Are you sick and tired of your menopausal symptoms? Some women barely feel a difference during this natural life transition. Others are not so lucky. Some women feel like they are on a roller coaster that they can’t stop or slow down, no matter what they do. Fortunately, most women who are healthy and who are experiencing symptoms of menopause, ranging from hot flashes to vaginal dryness, can experience some relief from their symptoms with hormone therapy.
It is important to understand that hormone therapy is not one-size-fits-all. Each treatment is customized for the patient. This is because no two people are exactly alike. Common methods of hormone therapy include patches, creams, capsules and vaginal treatments. The right format for you will depend on a variety of factors, including your specific menopausal symptoms, your overall health and your desires.
Most patients will undergo hormone therapy for a set amount of time. The treatments can be adjusted as necessary based on the patient’s wants and needs, however. With hormone therapy at our office in Toronto, Dr. Pearlman will be your guide. She is well-versed, highly qualified and experienced in bioidentical hormone therapy, so you can be sure you are in the best of hands under her care and supervision.
With consistent hormone therapy at our office over a set amount of time, you will start to feel like yourself again. Your menopausal symptoms should start to become less of a nuisance, often times going away entirely, depending on the situation. Things like insomnia, hot flashes and irritability will become distant memories. You should start to feel more energized and well-rested. Your overall quality of life will improve.
During a consultation at Pearl MD Rejuvenation, you can get all the facts about hormone therapy and how it may be used to treat your menopausal symptoms. If hormone fluctuations are causing you to experience unwanted symptoms, you could be a great candidate for this innovative treatment. With that being said, the best way to determine if you qualify for hormone therapy is to schedule an appointment at our office in Toronto. Contact us today to book a consultation to learn more.
Are you sick and tired of seeing wrinkles on your face? Do the wrinkles get worse when you make certain facial expressions? If so, you could be a good candidate for BOTOX®. This is a purified protein solution that can minimize or completely reduce the appearance of certain types of facial wrinkles.
Everybody has heard about BOTOX®, but a lot of people aren’t quite sure what it is. This is a non-surgical procedure that utilizes an injectable liquid to temporarily relax muscles in the treated area. BOTOX® is specifically designed to address dynamic wrinkles. Dynamic wrinkles are the wrinkles that appear on your face as a result of the facial movements you make. These types of wrinkles are different from static wrinkles.
With just a simple injection treatment, BOTOX® prevents the muscles in your face from contracting with the same severity that they did prior to treatment. As a result, your facial muscles do not telegraph their movement into your skin. The dynamic wrinkles that you see on your forehead, around your eyes and around your mouth all start to disappear.
Some people shy away from getting BOTOX® treatments because they feel that in addition to saying goodbye to their wrinkles, they are also going to be saying goodbye to their ability to make facial expressions. Some people mistakenly believe that BOTOX® injections mean that they’re going to have a permanently frozen face or they are going to have that permanently surprised expression that some movie stars and television stars have after having cosmetic procedures done.
The truth is that when BOTOX® is administered in the appropriate way, these side effects don’t happen. In fact, most of the time when you see a person with that startled look or that frozen face, it’s not because of this treatment, but instead because they had a surgical procedure like a forehead lift that went bad.
BOTOX® is a powerful tool that has allowed millions of people to say goodbye to their facial wrinkles. While BOTOX® is not a permanent fix, it has proven to be an effective way to temporarily minimize the appearance of dynamic wrinkles. And the treatments can be safely repeated at our office multiple times per year for ongoing benefits.
We invite you to make an appointment at Pearl MD Rejuvenation to learn more information about BOTOX® and how it may help you. Contact us today to book an appointment at our office in Toronto!
Despite our collective obsession with counting calories, we are now the fattest generation in history. Obesity levels in Canadian adults have increased from 3 per cent in 2003 to 18.5 per cent in 2012, according to Statistics Canada, with the greatest rate of increase seen in women.
A tidal wave of risk factors for obesity and metabolic problems is wreaking havoc on our physiology and contributing to the fat phenomenon.
