Full disclosure, I was given a complimentary copy of this book to review for the blog. Fuller disclosure, anyone who knows me knows that if I didn't like this book, I wouldn't give it a favourable review, no matter what.
The book is Stay Young & Sexy The Science Explained by Dr. Jonathan V. Wright and Lane Lenard, PhD. This is a revised an expanded edition of the book, which was first released in 1997 under the name Natural Hormone Replacement for Women Over 45. Dr. Wright heads the Tahoma Clinic in Renton, WA, and Dr. Lenard is a science writer and researcher.
I will be honest to tell you that I approached this book with considerable hesitation when I saw that Suzanne Somers had written the forward for this book, but I absolutely agree with her statement : "I recommend you read this book cover to cover and then use it as your bioidentical hormone reference bible". Dr. Wright's book is certainly a comprehensive volume of not only the science of bioidentical hormones, the advantages of bioidentical hormone therapy over "conventional" (synthetic) hormone therapy, and much more. Chapters include:
Hormones and the Menstrual Cycle
Of Hormones & Drugs and Urine and Yams
Relieving the Common Symptoms of Menopause
Does Hormone Replacement Cause Cancer
Getting the Most Out of BHRT: How Much to Use and How Best To Use It
Hormones for Him, Why Men Need BHRT, Too
Compounded Bioidentical Hormones: Just What the Doctor Ordered
The Politics of Bioidentical Hormones: Why and How They are Trying To Take Them Away
The book is fascinating, and an absolute wealth of information. So much so, that you will likely need to read the book in short sections, as each chapter has much to teach you and you will find yourself rereading sections to make the information "gel" in your brain. The book clearly makes the case for the superior safety and efficacy of bioidentical hormones. The book includes lists (which for me is a great way to absorb information) on the benefits of BHRT, roles of progesterone in the female body, etc. Numerous charts and graphs help readers to more fully understand the points being made in the book. The end of each chapter has a list of references, and a number of these references are studies that have been done (in other countries, of course, almost no studies of BHRT have been done in the US for reasons that will become apparent when you read the book) on bioidentical hormone replacement.
Not only do Drs. Wright and Lenard lay out the case for bioidentical hormone therapy, they are intent on educating the reader on the politics of Big Pharma (US pharmaceutical companies) and the FDA's attempts to severely curtail access to bioidentical hormones. Many of the common arguments against BHRT are discussed (and dismantled), and you will learn about how absurd the "talking points" are that anti-bioidentical hormone proponents are.....I guarantee you will never listen to a media segment about bioidentical hormones the same way again. While I have learned (and am still learning----I have my copy of the book really marked up with highlighters) so much about BHRT from reading this book, I think the chapters on the politics of BHRT are most fascinating to me----I now feel stronger and more informed in "shooting down" arguments against bioidentical hormones (I swear to you, I am going to bite the next person who says to me that bioidentical hormones is nothing more than a marketing term.)
Another interesting aspect of the book is that it covers the subject of compounding pharmacies and compounded hormone preparations in more depth than most of the other BHRT books. This is important, because many readers may have little or no knowledge of compounding pharmacies. The purpose of a compounding pharmacy (along with a little history of compounding pharmacies) is discussed, along with with dispelling some of the "myths"/concerns that mainstream medicine tries to use in their arguments against bioidentical hormone therapy.
In a few instances, I think the book goes into almost too much detail----it gets a little technical in places. Overall, however, this book is a winner-----anyone who is on BHRT, or is considering this treatment protocol owes it to themselves to add this book to their library. The charts, graphs, lists and "box" talking points help to make the vast amount of information in the book more palatable, and I am very happy to recommend this book to my readers. The book is available in many bookstores, but as usual, Amazon.com has the best price that I have found.
If anyone has done much research on finding a bioidentical hormone replacement doctor, you have likely heard of Cenegenics, which is a chain of (very) high end medical clinics, specializing in a personalized, comprehensive health care program. It's very definitely geared toward the "Executive Wellness" clientele, and although they treat both sexes, their marketing is geared toward men. They use hormones, supplements, etc as part of their program. The cost for the first year runs about $11,000 - $13,000 per year (yeah, I know, choked me too!) There was an article recently in the LA Times about one of their physicians, Dr. Jeffrey Life. I found it sort of interesting, and thought I would share the it with you-----click here.
From the MayoNews.com (no, it's not the Mayo Clinic) ---- an article on how to cope with the changes in menopausal skin. I get a lot of women telling me how terribly dry and itchy their skin becomes as they reach peri/menopause. Be aware that thyroid problems can cause skin to get very dry also, it's something you might want to discuss with your health care provider. I know once I got my thyroid straightened out, it's a lot easier to keep my skin soft (I'm pretty careful about using body moisturizer daily, as I swim year round at least 3-4 days a week and the chlorine can wreak havoc on skin).
From NaturalNews.com----check out this article, which talks about how Vitamin D helps promote weight loss. I wonder if part of it is that people with adequate levels of Vitamin D are generally less depressed, and that the better mood makes it easier to stay with a healthier eating plan. Just a thought!
We got about 4 inches of snow in my area of NC (north of Charlotte), but sleet on top of it so everything has come pretty much to a standstill. I'm in for today and probably tomorrow too---that's ok, I have plenty to catch up on around here, including a few more blog articles over the weekend. Hope wherever you are that you are safe and warm!
Hypothyroidism has a lot of the same symptoms as peri/menopause, and often symptoms are dismissed as "just getting older". Uh, uh. Get your thyorid checked, and if your doctor blows you off....get another doctor. Seriously. Check out this article from the KMIR.com website for information about your thyroid.
The Holistic Health Network of Charlotte is presenting a guest speaker on Tuesday, February 2 on bioidentical hormones. Here is the information that I have, the presentation will be in the Bobcat Room (next to the cafeteria on the basement floor) of Presbyterian Hospital (main hospital) in Charlotte. I am the newsletter editor for the Charlotte Holistic Health Network, and I will be at the meeting.....if you do attend, please be sure to introduce yourself! Here's the information from the newsletter:
On February 2, we invite you to join us at 6:45 pm to hear Donna Caine Francis. She will tell us about her book: Managing Menopause Beautifully and how the use of natural remedies, bio identical hormones, holistic health solutions and other natural treatments can bring relief of distressing symptoms. Donna is an author, a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Sex Therapist and has a private practice in the Lake Norman area.
Female Sexual Dysfunction (FDS) is quite common in women of peri/menopausal age, and many find it too embarassing to talk about even to their partner or physician. Click here for an interesting interview with a doctor who specializes in the condition (from the TimesRecord.com website).
Guess I'm on my Vitamin D kick today because we have a winter storm warning posted for tonight and tomorrow----looks like it's going to be a mess here in NC. Today's article is from Medical News Today and talks about the relationship between Vitamin D and Crohn's Disease. Click here to read the article.......
It was a gorgeous day here today (calm before the storm, we are expecting a snow/ice storm late tomorrow in NC) and so after my morning workout, I took a little road trip to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Belmont, NC. This time of year the outdoor gardens are pretty much "asleep", but the orchid conservatory is alive with blooms. Here are a few of the pictures I took----a lovely way to spend the afternoon. I will be back tomorrow with BHRT/menopause issue blog posts, but for now enjoy!
