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Archive for the ‘Hormone Clinic’ Category

Transgender clinic for kids and teens opens in St. Louis | WGN-TV – WGN-TV

St. Louis is now home to a first-of-its-kind clinic for transgender teens and kids. It's being administered by Washington University Physicians based out of St. Louis Children's hospital.

St. Louis is now home to a first-of-its-kind clinic for transgender teens and kids. It's being administered by Washington University Physicians based out of St. Louis Children's hospital.

St. Louis, MO St. Louis is now home to a first-of-its-kind clinic for transgender teens and kids. Its being administered by Washington University physicians based out of St. Louis Childrens hospital.

The clinic aims to provide transgender children and teens with comprehensive health care including mental health resources, hormonal therapy, voice therapy, and reconstructive surgery. Washington University physicians have been taking care of transgender children and teens since 2009 and noticed the growing demand which sparked the push to establish a fully operating clinic.

In 2016, Washington University physicians had 74 transgender patients. From just January to May 2017, theyve already seen 71 patients.

This clinic is a huge milestone for the Seay family this month, especially for 15-year-old Leslie.

Sometimes I identify as a girl, sometimes a boy, sometimes neither, said Leslie Seay.

She started exploring gender identity at 13-years-old, ultimately assigning to being gender fluid, which means she will always feel a mix of identifying between a boy and a girl.

I would really like to go on hormone blockers so that my voice doesnt get any more feminine and [no] more feminine features show up, said Seay.

Leslies identity is simple to her, so she needs a pediatrician who understands transgender health simply too.

Having support and acceptance is extremely important for this patient population, said Dr. Christopher Lewis, founder and physician of the Transgender clinic. Transgender patients already deal with harassment and discrimination within the medical community and that is a barrier to them accessing care.

Leslies dad, Peter Seay, is thrilled to know his child is in safe, supportive care with an expertise in transgender health.

To find out that the gender center was opening this month was something weve been celebrating for a little while. Weve been very excited about this, said Peter Seay. There could not be a greater value, the gratitude will not stop.

The Transgender Center of Excellence opened the first week of August. They are already booked through mid-September with new patient appointments. Its the only clinic of its kind within a 250-mile radius.

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Transgender clinic for kids and teens opens in St. Louis | WGN-TV - WGN-TV

Transgender convict in Hokkaido asks to be treated as female inmate – The Japan Times

SAPPORO A 38-year-old transgender woman in Hokkaido who has been convicted of theft has asked the Justice Ministry and local prosecutors to be treated as a female inmate, despite being listed as male in her family registry.

She has been living as a woman and wants to be supervised by female prison officers while continuing hormone treatment, a source close to her said Tuesday.

She was indicted last year without arrest for shoplifting in the city of Sapporo. A district court handed down a prison sentence of 18 months, and the judgment was upheld by a high court. In July, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal and the woman is set to be imprisoned soon.

She also served 16 months in prison between 2011 and 2013 for theft, and complained of mental anguish as a result of being overseen by male prison guards as well as palpitations and insomnia after being deprived of hormone therapy.

Prisons are determined according to sex as recorded in family registries, but transgender women can be overseen by female officers if they have had male genitalia removed, according to the Justice Ministry. The woman in this case has not completed transition nor changed her family registry.

The ministrys Correction Bureau said male officers would normally oversee an inmate in a similar situation unless the head of a prison determines otherwise. But it added that it has paid due consideration to people in similar circumstances such as by assigning female officers if necessary.

Regarding the hormone treatment, the bureau said it is not the states responsibility to allow it unless there would be irreparable damage and the bureau determines there is a necessity to do so.

Mikiya Nakatsuka, professor at Okayama University and a specialist on transgender issues, said the government should be more flexible regardless of whether an inmate has undergone surgery.

Hormone therapy is crucial for maintaining health, so the government should seek the opinions of doctors (working with) gender identity disorder, Nakatsuka said.

According to research led by Katsuki Harima, a doctor at Harima Mental Clinic, about 22,000 people consulted medical institutions due to GID as of the end of 2015.

Requests from around 6,000 people to change their sex on their family registries had been accepted as of 2015. A special law came into force in 2004 permitting such changes if one applies to a family court.

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Transgender convict in Hokkaido asks to be treated as female inmate - The Japan Times

New clinic to offer range of health care to help transgender children – St. Louis Public Radio

A group of St. Louis doctors is working to make sure transgender kids get the medical care they need.

When the Washington University and St. Louis Childrens Hospital Transgender Center of Excellence opens today, it will be the first of its kind in a 250-mile radius. The clinic aims to provide transgender children with comprehensive health care including pediatric medicine, endocrinology, and mental health counseling.

Staff members will include people equipped to help transgender patients navigate hormone therapy and understand their identities.

This is really a vulnerable group of kids who need specialty expertise and people whove really spent the time to learn more about these issues and concerns, clinic co-founder Dr. Sarah Garwood said. Theres a problem with access to health care for transgender kids and adults and clinics like this can help mitigate that.

Willis Ryder Arnold reports on the Washington University and St. Louis Children's Hospital Transgender Center of Excellence and the role it will play in young people's lives.

The clinics staff members will see patients at St. Louis Childrens Hospital and the St. Louis Childrens Specialty Care Center.

Such services have been long anticipated by St. Louis area parents like Peter Seay, whose child was long considered a girl but in middle school decided to identify as a boy.

Aiming to be supportive, Seay looked for a doctor to provide appropriate care. But finding one isnt easy. Some doctors think being transgender is a problem.

And I mean some doctors we called were like, sure we can fix your kid, recalled Seay, who said that was a terrible thing to hear.

Dr. Garwood and Dr. Chris Lewis developed the clinic with help from Washington University Medical School, St. Louis Childrens Hospital and a growing network of similar clinics located throughout the country.

Families with transgender childrenface a number of hurdles when seeking care, among them insurance obstacles, Garwood said. Many doctors remain ignorant of proper care for transgender individuals and available support systems. Some patients face outright discrimination.

Garwood helped set up the clinic, motivated by an exponential increase of referrals over recent years. She said early intervention is necessary to ensure transgender kids lead the healthiest happiest lives possible.

Follow Willis on Twitter: @WillisRArnold

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New clinic to offer range of health care to help transgender children - St. Louis Public Radio

Couple and a new partner share love of Ahwatukee, better health – Ahwatukee Foothills News

Todd and Jen Winton have a clear vision of why Ahwatukee is the perfect place for their practice.

The husband-wife doctors he a naturopath and she a chiropractor consider it a community of people who are as committed to healthy living as they are to helping people achieve it.

Ahwatukee has a very friendly community, said Jen. People are genuinely interested in their health and are continuously looking for natural alternatives to drugs and surgery. They find many answers in our clinic to get healthy and stay active.

Jen Winton opened the practice, Active Lifestyle Clinic, at 16515 S. 40th St., Ahwatukee, not long before they married about six years ago, having met on the online dating site

Now theyve added a partner, Dr. Keith Smith, who is returning to Ahwatukee eight years after he sold his 10-year-old Ahwatukee Life Center.

The Wintons take healthy living seriously even when theyre not at work.

Theyve marched in demonstrations against genetically modified food, and load their website,, with tips and products aimed at helping people live a healthier life.

Smith shares that philosophy, even though he had never met the couple until he began working with them, motivated by a desire to get back into chiropracty.

He had sold his business to open a wellness practice that concentrated on nutrition and weight loss.

Many people are hungry for information on vitamins, nutrition and eating healthy but dont know where to start, he said. I am passionate about sharing this information and helping people get back to basics with food.

The Wintons, parents of two boys ages 3 and 5, have both been practicing for more than 15 years.

She graduated from Palmer West College of Chiropractic Smiths alma mater as well in 2003 and also holds a bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Washington.

Her husband attended Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, graduating in 1999.

Jen Winton practices chiropractic with a focus on family care.

Her husband focuses on the most conservative treatments, specializing in male and female hormone balance using bio-identical hormones, natural pain relief using prolotherapy and ozone injections and weight loss.

The naturopathic aspect is very intriguing to most folks since male and female hormone imbalance is so rampant, she said, adding that her husbands natural pain injections and his other treatments are very effective at healing joints and preventing surgery."

Before she had met her husband, Jen Winton had bought a small practice from Dr. Janelle Perkins in Ahwatukee at Ray Road and Ranch Circle, and soon found it grew exponentially to where she needed more space.

She relocated to the 40th Street location off Frye Road and by that time picked up her new partner in life as her partner in the practice.

Over time, they have found that one of their biggest challenges has involved the insurance industry.

We used to rely on insurance sending us patients through their network listings, she explained. Insurance in Arizona has changed so much in the world of chiropractic that most do not cover it anymore.

So theyve developed a program offering low rates such as $25 for an adjustment and $65 for naturopathic care to counter the effects of those changes.

Jen Winton and Smith also have teamed up with local restaurants, such as Pita Jungle, Hillside Spot and Pomegranate Caf, to offer health-related lunch workshops to businesses in Ahwatukee and the surrounding area.

Smith said hes glad hes hitched up with the Wintons because they share his commitment to helping people live healthier lives and because of their location.

We all have a very similar philosophy, care for patients and make care affordable, he said. Plus, I have practiced in Ahwaukee for years and really enjoy the community.

Information: 480-704-1050,

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Couple and a new partner share love of Ahwatukee, better health - Ahwatukee Foothills News

Is clomid a hormone drug – Side effects of medicines are always the same for everyone – Van Wert independent

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OHIO CITY The Ohio City Park Association and the Lambert Days Committee has finalized plans for the 2017 festival.

Lambert Days is always the third full weekend in July. This years dates are July 21-23. This is also the 50th anniversary of Ohio Citys celebration of the life of John W. Lambert and his invention of Americas first automobile.

This years edition of Lambert Days will feature a communitywide garage sale. For more information, contact Laura Morgan at 419.965.2515. There will also be food all weekend in the newly renovated Community Building on Ohio 118.

Friday, July 21

Festivities start off with a steak dinner (carryout is available), starting at 4 p.m. Friday. Ohio Citys American LegionHarvey Lewis Post 346 will have aflag-raising ceremony at 5 Friday evening, while kids games and inflatables will also open at 5. At 6 p.m., the Lambert Days Wiffleball Homerun Derby will take place. For more information, contactLorenzo Frye 419.771.7037.

There will also be entertainment at 6 p.m. featuring Cass Blue. At 7, there will be a adult Wiffleball tournament. For more information, contact Brian Bassett419.203.8203. A Texas Hold em Tournament will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, along with Monte Carlo Night, which begins at 8 p.m. For more information, contact Jeff Agler at 419.513.0580.

Entertainment for Friday night starts at 8 and will be the band Colt & Crew. There will also be a fireworks display at 10:15 p.m. Friday (Saturday night is the rain date).

Saturday, July 22

Saturday morning begins with a softball tournament at 8. For more information, contact Brian Bassettat 419.203.8203. There will also be a coed volleyball tournament that starts at 9 a.m. Saturday. For more information, contact Tim Matthews at 419.203.2976. The Lambert Days Kids Wiffleball Tournament starts at 10 a.m. Saturday. For more information, contact Lorenzo Frye at 419.771.7037.

Kids games and Inflatables continue at 11 Saturday morning. Cornhole tournament registration and 3-on-3 basketball tournament registration start at noon, while both tournaments begin at 1 p.m. For more information on cornhole, contact Josh Agler at 567.259.9941 and for 3-on-3 basketball, contact Scott Bigham at 419.953.9511.

The Hog Roast Dinner starts at 4 p.m. Saturday and carryout is available. There will also be music under the tent by Jeff Unterbrink at 4. Bingo will start at 5 p.m., and the night ends with entertainment by Megan White and Cadillac Ranch.


