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.

“I’m About to Have a Full Hysterectomy……”

Hello Lyn,

I am about to have a full hysterectomy done in a couple of weeks. I have started having symptoms of menopause for a while now. I was wondering if I could get some information on natural hormone remedies. My doctor had me on a birth control to help with the hot flashes and some other things but I gained about 30lbs in 10 months so I stopped taking the medicine mainly because it wasn’t working . I am worried about gaining more weight but I know I will need something to help me get through this. So what I am asking is do you have anything that will help with the menopause symptoms but help with not gaining any more weight and maybe help with losing some of what I have already gained. Thank you!

My response:

I’m happy you emailed and I’m wishing you a speedy recovery from your hysterectomy in the near future. I, too, had a radical (full) hysterectomy 12 years ago so I’m with you in this. I’m sorry to hear that your doctor put you on birth control for your menopause symptoms, but this is what many doctors know. My Happy Hormone Cottage is a hormone balance facility. We understand that menopause is a part of life that results in a huge hormone imbalance. This hormone imbalance actually starts for women around age 35, as our ovaries begin to age; and continues on through menopause. What we understand from the biochemistry of our bodies AND a lot of studies and books by doctors in functional medicine (holistic health) is that we must refill our hormone receptors as we age, for our highest quality of life. Doing this also eliminates the symptoms of hormone imbalance like hot flashes, brain fog, weight gain, fatigue etc. Hormones play important tasks in our bodies, so keeping our hormone receptors filled as we age is imperative.

Weight gain in women as we age is also a hormone imbalance issue. Estrogen is a fat storer. Birth control pills are synthetic estrogen and progestin, so giving you excess estrogen exacerbates weight gain. Why one would prescribe women over 35 excess estrogen (also in estrogen patches, pills and sprays) when we are already estrogen dominant is the question. This estrogen dominance is responsible for not only weight gain buy also a heightened risk of breast cancer.

At our Happy Hormone Cottage, we check existing hormone levels (sex hormones-estrogen, progesterone, testosterone; and cortisol from adrenal glands) with dried urine strip testing, and we also can see how your hormones are metabolizing and methylating. When test results come back, you meet with our nurse practitioner and together you create a customized strategy utilizing compounded hormone creams made from plant-based powders that refill our hormone receptors. This is a life-long strategy, like brushing our teeth, to keep our bodies healthy and to prevent disease (osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia, breast cancer). For our women with thyroid issues, we also are experts in thyroid health. So our focus is on treating holistically our sex hormones, adrenal glands and thyroid.

I recommend that you call us at your convenience for a step one consultation to get more information. If time allows, you should do this prior to your surgery so you are armed with knowledge and next steps following surgery. You can call us at 513-444-6343. Cost for this consultation is $25.

Keep me posted on your journey. I’m so excited that my HHC has been around for 7 years and we now have 4 local hhc offices and two hhc “cousins” from my consulting business in Miami, Florida and Lexington, Kentucky (Middlesboro). Women are happy and feeling better. Educating women and arming them with knowledge on their bodies is my passion! Keeping them healthy is my other passion. Best to you always! ~lyn
www.happyhormonecottage.com

Do Your Homework Before Getting Pellets

Note: I have made a special pellets page with lots more information. Please refer to that page as it will answer most questions.

Below is an email I received followed by my response.

Hello. Thank you for taking the time to read my email.
I have a question.
I am a 39 years old female.
I went to a doctor that dose the testosterone pellets. I’ve only done it twice last year. It’s been 5 months since my last pellet injection. I was very concerned about having this done & asked a million questions. However I don’t think my doctor had a clue what he was doing.
So here I am 5 months later & I had my blood work done because my hair is falling out & I have the worst acne ever. My blood work showed I had 3x the amount of more testosterone then a man!
How long do the pellets take to rid my system & will my hair grow back? Will I fully recover from these testosterone pellets?
I’m very worried about the mistake I’ve made & I’m hoping the side effects are not long term.
My hair was thick before & now I’m almost completely bald. Will my hair grow back & stay?
Thank you again. I’m sure you get so many emails but I’d really appreciate any advice or knowledge to help myself at this point.
Thank you,
Heather

