12 Healthy Reasons to Have Sex Tonight

Candles lit? Check. Barry White on deck? Oh yeah. Dark chocolate-covered strawberries and a glass of wine? Pouring now.  Last…Alexa, dim the lights. We all knows what comes next. But do you know the many health benefits that accompany a vibrant sex life? Hold on to your hat, these facts are mind-blowing. Once you know how intimacy enhances your longterm health, sex becomes even more pleasurable. Let us take you on a tour through the multitude of benefits sex provides for your health: physical, mental, emotional, and psychological.

12 Health Benefits of Sex

Aside from the obvious – reproduction, pleasure, and intimacy – sexual activity elevates your quality of life in a great number of ways. Sex promotes cardiovascular health, sharpens cognitive performance, extends your healthspan, boosts your mood, and beyond. So, what are you waiting for? Here are 12 healthy reason to have sex…tonight!

 

1. Strengthens your immune system

That’s right. People who have more sex get sick less often. Studies show a direct correlation between sexual activity and higher levels of immunoglobulin A – an antibody that fights the common cold and infections. Researchers found that university students who engaged in sexual activity twice per week possessed high levels of immunoglobulin A. By contrast, levels were lowest among couples who had no sex at all. Sexual frequency factors largely in our overall health. So, if you’re not coupling up a couple of times per week, get busy. The more time you spend in the bedroom, the less time you’ll spend in the examining room.

2. Improves mental health

If you’re feeling a little off but can’t quite put your finger on it, try to remember the last time you were intimate. People with lively sex lives report higher self-esteem and general wellbeing. Hooking-up decreases overall psychological stress as it reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, and releases oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone.” Both chemicals benefit out overall mental health. For women, contacting semen during intercourse even acts as an antidepressant. One psychologist recently hypothesized that the post-coital calming effect may be attributed to oxytocin. Orgasms trigger the release of endorphins, which are your body’s feel-good chemicals. So, not only do you want greater sexual frequency – you want to have great sex.

3. Sex boosts brainpower

Having a hard time remembering names or finding your glasses? Might be time for a tumble. Research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that frequent sex may improve women’s memory. Sexual activity likely sharpens memory by stimulating new neuron production in the hippocampus – the region of the brain involved in learning and memory. In addition, sex may also enhance cognition. A University of Amsterdam study found that sexual encounters improve our analytical thinking. This boon applies to both men and women. Since fooling around makes you smarter…don’t be a dummy, have more of it.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, make up your mind to make love more often.

 4. Sex works out your body

Yes, sex counts as exercise. Physical activities that get your heart pumping are good for your health, and this includes sex. Depending on how, um actively, you’re going at it, a half hour of sex can burn close to 150 calories. Plus, you’ll make up for a handful of those chocolate-covered strawberries. By the way, the reverse is also true: vigorous exercise also boosts sexual performance. Working out works in your favor. Exercise boosts desire, arousal, satisfaction, and self-confidence. Challenge your love to a race to the bedroom. Last one to bed does the heavy-lifting.

5. Reduces pain

Headaches are often used as a reason to avoid intimacy. But, a cure may be right under your nose. During sex, your body releases serotonin, endorphins, and phenylethylamine. These hormones generate intense feelings of pleasure while at the same time killing pain. This chemical surge is likely the explanation for studies showing that intercourse can stop migraines. Before you reach for the painkillers, try reaching for your bedmate instead. Research suggests that sexual activity may reduce pain from migraine or cluster headaches. Among migraine sufferers, 60% reported a reduction in pain after sexual activity, while 37% of those with a cluster headache saw improvement. I’ve got a headache is no longer a valid excuse, but rather an invitation.

6. Sex deepens relationships

It’s called making love for a reason. Lovemaking plays a fundamental role in preserving happy relationships. Remember the “cuddle hormone”? Oxytocin makes you want to snuggle up to your partner after sex. For women, it helps them bond, trust, and also feel more generous towards their partners. And that “afterglow” we’ve heard so much about? For couples, this positive vibe lasts for up to 48 hours following sexual intercourse. This glow is associated with higher levels of long-term relationship satisfaction. Physical intimacy helps couples reduce stress and feel more secure, leading to more emotionally stable relationships. Turns out that the more love you make, the better you make your partner feel about your pairing.

Sexy couples are more secure, self-confident, and feel more deeply about their partner. So, couple up every chance you get.

7. Helps you sleep better

Does it seem like you’re always chasing a good night’s sleep? Maybe you just need to sleep around. Following an orgasm, and even during sex, the brain releases hormones including norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin. All of these hormones can help you sleep. In women, a rise in estrogen levels during sex enhances their REM cycle, which means more restorative sleep. Men are especially likely to succumb to the sleep-inducing effects of sex because the prefrontal cortex slows significantly in males after orgasm. This happens to be the part of the brain responsible for interpreting and responding to new information. So, if your man falls asleep when you’d rather snuggle, don’t be insulted.

8. Makes you look younger

Tired of going broke on skincare products? Research shows sex is more potent than any anti-aging cream. Couples who have intercourse three or more times weekly appear, on average, ten years younger than their chronological age. Yes, you read that right: ten YEARS. Orgasms trigger the release of estrogen in both men and women, which improves hair and skin quality, making people look more attractive, too. That fabled “morning after” glow? It’s not just your imagination. You really do look amazing after having sex. This glow is the result of a combination of factors: stress relief, better mood, and the flush of blood under your skin that’s a natural part of the arousal process. So, skip the makeup counter and head straight to the bedroom.

9. Sex extends longevity

Sexual activity may hold the key to a longer life. A 25-year study determined that, in men, frequent intercourse was a significant predictor of longevity. Among women, those who reported enjoying sex lived longer. Another recent  study determined that sexual activity may have a protective effect on men’s healthspan. Researchers tracked the mortality of almost 1,000 men aged between 45 and 59 over the course of 10 years. They found that risk of death was 50 percent lower in men who frequently had orgasms than men who did not ejaculate. For women, it’s quality over quantity. High quality sex seems to protect women in later life. Aim for longevity in the bedroom to extend longevity as you age.

Your heart loves sex. Improve your heart health and extend longevity when you show your partner some love.

10. Your heart loves sex

Sexual arousal increases heart rate, with the number of beats per minute peaking during orgasm. Men who have regular sex are 50 percent less likely to develop heart diseaseEvidence suggests that men with better overall health have higher drives and therefore more sex overall, which creates a positive feedback loop that further builds a healthy cardiovascular system. Interestingly, results from most studies suggest that high frequency of sex is correlated with later onset of cardiovascular events for men. For women, better quality of sex is more cardio-protective. Both men and women should follow their hearts when it leads them to the bedroom. Get it pumping. Your heart will love you for it.

 

11. Lowers blood pressure

High blood pressure stresses out your blood vessels, leading to damage and narrow, hardened arteries. These same dangers to your cardiovascular system can also cause erectile dysfunction in men and reduced arousal and inability to orgasm in women. Reseach published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that sex in later years might reduce the risk of high blood pressure – at least for women. In men, studies have shown a link between low testosterone and high blood pressure, while the spikes in testosterone associated with sexual activity might help lower blood pressure. Testosterone stokes sexual desire – for both men and women. If you’re suffering from low libido, bioidentical hormone pellet therapy could be a solution.  Have more sexy time and surprise your cardiologist on your next visit when he checks your vitals.

For those suffering from erectile dysfunction who are looking for a natural solution, you can learn more here.

12. Lowers prostate cancer risk

Research shows that men who frequently ejaculate could be protected against prostate cancer, the most common cancer among men in the United States. Research from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, and published in JAMA, discovered that men who ejaculated 21 times per month or more were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who ejaculated between four and seven times per month. Some studies suggest sex “flushes out” any carcinogens in the prostate gland. On the flip side, a recent study showed that very frequent sexual activity in young men (20s and early 30s) could actually increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. But frequent ejaculation in middle-aged or older (50+) men decreased disease risk. For Boomers, this is good news. Keep getting it on like you’ve always done. Not in mood, guys? Get into it and start getting busy.

The takeaway?

Sex is an important part of life and overall well-being. In relationships, orgasms play a significant part in bonding. Physical and emotional benefits like reduced risk of heart disease, improved self-esteem, enhanced mental health and more are correlated with and lively and loving sex life. Not only can lovemaking be a pleasurable and exciting activity, sex may make you live longer.

Cue the Barry White…You just got in the mood.

 

Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Reflections and Resolutions

2018 was a big year. Some might say huge. A year marked by political discord, historic shifts for women in the workplace, and a serious decline in civil discourse. We want to extend our gratitude to the valiant men and women who serve our country overseas. Makes us appreciate how lucky we are to be safe and at home. Here at HealthWellnessMD, we’ve had a pretty major year, too. Thanks to all of you who have been with us every step of the way. We’ve expanded our men’s health offerings, including PRP Hair Restoration and the P-Shot, we’ve grown our women’s sexual health program, adding the newest and most advanced lasers available today. Due to patient demand, we’ve launched a monthly newsletter, Life Spanyou can sign-up for it on our website.

