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Can Your Body Reverse Menopause? Science and Hope with Dr. Anna Cabeca

Erin: [00:00:00] Welcome to Hotter Than Ever, where we uncover the unconscious rules we've been following, we break those rules, and we find a new path to being freer, happier, sexier, healthier, and more self expressed. I'm your host, Erin Keating. We have had a lot of new listeners this week from Apple Podcasts. Welcome to all of you.

I think you're really going to enjoy being here. I promised to read a new review on the air. So here goes. This is someone who posted a five star review. Thank you very much to Apple Podcasts. And they are named a random jumble of letters. So let's just call her anonymously hot. She writes perfect. This is exactly the podcast I've been looking for.

I've [00:01:00] never related to anything more, and can't wait to work my way through all the episodes. Thank you for being so real. Thank you, Anonymously Hot, for taking the time to share your wonderful, profound reaction. It really moves me to hear that this podcast is connecting with people, and I am going to keep being real because I don't know any other way to be.

In this episode, I talked to Dr. Anna Cabeca, the girlfriend doctor, about perimenopause, menopause, and how she was diagnosed with early onset menopause herself. She was an expert in this stuff, and she was diagnosed with early onset menopause. And she took a year off after being diagnosed to travel the world with her family and learn about local medicinal foods and practices everywhere from Peru to Bali.

And that revolutionized her own health, reversed her menopause. Oh my God, her story is so incredible. It changed the way she [00:02:00] thought about treating her patients. We should all have a doctor who approaches wellness in such a holistic and personalized way. Take a listen.

Dr. Anna Cabeca is The Girlfriend Doctor. You may have heard her podcast, The Girlfriend Doctor podcast. She is a triple board certified OBGYN and the bestselling author of The Hormone Fix and Keto Green 16 and Menu Pause. Her mission Which I love so much is to help women before, during, and after menopause reclaim their vibrancy, sexuality, health, and happiness.

Amen to that. She is here today, and I'm so happy to have her. Welcome, Dr. Anna.

Dr. Anna: It is great to be here with you, Erin. Thank you for having me.

Erin: It's my pleasure. I have wanted to talk about the issues that you're an expert in menopause, paramenopause, this phase of our lives, our bodies, our state of being, since I conceived the [00:03:00] Hotter Than Ever podcast with a little wink to hot flashes in the title.

Um, so I am dying to, uh, drill down into both your personal experiences and also your, uh, medical expertise on this subject, which I think is taking A greater place in the cultural conversation than I think I've ever heard about it before. Menopause is a topic that we are... All coming to be more public about it is in the national conversation. Granted, I'm at the right age for this conversation, and you hear things when you're meant to hear them, but you've been at the forefront of a lot of innovation in this space, and I'm curious what pushed you to dig in and become an expert. I know you have a personal story that sort of catalyzed your involvement in this.

Dr. Anna: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. I, um, became an expert out of necessity [00:04:00] and also out of slightly being pissed off at the medical system. right? Steering me wrong for many years and steering some of the people that I love most in the world down a wrong direction. And so I have always wanted to be a physician from the earliest I can remember, six years old. And I will, to be honest, I wanted to be a physician, a ballerina and a nun. Okay, fair. So I became a doctor by default, did not qualify for the other two categories. And so here I am. And as part of my journey though, in medicine was seeing my mom suffer. My mom suffered, you know, like I can look back and see her journey from postpartum depression to being put on psych meds and to then have a diabetes and being told to drink.

I don't know if you guys remember in the 70s, that pink, it tastes terrible too, right? [00:05:00] The cruelest joke about, of these diet drinks, it makes you more insulin resistant. Is that right?

Erin: Yes. So we should all stop with the Diet Coke and the Coke Zero and all of that.

Dr. Anna: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. It's the cruelest plan. I don't know. It's just terrible. It defeats your body in so many ways makes you a slave to cravings. And so from there, heart disease, and she underwent her first heart surgery in her fifties, early fifties, 52 years old. And so I saw her go from doctor to doctor to doctor. And sadly, when I was in residency, she underwent a second heart surgery and she was only 67 and she never made it out of the operating room.

