Tag Archives: toxins

Aging is Not a Botox Deficiency!

I recently attended an ANTI-aging conference in Denver dedicated to the concept of helping people deny the inevitable through any and every means possible…from perfectly sane approaches like optimal nutrition to less sane so-called cures for growing older, like ‘secretotropins’ meant to magically turn on growth hormone,* or hyperbaric oxygen chambers, and every sort of face fixer and filler in between. Stop the BS (bad science)…I want to get off! This idea of being against getting older is more than ridiculous…I mean it’s not like we have a choice in the matter – aging is inevitable. What is NOT inevitable is looking and feeling old before our time.

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Let the stress and the years fall away….

Hidden hormone imbalances at work behind the scenes can speed up the aging process, sabotaging our best efforts to maintain youthful energy and appearance. Our bodies are teeming with hormones from head to toe, so when they fall out of balance, we feel the effects all over – mentally, physically, emotionally. For example, did you know that there are more receptors for estrogen in facial skin than just about anywhere else on the body? So imbalances of estrogen are likely to show up first on our face in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet. And what about acne when you’re a teen and now again at 40-something you’ve got breakouts… Tested your hormones lately? a surplus of androgens to estrogens and progesterone can trigger acne at any age. asianw:flowerSpeaking of androgens, testosterone and DHEA are the key building hormones for bone and muscle, so when these levels drop from high to low, we start to lose much more than our libido – think bone and muscle mass, firm skin, strength, and stamina. Now we get a backache just carrying a couple of grocery bags from the car to the house. Now our hair is thinning, that outer eyebrow gone, cracking, brittle nails, old looking hands…an under-active thyroid might well be the culprit, but who knew? Then there’s cortisol, the stress hormone that can sabotage sleep by disrupting the production of melatonin at night. Many studies have uncovered the relationship between stress hormones, lack of sleep and weight gain, but the impact of chronically high cortisol from too much stress, too much of the time, is a body burnout that can make us prematurely ill and aged before our time.

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Ageless aging in style… look how good it can look…if you can guess the age of the gorgeous silver-haired woman on the left and her gorgeous red-haired amie on the right…I’ll send you a free John Lee MD book on Hormone Balance Made Simple…just comment here on the blog.

During the years I lived in London I happened upon a book that drew some hilarious comparisons between the ways Brits and Americans think…one that stuck with me was to whit that Americans seem to believe that death is optional “given their penchant for juicing copious amounts of carrots and running endless marathons.” (Well…she was writing in the late 70s, when the average European’s idea of exercise was a Sunday stroll along the promenade or lining up to watch Tour de France bikers pedal by)…sure much has changed…we’ve progressed from carrots to coconut water and Europeans boast fountain of youth luxury spas known to pump fetal cells from the likes of sheep into women’s faces (sidebar alert: my own mother actually had that done …an expense that set her back from experiencing life in its fullness for a short-lived fullness in her face).

However absurd, the death is optional concept has always stuck with me as an irony in practice, particularly in respect to the ANTI-aging movement. Is that what we’re striving for? Frozen in time with a frozen face?? Can we realistically expect to look and feel great for our age if instead of eating, exercising, and sleeping well, we overwork, overeat, overreact, and overdo it most days. All that “crazy busy” stuff – it takes its toll. We can’t expect to hate aging and find happiness in face fillers.

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All the expensive luxury creams and moisturizers in the world (and by the way, many of these contain unregulated amounts of “endocrine disrupting” chemicals that in themselves can trigger imbalance) won’t solve an unaddressed hormone issue that’s undermining your best efforts to maintain youthful well being.
Dare I repeat myself: aging is NOT a Botox deficiency! No amount of lifting, filling or implanting (who wasn’t shocked at the sight of 81-year old Kim Novak’s once gorgeous face at the Oscars, distorted by plastic surgery gone terribly wrong!) can rescue us from unnecessary stress and other bad hormone habits that accelerate aging. Instead of being ANTI-aging, lets be FOR it. When you make the changes in your lifestyle that bring back inner balance, your outer vibrancy is restored, and it’s that reflected vitality that keeps us young, no matter our age. People will exclaim, “Wow you can’t be…40? 50? 60? really??” and you will smile inwardly and say to yourself…yes, really!

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The author and ageless colleague (rt) practicing PRO vs. Anti-aging…can you guess how old we are??? Another free book awaits the one who comes closest.
Scroll down or visit our archives where Kyle and I blog about every aspect of health, hormones and living in balance.
*(how apt that the the first few letters of the word secretotropin, spell ‘secret’* given that few of these costly potions disclose their true ingredients (although in fairness they mean ‘secretory’ but nevertheless… I hope I make my point.)

