An OB-GYN (obstetrician-gynecologist) joins us on the podcast to talk all about PCOS and her approach to helping women with PCOS get the treatment they need to lead the healthiest lives possible!
Dr. Shamsah Amersi is one of the country’s leading and most recognized Ob-Gyns. She graduated in the top 1% of her medical school and has won national awards throughout her career for her work in women’s health and has been chosen as Top Doctors of the United States for the past 4 years.
You’ll learn about Dr. Amersi’s approach to diagnosing women with PCOS, the treatment options available, and what diet & lifestyle recommendations she makes to her patients including gluten & dairy free!
Dr. Amersi offers PCOS diagnosis and management to help women in and around Los Angeles get the treatment they need to lead the healthiest lives possible! She also offers Telehealth appointments on her website (www.dramersi.com). You can find Dr. Amersi on Instagram (@shamsahamersi)!
Call our PCOS Weight Loss Hotline at 1-833-ASK-PCOS (1-833-275-7267). You can leave a question or tell us how we’ve helped you! We might just play your message on the podcast to inspire other Cysters!
PCOS Friendly CBD: 10% OFF code TheCysterhood (bit.ly/CBDpcos)
Hey Cysters. And welcome to the show. This episode is brought to you by pure spectrum CBD, and I have been taking CBD and we are loving it. I’m holding the tincture right now. Tallene, can you open your mouth please? Yeah, I’m going to give you a dosage now. Keep it there for 60 seconds while she does that.
Let me tell you the great benefits of CBD for PCOS is studies show it reduces cortisol, improves insulin sensitivity, reduces inflammation. You can go to pure spectrum cbd.com now to order and use the code The Cysterhood one word at checkout for 20% of Tallene and hold it for 30 seconds longer. While the Cysters enjoy the show. Welcome to a sister and her mr.
A podcast where we show you the real behind the scenes of how we balance the PCRs lifestyle in our marriage, gluten and dairy free. I’m Tallene your fellow Cyster and registered dietitian And I’m Sirak husband, engineer, and PCOS personal trainer. We’re going to make PCOS a little less overwhelming and a lot more fun. Hi everybody today on our podcasts, we’re going to interview a fellow gynecologist,
dr. and Marcy. I’m going to introduce her first and then we’ll get started. Dr. Shamsa and Marcy is one of the country’s leading and most recognized the gynecologist. She graduated in the top 1% of her medical school UCF, which is ranked number three in the world for the best medical school. She has won national awards throughout her career for her work in women’s health and has been chosen as top doctors of the United States for the past four years,
dr. MRC offers polycystic ovarian syndrome, diagnosis, and management to help women in and around Los Angeles, California get the treatment they need to lead the healthiest lives possible. Her compassionate approach to caring helps women feel comfortable about their health so they can make informed confident decisions. Welcome dr. Emerson. Welcome dr. Mercy. We’re very happy to have you here.
Awesome introduction. Of course, we were referred to you by a fellow follower who commented on one of our posts. I’m so glad I caught it. And she says, am I the only one with a normal doctor who immediately told me I have PCO S T gluten and dairy free and refined sugar free and not take birth control. LOL. Yeah. She even recommended below for any of you in need of a new doctor,
doctor MRC in Santa Monica is the best. Thank you. Thanks, please tell her. Thank you. She’s watching. So dr. Mercy, can you please tell us what is one of the first things you do when a patient comes in with signs of PCO S and you’re going to diagnose her, what are some of the common things you say to these patients?
Cause there’s so many women with PCOS. I’m sure they’re all coming into your office. Well, the most interesting thing I would start off by saying is that many patients don’t know they have PCOM. So patients will come in with struggles about weight gain and feeling loss of energy. Most of my patients, when they first come in and see me for their annual checkup,
I’ll ask them about what medications they’re on. And I’ll say birth control pills. Some of them will mention spironolactone, which a dermatologist has prescribed for acne. And then I’ll pause and I’ll ask them like, you know, have you ever been diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance? And they’re like, no, we have not. Everything’s fine. We’re good. And that’s where they’re really just coming in for a quick pap smear and a refill on their birth control and hoping to leave quickly.
And I kind of use this time to calibrate with them and explain and educate them that oftentimes when you are on birth control pills, it’s like putting a bandaid over your hormones. So when you’re on synthetic birth control pills, women are given a false reassurance. They have regular periods once a month because that’s what the birth control pills do with the withdrawal bleed.
They have pretty skin because birth control pills will decrease the testosterone. So they have no sense that there’s anything going on below the bandaid with their hormonal imbalance. And I explained to them that we know when they’re on birth control pills, the periods that are getting first of all are not their own period. It’s from the withdrawal bleed of birth control. And I said the best way to sort out from a young age,
not just waiting until you’re ready to start, trying to have a family is to actually finish the pack of pills you’re on and then stop it. And then I, as a gynecologist can track your cycle for you and see if do you get a period once a month? Do you ovulate? Can you see if those things are happening? What happens to your skin when you stop the birth to 12 pounds,
what happens to your weight? And then I said, let’s go deeper into your health instead of waiting til you feel off balance or until you’re struggling with infertility in your thirties. But let’s use this time together to work on really getting to know your body from the inside out. Instead of from the outside in, I said, it’s so easy for me to just give you a refill on your pill and send you out.
And that’s the easy way to do it. But I’m short changing. You have this really incredible opportunity to work with me on sorting out your hormones. So many times when the patients do decide that, okay, I’m willing to do this. I’m willing to stop putting synthetic hormones in my body. Um, and then they see me back again for followup in four or five months,
low and behold, they have acne. Now they’re not getting periods. And they’re so relieved when they’re finally given a diagnosis of hormone imbalance and are able to now start working with me on balancing out their body from the inside out and correcting these hormonal Maloofs instead of waiting until much later in their life. So that’s the first group of patients that I typically where I’m encouraging them to see if they have anything wrong.
And then the second group of patients who come in to see me, and they’re so frustrated and quite honestly very depressed because they come in. Some of them are very slender. And when you look at them physically as a physician, you don’t even question that they have a weight issue. And that’s what most doctors will do. They’ll look at a patient and they,
if they don’t see somebody who’s got a high BMI, they just don’t even discuss weight or any hormonal imbalances. But a lot of times, most women with PCFS aren’t drastically, but they come in with gut health issues. They come in with diagnosis of IBS and bloating and chronic constipation and inflammation. And then they also are on, um, you know,
that skin issues and fatigue and get inflammation. Symptoms are key components. So that’s, those are the patients that are so relieved that they finally have found a medical place where they can start getting hormone testing. They feel like they’re being heard and they’re actually asking for help to sort out what’s happening. And they feel like finally, somebody’s hearing them instead of being dismissed,
because it’s really challenging when you’re young, especially as a women to go in and see a doctor and say, you know, I something’s wrong with my hormones. I gaining weight and they just can’t lose it. And the quick answer most office will give those women is, Oh, well, just eat better and exercise and, you know, go down on your carbs and you go,
and that’s all it is. You don’t, everything’s fine. And it’s such a shame because those women leave feeling so deflated and dismissed. Yeah. Not a lot of options given. Yes. And you know what ends up happening with those women at a very young age, they end up having like, yo yo dieting. It’s so frustrating for them because no matter what they do,
I tell them, even if you eat lettuce for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you will not lose weight compared to your friend who doesn’t have PCOM. You’ll always feel bloated. You’ll always feel like inflamed and you’ll feel off balance. And it’s not until like, they actually get answers for why their body has felt so off to them that they feel such a sense of relief.
And then they start actually understanding the whole process of their hormones, which is incredible and very, very empowering for them. Right. And there’s so many different root issues that are going on cause PCLs looks different on everyone. So for one person, it might be adrenal issues and stress and for another MIP insulin issue or for most women it’s insulin issues. But yeah,
there’s so many different approaches We were learning the other day that it seems that insulin is actually even a bigger factor. Like under a lot of the other causes of PSUs Insulin resistance is definitely the key point with patients, you know, and the problem is when patients go to their primary care doctor and they discuss this, the doctors will run a set of labs.
And if their blood tests don’t show that they’re in full blown diabetes, they’re like, no, you don’t have anything wrong. But I tell my patients think about, PCLs like a spectrum there’s mild all the way to severe cases. So yes, and the severe cases you’ll have a morbidly obese, pasted patient with cystic acne and their amen or rag. And they have the classic tips.
The PCLs where everyone can be easily diagnosed. But the patients that fall into the gray zone where they’re like mild or subtle, or they sometimes, maybe the periods are five weeks apart instead of four weeks apart. And they’re just feeling constantly bloated. And they’re feeling like they’re having a hard time, not only losing weight, but even the ones that are very slim,
they feel like they have to work so hard to maintain their weight. Those are the ones that feel a sense of relief because it’s so frustrating to not understand the role of insulin in your body and how an all kind of ties in together. And also the role that gluten and dairy plays in raising insulin levels as well, which is something that’s often overlooked because,
um, we think that we’re, I can compare to one of those patients. Like I wasn’t severely overweight and I was eating healthy, but my insulin was all over the place. My inflammation was all over the place and the whole calories in calories out equation absolutely didn’t work for me. And so there wasn’t enough direction in what I should be doing instead.
And I certainly couldn’t find a doctor like you soon enough. So what are some of the tips that you would tell a patient who’s, um, not complete, not obese and you know, not in extreme case of PCOS, would you still tell them to do a gluten free and dairy free diet? Yeah. So I think the first thing, what I would suggest to like the people who are listening is I think every women in their twenties who are on birth control should surely at some point pause,
but the birth control, even though, obviously you’re not playing, if you’re not planning to have a pregnancy, you need to take measures, but stopping the birth control pills is the first thing that all patients should consider doing. At some point, especially when they’re on birth control pills for many, many years, and they have no sense of where their own body is.
So that would be step number one, to like stop the pills and then get to know your own body, well chart your cycles, check to see if you’re ovulating. So we have a sense of like how significant your imbalance is. Do you get periods once a month? Are you oscillating getting to know your body is really essential? So the population part of it is the first step I tell my patients.
