I Love What We Do……Fixing the Cause of Issues Like Libido

I just read the recent study, “Female ‘Viagra’ Only Modestly Increases Sexual Satisfaction,” which found that the new drug approved by the FDA to treat low sexual desire in women, Addyi, only “increases the sexual response in females by half of one sexual encounter a month.” I have to say I smirked when I read this. So let me get this straight…..women take this drug daily, with reported side effects like nausea, dizziness, fatigue and sleepiness…..for a benefit of one half of “one sexual encounter a month.” Seriously? This explains the low number of prescriptions written for this drug. After reading this article, I couldn’t help but be excited and proud all over again, that what we do at our Happy Hormone Cottage every single day is to fix the cause of issues, including libido, and not just band-aid symptoms with drug therapy.
Let’s talk libido in women. We know and understand that as we get older, by our mid-to-late 30s, our hormone receptors begin to deplete and we begin to experience issues related to this decrease in hormone production. (Progesterone, estrogen and testosterone) The most common symptoms reported at this stage are sleeplessness, anxiety, fatigue, and quite often, a lower libido. As women grow into their mid-to-late 40s, we can add weight gain, irritability, vaginal dryness, memory issues, hot flashes, and a significant decrease in libido. And if we include our tired adrenal glands, (responsible for cortisol production) that diligently try to keep up with our stress levels, and are often over-worked to the point of adrenal fatigue, we are at the point of no return. Let’s be clear. Tired and stressed women do not want sex! I often joke in my presentations, that there must not be a lot of sex in Ohio because most of the women I meet are exhausted! So what to do? I can tell you what we at our Happy Hormone Cottages don’t do. Our nurse practitioners don’t get out their prescription pads and prescribe anti-depressants, “female Viagara,” or big pharma hormone products- synthetic or otherwise! We actually begin by educating our women on the CAUSE of their issues, which can be explained in two words- hormone imbalance, whether it is with our sex hormones, cortisol and/or thyroid. So what to do? We offer cutting edge technology to test our hormones that not only tell us hormone (progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and cortisol) levels, but more importantly HOW our hormones are operating IN our bodies. We gather valuable information that is so much more informative than just giving us a number from a blood draw. From here, we work with each client to create a customized strategy that addresses in-depth the cause of her issues- her hormone imbalance. What we know in terms of libido is that just addressing our sex hormones is not enough in recovering our libido. We must also address our tired, over-worked adrenal glands. So we create a strategy that includes not only refilling depleted hormone receptors with customized, compounded hormone creams made from plant-based powders, but we also address adrenal dysfunction and adrenal fatigue. Jeff, R Ph, FAARM, has developed a proprietary blend of herbal adaptogens in two amazing adrenal support products that work on the brain to effectively deal with the symptoms of stress. These supplements effectively change cortisol curve patterns to give women energy during the day, and allows them to sleep at night. So over time, typically within a couple of months, adrenal dysfunction is healing and women are feeling more rested because they are sleeping at night, and more energetic during the day. By refilling hormone receptors for optimal hormone balance AND healing adrenal issues, libido returns. Even in our clients with flat-lined cortisol curves, true adrenal fatigue, adrenal function comes back over time as we work to not only refill hormone receptors, but also heal broken adrenal glands. Notice how our strategy works to FIX the cause of the issue, and is not about prescribing a drug that band-aids the symptoms. Doesn’t this just makes sense? For years, many doctors have been prescribing anti-depressants and sleeping aids for hormone imbalance issues such as anxiety and sleeplessness. My response is, “But you aren’t Prozac or Ambien deficient. You are most likely progesterone deficient. So let’s do viable hormone testing (not blood work) to see how your body is doing in regards to your hormones, so we can actually address and fix the problem.” Our strategy is working, and has worked for the past 7 years at our Happy Hormone Cottages. Women are sleeping; their fatigue is going away; their joy of life (progesterone related) is returning; they are hormonally balanced and addressing their cortisol issues. The bottom line is that by doing this and fixing the cause of their issues-hormone imbalance and adrenal fatigue- libido is returning. And really…isn’t this the point? Fixing the cause of hormone issues naturally by refilling depleting hormone receptors and addressing adrenal fatigue is the way we roll. For more information or to make an appointment for your consultation, call us at 513-444-6343 or visit us online at www.happyhormonecottage.com.