Hi Heather,
I am never too busy to read or respond to my emails. Thank you for emailing me. For more experiences like yours with pellets, please go to my website’s blog and scroll down to my blogs on pellets. They are popular and I’ve shared close to 200 emails from women with similar horrific experiences like yours. I’ve also written a book, “Own Your Journey……to Optimal Hormone Balance” for more information, and you can order this on my online store if you are interested.
At our Happy Hormone Cottages, we don’t believe in pellets. In fact, we believe pellets give what we do a bad name. We are ALL about HORMONE BALANCE in all areas: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone (our sex hormones), cortisol from our adrenal glands, and thyroid. Let me explain. We understand from the biochemistry of our bodies that we must refill our hormone receptors that deplete as we age, because our hormones perform many, many jobs in our bodies. Why do our hormones deplete? It is part of the aging process. Think about it. Years ago, most women (and men) didn’t live much beyond their 30s or 40s so their depleting hormone levels weren’t a big deal. But now that we are living into our 70s, 80s, and sometimes our 90s, we have to replenish them to continue to be healthy AND to prevent disease. Progesterone begins depleting around age 35 and is kind of a big deal because progesterone performs significant tasks like:
-promoting sleep
-preventing anxiety
-preventing depression (progesterone gives us our ‘joy of life’ feeling)
-preventing sugar cravings
-elevating our mood
-preventing aches and pains
-helping to prevent breast cancer
When our progesterone levels dip in our mid 30s, these above issues begin to happen. Sleep is impacted. Women become fatigued. Tired women don’t want sex, so libido decreases. This negatively impacts marriages. (This explains mid-life crises and why men look to younger women for their sexual needs) This is when women become aware of their hormones, although hormones have always played a huge role in our development from girls to women to pregnancy (and then on to and through the aging process to death). And this is when having the testosterone pellets implanted become popular. Putting a whopping dose of testosterone in our bodies does not make sense to us and in fact, we understand biochemically, the dangers of doing this. We never measure hormone levels in blood, except thyroid and then we do an 11 point thyroid blood panel in conjunction with our innovative thyroflex machine. We find just having a number in blood for our sex hormones and cortisol is somewhat meaningless. It does not give us much information. We are more interested in what our hormones-sex hormones and cortisol- are DOING inside our bodies; how they are metabolizing and methylating. Then we can work with our clients to create a strategy customized just for them, using our bio-identical hormone creams compounded from plant-based powders, to refill our hormone receptors over time for optimal hormone balance. Doing so eradicates the symptoms of our hormone imbalance (sleeplessness, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, low libido, brain fog, weight gain) and, more importantly, helps prevent disease as we age. What diseases? Osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia, breast cancer. Once you understand that estrogen, which depletes during Perimenopause and drastically depletes through menopause, performs over 300 tasks in our bodies to protect our heart and our brain; and testosterone that helps build strong bone (by signaling the osteoblasts to make more), helps memory recall, gives energy and helps libido WHEN we also address our tired adrenal glands……you will understand why replacing these hormones that deplete as we age is so important. In fact, our mantra is, “Hormones are to women what water is to plants!” I hope you now understand why we simply don’t believe in pellets- supraphysiologic dosing of testosterone just does not make sense when you are immersed in Functional Medicine, holistic health, like we are.
For you specifically, these testosterone pellets will decrease over time and your testosterone level will go back to what it was. But the damage to your body is more long-lasting. You can pick up saw palmetto (we sell it on my online store) to help stop the conversion of your testosterone to DHT for your hair loss. You can also get Biotin (yes-on my online store) to help grow hair. Over time, and you will need to be patient, your hair should come back. I’m hopeful that your acne will also subside as the pellets wear off. I highly suggest you give us a call at 513-444-6343 to set up an appointment for a consultation ($25) for over the phone or in person so we can work with you to restore your hormone balance. We have 4 Happy Hormone Cottages in the Cincinnati-Dayton area. Our nurse practitioners work at 3 of them. You can do everything off-site if you live out of our area, but you will need to come and see our practitioner in person for your hormone therapy prescription.
I hope this information is helpful to you. I often wonder why women go through with pellet implantations when they sense the doctor implanting them “doesn’t have a clue what he was doing,’ and more importantly, why there aren’t lawsuits against these practitioners and the companies who make the pellets? Someone, somewhere needs to be held accountable and this madness should be stopped. We spend a lot of our time helping women who have been negatively impacted by pellets.
Take care and keep me posted. I hope you decide to work with us. We are all about hormone balance and wellness. I’m most interested in your journey to health and wellness.
Best,
Lyn

Read more about our view on pellets here

To Do or Not To Do/ Clearing Up the Hormone Confusion

This just in. Another email from a struggling woman, needing help, and confused on what to do next. I love clearing up the confusion, myths and untruths surrounding hormones. Maybe this information will also help you.

Dear Lyn,
I had a hysterectomy back in 1997. I have not taken any kind of hormone medicine since for fear of the dangers. I am 50 year old now and am seeking some kind of treatment. I have no sex drive and I wonder if that’s part of the hormone changes with my hysterectomy. I haven’t had a sex drive in a long time. Plus, I have lots of mood swings. My doctor gave me an anti depressant thinking it would help. I need to know your thoughts and if your treatment is covered by medical insurance. Looking forward to hearing from you.