Then I also encourage my patients to see their doctor and get hormone blood testing. And the blood testing is a really good starting point to see how off balance you are. So checking your adrenal gland, your cortisol, your progesterone, which is one of the basic losses of hormones that happens when you have PCOM. And then also checking their hemoglobin a to see how significant the insulin resistant is.
Do they have signs that already are showing significant, um, you know, concerns about their ability to process insulin and sugar? Do they have any issues with cholesterol, which could also be tied into PCLs and then of course, checking their male hormone levels. And then we do a pelvic ultrasound to look at their ovaries. So it’s like a combination of a clinical history,
blood testing, and the pelvic ultrasound that can truly give a patient the diagnosis of PCOS. You kind of need all three of those to happen. And then what we do is we start from the inside out. So once we have a diagnosis, the very first thing I tell every single patient of mine is please start off by let’s change your diet. It cannot be just like a diet.
It has to be a lifestyle change. And I explained to them that the insulin resistance happens in all patients with PCs, but to varying degrees. So when a patient like you, for example, you’re not overwhelmed, but you’ll find that if you have food, that’s high in gluten, it’s going to cause you to have bloating and inflammation of your gut.
And that can exacerbate insulin resistance, which can in turn then cause increased production of male hormones. So you’ll start to see a cycle that happens like an Inferno that slowly happens in your body. And I tell our patients, if you can start off from the very first part, which is removing the gluten from your diet, you’re doing yourself, such a service,
the kids so much of hormone imbalance is related to inflammation. And so if you remove the gluten from your diet, you’ll start to see a difference. And I said, try it for six weeks, try it for eight weeks and just commit that as your first starting point. And you will see a difference. And if you don’t, we’ll reevaluate. But I said,
but every single patient, 100% of them, not even 99%, when they truly commit to that gluten free diet, they come back and they already feel better without any prescriptions, without any supplements. Just that first step alone has made all the difference for them. It’s a little different. I’m like very curious. What’s their first question to you. When you tell them they should go gluten free,
like, like, do they ask you, like, what do I eat? And like, or what’s your usual answer to them? That’s the hard part because they’re, I tell them, you know, try to, you know, I really want you to avoid gluten. And then I also tell them dairy and they’re like dairy, but I love cheese.
And I say to them at the same appointment, well, the issue with dairy is it can increase your androgen production and it can cause higher testosterone levels. And I explained to them that if you think about an orchestra, if there’s, if there’s a symphony that’s playing and if one member of that symphony is off tune, even though the 99 other members on the VM not worth this,
we’re all playing beautifully, but there’s one member in that orchestra. That’s off tune. The entire orchestra sounds awful. And everyone in the audience can hear that instrument. That’s Optune. And I liken that to our body. And I say to them, your hormones are like a symphony. So if one hormone is off balance, if one part of your body is off balanced,
you will feel it throughout your entire body. You’ll feel it through your energy, through your adrenal gland, through your ovarian function, through your fertility. So I said, we have to start by tuning up all the instruments in your body, and that has to be from the inside out. So back to your question with the gluten, I tell them like,
especially being in Los Angeles, we have so many incredible alternatives for gluten. You can go gluten free and you can avoid the grains in your diet. You, I tell my patients to have high fiber and lots of protein. They should be consuming at least 70 to 100 grams of protein a day. Um, lots of fish and meat and poultry eggs are grains and fruits,
but avoiding fruits that are high in sugar, because that can also exacerbate some of their symptoms. So like foods like bananas and mangoes, I encourage them not to have those links, to like different recipes that they can use. I give them referrals to nutritionists. I’ve now been starting to give them referrals to your website actually, because Instagram, because I’ve said there’s,
you know, there’s lots of Instagram accounts that I’ve seen, but I said, there’s one that I’ve actually been. And I’m really pressed by the medical accuracy. If your information like, even down to like your exercise regimen, if you telling patients, don’t just do cardio, but do resistance training. Like my God, this woman is like spot on.
I think you almost are like, but you should be like my second appointment for my patients. So you’ll save me appointments. I’ll just say, go to her website and go to and follow what they say. And especially having the two of you as a partner. I love that because to have that support system, especially if you’re living with somebody or you’re in a relationship,
it’s so nice for them to be on board and to understand what’s going through your body and to help you with food choices, you’re very fortunate that you have this built in support system. It’s extremely rare and very nice to see. Thank you. I am. I am very blessed. I always think about it. Yeah. Thank you. We appreciate that.
And also like how you said like a very like medically I career, like that makes us very happy. And the reason that we feel like it’s accurate is because it’s really based on what we see from like our experience experience from followers and like tie-ins patients and patients and herself is like, we see gluten dairy work and slow with workouts work. And like it’s,
I see it working on people. We, I saw it transform me in every way. And I just feel like if the first approach that I recommend is diet change, then unless the person’s struggling with an eating disorder, which can, it can be triggering. I can see that, you know, you would need one on one support. Otherwise then I feel like diet change is the most important and productive to PCO.
