Thursday, December 16, 2010


Testosterone is a steroid hormone produced in the male testes. Though testosterone is thought of as an exclusively male hormone and is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics, it is not unique to males. Testosterone is also produced in the liver and adrenals in women.

Testosterone benefits include...
• Lowers Cholesterol • Protects Against Heart Disease • Improves Mood • Improves Sexual Performance
• Improves Memory • Enhances Body Fat Loss • Builds Lean Muscle • Increases Energy

What is testosterone?
Testosterone Pronounced As: testostron , principal androgen, or male sex hormone. One of the group of compounds known as anabolic steroids, testosterone is secreted by the testes but is also synthesized in small quantities in the ovaries, cortices of the adrenal glands, and placenta, usually from cholesterol. Testosterone is necessary in the fetus for the development of male external genitalia; increased levels of testosterone at puberty are responsible for further growth of male genitalia and for the development and maintenance of male secondary sex characteristics such as facial hair and voice changes. Testosterone also stimulates protein synthesis and accounts for the greater muscular development of the male (see metabolism). For many years, bio-identical hormones have been used by athletes with the goal of improving performance. Now Hormone Replacement Therapy has moved into the mainstream and can be doctor prescribed to anyone over the age of 30 showing a medical need, and who wants to improve their quality of life.
See: .Testosterone Research.
When does it decline?
Testosterone begins to decline in men at about age 25. Testosterone has a number of effects on muscles, bones, the central nervous system, bone marrow, the prostate and sexual function. Androgens, especially testosterone, regulate the normal growth and development of male sex organs and promote other male characteristics, such as body hair, muscle mass and a deep voice. The most common type of treatment for testosterone deficiency is known as testosterone replacement therapy.

Men who receive testosterone replacement consequently report that they feel sexier, stronger and healthier. They state that it makes them feel as they did when they were in their prime. After all, this is what replenishment of hormones is all about. It is about restoring hormones to youthful levels so you can feel as you did when you were at the peak of your physical and mental ability. Testosterone can stop and reverse the physical decline that robs men of their energy, strength and libido. Testosterone can restore muscle tone and improve stamina. Testosterone Therapy can restore healthy sexual excitement and desire, which in turn, results in an improvement in mood and overall well being.

Testosterone is responsible for the sex drive for both men and women. As testosterone diminishes with age, so does the sexual functioning in both men and women. Restoring testosterone to youthful levels in both men and women can reverse the situation. All too often, men and women automatically assume that as they age, their sexual capacity will diminish. There is no need to accept this loss of sexuality. Testosterone can play a critical role in helping to preserve and even restore sexual function so that we can live our extended life span with the same excitement and enthusiasm we enjoyed during our youth.

Physicians are witnessing an explosion of interest in testosterone as a result of our growing realization that Testosterone Levels decline with age and that many men suffer serious consequences to their physical and mental health as a result. In women, it is expressed as menopause, whereas, in men, it is expressed as andropause. Many of these symptoms and disease processes that we come to accept as normal aging are processes that are actually secondary to low testosterone levels and are easily correctable. Testosterone supplementation results in increased muscle strength, muscle size, increased energy level, decreased fat and increased desire and endurance for exercise. Now both men and women may be treated for their sex hormone deficiencies.

Testosterone replacement in the past has been associated with increased cholesterol levels. We feel this is probably secondary to the use of synthetic testosterone that resulted in liver dysfunction and the concomitant elevation of cholesterol. Studies now show that replenished with natural testosterone results in a decreased cholesterol and increased HDL, similar to what has been realized in women taking estrogen.

Clearly, testosterone is shown to have a positive impact on our health and well being, our moods and our ability to learn and retain information. Testosterone has been administered in the form of injections and oral supplements. We prefer not to use either of these methods as the testosterone is in the synthetic form. Testosterone patches are also available. We have found these patches unacceptable and secondary to the ability to get optional blood levels and feeling of the patch. Most patients prefer not to use these patches after experimenting with them. The method of choice is a natural testosterone injected inter-muscular or as a topical gel applied to the skin.

Testosterone cannot be used if one has prostate cancer. Testosterone has not been shown to cause prostate cancer, however, if one does have prostate cancer, testosterone may cause accelerated growth of this tumor. Therefore, there is a need to monitor the PSA on a regular basis to assure that one does not develop prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It can be easily detected by an annual PSA test. In addition to testosterone supplementation, THARC recommends the daily use of Saw Palmetto, which is a medication to protect the prostate and prevent enlargement of the prostate due to formation of DHT. Most men develop prostate hypertrophy in their later years, and this can be effectively treated and prevented by daily use of Saw Palmetto.

Testosterone has a number of effects on muscles, bones, the central nervous system, bone marrow, the prostate and sexual function. Androgens, especially testosterone, regulate the normal growth and development of male sex organs and promote other male characteristics, such as body hair, muscle mass and a deep voice. The most common type of treatment for testosterone deficiency is known as testosterone replacement therapy.

What is Hypogonadism? (Testosterone Deficiency)
In men, hypogonadism is a condition in which the testes produce a less than normal amount of testosterone, the male hormone. When too little testosterone is present, men tend to undergo a drop in sexual desire and performance. They may also experience depression, fatigue, loss of motivation and osteoporosis. The size and strength of their muscles may diminish and their body hair may become sparse. These symptoms are not specific to testosterone deficiency, however, some men with hypogonadism often don't recognize that they have a medical problem that is treatable.

Hypogonadism is a term medical professionals use for this condition and you'll see why it is often overlooked. Women go through menopause when their production of female hormones drops off dramatically, usually during middle age.
Testosterone And the increased risk for mortality in men
A new study has revealed that men with low levels of the hormone after their 40s have a higher risk of death over a 4-year period.

"The men with low testosterone did have higher death rates, but it may be due to some other factor that we weren't able to measure," said Molly Shores of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. Despite the finding, it is unclear why this is so, and researchers are looking into the possibility that a third factor is linked to the level of testosterone and age that leads to this higher risk for death in men. Shores also confirmed that most of the men in the study have been already suffering individually from about 5 different types of chronic illness at the time of the trial, which could have contributed to their early demise.

"They were probably more medically ill than most men their age," Shores said. "They all had an average of about 5 chronic illnesses."

Testosterone Adverse Effects
For now, all the study can safely reveal is that low levels of the hormone and the risk for death are linked. The nature of the relationship, however, is yet to be discovered. Menopause often comes accompanied by several complications; foremost among them is the risk for osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. The normal density of the bone usually starts to deteriorate during the fourth decade of life, necessitating the need for calcium supplementation, increased exercise, and intake of medications to stop bone loss. It is also a fact that women have a lower risk for cardiovascular diseases before hitting menopause. This reverses once menopause sets in and is attributed in part to lowered estrogen levels. Bio-identical hormone replacement can correct this aging problem and keep you in the safe zone with no ill effects and without the worry of breast cancer which was once a result of synthesized horse urine used in hormone replacement.

Call my office in Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at

Monday, November 29, 2010

What does Hypoestrogen Mean?

Hypoestrogen, What is that?
Women of all ages can have hypoestrogen. Hypoestrogen is when levels of cycling estrogen falls below the normal range of 150 pg/ml to 550 pg/ml. The symptoms are felt by women in many ways. And every woman knows when “the change” happens. Some women even know when slight changes begin to occur. Even the women who are lucky enough to never experience a hot flash often have probably experienced one of the following other hypoestrogen symptoms: heart palpitations, insomnia, mood swings, joint aches, headaches, fatigue, low libido, vaginal dryness, bloating, skin dryness, brain fog….just to name a few.

When just a few symptoms began to occur with me at age 42, I was NOT thinking it was from hypoestrogen. I knew that to be “menopause” and I was still cycling every 28 days having a 3-4 day period and just had two babies 15 months apart. When my doctor told me I should start on beta blockers to control my anxiety feelings and onset of heart palpitations, I decided to dig really deep and figure out what was causing the changes in my body to occur. I knew these changes came out of no where started to occur shortly after my last pregnancy at age 41. At that time my estrogen level was 48 pg/ml. I didn’t know much about fractionating the estradiol out of the estrogen total at that time. I didn’t know what the significance was about timing the cycling and checking blood. I didn’t know that fluctuations in estrogen can be pretty significant just days apart in a cycle. I also didn’t realize that if estrogen wasn’t peaking and I wasn’t ovulating I was not getting any progesterone and therefore had cycles with unopposed estrogen.

I’ve been treating women who have hypoestrogen levels and have seen the dramatic changes that occur when estrogen and progesterone are replaced in a cyclic dosing schedule and reach their individual therapeutic range in the blood serum. Like I said earlier, estrogen peaks around 350-550 pg/ml and is around 100-150 pg/ml on baseline days. Progesterone peaks around 10-15 ng/ml and is around 0-1 ng/ml on baseline days. Hormones that are too low cause symptoms that women feel and experience. They are real symptoms.

