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EGAN Wellness Clinic & Med Spa Father’s Day Specials (Baby Claude Picture Update)

Med Spa @ EGAN Wellness, Skin Care & Weight Loss

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We now have TA-65!

The Science of Telomerase Activation

Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect it, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces They affect how cells age and are essential for maintaining cell integrity. Telomeres shorten over time due to aging and lifestyle factors (poor nutrition, psychological stress, lack of exercise, etc.) leaving the DNA that makes up our genes vulnerable to damage.

There are now more than 10,0000 published studies on telomeres. Telomeres act as a clock within our cells, representing their age and how well they function. As they shorten, they signal changes in gene expression, changing the cells phenotype to that of an older cell. When enough telomeres become critically short the cell may become senescent or die. Senescent cells can crowd out healthy ones and damage neighboring cells and tissues.

There is scientific evidence that telomeres can be lengthened. An enzyme called telomerase can slow, stop or even reverse the telomere shortening that happens as you age.

TA-65 is an all natural, plant-based compound that can activate the telomerase enzyme to help slow down and possibly reverse age and lifestyle-related telomere shortening.
To learn more about Telomere Biology…. www.telomerescience.com

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Baby Claude

The Probiotic Prescription

The Probiotic Prescription

Probiotics: Listen To Your Gut

November 08, 2013

Let’s start with the facts behind what probiotics are. The root of the word probiotic comes from the Greek word pro, meaning “promoting” and biotic, meaning “life.” The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines probiotics as “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” Yes, they are actually alive, and most of these microorganisms are bacteria. Most people think of antibiotics and antibacterial products when you mention bacteria. Both of those kill bacteria so why would you want to consume anything that has live bacteria in it? It’s all about balance.

Increasing the number of good bacteria in the GI tract by taking probiotics supplements Probiotics Supplementsand eating foods that contain the “good bacteria” may help combat a number of health problems, a growing number of scientists say. New research indicates that specialized strains of these good bacteria could also help alleviate some mood and anxiety disorders.

When University of Toronto researchers gave chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers three daily doses of a Lactobacillus strain for two months, it boosted their levels of good bacteria. “At the same time, we reduced their anxiety,” says lead researcher A. Venket Rao, PhD. When the patients stopped taking the probiotic, their symptoms reverted as well, he says.

Probiotics from YogurtOur stressed-out lifestyle may be our stomach’s biggest enemy. According to María Gloria Domínguez Bello, PhD, a professor of microbiology at the University of Puerto Rico, society’s hectic pace, which leads to our reliance on junk food and overuse of anti­biotics, is throwing our internal ecosystem out of whack; she believes that there’s a link between our gut bacteria and the rise of food allergies and autoimmune diseasesCrohn’s Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis among many others — in the industrialized world. “When there is a loss of balance in the different types of intestinal bacteria, they send signals to our immune system to overreact and become inflamed, leading to disease,” Domínguez Bello says.

See, when it comes to mood, it’s not all in your head — it’s in your gut, too. “The brain influences the digestive tract and vice versa,” says Rebekah Gross, MD, a clinical gastroenterologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. In fact, new research has found that our esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon have a big say in how our minds and bodies function and how happy we feel. “The gut is a critical group of organs that we need to start paying more attention to,” says Steven Lamm, MD, the author of No Guts, No Glory. “Doing so may be the secret to improving our overall wellness.”

ProbioticsIf it seems as if your stomach sometimes has a mind of its own, that’s because it does. The gut’s lining houses an independent network of hundreds of millions of neurons — more than the spinal cord has — called the enteric nervous system. It’s so complex and influential that scientists refer to it as “the second brain.” In addition to being in charge of the digestive process, your gut lining is the core of your body’s immune system and defends you against such foreign invaders as viruses and bacteria.

Cells in the gut lining also produce 95 percent of the serotonin in our bodies. (The rest occurs in the brain, where the hormone regulates happiness and mood.) In the gut, serotonin has a range of functions, including stimulating nerve-cell growth and alerting the immune system to germs.

