

By the time this article is printed, we will have been compelled to accept a revamped health care system. Your freedom of choice will be stringently restricted.  To paraphrase Dickens, it will be the best of times and it will be the worst of times yet it is the worst of times that will haunt us forever.

Those of you who are oriented towards self care and natural therapy understand the need for personal responsibility. You already have a leg up in directing your own preventive care.  It is this active involvement that will be critical to your continuing good health and sustainable longevity. Let’s consider two examples.

First is the continuing saga of the H1N1 virus.  To date approximately 13,000 people died from the virus worldwide at the time of this writing. Taking into consideration the world's population, this number represents a relatively small percentage of the total population.  Where was the justification for such ALARM?

Influenza viruses are opportunistic infections that exploit compromises in the innate immune complex.  They can only make someone sick if they can get “in� and they only get in where immune defense is weak.  This is why the immune system of the young is at risk due to their immaturity and the elderly are at risk because of their waning immune system.  During pregnancy the immune system is suppressed by hypothyroidism and compromised in those with chronic diseases.  Yet, the take home message about the H1 N1 virus is that there is not anything particularly unique about this virus. Administering nutrients that normally stimulate immune function and act as antimicrobials, such as vitamins A, C, and D, the minerals selenium and iodine, along with proper thyroid replacement, would prevent most of the deaths. 

Let's consider another issue as it relates to women with breast cancer and the effectiveness of vitamin D.  Researchers from the division of clinical epidemiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto Canada reported in a study of 512 women, followed for 11.6 years and, diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer that 20% of these women were likely to die of their disease if their Vitamin D blood levels were deficient. Deficiency of Vitamin D was defined as less that 50nmol/L (<20ng/ml). Another 23% of the women developed distant recurrences in the same time frame.  Therefore, 43% collectively could have enjoyed a better outcome had their levels of vitamin D been greater.  So, taking a vitamin D supplement to increase blood levels is one of the least expensive and safest options we have for potentially reducing the risk of breast cancer recurrence and/or death.

For all women, higher blood levels of vitamin D are associated with lower rates of heart disease, ovarian cancer, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and the bacterial vaginosis.  It goes without saying that there are a lot of reasons to pay close attention to vitamin D levels and the many collateral benefits to optimizing serum vitamin D in women with breast cancer.

Being aggressive about your good health will be more important than ever.

Continue to be avid activists for your own health.  It may make all the difference in the world in your life and in your life expectancy.

Please click on article title
Published by the Doctor
 Spring 2010
How I see it.....
NJ Holistic Magazine 2010
Dr Hartanowicz


Many people wonder what foods to eatwhich supplements to take, why we should take them or even eat organic foods.  The answer is quite simple. The food we eat today is more modified than it ever has been compared to fifty years ago. The word, bio-engineered, describes the food industrys approach to grow plants more heartily, to resist the invasion of natural pestilence, and improve the crop yield. Moreover, do you have any idea of when the crop was picked, what chemicals were used to preserve, to retard ripening, to enhance freshness, or where in the world it came from? Did you know that soy today is 100% bioengineered and the plant is the only one which is totally consumable? Just think of the consequences on our body's digestive system and the affect on our immune system. What about the future impact on the ailments that haven't been defined yet as a result of chronic inflammation? 

So, the purpose of this article is to introduce you to some natural choices.  Thanksgiving being around the corner one can ask how healthy are sweet potatoes to eat and do they have any healing powers. Sweet potatoes have been shown to help reduce the severity of osteoarthritis, asthma and help to prevent diabetic heart disease and colon cancer.  Also, it brings to mind our good friend vitamin D which also has been shown to help prevent colon cancer.  Three years ago researchers at Tufts University showed a strong correlation between low vitamin D levels and metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and diabetes based on an analysis of data from nearly 84,000 women in the Nurses Health Study.

