The Truth About Heart Disease

It is that time of year again when we are encouraged to wear red to increase awareness of heart disease in women. Here are the unsettling facts about heart disease in women:
-Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing one woman every minute
-90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease
-Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen
-While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease
The Go Red for Women’s message is simple- “It’s time to focus on finding, and becoming the solution. It’s time to go red!”
Further information from the American Heart Association in terms of how to prevent heart disease specifies “caring for your heart through a healthy diet and regular physical activity is the secret weapon to preventing heart disease. While many may assume that popping a few pills that your healthcare provider prescribed is enough to quell symptoms or prevent a heart attack, the real preventative power lies with real changes to your lifestyle, which can reduce the risk factor for heart disease by as much as 80%.” They go on to list Life’s Simple Seven:
-Get active: 40 minutes of aerobic exercise 4 times a week
-Control Cholesterol
-Eat better (veggies, fish, unrefined fiber-rich whole-grain foods, less sugar and saturated fats)
-Manage blood pressure
-Lose weight
-Reduce blood sugar
-Stop smoking
In addition, they add these helpful hints:
-Know your family history of heart disease
-Get the sleep you need
-Practice portion control with your food
-Reduce stress in your life
My favorite part in the AMA’s information is their section entitled HEART HEALTHY AT 50:
“As women age, we lose some of our body’s natural defenses against heart disease. This can happen because of changes in hormones from menopause, which can affect your cholesterol levels. Also, type 2 diabetes usually develops in women after age 45. Hormonal changes that usually take place in our late 40’s and 50’s make our health an even greater consideration as we age. Understand how menopause could impact your heart health and learn more about hormonal treatment therapies. Play an active role in your healthcare and work with your doctor to determine if you have any heart disease risk factors. If you are already at risk, ask your doctor how you can reduce it:
-Get heart screenings
-Know your numbers
-Watch what you eat
-Get physical”
About a year ago, I wrote an article entitled “Customized Bioidentical Hormones and Heart Health” where I talked about what we know in regards to positively impacting the prevention of heart disease. We know that bioidentical estrogen has positive effects on cardiovascular health because it is a vasodilator and actually relaxes the endothelial lining of the blood vessels, thus lowering the risk of blood clots. Bioidentical progesterone is a natural diuretic. It lowers blood volume, thus lowering blood pressure and putting less stress on the cardiovascular system. In addition, testosterone therapy impacts the effectiveness of the heart by improving muscle contractility and strength.
It is important to understand that maintaining cardiovascular health with physiological dosing of BHRT (estradiol, progesterone and testosterone), along with diet, lifestyle and nutritional supplements can greatly impact cardiovascular health. Current belief by Functional Medicine doctors and anti-aging experts concur that cardiovascular disease is caused by inflammation, stress and an overactive immune response. Furthermore, foods that contain transfats, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup can cause excessive inflammatory reactions within the linings of blood vessels that lead to clots and cardiovascular events (stroke and heart attack). Taking omega 3’s, aged garlic, niacin, resveretrol and N-acetyl cystine in conjunction with drug therapy (low dose statins and ace inhibitors) can greatly reduce inflammatory factors and help prevent cardiovascular events. These strategies offer the best protection and prevention of heart disease.
Compare the difference in the body of knowledge and the health tips between the American Medical Association and A4M (American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine) And I have to ask WHY? Why isn’t the knowledge I know, common knowledge? Why isn’t our current standard of care up to speed with this important life-changing information? There are studies (www.happyhormonecottage.com/Resources & Reading/Practitioner’s Resources) available. We give them out at our Happy Hormone Cottages.
Wearing red to promote heart health awareness, like wearing purple to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s, is not a bad thing. It just isn’t enough. We need to continue to spread the word on the truth of hormone balance and how IT positively impacts heart health. The truth is that the latest information shows that “refilling our hormone tanks” is critical for the prevention of heart disease, breast cancer, dementia and osteoporosis. We need to continue to get the word out by educating and empowering women so they can educate their doctors. We MUST stop focusing on menopause and broaden the perspective to HORMONE IMBALANCE that plagues all women after age 35. Yes, the 7 Healthy Heart Tips make sense. But, in addition, we need to be refilling our hormone tanks for our best health naturally. Estrogen alone performs over 300 jobs in our bodies. We begin to lose our estrogen as we enter menopause (whereas we begin to lose progesterone around age 35….thus we consider this a hormone imbalance issue as opposed to a menopause issue). If we don’t replenish our estrogen receptors, how are these jobs going to get done? And I don’t consider slapping on an estrogen patch or taking an estradiol pill refilling our hormone receptors. I’m talking about physiological dosing of customized BHRT for EACH woman based on her test results (and not determined through blood serum).
It is imperative we do everything we can to own our own journey to our heart health by not only adopting the 7 Healthy Heart Tips from the AMA, but by also REFILLING OUR HORMONE TANKS, reducing the foods we eat that contain transfats, sugar and high fructose corn syrup, taking omega 3’s and the other supplements mentioned above that reduce inflammation and help prevent cardiovascular events. And yes, we can continue to wear red! I only hope we can continue to broaden our perspective to include this holistic health approach discussed above, as well.

