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Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #1566] Wed, 24 October 2007 11:57 Go to next message
Dharla Jo  UNITED STATES
Messages: 22063
Registered: October 2007
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BL3D
One of the first steps in transition is starting Hormone Replacement Therapy......and it can be VERY difficult to find the right doctor for most people.

MY primary care Dr. insists that he can lose his licence by prescribing "off label" (prescribing a med for something it is NOT labeled for)......I've heard from some folks that say that is not true....maybe if something happened to me during treatment, he does not want to be blamed........whatever!

In frustration(or damned stubbornness), many people will take off on their own, order hormones etc. from Internet and start popping pills.........deadly decision. Find a Doctor. They are difficult to find, but they ARE out there.

First.....have blood work done to establish a "starting point" and then follow the Dr.'s recommendations on dosages.

And Why? Simply: You don't want to die.......NOT when you have JUST discovered that LIFE is WORTH living!!!!!

There are all kinds of complications that can develop, including Deep Vein Thrombosis (causes strokes) and another not as common but JUST as deadly condition -Hyperkalemia (Too Much Potassium which can stop your heart).

MY PERSONAL fear is Hyperkalemia. My blood work is done every three months because of this. My potassium (k) tends to run high at times.

Hyperkalemia is a side effect of Spironolactone.....a common and inexpensive anti androgen (blocks testosterone)....Spironolactone is a Diuretic (water remover) that spares (saves) potassium.....unlike MOST diuretics that remove potassium.

So where does the potassium come from? Food of Course! Remember, we ARE what we eat! ......and most people just say "OH avoid eating bananas and you'll be ok!".....WRONG!
Do you know why people think bananas have so much potassium????
It's because of Good PR and Marketing!!!! It's the ONLY thing a banana has going for it.....and it's not that much!

Just like when you are asked to think of a good source of vitamin C......do you think of oranges????? Same Story! There are MANY other sources better than oranges.

Remember......Your Mileage Will Vary in hormone therapy.....EVERYONE is different, that is why you MUST have medical supervision during the HRT process........Who wants to worry about their hormone regimen???? TRUST ME......there will be PLENTY of other things to worry about! Laughing

See if you can find Bananas in this Chart!: http://www.krispin.com/potassm.html

Have a SAFE journey!
Dharla

[Updated on: Wed, 24 October 2007 19:22]

Re: DIY [message #1595 is a reply to message #1566 ] Wed, 24 October 2007 13:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lisagurl  UNITED STATES
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Does HRT shorten your life? Some studies say yes. It seems that people that see their doctor on a regular basis live longer and happier lives. How can you be sure what is in those, out of the country orders? China makes the ingredients for 50% of the US drugs. How much does it make for Inhouse?
Re: DIY [message #1604 is a reply to message #1595 ] Wed, 24 October 2007 13:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dharla Jo  UNITED STATES
Messages: 22063
Registered: October 2007
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lisagurl wrote on Wed, 24 October 2007 15:00

Does HRT shorten your life? Some studies say yes. It seems that people that see their doctor on a regular basis live longer and happier lives. How can you be sure what is in those, out of the country orders? China makes the ingredients for 50% of the US drugs. How much does it make for Inhouse?


Shorten your life? I think most of those studies are based on gg gals going thru menopause.....it's just as dangerous for them!...and I believe the general consensus is life is probably just as good or better without the hormones.

Sad to say..... in the case of Trans Gals..... Hormones are the usual way to go(not the ONLY way)....and if THEY don't use hormones......life can be even shorter! Crying or Very Sad

and ya know.....on the FAKE prescription issue.....the knock off drugs are showing up in REGULAR pharmacies too!! Did you see that report recently??? A woman died because her prescription (for cancer treatment relief) did not work.....IT WAS A FAKE! and there are other drugs also......especially the high dollar stuff (Viagra!) Rolling Eyes

[Updated on: Wed, 24 October 2007 13:37]

Re: DIY [message #1608 is a reply to message #1566 ] Wed, 24 October 2007 13:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dharla Jo  UNITED STATES
Messages: 22063
Registered: October 2007
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BL3D
and on the issue of people living longer and happier lives by seeing their doctor on a regular basis: YES!

Also.....those are the people that CARE more about their bodies too. I know people that haven't seen a doctor in a decade or two!......some are fit as a fiddle but most are pathetic, pain riddled, constipated, overweight, puffing,yada, yada, yada..... some folks just don't care..... or are intelligent enough Rolling Eyes to care. Sad

I have known my current doctor since about 1980. I was one of his first patients and we hit it off right from the start.....I had LOTS of questions.....and believe it or not....HE likes to talk MORE than me! Laughing

He is very thorough......does not like to "push pills" (he is VERY frugal with prescriptions).....and REALLY stresses preventative medicine......He is also a VERY dear friend now and a GREAT spiritually centered guy....I truly LOVE him (Agape Love!)

A good relationship with your doctor is the BEST relationship a person could ever have......REALLY...... Rolling Eyes ......I wouldn't be here today without MINE!
Re: DIY [message #1661 is a reply to message #1566 ] Wed, 24 October 2007 19:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
OttawaALF  is currently offline OttawaALF  CANADA
Messages: 291
Registered: October 2007
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Senior Member
Dharla wrote on Wed, 24 October 2007 14:57

<snip>
MY primary care Dr. insists that he can lose his licence by prescribing "off label" (prescribing a med for something it is NOT labeled for)......I've heard from some folks that say that is not true....maybe if something happened to me during treatment, he does not want to be blamed........whatever!
<snip>

Dharla


Dharla:

I cannot comment about the U.S., but I am currently on a drug for an off label use. The drug in question is typically used to treat people who suffer from schizophrenia or epilepsy. One of the medications' "side effects" is that it is helpful for people who suffer from mood swings (in my case Bipolar). I have been instructed to tell medical personnel (say, if I show up at emergency) that I am using an anti-convulsant for an "off label use" so that they won't presume a condition that doesn't exist.

