"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.