I was at a recent book signing for my book, “Own Your Journey,” and a cute little lady of around 80 years old walked by, saw my “Own Your Journey to Optimal Hormone Balance” sign and said, “I don’t do hormones. They cause cancer.” I had to laugh! It struck me as funny that she would think I was sitting there promoting cancer; as if I was handing it out. “Step right up and get your cancer.” Goodness! But the sad truth is that much confusion remains, and is often perpetuated by the media, in this area of hormone balance. With the 2002 report from the Women’s Health Initiative on hormones: WH1-estrogen plus progestin, much confusion and misinformation reigns. I actually began my Happy Hormone Cottage in 2009 for the express purpose of clearing up this confusion. My job is to fill the gap between the information we often receive from our healthcare practitioners and the media vs the truth of hormones and hormone replacement. The best, simplest article I have read on this recently is by Dr Jennifer Landa, “Combatting Weight Gain After Menopause,” published October 6, 2014. Dr Landa writes, “Part of why Bioidentical HRT gets a bad rap-and so many women miss out on the relief it provides-is because conventional HRT, in which synthetic hormones are used, was shown to increase risk of breast cancer, heart attack and other problems for women in a 2002 landmark study called The Women’s Health Initiative. As a result, many doctors were too quick to assume that all hormone replacement therapy is dangerous. BUT IT JUST ISN’T SO. These women were taking synthetic, non-bioidentical hormones that are different from what the body produces naturally. Synthetic hormones pose higher risk because they aren’t the same as what your body produces-so they have unnatural consequences.
Bioidentical hormone therapy, by contrast, uses more natural hormones that biologically mirror those made by your ovaries. Research shows that the specific combination of Bioidentical estradiol and progesterone improves bone strength, reduces weight, and improves cholesterol levels in women. And in case all the hype about hormone replacement and breast cancer has scared you, rest assured: **A very large study in France (the Fornier study) showed that there is no increased risk of breast cancer among women taking a combination of estrogen and progesterone. Progestins, however, are the synthetic of progesterone and have been shown to increase breast cancer risk (Provera and Prempro) so you will want to avoid those.”
Dr Landa continues, “While the goal of Bioidentical HRT is to get your estrogen levels back up, which will help ward off the pounds, keep your bones strong and your heart healthy, it cannot be safely prescribed unless progesterone is also prescribed. I recommend that you ask for estradiol, the most commonly prescribed estrogen, through the skin, as well as micronized progesterone, a form that is the same as what your body produces naturally. For a more personalized hormone therapy approach, you may consider seeing a hormone specialist with additional training in Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.”
Thank you, Dr Landa, for this information. I also highly recommend Dr Jeffrey Dach’s new book, “Bioidentical Hormones 101- Made Exceedingly Simple” as an easy-to-read informative resource on the truth of Bhrt. He also wrote a great article, “Waking Up from the Synthetic Hormone Nightmare,” where he uncovers the 7 Myths and Misconceptions of Bhrt. He also writes about the fact that there are at least 60 documented “studies” that were written by ghost writers. Ghost writers are hired by drug companies to write about the benefits of their hormone product, downplaying their risks, while shedding doubt on the benefits and truth of Bhrt. And doctors are reading these “studies.” So is it any wonder that there is so much confusion and misinformation in this area of women’s health? Not to beat a dead horse, but this is exactly why we each must own our journey to natural hormone balance. And this begins by being willing to question our beliefs!
Our Happy Hormone Cottage is exactly one of those “hormone specialists” Dr Landa writes about. Our purpose is two-fold:
-as an educational facility that validates each woman’s journey and then educates her on her options (we have studies, readings & resources on our website, and books on Bhrt) to clear up the confusion.
-as a medical facility where we test our clients hormone levels in several areas: sex hormones, adrenal glands and thyroid, using our innovative FDA-approved Thyroflex machine. Our nurse practitioner writes the customized prescription therapy for each client based on both lab results AND the issues brought to the 45-60 minute consultation where she addresses concerns and questions by our clients. Our hormone prescriptions are compounded micronized progesterone, bi estrogen and testosterone (as needed and based on our cutting edge lab testing) creams that are used vaginally so all hormone receptors can be refilled. Refilling depleted hormone receptors that deplete with age is necessary for preventing diseases as we age. We never limit our perspective to “menopause.” We opt for the bigger perspective of hormone imbalance, that starts around age 35, and sometimes younger. Finally, we do NOT believe in giving our bodies supra-physiological doses of any one hormone. This does not make sense to us and our functional medicine/holistic health perspective. We only give physiological doses of our Bhrt creams. This means we only give each woman what her body needs. We follow up with each client frequently, have them come back for a 3 month follow up visit with our nurse practitioner, and recheck hormone levels in all 3 areas, as needed, annually. I am proud of our journey over the past 5+ years, and I am excited to embark on the next 5 years of validating, educating and treating women for their highest quality of life.
For more information, or to schedule your consultation, call us at 513-444-6343. We look forward to serving you!