Is clomid a hormone drug - Side effects of medicines are always the same for everyone - Van Wert independent

Number of children being referred to gender identity clinics has quadrupled in five years –

Research suggests that just one per cent of the population experience gender issues. Although the number of transgender children is small, it is growing rapidly, she told the Telegraph Festival of Education last month.

Children - encouraged by their experiences at school - are beginning to question their gender identity at ever younger ages.

"In doing more than just supporting transgender children, and instead sowing confusion about gender identity, schools do neither boys nor girls any favours."

Dr Williams added that the growing number of young children being referred for gender counselling stemmed from new policies being adopted by schools, adding that schools were now encouraging even the youngest children to question whether they are really a boy or a girl.

Dr Polly Carmichael, a leading NHS psychologist and director of the GIDS, defended the teaching of transgender issues in schools.

She told The Sunday Telegraph: It is good that schools are putting it on the agenda. It can never be negative if schools are being thoughtful and offering opportunities to discuss topical issues.

She added that gender is a complex subject, and children should only be taught about it in schools in an age appropriate manner.

Children can only be referred to GIDS by their GP or by the child and adolescent mental health service.

After six months of psycho-social assessment by a clinician, an action plan would be drawn up, which could be continuing with counselling, or it could be a physical intervention.

Children who have started puberty, from around the age of 12, can be referred on to an endocrinology clinic which can prescribe a course of hormone blockers, which postpones puberty.

Children aged 16 and over could be given cross-sex hormones, which would enable them to take on the physical characteristics of the opposite sex.

More than double the number of teenage girls compared to boys are referred to the GIDS, while in the younger age groups it is more common for boys to be referred.

Dr Carmichael said one possible explanation is that young girls who display more male attributes are seen as tomboys and so are less likely to be seen as a cause for concern among parents.

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Number of children being referred to gender identity clinics has quadrupled in five years -

Prostate cancer that spreads typically occurs in lymph nodes and bones – Post-Bulletin

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am 63 and was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago. I had my prostate removed shortly after the diagnosis. I found out recently the cancer is now in my lymph nodes. What can I do to prevent it from spreading further?

When prostate cancer spreads out of the prostate gland, the most common places for it to occur are in the lymph nodes and bones. Although prostate cancer that has spread can be difficult to cure, treatment is available that may help slow or stop further spread of the cancer.

Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in a man's prostate gland a small walnut-shaped gland that makes fluid to nourish and transport sperm. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. It often grows slowly and remains confined to the prostate gland in its early stages. But the cancer may spread if cancer cells break away from the tumor in the prostate and travel to other areas of the body through the lymph system or the bloodstream.

When prostate cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, as in your case, treatment often includes hormone therapy. Radiation therapy or surgery may be necessary in some people, too, depending on an individual's circumstances.

Hormone therapy stops your body from making the male hormone testosterone or blocks the effects of testosterone on prostate cancer. This is useful, because prostate cancer cells rely on testosterone to help them grow. Cutting off the hormone supply may cause the cancer to shrink or help to slow its growth.

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer often includes taking medication that prevents the testicles from receiving messages to make testosterone. Those medications are called luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone, or LH-RH, agonists and antagonists. Examples of these drugs include leuprolide, goserelin and degarelix.

Other medications that block testosterone from reaching cancer cells may be given along with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist or given before taking a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist. These medications are called anti-androgens. Examples include bicalutamide, enzalutamide, flutamide and nilutamide.

Hormone therapy usually is continued for as long as the treatment works. Over time, prostate cancer may adapt to hormone therapy and begin growing despite treatment. If that happens, your doctor may suggest a different combination of hormone therapy drugs to see if the cancer responds.

Depending on where the cancer has spread, along with other factors, radiation therapy may be combined with hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer that affects the lymph nodes. Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy, such as X-rays or protons, to kill cancer cells.

The kind of radiation used to combat prostate cancer that has spread is called external-beam radiation. It uses a large machine that moves around your body to direct energy beams at the areas affected by cancer. External beam radiation treatments typically are given five days a week for several weeks or more.

In addition to hormone therapy and radiation therapy, in some cases, chemotherapy also may be recommended to treat advanced prostate cancer. Immunotherapy, which uses the body's immune system to kill cancer cells, also may be useful in certain situations.

Your specific treatment likely will be based on how fast the cancer is growing and how much it has spread, as well as your medical history, overall health and other treatment you've received. Your doctor can talk with you in detail about possible treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits. Working together, you and your doctor can create a treatment plan that best fits your needs. J. Fernando Quevedo, M.D., Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester.

Mayo Clinic Q & A is an educational resource and doesnt replace regular medical care. Email a question to MayoClinicQ& For more information, visit

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Prostate cancer that spreads typically occurs in lymph nodes and bones - Post-Bulletin

Surprise Period Hormones Don’t Scramble Your Brain –

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Its hard to get away from stereotypes connected to our periods. The trope of women being angry, emotional and even less able to perform on the job during that time of the month is old and tired, but it persists. Even the president of the United States cant seem to stop bringing up blood in connection with prominent women he wants to disparage. Now, a first-of-its-kind study published July 4 in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience provides some scientific proof for what most people with periods already know: Our hormones dont keep our brains from properly functioning.

More:What's happening to your body each day of your menstrual cycle

Researchers at University Hospital Zrich, led by Dr. Brigitte Leeners, monitored the estrogen levels of 68 women of varying ages throughout two menstrual cycles. During their periods, the subjects participated in neuropsychological tests to measure their visual memory, attention and cognitive bias. The researchers didn't take into account things like food cravings, emotions, or sexual stimuli for this study, because those measures "do not assess prefrontal cognitive abilities." They found no meaningful connection between estrogen levels and cognitive function. The biggest takeaway came from comparing the two cycles: Even when a person experienced some cognitive discomfort during one cycle, that same person often did not experience the same thing during the next period.

More:Periods don't stop women from becoming leaders negative stereotypes do

Previous studies looked at only one menstrual cycle, introducing bias and ultimately fueling stereotypes, according to Leeners.

They resulted in false positive associations and the false conclusion that womens cognitive performance is hormone regulated, she said. Such an assumption is the background of the myth that womens cognitive performance is strongly influenced by the menstrual cycle and any resulting prejudice toward womens abilities in private and professional life.

More:Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder May Be Linked to How Cells Process Sex Hormones

These findings are great for science because they answer a big question that many researchers have blamed for a lack of research into womens health issues the difficulty of controlling for menstruation when studying pretty much anything else about the body or mind. Much medical research, for example, is done on men in part because researchers are reluctant to have to control for periods and because especially in the U.S. digging into potential gender differences in the body and brain is often controversial.

Dr. Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist and author of the books The Female Brain and The Male Brain, said the results seem to confirm decades of experience. She has found that about 80 percent of women report feeling more uncomfortable physical and mood symptoms during some cycles than during others, but only about 8 percent report debilitating noticeable discomfort during every period. That 8 percent is typically the group that makes its way to Brizendines clinic, the Womens Mood and Hormone Clinic at the University of California San Francisco. Brizendine opened the clinic in 1988 and says she hoped that by now there would be copycats around the country. Thats not yet the case, but she is hopeful that increased interest and funding for womens health will change that.

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, an OB-GYN and professor at Yale University School of Medicine, cautions that this new research shouldnt keep doctors from taking menstruation-related health complaints seriously. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which causes significant and life-affecting mood shifts before ones period, affects about 5 percent of women and is often misdiagnosed. But the good news is that those symptoms and others such as cramping can usually be addressed with birth control, an SSRI or in some cases over-the-counter medication.

Ive been in practice since 1979, and I can honestly say I dont think Ive ever taken care of a patient in my life who was significantly impaired by one part of her cycle that she couldnt put her finger on the atomic button, Minkin told SheKnows. There are hormones at play with memory and cognition, but I dont think its anything that cant be overcome. Do some women feel depressed? Yes. Debilitated? No.

Next, Leeners team in Zrich plans to look into the science behind hormonal cravings. But for now, let's stop discounting the mental capacity of people who menstruate, OK?

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Surprise Period Hormones Don't Scramble Your Brain -

Does Having My Thyroid Removed Affect My Heart? – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic (blog)

Q: Does having my thyroid removed affect my heart?

A: The thyroid is really important because thyroid levels control your energy level and heart rate, your bowel function and your concentration. When you have your thyroid removed, its really important to replace the thyroid hormone to the appropriate amount so you can still function normally. Your endocrinologist, primary care doctor or your cardiologist should be checking your thyroid hormones level, which is called the TSH, to make sure its where it needs to be. With too much thyroid hormone, your heart may be racing. If you have too little, your heart pumping function may be reduced. In extreme situations, you may even have very low energy and have something called myxedema coma. These are just a few examples of the effects of thyroid hormone on the heart.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Preventive cardiologistHaitham Ahmed, MD, MPH

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Does Having My Thyroid Removed Affect My Heart? - Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic (blog)

Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy – Z Med Clinic

Natural -BioIdentical -Hormone Replacement Therapy

Many of the most common signs of aging includingfatigue,weight gain, joint pain, and poor libidoare a direct result of a loss of hormones in our bodies. As we grow older our hormone production slowly decreases, leaving us feeling much different than we did in our youth. As a solution, natural hormone replacement therapy can be used to help replenish hormone levels and reverse the effects of aging.


At Z Med Clinics(Internet Medical Clinics ) we have a unique approach to hormone replacement therapy as a part of our anti-aging program:


Hormone levels are optimized for each individual on a bell curve, very much like the way the bell curve is used in school grading. For example, when you take a test in school your grade depends on where your score fell along the bell curve. Although the students who were on the low end of the bell curve passed, they didn't do as well those who were at the upper end.

This works very much the same way with hormone levels. When you are tested for hormones most laboratories look at whether or not you fall within a "normal rage". However, these ranges are not scaled based on a patient's age, race, sex, or other underlying medical factors. Therefore, they most often are an inaccurate representation of how well your hormones are working in your body.

When we are younger we tend to have hormone levels at the upper end of the bell curve. However, as we age our levels begin to decline, sliding us further and further down the curve. At Z Med Clinic (Internet Medical Clinics ) our healthcare providers help replace patient hormone levels until they are back up to the upper end of the curve, just like when you were younger.

For example:A patient may present with symptoms of of thyroid hormone deficiency such as weight gain, fatigue, depression and fluid retention, but have a thyroid hormone level within a "normal range". In most cases this patient would not be treated with thyroid hormone replacement, but rather with medications to combat the symptoms such as anti-depressants. However, at Internet Medical Clinics our specialists recognize that although this patient hormone was within normal ranges, it was at the low end of the bell curve and needed hormone replacement to bring it back up to the upper end. This sort of hormone optimization would alleviate all of those symptoms due to a decrease in thyroid hormone production.

Click hereto learn more about menopause hormonal optimization in women.


Estrogens are hormones that cause feminizing effects in the body. There are hundreds of different types of estrogens available in nature and created synthetically; however there are only two that are made naturally in women: Estriol and Estradiol. According to a large research study conducted on women and hormones, these are the only two that can be safely used in replacement therapy. Other synthetic or plant estrogens such as Premarin, Premphase and Prempro can cause significant health risks when used in women.

At Internet Medical Clinics we use bio-identical hormone replacement, which means natural estrogen and progesterone, in order to ease symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, fatigue, poor energy, slow metabolism, weight gain, an inability to focus and concentrate and other discomforts associated with menopause. Natural bio-identical estrogen and progesterone can be taken as a cream or capsule or through the insertion of a timed-released pellet under the skin placed three to four times a year.

