“I Asked My Ob Gyn About Bioidentical Hormones Yesterday……….”

I love getting these emails because it gives me yet another chance to guide women. This email began with, “FYI-I asked my ob gyn about bioidentical hormones yesterday at an appointment and she said she doesn’t know much about them. She is also reluctant to recommend them because they are not FDA-approved. She may be open to learning more if someone approaches her. She answered all of my questions about menopause pretty honestly, I believe.” Where to start? My response is this:
“I am happy you were able to speak with your doctor and I appreciate her honesty in admitting she doesn’t know much about BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy). She is somewhat misinformed about the FDA piece. Everything we make (customized, compounded bhrt) is FDA-approved. The problem is that the FDA’s job is to approve drugs for the masses. The job to approve customized therapy for one falls under the jurisdiction of the states’ Boards of Pharmacy. The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy is extremely stringent, which is a good thing!
On a side note, just because a drug for the masses has been approved by the FDA, does not make it safe or effective. Many of these are approved after a mere 12-week study. Really? And then we wonder why we see ads and commercials about drugs that have been recalled because they have harmful side effects, including death. So I’m not sure why being FDA-approved is the gold standard. It certainly is not in my book.
I am hopeful that your doctor, and other ob gyns, will make it their responsibility to become informed on the safety and efficacy of customized, compounded bhrt. It is not my job to teach them. In fact, it would be most beneficial and impactful for you to get information to her so she can get educated and informed. My website (www.happyhormonecottage.com) has a
Resources & Readings section chockfull of studies and resources. I have even incorporated a special “Practitioner’s Resources” section full of studies so any doctor who wants to become informed has this info at his/her fingertips. I have already done all the work in gathering this data.
Here’s the thing- WE are not going away. BHRT is not a fad. Ours is a grassroots, organic movement of educating and empowering women so they can Own Their Journey to WELLNESS. The women who do the work and become educated are the ones who become empowered to their best health naturally.
The research shows again and again that we MUST REFILL OUR HORMONE TANKS THAT DEPLETE WITH AGE so our bodies have what they need to go the distance. Our hormones begin to deplete at age 35. By the time we are through with menopause, we no longer have the estrogen we need to protect our heart from heart disease or our brain from dementia; we no longer have the testosterone we need to rebuild new, strong bone; and we no longer have the progesterone we need to balance our estrogen dominance to fight breast cancer. A wonderful study on my website’s Resources & Readings section was conducted by Dr Erika Schwartz and Dr Kent Holtorf entitled, “Hormones in Wellness and Disease Prevention: Current State of the Evidence and Questions for the Future.” Read it. Encourage your healthcare practitioner to read it. After all, if your healthcare practitioner doesn’t know much about this critical topic in women’s health of WELLNESS ANG AGING, what is YOUR responsibility? How will YOU own your own journey to wellness?”
The truth is, hormones are to women what water is to plants. They are necessary for a great quality of life so we can go the distance. I urge women to come in and see us to begin their journey to hormone balance and wellness. My greatest gift is getting women on board so they can take charge of their journey. We have tons of studies, books and articles. I just wrote my own book, “Own Your Journey….to Optimal Hormone Balance” to help and guide women. (You can order it online on my website’s “shop 24/7 online store).

I recommend women keep their ob gyn for their ob gyn needs, but come in and see our hormone health expert, Angela Rothstein, for their hormone needs. We wouldn’t take our imported car to a Ford dealership. Why would we trust our bodies in this arena of women’s health to practitioners who are not well-versed in this field? As consumers, we have the right to demand the best for ourselves and our hormone journey. It does begin with you. Simply dialoguing with your doctor to get his/her opinion isn’t enough. Because the information can be confusing and the media continues to circulate misinformation and untruths with the big pharma agenda, you won’t have a chance if you don’t think for yourself, ask the big questions and learn the truth for yourself. Your journey to wellness is yours. Own it!

