Over the years my passion has grown from helping patients look better to also helping them feel better. It started with patients who became ill from their breast implants and evolved in later years to patients who were interested in quicker recovery and longevity of surgical results. Then an interesting phenomenon occurred when more and more baby boomers began asking for advice on how to improve longevity and quality of life after 50. Without revealing my age, I took these inquiries quite seriously and diligently began reading medical journals, medical articles and researching hundreds of medical studies. In addition to recommending healthy food choices and good nutrition, the right kind of exercise, high quality vitamins and supplements, through my research I discovered the tremendous health benefits of natural hormone replacement.
I was fascinated that nothing in any of the medical literature revealed that bio-identical hormones were detrimental in any way. In fact, I really began to understand why the natural decline in our hormone levels is a significant contributor to degenerative diseases and age-related decline in physical and mental function in both men and women. In other words, when we lose our hormones, the aging process is accelerated. The hormones work together in synergy like a symphony. Balancing and optimizing all of the hormones; estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and thyroid – to levels we had in our mid twenties is very beneficial to both our health, quality of life and longevity.
I decided to become certified in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) and sought the most experienced person in this field, Dr. Neal Rouzier. I first read his book, How To Achieve Healthy Aging, and then went to meet him in Palm Springs, California. I began his program and noticed a significant difference within a short period of time. My energy level increased, my hair stopped falling out, my skin regained its natural moisture and suppleness, and stubborn pockets of fat disappeared. Most importantly, I experienced a renewed vitality and sense of well-being. I knew this was something special that I needed to offer my patients, so I began my journey to become certified in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy with Dr. Rouzier.
This is truly preventive medicine and unfortunately, the numerous benefits of hormone replacement therapy are not fully appreciated and accepted by most physicians. This is difficult for many patients to understand. Much of the misconception in the medical community today stems from the Women’s Health Initiative Study where more than 160,000 postmenopausal women were studied while taking synthetic estrogen/progestin (Premarin/Provera/PremPro). This was the largest study of its kind and was stopped in 2002 after finding an increased risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes and dementia when taking these synthetic – not bio-identical – hormones. As the media hyped up the findings and portrayed all hormones as being dangerous, panic spread and doctors began telling their patients to stop taking hormones.
Another problem that exists is that bio-identical hormones cannot be patented because they are natural, not synthetic. Therefore, they do not generate revenue the way synthetic hormones do. As a result, they are not produced nor promoted by pharmaceutical companies to physicians. Instead, synthetic hormones which have patents, are promoted to doctors who still recommend them to women who are desperate for relief from menopausal symptoms on a short term basis.
Overall, this is a very exciting and rewarding aspect of my practice today. I really enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that I am making a profound difference in someone’s life as they age. In spite of resistance from some of my colleagues, I will continue to support what the medical literature upholds, that the use of bio-identical hormones after menopause (women) and andropause (men) slows the degenerative aging process, boosts the immune system, protects from diseases, and enhances quality of life.