Depression….The Silent Killer

Mike CarragherDr. Stocker, Dr.jill, Hormone OptimizationLeave a Comment

I saw a recent study in The Journal of Affective Disorders that showed the participants had been on an average of 14 (yes, 14!) psychiatric medications (anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, bipolar meds, and/or mood stabilizers) prior to having their thyroid levels checked and treated. Once their thyroid was optimized, their symptoms improved in 84% of them, with 33% having complete resolution of their symptoms. This was an astounding study, and made me reflect on my own struggle with depression. And in light of recent celebrity suicides, I felt compelled to share and speak about the silent killer of depression. The more awareness that’s out there the better, and the more we begin to share our own personal stories and struggles, the less alone people feel. My Personal Journey My struggle with depression began in medical school, and worsened as I aged, including severe post-partum depression with my last child (and yes…suicidal thoughts were involved). However, I never really spoke about it, because I felt ashamed and thought that people would find me less credible as a physician if I did. So I suffered, mostly in silence, but also experienced fits of rage at my partner. When I heard about this study, I … Read More

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Human Growth Hormone: Not Just Living Longer, But Living Better

Mike CarragherAnti-Aging, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, Dr. Stocker, Dr.jill, HGH, Hormone Optimization, Hormone Replacement Therapy, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a hormone that has many critical physiologic functions in the human body. It has been the hormone associated with being the “fountain of youth” and sought out to provide “anti-aging” effects. While it does reduce the physical signs and symptoms of aging, it also reduces the risk of developing the most common diseases associated with aging. As we age, many of your key hormone levels decline, and you start seeing and feeling the effects of this. This can happen as early as your late twenties or early thirties. Lack of adequate Growth Hormone in adults can result in a whole slew of symptoms, not just physical, but mental and emotional as well. Many of the common complaints are: Fatigue, lack of energy, lack of motivation Weight gain Declining results at the gym (despite eating “clean” and exercising regularly Decreased stamina, strength, or exercise tolerance Decreased muscle mass Emotional symptoms (moodiness, grumpiness, anxiety, depression) Thin/crepey/dry/sagging skin Loss of self-confidence Difficulty sleeping Decreased vitality Decreased sense of well being Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, memory issues What Exactly is Human Growth Hormone and What Does It Do? Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a hormone secreted by the pituitary … Read More

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The First Step To A Woman’s Health: Being Heard

Mike CarragherAge Management, Dr. Stocker, Dr.jill, Hormone Optimization, The Body WellLeave a Comment

When women come in for their first appointment with me, they often start off by saying, “I just don’t feel like myself!” or, “I look in the mirror, and I don’t recognize the person looking back at me.” They tell me they’ve lost their enthusiasm and motivation, that life just doesn’t feel the same. The wonder where the version of themselves they once knew went. As an Age Management practitioner, I know that these are indicative of real health issues, but many of these women have previously seen non-specialist doctors who have told them it’s all in their heads. The professional opinion they received was basically just, “get over it,” or “it’s part of getting older.”  Oftentimes these women are then given anti-depressant medications for their symptoms, which in turn can make a lot of their symptoms worse. What they really needed was to simply be heard. I was taught something very valuable in my medical training: the patient will tell you what’s wrong with her, it’s your job to listen. Unfortunately, most physicians tend to interrupt before a woman can truly tell her story. The average amount of time she’s listened to before being interrupted is eight seconds. So … Read More

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4 Last Stretch Life Hacks: How To Achieve The Final Phase of Your Fitness Goal

Mike CarragherAge Management, belly fat, Dr. Stocker, Dr.jill, Hormone Optimization, Image, The Body Well, Visceral Fat, weight gainLeave a Comment

Does this sound like you? “I eat clean, I exercise 4 times a week, I’m doing everything I can! But… I still have belly fat! I’m not as toned as I want to be! I can’t seem to gain those last few pounds of muscle!” The last stretch of any fitness goal can be the most frustrating leg of the journey. Often, achieving it takes as much work as going the first 90% of the way! What’s worse, when you hit a wall in the progress you’re used to seeing, you can lose all motivation to keep your new routines. Here are my 4 easy tips for getting you through that last intense phase of your fitness goal and feeling you’re at “peak awesomeness”. 1 Be honest with yourself. Sounds pretty simple, but now is the time to reassess: “Am I doing the best I can?” I’ve got to tell you, the answer is probably “no!” There’s always something else that can be done (the next three points on this list, for example!), and amping up your accountability is a great place to start. Where are the little places you let your vision fall by the wayside in favor of comfort? … Read More

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“It Feels Like There Are Knives In My Vagina!”: Women, Sex, and Hormones

Mike CarragherAnti-Aging, Dr. Stocker, Dr.jill, Estrogen, Libido, low libido, low sex drive, Sex, stress, TestosteroneLeave a Comment

