Two Women, a Teapot and a Box of Tissues… By Kelly Kuhlman Brown

When Lyn Hogrefe started the Happy Hormone Cottage nearly eight years ago, she had one mission… to talk with women. She wanted to share the facts about hormones, health, and disease prevention since she had lived it through her own experience. Years earlier, Lyn needed a hysterectomy and she knew it would launch her into surgical menopause. Lyn’s husband Jeff, a pharmacist, knew what Lyn was about to experience because he saw it every day through his work. Jeff went back to school to learn how to compound bio-identical hormones so his wife wouldn’t suffer through the effects of menopause from lack of hormones… “Not on his watch” as Jeff put it.

Lyn had such great results with her compounded bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) that she started talking with other women about it – women were drawn to her energy, youthful appearance and healthy glow. After teaching school for 30 years, Lyn had a passion for education. Friends encouraged her to start talking with groups of women, so she started hosting, “Happy Hormone Hours”. Women showed up by the dozens. A local shop owner in Centerville observed Lyn filling a niche so she offered up a small stone cottage behind her boutique where Lyn could “talk with women”. Following a hand-shake-deal, a shingle went up outside of this tiny one-room building which had no electricity, heat or running water… and the Happy Hormone Cottage was born. A chat at the Happy Hormone Cottage consisted of two women, a teapot and a box of tissues. Lyn offered a warm and cozy environment where hormone imbalance issues could be validated. The tissues sopped up tears as women shared their negative experiences with drugs and physicians. Many had been told their symptoms were in their head, or they’d been prescribed anti-depressants, anti-anxieties, sleeping pills, pain pills, etc. when all they really wanted was to understand why they felt so bad.

The two women would sip tea as they shared stories and found common ground. Lyn would then lead the conversation into educating the women on how to address their core issues instead of masking symptoms with synthetic drugs. She gave women options and she taught the value of BHRT not just for symptom relief but also for overall health and disease prevention. She would suggest women undergo hormone testing then take the test results to their healthcare practitioner who would work with her compounding pharmacist husband to develop an individual wellness strategy.

Clearly there was a need to be filled as the demand for Lyn’s guidance quickly outgrew the confines of the tiny cottage. Lyn leased office space and hired more women to handle the volume of requests for chats (which evolved into consultations). She also had to buy computers and develop a client database. Gone were the simple notepads that stored records. Today there are four Happy Hormone Cottage offices along the I-75 growth corridor in Mason, Northern Kentucky, Vandalia, and Piqua. The main “cottage” is a huge suite of five offices located in Kettering.

Lyn never envisioned the booming business her little cottage would become. She is a living example of how a passion can be more valuable than a business plan and how a simple idea can impact the lives of thousands of women.

The teapot is now a Keurig but much has stayed the same, Lyn’s mission is still at the heart of the business, two women still sit to chat and the box of tissue remains in its place while tears are shed and feelings are validated.

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!

“I’m About to Have a Full Hysterectomy……”

Hello Lyn,

I am about to have a full hysterectomy done in a couple of weeks. I have started having symptoms of menopause for a while now. I was wondering if I could get some information on natural hormone remedies. My doctor had me on a birth control to help with the hot flashes and some other things but I gained about 30lbs in 10 months so I stopped taking the medicine mainly because it wasn’t working . I am worried about gaining more weight but I know I will need something to help me get through this. So what I am asking is do you have anything that will help with the menopause symptoms but help with not gaining any more weight and maybe help with losing some of what I have already gained. Thank you!

My response:

I’m happy you emailed and I’m wishing you a speedy recovery from your hysterectomy in the near future. I, too, had a radical (full) hysterectomy 12 years ago so I’m with you in this. I’m sorry to hear that your doctor put you on birth control for your menopause symptoms, but this is what many doctors know. My Happy Hormone Cottage is a hormone balance facility. We understand that menopause is a part of life that results in a huge hormone imbalance. This hormone imbalance actually starts for women around age 35, as our ovaries begin to age; and continues on through menopause. What we understand from the biochemistry of our bodies AND a lot of studies and books by doctors in functional medicine (holistic health) is that we must refill our hormone receptors as we age, for our highest quality of life. Doing this also eliminates the symptoms of hormone imbalance like hot flashes, brain fog, weight gain, fatigue etc. Hormones play important tasks in our bodies, so keeping our hormone receptors filled as we age is imperative.