Bottom line? In Canada, prescribing a medication for an off label use is not only permitted, but accepted in a number of situations.


Amanda

Re: DIY [message #1704 is a reply to message #1661 ] Wed, 24 October 2007 23:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Heli H  is currently offline Heli H  FINLAND
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OttawaALF wrote on Thu, 25 October 2007 05:25

Dharla wrote on Wed, 24 October 2007 14:57

<snip>
MY primary care Dr. insists that he can lose his licence by prescribing "off label" (prescribing a med for something it is NOT labeled for)......I've heard from some folks that say that is not true....maybe if something happened to me during treatment, he does not want to be blamed........whatever!
<snip>

Dharla


Dharla:

I cannot comment about the U.S., but I am currently on a drug for an off label use. The drug in question is typically used to treat people who suffer from schizophrenia or epilepsy. One of the medications' "side effects" is that it is helpful for people who suffer from mood swings (in my case Bipolar). I have been instructed to tell medical personnel (say, if I show up at emergency) that I am using an anti-convulsant for an "off label use" so that they won't presume a condition that doesn't exist.

Bottom line? In Canada, prescribing a medication for an off label use is not only permitted, but accepted in a number of situations.


Amanda




Avodart used to the treatment of male type baldness is using that mdicinal product off-label. It is not approved to that purpose but it is much more effective than Propecia that is designed especially to that use. The reason is that Propecia is designed for males who want to stay as ones. Avodart is designed to the treatment of prostate cancer. The side effects of that medicinal product in the case of a transsexual woman are desired Smile

Heli
Re: DIY [message #1810 is a reply to message #1608 ] Thu, 25 October 2007 21:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Diana  UNITED STATES
Messages: 1089
Registered: October 2007
Location: Colorado
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BL3D
Dharla wrote on Wed, 24 October 2007 16:46

and on the issue of people living longer and happier lives by seeing their doctor on a regular basis: YES!

Also.....those are the people that CARE more about their bodies too. I know people that haven't seen a doctor in a decade or two!......some are fit as a fiddle but most are pathetic, pain riddled, constipated, overweight, puffing,yada, yada, yada..... some folks just don't care..... or are intelligent enough Rolling Eyes to care. Sad

I have known my current doctor since about 1980. I was one of his first patients and we hit it off right from the start.....I had LOTS of questions.....and believe it or not....HE likes to talk MORE than me! Laughing

He is very thorough......does not like to "push pills" (he is VERY frugal with prescriptions).....and REALLY stresses preventative medicine......He is also a VERY dear friend now and a GREAT spiritually centered guy....I truly LOVE him (Agape Love!)

A good relationship with your doctor is the BEST relationship a person could ever have......REALLY...... Rolling Eyes ......I wouldn't be here today without MINE!


Living longer, Well that is a hard question because if you don't do what you need to and that is up to each individual then my question to you is what is your quality of life? Look at how many make another choice and don't live a full life. Don't pay attention to stats because they really mean nothing unless you are willing to do the research for example I have a friend who had a kidney transplant but because of averages he thought that on his tenth anniversary it was just going to quit because that was the average. Averages are based from the very beginning point in time and take into consideration the ones that never made it off the table to the very first ones who only made it a year or two.

This is a new era and things have changed throughout and tomorrow will be another new day with medicine changing all the time.

You may not know my history but others do. Really beleave me its not what you read it is about you, so just go see your Doc and be up front and if they don't except you find one that does PLEASE because it is your life so enjoy it. I for one will not read the average of someone on HRT because that study started somewhere before 1950 because now we are at 2007 and growing. I am in the same position of the rest of this quote and wouldn't be her as well.

Please think hard and deep and make the right choice for you, we are here to help everyone. And trust me I'm just beginning and with out all the other ladies I really don't know where I be today.

When first starting you will be confused and say what you may think as dumb statements that you may feel embarrassed, there are two things to remember one is it a dumb statement he double tooth picks no if you don't know the answer then it is no dumb. The second is know matter how far you have traveled on this path the first answer still is the answer.

Enjoy your fantasy and begin the journey so please register and come inside.
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #1835 is a reply to message #1566 ] Fri, 26 October 2007 03:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dharla Jo  UNITED STATES
Messages: 22063
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BL3D
Hey Diana!! (((BIG HUG))) Love Ya Sweetie!!!

Dharla
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #1913 is a reply to message #1566 ] Fri, 26 October 2007 16:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Julie_in_MT  is currently offline Julie_in_MT  UNITED STATES
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Dharla,

Well said my dear! Smile

Amanda, all things considered concerning American and Canadian health care systems and the progressive governmental state of affairs within Canada concerning things GLBT, I would choose the Canadian health care system hands down.


Julie

[Updated on: Fri, 26 October 2007 16:46]

Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #3284 is a reply to message #1913 ] Tue, 06 November 2007 18:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SeanB  is currently offline SeanB  UNITED STATES
Messages: 4
Registered: October 2007
Location: Seattle
Junior Member
For a while I was seeing a Doctor, and he was my RX prescriber.

But a few things changed that, and now I am doing it DIY.

First, I found an online pharmacy which does not require an RX, and secondly it was far cheaper to buy there than with my insurance plan.

