Icing on the Cake

Hormone replacement therapy renews spice for life.

Those pastry chefs and cake designers competing on television shows such as Last Cake Standing on the Food Network have nothing on Jan Neubauer, a former bookkeeper who thought while watching one such show several years back, I can do that.Jan Neubauer might not be running her specialty cake shop had she not started receiving BHRT.

And do it she does.

Now 62, Jan has been baking since her mother started teaching her the tricks of the trade when she was eight years old, and she is now the proprietor of U Take the Cake, a specialty cake shop in Vero Beach.

“We do birthday cakes, wedding cakes, anniversary cakes, just about anything anybody wants,’’ Jan says. “We even do cupcakes. I’ve been at it about seven years now, so it’s pretty much become a paying hobby for me.”

Jan’s paying hobby is one that keeps her on her feet throughout the day. To help her keep up her stamina and to ward off other menopausal symptoms such as depression and hot flashes, Jan regularly undergoes bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

“I started the therapy back when I was in my forties,” Jan explains. “I owned another business at the time, but there were days when I couldn’t bring myself to stay at work because I was so depressed and moody and anxious.

“My husband is the one who actually did the research and discovered it, and for years, I had to travel all the way to Orlando to get the therapy because that was the closest place I could find where there was a doctor providing it.”

Jan’s long trips to Orlando to receive BHRT ended several years ago when she learned that Melissa Dean, MD, of the Dean Wellness Institute in Vero Beach, was offering the therapy as well.

Expert in the Field

Dr. Dean has been specially trained in the area of BHRT, which is designed to treat men and women whose hormones are low or out of balance. BHRT is considered the most natural and effective solution for hormone-related issues.

Those issues include insomnia, vaginal dryness and an inability to focus. BHRT has also proven to be effective in preventing diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease while also slowing the aging process.

Bioidentical hormones are natural byproducts of a plant derivative that are molecularly identical to the hormones produced by the human body and can be administered in a number of different ways.

“Some people want to do topical creams, which are very inexpensive and easily managed, while others prefer sublingual tablets,’’ Dr. Dean educates. “We also do a lot of bioidentical hormone pellets, which are about two times the size of a grain of rice.

“With the pellet therapy, we make a small incision and insert the pellet subcutaneously [below the skin]. The pellet slowly dissolves into the tissue and gets absorbed into the system. Many patients find that approach to be much easier than managing a daily application.”

Prior to prescribing bioidentical hormone replacement treatments, Dr. Dean meets with the patient to learn of their activity levels, lifestyle choices and medical history, including where women are in the cycle of life.

She then orders lab work to determine the patient’s exact levels of specific hormones such as estradiol, progesterone and testosterone, which is followed by a discussion of how those levels relate to the patient’s symptoms.

“After that, it’s a matter of educating the patient regarding the different modalities of administering bioidentical hormone replacement because it’s not one size fits all,’’
Dr. Dean says. “The patient’s lifestyle and ability to remember to take something really plays into which modality will work best.

“For example, some people don’t really look at the topical cream as a medication, but it certainly is, and if they’re not good at taking something consistently, then a daily application is not going to work best for them.

“Finally, there is an ongoing management because intermittently – every four to six months – we get new labs and check where the patient’s levels are and how they’re feeling, and based on those levels, we can either change the dose or keep it as it is.”

Back in Line

When Jan first began receiving bioidentical hormone replacement therapy nearly 20 years ago, she had just begun a new business venture, running a gym in Vero Beach. She says she never would have succeeded in that venture were it not for the hormone treatments.Jan Neubauer might not be running her specialty cake shop had she not started receiving BHRT.

“At the time, I was on antidepressants, but after a while, I was able to come off those because I really wasn’t depressed,’’ Jan reveals. “It was the fact that my hormones were all out of whack. That’s what was causing me to feel so down.

“My hormones were also causing me to lose a lot of energy, and the antidepressants were causing me to gain weight. But once I started getting the hormone treatments, I started gaining energy back and losing weight.

“To give you an idea of how well the treatments work, my husband, whom I lost last year, used to be able to tell when my hormones were getting out of whack or I needed to get checked again because he could see my mood change.

“He used to say subtly, Isn’t it about time for you to go get a new pellet? And, of course, he was usually right because about that time, I’d start to feel a bit run down and a bit low, so it was obviously making a difference.

“There’s no question that I’m happier and have a lot more energy because of the hormone therapy. I know I’m aging, but I don’t feel like I’m aging at all. And I’ve felt like this for so long now that I’ve almost forgotten what it was I felt like before.”

That, says Dr. Dean, is one of the great benefits of BHRT.

“Because of the advances in medicine and science, we’re living much longer now than we used to,’’ she says. “So the question is, how do you want to live the last thirty to forty years of your life?

“Some people would like to have something that helps them preserve their balance, their memory and gives them a renewed vitality and energy, things along these lines. This is a method to do just that.”

Jan concurs.

“Any woman of my age that I meet who complains about anything, the first thing I tell them to do is go see
Dr. Dean and get BHRT. It’s remarkable how
well it works.”

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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