My response:
You are exactly right. Our hormones in our body perform many important tasks. As we age, as we have hysterectomies, whatever the cause, all women (and men) need to replace their hormone levels. We like to use Bioidentical hormones to replace these hormones in our bodies by refilling our hormone receptors with hormone creams created in a lab from plant-based powders. These hormones mimic in our bodies the hormones that we lose as we age, or from surgery. This is why they are called bioidentical. This has nothing to do with the drugs acting as hormones that were developed back in the 1960s by drug companies, and that were found to cause cancer and other health risks. Sadly, still today there is a lot of confusion, myth and untruth swirling around hormone replacement:
-is it harmful?
-will it cause Cancer?
-isn’t all hormone replacement (HRT) the same?
Our job at the Happy Hormone Cottage is to help clear up this confusion and to help educate women on the truth. You can go to my website at www.happyhormonecottage.com and click on Readings & Resources, to find studies, articles and books on the truth and the importance of refilling our hormone receptors as we age with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Our truth, based on studies by forward-thinking doctors immersed in Functional Medicine (focused on holistic health, anti-aging and the prevention of disease), and on the biochemistry of our body, is that all women over the age of 35, and sometimes even younger, need to refill their hormone receptors for a high quality of life and to prevent disease as we age. It always intrigues me that WE know this information, yet when we go to our doctors for help, we are often prescribed, as you were, antidepressants, or sleeping aids, or estrogen patches (for hot flashes) that help the symptoms but do not fix the cause of our issues…..which is hormone imbalance.
To answer your question on insurance, at our HHC, we do not have an insurance biller, but we do provide you with cpt codes so you can submit your testing kit and your nurse practitioner visit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Many women are getting reimbursed well. We also accept flex spending and HSA cards. A word on our testing methodology. We use an innovative, user-friendly take home dried urine strip testing kit that provides us with valuable information on not only your hormone levels, but more importantly how your body is using your hormones. This helps us know what your body needs in both sex hormones and in adrenal health, so we can create a strategy to heal your body by restoring hormone balance.
What is your next step? Check out my website, read an article or two, check out the following books to get educated and empowered:
-Natural Hormone Balance by Dr Uzzi Reiss
-Bioidentical Hormones 101 by Dr Jeffrey Dach
-any book by Suzanne Somers on hormones
When you are ready, give us a call at 513-444-6343 to schedule your appointment for your consultation ($25). Our goal is your best health naturally. Refilling your hormone receptors with customized compounded Biodentical hormone creams in the dosage your body needs to refill your hormone receptors is what we do, what we are known for, and why the women we work with speak so highly of us. I look forward to working with you!
Warmly,
Lyn

The Happy Hormone Cottage- A Lifetime Wellness Facility

I received another email yesterday from a 25 year old:
“Hi Lyn,
I am interested in getting my hormone levels tested. I am 25 but exhibit a lot of symptoms that indicate my hormones are not balanced: excessive sweating, hair growth, night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain, depression, anxiety, etc. I never had any of these issues until after I gave birth and I’ve been suffering ever since. I want to make an appointment to come in. Can you help me? Thank you for the information.”
The good news is “Yes, we can!” Here’s the FUN FACT about our 5 Happy Hormone Cottage locations in the Dayton/Cincinnati area. We are an educational AND a medical facility for optimal hormone balance in sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone), Cortisol and Thyroid AND WE TREAT WOMEN AGES 18-80 and sometimes even younger….and older! In essence, we are a facility for life. If I could have one wish, it would be to encourage women of all ages to question their beliefs they have been taught about their hormones and to embrace the wellness approach to optimal hormone balance, which is, “Hormones are to Women, What Water is to Plants.” In other words, when we understand and accept the fact that our hormones DO deplete with age beginning right around age 35, and sometimes younger, and they need to be replenished with hormones that are bioidentical to what our body makes, we can prevent a lot of suffering and ultimately disease. Hormones are not something we deal with just through menopause; and my Happy Hormone Cottage is NOT a menopause facility. We are a hormone facility that deals with ALL stages of life in this realm:
-irregular periods
-infertility
-perimenopause
-menopause
-healthy aging
By examining our beliefs and gathering information on the truth about hormone health, my hope is you will listen to your body and do what it takes to proactively refill your hormone receptors BEFORE issues arise. This is called prevention. Understanding that hormones play a significantly huge role in the health of our bodies through-out life, will hopefully translate to taking action as needed to stay hormonally balanced. And we have to look at the full spectrum of not only sex hormones, but cortisol-upon which stress plays a huge role and does impact sex hormones, and thyroid. Our HHC looks at the full spectrum. In fact, we are specialists. We also understand the role having the right supplement strategy plays in our health, as well as eating healthfully and exercising.
All of this good news is complicated by the fact that in this arena of hormone health, confusion reigns, and our trusted healthcare practitioners often aren’t well-versed in hormone health. I have had doctors tell me they received 4 hours of hormone education in medical school. So my recommendation is that you visit a hormone specialist like the Happy Hormone Cottage, where optimal hormone balance is what we do, what we know and what we practice.
I have seen the tide turn in my last 6 years since opening my cottage in the Heart of Centerville.
Today women want natural. They want organic. I am so happy to report that now the first question we get asked isn’t “What will my doctor say?” but “Is it natural?” Yes, it is! Optimal hormone balance is all about health, prevention of disease, and feeling our best. It is taking charge of our journey from our mid-20’s and through-out life to our best health naturally. I call this empowerment! www.happyhormonecottage.com

