Available at Amazon
Dr. Allan Warshowsky's latest radio interview, July 29, 2015
Dr. Warshowsky's latest podcast on August 14, 2015
Dr. Warshowsky's latest podcast on Feb. 16, 2016
Vanguard Endocrinology is an educational program offering a new and cutting-edge perspective on addressing the hormonal relationship to chronic disease. This program will focus on hormones as the major chemical messengers that communicate to various systems, including the endocrine system.
Practitioners will learn integrative clinical strategies for addressing both the symptoms and the underlying cause of hormonally related chronic diseases from one of the foremost opinion leaders on the subject of hormones.
Dr. Warshowsky is a pioneer in hormone therapies with over 30 years experience in medicine and gynecology. His integrative office is located in Rye, NY at 150 Purchase Street. More information can be found about Dr. Warshowsky on his website or at his office number 914-967-1630.
Please join Dr. Warshowsky for this 12 hour certificate training program in Vanguard Endocrinology held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel at 42nd Street in New York City from 2:00 to 5:30 PM. Lunch is not included but beverages and protein shakes will be provided. You can attend any amount of modules you like.
The cost is $199 per module or $695 for all four.
The program is as follows:
Module 1: Saturday September 24, 2011: Assessment: Laboratory Evaluations of Hormone Imbalance and the 4R Gut Restoration Program.
Module 2: Saturday, October 22, 1011: The Chronic Stress Connection: Adrenal and Thyroid Dysfunction
Module 3: Saturday, November 19, 2011: Estrogen Dominance: Fibroids, Endometriosis and PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
Module 4: Saturday, December 3, 2011: Optimal Aging: Menopause, Andropause, and HRT
Please contact the office if you are a practitioner interested in signing up.
How many skin and hair products do you think you use each day?
The figure may shock you. On average, women use twelve products a day comprising 168 different ingredients, and men use six products equaling 85 ingredients!
Some of these products include shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, nail polish and remover, skin lotion, toner, moisturizing lotion, sunblock, shaving cream, bath gel, and many more. Aside from constantly subsidizing big cosmetic companies, what are the dangers of using all these products? After all, Americans have been conditioned by the media to always smell good, look clean, and seem fresh, and companies are thrilled to fill that perceived need.
If you have ever read the list of ingredients in some of these products, it is amazing to see how long that list can be and how many syllables an ingredient may have.
Let’s look more closely at some of these ingredients:
1. Parabens: This is a preservative used in skin and hair products to make them last longer. They have been associated with neurologic damage, eye and skin irritation, allergic reactions and according to a 2004 Journal of Toxicology study, “…18 out of 20 breast tumors contained significant amounts of parabens.” While further research needs to be done and is being done, just knowing that parabens can be absorbed into the breast tissue should give one pause when reading labels.
Parabens are also know as methyparaben, butlyparaben, and polyparaben.
Parabens are banned in Europe.
2. Propylene Glycol: This preservative can be absorbed through all the layers of the skin and has been associated with endocrine disruption and toxicity. It is non-toxic in food.
3. Phthalates: These are found mostly in cosmetics especially nail polish and are inhaled as well as absorbed through the skin. They help products adhere to the skin. They have been linked with sperm damage and with possible fetal damage. Natural food stores sell phthalate-free polishes. Phthalates are also banned in Europe.
4. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: A very widespread preservative used in many products,
SLS, as it is also known, has also been associated with endocrine and reproductive toxicity and skin irritation. It is a harsh ingredient as well, having almost detergent-like qualities. For some, SLS in toothpaste has caused canker sores. (not as strong as its cousin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, but still irritating to the scalp and skin)
There are other ingredients to be aware and wary of such as mineral oil, some forms of alcohol (not stearyl or cetearyl), Triclosan (used in weed killer products), and Aluminum used in deodorants and linked to Alzheimers).
Certainly many consumers purchase products based on how they smell, searching for that “fresh smell” that promises youth and cleanliness. However, fragrance is highly allergenic to those with sensitive skin and can be a neurotoxin. If you have sensitive skin, avoid products that smell citrusy or minty and seek out fragrance free ones. Even products that bill themselves as having all “natural” ingredients, have to have some preservatives in them; otherwise, they would go rancid within a few days.
So where to find products that do not have some or all of the above preservatives? One place to start is the cosmetics aisle of your local health food store or a larger Whole Foods. The cosmetics store Sephora carries an enormous diversity of products some of which are free of the above preservatives. You can also order online. The website www.environmentalworkinggroup.org is extremely helpful in reading about this topic and suggesting appropriate products.
Some product lines that you may want to consider include:
Tom’s of Maine
Kiss My Face
Beauty Without Cruelty
You may want to try various products to see which agrees with your hair and skin. The products on the above list are more well known, but there are many other lines as well.
While many well known brands found in drugstores all over are less expensive, this is a situation where you get what you pay for. For $3 you certainly can purchase a large bottle of conditioner but many of its ingredients will have unrecognizable and unpronounceable words and will be harmful to your health. These ingredients are used because they are cheap, and companies can make a large profit from mass producing them.
You and your health are worth products that are free of preservatives. If you are eating heathfully and reading ingredients in the food you buy and prepare, why not do so for your hair and skin? Unhealthy ingredients in food and cosmetics both get absorbed into the body through the skin, nose, and gut.