Humans make 2 kinds of thyroid hormones: Thyroxine 3 and Triiodothyronine 4. When a patient is suffering from insufficient thyroid hormone he or she may experience weight gain, poor energy levels, hair loss and hair thinning, swelling, cold extremities, depression and sleep disturbances. Natural thyroid replacement given twice daily as an oral tablet can help alleviate these uncomfortable symptoms.

Testosterone and DHEA are two types of hormones known as androgens, which cause masculinizing effects on the body. Both plants and animals make many types of androgens as well as scientists can make unique synthetic androgens. However, men and women only make two major androgens: testosterone and dihydroepiandosterone (DHEA). These are the only two that should be used in humans for hormone replacement. For men and women testosterone and DHEA replacement helps significantly with decreased libido, loss of muscle and bone strength, decreased exercise tolerance, mental sharpness and recovery from injury. The preferred route of administration of testosterone is as an insertion of a timed released pellet under the skin twice a year. It may also be used as a cream-used twice daily or as an intramuscular injection every 7-10 days.

Click hereto learn more about our Low Testosterone Treatments for men.

As we get age our adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys, can burn out and cease to produce appropriate levels of the hormone called cortisol. This causes what is called "adrenal fatigue", or a general feeling of tiredness in many patients. Cortisol is usually supplemented as a capsule taken in the morning and titrated to a level that gets the patient feeling his or her best.

Anti-oxidants are small substances found in food that are very important in neutralizing harmful chemicals that damage our cells and tissues. We encourage our patients to take a daily natural anti-oxidant regimen which can help protect the organs which produce hormones and prevent further decline in production levels. It is recommended that you eat six servings of raw fruits and vegetables a day in order to maintain healthy antioxidant levels.

The society we live in today makes us exposed to many substances that are alien for the body. The environmental changes and our stressful lifestyle brings a shift in the hormonal balance in our body, and as we start to age, all of this adds up to impact the ability of our body to work towards attaining the optimum hormone level. Common symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance and the inability of our body to produce the required levels of hormones include fatigue, memory loss, weight gain, insomnia, poor libido, confusion, joint pain, and irritability to name a few. These hormone imbalances make both men and women suffer, especially the latter in their pre and post menopausal years. Men and women should both understand that natural (bio-identical) hormone therapy can optimize hormone naturally in the body, which can help in improving the quality of life.

Z Med Clinic has the resources and expertise to provide bio-identical hormone replacement therapy to men and women who have noticed a dip in their energy levels, and other symptoms common with hormonal imbalance.

Whether its estrogen and progesterone replacement, natural thyroid replacement, natural cortisol replacement, or natural testosterone hormone therapy for men, we can help you with advanced treatments to overcome the symptoms and enable you to lead a better and more fulfilling life.

We use bio-identical hormones that are similar in structure to hormones that are naturally produced inside our body. Once you are diagnosed with hormonal imbalance, we will make sure that it is corrected, and all the signs and symptoms associated with this condition are completely eliminated.

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Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy - Z Med Clinic

On a midnight stroll, activists reach out to Hollywood’s transgender and homeless population – Los Angeles Times

It was close to midnight Friday when the volunteers got off an MTA bus and began their two-hour walk through Hollywoods streets.

Starting at Western Avenue and armed with clothing vouchers, granola bars and condoms, they headed down Santa Monica Boulevard in groups, turning onto side streets and peering into alleys.

Less than five minutes in, Teanna Herrera who works as an advocate for transgender people at St. Johns Health Center in Santa Monica was encouraging two people on a bus bench to visit the clinic to learn about hormone therapy.

Ive done what theyre doing, said Herrera, 49, explaining that she had been a prostitute on those same streets at age 16. [I want] to let them know: I know what its like to be out here and theres hope for every one of us.

Several dozen volunteers have met five times since January for the Midnight Stroll an initiative organized by various LGBTQ groups and Los Angeles city agencies that reaches out to those on the street, including transgender sex workers and the homeless population.

City Councilman Mitch OFarrell participated in Fridays walk, which started with an orientation at Blanks 2nd Stage Theatre. On the walk back from Western Avenue, the volunteers invited those they met on the streets to come back to the theater for food; a mobile HIV testing unit was parked nearby.

We really want to get them on a different path, said Jazzmun Crayton, an HIV testing counselor with the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team. Once you have a record, its very difficult to continue to navigate through the various systems that are in place.

The Midnight Stroll grew out of discussions between the LAPD and transgender community leaders, two groups whose relationship has improved significantly in recent years, said Karina Samala, chair of the Transgender Advisory Council. Community leaders have assisted in training police on how to interact with transgender individuals, including respecting their preferred gender identity.

Habib Munoz, a sergeant in the LAPDs Hollywood Division, said the department receives complaints about transgender prostitution especially on Santa Monica between Western and La Brea avenues.

By providing some kinds of outreach services, hopefully were able to get people out of that lifestyle, Munoz said. We do have a group of people that need help and we want to help them but at the same time, there are crimes being committed. And those crimes are affecting the community.

Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

Jazzmun Crayton rides an MTA bus to begin Friday's Midnight Stroll walk at Santa Monica Boulevard and Western Avenue.

Jazzmun Crayton rides an MTA bus to begin Friday's Midnight Stroll walk at Santa Monica Boulevard and Western Avenue. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Many of the transgender people the volunteers encounter are homeless. According to a survey by the city this year, 1% of the homeless respondents identified as transgender.

When our communities are not accepted by their own families theyre finding themselves homeless, said Jim Wen, who heads the Transgender Advisory Councils housing and homelessness committee.

About an hour into Fridays stroll, some of the volunteers stopped in front of a homeless encampment, calling out offers of free food and clothing.

Gia Olaes, who works with incarcerated transgender individuals with the Center for Health Justice, talked with Kay a 20-year-old she knew from seeing him at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

Some of them have temporary housing, but they relapse, said Olaes, who once was homeless herself. Its about letting them know that this is a time to change.

About an hour later, Olaes came across Mimi, a 23-year-old transgender woman who said she dreams of helping others by opening a transgender homeless shelter.

Mimi who wore a black dress and red Converse sneakers said she had been on a waiting list at the LGBT Center for two months and planned to visit other shelters next week. In public shelters, she said, its difficult to be housed according to her gender identity.

Thats why I want my own shelter, she said. Because I know what its like.

Olaes offered encouragement.

Come see me, she told Mimi.

Twitter: @leilamillersays

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On a midnight stroll, activists reach out to Hollywood's transgender and homeless population - Los Angeles Times

Doctors to offer stem cell treatments – The News (subscription)

Dr. Ren Halverson can emphasize with his patients. Like many of those who walk through his doors at Advanced Chiropractic in Brunswick, he has also experienced injuries and the pain they cause.

I had a torn labrum in my right shoulder, a torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder and and torn meniscus in my right knee. I already had two surgeries on my knees, he said. It was a daily challenge treating patients.

In order to help his patients and himself find relief, the chiropractor is always on the lookout for the latest in scientific health developments that might help. He spends countless hours studying the latest in medical innovations. Not too long ago, Halversons research paid off when he came across amniotic stem cells.

Of course, Halverson was already familiar with stem cells and the long term research concerning some for joint treatment. But the new data, methods and results were something he simply couldnt ignore.

World-wide the results with stem cells are off the charts. There are different types of stem cells ... blood marrow, which is best used for blood diseases. Amniotic, which is the membrane surrounding the placenta and is the safeguard between the mothers blood flow and the babys. That is what we are talking about here, he said. It has proven to be best for joint and tendon repair.

Amniotic arent, however, the same as the controversial fetal stem cells that gained so much attention over the past decade. Halverson says these types of stem cells raise no moral or ethical questions. They are also more effective than other types of stem cells in healing musklo-skeletal injuries.

These are offered by willing, cesarean donors. The FDA has approved the process and it is very strictly regulated. The hosts, the mothers who donate, are screened for all blood born pathogens before they are able to donate.

The regenerative field of medicine is something that has proven itself invaluable over the past few decades. It has convinced Halverson to open that door to his patients. After all, he has experienced the positive effects of the treatment first hand.

I wanted to try the stem cell treatment first. I did it about three months ago and the results are just incredible, he said, moving his arms to illustrate his range of motion.

It takes about eight months for the full effects to set in but Im swimming again. I couldnt do that before. In many cases worldwide, patients have been able to fully heal arthritic joints and tendons or cartilage tears without having to have surgery.

He feels the statistics truly speak for themselves. The company Halverson uses has conducted more than 100,000 similar treatments.

Stem cells contain Hyaluronic Acid which provides a scaffold for mesenchymal growth cells to begin the rebuilding process. They also contain natural anti inflammatory agents known as Cytokines.

Halverson says there is not one documented case of a side effect reported.

There has never been a negative reaction. Patient satisfaction is/over 98 percent ... thats just in the U.S. They are doing this heavily in Europe and Israel, he said. The results are unbelievable. Pre- and post -X-rays show remarkable results.

He will however bring on new faces who will run the expanded medical clinic.

Our medical director is Dr. Theresa Cezar, who is a great internist but has extensive experience in physical medicine. We also have Cynthia White who is our nurse practitioner. They are both excellent, he said. We have a really exceptional staff here.

In addition to the stem cell treatments, Halverson is offering an expanded line of medical services, designed to treat musklo-skeletal patients with a cutting edge integrated approach. Those include trigger point injections, state of the art spinal bracing, biomechanics as well as the regeneration therapy, which includes stem cell and Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Halverson is excited about the opportunity to bring these innovative techniques to the Golden Isles. He sees these treatments as a significant building blocks in the future of healthcare, a departure from relying on medication, dangerous opioids and other invasive options.

Ive experienced it and I know it works. Even Medicare says integration with medicine, chiropractic and therapies together are the wave of the future. We are combining what weve already been doing ... the chiropractic and rehabilitation to really take this to the next level, Halverson said.

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Doctors to offer stem cell treatments - The News (subscription)

The Struggles Of A Transgender Arkansan Looking For Healthcare – KUAR

Gender confirmation surgery is becoming more mainstream among surgeons, as doctors learn more about the role surgery plays in caring for transgender individuals.

It was a little over a year ago when, for the first time in its 89-year history, a conference hosted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeonsheld a session on the topic.

Arkansans searching for trans-related healthcare, including surgery, currently have limited options to do so in-state. There is uncertainty over where to find qualified providers.

In 2009, Dr. Janet Cathey, an OBGYN who specializes in the field, opened the states first gender clinic at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) because she says she saw a need for healthcare within the community.

"The first trans patient I had, I had an endocrinologist in Little Rock call and say Ive got a patient thats male, hes on hormones, hes a genetic female and he wants a hysterectomy and I cant find anyone that will do it. Will you take care of them? and its like, why would I not?" Cathey said.

Though services for transgender patients are on the rise, some treatments are not yet available in Arkansas, especially gender reassignment surgery.

"Weve got some options close for doing trans female, male-to-female reassignment surgery. Its kind of new to the area, but weve got someone whos willing to do it," Cathey said.

"Right now as far as what we say the bottom surgery for both, its an out-of-state sort of thing. Most of them go out-of-state."

Her clinic provides hormone therapy for men and women who want to transition. Also hysterectomies and breast reduction surgery for men.

But, she says, the demand for gender reassignment surgery remains greater than the options available.

"There is a big need for qualified people that do gender reassignment surgery,"Cathey said.

Kendra Johnson is the Arkansas director for the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for the transgender community. She says she thinks with the community becoming more visible in recent years, options for healthcare are growing.

"There were no providers who were out saying these are the services that I offer. For example, UAMS and Arkansas Childrens Hospital and some other private doctors have started to state that they may have some services," Johnson said.