So if calorie counting doesn’t work, what can we do about age-related weight gain? The first step is redefining the problem and moving away from a quantitative approach and toward a qualitative framework. I encourage focusing on food quality (not calories) and body composition (not simply pounds on the scale). There are no cookie-cutter solutions, but by understanding an individual’s metabolic, inflammatory, hormonal and psychological status along with their habits and lifestyle a comprehensive plan may be born.
Preventing age-related weight gain requires an individualized, multifaceted approach as diets alone are doomed to fail.
Reset insulin sensitivity
By the time we’re 50, our ability to effectively metabolize dietary carbohydrates has plummeted to about 50 per cent of our level as teenagers. We acquire a varying degree of insulin resistance that makes us more prone to elevated insulin levels even in the setting of normal blood sugar. So while we are not yet diabetic, an unfavourable metabolic cascade is at play with faulty insulin signaling and inflammation. As a result, we become adept at converting the carbs we eat to deep stores of body fat, especially in the belly. Cutting back on grains and highly processed food along with increasing aerobic exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and stop the mid-waist drift.
Restore hormone balance
Declining estrogen and progesterone in women and testosterone in men produces changes in body composition with redistribution and accumulation of deep fat stores coupled with a loss of lean body tissues such as bone and muscle. The role of hormone therapy is well established for maintenance of lean body mass while its role in preventing weight gain is less clear. The decision to initiate hormone therapy must be a highly individualized one between a patient and their qualified physician that considers the total risk-reward profile. While hormone therapy may not be right for all, an easily accessible first step is to reduce harmful environmental exposures. Common household products like skin care and cleaning agents may contain hormone-disrupting or estrogenic chemicals known as “xenoestrogens” that can interfere with hormone balance and increase risk of breast cancer.
Repair the gut
Overgrowth of unfavourable gut bacteria can adversely affect human health and metabolism. New science has shown that the typical Western diet fosters gut bacteria that are more efficient at harvesting energy from food. These gut bugs are much better able to convert the food we eat into calories – literally delivering an even faster version of fast food to our cells with the extra energy being stored as fat. To keep the microbiome thriving, a plant-based, high-fibre diet is preferred as it increases transit time and supports favourable flora. Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut may have an edge on a store-bought probiotic pill as these traditional “germy” foods contain a naturally derived symbiotic blend of both the necessary pre-biotic substances and probiotic organisms. So at once we can live clean and eat dirty to better balance the gut.
Be mindful of portion size but think mostly in terms of quality, not calories. An energy-equivalent portion of kale and processed fast foods are not equivalent in any other way, as the cruciferous kale is akin to a warehouse of nutrition with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and anti-carcinogenic health benefits. Get more nutritional punch with each bite by loading up on cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli instead of starchy ones like potatoes and avoiding processed foods that often have hidden calories.
Reboost brain controls
Sleeplessness and stress are both strongly associated with weight gain and poor dietary choices. Chronic stress produces a state of elevated cortisol, which in turn can lead to insulin resistance. Psychological stress has been shown to alter levels of the satiety hormone, leptin, leading to overconsumption of comfort foods that are high in fat and sugar. Mindfulness-based interventions and stress-management techniques such as tai chi, yoga and deep breathing have been proven to be effective in keeping stress at bay and improving sleep.
Using this five step program you can ensure that you keep your 20 year old physique well into your 80’s!
With Valentine’s Day soon approaching comes the question, what is the fix to a languishing libido?
While men have many treatment options available to boost their sexual function, women have none. Despite how common the complaint may be, sexual health concerns and a languishing libido remains a complicated and hard to treat issue.
Sexual health problems affect women more than men but remain largely under-recognized. Lack of desire, or hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), is the most common form of female sexual dysfunction (FSD). With HSDD, a woman may experience a languishing libido but still be able to engage in partnered intercourse. With loss of libido, women are more prone to mood problems and relationship discordance. But how do you treat what can’t be measured? Unlike erectile dysfunction in men, libido is not as easily quantified. Furthermore, the multitude of factors that contribute to sexual desire makes a “magic bullet” solution improbable. For women, sexuality is affected by their level of stress, fatigue, hormones, mood, self-esteem, body perception, vaginal health as well as intimacy. And so, a top to bottom approach starts with rebooting the sexual brain.
