?DO NOT USE THE BIRTH CONTROL PILL, Highly Regarded Santa Monica Doctors tells their Teen and Female Patients October 17, 2007 Santa Monica, CA – Dr. Prudence Hall and Dr. Howard Leibowitz, founder and Medical Directors of The Hall Center and in Santa Monica, CA have always been strong advocates for the overall health of their patients. It wasnt until they became immersed in treating menopausal patients with bioidentical natural hormones that they started investigating their birth control patients more carefully. Dr. Hall was shocked to find that most of my twenty year old patients on the pill, had hormones levels that were on par with my menopausal patients. Normal estrogen levels for twenty and thirty year olds should be 150-250. Most of the pill users had levels of fifteen, twenty or low thirties. Less that thirty is considered to be in the menopausal range. Information emerging about the female brain reveals that estrogen is an essential hormone for healthy brain functioning. It enhances the connections between neurons, resulting in improved memory and prevention of dementia. Mood, smell, self-esteem, and even the ability of a woman to choose a healthy partner to father her child depend on estrogen. It stimulates the production of serotonin, which is one of the feel good hormones in the brain. When estrogen is low, serotonin levels become low, resulting in depression, OCD, paranoia and ADD. Dr. Leibowitz continues, this is why so many women, who have low estrogen due to the birth control pill end up on antidepressants and other medications. Surprise! These problems happen to the menopausal brain as well, due to loss of estrogen. Dr. Hall states, Menopausal women gain about thirty pounds, loose their lovely skin, develop arthritis, have increased diabetes, increased heart disease, more thyroid problems, more breast cancer and a loss of their sex drive; all due to low estrogen. Dr. Leibowitz adds, Data from taking the pill shows similar concerns with increased heart disease, more strokes, increased depression, lower libidos, sugar imbalances and an alarming 10% increase in breast cancer. With fifteen women out of one hundred currently developing breast cancer, we cant afford this deadly side effect. Research from MD Anderson Cancer Center reports that 90% of cancer is due to inflammation. Estrogen decreases inflammation, but menopause and the birth control pill, due to their low estrogen states, both increase inflammation, and therefore the risk of many to cancer. Although a recent article states that patients using the birth control pill do not gain weight, most pill users feel it does, Dr. Hall continues I agree. By lowering estrogen levels, the birth control pill raises blood sugar as well as cortisol levels, resulting in weight gain; just like in menopause. Why do so many women use such a problematic medication when they arent even sick???Very effective to prevent pregnancy 98-99% of women will not get pregnant while on the pill. ?Some women do feel well on the pill. ?It can clear up acne in some patients ?Improves PMS in others ?Seems to offer some protection from ovarian cancer ?Dr. Leibowitz says, It is always better to correct problems at their root cause, rather than covering them up. Use of bioidentical hormones, diet, supplements and life style changes produces better results with all these problems, while actually improving a womans overall health. Dr. Prudence Hall also states, The birth control pill, by putting women into hormonal menopause, is counterproductive to goals of health and beauty. As a woman and gynecologist, I ask the question, if we really want to hurt our health voluntarily by using the pill? I dont think women want premature aging, if avoidable. Save birth control pills for true emergencies and use other options for birth control that are safer. Lets allow our own natural hormones to protect us from disease and aging for as long as we possibly can. Dr. Prudence Hall is the Founder and Medical Director of Functional Medicine & Gynecology at The Hall Center. She received an M.D. degree at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Medicine. She went on to do her residency in Gynecology at USC, and spent years as a busy surgeon and traditional practitioner. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Health Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. As her practice matured, she began focusing on the causes and treatments of aging illnesses, acquiring a broad base of knowledge in integrated healing and Functional Medicine. Dr. Hall has long been on the frontier of modern advances for menopause and rejuvenation therapies. Dr. Howard Leibowitz is the Medical Director of Functional Medicine & Internal Medicine at The Hall Center. Dr. Liebowitz was trained in Internal Medicine at USC, and worked as an Emergency and Trauma Physician for over 20 years. He has served as the Medical Director at The Centinela Hospital Fitness Institute testing professional athletes from The Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers and PGA golf tour. He was the team Doctor for The Pioneer Triathlon Team, a professional triathlon team. He served as a member of the medical Board for Tri-Fed, the governing body of the Triathlon sport. He was a member of the advisory board of Bally Health and Tennis, and 24 Hour Fitness. He also worked as a Physician at the Pritikin Longevity Center. His experience with Integrated and Functional Medicine, along with his foundational approach to health through nutrition, helped him realize the importance of assessing and balancing hormones for both men and women. He has combined years of experience and knowledge to help women through the hormone transition known as menopause as well as male hormone decline. His unique approach to attaining optimal health as well as slowing the aging process has helped innumerable men and women. While sharing certain common ground, each need their own unique approach. .