Making the Decision to Come to the HAPPY HORMONE COTTAGE

   We recently had a gal drive in from Missouri to our Happy Hormone Cottage at our new Integrative Hormone Center in Centerville, Ohio. We understand that she could go anywhere and probably NOT get her needs met. She could go to any ob gyn and be told a plethora of different things. We have heard it all! She could be offered different “strategies” and medications, have her head filled with untruths and misinformation from uninformed doctors who, although wonderful people, have had approximately 4 hours of hormone education in medical school…none of whom would find and fix the root cause of her issues. Even worse, she could go to any hormone center and be offered pellets because they are a darn good money maker. But our HHC? We began in August of 2009 in an 1800s cottage built by Abraham Lincoln’s cousin, Nathan. I had no template, no business plan, very little electricity (!), no running water….just the authentic desire to help women by educating them on their body for their best health naturally.  I got my employees organically as they were my satisfied clients, and we grew organically. Our tiny cottage exploded over the past 9 years to 5 HHC’s in 3 different states and from an educational facility to a medical facility that grew into a women’s AND a men’s health center. We recently (July 2018) bought our own building to house our IHC (Integrative Hormone Center) & Pharmacy that includes our HHC, our men’s health center now called “IHC for Men” and our compounding lab to become a “one stop Shoppe” still with 2 satellite HHCs in Mason and in Vandalia. We have done this IN SPITE of losing a lot of money in 2015 when Express Scripts sent us a letter informing us that they would no longer cover compounded therapy. Many compounding labs and independent pharmacies have closed. Jeff laid off almost his entire compounding staff and just kept going, working 18 hour days to stay open so we could continue to serve our community.  In addition to this, he went back to school to get his Advanced Fellowship in Functional Medicine BECAUSE we could find NO Other Doctor to help our men and our women. So WE did it. At great personal sacrifice. So when someone travels in to our Happy Hormone Cottage or our new IHC, she has no idea what we have been through to get where we are. I have come to understand and believe that it is truly a privilege to work with us. We don’t waste our clients’ money using harmful pellet “therapy.” We don’t spout untruths from medical school funded by big pharma. We tell her the truth based on studies and books from the past 20+ years. We help her to the very best of our ability with integrity and care. We take her journey personally and lose sleep over her if she struggles. We discuss her at home and personally connect with her….even on a Saturday or Sunday. We do not quit on her or fail her. Every client we have matters to us and we walk our talk every single day. THIS is WHY women are making the informed decision to become a client of the Happy Hormone Cottage. 

What Makes My Happy Hormone Cottage Unique

This morning I received a nice message from a gal who flew in from California yesterday with her husband to our Integrative Hormone Center and Pharmacy in Centerville, Ohio-  home of my original Happy Hormone Cottage, established 9 years ago:
 
“Dear Lyn,
       I just wanted to say thank you to you and Jeff for taking such good care of my husband and me yesterday. We are headed back to California all ready to get back on track. I just love your love for helping others. You are much appreciated!” 
 
   This got me thinking about all of the other hormone centers out there and what sets us apart? Why would someone fly over 2000 miles to see us? What makes us different? How are we unique? I came up with these TOP TEN reasons:
1. We are family owned. So IT’S PERSONAL! 
 
2. We have a unique cutting-edge dried urine strip testing for our women that tells us HOW our hormones are working inside our bodies. This information is way more valuable that just getting a number provided by a blood test. 
 
3. For our thyroid clients,  we have a 10 point blood panel AND a thyroflex machine to identify HOW our thyroid is working at the tissue level of cells where 85% of our thyroid resides. Our thyroflex machine also titrates dosing. All of this means that our thyroid clients actually feel better. 
 
4. We have a successful Hashimoto’s Protocol. We find and fix the root cause of this auto-immune disease.  
 
5. Jeff RPh, FAARM,  has created his own propriety adrenal support supplement….actually 2 Adrenal support supplements, to heal our exhausted and stressed adrenal glands.
 