Um, she had, yeah, me too. She was the most amazing woman. Oh my gosh. She lived for others and you just had this amazing spirit and giving nature. And so. I had to really like in the dark nights of the soul, one of my many dark nights of the soul where it was from that, like, how can we with the [00:06:00] leading country and medicine and medical intervention, how could this happen?

Her body went into multi system organ failure. Like how did this happen? Didn't make sense. And so it, it made me really dig into the root causes, the root cause medicine, like what's going on in this under the surface. What did I miss? What did we miss? And at the time of her passing, she was on 11 medications, no two of which were ever studied in an individual together long term, let alone in a postmenopausal woman.

Erin: God forbid they should do any research with women or postmenopausal women. I mean, this is something I discovered as I went through fertility treatments. They don't know shit. Yeah. They really haven't tried to find out anything about women. I'm sorry. That's my very subjective point of view, not being in the medical establishment.

Dr. Anna: Well, I hear you and it's frustrating, right? When you go through that, it's frustrating. And then I had my own journey to Erin, you're speaking of [00:07:00] infertility at 39 post traumatically. I was diagnosed with, Uh, infertility, I went through round after round of the highest doses of infertility meds, right. Injected into me round after round after round the emotional ups and down with that, you know, completely empathize with anyone going through that. And then to be diagnosed with early menopause at 39 years old as a specialist in my field.

Erin: What were your symptoms that caused you to be diagnosed that way?

Dr. Anna: Definitely an ovulation, not ovulating and on blood work, elevated FSH and LH and the menopausal range. And with the infertility meds, I think there is something like that. Connection to those high dose medications, creating a reverse feedback and really shutting down your system after being so hyper stimulated.

Erin: So it had the opposite effect of what was intended because the doses were so high.

Dr. Anna: Possible. [00:08:00] Possible. There's. Studies that need to be done on that. Yeah. There's studies that need to be done on that. It's interesting because one of the Kardashians who went through fertility treatment said that it caused her early menopause and that just so struck a nerve with me and I looked at the research and it's not conclusive in the research.

And there's actually not very much research on that at all.

Erin: Mm. So you were diagnosed with early onset menopause. And did you think, well, then that's just it for me. My sex life is over. My, my vitality is reduced. I'm not going to be able to have a child. I've been doing all this fertility stuff for nothing.

What happened? How were you able to overcome that and then reverse that?

Dr. Anna: Yeah. Yeah. And so like, that's it in medicine. We give you a diagnosis and we don't say, okay, it's a diagnosis. Let's do a, B and C to reverse it. Well, I do now. Right. And I write about this, preach about this. Your diagnosis is not your [00:09:00] destiny.

Your prescription is not your description. We can. We can take away these layers, these labels. And so at that time, it was just like, Oh my God, I'm devastated. It was devastation upon devastation for me. And I, here I was already a hormone expert. I mean, I studied, I'm a gynecologist, best university. I was studying age management and regenerative medicine and infertility and all of these things.

And that was my diagnosis. So I didn't think about, okay, well, I just need to reverse this. No. After failing those, it was just that. Essentially, extra grief in my life and in my family's life. And so that led me on a journey around the world. I mean, God's hand has been in my life every step of the way. And at this journey, serendipitously, I left my practice and this angel, Dr. Deborah Shepard and OBGYN came and took over my practice for the year I was away. And we had a. Child age seven and nine. And [00:10:00] my daughters, we took them with us and my husband and just travel, travel to the mountains of Peru and the, you know, coffee plantation in Brazil and the jungles of Indonesia. And just serendipitously, I met some of the most amazing healers, learned about some of the most amazing medicinal foods and traditional medicines and lifestyle shifts and habits.

And along the way met. Other people too, that had suffered a loss, like we had suffered and had grieved like we had. And so there was so much in that journey that was just serendipitous and a blessing to us. And as a result of so many of the things I learned, the food, the plant medicine, the medicinal herbs.

Erin: I got to be careful when you say plant medicines, my most recent episode was about micro dosing and mushrooms. So we talked a lot about plant medicine, not, that's not what you're talking about.

Dr. Anna: What I'm talking about here. And so through that [00:11:00] journey, just reverse the early menopause and again, my doctor's bag was empty. The head reproductive endocrinologist, they're. solution to me was maybe egg donation, but you're in early menopause chances are nil. And so reverse the early menopause and then naturally conceived my daughter at 41 years old. And so now I'm 57 with a 15 year old.