Weight gain in women as we age is also a hormone imbalance issue. Estrogen is a fat storer. Birth control pills are synthetic estrogen and progestin, so giving you excess estrogen exacerbates weight gain. Why one would prescribe women over 35 excess estrogen (also in estrogen patches, pills and sprays) when we are already estrogen dominant is the question. This estrogen dominance is responsible for not only weight gain buy also a heightened risk of breast cancer.

At our Happy Hormone Cottage, we check existing hormone levels (sex hormones-estrogen, progesterone, testosterone; and cortisol from adrenal glands) with dried urine strip testing, and we also can see how your hormones are metabolizing and methylating. When test results come back, you meet with our nurse practitioner and together you create a customized strategy utilizing compounded hormone creams made from plant-based powders that refill our hormone receptors. This is a life-long strategy, like brushing our teeth, to keep our bodies healthy and to prevent disease (osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia, breast cancer). For our women with thyroid issues, we also are experts in thyroid health. So our focus is on treating holistically our sex hormones, adrenal glands and thyroid.

I recommend that you call us at your convenience for a step one consultation to get more information. If time allows, you should do this prior to your surgery so you are armed with knowledge and next steps following surgery. You can call us at 513-444-6343. Cost for this consultation is $25.

Keep me posted on your journey. I’m so excited that my HHC has been around for 7 years and we now have 4 local hhc offices and two hhc “cousins” from my consulting business in Miami, Florida and Lexington, Kentucky (Middlesboro). Women are happy and feeling better. Educating women and arming them with knowledge on their bodies is my passion! Keeping them healthy is my other passion. Best to you always! ~lyn
www.happyhormonecottage.com

Do Your Homework Before Getting Pellets

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

Below is an email I received followed by my response.

Hello. Thank you for taking the time to read my email.
I have a question.
I am a 39 years old female.
I went to a doctor that dose the testosterone pellets. I’ve only done it twice last year. It’s been 5 months since my last pellet injection. I was very concerned about having this done & asked a million questions. However I don’t think my doctor had a clue what he was doing.
So here I am 5 months later & I had my blood work done because my hair is falling out & I have the worst acne ever. My blood work showed I had 3x the amount of more testosterone then a man!
How long do the pellets take to rid my system & will my hair grow back? Will I fully recover from these testosterone pellets?
I’m very worried about the mistake I’ve made & I’m hoping the side effects are not long term.
My hair was thick before & now I’m almost completely bald. Will my hair grow back & stay?
Thank you again. I’m sure you get so many emails but I’d really appreciate any advice or knowledge to help myself at this point.
Thank you,
Heather

