Hormones, history and horse sense

Erika Schwartz, MD. Photograph courtesy Erika Schwartz.

If you’re a veteran WAG reader, then you need no introduction to Erika Schwartz, MD.

The former WAG Wellness columnist often wrote about two of her medical passions — doctor-patient relationships and the use of bioidentical hormones, made from soy and yam oils, as part of a common sense approach to healthy living.

Dr. Erika — whose practice, Evolved Science, is located on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue — expounds on hormones in the context of history and good old-fashioned horse sense in her latest book, “The New Hormone Solution” (Post Hill Press, May 9, $16, 288 pages). 

The following excerpt is the introduction to Chapter 10 — “Diet, Exercise, Lifestyle, Telomeres and Supplements”: 

— Georgette Gouveia

“We waste an enormous amount of time trying to fit into the mold of beauty and youth created by the media. In the process, we lose ourselves or never get to know who we really are. Just look at the constant frenzy of features in magazines, ads, internet and social media, all in constant search of the magic pill, magic diet, magic supplement to help us stay thin and forever young. There is no such thing as one magic solution. Human beings are so complex and unique, snake oil answers are just snake oil. Only good genetics and a well-balanced body and mind will keep us in decent health for our entire life. 

“Finally, it has become fact that ideal hormone balance is directly connected to optimum health regardless of age. With the aid of natural/bioidentical/human identical hormones, we can achieve excellent hormone balance and live symptom-free regardless of age. But proper hormone balance is not enough. As we go through life, we cannot overlook the significant contributions of diet, exercise, lifestyle, stress management, supplements and even the role of our telomeres. (Editor’s note: These are structures that prevent the ends of chromosomes from deteriorating.)

“A couple of years ago, I had no trouble identifying my patients’ ages. Today, as I work exclusively in the area of wellness and prevention, I am no longer surprised by the youthful appearance of 65-year-olds who look 40 and who have no trace of chronic illnesses whatsoever. 

“While these people are taking natural/bioidentical/human identical hormones, they also follow an organic, low-processed sugar, minimal animal fat diet, exercise regularly, take telomerase inhibitors and supplements, meditate, sleep 7 to 8 hours every night, and follow excellent stress management programs. 

“The correct hormone balance opens the door to wellness and disease prevention. To stay healthy, you must capitalize on the opportunity hormones give you to change your diet, improve your exercise regimen, and get those much needed 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, not to mention getting rid of all toxic relationships from your life. Then you can truly say you have found the Fountain of Youth. 

“All success stories of people who feel and look great regardless of age over long periods of time have one thing in common — truly balanced lives. A little change in as many aspects of our lives as possible brings about a logarithmic improvement in the quality of our lives as a whole. 

“I don’t believe people should follow extreme programs, be it in exercise or diet. They don’t work. What works is a little change at a time, giving yourself permission to follow your own rules and learning to accept yourself exactly as you are.”

For more, visit drerika.com.

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