I don’t see the reproductive organs of a female as living in isolation from the rest of her body, in order for a female to be healthy. If she’s in the reproductive years, she should be fertile, whether she wants to get pregnant or not. Because fertility is actually a vital sign of health. Now, in order to be healthy and fertile, you need functioning.
Oregon’s you need to have a healthy cardiovascular system. You need to have a healthy GI system. Your gut has to work right. Your liver. You need to have healthy skin. You need to have a great neurological system, including the CNS, the central nervous system, and the gut neurological system called the enteric nervous system. my own hands. And Welcome everyone to another episode of a sister and her Mister today,
we have Dr. Phyllis Gersh. She is a multi award winning physician with dual board certifications in OB GYN and integrative medicine. She’s the founder and the director of the integrative medical group in Irvine, where women can be treated in a comprehensive way by combining conventional naturopathic and holistic medicine. I went to her office myself. She’s amazing. She’s also the best-selling author of PCO.
S S O S. Welcome Dr. Phyllis Gersh. Well, thank you for inviting me back. It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to chat with you. Yeah, Absolutely. We had such a great time with you our first episode, and we were talking about this before, but the first episode we had together was our most downloaded. So listeners, if you haven’t checked out that episode yet,
please go back, listen to that one as was this one. And I think you’re going to really enjoy what we talked about on this episode. Yeah. So Dr. Gersh, for those who are listening, who haven’t heard of your practice before, can you tell them how it differs from a different gynecologist office, how your practice is more integrative? Absolutely.
So I don’t see the reproductive organs of a female as living in isolation from the rest of her body. So in order for a female to be healthy, if she’s in the reproductive years, she should be fertile, whether she wants to get pregnant or not, because fertility is actually a vital sign of health. Now, in order to be healthy and fertile,
you need functioning Oregon’s, you need to have a healthy cardiovascular system. You need to have a healthy GI system. Your gut has to work right, your liver. You need to have healthy skin. You need to have a great neurological system, including the CNS, the central nervous system, and the gut neurological system called the enteric nervous system. So as I see reproduction and the female organs,
the way that a typical gynecologist sees them is really when you want to interfere with fertility most of the time, and you don’t support the whole female body. And I take a totally different view. I want women to control their fertility and not have babies when they don’t want them, but I don’t want to do that by poisoning her system. And I certainly want to support every organ system of the body so that she can be optimally healthy and optimally happy and actually live her dream life.
And so I take a very broad view of the female body and how, you know, my kind of specialty should approach female health. And then I have a more expensive therapeutic toolbox. So in addition to surgery and pharmaceuticals, which, you know, I’m not abandoning, I’m not alternative medicine, but I see them in their place. I see their limitations.
I look at everything in terms of benefits and risks and so on, and I’m balancing them, but I have a bigger toolbox because I also include all the different types of lifestyle medicine. And of course that includes fitness and nutrition, sleep and stress management and the value of sunlight and relationships and love in life and all of that. And then I also can utilize what I call green medicine,
herbal medicine in appropriate, and evidence-based ways and targeted nutraceuticals to help with nutritional deficiencies, which are actually quite rampant for a whole host of reasons. So basically I have more therapeutic tools at my disposal and I see a much broader picture of what it means to have female health. Yeah, I was so lucky to have gone to you as my second gynecologist,
after my first experience, it was definitely eyeopening. And speaking of, as you mentioned, poisoning your body for contraception, let’s poop to birth control. A lot of women feel like that’s their only option. So what would you say towards that? Well, it is an option, but there’s a price to be paid for that option because nature didn’t put reproductive hormones in the body for the sole purpose of creating menstrual cycles.
In order to have a healthy reproductive functioning female, you have to have all those other organ systems. And so the female hormones that are called sexual hormones are also about total body health. So there are receptors for those hormones in every single organ system. So when you basically take like oral contraceptives or other hormonal types of contraceptives, you’re shutting down ovarian function and you’re replacing ovarian produced hormones that are designed to be in the female body with chemical,
we’ll call them imitators. They combine two hormone receptors, technically and officially they’re really endocrine disruptors. So a little bit, I mean, this sounds outrageous, but it really isn’t. It would be like saying, okay, we don’t want you to get pregnant. So I want you to lick this plastic bottle every day because you need your alternative hormones. Well,
the plastic is actually filled with chemicals that can bind to estrogen receptors. We call them Xeno estrogens, and they’re endocrine disruptors, and they actually commercialized different types of endocrine disruptors. And then they use them to literally disrupt the normal hormonal function of a female. So she is in fertile, but there is not just that function to those hormones like preventing pregnancy when you disrupt them,
you’re disrupting every system in the body. So we have to be real. These are slow poisons. Obviously, if everyone fell over dead, they wouldn’t be like giving cyanide. You know, it’s not it, but it’s like having BPA and thallium all these chemicals by the way, that are really been in the news recently that they have, they interfere with normal functioning.
