Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, also known as SPD, is a common health condition that causes extreme pain in the hips, back, groin and legs of pregnant women. This painful pregnancy symptom is a result of the aptly named hormone Relaxin. Relaxin helps to naturally make ligaments relaxed and stretchy in order for the baby to ease its way into the world. Many times, relaxin does its job too well, causing the pelvic ligaments to become too loose too soon. As a result,the pelvic joint becomes unstable, causing moderate to severe pain and instability.

Symphysis Pubis DysfunctionAs many as 1 in 3 pregnant women may have this condition to some degree, and may not even recognize it as a condition all its own. More often than not, it is overlooked, as women do their best to endure it as another major discomfort of pregnancy.

Pelvic girdle pain can be anything from a minor ache to a searing sensation that wraps around the back and travels down below the belly. Most women will experience this at some point or another during their pregnancy. As the ever-expanding tummy puts ever-increasing stress on the  bones, joints, and muscles in the pelvis-the pain can hit at almost any point in the pregnancy, and the impact can range from minor aches and pains to debilitating and unbearable misery.

Apart from the lower abdomen and pubic pain and discomfort, SPD may also appear in the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain that tends to get worse when you lift your legs for getting into bed or car.
  • Difficulty to move the lower part of your body when you wake up in the morning.
  • Pain that gets worse when you lie on your back.
  • Reduced range of movement of the hip bones, causing difficulty walking.
  • Pain shooting down your buttocks and legs (sciatica).
  • A clicking sound near the pelvic area while in motion.
  • Urinary incontinence (rare cases).

If you think you may be suffering from this condition, do some research and talk to your Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction 2doctor. Never just endure the pain. Many things can be done to help lessen the symptoms of SPD. Acupuncture is an increasingly  popular way to alleviate all kinds of pregnancy ills, including pelvic girdle pain. Your doctor will almost always instruct you to purchase (and wear) a pelvic support girdle, aka a maternity belt with a special pelvic support built into it.

V2 Supporter

While there are alternatives (albeit none that really measure up in terms of effectiveness, appearance or even cost), the increasingly popular choice for dealing with moderate-to-severe pain of this nature is a product known as a V2 Supporter, or a variation thereof. The V2 Supporter is sold as a standalone compressive therapeutic undergarment, and can also be purchased as a 2-in-1 combo support undergarment such as the Prenatal Cradle Plus V2 Support and the Hip Brace Plus V2 Supporter.

V2 SupporterThis undergarment will  provide much needed support for your belly (and relief for your pelvis). These same products are also used to treat a very common condition during pregnancy called vulvar varicosities, which is effectively vulvar or vaginal varicose veins. While more common among women who are pregnant, many women who are not pregnant and some who’ve never even been pregnant occasionally come down with this most unfortunate condition characterized by painful swelling of the vulvar region.

Back to Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, heating pads and ice have been known to offer significant relief. Choose the right sleeping  position — lie on your side with a pillow between your knees to keep hips aligned. Do what works  best for you and your body. Try doing KEGEL Exercises. Yes, our old friend can do wonders in this  situation. These handy little workouts strengthen the entire pelvic floor, the muscle that stretches  like a hammock across our abdomens and essentially holds all our organs up. The stronger it is, the  better it holds up the growing baby and uterus and the less everything presses on those already  weakened bones. If the pain is severe, ask your practitioner about pregnancy-safe pain relievers (never take any medications unless specifically okayed by your practitioner). Remember, do what  makes you comfortable and what makes you feel better. Work together along with your doctor and  family to make this special experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. More tactics to try: Sit  down to get dressed, and avoid heavy lifting and pushing (which you should be doing anyway). Do your best to stay off your feet and try to be patient until the baby comes. For most moms, once the baby is born and relaxin production ceases, your ligaments (and your dance moves) will return to normal in no time.

 

Video: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

 

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), BPA, Leptin Resistance and Other Unknown Health Risks

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), BPA, Leptin Resistance & Low Vitamin D Represent New, Relatively Unknown Health Risks

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

What Some of the More Surprising and Unknown Health Risks Facing Humanity in the 21st Century?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Some of the newer research is showing that plastics are major hormone disruptors. Plastics are being blamed for conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which is an insulin-resistant state. There is a growing body of evidence that technological advancements, particularly as it relates to food packaging, may be having grave and unintended consequences on humans’ hormonal function.

