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Treatment for Hepatitis CGet all the facts so you can lead a long, healthy life 

What do Evel Knievel, Etta James, and Keith Richards have in common?

Each of these outstanding individuals underwent treatment for Hepatitis C. The lives and successes of such persons stands as a testament to the fact that once diagnosed, Hepatitis C can be lived with. In fact, Richards claims to have cured himself by “just being me.”

Why does this matter?

No matter who you are, adjusting to life with this liver disease is distinctly possible. While cases range in severity and symptoms, ongoing treatments and proper care do directly lessen the impact of the virus with specialty pharmacy.

Today, we’ll talk about how to recognize and react to Hepatitis C, pursue adequate treatments, and thrive despite any diagnoses. As a specialty pharmacy, we are up to date on the latest medical breakthroughs and treatments available.

What is Hepatitis C?

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Hepatitis: inflammation of the liver.

Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that’s found worldwide. The severity of the disease ranges between passing illness of a couple weeks to a lifelong affliction characterized by lifelong attacks upon the liver.

The disease mostly affects those who inject drugs and share needles, though it spreads by blood contact with any infected person. Historically, some have contracted Hepatitis C through transplanted organs and blood transfusions. However, in 1992 the United States began the widespread screening of the blood supply to prevent further instances.

Strains of the Hepatitis C (HCV) virus can vary by region, though it is most common in parts of East Asia and Africa.

The virus comes in three primary strains:

  • Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
  • All are viral infections that affect the liver. Each strain of hepatitis is caused by a different virus and each impacts the body differently.
  • Unlike Hepatitis C, Hepatitis A and B are both preventable by vaccine.

Hepatitis C may be either acute or chronic.

Acute Hepatitis C is a short-term illness that’s experienced within the first six months of being exposed to HCV. However, most who are afflicted with acute Hepatitis C will develop a chronic infection.

Chronic Hepatitis C is a long-term (often lifetime) illness that exists so long as the Hepatitis C virus remains within the body. Chronic infection of leads to serious liver issues, such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.

As of 2014:

  • 75% – 85% of those infected with acute Hepatitis C will develop a chronic infection
  • ~30,000 annual cases of acute Hepatitis were reported in the United States
  • Between 2.7 – 3.9 million people in the United States live with chronic Hepatitis C

That’s not all.

It can be difficult to assess if you have Hepatitis C because 70% – 80% of those with the virus do not show symptoms. The incubation period for HCV is between two weeks to six months, in which time no symptoms will show. Those who are acutely symptomatic are more likely to display signs.

Symptoms of Hepatitis C may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Dark urine
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Jaundice (yellow discolorations on skin, around eyes)
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Because it’s often asymptomatic, few people are diagnosed with Hepatitis C in the acute phase. Even those with a chronic infection often go undiagnosed for many years – which is particularly dangerous. Why? Symptoms typically start to show in chronic sufferers decades later, at the point where symptoms are displaying serious damages to the liver. For this reason, screening for Hepatitis C is often necessary and can prevent harsh complications later.

How to Diagnose Hepatitis C

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To test for Hepatitis C, there are two steps.

First, there’s a screening for anti-HCV antibodies in the blood. Second, and only if the first test is positive, a ribonucleic acid (RNA) test is used to confirm the presence of HCV. As 15% of people infected with Hepatitis C will develop a strong immune response and overcome the infection, this secondary measure is needed because though these individuals are no longer infected, they will still test positive for HCV antibodies.

Some infected with Hepatitis C will experience fluctuations in liver enzyme levels while others will have enzyme levels remain normal. For those with normal enzyme levels, a screening should be conducted a few times within a 6 – 12 month period.

If you’ve tested positive for Hepatitis C, the next step is to schedule an assessment of the liver to determine the extent of any damage such as cirrhosis and fibrosis. A variety of non-invasive tests or a liver biopsy is available. Next, laboratory tests should confirm which of the six genotypes of the Hepatitis C virus in present. Every genotype reacts to treatment from a specialty pharmacy differently, and it’s possible to become infected with more than one. Taking account of these factors will help guide further treatment.

Varied Treatment With Specialty Pharmacy for Hepatitis C Varied Depending on Damage Extent

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Treatments for Hepatitis C varies because the extent of damage from HCV differs by person.

Some people’s immune system will clear the infection, while others will live with a chronic infection and develop no liver damage. Treatment is only necessary in some cases, though when treatment begins the goal is a total cure. The success of these curative treatments depends on the viral strain and types of treatment administered.

Standard care surrounding Hepatitis C is changing. Typically, Hepatitis C treatment constituted a therapy of interferon and ribavirin given as weekly injections for almost a full year. Historically, this treatment cured roughly half of all patients, though often resulted in life-threatening reactions.

Today, a host of new antiviral medications are available.

“This is a revolution in clinical medicine that we haven’t seen for decades, where you go from a really problematic complex therapy to a really simple, well-tolerated, highly curative therapy.” Professor Greg Dore, The Kirby Institute

Direct antiviral agents (DAA) are a class of much more safe, effective, and body-compatible drugs. Therapy using DAAs cures most recipients with Hepatitis C infection. Treatment is shorter – only 12 weeks usually – and is much safer. However, DAAs are very expensive in most developed countries and are often unavailable in lower-income regions. Low quantities in production have kept costs high, though generic versions of these medicines are becoming available in many areas.

“We’re talking about curing people with 98 percent success rate. It’s a whole new ball game.” — Dr. Ari Bunim, NY Hospital, Queens, NY

I can’t emphasize this enough.

If you’re diagnosed with Hepatitis C, you should be monitored by an experienced doctor who can help manage your treatments. Alcohol should be avoided to minimize additional liver damage. Consult your medical professional before taking any pills, medications, or engaging in new treatments – as these can provide liver-damaging complaints.

Hepatitis C Prevention

Since there’s no vaccine for Hepatitis C, prevention is the key safeguard against infection. Foremost, reduce your risk of exposure to the virus from blood-borne sources. Health-care settings and populations of intravenous drug users are the most prominent, through sexual contact with infected persons is a slight risk as well.

People can become infected with Hepatitis C through activities such as:

  • Sharing needles and other drug injection tools
  • Needle stockings from health care situations
  • Being born from a Hepatitis C infected mother

Other much less common possible Hepatitis C transfers can occur when:

  • Having sexual contact with a Hepatitis C infected person
  • Sharing personal care items that may come in contact with blood, such as toothbrushes or razors

Should You Get Tested for Hepatitis C?

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Certain groups of people are more likely to contract Hepatitis C, depending on when they were born, history of drug use, or pre-existing health issues.

You should ask your doctor or healthcare professional about being tested for Hepatitis C – if you satisfy one or more of these qualifications:

  • You are infected with HIV. A weakened immune system is particularly susceptible to liver damage.
  • You show abnormal liver enzyme levels or have liver disease. Existing liver issues will often raise awareness about Hepatitis C, so be sure to get tested if you’re experiencing liver complications or have a history of liver disease.
  • You partake in long-term hemodialysis treatment. Blood transfusions have historically carried the risk of Hepatitis C.
  • You work in the health care or public safety industries and have been stuck with a needle or other sharp object. Coming into contact with blood poses a distinct risk of Hepatitis C infection, so be sure to pursue testing if you’ve been stuck recently.
  • You are a current or former injection drug user. Even if it was years ago, the use of dirty needles is the primary means of infection for Hepatitis C. Consult a medical professional immediately for a test.
  • You received an organ transplant or blood transfusion before 1992. As of July 1992, the United States instituted a rigorous testing procedure of blood and organ banks. But previously, organ, tissue, and blood recipients risked contracting Hepatitis C from their donors.
  • You were treated for a blood clotting problem any time before 1987.
  • You were born between 1945 – 1965. Healthcare has made some sweeping advancements in the last half century, while older care procedures and techniques have exposed some individuals to infection. If you’re an aging citizen, it’s especially important to guard against cirrhosis and fibrosis from Hepatitis C.