Dr. Cathey with the gender clinic says the endpoint for some of those transitioning is hormone therapy, which she can provide, and not necessarily a surgical procedure. It's a spectrum, she explains.

"When they get that sense of wellbeing, sometimes theyre fine with that, thats all they want. Some people want surgery, some trans males only want top surgery,"Cathey said.

Krystopher Stephens, 30, with the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition is currently on hormone therapy under the supervision of his primary care doctor. He says he's been on a waiting list to see Dr. Cathey for over six months.

"Shes amazing, and the doctors around here that are affirming, for the most part, the quality of their care has been great," Stephens said.

"As far as the nation as a whole or even the state as a whole outside of Little Rock, quantity and quality arent necessarily the same just because theres a lot doesnt mean theyre all great."

Stephens says the Transgender Coalition received a grant about two years ago to work with UAMS to educate doctors about the trans experience.

"Education is definitely the biggest problem, just staff being culturally competent and being informed on trans issues, and it could be as simple as using the right pronoun," Stephens said.

"Some things are complicated but some things are simple, but if you dont know what to do, it just builds up. Especially on the patient, thats put on them, your misunderstanding or your misinformed opinion, youve projected that onto the patient when you refuse to take care of them or you refuse to acknowledge they are trans."

Cathey says the grant is allowing UAMS to work with its centers around the state to provide this type of education outside of central Arkansas as well. The University is also incorporating LGBTQ care into its course curriculum for med students. Some dont have experience with patients from the community.

Kendra Johnson with the Human Rights Campaign says while trans healthcare is limited for now, the growth shes seen makes her hopeful for the future.

"I think we could get to a point where theres a safety net in the medical community for people who are transitioning and to me thats really exciting because I never thought, given all the prejudice and all the work that we still have to do in this state, that we would have this response from the medical community as seeing it absolutely necessary," Johnson said.

Disclaimer: Kendra Johnson of the Human Rights Campaign is also on the fundraising board for KUAR and KLRE.

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The Struggles Of A Transgender Arkansan Looking For Healthcare - KUAR

Doctor Makes California Pain Clinic a Special Place Pain News … – Pain News Network

Dr. Tennant always has some new diagnostic test or research study up his sleeve. Recently, he asked patients to participate in a new DNA study of genetic indicators not previously studied in rare diseases that involve chronic pain. Every new test and diagnostic tool reveals important information hormone panels, nerve conduction studies, blood tests for inflammatory biomarkers, and MRI images that may reveal the presence of adhesive arachnoiditis.

All of these diagnostic research efforts produce new insights. For example, in a study of over 100 intractable pain patients who require relatively high opioid doses, Dr. Tennant found that 91% of them had genetic defects that impacted their ability to metabolize medications, suggesting why they need higher doses for effective pain relief.

Another example is the growing understanding of the impact of pain on hormone levels. Severe chronic pain initially elevates hormones, but if uncontrolled for too long, hormone levels become depleted. Hormone levels that are too high or too low are biomarkers of uncontrolled pain, and indicate that higher doses of pain medications or hormone replacement may be necessary. Ongoing clinical research is a key element of Dr. Tennants approach to pain care.

In my visits with Louis to numerous pain doctors prior to finding Dr. Tennant, almost all of them said, The goal is to get you off those pain medications.

I was shocked when I first heard Dr. Tennant say, The goal is to relieve your pain.

Dr. Tennant has the expertise to see a patients pain and to ask the right questions. His discerning eye can distinguish between intractable pain patients and the few who come to the clinic seeking drugs for the wrong reasons.

Dr. Tennant understands that most patients have already tried and failed at many different pain treatments. When that is the case, he tries to determine what will work. The goal is to relieve pain so that the patient has a chance at meaningful improvement of function and quality of life. There is no demeaning treatment, there are no words said that convey doubt or suspicion, there are no looks that say, You must be a drug seeker. Dr. Tennants clinic is one of very few medical facilities I have visited where there was no evidence of stigma toward pain patients.

An important piece of Dr. Tennants philosophy is that if you effectively treat the pain, improvements in function and quality of life will follow. Dr. Tennant prescribes medication as needed to enable patients to effectively manage their pain, which in turn helps to stabilize their overall condition, while the underlying causes are identified and treatments are attempted. If a patients pain remains undertreated, the likelihood of successfully treating the underlying causes is greatly reduced.

The Institute of Medicines 2011 report,Relieving Pain in America,called for a cultural transformation in the way pain is understood, assessed, and treated. The characteristics I would seek in such a transformation of pain care are visible every day in Dr. Tennants clinic. I wish that other doctors who treat chronic pain could get outside the bounds of their particular specialties and professional societies to view their patients differently.

As Dr. Tennants research has moved forward, he has found that the majority of chronic pain patients who go to his clinic have 4 or 5 rare disease conditions: adhesive arachnoiditis, post-viral autoimmune disease, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (also called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), and connective tissue disorders such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. All of these conditions are often accompanied by very severe, constant pain.

In the last few years, Dr. Tennant has made great advances in identifying and treating the underlying causes of intractable pain. He credits two recent scientific advances for enabling him to treat the causes rather than just the symptoms of pain. First, we now know that microglial cells within the central nervous system, once activated by a painful injury, disease or trauma, cause inflammation inside the brain and spinal cord. This neuro-inflammation causes chronic pain to centralize in the spinal cord and brain, resulting in severe pain that is constant.

Second, we now know that nerve cells may regrow, a process called neurogenesis. Certain neuro-hormones in the brain and spinal cord can promote neurogenesis when neuro-inflammation is reduced. Dr. Tennants approach is to reduce neuro-inflammation while simultaneously promoting neurogenesis. His protocols for treatment of neuro-inflammation are in their early stage, but they are already providing disease regression, enhanced pain relief, less suffering, and, for some patients, reduction in the use of opioids.

It is a true privilege to work as a volunteer in Dr. Tennants clinic. When I asked him in 2014 if I could be a volunteer, I had two specific reasons: to learn more so I could fight back against our insurance provider (who had suddenly decided to reduce the reimbursement for my husbands pain medications), and to educate myself so that I could become an effective advocate for chronic pain patients. We lost the battle with the insurance company, but I have certainly received an education that very few people have a chance to experience.

Dr. Tennants methods and approaches are not proprietary -- he's eager to share them.There are many good doctors out there who could learn to do what he does, instead of focusing solely on the treatment of pain as a symptom. It doesnt require a fancy clinic, lots of money, and corporate or university infrastructures. What it takes is a doctor who is truly committed to relieving pain and practicing the art of healing.

It is possible to manage pain with medicine instead of injecting the spine, inserting stimulators and pumps, or using other invasive procedures. Instead of treating pain with these modalities, treat and relieve the pain with medication, stabilize the patient, and search for the underlying causes so that they can be addressed.

At age 76, Dr. Tennant could have retired and given up his practice many years ago. Why does he put up with the many challenges of operating a pain clinic? Because he truly cares about helping people who are suffering.

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Testicular Cancer: 5 Things Every Man Needs to Know – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic (blog)

Cure rate for testis cancer is 90-plus percent Share Facebook Linkedin Pinterest Email

Cancer isnt something anyone wants to spend a lot of time thinking about, yet knowledge is power. When it comes to testicular cancer, acting early has huge implications.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Here are five things every man needs to know:

A cancer diagnosis is never a feel-good moment. But its important that you know that testicular cancer is one of the most treatable cancers out there.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

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Testicular Cancer: 5 Things Every Man Needs to Know - Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic (blog)

Docs Call Hormone Therapy for Kids Risky – – Newsmax

Using hormones to treat transgender children who feel that they are members of the opposite sex, which is becoming commonplace in medicine, could have serious long-term effects on children, doctors are warning in a new report.

In a paper published in the journal The New Atlantis this week, Paul Hruz of the Washington University Medical School and Lawrence Mayer and Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins Medical School say such treatments could have serious health implications, the New York Post reports.

The paper, called Growing Pains: Problems with Puberty Suppression in Treating Gender Dysphoria, notes a recent analysis by UCLA found that about 1.4 million people in the United States identify as transgender, a growing number of whom are children.

The number of children diagnosed with gender dysphoria described by clinicians as incongruence between ones experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender has been on the rise.

A gender identity clinic for children in the United Kingdom, for instance, reported a 2,000 percent increase in referrals since 2009, with those for children under the age of 6 going from six to 32 in the same time period.

Well-meaning parents have been increasingly trying hormone suppression, which prevents sex organs in boys and girls from developing in the usual way, Hruz, Mayer, and McHugh note.

While that may allow children to postpone decisions about actual sex-reassignment surgery, the authors argue that this therapy may have real and long-term effects on childrens physical and psychological development.

Whether blocking puberty is the best way to treat gender dysphoria remains far from settled, they write, and it should be considered ... a drastic and experimental measure.

2017 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

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Docs Call Hormone Therapy for Kids Risky - - Newsmax

Advanced Cancer Drug Study Highlights Need for Novel Approaches – Technology Networks

Mohammad Alyamani, Ph.D., with lab technician Yoon-Mi Chung. Credit: Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic researchers have shown for the first time how a class of advanced prostate cancer drugs are processed in the body and how their anti-tumor activity might change depending on how they are metabolized. Their pre-clinical findings, just published in Cell Chemical Biology, may lay the foundation for improving therapies for treatment-resistant, aggressive prostate cancer.

Next-generation anti-androgens are potent drugs that work by cutting off the prostate tumors supply of androgens (male hormones), which fuel prostate cancer. The drugs, used in patients whose cancer has become resistant to hormone deprivation therapy, have been shown to improve survival in men with metastatic disease. Unfortunately, prostate tumors eventually become resistant to these drugs, highlighting the need for new therapies.

Despite an array of improved treatment options that have become available over the past decade, prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer mortality in men in the United States. There are few therapeutic options for men whose cancer has become resistant to all therapies, said Nima Sharifi, M.D., lead author on the study. Our goal is to improve the use and role of these existing drugs and hopefully design new therapies that work better and longer.

Galeterone is a steroidal anti-androgen that was recently studied in a clinical trial. Dr. Sharifis team in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institutes Department of Cancer Biology has shown that when galeterone is metabolized, it is converted to the intermediate molecule D4G, which blocks androgen synthesis and reduces the amount of androgens available to cancer cells. A pitfall is that galeterone is also converted to another molecule that may stimulate the tumor.

Dr. Sharifi previously found that another steroidal anti-androgen drug, abiraterone, is metabolized in a similar manner. He went on to show in landmark studies that abiraterones metabolite D4A has greater anti-tumor activity than abiraterone alone and that other molecules stimulate tumor growth, suggesting that the drug should be fine-tuned to improve efficacy.

Dr. Sharifis new findings suggest that effective steroidal anti-androgens share common metabolic activities and that their metabolites should be closely examined for their effects on tumor survival. The findings may also guide medical decision making in the use of steroidal vs. nonsteroidal drugs for advanced prostate cancer.

New agents and a clearer understanding of drug mechanisms are both urgently required to improve outcomes for treatment-resistant advanced prostate cancer, said Dr. Sharifi. This work provides an important foundation that hopefully will lead to better treatment strategies for this disease.

This article has been republished frommaterialsprovided by Cleveland Clinic. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.


