"I am an extremely allergic individual and often require specialty compounded medicines in order to avoid allergens. In the case of my hormonal creams, I require a very low dose of estrogen, because of my extreme estrogen sensitivity (due to DES exposure in utero). The more typical estrogen creams make my breast become inflamed. Also, due to skin sensitivity I often need a special base used to make the cream. In the past, when I needed thyroid medication, I had to have it specially compounded out of beef-derived materials (rather than pork which was the standard product) including beef derived gelatin capsule."
— K.H. (Pittsburgh, PA)
"I met Susan about 9 years ago before the opening of Murray Avenue Apothecary in the recommendation of a satisfied customer. I had been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, going to several different endocrinologists, and my PCP's, but no one prescribed medications that alleviated my symptoms, weight gain, exhaustion, and brain fog. Susan recommended I change my thyroid replacement medication to NatureThyroid. My PCP agreed and the RX was changed. After about a week, the exhaustion and brain fog lifted and I was feeling human again. I still had a weight problem and a protruding abdomen. Susan recommended some blood work. After reviewing my blood work and a discussion with my PCP, they recommended adding a compounded "T3" to my medication regime. Couldn't believe it with this additional medication. I felt even better. How could this be? More energy, more brain awareness, and the weight started to drop! As of today, I have lost about 60 pounds now because I am finally getting the medicine I need to feel alive! I owe this all to Susan Merenstein. She has definitely provided me with the miracle that regular doctors and endocrinologists could not. She is great at putting the puzzle pieces together and making the appropriate recommendations for better health. Along with the traditional medical community, Susan works with them to enlighten and educate them to the benefits of holistic medicine. Thank you, Susan. Couldn't have done it without you."
"Desiccated Thyroid has been compounded and administered at 32.4 mg for 60 days and 48.6 mg for 30 days from which debilitating mid and lower back pain (of 22 years) as well as severe muscle tension (that tremendously restricted ability for physical exercise) has ceased. Sensitivity to odors and swelling of extremities has decreased greatly. Hair loss has tapered off and additional hair growth is seen above the ears and two temples over last two weeks. I anxiously await improvement in areas such as extreme food sensitivities, dry skin, hair and nails, very severe constipation, ringing in the ears at night and seasonal allergies and asthmatic tendencies. Conventional doctors and synthetic thyroid (or treating cholesterol instead of thyroid) are not solutions, and desiccated thyroid is clearly a working solution for hypothyroidism. Thank you for your time and I can't say enough for compounding pharmacies."
"After having my thyroid irradiated, my endocrinologist placed me on Synthroid. For approximately a year we were constantly adjusting the dosage - and I still had symptoms of being either hyper or hypo - sometimes to the degree that would occur with no treatment at all. Heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, tremors, blurred vision - plagued me as we "experimented" with finding the correct dosage of Synthroid. Finally, my numbers were within the "normal" range - the problem was I was feeling worse than ever and I had also developed skin rash that was agonizing - plus my skin had thinned to the point where it would "spontaneously" split and bleed. A friend of mine, taking pity on my condition and truly concerned for my mental health told me of a compounding pharmacist and how she had helped others. That referral brought me to Sue Merenstein at the Murray Avenue Apothecary. Susan ordered blood tests and saliva tests, and while working with my PCP (who, by the way also felt that despite my numbers being "normal" - my physical condition was far from normal) saved the day in a matter of weeks. Sue and my Dr. took me off the synthroid completely and replaced it with a natural compounded substance. After years of wasting time and my quality of life with the "drug of choice" to manage my condition - I finally found the "non drug of total effectiveness". Without my compounded formulas - made specifically for me, I would have been domed to try to make the one size fits all medications fit me. There is no doubt in my mind that this would have made me vulnerable to other diseases, which would have required other expensive procedures and that my health insurance carrier would have spent a lot of money on treating symptoms - whereby Sue Merenstein was able to correct the underlying cause of those symptoms."
— S.F.B. (Pittsburgh, PA)
"I am a 61 year old female who had no problems with hormones that I could not handle with herbs until 2 years ago. I started to have hot flashes that would start inside my body and end up on my skin as excessive sweat. These would last about 2 to 3 minutes and happened every 2 to 3 hours. I was awake most of the night and my personality even changed due to lack of continuous sleep. I dreaded going to sleep. I dreaded facing another day of being miserable. I never went anywhere unless there was air conditioning. My husband was complaining it was too cold in the house. I also have rheumatoid arthritis so cold is not good for my joints. I did not want to use prescription hormones that cause blood clots and other horrible side effects. I am not a young person and am more prone to these side effects. I tolerated the hot flashes and emotional problems for over a year and thought about ending it all. I was prescribed bio identical compounded hormones and what a relief! They do not have the side effects that artificial hormones have and are not oral so they do not cause any stress on my liver. Within a few days of starting the hormones I slept all night. I do not have to stay in the house in the summer. I do not have to wear summer clothes all year. I don’t have to change my clothes and wash 3 times a day or more. But the best part is that I am now free from all those hormonal ups and downs. I don’t dread being alive. I would have to go back to being miserable if you take the bio identical hormones and other compounded medicines away from the people who need them. It would be a shame if the drug companies blinded you to see the reasons they want these meds off the market which is MONEY. Stop and think about women like me who need this medicine to live my life in harmony."