6. We have our own compounding lab onsite to make your individualized therapy.
 
7. This makes us a 1-stop Shop! 
 
8. Because Jeff is a pharmacist, a compounding pharmacist, AND also has an Advanced Fellowship in Functional Medicine, this means he took an entire year in pharmacy school of “PharmacoKinetics.”  This means he understands dosing and the most effective delivery system for our bodies. 
 
9. We are affordable and the least expensive hormone facility around. We hear this time and again. 
 
10. We are the only hormone center around that does not believe in or endorse the use of pellets. Pellets are a good money maker for the doctor and for the pellet manufacturer. They offer a world of hurt for the recipient. As the founder of my Happy Hormone Cottage, I want your best health for your lifetime. Each client matters to me. Most of all, my Integrity matters to me. At the end of the day, I know Jeff and I have done our very best to find and fix the root cause of existing hormone issues for the WELLNESS of each client. We want our clients for life. So using a therapy to make money knowing it can cause damage simply is not on our radar. 
   In summary, EVERYTHING WE DO IS ALL ABOUT YOU. 

I NEED YOUR HELP!

Lyn,
    I found you online and I feel like I found the gold at the end of the rainbow! I have a few questions I’d like to ask you. I am 50 years old and had to have a hysterectomy ten years ago. At that time they left the ovaries, but I know from years of infertility treatment that one of them did not work at all, I believe that the other one must have dried up due to all of the problems I am having now. (if that is possible) The doctor put  me on oral estradial and I took it for 3 years. I was unable to continue to afford it and stopped taking it. A few years later my mother and aunt were both diagnosed with breast cancer. So  not only will the doctor not prescribe it, but I’m afraid of even BHRT causing breast cancer.
   I am at the point of complete physical and mental exhaustion. I can’t sleep, have horrible hot flashes, and must keep a fan on me at all times or I sweat terribly. I mean exhaustion in the sense that I don’t have energy to function to do daily things that need to be done. Cranky, is not the half of it. I have absolutely no sex drive at all. Even my skin is so dry that it looks like wrinkled paper. My doctor ran a blood panel and keeps telling me year after year, I am fine. Nothing is wrong with me. I know that it is!
1. I live in Texas and wonder how I could possibly get tested through HHC? If I understand right, there is a mail order test but I’m not sure how to get to you for consultation.

2. Do you have doctors who work with you there that I could go to that would write a prescribtion for the BHRT? The doctors here are not very cooperative. My doctor thinks I am crazy for coming year after year with the same problems. “It’s because you are getting older he says.” I would be willing to save money to travel there if I could get help.

3. What are the studies on BHRT causing or increasing breast cancer?

Thanks so much,
Fran in Texas

My response:
Hi Fran,

   Thank you for your email. I’m happy you are asking for what you need. Yes, we can help you but your first step is to educate yourself so you know the truth about hormone balance. Our standard of care doctors have told me that they have received about 4 hours of hormone health in medical school so it is no wonder most don’t understand the cause and treatment of hormone issues. Hormone imbalance is an aging issue, so everyone- especially over age 35- will deal with hormone imbalance issues during their lifetime. Finding and fixing the cause of our hormone imbalance is what we do. 
  Your first step is to log onto my website at www. happyhormonecottage.com and click on my Resources/Reading webpage. There are a lot of studies you can read to answer your questions on bhrt vs hrt and the risk of cancer. I might start with a study by Dr Kent Holtorf (and/or any study by him and Dr Erica Schwartz) entitled, “Point/Counterpoint: The Case for Bioidentical Hormones.” It is the 13th study on the page and a fairly easy read. We have other studies, as well. Anything by Dr Jeffrey Dach on that page, like “Bioidentical Hormones 101” is also a good place to start. Continue scrolling down this page to the books. This connects you to Amazon so you can order. I highly recommend “Natural Hormone Balance” by Dr Uzzi Reiss and “Bioidentical Hormones 101” by Dr Jeffrey Dach. 
   If you don’t educate yourself, you should not trust what any doctor tells you. Doctors have told me that they have received only 4 hours of hormone education in medical school. In this case of natural hormone balance, it is imperative that you Own Your Journey to Natural Hormone Balance (the name of my book) to your best hormone health.
   You can call us to set up a phone consultation ($25) at 513-444-6343. We can send you a testing kit. Then it is in your best interest to come to southern Ohio to see us. In fact, as we just moved into our space at our new Integrative Hormone Center and Pharmacy, we only work with clients who come to see us in person. We have our own nurse practitioners well-versed in women’s health and optimal hormone balance. We will address your symptoms, and check not only your sex hormones of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, but also your cortisol. And we have a 10 point blood panel to address the thyroid, (and Hashimoto’s) as needed. This is our specialty; our niche. 
   Finally, we also have our own compounding lab that makes our customized hormone creams from plant-based powders. So our clients can come full circle with us as they refill their hormone receptors and feel better. This strategy also helps prevent the diseases that occur with aging. How? Our hormones perform many, many tasks in our body. As we age and lose these hormones, we are ripe for disease: heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, and breast cancer. Refilling our hormone receptors with customized, compounded bioidentical hormone creams helps prevent these diseases. It is all part of the world of functional medicine, the study of our whole body, where my Happy Hormone Cottage resides.
  A final word, Texas is apparently the pellet capital of the country. Do not let anyone talk you into having a pellet inserted. You can read more about this on my website’s home page, “Pellets-A Second Look.”  We spend a lot of time fixing women who have experienced a world of hurt from pellets. Just a word of caution. 
  I wish you the best on your journey. Give us a call if and when you are ready; and above all, educate yourself on your journey to your best health naturally. 
Warmly,
Lyn

