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Old 09-06-2012, 12:09 PM   #1
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Bio identical hormone replacement/ weight loss?

I am wondering if any of you ladies, or gents, have seen a doctor specializing in bio identical hormone replacement and if it worked to curb or kill the wretched symptoms of hormone imbalance?

I know most insurance companies do not cover it and it is costly.
I just met my MD today and we talked for a while and she determined that the best day for me to fill that tube with saliva is one week after ovulation and one week before Aunt Flo. How are the dates determined for men? So for me, its the 24th or the 25th of September. No food or drink that morning, just saliva and its a full profile, including cortisol. Once it is filled I seal it, drop it into the bag they provide and overnight it via UPS. I then go in to see my doc 10 days later..
I guess we will discuss the imbalances and she will start writing scripts for the compounding pharmacy..

Anyway, she looked at my most recent blood labs and laughed. She said the ranges are always ridiculously broad declaring most people with imbalances, normal when they arent.

Anyone been through this? BTW, im only 36 and have been battling hormone imbalance for about 3 years.
Any help is appreciated
Tracy
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:10 AM   #2
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Hi ..Tracy

I have seen a few Dr.'s here in the Kansas City area..for Bio.Identicals...some helped some didnt....You are right..Its very expensive...and out of pocket...most around here charge $250-300 for a consult...I have done several different methods...creams..injections..and pellets...I really like the pellets...they last longer..and are more of a slow release..like our own hormones..I havent been on them for a year or so...I have just been doing over the counter progesterone cream....I need to go get tested again....I can tell the balance is way off lately...due to alot of stress...I would like to get Saliva testing done..I never have...only blood panel...What lab are you sending yours into?? I felt alot better being on the hormones..more energy..I am 47..and still have regular cycles..some Doctors dont believe in giving Estrogen to anyone still having periods....They are all different...some are a one size fits all approach...I found I didnt need any extra Estrogen...mine was to high....so the compounded progesterone cream and the Testosterone pellets helped me the most...I have read several books about the Bio..Identicals...and did alot of reading online..you just have to find what works best for you...and how you feel...Also, I had a sluggish Thyroid....and I was told..to much..Estrogen inhibits Thyroid..so, could be why mine was acting up...because I had Estrogen dominance..once the Estrogen started coming down...the Thyroid numbers got better.....there are so many different opinions on the subject...It can drive you crazy!! I had one Dr. say there was no such thing as Estrogen dominance??? I quit going to him. I know how I felt. Anyway...I hope you found a good Doc. Keep me posted on your results....I am going to get all my labs done in the next month..I have been feeling really stressed out...and dont think the over the counter progesterone in cutting it....Thanks for starting this thread! Jane
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:40 AM   #3
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Thanks for replying Jane! I just cannot seem to find any women going through this... kinda feeling like a loaner yet the statistics show so many people truly are suffering from imbalance.
Your input is greatly appreciated! Please keep me posted (here) on your results as well.

The lab is ZRT. The saliva kit includes a 2 day air pickup label for UPS. She told me to get off everything but a multivitamin and the thyroid meds. I did read that when you are estrogen dominant, your whole system is jacked up, including the thyroid. I cannot believe my (slender, male) doctor told me not to come back for 3 months and he didnt know why I still felt like crap.

I fired him.

I am seeing a gyno now that does nothing but women's issues.. i like that.. and she is slightly overweight which actually, makes me feel better because she knows what we women go through with this hormonal imbalance mess.

You are totally right in that every single doctor will have a different approach. The primary care giver I had before this doc I just fired, told me that the saliva testing and bio identicals was "nothing but snake oil.. smoke and mirrors"... WHAT?? Get real.

My consult, testing and 4 appointments with her was $490.00. That doesnt include the meds... it has to be done though.. i just feel aweful anymore..
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:43 AM   #4
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Can you tell me approximately what the cost was with just the progest cream and testosterone pellets? This is something the compounding pharmacy makes specifically for you, right? Did you find that your symptoms greatly improved? My doc told me the blood work for hormonal imbalance does NOT give you important information such as what is absorbing into tissues and organs and what is floating freely within the blood vs being bound.. the saliva is supposed to be the bomb diggity.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:35 AM   #5
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Hey Tracy...

