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Old 03-13-2009, 09:19 AM   #21
 
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I am currently researching the BIO Hormones. I ran across some data that implied that one problem MIGHT be that the body then converts some part of them into the problematic hormone/chemical that increases cancer risks....

Honestly, I'm still researching. My current understanding is that, started early and with short term use they might be safe. Really the risk that scares me the most is the increased risk of blood clots....
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:03 AM   #22
 
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The real risk to BHRT is self dosing. Buying hormones from a website is a bad idea. Any hormone, whether natural or your own is problematic at higher/lower levels than normal in the body. That's why testing is so important.

In my experience (and I work in a clinic that does this) we have never experienced severe adverse affects on our patients. They can be symptomatic for a while as we "tweek" their formulas, but to a woman (and man) they end up happier and healthier.

With the right supplementation plan, I have actually come off of my hormones entirely at the moment. I may be adding some again after my next saliva test. I have no problem falling asleep now, but staying asleep is becoming problematic for me.

Going through menapause (or andropause for men), doesn't have to be a horrible time for anybody. I'm a big proponent because it worked for me and I see hundreds of women that it works for as well.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:55 AM   #23
 
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My only caution is testing. Make sure you get your levels checked at least every 6 months. Without testing, you may be dosing needlessly, which can bring back old symptoms. When you change your diet, hormones can improve so make sure your doctor keeps checking.
This is key. I get tested every 3-4 months and my prescription has been "tweeked" several times.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:55 AM   #24
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so... not only will my drug plan not cover the bio-identicals, it turns out that i'm not even CLOSE to having hormone levels indicating approaching menopause. no peri-menopause... nada!



the doctor wants me to continue using the Estrogel until i see her next month, but i'm not comfortable using HRT if i don't need it....

maybe i'm just depressed....??? and the pain from the neuropathy (which is now constant and not relieved by anything including codeine) isn't helping. i don't know...
Did they do blood or saliva testing? One can come out "normal" but not really be.

I went back to the doctor this past Thursday and he upped my estrogen a bit and gave me a cream to insert vaginally. Dryness, itchy, and a little bit of bleeding after intercourse was due to thinning tissue. Ah, the joys of surgical menopause. Actually, it hasn't been bad at all and this is really the first issue I've had since surgery 2.5 years ago.
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:06 PM   #25
 
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My doctor relies on saliva testing. Saliva is drawn 4 times in a 24hour period. Most reliable.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:38 PM   #26
 
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blood tests only. i'll ask for the salivia test when i go back, but will it show anything after taking estrogen for a month???
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:26 PM   #27
 
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My doctor relies on saliva testing. Saliva is drawn 4 times in a 24hour period. Most reliable.

Is the saliva test a standard test or is this one that is normally done only by more holistic practitioners? I have had a salivary adrenal stress panel done a few times in the past. I had it done through a np who was wholistic. My insurance didn't cover it. Just wondering if I should request this from my new np who is very good, but not particularly holistic. Does your doctor also check adrenal function?
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:09 AM   #28
 
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My doctor tests for adrenals, hormones and neurotransmitter levels with a testing kit from ZRT Labs. A urine sample is collected for the neuros and saliva is collected 4x through a 24 hour period.

Unfortunately, most insurance companies don't cover it. I saved all of my receipts that I spent at the Dr.'s office and submitted them as medical expenses on my taxes along with my dental work that wasn't entirely covered by my insurance. Worked out nicely.

It is difficult, I know, to put the money out up front for most of us. This, however, has been a priority for me so I have sacrificed other things to be able to pay for it.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:04 PM   #29
 
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maybe i'm just depressed....??? and the pain from the neuropathy (which is now constant and not relieved by anything including codeine) isn't helping. i don't know...
Even if it is secondary to diabetes, there are supplements that can gradually reduce neuropathy. Off the top of my head I remember RALA is supposed to be good, and fish oil, magnesium, benfotiamine (an oily form of vit B1), Acetyl-L-carnitine, vit D, pyridoxamine (an oily form of vit B6), and carnosine. There may be more. These are all prescribed in Germany for the condition with good results according to their studies. Natural supplements and herbs are only available by prescription there so German doctors give them a fair shot. More info is available on the Life Extension Foundation website (www.lef.org), but I order my supplements from Lucky Vitamin because they have discounted prices and excellent service. The good thing about going the supplement route to heal something is that the supplements are good for your general health (just don't go crazy thinking the higher dosage the better, because there is such a thing as taking too much of something and knocking your body out of whack, so follow suggested amounts), and it's not unusual to find that other things get fixed at the same time. For instance, the Acetyl-L-carnitine helps mental sharpness as well as neuropathy, and most of the things I mentioned also help energy levels.

Please don't think you've tried everything and nothing can be done. Six weeks on the supplements can make a night and day change for many people.

On edit: I searched under neuropathy on the LEF website, and they recommend two other supplements in addition to the ones above: the complete Vit E "family" including gamma-tocopherol and tocotrienols, and methylcobalamin (form of vit B12) lozenges. That seems to be everything they say will help. The fastest, most dramatic results came from the benfotiamine (reduced in 3 weeks), but the best outcome is always to use all the things known to help a condition because together they work on all the different imbalances that contribute to the symptoms.

Also it is really desirable to be under the care of an NP who knows about this stuff, especially if you are a type 2 diabetic. One or two of the supplements can actually help a type 2 diabetic to utilize sugar better, so it might be necessary to reduce medication. Reduced blood sugar is not the reason they help the neuropathy, though, so using more drugs instead of the supplements won't have the same effect.

If you can't find or afford an NP, and you are a type 2 diabetic (type 1 diabetics are missing blood sugar control for a different reason which is not affected by supplements), you have to make a judgement call. Without saying what path you should take, if it were me, I'd add one thing at a time, waiting a couple of weeks before adding the next, and monitor my blood sugar closely. If it began to drop more than I wanted, I'd tell my regular doctor about the drop and the supplement and have him/her adjust the medication dose according to my new blood levels. But that's just me.

I apologize if you don't have type 2 diabetes and all these warnings were unnecessary.

Last edited by JusLooking; 04-03-2009 at 08:53 PM. Reason: Additional info
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:39 AM   #30
 
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Thanks JustLooking for your post. I agree wholeheartedly and wish that our medical system was open enough to non-pharms as much as Europe is.

Supplements can be used for healing but you must be patient. They don't work as quickly sometimes as pharms but they don't have the same risks of side effects either.

Go to a good homeopath or complimentary care physician for some testing and don't give up. There are many natural routes you can take with some good guidance.
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Old 04-04-2009, 07:04 AM   #31
 
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i don't have diabetes or even close to a blood sugar problem.

thanks for the info JL, i can't take any fish oil supplements because i'm very allergic to fish, but i do take a full range of B vitamins and E every day in order to get some measure of omega 3s.

i'll take a peek at the health food store this weekend.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:54 PM   #32
 
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flaxseed oil is a good source of Omega 3s if you can't take fish oil. A little in your smoothie, oatmeal or on your steamed veggies works really well.
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