Creating Happy Hormones One Woman at a Time | The Happy Hormone Cottage

Article by Tara Pettit for Catalysta, the online publication.

“Are you suffering from weight gain, low libido, adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalance”… and the list of symptoms goes on… into infinity. That’s because with hormonal imbalance, anything and everything in the body is impacted and as society is becoming more aware of the effects hormonal imbalance is having on their bodies, it has perpetuated a national obsession while infiltrating media, advertising, and conversation. We hear these advertisement phrases regurgitated almost on a daily basis today as the topic of hormonal imbalance continues to make health news headlines as a catalyst of research and study.

Unfortunately, when it comes to mainstream belief, discussion and treatment of hormonal imbalance, medical doctors (and as a result, society in general) have a very limited scope and knowledge of what’s really going on in millions of women’s bodies as they continue to simply treat the symptoms at the cost of healing the body as a whole.

For Lyn Hogrefe, It was this ignorance of truth regarding hormone health, as well as her own experience dealing with the detrimental effects of hormonal imbalance, that compelled her to reach out to women with purely natural and organic alternative methods to hormone replacement therapy. Out of this determination to spread the word that health and wellness can be achieved for women throughout all the stages of their life, the Happy Hormone Cottage was born.

Operating out of Dayton, Ohio, the Happy Hormone Cottage- a clinic working to diagnose, treat, and facilitate a natural regimens to improve hormone imbalance- is the fruit of Lyn’s labor of love and mission to educate women about how healthy hormone balance works and help women to triumph over hormonal issues in natural ways. The business’ goal to “strive to love and validate women” has spread its reputation of truth and compassion in the Dayton community and beyond.

“We filled a niche with Happy Hormone Cottage,” Lyn Hogrefe, owner and founder says. “Women just started showing up and it was really fun.”

Lyn’s journey to hormone health outreach and a career that allows her to daily pour into women’s lives began with a personal journey of her own to achieve hormone health. Later in life, Lyn was discovered having a fibroid tumor in her uterus and underwent a dramatic hysterectomy, a procedure that most often traumatizes the female body and leaves women with intense hormonal symptoms.  At the time of the procedure, her husband, a pharmacist, desired to see Lyn overcome the tragic outcome of having her surgery, and became certified as a compounding pharmacist to help Lyn along a recovery path that involved Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). This alternative method of hormone replacement (the method that Lyn now uses with her clients at the Happy Hormone Cottage) uses physiological dosing of each individual’s natural hormone makeup at the tissue cell level to replace depleted hormone levels and to maintain those optimal hormone levels for life- a process that Lyn refers to as “refilling your hormone tank.”

“Luckily my doctor agreed to give it a whirl and the rest is history. Not only did I not develop the symptoms typical of gaining women having hysterectomies, but I found that as I replenished my hormone levels customized to what my body used to make, I became hormonally balanced and regained optimal health,” Lyn says.

Lyn was transfixed by her own hormonal transformation and the idea that she could not only proclaim the truth of how women can improve their health, but help them on an individual level to regain the youthful, energetic, and balanced version of themselves that had been ravaged by depleted hormone tanks. She worked to align her previous 6th grade teaching background and passion for education with her newfound desire to see women healthy and happy.

“I have always been service-oriented in my past,” Lyn says. “But you have to have passion, compassion and a heart for what you do. From that, women would gravitate towards me and the work I did.”

From beginning her career in women’s health by hosting discussion circles, to finally opening and marketing The Happy Hormone Cottage with its unique and natural approach to hormone replacement, Lyn has earned the love and respect of all women she comes into contact with and expanded her clientele to cities all across the country as the clinic now has six locations in different parts of the U.S.. Her business strategy is founded on her philosophy of seeking truth and bringing that truth into the light for all people to know and incorporate into their lives.

“The biggest thing women have to understand is you have to know the truth about your body and seek wellness- not medication to alleviate, but whole healing. You must challenge your doctors and look at the root cause of your issue. It’s a daily awareness of your body and daily ritual of taking care of yourself.”
At the Happy Hormone Cottage, Lyn takes care to examine women’s biological makeup on an individual level, while connecting with them on a personal level as well, to offer a customized program of BHRT, nutritional supplements, lifestyle recommendations, exercise regimens, and proper diet goals. She also acknowledges how misinformed women are about their health and offers personalized consultations to learn how each woman’s body functions to treat their imbalance appropriately.

Lyn utilizes many avenues for “getting the truth out there,” all which have helped her spread the word about hormone health and connect with all different types of women in their many stages of life. She is intimately involved with the health of women who see her regularly at the Happy Hormone Cottage for biological treatment, however, through her blogging and writing she is able to expand her message beyond the cottage’s doors and to connect with an even younger generation as she diligently pursues women’s education and awareness about their physical health and the “functional medicine” that is the only true path to whole healing. Not only does she educate the misinformed about how hormone health can be achieved, but she also strives to spread awareness about why hormone health is so important.