The Truth About Heart Disease

It is that time of year again when we are encouraged to wear red to increase awareness of heart disease in women. Here are the unsettling facts about heart disease in women:
-Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing one woman every minute
-90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease
-Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen
-While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease
The Go Red for Women’s message is simple- “It’s time to focus on finding, and becoming the solution. It’s time to go red!”
Further information from the American Heart Association in terms of how to prevent heart disease specifies “caring for your heart through a healthy diet and regular physical activity is the secret weapon to preventing heart disease. While many may assume that popping a few pills that your healthcare provider prescribed is enough to quell symptoms or prevent a heart attack, the real preventative power lies with real changes to your lifestyle, which can reduce the risk factor for heart disease by as much as 80%.” They go on to list Life’s Simple Seven:
-Get active: 40 minutes of aerobic exercise 4 times a week
-Control Cholesterol
-Eat better (veggies, fish, unrefined fiber-rich whole-grain foods, less sugar and saturated fats)
-Manage blood pressure
-Lose weight
-Reduce blood sugar
-Stop smoking
In addition, they add these helpful hints:
-Know your family history of heart disease
-Get the sleep you need
-Practice portion control with your food
-Reduce stress in your life
My favorite part in the AMA’s information is their section entitled HEART HEALTHY AT 50:
“As women age, we lose some of our body’s natural defenses against heart disease. This can happen because of changes in hormones from menopause, which can affect your cholesterol levels. Also, type 2 diabetes usually develops in women after age 45. Hormonal changes that usually take place in our late 40’s and 50’s make our health an even greater consideration as we age. Understand how menopause could impact your heart health and learn more about hormonal treatment therapies. Play an active role in your healthcare and work with your doctor to determine if you have any heart disease risk factors. If you are already at risk, ask your doctor how you can reduce it:
-Get heart screenings
-Know your numbers
-Watch what you eat
-Get physical”
About a year ago, I wrote an article entitled “Customized Bioidentical Hormones and Heart Health” where I talked about what we know in regards to positively impacting the prevention of heart disease. We know that bioidentical estrogen has positive effects on cardiovascular health because it is a vasodilator and actually relaxes the endothelial lining of the blood vessels, thus lowering the risk of blood clots. Bioidentical progesterone is a natural diuretic. It lowers blood volume, thus lowering blood pressure and putting less stress on the cardiovascular system. In addition, testosterone therapy impacts the effectiveness of the heart by improving muscle contractility and strength.
It is important to understand that maintaining cardiovascular health with physiological dosing of BHRT (estradiol, progesterone and testosterone), along with diet, lifestyle and nutritional supplements can greatly impact cardiovascular health. Current belief by Functional Medicine doctors and anti-aging experts concur that cardiovascular disease is caused by inflammation, stress and an overactive immune response. Furthermore, foods that contain transfats, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup can cause excessive inflammatory reactions within the linings of blood vessels that lead to clots and cardiovascular events (stroke and heart attack). Taking omega 3’s, aged garlic, niacin, resveretrol and N-acetyl cystine in conjunction with drug therapy (low dose statins and ace inhibitors) can greatly reduce inflammatory factors and help prevent cardiovascular events. These strategies offer the best protection and prevention of heart disease.
Compare the difference in the body of knowledge and the health tips between the American Medical Association and A4M (American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine) And I have to ask WHY? Why isn’t the knowledge I know, common knowledge? Why isn’t our current standard of care up to speed with this important life-changing information? There are studies (www.happyhormonecottage.com/Resources & Reading/Practitioner’s Resources) available. We give them out at our Happy Hormone Cottages.
Wearing red to promote heart health awareness, like wearing purple to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s, is not a bad thing. It just isn’t enough. We need to continue to spread the word on the truth of hormone balance and how IT positively impacts heart health. The truth is that the latest information shows that “refilling our hormone tanks” is critical for the prevention of heart disease, breast cancer, dementia and osteoporosis. We need to continue to get the word out by educating and empowering women so they can educate their doctors. We MUST stop focusing on menopause and broaden the perspective to HORMONE IMBALANCE that plagues all women after age 35. Yes, the 7 Healthy Heart Tips make sense. But, in addition, we need to be refilling our hormone tanks for our best health naturally. Estrogen alone performs over 300 jobs in our bodies. We begin to lose our estrogen as we enter menopause (whereas we begin to lose progesterone around age 35….thus we consider this a hormone imbalance issue as opposed to a menopause issue). If we don’t replenish our estrogen receptors, how are these jobs going to get done? And I don’t consider slapping on an estrogen patch or taking an estradiol pill refilling our hormone receptors. I’m talking about physiological dosing of customized BHRT for EACH woman based on her test results (and not determined through blood serum).
It is imperative we do everything we can to own our own journey to our heart health by not only adopting the 7 Healthy Heart Tips from the AMA, but by also REFILLING OUR HORMONE TANKS, reducing the foods we eat that contain transfats, sugar and high fructose corn syrup, taking omega 3’s and the other supplements mentioned above that reduce inflammation and help prevent cardiovascular events. And yes, we can continue to wear red! I only hope we can continue to broaden our perspective to include this holistic health approach discussed above, as well.

“I Don’t Do Hormones. They Cause Cancer”

I was at a recent book signing for my book, “Own Your Journey,” and a cute little lady of around 80 years old walked by, saw my “Own Your Journey to Optimal Hormone Balance” sign and said, “I don’t do hormones. They cause cancer.” I had to laugh! It struck me as funny that she would think I was sitting there promoting cancer; as if I was handing it out. “Step right up and get your cancer.” Goodness! But the sad truth is that much confusion remains, and is often perpetuated by the media, in this area of hormone balance. With the 2002 report from the Women’s Health Initiative on hormones: WH1-estrogen plus progestin, much confusion and misinformation reigns. I actually began my Happy Hormone Cottage in 2009 for the express purpose of clearing up this confusion. My job is to fill the gap between the information we often receive from our healthcare practitioners and the media vs the truth of hormones and hormone replacement. The best, simplest article I have read on this recently is by Dr Jennifer Landa, “Combatting Weight Gain After Menopause,” published October 6, 2014. Dr Landa writes, “Part of why Bioidentical HRT gets a bad rap-and so many women miss out on the relief it provides-is because conventional HRT, in which synthetic hormones are used, was shown to increase risk of breast cancer, heart attack and other problems for women in a 2002 landmark study called The Women’s Health Initiative. As a result, many doctors were too quick to assume that all hormone replacement therapy is dangerous. BUT IT JUST ISN’T SO. These women were taking synthetic, non-bioidentical hormones that are different from what the body produces naturally. Synthetic hormones pose higher risk because they aren’t the same as what your body produces-so they have unnatural consequences.

