May 2019 - Diagnost

Why Progesterone Is The Unsung Hero Of Women’s Health, And How To Boost It

Anyone who has a menstrual cycle, or knows anyone with one, knows that hormones are powerful things.

Those wanting to harness the full power of hormones to improve health and wellbeing have to ask two key questions: 1. How do I assess my current hormonal landscape and detect imbalances? 2. How do I rebalance the hormones in my system?

If you’ve wondered this (mystified, while in the throws of PMS) — fear no more! We’re bringing you this guide to boosting low progesterone levels for hormonal balance.

Hormones are invisible, but symptoms of imbalance are not

When a cold makes you weak, tired and hungry, you know it’s a cold. Why? The stream of gooey white stuff coming out your nose. You can see your illness and correctly identify its cause. When hormonal imbalances are throwing you off, it can be harder to work out what’s going on.

Well, that’s all about to change.

Diagnost’s home testing kits give you a full map of your internal hormonal and metabolic landscapes. We offer easy self-tests that you can administer yourself at home. Then, we send your tests to the lab and deliver your results to you via our app. Within a few days, you can access comprehensive information on your internal hormonal landscape.

When it comes to women’s health, we have noticed time and time again that low progesterone levels are one of the most under-acknowledged hormone imbalances that contribute to common health conditions. In this article, you’ll learn about what progesterone is, the benefits of boosting it, and how to do so – entirely naturally!

So what’s this progesterone thing anyway?

We’ve all heard about testosterone. It has long barged its way into hormonal discourse, leaving its over-qualified, under-paid female counterpart, progesterone, in the shadows. So what is progesterone?

Progesterone is the female sex hormone. It’s also a steroid, helping stimulate muscle growth in the lining of the uterus. Progesterone maintains this uterine lining for the 14 days post-ovulation, keeping your body ready for the possibility of conception and pregnancy. Once the egg isn’t fertilised, progesterone levels drop. This decrease in progesterone levels leads to all those unbearable symptoms of PMS.

progesterone levels during the menstrual cycle - How To Boost Low Progesterone Naturally - Diagnost
Progesterone levels vary depending on the stage of the menstrual cycle

In addition to playing a key role in regulating the monthly cycle, progesterone is also responsible for the best-feeling weeks of our cycle. It makes you feel more attractive and confident when you’re at your most fertile. In other words, progesterone is so powerful, it can make you feel friggin’ fantastic!

via GIPHY

But that’s not all – progesterone balances out the negative effects of estrogen too. While estrogen plays an important part in our monthly cycles, the symptoms of estrogen dominance are less than desirable. So what does estrogen dominance look like?

Common symptoms of low progesterone and estrogen dominance include:

common symptoms of low progesterone and estrogen dominance - How To Boost Low Progesterone Naturally - Diagnost

As the graphic above shows, the range of symptoms of progesterone deficiency and estrogen dominance is quite broad. Besides decreasing well-being by triggering headaches, bloating, hot flashes or breast pain and tenderness, it can also disrupt menstruation cycles, causing irregular or shortened periods and increased PMS. Weight gain and decreased sex drive are two additional symptoms that significantly influence the every-day life. Finally, this hormone imbalance can even have a major impact on our mental health, causing mood swings and depression, as well as affect our energy levels, leading to fatigue, difficulty to concentrate and even insomnia.

Luckily we can reduce these symptoms by boosting progesterone, to help your body get back to its natural, healthy balance. Let’s take a deep dive into the best practises for increasing your progesterone levels, naturally!

The dos and don’ts of boosting low progesterone naturally

You can boost your progesterone levels naturally by focusing on adding certain vitamins and minerals into your diet. These will create the optimal conditions for progesterone to flow forth, naturally.

Do:

happy woman celebrating - things to do to boost your progesterone - Diagnost

Magnesium

This is a fun one to work on because magnesium is in some of the best foods: dark chocolate, nuts, avocados. Try this vegan avocado chocolate cake and sprinkle some nuts on top for extra crunch. Almonds, brazil nuts, and cashews are particularly good sources of magnesium at around 82mg per ounce – so focus on these as you make the progesterone cake of your dreams. It’s also found in beans and legumes so why not make a whole vegan dinner party out of your progesterone-boosting project? You’ll make your friends feel amazing too with some of these great recipes.