Alyamani, M., Li, Z., Berk, M., Li, J., Tang, J., Upadhyay, S., . . . Sharifi, N. (2017). Steroidogenic Metabolism of Galeterone Reveals a Diversity of Biochemical Activities. Cell Chemical Biology. doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2017.05.020

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Advanced Cancer Drug Study Highlights Need for Novel Approaches - Technology Networks

Important hormones for your health – Meridian Star

OK, today I want to talk about hormones which ones are important and why. Hormones have just as much impact on your health as the three other big pieces of the puzzle physical health, mental health and nutrition. Dont believe me? Well, you will by the end of this, so keep reading! This will be a very broad overview and I havent included all hormones, just what I call the big hitters. In later columns, well dive deeper into individual hormones.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is technically a pro-hormone that we get mainly from being out in the sun. Other sources include cod liver oil, calcium-rich foods, egg yolk and supplementation. Almost everyone is deficient in Vitamin D. I take a Vitamin D. The biggest areas of benefit include significantly decreasing risk of cancer (by blocking progression of pre-cancerous cells) and lowering heart disease rates. It can also improve testosterone levels, calcium absorption, bone health, blood pressure control and lower autoimmune disease rates. Its one of the first areas I recommend for a quick improved health intervention in most of my patients.


Your thyroid is important, and low levels of thyroid hormones can significantly impact health. Your thyroid regulates metabolism, energy and body temperature. When its healthy, it increases protein synthesis, lowers cholesterol, increases fat breakdown and improves cognition. When its low, there are over 200 symptoms you could have. The most significant include fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry skin, brittle nails, thin hair, brain fog, constipation and high cholesterol. Women, especially those ages 40-60, are more prone to low thyroid levels compared to men although we do see it in men as well.


Another common area impacting health is your adrenals (you have two of them they rest just above your kidneys). When you are startled and have that body shock feeling, thats the adrenals releasing adrenaline. When there is longer term stress, the adrenals release cortisol. When stress continues and cortisol gets depleted, you move towards what we call adrenal fatigue. Unfortunately, due to our inherent culture of go-go-go, adrenal fatigue syndrome is very common. Also, it usually takes a long time (4-12 months) to resolve once addressed. Stress management is a key to reducing your risk for adrenal fatigue and improving your health. Well discuss stress management techniques in a later column.

Sex hormones

Testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone are all considered sex hormones. The name is misleading as these hormones are definitely not just about sex. Thats not even how the word sex is meant here. Anyway, I could go on for many moons on this subject as Im passionate about it but well hit some highlights here. In general, women need estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Men need testosterone and estrogen. People usually think of testosterone as only for men and estrogen as only for women but thats not the case. Men and women need estrogen and testosterone to benefit their health but the levels needed are different. As an aside, sex hormone optimization is complex and you need a healthcare provider who specializes in this to address and manage it properly as there are risks to mismanagement. Testosterone helps your body with sex drive, erections (in men), muscle strength, mood, energy, bone strength, as well as decreasing heart disease, cholesterol and diabetes risks to name a few benefits. Estrogen and progesterone can affect mood, sex drive, breast growth (particularly in women), urinary tract infection risk, cholesterol, bone strength, cognition, Alzheimers risk, skin health and sleep...again, to name just a few areas. Progesterone, in particular, is good at helping with sleep.

For women, these sex hormones can be deficient before menopause, but definitely deficient after. Ten to 15 years ago, there was concern for hormone replacement after menopause and several post-menopausal women abruptly stopped hormone replacement. We now know that likely put them in a higher health risk category than if theyd stayed on them. Also, since then, weve learned more and really see where theres a benefit in maintaining these hormone levels with appropriate surveillance by a qualified healthcare provider.

For men, testosterone, in particular, got a bad rap 4-8 years ago with a concern for worsening heart disease risk, and historically there has been a concern for prostate cancer risk. We will address these individually at length in upcoming columns but the short of it is this: there does not appear to be an increased risk for prostate cancer with normal compared to low testosterone levels (the data actually shows an increasing incidence in the low testosterone groups) and, in most patients, theres an improvement in heart health and lowering of heart disease risk with normal testosterone levels compared to low (similar to above, the data points towards increased heart disease risk at low testosterone levels compared to normal).

I know I threw a lot at you here, but thats a super-high bird's eye look at the impact of hormones on health. Keeping hormone levels optimized naturally, or if needed through supplementation, improves your chance for more functional years and an improved quality of life!

Dr. Thomas is a board-certified physician who operates Complete Health Integrative Wellness Clinic and Thomas Urology Clinic in Starkville, Mississippi.

This newspaper column is for informational purposes only and is, under no circumstances, intended to constitute medical advice or to create or continue a physician-patient relationship. If you have a medical emergency, you should immediately seek care from your nearest emergency room, and if you have specific health questions, you should consult your own physician.

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Important hormones for your health - Meridian Star

Augusta Pride kicks off eighth annual celebration – WJBF-TV

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)-Augusta Pride Weekend 2017 has arrived.

This is the eighth annual pride celebration in Augusta, and this year, organizers are hoping between 12,000 and 15,000 people attend the weekend of celebration.

Alyssa Fredericks of Thomson came to Beats on Broad, the Friday night celebration at the common, with her girlfriend, andshe says she feels the CSRA is a pretty welcoming place for the LGBTQ community.

Its good to be out here with everybody, Fredericks said. Its like a community as one.

Even though its a party, some groups are taking advantage of the celebration to offer important health services, includingfree HIV testing.

We caught up with a volunteer from the Equality Clinic of Augusta, which is a free student-run clinic for uninsured and underinsured people.

A lot of our patients are from the LGBTQ population, said Matthew Luo, who is treasurer of the Equality Clinic of Augusta.

Luo says about 70 percent of their patients are transgender people seeking hormone replacement therapy. He says they are one of the only clinics in the region that provides that service to those in need.

We have people coming from Charleston, from Mississippi from like Kentuckyall over the Southeast to come, he said. They drive hours and hours to come to our clinic because were one of the only people that offers this service.

Its a reflection of what Augusta pride is trying to dooffering people in the CSRA and beyond a chance to be themselves.

Its about love, respect, tolerance, being able to live your most authentic life, said Augusta Pride President Lonzo Smith.

The pride parade kicks off on Broad Street at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.After that the pride festival will be at the Augusta Common till 5 p.m.

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Augusta Pride kicks off eighth annual celebration - WJBF-TV

How doctors in Texas are trying to protect transgender patients from a persistent threat: HIV – Los Angeles Times

When the Kind Clinic began offering free or low-cost hormone therapy for transgender people in March, word spread quickly here. Within days, the service was booked up until the end of June. Now the next available appointment is in December.

For the patients flocking to the clinic north of downtown the first of its kind in central Texas its a chance to begin a transition many thought they could not afford. But for the doctors, the rush is a chance to start addressing another major health problem facing the transgender community: the staggering rates of HIV.

By offering hormone therapy, the clinic aims to earn the trust of a population that often feels alienated by mainstream medicine and persuade those at high risk of exposure to the virus to start on a drug regimen that can prevent infection.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a regimen marketed as Truvada for use as a pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV in 2012, but it is not widely prescribed.

Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times

Dr. Cynthia Brinson, medical director at the Kind Clinic, consults with a transgender patient, Peter Haley.

Dr. Cynthia Brinson, medical director at the Kind Clinic, consults with a transgender patient, Peter Haley. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Is that just available to anyone? Peter Haley, a 27-year-old transgender patient, asked a Kind Clinic doctor when she told him about Truvada.

The doctor, Cynthia Brinson, explained that the clinic would first want to provide counseling about the medicine and do a series of tests to rule out a preexisting HIV infection and other potential complications. But if everything checked out, she said, the clinic would provide a prescription and help filling it at little or no cost.

Haley had come to the clinic because he was no longer covered by his mothers insurance and couldn't afford the $100-a-month prescription for testosterone injections or routine visits to the doctor.

Recently married, he didnt think he was in any immediate danger from HIV. But he left the clinic with a stack of leaflets about pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

I have a lot of friends who probably should know about it, he told the doctor.

A 2013 review of the limited research estimated that as many as 22% of transgender women in the U.S. were living with the AIDS-causing virus a rate 27 times higher than for the general population of reproductive age (15 to 49). More than half of African American transgender women could be infected, according to one study. The risk to transgender men is believed to be lower, although there is even less data about them.

The population is so vulnerable because the stigmatized place that transgender people occupy in society translates into extremely high rates of poverty, substance abuse, mental health difficulties, homelessness and incarceration all of which increase the odds of having sex without condoms or sharing needles, the two most common ways that HIV is spread in the U.S.

Finding a job can be especially difficult for some transgender women, so they may turn to sex work, which puts them in even greater danger. Many clients dont want to use condoms, they say, and assaults are common.

Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times

Kelly Kline, one of the Kind Clinic's first transgender patients, takes a pill once a day to protect herself from HIV.

Kelly Kline, one of the Kind Clinic's first transgender patients, takes a pill once a day to protect herself from HIV. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Many of those living with HIV refuse to get tested or treated because of bad experiences at mainstream medical facilities.

A survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality in 2015 found that 23% of the nearly 28,000 respondents hadnt seen a doctor when they needed one in the last year, because they were afraid of being mistreated. A third couldnt afford to see one.

Of those who had consulted a healthcare provider, a third reported being refused treatment, verbally harassed, assaulted or subjected to some other mistreatment.

You go to the doctor to seek help, but they act like theyre disgusted by you sometimes, said Kelly Kline, 42, one of the Kind Clinics first transgender patients.

She recalled the New Years Eve that she came down with pneumonia and had to go to the emergency room.

Everyone was so nice, until they asked for my ID, she said. Then the receptionist, in front of everybody, asked, So, youre a man?!

The doctor did a double take when he saw her and checked her chart.

Im so sorry, she recalled him saying. They told me there was supposed to be a man on my table.

Kline, a community activist who hosts a popular drag show at an Austin nightclub, said she has lost count of the number of friends who have died of AIDS-related complications so many people. Some refuse to get tested because they cant face the possibility of an HIV diagnosis. But others are afraid of how they will be received.

Because transgender people feel so unwelcome at many medical facilities, opportunities for preventing the spread of HIV the best hope for containing the virus short of a cure or a vaccine are being missed.

The Austin clinic began in 2015 with the aim of making Truvada more easily available to those at high risk of contracting the virus. That includes anyone who is in a relationship with an HIV-positive person, gay and bisexual men who do not regularly use condoms with partners whose HIV status they dont know, and anyone who sometimes shares equipment to inject drugs or hormones.

Taken daily, the medicine has been shown to reduce the risk of infection by more than 90%.

Though public health officials in Texas and across the nation have made it a component of their strategies against the virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that many primary care doctors and nurses remain unaware of it.

The medicine has also faced opposition from some doctors and AIDS activists who argue that offering people another way to block HIV transmission would undermine long-standing efforts to promote the use of condoms, a method that is also effective against other sexually transmitted infections. The CDC issued guidelines in 2013 stipulating that PrEP should be used with condoms.

Some doctors in Texas which sees 4,000 new infections each year also object to the medicine on moral grounds, arguing it encourages promiscuity and intravenous drug use.

Brinson, who in addition to being the clinics medical director provides care at the county jail, recalled having to break the news to an inmate that he was HIV-positive. The man was stunned because he had tested negative just three months prior.

Well, did they offer you PrEP? she asked him. No, he had never heard of the regimen.

Just having people continually come in to be tested but not offering them a prevention seemed ludicrous, she said.

Most of the people who work at the clinic are volunteers, and the care is free, thanks to a combination of public and private funding. The clinic can also help patients cover the prescription costs for Truvada, which run over $1,600 a month without insurance.

By the end of last year, the clinic was providing the medicine to 800 patients, most of them gay or bisexual men, who account for the majority of new HIV infections in the U.S.

But the doctors worried about how few transgender people were coming in. So they reached out to community representatives, who pointed out that for many transgender people, HIV is a secondary concern to obtaining the hormones they need to transition. The observation was borne out by recent studies that recommend combining HIV and gender care services for these patients.

And so the clinic began offering hormone therapy.

