To Reverse Aging, Treat Cellulite, Start With Hormones
NEW YORK—In the late 1990s, Dr. Lionel Bissoon introduced to the United States a treatment method that eliminates cellulite and other pernicious fat deposits with tiny injections. Since then, his work has gotten the attention by media outlets such as the Rachel Ray Show, E! News, Fox News, and Good Morning America.
His practice, which is located on the Upper West Side and attracts clients from all over the world, does so much more than fix lumpy thighs. Using a variety of cutting-edge techniques, Bissoon adjusts his patients’ hormone balance for total wellness.
The hormones pumping through our veins play a huge role in our health and appearance. Their levels change with age, environmental exposure, and stress, and to function well, each person must maintain optimal levels and a good balance.
Bissoon, the resident specialist at Liondale Medical, uses various modalities to bring hormones back to youthful levels and help patients reverse the adverse effects of aging and restore physical and mental functioning.
“Hormones play a very important role in aging by increasing energy, focus, concentration, weight loss, sex drive, and sexual function, increasing cognition, improving skin appearance, improving mood and overall sense of well-being,” he said in an interview.
Clients come to Bissoon for a wide range of problems, from seemingly cosmetic blights like cellulite to seemingly psychological issues like lack of motivation at work.
To address these diverse concerns, Bissoon first seeks to understand patients’ hormone levels, blood composition, food allergies, sleep quality, and diet. Then he crafts individualized treatment plans that include diet and exercise recommendations to augment treatments.
Lately many of his patients have been 30- to 60-year-olds who work in demanding professions. Many of them are men on Wall Street who feel like they’ve lost their edge with age and can’t keep up mentally and physically. Others would like to optimize their personal functioning, look better, feel better—and prevent ungraceful aging.
“Aging is inevitable,” Bissoon said. “However, anti-aging in medicine is really about using current scientific and clinical information to perform aggressive prevention to slow down the impact of aging on the mind and body.”
Hormones and Cellulite
Bissoon is an osteopathic doctor. Osteopaths work with the musculoskeletal system and are trained to understand how bones, muscles, and connective tissues affect functioning of the whole person—mentally, emotionally, and physically. Bissoon adds the study of hormones to his outlook on integrated health.
He looks at the cellulite, those unsightly bumps just beneath the skin that tend to appear on women’s thighs and hips, as a hormonal issue. And while most people don’t consider them a health risk, Bissoon recognizes that self-consciousness caused by cellulite can take a huge emotional toll and prevent some women from pursuing social and physical activities they once enjoyed.
He also recognizes that the conventional methods of reducing cellulite—massage, topical creams, and exercise—have limited efficacy because cellulite occurs in a layer of fat that does not respond to exercise, he says.
An understanding of estrogen’s role is central to addressing cellulite, Bissoon says.
“You can’t separate the diet or the hormones out of it because the women who have cellulite tend to have estrogen dominance, and the more estrogen you have, the more fat you make,” Bissoon explains.
Women who have cellulite—and for that matter headaches, depression and anxiety, dry hair, bloating, weight gain, irritability, and breast tenderness—tend not to have enough progesterone to balance out the estrogen.
It’s possible for older women to be estrogen-deficient but still estrogen- dominant—too little estrogen and even less progesterone. Thus, rebalancing hormone levels can help solve a variety of related issues—not just the cellulite.
“You need a certain amount of estrogen to maintain healthy bones, to prevent heart disease, to maintain the integrity of the skin,” Bissoon said. “If women have too much estrogen, the fat cells get fat. Too much estrogen also gives you uterine fibroids, and in some cases breast cancer. So estrogen dominance is a bad thing.”
He also cautions women that tight elastic on panties—that cut off circulation in the skin, can prevent lymphatic drainage and cause dimpling across the buttocks.
As with any medical treatment, hormone therapy comes with a certain amount of risk.
Some studies suggest that hormone replacement therapy can contribute to heart disease, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.
Bissoon takes measures to lower this risk by calibrating the amount of bio-identical hormones to each patient’s level of deficiency, and prefers topical treatments rather than pills. Topical treatments deliver smaller doses to targeted locations and do not enter the bloodstream. He also requires that patients at Liondale have regular blood tests to screen for cancer.