They promote this metabolic function. So they promote like obesity and diabetes, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, mental health issues, and reproductive issues. They’re all linked together. And th these chemicals have been actually in the news quite a bit late lately, like the bus phenols, BPA BPS, and also thalates, they’re all like you Google that. You’ll see,
there’s been a lot of news articles read recently about how bad they are. And basically you can consider what you put in the so-called hormonal contraceptives to be relatives of these different chemicals that are founded vinyl and plastics and other substances that are, you didn’t know that. Yeah, they, that, in fact, it’s very interesting. The story of BPA BPA,
bisphenol, a, which is ubiquitous. In other words, it’s everywhere. It’s in everybody and it’s found in hard plastic cash register. Receipts can linings. It used to be in baby bottles, like for, for like when they’ve dropped, why Mula and it’s like crazy and dental sealants that you’d paint little kid’s mouth teeth with. And does it affect like cognitive development as well as like,
Yes. And there’s a big roll of BPA in terms of the dysfunction that women with PCOS have. And that’s why I wanted to mention it in particular, but BPA, which is an all those different products and is a known endocrine disruptor. It actually, its first appearance into the world was trying to be a pharmaceutical. They were presenting it to be a pharmaceutical as an estrogen because it’s a,
Zino estrogen, it’s a chemical endocrine disruptor, but it can bind to estrogen receptors. And it was initially put on into the market to be used as an estrogen in women. But it was actually beaten out in the marketplace by a different endocrine disruptor called Des diethylstilbestrol, which was used inappropriately to try to prevent miscarriages in women and created horrible outcomes. It’s been since it’s been long since taken off the market,
but it was used in pregnant women to try to prevent miscarriages. And it was totally inappropriate. It actually caused major birth defects in the offspring, male and female. And in the female, the little girls they developed in very low numbers. But in those cases it was often fatal a type of vaginal adenocarcinoma that would kill them. And it created a lot of infertility dis like th the female organs,
like the uterus would be little tiny uterus. The cervix was weird, it looked different. It didn’t work. Right? So they had a lot of infertility and the moms had higher rates of breast cancer. So anyway, eventually that got taken off the market, but it was competing for its place in, you know, we’ll say bad history with BPA.
And so when BPA lost out on the, the competition to become a pharmaceutical, it became, you’re a plastic. I mean, so it just tells you that it seems so absurd. If I say, well, every day to prevent pregnancy, I want you to lick this plastic bottle. It’s actually not that bizarre. I mean, if you go to toxicology.gov,
which is run by your government, that’s why it’s called.gov division of the national institutes of health. It lists all the ingredients that are found in oral contraceptives and similars. I call them, you know, the, the hormonal contraceptives, contraceptives as endocrine disruptors, that’s ever official title they’re endocrine disruptors. That means an endocrine disruptor is anything that interferes with the production distribution function of the receptors,
the elimination of hormones in the body. So basically anything in any way, in any type of hormonal functionality it can interfere with and sometimes multiple hormones and multiple functions and basically creating habit because what does a hormone do in the body it’s information delivery. So it’s like the communications part of the very important communication system. So if you don’t have any hormone, then you get no information.
And the cell goes to its default status, which is pro-inflammatory because if you know, that’s just what, the way it works. And if you have the wrong information, like an endocrine disruptor, the cell will actually do the wrong thing. So, I mean, it’s like terrible. I mean, it’s really, really terrible. So when we give women contraceptives that have these hormone mimicking things in them,
we’re giving wrong information to every cell in the body, not just the uterine lining, you know, and the ovaries are shut down. So not only do you not have the normal hormones that the ovary produces, but you lose the rhythms of those hormones, because it’s not just about having anything. Now we know it’s all about the dose and the rhythm timing is everything.
Whoever came up with that cliche was brilliant. How do we know in the beautiful woman’s body? There are so many rhythms. There’s the circadian rhythm. That’s the 24 hour a day. Then there’s ultradian rhythms. Those are the rhythms within the 24 hours, like shorter rhythms. And then we have the lunar rhythm, the beautiful rhythm that is like based on the moon,
you know, the 28 day cycle. It’s like so amazing. And then we have seasonal rhythms. We have annual rhythms, everything in the body lives to a beat, to a rhythm. You lose all of that. When you go on hormonal contraceptives and it affects every organ system, it’s like living a life of chronic jet lag. And we know that that is very bad for people.
You know, people who are jumping across time zones or go to bed at weird times of the day and sleep in the, you know, they go to bed, you know, at 3:00 AM and they’re, you know, they’re up at noon or whatever, and they’re changing their schedule. They have every problem you can think of. They have obesity and they have more depression.
They have more cancers, they have more infertility, irregular cycles and women with PCOM already have those problems. I mean, that’s because they have hormonal imbalances. They tend to have higher body loads of things like BPA, because at least in my own observation, I haven’t published this yet. But when I study women who have the worst manifestations of PCs, they seem to have the genetics for the worst potential for detoxification.
You know, we, we didn’t evolve in a toxic world where, you know, you have to worry about plastics and like lots of heavy metals and people, you know, BPA and yeah, it’s right. It didn’t write new because we didn’t have all these petroleum products. I mean, we had our own bodies produce toxins that we had to deal with.
And now we have those plus we have all these exogenous from the outside in, before we just had from our own insights, you know? And, and so some people who have certain genetic makeup, they’re not as good genetically at getting rid of this really high load of body toxins. So the way we look at it and environmental medicine, which is heavily linked to women with PCOS,
because they tend to have a higher body toxic load. They’ve actually done studies showing that women with PCLs tend to have higher body levels of BPA. Now, does that mean they’re exposed to more BPA? Probably not. They probably just don’t get rid of it as well. So everybody is genetically programmed a different way. And some people are just genetically better at,
you know, when you talk about people who live to be a hundred, and then you say, oh my gosh, this person drank and smoke and a process food, how can they live to be a hundred? And they were fine. Well, they were like, they won the luck lottery and they just happened to have all the best genes. They probably,
when they were children, didn’t eat toxic food at that age, you know? Cause you know, most of those people live before we had so many plastics. So they, they probably had the first 20, so years of their lives that were actually pretty good. You know? But in any case we have, you know, we have people who just luck out women with PCLs a little bit won the wrong lottery.
They can not be as, I mean, to even say, I think the term is called the blue zone or there are certain areas in the world where people live the longest and my theory, and I think it’s very apparent. Those people don’t experience a lot of endocrine disruptors. They’re living very basic lives. That don’t include a lot of like, you know,
imported products, they’re living off the land. And I feel like that’s probably a reason why there’s people live so long. Absolutely. There’s so much that everyone, including women with PCs can learn from looking at the lifestyles of the blue zones because they don’t all have the same diets, but they do have a similarity. I mean, if you look at well,
what are the sort of similarities that go across all the different blue zones? Well, for one thing, they’re get outdoors a lot. They get sunlight, which I call, you know, like the Mo one of the most important, happy medicines because sunlight actually we have special receptors in our eye just to receive sunlight that go right to the neurons in our brain that produce serotonin.
So we make more of this incredibly important neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy and at peace. And then from serotonin, we make melatonin. So we sleep better. So those people in those blue zones, they are more active. They’re more outside. They get physical activity and they sleep well at night, they live to the circadian rhythm, right. They’re up.
And then they go to bed at the right time and then they have purpose in life. Even at an old age, you know, they’re always part of the family TRIBE, you know? So they have like great relationships and they have love and they’re always part of their group, you know? So it’s like amazing. They’re not living in this like isolation.
We know that loneliness is the ticket to poor health. I mean, like it’s like we are social creatures. That’s what, one of the things that’s been so sad with COVID, you know how people have been so isolated from other people. I just want to give everyone a hug. You know, they need that human connection and the human touch. And,
and the other thing with the blue zones is they don’t eat processed food. No, it doesn’t matter. You know, if they’re whatever they’re eating, it’s not from a factory there and they’re not getting all those toxins. So, you know, terrible in our world, you know, they’re everywhere. It’s hard to avoid and you know, so they,
they just live a life that has lower stress. Yeah. Love and real food as a, I mean, it’s like whoever came up with this idea, these ideas, you know, when you think about them, realistically, it’s really bizarre. Like who thought that we could put chemical endocrine disruptors into female bodies so that they’re not fertile and then we’re giving them toxins.
Why is that? Okay. I mean, it’s so weird when you think about it, you know, and then why is it okay to put weird chemicals in our food? It blows my mind. Me too. Like I do, I live in an alternate universe. How is this possible that this is okay? And then once people know this, why would they continue to do it?
I mean, I see like processed food as like a big skull and crossbones on it. It’s like, it’s like poison. It’s like, you know the story where the evil, which gives snow white, the apple, yes, no way. And the, the apple and, you know, the apple looks so tasty, but it was really poisoned.
So I look at, of course now it would be a candy bar. It would be, but you know what? It’s like giving something that looks like it’s tasty. It looks like it’s good, but it’s really poison. That’s how I see all of this process food and all of these hormonal contraceptives. And when you give them to women with PCLs,
when you give them birth control pills, if you just think about it, almost everybody knows this one thing about birth control pills. And that is that they increase the risk of blood clots. I mean, I think most people have heard that, that, you know, blood clots are higher in women on birth control pills. I didn’t Really know that,
but Oh, well, everyone should know that that’s actually on, even on the little fight in print. Well maybe that’s the problem. It’s the fine print. And you’re right. It probably doctors are not giving what we call informed consent. They don’t actually tell people what the risks are of what they’re prescribing. And to me, that’s like essential. Everyone should know why they’re taking something,
what the alternatives are and what the risks are. That’s called informed consent. That’s, you know, very essential, not my experience before I came to you, They didn’t, they don’t, they don’t even explain what birth control actually does to your body. That it’s, it’s not real. It’s like most people go get birth control cause they’re missing their period.
So they’re told, okay, take birth control. It’ll give your period back. But in reality, it’s not a real period. It’s a fake bleed. It’s synthetic chemicals banned, no idea. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Absolutely. It’s real blood, but it’s not a real period. You are absolutely not getting fixed. And a lot of doctors,
and this is like, drives me crazy too. Like the gynecologist say take the birth control pills because they’ll regulate your periods. No, they’re not nine 10 lading. They’re eliminating your ovarian function and replacing it with these chemicals that can create bleeding, but they’re not replacing the real hormones. They’re, they’re not, they’re like, it’s terrible. They’re giving you this big illusion of,
and, and you could take birth control pills to have bleeding at any interval because it’s completely artificially created. But with chemicals that are not designed to be in the human body and, and the fact that it creates blood clotting, that actually opens up the door to really understanding the basics of it. Blood clotting doesn’t happen randomly. It’s like birth control pills increase blood clotting.
Okay. Like, well, why is that? It’s because it puts the female body into a pro-inflammatory state. Now that is not what we want to be. And we want to be in what’s called homeostasis. That means like you’re in like this sort of calming neutral Survalent position. You’re not in a pro-inflammatory state. The inflammation of the body is how we save our lives.
If we are injured, or if we are infected, we have this amazing immune system, which is modulated or regulated by our real estrogen coming from the ovaries called estradiol. That is like the switch for turning on and turning off the pro and the anti-inflammatory functions of the body. It’s amazing. And so if you have an infection like a pathogen, a bacteria,
a virus, a parasite that tries to get into your body. We have these systems that go into effect and estrogen in the form of estrodiol is what switches on those immune cells from being in sort of a surveillance status to being activated. So when they get activated, wow, they are big time like warriors. So they release like the first line of defense,
the mass cells, they release all kinds of toxins and pro-inflammatory chemicals that will try to dissolve this, this terrible invader. They call in the troops, they create this whole inflammation response and more immune cells come rushing to the scene. And then they start doing their thing to try to kill this invader. You have to have optimal estrogen to have optimal immune function.
When you have an infection. Similarly, if you have an injury, like say you are burned, you have a burn or you have a laceration. Well, now you have damaged tissue of your own body. So your immune system activates and it dissolves your damaged tissue. It creates an inflammation to kill bacteria that might try to get into that damaged tissue and set up an infection.
