Stress Relief from Balanced Hormones???

by: Vanessa Dean

Can balanced hormones in men and women help reduce anxiety during these stressful times? Watch this video to see what Dr. Vanessa Dean has to say about this very popular topic.

DID YOU KNOW…
Hormones tie into so many other facets of your health, including your response to stress?

WHY IS STRESS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH?
Stress creates an inflammatory response to the whole body and inflammation is the foundation of disease development. THAT’S RIGHT. Inflammation leads to disease if it is not properly corrected.

Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many other health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

HOW CAN HORMONE THERAPY HELP WITH STRESS?
Testosterone therapy – for men and women – has anti-inflammatory effects on the body? So, if you haven’t done so already, you could consider finding out whether hormone optimization is for you.

Taking steps to manage stress can have many health benefits. In addition to keeping your hormones balanced, here are additional ways to manage stress:

  • MOVE: Exercise regularly. When you think of exercise, it doesn’t have to mean going to the gym and weight lifting for hours or over exerting yourself on the treadmill. Simply incorporating physical activity every day can make a difference, even if that means taking a 20 minute walk. New to yoga? Check out this 5-minute beginner’s flow!
  • BREATHE: Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or massage.
  • LAUGH: Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins. These are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, which promote an overall sense of well-being and reduced stress.
  • LOVE: Spend time with family and friends. If you can’t physically be with them, video chats can ease your stress also. Be sure to communicate anything that is stressing you to a good friend or loved one. The simple act of talking about what is stressing you out can help.
  • GET SOME “ME TIME” Set aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music

Getting your Hormones in Shape for Summer

Swimsuit season is here! But if you are struggling with the symptoms of hormone imbalance, you might not be too excited about showing off your “beach bod.” Both men and women can have a harder time maintaining a healthy weight and muscle mass ratio when they are “out of balance.” When your hormones are out of whack, the rest of the body usually follows. 

Weight Gain in Women
Ladies, does any of this sound familiar?  

  • Weight gain around the middle 
  • Bloating 
  • Favorite jeans don’t fit 
  • Less muscle mass 
  • Have a harder time losing weight 

As estrogen levels drop during perimenopause and menopause, weight gain and changes in weight distribution can be an unpleasant side effect. Women gain an average of five pounds during menopause, but many women who are already overweight or obese will continue to gain. Other factors can contribute to weight gain during this time, including fatigue, antidepressant use, sleep changes, “empty nest syndrome,” and changes in job or relationships. 

 And it’s not just about switching from a bikini to a one-piece. Significant weight gain in your 40s puts you at greater risk for serious health problems like breast cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.  

 One way to prevent this cascade of health problems is to maintain healthy hormone levels. With SottoPelle bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, one treatment every few months can keep you feeling and looking your best all year round without the hormone roller coaster. Customized to you, pellets deliver the right dose of hormone at the right time for constant, consistent results. 

Weight gain in Men
Men aren’t immune from hormone-related changes that affect their beach body, either. As testosterone levels drop, men tend to experience an increase in weight, an increase in body fat, and a decrease in lean muscle mass and strength. Sometimes breast tissue enlarges (gynecomastia).  

 Additional symptoms such as fatigue, sleep problems, depression, and a decrease in motivation or self-confidence can also contribute to weight gain in men during this time. And, just like with women, obesity raises the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.  

 Something else many men don’t realize: obesity and hormone imbalance can contribute to erectile dysfunction. In fact, obesity and hormone imbalance in men seem to feed into one another, each causing the other to become worse. 

 Good thing SottoPelle Therapy works for men, too! SottoPelle’s bioidentical testosterone therapy delivers a steady, consistent dose of natural hormone right into your bloodstream, keeping your T levels where they need to be all year long. 

 Men and women, If your 40+ “beach bod” isn’t what you hoped it would be and you can’t seem to get and keep the weight off, it could mean that your hormones need to get in shape before you can. 

Book your SottoPelle appointment today and your beach vacation next! 

Resources 

https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2017/june/obesity-and-weight-management-at-menopause/ 

https://www.obesityaction.org/community/article-library/men-is-obesity-affecting-your-sex-life/ 

Why Your Bones Want You To Have Healthy Hormones

You know that having balanced hormones helps alleviate symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, loss of libido and mood swings. But healthy hormone levels do more than improve the way you feel– they can save your bones (and maybe even your life).

May is National Osteoporosis Month, and according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation:

● An estimated 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, 80% of them women
● Almost half of women over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis
● A woman’s risk of hip fracture is equal to her combined risk of uterine, ovarian and breast cancer.1

Not only that, studies show that the risk of death goes up sharply in the event of a hip or back fracture.2

What does this have to do with hormones?