I am always at the gym in the morning when the Dr. Oz show airs at 10 am, so I tape it every day and then watch it either in the afternoon or early evening. Today I got through the first 10 minutes of the show ----- and then had to try out one of the ideas on the show. Dr. Oz brought a lady out of the audience and had her do push ups (from her knees). There was a chart on the screen that said a fit woman of 50 should be able to do 7 push ups. I got down on the floor in my bedroom, assumed the position for push ups, and ...............(drum roll please)...................did NINE push ups!!!!!! I guarantee you that before I started BHRT three years ago that there is absolutely NO WAY I could have done even one push up......I'm dead serious. I still have a ways to go in my weight loss (and I need to really stay on top of myself about eating healthy and thinking about what I put in my mouth) but right now I am so proud of myself for accomplishing as much as I have in my fitness goals. I work out just about every day (usually take Sundays off except for some light stretching), and every single day I bless bioidentical hormones for giving me the energy and drive to make the second half of my life healthier than the first. I also get my energy from all the readers of my blog-----educating women about bioidentical hormone therapy has enriched my life greatly in this lasty year. I learn as much from you all as you do from me, maybe even more. Have a great evening, everyone!
Actually, each of the three subjects talked about in this article from the ChicagoSun-Times.com might apply to my blog readers: male menopause, pelvic prolapse, and aspirin therapy. As always, be sure to check with your doctor before starting aspirin therapy, as there are some who should not be taking aspirin.
I'm sure not too many of my readers are interested in getting pregnant, but this article from the DailyMail.com might be of interest to those of you who have daughters who are waiting a bit to have children. It seems to me that more and more women are getting pregnant later in life (with or without fertility assistance), so I was kind of fascinated by the research findings.
Boy, if I had a $1 for every woman who has told me her sex life has been affected by peri/menopause......Good article from Psychology Today......pay particular attention to tip #3---GET A CHECK UP (read that to mean get your hormones balanced, bioidentically, of course.)
The sun is out here in Charlotte today (after a day of wicked storms--even a couple tornado sightings), so I thought I would share this article with you from Medical News Today----people with higher levels of Vitamin D are thought to be at lower risk for colon cancer. This is of particular interest to me because: a) I take 5000 IU's of Vitamin D3 daily (per my doctor) and b) there is a history of colon cancer in my family.
Good morning everyone----my apologies for not posting yesterday-----we lost power here about 9:45 am, and didn't get it back until almost 10 pm! What a mess!
This press release came across my newsfeed this morning, it's an event I plan to attend, so if you are thinking about being there, drop me an email and maybe we can meet up:
Lake Norman Regional Medical Center will host a Women's Health Day, Health and Heart A La Carte, Saturday February 6, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at The Charles Mack Citizen Center featuring Dona Caine Francis, acclaimed author and speaker on women's issues, as the keynote, opening presenter.
Her presentation, from 9:15 to 10:15 am, entitled Awaken the Passion – Empower the Woman, focuses on the passion in every woman. She will be available for signing her book, Managing Menopause Beautifully: Physically, Emotionally, and Sexually," following her presentation and during the remainder of the event.
Women are invited to this free celebration of women's health and may come and go during the four-hour event. Additional guest speakers feature physician specialists. There will be health screenings, such as blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol checks, as well as giveaways and lots of health information.
I started the Holy Hormones blog one year ago today----and what a year it has been! I have learned so much, met so many great people, and counseled about 450 (so far) on how to find a compounding pharmacy and/or bioidentical hormone doctor in their area, and I have referred a few people to my own hormone physician, Dr. John D. Carr in Rancho Mirage, CA. Ironically, on a day when you would think I would be blogging up a storm, I spent today at a conference on social media, honing my Facebook and Twitter skills (one of my 2010 goals is to become proficient on Facebook and Twitter). My back is shot for the day---so I will be catching up blog posts tomorrow and Monday. Have a great weekend, everyone, and thank you so much for all your support!
This article from CTVNews.com (Canada) may be of particular interest to those of you with elderly parents or loved ones----balance is such an issue with older people, as a fall for them can often be debilitating or even fatal. Vitamin D supplementation is showing some promise as a way to help reduce the incidence of falling----every time I read one of these stories, I wonder how much money we could save the health care system if the majority of us were doing even the little things like taking Vitamin D.
I do use cooking spray (not very often because I don't cook very often!) and I do have hypothyroidism---so I thought this article on ActiveQuote.com was pretty interesting. Hope you find it interesting too!