“Hormone balance is key to overall wellness. If we do nothing to fill our hormone tanks, we have no hope for health. I know I want to be healthy, have sex, and be viable when I am 90 years old. We have not been taught the best way to take care of our bodies and I am trying to change that. Someone has to. Why not me?”
Lyn is asking for support for her current endeavor, the Women’s Health Initiative Foundation. She recently published a book about her work with hormone imbalance: Own Your Journey To Optimal Hormone Balance.

“My Most Popular Blog Ever! (pellets)”

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

Back in January of 2012, I wrote a blog entitled, “I Get Asked This Question A Lot!” that has to date generated 59 responses, and counting. The following correspondence between Carly and myself offers insight that can be helpful to others. Let me share:

“Dear Lyn,
I am 51, I had a hysterectomy  in 2010, I still have one ovary. I get hot flashes, sometimes pretty bad, and then they will fade to maybe once or twice a week. They are irregular. My biggest concern is my weight. Last year, in June 2013, I lost my insurance and wasn’t able to purchase
the rx I was on. I was taking Topomax, Cymbalta for muscle and joint pain, and some anxiety, too.  I was also on Wellbutrin and Lipitor. Since going off all of this, I have gained probably 30 pounds. I have noticed my middle is getting a thick band of fat, that seems very hard around the abdomen. This really worries me as there is diabetes and heart disease in my family. I also have high cholesterol, and absolutely no energy. The muscle and joint pain give me no motivation to work out. I don’t eat crazy, although I do have bread cravings. I am really nervous about the sudden weight gain. I know I have some hormone issues, but what they are, I have no clue. I went to a free seminar on bioidentical hormones and I was excited. The doctor was pro-testosterone  pellets. He said he checks blood labs to see if low testosterone is the culprit. I would really like a straight-up option on my weight gain, hormones and a proven method that doesn’t take years to accomplish. I mean when you use hormone creams, how soon do you lose weight? I’m just at a loss. And now the pellets scare me. I was considering scheduling an appointment with him. Any ideas?

Hi Carly,
I will be frank with you. Rarely is testosterone therapy at the heart of health issues. Pellet therapy is great at giving supra-physiological doses of testosterone to mask underlying issues.
Weight gain is best managed with balanced hormone therapy, proper supplementation, exercise and a Ketogenic diet.  The 3 major hormones: insulin, cortisol and thyroid need to be proactively managed prior to managing sex hormones of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. If you schedule an appointment with this doctor, your first question should be the strategy for managing insulin, cortisol and thyroid. Only after this discussion, should testosterone be discussed. Finally, you need to determine how testosterone is to be balanced with estrogen and progesterone.
Be sure you have read the other comments from this blog post to see potential pitfalls of testosterone pellets in women. I’m fairly certain this doctor won’t share these drawbacks with you. I am not a fan of supra-physiological dosing of any hormone. We are all about using physiological (exactly what each body needs) dosing of all sex hormones, as needed, for optimal hormone balance. I hope this info helps you.

Thank you, Lyn.
It does help honestly. I read all the comments long before I made my own comment and went through your site many times. I have actually visited your page a few times over the years and have wanted to make an appointment. I have been looking hard for something that can help me. I feel out of control. I have changed my diet, drink only water, and some coffee in the morning. I eat very little red meat maybe once a month, increased my fish and veggies. I also limited my breads, and I am still not losing weight as I expected. It has been 3 weeks and I have only lost 4 pounds. I would like to make an appointment at your facility but it would have to be after 4:00 p.m. I live in Springfield. Is there any hope to get this weight off and get my sex life back on track in a realistic time period? I want my life back. Is summer too soon? Can you email or call me?

Hi Carly,
We can help! We are women helping women for wellness and are all about educating you. Having been an educator for over 30 years, I know that it is this learning that promotes a change in beliefs and a change in behavior. We will connect with you early this week to set up an appointment, or you can call us at 513-444-6343. Our Vandalia office is probably the closest office to you and it is open on Thursdays until 7:00 p.m. Otherwise our Kettering office offers Saturday appointments for our working women who can’t make it in during the week.
I look forward to working with you holistically for your best health naturally. Our approach gets at the heart of your issues and offers as balanced strategy that encompasses all areas of concern (adrenal glands, thyroid, sex hormones, weight, heart health) to correct the problems…not just mask the symptoms (as your prescription drugs did). I am excited for you!”

Read more about our view on pellets here

“There is nothing more organic than horse urine.”