“I Don’t Do Hormones. They Cause Cancer”

I was at a recent book signing for my book, “Own Your Journey,” and a cute little lady of around 80 years old walked by, saw my “Own Your Journey to Optimal Hormone Balance” sign and said, “I don’t do hormones. They cause cancer.” I had to laugh! It struck me as funny that she would think I was sitting there promoting cancer; as if I was handing it out. “Step right up and get your cancer.” Goodness! But the sad truth is that much confusion remains, and is often perpetuated by the media, in this area of hormone balance. With the 2002 report from the Women’s Health Initiative on hormones: WH1-estrogen plus progestin, much confusion and misinformation reigns. I actually began my Happy Hormone Cottage in 2009 for the express purpose of clearing up this confusion. My job is to fill the gap between the information we often receive from our healthcare practitioners and the media vs the truth of hormones and hormone replacement. The best, simplest article I have read on this recently is by Dr Jennifer Landa, “Combatting Weight Gain After Menopause,” published October 6, 2014. Dr Landa writes, “Part of why Bioidentical HRT gets a bad rap-and so many women miss out on the relief it provides-is because conventional HRT, in which synthetic hormones are used, was shown to increase risk of breast cancer, heart attack and other problems for women in a 2002 landmark study called The Women’s Health Initiative. As a result, many doctors were too quick to assume that all hormone replacement therapy is dangerous. BUT IT JUST ISN’T SO. These women were taking synthetic, non-bioidentical hormones that are different from what the body produces naturally. Synthetic hormones pose higher risk because they aren’t the same as what your body produces-so they have unnatural consequences.

Bioidentical hormone therapy, by contrast, uses more natural hormones that biologically mirror those made by your ovaries. Research shows that the specific combination of Bioidentical estradiol and progesterone improves bone strength, reduces weight, and improves cholesterol levels in women. And in case all the hype about hormone replacement and breast cancer has scared you, rest assured: **A very large study in France (the Fornier study) showed that there is no increased risk of breast cancer among women taking a combination of estrogen and progesterone. Progestins, however, are the synthetic of progesterone and have been shown to increase breast cancer risk (Provera and Prempro) so you will want to avoid those.”

Dr Landa continues, “While the goal of Bioidentical HRT is to get your estrogen levels back up, which will help ward off the pounds, keep your bones strong and your heart healthy, it cannot be safely prescribed unless progesterone is also prescribed. I recommend that you ask for estradiol, the most commonly prescribed estrogen, through the skin, as well as micronized progesterone, a form that is the same as what your body produces naturally. For a more personalized hormone therapy approach, you may consider seeing a hormone specialist with additional training in Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.”

Thank you, Dr Landa, for this information. I also highly recommend Dr Jeffrey Dach’s new book, “Bioidentical Hormones 101- Made Exceedingly Simple” as an easy-to-read informative resource on the truth of Bhrt. He also wrote a great article, “Waking Up from the Synthetic Hormone Nightmare,” where he uncovers the 7 Myths and Misconceptions of Bhrt. He also writes about the fact that there are at least 60 documented “studies” that were written by ghost writers. Ghost writers are hired by drug companies to write about the benefits of their hormone product, downplaying their risks, while shedding doubt on the benefits and truth of Bhrt. And doctors are reading these “studies.” So is it any wonder that there is so much confusion and misinformation in this area of women’s health? Not to beat a dead horse, but this is exactly why we each must own our journey to natural hormone balance. And this begins by being willing to question our beliefs!