Talk about Serendipity----I just got my reminder to schedule a mammogram (I asked my doctor and he wants me to continue to get them every year, meaning he does not agree with the guidelines that came out a few months ago), and this article from Reuter's appears on my newsfeed. Digital mammography is not available in every area yet (I've been getting the digital mammography here in Charlotte for about 3 years), but when it is available, it is now believed to be safer because of the lower radiation doses. Have a great day, everyone, and if you are due for a mammogram, get busy and get it scheduled!
How appropriate I would include this article from the DallasMorningNews.com----I slept lousy last night (back pain). About halfway down the article, I was struck by the author saying that hormonal imbalances, hypothyroidism, peri/menopause, etc are easily treated by nutrition, supplements, and/or medication. While I agree that many of the problems of hormone imbalance can be easily corrected----what isn't so easy is finding an open minded health care practitioner to help you balance your hormones (bioidentically), work with you to find the right treatment for thyroid problems, and will actually spend enough time with you to take a careful medical history, listen to your symptoms and come up with a comprehensive treatment plan.
From EmPowerHer.com ---- this article talks about how our mother's menopause (age of onset) is a good indicator of when we will begin the peri/menopause process. My mother refused to acknowledge for years that she was having any symptoms of menopause ---- her periods stopped when she was about 50. I had a hysterectomy at 44, but my estrogen levels are still at premenopausal levels, so likey I would still be menstruating if I had a uterus.
OK, a little off topic, but not really---since this article from the Richmond TimesDispatch.com talks about how women do not build huge muscle mass even when they lift weights (people look at me horrified when I tell them I take testosterone---tiny amount----it has really helped with building strength in my back---I injured it in a car accident years ago). I do two light weight workouts per week (via circuit training), I need to bump it to three.
Good morning, everyone from mild and SUNNY (yay) NC. God, what a long winter it's been!
This morning's post is a link to the Virginia Hopkins Health Site ---- Virginia Hopkins worked closely with Dr. John Lee on a number of books, and his carried on his work since his untimely death several years ago. The site is full of good information and articles on BHRT (now, for the record, I use blood testing per my doctor to determine hormone levels, but that is an individual decision between a woman and her health care practitioner). Virginia is on Facebook and Twitter also---and she is a great resource. Have a great day, everyone!
Oh, man---not two months ago (probably less) I posted an article that the FDA did not have concerns about BPA (an estrogen like substance found in a lot of plastics, one of the reasons we aren't supposed to microwave food in plastic bowls----it also used to be in a lot of baby bottles too). Now the FDA is reconsidering its stance----read more in this article from USAToday.com.
Check this out---Mary Shomon, one of the leaders in educating the public about thyroid conditions, has an e-book out in celebration of January 2010 as thyroid awareness month. Click here to access the file...
My doctor tells his patients to grind flaxseed and add it to a morning protein shake/smoothie---I tried it, but I didn't like the nutty flavour and texture (I don't like nuts), so I take my flaxseed in oral capsule form. This article from BellaOnline.com discusses the benefits of flaxseed oil --- click here to read the article.
Many of us (most of us?) who are peri/menopausal have experienced sleep disturbances, but a new study out by the University of Warwick tells us that premenopausal women who get less than 6 hours of sleep per night at are at greater risk for hypertension (high blood pressure). This information is important to share with loved ones (daughters, younger sisters, friends)---click here to read the full article----
The sun shining brightly here in NC today (now we just need warmer temperatures---coming tomorrow) reminded me to remind you (again) about the health benefits of Vitamin D (which is really a prohormone, not a vitamin!). The second half of this article from the St. Louis Beacon has some great information on Vitamin D---where it comes from, why it is beneficial, etc. Check it out!
