All About Hormones

Full Transcript of the podcast:

GurlGoneGreen: This is the “Green Gurl and Doc” podcast. The information discussed in this podcast is not a substitute for your own physician. Please always seek a medical professional.
Hey guys, welcome back to the “Green Gurl and Doc” podcast. This is the second episode and it’s all about hormones. Be sure to tune into last week’s episode where we talked all about detoxifying the body. I also wanted to give a little background about myself for those who don’t know me. I’m a licensed aesthetician and cosmetologist. I started to eat clean about ten years ago but the green beauty switch didn’t happen until five years later. Since then, I’ve made the switch to clean living too. You can find all the latest and greatest in living a green lifestyle on my blog “GurlGoneGreen” and you can also find me on Facebook and Instagram under “GurlGoneGreen” as well. Okay, enough introductions. Let’s get started. Hey Dr. Matt, how’s it going?
Dr. Matt: Awesome, Suzi. Up for another podcast.
GurlGoneGreen: We had really good feedback from the first one. So excited…
Dr. Matt: Great.
GurlGoneGreen: Are you back in the swing of things from vacation?
Dr. Matt: Yes. One week back. It seemed like it was so long ago.
GurlGoneGreen: I’m sure you were very busy. Well, awesome. So as I mentioned earlier, this week our topic is on hormones and specifically on female hormones and fertility. Super excited for this one. And I know all my listeners are too because I’ve had a lot of questions. So let’s get started. So Dr. Matt, why are hormones so important for our bodies?
Dr. Matt: That’s a great question. Hormones are important because, without them, we cease to exist. It’s kind of like a lot of things in our body. Everything is really important. So sometimes we think estrogen is really important. It’s one of our big hormones. Or progesterone is really important. Or testosterone is the most important hormone. But, in reality, they’re all important. Or the thyroid. The thyroid’s a hormone. The thyroid produces hormones, your pituitary gland in your brain produces all these hormones. The hypothalamus in the brain produces hormones. Your adrenal glands, which are these little bags that sit on top of your kidneys, they produce hormones. And then, of course, in women, their ovaries produce hormones as well. Actually even digestive cells and stuff can produce hormones. Hormones are kind of endless. I think today we’re going to be trying to stick more towards the reproductive based hormones and hormones that specifically affect that kind of thing. So either getting pregnant, staying pregnant, not running into miscarriages, generally feeling exceptional. The hormones are going to be the progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and then the thyroid hormones and the adrenal hormones. It’s really hard to separate them out because one being off could make everything off. We want to try to look at them as a whole. And not to say one hormone… Okay, my progesterone is low, so now… Yeah, sure, you have maybe some mood symptoms or some menstrual irregularity or painful menses or heavy bleeding, those kinds of things that are common with low progesterone, but more than likely you don’t just have low progesterone. There’s a reason for low progesterone just like there’s a reason for high estrogen or low estrogen. I just wanted to throw out this one study I came across today, it just got released today, when I was running through some things for a patient. It basically showed that the power of what we do on a daily basis to affect our hormones and then to affect, especially for women, the whole pregnancy thing. But there is a study from Germany that showed that basically the more plastics, which we know this, the more plastics we consume, the greater our risk of having estrogen activity happening in our body that we don’t necessarily want, but basically this study showed that… This was an animal study. Fat cells would get more estrogen receptors the more plastics these animals used to drink from or eat from. So if anybody is thinking about, if any woman is thinking my hormones are off or I want my hormones to be better balanced, one of the first things they could do is say I’m going to get rid of anything that’s plastic, that my food item sits in or that’s going to be hot at any time when my food’s in it or is touching fats. So the worst offenders were basically sausages and cheeses as far as pulling in plastics. Then you know you’re eating those and essentially the actual quote that I wrote down from the study was that there was a serious metabolic disturbance for the animals that they gave these plastics to. They’re not eating them but they’re just drinking fluids from it or eating food from them. And basically the main symptom or the main sign was they would gain fat, they would get fat. So that’s kind of something we’re raging against. 50% of the population is considered overweight. Just a little thing like that, the plastics, let’s get them out of the way, let’s help ourselves out, let’s just let the hormones do what they’re meant to do or actual hormones being produced and not just the synthetic junk that’s all around us.