Erin: Wow. That's such an incredible story. And I will also say an incredible part of it is.

Oh, I shut down my practice and I traveled around the world for a year because I've heard so many people talk about doing that. And to catalyze something like that, to actually get the momentum to make such a big change. It sounds like. You were at a breaking point and you needed to do something totally different that would shake up kind of everything that you had been through that would open your eyes in a new way. It's such an [00:12:00] insightful course of action to take, but not an easy one, especially when you're taking kids with you. Holy moly.

Dr. Anna: Oh, yeah. And I said after that, if I ever say I'm going to homeschool again, and then COVID hits, right? No. We're homeschooling. But thank you for acknowledging that. And at that point, you're exactly right. It was just I needed to keep the earth moving under my feet. I didn't need the days to look like the day before. I was so emotionally broken and shattered and, you know, I couldn't live like nothing had changed.

Erin: And then on the other side of it. You conceived a child and had another child at 41. I mean, that is so incredible. I do think if when we take action on our own behalf, the universe kind of conspires to go, Oh, is that what you want? You were willing to really step outside your comfort zone, stretch, learn, grow. Um, and because you were a doctor already. Your curiosity led you to [00:13:00] investigating medical practices and nutritional practices everywhere you were in the world.

So what were some of the things that you discovered? about nutrition, about how people are taking care of themselves differently, how people are thinking about things differently in different parts of the world. Because I think we're so medicalized in the U. S., we're so corporatized around medicine, and there is obviously such a huge movement around eating organically and all of these different approaches to weight and diet and well being that starts with food.

Um, And it's so hard for me to sort through what is B. S., what is not, what is just made to make you feel bad about yourself, what is spinning on a hamster wheel, and what is actually gonna really help you and provide the, the well being that we're all looking for.

Dr. Anna: Yeah, and I, I think it was... Mostly my eyes were opened so [00:14:00] wide from this journey, from this experience, I learned so much and met amazing people and it in and of itself, for sure, healing journey.

And I think some of the most amazing things like starting out, I mean, I've written. about a good portion of it in my book, The Hormone Fix, and, and then incorporated healing foods from around the world in my most recent book, Menu Paws, that I experienced and that have such great traditional roots and food is medicine, right?

But through this, I mean, a Native American shaman, for instance, you know, long distance, she's in Colorado and I was in Arizona. And so the virtual consult, she goes, your adrenals are screaming. I can hear them from here. And I was like, what? What? How? Yeah. Exactly. Right. And then she said, your body is full of sugar and acid.

And of course, like food is my comfort in that point. This is 2006. And she goes, that combination is a setup for cancer. She goes, I don't see it now. However, she intuitively [00:15:00] shamanically did that, but sugar and acidity is cancer. And that's not something we were talking about in medicine. And of course, you know, someone says something like that to me, I'm going to look at the research.

Like, what do you mean? PH, acid change, high glucose in cancer. And it just started to connect dots for me. And then in Peru, where we went and I was connected to Peru because one of my nurses was from Peru. She had been a nurse midwife in Peru and then came to the U S where we were in Georgia. And so her family was just amazing.

So we went to her family in Peru as part of our healing journey and everywhere in Peru, they said, well, if you're infertile, drink Maca. And I was like, what? And if you're tired, drink Maca. And then they would elbow my husband and tell him, you know, yeah, it's the Peruvian Viagra and like, you know, we're drinking some Maca, you know, I'm about. that. Yes. Yeah. We're going to drink some maca. And then I had to study it. Like what makes [00:16:00] it a medicinal food? Like it's very fascinating because the ancient Incan warriors were reported to have drink and maca ceremoniously before they went into battle to give them stamina and vitality and virility.

And so it's interesting. And it's rich in arginine, which increases nitric oxide, which is how Viagra works with increasing blood flow. There you go.

Erin: Literally the natural Viagra.

Dr. Anna: Exactly. Yep. And so from there, I was like, huh, this is such a good medicinal food. What others are there? And I started combining other medicinal foods around the world and ended up creating a product that helped me and has helped my patients.

And that's Mighty Maca Plus with 30 superfoods. But it's like the turmeric, we hear so much about turmeric. Hmm. And so at that point I knew turmeric for our curries, but I didn't know the medicinal benefit until I went to Indonesia and learned some of the herbs and spices they were using for medicinal benefits.

I started asking these questions [00:17:00] and beyond that, the habits that we were forming, not drinking with meals and learned that in Australia. At a health retreat in Kincan, Australia and Indonesia. I met an Indonesian healer. That was a local village healer. And he just, yeah, in Bali and north of Bali and Ubud and guess read our energies. But he. Put his hand on my head. He goes, well, what's going on with you? I said, I'm infertile. He put his hands on my head and my, I had like, if everyone listening wants to do that, to feel your head. And I had, Oh my gosh, these tender points at the top of my head. And I'm like, Oh my God, what's going on with that? And he, and I like to have a tumor. I mean, what, what's that? And he said, you worry too much. You worry too much.

Erin: The tenderness in your head was a reflection of your worry. And that was tied to your fertility.

Dr. Anna: Tied to my fertility. And he says, your ovaries are fine. I'm like, look, I'm on a board certified OBGYN. I trained at Emory university. I saw my ovaries are like shriveled up [00:18:00] almonds. And he said, no, you worry too much.

Erin: That is interesting. I think you can interpret that in a positive way and then you can. Interpreted in a way where people will go, Oh, well, if I just control my thinking, then I'm going to cure my cancer. I'm going to cure my infertility. I'm, you know, a little bit skeptical of throwing all your eggs into that basket of like,

Dr. Anna: No pun intended.

Erin: Yeah. My brain did that. I certainly believe that your attitude. And your thinking affects your well being, but is he, was he saying that was all that was the issue?

Dr. Anna: That was his input to me, and at that point, now I'm looking, okay, well, worry, that's cortisol, I had trauma, PTSD, I'm caught in that. high sympathetic traumatic state. That's a high alert state. When you're in that constant fight flight freeze mode at constant high cortisol mode, the adrenals, it's not a time.

First of all, for [00:19:00] making love and reproducing babies, creating an ambiance for a healthy pregnancy. And so it shuts down your adrenals, which will then shut down your. ovaries to the whole hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, this communication system. So for me, that was the reason.

Erin: And so it makes sense, this sort of connection between psychology and biology and how the hormones do all that communication between the mind and the body.

That, that is huge territory. Yeah. Right. Why was your skull? Feeling sensitive.

Dr. Anna: And how did they know that was a connection to worry, which is so fascinating. Yeah, it was pretty amazing. I remember my daughter, Amanda, looking at him and he just, she was so quiet and he said, you want to ask me something? And she said, yes. And he said, you can ask anything. She said, well, how do you talk to animals? Like, I don't even know how she knew he talked to animals. And [00:20:00] he said to her, you just look in their eyes and breathe. And she nodded her head. She's such an animal whisperer. You should just see her. But I just, I just love that.

I mean, it was opening my eyes to things I hadn't seen before. And of course I was so blown apart at that point. I was, you know, like, okay, what else? What I'm doing is not working. What else is there?

Erin: And you had been so steeped in Western medical tradition through all of your training. It must have been really, how do you integrate those revelations with what your medical school education has indoctrinated you into?

Dr. Anna: Yeah. So when I came back into practice and I was pregnant, I was like, Oh, I'm blowing up this practice. You guys, this is, you're going to have to detox. We're going to look at things this way. You have to focus on dietary and nutritional lifestyle changes. Things that, for example, this is something so basic, but my younger daughter at the time would have [00:21:00] chronic neck.

Respiratory infections, ear infections. And in our trip around the world for a year traveling, we did a lot of home exchanges at that time. That was 2006 and 2007. And she wasn't sick at all. She wasn't sick at all. That entire time we come back and we're in back in the U S for two weeks and she gets an upper respiratory infection and ear infection.

And I was like, what is going on? The difference was dairy. So she has a dairy sensitivity. I have a dairy sensitivity that opened up my eyes. God didn't know that at the time that she did, but that connection between food dairy, so you'll note that all my recipes are dairy free, gluten free, grain free, and very hypoallergic and very flavorful because we use a lot of herbs and spices for flavor.