Thanks to serotonin, the gut and the brain are in constant contact with each other. Chemical messages race back and forth between the brain’s central nervous system and the gut’s enteric nervous system. When we’re stressed, scared, or nervous, our brain notifies our gut, and our stomach starts to churn in response. When our digestive system is upset, our gut alerts our brain that there’s a problem even before we begin to feel the symptoms. Scientists suspect that our moods are negatively affected as a result. “The gut is sending messages that can make the brain anxious,” Dr. Gershon explains.

When the digestive tract is healthy, it filters out and eliminates things that can damage it, such as harmful bacteria, toxins, chemicals, and other waste products.

Although more research is needed, there’s encouraging evidence that probiotics may help:

  • Treat diarrhea, especially following treatment with certain antibiotics
  • Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections
  • Treat irritable bowel syndrome
  • Reduce bladder cancer recurrence
  • Speed treatment of certain intestinal infections
  • Prevent and treat eczema in children
  • Prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flu

Side effects are rare, and most healthy adults can safely add foods that contain probiotics to their diet.

Hormones, Menopause and Weight Gain in Women

Natural Hormones and their Impact on Women’s Health, Weight

 

By: Pamela Egan, NP-C, CDE, ABAAHP

When attempting to explain the role of hormones relative to weight gain in women, the non-organic beef industry makes for a great analogy.

Commercial cattle farmers figured out how to chemically and hormonally induce weight gain many, many years ago. But what exactly is it that is done to the cows in order to get them to gain so much weight, thus increasing their value? The anwer is really quite simple. The cows are fed a potent combination of antibiotics and hormones.

BHRT (Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy)

BHRT (Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy)

Antibiotics and Hormones?

The antibiotics destroy the cows’ intestinal flora (“good bacteria”), disrupting and slowing the rate of digestion. This means that the animals are burning fewer calories in a given period of time than they would if their digestive systems were operating at full capacity. The result of this, barring a decrease in food intake, is that the cows gain weight as a result of the fact that their metabolism is being deliberately slowed down as a result of the antibiotics. For more information about how this works, see this post about probiotics and weight loss.

The role of hormones as it pertains to weight and in particular, weight gain, is by-and-large not well understood by the very women gaining weight as a direct result of hormonal imbalance. In order to learn how each individual hormone works, the respective properties of each hormone and their individual effect on women’s health – particularly as it relates to weight gain, please see the following primer:

Estradiol

Estradiol is our major estrogen that keeps the skin beautiful, keeps our memory sharp, vaginal moisture, hair, skin, nail, bone health and it should be noted that there are estradiol receptors on every organ in our body from our brain, heart, lungs, bladder, etc.

Estriol

Estriol is our weaker estrogen that goes up during pregnancy. This hormone builds collagen and is used in Europe to prevent breast cancer and keep the skin beautiful. (For a provider to prescribe Estriol in the US, they must be registered with the FDA.)

Estrone

Estrone is the bad estrogen that goes up during peri-menopause and menopause. This is the estrogen that wreaks havoc on the body. It causes fibrocystic breast, breast cancer, weight gain, ovarian cyst, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, etc. I make sure to check an estrone level during blood lab work. If it is too high, there are things we do to knock it back down such as aerobic exercise, DIM, and Indole-3 carbinol. Furthermore, women should never take estrogen by mouth over the age of 45. When taken orally, it has to be metabolized by the liver which increases the risk of blood clots and methylates over to estrone. When restoring hormones, estradiol and estriol should only be given topically or transdermally. It should also be noted that not all breast cancer is caused from hormones. Many toxins can cause breast cancer such as pesticides, plastics, radiation, etc.