GurlGoneGreen: Yeah, that’s so good. I’ve read a lot of different research about plastics, just on my own, through what they cause to our bodies and, like you said, mimicking estrogen. It’s just so crazy how just that little thing can prevent so much from happening.
Dr. Matt: Yeah, it’s terrible.
GurlGoneGreen: Yeah, that’s so good. I also wanted to ask what are hormones’ jobs? What can they affect in our bodies?
Dr. Matt: So hormones are definitely going to affect our mood. I’m a male, but I know you have a predominantly female audience, so we’re going to be mostly speaking to them. So most ladies would know that if they’re still menstruating and maybe before they start their period or during their period or in the middle of their cycle, that they’ll have different emotions, maybe depressed, maybe anxious, maybe social anxiety going on or at other times they’re feeling awesome, feeling just really good about themselves. That’s all due to hormones going up or hormones going down or an imbalance of those hormones. There’s also of course your skin. Different times during the menstrual cycle, women will often notice that their skin is looking awesome or not as awesome or acne is showing up or maybe they get like a little bit of an eczema on their hand or something just before their period or right when they’re having their period. There’s usually bowel changes a lot of times, either constipated or diarrhea. These don’t need to happen with changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle or hormones. They don’t have to happen but they tend to a lot because there’s imbalances. So if everything is perfect, the balance is perfect, then essentially every 26 – 30 days a woman would have her period. The estrogen would be really low during that time and the progesterone would be low as well and then, at about day 6 – 10, the estrogen would start coming up pretty good. And then, at day 14 – 18 or so, the progesterone would start coming up as well. And then the progesterone would go back down and then, towards the end of the cycle, the estrogen would go back down and then she would have another period and it would just be moderate bleeding, no cramping, no big changes in skin tone or anything like that. It would be like one of those women that says no big deal. I usually tell women, patients of mine, who are like yeah I don’t even hardly notice my cycle. They know it is happening, but it’s no big deal. I usually tell them don’t tell anybody else that because a lot of people out there would not want to hear that.
GurlGoneGreen: That’s true.
Dr. Matt: It’s kind of like the kids that sleep through the night from day one. Don’t tell people that, don’t tell me that, it’s not what we want to hear. So there’s nothing the hormones aren’t going to change, even your gums, your teeth, that’s a really big deal. That’s definitely when hormones are on the lower end of things or also on the higher end, especially in pregnancy, there can be a lot of cavities and stuff more likely to happen because there’s changes in the gum tissue and the gingiva.
GurlGoneGreen: Interesting.
Dr. Matt: Bones, if your hormones are too low, both progesterone and estrogen especially, those aren’t sufficient. That’s why women that have experienced anorexia or bulimia are not having their periods for long periods of time. It’s a really big deal to figure out why or if it’s the anorexia, bulimia part of things, get that figured out.
GurlGoneGreen: Definitely.
Dr. Matt: The whole emotional part of things there, so that they don’t end up with osteoporosis and degeneration of their bone tissue and cartilage and all that. There’s Alzheimer’s, there’s dementia, every chronic disease you can at some point bring back in a hormone imbalance or either excess or deficiency. It doesn’t mean that the hormones are what started it, but a lot of times, they will finish it for us unfortunately. If that makes sense.
GurlGoneGreen: Yeah, if for some reason I’m not having a good period or if every month it is really hard before my period or after, is that a sign that you could have a hormonal imbalance?
