Harvard Medical School and MIT graduate Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD, gynecologist and author of The Hormone Cure went on record saying, “I had 30 minutes on nutrition in four years.” She opened up a lot of eyes with that one statement but confirmed she wasn’t the only one, it’s the norm for doctors. She added, “Dr. Andy Weil talked about how he had 30 minutes of nutritional training at Harvard Medical School (decades ago) so nothing’s changed.”
Doctors do not receive nutritional training in medical school. Like us, they are still learning what is healthy to eat, if they are looking. Yet nutritional food heals.
Dr. Gottfried is considered a pioneer leading the way for hormone balancing. She says the star players, “To keep you in your lean body,” are cortisol, estrogen (for women, testosterone for men) and thyroid. She says small changes in hormones make a large difference. “Small incremental changes add up to major transformation over time. You have to go for gradual changes because those are the ones to set you up for success.”
Changing over a body naturally is a gradual process. Dr. Gottfried says, “Hormones are non-linear. More is not necessarily better.”
The body tells you what it needs. The symptoms lead to the source of the problem. If you have trouble getting a full night sleep and wake up stressful in the morning the problem is cortisol.
If you become stressed easily or don’t handle stress easily, the problem is cortisol.
The National Institute of Health says if you get light-headed when you stand up or when you change position quickly, known as orthostatic hypotension, the problem is a reduction in aldosterone release, an adrenal issue which affects cortisol.
Dr. Gottfriend adds, “When you drink a full cup of water before you go to bed it lowers your cortisol. A lot of women don’t do that because they think it’s going to make them get up and go pee. Try it, you’ll actually sleep better. Cortisol’s the real problem.”
Getting up to urinate at 3 in the morning is usually a drop in blood sugar. They body sends a surge of adrenaline to recover the insulin drop which wakes you up, but you interpret as you need the bathroom. To prevent this 3:00 interruption in slumber eat more healthy fat in your dinner.
Gottfried says 90% of her patients are women who eat the correct diet and exercise but do not see any weight loss. She adds, “I don’t think the answer is to throw an antidepressant at it. That doesn’t solve the root problem.”
High cortisol results in a slow thyroid.
Gottfried suffered from hormonal issues in her 30s. She said, “Women everywhere in the US are being told exactly the wrong thing. They’re being given sleeping pills. They’re getting started on an antidepressant. They’re given anti-anxiety medication. These problems are best solved with a nutritional approach, starting with how do you eat, move and supplement.”
When Dr. Gottfried suffered from her own hormonal issues she said she was moody, suffered with difficulty losing weight gain and didn’t want to have relations with her husband. She was flat stressed out and went to her primary care doctor. His solution was to prescribe a birth control pill to solve her hormonal issues and an antidepressant. He said, “Sara it’s simple math. Eat less + exercise more = weight loss. And he looked at me like what’s your problem, you’re a doctor.”
Dr. Gottfried says, “It is wrong. We need to change this paradigm we are sold from conventional medicine. Decode the messages of your body instead of trying to mask them.”
Thyropause is a term coined by Mary Shomon, a patient advocate and author of The Thyroid Diet Revolution. Thyropause symptoms are weight gain, fatigue, mood issues, depression, anxiety, hair loss, high cholesterol and joint aches. The most important are weight gain, fatigue and mood issues.
Low estrogen and slow thyroid are sourced from the same origin. Dr. Gottfried says, “There’s often nutritional gaps that lead to thyropause.” Signs are low cortisol levels, low mineral intake of cooper, zinc, selenium and vitamin D. She says the best method is to obtain this nutrition from food, botanical therapies and as a last resort bioidentical hormones.
Click here for a list of recommended nutrient dense foods.
“Women have thyroid problems 2o-fold greater than men. Some of it is related to auto-immune conditions when your immune system gets over activated and starts to attack your body. When it comes to thyroid, 90-95% of thyroid problems comes from autoimmune thyroiditis,” says Dr. Gottfried. She also blames inflammation which affects women greatly.
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