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Do I Need to Take Progesterone?

What your doctor may not be telling you!

Women have become aware of the importance of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in preventing the bothersome symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats and decreased sex drive.  More women are now being educated on the importance of  Properly prescribed are the key terms here!

Most women know that they need bio-identical estrogen therapy to help prevent osteoporosis, early dementia, cardiovascular disease, and prevent decline in their psychological wellbeing.  But not all women (or healthcare providers) are aware of the importance of adding bio-identical progesterone when prescribing estrogen replacement therapy.

There are healthcare providers who maintain the belief that not all women need progesterone as part of their HRT regimen, especially women with a history of hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus).  These providers are under the misconception that progesterone is used in women (who have a uterus) only to reduce their risk of endometrial cancer.  So, according to them, if you don’t have a uterus, then you don’t need progesterone.


Study after study have shown that progesterone (not it’s evil twin progestin that is harmful to women) is needed to combat the potential health problems with giving estrogen alone (with or without a uterus!).  Studies have shown that women on estrogen alone, without progesterone, are at higher risk of breast cancer, strokes, dementia, ovarian cancer, and central nervous tumors.

Plus, adequate progesterone levels are associated with a lower risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease.

Yours in Optimal Health,  Scott Griffith, PA-C medAge

Call the healthcare team at medAge for more information on how you can benefit from balanced HRT with progesterone, estrogen.  828-684-1212


Important Scientific Facts About Testosterone

Testosterone is necessary in both men and women and may begin declining as early as age 30. Testosterone is responsible for sustaining libido, muscle mass and immunity. It protects against heart disease in both men and women plus the degeneration of muscle, bone, tendon and joints. It is a great mood enhancer and imparts a sense of well being.


The following are important scientific facts about how testosterone replacement is critical to good health as you age.


“Loss of testosterone causes loss of libido, energy, strength, sexual function, memory, cognition, muscle and bone. Testosterone replacement, as far as quality of life is concerned, is tremendous.” Medical Crossfire 2001Jan;Vol.3 No.1:17-18


“Symptoms of low testosterone may occur due to decreased serum levels or reduced receptor site sensitivity. In spite of normal blood levels patients will still feel and function better when testosterone is prescribed.” Medical Crossfire 2001 Jan;Vol.3 No. 1:17-18.


“Testosterone replacement improves muscle mass and strength, libido, erectile function, bone density, memory, cognition, myocardial function. It is unconscionable for physicians not to treat men with testosterone.” Medical Crossfire 2001Jan;Vol. 3 No.1:47-50.


Sharma, R et al. Normalization of testosterone level is associated with reduced incidence of myocardial infarction and mortality in men. Eur Heart J. 2015 Aug 6


“Low testosterone levels are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and carotid atherosclerosis.” Diabetes Care 2003 June;Vol. 36, No. 6: 20-30.


Basaria S et al. Effects of Testosterone Administration for 3 Years on Subclinical Atherosclerosis Progression  in Older Men with Low or Low-normal Testosterone Levels. JAMA.2015; 314(6):570-581


“Testosterone levels have nothing to do with causing prostate cancer.” Cancer 1999, July 15;88(2):312-5.


Shores Study:  1000 male veterans , > 40 years old with 4 years of testosterone replacement therapy.  Mortality was HALF for the treated group vs. control group.  p<.00001  Prostate cancer was reduced in the treated group vs. control group.     Shores MM et al. Testosterone Treatment and Mortality in Men with Low Testosterone Levels. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Apr


“None of the 12 longitudinal population based studies, such as the “Physician’s Health Study,” found any increased risk of prostate cancer in men with higher levels compared to men with lower levels of testosterone.” New England Journal of Medicine 2004;350:482-92.


“Low testosterone levels increase cardiovascular disease. High testosterone levels protect against cardiovascular disease.” Diabetes Metab 1995 Vol. 21:156-161.


Khaw KT. et al. Endogenous testosterone and mortality due to all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer in men. Circulation. 2007;116:2694-2701


“Testosterone replacement in women significantly decreases carotid atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.” American Journal of Epidemiology 2002;155: 437-445


“Administration of testosterone to women eliminates hot flashes, lethargy, depression, incontinence, fibrocystic disease, migraine headaches, and poor libido. Testosterone also improves well-being, sexual desire, frequency and intensity of orgasm.” Consultant; 1999 August: 2006-07.


“Higher testosterone levels increase cognition and memory.” Neurology 2005 Mar. 8; 64-5:866-71.


“Testosterone decreases cholesterol and raises HDL.” Atherosclerosis 1996 Mar;121(1): 35-43.


