DR CABOT: Hello, everyone. My name’s Dr Sandra Cabot and I’m joined today by one of my patients, who I’ve known for many, many years and she’s also a good friend. Her name is Juanita Serrano.
JUANITA: Hello, Sandra. Nice to see you, as always.
DR CABOT: Yes. And Juanita has kindly agreed to do a little interview with me about her own experience with bioidentical hormones, which I think will be helpful for a lot of older women out there, us postwar baby boomers. And I see a lot of women who struggle with hormonal imbalances, and they have trouble getting help. They really do. Perhaps it’s because they feel uncomfortable talking about their hormones or their libido. Or they just don’t think there’s anything they can do about it. They think they’re getting older. But whatever the reason may be, they do struggle. And that was the case for you, wasn’t it, Juanita?
JUANITA: Yes, it certainly was. It certainly was, till you helped me with the bioidentical cream. Lovely. Very, very successful.
DR CABOT: Good. And what symptoms did you have? Do you remember back? Because we’ve been using the creams for how many years now?
JUANITA: Mostly about 7 years.
DR CABOT: Wow!
JUANITA: Yeah. And I would not go off it because I really feel terrific. And my symptoms were many. I had night sweats. I had hot flushes. I had no libido whatsoever. I had mood swings. I felt slightly depressed. And I’m not a depressed person, but it changed my whole personality. I did not recognize myself. And I was too embarrassed, like you said, a lot of women do not speak to each other. I was very embarrassed to speak about it because I thought, “Oh, what’s happening to me?” Because the onslaught was sudden. But since I’ve been taking or using the cream (it’s not taking the cream). Since I’ve been using the cream, I noticed the difference most likely within 3 to 4 weeks, Sandra.
DR CABOT: That’s good, isn’t it?
JUANITA: Yes, it was very good. I didn’t expect it to be so quick. But since then, I have not looked back. I do not have hot flushes. I do not have night sweats. My libido has stabilized and my moods are definitely much better.
DR CABOT: And your sleep.
JUANITA: Yes, and I do sleep much better. That was another thing. I was having dreadful nights, where I couldn’t sleep. Of course, with the night sweats. That goes without saying.
DR CABOT: If I remember correctly, you had anxiety.
JUANITA: Yes. I used to wake up in the morning very overwhelmed and thinking that I was going to be sick, which I wasn’t actually physically sick. But that was the thought pattern. And that’s all gone, as well.
DR CABOT: Right. Well, when we talk about bioidentical hormones, what does that mean for people? Well, it means that the chemical structure of the hormone is identical to your own body’s naturally produced hormones. That’s the difference. There’s many different types of hormone therapy out there. And I’ve written lots of books on hormones. I’ve got one, Don’t Let Your Hormones Ruin Your Life. I’ve got one, HRT – The Real Truth. I’ve got another one, Improve Your Sex Drive Naturally. And another one, How Not To Kill Your Husband. That’s important. A lot of men buy that book.
JUANITA: Yes, I’m sure they would, because they would want their wives to… Well, they would want to read it so they know what to do.
DR CABOT: I’ve been working with Juanita for many years, because she does a little bit of reception work for me. And we’ve had a few laughs.
JUANITA: We have.
DR CABOT: You have to lighten up, don’t you?
JUANITA: You do have to lighten up. I think that I remember speaking to Sandra, and I thought that my libido wasn’t just gone away. That actually my vagina went for a walk.
DR CABOT: Yes, that’s right!
JUANITA: It went, what was it? It went off the planet?
DR CABOT: It left the building.
JUANITA: It left the building. So, I was very pleased when I didn’t think anymore that it had left the building. That I was intact, which was good. And we have to laugh about it. But we have to talk to each other.
DR CABOT: Yes. We do have to talk about it. And some doctors are not interested in hormones and they really don’t know how to use bioidentical hormones. And that’s not a critique of the doctor. I mean, doctors can’t be good at everything. They have their own special areas of interest. But because of the paucity of good information on hormonal imbalances, I wrote four books on it. Because I could see that women were not getting a holistic picture of all the facts. There’s a lot of confusion. And just because they’re bioidentical hormones doesn’t mean to say you can overdose on them. They’re still hormones.
DR CABOT: So, if you feel good on them, it doesn’t mean you keep taking more and more and more. Because any hormones that include estrogen can increase your risk of breast cancer, if you take too much of it.
