Stay Physically and Mentally Healthy This Holiday Season

The holiday season is officially upon us. It’s an exciting time of year filled with fun, family, and delicious treats. But for some, the holidays can also be an overwhelming time of the year. The increase in business, change in regular routine, and increase in monthly spending can give rise to some stress. To keep the holiday blues at bay, here are a few tips on how to stay physically and mentally healthy this season. 

Stay Physically Active

This is easier said than done during the busy holiday season, but it’s important to do your best to maintain some semblance of routine, especially when it comes to physical activity. If you usually wake up every morning to go for a walk, practice yoga, or bike, then keep it up! Activity is a wonderful way to alleviate stress and keep you healthy by increasing serotonin (the feel-good hormone) throughout your brain and the rest of the body. Find out if your serotonin levels need a boost by visiting Exceed for a hormone evaluation. 

Get your family involved in the activities! After Thanksgiving dinner, take a family walk in your neighborhood and see the Christmas lights instead of turning the television on. This is a great way to connect with your family while getting some exercise. 

Maintain Healthy Habits 

You should feel at liberty to partake in the holiday treats! But make sure you balance the sugary foods with healthy choices. Pick your favorite treats and skip the ones that you can do without. If you know that you’ll be at a holiday dinner party, start your day with a breakfast smoothie, or have a healthy snack like carrots and hummus or an egg on whole wheat toast before you go. That way, you won’t be as tempted to overindulge in sugary foods. 

Healthy habits are not exclusive to your diet! Keep mentally fit by reading, praying, or meditating. Know your limits and feel free to politely decline if your schedule is becoming too crowded. If you do end up attending several holiday events and you’re feeling overwhelmed by the crowds, feel free to excuse yourself and walk around outside to take a few deep breaths.  

Create a Budget

Did you know that the average American spends about $1,000 dollars each year on holiday gifts? While everyone enjoys giving their loved ones thoughtful gifts throughout the season, this can quickly get expensive, especially with inflation taking a toll on most of us. It’s important to create a budget that fits your finances. Know what you can afford, write out your list, and designate the amounts that you can spend on each person. There are many ways to show your family and friends that you care without spending a significant amount of money. Handmade gifts like a knitted scarf, blanket, or photo album are meaningful and lasting. 

Cultivate Meaningful Relationships

Don’t take the extra time with loved ones for granted. Sometimes we can get caught up in the business of the season that we can forget to pause and enjoy being around our family and friends. The holidays offer the perfect opportunity to check in and create lasting memories. Take time to connect amidst the business and tell your family that you care about them. 


We hope that your holiday season is filled with joy, peace, and cherished memories. 

Connect with us online or give us a call at (901) 312-7899.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 5 Things you can do to Prevent Breast Cancer

October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month. It’s a time to remember those we’ve lost to the disease and support the courageous women and men who are currently fighting breast cancer. Unfortunately, breast cancer is familiar to many. According to the American Cancer Society, about 13% of women in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. Though it’s rare, men can also develop breast cancer through genetics, age, alcohol abuse, obesity, exposure to radiation, and other illnesses. Thankfully, there are several practices that you can implement into your daily routine to prevent breast cancer and live a healthy lifestyle.

Here are five things that you can do to prevent breast cancer.

1 – Self-Evaluation & Mammograms

It is recommended that women check themselves for breast cancer about once every month. This can be done from the privacy of your home and is a quick way to identify abnormalities in the breast tissue. To self-evaluate, stand in front of the mirror and look at the appearance of your breast. If there is any swelling, leakage, or noticeable lumps, schedule an appointment with your gynecologist as soon as possible. You can also examine yourself by lying down with one arm reached over your head. Use your other hand to apply pressure in a circular motion on your breast and underarm. Men are also encouraged to self-evaluate every once in a while, especially if there is a family history of breast cancer. For women 40 years and older, it is recommended that you visit the gynecologist every two years for a mammogram.

2 – Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is a great way to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Being overweight or obese increases the risk, as excess fat tissue in the body raises insulin levels. Having an unhealthy amount of insulin has been correlated with breast cancer. While it is not proven that avoiding weight gain decreases the risk of breast cancer, reducing extra weight will significantly improve your overall health and decrease your chances of developing other diseases.

3 – Exercise

Many studies have found that moderate to vigorous exercise is linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get at least 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Moderate to vigorous exercise can include a brisk walk or bike ride, yoga, or swimming. If vigorous sounds a little too intimidating or painful, plenty of tips are available to help you develop a pain-free exercise routine. The main point is that exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of many illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other types of cancer.

