Top10MD Blog


 3 months ago    Leave a comments (0)

With kids heading off to camp this summer and families headed to the mountains or camping outdoors ticks can be a problem if not a life-long problem if infected with Lyme Disease or other tick related diseases. “It’s a good idea to take preventive measures against ticks year-round, be extra vigilant during the months of April-September when ticks are most active,” says Dr. Jeffery West Ticks transmit over ten diseases to humans and pets. Some of these diseases can be debilitating for the rest of you or your child’s life; it’s important to seek immediate care. Early recognition and treatment decrease the risk of serious complications later on.

Approximately 300,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Lyme disease yearly; while only 30,000 of these are estimated to be reported to the CDC by state health departments. Ninety-six percent of Lyme disease cases come from 13 states.


  • Avoid direct contact with ticks
  • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Walk in the center of trails


  • Use repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours.
  • Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth.
  • Use products that contain permethrin on clothing. Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents with products containing 0.5% permethrin. It remains protective through several washings. Pre-treated clothing is available and may be protective longer.


  • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
  • Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.
  • Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and day packs.
  • Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors.
  • If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed.
  • If the clothes require washing first, use hot water. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks effectively. If the clothes cannot be washed in hot water, tumble dry on low heat for 90 minutes or high heat for 60 minutes. The clothes should be warm and completely dry.


  • Remove the tick as quickly as possible, do not wait for it to detach.
  • Use a fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, and pull straight up with steady pressure. Then thoroughly clean the bite (and your hands) with rubbing alcohol and soap and water.
  • Kill the tick without touching it and throw it away. If you develop a rash or fever following exposure, see a doctor immediately.


  • Fever/chills: With all tickborne diseases, patients can experience fever at varying degrees and time of onset.
  • Aches and pains: Tickborne disease symptoms include a headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. With Lyme disease, you may also experience joint pain. The severity and time of onset of these symptoms can depend on the disease and the patient’s personal tolerance level.
  • Rash: Lyme disease, southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), ehrlichiosis, and tularemia can result in distinctive rashes:
    • In Lyme disease, the rash may appear within 3-30 days, typically before the onset of fever. The Lyme disease rash is the first sign of infection and is usually a circular rash called erythema migrans or EM. This rash occurs in approximately 70-80% of infected persons and begins at the site of a tick bite. It may be warm but is not usually painful. Some patients develop additional EM lesions in other areas of the body several days later.
    • The rash of (STARI) is nearly identical to that of Lyme disease, with a red, expanding “bull’s eye” lesion that develops around the site of a lone star tick bite. Unlike Lyme disease, STARI has not been linked to any arthritic or neurologic symptoms.
    • The rash seen with Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) varies greatly from person to person in appearance, location, and time of onset. About 10% of individuals with RMSF never develop a rash. Most often, the rash begins 2-5 days after the onset of fever as small, flat, pink, non-itchy spots (macules) on the wrists, forearms, and ankles and spreads to the trunk. It sometimes involves the palms and soles. The red to purple, spotted (petechial) rash of RMSF is usually not seen until the sixth day or later after onset of symptoms and occurs in 35-60% of patients with the infection.
  • In the most common form of tularemia, a skin ulcer appears at the site where the organism entered the body. The ulcer is accompanied by swelling of regional lymph glands, usually in the armpit or groin.
  • 30% of patients and up to 60% of children, ehrlichiosis can cause a rash. The appearance of the rash ranges from macular to maculopapular to petechial and may appear after the onset of fever.

Tickborne diseases can result in mild symptoms treatable at home to severe infections requiring hospitalization. Although easily treated with antibiotics, these diseases can be difficult for physicians to diagnose. However, early recognition and treatment of the infection decrease the risk of serious complications. Seek medical advice immediately if you have been bitten by a tick and experience any of the symptoms described here.


