Dr. Danielle Marchildon
This is an unedited transcript.
Okay, so, welcome, Dr. Danielle. She is a licensed naturopathic doctor in Orangeville, Ontario, actually, where near where I used to live. And that’s how I had connected with her years ago, actually, when I was a business owner in town, and she co owns her own, I guess co own you co own with someone else. Your own clinic called the collective health clinic. I’m sorry, that was not in my notes at all. And you are a proud mom of five, which I adore as well. Your kids are super cute. And I love about your practice is that while you are it is a family practice. I know we’ve chatted kids stuff and all that but you have a real passion for women’s health. And that’s what we’re doing right now. The whole thing we’re focusing on is from, you know, right before we’re even talking about fertility and having kids right through to having babies and right into perimenopause and menopause because it’s the whole gamut. Right. So welcome. Tell me a little bit about why this is a passion for you. Sure, I think, you know, graduating from medical school, the focus always in coming to Orangeville, which is a smaller town, the focus was always sort of a family oriented practice. And I think as I kind of moved through, I didn’t specialize and and, you know, I still don’t in a way, but I think I just pull a certain demographic to the practice. And I think it potentially comes out in my passion or when I’m speaking with patients, but Women’s Health has certainly brought itself to the forefront. Fast forward. I graduated in 2008. So fast forward to 2015 and the Ontario government so very gratefully gave us prescription rights and in that prescription right was bioidentical hormone therapy. So this took my knowledge of women’s health, women’s pathology, women’s journey through life to a whole new level in terms of looking at perimenopause and menopause, for example, as a diagnosis versus just something that naturally happens to every every woman.
And then as I started treating, that’s when I started to hit resistance around the idea of hormone replacement, not only around the idea of hormone replacement, but around the hormone estrogen to begin with. So I quickly started to hear in women’s voices that are you know, their stories that what they have been taught was that estrogen was bad. Right and not and we were kind of learning to fear it in a way. So now I have about 353 of my children are female and two of which are now Entering puberty and I’ve heard that I’ve heard them mirror statements. Here’s to young girls just run to puberty. And they’re like, Well, I guess my estrogen is kicking up and I, you know, me, it was just my daughter. Okay, so it’s not just my, with it like at 13 She one daughter’s already just from I mean, I’ve talked to them about biology, their anatomy what’s happening and like, Oh, you’re crying for no reason. Let me give you a little bit of a reason why, right? So what does mom know? I mean, really? Well, that’s come up a lot better if it wasn’t for me. And my husband, like, you know, this is what she does when they’re looking at me like, get on with it anyways. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It’s it’s a really fun dynamic. Anyhow, yeah, I just found it really shocking that my 13 year old daughter, who I felt like I had given a very unbiased, very realistic sort of backstory to what was happening. She somehow picked up in our culture alone, that estrogen was making her feel, or was the culprit in in the applicability of motions, right. And I think you know, what I what I’m trying to do is get women to fall in love with estrogen again, because men we miss it when it’s gone. Yeah. Right. But it’s nothing we do. It gets a bad rap. Because and, you know, I’m a very evidence based naturopath, so I like to stick to around evidence. And, you know, there’s terms like estrogen dominance, which isn’t really it’s not in our diagnostic, like our DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. It’s a theory, it’s a very functional theory as to why some women may have issues with, quote unquote, too much estrogen, but as a diagnosis, as a diagnosis itself, it doesn’t really hold any ground. And it connotates a very negative energy with that, right? Yes. Well, in the idea with with any balance of hormones is the balance, right? It’s not, it’s not just estrogen. It’s not just progesterone, testosterone, like there’s, we’ve got a whole, you know, slew of hormones that are actually working together in our body. Yeah. And I mean, we’ve spent a lot of time in the podcast and over, you know, over time just talking about gut health and how the production of hormones as affected in there and then talking about, you know, how we just care for our stress levels and our cortisol and so much so, estrogen always be the bad guy. I think. Exactly. That really is what it’s been even growing up. I remember my mom had a hysterectomy. When I was seven. I think it was I remember it was pretty traumatic in our host for her to have to go through that and going through some of those symptoms afterwards. It wasn’t a full hysterectomy. So it did she did have time in there. Yep. But I remember for years hearing talk about estrogen with her. And it was this is way back when right? We’re talking 70s 80s 90s When, you know, that’s all I knew about. perimenopause and menopause was early for her. I also that’s all I knew was it was estrogen. Estrogen was the bad thing. It was terrible. It was wreaking havoc, and it was driving her crazy. And yet, you’re right. It’s still the story. I haven’t seen much of that change. I’ve seen more talk about self care. I’ve seen more talk about gut health, you know, we’re starting to catch up with women’s health. And, you know, we have a long way to still to go in respect to women symptoms that are you know, what we actually know our bodies doing. But what what do you think is? Is there a culprit behind that? Is there is it just generational? Is it just historical that this keeps going? Or is it like I hear soy we talk about soil all the time? Yeah, estrogen. So estrogen, you know, we had some funny, I’m gonna throw this in just for fun. And we had some funny ones with lavender oil, because that’s what I do. Over Over the years ago, one particular researcher did a study with two boys. That’s it to have grown. Man Boobs, I guess what’s the term I have no idea breast, but slightly larger press and they attributed it to Lebanon. But then like, 10 years ago, went back and went, No, that entire thing has been debunked as a complete joke. You know, that wasn’t the issue at all. It was soy.
