Women's Health

What to Do About Menstrual Migraines

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By Ann Melin, Lead Health Coach for Women’s Wellness Collaborative

Of all of the symptoms that women experience with their menstrual cycles, menstrual migraines are among the most debilitating. Many women who suffer from menstrual migraines report missing at least one day of work per month and many others often have to cancel personal plans and social activities.

I’ve been lucky in that I have only had a few migraines in my life! Unfortunately, those were a few of the worst experiences I’ve had. I remember thinking that I wanted to crawl into a dark corner with a morphine drip… that’s how bad it was!

In all honesty, very few things would make me consider going to an ER. Although I never did for the migraines I had, I thought about it seriously on a couple of those occasions!

So, let’s talk about menstrual migraines. Read on to learn what they are and how to avoid them.

What are Menstrual Migraines?

True menstrual migraines are those that occur anywhere from 2 days prior to menses up until day 3 of the menstrual period. Many women also experience migraines throughout the menstrual cycle that become more prevalent during menses.

Menstrual migraine symptoms often include severe aching, throbbing, or pounding pain on one or both sides of the head. This pain may be exacerbated by light, noise, and movement. Symptoms may also include nausea and vomiting. Some migraines are associated with visual auras or other kinds of visual disturbances, such as temporarily blurred vision or disturbances in visual perception.

What Causes Menstrual Migraines?

Shifting levels of hormones and neurotransmitters are thought to be the primary cause behind menstrual migraine symptoms. In particular, the decline of estrogen towards the end of the luteal phase appears to trigger menstrual migraines in those who experience them.

This is even more common in women who have elevations in estrogen during the follicular phase and lower than normal levels of estrogen during the luteal phase. These wide swings of estrogen appear to be more highly associated with menstrual migraines than having consistently high or low levels of estrogen.

Progesterone levels also drop sharply just before your period, and women’s bodies are more sensitive to the decline of estrogen when progesterone is low. Progesterone can also act as a buffer against high levels of estrogen throughout the month and may offset symptoms of estrogen fluctuations that result in menstrual migraines.

As women enter into peri-menopause, they often experience declines in overall progesterone levels creating a condition of estrogen dominance that can precipitate the onset of menstrual migraines.

Drops in estrogen also lead to decreases in serotonin. We often think of serotonin as the neurotransmitter associated with mood. Indeed, mood dysphoria associated with pre-menstrual syndrome is likely connected to decreased levels of serotonin caused by fluctuations in estrogen.

Additionally, research has shown that low levels of serotonin cause dilation of the blood vessels in the brain thereby initiating migraines. Serotonin regulates GI function and low levels of serotonin are thought to be involved in the common symptoms of nausea and vomiting associated with migraine headaches.

What Helps Migraines?

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The DUTCH Cycle Mapping Test

The DUTCH test for hormones is one of our favorite labs at Women’s Wellness Collaborative and they have a version of their test that is called the cycle mapping test. This test evaluates shifts in estrogen and progesterone throughout the entirety of the menstrual cycle.

This is a great lab to consider if you suffer from menstrual migraines as it could help target variations in hormones that may be driving menstrual migraine symptoms.

Creating more balance in the hormone system can ultimately lead to a reduction in frequency and severity of symptoms, while simultaneously helping you to work towards menstrual migraine prevention rather than symptom management.

This is where health coaching can really help you to access the right labs and to build a customized protocol based on your results.

A Good Diet

Some foods are known to have the potential to trigger migraines, and these foods include:

  • alcohol

  • caffeine

  • cheese

  • ice cream

  • citrus

  • nuts

  • vinegar

  • and chocolate (I know! It’s a crime to tell a woman to avoid chocolate when she has PMS!)

Self Care

Both too little and too much sleep can exacerbate migraine headaches, as can excess exercise, poor hydration, environmental toxicity, smoking, and travel.