Hi Heather,
I am never too busy to read or respond to my emails. Thank you for emailing me. For more experiences like yours with pellets, please go to my website’s blog and scroll down to my blogs on pellets. They are popular and I’ve shared close to 200 emails from women with similar horrific experiences like yours. I’ve also written a book, “Own Your Journey……to Optimal Hormone Balance” for more information, and you can order this on my online store if you are interested.
At our Happy Hormone Cottages, we don’t believe in pellets. In fact, we believe pellets give what we do a bad name. We are ALL about HORMONE BALANCE in all areas: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone (our sex hormones), cortisol from our adrenal glands, and thyroid. Let me explain. We understand from the biochemistry of our bodies that we must refill our hormone receptors that deplete as we age, because our hormones perform many, many jobs in our bodies. Why do our hormones deplete? It is part of the aging process. Think about it. Years ago, most women (and men) didn’t live much beyond their 30s or 40s so their depleting hormone levels weren’t a big deal. But now that we are living into our 70s, 80s, and sometimes our 90s, we have to replenish them to continue to be healthy AND to prevent disease. Progesterone begins depleting around age 35 and is kind of a big deal because progesterone performs significant tasks like:
-promoting sleep
-preventing anxiety
-preventing depression (progesterone gives us our ‘joy of life’ feeling)
-preventing sugar cravings
-elevating our mood
-preventing aches and pains
-helping to prevent breast cancer
When our progesterone levels dip in our mid 30s, these above issues begin to happen. Sleep is impacted. Women become fatigued. Tired women don’t want sex, so libido decreases. This negatively impacts marriages. (This explains mid-life crises and why men look to younger women for their sexual needs) This is when women become aware of their hormones, although hormones have always played a huge role in our development from girls to women to pregnancy (and then on to and through the aging process to death). And this is when having the testosterone pellets implanted become popular. Putting a whopping dose of testosterone in our bodies does not make sense to us and in fact, we understand biochemically, the dangers of doing this. We never measure hormone levels in blood, except thyroid and then we do an 11 point thyroid blood panel in conjunction with our innovative thyroflex machine. We find just having a number in blood for our sex hormones and cortisol is somewhat meaningless. It does not give us much information. We are more interested in what our hormones-sex hormones and cortisol- are DOING inside our bodies; how they are metabolizing and methylating. Then we can work with our clients to create a strategy customized just for them, using our bio-identical hormone creams compounded from plant-based powders, to refill our hormone receptors over time for optimal hormone balance. Doing so eradicates the symptoms of our hormone imbalance (sleeplessness, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, low libido, brain fog, weight gain) and, more importantly, helps prevent disease as we age. What diseases? Osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia, breast cancer. Once you understand that estrogen, which depletes during Perimenopause and drastically depletes through menopause, performs over 300 tasks in our bodies to protect our heart and our brain; and testosterone that helps build strong bone (by signaling the osteoblasts to make more), helps memory recall, gives energy and helps libido WHEN we also address our tired adrenal glands……you will understand why replacing these hormones that deplete as we age is so important. In fact, our mantra is, “Hormones are to women what water is to plants!” I hope you now understand why we simply don’t believe in pellets- supraphysiologic dosing of testosterone just does not make sense when you are immersed in Functional Medicine, holistic health, like we are.
For you specifically, these testosterone pellets will decrease over time and your testosterone level will go back to what it was. But the damage to your body is more long-lasting. You can pick up saw palmetto (we sell it on my online store) to help stop the conversion of your testosterone to DHT for your hair loss. You can also get Biotin (yes-on my online store) to help grow hair. Over time, and you will need to be patient, your hair should come back. I’m hopeful that your acne will also subside as the pellets wear off. I highly suggest you give us a call at 513-444-6343 to set up an appointment for a consultation ($25) for over the phone or in person so we can work with you to restore your hormone balance. We have 4 Happy Hormone Cottages in the Cincinnati-Dayton area. Our nurse practitioners work at 3 of them. You can do everything off-site if you live out of our area, but you will need to come and see our practitioner in person for your hormone therapy prescription.
I hope this information is helpful to you. I often wonder why women go through with pellet implantations when they sense the doctor implanting them “doesn’t have a clue what he was doing,’ and more importantly, why there aren’t lawsuits against these practitioners and the companies who make the pellets? Someone, somewhere needs to be held accountable and this madness should be stopped. We spend a lot of our time helping women who have been negatively impacted by pellets.
Take care and keep me posted. I hope you decide to work with us. We are all about hormone balance and wellness. I’m most interested in your journey to health and wellness.
Best,
Lyn

Read more about our view on pellets here

To Do or Not To Do/ Clearing Up the Hormone Confusion

This just in. Another email from a struggling woman, needing help, and confused on what to do next. I love clearing up the confusion, myths and untruths surrounding hormones. Maybe this information will also help you.