Dr. Matt: 100%. That would be a hundred percent sign. There’s a hormonal imbalance there. That doesn’t mean you need to take hormones or that you’re massively deficient in a hormone or anything like that, but there’s a definite imbalance there. It’s just where’s that coming from? It could be your food, it could be because you’re drinking out of plastic stuff non-stop. It could be because there’s a ton of stress in your life that you’re not handling very well. It could be because you’re magnesium deficient or calcium deficient or zinc deficient or you don’t have enough B12 or folate. So there’s all these things that are playing into why there’s that imbalance. The imbalance itself is coming from these hormones. Hormones are just so powerful. It’s like why a baby can just lay on their back and continually grow. It’s all about these hormones. Same reason for why one person can stay lean and he just gobbles the food and another person gets fat when they’re not eating anything. It’s all about what hormone… So there’s hormones like leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin that have been produced by digestive cells and fat cells that tell the body what it’s supposed to do, what it’s going to do with that food, what kind of satiation signals it’s going to get. So it’s the same with estrogen, progesterone, testosterone. If they’re right, they’re going to tell the body all kinds of good stuff. If they’re not right, they’re going to tell the body all kinds of bad stuff. So big, big deal.
GurlGoneGreen: That’s so good especially for any ladies listening, just about checking those different things you mentioned. If you’re low in certain minerals that you mentioned or even getting your blood work done, would you recommend that Dr. Matt?
Dr. Matt: Oh yeah, I think blood work is huge. The thing about blood work is just… Say you’re getting your progesterone levels checked, which is not a bad idea at all, you want to get that done day about 18-21 every menstrual cycle. So it’s a good idea first off to know your menstrual cycle. And if it’s irregular, then you know it’s irregular and you’re going to have to… There’s going to be different times when you’re going to have to check and you really just need to go to your doctor and they’ll help you. Know when you should be checking it based on the length of your cycle or the lack thereof. And then there’s also hormones… So the short version is LH, luteinizing hormone, or FSH, follicle-stimulating hormone. So that would be for a woman who is not having menstrual cycles, those are really, really important because those give signals from the brain to the ovaries. And then, of course the progesterone. And then, your estrogen or estradiol level, that particular type of estrogen, estradiol, is best checked either right after your period finishes, so day like 6 to 10 of your menstrual cycle or… I’m sorry. You should have your estrogen checked when it’s at its lowest, so it could be day 3 to 5 of your menstrual cycle. That’s when you’re bleeding usually. Or just when you have symptoms. So if you’re having migraines or you get super constipated or diarrhea, your mood is just getting crazy, any of those symptoms, those are also a really good time to just go and… Okay, I have a headache going on, have the lab request ready so you can just walk in the lab that day and get your estrogen levels checked to see where they’re at. Are they through the roof? I always check three different estrogens whenever I do estrogen levels. I check, it’s called estrone or E1, estradiol which is also called E2, or estriol which is E3. So I check all three of those levels because a lot of it has to do with the balance between those as well, not just the total amount. But it’s so individualized when you’re talking about hormones and balance is such a huge factor between the hormones. Say you look at your buddy’s estrogen, your estrogen’s 200 and mine’s 120, and they feel good and you don’t, there’s just nothing to compare there. You should look at yours as they are and everything in your life and what’s going on nutritionally and all that and then go about getting things fixed. Hormone levels, especially estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, are very difficult to just stack people up next to each other and say this is how they should be. There’s so much balancing that has to happen and kind of synergy between the hormones.
GurlGoneGreen: That’s so good. And I love how you brought it back to the whole body approach that we talked about last week too, just how really hormones are affected by just everything around you, your environment too. So that’s so good.
Dr. Matt: I was just going to mention on the lab. So just getting progesterone, estrogen and testosterone checked, those are the big, big dogs. You really should be thinking about getting the adrenal hormone checked as well, getting your thyroid hormones checked, get the magnesium, your zinc levels, just to make sure that’s all good because those things are a lot easier to fix and support than the big ones are. I mean it’s all more than manageable but it would be way better off if you looked upstream on the smaller things and that was able to facilitate the health of the big boys as opposed to starting with the big boys and trying to work your way back.
GurlGoneGreen: That’s so good. I feel like we kind of covered a little bit about how they’re important for female health. Do you want to add anything to it or do you feel like…?
Dr. Matt: We know of course hormones are super important. That’s why there’s 18 year olds who don’t have a bunch of wrinkles and 7 year olds tend to have more wrinkles. That’s pretty much hormones right there.
