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Seminar on  Women's Health March 22nd
 Come learn how topics like breast health, adrenal fatigue in menopause, bio-identical hormones, osteoporosis, pelvic pain and more are treated using an Integrative Health model. 

This event offers 
CME and CEU credits for health care professionals and early bird registration ends February 14th. 

 Sponsored by the Monroe County Medical Society's Integrative Health Committee and Rochester General Hospital.        
Mercury in Retrograde
For the rest of February the planet Mercury is in retrograde. 
While I AM a believer in 'creating my own reality' there are still some things that routinely happen during this time. Take a look here to learn more.

merc retro
Any products mentioned, techniques, personal usage tips or other information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prescribe for, or cure any disease, ailment or injury to the body. The decision to use or not to use any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader.                   
 February 5, 2014

How often do you have your cholesterol level checked? For most people once a year is enough. It's important to pay attention to numbers when you get blood work done but today "statin" drugs are often prescribed to lower cholesterol levels without giving patients an understanding of the reasons why your body needs it. Cholesterol has far-reaching effects that many people aren't aware of.

You and your doctor should always discuss your blood work results but hopefully these details will give you something more to think about when you have the conversation.

Have a great week!
Love, Jean

"We're all in this together"
Cholesterol and the 'Pregnenolone Steal'

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance that is made in the liver and passed into the bloodstream. Your body cannot make important hormones without it. Here are some of the jobs cholesterol performs:

  • it makes the cell membrane of every cell in your body
  • it produces steroid hormones which includes the sex hormones, DHEA and adrenal hormones (like cortisol)
  • it helps make Vitamin D - which in turn helps prevent cancer, fight inflammation, develop strong bones and teeth, regulate blood sugar and support immunity
  • it makes bile to digest fats and absorb vitamins

From that list, can you see how vital a substance cholesterol is? A few years ago my doctor showed me a diagram of all the hormones our body makes from cholesterol. If you look at the picture below you can see that cholesterol is at the top and every hormone below it comes from cholesterol!


Pregnenolone is the first hormone made from cholesterol. It  may be the most important hormone you have for health and longevity. It is often called the 'Master' Hormone because it helps balance all others in the body. 


Pregnenolone will produce Progesterone and DHEA for you.


On the left side of the pathway you can see that Progesterone gives you Cortisol and Aldosterone (which regulates blood pressure). Cortisol is the stress hormone you use in 'fight or flight' situations (so you can 'slay the dragon') but as you know, a crazy, burn-the-candle-at-both-ends lifestyle with lots of stressors keeps you in a 'fight or flight' condition too often and for too long. 


As the diagram shows on the right side of the pathway, DHEA is the precursor for all the other sex hormones like Estrogen and Testosterone. DHEA is necessary for things like muscle and bone health, a strong immune system, positive mood, good energy levels and a sharp mind. DHEA levels decline with age but the important role it has in the body continues.


Here's the kicker: When you're in a chronic state of stress you can't make enough Pregnenolone or Progesterone to keep up with the demand for cortisol. There aren't any 'extra stores' of these hormones; you make what you need every day. Your body depends on cholesterol to make Pregnenolone and Progesterone every day and if you need more cortisol to keep you going, it will steal from Pregnenolone and/or Progesterone to do it. A high demand for any of the hormones on this path means a higher demand for their precursor cholesterol. Do you see why you need cholesterol?


And here's the outcome: If your lifestyle calls for more and more cortisol to be made and you become short of Pregnenolone in order to make more, then you'll probably have symptoms of deficiencies on both sides of the pathway.


Symptoms of Progesterone deficiency can include anxiety, insomnia, panic and irritability, palpitations, weight gain, increased uterine fibroids and fibro cysts in the breast, heavy bleeding and night sweats


Low DHEA levels show up in symptoms like low energy, poor mood, brain fog and low Estrogen (because it comes from DHEA)


So what can you do? First, from now on: remember WHY you need cholesterol! Next, choose your doctor carefully. An Integrative Health or Anti-aging doctor understands much more than I've explained here. I recommend having your hormone levels checked - starting with saliva testing. If you don't have a baseline of numbers then you don't know what you truly need in order to come back to balance. My suggestion: Dr. Leila Kirdani & Dr. Zendi Moldenhauer in Rochester and Dr. Mary Coan in Clifton Springs. And come to the Women's Health Seminar on March 22nd (see side bar to left) to learn more!


Further still, look at ways you can lower your stress levels (so your need for cortisol decreases). This includes all the self -care measures you know of (like essential oils, supplements like Lemon Balm, Vitamin B12 and Ashwagandha) no computer use an hour before bed, yoga, exercise, meditation, breathe, etc.