“This has been quite a journey I’ve been on,” mused Laura Lile, M.D., noting that 2017 is her 30th year as a compounding pharmacist. “I have had a passion for compounded hormones for 28 of those 30 years.”
“It was back in a time — I know you can appreciate — when compounded hormones were not always done often,” she added. “I had done my research back in the day and realized that compounded hormones were the way to help patients. And, so, I started working in that industry and did it for 12 years. Finally, one day after filling prescriptions, I realized I needed to go back to medical school; I could help guide patients better if I could be the one writing the prescriptions.”
“When I was a kid, we didn’t go to the doctor very often,” Suzanne Somers reminisced. “But if you went to the doctor and he gave you a prescription, you didn’t get a pre-made pharmaceutical prescription. Remember, waiting in the pharmacy while they put it all together? And then everything changed. . . . That’s when we got into — particularly in the hormone area — the one- size-fits-all. Will you tell my audience, who are very interested in what you have to say, why there can’t be a one-size-fits-all for hormone replacement?”
“First of all, each human body is so unique,” Dr. Lile noted. “We all have various stressors, various weights, different metabolic issues, and it never made sense to me that there would be one-size-fits-all. With hormones, we really have to fine-tune based on each individual’s body, their needs. And I always felt it was funny when there were one, two or three strengths on the market and it was to fit everyone. Certainly, there’s not one size among human beings and we all have different metabolic needs. And by tailoring our products to those individual needs, we can help these patients have extraordinary benefits.”
Those needs, however, can change. Stress, aging, and other factors can necessitate temporary or permanent modifications of hormone requirements. Dr. Lile assesses her own requirements every 4 to 6 months.
Dr. Lile doesn’t limit herself to one delivery method of hormone replacement therapy. She compounds sustained-release encapsulated hormones and hormone-containing creams, all customized to the patient.
As the body’s largest organ, the skin provides a significant opportunity for rapid, systemic absorption — good and bad, noted Dr. Lile. Hormone creams provided better results a few decades ago prior to the bombardment of pesticide and toxin exposure that we now experience. Today, even cosmetic creams and lotions that we regularly apply to our bodies can block absorption. Asked by Suzanne whether she makes detoxification of the body a part of her treatment regimen [for patients], Dr. Lile replied that it depended upon the individual and, for those who live in a very toxic environment, it was a good place to start.
During the last 30 years, Dr. Lile has compounded approximately 4,900 different formulas. Her first patient was her mother, who still benefits from hormone replacement at the age of 83.
“What we experienced in the last generation, in my mother’s generation, was just a slow decline to fade-to-black,” Suzanne observed. “In terms of the new life expectancy, what do you think you can offer your patients, in terms of their longevity and the quality that they will experience in those years we get?”
Dr. Lile explained that changing the name of her practice to Lile Wellness Partners signified that she, in addition to her patients, also wants to age with vitality and good health, and experience longevity. When someone says they hope to be healthy at 80, she envisions life expectancy and health for many years beyond that age. Today’s technology can help people become biologically younger. It’s encouraging to show patients their medical test results and tell them that in the past decade they’ve grown younger, not older, in many areas. And like Suzanne Somers, they oftentimes look much younger than others their same age.
For those who think that it’s a lot of work to do what Suzanne Somers does to stay youthful and healthy, Suzanne offers some succinct advice: It’s a lot more work to be sick.
Suzanne’s enthusiastic example of how she took charge of her own health can be intimidating to the average patient. According to Dr. Lile, when a patient approaches a physician, it’s best to take it easy, partner with them, and demonstrate that you can get them feeling better. It’s a step-by-step process.
Part of that process is educating the patient. Patients become empowered by gaining knowledge and having a partner to monitor their health. Good results are associated with upbeat feelings about health, which, in turn, exert a positive influence on the body.
“One of the things I hear over and over from alternative and integrative doctors is how happy their patients are,” Suzanne remarked.
Dr. Lile agreed, noting that improving her patients’ health is a tremendous source of happiness and fulfillment for her as well. It’s a sharp contrast to some of the doom and gloom prevalent in allopathic medicine.
In addition to examining a patient’s hormone levels, Dr. Lile stressed the importance of evaluating inflammatory markers in the blood such as C-reactive protein. She also tests for mineral and other nutritional deficiencies. For example, magnesium, a critical mineral involved in every cellular function and enzymatic process, is often deficient. Evaluating both serum magnesium and red blood cell magnesium levels will provide a better picture of a patient’s magnesium status.
While Dr. Lile’s typical patient is a perimenopausal or postmenopausal woman seeking hormone replacement therapy, people of all ages are welcome at her clinic. Children are subject to many of the nutrient deficiencies that plague adults, with potentially serious results. In Michigan, where Dr. Lile has a practice, lead contamination of drinking water is a problem that has significantly affected the children of the area. While taking up residence in the bones, lead can affect other organs, including the brain, especially when people are young. Clearing the body of lead through various treatment protocols is important. As Suzanne noted: “There’s no drug answer.”
When asked about the increasing incidence of food allergies and gluten intolerance, Dr. Lile lists toxins in food, antibiotic use, and deficiencies of probiotics and prebiotics as possible culprits. These factors and more can affect immune function, leading to food sensitivities. Probiotics, along with vitamin D3 and fish oil, are the top three nutritional supplements that Dr. Lile recommends. Our gut is part of the immune system, and everything we swallow impacts its health.
Suzanne and Dr. Lile lament the fact that we’re living in a new world environmentally, yet medical school curriculum has remained essentially unchanged. If anything, the schools are more pro-Big Pharma than ever.
“You are the change,” Suzanne Somers told Dr. Lile. “And that’s where I find the hope.”
To learn more about Dr. Laura Lile in Atlanta, GA - visit her Forever Health profile. She has offices in Grosse Ile, MI; Franklin, MI; Franklin TN; and Atlanta, GA.