The Real Cost of Health Care

My husband, Jeff, our compounding pharmacist meets with new clients-both men and women-as well as existing clients almost on a daily basis. He offers his services to evaluate BHRT therapy, adjust dosing for those who are ON our therapy, and discuss health issues with the people who come to him.  He came home yesterday, exhausted, after meeting with 6 women and 1 man and said, “You know…the people who come to see me typically have very complicated health issues. And people are insulated from the real cost of health care, because most people have an insurance copay that covers their visits and medications. The issue is, when you call a plumber for example, to fix your leaking toilet, you pay him fair market value. You would never consider paying him just your copay and billing someone else for the rest. So when you think about it, people almost expect health care to be free, where the physician has to rely on billing insurance to get adequate reimbursement. The goal of insurance companies is NOT to pay money. And therein lies the dilemma. What IS your doctor’s time spent with you worth to you? Because of the difficulties getting reimbursed, patients get a 5-10 minute visit because that is all the doctor can afford to give you. How fair is it to the doctor AND how thorough can he be, to diagnose clinical issues? The end result is that you never figure out the root of the problem. Instead, you are left managing the symptoms with prescription medications. Getting to the root cause of health issues is often time-consuming and challenging because we aren’t simple creatures. Everything is interconnected. So when our clients schedule time to come in and see me, and we spend 45 minutes talking about their health issues and concerns, they are often surprised and confused by the information. They ask, “Why haven’t I heard this before? “Why hasn’t my doctor mentioned this before?” And the answer is, because our health care system isn’t set up to do so. There are a few physicians who do elaborate testing, dig into the biochemistry and try to get at the root of the problem. These are functional medicine physicians and typically they can’t afford to bill insurance. So the choice is yours-do you continue to go through standard of care medical treatment that treats only symptoms OR do you want to pay a fair price to the health care practitioner to actually delve to find the cause of your issue and solve your problem? Obviously, I think we need to change our mind set about health care in our country today. A real paradigm shift is called for, so we can actually go to our doctors, pay them fair market value and have them give us the time and attention required to really solve what is going on in our bodies. Invariably you will change the mind of the physician when he gets adequately reimbursed and he may be more open to alternative health care solutions. This would be a win-win for all.”

Here’s What I Know For Sure

I know that I am not for everyone! I am not for the woman with the hormone imbalance symptoms of weight gain, fatigue, low libido, etc who wants to take a pill to feel better. I am not for the woman who isn’t educated in natural hormone therapy. These women don’t know that we actually check their hormone levels before making a recommendation for their natural hormone balance and then get the doctor’s permission to customize natural therapy for them. I am not for the woman who is not committed in her belief system for customized BHRT. If she is not educated and committed about why she is pursuing this path, then when she goes to her family practitioner for a check up and mentions what she is doing and the doctor is appalled because as drug therapists, most are clueless about what it is we do, so they throw false facts at her that are fed to them by drug reps and big pharma literature (propaganda) and talk her out of it….I am most definitely NOT for her. I am not for the woman who isn’t willing to give our natural therapy the time it needs to work (3 weeks-3 months). I am not for the woman who will only pursue health options that are totally paid for by her insurance. Here’s the thing-insurance is just that! Insurance. It is insurance against a catastrophic illness or accident. It was never meant to pay for total health care. So if spending $240 to get hormone levels checked is not covered by her insurance (although most insurance companies do happen to cover the cost of this!) so she chooses to settle for a lower quality of life rather than pay the $240, I am most definitely not for her.

So then who AM I for? I am FOR the educated, empowered, committed woman who knows without a doubt the path she will pursue and is willing to pay for it. (What we do is NOT a lot of money! And the value added you get by coming with us is unprecedented! Just ask anyone who is a part of our team; or check out our testimonial page here.

I am FOR the woman who is sick and tired of feeling sick and tired; who does NOT want to be drugged by her doctor; and who wants to follow a more holistic health path. I am FOR the 40 year old woman who is beginning to have sleep issues, depression and anxiety due to depleting progesterone levels and refuses to take the antidepressant or sleeping aid prescribed by her doctor! These are the women I am FOR! It’s a new year! Isn’t it time for a new YOU?

www.happyhormonecottage.com. We can help!

