Welcome to a new year and another chance to make resolutions to feel and look better.
Most of us make the same resolutions every year to eat healthy, exercise more, get more sleep and reduce stress.
But let’s get real. Despite our best intentions, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is hard to do. We’ve got a lot on our plates between work, shuttling the kids to Plano for select soccer practice, spending weekends cheering them on from the sidelines, conjuring up dinner and finding five minutes to communicate with our spouses.
It’s hard enough most days to find time to wipe the toothbrush splatter off the bathroom mirror and run a load of laundry, much less find an hour to go the gym or set out a meal that doesn’t come from a drive-through.
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Dragging from the holidays, when most of us scooped up too many second helpings, gobbled up way too many cookies and sweets and downed a few too many cocktails, we desperately need help now.
Yes, we know we need to adopt healthier habits, but let’s not pile on the guilt when it’s clear we can’t consistently stick to the plan. That just adds more stress.
So, what to do?
Perhaps it’s time to consider some options that could help us feel and look better, particularly for those of us who have more money than time to spare.
Pellet Hormone Therapy
Struggling with symptoms of menopause and perimenopause is an unpleasant experience for many middle-age women. Hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood changes, forgetfulness, reduced sexual drive and frequent need to urinate are among symptoms that may women experience as they age.
Generations of women relied on hormone replacement therapy to replace the natural hormones lost to aging. The therapy, long believed to prevent heart disease and possibly dementia, fell somewhat out of favor when a large clinical trial linked increased risk of breast cancer, stroke and other diseases to its use.
But now an option known as Pellet Hormone Therapy has quickly become a popular choice for people seeking relief with potentially less risk.
Terri DeNeui, a nurse practitioner, operates Evexias Medical Centers in Southlake and Rockwall, which specialize in pellet hormone therapy as well as medical cosmetic and aesthetic treatments.
Evexias, formerly known as Hormonal Health, Wellness and Aesthetic, emphasizes an individualized, holistic approach to treating patients, particularly women who suffer from raging hormones.
DeNeui says maintaining hormone balance is a key to feeling better, reducing risks of developing diabetes, cancer and other diseases, as well as promoting weight loss and reducing obesity.
“Hormone pellets placed under the skin deliver a constant stream of hormones into your bloodstream 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in a way that mimics your body’s natural release of hormone,” she says.
This type of therapy relies on bio-identical compounds based on plant-based substances that match the female hormones of estrogen and progesterone and the male hormone, testosterone, which women also produce and need for mental clarity and more. The clinics also treat men who suffer from hormone deficiencies.
The growing popularity of pellet therapy brings hundreds of patients to the clinics every month for the treatment that averages about $60 to $80 a month for women and $90 to $100 a month for men, DeNeui says.
In response to the growing use of pellet hormone therapy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists raises some alarms about the treatment approach, including the fact that compounded hormones are considered supplements and not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Variability of purity and potency as a result of customized compounding raises the possibility of safety risks, the medical group says. “Evidence is lacking to support superiority of compounded bio-identical hormones over conventional menopausal hormone therapy.”
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy a/k/a the Vampire Facelift
Aside from the hormone treatments, Evexias clinics also offer Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy to treat ailments from erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence to wrinkles, sagging skin and more.
Through this process, blood is drawn from patients using a double spinning technique that separates the plasma and platelets from the rest of the blood. The plasma concentrated with rich platelets then is injected back into patients to treat areas of concern. PRP stimulates the rejuvenation of damaged tissue and helps stimulate the creation of new tissue.
DeNeui says this is a very safe procedures since it relies on a patient’s own blood.
“It produces a lovely, lovely look for the face,” she says. PRP can be re-injected by itself to fill out wrinkles or combined with a cosmetic filler to become what’s known as a Vampire Facelift. The PRP procedure costs about $900 to $1,500.
Those of us who do get to the gym regularly may still find ourselves struggling with a persistent jiggly gut that just won’t go away. Whether the cause is childbirth, eating too many carbs or the distribution of fat as a result of aging, the pesky problem begs a solution.
“No scar” tummy tuck
At Beautopia, a medical spa in Colleyville, medical director Dr. Tammy Polit offers a “no scar” tummy tuck to produce bikini-worthy results. This minimally-invasive liposuction technique also works on sagging upper arms, under-eye bags, love handles, neck and chin sagginess and unsightly thighs. Liposuction and tummy tucks are not new techniques but the process of “tumenscence,” a locally-injected solution, has revolutionized the process to be safer and more effective, she says.
“It’s a laparoscopic technique done with only local anesthesia that doesn’t require hospitalization. Patients are awake throughout the procedure,” she says. The tummy tuck procedure costs up to $6,000; prices vary for other areas of the body.
Dr. Polit has also introduced a new procedure called ThermiVa, a treatment for vaginal dryness and leaky bladder problems. Relying on radio-frequency technology, the results last one to two years. “This is a no-pain, zero-downtime procedure,” she says. The treatment costs $3,500.
Injectable skin fillers, including Botox, as well as laser treatments, chemical peels and other treatments are other pick-me-up options that come with varying price tags.
Double chin treatment
At Derma Clinic in Keller, Dr. Nannette Crow is offering a fat-melting injectable to reduce a double chin, another pesky area to treat but important to our overall appearance. Who wants to wear a turtleneck to the beach?
Kybella is an FDA-approved product that is safe and effective, she says. “I’ve had this done myself and results are great,” she says.
It takes two to three treatments at $1,200 per treatment to achieve maximum results, she says.
Because cosmetic treatments are pricey and not covered by insurance, they should be approached as “wants” as opposed to needs, providers say.
“This is something you do if you have expendable income,” Dr. Crow says. “Nobody needs any of it.”
But if you are willing to try it out, here’s some helpful advice from the experts: Do your homework, don’t hesitate to get a second opinion and steer clear of practitioners who discourage you from seeking a second opinion.
Advice from the experts:
• Many different treatment options are available. Before deciding on any option, do your homework on both the procedure and the doctor.
• Don’t hesitate to get a second opinion.
• Steer clear of practitioners who discourage you from seeking a second opinion.