Happily, magnesium supplements are some of the best you can buy. Magnesium helps relax your muscles and alleviate anxiety. Studies have shown that magnesium helps improve sleep. And why not combine this with an evening bath in Epsom Salts and Magnesium Flakes for a relaxing wind-down into progesta-joy?

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that makes you feel sparky and amazing. Research carried out by the World Health Organization has shown that nearly 75% of Americans suffer from a zinc deficiency. It’s time to fix that!

Zinc helps your pituitary gland regulate hormones. At the right time of the month, it helps the gland produce FSH hormones which tell your ovaries to produce progesterone. Aside from these hormonal benefits, Zinc also helps boost your immune system and promote overall wellbeing. Foods that are rich in Zinc include meat, shellfish, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate and whole grains.

Vitamin B6 and B12

Vitamins B6 and B12 also play key roles in keeping the hormones in your body at an optimal level. One research study showed that increasing B6 vitamin consumption to 200-800 mg each day can raise progesterone levels and reduce estrogen enough to improve symptoms of PMS. Other research shows the potential to increase fertility by up to 120% and reduce miscarriage rates by around 50%.

B6 has gained infamy as the essential vitamin that you can’t get on a vegan diet. For this reason, supplements abound. Whilst it’s easy to find plant-based B6 supplements, a serving of sweet potatoes or carrots can also provide up to 16% of the recommended daily intake. Alternatively, a serving of salmon or lean meat can provide almost 100% of all the B12 you need. That means whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian, there are endless ways to get that all-important B6 in your system!

Don’t:

woman screaming - things to avoid when trying to boost your progesterone - Diagnost

Stress

This won’t be the first time you’ve heard that when it comes to living healthily, stress won’t help. But it’s worth saying again. When things in your life trigger your adrenal glands to produce cortisol and adrenaline, just say no! Stress hormones actually use up progesterone that your body needs, so trying to keep calm in stressful situations will bring you positive returns – and your progesterone reserves will thank you.

Drink too much alcohol

Alcohol, in addition to everything else, changes the way your body produces estrogen and can raise your levels of estrogen and lower your progesterone levels. A study published in the 2000 edition of Alcohol and Alcoholism found that women who drank moderately had much lower levels of progesterone than non-drinkers. Too much alcohol can also keep you from absorbing that sparky Zinc we spoke about above. Instead of winding down with a glass of wine at the end of the day, why not try a Magnesium Bath with lavender essential oils or a Yin Yoga class.

Consume processed foods

Sadly, these days, processed foods are hard to avoid. Despite that, it’s important to know that many of them are packed with harmful byproducts such as xenoestrogens which contribute to estrogen dominance.

Most mass-farmed meat is pumped with synthetic hormones that are harmful to consume. Check that any meat you buy is labelled as “hormone-free.” Soy milk and tofu are other ones to avoid in excess. The ways in which soy has been genetically modified and processed on its way to becoming milk often lead to products becoming overloaded with estrogen. This means processed foods can disrupt your body’s natural hormonal balance and lower levels of progesterone in your body – so take care when the fast food cravings hit.

Conclusion

We should all be focusing more on fighting progesterone deficiency. Indeed, progesterone might be the missing link in your health questions. It’s hard to tell when hormones are behind our symptoms but, with Diagnost’s home testing kits, you can finally get to know your hormonal landscape and start to take steps to regulate it by encouraging the production of progesterone if your levels are too low.

Our old friend progesterone only wants the best for us, and many of the most impactful things we can do to encourage higher levels of this fabulous hormone simply involve good self-care:  not stressing and making sure we’re getting key vitamins and minerals from healthy foods. Health radiates from the inside, out – so good luck!