Bioidentical hormone therapy, by contrast, uses more natural hormones that biologically mirror those made by your ovaries. Research shows that the specific combination of Bioidentical estradiol and progesterone improves bone strength, reduces weight, and improves cholesterol levels in women. And in case all the hype about hormone replacement and breast cancer has scared you, rest assured: **A very large study in France (the Fornier study) showed that there is no increased risk of breast cancer among women taking a combination of estrogen and progesterone. Progestins, however, are the synthetic of progesterone and have been shown to increase breast cancer risk (Provera and Prempro) so you will want to avoid those.”

Dr Landa continues, “While the goal of Bioidentical HRT is to get your estrogen levels back up, which will help ward off the pounds, keep your bones strong and your heart healthy, it cannot be safely prescribed unless progesterone is also prescribed. I recommend that you ask for estradiol, the most commonly prescribed estrogen, through the skin, as well as micronized progesterone, a form that is the same as what your body produces naturally. For a more personalized hormone therapy approach, you may consider seeing a hormone specialist with additional training in Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.”

Thank you, Dr Landa, for this information. I also highly recommend Dr Jeffrey Dach’s new book, “Bioidentical Hormones 101- Made Exceedingly Simple” as an easy-to-read informative resource on the truth of Bhrt. He also wrote a great article, “Waking Up from the Synthetic Hormone Nightmare,” where he uncovers the 7 Myths and Misconceptions of Bhrt. He also writes about the fact that there are at least 60 documented “studies” that were written by ghost writers. Ghost writers are hired by drug companies to write about the benefits of their hormone product, downplaying their risks, while shedding doubt on the benefits and truth of Bhrt. And doctors are reading these “studies.” So is it any wonder that there is so much confusion and misinformation in this area of women’s health? Not to beat a dead horse, but this is exactly why we each must own our journey to natural hormone balance. And this begins by being willing to question our beliefs!

Our Happy Hormone Cottage is exactly one of those “hormone specialists” Dr Landa writes about. Our purpose is two-fold:

-as an educational facility that validates each woman’s journey and then educates her on her options (we have studies, readings & resources on our website, and books on Bhrt) to clear up the confusion.

-as a medical facility where we test our clients hormone levels in several areas: sex hormones, adrenal glands and thyroid, using our innovative FDA-approved Thyroflex machine. Our nurse practitioner writes the customized prescription therapy for each client based on both lab results AND the issues brought to the 45-60 minute consultation where she addresses concerns and questions by our clients. Our hormone prescriptions are compounded micronized progesterone, bi estrogen and testosterone (as needed and based on our cutting edge lab testing) creams that are used vaginally so all hormone receptors can be refilled. Refilling depleted hormone receptors that deplete with age is necessary for preventing diseases as we age. We never limit our perspective to “menopause.” We opt for the bigger perspective of hormone imbalance, that starts around age 35, and sometimes younger. Finally, we do NOT believe in giving our bodies supra-physiological doses of any one hormone. This does not make sense to us and our functional medicine/holistic health perspective. We only give physiological doses of our Bhrt creams. This means we only give each woman what her body needs. We follow up with each client frequently, have them come back for a 3 month follow up visit with our nurse practitioner, and recheck hormone levels in all 3 areas, as needed, annually. I am proud of our journey over the past 5+ years, and I am excited to embark on the next 5 years of validating, educating and treating women for their highest quality of life.
For more information, or to schedule your consultation, call us at 513-444-6343. We look forward to serving you!

So Many Women……..So Much New Research!

I look around me every day to the women over 35 I see, and I think to myself, “You really need me. I have such compassion for you. How will I get the truth, based on research and studies, to you? When will you begin to question your beliefs and be open to this truth?” You see, I opened my Happy Hormone Cottage in the Heart of Centerville more than 5 years ago, to talk with women about their bodies and holistic health. I knew I couldn’t change standard of care, doctors’ opinions or big pharmaceutical company’s agendas. But I knew I could impact women, one woman at a time. Women showed up, were validated, educated, treated and got better. They began to tell their family and friends, who in turn told their inner circle, and word spread. We have 5 local Happy Hormone Cottages and we have a good reputation in the community for really helping women understand their bodies, embrace a holistic hormone path, and empower a change for the better. As an educator for over 30 years, I understand that real learning involves a change in behavior. This is why we are an educational facility first, and a medical facility second.
So my new campaign is centered around this new research: “We need to REFILL OUR HORMONE TANKS for a high quality of life that is disease preventative.” I think many women assume that our HHC only deals with menopause, so if they aren’t of that age, it doesn’t apply to them. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are all about building awareness around the subject of hormone imbalance:

> What It Is: Hormone imbalance is what happens to women over age 35 when their progesterone levels begin to deplete. This happens to ALL women and is part of the aging process. This attendant loss of progesterone leads to estrogen dominance and introduces the potential for a wealth of issues:
-sleeplessness
-anxiety
-depression
-moodiness/irritability
-sugar cravings
-aches & pains
-increased risk of breast cancer
-since estrogen is a FAT STORER, weight gain becomes an issue (think “love handles”)
-accompanying this is often adrenal fatigue and irregular/inconsistent cortisol levels

> Who It Happens To: As stated above, hormone imbalance affects all women over the age of 35, and often younger, as part of the aging process. We have some 20 year olds on therapy. Hormone imbalance happens to everyone. Yes, even men! Again, hormone imbalance is part of the aging process.

