Seed Rotation for Hormone Balance

wellnessDid you know there are foods that have the power to boost your body’s own production of hormones? It may be surprising, but there are certain seeds that contain high amounts of lignans, vitamins, and minerals that help support hormone production and release. These seeds are flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds. Integrating these seeds at different times during the cycle is known as seed rotation and helps to support optimal hormone balance.

To understand the potential power of seed rotation, it is important to be familiar with the basics of the female menstrual cycle. Continue reading “Seed Rotation for Hormone Balance” »

4 Signs You Need Testosterone Therapy

man with doctorWe have all heard of the “Big T” testosterone, the hormone found mainly in men that is responsible for the sex drive. But fewer people realize that testosterone impacts far more than a healthy libido; it also plays a role in other vital bodily functions. More men than ever are becoming concerned about low testosterone levels. If you’re a candidate, testosterone therapy is a realistic option to regain your natural health.

Testosterone therapy occurs with injections, a patch, or gel. Treatment leads to regained energy, normalized libido, and much more. It’s a simple and painless solution that proves it’s not quite time to give into the aging process. Continue reading “4 Signs You Need Testosterone Therapy” »

Is Hormone Pellet Therapy Right for YOU? If so, it is NOW available at Hermann Wellness

There are many different ways to administer hormones including pills, creams, injections, patches and pellet therapy. We at Hermann Wellness believe pellet therapy is a great and more stable way to deliver bioidentical hormones. The pellets are tiny, about the size of a grain of rice, and after numbing a small area with local anesthetic, are inserted them under the skin of the lateral buttocks. The procedure is a quick in-office treatment that is less painful than having your blood drawn. For women, we usually use pellets that have either estradiol and/or testosterone. Women are sometimes surprised that they might need testosterone in addition to estradiol but most perimenopausal and post-menopausal women indeed need both testosterone and estrogen to regulate their hormonal imbalance and symptoms. In men, we use testosterone only.

Many studies have shown that pellet therapy is a superior method of delivering bioidentical hormones. Pellets secrete a small amount of hormones throughout the day, providing a more consistent level of hormones in the body. No other delivery method is as effective or can maintain the consistent blood levels of estrogen and testosterone. This distinguishes pellet therapy from other forms of hormone delivery such as pills, patches, creams, gels, sublingual tablets and injections, that have peaks and valleys. This can cause unwanted side effects and/or be less effective in managing symptoms. The other added benefit of bioidentical hormone pellets is when the body requires more hormones due to mental or physical stress. They are hassle- free and convenient form of bioidentical hormone replacement that eliminates concerns and risks of forgetting to take your pills or applying your patch or rubbing on your cream.

Bioidentical hormone pellets are synthesized from natural source soybeans. The pellets are either pure estradiol or pure testosterone and dissolve completely over a 3-6 month period.

Pellet therapy is used to combat the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause such as mood swings, memory loss, foggy thinking, irregular periods, menstrual headaches, fatigue, psychological complaints, vaginal dryness, decreased sex drive, bloating, hot flashes, night sweats, problems sleeping, loss of muscle and bone mass and collagen loss and other skin related issues. Women using bioidentical pellet therapy feel more youthful and rejuvenated. For men, it can make them feel 10 to 20 years younger by improving their energy level, increasing sex drive, improving moods, elevating cognitive function and memory, help with sleep, aiding in increasing muscle mass as well as decreasing joint pain, minimize sweating and help decrease excessive abdominal fat.

The pellet insertion procedure itself takes less than 10 minutes. We numb the area with a local anesthetic, then a tiny incision is made and the pellets are inserted with a small insertion device. After the pellets are inserted, a small piece of tape is placed to close the incision; no stitches are needed.

Many women have tried various kinds of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and have simply been dissatisfied with the way they have felt. As men age, they can become more easily irritable, tired and less active because of decreased testosterone. Now, both men and women can do something about the negative effects of hormone imbalance by using bioidentical pellet therapy to make them feel younger and enjoy life to its fullest. Make an appointment with either Robin McClain ARNP-C or Dr. Hermann, at Hermann Wellness in Tampa or St. Pete by calling: 813-902-9559.

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.


The use of Clomid in treating low testosterone.

testosterone word in letterpress

Generally, when low testosterone is diagnosed, testosterone replacement therapy is prescribed. It commonly comes in the form of cream, gel, pellet, patch, and injection. While these therapies are effective, there are known side-effects such as testicular shrinkage, prostate enlargement, breast enlargement, low sperm count/sterility, and overproduction of red blood cells. Given the side effect of sterility, testosterone replacement is not the ideal option for men who want to have children. I feel a better option to consider is the use of clomiphene citrate (Clomid).                                                            

Clomiphene citrate is a prescription medication originally used to treat infertility in women. It works by stimulating an increase in the amount of hormones (FSH and LH) that support the growth and release of a mature egg (ovulation). These are the same hormones that increase testosterone, sperm production, and fertility in men.

