Welcome, lovely ladies!
Today, we’re diving deep into the world of birth control options specifically tailored to women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! We’ll explore ways to treat PCOS while also preventing pregnancy because, let’s face it, multitasking is the name of the game. So, grab a cup of tea, get cozy, and let’s begin our journey towards hormonal harmony!
Dr. Jolene Brighten is the author of Beyond The Pill and is a prominent leader in women’s medicine and the emerging science of Post-Birth Control Syndrome, which is the study of the effects of hormonal birth control on female health.
In this episode, Dr. Brighten empowers women with PCOS to take control of their health and hormones. She explains how the studies done on birth control did not include women with PCOS, and why it’s important for us to be aware of the effects that it can have on our body, even when we decide to get off of the pill.
First things first, my courageous PCOS warriors. Before we dive into the abundance of birth control options available, let’s briefly review what PCOS is and the common symptoms you may experience. PCOS is a hormonal disorder characterized by polycystic ovaries, irregular periods, weight gain, hair loss, and even insulin resistance. While birth control doesn’t directly treat PCOS, it can help manage its symptoms while preventing pregnancy. Two birds, one stone!
Dr. Brighten gives advice for Cysters who choose to be on the pill as well and talks about what they can do to support their body, starting with diet and lifestyle. She also discusses the role of carbs in how we sleep and shares her delicious turmeric latte recipe from her book that helps her patients get better sleep.
Check out Dr. Jolene Brighten’s book (www.beyondthepillbook.com), where she talks about the birth control pill and its impact on our health including the inflammation created by the pill that sabotages our hormones. Her book also includes a 30-day action plan with meal plans, recipes, and tools for success.
Our trusty hormonal duo, estrogen, and progestin, play a significant role in balancing those PCOS-related hormonal rollercoasters. Combined hormonal birth control methods, such as the pill, patch, or ring, contain both of these mighty hormones. They work together to regulate your menstrual cycle, reduce androgen levels, improve acne, and minimize excess hair growth. Fortunately, these options also prevent pregnancy, giving you peace of mind.
Weight gain can be a frustrating symptom of PCOS, but fear not! Certain types of birth control can actually help manage this issue. Birth control methods that contain a progestin called drospirenone have been found to not only prevent weight gain but can even contribute to a small reduction in weight. Consider chatting with your healthcare provider about this progestin superhero!
Hello, luscious locks! Hair loss can be an unsettling aspect of PCOS, but birth control might just come to the rescue. Some options, like contraceptives containing the progestin drospirenone and the active ingredient spironolactone, have shown promise in combating hair loss. So not only can they prevent pregnancy, but they may also promote hair growth. Now that’s a win-win situation!
Insulin resistance is a sneaky villain that often accompanies PCOS. Progestin-only birth control methods, such as the mini-pill or hormonal IUD, are excellent options for ladies with insulin resistance. These methods do not contain estrogen, which can worsen insulin sensitivity. By choosing progestin-only options, you’re taking a step in the right direction to conquer both PCOS and insulin resistance.
PCOS and its partner in crime, type 2 diabetes, often go hand in hand. If you’re one of the brave warriors juggling both conditions, fear not! There’s a birth control option that can support you. The patch, which combines estrogen and progestin, has been found to have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Time to add this patch of goodness to your arsenal!
For our ladies with high blood pressure, it’s crucial to choose a birth control method that won’t exacerbate this condition. Progestin-only methods, such as the mini-pill or hormonal IUD, come to the rescue once again! These options don’t raise blood pressure levels, allowing you to manage your blood pressure while keeping unwanted pregnancies at bay.
Sometimes, progestin takes center stage. If you’re not a fan of estrogen or have certain contraindications, progestin-only birth control methods may be your go-to option. From the mini-pill to implants, injections, or the hormonal IUD, these alternatives provide excellent pregnancy prevention without the estrogen content. Remember to consult your healthcare provider to find the best fit for you!
Ah, the ever-elusive quest for the perfect birth control method! While birth control is a blessing for avoiding unwanted pregnancies, it’s essential to understand the potential side effects for women with PCOS. Some birth control methods could have side effects that worsen certain symptoms of PCOS, such as weight gain, acne, or mood changes. Don’t fret, though! Your healthcare provider can help navigate this journey and find the ideal fit for you.
It’s crucial to remember that side effects can vary from person to person. Some women may experience minimal discomfort while others may find it more challenging to adjust. However, don’t let that deter you from preventing unwanted pregnancy and managing PCOS symptoms. By discussing your concerns with your healthcare provider, they can help you find a birth control method that corresponds with your body’s needs. Together, you can conquer PCOS and find a birth control method that prevents pregnancy while minimizing any side effects.
You’re now armed with knowledge, dear PCOS warriors! Remember, birth control can be a powerful ally in managing PCOS symptoms while preventing unwanted pregnancies. From tackling weight gain and hair loss to promoting hormone balance, there’s a birth control option out there tailored to suit your needs. So, have a heart-to-heart with your healthcare provider, weigh your options, and take the leap toward a happier, healthier you! You’ve got this, and I’m cheering you on every step of the way!
GIVEAWAY! We are giving away 2 copies of Dr. Jolene Brighten’s book, Beyond the Pill, follow us on IG (@pcos.weightloss) for details on how to win!
Join us in The Cysterhood, a community of women learning how to manage PCOS & lose weight, Gluten and Dairy Free! (bit.ly/The-Cysterhood-Membership)
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Well, we, we don’t drink that. Why it has Oh my God. What’s going to happen to me. Nothing. It’s a supplement for women with PCOS. I mix it with water and it doesn’t taste like anything. Oh, that Ovasitol is a special blend of inositols and it helps heal. My cravings, regulate my period and improve my mood.
So don’t actually drink it. Oh my God. I’m getting a period. No, it just helps with blood sugar control for many women with PCOS, like me, insulin resistance is one of the root issues underneath all these awful symptoms. Here’s how it works. Babe. When we eat, it’s broken down into sugar and the lovely insulin hormone takes that and gives it to ourselves to get burned up.
But when our cells are resistant, insulin is left, floating around in the bloodstream, making us think we’re still hungry, leading to awful cravings, not just that insulin triggers high testosterone, which affects my period and my mood. So I’m not getting my period. No, babe. You’re not. But I am. This episode is brought to you by pure spectrum CBD,
and I have been taking CBD and we are rolling. I’m holding the tincture right now. Pauline, 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. This sisterhood one word at checkout for 20% off Natali and hold her for 30 seconds longer. While the sisters 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 dietician 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. Welcome everybody. Yes. Welcome sisters to a new episode of the podcast, a Cyster and her Mister. We have dr. Jolene brighten here to join us.
Yay. We’re so excited. Thank you so much for coming on, dr. Brian. Yeah. Thanks for having me. I love that a sister and her mr. Just a brief introduction before we launch into this podcast. Just so everyone in the audience knows who you are. If you don’t already, if you don’t know already and you haven’t read her book already,
dr. Julian brain is the author of beyond the pill and is a prominent leader in women’s medicine and the emerging signs of post birth control syndrome, setting the effects of hormonal birth control on female health. She’s a fierce patient advocate and completely dedicated to uncovering the root cause of hormonal imbalances. Dr. Brighton women worldwide To take control of their health and their hormones.
She is an international speaker clinical educator medical advisor within the tech community and considered a leading authority on women’s health. Her work has been featured in the New York post Forbes, cosmopolitan Huffington post bustle, the guardian and ABC news. Great introduction. I know isn’t that amazing? That’s pretty follows. So I’m like nice, well done. And just for the sisters,
we want to have dr. Jolene brighten on because she’s a prominent leader in this, uh, in this field, but also as most of you know, tomorrow’s PCs awareness month and we’ve kind of wanted to start this month off with a very, very prominent leader in this field and want to kind of spread the information. You know, there are always many questions about birth control and like whether that should be the first thing or second thing.
So we kind of wanted to, you know, spread that awareness like from the first day of the month, That’s right. It is, it’s always the GoTo. You have PCs and what most, most women with PCs here, if TCUs you’re infertile or it’s going to be really, really hard to get pregnant and birth control is your only option. Have a great day.
That’s about it, right? That’s the appointment. What would you say? You see like a large number of women with PCs? Oh yes. So, you know, one in 10 women are, you know, it’s expected that one in 10 self-identified women are expected to have PCOS. And so it does make up a large portion of the population. And so we have to keep in mind that there is the people we’ve diagnosed and there’s the people we haven’t even diagnosed yet.