Magnesium

Interestingly, one study showed that 45% of women who experience menstrual migraines have a magnesium deficiency and experience significant benefits from supplementing with magnesium. Magnesium also aids in muscle relaxation, which can help alleviate menstrual cramps and tensions associated with menstruation.

Due to declining soil and food quality, most of us do not get enough magnesium and are deficient. We have tried many brands and types of magnesium and this magnesium bisglycinate chelate is one of the best absorbed forms of magnesium.

Fish Oil 

Essential fatty acids are critical for balancing hormones and studies have correlated imbalances in fatty acid metabolism in all of the more troublesome symptoms associated with PMS. Linoleic acids (as found in things like flax oil and evening primrose oil) and EPA and DHA (as found in fish oil) can help the body synthesize prostaglandins which can regulate the body during PMS. Fish oil is also thought to enhance serotonin production which, as mentioned above, may be implicated in the etiology of menstrual migraines.

Herbal Remedies

Natural remedies for migraines commonly include the herbs feverfew and willow bark, which are both wonderful for the reduction of headache pain. In addition, butterbar has been shown to be specifically effective for use with migraine headaches.

Traditional herbalists have also used feverfew for a wide variety of gynecologic issues and the herb has been shown to reduce the nausea that commonly occurs with migraines. Cramp bark and black haw are both herbs that are effective against menstrual cramping in that they work as muscle relaxants. As with willow bark, cramp bark and black haw contain salicylates which alleviate pain and can help with menstrual migraine symptoms.

There are also great phytoestrogenic herbs that can help to regulate estrogen levels. I always prefer to know what the estrogens actually look like through lab testing before adding phytoestrogens; however, some good options include red clover and black cohosh.

Vitamin D

Low vitamin D is something that we see in a large percentage of our clients and there is some evidence that low levels of vitamin D may be one of the common migraine triggers. We recommend getting your vitamin D levels tested and then supplementing appropriately! If you are supplementing with vitamin D, it is important to have your levels monitored with some regularity and to take a bit of vitamin K2 as well.

Overcoming Your Migraines

So, what’s the take away? Yes, menstrual migraines are common and they can be debilitating at times. But they don’t have to be a life sentence! There are tons of natural tools available that can support you in having more comfortable periods.

Sometimes people have to try several things before they land on what works but there are so many wonderful labs and herbs and supplements and dietary options available to try and you deserve to be as comfortable as you can be throughout all parts of every month.

If you’re looking for tested, high-quality supplements, you can find these products in our shop:

Click here to learn about our favorite magnesium and here to learn about our favorite fish oil.

Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance at Any Age

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How to Adapt This Low-Cost Choice to Support Your Body

Do you suffer from irregular menstrual cycles, PMS, or mood swings? What about hot flashes, hair loss, or weight gain? If so, you’re not alone! Many women are searching for natural ways to balance hormones.

Seed cycling (also called seed rotation) is a natural remedy for hormonal imbalance which you can easily adapt. Read on to learn more about hormone balance, seed cycling and how you can customize this approach to fit your specific situation.

What Do Balanced Hormones Look Like?

We all want our hormones to be healthy. Unfortunately, today hormone imbalances are so common that it’s easy to ignore the symptoms with thoughts like, “Everyone else experiences this, too!”

Our cycles (or hormonal rhythms, for menopausal women) should not be accompanied by symptoms of hormonal imbalance. These are not normal; they are warning signals that your hormones are not right and your body is trying to get your attention.

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Menstrual cramps

  • Irritability

  • Mood swings

  • Acne

  • Fatigue

  • Missing cycles (if you’re of childbearing age)

  • Short, long or irregular cycles (if you’re of childbearing age)

  • Hot flashes

  • Tender breasts

  • Hair loss

  • Weight gain

  • Menstrual headaches

  • Insomnia

A balanced cycle will not be painful, depressing, or irregular. (1, 2)

How to NOT Balance Your Hormones

Unfortunately, today’s world makes it hard to be healthy, and many women struggle to obtain hormone balance. Why?