How long would you replace your thyroid if you were hypothyroid? I believe you would say forever. Well, I say that is how long we should replace our estrogen and progesterone if we have hypoestrogen. The results are amazing. It’s easier to replace hormones when receptors are still present and active. But, it is never too late. I have patients who are doing amazingly well that are in their late 70’s. I also have patients as young as 19 whose symptoms are resolved dramatically using bioidentical hormones in cyclic dosing and the results cannot even compare to that of traditional care, which is oral birth control pills (synthetic estrogen and synthetic progestins) given in static doses using low amounts of hormones. I know many women who cannot stand how they feel on the pill. Maybe some women don’t even realize that it is the pill causing some of the symptoms they experience.

Women can change the standard of care. My goal is to educate women and then we have a choice what we want to do with that information. We cycle. Let’s keep on cycling.

hormones, bioidentical, HRT, natural hormone replacement, menopause, perimenopause, over 40, menstruation, menstrual cycle, hormone cycle, estradiol, progestin, progesterone, libido, hot flashes, depression, anxiety, night sweats, hypothyroid, birth control, the pill, prempro, premarin,

Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at

Monday, November 22, 2010

Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts like a hormone in the human body. It is stored in the fat cells and released as fat is burned. This essential vitamin is supplied through diet, sunlight and supplements and it interacts with several body processes to keep a body healthy.
How does it work?

Vitamin D’s major role is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. It aids in the absorption of calcium, which helps form and maintain strong bones. Recent studies show vitamin D may also provide protection from osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer and several autoimmune diseases. In addition, adequate levels of vitamin D may actually prevent falls by helping us maintain muscle strength and balance as we age, not to mention the prevention of chronic pain, which has recently been linked to low levels of D.

A vitamin D deficiency, which affects up to 50 percent of adults and 30 percent of children in the United States, occurs over an extended period of time when an individual is either not consuming proper amounts of the vitamin or when the body is not absorbing the vitamin correctly. A simple finger-stick blood test, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, can provide you and your doctor with a clear picture of your vitamin D levels.

So, how much vitamin D is enough? Recommendations vary, but a daily intake in the range of 800 to 1,000 IU is likely to benefit most adults. In my practice it is more like 4,000 IU to 6,000 IU. Perimenopausal women may require 1250 IU of calcium per day, while postmenopausal women should consider up to 1500 IU daily. In addition to supplements that your doctor may recommend, you can always get Vitamin D the old-fashioned way by adding the following foods to a healthy diet:

* Cheese
* Butter
* Cream
* Eggs
* Fortified milk (all milk in the U.S. is fortified with vitamin D)
* Fish
* Oysters
* Fortified cereals

Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Modern Sexuality: The Risks, Problems and Solutions

Article written by Matt Phillips

Sexuality becomes more pervasive in our culture every year. More than ever, it’s used to promote and sell products, entice consumers and entertain the masses. However, all this brazen sexuality has actually led to higher rates of sexual activity, especially for younger Americans. Unfortunately, the spread of sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy are two serious outcomes of this social trend, especially for women. Although pregnancy rates have recently declined for teenage girls in the U.S., sexually transmitted disease numbers continue to climb, indicating that teens are not choosing to abstain from sex, but instead finding products which allow them to continue to be sexually active without the risk of pregnancy. However, teens need to understand that sexual promiscuity is not possible without some degree of risk.
Unfortunately, sex education in this country doesn’t do enough to teach teens this. While attempting to inform today’s teens, it actually might promote more negative results associated with sex than good. With the government renewing its abstinence-focused education programs this year, readily available and unbiased information for teens still choosing to be sexually active might be in short supply. This education, telling teens that abstinence is the only legitimate way, runs the risk of alienating some teens, in addition to providing little useful advice. By failing to recognize sexually active teens, this legislative measure successfully disregards the population of teens needing that information the most.
Some evidence-focused groups have even found this renewal of funding unwarranted, pointing out that no conclusive results showing its value has been found. However, the gaps in sex knowledge don’t stop there for young Americans between the ages of 18 and 29. Although most of these young adults agree that pregnancy should be planned, about half fail to use contraceptives regularly. This again highlights the inconsistency in the value of the information provided by this legislation.
However, even if teens do use contraceptives, as many parents would prefer, there remains a serious lack of information available as to their effectiveness and safety. While it’s tempting to point to the slew of birth control options on the market and trust their value, it’s also worth realizing that some of these products might not be completely effective. Worse still, some of these contraceptives may cause serious medical injury to the user.
Easy solutions to this lifestyle concern aren’t simple. Barrier methods, while safer than no contraceptive, are fallible. Hormonal methods, while relatively effective, can falsely imply complete protection to all outcomes of casual sex, including sexually transmitted diseases. In fact, the growing number of complaints against oral contraceptives, exemplified by pending Yaz lawsuit, indicates that the safety of such birth control options is far from guaranteed. Users of this particular product have seen serious, and sometimes fatal, side effects including heart attack, stroke, blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and gallbladder disease.
Although our culture is often brazen about sexuality, reiterating the seriousness of the act, both emotionally and from a health standpoint, needs to be a part of sexual education today. As we have seen, complete condemnation of a particular act does little to deter it. Therefore, it might be better to empower young people and give them the information they need about responsible sex. Trusting teens to act responsibly also includes accepting many will not wait for marriage or even stable relationships to have sex, so teens need to be made aware of ways to remain sexually active without the use of dangerous contraceptives.
Young women have some tough choices to struggle with if they choose to become sexually active, especially if they accidently become pregnant. Therefore, girls who are sexually active should figure out the answers to some of those tough choices they might have to make. Such decisions include whether to keep the child, have an abortion or put the baby up for adoption. Premarital sex carries with it the risk of bringing another life into this world and young couples need to be prepared for that immense responsibility. If the answers to these questions are too difficult to find, abstinence might then be the best option. Although sex is a huge part of our society today, we have the choice whether we let that influence our lives or stand up to the trend and find fulfillment elsewhere.

Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Whats Wrong with OCP?

So What is wrong with Oral Contraception? Why such the controversy over Hormone Replacement for women and no controversy over synthetic drugs to stop our hormones? These are questions YOU need to be asking the pharmaceutical companies AND your doctors.

I get asked this question in my clinic often so I am going to explain why the birth control pill is not a good idea. Birth control pills are synthetic hormone drugs. They contain either a form of mutated synthetic estrogen, fake progesterone, or androgenic medication. Some contain only medroxyprogesterone acetate (which is synthetic progestin). They are given in many ways, orally, transdermal patch, IUD, vaginal ring, or depo injection. They suppress your own production of ovarian hormones; estrogen and progesterone. Therefore, they prevent you from ovulating. That's why they work and you don't get pregnant. But, there is another way to prevent pregnancy. First, I will tell you why you should not use any of these OCP methods.

In 1998, Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals began a study on their synthetic hormones (Premarin and Prempro) on 16,608 postmenopausal women. I know, you guys are young, so who cares, right? Wrong! This study PROVED that oral synthetic hormones are bad for us!! They had to stop the study 3 years early because women were dying! They found in the 4-5 short years the study did go on (it was supposed to be an 8 year study) that women had an increase in breast cancer by 26%, strokes by 41%, heart attacks by 29%, Alzheimers dementia by 76% and 2 times increase in bloodclots. Well, birth control pills and synthetic progestins are the SAME STUFF! They just have different names.

Birth control pills make women's body look like my peri-menopause women. They aren't ovulating! That means you get the same symptoms as 35-45 year old women. i.e. you're aging faster!! Weight gain around the middle, dry skin, low libido, moodswings, more yeast infections, more UTI's, more joint aches, more irritability, more anxiety, etc. etc. It's a painful irony that when we are young and have everything to lose (our fertility and potential for genetic immortality) many of us eagerly tossed back hormones made out of mutated synthetic estrogens, fake progesterone, and even, sometimes testosterone. And when birth control pills first came onto the market in the 1960's (generation of "free love") doctors who prescribed them had no idea they might impact our future fertility or what those hormones might be doing to us physically by preventing pregnancy. We have figured out NOW how toxic these synthetic hormone "drugs" like PremPro can really be.

So let's understand what is happening. In a normal cycle, estrogen causes the uterus lining to grow and progesterone then occupies the estrogen receptor site for two weeks out of the cycle every month and if conception does not occur, the uterus lining is shed. When two drugs are packaged together what you get is no resemblance to what goes on hormonally in your body. In reality the static, chronic dose of fake progesterone (progestin) in combination with a synthetic estrogen actually blocks the estrogen's effect every day. So any benefits known from estrogen in heart, brain, and breast are lost or diminished. The birth control pill not only increases your risk of cancer, but also causes heart disease. It does have side effects. The hormones made in your body really don't!

Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at

Friday, October 15, 2010


I have been using transdermal hormone replacement using the Wiley Protocol for over three years now. Hormones are stored in fat cells. Transdermal application of hormones cannot mimic "exactly" how the ovaries or testicles release hormones into our blood stream. We apply a "glob" of cream twice a day, not a small amount every second of the day to our skin. If you have a nice fat pad on the back of your arms then the hormones can "store" in the fat and release with each heart beat pulsating blood through your body. I find there are times when I have to apply the hormone creams three times a day as I feel my estrogen levels falling. It is important to use the hormone creams consistently every day or your blood levels drop pretty quickly.

Hormones in your blood stream do not cause cancer! Chemicals can! Radiation can! Synthetic drugs can! Know what you are taking and know what your normal range is. I have measured thousands and thousands of male and female hormone levels over the past three years. Normal range of estradiol in cycling females is 150 pg/ml to 550 pg/ml and that is of fractionated estradiol, not TOTAL ESTROGEN. Total Estrogen would be much much higher because of the fact that estradiol breaks down into estrone. Estrone isn't dangerous, it is the inactive form of estradiol. Every woman has estrone; cycling females, pregnant woman, and menopausal women who are doing hormone replacement.

What is dangerous is if when you stop ovulating. The corpus luteum produces progesterone after ovulation every month for two weeks out of the month. When ovulation stops your body no longer has enough progesterone to "control" estrogen. Progesterone is much different from PROGESTINS. And there are many names for "progestins" that the media, medical articles, and doctors refer to as progesterone. If it isn't called PROGESTERONE then it is a PROGESTIN. Huge difference.

Here are a few of the names of Progestins that is NOT Progesterone:

Norethindrone Acetate

These all are "hidden" under their brand names which are:

Climara Pro

These are BAD medications that are not healthy for your body and can actually CAUSE negative effects inside your body including higher risk for blood clots, breast cancer, heart disease, dementia, weight gain, hair loss, depression, insomnnia to name just a few.

You have a choice people. Which option do you want to choose?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods.

Aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods.
Aspartame is the technical name for the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. It was discovered by accident in 1965 when James Schlatter, a chemist of G.D. Searle Company, was testing an anti-ulcer drug.

Aspartame was approved for dry goods in 1981 and for carbonated beverages in 1983. It was originally approved for dry goods on July 26, 1974, but objections filed by neuroscience researcher Dr John W. Olney and Consumer attorney James Turner in August 1974 as well as investigations of G.D. Searle's research practices caused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put approval of aspartame on hold (December 5, 1974). In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle and made Searle Pharmaceuticals and The NutraSweet Company separate subsidiaries.

Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death.(1) A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.

According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame:(2) Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson's disease, alzheimer's, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.

Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. The book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," by James and Phyllis Balch, lists aspartame under the category of "chemical poison." As you shall see, that is exactly what it is.

What Is Aspartame Made Of?
Aspartic Acid (40 percent of Aspartame)
Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, a professor of neurosurgery at the Medical University of Mississippi, recently published a book thoroughly detailing the damage that is caused by the ingestion of excessive aspartic acid from aspartame. Blaylock makes use of almost 500 scientific references to show how excess free excitatory amino acids such as aspartic acid and glutamic acid (about 99 percent of monosodium glutamate (MSG) is glutamic acid) in our food supply are causing serious chronic neurological disorders and a myriad of other acute symptoms.(3)

How Aspartate (and Glutamate) Cause Damage
Aspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters in the brain by facilitating the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate or glutamate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells. The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate and glutamate is why they are referred to as "excitotoxins." They "excite" or stimulate the neural cells to death.

Aspartic acid is an amino acid. Taken in its free form (unbound to proteins) it significantly raises the blood plasma level of aspartate and glutamate. The excess aspartate and glutamate in the blood plasma shortly after ingesting aspartame or products with free glutamic acid (glutamate precursor) leads to a high level of those neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain.

The blood brain barrier (BBB), which normally protects the brain from excess glutamate and aspartate as well as toxins, 1) is not fully developed during childhood, 2) does not fully protect all areas of the brain, 3) is damaged by numerous chronic and acute conditions, and 4) allows seepage of excess glutamate and aspartate into the brain even when intact.

The excess glutamate and aspartate slowly begin to destroy neurons. The large majority (75 percent or more) of neural cells in a particular area of the brain are killed before any clinical symptoms of a chronic illness are noticed. A few of the many chronic illnesses that have been shown to be contributed to by long-term exposure to excitatory amino acid damage include:

•Multiple sclerosis (MS)
•Memory loss
•Hormonal problems
•Hearing loss
•Alzheimer's disease
•Parkinson's disease
•Brain lesions
•Neuroendocrine disorders

The risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and persons with certain chronic health problems from excitotoxins are great. Even the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), which usually understates problems and mimics the FDA party-line, recently stated in a review that:

"It is prudent to avoid the use of dietary supplements of L-glutamic acid by pregnant women, infants, and children. The existence of evidence of potential endocrine responses, i.e., elevated cortisol and prolactin, and differential responses between males and females, would also suggest a neuroendocrine link and that supplemental L-glutamic acid should be avoided by women of childbearing age and individuals with affective disorders."(4)

Aspartic acid from aspartame has the same deleterious effects on the body as glutamic acid.

The exact mechanism of acute reactions to excess free glutamate and aspartate is currently being debated. As reported to the FDA, those reactions include:(5)

•Abdominal pains
•Fatigue (blocks sufficient glucose entry into brain)
•Sleep problems
•Vision problems
•Anxiety attacks
•Asthma/chest tigShtness.
One common complaint of persons suffering from the effect of aspartame is memory loss. Ironically, in 1987, G.D. Searle, the manufacturer of aspartame, undertook a search for a drug to combat memory loss caused by excitatory amino acid damage. Blaylock is one of many scientists and physicians who are concerned about excitatory amino acid damage caused by ingestion of aspartame and MSG.

A few of the many experts who have spoken out against the damage being caused by aspartate and glutamate include Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D., an experimental psychologist specializing in research design. Another is Olney, a professor in the department of psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University, a neuroscientist and researcher, and one of the world's foremost authorities on excitotoxins. (He informed Searle in 1971 that aspartic acid caused holes in the brains of mice.)

Phenylalanine (50 percent of aspartame)

Phenylalanine is an amino acid normally found in the brain. Persons with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) cannot metabolize phenylalanine. This leads to dangerously high levels of phenylalanine in the brain (sometimes lethal). It has been shown that ingesting aspartame, especially along with carbohydrates, can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine in the brain even in persons who do not have PKU.

This is not just a theory, as many people who have eaten large amounts of aspartame over a long period of time and do not have PKU have been shown to have excessive levels of phenylalanine in the blood. Excessive levels of phenylalanine in the brain can cause the levels of seratonin in the brain to decrease, leading to emotional disorders such as depression. It was shown in human testing that phenylalanine levels of the blood were increased significantly in human subjects who chronically used aspartame.(6)

Even a single use of aspartame raised the blood phenylalanine levels. In his testimony before the U.S. Congress, Dr. Louis J. Elsas showed that high blood phenylalanine can be concentrated in parts of the brain and is especially dangerous for infants and fetuses. He also showed that phenylalanine is metabolised much more effeciently by rodents than by humans.(7)

One account of a case of extremely high phenylalanine levels caused by aspartame was recently published the "Wednesday Journal" in an article titled "An Aspartame Nightmare." John Cook began drinking six to eight diet drinks every day. His symptoms started out as memory loss and frequent headaches. He began to crave more aspartame-sweetened drinks. His condition deteriorated so much that he experienced wide mood swings and violent rages. Even though he did not suffer from PKU, a blood test revealed a phenylalanine level of 80 mg/dl. He also showed abnormal brain function and brain damage. After he kicked his aspartame habit, his symptoms improved dramatically.(8)

As Blaylock points out in his book, early studies measuring phenylalanine buildup in the brain were flawed. Investigators who measured specific brain regions and not the average throughout the brain notice significant rises in phenylalanine levels. Specifically the hypothalamus, medulla oblongata, and corpus striatum areas of the brain had the largest increases in phenylalanine. Blaylock goes on to point out that excessive buildup of phenylalanine in the brain can cause schizophrenia or make one more susceptible to seizures.

Therefore, long-term, excessive use of aspartame may provid a boost to sales of seratonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac and drugs to control schizophrenia and seizures.

Methanol (aka wood alcohol/poison) (10 percent of aspartame)
Methanol/wood alcohol is a deadly poison. Some people may remember methanol as the poison that has caused some "skid row" alcoholics to end up blind or dead. Methanol is gradually released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounter the enzyme chymotrypsin.

