The Healing Center
332 S. Lincoln, Lakeview, Mi. (989) 352-6500

Store hours: M-F 10am to 6pm  Sat. 10am to 3pm  Sunday Closed

Bio-identical Hormones

Plant Based Hormones

BHRT   --    Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has been a big deal in health care for many years.    We know that as we get older, our ability to produce hormones steadily decreases.   A hormone is a chemical substance manufactured by an organ in our body, released into the blood, which then causes some action on other cells or target organs.   An example would be TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone.    It does just that, it is made by the brain and stimulates the thyroid gland to make thyroxin which is a hormone which controls a lot of other processes in our body. 


HRT usually refers to artificially replacing hormones that are missing because of aging, surgery, infection, immune disorders, etc.   In general this means, Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, and DHEA.   For this article, we will talk about these hormones in women although they are all present and necessary in men as well.


One use of estrogen is to prepare the female body for pregnancy.    If pregnancy does occur, progesterone is then produced in large amounts to support that pregnancy.   When these two hormones are out of balance in a non-pregnant woman, there can be many symptoms depending on the imbalance.   One of the conditions is called Estrogen Dominance and includes the following: fatigue, migraines, mood swings, panic attacks, depression, fibroids, fibrocystic breasts, fluid retention, miscarriages, infertility, irregular cycles, severe menstrual cramps, and heavy flow. 


After menopause, many women experience hot flashes and other very uncomfortable symptoms.   These are due to imbalances of the hormones.   For many years, health care providers prescribed Hormone Replacement Therapy using medications like Premarin and Provera.    For many women this did relieve their symptoms, but in 2002 the results of a study, The Women’s Health Initiative, found that these hormones markedly increased the risks of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer in those taking the HRT.


The problem was that these medications were not exact matches for the naturally occurring hormones made by the body (exact matches cannot be patented).   Some were synthetically made in a laboratory and some were extracted from the urine of pregnant horses.     Because these artificial hormones did not exactly match the natural hormones, the target organs often were not affected in the expected way, sometimes causing cancers to occur.


The solution to this problem is BHRT, Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy.   Bio-identical simple means that the hormones used to treat the imbalances are exact matches for human hormones.   These are hormones made from plant sources and they are exact matches, therefore the risks of cancers are no greater than expected.   Read, "What Your Doctor Will Not Tell You About Hormone Replacement Therapy", by Dr John Lee, MD.


Simple saliva tests, costing about $150, can determine the exact hormone deficiency and a prescription cream to correct the imbalance can be created at a compounding pharmacist. 


In addition to feeling much better, most women who use BHRT have improved bone density and actually lower there risk of cancer, especially if they change from traditional HRT to the Bio-identical products. 



Thyroid Hormone     


Is my thyroid OK?

This is a question that every Health Care Provider has heard many times.   Most of the time, the question is from patients who are experiencing fatigue or having weight concerns.  


Usually a lab test is done and “all the tests are normal”.  The patients are often disappointed and sometimes a little angry.   There is some discussion that the blood test, TSH, should be revised to a lower number (American Association of Clinical Chemistry, 2007).  


There are some people who have Thyroid resistance.   This is a lot like type II Diabetes in which the patient has adequate hormone, but the body cannot use it properly.   It is possible that this is related to chlorine and flouride from city water blocking the iodine receptor sites on the cells. 


Dr. Broda Barnes in his book, Hypothyroidism, shows 40 years of research that supports the basal body temperature as a valid way of measuring the effects of thyroid activity.   Motion and muscular activity produce heat, so the basal temperature is taken in the morning for ten minutes, under the arm, before getting out of bed.   This should be done for four days.   The normal range is 97.8 to 98.2.    Women should take their temperatures 2 day on and 2 days off their monthly cycle.    If the temperatures are in the 95 and 96 degree range there is a good chance the thyroid is not working correctly.  


Herbal thyroid activator, kelp, dulse, herbal iodine, and other supplements can be taken to improve thyroid activity.   Most of the time, these supplements will resolve the fatigue and other concerns.   


If it does not, further thyroid tests, checking antibodies and other more sophisticated things may be done.  


Iridology, face analysis, and muscle response testing can often be used to help determine the thyroid status.    Low dose medicine trials using Armor Thyroid sometimes are used as both diagnosis and treatment. 

What Hormones do I need ??

The questionaire below is taken from the website of Dr. John Lee, MD.   His books have been the standard for BHRT for 30+ years. You can google his name to visit his site.   

These questions are meant to be a guide to find the ball park hormone imbalance you might have.   Then Saliva testing can be performed to determine exactly what your needs are.  For $145.00 we will send you a saliva collection kit and the mailer.  The saliva test will be performed by a medical laboratory and we will forward the results to you (Progesterone, Estrodial, Estrone, Estiol, and Testosterone) with a recommendation for the formula for the BHRT cream.   We can provide the prescription to send to the compounding pharmacy if you have had a consultation in conjunction with the testing. 