4 – Avoid tobacco

Though often associated with lung cancer, tobacco usage has a large impact on the chance of developing breast cancer. For some, tobacco abuse has also been shown to decrease the chances of survival after diagnosis. Smoking can also add complications from breast cancer treatment, including lung damage from radiation therapy, prolonged recovery after surgery, and a higher risk of blood clots from hormonal therapy medication. Refraining from smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke will help protect you from breast cancer and a myriad of other illnesses.

5 – Visit Exceed to talk about hormonal therapy and other ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Some breast cancers are spread by the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Cancer cells need these essential hormones to continue growing. Hormone therapy can be used to treat breast cancer by essentially starving cancer cells of the estrogen and progesterone they require. It’s important to discuss hormone therapy treatment with a medical professional to determine if it is right for you. Schedule an appointment at Exceed to get your hormone levels tested and speak with an expert in the field who can help you navigate this decision.

While the ultimate goal is for researchers to find a cure for breast cancer, there are several practices that we can implement into our daily lives to prevent cancer, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and be an active support for our friends and family. Connect with us online or give us a call at (901) 312-7899.

Best Practices to Manage Depression from Menopause

The beginning stages of Menopause (also known as perimenopause) are a life-altering experience for every woman. During menopause, the body’s hormones fluctuate at a rapid pace, and it can be overwhelming to navigate its various phases. Hormone shifts from menopause affect women’s mental health, mood, and overall quality of life. In some instances, menopause can even trigger depression. In a study conducted by Women’s Midlife Health, it was reported that about 28.7% of menopausal women met the criteria for depression.

Why do women experience menopausal depression?

During menopause, depression is caused largely due to the shake-up of the body’s hormones. The hormones that control a woman’s menstrual cycle have a significant impact on serotonin – a chemical responsible for the feeling of happiness. When hormone levels decrease, serotonin levels drop in the brain, which can lead to sadness, irritability, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease during menopause, which triggers mood swings and causes difficulty to cope with various situations. Thankfully, there are helpful practices to reduce depression and get you back to feeling yourself.

Best practices to manage menopausal depression

Get Support
The first thing to do is find support from a medical professional. Your doctor is your greatest resource and the best person to determine the proper course of action. Schedule a visit and let them know the symptoms you’re experiencing. 

Consider joining a support group with other women who are also experiencing depression from menopause. It may be helpful to surround yourself with others you can relate to and collaborate with. If support groups are not for you, that’s okay! Think about confiding in one close friend who you can connect with on a regular basis. It does our minds a world of good to talk through our struggles and receive encouragement from those we love and trust. No matter what you decide, remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. 

A Healthy Diet and Exercise
What we eat plays a pivotal role in our physical and mental health. Foods that are rich in micronutrients are excellent to add to your diet, as they provide you with the vitamins and minerals your body needs. While you don’t need large quantities of these nutrients, the small amounts you do consume are important to your overall health and well-being. Read more here about the foods you should add and subtract from your daily diet. 

Exercise is also critical when navigating through menopausal depression. When you exercise, your body releases “feel-good” hormones called endorphins that are responsible for boosting your mood and promoting mental health.

Here are a few endorphin-releasing exercises that you can choose from: 

  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Hiking
  • Pilates
  • Weight training

Find an exercise you enjoy and stick with it – your mental health will benefit from the exercise!

Keep Your Hobbies
During periods of depression, many people experience a lack of interest in things they once found enjoyable. Do your best to find hobbies that will keep your brain stimulated. 

Here are a few brain-stimulating activities: 

  • Reading is a great hobby to pick up if you have menopausal depression. People who experience depression often feel isolated and alone. Reading books (especially fiction) will allow you to temporarily escape and focus on another character’s life and experiences. Skip reading the daily news and focus on positive topics!
  • Memorization is also an excellent activity to keep your mind active and alleviate symptoms of depression. Choose your favorite poem or scripture and practice reciting it. When you have breaks throughout the day, you’ll find yourself reciting what you have memorized instead of focusing on situations that might affect your thoughts and mood. 
  • Get outside! Being outdoors has a positive correlation with our mental health. Find an outdoor activity that you enjoy and soak up some Vitamin D.