BPA (Bisphenol A) and Dioxins Disrupt Hormone Function

Polycystic Ovarian SyndromeEvery time you microwave a lean cusisine or TV dinner, the heat from the microwave radiates the plastic, releasing BPA (Bisphenol A, an ingredient found in Polycarbonate plastics as well as epoxy resins) and dioxins, both of which disrupt hormone function.

Ask yourself when was the last time you were in the grocery store and observed grape juice being sold in a glass bottle. Everything is packaged in plastic these days! Baked chickens bask in plastic containers under heaters in the grocery stores. Restaurants cover hot casseroles with plastic wrap. Milk sits in plastic under grocery store lights in coolers until someone buys it. Cases of plastic water bottles sit out in the sun all day gas stations and thrift stores, not to mention your car! Some people bake chickens inside of a plastic bag! Many microwavable junk food treats RECOMMEND in the directions that the person about to EAT the food contained within the plastic leave it wrapped in plastic while microwaving it!

PCOS

This author isn’t going to name names, but if you’ve ever been to the grocery or eaten prepared foods you should be well familiar with those products and brands being mentioned herein.

Electromagnetic Radiation

In addition to plastics, pesticides, electromagnetic radiation from computers, cell phones, tablets, electronic notebooks (trying not to use brand-names), et al are also major hormone disruptors.

Leptin Resistance

Leptin Reistance is also fairly new, and a significant health threat that far too many women remain unaware of. Leptin is a hormone that acts in the regulation of energy intake and metabolism. Leptin levels can be easily checked via a simply blood test that can be performed at virtually any diagnostic lab (ask your doctor or nurse practitioner) to indentify whether or not one has leptin resistance.

Vitamin D Deficiency

ViVitamin D3 from Sunlighttamin D3 is a hot topic since the majority of Americans are vitamin D3 deficient. Vitamin D deficiency is also a major factor in obesity, insulin resistance, the development of Type 2 Diabetes and about 50 or so other major diseases and illnesses, albeit in many cases science has declined to issue a definitive statement of causality despite overwhelming evidence of a causal relationship between low levels of vitamin D and an increased likelihood of developing any one (or combination) or the four dozen-plus illnesses, diseases and conditions for which indisputable evidence exists linking an increased rate-of-diagnosis with insufficient levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood of diagnosed individuals.

Vitamin D deficiency can be identified by way of a simple blood test, and those suffering from inadequate levels of the nutrient can correct the deficiency through safe sunbathing, or even better, a high-quality and high-potency vitamin D3 supplement.

The reason most scientists believe such a vast majority of the entire population is so dangerously low in vitamin D has to do with the fact that human civilization has evolved to the point of spending the vast majority of time indoors, where the sun cannot make contact with skin, initiating the process through which vitamin D is produced.

On a side-note, anyone seeking to prevent or reverse vitamin D deficiency through the use of supplements should make sure the supplements contain vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol as opposed to ergocalciferol, or vitamin D2. The reason is that the former is far better absorbed and processed for use by the body than is the latter, the usefulness of which as a human nutritional supplement is the subject of much heated debate.

Pamela Egan, NP-C, CDE, ABAAHP

Egan Wellness and Anti-Aging Clinic + Egan Skin Care Spa
1116 W. 21st Ave.
Covington, LA 70433
985-892-3031

Areas Serviced: Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville, Abita Springs, Slidell, Goodbee, Lacombe, Folsom, Franklinton, Bogalusa, Pearl River

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:

Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy: Women Should Seek Out Well-Versed Practitioners

Is Your Practitioner Well Trained in Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy?

Before a patient allows just any practitioner to prescribe bio-identical hormones, make sure they are qualified and have received extensive training in this area.

Many practitioners claim to provide bio-identical hormones in their practice but have not received any formal training in hormones. One size does not fit all.

Certain hormones should not be given orally to women over 45 years old. These include Estrogen or Testosterone. Taking these hormones by mouth is too hard on the liver. The liver metholates estradiol to estrone, the bad estrogen, that wreaks havoc on the body.