The medicine of the future…today.

Many of you know that Dr. Prewitt started her medical career as a gynecologist but she has transformed her already busy practice. She is now a fully credentialed Functional Medicine physician and treats men as well as women. We all know how Dr. Prewitt loves to walk, talk, and educate all at once. Our fleet-footed Prewitt-wrangler, Bianca Oliva, is the only one around here who can keep up with her. Bianca makes sure to keep Dr. Prewitt on schedule while she’s on-the-go.

Here’s a look back at 2018…

 

But first, some important introductions…

The HealthWellnessMD team is expanding. We’re couldn’t be happier to introduce 4 new staff members:

  • Stephanie Flores, Medical Assistant – You may have already noticed her as you’re checking in at the office. In the few months Stephanie been part of the HealthWellnessMD team, she has become famous for her hugs. Next time you’re in, ask her nicely and you just may get one.
  • Leslie Nzeakor, BSN, RN – Our new nurse has impressed all of us as well as our patients with her professionalism and intellectual curiosity. Dr. Prewitt hears our patients sing her praises every day. In case you’re wondering about the origins of her tongue-twister of a last name? Leslie is the proud daughter of Nigerian immigrants…and it’s pronounced like this: N-za-kor. Say that five times fast.
  • Brooke Sundgren, BSN, RN  – Although currently she’s only with us two days a week, Brooke is an integral part of the team. She quickly mastered BioTE pelleting and patient education. She may seem demure at first but this former TCU cheerleader’s spirit radiates throughout the office. Brooke brings it daily.
  • Amy Shoultz, PhD – Many of you have seen Dr. Shoultz around the office for some time – she’s the one chained to the computer all day. However, she is with us full-time now. Her superpower is channeling Dr. Prewitt’s mind. We’re aware that this sounds impossible but someone’s got to capture and chronicle Dr. Prewitt’s vast knowledge base and clever medical metaphors. Dr. Shoultz puts it all online – in our blog posts, on our website, in our newsletter – so you can download the digital Dr. Prewitt from wherever you are.
Dr. Prewitt and her newest angels: Leslie Nzeakor, Stephanie Flores, Dr. Prewitt, Amy Shoultz, Brooke Sundgren. And that little devil in the back? It’s Mancy Kirkland, of course.

TouchMD lets you track your progress

In January, we added a nifty new tool for our MedSpa patients. With TouchMD, our patients can track their personal transformations and access their Before and After pictures at anytime and from anywhere. Looking good has never looked this easy.

FemiWave for Women on the horizon

In May, Dr. Prewitt designed a clinical study entitled: A Study of the Effect of Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) for the Treatment of Women’s Sexual Health. With the help of clinical research assistant, Sara Martinez – most of you already know Sara as our office savant – Dr. Prewitt conducted the study over the course of several months. And our in-house medical writer, Amy Shoultz, PhD, helped pull together our preliminary findings so that we could submit the paper to the American Academy for Anti-Aging (A4M) in September. We expect to see the published version from the A4M in January, 2019. Before you ask, yes, we’ll update this post with a link to our paper as soon as we get the green light.

Dr. Prewitt initiated this study after the great success we’ve seen using the GAINSWave to enhance male sexual performance. To date, treatments for female sexual dysfunction have not been single-handedly successful due to the multifactorial-factorial nature of its origin: including social elements, biological changes, certain medications, psychological factors, dissatisfaction with relationship, and disappointment with partner performance. All of these factors lead to personal distress. The FemiWave shows great promise to address vaginal health and improve pleasure and performance for women. It’s about time.

Dr. Prewitt slays the Wellness Mama podcast

Back in June, Dr. Prewitt had the pleasure of chatting with Katie Wells – better known as Wellness Mama – on her The Healthy Moms podcast. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Katie’s mission, she is doing some phenomenal work on behalf of moms everywhere who want healthier, more holistic lives for themselves and their families. You can learn more about her on the Wellness Mama website.

The two of them had an extraordinary talk that we invite you all to hear for yourselves. Katie recently released podcast episode 168: A Proactive Approach to Aging and Sexual Health and Wellness with HealthWellnessMD. Since it aired, we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from her vast and vocal community of listeners. We now take care of patients from across the country who heard Dr. Prewitt share her progressive philosophy for staying sexy for life.

We wrote a blog post about their talk and you can listen to the podcast here.

The team who fasts together lasts together

You’ve all probably heard about the current fasting craze. So, in June, our whole team put it to the test. However, under Dr. Prewitt’s guidance, you know we did it the safest, smartest way possible. In an effort to optimize our health span, the HWMD team joined together in the 5-day ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet. Some of us fared better than others but we stuck it out and completed the fast – with staggering results. If you’d like to know more about how fasting can enhance your longevity, we just happen to have a post about that too.

Our aesthetician, India Jeffery, doing the ProLon dance. You’d be dancing, too, if you’d just finished a 5-day fast. And, if you’re not following us on Instagram, find us @healthwellnessmd.

Dr. Prewitt shakes things up at The Aesthetics Show in Las Vegas

In July, Dr. Prewitt participated in The Aesthetic Show – this conference brings together major players in the field to discuss the most current aesthetic knowledge and technology for an interactive educational program. It’s kind of a big deal.

“The Aesthetic Show is the gold standard in this field, and the 2018 event has once again displayed an unparalleled dedication to the evolution of our industry.”

From Andrew Ordon, M.D., F.A.C.S., the show’s scientific chairman an acclaimed plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and host of CBS’s The Doctors.

One of the most important components of a successful educational program is the quality of its faculty. The Aesthetic Show offers a world-class faculty comprised of thought leaders and leading practitioners in the aesthetic community. Dr. Prewitt was invited to be a member of the faculty of this prestigious event.

We all know how passionate Dr. Prewitt is when it comes to educating her patients on matters of sexual health. That’s why we love her. She is fearless and not afraid to go where others fear to tread.

As a Faculty Member, Dr. Prewitt presented the following two talks:

  • The Aesthetics of Sexuality: Energy-based Medicine and the Future of Sexual Health
  • Sexy for Life: Shockwave Therapy for Longevity in Men and Women’s Sexual Health 
Dr. Maryann Prewitt goes where others dare not tread by taking the taboo out of Sexual Health and Wellness.

She was so well-received that she was interviewed about her talks by the Aesthetics Channel. You can learn more about what she told them here.

Vampires live among us

Wow, to say this was an experience is an understatement. In August, Dr. Prewitt along with our business manager and fan favorite, Lorena Loera, traveled to Fairhope, Alabama. Their quest? To master the art and science of PRP (platelet-rich plasma) under the tutelage of Dr. Charles Runels, the inventor of the Vampire PRP treatments. We’re not convinced he isn’t a vampire himself! But, there’s no denying the power of PRP.

PRP is the mainstay of Regenerative Medicine and Dr. Prewitt has been blown away by both the science and the results our patients are seeing. We’ve recently promoted our own Toni Parks to Regenerative Medicine Administrator since she has shown such passion and natural talent for all things PRP. Plus, she’ll keep you smiling while going full Vampire on you. We are now using PRP in tandem with our medical spa services to treat everything from facial aging to breast lifts as well as incontinence and male and female sexual desire and pleasure. Learn more about the O-Shot for women here and go here to read about the P-Shot for men.

Meet the Dallas SculpSure Club

Drum roll, please…Meet the Dallas SculpSure Club for unlimited laser body contouring. HealthWellnessMD and skinFIT MedSpa are pretty pumped to introduce the Dallas SculpSure Club annual membership plan for unlimited laser body contouring with SculpSure.

Our patients love their permanent fat reduction results so much that many have requested additional treatments or would like to target fat in other areas of the body. So, we came up with a plan: we’ve launched an annual membership program – with two ways to join – for multiple treatments over the course of a year at a significantly lower cost per procedure. The DSC is the brainchild of Lee Lafayette, our COO, and chief mischief-maker here at HealthWellnessMD.

Welcome to the club, Dallas.

Dr. Prewitt calls these beauties the “sexiest lasers” she’s ever seen. Our team members upped their laser IQs at this event: Toni Parks, Leslie Nzeakor, Dr, Prewitt, Lee Lafayette, and Brooke Sundgren.

The InMode Lasers have landed… 

In November, we attended a game-changing conference at the Omni Hotel right here in Dallas with some of the most distinguished members of the global aesthetics community. The panel of speakers was impressive – they brought down the house with their industry knowledge and big brains. And the lasers from InMode Aesthetic Solutions…well, they just don’t get any better. Dr. Prewitt is thrilled to add their cutting-edge capabilities to our portfolio of services. 

