Moods, Emotions, and Aging by Phyllis Bronson PhD (book review)
by Jeffrey Dach MD
I first saw Phyllis Bronson PhD in 2007 at the podium of the Orthomolecular Medicine meeting in Toronto. She was a keynote speaker on Women’s Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement, and spent the hour discussing biochemistry of estradiol and progesterone, and their effects on mood, depression and brain function. One of the things she explained was how hormonal imbalance causes Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), and natural progesterone is the preferred treatment, rather than SSRI anti-depressant drugs. Applying this information to my own clinical practice of bioidentical hormone replacement, I found that Dr. Bronson was right about that, as well as many other things in her book.
Dr. Bronson has a PhD in biochemistry, so her approach is based on an understanding of biochemical pathways at the cellular level. I should mention that Dr Bronson was mentored by the late Abram Hoffer MD, the father of orthomolecular medicine. Of the many case studies reported in the book, a few were Dr. Hoffer’s psychiatric patients in which Dr Bronson provided assistance with the bioidentical hormone treatments.
Over many years, at her home base in Colorado, Dr Bronson has worked closely as a team member managing patient care in a busy bioidentical hormone practice dealing with women’s hormonal imbalance and associated emotional disturbance. The book contains the accumulated wisdom from these years of experience.
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Not only does Dr. Bronson discuss diagnosis of hormonal disorders and the proper use of bioidentical hormones to treat them, she also adds in a missing dimension, the use of nutritional supplements to benefit brain chemistry. Using her knowledge of biochemical pathways, she discusses the use of amino acid precursors such as tryptophan, tyrosine, and GABA to increase brain neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine with benefits for mood and emotional state. There is also the vast unknown area of women’s emotional and psychological states which are dealt with as well. The book contains many actual case studies illustrating how to approach diagnosis and treatment of pre and post menopausal women, with attention to insomnia, anxiety, loss of libido and other emotional disturbances. The book should be required reading for any physician or health care professional thinking of starting a bioidentical hormone practice.
The appendix of the book contains a nuts and bolts approach to prescribing the bioidentical hormones, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA, with recommended dosage schedules. Dr. Bronson’s book, Moods, Emotions, and Aging: Hormones and the Mind-Body Connectionis a gem and recommended for anyone interested in diagnosis and treatment of pre and post menopausal women’s hormone disorders. After reviewing many of these bioidentical hormone books, I can tell you this is one of the best, and most useful. I would predict that this book is destined to become a classic.
Above image book cover courtesy of Phyllis Bronson PhD
Jeffrey Dach MD
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