The Hormone Center

We treat the cause. . . not the symptom


Why Integrative Medicine?

Why Integrative Medicine?

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.

The Hormone Center is much more than a “hormone treatment center” or just a “hormone physician”.  We practice integrative medicine, which is sometimes confused with functional 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.

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

5 Steps to Creating A Holistic Stress Management Plan

We deal with many stressors on a daily basis in our busy lives.The keys to dealing with stress can come down to our mindset and ability to identify and manage the very things that cause us stress. Nicole Trombley, owner of Pillar Wellness, takes us through how to create a 5 Step Plan for a holistic stress management plan.    

“If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a

different place but to be a different person right now.”
 ~ Seneca

Stress is a normal part of being human, none of us are free from experiencing stress and no one promised life would be without it!  It’s how we handle and respond to it that make all the difference. The great news is that stress management is a learned skill! If we are consistent in our practice of stress management techniques, we will no longer be greatly affected by it.

You can create your own personalized stress management plan with the five following steps:

  1. Awareness  
  2. Self Inventory
  3. Stress Resilience
  4. Stress Prevention Strategies
  5. Relaxation & Self Regulation Techniques


Awareness is always the first step toward any change we desire to make.  Think about your life currently...what are your biggest stressors? What causes the most stress for you? List your triggers here:



Next we must identify our own relationship to stress:  our beliefs, our history and how we approach stressful situations (mindset).  

What are your beliefs about stress?

For example, perhaps you believe that you must experience a lot of stress to be successful.  



Stress management is all about changing what you can (you) and accepting what you cannot change (everything else).  One of the most powerful things we can do to manage our stress more effectively is to increase our own stress resiliency.  Stress resilience is an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity.

What can YOU change about YOU to manage your stress more effectively?



We all have people, places, things and activities that bring us joy.  They will also help prevent stress. When make time in our lives for the things that replenish us, enlighten our spirits and fill our cups, we are more apt to handle whatever comes our way.

Stress prevention techniques include daily, lifestyle related things that help nourish you in mind, body & spirit. Some examples include reading, listening to music, cooking, yoga, painting, running, etc.

What is ONE new stress prevention strategy you can try?  When, where etc will you do it?



Relaxation and self regulation are the tools when you are already in a stress response.  These are the techniques that help bring your body and mind back to homeostasis after the train has left the station.  Some examples include deep breathing techniques, meditation, visualization, etc.

What are some relaxation and self regulation techniques you can try?


CONGRATS!  You have just completed your own personalized holistic stress management program!

Review your plan regularly, remain open-minded and pay attention to your mind and body and schedule time for the strategies you picked.  Over time, you will find that the stress in your life no longer takes over. You are always in control!


Best of luck!  My very best, Nicole Trombley



Download the worksheet here

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and What You Can Do About It

talking to a doctor about polycystic ovary syndrome

What is going on with my body?

Suddenly, you are experiencing abnormal menstrual cycles, mood swings, excessive weight gain, extreme hair growth, and trouble sleeping. You may think “it’s just a bad period.” If you are experiencing any combination of these symptoms, you may have a condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal imbalance that branches from a surplus of male sex hormones, most commonly, testosterone. All women produce small levels of male hormones regularly to help control vital functions of menstruation. These hormones are called androgens and are usually produced in the ovaries in women, but can occasionally be produced in the adrenal glands.

Insulin is another hormone that can contribute to the irregularity associated with PCOS. Insulin enables the body to absorb blood sugar into cells to create energy for your body. PCOS causes the body to be less responsive to insulin which creates elevated levels of blood sugar in the body. When insulin levels are high enough, the ovaries can stimulate testosterone production when it is not needed, leading to overproduction. Therefore, PCOS is some patients is a pre-diabetic state.

Researchers believe that environmental as well as hereditary factors could contribute to or even advance PCOS symptoms. Xeno-estrogens (such as those found in plastic bottles and make-up) are thought be a leading cause of PCOS.