  • BodyTite – The first minimally invasive treatment to remove fat and tighten skin at the same time. Phenomenal results!
  • Votiva – The only technology that tightens the vagina and vulva – so, you’re rejuvenated inside and out. You’re welcome.
  • Triton – The newest laser (it’s actually 3 lasers in 1) for hair removal on all skin types for women and men. It’s fast and requires fewer treatments. Start right away and have a shave-free summer!

Guess who’s a Dynamic Women of Dallas Honoree? 

Isn’t it obvious? Our own Dr. Prewitt was honored in November’s Modern Luxury Dallas magazine for being one of the Dynamic Women of Dallas. Now, we’ve all known this since the day we met her. But what makes her so dynamic? We believe it’s her mission and nobody says it like she does, telling the magazine:

“Longevity is not just about adding years to your life but adding value.”

Dr. Maryann Prewitt as quoted in the November Modern Luxury Dallas.
Our patients are more likely to see Dr. Prewitt in a surgical gown than an evening gown.

Our first FB LIVE event

We had an exciting collaboration with Blake Stephenson and the Modern Luxury Dallas team at the beginning of December. Dr. Prewitt and our true Texan aesthetician, Mancy Kirkland, conducted a LIVE SculpSure demo right from our Facebook page. Expect more of these events to come! Was a huge hit…wait, did we just say huge? Follow this link to see what you missed.

And if you’re not already, give @HealthWellnessMD a Like and a Follow while you’re there.

Resolutions? Who needs the pressure?

It’s the season when well-intentioned people set lofty resolutions for the new year. Work out more, eat healthier, spend more time with family and less time on devices, perhaps be more mindful…But, most of us have seen our declarations fail – sometimes, as soon as the “It’s Valentine’s Day” excuse becomes an option. Then before you know it, you’re inhaling boxes of chocolate while binge-watching whatever is the next new thing on Netflix.

We’ve got a different approach to resolutions for 2019. Rather than say “no” to all the bad stuff, how about saying “yes” to the many good things that are right in front of you. Say yes to taking a walk after dinner, say yes to getting a good night’s sleep, say yes to fruits and vegetables, and say yes to showing the people in your life how much you care. Love is Verb. Start by loving yourself and set the domino effect in action. Join with us at HealthWellnessMD. All it takes is one small act at a time.

How Money, Media, and Mental Health are Making Millennial Life Less Sexy

More than fifty years after the sexual revolution, sex in America is in a free fall – especially among young adults who historically have the most sex. The children of baby boomers – who revolutionized American sexuality during the 1960s – engage in far less sex than their parents. Millennials not only do it less but they lose their virginity later than their parents and Generation X. The share of Americans saying they’ve had no sex in the past year is rising. Perhaps most surprising, young adults top this list.

Some have called these trends a “sexual counter-revolution”.They contend that, during the sixties, we saw a freeing up of attitudes towards sex. Whereas flower children pushed back at boundaries, millennials almost crave them. Now, sexual fear has replaced sexual freedom. Children have always rebelled against their parents. But, typically, they do so by upping the stakes. Today, young people are countering the freedom of boomers with a new more puritanical approach to sex.

Casualties of the “sexual counter-revolution”

Many factors are at play in the decline in sexual behavior among millennials – from social media to social anxiety. I recently attended an Anti-Aging Academy of America (A4M) conference. I was shocked to learn that 33% of millennials are infertile. This figure applies to both young men and women. And the consequences are dire. I see some sociological and health ramifications that are as clear as day:

  • less and later marriage – later marriage means greater difficulty conceiving
  • plummeting birth rates – in the U.S., lower than they’ve been in 30 years
  • libidos on the slide – largely the result of the hypothyroid epidemic
  • difficult pregnancies and more miscarriages – older parents encounter more challenges conceiving
  • lower testosterone which leads to lower sperm count. For solutions for low testosterone, read more here.
  • erectile dysfunction – yes, even among millennial males, 25% experience intermittent ED. To learn how we can treat ED, go here.
  • more mental health issues – anti-depressant and anti-anxiety prescriptions remain at an all-time high

So, the whole “Netflix and chill” thing?

Both young adult men and women struggle with these new sexual health challenges. So, all that talk you hear about “Netflix and chilling”? It may be just that – talk. In real life, millennials are binge-watching more and more and, um, “chilling” less and less.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Less sex has lead to much positive social change – from fewer unplanned pregnancies to broadening the public discourse. Millennials have pushed issues of consent, sexual harassment, and rape to the forefront. Never before have we seen such unprecedented acceptance of LGBTQ community.  

Wait. What? Millennials aren’t hooking up like mad?

Yep. You read that right. Despite the buzz about “hookup culture,” from 2004-2012, young adults did the deed no more than their counterparts from 1988-1996. They were, however, less likely to be in steady relationships with their sexual partners. According to the General Social Survey, some 18- to 30-year-olds don’t do it at all. Time magazine puts the figure at one in three 20-somethings who have never had sex at all. Rather than sleeping around, many millennials focus on getting ahead.

No sex at all? What gives?

Explanations for this phenomenon abound – experts blame everything, including:

  • more time spent on smartphones and other devices
  • the millennial trend of living with their parents
  • anxiety about the future and anxiety in general
  • fear of missing out (FOMO) magnified by social media

While millennials may not be doing it in record numbers, they do their Sex Ed homework online.

The possibility that millennial conceptions of what constitutes “having sex” may skew the results. Anecdotally, in my practice, I’ve seen a rise in oral sex – especially among young adult patients. Even so, these numbers indicate an undeniable cooling off of sexual conduct.

Are millennials the most cautious generation?

If boomers are the sexiest generation, millennials are the most cautious by a landslide. Helicopter parents raised their millennial children to be risk-averse. From birth, they wore helmets and fastened seatbelts. But, risk-taking plays a major part in sexual experimentation. With unprecedented access to information about sex via the internet, millennials could easily learn about pregnancy risks and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Such access made an already anxious and serious generation more so. No generation before possessed so much awareness about sexuality and so little real-life experience.

Millennials grew up in the shadow of HIV and informed about STDs. When boomers had their day in the sun, such fears were nonexistent. Free love really felt freeing. Not for millennials, who use condoms more than boomers ever did. I see this positive pattern in my practice, as well.

Risk-averse over risky business

The millennial generation may view their parents’ comparatively fast and loose behavior as a cautionary tale. One they then apply when making their own life choices. These cautious millennials not only have less sexual partners than boomers. They also limit all sorts of risky behaviors:

  • millennials drink less – what once a rite of passage, they now consider reckless
  • they smoke less – the popularity of vaping may change this
  • teenage pregnancy rates have dipped dramatically – and condom use is up
  • they commit less crimes – 20 years ago, people committed double the number of crimes

Money and marriage: Are millennials choosing salaries over sex?

Some posit that sharing a roof with their parents accounts for the nosedive in sex among millennials. For the first time in over a century, more young adults live at home with parents than with a spouse or partner. Married people have greater access to sex than single people. Indeed, marrieds engage in more sex, more often. Since millennials tend to marry later, a decrease in sexual participation makes sense.

Studies show that, globally, millennials log some serious hours. Many are virtually married to their careers. So much so that they work crazy hours for job security and moving up the corporate ladder. The emphasis on preparing first for college and now for careers came at a cost. Many millennials simply missed out on romantic relationships and age-appropriate sexual experimentation. Just the behaviors that typically lead to marriage.

Millennials have an historically low marriage rate. And, obviously, since married people are less likely to be virgins than the non-married, it follows that a decline in marriage means an increase in virginity.

Monetary factors in declining marriage rates:

  • More and more women enroll in college and join the workforce before having children or getting married. The average age of first marriage for females in the U.S. has climbed to 27. Up from 23 in 1990, according to Pew statistics.
  • Millennial males remain less likely to hold down a job than the generation before them. However, women their age work at higher rates.
  • Student loan debt is through the roof, hitting the $1 trillion mark six years ago. Many millennials can barely keep their heads above water.
  • Some millennials may simply be more selective than past generations. Selectivity is not necessarily a bad thing. With increased economic participation, women play a more active part in the mate selection process than in the past.
  • Their baby boomer parents enjoyed free love but also suffered high divorce rates. Divorce is rarely cheap and often the result of financial friction.

Postponing marriage until you’ve got serious bank sounds smart. But it may impact your ability to conceive.

Making relationships work involves many facets – and money plays a fundamental part. However, putting off marriage until you get your financial house in order may impact your chance of conceiving. Later marriage correlates directly to women having babies later in life. Among those experiencing difficulty conceiving – and this number is higher than you think – many look into fertility treatments later, too.

Screen time vs. sexy time: New media and sexuality

Millennials grew up with new media pervading every aspect of their lives. The proliferation of smartphones and increased screen time undermine the development of non-virtual relationships. Today, we are witnessing a sexual disconnect not seen in prior generations. New technology encourages millennials to devote time to social media, video games, pornography and other virtual distractions. And spend less time with their human peers in person. Less flesh-and-blood encounters mean less sex.