Some outdoor activities you can engage in:

  1. Take a walk with a friend or significant other
  2. Start a garden with your favorite fruits and vegetables
  3. Bike to your favorite cafe for a cup of coffee
  4. Go on a light jog in your neighborhood or on your favorite trail
  5. Hike in the mountains and take in the gorgeous views
  6. Drive out to the beach and enjoy a day watching the waves

No matter what activity you decide to do, keeping your brain stimulated will help boost your mood and keep you in a healthy state of mind.

Visit Exceed for a Hormone Evaluation
Understanding how your hormones communicate with the rest of your body is vital, especially during menopause. During this time, hormones can quickly take over and leave you feeling that you have no control over your body and emotions. We encourage you to schedule a visit at Exceed to get your hormones tested and determine what role they are playing in your menopausal depression. From there, our specialists can guide you through hormone management and get you feeling back in charge.

Depression from Menopause is difficult. Your body is going through major changes; it’s okay to take time to adjust to your new norm! It is important to show yourself patience and grace. Take deep breaths and remember that you are not alone. 

Schedule a visit at Exceed to get your hormone levels checked. Connect with us online or give us a call at (901) 312-7899.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Is it worth the hype (and taste)?

Even though people have been using apple cider vinegar (ACV) for centuries, in 2020, sales skyrocketed. Apple cider vinegar hit #5 on the list of top-selling herbal supplement ingredients in the mainstream market. Fans say it can cure nearly everything that ails you, from weight gain and digestive issues to skin woes and lowering blood sugar levels.

Some people consume their daily dose of ACV in capsules and gummies, while others drink it straight (despite its sour kick and strong smell). With further studies needed to support its uses as an alternative therapy, you may be wondering, what’s all the hype? And is ACV worth it?

This article looks at the potential benefits, side effects, and how to use apple cider vinegar.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a type of vinegar made by fermenting sugar from apples. The fermentation process turns them into acetic acid, the main ingredient in vinegar.

ACV’s main health benefits may be due to the amount of antioxidant polyphenols (or plant chemicals) it contains due to the fermentation process. But, it’s also rich in probiotics, which may benefit the digestive system and gut microbiome.

Apple cider vinegar contains an insignificant amount of calories per serving, almost no fat, carbohydrates, or protein, and no fiber. So, potential health benefits aside, it’s a great way to add flavor to your foods without adding calories or extra salt.

The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar benefits range from being an antibacterial disinfectant to curing many bodily ailments. We’ve listed below the top 3 reasons people turn to ACV and the credibility of its claims.

Aiding weight loss
As mentioned above, ACV is very friendly to any diet as it has no carbs, fat, protein, or fiber (and very few calories).

One randomized, clinical trial showed that ACV might help with weight loss. The participants drank 1 tablespoon of ACV with lunch and dinner, and they also ate a diet that was 250 calories less than their daily estimated requirements.

The people in the ACV group lost an average of 8.8 lbs over 12 weeks. While the participants who did not receive ACV only lost 5 lbs over the 12 week study period. The researchers also found that ACV decreased cholesterol levels.

Reducing cholesterol

High cholesterol is nothing to play with as it can increase your risk of a heart attack and stroke. Some evidence suggests that taking apple cider vinegar could help lower both total cholesterol and triglycerides for some people.

In the 12-week study, researchers found that participants who took ACV not only lost more weight than those who took a placebo, but they had lower triglycerides and total cholesterol.

They also had significantly raised levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Doctors sometimes refer to HDL cholesterol as “good cholesterol” because it can help lower the risk of heart problems.

Lowering blood sugar levels

High blood sugar levels can lead to a number of health problems. Some small studies suggest that consuming apple cider vinegar may help improve blood sugar control.

A review of several small clinical trials found that people who consumed apple cider vinegar for 8 to 12 weeks experienced small reductions in their blood sugar levels.

Please keep in mind that ACV won’t cure diabetes, and it shouldn’t take the place of any medications for diabetes.

The Bottom Line on Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been linked to certain health benefits, but we still need more research and evidence to support these claims.

Like any vitamin or supplement, ACV may have benefits, but it won’t replace a healthy lifestyle, so don’t give up your gym membership and remember healthy eating habits are key for your physical AND mental well-being!

Overall, ACV is generally safe when consumed in moderation – no more than 1 to 2 tablespoons daily. But, as with everything, there are potential downsides to taking ACV, including:

  • Tooth enamel erosion
  • Esophageal burns
  • Gastrointestinal distress and acid reflux
  • Worsened chronic kidney disease

The safest way to consume apple cider vinegar is to use it in small amounts in food and dressings.