To be more sexual, first requires being more present. Forever the multi-taskers, women tend to be less able than men to set aside their worries and the endless mental “to-do”list” and simply be in the moment. To be sexual we must think sexually too. Clearing your mental slate prior to sex can allow a more mindful experience.
Sex is experienced through our senses and our senses are key to our sexuality. Through scent, taste and touch signals are sent to our brain that influence mating, libido, and orgasm. Being sexual then is also about being sensual.
The question of pheromones has long tied our noses to our lust. Animals, plants and even bacteria release chemical signals to attract mates. While no obvious pheromone signal has yet been found in humans, new research is revealing that a signature of chemo-signals released from our bodies may subliminally sway potential partnerings and social relationships. Differences in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), a set of important immune system genes, imprints us with a unique “odourprint.” It is thought that our “odourprints” play a role in attracting a mate with an unlike MHC. This pairing yields an evolutionary advantage with offspring having a more diverse and more robust immune system.
Our taste buds can send sexual signals too. Aphrodisiacs are substances that increase sexual desire. Chocolate, perhaps the king of natural aphrodisiacs, contains three potent psychoactive compounds; anandamide a feel good chemical, PEA (phelethylamine) the love chemical which releases dopamine in the pleasure centre of the brain and tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin which helps lift mood. The Aztecs called avocado ahuacuati the “testicle tree” and coveted them for their sexual enhancing effects. Other foods and herbs claimed to be aphrodisiacs include; oysters (zinc), chili peppers (capscacin), maca, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba.
While our scents and tastes may help elicit sexual arousal, there is no question as to the vital role in foreplay and sexual touching. From hosting a party to competing in sport, being prepared is key to a successful outcome. Sex is no different. Sexual touching is not only considered the socially accepted sexual norm, it is vital to achieving physiological and psychological readiness. Foreplay readies our bodies for sex; exciting our brains, quickening our heartbeat, and preparing the genitals for intercourse, while also relaxing us through stimulating the release of oxytocin. Forgoing foreplay affects women more than men as their sexual arousal tends to be more complicated. Indeed, research suggests the relationship between sexual touching and the quality of intercourse is stronger in women than in men. There is no one right way to engage in erotic touching. For women, the erotic regions are not related to their sexual organs. Whether it is on the lips, the ear, the scalp or the mons (pubic bone) — women want and need to be touched for proper sexual function. Couples can help each other by sharing the “roadmap” to their erogenous zones.
When it comes to medical therapies, none are as potent in both partners as testosterone. This male sex hormone drives sexual function from libido to orgasm in both men and women. In women, testosterone begins to fall within two years of her menopause coinciding with the frequent complaint of absent or diminished libido. Testosterone’s role in enhancing both sexual and cognitive function in peri- and post-menopausal women has been confirmed by a substantial body of scientific research. However, there remains no government approved pharmacologic testosterone therapies available for use in women in North America.
Sexual dysfunction remains a complex and inadequately addressed concern affecting health, wellbeing and lifestyle.
The solutions need to be as multi-faceted as the problem; addressing the brain, sensory and hormonal aspects as well as intimacy.
So take a hit of that Chanel #5 while dining with your mate on chocolate and oysters to help make this Valentine’s one you both will not forget!
When it comes to Breast Cancer, leading science can now take us beyond the Race for the Cure to root out disease through Prevention and Risk Modification
Breast cancer results from uncontrolled growth of breast cells. About 1 in 8 Canadian women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Only 20% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of breast cancer and known gene mutations (such as BRCA1 and BRCA2) account for only 5 to 8% of cases. This means that most breast cancers occurs in women without a family history.
Women living in the US have a 10-fold greater risk of dying from breast cancer as compared to women living in Thailand. When women migrate from areas with a low incidence of breast cancer (i.e. Asia) to North America their breast cancer risk increases. These facts suggest that environment, diet and lifestyle play an important role in shaping risk and combine with our genetic predispositions to determine our health, aging and risk of chronic disease and cancer. Breast biology is largely determined by hormonal and tissue factors. Estrogen is the dominant hormonal signal stimulating the breast and in more differentiated cancers the most common hormonal trigger for metastatic spread. Other tissue factors such as inflammation and injury (chemical, physical or radiation) can also increase risk. The transformation of a normal breast cell to a cancer cells often proceeds the diagnosis by 7 years. During this critical window, early breast cancer remains below the detection limit of our screening tests such as mammograms and physical exam. But in the early subclinical stage, there is the greatest possible impact of risk reduction and prevention through hormone balance, estrogen metabolism and detoxification support and anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative therapy.
