Merry Christmas and a blessed new year! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
We have been very busy at our cottage listening to women, offering them hope AND a strategy for natural hormone balance. Along with this comes educating women to read, take charge of their journey and empower them to dialogue with their doctor-often educating them along the way. The practitioner who vehemently rejects any opportunity to think outside the realm of “conventional” drug therapy and refuses to work with you on your journey toward natural hormone balance may be one you may want to consider leaving. Let me give you an example. We had an interesting experience a few weeks ago that speaks to this.
We have a client, “Cheri,” who came to us for a consultation and purchased a saliva test to check her hormone levels (including cortisol). She is 56 years old and hasn’t felt well for awhile. When her results came back, I wasn’t surprised to see her hormone levels physiologically validating the way she feels. Her estradiol level was 0.5. This is the very bottom of the “normal” range. This tells me that she is ripe for dementia and heart disease, since estrogen protects the brain and heart. Replacing depleted hormone levels as you age with customized therapy that is bioidentical to your body just makes sense for not only symptom relief and control, but most importantly disease prevention. Her progesterone level was 9. The normal range is 12 – 100. Because her progesterone is so low, she is still estrogen dominant-even with a level of only 0.5. This estrogen dominance is responsible for weight gain around the middle area, as well as brain fog. More importantly, this imbalance also increases her risk of breast cancer. Her ratio of progesterone to estradiol is 18. We like to see it between 100-500 and optimally around 250. With a ratio of 9, I know she has to have issues with sleep, depression and anxiety since adequate levels of progesterone protect us from these problems. When women begin losing this progesterone level around the age of 35, these issues begin to manifest, so by the age of 40, many women suffer from sleeplessness, depression and anxiety. Instead of just replacing depleted progesterone levels with natural progesterone, traditional medical education encourages drug therapy, so doctors prescribe an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety drug along with a “sleeping pill” for these problems. Why have antidepressants and sedatives become the standard therapy for hormone imbalance?? Cheri’s testosterone level is a 6. The normal range is 16-55. Because her level is so low, she is likely to have osteoporosis. Testosterone also helps with memory recall, libido and energy. So now we have a 56 year old woman who is ripe for some significant diseases and is very symptomatic. She can’t feel well. (I haven’t even addressed hot flashes and night sweats due to the imbalance between estrogen and progesterone). Then we took a look at her cortisol levels which reflect adrenal gland function. The graph should look like a nice, lazy “L,” where we see levels high in the morning to start the day and then gradually sloping off during the day, coming to rest in the evening so we can sleep. Hers looks like a caterpillar! It starts out low in the morning (hard time getting out of bed) and then spikes up very high to 9.5 at noon (we like it to be between 1.2 and 3.0!!) and then crashes to 0.6 in the evening. This is adrenal fatigue! So now we have a hormone imbalance and adrenal fatigue. This woman can not feel well! I actually wonder how she gets out of bed in the morning.
We sent Cheri her test results AND we sent her results and our recommendation for her hormone balance and adrenal repair to her doctor. She went to meet with him. Her doctor was upset and offended that she would take matters into her own hands and get information from another source than him. He called our saliva testing “witchcraft” and adamantly refused to have anything to do with our recommendation for her natural hormone balance. We spoke with Cheri and suggested that she ask her doctor what HIS strategy is for her hormone balance. He said he would prescribe the synthetic combination Estratest®. This contains horse estrogens from horse pee and methyltestosterone. Both drugs have serious health risks associated with them. Oral estrogen raises the risk of blood clots. Methyltestosterone can be toxic to the liver. Natural testosterone is not. So – doesn’t it make more sense to use topical estrogen (of course, bioidentical like your body makes, not from horses), and natural testosterone to restore hormone balance?
I advised Cheri to ask her doctor for studies showing the safety and efficacy of HIS recommended product. (I gave links to clinical studies showing safety of bioidenticals last month). I don’t think he will have any current studies on this product. The Women’s Health Initiative of 2002 pretty much nailed the coffin shut on synthetic drugs used for hormone therapy. Yet we continue to allow our practitioners to prescribe these drugs to us. Again, I ask why? I have to assume it is because we are not educated about all the options. Do you understand that we are at a crossroads here? We can either begin to read books (see my website for recommended readings and studies) to become educated on our options, or we can just settle for feeling bad and live with that the rest of our lives; or we can just say to our doctors, “anything you want, doctor,” and be done with it. If you choose option #1, call us (513-444-6343) and we can help guide you. We are a free resource center whose only passion is hormone balance for women (and men!). We have free Happy Hormone Hours and free Happy Hormone Coffee Hours. Check our website’s events page for more details. I also speak to women’s groups and businesses for free. We truly walk the walk of helping you live your best life naturally!
We kick off our NEW YEAR NEW YOU campaign on Tuesday, January 4, 2011. We urge YOU to call for your free consultation. Here is hoping that 2011 is YOUR BEST year yet!