My Doctor’s Hormone Strategy When I Refused a Pellet

Hi Lyn,

My Doctor strongly encouraged me to get a testosterone pellet inserted into my hip to address my hormone issues. It just didn’t feel right to me so I went to my integrative and functional wellness doctor and asked if he would do creams or anything different from pellets. He decided to try patches/creams for the estradiol and testosterone and will do oral progesterone. This is a very well-known and well respected doctor in my area and one of the only doctors who believes in bio identical hormone replacement.

I believe that would be better than pellets, correct? What are your thoughts?
 
Thank you for your time,

Janice 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Hi Janice,

You are correct. This is better than pellets. But it is a far cry from hormone balance by refilling hormone receptors. Refilling depleted hormone receptors as we age also helps prevent disease.  I assume your doctor uses blood work to determine hormone levels. Blood work simply provides a number. This isn’t really information that is all that useful. Your doctor’s ‘strategy’ of using an estrogen patch means you aren’t able to regulate dosage, and an estrogen patch is all estradiol. When we compound our estrogen creams (used vaginally) we use a combination of estradiol and estriol. The estriol calms down the estradiol and also travels to the breast tissue to help reduce breast cancer because estriol is our calming, gentle estrogen. Testosterone cream is way better than pellets because the dosing is more in line with what the body can easily absorb and handle for the benefits it provides, and will not have the negative side effects of a testosterone pellet with supra-physiologic dosing. I like this part of their strategy. Progesterone capsules are a problem for me. Because I am a compounding pharmacist’s wife, I understand that progesterone capsules convert to allapregnenolone for sleep and very little converts to progesterone. What little bit does convert, stays in the body about 8 hours and then it is gone. Combining these capsules with your estrogen patch, with little actual progesterone to balance it, will leave you estrogen dominant. This promotes not only weight gain because estrogen is a fat store, but more importantly, this estrogen dominance can increase your risk for developing breast cancer.

I hope you see my issues with this approach. It concerns me that this is the best you have got in your area. But I hear this all the time from women around the country. Which is why many of them find a way to come in and see us. 

To schedule a step one consultation ($25) call us at 513-444-6343 or 937-773-1778. Note: we are happy to do your step one phone consultation over the phone for our out-of-state clients BUT we can only treat clients who come into see our nurse practitioners in person.
Best,
Lyn

Should I Visit?

