Is Your Estrogen Tanked?

Is Your Estrogen Tanked?

Do You Need More Estrogen?

​For most women, menopause occurs between the ages of 48 and 52. In the lead-up come the hormonal changes of perimenopause, which often last between four to ten years. Though some women sail through these hormonal shifts, many experience symptoms that come and go or occur daily. During this time most women feel they are chasing their tail as symptoms come and go. But how do you know if low estrogen is to blame when it comes to your hormones?

 

Symptoms of Low Estrogen

Estrogen is closely linked to how you feel, your mood, and your general well-being. So, you can imagine that if your estrogen levels were low, you would experience some noticeable symptoms such as:

  • Mood swings
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Anger 
  • Irritability

 

Low Estrogen & Menopause

If you are in your mid-late 40s or early 50s & experiencing some of the symptoms  below, there are chances that you are beginning the menopausal transition. These symptoms can include:

  • Changes in skin texture
  • Hair loss/thinning
  • Amenorrhea (absence of periods)
  • Decreased libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Depression
  • Insomnia 
  • Painful sex
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent headaches
  • Dry eyes 
  • Frequent UTIs

If you’re looking to naturally control these symptoms, you might try foods high in phytoestrogens. Part of what makes phytoestrogens a bit tricky is their ability to both mimic estrogen & act as an estrogen antagonist.

The way these phytoestrogens work is interesting:

  1. If there is too much estrogen present in the body, phytoestrogens attach to estrogen receptors & prevent the natural hormone from overproducing.
  2. When natural estrogen levels are too low, phytoestrogens take on the role of raising & balancing the natural level of this hormone.

 

Naturally Increasing Estrogen 

  1. Red wine – the active constituent that makes drinking red wine so beneficial (in moderation) is resveratrol. Not only helpful for balancing estrogen, but also for lowering inflammation in the body.
  2. Flax seeds – flaxseed contains the highest amount of lignans, a form of polyphenols, which are high in phytoestrogens. When plant lignans are ingested, they can be metabolized by the intestinal bacteria in the large intestine into enterolactone. Enterolactone is the bioactive form of phytoestrogen. It is enterolactone that binds to estrogen receptors, blocking and competing with estrogen, based on if your body is too high or too low in estrogen. Think of flaxseeds as the perfect estrogen balancer!
  3. Red clover (herb) – is one of my most favorite herbs for balancing estrogen levels and a very powerful phytoestrogen. You can find it in a supplement form or make a tea out of it too.
  4. Soy – is probably the most studied phytoestrogen-rich food. It’s the isoflavone content that makes it stand out nutritionally. The research shows that isoflavones may be able to counteract decreasing estrogen levels during menopause and reduce flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and other symptoms. 
What you need to know about insulin

What you need to know about insulin

Hello Everyone and welcome to my Podcast, Regenerate You!

Insulin is one of the most misunderstood hormones in your body. There are some diet plans that say to keep it as low as possible and others that say you need more of it. If you’re trying to lose weight, balance your cholesterol, or even achieve healthy thyroid levels; optimum insulin levels are necessary. But what constitutes normal insulin and what is this powerful hormone doing in your body? This is what I’ll be discussing on this episode.

If you’re looking for additional advice, feel free to visit my blog here. You can also stay connected with me on my Facebook page @DrNirvanaHeals or on my Instagram @DrNirvana.

Please remember to subscribe and to please leave me a review as well!

 

And remember, when you regenerate, there’s a new you every day!

The Link Between Thyroid and Cholesterol

The Link Between Thyroid and Cholesterol

Welcome to Regenerate You, I’m Dr. Nirvana!

Thyroid problems can have a ripple effect throughout your body, including your cardiovascular system. In particular, people with hypothyroidism may have higher cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease and further inflammatory conditions in the body. On this episode I discuss the link between thryoid issues and cardivascular disease and what you need to know about this potential danger.

If you’re looking for additional advice, feel free to visit my blog here. You can also stay connected with me on my Facebook page @DrNirvanaHeals or on my Instagram @DrNirvana.

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And remember, when you regenerate, there’s a new you every day!

The Link Between Birth Control and Hair Loss

The Link Between Birth Control and Hair Loss

Welcome to Regenerate You, I’m Dr. Nirvana!