  • Anaplasmosis is transmitted to humans by tick bites primarily from the blacklegged tick.
  • Babesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells. Most human cases of babesiosis are caused by Babesia microtiBabesia microti is transmitted by the blacklegged tick.
  • Borrelia mayonii infection has recently been described as a cause of illness in the upper Midwestern United States. It has been found in blacklegged ticks. Borrelia mayonii is a new species and is the only species besides B. burgdorferi known to cause Lyme disease in North America.
  • Borrelia miyamotoi infection has recently been described as a cause of illness in the U.S. It is transmitted by the blacklegged tick and has a range like that of Lyme disease.
  • Colorado tick fever is caused by a virus transmitted by the Rocky Mountain wood tick. It occurs in the Rocky Mountain states at elevations of 4,000 to 10,500 feet.
  • Ehrlichiosis is transmitted to humans by the lone star tick, found primarily in the south central and eastern U.S.
  • Heartland virus infection has been identified in eight patients in Missouri and Tennessee as of March 2014. Studies suggest that Lone Star ticks may transmit the virus. It is unknown if the virus may be found in other areas of the U.S.
  • Lyme disease is transmitted by the blacklegged tick in the northeastern U.S. and upper Midwestern U.S. and the western blacklegged tick along the Pacific coast.
  • Powassan disease is transmitted by the blacklegged tick and the groundhog tick. Cases have been reported primarily from northeastern states and the Great Lakes region.
  • Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis is transmitted to humans by the Gulf Coast tick.
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is transmitted by the American dog tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick, and the brown dog tick in the U.S. The brown dog tick and other tick species are associated with RMSF in Central and South America.
  • STARI (Southern tick-associated rash illness) is transmitted via bites from the lone star tick, found in the southeastern and eastern U.S.
  • Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF) is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected soft ticks. TBRF has been reported in 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming and is associated with sleeping in rustic cabins and vacation homes.
  • Tularemia is transmitted to humans by the dog tick, the wood tick, and the lone star tick. Tularemia occurs throughout the U.S.
  • 364D rickettsiosis is transmitted to humans by the Pacific Coast tick. This is a new disease that has been found in California.

Dr. Jeffery West is a Rockwall Otolaryngologist specializing in allergies and ENT surgery. Board Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngologists, Dr. West is Medical Director of Lakeside Allergy ENT with offices in Rockwall, Forney, and Wylie Texas. Named Top10MD in 2016 – an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeeds within the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Jeff West, click on his profile or call his office at 972-398-1131.


IMAGE: Shutterstock


 10 months ago    Leave a comments (0)

Back in the good old days, life was different for women. Childbirth was a game of heads and tails if the mother was going to survive, PMS was considered by others as an imaginary problem or women were crazy, and menopause was just another stage of life that every woman had to endure. Thanks to advancements in medicine and science, women don’t have to accept the results of hormone imbalances.

Women across the country now have an improved quality of life thanks to hormone replacement therapy. There’s no need to have to endure the struggles of menopause if the remedy is simple, just replacing your missing hormones.

Estrogen Pellet Therapy

The most important hormone for women is estrogen. Without proper levels of estrogen, woman are at risk for serious health consequences such as osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, impaired vision, premature ovary failure, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and tooth loss.

Estrogen receptors are located throughout the body and brain when estrogen levels are low, or our body is not manufacturing estrogen such as when you have a hysterectomy the symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as moodiness, bone loss, loss of skin elasticity, and cognitive functions decline. Working with a physician than understands the consequences of low estrogen can help women avoid the trouble hormone imbalances can cause.

Testosterone Pellet Therapy

The testosterone hormone provides a woman with muscle tone and mass, mental clarity, and libido. When testosterone is low, women often complain of brain fog, weight gain, and even with regular exercise, poor muscle tone. Low testosterone can also be dangerous to a woman’s overall health. When a woman lacks testosterone, she can suffer from anxiety, insomnia, anger, sadness, and depression. Without hormone therapy, the imbalance of testosterone can lead to osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, and muscle and joint pain.

