About Dr Jennifer Landa, Bioidentical Hormone Expert
Dr Jennifer Landa is Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD and the owner and operator of BodyLogicMD of Orlando. Dr. Landa dedicates her practice to bioidentical hormone therapy, customized nutrition and fitness programs to help women and men resolve menopausal and andropausal symptoms, including weight gain, sexual dysfunction, declining energy levels and stress. As a former gynaecologist, Dr. Landa has always desired to help patients achieve wellness through hormone balance and preventive medicine.
Dr Jennifer Landa earned her medical degree from Albany Medical College of Union University in Albany, NY in 1996. She completed her internship and residency at Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC, where she was distinguished as the Administrative Chief Resident in OB/GYN. Dr Jennifer Landa is Board Certified by the American Board of of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine and serves as anAdvanced Fellow in the Fellowship for Anti-Aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine. In addition, Dr. Landa has made appearances on a number of nationally-syndicated television shows, and was featured in a cover story by Florida Trend magazine in December of 2009, as a leading expert in anti-aging medicine.
Our Interview With Dr Jennifer Landa
[Anti Aging Source] It is a pleasure to chat with you, Dr Jennifer Landa for a bit right now, I always find the personal stories of all those that I interview to be incredible. What made you take that lead from being an OB/GYN to an anti aging doctor? Was it a hard jump to take?
Dr Jennifer Landa - At one point in my OB/GYN practice, I became interested in therapies other than medicine that I could employ with patients to improve their appearance and self-esteem. I started learning more about lasers and different medical aesthetic treatments that are available to help women improve their appearance and self-esteem. During my explorations into this field, I learned about the fact that lifestyle changes like nutrition, nutritional supplementation and exercise could change the appearance from the inside out. I realized that if my patients didn’t look good on the inside they wouldn’t look good on the outside. That is when I started studying nutrition and nutritional supplements and found out about the world of anti-aging medicine.
[Anti Aging Source] From there how did you find hormone therapy and balance to be best for your patients?
Dr Jennifer Landa -As a gynecologist, I had so many patients with problems that couldn’t be resolved by the typical arsenal of prescription GYN medicines. I used a bevy of different birth control pills when patients came in complaining of hormone imbalance symptoms. Then, a version of Prozac was introduced to help women deal with PMS and it’s more severe relative PMDD (pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder). These medicines seemed to help only a small portion of my patients and they seemed to only help them resolve a small number of their numerous symptoms. As for menopausal women, the typical menopausal hormone prescriptions seemed to only help about 30% of those patients. Others couldn’t tolerate the many side effects they suffered from, which sometimes were worse than the symptoms bringing them into my office in the first place. Finally, I learned about bioidentical hormone replacement and saw that by replacing exactly the hormones that my patient’s had lost many of their symptoms finally went away.
[Anti Aging Source] Can you please describe for my readers what natural hormone balancing is and why it is so vital?
Dr Jennifer Landa - I use only bioidentical hormone replacement for my patients. Bioidentical hormones are hormones that have the exact same chemical and molecular structure as natural hormones. They are identical, thus the name. Because bioidentical hormones are the same as natural hormones, they can bind to the hormone receptors in our body, just as our natural hormones do. Also, our bodies know how to break down and excrete the hormones properly because they are the same as our natural hormones.
Bioidentical hormones are made from yams or soy to be exactly the same as human hormones. Most traditional prescription hormones are non-bioidentical. They are not exactly the same as what is in our bodies naturally. They have been altered to be similar but not the same as the hormones in our bodies. The slight changes that are made to the hormones to make them patentable and marketable as prescription drugs can have a profound difference when it comes to effects and side effects.
Some combinations of traditional prescription hormone therapy have been clearly shown to increase the risk of breast cancer and heart disease whereas the bioidentical versions of these hormones have not been shown to cause cancer. In fact, they have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. This is the major difference between bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) and traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that is important for women to know.