You can also try mixing 1 teaspoon of vinegar with at least 8 ounces, or a glass, of water. Take it no more than twice a day. If you find the taste unpleasant, you may want to dilute it further.

Apple cider vinegar may interact with some medications, and we always recommend having a discussion with your doctor about anything you take, even if it’s something as natural as vinegar.


If you feel like you’ve lost your vitality, spark, or the drive that sustains you, Exceed Hormone Specialists is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your one-on-one consultation.

Yoga and Meditation Can Slow Aging: Here’s How to Get Started

It’s well known that yoga can help you improve flexibility, increase strength, and find mental clarity. But many people don’t know that yoga can also slow down and even reverse the harmful effects of accelerated aging and stress on the body and mind.

In a study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, researchers found that 12 weeks of yoga slowed cellular aging. The program consisted of 90 minutes of yoga that included physical postures, breathing, and meditation for five days a week over 12 weeks. 

Researchers measured biomarkers of cellular aging and stress before and after the 12-week yoga program and found that yoga slowed down markers of cellular aging and lowered measures of inflammation in the body.

How Yoga Slows the Aging Process

Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and people of all ages, gender, ethnicities, and body types can (and do) do it. Its accessibility, inclusivity, and effectiveness are what have made yoga remain in popularity.

The two core principles of yoga are strength and relaxation:

  • Yoga keeps you strong and limber
  • Yoga contributes to healthy joints
  • Yoga calms and trains your breathing
  • Yoga calms your mind

Strength and relaxation are the keys that will help you slow the aging process and potentially reverse muscle loss.

The Different Types of Yoga

There are many different types of yoga and all are beneficial. The type of yoga you choose will depend on your interests, abilities, and goals. 

  • Hatha yoga is slow moving and best for beginners.
  • Vinyasa yoga is considered the most athletic. The movement is coordinated with your breath and you flow from one pose to another.
  • Ashtanga yoga is a very physically demanding sequence of postures and designed for an experienced yogi.
  • Yin yoga is more meditative. It’s slow paced with seated postures that are held for longer periods of time.
  • Restorative yoga focuses on winding down from a long day and relaxing your mind.

There’s also power yoga for strength training, hot yoga for a sweaty, intense practice, and even prenatal yoga for expectant mothers!

As long as you go to yoga classes regularly and eat a balanced diet, you can know you’re doing your best to slow down the aging process for your health, mind, and muscles.

Yoga Classes for Anti-Aging

With yoga’s popularity, there’s really an endless number of ways you can get started: taking classes online in the comfort of your home, perusing a book before getting started, or joining a class in your community. Below are a few suggestions to help you on your wellness journey.

As with any physical regimen, we recommend consulting with your general practitioner first to evaluate your physical condition. Remember to ease into it and don’t hesitate to modify poses or use props like straps, blocks, walls, or chairs for additional support.

For readers

Yoga for Healthy Aging: A Guide to Lifelong Well-Being by Baxter Bell and Nina Zolotow

Authored by the cofounders of the Yoga for Healthy Aging blog, this book offers information about how yoga can help older adults improve their flexibility, strength, agility, balance, and more. It outlines a variety of safe, easy-to-follow sequences and includes multiple variations of each pose.

For practicing in the comfort of your home

Chair Yoga Stretch for Beginners, Seniors, and Everyone by SeniorShape Fitness

YouTube has a wide collection of yoga videos specifically for seniors. Here’s one by SeniorShape with Lauran, an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified fitness instructor with a specialization in senior fitness.

For joining in your local community

Super Seniors with Judy Pearson at Germantown United Methodist Church

Germantown United Methodist Church offers a variety of yoga classes at their Owings Life Enrichment Center on West Street. On Thursdays at 10:00am, they offer a yoga class specifically for seniors. You can call (901) 753-3100 to learn more.


If you feel like you’ve lost your vitality, spark, or the drive that sustains you, Exceed Hormone Specialists is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your one-on-one consultation.

How to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor in 10 Minutes a Day

Do you leak a little urine when you sneeze, laugh, or cough? Don’t worry, you’re in good company.

Pelvic floor dysfunction is common and can happen to anyone. In fact, it’s estimated that about 1 in 4 women experience pelvic floor disorders, and that number doubles by the time women are over 80 years old! 

