Category: BAAC Health

Liver Detoxification Treatment: Is this treatment right for you?

Here is the latest blog on Liver Detox by Medical Director and Regenerative Medicine Specialist Dr. Erik Fleischman.

Liver Detoxification Treatment: Is this treatment right for you?

Our human livers are one of the most amazing “machines” in the world. Most people know a couple of pieces of information about the liver:
  1. It is responsible for removing toxins from the body (along with the kidneys) by acting as a massive filter.
  2. Heavy or prolonged nights of alcohol use can damage the liver and make is less effective in doing its job.
The strain that we put on our livers each and every day and the ability of these livers to regenerate and still function daily is tremendous. Any other machine would have worn out in less than a year given the same stress and use!
Here are some other facts about the liver that you should know:
  1. The liver production of bile is ESSENTIAL for proper digestion.
  2. The liver is ESSENTIAL for the removal of nearly all drugs, medicines and toxins that you put in your body.
  3. The liver is ESSENTIAL for the metabolism of 𝗳𝗮𝘁𝘀, 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗶𝗻𝘀 and 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗯𝗼𝗵𝘆𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀.
  4. The liver is ESSENTIAL for controlling Cholesterol removal from the body.
  5. The liver plays an ESSENTIAL role in the development of Diabetes.
  6. Congestion and slowing of liver function is ESSENTIAL toward the development of Brain Fog and slower cognitive function.
If you wanted to choose an organ to be especially nice to, I’d suggest your liver!
On the more aesthetic side, without a healthy liver the skin loses healthy glow and the firmness and youth when the liver is not healthy. Skin can appear yellowish, discolored and unhealthy.
Most people know the basic behavioral rules for liver support:
  1. Use reasonable small amounts of alcohol and medications/drugs that can damage the liver (or abstain entirely!).
  2. Keep a healthy diet designed to lower carbohydrates and cholesterol.
  3. Use proper supplements that target liver health such as B vitamins, Milk Thistle, Tumeric/Circumin, NAC (N-acetylcysteine) and Glutathione.
What I have recommended and used for over 20 years is the next level in Liver support: 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗟𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗗𝗲𝘁𝗼𝘅 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝘂𝗹𝗮.
 
This is a painless, pleasant intravenous treatment that takes only about an hour. It provides the body with high doses of vitamin supplements that give faster, more effective and more rapid support to the liver (and also improves energy and clarity of skin and cognitive thought). 
 
This 𝗟𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗗𝗲𝘁𝗼𝘅 𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 includes mega-doses of Glutathione, NAC and High B complex vitamins that are 100% absorbed (you should know that pills range from only 17-60 % absorption) and have the advantage of giving a fast and effective result in terms of energy, vitality and even skin brightening.
 
I recommend the 𝗟𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗗𝗲𝘁𝗼𝘅 𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 for these groups of patients:
  1. Patients who consume alcohol and other substances regularly/weekly.
  2. Patients with high Cholesterol and Triglycerides.
  3. Patients with Diabetes or pre-Diabetes. Diabetics have an extra strain on the liver and kidneys.
  4. Patients who take a lot of medications of other issues: high blood pressure, stroke, arthritis, etc.
  5. Patients who are not happy with the quality of their skin appearance and skin tone.
𝗟𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗗𝗲𝘁𝗼𝘅 𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 can be done as a single treatment for hangover and fatigue or can be done in a series for those who need longer term support. It is quite safe and I have been prescribing this treatment for patients for over 25 years with excellent results (and using it for my own health as well).
If you have any questions whether 𝗟𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗗𝗲𝘁𝗼𝘅 can help your health, energy and appearance please call or write:
Phone: 02 048 7034

The Effects of Exercise on Brain, Body and Hormones

By Dr. Erik Fleischman –

People experience different feelings after exercise. Exhaustion, elation, mental clarity, euphoria and calm are just a few of the sensations people report after a good, strenuous exercise session. These feelings ultimately come from healthy hormonal reaction and stimulation from exercise and they are good for the body and the brain.

Let’s break down the feelings to the hormone changes to better understand the tremendous benefits of exercise to brain and body.

First, let’s define the exercise we are talking about. There are actually different hormonal changes to aerobic exercise and high intensity strength exercise, but for the sake of this blog, let’s consider this. 