Creating Happy Hormones One Woman at a Time | The Happy Hormone Cottage

Article by Tara Pettit for Catalysta, the online publication.

“Are you suffering from weight gain, low libido, adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalance”… and the list of symptoms goes on… into infinity. That’s because with hormonal imbalance, anything and everything in the body is impacted and as society is becoming more aware of the effects hormonal imbalance is having on their bodies, it has perpetuated a national obsession while infiltrating media, advertising, and conversation. We hear these advertisement phrases regurgitated almost on a daily basis today as the topic of hormonal imbalance continues to make health news headlines as a catalyst of research and study.

Unfortunately, when it comes to mainstream belief, discussion and treatment of hormonal imbalance, medical doctors (and as a result, society in general) have a very limited scope and knowledge of what’s really going on in millions of women’s bodies as they continue to simply treat the symptoms at the cost of healing the body as a whole.

For Lyn Hogrefe, It was this ignorance of truth regarding hormone health, as well as her own experience dealing with the detrimental effects of hormonal imbalance, that compelled her to reach out to women with purely natural and organic alternative methods to hormone replacement therapy. Out of this determination to spread the word that health and wellness can be achieved for women throughout all the stages of their life, the Happy Hormone Cottage was born.

Operating out of Dayton, Ohio, the Happy Hormone Cottage- a clinic working to diagnose, treat, and facilitate a natural regimens to improve hormone imbalance- is the fruit of Lyn’s labor of love and mission to educate women about how healthy hormone balance works and help women to triumph over hormonal issues in natural ways. The business’ goal to “strive to love and validate women” has spread its reputation of truth and compassion in the Dayton community and beyond.

“We filled a niche with Happy Hormone Cottage,” Lyn Hogrefe, owner and founder says. “Women just started showing up and it was really fun.”

Lyn’s journey to hormone health outreach and a career that allows her to daily pour into women’s lives began with a personal journey of her own to achieve hormone health. Later in life, Lyn was discovered having a fibroid tumor in her uterus and underwent a dramatic hysterectomy, a procedure that most often traumatizes the female body and leaves women with intense hormonal symptoms.  At the time of the procedure, her husband, a pharmacist, desired to see Lyn overcome the tragic outcome of having her surgery, and became certified as a compounding pharmacist to help Lyn along a recovery path that involved Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). This alternative method of hormone replacement (the method that Lyn now uses with her clients at the Happy Hormone Cottage) uses physiological dosing of each individual’s natural hormone makeup at the tissue cell level to replace depleted hormone levels and to maintain those optimal hormone levels for life- a process that Lyn refers to as “refilling your hormone tank.”

“Luckily my doctor agreed to give it a whirl and the rest is history. Not only did I not develop the symptoms typical of gaining women having hysterectomies, but I found that as I replenished my hormone levels customized to what my body used to make, I became hormonally balanced and regained optimal health,” Lyn says.

Lyn was transfixed by her own hormonal transformation and the idea that she could not only proclaim the truth of how women can improve their health, but help them on an individual level to regain the youthful, energetic, and balanced version of themselves that had been ravaged by depleted hormone tanks. She worked to align her previous 6th grade teaching background and passion for education with her newfound desire to see women healthy and happy.

“I have always been service-oriented in my past,” Lyn says. “But you have to have passion, compassion and a heart for what you do. From that, women would gravitate towards me and the work I did.”

From beginning her career in women’s health by hosting discussion circles, to finally opening and marketing The Happy Hormone Cottage with its unique and natural approach to hormone replacement, Lyn has earned the love and respect of all women she comes into contact with and expanded her clientele to cities all across the country as the clinic now has six locations in different parts of the U.S.. Her business strategy is founded on her philosophy of seeking truth and bringing that truth into the light for all people to know and incorporate into their lives.