What the Heck??

So if you go to your doctor or health care professional to dialogue about your journey with customized BHRT, and you even take clinical studies with you to share credible, validated information with them and their response is, “I won’t read these. I will put them in your file”; and then they proceed to hand YOU a paper obviously written by a pharmaceutical company in favor of synthetic drugs masking as hormones ….here is your response:
“You are obviously misinformed. I will find a health care professional who IS informed and able to think outside the box! Thank you!”
It is a sad day when our standard of care is dictated by drug companies; the head of NAMS (North America Menopause Society) and your practitioner are ALL brainwashed by the propaganda submitted by big pharma as fact AND WE DON’T QUESTION IT…..we just accept it as law???!!! Seriously???!!! Well then, we get what we deserve. Go and be drugged instead of thinking for yourself! Accept your doctor’s word as law. Forget that he or she is visited constantly by drug reps who work for drug companies whose sole purpose is the bottom line. Do you really think they want you to pursue natural options like customized BHRT instead of their drugs? That would mean you might actually discover your health issue and fix THAT instead of just getting drugged!  I mean, you might actually get better!! Hey, it could happen! Just ask the thousands of middle years women who now feel better because they had their hormone levels checked with saliva, (instead of blood-where the ranges are so big, you would actually have to be dead to show up OUT of range!) and pursued customized natural hormone replacement therapy instead of the drug company dosing for the masses! Imagine!

Do You Want a Quick Fix or Are You Willing To Do the Work?

I was talking to a young lady today, who is immersed in alternative therapy. You know the type. They are the ones I call “crunchy granola,” with all due respect and fondness. They are the ones who recycled long before it became popular; who grow their own vegetables, make their own soap, do yoga several times a week, and wear Birkenstocks! When I told her my passion-educating and empowering women on addressing hormone balance issues with customized natural hormone therapy-she was excited! She said, “OMG! It’s about time!” and then she made an accurate observation. She said, “I bet it is interesting to compare your clients who just want a quick fix versus the ones who are willing to do the work to get better.”. Such a profound observation, and an incredibly accurate one! The women who come to me who want to get better yesterday; who think the words of their doctor are  the words of a god; who aren’t educated in their options-especially natural options…these are the ones who expect immediate relief from symptoms and aren’t willing to do the work necessary to heal and get better. These are the “quick-fixers.”. These are the women I can’t help. So who MOST benefits from our therapy? We are MOST successful with women who:
-are educated in their hormone options
-aren’t interested in drug therapy to mask their symptoms
-are interested in reading, thinking for themselves, talking with their doctor and demanding to be heard, pursuing hormone balance through natural options and are empowered to make these decisions for themselves
-are willing to put themselves on their own list
-eat healthy and exercise
-acknowledge when they need help and ask for it from alternative therapy experts.
These are the women who are successful! These are the women who are willing to do the work to get better. Which woman are you?

“LET ME CHECK WITH MY DOCTOR!”

