This is the story of my patient who I will call Lorna. When she came to see me she was 56 years old and had been experiencing menopause symptoms for 8 years. She was having 8-10 hot flashes every night. The hot sweats began soon after falling asleep and continued all night. Needless to say that made it nearly impossible to get any sleep. Lorna had suffered from Insomnia for nearly two decades prior to getting hot flashes.
She was exhausted, irritable, depressed and had lost all her sex drive, not to mention that her hormonal decline had also caused her to have significant vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. She had gained 40 lbs over the past 8 years without changing her diet or usual routine. Although she was a High School teacher, who had been blessed with a sharp mind, since going into menopause she had noticed significant memory decline and what she called “fog in the head.” She had lost her focus, mental sharpness and felt irritable, depressed and exhausted all the time. She just didn’t feel like herself anymore.
Patient: Lorna Age: 56
First Office Visit
1) Hot Flashes 8-10 times/night with night sweats ( due to low Estriol)
2) Vaginal Dryness & Painful Intercourse (due to low Estriol)
3) Insomnia (due to low Progesterone, Serotonin and GABA)
4) Low Sex Drive (due to Low Testosterone)
5) Moodiness & Irritability (due to low Progesterone)
6) Exhaustion (due to low Testosterone)
7) Memory Loss, Foggy headedness (due to low Pregnenolone)
6) Weight gain in the Abdomen ( due to low DHEA and low Testosterone)
Lorna’s Lab Tests
|Hormone||Optimum Level||Initial Tests||3-Month Follow-up|
|Pregnenolone||100-150 ng/dl||<10 L||110|
|DHEA||200-280 ug/dl||76 L||162|
|Testosterone||25-75 ng/dl||< 3 L||101|
|Estrone (E1)||2-10 ng/dl||5.3||6.5|
|Estradiol (E2)||1.0-4.0 ng/dl||<0.6 L||2.19|
|Estriol (E3)||20-80 ng/dl||3.9 L||29.7|
|Progesterone||150-400 ng/dl||10 L||230|
|Thyroid (fT3)||3.6-5.0 pg/ml||2.9 L||3.9|
As you can see from the Lab Test Results above, when Lorna first came to see me all of her labs were extremely low, except for Estrone (E1). It was no wonder she felt so awful. Lorna’s hormone deficiencies were causing profound dysfunctions that prevented her body systems from functioning at optimal levels.
After 3 months of taking Bio-Identical Hormones, Natural Thyroid and key Nutritional Supplements Lorna’s blood tests confirmed what she was feeling – she was feeling fantastic because all of her Hormones were now in the Optimal Range.
I have found when all of these endocrine hormones are supplemented at the same time, the body function rises to optimal levels and everything works in harmony to reach new heights of health and vitality.
Here is the list of Bio-Identical Hormones and other Nutirtional Supplements that I prescribed for Lorna that allowed her body to get into balance and heal:
Dr. Hansen’s Rx
1) Testosterone injections (10mg once per week): When a patient has had absolutely no sex drive for years and a Total Testosterone level of <3 ng/dl, I prescribe intramuscular injections, because they work the best for such profound deficiencies. Testosterone boosts energy and mood as well as sex drive. It also builds and maintains healthy muscle tone and integrity. Since muscle is the furnace of fat burning, a deficiency is the principal cause of the sudden fat accumulation that occurs as muscle is replace by fat around menopause.
2) Estriol (E3) the Safe Estrogen ( 3mg from a sub-lingual capsule that is opened and poured under the tongue where it dissolves in 10-15 seconds). Estriol usually stops hot flashes within a few days and strengthens the vaginal lining without causing an excessive build-up or tendency to cancer, as does Estrone (E1) and Estradiol (E2).
3) Naturethroid (Natural Thyroid: 65mg): 1 tablet once daily in the morning 1 hour before breakfast. Naturethroid contains both T3 and T4, unlike Synthroid and its generic copies, which contain only T4. Both T3 and T4 are needed by the body and T3 is the most important because it is the active hormone. T4 is the delivery hormone and converts into T3 if everything is working correctly, which it usually is not. Naturethroid just works better to boost vitality and energy, better mood and better cognitive function.
4) Natural Progesterone (50mg from a sub-lingual capsule that is opened and poured under the tongue where it dissolves in 10-15 seconds). Progesterone is the bone building calming, anti-irritability hormone. It activates GABA, the calming, anti-anxiety sleep enhancing neurohormone. It also counter-balances Estrone (E1) and Estradiol (E2) to prevent cancer. It activates Tumor Suppressor Protein, known as p53, and inhibits bcl-2, a protein that promotes cellular proliferation and cancer cell growth.
5) DHEA (De-Hydro-Epi-Androsterone) 10mg: 1 Capsule swallowed once daily at bedtime. Balances Adrenal Cortisol and provides essential building blocks for the production of Testosterone.
6) Cognition (Natural herbal and nutritional formula that contains 50mg of Pregneolone and 100 mg of Bacopa moniera per capsule): 2 Capsules once daily. Bacopa is an Aruvedic herb that stimulate the synthesis of new brain neurons and the replacement of worn-out ones. Clinical studies have shown that Bacopa monniera supplementation significantly increases short term memory and improves capabilities to think and reason, and at the same time also reduces fatigue, irritability, lack of concentration and insomnia. Pregnenolone is a natural hormone made in the adrenal glands and the brain. It has been found to improve memory and clarity of thinking, as well as increase a sense of well being, reduce feelings of depression and enhance alertness and awareness.
7) 5HTP, 4 Amio-3-Phenylbutyric Acid, and L-Tyrosine (these amino acids are the building blocks of Serotonin, GABA and Norepinephrine): 5HTP, 4 Amio-3-Phenylbutyric Acid help promote the onset of a deep restful sleep. L-tyrosine is the precursor of the essential neurohormone required for energy, focus and fat burning.
Within one month of starting her treatment, Lorna said that her night sweats had stopped completely. She was sleeping better and getting an additional 2 1/2 hours of sleep every night because she was no longer having the hot flashes. Her energy had gone from total exhaustion to an 8/10, while her sex sex drive was just beginning to climb (she said her libido had risen from zero to 2/10.
Two month later Lorna reported that her energy had risen to a 9/10 and her sex drive had gone to 5/10. Her mental concentration and focus had returned, she had no more hot flashes and her sleep was now great. She was falling asleep easily, waking only occasionally, but able to go easily back to sleep.
What Did Lorna have to say at her 3 Month Follow up Appointment?
“I am sleeping through the night for the first time in 27 years! It doesn’t end there, my 8 years of hot flashes are gone, my libido is up, and I have enough excess energy to focus on exercise and losing weight. As of now, I have lost 27 pounds and my goal is another 15. Keep in mind, I work an average of 60-70 hours a week teaching high school and I’m still finding energy…this is a miracle! I’m so very grateful for Dr. Hansen and all he and his team have done for me. Its more than I thought I could ask for.”
One final note. Today I spoke with Lorna again, it has been a few weeks since her last visit. She reported that she had lost another 5 lbs, is walikng 3-7 miles every day and has the energy to do it, and no longer needs Zoloft, which she had taken every year for the past 20 years to fight Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression. She say she feels better than she has ever felt before in her life. I am confident that Lorna will continue to feel this good for a long long time.