Handle with Care

Physician-monitored IV, hormone therapies alleviate fatigue.

With two in-laws in their declining years and a daughter in her formative years, Renee Northen decided a few years back to give up her career as a real-estate agent for a career as a caregiver and home-school teacher.

“You could say that I went into retirement early, but I use that term loosely because what I did was give up a full-time job doing one thing for a full-time job doing something completely different,” says Renee, 58.

“Believe me, taking care of two people in their 90s and home-schooling your youngest child, whom I had very late in life, is very rewarding, and I enjoy it. But it’s still a lot of work. It’s not like you’re sitting around looking for things to do all day.”

Renee says one of the rewards of home-schooling her daughter is the youthful outlook on life it gives her. Despite that outlook, Renee couldn’t help feeling much older than she was when perimenopause kicked in several years back.

“I’ve always been a tall, thin and really healthy, in-shape person, so when that started to change, I became very cognizant of it,” Renee says. “For me, that change came when I was suddenly hit with all these typical menopausal-like issues.

“All of a sudden, I didn’t have any energy; I felt like I was always about ready to bite somebody’s head off, and I started gaining weight. At first, I gained five pounds, then a year later, I put on another three and then another four.

“I just wasn’t feeling myself, and I said to my husband, I don’t mind taking care of people; that’s not the issue. But in order to be able to do that successfully, I need to be at my optimal self. So, I decided to take some action.”

Renee first sought help for her discomfort from her gynecologist, but when her gynecologist retired, she had to find help elsewhere. She didn’t have to look far because she’d already found a doctor she knew could help her in Melissa Dean, MD.

The proprietor of the Dean Wellness Institute in Vero Beach, Dr. Dean and her staff have been providing patients with a holistic approach to wellness for more than 15 years, and for the last few years, one of Renee’s family members has been a patient of hers.

“I first met Dr. Dean probably three years ago while helping out this family member, and ever since then, I have always been impressed with her knowledge and intellect,” Renee says. “She’s a woman who’s really got it all together.”

Medically Managed Treatments

Dr. Dean practices internal and preventative medicine and has trained with some of the pioneers in alternative medicine, including Dr. Frank Shallenberger, Dr. Charles Runels and Dr. Patricia Kane.
She has a master’s degree in metabolic and nutritional medicine and specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which is considered the most natural and effective solution for hormone-related issues.

Another of Dr. Dean’s specialties is adrenal support therapy, a treatment protocol designed to help the adrenal gland make cortisol, which helps regulate metabolism and manage stress, and aldosterone, which controls blood pressure.

“We focus on each patient individually, and instead of offering cookie-cutter treatments, we tailor our treatments specifically to that individual,” Dr. Dean emphasizes. “A lot of those treatments are given intravenously, and they are all medically managed.

“Unlike what you might get at an IV bar, you’re always under the supervision of a physician at the Dean Wellness Institute, and the products are not standard products. There are no preservatives in the products we use, no corn syrup or anything like that.

“That’s because we take a more natural approach to IV therapy, and we honestly care about our patients. We also know that you have to follow up with these treatments, that they’re not just one-shot-and-you’re-better treatments.

“It’s a process to unwind any damage that’s there, and to do that properly, you need a physician who can gather the right data, who can determine exactly what the problem is and who knows how to develop the proper protocol to take care of it.”

Revelations and Resolutions

Upon beginning that process with Renee, Dr. Dean discovered that in addition to gaining weight and feeling fatigued and irritable, she was also suffering from insomnia and a low libido. To find the cause of those problems, Dr. Dean performed a complete medical workup.

“I checked her adrenals, her sex hormones and did some basic labs to check her thyroid and inflammatory markers,” Dr. Dean explains. “I also did a pretty in-depth look at her nutritional status.

“There are specific tests that will give me an idea of all the types of vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants that are in a person’s cells, and based on that data, I can get a good nutritional look at that person.”

Renee’s tests revealed that her hormones were not balanced, that her nutrients were depleted and that she was suffering from adrenal fatigue, a disorder usually brought on by stress, which reduces the production of certain hormones, especially cortisol.

“When the adrenals are constantly abused by stress, that takes up cortisol,” Dr. Dean confirms. “Eventually, so much cortisol is taken up that you become run-down, and everything you do seems like drudgery. That’s where Renee was.”

To resolve those problems, Dr. Dean prescribed a series of intravenous vitamin therapy treatments to replenish Renee’s nutrients. By replenishing the nutrients, the adrenal gland functions better, which in turn makes the patient feel better.

“I noticed a difference from the vitamin IVs almost immediately. About a week after starting them, I just felt a lot better.” – Christy

Dr. Dean used the results of the nutritional test to determine the vitamins to be included in the IV therapy, but Vitamin B is typically a part of any such treatment because people suffering from adrenal fatigue are typically depleted of B vitamins.

Dr. Dean also prescribed for Renee a BHRT treatment that she takes sublingually and a thyroid treatment. The combination of those treatments, Dr. Dean says, has restored Renee’s energy and libido and left her “feeling like a new woman.”

Renee concurs. She’s been visiting Dr. Dean’s office intermittently for the last year and half, and as a result of the treatments Dr. Dean has prescribed and monitored, she says she’s sleeping and feeling better than she has in years.

“I have gone from feeling like I’m older than 60 to feeling like I’m in my 40s again,” Renee raves. “That’s why I suggest that, if you’re not feeling right, if you’re feeling tired and run down, you go see Dr. Dean. She’s fantastic. And so is her staff.

“A lot of times, you go to a doctor’s office and the doctor is fabulous but the staff is awful, or vice versa.

Dr. Dean has the whole package, and I highly recommend her. She’s got me feeling like my old self again.”

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    • Dean Wellness Institute

      Dean Wellness Institute has been serving Vero Beach, FL and the surrounding areas for over 15 years. Their wellness institute is focused on providing a holistic approach to wellness and improved health. They work closely with their patients to ... Read More

    • Melissa Dean, MD

      Melissa Dean, MD, specializes in internal and general preventative medicine and is an expert in treating menopause and andropause. She has also been expertly trained in the field of diabetes management, hormone replacement and nutrition. She e... Read More