Health Visionary

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If you were in a consultation with Dr. Kruger, the primary question she might ask is where you would like to be in 25 years. Visualizing the answer to that question could help you make the right choices to ensure that you get there in good health.

Emma Kruger, M.D., has a background in otolaryngology, a medical specialty that treats disorders of the ear, nose, and throat (ENT). When Suzanne Somers asked Dr. Kruger whether it was the proximity of the brain to the ears, nose, and throat and its involvement in human aging that piqued her interest in anti-aging medicine, the doctor replied that it was actually the involvement of ENT physicians in aesthetic surgery that led to her current interest. In addition, older patients experiencing hearing loss had questions about the benefit of hormone therapy or vitamin D on their condition. Dr. Kruger found “lots of connections” between the things otolaryngologists encounter and those related to integrative or functional medicine.

The majority of patients who visit Dr. Kruger are women seeking hormone replacement therapy. Although men, too, experience the adverse effects of declining hormone levels that occur with aging, for women, the symptoms are often more sudden and distressing, driving them to seek treatment sooner. Suzanne Somers’ books, which document the author’s search for and experience with effective anti-aging therapies, have led many women to Dr. Kruger’s medical practice.

“It’s a dance that I do with doctors such as yourself,” Suzanne Somers notes. “If I can put it in a book and understand it as a lay person, I can’t work without you. I need a doctor such as yourself who then can implement this new kind of medicine and not mock it. Because the whole new way is more than just replacing hormones, right?”

“It’s really an approach to the whole person,” Dr. Kruger agreed. “Nutrition, toxins — toxins are a huge problem. I have your book, by the way,” she notes, pointing to Suzanne Somers’ latest release, TOX-SICK:  From Toxic to Not Sick.

Dr. Kruger believes that the gut is probably the first thing to address in a patient, observing that the gastrointestinal (GI) system is one of the most abused. Once those issues are resolved, aspects of the hormonal system may improve. She estimates that 70% of the women who visit her office have gastrointestinal complaints. It’s dramatic how much more their energy levels, mental clarity, hair, skin, and other factors improve once gut issues are treated.

The GI system is the source of what nurtures the skin from the inside out. Skin needs protein and other nutrients to support collagen production. When absorption of nutrients is impaired, skin and hair can be affected. A healthy level of probiotics in the gut supports optimal function. 

Although Suzanne Somers has her own line of skin care products, she notes that while people can apply topical treatments “all day long,” if we don’t clear up what’s going on the gut, the skin is not going to get better.

Stress is another internal factor that can show up in the skin and hair. Cortisol elevations caused by stress and other hormonal fluctuations can drastically impact hair and contribute to hair loss. Hair, like skin, can be an indicator of general health. It’s a reflection of the GI system, the hormonal system, overall nutrition, well-being, and lifestyle. Hair takes a long time to grow and requires long-term nurturing. The hair carries our history, in a sense, since an event that happened a year ago can be reflected in the way our hair appears today. Thyroid hormone and testosterone/estrogen imbalances can also cause people to lose hair. Dr. Kruger notes that it’s amazing what a small amount of topical estrogen applied to the scalp can do for hair loss.  Managing inflammation and limiting toxin exposure from some hair and skin products are also important.

Blood testing can reveal many factors, including hormones, that are reflected in unhealthy hair. Iodine supplementation is recommended when the thyroid gland is found to be slightly sluggish in order to boost its natural production of hormones. Protein is another important nutrient and equally important is how well it’s absorbed. Look for a clean source of protein as opposed to protein derived from animals treated with antibiotics.

Suzanne Somers finds the state of our food system alarming. She believes that pesticides in our environment play a big role in what’s going wrong with people’s GI tracts. She considers her breast cancer diagnosis ten years ago a gift that led her to discover what she now knows about aging without illness.

Dr. Kruger agrees that aging without illness is important now more than ever since significantly more people on the planet are living to an advanced age. People who are 50 to 60 years old now need to realize that they may have another 50 to 60 years ahead of them and ask themselves what those years will be like. The answer may motivate them to take positive steps regarding their nutrition, exercise levels, and other lifestyle factors. The prospect of a longer life span is something that should shake us up. Are we going to be walking on the beach or sitting in a wheelchair?

Dr. Kruger advises her patients to visualize how they want their health to be in 1, 5, 10, and 25 years and write it down. The process will stimulate a deeper look at one’s lifestyle.

A component of Dr. Kruger’s treatment is intravenous (IV) nutritional therapy, which she has undergone personally. Vitamins are not just antioxidants but provide other benefits when administered in the high doses that IV therapy delivers. Intravenous vitamin administration is especially helpful for individuals who have issues with digestion and absorption, those who are underweight, athletes, people fighting common colds, and cancer patients.

Asked by Suzanne Somers if she agrees “health is everything,” Dr. Kruger replied that it’s definitely a prerequisite to happiness. Even though some people manage to be happy despite their health being compromised, it’s much easier to be happy when we are in good health.

To learn more about Dr. Emma Kruger in Baton Rouge, LA - visit her Forever Health profile

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