The PCOS Revolution Podcast
About the podcast The PCOS Revolution Podcast
Living with PCOS doesn’t have to be a struggle! On The PCOS Revolution podcast we’ll discuss the tools that can transform your PCOS symptoms and change your life. You’ll learn the secrets of kicking PCOS to the curb as reproductive experts and fellow cysters share their wisdom so you can better understand how to break free of anxiety, depression, weight gain, fertility challenges and the dreaded hormonal ups and downs. Disclaimer: The information in this podcast is intended for general audience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace professional medical advice. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/farrar-duro/support
Grounding Yourself During Times of Struggle With Ash Johns
Welcome to Episode 9 of Season 8 of The PCOS Revolution Podcast: Grounding Yourself During Times of Struggle With Ash Johns Today I have the honor of speaking with Ash Johns, a Conscious Business Strategist, Certified PsychoSpiritual Life Coach, and skilled Ancestral Healer living at the intersection of creativity, spirituality and business. After walking away from 10+ years in advertising and branding to run a eight-figure women’s retreat in Southeast Asia, Ash believes our greatest recurring trauma—both personally and collectively—is in how we’ve been taught to survive in this world, and that the key to thriving lies in returning to our roots. We're going deep today to give you the tools to ignite the healer within, and to reconnect with your purpose on this planet. Never has this message been needed to be heard more than now, and I encourage you to listen to this episode more than once to gain a bigger perspective on how to ground yourself when times get rough. As an added bonus and to make this easier, Ash has recorded a special guided meditation for our listeners here: https://www.ashleyjohns.com/pcos-revolution-podcast-free-meditation You can learn more about Ash at ashleyjohns.com, @ashinspires on Instagram and Facebook I hope you enjoy listening and sharing this very special episode and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on our weekly Instagram Live's each Wednesday at https://www.instagram.com/flcompletewellness/ Help Us Spread The Word! If this episode has taught you just one thing, I would love if you could head on over to Apple Podcasts and SUBSCRIBE TO THE SHOW! And if you’re moved to, kindly leave us a rating and review. Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast — and it’s easy! Thank you so much. Disclaimer: The information in this podcast is intended for general audience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace professional medical advice. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/farrar-duro/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/farrar-duro/support
TTC During A Pandemic: Special Episode With Dr. Kenneth Gelman
Deciding to try for a baby is a big decision — one that’s suddenly been made a whole lot more complex by the coronavirus pandemic. Many of our patients are grappling with whether or not this the time to try and get pregnant or would it be worthwhile to wait. During this webinar, Dr. Kenneth Gelman and I discuss the pro's and con's about trying to conceive during a global pandemic based on current research and answer your questions regarding what you can do now to prepare for a healthy pregnancy in the future. To view the slides and watch the webinar replay click here. Discover More About the Supplements We Discuss Help Us Spread The Word! If this episode has taught you just one thing, I would love if you could head on over to Apple Podcasts and SUBSCRIBE TO THE SHOW! And if you’re moved to, kindly leave us a rating and review. Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast — and it’s easy! Thank you so much. Disclaimer: The information in this podcast is intended for general audience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace professional medical advice. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/farrar-duro/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/farrar-duro/support
Navigating the Changing Stages of PCOS With Dr. Rashmi Kudesia
Welcome to Episode 7 of Season 8 of The PCOS Revolution Podcast: Navigating the Changing Stages of PCOS With Dr. Rashmi Kudesia Today we’re speaking with Dr. Rashmi Kudesia of CCRM Fertility Houston on the changes that can happen with PCOS in different stages of our lives, and how different symptoms may take priority at different times in our lives. These challenges can manifest as irregular cycles as a teen, hirsutism or weight management later on, and ultimately infertility. We’ll also speak about the reassuring data on how we can mitigate the long-term health impacts of PCOS by holistic lifestyle management in the reproductive years. About our guest: Rashmi Kudesia, M.D., M.Sc., is a double board-certified reproductive endocrinologist & infertility (REI) specialist at CCRM Fertility Houston in Houston, Texas. She serves as the Site Director for CCRM Houston – Sugar Land and Director of Patient Education, as well as Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Houston Methodist Hospital. Dr. Kudesia completed her Baccalaureate degree in Biology & Medicine magna cum laude from Brown University, and her M.D. with honors from the Duke University School of Medicine, where she was selected into a clinical research training program co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Her OB/GYN residency training was at the New York Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center, followed by REI fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Montefiore Medical Center, alongside a Masters’ of Science degree in Clinical Research Methods. She subsequently served as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, as well as the Research Rotational Director for the REI fellowship, and Medical Director of the Brooklyn office of the Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York. Dr. Kudesia has held many national leadership roles in organized medicine, including her current roles as Chair-Elect of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM) Women’s Council, and the ASRM Young Physician Delegate to the American Medical Association. She has presented scientific research nationally and internationally, and received multiple awards and grants. She regularly publishes peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and enjoys teaching the Houston-area OB/GYN residents and medical students. She actively promotes women’s health advocacy through community work and social media. Her current areas of interest are access to fertility knowledge, counseling and care, polycystic ovary syndrome, and LGBT fertility. Episode Links: Dr. Kudesia’s Facebook Page CCRM Fertility Houston The PCOS Diva Podcast Help Us Spread The Word! If this episode has taught you just one thing, I would love if you could head on over to Apple Podcasts and SUBSCRIBE TO THE SHOW! And if you’re moved to, kindly leave us a rating and review. Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast — and it’s easy! Thank you so much. Disclaimer: The information in this podcast is intended for general audience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace professional medical advice. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/farrar-duro/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/farrar-duro/support
Going Keto-Green To Flip the PCOS Perimenopausal Switch With Dr. Anna Cabeca
Welcome to Episode 6 of Season 8 of The PCOS Revolution Podcast: Going Keto-Green To Flip the PCOS Perimenopausal Switch With Dr. Anna Cabeca Today I have with me Dr. Anna Cabeca, who's an expert in women's health and functional medicine. She's an Emory University trained and board-certified gynecologist and obstetrician and she's also certified in integrative medicine and anti-aging/regenerative medicine. She specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and their natural alternatives, and she also focuses on successful menopause and age management medicine. Dr. Cabeca's years of experience in her private practice, along with her own journey of transformation, has placed her as one of the most in-demand speakers regarding restorative health and women's health issues. In this episode, we discuss how hormone production dips as a woman ages, leading to increased visceral fat which is especially difficult for women with PCOS. By pairing keto-diet staples with foods that bring the body’s pH to a more alkaline level, we discuss how you can shed belly fat more easily while balancing the hormones responsible for that bulkier midsection in the first place. And by fueling your brain with ketones—like rocket fuel instead of gasoline—you’ll make better decisions, including healthier choices for what to eat. Episode Links: Dr. Anna's Free ebooks: Slim Sane Sexy (https://dranna.grsm.io/SlimSaneSexy-farrarduro2478) The Hormone Fix (https://dranna.grsm.io/HormoneFix-farrarduro2478) You can also pre-order her new book Keto-Green 16 (https://amzn.to/39J2M4S) here Find Dr. Anna at: https://drannacabeca.com/ (https://drannacabeca.com/) Help Us Spread The Word! If this episode has taught you just one thing, I would love if you could head on over to Apple Podcasts and (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-pcos-revolution-podcast/id1320664421) Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast — and it’s easy! Thank you so much. Ways to Subscribe to the PCOS Revolution Podcast: Click here to subscribe via Apple Podcasts (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-pcos-revolution/id1320664421?mt=2&ls=1) Click here to subscribe via Android (https://subscribeonandroid.com/www.floridacompletewellness.com/feed/podcast/) You can also subscribe via Stitcher (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-pcos-revolution-podcast) PCOS Revolution Podcast is also on TuneIn (https://tunein.com/podcasts/Health--Wellness-Podcasts/The-PCOS-Revolution-p1085606/) Take a listen on Google Podcasts (https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZmxvcmlkYWNvbXBsZXRld2VsbG5lc3MuY29tL2ZlZWQvcG9kY2FzdC8) Thanks for listening! To learn more about the brand new PCOS Revolution Academy, visit www.thepcosrevolution.com (http://www.thepcosrevolution.com/) ! Disclaimer: The information in this podcast is intended for general audience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace professional medical advice.