S rather than just hopping on the birth control pill, You know, what’s incredible for me when I diagnose my patients is I’ll have a portion of these women saw in our office and they just feel so they’re actually very angry because they feel that they’ve been really short changed by the medical doctors prior to our appointments where they’ve been dismissed and it’s led them to have the yoyo dieting and the eating disorders and the binge eating,
which is part of the CCOs that happens. But the insulin spikes and the sugar highs and lows. And so when they finally feel like God, I now have an explanation, it makes them feel so relieved that there’s nothing wrong with them. And, you know, being fat, shamed, or being, um, being just dismissed as such a word that I hear a lot by our patients like,
Oh, just eat better and exercise, like, thanks for the memo. Thank you doctor, for telling a useful piece of information. And off you go with your birth control. It’s so awful because they leave and they haven’t learned anything. But when they, when they have a diagnosis, I think they feel absolute relief that they understand what’s happening to their body.
And then when you take the time to explain to them the role of insulin and get inflammation and how that helps them, how that, how it matters with their hormones. And they have an understanding and an explanation they’re so committed to it. And especially the patients with an eating disorder, because it allows them to avoid that the weighing themselves daily and counting calories and binge eating,
and then starving yourself and trying to go ketotic. And I tell my patients don’t do any of that. I just, you know, there’s so much you can eat. In fact, when you have PCLs and you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t need to starve yourself. You don’t need to go on a calorie deprivation diet. You should actually be eating more because your metabolic rate has to stay high.
So you should be eating six meals a day instead of the tramp, you know, the usual two meals that most people nowadays eat breakfast. So your metabolic rate, doesn’t slow down, have lunch, have dinner, have snacks in between. And they feel so relieved that they’re actually not hungry anymore. Yeah. They’re having food. That’s making them feel good.
And when they start being feeling good, we focus more on how they feel instead of the number. Because I say that with women, the number for all of us can be really emotional. You know, we focus on that number on that length scale and we get so caught up in that and they can be very disheartening for women. And I say,
don’t focus on the number. Let’s focus on how you feel and you’re going to feel, so you’re going to go, it’s a lifestyle. We’re not trying to get you to be like a size zero. We’re trying to get you to feel good. So that also down the road, you don’t have some of the other issues that develop with PCFS like infertility or having an ovulation.
It’s okay. I’m on my son’s computer. So all his friends that FaceTime him at all hours, right? So, um, you were saying DCOS can snowball into other disorders when it goes under undiagnosed. And also when people are stuck on the birth control pill and, you know, they don’t realize that they have PCOS. Like you said earlier, like a portion of your patients are just on birth control and don’t even know if they have P cos then the next thing they know when they get off of the pill,
they’re having fertility issues, their acne they’re gaining weight quickly and it’s a disaster. So we encourage all of our followers to do something about it as soon as they can. So, you know, many women start off taking birth control pills at a very young age. They started at in their teens and then they continue it automatically until they’re ready to start trying to get pregnant,
usually in their late twenties, at most women in their thirties. So they’ve been on that synthetic hormones for over a decade. Usually by the time they’re ready to start their fertility journey. And that’s not the time where you want to start being diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance because hormonal imbalances don’t just correct themselves within a month or two months. It takes time.
It’s a lifestyle change. As we’ve been talking about it’s supplements, which are important to feed the ovaries and to help balance them out it’s exercise. And then at sometimes prescriptions as well, and all of those steps take time and effort. And so if you wait until you’re in your thirties, when you’re ready to start trying to get pregnant, to suddenly stop the pill and figure out you don’t actually ovulate,
you have this hormonal imbalance. And what many women do is instead of doing the steps that the three of us are talking about right now, they end up rushing off to a fertility doctor who does IVF or does a lot of, you know, unnecessary medical intervention. Whereas if they had actually paused their twenties at a younger age and sorted these things out and worked with their doctors and partnership to help themselves,
they usually, by the time they’re ready to start their fertility journey, they’re doing amazing. They’re having regular cycles. They’re obsoleting, their health is better than ever. So I’m really pleased when my patients are excited to go on that journey with me and prepare for the next chapters in their life, you know, instead of waiting till the last minute. Yeah.
And it takes a lot of resilience and patience because there is the blood work that, you know, when gluten and dairy free can work for a lot of people, but then to go further and have your blood work done and take the right supplements. And all of the things that you help with your patients do takes a lot of patients. Yeah. Because you have to keep on like,
like get, you don’t get better in one day or in one week I was suddenly take this gradual process Step at a time. Yeah. You overcoming it. It’s so important. And what happens is sometimes if patients go to their primary care doctor after seeing us or another doctor you’re told you don’t have PCLs, your periods are fine. Like your blood tests are all normal,
but oftentimes you don’t see the abnormal blood tests of the very elevated testosterone levels or the very elevated DHA or the insulin resistance until the patient’s in a severe case, but there’s a whole spectrum. So when patients get their blood tests, you know, with their doctors, they need to look at the range of those blood tests and not just focus on is that abnormal or normal,
but they should look at where they fall in the range. Because for example, like the testosterone they’ll want to be on the high end of normal. You want to be in the middle range. If your estrogen levels are very low, you have low progesterone. You want to kind of start seeing the rate of it and understanding that you have to focus on not the absolute thick,
abnormal or normal, which is what a lot of doctors do, but to look at where do you fall in the range. And then also looking at the clinical pictures, because I tell my patients, I don’t treat numbers. I treat a patient. So if you come in with cystic acne and the jawline, and then the periorbital region, and you have hair thinning,
which I can physically see on you and hear growth on your body and your testosterone level is normal. I’m still going to treat you like you’re at PCLs because you have PCLs. And so even though your testosterone level, isn’t drastically elevated if you have PCLs and I don’t, and if both of us have the same testosterone level, I’m not going to manifest for the periorbital acne and the haircutting being you will.