Who may be put on, got put on birth control for regular periods, or maybe they were having acne. They’re having other symptoms. And because their doctor is still stuck in the archaic mindset that anyone with PCs must be overweight or obese, they sometimes don’t get screened or they don’t get their symptoms taken seriously. Or because there’s just this magic pill I can pass you and make everything go away and fix you.
They don’t even ask the question as to why she has those symptoms, which is a big part of the work I do. Look, if you want to use the pill, I have a problem with that. You want to get an IUD, a patch, nigger, bring whatever works for you for pregnancy prevention. I’m going to support you in that.
But when you’re being passed, these hormones as a fix, as a fixed to your symptoms, and no one’s asked, why do you have those symptoms? Or what else could be going on or talking to you about the nuances of your individual, his needs and your body going on that birth control. We’ve got a big problem, right? Yeah, totally.
And oftentimes when they get off of birth control, they find that their symptoms come back. All of them with a vengeance part of both post birth control syndrome. So post birth control syndrome can be the return of symptoms that you had before, which for completely or mildly suppressed birth control, doesn’t always work to suppress things like acne. Um, so it can be returned of the symptoms you had before,
or it can be brand new symptoms that you never experienced before. So for some women, they never had acne. As an example, they get off birth control. Now they suddenly have acne or they get off birth control and now they have headaches. They get off birth control. Now they’re starting to have gallbladder symptoms coming up so it can look like a lot of different things because hormonal birth control just like your natural hormones doc on receptors that exist throughout the entire body,
which means they can impact every single system in the body. And this is a problem with the compartmentalization of medicine. Now it’s great. When you need a specialist to have the person that’s like kidneys, I’m all about kidneys. I just do kidney. Yay. But for the most part, for like the day to day stuff we struggle with, or just getting into with our body,
that disconnect can be a disservice where you go to your gynecologist and you’re saying, okay, I’ve come off of birth control. And now I’m having gastrointestinal issues. I’m having like diarrhea or bloating. And they say, well, that’s not my wheelhouse. You’re going to go to the gastroenterologist. And that can’t have anything to do with birth control because for control reproductive,
organs, organs, lady parts, and that’s where they, they rest things. Instead of saying, no, actually there might be something to that, which we know through studies that there, there is, you know, women often get dismissed or they don’t get their needs met, or they don’t fall up going to that next specialist because let’s face it.
Nobody wants to bounce from doctor to doctor or go to these additional appointments. I say that as a doctor where the worst patients, we are the worst, but you know, that can happen as well. So with post birth control syndrome, maybe it’s what you had before. Maybe it’s what you had before mixed with some new things or maybe it’s entirely new symptoms coming back.
What does post birth control syndrome typically look like? And how do you treat it in your practice? So Leno is saying post birth control syndrome. It shows up, you know, typically four to six months after stopping hormonal birth control, it can be sooner. It can be later. And something really important for women to recognize is that first belief that you have when you stop the pill,
you pull the ring and you don’t replace it. You don’t put a new patch on, that’s not an actual period. So the entire time you’re on birth control, you are not having a period. There is no cycle. If there is, then you might get pregnant and that’s not how it’s designed to work. So there’s no cycle. There’s no period.
Very important. If you have PCOS, because when your doctor says that we fixed your period, and then you come off that first bleed, that’s a, that’s a withdrawal bleed. Then you have no period after that, then women often think, okay, well the pill fixed me. And I, the only way I can be fixed is while I’m on it.
Well, no, it didn’t actually fix your cycle. So with polycystic ovarian syndrome, the loss of menstruation after stopping birth control is expected. So if you had a regular periods where you were diagnosed with TCUs, when you come off, we expect it to take six months to see your period. So with that, wouldn’t be Post birth control syndrome. That is PCs.
If you’ve had that diagnosis before, if you haven’t had the diagnosis before now, you’ve got to go. You are in that P that PBCS, that post birth control syndrome limbo, while you’re waiting to get that diagnosis. So if you lose your period after birth control, we don’t want to just assume this is part of post birth control syndrome, and it will come back.
We want to work it up and see what else could be going on. For example, hormonal birth control impacts your thyroid. So it could have led to a thyroid issue that could be the root of your regular periods. But for some women there is, we can’t find anything else going on. There’s just a hiccup and how their brain and ovaries are talking because for however long you’ve been on birth control.
So this is how it stops you from oscillating. Everyone listen up because none of us get told this. And if you got told this, that’s awesome. You have a great provider, but control works at your brain level. So it works at the brain level to stop the brain from secreting hormones that then talk to your ovaries. So when you come off of birth control,
it can take some time to reestablish that it can be three months, six months. We know it’s depo, Provera shot that can take up to 18 months sometimes for you to start emulating again. And that can be true for other forms of birth control, just depending on your body. We don’t have great studies on the outliers of like, we’ve got the young,
healthy population, no preexisting condition. That’s who we wanted to use birth control for, by the way, if you have PCs, you don’t fall into that camp. What we don’t have the study on is, well, what about the women who do lose their period afterwards? And like, you know, everything was normal. We don’t have a giant,
large, robust study on that. So we have to understand that most of the studies, we were looking at a young, healthy population. So when you come off of birth control at 40, you, you weren’t in the studies. We weren’t, we weren’t thinking about you when we did that research, right? So with post birth control syndrome, there’s the period problems that can come up.
There’s the skin problems. We can see acne, cystic, acne, oily skin, hair loss. We can also see issues with eczema, psoriasis, weird rashes that seem to come out of nowhere. That’s because our hormones are involved with our immune system as well. So you can see that piece, new onset, neurological symptoms. So migraines, headaches,
brain fog. Yeah, anxiety, depression. So with that, you know, in beyond the pill, I go through a quiz that it’s like, okay, let’s get dialed in with what’s going on with your hormones. And then we take really this five prong approach. And that doesn’t mean that everyone needs a whole lot of focus in every single area,
but every area needs to be considered. Number one is what’s your hormone imbalance? What was your hormone imbalance? Maybe when you went on birth control, that happens more in a one on one visit within the book. It’s more like, okay, what’s going on, right. What’s on fire right now. And let’s handle that, you know, as it relates to peace us,
you know, the one of those prongs is metabolic health. So hormonal birth control is inflammatory. It can lead to blood sugar with insulin resistance, blood sugar dysregulation, and it can lead to cardiovascular issues. So risks coming up with that. So we have to look at that because here’s the thing that like nobody ever really likes to talk about is that if your blood sugar is not right,
none of your hormones are going to be right. So I like to use a hormone pyramid. The foundation is insulin and cortisol and other adrenal hormones. If that foundation isn’t right, right above that to your thyroid, that’s not going to be right, right above. That is your sex hormones. That’s the tippy top. That’s where the symptoms really present.
And we’re like, Oh my God, like I have to handle this. But it really comes down to how is your blood sugar and not everyone. You know, this is a tricky thing with PCs is that people are like, well, not everyone with PCs has insulin resistance. And I only ask the question of, or is it that they’ve got their diet and lifestyle.
So dialed in that that insulin resistance is not presenting. So is it true that not everyone with TCUs has insulin resistance? Of course, that’s true. You guys know people who have been able to put their insulin resistance to check. I have tons of patients who they had insulin resistance. They only use diet and lifestyle. Insulin resistance is in check. So isn’t that like,
not everyone has it. So we don’t talk about that with everyone. Absolutely not like everybody on the planet needs to be evaluated for blood sugar and how their insulin is. Regardless if they have PCs or not. If it doesn’t show up in a lab, everybody listening, please understand. And is one snapshot in time, it might not be showing up.
So what many of us will do is rather than just looking at fasting insulin, even a hemoglobin A1C, which is the average of the last three months or a fasting glucose fasting glucose is like kind of worthless. Um, for the most part, it’s like a quick and dirty screening tool, but if it doesn’t come up, I’m like, you’s not enough to hang our hat on.
We may also do a glucose challenge where we actually have, you consume like 50 grams of glucose, a gross sugary beverage, and then test you over a couple hour period to see how you respond. Because when you fast, your blood sugar might look great. But most of us aren’t going through every single day fasting. At some point, you’re going to put something in your mouth,
right? Yeah. And like statistically speaking, 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance, but like that 30%, how much of that 30% just has it under control. And then we like the impact, like through our Instagram comments and questions that we get, it’s usually all like usually 99% about instant resistance, like the symptoms of hirsutism, which can be linked to insulin resistance and such.