Ultimate Pre- and Post-conception Care With Sarah Clark
Welcome to Episode 5 of Season 8 of The PCOS Revolution Podcast:Ultimate Pre- and Post-conception Care With Sarah Clark Today, Sarah Clark, a good friend and repeat podcast guest is joining us once again. We’ll be chatting about everything pre-and post-conception care. This is something that is near and dear to my heart. This week on PCOS Revolution Podcast, I am having a conversation with Sarah Clark. She is a certified life coach as well as a health coach. Sarah is the author of Fabulously Fertile and few other books as well. Her coaching program drastically helps her clients live better lives. A lot of people go on the pill for acne or painful periods. When they come off the pill, a lot of times the issue is still there. The pill simply acted as a band-aid, and it some cases it can be worse when come coming off the pill. The problem hasn’t been fixed and now they are struggling with infertility. During this episode, we’ll dive deep into the food and nutrition part of things. Many people struggle with different symptoms, pains, illness, etc. The problem is we’ve outsourced our cooking to the food industry and that’s why we are sick. Learn more about Sarah, her practice and what you should be doing pre-and post-conception if you are pregnant or looking to become pregnant during this episode of the PCOS Revolution Podcast. READ the entire transcript here: Read Full Transcript (#) Farrar Duro Welcome back everybody to the PCOS Revolution Podcast. I’m excited today because I have a friend and longtime podcast guest who’s been on the show a few times, Sarah Clark here to talk about today, something very near and dear to my heart, which is preconception and postpartum care with PCOS. So I want to introduce her to you quickly for those of you who don’t know her. She is a certified life coach with accreditation from the International coaches Federation and a health coach with training from the Institute for integrative nutrition. And, you know, she also is the author of Fabulously Fertile, Supercharge Your Fertility Naturally, The Fabulously Fertile Cookbook and Fertility Preparation program. And she’s also super proud of her signature fertility coaching program, which includes functional lab testing supports couples to make diet and lifestyle changes that dramatically improve your chance of having a healthy baby and pregnancy. So welcome, Sarah. So glad to have you. Sarah Clark Thanks for having me, I’m excited to be back Farrar. Farrar Duro And this is something that we get emails about, we get questions. We also work with this a lot in our clinic. You know, definitely the preconception part, but we also are getting some feedback from a lot of people that you know, PCOS and postpartum care, it’s not adequately addressed, because there are certain challenges that come up. So, we need to start with with preconception care, because we know preconception care is actually going to determine a lot of times how you’re feeling postpartum as well. So, what First of all, what started you out on this path of working with fertility and pregnancy, and that sort of thing? Sarah Clark Yeah, so I had my own journey with infertility and was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure and had both my kids with donor eggs. Then years later discovered, I had these food sensitivities. And later after that gut infection, I had chronic bladder, sinus, and yeast infections. Then the time when I discovered all this, I was fully in menopause, and then really if you're still cycling naturally, there’s things we can do, but really looking at those different symptoms. And I was given, I had irregular periods in my early 20s, and acne, and I was given the pill. And then when I went off the pill, the periods are still regular, the acne was still there. So that was just a bandaid solution. And then being on the pill, then impacted my nutrient levels and my body’s ability to absorb them, and then also...
Hands-On Ways of Healing Your PCOS with Dr. Meaghan Kirshling
Welcome to Episode 4 of Season 8 of The PCOS Revolution Podcast: Hands-On Ways of Healing Your PCOS with Dr. Meaghan Kirshling When it comes to structural treats and how to treat PCOS, it can be hard to know where to turn and what to do. Sometimes people aren’t talking about the things out there that can help you. Today we will be diving into hands-on ways of healing your PCOS. This week on PCOS Revolution Podcast, I am having a conversation with Dr. Meaghan Kirshling. Dr. Kirshling has an allopathic and alternative medicine background with an overall passion for health. She has her doctor of chiropractic from Northwestern’s health and science university as well as a bachelor’s degree in nursing and exercise science. She also has 3 Master’s degree. Dr. Kirshling has served as an organ transplant nurse as well as served as a civilian with the Army as a chiropractor oversee. Today we will be talking about something that isn’t as commonly discussed with PCOS. This is great episode with tons of valuable insight. Dr. Kirshling believes hormones are often misrepresented. A lot of times we don’t give them enough respect or we don’t connect them. The core of our reproductive health is based on the pelvic girdles. Most people’s pelvic floors aren’t as strong as they should be. We discuss ways in which to strengthen your pelvic floor during our conversation. We’ll also chat about the positive impact facia rolling can have with patients with PCOS. Learn techniques to help your PCOS that you can start applying right away during this episode of the PCOS Revolution Podcast. READ the entire transcript here: Farrar Duro Well hello and welcome back to the PCOS revolution podcast. Today, we’re going to be talking about a subject that is not usually talked about with PCOS, and we have an expert here named Dr. Meghan Kirshling, who has really got a passion for education and integrative health. She actually comes from both worlds. She has both an allopathic and alternative medicine background, receiving a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Northwestern Health Sciences University and a BS in nursing and Exercise Science from Valparaiso University, along with a master’s in nutrition from the University of Connecticut Bridgeport. And if that’s not enough, she also has two masters of nursing, one is in women’s health from the University of Cincinnati, the other in family practice from George Washington University. She’s also worked as an organ transplant nurse and as a civilian within with the army actually overseas as a chiropractor. So this is going to be so much fun. Today, we’re going to talk about different ways that you can help PCOS and structural treatments. So, so welcome Dr. Kirshling, so great to have you. Dr. Meghan Kirshling So excited to be here and to talk about PCOS and structural changes, because I do think that this is a topic that isn’t discussed enough. Farrar Duro You also have a podcast, so if you’re watching the video of this on YouTube, you’ll see her awesome podcast set up too. We’re going to link to her show as well, in our show notes. So tell us a little bit about how you started working with women’s health, because you definitely have had a really diverse career. So tell us a little about that. Dr. Meghan Kirshling Well, I think always, no matter what I’ve been doing, and no matter which arena I was in, whether, you know, it was more of a chiropractor with the army, whether it was even organ transplant or not really working in the functional medicine world for almost 20 years, I’ve always just had a passion and the core of it, I think has been women’s health. For a lot of different reasons. I just think that a lot of times hormones are misrepresented in the health realm, that a lot of times, we don’t give them enough respect, or, you know, the other part of it is we don’t connect it and there’s such a connector, our hormones really are connecting window into everything else that’s going on in our health and wellness. And so from working with a lot of women and men to on hormone issues, going in and looking at total health, and that a lot of times, when we do look at the hormones, we don’t do it enough justice. And so all of those things that really caused me to really dive deeper and to really get into the hormone world on a much deeper level. Farrar Duro Very cool. And so I looked on your blog, and there’s an article really, that it caught my attention, because in our clinic, we do acupuncture, and we also do myan abdominal therapy, which is a treatment that actually helps correct pelvic imbalances and that sort of