Brace yourself! This was spoken by a local ob gyn in our area, at a talk earlier this year, on women’s health and wellness. When the subject of hormone replacement came around, and he touched on the hormone drug (conjugated estrogens) made from horse urine, those words above actually came out of his mouth! I almost fell out of my chair when I heard this. I was reminded of these words when I read an article in today’s paper, “Menopause often a Reminder,” and this same doctor was interviewed. I could feel my heart begin to palpitate as I started reading. Actually the first part of the interview wasn’t bad, as it addressed the importance of women going through menopause making sure they check in with their healthcare practitioner for vital screenings that are important to our health. Then he goes off on the path I was so hoping he  wouldn’t–the subject of bhrt, since he is obviously not a fan. I have found my bumper sticker, “Condemnation without investigation is the height of arrogance” to often be the case.
I find a big part of my job is to clear up the confusion surrounding hormones and hormone imbalance….confusion that comes from the misinformation and untruths that are constantly being perpetuated in the media, and often with the pharmaceutical company agenda. In this article, our conventional doctor advises women to understand the facts before turning to alternative methods of therapy. “The biggest misconception is that ‘bio-identical’ hormones are safer and more effective than FDA-approved MHT (menopause hormone therapy). However, the FDA is not aware of any credible scientific evidence to support these claims.” He encourages women to talk to their physicians at the onset of menopause symptoms. The article goes on to report “The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the North American Menopausal Society’s (NAMS) recommendation on hormone therapy simple: If you are symptomatic and it is interfering with the quality of your life, then don’t suffer. If it isn’t, then don’t treat it.”
First of all, we have many, many studies and books on the subject of BHRT—most of them written by doctors. I have many of these studies on the safety and efficacy of bhrt on my website’s (www.happyhormonecottage.com) Recommended Reading and Resources section. And in fact, I have compiled a majority of them in a special “Practitioner’s Resources” section to make it easy for practitioners to find and read the studies. Just because some doctors and apparently the FDA (according to this doctor) are not familiar with these studies, does not make them any less valuable. They ARE out there and they are scientific and evidence-based. I actually collected several of these and dropped them off at the doctor-in-the-interview’s office for his perusal, and hopefully, learning curve.
Secondly, if this is an example of the lack of knowledge and lack of perspective shared by other healthcare providers, how will women learn the truth? To only share one side of a biased opinion, seems to me, to be doing a huge disservice to the patients of these practitioners. How can they educate their clients when they themselves are not educated in this area? I am not being rude. I am just asking the question. This is another example of why I suggest to women that they NOT blindly talk with their doctors about their hormone health and why I help educate them so they CAN have a dialogue WITH their practitioner. (not to be talked to BY their practitioner). In this arena of women’s health, it is imperative that we gather the information we need, read the studies and books on hormone imbalance, and take charge of our journey.
Another important facet for me is the fact the ACOG and NAMS recommend using hormone therapy only for the relief of “menopause symptoms.” I never narrow my perspective down to menopause. I look at hormone imbalance, beginning at age 35, and recommend using customized bhrt for women as a means of:
-optimal hormone balance
-disease prevention
-health and wellness
This information comes from A4M-the Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. This is in the realm of Functional Medicine, which is all about holistic health. We DO have studies that show the immense benefits to our breast health, bone health, heart health and brain health by, as Suzanne Somers says, “refilling our hormone tanks” for our best health naturally. Again, it is up to us to persevere, read media reports with a critical eye, get educated, learn of our options, and the truth of natural hormone replacement therapy for our best health naturally.

Dayton Daily News – JournalNews By Christie Schmidt – Contributing Writer

Dayton Daily News
JournalNews

By Christie Schmidt – Contributing Writer

Lyn and Lacy 2 (2)
Lyn Hogrefe (left), CEO of Happy Hormone Cottage in Mason, counsels a client. The company has helped 4,000 women in the Midwest achieve hormone balance and better health through bioidentical hormones. CONTRIBUTED

In 2004, then 49-year-old Lyn Hogrefe found herself on the verge of plunging headfirst into menopause after undergoing an emergency radical hysterectomy. She was fearful of the physical and emotional changes that lay ahead as her body adjusted to functioning sans a uterus and ovaries.
Hogrefe’s husband, Jeff, was also concerned. A longtime pharmacist, he’d heard the stories of what women in similar situations as his wife experienced when they came in to pick up their prescription hormone products: significant weight gain, irritability, depression, anxiety, low energy, brain fog and no libido. Determined to do all he could to prevent these things from happening to his wife, he became a compounding pharmacist and created a bioidentical hormone replacement cream specifically for her.