The absorption of methanol into the body is sped up considerably when free methanol is ingested. Free methanol is created from aspartame when it is heated to above 86 Fahrenheit (30 Centigrade). This would occur when aspartame-containing product is improperly stored or when it is heated (e.g., as part of a "food" product such as Jello).

Methanol breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. An EPA assessment of methanol states that methanol "is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic." They recommend a limit of consumption of 7.8 mg/day. A one-liter (approx. 1 quart) aspartame-sweetened beverage contains about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy users of aspartame-containing products consume as much as 250 mg of methanol daily or 32 times the EPA limit.(9)

Symptoms from methanol poisoning include headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and neuritis. The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems including misty vision, progressive contraction of visual fields, blurring of vision, obscuration of vision, retinal damage, and blindness. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and causes birth defects.(10)

Due to the lack of a couple of key enzymes, humans are many times more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than animals. Therefore, tests of aspartame or methanol on animals do not accurately reflect the danger for humans. As pointed out by Dr. Woodrow C. Monte, director of the food science and nutrition laboratory at Arizona State University, "There are no human or mammalian studies to evaluate the possible mutagenic, teratogenic or carcinogenic effects of chronic administration of methyl alcohol."(11)

He was so concerned about the unresolved safety issues that he filed suit with the FDA requesting a hearing to address these issues. He asked the FDA to "slow down on this soft drink issue long enough to answer some of the important questions. It's not fair that you are leaving the full burden of proof on the few of us who are concerned and have such limited resources. You must remember that you are the American public's last defense. Once you allow usage (of aspartame) there is literally nothing I or my colleagues can do to reverse the course. Aspartame will then join saccharin, the sulfiting agents, and God knows how many other questionable compounds enjoined to insult the human constitution with governmental approval."(10) Shortly thereafter, the Commissioner of the FDA, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages, he then left for a position with G.D. Searle's public relations firm.(11)

It has been pointed out that some fruit juices and alcoholic beverages contain small amounts of methanol. It is important to remember, however, that methanol never appears alone. In every case, ethanol is present, usually in much higher amounts. Ethanol is an antidote for methanol toxicity in humans.(9) The troops of Desert Storm were "treated" to large amounts of aspartame-sweetened beverages, which had been heated to over 86 degrees F in the Saudi Arabian sun. Many of them returned home with numerous disorders similar to what has been seen in persons who have been chemically poisoned by formaldehyde. The free methanol in the beverages may have been a contributing factor in these illnesses. Other breakdown products of aspartame such as DKP (discussed below) may also have been a factor.

In a 1993 act that can only be described as "unconscionable," the FDA approved aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items that would always be heated to above 86 degree F (30 degree C).

Diketopiperazine (DKP)
DKP is a byproduct of aspartame metabolism. DKP has been implicated in the occurrence of brain tumors. Olney noticed that DKP, when nitrosated in the gut, produced a compound that was similar to N-nitrosourea, a powerful brain tumor causing chemical. Some authors have said that DKP is produced after aspartame ingestion. I am not sure if that is correct. It is definitely true that DKP is formed in liquid aspartame-containing products during prolonged storage.

G.D. Searle conducted animal experiments on the safety of DKP. The FDA found numerous experimental errors occurred, including "clerical errors, mixed-up animals, animals not getting drugs they were supposed to get, pathological specimens lost because of improper handling," and many other errors.(12) These sloppy laboratory procedures may explain why both the test and control animals had sixteen times more brain tumors than would be expected in experiments of this length.

In an ironic twist, shortly after these experimental errors were discovered, the FDA used guidelines recommended by G.D. Searle to develop the industry-wide FDA standards for good laboratory practices.(11)

DKP has also been implicated as a cause of uterine polyps and changes in blood cholesterol by FDA Toxicologist Dr. Jacqueline Verrett in her testimony before the U.S. Senate.(13)


1.Department of Health and Human Services, Report on All Adverse Reactions in the Adverse Reaction Monitoring System, (February 25 and 28, 1994).
2.Compiled by researchers, physicians, and artificial sweetner experts for Mission Possible, a group dedicated to warning consumers about aspartame.
3.Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.
4.Safety of Amino Acids, Life Sciences Research Office, FASEB, FDA Contract No. 223-88-2124, Task Order No. 8.
5.FDA Adverse Reaction Monitoring System.
6.Wurtman and Walker, "Dietary Phenylalanine and Brain Function," Proceedings of the First International Meeting on Dietary Phenylalanine and Brain Function., Washington, D.C., May 8, 1987.
7.Hearing Before the Committee On Labor and Human Resources United States Senate, First Session on Examing the Health and Safety Concerns of Nutrasweet (Aspartame).
8.Account of John Cook as published in Informed Consent Magazine. "How Safe Is Your Artificial Sweetner" by Barbara Mullarkey, September/October 1994.
9.Woodrow C. Monte, Ph.D., R.D., "Aspartame: Methanol and the Public Health," Journal of Applied Nutrition, 36 (1): 42-53.
10.US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, No. 84-1153 Community Nutrition Institute and Dr Woodrow Monte v. Dr Mark Novitch, Acting Commissioner, US FDA (9/24/85).
11.Aspartame Time Line by Barbara Mullarkey as published in Informed Consent Magazine, May/June 1994.
12.FDA Searle Investigation Task Force. "Final Report of Investigation of G.D. Searle Company." (March 24, 1976)
13.Testimony of Dr Jacqueline Verrett, FDA Toxicologist before the US Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, (November 3, 1987).

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Why Do So Many Skin Care Products Use These Potentially Hazardous Ingredients?

Why Do So Many Skin Care Products Use These Potentially Hazardous Ingredients?
Simple answer: because they’re cheap, readily available, and easy to dilute.

Are they in the products you currently use? It’s time to check. Go grab your containers of skin care products and check them against the following …

Ingredient Use Dangers
Parabens Heavily used preservatives in the cosmetic industry; used in an estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products. Studies implicate their connection with cancer because their hormone-disrupting qualities mimic estrogen and could disrupt your body’s endocrine system.

Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum These petroleum products coat the skin like plastic – clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They can slow cellular development, creating earlier signs of aging. They’re implicated as a suspected cause of cancer. Plus, they can disrupt hormonal activity. When you think about black oil pumped from deep underground, ask yourself why you’d want to put that kind of stuff on your skin…

Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) Found in over 90% of personal care products! They break down your skin’s moisture barrier, potentially leading to dry skin with premature aging. And because they easily penetrate your skin, they can allow other chemicals easy access. SLS combined with other chemicals may become a "nitrosamine" – a potent carcinogen.

Acrylamide Found in many facial creams. Linked to mammary tumors.

Propylene glycol Common cosmetic moisturizer and carrier for fragrance oils. May cause dermatitis and skin irritation. May inhibit skin cell growth. Linked to kidney and liver problems.

Phenol carbolic acid Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma, and even death from respiratory failure.

Dioxane Hidden in ingredients such as PEG, polysorbates, laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Very common in personal care products. These chemicals are often contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane that’s easily absorbed through the skin. Its carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965, and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages are considered extremely vulnerable, making it, in my opinion, a really bad idea to use these things on your face.

Toluene May be very poisonous! Made from petroleum and coal tar… found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage…May affect a developing fetus.

So, having read the above, do you really think it’s OK to put these things on your skin?


I don’t think so either.

Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bioidentical Estrogen, Heart Disease, and Cholesterol and Your Health

Estrogen refers both to natural estrogen hormones in the body and estrogen products used in medications. The main forms of estrogen found in women's bodies—endogenous estrogen—are:

estradiol, the main estrogen made by women’s ovaries before menopause (also described as 17-beta estradiol and E2)

estrone, a weaker estrogen produced both in the ovaries and in fat tissue from other hormones, and the main estrogen found in women after menopause (E1)

estriol, the weakest of the three main forms of estrogen, made in the body from other estrogens (E3) and found in utero with growing fetus.

The amount of these estrogens in the body varies over the course of the menstrual cycle. After menopause, estrone becomes the predominant endogenous estrogen in women’s bodies even though the ovaries continue to produce small amounts of estradiol, as do the secondary hormone-production sites. The adrenal gland continues to produce androstenedione, which is converted to estrone and estradiol in body fat and in muscle and skin cells. In addition, the ovaries continue making small amounts of testosterone, which can be converted to estradiol, but often is not in significant amounts.

How does estrogen function in the body?
Estrogens, particularly estradiol, are powerful female hormones that make a girl develop into a woman capable of reproduction. Whether from your own ovaries or from an external source, estrogens work in the body by traveling in the blood to body tissues where there are estrogen receptors. Estrogen receptors are found in the brain, breasts, heart, blood vessels, uterus, vagina, bladder, liver, bones, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Estrogen molecules bind, or attach, to estrogen receptors much like a key fits into a lock, and this leads to effects that vary from one body part to another.