And so it’s important for them to be educated on the significance of those lab results and not just looking at them in a very absolute way, and to ask the questions, if their doctor’s like, you know, well, where do I fall in the range and being explained where they are. Absolutely. Oftentimes it’s difficult to find a doctor who’s being receptive to,
um, a patient who’s being a little pushy and saying, not pushy, but like, what’s the word, uh, assertive and saying, you know, I’m on the higher range of my testosterone. What do you mean I’m normal? Like, I feel this way. And that way, what would you say to a patient who, um, is struggling to communicate with their doctor?
I think at that point you have to really be your own advocates. Um, so if you feel like you’re in a facility or in a situation with a doctor where you’re being rushed out the door, the doctor’s not spending time, educating you, listening to you, you need to find a doctor. That’s going to listen to what you’re saying to them.
So if you feel like you go in and you, as a woman say, I’m struggling with weight, um, you know, I’m, I’m not having, I’m feeling low energy. I’m having skin issues. And at the doctor’s like, Oh, well just go see your dermatologist and eat better. And your prescription for the pill see you in a year.
That’s when you say, see you later and never go back again, because that’s the doctor. That’s not listening to you. And they are lots of doctors that, you know, are, I feel very, um, supportive and are willing to take the steps to listen to patients and also work in partnership. Like, you know, medicine is tricky because we don’t have a lot of time sometimes in our schedule to spend an hour per patient.
We don’t. So I try to work in the team with my patients. I work in conjunction with nutritionists, with acupuncturists, because I do think there’s a role for Eastern and Western medicine in balancing out hormones. So if we combine Eastern and Western medicine and we look at the whole patient, that’s when we see the most optimal results for our patients. And so I try to incorporate a whole team where they are working with me,
with my nurses, with nutritionists, with the acupuncturist, and we see better results. If we do it as a team approach, I, I completely agree. I did. Acupuncture was the best thing ever. Tell us more about the Eastern approach that you’re incorporating in your practice. When we think about correcting hormone imbalances, the best approach is to combine Eastern and Western medicine.
So for me, as a Western doctor, I can help my patients by giving them the diagnosis, doing the blood tests, doing the ultrasounds, and then starting them on a path in terms of diet, exercise, nutrition, and supplements, and then also prescriptions as needed. But then the Eastern part of it is an incredible adjunct where we work with acupuncturists who work with patients directly on their hormone imbalance.
So I explained to my patients that acupuncture works by applying needle points and they apply it over your ovaries and it improves blood flow to your ovaries. And we know the premise of PCLs as a very in distinction where you don’t necessarily all relate every month. So having needles that are put in and by, you know, a certified acupuncturist who knows what they’re doing can really help improve your own body’s blood flow to areas that are blocked.
And then oftentimes supplements, which we’ve started touching upon are very important in lieu of prescriptions to help with hormone imbalances. So I tell my patients like ova, Saul, and also tall Dem chasteberry vitamin D magnesium. All of these have a role in this. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re giving patients 20 plus herbs and supplements, because then that becomes a little bit tricky to do.
So I encourage my patients to, I try to clean up their supplement regimen for them and say, okay, let’s get you ones that I know will really work for you. I love oversaw. I feel like that’s my go to for all of my patients, That is the it’s on our table right now. Oh, let me see which you have.
But I typically take the PA the packet form, you know, it, in my cup, they sent us a bottle. You know, it comes at a canister, but I find it more difficult to, you know, No for patients. It’s I tell my patients have acetone is like my big one. And then Dem is another one that I really like to use Demond by text because that lowers testosterone in women.
And then also magnesium is so important because that helps with insulin resistance. And then the acupuncturists can give them some herbs and supplements that can also improve their own body’s production of progesterone. They can help them with oscillation and then as needed. We sometimes start our patients on prescriptions because, you know, if women are coming in and they’re struggling with hormonal acne,
they need something to help them with that. And so I have no problem writing them a prescription for spironolactone, but I always tell them our goal will be eventually that you’re not going to need prescriptions for me. You will be doing, you’ll be getting the results, do your diet, your exercise through your supplements, and you won’t need these prescriptions, but we’ll start you off on them to give you some relief at the skin changes.
And then we’ll try to gradually get you off of them, Right? Because it does take time to see results, especially even just changing your diet to gluten and dairy free. It’ll take maybe a month for some people to see results in their skin, really transform, like to see their skin really transforming. It’s not like a one week type of thing.