Natural Progesterone

Natural Progesterone that the body makes during ovulation is a good hormone. It is an anti-depressant, sleeping pill, anti-anxiety, builds bone, stops the proliferation of cancer cells hence helps prevent breast cancer. It helps to keep estrogen in check which helps with weight loss and all those things that bad estrogen can cause. Again, Progestin is NOT Progesterone. Progestins that are found in birth control pills, PremPro, and other synthetic hormones make women fat, makes them psychotic, and cause breast cancer.

Testosterone

Testosterone, which is not FDA approved for women, is also important because it builds bones thereby preventing osteoporosis. It also helps build muscle, increase stamina, help memory, increase libido. A small amount of testosterone after menopause is essential in maintaining young, healthy cells and aiding in weight loss.

Growth Hormone

Human Growth Hormone, sometimes abbreviated simply as HGH, is considered the fountain of youth. It also helps with weight loss, building muscle, bone, etc. Amino Acids can be taken to help stimulate the pituitary to release growth hormone.

Dr. Pamela Egan – DNP, CDE
EGAN Wellness & Anti-Aging Clinic and EGAN Skin Care & Med Spa
1116 W. 21st Ave.
Covington, LA 70433
(985) 892-3031 – Office Phone
(985) 892-9504 – Fax
www.PamelaEgan.com

Areas Serviced: Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville, Abita Springs, Slidell, Goodbee, Lacombe, Folsom, Franklinton, Bogalusa, Pearl River, Metairie, New Orleans, Kenner, Chalmette, New Orleans East, Elmwood, Jefferson (all of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Bernard, St. James, East Baton Rouge, Washington & Tangipahoa Parishes).

More BHRT Related Articles:

How to Indentify Quality Vitamin and Nutritional Supplements

Not All Supplements Are Created Equal

By: Pamela Egan, MN, NP, CDE, ABAAHP Diplomat

With regard to vitamins and the many various other nutirtional supplements, expert nutritionists have long stressed the importance of supplement quality in terms of both ingredients used to manufacture a given supplement as well as the manufacturing process used to make the supplement. While many health-conscious individuals by now have hear or read that ‘not all supplements are created equal’, for many such a statement is too vague to have any real meaning in terms of understanding which supplements are worth the investment, which are not and how to discern the difference between high-quality and low-quality nutritional supplements.

How is one supposed to know a “trash” vitamin from a “whole food nutrient?” Most of the nutritional supplements that are readily available to the average consumer both in America and abroad are low-grade chemicals stuffed with fillers that contain little-to-no nutritional value to humans when ingested orally (the standard method of ingestion). While the consumer may never know the difference, the overwhelming majority of the so-called “affordable” supplements found in drugstores and major retail chains (or most anywhere else typical health-conscious consumers shop for vitamins and supplements) are not adequete to ensure proper nutrition and avoid or reverse nutritional deficiencies.

“The word is out (that) it pays to take your vitamins”, said Lyle McWilliams, author of the highly esteemed Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. McWilliams is an author, educator, and biochemist. In his Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, McWilliams graded 1500 nutrients on absorption, bio-availability, lack of chemicals, dyes, fillers, and if the product is anti-allergenic.

The bottom-line according to McWilliams is that nutritional supplements should be manufactured to pharmaceutical-model GMP, rather than to the food-model GMP that most U.S. supplement manufacturers use. Compliance with pharmaceutical-model GMP gives consumers assurance that the supplements they consume meet stringent pharmaceutical standards for content, potency, and dissolution, and do not contain unwanted impurities.

Amazingly, the nutrients that most Americans have access to have virtually no nutritional value. Some of these include: Centrum, One-a-Day, Equate, Kroger, Members Mark, Nature Made, Puritan’s Pride, Rexall, Rite Aid, Walgreens.

The top-rated products offering the most nutritional value are medical grade and mainly found in clinicians’ offices. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t have access to these without a doctor’s referral. The top-rated supplement brands include Creating Wellness Alliance, Douglas Laboratives, Egan Wellness Clinic, TrueStar Health and USANA. Sadly, the overwhelming majority of people who actually do take supplements on a regular if not daily basis as a means of promoting good health have never even heard of any of the aforementioned brands which actually DO offer high-quality, readily absorbable and bioavailable nutrients.

