Bioidentical HRT: The Truth About Hormone Therapy for Menopausal Women

bioidentical hrt
Dr Betty Keller is a menopause specialist and bioidentical hormone doctor who helps you understand and care for your menopause symptoms.

Menopause is a normal stage of life, and some women have symptoms they can take in stride. But for others, mood changes, disturbed sleep, increased urinary issues, and discomfort during sex have too much impact on quality of life and well-being.

Many women have heard that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (bioidentical HRT) can help. But there is a great deal of uncertainty and confusion about the safety of HRT medications. More women need access to updated information so they can learn about treatments without fear.

When Menopause Occurs

Menopause is an important health milestone in a woman’s life. A medical definition of menopause refers to the 12 months after a woman’s last period. However, changes in hormone levels occur for most women between the ages of 45 and 55.

Common Symptoms of Menopause

Many women are satisfied that the issues of pregnancy and monthly periods are over. But for some women, these hormonal changes have a major negative impact on their well being:

  • Negative Changes in Mood: Changes in levels of estrogen and progesterone can affect mood. As the body adjusts, some women find it difficult to concentrate or keep from becoming irritable.
  • Painful Intercourse: Lower levels of these hormones make the skin around the vagina thinner and less lubricated. This can make sex painful or uncomfortable.
  • Hot Flashes and Night Sweats: Hot flashes are symptoms of menopause that cause sensations of sudden heat in your upper body, neck and face, and may trigger increased perspiration. And when a hot flash is over, you may feel a damp chill. Night sweats (hot flashes that occur during bedtime) can disturb sleep for months at a time for some women.
  • Bladder Control Problems: During menopause, changes in vaginal tissue can impact bladder function. As these tissues become thinner, less elastic, and lose strength, some women find that normal coughing, sneezing or lifting causes uncontrollable leaks. It may be hard to sleep through the night without having to get up and use the bathroom. Some women get painful urinary tract infections more often.
  • Bone Health: If menopause is premature or early, some women may be concerned about bone health.

Women who want to improve their quality of life during menopause have good questions, but may also have doubts about the safety of hormone replacement therapy. The level of distrust and misinformation around HRT is unfortunate.

It is important to inform women about bioidentical HRT, especially those who do not know the benefit of new forms of these hormones.

The Checkered History of HRT

Hormone replacement therapy began to be widely prescribed for menopausal women during the 1980’s and 1990s. HRT usually came in the form of oral tablets called Premarin and Prempro. But many stopped in 2002 with the public reports of health risks by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI).

The media widely reported the finding that combinations of hormones used at the time were linked to increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Women were suddenly told to discontinue taking their medications, and there was widespread alarm about unwanted health risks.

What these studies could not show, because of their design, was the role of the synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone used.

Premarin, for example, was processed from the urine of pregnant mares (as the name Premarin reflects). These drugs had adverse affects because the hormones extracted and synthesized in the lab had a different chemical structure than the body’s own forms. As the body processed the synthetic forms, they released harmful byproducts.

What is Bioidentical HRT?

Bioidentical hormone therapy uses hormones that match those made by the human body. In other words, the chemistry of these hormones matches the body’s own estrogen, and the body processes them the same way.

Bioidentical hormones are sometimes called “natural” hormones, which can be very confusing. Many HRT products can claim a “natural” origin, be it plant or animal. The important difference is that bioidentical HRT medications are formulated to act just like the body’s own hormones. The FDA has approved many bioidentical HRT medications for use in treating women with concerns about menopausal symptoms.

More Recent Findings

Research after the WHI study identified important factors that impact the safety and outcome of HRT, such as how soon it begins after menopause, and whether it is taken orally or in other forms. Unfortunately, the news of these findings is much less widespread.

Follow up studies found that the way a treatment delivers hormones also plays a part in how safely the body can use them. Some hormones in pill form carry different risks than those taken through the skin as a cream or gel, for example.

If you were to try to get information on the Internet, it is difficult to know who to believe. Some medical sites continue to share findings of older studies, and some focus on some of the newer studies without making clear what the full range of risks and benefits are.