Here are a few of the common reasons why hormones may be out-of-balance.

  • We are constantly being exposed to toxins. Endocrine disruptors like phthalates, parabens, and fragrances fill our toothpastes, deodorants, shampoos, and makeup. Toxins like heavy metals, arsenic, and pesticides lurk in our drinking water. Plastics fill our food and our houses. Air fresheners and cleaners fill our air with debris. And these are just a few examples. No wonder our bodies are overloaded!

  • We are constantly stressed out. We get stuck in traffic. We get sick and long to feel better. We worry and fret over our busy lives. We work long hours. We never stop to rest. Stress takes its toll, depleting our hormones and running down our reserves.

  • We often eat foods that don’t support our bodies. Some foods, like gluten, dairy or other, can excite an inflammatory response in some people. Non-organic foods are often sprayed with pesticides, which stay on the food and enter our bodies when we eat them.

Obviously, we can work to avoid some of these factors, but a quick glance will tell you that avoiding them all is impossible!

So what can we do to help balance our poor, stressed-out hormones?

Many women, desperate for solutions, turn to options like hormonal birth control or symptoms-based hormone replacement therapy. Unfortunately, these can be expensive, and do not treat the underlying cause. They may not even resolve the symptoms these women are facing, and they are well-known for causing additional unwanted side effects. (3, 4, 5)

There must be a better way to encourage hormone balance!

What Is Seed Cycling and How Does It Work?

Simply stated, seed cycling is alternating the consumption of certain raw seeds every 2 weeks. It's very safe and gentle, but always ask your doctor first if you are on medications or in poor health.

While there is not a large amount of scientific studies on the subject, seed cycling has successfully helped many women. The basic theory is that certain seeds support the production and proper elimination of different hormones.

During the first half of your cycle, estrogen production should be higher. Flax seed powder, pumpkin seeds, and omega 3 oils can help boost and balance estrogen and hormones. (6, 7)

Progesterone should rise during the second half of your cycle. Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and oils such as borage oil or evening primrose oil can boost and support progesterone.

Basic Instructions for Seed Cycling

For best results, buy quality ingredients and prepare them appropriately. Use raw nuts and seeds and store them in the fridge or freezer. You’ll also need to grind the seeds fresh daily, but if you keep a little grinder on your counter, you can quickly scoop in your seeds and grind.

Cycle Day 1-14: Follicular phase, also known as Phase 1

1 T organic, raw, fresh-ground flax seed

1 T organic, raw, fresh-ground pumpkin seed

And/or 1 T high-quality fish oil

Cycle Day 15-28 Luteal Phase, also known as Phase 2

1 T organic, raw, fresh-ground sesame seed

1 T organic, raw, fresh-ground sunflower seed

And/or 500 mg borage oil

A note on dosage: You will see slightly different recommendations in different places. You can do 1 rounded tablespoon of each, 2 tablespoons of just one type, or up to 4 tablespoons total (measurement is made before grinding) in a day. I think what is most important is to get at least 2 tablespoons a day. If you happen to get in extra servings, no problem!

How to Adapt Seed Cycling for Your Situation

My cycle is somewhat regular. How do I support it?

If you are currently cycling, you start phase 1 of the seeds on the first full day of your period. You will then switch to phase 2 on day 15 of your cycle.

What do I do if my cycle is too short or too long?

You can start the phase 1 seeds on the first day of your period or on the new moon. On day 15, go ahead and shift to the phase 2 seeds, even if you haven’t ovulated yet. Once you hit day 28/29 (or the next new moon), switch back to phase 1 seeds. Eventually, your cycle should start to line up with the new rhythm you’re setting.

I have an irregular menstrual cycle and/or I have PCOS. What should I do?

These seeds can be a great supplement for PCOS patients to balance hormones for irregular periods. You may choose to start on the first day of one of your cycles or on the new moon. On day 15, go ahead and shift to the phase 2 seeds, even if you haven’t ovulated yet. Once you hit day 28/29 (or the next new moon), switch back to phase 1 seeds. Eventually, your cycle should start to line up with the new rhythm you’re setting.