The good news is that high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade nutritional products are becoming easier to obtain, and no longer require a doctor’s visit and subsequent referral just to get access to them. One place everyday health/nutrition-conscious consumers can find high-quality nutrients is the vitamins and nutritional supplements shop at the Egan Wellness Clinic. Egan carries only those brands considered to be of an elite level of quality as determined by the objective criteria set forth in McWilliams’ supplement guide.

When considering the countless numbers of people who waste big money on our hair and nails, justifying doing so by attempting to make up the difference by saving a few pennies buying cheap supplements from major retailers and even brand-name nutrition shops (where cheaply-made supplements cost a fortune but are substantively no better than the grocery store brands). From a wellness or preventative medicine standpoint, the notion that a person would think nothing of blowing a small fortune on vanity items and/or services while skimping on the quality of nutrients that person ultimately puts into his or her body as a means of promoting good health is beyond rational explanation and defies logic — at least when it involves a person who claims to care about his or her own health.

If your cells are starving to death nutritionally, they will age prematurely, hence disease sets in. When that happens, there will be little to show for all the money spent on looking good while feeling less-than-ideal.

To learn more about the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements and/or how to learn what to look for in discerning effective supplements versus those that are a waste of money, check out the official website of the Comparative Guide: http://www.comparativeguide.com/.

Techniques for Coping with Stress and Anxiety

Do the palms of your hands get sweaty when you have to confront a problem at work? Does your heart beat fast before you give a speech? Do you get a headache after you’ve had an argument with a family member?

The feelings of stress and anxiety come from your body’s response to what it sees as a threat to survival, triggering the emotion of anger or fear. You may still be stressed without having any of these noticeable signs. However, your body knows, and it may provide other hints that stress is present, such as back pain or feeling tired and fatigued.

For people with diabetes, stress can cause glucose levels to rise. This is because glucose is an important source of energy, and the body produces it during situations that require a person to take action, whether it’s to fight an infection or run from an attacking lion.

Emotions are very important. Some are old survival instincts from deep within the brain. These include fear and anger. Some are chemical responses such as happiness and disgust. All are important responses designed to help us survive within and adapt to our environment. That said, a completely separate part of the brain helps us to interpret what our emotions are trying to tell us. Scientists believe that the more connections that exists linking these two parts of the brain, the better one is at dealing with life situations.

On the other hand, too much emotion can make it difficult to think. Some people become completely immobilized during intense periods of emotional response. Others refuse to accept the reality of the problems they face, instead opting to go into denial. Denial may help to protect against becoming overwhelmed by a difficult situation. However, if left unchecked, denial can interfere with a healthy lifestyle.

Some people take longer than others to calm down following an intense emotional response to a given set of circumstances. However, the ability to calm oneself down in the face of adversity is probably the best way to deal with strong emotions.

Here are a few suggestions to help calm down during intense situations:

  • Quiet Time – Schedule quiet time alone each and every day: Examples include a warm bath, listening to music, meditation, yoga, exercise and relaxing hobbies).
  • Deep breathing exercises – Think about breathing and nothing else for five to ten minutes.
  • Laughter – Watch a funny movie or TV show. Laughter relaxes you and can even help strengthen the immune system.
  • Talking – Try talking about what’s bothering you. If talking is too difficult, try writing it down.
  • Spirituality – For those who participate in a form of worship, this can be a great technique to help calm oneself down during tense situations.
  • Pets – Spending quality time with pets can be very therapeutic, and can help to reduce stress and anxiety.

If you suffer from uncontrollable anxiety or if you have frequent panic attacks, see your healthcare provider. There are medications that can help, and your doctor or nurse practitioner may recommend counseling, which can also be effective.