They discovered a 13% reduced relative risk of type 2 diabetes among the women taking the highest amounts of vitamin D versus lower levels.  This investigation showed that women taking 800 IU or more, plus 1200 mg calcium or more had a 33% lower risk of diabetes, compared with those who got less than 400 IU vitamin D and 600 mg calcium.  The lead investigator of the study, Dr. Weaver, pointed out that this low level is the current recommended adult intake. Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of antioxidants and vitamins such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber. 


How helpful are garlic, leeks and onions? Garlic helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and sustain healthy vision.  LDL (the bad cholesterol) levels are lowered by eating leeks and onions and help raise levels of HDL (good cholesterol).  This category of vegetables is called Alliums. They are known for their strong pungent odor and contain essential vitamins and minerals known to promote overall health, activate antioxidants, and help to improve glucose tolerance.


Vitamin B6 can be obtained from yellow fin tuna, bananas, cod, and salmon.  A deficiency of this vitamin can lead to eczema, fatigue, and seizures.  Supplementation has been shown to help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.


Sources rich in omega-3 are flaxseed, walnuts, cabbage, salmon, soybeans, halibut, tofu, and the winter squash.  Omega-3 is an unsaturated fatty acid that can help reduce joint stiffness and pain as well as help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.  One caveat about eating large quantities of tuna is the risk of high mercury levels so proceed with caution especially if you are a sushi lover. 



Lastly, the polyphenols, which are astringents and antioxidants found in oolong and green tea, have been shown to help prevent cavities by inhibiting the formation of cavity promoting bacteria.



In summary, it is important to realize that to truly capitalize on the benefits of some of the items listed that one must implement these changes of eating styles as early as possible. That also goes along with incorporating moderate exercise on a daily basis in order to promote wellness.  As the expression goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Another way of saying this is the sooner one implements this awareness in your life then the quicker you can experience the benefits on your overall state of well-being.  Until the next time, I wish you all good health in achieving your state of wellness.



How I see it....
 
    “I work alongside each of my patients, taking into account the whole person’s body, mind, spirit, lifestyle, environment, preferences, and unique history.  I make use of all appropriate diagnostic tools and therapies, using a thorough, patient and persistent approach to help you achieve and maintain the level of health you desire." 

Our incoming patients will complete a comprehensive questionnaire, receive a thorough history and physical examination that addresses the "whole" patient, including, your medical needs, lifestyle, stress, emotional factors, diet, and nutrition.

We believe that the most important member of our team is YOU because we respect that it is your involvement in your own treatment which best supports an outcome of enhanced well-being. 

"Our goal is to treat the whole person, not just their illness," Dr. Stanley, medical director of the Toms River Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness, says. "Research suggests that a holistic approach can alleviate stress and anxiety, as well as the physical pain and discomfort patients often experience while undergoing treatments by activating the body's innate healing process."
.  by Dr. Hartanowicz

 ..... It has been my experience that the majority of my patients by the time they see me feel as though they haven't been listened too, been rushed....not respected , definitely short comings of standard medicine that are not very appealing
Thyroid treatment  

..... Natural thyroid treatment has a holistic approach to the entire sphere of thyroid treatment. It includes natural supplements, a thyroid-friendly diet and lifestyle changes.

Thyroid and pituitary glands are part of the endocrinal system of the human body. This endocrinal system is responsible for secreting hormones directly into the blood stream. The thyroid and pituitary glands work in tandem and are interdependent. They also support each other in the processes that the body needs to carry out. For example, whenever the thyroid is under active, the pituitary tries to correct it by releasing an anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the function of the thyroid gland.

Any thyroid treatment should ideally start with a physical examination to ascertain whether the thyroid gland is enlarged or not. This is done to rule out goiter, which is an abnormally enlarged thyroid that can occur due to iodine deficiency.

In cases of hypothyroidism or an under active thyroid, it is imperative to establish the type of hypothyroidism prevalent in the patient. Generally speaking, the condition of an under active thyroid can be classified as:

* Primary hypothyroidism - a condition that develops in the thyroid itself.
* Central hypothyroidism - a condition that implies malfunction in the pituitary gland as well.

