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

FOUR YEAR ANNIVERSARY REFLECTION

Four years ago today, I opened my tiny little cottage in the Heart of Centerville. My intention was simply to talk with women. Through my own journey with hormone imbalance issues, and in my ongoing conversations with women of all ages, I recognized the desperate need for a safe place for women to come, tell their story, be heard, understood and validated and most importantly, to be educated on their bodies and hormone imbalance symptoms. I knew that I was one of the lucky few. I had a husband who became a compounding pharmacist because of my emergency radical hysterectomy and potential hormone issues. He was not about to let happen to me, what he saw happening to his clients on a daily basis when they would come to his pharmacy to pick up their prescription hormone products. He saw women in my situation with 40 pound weight gain, irritability, depression, anxiety, no energy, brain fog and no libido. He made the decision that this was not going to happen on his watch. So he went to Houston, Texas to be trained as a compounding pharmacist. When I returned to my ob gyn for my 10 follow up appointment after surgery, Jeff went with me and was able to talk my open-minded doctor into allowing me to be open to the possibilities of compounded, personalized bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. The result? I didn’t gain 40 pounds (or any weight). I didn’t experience any of the issues typical of women with hormone imbalance; especially those women having a radical hysterectomy (ovaries removed). I didn’t have brain fog, fatigue, sleeplessness or low libido. Obviously we were on to something! But in speaking with women, what I found their reality to be left much to be desired. Most of the women I met in their mid 30’s and 40’s (and beyond) were on an antidepressant, a sleeping aid or an estrogen-of-the-month club product. None had had their hormone levels checked, none were feeling better, all had fatigue, low libido and had lost their joy of life. I knew I had to get the word out about their options for a more natural approach to their best health naturally.  So I hung a sign at the rustic little cottage behind the Joli Boutique in Centerville and the rest is history! Women showed up! They were validated, educated, offered hope and empowered to have a dialogue with their doctor that leveled the playing field in hopes they would have an easier time getting their needs met. These women talked to their inner circle, and the word spread. Today, we have Happy Hormone Cottages in Kettering, Vandalia, Mason, Northern Kentucky and two in St. Louis, Missouri.
The most exciting part for me is that women who want the help, who own their journey, who have what it takes to get their needs met (assertiveness, patience, determination and a sense of humor) are feeling better! What I have learned is my truth–that what we place our attention on determines the quality of our lives. I have learned that when we know better, we do better and that it IS necessary to question our beliefs. I have also learned that I can’t please everyone and I most certainly can’t own anyone else’s journey, no matter how badly I want to. Each woman is in charge of her own health and I can only help the ones who want to be helped and are willing to put in the time, effort and resources necessary to fix her hormone imbalance. What we offer, a strategy for getting tested, treated and better does cost money….but I think it is a reasonable cost. How much is one’s best health worth? My answer is “priceless,” but every woman needs to decide that for herself. I have learned that if we, as women, do nothing to own our own journey to our best health naturally, TODAY is the best day we will have. I have learned that we ARE worth it to be put back on our own list and take care of ourselves so we CAN take care of our family. I have learned that women have to be patient with our therapy so they CAN feel better. My question is always, “How long have you not felt well? We do need some time (typically 3 weeks to 3 months) to refill hormone receptors so we CAN feel better.” I also know that we can’t isolate body systems to fix them. We have to look at the body holistically and impact adrenal and thyroid health as well as the sex hormones, and that this is just the FIRST step to wellness.
I was listening to a CD by Tara Brach the other day and she asked the question, “What does your heart most want?” After giving this deep thought, I decided that what my heart wants the most is for the women I come into contact with every single day, to feel heard, understood, valued and most of all to know that they matter. Oprah once said, “Everyone just wants to know they matter to someone.” This is my truth. I want to continue to positively impact women’s lives every day so that they know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that more than anything, they DO matter to someone. They matter to me.

