Joan’s Ordeal: What Drives a Physician?

When I was first starting my medical practice, menopausal problems were not taken very seriously. Hot flashes and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) were the source of a lot of jokes. Well, it isn’t funny when you feel awful and your life is falling apart. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had women apologize for “wasting my time” with their complaints or tell me, “Thank you for listening to me.” I would always assure them that hearing their symptoms is essential for my finding the correct solution for their problem.

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My Vow To Women’s Health

Could The Nervous Breakdowns of the 1960's be undiagnosed symptoms of menopause?

The structure and operation of the human body is intriguing. It is a beautifully linked, complex system involving endless, intricate processes. I am in awe of this system and have dedicated my life to honoring it and understanding it as completely as possible. Even though I had an excellent education at UCLA and USC, I’ve learned even more over the years by listening to and interacting with my patients. Medicine is a life-long process of learning, continually enhanced as a physician acquires and draws upon a rich knowledge base of clinical experience.

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Why Low Cholesterol is Not Always The Answer

Why Low Cholesterol Isn't Always the Answer

 

Understanding the biology and physiology of estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone gives us insight on how critical they are to the optimal function of the body. When they are deficient, as in menopause, it’s preferable, whenever possible, to utilize pharmaceutical bioidentical hormones to restore the very same hormones which have been in your body since you went through puberty. Cholesterol, which some people regard as something “bad”, is actually the basic building block for all the hormones made by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. Care should be taken to not aggressively lower cholesterol to extremely low levels with cholesterol lowering drugs because it can cause marked disruption in production of these vital hormones.

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Is It Too Late For Me to Take Estrogen?

Dr. Marina Johnson answers the question: Is it too late for me to take estrogen?

At the time of menopause, each woman has a window of opportunity during which she needs to make the important decision of whether to take hormones. As the estrogen levels fall, her body begins to go through degenerative changes that accelerate her risk of heart disease along with the other changes we have previously described. The sooner a woman starts HRT after menopause, the fewer degenerative changes she will experience. If a woman waits 10 years to start HRT, the heart protection from estrogen is greatly diminished. The same applies brain protection; once brain cells have been lost, it becomes difficult to retrieve normal function. However, for protecting bones, estrogen is effective even when started after age 75.

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Thinking Outside The Box

Thinking Outside The Box

As a new physician, I thought I knew it all. However, I quickly learned in those first few years that medical school simply gives you the tools with which to evaluate the thousands of different patients you’ll see in your career. Even with those great tools, you must pursue ongoing medical education or you quickly become outdated. It’s definitely a stressful life, but gratifying when you find answers and relieve suffering. When faced with a sick patient for whom standard treatments are not working, physicians feel compelled to look for other options to relieve that patient’s suffering.

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Healing Begins By Knowing That It Is Possible

The Golden Gate Bridge, Bridge of Hope

Giving patients hope is an important aspect of the doctor-patient relationship that contributes to good outcomes. Early on in my career as a new Endocrinologist, I saw Alice, a 35-year-old woman with Type 1 diabetes and mild diabetic kidney damage. I started her on a protein restricted diet and medication to slow the progression of diabetic kidney disease. Eager to not be missing any other new therapy that might be helpful, I referred her to a kidney specialist. Alice came back to see me two weeks later, and burst into tears as soon as I entered the exam room. Alarmed at her distress, I asked what had happened. Through her tears, she sobbed,

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Greta’s Dilemma: HRT & Diabetes

Despite the negative news about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in recent months, new research suggests that HRT may provide a significant benefit in helping some women reduce their risk of diabetes. But even the study researchers say it's still too early to make any recommendations about using HRT as a tool to prevent type 2 diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death in 2007. Ninety-five percent of diabetes is type-2 that develops in older people or at any age in overweight people. Diabetes dramatically increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.

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Mary’s Story: A Myriad of Medications

Dr Johnson Patient

Women in their forties or fifties are often in the “sandwich” generation with responsibilities for children and husbands while caring for aging parents. It’s further compounded if they work outside the home. They may have been previously adept at this type of multitasking but now find themselves “overwhelmed.” These are obvious symptoms that get your attention and affect your productivity and well-being.

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All website content © Copyright 2011 by Marina Johnson, M.D., F.A.C.E. - All Rights Reserved

The content of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice,diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. This website may discuss nutritional products and protocols that have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products or the information contained on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.