“Low testosterone levels are associated with higher cardiovascular risk. Testosterone supplementation reduces abdominal fat and improves insulin sensitivity. Testosterone lowers cholesterol also.” Diabetes Metab 2004 Feb;30(1):29-34


“Hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women and testosterone replacement in men reduce the degree of central obesity.” Obesity Review 2004 Nov; 5(4): 197-216.


“High doses of synthetic, anabolic steroids cause side effects. No such side effects have been observed using low doses of natural testosterone. Avoidance of supraphysiologic levels prevents any side effects.” Female Patient 2004 Nov; Vol.29: 40-45.


“Testosterone increases bone density in women. Testosterone protects against heart disease in women.” Journal of Reproductive Medicine 1999; 44(12):1012-20


“Low DHT (dihydrotestosterone) predicted a higher rate of cancer. Higher DHT levels were associated with a lower risk of cancer”. Brit.J.Urol 1990 Mar;77(3)443-37.


At medAge we are committed to keeping you informed with the latest scientific facts.  Call us–we can help you live a happier, healthier life!

To Your Optimal Health! Dr. Laura


We love our water bottle!

Here’s why

1) It doesn’t spill all over our faces

It has a narrow mouth which fits just right even while in the car or walking.  We all agree that when we drink from wider spouts we drink LESS because it tends to spill.  We can chug larger volumes with ours!

2) It’s the right size

Our medAgeTM water bottles hold over 32oz of fluid—we have to fill it less often. Filling it only 2-3 times a day is enough for most people.  Remember: drink half of your body weight in ounces every day! 

3) It has a screw on lid 

The medAgeTM Nalgene bottle has an attached screw on lid keeping the bottle tightly closed and spill free.  Even if it rolls around in your car or purse.

4) BPA free bottle 

Nalgene is BPA free! Make sure to keep your bottle out of the sun since ALL plastics, even BPA free, can leach into your water if they are heated.  Bonus tip: Since we’re talking about plastic—it’s ok to store food in plastic containers but when it comes time to heat it up, transfer to non-aluminum metal, glass or ceramic.  That way you avoid any potential plastic contamination.

To Your Optimal Health!  Dr. Laura

For more great tips on staying healthy call us at medAgeTM for a consultation.  Click here for more information on how the medAge Team can help you loose weight and feel great!



Lets Talk about Hormones! Part 3


HRT and Heart Disease: Recent Study Finds That Starting Hormone Therapy Early May Prevent Heart Disease

A new study from The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) provides more evidence that starting hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) by the time of menopause may help reduce a women’s risk of heart disease rather than raise her risk as concluded by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study, now regarded as a poorly designed study.

The study from NEJM enrolled 643 healthy women and divided them into two groups. The first group was less than six years post menopause and those in the second group were more than 10 years post menopause. Both groups were randomly given either a placebo or estradiol (the main estrogen women lose at menopause).

Over five years follow-up, significantly less progression of atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries (a marker for heart disease) was found in the women who started HRT less than 6 years after menopause compared to those taking the placebo. The group of women who started HRT greater than 10 years after menopause showed no such benefit. Other studies have backed up this claim that post-menopausal women not on HRT are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Post-menopausal women have significantly greater volumes of fat around their hearts (a risk factor for heart disease) than their pre-menopausal counterparts, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study has shown for the first time.

This means that starting HRT within 6 years of menopause is heart protective! I believe women who are candidates should start HRT prior to menopause for the many other benefits it provides including breast health, bone density, memory, and more.

To Your Optimal Health,  Laura Ellis MD

At medAge® we prescribe bio-identical HRT and carefully monitor our patients according to proven scientific data. Topical, oral and implantable methods of delivery are customized for each patient. Call us today for a consultation. Get control of your health!



Lets Talk about Hormones! Part 2



Testosterone and Sex

Testosterone is not just for men. In fact, men and women have the same hormones, just in different amounts. The hormones that most influence sexual function include testosterone, progesterone, estrogen and DHEA. As we age, hormonal deficiencies and imbalances are common and can affect how we feel about sex as well as our ability to have rewarding sex.

After the age of 25, a man’s testosterone level begins to decrease and will continue to gradually decline for the rest of his life. 1. Testosterone deficiency in men leads to andropause, the “male menopause.” Andropause can cause fatigue, brain fog, depression, loss of muscle mass and libido, erectile dysfunction and irritability. Perhaps even more importantly it is associated with diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and early death.

Women may experience loss of testosterone levels about ten years before menopause. Then, after the onset of menopause, most women have very low testosterone levels. Low testosterone in women leads to loss of libido, difficulty reaching orgasm, weight gain and memory loss. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that testosterone replacement helped women with a low libido. 2. Other studies show testosterone replacement helps women with osteoporosis and lowers cholesterol. 3-4. Early signs of testosterone deficiency may often be addressed with exercise and proper nutrition. If needed, bio-identical testosterone therapy is a safe, effective treatment when properly monitored.