Bio-Identical Hormone Pellet Therapy

Hormone deficiency can have severe effects on the brain, muscles, bones, heart, and metabolism. Without balanced testosterone and estrogen levels, women suffer more than need be. To gain back your vitality, to avoid or prevent the pains of menopause, and to stay healthy for the long-term bioidentical hormone therapy can be your best friend.

Dallas Gynecologist and Functional Medicine Specialist Maryann Prewitt, MD is Director and Founder of HealthWellnessMD. Dr. Prewitt is Fellow and Board Certified by the America College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Prewitt holds a Master’s Certification in the da Vinci Surgery System – this minimally invasive technology has revolutionized the way surgery is performed today. Dr. Prewitt has been named 2016 | 2017 Top10MD an honor only 1 in 3 doctors in the United States succeeds with this recognition. Call Dr. Prewitt’s office today and schedule an appointment at 469-619-1066.


 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)

Although diabetes is an extremely common disease, nearly 28% of the population does not know they have it. This is a very high percentage and a sad statistic. Sometimes people are not diagnosed until they fall into a diabetic coma. When it comes to diabetes, it is important to know the symptoms and risks. There is not one type of diabetes but many. Even understanding the different types can help you understand the treatment as well as the possible cures.

We hear the term sugar diabetes, but that is redundant. Diabetes is a disease that leads to too much sugar in the blood. Whenever you eat, your body processes the food by breaking it down into its different components. Most foods have sugar in them. The more sugar you eat, the more that will end up in your bloodstream. Sugar levels that are too high can be very dangerous and lead not only to negative symptoms but also other serious diseases. Two main mechanisms can cause diabetes. The first mechanism is the body’s inability to produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone that takes the sugar out of the blood and restores it to normal levels. When the body is not making enough insulin, your sugar levels are too high. The second mechanism is the body’s inability to process the sugar properly. There is no insulin problem, but the body just does not handle sugar.

Whenever there is a malfunction in insulin, you are considered to have Type 1 Diabetes. If there is a malfunction in sugar processing, you are regarded as having Type 2 Diabetes. Gestational diabetes is also common but among pregnant women. With gestational diabetes, you may only have diabetes while pregnant. This occurs when the body cannot make enough insulin support the increase sugar levels due to the baby. Normally after giving birth, the sugar levels return to normal.

If you know the symptoms of diabetes, you can prevent it before it starts. When you are experiencing symptoms, you may already be in the prediabetes stage. It is important to get control now before you are diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.

Early Symptoms Include

  • Blurred Vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Increased Hunger
  • Increased Thirst
  • Increased Urination
  • Numbness

A lot of times we do not pay attention to these symptoms. We just think it is temporary. If you notice these symptoms are ongoing, you should see a physician and have a blood test as soon as possible. If you ignore these symptoms, diabetes can get out of control leading to neuropathy, slower healing processes and a greater risk of yeast infections.

Diabetes is nothing to joke about. It is very serious, and when left uncontrolled, it can be deadly. So many people ignore the signs and end up in the hospital. Getting an early diabetes diagnosis can help you manage the disease better. Just changing your diet can cure Type 2 diabetes. Eating a healthy diet and exercising can help prevent diabetes. If you notice you are having symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Get control of your diabetes and you can get control of your life.

Dallas Vascular Surgeon Dr. Gregory Pearl is board certified by the American Board of Surgery in General Vascular Surgery and a Fellow of Peripheral Vascular Surgery. Dr. Pearl is named Top10MD – 1-in- 3 doctors succeeds with this recognition in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Pearl link to his profile or call his office today 214-821- 9600.


 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)



 2 years ago    Leave a comments (0)

PROBIOTICS – It’s a Gut Feeling

Your body is full of bacteria. Yes, bacteria but please don’t panic. Did you know that most bacteria are quite harmless? “The right bacteria has been linked to numerous health benefits such as improved digestion, weight loss, better skin, enhanced immune function, and a reduced risk of many diseases,” says Dr. Susan Linder with HealthSpringMD. Where is this bacteria in your body? Most of them reside in your gut. The bacteria in your body outnumber your body’s cells 10 to 1, so I’d say they might be quite important. In fact, taking care of your gut, and the friendly bacteria that live there, might be one of the single most important things you can do for your health.