5 Anti-Ageing Medicine Tips That Really Work

Anti-Ageing Medicine How To Slow Down The Biological Clock - Diagnost

Anti-ageing medicine emerged in the United States in the 1990s. Its objective was to change the approach to ageing. In 1992, Dr. Robert Goldman and Dr. Ronald Klatz together with a group of doctors founded the American Academy of Anti-Ageing Medicine, which revolutionized gerontology. Until then, ageing was considered to be an inevitable process that nothing could be done about. Geriatrics (the science of treating the elderly) was applied by the doctors to simply ease the symptoms of diseases that come with age.

Anti-ageing medicine changes our perceptions of ageing as unavoidable to that of a disease that can be treated with new medical methods. The first change is in the attitude, a transition from a passive position to an active one. It has been proven that changing a few habits combined with the use of medication can alter the pattern of ageing. It was found that healthy ageing is not the result of winning the genetic lottery, but rather the outcome of a new, preventive and interventionist approach.

According to Dr Thierry Hertoghe, President of the World Society of Anti-Ageing Medicine (WOSAAM) and acclaimed preventive medicine specialist:

“Anti-ageing medicine dispels the myth that you simply wait for the arrival of diseases and ageing and accept them, showing that you can actually intervene before this happens by developing habits that will prolong your life.”

Slowing down the ageing process means getting older in good health, enjoying both youthfulness and the wisdom of your years. Durability should not be a burden. Fun and youthful energy can be saved and maintained with the help of medicine.

The key is to prevent the disease or even the tendency for the disease. The focus is on diagnosing functional and metabolic changes in the body before they manifest themselves as diseases, and stopping them from doing so. Today we know how to identify the predisposing factors of chronic diseases. They can be altered so the development of pathologies can be avoided or postponed.

Anti-ageing medicine examines multiple factors of the ageing process and takes the necessary actions to affect their influence. There are five pillars or areas of anti-ageing we need to watch in order to age gracefully.

The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine

1. Diet and nutrition

diet and nutrition - The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine - diganost

Scientists have discovered that what we eat has a direct influence on how long we live. A diet rich in calories, animal protein and saturated fat not only causes cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, but also accelerates the ageing process of the body as a whole. The process of digestion overwhelms and wears out the body. Metabolism increases oxidative stress and causes cellular ageing. On the other hand, a low-calorie diet, composed of small portions of balanced and healthy food, is associated with longevity. The key here is in a sufficient consumption of low-calorie, high fiber foods including a variety of fruits and vegetables.

2. Stress management

stress management - The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine - diganost

Chronic stress has a negative impact on our fast-paced lifestyles and can affect how quickly ageing results in disease. Stress chemistry is similar to ageing chemistry in that is raises cortisol and catecholamines and reduces anabolic hormone levels. Incorporating regular rest into your weekly routine will help you deal with stress. The pursuit of harmony, pausing and enjoying the simple pleasures of life, will act as an invigorating elixir that affects your quality of life and its prolongation.

3. Physical activity

physical activity - The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine - diganost

Physical inertness and daily hypofunction are the causes of many diseases associated with ageing. Many studies have proven the common health benefits of regular physical activity. Exercise prevents a number of diseases, such as cancer. Aerobics and power exercises allow men and women to increase muscle strength, endurance, balance and bone density at any age. To achieve these results, bring at least one type of physical activity into your life on a daily basis. It can be just a walk, dancing or martial arts.

4. Vitamins and minerals

vitamins and minerals - The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine - diganost

Today it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide our body with the right balance of minerals, vitamins and nutrients. Even in a balanced diet, nutrients may not be available due to the modern methods of crop harvesting or manufacturing of animal products. In pursuit of healthy ageing, it is necessary to enrich our diet with nutritional supplements. The daily intake of supplements is important not only to provide the nutrient building elements necessary for the organs, but also to protect against free-radical attacks caused by bad eating habits, unhealthy lifestyles and a polluted environment.

5. Hormone replacement therapy

hormone replacement therapy - The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine - diganost

Previously it was believed that diseases such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and atherosclerosis are associated with age, but recently it was found that they are caused mainly by hormonal deficiencies. After age 35 the process of reducing hormone production begins, and the production of sex hormones and anabolic hormones gradually decreases. As catabolism continues, the absence of anabolic hormones creates conditions under which further recovery and regeneration of the body cannot take place. Replenishing hormonal deficiencies will give the body the ability to maintain its regenerative power.