You can feel clean and fresh and contribute to your health and the health of the environment by using safer cosmetics.
Recently, there has been a plethora of discussion and debate regarding the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) latest recommendations concerning screening mammograms.
The USPSTF changed the timing for initial baseline screening from 40 to 50 years old and then recommended only biennial screening. Screening would stop at age 75. The task force also advised that self breast exam (SBE) no longer be taught as it did not result in any advantages in mortality. It was decided that the possible negative consequences of over- diagnosis, anxiety and biopsy were not worth the effort. These recommendations were made after survey of the literature and decision of risk versus benefit ratios.
These new recommendations lead to a communal cry from women and doctors who felt that lives had been saved by early detection of a breast cancer through yearly screening mammography.
However, there are many women who refuse to have mammography done because of the concern of cumulative radiation effects to breast tissue. There is reason for concern because compared to a chest x-ray, which delivers 1 millirad to tissue, a typical mammogram may deliver up to 340 millirads to each breast and maybe even more when breast tissue is dense, as it is in many cases. Since radiation effect is also cumulative, yearly mammograms continue to contribute to the radiation effect on sensitive breast tissue.
Deciphering mammographic images can also be tricky. That is why screening mammograms have high degrees of false negatives and false positives. The rates can be as high as 10 -20%. This inaccuracy is higher in denser breast tissue and leads to more films being taken and higher radiation effects. The procedure of the mammogram is also painful, squeezing breast tissue to be as flat as possible and theoretically disseminating cells from the breast into ducts and blood vessels.
Digital mammography and breast MRI have not been used as primary screening tools in the general population and even though reserved for higher risk women, still have significant high false positive rates leading to unnecessary and invasive procedures.
What has been largely ignored throughout the breast screening debate is the use of high resolution breast ultrasound (HRBU). This is an imaging technique utilizing non-ionizing sound waves rather than x-rays. It is generally utilized when there needs to a distinction made between a cyst and a solid nodule. The HRBU can “see through” dense breast with more sensitivity than other imaging techniques. When used with Doppler it can evaluate resistivity index, or how much blood is flowing to an area of concern. Malignant tumors are known to attract more blood supply enabling growth. In 3-D mode HRBU can discern whether a lesion lies within or outside of a milk duct. The only advantage that mammography has over HRBU is that it can identify micro-calcifications. Micro-calcifications in the breast can be benign or malignant depending on their distribution patterns. They are likely an attempt of the body to isolate and contain proteins of inflammation. When present they may indicate the presence of a ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a very early and slow growing malignancy. Mammograms can be done biennially to follow these if present. HRBU performed every 6-12 months, depending on risk factors, will uncover rapidly growing breast cancers.
I also promote SBE. This is not done with the energy of “looking for lumps”. Instead, women are instructed to massage healing essential oils such as lavender and frankincense into the breast tissue while visualizing healthy cells (could be flowers opening or smiley faces) and bringing healing energy into the breasts from wherever their faith lies. They are to pay attention to thoughts, memories and ideas that come up related to fourth chakra issues of love, nurturing, judgment and criticism. Journaling has been shown to be a successful way of ridding the body of the clutter of stored emotional energy.
This more integrative, holistic approach to maintaining and supporting healthy breasts empowers women to develop their own intuitive healing energy. Unfortunately there are no head to head studies on screening mammography versus HRBU. However, the USPSTF also suggested that the final decisions are between physician and patient. We as physicians need to listen to our patients concerns and be open to change and innovation. The USPSTF recommendations allow us to consider protocols on an individual basis. The integrative, holistic approach works well here.
The New York Times slogan “All the news that’s fit to print” was put to the challenge today with a front page story on the ”HCG diet”. This weight loss protocol, created by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons in 1954, is a 500 calorie per day diet eating only specific foods and 2 injections of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) daily for 28 days. The addition of the HCG injections was not to increase weight loss, but to assuage the hunger feelings and increase fat loss in specific areas to improve body composition. Initial studies were mixed. Subsequent studies were uniformly negative for HCG improving body composition or helping with the hunger feelings during the diet.
This article also gave the HCG diet plan mixed reviews. Some patients raved that it worked well, while there was much skepticism in the medical community. I had recently done research on the diet as several of my patients wanted to try it. I read of studies done in the 1970’s and 80’s reported in JAMA, Archives of Int. Med. and Am. Journal of Clin. Nutr. all showing that in double blinded studies there was equal weight loss, no change in hunger feelings and no change in body composition in obese women on a 500 calorie per day diet with or without HCG injections. Consensus of opinion was that HCG did not add anything to the reduced calorie diet and did add risks. There have been reports of pulmonary emboli, liver failure and ovarian cysts requiring surgery in patients using HCG in this way. The HCG diet also does nothing to optimize a person’s health. Patients learn nothing about healthy eating, they don’t include exercise in their weight loss plan, and will quickly put weight back on.
While it is true that as integrative, holistic physicians we are more open- minded and inclusive in our thinking, we do need to be aware and concerned about unproven and potentially dangerous therapies being promoted by some alternative practitioners. The HCG diet is one of those therapies that our patients will now be asking about. Each of us needs to be aware of the risks and the negligible if any benefits of the HCG diet before we offer it to patients.