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Monday, August 18, 2014

Bioidentical Hormone Doctors Portland Oregon | Functional Medicine Doctor

HormoneSynergy is Portland Oregon 's premier concierge, anti-aging and functional medicine, and bioidentical hormone doctors clinic. Doctor Retzler focuses on the underlying causes of aging and disease, integrating evidence-based therapies and recommendations based on physiology. Treatment is individualized and comprehensive. Your treatment may include bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, testosterone replacement therapy, nutraceutical therapies, diet and lifestyle modifications, cardiovascular, neurotransmitter and brain support.  Some prescription medications may be prescribed to lower risk for existing disease processes until optimal health is restored.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Your Guide to Getting a Good Night Sleep

There are two panaceas in medicine: sleep and exercise.  This means that sleeps and exercise support your vital force—your inherent ability to heal and maintain wellness—no matter what health problems you struggle with. This is in part because both sleep and exercise raise growth hormone production. Growth hormone is responsible for repair of your body’s tissues—when growth hormone levels decline, aging rapidly accelerates.

Adequate sleep is crucial for healthy immune function. Melatonin levels are highest during sleep and darkness, and several studies have shown an increased risk of cancer, including breast and colon cancer, in people exposed to light at night (e.g., people who work the late shift). Melatonin appears to be a very potent antioxidant with the ability to suppress the growth of tumors.

Sleep researchers still don't completely understand all the reasons we sleep and dream. One reason is that memory consolidation occurs during sleep. If you're having problems remembering things you've learned, make sure you're getting enough sleep. Your brain also processes events of your day during sleep. In addition, sleep allows time for your body to repair damage caused by daily metabolism, stress, ultraviolet radiation, and toxic exposure. 
Although most people have trouble sleeping from time to time, chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems such as depression and decreased concentration. Lack of sleep can cause weakened immunity and poor wound healing. Certain medical conditions are more common with inadequate sleep including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Lastly, short sleep duration raises a hormone called "ghrelin", which increases appetite and the likelihood of being overweight or obese.[1]

How much sleep are you getting? Do you wake rested and rejuvenated?  If not, you likely didn’t sleep long enough or well enough. Ideally, you should sleep for 7-9 hours a night. If you're not sleeping well or enough, recognize this as a health problem and commit to doing something about it.  If you snore or your bed partner says you stop breathing at times, please tell your doctor to refer you to a sleep medicine specialist. 

If you're struggling with sleep problems, follow these guidelines:

         Be consistent with your bed time and awakening time as much as possible. Allow yourself a chance to unwind before hitting the pillow and plan for at least 15 to 30 minutes to fall asleep. Your body gets used to falling asleep at a certain time if you keep your bedtime consistent.
         Make sure your bed is comfortable. Since you spend approximately one-third of your life sleeping, invest in a bed that suits your body.
         Keep your room cool, especially if you're hot at night or have night sweats. Your body temperature decreases as you fall asleep, therefore, taking a hot bath and sleeping in a cool environment can enhance this. Also, keep your bedroom between 55 and 75 degrees.
         Maintain darkness since light suppresses melatonin, your sleep hormone. Even small amounts of light, such as a clock radio or streetlight shining through the window, can be enough to keep you up. If you use the bathroom in the middle of the night, try doing so in the dark or keep a small penlight next to the bed to light your way.
         Ditch the TV and computer from your bedroom. Both provide excitatory stimuli to the brain at a time when you're trying to induce a calming state. In addition, news or disturbing TV shows can occupy your thoughts, preventing you from sweet dreams.
         If you're in pain, use adequate pain management. Many people are concerned about getting "hooked" on pain medication, even though their pain keeps them up at night. If you are in pain and it keeps you from sleeping, remember inadequate sleep can prevent healing, increase inflammation, and worsen your pain. There are many different ways to treat pain, long and short-term, and you are not "weak", nor is it a sign of failure, to need pain medication in order to sleep. Talk to your doctor if pain keeps you from sleeping. You deserve to sleep as pain-free as possible, and you can always enlist the help of a pain specialist. 
         Avoid alcohol before bed. Although alcohol may help you fall asleep, you may find yourself awake a few hours later. This is because your brain becomes stimulated as the alcohol is metabolized and cleared from your blood stream. 
         Stop all caffeine after noon. The half-life of caffeine increases with aging; therefore, it can remain in your system longer as you age (up to 14 hours) and you may awaken more often during the night. 
         Don't eat a heavy meal before bed and stop fluid intake after 8:00 pm. You may experience reflux or digestive problems if you lie down with a full stomach. Stopping fluid intake in the evening can prevent awakening due to urination.
         Exercise daily! (But not within two hours of bedtime). Exercise has consistently been shown to promote healthy sleep. A word of caution: please do not sacrifice sleep for exercise. If you must choose due to time constraints, exercise for less time and sleep more. And re-evaluate your schedule to prioritize sleep and exercise over activities that consume your time without supporting your health (e.g., TV, surfing the Internet . . .) 
         Begin a "worry" and "gratitude" journal. Write down all your worries or concerns before going to sleep. Consider writing from a chair or room other than your bedroom so you avoid anchoring your bed to your worries. In addition, jot down at least five things for which you are grateful. Tell yourself you will attend to your worries the next day but that the next several hours are devoted to sleep so you can repair your body and brain. Assigning a "worry time" such as keeping a journal may help you compartmentalize concerns so you don't spend sleep time ruminating (and creating stress hormones). Keeping the things you're grateful for in your awareness will help you fall asleep with positive thoughts. Whatever it takes, do not take your worries to bed with you.
         Make sure your hormones are balanced—low estrogen and progesterone in women commonly causes sleep problems. Bioidentical oral progesterone (Prometrium® or compounded oral or sublingual micronized progesterone ) is better at helping women fall asleep, but you should avoid it or lower your dosage if you wake feeling groggy. 
If you are genuinely adhering to the above recommendations and you still don't sleep soundly, there are many natural options that may be helpful:

         Sleep Easy (Mt. Peak Nutritionals) — 2 capsules before bed. This comprehensive formula contains precursors for serotonin, often deficient in people with sleep disorders. Also contains GABA, the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter that quiets the brain (sleep medications work by binding to the GABA receptor). Phenibut, a derivative of GABA with an added phenyl ring, allows phenibut to cross the blood-brain barrier and bind to GABA receptors. The amino acids, herbs, melatonin, and magnesium in his formula promote mental calmness, enhance muscle relaxation, and calm the central nervous system.
         Calming Tincture (formulated by Dr. Retzler) contains 50% California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) and 50% Kava kava (Piper methysticum) — 4–6 dropperfuls as needed. Contains Kava kava (Piper methysticum), shown to be anticonvulsant, antispasmodic, and to promote muscle relaxation. Several studies have found Kava kava to be useful in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia.[2] Also contains California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), a mild sedative and mood elevator, not as potent as opium or with any addiction potential. Note: tinctures are herbs extracted in alcohol; if you have a problem with alcohol, please do not use tinctures.
         Magnesium citrate or glycinate — 300–400 mg before bed helps calm the brain (by increasing GABA production) and releasing muscle tension.
         Guided visualization Sleep CD — helps your subconscious mind remember how to sleep. "Garden Sunset" is one created by Daniel Soule, Certified Health Coach.

Sleep medications can be effective but should really only be used short-term since they do not treat the underlying cause, and you may become dependent on them. However, if you need sleep medications short-term, please use them. Many doctors have seen far too many people who haven't slept well, often existing on 2-3 hours a night for years or decades  After trying numerous natural options, they often give up due to fear of taking sleep medications. These people are exhausted, depressed, usually overweight, and have significant health problems from years of sleep debt. Consider using medication for a short while if you are sleep deprived while working on the underlying cause. Sometimes, using a sleep medication for 30 days, combined with guided visualization to retrain the subconscious mind, will reset your circadian rhythm and allow you to sleep naturally again.

[1] Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, et al.  Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Med. 2004;1(3):e62. 
[2] Attele AS, Xie JT, Yuan CS. Treatment of insomnia: an alternative approach. Altern Med Rev. 2000;5(3):249-259.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Testosterone Replacement for Low Testosterone Levels and symptoms in men - Patient Handout

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Testosterone Replacement for Low Testosterone Levels and symptoms in men  


Ask the average guy what he knows about hormones, bio identical hormones or hormone imbalance symptoms and he'll probably say something like "Hormone imbalance, that's the reason women get all emotional before their period" or "Hormone imbalance is why women have hot flashes and get crabby when they go through menopause."

