What’s Allergies Got To Do With It?

woman-outside-blowing-noseWith the unseasonably warm winter we’ve been having down south, it goes without saying that this year is already panning out to be a high allergy year.  To help protect you from a season of debilitating allergy symptoms, you need to understand the hormone-allergy connection.

All hormones work together synergistically, including sex hormones (progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone), adrenal hormones (such as cortisol) and thyroid hormones. When one is off balance, it creates a domino effect on how the others work in the body.

What does this have to do with allergies? Well, your thyroid governs the energy production in all the cells in your body. When you have adequate levels of thyroid hormone, you have an active metabolism, higher mental clarity, and more energy. You should also have a body temperature of 98.6, which is the temperature at which your body functions optimally. Conversely, when you have low thyroid, your temperature drops and your immune system takes a hit. A weakened immune system makes you highly susceptible to allergic reactions.

Many women complain that they didn’t have allergies until after having children. This is because a woman’s sex hormone production can often run sluggish after childbirth, which therefore affects all hormones, including thyroid. You see the connection? It is like pieces of a puzzle.

If you want to be allergy symptom-free this season, then be sure to stay in tune with your body. If you are still experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance or low thyroid, then you should work with your provider to make proper adjustments.

To ensure that you never miss a day of hormones, enroll in our autofill program today.  (You’ll save 10%, too!)  Give us a call at (281) 828-9088 to sign up.

Put a Little Hormone Love in Your Heart

Wedding couple holding hands. Hands, rings, bracelets, cuff links, cuff closeup.I’m going to let you in on a little secret of love for February. A secret that will increase smile frequency, improve skin tone, and give you more joy. You ready for it? Two words: cuddle hormone.

You may chuckle, but in all seriousness, there is a cuddle hormone and its scientific name is oxytocin. This love hormone is released when an individual engages in activities such as snuggling, hugging, and social bonding. You see, there is a scientific and genetic draw towards physical touch and socialization (women aren’t just making it up!).

This small amino acid peptide is believed to be involved in a wide variety of physiological functions. Individuals who are low in oxytocin are typically more likely to have trust issues and may have a harder time connecting with new people in their life. Physical signs can include limited emotional expressions, pale face, and dry eyes. They may also experience a decline in sex drive and ability to feel enhanced pleasure.

On the flip side, women and men with adequate levels of oxytocin are associated with more willingness to trust, the capacity to adapt to emotional circumstances, increased generosity, and more radiant skin.

So, since it is the month of love, after all, you may find that it’s the perfect time to take advantage of this happy hormone, as it might be the extra spice you need to more closely bond with your significant other and to emit joy to all those you love.

At Hotze Pharmacy, oxytocin is carefully compounded in small sublingual tablets in varying strengths to address each guest’s needs. If you believe you would benefit from oxytocin, then contact your provider today to discuss your symptom concerns.

May you have a love-filled month of February!

Tips to Simplify Your Hormones Regimen

Man holding vitamin brown bottle show tablets of Vitamin inside instagram tone color

Take a minute and think… what can you do this coming year to become more organized, stress less and achieve all the goals you have set for yourself? Perhaps, purchasing a physical calendar is on your list, or revamping your daily schedule to become more structured.

We find that success and follow through require creating systems and being more regimented. So, here are our New Year’s tips for you to keep you on track and organized about your health this year:

  1. Use a pill sorter for your hormones (and vitamins, unless you are using My HotzePak). It is easy to forget which pills you have taken or to lose 1 or 2 in your work bag or purse, so keeping them all together in a pill box can keep you organized and ensure safe transportation from point A to point B.
  2. Take all your hormones together. A common question we get is “do I need to take my thyroid separate from my other hormones?” And the answer is no. You will need to take your hormones first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. You can take your vitamins 30 minutes to an hour later, after a meal.
  3. Consider consolidating your multiple doses of the same hormones. Once you are stable on your dosage for at least one month, you can request a consolidation. For example, if you take 4 capsules of Hotze Thyroid SR 0.25gr and are stable, you can request a consolidation to 1 capsule of Hotze Thyroid SR 1gr. If you have any questions about consolidating your doses, Hotze Pharmacy technicians and pharmacists are always available to assist you.
  4. Always carry a list of your hormones and supplements with you. You can put this list in your wallet or on your phone. This will make it easy to remember what you are taking, as well as convenient for you when speaking with your provider.
  5. If necessary, set a timer on your phone to remind you to take your hormones and/ or vitamins. If you have a busy schedule, like most do, these reminders will be critical for you to be consistent.
  6. Lastly, drink up! Water is your best friend when it comes to absorbing your hormones and supplements. You may notice a huge difference when drinking a full glass of water, versus a few sips just to get the pills down.