And of course, if you have horrible cystic acne, you want to do something about it quickly. Yeah. Now, when you were first diagnosed with PCLs and then you made the diet changes, did you go culture as a patient with gluten, or did you kind of do an 80 20? How did you transition? I was in college, so I was just doing the best I could as a freshman or sophomore in college.
So I wasn’t perfect at it, but I kept at it for a year and I really like it’s, it was a struggle to accept that I had to change my diet. You know, I was sad about it. And then I saw the results and I was happy about it. And then I would accidentally eat it and going through the motions of telling my family and friends and having them get on board with me took some time.
So it wasn’t a cold Turkey thing, but I could say after one year of doing it, I was really comfortable. I knew exactly what to tell people when they’d ask me about it. I knew exactly what to order at a restaurant. And I was totally comfortable with the whole diet change. And at that point I saw great results. And then I added a little bit of dairy back in.
Cause I convinced myself I’d be fine. And I started getting cystic acne and I was like, wow, just one piece of cheese for breakfast, like with my breakfast is doing this to me. So then I cut that out completely. And now I’m fine. I tried milk for the first time today. I mean, I’m so I coffee shop. It’s so good.
Yeah. I like oatmeal better than Alvin love now. I think it’s a great it’s as close. I think it tastes better than milk. It’s so good. Yeah. Our personal favorite is a pea protein milk it’s just made from peas and ripple. Moat is the brand. Yeah, it’s really good. And like, they have like vanilla flavor, but it’s unsweetened.
So there’s like no added sugar. So it’s still like zero grams of sugar and just a high protein with like a little bit of carbs, I think. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s eight grams of protein and the flex milk is also around eight grams of protein. We like to pack on the protein, But it’s so wonderful that you have this educational tool for people to come to.
And your information is really spot on. It’s very impressive. As a physician, when I see somebody that’s truly not medical doing this and your information is so accurate now I’m not referring my patients to your Instagram account because I feel like you’re an attitude where they can get support. And I think that’s the, that’s what you really provide. You provide education,
but you also provide them a support system where they realize, okay, I’m not in this alone. I have it group. That’s surrounding me. That’s also going through this. I love the comments. I mean, your patients or your clients are really well engaged and they’re very passionate about what you’re putting out there for them. And it’s really, it’s when you talk about the sisterhood,
it’s a great name because it really is a sisterhood to get this, to get the results. And you’re, you’re providing an amazing service to women all over the country. And I’m so happy that access to you. Thanks so much. Thank you. I studied to be a dietician, but a lot of this stuff, wasn’t in the books that we were studying at school.
So, you know, going outside of that and like learning about functional medicine from doctors and experiencing everything and now I’m channeling it into Instagram and I’m so happy that we could have, we could connect with you through social media, social media. Yeah. I mean, that was so nice of you to say, like that brought a lot of joy, listening to that.
And the same goes to you because you’re bringing a different approach than, you know, a lot of other doctors out there with, you know, first a diet and lifestyle change, and you don’t want to keep your patients on some sort of prescription longterm. The whole point is to eventually get them on, you know, a natural path. So that’s,
I want to say the same praise to you for like thank you for spreading that, to Empowering your patients, to take it upon themselves, to heal their bodies. Thank you. It’s important because in the medical world, like when we talk about gluten free, we were trained in medical school, way back when that you only tell patients not to have gluten,
if they’re have true celiac disease, but that’s, that’s a very small percentage of people, but I feel like almost everyone can benefit from removing gluten from their diet. But in relation to inflammation, I even encourage my patients who are, peri-menopausal like myself or menopausal to start eliminating gluten from their diet. Also help with insulin resistance because insulin resistance doesn’t just come up with PCLs.
It comes up as you get through your forties and you start noticing changes in your metabolic rate and in your fifties. And so I feel like in every room, every milestone in a women’s life, that there’s a big benefit to removing gluten from their diets at a young age, especially if they can start it, it becomes a lifestyle instead of having to do this when you’re much older.
Absolutely. And it’s easier to adapt to and just Dodge the gluten when you’re going, please, you know, you’re cause you’re used to it And it’s true. Like there’s always like a situation where like maybe the, the medical field hasn’t confirmed it, but like, it’s just that, like You, maybe you feel better you’re you had foggy brain. There’s always something that’s kind of Naturally like it comes out that,
Oh yeah, that was the case. I don’t know. It’s just, it’s it’s always like time with time. There’s more and more information is out there and we learn about what’s actually like, yeah. Yeah. And I’m certainly not waiting around for the perfect research study to come out, linking PCLs to gluten and dairy free. Like I might as well practice,
what’s working for so many women. All our patients see results, so they know it works. So you don’t need a scientific study of, you know, at Harvard university to tell you, yes, this works like you, you do it clinically. And by clinical symptoms, you can see the benefit. So, you know, circling back to the initial question,
you’d asked me earlier about what should a patient do with our doctors. I really feel the patient should be their own advocate. So telling the doctor, you know, I really would like to get my hormone blood testing done. Can you please do some tests for me and asking for those test results and then looking at those results and you know, setting up your next appointment to discuss those results with a doctor and seeing if they’re amenable to explaining those results to you getting a pelvic ultrasound.