It cost around $1200 a year....$400 each time I got the pellets inserted...but you only have to go back every 4 months..I don't know If you have read much about pellets.. they are compounded..and look like little grains of rice..and they insert them under your skin..on your hip...It sounds weird.I know....But it doesnt even hurt...they numb the skin topically...and you dont feel a thing....I felt soooo much better on them....There are only 3 places I know that do the pellets here in KC...Where are you in Florida? I have heard of one Dr. in Jacksonville that does them...Im sure there are others..Florida seems like they have a few more Alternative Docs..that do Bio's...I just prefer the pellets..I have read they are a superior delivery method...into your system....The injections wear off in 2 weeks...so, you have to keep going back...and the creams...they just get to be a pain....I have had some lozenges that were compounded...they were ok...I think they were called a Trochee..? don't know about that spelling.. you dissolve them under your tongue......They can make those in testosterone..or progesterone..I have heard Great things about ZRT labs....I think that is who I will go through as well....I want to get both done this time..Blood.and saliva...I plan on getting off everything as well...before testing...I want to get a clean read....Have you been eating low carb for long??? I know it has really helped me...I feel better...Its a a vicious cycle....sugar. insulin, hormones....YIKES!!!!!! I know my diet has been off lately...thats why I have been feeling like crap..ugh! to much wine..last weekend..oh well, My Son got Married..I deserved a little : )
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:44 AM   #6
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See, my insurance has covered all of my blood work, unlike the saliva testing.. does your insurance cover the blood work as well? The ranges though are just enourmously broad.. i feel sorry for others like me who know something is wrong and they feel "off" and cannot lose weight and are struggling with hormonal imbalance issues like me, only to be told "your labs are fine".. grrr.

I am very interested in the pellets. I live in Navarre, FL. I am in the panhandle. I will surely ask my gyno about those when I go back for followup.

As for Atkins.. its just totally ingrained in me. Its a no brainer.. ive been eating this way since high school and have never had a weight problem until my hormones went wonky and the weight started adding on.. its the only thing that has worked for me.
Im sure when everything is nicely balanced, my eating and work outs will pay off.

Why did you get off the hormones?
Can you imagine what we are going to be like when menopause comes around?
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:29 AM   #7
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Hey Tracy....My Insurance pays a portion of the blood work..I have been out of pocket around $ 200 bucks for that too...depends on the Dr. and what tests they order...I have Blue Cross Blue Shield

My hormones started changing in my 30's with weight gain...and just feeling off..and some spotting in between periods...I started exercising and using progesterone cream..things returned to normal...

Now...47...I feel like I have to work twice as hard to keep the weight off.....so..not fair!!

I like to walk for exercise..just started back this week...Sun. and Monday..I did 3 miles each day.....I need to walk about 5-6 days to see real results tho....I feel better this week...and I have been sleeping better....I was doing great with the walking..until the heat wave hit here..this summer...it was in 100's for most of it....so, I took a break...and did some DVD's inside...I am thinking about joining a gym for the winter..I miss lifting weights..and doing classes....

What do you eat before and after your workouts?

The reason I got off the pellets...was just a money issue....I tend to put myself on the backburner....For 3 years now..We have had our Daughter and Granddaughter living with us....I tend to put my Granddaughter first....She hasnt had regular support from her Father....and Daughter has a $10 an hour job...But.. is back in school full time...It's just been a very stressful situation....

You are such a lucky Girl...Getting to live in Florida..!! I would love it..! I have never been to the panhandle..several other areas tho..We usually go there once or twice a year....I have to have my sunshine...I hate winter here : (

Have a Great Day!!!
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:26 AM   #8
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Ahh i love it here.. i was born and raised in the panhandle.. we are 10 minutes from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world (Navarre beach) and 40 minutes from the beautiful, clear, cold Blackwater River
It would take a lot for me to leave here...