DR CABOT: But you were just using a low dose, and that’s generally all that women need. Is a low dose.
JUANITA: I’ve never had to. You’ve never had to tweak my script. You picked it in one. And we’ve had a few blood tests in between, but all good. And I’m still on basically what you prescribed all those years ago. And I’m very happy with it. But I still stress, you girls out there, you need to talk to each other. We have to be comrades in this. We need to all pull together, because when we do open up and speak to one another, that’s when we realize we’re not alone. We all go through this one way or another. And let’s all talk about it in that way. Then we get help, I think.
DR CABOT: That’s right. Don’t think you’re alone. It’s very, very common. And sex hormones we’re talking about – the estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA – they all have an effect on your sex drive. But also, a profound effect on your state of mind, on your emotions and your mental health. And look at all the women out there who get postnatal depression. That’s a huge problem, right?
DR CABOT: And some women suffer terribly and they don’t feel the same for years and years and years. And that can be helped a lot with hormone therapy. And in my book titled Don’t Let Your Hormones Ruin Your Life, I cover postnatal depression and talking about the natural progesterone and natural testosterone. And within weeks, women feel normal again. But unfortunately, they don’t get told about it.
DR CABOT: No. So that’s why we need to get the message out there. And we’re doing this podcast. And you’ve probably heard of the midwives that make up the placenta of women into capsules. You heard of that?
JUANITA: Yeah, I have.
DR CABOT: Well, that’s a service that women can have. And they can have their placenta made into capsules. And they take that the day after the baby is born. And that restores their hormones. That’s how it works.
JUANITA: It’s amazing!
DR CABOT: It’s giving them back the progesterone and the testosterone, the estrogen that’s gone.
JUANITA: So, what goes out here, then you put back in you. Amazing!
DR CABOT: That’s recycling, right? And it’s been used for thousands of years because women are smart and they recognize, “Well, this woman had a profound duration in her mental state after the baby was born. Why? Oh, she lost the baby, but she also lost her placenta. Let’s try and give her the placenta back.” For what they were doing, is giving the hormones back that were in the placenta and the woman felt normal again. But some women don’t like that idea. But it’s a bit organic, if you like.
JUANITA: Is this their own?
DR CABOT: Yeah, that’s what I mean. It’s quite safe. And there are midwives who offer that service. Just Google it and you’ll find one. But it has to be arranged, obviously, before the baby is born. But if you don’t want to do that, you can just use a cream that contains the progesterone and some testosterone, after the baby is born. And it’s very safe. It will restore your sanity. It’ll reduce your depression and it won’t reduce your breast milk. So, there’s many applications for bioidentical hormones.
JUANITA: Yes! Well, I had never heard about it till I met you. I used to just think that the only thing that was ever there for menopause was HRT. And it’s that terrible HRT that gives you all those side effects. So, I was very pleased that I met you, one. But two, that there was something natural and that doesn’t give you horrible side effects.
DR CABOT: Yeah. Good. So, hormone replacement can be a confusing subject for women. Because in some countries, it’s not really approved by the medical board or by the TGA. And that’s the case in Australia. Our medical board doesn’t like it. So, I always advised women that, if you’re going to take bioidentical hormones, it’s an area that is a little bit… well, would say political, because the medical board and the college of GPs prefer doctors to use branded hormones, not bioidentical hormones that are compounded. But I always say to women, “Well make up your own mind.” And provided you having your regular mammograms, PAP smears, breast checks, and you’re not using high doses, it’s just as safe as any other type of hormone. Because estrogen can cause breast cancer in any form, if you use too much of it. So, this is another area that women get confused in.
DR CABOT: And the other thing I think that is important, is if you’re really feeling bad during menopause or postmenopause and you think, “Oh, I’m at my wit’s end. What can I really do?” You can always try bioidentical hormones for a few months and see if you feel any better. You don’t have to take it for the rest of your life. Just try it for a few months and you might think, “Oh, this has really improved my quality of life”, like it did for you, Juanita.
DR CABOT: And then you can talk to your own doctor or email us and decide what you want to do long term. But it’s not like we’re treating a disease. You don’t have to commit to anything for years and years and years. But you’re just trying to function at a high level and feel normal. Feel well, feel happy and have a bit of a sex drive. I mean, that’s not important to all women, but to a lot of women it is.
DR CABOT: And I always remember a little joke that we used to have about women would have their hormones measured in a blood test in a clinic in Pambula, down on the South Coast of NSW. And the results will come back. There was no hormones.