Hi Lyn,
I just had blood work at my gynecologist, knowing the saliva test is better, but thought I would just do everything at the gyn office. I am a new patient there. I was considering the pellet but now will not. I’m considering doing nothing now because it is just too much money. I’m 59 and in menopause. I took myself off my estrogen pill a couple years ago, and I just had my Merina birth control device removed. My symptoms are not bad-perhaps some brain fog and low sex drive. I have an appt at my gyn soon to go over the blood work and to discuss hormones. I take a thyroid pill and they tell me there is a more natural one. All this to say I’m wondering if I should visit you. Can you tell me how much the saliva testing is? I already paid over $100 for my blood work. And as I said, not sure I can even afford the hormone treatment, but I would like an idea of the cost.
Thanks for any help,
Laurie

+++++++++++++++++++

Hi Laurie,
Thank you for your email. I’m happy you read my webpage on why we do not believe in or endorse pellets. I think we may be the only ones who don’t. They are a good money maker for the doctor and the pellet manufacturer but they offer a world of hurt for the recipient. We spend a lot of our time repairing the damage from pellets from women all over the country. Sad, really.
Initial consultations at my Happy Hormone Cottage cost $25 for an hour consultation. We find out all about you and you learn about us. We do NOT find blood work useful. It just provides a number. We did use saliva testing back in the day, but have changed over the past few years to cutting edge technology in dried urine strip testing. It is user-friendly and the multipage report that comes back on each woman’s body on how their hormones are methylating and metabolizing is invaluable. Our take home test also checks cortisol. With this information, we can determine the woman’s risk of breast cancer (based on her estrogen methylating pathway) and actually reroute the pathway to make it breast cancer protective. This is just an example. The test costs $350. We provide cpt codes for you to get reimbursed from your insurance company. We also take HSA cards and flex spending cards. By the way, we are also excellent with treating thyroid, as well, and have a 10 point blood panel, a thyroflex machine and a successful Hashimoto’s Protocol.
I wrote a book, “Own Your Journey …..to Optimal Hormone Balance” which encourages each woman to do their own research in this area of Bioidentical Hormone replacement. The estrogen pill you were on is not a strategy we endorse due to the risk of blood clots and breast cancer they provide. This is why I opened my cottage 9 years ago…..to educate women on their bodies. Doctors receive about 4 hours of hormone education in medical school. So their toolbox is very limited and often influenced by big pharma (estrogen pill, estrogen patch). I exist to clear up the confusion and misinformation, and to help women.
We do not refill our hormone receptors to eradicate symptoms of a hormone imbalance that happens to all women as part of the aging process. We refill our hormone receptors that deplete with age with Bioidentical hormone creams to prevent disease as we age: dementia, heart disease, osteoporosis and breast cancer. Doing nothing at age 59 to refill our hormone receptors leaves us ripe for disease. Why? Because our hormones do a lot of really important tasks in our bodies and we need them to go the distance. I want to live a long life but with high quality. This is why I have had to become a warrior for my own health.
Please return to my website and read my Thyroid Health and Adrenal Health webpages. Check out our Recommended Readings page. Educate yourself. I would rethink my visit to your doctor’s office with the blood work. But you are in charge of your own journey. I hope the info I have provided helps.
To schedule a step one consultation ($25) call us at 513-444-6343 or 937-773-1778. Note: we are happy to do your step one phone consultation over the phone for our out-of-state clients BUT we can only treat clients who come into see our nurse practitioners in person.
My Best,
Lyn

YET ANOTHER PELLET SUFFERER. STOP THE MADNESS!

Hi Lyn,

I stumbled upon your site trying to find answers. I had the pellet therapy starting in June. I just got my second pelleting in December. About 2 weeks into it I noted my throat feels like there’s something in it and I have a consistent clearing. I am a singer so this makes me so nervous. I have many pimples coming out and I can barely keep up with plucking the hairs on my face. I am not sleeping as well as I did with the first pelleting. I so regret doing this!

I have started working out as I read that it may help them wear off quicker. I ordered the saw palmetto from you. Will this stop the vocal thing?

