The doctors at the Institute for Progressive Medicine treat people with a wide variety of illnesses and health concerns. Almost all medical conditions can be improved by approaching them with the intent of optimizing nutrition, eliminating toxins and other adverse influences, and maximizing function. Please click on the links to your left to read about some of the conditions we address.
How Do We Define Aging?
Aging is not simply the passing of years. An older person may be admired, even envied, for his accomplishments, knowledge, wisdom and abilities.
In a more negative aspect, aging implies a deterioration of life force, of energy, spirit, desire for change, and ability to learn and grow. It implies loss of physical and mental capacities. It suggests boredom, reduced energy, dulling of the senses, forgetfulness, impotence, ugliness.
Anti-aging, therefore, would comprise approaches to maintain and improve physical and mental abilities, to enhance perceptions, to promote communication, to increase production and therefore morale. Anti-aging would increase the value of living, allow for enjoyment, creativity and expanding interest in man and the universe.
How We Support Anti-Aging
· Restricting And Eliminating The Use Of Drugs When Possible. Drugs may handle symptoms, save lives, and sometimes offer cures. Always, however, they disturb a balance. There is a price to pay for using them. Where one area is strengthened, another will always be injured. It is the habit of modern medicine to offer a drug for every problem, and where older people are concerned, to prescribe many drugs at once. This practice is damaging. The statistic of 100,000 people dying yearly as a consequence of prescribed pharmaceuticals has been many times repeated. Few physicians, however, make a genuine effort to remedy this situation. They are stuck in the drug-think mentality espoused by the pharmaceutical-industrial complex. Patients know that drugs may cause them harm.
· Offering nutritional support. Nutritional deficiencies are almost universal. Beyond correcting deficiencies, higher levels of nutrients, sometimes into super-normal ranges, promote function and provide greater protection. We offer targeted nutritional support after individual evaluation. Supplements can usually be taken without concern for side effects. They are incomparably safer than drugs. One must learn and know which nutrients to provide and at which dosages in order to promote the effects desired by using supplements.
· Detoxifying. Bodies collect and store toxins. Toxins reside in the fat cells of the body, in the skin, the liver, lymph nodes, in the central nervous system. Detoxification permits cells and organs to function better. Detoxification involves dietary change, eliminating food additives, coloring and preservatives, foreign hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides, and heavy metals. Bad fats are avoided and beneficial fats and oils are supplemented orally and sometimes intravenously. Sauna and exercise also help detoxify.
· Using Bioidentical Hormone Replacement. Hormone levels decline with age in both men and women. This decline contributes to muscle weakness, osteoporosis, impaired exercise tolerance, reduced energy, and arguably to heart attack, stroke, dementia and memory loss. Bioidentical estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, growth hormone, and others, given by optimal routes of administration, offer benefits while minimizing adverse effects. We offer transdermal, sublingual, oral, and injectable formulations. We also provide estrogen and testosterone in pellet formulations. The pellets are inserted under the skin of the upper buttock, are effective for 3-4 months, and provide completely stable blood hormone levels, without the daily fluctuations seen with most preparations.
· External counterpulsation therapy. We have over 15 years of experience with counterpulsation therapy. Dr. Sosin considers counterpulsation therapy to be the most powerful medical intervention for anti-aging in existence. Cuffs on the legs and pelvis are inflated during the diastolic, relaxation phase of the cardiac cycle, transmitting a pressure wave up the aorta into the coronary arteries. This increased flow stimulates the creation of collateral circulation to the heart muscle. Both angina, and congestive heart failure from any cause, are relieved.
Counterpulsation therapy also increases blood flow throughout the body, to the eyes, brain, kidneys, intestines, and all other organs. Reduced blood flow is considered to be a major component of the aging process. In addition, recent studies reveal that counterpulsation therapy reduces inflammation within blood vessels themselves, directly modifying the atherosclerotic process. Professional athletes have employed counterpulsation therapy to improve their endurance and decrease injuries. Counterpulsation therapy is a universal health enhancer.
· Intravenous therapies. We have for years provided intravenous therapies of various types to remove toxins (chelation therapy for heavy metals), treat cardiovascular disease (chelation and phosphatidylcholine therapy), enhance immune function (immune drips), and support individuals under the stress of accidents, operations, chemo and radiation therapy. One IV therapy known as the P-K protocol is a sequential infusion of phosphatidylcholine, folinic acid, and glutathione that supports brain function. It has been beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, autism, and liver disease. Infusions of phenylbutyrate also benefit these conditions. Together with aggressive dietary modifications and oral supplements, the P-K protocol adds a potent weapon to the anti-aging arsenal.
We have patients who are active and vigorous into their eighties, nineties and beyond, with no interest in slowing down. The more one does, the better one feels. This is true of all people, at any age. We are able to direct persistent, optimal activity and production, to prevent and reverse disease, to move the focus away from prescription drugs that impair function. This is true anti-aging.
Anxiety, Stress and Depression
Stress and Anxiety have as a root cause unhealthy lifestyle and dietary choices. Often simple, not dramatic lifestyle changes can make a marked difference in the stress levels a person experiences on a day to day basis. Hormonal imbalance, unhealthy sleep patterns, uncontrolled blood sugar, nutrient deficient foods, dehydration, allergies, lack of appropriate or proper exercise, sedentary lifestyle, poor working posture, social and familial upsets, communication problems and many other factors can raise stress to upsetting and unhealthy levels. Often patients are unaware of the things they do to create unhealthy levels of stress and anxiety in their lives. Our doctors will recommend appropriate changes that do not include the use of dangerous prescription psychiatric medications. You can start feeling better right away making choices that will become a welcome addition to your daily regimen and significantly improve your quality of life.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joints causing deformity, bone spurs, pain and limitation of joint mobility. Conventional treatment includes aspirin, Tylenol, and most often non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil and Naprosyn. NSAIDs cause a variety of serious problems, including liver and kidney damage, gastrointestinal bleeding, fluid retention, high blood pressure and heart failure. Cortisone injections are often employed, with temporary benefit. Eventually joint replacement surgery, generally of the hip or knee, is recommended.
We have found osteoarthritis to respond to dietary restrictions, especially of sugar, wheat and dairy products. An anti-inflammatory diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, and fish, is helpful. Sometimes eliminating the nightshade vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant, is helpful.
Nutritional supplements for arthritis include:
1. Fish oil– Use a higher EPA to DHA ratio product, such as Mega Omega 22:1
2. Greens– extracts of sprouted grains, algae, fruits and green vegetables
3. Herbs, Bioflavanoids, and enzymes, such as quercetin, curcumin and bromelain.
4. MSM– methyl sulfonyl methane
5. Other specialized lipid formulas and natural pain reducers.
Prolotherapy/Prolozone may be effective even in advanced disease involving any joints. Prolotherapy involves injection into joint tissues of materials that stimulate the growth of supporting ligaments and tendons. It is performed repetitively, with treatments 2-4 weeks apart.
