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Old 04-26-2013, 10:24 AM   #1
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Any of you Cysters have experience with bioidenticals?

Good morning! (d'oh -- afternoon, actually!) I was wondering if any of you pcos gals have any experience using bioidentical hrt to control your symptoms. I just got labs back and still seem to have really low estrogen, slightly high testosterone, etc... Also, weight loss has been slow-going so far -- and oddly, when I'm on the bcp pill, it's been much faster. Long story short, my ObGyn is pushing for me to try the pill again. I really don't want to, because I feel nuts when I'm on it and I think it makes me tired (Ob of course doesn't believe this, but estrogen can actually be sedating!) Anyway, thought bioidenticals might be a viable alternative. Thoughts?
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:00 PM   #2
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I'm of no help regarding this, but I must say that it bugs the bloomers off of me when docs don't believe how we feel when we are on meds.......ummm, who is experiencing the effects here??
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:43 PM   #3
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Bio identical hormones

Yes I know quite a bit about them, enough to be post menopausal and on bio identical estrogen and progesterone cream. I am on the Wiley protocol that mimics your natural cycle and most regular doctors have no clue about it. I am an advanced practice nurse that researches everything to death and I made the decision to try the bio identical creams about 3 years ago. I feel wonderful, have no aches or pains, look and feel young. I feel very sharp mentally, keep up with my sex crazed husband pretty well, just attended a paleo conference and turned a few cartwheels on the grass! I turned 55 in January. I think the combination of the bio identical hormones, following a low carb, and most recently JUDDD kind of lifestyle has kept me young and healthy.
Now about you, does your doctor check your estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone? As we age we may have enough estrogen but progesterone goes really low. Also are you testing free (the amount of circulating hormone) of estrogen and testosterone? I've read enough to know that if I am going to put any type of hormone in my body it will definitely be bio identical, and a cream as it gets absorbed the best. Any type of pill goes thru the liver first before it ever gets in the bloodstream if it is swallowed. It is a little different if it is placed under the tongue and dissolved. I personally would not use any type of artificial oral hormone...Suzanne Somers believes birth control pills really messed her up.
It may be worthwhile to seek out a doctor who is familiar with using bio identical hormones, and uses other things like armour thyroid if you need it. Good luck!
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:39 PM   #4
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Tofucheez -- AMEN! There have been several occasions when I've reported a side effect (to various doc's -- not just this one) and gotten pooh-pooh'ed and told -- no, that's not a side effect of this drug. Only to later find out from my own research that, yes, it certainly is, just not one of the three most common ones. *Shakes head* SO frustrating.

Sleepingduty -- THANK YOU for your input -- sounds like your energy levels and general well-being are a great recommendation! I am looking into changing ob/gyns to one particular one who deals with bioidenticals (Sottopelle, to be specific) and takes my insurance. Do you have an opinion on the Sottopelle implant delivery system? Some women seem to love it, some hate it. There is also a clinic nearby who does more traditional bioidenticals -- creams and pills from a compounding pharmacy -- I could go that route but would have to pay for everything out of pocket.

I am absolutely with Suzanne -- I was on Yasmin for years. It made it VERY easy for me to lose weight -- but it also made me so irritable and depressed that I had to take St. John's Wort to even function. When I stopped it, I gained 30 lbs in two and a half months. No change in diet. I just needed to eat less and exercise more, I guess! :P (a quote from my doc... *eye roll*)

I'm about to turn 40 and was diagnosed with pcos a couple of years ago because of (let me see if I can remember -- LH levels being twice the quantity of FSH levels? Does that sound right? Either way, it basically translated into low estrogen and high testosterone. I *think* progesterone was normal, as was TSH. Other symptoms I have are hormonal acne, night sweats, and weight gained quick and carried around the tummy (going on the pill melts it right off -- but I just can't do that again -- my husband said he'll take Winnie-the-Pooh belly any day over me on Yasmin! roflol). Like I said, this was all years ago -- so I'll need a new work-up. Thanks so much for your input -- it really helps me!
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:19 PM   #5
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I know nothing about bioidenticals but my most recent labs as far as hormones go were pretty bad. I 'll read with interest.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:57 PM   #6
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Welcome Sleepingduty! TFF! I'm TF afraid to try any hormone treatments...the real ones were bad enough!
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:41 PM   #7
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No experience with bio-identicals, but I have PCOS too and my weight loss pattern has been that the one week I don't take the pill, I lose the most weight. Every month. Otherwise, no problems with it, so I don't want to stop taking it; I just find it interesting.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:29 PM   #8
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Bio identical hormones