Symptoms of PCOS

  • Acne breakouts
  • Abrupt weight gain
  • Unwanted or abnormal hair growth
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Atypical or absent menstrual cycles
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid mood changes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular headaches
  • Thinning of the hair
  • Signs of decreased fertility or infertility


Most traditional medical providers will only diagnose PCOS if the patient has all or the majority of symptoms. However, one can have PCOS with just a few of the symptoms from the “checklist”. Progressed symptoms and signs of infertility help medical practitioners determine that ovulation is irregular and may be associated with a hormonal imbalance. The range for PCOS is nine to sixty years old.

Common PCOS Treatment Options

Traditional physicians often use birth control pills to help regulate menstrual cycles and decrease testosterone. While effective for some patients for a relatively short period of time, birth control pills can create major problems, such as: yeast infections, diabetes, weight gain, increased risk of breast and liver cancer, nutrient depletion, shrinking of the pituitary gland, oxidative stress, and trouble conceiving later in life. Parents are often understandably concerned that their children will be on birth control pills.

Alternative PCOS Treatments

Some alternative options can be just as effective as a birth control pill. From a molecular perspective, bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to the natural hormones in your body. The most common bioidentical hormone used for the treatment of PCOS is natural progesterone, which comes from a plant and regulates menstrual cycles. In PCOS patients, progesterone can be scarce. With natural progesterone, menstrual cycles begin to regulate, and testosterone is restored to normal levels. Progesterone is most often applied via cream.

Telemedicine – The Hassle-Free Way of Reaching your Doctor

Telemedicine is an easy, and hassle-free way of consulting with your medical provider. It is best described as a secured “Skype” connection for medical consultations. Telemedicine is HIPAA compliant with no patient data stored on the cloud and is available for desktops, smart phones, and tablets.

All current patients of The Hormone Center have full access to telemedicine. New patients are eligible if they are Pennsylvania residents or if they can come to Pennsylvania to establish a doctor/patient relationship. An in-person visit at least once every two years is required for those who are receiving controlled substance prescriptions, such as testosterone.

Learn more about The Hormone Center and how we can help you

Is Gluten Free Just A Fad?

Gluten is a protein that has been genetically modified and/or cross bred into most wheat products.  Gluten offers no nutritional value nor does it add flavor to breads/pastas.  Gluten simply makes the bread “bind” better.  That’s why gluten free bread crumbles more easily than “gluten bread”.  

The issue is that from an evolutionary standpoint, we do not possess the enzymes to break down gluten in the body.  When the body encounters a “foreign” substance, much like a virus, the body’s immune system goes into gear, leading to inflammation.  It is thought that gluten especially causes inflammation in the brain and is perhaps a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s.  (We recommend the book “Grain Brain” by David Perlmutter, M.D. and the documentary What’s With Wheat for additional insight into gluten’s effects).

Symptoms of gluten SENSITIVITY (not Celiac’s disease) include (but are not limited to):

  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Brain Fog
  • Auto-Immune Disease
  • Low Immunity
  • Dental Issues (cavities, canker sores, tooth decay)
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Skin problems (eczema, acne and dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Hormonal imbalance and adrenal fatigue
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • From

We recommend that everyone should be off gluten.  If you have some of the conditions above, try a gluten free diet.  What’s the worst thing that will happen? You lose some weight?

For more info on a gluten free diet, contact The Hormone Center for free dietary information and suggestions!

Auto-Immune Illnesses

Welcome to The Hormone Center blog.  The goal of our integrative medicine practice is to be a community informational and practical resource for holistic ways to treat and prevent illnesses. As such, we hope this blog offers the community a forum for health discussions.

Auto Immune Illnesses:   Many of those who suffer with auto-immune diseases are frustrated since the current treatment protocols may not be working for them.  Please check out: as an additional resource.

For certain patients, low dose naltrexone combined with gut healing can produce a dramatic reduction in symptoms.


Contact Us

The Hormone Center



2100 Wharton Street, #315
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Cranberry Twp.

20399 Route 19, #120
Cranberry Twp, PA 16066