– Allan Sosin, MD
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According to the World Health Organization, cancer will become the number one cause of death worldwide, overtaking heart disease in many countries around the world. Cancer and the treatments for it are a major cause of stress and morbidity.
Conventional Cancer Therapy:
Conventional cancer therapies may be effective, but they are all toxic, and may create extreme discomfort and disability. These therapies, however, can be made less toxic and more effective, with the use of specific nutritional supplements. Many cancer treatment specialists wrongly advise their patients to avoid nutritional supplements, believing that supplements will impair the effectiveness of their treatments. This is incorrect.
The idea that in order to destroy the cancer you must nearly kill the patient, is outmoded and counterproductive. Studies have demonstrated that cancers are much better resisted when immune integrity is maintained. When the patient and the patient’s immune system are supported, cancer therapies are much better tolerated, and may not have to be cut short because the patient becomes too sick to continue.
Diabetes and Cancer
Diabetes and obesity are associated with increased risks for several cancers, including breast, esophageal, and kidney cancer. Thus the same nutritional therapies we use to reverse obesity and diabetes disease are relevant to cancer prevention.
Cervical cancer is almost exclusively due to persistent infection with human papilloma virus. This virus can be detected on routine Pap smear when requested. We offer a protocol to eradicate this virus.
Mammograms detect breast cancer, but are uncomfortable, increase breast cancer risk due to radiation, and offer false positive and false negative results. Breast MRI offers a useful alternative for certain patients. Individuals with a history of breast or ovarian cancer in close family members may be at high risk for these cancers, and may warrant genetic testing with aggressive intervention.
Prostate cancer is common, often hard to detect, and has a myriad of confusing treatment choices. Men with low PSA levels measured in their forties are at especially low risk of future prostate cancer, and do not require yearly testing. Low fat vegetarian diets have been shown to slow or halt the growth of prostate cancer, in the absence of other therapy. Some prostate cancers are of low-grade malignancy, and in older men may be managed with careful monitoring of nutritional therapies, without the need for surgery, radiation, hormone therapy or chemotherapy.
Supportive Cancer Care
We see many patients with cancer and we often seen patients who decline conventional therapy because they are afraid of the side effects. We offer protocols to improve tolerance to cancer therapy, to reduce the side effects and the risks of treatment complications. We can help you navigate through the sea of preventive, diagnostic, and conventional and integrative treatment choices for many different cancers. It is not necessary to face cancer with fear, uncertainty and powerlessness. We offer support, advice, encouragement, and optimism.
Chronic Fatigue & Depression
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Diabetes mellitus has become a world-wide epidemic. Twenty million Americans have diabetes, one third of whom are not aware they have it. Within the next few years 250 million people in the world will have diabetes. Diabetes is not a new disease, but it has become vast and growing. Beyond this, there is a condition called prediabetes that affects more than 50 million people in the United States. They are liable for the same complications that affect diabetics and are often not aware of their condition or their risks.
Diabetes is defined as an excessive elevation of the blood sugar. In the fasting state, the blood sugar should be 100 or less. A blood sugar of 101-125 is elevated and may be considered prediabetic. A fasting blood sugar of 126 or higher indicates diabetes. After eating, a blood sugar of 200 or above again indicates diabetes. Another test, the glycohemoglobin or hemoglobin A1C, measures the average blood sugar level throughout the day over the last two months. A level of 5.6 or less is desirable, 5.7 to 6.4 is prediabetes, and 6.5 or more denotes diabetes.
The complications of diabetes are directly related to the lack of control of the blood sugar. These include blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, leg amputation, heart attack and stroke. The risk of heart attack in a diabetic with no history of heart problems is the same as in a person who has already had a heart attack. To prevent these debilitating and life-threatening complications, it is imperative to establish control.
Conventional therapy includes medications, diet and lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, many people are started on medications without adequate instruction on lifestyle changes, and they are not told what supplements are effective for blood sugar control. Frequently medications are prescribed for other health problems that raise the blood sugar, causing diabetics to require even more drug therapy. Eventually many diabetics are prescribed insulin because no amount of medication provides adequate response.
How We Treat Diabetes and Prediabetes
We provide intensive instruction on nutrition. The most appropriate is a low glycemic regimen, utilizing foods that do not tend to raise the blood sugar excessively. These are usually the same foods that control cholesterol and blood pressure. It is possible to have a satisfying diet, without feeling hungry all the time, and still lose weight, and lower blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. We are often able to help patients get off their medications, sometimes entirely.
Nutritional supplements are essential. It is irresponsible to treat diabetes without recommending the most important and effective supplements. We prescribe effective doses of clinically studied essential oils, vitamins, minerals and herbs that have been shown to help control blood sugar levels. It is also the nature of diabetes to rob the body of nutrients through excessive urination, and this depletion impairs the patient’s status and sets the stage for complications.
Exercise is a key ingredient of the program. Aerobic activities, increasing to 30 minutes 7 days a week, are graded and increased according to tolerance. Patients are often surprised to see how much blood sugar can decline through exercise alone.
We can quickly determine if an individual is at risk for diabetes or prediabetes. Cholesterol studies, urine microalbumin, glucose and insulin testing, all provide valuable information on the patient’s condition. We employ other, specialized testing as well. Repeated glucose monitoring permits exact measurement of the blood sugar throughout the day, so patients can see the immediate effect of food choices, stress, activity and exercise on blood sugar. This helps them make decisions on dietary and other lifestyle choices.
Diabetes is often preventable and even often reversible. People who have diabetes or prediabetes can eliminate it, 60% to 90% of the time. With more information and more knowledge, the fear of illness can dissipate, and individuals can be in control of their lives, not the passive subjects of another’s authority.
Gastrointestinal disorders encompass Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, gastritis and gastroesophageal reflux, food allergies, parasites, dysbiosis, and a number of less common entities. Patients may present with abdominal pain, cramps, gas, bloating, food intolerances, changes in bowel habits. There are often additional symptoms such as fatigue, muscle and joint pains, headaches, memory and other cognitive problems, depression, insomnia and reduced libido.
Leaky gut occurs in many patients: the intestinal lining is inflamed and damaged by food allergies, toxins, drugs, or pathogenic organisms, and substances are absorbed that should not be. These materials pass through the blood stream to the liver and other organs, causing toxic reactions. Intense fatigue, arthritis, and constitutional symptoms may progress to the point of virtual disability. Many illnesses are influenced by gastrointestinal pathology. Autism and migraine headaches are examples of the gut-illness relationship.
Standard medical evaluations include upper and lower endoscopy, ultrasound and C-T and MRI scanning. These procedures, however, often fail to establish the cause of symptoms, or provide a rationale for treatment. Patients are offered symptomatic therapies, often antidepressants and sedatives, which may alleviate symptoms but provide no cure. Often patients go on for years without significant relief.