“The biggest thing women have to understand is you have to know the truth about your body and seek wellness- not medication to alleviate, but whole healing. You must challenge your doctors and look at the root cause of your issue. It’s a daily awareness of your body and daily ritual of taking care of yourself.”
At the Happy Hormone Cottage, Lyn takes care to examine women’s biological makeup on an individual level, while connecting with them on a personal level as well, to offer a customized program of BHRT, nutritional supplements, lifestyle recommendations, exercise regimens, and proper diet goals. She also acknowledges how misinformed women are about their health and offers personalized consultations to learn how each woman’s body functions to treat their imbalance appropriately.

Lyn utilizes many avenues for “getting the truth out there,” all which have helped her spread the word about hormone health and connect with all different types of women in their many stages of life. She is intimately involved with the health of women who see her regularly at the Happy Hormone Cottage for biological treatment, however, through her blogging and writing she is able to expand her message beyond the cottage’s doors and to connect with an even younger generation as she diligently pursues women’s education and awareness about their physical health and the “functional medicine” that is the only true path to whole healing. Not only does she educate the misinformed about how hormone health can be achieved, but she also strives to spread awareness about why hormone health is so important.

“Hormone balance is key to overall wellness. If we do nothing to fill our hormone tanks, we have no hope for health. I know I want to be healthy, have sex, and be viable when I am 90 years old. We have not been taught the best way to take care of our bodies and I am trying to change that. Someone has to. Why not me?”
Lyn is asking for support for her current endeavor, the Women’s Health Initiative Foundation. She recently published a book about her work with hormone imbalance: Own Your Journey To Optimal Hormone Balance.

Dayton Daily News – JournalNews By Christie Schmidt – Contributing Writer

Dayton Daily News
JournalNews

By Christie Schmidt – Contributing Writer

Lyn and Lacy 2 (2)
Lyn Hogrefe (left), CEO of Happy Hormone Cottage in Mason, counsels a client. The company has helped 4,000 women in the Midwest achieve hormone balance and better health through bioidentical hormones. CONTRIBUTED

In 2004, then 49-year-old Lyn Hogrefe found herself on the verge of plunging headfirst into menopause after undergoing an emergency radical hysterectomy. She was fearful of the physical and emotional changes that lay ahead as her body adjusted to functioning sans a uterus and ovaries.
Hogrefe’s husband, Jeff, was also concerned. A longtime pharmacist, he’d heard the stories of what women in similar situations as his wife experienced when they came in to pick up their prescription hormone products: significant weight gain, irritability, depression, anxiety, low energy, brain fog and no libido. Determined to do all he could to prevent these things from happening to his wife, he became a compounding pharmacist and created a bioidentical hormone replacement cream specifically for her.