Social media also contributes to the decline in sexual intimacy among millennials. According to the Pew Research Institute, 88% of 18- to 29-year-olds scroll away their days on social media. A majority report visiting Instagram every day. And 38% report visiting the app multiple times per day. Simply getting a “like” of one’s social media postings triggers a dopamine bump. This bump simulates an addiction cycle similar to drugs.

During their spare time, many millennials are choosing their screens over sex and selecting their devices over dating.

More media, more problems

Social media also takes a toll on millennials’ self-esteem. Seeing peers portrayed with flawless bodies, accomplishing enviable milestones, and advertising “perfect” love lives, amplifies feelings of insecurity. Social media rewards such displays with digital applause. While the less secure online spiral toward mental health issues, body dysmorphic disorders, and social isolation.

Those in previous generations found their stimulation face-to-face. Millennials continually immersed in an electronic world experience no human contact of any kind. A recent study found that, contrary to popular belief, older populations aren’t at the highest risk of feeling lonely. In fact, loneliness peaks among teenagers and young adults. Social isolation often dovetails with low self-esteem, particularly among young adults.

Dating apps and sexual appetites

Meanwhile, finding sex outside of relationships has never been easier. Dating apps allow singles to hookup with multiple partners – in shifts throughout the day, if they desire. With the help of smartphones, partnered-up people can keep illicit liaisons secret from their partners in ways not imaginable before. Extramarital sex is more widely accepted among millennials than any age group. In a recent study, compared to older generations, millennials reported the lowest disapproval of infidelity at 75 percent.

For millennial singles, online dating leaves much to be desired as well. Researcher Jean Twenge, a millennials-expert tells the Washington Post that the prominence of online dating contributes dramatically to their slumping rates of sexual activity. Twenge points the finger at dating apps’ emphasis on physical appearance which “leaves out a large section of the population.” This superficial component leaves many feeling left out and less likely to risk the emotional damage that comes with rejection. Many millennials would rather be safe and solo than suffer the consequences of “catching feelings.”

Many single millennials would rather be safe and solo than risk rejection or the possibility of “catching feelings.”

Porn and performance. Yes, they’re related.

Pornography is pervasive. No doubt about it. And its consumption is on the rise, especially among millennial males. But female viewers are picking up steam. Recent research team looked at shifting attitudes and behaviors surrounding porn from 1973 to 2012. The findings, published in the Journal of Sex Research, confirm porn viewership is escalating among young adults. Popular adult site, Pornhub, saw its viewership grow from 10 million daily visits in 2009 to 25 million in 2012. In 2017, 75 million viewers got their kicks on the site. A significant leap by any standards.

Increased pornography consumption represents a serious factor in declining millennial sexual behavior. Young men particularly dedicate a significant amount of screen time to virtual sex rather than the real thing. Twenge accounts for such devotion to porn like this: “Why risk rejection, sexually transmitted diseases, relationship arguments or having to meet up with someone when you can watch porn in the privacy of your own bedroom and do things your way?” I’ve got more on the increase in “self-love,” below. Keep reading for that.

How does porn affect sexual performance?

Excessive porn viewing affects more than the mental wellbeing of millennials – it also affects physical performance. Sexual perfectionism represents an emerging problem. One firmly rooted in watching porn. Young men and women expect real-world sex to be seamless…just like it appears to be in the porn they’ve watched since they were teens. In reality, sex is messy and unpredictable. Sexual perfectionism can lead to all types of sexual dysfunction in men and in women. Serious issues like from the inability to orgasm to erectile dysfunction.

I’m not in the mood: Millennial sexuality and mental health

It’s not hard to imagine how the challenges of 21st-century life would spawn an epidemic of anxiety among this generation. A survey published earlier this year by the American Psychiatry Association found that millennials are by far the most anxious generation. Women tend to be more anxious than men, and people of color scored 11 points higher on the anxiety scale than Caucasians. Millennials are reporting these and other mental health conditions at higher rates than any generation before. Such awareness may not necessarily mean that they are suffering any more than their previous generations. However, they are considerably more vocal – and less judgmental – when it comes to mental health.

For the “anxious generation,” life in a digital world is complicated and many millennials feel overwhelmed. Constantly. All of the benefits of technology come at a toll. Higher educational demands and pressure to earn hefty incomes also lead to an inflated quest for perfection. Because they spend so much time online, millennials cannot resist the urge to compare their personal and professional achievements to everyone else’s. This practice leads to low self-esteem, insecurity, and a host of other unhealthy mental habits.

Is sexual perfectionism a thing?

Specifically, a dramatic increase in perfectionism – even when it comes to sex. Perfectionism often manifests as a fear of failure – or not performing constantly at your best. Fear of failure in the bedroom is very real. I talked about sexual perfectionism above and I hear these concerns from my patients almost daily. Taking pharmaceuticals is not always the solution and, in some instances, may even compound problems.

One in six Americans are on antidepressants, and the rate is even higher among millennials. Many medications used to treat anxiety and depression decrease libido and sexual activity.

If that’s not depressing, I don’t know what is. For those of us in the medical profession, now is the time to start having different conversations with our patients.

Millennials are doing their Sex Ed homework

Millennials may not be hitting the sheets en masse. They are, nevertheless, highly informed about sexuality. Since most millennials grew up with easy internet access, the way they learned about sex differs vastly from past generations. Whereas boomers had their first intimate encounter with a Playboy magazine, many millennials found early thrills online.

Sure, both generations likely heard some version of “the talk” from their parents. However, millennials could consult Google for any follow-up questions rather than press their parents for embarrassing details. Millennials are also a more open and less judgmental group. They came of age with important issues like LGBTQ rights, consent, and sex positivity as part of the national conversation.

Self-love is the ultimate in safe sex. And the most “cautious generation” is practicing more than most.

Self-love is de-stigmatized

And “self-love” is broadly accepted. The stigma surrounding masturbation has never been less pronounced. Across all generations, millennials masturbate the most often. A recent study comparing the “self-love” practices between the generations found:

  • Millennials masturbate an average of 18 times per month
  • Gen Xers get after it about 13 times per month
  • Boomers loosen their own belts about 7 times monthly

Most millennials openly discuss masturbation and routinely enlist the help of sex toys. Some even identify as “solosexual,” meaning that they engage exclusively in solo sex rather than sex with partners.

Say what you will about the millennials but at least the “cautious generation” is practicing safe sex. And lots of it.

The Sexy Sixties: Boomers and the Second Sexual Revolution

Nearly 80 million Americans came of age during the social and sexual revolution of 1960s and ’70s. The era was characterized by rebellion against parents, society, and conformity in general. About a third of this free-loving generation are now single — either divorced, widowed, or never married to begin with. While many baby boomers are now parents of the decidedly less sexy millennials , their interest in sex shows no sign of slowing down. The dating app Match.com cites 50-plus as the fastest-growing demographic on the site. And a survey from OurTime.com, an online dating site for older adults, found that looks still matter. Approximately 87% of 50- to 70-year-old users point to physical attraction as a deciding factor when sizing up a potential partner.

How do boomers stack up?

Recent research in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, reports that the average American adult has sex about 60 times per year. So, we’re getting it on a little more than once a week. For the 2015 and 2016 studies, researchers analyzed polled data on adult sexual habits from the General Social Survey. Who’s having the most? Compared to subsequent generations, boomers have the most sexual partners over their lifetime. Boomers average 11 partners – compared with millennials who have a projected average of 8. And Generation X comes in second with an average of 10 partners. I see patients every day confirming that boomers are trending up. Surprisingly, younger generations are trending down in terms of sexual interest.

The boomers, who launched the sexual revolution in the ’60s, are now well into their 60s. For them, the revolution rages on.

Which is the sexiest generation of them all?

Hands down this distinction belongs to boomers, who continue to push sexual boundaries. The same generation of women who first benefited from the introduction of the birth control pill in 1965 now crave fresh solutions to keep enjoying sex. A movement is afoot – one that challenges long-held assumptions about aging and sexuality. Adults in their 60s and beyond deserve and demand healthy, happy sex lives.

The FDA approved Viagra in 1998 to treat erectile dysfunction, transforming the sexual landscape for older men. This pharmaceutical added years to their sexual health. Urologists for men were dedicated to their sexual health. They proactively sought out solutions to maintain male vitality. Meanwhile, for decades, women with age-related sexual concerns were left high and dry. They found few options and even fewer physicians who would listen. My female patients have been tragically underserved by conventional medicine. However, the emergence of laser medicine marks the start of a new era. I now offer my female patients new science-backed solutions for all their sexual health needs.

Unlike their Viagra-popping partners, boomer women have been left high and dry…I’m thrilled for you, honey. Really.