Conclusion

A balanced approach to stress management, a complete and healthy diet, and the addition of minerals, vitamins and hormones replenished to the optimum level will lead to an effective process of rejuvenation and regeneration and prevent many diseases.

Anti-ageing medicine is aimed at improving and maintaining good health as a means of extending our lifespan and improving our quality of life. Its principles can be integrated into any medical field and benefit as many people as possible. As we get older, we can also become healthier.

How To Feel 30 When You’re 50: Anti-Ageing Tips For Women

Anti-ageing Tips For Women How To Feel 30 When You’re 50 - Diagnost

The first alarm bells started ringing a couple of years ago. In spite of regular exercise, and a strict and calculated diet, my waist started to disappear, the sparkle was gone from my eyes, and my overall vitality was non-existent.

The fear of the unknown, and of growing old, drives all women under 47 to ignore any thoughts of menopause. This fear creeps into your life and ruins it from within. Many of my clients recall how their beautiful, gentle, slim mums turned into restless, grumpy, plump women who shocked everyone with their sudden mood swings. In fact, their mothers just had “bugs in their software”, or to be more precise, in their endocrine systems: ovaries, pituitary glands, thyroid glands and other glands responsible for the production of hormones have simply stopped being as active, becoming the cause of health issues, memory deterioration, hot flashes, weight gain and, sadly, lack of libido.

What Sex and the City teaches us about anti-ageing

Source: GIPHY

“It’s official: the oestrogens have left the building!”

Remember Samantha from Sex and the City complaining that when looking at a half-naked national rugby team, not a single muscle twitched? In her mother’s time, people believed that you should just brace yourself and accept becoming older. Samantha was different. She lost her hormones only temporarily after her toiletry bag was confiscated at customs. For the past thirty years, with the help of anti-ageing medicine, American and European doctors have been helping women to get through menopause without significant negative impact and disappointment.

Why hormones are the key to women staying young

key to staying young - Anti-ageing Tips For Women How To Feel 30 When You’re 50 - Diagnost

I am very lucky. My doctor is the expert in anti-ageing medicine, President of the International Hormone Society Thierry Hertoghe. Thierry also consults our clients in Brussels and Barcelona. His standard approach is to establish the patient’s hormonal status.

“There are only two hormones that increase with age: leptin, causing obesity, and insulin, leading to diabetes, while levels of all other hormones go down. Due to the lack of oestrogen, the skin has less collagen and elastin. It becomes dry, causing wrinkles to appear and facial contours to lose shape. Reduction in testosterone leads to cellulite formation and loss of muscle mass, causing cheeks, buttocks, and inner arms to start to sag. So beware: a woman’s body begins to age long before the menopause. Time to act!”

Over the course of 30 years, Dr Hertoghe has collected strong evidence confirming that it makes sense for every woman over 35 to control her hormone levels and correct them at the first signs of imbalance. After 40 everyone could do with micro-doses of bioidentical hormones. Dr Hertoghe claims this is the way to stay healthy and continue to enjoy a life that previous generations could not.

Misconceptions about hormone replacement therapy

Of course, you may have heard otherwise. In 2002 the Women’s Health Initiative published some frightening data: women who have been using Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for extended periods of time to prevent the unpleasant effects of menopause were diagnosed with breast cancer more frequently. However, very soon scientists found out that this research was not accurate. It was performed on women who were taking medicines that were not identical to human hormones. Moreover, every woman in the study was over 60 years old and all of them were prescribed the same doses, which is unacceptable!

“European and American traditions with regards to hormonal treatment for mature women are significantly different. Even when looking at the test results, some old-school doctors miss the signs of the early hormonal disbalance and delay beginning a compensatory treatment. That is why it is very important to start HRT with an experienced doctor.”

For two months I followed the recommendations of Dr Thierry Hertoghe, and all my troubles were left behind. I got back into shape, both physically and mentally. When menopause comes I will adjust the dose of hormones I take, and I do believe that I will avoid the associated unpleasantness which most women of that age experience.