Dear Lyn,
I had a hysterectomy back in 1997. I have not taken any kind of hormone medicine since for fear of the dangers. I am 50 year old now and am seeking some kind of treatment. I have no sex drive and I wonder if that’s part of the hormone changes with my hysterectomy. I haven’t had a sex drive in a long time. Plus, I have lots of mood swings. My doctor gave me an anti depressant thinking it would help. I need to know your thoughts and if your treatment is covered by medical insurance. Looking forward to hearing from you.

My response:
You are exactly right. Our hormones in our body perform many important tasks. As we age, as we have hysterectomies, whatever the cause, all women (and men) need to replace their hormone levels. We like to use Bioidentical hormones to replace these hormones in our bodies by refilling our hormone receptors with hormone creams created in a lab from plant-based powders. These hormones mimic in our bodies the hormones that we lose as we age, or from surgery. This is why they are called bioidentical. This has nothing to do with the drugs acting as hormones that were developed back in the 1960s by drug companies, and that were found to cause cancer and other health risks. Sadly, still today there is a lot of confusion, myth and untruth swirling around hormone replacement:
-is it harmful?
-will it cause Cancer?
-isn’t all hormone replacement (HRT) the same?
Our job at the Happy Hormone Cottage is to help clear up this confusion and to help educate women on the truth. You can go to my website at www.happyhormonecottage.com and click on Readings & Resources, to find studies, articles and books on the truth and the importance of refilling our hormone receptors as we age with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Our truth, based on studies by forward-thinking doctors immersed in Functional Medicine (focused on holistic health, anti-aging and the prevention of disease), and on the biochemistry of our body, is that all women over the age of 35, and sometimes even younger, need to refill their hormone receptors for a high quality of life and to prevent disease as we age. It always intrigues me that WE know this information, yet when we go to our doctors for help, we are often prescribed, as you were, antidepressants, or sleeping aids, or estrogen patches (for hot flashes) that help the symptoms but do not fix the cause of our issues…..which is hormone imbalance.
To answer your question on insurance, at our HHC, we do not have an insurance biller, but we do provide you with cpt codes so you can submit your testing kit and your nurse practitioner visit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Many women are getting reimbursed well. We also accept flex spending and HSA cards. A word on our testing methodology. We use an innovative, user-friendly take home dried urine strip testing kit that provides us with valuable information on not only your hormone levels, but more importantly how your body is using your hormones. This helps us know what your body needs in both sex hormones and in adrenal health, so we can create a strategy to heal your body by restoring hormone balance.
What is your next step? Check out my website, read an article or two, check out the following books to get educated and empowered:
-Natural Hormone Balance by Dr Uzzi Reiss
-Bioidentical Hormones 101 by Dr Jeffrey Dach
-any book by Suzanne Somers on hormones
When you are ready, give us a call at 513-444-6343 to schedule your appointment for your consultation ($25). Our goal is your best health naturally. Refilling your hormone receptors with customized compounded Biodentical hormone creams in the dosage your body needs to refill your hormone receptors is what we do, what we are known for, and why the women we work with speak so highly of us. I look forward to working with you!
Warmly,
Lyn

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

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

……and My Doctor Suggested I Go on The Pill to Balance Everything Out…..