  • Minimum of 45 minutes of combined aerobic and strength exercise 
  • 3-5 times per week
  • Greater intensity of exercise gives greater benefits
Brain: Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)
This neurotrophic factor is a key support for the maturity process and survival of the brain cells (neurons).
 
Increasing BDNF can play an important role in protecting the brain under harmful conditions such as ischemia – low oxygen from strokes and other vascular blockage disease, low blood sugar effects on brain and even neurotoxicity from poisons and other substances that damage brain cells.
 
It is also one of the important factors which is decreased in Parkinson’s disease which is why exercise is such a vital part of treatment for Parkinson’s.
 
Body: Human Growth Hormone (HGH)

This important brain peptide is also known as Somatotropin. It is also known in Regenerative Medicine as the closest thing the human body has to the Fountain of Youth.

Human Growth Hormone is secreted by the Pituitary Gland, the small area of the brain responsible for regulation of nearly every important hormone in the body. In children, this hormone is quite high and results in normal growth and development.

HGH is elevated by a few behaviors such as sleep and fasting, but can be elevated by high intensity exercise. As people age, this hormone declines but has some very important tasks:

  • Increases calcium retention and creates stronger bones
  • Increases muscle mass
  • Helps to cut fat (lipolysis)
  • Increased protein synthesis
  • Stimulates the growth and regeneration of ALL the organs in the body except the brain
  • Stimulates the immune system for greater immune strength

Another important point is that higher HGH levels are scientifically associated with lower rates of depression and with a greater sense of Quality of Life. It also increases and is important in order to have good cognitive function.

Body and Brain: Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1)
IGF-1 works very much like Human Growth Hormone. It is secreted by the liver in response to HGH. IGF-1 levels are quite rapidly increased when people exercise. This increase plays a major role as a moderator of BDNF in neurogenesis – the growth of new brain cells and neurons. This can also improve memory.
 
There have been many studies on IGF-1 stimulation by exercise, especially as a way to improve the brain power and cognitive ability of older people. It is believed scientifically that exercise throughout life and especially in older ages is a deterrent to dementia, memory loss and loss of cognitive ability.
 
It also shows the importance of having a healthy liver (low alcohol and drug use can help with this) in staying young and keeping a strong brain and body.
 
Body and Brain: Testosterone

Testosterone is a sex hormone that is important to both men and women. Most people think of Testosterone as a hormone that is important for male virility and sex drive, but it does much more than that.

Testosterone is a key player in:

  • Increased lean muscle mass and strength
  • Bone strength and bone density in men and women
  • Important brain functioning – testosterone can improve verbal memory, spatial ability and mathematical reasoning
  • Men with higher testosterone levels have a reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Increased energy levels
  • General sense of Well-Being

Exercising the larger muscles results in higher Testosterone levels. These would be most effective by exercising the thigh and back muscles.

Testosterone can also increase the red blood cell count in men and women. This results in more oxygen being delivered to vital organs like the brain and the heart.

There are some studies that show Testosterone replacement can lower the incidence of heart attack and stroke in men and women who have lost their ability to produce the hormone in menopause and andropause (this is the term for male menopause/Testosterone loss).

Exercise is just one of the key behaviors we can use to fight aging and loss of healthy brain and body function. I tell my patients to think about exercise the same way they would consider their Hypertension or Diabetic medicine – as essential to a long, healthy, high quality life. Except exercise is free and more effective in disease prevention.

Exercise should be mixed with a good diet. Diet choices can be confusing so in general I suggest that the lower the carbohydrate/sugar intake, the better the diet.

Sugar and carbohydrate excess use has now been scientifically directly implicated in the cause and progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. In medical literature now we are even referring to Alzheimer’s Disease as Type-3 Diabetes or Diabetes of the Brain.

It wasn’t discussed in this blog, but exercise is also one of the best ways to treat and avoid Diabetes. Exercise causes the muscles to take up the extra sugar floating around in the veins quite effectively.

If your goals are:
  • Good health
  • Energy
  • Sex drive
  • Sleep
  • Aesthetics
  • And everything that creates a quality and enjoyable life at any age.
Please make an appointment with one of our Regenerative Medicine specialists. We can help to determine the best course of exercise, diet and supplements and even safe bioidentical hormone replacement (if needed) to help you reach your personal health goals.
 
To schedule an appointment at one of our Bangkok BAAC Clinics or speak to a specialist about the benefits of Safe Hormone Replacement, please contact us.
 