“Let Me Talk This Over With My Doctor”

I understand our trust in and attachment to our doctors. We have shared with them personal issues, built a relationship with them, and trusted them to help solve our health issues. So I get it when women come to us to get tested, get treated, get better and want to run our strategy by their trusted health care practitioner. After all, what we do is different. Our Happy Hormone Cottage is an educational resource center of women helping women get educated in the arena of natural hormone balance. It is also a resource center that helps facilitate each woman’s journey to wellness by reestablishing optimal hormone balance that becomes imbalanced through the aging process.
We provide the take home testing kits to determine current hormone levels at the capillary level, and our compounding pharmacist and holistic health expert analyzes these test results, symptom sheet and medical history of each client, so he can write his recommendation for the doctor. HHC offers support to the doctor with this written recommendation,  and to the client with a phone call explaining our recommendation, and interpreting the client’s test results so she is prepared for her doctor visit. For best results, we recommend our clients make an appointment with our in-house doctor, who is a Functional Medicine and anti-aging doctor, who understands and encourages natural hormone balance as a wellness and disease prevention strategy. Those clients who do this, sail through on their way to their best health naturally. For those clients who take all of their information and our strategy back to their doctor for approval, their journey isn’t always smooth sailing. The clients with doctors who are more open minded and willing to think outside the box of conventional medicine typically fare well. These doctors may not understand our testing procedures or the art of compounding bio identical hormone therapy, but their attitude is one of accepting their patient’s request for how she would like to treat her body. So he agrees to give it a try, and the results are usually highly favorable. These are the success stories we like to hear. But not all clients are successful. Those clients who haven’t done their homework in bio identical hormone replacement therapy or, worse, have done their homework but still defer to the limiting views of their own doctor are the ones who aren’t successful because their doctor doesn’t approve our strategy. I understand that what we do is not taught in medical school because it doesn’t involve drug therapy. Our testing measures and our holistic health approach aren’t within the parameters of conventional medicine. So taking our ‘get tested, get treated, get better’ wellness philosophy that is in the world of Functional Medicine to a conventionally trained doctor is risky. You wouldn’t take your expensive imported car to a Ford dealership, would you? So why take your body, that is suffering from a hormone imbalance (women over 35 have hormone imbalance)and needs customized, compounded bio identical hormones, to a conventional doctor who specializes in anything BUT this approach? Isn’t this just asking for failure? If your beloved pet went to a vet who wasn’t willing to try various strategies to heal your pet, wouldn’t you find a new vet? So why do we settle for so much less for ourselves? So when those clients tell me they are going to talk over our strategy with their doctor, I always raise my eyebrows and wish them luck because my experience is the outcome probably won’t be favorable. Because what we do is different, the doctor who isn’t open minded, will struggle, and often will relay the myths that have been passed on to him (by drug reps, inaccurate media reports, faulty literature, sometimes written by the pharmaceutical companies, perpetuating these myths.) These are the clients who simply don’t get better. Remember, what we put our attention determines the quality of our lives. What we practice is what we have. If you do nothing to positively impact your health, today is the best day you will have. So the choice is yours: continue on the same path with the same program to get the same results……or let us support you on a new path to wellness? I think the answer is clear.

MENOPAUSE AT 40

I recently received this email from Andrea (name has been changed):

Good Morning Lyn,
My name is Andrea and I began menopause at the young age of 40. I am now 49 and the last two years have been very challenging for me and my
husband as well. In the last two years I can count on ONE hand how many times we have been intimate. I believe this is causing my mild depression and
being irritated all the time. I love life and am usually a very upbeat, joyful person. However, I feel like I am going downhill. I cry constantly, usually on the way to work and on the way home. I don’t sleep through the night and I wake up feeling very emotional. The thing is I don’t have insurance to go to a doctor regularly and this just adds to my frustration and feeling down in the dumps. I take a multivitamin, magnesium and melatonin. It’s just a constant battle within myself, my thoughts jump, my energy level lags. I thought theses years were supposed to be golden? Can you help me? I will do anything.
Respectfully,
Andrea

My response to Andrea:

Hi Andrea,
Thank you for your email. I can tell you that you are not alone in your journey; and that what you are experiencing is a part of life as we age and it is called HORMONE IMBALANCE.  Let me educate you:
Our hormones deplete with age. For most women, this depletion that leads to a hormone imbalance begins around age 35. This is when our progesterone production begins to decrease because our bodies are older and we simply don’t make what we need. Guess what progesterone is responsible for? Ready?
-sleep
-depression
-anxiety
-mood
-sugar cravings
-aches and pains
-balancing estrogen to help prevent breast cancer
So progesterone is a BIG deal. And when our progesterone levels begin to deplete at around age 35, this is when most of our issues begin. When women lose progesterone, they become estrogen dominant. This estrogen dominance is reflected in the 25-30 excess pounds around our mid-section; brain fog; and increased risk of breast cancer. By the time we are in our 40’s, most women are having issues with sleep, anxiety, mood, etc. Let me tell you that tired women have no libido! Compound this with adrenal fatigue and undiagnosed thyroid issues (conventionally trained doctors don’t check what we believe are also important pieces of the thyroid-the free t3 and free t4) and we have a lot of women who are miserable. In fact, most of the women I talk to on a daily basis want the same 4 things:
-to sleep
-to lose weight
-to regain libido
-to have energy
Your next step? Call us at 513 444 6343 (Dayton or Cincinnati) or 859 360 6696 (northern Kentucky) for your free consultation. We will spend 45 minutes of our time educating you and determining your specific issues. We will also provide you with a strategy to get your hormone levels checked with a take home zrt lab testing kit. (the fee for this testing kit runs between $270-$345 and is the lab fee) When your test results come back to us, we will write our recommendation for your hormone balance for your doctor or one who works with us and understands natural hormone balance. Then we can customize your natural hormone therapy for you to replace your depleted hormone levels with physiological dosing to rebalance your hormone levels; eradicate symptoms and prevent disease. We never let insurance stand in our way. I always ask the question, “What is your health and happiness worth to you?” You will need money for the testing kit to determine existing hormone levels and you will need money for the doctor’s office visit to approve therapy. You may need to revisit your doctor at the 6-month or 1-year mark for refills and adjustment to therapy. There is also a cost, of course, for the monthly topical hormone creams but we do bill insurance for these and often our cash price is cheaper than your copay. We also do accept HSA’s as well. I don’t know about you, but the choice to do nothing because you have no insurance vs owning your journey to your best health is a no-brainer. And I can tell you my truth–if you do nothing for your existing hormone imbalance issues, TODAY IS THE BEST DAY YOU WILL HAVE! Scary, huh? By the way, these are not our golden years. I think this term refers to life in our 70’s and 80’s. So I’m thinking you have a ways to go. Let’s make it a good journey!
Looking forward to seeing you soon. We are all about YOUR best health naturally.
Warmly,
Lyn

p.s. I forgot to mention that we have clients who tell us they are feeling so much better after being on our therapy. They are experiencing joy of life again and have reclaimed intimacy with their husbands or partners. They tell me they would rather not eat than give up their hormone creams! Luckily, you won’t have to choose between food and hormones 🙂

WHAT I’VE LEARNED

Over the past 3 years of helping women, since our Happy Hormone Cottage opened its doors in August of 2009, I’ve had the great pleasure of knowing that my passion of educating women really IS what I am supposed to be doing with my life. I spent 30 years in the classroom teaching middle school children, and I’ve simply transferred that passion to educating women about natural hormone balance and their bodies. I found a niche in inner city, just loving children right where they were and coaxing them along to where they needed to be, and somewhere along the way, hopefully instilling in them the belief that I believed in them, so they could learn to believe in themselves. Working with middle years women (age 35 and over) isn’t all that different, except in this case I have to coax them along into believing in themselves when nobody else does; when their family tells them they are crazy; their mothers and grandmothers tell them “this is just the way it is; and even their health care providers aren’t all that validating much of the time.

I have learned that in no other demograhic in our society, does a group of individuals have to fight so hard to be heard, as women ages 35-death, with a hormone imbalance!  I have learned that once we get women ON customized and compounded hormone therapy so they have the opportunity to actually feel better, the challenges don’t stop there. We really never know how the doctors who give their clients permission to work with us will respond when we have to do what we do. The dilemma seems to be that the mind set in current standard of care is so used to the one-size-fits-all routine, that what WE do by listening to our body’s biofeedback to adjust dosing, can be problematic to some doctors who aren’t expecting this. Is it because what we do is different? Is it because some doctors have egos, so don’t like being given suggestions on how to adjust dosing (it is not intuitive!)? Is it because some health care practitioners resent being offered direction on what to do by a compounding pharmacist? I mean, really, what IS the problem? Why can’t we just all work together with our mutual clients’ optimal health in mind, for the ultimate benefit of the client? Is it possible that this cooperative effort might be a win-win for all? We think so! And the doctors we work with who DO get what we do, and see how much better their patients finally feel, are embracing this journey with us and are a joy to work with! We need more of these health care practitioners!