Our strategy is around getting to zero [new infections], and you cant do that without addressing the needs of the transgender community in a way that makes sense to them, said Joe McAdams, the Kind Clinics executive director.

At first, the clinic offered gender care appointments one evening each week. To meet the growing demand, it recently added weekend hours and is planning to move to larger premises in August.

More than a quarter of the transgender patients decide to try Truvada, said McAdams, who has been living with HIV himself for 30 years.

One of them is Kline. She now takes a blue pill every morning with her allergy medicine.

She loves coming to the clinic. On her first visit, she was offered a questionnaire that asked about her gender identity, the sex she was assigned at birth and what pronouns she prefers.

Other doctors have never, ever asked about it, she said.

Twitter: @alexzavis

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How doctors in Texas are trying to protect transgender patients from a persistent threat: HIV - Los Angeles Times

Hormone therapy is a horrible risk for kids – New York Post

Bathroom signs are temporary, but hormones are forever.

That seems to be the implication of a new paper called Growing Pains: Problems with Puberty Suppression in Treating Gender Dysphoria, published in the journal The New Atlantis this week.

Paul Hruz of the Washington University Medical School and Lawrence Mayer and Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins Medical School looked at the recent use of hormones to treat children who feel that they should be members of the opposite sex and concluded that this experimental treatment, which is becoming commonplace in medicine, could have serious long-term effects on children.

According to an analysis by UCLA last year, about 1.4 million people in the United States identify as transgender, a growing number of whom are children. And theres no doubt the number of children diagnosed with gender dysphoria described by clinicians as incongruence between ones experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender has been on the rise.

A gender identity clinic for children in the United Kingdom, for instance, received 94 referrals in 2009-10 and 1,986 referrals in 2016-17 a 2,000 percent increase. Referrals for children under the age of 6 went from six to 32 in the same time period.

According to the authors, the reasons for the rise arent clear. It could be that increased awareness has led more parents to have their children treated. Or it could be that gender affirming treatments may drive some children to persist in identifying as transgender when they might otherwise have, as they grow older, found their gender to be aligned with their sex.

In fact, as the authors note, the vast majority of children with gender dysphoria grow out of it. But for parents whose children are experiencing symptoms right now, things can be very difficult for them and for the kids, who are more prone to depression and suicidal thoughts.

Well-meaning parents who want to alleviate this burden as their children approach puberty (and their bodies seem to comport even less with their gender identity) have been increasingly trying hormone suppression. This will not only mean, though, that sex organs wont develop in boys and girls in the usual way. Puberty, as the authors note, affects all parts of the body. It changes the development of the brain, muscle mass, bone growth and a variety of other systems.

While parents might see hormones as a way of allowing their children to postpone decisions about actual sex-reassignment surgery the removal of testicles, the creation of breasts, etc. the truth is that this therapy may have real and long-term effects on childrens physical and psychological development. Whether blocking puberty is the best way to treat gender dysphoria remains far from settled, Hruz, Mayer and McHugh write, and it should be considered ... a drastic and experimental measure.

Proponents of such treatments like to tout the fact that theyre reversible, but once the process of puberty is disrupted or stopped because of a medical intervention, its not at all clear that if the treatment is stopped, things will proceed as they would have otherwise, according to the report: There are virtually no published reports, even case studies, of adolescents withdrawing from puberty-suppressing drugs and then resuming the normal pubertal development typical for their sex.

And the fact that few withdraw from this treatment may simply indicate that these treatments increase the likelihood that the patients cross-gender identification will persist.

Indeed, the use of these drugs to treat gender dysphoria is entirely off label, meaning parents who would never feed their children food that wasnt tested by the FDA or give them toys that werent approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission are signing their kids up to receive drugs that are purely experimental at this stage.

Children cant consent to this. How can parents agree to this on their behalf?

As a society, we can continue to debate policies for locker rooms and restrooms. We can talk about the extent to which religious institutions should be forced to hire transgender employees. If we make a mistake on those, it can be fixed. But when it comes to ensuring that children are able to be healthy and happy, adopting radical and experimental medical treatments will be awfully hard to undo.

Naomi Schaefer Riley is a senior fellow at the Independent Womens Forum.

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Hormone therapy is a horrible risk for kids - New York Post

Hormone caused by stress could lead to weight gain, study says –

Raleigh, N.C. Everyone knows how stress can affect their mood and often their food choices, but can long-term stress actually make people gain weight?

Recent research from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging shows it's possible that constant stress can add to your waist line. The gain is due to a potential link between people's bodies and the stress hormone cortisol.

"People who had higher BMIs had higher levels of cortisol, and people who had higher waist circumference, kind of carrying their weight in the middle, also had that higher level of cortisol," said the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Leslie Heinberg.

Researchers compared the stress levels and body weight of more than 2,500 men and women over the age of 54.

They examined locks of hair for cortisol over a 2-month period.

Cortisol is the hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, and it tends to ramp up during times of stress.

Cortisol levels can vary greatly throughout the course of a day, but excessive levels over time can wreak havoc on the body.

It may get in the way of healthy habits, such as getting a good night's rest, exercise and eating a healthy diet.

Heinberg says it's a reminder not to put our health on the back burner when we're stressed out.

"Things like exercise, meditation, mindfulness exercises, relaxation," also help reduce stress - as well as controlling your weight, Heinberg said.

Heinberg says the research is not conclusive about whether the stress of study participants was a result of being overweight or if being overweight was a result of stress. She believes it may be a combination of the two.

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Hormone caused by stress could lead to weight gain, study says -

HRC releases video highlighting importance of Planned Parenthood for LGBTQ community – Metro Weekly

Brooke Baxa Photo: Human Rights Campaign, via YouTube.

The Human Rights Campaign has released a video highlighting the important role that Planned Parenthood plays in providing culturally competent health care to the LGBTQ community.

The video, which was launched Friday, is in response to a provision in the Senate version of a Republican-led health care reform effort that would prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid dollars. Because Senate Republicans plan on using reconciliation to pass the bill, the defunding of Planned Parenthood would only last one fiscal year, as opposed to a permanent ban. But the damage likely forcing several Planned Parenthood clinics to close would be done by the time the prohibition expired.

Brooke Baxa, a 22-year old non-binary transgender healthcare advocate, is featured in the video explaining how they were able to get medical treatment through Planned Parenthoods clinic in Denver, Colo. Baxa says they first met other transgender people living authentically through a Planned Parenthood youth conference, which aided them in coming out as transgender and non-binary.

In the fall of 2015, after seeking medical care from Planned Parenthood, Baxa began taking hormones, including testosterone, to help with their transition. Baxa also discovered that Planned Parenthood was well-versed in providing culturally competent health care to LGBTQ patients.

I grew up in rural Nebraska, and there isnt a lot of access to inclusive health care here, especially in regard to being LGBT. Theres not a lot of resources for us here, Baxa says. What I discovered from moving to Colorado and being a low-income person who needed healthcare, I was able to go to Planned Parenthood and receive care.

Because of provisions the Affordable Care Act allowing youth to stay on their parents plan until age 26, Baxa is still able to receive insurance coverage, which covers their hormone treatments. But Baxa remains passionate about ensuring that other LGBTQ people who are less fortunate are able to access medically necessary care.

For some, covering hormones and hormone replacement therapy is seen as a luxury. But for the vast majority of transgender patients, being on hormones and receiving that care is lifesaving, Baxa says. You shouldnt have to go bankrupt just to get the medication you need to be who you are.

The Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood will be holding events on social media highlighting the symbiotic relationship between Planned Parenthood and the LGBTQ community, and encourage people to protest the defunding of Planned Parenthood. The organizations will also be alerting people to the dangers posed to the LGBTQ community and others by the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the protections it provides in terms of access to coverage for medically necessary treatment.

David Stacy, HRCs director of government affairs, notes that the Affordable Care Act took significant steps to connect LGBTQ people, particularly those who are low-income, with health insurance coverage through the expansion of state Medicaid programs. Provisions in the ACA that prohibited discrimination against transgender people and barred insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions also helped significant numbers of LGBTQ people obtain access to health care reducing the disparities in coverage between the LGBTQ community and the broader public.

The rollback of the Medicaid expansion and the cuts to Medicaid that are in both the House and Senate bill would be absolutely devastating to people living with HIV, says Stacy, detailing the numerous ways that a repeal of the ACA would effect the LGBTQ community. The same goes for transgender people who are poorer than average because of discrimination and challenges in employment. So transgender peoples health continues to be a challenge, but the ACA has helped increase insurance coverage for those folks, and thats really critical.

Baxa says the transgender community is particularly concerned about the reduction of services that could result if Planned Parenthood loses out on Medicaid dollars, which could impact whether clinics offer hormone replacement therapy or other treatments, not to mention preventative care and family planning services that would also be endangered by such cuts.

With respect to the possibility of repealing the ACA, Baxa says getting treatments covered by insurance is always a concern, particularly for the trans community.

Even by todays standards, where we think that most of these treatments are covered by insurance, Ive seen, in the last few months, people trying to get gender-confirming surgeries and being denied coverage when they have the same insurance that someone was approved for less than a year ago, says Baxa.

As I look to the future and what my medical future looks like, it is always a concern that our coverage or our care in general is on the chopping block.

See HRCs video featuring Brooke Baxa below:

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HRC releases video highlighting importance of Planned Parenthood for LGBTQ community - Metro Weekly

The Machine of ’87: Messi’s Boyhood Teammates Recall Early Signs of Greatness – Bleacher Report

Young Leo Messi joined his hometown club, Newell's Old Boysor "Nuls," as people in Argentina call itwhen he was just six years old. He'd been waiting almost all his life for the day. The club was his birthright. His uncles and aunts had given him a red-and-black Newell's jersey for his first birthday. Both his older brothers had played youth-team football for the club. He even had gone to the club's stadium in Rosario to see Diego Maradona's Nuls debut in October 1993.

In his first game for Newell's, a 6-0 victory, Messi scored four goals, according to the Association of Rosario Football. He was setting a tone. He became the totem for arguably Argentina's most famous under-age team, "La Maquina del '87," or "The Machine of '87," named after the year a crop of the club's players were born. They were invincible. In what's called "baby football" in Argentinaa seven-a-side game children play until they're 11La Maquina del '87 went unbeaten for three years.

When the club graduated to the 11-a-side format at age 11, with more space to play with on the bigger pitches, it was more of the same. They swept all before them. They won every tournament they entered, plundering fields across Argentina and competitions as far away as Peru, on the other side of the continent. In 2000, Newell's won their championship by at least 20 points, according to Franco Falleroni, one of the team's strikers. "In five or six seasons, we only lost about three times," says another teammate, Gonzalo Mazzia.

Sometimes Newell's own goalkeeper was so bored during the beatings his outfield teammates were administering, he would sit on his backside in the box. They bullied teams so badlyracking up 10, 12 and 15 goals a gamethat some opponents put a 6-0 limit on the scoreline. The game would have to stop once six goals had gone in. It was the only way to stem the bleeding.

Messi was insatiable. I ask Adrian Coriawho coached Messi in 10th grade, the final year he played for Newell's before leaving to join Barcelona at age 13if it is true that Messi scored more than 500 goals for Newell's during those years as a kid.

Coria puffs out his lips. "At least."

Messi was grumpy when he didn't score in a game, like a gambler being wrenched from the rails. "He used to go crazy when he couldn't score a goal," remembers Falleroni. "He was a very ambitious guy. Even if he wonif the team won 7-0but he didn't score a goal, he got angry. Or if he didn't get passed the ball, he got angry. You could see it in his face. That's his temperament, his personality. He always wanted the ball."