Oh, see.. id get a second job, give up coffee, sell one of the kids (ok not really) to pay for hormone replacement so that i felt like myself again. Im miserable.

Food?
I typically eat a couple of scrambled eggs with turkey links around 9ish.. big salad or turkey and cheese LC wrap for lunch.. dinner is protein of course and green sides.. lots of water.. cheese cubes, pickles, roast beef, cold chicken, boiled eggs throughout the day...
Ive never had a weight problem until just recently.. anytime in the past i put on a few lbs I just switched to straight protein for 3, 4, 5 days and vamped up the walking and the scale moved right on back down.. thats why i know my issue now is a bad hormone imbalance and or/ thryoid is still sluggish. I still have dry, gritty eyes, hair loss, cold feet and hands.. sigh.


Did you find that you were able to maintain a healthy weight easier when on the bio identicals?
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:39 AM   #9
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Hey Tracy...

What a Beautiful place to live....Pics look amazing....That water looks very clear..

I would love it! How is the weather there in the winter? Do you Guys get cooler being in the Panhandle? It was 47 this morning in Kansas City...in the 50's now...We had a very hot and dry summer...wasnt much fun..

We are kind of looking around for a place to retire..and possibly thinking Florida or North Carolina...Hubby has 7 years left...He is an Air Traffic Controller..and will be forced to retire at 56...

About the Hormones..It.Helped make the weight come off easier....I felt stronger and had alot more energy....right now..I feel kind of run down...and I know I need to get back on them..Selling an Adult Child....Hummmm.. now theres a thought...giving up coffee...not an option..ha..ha

The progesterone cream helps me to sleep better...I only do the cream on days 12-26 of my cycle....some Doctors want to put you on a steady dose...everyday....I didnt like doing that....because it messed up my normal cycle.....I guess I dont like messing with Mother Nature sort of thing..I think you can cause problems if you take to much..of anything..

Right now..I just need to get back to taking care of Me..

How much are all your Saliva tests from ZRT?

Have a Great Day!

Jane

Ps..Love the doggie Pics too!!! I have a Rat Terrier named Lilly...We had 2 but.. I lost my Buster Brown..5 years ago...I still miss him so much..

Been thinking about getting a small dog of some sort...maybe a Min-Pin? Hubby said it would have to be small...Dogs take up to much of the Bed..ha..ha....He used to get so mad because my " Brownie" had to be touching me at night....He would actually paw at my chest...and I would lift the covers and he would snuggle in....? I think Hubby was just Jealous..Lol

Dogs are fun : )
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:00 AM   #10
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Hey Jane!
You must be talking about the pics in my album?
YES it is wonderful here.. we live in a very small town.. if you blink coming through, you will miss it
No mall, no skating rinks, no movie theatres.. they are all within a 30 min drive though.. i love it here.. 5 mins to get to the beach or 35 or so to the cold, clear river

Defientely come vacation here one summer.. you can stay right on navarre beach and then decide if you want to retire here..
Go to Navarrebeachlife.com and check the zoom cam, look at all of the travlers photos from this area and peruse the forums

Anyway, its nice to hear someone say the progest cream helps.. on amazon there are hundreds of great reviews about the cream but I want to be super anal about having my numbers checked frequently because I really think you are right that too much of anything is bad.. and also, messing with mother nature isnt smart.. the ONLY thing right now not totally screwed up is my cycles... they are predictable down to hours.. 2 heavy days, 2 medium days, 1 light day- done. No pms, no bloating, no cramping..

It will be interesting to see what the compounding cream/ gel/ pellets, whatever im giving, does to my cycles

The doctor that I am seeing charged me a flat rate of $490 for 4 office visits with her and all of the testing.. the only thing that didnt cover was the cost of the BIHT that the compounding pharmacy will charge and im understanding it could be anywhere from $30 to $100 a month. I dont care, whatever it takes.