We test for food allergies, abnormal gut bacteria, parasites, Candida, abnormal digestion and absorption, markers of gut inflammation. We evaluate liver detoxification. Tissue transglutaminase IgA antibody tests for celiac disease. We measure heavy metals, red cell fatty acids, trace minerals, urine organic acids, vitamin and mineral levels. These tests often provide guidance for appropriate therapy.
Nutritional supplements frequently help. Zinc, glutamine, peppermint, essential fatty acids, phospholipids, butyrate may provide improvement where no prescription drug has helped. Sometimes antibiotics in special combinations and dosages are useful. Probiotics and prebiotics, beneficial bacteria and their supports, are mainstays of treatment. Elimination of dairy, gluten and soy may be important, especially in autistic children.
Sometimes maintenance drugs such as aspirin, NSAIDS, steroids, statins, and antidepressants are responsible for unresolved gastrointestinal ailments, and eliminating them can provide a cure.
At times it becomes possible to avoid or eliminate potent immunosuppressive agents. Recommended surgeries may become unnecessary, especially removal of the gall bladder. Certain diets can actually eliminate gall stones.
Detoxification, heavy metal removal, liver rejuvenation are all part of digestive rehabilitation.
Through a rational and systematic approach, gastrointestinal illness can be resolved, even after years of difficulty. Other health problems, thought to be unrelated, may then improve, as if by magic.
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Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis are complicated conditions that are difficult to treat with conventional therapies. Traditionally, fibromyalgia patients are treated with painkillers and antidepressants, rheumatoid patients with steroids and other potent and dangerous immune-modulating drugs. We test for food allergies, also abnormalities in the intestines, such as leaky gut (increased permeability allowing bacterial toxins to be absorbed), and dysbiosis (growth of parasites, yeast, and abnormal bacteria.) Dysbiosis is treated with probiotics, the addition of helpful bacteria, and sometimes with specific drug or herbal antibiotics. The nutritional supplements noted above, especially fish oil, are important. D-ribose, malic acid and magnesium should be taken for fibromyalgia.
Heart disease usually begins after the age of 40 in men, but generally does not begin in women until after menopause. At the age of 60 and thereafter heart disease occurs with equal frequency in both sexes. Initial symptoms are tightness or pain in the chest, shoulder or neck occurring with physical or emotional stress and resolving with rest. Other symptoms, especially in women, include shortness of breath with exertion, abdominal or back pain and nausea.
Risk factors for heart disease include:
1. High blood pressure
2. Diabetes or prediabetes
3. Elevated cholesterol, high LDL (“bad” cholesterol), low HDL (“good” cholesterol), high triglycerides
4. High C reactive protein (an inflammatory marker)
5. Cigarette smoking
6. Obesity (actually a weak factor unless there is morbid obesity- 100 pounds above ideal body weight)
7. Type A personality (the easily stressed, high pressure individual)
8. Family history of heart disease
9. Lack of exercise
10. Orthopedic disability that inhibits exercise
11. Low intake of fruits and vegetables
12. Low intake of alcohol (1-2 drinks per day are actually protective)
13. High homocysteine
14. Presence of autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis)
15. Advancing age
Treadmill stress testing is usually employed to evaluate for the presence of heart disease. Other testing however, may reveal early disease in the absence of either symptoms or an abnormal stress test. The rapid C-T cardiac scan is a non-invasive x-ray study that measures the presence of calcium in coronary arteries. Since calcium should not be present, the calcium score measures how much atherosclerosis has developed. A calcium score of zero indicates extremely low likelihood of disease. A calcium score of 1000 confers a risk of heart attack 5 times higher than a score of 100 or less. Any score above 0, however, indicates a need to evaluate and treat risk factors.
Treatment of Heart Disease
Heart disease is not only preventable, but also reversible by employing lifestyle changes. Exercise produces collateral circulation, lowers resting blood pressure, raises HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers weight. A low glycemic index diet, also low in saturated fat, reduces blood sugar and cholesterol and promotes weight loss. Stress reduction, by changing work routines and stressful relationships, is important.
In conventional medicine, patients with heart disease are routinely treated with statin drugs, aspirin, a beta blocker, and an ACE inhibitor, oftentimes with antidepressants as well. These medications can be reduced or eliminated with other approaches. Statin drugs are the most popular drugs in the world, yet they produce muscle pain and inflammation, and memory impairment. One study also suggests that individuals with lower LDL (bad) cholesterol have a higher incidence of Parkinson’s disease than those with higher LDL.
Some of the supplements we employ in treating heart disease are:
1. Coenzyme Q10
3. Fish oil
5. D ribose (a natural sugar that enhances energy production in the heart)- 2 scoops
Chelation therapy has been used in treating heart disease for many years. Although ignored by most conventional physicians, chelation therapy has benefited many individuals by reducing their symptoms and sparing them the need for invasive therapies such as bypass surgery and stents. A controlled study showed that chelation therapy in diabetics reduced cardiac events by half. We employ sodium EDTA, given by intravenous infusion combined with vitamins and minerals.
Another intravenous therapy involves the infusion of phosphatidylcholine, a nutrient fat that comprises the outer membrane lining of every cell in the body. This treatment is often provided along with chelation therapy, on alternate days.
We also offer ECP, external counterpulsation therapy. Inflatable soft cuffs are wrapped around the legs, thighs, and buttocks, and inflated with air during diastole, or relaxation phase of the cardiac cycle. Sixty times a minute blood is forced up the aorta into the heart, increasing blood flow through the coronary arteries and creating collateral circulation. It is a sort of natural cardiac bypass, done without surgery and without risk.
ECP is also effective for treating congestive heart failure, the most common cause of hospital admission in older people. It also treats stroke and peripheral vascular disease, and is in our opinion perhaps the most powerful antiaging therapy available along with ozone.
We have been successful in helping people get off drugs and avoid risky and sometimes ineffective cardiac procedures, and giving them a quality of life unavailable with usual medical approaches.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE – THE ANSWER
One quarter of the adult population of the United States has high blood pressure. In most of these people blood pressure is not under control despite medication. Most patients are taking 2, 3, or 4 blood pressure medications and are subject to all the incident side effects: weakness, impotence or loss of libido, muscle cramps, rash, cough, high blood sugar and others.
Most people with high blood pressure have what is called “essential hypertension”, as if it were something they needed. It is intended to mean we do not know what causes it. We do know. Essential hypertension has two causes: salt and overweight.
In areas of the world where salt intake is low, primitive areas, there is no such thing as essential hypertension and there is no age-related hypertension. We only require about 2 grams of salt a day and we eat at least five times that amount, often a lot more. Our food is loaded with salt and it is added before we buy it. Only 5% of the salt in food is added during cooking.
With all the talk about reducing fat, eliminating trans fats and reducing sugar, there has been little effort to reduce our excessive salt habit.
