Do You Want a Quick Fix or Are You Willing To Do the Work?

I was talking to a young lady today, who is immersed in alternative therapy. You know the type. They are the ones I call “crunchy granola,” with all due respect and fondness. They are the ones who recycled long before it became popular; who grow their own vegetables, make their own soap, do yoga several times a week, and wear Birkenstocks! When I told her my passion-educating and empowering women on addressing hormone balance issues with customized natural hormone therapy-she was excited! She said, “OMG! It’s about time!” and then she made an accurate observation. She said, “I bet it is interesting to compare your clients who just want a quick fix versus the ones who are willing to do the work to get better.”. Such a profound observation, and an incredibly accurate one! The women who come to me who want to get better yesterday; who think the words of their doctor are  the words of a god; who aren’t educated in their options-especially natural options…these are the ones who expect immediate relief from symptoms and aren’t willing to do the work necessary to heal and get better. These are the “quick-fixers.”. These are the women I can’t help. So who MOST benefits from our therapy? We are MOST successful with women who:
-are educated in their hormone options
-aren’t interested in drug therapy to mask their symptoms
-are interested in reading, thinking for themselves, talking with their doctor and demanding to be heard, pursuing hormone balance through natural options and are empowered to make these decisions for themselves
-are willing to put themselves on their own list
-eat healthy and exercise
-acknowledge when they need help and ask for it from alternative therapy experts.
These are the women who are successful! These are the women who are willing to do the work to get better. Which woman are you?


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!!


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 had an interesting experience today in the span of 10 minutes that really showcases the Law of Attraction at its finest! I was between consultations at the cottage when I got an urgent text from a cottage client. The cryptic message read, “Quick! Turn your radio to whio 1290!” So I went to my car, turned on the radio just in time to hear my client talking about the Happy Hormone Cottage and her success story!! She was on the air with the host of an hour-long “Ask the Expert” show and the topic this afternoon was menopause. When she was off the air, she called me and said, “I can’t believe I just did that!” She went on to say that she was working in her kitchen, listening to this radio show when a 57-year-old woman called in with such a sense of hopelessness. She was menopausal, miserable, and could find no one to help her. When the host of the show didn’t respond the way my client thought he should, (the host of this “ask the expert” show was an ob/gyn in the area)she said, “Lyn, I just HAD to call and help that poor woman! I couldn’t stand it!!” So she did! Then she said, “Oh Lyn, now YOU have to call in!” I wasn’t convinced, but she insisted. So she gave me the number and I called. Unbelievably, I was on the air in about 2 minutes! I told the host (the doctor) that I was the director of the Happy Hormone Cottage that the previous caller had mentioned and that our passion is helping middle-years women navigate the waters of menopause. I went on to say that at the cottage we really listen to and validate women and beyond all else, we offer hope! We actually encourage our clients to get their hormone levels checked and then we recommend practitioners who think “outside the box,” and are willing to work with us on customized compounded natural hormone therapy. The host of this radio show was responsive and fairly affirming of what I was saying. I mentioned my website AND the inclusion of many clinical studies that show the safety and efficacy of our compounded natural hormone therapy. All in all, I felt what I had to say was well-received by the host and I was happy with our conversation. So in the span of about 10 minutes, I had a happy cottage client call in to a popular radio talk show, talk about her success with us, offer a testimonial to other women that this natural option is a viable one, AND got me on the air to confirm. Talk about a one-two punch! This was obviously meant to happen today! Don’t you just love the Law of Attraction??


Happy Spring! Nothing makes me happier than seeing the women who come to me to get tested, treated and finally get better! It is just life-changing! I want to share a part of an email my husband, Jeff Hogrefe R.Ph., wrote to one of our clients. She is married to a wonderful man, who also happens to be a family practitioner and owns his own practice, so this email is also from one small business owner to another. I think it will give you insight into the daily struggle we wage every day in our fight to save women from being drugged for a hormone imbalance. If we can just save one woman every day from this fate, then our day is worthwhile!

“Just wanted to drop you a line to see how your consultation with Lyn went. My wife has great energy and she really has a passion for helping women who are suffering with hormonal imbalances. Our high-touch model and our involvement in our “women” is just what is needed in this area of women’s health.