GurlGoneGreen: Give me my hormones!
Dr. Matt: Hormones affect everything from cancer risk to autoimmune risk to your bone tissue, mood, and feelings of well-being. I think that’s kind of one of the biggest things, feelings of well-being, what your mood’s like, what your motivation’s like. If those things are off, then probably your hormones are not functioning like they’re supposed to be functioning. So it’s a really good idea to get them checked out.
GurlGoneGreen: What causes them to get off-balance?
Dr. Matt: Sleep cycles are a big deal. Stress is a big deal. Definitely genetics. I see so many girls who maybe they’re 13-16 years old now, or maybe they’re 30 and they’ve been on birth control for 15 years because of hormone imbalances. It wasn’t like they did something specifically. It was just my period started and ever since then I’ve had migraines. Or ever since then I’ve been constipated or my skin is just going crazy. Or I’ve been majorly depressed, I started on anti-depressants when I was 13, three months after my period started or something like that. They’re so powerful. You go from very, very little to all of a sudden a lot and this continual change in each month of your hormones from when you hit puberty and a lot of times bodies because of… it could be from the parents. Different genes that were laid down. But a lot of it has to do with whatever happened in childhood all of a sudden gets magnified when the hormones start changing. So diet was bad, if ADD/AHD stuff was bad, it gets 100 times worse once the hormones start changing because the body is in a continual essentially rebalancing of itself. I would say the biggest thing is when you hit puberty, if you can get kids – so all the moms out there, all the dads out there – if you can really help your kids out. I know I try to when I’m sitting with a child, tell them you’ll really going to wish you did this. When you hit 13 or 14 or 15, you’re going to be so pumped you did this. Or when you hit 21, you’re going to be so excited that you actually just did this even though it seems like why in the world would I do this now, how does this have any bearing on me, none of my buddies are dealing with this. But it’s so huge to get kids when they’re younger to stay away from the plastics, to stay away from a bunch of hormonal meats and dairy products that have all these hormones pumped into them, vegetables that just consist of potatoes basically. Everything that as adults we think we need or we know we need for hormone metabolism – our cruciferous, our vegetables, our kales and bok choys and collard greens and mustard greens and all these things that we know are really valuable for us to maintain proper hormone balance. It’s just as important for guys as it is for women. And making sure we’re metabolizing hormones down the most anti-inflammatory and efficient pathway. It’s going to make teenagers’ lives so much easier if they get that done when they’re babies and then into childhood years before they hit those teen years and their period starts and everything. Periods are starting so much earlier now, it’s just crazy. And so, a lot of that is due to just excess hormones present from all the stuff we’re eating. It’s just junk and then all the plastic and all the toxins.
GurlGoneGreen: I was going to share a story that I had read. Just about a little girl who had gotten her period when she was 7 years old. I read different things where it can bring on, if you have bad hormones, or just hormones through meat like you said, or possibly dairy that’s not organic or different things. They are fed that all the time, then it really does affect their bodies and how it’s just so important that we make sure that we’re giving our kids the best. I feel like that’s such a big deal.
Dr. Matt: Yeah and now there’s all these antibiotics. So many kids have been on so many rounds of antibiotics in their child years. Antibiotics are fine. We need them, they save a lot of people’s lives. So I’m not anti-antibiotics at all, but the chronic use of them can be so tough. There is this one Finnish study, so from Finland, it was a 10,000 women study that showed that basically women who… So this is older women but basically women who chronically took antibiotics for urinary tract infections had a 74% increase risk of breast cancer from doing that. And I just think okay I see kids all the time that have been on like 25-30 rounds of antibiotics and they’re 7-8 years old because they had chronic ear infections or strep throat or something and no one ever got to why this is happening to them or really changed the environment or the foods. What is missing here? Antibiotics are not a solution for this child. But what kind of craziness is going to go on for these people? You just have to do so much to try to get their machines back and running. It just makes me sad.
GurlGoneGreen: Yeah, I feel like that’s a whole another podcast on children. Definitely. Having a child, you’ll understand. If you don’t have one, you’ll understand one day, but that’s a big deal. That’s so good. What are some symptoms of hormone imbalance that people could maybe see in their own bodies?