“Jeff went with me to my follow-up appointment and presented my doctor with the idea of trying the bioidentical hormone therapy,” Hogrefe said. “Thankfully, my doctor was very open-minded and supportive of me giving it a try.”
The result?
“I didn’t experience any of the issues that women with hormonal imbalances experience – especially those who have undergone a radical hysterectomy. I didn’t gain any weight and I didn’t experience any depression, anxiety, brain fog, lack of energy or low libido. It was then that we knew we were on to something.”
However, after speaking with many women in their 30s, 40s and beyond, she realized that many were not only still feeling lousy despite being on anti-depressants, sleeping aids and estrogen, but they also were not being educated on all of their options – including healthy, natural, compounded hormones. A lifelong educator herself, Hogrefe used her skills and expertise to get potentially life-changing information into the hands of those who needed it most.
And so, Hogrefe and her husband opened Happy Hormone Cottage in 2009 in the heart of Centerville, as a place for women meet and talk about their journey, obtain information on natural compounded hormones, get questions answered and help in finding a physician who supports this type of treatment. To date, they have helped some 4,000 women in the midwest achieve hormone balance and better health through the use of bioidentical hormones. These compounded, personalized prescriptions of hormone creams (biestrogren, progesterone and testosterone) are mixed at Piqua Consulting and Compounding Lab in Piqua.
“There is a huge disconnect between listening to our body, and the information we get from the medical community,” Hogrefe said. “At Happy Hormone Cottage, we’re into functional medicine, which is a very patient-centered approach. We believe in addressing the person as a whole and not just isolated symptoms.”
Unlike the blood tests most physicians’ offices use to test hormone levels, Happy Hormone Cottage uses urine to test hormone levels, all in the comfort of a patient’s own home. Hogrefe said insurance reimbursement has been high for the $350 test kit because urine testing is an accepted means of testing. They provide clients with the necessary forms to submit to their insurance provider. To make things even easier and convenient, HHC now has a nurse practitioner on staff who is able to write the prescriptions for patients.
Oakwood resident Linda Hart stumbled upon Happy Hormone Cottage three years ago, when she was researching her options for hormone replacement therapy after a sudden and severe onslaught of menopausal symptoms.
“My doctor told me at my annual appointment that since I was 50 years old, I shouldn’t be on birth control pills anymore,” Hart said. Once off of them, she immediately started with menopausal symptoms: hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mental fogginess, extreme fatigue, and weight gain.
“I felt terrible,” Hart said. “My doctor’s solution was to put me on Prempro [a combination of conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone] but I’d read about so many patients having negative reactions to it that I started to do some research on other options. That’s when I came across bioidentical hormone therapy and Happy Hormone Cottage.”
Hart scheduled an appointment and went in for a consultation, completed the testing kit and was eventually prescribed a bioidentical hormone cream made specifically for her.
“My OB/GYN at the time wouldn’t prescribe it so Happy Hormone Cottage helped me find a doctor that would,” Hart said. “Within weeks I felt 100 percent better. The hot flashes stopped, I could sleep at night again, I wasn’t tired all the time and I dropped 10 pounds. My doctor now refers women to the Happy Hormone Cottage all the time.”
Happy Hormone Cottage’s Centerville location was such a huge success, that the Hogrefes have opened four more local offices in Kettering, Vandalia, Mason and Crestview Hills, Ky. They also have offices in Bridgeton and Chesterfield, Missouri.
For more information on The Happy Hormone Cottage or to schedule a free consultation, visit the website: www.happyhormonecottage.com. Office locations, phone numbers and hours of operation can be found on the website.
Educating community on hormone balancing therapy
This past December, Happy Hormone Cottage chief executive officer Lyn Hogrefe created Happy Hormone Cottage Consulting (HHC Consulting) in an effort to educate the medical community on hormone balancing therapy. The service also aims to help doctors integrate bioidentical hormone therapy into patient treatment plans.
“Not much is taught in medical school about women’s hormones and the need to help each woman achieve hormonal balance for optimal health,” Hogrefe said. “We want to educate medical personnel so they can reach as many women as possible. We would like to mentor nurse practitioners, guide them on diagnostic testing and work with them and their local compounding pharmacies.”
HHC Consulting will provide hands-on training and materials to teach doctors and medical staff how to work with female patients so that programs are meaningful and successful. Curriculum includes clinical and staff training and marketing support.
“I’m really on a mission to help women and their doctors get educated, get treated and get better,” Hogrefe said. “Bioidentical hormone therapy is very affordable – about $1 per day. We are building relationships with women every day, who tell their friends and family so they can get better, too