thing. So, and it’s not that a lot of people that doesn’t really come to mind that something could be going on structurally, that maybe from an accident or something that’s happened a long time ago, or surgery or that sort of thing. Where you know, there is congestion there. So can we talk a little bit about the treatments on the chiropractic side as well for PCOS, and also some other treatment options that that our listeners might not have known about? Dr. Meghan Kirshling I think one of the major things is when we talk about reproduction, we talked about hormones, we talked about PCOS, it is overlooked about the structural changes whether or not they were there first, or whether or not they’re now and especially in the reproductive organs, congestion is very common. Whether we’re talking about cystic ovaries, we’re talking about fibroids, and we’re talking about sluggish blood flow, that and endometriosis and things like that that sluggish movement is a very common symptom or primary concern with these women. A lot of times, you know, we really do dive into nutrition and insulin resistance and metabolic concerns like we should, with hormones and PCOS and we dive into the hormones and hormone balancing, but we don’t pay enough attention to that structural component, and that’s so important because what we need to do is get lymphatic movement there get you out of congestion, get a proper blood flow. I mean, even honestly break down some of that congestion in the forms of cysts and fibroids and other things that are there that we do need to make changes. And we can do that really powerfully with structural care that a lot of times we overlook. Farrar Duro Awesome, and we have a word for it. Well, his term is called blood stagnation in Chinese medicine. And it’s something that is so visual, because we’ll ask, you know, what about your periods? Are they clotty? Are they you know, what color are your periods and all that. And we see an improvement with things like acupuncture, massage, myan abdominal therapy, osteopathic, chiropractic treatments. So as that circulation improves, the pain level gets better. And you know, the blood flow improves as well. And they always say the better blood flow, you have, you know, when trying to get pregnant, the better you’ll feel during pregnancy, because you know. Alson, the embryo needs good circulation and that sort of thing. So how do you look at someone who is coming in with, who does have issues with perhaps painful cycles, or endometriosis? Or PCOS? What thing do you look for as far as in the body? Dr. Meghan Kirshling Well, I do you think an important part of this too, is that a lot of those things you mentioned, which we can get into more like acupuncture, cranial sacral chiropractic adjustments, abdominal massages, even sacral energy work. All of those things are not only an important part, but there really are powerhouses for treatment here. And I think there’s a lot of different reasons, like we already mentioned with the stagnation, and the fact that there’s a lot of stagnation there physically, but also energetically, that a lot of times anybody who’s been through any kind of hormone or reproductive concerns, knows that one of the things that we do is disconnect. And we disconnect from our reproductive organs, we disconnect from the power that is reproduction. And that vitality that we get is women from reproduction. And so the other powerful part is just by putting on some hands on treatment, and some hands on care whether that’s acupuncture, like I said, adjustments or myan abdominal massage, that are, what we find is that helps to reconnect to not to try to ignore those reproductive organs, which we do so often as a natural defense, you know, when something doesn’t work, right, what do we try to do to say, I hope this just goes away. And we disconnect from those organs. And we disconnect from reproduction, which as a woman has a lot of negativity, you know, we should really be connected to the power that is our reproductive organs. And I don’t say that to you know, be I just think we don’t have enough power to that, you know, especially in traditional medicine, a lot of times, what we try to do is just go to pathways and medicines or supplements, but we don’t really go back to that core of just reconnecting to the organs and reproduction and things like that. So one of the powerful things about it is I think it does give you back that connection gives you back that power. And we can then move emotions that are stuck there blood that’s stuck there, structure problems that are stuck there, and then get you reconnected to the reproductive and the reproductive organs. Farrar Duro And we talk about, you know, the sacrum as a sacred thing. I mean, it’s, it’s something that we don’t really acknowledge so much. But in abdominal therapy, you know, philosophy, if you do have an injury to your tailbone when you’re young, they really think that it can influence the outcome of your cycles. So and you talk about this in your blog, where, you know, there could be issues with tailbone injury, because, you know, like, when you crack your tailbone when you’re young, it doesn’t like fully fuse until you’re in your 20s, early 20s. And we see it all the time where the tailbone kind of curves to the right or the left. So, what do you find, if you are going to be doing these releases? What sort of benefit Have you seen with this? Dr. Meghan Kirshling We’ve seen a lot of benefits, and it really for each individual, there might be a better option for if you’re looking at structural you know, it’s not a one size fits all, like any good therapy or medicine is never really one size fits all. But if you have had an injury, old injury to the tailbone, I highly recommend you go to somebody who can help with that structural component, whether it’s a chiropractor, or cranial sacral, there’s a huge connection between even the nerves of the sacrum and where they go to the digestion, the bladder, the reproductive organs, and we start to see changes in function after injuries, like you’re talking about. I will say we use a lot of micro current, in our practice, we have a massage therapist, she’s amazing, her name is Tricia and she does a lot of micro current with abdominal massage. And that really helps to reconnect not only the structure part of it, but the neurological part too. and just reconnect the body. There’s a lot of parasympathetic nerves that come out of that sacral area. And so a lot of people that do have reproductive issues, they’re not in the proper balance between fight and flight and rest and digest. So even just stimulating parasympathetic through deep breathing, yoga, relaxation, meditation, that really can be very beneficial for reproduction, and reconnecting to that parasympathetic part of reproduction. And also, I will say that, you know, acupuncture and getting that energy flow, and then if there’s any scar tissue, one of the things about scar tissue, and we see so many individuals walking around with central scar tissue, for me, their surgeries, injuries in that core area, and then that sacral area, whether you know it c section, reproductive surgery, scar tissue, or injuries or appendix out, you know, there’s so many different reasons why you might have scar tissue there, that blocks the flow of energy, blood nerves. Just in general, we see that scar tissue is a big underlying cause, that a lot of people don’t address in their journey to get back proper hormone balance, get back proper PCOS, flow and PCOS menstrual cycles and things like that. Dr. Meghan Kirshling So when we look at it, it’s not just structural. When we talk about the spine, we talk about the actual structure like sacral and pelvis, which is so important, but also to look at the abdominal tissue to look at scar tissue and things like that, because all of that plays a role in all of it affects the nerves, the organ function, and even just the energy flow in that area. Farrar Duro So good. And you can picture like little highways, you know, as far as meridians anyway, people ask, you know, what are you how do you look at the body when you’re looking at the connections of the fascia and all that. And I just thought it would be fun also to give our listeners some exercises that they can do at home, and you mentioned one called a uterine lift. So tell us a little bit about that. Dr. Meghan Kirshling So uterine lift is really easy to do, and it’s very powerful for the body. And I do believe that even if you google uterine lift, you probably get a YouTube video. So in case, my verbal cues on this are a little bit off or hard to