DR CABOT: The hormones were too low to measure. And what did we call that? Turnip syndrome.
JUANITA: Turnip syndrome! That’s right!
DR CABOT: So, the patients would ring up for their results and say, “Well, what are my hormones showing?” And we’d say, “Well, we’re sorry to tell you, but you’ve got turnip syndrome.”
JUANITA: Of course! I’ve forgotten that.
DR CABOT: And they go, “Turnip syndrome? What’s that?” They were a bit perplexed and anxious. And we’d say, “You’ve got the sex hormone levels of a turnip.” And they’d say, “That’s exactly how I feel. Just like a turnip.”
JUANITA: It’s awful.
DR CABOT: And then they crack up. They’d relate to that because…
JUANITA: I’ve forgotten all about that. We haven’t used that for ages. I’ll have to start using that again. People ring up and ask, “Well, how am I feeling? What’s my blood test all about?”
DR CABOT: Are you feeling like a turnip or like a juicy peach?
JUANITA: That’s right. I haven’t heard that for ages.
DR CABOT: That’s right. Well, we’ve been together working for a long time. Haven’t we?
JUANITA: Ten years, it will be next month, in October. Since you walked through that door and I nearly attacked you, saying, “My guru! My guru! I’m so pleased to see you again!”
DR CABOT: Her hormones were at the turnip level. She had quite severe turnip syndrome.
DR CABOT: It might have been beansprouts syndrome.
JUANITA: Maybe. Something… alfalfa.
DR CABOT: Anyway, thank God that she’s good now. And women do really struggle. I had a lady come and see me about 20 years ago, right? And she came from an outback town in NSW, called Lightning Ridge.
JUANITA: Yeah, I know where Lightning Ridge is.
DR CABOT: That’s out past the back of Bourke. Really out there in the Australian Outback. And she had gone to her doctor to get help for her menopause, right? And she couldn’t get any help. The doctor really didn’t know what to do. And so, she got on a bus – that’s a long trip from Lightning Ridge to Sydney. And so, it would have taken her a whole day, or maybe 2 days. And I said, “Well, dear! What did you tell your doctor?” She said, “Well, I told him I’ve lost all my libidoo and I want it back!” She was a typical country lady, right? And I said, “Oh, that’s no good. The libidoo. Yes, the libidoo. We have to get it back.” So, she was able to try the bioidentical hormones. But over the years, we’ve had so many patients who’ve had mild to medium to serious hormone imbalances. And they do struggle to get the help. So that’s why I’ve got the books. And in some countries, it is hard to get help. Australia can be hard to get help. It’s not really something that’s taught in medical schools or really promoted by the educational colleges in Australia. Whereas in Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries, it’s very popular. I had a woman recently from Malaysia and she said, “Dr Cabot, I’ve been to 20 different doctors to try and get my hormones and none of them will prescribe it.” She said, “In Malaysia, I just go to the chemist and I get it. And I get a script for 2 years.”
JUANITA: Here it’s for 6 months, if it’s got testosterone or DHEA.
DR CABOT: Yes. It’s very regulated. Some countries, it’s highly regulated, some countries it’s not. So, that’s another barrier. So, if you do think that your mental health or your sex life is suffering from a hormonal imbalance, have a look at the books or send us an email from sandracabot.com. And we can pass it on to Juanita, as well. She’ll tell you about the wonderful results.
JUANITA: The turnips disease and my results. Non-turnips disease.
DR CABOT: Yes. And don’t give up…
JUANITA: No. And don’t give up.
DR CABOT: Because, really, hormones can make a big difference.
JUANITA: It changes your life again to feeling normal and happy. And that’s very important, I think.
DR CABOT: And it could save your marriage.
JUANITA: It can save your marriage, I’m sure!
DR CABOT: So those books are called: Don’t Let Your Hormones Ruin Your Life, How Not To Kill Your Husband, HRT – The Real Truth. And I can’t remember the other one now. I’ve written too many books. I’ve written nearly 40 books. Anyway, go to the website. You’ll see them there.
JUANITA: They’ll be all there. And they’re all a very good read.
DR CABOT: And we hope that you’ve enjoyed this podcast and had a few laughs.
JUANITA: I certainly have.
DR CABOT: Okay. Thank You, Juanita, for your wonderful input.
JUANITA: No worries at all.
DR CABOT: Bye for now!