Boomer women demand solutions for sexual wellness

Not only did gynecologists fail to rise to the occasion for female patients. The findings of the 2005 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) set women’s health back irreparably. The false conclusion that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) was unsafe for women still informs many physicians and patients alike. Daily, I see the repercussions of this inaccuracy negatively affect the lives of my patients. I have treated women for over 25 years and am astonished by the myths patients believe. But more so, by how misinformed many of my colleagues remain about bio-identical HRT. We cannot realistically achieve longevity without balanced hormones. Testosterone therapy plays a fundamental part in preserving women’s libido and sexuality. Furthermore, HRT maintains bone and brain health, prevents Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even breast cancer. Yes, I said testosterone therapy prevents breast cancer in women.

What do boomer women want?

One of the first line treatments I recommend to my boomer women is hormone replacement with BioTE pellet therapy. Once their libido returns, women cannot wait to reclaim their sexuality. Each woman suffers from a unique combination of the many common sexual problems that accompany aging. Things like structural changes resulting from childbirth, incontinence, vaginal laxity and dryness. Add inability to orgasm, pain during intercourse, embarrassing hemorrhoids, and concerns over the appearance of their genitalia. You see, boomer women want to keep having sex and look sexy while they do it. Women over 60 represent an enormous market opportunity. The industry has finally taken notice. Over the past decade, explosive technology – especially in laser devices – has emerged to serve the diversity of women’s sexuality.

Benefits of the bedroom

Of course, making love makes for lots of fun. During arousal, the brain releases powerful “feel-good” chemicals. But, sex also imparts many positive physiological and emotional benefits so it plays a major role in our overall health. People who have more sex report higher self-esteem, life satisfaction, and quality of life. They make better parents and happier employees. Other benefits of spending more time in the bedroom include:

  • boosts your immunity
  • regulates blood pressure
  • reduces stress and improves mood
  • improves sleep 
  • increased longevity

People with healthy sex lives possess greater confidence in and out of the bedroom. But, for boomers, the pros of more sex come with new responsibilities and consequences.

Doctors don’t talk to patients about sexual health. Here’s why they should:

More often than not, healthcare professionals don’t ask about their patients’ intimate lives. This is especially true for older individuals. Physicians may have preconceived notions that they are not sexually active. They could not be more wrong. Sexuality should be part of a physician’s review of systems – no matter what a patient’s age. Intimacy should be an essential component of the patient-doctor conversation. I ask all of my patients about their sexual health. Questions like:

Are you with a new partner? Perhaps more than one? Are you using protection? Would you like an STD screening? Are you satisfied with your performance and do you achieve orgasm? And, equally important, are you satisfied with your partner’s performance?

Boomers are used to giving “the talk” to their children. Many need to learn to take their own advice.

Why should boomers talk about sex now?

With the increase in older people dating, high numbers of boomers report having unprotected sex. As a result, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are skyrocketing among older people. In a report by Global News about sexually active seniors, they shared these alarming statistics:

Recent studies have shown that in the U.S. STDs in the 50 to 70 age group have increased 38 percent from 2014 to 2017…. People over 50 years old made up 21 percent of new HIV diagnoses.

So, why is this happening? Well, it’s multi-factorial. Boomers don’t use protection for a broad range of reasons.

  • No longer a fear of pregnancy – when boomers started having sex, pregnancy was likely the primary issue they considered. Now that this no longer concerns them, older people do not realize the necessity of protection.
  • Unaware of symptoms – many STIs may be present without any visible symptoms. Someone can be infected and not even know it. 
  • Not in the habit – many older people had previous longterm relationships where protection was not necessary. Boomers carry these same assumptions from prior relationships into new sexual encounters without considering the consequences.

Why does sex lose its luster as we age?

As we grow older, both women and men experience a drop in vital sex hormones. A drop in sexual desire and performance typically follows. To make matters worse, as our hormone levels decline, we experience a whole host of unwanted conditions. We have trouble maintaining our weight, difficulty sleeping at night, and decreased muscle strength. Beyond that, many older people suffer from low energy and fatigue. It’s no wonder that many lose interest in sex as we age. HRT is the cornerstone of my sexual wellness philosophy. The topic is so critical, I dedicated a microsite to this potent tool for longevity. You can learn more about hormone pellet therapy here.

Sexual avoidance is a thing too

For many boomers, not having sex – even avoiding it altogether – is also not uncommon. Some of the reasons are physical but, oftentimes, they are physiological or psychosocial. Boomers represent one of the most stressed-out demographics today. Most still work full time. Many also care for aging parents and, increasingly, help financially support their adult children. Changing bodies and changing priorities add additional stumbling blocks for boomers in their ongoing pursuit of love. Some simply don’t have the time, or emotional headspace, for romance. For others, the cause could be medical.

Historically in old age, people tend to have less sex. Many older people lose their partners and don’t necessarily start dating again. Poor health or taking certain medications can also make people less interested in sex. However, boomers are bucking the trend. While some boomers are not actively seeking sex, others actively avoid it. Women more commonly avoid sex than men. In fact, up to 40% of women avoid sex some time in their lives. However men, too, have motivations for opting out of sex.

Some of the reasons boomers refrain:

  • Pain during sex, for women
  • Incontinence and the embarrassment that comes with it – 80% of women experience incontinence during their lifetime.
  • Low libido, among women and men
  • Inability to orgasm – 10% of women never climax
  • Metabolic conditions like diabetes and obesity
  • Many medications such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs reduce libido
  • Low levels of testosterone for men – men lose 20% of their testosterone per decade
  • Dissatisfaction with their partner
  • Erectile dysfunction for men – 60% of men over 60 experience ED
  • Lack of opportunity is cited by men

Fortunately, we now have an abundance of solutions for many of these concerns. The second sexual revolution for Boomers could not have come at a better time.

Laser Love: New science so you stay sexy

A number of revolutionary and noninvasive treatments are currently available to correct issues that get in the way of intimacy. You just have to know where to look. At HealthWellnessMD, we offer an array of non-surgical solutions for your most intimate concerns. We perform these procedures in the comfort and privacy of our medical spa with little to no downtime.

  • Vaginal Rejuvenation with the FemiLift

The FemiLift is for every woman. Every woman who suffers from incontinence, every woman who wants less discomfort during sex and greater sensation, every woman of every age who wants to feel rejuvenated. This minimally invasive laser stimulates collagen production and increases blood flow to the vaginal walls. The FemiLift has the dual effect of both improving urinary leakage and increasing your sexual sensation, lubrication, and overall intimacy.

  • Internal and external Vaginal Rejuvenation with Votiva 

Votiva uses radio frequency (RF) to tighten pelvic muscles and treat the effects of vaginal laxity such as urinary incontinence and loss of sensitivity. This safe and comfortable treatment addresses both internal and external vaginal health issues without surgery. If you suffer from low blood flow or sensitivity, pain with intercourse, or decreased libido, Votiva may be perfect for you. Votiva can also address age-related loss of elasticity and wrinkled appearance of the labia and vulva.

  • Male performance enhancement with GAINSWave

Many men equate a healthy sex life with their ability to achieve a strong and long-lasting erection. They spend billions each year on temporary male enhancement treatments such as Viagra and Cialis despite the numerous and alarming side effects. Any man who wants to take back his sexuality naturally—without risky medication—can benefit from this gentle and pain-free therapy. The GAINSWave™system uses pulsating acoustic waves to increase blood flow to the penis resulting in a firmer, more resilient erection. Using acoustic waves increases the number of blood vessels, removes micro-plaques, and promotes soft tissue growth within the penis, so it stays firmer longer, while also increasing sensitivity. Greater blood flow means stronger erections and optimal sensation.

  • The O-Shot® for Women

The O-Shot®, or Orgasm- Shot, procedure is a very specific method of using blood-derived growth factors from your own platelet-rich plasma (PRP), to rejuvenate and regenerate the vagina. The O-Shot® helps relieve urinary incontinence, sexual problems, and increases sexual pleasure. For many patients, The O-Shot® improves lubrication and arousal from clitoral stimulation and may decrease pain for women who experience pain during intercourse.

  • The P-Shot® for Men

This groundbreaking new treatment uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from the patient’s own body to rejuvenate damaged and aged tissue. The P-Shot® entails safe, pain-free injections of a patient’s own PRP to rejuvenate the penis and stimulate new tissue growth, resulting in improved erections that are larger, firmer, and more frequent. Because the PRP comes from your own body, it is a natural and effective treatment for erectile dysfunction as well as Peyronie’s Disease. And because most men see almost instantaneous results, you can enjoy sexual relations on the day of the procedure.

  • Vaginal Revision with Laser Labiaplasty

Labiaplasty is the fastest-growing type of cosmetic surgery today. We offer a nonsurgical alternative for the many women who experience discomfort or limit activities, such as riding bikes or going to the beach, because of their pronounced labia. We can also help women who are embarrassed because they lack labial symmetry. I want all women to know that you can have perfectly symmetrical labia without going under the knife. After my in-office laser labiaplasty, you go home the same day, with little downtime, no stitches, and the symmetrical appearance you’ve always desired.