follow. You can find videos on uterine lifts. But what it is, is it is actually going in and obviously the core of our reproductive health structurally, is based on that pelvic girdle. And when we look at it, a lot of our pelvic floors and pelvic girdles are not as strong as they should be. There’s a lot of different reasons this and there’s a lot of things you can do to strengthen that pelvic floor, which we can talk about. But when we look at that pelvic floor, it’s a sling. And what it is responsible for is holding up especially the reproductive organs like the uterus and the bladder. And one of the things that we can see is that there can be a decrease in the tone of the pelvic floor. And then there also can be sort of a weighing down of that uterus. Dr. Meghan Kirshling So for uterine lift, what you actually do is lie on your back. And it’s usually best to have your knees at about a 90 degree angle, you can just go right above your pubic bone and you sort of Cup in and just pull up that uterine and it’s like a uterine massage, but it’s a lifting massage. And so usually to, what will happen is women will find areas that they’re more sensitive with. So if you start right in the middle of that pubic bone and the pubic symphysis, and you start there and sort of Cup in, what you want to do is then a minor little crunch up, which actually helps to contract that core and contract up uterine, just a little bit and then you just can massage and pull up. And it actually through that massage and pulling motion, it takes a lot of pressure off of the pelvic floor. And so we find that when there’s cramping even when there’s you know, bladder spasms, urgency, frequency problems with the bladder, or any kind of problems with cycles and bleeding and or, you know, cramping that doing that can almost bring you instant relief. I really highly recommend this to with castor oil packs. Because when we talk about stagnation, and we talk about blood stagnation, lymphatic stagnation, anything in that area, castor oil packs are very easy thing to do at home. And they’re great to do right before it because that heat and the castor oil will actually detox, get the lymph moving. And then you can do that at home massage and Lyft to really help with the structure yourself. Farrar Duro Very cool. And we’ll try to link in our show notes to to a video on this. But I think it’s also empowering to know that you can do something, you know, in general, instead of just, you know, taking Tylenol, that you know. And let’s talk a little bit about yoga because this is one of my favorite recommendations. And I feel like if I could just attach a yoga studio to my clinic, I would do it and just send everyone over there immediately. But I feel like Yeah, when you talk about hip openers, and things like that, what has really been helpful for your patients, as far as certain yoga poses and things like that, that you would recommend. Dr. Meghan Kirshling I think any of the just like you said any of the hip openers are huge for yoga, yoga and PCOS or reproductive issues. Because the psoas muscle, the main hip flexor really is connected to the reproductive organs. And so a lot of PCOS, women, a lot of reproductive issues do have tighter hip flexors. And it is harder to really open up those hip flexors. For those women because of the connection that to a highly we have nerves from the psoas hip flexor, and the reproductive organs, they share a lot of similar nerves. And so when one’s inflamed, the other is too. And so any of the hip openers really does help to engage and strengthen while elongating that psoas muscles, so any of the warrior poses are really good, you know, doing to like the butterfly openers, things like that. And then I also do just even like the child’s pose as a great pose, because it’s a relaxation, parasympathetic, because again, when we look at this, the more that we can up regulate, rest, digest and reproduction to the parasympathetic, the more than to that our body is going to be in a relaxed state that’s going to help to balance out hormones and reproduction. And so the reason I like the child’s pose is because it does put you in a relaxed, parasympathetic state, but it also compress this, all of those organs that are in our abdominal area, you know, not just our liver, but our reproductive organs and our digestive system, our bladder. And by that compression, we’re actually getting a great stimulation. Dr. Meghan Kirshling I also do you want to piggyback on and say, I think there’s a great great great modality called hypo presses. And hypo presses, they’re a little bit more popular in Europe. They’re popular in Spain is where they came from. They’re popular, they’re gaining a lot of popularity in Canada, and they’re finding their way down to the US. But hypo presses, it’s sort of an offshoot of yoga, but it’s a breathing technique that really looks at the pelvic girdle, the core, the diaphragm, and really what they call the core canister. And I find that hypo presses are amazing for any woman with reproductive issues, because you’re strengthening the core, you’re relaxing that diaphragm that’s a big part of all this, that a lot of times we don’t talk about. And you’re engaging the pelvic floor on a whole different level to create a vacuum. And that vacuum works just the same way as like the child’s pose does, but a little bit more at a higher level, where it’s able to compress and stimulate. And so we see a lot of improvement with reproductive issues, core issues, digestive issues, and bladder issues. And we’ve even seen people with cystoocele or any kinds of prolapses fix them naturally with hypo presses. So I really have a lot of respect for that art. And I think it’s one that we’ll hear more about in the US. So if you have not, yet if you’ve not heard of hypo presses, its type of presses, low fitness, pressure, pressure fitness, but hypo presses is where you can find a lot of information about that. Farrar Duro Okay, so definitely, we’re going to link to that, because that is fascinating to me. And I think, you know, the more information we can get on things that we can do to help as far as incorporate into our self care routine, and that sort of thing, the better. And that’s exciting. So, and you talk a little bit about, you know, massage in general, and mya fascia rolling, because I...
Busting Through PCOS Diet Myths with Martha McKittrick
Welcome to Episode 3 of Season 8 of The PCOS Revolution Podcast: Busting Through PCOS Diet Myths with Martha McKittrick There are a ton of diets as well as tons of advice flying around out there about what you should be eating when you have PCOS. Like most diets, that information is more often than not inaccurate, a myth or not based in facts. This week on PCOS Revolution Podcast, I am having a conversation with Martha McKittrick. Martha is a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator. She is also a health and wellness coach with a private practice in New York City. With over 25 years of experience in nutrition, she specializes in weight management, PCOS, cardiovascular health and diabetes, just to name a few. She has had a special interest in nutrition since 2000, and is considered a pioneer in the field of PCOS. Martha helps health professionals and those struggling with PCOS. Martha is extremely passionate about helping people with PCOS and understands the lack of awareness out there. It has gotten better since 2000, yet since social media, it’s gotten more confusing. People can be paralyzed with all the information. Learn more about Martha, how she helps people struggling PCOS and the best way to feed yourself nutritionally when dealing with PCOS during this episode of the PCOS Revolution Podcast. READ the entire transcript here: Read Full Transcript Farrar Duro Hello everyone and welcome back to The PCOS Revolution Podcast. Today I have a very special guest named Martha McKittrick, who’s a registered dietitian, a certified diabetes educator, and a well coach certified health and wellness coach with a private practice in New York City. With over 25 years of experience in the field of nutrition, Martha specializes in PCOS, weight management, cardiovascular health, diabetes, IBS and preventative nutrition. And now Ms. McKittrick has also had a special interest in nutrition for a long time now since 2000. And so she’s considered one of the pioneers in the field of PCOS. She was the nutrition editor for Dr. Walter Fetterweit’s book, A patient’s guide to PCOS understanding and reversing polycystic ovarian syndrome. And she’s lectured across the country on PCOS to both health professionals as well as