Men, on the other hand, are less affected (only about 16% of men may suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction), but it can still happen to them too.

The good news? There are quick, at-home ways you can strengthen your pelvic floor and find relief from pain or discomfort. 

Of course, we always believe consulting with your gynecologist (or speaking with a pelvic floor therapist) is a good place to start. However, go ahead and keep reading to learn more about pelvic floor dysfunction and how you can strengthen yours in only 10 minutes a day!

What is the Pelvic Floor?

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and connective tissues located between the pubic bone and tailbone. In all people, the pelvic floor supports and stabilizes the pelvic organs, which include the bladder, urethra, intestines, and rectum. In women, the pelvic floor also consists of the uterus, cervix, and vagina.

What Does Your Pelvic Floor Do?

The pelvic floor is composed of several muscles that work together to support your bladder, urethra, rectum, anus, prostate, uterus, cervix, vagina, and intestines. It has many important jobs, including:

  • Squeezing and relaxing so you can control when you pee, poop or pass gas
  • Helping with blood flow and vaginal contractions during sex and orgasm
  • Supporting vaginal delivery during childbirth
  • Helping you get an erection and ejaculate during sex
  • Stabilizing your hips and trunk
  • As you can imagine, the strength and flexibility of your pelvic floor can affect not only your health but also your quality of life.

What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (and is it common)?

Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) is a broad term that describes any condition that affects the muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor. 

Pelvic floor dysfunction can occur with pregnancy, vaginal delivery, menopause, surgery, repeated heavy lifting, prolonged sitting, chronic coughing, constipation or diarrhea, excessive weight gain, or other conditions that create pressure on the abdomen.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Leaking stool or urine (incontinence)
  • Painful urination
  • Painful intercourse
  • Feeling pain in your lower back with no other cause.
  • Feeling ongoing pain in your pelvic region, genitals or rectum — with or without a bowel movement.
  • Prolapse (sagging) of the uterus or vagina
  • Rectal prolapse (sagging) for men

Benefits of Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor

Like any other muscle in your body, when your pelvic floor muscles are strong, they’ll be able to better support your pelvic floor organs. Plus, researchers have found that improved pelvic floor function improves quality of life. 

Here are some of the many benefits to strengthening your pelvic floor:

  • Improved bladder control
  • Reduced lower back pain
  • Improved sexual function
  • Increased core stability
  • Improved posture
  • Prevent prolapse as you age
  • Reduced risk of stress incontinence (when urine leaks out when you cough, sneeze or laugh) or overactive bladder (the need to go to the toilet frequently)
  • Better muscle tone in your bottom, hips, and thighs

Exercises You Can Do to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor in 10 Minutes Per Day

If you’re like most women, you’ve probably heard of Kegel exercises. You perform them by lifting and holding and then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles.

You can activate your pelvic floor anytime, anywhere. You don’t need equipment or a gym membership. But, the exercises can take a little time to learn properly, so we recommend setting aside some time each day in the privacy of your home to practice your pelvic floor exercises.

Kegels are safe, but we do recommend talking with your doctor if you’re having trouble doing these exercises, aren’t seeing results, or feel any discomfort. 

Also, it’s important to know that Kegels aren’t for everyone. If your muscles are already tight, then these exercises can do more harm than good. Please speak with your gynecologist or a pelvic floor therapist for evaluation and treatment.

This quick, 10-minute routine includes three different sets of exercises to help you strengthen your pelvic floor:

Basic Kegels
Position yourself comfortably, whether sitting or standing and be sure to maintain the normal inward curve of your lower spine. Identify and then activate your pelvic floor muscles with a lift and squeeze motion. Do 10 repetitions. Breathe normally and completely relax your pelvic muscles between each set.

The bridge exercise is great for your glutes, but can also help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Lie on the floor with your back flat against the ground and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Your feet should be flat on the floor and place your arms at your side, palms facing down. Pushing through your heels, raise your hips off the ground by squeezing your glutes, pelvic, floor, and hamstrings. Pause for a few seconds and return to the starting position. Do 10 repetitions. 

Bird Dog
Get on your hands and knees, positioning your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Ensure your back is as straight as possible. Brace your core muscles and draw your shoulder blades back down toward your hips.

At the same time, straighten and lift your left leg and right arm, keeping the rest of your body in a neutral position. Hold for a few seconds.

Lower your arm and leg back down to their original position. Repeat the move with the opposite extremities. Do 10 repetitions per leg.


Worried about your pelvic floor? If you feel you are suffering from PFD symptoms reach out to your gynecologist. This is becoming a common need and many gynecological practices have  Pelvic Floor Therapists in their offices for you to schedule with. We believe this type of education helps you get back to living fully again!

Yes, Menopause Can Affect Your Mental Health But You Can Improve it

Have you ever thought, “I feel crazy because I’m going through menopause. And that’s just how it goes.”

When going through menopause, you may start to believe your feelings of anxiety, sadness, irritability, and even constant fatigue is normal.

But that could not be further from the truth! More importantly, there are solutions for improving the symptoms you experience during perimenopause and menopause.

Today, we’re sharing tips for how you can improve your mental health during menopause.

Ways that menopause affects your mental health

If you’re going through menopause, you probably know hot flashes, weight gain, and low libido are all common symptoms, but did you know you can also experience mood changes? Here are a few examples:

Anxiety during menopause occurs when your body’s fight, flight, freeze, or fawn defense works continuously. When you start menopause, your estrogen levels decline and fluctuate, and your body produces less progesterone. These hormones influence the production of serotonin, which is a mood-regulating transmitter. Because of this, you could feel more worn out, frustrated, and anxious.

Because of the sudden hormonal changes associated with menopause, women are at a higher risk of depression. Falling levels of estrogen and progesterone can often trigger mood swings, and like with anxiety, hormones and serotonin are closely linked, so when hormone levels drop, so do serotonin levels, resulting in feelings of sadness or depression.

Stress isn’t uncommon amongst women during midlife, but it may worsen around menopause. Between hot flashes, poor sleep, weight gain, and vaginal dryness, it’s no surprise women might experience feelings of stress. Progesterone has a calming effect and a drop in the hormone could impact a body’s ability to reduce stress.

Mood swings
Rapid mood swings is also a common problem associated with menopause. One could move from sadness to happiness to anger and back again within a few hours. That can take a pretty big toll on mental health!

Lack of motivation
As menopause causes a hormonal imbalance in the body, levels of estrogen dip. This has an effect on those happiness hormones, dopamine, and serotonin. Women may find themselves feeling like they can’t be bothered to do the things they used to do – or climbing into bed more often.

There’s a lot to be irritable about when going through menopause, but those feelings can also be due to hormonal imbalance. When symptoms of perimenopause start, estrogen becomes the dominant hormone, which can lead to irritability and depression.

Brain fog
Struggling to concentrate? Feeling confused or forgetful? Estrogen and testosterone play an important role in memory and cognition. When these levels drop, your brain could feel fuzzy or cloudy.

How to improve your mental health (during perimenopause and menopause)

Seek support
First, seek the right support. Start with your general practitioner who may recommend treatment for perimenopause and menopause symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy comes in many forms: pellet implants, patches, tablets, and gels, and can stop hormone levels from fluctuating. This can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

At Exceed Hormone Specialists we offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in the form of pellet implants. Made from soy and yams, they are exactly the same molecular structure and perform exactly the same functions as your body’s own natural hormones. The body recognizes bio-identicals and uses them perfectly, restoring your natural hormone balance and revitalizing your life.

Make lifestyle changes
While some women may need medical intervention, it can be worth exploring if other factors are contributing to your anxiety and depression. Consider whether alcohol or caffeine is affecting your sleep, triggering hot flashes, or increasing your anxiety. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive affect on your mental health too.

You’re experiencing some big changes, both physically and emotionally. We recommend speaking to a mental health professional to help you navigate what you’re going through and the feelings that come along with it.


Would you like to get your hormone levels tested? Or have one of our specialists review previous test results? Connect with us online or give us a call (901) 312-7899.



Welcome to Exceed – Presley Pulse

You may recognize Presley from your recent visits to Exceed. Her cheerful and knowledgeable presence has brightened up patient visits since she joined us as a Registered Nurse in August of 2021.

Presley is most looking forward to educating patients about many of the lesser-known health benefits of hormone therapy.

Prior to her time with EHS, Presley worked extensively in urologic nursing and also has experience in intensive care and post-intensive care units. Traveling nursing is another part of her medical practice history.

Presley studied nursing at Northeast Mississippi Community College and graduated in 2015. She received her B.S in Nursing in 2021 and recently earned her Master’s in Nursing, both from Walden University. She completed her Nurse Practitioner and full-practice licensing as of March 2022.

