The Next Time You Go To Your Doctor and Discuss Hormone Therapy…

The next time you go to your doctor and during the course of the visit you talk about hormone replacement (and trust me, there WILL be a time when you DO talk about this!) I would definitely first get his/her opinion of customized BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy). If they have any of the following responses:

-“You know that isn’t approved by the FDA” (everything we make in our compounding lab IS FDA-approved, but because we don’t dose for the masses, but instead customize for just ONE, WE are under the strict regulation of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy)
-“It is very expensive.” (false. we, too, bill insurance companies for our monthly Rx)
-They hand you a paper of “talking points” about bioidenticals (usually with the FDA stamped somewhere on there and stating that “bioidentical” is a marketing term….which it is not. It is a medical term), please ask your doctor for a clinical study supporting what philosophy THEY subscribe to. If it is an “FDA-approved one”, I can guarantee, they won’t have any studies. The studies that have been done on the synthetic drugs masking as hormones have studies that show they have serious health risks (cancer, stroke, blood clots) associated with them. WE ACTUALLY HAVE CLINICAL STUDIES AND CAN PROVIDE THEM ON THE SPOT. (google Fornier and the Cohort study)
-they tell you that hormones, especially estrogen, will cause breast cancer (the FDA-approved Premarin-horse pee- might, but topical estrogen that is prescribed after checking existing levels and uses physiological dosing that is balanced with progesterone does NOT cause breast cancer.) As a side note, oral estrogen of any kind can raise the risk of blood clots. We never recommend oral estrogen-either bioidentical or synthetic.
-want to prescribe you an anti-depressant as your first line of defense against depleting hormone levels after the age of 35, when in actuality, if they would just check your progesterone levels (preferably using saliva), we could actually replace those with progesterone and thus prevent the issues that come with depleted levels: sleeplessness, depression and anxiety….then I would seriously consider finding another doctor!
I am hard-pressed to find even a handful of women who are not on an antidepressant.
Look around you. Start asking your friends, neighbors, relatives, anyone. It boggles the mind the number of women in their 30’s, especially their 40’s and beyond, who go to their trusted health professional with symptoms of a hormone imbalance (sleeplessness, depression, anxiety) and they leave the office with a prescription for an antidepressant. No one is checking hormone levels. No one is questioning the current standard of care in our country that is dictated by big-pharma.
Why is this? It is no longer OK to go to your doctor and accept his word as law and not question him. Ask for studies. Push for answers. The good doctor, the one who really is FOR women, will listen and recommend books you can read; (Natural Hormone Balance by Dr. Uzzi Reiss;  the Wisdom Of Menopause by Dr. Christine Northrup); and will even develop a strategy with you for hormone replacement. Hopefully, it won’t involve the synthetic drugs masking as hormones that are FDA-approved: Premarin, Prempro and Provera. The bottom line is that YOU have to do your homework and become educated. That way YOU will be in charge of YOUR journey. Maybe this will keep you OFF an antidepressant for a hormone imbalance! It might even get you progesterone to help you sleep again, get rid of your depression, decrease your anxiety AND balance your estrogen dominance to prevent breast cancer! Who knew?

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!

THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE!

So I met with a woman we’ll call Penny who began her progesterone therapy a couple of months ago. She heard of me through a friend, sat in on a Happy Hormone Hour and thought, being age 50, it might be a good idea to do a saliva test and get her hormone and cortisol levels checked. When her lab work came back to us, her levels were off, but not horribly. Let’s just say I’ve seen a lot worse! But she wasn’t really symptomatic. Her biggest complaint was her stress level, which we did address with James Wilson’s (Adrenal Fatigue) Adrenal Rebuilder and Super Adrenal Stress Vitamins. So she is feeling better and has more energy. But when Penny went to her ob gyn for her annual check-up last week and she told him she was using progesterone cream customized for her body, her doctor asked her, “Oh for heaven’s sake! Why are you doing that??!!” And because Penny didn’t have a really good answer, she felt intimidated enough to stop her progesterone therapy. I can’t help but be disappointed for Penny. Obviously, she didn’t have the necessary educational tool to be able to justify and explain her use of the customized natural hormone therapy. And because this is not taught in medical school and because this is not the standard of care currently in our society, Penny is the biggest loser. She doesn’t understand that you replace depleted hormone levels as a great defense against disease and aging. Remember the biggest rule of all:  “DISEASE OCCURS BEFORE SYMPTOMS APPEAR,” so doesn’t it make sense that if replacing depleted hormone levels helps prevent disease (dimentia, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis,etc), it is probably a good strategy to consider? I, for one, certainly wouldn’t:

  1. do nothing.
  2. use drug therapy.
  3. listen to a doctor who isn’t knowledgeable in this area.