Bottom line.

Closing Out

While Hepatitis C is not a widespread viral infection, it can be very damaging and dangerous to those afflicted and thus necessitates precautionary measures. As most who are infected show no symptoms until late-stage symptoms testify to liver damage, testing for Hepatitis C is strongly recommended.

“Most people are surprised when I say hepatitis C is pretty much totally curable now.” — David Baker, MD, and General Practitioner

Fortunately, the testing process has never been faster and easier in the days of the specialty pharmacy. Plus, a host of new medications has shortened treatment times while drastically increasing the chances of curing the virus.

Ultimately, taking caution against infection and safeguarding against off-chance infection is the safest policy regarding Hepatitis C. As we discussed at the beginning if testing and treatment work for daredevils and superstars, why would you wait?

 

Armando BardisaEverything You Need to Know About Hepatitis C Explained
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Armando BardisaSMP Specialty Pharmacy Wants to Thank You All for an Amazing 2016!
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If you’re having a hard time getting pregnant naturally, relax. SMP Pharmacy Fertility Pharmacy Miami, FL

First, remember it takes the average couple 4-6 months to conceive. After one year of trying, you have about an 85-95% chance of getting pregnant before contacting a fertility doctor.

Childbirth is the gift of life.

Because of this, pregnancy is only granted to those mothers healthy enough to carry the baby. However, modern lifestyles oftentimes are run against what our bodies need to get pregnant.

Today, we’re going to talk about 7 ways to boost fertility naturally … without the help of a fertility pharmacy. All you need is to take optimal care of your body’s innate hormonal capabilities.

Infertility is oftentimes the result of hormone imbalances.

Millions of women worldwide suffer from hormonal imbalances in estrogen, insulin, cortisol and adrenaline. These hormonal fluctuations arrive via the typical culprits:

  • Poor gut health
  • Persistent inflammation
  • High levels of stress
  • Toxicity

Fortunately, there’s a slew of naturopathic remedies available to correct hormone imbalances and boost your fertility.

After reading this, you can be confident in knowing you needn’t dabble in synthetic hormone replacements, insulin injections, thyroid regulation or other unnatural corrective paths that you may have needed from a fertility pharmacy if you have been diagnosed with a fertility indicating you can not conceive naturally.

The best part.

Correcting hormone imbalances is in your control. And, therefore, so is your fertility.

#1 Eat Healthy Fats

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A diet to lose weight is the opposite of a pregnancy diet. Many of us have been told to cut fat to look trim. However, a fatless diet may be inhibiting your ability to conceive.

Why?

Our bodies need a variety of healthy fats to keep hormones balanced. Without fats as the building blocks, hormone production stalls and the body begins to malfunction.

When our diet is lacking fatty acids, the body fails to absorb certain key vitamins and minerals for hormone production as well.

Dieting to lose weight during pregnancy can cause health issues for you and your unborn child. Popular fad diets such as The Zone, Raw Food Diet and Atkins will deprive you and your baby of vital nutrients like folic acid and iron. 

Foods to avoid during pregnancy for women who are having trouble conceiving include those that are high in trans fats. Trans fats have been linked to the development of endometriosis which is one of the most common causes of infertility among women.

Stay away from fried foods, margarine and certain types of chips and crackers. There are good fats that you’ll want to load up on and you can find them in foods like tuna and salmon.

A pregnancy diet should have you increasing your calorie intake by about 300 calories per day.” Pregnancy Magazine

This means eating saturated fats and cholesterol to get those short, medium and long-chain fatty acids. Enjoy plenty of fatty saltwater fish, coconut oil, avocados and grass-fed butter – all are amazing sources of essential fatty acids.

Healthy fats also benefit you by keeping inflammation levels low, boosting the metabolism and increasing satiety.

That’s not all.

#2 Adopt a Meditation Practice

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Image credit Thepregnancyzone.com

Meditation: An effective, proven relaxation habit that’s guaranteed to boost fertility.

As featured on the Pregnancy & Newborn blog, Aimee Raupp, MS, and author of “Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: Natural Ways to Improve Your Fertility Now and Into Your 40s” shares great news:

“A study by Harvard University’s Mind Body Medicine Institute revealed that women who meditated regularly were 3x more likely to become pregnant than those who didn’t.”

How you can actually use this?

Because meditation breaks the daily cycle of stress, it curbs cortisol, the stress hormone directly tied to prohibiting fertility capabilities. When we meditate, soothing brainwaves are increased and our innermost selves have a chance to unwind. The process of sitting with yourself, free of distraction and expectations, allows your true priorities to emerge. Childbirth.

After meditation for a couple of weeks, you’ll be less anxious, more in touch with your body and better aligned for a pregnancy.

#3 Go for Acupuncture

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Acupuncture is incredibly effective at correcting hormone imbalances in the body.

Darren McGuinness, a women’s health and wellness writer, advises us to “give acupuncture a try for three to six months.

In this time, many things will happen:

  • Stress hormones responsible for infertility will decrease.
  • Blood flow to the uterus will increase, a key marker of fertility.
  • The hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis will normalize, essential to fertility.

These findings come from a 2003 study by Cornell University which explains these benefits and more here.

#4 Balance the Intake of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fats

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The mother’s diet has changed drastically in the last 100 years.

Since the Industrial Revolution and the advent of modern farming, our consumption of vegetable oils has gone through the roof. And with that uptick, fertility has decreased.

Why?

Inflammation.

Inflammation from dietary sources has been linked to increased rates of heart disease, diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, obesity, stress and depression. When stress from cortisol increases and bodily processes suffer from aggravating levels of acidity in the stomach, the body can’t maintain a fertile state. The hormones in the gut and the rest of the body have gone haywire.

How can we boost fertility back up?

Eat more omega-3s and cut down on omega-6s. Diets high in omega-6 fats are inflammatory, whereas diets balanced with omega-3 fats are not.

Research shows that our typical ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 can be as high as 25:1, 15:1 and 10:1. Dangerous. The healthy ratio our hunter-gather ancestors maintained was 1:1. And our predecessors had none of the inflammatory health issues we do today.

To boost fertility, avoid these omega-6 foods:

  • Corn oil
  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Fried foods (cooked in these oils)
  • Baked dairy goods

Instead, add these omega-3 rich foods:

  • Wild, saltwater fish
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Grass-fed animal products
  • Fish oil supplements (mercury-free)

What else?

#5 Get More Vitamin D3

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Vitamin D: It’s no vitamin; it’s a hormone.

Responsible for keeping inflammation levels low and synthesizing with sunlight to prevent depression, vitamin D is something many us don’t get enough of.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that 32% (or more) of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient. And if you’re having difficulty with conception, low levels of this key hormone may be to blame.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that vitamin D3 is essential for fertility health because it affects:

The adaptive immune system, the innate immune system, insulin secretion by the pancreatic β cell, multifactorial heart functioning and blood pressure regulation, and brain and fetal development.

