By Rudy Dragone, R. PH.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Expert
Hope, help and healing, this to me is a goal that I’ve set out for myself. I’ve set it out for a couple of different reasons.
I was at a karaoke place with my 9 year old daughter many years ago. We’re sitting there and a lady with obvious polycystic ovary disease is there. Due to imbalance in her hormones she looked more like a man than a woman. I looked at her then said to my daughter, “I can help her . . . I need to talk to her. But how do you go to this stranger in a t-shirt and shorts and tell her, ‘Lady I can help you?’” My daughter said, “Do it dad.” I went back and forth and finally I just went over to her and said here’s my card, my name is Rudy Dragone I think I can help you. She said, “I’ve been to so many doctors and no one can help me.” I told her to take the test, I’ll pay for it. My daughter looks at me when I return to the table and says, “You know dad? You’re an angel because she was praying and God sent you to help her.” I stood there thinking I don’t consider myself to be an angel, if anything I consider myself a sinner. I’m not a holy person, but in this respect I looked at my daughter and my daughter is looking at me like I looked at my dad. I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to keep telling people there is hope, there is help.
A few years back my father had a heart attack. I went back to visit him in New York and they put a stent in his heart. After they put the stent in his heart about 8 months later I told my dad, come on out, spend time with the family. He said “I can’t.” I said why not?
“Because my heart hurts.”
I said okay. Back to New York and I’m sitting there with a cardiologist and a radiologist and we’re looking at his heart in an angiogram. They said, “See these arteries here in the heart? They’re all diseased. So we’re going to have to cut here, cut here, cut here and we’re going to do a bypass.” I said “Whoa, time out, what are you talking about here? Are you talking about open heart bypass surgery?” the doc said yes, “If you don’t he’s going to die. No if, ands or buts, he’s going to die.” I sat there and I said, “No my father’s got hemochromatosis, diabetes poor circulation and he’s got osteoporosis.” But, like any other dad he doesn’t listen to his son when I told him I could help him. Now that changed. So the doctors said to me, “This is what we have to do. If you take your father out of here his life is in your hands.” So I went to my dad. I said dad, this and this and this is what they’re saying. My father looked at me from the table and he said, “My mother died at 24 giving birth to my brother, my father died at 58, I’m 65 maybe it’s my turn to go.” I said “Well if you think it’s your turn to go I’m going to call Bellevue and I’m going to have them come pick you up because you’re crazy. You should be kicking and screaming.” Everybody should. Nobody should want to die.
I said, come back with me to Arizona and we started him on all sorts of vitamins. We got his insulin need down from 100 units a day to 40 units a day. We started him walking, very, very slowly at first. The man would only walk 2 blocks and get chest pains. We started him on hormone therapy for testosterone that increases the blood flow to the heart in patients that have heart problems by 68%. AMA study, not mine, the AMA says it works. Not only does it do that but the effects were shown even 33 months after discontinuing of the hormone therapy. Not like nitroglycerine that works for a certain amount of time then it’s gone. So we started him on testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone. We got all of his hormones back up to a youthful level. I got all of his vitamin levels back up to a youthful level. Got him on chelation, remember I was talking about alternative therapy.
We hit him with everything in my arsenal. The man that couldn’t walk 2 blocks without having chest pains, my dad and I went hiking up a local mountain. Three quarters the way up, he looked at me and he said “I can make it to the top.” He had broken his leg once and he said, “I won’t go up to the top because I’m scared that if I fall and break something you’re going to have to carry me down. But my heart can make it!” We came back down from the mountain and we’re sitting in the car and he’s going back and forth with his hands. I said, “Pop what’s the matter.” He said, “Thank you for saving my life.” I started to cry.
I’ve done great with my wife, I’ve done great with my children but nothing was important to me as my father saying to me thank you for saving my life. Because of this, I cannot keep my mouth shut. Because of this, I have to go in front of you and let you know about this stuff and don’t take my word for it.
There are books out there. Go to the internet. Go to other doctors. Go to naturopaths. Go to wherever you have to go to get as much information as you can. Sometimes honestly, you’ll learn something that we didn’t know. There’s no way we can read every book out there. You’ll come up to us and say, well what do you think of this? Then we have to study that so as to find out what it is.
I ask you, I beg you, please go out there and learn as much as you can about this because it really can change your life and the health and wellbeing of those you love. It has in my family.
By Dr. Carlos Santo, MS, NMD
Few physicians if any consider measuring estrogen (sometimes aka. estradiol) levels in men. Traditionally only considered an important variable in women’s health, estrogen plays a crucial role in the process of both health and disease in men.
In my practice I almost routinely see elevated estradiol levels in my male patients. Rising estradiol in my opinion is as significant a disease factor as is falling testosterone. Signs such as abdominal weight gain, loss of motivation, erectile dysfunction, insomnia, loss of muscle tone, excessive plumping of the face (often accompanied by a slight feminization of facial features), low spirits or excess sensitivity to emotional situations, are among the many signs a man’s estradiol may be too high. Medical evidence is mounting that excess estradiol may associate with prostate enlargement as well as potential testicular and prostate cancers as well.
Exactly why estradiol appears to rise with each decade of life is uncertain, but younger males are showing signs of this growing issue as well. Gynecomastia (male breast development) is no longer reserved for middle aged men as adolescents often display such tendencies as well. Gynecomastia may also be accompanied by delayed voice deepening, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and delayed sexual development. Potential links may include hormones added to livestock and their feed, drinking water contaminated by industrial contaminants that exert estrogen-like effects and pesticides and herbicides which make their way up the entire food chain to us. One of my biggest pet peeves is bovine somatotropin which has been routinely added to our dairy cows since the early 90’s.
Proper testing is the first step toward addressing this issue. We are partial to saliva testing which is a highly sensitive and specific way to measure both testosterone and estradiol, while providing the added advantage of measuring the key adrenal hormone, cortisol. The ideal testosterone to estradiol ratio we seek to attain is a minimum of 10 to 1. When men fall much below this we see many of the aforementioned symptoms tending to arise.
Estrogen Dominance is a phrase first coined decades ago by the late Dr. John Lee. Formerly reserved for women, we now know it applies to men as well. We fortunately have to our avail not only the ability to adjust hormone formulas accordingly, but access to two known estrogen modulating nutrients as well. DIM is a key nutrient extract of the cruciferous vegetable family and Chrysin is an extract of the Passionflower plant. Both help the body clear out excess estrogen while also helping reduce the conversion of testosterone to estrogen (aka aromatization) in the body. Zinc is an excellent third player in this plan. We have found an excellent product called Prostate Supreme which satisfies many of these nutrient requirements and serves as a wonderful adjunct to our patients’ bio-identical hormone protocol.
This rapidly developing angle on optimizing men’s health helps explain why so many men can feel ‘unwell’ despite having ‘normal’ testosterone levels. Unless the bigger picture is recognized and holistic treatment is properly implemented, only limited benefits will be achieved.
Carlos Santo, MS, NMD
Editor’s Note: Doctor Carlos Santo is the Medical Director for Prana Wellness LLC.
Dr. Carlos Santo, licensed Naturopathic Physician and Acupuncturist, is a graduate of both the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from Purdue University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Manhattan College. Dr. Santo is a Certified Yoga Teacher and he teaches a variety of yoga and fitness classes at the Gainey Village Health Club in Scottsdale, AZ.
Dr. Santo is active in his community as a dynamic lecturer and teacher, as well as a fitness and martial arts enthusiast. Contact Dr. Santo if you are interested in having him present at your home, work, or studio on any number of natural medicine, fitness, or yoga-related topics.
For more information visit: www.pranawellness.net