Like, hold on, back it up. Now you’re just want one round or the bus after another. So it’s a funny one for me because I think okay, we’re just going in circles. Yes. Yeah. Where is this coming from? Is it any of those things? I think I like you know, when I talk with other practitioners, whether they’re, you know, medical, you know, medical doctor, Chinese Doc, you know, a homeopath. It doesn’t matter, whatever the background is, if they haven’t kept up to date with current research, they’re all holding on to The 2001 Women’s Health Initiative study that took a demographic of women administered a form of estrogen to as a as a form of hormone replacement. And they quickly stopped the study because they noticed some women were developing breast cancer. And the the conclusion was made that estrogen hormone replacement causes breast cancer. Interesting. There was a, the study itself has been largely debunked, like largely the amount of flaws coming out of this study. Okay, incredible. And as soon as you know, it’s sort of, and then it started, it was like, the first domino. So as soon as that first flaw was found, it started to ask a lot more questions, which is where all the other flaws just sort of compounded. But then it was like, Well, okay, so wait a minute, we don’t actually have any idea what estrogen is doing as a tool for home or hormone replacement. So it has, it has stimulated since 2001. All of the studies which are showing the opposite, which show you safety profile with estrogen, I still have family doctors in town, who continue the stigma or the fear around hormone replacement. And these are women who their depression and anxiety are so heightened their hot flashes, don’t allow them to sleep, they are on leaves from work, because their hot flashes are so severe, it’s embarrassing. The dryness is so bad that it’s now causing bladder irritation and prolapses. And they know intimacy and joint pain and heart puppeted. Like the list that we can now attribute to menopause. And the degree to which it affects quality of life. I can’t I no longer sit back? I can’t you know, I’m starting to fight. Right? Yeah. Well, there are, you know, right, when, you know, there’s hope it’s, it would be like us telling a friend who is struggling with I don’t know, bipolar or something like that, you know, there’s treatments for and telling them it’s all in their head, you know? Or, yeah, my favorite line from a family doctor was just just, you know, doing your grandmother did push her. And this this patient, man, it was. So I had to write a letter, you know, this is where I’m this is where I’m fighting back now. And nothing, everything I do is transparent to someone’s primary care physician, right? Hormones are a prescription if I’m writing a prescription, and of course, I get consent from the patient. But I like the family doctor to be on board and to just to know what we’re doing. And in this particular case I needed so there’s just a with my prescription license, I can’t prescribe oral progesterone, I can prescribe the same tablet as a vaginal suppository. I just can’t write it as oral. So for this particular patient, I was asking the medical doctor to write a prescription for oral progesterone. And he refused. Mm hmm. Wow. Well, but so this is, and this is I mean, he wasn’t the only one. I’ve had it several times. Yeah, I’ve had a family doctor call my office and say, I don’t know what this is. What? What do you mean, you don’t know what what do you mean, you don’t know what this flag was? Why don’t you explain what the prescription I mean, it’s still a bio identical form of progesterone, but it’s still a prescription. So I explained it to him, I explained the roles. I pointed him towards some PubMed ID numbers just so that he could look that up, and he gave the prescription. But otherwise, I’m writing letters. And I’m, I’m very professional, obviously. But I just you know, with all due respect, we no longer are required to push through this right that we can now be pathological. Yes, it is a normal process that every female will go through. But the degree to which it affects our quality of life, there can be pathological states in there. And that does require treatment. Yeah, yeah. Wow.