So like, yeah, I would agree that I feel like that’s one of the bigger Sources of like all of our symptoms and also even just the slightest bit of insulin Resistance. Like that’s maybe not detected in blood work can trigger symptoms. And people overlook that often, or doctors are often overlooking that or not even checking for blood sugar dysregulation and just handing over it.
Well, cause sometimes they’ll look at you and say, well, are you overweight? You’re not, you can’t have insulin resistance. And that’s why I say like, that’s our cake like that is the, I I’ll see these doctors who are like posting about body positivity and how like, Oh, you can’t, um, you can’t judge someone’s health by the way that they look,
and then they’ll have a post about like, Oh, well you only need like all our see video where they’re like, you only need to check insulin if you’re overweight. And I’m like, yo, did you not just hear it? What you said before? Like, there’s a disconnect here because you cannot gauge someone’s health based on their appearance. Their,
you know, they call it lean PCFS. I mean, it’s like a, it’s a tricky thing, right? We like need language, but also that language is the labeling. And that can be detrimental as well, um, to where people are like, Oh, well, you know, I don’t get treated the same because I’m called lean PCs.
So people don’t consider my metabolic health because they’re like, Oh, you’re lean. So when I was getting a, so I was studying for my masters in nutrition, my work was in sarcopenic obesity, which is where you start to lose muscle and you’re replacing it with fat. And these people will have really skinny arms and legs and then central adiposity. So their midsection is where their fat is going to be held and around their organs,
that’s way more dangerous. So this is like, I’m dating myself this like 20 years ago. Okay. 20 years ago, we’re like, Whoa, it’s way more dangerous. We need really need to pay attention to this. So somebody might be wearing an outfit to their doctor or otherwise, and they’re not in a gown, you know, and their arms and the legs appear skinny,
but there’s some belly fat, or maybe there’s not even that much belly fat, but we’ve got that central adiposity where you, you look fine, but around your organs, isn’t fine. And am I going to send you out for a scan and be like, let’s expose you to some radiation and get a scan done and on the, no, we’re not going to do that.
Um, but we can extrapolate from the studies that we just need to test. And we also need to be asking questions like when you eat a high carb meal, so it lets go Thanksgiving meal. If you want to fall asleep afterwards, you’re feeling really tired. Okay. If that’s you, you might have blood sugar dysregulation. If you wake up in the middle of the night.
And so some things night waking is blood sugar issues. Sometimes hot flashes are blood sugar issues. So there’s these symptoms where it’s like, you know, you ha you say, okay, I wake up in the night and I’m feeling kind of anxious. And your doctor’s like, Oh, you need like an Ambien or you need Xanax. You have anxiety.
And really, if we probe a little bit more, what time did you eat dinner? What did you eat for dinner? When you wake up? I want you to try like eating a little bit of like, how, how does that impact you? Because what can happen is that let’s. So we hear doctors will say things like don’t eat carbs after 3:00 PM or donate after six o’clock or you will gain weight.
If you want to lose weight, you have to like eat in this certain time. So maybe generally speaking, some of these things are good information, but on the one-on-one we need to get more individualized. And for some people actually eating carbs like a couple hours before they go to bed, keeps them asleep. Now we couple that with fat and we make it complex carbs,
or sometimes it’s just fat in amino acids. So my book, I had a upgraded turmeric latte, a golden milk latte, um, that upgraded golden milk is because it has amino acids in it that you’re going to have college in. And then it’s got some fat in it as well. And that can actually help you stay asleep. So when our blood sugar gets low,
we spike stress hormones to liberate it, to say, let’s liberate our blood sugar, that can wake us up. They also can make us feel hot and panicky. And so sometimes by actually eating a little closer to bed, we can stay asleep through the night. And that’s one way we can start to control our blood. That’s so interesting. Were you going to ask some speaking of weight gain,
um, after people get off birth control, they find that they’re gaining a lot of weight. Do you think that it’s because they’re insulin resistant or the pill makes them more insulin resistant? Do you feel like that’s related? It’s so tricky with weight and the pill. So there are outliers. There are people who gained significant weight when they go on birth control.
There’s those that are like, we can chalk it up to water weight. There are those that lose weight. When they get on birth control, you add them all together. You take an average and then research says it’s not significant the weight gain to have. And then we see the same thing when people come off of birth control. So a couple of things,
so birth control, um, can impact. So it’s inflammatory, which means that it can make the cells rigid. It can impact how you doc hormones like insulin and thyroid hormone with fat, you’ll Mount a cortisol response and that’s, what’s dampening your inflammation. But cortisol we know is also stress hormones and your body doesn’t know. Um, do I have artificial exogenous hormones that never existed in nature before coming into my system to suppress my ovulation?
Or is there something going on in the environment that means that we are not safe and I need to store fat. Like that is something that your body doesn’t know. Like we’re like gay. We had this birth control and it’s been around for a couple of generations. So it must be safe and your body just adapts to it. And it’s like, we just have to respect.
I mean, it’s like respecting nature overall. When do humans intervene with like NASA changes that like we’ve seen the environment benefits greatly without any consequence whatsoever, it doesn’t happen. There’s going to be some consequences. So there’s that piece. And there’s also the piece of how it affects the thyroid, which we know controls, mood, metabolism, MNCs, gut motility.
So there’s, that piece is well. And so with women, there’s, there can be the alteration and what’s happening. Oral hormones. There can be the inflammation piece. We also don’t know. We know it alters the gut microbiota. We know that ultra gut microbiota can make some people gain weight and have weight issues. We don’t have, we don’t know how to study.
Like, so right now, someone out there is going to listen to this and say, well, she should just shut up. Cause we don’t have a study on that until we have a study to like, prove that, that she shouldn’t talk about it. How are we going to get there? And I can’t wait around for a study to come out and then for researchers to get that into doctor’s hands and then doctors to actually implement that on just anything about the menstrual cycle,
because we know that can take 17 years and I’m not going to be menstruating likely in 17 years. I mean, that’s the reality, right? So we have to really, I mean, as I say that, I’m like, well, maybe I’ve got like some time, but with that, you know, the reality is, is that we have to start validating women’s questions sooner.
But we also have to start just having these conversations because when medicine comes in and says, well, we don’t have a study to validate your story. So just shut up. That’s a disservice to women. And that is a throwback to the same stuff that they have been doing since the inception of medicine leave women out of the conversation. Women are just small men.
So just treat them like that. They’re just the inferior version of a man’s body. Oh, don’t talk about women’s bodies. That’s too improper. We won’t even dissect women’s bodies because we don’t need to understand that we can get everything we can from a man, like, and people right now don’t be like that. Yeah, that happened a long time ago,
except that like in like in the 1980s, the hysteria was still a diagnosis that we were giving women. So we have to also understand that like, well, these things may seem like they happen a long time ago. They laid the foundation for a system that continues to not serve women. And we keep saying like, we’ve got to, we’ve got to change the system we need reform.
And someone just recently said to me, the entire foundation is so broken for women that it just needs. We need a jackhammer. We have to dig the whole thing up and start over. Um, that was, that was a medical doctor who said that to me. And I was like, Oh my God, I don’t even know what that looks like,
what that would look like. Yeah. I mean, I totally agree because statistically, they look at the number of dollars spent on research and it’s predominantly male. And like, even like for me as a, as a male, when I heard about birth control and like what it does, like it stops you ovulating stops your cycle and then you explaining that,
Oh, it’s basically sending, like sending these information to your body to start producing these hormones and disconnecting the brain from your ovaries. Like these kinds of things. To me, it sounds crazy that like that subjecting themselves today, or like it’s being handed out like Skittles or something for people with hormonal issues, you know, it’s just like, there’s so much happening to the body when this is being prescribed,
that it should be very carefully taken. Like it should, they should go through like three or four different like options before coming up or like maybe first do this, then do this. Then if none of these work, then we put you on birth control kind of a thing. Yeah. Yeah. Well, there’s a history here though in all of this that most people are not aware of.
So number one is that, uh, women didn’t initially want birth control. It was actually Margaret Sanger, um, with a group of dudes who decided that we needed this, basically there’s, there’s a touch of eugenics in here. So Margaret Sanger, you know, really felt like just favorable, shouldn’t be reproducing. And, um, she, so,
I mean, here’s the thing, like nobody talks about this. I mean, people like have hated me for a long time because I talk about this, but here’s the thing birth control was not born out of this. Like we want women to have rights and be liberated. That’s the, the rebranded marketing we got, it really was born out of the,
we don’t want poor people reproducing and all of these black and Brown bodies like me to slow their roll on these children. And so what they did is they actually brought birth control to Puerto Rico. That’s where they did the initial trials because, and here’s the thing. It was not done with consent. It was not done with a true informed consent. So the initial trial on birth control did not believe women needed a true informed consent.