Is the thought of getting organized energizing you? We sure hope so! Let us top it off and make things super simple for you. Call us to set your pharmacy and vitamin orders on auto ship. Pharmacy: 281-828-9088 Hotze Vitamins: 281-646-1659

Here’s to making 2017 the best year yet!

Best Hormones to Beat Holiday Stress

Stressed young woman in front of christmas treeIf you were alive in the 60’s and 70’s then you remember the buzz around Valium; the pill known for being every mother’s “little helper.” While still used for its anxiety-relieving effects, the results are only temporary.  Instead of turning to a pharmaceutical drug, it’s important to address the underlying cause for more lasting results.

At this time of year, it’s tempting to look for a quick fix, so you can “just get through the holidays.”  Because after all, the shopping, cooking, school functions, traveling and hosting add up quickly, causing you to become irritable, fatigued and anxious.  So aside from incorporating healthy habits, like eating well and getting enough rest, what can you do to keep stress and anxiety at bay this year?

Your answer: take your hormones. Progesterone is an essential female hormone for managing stress. In fact, progesterone works directly with GABA receptors in your brain (just like an anti-anxiety medication would) to produce a calming effect. Without adequate levels of progesterone, you may begin to feel anxious, irritable and not able to sleep through the night. All of which are a nasty combo for such a joyous time of year.

Just as progesterone is ideal for women, testosterone is critical for men. One of testosterone’s most significant – and often unrecognized – benefits is its effect on brain function. Not only does it influence drive and decisiveness, but it helps with mood, anxiety, and stress, too.

For both men and women, adrenal hormones, such as cortisol and DHEA, are going to be your frontline stress-fighters. These hormones’ sole purpose is to help you to adapt to stress, whether minor or severe, and bring you back to a state of equilibrium. Depleted adrenals will leave you feeling too exhausted to enjoy your favorite holiday activities.

Something to also keep in mind this month is your toxic exposure. Toxins in our food and environment can disrupt hormonal balance.  Small changes you can make to decrease your toxic load starting today are to:

  1. Use unscented clothing detergent.
  2. Shop organic when possible and on the outer edges of the grocery store.
  3. Try natural household cleaning products such as vinegar with lemon and thieves essential oils.
  4. Store and re-heat food in glass containers to limit BPA exposure.
  5. Drink out of glass or stainless steel water bottles.

It can be tough to avoid stress, especially during the holiday rush, but if you follow these simple tips, you will be able to enjoy the season rather than just survive it.

Seven Steps for a Great Night’s Sleep

Woman sleeping in bed. Woman sleeping isolated on white background.

Sleep hygiene consists of a variety of different practices necessary for normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness. Without proper sleep hygiene, you could be harming your body’s natural ability to fall and stay asleep on its own. Additionally, sleepless nights can lead to long term health consequences, such as insomnia.

In order to get a good night’s rest each and every night, it is essential that you follow the Seven Sleep Steps that will leave you feeling refreshed and energized each morning.