“Jeff went with me to my follow-up appointment and presented my doctor with the idea of trying the bioidentical hormone therapy,” Hogrefe said. “Thankfully, my doctor was very open-minded and supportive of me giving it a try.”
The result?
“I didn’t experience any of the issues that women with hormonal imbalances experience – especially those who have undergone a radical hysterectomy. I didn’t gain any weight and I didn’t experience any depression, anxiety, brain fog, lack of energy or low libido. It was then that we knew we were on to something.”
However, after speaking with many women in their 30s, 40s and beyond, she realized that many were not only still feeling lousy despite being on anti-depressants, sleeping aids and estrogen, but they also were not being educated on all of their options – including healthy, natural, compounded hormones. A lifelong educator herself, Hogrefe used her skills and expertise to get potentially life-changing information into the hands of those who needed it most.
And so, Hogrefe and her husband opened Happy Hormone Cottage in 2009 in the heart of Centerville, as a place for women meet and talk about their journey, obtain information on natural compounded hormones, get questions answered and help in finding a physician who supports this type of treatment. To date, they have helped some 4,000 women in the midwest achieve hormone balance and better health through the use of bioidentical hormones. These compounded, personalized prescriptions of hormone creams (biestrogren, progesterone and testosterone) are mixed at Piqua Consulting and Compounding Lab in Piqua.
“There is a huge disconnect between listening to our body, and the information we get from the medical community,” Hogrefe said. “At Happy Hormone Cottage, we’re into functional medicine, which is a very patient-centered approach. We believe in addressing the person as a whole and not just isolated symptoms.”
Unlike the blood tests most physicians’ offices use to test hormone levels, Happy Hormone Cottage uses urine to test hormone levels, all in the comfort of a patient’s own home. Hogrefe said insurance reimbursement has been high for the $350 test kit because urine testing is an accepted means of testing. They provide clients with the necessary forms to submit to their insurance provider. To make things even easier and convenient, HHC now has a nurse practitioner on staff who is able to write the prescriptions for patients.
Oakwood resident Linda Hart stumbled upon Happy Hormone Cottage three years ago, when she was researching her options for hormone replacement therapy after a sudden and severe onslaught of menopausal symptoms.
“My doctor told me at my annual appointment that since I was 50 years old, I shouldn’t be on birth control pills anymore,” Hart said. Once off of them, she immediately started with menopausal symptoms: hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mental fogginess, extreme fatigue, and weight gain.
“I felt terrible,” Hart said. “My doctor’s solution was to put me on Prempro [a combination of conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone] but I’d read about so many patients having negative reactions to it that I started to do some research on other options. That’s when I came across bioidentical hormone therapy and Happy Hormone Cottage.”
Hart scheduled an appointment and went in for a consultation, completed the testing kit and was eventually prescribed a bioidentical hormone cream made specifically for her.
“My OB/GYN at the time wouldn’t prescribe it so Happy Hormone Cottage helped me find a doctor that would,” Hart said. “Within weeks I felt 100 percent better. The hot flashes stopped, I could sleep at night again, I wasn’t tired all the time and I dropped 10 pounds. My doctor now refers women to the Happy Hormone Cottage all the time.”
Happy Hormone Cottage’s Centerville location was such a huge success, that the Hogrefes have opened four more local offices in Kettering, Vandalia, Mason and Crestview Hills, Ky. They also have offices in Bridgeton and Chesterfield, Missouri.
For more information on The Happy Hormone Cottage or to schedule a free consultation, visit the website: www.happyhormonecottage.com. Office locations, phone numbers and hours of operation can be found on the website.
Educating community on hormone balancing therapy
This past December, Happy Hormone Cottage chief executive officer Lyn Hogrefe created Happy Hormone Cottage Consulting (HHC Consulting) in an effort to educate the medical community on hormone balancing therapy. The service also aims to help doctors integrate bioidentical hormone therapy into patient treatment plans.
“Not much is taught in medical school about women’s hormones and the need to help each woman achieve hormonal balance for optimal health,” Hogrefe said. “We want to educate medical personnel so they can reach as many women as possible. We would like to mentor nurse practitioners, guide them on diagnostic testing and work with them and their local compounding pharmacies.”
HHC Consulting will provide hands-on training and materials to teach doctors and medical staff how to work with female patients so that programs are meaningful and successful. Curriculum includes clinical and staff training and marketing support.
“I’m really on a mission to help women and their doctors get educated, get treated and get better,” Hogrefe said. “Bioidentical hormone therapy is very affordable – about $1 per day. We are building relationships with women every day, who tell their friends and family so they can get better, too

WE DON’T DO COOKIE CUTTER MEDICINE!

I got an interesting question the other day that gave me pause for reflection.  A lady called our Happy Hormone Cottage and wanted to know if our nurse practitioner, Angela, was the BEST nurse practitioner in the city for BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy). I have never been asked this question before. In speaking with her, what we recognized was that here is a woman who has done her research. She is familiar with bhrt and customized bhrt, and she is familiar with her body and her body’s needs. In doing research, she saw a variety of information, often conflicting, and with several paths to choose. And she was confused as to which path to take. So asking for the BEST bhrt practitioner in the city was her way of guaranteeing that her needs would be met. I get it. Isn’t this what we all want in everything we choose? We want the BEST direction, the BEST practitioner, the BEST service repairman, the BEST house we can afford, etc. So IS Angela the BEST bhrt practitioner in the city? My answer is, “I don’t know. I would like to think so, but, I think you are asking the wrong question.” And here’s why:  what I understand is that one’s credentials are not the most important part of the equation in dealing with hormone imbalance issues. Everyone engaged in any medical area has credentials. But the most important aspect in dealing in this arena of women’s health is HOW one applies their knowledge of bhrt that is important. See, here’s the thing. What we do is NOT cookie cutter medicine. We don’t bring women in, glance at them, study their labs and then prescribe a drug. What we have to do is to think outside the box to problem solve hormone imbalance issues, and we do this within the science of functional medicine, which is holistic health. Because we are not conventionally trained specialists with an area of focus on one body system, we CAN think outside the box. Our goal is find the CAUSE of the hormone imbalance in several key areas and fix these. Let me tell you that this is simply not taught in medical school. So we have to research and get the information on our own. Luckily, because we are constantly going to school to take classes on the latest research in functional medicine and anti-aging, we are up to date with the latest information, so we CAN help our women find and treat the cause of their hormone imbalance issues.
What I also know is that women LIKE and appreciate being treated as individuals. We have most of our women come in where nobody has ever measured their hormone levels. This isn’t typically done in current standard of care, and when it is, blood serum is used to measure these levels. What we understand is that using blood serum to measure hormone levels simply is not accurate, nor does it give us enough information. So when our clients come to us, they appreciate the fact that we DO have the latest technology in checking hormone levels, and they WANT to know what their hormone levels are. And they are happy to pay for the latest technology with which to find out. Once we know their existing hormones at the tissue level of cells, we can then use all of our knowledge and training to problem-solve to fix the cause of the issues. In other words, we apply our knowledge to provide the best treatment we can for each individual who comes in. We customize and personalize therapy in several key areas:  sex hormones, adrenal glands and thyroid as the first step to wellness, for each client. There is nothing “cookie cutter” about this approach. It is difficult, time consuming, and requires follow up and monitoring for the long haul. But the results are extremely rewarding because we have women who have finally had their needs met. These are happy women and these happy women make Angela happy. You see, it isn’t about being the BEST in the city. The better question is, “How successful are you?” To me, it is all about being successful. And how do we measure success? By the number of clients we have who are happy, healthy and hormonally balanced.