Not all parts of the body have estrogen receptors, and not all estrogen receptors are alike. Estrogen receptors in bone tissue are not the same as estrogen receptors in breast tissue, for example. There are other factors that influence the differing effects of estrogen in different parts of the body, but not a great deal is known about these other factors.

What are the effects of lower estrogen levels?
Because estrogens have important effects on so many body tissues, it is not surprising that when a woman’s estrogen levels drop (especially when they drop suddenly), there may be negative or potentially negative effects. One of the most noticeable effects, of course, is the end of menses, the monthly periods. The end of menses is due in part to estrogen levels that are too low to stimulate the lining of the uterus (endometrium).

In addition to the end of menses, significant estrogen loss can also lead to:

hot flashes and night sweats with disturbed sleep
vaginal dryness and loss of elasticity of vaginal tissue , elasticity of skin, blood vessels, heart vessels
increased urinary tract infections and problems with urinary incontinence (difficulty holding one’s urine)—although childbirth appears to be the most important cause of incontinence in postmenopausal women
loss of sexual desire and function
changes in mood, or depression
memory problems and possible increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease
breast changes—loss of firmness
skin changes—thinner skin, less collagen and moisture in the skin
loss of bone density—may eventually lead to osteoporosis
increase in cholesterol levels—may increase risk for heart disease
loss of numerous beneficial effects of estrogen on body organs and systems
Estrogens used in ERT, HRT and NHRT

Estrogen products may provide either a single type of estrogen or mixed estrogens. The most commonly prescribed form of estrogen for HRT in the U.S. for many years has been a mixture of estrogens extracted from the urine of pregnant mares (Premarin, and the estrogen in Prempro and other estrogen products that begin with Prem-). Prempro is the combined synthetic estrogen/progestin formulation that was found in the WHI study to be associated with a somewhat increased risk of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, and blot clots.

There are many alternatives to Premarin available to women today. Other estrogen products, including bio-identical estrogens, are made in the laboratory from plant materials, usually wild yam or soy. Estrogens can be taken in pill form or as sublingual (under the tongue) tablets. There are also estradiol skin patches (transdermal estrogen), and some estrogen products can be used in the vagina. An estradiol skin gel (EstroGel) is available in many countries including Canada and the U.S. An estrogen nasal spray is being tested. Most estrogen products delivered through the skin are bio-identical estrogens, but some oral and vaginal estrogens are not (e.g., Premarin, Ogen, Cenestin, Premarin vaginal cream). The estrogen used in transdermal patches is bio-identical estrogen (estradiol); however, the estrogen used in the contraceptive skin patch (Ortho Evra) is a synthetic estrogen.

Examples of estrogen products
Oral (pills): Estrace, generic estradiol, Ogen, Premarin, Cenestin
Transdermal: Vivelle, Climara, Alora, Estraderm (skin patches)
EstroGel (now available in the U.S.)
Vaginal: VagiFem, Estring
I prefer to use the Wiley Protocol transdermal estrogen because it is bioidentical and is the only standardized cyclic hormone therapy available at this time to replace hormones the way young cycling female hormones are.

Estriol is not often used in HRT, although it is possible to have an estrogen cream that contains estriol made to order by a compounding pharmacy. Estriol, while much weaker than estradiol, is still able to cause systemic effects on the user, and studies have found that oral estriol can stimulate the endometrium. Vaginal estrogens are less likely to cause systemic effects and are sometimes effective for restoring vaginal and urogenital tissues to premenopausal conditions and reducing urinary tract infections.

Different products may have somewhat different effects and side effects. Oral estrogens seem to have more side effects than estrogens delivered through the skin or the vagina, apparently due to the "first pass" through the liver that occurs when drugs are taken by mouth.

The differences between oral and transdermal estrogens
Oral estrogens are quickly broken down by the liver, and this "first pass" through the liver seems to be responsible for certain side effects as well as for the positive effects of oral estrogen on cholesterol levels, lowering LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) and raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol). Oral estrogen sometimes raises triglycerides (another type of blood fat) and women who have high triglyceride levels should be aware of this.

Transdermal estrogen given in the doses I prescribe can raise HDL and lower LDL cholesterol, and it does not affect triglycerides, so it may be a better choice in women with elevated triglyceride levels. Avoiding the first pass through the liver also may prevent the increased risk of blood clots and gallbladder problems associated with oral estrogens.

UPDATE: Results of a study reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (April 2003) show that Premarin pills, a form of oral estrogen, increase C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood, while Climara, an estrogen skin patch, does not. CRP is a marker of inflammation in the blood that has been found to be a heart disease risk factor. Read Could Heart Risks of Estrogen Replacement Be "Patched" Up? for more information. The study confirms earlier research showing that transdermal estrogen does not raise CRP levels in the blood, while estrogen pills do (Vehkavaara S et al., 2001).

Transdermal estrogen and oral estrogen have differing effects on androgens in the body. Oral estrogen lowers free testosterone and can lead to androgen deficiency (affecting libido among other things), while transdermal estrogen has little effect on testosterone levels. Transdermal estrogen may offer other advantages over oral estrogens, although more research is needed.

I have over 500 women on transdermal estrogen and progesterone using the Wiley Protocol who are doing awesome. I've been tracking their progress since 2008 and have amazing results and data showing how replacing your hormones to reflect what your hormones do in young cycling women restores health and well being.

Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at

Thursday, September 2, 2010

More About Estrogen. It's Functions and Purpose in Men and Women

About Estradiol

Estradiol is the most active form of estrogen in the human body.

As well as the being one of the most important "female hormones" which is responsible for a normal monthly cycle, estradiol is known to support normal function in quite a number of important physiological processes including -
1. bone mineral density & osteoporosis prevention's
2. proper heart and blood vessel health & arteriosclerosis prevention.
3. Mood
4. sex drive
5. thyroid function
6. skin elasticity (which decreases without estradiol and causes thin skin and wrinkles)
7. and fertility

Peri- and post-menopausal women may monitor the decreasing levels of this hormone that occur with aging. Cycling women experiencing PMS symptoms that
may be due to a hormonal imbalance may also monitor estradiol.

In men estradiol does not play as important a role as it does in women, though men also have a small amount of estradiol normally in their bodies. The amount of testosterone that men have usually does not allow estradiol to have any significant physiological effects on the body. If the amount of estradiol compared to testosterone increases, then men can notice certain symptoms such as weight gain especially in the midsection, development of enlarged breasts (gynecomastia), decreased sex drive, and many of the signs of low testosterone.

Certain medications and drugs, chronic alcoholism and other chronic health conditions can result in increased estradiol levels in men.

In women, estradiol is a steroid hormone produced primarily by the ovaries and adrenal glands. Estradiol has a direct affect on the function of the reproductive system, the nervous system, the cardiovascular system and the skeletal system.

Blood sugar levels, skin and other tissues and functions are also significantly influenced by estradiol.

Though proper estradiol levels are critical for the prevention of osteoporosis, the actions of this hormone extend far beyond bone health.

Therefore it is crucial that proper levels also be maintained in all women.

The Menstrual Cycle and the Endometrium

Progesterone prevents development of endometrial cancer 1. Low progesterone with unopposed estrogen may be one cause of dysfunctional uterine bleeding 2. Progesterone may help decrease uterine contractions, cramping and pain 3, 4.

The Vagina & Urinary Tract

Excessive progesterone may increase urinary incontinence and even counteract the beneficial effects of estrogen in maintaining urinary control 5, 6, 7, 8.

The Libido

Excessive progesterone may decrease libido due to antiestrogen and anti-androgen effect 9, 10. As well as decreasing libido, excessive levels may induce depression 11.

Blood Sugar & Insulin

While estrogens help the cells of the body utilize glucose more efficiently by making them more sensitive to insulin, progesterone can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity, having an effect on blood sugar that is similar glucocorticosteroids 12. This interference with the action of insulin can interfere with normal glucose uptake and cause insulin resistance 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.

The ability of progesterone to interfere with proper function of insulin and glucose has since been associated with gestational diabetes 18, 19, 20 as well as hormone replacement therapies 21,15, 22, 12 and has been been observed in both synthetic & non-synthetic progesterone 20, 23, 24, 12. Even the high progesterone levels which occur naturally during the luteal phase can induce insulin resistance in some women 21, 16.

The Brain – Mood & Memory

Progesterone and its metabolites result in increased relaxation and reduced anxiety in a way that is similar to the effects of benzodiazepines 25, 26 by a direct effect on neurotransmitter receptors called Gamma-AminoButyric Acid type A (GABAA) receptors 27. When progesterone levels drop a woman can experience withdrawals similar to the withdrawal seen with benzodiazepine, barbiturate, and alcohol withdrawal 29.