I have learned that no matter how badly a client feels, and women who have been hormonally imbalanced and miserable for years, can feel pretty badly…this is NO excuse for being mean to my staff OR their doctor. We have had women call and yell at us because what we tell them may not be what they want to hear. We are a free resource center with a love for women helping women. Our goal is to listen, respect and validate our women, so to have that unhappy woman treat us meanly by yelling at us or hanging up on us is simply unacceptable. And we just got a call from a family practice doctor asking us to not send him any more clients because one of them yelled at his receptionist when she got lost and couldn’t find their office. Instead of this doctor refusing to work with just her, she has ruined it for the rest of the women who would have benefited from this doctor. I find this incredibly sad on many levels! There is just no reason to be mean and out of control—-especially when we are just trying to help (and we are a free resource center for education in this area of hormone imbalance.) And most people would be surprised to learn how very hard we have to work to find doctors who are willing to think outside the box and work with us at all, because what we do is different from traditional standard of care that is one-size-fits-all.

I have learned that just because we aren’t out to make a lot of money, this isn’t always the case. Other hormone centers cost A LOT of money and even some doctors are expensive. We have one doctor who has now stopped working with us because she can’t make enough money from our clients. Doctors make money on running expensive lab tests and selling expensive supplements. We don’t believe it is necessary to run expensive lab work monthly. We can listen to our clients’ biofeedback to work with their doctor to adjust dosing; and then have them check their hormone levels annually with an inexpensive and quick blood spot kit that checks hormone levels at the tissue level of cells. So I feel some clients are being taken advantage of because they are on a customized therapy that involves topical creams. These are the health care practitioners we weed out and no longer recommend because we do have our women’s backs. We have done this for a long time and are pretty good at what we do. So why not listen to us and be willing to learn? Being on customized bhrt does not have to be expensive. Certainly, the monthly cost of our topical creams isn’t!

I have learned that I have had to work incredibly hard to be able to help women finally feel better. I mean, if women over the age of 35 felt better, I wouldn’t be so busy. But women aren’t better. Estrogen products and antidepressants aren’t working, and haven’t ever worked for a hormone imbalance. But I have to fight conventional standard of care, big pharmaceutical companies and even the mind set of women who believe their doctor is a god, so everything she says must be correct. Really? Then why don’t we feel better as a demographic? I’m just asking this question because it needs to be asked. But make no mistake. The personal cost for this passion has come with a price.    So if I knew then what I know now, would I do it all over again? I don’t know. I’d like to think so. I do know that my heart is educating women and having their backs. It is all this other “stuff” that comes with this grass roots movement that can be frustrating and painful. It is always gratifying to help women (and men) feel better and to positively impact their lives. So at the end of the day, this is all that really matters.

warmly,

Lyn

Go Forth and Be Drugged OR Go Forth and Be Well…the Choice is Yours!