I recommend you start to read food labels for their salt content. Salt will be listed as sodium. One mg of sodium represents 2.5 mg of salt. Thus your daily intake of sodium should be less than 1000 mg (one gram). If the label indicates that one serving of the product contains more than 100 mg of sodium, I suggest you do not buy it, or just eat half as much. You will be surprise, if not shocked by what you see. Items such as sausage and other lunch meats, and cheese will be out of the question. Note that an 8 ounce serving of milk contains 150 mg of sodium. One slice of bread contains about 80 mg of sodium.
Restaurants perhaps without exception salt their foods heavily. This includes not only fast food restaurants, but also expensive ones. Soups especially are laden with salt. Chinese and Mexican restaurants offer perhaps the most heavily salted preparations.
There is no salt in fruits and vegetables provided they are fresh and not processed. Fruits and vegetables, in fact, are loaded with potassium and magnesium, which have the effect of lowering blood pressure. Thus, the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the lower your blood pressure will go.
Add up the sodium in the foods you eat. Aim toward less than one gram of sodium per day. You will see your blood pressure go down, as well as your weight, because foods high in salt are often calorically dense. Make sure the nuts you eat are also unsalted, and the popcorn. You will get used to eating less salt and eventually find heavily salted foods to be distasteful.
Exercise reduces blood pressure. Weight loss lowers blood pressure. Supplements including potassium, magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids (fish oils), and CoQ10 reduce blood pressure. Better sleep quality, stress reduction, and treatment of sleep apnea also lower blood pressure.
– Allan Sosin MD
CHOLESTEROL- HOW IMPORTANT IS IT AND WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and peripheral vascular disease, but not for stroke unless it is extremely high. According to current medical literature, total cholesterol should be less than 200, with LDL or bad cholesterol less than 130. HDL, the protective or good cholesterol, which functions to carry cholesterol away from blood vessels, should be over 50. Another important number is the ratio of total cholesterol to good cholesterol (Chol/HDL), and this number should be less than 4.0.
Additional lab studies permit further differentiation of individual cholesterol patterns. These include apolipoproteins a1 and b, and LDL cholesterol particle number and particle size. Lipoprotein a, oxidized LDL, and LpPLA2 are also indicators of cholesterol risk.
Unfortunately, many physicians are prescribing statin drugs to patients with high cholesterol who have no history of heart disease. In women with no history of heart disease, cholesterol-lowering drugs provide no benefit in preventing heart attacks. In men with no history of heart disease, you have to treat 50 men to prevent one heart attack.
In men and women with a history of heart disease, LDL cholesterol should be brought into the range of 60-70.
The statin drugs are not benign. They frequently cause muscle pain and weakness that can be severe and debilitating. Symptoms may take weeks to resolve after the drug is stopped. Statin drugs may also impair memory, thus raising concern that they may contribute to Alzheimer disease. Statin side effects are related to the drug dose. Lower doses are safer, so nutritional changes and cholesterol-lowering supplements allow for reduction of statin dosage.
High cholesterol does not always mean heart disease is imminent. We have numerous patients in their 70’s and 80’s with high cholesterol and no disease. Some have cholesterol as high as 250-300, with LDL up to 200.
One useful test to assess risk is a coronary artery calcium score. Calcium is deposited within coronary artery walls as part of the disease process. The higher the calcium score, measured by C-T scanning, the greater the risk of cardiac events. If the calcium score is zero, there is virtually no risk, no matter how high cholesterol is. Many older patients with high cholesterol have calcium scores of zero. Statin drugs will not be of benefit.
The best way to lower cholesterol is to change food choices. Eliminate dairy products, especially cheese and ice cream, keep milk to a minimum and use organic or raw milk. Some people believe raw milk is completely safe and will not elevate cholesterol levels. I have seen no studies on this. I once lowered my cholesterol 40 points just by stopping dairy products.
Eat no more than 7 eggs a week. Reduce intake of meats, especially fatty meats like lunch meats and hot dogs. Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can. They contain no cholesterol.
Supplements to lower cholesterol include niacin, bergamot and plant sterols. Triglycerides, a component of the cholesterol panel and a risk factor for heart disease, can be reduced with niacin and fish oil. Alcohol, sugar, and refined carbohydrates like bread and pizza are major causes of high triglycerides.
You can see changes in cholesterol levels within 1-4 weeks of making dietary and supplement changes. In many people, these nutritional changes and the addition of supplements are more effective in lowering cholesterol than statins, and they offer no risk. When the cholesterol falls low enough, you can reduce or discontinue statin drugs.
– Allan Sosin, M.D.
Estrogen and menopause in women
Menopause is defined as one year after the last menstrual period. Prior to that time, however, symptoms will begin and blood tests will reveal low estradiol levels and high FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone, a pituitary hormone that increases when estrogen is low). Menopause is characterized by hot flashes, night sweats, depression, insomnia, weight gain, reduced libido, vaginal dryness and atrophy, and skin changes. Many women are spared severe symptoms. Other medical conditions are initiated with menopause, including osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease manifested by heart disease and stroke, and memory and cognitive loss.
According to numerous studies in major medical journals, estrogen replacement resolves most menopausal symptoms, reduces osteoporosis, and in numerous studies has prevented cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. We avoid oral estrogens because of evidence for increased blood clotting factors with oral administration. We order sublingual drops, and transdermal creams or gels, or we use pellets. These are usually obtained through a compounding pharmacy, which can prepare formulations in specific dosage. Initially they are prescribed twice a day, but eventually can be taken once a day.
Estrogen increases bone density, maintains vascular elasticity, produces collagen in the skin to prevent wrinkles, and likely supports cognitive function. There is perhaps a slightly increased risk of breast cancer with estrogen therapy, but this is reduced by using bioidentical formulations only and keeping with a lower dose. Indole-3- carbinol and calcium D-glucarate are nutrients that direct estrogen metabolism away from carcinogenic metabolites. Adding estriol to estradiol may also provide protection against breast malignancy.
Testosterone in men and women
Testosterone declines in some women at the time of menopause, while in others the level is maintained by adrenal production. In men, testosterone declines gradually with age. Testosterone replacement maintains bone density, increases libido in both men and women, raises the blood count, and increases muscle strength and athletic performance. It is usually taken as a transdermal preparation, sublingual drops or an oral troche.
Men often administer testosterone as an injection into the buttocks given once or twice a week. Testosterone may not be used in men who have prostate cancer unless the cancer has been effectively treated. In some men we have also prescribed human chorionic gonadotropin, an injection that stimulates the testes to increase testosterone production. Clomiphene, a medication, can be taken twice a week to raise testosterone production in most men.