Our Happy Hormone Cottage is exactly one of those “hormone specialists” Dr Landa writes about. Our purpose is two-fold:

-as an educational facility that validates each woman’s journey and then educates her on her options (we have studies, readings & resources on our website, and books on Bhrt) to clear up the confusion.

-as a medical facility where we test our clients hormone levels in several areas: sex hormones, adrenal glands and thyroid, using our innovative FDA-approved Thyroflex machine. Our nurse practitioner writes the customized prescription therapy for each client based on both lab results AND the issues brought to the 45-60 minute consultation where she addresses concerns and questions by our clients. Our hormone prescriptions are compounded micronized progesterone, bi estrogen and testosterone (as needed and based on our cutting edge lab testing) creams that are used vaginally so all hormone receptors can be refilled. Refilling depleted hormone receptors that deplete with age is necessary for preventing diseases as we age. We never limit our perspective to “menopause.” We opt for the bigger perspective of hormone imbalance, that starts around age 35, and sometimes younger. Finally, we do NOT believe in giving our bodies supra-physiological doses of any one hormone. This does not make sense to us and our functional medicine/holistic health perspective. We only give physiological doses of our Bhrt creams. This means we only give each woman what her body needs. We follow up with each client frequently, have them come back for a 3 month follow up visit with our nurse practitioner, and recheck hormone levels in all 3 areas, as needed, annually. I am proud of our journey over the past 5+ years, and I am excited to embark on the next 5 years of validating, educating and treating women for their highest quality of life.
For more information, or to schedule your consultation, call us at 513-444-6343. We look forward to serving you!

I So Wish You Had A Facility Here!

“Hi Lyn!
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday. My gyn is in the Orlando area. She has a good reputation for being the best in the area, however her practice has gotten so big that the last few times I have felt very rushed and I always have to wait at least an hour to see her. She is also big on recommending products she sells at the office…..not sure how I feel about that.
My anxiety has been off the charts. It’s a combination of hormones, work and taking care of my parents. My Mother has had a lot of health issues and is having another surgery this week.
I don’t handle stress well, although I’m working on it!
I did blood work for my doctor and am now using progesterone cream and a progesterone capsule at night. These have really helped my hot flashes. The compounding pharmacy that I use has been really helpful. They explain more about what I’m taking than my doctor did. My doctor wants me to take a saliva test next week. I did read on her website that she also uses urine testing.
I also wanted to thank you and Jeff for all you do for women, as this has been one of the most difficult things I’ve experienced. I know there is a lesson for me in this and feel that I can at least now guide other women when they go through this. As I told you yesterday, you just may see me in the near future at your facility in Ohio! Oh I SO wish you had a Happy Hormone Cottage here where I live!
Thank you again, Lyn! I really appreciate all of your help.”

My response:
“Hi! It is always my pleasure to speak with women and offer insight into dealing with hormone imbalance issues. Here is what I know- hormone imbalance is a part of the aging process for ALL women. It is how we handle this imbalance that is important. We can listen to the drug company rhetoric, that influences our doctors, our standard of care, what our insurance covers and even NAMS (North America Menopause Society) into believing that it is all about menopause so drugging for the masses for the shortest amount of time possible to alleviate symptoms with drugs dosed for the masses (including antidepressants and sleeping aids) is the way to go. Or we can own our journey to hormone balance and wellness by taking charge of our health. What we understand at our Happy Hormone Cottage, based on years of studies by doctors in this field, is that we MUST refill our hormone tanks as we age for a high quality of life and health. As Dr Prudence Hall says, “Hormones are to women, what water is to plants.” There is a great study on my website by Dr Erica Schwartz and Dr Kent Holtorf on “The Truth About Hormone Therapy”
that really stresses this truth about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. We can do nothing and have today be the best day we have OR we can take charge of our journey to our best health naturally and refill our hormone receptors that deplete with age. Doing this not only helps prevent the diseases that come with aging that are caused by this attendant decrease in hormones: heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis and breast cancer, but also alleviates the disruptive symptoms of our hormone imbalance: anxiety, sleeplessness, fatigue, low libido, brain fog, weight gain, and hot flashes.
It sounds like your doctor is on the right track, but we really like dried urine strip testing over blood, saliva or urine collection for checking hormones. Precision Analytical Lab in Oregon is our favorite lab for this innovative, cutting edge technology. It is easy to use and provides us with SO much valuable information about how our bodies are using our hormones. We can then use this information to create a great customized strategy for each woman for hormone balance with progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, as well as cortisol.
We don’t have plans to open any more Happy Hormone Cottages. Five is enough! But women are flying and driving in to see us from all over the country. This is so validating on so many levels and really shows me how this organic movement of women helping women has become so life-changing! I am also always available to come to your area to speak to groups of women who are interested in taking charge of their journey to their best health. This often starts with hormone balance. Getting educated and knowing the information that is out there is a good place to start. My book, Own Your Journey…..to Optimal Hormone Balance” (available on my website) is also a good resource.
Keep in touch. I hope to see you in Ohio (or northern Kentucky) at one of our Happy Hormone Cottage facilities. Best, Lyn”