Excessive levels may cause decreased coordination, slowed reflexes, depression and impaired memory and reasoning skills 30, 31, 32, 33, 34. The sedating effects of excessive progesterone can cause drowsiness and even induce sleep 35, 32, 36. The nerve calming effect of progesterone is so pronounced that both natural progesterone and medroxyprogesterone have both been shown to decrease seizures in women with epilepsy 37, 38.

Progesterone has a protective, stimulating effect on breathing patterns during sleep, resulting in decreased incidence of sleep apnea, a serious condition in which the body is deprived of oxygen 39, 40, 41, 42.

The action of progesterone on GABAA receptors have been associated with an increase appetite and food intake 43, 44, 45.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Love My Hormones: Anterior Pituitary Hormones - Hormones control cells in the body

Love My Hormones: Anterior Pituitary Hormones - Hormones control cells in the body

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Anterior Pituitary Hormones - Hormones control cells in the body

The anterior pituitary secretes six hormones including adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), Growth Hormone (GH),Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), Luteinizing hormone (LH), and Prolactin. The secretions are controlled by chemical agents carried in the portal hypophysial vessels from the hypothalamus to the pituitary.

The hypophyseal portal system (or hypothalamo-hypophyseal portal system) is the system of blood vessels that link the hypothalamus and the anterior pituitary in the brain.

It allows endocrine communication between the two structures. It is part of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The anterior pituitary receives releasing and inhibitory hormones in the blood. Using these, the anterior pituitary is able to fulfill its function of regulating the other endocrine glands.

It is one three portal systems of circulation in the human body; that is, it involves two capillary beds connected in series by venules. The others are the hepatic portal system and that in the kidneys.

There are six established hypothalamic releasing and inhibiting hormones including corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), growth hormone releasing hormone (GRH), growth hormone inhibiting hormone (GIH), Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) (now known as gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), and prolactin-inhibiting hormone (PIH).

Our hormones control cells in the body. In women, FSH and LH act in sequence on the ovary to produce growth of the ovarian follicle, ovulation, and formation and maintenance of the corpus luteum (which produces the progesterone). Prolactin stimulates lactation. In men, FSH and LH control the functions of the testes.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

The Seven Dwarfs of Menopause

The Seven Dwarfs of Menopause arrived at my door without warning: Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful and All-Dried-Up.

One by one they crept into my own private cottage in the woods and started to take over my life. The first to arrive was Itchy. I developed this itch on my right calf that was so irritating, I wanted to scratch the skin right off my body.

Then Bitchy came to my door. No longer was my PMS contained to one or two days a month-it felt like constant PMS. Then I would swing from Bitchy to Weepy for God's sake, what was wrong with me? Ding-dong......It's the middle of the night and Sweaty has crawled into bed with me.

Oh, yes, Sweaty brought embarrassing hot flashes and introduced me to night sweats where it seemed as if a faucet had been attached between my breasts.

Of course! Sweaty brought about Sleepy because I was tired all the time. I would wake up so many times in the night and not be able to get back to sleep.

Bloated crept in slowly, my once-svelte figure got thick through the middle section, even though I was following my weight-loss program that had worked so well for so many years!

I can't quite remember when Forgetful arrived, but one day my brain stopped working. I considered myself a pretty focused woman until Forgetful came and I could not keep a coherent thought in my brain. Am I getting Alzheimer's? I wondered.

Last, All-Dried-Up slowly encroached upon my happy marriage. This was probably the most unpleasant of the dwarf family. Sex was no longer on the top of my list...or on my list at all. My husband would give me that knowing look, and I would think, "Frankly, I'd rather have a smoothie."

Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at

Estrogen and Progesterone Restore Life

What makes a women feel good? Loaded question! Today, I am talking about hormones. Specifically, estrogen and progesterone.

When a women is younger and having menstrual cycles, she is producing hormones that make her strong-to have babies. They make her desirable to attract a mate. Last, but not least, they make her feel good.

During the course of a menstrual cycle, the brain tells the ovaries to ripen eggs. As the eggs ripen, they produce estradiol. On or about day 12 of ones cycle, an egg is released, a women makes testosterone, and starts to produce progesterone. These events prepare the uterus for pregnancy but much much more.

A women is born with a finite number of eggs, and at some point she runs out. The ovaries are the only place that makes progesterone and so it goes away. The body tries to compensate with estrogen but it makes estrone, not a lot. Consequently a women then goes thru the change of life! Hot flashes, cannot sleep, brain fog, etc, etc, etc.

One hundred years ago, women only lived to be 50, on the average. They did not talk about sex and did not have to worry about menopause. Today, you might live to be 80 or 90! Why should you feel bad and not enjoy sex.?

The answer is the Wiley protocol of hormone replacement for women.

This protocol replaces hormones, bio-identically and in a manner in which the body produced them in a young menstruating female.

If something was good for you when you were 25, why should it be bad for your when your 55? The answer is its not!

Try the Wiley protocol-feel better, sleep better, think better and once again enjoy your sexuality. It keeps your bones stong, keeps your HDLs high and if you have the breast cancer gene may protect you from bad estrogen ( 16-oh-estrone).

My patients love it and so will you.

Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Third phase of hCG Diet Protocol

I completed the 26 day hCG protocol with wonderful results! I was on Day 22 or 23 when my father-in-law passed away so it was a monkey wrench in the routine of things. Suddenly I was no longer able to follow a set schedule for cooking and eating. I had lost all the weight by that time but still needed to adhere to eating the 500 calorie diet for three more days in order to not gain back large amounts of fat post injections. The next phase is no starch or sugar for three weeks. I admit I have had a couple of "sweet" alcoholic type drinks which are definitely high in the sugar department after the funeral and at a pool party in memory of Jerry Jones. Doing well on the following the diet part of the plan. Starting a work out schedule with the plan called "Insanity" today July 19th was the first work out. It is a workout program designed to change your physical condition and get your body in tip top shape in 60 days. Today Jerome and I did the initial fitness test which is then repeated every 2 weeks to monitor progress and push yourself to beat your last results.

I admit, if you can carve out 26 days where you can concentrate on being diligent with planning your meals ahead of time and can get over any fears of using a 1-1/2 inch long needle to inject the medication intramuscular in the medial buttock muscle then this diet is something I highly recommend trying. I can guide you but I can't make you be faithful to it. My role is to encourage you, guide you through the obstacles and walk with you through the process. It works!

There are a couple ways you can contact me for more information on getting started. Call and schedule an appt in either of my office locations or visit my web page to get started.

Look forward to helping you transform your body into the one you aspire to obtain.

Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at

Monday, July 19, 2010

Can Staying Up Late Cause Heart Disease? by TS Wiley

Can Staying Up Late Cause Heart Disease?

What happens to the biggest clock in your body when the light never sinks into the sunset (e.g., Schwartz 1996)? When the fuel that feeds your heart never varies and the panic perceived by sleep loss never ends?
So many things you can't even imagine.

And not one of them is good.

In order to understand the magnitude of damage that can be done by staying up after the sun goes down, we need to grasp the mechanisms of the cosmic clock we call a heart.

In a Heartbeat
Bump-bump, swish, lub-dub, lub-dub, bah-boom, bah-boom . . . however the act is interpreted verbally or on the written page, we all recognize a heartbeat or the lack of one. All the cells of our hearts, like little tuning forks, resonate together to set the beat (e.g., Lakatta 1993). That beat, provided by our "heartstrings," reverberates throughout the circulatory system (e.g., Attali 1996).

Tibetan, Chinese, and Ayurvedic medicine all consider pulse sounds the major key to diagnosis. Eastern physicians study the rhythms of pulse for many years in order to qualify to practice medicine. By studying at least six different pulse points, they are able to discern many different rhythmic patterns or "songs." These human EKG machines believe that there are as many different rhythms as there are diseases. Each illness has its own song. It's possible to hear the music and the discord (e.g., Holden 1998).

The scientists at the Santa Fe Institute for Biological Complexity, in their attempt to categorize scaling, or how the various characteristics of all living things, like pulse rate and life span, change according to body size, have decided we humans all get only a billion. That's the magic number--one billion lub-dubs (e.g., West 1997).

From the smallest tree shrew to a blue whale, nobody actually gets more than a billion. But size does matter when it comes to time on this earth. The mouse uses its billion up faster than the elephant because of their respective metabolic rate. These scientists have a formula--a cat, one hundred times more massive than a mouse, lives one hundred to the quarter power, or about three times, longer than a mouse (e.g., Mackenzie 1999). Therefore, a cat's heart beats one third as fast as a mouse's. The fluctuations on all time scales, the timing of a beat being fixed from the timings of the last few before it, really means your heart is not tuned to only one frequency.