Food is medicine and just recognizing it can also be poison and understanding how that. Helps your body and educating my patients on this and using now adaptogens and [00:22:00] additional supplements and nutritionals to support the body from the inside out instead of band aiding our symptoms, just addressing the symptoms.

Erin: I think that's so profound because we live in this outside in. Culture. And even the way that people talk about detox or they talk about supplements, it all seems so rife with bullshit to me. It all seems so hard to sort the real. Science from the the quick fix on Instagram. I think it's so important to make the distinction between something that is backed by research and evidence and these faddish things that We'll help you lose belly fat or do whatever the false promises that that a lot of charlatans put out there.

Dr. Anna:Yeah, I do study. I continue to [00:23:00] study. I don't discriminate on healing modalities as long as they work and they're empowering. So what is empowering the individual versus disempowering the individual? And this is what I've seen is that we give our power away over our bodies to a prescription. To a pill surgery or something and we give our power away or to a person and we should never do that.

It's within us. Our body's amazing ability to heal with the right one next right step at a time, one next right step at a time. And it's always a combination of things that it does start. I think with hope, I really do believe that I want everyone to have hope. There is hope for a better tomorrow than there is today.

I mean, I, I see miracles every day. Really am blessed with that to see people reverse diagnoses, eliminate them completely. And feel better than they ever had. And so I want that power to be taken back, especially for women. When [00:24:00] we talk about power over our own body, like there's no place we need to be giving it away.

Erin: That is very profound. Yeah. I think agency is everything. Right. I mean, how we take the reins of our own lives in a thousand different ways, whether it's our professional lives and making a change and doing something radically different, like you did, or our personal lives where we leave a relationship that isn't healthy for us, or our sexual lives, where we find a way to get back to life when, if we've been disconnected from that part of ourselves, for me, what I'm feeling and what I'm hearing through the conversations I'm having on this podcast is agency is everything and finding a way to get in touch with your own agency is the key to a happy second spring is what you call it, right?

Dr. Anna: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. The second spring of our lives and the Japanese actually call it that the word for, um, menopause and beyond is Koninkli, which means literally [00:25:00] second spring. And I think that's just a beautiful perspective. Yeah. We need to ship. that perspective versus out of our prime or downhill from here or whatever, you know, right up.

Right. Oh yeah. So awful. It's so awful. And I see clients every day. I had a client in my office, a patient in my office yesterday and she's been struggling with the vaginal dryness. 58 years old, married 30 years. And she said, the one thing that my husband and I had was our intimacy. Sex could always bring us back together.

And she goes, now it hurts. It's like a ring of fire. Vaginally. And she went to her internist and she said, you're in menopause. You just have to struggle. She went to her gynecologist, gave her vaginal estradiol. Estradiol is not enough in the vagina. There's so much research on DHEA. Vaginally topically created a product with a cosmetic cream for the vulva and to help with vaginal dryness as well as [00:26:00] the other tissues around the vulva, clitoris to anus mean very, very important tissue here.

Erin: I use it. It's very nice. It's very soothing. I used it all up. Yep.

Dr. Anna: Oh, yay. Yay. Good. Good. Yeah. And so just reverse the hands of time because that area is so vascular and they're actually receptors within the vagina and that are responsive to DHEA and that convert to even testosterone to help that tissue get stronger and healthier.

And that's so important. Estrogen only works on the first layer, the mucosal layer. So just a short amount of time. Those symptoms will be gone. Those symptoms will be gone. I say that and I say, you know, I always examine, roll out any pathology with a gynecologist. Make sure you're up to date on a pap smear and all that good stuff too, to make sure there's not other reasons for the pain. And so. That's just so important, but that we can have that second spring really be able to enjoy it.

Erin: That's so amazing to hear that you could offer hope [00:27:00] and a real practical solution to someone who, you know, was, I mean, that's seriously debilitating to a marriage, to a relationship, to a, to your sense of self. I think that's so great. What are some myths about menopause? That you want to debunk because I think there's just a lot of mythology out there.

