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September 23, 2008

Suzanne Somers' - Breakthrough

 For the past ten years I have been very interested in what Suzanne Somers has to say about anti-aging Breakthrough-suzanne-somers-hardcover-cover medicine.  She is a staunch advocate for women's health (men's too) and is hell bent on educating the masses on how to stay healthy as we age.  I agree with Suzanne when she says we need to start paying closer attention to what we eat, our hormone levels and our daily supplement intake.  In fact, all of this should begin in our mid thirties. You're never too young to prepare your body for healthy aging.

I have just finished Suzanne's latest book, Breakthrough - Eight Steps to Wellness, and frankly it left me with more questions than answers.  But, that's a good thing - from questions comes clarity.  I thought I was way ahead of the curve when it came  to being proactive about my overall wellness, but compared to Suzanne I feel light years behind.  I use bioidentical hormones, I eat relatively well, I do weight bearing exercises, I take all the appropriate medical tests and swallow handfuls of nutritional supplements every day. My routine seems to be working - I'm healthy, I feel good, I'm holding my own in the looks department but there's always room for improvement.  I think that's called growth. 

Yesterday I met with my hormone doctor and talked to him about the book. He hadn't read it, but said he would.  When I asked him about many of the therapies Suzanne wrote about he didn't seem overly enthusiastic. For example in the book she talks about taking 5mg of lithium per day to keep your brain healthy.  His response - where are the medical studies that prove that?   He promised he would look into several of the therapies she recommended and report back to me. When he does I will share his findings with you. 

I trust my doctor.  He is highly respected and has a thriving anti-aging practice in New York City.  I would put him in the category of cutting-edge but he chooses to keep a low profile.  He's not one of those doctors who are media hounds and thrive on publicity to boost their practices and their bank accounts. My doctor makes himself available to me when I have questions and so far he's provided the expertise I've needed.  And, that is what I am recommending you do. Find a doctor you respect and who is willing to work with you to stay healthy.  When you hear of something new on TV or read it in a book ask questions before doing anything.  By the way, I believe Suzanne would tell you do exactly the same thing.

This is what I believe. As we age, our hormones diminish, creating imbalances that can set off everything from perimenopause to cancer.  These imbalances make us feel depressed, anxious, fatigued, sexless, sleepless and ultimately trigger a whole host of illnesses.  Women think of menopause as a short term proposition.  That's not true!  When your hormones start that process it doesn't stop.  Just because you may not be experiencing the hot flashes and loss of sex drive it doesn't mean you don't have to naturally replenish what nature is taking in order to remain healthy.

Overall, I think Somers is doing a whole lot more good than harm.  She is making people aware and giving them many new options to consider.  When she was doing her dog and pony show for the new book I found myself doing a lot of yelling at the TV.  All of hosts interviewing her seemed to bring up only one fact- bioidentical hormones aren't FDA approved. Not one of them got the least bit excited about the new studies that show how these hormones are actually protecting our bodies against the diseases of aging.  One sided reporting never works for me.   

So, the bottom line on the book is -- read it.- write down all your questions - do your own research - and then sit down with your doctor.

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