The New England Journal of Medicine reported in an article in February of 1999 that the human heart shows an electrical response to a variety of "radio" frequencies. By responding to a range of frequencies, our heart protects the brain and itself from damage that could result from an overreaction to any one stimulus at any one frequency. This information makes cell phones all the more horrifying. The heart is made of what scientists call an excitable medium, that is, one that generates and conducts electricity (e.g., Lakatta 1993).

The Consciousness Interface
Your heart and your immune system, far more than the gray matter that we think of as constituting the mind, are sentient in their own right. Evidence of your heart's active intelligent participation in your existence is found in studies of beat rhythms (e.g., Levin 1998). Your brain's growth and development are, in fact, completely maintained by immune factors called cytokines originating in your heart.

Your heart clenches and unclenches like a fist about 60 times a minute on average. The image of a constant, unwavering, orderly "ticker" beating away like clockwork is given to us as schoolchildren. We're taught that the terms "health" and "order" are synonymous. In fact, we refer to almost all diseases as dis-orders. But the truth is just the opposite. An "ordered" heart is one of slow, steady, unvarying beats (e.g., Holden 1998; Shimizu 1993).

Every first-year med student knows that this is the tempo of a sick heart. If you look at recordings of long series of heartbeats and calculate the lengths of the beat-to-beat intervals, it looks like they are spaced at longer and shorter intervals in a completely random and erratic manner.

Not erratic in the fluctuating way in which your heart responds to your body's activity level, but genuinely wild, even during sleep. There are speed ups and slowdowns, not just hourly, but minute-to-minute, too. Researchers monitored 10 healthy volunteers and ten people with congestive heart failure (e.g., Holden 1998). On first look, the heart rhythms appeared much the same in both groups, but the beat-to-beat rhythms of the healthy hearts were, in fact, far different from those of the brokenhearted.

In the healthy hearts, a sequence of two hundred steps up tends to be followed by two hundred steps down. On an EKG, this means that the period in which the heart slows down will be followed by a period in which it speeds up, sort of like a built-in mechanism that sets the beat long-range, so it fluctuates to a predetermined mathematical landscape.

The healthy heart has long-term "memory."

The timing of the next beat depends on the "beat history" of the distant past. Disease, by contrast, is really heart amnesia (e.g., Lakatta 1993). In a broken heart, if a run of 200 beats gets progressively slower, the next 200 are just as likely to get slower as they are to get faster. By measuring longer and longer intervals, the scientists can find the extra information about the "average" hidden in the fluctuations (e.g., Holden 1998).

This information is enough to illuminate the rhythmic differences between healthy and sick hearts. Over the last 20 years, mathematicians and physicists have realized that what looks random is not random at all. It's chaotic, and unpredictability is a hallmark of a chaotic system. Chaos differs from randomness in that chaotic behavior always arises from simple underlying causes. Irregular rhythms like sunspots or the oscillations of El Nino are examples of chaotic rhythms rather than random single occurrences. Healthy heartbeats are highly chaotic, just like cosmic activity or the weather, because a chaotic system is more adaptable (e.g., Storey 1997; Wehr 1997). When you don't sleep or cut sleep short, patterns can't be adapted. A chaotic system is highly dynamic, always changing and fluctuating to maintain homeostasis. A chaotic system is always poised in a state that is incredibly sensitive to small influences.

How the Beat Goes On

The oppositely polarized inside and outside of your heart cells always have an unequal distribution of ions inside and outside of the cell. The systemic sympathetic nervous system communicates with the nerves all over your body and brain by initiating waves of change in the polarity inside and outside the membrane of neuronal cells like those in the heart. The pouring of positive and negative ions in and out through gates in your heart cells' membranes produces a "current" of electricity (e.g., Lakatta 1993).

The muscle cells of the heart are thrown into play by an electrical current that comes in polarized waves and contracts and squeezes blood through two adjacent pumping chambers called the left and right ventricles. There's a special colony of cells at the top of the right side. These cells electrically "keep the beat." This rush of electricity sweeps in a spiral around the entire heart, from the double-humped top to the pointy little bottom, making a complete circuit top to bottom -- bottom to top.

As this happens, your arteries actually "feel" the blood flowing through them. The sensors that read how hard your blood pushes and pulls as it rushes through you are called endothelial cells. These cells are alive in their own right (e.g., Shimizu 1993).

They change shape, move around, and switch a myriad of genes on or off in response to blood pressure and velocity, hormones and cytokines that they detect in the blood, and (here's the big problem with not sleeping) photons of light brought into the blood by cells called cryptochromes. Endothelial cells control through changing blood pressure the flow dynamics moment to moment.

Endothelial cells also control how fatty acids floating in your blood are metabolized. Fatty acids are what the doctor measures when he threatens you about your high cholesterol. The blood tests they take to measure your cholesterol look at different components of fatty acids in your blood, components with acronyms like VLDL, HDL, and LDL. Whether the LDLs (low density lipoproteins) are split from the VLDLs (very low density lipoproteins) that were made in your liver from the carbohydrates that you've eaten and become heavy, oxidized, smaller LDL particles is at the discretion of your endothelial cells (e.g., Pinkney 1997).

Doctors tell you to fast before the test, not because a high-fat meal will skew the results but because a high-carbohydrate one will. Carbohydrates turn into triglycerides (body fat) to insulate and nourish you when there's no sugar left to eat. Carbohydrates simultaneously turn into these fatty acids, too, to patch your heart cells against leaks if you freeze and as nourishment for your heart muscle cells as the planet turns in and out of the light of and spins around the sun. (e.g., Bjorntorp 1991; Hearse 1997; Yudkin 1988; Wiley 2001). Days are not all the same length all year long and your heart has evolved to "know" that.

Your heart has a seasonal metabolism.

Your summer heart runs on straight sugar (glucose) and your winter heart runs on free fatty acids. Because it's always summer (long light/high carbohydrates) in our hearts now thanks to temperature and light control, our arteries never get a chance to use up all the cholesterol (e.g., Howell 1997). In addition, your serotonin, which goes up with your insulin, keeps building, leading to ultimate serotonin resistance, which gives you high blood pressure on the way to blood clots, and--as long as the lights shine and you stay up--your cortisol (W) stays up. And chronic high anything means compensatory resistance (e.g., Bergendahl 1996).

Cortisol production is, in the first place, a coping mechanism in place to deal with episodic stress. Your heart lining loves cortisol, in small doses. The endothelial cells in your heart lining can't do all the jobs they do without small, usable measures of cortisol. Big hits, however, signal big danger to your endothelial cells. Big hits all day long, all week long, all year long for decades can mean cortisol resistance and a bad temper, and no patience, and skewed time perception, and pervasive panic (e.g., Bergendahl 1996; Fimognari 1996).

It doesn't matter if you eat saturated or unsaturated fat, good fats or bad fats; if the endothelial cells lining your heart are dead, so are you. Endothelial cells lining every blood vessel in your body is a player in the larger scheme of the sensory organ known as your heart. The rush of your blood, the push and the pull, is called "shear stress" on the walls of your arteries (e.g., Hademenos 1997).

Shear stress action over a smooth patch of endothelial cells activates three very important genes: one that produces nitric oxide, which controls the clamping down of your blood vessels, which, in turn, controls the speed and volume of your blood pressure, and two other genes that inhibit blood clotting and smooth any muscle overgrowth (lumpy bumps). Endothelial cells that read too much turbulence or, on the other hand, none at all, produce very little activation of these genes (e.g., Shimizu 1993).

This is a bad thing.

That means that while constant chronic running on a treadmill produces too much turbulence, never moving away from the television or computer screen at all from day to day is just as bad. A little stress, episodically, is a very good thing. Just like a little cortisol, episodically, keeps the rhythm and proves you're alive. A lot of chronic stress, of course, means you're a loser to nature and should go away permanently. Just a little cortisol bath makes endothelial cells very happy. A lot of cortisol will drown them. Since cortisol stays up as long as the lights are on, we're probably drowning. So just keeping the lights on late, year-round, can cause endothelial cell death (e.g., Hearse 1997; Miguez 1995; Pinkney 1997).

Any increase in blood pressure from your sympathetic nervous system or heavy carbohydrate intake in the wrong season can change blood pressure to create even more shear stress and hurt your endothelial cells two ways. The ten to fifteen pounds of water weight we carry on a high carbohydrate diet is enough of a volume increase to account for the chronic subclinical high blood pressure seen in the majority of men more than 35 years old (e.g., Hearse 1997; Yudkin 1988).

Any high blood pressure, no matter how slight, always means shear stress.

