What are Bio-Identical Hormones?

The term “bio-identical hormone” indicates that it is identical in chemical structure to human hormones, even though derived from plant material. This identical structure permits breakdown through standard pathways in the human body, yielding metabolites (the breakdown products from the drug or hormone taken) in the same manner as endogenous hormones (hormones that your body would naturally produce). Synthetic hormones represent unique structures that are patentable. However, their uniqueness results in the addition of chemical side chains. Thus, while they partially mimic human hormones, the chemical difference (when compared to human hormones) has been found to cause unwanted side effects and risks. All women would prefer their own hormones if they could produce them. That being said, they prefer a replacement most like the hormone they previously manufactured. A survey of over 1000 women found that 83% confirmed this fact. Women now live 30 years, on average, beyond menopause. Osteoporosis and heart disease affect 50% and 30% respectively. Increased estrogen and declining progesterone levels exacerbate these conditions. This makes the issue of hormone safely imperative. Dr. Peter Ellis, a Harvard researcher reported in the New England Medical Journal that “only 20% of women are estrogen deficient, but by the age of 35, 85% of women are estrogen dominant.” There are 4 basic causes of estrogen dominance: 1) stress 2) environmental estrogens 3) prescription estrogens 4) diet

What vaccines are safe to take in pregnancy?

Diphtheria; tetanus, and influenza Vaccinations not routinely given but safe to use if you may come into contact with the disease are hepatitis B, pneumonia, rabies, and polio. Vaccinations not to be used during pregnancy include measles, mumps, rubella, varicella-zoster, or any vaccine containing live viruses.

What can I take for a headache or other minor aches/pains in pregnancy?

Tylenol 1000mg every 8 hours is OK. Unless discussed with your doctor, avoid ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) as well as naproxen (Aleve)

Should I register for cord blood donation?

Both Dr. Kollar and Dr. Velez support and encourage our patients to investigate this exciting and often beneficial advancement in medicine. Click on www.cordblood.com for more information.

What is Estrogen?

Estrogen is not one hormone but is a group of similar hormones of varying degrees of activity all made by the ovary. Each, as they were found, was given a specific chemical name and the word “estrogen” became the name of the class of hormones with estrus activity. The three most important hormones of this estrogen class are estrone, estradiol, and estriol; however, each of the specific members of the class continues to be referred to as “estrogen.”

What is Progesterone?

In the case of progesterone, only a single hormone is found. Thus, “progesterone” is both the name of the class and of the single member of the class. Later, when plant extractions were found to have progestational activity and even later when synthetic versions with progestational activity were created, various authors described them as “progestins” or “progestagens”. Unfortunately, in the pharmaceutical promotion that followed, the word “progesterone” was also used to describe these other compounds despite their many side effects (side effects NOT found in progesterone). These synthetic progestins lack many of the other abilities of natural progesterone. This confusion still exists in the minds of many physicians and writers.

How do the physiological effects of estrogen and progesterone compare to each other?

Estrogen Effects Creates proliferative endometrium Breast stimulation Increased body fat Salt and fluid retention Depression and headaches Interferes with thyroid hormone Increased blood clotting Decreases libido Impairs blood sugar control Loss of zinc and retention of copper Reduced oxygen levels in all cells Increased risk of endometrial cancer Increased risk of breast cancer (when used with synthetic progestins) Reduces vascular tone Slightly restrains osteoclast function (osteoclasts are the bone cells that cause bone resorption) Progesterone Effects Maintains secretory endometrium (keeps the lining from getting too thick) Protects against fibrocystic breasts Helps use fat for energy Natural diuretic Natural anti-depressant Facilitates thyroid hormone action Normalizes blood clotting Restores libido Normalizes blood sugar levels Normalizes zinc and copper levels Restores proper cell oxygen levels Prevents endometrial cancer Breast protective Precursor of corticosterone production Stimulates osteoblast bone building It is clear that no matter how valuable estrogen is, when unopposed by progesterone it can have undesirable side effects. That is, many of estrogen’s undesirable side effects are effectively prevented by progesterone. Remember, hormones themselves are not bad. Unequal balance of hormones is what can cause problems. BALANCE is key!

What is the difference between Progesterone and Synthetic Progestins (provera or medroxyprogesterone?

