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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


Trina’s Winning Strategies for a Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 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!  Call me for more tips throughout the year!  828-684-1212

Happy Holidays and Be True to Yourself–Trina Pistor, CpT, CNC, CIC medAge


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!


Great News! 5 Ways Kissing Improves Your Health.


with increases in dopamine and oxytocin, neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of desire and bonding, and serotonin that elevates your mood.

by decreasing the body’s cortisol levels also known as the stress hormone.

by  decreasing IgE antibodies in the blood that are responsible for the release of histamine. Histamine causes allergy symptoms such as sneezing and watery eyes. Therefore, more kissing means less sneezing and histamine release.

shown in studies to lower your blood pressure & cholesterol.

by exposure to others germ!?  It’s true.  Kissing can help build up your immune system.

So, how about some tips to make the most out of Kissing for Health?  I found these on WebMD and thought they were particularly apropos.

To Make it Memorable as well as healthy:
“Put your whole body into the kiss,” says Marilyn Anderson, author of Never Kiss a Frog: A Girl’s Guide to Creatures from the Dating Swamp. “Without words, your lips should say, ‘Baby, there’s more where that came from!’ There are ways to keep it fresh and new all the time.”

She suggests starting with gentle kisses on the neck, move up to the ear, then go to the lips. Take some small breaks and then come back to the lips.

And don’t get hung up on what a kiss might lead to. Enjoy it for its own sake.

Pamela Weiss, marketing director in Los Angeles, offers this tip. “Put a hand on your kissing partner’s neck. It adds passion, like ‘I can’t get enough.’ And let’s be honest. That’s what makes for a great kiss.”

“A good kiss is deep and soulful and you should feel each other’s love through the kiss,” says Dan Landau, a graduate student in Bridgewater, N.J. “A great kiss is an adventure in itself, not a stepping point to something else.”

Great advice!  Now go out there and kiss your Hunny for Good Health!

Dr. Laura


Is Your Home Making Your Family Sick? Detox 101

Portrait of a happy mature man and woman carrying kids on back

Perhaps one of the most important things medAge does for patients is teach them about the dangers of environmental toxins—especially in their own homes. Avoiding these often hidden toxins will drastically improve health, reduce risks of cancer, arthritis, infertility, hormone imbalances, headaches, weight gain, insomnia, Parkinson’s Disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and the list goes on.

The human internal toxin load keeps going up in modern life overburdening our built-in detox systems. A multitude of toxins are found these days even in cord blood of newborns. It starts even before birth!

Here are three important things you can do today to reduce your toxic load and become healthier.

  1. Detox your gut– the gut is the front line barrier to entry of toxins into your body. First, remove food sensitivities the most common of which are gluten, dairy, corn and sugar. Pharmaceutical grade detox plans are prescribed to cleanse and chelate toxins from the tissue. The process of detoxification leads to the formation of free radicals and creates intense inflammation so you must have support through the process. Support includes antioxidant supplements and other forms of medical support.
  1. Green your home–Synthetic fragrances in home cleaning and laundry products are often endocrine disruptors causing estrogen dominance like effects and can cause headaches, insulin resistance, obesity, thyroid disease and even arthritis. Many of these products are known to contain ingredients, such as phthalates, that have been shown to increase the growth of breast cancer. Toxic chemicals in other commonly used cleaning, food storage and home renovation products have been linked to a variety of illnesses, infertility and miscarriages—and manufacturers are not even required to specifically list these ingredients (you can find them on the label as “artificial fragrance” or “perfume”). Never heat food or drinks in plastic containers. Even BPA free plastics are not entirely safe. Home electronics “off-gas” chemicals that are neurotoxic and have been shown to lead to ADHD and other neurologic conditions. One study showed that the polluted outdoor air in Times Square was 16 times cleaner than that of the average American home. Avoid products with fragrances, parabens and phthalates. Avoid particle board furniture, new carpets and non low VOC paints. Open your windows at least every other day to exchange the air in your home—all year long.
  1. Hydrate your body— Drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. This may sound like a lot but trust me, if you do it you will feel better. And, you will loose weight faster, have fewer headaches, think more clearly and have fewer mood swings. Avoid tap water, which contains heavy metals, fluoride and chlorine, (that compete with iodine and can cause hypothyroidism), medicines like antibiotics and antidepressants and hundreds of chemicals, many of which are not even measured or regulated. Fluoride causes many, many side effects, weakening bones and increasing your chance of developing osteoporosis and cancer, yet it’s added to almost every municipal water supply in the country.


  1. Detox under medical supervision
  2. Go fragrance free or use essential oils if you’d like to add a sweet touch to your home. Open your windows.
  3. Hydrate with purified water.

Great resource for more information: The Environmental Working Group.  Their mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. They are a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.

To Your Optimal Health!  Dr. Laura


Ultherapy Lifts Sagging Skin–I Love This!

Ultherapy Lifts Sagging Skin–I Love This!

My patients know that when I introduce a procedure or product in my practice, it’s one that actually works.  I exhaustively research everything I offer by reading the scientific studies and collaborating with colleagues around the country.  In fact, I’ve been accused of adding procedures when I need them for my own “upkeep and maintenance”!  And I won’t deny that accusation.  Enter Ultherapy!

Ultherapy is a non-surgical treatment that uses ultrasound to actually lift loose skin — on the brow, on the neck and under the chin — without any downtime. Ultherapy is the Only Procedure FDA-Cleared for a Non-invasive Neck, Brow and Under-Chin Lift
Ultherapy uses ultrasound imaging, which allows us to actually see the layers of tissue we target during the treatment, to ensure that the energy is being delivered to where it will be most optimal.
We can specifically target the deep foundation below the skin – the one typically addressed in cosmetic surgery – without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin. That means after a 60- to 90-minute non-invasive treatment, you’ll be able to return to your everyday life without interruptions…and, without hiding behind those “post-treatment” glasses or scarves.
Ultherapy refreshes your collagen by jumpstarting a repair process. It relies on the body’s own regenerative process to stimulate the natural creation of new collagen and elastin. This results in an actual lift of skin overtime. In fact, the ultimate lifting takes place over 2-3 months, as tired collagen is replaced with new, stronger collagen. And, as this collagen-building process continues, further improvements can even appear up to 6 months following a procedure!  And you can maintain the lift by having treatments every 2 years.


Before Ultherapy “neck lift”


90 days after Ultherapy “neck lift”

Ultherapy is a non-surgical option for people with mild to moderate skin laxity – those who want some lifting for skin that has lost elasticity, but are not ready for surgery, either mentally, financially or logistically. It’s also a great option for those who want to “stay ahead of the game” as well as those looking to prolong the effects of cosmetic surgery.

Yesterday, I had an Ultherapy procedure on my lower face to lift marionette lines and jowls.  Today, my cheeks are a little puffy and slightly tender and I have two tiny bruises on my left cheek, but with a little makeup, no one can tell.

I’m thrilled to have a new tool for helping my patients look and feel better–and for most, put the face lift off for years.  Come in for a consultation and let’s talk about options for you.

To Your Optimal Health and Happiness!  Dr. Laura