About Sherry Torkos

Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author, certified fitness instructor, and health enthusiast who enjoys sharing her passion with others. Sherry graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara area. Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Sherry has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care. As a leading health expert, Sherry has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. She is frequently interviewed on radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad. Sherry has authored fourteen books & booklets, including The Glycemic Index Made Simple and Breaking the Age Barrier. Her most recent book, The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine has become a national best-seller. For more information, visit: www.sherrytorkos.com

Drastic Diets Stunt Hair Growth

Severely reducing calorie intake (less than 1,200 calories per day) can trigger sudden hair loss (telogen effluvium). When the body is deprived of sufficient protein, through strict dieting and calorie restriction, it will shut down all production of hair in order to divert all of its energies toward conserving vital body organs. The body will save protein by shifting healthy hairs that are in a normal growth phase (anagen) into a sudden resting phase.

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What to Eat and Not Eat for Healthy Hair

Even though hair is not a living tissue, it is important to supply nutrients to the hair follicles in the scalp. While there are no foods that directly stimulate increased hair growth, choose foods that supply the body with a rich supply of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, and protein.

Foods to include:

• Ensure adequate protein intake as protein is necessary for hair growth. Choose lean sources of protein (fish, poultry, lean cuts of meat, beans, nuts, seeds, and soy). Meat, poultry, and fish also contain iron, which is required for proper hair growth.

• Fish and flaxseed contain essential fatty acids necessary for proper hair growth.

• Nuts and seeds; almonds contain magnesium, which is important for hair growth.

• The outer skin of plants such as potatoes, cucumbers, green and red peppers, and sprouts can strengthen hair because they are rich in the mineral silica.

• Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are good sources of essential nutrients and fibre.


Foods to avoid:

• Caffeine and alcohol can deplete the body of nutrients and also raise adrenal levels, which can trigger hair loss.

• Foods high in sugar can raise cortisol levels (a stress hormone) and cause the body to produce more androgens, promoting hair loss.

• High intake of salt has been linked to hair loss. Foods high in salt include processed and snack foods, deli meats, and the salt shaker.

• Reduce or eliminate pro-inflammatory foods: saturated fat (fatty meats and dairy) and trans fats (processed foods and fried foods). Saturated fat reduces the amount of sex hor- mone-binding globulin (SHBG), a substance that normally binds to testosterone. With less SHBG, more testosterone can be converted into DHT, which promotes hair loss.

In my next post I will discuss lifestyle tips for healthy hair.

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Causes of Hair Loss

Hair loss is a concern that affects us all, although we hope it doesn’t. When we see more hairs than usual in the shower or the hairbrush, we suddenly wonder whether we might be losing our hair. It’s comforting to know that the human body sheds approximately 100 of its 100,000–150,000 strands of hair every day and new ones grow to take their place. As we age, this renewal process may slow where more hairs are lost than grown.

Real hair loss is most noticeable in men. What is commonly known as male- pattern baldness is an inherited condition called androgenetic alopecia and it may begin as early as age 20. Male hair loss is distinguished by a receding hairline or widow’s peak and thinning on the crown. The rate of hair loss may be slow, gradual, or fast. By age 50, about 50 percent of men will experience thinning and hair loss. For 40–50 per- cent of women, hair may begin to thin after age 50 (typically after menopause). This is called female-pattern baldness. Women tend to see their hair thin throughout the head, but most visibly on the crown. Significant hair loss for women before age 50 is rare and usually triggered by hormonal fluctuations, stress, or a secondary health concern.

Other kinds of hair loss include:

Alopecia areata: This form of hair loss is characterized by patchy baldness or bald spots. It affects both men and women equally, both adults and children, but it is rare, affecting less than 2 percent of the population. Hair loss due to alopecia areata is usually triggered by an immune system disorder. Once addressed, the hair usually grows back.

Anagen effluvium: This condition occurs when hair in the growth phase falls out prematurely. Prescription medications used for the treatment of cancer are the most common cause of this condition. Chemotherapy patients may lose up to 90 percent of their hair as a result of anagen effluvium.

Telogen effluvium: A natural part of the hair growth cycle includes a resting phase called telogen, which involves 10 percent of hair at any given time. Telogen effluvium occurs when up to 30 percent of hairs on the head are in the resting phase at any given time. This condition may be caused by physical or emotional stress, and hair growth will return to normal as stress is eased.

The health of your hair is a reflection of the overall state of your health, so it is im- portant to address hair loss from a multipronged approach that includes both the use of standard medical treatments to slow hair loss, and nutritional and lifestyle changes to address and improve health.

In my next post I will discuss which foods to eat for healthy hair and what foods to avoid.


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Treatments for Breast Cancer

If you have already had breast cancer, are BRCA2 positive and are taking Tamoxifen, could femMED Breast Health be taken as one of treatments for breast cancer to reduce risk of re-occurrence?-Could femMED libido be taken?

Yes, you can consider taking Breast Health and Libido. Breast Health contains a unique blend of natural ingredients that help protect breast tissue by aiding detoxification, helping the body eliminate harmful estrogens and promoting a healthy estrogen balance. Specifically, it helps raise levels of 2-hydroxy estrogen, which is a form of estrogen that is breast-protective. In fact, several studies have shown that as levels of 2-hydroxyestrogen increase and levels of 16-hydroxyestrogen decrease, the risk for breast cancer decreases.

femMED women’s Breast Health formula was just recently involved in a double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial that was published in a peer reviewed journal called Breast Cancer: Basic and Clinical Research. This study was also presented at a prestigious scientific conference. Researchers evaluated the product in 47 pre-menopausal women and 49 post-menopausal women for 28 days. On day one and 28, they analyzed blood and urine samples for estrogen metabolites. They discovered that femMED’s Breast Health supplement significantly increased the mean urinary concentration of 2-hydroxy estrogen in pre- and post-menopausal women (by 110% and 88%, respectively). The Breast Health supplement was well-tolerated, and displayed no adverse side effects.

Low libido can be caused by a number of factors, including hormonal imbalance, such as low estrogen and/or testosterone. femMED’s Libido product contains ingredients help to increase sexual desire, blood flow to the pelvic area and alleviate dryness.

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I saw a ob/gyn and was recommended a D&C, but my family doctor says no. I have cramps and am postmenopausal. Ultrasound shows a thickening on the left side. What should I do?

You should discuss this further with your ob/gyn and ask why he or she is suggesting a D & C. A thickening of the uterine wall could be due to hormonal imbalance, fibroids (benign growths), polyps or it could be an indication of something more serious such as endometrial cancer. Fibroids commonly cause heavy bleeding ad cramping, but they are much more common in pre-menopausal women.

For women over 40, especially those past menopause, who have uterine bleeding or thickening a D&C or another procedure called an endometrial biopsy may be warrented. Occasionally a hysteroscopy is performed at the same time as a D&C, allowing the doctor a better view of inside the cervix, vagina, and uterus.

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