Ann Collins is Vice President and Co-founder of Your Hormones, Inc. Ann has experienced tremendous benefits from the natural hormone health. Her compassion for the wellbeing of others drives her to help other people learn how to have a much better life by achieving true hormone health.
Ann enjoys working with both practitioners and patients, and uses her experience as an office manager for a multi-disciplinary clinic to help deliver integrative services and products. Ann started to design health education websites in the mid-90s. She is the creative force behind Your Hormones, Inc.
Here is her biography:
As Vice President of Your Hormones, Inc. I am most happy about helping other people to learn how to have a much better life by achieving true hormone health. Though I am not a doctor or scientist, I fully understand why healthy, balance hormones are so important for a happy, productive and passionate life.
My Story: The Doctors Wife
When Joe and I got married, he had already been practicing as a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) for a few years. Like most NDs, he was seeing patients with a variety of conditions, and having great results. His practice attracted a lot of people with fatigue disorders, thyroid disease and hormonal imbalances. In addition to the routine naturopathic therapies and tests, Joe was also measuring salivary testosterone levels in women. Since no-one else was doing it, he had to special order the test (or use “male hormone” tests) and then he would interpret the tests for what women should have. He talked about different hormonal patterns in menopause. At the time, I was not too concerned about menopause. That changed pretty quickly.
Within six months of our marriage in 1996, I presented my husband with the ultimate challenge of his life’s work – my own menopause. Just barely into my forties; it came rushing in like hot dry, desert wind. (I used to live in Palm Desert, California). But in additional to all the “hot & dry” symptoms of menopause, I experienced a return of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms including nausea, vomiting, bloating and alternating diarrhea/constipation. Asthma symptoms also returned.
My history of uterine cancer, with a hysterectomy (without oopherectomy) at 28 years of age, and the return of asthma & IBS (both which are inflammation conditions) suggested to my husband that I had a progesterone deficient Menopause Type®.
I still recall in detail, Joe coming home in the middle of the day with laboratory results. Instead of finding me in my sewing studio, where I custom tailored, he found me nauseated and heaving over a toilet.
I remember hearing:
“You are Menopause Type® Eight – this will help.”
As he rubbed prescription progesterone cream on me, I thought to myself; “What is he doing? Can’t he see how sick I am?” Within minutes I felt an incredible relief. The nausea vanished, I felt cooler, calmer and very comfortable.
“Yes, you’re severely deficient in progesterone and moderately deficient in testosterone. We can help your body make its own hormones with nutrition and herbs, but the progesterone cream was quicker, and obviously the right choice at this point in time.”
At that point, I became really interested in his work with menopause. He showed me how much menopause can be different in each woman based on what he called the different Menopause Types®. We talked about the "one-size-fits-all approach to menopause", that was failing to recognized the unique needs of each woman. I thought about other women I knew, and realized that whenever I had the chance, I would tell other women that their lives would be so improved once they understand their Menopause Type®.
The Early Days
Joe continued to teach each women about their unique Menopause Type® and started to teach doctors and pharmacists as well at various conferences and seminars. In 1999, an M.D. in the audience said “You need to write a book.” Having been told that a number of times; Joe replied with a courteous; “Thank you.” To which he was told, “No, I’m not complimenting you, I’m telling you, ‘You need to right a book’.’” When we got home the book contract was waiting for him.
While the book was being written, I realized that this was a chance to make a significant difference for women. A chance to literally redefine menopause. I told Joseph I wanted to build a website to promote public awareness of Menopause Types® and help women find healthcare professionals in their neighborhoods who would give them the personalized care that his book teaches. I started to study “html”, and set out to build YourMenopauseType.com.
The website has been a valuable resource for patients, physicians and pharmacists, and helped validate the bio-identical hormone replacement industry, which insisted that women do better on natural hormones, and not the hormones extracted from horse urine. In addition to the website, Joe taught at quite a few conferences; teaching the need for personalized hormone therapy, based on the unique needs (the Menopause Type®) of each woman.
At the same time, Joe started compiling notes on his work with other hormonal problems such as PMS.PMDD, thyroid diseases, adrenal disorders, andropause, and insulin resistance. Joe wanted to also write on those other hormone problems, so YourHormones.com, was purchased in August 1999. We planned on developing that website in a couple of years, after we got the menopause site up and running. Little did we know that menopause care was so bad in this country that we would have to focus on menopause for many years.
I clearly remember, during a break at a 2001 conference held in Atlanta, I saw one of the attendees standing off by himself; very sad and overwhelmed, in apparent grief. I remember thinking “Did he just get a phone call with bad news about some-one close to him?” I approached him to see if he was okay. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said “How come no-one ever taught us this stuff before? I’m sitting in the back of the room listening to your husband and studying his work, then I realize – I’ve been poisoning women for years.” He actually sobbed and said “I think I’ve actually killed some women with those hormones I used to prescribe!! God forgive me!” I stood in stunned silence.
How do you respond to something like that? I just stayed there, waiting for God to answer his prayer. The gentleman shook himself, took a deep breath, looked at me and said; “It’s okay. I know what to do from now on – that’s what matters.” He stood himself up straight while his face turned from grief towards determination. He looked me in the eyes and said; “I’m not the only one that was doing it wrong! You guys have a lot of work to do! - Tell your husband to keep on teaching. His message was hard to accept – but it came through! I’ll never practice medicine like I did before I came to this meeting.”
As he walked away I felt both sadness and joy. Sad that his epiphany had been so painful, yet joyful that it had been so transforming.
Connecting Women with Practitioners
Later that day, I told my husband about the interaction I had with one of his attendees. I also shared that countless others had approached me throughout the day to report similar changes in their understanding of women’s health. He had experienced the same response from the group. And that was just the first day of a three day conference dedicated fully toward the Management of Menopause Type®.
It was at that conference that I realized that I did have a commitment to connect women with only dedicated healthcare professionals who were committed to treating each woman as an individual. It was not enough for some-one to say “I read the book!” Women had the right to expect a little more from their healthcare providers. I converted the material from the three day conference into an on-line program. Any clinician who was committed enough to learn how to treat each woman as an individual was placed on the YourMenopauseType website. Every healthcare professional listed on the website has made a committed effort to redefine menopause as an experience unique to each woman, and to treat each woman as a unique individual. The standard of care in managing women going through menopause had been raised to a new level.
Back to Your Hormones
In addition to his work with menopause, over the years Dr Collins (Joe) has treated a number of women with PMS as well as polycystic ovary syndrome, as well as men with andropause, and bother men and women with thyroid and adrenal problems. His therapy for these conditions includes herbal formulations he created for his private practice. He had Douglas Laboratories manufacture his formulations. He started sharing those formulations with other doctors as well as pharmacist. Eventually we decided that Douglas Laboratories could sell them to any healthcare professional that wanted to improve hormone health.
Your Hormones offers those Hormone Specific Formulations™ as an important part of hormone health.
Over the years, I have enjoyed working with doctors, pharmacists, nutritionists and patients from throughout North America. As I previously pointed out; I am most happy about helping other people learn how to have a much better life by achieving true hormone health.
I look forward to working with anyone needing support in obtaining hormone health.
Ann Collins, Vice President, Your Hormones, Inc.