I Don’t Want to Live a Small Life

I was talking with someone the other day and she made the comment, “I wish I had your energy!” This was meant as a compliment, but the reality for me is that this really isn’t about energy. It is all about passion. It’s about choosing to not live a small life. Nelson Mandela said, “There is no passion to be found playing small- in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” It doesn’t matter what the passion is. Passion is passion. Some days it is a blessing; some days it is a curse, and it can be exhausting! But make no mistake…it is never dull! When the intention of my passion is to clear up the confusion perpetuated by the media, (with 10 year old recycled bad information and with the intent to further the confusion and untruths with the big pharma agenda in the forefront,) and to help women learn of the truth about hormone balance and their options, it can be a very big deal.  The reality for me is that I don’t want to live a small life. So what DOES my heart most want? To show women they matter; to validate their story and their journey; but, most of all, to continue to be vulnerable with an open heart space.  Being vulnerable requires an open heart space. To be vulnerable requires courage. One can not be both vulnerable and comfortable. You have to choose. And, as Brene Brown says after studying vulnerability for 10 years, “Vulnerability means daring greatly.” To be vulnerable means having your hand on the arena door and being willing to step inside getting bullied and beaten up. It takes great courage to be open and vulnerable and willing to step into the arena and get beaten up every single day…..by pharmaceutical companies, current standard of care, and by people who disagree.
I recently had the honor of being selected as an Athena Award Finalist by Cincy Magazine.
The Athena Awards recognize women who have “achieved professional excellence, devoted time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and have assisted women in realizing their leadership potential.” Our Athena Awards event was held recently for all 11 finalists. In getting to know these other Athena Finalists, I realized that we all have several character traits in common, and one of the most important is that we all live with the intention to choose to not live small lives. We walk every day with the intention of being vulnerable, having an open heart space and putting all we have out there in the arena, with the willingness and the courage to get bullied and beaten up.
Make no mistake! You get from this life what you have the courage to ask for. I do not want to get to the end of my life, regretting that I never had the courage to be vulnerable and to dare greatly. For me, at the end of the day, it is the knowing that I have had the courage to take a risk making a change for the better, by being willing to risk being vulnerable,  to positively impact people’s lives, that makes this all worth it.

And the Saga Continues……My Most Popular Blog Ever

I wrote a blog on January 8, 2012 that was so popular, I updated it on June 17, 2013 and I am still getting comments and questions on it. Just today I received 2 more emails from concerned users of the popular pellet strategy for hormone replacement. My heart goes out to these women. Read on:
Dear Lyn,
I saw your website and the comments made from others about their experiences using the pellets. I’ve been on bhrt for a year using the Soto Pellets for estradiol and testosterone, along with oral progesterone. Since beginning with these pellets, I have been having periods every two weeks, along with hair loss, facial hair growth, and a lack of energy. My doctor suggested that I cut back about half on the progesterone, which did not solve the problems.  Do you think I should cut back on the testosterone instead and if so, what dose would you suggest?
Your reply is appreciated. Thank you.

My response:
As you know from my blog and the resulting comments from other pellet-users, you understand that our truth is one replaces depleted hormone levels with bhrt that is customized for each individual and in physiological doses only. (the exact amount each body needs, based on accurate hormone levels that are checked in urine strip testing or saliva….not blood serum).
Pellets are supra physiological doses of testosterone (and sometimes estradiol) that are implanted about every 3 months underneath the skin of the hip or buttocks area. Obviously your body isn’t doing well with this strategy. (oral progesterone converts to allapregnenelone and not progesterone, so you aren’t really getting progesterone….but your doctors don’t know this? Why not? No one has ever told them this. But those of us who compound progesterone and recommend using progesterone as a topical cream or for vaginal use, know this fact).
I guess my question for you is this: “Your body obviously isn’t doing well with these pellet implantations, so why do you continue on?” Since you asked, my strong suggestion for you is that you let the last pellet implantation run its course and then do not get any more pellets. We just do not believe in using pellets for women. (to find out more, reread my blogs on pellets and side effects) We have had much success with checking hormone levels in urine strip testing or saliva, and then customizing dosing for each individual using topical or vaginal application of hormone creams; then continuing to listen to the body’s biofeedback to adjust dosing as needed. Check out my website’s testimonial section for confidence in our strategy. For further information, go to my website’s “Begin Your Journey” and/or call us at 513-444-6343.

Dear Lyn,
I just found your blog and have a question regarding the pellet. I just had my first testosterone pellet put in 2 months ago and am having severe hair loss. When I retested the testosterone level a month after having it inserted the level was 225. I am also on progesterone 2 weeks of the month.
I am not going to do anymore pellets. I am so worried and depressed over my hair loss.  Will it ever grow back? I am worried that my hair follicles have died and the hair won’t grow back. What can I do right away to help it?
Thanks so much for your help. I feel sick about this.

My response:
If I had a dollar for every email I get on pellets. You are my second one today alone.
I am so sorry for your experience and your resultant hair loss. I do have to ask you a question about your hair loss before I can help you. Is your hair loss all over your head, or is it more like male pattern baldness? The more information I have, the more I can guide you.
I would spread the word to your friends about your experience with pellets so this doesn’t happen to them. You can also file a complaint with the medical board in your state. If they get enough complaints, they most likely will investigate.  Certainly telling clients of potential side effects from pellet use would be considered, in my book, important information to share with prospective pellet users.
Looking forward to more details on your specific hair loss so I can help you.

Continuing to stay informed and educated on your best health naturally is critical. My biggest mission in life is to continue to educate women on optimal hormone balance using topical hormone creams in physiological dosing, AND to continue to clear up the confusion about bhrt. There is so much misinformation in the media, at our doctors’ offices, with current standard of care. The truth is, personalized (customized) bhrt has been done in Europe for 30 years and we have many studies on their importance and significance. I urge you to continue to question your beliefs so you can get to the truth.  Please go to my website’s Recommended Readings and Resources section to read more.