Like if you get a cut or you get a burn, you have a wound though. You don’t want it to get infected. Our body’s immune systems go into that inflammatory state to kill any bacteria that try to get in, and then also start dissolving the damaged tissue. And then it’s estrogen that flips the switch from the pro-inflammatory state to the inflammation resolution state,
so that they inflammation calms down. The immune cells calmed down. They stopped doing their like wild, you know, stuff that helps to save us, you know, and, and clear out the damaged and dead tissue and D you know, kill off the bacteria and viruses and dissolve them and get rid of them. So now it’s all calming down and then it activates the pro healing phase.
Like the growth factors that the, the, the, the little growth factors that create new blood vessels, new tissue, so that you can actually heal. It’s a miracle, right? So you have injury and infection, and then it heals. That’s like the miracle of life. All of those functions are modulating by estrogen. Now, part of the inflammation response is what we call platelet activation.
So platelets are these little doodads that run around in our blood, and they’re amazing. And people love platelets when they want to have like PRP platelet, rich plasma to like make their skin like, look lovely, their complexion. It helps to grow hair. I use that for my alopecia patients who have PCs, I inject their own concentrated platelets into their scalp,
and it helps to regenerate the hair follicles so that they can help with their, what we call it. Male pattern baldness at women with PCOS, get the androgenic alopecia. So platelets are amazing, but part of the inflammation response involves platelet activation so that they start the clotting process. Now, why would platelets want to clot? Well, what if you had a laceration you don’t want to bleed to death,
right? I don’t think so. So you want your blood to clot. If you have blood that can’t clot, you’re in big trouble, right? And when you have an infection that can actually trigger mechanisms where your blood wouldn’t clot, you know, I mean, these bacteria and viruses are so clever, even though they don’t actually think, but they act like they’re clever.
Right? And they can actually, you know, create hemorrhaging. Like that’s what happens in dengue fever, you know, where people can not like leading that won’t stop. And, you know, so, you know, we don’t want that. So our bodies, if you’re traumatized, you don’t want to bleed to death. And this is amazing. The platelets will create clotting so that you won’t do that.
And then later during the healing phase, after the pro, when you go into the anti-inflammatory state and the healing phase platelets activate work along with estrogen, the growth and the restorative factors that help to create new blood vessels, new tissue. So you heal and they increase blood vessels. So they actually have more oxygen flow. And that’s, you know, how tissues will get healthy and heal.
This is like the miracle of life. All of that requires estrogen, but the real kind of estrogen that comes from your ovaries. So birth control pills increase blood clots because they put women into a constant state of pro inflammation, where they’re always in a low level state of inflammation where their immune cells are always being activated. And we don’t want that because you you’re,
you’re not multitasking. You can’t heal and regenerate and have a properly functioning immune system. If it’s always like stuck in this low state of inflammation, and that creates metabolic chaos, chronic low level inflammation, triggers, insulin resistance, it can trigger emotional problems. And it’s a terrible thing. We, and somebody coined this term when you’re young and you have this low level state of inflammation,
which happens in people who have obesity and eat the wrong foods. I have a lot of chemical endocrine disruptors in them because nothing is working right. They’ve coined it, metaphor aging, like metabolic dysfunction that promotes early onset of the aging process and chronic inflammation. That’s what happens in women to a low level on birth control pills. There’s actually now been published data that women who go on birth control pills in their teen years,
which is so rampant. Now they have a higher risk for their lifetime of a cardiovascular event, like heart attack and stroke. Wow, this is no good. Now that’s probably true for women in their twenties as well. But since so many women, like 90% are on birth control hormones in their twenties, they don’t have a control group. So who are you going to compare it to?
Right. So, you know, you have to have a control group, the group that isn’t on hormones, that’s matched to the ones that are on the birth control, pill, hormones, their hormones, but they’re really technically endocrine disruptors. It would be like, honestly, like calling plastic hormones, they’re endocrine disruptors. We really have to call. We really have to call a spade,
a spade. Did you hear about that sister who took opacity tall and finally got her period after a year of not having one. I see those kinds of messages on Instagram a lot. How does that even happen? Well, Avast helps with healing, insulin resistance, a common root issue that most PCs sisters have. And by targeting insulin resistance, we’re seeing sisters kick those crazy cravings.
Finally regulate their periods opulate and improve their ed quality. Each packet of opacities has a 40 to one ratio of myo-inositol and de Cairo in NASSA tol. This ratio is similar to the ratio that should be found in the body. But with women like me who have PCOM, this ratio is often imbalanced. So taking a tall can be super effective in treating insulin resistance,
starting from the Root, the issue. So awesome. It tastes like nothing. So just warn me when you put it in a cup. So I don’t drink it. You got it. BU check out the link in the description to get 15% off your order. I was gonna say, like, even these days, like when you talk about these things,
I feel like majority of people they’re like so enveloped in their life that they use, like all these things around us that they’re just like, eh, it’s okay. It’s just, it’s just one more thing everybody’s doing. Yeah. Everyone’s on birth control. You know, if you go to school and you’re 16, 17 or 18, everyone is on birth control.
It’s like, you don’t even question it when your doctor recommends it. Yeah, No, they think it’s good. In fact, tell, you know, moms bring their kids in. And here’s the other important thing that the menstrual cycle is officially that I didn’t even coin this, but it’s so true. But this was coined by the American college of OB GYN and it,
but nobody pays attention. The menstrual cycle is a vital sign of female health. Like people, a vital sign is like your pulse, your temperature, your blood pressure. So what happens if your period is messed up? It means you’re messed up. Okay. So the solution is fixed. The period, fixed the person. Okay. The young woman will say,
so you don’t want to get rid of the problem by getting rid of the ovarian function. That is, that is like, okay, here’s my analogy. You know, you have a wall that’s filled with mold and termites, but you don’t really want to deal with it. Cause that’s like more work. So you just get nice, pretty heavy wallpaper and cover it up under that.
