Falling Asleep, Staying Asleep, Staying Youthful

woman sleepingIt’s winter. In most parts of the nation, people have already begun to hunker down as the temperatures continue to drop. For many, even during long, cold winter nights that seem best for hibernation, quality sleep can feel far out of reach.

Since the 1930s, we’ve known that sleep is much more complex than it appears.  It occurs in several discrete stages, each of which plays a role in maintaining health, growth and functionality. READ MORE →

7 Tips for Women to Combat Stress

The American Psychology Association reports that women are more likely to report physical and emotional symptoms associated with stress. Findings include:

  • Almost half of all women surveyed said their stress has increased over the past five years.
  • Women are more likely to report that money and the economy are sources of stress.
  • Women are more likely to report physical and emotional symptoms of stress, such as having had a headache, having felt as though they could cry or having had an upset stomach or indigestion.
  • Married women report higher levels of stress than single women.

Although you can never completely eliminate stress, you can reduce it immensely by incorporating a few simple lifestyle changes to balance your stress hormones. Stress hormones can disrupt almost all of a woman’s body’s processes and put her at increased risk of numerous health problems including:

  • Heart disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Digestive problems and ulcers
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Obesity
  • Memory impairment
  • Worsening of skin conditions, such as eczema
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Increased likelihood of infectious diseases

A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Healthcare
While Ageology physicians believe that a customized medical treatment plan of vitamins, nutrition, exercise and hormone therapy, and prescribed medications as needed, is essential to help women achieve optimal health, they also believe the mind and body are inextricably linked with a woman’s state of physical health. Most traditional medical doctors do not explore the link between symptoms and the spiritual and mental well-being of their female patients. Nor do they seriously offer strategies for patients to manage the impacts of challenges such as prolonged stress, depression and anxiety beyond prescribing medication.

 

Women do need to stick to an exercise regime, eat healthy and nutritious food, take vitamins to supplement their diet, and possibly undergo bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in order to age well physically, emotionally and mentally. But women also need to understand there’s another side of keeping themselves healthy. Women also need to be able to laugh at themselves, sleep away stress (even if it’s only for a few hours), practice yoga or meditate, and be honest with their friends, family and themselves.

 

Ageology physicians can and do prescribe, and help female patients manage medication, but they also work with them one-to-one, using non-traditional approaches to managing mind/body health, and helping to restore the critical balance between physical and mental self. Here’s a few examples of a mind/body approach for women:

  • Eat well: The connection between the brain and the gut cannot be understated. Every day, new research is being released on what Ageology physicians and other integrative metabolic medicine physicians have known for a long time. What you eat affects how you feel and how you think. Too often, patients get shuffled from doctor to doctor looking for the cause of their unknown malady. After an adjustment to a low allergen (gluten/dairy/nut/sugar/fruit and alcohol free) diet, within days the patient starts to finally feel better, possibly after many years or a lifetime of feeling poor.
  • Get regular exercise and plenty of sleep: Exercise is a natural de-stressor. When women are engaged in physical activity their brains can partially refocus on the task at hand vs. the 1,000 other things that seem so pressing.
  • Get plenty of sleep: Quality sleep will stabilize women’s hormone levels and give them a chance to “wind down” to normal levels after a stressful day.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: There is nothing better than yoga to release stress. Like other exercise it gives women’s brains a distraction from stressors. But any exercise is even better if you can combine meditation into your practice.
  • Foster healthy friendships: Having friends and taking care of animals has been proven to be enormous de-stressors. If you can take your dog to work with you, do it and don’t forget to make time to connect with a friend each and every day.
  • Have a sense of humor: Instead of fretting over problems try to find the humorous side of them. Friends and your partner, boyfriend, fiancé or husband are often especially adept at helping you find the lighter side of your challenges, no matter how big they may seem.
  • Balance your hormones: Your Ageology physician will use saliva testing to help determine your cortisol levels and based on the results, will help you balance those levels, using a combination of stress reduction techniques, personalized nutrition and fitness regimens, pharmaceutical-grade supplementation and bioidentical hormone therapy.

For more information on how you can get well, feel well and age well, contact an Ageology physician near you today.

