Happy Hormone Cottage Focuses on Proactive Preventative Healthcare

It is clear from an Integrative Medicine Model, that strategizing and implementing a proactive preventative healthcare plan requires a multifaceted approach. It is never just one thing that needs to be addressed. It is several strategies implemented to improve over-all outcomes. The bottom line for me is that we must become warriors for our own wellness. (WOW)

The first step is proper hormone testing. Why? Because our hormones (sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone; cortisol; thyroid) perform many, many important jobs in our bodies and these hormones deplete with age. It is part of the aging process. So refilling our hormone receptors with Bioidentical hormones created from plant-based powders that mimic exactly our hormones in our body, is critical to alleviate symptoms of aging and hormone imbalance, but more importantly, to prevent disease. As Dr Prudence Hall says, “Hormones are to Women, What Water is to Plants.” Interestingly, getting hormone levels checked in the blood is not adequate. At our Happy Hormone Cottage, we offer unique testing that looks at hormone levels of all 3 estrogens (estrone, estradiol and estriol), progesterone and testosterone, as well as how the body metabolizes these hormones. It also analyzes cortisol in the body that can identify adrenal fatigue and other adrenal issues. The most valuable testing, in our opinion, is dried urine strip testing through Precision Analytical Labs. This is a rather simple take-home test that requires 4-5 urine samples (wetting filter paper and letting it dry–so easy!) over the course of dinnertime one evening through 2 hours after waking the next day. The results are quite meaningful in that you can get a glimpse into how the liver is metabolizing each hormone. This is significant in that a great deal of research links the 4OH metabolite of estrone to breast cancer risk, as well as other significant estrogen issues such as ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and fibrocystic breast disease. Identifying and attempting to modify how the liver is metabolizing each estrogen is critical.

Step 2 is lowering inflammation. Inflammation is a process that activates several chemicals in the body that lead to chronic disease. Inflammation also up-regulates the liver to metabolize more of the 4OH estrogen. Many researchers speculate that inflammation caused by stress, food, toxins, infection, and over-stimulation of the immune system is the main cause of all chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. At our Happy Hormone Cottage, the most meaningful and successful way to reduce inflammation is to increase intake of omega 3 oils (fish oil) and decrease intake of omega 6 oils (vegetable oils, canola oils etc.) It is also vital to eliminate trans fats from the diet. Trans fats are found in nearly all packaged foods and have the greatest impact in increasing body inflammation. At our HHC, we carry the top-of-the-line omega 3 supplement. Not all omega 3 (fish oil) is created equally. If you are burping up your fish oil, this means it is rancid so your body is unable to absorb it. So investing in a high quality omega 3 is key. In the case of fish oil, as in many things in life, you do get what you pay for.

Step 3 is to reduce intake of sugars. High intake of sugars is directly linked to diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. There is also a strong body of evidence linking sugar intake to increased risks of cancers. From a bio-chemical standpoint, cancer cells can only process sugar, whereas normal cells can process both sugars and fats to produce energy. Gaining ground is the high “good fat” ketogenic diet (80% of total calories) and the virtual elimination of all sugars from the diet. This eating strategy is effective in starving cancer cells and I believe should be adhered to by nearly everyone.

Step 4 is to begin an exercise routine. Exercise paradoxically decreases inflammation. It also improves wellness, mood, blood sugar regulation, and heart health. Exercise also improves immune function by stimulating our natural killer cells that attack and destroy cancer cells.

Finally, step 5 is to reduce toxic load. Pay attention to chemicals we are all exposed to. Eat organically grown food. Cleaning aids, pesticides, cosmetics, hair and body products should all be examined for purity. There are a great many books written on the subject that you can consult. To me, the most important strategies would be to detox periodically, eat clean, take supplements that increase antioxidant levels (N-acetyl cysteine is probably my favorite supplement that performs this task) and reduce exposure wherever possible.

The current belief is that over 50% of us will get cancer in our lifetime. I find this statistic to be alarming! You have to take a proactive approach to prevention of disease and wellness. Consider acting on the above mentioned 5 steps and become a warrior for your wellness. Get your thermogram. Then call us at our Happy Hormone Cottage for women, to schedule your $25 hour-long consultation to get started on your journey to your natural hormone balance and best health naturally. For more information or to find a Happy Hormone Cottage location near you, go to www.happyhormonecottage.com.