The hormone estrogen protects women’s bones, and when menopause hits and estrogen levels plummet, women are at greater risk for bone loss, osteoporosis and fractures. Hormone replacement therapy keeps estrogen levels where they should be, protecting your bones and, as a result, your health and vitality.

What if I am already taking medications to prevent bone loss?

While for older women with a diagnosis of osteoporosis, bone building drugs can and do reduce the incidence of fractures, many younger post-menopausal women with osteopenia (bone loss that is not as severe as osteoporosis) are being prescribed these drugs on a “preventive” basis. These drugs can have serious side effects, and research shows that they don’t provide much protection from fractures for women in these situations.3

Maintaining healthy hormone levels can help women protect their bones without the side effects associated with bone building medications.

What about men?

Just like with women, healthy hormone levels are an important part of protecting bone health in men.

A 2017 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that one year of testosterone therapy significantly increased bone density and bone strength in men aged 65 and older. This is part of what researchers have dubbed “the T Trials,” an effort by the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of testosterone treatment in 790 men ages 65 and older. The ongoing trials will next seek to confirm if testosterone therapy and its bone-building ability also protects men from suffering fractures.4

In the meantime, it’s exciting that the research is catching up to what we already know– that healthy hormone levels are key to aging well, staying strong, remaining vital, and holding onto your health, all the way down to your bones!

Resources:

1. https://www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/general-facts/what-women-need-to-know/
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4124750/
3. http://hormonebalance.org/userfiles/file/aarp_bone_health.pdf
4. https://www.healio.com/primary-care/mens-health/news/online/%7B65bd909f-b9ad-420a-89f8-2128df053f51%7D/testosterone-treatment-improves-bone-density-strength-in-older-men

Methods to Maintain Sexual Health

We’ll get straight to the point: Let’s talk about sex.

There’s a notion that older adults have no business in any sort of sexual activity. However, as we’ve previously shared in our post on how to ‘Get a Bang Out of Aging This New Year’, intimacy is an integral part of our being, and it’s imperative that we care for our sexual health.

This is why it’s high time we break the taboo that surrounds conversations about sexual health. After all, sex is a normal part of the human experience, and should be treated as such. So, we’ve rounded up some key methods for you to maintain your sexual health in this stage of your life and beyond.


Exercise More Often

According to a study conducted by Anglia Ruskin University, older adults who are more sexually active are more likely to experience a greater enjoyment of life. But, it’s important to note that in order to be sexually active, you must be physically active as well. While sexual desires won’t disappear as you age, our agility and flexibility are expected to decline. And since sex is essentially a form of exercise, you must be in good shape to prevent pain or even injuries. To keep your body in tip-top condition, you should engage in cardio exercise at least three times a week. Cardio workouts, such as jogging, swimming, and dancing, help secure both your physical and sexual health, as these exercises help increase your body’s stamina and endurance, while also enhancing heart health.

Talk to Your Healthcare Provider

Developing a healthy sex life in your middle age may be difficult, as some struggle to cope with the physiological changes. Luckily, healthcare providers can help you overcome these huge psychological barriers. Indeed, their support is needed now more than ever, as Maryville University notes the demand for health services managers is expected to rise to 17% by 2024. Their support goes beyond medical assistance, as they teach and rehabilitate their patients who are adjusting to this new stage of their life. As such, you shouldn’t be afraid to open up to them about whatever it is you’re feeling — whether it’s physical or psychological distress. After all, poor mental health can have adverse effects on your physical state: People struggling with depression and anxiety, for example, may find that these issues also affect their sexual health.

Be Mindful of Your Diet

As you get older, one of the biggest hurdles your sex life will face is how your reproductive organs will function. For some men, they’ll find that achieving an erection can be quite the challenge due to poor blood flow and testosterone loss. Meanwhile, women experience a significant loss of estrogen as they age, which can lead to vaginal dryness. Although these physical changes may hinder your sexual performance, you can overcome these obstacles by adopting healthier eating habits.

True enough, University of Minnesota’s Jamie Feldman notes that men should incorporate plant-based and heart-healthy food into their diet to help protect their erectile function. Meanwhile, a nourishing diet also proves vital for women, too, as consuming superfoods like soybeans, flax seeds, and fruits like apricots, peaches, and strawberries will help boost estrogen levels. All in all, a healthy diet is key in promoting sexual health.

Talking about sexual health may still be taboo, but there’s no reason to feel ashamed about caring for your own. At the end of the day, your sexual feelings are completely valid — no matter your age.

Article specially written for sottopelletherapy.com

Prepared by Alicia Wilson

Preventative Care

Preventative and proactive care is the cornerstone to SottoPelle. We are sharing important resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help take a more proactive approach to your health and well being as you age.
The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. ~
Thomas A. Edison


For more help in preventative services you may need – try this app below.