Why does this matter?

If the insulin system is dysfunctional, the body’s inflammatory response is heightened and sits on a state of high alert. This prevents fertility conditions from occurring.

The CDC cites the low levels of daily sunlight most Americans receive as the cause for this. You can remedy vitamin D deficiency easily. Just enjoy 20 minutes a day of unblocked sunlight or consider a vitamin D3 supplement.

#6 Get Good Exercise

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Image credit womenpla.net

Exercise is a crucial component in boosting fertility. Motherhood blog Pregnant Chicken makes light of this need in a clever way:

  • First Pregnancy: You complete pregnancy-safe workouts at least three times per week.
  • Second Pregnancy: Chasing around your toddler and walking the dog = exercise complete.

Yes, you need to move around regularly to boost your chances of pregnancy. A study by the University of North Carolina shows that women who were most active prior to fertility pharmacy treatments were 3x more likely to conceive as those who were not active.

What counts as exercise?

Pretty much anything! Of the 108 women surveyed, even doing housework and walking the dog was shown to improve chances of conception.

Exercise is a body normalizer. It balances the functions of the organs and keeps the hormones humming along nicely. Exercise also reduces anxiety, encourages quality sleep, curbs insulin levels and alleviates depression.

That’s not all.

#7 Get More Sleep

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Thirty-percent of Americans are sleeping less than 6 hours a night, reports the CDC.

If this sounds like you and you’re trying to get pregnant – please, just sleep in. You’re sleep deficient!

I can’t emphasize this enough.

Insufficient sleep wreaks havoc on your hormones.

While we sleep, our bodies repair cells and regulate fertility hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone.

One especially crucial fertility hormone is leptin which directly affects ovulation. Women need adequate sleep for proper leptin production. If leptin is disrupted, menstrual cycles are disrupted.

Poor sleep also causes cortisol to spike the next day which results in anxiety, excess inflammation, and high levels of insulin, all decreasing optimal conditions for pregnancy.

Bottom line.

If you’re trying to conceive, shoot for at least 7-10 hours of sleep a night.

In Closing

To be your most fertile, treat your body exceptionally well. This means correcting hormone imbalances through the everyday choices surrounding diet, exercise, sleep and relaxation. You should aim to keep stressful cortisol levels low through meditation, acupuncture, and exercise. These activities will also prohibit inflammation in the body and keep you feeling great. Eat a diet rich in healthy fats to ensure quality nutrition, but also reduce inflammatory stress responses in the body. Part of this is to eat a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, avoiding processed carbs and trans fats especially. If you’re looking forward to a pregnancy, simply make your health a priority practice – and wait for the good news!

 

Armando BardisaThe 7 Best Ways to Balance Hormones and Boost Your Fertility Naturally
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Specialty Pharmacy in Miami, FL

Armando BardisaSMP is a Specialty Pharmacy. Helping to Keep Patients Healthy, One Prescription at a Time.
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pcab_accredited_logoPharmacy becomes PCAB Accredited for its compounding services

Miami, Fla. – June 2, 2016 – SMP Pharmacy Solutions proudly announces its achievement of PCAB accreditation, a service of Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), for the services of patient-specific prescriptions of sterile and non-sterile compounds.SMP, a leading national specialty pharmacy, is recognized for its commitment to meeting and/or exceeding national quality standards.

Compound-Pharmacy-05-16-16

Achieving accreditation is a process where healthcare organizations demonstrate compliance with national standards. PCAB accreditation reflects an organization’s dedication and commitment to meeting standards that facilitate a higher level of performance and patient care.

“Everyone at SMP has worked hard to de
liver the highest quality compounded medications to the South Florida community, and we are honored to have that recognized by ACHC,” said Armando Bardisa, President & Founder of SMP Pharmacy Solutions. “By achieving PCAB Accreditation, our customers can be assured that we are offer the best in personalized patient care staying true to the industry’s best practices and standards.”

Compounding medications are an integral part of the practice of pharmacy and the demand for these customized medications increases every year. SMP’s Compounding Department was created in 2007 in an effort to offer patients a larger variety of specialty services.

Click HERE to read the full press release.

Armando BardisaSMP Pharmacy Solutions Achieves ACHC Accreditation Pharmacy becomes PCAB Accredited for its compounding services
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Hormones are chemicals that are created by your glands and regulate most of the functions of your body, from your emotional state to your reproductive cycle, to regulating your metabolism.

There are over 50 hormones that circulate through your body, acting as chemical messengers, and they are essential for optimal health. However, when they are not in balance, hormones can wreak havoc.

Read on to learn more about your hormones, how hormone imbalances can negatively impact your health and what steps to take if you suspect you are suffering from a hormone imbalance.

What do hormones do?

Hormones are produced by your endocrine glands, which are located throughout your body. The major endocrine glands include: pituitary gland, thyroid, thymus, adrenal glands and the pancreas. They secrete hormones directly into your blood. Hormones play a vital role in the body and understanding the key hormones and how they effect your health is essential to living a long and healthy life.

Hormones play a vital role in the body and understanding the key hormones and how they effect your health is essential to living a long and healthy life.

 

Estrogen

Estrogen is the main sex hormone that regulates women’s reproductive cycles. Estrogen is responsible for puberty, preparing the body for pregnancy and regulates menstruation. It plays a role in the development of secondary sexual characteristics, such as breast development and the growth of pubic and armpit hair; it controls lactation during pregnancy and puberty.Estrogen is also crucial for bone formation. During menopause estrogen levels dip dramatically often causing a slew of unpleasant side effects. Men also produce estrogen but a much lower levels than women. Secreted by the testes it helps with sperm maturation and effects the sex drive.

Estrogen is also crucial for bone formation. During menopause estrogen levels dip dramatically often causing a slew of unpleasant side effects. Men also produce estrogen but a much lower levels than women. Secreted by the testes it helps with sperm maturation and effects the sex drive.

Estrogen is also crucial for bone formation. During menopause estrogen levels dip dramatically often causing a slew of unpleasant side effects. Men also produce estrogen but a much lower levels than women. Secreted by the testes it helps with sperm maturation and effects the sex drive.

Progesterone

Progesterone, estrogen’s little sister, is also a female sex hormone that impacts the menstrual cycle and plays a role in pregnancy. It helps prepare the uterus to receive and nourish a fertilized egg and to sustain a pregnancy. It also prevents ovulation from occuring during pregnancy. Progesterone is to blame for many PMS symptoms, including breast tenderness, bloating and mood swings. If levels of progesterone are low women may skip their period and fail to ovulate. It also impacts sexual desire.

Testosterone

The main sex hormone for men it causes puberty and many of the secondary sexual characteristics in men, including hair growth, muscle strength and growth, and bone density. Although both men and women produce testosterone, it exists at much greater levels in men. It’s vital for sperm production, effects fat storage, aids in red blood cell production and it helps to govern the libido.

DHEA

DHEA is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland and in the brain. DHEA helps to make the other sex hormones, the androgens (the male hormones) and the estrogens (the female hormones). DHEA is a critical hormone for both men and women. Levels tend to decrease after age 30 and drop more rapidly in women. Low DHEA levels have been found in people with HIV/AIDS, immune disorders, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, osteoporosis.