I haven't shared an article with you all lately on andropause, the male version of menopause. Many of you have husbands or partners who may be affected by hormonal imbalance, and could benefit from having their hormone levels tested. Click here to access the full article from NewStraitsTimes.com---
Any of you who have started to do research on the subject of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy know there are a myriad of books out there--written by everyone from healthcare professionals to celebrities. Some are good, some aren't, but one of the common complaints I hear from women is that the books are difficult to read/comprehend (made worse by the fact that if you are peri/menopausal, you are already likely suffering from brain fog).
A new book came out a few months ago on bioidentical hormones and it was written by a healthcare professional (RN) who also has walked the walk with hormonal imbalance and gone from feeling awful to fantastic. The book is called Stop the Needless Suffering by Rosie Brown, and it was written specifically as a "primer" for those who want to start researching the subject and become educated about hormone balance. Her book not only covers the basics of bioidentical hormones, but also thyroid issues and adrenal fatigue, and she is quick to offer ideas for supplemental readings on all three subjects.
Her book is filled with stories about women who have improved their health with bioidentical hormone balance, which will be a comfort to those of you who are not quite convinced that this is a protocol that might be right for you. The end of each chapter has little "nuggets" --- quick little sentences/paragraphs to summarize the important points of the book. She lays out the sex hormones (estrogen - testosterone - progesterone)---their functions, signs of deficiencies, etc, iin an easy to read format. She explains the reasons why our hormones get out of balance (I guarantee you will see yourself in reading the case studies), ways to get your hormones tested, and has chapters on healthy eating, detox, and even a chapter that speaks to health care providers. The book also is holistic in that includes ways to bring more vitality and happiness to your life. The book is easy to read---I highly recommend it.
Full disclosure, I am honoured to be quoted by Rosie on page 53 of the book----it talks about how I travel cross country to Southern CA for my hormonal care. Anyone who knows me will tell you----- if I didn't think the book was good, I wouldn't recommend it. This book is badly needed by a lot of women to help them understand the basics of BHRT---it will help them talk to their healthcare professionals, advocate for themselves, and give them a good foundation to further research bioidentical hormone replacement.
From SFGate.com----an article on the importance of Vitamin D in health (remember, Vitamin D is actually a prohormone, not a vitamin). I have been taking 5000 IU's daily for over 3 years, and I feel great. Remember when purchasing supplements to get the bottle labeled D3, which absorbs better than plain Vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to help with SAD (seasonal affective disorder)---the mild depression that is common this time of year, particularly in areas that get little sun in the winter (I'm from Upstate NY, the capitol of winter gloominess). CNN noted yesterday that if you live furthrer north than Atlanta, that even if you stood outside naked all day long in the winter (no, I'm not recommending this for a lot of reasons!) that the sun is at such an angle that you would not get adequate Vitamin D by sun exposure. We get quite a bit of sun here in NC, even in the winter, which I think also helps with SAD ---- but, good grief, I want it to warm back up ---- we are, like most of the Eastern half of the country, in the middle of a deep freeze----I think it went down to about 15 degrees this morning.
Female sexual dysfunction is all too common in women, and sadly, many women do not feel they can talk to either their partner or doctor so they suffer in silence. I have had women write to me and tell me their lack of libido is so severe that their marriages are in trouble. I'm posting this article from the PalmBeachPost.com to encourage you ---- if you feel your sexual health is less than optimal ---- to talk to your doctor, your partner, or hopefully both-----make it one of your 2010 goals to make all aspects of your health a priority.
I have stuffed animals as pets (they consider themselves members of my family) so I don't have to worry about pets being poisoned by any of my medications, but I ran across this article from VetinaryPracticeNews.com ----- it lists the 10 most common human medications that can poison pets if accidentally ingested. Both hormones and thyroid medications are on the list (two very common substances to be in the home of any peri/menopausal woman) so I thought I would share the information with you----click here to read the article.
In case you were wondering, yes, hormones play a big role in hair loss-----so do thyroid problems. I can tell you from personal experience, bioidentical hormones have thickened my hair texture and quantity back up quite nicely, thank you (thyroid medication helps too). Check out this article from Galesburg.com.
