What you need to know about Bioidentical Hormone therapy

Many women and men, feel the changes of hormones as early as their mid-thirties.  The most common symptoms are depression, weight gain, poor libido, skin changes and vaginal dryness (in women).  Women, may experience these symptoms even if they are still getting their monthly cycles.

The first step in figuring out whether your symptoms are related to hormone changes is to have hormone levels tested.  I usually recommend checking some basic bloodwork and thyroid levels in addition to estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA levels.  Normal hormone levels do not rule out a hormone problem.  Some people with low-normal hormone levels, my develop symptoms of hormone deficiency.

We check hormone levels with bloodwork or saliva tests.  I often start with bloodwork as that is more likely to be covered by insurance.  If the hormone levels are low, I offer patients several alternatives.

Men can use a medication, called Clomid, to increase their testosterone levels.  Clomid is especially useful in young men because it does not reduce sperm count the way testosterone therapy does.  If men choose to start testosterone therapy, I explain the pros and cons of testosterone injections, creams, patches and pellets.  Men choose which of those are best based on their preference.

In women, I recommend bioidentical hormone replacement therapy when natural therapies do not alieve menopausal symptoms.  Bioidentical hormones differ from standard, synthetic hormones because they are the same molecular structure as the hormones your ovaries make.  Bioidentical hormones, have less side effects and less risk of blood clots and stroke than standard hormones.  Less risk does not mean no risk, and I always discuss these pros and cons with my patients prior to prescribing.

Anne Hermann, MD is a board Internal Medicine physician who trained at Columbia University in New York.  She was first author in the study that demonstrated that the bioidentical progesterone cream is absorbed as well as progesterone pills. Over-the-counter progesterone cream produces significant drug exposure compared to a food and drug administration-approved oral progesterone product.  Hermann AC, Nafziger AN, Victory J, Kulawy R, Rocci ML Jr, Bertino JS Jr.J Clin Pharmacol. 2005 Jun;45(6):614-9.

As a research pioneer on bioidentical hormone therapy, Dr. Hermann has been treating men and women for 12 years in Tampa Bay.  For additional information on hormone therapy, please call the office at 813-902-9559.

 

Read more

What is Fosteum?

Fosteum is a medical food that contains cholecalciferol, genistein, and zinc.  It is used to manage bone loss, primarily in post-menopausal women.  A medical food are foods that are specifically designed with nutrients intended to treat a specific disease that cannot be met by the diet alone.  Genistein is the main active ingredient and is a natural isoflavone derived from soybean. Isoflavones have some estrogen activity and help in reversing bone effects of estrogen loss in Fresh Soy Beanspostmenopausal women. Genistein has been clinically proven to reduce bone resorption and increase bone formation.

Cholecalciferol is Vitamin D3, the natural form of Vitamin D that is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is important for reducing fracture risk and for enhancing the absorption of calcium from the intestines.  Zinc is a naturally occurring mineral and is important for mineralization (hardening and strengthening) of bones. The special combination of these ingredients results in a slowing of the metabolic processes the cause bone loss and ultimately osteoporosis in women. Overtime this improves bone mineral density and reduces the risk of fracture.

Fosteum is not for everyone and should be avoided in individuals with a history of breast or reproductive organ cancer.

At Hermann Wellness we offer Holistic Primary care to our patients. Our offices are located in Tampa and St. Petersburg. Please call the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Read more

Health Benefits of Black Rice

Health Benefits of Black Ricegrains of rice

Carbohydrates in the diet provide a source of energy for our body and are found in food sources such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. Our body uses these foods to provide glucose (the body’s main energy source) to vital organs such the brain. It is important to remember that not all carbohydrates are created equal. The best carbohydrates are those containing a high amount of fiber, which provide the most amount of nutrients and takes longer to break down into glucose. Refined carbohydrates have been processed to remove the beneficial fiber resulting in a rapid spike in blood sugar levels in the blood. Black rice is among one of the healthy carbohydrate options and has been linked to many health benefits. It turns to a beautiful, deep purple color when cooked and has a sticky appearance with a nutty flavor. It is also known as “Forbidden Rice” as historically it was cultivated in small quantities only for the consumption by the Emperor of China.