Cortisol

Also know as the stress hormone, it aids your body during times of stress by controlling many of the centers involved with your body’s reaction in times of stress. It helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, your immune system, anti-inflammatory actions within your body, your blood pressure, heart and blood vessel contractions and the activation of your central nervous system.

Cortisol is very important because it helps to keep us safe. Generally our levels of cortisol peek around 8 am and are lowest around 4 am. However, due to the frenetic pace and often stressful nature of modern life, many of us suffer from too much cortisol. This can cause feelings of anxiety and interfere with our sleep, etc. When the adrenal glands are constantly having to pump out cortisol they eventually start to wear out, leading to a condition called “adrenal fatigue” and too little cortisol in our bodies.

Melatonin

Produced by the pineal gland melatonin is commonly known as the sleep hormone. It is not necessary for us to sleep but it seems to impact our circadian rhythms. Levels of this hormone increase as it get darks, and we sleep best when levels are at their highest. When in balance your hormones help you thrive, however, when your hormones are out of balance you may suffer from a variety of symptoms and ailments. Keep reading to find out some of the most common causes of hormone imbalance.

What causes hormone imbalance?

There are a variety factors that can cause hormone imbalance, some of which you can control and others that are unavoidable. Some people are genetically predisposed to having a hormone imbalance and the correct balance of hormones differs for every individual. Understanding the symptoms of hormone imbalance and your hormone restoration options is imperative to living a long healthy life.

Understanding the symptoms of hormone imbalance and your hormone restoration options is imperative to living a long healthy life.

what causes hormone imbalance

Aging:

As we age, our parts age, including our brains and the glands that produce and regulate our hormones. This is natural, but not necessarily beneficial to our overall health.

Menopause

Menopause is a natural occurrence in women as they age. As they cross the threshold from menstruating, to egg production ceasing, a variety of physical changes occur. Levels of estrogen production rapidly decrease during menopause.

This sharp decrease can result in a variety of undesirable effects including senility, osteoporosis, less muscle mass, heart disease and even
depression.

Andropause

Most of us have heard of menopause, but did you know men also go through a similar stage as they age? Andropause, or male menopause, affects men as they age and cause their testosterone levels to drop. It tends to have a much more gradual and later onset than menopause.

About 30% of men over 50 suffer from andropause. After a man reaches 30, testosterone levels drop about 10% every decade. Low testosterone levels in men can lead to a variety of issues including excess abdominal fat, depression, anxiety, cardiac issues, fatigue, low libido, etc.

Stress:

One of the most common causes of hormonal imbalance is stress. Stress comes in many forms, including physical and mental or emotional stress. You may feel emotional stress due to a conflict in a personal relationship or from pressure at work.

Physical stress occurs when your body is hurt or injured in some way. Coping with physical pain causes stress. Your body can also suffer from stress due to your diet. Ingesting processed foods or foods that cause inflammation puts stress on your body.

When we are stressed our bodies produce more cortisol and too much cortisol is a ticking time bomb for your health. Cortisol impacts how messages from your hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are transmitted, two areas that play a main role in controlling hormone levels. It can cause hormone fluctuations that and leave us more susceptible to illness and digestive issues.

Too much cortisol also leads to muscle loss and excess fat storage, especially around the middle. Keeping stress in check is vital to keeping your hormones in balance.

Lifestyle issues:

Unhealthy diet

A poor diet can trigger a hormonal imbalance and digestive issues are often a symptom of an unhealthy diet.

Bloating, gas, diarrhea and reflux may indicate an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut which can cause inflammation. Inflammation in the gut can suppress the pituitary gland and hypothalamus and reduce production of your sex hormones, leading to a host of issues.

Also, drinking too much alcohol or eating too many processed foods can overwork the liver which is responsible for cleaning the impurities from your body and helps regulate the sex hormones.

unhealthy diets and hormones

Lack of sleep or inconsistent sleep patterns

Sleep is very important to your health as it provides time for your body to rebuild and replenish itself. Certain hormones are produced in greater quantities while you sleep, like leptin, for instance, which suppresses your appetite.

When you don’t get enough sleep, less leptin is produced and more of the hormone ghrelin is produced, which increases your appetite. That’s why the less you sleep the hungrier you feel all day. Chronic sleep issues can also mess up your production of cortisol. People who sleep less than four hours a night see their cortisol levels going up at night. Although it’s a necessary hormone that helps keeps us safe, you don’t.

People who sleep less than four hours a night see their cortisol levels going up at night. Although it’s a necessary hormone that helps keeps us safe, you don’t want increased cortisol at night as it will affect the quality of your shut-eye.

Lack of sleeps and hormones

Exercise, too much or too little

Frequent high intensity and long workouts put our bodies under stress. Your body doesn’t know the difference between good and bad stress and therefore produces more cortisol in reaction to stress. Also, excessive exercise can affect the glands that secrete the hormones which control egg production, and even shut down egg production altogether.

This is known as amenorrhea, (or lack of a period), and is experienced by up to 44% of women who exercise. Studies have shown that long-term over-exercising or training can lead to reduced testosterone levels in men and lower estrogen and progesterone levels in women. The reduced levels of these hormones can lead to bone density issues down the road.Too little exercise can also have a negative impact on your hormones. Fat cells make estrogen,so the more fat in the body, the more estrogen. Too much estrogen is not a good thing. It results in a host of problems and leads to a greater risk of developing certain cancers. Fat has an inverse relationship with testosterone. The more fat, especially around the belly, the less testosterone produced by the body. So if you don’t exercise and are overweight or obese as a result, your testosterone production will suffer, leaving you even more likely to gain weight, lose muscle mass and pack on fat.

exercise-too-much-and-hormone-imbalance

The reduced levels of these hormones can lead to bone density issues down the road.Too little exercise can also have a negative impact on your hormones. Fat cells make estrogen,so the more fat in the body, the more estrogen. Too much estrogen is not a good thing. It results in a host of problems and leads to a greater risk of developing certain cancers. Fat has an inverse relationship with testosterone. The more fat, especially around the belly, the less testosterone produced by the body. So if you don’t exercise and are overweight or obese as a result, your testosterone production will suffer, leaving you even more likely to gain weight, lose muscle mass and pack on fat.

The more fat, especially around the belly, the less testosterone produced by the body. So if you don’t exercise and are overweight or obese as a result, your testosterone production will suffer, leaving you even more likely to gain weight, lose muscle mass and pack on fat.

Too little exercise can also have a negative impact on your hormones. Fat cells make estrogen,so the more fat in the body, the more estrogen. Too much estrogen is not a good thing. It results in a host of problems and leads to a greater risk of developing certain cancers. Fat has an inverse relationship with testosterone. The more fat, especially around the belly, the less testosterone produced by the body. So if you don’t exercise and are overweight or obese as a result, your testosterone production will suffer, leaving you even more likely to gain weight, lose muscle mass and pack on fat.

The more fat, especially around the belly, the less testosterone produced by the body. So if you don’t exercise and are overweight or obese as a result, your testosterone production will suffer, leaving you even more likely to gain weight, lose muscle mass and pack on fat.

So if you don’t exercise and are overweight or obese as a result, your testosterone production will suffer, leaving you even more likely to gain weight, lose muscle mass and pack on fat.

Thyroid Functioning:

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland that is located in your neck that produces the hormones that control your metabolism. The thyroid may become overactive at times, (known as hypothyroidism), resulting in nervousness, difficulty concentrating and sleeping, an elevated heart rate and weight loss. An underactive thyroid conversely causes sluggishness, weight gain, dry skin, slow growth, etc.

