Monday, October 31, 2016

Testosterone...Men AND Women Need It!

Continuing on with my recent hormone blogs.....let's talk about testosterone today.

In men testosterone is responsible for sperm production and for secondary sex characteristics. In women testosterone regulates sexual desire and helps maintain bone and muscle health.

It is a well known fact that testosterone decreases with age in both men and women. Men age 30-70 lose 1-3% of their total testosterone production each year. Women age 30-40 lose 50% of their testosterone production.

Symptoms of decreased testosterone in women include:
  • fatigue
  • mood swings, anxiety, depression
  • insomnia
  • decreased libido, vaginal dryness
  • brain fog, memory loss
  • weight gain especially in the belly
  • decreased muscle mass
  • joint pain
  • night sweats
  • migraine/menstrual headaches

Symptoms of decreased testosterone in men: 
  • fatigue
  • decreased muscle mass and weight gain especially in the belly
  • erectile dysfunction and decreased libido
  • "man boobs"
  • irritability, depression, anxiety
  • joint pain
  • sleep problems
  • memory loss

Lots of myths surround the use of testosterone in women. So be informed and make note of the facts!

  • testosterone is the most abundant biologically active hormone in women
  • testosterone does not "masculinize" women unless some huge supra-physiologic dose is used
  • testosterone does not deepen a woman's voice
  • testosterone therapy actually increases scalp hair in women
  • testosterone is cardioprotective and adequate levels actually decrease the risk of heart disease 
  • testosterone decreases anxiety and irritability
  • testosterone is protective to the breast and DOES NOT cause breast cancer

At Sei Bella we offer bio-identical hormone replacement therapy with pellets. Pellets are inserted in the fat of your butt under the skin every 4-6 months depending on when your symptoms recur. The procedure is very quick and painless. It doesn't even require any stitches, just a steristrip. Hormone pellet implants were developed in 1939 for women who had radical hysterectomies and they have been used in Europe, the United States and Australia ever since. 

Bio-identical hormone pellets are actually derived from sweet potatoes and are the size of a grain of rice or smaller. They have the exact same molecular structure as the hormones our own bodies used to make. They provide a steady stream of hormones in your blood stream (no peak and trough). Dosing is very individualized based on your lab work, age, height, weight, symptoms, etc. And since they are placed under the skin of your butt they last for 4-6 months.

I personally have been getting hormone pellet therapy for almost 4 years. I certainly have had no adverse effects and they changed my life. My mood is better. I can sleep! And I don't have all the soreness and muscle recovery I used to have after a long run or workout.

Call for your consult! Start feeling like yourself again before the holidays! 501-228-6237

Anne R Trussell MD

Literature sources:

North American Menopause Association

Davison SL, Bell R, Donath S, Montalto JG, Davis SR. Androgen levels in adult females. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2005;90(7):3847

Kaufmann JM, Vermeulen A. The Decline of Androgen Levels in Elderly Men. Endo Rev 2005;26:833-76

Gray A. et al, Mass. Male Aging Study, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 1991; 73:1016

Glaser R, Dimitralakis C., Testosterone therapy in women, Myths and misconceptions: Maturitas 74 (2013) 230-234

Mishnell 41, Greenblatt 49, Thom 81, Stancyk 88

Friday, October 28, 2016

Early November Specialty Events at Sei Bella Med Spa

Filler Friday 
Nov 4th
10 am-2 pm

BellaFill is a unique filler that lasts at least 5 years. I am a national trainer for BellaFill and have been injecting it for years. On Filler Friday you can purchase 3 syringes and get 1 free or purchase 6 syringes and get 2 free! Bring a friend and split 6 syringes!

                                                              I will also have Dysport on special for $4/unit that day.

Kybella Event
Monday, Nov 7th
4:30-6:30 pm

Do you hate your double chin? You can get rid of it permanently with Kybella! It's quick! It's simple!
Buy 1 vial get a second vial half price or buy 2 vials get 1 vial free!

                                                     I love MY results!

