Dr. Perricone Wants To Hear From You

Dr. Perricone will be answering your most burning questions on the blog and in our weekly Emails. Please add your questions in the comments sections of this post. He’ll pick several each week to address.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get picked first, we’ll keep them coming. Thanks.

Stress and Your Health: The Body-Mind Connection

Susan Boyle made people all over the world smile and cry when she achieved her dream of singing on Britain’s Got Talent. Sadly, what should have been the greatest moment of her life nearly overwhelmed her, and she ended up being hospitalized for stress and exhaustion. Most people are familiar with how tension and anxiety feel, but you may not know about the long term effects stress can have on your health. Even in the absence of an acute breakdown like Boyle’s, continued exposure to stress may be drastically impacting your body.

Our emotional well being is a finely balanced thing; any significant change in your life or routine, whether good or bad, can be enough to upset that balance. Moving to a new house, worrying about excelling at your job, illness in the family, or even just an upheaval in your schedule can set off the series of chemical reactions we call stress. It results from the release of hormones like adrenalin and glucocorticoids, and is related to the more primitive fight or flight response.

This response evolved in our ancestors as a protective mechanism to help us run for our lives in the face of serious danger. The hormones raise blood pressure, energize muscles, hyper-focus the mind, and dampen temporarily non-essential body functions like memory, reproduction, and digestion.  The problems arise when the same chemical reaction intended to save us from rampaging wild animals kicks in as a result of the daily, and comparatively minor, pressures of life. The hormones that would help save your life in the short term begin to do damage over time.

You’re likely to notice the emotional aspects of stress like anxiety and depression first, but the physiological side-effects can be even more wide ranging. Sudden spikes in your level of tension can contribute to headaches, insomnia, digestive issues like heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome,  skin rashes, changes in menstrual patterns, and sexual dysfunction. Sustained stress weakens your immune system to make you more susceptible to infectious diseases, increases your risk of heart disease, and may play a role both in infertility and certain cancers like breast and ovarian.

Knowing what stress is doing to your body, you owe it to yourself to be proactive. There are things you can do to help turn the body-mind connection in your favor:

  • Start by getting more exercise. The endorphins released during physical activity are natural mood boosters.
  • Seek out activities that are relaxing to you. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, knitting, reading, or dance, the key is to prioritize whatever helps you unwind and to do it on a regular basis.
  • Nurture your connections with other people. Research shows that individuals with strong social support systems and emotional ties to others suffer less from stress-related diseases. Oxytocin, a hormone related to love, nurturing, and bonding is another natural happiness aid.

Since a calm mind and a healthy body go hand in hand, when you learn to manage your stress, you’ll not only feel better right away, you’ll be investing in every aspect of your well-being. Then whatever life throws your way, you’ll be strong enough, physically and emotionally, to weather the storm.

See Dr. Perricone In Chicago at the Health Freedom Expo, June 13th

Dr. Perricone will be appearing at the Health Freedom Expo, June 12-14. Read more below:

Dr. Nicholas Perricone will be speaking from 2:00 – 3:00PM on Saturday 6/13 followed by Q&A and a book signing. His talk is on the 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health & Longevity during which he’ll talk about keys to improving physical and mental health and well-being.

More details about the The Health Freedom Expo, June 12-14:

This is a dynamic three-day event featuring the most prominent keynote speakers, 90+ informative lectures, panels and interactive workshops and 200+ exhibitors showcasing the finest in healthcare products and introducing cutting-edge discoveries in natural health.

The Expo is supported by the HealthKeepers Alliance, a not-for-profit lobbying organization that works year round to protect consumers’ rights, defends practitioners who use natural and nutritional cures, and lobbies against laws which remove the individuals freedom to make informed healthcare choices.

Date of event: June 12 -14, 2009

Friday and Saturday 10 – 7
Sunday 10 – 6
Exhibit Hall opens at 11am each day

Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center
Schaumburg, Illinois

General (Exhibit Hall and Lectures)
$15/Day $35/3-Day Weekend /Additional charges for some lectures and panels

All Access (Exhibit Hall, Lectures and Discovery Room workshops)
$30/Day $75/ 3-Day Weekend

Free Parking

Staff Favorites: Skin & Total Body by CEO Diane Miles

My number one pick is definitely Skin & Total Body.

I have always used good skin care. However, when I first joined Perricone MD I started to take Skin & Total Body as well as using the Perricone topical products. After around two weeks I felt like a new person. My mood and energy levels elevated – I felt like I was back in my 20s. It took another two weeks and then my skin improvements kicked in. Lines and wrinkles smoothed out, and my skin looked brighter, younger, and healthier.

My husband came next. He has had pain and inflammation from his arthritic hip for 10 years. After one month of Skin & Total Body the arthritic pain reduced significantly and his energy levels increased in tandem.

Neither of us have looked back since. Skin & Total Body definitely changed our lives.

Diane Miles
Perricone MD

Menopause Relief Through Improved Thyroid Function

Every woman’s body goes on a unique journey as it experiences the numerous changes associated with menopause. Whether you’re symptomatic or not, quality nutritional support throughout menopause is imperative.

According to the Thyroid Foundation of America, over 11 million women have a malfunctioning thyroid. It is believed tens of millions more women may live with “borderline” underactive thyroid function, or hypothyroidism. Decreased thyroid function appears to strike women between the ages of 35 and 55 in perimenopause and menopause harder than any other group.

The symptoms of menopause like weight gain, fatigue, hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, palpitations, and “fuzzy” thinking have been shown to be thyroid-related in many women.

Thyroid hormones are the main regulators of the body’s metabolism. They have a profound impact on weight because they control how the body burns carbohydrates and fats. Thyroid imbalances also affect appetite control. Studies suggest that thyroid hormones may modulate levels of leptin, a hormone produced from fat cells that controls hunger. In other words, the more tired you are, the more you’ll want to eat.

In light of the role thyroid function plays making or breaking your journey through menopause, let’s address some strategic goals to manage your hormones:

Eat clean.
The fastest way to halt menopause in its tracks is to eliminate refined carbohydrates for one month. Load up on lean proteins, green vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, avocados, and fresh fruit. After one month, add in ½ cup cooked grains per day. Slow-cooked oats, lentils and beans, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, and sweet potatoes are all great choices. This floods your body with nutrient-dense foods while stabilizing your blood sugar and insulin levels, a crucial step when trying to lose weight.

Sleep deep.
Going to bed by 10pm and getting good quality sleep is crucial to balancing your hormones. Your adrenals recover best from 10pm-12am; if you are awake during this time, you will not receive the same anti-aging and weight loss benefits. Put on a sleep mask, spritz some lavender on your pillow, and use a fan to circulate the air and keep the room cool and comfortable.

Take your supplements.
No menopausal prescription would be complete without a supplement regime. Put simply, it provides the extra support your body needs to balance out your hormones. These three are menopausal must-haves:

  • Maitake SX
    Fondly referred to by our clients as “the gut-buster,” maitake mushroom extract drives insulin into cells to stabilize your blood sugar. This works synergistically with a low-glycemic diet to shrink your waistline as your body becomes more adept at metabolizing carbohydrates. Take 1 tablet 30 minutes before meals. Read more about maitake mushroom benefits.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Omega-3s work to sensitize cells to insulin. They also help turn on the genes that burn body fat and turn off the genes that store it. Omega-3s boost and sustain serotonin levels, correct both dry and oily skin, support thyroid function, and fight systemic inflammation. Take 6 per day for menopausal support and 9 per day for weight loss; take all with food.
  • Weight Management
    The Weight Management formula contains GLA, Carnitine, Acetyl-carnitine, Physician’s Antioxidant, CLA, DMAE, CoQ10, Lipoic Acid, and L-tyrosine. It helps regulate appetite and blood sugar, promote great energy, and antioxidant protection to fight the aging process. Weight Management also helps your body utilize fat more efficiently. Take 1 packet 30 minutes before each meal.

Whatever the state of your menopause journey, remember that you will get through it. Incorporating clean eating, exercise, and a quality supplement regime will help give you the tools you need to support your body naturally.

Esther Blum, MS, RD, CDN, CNS
Registered Dietitian
NV Perricone, MD Flagship
791 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Three Steps to Stop Menopause Suffering Before It Starts

The approach to menopause can be a daunting time. Symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats loom on the horizon, and you may not feel like there’s much you can do. However, if you understand the causes of the symptoms of menopause, you can be proactive and halt them before they begin.

Menopause symptoms are due in large part to adrenal issues. The adrenal glands control the output of DHEA, cortisol, epinephrine (also called adrenaline), and norepinephrine, all of which are hormones related to our stress response. When the adrenal gland is stressed, cortisol levels go up, and the level of hormones like estrogen go down.

Diminished amounts of estrogen have a direct effect on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for controlling appetite, sex hormones, sleep, and body temperature. Thus changing levels of estrogen causes symptoms like hot flashes.

Additionally, when adrenal function is impaired or weak, a person may suffer from low blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature as well as a total feeling of exhaustion. Prolonged stress begins to weaken the organs, and other health related problems such as hypoglycemia can result.

Some factors that contribute to adrenal exhaustion are continued stress, poor diet, excessive consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates, too much caffeine, alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and vitamin B and C deficiencies. To compound the issue, when the adrenals are weak, the thyroid gland tries to pick up slack. So when I treat my patients approaching menopause, it is imperative to treat both the adrenals and the thyroid simultaneously.

To strengthen your adrenal and thyroid function and head off menopausal symptoms, try taking these steps:

Eat a whole-foods based diet.
The body’s ability to metabolize refined sugars decreases with age. The inner aisles of the grocery store are filled with foods high in sugar and salt. Get ahead of the curve by shopping in the outer aisles of the grocery store, where all the fresh produce is located, and cut out the processed foods that ultimately make you gain weight.

Waist away.
Many women notice a huge shift in their weight distribution to the abdomen as they head into menopause. To combat this, try incorporating yoga into your fitness regime. Research has shown that women who do yoga once per week don’t gain any weight as they go through menopause.

Burn, baby, burn.

It is imperative to incorporate heavy weight lifting into your fitness regime three times per week. This not only boosts bone density but also does wonders for your figure and your hormones. The key is proper technique: you must lift the heaviest weights you can and complete three sets of twelve repetitions. Twenty minutes of intense weight lifting can be just as effective as an hour of cardio if done correctly.

As you begin taking these steps, give yourself four weeks for the behaviors to become habits. In time, it will become a lifestyle that changes both how you look and feel about your magnificent body!

Esther Blum, MS, RD, CDN, CNS
Registered Dietitian
NV Perricone, MD Flagship
791 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Free High Potency Amine Complex Face Lift!

Here’s your chance to try out our exciting new product:  High Potency Amine Complex Face Lift for free! Simply comment on this blog. Share your stories, your experience with Perricone or other anti-aging products and we’ll enter you in our weekly drawing. You will also be signed up to receive our email newsletter, which you may cancel at any time.

And even if you don’t win, we’ll send you a fantastic offer!

This contest ends Tuesday, June 2.

Good Luck!