Falleroni lives in Chabas. It's the town he grew up in, which is a two-hour bus ride from Rosario. As a star child footballer, it was a difficult beatchugging in and out to Rosario for training and matches with Newell's, week in, week out. Messi and Falleroni became fast friends. Messi used to come out and stay with him. They'd fool around on the PlayStation. On the quiet dirt roads of Chabas, Falleroni's father taught the 11-year-old Messihow to drive, too. "My dad had a Peugeot 306," Falleroni says. "We had to give Leo a large pillow to sit on because he couldn't reach the steering wheel."

There weren't many cars careering around the streets of Messi's barrio in the south zone of Rosario when he was growing up. It's a hardscrabble neighbourhood, although it's not a shantytown like, say, Villa Fiorito, where Maradona sprung from in Buenos Aires. Maradona grew up in the 1960s in a shack with no running water or electricity; he used to scavenge for pesos as a kid by selling scrap and the foil wrapping from cigarette papers, among other enterprises.

Messi wanted for nothing. He got a good schooling.

Many in Argentina will tell you that Messi will forever live in the shadow of Maradona unless he delivers a World Cup. Some Argentines prefer the roguery of Maradona, too. He has what is known locally as "viveza," an ability to get by on his wits.

"The 'viveza' have a certain cunning that is learned in the streets," says Ramiro Martin, author of Messi: Un Genio en la Escuela del Futbol. "Being 'vivo' in Argentina means being cunning, even knowing how to cheat to achieve your goals. It is called 'viveza criolla,' something that I, as an Argentinian, am not proud of, but it is historical."

The houses along the streets of Messi's childhood neighbourhood are low-slung, one and two storeys high, with some tarpaulin roofing in places and walls that are thirsting for paint. There's lots of idlingpeople sitting outside their front doors on plastic chairs, the odd beggar hanging around the traffic lights hustling for some change and scores of dogs ambling about and barking.

On the street corners, utility poles and spare walls are daubed roughly in the colours of either Newell's or its great city rival, Rosario Central, as part of the land wars that divide Rosario. There are murals of Messi to remind people of their most famous son, but they have to be sought outone on the wall at the back of his old primary school and another that materialised before the 2014 World Cup finals close to Grandoli Football Club, where Messi played a couple of seasons of formal football before joining Newell's.

Messi's family house, which was built by Messi's father and grandfather with their own hands, is still standing. It was never sold. His mother and sister only moved out in 2010, per Sebastian Fest and Alexandre Julliard's book Misterio Messi: Los Secretos del Mejor Jugador del Mundo. His grandparents' house is around the corner and halfway up the street from his parents' old home.

A woman in her 30s answers the door when I knock but won't speak. The next-door neighbour, Lucia, is full of chat, though, when prodded about the young Messi. "He was a quiet child. Muy tranquilo," she says. "My only problem with him was that he used to interrupt my siestaall the time kicking a football against my wall."

After a couple of seasons playing with Newell's, the club facilitated a meeting for Messi with an endocrinologist, Dr. Diego Schwarzstein, to address a growth hormone issue. His teammates used to call him "pulga," the flea. He didn't like the nickname, says Sergio Maradona, one of his former teammates.

The doctor got a call that they were sending him "the best player that we have." Messi was nine years old when he first visited Schwarzstein's clinic. It was January 31, 1997, the day of the doctor's birthday.

Messi was one of about every 20,000 in the population who suffer from growth hormone deficiency. He was only a little over 4'0" tall when he joined Newell's and 15-20 centimetres below his target height. His problem was treatable. His body was otherwise normal.

One of Messi's old coaches at Newell's, Quique Dominguez, is quoted in a Messi biography by Guillem Balague as saying that Messi "hardly had a ribcage, it was caved in, looking at his chest was scary." Schwarzstein clarifies, however, that Messi's physique was fine other than the height issue. The dimensions of his body were in "harmony," says Schwarzstein.

Every day, Messi self-administered a growth hormone with a small syringe. It was a painless procedure, less intrusive than a mosquito bite. "I have seen him, here in my parents' place, how he injected himself in his legs. It was a very thin needle, this long," says Falleroni, pointing at the length of his fingernail. "He would come to the house with his medicine, put the pack in the freezer, take it out, inject it by himself into his thigh."

Schwarzstein and Messi built up a close relationship during more than four years of treatment, which was concluded in Barcelona by a different medical team. They connected through football more than anything else; Schwarzstein is an avid football fan and a member of Newell's football club. Messi left him his old Newell's jersey, which he signed, when he moved to Barcelona in early 2001.

Regarding Messi's personality, Schwarzstein makes a distinction. "He was a very nice child. He wasn't shywhen you broke the ice, when you started talking with him, usually football was the initial topic he talked a lot aboutbut he was introverted. One thing is that you prefer to keep some things for yourself. Another thing is if you have anxiety to express yourself, the feeling: 'I'm afraid, I won't say the right thing.' Another thing is to be introvertedif you prefer to keep things for yourself.

"Leo is not shy. He's introverted. He's reserved."

Messi's old teammates at Newell's all testify that he is an open and outgoing guy once he's amongst his circle of friends. Sergio Maradona played at Newell's in the "Generation of '88" team in the same position as Messiin the hole behind the two strikers, as a No. 10, or the "enganche," as it's referred to in Argentine football argot. "In this era, everybody talked about the two of us. It was Messi or meMaradona in '88 or Messi in '87," he says. They both also saw Schwarzstein for growth issues.

Maradona got to know Messi well over those years, and in 1999 he travelled to Buenos Aires with La Maquina del '87 for a tournament. "He was humble," he says. "The idea that he was shy, timidthis is a lie. When he is with his mates, he's great fun. He's guarded with the press or people who don't know him. With his family or his friends, he's very amusing. I remember him as a funny guy, entertaining, extroverted but also a very respectful person, modest, unassuming. He never had problems with anyone."

Messi and Maradona played in that tournament together in the last week of July 1999. They travelled the four hours to Buenos Aires by bus and were billeted with families by the host club, Defensores de Villa Ramallo. Newell's blitzed each team that came before them, winning their pool games, 10-0, 3-0, 7-0 and both the semifinal and final by 5-0 scorelines, with Messi and Maradona both scoring in the semifinal and final. Messi finished the competition with 15 goals to his credit.

Maradona is one of the "sliding door" characters in Messi's tale. What could have been? They both had great talent. Maradona did less with his. Life has been a caper for him. "My problem was discipline," he says. The Spanish club Villarreal came for him when he was 11 years old, but his father nixed the move. He was too young.

Once he was old enough to become a professional, he started bouncing around the leagues in South America as a mercenary, fathering children along the way. He has four kidsone in Mexico, two in Bolivia and one in Argentina. "In that I am like Maradona," he says, laughing.

Maradona had to leave Mexico in a hurry. He ended up playing with a semiprofessional team owned by drug trafficker, as part of a 12-team Mexican league. The team owners used to bet on their teams. When Maradona's team travelled to Ciudad Juarez to play matches, they never stayed overnight. "You could hear shooting every night," he says. He got his team owner's daughter pregnant; she had a girl, who is seven years old. "I had to come back to Argentina because they wanted to kill me," Maradona says. One of his old coaches and his family were murdered, says Maradona, because his team lost a final.

Gustavo "Billy" Rodas was the star of Newell's "Generation of '86" team. He made his first-team debut at 16 years of age. He's another player who is held up as an example of a guy who coulda been a contender, but whose career never took off, owing to social problems.

Sergio Almiron, who was a World Cup winner with Argentina in 1986, worked as a technical director of Newell's youth academy at the time Messi and Rodas played "baby" football. He points to the crucial role Messi's parents played in his development.

"Leo was given all that was necessary for a boy to grow. Billy didn't have that. He never made it. At 14 to 15 years old, because his parents were very poor, he was given a hotel room at the Riviera for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Later, he was given an apartment to live in, with his mother, so she could contain him. But she couldn't control him. For him, it was more important to play with his neighbourhood friends. He had a lot of problems. He left the club. I brought him back again. He disappeared again. He would start training again. Then he'd be gone again.

"Both parents were there for Messi. They supported him. They wanted what was best for their son. They sacrificed everything for him, and the result is the Messi we have today. Billy Rodas didn't have that restraint that Leo had. Here in Argentina, you have good friends and bad friends, drugs, alcohol. Often, it is your family that can keep you on the straight and narrow."

In July, Maradona will pack his bags again. He's due to play for a team in Bolivia next season. He won't miss the close attention of Argentine defenders. They are the worst of their breed in the South American leagues, he says.

"There is a lot of conflict with football in Argentina. It's very aggressive. It's hard. There's a lot of fouling. Football in Mexico, for example, is more fluid, more tactical, faster. Defenders in Argentina will do anything to upset you. They'll spit on you. They'll stick a finger up your arse. They'll prick you with a needle. Can you believe it? They are terrible.

"This is football in Argentina."

Maradona says Messi never shied away from tough defenders: "Even though the ball was bigger than him, he was never afraid. He never cried. He played better when they kicked him. He was always brave. He wanted to play with the ball, to dribble, to go forward."

Messi always got the worst shoeing during games against Central. They were Newell's toughest rivals. During one derby match, he did five "sombreros" on his markercheekily flicking the ball over his head five times. Watching on from the terraces, the defender's father was apoplectic. "Kill him! Kill him!" he screamed.

Falleroni remembers a guy in his town who kept hassling him. He was sick of all the talk about this phenomenon that was supposed to be like Diego Maradona. "He used to say, 'Who is this Messi? You talk so much about him. Bring him here!' So we organised a small match to play. In one manoeuvre, Messi nutmegged him twice. Can you imagine? In the same playtwo nutmegs! The boy stopped talking then."

Coria says one of the things that distinguished Messi was his explosiveness.

"My football idol is Maradona. He played the same as Leo. Leo was very explosive. He could burst from zero to 100 very quickly. It's like starting an engine. Diego had this, but sideways, not with that ability to get a guy off his back with just one move. Leo had a lot of power. He worked very hard on improving this power, working on his physique. Generally players either have very good technique and ball control, but they aren't fast. Leo was fast and he had brilliant skill, both things together. This made him different."

The Maquina del '87 players picked the team's captain. Usually it was Messi, sometimes Lucas Scaglia, whose first cousin is Antonella Roccuzzo, the mother of Messi's two sons. Roccuzzo and Messi will marry in Rosario on June 30, a week after Messi's 30th birthday. They have known each other since they were five years old.

"Leo has always liked Antonella, since forever," Falleroni says, "although she didn't pay him much attention when they were little. We knew he was in love with Antonella. I remember one day, we went to Lucas' house in Funes. We went there for a weekend. Antonella was there too. Every time Messi saw her, he blushed!"

When Messi wasn't thinking about Antonella, he was mulling over football. It obsessed him. He was always meticulous in preparing for training and games. Even when he was five years old and playing with Grandoli, he had his routine. He used to clean his boots before a match with a brush and cloth, and bandage his anklesan Argentine practice to safeguard against piranha defendersbefore kick-off, as per Balague's Messi.

"He thought like a professional. He had this conviction, this passion," says Bruno Milanesio, who played as a defender on his Newell's team. "He is crazy about football. He has been since he was very young. He thought all the time about the ball, how to dribble other players, how to solve a situation. Every day, he trained to be better. He always wanted more, more, more. He put football before everything."

It wasn't a done deal that Messi would make it, however. "When he played, as a child, he showed a lot of potential," Almiron says. "He might score seven goals in a match sometimes, but no one could ever imagine that he was going to become the best player in the world. He was still so young. There are football players from seven to 14 years old who you think might be a great football player. But at 17, 18, they don't kick on football-wise. It was impossible to know that Messi at eight or 10 or 12 years old was going to be the Messi he is today. You can't tell at that age."