I did read about the 21% reduction in Medicare reimbursements to MD’s in our new health care reform package. I think this is beyond sad, when 1/2 of all medical expenses are to providers and the other 1/2 goes to administrative and insurance issues.  We have a problem and that problem won’t be solved by cutting payment to providers. It just makes the system worse. And while we are at it, let’s cut the drug companies profits 21% also! Sounds completely fair to me. I spent 20 years working as a pharmacist in a very traditional setting until I discovered our business model: that of compounding, consulting, and customized BHRT therapy. Taking time to consult with women, monitor their therapy, and be available to walk them through the transitions and their journey to good health does require resources. If we stayed with dispensing FDA-approved commercially available products, not only would our flexibility in modifying dose/therapy be gone, but also the paltry insurance reimbursement we receive from the “system” would not make it economically possible for us to continue our high-touch model. And that would truly, truly be a sad thing. Women need us and what we do. Health care is not paint-by-numbers. It is real people and every woman is unique and needs to be treated as a unique being.”

Here is an email from one of our younger clients, Terri, who is in her early 30’s. When I read this, I just laughed out loud:

“Hi, Lyn! I just wanted to let you know how great I’m feeling already. I swear I popped out of bed SO much easier this morning after I started the progesterone! It’s been WONDERFUL this week being able to wake up and my brain works instantly! Not to mention my son had had a couple of rough nights this week because of his tonsil surgery and I still haven’t taken ONE nap this week! Normally I am so exhausted I just sit around all day and then lay down with the boys at nap time. I’ve gotten so much done this week! Along with my energy, my head just feels so much clearer and I feel like my eyes are open wider. I can’t believe it! Oh….and I’m pooping normally and regularly! Ha ha! That alone makes me feel a lot better! I’m just so excited I can’t stand it!!! Thank you so much, Lyn!!!!”

Finally, here is a testimonial from one of our middle-years clients, Cheryl. She has been on her therapy now for several months:

“After going through menopause, I felt like someone had just wrung me out; that is, I had no energy, I hurt with a myriad of aches and pains, and I either couldn’t get to sleep or I woke up in the middle of the night and had problems getting back to sleep. I went to my general practitioner, and he suggested I start taking Aleve in the mornings. I did, and it helped the pains some… but not much.

One day while reading the Dayton Daily News online, I found an article about the opening of the Happy Hormone Cottage. I was very interested, because I had previously read about natural hormones but wasn’t sure where to get help in this area.  One of my “side jobs” is being the director of fundraising and promotion for the Our Mims Retirement Haven, a retired thoroughbred broodmare rescue based in Kentucky. I knew, no matter what, I would not/could not ever take Premarin. The use of pregnant mare urine in the manufacturing of Premarin results in the birth of many foals that either must be taken care of or slaughtered. I knew I could never be part of that process.

I filled out the online survey then called to make an appointment at the Cottage. I went through the saliva test and sent it in. While waiting for the results, I made an appointment with Dr. Pawloski, a gynecologist on the recommendation list on the Cottage’s web site. It had been quite a while (cough — years — cough) since I had had a regular gynecology visit, and I was eager to work with a doctor familiar with bio-identical hormones.

After a consult between the doctor and the specialists at the Piqua Medicine Shoppe, I was put on a progesterone regiment, very simple, supplemented with the Adrenal Support. Within days, I felt better. Not much longer after that, I was sleeping through the night. Although I still have little aches and pains from time to time (I am almost 51 years of age), I feel younger and able to do things I have not felt capable of for quite some time.

For example: I have always had a problem with my weight. With the added aches and pains, no energy, and sleepless nights, I had all but given up on the idea of taking up even the simplest exercise routine. Now, I regularly exercise with the help of some DVDs (I especially love the Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds series). I am able to walk up to four miles in one routine. (I’m working on getting through the five mile workout.) I am losing weight, but I am more impressed with my stamina and alertness. I no longer drag myself through the day then collapse on the couch when I get home.

I feel so good now, and I owe it to Lyn and those at the Happy Hormone Cottage, the Piqua Medicine Shoppe, and Dr. Pawloski. I am so grateful that these people have studied about bio-identical hormones and are promoting it. I shudder to think where I would be if I hadn’t read that article in the DDN a few months ago.