And that’s, I mean, the beauty of that is you are doing this like there’s granted, I mean, family doctors are GPs are taught what they’re taught. And not unless they have kept up with it. Not all of them do. Some of them are very old school. And we know that I mean, we all have them. Sure. You do need that. You need some education. Right. So I mean, that’s amazing that you do that. Because obviously you’re going to bat for your your patients as well, but it helps teach them a little bit too. Yeah, I also get on board here. Well, the other thing I find really interesting is their lack of knowledge. And I don’t mean to talk generally but I just see a pattern where there’s a lot of lack of knowledge around the hormone replacement. options are out there. Right? So where I’ve had a gynecologist out of Mount Sinai say, well, the hormone who I have a patient who was on bioidentical estrogen for me, saying that she didn’t like the plant based estrogen. So she’d rather her take estrogen, which is another prescription which I have access to, but it’s also plant based. So the lack of understanding of what they’re actually prescribing and yes, yeah. So I mean, that’s ultimately how I ended up with you going through all the process we are for fertility and hormones, and just sorting out my body was just that was my family doctor, I love him. He’s fantastic. But he actually said to me, this is just not my area of expertise, which I totally, like, great. Yeah, I mean, I can offer you some options, you can go talk to a fertility clinic is about I don’t think you’re quite there yet. And I wasn’t at that stage. So it was a great, I was a great admission on his part, to be able to say, this isn’t really my thing. But, you know, let me help you find something that could or someone who could work. And I’m like, No, I got it covered. I’m good. No, no, I don’t mean that. But that’s exactly it, that he was able to recognize that he hasn’t caught up with that. And he’s not so go find someone who is right. And I wish that was I wish I heard that more Agreed. Agreed. I hear it so often, just from friends and, you know, doula clients over the years and other people who just never felt heard, you know, or respected? And it is, I mean, whether it sounds general or not, it unfortunately, is true. It’s it is a generalization. That’s true. Nine women in general just don’t really have their symptoms respected or their you know, what they’re actually explaining. They’re feeling treated, you know, appropriately, maybe so, yeah, no, no, we got it. Yeah, it’s, I feel, yeah, I’m caught between, you know, like, started like really empowering patients, educating them, getting them to have those conversations with their primary care physician, but then recognizing the limitations that our primary care physicians are under in terms of our own HIPAA system and right, like, it’s literally you’re is we’re asking a lot of them that maybe just doesn’t have that option. So that’s where I try to bring it. I’ll try and I try to bridge that right. I used to hate angering medical doctors, like I used to, I used to, you know, I was always tiptoeing around and but now, I mean, I’ve been in practice for 14 years now I’ve got the ground beneath my feet. So now, well, it is always professional. I’m no longer scared. Like, I feel very confident in the approach that I think is valuable and is backed by evidence that, yeah, I’m no longer I’m not tiptoeing anymore. Good for you. Should you know what you’re doing? I love it. Yeah. Okay. I want to know, because you, you mentioned it briefly. And this is something that was complete news to me was actually my older sister. She’s six years older than me. And she’s on a lot we do podcasting together as well. And it was she’s one who brought up to me one day when I was having some weird symptoms, and out of the blue, and she was like, Well, you know, those are symptoms of menopause. Haha. And I went, they are. So what? Like, she was bugging me, but I’m like, wait a minute, are they actually and she’s like, Well, yeah, they are. I had no idea. So go through that list a little bit. I mean, I’m sure there’s a lot of them. But what are some of the main ones that are? I know, perimenopause is part of that. So you can, you know, explain that maybe, but what are some of those things that we might not even be thinking of beyond hot flashes? Yeah, excellent question. Cuz I think a lot of women aside from no period, and hot flashes. And I see it all the time, where I’ll get a woman coming in, say with joint pain that wanders and no one can help her because the X rays look normal, her blood works not showing anything. She just been told to take Advil on her bad days. And then when I track it back to well, how long has it been since you’ve had a period? And I find out she’s, oh, it’s been 14 months. Right? So when I say that’s menopause, it shocks her shock that giving her back some hormones will alleviate the joint pain. Right. So there are some some really,