Dr. Matt: I think kind of what we talked about, skin changes are a huge deal. So if you feel like your skin has lost its luster, it doesn’t feel like it’s retaining water very well and it’s kind of lumpous. That’s definitely a sign that there’s an imbalance there. It could be acne, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis. You can have a lot of yeast infections or fungal infections on the skin. So that doesn’t necessarily have to be estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, that could also be thyroid hormone, which is a common issue, but it’s kind of hard to take thyroid out of the way when you talk about the three big dogs there. Skin issues are super, super common and then any kind of bowel bloating is a big, big one. If there’s imbalances especially in estrogen there, bloating is a huge one and feeling like food is just sitting there, that you’re not digesting things well. And then your eyes. If your eyes are going bad or if you feel like your eyes are really weak or you can’t sleep, you get anxious. A lot of times that’s related to progesterone issues. And then if there’s no sex drive. A lot of times that’s more testosterone but it can also be estrogen. The biggest thing is the balance of those. I usually tell patients if you get too much estrogen, too much progesterone, too much testosterone, you’re going to have so many of the same symptoms as if you had too little estrogen, too little progesterone or too little testosterone. So the biggest thing is just trying to keep the balance.
GurlGoneGreen: That’s so good too about how you said it can affect skin because I do get a lot of emails and questions from people asking about their skin is off or it’s too dry or different things. Not that sometimes it can be a product, but I think a lot of times it’s what’s happening internally and you need to address that before any product is going to actually help. So good.
Dr. Matt: With acne a lot of times, hormonal acne, you can draw a person’s blood levels or do a 24 hour urine level for hormones and everything looks completely normal but it’s actually at the skin surface itself where those hormones are being produced in excess or they’re being metabolized, especially with testosterone it’s the most common one that gets a little bit out of balance on the skin surface there and will cause the acne, especially the cystic acne. So a lot of times you do all this, the blood levels, you do the urine levels and all that and everything is normal but it’s actually on that tissue surface itself where the issue is. Something to consider.
GurlGoneGreen: Yeah, that’s so good. What would you say then for fertility and hormones?
Dr. Matt: I guess the first thing I would say is it’s always like okay the woman is struggling with infertility. Well, it takes two to make a baby, so it’s not always the woman’s fault. It’s not anybody’s fault, but the woman doesn’t have to think that okay just because we’re not able to have a baby, that I’m lacking or there’s something wrong with what’s going on inside of me. So you definitely need to check both. But since it’s mostly ladies on this podcast, I would go for… So if a woman is having trouble getting pregnant, things I would just check right off the bat would be, when we’re talking about getting labs and stuff, making sure your iron levels are right. So if you don’t have iron, you can’t send oxygen around to your body and you can’t expect your body to think it wants to create a baby when there’s not sufficient oxygen supply. So definitely get the iron levels checked. Then also look at thyroid function, especially autoimmune thyroid conditions. So if you got the Hashimoto’s, that’s a huge one for both the miscarriage and for not being able to get pregnant. And then of course progesterone levels, making sure that you’re actually ovulating. So that’s where it’s really good to get a BD digital thermometer, like $9 at Walgreens or Rite Aid. They’re little digital thermometers and first thing in the morning take your temperature, don’t get out of bed, don’t turn over, don’t do anything, just grab it, stick it in, see where it’s at, write it down or put it on a little chart. So you know that you are ovulating because when you’re ovulating, your temperature should rise about .3 to .4 degrees Fahrenheit. So you might go from like 97.8, there’s 3 – 5 days where you’re at 98.2 or 98.3, whereas before you’re always just riding that .1 to .2 degrees either way. And then another one to check out is your prolactin levels. That’s another hormone that can suppress ovulation and generally make a woman not feel good at all. There’s times when it should be elevated, when you want to make milk and stuff. When you’re trying to get pregnant, it should not be elevated. And then, also just considering what’s your rest like, what’s your stress levels like. I hear stories non-stop about people who went to Hawaii on vacation and all of a sudden they got pregnant. There’s a massive neurological component to this. That would be a huge one. Say you’ve gone a couple of years or even a year and you’ve been tracking your cycle and saying I know exactly when I’m ovulating and we’re still not getting pregnant, make sure the guy gets checked out, make sure his hormones are right. Testosterone is definitely a really big deal for guys as far as the amount and the strength of the sperm and everything. So that’s good to get checked out. Sometimes it’s almost better just to say forget these ovulation charts, especially if you’ve been doing them and haven’t gotten pregnant, and say okay let’s just forget it, that’s stressing you out in itself, and see what happens. The folate metabolism and some of the B vitamins for the MTHFR gene, which is kind of a huge topic, but that is definitely something, MTHFR, if you’re not getting pregnant and trying to get pregnant or having recurrent miscarriages to definitely get checked to make sure you’re using a type of folate that your body can actually do something with and make sure that you don’t need levels that would be considerably higher or other nutrients to support a little gene defect that could be hindering the process for you. It’s not that big a deal to cure. You just have to know it.