And they believed that women needed to have their bodies controlled so that they did not create more babies like, and so that’s really what came in and it was exploitive. They exploited the Puerto Rican women and some of them died and that was washed underneath the rug. And then we didn’t talk about it. Then the birth control, you know, was brought in,
there were other trials where a female med students, they wanted to come doctors. They couldn’t stay in med school unless they subjected themselves to taking birth control. It was a lot of coercion. So birth control, this is where it started right now. Look, I did the pill for 10 years. I’m not anti birth control, grateful that I had that available,
but I also did not get the informed consent and informed consent is an ethical obligation to your provider to do exactly what you just said, explain how it works, explain how it might impact you, explain what your other options are and give you options. But most of the time we are still coerced into using birth control. And when you withhold information, so some doctors might listen to this right now and be like,
I do not coerce my patients when you only give them the favorable data and you withhold the unfavorable data, you have coerced them. And when you actually gets to their only option, you haven’t manipulated them into taking a treatment. So that is a big problem. And when birth control stepped onto the scene. And so in the 1950s, we have the trials in the 1960s.
It becomes only if you’re already married because otherwise, you know, we still don’t. We don’t, we don’t get to have like women taking birth control if they’re not married. Um, so was it really about unplanned pregnancies? Was it no is about controlling the female body and that like, you have to get married if you want to have access to this.
And so women actually rejected the O G feminists were like, no, these birth control side effects are horrific. We’re not going to take it. This is just another way to control the female body. It’s making us sick. It’s making us moody. It’s having all these problems. And the, then it went, um, you know, in front of the government and it never really got addressed.
Instead. They remarketed and rebranded it as women’s liberation. And we can’t deny, we started graduating college at a higher rate. We started making more money, like things did change with the introduction of birth control. However, this is the part of history that gets left out of the conversation conveniently. I mean, when I learned that Margaret Sanger met with the KKK to help forward the birth control agenda,
I lost my mind. I was like, Whoa, like, so I come from a large Hispanic family, which is why my, my family’s history with medicine is very different than like my white colleagues. Like they’re, they’re like, Oh, it’s all good doctors help everyone. And I’m like, see what? Like I have family members who had forced sterilization.
So like comment from a different place did me, like we have to be telling the full story here. Does that make birth control the devil? No, but it also means that if it doesn’t work for you, you’re not broken and you’re not the problem. And that we have to start just telling the truth here, because we can’t expect to change a system.
So his doctors me right now, I can’t expect to change a system whose history I won’t even acknowledge or what won’t even discuss. Like how can we improve if we’re just like hush, hush. And I also think it’s a tremendous disservice. So this is part of my dedication and beyond the pill to every woman who went before us so they could show us,
there’s another way to these women who lost their lives. So women who continue to lose our lives cause they don’t get a full park unit informed consent. Like your names should not be forgotten and erased from history because the narrative goes, if we talk about this ugly history or we talk about the side effects, then women will be afraid to not take birth control.
They’re not dumb stop treating women like they’re so dumb. And that the only person who knows what’s best for a woman is the one that wears the white coat. We have to stop that rhetoric. Women should be informed. I’m one of the doctors that’s like, let social media, educate women, led these conversations take place. When you see other doctors saying,
we need more censorship, only doctors should be allowed to teach social media. Only doctors should be allowed to have these conversations. There’s organizations that are coming up being like we are doctors and we will be the ones to police all health information on social media. I’m just scared is it will come up. But like, we can be real here that like,
is there misinformation out there? Yeah, there definitely is. However, I am like I’m of the mindset that I can teach people how to think critically, how to understand their body so well that your doctor can’t Gaslight you and someone on social media can’t either. And that’s where I really think we need to go. It’s stopped saying doctor is gatekeeper to all information.
This happens with PQS. So so much you are, it’s almost as if sometimes that you are left under educated. So you will just do what you’re told. And that’s what propels women to go into, you know, Facebook groups and to go on Instagram and follow accounts and go on YouTube and do their own research. I think that’s phenomenal. My best patients are the ones that like have done all this research and then they bring it back to me and I’m like,
write down your questions. Let’s go through them because some of this information is 100% true, but it’s not true for you. So let’s sort the basket and let’s go through that. So I’m, I’m all for like having the information out there. When I see misinformation, I don’t go and dog on people, I don’t go and be like, you’re not a doctor.
You shouldn’t talk about this. It’s more of like, Hey, thank you for sharing your story. And I just want to let you know that X, Y, and Z might be what is actually going on here. Like the same respect that you want to get as a person you can pay forward. And actually, you know, instead of viewing it as like,
Oh, there’s just these malicious people trying to spread this information. Sure. For sure those people exist. But like, I, for one don’t want to walk through my life thinking that’s the way everybody rolls. I’d rather think they’re trying to help and good job on trying to help. Now let’s elevate it. Let’s elevate the conversation. So it does help.
So it is more beneficial. Yeah, totally. And like that, like you say, you want to educate yourself. So it doesn’t feel like you’re going to the mechanic and the mechanic is just throwing a bill and you don’t know anything about cars. So you’re just like, sure. Like do whatever you can to fix it. You want to be opposite of that for your body.
Like go in there fully informed, know the pros and cons of birth control of anything for that matter. Yeah. And then like go into like that. So when the doctor tells you something, you actually have like a, like a thought process instead of like forcefully saying yes or something. Yeah. When it comes to the, yeah. I wouldn’t just touch on that analogy.
How do people feel about mechanics? They don’t trust them. Right? Trust him. They also feel like they’re going to do something, something shady to like upcode and that lay my break stuff and they’re going to make them dependent on them. Right. Your knowledge is so perfect because that’s how a lot of people feel about doctors too. Doctors are like,
I don’t blame them. You know? Like, they’re like, no, you should trust me. I want to help you. And yeah, like nobody goes to school for over a decade and gives it their life and dedication of service to like, not want to help people. But here, like this is something that I learned. So I, I worked,
uh, in a homeless clinic for two years. I worked in a community clinic that was within a Baptist church. Like I worked with population. So I worked with a large black demographic. I worked with people who lived on the street, who had no PR, they even have door pro privilege of closing their door at night. Some of them didn’t even have a social security number.
They didn’t exist to the government. Like so works with all these different populations. And what I will say is, is that in reflection of things, they taught me a lot, but something they definitely taught me is you never tell a patient to trust you. You never tell a patient that they can trust you. If your patient doesn’t trust you, you have to recognize that trust is earned through small repetitive actions.
And rather than saying, like, I’m not like those guys trust me, you need to stand back and say, how can I help you trust me? Where is that disconnect happening and recognize that it’s going to be over time. And as I say this, everybody listening, this is like, you might be like, well, yeah, why are we supposed to trust you?
You are not supposed to just trust me at face value. And that’s why you’ll see it on my social media. And you’ll hear me say it time and time again. Be a troublemaker question. Everything I say, things that are true. Ask if it’s true for you. Don’t just take what I say as gospel, because that, that is not going to be a service to you.
I want to teach you about your body. I want you to be informed. And I want you to ask about what’s true for you. So like with PCs, I get women all the time. They’re like, why aren’t you telling everyone to do KIDO? KIDO works for me. KIDO works for some keynotes work for all. You’ll hear other people out there saying ketos bad.
No women should do Quito. Except the ones that it works for. Like, there’s not. So you won’t hear me making these kinds of blanket statements. Um, and if I do can call me out on it and be like, gotcha. You did it great. Okay. Like, I can do better. But to recognize that, like we don’t.
So w when to bring it back to birth control, birth control works really well sometimes to get rid of that cystic acne. So a woman can have the best wedding photos ever, like, awesome. Like, are we going to shame and judge her for that? No. So birth control may be the best thing for you. And I want to support you in understanding your body,
knowing what to look out for and knowing how to talk to your doctor when things go haywire. But it might be the worst thing that happened to you, but your story is valid as well. Yeah. What would you say to sisters out there who are looking for a supportive doctor? Like what kind of advice could you give them? Because we often say like,
find a better doctor, but that’s often really frustrating. They go through like 10 different doctors and there’s, they keep struggling with the same issues. What are some, you can give them To find a more informed doctor and isn’t this so true. So I used to say like, find a doctor who listens. And then I had, you know,
over time, I’m like, you know, I keep getting this theme where like, it’ll be one woman, okay. Won’t be like all this like crowd. You’ll be like, one person says, you know, it’s not very helpful to hear that. Cause I’m, can’t find a doctor listened. And I sat with that and I was like, I’m not listening.