> How We Correct This Imbalance: Correcting hormone imbalance happens by refilling our hormone tanks with individualized, customized therapy that can be adjusted as we age. Refilling our hormone tanks is KEY for a life with a lower risk for disease (heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis and breast cancer). In short, it is our anti-aging strategy.

So, if hormone imbalance happens to everyone and is part of the aging process, why aren’t our healthcare practitioners all over this? We know our doctors have our best health at heart. They are good guys. The problem is doctors know what they know. Most don’t know hormone imbalance. Why not? It isn’t taught in medical school and there is a lot of newer research that doctors would have to wade through. Therefore, most of our doctors, unless they are trained in Functional Medicine (the study of holistic health) don’t know this piece. In addition, they are visited by drug reps for the latest, greatest drugs to band-aid symptoms of issues. So for hot flashes, estrogen patches are given. For anxiety and depression, antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds are prescribed. For sleep issues, a sleeping aid is prescribed. See the difference?In contrast, OUR nurse practitioner checks hormone levels in cutting edge, dried urine strip testing, and using these labs and your body’s biofeedback, creates a customized, compounded strategy that refills our hormone tanks, heals exhausted adrenal glands and addresses proper supplementation. It is a strategy for life that fixes the cause of the imbalance. This is very different than slapping on an estrogen patch, which promotes even more estrogen dominance and raises our risk for breast cancer; not to mention weight gain. Why do we do this?
Knowing this information now, what will prevent you from visiting our HHC to REFILL YOUR HORMONE TANKS? Let’s address the excuses:

1) Expense- Initial consultations cost $25. Cost of testing and to see our nurse practitioner is reimbursable by most insurance policies. The cost of therapy and supplements is about the cost of a latte a day. Progesterone is $1 a day. I always ask the question, “Hm-m-m-m,
how much will it cost to address a disease that could have been prevented by refilling your hormone tank?” I am reminded of Dr Prudence Hall’s famous quote, “Hormones are to women, what water is to plants.”

2) Time- I believe we all do what is most important to us. Our health is the most important thing we have. I think the more important question is, how can we NOT make the time to do what it takes to keep our body functioning at optimal levels? As our hormone receptors begin to deplete at age 35, the biggest complaint I hear from women is that they have lost their joy of life. Their energy is waning, their libido is gone, they are gaining weight, and they are tired. What a sad way to live. We must refill our hormone tanks for a high quality of life full of energy, libido, and a zest for life. We know this is best accomplished through hormone balancing of all of our sex hormones and cortisol AND by looking at the function of the thyroid with our new innovative Thyroflex machine.

3) Knowledge-In this arena of hormone balance, it truly is up to us to own our own journey. The research IS out there. But the media likes to recycle the 10 year old misinformation and myths surrounding BHRT, with the big pharmaceutical agenda, so the waters are kept muddy on purpose and confusion reigns. Our goal at the Happy Hormone Cottage is to UN-confuse our clients by sharing with them the latest research in the form of studies (written by doctors) and a plethora of books and articles. You can go to my website at www.happyhormonecottage.com and click on Resources/Readings for the latest information. *We also provide a Practitioner’s Resources section full of studies, for healthcare practitioners to aid them in their information gathering and knowledge-base, as well. I urge you to send your doctors there. If they are engaged in learning about this information along with you, it allows for a more well-rounded, honest conversation based on truth….and not misinformation that was gleaned from a newspaper article or seen on tv with misinformation and untruths.

I hope this information is helpful in clearing up the truth about hormone balance. We MUST REFILL OUR HORMONE TANKS for our BEST HEALTH NATURALLY. We MUST OWN OUR OWN JOURNEY. I look forward to serving you at our cottage, to help answer your questions, provide you with the latest information, and to guide you on your path to a healthier life. We are women helping women for wellness and we look forward to working with you!

I So Wish You Had A Facility Here!

“Hi Lyn!
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday. My gyn is in the Orlando area. She has a good reputation for being the best in the area, however her practice has gotten so big that the last few times I have felt very rushed and I always have to wait at least an hour to see her. She is also big on recommending products she sells at the office…..not sure how I feel about that.
My anxiety has been off the charts. It’s a combination of hormones, work and taking care of my parents. My Mother has had a lot of health issues and is having another surgery this week.
I don’t handle stress well, although I’m working on it!
I did blood work for my doctor and am now using progesterone cream and a progesterone capsule at night. These have really helped my hot flashes. The compounding pharmacy that I use has been really helpful. They explain more about what I’m taking than my doctor did. My doctor wants me to take a saliva test next week. I did read on her website that she also uses urine testing.
I also wanted to thank you and Jeff for all you do for women, as this has been one of the most difficult things I’ve experienced. I know there is a lesson for me in this and feel that I can at least now guide other women when they go through this. As I told you yesterday, you just may see me in the near future at your facility in Ohio! Oh I SO wish you had a Happy Hormone Cottage here where I live!
Thank you again, Lyn! I really appreciate all of your help.”