I looked at the pellets and thought it might be difficult to gauge a proper dose based on symptoms and bloodwork. I do pay for my hormonal creams, but the protocol that I follow is based on research and science. The creams that I take (estrogen and progesterone) and their doseages are based on relief of symptoms and blood work levels of each drug. It is not a guessing game as to how much to take. The greatest challenge that I found was finding a provider that was comfortable ordering it as well as a compounding pharmacy that could do the Wiley protocol. It has worked really well for me, but I have no experience with PCOS. I am not an expert, but I have read a lot about the bioidenticals and believe in the proper mix, they can keep you feeling great along with a diet rich in whole foods, some exercise, good sleep and low stress. The trick is finding the proper balance...
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:37 AM   #9
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I am NOT a BC pill fan. I have read wayyy too much So I don't blame you for not wanting to go back on it.

I recommend reading as much as you can. The Miracle of BioIdentical Hormones is a good one, and anything by John Lee. Educate yourself, don't let your doctors make the decision without you. Progesterone should help you lose weight, if you are low. Look into it
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:15 AM   #10
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I also have PCOS and no experience with bioidenticals...actually, I HAD to read this thread to figure out what they were. I have heard of many using the hormone creams to induce periods, but just wasn't familiar with that term.

Anyway, add me to the group who IS NOT A FAN of the bc pills as treatment. I just think there are so many better ways to manage PCOS and way too many doctors think it is the be all end all solution. I think it only masks the problem and does nothing to improve your health. Anyway, I'll step off my box. This thread was an interesting read.

Hey, Carly. Sorry to hear your hormones have not improved. Some people, doctors, patients, society in genera,l like to think that getting off the weight is the answer to health problems. But, I know that the truth (in my case, for sure and probably for others) is that the PCOS came before the weight gain. I was a thin cyster before I was a fat cyster. I had PCOS issues since before I was a teenager and didn't gain wait until after college/marriage/kids. Once I put it on, though the weight is very stubborn with PCOS and my fear is that like you I will do all this and have no improvement in my hormones, blood test numbers, thyroid, etc.

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I know nothing about bioidenticals but my most recent labs as far as hormones go were pretty bad. I 'll read with interest.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:28 PM   #11
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Wiiiiifit (I think I got the right # of i's! :P) -- I could not agree with you more. BC pills REALLY messed me up. Yasmin turns me into a different person. Seriously, just a person I don't want around my husband and kids. Spending lots of time alone "decompressing" was the only way to cope with the side effects -- and who wants to live like that? BUT, on Yasmin, my weight just dropped and dropped -- no diet or exercise changes. Figures, of course. Also, I'm pretty sure it was responsible for my gallstones and eventual gallbladder surgery -- it's notorious for that.

Now, other bc pills I could tolerate a little better, but they still make me feel tired and sluggish and just not myself. I'm tired of Doc's acting like they're the end-all-be-all too -- I am under constant pressure from my ObGyn to go back on. She believes "nothing can touch them" in effectiveness in treating pcos. She also believes bioidenticals are "all hype". Whatever, I'm going to see for myself. Time to find a new Doc, I think. I will report back to you guys everything I find out -- I'm scheduling my consultation on Monday at the clinic that does the bioidenticals. Feel free to ask my any questions about my reactions to them if I forget to mention something -- even if it's personal! lol -- I'm not shy. :P