In peri-menopause, the phase prior to menopause which can span 5-7 years, levels of estrogen increase while the anti-estrogen hormone, progesterone, decreases. With the ovarian follicles becoming resistant and no longer ovulating efficiently or at all, progesterone will fall precipitously. Unopposed estrogen is a potent stimulator of breast tissue and linked with hormone sensitive breast cancer. The loss of protective progesterone and related hormonal imbalance in the perimenopause period contribute to the rise in breast cancer risk through the menopause transition.
After menopause, there is a shift in the balance of estrogens as levels of ovarian estrogen; estradiol (E2) fall and levels of fat derived estrone (E1) rise. The predominant form of estrogen after menopause is estrone, which is more carcinogenic and thrombogenic than ovarian estrogen leading to increased risk of breast cancer and stroke. Estrone is converted from androgens by an enzyme in fat tissue called, aromatase. Estrone (E1) is a potent stimulator of breast tissue and tightly binds to estrogen receptors. Maintaining a healthy body weight and fat percentage can help decrease the amount of estrone produced from testosterone. Dietary factors can block aromatase activity including omega3, green tea extract (EGCG), vitamin C, chrysin and flavinoids. Prescription medications called aromatase inhibitors such as letrozole work in treating and preventing breast cancer by inhibiting this enzyme.
The first phase of estrogen metabolism occurs in the liver along one of three pathways. The “2/16 ratio” considers the ratio of favourable metabolites (2hydroxy-estrone) to less favourable metabolites (16hydroxy-estrone). A high ratio has been shown to confer protection in pre-menopausal women and low levels are associated with fibrocystic breast, increased breast density and breast cancer recurrence. The 2-hydroxy pathway can be supported through dietary factors found in cruciferous vegetables, such as kale and broccoli. These vegetables are rich in glucosinolates; phytochemicals that induce Phase II of detoxification and inactivate carcinogenic chemicals. Cruciferous consumption (unlike total fruit and vegetable consumption) has been associated with reduced risk of lung, colon and breast cancer. The effect is dependent on variations within human genetics and the presence of the ideal gut flora needed to activate the glucosinolates to protective compounds known as isothiocyanates and indoles (i.e. sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol or I3C). These phytochemicals increase urinary excretion of estrogen and may help to prevent both breast and endometrial cancer.
Phase 2 detoxification involves conversion of intermediate estrogen metabolites into a form that can be excreted by the kidneys. Methylation is one of the most important phase 2 processes that aids in the elimination and inactivation of potentially toxic estrogen metabolites. Women who are poor methylaters may be at increased risk of breast cancer due to accumulation of toxic intermediaries. Because methylation also plays a role in inactivating neurotransmitters, these women may have a personal or family history of mental health problems such as; depression, alcoholism, or attention deficit disorder. Glutathione conjugation is another major mechanism of estrogen inactivation and depends on a set of transferases whose activity can be affected by variations in genetics, nutrition and the presence of gut flora.
Phase 3 detoxification is thought to involve a process wherein the metabolic intermediates are excreted through the GI tract. This process depends on a healthy mix of gut bacteria (known as the microbiota) and proper function of the GI tract. Fermented foods, fiber and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli are key to supporting this phase of detoxification and elimination.
Carrying an extra 10 pounds of body fat after age 30 increases the risk of breast cancer by 25%. Deep abdominal fat is most toxic to the body as it is metabolically active and triggers inflammation. Fat also is the major source of estrone production following menopause. Maintain a healthy body weight and body composition (which reflects percentage of body fat and abdominal fat).
Regular aerobic exercise reduces insulin resistance and body fat and independently can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Data from the Nurses Health Study has shown that even after a diagnosis of breast cancer, women who exercise enjoy better survival rates.