Talk with a Doctor Who Is Informed about Bioidentical HRT

If you are concerned about symptoms and the safety of HRT, the best step for your health is to become better informed by talking with a knowledgeable doctor you trust.

HRT safety and effectiveness depends on when it starts, how long treatments last, what preparations are used, whether hormones are combined, and how the hormones themselves are formulated.

The benefits of any treatment must certainly outweigh the risks. And you deserve the opportunity to work with a doctor who will carefully assess and diagnose your symptoms and talk with you about the safest, most effective therapy for you.

Bioidentical HRT in Ridgewood, New Jersey

If you are in the Ridgewood, New Jersey area, and want to see bioidentical HRT can help, speak to Dr. Keller at 201-485-7930 or request an appointment online.

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Top Skin-Firming, Fat-Reduction Treatment With No Pain, No Downtime

wrinkle reduction skin tightening
Our clients say the best non-surgical treatment for skin tightening and fat reduction for the face, neck and body is Venus Legacy

See firmer, smoother skin, and melt fat away with painless treatments. No downtime!

Sounds too good to be true? Not with the Venus Legacy, it delivers excellent results, without surgery, injections or pain!

Why the Skin Creases and Sags Over Time

Being born with good genes can help some of us look younger than our years. But as we age, we lose the collagen and elastin that gives our skin that youthful glow. Even if you eat healthy foods and exercise well, you may have a few trouble spots that you just can’t get rid of. The torso, thighs, arms, neck and face are prone to wrinkles, stubborn fat deposits and loose skin as we age.

wrinkle reduction face eyes neck

How Can You See Younger Looking Skin – Without Surgery?

Venus Legacy is not only the latest in non-invasive, medical aesthetics; treatments are also amazingly effective in achieving an optimal natural and youthful result for skin tightening and fat loss. It gently uses magnetic energy and radio frequency to stimulate the skin’s elastic properties and melt fat.  No invasive surgery is needed. Venus Legacy treatments look great immediately – it requires no downtime.

Venus Legacy is an exciting option because it is a non-invasive, pain-free solution for treating cellulite and wrinkles, contouring the body, and toning the face, neck and body for a sculpted, toned and natural look. Your younger appearance is natural looking — not ‘fake’ — because the process stimulates the body’s own deep, natural healing response.

How It Works, and How Soon

skin firming cellulite reductionThe Venus Legacy treatments are not only the latest in modern technology, but they are also hassle-free.


Venus Legacy combines two of the most successful medical technologies into one very effective treatment. The treatment consists of an exclusive combination of magnetic pulses and radio frequency. A trained medical professional uses an applicator on the treatment area in a painless, risk-freeprocedure that works. The treatments are so comfortable, that, in fact, you may fall asleep because of the soothing, warming feeling.

Patients can expect immediate results after one session and permanent results can be acquired in as little as two to four treatments.

Where It Works

venus-legacy-sbVenus Legacy can be applied to all skin types and body parts, making this procedure ideal for face, neck, arms, torso, thighs, and buttocks. This is an all-in-one procedure used to tighten skin, improve elasticity, trim circumference, reduce fat and cellulite, and reduce wrinkles for both men and women.

High Satisfaction for Patients

Patients have been thrilled (some are ecstatic) with the difference in their appearance. Appointments take only 20 to 30 minutes,fitting easily into your day, since you’re able to return to daily activity immediately after a Venus Legacy Session.  Enjoy relaxing while your skin rejuvenates without any inconvenient down time from your schedule.

We asked our patients why they love the Venus Legacy and here is what some of them had to say.