Wallpaper is a wall that’s filled with mold and termites. And someday there’s going to be a day of reckoning. I mean, there’s go, you gotta pay the Piper. At some point, that wall is going to either collapse or it’s somebody who’s going to get deathly ill from the mold in it. I mean, you know, all your, you know,
support beams are going to collapse. Not this is not good. So that’s, what’s happening when you take a young girl and she’s having like irregular cycles or no, none at all, or she’s having really bad menstrual cramps or PMs, or very heavy periods. That is a red flag that there’s a medical problem. It could be also emotional or like in most cases,
it’s all of the above because everything’s linked to everything, you know, and you end up recognizing hopefully that this is a red flag. Something needs to be attended to, for example, does she have anorexia or an eating disorder? Is she not going to bed appropriately? Is she under a great deal of stress? Does she have PCLs tendencies? You know,
what’s going on? Is she obese? Is she underway? Something is going on. You know, often it’s like nutrient deficiencies, maybe she’s eating a stupid, what we call standard American diet also known as the sad diet, right? And, and so she’s magnesium deficient. Well, that’s an O and she’s, she doesn’t get enough. Vitamin E she doesn’t have the antioxidants in her diet.
So she can’t have her uterus function properly. I mean, something is wrong with her. None of those things are going to be corrected. I can tell you by going putting her on oral contraceptives, you’re kicking the can down the road because she is going to pay the Piper at some point in life. And it is going to snowball. And the problem is that this is not being recognized at all,
that this is a cry for help by the body saying, you know, the menstrual cycles of vital sign, it’s not working, right? Things are wrong. Let’s address the underlying root causes of her menstrual dysfunction and really get her healthier mentally, spiritually, physically in every which way. And there’s a reason why we have massive problems now in the mental health arena,
you know, and because hormones have receptors throughout the brain. I mean, it’s amazing. And by the way, sexual dysfunction, I mean, I have just gave a whole lecture yesterday, a grand rounds at one of my local hospitals about the role of estrogen in sexual function and why women with PCOS and women in menopause have sexual dysfunction. And in a nutshell,
it’s because they don’t have enough estrogen. You know? So it’s like a big deal. People don’t realize the role of estrogen in everything, including sexual function in the, in the brain. There are all these little neuropeptides and neuro-transmitters things like VIP and kids, pepsin and oxytocin. And you don’t have to like memorize all these names, but they’re all these little signaling agents in the brain that are involved in mood.
A lot of them are in the part of the brain called the limbic system. That’s involved in mood and sexual motivation and sexual response. And all of these are linked to nutrient status to circadian rhythm, estrogen status. And if you don’t have any of those right then mood, or if sexual function and sexual response are going to be negatively impacted, that’s why they often all go together.
And the missing ingredient is all of the above. When you have DCOS and menopause, because when you have don’t have adequate estrogen, you’re not going to have proper circadian rhythm. You’re going to have appetite dysregulation because all of these things require adequate estrogen. And it’s. So, I mean, all of this is published. Peer reviewed literature. Like, so what is my role?
What do I do? I wish I can say I was the scientist that in investigated and discovered all these things. I didn’t discover them. I simply put them into action. I take research science, these brilliant researchers who actually find out all this stuff. And then the clinicians, the people who can actually care for patients, remember most of this research is done by PhDs,
not MDs. And they find out how the brain works, how estrogen works, how the, all of these little neuro-transmitters work and all these neuropeptides and neuro steroids and all this stuff is working. And then the clinicians, the people take care of patients, ignore all of it. They pay no attention to any of it, you know? And that’s my job because it’s not being pushed by a big pharma.
It’s like, oh my God. I mean, I’m telling you who controls most of medical education. It’s like, Yes. And the same thing, same thing with diet like this, the standard American diet who controls all that is all the big company. Yeah. You know, this is like, it’s such an outrage, but what back when president Obama became president,
his wife, Michelle wanted to instill a whole new paradigm of food. And it was, of course don’t eat processed food. Well, that lasted about a day because it was like too big to fail the practice food industry too big to fail. So she had to do a complete turnaround. And instead of talking about food, she was like, okay,
you can talk about food. You can talk about fitness. So everything she switched to fitness. I mean, which is of course also important, but you couldn’t talk about food anymore. The food industry is too big to fail. So key and say, you should never eat processed food. You should eat farm to table. Like cut out the middleman.
This is what I say. You can eat minimally processed food. So what’s minimally processed food. It should be organic. It should not have chemicals added, but it still comes from a factory because they did one thing to it. Like they took organic cucumbers and made them into pickles. So you buy a glass jar and on the label, it says,
contents, organic cucumbers, vinegar, or something like that. Right. Whatever it goes into like a pickle, you know, or you buy organic ketchup or mustard, or, you know, you buy something that’s in a package like olives, and maybe they took out the pit, you know? So it’s minimally processed. You will look at the label and it just says organic one thing or organic two things,
but there’s no chemical words. So that’s minimally processed. And sometimes I buy like organic Stu chopped up tomatoes, because like, maybe I’m in a rush. I come home from work. And, you know, I want to make addition, like, I can’t just get out my Roma, tomatoes and start. Cause I don’t want to eat at like nine 30 or 10 o’clock at night.
So, you know, you get a jar and on the label it says organic tomatoes and organic spices, you know, that’s about it. So that’s minimally processed and it still looks like the way it came into this planet on the farm. Right. If you have something and it looks like it’s like flake and it has weird colors and it doesn’t look like anything that could possibly come from a farm no way.
No. How. Okay. And it has weird chemicals on the label. Please don’t eat that. Don’t buy that Because ingredients that you can’t pronounce most likely, it’s not like it’s not the right. And if you see a lot of letters, like a lot of like capital letters, that’s some preservative. Yeah, gosh. Yeah. You don’t want to do the flavor flavor,
enhancer, like whatever nature nature’s flavors are best, you don’t need chemicals. It just adds to the inflammation that all women with PCLs already have, and we’re already struggling with detoxifying it. So what that’s That’s right. That’s absolutely right. So you’re adding to what we call your total body toxic load. And you already have too much before you even started.