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to your individual experience with hormonal birth control, including your genetics, the type of hormonal contraceptive used, and how long you were using it. But on this episode, I wanted to review the top 5 common causes of post-birth control hair loss, that I see with my patients and what you can do about it.

If you’re looking for additional advice, feel free to visit my blog here. You can also stay connected with me on my Facebook page @DrNirvanaHeals or on my Instagram @DrNirvana.

Please remember to subscribe and share the podcast to share the health!

 

And remember, when you regenerate, there’s a new you every day!

Natural Solutions to Constipation Relief

Natural Solutions to Constipation Relief

Welcome to Regenerate You, I’m Dr. Nirvana!

You know what they say, sh*t happens. But for millions of Americans, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s right, I’m talking about constipation. On this episode I discuss a very common cause that’s often overlooked, and what you can do to treat it naturally.

If you’re looking for additional advice, feel free to visit my blog here. You can also stay connected with me on my Facebook page @DrNirvanaHeals or on my Instagram @DrNirvana.

For immediate constipation relief, I formulated the Gut Be Calm™, which you can learn more about here.

Please subscribe and share this podcast to spread the health.

 

And remember, when you regenerate, there’s a new you every day!

The Link Between Food Intolerance, Hormones and Your Gut Health

The Link Between Food Intolerance, Hormones and Your Gut Health

Welcome to Regenerate You!

If you find yourself struggling with food intolerances of any kind, then it’s most likely causing an imbalance in your hormones as well. And if you’ve been diagnosed with low testosterone, PCOSestrogen dominancethyroid issues, or insulin resistance; then your food sensitivities are making them worse.

In this Podcast, I discuss how they’re linked and where to begin to help heal and regenerate your body from the attack on your immune system.

If you’re looking for additional advice, feel free to visit my blog here. You can also stay connected with me on my Facebook page @DrNirvanaHeals or on my Instagram @DrNirvana.

Please subscribe and share this podcast to spread the health.

 

And remember, when you regenerate, there’s a new you every day!

Hidden Gluten Sources you Didn’t Know About

Uncommon Foods Containing Gluten

If you have Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disease that’s the most severe form of gluten intolerance, and are still experiencing symptoms after going gluten-free, you may still be getting gluten exposure from hidden sources. Both forms (Celiac’s and gluten intolerance) can cause widespread symptoms, many of which have nothing to do with digestion. They can both lead to further inflammation in the body as well as Hashimoto’s disease. However some people do have non-celiac gluten sensitivity as well. Either way it’s important to limit your exposure to gluten 100%. Here’s a comprehensive list the known and hidden sources of gluten, which will help you identify potential exposures that you weren’t aware of.

 

Common Gluten Foods:

  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Kamut
  • Oats (if not specifically gluten-free)
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Wheat
  • Wheat germ

 

Hidden Gluten Sources:

  • Artificial coffee creamer
  • Beer
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Broth/stocks
  • Candy
  • Certain ground spices
  • Certain veined cheeses
  • Chewing gum
  • Chips
  • Cold cuts
  • Flavored teas
  • Flavored rice
  • Fish sticks
  • Flavored crackers
  • French fries
  • Gravies
  • Hot dogs
  • Imitation seafood
  • Instant coffee and other instant hot drinks
  • Ketchup
  • Matzo flavor
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pasta side dishes
  • Rice mixes
  • Roasted nuts
  • Soy sauce
  • Salad dressing
  • Seitan (wheat gluten, used in meat substitutes)
  • Self-basting turkey
  • Soy and teriyaki sauces
  • Tinned baked beans
  • Tomato sauces
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Veggie burgers
  • Vodka
  • Wine coolers

For those with Celiac Disease, complete avoidance of gluten is important. Some non-Celiac patients may also be sensitive enough that even tiny exposures are problematic. If you feel like you have successfully eliminated gluten from your diet and are still experiencing gluten-associated symptoms. When you are gluten sensitive, your body is creating antibodies against gluten. Those same antibodies can also recognize proteins in other foods that have similar structures and mimic the reaction they have to gluten.  Which non-gluten foods you may react to will depend on the antibodies your body has formed against gluten.  Not everyone will have a cross-reaction to all the below foods, but it’s important to consider if you’ve gone gluten-free and are still experiencing symptoms.