"I just recently started going to Dr. Schreckengost for fibromyalgia and well he found many more things wrong with me! I am taking the T4/T3 from your apothecary and felt better only after 2 days! I'm a registered nurse in Martins Ferry, Ohio and have been telling everybody including the Doc's what the T4/T3 has done for me! Thanks so much for getting back to me so promptly! I love my new Dr. and between you and him you saved my life!!!!"
"I have been using compounded bio-identical hormone replacement in topical cream form for the past several years. It's been a wonderfully simple and effective way to replace hormones lost through both a hysterectomy and the natural aging process! I used to experience hot flashes, slight insomnia and a few other minor conditions that have ALL disappeared when using my compounded hormone prescription, and the best part - with absolutely NO side effects or worries about taking something 'unnatural' or synthetic!"
"My life has been changed dramatically since I began taking bioidentical hormones about 4 years ago. After researching the pros and cons of hormone replacement, I made the decision that I would take bioidentical HRT or nothing at all. My research convinced me of this decision even though my health insurance does not cover the bioidenticals. I have to wonder why the FDA would want to force me to take synthetic hormones that are harmful to my body verses natural hormones that match my own hormones. The side effects of the synthetic and the benefits of the bioidentical should be reason enough to allow women to make their own choice. I know what is best for my body and my body has reacted so favorably to the bioidentical hormones. Prior to using them, my life was miserable--I had extreme hot flashes that kept me from sleeping at night and made it hard to function during the day. My skin was itchy, my libido was gone, my weight went up, and I was weepy for no reason. I do not experience any of those things today. Thank you so much for all your help in my journey to understanding my body better and for helping me along the way to regulate my hormone levels. Everyone I know that is taking bioidentical HRT is very involved with the process and has their levels tested yearly (something that is not normally done with synthetic hormones). I share my story with women wherever I go. Even my primary doctor knew nothing about bioidentical HRT and wanted more information from me about it. Needless to say, she is no longer my physician. Women today are becoming increasingly more informed about their health and many of us are realizing that the medical community (nor the FDA) does not always have our best interest in mind."
"During the holidays I was struggling with SAD and hormone imbalances. I reached out to Susan and she immediately had a solution for me. I made the personal decision to discontinue anti-depressants, after being on them for 10 years. It is almost spring and my body is free of prescription anti-depressants and the natural supplements and hormones I receive from Murray Avenue Apothecary must be working because I have never felt better! My experience with Susan and Murray Avenue Apothecary has made me re-think conventional medicine as the only solution for my health issues. I recommend her to my friends and customers all the time. Thank you!"
"When I came to Susan, I was at my highest weight ever (over 75 Overweight) and feeling terrible. I was post-menopausal, had put major weight on right in the middle, as woman do. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was stressed due to my employment and personal life, with high blood pressure. My skin was looking old and ruddy, my bowels fully not functioning regularly, my liver not functioning fully and just feeling awful. I had done a lot of research and reading and suspected I need my hormones balanced. I looked into those medical solutions that cost upwards to thousands of dollars and then I thought of Susan. I had used Susan’s recommendation earlier in my life as I was suffering thru menopause and she was a savior then, so I thought why not at least make an appointment and talk to Susan about hormone balancing...Well here I am 4 months later and I am feeling fabulous! I have lost 22 pounds without too much physical effort, but lots of lifestyle changes. Susan prescribed an entire regimen and a new diet with more natural foods that was not difficult to follow and giving great results. Not only is my weight down, but I am sleeping for at least 7 hours without interruption, my bowels are moving better, my skin is brighter and feels softer, my nails and hair are have even improved! And in a recent series of blood tests, my medical Doctor said my liver is functioning at regular levels. I would recommend at least talking to Susan before pursuing any expensive medical solutions and if you have and have not had wonderful results, see Susan. Thank you so much for helping me feel better than myself!"
— H.M. (Wexford, PA)
"I have decreased migraines, stabilized mood, anxiety reduced, hot flashes reduced, increased quality of life and decreased fatigue."