Stress & Nuts 

We all know about stress. Everyday something happens in your life that seems stressful. You can find an entire day, week or year consumed by stress. Are you driven mad by NUTS?


Beyond being a huge glutton of our mental time, stress is really unhealthy.

Does stress impact how we age too?

Science and studies seem to indicate it does.
“Chronic stress accelerates premature aging by shortening DNA telomeres.
Telomere length is a marker of both biological and cellular aging. Stressful life experiences in childhood and adulthood have previously been linked to accelerated telomere shortening. Shortened telomeres have been associated with chronic diseases and premature death in previous studies by Dr. Owen Wolkowitz and colleagues at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).(1)

Is All Stress Created Equal?

No, there are physical and emotional stressors and they impact you differently. Their are also instances were we self impose stress on ourself.

“Like most psychological theories, it’s gone through a few changes over the years. Experts had long believed that the Zeigarnik effect was the brain’s way of prompting its owner to finish a task, nagging the mind to wrap up what had been started. But recent research has found that the Zeigarnik effect is a little more specific than that.
“(The) unconscious is asking the conscious mind to make a plan,” write Roy Baumeister and John Tierney in Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. “The unconscious mind apparently can’t do this on its own, so it nags the conscious mind to make a plan with specifics like time, place, and opportunity. Once the plan is formed, the unconscious can stop nagging the conscious mind with reminders.”
Sounds great, right? It’s like a built-in to-do-list, no iPhone note required. But here’s the thing: That constant mental nagging can seriously drain you after a while.”(2)

To Recap “stress comes in two basic flavors, physical and emotional — and both can be especially taxing for older people. The impacts of physical stress are clear. As people reach old age, wounds heal more slowly and colds become harder to shake. A 75-year-old heart can be slow to respond to the demands of exercise. And when an 80-year-old walks into a chilly room, it will take an extra-long time for her body temperature to adjust.

Emotional stress is more subtle, but if it’s chronic, the eventual consequences can be as harmful. At any age, stressed-out brains sound an alarm that releases potentially harmful hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Ideally, the brain turns down the alarm when stress hormones get too high.
Stress hormones provide energy and focus in the short term, but too much stress over too many years can throw a person’s system off-balance. Overloads of stress hormones have been linked to many health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and weakened immune function. For older people already at heightened risk for these illnesses, managing stress is particularly important.

Over time, the brain can slowly lose its skills at regulating hormone levels. As a result, older people who feel worried or anxious tend to produce larger amounts of stress hormones, and the alarm doesn’t shut down as quickly. According to a study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, women are especially susceptible to an overload of stress hormones as they age. The study found that the impact of age on cortisol levels is nearly three times stronger for women than for men.

The flow of stress hormones can be especially hard on older brains in general. According to a report from the University of California at San Francisco, extra cortisol over the years can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s crucial for storing and retrieving memories. Several studies have found that high cortisol goes hand in hand with poor memory, so we might be able to chalk up certain “senior moments” to stress.”(3)

How Can We Combat Stress?

Some studies indicate that having multiple major life events in a year can create advanced aging. So in a case like mine where a parent passed, sick spouse and selling a home does that mean I will age faster?

I don’t think anyone can tell you for sure as aging is associated with many factors like genetics, environment and balanced lifestyle.

You can offset some of the detrimental effects of stress with the help of friends, family, strong support networks, and strategies for coping with stress.

Reduce your NUTS!!

Yes, humor is great for reducing stress so hopefully your smiling now. Nagging Unfinished Tasks (NUT) are all the unfinished things we perceive or think about that just rent space on our brain and have an impact on our stress level.

“Dr. Oz says they are “often very simple to fix but if you never get around to them, NUTs create a subtle underlying angst that can undermine your health.” Author Jack Canfield calls them “messes and incompletes” and says they “rob us of valuable attention units”.
This variety, these Nagging Unfinished Tasks, are most definitely NOT good for us. They cause not only mental stress, but eventual physical stress. Who needs ‘em?!

Well, unfortunately, I bet we all got ‘em. Those hanger-on projects, tasks, and to-do’s that just seem to never go away. They are those uninteresting, challenging, boring, tedious little things we simply don’t want to do.

So how to handle them and move on to and make room for the things we DO want to do?

Here are some ideas:
Use a simple time management principle: “Do it, Delegate it, Delay it, or Dump it”. The moment you’ve got a task in mind to add to your to-do’s, make a decision on what to do with it… right then and there. Maybe it doesn’t even need to go on the list.(4)

Have stress-reducing techniques on hand. Try meditation, humor or exercise. I love taking a drive and listening to music or going for a great foot massage. Find your comfort zone – a place, person or activity that brings you comfort.

Age well – stress less!!