Pellet therapy for men and women
We use subcutaneous estrogen in women, inserted as tiny pellets under the skin of the buttock. Pellets last 3–4 months or more, and have the advantage of maintaining stable blood levels throughout the day. They are inserted through a small incision made under local anesthesia, during an office procedure that takes about five minutes. Estrogen pellets are particularly effective in preventing and reversing osteoporosis.
Women who have not had a hysterectomy will also require progesterone replacement to avoid an otherwise increased risk of endometrial cancer. Progesterone may be taken as a capsule, and has the additional benefit of enhancing sleep. It is also available as a transdermal cream, and may be combined with estrogen.
Testosterone for men may also be inserted as pellets under the skin of the buttocks, providing an even blood level for 3–4 months or more. The dosage in men is several times higher than in women. The pellets also contain anastrozole, a medication to prevent conversion of testosterone to estrogen within fat cells.
DHEA is a testosterone-related hormone that declines with age in both men and women. It is often referred to as the master hormone because the body uses it to make other hormones. Levels decline further in people on steroids and in sicker patients. DHEA increases libido, supports bone density, supports immune function and prevents depression. It is often taken as an oral supplement, 5–10 mg daily in women, and 25–50 mg in men. It is usually avoided in circumstances of prostate cancer.
Thyroid hormone levels are often low in both men and women, though more often in women. The thyroid gland is frequently involved in autoimmune processes, and is also very sensitive to environmental toxins and to radiation. We provide thyroid in oral formulations combining T3 and T4, usually using the TSH level to guide the dosage. Sometimes iodine deficiency is present. This can be diagnosed through a blood or urine test to measure excretion of a known iodine dose. Low urine excretion indicates deficiency. Iodine is then given in oral dosage, up to 12.5 mg daily.
Human Growth Hormone (hGH)
Human growth hormone also declines in both sexes with age. Growth hormone deficiency causes osteoporosis, depression, reduced energy and strength, increased abdominal fat and reduced muscle mass. IgF-1 levels are measured to assess the body’s production of growth hormone. Low IgF-1 levels are associated with heart failure, the major cause of hospitalization in older people. Growth hormone is usually administered in a dose of 1–2 units daily by subcutaneous injection. Specific laboratory testing is necessary to evaluate growth hormone deficiency.
We have experience in directing hormone replacement therapy in thousands of patients. Every patient is different, and it is important to make individual assessments to assure proper treatment.
Do Hormones Cause Cancer?
In men, a large study of 20,000 men showed no increase in prostate cancer in men treated with testosterone. But testosterone supports the growth of prostate cancer, and a main treatment of prostate cancer is to give agents that block testosterone production and activity- Lupron, Proscar, Casodex, Xgeva.
After a period of years prostate cancer is no longer controlled by blocking testosterone. Experiments are going on to see if alternating testosterone blockade with testosterone supplementation may prevent resistant cancer cells from growing.
In women data on breast cancer and hormone therapy are conflicting.
After menopause, when hormone levels are very low, the incidence of breast cancer in women goes up, not down. It continues to rise until the age of 85, even though estrogen levels are extremely low. Therefore other factors must be involved- impaired immune function, poor diet, overweight, diabetes, lack of exercise, stress, heredity.
The Women’s Health Initiative, a major study conducted in 2002, showed a slight increase in breast cancer in women given Premarin and Provera. These preparations are both non-human identical hormones. Provera the synthetic progesterone, has been shown in some studies to increase incidence of breast cancer. We never use it.
A 10- year follow-up study on the Women’s Health Initiative, in women with hysterectomy and thus on estrogen only and no progesterone, showed no increase of breast cancer in those women.
Testosterone therapy in menopausal women has been shown to reduce breast cancer incidence. Compared with placebo, women on testosterone only or testosterone plus estrogen, had half the incidence of breast cancer as women getting no hormones. A 90 year old woman had regression of breast cancer when she was treated with testosterone.
What should women do? Use bio-identical hormones only.
Follow lifestyle that reduces breast cancer risk: exercise, avoidance of overweight, reduce alcohol consumption (not more than drink a day) and eat cruciferous vegetables that reduce breast cancer risk- such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cabbage.
See how you feel with hormones. Remember that hormones improve bone density, mood, sleep, skin quality, sense of well-being, libido, vaginal health, energy, cognitive function, and may lower risk of heart disease and stroke. They may also lower risk of dementia.
-Allan Sosin MD
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Men are often less attentive to their health than women. It is common for wives to make doctor’s appointments for their husbands. Proper care is important, however, since a lot can be done to prevent, ameliorate and reverse disease. We encourage men to pursue regular physical examination with proper laboratory testing, as indicated by lifestyle, past history and family history.
Cardiac disease occurs at an earlier age in men than in women. Good physical conditioning is protective, but does not wholly eliminate the possibility of cardiovascular disease. Especially when there is a family history of early disease, screening should include laboratory assessment of cholesterol profile, homocysteine, C-reactive protein (CRP), hemoglobin A1C. Stress testing should be performed, either a routine treadmill study, echo stress test, or cardiolite stress test. The echo stress test can reveal evidence of regional wall disease, or weakness in a particular area of the heart. The cardiolite study reveals regions of the heart where circulation is impaired.
We often suggest rapid C-T scanning of the heart for measurement of the coronary calcium score. Elevated calcium score is a marker for arteriosclerosis even in the absence of any symptoms, and may be the first evidence that a problems exists. It indicates a need to address risk factors and make lifestyle modifications, often years before symptomatic illness occurs. Rapid C-T scanning is also a good screening test for disease in various organs, including cancer. Several patients in our practice have been diagnosed with cancer solely on the basis of this study.
Prostate problems come to the forefront as men get older. Urinary frequency and urgency, nighttime urination, reduced stream, and urine leakage can be very bothersome. Herbal therapies may be beneficial. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men next to skin cancer. Several tests are available to determine when prostate cancer is likely to be present. Other studies help to decide on the best therapy, and whether therapy may be deferred and the patient simply observed. Specific nutrients, such as vitamin D, lycopene, and indole-3-carbinol, may be useful both in prevention and management of prostate cancer. We can advise on the relative benefits and disadvantages of surgery versus radiation therapy versus hormone manipulation in specific cases.
Impaired erectile function and lowered libido are age, health, hormone and medication related. It is yet possible for a man to enjoy sexual functioning into his eighties and perhaps longer. Hormone replacement therapy with testosterone and DHEA are useful yet must be carefully employed because of potential side effects. Testosterone may be supplied as a transdermal cream or gel, sublingual drop, weekly injection, or as a small testosterone pellet implanted under the skin of the buttock once every 4-6 months. Many medications, especially blood pressure and anti-depressant drugs, adversely affect sexual function. We may be able to reduce the dosage, provide replacement medications, or eliminate the need for these medications.
What Else Can We Do?