you know, weird symptoms that we don’t usually attribute to hormones, but it does speak to where I when I say that, you know, we need estrogen. We, I mean, like we need it, right? It it. It is our it is a female’s vitality. Yeah. Okay. So in that sense, yes, hot flashes. So the drop in estrogen will create a vasomotor effect, right where it’s actually a blood vessel reaction that’s happening it’s looking for the estrogen can’t find it. We see an LH luteinizing hormone surge from the brain and that pops our temperature up. Aside from that, though, right the list is list is long, but the ones I see most commonly is definitely unexplained. joint pain, a worsening or a new onset of anxiety or depression. Brain fog is a big one in poor memory. We can see hair thinning and then loss of tone to our face and our skin in general. Right. So, I mean, as we age, we’re all going to start to have wrinkles, I have no way I know. But when the period stops, that it will get significantly worse fast, right? Bone Health, of course, right? When estrogen levels go lower, it’s just a leach calcium from the bone. The other part that I think is really big for my practice, because a lot of women, one or they’re scared to talk about it, not sure if it’s the right place to talk about it. It’s the vulva vaginal area. So vaginal dryness, recognizing that our urethra or the pathway of urine is right next to the vaginal canal. So anything that affects our vaginal canal can also affect our urethra. So we see increase in bladder infections, painful intercourse, we can just see like a vaginal itis where it’s very itchy and inflamed. And then these poor women are being treated repeatedly for yeast infections, and it’s not even used or BV. And it’s one of those things, right? Just that irritated. Yeah, muffle effect, wreck your intimacy and wreck your quality of life. vaginal dryness. So even, and like fixing that piece. Fixing that piece alone, aside from all the other symptoms has changed has been a game changer for so many women’s. Something I asked right if they don’t offer still asking, because I know that it’s a more sensitive subject and, and recognizing how it can like it really can affect quality life? Yeah, well, and I think again, it’s one of those things that we as women tend to brush off to, right. It’s like pregnancy and birth symptoms and things like that, that were like, whatever, it’s just part of it. And you’re like, Well, hold on. No, it’s actually can be fixed. We can do something about this. Yes. Or no. Women being told, like this is just this is your sex life. It’s gonna hurt you might tear sometimes, or use, you know, the whole conversation of, of lubricants. But what are something we can do? That doesn’t make you dependent on lubricants and doesn’t make you hate it? Or hear it, too? Absolutely. Yeah, that’s so that’s also a that’s a huge piece for me is seeing that improvement. Oh, there’s just when you see. So when you see women who are experiencing some of these, you know, I’m assuming it’s not one symptom, you’re usually getting a few of them. Right? And bind, yeah. Or come and go or whatever that looks like. So what would be your first step to say, Okay, we’re gonna take care of this. What would you be? Would you be doing some testing? I mean, I know with you we did for myself, I did the Dutch test for the journal. I don’t know if that’s the same kind of thing you do for this. But what would be the first step? That’s a really good question because it depends on like testing in perimenopause and menopause actually don’t, don’t do a lot of because if you’re perimenopausal which, which by definition are the years leading up to that very last period, so we can see heavier bleeding, we can see more infrequent periods, we can see development of fibroids, we can see long standing periods of bleeding. I know what those hormones are? Well, I can guess based on where you’re at what those hormones are gonna say, right? If the hormones look good, then you got blood taken on a day that your ovaries decided to cooperate, right? If your hormones look bad, it just means that on that day, your ovaries weren’t cooperating, right? And then once we get to a whole year without a period, I know exactly what those numbers are gonna say. Right? So I do a lot of testing in my practice, but I do it to learn something I don’t know already. Right? Or if it’s gonna change the course of treatment, if female hasn’t had a period for 12 months course of treatment isn’t going to change whether her FSH is at 40 or 45.