When I say before you started women with PCs are probably exposed in utero. This is like one of the really strong theories in utero women who are genetically programmed to be a little bit more. PCLs like, like they have a little bit altered function of their enzyme in their ovaries that converts testosterone into estradiol. It doesn’t work quite as efficiently, but in,
without all this other added bad stuff into their life, it’s really a minor issue. It’s a minor. It may even be actually a genetic advantage because a little teeny bit of reduced fertility in ancient days was probably an advantage, like your own natural, minimal birth control and a little tiny bit of extra testosterone made them a little bit higher achievers, a little bit braver,
older, more muscular. Just that little bit, not a lot, just a little bit that made them a little bit extra actually, you know, they’re the ones that were okay. Women let’s do it. You know, like they, they made the decisions, right. They were the leaders of their tribe. I think that’s where the Amazon, you know,
mythology comes from. Like those are PCLs women. It’s fine. Yeah. But now you add in, you know, chemicals in utero that miss program, the hormone receptors. So it’s like a double whammy. The women are not that great at making estrogen. And then it gets even worse because they’re like poisoned in utero and then their hormone receptors don’t work optimally.
And they’re not good. Detoxifiers genetically, which didn’t matter in ancient times because they only had to detoxify their own body toxins that they made in the process of like, you know, metabolism and stuff, you know, and now they have to add all these other exogenous toxins from the environment. And they’re not good at that. So you have like the perfect storm for having an epidemic of women with PCOS.
So it’s so important to get healthy before you conceive, if you’re a PCO woman so that your own baby will not be exposed to so much. And because we know now that what happens in utero stays with that baby for the rest of that baby’s life. You know, so we need to start before conception, This inflammation, it leads to, like you said,
metabolic dysfunction and ultimately PCs symptoms, including weight gain, which is, you know, we’re called PCOS weight loss because a lot of women with PCs are trying to lose weight. But the direction that they’re given is just to take birth control and not treat the root issues. So a lot of our recommendations include balancing your insulin levels, bouncing your cortisol levels,
reducing your inflammation and managing your thyroid. These are the four main points that we cover through diet and lifestyle changes. What were you going to say? But I just wanted to ask Dr. Fields spirit, because in your big book, they talk about avoiding the big six. And since we’re talking about, you know, removing some of these things from the lifestyle,
like, can you kind of elaborate on what the six that you talked about in the book and kind of relate to what Tom was talking about here to reduce inflammation and all these other symptoms? Well, there’s so many things. I mean, we could probably, we should expand it to, you know, like 100. So just like if we just think about like,
what can you do in everyday life? Okay. From a practical level. Well, we already mentioned you want to avoid toxins in food as much as you can. Now there’s also toxins in water. So, you know, I recommend that every, and like, there’s been a lot in the news about what goes on in the water supply of our country.
So you want to get a water purifier. There’s been a lot with air quality with the fires that we’ve had all over the west, you know, and it’s just rampant pollution, air pollution, which is so toxic. So we definitely want to get the air purified then, you know, if you think about toxic people, okay, emotions are like a big deal and women with PCLs,
they’re more sensitive. They really are. And they are more prone to anxiety and depression. So you can’t tell who your relatives are and some of them may be toxic. And so I say, put like a personal force field around yourself and the people who you’re not related to, that you can void. Sometimes you just have to cut relationships off when they really are toxic,
you know, and sometimes so, cause that can have such a terrible effect. And then, you know, our toxic lifestyles, which are choosing to go to bed at the wrong time, watching so much blue light so that you’re also have problems with melatonin and they have either receptors are not working quite right. And melatonin is important for glucose regulation. It’s also really as a potent antioxidant,
as well as sleep. And we know that melatonin is huge in the gut and gut problems are so prevalent with women with PCs. So we definitely want to avoid toxic sleep habits. So that is, you know, such an important thing. And then the sedentary lifestyle is so toxic for everyone, but especially women with you, that’s where they, you know,
that new expressions sitting is the new smoking. It’s, it’s like really, really toxic. So things that we never thought of as toxic, you know, for women with PCOS, they are extra toxic, you know, so we definitely, you know, want to, and then stress, like I said, because women with PCOS are more sensitive to stress.
So it’s really more toxic. Like, you know, you so wisely said cortisol, which doesn’t get talked about enough, but when you have chronic stress, you’re going to dysregulate your adrenal. It’s called the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. Like it’s how those organs interrelate and you can throw in ovarian. So it’s the hypothalamic, which is the brain, the pituitary,
the adrenal, and the ovarian axis, how they interrelate. So when you have a lot of stress that is so toxic to the body, and what happens with all of that stress is that the adrenal gland puts out inappropriate amounts of cortisol typically too much and too much cortisol causes the body to break down. So you can’t actually make muscle. And you also have gut leaky gut will do it,
which will happen. It can interfere with sleep and brain function and it increases insulin resistance. As you mentioned, which underlies almost all of the problems in terms of obesity, because insulin, which is a vital hormone, you can’t live without insulin. That’s what happens in type one diabetics. They don’t make insulin because of auto-immune problems in the pancreas. And then in the old days before they could provide insulin,
they died. So you need insulin. Insulin is not evil, but like everything, there’s a sweet spot and, and or insulin resistant, they have very high levels of insulin and that drives fat storage and production and insulin. That’s what it does. It creates fat and it stores fat. So if you have lots of stress in your life, you’re going to have too much cortisol and that’s going to drive even more insulin resistance and drive even more fat storage and production,
which is, you know, it’s such a huge problem. 80% of women with PCOS are suffering from overweight and obesity. That’s why mind, body medicine doing like meditation, guided imagery, tapping any of these calming types of things, biofeedback and lowering that cortisol can lower insulin and it can really help with weight loss. So it should always be part of the program.