I don’t have a cycle. Can I still benefit from seed cycling?

Yes! This goes for menopause, breastfeeding women after 6-9 months, or women with amenorrhea (no cycle in 3 or more months.) Start phase 1 of the seeds on the new moon. You will switch to phase 2 of the seeds on the full moon. A special note for menopause: Though you will not be supporting a cycle anymore, these seeds and oils can be a great part of the best diet for menopause, to clear and balance your hormones.

I’m following the lunar calendar. When do I switch the seeds exactly?

Seed cycling is recommend on a 28 day cycle. However the lunar cycle is 29.5 days. I would say if you are going with the lunar calendar, stick to the lunar schedule.

I’m trying to get pregnant. Can I try seed cycling?

Seed cycling is one of the natural ways to boost fertility. It can help regulate your cycle and improve fertility so you can get pregnant. Be careful, though, to stop seed cycling once you’re pregnant. This is a tip from the website of Dr. Amy Neuzil, ND, "If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s important to continue the luteal-phase seeds (sesame/sunflower) until you actually have a period, just in case you are pregnant that month. This gives the egg the best chance at implantation."

I am currently pregnant. Is seed cycling a good choice for me right now?

This protocol is NOT intended for pregnant women.

What if my diet doesn't allow me to eat some of these seeds?

If you are avoiding, for example, flax seeds and sunflower seeds, then just use the pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds in rotation. If you are avoiding all nuts and seeds, then you can rotate a fish oil supplement in your phase 1 (2 caps a day), and then use borage oil in phase 2 (2 caps a day). You can purchase these at our supplement shop under the names GLA 240 and OmegAvail Ultra.

Do I need to soak the seeds?

No, you don't need to soak them, but you are welcome to do so to increase the digestibility.

I’m looking for home remedies for menstrual cramps. Can seed cycling help?

Yes, seed cycling can help improve your hormone balance, which leads to fewer cramps. For more ideas, check out my blog post here.

Will seed cycling boost levels of bad estrogen?

No. Seed cycling invites your body to make and properly clear the good estrogens. This will actually lessen the effect of any “bad estrogen” you may be dealing with.

I have high androgens. Will seed cycling help that?

Yes, the increased fiber should help, as well is the increased support for the whole hormonal system.

Can I start seed cycling at any time in my cycle?

Yes! Just make sure you start with taking the seeds for the phase that you are currently on.

How long can I keep this up? Do I need to take a break?

The seed cycling is pretty safe. You shouldn’t need to take a break, but if you want to take a month off a couple times a year that is ok too. Or you can just continue until your cycle regulates and then see what happenst.

Extra Resources and Recipes

Join Us to Learn More

Do you have experience with seed cycling? Or do you have more questions?

You’re invited to join and share with our Facebook group, the Hormone Detox Tribe! This is a community of amazing women who love learning, want happy hormones, and want to avoid toxins to protect their health and to love up on the environment.

Click here to join us. We can’t wait to meet you!

Notice: This information serves as education only and does not replace your relationship with your doctor.

Herbals vs. Bioidenticals for Hormones: Which Is Better?

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By Ann Melin, Lead Health Coach for Women’s Wellness Collaborative

The question “What do you think of hormone replacement therapy?” is one of the most common I get asked as a health practitioner focused on women’s health.

And, a fair amount of the time, the question is followed up by a client telling me she has been using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy but isn’t sure it’s safe and asks if there are natural hormone supplements that might be effective.

Should You Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Although I have had these kinds of questions arise in women of all ages, the decision about whether to use hormone replacement therapy or to seek natural remedies is most hotly considered when women begin experiencing perimenopause and menopause. Common symptoms of this include hot flashes, night sweats, and emotional swings.

As with everything in the world of health, my answer is often somewhere in the neighborhood of “It depends!” Just what you wanted to hear, right?