I Love What We Do……Fixing the Cause of Issues Like Libido

I just read the recent study, “Female ‘Viagra’ Only Modestly Increases Sexual Satisfaction,” which found that the new drug approved by the FDA to treat low sexual desire in women, Addyi, only “increases the sexual response in females by half of one sexual encounter a month.” I have to say I smirked when I read this. So let me get this straight…..women take this drug daily, with reported side effects like nausea, dizziness, fatigue and sleepiness…..for a benefit of one half of “one sexual encounter a month.” Seriously? This explains the low number of prescriptions written for this drug. After reading this article, I couldn’t help but be excited and proud all over again, that what we do at our Happy Hormone Cottage every single day is to fix the cause of issues, including libido, and not just band-aid symptoms with drug therapy.
Let’s talk libido in women. We know and understand that as we get older, by our mid-to-late 30s, our hormone receptors begin to deplete and we begin to experience issues related to this decrease in hormone production. (Progesterone, estrogen and testosterone) The most common symptoms reported at this stage are sleeplessness, anxiety, fatigue, and quite often, a lower libido. As women grow into their mid-to-late 40s, we can add weight gain, irritability, vaginal dryness, memory issues, hot flashes, and a significant decrease in libido. And if we include our tired adrenal glands, (responsible for cortisol production) that diligently try to keep up with our stress levels, and are often over-worked to the point of adrenal fatigue, we are at the point of no return. Let’s be clear. Tired and stressed women do not want sex! I often joke in my presentations, that there must not be a lot of sex in Ohio because most of the women I meet are exhausted! So what to do? I can tell you what we at our Happy Hormone Cottages don’t do. Our nurse practitioners don’t get out their prescription pads and prescribe anti-depressants, “female Viagara,” or big pharma hormone products- synthetic or otherwise! We actually begin by educating our women on the CAUSE of their issues, which can be explained in two words- hormone imbalance, whether it is with our sex hormones, cortisol and/or thyroid. So what to do? We offer cutting edge technology to test our hormones that not only tell us hormone (progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and cortisol) levels, but more importantly HOW our hormones are operating IN our bodies. We gather valuable information that is so much more informative than just giving us a number from a blood draw. From here, we work with each client to create a customized strategy that addresses in-depth the cause of her issues- her hormone imbalance. What we know in terms of libido is that just addressing our sex hormones is not enough in recovering our libido. We must also address our tired, over-worked adrenal glands. So we create a strategy that includes not only refilling depleted hormone receptors with customized, compounded hormone creams made from plant-based powders, but we also address adrenal dysfunction and adrenal fatigue. Jeff, R Ph, FAARM, has developed a proprietary blend of herbal adaptogens in two amazing adrenal support products that work on the brain to effectively deal with the symptoms of stress. These supplements effectively change cortisol curve patterns to give women energy during the day, and allows them to sleep at night. So over time, typically within a couple of months, adrenal dysfunction is healing and women are feeling more rested because they are sleeping at night, and more energetic during the day. By refilling hormone receptors for optimal hormone balance AND healing adrenal issues, libido returns. Even in our clients with flat-lined cortisol curves, true adrenal fatigue, adrenal function comes back over time as we work to not only refill hormone receptors, but also heal broken adrenal glands. Notice how our strategy works to FIX the cause of the issue, and is not about prescribing a drug that band-aids the symptoms. Doesn’t this just makes sense? For years, many doctors have been prescribing anti-depressants and sleeping aids for hormone imbalance issues such as anxiety and sleeplessness. My response is, “But you aren’t Prozac or Ambien deficient. You are most likely progesterone deficient. So let’s do viable hormone testing (not blood work) to see how your body is doing in regards to your hormones, so we can actually address and fix the problem.” Our strategy is working, and has worked for the past 7 years at our Happy Hormone Cottages. Women are sleeping; their fatigue is going away; their joy of life (progesterone related) is returning; they are hormonally balanced and addressing their cortisol issues. The bottom line is that by doing this and fixing the cause of their issues-hormone imbalance and adrenal fatigue- libido is returning. And really…isn’t this the point? Fixing the cause of hormone issues naturally by refilling depleting hormone receptors and addressing adrenal fatigue is the way we roll. For more information or to make an appointment for your consultation, call us at 513-444-6343 or visit us online at www.happyhormonecottage.com.