So where do we go from here? Probiotics. Probiotics are found in supplements and foods prepared by bacterial fermentation (such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and tempeh) and are live microorganisms that help colonize our guts with health-boosting microorganisms.

Probiotics are quite new in research but studies are rapidly expanding. The evidence has shown that different probiotics seem to work for different health conditions. Choosing the right type (or types) of probiotic is essential for each individual. Probiotic supplements are considered safe and the only side effect might be a few days of bloating when first starting.

TAKE AWAY: Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed correctly. There are many different types of probiotics, and you can get them from foods or supplements.


No, there are no beautiful flowers beginning to bloom in your gut. However, you do have hundreds of different types of microorganisms enjoying your gut such as bacteria, yeast, and viruses. Most of these microorganisms, known as your gut flora, are found in your colon, or the large intestine.

The gut flora perform a plethora of functions such as manufacturing vitamins, stimulating the immune system, regulate the integrity of the gut and turning fibers into short-chain fatty acids which helps perform many metabolic functions.

It is important to keep your gut flora balanced as an unbalanced gut flora is linked to diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s, type-2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and colorectal cancer.

TAKE AWAY: Your gut flora consists of hundreds of different types of microorganisms. Probiotics help your gut flora perform at its best.


Have you ever taken an antibiotic? Yes, you have. After you take antibiotics, especially for a long period of time, most people suffer from diarrhea. The antibiotics may end the infection but they also kill many of the natural bacteria in the gut, this allows “bad” bacteria to thrive.

Studies has shown that probiotic supplements can help cure the antibiotic-associated diarrhea as well being helpful with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) reducing bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Studies have shown to be useful against H. Pylori infections that can contribute to ulcers and stomach cancers. Do you have a digestive problem that won’t go away? Try a probiotic supplement; it might be your answer.

TAKE AWAY: Probiotics have been shown to be effective against various digestive problems.


The bacteria in your gut as an obese individual will be different from those of lean people. Sounds unfair, right? Although it needs to be studied a lot more, some probiotic strains have been shown to help with fat loss.

In 2013 a study was published showing that over a 12-week period, people with lots of belly fat lost 8.5% of their belly fat mass by taking the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri. Interestingly, when they stopped taking the probiotic, they gained the belly fat back within 4 weeks.

However, this needs to be studied more before any recommendations can be made as some animal studies show that some probiotic strains could lead to weight gain, not loss.

TAKE AWAY: There is some evidence that the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri can help people lose belly fat.


To list all of the benefits of probiotics a book would be much easier than a blog. However, there are some that are worthy of being highlighted, although this is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • Inflammation – reduce systemic inflammation, a leading cause of many diseases
  • Depression & Anxiety – reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with clinical depression
  • Blood Cholesterol – lower total and LDL cholesterol levels
  • Blood Pressure – modest reductions in blood pressure
  • Immune Function – enhance immune function and lead to reduced risk of infections
  • Skin Health – useful for acne, rosacea and eczema, as well as other skin disorders

TAKE AWAY: Probiotics have been shown to have numerous health benefits.


Dr. Susan K. Linder a Diplomat of the American Board of Anti-Aging, Functional & Regenerative Medicine. She is also board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, with a subspecialty board certification in Pain Management. Dr. Linder is the Medical Director of HealthSpringMD conveniently located in Fort Worth, TX. For more information on nutritional health, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and getting back to feeling great visit her website: or call today to schedule a time to meet with Dr. Linder 817-926-7671.


 2 years ago    Leave a comments (0)

How effective is the shingles vaccine? Why get it? According to the CDC almost 1 out of every 3 people in the US will develop shingles, also known as herpes zoster, in their lifetime. 1 million cases of shingles each year are reported alone. Even if you have had chickenpox you are still at risk to develop shingles; even children get shingles. At least half the cases occur in men and women over the age of 6o.