To Your Optimal Health,  Laura Ellis MD

At medAge®, we test your testosterone levels and customize your treatment by prescribing topical, injectable or implanted bio-identical testosterone if needed. If you think you may be experiencing low testosterone, call us. We can help get your health back on track and you feeling great again.



  1. Elmlinger, MW et al. “Reference intervals for testosterone, androstenedione, and SHBG levels in healthy females and males from birth until old age” Clin Lab, 2005;51(11-12):625-32
  2. Davis, SR et al. “Testosterone for low libido in postmenopausal women not taking estrogen.” N Engl J Med, 2008 Nov 6;359(19):2005-17. Doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0707302
  3. Rariy, CM et al. “Higher serum free testosterone concentration in older women is associated with greater bone mineral density, lean body mass, and total fat mass: the cardiovascular health study.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2011 Apr;96(4):989-96.
  4. Britto, R, etal. “Hormonal therapy with estradiol and testosterone implants:bone protection?” Gynecol Endocrinol, 2011 Feb;27(2):96-100.

Lets Talk about Hormones! Part 1

Estrogen and Skin Collagen

Estrogen’s effects on skin collagen are well known. After menopause, skin gets thin and wrinkled. According to medical studies, some 30% of skin collagen is lost in the first 5 years after menopause, with an average decline of 2.1% per year after that. That’s why your skin suddenly gets so “old” when you go through the change! In a study by Brincat et al., skin collagen and elasticity was shown to increase among patients treated with estrogen replacement therapy, (HRT). It also showed that women on HRT had a skin collagen content that was 48% higher than that of women who were not on HRT! That is why women on estrogen therapy tend to have younger looking skin. Of course there are other benefits to HRT including bone density and heart protection.

To Your Optimal Health,  Laura Ellis MD

For more information about how you can protect your skin, bones and heart, call us for a consultation. We can safely and effectively prescribe a plan for you.


Ref:  Brincat M, Yuen AW, Studd JW, et al: Response of skin thickness and metacarpal index to estradiol therapy in postmenopausal women. Obstet Gynecol 70(4):538, 1987


Winning Strategies for a Happy Thanksgiving

happy-thanksgiving-1080pThanksgiving is tomorrow and I want to take a moment on behalf of myself and the entire medAge team to thank you for being our patient! It is our pleasure to offer you the latest in health and beauty!

Before you begin celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, please consider spending a few moments of mindful planning.  My suggestions are below.

  1. Have a plan. Think about your favorite Thanksgiving foods and consciously choose which ones you will have. Planning ahead of time will keep you from over indulging.
  2. Eat what you love and don’t waste your calories on what you don’t. Just becuase it’s on the buffet doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Reserving those calories for the foods you truly enjoy will ensure you stay on track.
  3. Take your time and enjoy the company.  If you concentrate on catching up with friends and family rather than food consumption, you’ll come away full of memories instead of full of turkey and dressing.
  4. Give yourself permission to eat the pie. Thanksgiving comes around only once a year.  If you’d like, have the pie and know that it’s ok to go a little over your food budget. Perhaps work into your plan a hike on Saturday with the kids or sign up for an extra spinning class at the gym.

Use these tips all through the holiday season and you can take “going on a diet” off of your new year’s resolution list!


Improve your athletic performance. Get your sweat number!

With summer finally here and temperatures rising, knowing your “sweat number” can give you the athletic edge. In fact, knowing your sweat number is important year round! Your sweat number is unique and tells you precisely how much sodium you lose when you’re training or competing. We’ve partnered with Precision Hydration to offer their exercise-free, non-invasive Advanced Sweat Test for athletes who want to personalize their hydration strategy. Maintaining the sodium levels in your bloodstream is critical for peak performance, so it’s important to understand how much you’re losing so you can replace it. The amount of sodium individual athletes lose can vary dramatically because both sweat rate and sweat sodium concentration differ from athlete to athlete.
Precision Hydration

Sweat testing isn’t just for athletes. It’s beneficial even for individuals that work outdoors and need to maintain their sodium levels.Fueled by medAge 3


The Advanced Sweat Test takes about 45 minutes-it’s simple, painless, and extremely accurate.
Call us today so you can schedule your Advanced Sweat Test and gain more of a competitive edge!  828.684.1212
Schedule before July 31st and get $25 off your Advanced Sweat Test!



Why is Vitamin D so Important?

Vitamin D.  

Technically, it’s not really a vitamin.  It’s in a class by itself.  The active metabolic product of Vit D is 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D, Vit Da secosteroid hormone.  Every cell in the body has a receptor for it and it affects over 1000 genes.