Intravenous nutrient therapies, oral supplements, external counterpulsation therapy, may all be valuable approaches. We have protocols for improving strength, endurance, sense of well-being, and general health. One therapy called the P-K protocol. An infusion of phosphatidylcholine, folinic acid, and glutathione, sometimes followed by phenylbutyrate, this protocol has resulted in improvements in patients with neurologic disorders and liver disease. Major autohemotransfusion (MAH) utilizes intravenous ozone to fight infection, chronic fatigue, and inflammatory conditions.
It is often not appreciated that osteoporosis occurs in men as well as women. Testing via dexa bone density should be performed in all men over 65, and sooner in those who are physically inactive, sustain hip or spine fractures, or have been treated with steroids. Osteoporotic fractures are preventable, because osteoporosis is remediable. Supplements that raise bone density include magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, strontium, vitamin K, boron, silicon, and green tea. Exercise and dietary changes, especially exclusion of alcohol and cigarettes, support bone density. Testosterone, human growth hormone and DHEA all work to increase bone density. We are expert in employing those hormones. Dexa bone density should be repeated after one year. We may recommend prescription medication if bone density has failed to respond in that time.
Although we see patients in consultation, often for second opinions, and specialize in holistic and alternative approaches to complicated medical problems, we still offer on-going, follow-up medical care. It is our desire to follow patients over time, not to dismiss them after one or two visits, and to continue to provide guidance, especially since new therapies are constantly being developed.
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Osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones, occurs with hormonal deficiency, lack of exercise, weight loss, cigarette smoking, alcohol use, steroid therapy, high protein diets and vitamin D deficiency. Certain medications increase bone loss, including cortisone-like drugs and antidepressants.
Fractures due to osteoporosis occur most often in the hip or lower back, can be very painful and cause permanent loss of mobility. In older people, hip fractures can often lead to mortality. Osteoporosis is more common in tall, light-complexioned women. However, a quarter of hip fractures occur in men, and as men live longer, the number who suffer a hip fracture due to osteoporosis is steadily rising. More than half of fractures due to bone loss occur in people whose bones are thinning but aren’t quite thin enough to be labeled osteoporosis. They’re in a gray zone known as osteopenia.
Osteoporosis – Treatment and Prevention
The best natural treatments for both osteoporosis and osteopenia are also good for prevention.
1. Calcium and magnesium are required to build healthy bone matrix. Both calcium and magnesium help to slow bone loss when increased levels are circulating in the blood.
2. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is generated in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is required for absorption of calcium in the gut. Vitamin D is proven to support healthy bone density. Many researchers point to an unrecognized epidemic of vitamin D deficiency among older Americans, suggesting that of those 200,000+ persons who suffer hip fractures each year, many are vitamin D deficient.
3. Strontium is a naturally occurring mineral, and is naturally found in the human body. Strontium has an affinity for bone and is taken up at the bone matrix crystal surface. The influence of strontium on bone metabolism has been researched since the 1950’s. Studies show that strontium positively affects bone metabolism to promote bone formation and decrease bone resorption, and can actually increase bone density. Researchers reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine found a 41% reduction in vertebral fractures over 3 years when adding strontium to a stable calcium and vitamin D diet regimen.
4. Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin available in several forms. Vitamin K is required for the synthesis of osteocalcin, a bone protein integral for bone formation. Osteocalcin provides the structure and order to bone tissue; without it, bones would be fragile and easily broken. In humans, vitamin K levels fall during recovery from a fracture evidencing that this nutrient is actually drawn from the rest of the body to the site of the fracture. Vitamin K2 is found in meats and dairy products and is produced naturally by bacteria. Its more popular cousin, vitamin K1, is found in greater concentrations in green leafy vegetables. Both forms are used to maintain a more healthy bone matrix, but vitamin K2 has a longer half-life in the body.
5. Hormone replacement therapy to include natural estrogen and testosterone, DHEA and occasionally growth hormone. Hormone pellets have shown the greatest protection for patients at risk for osteoporosis, or those who have it.
6. Weight-bearing exercise, at least 30 minutes every day has been shown to promote healthy bone structure and prevent osteoporosis.
7. Drink green tea, or supplement with green tea extract. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows elderly women who drank tea had higher bone density in their hips and less bone loss than women who didn’t drink tea. Researchers say the results confirm previous studies that have suggested drinking tea may protect against bone loss and osteoporosis.
8. Prescription pharmaceuticals when osteoporosis is severe, when the above measures cannot be employed, or when bone density declines despite these therapies. It is unusual for pharmaceuticals to be needed when intervention occurs early.
In the U.S. alone, some 10 million people have osteoporosis and 34 million are estimated to have osteopenia. With the population rapidly aging, the government estimates half of Americans over 50 will be at risk of fractures from too-thin bones by 2020.
The World Health Organization funded a Web-based tool called FRAX, unveiled last week, that helps calculate the odds of a hip, wrist, shoulder or spine fracture within the next 10 years for anyone 40 or older in nine different countries – regardless of whether they have full-fledged osteoporosis or just low bone mass. (CLICK HERE to use the FRAX calculation tool online – you will need data from a current DXA bone densitometry test to do this calculation. To start, choose your nationality under the calculation tool section at the top of the page.)
Most women and many men are at risk for osteoporotic bone fractures as they get older. At the Institute for Progressive Medicine, we have great success in preventing and reversing osteoporosis.
A DXA bone density study is the easiest and most accurate way to evaluate for osteoporosis. The test is performed in our office, takes only minutes and involves negligible x-ray exposure, approximately 100 times less than a chest x-ray. The test should be performed in any woman approaching menopause, since menopause is the time of greatest bone loss. Other risks for osteoporosis in both men and women include limited movement sue to paralysis, steroid therapy, malnutrition, scoliosis, back pain or after any fracture. Additionally, men should have a DXA scan if they are receiving prostate cancer therapy. We also routinely test for vitamin D levels, since the majority of men and women are deficient.
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ASTHMA, BRONCHITIS, EMPHYSEMA
The incidence of lung disease is increasing more than any other class of illness. Much of this is due to a rise in environmental pollution. We have a number of effective treatments.
Xlear nasal spray– this simple and expedient device cleanses the nasal and sinus tissues of allergens and irritants, simultaneously eliminating bacteria through the action of xylitol, a natural sugar. Two sprays in each nostril twice a day, or more often should an infection intervene, are highly effective. Upper and lower respiratory infections will be markedly reduced in most individuals.
Nasal ozone (Nozone): Ozone is a gas made from oxygen by application of an electrical charge. It can be sprayed into the nostrils through a syringe, and penetrate the sinuses. Ozone kills bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, in addition to its anti-inflammatory effect. Nosone reduces symptoms of allergic and infectious sinusitis.
Natural D-Hist– a natural antihistamine composed of vitamins and herbs, this supplement reduces congestion without causing drowsiness or dry mouth.
Skin or blood testing for inhalant allergies permits identification of causative agents in allergic rhinitis and asthma. Desensitization injections often reduce allergic symptoms.