My response:
“Hi! It is always my pleasure to speak with women and offer insight into dealing with hormone imbalance issues. Here is what I know- hormone imbalance is a part of the aging process for ALL women. It is how we handle this imbalance that is important. We can listen to the drug company rhetoric, that influences our doctors, our standard of care, what our insurance covers and even NAMS (North America Menopause Society) into believing that it is all about menopause so drugging for the masses for the shortest amount of time possible to alleviate symptoms with drugs dosed for the masses (including antidepressants and sleeping aids) is the way to go. Or we can own our journey to hormone balance and wellness by taking charge of our health. What we understand at our Happy Hormone Cottage, based on years of studies by doctors in this field, is that we MUST refill our hormone tanks as we age for a high quality of life and health. As Dr Prudence Hall says, “Hormones are to women, what water is to plants.” There is a great study on my website by Dr Erica Schwartz and Dr Kent Holtorf on “The Truth About Hormone Therapy”
that really stresses this truth about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. We can do nothing and have today be the best day we have OR we can take charge of our journey to our best health naturally and refill our hormone receptors that deplete with age. Doing this not only helps prevent the diseases that come with aging that are caused by this attendant decrease in hormones: heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis and breast cancer, but also alleviates the disruptive symptoms of our hormone imbalance: anxiety, sleeplessness, fatigue, low libido, brain fog, weight gain, and hot flashes.
It sounds like your doctor is on the right track, but we really like dried urine strip testing over blood, saliva or urine collection for checking hormones. Precision Analytical Lab in Oregon is our favorite lab for this innovative, cutting edge technology. It is easy to use and provides us with SO much valuable information about how our bodies are using our hormones. We can then use this information to create a great customized strategy for each woman for hormone balance with progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, as well as cortisol.
We don’t have plans to open any more Happy Hormone Cottages. Five is enough! But women are flying and driving in to see us from all over the country. This is so validating on so many levels and really shows me how this organic movement of women helping women has become so life-changing! I am also always available to come to your area to speak to groups of women who are interested in taking charge of their journey to their best health. This often starts with hormone balance. Getting educated and knowing the information that is out there is a good place to start. My book, Own Your Journey…..to Optimal Hormone Balance” (available on my website) is also a good resource.
Keep in touch. I hope to see you in Ohio (or northern Kentucky) at one of our Happy Hormone Cottage facilities. Best, Lyn”

My Five Year Reflection as Executive Director of The Happy Hormone Cottage

When I began my Happy Hormone Cottage endeavor 5 years ago, I just wanted to help women regain their joy of life. After my own journey into the world of hormone imbalance, when my husband went back to school to become trained as a compounding pharmacist so he could help me, I became aware of the magnitude and the severity of the lack of real information available to women in this arena of natural hormone balance. We go to our trusted doctors for help and for answers and herein lies the disconnect. This is the one area where the misinformation and confusion run rampant, and is often perpetuated by the media, with the big pharma agenda. There are tons of studies and books on natural hormone balance and the importance of replenishing our depleting hormone receptors as we age, to not only alleviate our symptoms (sleep issues, anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, low libido, hot flashes, brain fog, sugar cravings, weight gain) of hormone imbalance, but more importantly, to prevent disease (dementia, heart disease, osteoporosis and breast cancer.) Why aren’t these studies being discussed in the media? Why don’t our doctors know and understand the benefits, the necessity, of refilling our hormone receptors? Could it be because ob gyns join a group called ACOG (American college of obstetrics and gynecology) and I suspect ACOG is funded by a pharmaceutical company or two? Dr Prudence Hall is often quoted as saying, “Hormones are to women what water is to plants.” Why isn’t this truth more a part of standard of care? The bottom line is that it isn’t. So my job, my mission, my passion is to educate women on the importance of refilling our hormone tanks as we age. This is functional medicine at its best! Functional medicine is the study of our whole body (holistic health) and how to keep it running as a whole by focusing on preventing disease and finding/ fixing the cause of disease. This is a much different approach than current standard of care that band-aids symptoms and promotes the big pharma agenda of drugging for the masses. So here is where owning our journey comes into play. I hope the days of taking our doctors’ word as law are over and that we are encouraged to think for ourselves. This alone is reason to visit one of our 5 Happy Hormone Cottages where our biggest mission is offering educational consultations supported by studies and books on the subject, so women can own their journey to their best health naturally. After all, learning is a change in behavior, so educating ourselves on our options is the first step. I have seen a lot of growth in this area. More and more women are dissatisfied with this lack of information and options at their healthcare practitioners’ visits, so more and more women are coming in to see us.
Over the past 5 years, I have seen our happy clients tell their friends and inner circle, who have told their friends and inner circle so that we have exploded from one tiny cottage in the Heart of Centerville, to 5 different cottages in 5 different cities from north of Dayton to northern Kentucky. We have developed from just an educational facility to now include a medical facility as well. We now have our own hormone health expert working on 2 of our campuses. I call Angela, our nurse practitioner, our hormone whisperer, and we encourage our women to keep their ob gyns for their gyn needs, but to see our Angela for their hormone needs. After all, we take our pets to veterinary specialists and our broken cars to car experts. Why not take our hormone needs to a hormone specialist? Doesn’t this just make sense?
I have learned that we can’t treat sex hormones in isolation. We have much greater success when we also address our adrenal health and thyroid needs. Why? Because the body doesn’t work alone. So we heal it from the functional medicine holistic perspective.
During my tenure as executive director of the Happy Hormone Cottage, I have seen the healing effects of listening to and validating women. Everyone just wants to know they matter. When our women visit us, we listen, we validate, we educate, and empower, but at the end of the day, we make sure they know how much they matter to us.
I have learned that no matter how much I want to help every woman, I can really only help the ones who want to be helped. Those women who say, “My doctor says I’m fine,” or who balk when they have to pay for (some of) their medical care aren’t our clients. Our clients are those who think for themselves, ask questions, want to take charge of their health and are willing to make their best health a priority, no matter the cost. Our therapy is affordable, often reimbursable through insurance, but the bottom line is we always do what is most important to us. Our clients walk their talk of wanting to regain their best health naturally.
So where do I see us going over the next 5 years? I have been getting asked this question a lot lately. My answer? I don’t know but I’m open to the possibilities! I know I don’t want to live a small life. I want to live my life on purpose and my unique purpose involves serving people. I know I want to continue to think BIG! Over the past 5 years, I have written a book (Own Your Journey, available at my bookstore ) and I have just recently started a foundation, The Women’s Health Initiatives Foundation to raise money for the prevention of breast cancer. If we can predict it, we can prevent it. Personally, I can think of no greater cause. I know I want to educate and impact more and more women around the country through speaking engagements, my book, my foundation, my website, my blogs… and ultimately encourage them to come and see us at one of our Happy Hormone Cottages. We now have women calling us from all over the country as well as driving and flying in from as far away as Texas and Florida to visit us and our nurse practitioner. I find this amazing and I’m ever so grateful that our circle of influence is ever expanding. Our mission has always been, and will continue to be women helping women. It is important. To put it most simply, I just want to “Be the Change.” ~ Ghandi