About 26% of women close to, or experiencing menopause are diagnosed with hypothyroidism. When there is an abundance of estrogen and not enough progesterone the estrogen can inhibit the thyroid hormones from functioning properly. Women who have an overabundance of estrogen often experience menopausal symptoms. What are the Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance?

What are the Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance?

With the numerous of roles hormones play in our bodies it come as no surprise that there are a slew of symptoms that occur when your hormones are not correctly balanced. Here are some of the most common symptoms of hormone imbalance:

1. Weight gain

Yup, most of us hate to gain a few pounds, but if your hormones are out of whack that number on the scale may steadily creep up. Our hormones impact our metabolism and are directly linked to how much muscle we build and fat our bodies store. Men with Low T, or low testosterone will most likely notice a paunch developing or increasing in size. Women with an overabundance of estrogen, may gain weight due to fats’ role in creating estrogen.

2. Fatigue & sleep disturbances

Feeling wiped out all the time? Your hormones could be to blame. Men with Low-T often suffer from low levels of energy. Women, especially when experiencing low levels of estrogen due to menopause, often have frequent night sweats and insomnia. Low levels of progesterone also may contribute to women feeling exhausted. Chronic stress can also lead to fatigue. Known as “adrenal fatigue” occurs because cortisol is overproduced by the adrenal glands when undergoing chronic stress.

3. Anxiety & Depression

Just as there are hormones throughout our bodies hormones also exist in our brains and affect brain activity. A hormone imbalance can affect our brain chemistry and cause us to feel anxious or depressed. Unbalanced brain chemistry and overworked adrenal glands can result in a low functioning thyroid or to hypothyroidism. The sex hormones are important for your mood. Estrogen is a natural emotion stabilizer and has anti-depressant effects. Progesterone is a relaxing hormone. Low testosterone levels often lead to depression. Having the proper balance of hormones can help you feel peaceful and calm.

4. Loss of muscle mass

Key to your body’s metabolism, when a hormonal imbalance occurs the body may break down muscle to use for energy instead of stored fat as it should. This leads to loss of muscle mass and an increase in fat.

5. Low sex drive

The “sex hormones” obviously impact your sexuality. Low levels of either estrogen or testosterone can negatively effect your sex drive. Estrogen decline can also cause vaginal dryness, poor blood flow to the vulva, clitoris and vagina and painful intercourse for women. Testosterone, present in men and women, directly determines sex drive. Low levels of testosterone in both men and women causes a decrease in your sex drive. 6. Hot flashes and night sweats

6. Hot flashes and night sweats

In a healthy person sweating is a useful mechanism of the body, cooling it when it gets too hot. But excess sweating is often a symptom of a normal imbalance, or medical conditions caused by or related to an imbalance, including diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders and menopause.

7. Skin changes

Our skin changes throughout our lives and many of those changes are governed by our hormone levels. Both estrogen and testosterone play a role in the condition of our skin. Estrogen tightens pores, creating a smooth surface. It also builds vital proteins like collagen and elastin that contribute to making skin more elastic and helps skin heal and retain moisture.

Testosterone on the hand causes an increase in pore size and sebum, an oily substance that coats the skin. In our teen years both levels of estrogen and testosterone are elevated sometimes leading to acne. As women head into menopause those hormone levels drop causing an accelerated aging of the skin.

Studies have shown that each year following menopause our skin decreases collagen production by about 2%, that’s a 30% drop in fifteen years! In fact, the loss of estrogen contributes to signs of skin aging much faster than sun damage.

Elasticity is lost and our skin becomes drier and more wrinkled. Studies have shown that each year following menopause our skin decreases collagen production by about 2%, that’s a 30% drop in fifteen years! In fact, the loss of estrogen contributes to signs of skin aging much faster than sun damage.

8. Memory issues

Mental fog and memory issues are a common sign of hormone imbalance. Woman may experience this first around menstruation. Hormone levels are going up and down which can cause the brain to swell and can reduce blood sugar and oxygen levels in the brain. During menopause when progesterone and estrogen plummet some women may experience days where they can’t concentrate, experience mood swings and crying fits. During perimenopause hormone levels can rapidly shoot up and down making some feel like they are going crazy.

During andropause testosterone levels drop leaving many men feeling tired, foggy, forgetful and apathetic. Thus the phrase “grumpy old men”.

9. Food cravings

The adrenal gland can effect appetite and cravings in several ways. When cortisol levels are high due to stress, blood sugar levels spike, leading to hunger pains and cravings. When the adrenal gland is overworked, due to chronic stress and adrenal fatigue sets in, cortisol levels drop. Low levels of cortisol result in low blood sugar levels, and to feeling fatigued. Hunger ramps up and cravings kick in as your body seeks high caloried food sources to supply energy.

10. Digestive issues

Often overlooked digestive issues often indicate a hormonal imbalance. There are three primary hormones found in the gatsrointestinal tract that aid in digestion by helping to break down food so it can be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. When these hormones are not in balance food isn’t broken down effectively-leading to gas, bloating, belching, nausea, etc.

Clearly none of these symptoms are pleasant to experience. If you are suffering from any of them, or if for any other reason you suspect you have a hormonal imbalance keep reading for the steps you should take next.

Testing for a Hormonal Imbalance

A hormone imbalance can compromise your health and well-being overall. Being tested for a hormonal imbalance is recommended if you suffer from any of the symptoms previously listed.

Hormone levels vary widely among different people, however levels are usually quite consistent within a single person. Therefore careful and testing and tracking over time is required to identify shifts in hormone levels. A thorough physical examination is also recommended prior to starting any treatments or therapies for hormonal imbalance. Hormone replacement therapies are readily available and in many cases can greatly reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.

testing for hormone imbalance

Methods of Hormone testing

There are three main types of tests used to measure hormone levels: saliva testing, serum or blood testing, and Follicle Stimulating hormone (FSH) testing.

Saliva hormone testing

Saliva testing has been used by the National Institutes of Health for over thirty years and has been relied on by doctors for over a decade. Saliva testing is considered the most accurate way to determine levels of hormones available in the body.

Blood or serum hormone testing

Blood or serum testing determines the amount of hormones circulating through the bloodstream. Unlike saliva testing, blood or serum testing has its drawbacks as it does not determine the actual amount of hormone available in the body on a cellular level.

Follicle Stimulating hormone testing

This test is generally reserved for premenopausal women who are suffering from symptoms of menopause. It requires blood to be drawn three times at sixty-minute intervals starting at 8:00 am.

The averages of the hormones found at those three intervals are used to determine hormone levels. A one-size fit all approach is not suitable for hormone replacement therapy. Each person needs to be analyzed individually, with his or her hormone levels being tracked and monitored over time. Careful attention should be paid to signs and symptoms and how they correspond with the individual’s hormone levels.

Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy Treatments

There are three main types of hormones available for hormone replacement therapy, Bioidentical hormones, Non-Bioidentical Hormones and Synthetic Hormones. Bioidentical hormones are plant or animal-based substances that are bio-chemically the same as the hormones your body naturally produces. Bioidentical hormone therapy or BHRT is customized to meet the unique needs of each patient. Bioidentical hormones are often tolerated better by the body because of their identical structure and because they are made of natural ingredients.