  • Hemorrhoids with Laser Hemorrhoid Removal 

Hemorrhoids are not only uncomfortable, they can be embarrassing and interfere with your desire for sexual intimacy. With the rise in oral sexual activity, this condition can be especially awkward. As many as 80% of American suffer from hemorrhoids and most are unaware of a simple and minimally invasive technique to eliminate them. Using our CO laser, we permanently remove external hemorrhoids. This laser vaporizes the content of the hemorrhoid as well as the remaining skin sack. So, you can enjoy your sexuality with confidence again.

Your sexual health and wellness is too important to ignore. With such advances in laser technology, there is no reason for boomers to lack confidence in the bedroom due to medical, performance, or cosmetic concerns. You can feel great about the way you look again – in and out of the bedroom.

Taking it to the sheets: The second Sexual Revolution

Boomers are once again challenging the status quo – this time, by upending assumptions about aging and sexuality. During the ‘6os, they were taking it to the streets. Now more than fifty years later, they are revolutionizing the way the medical establishment approaches sexuality and longevity. While there will never be another Summer of Love, with all of these solutions for sexual health, boomers can come pretty darn close. Future generations say thank you.

 

6 Things Doctors Don’t Get About Your Thyroid Diagnosis

Do you struggle with exhaustion, weight gain, infertility, constipation, and brain fog? Maybe you’ve got thinning hair, depression, or cold hands? And have you been to see your doctor – perhaps more than one – only to be told that there’s nothing wrong? Or worse, your doctor writes off your symptoms as a natural component of aging, or as “woman problems.” Perhaps another doctor blames stress or implies it is all in your head. I’ve got news for you: your thyroid may be culprit.

Regrettably, this scenario is far too common in conventional medicine. I want you to know that you’re not crazy and that this is not okay. As a functional physician, I know that thyroid problems can strike people as young as their 20s, they can affect men as well as women, and that the symptoms you are describing are all too real. At least 27 million Americans have some form of hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid), the most common form of dysfunction. Furthermore, it is estimated that 60% of those with thyroid dysfunction don’t know they have it. You may be one of them.

Does this sound familiar?

Let me share a story about that may resonate with you.

Troy is a successful businessman in his late fifties who travels extensively for work. He owns a ranch in the northwest where he retreats to fish, hike, and reconnect with his family. When I met Troy, he couldn’t remember the last time he had visited the ranch. He complained of low energy, weight gain, brain fog, dry skin, and decreased libido. What’s worse, he had been suffering from these symptoms for many years – so many, in fact, that he had begun to accept this state as his new normal. Troy had already seen 4 doctors before our appointment. Each of them assured him his concerns were simply a natural part of the aging process; each doctor said that his labs were in the normal range. To address his symptoms, Troy had been prescribed a shocking array of medications: anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, ED meds, statins, and sleep aids.

Troy rightly wondered, how can I be fine when I feel this terrible?

Really listening to your patient is key.

After listening to Troy’s symptoms and hearing the hopelessness in his voice, I was determined to find a solution. So, I took a complete medical history. I asked him about the medications he was taking as well as any supplements. In addition, I inquired about his quality of life. I wanted to know: Are you exercising? What activities do you enjoy? And, how about relationships and intimacy? Troy told me he no longer exercised – he was too tired. He didn’t really have much joy in his life. Even a trip to his ranch seemed exhausting. And intimacy? Only a few years earlier, he still enjoyed a vibrant sex life and the stamina of a youthful man. Now? Sex had lost much of its luster.

Treat the patient, not the labs.

I ordered a comprehensive metabolic panel, a complete thyroid panel, and an assessment of essential micronutrients. We saw that most of Troy’s thyroid labs were indeed in the low “normal” range. But that’s not always good enough. What is “normal” for one person can be sub-optimal for another. In Troy’s case, we compared his current labs to his results from the age of 50. I saw a significant fall in his Free T3, the active thyroid hormone. His levels were far from optimal. Even worse, his testosterone had fallen to the low 200s. I like to see my male patients maintain T-levels of 900-1100.

When your thyroid levels drop, your sex hormones fall right along with them. These declines explain Troy’s low energy, low sex drive, and poor quality of life. He had been suffering from functional hypothyroidism for many years without treatment. Doctors missed Troy’s dysfunction appointment after appointment – for years. Why? Because his physicians were treating his lab results and not treating him as an individual.

The simple solution to optimize your thyroid

Unfortunately, I see patients daily – men and women, young and old – who tell me similar stories. This is a real shame as the solution is actually relatively simple. I placed Troy on desiccated thyroid hormone, in his case NP-Throid, along with nutraceuticals that support thyroid function. Once we optimized his thyroid, not only did his thyroid health improve but his testosterone levels returned to normal all on their own. Three months later, Troy called me from his ranch to thank me. He had stopped taking all of the meds prescribed by his other doctors. He felt better than he had in years. He was energized, sleeping well, and fly-fishing with his family. Best of all, Troy and his wife had rekindled their flame. It was like they were on a second honeymoon.

A functional thyroid is essential – it is your master hormone

Show me a person with a happy body and a great attitude and I’ll bet he or she has a healthy thyroid. Most of us do not appreciate the degree to which our overall body function is dependent on this gland. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland create power for every cell in your body. Every cell in the body has a thyroid receptor because every cell requires thyroid hormone to properly function. It is the key that turns on each and every cell. Not only that, but it determines the speed at which the cell’s DNA does what it’s genetically programmed to do.

Although the thyroid’s primary role is the secretion of thyroid hormone and regulating body weight, thyroid hormone affects every cell in your body. It turns your food into energy. Without precisely the right amount of thyroid hormone, your organs cannot perform at optimal levels and your cells cannot produce properly. But, that’s not all. The thyroid gland is critical for the production of sex hormones, as well. So, if your thyroid is out of whack, your testosterone and estrogen levels will follow suit. This is exactly what happened to my patient Troy. Once you’ve gone down this slippery slope, your quality of life has long been on the decline.

6 things doctors don’t get about your thyroid diagnosis:

If Troy had been tested properly for thyroid dysfunction and received appropriate treatment earlier, he would have gotten better within months instead of slogging through his days for years on end. The fact that he had undiagnosed hypothyroidism absolutely infuriates me. What’s more, his case is the norm not the exception. Every day, patients walk into their doctors’ offices complaining of fatigue, weight gain, and depression. Just as often, doctors simply write prescriptions for anti-depressants and sleeping pills then send them out with instructions to eat better and exercise more. Many conventional physicians end up prescribing diet pills and ADD medications rather than diving in to find the root of the disease causing such symptoms.

I always remind myself that my patients do not want to feel bad; and, I am obliged to uncover the source of the problem. I want my patients to love their lives not simply tolerate them – and an untreated thyroid problem is one sure way to be miserable. If you suspect you have a problem, or, if you’ve gotten a diagnosis but you’re not seeing any real improvements, here are 6 things I want you to keep in mind:

1. They don’t run a complete panel

Physicians typically test your TSH, or thyroid stimulating-hormone, when they suspect a problem. Unfortunately, most of them only test for TSH. What’s the problem? In isolation, your TSH levels reveal little about your thyroid health. Using only TSH to screen for hypothyroidism misses 80% of cases. Let that sink in; that’s most of the time. The TSH screen misses far too many diagnoses, leaving patients needlessly suffering. As a functional physician, I know that TSH represents only one-fourth of the picture. It is imperative that we always run a complete panel: TSH, Total T4, Free T3, and TPO (Thyroid Peroxidase). If I had looked solely at Troy’s TSH levels, he would not be fly-fishing at his ranch anytime soon.

2. They overlook an important marker

As many as 80% of people diagnosed with hypothyroidism actually suffer from Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune condition where your immune system attacks your own tissue. Despite what your doctor may tell you, Hashimoto’s is not a problem of the thyroid; it is a problem of the immune system. If you have Hashimoto’s, that means your immune system malfunctions and attacks your thyroid. This attack causes the gland to underproduce its hormones, slowing down all of your metabolic processes. And, in these instances, you can have symptoms for years and have no clue.

Patients get all kinds of inaccurate “diagnoses” for a broad range of diseases – from autoimmune conditions to major psychiatric disorders. But, in reality, Hashimoto’s may be responsible. Hashimoto’s represents the leading cause of hypothyroidism, yet mainstream medicine fails to test patients for thyroid antibodies that indicate the diagnosis. Every patient who presents with thyroid symptoms should have their TPO (Thyroid Peroxidase) levels screened. Doctors only need this simple blood test for a diagnosis.

What’s wrong with this picture? TPO, the only test for Hashimoto’s, is missing.

3. They don’t augment with Iodine

Iodine is a relatively rare element but it’s found in abundance in the ocean. Unless you live on the east or the west coasts, you are likely iodine deficient – end, even if you do, chances are still good. In fact, 72 % of the world’s population is deficient in iodine. Why should you care? This micronutrient is essential to every cell in the body and required for the production of all hormones. Iodine is one of the building blocks of your thyroid hormones. Every hormone and every cell in your body requires such micronutrients for optimal function. If you want to learn about the supplements you need to keep all of your hormones happy, you can read more here. If you’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and your physician does not recommend iodine supplementation, you may see no improvement – even if you’re taking thyroid hormone.