Food allergy testing and food elimination frequently reduce respiratory symptoms. Restricting dairy products in particular improves symptoms.
HEPA filters– placed in the bedroom and left running throughout the day, these filters remove allergens from the air and often relieve congestion and wheezing.
Asthma kit– magnesium, added to bronchodilators in a nebulizer, enhances the bronchodilator effect by up to 50%.
Respaid– this is a combination of colloidal silver and hydrogen peroxide, inhaled through a nebulizer, which kills bacterial, viral and fungal organisms to prevent and heal respiratory infections. We use Respaid in combination with albuterol in the nebulizer, to open tight airways, and reduce cough and wheezing. Nebulized glutathione- glutathione is a potent antioxidant and detoxifier. Patients with chronic lung disease, bronchitis and emphysema inhale glutathione regularly to support the respiratory tissues.
Intravenous immune drips– these are infusions of high dose vitamin C, zinc, vitamins and trace minerals, glutathione and magnesium to prevent and resolve infections, and enhance the effect of antibiotics. They may be taken every day in the case of acute infection.
Intravenous ozone– ozone can be inserted into a container of 5-6 ounces of blood, then transfused back into the patient. It activates the immune system to heal infection and suppress inflammatory processes in the lungs.
Breathing exercises help expand the lungs, clear lung secretions, and develop the respiratory muscles.
Weight loss – obesity restricts the ability of the lungs to expand. An effective weight loss regimen increases lung volumes and breathing efficiency.
All of these and other methods may be employed along with medications. We often find, however, that many medications can be eliminated or avoided, by improving innate resistance to infection and supporting the body’s natural healing abilities.
Allan Sosin MD
Trouble sleeping is one of the most common complaints patients have when visiting their physician. In fact, Over 20% of Americans may suffer from chronic sleep loss or untreated sleep disorders.
Underlying causes of insomnia include high stress, improper diet, food and environmental allergies, sleep apnea, overuse of caffeine, poor blood sugar control and others. The CDC reports that poor sleep can contribute to weight gain, chronic headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, an impaired immune system, trouble thinking and attention problems. Dangerous accidents can also be a result.
People living in the United States have experienced a substantial decrease of sleep time over the last half-century. There has been a decline in sleep duration of 1-2 hours per night. During this time the incidence of obesity has doubled. There is a strong correlation between higher body mass index and shorter sleep duration. Now we know that one of the mechanisms for these changes is due to alterations in the hormones that affect hunger and appetite.
One study published in the Annals of internal medicine, December 2004 indicates that sleep deprivation alters hormonal imbalance to increase hunger and appetite. The study shows that subjects who were deprived of sleep had a significant decline in blood levels of the hormone leptin. Leptin is a hormone that reduces appetite. In addition, levels of the hormone ghrelin, which functions to increase hunger, were increased by 24%. As a consequence of these hormonal changes, hunger and appetite rose substantially, especially for calorie dense foods with a high content of carbohydrates. The subjects developed a strong desire for cake, candy, cookies, ice cream and pastry, as well as bread, pasta, cereal and potatoes. Salty foods such as chips, salted nuts, pickles and olives also were in high demand.
Here are some things to consider when trying to improve sleep. Go for a 15-20 minute walk before going to bed. Avoid heavy exercise within 2-3 hours of sleep. Also avoid heavy meals, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before going to bed. Try to avoid taking naps during the day, since this may interfere with going to sleep at night. Blue light from electronic devices has been shown to reduce levels of the sleep hormone melatonin. Discontinuing the use of TV, tablets and smart phones at least an hour before you go to sleep can be helpful. Supplementation with targeted nutrients can also be effective for improving sleep.
At the Institute for Progressive Medicine we have great success treating chronic sleeping problems without the use of prescription sleep medications.
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Stroke is damage to brain tissue due to a loss of circulation. It is a major cause of death and severe disability from paralysis. Stroke may occur through passage of blood clots from the heart or carotid arteries into the brain, or hemorrhage from rupture of blood vessels in the brain.
High blood pressure is the main risk factor for stroke. Cholesterol reduction, though employed in stroke patients, has not been shown to reduce the incidence of stroke. Diabetes is also a risk factor for stroke, and correction of elevated blood sugar is preventive.
A transient ischemic attack (TIA), a temporary loss of sensation, vision, movement or speech lasting minutes to hours, is a warning of impending stroke, and necessitates a search for causative factors, such as cardiac or carotid disease.
Treatment for stroke employs physical therapy to improve movement and mobility. Improvements are though to end one year after the stroke occurs. Actually patients can improve for years after the stroke.
Several alternative therapies have demonstrated improvement from stroke. These include chelation therapy, external counterpulsation therapy, intravenous ozone and hyperbaric oxygen. They all have the effect of improving oxygen supply to the brain, enhancing formation of new brain tissue and the interconnections of neurons. They can be employed in combination for additional effect.
Evaluation of stroke or TIA includes MRI of the brain, echocardiogram, evaluation for atrial fibrillation (an irregularity of heart rhythm often causing stroke), and carotid artery ultrasound.
Allan Sosin MD
Are you always tired?
Have you gained weight?
Are your feet and hands cold?
Does your skin get dry?
Are you constipated and bloated?
Do you get depressed?
Does your body ache?
Is your memory worse?
The above signs can all be indicators of an underactive thyroid. When you have an underactive thyroid, your symptoms may start gradually, or be contributed to other problems like stress and aging. However, approximately 20 million American have thyroid disease. Because of lack of adequate screening and awareness, it is estimated that 60% of people with thyroid disease go undiagnosed.
What Is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the lower neck. The thyroid is known to regulate metabolism and how many calories you burn. When the thyroid is underactive, you can gain weight. When it is overactive, you can lose weight. But the thyroid also does much more. It is important to regulating heart rate, body temperature, nerve function, digestion, muscle strength, bone density, and cell regeneration. People with an underactive thyroid can be fatigued, depressed, overweight, and constipated. People with an overactive thyroid may lose weight rapidly, have muscle wasting, high blood pressure, visual changes, and bone loss.
What Causes Thyroid Disease?
A person’s own antibodies against the thyroid gland are the most common cause of thyroid disease. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which affects 14 million Americans, is the most common thyroid disorder overall. With Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, antibodies to the thyroid gland cause inflammation that lowers thyroid hormone. Grave’s disease, which affects an estimated 3 million in the US, is the most common cause of an overactive thyroid. With Grave’s Disease, autoantibodies trigger too much thyroid hormone.
Other causes of an underactive thyroid include: nutritional deficiencies; low protein intake; alcohol; medications such as steroids, metformin, lithium, and furosemide (water pills); treatment with radioactive iodine; and thyroid surgery. Other causes of an overactive thyroid may include excess iodine supplementation and thyroid nodules.
What is the Best Approach to Treating Thyroid Disease?