Please help if you could,

Thank you,

Cynthia

Hi Cynthia,

Pellets are such a bad idea. They simply don’t make sense based on the biochemistry of our bodies. As we age and our hormone levels decrease, we need to replenish our hormones by refilling our hormone receptors of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone with physiological dosing of bioidentical customized compounded hormone creams ….exactly what our bodies need based on viable testing (not blood labs). This, along with addressing adrenal glands and thyroid as needed, promotes optimal hormone balance for life. Optimal hormone balance, with BALANCE being the operative word, alleviates symptoms of our hormone imbalance that occurs as part of the aging process AND helps prevent disease as we age: heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis and breast cancer. Isn’t this a much better strategy than pumping whopping doses of just one hormone-testosterone-into our bodies every 3 months (pellets) and using blood labs for the biofeedback? This blood work just provides a number. It does not tell you how much of all that testosterone is converting to estrogen – estradiol (e2) or estrone (e1). Did you know that Estrone is the breast cancer cell proliferator? Do you really want a pellet in your body that can heighten the risk of breast cancer? This pellet method has NOTHING at all to do with hormone balance by refilling hormone receptors for life. It has everything to do with making money. This is why at my Happy Hormone Cottage, we refuse to do pellets. I do not want your money more than I want your very BEST health naturally for the long term.
I have received hundreds of emails over the past several years from women suffering severe effects from pellet usage. I think probably one of the saddest side effects is the severe hair loss. When women’s testosterone travels down a specific methylation pathway that converts testosterone to DHT, this conversion promotes male pattern baldness. I have women emailing me who have lost anywhere from 50% to almost all of their hair. And there are many other side effects such as the ones you are experiencing. I find this tragic. Yet the pellet train keeps on moving.
I urge all of these pellet victims to report their pellet doctor and the pellet manufacturer to their state medical board. Pellets are a good money maker for the doctor and for the pellet manufacturer but they offer a world of hurt for the pellet victim.
For more information on how to assuage some of the side effects of pellets, as well as how we can help at my Happy Hormone Cottage, please go to www.happyhormonecottage.com and click on my webpage “Pellets-A Second Look.”

To schedule a step one consultation ($25) call us at 513-444-6343 or 937-773-1778. Note: we are happy to do your step one phone consultation over the phone for our out-of-state clients BUT we can only treat clients who come into see our nurse practitioners in person.

Wishing you my best,
Lyn

Every Day Health Matters

by Lyn Hogrefe

After working with thousands of women over the past 8.5 years at my Happy Hormone Cottage, and conferring with Jeff Hogrefe, FAARM, RPh, it is my belief that many of us take good health for granted until we get sick or face a health crisis.

People don’t always realize that disease often begins about ten years before symptoms appear. Choices made every day impact our health and risk for future disease. The fact is that what we do every single day is critical to tomorrow’s health. I like to think of it as a 401K or an IRA for future health. Smart advice would be to set aside some amount of money per month with the goal of having a nice pool of funds to retire with in 10, 20, or 30 years.

Meeting this financial goal involves discipline every day. So why not have a 401K for our health? Staying committed to a healthy lifestyle, every day, will improve overall health in future years. This may mean skipping that office donut, avoiding a fast food lunch, or blowing off a workout—all these things matter!

Think about this- when we look at people in their 70s with chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s, it isn’t that they had a horrible lifestyle. It is that they made the same poor choices we all make every day for many years.

So, rather than give in to these daily temptations, or telling ourselves they don’t really matter, I propose that we become more disciplined and proactive in our approach to making good health choices daily. Instead of sharing the typical “eat right, get plenty of sleep, avoid smoking, and limit alcohol,” I am going to provide specific strategies for fine-tuning that warrior in you.

  • Foods to avoid include: wheat (including whole wheat), processed foods (foods that come in a box or a bag), trans-fat, and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Consume at least 2 grams of omega 3 DHA daily.
  • Perform moderate exercise for 30 minutes, three to four times weekly (weight training, cross fit or yoga.)
  • Eat plenty of good fats: avocado, macadamia nuts, and olive oil.
  • Fill your plate with 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 protein.
  • Cut back on your sugar consumption.
  • Drink at least 64 ounces of Kangen water daily. Marilyn says to drink your body weight in water every day!
  • Of course, working with us at our Happy Hormone Cottage to achieve optimal hormone balance in sex hormones, adrenal glands and thyroid is critical for a higher quality of life for the long haul.