Perimenopause and Hormonal Imbalance for Women

By Dr. Erik Fleischman –

There is quite a bit of information available on Menopause and treatments to control symptoms, both hormonal, pharmaceutical and herbal have been used for hundreds of years.

The syndrome that precedes menopause, Perimenopause, has been given a lot of attention recently and medical attention to this syndrome is finally reaching a more proactive medical community, especially in doctors who practice anti-aging treatment.

Perimenopause : Facts and Issues

Perimenopause or menopause transition, begins several years before menopause. 

It’s the time when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in her 30s or even earlier. Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. The length of time of perimenopause varies individually, but can be anywhere from 2 to 10 years. 

The dominant symptoms are:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Change in the length of the menstrual cycle
  • Emotional changes – depression or hyper-emotional behavior
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Vaginal and/or bladder issues
  • Hot flashes, but usually not until just before true menopause

The majority of women suffer through these symptoms and really don’t seek help from doctors until their true menopause arrives. In truth, most doctors won’t offer much in the way of symptom relief until a woman is fairly along in menopause symptoms.

In my experience, I’ve found that most doctors start treatment too late and can only offer limited hormone replacement or a few well-known herbs. 

There is so much more that can be done, especially if you start early in perimenopause.

I’ve consulted with so many women about perimenopause over the past decade and there seems to be a common theme of self-blame, shame and despair. So many women blame themselves and believe (and are often told) that “it is all in their mind.” Nothing is further from the truth.

There is a clear, well-documented, well-studied hormonal shift during perimenopause with predictable physical results and symptoms.

Let me explain it very briefly and as simply as possible.

During perimenopause there is a drop in a woman’s estrogen, progesterone and even testosterone. Yes, women have and need testosterone to be hormonally balanced, just at a much lower level than men.
 
Perimenopause symptoms occur in differing severity because progesterone drops much faster than estrogen. Progesterone essentially balances out the hormonal, emotional and physical effects of estrogen. When there is too much estrogen and too little progesterone some of the effects are:
Does this sound familiar to the discussion above?
As the space between estrogen and progesterone gets larger, so do the symptoms. And they continue to do so until your ovaries can no longer produce either hormone and you enter menopause. 
 
Also the increase in vaginal dryness is from the drop in estrogen and testosterone.
So, no, you are not losing your mind! Your hormones are profoundly affecting your daily normal activities, the same one’s you’ve done your whole life without incident. 
 
In the next blog I’ll talk about the causes that may be bringing on your perimenopause and then menopause, faster than it should be – and more importantly what you can do about it.
 
To schedule an appointment at one of our Bangkok BAAC Clinics or speak to a specialist about the benefits of Safe Hormone Replacement therapy, please contact us.
 

Perimenopause: What You Can Do

By Dr. Erik Fleischman –

I’ve already discussed the mechanism and physiology behind perimenopause – the often insidious, imbalanced progressive drop in estrogen, progesterone and testosterone over a period of years leading up to menopause.

So let’s talk about what can bring perimenopause on sooner than expected. There are a number of factors that are genetically pre-determined:

  • The age of your mother during her menopause
  • The age you started your menstrual period
  • Other genetic factors

There are also some very important external factors that can promote hormonal imbalance and early fatigue of the hormone producing organs – this goes for both men and women! As you may have expected the most important cause for early hormonal failure is prolonged stress and sleep deprivation.

And once again there are clear cut biologic hormonal reasons for this. Here is the simple explanation – Even though there are over 55 different hormones in your body and many pathways for the biologic function they serve, there are 2 major pathways for the chemicals that produce sex hormones:

 
  • Sex Hormone Production
  • Stress Hormone Production

When the body is under stress, internally you go into protective mode – the body feels that it is under attack, so it produces hormones that would protect you:  Cortisol, SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) and Prolactin are 3 such hormones.

The problem is that when the body is in stress hormone production mode it lowers or even stops the production of sex hormones. Sex hormone production is considered by the body to be a function of the body in a normal, unstressed condition.

Even trickier is the fact that you may not even know that your body is under stress. In your mind you may believe you’ve countered all your stress, but a simple blood test has proven so many women wrong.

Ultimately prolonged stress will cause the ovaries to burn out more quickly and produce less estrogen and progesterone. 