In a healthy male the pituitary releases LH, the hormone which signals the testes to produce testosterone. After testosterone is produced, some of it is converted to estrogen. Estrogen then signals the pituitary to stop making LH. This is known as a feedback mechanism, where the body communicates with the brain when there is a need for hormone production. With traditional testosterone replacement, the brain gets the message that there is plenty of testosterone being made in the testes. The pituitary stops producing LH and subsequently the natural production of testosterone stops, which leads to the common side effects of testicular shrinkage, low sperm count, and infertility.

Clomiphene citrate on the other hand does not turn off the production of testosterone, it rather stimulates the body’s natural production of it by increasing LH, the hormone responsible for testosterone production. It comes in a pill form and is safe to use with minimal side effects. Some men may require continuous use of clomiphene citrate while others may need it only for 3-6months.

At Hermann Wellness, we offer our patients Clomid therapy for low testosterone. Please call the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Is Prometrium A Bio-Identical Hormone?

prometriumPrometrium is progesterone replacement that is synthesized from plant source material and is chemically identical to progesterone made in the human ovary. Thus, it is considered to be bio-identical. Bio- identical hormones can be used and metabolized as our body was designed to do, thus potentially minimizing side effects. Prometrium tablets can be prescribed alone, or as part of a bio-identical hormone treatment regimen in combination with other hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and DHEA.

Decreased levels of the hormone progesterone can cause insomnia, brain fog, irritability, and menstrual irregularities. Progesterone is also prescribed to counteract “estrogen dominance” and to minimize the risk of endometrial cancer in women who are receiving estrogen hormone replacement.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Dr. Hermann prescribes bio-identical hormones to her patients for a variety of reasons. Please call the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Could I Be At Risk For Low Testosterone?

Male individuals at greatest risk for developing low testosterone include those that are obese, diabetic, elderly or suffer from chronic pain.  Testosterone replacement therapy can restore testosterone to normal levels.  Normalized testosterone levels  provide many positive health effects including:  improved libido, energy level and quality of life, increased muscle mass and decreased risk for osteoporosis.  Testosterone replacement therapy is available in many different forms and routes of administration.  You and physician will determine together the right formulation to optimize your health.

Dr.  Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, offers testosterone replacement therapy to her patients.  Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.




Isoflavones For Menopausal Symptom Relief

Isoflavones are water-soluble chemicals found in plants that act as phytoestrogens – they exert effects on the body similar to estrogens.  Some isoflavones can help with menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and insomnia.  However, use of isoflavones should always be done under the direction of a physician as their use may be more harmful than beneficial in some patients.  This is especially true of women who have had breast cancer.

The most investigated isoflavones are genistein and daidzein, these are found in the soy products and the herb red clover.  These isoflavones may not only relieve menopausal symptoms, but have also been shown to improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, offers comprehensive assessment and treatment for menopausal symptoms.  Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

What Are Phytoestrogens?

Phytoestrogens are plant based substances that have estrogen-like properties.  They are often used in holistic treatment for menopause to reduce symptoms such as hot flashes.  Phytoestrogens exert their action by attaching to an estrogen receptor site, thus they mimic the effects of the missing estrogen.

Phytoestrogens are commonly found in soybeans, flaxseed, alfalfa, hops, thyme and whole grains.  Isoflavones and lignans are the 2 types of phytoestrogens found in these foods.  Observational studies have identified decreased risks of breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate cancers.  However, these effects have not been replicated in placebo controlled studies.  Further information on isoflavones can be found in a supplemental blog.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.   Comprehensive hormone testing and menopausal treatment is offered in the office.  Please call the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.




Low Testosterone

Low testosterone, or “low T” occurs when the testicles do not produce enough testosterone.  It is also referred to as hypogonadism.  Signs and symptoms of  low testosterone include:  fatigue, lack of energy, loss of muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, low libido and a decrease in beard and body hair growth.   Laboratory blood tests are used to make the diagnosis of hypogonadism.  If your levels are found to be low, you and your physician will determine the best course of treatment.  Testosterone can be replaced in numerous ways including via: gel, cream, injections or a patch.

Replacement therapy can also be achieved with the use of bio-identical hormones that are compounded in a pharmacy, or with pellets that are placed under the skin.

Dr. Anne Hermann offers testing and replacement therapy for low testosterone to her patients.  Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please call the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.