Frequently used Bioidentical Hormones

Estrogen

Bi-estrogen or Bi-Est is a combination of estriol and estradiol. It has proven effective for relieving many of the symptoms associated with estrogen deficiency including vaginal dryness, vaginal thinning, painful intercourse, urinary tract issues, hot flashes and night sweats. It has also been shown to improve mood, memory and brain function, raise energy levels, promote better sleep, and reduce bone loss.

Progesterone

Often prescribed for women who have too much estrogen relative to progesterone, it minimizes the effects of the excess estrogen. It has been credited with improving sleep, increasing the sex drive, lowering blood pressure and balancing insulin levels.

DHEA

Dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA is prescribed as hormone therapy for patients whose hormone levels tests indicate a low level of DHEA. DHEA can help build bone mass, increase libido, improve mood and alertness.

Testosterone

Testosterone helps to bring low testosterone levels back to normal levels. This yields an improvement in mood, weight loss and increased muscle mass, greater sex drive, better liver function, more energy, alertness and an improved cognitive functioning.

Bioidentical hormones are often favored due to their identical structure and natural components. In addition, bioidentical hormones are custom made for patients. A compound pharmacy, a pharmacy that specializes in creating individualized treatments, produces the prescription. Compound pharmacies can create formulations in lower doses, special combinations and offer unique delivery methods. This approach is overall more individualized and as a result the hormones are frequently better tolerated than other hormone replacement therapies.

Non-Bioidentical Hormones

Non-bioidentical hormones are made from natural sources, animal or plant, however, they are not bio-chemically identical to your hormones. Unfortunately, many patients experience negative side effects due to the chemical structure of the non-bioidentical hormone not matching their hormone receptors.

Synthetic Hormones

Synthetic are, as the name applies, created and developed by pharmaceutical companies and are not derived from natural sources. Chemical combinations that mimic the effects of natural hormones are synthetic. Synthetic hormones also reportedly can cause a variety of negative side effects.

Hormone Replacement Therapy: Factors to Consider

Moving forward with hormone replacement therapy can be a big decision which if intelligently pursued may dramatically increase your health and enjoyment of life.

Given the individualistic nature of hormone levels, careful testing should be conducted before starting any hormone therapy treatment. A “test and treat” approach is much preferable and will yield a better outcome than a “guess and treat” approach. Hormones are not a guessing game and the effects of hormonal imbalance can profoundly impact your health. If you are considering hormone replacement therapy be certain to see a physician experienced in the field, with the knowledge and know how to develop a treatment program to your individual needs.

Natural is usually better. Consider hormones manufactured from natural ingredients. They are less likely to harm the body. Individualized treatment is the way to go. After careful testing and tracking of your hormone levels, your treatment should be customized to your individual needs. One size does not fit all.

The Role of Your Compounding Pharmacy

Make sure your physician has a trusted relationship with a top notch compounding pharmacy or specialty pharmacy.  Working closely with your healthcare provider, your compounding pharmacist can develop custom medications with the exact amount of hormones your body needs to be brought back into balance.

internship-smppharmacy-testimonial-loliet2

Using your healthcare providers prescription your compounding pharmacist can prepare your medication at different levels of strength and a variety of dosage forms including; capsules, topical treatments including creams, gels, and foams, suppositories or sublingual drops (drops that are placed under the tongue).

The compounding pharmacist will work with you throughout your treatment to insure you are getting the results you want from your treatment while minimizing side effects. Finding and using an experienced compound pharmacy with an excellent reputation is essential to your safe and successful treatment.

Armando BardisaHormones and Your Health: Recognizing and Treating Hormonal Imbalances
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fertility-treatment-naturallyGo figure that after many of us spend a decade or more doing everything we can to avoid getting pregnant, when we want to get pregnant – we can’t! Beyond frustrating.If that and the idea of timing every romantic encounter with scientific precision makes you cringe, then I’ve got some good news. Though there are factors that affect our fertility that we can’t control, many we can.If you are hoping to get pregnant here are fifteen things you can do, or not do, to naturally increase your fertility treatment and chances of success.

1-Maintain a healthy weight to keep your body baby-friendly

Maintaining a healthy bodyweight is essential to overall health and a prerequisite if you hope to get pregnant. Although it may be trendy to be fashionably thin, it is not good for your health, let alone your fertility. Super skinny women have very little body fat.

The combo of too little fat and low calorie intake push the body into starvation mode.

It uses the little fuel it has to keep the systems most necessary for life running. The reproductive system is greatly slowed and in some cases you may become infertile.

It’s not good to be too thin, or too fat. Women who are obese often have trouble conceiving. As your weight goes up so do your insulin levels. Higher insulin levels create more testosterone in your blood and your ovaries.

Also, the additional hormones secreted by excess fat can block a fertilized egg from successfully implanting in the uterine wall. Not what you want when you’re trying to get pregnant.

So what is a healthy weight to maximize your fertility? The best way to figure this out is by calculating your BMI, or Body Mass Index.

BMI is a mathematical equation that is relatively easy to compute. Follow the steps below:

Body-Mass-Index-fertility

  • weight in lbs x 703
  • height in inches, squared
  • divide weight by height

To maximize your fertility you should aim for a BMI in the “healthy range”, between 18.5 and 24.9.

 

2-Stress less to keep your hormones in check

It comes as no surprise that our stress levels can affect our fertility. As you probably know stress has a way of affecting us in a lot of negative ways.

Unfortunately as our lives become increasingly complicated our levels of stress increase.

Learning to manage your stress is a crucial part to living a healthy, balanced and happy life.

reduce-stress-to-improve-fertility

How exactly does stress affect your fertility? Each person has their own individual reaction to stress. Hormonal fluctuations, which are very common with increased stress, can cause a decrease in the blood flow to the uterus and make it more difficult for a fertilized egg to implant.

Studies have proven time and again that couples who report feeling happy and relaxed have much greater success at conceiving than those who are under stress.

Of course just the process of trying to get pregnant can stress us out! Getting pregnant and starting a family is one of the most important (and permanent) life choices you will ever make, so it’s no wonder it’s stressful!

There are many different things you can do to try to control your stress and reduce it’s impact on your health and fertility.

“Starting a yoga practice can be very helpful.”

Yoga with it’s deep breathing and precisely aligned movements will focus your attention and calm your central nervous system. Try finding a basic yoga practice, or even a “yin yoga” class. Yin yoga is a slower form of yoga that entails holding deep stretches for several minutes. It is incredibly relaxing and great at reducing stress. In fact, you might find a little yin yoga before bed is the ultimate prescription for a good night’s sleep. If you can’t find a yin yoga class, there are several available for free on YouTube.

Practicing deep breathing exercises is great for relieving stress.

Try this:

  • Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down.
  • Close your eyes and inhale slowly and deeply through your nose.
  • Count as you inhale.
  • Once your lungs feel full hold the breath for just a second or two.
  • Then exhale through your nostrils slowly and evenly, trying to reach the same count as you did on your inhale.
  • As you do this try to allow the muscles in your face to soften and the body to relax.
  • Try to devote at least five to ten minutes a day to deep breathing.

 

3-Prepare for pregnancy by eating a nutritious diet

You are what you eat, and so is your baby. To maximize your fertility follow a diet that is similar to those designed to prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

Pile your plate high with fruit and veggies in a variety of colors.

Seek out protein in vegetarian sources, like avocados, beans and nuts. Minimize your intake of meat and chicken. Although they are good sources of protein, most are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, contain trans fats, and are exactly what you don’t need.