 

Cross Reactive Foods:

  • Buckwheat
  • Sorghum
  • Millet
  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Potato
  • Hemp
  • Teff
  • Soy
  • Milk (Alpha-Casein, Beta-Casein, Casomorphin, Butyrophilin, Whey Protein and whole milk)
  • Chocolate
  • Yeast
  • Coffee (instant, latte, espresso, imported)
  • Sesame
  • Tapioca (a.k.a. cassava or yucca)
  • Eggs

In those with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, increased intestinal permeability or ‘leaky gut’ is common. This can further aggravate the formation of food sensitivities.  Healing an unhealthy gut may help alleviate some of these cross-reactions or sensitivities to gluten. However the best course of action would be to determine the root cause of your gut issues in the first place. 

 

Understanding your Thyroid Labs

Understanding your Thyroid Labs

Decoding Thyroid Lab Values

Understanding what type of thyroid condition seems to be a common question I receive. One of the questions I am most frequently asked is, “what are the most important thyroid function tests to check to assess your thyroid’s function?” The appropriate tests, along with what your thyroid lab results really mean, are two of the essential topics to understand…to determine if you genuinely have thyroid dysfunction or not. So I thought I’d put together this reference guide to help. With this table in mind, let’s discuss what each lab test means.

 

TSH

TSH tests pituitary function and can be used to diagnose thyroid disease.

  • If TSH is high – this can be a sign that you are under-producing thyroid hormones and you are hypothyroid
  • If TSH is low – this can be a sign that you are over-producing thyroid hormones and are hyperthyroid, or that you are on too much supplemental thyroid hormone. Supplemental T3 or natural desiccated thyroid hormone with T3 can artificially suppress your TSH, so in the absence of symptoms, it could be perfectly normal.
  • If your TSH is ‘normal’ – for example your TSH falls within the normal reference range, this could indicate that you do not have thyroid dysfunction. However, “normal” and “optimal” levels have two very different meanings. So, if you still have symptoms and are in the “normal” — not “optimal” — range then you likely could have thyroid dysfunction

 

Free T3

Free T3 may be the most important measure of thyroid function in the serum because it measures the free and active thyroid hormone. T3 is more biologically active than T4.

  • If FT3 is high – indicates that your thyroid is overactive or hyperthyroidism
  • If FT3 is low – you may not be converting T4 to FT3 very well and you could have hypothyroid symptoms even if your TSH and FT4 are within range. This is one of the most common causes of low thyroid or hypothyroidism I see in my practice.

 

Free T4

Free T4 measures the amount of free T4 in circulation. Once TSH signals to your thyroid to ramp up the production of its hormones, it produces the four different types of thyroid hormone – T1, T2, T3, and T4. The primary output of your thyroid is T4, which is a storage form of the hormone. It is circulated throughout the bloodstream and stored in tissues so that it’s available when needed. I liked to measure Free T4 (FT4) since it is unbound and able to act in the body.

  • If FT4 is high – it can indicate an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism
  • If FT4 is low – it can indicate an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism

 

Total T3

Total T3 includes measurement of bound T3. Bound T3 is not considered active like free T3 but total T3 gives you a more stable long-term marker of T3 in circulation.

 

Thyroid Antibodies

The thyroid antibodies include thyroglobulin antibody, thyroid peroxidase antibody and thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin. The presence of these antibodies in your serum may indicate an autoimmune disease which is damaging your thyroid gland. Thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) attack an enzyme used to synthesize thyroid hormones and are commonly elevated in both Hashimoto’s and Graves’ Disease patients. Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb), attack thyroglobulin, which your thyroid uses to produce its hormones. These are typically elevated in Hashimoto’s patients.

  • If your antibodies are elevated – your immune system is attacking your thyroid and you have autoimmune thyroid disease, or you are on the autoimmune spectrum.

 

Reverse T3

Reverse T3 helps measure the conversion capacity of your thyroid gland. Your body also uses a portion of the T4 to create Reverse T3 (RT3), another inactive form of thyroid hormone. RT3 can attach to the receptors for Free T3 to slow down your metabolic processes.

  • If RT3 is high – you are likely converting too much T4 to RT3 and not enough to FT3, which can cause hypothyroid symptoms even if your TSH and T4 levels are optimal. In addition, I look at something called the RT3/FT3 ratio. I like that to be less than a 10:1 ratio.