Seriously, though, there is no one right answer on this subject and each woman has her own symptoms and health history that needs to be factored into any decision. I have certainly witnessed circumstances in which the use of hormone therapy for women is highly beneficial. I have also seen some women respond extremely well to using herbal remedies for menopause and perimenopause.

The Biggest Problem with Hormone Replacement Therapy

Unfortunately, many women are not properly tested when they start using hormones and even more women do not have their hormone levels monitored after they begin using hormones. I believe this is a major problem that can exacerbate hormone imbalances.

It’s confusing, because many symptoms of progesterone deficiency mimic symptoms of estrogen deficiency (and also mimic symptoms of cortisol dysregulation).

For example, it is not unusual for perimenopausal women to experience symptoms consistent with estrogen depletion, when they actually have elevated levels of estrogen and suppressed levels of progesterone. Many of these same women have been recommended BOTH estrogen and progesterone hormone therapy by other providers based upon symptoms alone. Not desirable!

Blindly supplementing with estrogen when it is already dominant can lead to estrogen dominance. This can be a dangerous condition that drives issues such as uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts, endometriosis, endometrial polyps, and even cancers, like breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Although it is natural for perimenopausal women to go through some months when estrogen becomes more dominant, we definitely do not want to provoke those conditions through the unmonitored use of hormones.

Should Anybody Ever Use Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Lest it sound like I’m against hormone replacement in every case, let me assure you I am not. In fact, I have been using progesterone therapy for many years now because I have a personal history of endometrial polyps and ovarian cysts. The progesterone helps to balance excess estrogen and to lighten monthly endometrial proliferation.

Blindly using hormone replacement therapy without knowing the actual levels of hormones is dangerous. But through the use of sophisticated lab work, like the DUTCH test, I can get a clear view of hormonal imbalance and gather information about the potential benefits of varied approaches.  

If you’re going to use hormone replacement therapy, make sure you know why you’re using it and make sure you get properly tested and monitored along the way!

Should You Pursue Natural Alternatives?

Many women are looking to integrate natural alternatives to HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and, as I stated earlier, I have seen some remarkable results. Of course, you still need to know what you’re taking and why you’re taking it.

For example, I have many women who come to me already using herbs like maca and ashwaganda in efforts to promote balanced female hormones. While both of these herbs are WONDERFUL under certain conditions, I often see lab results from these women showing elevations of DHEA without the intended benefits to the female sex hormones.

Despite what any research or anecdotal evidence might suggest, each woman is unique and it is absolutely impossible to know how you respond to any herb, supplement, or medication without looking at the impact on your individual physiology. And it is for this reason that I will always recommend testing rather than guessing!

Once women have their lab results, they often wonder if herbal therapies will actually work and, again, the answer is, “It depends!”

Some women respond very well to herbal approaches; however, it often takes a little bit longer to experience the benefits. In general, you have to use herbs for hormones for about 90 days before they will really start to drive a noticeable shift in hormones.

In many cases, I feel that herbs are a wonderful option in that they promote regulation of hormone production via the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis thereby regulating and stimulating the function of the endocrine organs rather than simply replacing what the body is not producing efficiently. This strategy helps to encourage appropriate levels of hormone production that fall within optimal ranges.

I have had clients completely eliminate their hot flashes and night sweats through the use of appropriately developed herbal formulas.

I have had clients experience more comfortable intercourse, enhanced libido, and increased vaginal lubrication from the use of herbal remedies.

The primary caveat to this is that you must have all of your organs in order for this to work; meaning that women who have had complete hysterectomies probably won’t experience much benefit from using herbs to help them regulate their symptoms of low estrogen and progesterone.

My Favorite Herbal Formula for Female Hormone Balance

With all of that said, my favorite formula for working with all kinds of female hormone imbalances includes the herbs mentioned below in the indicated ratios. (And I can’t put this out there without another reminder that everybody is different and I will usually customize the formula when I’m working with people individually.)  