My insurance would cover the Spiro, but not the Estraderm patches.

Then I lost my job, and my insurance so I am continuing DIY HRT.

But I did not change any of the dosages my Doctor prescribed me, 100mg Spironolactone/day, and 2 Estraderm 100mg patches changed twice a week.

when I get another job, and finish moving I am definitely going to find another Doctor, and continue to get regular blood tests.

But for now, its DIY HRT for me, I am not willing to give up anymore.
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #36964 is a reply to message #1566 ] Tue, 22 July 2008 14:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous  UNITED STATES
Hey Folks!!

I'm digging up bones!!!

DJ
Re: DIY [message #37399 is a reply to message #1661 ] Sat, 26 July 2008 11:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michelle  UNITED STATES
Messages: 606
Registered: June 2008
Location: 2, Camberwick Green, Trum...
Senior Member
BL3d
OttawaALF wrote on Wed, 24 October 2007 22:25


I cannot comment about the U.S., but I am currently on a drug for an off label use. The drug in question is typically used to treat people who suffer from schizophrenia or epilepsy. One of the medications' "side effects" is that it is helpful for people who suffer from mood swings (in my case Bipolar). I have been instructed to tell medical personnel (say, if I show up at emergency) that I am using an anti-convulsant for an "off label use" so that they won't presume a condition that doesn't exist.

Bottom line? In Canada, prescribing a medication for an off label use is not only permitted, but accepted in a number of situations.


Amanda




It was very easy for me to self medicate...BAD IDEA... I was able to get a Canadian Doctor to Prescribe Premarin for me with very little information on my part. I was desperate and felt I needed to start HRT until I was given the OK to see and Endochronologist to prescribe the correct dosed for MY BODY. I know now how foolish that was. I was lucky that I did not suffer bad side effects.

Bottom line...find a doctor who will prescribe the correct doses for YOU and monitor your levels by doing blood work. Everyone is different.

Michele
Re: DIY [message #37411 is a reply to message #1595 ] Sat, 26 July 2008 13:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
trans_mag  CANADA
Messages: 167
Registered: December 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Senior Member
Lisagurl said:

Quote:

Does HRT shorten your life?


Only if you do it wrong. And it's easy to do it *disasterously* wrong without the guidance of an endocrinologist...

And don't forget liver and kidney disease from high doses of E. ...
Re: DIY [message #37610 is a reply to message #37411 ] Mon, 28 July 2008 21:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LadyBug  UNITED STATES
Messages: 429
Registered: October 2007
Senior Member
Never had my blood tested.

Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #37625 is a reply to message #1566 ] Tue, 29 July 2008 05:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
trans_mag  CANADA
Messages: 167
Registered: December 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Senior Member
Okay...

We have some mixed signals and misinformation going around in this thread... So...

Here's a very comprehensive and comprehensible guide to MtF HRT:

http://www.vch.ca/transhealth/resources/library/tcpdocs/cons umer/hormones-MTF.pdf

There's a whole series of 'consumer' guides at the same site, covering all aspects of transition. There is also a series physician guides which are, appropriately, more clinical in nature. Point your GP to this URL to ensure he/she is up-to-date on your needs...

http://www.vch.ca/transhealth/resources/library/index.html

Above all else -- don't rely on anecdotal advice from 'sisters' who advocate DIY HRT. You really *can* hurt yourself. And get your meds -- as prescribed by a competent physician -- through a pharmacy, not by mail- or Web-order, to ensure you are getting what you are supposed to be getting.

(((HUGS))))

Re: DIY [message #37672 is a reply to message #37610 ] Tue, 29 July 2008 19:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dharla Jo  UNITED STATES
Messages: 22063
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BL3D
LadyBug wrote on Mon, 28 July 2008 23:34

Never had my blood tested.




Duh!!!!......they can't test ice water!!!!!!

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

*tag....you're it!*
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #37865 is a reply to message #1566 ] Fri, 01 August 2008 01:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
jenchris  is currently offline jenchris  AUSTRALIA
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As in all things, taking medications is one of those things that only the person taking them can justify.

Personally, I think that self medication within reason is a lot better than sticking a gun in your mouth because you feel so depressed about the future -

The HRT in a healthy person is pretty unlikely to give cause for problems.
Family histories of blood clots or DVT may alter that a bit but HRT is actually a lot less harmful and a lot cheaper than POT.

Spiro does spare Potassium, but you'll know it a long time before you get serious side effects since you get cramp rather badly weeks before your heart goes into defib let up on the dosage f you feel the cramp is a problem - if you get it bad, put a lot more salt on your food and drink heaps of water. Do not drink sprats drinks!
Spiro in huge doses will of course perform miracles if you want to die. Just take a recommended dose of anything and you'll not be far wrong - moderation in all things.

Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #37878 is a reply to message #37865 ] Fri, 01 August 2008 05:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
trans_mag  CANADA
Messages: 167
Registered: December 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Senior Member
jenchris said:

Quote:

The HRT in a healthy person is pretty unlikely to give cause for problems.


Dangerous misinformation!

Anyone can suffer DVT and clotting, regardless of their heritage. GGs on much lower doses of the same drugs for treatment of menopausal symptoms are monitored closely by their physicians for these and other reasons, including increased risk of some cancers.

Under high-dose MtF HRT, you increase your risk of liver (and kidney) disease, plus some of the cancers GGs are prone to as well as DVT and clotting. And the hormones can also elevate your blood pressure dangerously. On the other hand, Spiro, specifically, lowers your blood pressure. But *don't* count on the side effects of each to cancel out the other's...