Courtesy of Liondale Medical
Sally complained of slight weight gain, decreased focus, brain fog, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, and cellulite. After evaluating her and her lab results, Dr. Lionel Bissoon treated Sally with hormone replacements using estradiol and progesterone for menopause, topical testosterone for her libido, and intravaginal hyaluronic acid for dryness.
Estradiol is a type of estrogen responsible for maintaining the health of reproductive tissues like the walls of the vagina. It also protects bone mass, the brain, and maintains mood.
Testosterone, which naturally occurs in women, is responsible for libido and also helps maintain lean muscle mass. Aging women lose testosterone, which explains the weight gain as well as diminished sexual desire.
Hyaluronic acid is included in many skin-care products as a moisturizer. It is a substance naturally produced by the human body and helps repair the skin.
Within a month of treatments, all her symptoms had resolved, and she was able to shed her weight easily. Additionally, she was placed on an individualized nutrition program based on her lab studies. Then Bissoon treated her with 10 sessions of mesotherapy for the cellulite.
Mesotherapy involves injecting small doses of a fat-melting mix of homeopathic medications, traditional pharmaceuticals, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids directly into the areas of cellulite. Once the existing cellulite is gotten rid of, Sally’s nutrition plan and hormone replacement treatments should help her body defend against the return of such fat deposits.
Bob is a Wall Street executive who complained of decreased libido, difficulty obtaining and maintaining an erection, weight gain around the belly, fatigue, decreased focus and concentration, and lack of energy. Tests discovered that he had low testosterone, so Bissoon treated him with topical testosterone.
While topical testosterone must be used carefully to avoid physical transfer to women and children, it is highly effective because most of the enzymes that turn it into something the body can use are located near the skin. It is applied once or twice a day.
By boosting testosterone, Bissoon enhanced Bob’s ability to burn fat and keep it off. In the same stroke, Bob’s energy levels and mental concentration were enhanced. The results are maintained by good exercise and eating habits.
Bissoon also recommended an exercise program, a customized diet without caloric restrictions for weight loss.
Weight gain can lead to erectile dysfunction by impeding blood flow. Furthermore, the less testosterone a man has, the more likely he is to gain weight, and vice versa. That’s because testosterone plays a role in maintaining metabolism, muscle mass, and mental focus and memory.
Within six weeks, Bob felt he was back to himself with improvements in the quality of his life, and he had lost 10 pounds.
Dr. Lionel Bissoon’s Tool Bag
Bissoon introduced mesotherapy to the United States in the late 1990s. Mesotherapy is the injection of microscopic quantities of homeopathic medications, traditional pharmaceuticals, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids into the skin. Because they are injected at the site of the problem, medicine can reach where it needs to and in the right dosage.
A mix of fat-melting medicines can be used to treat cellulite and to target weigh-loss areas. Traditionally, in France, where the practice of mesotherapy began, it is used in sports medicine to treat pain.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Using an individualized approach, Bissoon begins with laboratory tests to gauge hormone levels. He prescribes a precise dosage of estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and in some cases, human growth hormone. Liondale uses bio-identical hormones because they are identical to the molecular structure of ones produced by the body.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy improves function for people with joint and cartilage injuries that cause common aging complaints like hip and joint pain. The human body naturally contains millions of adult stem cells, which are found in fat, bones, and other tissues. The stem cells are collected and injected within 30 to 60 minutes of harvest into the site of the injury, a procedure that is FDA-approved.
Ultherapy, Botox, Juvaderm
Ultherapy is new, non-surgical lifting procedure that uses ultrasound technology to gradually strengthen and tone the skin from deep within. This procedure can be done in an hour and works by stimulating the creation of collagen, a natural protein that gives skin its youthfulness by keeping it firmed, toned, and elastic.
Injectable Weight Loss
Weight gain is linked to hormone levels changing as we age—less of the hormones that help burn fat and more of the ones that keep it on. Liondale offers an FDA-approved medication that is used off-label to treat weight loss. The program requires daily injections.
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