The Top Ten Reasons to Visit the Happy Hormone Cottage

Unless you have been living in another country or a cave, you have probably heard the buzz from a plethora of sources on hormone therapy. And you have most likely heard conflicting and confusing information. It has been my experience that when we go to our healthcare professionals to clear up the confusion, most aren’t in the know in the latest research and information. So what to do? Educate yourself with the latest information and own your journey to your best health naturally! This is the primary reason why I began my first Happy Hormone Cottage in the Heart of Centerville 5 years ago- to clear up the confusion and misinformation that abounds in hormone therapy, and to encourage women to take charge of their journey. We’ve come a long way, baby!

The first truth you must know, and this truth is supported in the research and studies (read on our website ) written by doctors, is that we MUST REFILL OUR HORMONE TANKS as we age, so we can prevent disease and prevent the symptoms of hormone imbalance that occur as we age after 35. Let me be clear. Our HHC is NOT a menopause facility. The scope is so much broader. What we understand is the importance of refilling our hormone receptors every day, beginning right around age 35-40 and continuing on until we expire. It is a daily routine like brushing our teeth to prevent tooth decay. What we understand is that when our hormone receptors run dry, there are no hormones left to do key jobs in our body. So for a healthy body, we NEED the necessary replenished hormones (progesterone, estradiol/estriol, testosterone) to protect our heart from heart disease, fight osteoporosis by rebuilding strong bones, prevent breast cancer and protect our brain from dementia, AND to abolish the many symptoms that arise from hormone imbalance: sleeplessness, fatigue, low libido, anxiety, weight gain, brain fog etc. To do anything less is not supported by the latest information.

Once you understand the importance of refilling our hormone tanks, why come to us at one of our 5 locations? (Piqua, Vandalia, Kettering, Mason and Crestview Hills, KY) Let me list the top ten reasons:
1) Our primary goal is to listen, validate, educate and love our women from where they are to where they want to be, with free consultations. Our program, that I developed, is based on customer service, non-invasive therapy, and affordability. We are authentic and honest. We value our women and offer a successful support system with the goal to get our women to feel their best.
2) We are the ONLY facility in our area that uses the latest, state-of-the-art dried urine strip testing to check sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone; AND cortisol. The amount of information we can glean from dried urine testing far exceeds the information we can get from blood serum or saliva.
3) We have our own nurse practitioner, whom I call our “hormone whisperer!” We encourage our clients to keep their ob gyn for their gyn needs, but see our nurse practitioner for their hormone health needs. This just makes sense. Plus it is easy and convenient to get all of your hormone needs met at one facility.
4) Not only do we now have our own nurse practitioner, we also have on staff, Jeff Hogrefe RPh, who has an Advanced Fellowship in Functional Medicine through the Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, which allows him to look at the body holistically to fix the cause of health issues. He works closely with our nurse practitioner.
5) We are the only facility around that uses physiological dosing of our compounded bioidentical hormone creams to refill hormone receptors. We are against supra-physiological delivery systems that put too much hormone into the body. Why? We have seen too many issues with this type of therapy and it doesn’t make sense to us.
6) We are affiliated with Suzanne Somers Forever Health organization. We are approved by her as a viable Bhrt facility.
7) We are the only facility in the area that has the Thyroflex thyroid machine (FDA-approved) that tests the function of the thyroid to determine need for medication and proper dosing.
8) We have a consulting business, HHC Consulting for Doctors, where we offer mentorship to doctors across the country in how to do Bhrt the right way.
9) I have established a Foundation- The Women’s Health Initiatives Foundation- to raise money for the prevention of breast cancer. I have access to cutting edge information and experts in the field of holistic healing that need funding to continue their life-saving work in the prevention of cancer. If we can predict it, we can work to prevent it. To learn more or to donate, go to www.womenshealthinitiatives.org.
10) Finally, I recently wrote a book-Own Your Journey to Optimal Hormone Balance- to educate and empower women to take charge of their journey to their best health naturally. (Go to our online store to order)

