I have probably sent more than one hundred people to Dr. Galitzer, and without exception everyone loves him. A girlfriend who was on a series at the same time I was starring in Three’s Company has chronic medical problems and she finally found relief through Dr. Galitzer. He found that everything troubling her medically was hormonally driven. Dr. Galitzer believes in natural BioIdentical hormone replacement; he believes in approaching health holistically, using the best of Eastern, Western, and holistic medicine. Dr. Galitzer’s enthusiasm is catching. He takes the mystery out of aging. Through instruction, and working together as patient and doctor, the second half of life becomes the enjoyable passage it was designed to be. You will enjoy what he has to say.
Dr. Michael Galitzer: Anti-aging is about maximizing energy. I would equate lack of energy with accelerated aging and maximizing energy with slowing down the aging process. If I had to assess someone quickly, more than blood tests, I would tell them optimize your nutrition and optimize your emotional state. By doing those things, you will ultimately optimize your energy and feel younger.
Suzanne Somers: I believe natural BioIdentical hormones are the fountain of youth we’ve all been looking for. What importance do you place on hormones relative to aging?
Dr. Michael Galitzer: When patients come to me and complain about lethargy, that they just don’t have the same energy or the same sex drive, I try to explain it to them from a hormonal point of view, because I think that puts everything into perspective. The key hormones to start to work on are the adrenals; they sit on top of the kidneys and are most affected by stress.
Suzanne Somers: Stress blunts hormone production, so you would first check the adrenals and then the sex hormones?
Dr. Michael Galitzer: Right. In the body the adrenals represent survival, whereas the sex hormones—progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone—basically represent reproduction. To the body, survival is always more important than reproduction. So the body will do whatever it takes to maximize adrenal hormone output and survival. With that in mind, the body will convert the sex hormones into adrenal hormones to maintain survival at any cost, which is why when you are stressed and tired, your sex drive goes down. So you really can’t go straight to the progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen before you look at the adrenals. You’ve got to maximize the adrenal.
Suzanne Somers: How do you do that?
Dr. Michael Galitzer: There are lots of ways these days that you can evaluate adrenals—with a blood test, with saliva, or with something called heart rate variability.
Suzanne Somers: What is heart rate variability?
Dr. Michael Galitzer: Essentially, the more variable your heart, the more each beat is slightly different in length from the preceding beat, the greater the variability, the healthier the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic is the subconscious nervous system, the autopilot of the body that controls things we don’t have to think of, like blood pressure, pulse, and breathing. When you do a good history, you find out that people with weak adrenals get tired around four o’clock in the afternoon. They sometimes get a little dizzy when they stand up, and they also might crave sweets. Most people have weak adrenals, and in some people it is more important than in others.
Suzanne Somers: That’s interesting. I was experiencing dizziness for a period of time when I got out of bed in the morning. My doctor had me go to an ear, nose, and throat specialist, but at the same time he said my adrenals were blown out and gave me supplements to rectify the matter. I thought the ENT doctor made the dizziness go away, but now I am realizing that it must have been the adrenal supplements.
Dr. Michael Galitzer: Right, there is something new called metabolic typing. There are four basic metabolic types: the slow oxidizer, the fast oxidizer, the parasympathetic dominant, and the sympathetic dominant. What this basically says is that there is one system that helps maximize energy in each person. So if you are a parasympathetic dominant, your adrenals are the key system. If you are a sympathetic dominant, your thyroid is your key system. If you are a slow oxidizer, it is your pancreas.
Suzanne Somers: I think you will have to explain that one.
Dr. Michael Galitzer: Okay, say you are a parasympathetic dominant, which means your adrenals are key for maximizing energy and processing energy in your body. If you have weak adrenals you are in big trouble, because basically that is your key system and your key system is out. This happens in pregnancy. For example, when a woman is pregnant and she is stressed in, say, the sixth month, she will start converting her own progesterone (of which she is making lots of during pregnancy) to the adrenal hormones. In month seven, the baby’s adrenals kick in, and the woman starts stealing from the baby’s adrenals; so the baby’s adrenals start revving up to supply the excess adrenal hormones that she needs. Then at birth they cut the cord, so the lady loses her fix and suddenly goes into postpartum depression. The child may then become hyperactive and get colic and all those other things. It is part of the process.
Suzanne Somers: Tell me about cortisol.
Dr. Michael Galitzer: Cortisol and DHEA are the two hormones made by the adrenals. Initially when you are stressed, cortisol levels go up, and if you are the kind of person who takes stress home, you take that stress back to the family and have a hard time sleeping. The reason you have a hard time sleeping is that cortisol levels are very high at midnight, and that turns off melatonin and also turns off growth hormones. Growth hormone is secreted in the first two hours of sleep, which really allows for the physiological regeneration in the first half of your sleep. If your cortisol levels are high at midnight, you are not going to sleep very well, and you will wake up not feeling well, so it’s important to get the adrenals under control because so much is affected by them.
Suzanne Somers: Yet because of a lack of understanding, most people in this situation would be prescribed sleeping pills when, in fact, they might have an endocrinological problem having to do with the hormone cortisol.
Dr. Michael Galitzer: Yes, but more important, we have to look at the adrenals first. The adrenal cortex, which is the outer part of the gland, makes cortisol and DHEA. If a person has already gone into first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree stress (massive stress being fourth-degree), when the next stressor comes on, there is no third-degree cortisol or DHEA to be released because the adrenals are shot. So what does the body do? It goes to the adrenaline. The adrenaline is not where you want to be. The body does not have enzymes to break down the adrenaline. Adrenaline is your last-ditch effort. This can cause people to get very anxious and feel palpitations. Adrenaline also has a real affinity for the joints, so people will have weakness or stiffness in their joints, all triggered by blown-out adrenals.