 

 

What you Should have Checked

Most conventional medicine doctors only check your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels. If you are lucky, they will test your Free T4 levels to see if you are low on the storage form of thyroid hormones. However, as we’ve just covered, there are many factors involved in optimal thyroid function, so those two levels alone don’t tell the whole story. To get a complete picture of a patient’s thyroid health and medication needs, I recommend ordering all of the thyroid tests listed below:

  • TSH
  • Free T4
  • Free T3
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb)
  • Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)

 

Optimal Thyroid Lab Ranges

In my Practice, I have found that the ranges below are the ones in which my patients thrive. I listen to my patients as well and take how they are feeling into account.

  • TSH 1-2 UIU/ML or lower (Armour or compounded T3 can artificially suppress TSH)
  • FT4 >1.1 NG/DL
  • FT3 > 3.2 PG/ML
  • RT3 less than a 10:1 ratio RT3:FT3
  • TPO – TgAb – < 4 IU/ML or negative

 

Being educated about what’s going on with your thyroid will help you make the best choices when determing the next step in taggling your thyroid questions!

 

Losing Weight after COVID

COVID Causing your Weight Gain?

As the shelter-in-place is coming to an end, you may have gotten the impression that some people were more scared of weight gain than catching the virus. Or maybe you are one of the many, that actually did gain a few extra pounds during this time, and you didn’t change much in your diet or exercise routine.

Sadly, it seems that weight gain goes against what society has told us to do from the moment we were able to absorb the message. We are conditioned to celebrate weight loss and treat it as the most incredible thing humans can do, and conversely, we’re conditioned to fear weight gain and consider it as a failure.

But weight loss is NOT us failing. It’s never an indicator of failing, but especially not during these current circumstances – weight fluctuations are an entirely normal response to our lives being very different right now. We are not in our usual routines – far from it, in fact – our anxiety is most likely heightened and we have been prioritizing other things than what our bodies look like. And that’s okay. It’s very okay if your body has changed, because your normal routine has also changed. But if you need a little extra encouragement, here are some tips on how to handle the few extra pounds:

 

Focus on What you Do Have~Not the Way you Look

It’s easy to focus on your body when you gain weight but try to just shift your attention anywhere else. Do things that increase your energy and overall wellbeing, rather than things that change your body. For example, if you’re having a not so good day judging your body, do an exercise you can like yoga or even stretching – and remind yourself of how strong your body actually is. This helps to take the emphasis away from how it looks (which is not as bad as you judge it to be). Simply, appreciate what you already have, because it’s great!

 

Accept This is Where You’re Suppose to Be

You’re in the body that you’re supposed to be in right now. Acknowledge that, accept it and show yourself some kindness. You don’t deserve to be punished for a very normal response to changing circumstances.

 

Confide in Someone you Trust

Feeling terrible about the weight gain? Tell someone. A problem shared is a problem halved and that person is most likely going to tell you – truthfully – that you look great and you don’t need to worry about the few extra pounds. And maybe you can both do something to make each other laugh. Laughter really is one of the best medicines!

 

You Have Options

If in the end you find that your few extra pounds isn’t coming off the way it use to, or that it’s come on a lot quicker than before…consider testing your hormones. It may just be that your gut has been inflamed, preventing it from making the hormones you need for healthy weight management. Going to the root cause will help to define exactly what you need to do, in order to start feeling like yourself again! The root cause often times has to do with the foods you’re eating. Even though you may be eating healthy, it may not be what your DNA needs as food. That’s why I created the Nirvana Diet™. It’s a simple blood test that tells us what you should be eating based upon your genetics, so you can take the guess work out of knowing what’s good for your body, or not. An apple for one person, reacts differently in one person’s body, than another’s. So if you’re struggling with weight loss, know that you have options!

Weight Loss in PCOS

Weight Loss in PCOS

Hello Everyone! Welcome to Regenerate You, I’m Dr. Nirvana. Today I wanted to discuss a very hot topic when it comes to PCOS and that’s weight loss.

One of the biggest struggles with women struggling with PCOS is losing weight or keeping it off. While diet can help to reduce weight, inevitably we return to square one with the weight coming back on.

On this episode, I’ll share which hormones are responsible for the weight gain, and the one change you can make in your diet to know exactly what to eat to help with your weight loss goals.

If you’re looking for additional advice, feel free to visit my blog here. You can also stay connected with me on my Facebook page @DrNirvanaHeals or on my Instagram @DrNirvana.

Please subscribe and share this podcast to spread the health!

 

And remember, when you regenerate, there’s a new you every day!