Happy Hormone Cottage Forms Women’s Health Foundation to Prevent Breast Cancer

Lyn Hogrefe, CEO of Happy Hormone Cottage, LLC, has formed the Women’s Health Initiatives Foundation in Kettering, Ohio to fund research to discover the causes of breast cancers in women and seek preventative measures.

Lyn Hogrefe, a warrior for women’s wellness and CEO of Happy Hormone Cottage, LLC, has formed a nonprofit foundation dedicated to identifying breast cancer causes in women and seek ways to prevent it. Kelly Brown of West Carrolton, Ohio has been named executive director of the Women’s Health Initiatives Foundation in Kettering. Brown said the foundation aims to raise $100,000 to work with medical researchers to confirm the connection between estrogen metabolites and the development of certain types of breast cancer. Once connections are established, women can be tested for biomarkers and treated with supplementation and nutrition.

“If we can predict breast cancer, we can prevent it,” said Hogrefe. “There is a lot of focus in the medical community on women obtaining proper screening—and proper screening is always necessary– but screening is not the same as prevention. Screening is detection only. Prevention is taking steps with diet, nutrition, exercise and refilling depleted hormone receptors.”

A fundraiser and silent auction titled “Date Night Decadence” featuring wine, chocolate and coffee is planned for Saturday, Oct. 18 from 8 to 10 p.m. at Warehouse for Coffee, 335 S Dixie Dr. in Vandalia. An admission fee of $25 will go toward the breast cancer prevention initiative.

“Our foundation was formed to educate women about achieving optimal health through natural hormone balance, nutritional supplementation and healthy lifestyle choice,” said Brown. “We are laser-focused on funding research in the field of predicting which women may be prone to breast cancer and intervening before the disease has a chance to develop.”

About 232,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and 40,000 women will die from it, according to the American Cancer Society. One in eight women will suffer from invasive breast cancer within her lifetime. Additionally, about 85 percent of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of the
disease, according to Breastcancer.org.

Hogrefe is founder of Happy Hormone Cottage, an education and resource center that tests women for hormone imbalances and treats themwith compounded prescription creams individualized to their specific hormone needs. HHC offices are in Kettering, Piqua, Vandalia, and Mason, Ohio and Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

More than 5,000 women across the Midwest have been treated by Happy Hormone Cottage so far, said Hogrefe. Women can obtain a free, initial consultation, and get their hormone, cortisol and thyroid levels tested. Compounded hormone prescriptions contain biestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, hormones that diminish in women after the age of 35 years old. Testing and treatment is now available for adrenal gland and thyroid issues.

Hogrefe has written Own Your Journey to Optimal Hormone Balance (New Leaf Press, April, 2014) a book on her personal journey to wellness through Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). She is an award-winning educator, a Top 25 Women to Watch, Athena Award finalist, Cincy Chic Woman of the Year, and a speaker, educator and blogger on women’s hormone health.  The book is available on the Happy Hormone Cottage website and in all of its five office locations. All book proceeds go to the foundation. For more information, go to www.womenshealthinitiatives.org. To attend the “Date Night Decadence” fundraiser and silent auction, contact Brown at Kelly@womenshealthinitiatives.org or call (937) 371-4838.