I can tell you from personal experience---that a little testosterone cream, intravaginally every day for a couple weeks, along with FAITHFULLY doing Kegel exercises 3 times a day (and if you don't know what Kegal exercises are, click here for a full explanation) will pretty much eliminate any incontinence issues. Click here for an article from BellaOnline for a fuller explanation of why women have bladder control issues as they approach menopause.
I know from reading emails that more than a few of my blog readers have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I ran into this article this morning on the benefits of exercise for those with the condition, thought I would share it with you. Additionally, I have personally spoken with women who say their fibromyalgia symptoms have been dramatically reduced by hormone balance, particularly with progesterone replacement.
Good morning from sunny (but cold) NC------I am SO ready for spring!
Had your cholesterol checked lately? If you have, and the numbers are changing, there is now evidence that menopause may be at least part of the cause.....check out this article from KDKA.com in Pittsburgh (study was done at the University of Pittsburgh).
I think this article from Reuters.com is really misleading------there are other forms of hormone replacement besides estrogen! Many women never need estrogen replacement but almost all require at minimum progesterone replacement, and often a small amount of testosterone. I have taken testosterone replacement for over three years now, and the difference in the strength of my back and core strength is really impressive.
I just downloaded Andrew Johnson's Deep Relaxation application to my IPhone, and listened to it for the first time today----it's wonderful! The narrator has a very light Irish Brogue, and is very soothing to listen to. Meditating at least once a day is one of my 2010 goals----it helps with blood pressure and helps me relax when my back gets real painful. I've tried some CD's, programs, etc that I end up not using because I can't stand the narrator's voice---not a problem with this application. You can download it on ITunes, they also have one for sleep, weight loss, and a couple others. I'm going to try the sleep one next.
I've provided links to Dr. Mercola's articles before --- this one is great for those of you who may be wondering if your thyroid function is off (and it might very well be, it happens to a lot of women around the age of peri/menopause). Click here to read the article...
From NewKerela.com---interesting article on the possible link between a high fat diet, inadequate Vitamin D and colon cancer. A good read this time of year, when many of us (me included) are trying to eat healthier in 2010.
Good morning everyone, hope your 2010 is off to a great start. Mine certainly is, yesterday I was invited for a delicious lasagna lunch with a friend, today I am off to have lunch with another group of friends (it's a regular Saturday tradition), and Sunday I am off to have lunch and movies with yet another group of friends! I am one lucky lady to have so many great people in my life.
Now, back to hormones (which are, next to friends, my favourite topic of interest!) This article from PRWeb came across my email this morning----and it raises a couple flags for me. The topic of the article is Prozestra, apparently some new, over the counter hormone cream for menopausal symptoms. My concerns about the product include:
Most if not nearly all doctors who are truly proficient in bioidentical hormone therapy will emphatically tell you the over the counter creams are NOT worth your money---they are not strong enough to make any significant difference for women who are truly suffering with menopausal symptoms. You need prescription strength hormones to achieve true bioidentical hormone balance.
Hormonal balance is NOT a do it yourself project! You absolutely need to have your hormone levels checked (my doctor uses blood work---except for progesterone and for that he takes a detailed patient history to determine deficiency---some practitioners use saliva testing). Many women (me included) are so estrogen dominant they do not need supplemental estrogen as they reach peri/menopause----but nearly all need progesterone. I'm a little surprised that Uzi Reiss, who is well known in the field of bioidentical hormone therapy, is quoted in the article. It makes him seem to be advocating the use of Prozestra, but he may be being quoted out of context to make it look like he is endorsing the product.
I have always been taught that you never use hormonal creams on "fatty" areas of the body like the abdomen or breasts. That this is part of the instructions for using this product raises definite red flags for me.