women with PCOS. And she’s also currently on the Health Advisory Board for The PCOS challenge. So so glad to have you here. Welcome, Martha. Martha McKittrick Thanks so much. I’m really excited to be here, especially considering September is PCOS Awareness Month. So it’s like perfect timing. I’m always passionate talk about PCOS. Farrar Duro Yes, for sure. And definitely, I want to dive into these topics because I you know, I want to talk about your experience that you’ve had, personally with clients of yours who’ve actually started to reverse their insulin resistance just by working with lifestyle. And as we know, that’s the number one treatment for PCOS is lifestyle so so just tell us a little bit about what got you interested in working with PCOS. Martha McKittrick About 20 years ago, I was a consultant for Web MD, and I was running one of their message boards. And a woman had written in and said that she was having a lot of trouble losing weight, she was on a really low fat diet, she was eating healthy, she was exercising, and she couldn’t lose weight. And then she told me she had PCOS, and she was actually on a very low fat diet. So I did a little research and saw that insulin resistance is highly connected to PCOS. So we put her on a bit of a lower carb type of the diet and changed her exercise a little bit. And she was finally able to lose weight. So that got me like really interested in PCOS. And then I met Dr. Fetterweit. And then I got involved with you know, lecturing across the country for women with PCOS and joined some PCOS organizations. And I’m just really passionate about helping women with PCOS, just because I think there’s so much misinformation out there or lack of information, lack of awareness. It’s gotten a lot better since the year 2000. But I think now with social media, in a way it’s gotten more confusing, because you go on Instagram, or you go on the internet, and you read totally different things. So I’ve women come into my office almost like paralyzed with you know, what do I do? You know, this site says you need to do Keto, this site says you need to be plant based. So it’s, it’s I think women are just like, so overwhelmed with the information out there. So I try to help clear the confusion with them. Farrar Duro So needed too. So tell us a little bit about your story from personal experience also, and the way that you have kind of weaved some of those lifestyle recommendations into your own life. Martha McKittrick Yeah, well, my own life, you know, I’m a New Yorker, I live in New York and I don’t have PCOS But I’m just as a busy New Yorker and a woman who’s going through menopause, I just find I apply a lot of the same things I do for some of my patients. Like for example, I struggle getting enough sleep, that’s probably the number one thing that I struggle with, you know, I’m up late at one in the morning on my computer, blogging and stuff, and it’s like, you can’t do that you have to go to bed. So sleep is super important for insulin resistance. So I really try to stress that with my patients. You need to prioritize yourself, you need to make sure that you get enough sleep, you know, get off electronics, set up a time, this is when you’re going to go to bed. Because what happens is when you don’t get enough sleep, of course, your hunger The next day, you know, you tend to crave more carbohydrates, you’re not going to create salmon and broccoli. So usually you’re looking for more carbs, you’re hungry. Martha McKittrick And they’ve also done a lot of studies on lack of sleep with worsened insulin resistance, increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. So it’s super important that all my clients, especially my clients with PCOS, get enough sleep. So I focus on that a lot. And then it’s what I find a lot of people have trouble with finding time to meal plan, you know, and I’m a New Yorker, but my kitchen is the size of a closet, you know, so I don’t cook much, I’ll admit, I don’t cook much. But you need to have a plan like you know, you have a busy day. So how are you going to be able to get healthy meals, you know, you need to have certain things in your home or your apartment, just so you’re ready. So the end of the busy day, you can come home and throw something together really healthy. You don’t have to sit down and cook this gourmet meal. So kind of like, you know, what I do with my patients is I give some education, I help to try and clear some of the confusion with the myths out there. You know, I talked about gluten and dairy? And should you go keto. What about intermittent fasting? What are the nutrients that are healthy for PCOS? How can you start to reverse insulin resistance and decrease inflammation? Because they’re both really important. So we talked about, you know, that stuff, and then we get into the practical part of it. So you have this information? What are you going to do with it? Alright, so we know Yeah, wild Salmon and then and Quinoa and spinach is awesome, but how is that going to happen in your life? So a lot of that really is, is thinking about planning? And, you know, where can you get these meals? So it’s kind of a two pronged approach. So it’s really looking at lifestyle, doing education, and then doing the practical, how are you going to implement it? Farrar Duro That’s so true. And I noticed with our patients to and then our 90 day program, we start with mindset. So do you feel like that is important? Because I know that there’s definitely anybody can go online and just grab a diet or, you know, a cleanse, or any of these things. cookbooks are out there for sure. But it doesn’t automatically guarantee that you’re going to have success with maintaining your weight and and all that. So what would you say as far as the most important thing to start with when you are trying to change your mindset? Martha McKittrick Yeah, I’m really glad that you brought that up, because if I were to kind of draw like a pyramid, like, you know, in order of importance, I think mindset should be really the base of the pyramid. Because like you said, you know, you read on on social media that, you know, so and so lost 20 pounds in a month doing this diet, and I have patients come into my office, and they’re so focused on the weight loss. And the diet, part of it is that they don’t, they don’t understand that if that’s all you’re focused on, it’s not going to last. So the first thing I would say is, you know, change your mindset, this is kind of a healthy way to eat for the rest of your life. It’s not a short term diet on. And rather than I think another thing is focusing on like what you shouldn’t have or can’t have. Martha McKittrick And first of all, I don’t ever like to say to somebody, you can’t have that, that, you know, rather than saying, Oh, I can’t have any more pizza, or I can’t have any more bagels, I can’t have pasta, think about like the good things that you can have to try and you know, turn it make it be more positive. There’s so many delicious, healthy foods that you can have that can help to heal your PCOS. So changing your mindset there. So it’s thinking could have it in a long term, this to help you diet for life. Trying to stop from thinking, "Oh, if it worked for her, it’s going to work for me." Another big thing I tell people is that everybody, every woman’s an individual, you know, I’m sure you tell that to your patients is that we all have different metabolisms, a different genes and different gut microbiome and degrees of insulin resistance and inflammation. And food sensitivities is a huge one. So just because somebody else can’t ever have gluten, or dairy, or soy, or wheat or whatever, it doesn’t mean you have to do that exact same thing. So you need to listen to your body and find what works for you. I think find the least restrictive eating plan that you can so mindset, super important. So I always talked, I start all my sessions with that with my patients. Farrar Duro That’s awesome. And what do you think about? You know, a lot of times people say, well, women with PCOS can never have dairy. But in my experience, I can do okay with dairy. I mean, there’s certain things like, you know, a little bit of Greek yogurt, and all that is is fine. You know, so, like you said, individualization is important. And so I mean, as far as some of the myths out there, can you like elaborate a little bit on those? Because I know people are very caught up and, you know, not doing certain things like, you know, no carbs, and no dairy and no gluten and all these things. So what do you find as far as the biggest roadblocks you have when women are coming in with these ideas