In a recent editorial April 28, 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine the overall vaccine efficacy against herpes zoster was 97.2% and the Vaccine efficacy was between 96.6% and 97.9% for all age groups. Concluding the HZ/su vaccine significantly reduced the risk of herpes zoster in adults who were 50 years of age or older.


What Causes Shingles?

The varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox, causes shingles. After a person has chicken pox the virus stays inactive or dormant in their system; for some reason the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles. The same virus that causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease, does not cause shingles.


Symptoms of Shinglessymptoms of shingles

  • Painful rash that develops on one side of your face or body.
  • Rash forms blisters that scale over in 7 to 10 days and clears in 2-4 weeks
  • Itching
  • Tingling
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Upset Stomach


Who Is At Risk?

  • People who have a medical condition that keep their immune system from working properly, such as certain cancers and HIV.
  • People who receive immunosuppressive drugs, such as steroids and drugs that are given after an organ transplant.
  • And then there are some that get it and know one knows why…..


The moral of this study is if you are over 50 get the vaccine; unless you want to give up a month of your life to feeling miserable.


Only 1-in-3 Doctors in the United States qualify to be named a Top10MD. If you’re over 50 years of age schedule your appointment today with one of our Top10MD Internists!


 2 years ago    Leave a comments (0)

Menopause doesn’t have to feel like cruel and unusual punishment. It can be the turning point in your life when you decide only to become better as you age. Easier said than done though when you’re suffering from night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, thin bones, and insomnia. Also, should we even mention hair? Apparently during menopause it applies for a change of address from the top of your head to the bottom of your chinny-chin-chin.

Not. Nice.

First, let’s understand what we are dealing with. Ironically, menopause only lasts one day. The term refers to the day you haven’t had a period for 12 months in a row. During menopause, our body produces less of the hormone estrogen, which leads to the symptoms stated above. The symptoms that you’ve been experiencing through are perimenopause, the time leading up to menopause along with the year after. As if the symptoms aren’t enough, the lowered estrogen levels from perimenopause impact the body in multiple ways such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Increased wrinkling of the skin
  • Poor brain function
  • Increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Consult with a Fellowship trained Anti-Aging physician


A healthy lifestyle has been proven to make a dramatic impact on menopausal symptoms. These strategies are your first line of defense, and can be put into action before symptoms even begin.

  • Eat well, avoid sugar, trans fat, and focus on whole foods
  • Vitamin D, ask your doctor about supplementing
  • Ease stress, incorporate relaxation, and add an enjoyable activity to daily routines
  • Exercise, you’ll have fewer symptoms with the added benefits of losing body fat and maintaining bone mass
  • Restful sleep, create a relaxing bedtime routine
  • Consider bio-identical hormone replacement therapy


When all else fails, this is the time to see a doctor regarding replacing the hormones your losing as you age. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is a perfect place to start.


What are Bio-Identical Hormones?

A bioidentical or “natural” hormone means the hormones in the product are chemically identical to those your body produces. Hormones in bioidentical medications may not be any different from those in traditional hormone therapy. Several hormone therapy products approved by the FDA and prescribed by healthcare providers contain bioidentical hormones.


Should you take Bio-Identical Hormones?

Hormone replacement is a complex topic that you and your doctor should discuss. You do not need to suffer in silence. The facts of the matter are in early observational studies hormone replacement therapy has suggested that they help protect women against heart disease, weak bones, and dementia!


You do not have to suffer in silence or feel that menopause means the end of your vim and vigor. You can utilize healthy lifestyle changes; a positive attitude to help you relieve perimenopausal symptoms and BHRT enhancing your well-being. Ask Dr. Susan Linder if they are a good choice for you?