4. They don’t focus on the right thing

As we age, optimizing your thyroid becomes increasingly significant. In order for you to feel well, you must convert T4 to T3. The older you get, the harder it is for your body to convert T4 to T3. Why is this important? Since T3 represents the most active form of thyroid hormone that the cells of the body use, Free T3 is critically important. Unfortunately, most conventional doctors do NOT test your Free T3 levels. Over time, the amount of thyroid hormone decreases as a result of a decreased production by the gland. Additionally, age-related loss of effectiveness at receptor sites causes symptoms in spite of “normal” blood levels. Prescribing T3 and T4 combination-thyroid hormone along with key nutrients to support the thyroid remains the only successful treatment for thyroid disorders. If your physician does not recommend this course of action, then find a new one.

5. They rely on old ranges

Even if your doctor does order a complete thyroid panel, they’re usually relying on “normal” reference ranges. Such ranges remain too broad and often inaccurate. Know that your thyroid levels can appear “normal,” just like Troy’s, and you can still have symptoms. That’s why I use optimal reference ranges when evaluating your thyroid labs.

  • Broad reference ranges – Decades ago, researches created these ranges using people who go to the doctor (i.e. sick people), not healthy ones. So, the reference ranges are far too broad to catch minor variations in thyroid health.
  • Non-standardized reference range – Not only is the reference range too broad, but it can vary from state to state, lab to lab, even doctor to doctor. This mans it’s possible you can have a thyroid disorder in one state, but not another. That’s not good science and it is definitely not good medicine.

Your doctor may tell you your thyroid labs are just fine. But, if you’re still experiencing symptoms, get a second opinion—and a third, if necessary.

6. They miss the big picture

Everyday life in our modern world robs you of nutrients that are essential for a healthy thyroid. So, your doctor must screen your nutritional profile for micronutrients. Micronutrients include trace minerals, vitamins, various oils, and phytonutrients. This is why I assessed Troy’s essential micronutrient levels at our first appointment. When you take medications, when you eat certain foods, when you’re exposed to certain chemicals found in everyday products, your thyroid is compromised.

The culprits are nefarious and pervasive and include things like soy, gluten, dairy, and refined sugars, as well as the chloride in your water, fluoride in your toothpaste and mouthwash, and bromides in bread, make-up, and hair color. These bad actors also affect your gut health. Why does this matter? Because of the direct correlation between your gut, microbiome, and thyroid function. About 20% of the conversion from T4 to T3 (the active form) happens in the gut. If you have an unhealthy microbiome, you’ll lose that 20%. Plus, your overall nutrient absorption will diminish and many of the nutrients that play a pivotal role in thyroid function will also be low.

The sad state of thyroid care today

You walk into the doctor’s office with telltale signs of hypothyroidism: swelling of the face; thinning eyebrows and hair; pale dry skin; red irritated dry eyes; cold hands and feet; hoarseness of voice, and over 200 obvious symptoms. Still, your doctor has no idea your physical symptoms are due to hypothyroidism. You look like a walking talking billboard for hypothyroidism, but your doctor fails to notice. The typical conventional physician neglects running the appropriate panel of tests, Furthermore, many fail to fully investigate the patient’s medical history, family history, or even conduct a thorough physical exam. I do not believe that patients are to blame for this.

How can you be sure you’re getting the best thyroid care?

Physicians should get up to speed and stop practicing medicine like it is forty years ago. In their defense, I will point out that it typically takes 20-30 years for mainstream medicine to incorporate new medical research. However, it is crucial that physicians stay abreast of new science such as longevity science and precision medicine.

Patients: you have to be your own best advocates. Research your physician before your appointment – look for doctors who practice functional medicine because they understand thyroid physiology. And come armed with this list of 6 things that most doctors don’t get about your diagnosis. Now that you’ve got them, you’re in a better position to get the best care.

 

7 Supplements to Keep Your Hormones Happy

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear some form of this question from patients: “Which supplements should I really be taking?” With so much conflicting information about supplements out there, it’s no wonder people are confused. At the risk of confusing you even further, know that I never recommend “supplements.” However, I do recommend supplementing with medical-grade nutraceuticals – especially for happy hormones. What are nutraceuticals? Nutraceuticals add extra health benefits to the nutritional foods you’re already eating. Because the American food supply is nutrient poor, we must supplement our diet. So adding essential nutrients is especially significant for keeping your hormones balanced.

Isn’t eating right always the answer?

As an expert in functional nutrition, I know that a nutrient-rich diet forms the foundation of overall wellness. Further, when your hormones are properly balanced, your body runs smoothly. So, how can you optimize your nutrition and your hormonal health at the same time? You must first and foremost eat a nourishing diet. But, it’s not that simple. I wish it were. Eating right is the ideal. However, supplementing with medical-grade nutraceuticals is the reality for longterm health. Keeping your hormones happy enhances your quality of life and extends longevity.

How do you get started on the path to hormonal happiness?

Before you begin any new regimen, you’ll need some blood work to see where you stand. Your doctor should run a full metabolic panel. But, also, an assessment of micronutrients to determine if you have any deficiencies. Almost all Americans lack fundamental nutrients necessary for optimal hormone function. Honestly, I’d be surprised if you didn’t. I have never seen a patient with pristine labs.

Complicating things more, recent research has established new optimal levels of all sorts of nutrients. These new ranges conflict with the ranges most labs use. Furthermore, many conventional physicians are not up to speed on current clinical studies. So, when they look at your results, they are not equipped to make proper recommendations.

Why should you care? You can’t treat what you don’t know.

Why should you care about hormone balance?

Hormonal imbalances cause physical and psychological symptoms. Many times, these symptoms remain misdiagnosed or simply ignored. About 80% of women suffer from some kind of hormonal imbalance during their lifetime. Imbalances leading to physical and mental health challenges. Many women produce inadequate amounts of estrogen and progesterone levels – the two most significant female sex hormones.

And most of us believe that testosterone is exclusively a male hormone. They are dead wrong. Testosterone in women performs many vital functions, including:

  • maintains lean muscle mass
  • protects the brain from dementia
  • lowers risk of heart disease
  • builds far better bones than estrogen.

Should men worry about hormone balance?

Hormonal imbalance is hardly a woman’s issue. Men are equally susceptible to a range of hormonal imbalances. In their case, their testosterone is too low or they produce inadequate estrogen. In men, estrogen performs important functions, including:

  • protects against heart disease
  • helps prevent stroke
  • protects the brain against Alzheimer’s

However, sex hormones are not the only chemical culprits in this story

Hormones are not simply about sex. Far from it.

Most of us associate hormones primarily with sex. But, we’re really not giving these chemical messengers enough credit. Hormones are more complex than that. Your hormones control how well you respond to stress and how well you sleep. They also determine what kind of mood you’re in and how your thyroid functions. If one or more is even slightly imbalanced, it starts a domino effect on your health.

When your hormones are happy, you’ll be amazed how your world is transformed.

When do hormonal imbalances occur?

Hormonal issues typically occur when you produce too much or too little of certain hormones. As a result, the body becomes less efficient at processing nutrients – things like proteins and vitamins in the food you eat. This malfunction triggers a chain reaction. The result? Serious issue like diabetes, ovarian dysfunction, hypothyroidism, cardiovascular disease, and loss of libido. These conditions occur in men and in women and at any life stage. As far I’m concerned, the decline or loss of sexual desire is as significant as major disease.

What causes them?

Each of these health problems stems from a variety of causes: genetics, poor diet, and stress. Sleep deprivation, for example, lowers testosterone. At the same time, it raises cortisol – the “stress hormones.” Chemicals in foods and toxins in the environment can also disrupt your hormones. Other possible causes of hormonal disorders include obesity, menopause, and pregnancy. In men, if you suffer from low testosterone, that means you’re also hypothyroid. Many men can even reverse low-T by taking thyroid hormone.

You may not have full control over all of these factors. But you can prevent and manage hormonal imbalances. Simple lifestyle changes, such as eating whole foods, getting better quality sleep, and adding more movement can contribute to hormonal balance. However, for many, such modifications are not enough.

Nutritional support for optimal hormonal health

In my practice, I encourage all my patients to optimize their hormones to improve quality of life. First, I evaluate and treat any thyroid dysfunction and hormonal imbalances. For inadequate testosterone and estrogen levels, I treat with bioidentical hormone replacement with pellet therapy. And, for thyroid problems, I prescribe thyroid hormone. However, for these measures to succeed, patients must supplement with medical-grade nutraceuticals. Hormones always need a little help from their friends to get their job done right. Think of these vitamins and minerals as your hormones’ friends.

