Sandy Scherrens, 56, suffered from severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) since she was a teenager. She lived with bloating, hot flashes and mood swings month after month. Many women find PMS to be just an uncomfortable inconvenience, but for Sandy, it was life-altering.
"It was more than a 'casual nuisance' once a month," Sandy said in our interview. "It affected my lifestyle and I had to make my life fit around my 'hormonal days.'"
Sandy’s struggle with PMS began with the onset of her menstrual cycle, making her acutely aware that she had to take action to manage her symptoms immediately. From a young age, she focused on being physically active, enlisting natural therapies, and adjusting her food intake in an ongoing attempt to stabilize her hormones.
"I made smart choices in regards to physical exercise and eating habits at an early age and continue to lead a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. I did everything you read about related to natural remedies," she said.
But, for all her efforts, Sandy could not overcome her PMS. "It wasn't enough," she said. "My hormonal issues were more serious and needed medical attention."
At 55 years old, after doing her own online research, Sandy learned that she might be able to get relief from her PMS symptoms by taking bioidentical hormones. She found BodyLogicMD, a nationwide network of physicians specially trained in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Sandy was able to connect with Dr.Ken Orbeck's at BodyLogicMD of Greenville, South Carolina.
"Dr. Orbeck has truly been a miracle," Sandy said.
First, Dr. Orbeck ordered a series of advanced diagnostic lab tests to assess Sandy’s current condition, including an in-depth review of her hormone levels. Her lab results confirmed that Sandy’s ongoing battle with PMS was related to a hormonal imbalance. At her initial consultation, Dr. Orbeck reviewed her medical history and lab results, then discussed both her symptoms and the quality of life factors that she was facing. Dr. Orbeck prescribed supplements and bioidentical hormones to restore balance and revitalize her health.
"And it has worked!" Sandy said. "I have a new freedom and don't plan my life around when I will be feeling good or bad.”
Most people begin to experience effects of hormone imbalance around the age of 40. For women, the most common symptoms of hormone imbalance include:
- Weight gain or loss
- Lowered sex drive
- Memory loss
- Hot flashes or night sweats
- Trouble sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
Hormone balance is affected by several factors. Dietary choices as well as environmental elements can play important roles. Health conditions such as metabolic syndrome, sexual dysfunction, thyroid disorders and stress can also have a profound impact on hormonal balance.
Interview with Sandy Scherrens
Reviewed June 5, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN