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By 7049805011 11 Jul, 2017

Menopause: A Balancing Act

Eventually, in every women's life, she will reach the dreaded menopause stage. The intensity and symptoms of menopause will vary from woman to woman. However, all women will experience one or more of the following: fatigue, mood swing, weight gain, sleep disturbances, foggy thinking, hair loss, mustache, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, and the inconvenient hot flashes, but women have choices in reducing these uncomfortable symptoms.

The decrease in hormone production starts around the mid 30's and slowly grinds to a halt in the 50's or 60's. Other factors contributing to hormonal imbalance include diet, stress and lack of sleep. At  my office, in Griffin, Georgia, two questions that are frequently asked are " I am having menopausal symptoms, but my hormone blood tests are normal, what should I do?", and "what are my options for menopause symptoms relief?". I am sure these two questions are frequently asked by women all over the country.

At Georgia Wellness Solutions, my home office, I use saliva testing to measure hormone levels; and I use bioidentical hormones to help my patients with their menopausal symptoms. In women, there are 5 major hormones: estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3), progesterone and testosterone; and 3 minor hormones DHEA, cortisol and melatonin. Each of these hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day, and a single blood test is not able to measure the total amount of these hormones. Also, the usual blood tests for menopause measure follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which are not sensitive to early changes in decreasing hormone levels. Saliva test measures all of the hormone levels throughout the day, which gives a more complete picture, even in the early stage of menopause. Another advantage of saliva test is that the results reflect the amount of hormones inside the organ and the cell where hormones actually work.

Based on the saliva test result, the task of rebalancing the hormones is individualized with bioidentical hormones. Synthetic hormones or animal based hormones are not native to the human body. Meanwhile, bioidentical hormones, derived from plants, have the same chemical structures as those produced by our own bodies. The fixed standard doses of synthetic or animal hormones cannot account for the variability of each woman in different stages of menopause. Estriol (E2), estriol (E3), progesterone and testosterone can be compounded in cream or gel form. Progesterone can also be compounded in pill or troche. These different variations in compounded bioidentical hormones can be adjusted to each woman depending on her stage and her symptoms.

"Hey doc, what about cancer risk and heart disease?" The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, completed in 2005, was a 15 year long process with about 161,000 women. The results gave the world many of the answers. Most important fact about this study is the hormones that were used: conjugated estrogen alone or combination of conjugated estrogen (CE) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA). Both are synthetic and/or animal hormones. The WHI includes the study of women without uterus taking CE alone vs. placebo, and the study of women with uterus taking combination of CE and MPA vs. placebo. The results for women without a uterus using CE alone showed increased risk for heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, and blood clots; lower risk for colorectal cancer and fewer fractures. The results for women with a uterus using combination of CE and MPA showed increased risk for stroke and blood clots; no difference in risk for heart attack and colorectal cancer, uncertain effect for breast cancer and reduced risk for fracture.

Keep in mind that for every eight women in the U.S. who live to the age of 85, one will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Even though bioidentical hormones are natural to the body, women still have an inherent risk for breast cancer regardless. The art of practicing medicine, in this case, is to balance the bioidentical hormones to the symptomatic relief of menopause.

For more information contact:

John Vu, MD FAAFP

Georgia Wellness Solutions

678-326-9934

www.vudomedicine.com


By 7049805011 27 Jun, 2017

Congratulations, you finally hit your 40's. Now is a good time to talk about anti-aging. No, I am not talking about turning you back to your teen age years or your 20's. I am talking about aging gracefully with nutrition.

Two main topics that I want to emphasize are about nutrition: sugar/processed carbohydrates and antioxidant. Recently, in the health community, there is plenty of buzz surrounding these two, but not a lot of explanation. I will attempt to clarify them along with making a few recommendations.