Hormone balancing is the next important topic to discuss. Not only is it important to replace hormones that are naturally lost through aging, but it is important to get your hormones into the proper balance. One of the balances that is most important for women is the balance between estrogen and progesterone. When these are out of balance, our risk for pathology increases. An estrogen/progesterone imbalance contributes to fibroids, endometriosis, fibrocystic breasts and even uterine and breast cancer. So it is crucial to have your hormones measured and then balanced based on the measurements obtained to have optimal results and optimal health.
[Anti Aging Source] What are some of the functions in our bodies affected by these hormones?
Dr Jennifer Landa -Everything! A better question would be what isn’t affected by hormones? Our hormones affect various aspects of our health as discussed above and so much more. I love this statistic – estrogen has over 400 functions in the female body. 400!! Hormones as you might imagine contribute to temperature regulation and stability, sleep, mood, libido and energy. Hormone imbalance may also contribute to urinary incontinence, itching, joint pain and so many other symptoms.
Patients are shocked when they see symptoms that they have had for years disappear when they get their hormones into proper balance. Perhaps as important, or even more important, than quality of life concerns, is the fact that as our hormones decline, our health declines. Estrogen protects the heart, and the incidence of heart disease rises as estrogen declines. Women with low hormones have an increased risk of osteoporosis and hip and spine fracture- a major cause of morbidity and mortality among older women. Declining hormones also increase our risk of dementia and colon cancer. Keeping hormone levels elevated has been shown to decrease the risk of multiple major medical problems.
[Anti Aging Source] When coming to your practice in Orlando, FL, what does the typical patient treatment plan entail?
Dr Jennifer Landa - Before I even see a patient, they undergo a battery of testing and complete a thorough questionnaire so I can have as much information as possible before I even see them. I spend an hour in an initial consultation with each patient. During that time, I prescribe a lifestyle change program for them. My recommendations include extensive guidelines for nutrition and nutritional supplements. I make an exercise prescription tailored for each of my patients. I also recommend that my patients engage in relaxation techniques to decrease stress levels, as stress is highly detrimental to our health. Finally, of course, I prescribe bioidentical hormone replacement therapy as needed depending on levels seen in their blood and saliva tests.
[Anti Aging Source] How does what physical exercise affect our hormone balance? Can you just get balanced or is it essential?
Dr Jennifer Landa -Physical exercise affects hormone balance in many ways. When we exercise, a complex cascade of reactions occurs in the body. Cortisol goes up and gives us adrenaline to complete exercise, testosterone and growth hormone also go up when we exercise. These are all feel good hormones and part of the reason why people feel better when they exercise without taking any hormones. Physical exertion also helps us balance our hormones in general. Insulin is a hormone that increases as we age and when insulin goes up it may lead to insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes. Exercise helps to minimize and decrease insulin, thus allowing our bodies to have a more healthy relationship with sugar and prevents the onset of pre-diabetes and diabetes. These are just a few examples of the way exercise is seen as an essential part of any anti-aging hormone therapy regimen. The hormones work together with exercise.
[Anti Aging Source] Would you mind describing your personal daily routine for staying so youthful and energetic (As is quite evident in your picture :-)?
Dr Jennifer Landa - Sure (Thanks!) I exercise about 5 days per week. I make sure to include cardio most days. Some days it is in the form of a run or a bike ride or a swim. Recently, I just ran a half marathon so I was doing a training plan for the half marathon that included 2-three to five mile runs per week (one of them with speed intervals) and a long run on the weekends with some friends that we built longer and longer every week. We started at around 3-4 miles and ended up at 12 mile weekend runs as the race drew nearer.
Two days per week I train for 1 hour with a personal trainer, doing a whole body workout that includes a lot of core work and some cardio as well. I am just starting to train for a triathlon now so the schedule will change to more biking and swimming mixed in with the running.