Suzanne Somers: Women are confused about menopause and they don’t know where to go. There are conflicting reports on HRT, but all the studies are done on synthetic hormones. How are you taking care of menopausal women?
Dr. Michael Galitzer: First of all, very tenderly. But it is science, and I get to work finding out all that I can about her history. When a menopausal woman comes to me, I take it that her progesterone and estrogen are not very high, so I do a complete hormone check, but I would also like to know the status of her adrenals. The other thing I do is a BTA—blood, urine, and saliva. We look for pH and redux; most people have acidic tissue, which is reflected in an alkaline blood pH. So the higher the pH is over 7.35, the more acidic the tissues are. I usually see 7.55, 7.58, 7.60, which generally represents an enormously acidic body. What occurs is that the liver is out to lunch. The liver is the major cleansing organ of the body. The danger with an acidic body is osteoporosis. When the tissues become acidic and the body has to neutralize acidity, it steals calcium and magnesium from the bone, which is the greatest reservoir to neutralize cellular acidity. So if you have an acidic body with a liver that is not working as efficiently as possible and estrogen starts to accumulate in the body, you have a woman who is set up for estrogen dominance. Normally people are acidic because of a very sluggish liver, or a poorly functioning lymph system, or it could be they are not drinking enough water. Many of the foods we eat are full of estrogen, pesticides, and insecticides. And let’s not forget those mercury-silver dental fillings.
Suzanne Somers: What would mercury fillings have to do with a woman in menopause?
Dr. Michael Galitzer: The mercury behaves as estrogen in the body, so you get a kind of setup where you have a sluggish liver and an estrogen level that’s too high relative to progesterone. Mercury is one of the biggest problems. The older the fillings the more they leak, and they leak to a certain threshold point over years, and that is when symptoms occur. The mercury the dentist puts in your teeth must be put away in a special container that says “Poison” on it. That should tell you something. Root canals are in a different category and one of the few areas in medicine where dead tissue is retained within the body. You can cut out a person’s gallbladder or appendix, but with a root canal, the nerve root is dead but there are so many tiny canals in one single nerve root that it is almost impossible to keep all the canals completely free from infection. So the thinking is that some of these canals are still infected and the infection is able to seep through the bloodstream to other areas. Plus, each tooth is connected to an organ, if you are using the meridian system. So frequently a root canal tooth—say, the upper molar—would connect to the stomach meridian, which connects to the thyroid and the breast. Are you still following me?
Suzanne Somers: Yes, and I am fascinated.
Dr. Michael Galitzer: Progesterone usually sinks first in a woman. It can start at age thirty-five. So if you have a person in her forties with not enough progesterone, who is affected by the toxic environment and has mercury fillings, plus too much estrogen, and if the woman is overweight at this point (fat cells make estrogen), what happens is estrogen dominance, which I think is the major player in both breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Suzanne Somers: But innovative integrated anti-aging is more than a medical workup, isn’t it? New medicine treats body, mind, and spirit.
Dr. Michael Galitzer: You are right. So when a woman comes to me, I do testing, but I also ask many questions such as, Do you drink coffee, alcohol, Coke, tea? Do you eat pork, bacon, ham, breakfast sausage? Do you smoke cigarettes? What kinds of medication are you on? Do you ingest sweeteners like Sweet ‘N Low or Equal? Do you eat lots of fruits, do you eat lots of vegetables? Do you eat a lot of sugar, and do you crave salt? Do you have PMS, do you exercise, do you drink enough water, and do you take supplements? Do you have any root canals, and do you have silver fillings?
Then I go a little deeper: Do you meditate? How is your relationship with your significant other? Do you like your work? What is your purpose in life? Why are you on planet Earth? Do you feel connected to God or a higher power? What is your support system like with family and friends? Are you having enough fun in your life? What we put into our bodies, what we think, how we live our lives, the relationships we have, all have a major effect on our health. When someone says to me, “I am not happy in my life,” I try to find out what makes her or him happy. What turns you on, what excites you? If I had to look at it, I would say the three major areas are to be happy, to be of service, and to experience who you really are. Certain people may have a different order of what is most important, but the big question is, where does one find joy? I think most people don’t really realize that the main purpose in their life is to be happy.
Suzanne Somers: If this person has not been able to find joy in her life, do you recommend counseling?
Dr. Michael Galitzer: Yes, we have so many wonderful tools at hand today. Therapy can turn people’s lives around. The people who are not happy are really not clear about their purpose. I think you have to look at whom you are spending your time with. Most people spend time with their significant other or with the people at work. If both of these are not working, I think it’s going to be pretty hard for a person who isn’t that conscious to get out. Anti-aging medicine is full-service to mind, body, and spirit. I don’t think you can slowdown the aging process if you are not balanced emotionally. When these questions are answered, I am better equipped to treat this person because I have all the information. Joy in one’s life is nature’s best healing antidote. Today we can work together as doctor and patient for maximum results. We are living longer than ever before, and the second half, as you call it, can be the best if we appreciate and value the incredible machine we have been given to house our mind and spirit. But it all works together and cannot be discounted as irrelevant.
Suzanne Somers: What are your feelings about natural BioIdentical hormones?
Dr. Michael Galitzer: I think natural BioIdentical hormones are essential. I think they are essential in creating longevity and slowing the aging process. Obviously reducing toxins and reducing tissue acidity are also important, but the endocrine or hormonal system is the one that most connects with how we feel. The hormonal system is what most correlates to the emotional person; it is not the liver or the kidneys. Basically, the hormonal system is most affected by our emotional state, and it is clear that the hormonal system responds to our outlook on the world.
Suzanne Somers: Wonderful information. Thank you so much.
Dr. Michael Galitzer: My pleasure.