I see early menopause frequently in women with underlying depression, chronic insomnia and especially in women who are taking one or more anti-depressant medication.

 

So what is the solution?

 

First of all, it is essential to intervene as early as possible so as to preserve as much ovary function as possible.

 I think it is a good idea for a woman to get a complete hormone panel blood test done as a baseline in their early 40’s or earlier if the woman is experiencing any of the symptoms I described above.

The important point is to get a COMPLETE panel, and that includes the stress hormones as well. You should also have an AMH (Anti-Mullarian Hormone) level checked to see if the ovaries are still retaining function.

If the stress hormones are elevated, that should be the first order of correction.

There are several supplements and adaptogenic herbs that can help the body lower the internal stress and shift the production back to healthy female hormones. If the testosterone is low, that can be boosted as well. These supplements should be individualized so as not to take a “shotgun” approach and take 10 supplements when just a few will work.
 
We rarely jump to hormone replacement in perimenopause.
 
The natural solution should be attempted first to retain your own healthy hormone production. If this is not successful after 2-3 months (it takes 60-90 days to reach hormone stability) then the subject of hormone replacement (bioidentical or otherwise) should begin.
 
As with everything, the lowest dose possible to get the best result is the goal of treatment.
 
Also, we must remember that this kind of treatment is a marathon, not a sprint. Patience by the treating doctor (and the patient) with titration of supplements and addition and subtraction of necessary medicines is essential. This is never an emergency treatment no matter how emotionally urgent this feels to a woman. 
 
The decision making with perimenopause can be a complicated and frustrating matter at times, but with time and with an experienced physician I believe we get good results at least 75% of the time.
 
Again, the scope of perimenopause treatment is well beyond the scope of a blog so if you have questions please feel free to message me. I’ll do my best to respond to your questions as soon as possible.
 
Most importantly, don’t despair and don’t give up. There is treatment available.
 
To schedule an appointment at one of our Bangkok BAAC Clinics or speak to a specialist about the benefits of Safe Hormone Replacement therapy, please contact us.
 

The Vicious Cycle : Male Weight Gain and Testosterone Loss

By Dr. Erik Fleischman –
 
Did you know that your physical size and condition can be a factor toward a normal or low testosterone level as you get older?
 
First, a few facts about testosterone. The body produces levels of testosterone that peak when a man is approximately 19 years old and then maintains a normal level until the late 30’s. After the age of 40, testosterone levels drop about 1% per year under normal circumstances.
 
So what are ABNORMAL circumstances? 
 
Here’s a few factors can that cause an unhealthy faster drop in testosterone levels:
 
  • High stress levels
  • Chronic sleep problems
  • Chronic diseases or trends of disease such as diabetes and hypertension
  • Medications and drugs – anti-depressant and sedative medicines, Aldactone (hypertensive     medication), chemotherapy, marijuana and alcohol
  • Obesity

This is how obesity and high body fat can worsen a man’s testosterone hormone balance. Body fat, especially fat in the abdomen and belly, takes existing Free Testosterone in the body and converts the testosterone to estrogen, the female hormone. So even when more testosterone is being produced it will result in more estrogen as well. When a man’s estrogen level is high he can experience:

  • Loss of sex drive
  • Possible impotence
  • Sensitive breast tissue and breast growth
  • Feelings of more emotional behavior and increased stress/anger
  • Increase in body fat and weight

Any doctor who does an evaluation for male hormone levels should also be checking the estrogen levels, as well as other hormonal factors that affect male testosterone levels. If your doctor is ONLY checking a random testosterone level, it is far short from being a complete evaluation that can be treated smartly and effectively.

Even more important, when you are being treated with testosterone (or treatments that raise your own testosterone level) there should often be additional treatment to inhibit aromatization (the process of testosterone converting to estrogen — male to female hormone conversion).

Does this sound complicated?
 
Perhaps it does, but to a trained, experienced physician doing hormone replacement it should be as basic as treating a cold with antibiotics. If you are getting your hormones from sources other than trained clinical professionals there is high risk for complications or even worsening symptoms. In the right hands though, the effects can be truly transforming toward living a full life with good energy and health.