My team and I at our Happy Hormone Cottages walk our walk of women helping women for wellness. It starts with you. Welcome to your journey. We look forward to serving you!

For more information or to make an appointment for your free consultation, call us at 513-444-6343 or email us at info@happyhormonecottage.com.

Lyn

“But, Lyn! He’s the Doctor!!”

I love it when women tell me this….right after they tell me the reason the doctor they went to talked them out of natural hormone therapy….and into a sleeping aid, antidepressant or estrogen product (FDA-approved, of course, because we know they HAVE to be safe, right?) “But, Lyn! He’s the doctor!!” We had this happen yesterday as a matter of fact. And the unbelievable part is that we do everything in our power to educate and prepare our women for their doctor appointment, short of going to their appt with them. We arm them with literature, facts, studies, books, etc. and the women who are assertive and confident and know what they know….these are the women with the most success. But those women who think that their doctor walks on water so he must be correct in everything, these are the women who fail miserably; and until and unless they accept the fact that doctors tell me they have only had 4 hours of hormone training in medical school and that this was years ago, they are not going to get any better. We had a client go to a doctor yesterday with the following hormone levels (yes, we had her hormone levels checked at the tissue level of cells with saliva testing): estradiol .7 (range is between .5-1.7; progesterone level of 5 (!) with the range being between 12-100; and her ratio of progesterone to estradiol, which should fall between 100-500 was a whopping 7! So we know her hormone levels are depleted. Are you ready for her symptoms (which she shared with the doctor): brain fog, depression, anxiety, moody, irritability, low libido, weight gain, sugar cravings, aches and pains and fatigue. Oh, the most interesting piece of this gal’s saliva testing was in her cortisol. Most cortisol curves slope downward. Hers was an inverted “V.” I have never seen anything like it! So this gal has adrenal fatigue out the wazoo! What does high cortisol contribute to: sleep disturbances, fatigue, depression, weight gain, anxiety, bone loss, thyroid deficiencies and insulin resistance. So our recommendation included bioidentical progesterone and estrogen customized just for this client, and a strategy to heal her exhausted adrenal glands. Do you want to know what her doctor gave her? Yep-a prescription for a sleeping aid! Are you kidding me? So I have finally, after 2.5 years, come to the realization that the root of our issues may just be in the mentality of us women! We have got to get beyond reverence for our doctors. They are fine people (my brother-in-law is a doctor) and know a whole lot about a whole lot. But do they know enough about something that isn’t taught in medical school? How could they? Just asking! They know a whole lot about drug therapy and fixing symptoms. But are we finding the cause and fixing that? I don’t think so. And so it goes. We will keep on keeping on with educating our women and encouraging them to think for themselves and to dialogue with their doctor about thinking outside the box to try a more natural path. We had a funny story last week. A client went to her doctor and reported back that he began to shake his head no when she told him the reason for her visit (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) and he saw saliva testing results in front of him. But then he stopped in mid-sentence and said, “But wait a minute. I’m not sure why I think this….must be something I read somewhere…..what I am reading here in front of me does make sense….let’s give it a try!”  I love that story! It shows teamwork, being creative in thinking outside the box, and the willingness to try something that the client is interested in and has invested in. And why not give it a try? Others have and guess what? Their clients report back to them feeling better for the first time in years. It’s a win win for all! It just goes to show that one woman’s journey can and does impact the women who come after her. This is “paying it forward” at its best!