Ultherapy Brow Lift Day
Friday, Nov 11th
9 am-4 pm

Ultherapy is the only FDA approved, non-invasive device for lifting. We have a brand new protocol for brow lifts that offers amazing results! I want you try this out! We have 24 slots on Nov 11th and the first 24 people to book and pay get a brow lift for $250 (that's a $500 savings!)

Call ASAP! 501-228-6237

Looking forward to seeing all of you for these special, procedure-focused events!
Anne R Trussell MD

#kybella #dysport #bellafill #ultherapy #browlift #antiaging #doublechin #submentalfat #crowsfeet #frownlines #foreheadlines #nonsurgicalfacelift #PMMA #smilelines #marionettelines 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Synthetic vs. Bio-identical Hormones

Bio-identical hormones are exactly the same molecules as the hormones we used to produce. Synthetic hormones are similar but have a different chemical structure than our naturally occurring hormones and bio-identical hormones as you can see in the picture above.  Synthetic hormones can cause unpleasant and even life-threatening side effects because they interfere or block proper hormone receptor function in our bodies.

Let's talk about progesterone......
Progesterone is very active and beneficial for breast tissue because it blocks estrogen stimulation of the breast, thereby decreasing breast cancer and breast cancer risk. It prevents the lining of the uterus, the endometrium, from overgrowing and becoming cancerous. Surprisingly, progesterone also decreases the risk of heart disease and helps protect your bones to some extent.

Now let's go over progestins (synthetic progesterone)......
Progestins are a class of progestogen compounds synthesized to act like progesterone does in the body. They DO NOT however reproduce the same actions of natural progesterone in the body. Provera or medroxyprogesterone when added to estrogens will prevent overgrowth of the uterine lining, but it can cause an increase in breast tissue proliferation and cause cancer due to estrogen receptor stimulation. This is why the Women's Health Initiative Study that I mentioned in my last blog was halted early. Women taking synthetic progestins, had a much higher rate of breast cancer than those who did not take them. Synthetic progestin does not protect the heart either.

The dangers of synthetic hormones have been discussed in medical literature for years. In 2007 the lead article in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, stated "There is a crucial difference in the way bio-identical progesterone and synthetic progestins affect the androgen receptor". (E. Friedman). In 2008 the E3N Cohort Study reported on 80,377 women that had been followed for 8.1 years.This study verified that hormone replacement therapy using medroxyprogesterone (Provera) was dangerous and resulted in a 48% increase in the rate of invasive breast cancer compared to the control group! But possibly more importantly, they confirmed that bio-identical hormone replacement therapy does not increase the risk of invasive breast cancer.

Going back to 2005 a meta analysis of 196 studies concluded that: "physiologic data and clinical outcomes demonstrate that bio-identical hormones are associated with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and are more efficacious than their synthetic and animal-derived counterparts. Until evidence is found to the contrary, bio-identical hormones remain the preferred method of hormone replacement therapy."

I hope this blog has touched sufficientlyon the need to avoid synthetic hormones, and in this case synthetic progesterone (progestins, Provera, medroxyprogesterone, and many others). Bio-identical hormones are preferred, hands down. #progesterone #htca #bhrt #bioidentical #menopause

Anne R Trussell MD
Sei Bella Med Spa

Literature sources:
Anderson, Carl W., and Ettorre Apella 2005, Postranslational modification of p53: Upstream signaling pathways. In the p53 Tumor Suppressor Pathway and Cancer, New York

Fournier, Agnes, Franco Berrino, and Francois Clavell-Chapelon 2008. Unequal risks for breast cancer associated with different hormone replacement therapies: E3N Cohort Study. British Cancer Research and Treatment 107 (1):103-11

JAMA 2002;288(3):321-333

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Menopause and Safe Hormone Replacement

Everyday 3500 women enter menopause. Natural menopause usually occurs between the ages of 43 and 55, which means we could live half our life in menopause! Our hormone levels can start dropping 15 years before that, so we should not wait until we actually stop having menstrual cycles to seek treatment. And 20% of men are in andropause by the age of 50. The symptoms are not fun!!