Note: Pharmacy Compounding is the customized preparation of a medicine that is not otherwise commercially available. These medications are prescribed by a physician and compounded by a state-licensed pharmacist. A growing number of people have unique health needs, and the off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all prescription medicines cannot meet. For them, customized medications are the only way to a better health. Look for pharmacies that have an affiliation or accreditation with PCCA (Professional Compounding Centers of America) to ensure the highest quality compounding of bio-identical hormones.


Side Note: The truly staggering costs of inventing new drugs and getting them to market is an average of $1.3 billion, a price that would buy 371 Super Bowl ads, 16 million official NFL footballs, two pro football stadiums, pay of almost all NFL football players and every seat in every NFL stadium for six weeks in a row. This is ludicrous. As a woman, it relates to 1.3 million Manolo Blahnik pairs of shoes! If we did our math right — this is why we need compounding pharmacies ladies.


Dr. Susan Linder is Board Certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Subspecialty Board Certified in Pain Medicine. She is a Diplomat of the American Board of Anti-Aging, Functional & Regenerative Medicine and a graduate of the Fellowship Program through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Linder is the Medical Director of HealthSpringMD in Fort Worth Texas. Dr. Linder may be reached at 817-926-7671.



Source: International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists




 3 years ago    Leave a comments (0)


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable and often disabling autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. You can get MS at any age but most people are diagnosed with it between the ages of 20-40. In the U.S. alone over 400,000 people have been diagnosed with MS. 200 new cases are diagnosed each week according to Healthline. With multiple sclerosis, the brain has difficulty getting messages to the rest of the body. Though we know relatively little about multiple sclerosis, research into its causes and possible treatments is rapidly developing. In the most common type (known as relapsing remitting MS), symptoms come and go. These can run the gamut from mild tingling to more severe vision loss.


Irregular Feelings in Your Arms & Legs
Strange fatigue, weakness and sheer clumsiness in your arms may be an early sign of MS. Furthermore, loss of feeling and a tingling sensation in the legs may be another clue. Abnormal weakness of strength could be an additional indicator that the nerve signals are not delivering properly to the brain. These are all symptoms that should be discussed with your doctor.

Bad Coordination
Oftentimes, early signs of MS could be as simple as an irregular gait when walking as well as difficulty with balance. These can show up as having difficulty walking straight as well as displaying poor coordination compared to others.

MS Symptoms
Muscle Spasms
This is technically referred to as “Spasticity.” Having difficulty and or the inability to control muscles can often lead to stiffness and muscle spasms

These are defining characteristics among MS patients.

Shocking Sensation Down the Spine
This is more formally referred to as Lhermitte’s sign. It can be described as a nerve pain and can occur when you are bending your neck forward, and then the shocking sensation can lead down into your limbs.

Oftentimes, disruptions in the bladder and bowels are common issues with MS. If this is an ongoing issue, it is definitely something to discuss with your doctor.

Speech Difficulty & Difficulty Swallowing
From facial pain, to dizziness and tremors, as well as difficulty speaking and swallowing, all of these symptoms should be addressed with your doctor in order to make sure you do not have MS.

About 50% of MS patients experience inflammation in the nerves of the eyes, called optic neuritis. More than 10% of MS patients report that this eye condition was one of their first symptoms. Inflamed eye nerves often manifest themselves with pain in the eyes, double vision and reflective images.



 3 years ago    Leave a comments (0)

600,000 Hysterectomies Are Performed Each Year…

Dr. Marina Johnson, a board certified endocrinologist and pharmacist, with over two decades in clinical experience treating menopause, talks to us about how hysterectomies can be prevented. A hysterectomy is the second most frequently performed surgery, after C-section, for women of reproductive age in the United States.  The latest studies show that approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are done each year in the U.S. and HALF of these women also have their ovaries removed at the time of their hysterectomy.  There are presently 20 million US women who have had a hysterectomy.  Women between the ages of 40 and 44 have hysterectomies more frequently than any other age group.

