“It Feels Like There Are Knives In My Vagina!”: Women, Sex, and Hormones – A Guest Post by Dr. Jill Stocker

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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Inflammation and Your Hormones 101

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-Aging, chronic inflammation, cortisol, DHEA, Dr. Carragher, Dr. Stocker, Estrogen, HCG, HGH, Hormone Optimization, Human Growth Hormone, inflammation, Progesterone, Testosterone, The Body Well, ThyroidLeave a Comment

When a patient comes into my office with multi-system complaints — for example, they have gastrointestinal distress and poor recovery from exercise, or they have headaches and joint pains — one of the prime suspects is chronic inflammation. “Inflammation” has become a buzzword recently, appearing in articles with trendy titles like “Eat These Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods” or “Take This Supplement for its Anti-Inflammatory Properties.”  But there’s still plenty of confusion about the term “inflammation.” Is it good? Is it bad? Why all this fuss over it? Let’s clear all of that up. Inflammation, simply defined, is a response your body has to any insult or injury. A perfect example: the processes that result from injuring your ankle when you’re jogging. It’s a great morning, you’re feeling good jogging around the block, and suddenly you trip over a bump on the sidewalk and twist your ankle. The area gets red, it heats up, it gets swollen, and it hurts. This is acute inflammation; the injury is followed immediately by your body’s response with special substances that act as chemical mediators to initiate the healing process.  This is a necessary response, and critical so that your body heals. So in this … Read More

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4 Pathways To Fat Loss (Including 2 You Might Have Overlooked!)

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-Aging, belly fat, cortisol, DHEA, diet, Dr. Carragher, Dr. Mike's Tips, Estrogen, HGH, Hormone Optimization, Human Growth Hormone, Testosterone, The Body Well, Thyroid, Visceral Fat, weight gainLeave a Comment

One of the top reasons people schedule evaluations with me is because they’re having a hard time losing body fat. It’s a classic problem of aging: For men and women fat typically gathers around the midsection. Not only is it unsightly, but it increases risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. And the extra fat isn’t there for lack of trying to burn it off! Patients come in baffled, telling me they’re meeting with a trainer four or more days a week, doing everything “right,” or working harder than they’ve ever worked before to lose it. What they’re often forgetting is that as we get older we have a harder time keeping body fat off and lean muscle mass on. Different periods in our lives require different approaches to our health. To help, below are four fat loss strategies. The first two will be familiar (but the details may be different than the ones you’re used to). The second two are commonly overlooked. Diet & Exercise: The Two Obvious Solutions (That Are Usually Done Wrong) No surprises here: Diet and exercise are major factors in how much fat you’re putting on or taking off. When it comes to diet, … Read More

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Why Should I Care About DHEA?

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-Aging, belly fat, DHEA, Dr. Carragher, Dr. Mike's Tips, Estrogen, fatigue, Hormone Optimization, Libido, loss of energy, low energy, low libido, low sex drive, Progesterone, Testosterone, The Body Well, Visceral Fat, weight gainLeave a Comment

What is DHEA? DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is the most abundant anabolic steroid (protein-building hormone) in the body, produced mainly by the adrenal glands, but also by the brain, the gonads, and the skin. Despite the fact that we have so much of it in our bodies, it’s often overlooked, and has long been undervalued and misunderstood. We’ve know for a long time that DHEA is a precursor (basically, an ingredient) of other hormones, including testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. But we’ve only recently discovered that it has its own benefits, and quite a few of them, at that. So what does DHEA do? DHEA is an immune system stimulator, it helps elevate mood, energy, it has anti-cancer properties. It increases insulin sensitivity, which means it allows your body to integrate sugar into its cells more easily and prevents diabetes. It helps increase joint flexibility, strength and muscle mass, as well as a healthy sex drive. In other words, it’s no minor player; it’s a critical hormone! Symptoms of low DHEA are pretty much indicated by the absence of all the above: fluctuating mood, stiffness, low sex drive, and so on. Unfortunately, most people experience drops in DHEA levels beginning at around age … Read More