Carly -- it sucks when we lose weight, do everything "right" and we still have this health issue that won't go away. I hope you find your solution. I've taken Chasteberry for several years -- that is reputed to help a lot with hormonal balance. I don't feel I can speak very accurately on its effects, though, as it's been pretty sporadic and I really haven't noticed any effects. Will def. report my progress with the bioidenticals, though, for sure!
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:31 PM   #12
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Sleepingduty -- that's how this clinic works too -- you are prescribed your dosages based on a saliva test done on day 20 of your cycle. I *think* they offer creams -or- pills, but I'm not sure as I haven't had my consult yet. I'm going to read up on the Wiley protocol -- is that where you just do Progesterone for the second half of your cycle? I've heard that said to be a very promising "cure" for Pcos?
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:44 PM   #13
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I just pray that I'm able to get pregnant. I'm going to have to invest a lot of money into purchasing sperm, getting inseminated and all that and I will be 37 this summer which isn't going to help I'm sure. I don't think if it takes more than 3 or 4 tries that I will keep going back. I get my period every 10 days or so for about 4 days so I have no clue when I ovulate which I will need to know for getting inseminated. Ugh... I want to have a baby and DW wants one more than even I do, but I'm scared my heart will get broken. Have any of you had issues getting pregnant?
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:13 PM   #14
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Oh, good luck to you! I really hope it works out, Carly! No, I've not had any issues getting pregnant -- but the first time I was 25 and on the pill! You will hear that a lot from pcos'ers, oddly enough. DH and I had been planning a camping trip that had the audacity to fall right smack in the middle of TOM. So, (not really understanding at the time that you could just keep taking the pills and skip your period) I decided to stop taking them a week early and 'get it over with' before the camping trip. That's how we got DD #1. DD#2 -- I was not on the pill, but we weren't exactly trying. It had been five years since our first daughter and for most of them, we were not actively trying to prevent pregnancy, so we figured it just might not happen for us again (and we'd have been ok with one child if it turned out that way). Thankfully, though, it didn't, and we got the wonderful surprise of DD#2. Best of luck to you -- fingers crossed!
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:45 PM   #15
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Thank you Deen... All this talk of pregnancy and I'm getting cramps... Well it's been 12 days since last TOM so I guess I shouldn't be surprised...
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:51 PM   #16
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Not to threadjack, but I just want to throw out a gentle reminder that everyone is different. For me, the pill has been a wonderful improvement, and since it has its originally intended benefit of birth control as well, I am happy on it. For anyone who doesn't feel good on it or whose symptoms are not alleviated, I think looking into alternatives is a great idea.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:52 PM   #17
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Bioidentical hormones Wiley

Yes the Wiley protocol uses creams only. The way your hormones normally cycle is over a period of 28 days. The Wiley protocol mimics this cycle. It is a standardized protocol that follows using estrogen only in increasing doses for 14 days then combining estrogen and progesterone in varying doses. The progesterone peaks it's dose at day 21 and then gradually goes back down to a small amount by day 28. They give you a monthly guide for each day how much of what you need to apply. I apply the cream(s) in the morning when I wake up and when I go to sleep at night. I have a monthly period when the progesterone is stopped at the end of the 28 day cycle. Who would of thought I would still be having periods at 55! BTW, before I started the protocol I had very low circulating progesterone. This is considered a very important hormone to help keep your immune system in good shape. My prescribing doctor bases my hormone prescription on the free estrogen and progesterone in my my blood work. I have done saliva tests for myself and tried using nonprescription OTC progesterone, but again it was hard to know how much progesterone I needed based on saliva tests. Also, it takes a lot of saliva and about a half hour of spitting to get enough specimen to do the saliva test. Let me know how it goes on Monday, and good luck!
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:24 AM   #18
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CaliChris -- Yes, I totally see what you are saying. You know, for many years, I took the pill without incident and was fine on it -- and I know many women are -- probably the majority. As I aged, however, I found I was able to tolerate it less and less. It's not the bc pill I take issue with -- it's my obgyn who is so persistent in trying to get me back on it and doesn't want to hear about any other alternatives (even after I've expressed a desire to NOT take it). I am glad it's working for you, though!
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:38 PM   #19
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Well I know that most doctors "treat" PCOS with birth control. But it really just hides the problem. If you have PCOS and want to get pregnant (and can't because of the PCOS) then the pill is not going to help that. The pill gives your body synthetic hormones and a fake period, (not a menstrual period) it is not teaching your body the right thing to do, it's actually prohibiting it from "learning" to do its job again. On the other hand, when you supplement with bioidentical hormones, you are teaching your body to produce the hormones in proper balance again, eventually you are supposed to taper off of them and your body should be able to do it naturally again. The bc pill hides symptoms. I'm sorry, but it practically ruined 7 years of my young life, so I feel strongly about it. And bioidenticals are the only thing that helped. Okay off my soap box.