Conclusion

These days, there is no need for women to be worried or scared about menopause or ageing. Anti-ageing medicine is continuously evolving and by a running hormone level test and trusting an experienced doctor, HRT can be adjusted to each person’s specific health profile. If you’re looking for an anti-ageing tip for women that really works, get started with an advanced health check to gain insights into your hormone levels.

10 Types Of Probiotics Food That Help To Fight Off Stress

diet and nutrition - The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine - diganost

As we’ve long known, we are what we eat!

Every time we design our menu, we programme our mood and health. After all, the intestine is our second brain, and its population – the microbiota – has a very strong influence on many processes associated with our health and emotional disposition.

Healthy metabolism, maximum absorption of nutrients, vitamins and microelements, effective elimination of waste, building immunity and protection from inflammatory processes, all these are controlled by the microbiota – a large and friendly family of microorganisms that live in our intestines.

How can we make sure that the state of our microbiota is normal? I suggest to start with getting acquainted with its main assistants – probiotics.

Probiotics are useful bacteria working hard for the benefit of your body, while Prebiotics (indigestible fibres) simply serve as food for Probiotics.

Here are ten products that nourish microbiota and neutralize the negative effects of modern lifestyle stress from the bad environment of large cities. Your brain, skin, and other organs will thank you if you include in your menu the following:

10 Types Of Probiotics Foods

1. Sauerkraut

Pickled cabbage - Sauerkraut - 10 Types Of Probiotics Food That Helps To Fight Off Stress - Diagnost

Sauerkraut provides the body with a large number of useful bacteria. High fibre content in cabbage subdues bloating and facilitates faultless functioning of the digestive system.

Look for fresh sauerkraut, not canned.

2. Asparagus

asparagus - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Asparagus works as a prebiotic. It contains a lot of inulin – indigestible fibre, which nourishes healthy bifidobacteria and lactobacilli (components of our microbiota).

Asparagus is rich in vitamin B and antioxidants that can actively fight inflammation.

Eat it raw or just slightly stewed, so you keep most of its benefits, enjoy the taste and make your microflora happy.

3. Pineapple

pineapple - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain which acts as a digestive aid, helping to break down protein from large food molecules into smaller peptides.

Studies have shown that bromelain can conquer inflammation and relieve pain.

Add pineapple to your salads, smoothies, or serve as a dessert.

Enjoy this delicious fruit and remember that pineapple will always work for the benefit of your digestion.

4. Onions

onions - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Raw onions are an excellent source of prebiotics and contain quercetin – a strong antioxidant. Quercetin fights harmful free radicals in our cells. Onions also contain chromium, which increases production of insulin and vitamin C necessary for the immune system.

Add onions to salads, dressings and sauces, or slice them and put in your favourite snacks.

5. Garlic

garlic - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Raw garlic is another great prebiotic with a high level of inulin, which nourishes the good bacteria in the intestine. Garlic is incredibly rich in nutrients. In this spice you will find manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, selenium, allicin and many other active substances.  Allicin, for example, is a powerful tool that fights diseases. It activates when a garlic clove is being chopped.

Don’t forget to add raw garlic to guacamole, hummus, sauces and dressings.

6. Bone broth

bone broth - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Rich beef bone broth helps to heal the intestinal mucosa, which, in turn, support the immune system and fight inflammation. Bone broth contains many minerals and healing compounds, such as gelatin, collagen and amino acids, proline, glutamine and arginine.

Flavourful, highly nutritious, and very easy to make.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar - 10 priobiotics foods - diagnost

Apple cider vinegar helps us break down and digest food by increasing the production of stomach acid. It also has antiviral and antimicrobial properties. This fights unwanted microflora in the intestines and helps the body get rid of excess yeast. These important qualities are a great support for a healthy microbiome and immune system.

Try adding apple cider vinegar to salad dressings or vegetables before stewing.