Testosterone Therapy: Return of Sex Drive and Sexual Ability

By Dr. Erik Fleischman –

Testosterone Clinics, Male Hormone Replacement Clinics and Men’s Health Clinics are on the rise in Asia as they are in the West. As a physician who has been practicing hormone replacement for men for nearly 25 years, I find it exciting that men in Asia will have this option for treatment. I’ve seen my share of tremendous success stories with testosterone boosting and replacement:

  • Return of sex drive and sexual ability
  • Improvement in fatigue and depression
  • Weight loss
  • Renewed energy, focus and vitality

But, also as a physician who has practiced Male Hormone Replacement for nearly 25 years, I have a number of concerns in the way that testosterone replacement is being practiced in its early development in Asia. I’ve seen a number of cases from some of Thailand and Singapore’s top private medical centers that were making the same mistakes that were being made in the early days of hormone replacement 30 years ago. Mistakes that put patients at risk for severe treatment side-effects, treatment failure and even cancer.

I suppose the concept seems simple: test the blood levels for testosterone. If they are low, give the testosterone back as a cream, patch or injection. However, it is NOT this simple and this inexperienced approach can put a patient at a high risk for associated illnesses and the doctor at risk for negligence.

Now, the scope of this article is too short to explain all the pitfalls possible, but here’s a few questions your doctor should have considered when he recommends Testosterone replacement:

  • Has he only checked your Total Testosterone and not Free Testosterone or SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) or your Stress Hormones and other associated hormones?
  • Has he checked the pituitary hormones responsible for the stimulation of testosterone?
  • Has he tried to boost your own testosterone before simply giving you testosterone medicine?
  • Has he mentioned to you that by giving testosterone that you will slow and stop your own production of testosterone?
  • Does he have a plan to cycle your treatment in order for you to keep your own ability to produce your own testosterone?
  • Has he checked your estrogen levels? (When men take testosterone their estrogen levels also rise and can be quite dangerous toward the development of breast enlargement, rage and high emotions and even impotence.) 
  • (And most importantly) Has he screened you for Prostate Cancer?

There’s even more to be concerned about. Much more.

One of the most interesting jobs I had during the 1990’s and 2000’s was providing hormone consultation and management to some of Hollywood’s top action movie stars. Advanced aging was the bane of their existence and the major obstruction to their ability to work and continue to be relevant and believable. By balancing their hormones and providing the proper cycles and supplements, their careers, health, longevity and success continues on–even today. It is not about the replacement. It is about the balance, the planning for the future and the intelligent and scientific look at other factors in the body that are affecting hormone production.

If you are a man seeking advice on hormone replacement or the wife of someone who may benefit from it, make sure your doctor has the experience and training to do it correctly. And assure that he has a plan for the future of your hormone stability, health and balance.
 
To schedule an appointment at one of our Bangkok BAAC Clinics or speak to a specialist about the benefits of Safe Testosterone Replacement, please contact us.
 

Sleeping Your Way to Better Health – Part 1

The unfortunate truth in modern times is that we just don’t get enough sleep. We live in countries where people cut back on sleep for many reasons: work, fun, education or even just to spend a few more hours on their phone while valuable life-saving minutes of sleep are lost. And while we may get so much more done with our social lives and productivity there are some very real, scientifically proven long – and short-term dangers and diseases.
On the short-term side, getting little sleep can seriously alter your mood, judgement, ability to retain information and your ability to learn.
On the long-term side, serious issues such as High Blood Pressure, Diabetes Mellitus, Obesity, Chronic Inflammatory conditions – and even early death have been seen.

As you can imagine, doing studies on the dangers of poor sleep are fairly easy studies to accomplish and prove. Everybody sleeps! It is a matter of tracking the diseases that occur in those who have short and long histories of poor sleep and seeing their progression. But first, we need to establish just how long is “enough” sleep. The National Sleep Foundation of America recommends very strongly that 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night is the target range for adults and children. When they looked at persons getting less than 7 hours of sleep, they saw the statistically significant increases of many of the chronic and often deadly diseases I mentioned above.

As a doctor with many sleep-deprived patients, I wanted to know more about their methods that makes them so sure of their assertions. I looked into their methods and found even more striking evidence and proof that the attitude of “I don’t have enough time to sleep” can be a destructive personal process.
There are 3 types of studies that researchers use to break down the effects of poor sleep. While each of these methods is worthy of a blog, I will summarize them for their elegance as a believable study.