Would you go to IHOP to get your car worked on? Of course not! So why would you go to a traditional practitioner who hasn’t been educated in holistic health options, and isn’t interested in fixing the problem as much as just band-aiding it…and take his advice?
You know I really don’t blame the doctor. He is just practicing medicine the way he was taught. The thing is that in this area of women’s (and men’s ) health, I just don’t believe drug therapy is the answer. Let’s check depleted hormone levels and replace those with customized natural hormone replacement therapy. It just isn’t rocket science. In fact, wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a country where we didn’t always dose for the masses and promote a one-size-fits-all therapy for everyone with all dysfunction and diseases?? Just askin’.

I don’t care what the numbers say I KNOW how I feel !!!

I just received this e-mail from a friend about her recent interaction with her doctor: “When he asked if I had concerns I told him I was going to the cottage his face got red and he laughed.  He said my labs didn’t indicate I was premenopausal.  BUT, he didn’t offer any other solutions or address my concerns in ANY way.  I am SO frustrated with that attitude.  I don’t care what the numbers say I KNOW how I feel.  Thanks again for helping me get better !  Most of all for understanding and listening to us ALL !”

YOU GO, GIRL!! You are exactly right. Until we women stand up for ourselves to our current non-validating practitioners, we will never be treated any differently. Just because natural hormone replacement therapy isn’t taught in medical school, does NOT make it a non-option. Especially because we are out of the big pharma network does not make us a wrong option. WE are ALL about women’s health and we have your back because quite frankly, no one else does. Isn’t it interesting that he determined you can’t possibly be having hormone issues because your blood levels indicate that. IF he would have used saliva testing, he could have seen your hormone levels at the tissue level of cells where it really matters. Of course that isn’t taught in medical school either. Heaven forbid he also check cortisol levels (only found in saliva-not blood) for adrenal heath AND the T3 in thyroid. Even endocrinologists don’t check T3 levels. Why? It wasn’t taught in medical school. I bet if a drug company came up with a drug to fix T3, it would be taught in the medical community tomorrow!
And let’s talk about bone health, shall we? If I hear one more woman say that she had a dexascan and discovered her bone density is in the osteopenia range (next step-osteoporosis) so her doctor told her to take calcium AND SHE BELIEVES him, I might just slap her! Seriously! The only way to build new bone is to signal the osteoblasts in the bone to make more. Guess what does that?? Customized Natural Homones! We check your current hormone levels and, if your testosterone levels are below range, we recommend testosoterone. NOT those drug coompany drugs currently on the market that actually interrupt the bone-building process. And guess what?? Just taking calcium will NOT build new bone. How stupid are we to believe that? we have to ask why our bones lose density in the first place as we get older? What is different? Is our diet different? Are we suddenly drinking less milk to lose bone mass? And why isn’t drinking more milk fixing the issue? The same reason taking calcium supplements isn’t. One loses hormones through the aging process, so replacing those hormones with natural hormone therapy is the answer.
Until WE stop taking our doctors’ word as law and start thinking for ourselves, things won’t change. YOU are exactly right! YOU know how YOU feel and YOU know there are answers for YOU. YOU are in charge of YOUR journey. Congratulations to YOU for stepping up to the plate and being an advocate for YOUR body. Thank you for your trust in us at the Happy Hormone Cottage and our Piqua Medicine Shoppe. We have your back and I promise you, you WILL feel better.
Warmly,
Lyn

Just Because It Is the Standard of Care …..

Have you ever wondered why current standards of care exist? Does it make them the BEST choice just because they have always been done that way in the health field? I think not. I see clients on a daily basis who have been given hysterectomies in their 20’s because they were given no other options!! I suspect many of these surgeries were unnecessary as there probably WERE other options. But if it is outside the realm of our “standard of care,” it can’t be considered. Right?? Wrong! It is way past time for us, especially women, to think for ourselves. I’m always amazed when women I talk to blindly accept their doctor’s word as law. WE need to be doing the research! WE need to become informed on OUR bodies, OUR options, and weigh these against the current standard of care. Just because it IS the current standard of care doesn’t always make it right!!

“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!”