Copy and Paste and Print, then take the test



Symptom group 1

___ PMS                                                 ___ Insomnia

___ Early Miscarriage                           ___ Painful, lumpy breasts

___ Unexplained weight gain                ___ Cyclical Headaches

___ Anxiety                                            ___ Infertility

If you check two or more please go to answers below for type of hormone imbalance


Symptom group 2

___Vaginal dryness                                 ___ Night sweats

___ Painful intercourse                          ___ Memory problems

___ Recurrent bladder infections          ___ Lethargic depression

___ Hot Flashes

If you check two or more please go to answers below for type of hormone imbalance


Symptom group 3

___ Puffiness and Bloating                    ___ Abnormal pap smear

___ Rapid weight gain                            ___ Breast tenderness

___ Mood swings                                   ___ Heavy menstrual flow

___ Anxious depression                        ___ Migraine Headaches

___ Insomnia                                          ___ Foggy thinking

___ Red flush in Face                            ___ Gall bladder problems

___ Weepiness

If you check two or more please go to answers for type of hormone imbalance


Symptom group 4

___ PMS                                                 ___ Insomnia

___ Early Miscarriage                           ___ Painful, lumpy breasts

___ Unexplained weight gain                ___ Cyclical Headaches

___ Anxiety                                            ___ Infertility

___ Puffiness and Bloating                   ___ Abnormal pap smear

___ Rapid weight gain                           ___ Breast tenderness

___ Mood swings                                  ___ Heavy menstrual flow

___ Anxious depression                       ___ Migraine Headaches

___ Insomnia                                         ___ Foggy thinking

___ Red flush in Face                           ___ Gall bladder problems

___ Weepiness

If you check two or more please go to answers for type of hormone imbalance


Symptom group 5

___ Acne                                                 ___ Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

___ Excessive Hair on Face/arms        ___ Unstable Blood Sugar

___ Thinning Hair on Head                   ___ Infertility

___ Ovarian Cysts                                  ___ Mid-cycle pain

If you check two or more please go to answers for type of hormone imbalance


Symptom group 6

___ Debilitating fatigue                         ___ Unstable Blood Sugar

___ Foggy thinking                                 ___ Low Blood Pressure

___ Thin and/or Dry Skin                       ___ Intolerance to Exercise

___ Brown spots on Face

If you check two or more please go to answers for type of hormone imbalance




Symptom group 1                   Progesterone Deficiency

This is the most common hormone imbalance among women of all ages. You may need to change your diet (Use Eat Right for Your Blood Type), get off synthetic hormones (including Birth Control Pills), and you may need some progesterone cream.


Symptom group 2                   Estrogen Deficiency

This hormone imbalance is common in Menopausal women, especially if you are petite or slim.  You may need some changes in diet (Eat Right for your Blood Type), take some women’s herbs and some women may need a little bit of natural estrogen.


Symptom group 3                   Estrogen Excess

In most women, this is usually solved by getting off the conventional synthetic hormones.


Symptom group 4                   Estrogen Dominance

This is caused when you don’t have enough progesterone to balance the effects of estrogen.  Thus, you can have low estrogen but if you have ever lower progesterone, you can symptoms of estrogen dominance.  This is covered in Dr. John Lee’s book, “What your Doctor may not tell you about Menopause”.


Symptom group 5                   Excessive Androgens (Male Hormones)

This is most often caused by too much sugar and simple carbohydrates in the diet and is often found in women who have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)


Symptom group 6                   Cortisol Deficiency   


This is caused by tired adrenals, which is usually cause by chronic stress.  If you are trying to juggle a job and a family, chances are good you have tired adrenals.  Read Dr. Lee’s book and Herbal Adrenal Support may be very helpful.


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Symptom Group 1


___ Weight loss                                     ___ Enlarged breasts

___ Loss of muscle                               ___ Lower stamina

___ Lower sex drive                              ___ Softer erections

___ Fatigue                                            ___ Gallbladder problems

If you have checked two or more boxes, go to answers to find hormone imbalance


Symptom Group 2


___ Hair loss                                           ___ Headaches

___ Prostate enlargements                    ___ Breast Enlargement

___ Irritability                                         ___ Weight Gain

___ Puffiness/bloating

If you have checked two or more boxes, go to answers to find hormone imbalance




Symptom Group 1                              Testosterone Deficiency

This is most common in men over the age of fifty and can be remedied with special nutritional supplements, increased muscle building exercises, and supplemental hormones including DHEA, androstenedione, and natural testosterone.  You can find details in Dr. John Lee’s book. “Male Hormone Balance for Men”.


Symptom Group 2                              Estrogen Excess

In men, excess estrogen can be balanced with one of the male hormones, changes is lifestyle, and diet (Eat Right for Your Blood Type).

Call (989) 352-6500 to schedule a phone consultation or a personal consultation at the Healing Center.  

 Email Bob Huttinga PA-C if you have questions.

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