Progesterone is a natural hormone made by the adrenal glands and ovaries (and testes in men). Although progesterone and synthetic progestins both prevent proliferation of the uterine lining, they are very different compounds with very different effects in the body. Progesterone is an integral part of the hormone balance and is a precursor hormone to Cortisol, aldosterone, estrogen, and testosterone. They synthetic progestins have been altered and minute differences in molecular structure convey vastly different biological messages. Progesterone Necessary for the survival and development of the embryo More quickly metabolized Protects against fibrocystic breast tissues, may protect against breast cancer Coronary (heart) vasodilator Increases bone density and stimulates osteoblasts (cells that build bone) Improves blood lipid profile Natural diuretic Natural antidepressant Helps relieve headaches secondary to estrogen dominance Normalizes blood glucose levels Normalizes blood clotting Increases sex hormone binding globulin, thus decreasing free estradiol Burns fat for energy Restores libido Decreases the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers Helps stimulate thyroid hormone action Very claming hormone Balances estrogen and testosterone Brain protective Non patentable Progestins (Provera) Increase the risk of early abortiona nd congenital deformities, it is used in the morning after pill Metabolized more slowly causing side effects May increase the risk of breast cancer Constricts coronary vessels, negates the possibly protective effect of estrogen on the heart arteries Not protective against osteoporosis, long term use can cause decreased bone density Detrimental effects on lipids (cholesterol/triglycerides) Fluid retention and edema Can cause depression Can cause migraine headaches Decreases glucose tolerance Increases thromobotic disorders (example: DVTs) Decreases sex hormone binding globuling contributing to estrogen dominance Causes weight gain Decreases libido Decreases the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers Decreases thyroid action (decreases T3 uptake) Increases anxiety and nervousness Does not balance estrogen and testosterone and increases hirsutism Increases the risk of dementia Patentable...profitable Progesterone and Provera are two vastly different compounds with different effects in the body. Every cell in the body, including bone, heart, brain, and breasts, have progesterone receptors. Synthetic progestins (provera) are unable to balance the effect of estrogen dominance in the body and even contribute to imbalance. Many physicians feel that progesterone is safe in low doses (physiologic doses) in some breast cancer patients and may also be breast protective.

What is a D.O.?

D.O. stands for doctor of osteopathy. D.O.s are recognized and licensed physicians and surgeons who went to medical school and learned the same basic and clinical sciences as allopathic (M.D.) schools, but additionally spent another 300-500 hours learning more about the musculoskeletal system (osteopathic manipulative techniques).

Historically, the osteopathic profession was founded in the 1800s in response to the dis-satisfaction of medicine of the day. Osteopathy historically teaches that the body has innate ability to heal itself and that many ailments are related and can be improved by treatment of the musculoskeletal system. D.O.s believe that the body, in normal, structural relationship and with adequate nutrition, is capable of mounting its own defenses against many pathologic conditions.

They follow accepted methods of physical and surgical diagnoses and treatments, and stress the unity of all body systems. These physicians emphasize the musculoskeletal system, holistic medicine, proper nutrition and the effects of environmental factors. Today, D.O.s offer mainstream medical care, but care with a difference. 

What About X-Rays and Pregnancy?

X-Rays, Risks, and Your Pregnancy Diagnostic X-rays give doctors important and possibly lifesaving information about a person’s medical condition. Like many things, diagnostic X-rays have risks as well as benefits. They should be used only when they will give the doctor information needed to treat you. You will probably not need any abdominal X-rays during pregnancy; however, because of a number of medical conditions, your physician may feel that a diagnostic X-ray of your abdomen or lower torso is needed. If this should happen, there is no reason to be upset. The risk to you and your unborn child is very small and the benefit of finding out about your medical conditions is far greater. Actually, the risk of not having a needed X-ray could be much greater than the risk from radiation. Even small risks, such as radiation from X-rays, should be avoided during pregnancy. You can reduce these risks by telling your doctor that you are pregnant or you think that you might be. If you are pregnant, your doctor may decide to cancel or postpone the X-ray or modify it to reduce the amount of radiation. Depending on your medical needs, the doctor may decide that it is best to proceed with the X-ray as planned.

How do X-rays affect the unborn child?

During most X-ray examinations, such as those for arms, legs, teeth, or chest, your reproductive organs are not exposed to the direct X-ray beam. These procedures when done properly do not involve any risk to the unborn child. However, X-rays of the mother’s lower torso, including abdomen, stomach, pelvis, lower back or kidneys, may expose the unborn child to the direct X-ray beam. These diagnostic X-rays are of more concern. It is known that the unborn child is very sensitive to the effects of things like radiation, certain drugs, excess alcohol and infections. One reason is that the cells of the embryo are rapidly dividing and growing into specialized cells and tissues. If radiation or other agents were to cause changes in these cells, there could be a slightly increased chance of birth defect of certain illnesses, like leukemia, later in life. There is scientific disagreement about whether the small amounts of radiation used in diagnostic radiology can actually harm the unborn child. The majority of birth defects and childhood diseases occur even if the mother is not exposed to any known harmful agent during pregnancy. Scientists think that heredity and random errors in the developmental process are responsible for most of these problems.