That’s what I was curious. Okay. So is it is it would there have to be like a massive imbalance of weird deal weirdness going on for you to go home? We need to change the auto check that, but it’s gonna be around that. Oh, sure. And I think what we have to take into consideration here is the woman’s age. So if you’re 39 or 42, and you come to me and say I’m going to a period of nine months, I’m going to check on bloodwork because I want to make sure it’s a little early to have complete cessation of period and then to not have a period for nine months. That’s a little early. That’s when I’ll check in to make sure it is in fact menopause and not elevated prolactin, right. But if she’s pretty 52 with no with with leading up to regular periods, her entire kind of reproductive timespan I probably won’t check and I’ll start treatment. My most effective tool is hormone replacement. Right hands down most effective tool. So the first thing I want to do is rule out or in whether or not the female is a candidate for hormone replacement. Right? Right. So, I mean, the biggest contraindication to hormone replacement therapies is a history of, you know, a personal history of blood clots, okay? Or a clotting disorder, right? Bioidentical hormones. You know, we actually see a really good safety profile, the blood clotting issue is more around birth control pills, right, which is a synthetic form. It’s a progestin synthetic form of estrogen. But, you know, we’re talking blood clots, not a sore thumb. So we err on the side of caution, and it’s just a complete contraindication. Also, in Ontario, if the patient has had breast cancer, it is also a contraindication. There’s some studies as well, that will say if they have a primary relative who hasn’t had hormone receptor positive, positive breast cancer. Yeah, there are some really interesting studies happening overseas looking at using hormone replacement as a treatment for women who have undergone other surgical so they’re in surgical menopause, meaning the ovaries have been taken at a younger age, or who are in remission from breast cancer and are on medication. It’s a medical menopause. Right? Right, or a beautiful menopause, using hormone replacement to improve the quality of life with that is not showing an increased risk of reoccurring breast cancer. So there’s a lot of work going on around that right now. So far, the studies look really positive. And I’m really excited about this. My mom, my mom’s a breast cancer survivor. So that’s, that’s one that both my sister and I are always like, Okay, we need to, we want to see on top of what’s happening with studies and what’s you know, what’s going on and interesting if she, she, she’s just a very, I mean, she’s our mom, so she doesn’t stand a chance. But she’s, she’s a very natural minded woman. Woman, right. So I mean, even even to have done she did chemo radiation, but she cut her chemo halfway. She was like, Nope, I’m done. This is making me so sick. I don’t want it anymore. She saw. And her, you know, specialist was like, that’s fine. Because if you were my mom might say, you’re good. Go ahead, move on. And then radiation has left her with so many issues. So she just was like, Okay, I’m not doing any of this. So she hasn’t taken any of the, you know, the hormone replacements. They want her on all these other things. She has worked with a great naturopath, and she’s, you know, done some other things. And she’s thriving. Oh, right. At all, you know, and it’s been it’s been almost five years now. Wow. But anyway, it was that always comes up in my head when I hear estrogen talk because I’m very hyper aware of, you know, our breast health and cancer and our family and things like that. So for that, we’ll do that. We’ll do that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It’s a it’s a loaded breast cancers a loaded Yeah, diagnose. That was the first time I heard estrogen dominance talked about. Okay. And it was interesting to have those I, her specialist was beautiful. She let me ask all the a million questions that every I would go to every appointment. Yes. You know what, you know, I know it. I know, let’s just chat. A patient to answer my questions. Especially. So yeah, it was interesting to hear some of those estrogen conversations to and have her explain some of these and what what does all this actually mean? And she was a great one to say. estrogens. Not bad. Yeah. And I’m like, Oh, good. That was honestly the first time I’d heard a doctor say that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So she’s, she’s up to date. That’s good. Yeah. Yeah. Just hope. There’s not very know what they’re talking about. But
well, I think, yeah, the the other big piece here too, with regards to hormone replacement, and what kind of a role estrogen can play, we have these, you know, we have to remember that, you know, women, when you look at statistics of what women are dying from the if you compare breast cancer to heart disease, it’s like 100 fold. So in the, I think, between the ages of 60 and 70. In the States back in 2014, which is I think, the most complete list of stats I have, I think roughly 12,000 Women have passed from breast cancer, but 163,000 had died from heart disease. Wow. Right. So culture has us has us hyper vigilant around which which is great. And breast screening, right. all amazing. We have that we have the tools. We have our own fingers and our own awareness of breast tissue. That is incredibly important, and we still have to do that. But where is the conversation? And around what we can do to prevent heart disease. But yes, there’s really obscure dietary advice out there. Yes, we all know we got to move our bodies. But what about presenting women with the study that if you do any time with hormone replacement, any it could be a month? It could be 10 years. It drops your heart disease risk, right? Oh, wow. Well, idea. Same with Alzheimer’s same thing drops your risk right out. So much so that