Take full advantage of your healthcare provider(s), your family and your friends. In the process of helping yourself, you may learn that the key to reducing anxiety is to take the focus off of yourself and to give of yourself to others.

Related Articles: Too Much Stress is Bad for Your Health

The Role of Prevention in Medicine

Guest Post by Peter F. Egan Jr. (Pam’s Eldest Son)

Pam has been unusually busy lately, so I’ve taken the liberty of filling in for her while she’s away from her blog. You may periodically see posts from me when my mother is particularly busy. I regret the inconvenience, but vow to do my best to keep the content at the same, exceptionally-high level of quality when I do fill in. I hope you enjoy what hopefully will not become a regular appearance.

To Prevent, Or Not To Prevent? That Is The Role Of Medicine

There are a lot of people out there who seek general, all-around care by a physician who will consider all aspects of their lifestyle – factoring in such things as nutrition and diet – when assessing a patient. A good number of Americans (I don’t have a scientific percentage handy) expect their doctor to help them prevent the onset of illness rather than treat it after the fact, and unfortunately too many primary care doctors (though not all) leave much to be desired in this regard.

That said, there are undoubtedly many, many good one out there. It is a reality though that too many doctors place too little emphasis on prevention, preferring instead to deal almost exclusively with post-symtomatic diagnosis, and post-diagnostic treatment. As a patient, you owe it to yourself to do your research and look around until you find someone you’re comfortable with – both in terms of the person as well as his or her outlook on caring for the patient.

For those who hold a more broad view of the role of medicine (and see a role in prevention as well as post-diagnostic treatment), my advice to them would be to consider seeing a nurse practitioner. Nurse Practitioners traditionally have been more inclined than physicians to embrace the concepts of wellness and preventive medicine, focusing on the overall health of the patient and on prevention until symptoms arise. Obviously, at this point the focus would shift to diagnosis and treatment. However, the goal of preventive medicine practitioner (and many nurse practitioners) is to prevent and/or delay things reaching the diagnostic stage (with symptoms present) for as long as possible.

The risk of illness is reduced when the body and immune system is healthy, and the risk of injury is reduced when the bones and joints are healthy. Point being, when the body is healthy, injury and illness tend to occur less frequently on a general scale and are generally less severe when they do occur. Preventive medicine practitioners (again, often nurse practitioners) have a reputation for being cognizant of this, and for determine plans of care accordingly.

FTR: Yes, that is supposed to be a cheesy Shakespeare reference in the title.

Does Vitamin D Help Prevent MS?

With the release this month of a new study out of Australia (first appearing in Neurology), the evidence continues to mount in support of a potential (and at this point probable) link between high levels of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol – the “sunshine vitamin”) in the blood and a reduced risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS).

While the scientists responsible for the study were careful to point out that the research involving 611 people who had not been diagnosed with MS at the time of the study established a link only between increased sun exposure and a corresponding decrease in the probability of developing MS. The study did not definitively establish that increased levels of vitamin D in the blood were the cause of the reduction in MS risk, or for that matter whether that was merely a byproduct of sun exposure with no direct bearing on the prevention of multiple sclerosis.

In recent years it has been learned by way of scientific research that more than 20 different diseases, illnesses and adverse conditions are brought about (at least in part) by vitamin D deficiency. Granted, even if a conclusive link is determined to exist, more research would be needed to determine if high levels of the nutrient were the preventative mechanism or if the disease was brought on by vitamin D deficiency and/or the compromised immune system resulting from the nutritional shortcoming.

That said, back in 2006 a study by the Harvard School of Public Health was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association linking Vitamin D to a lowered risk of MS.

In 2009, it was established by a team of Canadian and British researchers that vitamin D deficiency by a mother during pregnancy and an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis in people with a genetic predisposition for the disease.

A study published in January of 2010 by researchers at the University of California found that insufficient vitamin D levels may be associated with a higher risk of relapse attacks in patients who developed multiple sclerosis during childhood.