Menopause impacts 25 million women worldwide each year. Most of you know the flashes, night sweats, mood swings or depression, sleep problems, fatigue and no sex drive. Those are just the ones I hear most commonly. Menopause is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, and osteoporosis. Men with low testosterone have the same risks and experience fatigue, depression, moodiness, loss of muscle mass, erectile dysfunction and low libido.

We need estrogen! It has 400 functions in the female body. Estrogen deficiency is a state of accelerated aging.  In a 2013 study, researchers estimated that over the past decade 18,600-91,600 postmenopausal women, ages 50-59 who have had hysterectomies may have died prematurely because they were not given estrogen!


Well, in 1991 a large trial called the Women's Health Initiative was begun by the U.S. National Institute of Health. The study was stopped early due to a 41% increase in stroke, 29% increase in heart attacks, 26% increase in breast cancer and a 100% increase in the rate of blood clots. So all doctors were cautioned about hormone replacement in menopause, and to use the lowest dose possible to control symptoms and to only continue treatment for 5 years at the most. There were HUGE flaws in this study. The estrogen being given to women was synthetic, made from pregnant horse urine. These compounds have about 40 different estrogens, none of which bind to the estrogen receptors in our body correctly. Furthermore, some of these women were treated with artificial progesterone as well (progestins or medroxyprogesterone). Women on these synthetic progesterones had the highest rates of breast cancer. If you're taking Premarin or Prempro or other synthetic hormones, then you are exposing yourself to these risks. Just because they are FDA approved, doesn't mean they are safe!

Fortunately we have very safe, effective ad convenient alternatives to synthetic hormones. Bio-identical hormones are not only "natural"; bio-identical means they are EXACTLY like the hormones we used to produce. They bind to our bodies' hormone receptors EXACTLY like the hormones we used to produce. They DO NOT increase our risk of cancer, stroke, blood clots nor heart attacks. As a matter of fact, bio-identical hormones are protective against these things! Specifically testosterone replacement does not cause prostate cancer in men! The French Cohort Study published in 2002 followed 3,175 postmenopausal women taking bio-identical hormones for 9 years, proving there was no increased risk of breast cancer. There are many more studies out there proving the same facts. Most of us have heard about bio-identical creams, which are very safe. But at least in Arkansas, bio-identical hormone pellets are not as widely known about. In Texas, pellets are standard of care.  I personally have had pellets for almost 4 years. I love them! 

The process is simple. You come in for an office visit with me and I take a complete medical history. You have a panel of lab drawn. When that lab is available in about a week, it is entered into the HTCA computer formula, along with your medical history and symptoms. A dose of hormones is then generated which I can adjust as I need to. The prescription is then sent to Well's Pharmacy who ships your pellets that have been calculated specifically for you. The pellets, which are the size of a grain of rice and smaller, are then inserted by me into the fat of your bottom in a quick, painless in- office procedure. It truly takes all of 2-3 minutes to insert them. Your pellets will last 4-6 months and gradually dissolve. When symptoms return, you know it's time to tell me you are ready to be repelleted. Bio-identical hormone pellets are safe, convenient and effective, not to mention healthy! And although this blog has mostly focused on menopause, pellets are very popular in men as well!

You can read more on my website at
Give us a call today and get your appointment set up to start feeling better. 501-228-6237

Anne R Trussell MD
Sei Bella Med Spa

#menopause #andropause #bioidenticalhormones #bioidenticalpellets #bhrt #htca #lowT #hormonepellets #hormonereplacementtherapy

Literature sources:
de Lignieres, B., et al "Combines hormone replacement therapy and the risk of breast cancer in a French cohort study of 3175 women." Climacteric, 2002 Dec; 5(4):332-40

Friedman, 2013

Bain J, Maturitas 2010; (66):16-22 Kaufmann JM, J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2001;26:833-78

North American Menopause Society

Birge,S, "The use if estrogen in older women," Clini Geriatr Med 2008: 19(3):617-27

Studd, J.W.W., Cardozo, L.Stanzyck, & Thom

Sarrel, et al, "The mortality toll of estrogen avoidance: An analysis of excess deaths among hysterectomized women aged 50-59 years." American Journal Public Health 2013: July 18