Dr. Wright's Hormone Harmony Blog

Dr. Wright's Hormone Harmony Blog

Viagra or Hormones???

by Dr. Shauna Wright on 11/24/13

Just throw away that blue pill! That's right - you really don't need it! Although the major pharmaceutical companies would like you to think that erectile dysfunction (ED) can only be cured with their prescription drugs, natural hormone replacement therapy and testosterone therapy, in particular, provide a more natural solution.

Testosterone levels in men slowly decline at an early age of 40. Some men are lucky in that they naturally produce their own testosterone with regular exercise, specifically burst interval training. But levels may still not be optimal and there may be persistent low grade symptoms such as low energy, depressed mood, poor memory, mental fog, difficulty losing that belly fat/ expanded waistline (due to an increase in estrogen and decreased metabolism), not seeing good muscle definition and / or recovery after your workout. Some men say " I've lost my zest for life"... So it's not just about ED and low libido.

This time of a mans life is called andropause, the male version of menopause, that can span for 20 plus years. Precursors to heart disease, may also be a result of andropause. Since your sex hormones are produced from cholesterol, the imbalance of these hormones also triggers elevated cholesterol by a negative feedback mechanism.

In a study of approx. 800 men over 50, participating in a 18 year study, results indicated patients with low levels of testosterone had a 33% increased risk of death over those with higher levels. A study from UC San Diego, noted that patients with low testosterone were 3x more likely to have risk factors associated with diabetes and heart disease.

Recently (nov. 2013) the news (JAMA) has reported the opposite regarding heart disease, showing an increase in stroke and heart attacks. Yet the study was only an observational study that was retrospective in nature, and this type of study is fraught with compounding biases that are difficult to control, as was discussed in the discussion section of the study.

In addition, the problem with an observation study is that it does not prove causation as would an interventional study in a double blinded fashion. The researchers stated that more studies are needed to make definitive conclusions regarding cause and effect.

In the end, treatment decisions should not be based on one study, but on a trend of studies.

Andropause can also deplete your immune system leaving you more vulnerable to minor and major illnesses and loss of bone and muscle mass. Do you wonder why you don't see results in the mirror, even though you may be going to the gym regularly?

The popularity of Viagra is a clear indication of how many men are headed for trouble. Yet men continue to ignore the real problem, low T levels. Bioavailable testosterone levels and ED should be taken very seriously. Viagra is not always the answer.

It is very important to see a physician who is familiar with how to check blood levels appropriately. It's not just a simple testosterone test. Looking at other blood markers that are influenced by testosterone replacement is very important. For instance, testosterone has the potential to convert to estrogen and DHT, a hormone that is associated with hair loss and enlarged prostrate. Patient education is very important prior to starting testosterone replacement... as is implementing dietary and exercise changes, supplementation, and stress reduction.

Men need to do the appropriate level of due-diligence when seeking the care of a qualified professional in this area of medicine in particular, as we continue to see the proliferation of franchise-based "Low-T centers" popping up in every major city, like a "Doc-in-the-box" fashion. Many of these popular centers fail to take a holistic approach to understanding each patients unique physiological needs. Use good judgement in making major medical decisions that will potentially help you feel your best the rest of your life.

It is important to find a physician such as Dr. Shauna Wright, or medical practices such as BioHarmony Medical which can provide a more holistic approach to your specific medical needs.

For more information how Dr Wright can help you with your personalized treatment approach related to Low Testosterone, hormone imbalance, Thyroid and weight loss issues... please contact BioHarmony Medical or call Dr. Wright directly at 303-991-1250.


Your Optimal Thyroid

by Dr. Shauna Wright on 11/24/13

How many times have you heard this, "Your thyroid levels are in the range, just cut back on your calories and exercise more"?

I hear this from my patients multiple times per day... "my doctor said my thyroid is normal, but I know it isn't!"

Are you suffering from fatigue, difficulty losing weight, brain fog, aches in your muscles and joints, hair loss, constipation or feeling cold?

Sound like Hypothyroid? It most likely is!! Even if you only have one of those symptoms, you may not have an optimally healthy thyroid gland.

It is important that you get the correct testing if you suspect your thyroid is "off".

It's not just about TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone). My patients have their free T3, free T4, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies tested. Many times all the results are completely "normal", but there can be elevated thyroid Antibodies (there are two) which means there is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. This is treated with the appropriate prescription thyroid medication and dietary changes (ie going grain free) to lower the inflammatory burden on the thyroid. Often times the blood results are normal and the patient has many symptoms of Hypothyroidism... this is called sub-clinical Hypothyroidism. It is a treatable condition that improves quickly with the appropriate dosage of thyroid medication.

I also have my patients at BioHarmony Medical log their basal body temperatures every morning for one week. That is a big piece of the Hypothyroid puzzle.

We all know there is a range, but few acknowledge that there is an optimal range within the "normal range"

I have found that Armour Thyroid works well at the appropriate dosage. It is Bioidentical, being that it has the same amount of T3 and T4 that the human body produces, 20% and 80% respectively. Compounding pharmacies can also compound the thyroid prescription, T3/T4, based on your personal needs.

T4 converts to T3 in your thyroid gland. It is the Free T3 that helps with energy, stubborn weight loss, body temperature and brain function. Since Armour Thyroid is natural (purified porcine), it has the enzymes that help your thyroid absorb and better utilize it.

I recommend supplements that support the thyroid gland, specifically iodine and selenium, trace minerals that are taken every day. In my practice, I prefer food based supplements. For example, kelp contains iodine, and brazil nuts contain selenium.

Typically 2 months after my patients begin their personalized thyroid treatment, we recheck the blood levels. Dosage changes are made based on both labs and symptoms. I typically hear, "I finally feel like myself again, Dr Wright!"" My hair has stopped falling out!" " I'm losing weight and I haven't changed my diet or exercise routine". "My joint and muscle aches and pains are gone". "My hands and feet are finally warm and I no longer need to wear socks to bed!". " I'm having a bowel movement every day and I feel so much better now". "I finally have the energy to go work out at the gym". These types of responses are very typical of my treatment program for thyroid issues.

For more information how Dr Wright can help you with your personalized treatment approach related to Thyroid, hormone imbalance, low Testosterone and weight loss issues... please contact BioHarmony Medical at http://www.bioharmonymedical.com or call Dr. Wright directly at 303-991-1250.


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