……and My Doctor Suggested I Go on The Pill to Balance Everything Out…..

Emails! I get emails! I always enjoy hearing first hand or reading via emails from women across the country, about their experiences they endure before coming to see us at our Happy Hormone Cottage. I also get emails from concerned husbands who have heard about us. Here is the latest one:
“Hi Lyn! I was talking with my wife this week end as she expressed interest in learning more about your Happy Hormone Cottage. She has been dealing with some thyroid issues for the past year or so–as well as some mood swings and fatigue. She has been on some medication and her bloodwork continues to check out fine. I believe they have had her take vitamin D and other supplements, too. Her Ob Gyn also suggested she go on the birth control pill “to balance it all out.” Anyway, the results of her work with her doctors really aren’t there so we talked about looking into what you guys offer. She knows a lot of what she is feeling could be stress-related and a lack of sleep, too–but everything I have seen and read sounds like you may be able to help her. Your thoughts?”
My response: “I’m happy you emailed! We treat hormone imbalance issues for sex hormones (progesterone, estrogen and testosterone as needed), adrenal glands (cortisol) and thyroid, as needed. Your first step is to have your wife give us a call at 513-444-6343 to schedule a step one 45-60 minute consultation at an HHC office closest to you. Cost for this appointment is $25.
At this consultation, we would get her issues and symptoms, answer her questions and talk about our testing methods. We use cutting edge technology in determining not only our hormone levels, but more importantly, how they are (or aren’t) working in our bodies. This technology is a take-home dried urine strip testing kit that is then sent to a lab in Oregon, where the results are analyzed and sent back to us. The information we glean from this testing method is so valuable and allows us to do what we do with such a high percentage success rate. Whereas blood labs simply provide you with a number, our dried urine strip testing method shows metabolization of our hormones and their methylation pathways. With this knowledge, we can even reroute our hormone pathways from a breast cancer promoting methylation pathway, to a breast cancer protective methylation pathway through using methylating supplements. Amazing stuff! This dried urine test also addresses cortisol, including diurnal cortisol. This is important because we must also fix our adrenal glands to actually feel better, more rested and more energetic. Fixing our adrenal fatigue with our proprietary adrenal supplements also heals libido in about an 8 month time frame. It does take time to refill hormone receptors with our customized and compounded bioidentical hormone therapy, and to heal adrenal glands to feel better. Most of our clients notice a difference in how they feel within 3 weeks and by the 3rd month when your wife would need to check back with our nurse practitioner, if she is like most of our clients, she will be feeling 90% better.
A note on thyroid: We have had good success with our thyroid protocol. Whereas most doctors and endocrinologists just check TSH, T4 and maybe T3, we use an 11 point thyroid blood panel AND we also have the innovative thyroflex machine that actually tells us how our thyroid is functioning in our bodies, since 85% of thyroid is found in our tissues and only 15% is found in our blood. It just makes sense to also check the thryoid in our tissues…..and not just test 3 parts of thyroid found in blood. This gives us a real handle on treating thyroid issues and actually getting our clients to feel better by fixing the issue.
I find it typical that your wife’s ob gyn suggested she go on the birth control pill “to balance her all out” when birth control pills are all synthetic hormones that actually suppress our real hormones that we have in our bodies. Our truth is that this is the very worst things we can to do our bodies (besides being offered an anti-depressant for a hormone imbalance, which is another typical standard of care response. My response is always, “I doubt that you are prozac-deficient. It is more likely you just need progesterone!”) Our philosophy, based on the biochemistry of our bodies, is that we balance our hormones by refilling our depleting hormone receptors that deplete with age (and stress) with bioidentical hormones that are made from plant-based powders, and customized for each woman.
I hope this information helps you and your wife. Feel free to ask more as needed. We are here for you, and live our passion of women helping women. You can also check us out more on our website at www.happyhormonecottage.com.