7 supplements your hormones can’t live without:

I’m going to assume most of you take a medical-grade multivitamin with breakfast or dinner. If you don’t, you should. But, you’re going to need more than a multi to keep your hormones firing on all cylinders. Here are 7 supplements to help your hormones function optimally:

  • Vitamin D:  In many ways, D behaves more like a hormone than a vitamin. Your D-level is the number one indicator of both disease and mortality death. D supports thyroid function and weight-control. The nutrient is critical for the prevention of clinical depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
  • Iodine:  For thyroid support, take Iodine. You can’t produce your thyroid hormone without it. Furthermore, it decreases disease in all reproductive tissue – for men and women. Plus, Iodine detoxes you at the cellular level.
  • Probiotics:  You probably know that probiotics are great for your gut health. A healthy microbiome easily absorbs nutrients in your food as well as your nutraceuticals. Beyond that, your gut produces more than 90%  of your body’s serotonin, your “feel-good hormone.” So, you want a healthy gut for your mental health. A healthy gut means a healthy brain.
  • DIM:  Diindolylmethane restores hormone levels in several ways. It helps rid your body of harmful estrogen byproducts. And DIM is the most potent anti-inflammatory supplement available. This compound also helps with heart health by reducing plaque formation in arteries. Ready for more? DIM aids in both muscle-building and fat loss. Moreover, it boosts energy and stamina, increases libido, and lifts your mood. What can’t DIM do?
  • B-Complex:  People with B vitamin deficiencies frequently experience depression, anxiety, and mood swings. We need B vitamins for the nervous system to work properly. During pregnancy, they prevent brain and spine defects in the fetus. Further, B vitamins promote healthy metabolism and reduce the risk of stroke.
  • Ashwagandha:  This herbal supplement benefits your thyroid function by it promoting the elimination of free radicals. Ashwagandha can be used to support a sluggish or overactive thyroid and help overcome fatigue. When you experience too much emotional, physical, or mental stress, your body can become overtaxed. Such stressors lead to the disruption of hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and progesterone. If you’re feeling stressed, Ashwagandha helps you respond to it better.
  • Omegas:  Omegas make it easier for hormones to reach their destination on the cell. For your heart and brain to function at their best, Omegas are essential.

Once your hormones are in balance, you’ll see positive benefits across the board. Your weight will be easier to manage and your skin will look younger. You’ll have more energy and enjoy a more restful sleep. The icing on the cake? Your sex drive and satisfaction will soar. Once you get your hormones working for you rather than against you, the sky is the limit.

 

 

 

How I’ve Helped Thousands of Men Feel Like Tarzan Again with GAINSWave

If you’re anything like the typical 21st-century American male over 40, I’m guessing you haven’t felt the urge to swing from vine to vine like the “lord of the jungle” recently. When is the last time you dazzled your Jane-equivalent with your stamina and sexual prowess? Been awhile? Know that you’re not alone. Erectile dysfunction affects 18 million men in America. Clinical studies show that performance issues occur in 40% of men at age 40, 50% at 50, and nearly 70% at age 70. Intermittent performance issues are increasingly occurring in younger men, as well. In fact, up to 1 in 4 men under 25 experience sexual dysfunction.

What if I told you that I’ve helped thousands of men just like you feel like Tarzan again? All without pills, pumps, or side effects. It’s called the GAINSWave. If you are among the 52% of men who experience erectile dysfunction, then this treatment may provide a long-term solution. Even for men who consider themselves problem-free – but would still like a boost in the bedroom – the GAINSWave represents a safe and healthy alternative.

Who’s up for an elephant ride? With GAINSWave, you’re ready at all times.

Spontaneity gone?

Satisfying one’s lover is essential to a successful relationship. Part of that satisfaction means being ready when your partner is. Many men miss the sexual spontaneity of younger years. Erectile dysfunction makes performance unpredictable at best. I want you to know you don’t have to suffer in silence as these symptoms chip away at your desire for intimacy. There’s no reason to fear for the potential failure of your relationship. Furthermore, no matter what your age, you should know you can enjoy a healthy and active sex life again, or for the first time.

Have more sex to extend longevity

A vibrant sexuality is critical for your wellbeing and for longevity. The benefits of an active sex life are multifold. For starters, sex improves immune function and sleep quality. Men with healthy sex lives see a 50% reduction in heart attacks. So, embrace your inner Tarzan for a longer, more fulfilling life.

Many men equate a strong and long-lasting erection with their personal sexual health and wellness. Sometimes, however, external forces get in the way: stress, age, and lifestyle factors can interfere with intimacy. Certain medications may also be responsible for ED (even in younger men). Millions of men resort to temporary male enhancements from the drugstore or from healthcare providers. But quick fixes like the “little blue pill” make spontaneity difficult and risk a dangerous side effects.

Bio-hacking your inner Tarzan with GAINSWave

When my male patients first come to see me they are typically defeated. However, most are still hopeful that I can help. Each one of them asks me the same thing: Why is this happening to me? I explain that, as men age, the blood vessels in the penis collapse due to deterioration or plaque blockage. In the same manner that we develop heart disease from the formation of plaques, the penile artery also forms micro-plaques as a result of decreased blood flow. Adequate blood flow is essential for a strong and lasting erection–the greater the volume, the better.

Are there alternatives to the “little blue pill”?

We now have noninvasive technology for the improvement or possible resolution of much male sexual dysfunction. I approach the treatment of sexual health the same way that I treat all of my patients’ concerns. First, from the approach of Functional Medicine. This means I look for the root cause and tailor a treatment to your individual needs. So, first, we will address any physiological or emotional impediments to intimacy. Next, I evaluate your blood work for any vitamin or thyroid deficiencies. Now, thyroid testing is key for a number of reasons. Many men may not be aware that if their thyroid is not functioning properly, they will have low-T, or low testosterone.

If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, make sure your physician runs a thorough thyroid function panel. This panel must assess your free T3 levels. This number is very important and very misunderstood by most conventional physicians. Your free T3 is your master hormone—it is the key that ignites every cell in your body. So, if you’ve got low testosterone, the first thing I want to look at are your free T3 levels. Once we’ve optimized your thyroid, your testosterone numbers will improve. Optimal testosterone improves sexual health and pleasure. Plus, you’ll feel and look better in your loincloth.

Me Tarzan. You Jane. Have would you like a tour of my treehouse?

A better way to boost your performance with the GAINSWave

I’ve helped literally thousands of men boost their performance using with the GAINSWave.  This noninvasive and pain-free treatment utilizes acoustic sound waves to restore and increase blood flow. The technology has been around for decades, but, has only recently been used to treat erectile dysfunction and enhance male sexual performance. I’ve been using the GAINSWave at my Dallas, Texas, clinic for almost 3 years. I’ll admit, at first I was a little dubious. But the results have proved me wrong. My patients are so thrilled with their outcomes, they are referring their friends for the Tarzan treatment.

How does the GAINSWave work?

The GAINSWave device generates acoustic waves. Acoustic sound waves encourage the growth of new blood vessels. We apply the GAINSWave directly to the penis with the aid of a sliding gel. Its pulsating waves increase blood flow to the penis, allowing a firmer, more resilient erection. This treatment also helps release stem cells and growth factors. Why does this matter? Because you’re rejuvenating the health of the entire pelvic floor.

Your penis stays firmer longer and you experience optimal sensation. Any man who wants to take back his sexuality naturally–and turn his back on erectile dysfunction meds for good–can benefit from the safe and healthy therapy.

Why wait until you have erectile dysfunction when you can it prevent now?

Many ED sufferers are searching for a treatment when a better approach is early prevention. Most men don’t realize that testosterone begins falling at the age of 30. The role of testosterone in achieving erection is key. Testosterone signals to the blood vessels in the penis that it’s time to engorge and engage. In order to perform at your peak sexually, all of the testosterone receptors in the pelvic floor must be saturated.

Passionate cyclists should know that all of that time in the saddle may cause longterm harm. Those precious blood vessels in the penis do not tolerate prolonged or chronic compression. For your overall sexual health and wellness, consider spending less time on the bike and more time in the bedroom.

There are at least 5 components that contribute to maintaining peak sexual performance:

  • Your head must be in the game
  • A functioning thyroid is mission critical
  • Testosterone levels must be optimized
  • Your blood vessels must be in great shape
  • A consistent exercise routine for enhanced libido and performance

Does the GAINSWave work for everyone with erectile dysfunction?

I’ve seen amazing benefits from the GAINSWave in my own patients. As many as 90% report marked improvement and enhanced performance. And, for the up to 23% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 who suffer form Peyronie’s disease, this treatment has proven highly successful. Of course, those with a severe degree of heart disease, diabetes, and advanced age may require more treatments and see milder change. Every man is different and requires individualized care. But, we typically recommend between 6 and 12 treatments and then a touch-up every year following.

Okay, perhaps you won’t have an occasion to swing from vines any time soon. But, with the GAINSWave, you may be tempted to swing from the bedroom chandeliers.

 

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