As a public school educator for 30 years, I understand the importance of education.
My hope for educating my middle years women (and men!) who begin to experience hormone imbalance symptoms in their mid-30’s, and often younger, is that this knowledge will promote a change in behavior. The longer I work in this arena of women’s health, the more I question how and why we give our power away in this area of our health. At what point do we stop thinking for ourselves and hand over our authority to our doctors and current standard of care? We recently had a 24 year old new mom come to our facility for a consultation and help with her severe post-partum depression. It was so severe that her ob gyn sent her to a psychiatrist, who put her on 3 heavy-duty drugs. When our client’s mother asked the phychiatrist to please check her hormone levels, the phychiatrist scoffed and said, “She is way too young to be worrying about her hormones!” In desperation, this concerned mom brought her 24 year old daughter to us for help so we tested her hormone levels and found her progesterone (the hormone that helps fight depression and anxiety) to be significantly below normal. Our doctor started her on progesterone topical cream hormone therapy that was customized for her, and within days, our client could tell a real difference in her mood and how she was feeling. Interesting, huh?
We just had another client, who has been with us for close to 4 years, whose doctor sent her to a specialist for urinary issues. This specialist wasn’t familiar with our customized, compounded bio-identical hormone therapy (customized BHRT) so he suggested she stop and instead use the BHRT he was familiar with: an estrogen gel product and a progesterone capsule-both made by a pharmaceutical company. Our client made sure it was a BHRT product, BUT what she didn’t know was that this estrogen gel is 60 times stronger (!) than our topical estrogen cream, that we always dose for the body’s physiological needs AND that the progesterone capsule converts to allapregnenolone, while very little converts to progesterone. So instead of continuing to be hormonally balanced with the exact amount of estradiol/estriol and progesterone her body needs, she was being grossly over-dosed. This new therapy prescribed to her by her specialist is creating significant imbalance between estradiol and progesterone and will lead to such symptomology as weight gain, hot flashes, brain fog, irritability, and anxiety. More importantly, the excessive estrogen is relation to progesterone (we call this estrogen dominance) increases the risk of breast cancer, based on current literature. Needless to say, when our client learned the facts about these products, she stopped immediately and returned to our hormone therapy that is customized for HER body’s needs based on valid lab work and her body’s biofeedback. And she asked us to please email her doctor to educate him on the facts. Truly, education is everything! With hormone balance, it isn’t just about whether or not the product is bio-identical. It is also critical that it is dosed properly, which means in our opinion, that it should be customized for each woman, based on her specific body’s hormone needs. Doesn’t this just make sense?
I have a lot of horror stories from women who didn’t stand up for themselves and their bodies with their doctors and have paid the price BUT I can tell you that over the past 4 years, I have seen the tide turn. More and more women today are getting educated on their bodies and more and more women want natural, they want to be heard and validated, and want to have a voice and be more assertive with their health care practitioners. And because of this, in this arena of women’s health and hormone imbalance issues, more and more doctors are coming on board and working with us. This is good news! The reality is that it does take a village to raise the consciousness for our best health naturally!