With Dr. Jyotindra Shah, MD
by Dana Ramos, author of the best-selling book: The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin. Purchasing information below.
Hormones are chemical “messengers” that travel throughout the body and tell our cells what to do; they are critical in regulating digestion, metabolism, stress levels, growth, reproduction and so much more. When our hormones are unbalanced or not functioning properly, our bodies develop unwanted issues—some which are only annoying, others that can be life-threatening.
Dr. Shah is the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Amari Medical and is certified by the American Board for Obesity Medicine as well as the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. I met with him to discuss specific hormones that affect our skin--such as creating acne issues and sagging and wrinkling as we age.
Let’s start with testosterone: Men are not the only ones who have testosterone; women need some, too. “It is the hormone that helps prevent wrinkles and sagging cheeks, among other things,” says Dr. Shah. But it can also aggravate acne and is why teenaged boys—who have raging testosterone--tend to have worse acne than teen girls.
A very common medical problem women of all ages might develop is called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Dr. Shah says, “ PCOS can cause excess testosterone which often causes a woman to break out with acne and grow excess hair, and develop fertility and weight gain problems. A simple blood test can reveal if a woman has PCOS; it is not dangerous but should be looked into if you suspect your hormones are unbalanced.”
Thyroid - Another relatively common medical issue can involve the thyroid; if you have lower thyroid hormone levels your skin may become dry and itchy, your nails weak, hair might thin out, and you might develop perspiration and anxiety issues. Again, a simple blood test can reveal if you have imbalanced thyroid hormone.
Estrogen is an essential part of a woman’s reproductive process and it is also responsible for young-looking skin and shiny hair, and as we age, our estrogen levels—and other hormone levels—tend to get out of balance. “Bio-identical hormones are safer than the hormone replacement therapies of the past,” says Dr. Shah. “We prefer to use creams that you rub on the skin to deliver bio-identicals now, instead of pills. This is important especially in middle-age when women start to need some extra progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and melatonin so that elevated estrogen levels--which is common in middle age--will be properly balanced and age-related complaints about skin and weight can be controlled.” How to know if you need bio-identical hormones? You guessed it—a simple blood test.
Men also have some estrogen, which they need for cardiovascular health and cognitive functions, as well as preventing joint and muscle pain and skin issues. “Estrogen doesn’t have the same effect on a man’s skin, however,” says Dr. Shah. “For men, testosterone and growth hormone are important for skin.”
Growth Hormone is also important for skin elasticity and thickness, and a deficiency will cause thinning skin and loss of elasticity (sagging). It is also very important for muscles and bone heath. Dr. Shah says, “The four most important hormones are growth hormone, testosterone, estrogen and thyroid.”
As Dr. Shah is an anti-aging specialist, I ask him what we can do to stay healthy and looking good as we age. “Optimization of hormones is important at any age for overall health and skin health,” he insists. “Additional factors include staying well-hydrated by drinking lots of water, avoiding sun exposure and cigarettes, getting enough sleep, taking vitamins D and A, eating a good diet with Omega 3 fatty acids, and exercise—which helps to detoxify the skin and improve circulation, which is important for skin health.” And by now you know exactly what to do to find out which hormones you need to balance!
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Where can I buy Dana's Book?
The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin, available as a Kindle download or Buy paperback to buy your paperback copy from Platinum Skin Care. You can also read the first chapter--FREE--by click here to read 1st chapter.
Don't forget to check out our sister website, TheSkinRegime.