It’s not easy to talk about sex in a clear and open way. And it’s especially difficult if you’re a woman, who has been told her entire life not to freely engage in her sexuality, much less express it. Women who see me at The Body Well know my office is a safe space to discuss their bodies, but sex-related symptoms and issues are still challenging for so many women to disclose. Women experience a range of sexual challenges as they age, including not feeling sexy anymore, decreasing sex drive, pain during sex, and vaginal dryness. To make matters worse, women often experience these symptoms for a long time before telling anyone. It’s easy enough to understand why: in addition to cultural shaming, it’s difficult to talk with your partner about what’s getting in the way of pleasurable sex. Pointing out what you perceive to be your flaws to someone you want to be intimate with never feels good. It can lead to feelings of sexual inadequacy, both for the woman bringing it up, who may feel unsexy, and also for her partner who may feel it’s their fault for not being sexually stimulating. But not talking about it can create … Read More

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The Best Treatment For PMS That You’ve Never Heard Of

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-Aging, Dr. Carragher, Dr. Mike's Tips, Dr. Stocker, Dr.jill, Estrogen, Hormone Optimization, Progesterone, The Body WellLeave a Comment

What is PMS? Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the most common complaint of premenopausal women.  PMS involves a variety of physical, mental, and/or behavioral symptoms related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. These symptoms typically occur during in the two weeks before a woman’s period starts, which is known as the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. They usually become most intense in the 2-3 days prior to the period and then resolve after the first day or two of flow.  The symptoms are nothing to laugh at or make light of. For many women, PMS’s accompanying headaches, bloating, food cravings, breast tenderness, mood swings, cramping, and other symptoms, can be debilitating. Why do women experience PMS in the first place? There can be several reasons, but typically it relates to fluctuating hormone levels prior to menstruation, specifically falling progesterone levels. Progesterone is a hormone secreted in women’s bodies by the ovaries (and to a lesser amount by the adrenal glands). Progesterone levels rise in preparation for the implantation of an embryo at pregnancy.  I often refer to progesterone as the “feel good hormone” because when levels are optimal (i.e. high), women report feeling euphoric, relaxed, and confident. If no embryo implantation … Read More

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Why Can’t I Fall (or Stay) Asleep?

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-Aging, belly fat, Dr. Carragher, Dr. Mike's Tips, Dr. Stocker, Dr.jill, fatigue, Hormone Optimization, loss of energy, low energy, Melatonin, stress, The Body Well, weight gainLeave a Comment

When a patient comes in saying that they’re having trouble falling (or staying) asleep, the first thing I do is check in with their sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is everything you do before bed; good sleep hygiene helps you fall asleep, stay asleep, and sleep deeply. Much of sleep hygiene relates to your exposure to light before and during sleep. Here’s a quick breakdown of some good sleep hygiene vs. bad sleep hygiene habits for you, as they relate to light exposure: The common factor: light You’ll notice a common factor here: light. It could be the lights in the bedroom, the glow of a laptop screen, or the green blip of a computer charger. Light is one of the most significant factors for being able to have a restful night’s sleep. Why? Both light and the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted from devices affect the pineal gland and stimulate brainwaves, respectively. If you reach up and touch between your eyes, you’ve located your pineal gland; it’s right between the eyes, in the brain. The gland perceives light right through the skin and skull, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as the “third eye.” The “goodnight hormone” When the sun … Read More

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Stress Is A Hormone Problem

Mike Carragheradrenal fatigue, Age Management, belly fat, cortisol, Dr. Carragher, Dr. Mike's Tips, Dr. Stocker, Dr.jill, fatigue, Hormone Optimization, loss of energy, low energy, stress, The Body Well, Visceral Fat, weight gainLeave a Comment

Are you stressed out? I bet I can guess the answer. The truth is, most people that come to see me are holding an inordinate and unhealthy amount of stress.  I don’t just mean the rushing, nervous, phone-checking, frazzled, distracted patients. They’re obviously stressed out, sure. But stress presents itself in every form imaginable. Stress is the number one health problem of our time. It’s linked to nearly all other health concerns, either causing or exacerbating them. So what is stress? Here’s the short answer: Stress is a cascade of events in the body set off by a thought, an action, emotion, a physical problem, or a life situation (also known as stressors). It can be beneficial or detrimental; stress isn’t bad or good in and of itself. But let’s face it, people rarely say, “I’m so stressed, life is great!” When you’re experiencing stress in a positive way, you call it by other names, like “motivation” or “excitement.” To get into how stress adversely affects your health, we need to differentiate between an acute stress state, which is normal, and an ongoing stress state, which is much more problematic. When people say they’re stressed, they’re usually referring to an ongoing … Read More

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