Hormones control every system in the body. Sometimes, they can be out of balance from an early age, but will certainly be out of balance as you get older. Knowing this, it is somewhat surprising that doctors receive very little information about hormones while they are training, and certainly no information about bio- identical hormones.
Practitioners who become involved with natural hormone replacement basically have to rely on two sources of information – studying books on hormones and/or going to seminars. Frankly, neither option provides enough knowledge to be proficient from a wellness standpoint.
The reason for this is that most books and seminars emphasize the importance of treating lab test rather than patients. What needs to be understood is most commonly you can never go wrong treating a patient but you can go wrong treating a lab test. Hormone levels vary on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. The trick is to find a practitioner who will sit with you and decide what hormones you need based primarily on your history, rather than just looking at lab values.
In the U.S., patients have the choice of going to an M.D. or D.O., a naturopath, a nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant. All of these practitioners are capable of writing prescriptions for hormones in most states. Since their baseline training is almost the same, your choice should not be dependent on the type of practitioner but on the way they practice hormone replacement.
A key factor should be how comfortable they are listening to your concerns and suggestions. I feel very strongly that a well-informed patient, who is proactive about their health, can contribute significantly to their achieving successful hormonal balance. One way of accomplishing this can be to read my book, “The Miracle of Bio-identical Hormones”, which is available as a free e-book on my website, www.plattwellness.com. This book gives advice as to which particular hormones are needed for certain situations –estriol for vaginal dryness, intravaginal testosterone for stress incontinence, progesterone cream to control insulin and/or anger issues, and thyroid for cracked heels and poor nails. The book gives advice on how to use these hormones and what strengths to be used.
Of course, for those of you who want to have complete control over your hormones, you can get my manual, “The Platt Protocol for Hormone Balancing”. This is a companion to my book and was written for healthcare practitioners. It also includes a chapter on how to control adrenaline–the hormone associated with anger, ADHD, insomnia, fibromyalgia, depression, alcoholism, plus many other conditions. It also goes into detail about hormone replacement for people of all ages.
In order to answer the question, “How do I find someone to help me with my hormones?”, you need to decide what your particular needs are. If all you need is someone to replace hormones after the menopause or andropause, most likely any practitioner can help. However, if you have some associated health issues such as weight problems, diabetes, hypertension, fatigue, sleep issues, fibromyalgia, anger, ADHD, etc.–which all have a hormonal component– you may be better off looking for practitioner who has a better understanding of hormonal interrelationships.
Please keep in mind that hormones are often out of balance in the teenage years and before. Finding help for people at these ages can be futile. Unfortunately, what is not appreciated by our present medical system, is that the correct balancing of hormones in the younger years can prevent the development of PCOS, menstrual migraines, fibroids, endometriosis, problems with conceiving, miscarriages, and postpartum depression. It can also prevent the development of all six cancers in women caused by estrogen in later years. Again, it is not easy finding hormone doctors capable of treating these problems or who even know they can be treated.
Please be aware that I am always available for consultation in those cases where you are unable to find the help you need. It can be done by phone, or Skype, or in my office.
For those looking for traditional hormone doctors, compounding pharmacies can often be a major source of information about available practitioners. If the pharmacist knows of a practitioner who has read my manual, I would certainly include that person for consideration.