Scientists at the 240th National Meeting of the America Chemical Society reported that “a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants”.  Black rice is also a rich source of iron.

Considering the different options for rice, it is well known that brown rice is a healthy alternative to white rice. White rice is stripped of bran which is full of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Similar to brown rice, black rice is high in nutrients; however, contains even more antioxidants and protein. Black rice can be used in cold salads and is a great substitute for white rice and noodles.

At Hermann Wellness we offer Holistic Primary care to our patients. Our offices are located in Tampa and St. Petersburg. Please call the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Read more

How Can B Complex Vitamins Help Me?

b vitamin 2B vitamins are a family of water-soluble vitamins that play critical roles in metabolism and biochemistry.  They represent the most common vitamins utilized by the body as cofactors for facilitating enzymatic function.  Our modern refined diet has lead to lower levels of B vitamins.  High levels of stress and many medications may lower B vitamin levels.  These vitamins have therapeutic power when taken together – their various functions are outlined below.

Thiamin (vitamin B1) is needed for energy production, nervous system functioning and heart health.

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) helps the body turn food into energy.  It is also a powerful antioxidant.

Niacin (vitamin B3) aids the body in metabolizing food (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) into energy.  It is also a powerful antioxidant.

Vitamin B6 plays important roles in amino acid metabolism, hemoglobin production, helps modulate blood sugar and aids in efficient functioning of the nervous and immune systems.

Folate is essential in carbon metabolism and deficiency can be associated with neural tube defects, certain cancers and hyperhomocysteinemia.

Vitamin B12 has been found useful in the treatment of asthma, depression and mental wellness.  Vegetarian are particularly susceptible to low B 12, as it is found exclusively in animal products.

Biotin can strengthen nails, lower blood sugar and insulin and support weight loss.  It may also aid in alleviating diabetic neuropathy.

Pantothenic acid (previously known as vitamin B5) helps with immune function, energy generation, and the production of stress hormones.

Hermann Wellness, a holistic internal medicine practice, offers comprehensive vitamin and mineral testing.  Locations are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

 

 

Read more

Can Meditation help reduce blood pressure?

One of the first things that happens when you enter a doctor’s office is your blood pressure is taken. Why is this Inward meditationimportant? Well, blood pressure is the measure of how much blood your heart pumps and the degree of resistance to blood flow that your arteries experience. Blood pressure is expressed in two numbers, for example 120/80. The top number, known as the systolic pressure, reflects the pressure in the arteries when your heart contracts. The bottom number, known as the diastolic pressure, reflects the pressure in the arteries when the heart is relaxed.  A normal blood pressure is considered less than 120/80 and ideal. High blood pressure is important because it is the most common risk factor for cardiovascular disease and affects nearly every 1 in 3 adults.

The causes of elevated blood pressure are many; however, a most significant source is stress. When we experience or even perceive stress, our sympathetic nervous system (our ‘fight or flight’ response) becomes activated. This creates a more rigid tone in our arteries requiring our heart to contract with a greater force, over time leading to elevated blood pressure. Often high blood pressure presents with no symptoms and is commonly known as the “silent killer”. Understanding this becomes vital so we can find ways to manage our stress and the way we respond.

Several studies have shown that meditation can be helpful in reducing blood pressure, in particular Transcendental Meditation.  In Transcendental Meditation, you choose a meaningful mantra, sit quietly with eyes closed, and repeat the mantra silently for about 15-20 minutes twice a day. The idea is to promote a state of relaxed yet concentrated awareness, which allows you to let go of negative thoughts and distractions.