I love the way my face has a refreshed glow immediately after my treatments. I started doing Venus legacy when I turned 50! I have been keeping up with a treatment every 4 months and love the way I look. JK -Wyckoff, NJ


I love that Venus Legacy is painless and I can stop in on my lunch break and go back to work without having to take time off from work. I also love the results! NL – Mahwah, NJ


I love the way Venus Legacy tightened my skin and reduced my little stubborn belly. I eat well and exercise regularly but it just wouldn’t budge. So happy withth the results I’m doing my love handles next. KP – Midland Park, NJ


I love the way Venus legacy tightened the skin on my arms, I had crapy skin and was too embarrassed to wear sleeveless shirts or dresses. Now my arms look fabulous, cant wait to wear my summer clothes. SL – Ridgewood, NJ


I love the way Venus Legacy helped make me look my best at my son’s wedding. We timed it so I started 3 months before the wedding and I had a touch up the day before! I love the natural refreshed look. MC – Saddle River, NJ


I love how Venus Legacy gives natural looking results. I love that it stimulates my body to produce collagen. I just didn’t want to have injections and fillers. AH – Franklin Lakes, NJ


I love that I can put off the signs of aging by starting Venus Legacy now while I still have a youthful appearance. I plan on keeping up with my treatments as part of my regular beauty regime. MG – GlenRock, NJ


I love that the Venus Legacy made my thighs smooth, I couldn’t believe the results. I love the way I look in my shorts! SG – Ridgewood, NJ

How to Find out More

You can view before and after photos, and learn more about the treatment on our Venus Legacy page.  You can also contact Dr. Betty Keller with your questions, and make an appointment for a free consultation by calling 201-485-7930.

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3 Easy Portion Size Tips for Reaching a Healthy Weight

Proper portion size for weight loss isn’t about starving yourself.  It’s about enjoying what you eat, in healthy amounts.  Often, weight creeps up simply because we aren’t aware of how much we actually eat.

Learning proper portion sizes sounds a lot harder than it really is. Here are 3 easy tips and tricks to ensure that you eat what you need shed and keep off excess weight.

Tip 1)  Don’t Eat Out of the Container

One easy way to avoid snacking too much is to not eat directly out of the container. Take a serving from the container instead. The packages that foods come in are large. Helping ourselves from the package encourages us to keep eating whatever’s in front of us. If you’re eating while watching TV or reading a book, being distracted often leads to eating more than you meant to out of the box or bag. Instead, pour the amount you plan to eat in a bowl and keep the rest out of eyesight.

Tip 2) Use Familiar Things to Measure by Eye

One good way to eyeball healthy portions is by comparing them in your mind with familiar things. For instance, one serving of fruit, like a small apple or orange, would be about the size of a tennis ball. One carbohydrate serving of cooked rice (1/3rd cup), is the size of a hockey puck. Make it personal! Find objects that can help you remember the amount intend to eat as a serving size.

Tip 3) Fill Your Plate in Sections

A good way to fill a plate with well-sized portions is to use sections of your plate as your guide.

Half the plate should be lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. The more color, the better! It means that you are getting lots of different vitamins and minerals.

A quarter of the plate should be protein. Choose proteins that are rich in nutrients, such as beans, nuts, fish, or chicken. (Avoid red and processed meats such as beef or bacon. Even small amounts can lead to future health issues. )

The last quarter is for grains. Whole grains are the healthiest choice. Avoid processed options like white rice or white bread — go for more fiber, vitamins, minerals and rich natural flavor of whole grains. Wild rice, brown rice, buckwheat and barley are a few of many to choose from.

Finding your proper portion size is about learning how much and what you plan to eat for a healthy weight.

Taking time to take proper portions can make a big difference in losing weight and keeping it off for good.

Eat and Lose Weight with Dr. Keller’s Menu Planner

Dr. Keller’s weight loss program includes a free menu planner. You can see what meals others created to help them lose weight, and plan your own meals with foods you enjoy.  Find out about Dr. Keller’s weight loss treatment program and call us at 201-485-7930 to get started.

About Dr. Betty Keller:

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.

Top 5 Sleep Strategies for Fibromyalgia

For people with fibromyalgia, sleep is more than ordinary downtime. Getting good quality sleep is an important strategy to reduce pain, fatigue, and emotional stress that are some of the biggest challenges of living with this condition.

Research suggests that the normal sleep pattern is interrupted for people with fibromyalgia. Studies show bursts of “awake” brain activity, that constantly interrupt the deepest, most restorative sleep stages. Some studies show that deep sleep is interrupted twice as often for people with fibromyalgia than for those with normal sleep patterns. It’s not clear whether brain chemistry or pain is the cause.