Thank you so much! Cheryl”

There you have it! Women are happy and so can you be, as well! Take charge of your journey! Get educated and informed. Talk to other women. Call and schedule a consultation. Whatever you do, do NOT let an uninformed practitioner talk you out of what you know is best for you! Stand up for YOU! Get your levels checked (we like saliva tests the best) and then demand that your treatment be customized. You deserve better than a one-size-fits-most therapy that is used, based on your symptoms alone. But even this approach is better than being offered an antidepressant. Why would you need an antidepressant for a hormone imbalance?? Why not just check your hormone levels and then replace them with customized bioidentical hormones to replace those levels?? THIS is NOT rocket science. It just makes sense!!


Are You Serious? Really??

You know I love meeting with and talking with “my women” who come to the cottage. I really like meeting with them at the end of the process and getting them started on their customized natural hormone replacement therapy. This is after they have already met with their (or one of ours)practitioner, so s/he can sign off on our recommendation for their hormone balance. I swear my life would be SO easy if I didn’t have to keep fighting with practitioners! I am so blessed to have the ones working with me that we have. They are wonderful people who truly respect and validate women-especially in this area of hormone balance-and they believe in what we are doing. They know that we have science on our side. It’s the doctors who don’t want anything to with anything that requires them to think outside the box and maybe, just maybe, approve of something that isn’t FDA-approved that is the most frustrating. You know that the FDA approves manufactured drugs.(drugs for the one-size-fits-all mentality) By the nature of our business, which is compounding, it is a customized dosage made specifically for an individual. So the FDA can’t approve it; it is not manufactured. So when a doctor tells their patients that they don’t like compounded therapy because it is not FDA approved, that isn’t really an argument. Compounding is NOT manufacturing for the masses; it is making a specific dosage with a specific delivery system for a single individual. So that argument doesn’t have any merit. So when THAT argument becomes a moot point, my new personal favorite is what I heard from one of my clients on Friday. She said that when she went to her doctor, (female ob-gyn)and said she wanted to work with the Happy Hormone Cottage and the Piqua Medicine Shoppe and Compounding Pharmacy, the dr said, “Oh, that compounding! It really is BS, you know!!” Really? Seriously? I wonder if she would like to tell this to the Hospice patients for whom we compound transdermal therapy all the time to help ease their pain, because they can no longer swallow (or make the delivery system sublingual, etc.)or the pet owner whose beloved pet needs a customized therapy to save its life, and their only hope is a compounding pharmacy. Or the cancer patient who is so ill, s/he can’t tolerate the FDA-approved manufactured drugs that are available. I like to think that compounding pharmacies are the pharmacies for the people. After all, compounding has been around for centuries. Drug companies have only been around for a few decades. Compounding is problem-solving for the patient. Drug companies are motivated by money. Big difference. So the next time your practitioner wants to put down compounding as a bunch of BS, I would highly recommend you find another practitioner; one who will listen, respect and validate you enough to think outside the box, and work as a team with us: the happy hormone cottage and our compounding pharmacy. Because our passion and goal is to make you feel better by getting at the root cause of your issues…..NOT just drugging you to make you feel better by prescribing a one-size-fits-most FDA approved drug. We need to challenge the accepted belief among some of our practitioners today, and that challenge starts with YOU. When YOU begin to stand up for YOUR beliefs and YOU REFUSE to be emotionally bullied by a doctor who refuses to listen to YOU, then change will begin to happen. It begins with YOU.

