Here’s What I Know For Sure

I know that I am not for everyone! I am not for the woman with the hormone imbalance symptoms of weight gain, fatigue, low libido, etc who wants to take a pill to feel better. I am not for the woman who isn’t educated in natural hormone therapy. These women don’t know that we actually check their hormone levels before making a recommendation for their natural hormone balance and then get the doctor’s permission to customize natural therapy for them. I am not for the woman who is not committed in her belief system for customized BHRT. If she is not educated and committed about why she is pursuing this path, then when she goes to her family practitioner for a check up and mentions what she is doing and the doctor is appalled because as drug therapists, most are clueless about what it is we do, so they throw false facts at her that are fed to them by drug reps and big pharma literature (propaganda) and talk her out of it….I am most definitely NOT for her. I am not for the woman who isn’t willing to give our natural therapy the time it needs to work (3 weeks-3 months). I am not for the woman who will only pursue health options that are totally paid for by her insurance. Here’s the thing-insurance is just that! Insurance. It is insurance against a catastrophic illness or accident. It was never meant to pay for total health care. So if spending $240 to get hormone levels checked is not covered by her insurance (although most insurance companies do happen to cover the cost of this!) so she chooses to settle for a lower quality of life rather than pay the $240, I am most definitely not for her.

So then who AM I for? I am FOR the educated, empowered, committed woman who knows without a doubt the path she will pursue and is willing to pay for it. (What we do is NOT a lot of money! And the value added you get by coming with us is unprecedented! Just ask anyone who is a part of our team; or check out our testimonial page here.

I am FOR the woman who is sick and tired of feeling sick and tired; who does NOT want to be drugged by her doctor; and who wants to follow a more holistic health path. I am FOR the 40 year old woman who is beginning to have sleep issues, depression and anxiety due to depleting progesterone levels and refuses to take the antidepressant or sleeping aid prescribed by her doctor! These are the women I am FOR! It’s a new year! Isn’t it time for a new YOU?

www.happyhormonecottage.com. We can help!

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

Let’s Talk About Libido

 Let’s just get this out there-I talk to women all day every day and I can tell you that pretty much no one in Ohio (over the age of, say, 40) is having sex! Can I just say I find this fascinating??!! I have women tell me on a daily basis that their sex life is not only currently nonexistent, it has been MIA for several years.  I try, I really do try, to not look shocked, mortified, dismayed and I really try to squelch the urge to put my fingers in my ears and mutter, “too much information!!” But can I just say that this is the truth about hormone imbalance?! When women experience the sleeplessness, depression and anxiety associated with progesterone deficiency (begins to occur around the age of 35); when their adrenal glands are fatigued and on death’s door so that they barely have the energy to get out of bed, let alone move and perform daily tasks;  and when they have been told for years that their thyroid is “normal” although their t3 or TPO has never been checked, so their energy, (hair loss, cold body temperature etc) is very low due to a viable thyroid issue…and we add this to the estrogen dominance faced by all women over the age of 35-40, so weight gain and brain fog become prevalent…..SEX IS THE VERY LAST THING ON THEIR MIND!! Compound this situation with the traditional remedy for this:  prescribing antidepressants, anti anxiety drugs and prescription sleep aids…. then whatever little sex drive there may have been that was hanging on by a thread, is now totally and irrevocably gone! Vanished!
Notice I didn’t mention testosterone levels?? I know that just giving a woman with low testosterone levels more testosterone will not typically impact libido! Libido is an interesting beast! The women I talk to all day, every day wouldn’t respond sexually even if I prescribed Brad Pitt!! Libido is a function of (besides adequate testosterone levels)healthy hormone balance, healthy adrenal function, the ability to handle the daily stress in their lives, the ability to SLEEP enough (8 hours) every night, communication and intimacy in the relationship, and yes, how much in love they are with their partners! All this tremendously impacts libido. Just measuring testosterone levels and then dosing you according to optimal physiological levels, doesn’t really matter to libido. This WILL promote new bone growth, help with energy and help restore memory recall. It won’t necessarily impact libido if the above-mentioned areas are lacking.
   Let’s do what we can to educate ourselves and begin to change the face of this one woman at a time! We can have sex in Ohio! It is just a matter of listening to our bodies, thinking outside the box, and quite possibly embracing alternative, natural hormone therapy that has been customized for YOU!