Martha McKittrick I mean, I think that’s it. That’s a really, really good point. I’m glad you brought it up. It’s really my blog that brought it to me with PCOS. And I also specialize in IBS and diabetes and all these other conditions. And I haven’t heard so many like myths out there about these other conditions or something about PCOS where there’s just so much out there. And the biggest, the biggest one, I think I hear actually there’s two, is no dairy and no gluten. And a lot of the really popular, you know, coaches or influencers, whatever on social media, say you cannot have gluten and dairy. If you have PCOS, it’s like pretty much their poison. And here’s the thing, right? Sure, there are definitely people who cannot have gluten. Obviously, if you have celiac disease, you cannot have gluten, you can’t and that’s maybe 1% of the population. There’s another perhaps 7% of the population that’s gluten sensitive, maybe it’s more but statistically 7%. But just because you have PCOS, it doesn’t mean you can’t have gluten, and a lot of things out there, people will say Oh, it’s inflammatory, it’s going to make our your symptoms worse. Martha McKittrick Well, it might for some women, you know, if you have a food sensitivity, sure, it will make it worse. But if you are able to tolerate, you know, small amounts of gluten, and I say small because I think women would PCOS should be on a monitor low carb diet. Um, I think the degree depends on the person, which is a whole separate subject. But sure, you shouldn’t be eating tons of carbohydrates. So you shouldn’t be having bowls of pasta. But if you have a slice of Ezekiel bread in the morning, that’s not going to cause inflammation in most people. So I think that’s a really big myth. And I think that’s a really big, it’s a really hurtful myth. Because it just makes you feel like if you have something that you’re bad and you’re a failure, you went off the diet, and that’s probably going to end up in more bingeing or, because I mean, women with PCOS have high rates of eating disorders, and higher rates of anxiety, depression, all that. And if you feel like, I can’t have fruit, I can’t have gluten, I can’t have dairy, like that’s going to mess you up. And that’s going to lead to problems. So the biggest one, like you said, I think gluten is a big one, dairy is a really big one. And dairy is a hot button topic anyway, whether you have PCOS or not, I mean, there are many people who are really, really against dairy, you know, adults were aren’t meant to have dairy is a lot of stuff is out there, it’s inflammatory, it causes cancer, there’s a lot out there. Um, I think we can’t call all dairy is not created equal. Now, you had mentioned Greek yogurt. You know, there are a lot of studies out there that show fermented dairy actually decreases inflammation. But it’s also good for the gut microbiome. So I’m not pro dairy, I’m not anti dairy. I personally don’t even like milk, but if I have a woman come in and she loves plain Greek yogurt, have it. Martha McKittrick Now if you have it, and it makes your symptoms worse, there are some studies that show that having dairy might worsen acne with the PCOS. So if you find you have a Greek yogurt, and your skin gets worse, don’t do it. I didn’t know I think you should be drinking glasses of milk, you know, that, to me is just I don’t think anybody needs to do that. But if you want to put a little milk in your coffee, or have you know, a little cheese, cheese is fermented. If you love a little Parmesan cheese, sprinkle some on your salad. But I don’t think unless you have an issue with dairy, it causes a problem. I don’t think all women with PCOS, you need to avoid dairy, you have to assess how you feel. And if you’re curious, cut it out for three or four weeks, you know, do cut out one thing at a time otherwise it will be confused. But cut out gluten for three or four weeks. But pay attention though, because a lot of times when women cut out gluten, they are eating less carbohydrate, maybe less white carbs, they feel better, because you know they’re eating less refined carbohydrates. And they’re not going to be getting the blood sugar and insulin spike so you’ll feel better. So if you want to do a real experiment, I would say to you know, maybe cut out white pasta and substitute it with corn gluten free pasta. I mean, that would be a real experiment. But I’m, I’m all about experimenting, so to do a trial, cut it out and see if you feel better and do the same thing with dairy, cut it out and see if you feel better, that that’s a big one. Then there’s other stuff out there, like the whole carb thing. Women with PCOS need to do keto, you know, I’m super open minded. And I’m not a huge keto fan, but on the other hand, it has worked well for some women. If I would never tell a woman should to do keto off the bat. If you’ve tried everything, and you’re just not getting results, and you want to do keto, even short term, sure, do it. But I don’t think by any means everyone with PCOS needs to do keto. Farrar Duro Thank you. Everyone’s breathing a sigh of relief probably, you can hear a collective sigh, like good because I just feel like it’s just becomes I mean, I have a patient who’s 12 years old, who told me the other night and it really broke my heart. Like I honestly have been, you know, working with patients for 20 years like you and you go, there’s a lot of things that that we hear every day. But this almost put me into tears when she said, "If I just look at food, I gain weight, and I can tell you all of the calories and everything I eat because I’ve been counting calories since I was nine years old." And she said "I hate my thighs, I hate myself" and that really kind of, you know, brings it home. It’s it’s not just that PCOS and as far as it’s not about the acne, it’s not only about the weight, it’s about also the depression that can come from not feeling in control of your body. Totally, definitely, it starts at a very young age. I think a lot of our patients have dieted for as long as they can remember. And they don’t know what it’s like to not be on a diet. So we’re kind of like the "undiet" people. That’s what I say. I don’t like that word, I just feel become, you know, a thing where you know, you have you have to be on a diet for the rest of your life. So, so what can you see, as far as far as like giving people a plan for life? What would you think would be a good idea? I mean, I know it needs to change as you get older, but I always say like follow something you can see yourself doing when you’re eighty and and would that be like more involved in like plant based with a little protein or, or I know that, you know, everyone’s unique, but what would you say would be something good to start with? Martha McKittrick I kind of like thinking of the balance plate, I don’t know if you ever seen that drawing of the plate. And then there’s a line down the middle, and you feel half your plate with vegetables, and you feel a quarter with a protein and then a quarter with the healthy carb, and then throw some fat in there. I kind of like to teach people that kind of concept. It’s super simple. It’s not into counting macros, and all that I’m just trying to get in more vegetables. So in terms of you know, should somebody be plant based or not, that’s really individual. Some women feel better having like, maybe having protein like chicken or fish or even meat or eggs, it just, it holds your cravings more, they feel more satisfied. So like, I wouldn’t really tell somebody to go plant based unless they wanted to, I’m fine with it, if that’s what the way they want to eat, it’s really healthy. But I think thinking of the plate method is a really good one. And I think it’s also finding ways to get those vegetables in because I think it’s like something like 90% of adults, or probably kids don’t eat enough vegetables. And I just did on, I just did a blog post on why women with PCOS should eat more vegetables. And, you know, I gave like nine real reasons backed up by science. And a really important reason is, obviously they keep you feeling more full, they aid in weight management, they can lower cholesterol, decrease risk of diabetes, but really importantly is that they improve the health of the gut microbiome. We’re doing so many studies now on gut health, and the kinds of bacteria that we have in us, we all have about five pounds of bacteria living in us and on us. And most of it’s in the intestinal tract. And if you eat a lot of vegetables, you’re actually feeding those good bacteria. And that’s the kind of bacteria that can help you improve insulin sensitivity,...