FOUR YEAR ANNIVERSARY REFLECTION

Four years ago today, I opened my tiny little cottage in the Heart of Centerville. My intention was simply to talk with women. Through my own journey with hormone imbalance issues, and in my ongoing conversations with women of all ages, I recognized the desperate need for a safe place for women to come, tell their story, be heard, understood and validated and most importantly, to be educated on their bodies and hormone imbalance symptoms. I knew that I was one of the lucky few. I had a husband who became a compounding pharmacist because of my emergency radical hysterectomy and potential hormone issues. He was not about to let happen to me, what he saw happening to his clients on a daily basis when they would come to his pharmacy to pick up their prescription hormone products. He saw women in my situation with 40 pound weight gain, irritability, depression, anxiety, no energy, brain fog and no libido. He made the decision that this was not going to happen on his watch. So he went to Houston, Texas to be trained as a compounding pharmacist. When I returned to my ob gyn for my 10 follow up appointment after surgery, Jeff went with me and was able to talk my open-minded doctor into allowing me to be open to the possibilities of compounded, personalized bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. The result? I didn’t gain 40 pounds (or any weight). I didn’t experience any of the issues typical of women with hormone imbalance; especially those women having a radical hysterectomy (ovaries removed). I didn’t have brain fog, fatigue, sleeplessness or low libido. Obviously we were on to something! But in speaking with women, what I found their reality to be left much to be desired. Most of the women I met in their mid 30’s and 40’s (and beyond) were on an antidepressant, a sleeping aid or an estrogen-of-the-month club product. None had had their hormone levels checked, none were feeling better, all had fatigue, low libido and had lost their joy of life. I knew I had to get the word out about their options for a more natural approach to their best health naturally.  So I hung a sign at the rustic little cottage behind the Joli Boutique in Centerville and the rest is history! Women showed up! They were validated, educated, offered hope and empowered to have a dialogue with their doctor that leveled the playing field in hopes they would have an easier time getting their needs met. These women talked to their inner circle, and the word spread. Today, we have Happy Hormone Cottages in Kettering, Vandalia, Mason, Northern Kentucky and two in St. Louis, Missouri.
The most exciting part for me is that women who want the help, who own their journey, who have what it takes to get their needs met (assertiveness, patience, determination and a sense of humor) are feeling better! What I have learned is my truth–that what we place our attention on determines the quality of our lives. I have learned that when we know better, we do better and that it IS necessary to question our beliefs. I have also learned that I can’t please everyone and I most certainly can’t own anyone else’s journey, no matter how badly I want to. Each woman is in charge of her own health and I can only help the ones who want to be helped and are willing to put in the time, effort and resources necessary to fix her hormone imbalance. What we offer, a strategy for getting tested, treated and better does cost money….but I think it is a reasonable cost. How much is one’s best health worth? My answer is “priceless,” but every woman needs to decide that for herself. I have learned that if we, as women, do nothing to own our own journey to our best health naturally, TODAY is the best day we will have. I have learned that we ARE worth it to be put back on our own list and take care of ourselves so we CAN take care of our family. I have learned that women have to be patient with our therapy so they CAN feel better. My question is always, “How long have you not felt well? We do need some time (typically 3 weeks to 3 months) to refill hormone receptors so we CAN feel better.” I also know that we can’t isolate body systems to fix them. We have to look at the body holistically and impact adrenal and thyroid health as well as the sex hormones, and that this is just the FIRST step to wellness.
I was listening to a CD by Tara Brach the other day and she asked the question, “What does your heart most want?” After giving this deep thought, I decided that what my heart wants the most is for the women I come into contact with every single day, to feel heard, understood, valued and most of all to know that they matter. Oprah once said, “Everyone just wants to know they matter to someone.” This is my truth. I want to continue to positively impact women’s lives every day so that they know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that more than anything, they DO matter to someone. They matter to me.

EXCITING VALIDATION FOR NATURAL HORMONE THERAPY!