Prepare-for-pregnancy-by-eating-a-nutritious-diet

Processed foods are also chock full of artificial ingredients which are not good for your health at any time and should be avoided. Same goes for sugary sodas. Ditch them!

Think of food as fuel for your body and put only the best in your tank.

 

4-Exercise, but not too much, to keep weight and stress in check

Regular exercise is very important for keeping your weight in a healthy range and can help reduce stress levels. It boosts fertility by increasing circulation which helps to spur egg production.

The type and intensity of exercise you do is equally important. Vigorous exercise can actually decrease your fertility by impacting your hormone levels. Plus, too much intense exercise causes the body to use up excess fat, which can inhibit ovulation.

fertility-exercise

To get the maximum benefit from your exercise program choose activities that are low impact, such as walking, cycling, swimming or yoga.

Exercise at a moderate intensity, so you are not gasping for breath, but your heart rate is increased above your resting level. Try to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week. Remember, being thin and being fertile do not go hand in hand.

 

5-Quit smoking, to save your fertility treatment, your baby and yourself!

Smoking or spending time around people who do will negatively effect your fertility. It’s estimated that a smoker’s “fertility age” is ten years older than that of a non-smoker. So if you’re 35 and smoke your fertility will be closer to that of a 45 year old!

That’s a great reason to stop smoking.

quit-smoking-to-improve-fertility

Smoking is harmful to our bodies and can cause physical damage to the most important parts of our reproductive systems, including our eggs.

It can makes our ovaries age prematurely, a common cause of infertility.

Plus, it can cause blockages in our fallopian tubes, leading to a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. Yikes! Higher rates of cervical changes and cancer are correlated with smoking. The risk of miscarriage is higher in smokers, due to weaker eggs and the uterine lining not being as healthy as it should be.

Smoking causes too many problems to take a chance. If there’s one piece of advice you take to heart from this list then let this be it: if you smoke and you want to get pregnant, STOP!

Some good news… The damage done to your fertility by smoking is not permanent. Most people resume normal fertility within a year of quitting.

 

6-Reduce caffeine consumption for better eggs

Addicted to your daily grande caramel machiatto? Well you might want to switch to decaf. Studies show that even moderate caffeine consumption in animals effects the ability of eggs to mature. If eggs don’t mature correctly they cannot become viable babies. Human studies conclude that a woman who drinks just one cup of coffee a day is half as likely to get pregnant!

Remember, caffeine isn’t just in the coffee you drink, it can also be found in tea, chocolate, light and dark, brownies, and other baked goods that contain chocolate, chocolate ice cream etc. Try substituting your morning coffee with a decaf variety, (they generally still contain a trace of caffeine), or with decaf tea.

Avoid sweets that contain chocolate.

Reach for vanilla or strawberry ice cream instead of chocolate. How about vanilla ice cream with crushed peanuts and caramel sauce…yum. Or let a delicious greek yogurt with honey or fruit satisfy your sweet tooth. Get creative!

reduce-caffeine-for-fertilty

If you do get pregnant, don’t jump back on the cup of Joe wagon! Studies have discovered higher miscarriage rates among coffee drinking women. Pregnant women metabolize caffeine more slowly and are more sensitive to it’s effects.

This is worrisome since anything a pregnant woman consumes can pass through to her baby via the placenta. Caffeine, which causes excitability and an increased heart rate, can spark unpredictable sleep patterns in your unborn fetus.

No amount of caffeine has been deemed safe at this point so it’s best to stop your intake of caffeine altogether when trying to get pregnant and during your pregnancy. When quitting caffeine be careful to wean yourself off slowly. Stopping cold turkey can cause headaches, nausea, etc.

 

7-Avoid alcohol for greater fertility

If you love your evening glass of wine this is definitely some unwelcome news. Studies have repeatedly reported a relationship between drinking alcohol and reduced fertility.

It appears the more you drink, the worse your fertility will be.

How alcohol reduces fertility is not fully understood but drinking even small amounts of alcohol can have a negative effect. Also, women who are undergoing IVF have a reduced likelihood of success if they drink.

avoid-alcohol-for-better-fertility

So now you are supposed to reduce your stress and give up the one thing that relaxes you at night? Try replacing that glass of wine with some other activity that you find relaxing. Go for a walk, or a swim, do some gentle stretches or yoga moves, curl up with a book, or ask your partner for a massage, you deserve it! Finding natural healthy ways to combat stress is essential for your fertility, your pregnancy and your life.

 

8-Accupuncture, an ancient therapy that improves fertility

This ancient therapy has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments and is currently widely and successfully used to increase fertility. During treatment tiny needles are inserted into the skin on key points on the body.

Accupuncture is thought to help improve the movement of energy through the body, called “Qi”, pronounced “Chee”, this energy is described as your vital life source or energy.

Stress is thought to inhibit the flow of Qi and accupuncture works to restore it.

Accupuncture has many of the same benefits to fertility as other stress reduction techniques. It boosts the production of endorphins, chemicals produced in the brain that create a sense of balance, calm and overall well-being. Plus, it’s thought to increase the production of egg and ovulation friendly hormones and increase circulation to the ovaries giving them more hormonal stimulation.

Doctors have found accupuncture useful for preventing miscarriages, perhaps by improving the quality of the uterine lining, making it a better home for a fertilized egg.

It’s clear accupuncture has a host of benefits whether you’re hoping to conceive or are already pregnant.

Some insurance covers accupuncture, but many policies don’t.

Check yours and make sure it covers accupuncture for fertility specifically. Also, look for a practitioner who specializes in and has experience using accupuncture for fertility. Ask your friends, family and trusted doctors for a recommendation. Preferably find a practitioner who is associated with a major medical center.

9-Avoid pesticides and eat organic for maximum fertility

You’ve probably heard by now all the terrible things that consuming pesticides and herbicides can do to the human body. These chemicals, often used to keep weeds and insects at bay, are destructive to many of the body’s primary systems, and they are also bad for reproduction.

Men who consume or are exposed to pesticides often have a reduced sperm count, and women may find that their ovulation and menstrual cycles are disrupted.

It’s best for everyone to avoid pesticides but especially important if you are hoping to conceive. You can avoid pesticides by choosing organic produce at the market. If you find organic to be too expensive, then carefully rinse your non-organic fruit and veggies prior to eating.

There are several rinses available in stores but you can easily make your own using white distilled vinegar.

Just combine 10% vinegar and 90% water respectively.

Rinsing with plain water should remove 70-80% of pesticides.

10-It’s His Responsibility Too…

No guys, you are not off the hook here. The same things that can compromise a woman’s fertility can harm yours as well.

Bad eating habits, alcohol consumption and smoking are some of the worst culprits, causing reduced sperm count and slow swimmers.

Chromosomal damage to sperm can occur in cases of heavy drinking and smoking. Scary!

man-responsibility-with-fertility

Men need to carefully consider their own habits when looking to reproduce. It takes three months for men to create new sperm so some pre-planning is required. Men should eat a healthy diet, lay off of cigarettes and alcohol, avoid exposure to radiation (cell phones and laptops) and sport loose briefs.

Conclusion

If all this seems overwhelming keep in mind that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Most parents agree that having a child is one of life’s greatest joys and accomplishments. It’s no wonder a little bit of sacrifice may be required to reap this ultimate reward.