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?

LET’S CLEAR THIS UP ONCE AND FOR ALL AND BE DONE WITH IT!!– HRT

I just flew home from my Happy Hormone Power Hour in St. Augustine, Florida and had a wonderful time. I was very interested to hear each of the participant’s response when I asked them, “What is your interpretation of what HRT is?”  Every woman there, without exception, replied, “Oh, HRT is that bad stuff that causes health risks like cancer.”  I wasn’t surprised, but continue to realize that MY biggest contribution in this area is EDUCATION!  If you listen to nothing else, please hear this: the “bad stuff” that has the serious health risks like breast cancer associated with it: premarin (horse pee), provera (progestin-synthetic progesterone) and prempro (premarin + provera)….these are DRUG SUBSTITUTIONS. These are drugs MASKING as hormones. I call these drugs DST (drug substitution therapy). HRT is Hormone Replacement Therapy which is what we do in our compounding lab at our Piqua Medicine Shoppe. We compound hormones that are bioidentical to the hormones found in your body. So we check your hormone levels first to see which ones are depleted,  and then we customize these hormones for your body! This is HRT-hormone replacement therapy. Actually, it is BHRT-Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. You can rest assured that when you hear someone on tv talking about HRT, they most likely mean the “crappy stuff” (premarin, provera, prempro) that are actually drugs. The reason I am ALL about educating women (and men) on this concept is that this mislabeling has given hormone replacement therapy a bad name. It is just important to understand the difference. It is the drugs masking as hormones, the DST (drug substitution therapy) that is the on-going controversy. I hope this knowledge aids YOU in your understanding.

Hormone Cottage Happenings

I love what I do! Can I just say how gratifying it is to see women get better with our customized hormone replacement therapy? I love being a part of the whole process and watching them heal, feel good again, and experience joy in their life again. I call this “zest for living,” and it is amazing to watch women get that back, after having felt so badly for so long. I also have to brag about 3 life-changing events that have occurred since we opened the cottage a little over a year ago, that I am taking full credit for (!):
1) Linda Lee, one of our first clients, came back to visit us at a recent Happy Hormone Coffee Hour and we could not believe the transformation! She has gone from a size 14 to a size 4 in one year and looks incredible! She feels balanced, happy and loves life again.
2) Lori got an engagement ring from her longtime boyfriend, Dave. Before she started our therapy back in the spring, she said they fought a lot and weren’t really getting along. 5 months later, she stops by the cottage to show us her engagement ring! I asked if she wanted me to be the flower girl at her wedding !!
3) Jessica, age 31, who had a serious progesterone deficiency and severe thyroid issues that were preventing her from conceiving, became pregnant in July. She is due in March. I’m thinking the least they can do is name that baby after one of us at the cottage!  🙂 We are taking credit for this one!

I also get emails all the time from our women who are making great progress. Recently, Debbie wrote that she has lost 35 lbs since starting her therapy earlier this year and couldn’t be happier. She says that it feels so great to be balanced and feel good about herself again. Karen wrote to brag that she has joined our Happy Hormone Cottage/Holten Wellness Center program where she trains with a personal trainer at the Holten Wellness Center twice a week and has lost 10 lbs in 5 weeks and 5% body fat! She is thrilled! Matt Holten and Angie Baber from Holten have developed a program for our cottage clients, where they can join a class of 6 that is offered at several different times through-out the week, WITH a personal trainer twice a week for $40 a month! How incredible is that? And our women are seeing results! Getting that cardio heart rate up is critical! By the way, you can see these comments and others like it on the testimonial section of my website. Check them out here.