I have gotten so many emails from women who have tried over the counter "hormone" creams (sometimes on the recommendation of their doctor----who probably knows less about hormones than a well read, informed patient) and who have gotten no relief, some are so discouraged that they think all hormonal therapy is a waste of time and money. I'm here to tell you that with proper, bioidentical hormone balance, you can absolutely feel your best----most of you already know my story, for those of you who may be new blog readers, it's detailed on the right side of this blog page. I feel better now than at any time in my adult life, and without a doubt I know it is because of the biodientical hormone replacement. If you need help in finding a practitioner in your area, please email me through the blog and I will send you a list of resources to help you in your search.
“Another fresh new year is here . . . Another year to live! To banish worry, doubt, and fear, To love and laugh and give! This bright new year is given me To live each day with zest . . . To daily grow and try to be My highest and my best! I have the opportunity Once more to right some wrongs, To pray for peace, to plant a tree, And sing more joyful songs!” --William Arthur Ward
My personal hormone physician is Dr. John D. Carr, and he practices at Hormone Health and Aging, 35400 Bob Hope Drive Suite 108, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. His office phone number is 760-548-0413. For more information, see his web site by clicking here. Be sure to check out his Facebook Page, and he has a series of short, informative video lectures on bioidentical hormones and related topics on You Tube. Dr. Carr is a member of the the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and The Endocrine Society. Please note, that effective August 1, 2014, new patients will be placed on a waiting list and will be offered a spot in the practice on a first come, first served basis as slots in the practice become available.
The link will take you to a listing each state's medical disciplinary board. It is important to make sure that the doctor you are considering has not had his/her license suspended or has otherwise been disciplined by the medical board in the state he/she practices.
This site has a page when you can plug in a doctor's name, state of residence and other information and you can find out if the doctor you are considering is board certified and in what medical specialty(ies).
I began taking bioidentical hormone therapy in September 2006. I started with progesterone cream 3 times a day, and a small amount of testosterone cream every other day. The results were nothing short of astonishing! Within three days, my restless leg syndrome disappeared. Within two weeks, I was off five medications: antihistamine (cured severe seasonal allergies), acid reflux medication, sleeping medication (now I use Melatonin), blood pressure medication, and most importantly, the Ritalin/Concerta I took for Attention Deficit Disorder. I took longer to wean off the antidepressant I was taking as those meds must be gradually tapered off to minimize side effects. Besides the obvious health benefits of not poisoning my body with all the medications listed above, I honestly have more energy now than I did when I was 30, and I turned 52 in June 2010. My mind is much clearer, my focus much sharper, and my anxiety level has decreased dramatically. I now work out at our local YMCA 5-6 days per week, which has tremendously benefited the back, hip and pelvis problems I have from a car crash in 1992. Oh, yeah, did I mention I am down over 120 pounds from my high weight (and still working on it)!I began taking Bi/Est cream in April 2011. Until October 2010, my FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and estradiol levels indicated that I did not need supplemental estrogen. Although I was not having any hot flashes, I began to notice over the winter of 2010-11 that I felt a little cognitively "off"---grasping for words occasionally, and not quite feeling on top of my game. The Bi/Est cream, like my other hormones, is compounded at the pharmacy and I take it transdermally, twice a day. July 2009 update: Three years ago when I had a DEXA (bone denisty test) the results showed that I had a mild case of osteopenia, which is the precursor to osteoporosis. I had a repeat scan done in June 2009---not only do I no longer have osteopenia, the bone density measurements in my hip, femur and spine show that I am COMFORTABLY in the normal range. I am very excited about that---and I attribute it to the bioidentical hormones, exercise, and supplements (including Vitamin D). I am also often asked why I take my hormones transdermally (using creams on my skin) rather than just pop a pill. By using creams, I am able to bypass the liver and the absorption rate for my hormones is faster. The creams are in no way an inconvenience, They come in a little dispenser jar and it took me less than a week to remember my three daily doses.
As a society, we overuse the phrase that something has "changed my life". In this case, it's not hype---I absolutely know that bioidentical hormone therapy has not only improved the quality of my life, but has literally saved my life. I am looking forward to living the second half of my life as a healthy, productive, hormonally balanced woman!