Messi's father, Jorge, who has played a pivotal role in his development, chaperoning him through his teenage years in Barcelona and into adulthood as his manager, had a quiet confidence his son would make it, but he never trumpeted it.

"All the fathers believe they have a Diego Maradona, but it doesn't always work out," says Ruben Horacio Gaggioli, the agent involved in bringing Messi to Barcelona. "In the case of Jorge Messi, he never said his son was going to be the best player in the world or a great player. He was sure he had a very special son with some issueshe was very small. There were doubts about his physique, but football-wise, he never had doubts about his son. He was always sure the project would be OK."

Messi was only one of a handful of Argentine players that Europe's clubs were circling at the time he was burning it up with Newell's. There was more noise being made in Rosario, for example, about Leandro Depetris, who was a year younger. AC Milan bought him in the summer of 2000, when he was 12 years old.

"Depetris at 11 was more famous than Messi," Falleroni says. "Nobody knew Messi. Only we knew about Messi. Even the president, Eduardo Jose Lopez, of Newell's didn't know about Messi at the time.

"I remember Depetris played in a tournament in Cordoba [Argentina] against Newell's in the final. He played against Messi. Depetris' team won. After the game, all the microphones, all the journalists surrounded Depetris. Nobody went near Messi. Coria couldn't believe it. For us, Messi was a far better player than Depetris, much, much better, but nobody knew about Messi."

Barcelona knew. In February 2000, a videotape landed on the lap of Jose Maria Minguella, Barcelona's most famous agent, which began a two-year saga that ultimately led to Messi becoming a Barca player. As part of the trial process in Catalonia, Messi flew with his father to Barcelona for a two-week trial in September 2000. Nobody at Newell's knew he had gone. The rumour going around was that he had hepatitis.

"A month passed without seeing Messi," Falleroni says. "We were training and there was no sign of Messi. You can imagine usthe entire panel asking, 'What's up with Messi?' Because we had a close relationship with his family, my dad would phone his house. His mother, Celia, would answer. My dad asked her, 'What's up with Leo? He is not coming to practice.' She said he couldn't come because he was ill. Another week would pass. They kept saying he hadn't recovered. All lies! He disappeared.

"After a month, he came back, looking a little bit more developed, you know? It was strange. We were asking him, 'Leo, are you OK?' And he said, 'Yes, I'm better.' Sometime afterwards, we were training, and his mother came and said, 'Let's go, Leo. We have to go.' 'No,' he said, 'I want to stay a little longer with the guys, with my friends.' But his mother grabbed him by the arm and took him away. He never showed up again.

"A week later, we found out that he was in Barcelona. They did everything behind our backs. He was obliged not to say anything. Barcelona told him, 'Don't tell anyone.' "

For Milanesio, it wasn't a surprise that a 13-year-old boy managed to keep such a huge secretalmost every boy's dreamfrom his closest friends. "Already by that age, Messi was thinking like a professional," he says. Messi was also, of course, mindful, guarded by nature.

The big surprise, says Maradona, was not that Messi ended up playing at a superclub like Barcelona, but that he made the grade so fast.

He made his debut at 16 years of age against Porto in November 2003, and he hasn't stopped surprising football fans since.

All quotes and information obtained firsthand unless otherwise indicated.

Follow Richard on Twitter: @Richard_Fitz

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The Machine of '87: Messi's Boyhood Teammates Recall Early Signs of Greatness - Bleacher Report

Bones make hormones that communicate with the brain and other organs – Science News Magazine

Long typecast as the strong silent type, bones are speaking up.

In addition to providing structural support, the skeleton is a versatile conversationalist. Bones make hormones that chat with other organs and tissues, including the brain, kidneys and pancreas, experiments in mice have shown.

The bone, which was considered a dead organ, has really become a gland almost, says Beate Lanske, a bone and mineral researcher at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Theres so much going on between bone and brain and all the other organs, it has become one of the most prominent tissues being studied at the moment.

At least four bone hormones moonlight as couriers, recent studies show, and there could be more. Scientists have only just begun to decipher what this messaging means for health. But cataloging and investigating the hormones should offer a more nuanced understanding of how the body regulates sugar, energy and fat, among other things.

Of the hormones on the list of bones messengers osteocalcin, sclerostin, fibroblast growth factor 23 and lipocalin2 the last is the latest to attract attention. Lipocalin 2, which bones unleash to stem bacterial infections, also works in the brain to control appetite, physiologist Stavroula Kousteni of Columbia University Medical Center and colleagues reported in the March 16 Nature.

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After mice eat, their bone-forming cells absorb nutrients and release a hormone called lipocalin 2 (LCN2) into the blood. LCN2 travels to the brain, where it gloms on to appetite-regulating nerve cells, which tell the brain to stop eating, a recent study suggests.

Researchers previously thought that fat cells were mostly responsible for making lipocalin 2, or LCN2. But in mice, bones produce up to 10 times as much of the hormone as fat cells do, Kousteni and colleagues showed. And after a meal, mices bones pumped out enough LCN2 to boost blood levels three times as high as premeal levels. Its a new role for bone as an endocrine organ, Kousteni says.

Clifford Rosen, a bone endocrinologist at the Center for Molecular Medicine in Scarborough, Maine, is excited by this new bone-brain connection. It makes sense physiologically that there are bidirectional interactions between bone and other tissues, Rosen says. You have to have things to regulate the fuel sources that are necessary for bone formation.

Bones constantly reinvent themselves through energy-intensive remodeling. Cells known as osteoblasts make new bone; other cells, osteoclasts, destroy old bone. With such turnover, the skeleton must have some fine-tuning mechanism that allows the whole body to be in sync with whats happening at the skeletal level, Rosen says. Osteoblasts and osteoclasts send hormones to do their bidding.

Scientists began homing in on bones molecular messengers a decade ago (SN: 8/11/07, p. 83). Geneticist Gerard Karsenty of Columbia University Medical Center found that osteocalcin made by osteoblasts helps regulate blood sugar. Osteocalcin circulates through the blood, collecting calcium and other minerals that bones need. When the hormone reaches the pancreas, it signals insulin-making cells to ramp up production, mouse experiments showed. Osteocalcin also signals fat cells to release a hormone that increases the bodys sensitivity to insulin, the bodys blood sugar moderator, Karsenty and colleagues reported in Cell in 2007. If it works the same way in people, Karsenty says, osteocalcin could be developed as a potential diabetes or obesity treatment.

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Bones produce hormones that go to work in other organs. Some of those functions are known, but researchers are finding new ways these hormones may work.

Blood sugar and insulin metabolism

Memory and mood

Testosterone production

Pancreas and fat tissue



Their data is fairly convincing, says Sundeep Khosla, a bone biologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. But the data in humans has been less than conclusive. In observational studies of people, its hard to say that osteocalcin directly influences blood sugar metabolism when there are so many factors involved.

More recent mouse data indicate that osteocalcin may play a role in energy metabolism. After an injection of the hormone, old mice could run as far as younger mice. Old mice that didnt receive an osteocalcin boost ran about half as far, Karsenty and colleagues reported last year in Cell Metabolism. As the hormone increases endurance, it helps muscles absorb more nutrients. In return, muscles talk back to bones, telling them to churn out more osteocalcin.

There are hints that this feedback loop works in humans, too. Womens blood levels of osteocalcin increased during exercise, the team reported.

Mounting evidence from the Karsenty lab suggests that osteocalcin also could have more far-flung effects. It stimulates cells in testicles to pump out testosterone crucial for reproduction and bone density and may also improve mood and memory, studies in mice have shown. Bones might even use the hormone to talk to a fetuss brain before birth. Osteocalcin from the bones of pregnant mice can penetrate the placenta and help shape fetal brain development, Karsenty and colleagues reported in 2013 in Cell. What benefit bones get from influencing developing brains remains unclear.

Another emerging bone messenger is sclerostin. Its day job is to keep bone growth in check by telling bone-forming osteoblasts to slow down or stop. But bones may dispatch the hormone to manage an important fuel source fat. In mice, the hormone helps convert white (or bad) fat into more useful energy-burning beige fat, molecular biologist Keertik Fulzele of Boston University and colleagues reported in the February Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Osteocalcin, sclerostin and LCN2 offer tantalizing clues about bones communication skills. Another hormone, fibroblast growth factor 23, or FGF-23, may have more immediate medical applications.

Bones use FGF-23 to tell the kidneys to shunt extra phosphate that cant be absorbed. In people with kidney failure, cancer or some genetic diseases, including an inherited form of rickets called X-linked hypophosphatemia, FGF-23 levels soar, causing phosphate levels to plummet. Bones starved of this mineral become weak and prone to deformities.

In the case of X-linked hypophosphatemia, or XLH, a missing or broken gene in bones causes the hormone deluge. Apprehending the molecular accomplice may be easier than fixing the gene.

In March, researchers, in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company Ultragenyx, completed the first part of a Phase III clinical trial in adults with XLH the final test of a drug before federal approval. The scientists tested an antibody that latches on to extra FGF-23 before it can reach the kidneys. Structurally similar to the kidney proteins where FGF-23 docks, the antibody is like a decoy in the blood, says Lanske, who is not involved in the trial. Once connected, the duo is broken down by the body.

Traditionally, treating XLH patients has been like trying to fill a bathtub without a plug. The kidney is peeing out the phosphorus, and were pouring it in the mouth as fast as we can so bones mineralize, says Suzanne Jan De Beur, a lead investigator of the clinical trial and director of endocrinology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Success is variable, and debilitating side effects often arise from long-term treatment, she says. The antibody therapy should help restore the bodys ability to absorb phosphate.

Unpublished initial results indicate that the antibody works. Of 68 people taking the drug in the trial, over 90 percent had blood phosphate levels reach and stay in the normal range after 24 weeks of treatment, Ultragenyx announced in April. People taking the antibody also reported less pain and stiffness than those not on the drug.

Osteocalcin, sclerostin and LCN2 might also be involved in treating diseases someday, if results in animals apply to people.

In the study recently published in Nature, Koustenis team found that boosting LCN2 levels in mice missing the LCN2 gene tamed their voracious feeding habits. Even in mice with working LCN2 genes, infusions of the hormone reduced food intake, improved blood sugar levels and increased insulin sensitivity.

Researchers traced the hormones path from the skeleton to the hypothalamus a brain structure that maintains blood sugar levels and body temperature and regulates other processes. Injecting LCN2 into mices brains suppressed appetite and decreased weight gain. Once the hormone crosses the blood-brain barrier and reaches the hypothalamus, it attaches to the surface of nerve cells that regulate appetite, the team proposed.

Mice with defective LCN2 docking stations on their brain cells, however, overate and gained weight just like mice that couldnt make the hormone in the first place. Injections of LCN2 didnt curb eating or weight gain.

(Two mouse studies by another research group published in 2010, however, found that LCN2 had no effect on appetite. Kousteni and colleagues say that inconsistency could have resulted from a difference in the types of mice that the two groups used. Additional experiments by Koustenis lab still found a link between LCN2 and appetite.)

In a small group of people with type 2 diabetes, those who weighed more had less LCN2 in their blood, the researchers found. And a few people whose brains had defective LCN2 docking stations had higher blood levels of the hormone.

If the hormone suppresses appetite in people, it could be a great obesity drug, Rosen says. Its still too early, though, to make any definitive proclamations about LCN2 and the other hormones side hustles, let alone medical implications. Theres just all sorts of things that we are uncovering that weve ignored, Rosen says. But one thing is clear, he says: The era of bone as a silent bystander is over.

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Bones make hormones that communicate with the brain and other organs - Science News Magazine