The Truth About Bioidentical Hormone Balance

Readers,

    I recently reread this interview with Suzanne Somers and was struck by its relevance today-15 years later. This article was published October 2004. I had my radical hysterectomy in the spring of 2004. Thanks to Suzanne’s incredibly knowledgeable books and the innovative work of my compounding pharmacist husband, I began using my bioidentical hormone replacement therapy that year, and opened my Happy Hormone Cottage 5 years later, in 2009. The rest, as they say, is history. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to help thousands of women from all over the country during the last 10 years rebalance their hormones naturally for their higher quality of life. I can’t wait for the next 10 years! 

     I’ve taken the liberty of sharing Suzanne’s interview with Life Extension magazine below. The only major development that we have adopted since this interview took place in 2004 is that we now use cutting edge DUTCH (dried urine test comprehensive hormones) instead of blood for the amazing amount of information it provides. 

      For more information on my Happy Hormone Cottage, visit www.happyhormonecottage.com or visit our new Integrative Hormone Center (IHC) & Pharmacy at www.ihcpharmacy.com. Our IHC also helps men restore their hormone balance. 

Best,

Lyn

An Exclusive Interview with Suzanne Somers

October 2004

COVER STORY

Aging can be brutal for men and women alike. Women often experience weight gain, diminished sex drive, hot flashes, memory loss, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. Aging men likewise ex

perience a loss of energy, stamina, and sex drive. 

After years of being thin, fit, and full of energy, actress and best-selling author Suzanne Somers encountered what she calls the “Seven Dwarfs of Menopause”: Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful, and All-Dried-Up. Rather than live the rest of her life feeling cranky, tired, and irritable, Suzanne set out to discover how to regain her mind, body, and life. Her search led her to bioidentical hormones—natural hormones that mimic the hormones produced in our bodies, which are almost completely lost with aging. With recent medical research pointing to the dangers of synthetic hormone replacement therapy, growing numbers of women—and men—are searching for natural alternatives to relieve the symptoms of menopause and andropause.

Having regained her health and happiness, and determined to spread the word, Suzanne has written a new best-selling book, The Sexy Years: Discover the Hormone Connection. In it, she describes her own research and experiences, shares the expertise of leading doctors in the field of women’s and men’s health, and offers practical advice and tools to help aging women and men turn their lives around. Suzanne recently sat down with Life Extension’s William Faloon to discuss her book and how bioidentical hormones have enabled her and others to approach the second half of life with joy and anticipation. 

William Faloon: Suzanne, let me start by saying how enthused we are that you could join us and share your message about the life-altering effects of hormone replacement therapy. 

Suzanne Somers: I’m privileged to be able to put this message out because I think it’s so important. It changed my life so much, I feel it’s something that others need to know about. 

WF: I had the same personal experience at the age of 44. I was testosterone deficient, and I began using testosterone cream and Arimidex®, and my life just totally turned around.

SS: My son is 40, an athlete, in great physical shape, he eats right and works out, and he has a great business. He found out that he was testosterone deficient. He just kept saying, “I’m losing my energy.” I sent him to my doctor. She did his blood work and discovered he was low in testosterone, DHEA, and growth hormone. Now, after hormone replacement, he feels amazing.

WF: Many of our members are aware of hormone replacement therapy. What’s significant is that you’re now promoting it in a way that I think everyone will understand it—unlike all these scientific books that may be over some people’s heads.

SS: I’m fascinated by physiology and always have been. I’ve been able to take the medical reports and put them into what I call “easy speak,” so we all can understand it. This information is so important, but it can seem overwhelming if it’s not explained well.

WF: It’s easy for you and I to comprehend it, yet medical doctors tell me, “Well, I don’t know how to read a hormone profile blood report, so therefore I won’t prescribe hormones.” To which I say, “Gee, the reference ranges are right there in the report, it’s not that difficult.”

SS: One of the things I uncovered in researching this book is that all doctors, including gynecologists, have only had approximately four hours of instruction in the whole hormonal system. A nurse called me on the air the other day and said, “I just finished your book, and I agree with you. When I was in nursing school, we had only four lines in our textbook relative to hormones.”

Today’s technology, which is fantastic, will keep us alive to 90 or 100 years old, but science has not made plans for our quality of life. I love the idea of living to be 90 or 100, but I don’t want to be senile or have Alzheimer’s or a weak heart or type II diabetes or tubes up my nose or be in a wheelchair.

This book was the most advantage I’ve ever taken of celebrity. I used my name to call everybody, and all the doctors I interviewed took my calls and were so forthcoming. What they all told me is that they feel that hormonal imbalance is at the root of every human ailment and disease. 