Pregnancy and PCOS Q&A With Dr. Aviva Romm
Welcome to Episode 2 of Season 8 of The PCOS Revolution Podcast: Pregnancy and PCOS Q&A with Dr. Aviva Rom Are you pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant? If so, this episode is for you. Our guest today shares great tips, tricks and insights into navigating a healthy pregnancy while having PCOS. This week on PCOS Revolution Podcast, I am having a conversation with Dr. Aviva Rom. Dr. Aviva is a midwife and herbalist. She is board certified in family medicine with obstetrics who’s been bridging traditional medicine with good science for three decades. Her focus is on total health ecology. Dr. Aviva currently lives in western Massachusetts in the countryside. She had an early inspiration to become a physician. She went to college at age 15 to become an MD. She was then exposed to herbal medicine and became passionate. She actually found out her grandma was an herbalist. Additionally, she began to explore the role of diet and lifestyle as well as exposure on our health. Since then Dr. Aviva went vegetarian and vegan. She noticed weight that she gained resolved without having to ‘diet’ or exercise more. Allergies and sickness also subsided. Then she was exposed to midwifery. Functional medicine was not a popular thing when she discovered it. She had to navigate very few resources for these in order to study these topics. Dr. Aviva recommends probiotics during pregnancy with PCOS. She also suggestions to take two tablespoons of flaxseed to help get rid of extra estrogen. It can also help with pregnancy constipation. During the episode we dive deeper into various things you can do while pregnant. We’ll chat about blood sugar balance in pregnancy as well. READ the entire transcript here: Read Full Transcript Farrar Duro Welcome back everyone to The PCOS Revolution Podcast. I’m excited today to have with me Dr. Aviva Romm, who’s a midwife, herbalist and Yale-trained MD, board certified in family medicine with obstetrics, who has been bridging the best of traditional medicine with good science for over three decades. Her focus is on what she calls our total health ecology using episome medicine to identify and reverse the root causes of chronic health conditions, particularly hormonal problems and women and common children’s health problems. She’s considered one of the world’s leading botanical medicine experts, and is the author of seven books on natural medicine including the textbook, botanical medicine for women’s health, and the adrenal thyroid revolution. Dr. Romm is author of the integrative medicine curriculum for the Yale internal medicine and pediatric residency, is on numerous scientific advisory and editorial boards, and is a widely sought engaging speaker. Her online programs for women are also wildly popular and successful helping women take back their health affordably and her innovative professional programs are educating and next generation of health practitioners. So welcome, Dr. Romm. So excited to have you here. Dr. Aviva Romm Thank you. Please call me Aviva. Farrar Duro Okay. Hey, and so you practice in New York City, correct? Dr. Aviva Romm Yeah, I’m in New York City. And then I also have a telemedicine practice, based out of where I live, which is Massachusetts, I’m in Western Mass in the countryside. I live on a little dirt road. Farrar Duro Awesome. Oh, great. Okay, and what really inspired you to go the natural route? Because having both the degree in midwifery right and being an OB that’s really interesting. So what what led you to that path? Dr. Aviva Romm Yeah, so um, I actually started out on the natural path when I was 15, I had a really early inspiration to become a physician and I went to college when I was 15, to become an MD, but then during that first semester, I got exposed to so many things that kind of just really transformed the rest of my life. I got exposed to herbal medicine who knew such a thing existed. Ironically, I in my 20s, I found out that my great grandmother was actually an herbalist. She was Hungarian, and I didn’t know that. But at the time, it was so new to me and I started to explore the role of diet and lifestyle and environmental exposures on our health. And so I started to actually change my diet. At that time I became a vegetarian and a vegan, this was back in like 1981. And started to notice that, for example, weight that I had gained during my very stressful transition from high school at 14 to college at 15. Just sort of automatically resolved without me having to quote unquote, diet or exercise, more lifelong allergies I had, which were pretty significant seasonal allergies were gone, I used to get sick and take antibiotics a lot. Now, I’m 53, I’ve taken an antibiotic one since I was 15 years old when I change my diet that way. Dr. Aviva Romm So I started to get really interested in natural approaches. And then I got exposed to midwifery. And the two really went so naturally hand in hand, because women who were looking for a healthier, more natural way to birth, also wanted more natural approaches for their hormone health or their fertility or once they had kids for their children. So it kind of just became a whole life style and profession for me. But ultimately, I couldn’t get any of that training in conventional medicine because back in 1981, the term integrative medicine had not been coined. Nobody was, you know, my family thought I joined a cult because I was doing all these weird things, which of course, I had not done. And so I had to really seek out this training. In the very few books, there were like three or four books on herbal medicine on the market at the time, there was one book on midwifery or natural birth at the time. So I had to find people in corners of the country that were doing these things and apprentice sort of the old-fashioned way. And then I did that for over almost 25 years, where I, not apprenticed, but worked with women and kids around natural medicine and birth. And then decided that I really needed to be part of changing the medical system and being a voice of sanity for people who also had to go into the conventional medical system. Dr. Aviva Romm So I went back, finished my prerequisites for medical school, because I had left school at 16 to pursue these other things. And then really went to med school and then pursued, I did my internship in internal medicine. So I’d be able to do all adult medicine and encompass things like I mean everything from psychiatry to immunology to oncology, but wanted to bring back that pediatrics and midwifery care. So I did my internship in internal medicine and my residency in family medicine. And that was where I incorporated the obstetrics piece because as a family doctor, you can do family medicine, with or without obstetrics. And I chose to do it with obstetrics. So kind of the whole the whole way it happened. And I’ve just continued to incorporate the same nutritional botanical lifestyle, ecological awareness into what I do as a physician. And I always try to go to that first. Not that I shun using conventional therapies when they’re needed, there’s a time and place for medications for surgery, etc. But usually, that’s further down the line. And there’s so many natural approaches we can take first that are safer and healthier and often as or more effective. Farrar Duro Very cool. And I got that, you know, today we will talk about pregnancy with PCOS, because a lot of focus is always on getting pregnant, and yet, there’s not a whole lot on pregnancy and postpartum. And even less on, you know, menopausal, perimenopausal women with PCOS. So, we do get a lot of questions regarding supplements during pregnancy and, you know, also working with around balancing blood sugar and that sort of thing. If you’re already taking something, should you still take it and all that. So I thought that we could talk today about that. And I know that our listeners have a lot of questions about this. So could you just give a little bit of advice that you have a great blog post on your website about natural strategies for PCOS? And if you do have a patient who’s pregnant or with PCOS, do you have any suggestions for that patient? That would be a little different, or what would you look at? Dr. Aviva Romm Yeah, so for pregnancy? You know, it’s interesting. First of all, I just want to step back and say, women with PCOS have historically and sadly continued to be fat-shamed, right? There’s this perception that women have PCOS, because they’re overweight, which also is a problem because a lot of women who are thin, who can still have PCOS also get their diagnosis completely missed. So there’s been a lot of misconception and misperception in the medical literature about weight and fertility and conception and ability to conceive. And actually, would you really dissect the medical literature. Just because you’re overweight does not mean that you’re more likely to have conception problems. Farrar Duro If you’re obese, if someone's BMI is you know, over 30, then there can be more medical problems in general for anyone but just being overweight does not equate to a fertility problem. Similarly, you can be really slim and have PCOS and struggle with fertility problems. So getting to the crux of the matter. What we really want to think about or what I think about with PCOS, and getting pregnant, is is a woman ovulating. One of the biggest reasons that women don’t get pregnant pregnant is an ovulatory infertility, they’re not ovulating and one of the biggest problems with PCOS that leads women to have irregular menstrual cycles. And with that, sometimes fertility problems, which may be the first hint that there is PCOS, a lot of women have not had a proper diagnosis. Sometimes a woman’s been on birth control pills, it should have been recognized as soon as did most goes off the pill and now is struggling to get pregnant. I see that a lot in my practice. Dr. Aviva Romm So a lot of times, women don’t even realize that they have PCOS and the first sign that they have a PCOS is that they have trouble getting pregnant. A lot of times