A recent study by 2 well respected doctors in our field, Erika Schwartz, MD and Kent Holtorf, MD, is really exciting for me to read because it validates what I have know for a long time- that replacing depleted hormone levels, that deplete naturally through the aging process, is the key to living a longer, higher quality life! This study, also on my website under Recommended  Resources and Readings, “Hormone Replacement Therapy in the Geriatric Patient: Current State of the Evidence” clears up misconceptions and confusion in this area of synthetic hormones vs bioidentical hormones that is prevalent in current standard of care. Check out this next information:
“By the year 2025, there will be 1.1 billion women older than the age of 50 in the world. The magnitude and significance of this number must be addressed from the perspective of the primary care practitioner who is now faced with an exploding number of aging women seeking to maintain, and even improve, their health. In these authors’ opinions, women who are menopausal and postmenopausal should no longer accept a pat on the back and an antidepressant as a best therapy for postmenopausal symptoms often caused by aging and its attendant loss of hormones. We as physicians need to expand our knowledge and expertise to be able to provide aging women with safe and effective approaches to aging-to provide then with sound information to help them make the best decisions for their individual situation.” Yes! This is what I have been preaching for the past 4 years and exactly WHY I opened my Happy Hormone Cottage in the first place. What we do at our HHC, natural hormone replacement therapy, IS science-based medicine. Just because it is not yet a part of current standard of care does not mean it is not valid or backed up by study after study. What we do is personalized care, meaning we compound individual therapies from a doctor’s prescription for each individual, based on his or her body’s needs. This is as opposed to taking a drug for the masses with a one-size-fits-most dosing, made by a pharmaceutical company. Our studies and science-based information IS out there. It needs to be studied and understood by our physicians for our best over-all health.
The study continues with the following perspective: “With the transition of the baby boomers into the geriatric population, a significant movement away from the disease-centric model and toward PREVENTION AND WELLNESS maintenance and enhancement is taking place. The scientific literature suggests that hormone supplementation with estrogen, progesterone testosterone, growth hormone, and thyroid hormone has the potential to improve the quality of life and to prevent, or reverse, the many symptoms and conditions associated with aging, including fatigue, depression, weight gain, frailty, osteoporosis, loss of libido and heart disease. When attempting to find the ideal balance for the individual patient, physicians should be concerned not only with improving their patients’ life spans, but also their HEALTH SPANS-the duration of time a person experiences a high-quality, vigorous, and enjoyable life.” Yes, yes, yes! This is why my Happy Hormone Cottage is a Wellness Facility. We understand that optimal hormone balance (this means measuring hormone levels and replacing depleted levels with physiological dosing in the exact amounts the body needs….and maintaining these optimal levels for life) is just the FIRST step to wellness. From here we can move on to cardiovascular health and addressing metabolic syndrome (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, weight gain).
The study concludes with, “In summary, based on the literature reviewed and the state of the evidence in our clinical experiences that span decades and includes tens of thousands of women the authors believe that aging women should not be deprived of hormone therapies. Many studies and practical clinical experience demonstrate on an ongoing basis the safety and efficacy of bioidentical hormones (the HHC believes these should be personalized and customized physiological dosings based on the individual needs of each woman) for improved well-being, elimination of symptoms of menopause, and even prevention of chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, hyperlipidemia, clotting disorders and atherosclerosis. We also recommend the individual physician become well versed in the scientific literature presented in this article and work with each patient individually to provide her with the best possible care.”  Amen! I couldn’t have said this better myself!
For more information or to make an appointment for your first step on your journey to wellness, email us at info@happyhormonecottage.com or call us at 513-444-6343. Kentucky women, email kentuckyinfo@happyhormonecottage.com and call 859-360-6696. We are women helping women and we look forward to serving you!

“IT SAVED MY LIFE! EVERY WOMAN SHOULD READ THIS!”

I came across a blog posting recently at myfitnesspal.com with the title, “I got my life back and lost weight too.” The first sentences really caught my eye when the blogger says, “It saved my life! Every woman should read this.” So I did (!) and discovered it was about my Happy Hormone Cottage! Read what she says:

“I was diagnosed with about everything under the sun and put on just about every medication known to man and none of them worked. I was obese and addicted to food. I had horrible food cravings like a drug addict. I had no energy. I was depressed, anxious and nervous all the time. I had anxiety and panic attacks that landed me in the emergency room. I cried constantly over nothing. I had severe insomnia. I was diabetic. I had digestive problems and mysterious aches pains and random rashes. I was moody, cranky and sometimes downright hateful and mean. My periods were irregular and erratic. I had clotting and all kinds of awful things. I had severe headaches frequently and atleast a mild headache every day. Most days I couldn’t even leave my house and some days I couldn’t get out of bed. almost every day of my life I wished I was dead and some days I would actually research ways to kill myself on the internet (if you feel like this seek help immediately because there is always light at the end of the tunnel) and vow that as soon as my kids graduated from high school and moved out I would end my misery.

nobody would help me and the few people who did care enough to help were clueless as to what the problem could possibly be so I did the research on my own and it took me about 3 or 4 years to figure it out but I finally did, I had a severe hormonal imbalance. A hormonal imbalance can create all kinds of problems from barely noticeable to severe and it’s easy to diagnose and fix. I found an amazing place called The Happy Hormone Cottage where I got tested and discovered that I was estrogen dominant and did not have enough progesterone and now I am on an all natural bio-identical progesterone cream which is very inexpensive. I take it once a day and rub the cream into my wrists. I have only been on it for 6 months and all of my symptoms are gone. I have tons of energy, no food cravings, no depression, anxiety, panic attacks. I’m no longer diabetic and I sleep fine at night and no more headaches. I’ve also lost 42 pounds in 6 months and I haven’t even started to exercise yet. It also treats PMS and PMDD. This is something that everyone should look into just to be sure. not having enough progesterone can also cause pcos and miscarriages. A healthy progesterone level helps you carry a baby to term and give birth to a healthy baby.