When she’s not at work, Presley can be found spending time with her dog, Grayton, enjoying time with her family, or working out.

Please help us welcome Presley to the Exceed Hormone Specialists family next time you are in the office.


Is it your hormones or depression?

Are you struggling to focus on work? Don’t have the energy to get off the couch? Can’t shake the sadness?

These are all common signs of depression, and often, when you discuss symptoms with your doctor, you’ll walk out the door with an antidepressant. For some people, that’s what they’ll need to feel like themselves again.

But for others, antidepressants may not help.


Because you could have a hormonal imbalance that can lead to symptoms of depression. Here’s what you need to know to determine the path forward for you.

How hormonal imbalance affects your mental health

Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues and organs, working to affect many different processes, including:

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism
  • Sexual Function
  • Reproduction
  • Mood

Hormones are powerful. It only takes a tiny imbalance to cause a big change in your cells, body, and mind.

When your hormones are balanced, you feel energetic, sharp, and motivated. On the flip side, when you have a hormonal imbalance, you could experience symptoms often associated with mental illnesses, such as:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog
  • Low libido

Here are the common hormonal imbalances that can cause symptoms of depression

Your thyroid is a small gland located in your neck and is involved in the production of many neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and GABA—all of which are involved in mood regulation. It’s estimated around 12% of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime, and 60% of people with a thyroid problem are unaware of their condition.

In fact, thyroid dysfunction is directly linked to one-third of all depression.

Like your thyroid, estrogen also plays a role in the production of dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. Too much or too little can alter those levels, leading to feelings of depression.

Progesterone is also called the “relaxation” hormone because it has a calming effect when it’s produced at optimal levels. However, when it’s in low supply, it can lead to depression, as well as irritability, anxiety, sleepless nights, and brain fog.

Testosterone is found in both men and women and helps ward off depression, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. You may experience symptoms of depression or anxiety when you have low levels.

How to get your hormone levels tested

If you’re dealing with a hormone imbalance rather than a mental illness, antidepressants won’t get you back to feeling yourself again. You may jump from medication to medication wondering why nothing is working.

That’s why it’s important to visit a healthcare professional who can test your hormone levels as part of your evaluation. Your primary care physician (PCP) or OB GYN can do this for you. However, if your results come back within the “normal range”, we recommend having a hormone specialist compare your numbers within that range. 

A number on the higher or lower end of normal could be the reason you’re experiencing health issues but may not alarm your PCP to trigger a medication prescription.

The good news of falling in the high or low ranges of normal, though, is you can start treatment to avoid worsening symptoms or crossing into that threshold of abnormality.


Would you like to get your hormone levels tested? Or have one of our specialists review previous test results? Connect with us online or give us a call at (901) 312-7899.

Spring Allergy Remedies

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you’re no stranger to a runny nose, frequent sneezing, or congestion. It’s difficult to enjoy the spring weather when you’re tied to a tissue box all day. In fact, millions of people in the United States are doing just that. Fortunately, you can manage many of the symptoms from the comfort of your own home simply by adjusting your lifestyle.

Keep your home clean

This time of year, various factors — including trees, grass, pollen — can contribute to your experience with allergies. While it may seem counterintuitive, closing the windows and staying indoors won’t provide as much relief as you think. Circulation throughout your home is important, so the best way to keep the toxins away is to vacuum and dust regularly. Another easy tip is to remove your shoes when you get inside. You could unknowingly be bringing pesticides in with you. Leave a comfy pair of slippers by the door so you can easily change and keep the allergy triggers at the door, or better yet, outside.

Avoid quick fixes

Your body is likely releasing histamine as a reaction to various environmental triggers because it’s under the impression that they’re harmful. And while over-the-counter medications may suppress the symptoms today, they likely won’t provide long-term relief. Not to mention they can lead to side effects that are difficult to manage. What you can do is start your morning with a more natural approach. Many herbs can relieve allergy symptoms, so try incorporating some in your tea or smoothie.

Take care of your body

Did you know certain nutrients will help fight allergy symptoms? It’s not always easy to eat a balanced diet, so when you miss out on key vitamins, supplements are the way to go. But when possible, incorporate as much Vitamin D and Vitamin C into your day-to-day as they are key to helping you recover. Colorful foods like broccoli, strawberries, and lemons are a few things to add to your grocery list.

Ready to bring balance and vitality back into your life? Connect with us online or give us a call at 901-312-7899.