Topical Hormones: Convenience at the Cost of Safety

Topical hormone treatments are seductive. They’re seductive because they are simple. But, in this case, something that is seductive and simple is far from safe. But man doctors still prescribe topical hormone treatments. And, hey, we get it… What’s simpler than rubbing a cream on your skin? Well, few things are as simple as that, but that simplicity comes at a cost you may not have considered.

The fact is: topical hormones can be easily transferred from the user to her clothing, pets, friends and family — basically anything and anyone you touch. One study showed the effects of a woman’s topical hormone use on her family. Within two weeks of using topical hormone therapy, one woman’s spouse and children had increased estrogen levels due to her transferring it. Regarding transferring topical hormones to a spouse: topical hormones can cause enlarged prostates and male pattern baldness in men.

At Protea we do not prescribe topical hormone treatments. If you are currently using topical hormones, or are considering it, please contact us and learn how we can help you. We will sit down with you, evaluate you and your needs, and discuss the many other options to manage your hormone health.

Bioidentical Hormones: An Alternative to Synthetics

In this month’s newsletter we said, “At Protea we believe your health comes before our bottom line.” That statement couldn’t be more true. That statement is the seed idea behind certain big choices we make. E.g., we don’t treat people with synthetic hormones, instead, we use bioidentical hormones.

Bioidentical hormones are identical in molecular structure to the hormones women make in their bodies. Technically speaking, the body can’t tell the difference between bioidentical hormones from the ones produced by a woman’s ovaries. Meanwhile, synthetic hormones have a different molecular structure than what is produced in the body. Bioidentical hormones are synthesized, from a plant chemical extracted from yams and soy.

The main reason we don’t use synthetic hormones is they can cause cancer in patients. Specifically, synthetic progesterone can lead to breast cancer in patients. Meanwhile, natural progesterone cannot cause breast cancer. In fact, it kills cells that cause breast cancer. Another key factor we look at is that synthetic hormones can be patented — this is a hallmark of something that is created. Bioidentical hormones, however, cannot be patented because they occur naturally. And “natural” is what we’re about at Protea.

Hormone therapy is not something to trifle with. We want to make sure our patients receive the best and safest treatment possible. This is why we are a natural medical practice. We are dedicated to advancing your health safely and naturally.

Contact us to learn more about bioidentical hormones and how we can help you.

The Road to the Cupboard

“I do really well in the morning and throughout the afternoon, but during the evenings it is really hard to stay on point.”

When it comes to your eating habits, does this sound familiar?

It sure did to me during a recent nutrition consult. With elevated glucose levels and liver enzymes, this patient’s labwork pointed to a diet too high in refined carbs. Yet her weight was healthy, her body fat percentage at 27.1, just within the normal range of 18 – 28 for women.

When I asked about her vegetables, she stopped and smiled.

“We don’t do a lot of veggies in my house.” With two little kids and both parents working full time, she struggled with meal prepping and incorporating veggies into their days.

I see many patient with these similar concerns. When we leave the house early and rush around all day, healthy eating can be a challenge. For some of us, we take the time to make something substantial like eggs and avocado for breakfast, eat a salad at lunch and munch on nuts during the day. But when we get home? All bets are off.

When evening kicks in, so does the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). Our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) does a fine job during the day to keep us active and efficient. It elevates adrenals to help us make quick decisions, get kids from school, stay on task at work, etc. When we return home, our systems begin to shift.

The rest and restore part of our days biologically begins around sunset, even though our minds don’t always cooperate. The PNS plays a crucial role in helping us unwind, calm down, and destress so our brains, cells, nutrients and more can go to work to keep our bodies healthy as we sleep.

But we keep moving. We may go out to run a last minute errand, help with homework, catch up on housework. When we finally sit down, the daily tasks done, our brains are still buzzing though our bodies are craving quiet.

We sit down to watch TV at 8 pm. Sometimes we may not even be hungry, or are still digesting dinner. Right away, our brains say “you need something to snack on.”

Has this happened to you? Have you found yourself in front of the cupboard during a commercial, searching for something sweet or salty to much on?

Sometimes, we skip dinner and find ourselves ravenous during this crucial time of the day. In either scenario, we face an uphill battle with temptations lining the shelves.

Part of shifting a pattern begins with recognizing it. All of us are confronted with cravings; we are biologically hard-wired with rewards sensors. We crave comfort and pleasure in our food, especially if we live with high stress.

Don’t beat yourself up about these evening “bad choices” or cupboard searches. They’re part of being human, of making good choices all day and wanting a break from overthinking when we slow down. We want to graze, munch, wind down, socialize over snacks.

Strategies in combating evening munchies differ. I’ve heard some patients say they brush their teeth and go to bed early rather than feel tempted; others will replace the craving with something smarter. Some will allow a small serving only of a familiar treat, or go for a walk instead of feeling deprived.

LaCroix or Perrier soda waters can satisfy a beverage craving, with their fizzy consistency and slightly sweet flavor. Flavored nuts can be a great salty and crunchy choice, as can a small tangerine or apple to replace a cookie fix.

You can try eating before you feel yourself get hungry. Grab an apple or orange ahead of the brain sending a craving signal to your belly, or before your belly tells your brain it needs food. Our brains love the fast track to Crave Town.

Mary’s Gone Crackers or more nutrient dense crackers will always trump potato chips. If you’re on a high fat low carb diet, go for celery or cucumber slices with a favorite dip. With this option, you get taste, crunch and sound if you are a texture eater.

Roasted veggies can be delicious as a snack. So can veggies sautéed in oil and topped with roasted pine nuts or almonds. It may seem sacrilegious to view a vegetable as a treat, but try them. As you learn to prepare veggies with different flavor and texture, your body will start to crave them.

Find Keto-friendly dessert ideas online – there are dozens of websites. Plan ahead, making baggies for the week so you grab a small portion instead of a whole bag.

Whatever strategy that works for you, follow it. Instead of depriving or punishing yourself, embrace the following:

1. You are human. You are hardwired to want comfort food and tasty snacks.
2. You are deconstructing an old pattern and creating a new one.
3. You every day are understanding your own body better and how to read its signals
4. As you learn what foods work best for your unique metabolism, you are better equipped to make good choices when it comes to snacks.
5. You will make a “mistake” and indulge in that craving every once in a while, whether it be pretzels or red vines in your kids’ “treat” jar.
6. You will get back on track.
7. Your body is smart, and so are you.

We would love to hear your best strategies for making optimal snack choices. We can encourage each other to replace instead of repress cravings, and together create an environment of success. Instead of dieting, we want to implement “life eating” to empower you.

And that is the best feeling of all, something to relish and enjoy. Maybe – just maybe – you will start to crave it more than that rogue sleeve of Thin Mints.