As far as food, I usually start my day with a rice protein shake with anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric and green tea extract before my workout. Then, I usually have eggs and veggies after my workout for breakfast. By mid-morning I have a snack of fruit usually, like an apple, and maybe a few nuts. For lunch, I like to eat a salad with chicken – I usually eat this in 2 sittings over the course of the afternoon. If the salad is small, I have another snack in the afternoon – perhaps carrots and hummus.
For dinner I like to have a lean protein like turkey, chicken, fish and occasionally some lean steak. I do admit to having 1 or 2 ounces of dark chocolate as my daily treat, and I also enjoy red wine – a few glasses per week. I drink mostly water and green tea throughout the day (lots of water). I try to avoid sugar, milk based products and gluten.
I do take nutritional supplements including multivitamins, fish oil, alpha lipoic acid, chromium, co-q10, adrenal support herbs like ginseng, rhodiola, ashwagandha, licorice and a few other supplements too. Also, I take progesterone and testosterone as my hormone regimen.
As far as relaxation techniques, I try to do guided meditation when I can, or even just take 10 deep slow breaths with my eyes closed. Several days a week I put my daughter to bed with a guided meditation, which helps me slow down and meditate too. The relaxation part is definitely my growth edge. I have a lot of discipline for the rest of my lifestyle prescription, but slowing down is a little harder for me and is what I need to work the hardest to incorporate.
[Anti Aging Source] You are the Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD. What does that position entail? What is it that you most love about it?
Dr Jennifer Landa - My duties as CMO of BodyLogicMD (BLMD) are varied, but one of the main thrusts is that I am charged with providing excellent continuing medical education for our 50+ physicians that are spread across the country. I have monthly or bi-monthly webinars for the doctors where we invite experts in our field from many different disciplines to lecture on various topics that are relevant to the doctors in our field. For instance, last night we had an excellent lecture from one of our own BodyLogicMD doctors regarding alternative treatments for erectile dysfunction in men. We are always learning about the newest techniques that science has to offer in order to best help our patients with whatever is troubling them. I also research and add the newest forms of testing and/or procedures that BodyLogicMD doctors will make available to their patients.
Additionally, I am responsible for training new doctors as they enter our network. New doctors come to spend 2 days with me for practical training. During this time I train them to see patients in their practice. They observe me seeing patients in my practice and I answer a lot of questions in an effort to help them to be ready to move on and see patients in their own BodyLogicMD practice.
I love my position because I’m so passionate about preventive medicine. I believe that this new way of practicing medicine is crucial to the health and wellness of our society. I enjoy the interactions I have with my patients and especially when they tell me about how I have given them their life back. That is the most rewarding thing I can hear from a patient – this is the reason why we all became doctors. In my position as the CMO of BodyLogicMD, I am able to reach even more patients outside my practice through the doctors that I train and continue to educate.
[Anti Aging Source] Is there anything else going on at your practice or at bodylogicmd.com that my readers might feel is important or any great news coming out soon you can share with us?
Dr Jennifer Landa - We have just formed an alliance with a new health partner – Metametrix Labs. Through testing at Metametrix, our patients will be able to learn more than ever about what is going on inside of them. Everything from comprehensive gastrointestinal panels that look at what is happening inside the gut ( the gut is where 70% of the immune system is and is known as the 2nd brain, so the gut is very important) to panels that look for hidden, heavy metal toxicity that causes many symptoms and diseases.
Also, we have recently partnered with InBody, which makes one of the most advanced BIA (body impedence analysis) machines available. Many of the BodyLogicMD doctors will be adding this technology to their offices to be able to help better assess their patients’ amounts of body fat vs. lean muscle. This is very important because when patients lose weight, it is essential to be sure that they are losing fat, not muscle. This machine can help us to see that and we can also assess intracellular body water. When cells have more water in them, they are healthier and this is another measure we can look at with this new technology.
BodyLogicMD doctors are constantly on the lookout and stay up-to-date with the latest technology that we can find to help our patients to look and feel their absolute best.
If you’d like to learn more about my practice, or any of our other 40+ locations throughout the United States, visit the BodyLogicMD website.
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