As a women’s healthcare provider I was educated using the traditional medical model believing that hormone therapy was unsafe. I was taught it should be prescribed for symptoms (only if absolutely necessary) at the lowest possible dose for the shortest amount of time.
After years of suffering with terrible PMS and peri-menopausal symptoms it was now my turn to experience what all my patients had tried to prepare me for – MENOPAUSE! I thought surely there had to be some element of exaggeration on their part. It couldn’t possibly be that bad. I could not have been more wrong. I now clearly understood why they called it “the change”. Several times throughout the day without warning my face would turn as bright as a cherry tomato and I felt like I was on fire. I would wake up drenched in sweat several times throughout the night only to be freezing less than five minutes later. I had difficulty falling back to sleep or staying asleep. I was absolutely exhausted and felt completely drained. Once filled with boundless energy I now could not wait to get home from work to put on my pajamas. I noticed drastic changes in my skin in what seemed like a very short time. I found myself anxious and sad at times for no apparent reason. I became less social. I now understood what brain fog was as I had to make a list to remember what needed to get done and often times I would lose the list. I seemed to be gaining weight especially in my mid section and no matter what I tried I could not lose a pound. One day I went for a run with my husband and tore the meniscus in both knees. I tried physical therapy, acupuncture, bilateral steroid injections, knee braces, ice and NSAID’s. Nothing helped. I developed severe arthritis in my big right toe in a condition known as Hallux rigidus. I could no longer do yoga. I was advised that I would need surgery, which involved cutting my toe and fusing it to my foot. I refused surgery and suffered in pain for over three years. Oh and yes in case you were wondering my libido was zero on a scale of one to ten. Even if I did have the desire my lady parts would never have cooperated. I personally had never felt worse both emotionally and physically. My body was rebelling in every way possible. I thought the word “change” does not do menopause justice. I was desperate to get my life back.
It took a lot for me as a women’s healthcare provider to seek help from another practitioner. I made an appointment with my primary care physician. I thought surely there must be something else going on with my body. The doctor ran some blood tests and told me everything was “normal”. She told me I was going through “the change” and reassured me this was “normal”. I thought to myself this is so far from normal. There had to be something more I could do.
My in-depth lab panel revealed all my hormone levels were completely depleted. Many key vitamin levels were found to be suboptimal. On a Tuesday afternoon I had a bioidentical pellet consisting of testosterone and estrogen placed just under the skin in my upper buttocks. The procedure itself was quick and painless lasting about 5 minutes. I was given a prescription for bioidentical progesterone (FDA approved Prometrium). I was also advised to take key supplements to optimize my levels.
It was two weeks to the day when I felt an indescribable life changing moment. For the first time in years I felt like myself again. I felt alive and full of life. My hot flashes and night sweats had completely disappeared. Most surprising to me was the fact that I no longer had any knee or toe pain. I honestly could not believe the pain was gone. I began to exercise and lose weight. My relationships dramatically improved.
I wanted to tell every woman I know they no longer had to suffer. This would become my mission. So many of my patients had come to me throughout the years with similar stories. They too had seen a provider and were told all their labs were “normal”. Many of them were given medications to mask their symptoms, which often included anxiety meds, sleeping pills or anti-depressants. Sadly most patients have no idea how addictive these medications can be as well as the potential long-term negative side effects.
My optimization not only changed my life personally it also changed my professional career. I became passionate about educating and empowering patients on the benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Optimization. For the next two years I went through a series of courses taught by Dr. Neal Rouzier to become a certified expert in Bioidentical Hormone Optimization. Dr. Rouzier is recognized as a renowned leader and expert in the field of bioidentical replacement therapy. He has dedicated his life’s work to uncovering the medical literature that supports Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. He has revealed over 50 years of scientific evidence regarding the impact that hormone levels have on physical health, mental health and overall quality of life. It is now so rewarding to optimize patients and listen to their life changing stories.
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