And you know, the ultrasound does confusing because patients seem to think that PCs means that cyst on their ovaries, but that’s not the case. It’s named very poorly sensor Faena fluid collections that develop on the ovaries. But the classic finding on a pelvic ultrasound, isn’t an actual cyst on the ovary, but it’s those small follicles on your ovaries that are called follicles that carry eggs.
And in women with PCLs, the follicles are all about the same size ovaries, typically a little bit enlarged the follicles have a perlite necklace appearance on the ovaries. So many doctors, again, who are not versed with hormone imbalances will do an ultrasound and say, Oh, your ultrasound’s normal. But it really isn’t normal. When I do the ultrasounds, I show it to them.
I say, yes, you don’t have cysts on your ovaries, but that’s not the diagnosis. It’s the small black follicles and look at how shaped. And this typically happens when you don’t ovulate. And I show them how they have an excess amount of follicles compared to normal. So it’s educating patients and then finding doctors that are, that are educated in this field because it’s not black or white,
it’s a big spectrum. Have you seen your patients reverse these ovarian cysts after changing their diet and lifestyle? Cause it’s certainly happened to me in many of mine. Yes. We see the results. It’s remarkable to see the results. I mean, first of all, clinically they’ll come in. Their skin is better. They lost weight. They’re getting better.
They used to be seeing doctors, IBS and SIBO and got health issues. They no longer need to see the gastroenterologist. Their sleep is better. Their mood is better clinically. I it’s night and day for them. They come in like so relieved and thankful that they, that they finally feel better and they feel normal again. Or they, or they now know what normal feels.
And then we start to see that on their blood test. If we’re doing blood tests on our patients, we’ll draw them every four to six months and kind of follow them to see how they’re responding. And on the blood tests, without any prescriptions, you can see a drastic improvement in their roles, which is a nice way to show them the results.
So they know it’s not only how they feel, but we have data points to say, look, you’ve actually made a difference. Like look at your numbers. There’s so much better. And then even on ultrasound, we’ll start to see that patients will have a variety in the follicle size. We start to see that they’re actually ovulating again, they’re getting their cycles on their own.
And it’s, it’s really wonderful to see the journey that our patients go on. Amazing. That’s awesome. Incredible. A lot of people don’t believe that that’s even possible because they’re so depressed by the whole matter and lack of information. Yeah. And that’s like kind of deters them from taking that first step. But you know, if they just knew that everything is reversible and they can manage it,
overcome it and you know, it’s so empowering, easier to kind of take that first step maybe. Yeah. Then they can hop on board. They’re like, you know what, maybe this does work. Maybe there is a light at the end of this tunnel. I know what I tell our patients like with PCLs, there’s such a broad spectrum. So we focus on the individual patients in my practice.
Everyone is treated differently. It depends on what areas of PCs they’re struggling with. So if their main issue is skin changes and the androgens being elevated, we focus on that as our primary focus, if it’s weight and we focus on that being our main focus, if it’s infertility, there’s a whole treatment plan for that. So it really worries on each person’s symptoms in terms of the medications that we prescribe and the treatment plan.
But regardless of their symptoms, the focal point is always going back to their diet and their lifestyle and supplements. Whether they’re coming for infertility, androgens, acne, weight, gain, irregular periods, PMs. I tell them we have to start off by doing the diet. Like if you’re not going to commit to this diet change, no amount of prescriptions I give you will give you the outcomes that are favorable.
It’s such a good starting point. Yeah. Because I think like medicine, traditional medicine is treating patients from the outside in. So patient comes to you with a problem. You give them a prescription and off you go, but true medicine and true healing happens when you look at the root cause and you’ve worked from the inside out. And that’s what it has to be.
And, you know, that’s where functional medicine comes in. But sometimes, you know, with all due respect, a lot of times when patients do go to functional medicine doctors, they come to me with 10, 15 pages of blood tests that they’ve done. And a lot of the blood tests are excessive and unnecessary. And so I tell my patients and caution them.
Like you let’s focus on the blood tests that really are important that address your metabolic rate and address your hormones. And if a functional doctor is ordering all these pages of blood tests, and they’re saying, you need this, please make sure you sit down with them and ask them to explain you each and every one of those tests and why they order them and what the significance of these results are.
And also being mindful about not being inundated so many herbs and supplements, because then it’s not sustainable, right? So it’s better to have like a simple clean plan with a few supplements that work that give our patients outcome and the diet, and that works the best. So with you, I was so overwhelmed at one point with all of the things that I could be doing to heal my PCOS.
And I certainly couldn’t do them all at once, especially while being in college. So going gluten and dairy free was the first and easiest step. Um, huh. It’s the least expensive least expensive. Yeah. Fire. You could buy a lot of things. You can just like go gluten and dairy free it’s yeah. And it’s like, well, it’s just getting like potatoes or rice and like steak chicken.
That’s just like basic staples. You know, like if you just eat it right, like, you know, high protein to carb ratio and just keep it clean There’s there’s complications. And we try to help everyone with the lifestyle change. That’s what the sisterhood is all about. Anyways. You know, helping them adapt to being gluten and dairy free and helping them adapt to a lifestyle that is suitable for PCOS and their type of PCO.