Before we start doing surgery and giving out drugs, the first thing that should be done is to take a hormone panel, see where the hormone levels are, know what normal levels are for that person’s age and gender, and restore them to balance. This applies even to a toddler who a doctor would normally put on Ritalin®. There are so many children on Ritalin®, it doesn’t seem right. They should test the blood of small children and see if the reason they’re so hyperactive or have ADHD is due to a hormonal imbalance. Short-term hormone therapy is not a drug and it’s not anywhere near as harsh as Ritalin®.

WF: So you feel the benefits of hormone replacement are not limited to aging women and men?

SS: The same thing applies for teenagers with raging hormones and alarming suicide rates. The doctors predict that in the future, if your teenager’s are acting wacky, you’ll take them to a hormone specialist, do a blood test, check their hormone levels, and restore them by stabilizing their moods and chemicals.

It also applies for women who give birth. When they cut that umbilical cord from us, all our progesterone leaves us. Progesterone is our feel-good hormone, and that is what postpartum depression is all about. Just look at the case of someone like Andrea Yates, the woman who drowned all five of her children. Maybe she was schizophrenic and heard voices and that was it, but it could also have been that she was so depleted of progesterone that she became delusional, which can also happen. 

For menopausal women, hormone replacement is obvious, and for andropausal men, it’s obvious. I don’t know if people know this, but we women lose 90% of our hormones over a two-year period. It’s such a dramatic change.

WF: We appreciate how often you emphasize the critical importance of blood testing.

SS: Yes, absolutely. This is not guesswork or haphazard. Hormonal balancing can’t be too much or too little. Even with bioidentical hormones—which are real hormones, as opposed to synthetic hormones that are not real hormones but are drugs—you don’t want too much or too little. Because when we were young and produced a full complement of hormones, we had a steady stream of just the right amount coursing through our bodies 24 hours a day. At my age, when 90% of my hormones left me over a two-year period, what my doctor did was take my blood work, see where my levels were, prescribe a bioidentical prescription from the compounding pharmacy, and put back exactly what I needed. When that happened, the quality of my life came back in a way that was better than it had ever been. To be in my metabolic prime with these bio-identical hormones, and then to add to it the wisdom and perspective that comes with aging, it’s about as good as it gets. It’s better than being 20, 30, or 40.

 

WF: What age were you when your hormones were restored?

SS: I went into menopause on my fiftieth birthday, literally at my fiftieth birthday party. I’ve been on hormones for seven years. They’ve absolutely changed my life and my husband’s life. I am so easy to live with because I’m hormonally balanced. I truly wake up happy almost every morning of my life, feeling joyous. It’s not a stoned feeling or a false good feeling like an antidepressant would give you, it’s just balanced joy.

WF: Feeling young in and of itself is a wonderful effect.

SS: Yes. For example, lets say that you’re a man on your fiftieth birthday. You’re feeling good, virile and energetic, your muscles are cut and defined, you’ve been working out, you’re in good shape, you can lift things that other people can’t, and you’ve got your creative energy, vitality, and sexual drive. Now, imagine if I said to you that starting on your fiftieth birthday, you’re not going to sleep anymore, because there are no hormones to regulate your body temperature. It feels like the worst fever you’ve ever had, off and on, all day and all night, which makes it impossible for you to sleep. You’re going to forget everything, because there are no nutrients going to your brain. You’re going to cry a lot because you haven’t been sleeping. You’re going to fly off the handle because your chemicals are so out of balance that you aren’t in control of your temper. You’re going to bloat, even if you’re not eating anything. Your ankles and wrists are going to be swollen; in fact, your whole body is going to be kind of swollen and uncomfortable. And you’re going to lose your sex drive.

If you said that to a man, he’d look at you like you were crazy. Yet women go in with these complaints and our doctors tell us we have to “tough it out.” “Tough it out” is not a medical remedy; it means just live through this suffering while you’re in a constant state of deterioration. It’s not just that you feel bad, but also that the nutrients provided by hormones to all of your bodily functions and organs are draining out. Therefore, there’s a shutdown of all those systems and organs. Young people don’t get the diseases of aging because they make a full complement of hormones. Older people have the diseases of aging because of the drain of hormones. Aging is a loss of hormones.

WF: We’ve reported on a new study showing that testosterone deficiency is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease. That means that if you do everything else right—eat right, exercise, keep your cholesterol down—low testosterone by itself will dramatically increase your risk of having a heart attack.