  1. Avoid napping during the day.While naps may be tempting, especially on the weekends, they actually disturb the normal pattern of sleep and wakefulness. If you feel yourself wanting to doze off, lace up your tennis shoes and go for a walk. The physical activity and natural vitamin D from the sun will wake you up in no time.
  2. Switch to all-natural soaps and lotions. The various petrochemicals in the products that we use on our skin have detrimental effects on hormone levels, most profoundly with estrogen. An increase in estrogen levels can cause insomnia in both women and men.
  3. Balance your hormones. Sex hormones are powerful sleep agents when levels are optimal.  Progesterone, estrogen and testosterone can all help improve your sleep quality by reducing anxiety, alleviating hot flashes and night sweats, and helping with sleep apnea.
  4. Supplement with adequate levels of desiccated thyroid. You have to have good thyroid activity in your brain in order for it to enter all stages of sleep, including REM. If you are still waking up tired in the mornings, your body may not be entering REM sleep and you may need your thyroid levels adjusted.
  5. Control your portions. Large meals close to bedtime can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. Remember to keep dinner one of your smaller meals of the day, and avoid chocolate afterwards. Chocolate contains caffeine, which can disrupt sleep.
  6. Establish a bedtime routine. Following the same schedule each night prepares your body for what’s to come next: sleep. Just like a child needs a strict bedtime routine, it’s important that adults follow the same advice. Dim the lights, wash your face, brush your teeth, turn off all electronics and turn down the air. You’ll be surprised at how creating a routine can help prepare your body for sleep.
  7. Optimize your bedtime vitamin routine.  Magnesium is a key mineral that helps ease muscle tension, while also promoting nerve health and relaxation.  Because it’s so easily depleted through stress and exercise, you want to make sure you’re supplementing with at least 600 mg of magnesium citrate or glycinate daily.  Additionally, melatonin is the natural sleep hormone that supports a restful night’s sleep without leaving you groggy the next morning.  Melatonin is available at Hotze Pharmacy in a sublingual prescription tablet that dissolves under the tongue, as well as over-the-counter through Hotze Vitamins, and is best taken 30 minutes before bedtime.

The Perfect Skincare Minus The Harmful Chemicals

Okay, let’s be honest. Our appearance matters. No man or woman wants to show signs of aging, uneven skin tone, scarring or acne. The golden question remains however, which skincare products are best to use?

Mainstream media will tell you that your gateway to beauty resides in Olay, Estée Lauder or even Chanel. All of which cost between $20- $400, which is a large range for products that all come with the same promises!

So here’s a little secret that will save you from going out and spending hundreds of dollars trying all the over-the-counter miracle creams: read the label. Many skincare products on the market include a host of chemicals, including parabens, which are synthetic preservatives found in foods, cosmetics and personal care products. The main issue with parabens is that they mimic estrogen and will disrupt your hormone balance.

Men with an increase in estrogen will notice an onset of fat around the midsection and in their breast tissue. Too much estrogen can also decrease sperm count. In women, excess estrogen will throw them into a state of “estrogen dominance,” which can increase the risk of cancers and contribute to unwanted weight gain.

At Hotze Pharmacy, we believe that less is more when it comes to skincare ingredients. That is why we developed a skincare line that is all-natural and free of the harmful chemicals that ultimately speed up the aging process.

The Hotze Skincare RX line includes:

Hotze Powerful AM –A morning thirst-quencher for your skin. This strong combination of vitamins C and E invigorates, repairs damage from toxins and UV rays, and prevents future damage to the skin. Reduce look of lines and wrinkles plus protects and hydrates the skin in one step.

Hotze Powerful PM– A proprietary blend of anti-aging ingredients that work at a cellular level to regenerate healthy, firm skin. This evening moisturizer promises to work hard while you rest, immediately smoothing rough, dry skin.

Hotze Skin Night Repair-A blend of anti-aging ingredients that work at a cellular level to regenerate young, healthy, firm skin, this evening moisturizer promises to work hard while you rest. Your skin will be transformed seemingly overnight.

Hotze Eye Renewal Cream– Boosted with natural moisturizers, anti-oxidants, and caffeine, this renewing eye cream helps firm and smooth the delicate eye area while also decreasing puffiness and dark circles underneath. All eyes will be on you!

Hotze Skin Renewal Cream– Designed for daily use on the face and décolletage, this nutrient-rich lightweight cream tones and tightens the skin, evens out the complexion, and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Hotze Skin Revitalizer Oil– This rich, intensely hydrating blend of oils is a perfect alternative body moisturizer to the chemical-laden products commercially available on the market. Perfect for the whole family to use.

Each formula has been compounded according to the same stringent quality standards you expect from Hotze,assuring the highest quality of skincare.  Hotze Pharmacy’s purpose is to help individuals balance their hormones naturally, and since skincare is absorbed by the body, ingredients matter.  So ask yourself, is it really working disrupting your balance all for your moisturizer?