Many men don't realize the crucial role hormones play in their own bodies or recognize that declining and low testosterone levels in men cause significant and progressive symptoms of hormone imbalance. Low Testosterone levels can be enhanced my maintaining a healthy diet high in good-quality protein and low in simple carbohydrates, and keeping alcohol intake to a minimum. In addition, exercising for 30-45 minutes at least 4 days per week can enhance testosterone production. Avoiding environmental toxins in plastics and pesticides may help, as can reducing stress levels. Supplements, such as zinc and selenium, and herbs, such as saw palmetto and nettles, can improve hormone balance in men. Lastly, since the aromatase enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen is found in fat tissue, maintaining a healthy weight helps optimize testosterone production.

Testing total and free testosterone, as well as estradiol and PSA levels, is crucial after age 40. If levels are low or suboptimal, supplementation with bioidentical hormones (the same molecue produced by the body) is possible using one of a number of testosterone supplementation options for me.

To receive Dr. Retzler's FREE report "Testosterone Supplementation options for men" please enter your name and email and we will email you a free copy.


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Protecting Yourself from Breast Cancer - What Every Woman Needs to Know

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Dowload Dr. Retzler's free report!

"Hormones and Breast Cancer: what every woman should know"

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The statistics about breast cancer are sobering. Understanding your risk and ways you can minimize it are best based on fact rather than fear. This handout will summarize the research regarding hormones and breast cancer, and will provide recommendations you can implement to lower your risk.   Please enter your name and email and click "send me the report" to receive your free copy!




Receive a FREE copy of Dr. Retzler's Breast Cancer Report!


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What your doctor isn't telling you about optimal aging

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Learn what your doctor may not tell you about bioidentical hormones, slowing the aging process and preventing disease!


I will teach you.  For FREE! 
Join the thousands who've read my book and find out. 
For your free downloadable copy
please enter your first name and email below:

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Red Wine. Is it a health food? How much is good for you?

"Red Red Wine.  Go to my Head!"

Neil Diamond

Are You Over Indulging?

Red wine is, indeed, an excellent source of antioxidants (so are the grapes it’s made from) as well as resveratrol (more on this in "Step 7: Supplements"). Alcohol has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, and may decrease the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.[i],[ii] Unfortunately, many people overindulge without regard for the negative health consequences of alcohol, or the excess, "empty" calories it contains. Moderate alcohol intake is defined as no more than two drinks for men, and one drink for women, per day. Studies have shown that high alcohol intake increases aromatization of androgens to estrogen, and impedes the liver’s ability to clear excess estrogen from the body. In women, more than one drink per day can increase breast cancer risk. In men, more than two drinks per day boost estrogen levels within the liver[iii] and may lead to weight gain in the waist and the development of "man boobs.” Heavy drinking in men—defined as four or more drinks per day, five or more days per week—increases the risk for aggressive forms of prostate cancer.[iv]

Listen to Neil Diamond sing about Red Wine!

[i] Goldberg IJ, Mosca L, Piano MR, Fisher EA. AHA Science Advisory: Wine and your heart: a science advisory for healthcare professionals from the Nutrition Committee, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, and Council on Cardiovascular Nursing of the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2001; 103:472–5.
[ii] Koppes LL, Dekker JM, Hendriks HF, Bouter LM, Heine RJ. Moderate alcohol consumption lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta–analysis of prospective observational studies. Diabetes Care. 2005; 28:719–25.
[iii] Colotoni A, Emanuele MA, Kovacs EJ, et al. Hepatic estrogen receptors and alcohol intake. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2007;193(1-2):101-4.
[iv] Gong Z, Kristal AR, Schenk JM, et al. Alcohol consumption, finasteride, and prostate cancer risk: results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. Cancer. 2009;115(16):3661-9.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Portland Oregon Anti Aging and Bioidentical Hormone Doctors - Dr. Kathryn Retzler and HormoneSynergy

HormoneSynergy - Concierge Holistic Longevity Medicine

We are Portland Oregon's only concierge holistic longevity medical practice specializing in anti aging medicine. While you may find a number of bioidentical hormone doctors in Portland, you are unlikely to find a bioidentical doctor that has as much experience and training as Dr. Retzler or a clinic that provides a more comprehensive approach to preventing disease and slowing the affects of aging than you will at HormoneSynergy. We don't believe bioidentical hormones should be prescribed as stand alone therapy but to treat low or sub-optimal hormone levels within the context of a functional medicine approach to restoring optimal health and longevity.  A balanced approach is essential for optimal health.

Here's what others are saying about Dr. Retzler

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