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Re: Too little Lithium vs. just enough? experience Squiggles

Posted by barbaracat on August 11, 2005, at 15:21:50

In reply to Re: Too little Lithium vs. just enough? experience, posted by Squiggles on August 11, 2005, at 14:57:35

> I know that hormones are very important
> for mood disorders. Infact, my own dr.
> has supplemented me with one for bipolar;

**What did he supplement you with? That is encouraging to know some doctors are doing this.

> You say you have a naturopath who does that? I thought that they were incapable of prescribing these hormones (by law);
**No, they can prescribe compounded hormones. I don't know about the synthetic conjugated ones that would be considered a prescription medicine. They can also prescribe things like thyroid hormones. I think it depends on if the med is a controlled substance.

As far as complicated, saliva tests do a good job at pinpointing what's going on, but it takes a skilled doctor to interpret those numbers into an optimal formulation. Retesting is important too. As is a good compounding pharmacy with knowledgable staff. I use Women's International Pharmacy and they're great and willing to offer advice and information. It's not really rocket science. A little tweaking here and there based on the results of the tests. But so much prescribing, even with the bioidentical hormones, is done blindly with no base levels to go on.

Just as an example, I was going to a gynocologist as I started into menopause and he did not do any tests - said they basically did not tell him anything useful. So I went on the standard typical 'natural' hormones, as natural as they get from an HMO office. A few months later I started hemorraghing and it turned out I was getting too much estrogen, a typical state of affairs in perimenopause. I ended up with a pre-cancerous condition, a lovely scrape job, and a firm conviction that there had to be a better way than the cookie-cutter approach.

That's when I realized that for something as personalized and delicate as hormonal balance, it's important to find someone you can work with who knows what they're doing. Just because they're a naturopath who specializes in it isn't an automatic seal of approval, as evidenced by my former doctor's putting the wrong compound in.

I think I have a good one now, but I've learned that I have to keep on top of my own health. These people are busy, overworked, and human and make mistakes. I'll admit to having more than my share of weird medical mishaps but it's taught me some good lessons. What I do find hard is when I'm feeling whacked out, depressed, whatever, to keep close tabs. I just want to give over into someone's care and not think about it and trust. But I've had my own experiences and know many health care providers who share and encourage my caution. - BCat




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