Now in 2011 we have a study by Australian scientists confirming a link between sun exposure and a lower risk of developing MS. That means that almost every year for the past five years, studies either confirming or implying a link between the nutrient and the disease have been published for all to see.

In light of the many different studies by scientists from all around the world all arriving at the same or similar conclusions, it begs the quesiton of why are scientists from this most recent study so cautious about declaring vitamin D as a mechanism that can aide in the prevention of multiple sclerosis? Is the issue that these scientists fear ridicule from their peers if they were to tout a vitamin as a means of preventing an illness? Is the problem that the scientific community is not much of a community at all, with little-to-no communication between rival groups of researchers leading to a mass-ignorance within the community regarding research already completed by other scientists?

For those of you who don’t know, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the form of vitamin D made within the body and is the product of direct exposure to sunlight. In the Australian study, the researchers determined that those who spent the most time in the sun had the lowest risk of developing MS or MS-related symptoms. They also found that those subjects displaying no signs of MS had substantially higher vitamin D levels than their less fortunate counterparts.

While perhaps more research is needed to formally establish what most of us already strongly suspect is true, based on the available information it definitely appears likely that within the next couple of years science will conclude that the nutrient/hormone vitamin D3 helps prevent multiple sclerosis.

While science may be paranoid about implying a relationship between vitamin D and the prevention of multiple sclerosis, this author sees the writing on the wall and will be upping the dose on his vitamin D3 supplements.

What is Anti-Aging Medicine?

The three basic rules of anti-aging medicine are, respectively:

  • Don’t get sick
  • Don’t get old
  • Don’t die

The longer you live, the better your chances are for living even longer. By taking good care of your physical and mental self, you will be around to avail yourself of the latest biotechnological advancements to further optimize your life and achieve that triple-digit lifespan.

Engage in early detection and regular screenings. Engage in early detection and regular screenings, offering the very first opportunities to identify, prevent, and intervene effectively in disease. The alternative? Costly healthcare for the aging population which will bankrupt the nation’s public and private healthcare programs: Disease: Cost for care per person per day; Alzheimer’s Disease: over $100, Stroke: $ 37, Parkinson’s Disease: $10-$25, Osteoporosis: over $14, and Cancers (various types): $5 to $10.

From vanity to a vision of optimal health. Every day, consumers are flocking to doctors’ offices in search of ways to erase life’s little signs of age: weight gain, hair loss, skin that has lost its youthful suppleness and glow, the list goes on. About 77% of all Americans now living were born after 1939 and many of these people are noticing these signs of aging in their mirrors, on their bath scales, and in the job market.

While many anti-aging patients first see an anti-aging specialist for reasons of vanity, in many instances, how these patients look reflects on how their body’s systems, organs, tissues, and cells are functioning. The health and well-being of the majority of cosmetically-oriented patients often can be improved by a qualified anti-aging specialist, such as one certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine (ABAAM) or a health practitioner credentialed by the American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners (ABAAHP Diplomat).

As specialists keenly interested in the long-term whole-body physical, mental, and spiritual health of patients, practitioners of anti-aging medicine employ innovative diagnostics and therapeutic interventions to detect, prevent, and treat aging-related diseases. Anti-aging medicine is NOT solely hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Anti-aging is a multidisciplinary approach to whole-body wellness and longevity, incorporating a variety of treatments as medically appropriate.

Hormone Replacement Therapy: If you do opt for hormone replacement therapy, make sure your doctor employs only natural, bio-identical hormones (BHRT). BHRTs have the same chemical structure as their counterparts that occur naturally in the human body. BHRT hormones are therefore able to fully replicate the original functions with little or no adverse side effect profile. Make sure your doctor first tests for your baseline levels, explains to you safe target increases to achieve youthful levels, and monitors you every 3-6 months.

Knowledge is power, and all consumers should have access to the latest science presented in a manner that non-scientists can understand.