Estrone is the bad estrogen that can cause breast cancer, fibrocystic breasts, ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis, prostate cancer and more. It should always be checked in those women receiving hormone replacement therapy.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men and Women

Premarin, Prempro, Fem-HRT, are not bio-identical hormones. These are synthetic chemicals that the body does not recognize. Because they are in oral form, this makes matters worse, because the liver changes them over to estrone, the bad estrogen. I’ve had women present to my clinic with grossly elevated estrone levels while on Premarin and Prempro. We then try to bind the bad estrone up with DIM supplements or Ultra Indinol Plus.

There is no reason to give a women synthetic hormones this day and age. We now have FDA approved bio-identical hormones. The important point to remember is to NEVER, EVER take Estrogen by mouth! It is bad for you and will increase your risk of breast cancer. If your provider orders oral estrogen or testosterone, that is a sign that they have not received proper training in hormones. You should seek another provider who is adequately trained in this field.

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine offers a Fellowship in Anti-Aging & Functional Medicine. This Fellowship Program is very extensive and takes years to complete, requires a board exam, and a preceptorship with another board certified Anti-Aging Physican.

Dr. Pamela Egan, DNP, CDE is board certified in Anti-Aging & Functional Medicine.

More HRT Related Articles:

Dr. Pamela Egan, DNP, CDE
EGAN Wellness & Anti-Aging Clinic + EGAN Skin Care & Med Spa
1116 West 21st Ave.
Covington, LA 70433
Phone. 985-892-3031
Fax. 985-892-9504
www.pamelaegan.com

Causes of Female Weight Gain – Part 2: The Role of Hormones

The Role of Hormones in Female Weight Gain

This post is part two of a series of articles about why women gain weight as they age.

Part One: Top Causes of Female Weight Gain

Part Two: The Role of Hormones

Cortisol is a hormone that increases with stress. Cortisol is also a fat storing hormone, so it is no wonder that too much stress/ cortisol can make you fat.

Leptin is a hormone that tells the brain you’ve had enough to eat and also knocks out food cravings. Most women who are overweight are Leptin Resistant. In fact, childhood obesity has been linked to Leptin Resistance. Again, exercise, diet and supplements that contain Irvingia help to reverse Leptin resistance.

Hormones are a very complex issue and I consider myself an expert on this topic since I was hormonally imbalanced for 15 years and was forced to find the answers myself when I could not get help from conventional medicine. At the age of 35, after my fourth child, I weighed 103 pounds. My OB/GYN convinced me to have a bilateral tubal ligation. I literally gained 30 pounds within 3 months and 60 pounds within 6 months. I was aging prematurely, I looked like I was 60 years old, had aches and pains, was depressed cause I was gaining all of this weight, couldn’t sleep at night, had no sex drive, developed hypothryoidism which can also be caused from a hormone imbalance.

I went back to my physician begging for a hormone check and to 4 or 5 other physicians, but was told there was no good way to check hormones and there was no correlation to the tubal ligation. I was getting older and just needed to eat less and exercise more. I was an RN at the time and had not changed my eating or exercise habits but was literally blowing up like a “spaded dog”.

If you will google “Tubal Ligation Syndrome” you will now find that in a high percentage of women, their ovaries fail which leads to estrogen dominance which leads to weight gain, fibrocystic breast, ovarian cyst, fibroids, etc. which ultimately leads to a hysterectomy. In fact, by the age of 49, I had all of these things which required a complete hysterectomy. I was then handed a box of Premarin which I did not take but knew I had to get some answers to this hormone traversty. After taking some courses with “Pharmacy Compounding Centers of America”, I was led to and completed a Fellowship with the American Academy of Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine. This Fellowship literally saved my life. I actually look younger at the age of 55 then I did at 35 and have lost all the weight that I had gained back then.

Hormones have gotten a bad rap by the media since the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) was completed in 2002. The WHI was done on synthetic hormones Premarin (horse urine) and Prempro (horse urine and progestin-synthetic progesterone) Many physicians in America still think that these chemicals are hormones. They are not!

In actuality, it is hormones that keep women young. Just look at the commercials on TV right now regarding low testosterone levels in men. When hormones are perfectly balanced, it is much easier to lose weight and keep the cells young and healthy. So the men are going to be on the “anti-aging train” while the women are aging prematurely. How fair is that??

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.