Studies Found That 70% of Hysterectomies Were Done Inappropriately

In 2000, an expert panel evaluated this issue as part of the Women’s Health and Hysterectomy Project conducted by the US Department of Health & Human Services.  The panel reported that 70% of the hysterectomies were done inappropriately according to standards set by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  If you use this 70% estimate, that means that 420,000 women every year might have been able to avoid surgery!  If you add in the fact that 50% of women who get hysterectomies also have their ovaries removed, another 210,000 women are subjected to the health risks that come with the loss of estrogen.

Dr. Johnson states, it’s important to emphasize that a hysterectomy can be life-saving, especially in women with cervical, uterine or ovarian cancer.  However, the most common reason for having a hysterectomy is heavy bleeding from a totally benign condition called Fibroids.

Why do women develop heavy bleeding in their 40’s?

The heavy menstrual bleeding from fibroids usually starts when a woman gets into her late 30s or early 40s. It’s caused by an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone.  If there’s a shortage of progesterone, it increases the growth of the fibroids and leads to heavy menstrual bleeding. Because women tend to only see their gynecologist once a year, if the bleeding is mild, they often don’t even bother to mention it.  However, as the year goes by, the bleeding often gets worse. By the time the woman gets in for her next yearly check-up, it may have become very severe.   Following is an all-too-common scenario.


Jenny’s Story

Jenny was 45 years old and by the time she got into her gynecologist she was bleeding three weeks out of each month!  She had severe menstrual cramps that doubled her over with pain. The bleeding was so heavy that she couldn’t even leave her home for the first three days because she would gush through the heaviest pads and tampons.  Months of this type of heavy bleeding left her anemic and exhausted.  When she saw her gynecologist, he had no recourse but to do a hysterectomy.  You can be sure that Jenny had no objection to having a hysterectomy and was elated to get rid of all that pain and heavy bleeding. These troubling symptoms were resolved but it brought on many additional issues that could have been prevented. It was unfortunate that she became menopausal at such a relatively young age.

Alternative Options

I want to give you some options on how you might avoid going down this path. One of the reasons I wrote my book, “Outliving Your Ovaries,” was to empower women to educate themselves about their bodies.  Every single woman will experience menopause at some time in her life. Perimenopause and menopause can be a roller coaster time for many women.  If you know what to expect, it will make for a much smoother transition through this time. We discussed the imbalance between estrogen and progesterone that occurs at the time of perimenopause.  When heavy bleeding develops, it can often be managed with medical treatments or surgical procedures that do not require hysterectomy, e.g. endometrial ablation or myomectomy. Read Carla’s story to learn about one of the medical options.  

CarlaCarla’s Story

Carla was 40 and she noticed that her periods were starting to come more often.  She had always had regular periods like clockwork – every 28 days.  When she turned 40, she started having periods every 24 days and then they shortened to every 21 days.  Her periods were not awful but heavier than they had ever been before. She developed disturbed sleep and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that she had never experienced before.  Before her periods, she was so grumpy and irritable her family knew to stay away from her!  Carla knew something was not right so she promptly saw me for an evaluation.  It’s so important for women to listen to their body and get checked when the symptoms are still mild.  I prescribed oral progesterone for Carla and instructed her to take it only during the last half of each cycle to mimic the normal rhythm of her body.

After starting the cyclic progesterone, she was delighted to see that her periods got more normal and regular. Her PMS got better and she was now sleeping like a baby!   I want to emphasize that when you give progesterone for this purpose it’s important to ONLY use pharmaceutical progesterone either as pills or vaginal preparations.  Progesterone creams are not strong enough to protect the uterus.  The cyclic progesterone made a huge difference in how Carla felt throughout her 40’s.

At 48, she noticed that she was still feeling okay during the two weeks she was taking progesterone but not so well during the rest of the month.  At that point, we did blood tests and diagnosed her with menopause.  Her body was telling us that we now needed to add estrogen to the progesterone.  After giving her both estrogen and progesterone, she was back to her normal self!!  Isn’t this a better way to get through this transition in your life?