In the first type of study, healthy volunteers are subjected to sleep deprivation of various periods of time (frequently accomplished by using Medical Students and Military volunteers). The participants are kept awake and various health parameters are tracked. The clear and proven results: Increased Stress, Increased Blood Pressure, loss of control of Blood Glucose (Diabetic tendencies) and increased Total Body Inflammation.
The second type of research study is called a cross-sectional epidemiological study. This looks at the correlation between certain habitual sleep problems and the existence of diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes or obesity. These studies show a link between long chronic sleep deprivation, but we also have to consider that these diseases (and some of their medications) can also cause sleeping issues. So to see which is the cause and which is the effect we look at a third type of study.

The most convincing evidence comes from tracking the sleeping habits and disease patterns of people who are initially healthy, yet develop sleep-influenced diseases as we follow them over a long time period. With these studies we can actually see the improvement in management of these chronic diseases with improved sleep and rest.
Most people don’t get enough sleep. We are a society that burns the candle at both ends, a nation where people stay up all night to study, work, or have fun. However, going without adequate sleep carries with it both short- and long-term consequences.
In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including Obesity, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and even early mortality.
So let’s look at the most serious diseases associated with poor sleep.

Obesity is on the rise in nearly every developed country in the world. With obesity can also come:

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Hypertension
  • Hormone imbalances in men and women
  • Cancer (obesity is one of the biggest influencers for getting Breast Cancer)
During proper sleep the body secretes hormones that control our energy, our metabolism and the way we use our glucose/blood sugar. With poor sleep the body produces more insulin after meals and this causes us to retain more fat and to gain weight. It is well known that people who do not sleep well have great difficulty in losing weight even when they are on proper diets and exercise programs. If you want to lose weight you must sleep.
Immune Function is vital to our ability to fight infections and recover quickly from colds and flu’s and other body infections. When the immune system is trying to fight off a cold it actually secretes substances that cause fatigue. Inactivity and sleep when a person is infected actually improves the outcome and the recovery time. It has been proven that subjects who can reach more levels of deep sleep have a better chance of recovery and survival. This goes for mild infections and flu’s as well as serious life-threatening infections.

Life Expectancy has been clearly proven to be influenced by lack of proper and sufficient sleep. The most striking evidence comes from 3 major cross-sectional studies in America. These revealed that less than 5 hours of sleep per night resulted in increased death/mortality by 15%.
I encourage my patients to regard sleep in the same way they would regard taking their medicine for hypertension or any other disease that requires daily management. I also discourage the patients from using potentially dangerous prescription sleep medication until they have tried more healthy and natural products and behaviors to obtain good, restful sleep. Prescription sleeping pills have a series of side-effects and issues that can be potentially as dangerous as sleep deprivation. When you see your doctor about sleep, the discussion should be about how you can get the most natural restful sleep without a prescription medicine. In my practice I can accomplish this in over 90% of my patients.

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Human Growth Hormone: Is it your real internal fountain of youth

Human Growth Hormone is the single most important hormone in your body that will influence how fast you will age.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is the natural hormone that comes from your brain (specifically your pituitary gland-the production center for nearly all important hormones). HGH gives us proper growth, height and physical development as children. After puberty HGH starts to slow down, but maintains the important function of regeneration of nearly every cell in the body:  muscle, skin, organs, nerves and brain.  
Quite simply, when HGH remains at good reasonable levels you will age slowly. When HGH drops you will get older.
Here’s a few facts about HGH levels:

  • HGH production is highest until puberty and then drops 14% per every 10 years
  • HGH may drop 50% every 7 years in adult men
  • In men 60 years old, up to 35% are HGH deficient and will age rapidly
  • In women, a drop in Estrogen (peri-menopause/menopause) causes a drop in natural HGH
  • In both men and women, maintaining proper levels of Testosterone and HGH results in preventing loss of muscle due to aging and preventing the development of extra unwanted and dangerous “belly fat” due to aging
We’ve all heard of menopause, the time when women’s Estrogen and Progesterone drops.  

Many of us have heard of Andropause, the time when men’s Testosterone falls causing weight gain, loss of sex drive, rapid aging and loss of brain power.