According to the American Heart Association, Transcendental Meditation is the only meditation practice that has been shown to lower blood pressure and should be considered in the treatment plan for individuals with high blood pressure. They further reported the finding that lowering blood pressure using the Transcendental Meditation technique is associated with a significant reduction in the rates of heart attack and stroke.

So, can meditation help reduce blood pressure? The research says yes. Consider spending a few minutes daily developing a practice in transcendental meditation.

At Hermann Wellness we offer Holistic Primary care to our patients. Our offices are located in Tampa and St. Petersburg. Please call the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Read more

Can Yoga Decerase The Risk Of Heart Disease?

yoga on the beach, meditationYoga has long been known to improve overall health.  Recent studies have shown that it may also help cardiovascular health.  The benefits were similar to those of conventional exercise such as brisk walking according to a recent Harvard study.  Study participants noticed improvements in weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.  Thus, individuals with limited mobility may still able to improve their cardiovascular risk profile.

On average, participants in the study were able to cut five points from their blood pressure reading, and 12 points from their LDL (bad cholesterol) reading.  They also lost an average of five pounds.  Researchers also hypothesize that yoga may help with cardiovascular health due to stress reduction and calming of the nervous system.  There also seems to be a correlation with strengthening the immune system.

Currently approximately 16.5 million Americans attend yoga classes.  There are a variety of different types of yoga, but all will improve strength, flexibility, and balance.  Other health benefits include better posture and calming of the mind utilizing certain breathing techniques.

Hermann Wellness is a holistic internal medicine practice located in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  We offer a variety of  patient services including holistic primary care, acupuncture, weight loss and cosmetic services.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

Read more

Belviq For Weightloss

belvicBelviq is a medication indicated to be used as an adjunct to a reduced caloric diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management. It can be utilized by adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg or greater, or adults with a BMI of 27 kg or greater with at least one weight related comorbid condition. These comorbid conditions include hypertension, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

The dosage for Belviq is 1 tablet twice daily and may be taken with or without food. This medication works by decreasing food consumption and promoting satiety (feeling of fullness) by selectively activating receptors in the hypothalamus area of the brain. Unlike other appetite suppressants, Belviq does not cause jitteriness and is safe to use in patients with high blood pressure.

At Hermann Wellness, various weight loss options are available to patients – including nutritional counseling by a board-certified physician nutrition specialist. Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 to schedule an appointment or for more information. Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg , Florida.

Read more

Turmeric: A healing remedy.

If this is the first time you’re becoming acquainted with the spice turmeric, it is a beautifully deep yellow, golden or orange color with a taste that is distinctly warm and bitter. It is the spice that gives curry powder its color. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a powerful medicinal herb and culinary ingredient in both India and China. The main component that gives turmeric its many health benefits is called curcumin. You may have come across this ingredient in natural health food stores or in various supplements.Ground turmeric and rhizomes

Turmeric has numerous health benefits.  One of the most noted benefits is its anti-inflammatory power. Studies show that long-term inflammation is often the cause of many chronic diseases. Furthermore, numerous studies show that turmeric outperforms many pharmaceuticals in its effects against chronic disease and in protecting the body from disease with virtually no side effects.  Turmeric is also a potent antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals in the body that typically damage cells and cause aging. In addition, turmeric has antimicrobial properties that help prevent infection, boost the immune system, and appears to block the division of cancer cells. It has also been shown that turmeric blocks the production of beta-amyloid, the substance that is found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. It is a powerful plant that benefits every system in the body. This is just the beginning of many promising studies that are under way.

The content of curcumin in turmeric is about 3% by weight, which is not a significant amount. Most research uses extracts of curcumin with dosages exceeding 1 gram. Therefore, it would be difficult to attain this level by using turmeric in the diet alone. However, most people can benefit from this spice by using it in everyday meals to help prevent disease and infection. Those interested in supplementation should look for extracts in dosages of 500mg to 1000mg taken one to two times a day or as directed by the product. Turmeric is quickly metabolized by the gut so to enhance the absorption supplements should be contain black pepper. Piperine, a substance in black pepper enhances the absorption and bioavailability of turmeric in the body. Turmeric is best in raw form but is most widely used in the ground form. You can sprinkle on salads, vegetables, nuts, or add a spoon to your smoothies or juices.