"I was on synthetic hormones for a number of years including the estradiol vaginal tablets. While using those tablets I was having urinary tract infections every few months. After searching the internet I discovered a compound product Estriol. After reading about how this could benefit my body with no side effects I searched for someone in our area that did compounding. That is when I found Susan Merenstein. I found I could get this ONLY by prescription which my gynecologist would not give me. My P.C.P. agreed for me to try it and I am so thankful I did. I have been using the cream for almost 2 years. My hot flashes were gone in two weeks and my abdominal pain went away. I haven't had any urinary problems and I feel so much better. My gynecologist knows I am using this product and he says I am doing great. I am so thankful I found Estriol and only wish I had heard of it years ago. Thanks Susan for this chance."
"This compounded medication has made all the difference in my well-being and marriage. I had a severe case of vaginal dryness and low libido. Within one week of using the vaginal cream, I could feel a difference! I felt naturally lubricated and my sexual desire was back. Another benefit is the testosterone has helped me to maintain muscle definition as I try to exercise to stay strong and healthy."
"To research alternate methods for symptom relief and decided to try compounded hormone therapy. I called my soon to be compounding pharmacist and was referred to a physician who is educated in compounding drugs. I am happy to say my menopause symptoms have been relieved by the use of these compounds. I recommend to any woman who is suffering from menopausal symptoms to try the compounding route. It has certainly changed my life. I also wanted to add that after my success with compounding, my husband decided to try testosterone therapy. It has relieved him from many symptoms middle age men experience; mood changes, lack of energy and decreased libido."
"Within 9 days of beginning estriol and 2-3 weeks of progesterone and DHEA I was able to enjoy sexual intimacy after seven years of no ability in that area. 3 weeks later my ability to enjoy sex jumped to what I had experienced in my 30's and 40's. In addition, my hot flashes, which had been up to 30 a day, and which ruled my life to a certain degree, have almost totally disappeared. Gone! I do have a few "warm flashes" but they are NOTHING in comparison to 5 minutes of sweating. These compounded meds have changed the quality of my life completely. AND NO SIDE EFFECTS! (which I had with synthetic hormones in the past)."
"I feel so fortunate that I discovered you and your compounding pharmacy... I dreaded going through menopause as I had heard such horror stories of hot flashes, decreased libido and worse, dryness in parts of my body that aren't supposed to be dry... I definitely knew that when the time came, I did not want to go on hormone replacement therapy. A friend of mine from my yoga class recommended you to me...what a godsend you have been! My energy level and general well being are exactly what I had hopes they would be as I travel through this part of my life. My husband is thrilled, our personal life has been so enhanced by the bio-identical hormones. Thank you..in fact, he is going to make an appointment with you, he is so impressed!"
"I don't know what I would do without my topical progesterone hormone therapy. It has changed my life and the life of the people around me. I can't say enough, what a blessing it is to know that my health and well being are being taken care of by people like you who have my best interest in mind. I tell everyone I know who is suffering from just about any symptom to please, please, please come and see you so that you can "balance" them. I know many people that have come to see you and you have helped them more than they could have ever imagined. They were amazed that they were finally better and enjoying their life and their new health and that they can finally come off of all the conventional medicine their doctor's had them on. I have seen people come out of deep depression and start to enjoy their life. I watched a girlfriend of mine who was suffering from hair loss finally feel like a woman again."
"I have been taking the bio-identical hormones (Progesterone and DHEA) for approximately 2 years. It definitely has made a difference for me. I noticed a difference within 2 weeks of using the DHEA especially being 52 and working in a detailed field (stock market) I need to be sharp at all times. I have found an increased ability to think more clearly and quickly. I tried once to stop(save money) but within a week or so, noticed a regression. I immediately went back on it. Even my OB/GYN who isn't big on bio-identical, had nothing to say bad about the DHEA."
"For the past 4 years I have been using the compounding replacement hormones BIEST and Progesterone to relieve symptoms associated with menopause. In my late forties I began to experience the life disrupting symptoms typically associated with menopause: hot flashes and night sweats, insomnia and depression. My family physician was extremely reluctant to prescribe pharmaceutical hormone replacement drugs. I began to research alternate methods for symptom relief and decided to try compounding hormone therapy. I called my soon to be compounding pharmacist and was referred to a physician who is educated in compounding drugs. I am happy to say my menopause symptoms have been relieved by the use of these drugs. I recommend to any woman who is suffering from menopausal symptoms to try the compounding route. It has certainly changed my life. I also want to add that after my success with compounding my husband decided to try testosterone therapy. It has relieved him from many symptoms middle age men experience: mood changes, lack of energy and decreased libido."