I think you’ve probably heard the word on the street that our reason for being, our passion, is educating and empowering women to live their best life naturally. Such a great cause and one that is desperately needed in our society today. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if women were better and felt well, as they aged, then we wouldn’t be so busy! If, when issues developed,   doctors were treating the root cause of the issue, instead of just band aiding these issues to get rid of the symptoms, women would be better. But women aren’t better! I see it every day as they stagger into our offices with obvious hormone imbalance issues of fatigue, weight gain, low libido, hair loss, sleeplessness, brain fog, adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues and no joy of life. And the worst part is that the traditional approach to dealing with these issues is just NOT working. Hormone levels are rarely, if ever, checked. Women are told every day by their doctors, “Oh you are too young to be in menopause. Or you are too old to need hormones. Or, having a hot flash? Well, here’s an estrogen patch. Or, not sleeping? Here’s a sleeping aid. Or, what thyroid issue? Or, my favorite-feeling depressed or anxious? Here’s a prescription for an antidepressant.” What we know to be true; what has been done for 25-30 years in Europe (where, by the way, the women are remarkably healthy and happy!); what we DO have clinical studies on are bio-identical hormones. We know that replenishing depleted hormone levels with these bio-identical hormones, AFTER checking a woman’s existing hormone levels and then customizing bhrt for that woman DOES work. Our women ARE better! That using natural hormone replacement as we age, considering the entire health of the woman holistically, and working at the PREVENTION end of the spectrum is a relevant anti-aging strategy! And women WANT natural! Women also really want to go to their trusted health care practitioner and be heard. They want to tell their story and be validated. So what’s the problem? The problem is that the traditional approach to medicine focuses on drug therapy with a one-size-fits-most, big pharma-driven, very limiting belief system where thinking outside the box isn’t valued. Whereas OUR approach to women’s health deals more in the world of FUNCTIONAL medicine. What is this? Functional medicine is a personalized approach to medicine that deals with primary prevention and underlying CAUSES instead of symptoms, for serious chronic issues. This is a science-based field of health care that is grounded in several principles:
-patient centered
-dynamic balance of internal and external factors
-interconnections of body systems
-health as a positive vitality
Functional medicine uses the patient’s story as the key tool for diagnosis and is focused on patient care rather than disease care. And it is anchored by an examination of core clinical imbalances that underlie various conditions. So I think it is clear what our goal for 2012 needs to be. We need to push our traditional doctors to begin to open their minds to a more patient-driven, functional approach to medicine. There are classes , seminars and workshops offered in functional medicine. If our doctors are motivated enough, they CAN get informed outside the realm of traditional medicine and feel comfortable   thinking outside the box of current standard of care. Obviously what is going on in traditional health care today in this area of women’s health isn’t working. So frankly, isn’t it time? Isn’t it past time where you can go to your doctor and partner with him to discuss options for keeping you healthy? The choice is yours-go forth and be drugged or go forth and do what it takes to feel better? I think the choice is clear! Oh, and by the way, when you do nothing at all to replenish your depleted hormone levels that deplete with age, (maybe because you currently aren’t having any issues)  you are setting yourself up for failure. For example, when your estrogen levels deplete, and we know that estrogen does 300 jobs in the body (!), how are those jobs going to get done if we don’t replace those levels? When you go to your doctor with a disease that could have been prevented, it’s already too late. Education is key to eradicating misconceptions and wrong assumptions.
I urge you to strongly encourage your doctor to work with you to explore more natural options for your healthcare!

Lyn

Keep up to date by installing our Happy Hormone Cottage mobile app, now in your app store.

Really? And You Believed Him??

I really hate it when I get all worked up! But gosh darn it, I can’t help it when we get a 40 year old woman’s lab results back
that clearly show she has significant hormonal issues. So we write up a recommendation for her doctor and when she sees him, all he
can say is, “The only thing that is really out of whack is your progesterone level but with me giving you that last shot in July for birth
control, that is why it could be off….so let me give you a prescription for wellbutrin and if it doesn’t help, we can go a different route.”
Wow! Really? I don’t even know where to start! Let me finish banging my head against the wall and report MY findings from her
labwork. Here is a 40 year old woman with an unusually high estrogen level. It is 4.2 (range is 1.3-3.3) so I know that she is estrogen
dominant. What does this mean?  This means she is storing a lot of fat (estrogen is a fat storer), has brain fog and a high risk for developing
breast cancer. At the same time, her progesterone level, which we measure from 75-270 is a 40. So I know that she isn’t sleeping well,
has some depression and anxiety, irritable, moody, probably has sugar cravings as well as probably aches & pains. Her ratio of her progesterone level to her estradial level, which we like to see between 100-500 is only a 10! (yes, a 10!) So I know she can NOT feel well. Compound that with crippling
adrenal fatigue, which plays out in exhaustion, and we have one TIRED woman. As if this isn’t enough, she also has a very low functioning
thyroid. We actually measure free t4 and free t3 through zrt labs (most doctors don’t check these….which is why over half the women who
crawl in to see us on their hands and knees are all on synthroid for their t4 because no one has ever checked their free t3. When they complain
to their doctor that they have no energy, dry skin and they are losing their hair….the response is “double your dose of synthroid!” This is like trying
to fix a broken leg by putting a cast on your arm!!) Her free t4 is .7 with the range being .7-2.5. Her free t3 is 1.9, with the range being
2.5-6.5! So she is extremely exhausted, has no energy, isn’t sleeping, has hair loss and couldn’t lose a pound if I paid her A LOT of money to do it. Women with these high estrogen levels, low progesterone levels, adrenal fatigue and low functioning thyroid do NOT feel well. So how do they function?
How do they feel good about themselves? How do they go to work and be expected to do their job? How do they care for their family? How can they be expected to have a libido? Libido? News flash! Tired women have no libido! And here’s the “good” news:  THIS IS THE BEST SHE WILL EVER FEEL if she believes her doctor and goes on wellbutrin. I mean, is she wellbutrin deficient? This drug will not fix any of her issues. The sad part is that for some
reason, this 40 year old woman has lost her voice. She has lost her ability to stand up for herself and fight for HER body. When did we give that power
away?? My hope and dream is that ALL women will take charge of their body and have the confidence to dialogue with their doctor about their choices, and not give up. If one doctor refuses to listen and learn, then go to a different one. Call us! We have lots of doctors who believe in what we are doing and endorse this natural path. We no longer have to settle for feeling bad for the rest of our lives. We do have a voice and we CAN take our power back.