There is another important hormone drop called Somatopause. This is the time when HGH drops due to aging as well as a number of preventable causes. Somatopause results in:

  • Loss of vitality and energy
  • Age related muscle loss (Sarcopenia)
  • Occurrence of frailty 
  • Development of central belly fat (not only unsightly, but also an increased risk for heart disease)
  • Advanced risk of cardiac disease
  • Loss of mental clarity and cognitive brain power
Your level of Human Growth Hormone can be determined largely by genetics – does your family “age well.” There are a number of ways to naturally raise levels of HGH and a few ways to supplement HGH as well. There are also a number of products in pharmacies and online stores that promise to raise HGH levels. I would advise caution on using these as pill forms of HGH really don’t exist nor does the body absorb real HGH through your stomach and GI tract. 
Here are some of the proven general ways to raise your own HGH level naturally:

  • Reduce body fat
  • Intermittent Fasting (16/8, etc.)
  • Certain amino acid supplements, such as arginine  
  • Greatly reduce your sugar and carbohydrate intake 
  • Small meal for dinner/before bedtime
  • Take a GABA supplement  
  • High intensity exercise
  • Proper and healthy sleep
 

In Part 2 of HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE:  IS IT YOUR REAL INTERNAL FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH I will discuss the facts around HGH replacement therapy and the supplements currently available. 

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Sleeping Your Way to Better Health – Part 2

What Can I do if I Can’t Sleep?

Anyone who has spent a night or two without sleep can tell you how it changes their life. Low energy, poor concentration, bad moods, poor decisions and fatigue are just some of the results of poor or no sleep. It is not uncommon for all of us to go through a few episodes of bad sleep in our lives, especially if we are busy or stressed. But when sleeplessness or insomnia becomes a regular event or happens every week for at least a few nights it is time to do seek help.

There are many ways to help improve sleep

There are many ways to help improve sleep. Some are healthy, some can create other problems. Let’s look at what is available with and without a doctor’s prescription.

In modern medicine today, unfortunately, too many doctors immediately prescribe sleeping pills to their patients. 

The most frequently prescribed pills have names such as

  •  Zolpidem
  • Eszopiclone
  • Estazolam
  • Diazapam
  • Alprazolam
They are predictable and effective for sleep adding five to seven hours of sleep the first time they are used.

But are they healthy to use on a regular basis?
After years of use and research the answer is clearly NO.
 
Here are some of the unhealthy/unwanted side-effects from regular use of these sleeping pills:
  1. Physical Addiction: The pills from the Benzodiazapine family – Alprazolam, Diazapam – have a strong history of creating addiction and dependence. Even worse is that sudden withdrawal of the drugs in someone who has been taking them for months can cause seizures and death. If you are taking this family of drugs daily, please speak to your doctor about the best way to slowly stop them.
  2. Rebound Insomnia: Many of the medications above can cause worsened Insomnia once they are discontinued. The inability to sleep comes back and can be worse than previously.
  3. Cognitive loss: There can be a loss of sharp focus and thinking the morning after using sleeping pills with a “hangover” period, but this is not the worst potential effect of these medicines. Recent studies are showing a trend toward increased dementia in persons taking long term sleeping pills.
  4. Loss of Sex Drive and Erectile Dysfunction: Sleeping medications routinely result in lower sexual interest and less ability to maintain erections in men. Benzodiazapines may actually act directly on the testes in men and reduce Testosterone production.
Before writing prescriptions for these medicines, doctors should have a discussion with patients about their sleep history and something known as “Sleep Hygiene”. Very simply, this asks if your environment to sleep is a good place to sleep! 

  • Is your room dark?
  • Is the room cool enough?
  • Is it quiet?
  • Have you stopped looking at your phone or Ipad at least an hour before trying to sleep?
  • Do you like to eat sugary foods a few hours before you sleep (this habit is sure to wake you from sleep 3-4 hours later as your blood sugar rises)? 
 
Very simple behavioural changes can make all the difference between a good and poor night’s sleep.
Now if you’ve done all the work with good Sleep Hygiene and still cannot sleep there are a few other considerations. Your age can be a big determinant of your ability to sleep. Older people have less total sleep and less healthy stage sleep (called REM sleep) than younger people. The reason for this is likely a lower production in the body of natural Melatonin.

Natural Melatonin production in the brain decreases 1% every year after 40 years old. 