 

 

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Menopause Awareness Month: Banishing The Seven Dwarves of Menopause

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When it Comes to Natural Hormone Balancing a Compounding Pharmacist is your Friend: How to find the right one

When it comes to balancing your hormones with bioidentical approaches, getting to know a  reliable, compounding pharmacist in your area is an essential first step. Few traditional pharmacists better understand the biochemistry of hormones in the body, or can tailor a prescription to individual need based on hormone test results. And if you have a problem swallowing pills, a skilled compounder can solve that with sublingual troches that taste good while dissolving under the tongue, non-allergenic topical creams that can be applied anywhere on the skin, or vaginal suppositories, nasal sprays, drops, tinctures, you name it! Many of these specially designed delivery systems are so effectively absorbed by the body it takes much less hormone to achieve much greater benefit… the so-called “Goldilocks” approach to dosing hormones appropriately – not too much nor too little, but just right!

Woman reading studying, reading

Looking for safe solutions to hormone balance? It’s important to get all the facts and ask the right questions to find a GOOD compounding pharmacist.

Every since the WHI (Women’s Health Initiative Study) found that synthetic hormones like those used in common HRT combinations, increased risks for stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and breast cancer, compounding pharmacists across the country have become key players in the shift to natural hormones and the Bioidentical Hormone Restoration model, a.k.a. BHRT, where patients, providers, and compounders partner to detect and correct imbalances that diminish health …not to mention energy, mood, memory, strength, libido…I could go on…and on!

As happens every now and then, the bad practices of one pharmacy can cast aspersions upon all. In one such incident last year, a pharmacy in Massachusetts used improper procedures in formulating a sterile medication which led to an outbreak of meningitis and the death of hospital patients injected with the toxin. In light of this tragic event, it seems appropriate to clarify that it is exceedingly rare and to talk about the regulation of pharmacy, and safety measures that GOOD compounders use.

For starters, all compounding pharmacies are subject to government oversight by three different regulatory agencies: 1) the State Board of Pharmacy, which ensures adherence to state laws and good pharmacy 2) the FDA, which regulates the integrity of the drugs and active ingredients compounders purchase; and 3) the DEA, which regulates how compounding businesses buy and dispense controlled substances.

Evidently, the pharmacy in Massachusetts, (the New England Compounding Center)  had previously received warning letters from the FDA, ignored safety guidelines, and, had illegally shipped prescriptions to states in which they were not a licensed pharmacy. Not only was the purity of the chemicals they used questionable given the meningitis outbreak, this particular facility was known as an “outlier” in the compounding world.  According to Natalie Gustafson, RPh., and owner of Pacific Compounds and Lloyd Center pharmacies, in Hillsboro, and Portland, Oregon, “these people were not even closely representative of how most pharmacies operate, which is to put the patient first and to have numerous quality control measures in place to ensure the safety of patients and employees alike.”  Natalie, and her assistant, Pharm-Tech, Cory Dolan, emphasize that to find a compounder you can trust absolutely, it is essential that you talk with them and ask the following key questions:

  • Have you passed inspection by your governing bodies: The State Board of Pharmacy: FDA and the DEA? Have you ever been written up by your State Board?
  • Are you licensed by PCCA (Pharmaceutical Compounding Centers of America)?
  • Do you use only pure USP grade chemicals?
  • Do you run any outside testing of the sterility and potency of your formulations by impartial labs?
  • Do you have safety measures in place like human checks of  all prepared formulas in addition to computer checks?
  • Do you individually label, bar-code, and record the chemicals used in your formulations?
  • Do you have a clean room (with powder hood, etc.) to reduce cross-contamination?
  • Do you use the latest technology your industry has to offer?
  • Do you and your staff regularly obtain continuing education credits and training?

Bottom line: Your compounder is your friend, if and only if, they can answer all the questions above with resounding positives!

How to find a good compounder? Easy. Get to know who has a name in your area. Talk to your provider and find out who she/he recommends, or visit PCCA’s website: www.pcca.com or International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists: www.iacprx.org  for a list of trained compounders  by zipcode. Conversely, if you are looking for a provider (see my July 31, 2012 post: How to Find a Natural-Hormone Friendly Provider) your compounding pharmacist is an excellent resource since they know all the docs in town who know what they’re doing when prescribing bioidenticals. ZRT Laboratory, a top hormone testing lab in the country has a great provider resource directory that includes providers and compounders at www.zrtlab.com

African American woman window shopping

Stop by your local compounding pharmacy…Ask if they have a viewing room where you can check out their “clean room”  and see pharmacy technicians in sterile garb hard at work preparing your personalized prescription.

Once you find someone that sounds good, stop by their pharmacy. Check out their premises, the levels of cleanliness, certificates and registrations of their technicians, available information and resources. A top level facility should ideally have a viewing window where you can observe technicians hard at work under the hood, in the clean room, attired as they should be in the appropriate sterile garb, etc.. A GOOD compounder should offer medical professionals and interested patients tours of their lab and safety procedures. These are the kinds of things to look for so that you can trust your compounder without a shadow of a doubt.

