The importance of “balance” when prescribing hormone therapy in the aging process

Presenter: Neal
Guest: Dr George Sadowski
Guest Bio: George E. Sadowski, MD, presently the Medical Advisor of the Wellness & Hormones Centers of America, is a physician with the Surgical Associates of North Florida in St. Augustine. He received his undergraduate education from the University of Rochester and his medical degree from St. George University. Dr. Sadowski has shared his expertise with various hospitals around the country including Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Flagler Hospital. In addition to a fellowship at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, he has received certifications from both the ACLS and the American Heart Association.

Segment Overview
Dr. George Sadowski talks about the importance of “balance” when prescribing hormone therapy in the aging process.


TRANSCRIPTION

HPR – Health Professional Radio

Neal: Hello you’re listening to Health Professional Radio. Thank you so much for listening and welcome, I’m your host Neal Howard. When we’re looking at the tabloids or on television, we’re seeing the celebrities and they seem ageless. When we’re seeing the divas on stage and they seem like they haven’t aged when you know, we ourselves, seem to have aged at least a good twenty years or so. There’s a lot out there about anti-aging and things of that nature. Our guest in studio today is Dr. George Sadowski and he is here to talk to us about anti-aging techniques, methodologies and some things that you may have not considered when it comes to anti-aging. He is presently the medical adviser of the Wellness and Hormones Center of America, also a physician with the Surgical Associates of North Florida in St. Augustine. He received his undergraduate education from the University of Rochester and his medical degree from St. George’s University. How are you doing today Dr. George Sadowski?

George: Very good. It’s a great day.

N: Thank you so much for joining us today. When we talk about anti-aging, there are lots of creams out there, there’s lots of exercise, there’s diets – there are all sorts of things. When it comes to anti-aging, I myself have really never heard of hormone therapy as a therapy for anti-aging or at least to slow down the process. There is no such thing as anti-aging or am I wrong on that assumption?

G: Well, when you think about aging, you think about things going away. If you’ve aged, you realize that you can’t jump as high, can’t run as fast, can’t tolerate certain stresses. You say, “Well geez I must be aging, this must be the normal part of aging.” As it happens, it is, but along with that normal part of aging that we all feel – is a decline in the hormones. It’s almost like it’s a coincidence, that hormones decline and your function declines as well with this.

N: A lot of us, I know myself, if I hear the word “hormone” – my mind and says “female.” Of course we all have hormones, and those hormones play a huge part in aging in both male and female. We are talking about the aging process being addressed in both males and females, right?

G: That is correct.

N: Ok.

G: That is correct. And when you talk about hormones, I will bring something up that many people are familiar with: when a thyroid hormone declines, we take thyroid medication. It’s not unusual, many people are on this thing. We accept that. What happens when you don’t take it? Well, you don’t feel – you feel tired, you feel sluggish. So when you take the medication, you feel better. The same kind of thing all happens with all our sex hormones but there is some resistance to taking those.

N: To taking the hormones?

G: Yes, that’s right. We take the hormone therapy when it has something to do with our thyroid but we don’t take hormone therapy when it has something to do with sex hormones. But we know that sex hormones have a tremendous effect on the rest of the body and the brain. So as you age, you’re declining. The function is declining. Your mental status is declining. One would think that people would accept that taking supplements in terms of hormones would bring you up to speed and it does. That’s exactly what happens when you give people hormones. We measure the level and when they’re low, we replenish the hormones and they feel better.

N: So why is there such a resistance to taking hormones as a supplement when there’s not such a resistance to taking, say, multi-vitamins or thyroid medication?

G: Well the initial studies that were done on hormones were done without using bio-identical hormones. They were, by bio identical, I mean think of hormones that you and I produce, that everyone produces. They were done with clorum cloth synthetic, so-called synthetic hormones but they really derived from animals and the most common one out here is premarin and that is derived from female horse urine.

N: Ok, alright.

G: Now when these studies came in we found that there is an increased rate of breast cancers on some of these things, also blood clots and so on. So that kind of spoiled the field for that but that has not been shown to be the same with bio-identical hormones.

N: Okay now…

G: which plant-based, which are derived from plants and are plants identical to what we produce.

N: Okay, my question is if we utilize animals, say, you know when we say pregnant mare urine for Premarin – one the most popular that are out there and we’re synthesizing plant material to make, as you say bio-identical hormones. Is there some reason that we can’t just simply use our own hormones or hormones from people?

G: Well if you’re using people hormones, you have a lot of complex issues come to be including immunity. So it’s not possible for us to do that at this point. We can synthesize bio- identical hormones from plants and they’re identical to what we produce and we supplement those carefully, measuring levels. The whole thing is about balance so you really do not want to overshoot and you do not want to undershoot your parameters.

N: Are you talking about a balance of testosterone and estrogen?

G: Estrogen

N: Are you talking about a balance between those or a balance between what we’re putting in the body and what the body is normally producing as we age?

G: You want to establish a balance between the hormones and a balance of the hormone. Now the balance within the hormone level – that is established more from a clinical perspective. You ask the patient, you question the patient how they feel whether they feel better with the higher dosage or with the lower dosage and they’ll tell you. They’ll tell you exactly what their sweet spot is for that hormone.     The balance between hormones is very important. When that balance is upset, you get all kinds of symptoms and you will not feel well despite having an excess of one hormone that you think is going to make a difference in your life. It really is about balance.

N: Now as we wrap up this segment, I’d like to ask you if you could just briefly describe for us the beginning of the process of hormone therapy. Maybe, who is a good candidate – just a brief description. We’re going to come back in other segments and delve a bit deeper into it but when it comes to beginning your hormone therapy, what types of questions should the physician be asking?

G: Well anyone who is elderly, they’re going to have a decline in the hormone levels. That’s just a given. This is what happens when you age. We accept it as a normal part of aging but it does not have to be normal part of the aging. We accept that erectile dysfunction as a normal part of aging and we no longer accept that at this time. Everybody wants it though because this makes them feel better.

N: Absolutely, yup.

G: They perform better, right? When you see a physician, you take a complete history, you examine the patient. You can tweak the dosages depending on how the patient feels to get them to feel optimal but there is a lot of testing involved and they have to come back you frequently have to retest them just like any other medication you take. For example, we take medication for blood pressure and we take the blood pressure everytime you come in to the office – that’s a form of retesting. So with hormones, it’s with blood test, and salivary test and so on.

N: Ok. You’ve been listening to health professional radio, this is Neil Howard. We’ve been talking to Dr. George Sadowski in studio today about hormone therapy as it relates to the aging process that we all have to go through. We’ve been talking about some of the requirements for therapy such as continued testing to make sure that balance is maintained in the hormones that are administered and how we’ve come to not accept things as the normal aging process anymore. It’s been great having you here with us today Dr. George Sadowski

G: Thank you for having me.

N: Alright and I’m hoping you’ll come back and speak with us in the future.