a sense of betrayal

I had an experience today that has really left me feeling betrayed. You know we work with doctors all over the Dayton area. There are some good ones out there who really do respect and validate women, who are truly interested in their health and work with us to find the cause of their hormone imbalance issues instead of band-aiding their issues with a drug. We thought we had found a good doctor in Cincinnati to work with us. He is a D.O. and seemed very genuine. Our clients we sent to him, for the most part, liked him and he signed off on our recommendation for their natural hormone therapy. Interestingly enough, we began to notice a pattern with this doctor. We would have a client who would go to our website; order a saliva kit; and fill out the online personal symptom sheet and medical history form on our website. The saliva test results would come back to me; I would call the client to get the name of her doctor; her insurance information AND I would tell her that we would make the recommendation for her hormone balance and fax it to this doctor. After she meets with him and he faxes back the signed prescription form to our compounding pharmacy, we will make an appointment to meet at the cottage for a free consultation. At this consultation, we will hand off the therapy, show her the dosage and the best delivery system for her, tell her what she can expect, answer her questions, and most importantly, tell her our commitment to staying connected. I am available 24/7 to answer any question and concern that arises AND furthermore, I call, email and check in with them often. You see, I am ALL about building relationships. I have a passion for helping women navigate the rough waters of hormone imbalances and I feel our great customer service can make the difference between success and failure on this journey. So what happened with this particular Cincinnati doctor today? I found out that when my clients go to him, he is sending them to the compounding pharmacy ACROSS THE STREET to make their therapy!!! Why?? Why would he take a client who we have already not only established a relationship with BUT have also gotten in her test results, written the recommendation for her hormone balance FOR him AND invested a lot of time and energy into? Why?? So here is the thing. Not only does that show a deep lack of integrity on his part, and a lack of professional courtesy….what it also means for the client is that I am no longer able to help them. He has effectively stopped any future contact. Because my compounding lab does NOT make her therapy, I have NO way of knowing what ingredients they use or what the quality of their ingredients might be or even what therapy they made for her. So I am not able to stay connected, help or counsel her! Imagine Pam’s surprise when she called me tonight because she is having an issue she needs help solving with her therapy and I told her I couldn’t help her because her doctor cut me out of the loop. She was upset!! It is like having that doctor deliver a baby and do all the work and then having the mother of that baby pay an entirely different doctor who had NO part in the delivery. Does this make any sense what-so-ever? To make matters worse, I have sent this doctor supplies, teaching aids, and
information to make his job easier in this field of natural hormone balance. I am upset for my clients, myself and our compounding pharmacy. (he is now off our website’s list of practitioners we work with. We all deserve better!)

Piqua Medicine Shoppe and Compounding Pharmacy-THE compounding pharmacy of choice in Ohio!

Ok, so I had a lady stop at the cottage the other day and say that she could a get a saliva testing kit from another pharmacy for FREE. (we charge $4 for ours-it covers the cost of shipping AND it is about perceived value. People tend to value what they have to pay for) So I said, “Great! But just so you know your opportunity cost of going to another pharmacy (my 30 years teaching 6th grade economics taught me that the opportunity cost is the choice you GIVE up!). 1) Did you know that when another compounding pharmacy gives you a saliva kit and gets the results back in, they send your results to a local practitioner to make your recommendation. WE actually pull together not only your saliva test results, but the information you have either submitted to us online through my website OR at the free consultations we offer at the cottage and then WE ACTUALLY WRITE OUR RECOMMENDATION FOR YOUR BALANCE IN THREE AREAS: HORMONES, ADRENAL GLANDS AND THYROID FOR YOU. We just really don’t trust most doctors to do this for you. We have been doing this for 10 years; it is our niche; and we have clients all over the country who have literally been with us for years.Hormone balance is what we do and what we are known for. We are so well-known for this that Suzanne Somers lists US-The Piqua Medicine Shoppe in her last 3 bestsellers as THE compounding pharmacy of choice in Ohio! 2)Did you know that when you come to our Happy Hormone Cottage-either in person or via our website, that we spend time educating you, giving you materials to help you learn,
listening to you, validating you and respecting you? Our goal is to get you tested, treated and better and our passion is helping middle-years women navigate the waters of natural hormone balance with dignity. 3)When you do your saliva testing through us and ZRT labs, WE make your recommendation for your hormone balance and fax that to either your doctor or one of the 30 area doctors who work with us, get the signed prescription back, compound it in our new $200,000 state-of-the-art compounding lab, and then we take customer service to the next level. We sit down with you again and go over HOW to use your new therapy, WHAT to expect and HOW to stay connected. 4) Finally, when you visit our cottage and go through our PMS (!) Piqua Medicine Shoppe-you get ME! My passion is middle-years women. I am available 24/7 to talk to you, answer your questions, and discuss a concern. I call or email you every few weeks to check in with you. Your best health through natural hormone balance is my passion and building and maintaining relationships is everything! I think it is impactful that I am a middle-years woman who has gone through exactly what you are going through. I can relate and share with you my experiences so you won’t have to go through what I did. I love being with you on your journey and I embrace the opportunity to do so every day with every woman I meet! So when you get a chance to spend that $4 on a saliva testing kit-even though you could maybe get it for free someplace else, just know what that $4 gets you! Sometimes things are greater than the sum of their parts. The Happy Hormone Cottage and Piqua Medicine Shoppe ARE these things!