THIS IS TO GUINEA PIGS EVERYWHERE!!!!

I just had yet another phone call from one of our clients, who will be meeting with me later today to get started on her natural customized hormone replacement therapy. She has been to the cottage for her consultation, has had her saliva tested to check her hormone levels at the tissue level of cells; had our team at the Piqua Medicine Shoppe craft a treatment strategy specifically for her; and went to her practitioner to get our strategy approved via a prescription. We compounded her therapy in our state-of-the-art compounding lab and are now meeting with her today to get her started. When she called to confirm our appointment, she was practically quivering with excitement!  “I can’t wait to get started,” she says.  “I have been telling EVERYONE what I am doing because I am SO excited!! They are all waiting for me to get better before they come in to see you.”  SO ANOTHER GUINEA PIG!!
We love guinea pigs. Do you know why?  Ever since we opened one year ago, we have had a plethora of guinea pigs come to the cottage. These are those
brave women who:
-have done the research on hormone replacement therapy
-think outside the box
-have a voice with their doctor in the strategies for their care
-won’t settle for drug therapy for a hormone imbalance
-don’t blindly accept standard of care in this area just because it has always been done that way
-prefer holistic health options over drug therapy that just band-aids the issues
-are assertive in the anti-aging process and have great respect for aging healthfully
-understand that DISEASE HAPPENS BEFORE SYMPTOMS OCCUR, so are being proactive with their health
Do you know what has happened over this past year? OUR GUINEA PIGS HAVE GOTTEN BETTER! So they are sending in their guinea pig friends;
who are sending in their guinea pig friends and we have exploded! They have even sent in their husbands for treatment of male menopause (andropause).
It has been an amazing adventure! We are so excited to be in the business of educating our women on hormone imbalance, so they will know they have options!
Get tested, get treated, get better!!

“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!”

I FEEL THE LOVE!! (not)

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

I’m forever and always excited!! Customized hormone replacement therapy at its best!!

You’ve heard of the “aha” moments??? I always get the “whoopie!!” moments every time I read an email from one of my clients who is experiencing life-changing moments on our therapy. Dawn, who began her natural hormone therapy 3 weeks ago just emailed me this morning. She says, “Thanks. I have to tell you I know it has only been a few weeks, but I totally feel like I have my life back and if it keeps getting better I can’t imagine what I will be able to do! I am so excited about this. I have been able to do more in a few weeks than I have in months and I actually have the desire to do things I didn’t have before! I feel like I am coming back to life!!” What’s not to LOVE about that??!!! My response is always the same. “I’m so happy for you, but I am not surprised. This “bio-cream” is doing exactly what it is meant to do: replace your hormone levels that your body needs to function correctly! By actually checking your levels first so we have the necessary data to make informed decisions, we can then customize the proper therapy for YOU!”
It works! Again, I say….”it’s not rocket science!!” So why the big deal? Why aren’t all the doctors on board yet?? I think a big reason and one that I hear practically daily from my clients is that their doctors tell them that “compounded hormone therapy is not FDA approved so buyer beware!” My response to this is simple. The FDA approves drugs that are manufactured. Compounding is customizing a therapy for just one person. So the FDA can’t approve it. That doesn’t mean we are free to run rampant and not follow any rules or regulations. Quite the contrary! Compounding labs are under the strict jurisdiction of state boards of pharmacy, so our Piqua Medicine Shoppe is strictly regulated by The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. So when practitioners try to scare their patients away from what we do based on THAT argument, it’s just silly. It makes no sense. It’s like saying, “you know…you can’t make lemonade from apples.” Yes, and your point is?????? Again I urge everyone with a hormone imbalance issue to do the research and take charge of YOUR journey. The research IS out there in favor of what we do. You just have to look for it!