what I see in my practice, someone’s been on the pill, for example, since they were 14 or 15. It may have even been that they had symptoms of PCOS, but nobody noticed it because they had irregular periods, which is common when you’re a teenager, or they had acne, which is common when you’re a teenager, they were a little overweight, which people say oh, you know, you’re a teenager, and your hormones kicked and you gained weight. So they go off the pill. And then they try to get pregnant. And they’re having no six months, a year, two years. And it turns out, they’re just not ovulating properly. And so this is the biggest thing that I tried to give attention to, with women who are struggling with fertility and an ovulation, is looking at is it PCOS, then let’s get a proper diagnosis going. And if it is then working with their body to either address the excess testosterone, which is often what’s preventing the preventing ovulation, and making sure that their insulin and blood sugar levels are healthy. Dr. Aviva Romm Not all women with PCOS have measurable insulin resistance, but it is a really common problem, about up to 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. And what’s interesting is that not all women with PCOS have detectable insulin resistance, but they may be more sensitive to insulin than other women. So they may still have some of the problems that come with it like this high testosterone. And the problem with this is that once they do get pregnant, well, if they struggle with the fertility problem, of course, that in itself can be excruciating, emotionally financially costly, taxing of time, then once women with PCOS do get pregnant, they have a higher rate of miscarriage. And that’s, you know, of course, very emotionally stressful, and often have if they have an insulin resistant or blood sugar problem with their PCOS, run the risk of having problems like gestational diabetes, when they’re pregnant, premature labor when they’re pregnant, and babies with higher levels of problems. So, I don’t want anybody listening to be scared about that. It’s just important to of course, be educated and knowledgeable and most OB/GYNs and family doctors are absolutely not knowledgeable about the connection between PCOS, miscarriage and pregnancy problems. Dr. Aviva Romm So when I have a woman who is coming in for prenatal care for fertility care, or for PCOS, and she’s thinking that she might want to get pregnant sometime. I always want to make sure that I’m working with her to optimize her blood sugar, making sure that her blood sugar levels are ideal, and healthy before she gets pregnant, usually just working with diet, and then working to make sure that we’re addressing her testosterone levels, which you don’t necessarily always have to keep testing and testing and testing. But you can often look at is that excess hair that is growing in places she doesn’t want it not growing anymore, is she having continued acne. And as those symptoms start to clear up through work with diet, sometimes supplements, you’re kind of getting the physical signs that things are improving. During pregnancy, it gets a little bit trickier because one we can’t easily diagnose PCOS during pregnancy. Dr. Aviva Romm So if you didn’t already know someone has it, you know, you may be kind of walking into that not knowingly, but it’s really important during pregnancy for women to keep their blood sugar really healthy. And also, if someone goes into to pregnancy on a lot of the PCOS supplements that are recommended, and particularly the botanicals, not all of those are safer use during pregnancy. So it’s important to have a really good plan in place. If someone has had problems with their blood sugar, you know, how are you going to keep it steady? If the only way you’ve achieved keeping it steady before is with you know, certain herbs and supplements, you know, and then just being aware of blood sugar throughout pregnancy and making sure that you’re staying on top of preventing gestational diabetes, which is really quite possible with a healthy diet. Farrar Duro And would you recommend Myo inositol powder during pregnancy? Dr. Aviva Romm I recommend Myo inositol, it is actually proven safe for use during pregnancy. So it’s one of the it’s one of my definite go to supplements for women who are who are struggling with preconception problems or you know fertility problems, who have PCOS in general, particularly if they have a known blood sugar problem. And interestingly, I’m at least in one study, combining Myo inositol with folic acid, which is actually really important for preconception and baby’s health, even before you get pregnant, but certainly during that first trimester as well, has actually shown to improve conception rate of improved ovulation and conception rate in women with PCOS even better than Metformin, which is the standard medication use for blood sugar regulation. You can also use D Chiro inositol, or you can use a combination of the Myo inositol and D Chiro inostiol. Farrar Duro Very good. And do you have any recommendations as far as you know, probiotics or vitamin D level, what type of vitamin D or anything like that? Dr. Aviva Romm Yeah, so vitamin D is both essential for a healthy pregnancy. And also, we know that moms that get optimal levels, or moms who have optimal vitamin D levels during pregnancy, actually have babies with healthier dentition, their teeth are better when they when they get their teeth. So it’s really important to keep your vitamin D levels healthy during pregnancy, I like to see vitamin D levels between about 50 and 80 on bloodwork. And for most people, even if you don’t know what your vitamin D level is, taking 2000 international units of vitamin d3 during pregnancy is totally safe for pretty much everyone. There’s one rare exception, which is one particular autoimmune condition that’s so rare. Dr. Aviva Romm But for everyone else, it’s really, really safe. So I recommend that 2000 units for all my pregnant women. But I usually do a vitamin D level on my women with vitamin D with a PCOS. And if their vitamin D level is below 40, then I will always be supplement to try to bring them up to at least 40. Usually 2000 units a day, if someone’s in a healthy range will keep them in a healthy range. And if they’re below a healthy range, so anything under 20 is considered deficient. Anything under 30 is considered insufficient. 40 is really an optimal level to start, you know to get to. So if they’re below those optimal levels, I will supplement more sometimes 4000 or up to even 6000 units a day. I don’t recommend just doing that on your own, though, that’s when it’s really good to work with an integrative family doctor who’s trained in obstetrics or an integrative ob/gyn or in a knowledgeable midwife to help get you to that right level because you want to retest if you’re at those high levels to not keep taking those sustained high levels, once you reach a normal blood level. Farrar Duro That’s great advice. And I feel like they’re two I guess, roadblocks when that I’ve noticed with our patients. And also myself when I when I was pregnant. If you have irregular cycles, sometimes a typical gynecologist is going to base your due date and all everything on, you know, a normal cycle and a 28 day cycle, I guess you could say. But if you’ve had 36, or 40 or 50 day cycles, that’s your norm. You’re ovulating much later. So they could actually potentially tell you that, you know, you’re not doing well the pregnancies not going as well as it should have, you know, your numbers aren’t where they need to be, if they’re basing it off of, you know, 28 day cycles. So, so I think, you know, we tell them, you know, make sure that you tell your doctor about your long cycles. So that that doesn’t, you know, happen, even with an ultrasound a heartbeat, not there. And it’s like, wait, it’s only five weeks. So typically, Dr. Aviva Romm if somebody is having like a 40 or 50 day cycle, often not itself has been an anovulatory cycle. So typically like that, you wouldn’t necessarily give like an extra 30 days. But I agree with you erring on the side of two weeks plus or minus is really important because one, ultrasounds can be inaccurate by two weeks. And a lot of times we’ll see somebody who gets induced too early, because they’re, they’re told that they’re going overdue when they’re not necessarily overdue, they just conceived later. The other thing is that women who have higher body weight are often going to be flagged by the medical model as being much higher risk. And that’s not always the case with significant obesity. Dr. Aviva Romm It’s the case and with diabetes, it’s the case with gestational or, or non gestational diabetes, it’s the case but just being overweight, doesn’t mean you’re more likely to have really severe pregnancy outcomes. And doesn’t mean you need to be induced. So women need to advocate for themselves if they feel like they’re being treated based on their weight or fat shamed and really important, because this is actually a very big problem in conventional medicine. Farrar Duro That’s true. And I was thinking the other thing would be anemia. Because if you have high, I mean, if you have, you know very long cycles or heavy cycles with a lot of women do with PCOS, once they get their period, you know, then also you have a higher chance, you know, also when you’re pregnant of...
About the podcast The PCOS Revolution Podcast
Living with PCOS doesn’t have to be a struggle! On The PCOS Revolution podcast we’ll discuss the tools that can transform your PCOS symptoms and change your life. You’ll learn the secrets of kicking PCOS to the curb as reproductive experts and fellow cysters share their wisdom so you can better understand how to break free of anxiety, depression, weight gain, fertility challenges and the dreaded hormonal ups and downs. Disclaimer: The information in this podcast is intended for general audience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace professional medical advice. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/farrar-duro/support