Combining natural therapies with rigorous scientific testing and using an informative questionnaire to identify the common causes of hormonal imbalance, Dr. Gottfried provides an individualized plan in nonjudgmental and thoughtful language. Based on ten years’ study of cutting-edge medical research as a specialist in functional and integrative therapies, Dr. Gottfried’s three-tiered treatment strategy includes:
Finally, I eat 2 pastured eggs, either poached or cooked over easy in coconut oil in my Scanpan. I love the Vital Eggs from whole foods, or duck eggs from my local community-sponsored kitchen. Occasionally, I’ll eat sheep or goat yogurt instead of the eggs, but you may want to consider avoiding dairy if you struggle with acne, autoimmunity, or food intolerances. (Nonstick pans with Teflon can disrupt your hormones. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a synthetic chemical used to make teflon, is a possible carcinogen. Instead, use cast iron, enameled cast iron (like Le Crueset), or Scanpan, which is a PFOA-free nonstick product that I love.)
It's an easy to understand book, with very practical solutions to balancing hormones. Dr. Gottfried recommends lifestyle changes and supplements before attempting pharmaceutical solutions. I really like that approach. That said, it's difficult to self-diagnose using just her questionnaires. As she explains, if your root cause is low progesterone, it can cause excess estrogen in parts of your cycle. You could be treating high estrogen, when the root cause is low progesterone. Without testing, you ...more
Toxic Estrogen: Researchers have now identified excess estrogen to be as great a risk factor for obesity--in both sexes--as poor eating habits and lack of exercise. There are two ways to accumulate excess estrogen in the body: we either produce too much of it on our own or acquire it from our environment or diet. We are constantly exposed to estrogen-like com£ds in foods that contain toxic pesticides, herbicides and growth hormones. A premenopausal woman with estrogen dominance will likely have PMS, too much body fat around the hips and difficulty losing weight. Menopausal women and, yes, men too, may experience low libido, memory loss, poor motivation, depression, loss of muscle mass and increased belly fat.
Did you know women walk more, eat less, socialize more, meet more men, dance more, and flirt more when they're ovulating? Or that PMS may have evolved to get rid of boyfriends with unfit sperm? Behind the "fickle" differences in what women find sexy about men, or what they like to wear, there's a hidden adaptive intelligence that has been shaped over eons.
Twelve years ago when I still worked in the trenches of conventional medicine (before I spun off to start my own integrative and functional medicine practice), I figured there had to be a better way to fill the gaps that patients encounter between what they struggle with and what mainstream medicine offers. Not everyone can see these gaps, but one helpful illustration … [Read More...]
EPSTEIN: When we say study, we tend now to think of the randomised clinical controlled trial. You know, you have one sample here. You compare it to another. When they were doing studies, they were doing sort of weird experiments on people and dogs and all kind of things. So there was Harvey Cushing. He was one of the first people to talk about that pituitary tumors can really muck you up and like send a lot of hormones awry. But here's what he tried to do that didn't work out that's kind of a wacky experiment. He had a 48-year-old man that had a pituitary tumor that was making him have double vision and headaches and other endocrine issues. And Harvey Cushing thought, what if we take a nice, healthy pituitary of a baby that just died if there is a newborn that didn't make it and just implant that in this old man, and then we just revive him and he'd be back to normal. Newspapers got a hold of it, as media tends to do. And there were wonderful headlines like baby brain, you know, broken brain fixed by baby. And it went wild in terms of, wow, we can now cure broken, old brains. And, spoiler alert, let's just say that we don't replace baby pituitary glands into grownups when they have pituitary tumors anymore.
Understanding the science of how our bodies work is important, but personal stories from others can really help us connect and learn. “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause” provides key information and dispels myths about menopause, while also including stories from women about their own experiences. The book’s goal is to help you become more comfortable with menopause and know your treatment options.
Menopause: According to projections by consumer reports in the Unites States, 25 million women will hit menopause within the next decade. Contrary to popular belief, menopause, which can begin as early as 40 years of age, is not just about estrogen decline. Supplies of other hormones such as progesterone, testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) also tend to dry up, right along with the skin, hair, eyes and libido. So many women come to my office intensely frustrated with the unwelcome changes in their body during this phase of life, especially an annoying thickening of the waistline. Other common symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, headaches, heart palpitations, poor memory and concentration, urinary urgency or incontinence, vaginal dryness, changes in the appearance of skin and hair and emotional changes including depression, anxiety and irritability.
There are lots of Supercharged Hormone Diet recipes. "The Supercharged Hormone Diet" book provides plenty of recipes. Take note of the many smoothie recipes, especially since smoothies are part of the daily snacks. Other recipes include the ricotta oatmeal pancakes, egg white and goat cheese omelet with avocado and apple, and goat cheese, pear and pine nut spinach salad.
Estrogen and progesterone are the backup players in the symphony. But testosterone is the star, because adequate levels improve almost every aspect of your health, your figure and general appearance, how you function at home and at work, and your zest for life. Sometimes testosterone is even called the personality hormone, because a healthy level actually correlates with assertiveness, motivation, and a sense of power and well-being.
My intense efforts failed because they only served to make my hormonal imbalance, the true underlying cause of my weight gain, worse. Unbeknownst to me, I had a deficiency of thyroid hormone going on in the background. The imbalance only grew worse because the physical stress associated with excessive caloric restriction and overexercising actually increased the negative impact on my thyroid hormone deficiency and further slowed my metabolism. After this, three things quickly became very clear to me. First, weight loss is by no means only about calories in versus calories out--hormonal balance needed to be added to the equation. Second, hormones are very powerful substances that influence many aspects of our health and well-being. And third, the level of one hormone impacts another, which established the need to think "big picture" when it comes to weight loss.
What we've been taught about dieting is all wrong. Weight loss isn't about restricting calories and willpower. It's about hormones: the chemical molecules that govern nearly all aspects of your body fat, from how much you store and where it's stored, to cravings, appetite, gut bacteria, and even addictive eating patterns. Being overweight is the result of major hormonal misfires involving seven metabolic hormones—estrogen, insulin, leptin, cortisol, thyroid, growth hormone, and testosterone—each of which is affected by the foods you consume every day.
I'm so glad I gave this book a shot. She walks you through exactly what chapters to read and what chapters to skip based on your exact symptoms. What's even better is that she lays out steps as in what to try first, second, and third in that order. She doesn't jump right in to herbal stuff (which sometimes makes me uncomfortable). For my particular problem, step one started with basic combinations of vitamins to try. Who knew. Within a week or less I started sleeping through the night for the first time in months.