Thyroid treatment should focus on which factors are most contributing to the problem. For autoimmune thyroid disease, correcting gut imbalances is key. This may include avoiding gluten, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives; replacing digestive enzymes, and using both prebiotics and probiotics to optimize gut health. Sometimes an environmental toxin, like mercury, triggers thyroid antibodies. When this is the case, a heavy metal detox can improve thyroid function. Correcting nutritional deficiencies can be beneficial as well.
At IPM, both heavy metal chelation and IV nutrient therapy can be done to optimize our patients’ thyroid health. When prescription medicine is necessary to treat an underactive thyroid, we prescribe a natural combination of both T3 and T4, which can be customized to the individual. We carry prescription natural thyroid in our office for your convenience.
-Martha Wittenberg MD, MPH
Weight Control Program
Overweight and obesity are epidemic problems almost worldwide. Obesity-related conditions include high pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes and pre-diabetes, heart attacks and strokes, sleep apnea, congestive heart failure, arthritis and several cancers including breast, esophageal and kidney cancer. Beyond these problems, overweight people often have fatigue, depression, and impaired self-image.
More than 2/3 of American adults are overweight. Curiously, it is now abnormal to have a normal weight. One third of American adults are obese, and over two million people are massively obese, meaning they are 100 pounds above ideal weight. Bariatric surgery, using procedures to compress or bypass the stomach, are performed yearly in hundreds of thousands of patients, who believe they have no alternative. We believe they have another choice.
Too much of the wrong kinds of foods- fast foods, high glycemic index foods that raise blood sugar levels and insulin levels, leading to fat deposition: refined carbohydrates, starches like potatoes, rice and corn, plus bread, soft drinks and sugar. Not enough fiber, not enough fruits and vegetables.
Too many meals in restaurants.
Not enough time and effort put into shopping and preparing meals properly.
Stress. Some people lose weight with stress, but most of us head for food as a means of relieving our anxiety and discomfort.
Poor quality of sleep. Research indicates that certain hormones are released during sleep that reduce appetite. Absence of these hormones increases hunger.
Medications- several medications cause weight gain: certain diabetes medications,steroids, many psychiatric medications and tranquilizers.
WHAT TO DO?
Many types of diets are effective for weight loss, but unfortunately most people stray from their programs and start to gain weight again after about six months. Strict vegan diets can be difficult to maintain. A low glycemic index diet is likely the most practical way to lose weight. Fats and proteins promote satiety and reduce appetite, but it is important to choose the right fats. Refined carbohydrates such as bread and bakery products, sugar, candy and soft drinks, do not satisfy, and they increase appetite. They should be restricted or eliminated. Fiber intake should be increased as much as possible. Fiber is indigestible carbohydrate that cannot be absorbed and slows the absorption of other foods. High fiber foods increase serving size without raising calorie intake, as high fiber foods contain a lot of water. Ideally, one should have 50 grams of fiber daily. We can show you how to do this.
Missing meals is no way to lose weight. Omitting breakfast increases food intake later in the day, and weight actually goes up.
Low fat diets generally are unsuccessful for weight loss, because they are often high in refined carbohydrates that the liver converts into fat. High carbohydrate tends to raise triglyceride levels and lower the HDL, or good cholesterol level. These are unfavorable changes.
We aim for a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week, no more. More rapid weightloss leads eventually to a nutritional stone wall, and people become unable to control their food cravings and gain weight again, ending up heavier than they were when they started. Weight loss should occur as part of a sustainable lifestyle change. In this way it can be maintained. Patients have lost up to 100 pounds on our program.
Our weight loss program is monitored by a certified, highly experienced nutritionist. Our patients are not deprived. There is plenty to eat. We emphasize whole, unprocessed foods, nutrient dense and preferably organic, with many vegetables and fruits. Along with weight loss, our patients achieve remarkable improvements in their sense of well-being, and in their self-esteem.
At the Institute for progressive medicine we offer solutions to many health concerns specific to women in any phase of their lives. Our doctors offer women a wide variety of options ranging from medications to nutritional and herbal therapies. Integrative medicine offers effective and innovative solutions to a wide range of women’s health concerns.
Annual Exam and Physical
Our doctors use up to date liquid based pap technology. We take the time necessary to perform a thorough physical examination. We also allow time to explain any pertinent findings as well as answer questions. Our doctors pride themselves on offering a complete and gentle gynecological exam.
Perimenopause & Menopause
We offer a wide variety of solutions for hormonal balancing during transitional years and beyond. We offer therapies including Bio Identical Hormonal Replacement and Herbal Alternatives.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is highly effective in alleviating or eliminating menopausal symptoms, otherwise difficult to treat. Hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, depression, weight gain, loss of interest in sex, vaginal dryness, osteoporosis, urinary tract infection, are all part and parcel of hormone deprivation, reversible through the addition of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. The presumed adverse effects of estrogen are attributable to the use of non-human identical chemicals, and are preventable with human-identical preparations.
Women who experienced irregular menses that occur at unpredictable times or have very heavy menstruation are categorized as having menstrual disorders. We will investigate the underlying imbalance and recommend gentle therapies to correct the problem.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS symptoms can range from irritability and depression to bloating and acne. There are dozens of symptoms that have been attributed to PMS. Every woman experiences PMS in a different way. Many of these symptoms are precipitated by hormonal imbalance or lifestyle factors. Our doctors take the time to understand the underlying cause of your PMS symptoms and treat them appropriately.
We offer a herbal and nutritional treatment protocol using supplements and topical therapies to correct abnormal Pap smears. This treatment has a high success rate in reversing abnormal Pap smears, and may help you avoid surgery if you have abnormal cells.
Yeast, bacteria, or hormonal changes can cause vaginal infections. What women may believe is a yeast infection is commonly caused by something else. A thorough examination and evaluation of your particular vaginal discomfort is necessary to determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment. Often, it is necessary for a combination of investigational tools to be used including looking at vaginal discharge under a microscope or sending it in to the laboratory for evaluation. Integrative therapies can include pharmaceuticals as well as natural agents to relieve your current symptoms as well as addressing the underlying cause to prevent future occurrences.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition with an underlying cause of insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance. It is associated with symptoms such as irregular menses, infertility, weight gain, abnormal hair growth and acne. We offer a variety of treatment options incorporating conventional and natural means to control your symptoms and address the underlying causes.
We offer effective therapies that not only prevent further bone loss, but actually improve your bone strength and density. Diet, lifestyle modifications, weight-bearing exercise and nutritional supplements are all useful therapies for osteoporosis.
Many women complain of “lumpy bumpy” breasts that are oftentimes painful around their period. Many of these symptoms can be controlled through lifestyle modification and nutritional supplementation. We will discuss with you ways in which to improve your breast health. A comprehensive program designed to help you prevent breast cancer is also available.
If you have any questions about how our doctors can help you, please call our office.