And the Saga Continues……My Most Popular Blog Ever

I wrote a blog on January 8, 2012 that was so popular, I updated it on June 17, 2013 and I am still getting comments and questions on it. Just today I received 2 more emails from concerned users of the popular pellet strategy for hormone replacement. My heart goes out to these women. Read on:
Dear Lyn,
I saw your website and the comments made from others about their experiences using the pellets. I’ve been on bhrt for a year using the Soto Pellets for estradiol and testosterone, along with oral progesterone. Since beginning with these pellets, I have been having periods every two weeks, along with hair loss, facial hair growth, and a lack of energy. My doctor suggested that I cut back about half on the progesterone, which did not solve the problems.  Do you think I should cut back on the testosterone instead and if so, what dose would you suggest?
Your reply is appreciated. Thank you.

My response:
As you know from my blog and the resulting comments from other pellet-users, you understand that our truth is one replaces depleted hormone levels with bhrt that is customized for each individual and in physiological doses only. (the exact amount each body needs, based on accurate hormone levels that are checked in urine strip testing or saliva….not blood serum).
Pellets are supra physiological doses of testosterone (and sometimes estradiol) that are implanted about every 3 months underneath the skin of the hip or buttocks area. Obviously your body isn’t doing well with this strategy. (oral progesterone converts to allapregnenelone and not progesterone, so you aren’t really getting progesterone….but your doctors don’t know this? Why not? No one has ever told them this. But those of us who compound progesterone and recommend using progesterone as a topical cream or for vaginal use, know this fact).
I guess my question for you is this: “Your body obviously isn’t doing well with these pellet implantations, so why do you continue on?” Since you asked, my strong suggestion for you is that you let the last pellet implantation run its course and then do not get any more pellets. We just do not believe in using pellets for women. (to find out more, reread my blogs on pellets and side effects) We have had much success with checking hormone levels in urine strip testing or saliva, and then customizing dosing for each individual using topical or vaginal application of hormone creams; then continuing to listen to the body’s biofeedback to adjust dosing as needed. Check out my website’s testimonial section for confidence in our strategy. For further information, go to my website’s “Begin Your Journey” and/or call us at 513-444-6343.

Dear Lyn,
I just found your blog and have a question regarding the pellet. I just had my first testosterone pellet put in 2 months ago and am having severe hair loss. When I retested the testosterone level a month after having it inserted the level was 225. I am also on progesterone 2 weeks of the month.
I am not going to do anymore pellets. I am so worried and depressed over my hair loss.  Will it ever grow back? I am worried that my hair follicles have died and the hair won’t grow back. What can I do right away to help it?
Thanks so much for your help. I feel sick about this.

My response:
If I had a dollar for every email I get on pellets. You are my second one today alone.
I am so sorry for your experience and your resultant hair loss. I do have to ask you a question about your hair loss before I can help you. Is your hair loss all over your head, or is it more like male pattern baldness? The more information I have, the more I can guide you.
I would spread the word to your friends about your experience with pellets so this doesn’t happen to them. You can also file a complaint with the medical board in your state. If they get enough complaints, they most likely will investigate.  Certainly telling clients of potential side effects from pellet use would be considered, in my book, important information to share with prospective pellet users.
Looking forward to more details on your specific hair loss so I can help you.

Continuing to stay informed and educated on your best health naturally is critical. My biggest mission in life is to continue to educate women on optimal hormone balance using topical hormone creams in physiological dosing, AND to continue to clear up the confusion about bhrt. There is so much misinformation in the media, at our doctors’ offices, with current standard of care. The truth is, personalized (customized) bhrt has been done in Europe for 30 years and we have many studies on their importance and significance. I urge you to continue to question your beliefs so you can get to the truth.  Please go to my website’s Recommended Readings and Resources section to read more.