It Happened Again! (or doctors’ ignorance on natural hormone replacement…stop the madness!!)

My husband has told me never to blog when I’m angry! I am not going to take his advice this time! I just got a call from a client who went to a doctor (I have heard of him but he is not on my website as one of the doctors we work with) to have him sign off on our recommendation (prescription) for her natural compounded hormone therapy. I tell my clients all the time to make the call BEFORE your appt to make sure that dr will sign off on what we do, because doctors know drugs and what we do is NOT a drug! So Andie goes to this doctor for his permission and he won’t sign off on it.(big surprise!!) I am ok with a doctor not signing off on something he is not familiar with and admitting it. But this doctor went on to not only say he didn’t know much about it because “hormones aren’t his area of expertise,” he THEN proceeded to put the fear of God into Andie about taking hormones and what too much can do and ya-da, ya-da, ya-da.
He then proceeded to do a blood test to measure the hormomes because he couldn’t validate the saliva testing that we do. On top of that, when Andie suggested that he go to my website where he will find many, many clinical studies on BHRT and the efficacy of what we do, his response was, “I am not going to go to some website and read about this!” The sad truth is that now Andie-periomenopausal and miserable: can’t sleep, no energy, no libido, foggy thinking etc…..all treatable with checking her current hormone levels and then replacing them with customized, natural therapy made just for her….is confused and caught in the middle. Who does she trust? Her doctor or us? I feel her pain! I am totally empathetic! It just makes me so angry that doctors who know nothing about natural hormone replacement have to throw out false facts that scare and confuse their patients, instead of just saying, “You know what? This is not something I am familiar with, but let me check into it for you. Let me read, make some calls, get some answers and maybe we can meet again soon to talk about this some more.”
How awesome would that be? Now Andie is left to muddle through the maze once again. So a woman who could have gotten tested, treated and better is now left to continue to suffer and to have a lower quality of life that impacts the entire family unit……….ALL because a medical professional who knows nothing about natural hormone balance refuses to become educated, therefore perpetuating the myths surrounding hormone replacement. Let me say once again that natural hormone balance is hormone replacement. It is NOT hormone substitution (premarin, prempro, prevara, estrotest, etc) that CAN cause serious health risks. To lump ALL hormone therapy under one umbrella and call it ALL bad is like saying that ALL fruit is bad because apples (i.e. premarin) has been known to cause breast cancer. Does this make any sense to you…or is it just me??!! I hope I live long enough to see the day when doctors will actually love middle-years women enough to take the time to become educated in this area, ask the tough questions and actually find the CAUSE of her hormone issues and maybe, just maybe, realizing that to REPLACE these hormones in her body so she can get her life back JUST MAKES SENSE!

Happy, Happy Women!

I love my job! My job is my passion: educating women on what a hormone imbalance feels like, and then offering them some solutions to fix their imbalance by replacing their hormones to refill their levels and get them back on track. I can’t tell you the joy I get working with women to get them feeling better. I think the most interesting part, for me, is the validation “my” women feel when their test results come back and they actually see their hormone levels (or lack thereof!!) Many of these women have been told by the medical community for so long that there was nothing wrong with them; “suck it up,”; or “here’s an antidepressant to help you live with the symptoms.” I’m sorry but women deserve so much better! So when these test results come back and validate the reason the women have been feeling so badly, they are just thrilled! I often hear comments like, “I knew I was feeling bad for a reason!” or “I’m so relieved to learn there IS a physiological problem and that I can treat the cause and feel better!” It just brings me joy! I won’t even begin to talk about the radiance these women express when they actually begin their natural compounded hormone replacement therapy and really begin to feel better! It just makes me smile!