And I’d like to expand everything beyond like, just like to really for the listeners. And I hope they will all read my book of, oh, but I want, I want them to really see how so many things in life can be addressed. I mean, these are not like pie in the sky. You can’t achieve this. Yes you can.
Yes. You can do these things. You can, you know, choose wisely what you eat your lifestyle. When you go to bed, who you associate with, you know, all the different products that you saw. There are two other things that are a few. There are so many things that we suggest avoiding as well. Two of the things being gluten and dairy that are,
tend to be super inflammatory and spiking, insulin and inflammation leading to high cortisol levels. And we always suggest cutting it out for at least 30 days to see how you feel. And if your body feels any better, your symptoms and everything with PCs. Cause it’s an already inflammatory condition and eating these foods can exacerbate that inflammation and insulin levels. Yeah. Let me touch on that for a minute.
So gluten is not like inherently evil. The problem is that a significant percentage of people actually have developed full blown, autoimmune related effects with, with gluten, but even people who don’t have antibodies. So it’s not auto-immune they can have what’s called gluten sensitivity, which there is no test for, I call it the test of life, you know, that it can be pro-inflammatory.
And what’s happened is with wheat, which is one of the main sources of gluten is wheat. The way wheat is grown in the United States is they pour glyphosate over it before they harvest it to basically kill the plant so that they can get the, you know, the wheat off of the plant because they don’t want the leaves. You know, they, they want like the seed,
you know? And so they kill all the, get rid of all the leaves by pouring this herbicide glyphosate. Well, it’s now coding the plant. And then it gets into the wheat itself, which, and glyphosate kills bacteria and it kills life. And it doesn’t affect our own genes, but it affects our microbes in our gut. And they also have other inert ingredients.
They call them in or they’re like, they don’t do anything, but they actually are very toxic. So there’s secret stuff that they put in the secret sauce of life at a company that it’s really toxic to the gut microbial population. And then you get impaired gut barrier and leaky gut, which is so prevalent in women with PCOS and dysbiosis the wrong microbes.
So a lot of times that comes along with the ride with the gluten when you’re eating wheat products. Now, the other thing is that the only way to do it, as you said, is to eliminate it. And then if you do have gluten back in your diet, then it should probably not be related to wheat. It should be related to other organic products that have natural gluten in them like barley or rye.
But I would not. I would say, I usually say, just get it out of your diet for quite a few months and then see how you do. And in terms of dairy, especially women with PCOS, they should note that dairy actually increases another hormone. That circulates called IGF one and IGF one insulin like growth factor one, actually, when it’s high,
it’s associated with insulin resistance as well, but it can actually enter into the cells of the ovary. And it binds to receptors in such a way that it increases testosterone production, just what women don’t need DCOS so we can aggravate acne. So it creates more inflammation and it also increases more testosterone. So it’s like the worst of all worlds. So dairy is really,
I say, you know, evil for women with PCOS. So, and anyone with acne, by the way, 90% of teenagers now with, or without PCFS 90% of teenagers have acne. Now what the heck is going on with that acne didn’t even exist hundreds of years ago, it’s a total disease of modern society and it’s related to nutrient deficiencies and gut dysbiosis.
And that’s why they give Accutane. People don’t even think what did that cause you know, Accutane is like super high dose synthetic vitamin a, because vitamin a has been shown to heal mucosal like leakiness, but you can do it by having foods that have vitamin a, like the orange and yellow vegetables and so on, taking some extra preformed, vitamin a and then healing the gut by doing all the things that you teach,
you know? And then I talk about, so that you get a healthy gut because there’s a skin gut axis, you know, and so many women with PSUs have such problems with recalcitrant, like just difficult to treat cystic acne. But I have seen such dramatic changes when you change just the diet and even the dermatologists who have been so strangely anti diet,
it’s like the weirdest things are, yeah, I know the strangest thing, but even their literature now is coming out more and more thing. Guess what diet actually does matter? And it does for skin, they’re actually changing their tune. Now finally is like so crazy that they say, it doesn’t matter what you eat. Yes it does. I actually say that I went to a dermatologist who actually said,
it doesn’t matter what you eat, it’s just your genetics or whatever. And I was, I almost fell out of my chair. It’s like, I know I would, I literally would fall. And like, you know, like you have to have a medical degree to know that food actually matters. Hippocrates, stickered that out a few thousand years ago.
And he said, let food be thy medicine. And you know, I love cliches. I always say, I love cliches because whoever came up with cliches was they, they’re all brilliant because they’re all true. So like, you know, here’s the cliche, you are what you eat, you know? So duh, you know, you know, like what is the purpose of food?
So many people have forgotten what the purpose of food is. It’s so that our body can work and do its job. You know, food provides energy. Food provides nutrients and you know, these amazing, I call that the magic sauce of food, unlike the magic sauce of glyphosate, which is poison, this is magic sauce. That’s like really good magic,
not black magic. That’s the polyphenols, these like amazing polyphenols that, that do all these like wondrous things throughout the body and do dancing with the pole, with the microbes and make us all healthy. And everything works better. And they come in many different types. So, but you can’t get that unless you eat all different kinds of colorful fruits and vegetables,
like everyone has different polyphenols, like purples are different and oranges are different and reds are different and all these. So there’s, these is magic in those colors. As long as they’re not die, right. They have to be natural colors by the way, people should know, right. Farm salmon is actually gray. They put in pink dye. That doesn’t count.