Quote:

Spiro does spare Potassium, but you'll know it a long time before you get serious side effects since you get cramp rather badly weeks before your heart goes into defib let up on the dosage if you feel the cramp is a problem - if you get it bad, put a lot more salt on your food and drink heaps of water.


No! NEVER add more salt to *anything*... Ask *any* competent physician. But *do* strive to consume eight x 8 oz. glasses of water each day.

And, if you get chronic cramps at all, see your prescribing MD immediately. It's *not* a trivial thing and you can cause permanent damage to your heart long before you start to experience overt symptoms. Competent physicians always monitor potassium levels very closely in GGs on lower-dose menopausal HRT, as well, for very good reasons.

Quote:

Just take a recommended dose of anything and you'll not be far wrong - moderation in all things.


No! As people posting in this thread have repeatedly said, there is *no* "standard recommended dose" of *any* of the HRT meds! What's right for one person may be harmful to another. Everyone is different... For example, I know various MtFs who are taking anywhere from 100 mg/day to 400 mg/day of spiro. Each is getting what's right for them.

As I said in a previous post in this thread... The real lowdown on MtF HRT is here:

http://www.vch.ca/transhealth/resources/library/tcpdocs/cons umer/hormones-MTF.pdf

Don't play hormome roulette!

Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #37880 is a reply to message #1566 ] Fri, 01 August 2008 06:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin_Marie  is currently offline Erin_Marie  CANADA
Messages: 131
Registered: October 2007
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DIY is exactly like sticking a gun in your mouth, the only difference is you don't have control of when it goes off.
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #37906 is a reply to message #37878 ] Fri, 01 August 2008 14:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Karen_A  UNITED STATES
Messages: 3399
Registered: October 2007
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BL3d
Debatable!
trans_mag wrote on Fri, 01 August 2008 08:30

No! NEVER add more salt to *anything*... Ask *any* competent physician. But *do* strive to consume eight x 8 oz. glasses of water each day.




Do you understand what the consequences of "potassium sparing diuretic" are?

It means 2 things:

You urinate a lot and with that you lose alot of your sodium...
This causes problems with your electrolytes if you don't take in more sodium than before... And you get it in the form of table salt. It's hard very to take in too much sodumn (table salt) when you are on decent dose of spiro... and that why some crave salt when on spiro.

It also means you retain more potassium insteadof voiding it... Also upsetting electoyltebalance ... and dangerously so. If you use a lot of KCl table salt substitute for example (or take ina lot po potassium fromotehr sources) THAT could get you into REAL trouble.


- Karen
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #37911 is a reply to message #1566 ] Fri, 01 August 2008 15:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dharla Jo  UNITED STATES
Messages: 22063
Registered: October 2007
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Quote:

By the way... drinking plenty of fluids, and greatly increasing my salt intake, where pretty much the treatment I used to bring my hyperkalemia under control. While the "average North American diet" may have too much salt in it for good health... pre-op TS (on an HRT regimen including spironolactone) are an exception to that.


*raises hand*

Spiro nearly killed me in the beginning......damn, rough.

I have to REALLY be careful with potassium.....when I mention this to someone they always say "just don't eat a bunch of bananas!" Makes me want to slap them! Mad An order of french fries has 10 times the amount of potassium.

One night at dinner I noticed the food tasted odd......my mother says "Probably the salt substitute in put in your shaker....you need to cut back on salt!"

Yikes! Salt substitute? Potassium Chloride!!!!!!!

It took a while....but I have FINALLY convinced her that I NEED salt......we don't use salt in our household (she has congestive heart failure).....most foods are low or sodium free. I MUST have My SALT!! Very Happy
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #37914 is a reply to message #37878 ] Fri, 01 August 2008 16:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
trans_mag  CANADA
Messages: 167
Registered: December 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Senior Member
Ladyhawke said:

Quote:

Actually... you are wrong, Trans_Mag, about that salt thing.


Not according to my endo, *or* my GP -- either of whose advice I am compelled to value above that of any patient -- no matter how well intentioned or sincere -- in this forum... Wink

Also, you said:

Quote:

...while I do remember when the Vancouver Coastal Health authority of the British Columbia health community was doing their research to create their Trans-Health website... and know that there is a fair amount of good information there... don't treat their site like it is some sort of "final word" on the subject.


Please share with us the URLs for the other sites that you referred to! I'm sure we would all appreciate access to additional reliable, objective, accurate and authoritative information on issues like this which so intimately concern us. There is little enough available...

Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #37916 is a reply to message #1566 ] Fri, 01 August 2008 18:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dharla Jo  UNITED STATES
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Dharla wrote on Wed, 24 October 2007 13:57


BIG Snip>
Remember......Your Mileage Will Vary in hormone therapy.....EVERYONE is different, that is why you MUST have medical supervision during the HRT process........Who wants to worry about their hormone regimen???? TRUST ME......there will be PLENTY of other things to worry about! Laughing <Snip




Laughing Laughing Laughing
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #37971 is a reply to message #37914 ] Sat, 02 August 2008 18:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
trans_mag  CANADA
Messages: 167
Registered: December 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Senior Member
Ladyhawke said:

Quote:

In case you are unaware of it, BL's membership includes several doctor's and pharmacists... so please forgive me if your "trump card" of citing a doctor's comment leaves me less than convinced.


Wow! That sounds *really* confrontational! I seem to have struck a nerve... You've made a serious attempt to make this personal and shift the emphasis of the discussion from trans HRT issues to the issue of "who is right". Not productive. I choose not to play those games.