 

Learn more about women’s health issues and how Ageology can help:

 

Read Ageology’s recent blog posts and library resources to learn more about women’s mind/body and integrative metabolic medicine:

3 Ways to Stop Sugar Cravings for Life

1. Keep your blood sugar balanced

Low blood sugar can leave you feeling anxious, irritable and absolutely ravenous! In these imbalanced moments, you’re more likely to reach for quick, empty calories or comfort foods. Support your ability to make healthy food choices by eating small snacks that contain protein and/or healthy fats every few hours. Protein and healthy fats are highly satiating, so they’re perfect to carry in the car or purse.

Healthy fast foods include:

  • A hard-boiled egg
  • Turkey or beef jerky
  • A small bag of nuts
  • Hummus with baby carrots or snap peas

2. Kick the artificial sweeteners

If you really, REALLY want to tackle sugar cravings, it’s imperative that you stop the cycle of sugar addiction. Yes, this means decreasing your intake of artificial sweeteners. Many people think that synthetic sweeteners are ok because they have no calories, but that does not mean they are innocuous. The truth is: Artificial sweeteners are up to 600 times sweeter than sugar. While they have no calories, they do reinforce sugar cravings in the brain.

Start small by cutting back your intake. Replace flavored waters and diet sodas with counter-brewed teas like hibiscus, which is full of vitamin C and tastes amazing!

3. Manage stress

Chronic stress has been associated with increased appetite, sugar and fat cravings, abdominal obesity, low energy, poor concentration, heart disease, increased risk for strokes, diabetes (reduced sensitivity to insulin), osteoporosis and more! A daily stress-management program can help you keep a calm center and reduce the cravings that tear you down.

When you feel stressed-out, try:

  • Taking a brisk 15-minute walk
  • Listening to your favorite music
  • Calling a friend or family member
  • Connecting with your spiritual community

Five Things Exercise CANNOT do

GettyImages_168533629-1Exercise can improve your mood, increase your energy levels, and help you feel better both physically and emotionally. So how many more reasons do you need to get moving? On the other hand, if you’re just starting an exercise regime, it’s important to set expectations and know some of the things exercise cannot do. Exercise isn’t a quick fix. It’s a long-term commitment that, combined with good nutrition and vitamins and sometimes with hormones and medications prescribed by an Ageology physician, can help you achieve optimal health. READ MORE →

Great Sex During Menopause? Yes, it is Possible!

GettyImages_57443222A large study by researchers at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and the San Diego Veterans’ Affairs Department has revealed some surprisingly positive conclusions about women’s sexuality in the post-menopausal years.

If a woman’s desire for sex or enjoyment of sex drops off at menopause, and the man still enjoys and desires sex with his partner, this can be difficult for both. Couples used to bonding in this way may miss that closeness. A man whose desires haven’t flagged may feel frustrated and sad when his partner begins to turn away because sex hurts or desire wanes. READ MORE →

Top 10 Reasons You Should Be Active

silvercross.org-1While thirty percent of Americans say they get regular physical activity, forty percent say they get none. With all that’s known about the importance of being active and the benefits it provides to both physical and mental health, Americans’ refusal to start and stick with a regular exercise program is only a few clicks short of insane. Excuses just don’t cut it here, folks. End of story. READ MORE →

After a Diagnosis: What To Do Next?

diagnosisThis week marks the 28th Annual Economics of Diagnostic Imaging: National Symposium in Arlington, Virginia. Thousands of radiologists are meeting to learn about the latest developments in the field. The insights that come out of this conference are important to Ageology physicians because radiologists usually participate in the process of a cancer diagnosis; and unfortunately, that’s a diagnosis that is handed down to a third of women and half of men in their lifetimes. READ MORE →

Breast Cancer and Hormones: What’s the Truth?

hormonesOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a national, collaborative effort between The American Cancer Society and breast cancer charities across the country to raise funds for breast cancer research, and to bring awareness to its causes, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

According to The American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 American women – or 12 percent – will develop some form of invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. READ MORE →

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Reduce your chances of developing chronic illness with a multi-dimensional plan that incorporates vitamins, nutrition, fitness, hormones and a mind/body approach.
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