Investing in specific health strategies like these today, proactively promotes a healthy quality of life in the future. The choices we make for our health today really do matter for tomorrow. Knowing that I can decrease my risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, dementia, osteoporosis, diabetes, breast cancer, insulin resistance, and many other chronic conditions-by the choices I make now-motivates me to make the best, healthiest choices I can. As brain specialist Dr Daniel Amen says so eloquently, “We must become warriors for our health.” I do want to be a warrior for my wellness. I’m worth it, and so are you!

To schedule a step one consultation ($25) call us at 513-444-6343 or 937-773-1778. Note: we are happy to do your step one phone consultation over the phone for our out-of-state clients BUT we can only treat clients who come into see our nurse practitioners in person.

Do Yo Have a Health Plan for Your Future?

Our Cincinnati-Dayton area has a plethora of outstanding networking groups with events and meetings. I have been to 4 of them in the past week and I’ve met some nice, fascinating women. Many, okay, most of them need my services and those of my staff at my Happy Hormone Cottage. I always scan the crowd to check out the demographic and typically, this is what I see:

  • women fanning themselves (hot flashing!)
  • women who are overweight (partly from estrogen dominance….estrogen is a fat storer)
  • women who appear harried and stressed (cortisol issues….adrenal fatigue)
  • women who appear tired (loss of progesterone starts around age 35 and often younger; progesterone’s big task is healthy sleep)
  • a few women who look healthy, at their ideal weight, rested and not as stressed. These are typically younger women in their 20s and 30s.

At last week’s event, I met a woman who was probably mid-to-late 50s. She was talking about how she and her husband are downsizing and getting ready to take life a little easier by cutting back at work and traveling. She mentioned that they had been working on a financial plan for their future for quite some time. I listened and then I said to her, “Great! But how about a health plan? You know, a plan for your health for your future?” She looked at me for a while and then began to talk about how she and her husband try to eat right (lots of salads, limited salad dressing). She continued with, “We have noticed how much less I eat than him, yet I can not lose weight and, in fact, I have gained weight in my stomach and mid-section and it won’t come off.” I began to educate her on ESTROGEN DOMINANCE. I explained that women over the age of 35 begin to lose their progesterone (one of the 3 sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) and this makes them estrogen dominant. ESTROGEN IS A FAT STORER! This is why women gain weight around their middle and in their stomach as we age. Most people don’t know that estrogen is an extremely important hormone that performs over 300 tasks in our bodies…..not the least of which is heart health. So it stands to reason that as we age and also begin to lose estrogen during and beyond menopause, our heart health begins to decline and we begin the downward slope to heart disease. This explains the rise in heart attacks and heart disease of women in their 50s, that rivals the risk of heart attacks in men….lack of estrogen. So doesn’t it just make sense that we REPLACE this estrogen and progestrone (that balances out estrogen dominance so we don’t gain weight around our middle) as we age for our best quality of health? THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF OUR HEALTH PLAN FOR OUR FUTURE. What really got her attention was when I said this: “Did you know that disease starts 10 years before symptoms appear?!” She had no idea! Think about this for a second. Here we are planning for our future, putting money in a 401K or an IRA, saving for our children’s college, possibly early retirement…..but no one is thinking about a health plan. The truth is that for most of us, we take our health for granted until we no longer have it. We must realize that by then, it is too late! If disease truly does begin 10 years (!) before symptoms appear, (diabetes, dementia, heart disease, cancer) then doesn’t it just make sense to have a health plan today? I recently wrote what is probably the most important blog of my life entitled “What We Do Every Day Matters.” This is my truth and it is substantiated by the data of today’s leading health experts like Dr Daniel Amen, Dr Joseph Mercola and Dr David Purlmutter. Every choice we make every day with our health does impact our health for our tomorrows: that donut you eat for breakfast, the work-out you skip, that fast-food meal for lunch, the soda or diet soda you drink…..all of these choices negatively impact our health for our future.