SURPRISED that you lost weight on the pill! Wow! Never heard of that.

ETA: PCOS can also be treated with diet by controlling your insulin response, since insulin resistance and PCOS usually go hand in hand. So healthy diet low in carbs tends to help this... or a medication that controls the insulin response, like Glumetza. I would recommend seeing an Endocrinologist for PCOS, for anyone who doesn't already.

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Old 04-29-2013, 04:55 PM   #20
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Search Hethir Rodriguez on youtube.

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Old 04-29-2013, 05:31 PM   #21
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I was always treated with Metformin for the PCOS, but it gave me terrible stomach cramps and diarrhea. It was supposed to help me lose weight and at that time prevent diabetes, but I became diabetic any way and needed much more powerful diabetic medication... And then I started JUDDD and no more diabetes! Hormones are a wreck though.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:19 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carly View Post
I was always treated with Metformin for the PCOS, but it gave me terrible stomach cramps and diarrhea. It was supposed to help me lose weight and at that time prevent diabetes, but I became diabetic any way and needed much more powerful diabetic medication... And then I started JUDDD and no more diabetes! Hormones are a wreck though.
Really? That's awful. SO glad Judd helped the diabetes.

Wonder what is going on with the hormones though? Sometimes diet+supplementation is needed.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:31 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deen73 View Post
It's not the bc pill I take issue with -- it's my obgyn who is so persistent in trying to get me back on it and doesn't want to hear about any other alternatives (even after I've expressed a desire to NOT take it). I am glad it's working for you, though!
I definitely didn't get the idea you were against the pill for anyone else, just for you and anyone who doesn't feel good on it, and I don't know why your doctor isn't listening to that.

Quote:
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I'm sorry, but it practically ruined 7 years of my young life, so I feel strongly about it. And bioidenticals are the only thing that helped. Okay off my soap box.
I'm so sorry to hear about those awful seven years. I'm fully in support of anyone seeking the treatment that best works for them. I agree that many (most?) doctors automatically prescribe it without either knowing about or considering the options. I just don't want this thread to give anyone the impression the pill is *never* a good option for someone with PCOS. I'm well read on the alternatives, but without going into a long story, I can just say that for me, in my particular situation, it was hugely beneficial and I'm grateful for it, while being in full support of anyone who wants/needs a different option.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:29 PM   #24
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subbing to this post so I can read all this info tomorrow. I've got PCOS and went off bcp last November. Since then I've been irregular and have had horrible symptoms whenever I get my period, not just terrible cramps but dizziness, foggy brain and feeling like I might pass out. Worst of all I've started having three week cycles. And weight loss has slowed down a lot too. Considering going back on the pill, but I was just reading about how it increases the risk of blood clots in women with pcos. We can't win!
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:58 AM   #25
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I've been on BHRT for years. Once you are into the menopause you really do need that oestrogen. I am fittest on just that and dread my progesterone weeks. I only take that once every three months. I think I must have a lot of progesterone naturally. I also do not need testosterone, based on what happens when I take it. We are all so individual when it comes to hormones. I think that as long as you know yourself and the effects of the hormones, your health is the best guide regardless of tests, which can mislead.