"I was on synthetic hormones for a number of years including the estradiol vaginal tablets. While using these tabs I was having a lot of abdominal pressure and was having urinary tract infections every few months. After searching the internet I discovered a compound product Estriol After reading about how this could benefit my body with no side effects I searched for someone in our area that did compounding, That is when I found Susan Merenstein. I found I could get this ONLY by prescription which my gynecologist would not give me. My P.C.P agreed for me to try it and I am so thankful I did. I have been using the cream for almost 2 years. My hot flashes were gone in two weeks and my abdominal pain went away. I haven't had any urinary problems and I feel so much better. My gynecologist knows I'm using this product and he says I'm doing great.
I am so thankful I found Estriol and only wish I had heard of it years ago.
Thanks Susan for this chance."
"I have struggled for 16 years with thyroid disease. I had a tumor which had to be removed which left me without a left side thyroid and my right side has Hashimotos disease. After being on synthroid for this amount of years, I have never been relieved of "EXHAUSTION". I cannot sleep, I suffer from depression and I simply wasn't functioning. There were days I did not get out of bed. I have ALWAYS had an endocrinologist (several) and they would always tell me my TSH and T4 were fine. It's ridiculous even with my husbands corporate insurance, that I had to buy an over the counter test that let me know that my T3 was practically diminished. I have lost count of how many times they changed the amount of my synthroid, but nobody even mentioned my T3. It is also ridiculous that despite my complaints about hormonal issues that I had to purchase an over the counter saliva test which indicated that my entire hormonal system was out of balance. Within a week of taking Susan's recommendations, I felt alive for the first time in years. Women DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER THROUGH THIS just because our doctors seem uninformed and the insurance companies don't want to pay for our care. WE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO TAKE "SYNTHETIC DRUGS" which have at times been knows to cause more side effects than benefits. The FDA needs to recognize we want a SAFE, NATURAL alternative"
— A.P. (Pittsburgh, PA)
"I suffered from hormonal (menstrual) migraines for approximately 8 years. It was getting to the point where I was not able to function normally for 10-12 days a month and not only that, I would get very sick with other symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, blurry vision, etc. and had to miss a few days of work. No one should have to go through this month after month is there is a remedy! I began doing my own research on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Then, Susan Merenstein's name came up through several different conversations I had with both acquaintances and health care professionals. Long story short, I called her, decided to have the saliva and blood spot test done and sure enough, everything I read confirmed what I was lacking. The result of the test showed that I was low in progesterone, testosterone, and T3. Within 6 weeks of taking these bio-identical hormones along with other suggested supplements, I began to feel much better. In fact, since then, my migraines are about 90% gone and I'm starting to get some energy back. I feel great and I feel like I've gotten my 'self' and my life back!
I would like to thank Susan Merenstein along with her very accommodating staff. This was life-changing for me."
— K.C. (Pittsburgh, PA)
"I can say that it is my opinion as a physician that natural hormone therapy can be an extremely important component that is essential in the treatment of many illnesses. In fact, it can have life-saving implications. It can have dramatic effects in the recovery from severe illness. Not only have I seen this as a physician taking care of patients but also have personal experience with this. Many patients would suffer and could die without natural hormone therapy."
— E.B. (Pittsburgh, PA)
I hear you are going to Washington. I wanted to let you know that your testing and feedback started me on a path to my health. I had been struggling with Hypothyroid for at least 6 years prior, not knowing much about it. You got me on the right path with the testing Lab Kit and your consult and 2 books to read. Prior to seeing you, my old doctor saw my neck bulge, but after blood work, using the old guidelines, determined I didn't have Hypothyroid and went on to say I might be depressed. He could not otherwise explain my exhaustion beside blame it on me being a mother. I knew it was not normal exhaustion. After having your feedback, I was able to return to Boston and find an excellent endocrinologists who started to treat me. He has Hypothyroid himself and has a book out. His experience is still way beyond most common doctors knowledge about hormones. My endocrinologist treated me because I have all the symptoms, beside the blood results. I have had great results- I gained my energy back and my life. I feel the whole medical establishment knows little about treating hormones. With Hypothyroid, these drugs are not patentable anymore, so no one is studying what is happening to millions of women! I am amazed how many I know are treated for their thyroid, and many more are tired beyond belief and are NOT treated just because of blood results. They are NOT all depressed- which is all doctors respond with if the blood work is normal. Mine did the same. My blood work is now also in normal range while ON medication. I recently started menopause treatment at age 48, and feel this is an added element that most doctors do not treat properly, much less combined with other hormone issues. My kids are 9 and 12, so I had kids late (but naturally). That could have added to my hormone instability. All I see is how much we need better education of doctors about this issue. Education should not come only from sponsored drug companies. I wouldn't be surprised that some day we will have common knowledge how our chemical dependence in our food process are killing our hormones- us women show it in our health, as do the frogs in nature. Why are we the tested guinea pigs of all this? How can our government subsidize some foods, when the expense on the other side is our health and healthcare bills.
Thank you for starting me in the right direction."
— A.S. (Lexington, MA)
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