For the gal I spoke with at yesterday’s networking event, I told her my mantra from renowned Dr Prudence Hall, “Hormones are to women, what water is to plants.” We lose our hormones (estrogen, progestrone, testosterone) as we age beginning around age 35. Just because we may not really notice it or equate our issues with this lack of hormone until Perimenopause and menopause, does not mean our hormone imbalance is not going on. Again, disease starts 10 years before real symptoms appear. Hormones perform hundreds of significant jobs in our body. Without them, disease sets in. So a big part of our health plan must include restoring optimal hormone balance. (We know using customized hormone creams with physiological doing based on each woman’s needs is optimal) And this begins in our 30s and 40s. Restoring hormone balance PREVENTS DISEASE. The sad truth and the reason I do what I do, is that there is a huge disconnect between this truth on the prevention of disease and the current standard of care our doctors subscribe to. So I fill in the gap by educating women on the truth of their options because they probably won’t get this information from their doctor. The bottom line is we must educate ourselves on our best chances for our best health for our tomorrows. Women are lucky they have places like my Happy Hormone Cottage to go to for help.   It is up to each of us to Own Our Journey to a healthy future. Create a health plan just like you create a financial plan. Your very life actually does depend on it!

To schedule a step one consultation ($25) call us at 513-444-6343 or 937-773-1778. Note: we are happy to do your step one phone consultation over the phone for our out-of-state clients BUT we can only treat clients who come into see our nurse practitioners in person.

Two Women, a Teapot and a Box of Tissues… By Kelly Kuhlman Brown

When Lyn Hogrefe started the Happy Hormone Cottage nearly eight years ago, she had one mission… to talk with women. She wanted to share the facts about hormones, health, and disease prevention since she had lived it through her own experience. Years earlier, Lyn needed a hysterectomy and she knew it would launch her into surgical menopause. Lyn’s husband Jeff, a pharmacist, knew what Lyn was about to experience because he saw it every day through his work. Jeff went back to school to learn how to compound bio-identical hormones so his wife wouldn’t suffer through the effects of menopause from lack of hormones… “Not on his watch” as Jeff put it.

Lyn had such great results with her compounded bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) that she started talking with other women about it – women were drawn to her energy, youthful appearance and healthy glow. After teaching school for 30 years, Lyn had a passion for education. Friends encouraged her to start talking with groups of women, so she started hosting, “Happy Hormone Hours”. Women showed up by the dozens. A local shop owner in Centerville observed Lyn filling a niche so she offered up a small stone cottage behind her boutique where Lyn could “talk with women”. Following a hand-shake-deal, a shingle went up outside of this tiny one-room building which had no electricity, heat or running water… and the Happy Hormone Cottage was born. A chat at the Happy Hormone Cottage consisted of two women, a teapot and a box of tissues. Lyn offered a warm and cozy environment where hormone imbalance issues could be validated. The tissues sopped up tears as women shared their negative experiences with drugs and physicians. Many had been told their symptoms were in their head, or they’d been prescribed anti-depressants, anti-anxieties, sleeping pills, pain pills, etc. when all they really wanted was to understand why they felt so bad.

The two women would sip tea as they shared stories and found common ground. Lyn would then lead the conversation into educating the women on how to address their core issues instead of masking symptoms with synthetic drugs. She gave women options and she taught the value of BHRT not just for symptom relief but also for overall health and disease prevention. She would suggest women undergo hormone testing then take the test results to their healthcare practitioner who would work with her compounding pharmacist husband to develop an individual wellness strategy.

Clearly there was a need to be filled as the demand for Lyn’s guidance quickly outgrew the confines of the tiny cottage. Lyn leased office space and hired more women to handle the volume of requests for chats (which evolved into consultations). She also had to buy computers and develop a client database. Gone were the simple notepads that stored records. Today there are four Happy Hormone Cottage offices along the I-75 growth corridor in Mason, Northern Kentucky, Vandalia, and Piqua. The main “cottage” is a huge suite of five offices located in Kettering.

Lyn never envisioned the booming business her little cottage would become. She is a living example of how a passion can be more valuable than a business plan and how a simple idea can impact the lives of thousands of women.

The teapot is now a Keurig but much has stayed the same, Lyn’s mission is still at the heart of the business, two women still sit to chat and the box of tissue remains in its place while tears are shed and feelings are validated.

