How your brain controls your thyroid

There are a lot of articles that say “Is your thyroid slow?” or “Is your thyroid working too fast?” To understand thyroid disease, you have to understand that the thyroid gland, located in the neck, isn’t just an automatic, independent machine. It’s regulated by the brain. The pituitary gland, a part of the brain, makes an array of hormones, including the thyroid-stimulating hormone, TSH. That’s what the TSH is on your lab report. It’s not even a thyroid hormone; it’s a brain hormone.

The skinny fat phenomenon: Why being thin doesn’t mean you’re healthy

Being “fat” doesn’t always mean what you think it means. If you’re imagining a large figure, visible rolls of fat and big numbers on a scale, you may not be aware of the “skinny fat” phenomenon. Take this woman, for example, featured in The New York Times, weighing in at just 119 lbs., but with fat around her organs, she developed problems associated with obesity like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a fatty liver. Not what you’d expect for someone who looks skinny and is just 119 lbs.! Looking “thin” can be misleading when you are skinny fat.

Is testosterone replacement therapy a health risk or benefit?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently warned that testosterone replacement therapy may increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. However, this recommendation was based on outcomes from short-term testosterone treatment. So, a recent study published in The Lancet journal posed the question: What would happen if someone underwent testosterone therapy for a longer period of time?

Reasons why you can’t lose weight

Many people are convinced that they are doing the “right stuff,” like eating salad and exercising, but they're still not getting rid of that extra weight. If this sounds like you, you're probably on the right track but you're just missing that one key element that will unlock your weight loss potential. There may be something holding you back, whether mentally or physically.

Ladies, testosterone isn't just a male hormone!

What comes to mind when you think about testosterone? Images of beefy men in the gym? Aggression? A strong sex drive? While testosterone is considered one of the most important male hormones, you should also be aware of how it affects women’s health too!

Why are bioidentical hormones controversial?

Have you ever taken female hormones to regulate your menstrual cycle or to improve your mood or energy? While synthetic hormones (made in a lab) have long been available as prescription medications, pharmacists have also created “bioidentical” hormones for decades. Bioidentical hormones are derived from plant extracts, such as soy or yams. They are modified so that their molecular structure is identical to the hormones your body produces.

T troubles? Test testosterone

Testosterone is big business. Testosterone prescription drugs raked in over 2.4 billion dollars in revenue in the U.S. in 2013, and sales are projected to reach 3.8 billion by 2018. Where there is hype, there are also many people giving it a try without necessarily knowing all the facts. Testosterone, often referred to simply as “T,” can do a lot of good, especially for middle-aged males with declining hormone levels. However, they may be out of place, or frankly illegal, for those who are just trying to get an edge, such taking high doses of T to enhance your sports performance.

Methylation Made Simple and Why You Should Care

“Methylation” is a word you probably have not heard of before. The first time I heard it, I had no clue what it meant. What I now know is that it is one of the very important chemical processes that our bodies use to ensure our genes work properly. Moreover, this methylation process requires optimal levels of B vitamins to function efficiently.

All burnt out? Check your hormone levels

There can be a multitude of reasons why your energy has gone from zip-zip to zero. You might be juggling a few more things than you want to. Your job or personal life may be sucking up all your energy. Or perhaps you’re lacking in the sleep department, or making food choices that are making you more sluggish. In some cases, you may have an undetected disease that’s draining you.

Excessive estrogen? Might be time to ‘detox’

When it comes to estrogen, there are some misconceptions floating around out there. Many people think estrogen is strictly for women. But men need estrogen too. Estrogen is an important hormone for sexual and bone health -- in females and males. So does this mean we should all load up on estrogen? Certainly not. Though the hormone estrogen serves important functions, having too much stored in the body can lead to some seriously negative health consequences. This has prompted some people to seek out an “estrogen detox.”

Birth control pills may be putting you at risk for dangerous blood clots

While all birth control pills carry some risk, some are much higher risk than others, with one of the primary concerns being your risk of developing a blood clot in the legs or pelvis. The clot may block off blood flow and travel up through the blood stream to your vital organs, like the lungs or heart. This can be fatal -- even for a young, healthy woman. This kind of blood clot in the veins is called a venous thromboembolism (a blood clot is known as a thrombus, and an embolism is anything that obstructs blood flow).

What you can learn about ‘love hormones’ from a prairie vole

Are humans like prairie voles? Yes, according to scientists at Florida State University. Prairie voles share with humans a pair bond, or “a stable relationship between a breeding pair of animals that share common territory and parental duties.” These animals go “steady” only six hours after mating. Even without sex, they pair up after 24 hours of living together! They protect each other from strangers, and avoid mating with amorous new prairie voles. What’s more, they are together for life.

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