Excessive consumption of alcohol is an important risk factor for breast cancer ranking after family history and obesity. Alcohol is a known liver toxin and impairs estrogen metabolism. Drinking more than 3 glasses per week increased the risk of breast cancer by 5-fold in the Nurses Health Study.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in anti-oxidants (vitamin A, C, and selenium). The more colourful the food –the better. Anti-oxidants reduce free radical damage to DNA. Cruciferous vegetables are perhaps the most important food group in breast cancer prevention. These vegetables contain indole-3-carbinol (13C), which increases the 2/16 ratio and sulfurophanes, which enhance phase 2 detoxification. Consume at least 3 servings daily of cruciferous vegetables such as; broccoli, nappa cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and kale.
Over 85,000 chemicals have been produced and released into the environment since the end of the Second World War. Chemicals in industrial plastics, pesticides and herbicides (i.e. DDT) as well as colorants can bind to estrogen receptors. These hormone disrupters are called xeno-estrogens and have been linked to early puberty and breast cancer in women and infertility in men. Xeno-estrogen exposure can be limited by consuming organically grown produce, avoiding plastic food containers -especially when rewarming food, and reducing intake of red meat as industrial pollutants bio-accumulate up the food chain.
Our bathrooms , like our kitchens, is one of the most likely places in our homes where we may be exposed to xenoestrogens like parabens. Parabens are a pervasive preservative used in almost all commercial skin and sun care products. The scalp is even more absorbent than the skin and some of the chemicals found in hair dyes are carcinogenic and bind estrogen receptors. Research has linked hair dyes and parabens to increased risk of breast cancer.
Mind-body balance is critical to wellbeing and good health. Constant stress contributes to a prolonged state of high cortisol levels, which in turn impairs the function of our immune system. We are dependent on our immune system to detect and eliminate cells damaged by free radicals. It is not uncommon that a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer following a stressful life event such as divorce or death of a loved one. Stress reduction techniques include meditation, moderate exercise, tai chi and yoga and pleasurable activities such as enjoying a massage or bath.
Following the eight tips above can help you better manage the emerging risk factors for developing breast cancer. Unlike mammograms, these breast healthy lifestyle practices can help shape risk of disease. As goes the wise adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
There are emerging risk factors for breast cancer including exposure to synthetic hormones such as those used in oral contraceptives and in certain forms of menopause hormone therapy, tobacco smoking, direct trauma or injury to the breast, radiation, stress and environmental exposures.
Regular screening for breast cancer enables early detection –but not prevention. Screening mammograms have been shown to save lives. It is important to partake in regular screening programs involving mammograms every 1 to 2 years after menopause. But there is growing interest and demand for prevention. Research suggests that breast cancer may begin its transformation up to 7 years prior to detection is possible with mammograms. And so, breast healthy lifestyle practices compliment routine screening with a comprehensive approach to improve hormone balance and reduce risk.
Our brains are more adaptive than we ever imagined. Neuroplasticity describes the amazing ability of our brains to reorganize and adapt itself to form new neural connections throughout life in response to interactions with our environment. Scientists have now shown that brain maps are adaptive and malleable and can be “re-wired” in response to environmental triggers so that one area can assume the function of another. Re-organizing of our brain maps though is not the only amazing brain super-power. Recent research has shown that certain areas of our brains poses the ability to regenerate throughout adult life. Neurogenesis, the regeneration of brain cells, plays a vital role in the recovery from brain injury.
So how do we harness the possibilities of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis to maintain a healthy and fit brain function? The answer is largely in our reach. Through targeted lifestyle interventions we can indeed boost our brain health and fitness. Here is a ten step plan to get started.
If you don’t use it, you risk losing it! Brain exercise does not require however a membership in a “Brain Gym” or downloading the latest “Brain Game App”. Instead, you can challenge your brain often with novel and engaging activities. Learning to play a musical instrument, speak a new language or taking on a new hobby can provide ongoing learning and mental challenge. And change your environment. Traveling to new locations and exploring them- without relying on navigation tools to get around- can bolster cognition.
Trying new things requires risk taking behaviour. The failures that arise from our own decisions to take risks can often provide better learning experiences than the successes. This is because of the powerful impact of negative feedback in our adaptive neural networking. If you want to know how to do something, trying it and doing it wrong a few times is often necessary to learn and retain the new knowledge. Indeed, we learn a lot from our mistakes. And it is always better to try and fail then to not have tried at all. As Wayne Gretzky has famously said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take”.