For more guidance on fitness visit: Lifefit.life

For more information on healthy and balanced lifestyles visit: sottopellelifestyle.com

If you just want to have fun and learn about cool people and topics listen to us on Adventures in Aging on iTunes.

(1)https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201404/emotional-distress-can-speed-cellular-aging
(2) https://advice.shinetext.com/articles/the-zeigarnik-effect-is-your-best-new-motivation-hack/
(3)https://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/aging-1/age-health-news-7/aging-and-stress-645997.html
(4)http://www.debbielousberg.com/soapbox-blog/nuts/

Hugging for your Health

Hugging for your Health

We all know that hugs make us happier, but can they really keep you healthy?

As little kids we were told about an apple a day, but can a hug a day really keep the doctor away too?  Recent studies have shown that “hugging protects people who are under stress from the increased risk for colds [that’s] usually associated with stress,” notes study lead author Sheldon Cohen, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania. Hugging “is a marker of intimacy and helps generate the feeling that others are there to help in the face of adversity.”

 

Some experts attribute the stress-reducing, health-related benefits of hugging to the release of oxytocin, often called “the bonding hormone” because it promotes attachment in relationships, including between mothers and their newborn babies. Oxytocin is made primarily in the hypothalamus in the brain, and some of it is released into the bloodstream through the pituitary gland. But some of it remains in the brain, where it influences mood, behavior and physiology. How hugging fits in: “When you’re hugging or cuddling with someone, [he or she is] stimulating pressure receptors under your skin in a way that leads to a cascade of events including an increase in vagal activity, which puts you in a relaxed state,” explains psychologist Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine. One theory is that stimulation of the vagus nerve triggers an increase in oxytocin levels.”(1)

Science is proving what our mom’s and even common sense has proven throughout our lives, kindness and love has amazing healing properties. When we feel stressed our bodies suffer, but when we feel that reassurance, support and a simply put gesture of love – it thrives.

I have started an experiment where I am hugging people I love at least 30 seconds a day.  It seems silly, but so far, the results are amazing.  I feel very happy doing it and the person I am hugging seems happier. It’s not a scientific study but does it have to be? Just go ahead and hug someone.

Source:

(1) https://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2016-02-03/the-health-benefits-of-hugging

Gratitude is Healthy

This month we are raising awareness of the positive implications of Gratitude.  Many people who practice or feel gratitude in their daily lives feel happier and healthier.

Our lives are busy, often stressed and can be overwhelmed with petty details or issues that may seem important in that moment yet are not life changing. We tend to focus on the negative and forget to appreciate the positive when there are so many blessings around us. Feeling gratitude is not only important for a more positive emotional and psychological perspective, but as science is finding to our overall health.

https://vimeo.com/366577312

Grateful individuals experience a wide variety of social and psychological health benefits (see e.g., Emmons & Mishra, 2011; Wood, Froh, & Geraghty, 2010 for a review). However, few studies have examined whether dispositional gratitude might also predict physical health benefits. One possible reason is that the pathways between gratitude and physical health are less easily described than those between the trait and either social or psychological health. The current study sought to test whether grateful individuals report better physical health, and explain why these effects might occur, focusing on psychological health and health behaviors as possible intervening mechanisms. Moreover, we tested whether these pathways differ across adulthood, following recent suggestions in the personality and health literature (Hill & Roberts, 2011).(1)

This study concluded that “Dispositional gratitude predicted better self-reported physical health.”(2)

How does gratitude impact our health?

By focusing on the things we appreciate, we tend to dismiss the negative and the stress that is related to those things. Stress is unhealthy.
It causes all types of health issues and leads to unhealthy behaviors.
Gratitude helps people feel happier and these feelings generate proactive and a more preventative lifestyle choices.

“Gratitude…can be an incredibly powerful and invigorating experience,” says researcher Jeff Huffman. “There is growing evidence that being grateful may not only bring good feelings. It could lead to better health.” (2)

It’s ironic that science is just confirming what makes just good common sense.  When your life and energy is directed towards positive thinking and activities, it makes you happy.

But what do you do if you’re in an unhappy or unhealthy situation now?

It’s often hard to find those bright spots when you’re not feeling grateful or happy. Take a step back and think about the positive in your life and focus on that. If you’re having issues finding anything, seek support from others as closer intimate relationships or interactions lead to happiness and more gratitude.

Are you truly grateful for the good things in your life—or do you take them for granted?

Take the Quiz: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/quizzes/take_quiz/gratitude

Grateful people are happy people, research shows. But how grateful are you? To find out—and discover steps for promoting even more gratitude in your life—take this quiz, which is based on a scale developed by psychologists Mitchel Adler and Nancy Fagley. (4)

Sources:
(1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3489271/
(2)ibid
(3)https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/is_gratitude_good_for_your_health
(4)https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/quizzes/take_quiz/gratitude