So I’m at a Cardinal Health Convention in Orlando, Florida for their annual Retailers Business Conference and I meet another female pharmacy owner— probably 50ish. We start talking about where we’re from and what we do and of course, since I am the executive director of the Happy Hormone Cottage, the conversation always comes around to hormones. She revealed that she is taking the oral hormone Activella. (Oral estradiol and norethindrone acetate-a progestin.) I asked her if she had ever had her hormone levels checked. She said no. I asked her how she came to be taking this synthetic hormone and she said a friend of hers gave her samples and she asked her doctor to write her a prescription for it. I asked her how she will evaluate its effectiveness if she has no baseline measuring tool (i.e. hormone levels to compare). She had no idea. Her thinking was to just keep taking this drug indefinitely I guess because her hot flashes were gone and no longer bothering her, and her doctor would just keep rewriting the prescription for her. Well of course she will!
I guess this begs the question of why we would put synthetic hormones (drugs) into our body without ever getting our hormone levels checked before taking it. Would our dr ever prescribe blood pressure medicine without checking blood pressure first? Would he ever prescribe cholesterol medicine without checking cholesterol levels? So why in heavens name do doctors write out prescriptions for hormone drugs without checking hormone levels first? And the even bigger question for me is WHY DO WE LET THEM? Seriously, we have to change the mind set here. This 50 year old female pharmacy owner I met wasn’t even aware there IS a more natural option for hormones. Instead of taking an oral hormone drug that does nothing to rebalance her hormone levels or to prevent disease; but in fact continues to promote the hormone imbalance AND increase her risk of heart attack and stroke (oral estrogens) and don’t even get me started on the damage of synthetic progestins (!)….why not consider a more natural approach that will actually help her?
I guess until we begin to examine our options and take charge of our health, we will just continue to operate the same way. What will it take to change the face of this? The truth is we ARE allowed to discuss our health options with our health care practitioners but first we have to know what they are! Why not have our hormone levels checked at our annual ob gyn exams and then use progesterone to rebalance hormone issues when they begin around age 35? Progesterone offer protective benefits for the uterus, breast tissue, heart, bone and brain. It also relieves symptoms of sleep, anxiety, depression, mood, aches & pains and sugar cravings that occur when progesterone levels begin to deplete around age 35. Why not pro actively address hormone imbalance issues by fixing the cause of the issue with customized progesterone AFTER checking hormone levels? Why NOT take charge of our journey? Until we begin to do this, nothing will change. Isn’t the definition of insanity “doing the same thing again and again with the same results??” I mean, really, is this the best we can do? I think not. But I can only do so much. Until WE begin to explore and embrace our options in this critical arena of women’s health, nothing will change….and nothing saddens me more.