Optimism works like a buffer to protect the brain from stress. On the other hand, ruminating, negativity and self-doubt can actually kill neurons and prevent the creation of new ones. A morning ritual of inscribing in a gratitude journal can help drive positive thinking, until optimism is more automatic and the brain can turn to action-oriented productive thoughts. When the brain thinks about action, the learning and networking that occurs nearly matches the mental memory laid down by performing the action. As the Canadian psychiatrist, scientist, and acclaimed author of “The Brain that Changes Itself”, Dr. Norman Doidge, has said; “imaging an act engages the same motor and sensory programs that are involved in doing it.” In other words, merely thinking about action is almost as good for your brain as doing it. So, to paraphrase Nike, is not always necessary to “Just do it” –sometimes we can “Just think about it!”
Sitting is the new smoking. Beyond all the other health benefits of being active, exercise also enhances brain function and neurogenesis at any age. Moderate intensity aerobic activity like jogging or cycling, has been shown to boost concentration in school-aged children, improve cognitive performance and reduce the risk of dementia in adults. Exercising outdoors has the added benefit of providing a variable sensory experience. An outdoor run provides a changing terrain, scents, scene, and sounds and in this way is significantly more stimulating and brain boosting than a run of the same duration, intensity and caloric burn performed indoors on a treadmill.
Aerobic exercise, however is not enough. A healthy brain needs a fit and strong frame. As we age, the maintenance of healthy bones and muscle is highly linked with brain function. The frailty syndrome arises when osteoporosis, weakened and demineralized bone, is accompanied by sarcopenia, the loss of muscle bulk. Frailty in old age can increase the risk of cognitive impairment or dementia. However, by engaging in regular weight resistance exercises we can maintain a strong frame for a healthy brain as we age.
While the brain accounts for only 2% of your body mass, it consumes 20% of our oxygen and nutrient intake. So is there a brain diet? It turns out that there are brain super foods that can effect mood, memory and brain performance.
Early human brain development (encephalization) tracks closely to the development of a shore based diet rich in fish derived omega 3 fatty acids (notably DHA). In fact, it is thought that our early ancestors encephalization was made possible only when their diet evolved to one rich in DHA. In modern times, fish consumption tracks closely with cognition and mood. Comparative studies have shown that countries where there is little fish consumption face higher rates of depression than countries that have DHA-rich diets. Omega 3 (DHA) rich food sources include fatty fish (sardines, salmon), seeds (flax and chia), krill, and walnuts. Phytonutrients in berries (blueberries) and cruciferous vegetables (like kale) have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory brain boosting benefits. Brain active flavonoids like quercetin can be found in ginkgo leaves while other sources include cocoa, dark chocolate, and green tea. Coffee, like green tea, contains polyphenols and caffeine and has been shown to improve memory, mental performance, and protect against depression in women.
The MIND diet has been endorsed as a brain healthy diet that combines the Mediterranean diet with a reduced salt heart healthy DASH diet. The MIND diet has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
A good night’s sleep is vital to brain health. During sleep, the brain is unencumbered to carry out important housekeeping tasks such as flushing out accumulated toxins (like beta-amyloid the hallmark protein of Alzheimer’s) and cementing new learning and memories through neuroplasticity. New research suggests that sleep deprivation blocks neurogenesis involved in memory formation and the regenerative changes needed to repair from daily wear and tear. As a result, lack of sleep can lead to shrinking brain volume. So night owls beware; the sleep deficit accumulated from getting less than seven to eight hours a night may increase the risk of cognitive decline, memory loss, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Not only is untreated depression a risk to your health, but it can also threaten your brain. Researchers have shown that depression can impair memory and increase the risk of dementia. Notably, depression marked by an early onset (before age 65 years) or recurrent symptoms has been shown to increase the risk of developing dementia or cognitive impairment later in life. Keeping mood balanced, such as with extended use of anti-depressant medication, may buffer this risk. So if you’re battling the blues or experiencing bouts of sadness, a thorough assessment by a qualified medical doctor can help you identify and appropriately address significant mental health issues.