*Note: I usually am referring to volume when I indicate a “part.”

  • 5 parts Vitex. This is an herb that helps to promote production of progesterone.

  • 3 parts Black Cohosh. This is an herb that helps regulate estrogen production.

  • 3 parts Red Clover. This is a phytoestrogenic herb, meaning that it resembles estrogen and has estrogen-like effects on the body.

  • 2 parts Ashwaganda. Supports DHEA production and can help support the adrenal system.

  • 2 parts Motherwort. This herb helps to enhance the synergy and efficacy of the blend of herbs. (Note: Motherwort is generally contraindicated in those with thyroid conditions… another reason to have proper testing and assessment prior to use)

You can use these herbs in tincture form from companies like Herb Pharm or Gaia Herbs. In this form, a reasonable dosage would be about 30-40 drops of the blend up to four times per day.

You can also use the cut and sifted form of the bulk herbs and blend them into a tea. I personally like this approach as it forces you to experience the taste of the herbs (as bitter as they might be), and taste immediately sends certain signals to the brain about what is being ingested and what the body needs to do to integrate it.

If you want to use a tea, you can order herbs from a place like Mountain Rose Herbs. You will make the mixture of herbs and then take 2 tbsp of that mixture, put it in a glass bowl, and cover it with two cups of boiling water. Cover the herbs and let them steep overnight. Strain the herbs out of the tea in the morning and separate the tea into two halves. Drink one half in the morning and the other in the evening.

Of course, both of the above suggestions are labor-intensive yet many women have a lot of demands and prefer something simple! In this case, Pure Encapsulations has a great product called PhytoBalance which contains several of the herbs mentioned above.

How to Properly Test Your Hormones

Knowing your actual hormone levels is the most crucial piece of attaining proper relief from your symptoms. There are many treatment options available and almost all of them have appropriate uses. However, it is nearly impossible to achieve balance if you don’t know exactly what is out-of-balance and how far out of balance it is. Once you know where you’re starting from, it becomes much easier to identify strategies to optimize health and well-being.

The DUTCH test is my favorite way to get a clear picture of hormonal imbalances in my clients. Check out my video, below, to learn which hormones the DUTCH test measures and why the it’s so effective in guiding hormone treatment plan.

Help for Your Hormones

Precise hormonal testing and expert, customized functional coaching is the BEST way to finally get results for your hormonal woes.

Visit our coaching page to learn more and schedule a free consultation with one of coaches.

Good Bye For Now with Bridgit Danner

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This is the 195th episode of Women's Wellness Radio. We've been on air for almost 3 years, and done a lot of good work. And I'm ready for a little change of pace. This is our last episode!

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 00:30 Changes on the WWR
Min 01:45 Finding our mission in work
Min 03:00 Toxins in our daily lives
Min 04:00 What's next for WWR
Min 07:00 Seeing new clients
Min 07:30 Past episodes on WWR

Resources:

Hormone Detox Tribe Group on Facebook
Hormone Detox Shop YouTube channel
Free gift "5 Easy Detox Swaps for Women's Health"
Private Coaching (includes free consultation information)

5 Easy Detox Swaps for Women’s Health

Are you doing all the ‘right things’ but still feeling blah?

Get my list of 5 Easy Detox Swaps for Women’s Health to start clearing out the toxins and reset your system to feel better today!

Click here to learn more...