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How To Treat High Cholesterol The Natural Way

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-Aging, cardiovascular health, cholesterol, Dr. Carragher, Dr. Mike's Tips, Estrogen, HCG, heart, heart disease, HGH, Hormone Optimization, Human Growth Hormone, Testosterone, The Body Well, Thyroid, weight gainLeave a Comment

How To Treat High Cholesterol The Natural Way When you hit your mid-30s, your cholesterol levels may be in for a change. Your “bad” cholesterol (low density lipoprotein, or LDL) may start to rise and your “good” cholesterol (high density lipoprotein, or HDL) may start to drop. The Status Quo Doctors often reflexively treat these changes to prevent cholesterol-related heart issues. They do this by administering drugs called statins, which block an enzyme essential for cholesterol production, thereby lowering cholesterol in the blood. Sounds like a great, simple solution, doesn’t it? But while cholesterol levels do drop after statins are taken, a host of side effects may come along for the ride. Among the most significant of these side effects: statins also block the production of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an antioxidant essential for oxygen utilization and energy production, particularly in heart muscle cells. Furthermore, statins’ effects on cholesterol may interfere with critical aspects of hormonal production, since cholesterol is a building block of many hormones. Other side effects may include increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes, muscle pain and weakness, neuropathy, tendon problems, memory loss, and confusion. In fact, there are over 900 studies documenting the adverse effects of taking … Read More

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The Right Way To Treat Perimenopause

Mike CarragherAge Management, Dr. Carragher, Estrogen, Hormone Optimization, Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, Perimenopause, Progesterone, Sex, stress, The Body Well, weight gainLeave a Comment

What Is Perimenopause? Perimenopause, meaning “around menopause,” refers to the time when a woman’s body is making its natural transition toward permanent infertility (menopause). During perimenopause, women experience a wide variety of symptoms and bodily changes, many of which are painful and frustrating. Hot flashes, weight gain, irregular periods, night sweats, and mood swings can all accompany the widely fluctuating hormone levels during this time in a woman’s life. On top of these symptoms, the normal course of biology can cause psychological stress for women, who often view menopause as a change in identity. Relationships can suffer if a woman’s partner and other family members, friends, or coworkers are unprepared or not willing to be understanding of any resulting shifts in her behavior and mood. Unfortunately, when women seek help during perimenopause, they will more often than not find themselves receiving bad advice and treatment. Why? Because of a misunderstanding, even on the part of most doctors, of what’s going on with a woman’s hormones in the perimenopausal period. The Big Mistake Most doctors tend to treat perimenopause with the same method that they use to treat menopause: by supplementing with estrogen. After all, some of the symptoms are the … 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 Isn’t My Diet Working Anymore?

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-Aging, belly fat, Dr. Carragher, Dr. Mike's Tips, Dr. Stocker, Dr.jill, Estrogen, HGH, Hormone Optimization, Human Growth Hormone, Testosterone, The Body Well, Thyroid, Visceral Fat, weight gainLeave a Comment

When I was a kid, my Dad went on a diet to care for his heart and lose weight. The entire thing was meticulously planned, and I remember daily checklists of what he could eat (four Saltine crackers, a can of tuna, carrot soup for lunch!) and could not eat, transcribed by him on pieces of paper on the kitchen table. Over the course of a few months, he took off a lot of weight, and everyone was wowed. And then his diet did what every diet does: it lost its effectiveness. Little by little, the returns from all his efforts diminished, and soon, slowly but surely, he was gaining weight again. In the end, he put all the weight back on, and eventually, he weighted more than he did when he started. Do diets work? The short-term answer is yes. Whether it’s a juice cleanse, Weight Watchers, Atkins, or whatever the diet du jour is, if you restrict the amount of calories, sugar, or fat, you’ll lose weight. But then, there’s a problem: the results curve of all diets is almost standardized. People lose weight within the first six weeks, and then they start to regain the pounds again. … Read More

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