Interviewed By: Natalie Friberg | Photography By: Steve Ragland | MUA: Magen Grays
Dr. Gail Jackson has played a special role in the lives of countless women for over two-decades. Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and on staff at prestigious Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Jackson spent over twenty-five years delivering women’s children into our world. As her practice grew however, she sensed there was more that could be done. She couldn’t have been more correct. Now, Dr. Jackson specializes in keeping women over 40 fabulous and healthy. We sat down with the doctor for an inside look at the amazing benefits bio-identical hormones have on any woman (and their partners!).
Q: Tell us about your background in medicine, and how you transitioned into your current practice of bio-identical hormone balancing?
GJ: As a board certified physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology I’ve been practicing my specialty for over 25 years on staff at the Cedar-Sinai Medical Center. Approximately 15 years ago I transitioned into bio-identical hormone balancing utilizing pellet therapy and offering all modalities required to keep a woman over 40 fabulous!
My area of focus in my practice evolved as my patient’s needs changed. I delivered their babies, handled their gynecological needs and now I am balancing their hormones and managing their menopausal needs. Most of my patients have been with me for 20-25 years… This is an honor and a huge compliment to me.
As I researched options for relief of peri-menopausal and menopausal therapy, I realized there was nothing available in the traditional medical industry that was safe and effective, and a convenient way of hormone balancing for women to find relief. The discipline of integrated medicine is where I found the answers and solutions I was seeking.
Q: What type of hormone therapy do you offer, and what is the overall experience like for patients?
GJ: Our practice offers bio-identical hormones, specifically in the form of pellets. There are many practitioners that offer pills, creams and patches, but few offer pellets. There are a few reasons why I feel pellets are the superior delivery system. This is the reason we offer them exclusively.
First, they are safer because they are administered directly underneath your skin, and less hormone can be given to get great results. They are inserted painlessly underneath your skin where they slowly release directly into your blood stream. Because they are administered directly, they travel quickly to target the organ, bypassing the liver and stomach. Initially, you see results a day and a half up to two weeks after the insertion procedure and the effects last 4-6 months.
Secondly, the pellets are far more convenient. An office visit 2-3 times per year will keep a woman happily balanced. No more frequent visits to the pharmacy and no multi-day regimen of pills and creams. Many women come to us who have tried compounded pills and creams and just didn’t achieve the desired results they were looking for. Lastly, the pellet process costs less than traditional compounded pills and creams.
It is important to note that the process is completely customized and individualized. When a woman comes in, we listen to what her symptoms are and we find out what her goals are and what she’s looking to achieve. Her baseline bloodwork is obtained. We then determine what the best dosage is. The entire process is individualized among all women because every woman is unique and as her needs change, we then adjust the dosage for her. Our goal is to craft the balancing to meet her needs.
Q: What symptoms would a woman be experiencing when they know it’s time for hormone therapy?
GJ: Women come storming into our office as they begin to experience hot flashes and night sweats. Additional symptoms including dry skin and vagina are suggestive of estrogen deficiency. Starting at the age of 42, women start having vague, annoying symptoms that are suggestive of testosterone imbalance. A few to note are irritability, mood swings, low libido, weight gain, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, memory lapses, brain fog, and most importantly difficulty maintaining those curves and losing weight. Since hormone imbalance begins in the early 40’s this is exactly the time when a woman needs to consider obtaining her blood levels and begin balancing her hormones.
Q: Bio-hormone therapies have become more widely recognized and accepted by the general population within the last decade. What stigmas may still exist that need to be clarified?
GJ: The pharmacies that prepare bio-identical hormones and compounded bio-identical hormones are under strict governmental regulation and control. They are not an independent unlicensed entity. Bio-identical hormones DO NOT increase a woman’s risk of breast or any female cancers.
Many think if you do not have hot flashes, balancing is not needed. However, there are long term protective benefits of hormone balancing, most importantly prevention of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and supporting the skeletal system, the heart, bladder and vagina.
Q: What type of environment will a new client experience when they come to your offices?
GJ: We offer a very nurturing and supportive confidential environment to our clients. We listen and we hug! Our hours are convenient and we are available before and after hours as needed.
Q: Could you share a few examples of what successful treatment looks and feels like?
GJ: Our focus is to offer women everything she needs to perform her best! Many of our clients are women who are constantly in front of the room, camera or in the C-suite. It’s important that they keep their minds sharp, to stay fit and lead a healthy lifestyle. This is the most productive time in her life and we offer her everything to keep her performing extraordinarily.
Q: As a physician with a demanding schedule, what do you find is most important for the ladies you take care of?
GJ: Most women have a busy lifestyle. They cannot and do not desire a lot of appointments, high maintenance and expensive products and services. Our clients need it easy, safe, affordable and effective, and this is what I’m dedicated to providing for our community. It’s exciting and I truly enjoy it.
For more information on Dr. Gail Jackson and the services she provides, contact (310) 451-2300 or visit www.drgailjackson.com.