Lyn

Keep up to date by installing our Happy Hormone Cottage mobile app, now in your app store.

What’s a few HOT FLASHES among friends???

Let’s talk hot flashes! Hot flashes have been the butt of many a joke for ages! Most women OF A CERTAIN AGE get them and they are synonymous with menopause—the other word that causes snickers among the masses in our culture. But for aging women, they are no laughing matter!  So what are they and what can we do about them?? (beside stab our husbands and coworkers in the neck when we feel one coming on…..)
Hot flashes can signify a hormone imbalance between estradial and progesterone. We begin to lose our progesterone around age 35 when our ovaries begin to age. Progesterone is responsible for uninterrupted sleep, keeping depression and anxiety away, elevating our mood, preventing sugar cravings, as well as aches and pains and, most importantly-balancing estrogen levels to help prevent breast cancer.  When our estrogen levels also begin to deplete, but at a SLOWER rate than our progesterone, women become estrogen dominant. This means we have way more estrogen than progesterone. This hormone imbalance can result in hot flashes. But take these hot flashes seriously. Not only are they annoying and plenty uncomfortable, they also inform us that our hormones are no longer balanced, and that we DO have an excess of estrogen in our bodies. So what does this mean? Well, did you know that estrogen is a FAT STORER? Show me a menopausal woman who doesn’t have the extra 25-30 pounds around their middle and I’d like to meet her! Estrogen dominance puts weight ON because estrogen is a fat storer. Estrogen dominance can also cause brain fog. But most importantly, unopposed estrogen can increase the risk of breast cancer. So if women become estrogen dominant as they age, and these hot flashes become a way of life because of this dominance, what do we do?
Traditionally, women with hot flash issues go to their traditional-thinking doctors for help and guess what these well-meaning doctors do?? They do NOT check hormones (in God’s name….WHY NOT??)!! They, instead, prescribe an estrogen patch or even worse, oral estrogen! But wait! Didn’t I just say that women have hot flashes because they already have too much estrogen?? That’s right! So WHY do doctors slap more estrogen on us?? Because that is all they know how to do for hot flashes! I must say this is a step up from the horse pee we used to get prescribed to us (and many times, still do today!) But it is not good enough! Our first line of defense for hot flashes is progesterone! Why don’t doctors prescribe it? It can’t be patented, so drug companies can’t make money on it. So drug reps aren’t  pushing it. Guess what they ARE selling? Yep-the estrogen patches and oral estrogens! (By the way, literature suggests there is a strong link between oral estrogen and the increased risk of blood clots.) Nice, huh?
We also recommend a little estrogen topical cream to replenish depleted levels as we age (they just don’t deplete at the same rate as progesterone) and this restoration of our hormone balance is what eliminates our hot flashes!
So when I see a woman fanning herself as she is having a hot flash, I see a woman who is storing 25-30 lbs of excess fat, probably has brain fog, has an increased risk of breast cancer and because she is low in progesterone, she is probably also NOT sleeping, so she is exhausted. Do you know what fatigue indicates? Lack of libido! Tired women do NOT WANT SEX!
Do you see why I want to educate women and empower them to learn a different, healthier way to attack their hot flashes?? It is NOT the estrogen patch! It is replenishing their depleted hormone levels with bioidentical hormones that are compounded specifically for them (yes, they are a prescription from a doctor) and dosed physiologically. This isn’t rocket science! This just makes sense! Visit my website at www.happyhormonecottage.com to learn more.