Dr. Anna: Yeah. The first one is that it's just downhill from here post past your prime. Oh my God. That women I've seen blossom during this time of their life. It is so inspiring. It is so inspiring. And I just think, look through history, some of the most amazing women in history did their work after menopause. Mother Teresa comes to the top of my mind. I just, what they were able to do after menopause. And I think there's so much. Physiologically that we have to recognize that much of what we've been told, like the three meals, three snacks, that is going to destroy you in menopause because you need to get into a state, your body's [00:28:00] designed for hormonal balance.

And insulin resistance happens when you're eating throughout the day and that disrupts all your hormones and you get the brain fog, the increased risk of dementia, increased risk of diabetes, just with that higher carb American diet. So switching for me, I call it a keto green diet with intermittent fasting, with healthy fats, high quality protein, alkalinizing foods. You use that combination with hydrating between meals, not with your meal and getting a good night's sleep and a positive mindset. And you know, there's other key important lifestyle factors. Then your physiology is more empowered and you actually radiate at a higher vibration. You have mental clarity and that by design changing your physiology is possible in menopause and is mandatory in my opinion. And the other thing I always tell patients is that menopause is natural and mandatory suffering is optional. Like you don't have to [00:29:00] suffer through it. That powering through just power through and it's just going to get worse from here type of attitudes. That's urban myth. That is medical myth. Yeah. Yeah.

Erin: There's a lot of resignation that I think comes with menopause where people sort of say. Well, you know, I, I have to take hormones or I have to suffer in silence and this is just my lot, but I, I, I think the current movement is about making the conversation much more public, much more open and really exploring all the possibilities for being vital and thriving at this point in our lives.

I feel like it's such a huge opportunity in our forties, fifties and sixties and beyond now that we're living so much longer. To take this second spring and say, well, you know, what are all the things that I told myself I couldn't do? What are all the things I skipped? Let me go back around to some of that.

Am I still, does that still light me up? How do I reinvent? How do I pivot at this point? [00:30:00] Talk to me about paramenopause because that was not a word that I ever heard growing up in health class or sex ed And then it started to percolate a little bit for me in the last decade or so, but it seems very vague and it seems like it could last a decade or 12 years or something. What is it?

Dr. Anna: Yeah. Yeah. I tell you, when I went to med school in 91 and started training an OBGYN in 95, what we studied about menopause was very little, very little. And perimenopause, I don't think I never heard that word. And what the. Books of our reproductive endocrinology, what they would say is that, well, menopause average age, 52, 42 for a smoker.

Y'all, this is so important smoking, primary smoking, or secondhand smoke can really shorten your reproductive years. So 42 for a smoker, 52 on average. Plus or minus one to two years, and then I'm in practice and I'm like, Oh heck no, [00:31:00] it's plus or minus 10 to 15 years. And what's going on here with women having hot flashes into their seventies?

What's the definition? I mean, it's such terrible definitions. We really just need a nomenclature rewrite. And I'm going to go to Japan and do that because Konenki second spring is so much better than the words we've put on our reproductive changes. I, and I want to say this, I am a bioidentical hormone expert and can use.

Erin: Tell us what that is. Bioidentical hormones.

Dr. Anna: Yeah. Hormones that are, are identical to what our body produces. For example, if we take insulin, we use the bioidentical insulin and synthetic insulin. They don't work. They're destructive. Same with thyroid. We take bioidentical thyroid. Why it's different for women's hormones just blows my mind, but being able to patent and preserve the profits go to pharma.

When you have a. a unique molecular structure, like even progestins are synthetic progesterone, they're synthetic, they're not identical. And that's where all the bad stuff [00:32:00] happens. The synthetic progestins are associated with increase in breast cancer. So I think that's really important to understand, not bioidentical progesterone.

Erin: Right. Okay. For lay people, there's the possibility and the capability of reproducing our hormones in a lab. So it looks to our bodies exactly the same. Yes. And then there are the product that pharma creates that have some differentiating factor like in television would be like a piece of intellectual property that's unique, that's my frame of reference.

But so they create a medical IP that they can then profit on and market and get people to take where, but those have negative effects as opposed to the bioidentical hormones, which really our body sees as.

Dr. Anna: Yes. Yeah. And there's some great advances that pharmas made, like, for example, having a bioidentical estrogen, estradiol in a patch.[00:33:00] So they patent the patch, the delivery mechanism, but we're able to use bioidentical estrogen.