I am also compelled to wonder why none of those doctors you mentioned, among the BL members, has come forward, identified themselves and commented on HRT issues since I've been on the board.

You also chose to issue an ultimatum of sorts:

Quote:

Okay, this is getting ridiculously long... and by now, you are either convinced -- or tuning me out, with no intention of listening.


...That's just the old, fallacious, "If you're not with us, you're against us," argument. Extremely confrontational and *extremely* personal. That's not what this place is supposed to be about

There *is* another option... And that is that I believe what I believe, rather than what you believe, because I believe that my information sources are more reliable than yours.

Here's why... I am a professional journalist of 33 years standing who served as Bureau Chief of a national radio and television network's Parliamentary bureau before I segued to print. I received classical training as a researcher while earning my psychology degree. Accordingly, if I am offered information that can't be checked, verified or attributed directly to specific, authoritative sources, my training tells me I must consider it to be hearsay. And you simply can't print or broadcast that.

So, I attribute everything I offer on this board to actual people or reputable institutions which can be confirmed as such. And comments I make based on my own direct experience or that of my friends is clearly identified as such.

Here's a key point: I invited you to offer the URLs of the other sites you referred to in an earlier post. You provided one. Fair enough I've been there and read the document. Guess what? The Protocols suggested by the Tom Waddell Health Center Transgender Team in SF correspond almost exactly, word for word and number for number, on HRT issues with the Vancouver Trans Care Project consumer information pamphlets. And both agree very closely with what my physician and endo have been telling me all along. Independent confirmation from four different sources is a pretty strong indicator that the information is sound. Also, the Waddell Protocol document and the Vancouver pamphlet series are both 2006-vintage releases and, so, are comparable in that way, as well.

Specifically on the issue of DIYing... The Waddell Team Protocols actually counsels strongly, in several places, against DIY HRT, for the same reasons that the Vancouver Project pamphlets and my doctors do.

I also prefer the Vancouver information because it is far more detailed and encompasses not only patient ("consumer") information publications, but also very detailed clinical publications for physicians and endocrinologists.

That's where I'm coming from on this. I don't care about being "right" about anything. My concern is that information being offered in this forum is the most accurate and most reliable available. That's all.

Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #37973 is a reply to message #1566 ] Sat, 02 August 2008 19:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dharla Jo  UNITED STATES
Messages: 22063
Registered: October 2007
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BL3D
Quote:

That's where I'm coming from on this. I don't care about being "right" about anything. My concern is that information being offered in this forum is the most accurate and most reliable available. That's all.


......as we ALL do......ESPECIALLY Sherry (or whoever she is these days... Rolling Eyes )

She was simply trying to balance out your statement.....
Quote:

No! NEVER add more salt to *anything*... Ask *any* competent physician. But *do* strive to consume eight x 8 oz. glasses of water each day.



The spiro/salt/potassium issue is very serious stuff......to some

I think the average person has nothing to worry about on the sodium issue. When I started HRT in July of 2005, I was basically on a low sodium diet. What a BAD idea for me at that period in my life.

YES.....I DO garden on a grand scale......the year of 2005 I was running a farmer's market. I cultivated about an acre....250 tomato vines, 80 yellow squash, 6 rows of okra, 12 rows of green beans, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, basil, oregano, mustard and turnip greens......and more......It was brutal work....EVERY day! Rolling Eyes I spent Friday eves harvesting till midnight.....getting up at 5 to load up and be at the market by 6.....

When the over 100 degree weather hit in August, I was into my third or fourth week of Spiro.....I was sweating....ummmmm...."glistening" like a pig! It was so bad I had to take my shoes off several times and empty the sweat! I drank several gallons of water that one morning.....lots of lemonade from another vendor and about 4 colas. When I got home at noon, I was so weak I could barely walk......the scales showed I had lost 8lbs since breakfast....7 hours....and I had consumed about 3 gallons of liquid!!!!

Please don't take Sherry's post as an attack....she is not that kind of person......she would simply shoot you! Laughing

This has been very informative.......thanks everyone for you input......btw....I am on 200mg of spiro daily (divided dose) When I tried to ramp it up to 300?????? almost killed me.....won't do THAT again.

Thanks,
Dharla

[Updated on: Sat, 02 August 2008 19:18]

Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #38074 is a reply to message #1566 ] Mon, 04 August 2008 16:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dharla Jo  UNITED STATES
Messages: 22063
Registered: October 2007
Senior Member
BL3D
Confused

sooooooo......Sherry......Whatcha' been up to????? Very Happy

Quote:

North American diet has too much salt in it...


Let me guess...Poutine, Fries and Chips and Salsa??

Quote:

In other words, I have seen entirely competent doctors give directly contradictory advice, on more than one occasion.


I have run into this...over and over and over. My docs "argue" about what to do for me.....I usually end up telling THEM what the deal is.

The idea of "breaking in" a doctor is pretty cool. You are like the "T" Johnny Appleseed....spreading info everywhere you go. (8 times in two years? Rolling Eyes )*

again......YMMV....on EVERYTHING


* Oh Wait! That was FOUR years......that's not so bad!

[Updated on: Mon, 04 August 2008 16:05]

Re: Sodium depletion with spironolactone use. [message #38075 is a reply to message #37971 ] Mon, 04 August 2008 16:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
trans_mag  CANADA
Messages: 167
Registered: December 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Senior Member
Ladyhawke said:

Quote:

The ball is in your court...


Dead ball, dolly...