THIS IS TO GUINEA PIGS EVERYWHERE!!!!

I just had yet another phone call from one of our clients, who will be meeting with me later today to get started on her natural customized hormone replacement therapy. She has been to the cottage for her consultation, has had her saliva tested to check her hormone levels at the tissue level of cells; had our team at the Piqua Medicine Shoppe craft a treatment strategy specifically for her; and went to her practitioner to get our strategy approved via a prescription. We compounded her therapy in our state-of-the-art compounding lab and are now meeting with her today to get her started. When she called to confirm our appointment, she was practically quivering with excitement!  “I can’t wait to get started,” she says.  “I have been telling EVERYONE what I am doing because I am SO excited!! They are all waiting for me to get better before they come in to see you.”  SO ANOTHER GUINEA PIG!!
We love guinea pigs. Do you know why?  Ever since we opened one year ago, we have had a plethora of guinea pigs come to the cottage. These are those
brave women who:
-have done the research on hormone replacement therapy
-think outside the box
-have a voice with their doctor in the strategies for their care
-won’t settle for drug therapy for a hormone imbalance
-don’t blindly accept standard of care in this area just because it has always been done that way
-prefer holistic health options over drug therapy that just band-aids the issues
-are assertive in the anti-aging process and have great respect for aging healthfully
-understand that DISEASE HAPPENS BEFORE SYMPTOMS OCCUR, so are being proactive with their health
Do you know what has happened over this past year? OUR GUINEA PIGS HAVE GOTTEN BETTER! So they are sending in their guinea pig friends;
who are sending in their guinea pig friends and we have exploded! They have even sent in their husbands for treatment of male menopause (andropause).
It has been an amazing adventure! We are so excited to be in the business of educating our women on hormone imbalance, so they will know they have options!
Get tested, get treated, get better!!

“BUT I HAVE ALREADY GONE THROUGH MENOPAUSE……!!!”

I hear this a lot! “Oh, I’ve already gone through menopause. I’m done with ALL THAT!”  Oh, but you’re NOT!!  Did you know that once you are through menopause (average age of menopause is 50 years of age), this is the time your body MOST needs natural hormone replacement therapy? Once you are through menopause, your body is also depleted of the important hormones it needs to age gracefully and to have a higher quality of life full of joy and promise. Without progesterone, the body typically develops sleep issues, anxiety and depression. Without estrogen, your risk of heart attack and stroke equals that of men in the middle-years, and your brain isn’t protected from dementia. Without testosterone production, your body loses muscle mass, energy, libido and the ability to build new, strong bone. So, in essence, without natural hormone replacement strategies in place, your risk for dementia, heart attack and stroke and osteoporosis is signicantly increased.
Yes, your doctor (who didn’t learn of natural health options in medical school!!) will probably instruct you to “take calcium” for osteopenia issues. Taking calcium won’t build new bone. You need hormones to signal the osteoblasts in the bone to build new bone before new bone will be added. Taking calcium or the current “bone building drugs” on the market simply don’t work (refer to previous blogs).  In fact, as previously blogged about, the FDA-approved “bone building” drugs actually interrupt the bone-building process and users can develop severe bone issues in the jaw. (not good!)
So, if you think that just because you are finished with menopause that you are home free…..think again. THIS is the time your body MOST needs natural hormone replacement therapy.  We want you have a great quality of life. In my opinion, based on my research, it just won’t happen without natural hormone replacement. And I know I am NOT going to settle for the lower quality of life my grandmother settled for. I intend to age gracefully and with vigor and good health. I live by our motto:  “Get Tested! Get Treated! Get Better!”  Shouldn’t you??