Please chime in to this conversation if you yourself happen to be a compounding pharmacist,  natural friendly hormone provider or concerned health care consumer looking for hormone balance!! Tell us your experience of working with compounders and stay tuned for Kyle’s upcoming blog post from the provider perspective!

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Got Milk? Got synthetic growth hormones in it? …The FDA Label That Tells You Nothing….OR How misleading… Don’t these people realize they are messing with my hormones ??

So I have a simple question:

Is the milk (cheese, yoghurt, etc.) that comes from cows pumped up with synthetic growth hormones, the same as the milk that comes from cows that are not raised with synthetic growth hormones?

If you answered NO of course not,  you would be right, and judging from the According to the FDA… label shown below, you and I evidently know more than they do about the difference between good and bad hormones (see my last blog on the subject www.wordpress.candace.com).Image THIS LABEL TELLS ME NOTHING!  Worse it is misleading. Consumers have a right to know if xenohormones (xeno for foreign, and as in unnatural to the body) are in the product, in what amount, and the known risks to health. Not only that, labels like this should have been banned back in September 2010, when FDA protection was finally challenged and Ohio’s 6th circuit court  found “a significant difference between milk derived from rBST treated and Non-rBST treated cows.” Until that moment, the FDA ruling had never been questioned, not since Monsanto won approval in 1993 to pump cows up with Posilac (aka rBST or rBG both synthetic growth hormones) based on the strength of Monsanto’s own studies and reports (are we surprised?), documenting the safety and effectiveness of the drug. But in International Dairy Foods Association v Boggs, the 6th circuit found that the two milks were in fact different because the milk produced by rBST-treated cows was shown to have:
1)  increased levels of the growth hormone IGF-1
2) lower nutritional quality during each lactation
3) increased somatic cell counts (meaning the milk is of poor quality and will turn sour more quickly.)

 We also know from environmental medicine that synthetic hormones  disturb the delicate hormone balance within each of us to ill effect. In her brilliant book, The Molecules of Emotion, Candace Pert, Ph.D., (neuroscientist/researcher; discoverer of the opiate receptor in the brain) says, “only recently have we gotten the hard proof that the accumulation of these toxins in our bodies chronically stimulates our estrogen and testosterone receptors, putting them into a state of overdrive and leading to cancer. ” (BTW: at least 11 different xenohormones have been identified in the milk of injected cows…). And If that weren’t enough many scientists would tell you that all these environmental toxins are actually making our immune systems less resilient! In plain words, we don’t and/or can’t bounce back as easily and often as we used to….bummer…. not ever going there if I don’t have to….and I won’t have to as long as I am practicing balance in my hormones and thus in my physical, mental and emotional life.

That said, three cheers and more power to those who would bravely challenge the status quo. I’d like to be one of them…how about you? Because when the 6th Circuit struck down the FDA ruling there was more to it than that, more to do with integrity of information and informed choice, critical aspects both when it comes to staying healthy …  at the same time the court also overturned Ohio’s 2008 law prohibiting the labeling of milk from non-rBST treated cows citing it as “unconstitutional under the 1st amendment.”

Think of it. Before Mr. Boggs took the FDA to court, farmers who were raising healthy, hormone-free cows were not allowed to say so, prohibited in all 50 states from telling us, the health conscious consumer, that their milk was safe ….now, after Ohio, it’s legal in ALL 50 states to let folks know that the milk, cheese, or yoghurts we enjoy are free of the toxins that give us cancer….

The label to look for may or may not look exactly like the one in the pic below, but basically you want it to read: “RBST-free”,  “No r-BST”, “Our cows are raised without synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics,”  or words to that effect.

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And while we’re on the subject, write your congresswoman/man to insist on certified “hormone-free” labeling of food sources raised without synthetic hormones, antibiotics, or var. xeno hormones  such as herbicides, pesticides, PCBs, thalates, etc. that are toxic to the body and increase health risks for cancer and other diseases.

Please leave a comment to share that ONE GREAT THING that YOU do everyday to be aware of the toxins in our environment that are messing with our hormones and making us estrogen dominant….tell us how you minimize your exposure and bring that estrogen burden down.  I’ll go first…

I never eat any foods that have been shot up with synthetic hormones, THAT I KNOW OF>I sleep with the door open every night of my life, no matter how cold. I take DIM and/or eat a lot of brussells sprouts (see the cruciferous connection last blog in this series)!! Still enjoying the great recipes many of you sent last blog….but have not heard from anyone out there yet who can make cauliflower taste good…and I balance my hormones with bioidenticals based on hormone test results.

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