Stress serves as a common denominator in aging the brain and body. The impact of sleeplessness and mood disturbances mimics the impact of chronic stress on the brain; shrinking vital brain components such as the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex; the three regions responsible for memory, learning and biofeedback. While small amounts of stress at the time of learning may be critical to encode new information in the first place, excessive stress acutely or extreme stress chronically can greatly impair memory and learning. The best way to mitigate the toll of stress is to continuously hone your stress management techniques. While you can’t always predict when stressors while emerge, it’s never too early to master the practice of mindfulness, meditation and deep breathing. New neurofeedback driven meditation tools, like the brain-sensing headband MUSE, can help you keep on track.
Spending time enjoying the company of friends can be good for your brain. Social interactions have been shown to boost brain function as much as intellectual stimulation. To maintain your mental vitality as you age, it is important to cultivate your social network and enjoy stimulating friendships. So cherish your friends and spend time laughing together. It’s good for your brain!
The new science of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis has informed us that the choices we make can shape our brain health as we age. The above ten science-based brain tips can be incorporated into your lifestyle to improve memory and cognitive performance. Brain vitality is well within your reach!
By Tiffy Thompson, She Does The City.
Aging is no picnic. Little lines start etching their way across your forehead, gray hairs seem to be cropping up more and more, and you have less energy than ever. But it doesn’t have to go down that way!
We chatted with Dr. Jennifer Pearlman, a medical doctor and attending staff physician at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she helps run the largest menopause clinic in the country. She has an expert designation in Women’s Health, Mental Health and cosmetic medicine and is board certified in Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine. Here, she gives her best tips on how to age proactively.
Balance your hormones
From our sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone), to the stress hormone cortisol and the king metabolic signal, insulin; our 200+ hormones regulate our health, wellbeing and aging. Keeping them in balance can help us deal with unpleasant symptoms like sleep and mood disturbances as well as reduce risk of disease.
Eat like the Islanders
Green up your diet! The longest living population of the Okanawi Islands off the coast of Japan consider their plant-based, whole food mineral-rich diet that is low down on the food chain and void of processed food additives and chemicals to be a key to their longevity.
Stay strong and move your body outdoors
A strong frame is required for a healthy brain. Outdoor activity has been shown to reduce depression and improve memory while weight resistance training can help maintain bone and muscle mass to reduce the risk of frailty.
Protect yourself from the sun
Young women tend not to be as diligent about sun protection and may start to see early sun and age related changes like laxity, fine lines, pigment as well as sunspots. As early as our thirties, women start to see some facial expression lines, like frown lines and forehead creases appear at rest and develop into deeper furrows. These lines may result in women looking angry, tired or sad even if they are not. As a result, many women in this age group seek preventative neuromodulator (i.e. Botox) treatment to relax these expression lines and prevent lines at rest for developing. This approach is coined “prejuvenation” as the goal is to prevent the signs of aging in the first place as opposed to waiting and having to undo them. By starting preventative treatments earlier, younger women truly have the choice to change the face of their aging.
Start preventative treatments now
For women, the decline in ovarian hormone function through the perimenopause years of our mid-forties produces accelerated aging. In fact, from 40 to 50 years women age twice as fast as any other decade. Throughout the menopause transition, a hormone balancing approach can help reduce unpleasant symptoms like flashes, sleep and mood disturbances and memory changes while also reduce the risk of diseases like bone loss (osteoporosis), memory problems (dementia) and heart disease. An individualized approach to evaluating risk and benefit must consider a women’s health history, goals and preferences under the careful guidance of a qualified physician expert in this area.
Your DNA is not your destiny
Your parents don’t control everything. While some of us may carry genetic predispositions, our DNA is not our destiny. Instead, it is a roadmap that is influenced by our lifestyle and choices in determining our health, risk of disease and aging. The new science of “Epigenetics” describes the interplay of gene and environmental factors in determining health outcomes. Genetic testing can help uncover some of these weak predispositions that when considered together can be used to guide a personalized lifestyle plan to optimize health and wellbeing.
At PearlMD we couple the most advanced diagnostic tests and assessments to uncover these risks and partner with our patients to build a customized lifestyle, nutritional and hormone plan. Our model of care lies at the frontier of personalized integrative medicine, and enables us to help our patients achieve AGELESS VITALITY by aging well from the inside out.