When I say, find a doctor who listens and you say, that’s not helpful. I’m not listening. You are saying that that’s not helpful. Yes. You want to find a doctor who listens and how do you do that? So I have at dr. brighten.com, dr. brighton.com/medical team. You will see our medical team that we have put together.
These are reviewers. These are actual clinicians who review articles on dr. brighton.com. So for example, we have an OB GYN who reviewed our fibroids article and she does fibroid surgery. She she’s clinically. I don’t do that. So I’m like, here’s an article. I need the clinician. Who’s doing the surgery. Let us know what’s the update what’s changed.
And if people need help, they can go see you. So we have actual clinicians who are practicing, reviewing these articles so that we put together a database we’ve been trying for a long time to figure out like how so? I was sending people to the American association of naturopathic physicians to a Institute of functional medicine, to the Academy for advancement and aging.
Um, the AFRM, I am sending people, all these databases, but then people were coming back to me and saying that helps. But sometimes it’s like a needle in the haystack because I contact someone and they’re not practicing. Or they’re like on the functional medicine’s website, but they’re not actually practicing functional medicine. They just like went to a conference, but they’re not really practicing that.
So it became like, okay, a question of how do we do better? So that’s one thing. If you guys get on there, you’re going to see there’s like a dozen docs we’re working on it. I was like, how do we vet doctors? Cause I’m like, I don’t want these people on my website if they’re like just paying to be here.
Right? Some people, most databases are paid for databases where people pay to be on a database. All that is is who has money and wants to pay does not actually help. So instead I have been, these are doctors that I’m in communication with. Have I been in their practice? No, but I know them as a human and they’ve reviewed our articles and their ingredient with how we approach care.
So that’s one source. Now, if you are a women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, you are one more likely to struggle for years and go through multiple doctors. See it can take you five plus doctors before you find someone who’s actually going to listen. So a couple of things, so is to get prepared for your visit, right? Done with your questions and write down the lab testing that you would like to have done.
There are some doctors who will only do a transverse, a ultrasound. It’s an internal ultrasound. Oh, Polysonics Duke ovaries. Nope. You don’t have BCLS. I’m like, dude, stop. That’s not how you diagnosed. Yeah. One of the criteria of the Rotterdam criteria and yeah, it’s not the best one. And the older you are, the less likely you are to see those cysts on the ovaries because a lot of people are starting to debate.
Are those really SIS, like a piece of, I shouldn’t even call it a piece of U S like that, but like, Oh my gosh. As I’m dr. Fiona Macola, if you guys haven’t had her on, she’s awesome. Oh yeah. He would love to book. I introduced you. Okay. Mama three with TCUs and hurting. We’re having a conversation.
I was just like, man, it’s just so outdated and incorrect of a term. And she’s like, but we had to fight so hard for medicine to even acknowledge that PCs is real. Why? Why, why? Like this is like where I pull out my hair. People who are watching are going to be like, I could see her fist,
my fist I’ve been watching too much X, men and Marvel. We had locked down, but I’m like, don’t mean the cops on you. I’m a bird all down. So we were seriously just watching the Avengers last night too. I’m like, okay. So with that though, um, you know, we have to fight so hard for medicine to take anything seriously in women’s health,
polycystic, ovarian syndrome, PMs, what’s going on with birth control side effects and post birth control syndrome right now. So many doctors lining up being like, that’s not real. Oh, we’re not going to have the conversation. Oh, because of this. That is just like, when you say that you are saying to women that their symptoms are not real.
And then you’re saying, now, trust me, I’m the expert. Like, come on, like, nobody’s going to respect you just because you say like, here’s the thing. Like you also see people being like, these are my credentials. This is like, you know, you know the general public still, isn’t going to trust you. Like when you say that,
but people like don’t, I don’t know. They worked so hard to earn those things. I guess that they’re like, no, no, no. Let me keep putting it out there. That’s one step. What’s one step in trust, but it’s not going to get you to the end, to the finish line. So with new piece, U S understand that your Dr. May
not know how to diagnose it. I actually just had a couple posts on Instagram about PSOs and women were saying to me, I asked my doctor about PCs and they were like, I don’t even know how you diagnose. I don’t know anything about it. I’m like unacceptable. Unacceptable. If ovaries walk into your office, you should know this, like Chinese,
the first thing in your mind, because so many women have it endometrial. Yes. Let’s check. Okay. Yes or no. That should be the first thing. Yeah. But if this is the thing, it’s not most things in women’s health don’t get thought of or screened until they want to have a baby. There’s like, you know, the baby criteria.
Do you want to have a baby? Yes. Okay. We’re going to, we’re going to do some serious medicine with you. You don’t want to have a baby. Just take this pill. See you later. Like that’s not cool. Yeah. Totally Things affected by having your period, regular you’re in healthier mood health, your gut health, everything is dependent on period regularity.
And oftentimes it’s just pushed under the rug and given the pill. Okay. PCs, whatever. And when you want babies, we’ll put you on Clomid and that’s it. Yeah. And to that right there, everything you just listed, that’s what you should be writing down before you go to the doctor. Not just like, how long are your periods?
How infrequent are your periods? How often are they coming? What is it like when you have a period, but also what is your gut? Like? What is your gut like every single day. And what is your gut like around your period? What is your skin like? What is your mood? Like? What are your headaches like? Like every single system,
your hormones impact every single system, every single system should be taken into account. Oftentimes the gyno will still brush it off though. Like you waited in the waiting room, you got this appointment, you sat there and you asked all these questions and they’re like, what do you mean your gut health? Like, we’re talking about your periods. Can you tell a woman with PCs to do at that point?
So one is half the list of labs and, and coming to it from a place of like, Hey, uh, so here’s the thing is as much as I kind of like went off on doctors, they’re still humans. Do you want to like, be kind to them? Cause if you’re not kind, they’re going to go fight flight or freeze,
run out of the room, shut down. Maybe even go off on you make you feel bad. Not like, and it’s something where people are like, Oh, you’re a doctor. And it’s like, but you’re still human. And you still said that response. Like when people come at you, you still like, as a human, your hormones are still gonna tell you,
run away. Like this is scary, run away. So with them, you want to have the list of labs and to say like, you know, I’m having these symptoms, X, Y, and Z. And I’m just wondering, like, what do you think could potentially be polycystic ovarian syndrome? Would you be willing to run these tests and rule it out?
If they say no, then you say, well, what I would like you to do right now is I’d like you to document my request. And then your reason for denying my request, because I’m going to be asking for a copy of my chart notes. Oh, they’re going to probably give you those labs. Because the thing is, is that that becomes their problem.
If five years down the line that they missed that diagnosis because they decided they didn’t want to deal with it. And they didn’t want to bother in that moment. So that is something that I definitely recommend. Because if you say that in a visit, then they’ve got to write that down. They’ve got to put that in the chart notes and to say,
I’m into you requesting these, um, afterwards. And you can say, so you can’t recall, there’ll be recording your doctor. Okay. Like, don’t do that, but you can write it down and you can say, and I’m making a note that I requested this right here. Yeah. Writing. I put the date on it. That’s documentation on your end.
If they come back say, Oh, that never happened. It’s like, well, no, it happened. And you didn’t do what I asked you to do. But most of the time they will end up doing those labs for you. And if they won’t, they might write their reason and they might have a good reason. Like it is potentially that they would say,
so let’s say that you are, you know, um, so you know, this is like, if you are asking for like a full thyroid panel to your primary care provider, and they say, I am only gonna run a TSH because like, I don’t, you know, running these additional labs, I don’t know how to interpret those. And it wouldn’t change my treatment recommendations too.
That’s a valid reason, but you need to know that. And they sometimes won’t say that, they’ll just be like, no, I’m not gonna run those. You don’t need them. Yeah. Okay. And by the way, it doesn’t mean you don’t need them. You might still need them. But what they’re saying is, is that exactly. And with them seeing it and putting in the chart notes,
like cool. Now we all know where we stand now to find a doctor. I would say like, the last thing I’d say is like, if you want to be as successful as possible, talk to other people who have had good experiences with their doctor. So if this is why I’m like, get on social media, ask people, say, I have PCs.