Vitamin D deficiency is a big problem.  It’s found in all ages and is especially prevalent in African Americans.  36-57% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient [1]

Vitamin D is critical for good health and protection from disease.  Healthy serum levels are in the 30-105 ng/ml range.  It’s a myth that you can get adequate amounts with 15 minutes in the sun every day.  You cannot.

Here’s why Vitamin D is so important.  It reduces your risk of:

  1. Cardiovascular disease and heart attack[2]
  2. Cancer, including colon, breast, ovarian and renal [3][4][5][6][7]
  3. Falls in women (neuromuscular control)
  4. All fractures[8]
  5. Multiple sclerosis[9]
  6. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma[10]
  7. Type 1 diabetes
  8. Contraction of influenza[11][12]
  9. Alzheimer’s disease, dementia[13]

How to supplement with Vitamin D:

First, choose a pharmaceutical grade brand such as Metagenics or Xymogen.  Note that each 100 IU of Vit D3 intake increases serum 1,25(OH)D by 1 ng/ml[1] over the course of several months.

d3 5000

I take 5000IU of D3 daily for maintenance of healthy serum levels.

Go to Metagenics Store to find medAge-approved Vitamin D supplements.

Contact us at medAge for more information on Vitamin D and other nutritional supplements and healthy lifestyle coaching.   828-684-1212

To Your Optimal Health!  Dr. Laura

[1] Barger-Lux et al. Osteoporosis Intl 1998;8: 222-30
[1] Holick, MF. High prevalence of Vit D in adequacy and implications for health. Mayo Clinic Proc. 2006;81(3):353-373
[2] Giovannucci E al. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of myocardial infarction in men: a prospective atudy. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jun 9;168(11):1174-80
[3] Lappe JM, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85:1586-91.
[4] Garland CF et al. Breast cancer risk according to serum 25-hydrooxyvitamin D: Meta-analysis of dose-response. Amer Assoc for Cancer Res Ann Meeting. 2008.
[5] Gorham ED, et al. Am J Prev Med. 2007;55:234-9.
[6] Tworoger SS, et al. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007;16:783-8
[7] Mohr SB, et al. Int J Cancer. 2006;119:2705-9.
[8] Bischoff-Ferrari HA, et al. JAMA.2005;293:2257-64
[9] Munger KL, et al. JAMA. 2006;296:2832-8.
[10] Purdue MP, et al. Cancer causes control. 2007;18:989-99.
[11] Cannell JJ,  et al. On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 2008 Feb 25;5:29.
[12] Grant WB, et al. Ther role of Vit D3 in preventing infections. Age Ageing. 2008 Jan;37(1):121-2
[13] Buell, J et al. 25 hydroxyvitamin D, dementia and cerebrovascular pathology. Neurology 2010;74:18-26

How to Avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis While Traveling This Holiday Season

DVT holidayRecently a friend of mine who is a makeup artist in Los Angeles, boarded a flight for Australia after a grueling 20 day shoot. She was exhausted! She had one glass of red wine and slept the entire 15 hour flight to Sydney. When she arrived and was deplaning, she felt a bit shaky and blacked out. She woke up in the ICU. She suffered from a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). The blood clot broke loose and traveled to her lungs. She spent 5 days in the Intensive Care Unit and was told she almost died. My friend is in her mid forties and in good health. We’re all at risk.

Not all of us find ourselves on 15 hour plane rides but a flight of 4 hours is not uncommon and can put you at risk for DVT. Here are 5 tips to help you remain healthy this holiday season.

1. Make time for walking breaks
If your leg is bent in a seated position for a long period of time it can reduce blood flow and increase risk for clot. Standing up and moving can help. Try taking a stroll up and down the aisle, request an aisle seat so that it’s easier to get up and move around.

2. Seated Exercises
Every 30 minutes you should flex your feet and move your legs to promote blood flow. Move your ankles as if your pressing on the gas pedal of a car for 20-30 reps to help with circulation.

3. Wear Compression Stockings
These special stockings, for men and women, provide graduated pressure that is strongest at the ankles and decreases toward the knee to improve blood flow to the lower leg.

4. Blood-Thinning Medication
If you have a history of DVT you should consider asking your healthcare provider about taking a blood-thinning medication while you travel. They reduce your blood’s ability to clot.  Examples are Lovenox and aspirin.

5. Stay Hydrated, Limit Alcohol
Dehydration can increase your risk for DVT. Drink plenty of fluids before and during your flight to ensure you stay well hydrated. Also, limit alcohol because it can lead to dehydration.

On behalf of myself and my staff – Have a Safe and Happy Holiday!