Screening is NOT Prevention

I just saw on Facebook a free app one can download from Premier Health: (and I quote) “Download our free checklist of Preventive Screenings for Women at various stages of life. Women’s Health Institute-Be proactive about your health by staying on top of necessary screenings and health care visits. Regular checkups and screenings are critical for women throughout their entire lives. Our checklist includes recommended screening for every phase of your life. Some of the screening include: breast cancer screening, thyroid disease screening, bone density/osteoporosis screening, cervical cancer, hearing exam and many more. Take the first step to a life-change today by downloading our free checklist of preventive screenings for women!”
Now, let me emphasize that I like the message–taking care of our health. There is nothing wrong with this or the checklist. After all, I just wrote a book entitled, “Own Your Journey….to Optimal Hormone Health,” and no one is more passionate about creating AND DOING checklists than me! But let me be the one to point out that SCREENING for disease IS NOT PREVENTION of disease. It is DETECTION! There is a world of difference between these 2 concepts. I am ALL about prevention. I think you might be challenged to find anyone anywhere who is more passionate about prevention of disease than me. After all, I founded my Happy Hormone Cottage 5 years ago to educate women on a darn good way to prevent: heart disease, osteoporosis, dementia and breast cancer. And I can tell you that refilling depleted hormone receptors that deplete as we age (starting at age 35 with progesterone) with physiological doses (exactly what each body needs based on viable lab work that is more inclusive than standard of care blood work) is KEY for the prevention of these diseases. This is true prevention….not screening for a disease. Because when you screen for a disease and find it….you already have it. So isn’t the term “preventive screening” an oxymoron? Unless you mean that if you detect the disease early enough through screening, it may prevent death.

Screening programs are vital for treating disease (not prevention OF the disease). The earlier illness is detected, often the better chance for successful treatment. As Jeff Hogrefe RPh, FAARM, writes in an earlier blog, ‘Open Letter to Dayton Daily News,’  “Early screening is NOT preventative medicine. It is simply early screening. I believe there is a strong correlation in the medical literature that having a vitamin D level in the 60-80 ng/ml reduces the risk of colon cancer 80-85%. Colonoscopies for detecting colon cancer are a great screening tool. Measuring vitamin D levels and supplementing to goal of 60-80 is preventative medicine. Screening for osteoporosis using dexascan is also a valuable tool. Understanding that the underlying cause of osteoporosis is a depletion in the hormones progesterone, estradiol, and testosterone in combination with excessive cortisol levels, then effectively correcting these imbalances is good preventative medicine. Contrast with current treatment strategies of using biphosphonates (Boniva) and high dose chalk (calcium carbonate) supplementation. According to the FDA, biphosphonates have only been shown to be safe and effective for maximum of 5 years (most menopausal women I know plan on living longer than 5 years). I have to believe there are better, smarter treatment strategies than the current standard of care.”

Wouldn’t it make more sense for us to spend our time and resources getting educated and then implementing ways to STAY HEALTHY? To me, this would be real prevention. For example, becoming aware of environmental toxins in the foods we eat, and in the products we use (using deoderants instead of anti-perspirants with aluminum chlorohydrate) would be a good place to start. How about understanding that taking 2000 mg per day of omega 3’s helps lower metabolism, pushes thyroid into the cells of the brain for brain clarity and reduces inflammation. Could we understand the negative impact that sugar plays in our health and then adopt eating strategies that incorporate eating less sugar? Pick up a copy of Dr David Purlmutter’s bestseller, “Grain Brain” to understand the role eating wheat flour plays in the heightened risk of Alzheimer’s and insulin resistance/diabetes. Invest in a copy of Dr Jeffrey Dach’s “Bioidentical Hormones 101……Made Exceedingly Simple” for real answers to the confusion in hormone therapy, often perpetuated by the media, with the big pharma agenda, and often written by ghostwriters hired by the pharmaceutical industry to downplay the risks of their products while shedding doubt on bioidentical hormones. These are just a few examples. Truly, one MUST Own Your Journey to your best health naturally. Doing this, in my mind, is the best prevention of disease we have.

To learn more about bhrt with customized, compounded hormone creams; adrenal health and thyroid health…along with a great life style change eating plan for losing weight and then keeping it off, connect with us at www.happyhormonecottage.com. #womenhelpingwomen

Hormone Pellets

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

This just in from another hormonally imbalanced woman:

“Greetings Lyn,

I just discovered your website and thank you for all your advice, concern and care for those of us experiencing the challenges of hormonal imbalances. I received my first sotto-pellet insertion in Sept of 2013, a second in Jan 2014 and a third in late April 2014. The first seemed like a miracle drug and I vowed to continue to my death! It stopped the night sweats and flashes, increased my libido and got rid of the anxiety, running thoughts and restless sleepless nights. I also take 10mg progesterone nightly. The problem is that I have started back having hot flashes! They started back in January of 2014 and have persisted to a degree since then. The only other problem I have is that the estrogen has stimulated uterine fibroids which had not bothered me for at least 5 years. So, the level of estrogen is always a consideration. I completed the cortisone test and am taking supplements for that. I’m just a little weary about continuing the insertions. But, I have gotten a lot of good results and don’t want to go back to the degree of severity I experience before, but also don’t like paying $500 each insertion and am still experiencing hot flashes! Suggestions…..I am in Georgia.”