Even if the connection between sleep disturbance and fibromyalgia isn’t completely understood, getting better sleep is important. Regardless of the cause, interrupted sleep leads to higher pain, extreme fatigue, and limited mental functioning.

When you get better sleep with fibromyalgia, pain symptoms decrease, mental focus and concentration improve, you feel less stress and more able to enjoy daily activities.

Strategies for Better Sleep

There are dozens of things to try to improve sleep quality. Every body is different. Here are the my top recommendations

1) Dedicate regular hours for sleep, and don’t try to go over or under them. It may seem counter-productive to get up on time if you think you can sleep some more. But the quality of your sleep will be better and less disturbed if you limit your time to the just the amount you need to help feel refreshed.
2) Keep a regular routine. Your body naturally adjusts to a sleep schedule if you have a consistent bedtime. Specifically, going to sleep is easier if you have a regular time you go to bed. It also important to wake up at the same time everyday. In fact it actually may be more important to wake up at the same time every morning, in order to have better quality sleep.
3) Help yourself fall asleep more easily and regularly by winding down your activity level well before bedtime. That means limiting computer use, limiting time in front of any screen, avoiding drinks with caffeine and alcohol. Wind down your physical activity.
4) Exercise regularly, but leave the last 3 hours before bedtime for quieting your body. Many people find that a warm bath with Epson salts very relaxing to aching muscles. Warm herbal tea and a light protein snack can also help your body feel relaxed and calm. Relaxation techniques that calm your mind and body can be very helpful in bringing on good quality sleep. Deep breathing and massage are two such techniques that help.
5) Limit daytime napping. It makes it harder for you to get the deep restful sleep you need most during your regular bedtime hours.

These are just a few of the many sleep strategies that can make a big difference in reducing your symptoms.

Here are some additional resources for you, with more tips and insights into better sleep:

If you enjoy this health tip please share it or print it for your use. It comes to you from Dr. Betty Keller, an integrative therapy and fibromyalgia specialist, practicing in Franklin Lakes New Jersey at the Optimal Wellness Center

Fibromyalgia Survival Guide: 5 Keys to Making This Your Best Year Ever

Many people see a new year as a time to for new beginnings. People plan to lose weight, get active, and get healthier to enjoy more of what life has to offer.

If you have fibromyalgia, you probably want very much to make pain, stress, and fatigue a much smaller part of your life.  But you worry about how to reach these goals.  You want to eat better, sleep better, and feel happier – with less pain.  But you know that making changes your diet or your activity can lead to painful flare-ups.  Making lifestyle changes seems almost impossible when your muscles hurt, and you’re tired all the time, especially when you try something new.

Let’s pause right now and take an approach to fibromyalgia treatment that’s not based on big promises, but on smaller things you can do to feel a whole lot better despite fibromyalgia.

Instead of resolutions, let’s look at

5 keys to building a better life with fibromyalgia

  1. Setting specific goals
  2. Making small changes
  3. Learning what works
  4. Combining therapies and self- care that make you feel better
  5. Getting support to keep going

1) Setting specific goals

Since there are a number of therapies to try, we set a clear target, such as sleeping better, improving fitness, or reducing pain. First, every patient I see has a detailed, comprehensive set of medical tests and a physical exam. This helps us see where best to start. We may focus one or a few these areas to begin to make changes:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Medication
  • Sleep Quality
  • Emotional Health and State of Mind

Next, we look at how to start moving toward the health goals you’ve set in these areas.

2) Making small changes

What you eat has a lot to do with how you feel. This is especially true for people with fibromyalgia.  Eating a healthy anti-inflammatory diet is a great place to start making modest changes.

Kale, for example, is one of the most nutrition-dense foods known.  Kale’s natural defenses against diseases, insects, and even sun damage also help our bodies heal when we eat it.  You can learn to choose similar healthy foods regularly by remembering they tend to be darker in color, such as grapes, red cabbage, strawberries and blueberries, green tea, walnuts, and tomatoes.

This approach isn’t about cutting out all carbs, eating just protein, or anything drastic. Finding out about anti-inflammatory foods, and planning meals with these – and eating less sugar, refined foods and meats – is one small but powerful change toward forming new eating habits that leave you feeling less pain, and more healthy.