If you are interested in trying products from our skincare line, we are here to assist you! Call us today at 281-828-9088.

Get Rid of Your Brain Fog Once and for All

Stress

Do you ever have those moments when you walk into a room and can’t remember why you’re there?  Or you have trouble recalling names and just can’t seem to place where you left your car keys?

A lot of people assume that it’s just a part of getting older, and in a way, they’re right.  You see, as we age, our bodies produce less pregnenolone, which results in the memory being affected.  Many physicians and scientists believe that restoration of pregnenolone to youthful levels is an important step in the treatment of aging and symptoms of aging. Pregnenolone may be one of the most important hormones because it seems to have a balancing effect. It is a precursor to many other hormones and may be able to bring the levels of other hormones up or down as needed.

Known as the “mother of all hormones,” pregnenolone is at the top of the hormone cascade that converts to all other hormones including DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.  This “neurosteroid” is not only produced in the adrenal glands, ovaries, and testes; the central nervous system also makes it.

Pregnenolone has been found to be 100 times more effective for memory enhancement than other steroids or steroid-precursors in lab mice. Pregnenolone has been reported to not only make people smarter but happier and enhance one’s ability to perform on the job while heightening feelings of well-being. It has also been reported to reduce high-stress induced fatigue.

Pregnenolone:

  1. Keeps the brain clear and sharp by blocking GABA, a neurotransmitter that keeps neurons in the brain from firing. As we age, GABA levels increase, making the brain sluggish.
  2. Counters the excitatory effects of the amino acid glutamate, which is present throughout the brain. While critical for normal learning, too much excitation by glutamate over time can damage neurons.  In fact, this overstimulation is thought to be one of the underlying factors in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. Has neuroprotective effects on brain cells. Studies have shown that pregnenolone increases levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter required for optimal brain function, which also becomes deficient in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Acetylcholine is important for thought and memory and is involved in controlling sleep cycles, especially the REM phase of sleep associated with memory.
  4. Stimulates the formation of new brain cells. Studies have shown increases in brain cell growth after pregnenolone treatment. Studies have also shown pregnenolone to be effective in fighting arthritis, elevating mood, healing spinal cord injuries, overcoming dependency on chemicals and treating mental health disorders like phobias and schizophrenia.

So how do you know if you need pregnenolone?  It can be signaled by a history of depression, mental illness or short-term memory issues not resolved by thyroid supplementation.  Alternatively, if you’ve been trying to get your hormones balanced for six months to a year and they’re not quite right, pregnenolone can sometimes be the missing link that pulls it all into balance.

Questions about pregnenolone?  Ask me below!

Why Hormone Quality Matters

According to Hotze Health & Wellness Center, when it comes to hormone imbalance, bioidentical hormones are the optimal solution.  Because of the precise dosing, the quality of these hormones is vitally important.  So, how do you know if the hormones you are taking are high quality? For starters, listen to your body.

Celia got natural relief for her menopausal symptoms using bioidentical hormones. However, when she decided to switch pharmacies in order to save money, her health slowly declined.  The truth is that pharmacy quality standards can vary greatly depending on where you go.  As an example, compounding pharmacies are legally granted up to a 10% variance in the weight from capsule to capsule.  This means that you are not guaranteed your proper dosage when you go to fill your hormone prescription.

At Hotze Pharmacy, we strive for a weight variance of less than 1%, and if it’s more than a 3% variance, we throw it away.  Weight testing is an internal measure that can indicate that the capsule ingredients have been distributed uniformly across the compounded batch.  Beyond that, we also send samples of hormones each week to a 3rd party lab (the same lab used by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy) for potency testing.  This is intended to verify that the correct amount of active ingredient, i.e. estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, etc., is contained within the capsule.  The result?  You can have peace of mind knowing that you’re getting exactly what the doctor ordered.

Watch Celia share with Dr. Hotze how much better she feels now that she switched back to high quality hormones.

 

What You Need to Know to Thrive in Menopause

Stock Photo

You have probably heard that supplementing with bioidentical hormones can alleviate many of the symptoms of menopause, and that you can actually feel like yourself again.  To understand why that is, you need to know about how the hormones work together.