My response:

“Thank you for your email and your kind words. Hopefully you have gone to my blog site and scrolled down to the blogs I’ve written on pellets. We are against them for women for a plethora of health reasons. We understand that the supra – physiological dosing of testosterone that continues to build in your body with each insertion isn’t a good idea. Testosterone converts to estrogen. One of the estrogens it converts to is estrone. Estrone is the breast cancer cell proliferator (builder). This scares me. Also, if you are taking oral progesterone, what we know as compounders is that oral progesterone converts to allapregnenelone and very little converts to progesterone….so now you have estrogen dominance. This also promotes weight gain, breast cancer, brain fog, etc. Another issue with pellets is if the methylation pathway the testosterone travels down through the body is the 5a-alpha reductase pathway, it converts to dht for male pattern baldness. So we have pellet users come to us frequently with balding heads, facial hair, deepening voices, bleeding issues…..These are just some of the reasons it doesn’t make sense to me to put too much of any hormone into one’s body. We only prescribe physiological dosing of hormones that each body needs, determined by urine strip testing. This testing gives us so much more information than blood serum. We do work with pellet users after their final insertion has been at least 3 months and we work to rebalance them. It does take time. Our Happy Hormone Cottage also works to heal adrenal glands and thyroid. We are a functional medicine (holistic health) facility that works to fix the cause of issues and not just band aid symptoms. My suggestion for you is to call us at 513-444-6343 to set up a phone consultation. We can work with you to get you balanced. We have women driving and flying in from all over the country to see our nurse practitioner. If this isn’t possible for you, you will need to find a doctor in your area to sign off on our recommendation for your hormone balance. We use customized hormone creams vaginally. I hope this information helps. Read my blogs on pellets for even more info.

Her response:

Greetings Lyn,

Again, thank you so much for the information and of course, the speedy response! I certainly didn’t expect that. I have signed up online and have completed the medical history form and am looking forward to my phone consult on Thursday! I am excited about the possibilities and thank you again for your assistance!” I’m so happy we are here to help. Serving women by restoring optimal hormone balance is our mission. Refilling our hormone tanks to restore joy of life and prevent disease is what we are all about.

Warmly,
Lyn.

Read more about our view on pellets here

“I Asked My Ob Gyn About Bioidentical Hormones Yesterday……….”

I love getting these emails because it gives me yet another chance to guide women. This email began with, “FYI-I asked my ob gyn about bioidentical hormones yesterday at an appointment and she said she doesn’t know much about them. She is also reluctant to recommend them because they are not FDA-approved. She may be open to learning more if someone approaches her. She answered all of my questions about menopause pretty honestly, I believe.” Where to start? My response is this:
“I am happy you were able to speak with your doctor and I appreciate her honesty in admitting she doesn’t know much about BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy). She is somewhat misinformed about the FDA piece. Everything we make (customized, compounded bhrt) is FDA-approved. The problem is that the FDA’s job is to approve drugs for the masses. The job to approve customized therapy for one falls under the jurisdiction of the states’ Boards of Pharmacy. The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy is extremely stringent, which is a good thing!
On a side note, just because a drug for the masses has been approved by the FDA, does not make it safe or effective. Many of these are approved after a mere 12-week study. Really? And then we wonder why we see ads and commercials about drugs that have been recalled because they have harmful side effects, including death. So I’m not sure why being FDA-approved is the gold standard. It certainly is not in my book.
I am hopeful that your doctor, and other ob gyns, will make it their responsibility to become informed on the safety and efficacy of customized, compounded bhrt. It is not my job to teach them. In fact, it would be most beneficial and impactful for you to get information to her so she can get educated and informed. My website (www.happyhormonecottage.com) has a
Resources & Readings section chockfull of studies and resources. I have even incorporated a special “Practitioner’s Resources” section full of studies so any doctor who wants to become informed has this info at his/her fingertips. I have already done all the work in gathering this data.
Here’s the thing- WE are not going away. BHRT is not a fad. Ours is a grassroots, organic movement of educating and empowering women so they can Own Their Journey to WELLNESS. The women who do the work and become educated are the ones who become empowered to their best health naturally.
The research shows again and again that we MUST REFILL OUR HORMONE TANKS THAT DEPLETE WITH AGE so our bodies have what they need to go the distance. Our hormones begin to deplete at age 35. By the time we are through with menopause, we no longer have the estrogen we need to protect our heart from heart disease or our brain from dementia; we no longer have the testosterone we need to rebuild new, strong bone; and we no longer have the progesterone we need to balance our estrogen dominance to fight breast cancer. A wonderful study on my website’s Resources & Readings section was conducted by Dr Erika Schwartz and Dr Kent Holtorf entitled, “Hormones in Wellness and Disease Prevention: Current State of the Evidence and Questions for the Future.” Read it. Encourage your healthcare practitioner to read it. After all, if your healthcare practitioner doesn’t know much about this critical topic in women’s health of WELLNESS ANG AGING, what is YOUR responsibility? How will YOU own your own journey to wellness?”
The truth is, hormones are to women what water is to plants. They are necessary for a great quality of life so we can go the distance. I urge women to come in and see us to begin their journey to hormone balance and wellness. My greatest gift is getting women on board so they can take charge of their journey. We have tons of studies, books and articles. I just wrote my own book, “Own Your Journey….to Optimal Hormone Balance” to help and guide women. (You can order it online on my website’s “shop 24/7 online store).

I recommend women keep their ob gyn for their ob gyn needs, but come in and see our hormone health expert, Angela Rothstein, for their hormone needs. We wouldn’t take our imported car to a Ford dealership. Why would we trust our bodies in this arena of women’s health to practitioners who are not well-versed in this field? As consumers, we have the right to demand the best for ourselves and our hormone journey. It does begin with you. Simply dialoguing with your doctor to get his/her opinion isn’t enough. Because the information can be confusing and the media continues to circulate misinformation and untruths with the big pharma agenda, you won’t have a chance if you don’t think for yourself, ask the big questions and learn the truth for yourself. Your journey to wellness is yours. Own it!