we have we have repeated studies that show that women on average who use hormone replacement for any time live, it’s an average up to seven years longer than women who don’t use it. Incredible. Right? That’s amazing. Yeah, I would never have known that. There’s a one of the compounding pharmacies here, I use an Orangeville. There’s a man who like No, and as soon as I hear, it’s a man, I think they just stop talking about I don’t like just stop, don’t give me stop. And there’s a male pharmacist and I had a patient going in, and we were reducing her hormones, because I’ve women who, usually it’s because they’ve retired, and they don’t have the same drug benefit coverage. So we want to try and find a lower effective dose just from a cost perspective. Anyhow, he noticed that she had had a reduction in her prescription and his opinion was that this was the secret. This was you know, hormone replacement, these bioidentical hormones, is the anti aging secret. It is the fountain of youth. And then he said, If I were a woman, at which point I’d be like, Stop, anyways, he kept going. If I were a woman, I would be on these things till the day I die. I was like, too bad. You’re not a woman. That’s right. But he he’s, he’s not wrong. But if you’re on the right track, he’s not pleased. He’s here. He has looked at current evidence, right? We have this really amazing safety profile. We have an amazing safety profile around the length of time a female is on it. So it’s not like, unlike the pharmaceutical option, there’s a pharmaceutical product called Premarin. Yes, I’ve heard of it, which is an estrogen that they source from pregnant mayor. Yeah, ran or horse? Yeah. Yeah. It is. It is exponentially more potent than the human hormone. Okay. So I have medical doctors who will take a female who’s really struggling and they’ll say, I’ll give you Premarin for 30 days. They don’t want her on it. Premarin is what was used back in 2001. In the Women’s Health Initiative. It does have a better safety profile than that initiative showed, right? However, there are better, more effective options out there. Yeah. I lost my train of thought, I’m not sure where I was going with that. Great, but one of the things that I think is important to note is that if you’re not getting a solution, or if you’re not getting where you need to be, there are other answers. There’s other options, and we’ve come a long way. Yes, yes. We’ve kind of like it’s, it’s incredible what we have, like, I am so grateful that I’m going through menopause. In this time verse like my Nana said a word like not one word. And then I think she must have been in her own thoughts has been torture, right? Like feet talk about, like, no wonder this whole idea of hysteria. Like you’d like to say anything, because you don’t want anyone to be like, Oh, she’s just some crazy female. Right. Institutionalized women. Yes. Right. And I we always joked about this. I remember going through some of my trainings and stuff. And I’m like, I guarantee they were all there. They were either PMS thing or they’re in menopause. And they just said too much.
Yes. No. And then But then now Yes, I just and you know, it is brought the number of times I’ve seen this this conversation or just educating the female it has brought her to tears because she just feels human again, right? That this is not she’s not choosing to feel this way. It’s not all in her head. That’s one thing we can do about it. Yeah, it’s why it’s why I’m, it’s why I get up every day. Like those moments. That’s why I’m here. It’s why I’m doing what I like. There’s nothing that compares, well, unless I can on a small scale can understand the feeling of that, like even just being able to look at some of my hormones and say, you know, when the work we’ve done and be able to go oh, I’m good. Like, I’m good, you know? Yes. Good. I’m there’s nothing wrong with me because you can very quickly make up all these other stories. And tell yourself this whole other narrative about, you know, I’m just crazy. I’m just this maybe it’s this, and then you Google it, and then you know, I’m dying now. It becomes it can become a much bigger story than it needs to be in reality, or you just end up like you said, internalizing it. And you carry this stress, and it accumulates. And we we did a whole series just on what trauma and stress does to your physical body, and how not accumulated, you know, repressed feelings, all those things can just wreak havoc on top of what you’re already dealing with. Yes, yes. That whole commerce was so fascinating, that whole conversation around stress and inflammation, right? Like, that’s what I’m on a tangent here, but it’s not, you know, we’re so focused on cancers and heart disease and blood sugar and right, that we forget that it, you know, at root here is stress and inflammation. Absolutely. I remember the first time I saw and this was actually years years ago, oh man, how Ashton would have been a baby. So maybe like six years ago, almost seven years ago. And I had a doctor from the states that I had met, and we kind of done some stuff together. And he offered to do a hormone panel for me, this the saliva panel, the whole thing for free. As part of the thing, he was doing this little study, and I’m like, great. And I just all I remember is getting this letter back from him, and then getting an email saying, we should probably talk about your cortisol. And it was at the peak of my like, business growing, and we were traveling all over Europe, and it was just probably the most stressful time of my life. And I went okay, what I don’t know what cortisol is, what is that? I just knew it and pertaining to birth, like labor, we know what happens to your cortisol layer. I’m like, Alright, cool, what’s going on, he’s like, you pretty much are living like you’re running from a pack of wolves. Doing this for too long. My cortisol was off the charts. He goes, I don’t even honestly know how you’ve survived this. Oh, my