I told you, I'm not playing. Smile



Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #38078 is a reply to message #37914 ] Mon, 04 August 2008 16:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wanderer  is currently offline wanderer  UNITED STATES
Messages: 5
Registered: February 2008
Location: Denver Co.
Junior Member
trans_mag wrote on Fri, 01 August 2008 19:44

Ladyhawke said:

Quote:

Actually... you are wrong, Trans_Mag, about that salt thing.


Not according to my endo, *or* my GP -- either of whose advice I am compelled to value above that of any patient -- no matter how well intentioned or sincere -- in this forum... Wink

Also, you said:

Quote:

...while I do remember when the Vancouver Coastal Health authority of the British Columbia health community was doing their research to create their Trans-Health website... and know that there is a fair amount of good information there... don't treat their site like it is some sort of "final word" on the subject.


Please share with us the URLs for the other sites that you referred to! I'm sure we would all appreciate access to additional reliable, objective, accurate and authoritative information on issues like this which so intimately concern us. There is little enough available...






A good url with information dealing with what Ladyhawke is saying is http://www.vch.ca/transhealth/resources/library/tcpdocs/cons umer/hormones-MTF.pdf Try the pages "Possible side effects and risks" sub section 3. It mentions the salt thing and also mentions the use of blood pressure meds and the added dangers.

You seem to be saying that salt intake should not be raised for any reason but the url you gave says that Spiro lowers salt retention and with blood pressure meds drasticly so. The site you gave says this should be monitored closely by a "competent" medical professional.

Also by reading the manufacurers "Physicians Information" it says the same things.

Unfortunately doctors do not know enough about every med out there nor do they know all the side effects and risks. And most know little about our needs as transsexuals. They are experts and I still research what they prescribe me to see if it reacts with other meds I take.

And given that many well intended people online read and try to go by memory when making recomendations I do not take what they say as gospel but a starting point for looking into something.

Hrt can be very dangerous. It does have good and bad side effects. With fatal consequences for doing it wrong it makes sense to know what is what.

Salt is drasticly lowered by spiro and even more so when taken with many other meds. Having bad side effects when not monitored closely as is mentiond by both the manufacuer and the url that you gave.

I suggest getting a "competent" doctor that knows what is what.


Smile Smile
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #38086 is a reply to message #38078 ] Mon, 04 August 2008 17:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
trans_mag  CANADA
Messages: 167
Registered: December 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Senior Member
Wanderer said:

Quote:

A good url with information dealing with what Ladyhawke is saying is http://www.vch.ca/transhealth/resources/library/tcpdocs/cons umer/hormones-MTF.pdf Try the pages "Possible side effects and risks" sub section 3. It mentions the salt thing and also mentions the use of blood pressure meds and the added dangers.


Yes, I know! I posted the same link in a much-earlier post of mine in this thread! Wink

Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #38092 is a reply to message #38086 ] Mon, 04 August 2008 17:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wanderer  is currently offline wanderer  UNITED STATES
Messages: 5
Registered: February 2008
Location: Denver Co.
Junior Member
trans_mag wrote on Mon, 04 August 2008 20:24

Wanderer said:

Quote:

A good url with information dealing with what Ladyhawke is saying is http://www.vch.ca/transhealth/resources/library/tcpdocs/cons umer/hormones-MTF.pdf Try the pages "Possible side effects and risks" sub section 3. It mentions the salt thing and also mentions the use of blood pressure meds and the added dangers.


Yes, I know! I posted the same link in a much-earlier post of mine in this thread! Wink





I know you did. Rolling Eyes

But I read it.

Maybe you should too.

It does not support what you were saying about salt intake. It does however support what Ladyhawke was saying. Both it and the manufacturers sheet says salt can be reduced to dangerous levels. Thus when you stated that one should "never add salt" you were wrong.

The manufacturers sheet also makes mention of how salt is used in the proccess of getting potassium out of the body and the lack of it is part of the reason why potassium levels rise.

Monitoring is the only way to know if you should or should not add salt.
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #38096 is a reply to message #38092 ] Mon, 04 August 2008 18:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
trans_mag  CANADA
Messages: 167
Registered: December 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Senior Member
Please read the PM I sent you earlier this evening. And please be advised that I read *everything* I can get my hands on, relevant to these issues.

Forgive me, but... Like Ladyhawke, you're waxing personal, here. And, as I told her, I don't play those childish games. Smile

Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #38097 is a reply to message #1566 ] Mon, 04 August 2008 18:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dharla Jo  UNITED STATES
Messages: 22063
Registered: October 2007
Senior Member
BL3D
Quote:

Monitoring is the only way to know if you should or should not add salt.


...and adding salt is the ONLY option I've ever been given. There's got to be a better way.

So.......I have heard that there ARE other ways of lowering potassium. Does anyone know of those ways? Both my doctors just tell me to avoid potassium rich foods (IMPOSSIBLE!) and increase sodium.

Potatoes are EXTREMELY high in potassium (as the other nightshade family foods...eggplant and tomatoes).....when I was told to increase salt, I asked my doctor~ "So...it's ok to eat potato chips as long as they are VERY salty?" Rolling Eyes

I got a good }}}SMACK{{{ out of THAT one! Laughing

One night when I was lying in bed with my heart racing.....I did something rather risky..... Rolling Eyes .....I took some of my mother's Lasix.....the potassium scrubbing diuretic. She and my sis taken Lasix for years and THEIR potassium runs low.... Rolling Eyes ......I peed all night.....felt better......but I won't do it again.....promise. Rolling Eyes

Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #38098 is a reply to message #1566 ] Mon, 04 August 2008 18:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin_Marie  is currently offline Erin_Marie  CANADA
Messages: 131
Registered: October 2007
Location: Canada
Senior Member
Ok, so here it is in a nut shell. If you don't have a therapist, get one. If you can't find a therapist in your area there are plenty that do it on line and in camera. (Mine does) It's not perfect but it is a start.