warmly,

Lyn

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The Truth About Hormone Therapy

I read a great article in The Wall Street Journal by Dr. Erika Schwartz, Dr. Kent Holtorf and Dr.David Brownstein- “The Truth About Hormone Therapy,”  that speaks directly to what we at the Happy Hormone Cottage believe in and practice. Here is what they say:
 
“Mainstream medicine has been given a wake-up call on a matter critical to the health of 65 million women in the U.S. At isssue are the options for treatment of menopause symptoms (i.e. hormone imbalance symptoms) that cause significant health problems for women in mid-life as their bodies produce fewer hormones. It doesn’t seem like a complicated problem, given advances in medical science. Yet hormone-replacement therapy has beome a textbook example of how special interests, a confused medical establishment, and oportunitsts can combine to complicate the issue and deny patients access to safe and effective treatments.
 
Until seven years ago, women going to conventional doctors were prescribed the FDA-approved synthetic hormone Premarin, derived from the urine of pregnant horses; Provera, a synthetic progestin; or Prempro, a combination of the two. Premarin was the bestselling drug in the U.S., in 2001, generating $2 billion a year for Wyeth.
 
In 1994 a study led by the National Institutes of Health called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) was started with the hope of establishing that Premarin and Provera would, beyond relieving menopause symptoms, protect aging women from heart attacks, strokes, osteoporosis and cancer.
 
On July 9, 2002, however, the WHI came to an abrupt halt. The study proved unequivocally that the drugs were UNSAFE and significant factors in increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and breast cancer in the more than 16,000 women studied.
 
This led doctors to take millions of women off Premarin, Prempro and Provera overnight. Predictably, these women started to feel horrible in the aftermath of the drugs’ sudden withdrawal, and their physicians told them there were no alternatives. Instead they prescribed antidepressants or birth control pills with shoddy results.
 
One year after this disaster, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG)
developed new guidelines that encouraged physicians to prescribe the same drugs in lower doses for shorter periods of time. Yet, and this is KEY, the safety of this “low dose option” was NEVER proven scientifically.
 
Meanwhile, many conventional physicians have ignored the effectiveness of “bioidentical” or natural progesterone, which is formulated to be identical to the progesterone molecule that is produced by the human body.
 
There are 25 years of scientific research with hundreds of studies in the U.S. and Europe that have demonstrated that bioidentical hormones, estradiol, and micronized progesterone, are equally or more effective than synthetics-AND SAFER.  Yet mainstream medicine has buried its head in the sand and refused to take these studies seriously.
 
While Europeans have long used bioidenticals, no commercially available bioidentical hormones existed in the U.S. until 1998, when a few pharmaceutical companies obtained FDA approval for an array of bioidentical estrogen preparations and one progesterone preparation. Unfortunately, due to drug companies running the medical profession by controlling what goes into medical education, most doctors never get educated about bioidentical hormones or the way in which different hormone molecules work. With Premarin and Provera dominating the market, drug companies had no incentive to spread the word.
 
Today the distinction between bioidentical/natural progesterone and the synthetic progestin Provera remains widely misunderstood. Progesterone is used by fertility specialists to protect pregnancy, while medroxyprogesterone (Provera) is used in the morning after pill and in birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Their actions are toally different and antithetical.
 
Sadly, seven years after the WHI study finding Premarin/Provera unsafe, the hormone-replacement debate can be summed up in three words: confusion, ignorance, misinformation. Meanwhile, millions of women have embraced bioidenticals, leaving their conventional physicians looking stubborn and foolish.
 
The medical establishment must stop kowtowing to drug companies and start service women’s best interests–and that involves widely prescribing bioidentical hormones. This will lead to healthier, happier women and, in the long run, help reduce America’s skyrocketing health-care costs.”
 
Drs. Schwartz, Holtorf and Brownstein are founding members of the Bioidentical Hormone Initiative, a nonprofit group of physicians dedicated to patient and physician education
 
    Interesting reading, huh? THIS is why we do what we do at our Piqua Medicine Shoppe and Happy Hormone Cottage. We educate women and men in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to make THEM the best advocates for their bodies. Quite frankly, what choice do we have? At least by educating ourselves, we can become empowered to make the best choices for US, and become committed to our BEST health naturally.