Emails! I get emails! I always enjoy hearing first hand or reading via emails from women across the country, about their experiences they endure before coming to see us at our Happy Hormone Cottage. I also get emails from concerned husbands who have heard about us. Here is the latest one:
“Hi Lyn! I was talking with my wife this week end as she expressed interest in learning more about your Happy Hormone Cottage. She has been dealing with some thyroid issues for the past year or so–as well as some mood swings and fatigue. She has been on some medication and her bloodwork continues to check out fine. I believe they have had her take vitamin D and other supplements, too. Her Ob Gyn also suggested she go on the birth control pill “to balance it all out.” Anyway, the results of her work with her doctors really aren’t there so we talked about looking into what you guys offer. She knows a lot of what she is feeling could be stress-related and a lack of sleep, too–but everything I have seen and read sounds like you may be able to help her. Your thoughts?”
My response: “I’m happy you emailed! We treat hormone imbalance issues for sex hormones (progesterone, estrogen and testosterone as needed), adrenal glands (cortisol) and thyroid, as needed. Your first step is to have your wife give us a call at 513-444-6343 to schedule a step one 45-60 minute consultation at an HHC office closest to you. Cost for this appointment is $25.
At this consultation, we would get her issues and symptoms, answer her questions and talk about our testing methods. We use cutting edge technology in determining not only our hormone levels, but more importantly, how they are (or aren’t) working in our bodies. This technology is a take-home dried urine strip testing kit that is then sent to a lab in Oregon, where the results are analyzed and sent back to us. The information we glean from this testing method is so valuable and allows us to do what we do with such a high percentage success rate. Whereas blood labs simply provide you with a number, our dried urine strip testing method shows metabolization of our hormones and their methylation pathways. With this knowledge, we can even reroute our hormone pathways from a breast cancer promoting methylation pathway, to a breast cancer protective methylation pathway through using methylating supplements. Amazing stuff! This dried urine test also addresses cortisol, including diurnal cortisol. This is important because we must also fix our adrenal glands to actually feel better, more rested and more energetic. Fixing our adrenal fatigue with our proprietary adrenal supplements also heals libido in about an 8 month time frame. It does take time to refill hormone receptors with our customized and compounded bioidentical hormone therapy, and to heal adrenal glands to feel better. Most of our clients notice a difference in how they feel within 3 weeks and by the 3rd month when your wife would need to check back with our nurse practitioner, if she is like most of our clients, she will be feeling 90% better.
A note on thyroid: We have had good success with our thyroid protocol. Whereas most doctors and endocrinologists just check TSH, T4 and maybe T3, we use an 11 point thyroid blood panel AND we also have the innovative thyroflex machine that actually tells us how our thyroid is functioning in our bodies, since 85% of thyroid is found in our tissues and only 15% is found in our blood. It just makes sense to also check the thryoid in our tissues…..and not just test 3 parts of thyroid found in blood. This gives us a real handle on treating thyroid issues and actually getting our clients to feel better by fixing the issue.
I find it typical that your wife’s ob gyn suggested she go on the birth control pill “to balance her all out” when birth control pills are all synthetic hormones that actually suppress our real hormones that we have in our bodies. Our truth is that this is the very worst things we can to do our bodies (besides being offered an anti-depressant for a hormone imbalance, which is another typical standard of care response. My response is always, “I doubt that you are prozac-deficient. It is more likely you just need progesterone!”) Our philosophy, based on the biochemistry of our bodies, is that we balance our hormones by refilling our depleting hormone receptors that deplete with age (and stress) with bioidentical hormones that are made from plant-based powders, and customized for each woman.
I hope this information helps you and your wife. Feel free to ask more as needed. We are here for you, and live our passion of women helping women. You can also check us out more on our website at www.happyhormonecottage.com.
Warmly,
Lyn”

What is your Wellness Strategy?

I heard a doctor at our recent anti-aging conference in Hollywood, Florida (Academy of AntiAging and Regenerative Medicine) say, “People would rather spend money remodeling their kitchen than spend it on their health!” I’m thinking most people would rather spend money on just about anything other than their health….unless, of course, it is covered by insurance. And I’m wondering why exactly is this? The more I know, the more I realize how very critical it is to OWN OUR JOURNEY to our very best health. The key operative words here are ‘To Be PROACTIVE.” Here is what I know: by the time symptoms of a disease/condition show up in our body, it has been developing for 5-10 years! I find this fact scary. The time to do something about it is at the very beginning or even better, BEFORE the disease even starts.