I love when I hear this…..”I just want to check with my doctor before I sign up for customized natural hormone therapy.” I always think to myself, “WHY??”  I know women love their doctors. I also have a great one, Dr. Paul, whom I enjoy, actually get a kick out of, and I KNOW he has my best health as his goal. But when I took in all of my studies and literature on natural hormone therapy AND I told him this is not only my philosophy BUT MY PASSION (!), he looked at me like I had grown two heads!! He had really never heard about it; most certainly had NOT learned anything about it in medical school, so really couldn’t add much to the conversation. Trust me when I tell you that doctors are NOT learning this in medical school! They ARE learning how to diagnose and treat illnesses with drug therapy. This is just what they do. And that’s not a bad thing! I know when I’m sick, I go to my doctor, he diagnoses my illness, prescribes my medication and I get better. That is his job and I appreciate that. BUT IN THIS AREA OF WOMEN’S HEALTH-HORMONE IMBALANCE-HE IS PRETTY MUCH OUT OF THE LOOP! Identifying a hormone imbalance involves checking hormone levels, preferably through saliva testing, which measures the hormones at the tissue level of cells; and then creating a specific strategy customized for THAT individual to best replace those hormones with customized, compounded hormones that bioidentically match the hormones that are no longer being produced in your body. Pretty simple! It is a matter of determining the CAUSE of the imbalance and fixing that; not just drugging you as a band-aid to alleviate the symptoms. See the difference? One method determines the cause and fixes that. The other simply ignores the cause and just drugs to help alleviate the symptoms.  I discovered that most women in my age group were all on anti-depressants for their hormone imbalance because that is really all their doctor knew how to do. That is why I opened my Happy Hormone Cottage. I just couldn’t take one more woman being put on an antidepressant or worse, a synthetic drug masking as a hormone, where there are serious health risks associated with them. And to have this method as THE standard of care just boggles my mind! How did we let this happen?? I think it is exactly because women say, “Let me check with my doctor.” Why NOT say, “Let me do some research. I know there is information out there….let me find it. I want to become informed and empowered in THIS area of my life!” Because the truth is that if YOU don’t do that and you JUST rely on the opinion of others-probably most especially the opinion of those who have gone to medical school, your hormone imbalance issues: weight gain, fatigue, low libido, memory issues, brain fog, low energy and no joy-will simply be band-aided with drug therapy and you will never really find the cause to fix that. This is why I do what I do. We have to get the word out there. Just because natural hormone balance isn’t taught in medical schools does not make it a bad thing. It just makes it something WE have to learn about and teach our doctors! So the next time I hear, “Let me check with my doctor,” I’m going to say, “Why don’t you go teach your doctor what YOU know.  YOU could be the one to change lives!”

a sense of betrayal

I had an experience today that has really left me feeling betrayed. You know we work with doctors all over the Dayton area. There are some good ones out there who really do respect and validate women, who are truly interested in their health and work with us to find the cause of their hormone imbalance issues instead of band-aiding their issues with a drug. We thought we had found a good doctor in Cincinnati to work with us. He is a D.O. and seemed very genuine. Our clients we sent to him, for the most part, liked him and he signed off on our recommendation for their natural hormone therapy. Interestingly enough, we began to notice a pattern with this doctor. We would have a client who would go to our website; order a saliva kit; and fill out the online personal symptom sheet and medical history form on our website. The saliva test results would come back to me; I would call the client to get the name of her doctor; her insurance information AND I would tell her that we would make the recommendation for her hormone balance and fax it to this doctor. After she meets with him and he faxes back the signed prescription form to our compounding pharmacy, we will make an appointment to meet at the cottage for a free consultation. At this consultation, we will hand off the therapy, show her the dosage and the best delivery system for her, tell her what she can expect, answer her questions, and most importantly, tell her our commitment to staying connected. I am available 24/7 to answer any question and concern that arises AND furthermore, I call, email and check in with them often. You see, I am ALL about building relationships. I have a passion for helping women navigate the rough waters of hormone imbalances and I feel our great customer service can make the difference between success and failure on this journey. So what happened with this particular Cincinnati doctor today? I found out that when my clients go to him, he is sending them to the compounding pharmacy ACROSS THE STREET to make their therapy!!! Why?? Why would he take a client who we have already not only established a relationship with BUT have also gotten in her test results, written the recommendation for her hormone balance FOR him AND invested a lot of time and energy into? Why?? So here is the thing. Not only does that show a deep lack of integrity on his part, and a lack of professional courtesy….what it also means for the client is that I am no longer able to help them. He has effectively stopped any future contact. Because my compounding lab does NOT make her therapy, I have NO way of knowing what ingredients they use or what the quality of their ingredients might be or even what therapy they made for her. So I am not able to stay connected, help or counsel her! Imagine Pam’s surprise when she called me tonight because she is having an issue she needs help solving with her therapy and I told her I couldn’t help her because her doctor cut me out of the loop. She was upset!! It is like having that doctor deliver a baby and do all the work and then having the mother of that baby pay an entirely different doctor who had NO part in the delivery. Does this make any sense what-so-ever? To make matters worse, I have sent this doctor supplies, teaching aids, and
information to make his job easier in this field of natural hormone balance. I am upset for my clients, myself and our compounding pharmacy. (he is now off our website’s list of practitioners we work with. We all deserve better!)