Questions! I Get Questions!

I received an email this morning-
Dear Lyn,
I have a question. Once I start my natural hormone replacement therapy, will I have to stay on it forever?

Thank you for your time. Katherine (name changed)

Here is my response:
Dear Katherine,
Here is where education in what we do comes into play. The long and the short of it is this: we need our hormones so we can live a long, healthy life full of joy and vitality! Years ago, at our age, we’d be dead by now (!), so having hormones into our later years didn’t matter…there WERE no later years. But today, with life expectancy taking us into our 90’s and beyond, we need our hormones to HELP PREVENT DISEASE: estrogen to protect our heart from heart disease and our brain from dementia; we need testosterone to signal the osteoblasts in our bones to build strong new bone; we need progesterone to balance estrogen dominance to help prevent breast cancer. Not to mention that progesterone’s function is also to help us sleep, fight depression and anxiety, elevate our mood, and help our body’s aches and pains. So, YES! You will be using our natural hormone replacement strategy forever. Or as I like to say, “I will be using my natural hormone therapy until I’m dead!”
Let’s talk finances for a second. When I hear women say things like:
“My insurance won’t pay for this so I can’t do it” OR
“Money is tight, so I really can’t afford it”……
My response is this-
First of all how truly sad for you! That you have chosen to settle for a life that is LESS than it was intended to be.
Insurance was never meant to pay for ALL health needs; it is just insurance. We must STILL take responsibility for our own health and do whatever it takes to keep us healthy!
Secondly, how much do you think it will cost you when disease DOES set in? You know DISEASE OCCURS BEFORE SYMPTOMS APPEAR. So what do you think it will cost you to fight life threatening diseases like breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, dementia, osteoporosis, etc. I can tell you the answer- “a whole lot MORE than paying for monthly customized hormone therapy to help prevent these diseases!!” The truth is, clients on our program probably spend $2-$3 a day when you include the supplements with the therapy (vitamin D, adrenal therapy, etc) but I guarantee you that this is the BEST money you will ever spend because, quite frankly, when you don’t have your health, what is left??
I urge you from the bottom of my heart, because my passion is YOU-do WHATEVER it takes to remain healthy and “drug therapy” free. If you can prevent disease through natural hormone balance that protects your body from disease by replenishing depleted hormone levels, you won’t need drug therapy! Look around you. How many people do you know who are on NO drugs? NO medication for:
High choloesterol
High blood pressure
Anti depressants
Sleeping aids
Beta blockers
Blood thinners
I can’t help but ask the question-“where would these people be today if they had done whatever they could do PREVENT their health issues?”
The answer is-“a whole lot better off than they are today!”. So I’m choosing to spend my $2-$3 a day to make my health the best it can be today FOR tomorrow. My wish for you is that you choose the same!

Warm Regards,
Lyn

What Cancer Risk?

I received the following e-mail this morning:

“Dear Lyn,

     I am struggling with symptoms. My fear is that hormonal treatment will cause cancer. Do you have any comments on this?”

Following was my reply:

Hi Jennifer (name changed),
You are so funny. If our natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy caused cancer, would I be using it myself AND would I have many, many women on it as well? (We have been doing this for 12 years now). I appreciate your question (you are not alone in your fear) because it shows how very confused women are. The only way to conquer your fear is to begin to do the reading and educate yourself in this area because KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and the TRUTH will take away your fear.
  I would begin by reading:
-Ageless by Suzanne Somers
-Natural Hormone Balance by Dr. Uzzi.  Reiss
-Adrenal Fatigue by James Wilson
  I would also go to my website
www.happyhormonecottage.com and click on our Recommended Readings tab for clinical studies you can click on and read. We also have a section just for practitioners with over 100 clinical studies. The information on the safety and efficacy of what we do IS out there. It just isn’t readily available. Do you think the pharmaceutical companies who dose for the masses WANT to educate you on any alternatives? By the way, we DO have over 30 practitioners in the Cincinnati-Dayton area who work with us and sign off on our strategy for their clients’ hormone balance because they
-love their clients
-want to see them get better by treating the cause of their hormone imbalance issues…not just mask them with drug therapy
-became educated in what we do because this wasn’t taught in medical school.
    You can also google the Women’s Health Initiative 2002 to read about the significant health risks caused by the synthetic drugs masking as hormones. This is what gave the word ‘hormone’ a bad name and put fear in women’s hearts. It isn’t the hormone that is the problem….it’s the drugs masking as hormones; these synthetic hormones that are the culprit. I challenge my clients to ask their doctor for the safety of the “hormones” they prescribe! Good luck with that! Be careful of the big pharma rhetoric! That is why you must become educated so YOU can know the truth and become empowered to take charge of YOUR journey. You really don’t have a choice.
   And by the way, another “secret” that pharmaceutical companies (from drug reps mouths to doctors’ ears) don’t want you to know is that the REAL reason for using customized BHRT is for disease prevention. When you have replaced your depleted hormone levels with hormones that have been customized for you AFTER your hormone levels have been checked (preferably by saliva where the hormones can be found at the tissue level of cells) we can help prevent:
-breast cancer
-dementia
-heart disease
-osteoporosis
    When YOU understand that the “reports” come out that state things like “HRT should only be used for 6 months” etc. this refers to the synthetic drugs masking as hormones. This has nothing to do with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy that has been customized for you after checking your existing hormone levels and then replacing those depleted hormone levels with bioidentical hormones that are dosed for YOUR body physiologically. So you have to understand that in this area of women’s health, unlike no other, EDUCATION IS CRITICAL. Don’t delude yourself into thinking you can take the easy way out and just ask your doctor. Chances are good that your health care professional doesn’t know a whole lot about customized BHRT.  Again, this isn’t taught in medical school. He (she) knows a lot about drug therapy……but hormone replacement (NOT drug substitution!) Is NOT drug therapy! It is actually replacing depleted hormone levels that are bioidentical to the ones your body used to make but, because we are aging, no longer do.
   So do yourself a favor. Do your homework: read, call the cottage and speak to a natural hormone advocate, make an appointment for a free consultation, attend a Happy Hormone Hour (see my website’s events page), attend a Happy Hormone Coffee Hour, check out my website’s testimonial page. Only through your OWN journey will the truth set you free.
Warmly,
Lyn

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.

Still Talking About Libido!!

Emails! I get emails!! Every woman I know is concerned with libido….or the lack thereof. Most think libido is simply a cause and effect of the level of one’s testosterone. This may hold true for men-but for women, it is a totally different scenario! I know that for women, libido is NOT simply a measure of one’s testosterone level. I have  clients with a high testosterone level of 88 (when tested with saliva, the range is 16-55) who have no libido; and conversely, clients with  low testosterone levels of 13, who have a healthy libido. So what gives? Obviously, for women, libido is more than just the measure of one’s testosterone. So if libido in women isn’t a function of the level of testosterone, then what is it? I’ve come to understand that libido returns when women are aware of and work to heal the following areas of their lives:
-STRESS. Stress is the #1 libido killer. Especially long-term stress. This negatively impacts our health-emotional, physical and mental. The more stress we have in our lives, the lower our libido. Finding ways to handle our stress and lower it are key to regaining libido. (Exercising, journaling, etc.)
-ADRENAL FATIGUE. Exhausted adrenal glands are synonymous with low energy. Low energy = Low libido. So repairing and rebuilding impaired adrenals is critical to regaining libido.
-HORMONE IMBALANCE. Women who are hormonally imbalanced suffer from sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, mood swings, hot flashes and night sweats, weight gain, thinning hair and skin, etc. So regaining hormone balance through customized natural hormone therapy is critical to libido recovery.
-SLEEP! (Need I say more??)
-RELATIONSHIPS. Poor communication skills, lack of affection, lack of trust, lack of effort….you get the picture. I’m not Dr. Phil, but I do know that having a healthy relationship with your partner is critical in having a healthy libido.
-TIME. Multi-tasking working women who are wives and mothers are exhausted and have no time for themselves, let alone their libido. So making time for themselves  helps increase libido.
   The good news is that our clients who are becoming hormonally balanced, addressing their adrenal fatigue, handling their stress, and making time for themselves are experiencing a healthy libido again within 6-8 months of starting therapy. Libido does bounce back when we not only check testosterone levels and replace those but also address other areas of our lives! It looks like one CAN have sex in Ohio after all! Who knew??