Natural Solutions for Hormonal Symptoms with Dr. Mariza Snyder

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Dr. Mariza Snyder is a Women’s Hormone Practitioner and an essential oils expert. This episode is a recording of a webinar with Dr. Mariza on essential oils for hormones. We talk about perimenopause & menopause, the thyroid, nutritional tips & essential oils.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:10 Dr. Mariza Snyder & her mother's health history
Min 06:20 Dr. Snyder's former client testimonial
Min 07:45 Committing to functional medicine
Min 10:00 Hormonal imbalances & prescriptions
Min 12:10 What are hormones?
Min 13:20 The Charlie's Angels of hormones
Min 16:30 The Foundational 5
Min 21:10 Eating right for your hormones
Min 29:10 Essential oils & herbs
Min 31:50 How to use essential oils
Min 34:05 Essential oil protocols
Min 40:20 Low Progesterone & Dr. Snyder's protocols
Min 47:55 Phytoestrogens
Min 50:00 Dr. Synder's protocols for hormone balancing

To learn more about Dr. Mariza Snyder, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Twitter 
YouTube 
Instagram 
Pinterest 

Resources:

Hormone Detox shop

Doterra Essential Oils shop

Here's a video version of the webinar with Dr. Mariza Snyder:


Work With Us!

We would be honored to work with you as a private client. We provide testing and coaching options to women in most every state and country. Come chat with us on a free consultation to see if it’s a fit.

My Real Life Healing Journey with Tami

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Tami is part of our staff at WWC and joined our online coaching program as a client about a year ago. She's our special guest this week where we talk about her health history, menstrual cycle, negative self-talk, working at WWC among other topics.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 03:00 Introducing our guest & her health history
Min 05:12 Puberty & irregular cycles
Min 08:30 Health in high school
Min 11:40 Seeking natural treatment
Min 17:30 Testing with naturopaths
Min 20:35 Online coaching at WWC
Min 23:20 Home cooking & changes experienced
Min 28:20 Negative self-talk
Min 31:45 Personal care products
Min 33:58 Distrust in the medical community
Min 37:10 Testing on the WWC coaching program
Min 43:50 Shifts & improvements experienced
Min 49:30 Working at WWC

Resources:

Leaky Gut Solutions webinar
Perfect Periods Program
Improve Your Genetic Performance with Dr. Ben Lynch
High Energy Morning Detox Guide
WWC Shop


Work With Us!

We would be honored to work with you as a private client. We provide testing and coaching options to women in most every state and country. Come chat with us on a free consultation to see if it’s a fit.

My Real Life Healing Journey with Jaclyn Renee

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Jaclyn Renee is a holistic health coach specializing in digestion & hormone health. She's our special guest this week because she is one of our clients in our coaching program. We talk about her health journey, diet, testing and hormones.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 03:00 Introducing Jaclyn Renee Fracchia
Min 05:05 Jaclyn's health history before WWC
Min 07:15 Jaclyn's digestive issues as a child
Min 10:10 Jaclyn's diet & eating habits
Min 15:45 Testing & results
Min 22:25 Re-testing
Min 25:10 Thyroid, hormones & heavy metal testing
Min 31:00 Jaclyn's private coaching practice
Min 35:17 Jaclyn's free guide to healing the gut

To learn more about Jaclyn Renee, visit her website here and follow her on social media:

Facebook page 

Private Facebook Group for women with digestive issues
Twitter 
Instagram 
Pinterest 

Resources:

Leaky Gut Solutions webinar
Get the free 5-Day Beat The Bloat - A Guide To Healing The Gut by joining Jaclyn's JRWCrew Group on Facebook


Work With Us!

We would be honored to work with you as a private client. We provide testing and coaching options to women in most every state and country. Come chat with us on a free consultation to see if it’s a fit.

Essential Oils that Balance Sleep, Mood and More with Jodi Cohen

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Jodi Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils, an essential oils company, and the best selling author of "Healing with Essential Oils". She's a nutritional therapist and essential oils expert. In this episode we talk about the nervous system and how to get into parasympathetic rest mode, getting a good night's sleep, the adrenal glands, and histamine.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:35 Introducing Jodi Cohen
Min 03:25 Jodi's health history
Min 08:40 Essential oil formulas
Min 11:00 How essential oils work
Min 17:45 Jodi's first approach to helping clients: improving sleep
Min 22:55 Mold & clearing the sinuses
Min 23:40 Melotonin and how it detoxifies
Min 25:40 Effects of stress on the body
Min 28:50 The adrenals & HPA
Min 34:10 Detoxifying estrogen
Min 35:45 Using binders
Min 38:40 Mood adjustment with essential oils
Min 45:15 Histamine balance for air cleaning
Min 46:05 Jodi Cohen's essential oils
Min 48:30 Jodi's resources