This is the area I’m in. You don’t have to give people your address. You can just say like, this is the area I’m in. Has anyone who works with a good doctor for PCLs. And when we’ll come in and support you, when women find a doctor, they like, they will be like, let me tell you what my doctor,
like, let me just, yeah. And that’s something that word of mouth is like gonna win every time. Do you have a list of labs on your website that people can look at and re reference before going to the doctor’s office? Cause I’m sure women in the audience they’re like, okay, but what labs? Yeah. So if you go to dr.
brighten.com Nope, V R G H T E n.com. I have to say zoom skipped. And I saw my mouth. That’s hilarious. It’s the one bad thing about zoom is like, you know, it cuts in and out. You don’t know if he said something perfectly. No, but I, like, I just seen the video of my mouth skipping.
My brain’s like, Oh yeah, no, let’s keep going. Stop. You messed up. You know, it’s like, I’m dubbing over myself. So, um, if you go to dr. brayton.com, there are lots of articles and there’s many that include lab tests. So lab tests for peace, you ask, how is PSUs diagnosed? There’s also when to test labs.
So I have an article all about when you should be testing hormones. If you’re having a period, there’s very specific times of your cycle of when you want to test estrogen, progesterone, FSH, LH, um, when it comes to testosterone, what we specifically want to be looking for, um, in women, thyroid, when should you be testing,
thyroid being aware of things like biotin, you don’t want to be taking that 72 hours within a thyroid test. So those different nuances, I have not there for you. Your Dr. May not even be aware of some of those, because if your doctor wasn’t trained in nutrition or using nutritional supplements, they probably don’t know that like, there’s these other interactions that can be happening with labs unless they happen to get that information somewhere.
Yeah. Yeah. And just to touch on one last thing, when you said doctors are humans, it’s very true. They’re absolutely there just like any other person with a job. And just imagine like when you’re at your job and it’s like three or 4:00 PM, and it’s your last task of the day, you just don’t have the energy. It’s emotionally draining,
emotionally draining. So think about that. When you like see a doctor to, you have to be advocate for yourself and not expect them to like, be there for you. So just go in there with that mindset. I may make it like an early morning appointment just to be sure. Well, and also know you don’t know what happened in the room before you,
so in the room before you, somebody could have just miscarried and lost their babies, somebody might have cancer, like, so that he might’ve just started screaming at their provider because they’re in the middle of a divorce and that’s the breaking point that happens. So you don’t know what happened in the room before you, you also, and like, here’s the thing,
doctors are pretty damn good at leaving, like their personal life behind. But like, especially like in the wake of like coven, we are knowing patients who are dying, family members who are dying, like things that this is an unprecedented time for humans altogether. But just to understand that, like whatever energy they’re bringing, it might not be about you.
So you don’t have to take that on. You don’t have to fix that as much as you can just go really matter of fact, be like, God got my notes. And that’s why it’s so important to have your notes and to take notes when you’re at your doctor’s appointment. Because if they come in and they’ve gotten just like, they’re the bad vibes.
And they’re just like, you’re like this, person’s in a funk and I don’t know what’s going on. You don’t have to deal with that. You just go right to your notes and you focus on that piece. I know that you, you always, like, if you are feeling uncomfortable, you never have to consent to a physical exam. And I think that’s really important because sometimes doctors come in with this funky energy in the room,
or they’re making you feel a certain way. And then you’re like, well, I’m here and I have to get my pap smear. So now I have to just like, that is a super vulnerable position to be in. And, you know, as much as like, there’s great, great gynecologists out there. There are definitely ones that like Navy Navy,
you want to come back another time or maybe you want to go to a different appointment just because you’re, there doesn’t mean you’re committed to getting undressed. Okay. Like you, you, this is, this is just like having sex. Like you can take back your consent at any point and be like, Nope, Nope, I’m out. I don’t want anything to do with this.
And we forget that because it’s society, we have been trained to be like, you know, that, that good girl, good person. And you know, the white coat is on. So we have to do what they say and we have to respect it. And I just have to subject my, no, you don’t. You can say, I’m not feeling comfortable here.
Like I’m not feeling comfortable. And you can say, I am not feeling comfortable because of your behavior. And I would like you to document that in my chart notes, instead of calling me noncompliant, it is because of your behavior. I’m not comfortable. If you can just Keep your cool and articulate yourself, you’ll always win, honestly. And it’s important to,
you know, have our listeners know that like you are in charge of your body. And when you go to the doctor’s office and experienced these situations where, you know, you’re being handed birth control and you just feel brushed aside and you just got diagnosed and so on, you can be an advocate for yourself and say, you know what, this isn’t the kind of care that I’m looking for.
Maybe I can find a different doctor that will listen to me. When I talk about my gut issues, or when I ask for lab work, you know, you are in charge of yourself more than the person in the white coat. Who’s in charge of it, you know, that you feel like is in charge of everything. So this is a very empowering episode.
Well, good. I hope we’ve gotten enough information to, I hope people walk away and they’re like, okay, okay. That’s something tangible. Do you have any advice for women who are on birth control right now? And they don’t want to get off because this is their form that they’ve chosen of contraception. Do you have any advice on how to reduce inflammation or,
you know, manage their PCs symptoms while on the pill? Cause we often say, you know, do gluten and dairy free. If that’s helping you change your lifestyle, try to find ways to support whatever symptoms you’re having and reduce them. Even if you’re on the pill. Do you have any advice for women on the pill? Absolutely. So if you’re on birth control,
you can support your body. And that’s what I talk about. And beyond the pill does start with diet and lifestyle. You have to be getting quality sleep. If you’re not getting quality sleep, you’re going to be hitting on those and hating on those adrenal glands. And it’s not going to be able to control inflammation or blood sugar as well. Yeah.
And that’s not just like, Oh, I got in bed and I stayed there for eight hours. It’s like, did you actually sleep? And you wake feeling rested. A diet is absolutely an essential piece. So for some women going during gluten-free absolutely does help. Um, I think dairy-free helps a lot with people’s acne and with PQS, it can be really beneficial.
Some women will find, so even beyond the pill, I have people cut out gluten and dairy and then reintroduce it to figure out what is true for them. Um, you know, unless you have Sofia have celiac disease, gluten is like a hard, no, I know people that are like, I have gluten in the United States. I don’t feel great.
I have brain fog or I have like joint pain or I break out with a rash. Then they go to like Italy that doesn’t even allow wheat from the U S to be brought in. And they’re like, I’m totally fine. So yeah. Is that like, that’s like a true gluten sensitivity. That’s a big, big question. Right? So gluten sensitivity different than celiac disease,
which is autoimmune mediated disease because of gluten. So that’s like a hard nut with gluten, but you’ve got to test. What’s true for you. Some people find that, okay. If I have like creamer in my coffee, I’m in a breakout or going to have mood swings, I just don’t feel good. My periods are more painful. Other people find that,
okay. You know, is if I, you know, stay, uh, away from old dairy except like a grassfed goat cheese kind of situation like this, very like, they’re fine. So again, there’s no right or wrong. It’s just what you, and the way you do that is to take it out and test it. And I walk you through that in the book,
certainly, you know, when it gets to the conversation of like, you know, should I do a specialty diet, maybe, maybe not. So, you know, we hear a lot about keto, intermittent fasting for peace, us understand that the Quito studies they’ve been done men. So we don’t totally know. And that some women, you know,
if they drop down in their carbs and they go too low in carbs, they actually stop ovulating. So, um, well, lower carb can be helpful for insulin resistance, blood sugar regulation in some people, for other people, it actually starts to mess with the audio elation without obligation. We don’t have progesterone without progesterone. We can’t talk a thyroid hormone onto our receptors as well.
We start to get this whole hormonal cascade of issues. So if you’re on the pill or off the pill and you want to pay attention to your diet. And one key thing of being on birth control is making sure you have complete amino acids that runs your detox pathways through your liver and helps you get that estrogen out, plenty of fiber so that you are pooping every day.