God. It was one of those eye opening moments where I started connecting dots. And I feel like I’ve never stopped since then I want to, I want to connect the dots. I want to know why do my hormones do this, when this is going on? What dictates what are the egg right? Is it the ones that did this? Or is it the stress that did my hormones, you know, changed what my hormones are doing all signal processing? So I would want to know like, what’s what would you say in our practical day to day life? And I mean, up to give us like, foods and stuff if you don’t want to go there. But what are some things that we can do on a maybe perimenopausal stage as we’re heading into that stage that can help us with this? Do? There’s so there’s nothing like I’ve had, I’ve actually had one female asked me what she can do to prevent perimenopause from starting and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. The other important piece and you you, you, you just briefly touched on it is we’re always looking at what are our hormones doing to us? What really, really, we have to recognize what we’re doing to our hormones. Yes. Right. So things so perceptions of stress are perception on on because there’s certain stressors, there’s not that you can do anything about. There’s a lot of pressures you can do nothing about they’re happening. But our perception of that stress can largely change what our hormones are doing. And a female a stressed out female, a burnt out female will always, always do worse in perimenopause and menopause than a female who isn’t. Right. So once you hit around the 40 year mark, the good news, I think for a lot of us, we start to see a bit of a mind shift happening around 40, where we kind of recognize I’m 42. And I have even in the past two years, I can really start to recognize like, I you know, I don’t really care for
ourselves, right? We say I wish I wish I was 4020 years ago. I want the body of a 20 year old but I want the mind of a 40 year old that astronaut. Yeah, yeah, but like, I get that. So we really need to be as we approach those pre menopausal years, which can start as soon as they’re around 38. On average, it starts more like 45 and up though, right? 38 early, but it’s still considered normal within diagnostic ranges. We really want to check in around stress management, right? If you haven’t seen a therapist, see one, make sure you’ve got boundary. Right, got some boundaries in place social at work. It doesn’t matter within your family dynamic. Make sure you’ve got as much on your plate as you can handle and that you’re managing stress really, really well. That alone will ease you in. I also think that education piece is huge understanding what is happening You know, really keeps a lid on that on that sort of boiling pot, because you just said it, we can talk ourselves into very excessive and extreme symptoms. So having, you know, having full education around what’s happening is really helpful at that insight piece. Right? Yes, you know, diet I, you know, I don’t I’m not big on advocating for a diet with a name. Right. I agree. Eating protein, lots of veggies. Too much fruit never killed anyone. And whole grains. You know what I mean? Like, let’s keep going to keep things simple. Real. Yeah. Yeah. Of course, move your body. I do not, you know, we do. There’s tons of evidence. It’s coming out of both the States and England looking at exercise in perimenopausal menopausal women. And the one type of exercise that is by far ahead of the rest is weight resistance. Yes, my mum actually was telling me that because she misses going to the gym. Yes. Like, I just need some little weights or something. Because I always felt better when I was doing weights were using. Yeah, it feels like it’s a female thing to think we got to start running or Yeah, right. Where’s. Yeah. And I was like, I’m just gonna do because it’s the Zen side of things. It was fantastic. Yes. Yeah. You want? Yes, you’ve got to get that weight, the resistance type training that’s going to really feed the muscles, right. So you know, and I can’t deny that that that kind of evidence. Does some perimenopause and menopause will do some of them warrant no treatment? Yes, and no. If there’s no symptoms, you are really lucky. What what comes back into my brain there. So even a female who says to Me, my last period was 15 months ago, and I blinked and it was over. I have no symptoms. Still my duty to say to her Yeah, but you’re still at high risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. And if you do some any hormone replacement that will reduce your risk of all three of those, right? So I still bring that into the conversation, because we know we know this. Yeah. So what would that look like that? And let’s say let’s say there’s no major issues, or maybe there’s just some mild ones going on? What would that look like? Would it be? I’m just being super general here. Would it be like a cream Euro bond? Would it be happy to take the day you know, how would that look? Yep, so my prescription around bioidentical hormones the estrogen is a cream and is sourced from soy soy being phyto estrogenic gets there are forms of soy and ways to utilize it that becomes zero estrogenic or it has more of a negative effect on the body. This, you know extraction from soy is phyto estrogenic, meaning it mimics our estrogen hormone. As much as the human hormone as much as biologically possible. It is a cream it’s a topical transdermal form. Progesterone is also sourced from em. Also as biologically identical to the human progesterone hormone is possible. It is also an A cream, when I get to some higher doses of estrogen or women who still have an intact uterus, we have to use the study says that the topical progesterone isn’t potent enough to protect the uterine lining. So we have to switch them over to an oral or the vaginal suppository of the tablet of which I’m quite familiar with the that one that one? What it will protect the uterine lining?