3) Learning what works

Exercise, for example, has a lot to do with health, but you may feel like you’re in too much pain to work out.  If going to the gym doesn’t work for you – then let’s go somewhere else.  It helps to think of exercise as simply things you enjoy that get you moving.  Some patients find that a few 10-minute sessions a day work best.  The most helpful activities include smooth, no-impact or low-impact movements, and have a mind-calming element, like yoga, tai chi, or walking.

  • Acupuncture might not be a treatment you would have thought to try.  But studies and patient experience reveal several healing responses to this painless treatment.  Endorphins increase, and stress hormones decrease.  While it deserves its own discussion, the overall effects of acupuncture help improve sleep, reduce stress, and even relieve anxiety and depression.
  • Your state of mind has a lot to do with how you feel physically, with fibromyalgia.  Mental stress, physical tension and pain tend to trigger each other and can start a whole downward spiral.  A positive frame of mind helps all of us choose better foods, activities and rest periods especially when we have old negative habits to overcome.

4) Combining fibromyalgia treatments and self-care that make you feel better

Your doctor may prescribe pain medication and over-the-counter nutritional supplements.  By themselves, they may provide some relief, but not much, or not for long.  But when you start taking care of your diet, get moving, and get better sleep, your body’s own healing processes and your medications gain more power over your fibromyalgia symptoms, and you feel well for longer and longer periods.

5) Getting support to keep going 

Finding the right doctor is an important part of finding the right blend of therapies for long-term relief.   You need someone who understands the pain you describe is real, and who has experience observing the effects of different therapies, and can help you find a number of safe treatments you can use in combination.

Understanding friends, and support from others with fibromyalgia can help a lot too. Good friends can challenge the negative thoughts that we may jump to automatically.   Being around positive people can help us find more joy, peace and gratitude in every day life.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat because doctors are not always familiar with how to diagnose it and treat it — and no one single treatment works.

Each person responds differently to therapies. Some medications work better than others.  Specific foods, forms of exercise, and techniques for getting better sleep work better for some people than others.  A successful treatment plans combines a number of approaches from different disciplines.

An integrative approach – which I practice at the Optimal Wellness Center – combines traditional medicine with complementary therapies – such as diet, nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, acupuncture, exercise and stress management.   It also combines the doctor’s efforts with your self-care efforts to find the most effective treatment for you.

About Dr. Keller

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor specializing in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, weight loss, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.

Awake with Pain? How to Sleep Better With Fibromyalgia

Do you find it impossible to get a good night’s sleep with fibromyalgia? Do you feel like the lack of sleep is making your pain worse?

If being tired seems to worsen your symptoms, you are not alone.   Doctors have found lack of sleep does make your body more sensitive to pain.  You may find the pain keeps you awake, so you rest poorly. Being tired makes your fibromyalgia symptoms flare up, so you still can’t sleep.  You may feel caught in an endless cycle.  But there are ways to cope that can help you get more sleep.

I’m going to share quite a few tips with you.  This is because there is no single best way to manage this condition.  You may have to try a mix of different methods to get the best results for you.

What I can share with you are the answers found by many people with fibromyalgia who have found specific steps to control their symptoms.

  1. Create a regular routine – Get your body used to a pattern of sleeping and waking.  Set a time to go to bed and a time to rise.  That may mean planning your day’s activities to help you wind down in time.  Find the things that tend to keep you up late (sugary foods, computer work) – and plan them or replace them with other activities so they have less impact on your sleep.
  2. Listen to your body – you may find certain activities are more soothing than others to do before you go to bed.  Finding a quiet, calming activity for the 20-30 minutes before trying to sleep can help you get much needed rest.
    1. A warm bath, soaking in Epsom salts, lavender oil, chamomile oil or juniper oil can soothe sore muscles enough to let  you rest.
    2. Meditation, yoga or prayer can help you clear your mind and also relax muscles
  3. Avoid naps – they disrupt the sleep pattern that allow you to rest more fully.
  4. Try natural fiber sleepwear and sheets.  These can allow your skin to breathe better, and prevent big swings in temperature while you sleep. Temperature swings have been linked to pain flare-ups for people with fibromyalgia.
  5. Try a few good sleeping positions – Doctors recommend sleeping on your side to avoid putting stress on your tender spots. If you sleep on your back. try placing a pillow under tender spots such as the small of your back, or behind your knees. If you sleep on your stomach, a pillow under your stomach helps reduce the arch in your back and keep you more comfortable.