Happy Hormone Cottage Focuses on Proactive Preventative Healthcare

It is clear from an Integrative Medicine Model, that strategizing and implementing a proactive preventative healthcare plan requires a multifaceted approach. It is never just one thing that needs to be addressed. It is several strategies implemented to improve over-all outcomes. The bottom line for me is that we must become warriors for our own wellness. (WOW)

The first step is proper hormone testing. Why? Because our hormones (sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone; cortisol; thyroid) perform many, many important jobs in our bodies and these hormones deplete with age. It is part of the aging process. So refilling our hormone receptors with Bioidentical hormones created from plant-based powders that mimic exactly our hormones in our body, is critical to alleviate symptoms of aging and hormone imbalance, but more importantly, to prevent disease. As Dr Prudence Hall says, “Hormones are to Women, What Water is to Plants.” Interestingly, getting hormone levels checked in the blood is not adequate. At our Happy Hormone Cottage, we offer unique testing that looks at hormone levels of all 3 estrogens (estrone, estradiol and estriol), progesterone and testosterone, as well as how the body metabolizes these hormones. It also analyzes cortisol in the body that can identify adrenal fatigue and other adrenal issues. The most valuable testing, in our opinion, is dried urine strip testing through Precision Analytical Labs. This is a rather simple take-home test that requires 4-5 urine samples (wetting filter paper and letting it dry–so easy!) over the course of dinnertime one evening through 2 hours after waking the next day. The results are quite meaningful in that you can get a glimpse into how the liver is metabolizing each hormone. This is significant in that a great deal of research links the 4OH metabolite of estrone to breast cancer risk, as well as other significant estrogen issues such as ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and fibrocystic breast disease. Identifying and attempting to modify how the liver is metabolizing each estrogen is critical.

Step 2 is lowering inflammation. Inflammation is a process that activates several chemicals in the body that lead to chronic disease. Inflammation also up-regulates the liver to metabolize more of the 4OH estrogen. Many researchers speculate that inflammation caused by stress, food, toxins, infection, and over-stimulation of the immune system is the main cause of all chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. At our Happy Hormone Cottage, the most meaningful and successful way to reduce inflammation is to increase intake of omega 3 oils (fish oil) and decrease intake of omega 6 oils (vegetable oils, canola oils etc.) It is also vital to eliminate trans fats from the diet. Trans fats are found in nearly all packaged foods and have the greatest impact in increasing body inflammation. At our HHC, we carry the top-of-the-line omega 3 supplement. Not all omega 3 (fish oil) is created equally. If you are burping up your fish oil, this means it is rancid so your body is unable to absorb it. So investing in a high quality omega 3 is key. In the case of fish oil, as in many things in life, you do get what you pay for.

Step 3 is to reduce intake of sugars. High intake of sugars is directly linked to diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. There is also a strong body of evidence linking sugar intake to increased risks of cancers. From a bio-chemical standpoint, cancer cells can only process sugar, whereas normal cells can process both sugars and fats to produce energy. Gaining ground is the high “good fat” ketogenic diet (80% of total calories) and the virtual elimination of all sugars from the diet. This eating strategy is effective in starving cancer cells and I believe should be adhered to by nearly everyone.

Step 4 is to begin an exercise routine. Exercise paradoxically decreases inflammation. It also improves wellness, mood, blood sugar regulation, and heart health. Exercise also improves immune function by stimulating our natural killer cells that attack and destroy cancer cells.

Finally, step 5 is to reduce toxic load. Pay attention to chemicals we are all exposed to. Eat organically grown food. Cleaning aids, pesticides, cosmetics, hair and body products should all be examined for purity. There are a great many books written on the subject that you can consult. To me, the most important strategies would be to detox periodically, eat clean, take supplements that increase antioxidant levels (N-acetyl cysteine is probably my favorite supplement that performs this task) and reduce exposure wherever possible.

The current belief is that over 50% of us will get cancer in our lifetime. I find this statistic to be alarming! You have to take a proactive approach to prevention of disease and wellness. Consider acting on the above mentioned 5 steps and become a warrior for your wellness. Get your thermogram. Then call us at our Happy Hormone Cottage for women, to schedule your $25 hour-long consultation to get started on your journey to your natural hormone balance and best health naturally. For more information or to find a Happy Hormone Cottage location near you, go to www.happyhormonecottage.com.