Heart Disease

Testosterone Lowers Heart Risks

A little over a year ago two articles were published suggesting an increased cardiovascular risk associated with testosterone therapy.  There was tremendous media hype surrounding those articles that ultimately resulted in a warning from the FDA; a warning that was premature in my opinion (see “Testosterone and Your Heart”).    Looking at the same data, the European Medicines Agency concluded that there was “no consistent evidence” of increased cardiovascular risks.  Other research has even indicated a protective effect of testosterone on the heart.  That protective effect was recently reaffirmed in a new large scale study from the Veterans Affairs system.  Although the results were provocative and striking, this study has not been met with any of the same media attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Take This to Heart

Did you ever notice how we use the heart to describe almost everything about ourselves? It’s built into the way we talk. If you’re close to someone they’re “near to your heart.” You can want something “with all your heart.” If you say what you feel you “get to the heart of the matter.” When you’re happy and carefree you’re “young at heart,” and when you see something uplifting it “warms your heart.”  You can use it to paint a picture of almost anything good, happy and inspiring.  The heart is at the core of our health, wellbeing, fitness and love.  Sadly, diseases of the heart are collectively also the leading cause of death among men and women in the US and worldwide.  Fret not; 80-90% of heart or cardiovascular diseases are preventable. And contrary to popular beliefs, it has little to do with cholesterol or saturated fats. Read the rest of this entry »

Testosterone and Your Heart

Posted on 26. Mar, 2014 by drebanks in Age Management, Bioidentical hormones, Blog, Featured, Heart Disease, Men's Health

In recent months, a couple of articles have been published linking testosterone therapy to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. This has spurred an onslaught of ads by attorneys on TV advising that anyone that has used testosterone and had a heart attack may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. It is troubling that this type of solicitation can happen even before all of the scientific facts are in to justify it. Sadly, it reminds me of the silicon breast implant litigation that netted a $3.7 billion settlement despite an “astonishing lack of scientific evidence” that silicon implants caused any illness or disease. In fact, silicon implants are back on the market now. A look at the full body of studies done regarding testosterone and heart disease paints a very different picture than the two recent studies suggest. Read the rest of this entry »

When NO Means Yes!

Yes!  That is exactly what your answer would be if asked whether or not you wanted something that could improve your energy, stamina, heart health, immune function, mood, mental acuity and sexual satisfaction.  What one molecule can do all of that?  Nitric Oxide (NO), one of your body’s most important signaling molecules.  It is released as a gas that quickly sends signals through every cell, organ and system in your body.  NO signals arteries to relax and expand, immune cells to kill bacteria and cancer cells, and signals brain cells to communicate with each other.   NO is critical for overall optimal health but its most notable function is within the cardiovascular system where blood flow is vital. Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping Your Heart Healthy

It should be very encouraging that the average cholesterol numbers for Americans has dropped over the last twenty years.  A recent study found that trend even in those that did not take cholesterol lowering drugs.  That was surprising to many experts considering the explosion in obesity during that same time period, and the presumed connection between excess dietary fats, excess body fat and blood cholesterol.  This good news must be tempered, however, by another alarming fact:  despite all the advances in medicine, statin drugs, stents and balloon angioplasties, and bypass surgery, heart disease remains the number one killer of Americans.  And, as our American lifestyle has been exported around the world, it has become the number one killer worldwide.  How can these seemingly inconsistent facts be reconciled? Read the rest of this entry »

Thinking You Are Healthy Doesn’t Mean You Are

Medical Test Results You Should Know

Most of us are inundated with numbers every day.  From the mundane phone numbers, passwords, sports scores and spreadsheets to the more esoteric Wall Street derivatives and mortgage-backed securities, our society couldn’t function without numbers.  The specific numbers may vary from profession to profession but without exception, numbers are how we keep track.  But as important as any of those numbers may be, when is the last time one of them saved your life?

In medicine, knowing the right numbers can tell how healthy you really are; ranging from how well you are aging to your individual risk of developing diseases that could impact or shorten your life.  When it comes to your health, what you don’t know can really hurt you.  So, what are some of the key parameters to check?  Read the rest of this entry »

New Year, New You

New Year, New You on NBC

The start of a new year is the customary time to commit to both losing weight and gaining a new lease on life. Alternity Healthcare in West Hartford urges individuals to take advantage of this time renewal by getting to the heart of their health problems and identifying health risks. In order to make real changes in your life, you must first identify the root causes of your health problems.  At Alternity Healthcare, we take a different approach, performing tests and screenings that reveal your total health picture. Read the rest of this entry »

What Do Men Need? Testosterone!

More than fifty years ago the psychologist Abraham Maslow had a revolutionary impact on the field of psychology when he wrote about the Hierarchy of Needs.  His theory is often portrayed as a pyramid with the most basic fundamental needs in the broad base and the concept of self-actualization at the top.  According to Maslow the four most fundamental needs include physiological needs, safety, love & friendship and self esteem.  Critics of his theory have taken issue with Maslow’s rankings; believing he may have overlooked the most essential human need; to “feel alive”.  Perhaps nothing makes you feel more alive than feeling younger, healthier and more vital.  And nothing does all of that better for men than testosterone. Read the rest of this entry »

How Strong Is Your Heart?

Progress in our society has been measured in large part by events like the Industrial Revolution and the Information Age.  As a result, more of us are working with our brains instead of our bodies.  But that may not be such a good thing after all.  In our current global economy, we are dealing with more competition, unprecedented levels of stress and diminished physical activity.  America has become a nation of spectators.   Far too few are getting the exercise that lowers blood pressure, burns away body fat, strengthens muscle and bones, lowers cholesterol, improves mood and sleep, and protects against diabetes, dementia, several cancers, heart attacks and strokes.  But what exactly is the right kind of exercise? Read the rest of this entry »

Sugar: Villain in Disguise?

Mary Poppins may have recommended adding a spoonful of sugar to make some things a little more palatable, but Americans have taken that benign suggestion and run amok with it.  American consumption of added sugars has increased drastically over the last several decades.  While excessive sugar consumption is arguably the main reason for our epidemic of obesity and type-2 diabetes, the extra empty calories may just be the tip of the iceberg.  As researchers delve deeper into the fundamental causes of the diseases of Western lifestyles, they are starting to see links to sugar consumption; and the evidence implicating added sugars as a contributing factor in the development of heart disease, hypertension, and several common cancers is starting to look pretty good. Read the rest of this entry »

About Alternity Healthcare

Alternity Healthcare, LLC is an innovative medical practice emphasizing proactive, preventive care designed to help patients avoid degenerative diseases, regain lost vitality and achieve optimal health.