Originally posted as “Age Proactively: Dr. Jennifer Pearlman’s 6 Tips for Better Aging”, She Does The City.com.
By Souzan Michael, Fashion Magazine.
The journey to clear skin is a long one. Along the way, there are approximately three billion obstacles and bumps in the road. One of the most annoying? Rosacea. We spoke to Dr. Jennifer Pearlman of Pearl Rejuvenation, who is a total expert on the issue. Below, everything you ever wanted to know about rosacea and what you can do about red, inflamed, bumpy skin.
So, WTF is rosacea?
Medically, it’s called rosacea acne. The medical term implies that it’s not just redness, but that there are sensitivity papules associated with it. We tend to see that in more advanced stages.
Why is it happening?
With rosacea, the three causes are hormones, inflammation, or a chronic fungal infection. This is something like yeast all over our surface area. We think this is one of the factors of rosacea, [and] when we look at the approved studied treatments for rosacea, they tend to be those three things. If you’re on birth control, it can worsen rosacea [and] you might notice a change throughout your cycle. In women, depending on your cycle and symptoms, sometimes rosacea can flare in the second half before you bleed.
It can [also] be flared by certain triggers [like] diet, [specifically] hot or spicy foods, [and] alcohol. If you’re in a boardroom meeting and have to speak, emotional stress can trigger rosacea. Also heat. We know that chronic sun exposure can worsen rosacea.
Does rosacea discriminate?
If you look at a typical rosacea patient, it tends to be a mid-life woman. That’s because hormonal changes with menopause are a big trigger. We [also] see more rosacea in fair skinned-individuals. The typical patient is a fair-skinned Caucasian woman.
How do I know if I have it?
It’s flushes of redness on the cheeks. It looks like a sunburn, [but] the flushing won’t just be when you’re embarrassed or stressed; it can be all the time. Think of the butterfly on the central face—the cheeks, the nose, and the chin. It can definitely evolve to the chest, as well. With progression, you start getting those papules. They look like acne, but it’s a different kind of acne; it’s different in appearance, distribution, and cause. With these small papules, they can be larger and more nodular. They’re very typical in a rosacea patient and often are on the cheek or on the corner of the nose. The dilated blood vessels, we call those telangiectasias, are flushing with increased blood flow to the face. Eventually, they dilate and are very apparent.
Can dudes have rosacea?
We see it more in men when alcohol’s involved. What can happen is that you get this large, bulbous appearance of the nose: like a Rudolph nose or a clown nose. It’s called rhinophyma [and] it’s a thickening and enlargement of the shape of the nose.
Any other symptoms I should know about?
Very commonly, you can have eye problems. With everyone who has rosacea, I always look at their eyes. The telltale sign is their lashes. There’s a condition where your lashes will look misdirected. [It’s] called blepharitis [and] it’s an infection in the hair follicle. It’s extremely common in rosacea patients, [and] it’s because of blepharitis that these people get styes and red eye.
Shit, so how do I treat it?
The most commonly prescribed treatment tends to be one that targets the fungal piece. Anti-fungals are typically prescribed for the management, [but] we know that the antifungal treatments are not efficient for advanced rosacea. In my practice, I tend to offer more than a prescription anti-fungal. What I’ve been able to do is use a natural anti-fungal coupled with other things that can calm and mask the redness. I have a product on our website called Revive. The active ingredient is quassia [and] it’s a natural anti-fungal. The product has a green tint, is hydrating, and treats the underlying causes of rosacea. We use it for patients who are red because of its anti-redness properties.
What happens if rosacea is left untreated?
Rosacea’s progressive. I’d say rhinophyma is the worst and most advanced stage of rosacea. It’s the stage where you have the nodules and the papules and the acne forming. It’s that chronic, deeply flushed redness. It’s the dilated capillaries that you get all over your skin. You might [also] get reoccurring eye infections with your lashes. It becomes a very involved condition.
There’s [also] a variant of rosacea called perioral dermatitis. A woman who’s had rosacea her whole life might have a breakout of this oral dermatitis. They look like little pimples around the mouth, the eyes or on the cheeks. [But] it’s usually [just] a flare.
Originally published as “Literally everything you need to know about rosacea”, Fashion Magazine.