A therapist will help you find an endocrinologist. Don't fool yourself into thinking you don't need them. A good one will have your blood tested on a scheduled basis, and will make sure all your levels are in acceptable rangers for YOU. And I do me you everyone is different and what works for one person probably won't work for anyone else.

Next, taking advice from people in a public forum like this is a bit like going to Afghanistan and asking them what they do on Arbour Day. They don't know you, they don't know your history, and quite frankly they certainly don't know you medical history. The only people you should be listening to about your medical and psychological condition and the prescribed treatment is you physician and therapist.

Remember, this forum is a social outlet and is not therapy and it is not your physician. People type what they think. If you met them in person they would likely be quite different from what you would expect. The best information you'll get here is from posters who province links to authoritative clinical sources. And that is not just the poster's word. It really is that of a physician or therapist.

The social dynamic of a public forum such as this allows anyone to pump themselves up into a pseudo psychologist or physician. Take everything with a grain of salt. Do your own research and then ask your pertinent questions to qualified physicians and therapist.

Above all else seek wisdom from people you can see not from people can't
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #38105 is a reply to message #1566 ] Mon, 04 August 2008 18:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dharla Jo  UNITED STATES
Messages: 22063
Registered: October 2007
Senior Member
BL3D

Quote:

Take everything with a grain of salt.


THAT'S JUST WHAT I THOUGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

THANKS!



*running out the back door*
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #38125 is a reply to message #1566 ] Tue, 05 August 2008 01:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
jenchris  is currently offline jenchris  AUSTRALIA
Messages: 161
Registered: October 2007
Location: Oz
Senior Member
So - Right - as I was saying.

For most people who go through the transition using Spiro, salt is an item that needs to be ramped up a bity to compensate for the potassium satuartion - now you've all argued amongst yourselves and tried to be very rude about my saying it.

I've been round the traps here for a few years now and I live in Tropical Queensland. Most of the girls I know who use Spiro have had exactly the same symptoms and exactly the same outcome with application of salt.

Two girls have suffered from DVT and thrombosis - both of them were on supervised doses through endos who were very familiar with TS patient regimes.

I've also been a member here for about 9 years and also on MAP and other TS support sites as moderator and inner circle sort of thing.

I'm not clueless - and I wouldn't say what I said without due consideration.

For instance my surgeon said to me - "Don;t stop taking HRT for your pre surgery setup, stopping it's as likely to upset your system as anything is. Keep taking the HRT and let me know if there's a problem"

I know girls who have been on huge amounts of HRT with intakes of huge amounts of drugs nicotine and booze - and suffered not a whit.
I've also known girls who were simply nailed to the wall by the smallest amounts of HRT and spiro.

I'm talking about the bell curve here of course - and so do endo's - they use statistics the same way I do.

"Most people are ok on this - let me know if you feel anything unusual..."

Well let's face it, we can all do that.
Whilst they're saying this, they are saying - OH IT'S SO DANGEROUS TAKING HRT....
It obviously isn;t - it can be for some individuals - so can crossing the street.
I think my previous statement holds - it's a lot safer than sticking a loaded gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger and for some of us that's the alternative

Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #38571 is a reply to message #38125 ] Sun, 10 August 2008 11:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
KayA  is currently offline KayA  UNITED STATES
Messages: 1380
Registered: October 2007
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Senior Member
BL3d
Official Sassy Read-head Emeritus
I have to agree with Jen.

My hormone doctor he is actually a very eccentric general practitioner and former heart researcher with Christian Bernard in South Africa.

He has .. I would guess about 50 current Ts patients if not more. and in the 15 years he is doing it... the number could be in the thousands.

He very seldom does any testing because levels of hormones in the blood have very little correlation to femininzation or health. That is not to say that you should just take hormones without supervision but they can be taken safely without supervision for a short time if you take it very slowly and listen to your body.

My doctor will start you slowly and continually ask you... how do you feel. cramps, upset stomach, changes in urine... etc... he relies on the body to tell him what the hormones are doing. he looked at me the first time we met .. I had already been on hormones for about 1.5 years. His first comment "your not getting enough estrogen" He saw it in my face.... he slowly ramped up my estrogen and now I take an ungodly amount of estrogen for a post -op. 3 months ago I insisted that I take a estrogen essay... guess what ... my estrogen is a little high but only by about 10%. However anything lower than what he is giving me and I get headaches and feel lethrigic. So just by listening to my body he was able to get the rates right.

Listen to your body... even if your under the care of a experienced TS doctor.. listen to your body... tell them if you are not feeling right... if you have bad symptoms... they can't know how you feel.

Kay
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #38574 is a reply to message #1566 ] Sun, 10 August 2008 12:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nada  is currently offline Nada  UNITED STATES
Messages: 198
Registered: October 2007
Location: Alabama / Thailand
Senior Member
BL3d

I agree. Kay. Following SRS when I had asked my doctor too many questions about dilating etc., he said"listen to your body". This logic is more common in Asia. I began listening to my body and now I understand the signals I receive. Many of us in the Wesat are too busy and pre-occupied to listen to our bodies. Listening provides such a comfortable way to live

Ginger
Do It Yourself Madness [message #42310 is a reply to message #38574 ] Sat, 04 October 2008 13:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LadyBug  UNITED STATES
Messages: 429
Registered: October 2007
Senior Member
Back in the early days transitioners often times did not take any form of anti-androgen and instead relied on very high doses of a dangerous form of estrogen called ethinyl estradiol.