The Happy Hormone Cottage and the Three Myths

Once upon a time in the Heart of Centerville was an adorable little cottage where a team of stunning patient counselors lived! They were terribly busy helping women and men navigate the muddy, muddy waters of hormone imbalance by educating them on the strategies for natural hormone balance through customized natural options. Everyone was happy learning new strategies that didn’t involve antidepressants and drugs(!) and women left the cottage feeling validated and respected, AND feeling better than they had in years.
One day it came to the attention of Lyn, the director of the tiny little cottage, that somewhere in the land, 3 myths were being perpetuated. She got fed up and in a fit of energy, burst forth with these 3 “myth busters!”

Myth #1 “Compounded Hormones Are Not FDA Approved”
The FDA’s job is to approve manufactured drugs for the masses. WE customize therapy for one individual. So WE are strictly regulated by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.
**HOWEVER, each of the following hormones we use ARE FDA approved: Testosterone, Estradial and Progesterone.

Myth #2 “Insurance Doesn’t Cover Compounded Therapy”
Actually most insurance companies DO cover not only the cost of compounding, but also reimburse for the cost of the saliva testing, as it is considered a billable lab fee.

Myth #3 “Commercially Made BHRT Products Will Produce The Same Results”
Good luck with that! Commercially made BHRT products are “one-size-fits-most”. so the dosage can not be adjusted, we can not customize for the individual, so therefore expectations are not met.
For example, Prometrium®, the commercially-made Progesterone capsule comes in only two doses: 100mg and 200mg. Prometrium® is dissolved in peanut oil and only lasts in the body for 6 hours. On top of that, the dosage can not be adjusted, so when the patient gets unexpected results, adjustments can not be made. The commercially-made Estrogen products on the market (the patches and gels) are developed by drug companies based on blood serum data. When one uses blood serum hormone levels, the levels have been depleted by the heart so they are very low. The result is that the drug companies make their products with WAY TOO MUCH ESTROGEN to compensate for these low levels. IF they would use saliva test results, where the hormones are being measured at the tissue level of cells, maybe their products would be dosed accordingly. Giving too much Estrogen to an already Estrogen dominant woman does not make sense and may actually increase the risk of breast cancer. Also, some of these products were approved by the FDA after only a 12-week study.
Bonus Myth #4 “Compounded Topical Hormone Therapy Increases The Risk Of Blood Clots”
Actually, oral Estrogen has been shown to increase the risk of blood clots. We have several studies that show there is no risk of blood clotting with topical hormone replacement therapy.
Once these myths and untruths were addressed across the land, Lyn, her Happy Hormone Cottage and all who came to get tested, get treated and get better lived happily ever after!
The moral of the story is to always, always think for yourself. Do the research! It’s out there! Become educated and empowered to make the right choice for YOU!

TO BHRT OR NOT TO BHRT-THAT IS THE QUESTION!!

I heard it again! One of my neighbors, late 30’s, actually talked her doctor into doing a hormone check on her and of course, “Your results are normal!” Why the big surprise? Her practitioner used blood serum to check her hormone levels, where the levels have been depleted by the heart, and the ranges that are used are set for post-menopausal women. At least her levels were checked. I do appreciate that. What I don’t appreciate is the “normal’ ” comment. What is normal anyway? Is “normal” for someone else the same thing as “normal” for you?? I think not. Hormone imbalances are not age OR gender specific. They can happen to women age 18-98 AND men. I will say it again: in this area of women’s health, where the waters are very muddy and the misinformation and untruths are perpetuated, it is up to YOU to become empowered and educated. Do the research; read the books. In fact, a great place to start is with Natural Hormone Balance by Dr. Uzzi Reiss. This is a great read and written in layman’s terms to give you the truth on natural hormone balance. Secondly, it IS OKAY TO QUESTION YOUR DOCTOR WHEN S/HE GIVES INFORMATION. Much of what we do is outside the realm of medical training. Trust me on this-NATURAL HORMONE BALANCE WAS NOT TAUGHT IN MEDICAL SCHOOL. For example, when your practitioner tells you that customized hormone replacement therapy is not FDA approved so it should not be an option, YOU can actually inform your practitioner of the reason: The FDA approves drugs that are manufactured for the masses. When we customize therapy for just one, WE are instead strictly regulated by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. HOWEVER, THE PRODUCTS THAT WE MAKE ARE INDEED FDA APPROVED: ESTRADIAL, PROGESTERONE AND TESTOSTERONE. So that argument is really an untruth. Let’s get with the program people!! YOU are in charge of YOUR health. YOU need to get educated. YOU need to think for yourself. It is OK to ask questions and to even question your doctor. Only YOU know the best plan of action for YOU.