The other major killer of the endothelial cells in the lining of your heart is chronically high levels of endotoxin LPS. Endotoxin LPS is the bacterial "sweat" coming from the four pounds of symbiotic bacteria living in your gut. Endotoxin LPS, as it accumulates all day long from reproducing symbiotic bacteria, activates your immune system and interleukin-2. Interleukin 2 puts you to sleep and melatonin drops your temperature to lower the number of bacteria reproducing again. They get a chance, you get a chance. When you fight sleep instead of surrendering, those levels rise and stay high (Brugger 1995; Schwartz 1996; Sensi 1993; Storey 1997; Tamura 1997).

That can kill your heart. One of the most obscure ways to kill your endothelial cells by not sleeping is through high homocysteine.

A man named Kilmer McCully realized about thirty years ago that children with a genetic disease called homocysteinuria always died of heart attacks from clogged arteries by the age of ten or eleven (e.g., McCully 1996).

Children with homocysteinuria genetically fail to make an enzyme that metabolizes homocysteine to remove it from the bloodstream. McCully was smart enough to realize that high levels of building homocysteine must be associated with coronary artery disease in adults, too. He was right.

Of course, no one took him seriously until scientists found that an increase in folic acid supplements would compensate for the missing enzyme in the elimination pathway for homocysteine. Once there was a treatment, suddenly there was a disease--a genetic folic acid deficiency. A widespread genetic folic acid deficiency in the majority of the aging male population is a virtual impossibility, so the pathways of homocysteine manufacture and metabolism must be being affected by something in the environment (e.g., Clark 1998).

Sure enough, only a few feedback loops and cascades backward, a crucial enzyme for metabolizing methionine, the precursor to homocysteine, is knocked out by a cryptochrome carrying blue light (e.g., Hsu 1996). To get the right answer, you have to ask the right question.

The amount of daylight you are exposed to, compounded by the amount of artificial light, controls the production of a minuscule, seemingly esoteric, high-up-in-the-cascade-of-other-hormones-and-functions thing that can kill your endothelial cells--which line your heart--which control clotting, overgrowth, fat metabolism, and blood pressure.

The four most obvious ways that you can kill your endothelial cells are:

1. Chronic high cortisol (never-ending light and stress)
2. High levels chronic levels of endotoxin LPS (no sleep)
3. High homocysteine (too much light)
4. Shear stress created by what would be seasonal high blood pressure (carbohydrate "water-weight," and serotonin resistance and insulin resistance that have no natural end because winter, cold and darkness never come) (e.g., Wiley 2001).

Since numbers 1, 2, and 3 are all the result of modern life, and 4--the all-sugar, all-the-time diet--is the direct result of 1, 2, and 3 also, it's probably safe to say that heart disease, which is a state of endothelial cell demise, is caused by no sleep and too much light, right?

No Escape

Oh, and here's the heart attack mechanism... it's also the endothelial lining that controls the overgrowth of smooth muscle tissue. Those bumpy lumps are the major factor, along with cholesterol plaqueing, in arteriosclerosis (clogged arteries). A disturbed blood flow over bumpy terrain activates an altogether different set of genes in the endothelial cells. These other genes are set in motion to "correct" what the endothelial cells perceive to be a "flow" problem mimicked by the lumpy bumps.

Cholesterol plaque, in and of itself, does not make for bumpy terrain.

It's the immune "factors" released from the endothelial cells themselves, in a protective attempt to restore homeostasis and distribute the shear stress of the flow of blood, that cause the problem (e.g., Johnson 1997; King 1996).

A disturbed flow actually causes the shutdown of protective genes and provokes panic in the endothelial cells. After releasing the immune factors that clamp down, increasing your blood pressure by mistake, they begin to crawl around by extending pseudopodia (little feet) in an effort to escape from areas where shear stress has changed abruptly. The migration of these cells lining your arteries leads to thinning of the artery wall.

The gaps are filled by immune cells called leukocytes (white blood cell) that make a scab sticky enough to attract cholesterol floating in your bloodstream, which makes a fat-constructed Band-Aid to strengthen the thinning artery wall. Now you have cholesterol plaque and overgrown smooth muscle and immune cells making what's known in medicine as foam cells. Foam cells constitute a "lesion" (e.g., Woolf 1994; Wiley 2001).

This new mess creates an excessively bumpy terrain and a remarkably disturbed flow, which panics your poor endothelial cells further. They, literally, run away and the artery wall thins and then your immune system tries to repair it, and it gets bumpier and bumpier and then, of course, your endothelial cells run away again, and the whole shooting match starts all over again; and again and again (e.g., Brugger 1995; Wiley 2001).

But, because you're not dead yet, you probably just have the occasional chest pain or pressure when you exercise. No doubt you're also finding it harder and harder to fight off the depression caused by the chronic high serotonin from all of the carbohydrates you've eaten.
When you never turn off the lights, the serotonin has no way to metabolize into melatonin. In fact, exposure to blue and green light actually knocks out the enzyme that would convert serotonin to melatonin -n-acetyltransferase (e.g., Wehr 1997). So, in addition to making you blue, these sky-high serotonin levels create serotonin resistance in blood platelets (e.g., Modai 1992; Nakata 1999), which makes them even stickier than usual.

That's important, because it's hard to have a heart attack without a blood clot, and it's hard to have a blood clot without sticky platelets. Sleep loss makes most of us tired, freaked out, miserable, addicted to either sugar or alcohol, maybe living on anti-depressants, and walking around with a very damaged heart lining held together by cholesterol supports.

That's heart disease.

But we don't think about it very often unless a knocking comes from within--or worse, pain. Palpitations are absurdly alarming, pain is downright incapacitating emotionally and intellectually. Any physician reading the description above would tell you that you're going to have that heart attack and you're going to have it from the cholesterol plaque clogging your arteries, but no one ever tells you to get some sleep (e.g., Brugger 1995; Hademenos 1997; Hearse 1997; Schwartz 1996; Tamura 1997; Wiley 2001).

As if that's not tragic enough, modern medicine adds to the fear (e.g., Blumenthal 1995; Nilsson 1996), making it palpable. TV and print ads and the internet bombard us with news from the front about the "war on heart disease"--just in case you didn't realize your heart was trying to kill you. We are taught to hate our hearts. It's true that human beings have always been obsessed with their hearts in life, art, and literature. Now we are obsessed with the "health" of our hearts. We seem to be locked in codependent relationships with cardiologists, researchers, and exercise physiologists and in a food fight to the death against the whimsical independence of our hearts.

In a remarkable paper published more than forty years ago in American Anthropology Walter Bradford Cannon, a Harvard Medical School physiologist, described how, in many primitive cultures, a curse from an all-powerful wizard or medicine man was enough to kill a believer.

Their hearts stopped dead.

Thanks to the media in particular, and American paranoia in general, we are far more panicked, minute to minute, about our health than we've ever been before in history, that includes in that assessment the 1914 influenza epidemic that killed twenty million people worldwide. People are far more worried about heart disease now than they were worried about catching the flu then.

We live in truly strange times. Oh yeah, and add to that free-floating terror the twice yearly visit to the cardiologist, or a trip to the grocery store, for that matter, to buy "fat-free" juice, defatted turkey burgers, and low-fat freezer-burned pasta concoctions under overhead fluorescent lights that shine with the glare of ten thousand artificial suns. It's exhausting.

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Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 18 of hCG Protocol Diet and Going Strong!!!

Haven't written lately because life has gotten in my way (smiling). I am on Day 18 now of the 26 day Dr. Simeon hCG Protocol. I am down to 122.8 lbs. I have lost a total of 9 inches over my entire body. My body composition looks amazing! I feel really strong. Has it been a piece of cake? No! On the other hand, it hasn't been excruciatingly difficult either. I did have one glass of wine on July 4th (which is not on the protocol) but I am in the maintenance part of the protocol now while still using the hCG injections. Meaning I have had to increase my caloric intake from 500 calories to around 800-1000 since I really don't have much more fat to lose. I have 8 more days to go on the injections and then three days after that to remain on the low caloric intake until all the hCG is out of my system. This essentially "resets" the hypothalamus and your body will begin to burn and store fats differently as long as you maintain a caloric intake that your body burns on a daily basis.

I don't know if oral hCG or sublingual, or nasal spray hCG is as effective as the intramuscular injections. I do know that the IM has worked for me. Jerome did not last on the protocol and is really impressed with the results he has seen in my transformation in 18 days. I realize I wasn't obese or overweight before the diet. What I wanted to understand is when the fat came off WHERE did I lose it from? The answer is I lost it from my waist, thighs, and hips/buttocks. Those are the most resistant areas to lose fat from! Read Dr. Simeon's manual Pounds and Inches if you are really seriously interested in trying this protocol. It works if you can stick to it!

Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at