What can you expect after a hysterectomy and what should you do to maintain your quality of life and optimize longevity?

Some women, especially those who have their cervix removed, report that orgasms have less intensity.  However, in women who had hysterectomies because of painful fibroids or pelvic pain from endometriosis, sexual function may actually be improved.  In either circumstance, women need to know that if the ovaries have been removed, they often develop significant sexual dysfunction within six months of no estrogen.

After hysterectomy, even if the ovaries are left in place, there’s usually a tendency for women to go through menopause earlier than they would have without a hysterectomy.  It’s important to know this, because since you’re not having periods, you won’t have that as an indicator that you’ve gone through menopause.  In some women the symptoms of menopause are obvious, like hot flashes and insomnia so they know to go into their doctor because they feel poorly.  However, some women who’ve gone through menopause after a hysterectomy, may have subtle or no symptoms.  Unfortunately, this absence of symptoms does not protect you from the diseases that can occur to heart, brain and bone tissues when they are deprived of estrogen.  These include heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Osteoporosis.  Postmenopausal women who take estrogen have a 39% lower risk of dying than women who don’t take estrogen.

That’s why it’s important that all women who have had a hysterectomy inform themselves about the risks and benefits of HRT.  Estrogen is most protective when started in the first 10 years after menopause.  Don’t cheat yourself by waiting too long.


 3 years ago    Leave a comments (0)

We are bombarded by toxins daily and need to begin thinking of a strategy to detoxify our liver! Unbelievably, the average American consumes 10 pounds of chemical additives in foods each year. On top of that, we are also consuming large quantities of pesticides, both sprayed on our food and in the air, so this chemical burden is quite significant. Our liver is designed to get rid of waste and toxins within the body, through chemically converting them so our kidneys may eliminate them. In today’s environment, our bodies are under more pressure than ever before as we are reaching a new threshold of tolerance from the excess of toxin consumption. Our bodies are so burdened by chemicals that we are getting bombarded by health problems such as skin issues, digestive problems, allergies and fatigue, to name a few. The liver has over 500 known functions for the body, including helping the endocrine system, aiding in digestion, helping to control blood sugar levels, and helping the body metabolized sugar, protein and fat. Most importantly, the liver acts as a filter system to cleanse our body of all these toxins.

Where Are These Toxins Coming From?

  • Coffee and energy drinks
  • Environmental toxins (metals and pesticides)
  • Processed foods (white flour products & sugar)
  • Smoking (or second-hand smoke)
  • Infection or chronic illness
  • Prescription medication
  • Alcohol
  • Stress

How To Help Your Body Perform A Daily Detox & Flush Out Your Liver of Toxins

  1. Hydration. This is the most important one!! Water helps move our bowels and urine regularly, moving toxins and waste through our system. Try to drink half your body weight, per day, in ounces of water, or lemon water. One another option is cran-water in a 1:7 ratio of organic cranberry juice to water. This helps eliminate water retention and cleanses out waste from the lymphatic system.
  2. Diet. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. These are lifeless foods to the body and received as toxins. Another way to remove the burden from your liver is avoiding caffeine/alcohol/sugar as much as possible.
  3. Fiber. If your diet has thus become low in grains (from the multitude of over-processed options out there), then it will be critical to consume plenty of vegetables and legumes as each meal. Flax seed oil or flax seed is another great supplement to add to your diet.

Supplements That Help Detoxify The Liver

  1. Nettles Tea: This multi-vitamin tonic helps boost immunity, your lymph node system, IBS, constipation, and much more. It is loaded with B vitamins, Vitamin K, and other minerals.
  2. Vitamin C: This vitamin is a great detoxifier and should be taken every day if possible.  It is also known as a universal anti-toxin.
  3. Herbs: Milk Thistle & Dandelion.  Both of these herbs provide great support for your liver.  It helps balance out the liver, especially if you have consumed too much sugar, trans fats, or alcohol.  Here is a recipe for Milk Thistle Liver Tonic.


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