Erin: In case we were worried that they weren't going to be able to make money off it.

Dr. Anna: Yes. Yes. In case we were worried. Thank you for that point. Yeah. So for, so we don't get completely shut down here, Erin.

Erin: Don't be too natural.

Dr. Anna: Right. Don't be too natural. That's so true. Like I use a compounding pharmacy. I want to customize hormones for my patients. Now, not everyone has that. Yeah. ability to get a doctor skilled at customizing their hormones, but keep looking. There's more, many more of us, many, many more of us, but I like to really combine and make things as easy as possible.

Like for this client that I saw, we're definitely supporting her with diet and lifestyle. She'll, she's doing my keto green 16 plan. Simplest 16 day plan for hormone detox and I'm supporting her detoxification pathways. [00:34:00] And I want your body to make what it needs to make for as long as possible, as naturally as possible.

I don't want to just shut that down. That's what the birth control pill does and we know the consequences to that. So I don't want to shut that down. I want to. Optimize your body's natural hormonal production. And so we'll do that with diet and nutrition, lifestyle and supplementation. And so important there is the lifestyle, but then supplementing bioidentical hormones and giving the body back what it needs because there are so many benefits in longevity and longevity medicine and in regenerative medicine, empowering your body to heal itself.

So like for a bioidentical estrogen combination would be an E3 E2 combination. Estriol is very, very safe and it's good for the skin. It can make a beautiful cosmetic cream with it. And estradiol is part of the youthfulness and adding testosterone, which for her, I was putting it in a combination so she could use that [00:35:00] vaginally to help.

completely in two weeks, she'll be, I say, I don't have sex for two weeks, but then two weeks, try again and see how you feel. And then sometimes it takes longer to really heal that tissue, but sometimes we can do it in that sort of time period because our cells are constantly repairing versus synthetics, right?

Versus synthetics. And so. Benefits with the combination approach of natural nutrition and lifestyle supplementation and bioidentical hormones when necessary.

Erin: Dr. Anna, that's amazing because I think so many people feel hopeless. around this stuff. And I think so many people feel like it's a black and white decision about whether to take hormones or not, or how to handle it.

My own experience is I'm 52. And when I was married, I didn't have any kind of sex life for about a decade. And I started to have night sweats [00:36:00] and I would wake up with really sweaty legs. That was just a, that was just how it showed up for me. My legs were like wet when I woke up in the morning and I was like, well, this has got to be paramenopause.

This is some crazy shit. I don't know what this is. And then. Once I got out of my marriage and started having sex and romance and relationships, I have not experienced that at all. So like something shifted in my body, in my journey towards menopause, where I feel like I restarted some engine that then had a biological impact on me.

And when I talked to my mom about her menopause experience, which I think is a good. way to have a guess about how mine might be. She was like, yeah, it wasn't hard. I didn't have a hard transition. And I'm like, Oh my God, is that, am I going to get lucky in this territory? [00:37:00] I only have my own anecdotal.

Observations and it nothing has been a crisis yet or felt like I'm just I'm ready for the period to be done, but the period is like whenever whatever for how and I have an IUD with a little bit of estrogen left in it or whatever the progesterone left in it and it's about to be done. It'll be my last birth control.

So it's so interesting. Those are the factors that I know about. I don't know about the other factors because I'm not you know, haven't come to see you and how I can ease this transition that is inevitably rolling my way.

Dr. Anna: Well, the thing is you're already, you're already started, right? But like you've shifted from a cortisol predominant physiology to an oxytocin predominant physiology.

Yes. Yes. It is totally anti aging, right? It is totally anti aging, healing, regenerative, all of immune supportive. And what you saw was like a [00:38:00] resuscitation of your ovaries, of your adrenal glands. So you removed the weight of the stressors that were on you and plus ignited with love and connection and intimacy.

You're bathed in oxytocin and that's like the best medicine, doing things you love, doing things you enjoy with someone you enjoy being with, that you can laugh and be complete without fear, without stressors. Our stressors affect us is very personal. My friend Marcy Shimoff says happiness is an internal experience. It is not dependent on external circumstances, right? And I love that. Happiness is. from the inside. Happy for no reason is her platform.