GurlGoneGreen: Right. And I think that’s the biggest thing from what I’ve talked to people. They might be going to just a conventional doctor, which is totally great, and I know you support them too, it’s just looking at things a little bit differently than maybe just what it looks like on the surface and getting a little bit deeper. What would you say if someone was going to a conventional doctor, which isn’t bad, but what would you maybe tell them to look into?
Dr. Matt: I think one thing I would say is that a lot of people basically base their health off of their insurance. So if their insurance covers something, then they’ll do it. If it doesn’t cover something, they won’t do it. We have to have insurance for our cars but we don’t expect basically our insurance to cover when we need new tires or when we need an oil change, windshield wipers, that kind of thing. We don’t expect them to clean our car for us. We usually expect them to be there if we get in a car accident. So when we do want to get our tires changed or when we have something that kind of went wrong, I want a good mechanic, I want someone that’s not going to mess me over, I don’t want to be going back ten times after they’ve fixed one thing. It’s weird, but so many times in health, when we think about our own bodies, which are so much more complex than a car, we forget that maybe I should really look into this and see who really knows something about this, do I have friends or siblings or look at reviews and stuff and see who really knows something about this and who kind of basically blends with my idea of how the body should function, how wellness should look, and is wellness taking a bunch of medications? In my view, no, that’s not wellness, we’re just trying to mask some things and cover up some things. I give out plenty of medications but those are short-term to help through a time where there’s nothing else that can be done to get you through this particular point to get you to another point, not just to take forever kind of thing. So I would say my base thing would be to tell, when you’re looking at practitioners, to think forget what your insurance covers. If you want it, you just got to go find who does it and get it done and then move on. There’s all kinds of cash prices and all kinds of ways to get help but you’re going to end up wasting so much time and energy and emotional strain on relationships and all that by trying to stick this massive screw into a little nail hole. I would say that that would be the biggest thing. And there’s tons… I mean we have the internet, so it’s like endless. I’m not saying the internet tells us everything but it’s endless as far as if you want to find somebody that knows what they’re talking about and the majority of us now know a friend, a way of getting a hold of somebody who can say I know this person does this or that person does that. So that would be my biggest thing. Don’t be thinking I can only do this because my insurance. Insurance, let it be there to help you if there’s a catastrophe. For everything else, go find what’s going to work best for your body. You can avoid the catastrophe or the big things down the road.
GurlGoneGreen: That’s so good. I’m so glad you said that just because I know how you’ve helped me so much in this, be able to conceive Finley. And it was because we looked at my whole body and looked at my hormones were off instead of just taking some medication or thinking it was hopeless, there was hope, and we just had to dig a little deeper. I just really want all the listeners out there to really grasp on to that because I know some of you may feel hopeless or you’ve had it happen so much to you but just be encouraged that there is hope and you can definitely find a cause or a solution to problems. You just sometimes have to do a little bit more research or dig a little deeper. I think that was really good. I just wanted to kind of wrap it up. What are some things to consider? You kind of mentioned if you’re wanting to get pregnant, but say if you’ve had a lot of miscarriages, or you’ve even maybe carried a baby for six months but then miscarried, and would you say kind of the same things as you were mentioning before about trying to get pregnant to check?
