Hormones in Harmony

Living abundant joy through bio-psycho-spiritual balancing

Location: Ojai, California, United States

Welcome to Hormones in Harmony where I shall share pearls of wisdom gathered over two decades of consulting with the hormonally challenged. As a holistic nurse practitioner specializing in neuro-immune-endocrinology, I have merged my western education with eastern philosophies, but the key to being a successful healer is to embody physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. At 54, married for 32 years with two grown children, I strive to keep my Hormones in Harmony with a positive attitude, a loving environment, and faithful consumption of Genesis Gold.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So Your PSA is High!

First of all do not panic. Just recently in Medscape news, the scientist who discovered PSA wrote an article on how the test is being abused. In his opinion PSA best shows cancer progression but is NOT a good indicator of cancer in the first place.

As a hormone specialist, I've been following a few middle aged men with creeping PSA's for years now. They have chosen not to have a biopsy because of the likelihood of spreading encapsulated cancerous cells and possibly causing malignant disease. The body as it ages has to deal with cells going crazy-- otherwise known as cancer or mutated DNA. White blood cells known as lymphocytes eradicate the abnormal cells or encapsulate the tissue. All normal aging process.

Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA is a measurement of a protein produced by the prostate. PSA elevates with enlarging prostates, either from inflammation, infection or testosterone deficiency. Prostates look for more testosterone, thus all aging men have lower levels of testosterone than they did as youths and the prostate enlarges to "suck" up more testosterone to convert to the active form--dihydrotestosterone. The amount FREE or unbound by protein in the blood serum is the percentage of how much PSA circulates free compared to the total PSA.

Men with 15-25% of their PSA free (unbound) are considered within normal limits.
Over 25% PSA free (known as free PSA or fPSA) usually indicates an enlarged prostate.
Less than 15% free PSA is suspicious for dysplasia or early cancer.
Less than 7% is highly suspicious of cancer.

If you are going to have your PSA levels measured than be sure and ejaculate within a week of the test but no sooner than 3 days for the most accurate result. AND never have a PSA test after a digital rectal exam. Touching the prostate will raise circulating PSA levels.

If your PSA is elevated than a percentage free PSA must be measured.

The most I recommend for marginally elevated PSA levels (4-10) with a high percentage free is a prostate ultrasound, not a biopsy. Being surgeons, urologists favor biopsies as standard care. I am concerned about spreading early disease and would rather boost my patients’ immune system to help them eradicate crazy cancer cells themselves, using the PSA levels to monitor prostate inflammation.

That's why the scientist who discovered PSA was so disturbed. So many men undergo unnecessary biopsies based on a test that was never meant to be used as a screening test.

It's like using a Ca125 to screen all women for ovarian cancer. It means very little in the general population but for those with ovarian cancer, it is highly sensitive marker of cancer growth. If we used this test on women like we use PSA on men, many would undergo unnecessary surgery because Ca125 can elevate for many other gynecological inflammatory conditions.

So if your PSA is elevated, breathe. Do some investigation as to the cause.

  • Do you have a strong family history of prostate cancer? If so, then follow your PSA and if rapid elevation with high percentage free PSA then seek specialist care for further investigation (ultrasound and possible biopsy)
  • Do you have signs and symptoms of testosterone deficiency? (low libido, erectile dysfunction, insomnia, night sweats, anxiety, depression, poor muscle tone, low energy, brain fog) If so, then get tested by a hormone specialist.
  • Are you experiencing signs of enlarged prostate? (frequent urination, nocturia, difficulty voiding or emptying your bladder, weak urinary stream, rectal pain or heaviness following ejaculation) If so, then you may need a urine analysis, then digital rectal exam followed by a post exam urine analysis. The two urine tests are compared to differentiate between bladder and prostate infections.

I have used testosterone replacement therapy in my male patients with elevated PSA levels (totally against conventional thinking) with subsequent lowering of PSA levels. I have had excellent results with Genesis Gold in harmonizing male hormone levels for those men who do not wish to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT). And for those who do use HRT, Genesis Gold helps them metabolize hormones safely and can help decrease their dose, so less is more.

An added benefit of using Genesis Gold as a foundation formula is the boost to immune function. Supporting the stressed and aging immune system helps the body fight disease including cancer.

Saw Palmetto, pygeum, pumpkin seed oil, all help to decrease prostate inflammation and can help lower PSA.

Being a holistic practitioner, I address the triad of mind-body-soul health. I find that men with prostate issues are more likely to lack a creative outlet in their lives. When our time to procreate is over, we energetically need a means for healthy creative expression. Some of my male patients have discovered that they are quite talented artists; others find that creating a garden, remodeling a room, rebuilding an engine to be creative outlets. Volunteering to coach young athletes, lead boy scouts, build stages for youth productions provide a creative outlet for many of my retired patients. Some find that being involved with their grandchildren helping to create healthy families to be their best creation ever. A healthy sex life with a loving partner does wonders to boost self esteem, hormone production and lower prostate inflammation.

Be Well,

Deborah Maragopoulos MN FNP
Intuitive Integrative Medicine

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