8. Kimchi

kimchi - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

The fermentation process used for Korean kimchi not only enhances cabbage taste, but also produces live and active probiotic cultures that strengthen the intestinal walls. These salads and side dishes contain large amounts of fibre and serve as powerful antioxidants. They naturally eliminate toxins from the body.

Rice, vegetables and kimchi – a great healthy and hearty lunch.

9. Ginger

ginger - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Ginger helps to calm and relax the stomach, relieve nausea and fight intestinal diseases. It provides a natural source of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese. Ginger prevents and eliminates bloating.

Adding shredded ginger to tea and smoothies gives them an extra exotic taste.

10. Dandelion Greens

Dandelion Greens - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Dandelion greens are rich in nutrients, fibre, antioxidants and prebiotics that help us to stay strong and healthy. Vitamins A and K, calcium and iron in the leaves have anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties.

They are pure detox!

Conclusion

Start incorporating some of these probiotics foods into your daily diet, and remember, a healthy body and sharp mind start with a strong intestine!

The Keys To Midlife Happiness & Longer Healthy Living For Men

The Keys To Midlife Happiness & Longer Healthy Living For Men - Diagnost

Blockbusters portray for us a contemporary man. He is often in his forties, successful, muscular, quick-witted and fearless. He easily conquers new peaks in business, is the object of desire for attractive women, and his life is full of meaning. But how does it work in real life?

It is tough to admit that as time goes by our resources deplete and problems begin to surface. However, it is inevitable that every man over the age of 35 starts to experience the wear and tear on his body.  

Why Hormone Balance Is Key To Midlife Happiness & Health

It is due to the normal course of biological processes, and to be more precise the reduction of hormone production. There are over 100 hormones and each one is responsible for a particular function in our body. Hormonal balance is the key to our good health and mood.

Male Taestosterone Level by Age - The Keys To Midlife Happiness & Longer Healthy Living For Men - Diagnost

A Real-Life Case:

The most important and well known male hormone is testosterone. If an obese man over 45 is talking about his exciting sex life, it may be hard to believe. Fatty deposits are a clear sign of low testosterone. As testosterone levels go down, fat goes up, and goodbye libido! High testosterone is associated with strong muscles, desire and high potency. Low testosterone means depression, low vitality and minus 30 years of life.

Alas, after the age of 40 we start accumulating a variety of nasty consequences, or in simple terms we begin to age. At best we turn to exhausting and useless workouts in the gym and start looking for inspiration embodied in a new lady friend. In the worst case we turn to alcohol, which provides elusive sensations of happiness, but leads to dependency and kills men’s health.

real-life case - The Keys To Midlife Happiness & Longer Healthy Living For Men - Diagnost

As one of my clients put it:

“I used to be the General Manager of a large American company in Moscow. It was a successful business, associated with all the usual trials and tribulations of a multinational company in Russia. The stress was unbearable. After work, I used to sit down at the dinner table and eat my troubles away. Every month, like clockwork, I had a cold. Doctors at expensive medical centres prescribed antibiotics. I was simply a ruin. Overweight, suffering from insomnia, always mad at someone or something, and heavy breathing and high blood pressure had become a constant issue.”

“This is how I felt when I went to see a doctor in Europe. After a number of tests and a detailed study of my medical history the doctor prescribed vitamins and hormonal therapy. Distinct improvement was noticeable in just a week’s time. I began to lose weight, calmed down and became more relaxed, and started to sleep properly. In 2-3 weeks I recovered my sex drive and performed like a 25-year-old.”

healthy living in forties for men - The Keys To Midlife Happiness & Longer Healthy Living For Men - Diagnost

“Now every morning I run 15km. I work hard and efficiently. I see my friends frequently, meet lots of interesting people and enjoy other’s company. I notice the shining eyes of the woman I love and realise how much her happy smile means to me and the kids.”

Conclusion

Invest in your health and quality of life after 40. Thanks to the best experts in preventive medicine we are able to preserve ourselves and be sure that we shall live 30-40 years longer, in good health and high spirits.

I invite everyone to get rid of unpleasant age-related changes by taking a diagnostic test and following a recommended course of anti-ageing treatment in order to achieve midlife happiness.

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