Dr. Matt: Yeah, I mean I do definitely get much more intense when there’s been a lot of miscarriages. I think you start looking at is there some kind of heavy metal burden, is there some kind of toxin, is there some kind of mold exposure, you got black mold in your house? For sure getting the gene testing done. There’s quite a few labs now that do pretty sweet gene testing related to how your body is using hormones, what inflammatory proteins are coming from those hormones they’re making and would you expect to have a miscarriage or not based on if you don’t do anything to help yourself out. The cool thing about all these gene things I’m mentioning here, we can do something about that. This is not like this is your gene and you have no way out of this. This is all stuff that can be helped with nutritional interventions or stress reduction or changing sleep habits or foods. It’s all stuff that can be mended with I guess what you would think of as easy stuff. It can be challenging to figure it all out but, in the end, the actual therapy itself can seem extremely simple, even in the most crazy situations. I remember this one patient from quite a while ago that had had a cancer and had gone through tons and tons and tons of radiation therapy for the cancer. They said you’re not going to get pregnant, there’s no way, and they came in, she wanted to get pregnant. There were a few nutrients that were depleted, a few things that were just off likely related to some of the stress of all the radiation therapy in her body and just amping up some of her antioxidants. And next thing you know, she gets pregnant. Now I know she has at least two children.
GurlGoneGreen: So awesome!
Dr. Matt: And I’m not like some guru on fertility. It’s just you look at the human body and you figure out what is the imbalance or what is missing or what is not quite sufficient. We have so many tools lab-wise now to look at and figure things out and even symptomatically being able to see things. So many times it’s so much easier than we imagine. So you said miscarriages, yeah, I would get the gene testing done, heavy metal toxicity is a big deal, making sure there’s not some metal that your body is having trouble getting rid of. That could definitely lead to the miscarriages. Progesterone levels. Maybe your body is not getting to a high enough level of progesterone to hold the baby. We just got to think about well why in the world would the body give up the baby? There’s some reason why the body is feeling like it can’t go anymore, it can’t continue on and the miscarriage is happening. I was mentioning before the Hashimoto’s, the autoimmune thyroid condition. In general, any autoimmune condition, I’ve seen that many times, different autoimmune conditions that people don’t actually know they have, but they end up with the miscarriages and then you end up figuring out they got like a scleroderma or a Sjogren’s or a lupus, one of these different autoimmune conditions and then you help that out and then they can go on and have the baby without any issues. Or not having any clotting issues when they’re pregnant and that kind of thing.
GurlGoneGreen: No, that’s so good. Do you have time just to kind of tell people the difference between folic acid and folate? Because I feel like a lot of people might not be clear on what that really means.
Dr. Matt: Yeah, so folic acid is just a synthetic, man-made, essentially a chemical that is really cheap and is in the vast majority prenatals and in multivitamins, it’s what’s fortified in all our different foods. It’s essentially a toxin in my book, especially when you can get the real thing, folate or an active form of folate like methylfolate or folinic acid, one of those. Basically, if I see folic acid on something, I don’t really care what else is in it, there’s no way I’m going to tell my patient to take it and there’s no way I’m going to be taking it because you know there’s been some corner that’s been skipped by the manufacturer or the food item, it has the folate acid in it just because it’s a mandated kind of thing. You don’t want to be putting that in your body. That just gunks up, blocks up your own production of folate or your own utilization of it and it’s very difficult for the body to turn that into the active form or the methylated form so that you can basically… Methylation is this big deal for repairing DNA and detoxification and all that. So if you cannot essentially turn on your folate or your B12, your body is going to be in a world of hurt and it’s going to be very difficult to conceive a baby, to carry a baby, to have an easy labor and all that and not suffer from say depression or anxiety post-baby. So it’s a really good idea to have… And you don’t have to have the MTHFR gene testing done if you don’t want to, if you don’t want to know about genes and that kind of stuff, if that scares you, it shouldn’t because it really should just be empowering because then you can know something and you can do something about it. But you can just get your B12 levels checked. There’s definitely specialized testing to get B12 levels checked or get something called homocysteine checked, which tells us a lot about, functionally how your body is utilizing B12, folate and B6. So yeah, run away from folic acid. If you see it in anything, that’s kind of the bottom line, just stay away from it and get folate, the kind that you find in vegetables and that kind of thing or the active form of folate such as methylfolate or folinic acid. And always ask your doctor though before you start taking anything like that.