SS: And here’s why. Testosterone is not only a sex hormone, but also a hormone that is essential for both men and women. But testosterone is also an anabolic steroid. Anabolic steroids build bone and muscle, and the heart is the largest muscle in the body. There are more testosterone cell-receptor sites on this muscle than any other muscle in the body. As we lose our testosterone, our hearts lose their pumping power. The more testosterone you lose, the less pumping power you have, and coupled with that comes a loss of vitality and energy, and other degenerative issues. Don’t forget, men also require estrogen and the correct ratio of estrogen to testosterone for their maleness. When they start losing testosterone, they start overproducing estrogen. As estrogen overproduces, it diminishes a man’s ability to perform sexually. 

Every doctor that I talked to, including brain specialists, told me that too little estrogen in men and women is now being linked to Alzheimer’s disease. To prevent Alzheimer’s, we need an environment of balanced hormones, including estrogen, for the protection it gives your brain. That’s why the 83-year-old woman named Eve who I interviewed in my book, who has been on bioidentical hormones now for 20 years, is as sharp as a tack. She told me, “I have to drive my friends everywhere, they can’t remember anything. I get up every morning and dance to Roy Orbison or the Beatles while I’m making my bed. Then I go to exercise class.” I asked her, “What about sex?” She said, “I don’t have sex because I carried a torch for my husband for so long that I took myself out of the market. But I have sexual feelings. If the right guy came along, I would be ready. The problem is, men my age are so low on testosterone that they wouldn’t be able to handle me.”

Hormone Replacement: What Makes Us Different

Dear Lyn,
I am wanting to get some information on your hormone replacement. I have tried the pellet and I started getting hair loss and my body hurts. How do I get my hormones regulated again? Thanks for your help.

Hi!

I hope you have visited my “Pellets-A Second Look” webpage found on the home page of my website (near the top) at www.happyhormonecottage.com. It explains why we do NOT believe in or endorse pellets. They are a good money maker for the pellet manufacturer and the doctor, but they offer a world of hurt for the recipient. When we know better, we do better.

You can call us at 513-444-6343 to set up a phone consultation ($25) to learn what we do and about our Optimal Hormone Balance. What makes us different is that we are a one-stop shoppe with our cutting edge testing methods, nurse practitioners and compounding lab. We make our bioidentical hormone creams from plant-based powders in-house, and we have our own adrenal support formula (proprietary blend) to repair exhausted adrenal glands. In addition, for those with thyroid issues, our 10-point thyroid panel is innovative, and coupled with our thyroflex machine that checks the function of the thyroid at the tissue level of cells where it matters most, our thyroid clients actually feel better. We have options to create bioidentical thyroid medications so our clients are not just put on Synthroid or Levothyroxin with the dose being cut in half or doubled after blood work with a 2 part blood draw. Really? How is this even considered helpful? No wonder thyroid clients coming to us for the first time have suffered needlessly. I will also add here that our clients with Hashimoto’s also feel so much better with our Hashimoto’s Protocol.

We operate in the world of Functional Medicine with the focus being on finding and fixing root cause. Our clients are very happy. Out-of-state clients can do everything over the phone and at home, but they must come in to see us annually in person.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Give us a call.

Best,

Lyn

Another Pellet Victim Speaks Out

Dear Lyn,

I would be so grateful if you would answer a question that I have been unable to find the answer to online.

How long can I expect dht-related hair loss to continue after testosterone implantation? My first two rounds of pellets went fine. I began losing a significant amount of hair 24 days into this third round of pellets. I am now 50 days in. I am desperate for the excessive hair shedding to stop. I have been exercising pretty heavily to try to accelerate the burn out of the pellets. I am taking saw palmetto, pumpkin seed oil and biotin and am using a dht blocking shampoo. Should my hair loss symptoms be expected to stop at the 12-week mark (or sooner with daily cardiovascular exercise)? Or does the dht stay in your system beyond the testosterone pellet burnout? Not knowing when this will end or how bald I will get is sheer torture. Any information you can provide would be beyond appreciated.

Thank you,
Pellet sufferer

Dear Pellet Sufferer,
If you haven’t already read my webpage “Pellets…..A Second Look” found on the home page of my website at www.happyhormonecottage.com, please read to find out why we do NOT recommend pellets for women…..ever. They are a good money maker for the doctor and the pellet manufacturer, but they offer a world of hurt for the recipient.
In your case, your testosterone is traveling down the “5 alpha reductase” methylation pathway which converts your testosterone to dht for male pattern baldness and hair loss. This should stop and slow down after 3 months from the date of insertion, although I can not guarantee this. Everyone is different in how they respond after hair loss from pellets. Your hair will hopefully grow back. Keep doing what you are doing in terms of saw palmetto and biotin. Unless you like the balding look, I would suggest no more pellets. I often wonder why there are not (more?) class action lawsuits against these pellet manufacturers and the doctors who implant them.
At my Happy Hormone Cottage and our Integrative Hormone Center here in southwestern Ohio, we are all about hormone balance and the refilling of our hormone receptors (that deplete with age) for relief of hormone imbalance issues that occur in all women past age 35; but ultimately for help with the prevention of disease as we age: dementia, heart disease, osteoporosis and breast cancer. We use DUTCH (Precision Analytics Lab with Mark Newman) dried urine strip testing (blood work doesn’t provide valuable information…just a number) to determine HOW our hormones are working (methylating) inside our bodies and then we customize a compounded Bioidentical hormone cream strategy that we make at our compounding lab from plant based powders. To learn more, visit my website at happyhormonecottage.com. To set up a step one phone consultation ($25) you can call us at 513-444-6343. We have women coming in from all over the country (both pellet victims and nonpellet victims) to see our nurse practitioners and then return annually to continue therapy for their best health naturally.
Wishing you all the best.

Lyn

Making the Decision to Come to the HAPPY HORMONE COTTAGE

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

I NEED YOUR HELP!

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

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

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

Thanks so much,
Fran in Texas

My response:
Hi Fran,

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

Should I Visit?

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

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

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

Every Day Health Matters

by Lyn Hogrefe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do Yo Have a Health Plan for Your Future?

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Hormone Cottage Focuses on Proactive Preventative Healthcare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Incredible, Life Enhancing Importance of Our Hormones

“Disease sets in 10 years before symptoms appear.” Think about this truth for a minute. If you say, “But I’m not having any symptoms” ….this needs to be made clear—-these are symptoms you can’t see, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t there and that a disease isn’t developing. It takes 10 years for a disease (or diseases) to manifest. By the time the disease appears, it is too late. You already have it. How does this relate to hormones, hormone depletion and hormone imbalance? The older we get, the fewer and fewer hormones we have to do the jobs they need to do in our bodies to keep us healthy. Why? Because our body’s ability to make the hormones we need, becomes less and less able after age 35 and into our 40s and beyond. THIS IS CALLED AGING. Why is this fact critical for our long term health? Because hormones perform many, many important, life-saving jobs in our bodies. Did you know that estrogen, for example, takes care of over 300 jobs in our body? The most important tasks involve protecting our brain from dementia and our heart from heart disease. Progesterone, which we begin losing at age 35, is our joy of life hormone and is responsible for our sleep, for taking care of anxiety and depression, for getting rid of aches and pains and sugar cravings. One of progesterone’s most important tasks is to balance estrogen for prevention of breast cancer. Testosterone is responsible for new bone growth, energy, memory recall and when we also heal our tired adrenal glands, it helps libido. (Tired and fatigued women don’t want sex.)

Some women, as they begin to age into their 30s, DO begin to experience symptoms of a hormone imbalance, while most women, in their 40s and 50s experience some or many of these symptoms:
Weight gain
Fatigue
Brain fog
Hot flashes
Sleep issues
Low libido
Dryness, brittle hair and nails, hair loss

Typically, women (who aren’t in denial) will say, “I’m in perimenopause or menopause,” but these are just other words for HORMONE IMBALANCE.

Remember our truth: Disease sets in 10 years before symptoms appear. These symptoms are telling you that you have a hormone imbalance; that you don’t have the hormones you need to go the distance healthfully; that your hormone receptors are depleting. Hormone imbalance is a fact of life. It occurs BECAUSE we age. And as we age, our body no longer makes the hormones we need to perform the hundreds of tasks we need to remain healthy. I find this fact fascinating and for me, a CALL TO ACTION. If I know that disease sets in 10 years before symptoms appear; and that the hormones I need in my body to remain healthy are no longer being made available to me (1 + 1 = 2)…..why wouldn’t I do something about it?

Why not be proactive and do something about it while we can? After all, we have a 401k and IRA for our future financial status. Why not have a proactive plan for our health so we can go the distance? By going to a facility well-versed in hormone balance, like my Happy Hormone Cottage, with healthcare practitioners who know more than to check hormone levels in blood and tell you “everything looks normal,” (or offering you a short-term strategy like an antidepressant, sleeping aid, estrogen patch, etc) you will be educated and empowered to REFILL your hormone receptors with Bioidentical hormone creams made from plant-based powders that mimic the hormones that we used to have enough of. By refilling our hormone receptors, checking adrenal glands and making sure our thyroid is functioning optimally, we can achieve optimal hormone balance and give ourselves a fighting chance against disease. Eating right and working out is also important.

It is all about putting ourselves back on our list and taking care of ourselves every day starting today. Being proactive in regards to our health today just makes sense if we want to have a high quality of life for our tomorrows. I know I want to become a warrior for my wellness. Why? Quite simply, because I’m worth it!