Picture this, you have been to doctor after doctor and haven’t felt good for ages. You know something is wrong with you, but no one has the answer. You and your husband are hoping that you can find a doctor who will be able to tell you what you desperately want to hear – what is wrong with me and what it is the treatment.
Instead you hear, “So you are losing all of your hair, they make cute wigs down the street. Check into it.” Or, “Bio-identical hormones are dangerous and you should not be taking any hormone that doesn’t come from an OB/GYN.” Or how about, “Your daughter’s illness is all in her head. She needs to see a psychiatrist.”
All of these are my story and I didn’t get any help until I met Dr. Hotze and his wonderful clinic in the early 1990’s. My introduction to the Hotze Clinic began with my daughter’s migraine headaches. Every night after school she came home with a headache, blurry eyes and vomiting. She would go straight to bed and get up about 9 PM to do her homework. Her treatment started with our regular doctor who could find nothing wrong. She was referred to an internist who found nothing wrong and in turn referred her to a gastroenterologist. Our daughter went through all kinds of tests and the last doctor told me to find her a good psychiatrist, because this was all in her head. My husband even said that it sounded like a good idea to him. While discussing my daughter’s health problems with teachers I worked with, one suggested Dr. Hotze. Dr. Hotze did the allergy tests and put her on a special rotation diet. Long story short – we found out that certain foods caused the headaches and we were able to control them. My daughter went off to college, and I forgot about the clinic.
About two years later, I had a new teaching job with lots of stress. I began gaining weight even though I was eating less. I was tired, depressed, had no energy, and started losing hair. My husband even called me bitchy. One day I got in the shower, put my hands through my hair, and out came a huge handful of wet hair. I put the hair in a baggie and went to my regular doctor who then referred me to a dermatologist. The dermatologist told me to go to an endocrinologist. The endocrinologist put me through all kinds of tests and told me that by thyroid was okay. He told me it was probably just stress and to just buy a nice wig.
In the mean time, other teachers at work were noticing my symptoms. While eating lunch, I went into kind of a stupor. Another teacher was talking to me and I wasn’t responding. She was so concerned that she led me to the school nurse. The school nurse told me it was time to do something and to get another opinion. Remembering how Dr. Hotze had helped my daughter, I decided to visit him. Dr. Hotze did allergy and blood tests. He also did some thyroid tests and explained that allergies can affect the thyroid. I studied hypothyroidism on the internet and read some books. My symptoms matched and things started to make sense to me. I started on allergy shots at the time. I now do the drops. I also started on Armour Thyroid. My life gradually became my own again!!! Everything was good for about ten years.
In the mean time, I started menopause. My OB/GYN put me on Premarin, but my legs hurt so much that we changed to Prempro. I went on for about nine or ten years. When I would go in to Dr. Hotze for my yearly checkup, he would tell me that I needed to take the bio-identical hormones. Unfortunately, I had been feeling so good that I didn’t listen. Also my OB/GYN didn’t think bio-identical was a good idea.
Then came the Prempro scare!! Anyone taking Prempro most likely remembers the newscasts. I quit cold turkey. Soon the hot flashes, pounding heart, and fast heartbeat started. My blood pressure skyrocketed. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I was having a heart attack. I had anxiety attacks so bad that I would get to work and my husband would have to come and drive me home. Imagine not being able to go shopping alone for fear of fainting or being afraid to drive home.
I went to the cardiologist and was put on blood pressure medicine. In the mean time, I remembered the bio-identical hormones and went back to the Hotze Clinic. I started estrogen and progesterone, but due to an additional health problem, I was only able to take the progesterone. Shortly into my treatment my Armour Thyroid stopped working. We tried T3 and T4 thyroid treatments, but my blood pressure shot up even higher. I am convinced that when I stopped the Prempro it messed up my hormone balance. It took a while but my blood pressure came down and I was able to stop taking the blood pressure medicine – which I’m not sure I ever needed in the first place. The pounding heart has also disappeared. I still have some hair loss and weight problems, but I think I will be able to conquer that as Dr. Ellsworth has me on the yeast free diet and is helping me figure out how to balance my different hormones. We are working to get my thyroid healthy again. I am not 100% yet, but I am getting there.
During the last 10 years or so, my faith in doctors has dwindled greatly. Most are afraid to try anything out of the ordinary and instead prescribe drugs. If it would not have been for Dr. Hotze’s clinic, I think I would have still been searching for answers or probably just given up. I have been learning more about my body and the signals it sends me. I am now a believer in vitamins and the holistic approach. I am gradually reclaiming my life again for the second time. Just because you are in your 50’s, you do not have to settle for low energy and a substandard life. Don’t let your regular doctors tell you that there is nothing wrong with you! Check out all the alternatives. Mainstream medicine isn’t always the answer!
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