Erin: I love it. I love it. And I try to teach my kids that their happiness is their choice. They really can't get their heads around that. They're 12. They're full on tween hormone mode.

And they're like, no, my feelings, my feelings. And I'm like, yeah, but you can impact them with your thoughts. And so we're just going to keep working on that. Cause that's [00:39:00] something I want to give them for their lives. Is that knowledge?

Dr. Anna: Mm hmm. Yeah. And it's powerful that you're teaching that and living it.

You live by example that can your energy clearing your energy helps them. I say this to women all the time, you're focused on your kids, you're focused on your husband. No one's going to get better until you focus on you and you take charge and get better. And that energy is so clearing. I mean, experience that myself, I was spiraling down and nothing in my external environment changed, but my internal physiology did.

I shifted to make oxytocin a priority, gratitude journaling, prayer, making oxytocin a priority. And in physiology shift, the cloud shifted. I was happier. My kids were happier. I'll never forget the morning that I recognize this full on. Cause typically me as a single mom at this time, my ex husband had a traumatic brain injury.

And so two teenagers in a wee one in elementary school, three [00:40:00] different schools, late to the bus. A typical morning would be like going late to school. And my kids would convince me, mom, we're already late. Can we go to Starbucks? I'm like, that's good rationale. Okay. Why not? And like surviving on caffeine and then realizing I was in a deep downward spiral.

And I write about this in my book. But shifting to that ketoalkaline physiology, shifting to that positive physiology with oxytocin at the home and my daughter coming down in the morning for the bus, like ready and on time and smiling, I love you mom, running off to the bus stop, my teenager doing the same thing, I was like, What has happened?

And I had just focused on healing myself, healing my physiology and focusing on gratitude and prayer and positivity and seriously, nothing in the external environment had changed. And it's so true. It's so true.

Erin: That's incredible. And that gives me hope for my soon to be teenagers. [00:41:00]

Dr. Anna: Mhm. Keep yourself grounded. Absolutely. Keep your tank full. A friend of mine, Dr. Jen Lando would say, resentment is lack of self care.

Erin: Yeah. Can you say that again?

Dr. Anna: Yeah. Resentment is lack of self care. When you're feeling that resentment, your bucket's empty. You gotta fill your bucket.

Erin: I love that. I love that. Let's live by that. Resentment eats you alive. So I have asked everyone who's come on this podcast, one question, which is, are there any contracts in your life that you want to rewrite any deal terms that need to be reopened?

Dr. Anna: Oh, my goodness. This is a area that I've recognized recently. My mom, she passed away. At 67, undergoing her second heart surgery, struggling for many, many years.

And she only got to know my first born daughter for a year of her life before she died. And I became a grandma last year. And I think the unspoken deal was [00:42:00] like, I honor my mom by becoming her. And I'm rewriting that to honor my mom, to be the best woman, mother, leader, influencer that I can be as healthy as possible and not follow the diabetes, the heart disease, the struggle that she went through. And so for me, it's rewriting that internal, very, very subconscious direction.

Erin: I think we think we are our mothers in so many ways. And being able to tease out poor kids that we're not that we can make different choices. We can think differently that our destiny is not their destiny. I think that's huge.

So rewriting the rules of what it means to be a grandmother, what it means to. To show up differently at this phase of your life. I love it. Thank you so much for taking the time. Dr. Anna, we're going to put all your information about your books, your [00:43:00] podcast, your program, where people can find you into the show notes, and hopefully people will follow up and dig deep into your wisdom. I'm really grateful to have had you here today.

Dr. Anna: Thank you for having me. It's been lovely to talk with you.

Erin: Thanks for listening to Hotter Than Ever. I want to hear from you. So DM me on social media. Share your reaction to this episode or any other @hotterthaneverpod on Instagram, Facebook, all the social medias.

We may even share your message on the show. Please follow the show. On whatever platform you're listening to right now, click that box, check that check mark, tell your best friend about it, and rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, just like Anonymously Hot did. Hotter Than Ever is produced by Erica Girard and PodKit Productions.

Our interim associate producer is Melody Carey. Music is by Chris Keating, with vocals by Issa Fernandez.

Come hotties. [00:44:00] There's so much more goodness where this came from.


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