Part 2:

So the gal I spoke about in my previous blog, who got her saliva test results and then went to her doctor (one who is NOT on our list of practitioners we work with) for treatment…..well let’s just say it gets better and better! (not!) This 54 year old gal, “Leslie,” came to us with symptoms of: hot flashes, heart palpitations, mood swings, irritability, vaginal dryness, weight gain, night sweats, depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and feeling cold all the time. The results of her saliva testing (hormones at the tissue level of cells) came back with the following results:
-low estradial levels (brain fog, weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness)
-extremely low progesterone (sleep issues, depression, anxiety, heart palpitations, mood swings, irritability)
-good testosterone range! (ability to make new bone, energy, memory recall, libido)
-cortisol issues which indicate adrenal fatigue (energy and fatigue all day)
    So our team at our Piqua Medicine Shoppe (recommended as THE compounding pharmacy of choice in Ohio in Suzanne Somers last several books) made a recommendation for her practitioner that included adrenal vitamins to help rebuild and repair her exhausted adrenal glands; estrogen therapy to not only help her symptoms BUT ALSO help prevent dementia and heart disease (the #1 killer of women in this age group); progesterone capsules for her severe sleep issues and progesterone cream to help her anxiety during the day;  and vitamin D 5000 units a day. Vitamin D helps prevent breast cancer, depression, aches and pains etc. And in Ohio, the “Land of No Sun Ever!”, most people need at least 5000 units of vitamin D daily. I might also add that even though Leslie’s estrogen levels are on the low end, she is still estrogen dominant because her progesterone levels are SO depleted (because she is 54! It’s called aging!). Estrogen dominance is responsible for her weight gain and other symptoms listed above BUT MOST ESPECIALLY carries the greatest risk for breast cancer. Again, unopposed estrogen carries that risk. Our strategy is to physiologically dose Leslie with just the amount of estradial AND most especially progesterone to regain her hormone balance. Unfortunately, she didn’t have us do a thyroid panel, but because of her ‘feeling cold all the time,” and inablility to lose weight, I suspect she also has a thyroid issue. Her family doctor would probably run tests on her T4 and TSH. Our thyroid panels checks: free T3, free T4, TSH and TPO (checks for autoimmune deficiences like Hashimoto’s disease). We see women every day who have severe thyroid issues (hair loss, weight gain, cold body temperatures, no energy) whose family doctors have told them time and again they are “within the normal range.” My response is:
-normal for whom?
-what testing was run?
   If you have a broken leg, would you xray your arm?? So why NOT run a complete thyroid panel that detects thyroid issues that are relevant to your body’s symptoms? Just because it has always been done that way, isn’t good enough for me. How about you?
   Leslie went to her doctor for treatment for her hormone issues. This doctor “does her own thing.” She doesn’t use saliva test results (even though Leslie paid to have them done and the doctor had them in front of her, along with our strategy for Leslie’s hormone balance). She likes to use blood serum to check hormone levels. So her recommendation for Leslie is:
-prometrium (drug company made BHRT progesterone capsule: comes in 2 doses-100mg and 200 mg, is soaked in peanut oil, lasts for 6 hours)
  (note-our recommendation for her progesterone capsules is 150 mg-based on her body’s needs as indicated by the saliva test results)
-testosterone (our saliva testing indicates her testosterone is 32 (range is 16-55) Do you think she needs testosterone???
    Leslie’s doctor gives her no estrogen, no adrenal therapy, no vitamin D. And guess what? Based on my conversation with Leslie (previous blog) where I urged her to read and get information and education in Natural Hormone Balance so SHE could have a voice and dialogue about what SHE would like to do for her hormone balance WITH her doctor and her response was, “I just want to get a second opinion from you…” (my response to this is why not get educated so you can develop YOUR OWN opinion???) I knew her visit with her doctor wouldn’t go well. Because Leslie isn’t willing to get educated, she doesn’t have an informed opinion so she CAN’T advocate what is best for her body! So she is settling for one-size-fits-most drug company made progesterone that isn’t dosed for HER body AND testosterone because this is the strategy her doctor has created for her with NO interaction or opinion from Leslie. I find this extremely sad. In the words of Dr. Phil, I say to Leslie, “Let me know how this works for you!”

