A Holistic and Integrative Medical Practice - Your Alternative to Traditional MedicineWe treat the cause. . . not the symptom
To our patients,
While we were all social distancing, our offices moved!
Our new locations are:
The Hormone Center-North Hills Location
9000 Perry Highway, Suite 210, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Lauren Loya, MD, Amy Hursh, DO and Lori Rippole, CRNP will be at this location.
The Hormone Center-South Hills Location
3540 Washington Road, McMurray, PA 15317
Kelly Robinson, DNP will be in this location.
If you have an appointment in the upcoming weeks, you will be hearing from us to confirm the location of your appointment. If your provider’s new location is not convenient for you, we can accommodate you with a telemedicine or phone appointment.
If you are coming to either location for an in-person appointment, we ask that you wear a mask for your protection and the protection of our providers and staff.
We look forward to seeing you in our new offices!
The Providers and Staff at The Hormone Center
A Doctor's Journey
I started to realize something was wrong when I saw a patient who was on 10 medications. The first five dealt with ailments while the second five were for the side effects of the first five. Despite the medications, the patient didn't feel any better. This was the beginning of my inquiry into another way to practice medicine.
Sometimes our practice gets lumped into the alternative medicine category. And while we are open to additional ways to treat illness, our protocols are based on science and deduction.
As it relates to hormone balancing, we practice integrative medicine, which is sometimes confused with functional medicine. We will examine all of your hormones including thyroid, adrenals and sex hormones and ensure that they are in balance with each other as opposed to just being “within the normal ranges”.
We believe that medications are not always the answer and can often mask the true underlying conditions and imbalances. Even my kids chuckle when they see drug commercials that spend 15 seconds on the benefits and 45 seconds on the side effects.
And unfortunately 'healthcare’ in the U.S. is mistitled. It should be called ‘sick-care’ because most people only engage the medical system when they’re sick, not when they’re healthy.
Our "hormone specialists" believe the following:
- Pharmaceutical and insurance companies have too much influence on how doctors practice medicine.
- Doctors don’t spend enough time with patients because they are under tremendous pressure to achieve certain numerical outcomes in terms of cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc. This reality leaves little time to consider or address the potential sources of the patient’s disorder.
- Due to western medical school training, most physicians learn to treat illnesses after they occur; or to detect them early, not to truly prevent them.
- The foods we are eating are making us sick.
We believe that most people don’t want to be on medications or live a sub-standard life but they often don't know what else to do.
At our core, we believe that from an evolutionary standpoint, the body is built to heal itself. Our job is to clear the obstacles and support the body, before resorting to more invasive measures. If this belief makes us “alternative medicine doctors”, then so be it.
We look forward to meeting you!
- Lauren D. Loya, M.D.
Founder and Medical Director of The Hormone Center
A Look Into Our Practice
At The Hormone Center, we put an underlying focus on the cause, not the symptom. We are an integrative medicine practice and put our clients first. Some of our most sought-after services include:
- Natural Thyroid Treatment - Our team properly diagnoses and treats thyroid problems at their core using natural remedies to address imbalances.
- Adrenal Fatigue treatment and associated burnout.
- Menopause and Andropause - Addressing the natural decline and hormone imbalance that comes with age
- Allergies - We utilize allergy drops rather than allergy shots to combat stubborn environmental allergies. We see much greater compliance with treatment in the easy under-the-tongue drops.
Lauren D. Loya M.D.
Founder and Medical Director
The Hormone Center
9000 Perry Highway
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
3540 Washington Rd
Canonsburg., PA 15317
What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine’s (IM) whole-person approach -- designed to treat the person, not just the disease, has appeal to a growing audience.
IM depends on a partnership between the patient and the doctor, where the goal is to treat the mind, body, and spirit, simultaneously.
While some of the therapies used may be nonconventional, a guiding principle within IM is to use evidence-based treatments. IM "cherry picks" the best, scientifically validated therapies from both conventional and complementary and alternative systems.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, integrative medicine encompasses the following principles:
- A partnership between patient and practitioner in the healing process
- Appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body's innate healing response
- Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness and disease, including mind, spirit community, and diet
- A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically
- Recognition that good medicine should be based in good science, be inquiry driven, and be open to new paradigms
- Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible
- Use of the broader concepts of promotion of health and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease
- Training of practitioners to be models of health and healing, committed to the process of self-exploration and self-development
The Hormone Center calls upon different treatment modalities with the patient as our primary focus. We offer hope to those who have been mistreated by the traditional medical community. And we have many arrows in our quiver!
Bioidentical vs. Synthetic Hormones
Bioidentical Hormones are exact duplicates of hormones the body produces. Generally bioidentical hormones are plant based and have little to no side effects (not related to dosage levels) since they are molecularly identical to substances already in your body.
People with hormone imbalances simply have too much or too little of particular hormones.
Hormones serve as chemical messengers from the brain that are produced by organs and glands of the endocrine system. Hormones circulate through the blood system and bind with cell receptors much like a lock and key.
Hormones tell cells how to respond. For example when one gets scared, the brain tells certain cells to produce adrenaline.
Most physicians who prescribe hormones use Synthetic Hormones (not natural) such as Premarin® (PREgnant MARe uRINe) and Provera® which can be harmful since foreign substances are introduced into the body.
The FDA has ruled that natural substances cannot be patented and therefore most pharmaceutical companies do not promote them.
Bioidentical hormone prescriptions must often be "customized" by a physician and prepared by special compounding pharmacies. Dosage levels are often measured in micrograms.
Why doesn’t my doctor prescribe bioidentical hormones?
Specialized medical provider training is needed to prescribe bioidentical hormones. In addition to symptom assessments, providers need to be familiar with the specialized testing protocols used.
Interpretation of test results requires medical providers to not only look at lab ranges.
Providers must also consider the optimal ranges for each patient, since we are all different. Knowledge of how to customize prescriptions is also required. In the end, many providers simply to not have the training on the benefits of bioidentical hormones.
She knew she wasn’t crazy. Although she hadn’t felt like herself for a while, she knew her symptoms weren’t made up. She couldn’t figure out why she was so tired and moody seemingly all the time. After all, she tried to care of herself and was active. Now, getting a good night’s sleep is almost impossible. At times she even feels depressed.
Her symptoms are starting to affect her relationship with her kids, her husband, and friends. Little things that never used to bother her now seem like huge events. An accomplished professional, she experiences “brain fog” at work. And her diminished libido . . . well that’s a new one. Sometimes she feels like she could “lose it” at any moment.
Her primary care doctor ran a battery of tests, including for low thyroid, but her results came back “normal”. The advice of “you’re just getting older” doesn’t sit well with her. Her PCP even prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping pills for Susan. That’s when she decided to take control of her health. Susan isn’t someone who just wants to “take another pill” to treat symptoms. She wants to get to the bottom of her issues as she values her health immensely.
She’s spent so much time taking care of others and now it’s time to take care of herself.
According to researchers, the cause of many chronic health problems may be related to hormonal imbalances.
Hormonal excesses or deficiencies can cause a myriad of symptoms and health problems, and increase the risk for many diseases.
Symptoms of an imbalance include (but are not limited to):
- Weight Gain
- Headaches/Dizziness/Foggy Thinking
- Wrinkly Skin
- Water Retention/Bloating
- Loss of Libido (sex drive)
- Decrease in Muscle Mass
- Mood Swings
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Prostate Problems/Decreased Flow
- Thinning Hair
. . . to name a few symptoms.
Many people do not associate the above symptoms with hormone imbalances. Through advanced testing and by spending time with patients, we can often pinpoint the true source of the symptoms.