S um, yeah, it’s, it’s hard. It’s not as simple as like telling them to swap their bread out. But at the end of the day, when you’re used to being gluten dairy free, you’re like, it’s as simple as swapping your bread out. Like, it’s not so bad. It’s not so bad. Especially if you live in nowadays,
there’s so much access for everybody and any budget to become believable and free. And it’s very accessible. That’s a common question too, is like, Oh, but it’s expensive. Or, but we prove that like, it’s only like $15 a day for both of us In California. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s to eat gluten and dairy free, fully breakfast,
lunch and dinner. I mean, rice is gluten free. That’s cheap. Yeah. Or like, like there’s no, like, I think most of the time people think, Oh, I have to get now gluten free products. I have to look for gluten free, but not like, there’s a lot of things that are naturally gluten free. You just maybe have to put them more put more than in your diet.
You dive into the process, gluten free foods, it gets expensive. And it’s also not good for your blood sugar and defeats the whole purpose of the whole thing. Yeah. Because now you’re reducing inflammation, but now your blood sugar is a mess because, you know, gluten free Oreos, it doesn’t mean that you’re doing it, right. Yes. You have to be careful.
Right. Dr. Mercy, do you want to mention anything before we sign off? How can our followers find you? Okay, thank you. So you can find it online. So our website is www dot dr. And mercy. So D R a M E R S i.com. And I’m doing telemedicine appointments now as well. So a lot of our patients who don’t live in Los Angeles or can’t come and see us for an appointment,
we’re doing virtual appointments also where we can guide our patients on what lab test order, where their doctors that are physically closer to where they live and tripping blood test results for them. And then more importantly, you know, helping them with how to be their own advocates and learn to discuss this various symptoms with their physicians. But I’m really excited that you guys are having me on the show on this podcast,
because it’s such a great opportunity for combining like a medical medical doctor with, you know, people who are just like you, two are so relatable and you make it so accessible for everyone to implement the changes and see the results. So I’m really impressed again. And I wanted to share that with you, and that’s why I was so excited to be on your podcast.
Thank you. And we love to have you back on the podcast. Seriously. We are so happy to have you with us, and we really appreciate your kind words. It’s very validating Would be great. Yeah. I do think like it’s nice. Like, you know, this is a nice general introduction, but I do think it would be nice to have like sometimes like different podcasts focusing on fertility.
So for patients who are now trying to get pregnant with PCs, what are the steps that they can do from step a, all the way through IVF, um, to, you know, have a plan in place. And I think with patients, but I found is the most important for my patients is to feel empowered. So instead of feeling like they’ve been given a diagnosis that feels overwhelming,
I break it down for them. And I say, let’s use this information to empower you. So now we can make choices and we can have a plan in place to get results. And that goes for any of the symptoms of PCOS, whether it’s fertility or gut health or weight, having a plan with your doctor and then using a team approach is what I encourage everyone who’s listening to do.
So combining Eastern and Western medicine, and also your own resources, including, you know, support from podcasts and support from supplements and a support group is really essential to help you get results. Yeah, absolutely. We want to make peace us, like no one in the world. It’s not like we don’t want it to be forgotten. It’s like, it needs to be in the spotlight,
you know, Lifestyle change as the first line of approach for PCs and PCs, weight loss. We want people to know that lifestyle change is the first line And like that it’s not some sort of like, you know, um, like, uh, like something that’s doesn’t have research or something that doesn’t have enough light on it. Like we want to bring that light so that it’s just like it’s in the front of everybody’s eyes,
right? Like empowering patients, empowering women with PCOM to feel confident and to feel that they actually can get through this and have a much better lifestyle, longer term by knowing the differences. Yes. Well, I can’t wait to have you on our podcast again, sometime I would love to talk fertility with you. That’s definitely something that we haven’t touched on yet.
Yeah. And something like we would love to learn from you as well. Yeah, Absolutely. Maybe we can reconnect again and we’ll make that our next session together. Yes. For sure. Or it’s happening. We’ll make sure we make sure it’s happening right after this. So you’re going to make beautiful babies, but if your parents are listening, I’m going to nag you guys because you guys are so cute.
Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. We’re not planning one yet. What’s that? How long have you guys been together for one year now? Well, we’ve been married for one year, but we’ve been together for like four years. We’re thinking of having Basie babies in like five years. Yeah. Like three, four years. Four or five years.
Five. Yeah, probably five. So, well, we’ll start working on you say your family, they’re listening. They’re excited to know that there’ll be grandchildren in a few years. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you So much, dr. Mercy, and thank you for it. Have a lovely evening. And thank you for again for having me on. Of course.
Bye bye. If you enjoyed listening to this podcast, you have to come check out the sisterhood. It’s my monthly membership site, where sisters just like you are learning how to move through the stages of PCLs from stage one, cold and alone at the doctor’s office to stage five, nailing the PCs lifestyle, gluten and dairy free. Get ready to finally feel in control of your body.
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