The Importance of Questioning What We Read and Believe

Today I overhead a “healthcare expert” state, “There are studies that say supplements aren’t good for you, and in fact, some studies show that supplements can even be harmful.” Seriously? This is such a good example of several things:
> >Don’t believe everything you read
> >Understand the truth about studies
> >A healthy practice is to question what we read, and then to question our beliefs about it
Let’s look at these supplement studies. About 90% of these studies on supplements don’t standardize their supplements and they are using sub therapeutic dosing.  Many of the studies are just surveys that don’t even follow the scientific process with an objective and an endpoint. So to base one’s beliefs on these so-called studies is unfortunate. Believing everything we read without question, and then to pass on these beliefs to others, can continue to perpetuate the myths and false information surrounding some healthy and beneficial practices.
Let’s look at omega 3’s as an example.  A “study” came out about a year ago stating that omega 3’s increase the risk of prostrate cancer. This appeared on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. This “study” correlated higher risk of prostate cancer with higher levels of omega 3’s found in the serum of the men in this “study.” In other words, they tried to correlate cause and effect between 2 random ideas that gave negative “information” about omega 3’s. This “study” didn’t even discuss these men in the study taking omega 3’s. Because of this article, those who believe everything they read could now falsely believe that taking omega 3’s can cause prostate cancer.  This type of false fact article happens often. The TRUTH about omega 3’s is this:
>Taking 2000 mg a day is optimal for pushing thyroid into the cells of the brain for brain clarity
>Omega 3s raise metabolism, and help burn fat.
>Most importantly, omega 3’s help reduce inflammation.
Since most diseases START with inflammation, taking omega 3’s is CRITICAL for preventing inflammation and disease! If I were to believe the article mentioned above, I could potentially be setting myself up for failure. This is a great example of NOT believing everything I read, and continuing to question my beliefs.
I hear this same type of generalization with hormone therapy: “I asked my doctor if I needed hormone therapy and he said no.” Is this the end of the discussion? We aren’t motivated to think for ourselves and possibly take charge of our own health? Really? My suggestion is that when we choose to unequivocally believe what we read and what we are told without question, this makes it too easy. It closes the lid on more discussion that could shed light on important information. I think a BETTER practice might be to ask why. WHY are you saying I don’t need hormone therapy? WHERE are you getting your information? If it is through the media with the same false information that has been recycled over and over again for the past 10 years, and often with the pharmaceutical industry agenda, I encourage you to most definitely QUESTION your beliefs, the beliefs of your healthcare practitioner, and to begin to EDUCATE YOURSELF.
I see the same issues with ads I read for drugs for menopause-relief symptoms. There is a new drug on the market for feminine vaginal dryness that mimics estrogen, but it’s not estrogen. After reading the important safety information and the common side effects, (good grief!) I have no idea who would seriously consider taking this drug. Why not just use estriol? Estriol is E3, our gentle, calming estrogen that babies in the womb swim in. Estriol travels to the breast tissue and uses its protective benefits in helping to prevent breast cancer, and it is great for feminine dryness. It is also found in our bodies, but depletes as we age. So replacing estriol as we age is a strategy we endorse. So why don’t doctors typically prescribe estriol? Because most doctors don’t know a lot about it and it is not FDA-approved. Why not? No drug company has put up the money to fund a clinical study until recently. It is in clinical trials now for use in the treatment of MS. **This is the beauty of educating yourself in this area of women’s health and in connecting yourself to respected hormone facilities like ours, with healthcare practitioners and a medical director who are in the know, have the latest valid information and really understands the latest information out there on hormone balancing therapy.
The bottom line? Don’t believe everything you read and make it a practice to QUESTION YOUR BELIEFS. Your best health naturally may just depend on it!