Sugar, such as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, and processed carbohydrates, such as white flour made from refined wheat, increase inflammation, abdominal fat and irritate the lining of your gut. Inflammation inside your body leads to joint pain, increased risks for heart disease and for cancer. Abdominal fat leads to abnormal hormonal balance, an increased risk for diabetes and it is a good predictor for heart disease. When the lining of your gut is irritated, it cannot selectively absorb nutrients through the proper channel. Due to the inflammation, the lining becomes more porous and food particles plus other toxins and wastes would leak into the blood stream. This results in a "leaky gut" which includes multiple food sensitivities and allergies, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. I strongly recommend that you remove sugar and processed carbohydrates from your diet, but if an occasion arises, then be sparing about your intake.

The oxidative process and free radical formation are normal by products of your body's day to day activities such as exercise or converting food to energy. However, your body is also exposed to environmental sources of free radical such as sunlight, air pollution and cigarette smoke. In small amount, free radicals help to maintain your immune system. In excess, free radicals damage DNA, which can lead to cancer, and cause oxidative stress, which leads to age related eye disease, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and many more. Relating to beauty, free radicals damage your skin collagen, lipid, hyaluronic acid and elastin fibers, leading to wrinkles, dry, thin and dull skin.

Antioxidants neutralize the deleterious effects of excess free radicals. Because fresh fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, the current recommendation is to eat 8-10 servings per day. Eat the color of the rainbow in fresh fruits and vegetables. A serving is about the size of your fist. There are so many different ways to prepare your fruits and vegetables to reach your daily goals ranging from smoothies to salads.

You are not a vegan or a vegetarian? Me neither. Like most people, I usually consume about 2-4 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. However, I do take excellent complete nutritional supplements that my body can absorb which helps increase my antioxidant level, and I do strongly recommend. This leads to a question that most of my patient ask - which vitamins or supplements should I take? My answer - take the ones that will raise your antioxidant level and stay within your budget. In my office, we use a scanner that was developed by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to measure the antioxidant level. The test is quick (less than a minute), affordable, painless (no needle or blood require), and produces an immediate result. This is how I know if your vitamin or supplement is working for you. I do recommend to all my patients to have their antioxidant level measure as part of their annual exam and at their quarterly visits.

Let me know your thoughts on anti-aging, I would love to hear from you.

Dr. John Vu 

www.vudomedicine.com


By 7049805011 11 Jul, 2017

Menopause: A Balancing Act

Eventually, in every women's life, she will reach the dreaded menopause stage. The intensity and symptoms of menopause will vary from woman to woman. However, all women will experience one or more of the following: fatigue, mood swing, weight gain, sleep disturbances, foggy thinking, hair loss, mustache, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, and the inconvenient hot flashes, but women have choices in reducing these uncomfortable symptoms.

The decrease in hormone production starts around the mid 30's and slowly grinds to a halt in the 50's or 60's. Other factors contributing to hormonal imbalance include diet, stress and lack of sleep. At  my office, in Griffin, Georgia, two questions that are frequently asked are " I am having menopausal symptoms, but my hormone blood tests are normal, what should I do?", and "what are my options for menopause symptoms relief?". I am sure these two questions are frequently asked by women all over the country.

At Georgia Wellness Solutions, my home office, I use saliva testing to measure hormone levels; and I use bioidentical hormones to help my patients with their menopausal symptoms. In women, there are 5 major hormones: estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3), progesterone and testosterone; and 3 minor hormones DHEA, cortisol and melatonin. Each of these hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day, and a single blood test is not able to measure the total amount of these hormones. Also, the usual blood tests for menopause measure follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which are not sensitive to early changes in decreasing hormone levels. Saliva test measures all of the hormone levels throughout the day, which gives a more complete picture, even in the early stage of menopause. Another advantage of saliva test is that the results reflect the amount of hormones inside the organ and the cell where hormones actually work.

Based on the saliva test result, the task of rebalancing the hormones is individualized with bioidentical hormones. Synthetic hormones or animal based hormones are not native to the human body. Meanwhile, bioidentical hormones, derived from plants, have the same chemical structures as those produced by our own bodies. The fixed standard doses of synthetic or animal hormones cannot account for the variability of each woman in different stages of menopause. Estriol (E2), estriol (E3), progesterone and testosterone can be compounded in cream or gel form. Progesterone can also be compounded in pill or troche. These different variations in compounded bioidentical hormones can be adjusted to each woman depending on her stage and her symptoms.