“IT SAVED MY LIFE! EVERY WOMAN SHOULD READ THIS!”

I came across a blog posting recently at myfitnesspal.com with the title, “I got my life back and lost weight too.” The first sentences really caught my eye when the blogger says, “It saved my life! Every woman should read this.” So I did (!) and discovered it was about my Happy Hormone Cottage! Read what she says:

“I was diagnosed with about everything under the sun and put on just about every medication known to man and none of them worked. I was obese and addicted to food. I had horrible food cravings like a drug addict. I had no energy. I was depressed, anxious and nervous all the time. I had anxiety and panic attacks that landed me in the emergency room. I cried constantly over nothing. I had severe insomnia. I was diabetic. I had digestive problems and mysterious aches pains and random rashes. I was moody, cranky and sometimes downright hateful and mean. My periods were irregular and erratic. I had clotting and all kinds of awful things. I had severe headaches frequently and atleast a mild headache every day. Most days I couldn’t even leave my house and some days I couldn’t get out of bed. almost every day of my life I wished I was dead and some days I would actually research ways to kill myself on the internet (if you feel like this seek help immediately because there is always light at the end of the tunnel) and vow that as soon as my kids graduated from high school and moved out I would end my misery.

nobody would help me and the few people who did care enough to help were clueless as to what the problem could possibly be so I did the research on my own and it took me about 3 or 4 years to figure it out but I finally did, I had a severe hormonal imbalance. A hormonal imbalance can create all kinds of problems from barely noticeable to severe and it’s easy to diagnose and fix. I found an amazing place called The Happy Hormone Cottage where I got tested and discovered that I was estrogen dominant and did not have enough progesterone and now I am on an all natural bio-identical progesterone cream which is very inexpensive. I take it once a day and rub the cream into my wrists. I have only been on it for 6 months and all of my symptoms are gone. I have tons of energy, no food cravings, no depression, anxiety, panic attacks. I’m no longer diabetic and I sleep fine at night and no more headaches. I’ve also lost 42 pounds in 6 months and I haven’t even started to exercise yet. It also treats PMS and PMDD. This is something that everyone should look into just to be sure. not having enough progesterone can also cause pcos and miscarriages. A healthy progesterone level helps you carry a baby to term and give birth to a healthy baby.

I don’t think anyone should have to go through what I went through not even for a day. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy so if I can help even one person get help it is definitely worth it.

The Happy Hormone Cottage is in Ohio but everything can be done over the phone or computer so they can help anyone in any state all over the USA. There are also other companies that do the same thing it doesn’t matter which one you go to as long as you make sure it is all natural bio identical hormones and not synthetic. It does require a prescription from your doctor and is completely safe. your doctor will determine from your test results if you need it and how much you need. I know this is a weight loss site and I’m posting it here because before I got on the progesterone I couldn’t lose weight no matter what I tried and believe me I tried EVERYTHING but now that I’ve got the progesterone the weight is just falling off which is just an added bonus. The best thing is I’m happy again and I got my life back.. I hope this helps. Good luck everyone and God bless.”

I am SO very happy we could help and have such a positive, life-changing effect on someone’s life. But this is what we do every day. We ARE women helping women. And we DO make a difference every single day. And now that we have our own nurse practitioner on staff, we are so happy that we can impact women without current standard of care standing in our way. But I do disagree with the writer of the blog above when she says, “The Happy Hormone Cottage is in Ohio and they can help others in any state because much of what they do can be done over the phone and computer. But there are other companies who do the same things. Your doctor will determine from your test results if you need hormone therapy and how much….” This is simply NOT true. I actually do NOT know of any other company who does what we do:
-offer an initial free consultation
-offer easy, affordable, cutting edge take home testing for hormone levels in several key areas
-write the recommendation FOR the practitioner
-offer a second free consultation to go over how to use the therapy and supplements
-provide free monthly follow up phone calls and emails
-provide excellent customer service that is immediate and validating
-provide access to the compounding pharmacists who make the therapy and write the
recommendations
-provide holistic health care in the realm of Functional Medicine that focuses on disease
prevention and anti-aging
To go to your doctor and have him/her check hormone levels in anything other than blood serum is rare (almost unheard of) and most healthcare practitioners certainly do not have the training to be able to write a strategy for natural, optimal hormone balance. We just have not found this approach to be successful. This is why we like to partner with doctors who are open to being mentored in all of the nuances of customized, compounded hormone therapy. Those doctors who allow us to do so are the ones with the most satisfied clients. And we can help you find those doctors in other states. We look forward to serving you!