In fact, i plan to do a total elimination diet the same day I start the cream.. nothing but protein, green vegs, vitamin, levo for the thyroid, a gallon of water a day, no alcohol, no sodas and just my one cup of coffee.. ive done this before and the scale still wont budge and now I see its due to estrogen dominance. Cant wait for the anxiety, dry gritty eyes, insomnia, mood swings, joint pain and hair loss to go AWAY!
Oh and a lunch time hour long aerobics class 5X a week.

We love our mutts but they dont sleep in our bed.. they would love to but thats a no-no.. instead they lounge around in leather bean bags and temperpedic dog beds
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:00 AM   #11
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Terriers are awesome

This is who im seeing-
Pensacola Bioidentical Hormones - Contact Dr. Editha Bielitz

Cant believe im having to wait to so long to test but she is supposed to be really good and really knows her stuff..
I test this sunday morning, according to when i ovulate.. i will 2 day air it via fedex and then ZRT said it takes them about 3 days to analyze the sample and send the report to my doc.. so much waiting.. blah =(

Last edited by Tracy210T; 09-18-2012 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:34 AM   #12
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Sounds like a Great Doc...I know the testing thing is a process....and timing it all....Hopefully you will get some answers...

Since your Doc does Bio's I wonder if you should try a Natural Thyroid Med? Like Armour Thyroid...

I have heard about People having some side effects from taking Levo...you might do some research on that...how long have you been on Levo?

Sounds like you are doing everything you can...with diet, and exercise..

I take several supplements....I really like coconut oil...It has claims to help with Thyroid...and your metabolism...some people say they feel warmer..when they take it...The only time I feel cold hands and feet..is in the winter....also, check for low vitamin D....mine was low...I take 5,000 IU a day..I feel much better....I have heard the darker your skin is..the more you need..? Im sure you get plenty of sun Living in Florida.....I also take Iodine daily. And eat Brazil nuts for the Selenium..
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:17 AM   #13
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oh..see.. we get plenty of Vit D here.. we are always in the sun and usually give it about 30-60 mins before applying sunblock..we arent burning but have nice color

I have been on levo for about 4.5 months now and feel absolutely no better..the doc who is prescribing it says my numbers are perfect and we will leave things alone for now.. he is the same doc that missed this huge imbalance in my blood work. He is fired. I see another (female) MD on 10/18. I will retest the Free T3, Free T4 and TSH a week or so before going to see her and hope to God she knows something about hormones!
I may ask her about Armour at that time..

How are you taking the coconut oil? THey come in capsules, right?

The bio doctor said to get off of everthing ( i was taking milk thistle and flaxseed) she said nothing but the levo and a vitamin.. she wants the saliva test as pure as possible.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:10 PM   #14
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I have heard other People say the same thing about Levo..That they don't feel any better on it.

Glad you are getting re-tested...

The coconut oil...is solid at room temp...comes in a jar..

I use it for cooking...scrambled eggs..stir fry...baking...put it in smoothies

I eat it off the spoon...mix it with peanut/almond butter...

Also use it on my skin....Its great stuff..

I even give it to my dog..

I buy the Nutiva brand...I order it online...or you can buy it at health food stores.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:15 PM   #15
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the white stuff that looks like lard?
I use it for cooking but IDK about taking it off the spoon.. it doesnt really have an odor or taste, does it?
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:47 PM   #16
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Yeah, It looks like lard..

Not much taste..no smell..

I also use it one minute muffins..if you do those..

And instead of butter on low carb bread/toast
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:56 AM   #17
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huh.. i have some.. i like the idea of using it on toast.. i'll have to research a better way to get in that coconut oil.. i hear loads of good stuff about it.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:04 AM   #18
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Jane,
do you find that you have uncomfortable symptoms when your hormones are "off"?
Such as joint pain..aches.. dry eyes.. splitting nails.. hair loss?
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:03 PM   #19
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Hey Tracy.....Yes, I have some joint pain..and some other symptoms...anxiety..waking up at 3 am...cant fall back to sleep easily..heart palps...

I havent had much hair loss...I think the coconut oil..and taking Biotin has helped with that..

For the Anxiety and heart palps I take Magnesium....and Its alot better

Also...I have been sleeping better lately..waking up less....I started drinking a cup of coconut/almond milk and taking a magnesium pill at night..