"Hey doc, what about cancer risk and heart disease?" The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, completed in 2005, was a 15 year long process with about 161,000 women. The results gave the world many of the answers. Most important fact about this study is the hormones that were used: conjugated estrogen alone or combination of conjugated estrogen (CE) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA). Both are synthetic and/or animal hormones. The WHI includes the study of women without uterus taking CE alone vs. placebo, and the study of women with uterus taking combination of CE and MPA vs. placebo. The results for women without a uterus using CE alone showed increased risk for heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, and blood clots; lower risk for colorectal cancer and fewer fractures. The results for women with a uterus using combination of CE and MPA showed increased risk for stroke and blood clots; no difference in risk for heart attack and colorectal cancer, uncertain effect for breast cancer and reduced risk for fracture.

Keep in mind that for every eight women in the U.S. who live to the age of 85, one will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Even though bioidentical hormones are natural to the body, women still have an inherent risk for breast cancer regardless. The art of practicing medicine, in this case, is to balance the bioidentical hormones to the symptomatic relief of menopause.

For more information contact:

John Vu, MD FAAFP

Georgia Wellness Solutions

678-326-9934

www.vudomedicine.com


By 7049805011 27 Jun, 2017

Congratulations, you finally hit your 40's. Now is a good time to talk about anti-aging. No, I am not talking about turning you back to your teen age years or your 20's. I am talking about aging gracefully with nutrition.

Two main topics that I want to emphasize are about nutrition: sugar/processed carbohydrates and antioxidant. Recently, in the health community, there is plenty of buzz surrounding these two, but not a lot of explanation. I will attempt to clarify them along with making a few recommendations.

Sugar, such as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, and processed carbohydrates, such as white flour made from refined wheat, increase inflammation, abdominal fat and irritate the lining of your gut. Inflammation inside your body leads to joint pain, increased risks for heart disease and for cancer. Abdominal fat leads to abnormal hormonal balance, an increased risk for diabetes and it is a good predictor for heart disease. When the lining of your gut is irritated, it cannot selectively absorb nutrients through the proper channel. Due to the inflammation, the lining becomes more porous and food particles plus other toxins and wastes would leak into the blood stream. This results in a "leaky gut" which includes multiple food sensitivities and allergies, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. I strongly recommend that you remove sugar and processed carbohydrates from your diet, but if an occasion arises, then be sparing about your intake.

The oxidative process and free radical formation are normal by products of your body's day to day activities such as exercise or converting food to energy. However, your body is also exposed to environmental sources of free radical such as sunlight, air pollution and cigarette smoke. In small amount, free radicals help to maintain your immune system. In excess, free radicals damage DNA, which can lead to cancer, and cause oxidative stress, which leads to age related eye disease, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and many more. Relating to beauty, free radicals damage your skin collagen, lipid, hyaluronic acid and elastin fibers, leading to wrinkles, dry, thin and dull skin.

Antioxidants neutralize the deleterious effects of excess free radicals. Because fresh fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, the current recommendation is to eat 8-10 servings per day. Eat the color of the rainbow in fresh fruits and vegetables. A serving is about the size of your fist. There are so many different ways to prepare your fruits and vegetables to reach your daily goals ranging from smoothies to salads.

You are not a vegan or a vegetarian? Me neither. Like most people, I usually consume about 2-4 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. However, I do take excellent complete nutritional supplements that my body can absorb which helps increase my antioxidant level, and I do strongly recommend. This leads to a question that most of my patient ask - which vitamins or supplements should I take? My answer - take the ones that will raise your antioxidant level and stay within your budget. In my office, we use a scanner that was developed by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to measure the antioxidant level. The test is quick (less than a minute), affordable, painless (no needle or blood require), and produces an immediate result. This is how I know if your vitamin or supplement is working for you. I do recommend to all my patients to have their antioxidant level measure as part of their annual exam and at their quarterly visits.

Let me know your thoughts on anti-aging, I would love to hear from you.

Dr. John Vu 

www.vudomedicine.com


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