Medications can also help control pain so you can rest.  More information on medicine for fibromyalgia is coming in other tips.

If you enjoy this health tip please share it or print it for your use. It comes to you from Dr. Betty Keller, an integrative therapy and fibromyalgia specialist, practicing in Franklin Lakes New Jersey at the Optimal Wellness Center.

How to Stop the Pain: 7 Facts That People Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia should Know

When you are first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you may feel overwhelmed.  All you can think of is you want to stop the pain.  That is your number one concern.  Then you learn that fibromyalgia is not like other illnesses – there is no one best treatment. You need to re-learn how to live within your body.

Here are 7 facts that can help you understand what is happening to your body, and how you can begin to find real effective ways to feel better, and live better.

  1. Fibromyalgia is not a disease that can be cured with medicine like an antibiotic, or with surgery.  But know that you can learn what works – from a qualified doctor, and with your own efforts – to give you a better quality of life.
  2. Research – and real life – shows us that when it comes to feeling better, the power to improve lies in part to your ability to take control of your self-care.
  3. Self-care means making a number of changes, rather than a having a single treatment. Lifestyle, medications, how you move during the day, exercise, adding therapies for your mind as well as your body – all are tools you can learn to use to manage your pain much more successfully.
  4. You may worry that the pain of fibromyalgia is from damage happening to your muscles and joints. This may make you concerned about what you can safely to do for treatment. But there is some good news.  Doctors have found that symptoms you are experiencing are caused by over-activation of nerves.  Fibromyalgia causes pain and stiffness in your joints, tendons and muscles, but it won’t damage them. Experts are increasingly looking at fibromyalgia as a nerve condition.
  5. Even if fibromyalgia does not directly damage muscles, it may affect the way you use them – or don’t use them.  The long-term pain may cause you become less active, and loss of strength may worsen your symptoms unless you find ways to stay active.  Explore movements, stretch breaks, walks and mild exercises to help reduce soreness.
  6. Sleep matters a lot when it comes to reducing your pain.  But how can you possibly get a good night’s sleep?  Studies show that it’s not just the pain – but the thoughts you think in your head have a lot to do with your ability to sleep.  You may not believe it now, but using therapies to help you drop negative thinking, calm your mind, and do activities you enjoy can improve sleep.  Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is one way to find the mental energy you need to take good care of yourself
  7. The science of pain management has come a long way.  Prescriptions, over-the-counter medicine, and nutritional supplements can be part of your health care plan, but there is no magic pill for fibromyalgia.

It may take some time to feel confident in your ability to control your pain.  It is important not to suffer in silence.  If you are seeing a doctor who understands and specializes in fibromyalgia, talk about your experiences.  It may take be hard at first to have to open up to so many new approaches to wellness.  You may have to consider making some lifestyle changes you would rather not have to make.  But once you find a doctor with information you can work with to help yourself feel better, you can find a real a path to wellness.

If you enjoy this health tip please share it or print it for your use. It comes to you from Dr. Betty Keller, an integrative therapy and fibromyalgia specialist, practicing in Franklin Lakes New Jersey at the Optimal Wellness Center.

10 More Tips for Weight Loss

Some simple weight loss tips make eating less stressful every day. Our first list of 10 weight loss tips offered several ideas that you can make work for you.  Here are 10 more to help you reach your weight control goals:

  1. Plan meals and snack for the week. Make a shopping list and stick to it.
  2. Never go to the grocery store hungry. Shop only after you have had a healthy meal or snack.
  3. Keep healthy snacks with you for emergencies. (Bottle of water, piece of fruit, small 100 calorie pack of almonds) This way you are less tempted to stop and grab a less healthy alternative.
  4. Practice daily relaxation to help reduce stress hormones like cortisol, which tells your body to hold onto fat.
  5. Increase your daily activity. Take the stairs. When shopping, don’t choose the closet parking spot; take a walk at lunch or after dinner.
  6. Try switching to a smaller dinner plate. Using a smaller plate will help keep your portions size down.
  7. Eat less but more often. Try 3 small meals a day and 2-3 small snacks a day. This keeps your blood sugar stable and avoids it from dropping too low and causing a rebound increased appetite.
  8. Eat more fiber. Aim for 25-35 grams. Fiber helps you feel full, with fewer calories. Foods rich in fiber include oat, bran, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
  9. After your evening snack, close the kitchen and brush your teeth. Don’t go back into the kitchen. If you feel like another snack after you closed the kitchen try sipping on decaffeinated tea or chewing sugarless gum.
  10. Don’t drink your calories. Soft drinks, fruits juices, specialty coffees, and smoothies are full of sugar. This sugar content makes your insulin rise quickly and your appetite increase shortly after drinking it.

Want other ideas to help you lose weight?  Dr. Betty Keller specializes in guiding patients through lifestyle changes to improve diet and nutrition to lose weight – with lower stress.  Therapies may include traditional Western medicine, dietary supplements, appropriate physical activities and an individual treatment plan created uniquely for you.  She treats patients in her Franklin Lakes, New Jersey office – serving Bergen County NJ and surrounding areas.  To learn about treatment options with Dr. Keller contact 201-485-7930.

Fibromyalgia Treatment: Acupuncture is Effective in Reducing Symptoms

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that causes chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain.  It is often associated with one or more other symptoms such as fatigue, stiffness, and insomnia.  The pain of Fibromyalgia syndrome (also known as FMS) typically includes particular areas of increased sensitivity called tender points.

Fibromyalgia affects up to 2% of the population.  The best treatment approach is integrative combining Western medicine, therapeutic lifestyle changes and complementary therapies.  Complementary therapy, like acupuncture is effective in reducing symptoms of fibromyalgia.  An important study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings showed that acupuncture reduced symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia including reduction in pain, fatigue, and anxiety.  In addition, it was found to be as effective as some medications.  Using the FIO score (a standard measure of fibromyalgia activity), acupuncture reduced the score by 7 points.  This clinical benefit is comparable to pharmacological interventions such as tricyclic antidepressants (a decrease of 7 points) and the pain medication Tramadol (a decrease of 6 points)

According to the lead author, Dr. David P. Martin, M.D., PhD, “We found that acupuncture significantly improved symptoms of fibromyalgia.  Symptomatic improvement was not restricted to pain relief and was most significant for fatigue and anxiety.”

It is believed that acupuncture may actually block pain impulses from reaching the brain.  Acupuncture increases production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.  The gentle insertion of acupuncture needles at specific sites causes a measurable release of endorphins into the blood stream.  These natural pain killers help decrease pain. Repeated treatments are felt to up-regulate endorphins causing increased production of endorphins and thus a sustained reduction in pain.

Acupuncture is felt to increase a patient’s pain threshold, which is normally low in patients with fibromyalgia.  It also increases the production of neurotransmitters, which carry impulses between nerve cells.  Acupuncture increases serotonin, which is also typically low in fibromyalgia patients.  Seratonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for “feeling happy”.  It controls mood by helping with sleep, calming anxiety and reducing depression.

Neurotransmitters stimulate or inhibit nerve impulses in the brain that relay sensations such as pain.  Elevated levels of neurotransmitters can increase a patient’s tolerance to pain.

Benefits of Acupuncture For Fibromyalgia Patients

  • Less pain
  • Better sleep
  • More energy
  • Relaxation / Stress Reduction
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Reduction of depression
  • Possible boost to the immune system
  • Better overall health

Acupuncture is a safe and effective way of reducing symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia Treatment with Acupuncture in Bergen County, NJ

Dr. Betty Keller specializes in acupuncture, combined with Western medicine in treating fibromyalgia.  Her medical practice is in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, serving surrounding areas and Bergen County.

To request an appointment to visit her office at 777 Franklin Ave | Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417, please contact us:  201-485-7930.