Ethinyl estradiol is such a potent form of estrogen that it is measured in mcg (micrograms) instead of mg (milligrams). There are 1000 mcg s in a mg.

People were doing huge loads of ethinyl estradiol, a synthetic estrogen which is difficult for the body to eliminate.

Taking estrogen really isn't the big deal that some people are saying it is. I DIYed for the first five years I was on estrogen and I have never had my blood tested. I have been under a doctors "care" for the last three years and still I have never had my blood tested.

Blood tests are basically useless because depending on when you did your last pill or shot your levels will either be high or low. As long as you avoid ethinyl estradiol and as long as you are using sane levels of estrogen I doubt you will have any problems. The problems tend to occur with unhealthy people and unfortunately the USA is full of unhealthy people so if you want to transition and take hormones I would recommend being in good health, exercise, good nutrition, healthy body weight.

It pains me to see people going on about how dangerous hormones and anti-androgens are as if they are doctors giving reasonable advice. They are not doctors and the fear-mongering is not helpful.

Remember back when the US Government tried to make everyone believe that if you smoked marijuana you would go insane? Reefer madness anyone? Well HRT madness is just as silly and it just reinforces people's ideas that anyone who is trying to help them is nuts.

Taking one baby aspirin each day will help to ensure that you do not suffer from a blood clot as will avoiding ethinyl estradiol and truth be told as long as you don't abuse ethinyl estradiol you can probably use it safely also, I did.

So everyone who is mad about DIY, take a chill pill and get over it. If you take too much estrogen after SRS or orchiectomy it will probably make it near impossible for you to have an orgasm so if you are inorgasmic you may want to lower your estrogen intake. Women in their mid to late teens have high levels of estrogen and consequently they tend not to be orgasmic until their estrogen levels begin to drop off. Women tend to be most sexual later in life when estrogen levels drop.

Be sensible and learn as much as you can about hormones. Exercise, eat healthy and if you are over weight try and restructure your lifestyle so that you are able to have a healthier body.

Toodles
Re: Do It Yourself Hormone Therapy [message #42490 is a reply to message #37865 ] Tue, 07 October 2008 06:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NorthernJane  CANADA
Messages: 1115
Registered: October 2007
Location: Canada
Senior Member
jenchris wrote on Fri, 01 August 2008 04:25

Personally, I think that self medication within reason is a lot better than sticking a gun in your mouth because you feel so depressed about the future.


It must be acknowledged that DIY hormone therapy is DANGEROUS.

Having said that I will readily admit that I did exactly that back in the early 60's when no doctor in their right mind would prescribe estrogen (until Harry Benjamin in 1966) but they were ready and anxious to prescribe testosterone! I took whatever estrogen I could beg borrow or steal, even veterinary estrogen and quite frankly it was my open refusal to stop doing DIY that forced the doctors' hands. They knew it was going to happen one way or the other and decided it would be better to be monitored on prescription medication than taking whatever I could lay hands on
Re: Do It Yourself Madness [message #42520 is a reply to message #42310 ] Tue, 07 October 2008 17:06 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
LadyBug  UNITED STATES
Messages: 429
Registered: October 2007
Senior Member
LadyBug wrote on Sat, 04 October 2008 14:58

Back in the early days transitioners often times did not take any form of anti-androgen and instead relied on very high doses of a dangerous form of estrogen called ethinyl estradiol.

Ethinyl estradiol is such a potent form of estrogen that it is measured in mcg (micrograms) instead of mg (milligrams). There are 1000 mcg s in a mg.

People were doing huge loads of ethinyl estradiol, a synthetic estrogen which is difficult for the body to eliminate.

Taking estrogen really isn't the big deal that some people are saying it is. I DIYed for the first five years I was on estrogen and I have never had my blood tested. I have been under a doctors "care" for the last three years and still I have never had my blood tested.

Blood tests are basically useless because depending on when you did your last pill or shot your levels will either be high or low. As long as you avoid ethinyl estradiol and as long as you are using sane levels of estrogen I doubt you will have any problems. The problems tend to occur with unhealthy people and unfortunately the USA is full of unhealthy people so if you want to transition and take hormones I would recommend being in good health, exercise, good nutrition, healthy body weight.

It pains me to see people going on about how dangerous hormones and anti-androgens are as if they are doctors giving reasonable advice. They are not doctors and the fear-mongering is not helpful.

Remember back when the US Government tried to make everyone believe that if you smoked marijuana you would go insane? Reefer madness anyone? Well HRT madness is just as silly and it just reinforces people's ideas that anyone who is trying to help them is nuts.

Taking one baby aspirin each day will help to ensure that you do not suffer from a blood clot as will avoiding ethinyl estradiol and truth be told as long as you don't abuse ethinyl estradiol you can probably use it safely also, I did.

So everyone who is mad about DIY, take a chill pill and get over it. If you take too much estrogen after SRS or orchiectomy it will probably make it near impossible for you to have an orgasm so if you are inorgasmic you may want to lower your estrogen intake. Women in their mid to late teens have high levels of estrogen and consequently they tend not to be orgasmic until their estrogen levels begin to drop off. Women tend to be most sexual later in life when estrogen levels drop.

Be sensible and learn as much as you can about hormones. Exercise, eat healthy and if you are over weight try and restructure your lifestyle so that you are able to have a healthier body.

Toodles



Thanks for posting that valuable information LadyBug, I really appreciate it Smile !
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