I FEEL THE LOVE!! (not)

I have never been one to blog unless I felt I had something significant to say. Boy, do I have something to say now! You will never believe what happened today! We had a client come through our cottage a few weeks ago for her free consultation. We listened to her and together, developed a strategy to deal with her hormone imbalance. In essence she was on board to “get tested, get treated and get better.” At least that was our game plan! Unfortunately, when we got her lab results back and sent our recommendation for her hormone balance to her practitioner to sign off on it, and fax it back so we could make her customized therapy, there was a glitch! This client went to a practitioner who we advise against because she is non-supportive of customized therapy. She would rather slap an estrogen patch on you or presribe a one-size-fits-most progesterone capsule based on your symptoms and be done with it. We strongly, passionately disagree! We feel women deserve to be respected enough to actually check their hormone levels. How is this difficult or even controversial?? Don’t doctors check every other level known to man (and woman)?? Again I beg the answer to “WHY NOT HORMONE LEVELS?”
Why NOT check hormone levels and then plan a strategy for restoring hormone balance via natural options? Why not just customize the therapy for that client?? How hard can this be really?? You guessed it! This practitioner talked our client out of customized hormone therapy that we recommended based on HER body’s levels, and instead prescribed the commercially available prometrium capsule. Although both are bioidentical progesterone, we get far greater success with our compounded progesterone cream because we can make necessary dosage adjustments during the process of balancing your hormones. From our point of view, using progesterone cream is a superior way to treat progesterone deficiency. Being able to adjust therapy is the key to success. I fully expect to hear from this client in the future when she isn’t experiencing the success she was promised. And we have no options to adjust her dosage when she is taking prometrium capsules. OUR focus is helping women get better with strategies that are customized for them.
In this case, this client loses.

Are You Serious? Really??

You know I love meeting with and talking with “my women” who come to the cottage. I really like meeting with them at the end of the process and getting them started on their customized natural hormone replacement therapy. This is after they have already met with their (or one of ours)practitioner, so s/he can sign off on our recommendation for their hormone balance. I swear my life would be SO easy if I didn’t have to keep fighting with practitioners! I am so blessed to have the ones working with me that we have. They are wonderful people who truly respect and validate women-especially in this area of hormone balance-and they believe in what we are doing. They know that we have science on our side. It’s the doctors who don’t want anything to with anything that requires them to think outside the box and maybe, just maybe, approve of something that isn’t FDA-approved that is the most frustrating. You know that the FDA approves manufactured drugs.(drugs for the one-size-fits-all mentality) By the nature of our business, which is compounding, it is a customized dosage made specifically for an individual. So the FDA can’t approve it; it is not manufactured. So when a doctor tells their patients that they don’t like compounded therapy because it is not FDA approved, that isn’t really an argument. Compounding is NOT manufacturing for the masses; it is making a specific dosage with a specific delivery system for a single individual. So that argument doesn’t have any merit. So when THAT argument becomes a moot point, my new personal favorite is what I heard from one of my clients on Friday. She said that when she went to her doctor, (female ob-gyn)and said she wanted to work with the Happy Hormone Cottage and the Piqua Medicine Shoppe and Compounding Pharmacy, the dr said, “Oh, that compounding! It really is BS, you know!!” Really? Seriously? I wonder if she would like to tell this to the Hospice patients for whom we compound transdermal therapy all the time to help ease their pain, because they can no longer swallow (or make the delivery system sublingual, etc.)or the pet owner whose beloved pet needs a customized therapy to save its life, and their only hope is a compounding pharmacy. Or the cancer patient who is so ill, s/he can’t tolerate the FDA-approved manufactured drugs that are available. I like to think that compounding pharmacies are the pharmacies for the people. After all, compounding has been around for centuries. Drug companies have only been around for a few decades. Compounding is problem-solving for the patient. Drug companies are motivated by money. Big difference. So the next time your practitioner wants to put down compounding as a bunch of BS, I would highly recommend you find another practitioner; one who will listen, respect and validate you enough to think outside the box, and work as a team with us: the happy hormone cottage and our compounding pharmacy. Because our passion and goal is to make you feel better by getting at the root cause of your issues…..NOT just drugging you to make you feel better by prescribing a one-size-fits-most FDA approved drug. We need to challenge the accepted belief among some of our practitioners today, and that challenge starts with YOU. When YOU begin to stand up for YOUR beliefs and YOU REFUSE to be emotionally bullied by a doctor who refuses to listen to YOU, then change will begin to happen. It begins with YOU.