Armando Bardisa10 Things You Can do to Increase Your Fertility Treatment Naturally
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iStock_000006766550XSmall-300x199Many people rely on prescription medications to cure health issues, speed-up recovery, or manage chronic illnesses. However, the benefits of medicine often come with a high price tag that can take a serious toll on your household budget.

Fortunately, there are a number of different ways you can save money on prescriptions regardless of the type of insurance coverage you may have. By following this list of five tips from South Miami Pharmacy, you’ll be able to minimize your prescription costs and keep your finances under control.

 

1. Opt for generic medications.

Compared to brand name drugs, generic medications are extremely cost effective. When you choose generics, you can save around 80% on your prescriptions. By simply asking your doctor or pharmacist if there is a generic version of your drug, you can enjoy massive savings.

2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

To avoid the need for a prescription every time you get sick, it’s imperative to maintain your weight and overall health. Those who are overweight often suffer from a variety of chronic diseases, high blood pressure, muscle and joint strain, and other health issues that require expensive prescriptions for treatment. You can prevent unnecessary prescription costs by simply watching your diet and exercising regularly.

3. Ask for free samples.

Most doctor’s offices stock thousands of dollars worth of medication samples that they receive from pharmaceutical companies. Before you spend money on a prescription that won’t work for your body, ask your doctor for some free samples. Free samples allow you to “try before you buy” so that you know you’re spending money on a product that works for you.

4. Be sure to use medications as directed.

Believe it or not, it’s estimated that about 50% of American adults do not follow a doctor’s instructions and take their medications incorrectly. By making sure that you’re taking your prescriptions as directed, you can avoid additional health problems and medication costs down the road.

5. Don’t solely rely on chain retail pharmacies.

The idea that chain retail pharmacies offer the most affordable prescription medications is not always true. When you trust an independent pharmacy such as South Miami Pharmacy with your prescription needs, you can expect excellent prices and personalized attention that you may not find at larger, retail pharmacies.

Save Money on Your Prescriptions at South Miami Pharmacy in Miami, Florida

To reap the benefits of top-notch, custom service and excellent prescription prices, visit South Miami Pharmacy in Miami today. You can also contact us at 305-740-9696 or fill out our online contact form for more information.

Armando Bardisa5 Tips for Saving Money on Prescriptions
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Depositphotos_13867468_original-300x200-300x200In-vitro fertilization (IVF) allows couples to overcome infertility and pursue their dreams of pregnancy. During the IVF treatment, sperm and eggs are manually combined into a laboratory dish to create an embryo that is transferred into a woman’s uterus to initiate the growth of a baby.

Couples who are considering IVF often have many questions about the process. Here at SMP Fertility in Miami, we’ve composed this list of commonly asked questions that will add some clarity to the IVF treatment.

Is there pain associated with the egg retrieval process?

There is usually no pain during the egg retrieval process which only lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. IV sedation is generally administered during the procedure to ensure that patients are not awake. Patients may experience mild cramping following the procedure and are prescribed pain medications as needed.

What can be expected during embryo transfer?

The embryo transfer is performed using a speculum that gives the doctor a broad view of the cervix. Women usually only feel the speculum and do not undergo anesthesia during the transfer.

What happens to the embryos that are not used in the transfer?

Embryos that are not used in the transfer are usually stored in the lab and evaluated for continuous growth. They can be cryopreserved for later use if they meet certain criteria.

Is egg retrieval from every follicle normal?

It is not always normal to retrieve an egg from every follicle. Although the egg usually comes from the most mature follicles, most women will have some follicles that have immature or post mature eggs as well as some that are unable to yield an identifiable egg.

What is the cost of IVF?

The costs of IVF are dependent on a patient’s specific needs and include the price of fertility drugs, blood tests, and ultrasounds. Insurance coverage varies.

What side effects can be expected from IVF medications?

While side effects differ from patient to patient, breast tenderness, abdominal bloating, headaches, nausea, and skin irritation may occur.

Am I allowed to smoke and drink during IVF?

Smoking is prohibited during IVF treatment because it reduces the quality of eggs. In addition, men should try to limit alcohol use for about 3 months before the treatment to allow for sperm production that can take up to 100 days.

Can a woman travel during an IVF treatment?

Travel is not recommended to any patient going through the IVF process. It is crucial that patients are available for ongoing appointments to access follicle growth.

Can I dye my hair or get my nails done if I am going through IVF?

Patients can color their hair during the first two weeks of each IVF cycle. From mid-cycle on, it’s a smart idea to wait until after 12 weeks to dye hair. While manicures will not cause any harm during IVF or pregnancy, patients are encouraged to make sure nail treatments are performed in an area with good ventilation.

When will a patient be able to tell if they are pregnant?

A pregnancy test is typically scheduled two weeks and two days following the transfer of the embryo.

Contact SMP Fertility in South Miami for More Information on the IVF process

If you’re interested in IVF and would like to learn more about the process, contact an IVF specialist at SMP Fertility in Miami today. You can call us at 855-255-5005 or email us at info@smpfertility.com.

Armando BardisaAnswering Questions About the IVF Process
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iStock_000016566059Small-300x200-300x200Why we protect our skin during the summer (and you should too!)

The summer season is an exciting time because it provides you with the chance to enjoy the warm weather and spend quality time outside soaking in the sun. However, the sun and hot Miami temperatures can take a toll on your skin during the summer months.

Sun exposure can lead to wrinkles, dry skin, sun spots, and even skin cancer. To help you protect your skin from the harsh UV rays and keep it beautiful all summer long, the pharmacists at South Miami Pharmacy gathered this list of 5 summer skin tips that we swear by.

1. Try to stay out of the sun between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm.

The hottest hours of the day are typically between 10 am and 3 pm. If you can, try to refrain from staying in the sun for long periods of time during these hours. It’s a good idea to perform your outdoor activities in the earlier or later cooler hours of the day.

2. Apply sunscreen as often as possible.

Do not underestimate the power or importance of sun block. Be sure to apply sunscreen about 20 minutes prior to the time you go outside to ensure that the product fully absorbs into the skin. Re-applying on a regular basis and using a sunscreen that protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays is essential as well.

3. Exfoliate on a regular basis.

When you exfoliate about 2 to 3 times a week, you’ll remove dead skin cells and surface debris from your skin. In addition, regular exfoliation helps prevent cellular build-up and dry skin that is common in the summer. It’s best to choose an exfoliator with natural, calming ingredients and stay away from exfoliators with alpha hydroxy acids or harsh chemicals that can increase sun sensitivity.

4. Store skin care products in the fridge.

Skin care items such as moisturizers, toners, and serums should be kept in the fridge during the summer. Keeping these products refrigerated helps sooth redness and refresh the skin every time they are applied. Products stored in the fridge will also last longer.

5. Stay hydrated.

Ensuring that your body is hydrated after spending time in the hot sun is key to healthy summer skin. You can do this by drinking about eight glasses of water per day and applying a moisturizer to your skin. In the summer, it’s best to use a lighter moisturizing lotion that contains aloe vera or other soothing ingredients.

Visit South Miami Pharmacy in Miami, Florida for Your Summer Skin Care Needs

If you’re in need of a prescription skin care product, visit South Miami Pharmacy in South Miami today. You can call us at 305-740-9696 or fill out our online contact form.

We look forward to providing you with the products you need to maintain gorgeous skin this summer.

Armando BardisaWhy SMP Pharmacists Protect Our Skin During the Summer
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