And I don’t typically, I don’t typically have to stray from either of those. That’s usually enough. And we dose based on symptoms as well. I don’t know I have some colleagues who are asking, you know, I’ll have a mentor in here. And they’ll say, Well, when do you test to see if you’re doing it? Right? No, I I use it’s all subjective experience, right? So if I start if the female has no symptoms, she just needs a really low dose of both. Okay. If there are symptoms, we dose until we get rid of the symptoms, then we hold for a little bit. Great. Okay, so it’s not just estrogen you brought in progesterone there as well. And I wouldn’t have thought of that you. Yeah. Balance? Right. Yes, that’s and you brought that up earlier is that estrogen estrogen dominance really just means that we have too much unopposed estrogen floating around in our body. Progesterone is the hormone that opposes the estrogen. Right? Estrogen is our proliferative hormone. It makes things grow, right? Progesterone is our suppressive nurturing one. So estrogen is what builds our uterine lining before a period progesterone is what keeps it at bay. So it’s not like horribly bad, right? Well, we hope Yeah. So when up uterus, we have to give progesterone. I do see coming out of some medical doctors, if the female has had a hysterectomy with or without ovaries. So they may have ovaries, they may not. But as long as the uterus is gone, they will only dose the estrogen. My approach there is that we have estrogen receptors everywhere, not just in our uterus. So we will want to put progesterone in there as well just to keep a lid on that proliferative action of the estrogen. So even if my women, female patients have had a hysterectomy, they will always get both. Interesting. Yeah, that makes sense, huh? You’re right. Our hormone receptors are not just in one part of our body. They’re no responsible for all kinds of things. Even breast tissue alone, it’s just, it’s a again, it’s an err on the side of caution. And it also will reduce so when women start hormone replacement from estrogen, they can have transient breast tenderness, meaning in those first few weeks, we can see from swelling and tenderness. If progesterone is playing a role. It’s very minimal, if at all, do I see that? So yeah, yeah. What would you say? I’m going to finish with this? Because I could go on all day talking about this. It’s super fascinating. What would you say? If there is any? And this might be a silly question, but it just, it’s what I’m thinking in my head. Is there anything you would say is, uh, do not do this, when it comes to, you know, let’s say you haven’t had your period or your you’re recognizing at your age that you’re going to be heading into this? What would be some, hey, you know, pay attention. Don’t do this or definitely do this. Yeah, my biggest do not do is do not suffer. Don’t, don’t suffer, you do not have to push through this. Even if you have a blood clot history or the history of blood clotting disorder, you’ve had breast cancer. There are also other things we can utilize. There are plants we can utilize safely right. There is some homeopathic stuff that I find works like a charm on on the women who are candidates here. The biggest don’t in perimenopause and menopause is don’t suffer. Right. Yeah, the biggest clue is is to look at your options. Biggest right? So reach out. Yes, yeah. Yes. And and, and don’t stay off the internet. Oh, Google. Oh, my gosh, I have to tell myself that sometimes I’m guilty of it. And I’ll look something up. And that’s usually when I call my sister or my mom, the other women in your life, right? You’re like, but this was it? Is this crazy that I think this and they’re like, No, I googled the same thing. I remember. Mr. azoles. Right. Yeah. Well, I mean, I can I can acknowledge and appreciate the need to get information. Yeah, the wonderful thing that your your self empowering. It’s just a shame that the internet algorithm just takes you straight to death. Right? Like, you’re trying to do that connecting, right. And it’s Yeah, well, the one of the reasons I do this in this podcast and have guests like you want is, I want to connect people, I want to connect them to you. I want to connect them to the right person in their area, whatever it is. Talk to a naturopath in your you know, your town, your city called Danielle set up an appointment, you do virtual appointments, right? As long as the patients in Ontario is Yeah, yeah, that’s what yeah, it’s just one of the things that we we don’t you’re like you said, we don’t need to suffer with this. We don’t need to. And also just running maybe to a family doctor all the time with a symptom and a symptom and a symptom that they’re just band aiding the symptoms, because it’s what they know to do for the most part, right, as someone like yourself, I’d say you’re going to look at it in a totally different way. A different approach, or model of medicine. And when they when they work together. Magic happens, right? Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you so much. This was so informative. I just learned a ton amazing. Taking notes. We’ll just rewatch it and call my girlfriends and say you need to listen to this episode. Yeah. This is a good one. I promise. We will talk some more. I know we’ll have you on again. We’ve got lots of subjects that sure we can cover on absolute wealth. Right. Absolutely. It’s a big one. Thank you for being with us. Yeah, thanks.