I don’t think anyone should have to go through what I went through not even for a day. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy so if I can help even one person get help it is definitely worth it.

The Happy Hormone Cottage is in Ohio but everything can be done over the phone or computer so they can help anyone in any state all over the USA. There are also other companies that do the same thing it doesn’t matter which one you go to as long as you make sure it is all natural bio identical hormones and not synthetic. It does require a prescription from your doctor and is completely safe. your doctor will determine from your test results if you need it and how much you need. I know this is a weight loss site and I’m posting it here because before I got on the progesterone I couldn’t lose weight no matter what I tried and believe me I tried EVERYTHING but now that I’ve got the progesterone the weight is just falling off which is just an added bonus. The best thing is I’m happy again and I got my life back.. I hope this helps. Good luck everyone and God bless.”

I am SO very happy we could help and have such a positive, life-changing effect on someone’s life. But this is what we do every day. We ARE women helping women. And we DO make a difference every single day. And now that we have our own nurse practitioner on staff, we are so happy that we can impact women without current standard of care standing in our way. But I do disagree with the writer of the blog above when she says, “The Happy Hormone Cottage is in Ohio and they can help others in any state because much of what they do can be done over the phone and computer. But there are other companies who do the same things. Your doctor will determine from your test results if you need hormone therapy and how much….” This is simply NOT true. I actually do NOT know of any other company who does what we do:
-offer an initial free consultation
-offer easy, affordable, cutting edge take home testing for hormone levels in several key areas
-write the recommendation FOR the practitioner
-offer a second free consultation to go over how to use the therapy and supplements
-provide free monthly follow up phone calls and emails
-provide excellent customer service that is immediate and validating
-provide access to the compounding pharmacists who make the therapy and write the
recommendations
-provide holistic health care in the realm of Functional Medicine that focuses on disease
prevention and anti-aging
To go to your doctor and have him/her check hormone levels in anything other than blood serum is rare (almost unheard of) and most healthcare practitioners certainly do not have the training to be able to write a strategy for natural, optimal hormone balance. We just have not found this approach to be successful. This is why we like to partner with doctors who are open to being mentored in all of the nuances of customized, compounded hormone therapy. Those doctors who allow us to do so are the ones with the most satisfied clients. And we can help you find those doctors in other states. We look forward to serving you!

COTTAGE HAPPENINGS!

We have lots going on at our Happy Hormone Cottage facilities! Women are happy, we are growing, and blessed to be changing the face of hormone imbalance on a daily basis. I think over the past 4 years, what has been most impactful for me, is the opportunity I have had to speak with women about the truth of hormone imbalance: what it looks like, why it happens, and what they can do about it. As an educator of over 30 years and a public speaker, I have had the privilege of speaking to many women about this natural aging process and the latest research on ways to help prevent disease by reestablishing optimal hormone balance as naturally as possible AND make this their first step to wellness. My mantra for the year continues to be “What We Place Our Attention On Determines The Quality of Our Lives,” and I continue to not only live this in my own life, but stress this importance to the women I work with, speak with and meet. My message is always the same: YOU are in charge of your journey so YOU will have to do what it takes for YOUR best health naturally. And because this message is different than what we traditionally hear at our healthcare practitioners’ offices, you DO have permission to DO WHAT IT TAKES to meet the needs of your body as you age, with preventative measures that work to fix our health issues, and not just band-aid them.
With our continuing quest to stay on the cutting edge of all things hormonal, we are very excited to announce our partnership with Precision Analytical Lab and their forward-thinking technology with testing hormone levels in urine. This super simple take-home kit uses urine samples on strips of paper to analyze not only our sex hormones, but also cortisol, metabolites and the methylation pathway. We are finding this information to be extremely helpful for our women in not only measuring current hormone levels of new clients, but also for our women currently on hormone therapy. The risk of contamination from the topical hormone creams is significantly reduced and the information we can collect allows us to make the best recommendation we can for our clients on their hormone journey. The cost of this kit is comparable to our saliva testing and is reimbursable by many insurance providers.
Finally, we are pleased to announce the addition of our own Nurse Practitioner, Angela Rothstein, to our Kettering and Mason facilities. She is working with us full time to meet with our clients to start them on their journey to wellness, as well as to work with them on the successful continuation of their hormone journey. She will work closely with Jeff in not only hormone balance, but also in Functional Medicine, so we can continue to focus on holistic health, anti-aging and disease prevention. Women can also meet with Angela on our new weight loss program, which is a special passion of hers. The beauty of working with Angela is you can still keep your current ob gyn for your gyn needs and see Angela for your BHRT needs. If you are currently working with a doctor who is not meeting your expectations in this area, you are also free to come in and meet with Angela. Please call us at 513-444-6343 for more information and to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you!