In both cases the end result is insufficient production of hormones that are necessary to maintain a healthy metabolic rate.

Depending upon the specific hormones that are deficient, thyroid medications for hypothyroid aims at providing hormonal supplements to augment deficient hormones. There is a need to undertake thyroid specific blood tests to understand the levels of thyroid (T3, T4) and pituitary (TSH) hormones in the blood. Excess levels of TSH help in confirming the slowed activity of the thyroid.

There are specific synthetic hormonal supplements that are prescribed. These are available under different trade names but are essentially L-thyroxine (T4), L-triiodothyronine (T3) or a combination of the two.

There are conflicting opinions with regards to the best hormonal supplement. T3 is the bioactive thyroid hormone. T4 is converted by body tissues into T3, which can then be used by the body. The ultimate aim of thyroid treatment is to arrive at the required level of the pituitary hormone, TSH.

The dark side of any conventional treatment has always been the side effects that it causes. Thyroid hormonal supplements are no exceptions and every literature mentions the relevant warning about potential side effects.

However, alternative thyroid treatments like natural supplements can be used to avoid such side effects. Natural thyroid medication has a holistic approach to the entire sphere of thyroid 


** Thyroid article approved but not written by Dr Hartanowicz , all other articles published by the Dr.

 ( original source of article )
Seven Things You Can Do To Improve Your Health  http://www.annieappleseedproject.org/natstratforc.html

1. Start eating organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Studies continue to show organically-grown foods contain more vitamins and minerals and less chemicals than conventionally-grown food. Think about adding vitamins daily. Remember dietary supplements are NOT a substitute for good nutrition.

See http://annieappleseedproject.org/vitaminstudies.html

And let's face it, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals are implicated in many ailments including cancer. As more research takes place, we will have more direct evidence.

See our section on Environmental Issues and Food/Water/Products Issues section for more.

2. Start exercising. Studies have shown that exercise is beneficial to all aspects of your health, including reducing risk of more/other cancer.

Get your kids exercising too.

You can walk around your room, your block, your neighborhood, ride a bicycle, jump a trampoline, swim, do yoga, tai chi, chi gong, walk a treadmill, etc. Just do it.

Best part, you can do it a few times a day and still get a benefit as long as you combine it with healthy food choices.

See http://annieappleseedproject.org/exmaycutside.html

3. Healthy food choices include more fruits and vegetables with EVERY meal.

You need a minimum of NINE a day as the National Cancer Institute has stated. Less salt, less sugar, NO hydrogenated fats( bad for the heart). Use olive oil, flax oil (cold only), or ghee. Avoid soda, drink water (maybe with a little vitamin C powder). Eat whole wheat, whole grains, less processed foods. Avoid preservatives and additives like artificial color and flavor.

See the Food/Water/Products Issues page on our site.

4. Learn to consciously relax. Meditation, music, art, journaling, yoga, massage, aromatic oils, many other methods will work. Maybe you garden, embroidery, sew, it all works to relax you.

See the Mind/Body section on the Treatment page of our site, or http://annieappleseedproject.org/reltec.html

5. Detoxify your body too. Get your lymph system functioning optimally. This is especially important for those of us who have had node dissection. Small trampolines work well for this. Skin brushing is another method. Or self-massage starting at the neck, unaffected arm, or groin to open the lymph drainage channels. See our section on Lymphedema Issues on the Breast Cancer Issues page, or Detoxification Issues on the Treatment page of our site.

6. Tips for pre-surgery, recovery, non-toxic ways to treat unwanted effects. See http://annieappleseedproject.org/nontoxwaytod.html

7. Talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider about everything that you do. If you use herbs and you hope they work, then discuss it. You may download studies and articles from our site to help you with this talk.

Do we need to even mention this? STOP SMOKING IMMEDIATELY.

7 things improve your health
Natural thyroid treatment
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