You’re not getting your polyphenols when it’s die. Wow. I’ve heard that like salmon is like the worst fish you can possibly. Oh, why it doesn’t have the omega three. And it has a lot of what we call PCBs. Those are really bad. Okay. There are different kinds of, you know, toxic poison and they don’t have, you know,
all the polyphenols that you get from the beautiful orange colors, because it’s all smoke and mirrors. It’s chemical dyes. Like what the heck even heard that increased like pesticides because of the runoff from the forms. Exactly. Yeah, that’s fine. It’s just, it’s it’s concentration inflammation. I know your body. I know. And women with PCLs, you know,
have these underlying propensities to be insulin resistant and more inflamed, but this is all reversible. I mean, we don’t change our genes. Well, maybe that’ll happen someday, but you know, right now we’re not. But you know, if women know and really buy into this, because it’s true that their genes are actually superior genes. I mean, women with PCs are the superior women from ancient times.
It’s just that modern, the modern world has flipped everything on its head and turn what was good into a handicap. But we can flip it back by turning the clock, back to living the lifestyle. We were genetically programmed to live with the right rhythms, the right hormones, the right, you know, control of stress and exercise and fitness and all the things that the blue zones getting back to where we started to live a life of a blue zone person in this day and age it’s is it hard?
Yeah. Like, you know, everything in life, like nobody becomes an Olympic gold medalist because it’s easy. No one becomes the top of any kind of thing because it’s easy. It’s because they want it and they’re willing to work for it. And that’s what I tell my patients. I say what the hardest part is getting you motivated because you and I are both going to know what to do.
The question is, are you going to do it? And that’s where desire and motivation comes in. And yes, it is hard, but are the rewards, rewards worth all the, the energy, the effort? Absolutely. Because you know what? This is your life. You know, this is future. This is everything I have seen transformations without pharmaceuticals.
Now I do use pharmaceuticals in patients that I call it like a jumpstart or like a bridge to health. And so remember I’m not alternative medicine, I’m integrative. So I do know how to use pharmaceuticals. And sometimes you need to do that just to get things going. So I call them like the equivalent of training wheels. Some kids, you can just put them there,
like six years old, you put them on a bicycle to Wheeler. And they’re just often going, you know, and others, they keep falling over. So the ones who keep falling over you give them training wheels. So they build up their confidence. And then eventually guess what? Those training wheels come off and they’re fine. And they’ll ride that Wheeler.
Okay. Well, some women do need some pharmaceuticals. They’re like their training wheels. And I tell them, this is not forever. We have an, we have an exit strategy. This is not going to go on and not, this is just to get you going. These are your training wheels. And then we’re going to take them off and then you don’t need it.
But the majority of my patients don’t need those pharmaceuticals and they can see, I’m sure you see this in your own group that you can see massive transformations just by doing these basic, not simple, but basic lifestyle changes and, but that’s comes from understanding. And it means understanding why birth control pills are actually your enemy, not your friend. Like sometimes you don’t,
people don’t know who their worst enemy is. Okay. Like they just don’t know because they’re con men think of the birth control pill as a con, man, it’s conning you into thinking something is shed that’s right. It’s the ultimate con on you, women with PCOS is putting you on birth control pills. When you go off, you explode in most cases would be cos it’s not a pretty picture Briefing down.
Now there’s so much tension. And the second you get off, everything just comes right back. That’s why Even, oh my God. If someone needs it where their symptoms are so bad, they just cannot handle. So they take it. But I always say what you say, there’s there has to be an extra exit strategy. There’s so much you can do while you’re on the pill.
Eventually you can get off. If you just ignore it all, it’s going to all explode in your face. The second you’d stop taking it. And what I do more and more now is for women. You know, they’re really making estrogen poorly. Okay. I give them estrogen. So I give them I well, cause I’m an MD I can prescribe.
So I will give them human bio, identical estrogen. I stir dial and progesterone why would I give them birth control, pseudo hormones when I can give them human bio identical hormones. And I tell them, sometimes it isn’t needed because without the hormones, you can’t heal, but until you heal, you won’t make the hormones. So it’s like a catch 22.
But if you put on birth control pills, you’re not healing. You’re just covering up with smoke and mirrors. And then when you go off, you’re not going to be in good shape. So what I recommend is, okay, I can give you human bio, identical hormones and help you heal. And then I take them away. So, I mean,
there are alternatives and there’s always, almost always better alternatives to Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. This was amazing. I, we like, we went through all the Fun. It really is. It really is. Like we went through all the different aspects of PCs. Like we talked about sleeping diet, you know, endocrine, disruptors so much on this episode.
And I mean, there’s, if you want to learn more, I highly highly recommend after this episode go to Amazon or anywhere where books are sold and purchase PCs, SOS, you won’t regret it. It’s literally in front of us right now. And we love having you on Dr. Fusco. If there’s any way people can reach to reach you or come work with you and your facility,
how can they find you? I’m actually sitting in my office right now, where I work every single day, Monday through Friday, seeing patients in person and also with telemedicine. So my group is the integrative medical group of Irvine and my, so my office phone number (949) 753-7475. But you can always just Google. And I love seeing patients. I’m very old fashioned.
I still see patients one-on-one because everyone is unique. I love educating as you know, so in general information, because that’s so important too. Cause I realize everyone can’t come and see me, but you know, but for individual personalized care, I have to do one-on-one because I need to order lab tests. I need to actually get each individual’s history because I think every person is unique,
but there are commonalities, right? I mean, there are certain things, we’re all humans. So there are definitely commonalities even though we’re, you know, we’re similar, but we also are different. So I love seeing patients in my office all the time. And any of you out there, then this is why I come to work every day to make a difference.
Exactly, exactly the same for us. Honestly. Thank you so much for coming on and we can’t wait to have you again on our podcasts. There’s so much to talk about. There is so much to cover, so thank you again for coming on. Always my Pleasure. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week. Take care.
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