Posted: 11:36 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22, 2012
By Jacqui Boyle
Local experts help women understand changes and how to cope with them, ease symptoms
Menopause and hormone imbalance
Menopause is associated with decreased functioning of the ovaries, which results in lower levels of estrogen and other hormones, according to The North American Menopause Society.
Lyn Hogrefe, 57, of Lebanon, is the director of The Happy Hormone Cottage. The organization, which opened in 2009 in Centerville, and now also has offices in Kettering and Mason, along with locations in Kentucky and Missouri, is a resource center where women can get information and education on natural hormone balance.
While menopause represents a “small window” of time, hormone imbalance is a “big umbrella term” Hogrefe said describes the cause of the symptoms related to menopause women often experience for years leading up to their last menstrual periods.
When Hogrefe was in her 40s, she began to experience symptoms including hot flashes, brain fog and fatigue. Her doctor discovered she had thyroid tumors, and she had a hysterectomy. After her surgery, a customized natural hormone plan helped relieve her menopause-related symptoms, and now, she and her staff members are helping other women to adjust their hormone levels in a natural way, too.
Women should be educated on options available to treat their menopause symptoms, including healthy, natural choices like natural customized hormones, which are Food and Drug Administration-approved, plant-based powders, she said. Medications like antidepressants often are one-size-fits-all and may not be right for every woman, Hogrefe said.
“The world we work in is functional medicine, and the world doctors work in is conventional medicine,” she said. “We are more holistic.”
Hogrefe encourages women to consider natural hormone therapies beginning in their 30s when menopause-like symptoms often begin.
“Women should take this into their own hands and learn what their options are,” she said. “… Every woman should be in charge of their own journey.”
Doris Jones, 55, of Miami Township, also said women must take responsibility for their own health.
Jones, a previous client and now a client consultant at The Happy Hormone Cottage, started experiencing menopause-related symptoms including night sweats, irritability and weight changes at age 47.
Jones said she pursued many remedies, including diet and exercise, but nothing worked until she began receiving hormone therapy at age 53.
“If you really are experiencing these symptoms, be a little proactive,” Jones said. “Don’t wait until they’re so severe. … We’re in charge or our own health.”
Debbie Scheiding, 46, of Beavercreek, is a client of The Happy Hormone Cottage. Scheiding began experiencing menopause symptoms, including a lack of focus and no libido, at age 42.
At age 44, she reached menopause, and she soon began taking natural hormones. After three months, many of her symptoms were relieved. Scheiding said she will continue to take these hormones for the rest of her life.
“The natural hormones benefit you so much better,” she said. “I don’t know a lot of women that like taking prescribed drugs. … (Women) have to step up to their doctors and say, ‘This is what I want, what I choose. It’s my body. … You can live a much happier and healthier life if you are educated and get on something quickly.”
For more information about The Happy Hormone Cottage, go to www.happyhormonecottage.com.