DHEA: Surviving and Thriving
DHEA, which stands for dehydroepiandrosterone, is the most abundant hormone produced by the adrenal glands, and its production greatly exceeds that of all the other steroid hormones. The body produces DHEA in the early morning hours and then it declines fairly rapidly throughout the day, as it is quickly cleared by the kidneys. Small amounts of DHEA are also secreted by the ovaries and testes and, in fact, DHEA is a precursor to the production of both testosterone and the estrogen hormones.
Even before birth, DHEA is secreted by the human fetus. During childhood, usually at about ages 6-7 years old, substantial production of DHEA by the adrenals first begins, peaking at about age 20. Between the ages of 25 and 70 years, DHEA production steadily declines, and this is known to be the steepest decline of all the hormones in the endocrine system. The decline of DHEA is linear with increased age, leading some to regard the DHEA level as a biomarker for aging.
A Sense of Urgency
Written by Carol Petersen, RPH, CNP - Women's International Pharmacy
Bladder issues such as urinary tract infections, overactive bladder, interstitial cystitis, and incontinence are the top healthcare problems in the United States today. The best-selling items in pharmacies are now adult diapers, reaching 2.2 billion dollars in sales per year.
As men and women age, the incidence of bladder problems and urinary incontinence increases for both sexes. These problems are far more common in women, but many women just ignore them, thinking that leaking small amounts of urine when sneezing or laughing are not a real medical problem. They may feel too embarrassed to seek assistance, or they may look at it as just another normal part of aging.
Incontinence is defined as the involuntary release of urine and, while it often accompanies aging, it can be caused by many factors. For example, removal of the uterus can lead to weakening or prolapse of the bladder, resulting in incontinence, simply due to the lack of physical support from that organ. Incontinence can also result from a lack of estrogen, which weakens the bladder and urinary tract structures. Diseases like diabetes or the aftermath of stroke can cause incontinence. Constipation can also be a source of incontinence, as a result of straining. Men with benign prostatitis can develop incontinence. And, people with a history of bedwetting during childhood are more likely to experience some incontinence as an adult.
As incontinence becomes more frequent or worsens, coping behaviors increase. Using sanitary napkins or other feminine hygiene products, refusing to travel, mapping out the location of toilets, urinating again (just in case), avoiding fluid intake, stopping exercise, and wearing dark clothes can all be indicators of a problem with incontinence.
So, what can be done to help control incontinence, or at least deal with it better?
Adrenaline and the Pulse Test
Written by Kathy Lynch, PharmD - Women's International Pharmacy
According to Michael Platt, MD the release of adrenaline contributes significantly to symptoms associated with incontinence. Phil Bate PhD, a member of the Orthomolecular Medical Society for many years, advocates the use of a simple technique, the pulse test, to detect substances that trigger adrenaline release in the body.
This test, developed in the 1950s by Arthur Coca MD, provides a reliable and inexpensive method of measuring the adrenaline release caused by allergies and sensitivities to foods and chemicals. When adrenaline is released, the pulse rate goes up. By measuring the pulse rate before and after exposure to particular foods or chemicals, people can determine which substances raise or do not raise adrenaline levels in their bodies. An increase of 5 beats or more per minute indicates a release of adrenaline. Dr. Bate advises that people not deliberately expose themselves to any known allergen but that they use the test to uncover allergens that they are not currently aware of.
The pulse test helps to uncover hidden adrenaline triggers which may be beneficial in the treatment of incontinence and other disorders. Dr. Coca's book The Pulse Test explains this test in great detail.
Coca AF. The Pulse Test: Easy Allergy Detection New York,NY:Arco Publishing;1956.
Platt M. The Platt Protocol for Hormone Balancing: A Wellness Manual for Healthcare Practitioners (unpublished)
Mother's Day - May 13th
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