During menopause, estrogen levels can drop 40-60%, progesterone levels can drop to 0%, causing two problems.  First, it creates a deficiency of both hormones, leading to frustrating symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats from lack of estrogen and fluid retention and mood swings that are classic with low progesterone.

Perhaps the greater problem, though, is an imbalance we call estrogen dominance.  While the term can be confusing, it simply means that there is not enough progesterone to balance the estrogen, bringing about its own set of problems.

You see, estrogen and progesterone work together in the body, as each makes the body more responsive to the other. Estrogen makes the target body tissues more sensitive to progesterone and vice versa. They “prime” each other’s receptors.

Estrogen dominance isn’t just limited to menopause.  It can actually happen at any point in a woman’s life, as early as puberty, during high-stress times and after childbirth.

Many of estrogen’s undesirable side effects are prevented by the presence of progesterone.  Progesterone protects cell membranes from estrogen-induced problems, and major health risks of estrogen dominance include increased risk of endometrial cancer, as well as the fact that it may promote breast cancer.  This is why using unopposed estrogen without progesterone is not recommended.

If you think you may be suffering with estrogen dominance, take a look at some common symptoms:

• Acceleration of aging process
• Allergies
• Anxiety
• Breast tenderness
• Decreased libido
• Depression
• Increased fat (especially in abdomen, hips, thighs)
• Fatigue
• Foggy thinking
• Hair loss
• Headaches
• Insomnia
• Irritability
• Memory loss
• Thyroid dysfunction (mimicking hypothyroidism)
• Fluid retention/bloating
• Vaginal dryness
• Night sweats
• Hot flashes

The good news is that reversing estrogen dominance is quite simple.  By replacing the estrogen that’s missing and balancing it with progesterone, you can thrive throughout menopause.

If you have questions about estrogen dominance and your hormones, please contact a Hotze pharmacist any time, (281) 828-9088.

The Life-Changing Benefits of Testosterone

active older man

As a man ages, his testosterone levels decline steadily.  This typically starts in his thirties and continues throughout his life.  Despite the well-documented role of testosterone in cardiovascular and bone density, the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy are often overlooked.  While this includes a healthy libido, there are significant benefits beyond that, which can be life-changing.

Take a look at some of the things testosterone does for men:

  • Improves muscle mass, strength and tone, and increases stamina and endurance.
  • Protects the heart and arteries, decreases risk of heart disease, and lowers blood pressure by dilating the aorta and coronary arteries of the heart. Men with arteriosclerosis generally have low testosterone levels.
  • Helps maintain a healthy metabolism and improve energy.
  • Improves libido.
  • Enhances cognitive function and memory. It is crucial for maintaining mental sharpness and clarity.
  • Plays a role in building strong bones.
  • Increases assertiveness, initiative and sense of well-being. It improves self-confidence and drive.
  • Decreases body fat around the waist.
  • Improves moods, and relieves anxiety and depression.
  • Improves sleep and sleep apnea. Low testosterone causes men to wake up frequently, snore, and feel fatigued after waking.

Not Just for Men

Women produce smaller amounts of testosterone than men even in the prime of life. However, that does not mean that they are spared the effects of a decline in levels of this hormone. The benefits, besides enhancing sexual desire and pleasure, are:  improves the tone of vagina and bladder, decreases body fat, improves muscle strength and bone density, enhances the function of thyroid hormone, relieves anxiety and depression and promotes clearer thinking.

Dosing & Quality

Testosterone comes in both injectable and compounded forms (transdermal cream, sublingual tablets and capsules).  When choosing compounds, it’s vital that quality standards are followed.

At Hotze Pharmacy, for example, we have a machine that tests them individually and gives us a complete report with accuracy, standard deviation, and more. In addition, we regularly send samples of compounds for testing to the same outside laboratory that is used by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.   This is above and beyond what is required by law.  By testing these samples we validate our ingredients, our processes and procedures, so you can feel confident that you’re getting just what the doctor ordered.

In fact, if you have ever switched to a different pharmacy and noticed that you weren’t feeling quite the same, it could be due to a difference in quality standards.  In addition to those outlined above, this could include additional fillers, lactose and other ingredients that could cause a reaction.  If you think this may have happened to you, our Hotze pharmacists are always available to answer your questions.  Give us a call at (281) 828-9088.