Oestrogen changed me over a fortnight from hot sweaty and exhausted to fit and normal again. I rub a little gel on my arm morning and night and that's it. I do look very young for my age. There is nothing like it for keeping your skin glowing and smooth and your hair full and shiny. If only I could get the last stone off. I don't think the therapy has helped with weight gains or loss. The only time weight came off was when I was on the mini pill a year or two before I started losing my periods. My libido was also high then. I'm not keen to be using artificial progesterones to get that back. I've not worked out a regime to replicated that effect using BHRT sadly. Some of us find that sweet spot and the weight comes off at last.

So yes, I'd recommend supplementing hormones. You can either do the risky route and self administer and just read everything or find a Dr who will prescribe bio-identicals. Not much chance of that in the UK on the NHS, sadly. If you have existing medical issues effected by the sex hormones you really do need a doctor who will work with you.
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:41 AM   #26
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Well this thread inspired me to make an appt with my endo to have my hormones tested. The last time I had them tested my progesterone was slightly elevated as was my testosterone, but I was on bcp at the time so I'm not sure what they'll be now. Does an endo administer bioidenticals or do you need an ob/gyn for that?
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:52 AM   #27
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I refused the pill due to negative experiences in my young life with it. Tried progesterone cream, and didn't get any benefit, but I'm not opposed to the experience. I have close friends who were positively impacted by using progesterone cream during menopause.
Took met for a couple years and gained fifty pounds while developing irritable bowel syndrome from it, and it exacerbated food allergies.
Diet does help, since I switched years ago entirely to whole food, organic, never any soy;
and even though I switched entirely to lovingly raised (by a family member) grassfed beef, wild harvested game etc..
so a diet as hormone free in the meat arena as is possible,
I have to admit I am doing better since I began a meat free experiment a couple of months ago.
I think every little added hormone affects me negatively.
I also found a handful of years ago that a short round of rxhcg every year seems to help me ovulate and evens out my cycle more.
I'm perimenopausal and never know what is going to happen. No cycle. TOM for 23 days.
Diet and once a year hcg make a difference for my body.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:10 PM   #28
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A lot of people have trouble with Metformin. Have any of your doctors suggested switching to Glumetza, when that was an issue? I believe it's time released, which helps the symptoms. I know a few people on Glumetza (and I am as well) and never had any trouble.

All I know is, IF I did have the trouble, I would hope my doctor would figure something out to get off of the med causing the issue.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:35 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Sleepingduty View Post
I looked at the pellets and thought it might be difficult to gauge a proper dose based on symptoms and bloodwork. I do pay for my hormonal creams, but the protocol that I follow is based on research and science. The creams that I take (estrogen and progesterone) and their doseages are based on relief of symptoms and blood work levels of each drug. It is not a guessing game as to how much to take. The greatest challenge that I found was finding a provider that was comfortable ordering it as well as a compounding pharmacy that could do the Wiley protocol. It has worked really well for me, but I have no experience with PCOS. I am not an expert, but I have read a lot about the bioidenticals and believe in the proper mix, they can keep you feeling great along with a diet rich in whole foods, some exercise, good sleep and low stress. The trick is finding the proper balance...
This is me I just got on the hormone therapy--bio identical. The clinic I go to is just that--a hormone clinic. I am very low in everything. And am already taking Armour for my thyroid. I go back next week for more lab work. I have just started so we are working on getting the correct dose for me. I am glad my doc goes more on symptoms than anything, I got my last lab work back and they had me in for an additional hormone treatment. The clinic I see uses pellets inserted in the butt cheeks. And the progesterone is a lozenge I put under my cheek in the mouth. All very interesting stuff, but my journey just started so I am not well versed in this. The very reason I am paying a hefty price for someone to tell me what to do. I refuse to go on BCP--never have, never needed them and don't advise anyone to go on them. But then again, I don't have PCOS.
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:19 PM   #30
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Quote:
A lot of people have trouble with Metformin. Have any of your doctors suggested switching to Glumetza, when that was an issue? I believe it's time released, which helps the symptoms. I know a few people on Glumetza (and I am as well) and never had any trouble.
Isn't Glumetza the same thing as Metformin, just sold under a different name?
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