Take Charge Of Your Own Journey

I am always amazed by the feedback from our clients. On occasion, we have had a few of our “hotties” not get optimal treatment. Take Lisa D. for example. She is a 45 year old periomenopausal woman who chose to visit her family doctor. Without looking at her saliva test results or our recommendations for HRT, he instead prescribed Climara patches and Prometrium 100 mg capsules. Both of these commercially made medications are bioidentical-Climara is estradiol amd Prometrium is progesterone. They are one size fits most. The problem I have is that many doctors who prescribe BHRT this way use the client’s symptoms to make their diagnosis.My question is why? Why aren’t hormone levels being checked before treating these clients? Aren’t other body issues treated by measuring levels? Can you imagine a doctor prescribing blood pressure medication without checking your blood pressure? How about being given a prescription for a cholesterol lowering medication without measuring total cholesterol, LDL and HDL? How about treating diabetes without getting blood sugar readings? Why the inconsistency when it comes to hormone therapy? I believe doctors owe it to their patients who come to them expecting a recommendation for natural hormone therapy, to check their levels BEFORE making a recommendation for therapy. We believe that saliva testing is the most accurate testing available for measuring hormones at the tissue level.(we do make saliva kits available on our website’s online store). Furthermore, we believe that one woman’s hormone levels aren’t another woman’s hormone levels, so why prescribe a “one size fits most” therapy? Let’s get those hormone levels checked with a saliva test, study personal symptoms and family history, and then make a recommendation for a prescription for a natural compounded hormone that is made just for that woman. The beauty of this is that it can be tweaked throughout the month if needed, and we can make adjustments to the dosage very easily. I think every woman owes it to herself to become educated and knowledgeable about her body before visiting her doctor, so she can take charge of her own journey!

Thank You Doctor Blaylock

I got the best phone call this morning! One of our clients who just began her natural compounded hormone therapy in early November called me to say, “Lyn, I am not an overly dramatic person, but I have to tell you that you saved my life!” She went on to say that her hair has stopped falling out, her depression has lifted, her energy is returning and she feels like she has her life back. The practitioner we sent her to was very compassionate and hopeful that he could help her, and she is so grateful that he did!
I read an interesting article by Dr. Russell Blaylock in his December 2009 BLAYLOCK WELLNESS REPORT. It helps explain the disconnect between traditional doctors approach to periomenopausal and menopausal women and our natural approach. In his article entitled, “Alternative Medicine Doctors Assailed by Mainstream Doctors,” he says that “those outside of medicine are not aware of the intense infighting between medical center professors, private practitioners and specialists that is the daily fair of the medical community…..It is not that most physicians are really evil and want patients to suffer needlessly, it is that they are so intensely brainwashed in medical school and residency training that they instinctively react against anything not within the bounds of their training. It is almost a reflex.” Dr. Blaylock goes on to say that he thinks in its quest to become the epitome of scientific medicine-now called evidence-based medicine-the medical profession has lost sight of its original goal to heal and relieve suffering! That struck a chord with me and made me realize we must keep on keeping on and must NOT discount the holisitic health or natural approach to treating illness.  To read more from Dr. Blaylock, please visit www.blaylockreport.com.
Case in point, why are physicians and the medical establishment attacking compounding pharmacists over bioidentical female hormone replacements? Their claim is two fold-one, that the hormones are not standardized and two, that they increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. Dr Blaylock says that he is always “amazed that post- menopausal women who went to their gynecologists were all given the same dose of Premarin and the doctor never tested their hormone levels. They just all got the same dose. Normally, women secrete a number of sex hormones, including three forms of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Testing is needed because each woman will have different levels and replacement needs to be individualized to replace these hormones. Sex hormones play a major role on brain function, explaining the severe depression often accompanying menopause.  In addition, estrogens have been found to play a major role in protecting the brain from damage and degeneration. To deny a woman relief from an assortment of debilitating symptoms based on a lack of testing and a false fear of cancer is poor medicine.” Hooray, Dr. Blaylock! I couldn’t have said it better myself!