It is amazing how much my life has changed since I went to the Hotze Health and Wellness Center on July 12, 2005. I had been acutely ill since May of 2003, but I never remember feeling really healthy since high school. I am now a 38 year old married stay-at-home mom to a seven year old girl and live in Dallas.
My acute symptoms, which began in May of 2003, were: night sweats, bleeding gums, an increase in breast size, weight fluctuations (8 pounds in one day was a record), constipation, low temperature/low blood pressure, fungus on mouth, nails, tongue; very dry hair and skin, yeast infections, increased cholesterol, heart palpitations at night, fuzzy, foggy thinking, joint pain, dry eyes and mouth, exhaustion (even during the day), muscle cramps, waking up every night at 2 or 3 a.m., carpal tunnel syndrome, ovarian cysts, severe pelvic pain, prolonged menstrual bleeding, OH, and almost constant nausea, low grade headaches, and vomiting around 15 nights a month (mostly only at night).
Thus began my surreal adventure to all types of doctors. I started with my gynecologist because my symptoms always got worse with ovulation and menstruation. I asked her to test my hormones because all of these symptoms got worse around the second half of my cycle. She refused to test my hormones because I was 36 at the time and was still having a period. I went to my primary care physician and asked her about the hormone connection. She concurred with my gynecologist and never tested my hormones. She did test my TSH which was normal of course. She thought that maybe I had a brain tumor and ordered a MRI. This too was normal. I went to a GI doctor, and he did an endoscopy to check for esophageal or stomach cancer. This was normal. I went to another GI doctor for a colonoscopy. This was normal. I went to another gynecologist, and she thought it could be endometriosis. I underwent a pelvic laparoscopy which was normal.
During this time, I got sicker and sicker. My episodes of nausea and vomiting became almost a daily routine. My fatigue got to the point where I never sat down during the day and I never stayed home because I would be afraid to fall asleep. I just pushed myself to move and get through the day. I did find an endocrinologist who prescribed Armour Thyroid (due to elevated thyroid antibodies), but the dose was too low. I initially felt better, but my symptoms returned. He was afraid to increase the dose because my TSH was in the normal range.
My husband and I began to get really frightened. After a trip to the emergency room for dehydration due to the vomiting, (and no diagnosis, yet again) we decided we could not live like this anymore. I was terrified that I had cancer and no one would find it until it was too late. We decided to go to the Mayo Clinic. I went in June of 2004. I first went to an endocrinologist at Mayo. My husband and I told him that we were sure that it was hormonal. The first day I was there, he told me that he was sure it was NOT hormonal. We were really frustrated, but we stayed for a week of testing. Of course, every test turned out normal. The one thing that they did figure out (that no other doctor did in the course of a year) was that. I have an atypical migraine called cyclic vomiting migraine. I get a low grade headache, but all of the other migraine symptoms. They gave me medication for the migraine attacks (Axert) and a beta-blocker to prevent future migraines. Beta-blockers are a bad idea for someone who has a low thyroid (they just make you more tired and spacey), but that is another story.
By January 2005, the preventative medication stopped working, I was getting sick again on a regular basis, and my other symptoms were still there. My then 6 year old daughter started getting panic attacks because she thought Mommy was dying. She did not want to go to school because when she went to school Mommy went to doctors. Our daughter’s therapist (for the panic attacks) started to talk with me about accepting my physical limitations. She thought that it was time for me – at age 37 – to accept that I would need to rest all the time and not be as active as I wanted to be. She thought that I needed to tell my daughter that Mommy was sick and could not be like other moms. This conversation made me sick. I knew that something was wrong and the doctors were missing something.
In July 2005, I found Dr. Hotze’s website during a Google search. I ordered his book from Amazon and could not put it down. Almost all of my symptoms were in the book. I called my husband at work and asked him if we could go to Houston. He said yes and we had an appointment within a week. I met with Dr. Sheridan and he actually listened to me. He prescribed an increased dose of Armour, progesterone, and a small amount of testosterone. He told me to go on the yeast-free diet and take Nystatin, exercise, and take LOTS of supplements. I was desperate and followed his advice to the letter.
I started feeling better within a week. I felt great after 6 weeks. I lost 22 pounds. I had energy. I had no more massive weight swings. My moods are much better. I am a much nicer person to be around. Almost all of my symptoms have disappeared. I feel great most of the time. Whenever I have a minor symptom, Dr. Sheridan adjusts my medication.
I have a folder of all of my symptoms, tests, lab results, etc. from this terrible time of my life. I was reviewing the file to write this document. When I look at this, it is almost as if that was another person. I feel so good this year. I joined a tennis team at our club. I have been working out with a personal trainer. My husband and daughter are more happy and relaxed. Our daughter does not think I am going to die anymore. My husband no longer stays up at night worrying that I have some terminal disease.
My turnaround was so dramatic that my husband went to see a doctor at the Hotze Health and Wellness Center in September. He has lost almost 15 pounds, but has put on a tremendous amount of muscle. He is 47, but looks at least 10 years younger. None of his clothes fit him anymore. He is happy, confident, and energetic. We joke that we are “true believers” of the Hotze method. It is true that you have to take control of your own health. If you do not change your diet and do not exercise, I do not think that all of your symptoms will disappear. It truly is a combination of the natural hormones, diet, and exercise.
Oh, by the way, NONE of my doctors want to attribute my stunning health reversal to Dr. Hotze and Dr. Sheridan. I can tell that they think I am crazy to believe that all of this has happened due to the natural hormone replacement, diet, and exercise. They are really uncomfortable with all of this. It makes me angry that they were so willing to prescribe lots of medications, tests, and day surgeries and think that their methods were so “acceptable”, but, they are unwilling to explore something like natural hormone replacement, diet, and exercise.
I have lots of friends who have similar symptoms and stories like mine. They are always told they are exaggerating their symptoms. Almost all of them have been offered antidepressants. I will never forget the male doctor who snickered when I was crying one Saturday night and was so sick I could not even keep water down. He suggested that my symptoms were psychosomatic and that I was vomiting due to the upset of getting my period. I was so sick at the time another baby was the last thing on my mind. He insisted that this could not be related to my hormones. One female gynecologist (who obviously thought I could not hear her) asked her nurse, “What is she doing here again??” (Like any woman relishes the thought of visiting her gynecologist?) I was there yet again for excruciating pelvic pain. Of course this always happened in the second half of my cycle, but, hey, it could not be related to my hormones, right?
I have finally gotten my life back at age 38. I feel better than I have in years. I will always be grateful to the Hotze Health and Wellness Center.
Have you seen doctor after doctor for your symptoms, but were told it was all in your head? Contact us TODAY to finally see a doctor who will listen to you and help you get well, naturally.