GurlGoneGreen: What he means is you can take methylfolate as a supplement.
Dr. Matt: Exactly.
GurlGoneGreen: Just wanted to throw that out there.
Dr. Matt: Especially for your prenatals.
GurlGoneGreen: Yeah, and a lot of conventional doctors, if I’m correct, would recommend folic probably most of the time would you say?
Dr. Matt: Yeah, it’s just knowledge. You know what you know and you tell people what you know. So there’s definitely a lot of education that still needs to go out there about the folic acid versus authentic folate. But yeah, the biggest thing would be to make sure prenatal says it has folate or methylated folate preferably. That’s the bottom line.
GurlGoneGreen: Yeah, that’s so good. Thank you for explaining that. I would say probably the best way or would you say the best way to test for a lot of the things we mentioned would be to get some blood work done or lab work?
Dr. Matt: Oh yeah, definitely. Go to your doctor, get the labs done, you can write down some of the labs we’ve mentioned here and say hey can I get these checked? And most doctors won’t have a problem with that. And if they do, my patients hire me, I do take some insurances but they’re hiring me to help them get well. So you’re hiring your doctor to help you get pregnant or stay pregnant or get your hormones balanced. So if they’re not willing to do what you feel like is necessary or helpful, then hire a different doctor just like you would hire a different landscaper or mechanic or hairdresser.
GurlGoneGreen: Yes. No, that’s so good. And I just have loved this whole podcast. I think it’s so informational and I really hope that all you listeners really… I feel like health is up to you. You’re in charge of your health and you’re the one that gets to decide what doctor you go to and I feel like sometimes we can just go to people and just think this is how it is or this is how it’s going to be, but it doesn’t have to be that way, and you can ask questions and tell them what you want. I just think be in control of your health. So be empowered!
Dr. Matt: Good word.
GurlGoneGreen: Yeah, so thank you so much Dr. Matt for this. That was awesome. And thanks to all the listeners for tuning in. So excited that you guys joined us again. Be sure to subscribe to all our podcasts through my blog, gurlgonegreen.com. And you can also subscribe to all my blog posts through my website as well. So have a great week and we’ll see you next time! Bye!

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  • Reply
    January 25, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    So much good information here!
    I’d be curious to know if Dr. Matt has any recommendations as to how to find a holistic Dr.?
    I’m 22, and had always had a regular cycle, until years ago…it stopped do to a period of grieving.
    But it’s been three years and still no spotting, no nothing. I’ve seen doctors, supplemented with vitamins, herbs, etc. but it still hasn’t returned, and well… I miss it.

    • Reply
      January 26, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Hi Lauren! Thanks for listening! That’s a great question. I’ll ask Dr. Matt how he would go about finding a holistic doctor.

    • Reply
      January 28, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Lauren, Dr. Matt responded above! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 27, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Lauren, Acupuncture and Chinese herbs could be super helpful, especially with the grief association.

  • Reply
    Kambria Blomquist
    February 14, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Hi! This podcast was so eye opening for me. I didn’t realize that if I am having really heavy periods and bad mood swings and migraines that I for sure 100% had hormonal imbalance! I thought it was just part of being a woman. Now my question is what kind of doc should I look for to get some tests done and start down the road to being balanced? Would I search for a holistic doc in my area or is it called something different?? Thankyou!

    • Reply
      February 18, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Kambria, I would look into a holistic doctor or naturopath. Let me know if you have any trouble finding one, Dr. Matt may know someone in your area.

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