So having said this, what is YOUR wellness strategy?
-to hope for the best and do nothing
-to take a chance and hope you are one of the lucky ones
-to not think about it
-to get a yearly physical and be done with it
-to delay it until there is an issue
-to grab vitamins off the shelf at the grocery store and hope they work
-to embrace the philosophy, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

I used to think this way. Then the closer I got to middle-age, the more I began to realize how my actions today and every day DO affect my health and well-being tomorrow. Now that I’m IN middle-age, (and many of my friends are, too) I look around me and I understand the truth of this.
The fact is, those of us who invest in our health today have a significantly higher chance of being healthy tomorrow. So what might a helpful, beneficial wellness strategy look like?

1. Understand that you have to think for yourself and own your journey to your best health. This means taking responsibility for your actions in a plethora of areas:
-what you eat
-how you exercise
-how you view current standard of care’s limitations.
This will most likely involve a paradigm shift. Understand that we live in a country that focuses on dis-ease and not wellness. We typically go to our doctor when we don’t feel well. Our healthcare system (including insurance and drug companies) is focused on treating disease; which means by the time you see your doctor, you already have it. Yes, we DO also spend time and money on screening for diseases like: mammograms (Breast cancer detection), colonoscopies (colon cancer detection) PAP smears (detects cervical and uterine cancer) and PSA tests for men (detects prostate cancer). But I have to point out that screening for a disease is NOT the same as preventing a disease. Again, by the time a disease is detected, it has been developing in our bodies for years.

2. Understand that we ARE what we eat! Reading labels is imperative AND eye-opening. Dr David Purlmutter links eating wheat with a heightened risk of Alzheimer’s. We know consuming high amounts of sugar can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes. High fructose corn syrup does not get metabolized like sugar does. Instead it goes directly to the liver where it gets converted to fat. Obesity is a growing problem in our country, which promotes diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Eliminating or cutting back on wheat, gluten, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup are positive steps in owning what we eat. And let’s talk about how our soybean and corn crops are sprayed with toxins like Round-Up (pesticides) and our crops are genetically modified and the environmental toxins that we are exposed to daily…..and we are set up for sickness and disease.

3. Your awareness that there ARE steps you can take to prevent disease:
> Be accountable for your health every day and believe that the choices you make today DO and WILL affect your health tomorrow. Every day DOES matter. A huge area of awareness and ownership is hormone health. Understand that the latest research shows “Hormones are to Women What Water is to Plants.” Refilling our hormone receptors as we age IS a definitive Wellness Strategy. This includes adrenal and thyroid health. Owning your journey in this arena of women’s health by educating and empowering yourself is imperative. Visit www.happyhormonecottage.com for more information. Our Recommended Readings section has the latest books and studies. Knowledge is power.
>   Find a Functional Medicine practitioner or facility, like my Happy Hormone Cottage, that promotes Holistic Health, and works to determine AND prevent your health risks. Are you aware that my Happy Hormone Cottage now offers extensive lab work for women (and men, through our sister company- BioMale Center for men) all billed to insurance, that provides a full lab panel from two prestigious labs: AML and HDL laboratories? The AML panel is a comprehensive blood panel that focuses on insulin, hormones, adrenal glands and thyroid. The HDL panel determines cardiovascular risk.  With this knowledge, we are able to determine the correct holistic health strategy that will decrease your odds of getting a disease and increase your chance of staying healthy.

> 4. Practice gratitude every day. I believe attitude is everything.  My 89 year old Dad still lives independently in a retirement village in Florida, walks his 2 dogs multiple times a day, works out in the fitness center 3 days a week, sings in a band and recently recorded his 2nd CD. His attitude is positive and upbeat. I think this speaks volumes!

> 5. Continue to serve others and work to make a difference in the lives of others. This is why I began my foundation-The Women’s Health Initiatives Foundation, whose mission is to “promote and support integrative health initiatives which prevent, treat or cure cancers that affect women.” I intend for this to be my legacy. Visit www.womenshealthinitiatives.org for more information.

My hope for you is that you don’t take your health for granted. Investing in yourself by protecting your health is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Having a daily wellness strategy can help guarantee a higher quality of life for the long haul. What steps will YOU today take to develop YOUR WELLNESS STRATEGY for YOUR healthiest tomorrow? Women, call us at 513-444-6343 to set up your step one consultation at our Happy Hormone Cottage. Men, you can call Jeff at 513-600-9879 to get started on your wellness strategy at our BioMale Center. Make 2016 your year to fully invest in you!