“My Doctor Told Me I Was Fine”

I was at a recent networking event signing copies of my new book, “Own Your Journey…..to Optimal Hormone Balance,” and a gal came up to me and said, “Oh, I don’t need hormones.” I asked her how she knew this. Her response, “My doctor ran tests and said so.” Not wanting to be disagreeable, I simply smiled, but the truth is, she is most likely not fine. Just checking the box and listening to her doctor might be enough for her, but it doesn’t work for me and it most certainly doesn’t work for women over 35. Why 35? This is when our aging bodies begin to make less progesterone. Making less progesterone means we become estrogen dominant. The bad news here is that estrogen dominance raises the risk of breast cancer. The importance of progesterone can not be overstated. Progesterone has several major tasks in our bodies:
-helps us sleep
-helps depression
-reduces anxiety
-improves our moodiness and irritability
-alleviates aches and pains
– stops sugar cravings
-balances estrogen to reduce the risk of breast cancer
This gal was about my age or older, so I assume she is post-menopausal, which means she now also doesn’t produce enough estrogen. Estrogen for what? For the 300 jobs it performs in the body, not the least of which is protecting the heart from heart disease and protecting the brain from dementia. So now she doesn’t have the progesterone or the estrogen she needs. So she is ripe for disease. And let’s talk testosterone. Testosterone also depletes with age, so by age 50, we have about half of what we used to. Testosterone helps build new bone by signaling the osteoblasts to build new bone. It also helps energy, memory recall and libido. This is why so many older people develop osteoporosis. Instead of using testosterone supplementation, they are told by their healthcare practitioners to drink milk or take calcium, or even worse, to take one of the big pharma bone drugs on the market. Google any of the side effects of these “bone building” drugs and I hope you decide not to take them. They do have an effect on the body, but building good strong bone is not one of them. We, at our Happy Hormone Cottage, are all about fixing the cause of the problem. Refilling our hormone tanks with customized bioidentical hormone replacement therapy fixes the problem.
Let’s talk about the tests her doctor most likely ran. If s/he is checking hormones in blood, they have already been depleted by the heart and the ranges are so big, one would have to be dead to be out of range. This is why we do not use blood work to check sex hormone levels or cortisol. (Thyroid levels? Yes we use blood work in our 11 point thyroid panel.) There are just so many better ways available to do this. So if he is not running informative lab work, how valuable is his assessment? The bottom line is, this gal is not informed on the importance of refilling her hormone tanks and her doctor also can’t advise her because he hasn’t read the latest studies and information. Why not? It is not part of the big pharmaceutical agenda, which is selling drugs for the masses. Our truth, substantiated by studies (go to www.happyhormonecottage.com/Resources/Reading) is that, as Dr. Prudence Hall says, “Hormones are to women what water is to plants.” We MUST refill our hormone tanks to go the distance and live a high quality of life as we age. This just makes sense!
So what to do to spread the word on this important topic? Continue to walk our walk of women helping women by offering consultations to educate women on the importance of refilling our hormone receptors; continuing to build awareness in natural hormone balance and encouraging women to think for themselves and to become educated and empowered in knowing what is best for their bodies; by giving back to our community through our FoundWHIF-logo-final-webation (the Women’s Health Initiatives Foundation) whose mission is preventing breast cancer; and continuing to positively impact the lives of the women in our community and beyond. Ours is a grassroots movement where real change is occurring. I’m proud of how far we have come!

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!

Women’s Loyalty to Their Practitioners!

I am always amazed by the level of loyalty some of my clients have toward their practitioners. These are the same women who have not been heard by these same doctors in this area. They have either been mollified that they indeed have nothing to worry about OR they are put on synthetic drugs and birth control pills. Yet, when given the option of choosing one of our practitioners who DOES embrace the natural hormone replacement philosophy, will insist that they want to run it by their doctor first. “I just know my doctor will validate and listen to me!”….”I am sure MY doctor will embrace this natural route!”…..”MY doctor will sign off on your recommendation for natural hormone balance because I just love my doctor.” I often expect a leap of joy and pompoms to accompany these proclamations! But, sadly, I have yet to meet even ONE doctor from even ONE of my clients who will even be willing to BEGIN to get educated on BHRT and natural hormone balance. We just put a new “Practitioners Information and Resources” section on my website to provide educational references and clinical studies, hoping to educate and empower doctors in this area. I have found that it is the rare doctor, indeed, who has the compassion and respect for middle-years women, who will actually take the time to think outside the box when it comes to hormone balance; and believe that maybe there IS more than just what the drug reps are telling them. That just maybe we could be checking hormone levels to find the CAUSE of the hormone imbalance, instead of being so quick to band-aid the problem. What a novel approach!