"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Labour Day Weekend!

Hello, everyone, I have not forgotten you! This time of year (late summer), there always seems to be a dearth of good articles on bioidentical hormones, menopause, and the like.  I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend.  I'm not doing much, staying off the Interstates with all the holiday traffic.  I've been working out in the outdoor swimming pool, and catching up on little stuff around the house.  It's kind of nice to have a few days of down time.

I know that at least some of you have had experiences with Epi Pens, either for yourself or for a loved on with severe allergies.  I came across this article from Moyers and Company, and it illustrates just one example of how out of control the medical system is in this country.

I've had my own bad experiences with pharmacies the last few weeks.  It has been well detailed that I am not happy with either of the compounding pharmacies in the Coachella Valley (CA) area, and have had an ongoing search for a pharmacy that can deliver my bioidentical progesterone at a reasonable price with good customer service.  Dr. Carr's office mentioned to me they were trying out a new pharmacy in Colorado (I will not mention the name).  I emailed them and asked for a price quote on my progesterone, but I accidentally left off that I wanted a quote for a 90 day supply.  When I called to give the pharmacy my credit card number, I was told that the price of the prescription would be THREE TIMES the price that I have paid at any other pharmacy for the progesterone.  I usually pay about $180 for a three month prescription, and the price I was quoted by the Colorado pharmacy was $540.  When I questioned it, I was told "well, that's a lot of progesterone cream you are ordering." Yes, it is, and that's a lot of price you are gouging me for.  Needless to say, I am not using that pharmacy, and the search goes on for a pharmacy that suits my needs (and for the short term, I guess I am stuck with the Coachella Valley pharmacy I am using).  

This problem is not limited to compounding pharmacies.  I get my estradiol and my testosterone from regular pharmacies locally, and I have found a huge difference in prices.  Last year, I was going to get my estradiol from Walgreen's, but when I went to pick it up, I was told the price was $84.  That's almost double the $43 I was paying at Target (it has since gone up $10....I just got a refill last week).  I had hoped to get my once yearly bottle of testosterone from Target also, but was told last week that there was a manufacturer's shortage and I wouldn't be able to get the medication until mid to late September.  Funny, CVS had it on the shelf, they didn't even need to order it! The price was $101, which is pretty much in line with what I have paid at Target.  Rite Aid quoted me $119, but since they can't fill my basic medication needs (even with advance notice that I am going to need the prescription), I don't plan to use them unless absolutely necessary.  I haven't asked Walgreen's what they charge for a vial of testosterone, they lost one of my prescriptions for two days and I had a terrible time getting it filled, so they are on my "are you kidding me!" list too.

Two other quick notes:

I read the TIME Magazine article (cover story) on "Manopause"..........the use of testosterone in males.  No new information there.  If you want to get a good handle on testosterone therapy, I strongly suggest reading Testosterone For Life by Abraham Morgentaler.  Excellent book!

Get your thyroid checked if you have not already done so!  I have spoken to at least three people in the last couple weeks who have many of  the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, but who have never had their thyroid checked!  It is a hugely undertreated disease, and is easily controlled with medication. I take two different thyroid medications....Levoxyl for T4 and a compounded medication for T3.  Makes a world of difference in how I feel.  If your doctor refuses to run the tests, it may seriously be time for another doctor.

That's it for now.........don't forget, the days are getting shorter, and if you are one of those folks who cut back on your Vitamin D consumption in the summer because you are out in the sun, you are getting less sun now and it's time to think about going back on your higher dose of Vitamin D.  I take 5000 IUs in the summer, and about the first week of October I go back to taking 10,000 IUs.  Those dosages keep my Vitamin D levels at a nice, healthy 70-100 ng/ml.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Losing friends in mid-life...

This is a story worth reading. I had a very bad experience several years ago with some women that I thought were friends (they weren't, they were just using me as a taxi service and a way to meet new people because they weren't able to develop friendships on their own.) I befriended these women because I thought I was being compassionate (and I have a lifelong habit of wanting to "fix" things for everyone)..........it went awry and I am very, very glad these awful women are no longer part of my life. I am much more careful about who I allow into my life, and I no longer take on "pity projects". I am very blessed to have a great circle of real friends of both sexes who have been there for me physically, emotionally, and spiritually time and time again. After reading this article, I do see a lot of the points made in the relationships of people that I know.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Saturday, August 9, 2014


I've been very busy with out of town company for the last few days, so I am several days behind in reading my newsfeeds.  Catching up this morning, I came across this article in The Huffington Post.  It appears Time Magazine has a cover story this week about male menopause, which they refer to as manopause.  The correct and true term is andropause, the time in a middle aged man's life w hen he loses his sex hormones, testosterone and progesterone.

The article appears to tout the theory that men should just embrace their declining hormones as part of the "normal" process of aging.  He should accept his loss of testosterone, accept his estrogen dominance (and the health problems that go along with it, particularly the weight gain) and live the second half of his life with loss of libido, loss of muscle mass, loss of bone and all the other issues associated with hormone imbalance.

I don't get it, and I never have. As Dr. Carr has told me innumerable times, "normal" and "optimal" are two different things. It's "normal" for a man to lose his libido, become tired, develop a myriad of health issues that require a handful of medications to manage.  It's "normal" for women to lose their hormones, and experience hot flashes, weight gain, sleeplessness, bone thinning, and loss of sex drive. It's not optimal for either sex, and doesn't it make more sense to simply replace (bioidentically) the hormones that are in the younger, healthier body that we lose as we age.  Mainstream medicine doesn't think so-----they yell and scream about the efficacy and safety of hormone replacement (often citing a 12 year old Women's Health Initiative Study that used Premarin and other fake hormones).  The mainstream medical community would rather you take a handful of drugs (and great expense and who knows what level of toxicity) than be hormonally balanced in the second half of life.  Take a look at the levels of decline in hormone levels cited in the article-----between 70 and 100 percent) and is there any wonder we start having health issues as we reach our mid -40's and beyond?

Quick story:  about 4 years ago I had to go for an MRI on my lower back.  The technicians were very nice, two women close to my age.  After I finished the test, for some reason we got chatting and they asked for my email address for the hospital records. When I gave it to them, they laughed at the "holyhormones" part of the email. I explained that I take bioidenticals, how much they had helped me, and that the hormonal balance had helped me get off 7 medications.  They looked at each other, and one said to me: "we noticed you don't take much medication (they ask you for a list of all medications when you go to the radiology center)....almost every woman your age who comes in here is taking some sort of an antidepressant."  Wow. That's scary.  We have hormone deficiencies, not antidepressant deficiencies.

Second weekend in a row it's rainy and gloomy here in NC.  Below average temperatures too, but I'm not complaining about that (except it makes it hard to get my water workouts in----yesterday I went in the morning because we were expecting heavy rain in the afternoon/evening).  My company is gone, although I am picking one of the ladies up today and we are meeting up with her husband at a midway point for her to go home..........today is a good day to catch up on little stuff around the house.  Hope everyone is having a good August so far!