Education is Power!

 I can’t tell you the number of clients who meet with me to get started on their therapy, who have had an interesting (ahem!) experience with their practitioner. These are the doctors and nurse practitioners who are ok with signing off on our recommendation for their clients’ customized BHRT so they do it, but are not really educated in this area. Because they aren’t educated, they aren’t exactly  overcome with enthusiasm. In fact, I just had one client tell me that although this NP did sign off on our recommendation, it wasn’t until AFTER she offered our client a synthetic hormone to try first! I think her exact words were, “I can sign off on this, but wouldn’t you like to try a synthetic hormone first?” Seriously? After I threw up in my mouth (!) I realized how truly appalling this really is! Who in their right mind would offer anyone a synthetic drug masking as a hormone with serious health risks associated with it OVER a natural alternative that replaces depleted hormone levels with hormones that are bioidentical to the ones your body used to make? The answer is clear to me: anyone with a vested interest in pharmaceuticals; anyone who believes the drug company rhetoric; anyone who chooses NOT to become educated in a natural alternative, etc. Make no mistake! Women are at war against big pharma AND practitioners who refuse to consider anything BUT a drug company product. You DO realize, don’t you, that just because something has been approved by the FDA, does NOT make it safe? Tell me you know this! So when a “health care provider” tries to scare off their pro-customized BHRT client with “but it isn’t approved by the FDA..” I want to just laugh hysterically (or scream!) Again, for those folks, everything we make for natural hormone balance IS approved by the FDA….but the FDA approves drugs for the masses. WE are under the strict regulations of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.
   I understand that the clinical studies and literature that validate and give credibility to customized BHRT isn’t readily available BUT it IS out there! Go to my website and click on our Recommended Readings button. There is a special section just for practitioners that says “Practitioners Resources.” Anyone can go to Amazon.com and buy a plethora of books on natural hormone balance and even a book on Adrenal Fatigue. (See my website for recommended titles). We have studies that show the safety and efficacy of customized BHRT. There are links on my website to clinical studies. It is up to YOU to read and become educated so you can dialogue intelligently with YOUR doctor. Obviously YOU are going to have to be the driving force behind insisting your practitioner becomes educated. I don’t know about you, but I personally will NOT SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS!
  Women who are educated in this area, who want to do the work require to get hormonally balanced naturally, are also the ones who are rethinking the whole mammogram thing. I know I don’t want radiation shot through MY body every year! So can we rethink this? There ARE options: ultrasounds, thermagrams, etc. We have to do the research and then approach our practitioner. When enough women begin to insist on other options, I have found that it is the compassionate practitioner who will begin to go the distance WITH me to explore alternatives.

Happy Holidays from the Cottage!

Merry Christmas and a blessed new year! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

We have been very busy at our cottage listening to women, offering them hope AND a strategy for natural hormone balance. Along with this comes educating women to read, take charge of their journey and empower them to dialogue with their doctor-often educating them along the way. The practitioner who vehemently rejects any opportunity to think outside the realm of “conventional” drug therapy and refuses to work with you on your journey toward natural hormone balance may be one you may want to consider leaving. Let me give you an example. We had an interesting experience a few weeks ago that speaks to this.

We have a client, “Cheri,” who came to us for a consultation and purchased a saliva test to check her hormone levels (including cortisol). She is 56 years old and hasn’t felt well for awhile. When her results came back, I wasn’t surprised to see her hormone levels physiologically validating the way she feels. Her estradiol level was 0.5. This is the very bottom of the “normal” range. This tells me that she is ripe for dementia and heart disease, since estrogen protects the brain and heart. Replacing depleted hormone levels as you age with customized therapy that is bioidentical to your body just makes sense for not only symptom relief and control, but most importantly disease prevention. Her progesterone level was 9. The normal range is 12 – 100. Because her progesterone is so low, she is still estrogen dominant-even with a level of only 0.5. This estrogen dominance is responsible for weight gain around the middle area, as well as brain fog.  More importantly, this imbalance also increases her risk of breast cancer. Her ratio of progesterone to estradiol is 18. We like to see it between 100-500 and optimally around 250. With a ratio of 9, I know she has to have issues with sleep, depression and anxiety since adequate levels of progesterone protect us from these problems. When women begin losing this progesterone level around the age of 35, these issues begin to manifest, so by the age of 40, many women suffer from sleeplessness, depression and anxiety. Instead of just replacing depleted progesterone levels with natural progesterone, traditional medical education encourages drug therapy, so doctors prescribe an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety drug along with a “sleeping pill” for these problems. Why have antidepressants and sedatives become the standard therapy for hormone imbalance??  Cheri’s testosterone level is a 6. The normal range is 16-55. Because her level is so low, she is likely to have osteoporosis. Testosterone also helps with memory recall, libido and energy. So now we have a 56 year old woman who is ripe for some significant diseases and is very symptomatic. She can’t feel well. (I haven’t even addressed hot flashes and night sweats due to the imbalance between estrogen and progesterone). Then we took a look at her cortisol levels which reflect adrenal gland function. The graph should look like a nice, lazy “L,” where we see levels high in the morning to start the day and then gradually sloping off during the day, coming to rest in the evening so we can sleep. Hers looks like a caterpillar! It starts out low in the morning (hard time getting out of bed) and then spikes up very high to 9.5 at noon (we like it to be between 1.2 and 3.0!!) and then crashes to 0.6 in the evening. This is adrenal fatigue! So now we have a hormone imbalance and adrenal fatigue. This woman can not feel well! I actually wonder how she gets out of bed in the morning.

We sent Cheri her test results AND we sent her results and our recommendation for her hormone balance and adrenal repair to her doctor. She went to meet with him. Her doctor was upset and offended that she would take matters into her own hands and get information from another source than him. He called our saliva testing “witchcraft” and adamantly refused to have anything to do with our recommendation for her natural hormone balance. We spoke with Cheri and suggested that she ask her doctor what HIS strategy is for her hormone balance. He said he would prescribe the synthetic combination Estratest®. This contains horse estrogens from horse pee and methyltestosterone. Both drugs have serious health risks associated with them. Oral estrogen raises the risk of blood clots. Methyltestosterone can be toxic to the liver. Natural testosterone is not. So – doesn’t it make more sense to use topical estrogen (of course, bioidentical like your body makes, not from horses), and natural testosterone to restore hormone balance?

I advised Cheri to ask her doctor for studies showing the safety and efficacy of HIS recommended product. (I gave links to clinical studies showing safety of bioidenticals last month). I don’t think he will have any current studies on this product. The Women’s Health Initiative of 2002 pretty much nailed the coffin shut on synthetic drugs used for hormone therapy. Yet we continue to allow our practitioners to prescribe these drugs to us. Again, I ask why? I have to assume it is because we are not educated about all the options. Do you understand that we are at a crossroads here? We can either begin to read books (see my website for recommended readings and studies) to become educated on our options, or we can just settle for feeling bad and live with that the rest of our lives; or we can just say to our doctors, “anything you want, doctor,” and be done with it. If you choose option #1, call us (513-444-6343) and we can help guide you. We are a free resource center whose only passion is hormone balance for women (and men!). We have free Happy Hormone Hours and free Happy Hormone Coffee Hours. Check our website’s events page for more details. I also speak to women’s groups and businesses for free. We truly walk the walk of helping you live your best life naturally!

We kick off our NEW YEAR NEW YOU campaign on Tuesday, January 4, 2011. We urge YOU to call for your free consultation. Here is hoping that 2011 is YOUR BEST year yet!
Warmly,
Lyn

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

“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!”

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.