 A great way to use turmeric is making turmeric tea, especially during the winter months and for the occasional cough. You simply bring 1 to 2 cups of water to a boil and add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of turmeric according to taste. Let the mixture simmer. Mix well and sip away. You can add fresh grated ginger for additional benefits. Like many herbs, turmeric will begin to lose its potency after about six months, so keep your supply fresh. This is a mere glimpse of the abundance of health benefits turmeric provides.  The next time you enjoy a curry dish think of all the benefits your body is reaping and remember we truly are what we eat.

At Hermann Wellness we offer Holistic Primary care to our patients. Our offices are located in Tampa and St. Petersburg. Please call the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Read more

What Is Craniosacral Therapy?

craniotherapyCraniosacral therapy is a treatment modality based on the concepts of both cerebrospinal fluid flow and skull suture flexibility.  It is also called cranial balancing, cranial osteopathy, and craniopathy.  This therapy was developed in the early 1970’s by chiropractor John Upledger.

Proponents of craniosacral therapy (CST) describe it as a subtle manipulation of the cranial sutures to release deep muscle tension and improve overall health and homeostasis.  With very light manual pressure applied by a trained provider, cerebrospinal fluid that is palpated at the cranial suture lines can be redistributed to re-establish holistic balance.  The core concepts of CST are the inherent motility of the cerebrospinal fluid and the mobility of the cranial bones.

During a session, the CST provider places their fingertips along the cranial sutures and focuses on the subtle pressure variances.  Soft touch is exerted with allows the provider to balance the pulsing and shifting along these areas.  Craniosacral therapy can be utilized for such conditions as anxiety, insomnia, pain, and stress relief  It is often used as an adjunct to other treatment modalities (acupuncture, massage, medications) rather than a first-line treatment.

Hermann Wellness, a holistic internal medicine practice, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Read more

Immune boosting foods

As the cold season ensues, you might find yourself wondering what foods you can consume to naturally boost the immune system. Our immune system is our first line of defense against outside invaders. We rely heavily on the integrity and function of our immune system to prevent us from getting sick with a cold that could land us in bed for several days. It is important then to consider how we can support the optimal functioning of our immune system with foods. In general avoiding unprocessed foods and sugars will help keep your immune system strong. Increasing the number of servings of fresh vegetables and fruits into your diet will increase the number of phytonutrients that are needed to support your immune system. There are however, selected foods when consumed that have been shown to strengthen the immune system.

Fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha contain live probiotics  that help keep the gut lining free from germs. In gingerparticular, the specific strain, Lactobacillus reuteri, has been found to stimulate white blood cells (infection fighting cells) in the body. There are also herbs and spices, such as garlic, ginger, and turmeric that can help ward off infection. Garlic in particular is known to have antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. For optimal benefits garlic should be consumed fresh. Ginger is well known for both its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and has long been used in many traditions to prevent infection. Turmeric best known for its anti-inflammatory and cancer preventing properties is also a natural immune booster. Mushrooms are gaining attention for their immune boosting benefits. Studies have shown mushrooms increase both the number and activity of white blood cell thereby enhancing the immune systems.  Shiitake, maitake, and reishi appear to be the most potent of the mushrooms with the highest antiviral properties and immune boosting benefits. Certain teas are known to help fend off potential invaders, the two best types are matcha and tulsi tea. Matcha is a nutrient rich green tea from Japan that is also a potent antioxidant. Tulsi tea also known as holy basil contains significant antioxidants and is known to support the immune system. Consider incorporating these foods into your diet this winter season to give a natural boost to your immune system.

At Hermann Wellness we offer Holistic Primary care to our patients. Our offices are located in Tampa and St. Petersburg. Please call the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

Read more