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Laughter Really Is The Best Medicine

We already know that laughter makes us feel good. New findings suggest it might also make us feel well. Promising tidbits of research show that laughter stimulates a multitude of systems in the body, with both immediate and lasting effects. “The use of laughter is really helping to re-optimize and retune mechanisms in the body,” according to Lee S. Berk, DrPH, a professor and associate dean of research affairs in the School of Allied Health Professions at Loma Linda University. Laughter, he says, is a positive stress event for the body, similar to exercise or listening to music. And the benefits kick in regardless of the way you laugh, whether it’s a stifled giggle or cackle. Here’s what else you need to know about it:

1. It improves memory

Laughter’s effects start with the brain, where it does nothing short of altering your brain waves. Research shows that having a good laugh enhances an even higher frequency, gamma, which is associated with the highest levels of cognitive processing, including memory and recall.

2. It strengthens the immune system

Laughter undoes some of the damage wrought by a stressful lifestyle. During a negative stress event, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol, a hormone that helps put sugar in the muscles (so you can run faster). However, cortisol also suppresses the immune system. A person experiencing chronic stress is continually releasing cortisol and epinephrine, so the individual’s immune system fights all diseases, from colds to cancer, less effectively. Laughter may help bring the cortisol level back in line so the immune system can function well again.

3. It relieves pain
At the same time, it changes the cortisol levels, laughter stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain. You have probably heard of endorphins in the context of exercise, but laughter creates them, too. They are the body’s own morphine. Indeed, we have our own apothecary within us!

4. It makes us happy
You need only look to your personal observations to confirm laughter’s power here. Do you ever have a good laugh and say, “Wow I feel more stressed”? Happiness is a variable as important to your health as any other measured variable. Many diseases are caused or made worse by stress and depression; laughter may be the antidote.

5. It mimics light exercise (even though it doesn’t replace it).

While laughter utilizes some of the same mechanisms as light exercise, it’s no substitute for a workout. There is some caloric loss on laughter, but don’t base your weight-loss program around it.

The bottom line:
Laugh more until we have a good reason not to. Vibrant Health of Colorado prides itself in promoting a happy, vibrant life to our patients. We offer 15-minute complimentary consultations to new patients. Schedule with us today by calling 303-730-2229 or online here.

What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Your hormones control most of your basic bodily functions. They serve as an internal communication system between cells throughout the body. They coordinate everything from digestion and growth to your appetite, immune function, mood, and libido. So, when your hormones are out of balance, even slightly, it can have a big impact on your health and well-being. Often, when hormone levels drop or become unbalanced, men and women turn to hormone replacement therapy to ease symptoms. There are many options for hormone replacement therapy. One option is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). BHRT has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. It promises a “natural” solution to hormone issues. But what exactly is BHRT, and how is it different from other options for hormone replacement therapy? Read on to learn all you need to know about BHRT and whether it may be right for you.

Traditional vs. Bioidentical
Bioidentical hormones are different from those used in traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in that they’re identical chemically to those our bodies produce naturally. Bioidentical hormones are generally sourced from plants. When the body recognizes these bioidentical hormones, they can easily use them for various bodily functions.
While synthetic hormones were used by women for many years, many women find that they feel better using bioidentical hormones. Studies have also suggested that synthetic hormones, specifically synthetic progestin, can increase the risk of developing breast cancer and can lead to numerous symptoms, including irritability and weight gain.

Why are Bioidentical Hormones Used?
As men and women age, the levels of some key hormones in the body go down. These include estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This can lead to many symptoms. Some common complaints related to low hormone levels are:
• Hot flashes
• Night sweats
• Vaginal dryness
• Loss of interest in sex
• Pain during sex
• Problems sleeping
• Loss of energy
• Fatigue
• Loss of muscle mass
• Weight gain
• Foggy thinking
• Mood changes
Memory loss

The goal is to replace the hormones that have been lost and to return the body to balance through the use of hormone therapy. As a result, hormone levels will increase and symptoms will improve. Your provider can discuss with you the variety of options available, and guide therapy based on your individual needs.

Bioidentical Therapy for Men
Men experience a similar decline in hormone levels that women experience when they go through menopause. This is known as andropause, and this change occurs more slowly often starting as young as 35. Testosterone levels in men typically drop about one percent per year. Testosterone plays a critical role in the quality and quantity of life for men. The decline in testosterone levels has been shown to be a risk factor for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Men also experience many of the symptoms listed above.
The goal of hormone replacement (HRT) in men is to optimize testosterone levels and to eliminate symptoms.

Therapy Designed for You
Vibrant Health of Colorado takes the benefits of bioidentical hormones further by providing a personalized approach to natural hormone replacement therapy. We study your individual hormone levels in order to determine precisely what you need to optimize your hormone levels and return you to vibrant health. We have many hormone replacement therapy treatment options available. We offer complimentary consultations and have a team of experts available to answer any questions you might have. Call 303-730-2229 or click here to schedule an appointment with a hormone specialist.