You’re feeding those good gut bugs. So you want to be a farmer, tend to those gut bugs. They you’ll also share them with your vagina. That’s helping your pH and eating cruciferous vegetables. So things like broccoli, kale, Brussels, sprouts, cauliflower, those will help you with your estrogen detox as well. And they’re gonna provide you fiber to get that out of your body and then healthy fats,
which is going to help with your blood sugar throughout the day. If you’re including healthy fats, especially, you know, one thing that I like with PCs or, you know, I even do in myself is starting the day with higher fats and higher protein and vegetables. Um, so if you guys, anybody who knows me and like looks at my Instagram,
uh, my breakfast is always like protein. And then like sometimes like three cups of vegetables. And it’s because of, He was like, I don’t know what the day’s going to look like. I gotta get my own Like veggies on the front side. Um, but that’s how I feel best. And I have energy throughout the day if, um,
it’s the funniest thing. Like my husband was like, I want to mix it up. I want to make oatmeal oatmeal. It was like, don’t feed dr. Brighton oatmeal in the morning, unless you want to PM devil in your house. It’s just something that, and I’ve always been this way through my whole life is like, and I look back to where I’m like,
who was me? Start my day with like, Yeah, Yeah. I mean, that’s like legit. And I’m like, and I would eat like, and somebody else, I know there’s other people like me where you would eat like three to four cups of cereal for breakfast the morning, and then low fat milk. Like what the hell eighties, what was going on in the 1980s?
I’d be like tired in the afternoon and cranky. And by the time I got home from school, like hated everybody. And then, and then in high school. So I want you guys to know, I’m gonna tell you this so that you don’t judge yourself. Okay. Because like, sometimes you’re going to see my photos on Instagram. You’re gonna be like,
Oh God, she eats so perfect. And she’s so perfect. And none of them know, like when I was in high school, I would be like, okay, I’m going to eat corn flakes with like a fourth accompany, sugar put on them. And then I’m like, not even going to eat or I’m going to eat creme donuts. But like,
I don’t want people to see me eat. And it’s like, cool thing not to eat. I was like, way ahead of intermittent fasting, I guess. Um, or I need Chrome donuts. And then think that was a good lunch. And then if like once I got a job and I was working like, and I had my own money,
then I was like yam and go buy a 29 cent cheeseburger from McDonald’s like, that was me as a teenager. And then I’m like, why do I have so many problems? Why were my parents? Why did I feel so awful in my body? Um, so you guys, if that was you or currently use, you know, that like why I’m here,
I’m telling you all of this. Like I have just a little bit further on the road ahead. I fell in the potholes and I’m just turning around being like, there’s a pothole step to the side don’t date. And that is such a good, Very true. Cause I was the same way when I was a teenager, like I was eating burgers,
a dollar menu, all of this every day before I went to work. And it’s just like, just like you said, the doctor, it’s just like you progress in your life and you’ll be at a different place 10 years from now, if you just, or one year yet, it’s just about like taking a step one step at a time and you like,
you just get there eventually. Totally, Absolutely. Exactly. It’s really important to say, yeah, one step at a time, you’re not going to like one 80 your life overnight. And I will tell you, my least successful patients is I’m like, we’re going to go slow and why don’t you incorporate this thing? And then after that in the next week,
try to bring this thing on and like, we’re going to go slow. And they’re like, Nope, I’m going to go from zero to a hundred, like in one week and I’m going to do it all. And the change it all. And then a month later, they’re like, I’m sitting at home chugging, a bottle of wine and drinking chocolate cake.
Cause I give up and then they’re like, Oh, I’m so bad. I’m like, Nope, that is totally normal and typical behavior. But if you go really slow and you’re like, okay. So like, um, I have a program called the birth control hormone reset program and my eight type personalities will come in and they’ll be like, I want to do everything all at once.
And then, then they liked start. Like I totally failed what happened. And I’m like, I, that I’m an a type personality too. I’m like, I’m going to be the best at this as of yesterday. So instead in the program, we’re like, we’re going to do this mini challenge. And for the next five days, I want you to focus on this one thing and I want to see,
how do you feel like this? This is an online program. This is what I learned from my patients. So think all my patients, because they taught me like how to, and I put my patients then through this online program to be like, okay, how much is this? Like the doctor brand experience. And it like, how successful are you?
And with these small little challenges of observe how you feel and focus only on this one thing, it actually creates lasting change because you’ve changed one thing you hyperfocused on getting it right, getting that foundation and not caring so much about everything else. And when you saw the benefits, it’s positive reinforcement. I’m not negative reinforcement. Doesn’t like that stuff don’t work.
So we want positive reinforcement, like good job. I’m feeling better though. Right? This is getting awesome. Then you’ve mastered that let’s move on to the next week and let’s layer one thing after another. So that by the time that you get to the end of five weeks, you’re like, Oh my God, I completely transformed my entire life. Within five weeks,
I’m feeling so much better. All this has changed. And it didn’t feel like my life was like suddenly disrupted because it was just those small taking those small steps every single day. But we often think like, okay, like, you know, people get on my website and they’re like, okay, I’m going to have to, like, I have to sleep at our starting tonight tomorrow morning.
I’m going to throw out all my food tomorrow morning. I’m going to eat all the right things. I’m going to have that all dialed in. I’m not going to stress. Oh, I’m stressing. You shouldn’t be stressing. I’m not going to stress. And like, Oh, I’m going to exercise. I’m gonna exercise like two hours every single day.
And like, then you burn out. You should burn out because it’s not sustainable. We want to establish sustainable life changing behavior with a recognition that we’re still humans. So if you want to drink a glass of wine, you drink glass wine. If you want each piece of chocolate, EWZ chocolate and we just do us and then we move on. And when you,
I don’t do diet dogma, I don’t do this whole mindset. So I actually like because of the food pyramid, this is the irony is that people are like the, you know, they vilify wellness. They’re like these specialty diets make people orthorexic. I was like, I actually had orthorexia because of the freaking food pyramid that was never based on science.
And I betrayed my own body by thinking I had to eat six servings of grains a day, even though I felt terrible, but I was like, this is the, like, I have to adhere to this and this, like, and I realize what that did to me. And I’m like, that’s all dogma. All that ever mattered was how did I feel in my body when I was eating these things,
knowing that you can also mess up. I also realized like I was struggling cause I try to eat six to nine servings of vegetables every day. And back then it was like, I can’t eat all these. Like I can’t eat all the grains and eat all the vegetables. And because the food pyramid said that grains, outrank vegetables, I would be like,
if I have to choose, I need to eat grains. That was all kind of just stupid. When I look back based on what I know now, but like what good does that do judging. But it’s just to say that like anything out there that’s super rigid can make you develop orthorexia and have an unhealthy relationship with food, which is where I come more from the perspective of all that really matters is what’s true for you.
I might sit here and say, Oh, gluten can do X, Y, and Z and some people. And then you’re like, that’s not true for me then who cares what I said? Yeah. I’m a complete advocate of that because we are over here saying gluten and dairy free. And it works for so many women and it probably doesn’t work for a bunch more.
So everyone needs to be an advocate for their own health and investigate their health. And if gluten and dairy works or if keto works or if intermittent fasting works, try it out. If that’s what, what you feel healthy doing. Cause some people don’t even want can’t, can’t try it out because it’s triggering and that’s okay, whatever works for you, get the support you need and push forward so that you can reverse your PCOM and live and thrive with PCO and not have to struggle with all of these symptoms And understanding that,
you know, when it comes to food with what you’re saying, that you might also cut out gluten and dairy and be like, it didn’t do anything. I don’t think it’s an issue. And then a year later be like, but wait, I cut out gluten dairy. I’m doing way better. What happened? Well, there might’ve been something else going on.
Like there might’ve been like so much gut inflammation taking place that it wasn’t enough to cut out gluten and dairy. And then later you find like, Oh, that’s working for me now. Does that mean that like, Oh, suddenly it’s like, okay, I did something wrong or no, it’s just interesting new information. And you can operate and, and you can operate with knowing your limits.
Um, I know for example, that I know my limit with cheese, I know I’m going to get acne. So it, you know, it’s something that I never had acne. I came off of birth control. I developed cystic acne. My doctor actually fought, I had PCs. So they just said to me, UPC, U S like your period’s gone,
you have acne, cystic acne, UPC, U S. And I was like, well, hold up, you gotta test me for that. Like, I don’t have BTUs. I had regular predictable periods before I got on birth control. But my doctor says to me, well, you’re misremembering your periods. I’m like, no, when you bleed for like over a week thinking you’re going to die and you miss school and you kept it down,
like dude’s day. Yeah. Don’t miss. Remember that. And that’s just gaslighting. And I was like, I, and I, you know, having been in med school at the time, I was like, okay, I know how to diagnose TCOs and there’s not, I diagnosed VCUs and I didn’t have blood sugar issues going on. I didn’t have,
uh, you know, excess androgens going on. Like, um, you know, was there a potentially like androgens triggering my skin and yeah. But is likely combination of things happening. So, you know, with that, just to understand that things can change things can, you can do different interventions and then things change and they look differently and you have to always ask what is true for me in all of that.