The Importance of Questioning What We Read and Believe

Today I overhead a “healthcare expert” state, “There are studies that say supplements aren’t good for you, and in fact, some studies show that supplements can even be harmful.” Seriously? This is such a good example of several things:
> >Don’t believe everything you read
> >Understand the truth about studies
> >A healthy practice is to question what we read, and then to question our beliefs about it
Let’s look at these supplement studies. About 90% of these studies on supplements don’t standardize their supplements and they are using sub therapeutic dosing.  Many of the studies are just surveys that don’t even follow the scientific process with an objective and an endpoint. So to base one’s beliefs on these so-called studies is unfortunate. Believing everything we read without question, and then to pass on these beliefs to others, can continue to perpetuate the myths and false information surrounding some healthy and beneficial practices.
Let’s look at omega 3’s as an example.  A “study” came out about a year ago stating that omega 3’s increase the risk of prostrate cancer. This appeared on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. This “study” correlated higher risk of prostate cancer with higher levels of omega 3’s found in the serum of the men in this “study.” In other words, they tried to correlate cause and effect between 2 random ideas that gave negative “information” about omega 3’s. This “study” didn’t even discuss these men in the study taking omega 3’s. Because of this article, those who believe everything they read could now falsely believe that taking omega 3’s can cause prostate cancer.  This type of false fact article happens often. The TRUTH about omega 3’s is this:
>Taking 2000 mg a day is optimal for pushing thyroid into the cells of the brain for brain clarity
>Omega 3s raise metabolism, and help burn fat.
>Most importantly, omega 3’s help reduce inflammation.
Since most diseases START with inflammation, taking omega 3’s is CRITICAL for preventing inflammation and disease! If I were to believe the article mentioned above, I could potentially be setting myself up for failure. This is a great example of NOT believing everything I read, and continuing to question my beliefs.
I hear this same type of generalization with hormone therapy: “I asked my doctor if I needed hormone therapy and he said no.” Is this the end of the discussion? We aren’t motivated to think for ourselves and possibly take charge of our own health? Really? My suggestion is that when we choose to unequivocally believe what we read and what we are told without question, this makes it too easy. It closes the lid on more discussion that could shed light on important information. I think a BETTER practice might be to ask why. WHY are you saying I don’t need hormone therapy? WHERE are you getting your information? If it is through the media with the same false information that has been recycled over and over again for the past 10 years, and often with the pharmaceutical industry agenda, I encourage you to most definitely QUESTION your beliefs, the beliefs of your healthcare practitioner, and to begin to EDUCATE YOURSELF.
I see the same issues with ads I read for drugs for menopause-relief symptoms. There is a new drug on the market for feminine vaginal dryness that mimics estrogen, but it’s not estrogen. After reading the important safety information and the common side effects, (good grief!) I have no idea who would seriously consider taking this drug. Why not just use estriol? Estriol is E3, our gentle, calming estrogen that babies in the womb swim in. Estriol travels to the breast tissue and uses its protective benefits in helping to prevent breast cancer, and it is great for feminine dryness. It is also found in our bodies, but depletes as we age. So replacing estriol as we age is a strategy we endorse. So why don’t doctors typically prescribe estriol? Because most doctors don’t know a lot about it and it is not FDA-approved. Why not? No drug company has put up the money to fund a clinical study until recently. It is in clinical trials now for use in the treatment of MS. **This is the beauty of educating yourself in this area of women’s health and in connecting yourself to respected hormone facilities like ours, with healthcare practitioners and a medical director who are in the know, have the latest valid information and really understands the latest information out there on hormone balancing therapy.
The bottom line? Don’t believe everything you read and make it a practice to QUESTION YOUR BELIEFS. Your best health naturally may just depend on it!