Melatonin is produced in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This area of the brain shrinks as we get older.  Also, Melatonin is produced in the gut and so people with chronic stomach and intestinal pain tend to have lower levels as well. 
Current research on Melatonin in the fields of Sleep Medicine and Anti-Aging Medicine suggest that addition of this simple hormone can not only fix a sleeping disorder naturally, but also supports the body’s natural production of essential hormones like Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone as well as thyroid hormones.
 
There are number of other supplements that can also help produce healthy sleep without unwanted bad effects to the body.

There are adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwaganda. Ashwaganda is an herb originally found in India which has a proven effect of lowering stressful sensations and decreasing known stress hormones such as Prolactin, Cortisol and Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG).

L-Tryptophan, which is also sometimes referred to as DHT, is an amino acid that not only produces deep sleep, but also increases Serotonin levels in the brain which help to fight depression. The use of L-Tryptophan can also increase Testosterone levels in both men and women with the result being more energy, increased sex drive, improved brain focus and positive changes in the quality and appearance of the skin.

Valerian Root is another natural product which produces reliable sleep. The chemical in Valerian Root mimics a neurotransmitter in the brain called GABA. By simulating the important sleep centers of the brain, this can result in restful slumber.

One important warning: Many people believe that having alcohol before bed is a good way to fall to sleep more quickly. It is true that alcohol helps induce sleep, but 4 hours later alcohol turns directly into sugar in the body and can cause wakening and poor sleep cycles (loss of REM sleep). We recommend that alcohol be stopped at least 6 hours before sleep to assure no interruption in a good restful night.
Sleep is now considered as essential toward keeping good health as is taking medication for health issues like High Blood Pressure and Diabetes. Ignoring sleep for too long will result in lower quality of life, more potential for debilitating diseases (even Cancer) and reduced brain function and depression.  Sometimes one good night of sleep feels like it can change everything.

 

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Women and Testosterone Replacement

By Dr. Erik Fleischman –

Yes, you read that right. I wrote Women and Testosterone Replacement.

Hormone Replacement and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement with Estrogen and Progesterone creams and pills have received a lot of interest for more than 60 years. But what most doctors fail to discuss with their female patients is the importance of replacing the Testosterone that ALSO drops to unhealthy levels in women during and after Menopause.

Most women hear the word Testosterone and picture big hairy men with muscles, thick beards and deep voices. This is not entirely true.

ALL women produce Testosterone at low levels, much lower than men. Testosterone in women has some vitally important functions:

  • Bone Health – Low testosterone causes Osteoporosis
  • Fertility – Testosterone is being used for women during IVF to increase the number of eggs produced in the ovaries
  • Sex Drive – Low Testosterone results in low sex drive in both men AND women
  • Vaginal Health – Low testosterone causes vaginal dryness and atrophy of the vaginal tissue which can cause painful or difficult sex
  • Fat Production – Low Testosterone results in more belly and visceral fat – which also is a risk factor for heart disease
  • Heart Health – Low Testosterone levels are a risk factor for Cardiovascular Disease and heart attack

Any Regenerative Medicine doctor who is evaluating your hormones should include Free and Total Testosterone in the evaluation of any woman considering hormone replacement therapy. The balance of the sex hormones is equally important to the amounts that are safely being replaced. In this evaluation, the doctor should be looking at the whole person and the goals and risks of treatment:

  • Do you have any other medical conditions such as heart disease, hypertension or ovarian issues?
  • Your family history of Cancer
  • The goals of treatment

There are a number of indicators that can lead the doctor to want to check your Testosterone levels. If you have any of these you may want to consider getting a simple blood test:

  • Depression
  • Low sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain despite good diet and exercise
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Clouded thinking and loss of focus

Each of these can be an indicator of low Testosterone levels in women and Testosterone replacement therapy with Bio-identical Testosterone Cream can alleviate these issues quite effectively.

Also, treatment can be tailored to the needs of the woman. Bio-identical Testosterone Cream can be used daily, a few times a week or can also just be used safely in the vagina when a woman wants to increase her sex drive as needed. All are effective ways to use Testosterone and have been safely given to women for over 30 years.

As with all treatments, not every one is safe for every patient. To see if you are a candidate for hormone replacement therapy, come see us. It is as simple as a few questions and a blood test to see if these treatments are right for you and your health, happiness and longevity.

To schedule an appointment at one of our Bangkok BAAC Clinics or speak to a specialist about the benefits of Safe Testosterone Replacement, please contact us.