Also taking B-12 sublingual

The progesterone helps me fall asleep...but its the waking up..and cant get back to sleep..that drives me crazy....I read it has something to do with cortisol? I dont know...?

A few years ago..I had really bad hip pain...Its gone now..I think It was diet Dr. Pepper...and artificial junk.....I do not drink any soda at all now...just water..coffee tea...and wine of course..ha..ha..

I still have some back pain....just around my period mostly..but when I would get the hormone pellets...my back felt alot better....

I do sleep better when I am exercising on a regular basis...right now..its been hit and miss...
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:32 AM   #20
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See.. i dont drink sodas either..

Sounds like you are really in tune with your body
Id like to blame everything that is wrong with me, on my hormones

I hate that waking at 3 am with the mind chatter.. drives me insane...
Ever try melatonin and valerian root for sleep? Works great.. especially if you wash it down with a nice tall glass of merlot
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:35 AM   #21
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Yeah, for me I think it is all hormone related...and stress right now..My adult Daughter is making me crazy....LOL.. 27 and acting like 16????

Hummm I may have to try Melatonin...or valerian root w/Merlot..ha..ha..

I don't take any Medications.....even OTC stuff..I have a supplement or tonic for every ailment..lol....But thats just me? If I feel something coming on like allergies/cold..I take Elderberry concentrate...or Apple cider Vinegar....That usually kicks it...luckily I dont get sick very often....
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:36 PM   #22
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Melatonin and V root work pretty well for sleep.. i have back problems too and sometimes pop a flexeril and zzzzzzzzzzz...
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:34 AM   #23
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Hi! Will post my journey later, glad to have found you ladies. May we gain wisdom and understanding on how to deal with our hormones.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:17 PM   #24
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Hi! Will post my journey later, glad to have found you ladies. May we gain wisdom and understanding on how to deal with our hormones.
YEA!!!! Can't wait!
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:16 PM   #25
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YEA!!!! Can't wait!

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Old 09-28-2012, 09:18 PM   #26
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I just picked up my bio-identical hormones. I have to teach class in the morning but will try to post ZRT report by tomorrow night. Here is the shocker..... all 3 hormones specifically made for me were $100 total. No insurance coverage either. I am just shocked I am taking cream estrogen, liquid progest. and topical testosterone. ...(compounded). I was preparing for at least $500. I am very low on estrogen. I had a hysterectomy in 2003. No HRT until this last year when the weight has come on and my thyroid is out of whack.I pray this is the answer.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:42 AM   #27
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I was afraid it wouldnt be cheap... great...
At this point, id pawn a kidney to feel better, honestly..

Keep us informed! How long did it take for ZRT to notify your doc?
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:01 PM   #28
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I typed the entire report all details and then lost it!

Here we go again. Sent on 9-12 received on 9-17, processed and sent to my DR. 9-20. I met with Dr. on 9-24.

Estradiol .05 (.5-1.7) optimal 1.3 to 1.7
Progesterone 17 (12-100)
Ratio should be between 100-500. Mine was 34! This is what the Dr. wants to correct because she thinks that is why my metabolism is shutting down. DHEAS and CORTISOL showed that I flat line by dinner and bedtime.
Will continue to share how the bio-identical hormones help or not help.

My daughter has excess estrogen. She will be put on progesterone. to balance her hormones.
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:23 PM   #29
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Huh, so weird. How did they know your DHEA and cortisol dropped at night? Did you do the one AM saliva testing?

It took a while to reach them!

Well im dying to know how you and your daughter respond to the hormone replacement.
Wait, what was 34?
Did they test your testosterone? I dont know about you but I could use a little boost in the cough*cough libido dept!

Please keep us informed!
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:47 PM   #30
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Gallery: helpingrachel
Stats: 167/ 162.4/140 5ft 8
WOE: NK
34 was the number that shows how estrogen and progesterone are balanced. Not balanced with me. Testosterone was 16 should read between 16-55. One the low end, I will be honest, (cough, cough).
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