And you’re 100%, right. That if you feel triggered in cutting out food, so people with eating disorders, um, you know, I will get people who say like, well, you know, I want to do the same, but I I’m feeling triggered in my trigger, my ed. And I’m like, then you need to work with a provider one on one,
and you need to have mental health support in that everybody needs mental health support, by the way, it’s like one of those prongs of health that you absolutely need. Guys. I apologize. Someone just like started jackhammer and a crane right on. I was like, Oh my God, um, I’ve lost my place. We’ll have to edit that.
What was I saying? Mental health. Hmm. Yeah. We’re keep working one on one with a client doctor. So yeah. Everybody means mental health support, especially if you have a chronic illness and if you have an eating disorder, you can not be following some diet online or working with a provider or practitioner who’s not experienced. I don’t care if they’re a registered dietician.
I don’t care if it’s a doctor, they are not experienced in eating disorders. They are not the right person to partner with. So with my patients who have eating disorders, I’m like, we’re working with a psychologist or psychiatrist. That’s most of the time, sometimes people have a counselor they work with. Um, but that we have to have that person on board.
And before, like we do, and I will say, you know, you often it’ll come up like, Oh, would elimination diet help me? Yes. It may help you in terms of your symptoms, these symptoms, but it may do more harm than good. So I just don’t think it’s worth it. And so this, you know, my approach is always nutrient density with people let’s bring in so much great nutrient dense foods that we just start to crowd out.
Other foods that might be problematic. Are those foods bad on your website as well? I’ve noticed we don’t focus on that. Um, deficient, like, you know, understanding if you’re deficient in something, replacing it with the right food, supporting your gut health with cruciferous vegetables. I have explored your website so much. Yeah. Well, and that’s what you’ll notice.
I don’t sit there and say, this is a bad food. What happens when we label a food bad? When you say a food’s bad, and then you eat the food now, suddenly you’re bad. How are you bad for eating food? You’re not bad for eating food. Oh, well, they ate like the chocolate cake or ate a bag of Doritos.
And it’s like, Oh, okay. So you, as an organism are seeking out the most calorically dense food because in nature that has the most nutrients, it just so happens that food engineers made your brain get tricked by this, you know, Dorito that you’re eating. Think that you did a good thing by eating the most calorically dense. I eat nutrient dense foods,
except it’s devoid of nutrients. You’re not bad for doing that. That’s exactly how you’re programmed. You just did a very good thing. If you were out in the jungle or you were out on the plane, right. Or like, yeah. But sorry, you’re a modern human now and scientists be tricking you. And so you’re not bound for that.
That’s exactly what you’re designed to do. So we have to move away from that concept. And then it’s really like, I mean, I think about the, uh, the like, just have a shake a day, like, Oh, so we’ve got, um, you know, our paleo or plant-based detox, which some people do really well of like,
just having that as a smoothie. And that’s all they do. And they’re like, that’s my meal for the day, because it’s like full of fiber and fat. And they put all these things in it. Um, but like, I know people that are like, okay, let’s you, you like, you know, to be a healthy person,
you need to like eat one meal a day and then have one to two shakes a day. Like, so now like you’re, and then they say processed foods bad, but then you have this highly processed food product. It’s like, yes, it’s food-based and yet that’s very shortsighted. So it’s something where like, I give people the option. Some people are like,
yeah, I just want to use that in a smoothie and have that. That’s not really my jam. I will put it in a smoothie. I will have that. And then I usually have something alongside, I like to eat things, Armed. People are with podcasts like this, the more they can make the right decisions and, um, and feel better about their food choices so that they’re not feeling guilty about something when they shouldn’t be.
And yeah. Yeah. And it’s like, it’s just one meal one day. It doesn’t like reflect on all the work you’ve done in the week or in the month. It’s just one day out of the month. Yeah. You can just move forward and not think twice about. And I hope I just observe. I mean, that’s what I ask the patients.
So how did you feel after that? Oh, I felt guilty. I felt listed. Okay. So aside from that, how did you feel in your body? Oh, I actually was like really tired. Yeah. My joints hurt for like a couple of days afterwards. Oh my God. My migraine came on. Oh, I couldn’t poop. Like,
okay. So now your body just mirror to you. What happens now? You understand your threshold. That’s interesting data. Like, that’s the thing about like these like mess ups as people call them are like falling off the wagon. It’s actually, yeah. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a process. I see. Like, like she’s saying too, it’s like,
it’s teaching you or like, you felt like, so, and so after eating this, then it’s like, it’s like, your brain is learning now it’s connecting the dots. And like, next time you’ll be like, I don’t want that now because your brain makes a connection before you even need it. And you realize like the kit for your own house and not letting the person with the white coat telling you,
tell you what your body is or isn’t. Cause you know, cause you’ve tried something and you have data. Totally. And it’s like, um, I hear this a lot with like the glass of red wine where women will know I’m going to have a headache tomorrow, but I really wanted that glass of wine. And it’s like, well, you knew what was going to happen.
And they’re like, yeah. So I tried to drink more water. I took like, you know, turmeric or fish oil. Anti-inflammatories did some magnesium, like, you know, I did some things to try to mitigate that. Some people will say, Oh, that’s bad, that’s wrong. You just like, shouldn’t have done it all together. I’m like,
so you’re a human having a human experience. Did you have a good time having that glass of wine? Okay, great. And like you had a headache and you knew what you’re getting into and like you have the right to understand the consequences and still choose that behavior. Right. Like that’s your life to live, like and if you’re okay with the consequences,
then Soviet it. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you so much, dr. Jolene, Brian. Yeah. Super informative. Yes. It was. This is probably feeling very empowered right now. Hell yeah. Yeah. And then we are going to give away two copies of your book, um, beyond the pill. So to our listeners, if you follow us on PCOS,
weight loss on Instagram, we’ll be putting the details on how you can win a copy of the book. But if you’re interested right now, if you go to Amazon or I’m sure any other bookstore website, you’ll find her book beyond the pill by dr. Jolene Brighton, you can also follow her on Instagram at dr. Jolene Brighton and uh, her website,
uh, dr. brighton.com. You can find, uh, different lab tests. You can request as well as the reviews on the available doctors, uh, in the United States. Thank you. Yeah. And did you guys, I meant to ask you, did you guys start the hashtag peace, us weight loss Hashtag I’m not sure. Yeah. It always is.
Like, whenever I put in hashtag PCs is the first one to populate and I was like, Oh, I wanted to ask if you guys started that. Oh, maybe. Yeah. Yeah. But it seems like we’re always like on the front of like the hashtag pieces or something at this point, but yeah. Is there a, is there any other point that I missed or where they can contact or anything like that?
Well, you know, one thing for people listening, if you are interested in getting started on a hormone balancing diet, you can go to dr. brighton.com/hormone kit. And I actually have a free meal plan and recipe guide. You will not find serving sizes on there. Um, people always write and they’re like, what are the serving sizes? How much should I eat?
I’m like how much you want. I’m like, you already know that it’s also important to understand that serving sizes, uh it’s for the gauging, like how much food am I going to make, but also know that your portion sizes of what you’re going to eat, if you are cycling will change throughout your cycle. So you’re going to want it, you know,
and you will intuitively move towards this. You don’t have to have like some dogmatic plan. That’s like, Oh, well, at this point in the cycle, eat this much carbs. And this that, no, listen to your body. It’s gonna depend on how well did you sleep? What’s your workout regimen been like, but you know, these things will change as you start cycling.
So just to understand, because if you’re going to write me and be like, what are the portion sizes? You have to figure out the portion sizes for your body. Cause I’m not going to pretend to know what you need. Also. Like I always find it funny when people are like, this is the portion size everyone should eat. It’s based on a 2000 calorie diet.
And I’m like, okay, is not even the right calorie diet for everybody. No. Yeah, Yeah. Totally. Yes. Bless you. Thank you. Alrighty. Okay. Thank you so much. We’d love to have you back on sometime soon. Maybe talk about more about birth control or any other topics that you’d like to discuss with PCs. Yeah.
Thank you so much for joining us. Yeah. Thank you. Have a great day guys. You too. Alrighty. Bye. 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 PCOS from Sage one, Colden alone at the doctor’s office to stage five,
nailing the PCs lifestyle, collusion and dairy free. Get ready to finally feel in control of your body. Again.
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