To learn more about Jodi Cohen, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook page 
Facebook discussion group 
Pinterest 
Twitter 
Instagram 
YouTube 

Resources:

Here's the video version of the interview with Jodi Cohen:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Taming Fussy, Hormonal Skin with Megan Schwarz

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Megan Schwarz is an attorney turned female hormonal health advocate, with a specialty in skin care. She offers clients dietary, lifestyle, and hormonal support focused on inflammatory skin issues such as hormonal acne, dermatitis, and hyperpigmentation. In this episode, we are going to focus mainly on the internal aspects of skin issues.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:15 Introducing Megan Schwarz
Min 05:50 The connection between stress, healthy skin & ovulation
Min 10:05 The androgens
Min 12:45 Treating clients with skin issues
Min 16:55 Adult acne & PCOS
Min 19:20 Using the birth control pill for acne control
Min 23:35 The gut & liver
Min 24:40 Good skin care tips
Min 30:50 Megan's resources

To learn more about Megan Schwarz, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Instagram 

Resources:

Webinar: Beautycounter - Choosing Best Products for Your Skin Type

Beautycounter products - non-toxic line of beauty products

Here's a video version of the interview with Megan Schwarz:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Your Period After 40 with Dr. Lara Briden

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Dr. Lara Briden is a naturopathic doctor and the period revolutionary—leading the change to better periods. Her book Period Repair Manual is out on its second edition with new sections on perimenopause, how to come off hormonal birth control and the different options for birth control. In this episode, we talk about the new book, perimenopause, managing heavy periods, and histamine intolerance.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:10 Dr. Lara Briden's new book

Min 03:45 Feedback from Dr. Briden's first book

Min 04:30 What is perimenopause?

Min 05:55 The connection between hormones and symptoms of perimenopause

Min 11:10 Dr. Briden's rescue prescription for perimenopause moods:

  • Magnesium
  • Natural Progesterone
  • Taurine
  • Magnolia
  • Ziziphus
  • Ashwagandha
  • Vitamin B6

Min 20:20 Pregnancy in perimenopause women
Min 23:35 Managing heavy periods/flooding

Min 29:30 Going into perimenopause with health conditions

Min 35:35 Histamine intolerance

Min 44:15 Dr. Lara Briden's resources & help for teenagers

To learn more about Dr. Briden, visit her website here and follow her on social media: 

Facebook 

Twitter 

Instagram 

Resources:

Period Repair Manual book
Perfect Periods Facebook Group
Hormone Balance After 40 summit
Prof Jerilynn Prior's article prescribing progesterone for heavy periods
Lara's article "The Curious Link Between Estrogen and Histamine Intolerance"

Here's a video version of the interview with Dr. Lara Briden:

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If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

 

Are You in Prediabetes? With Dr. Alan Hopkins

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Dr. Alan Hopkins is the CEO of YOURLABWORK, LLC and is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. In this episode, we continue with the conversation on blood sugar that we started last week with Diane Sanfilippo. Hopkins talks about what prediabetes is, testing and blood sugar numbers.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:45 Dr. Alan Hopkins' background & work
Min 04:25 Diabetes research
Min 08:40 Lab testing at Your Lab Work
Min 10:25 Taking a stand for your health
Min 12:35 Prediabetes & diabetes numbers
Min 13:20 Blood sugar markers & your risk potential
       - Blood sugar of 85 or less is considered perfect
       - Blood sugar of 100 is prediabetes
       - Blood sugar of 125 is diabetes
       - Blood sugar of 126 & above is consistent with Types 2 diabetes
Min 18:00 Early blood sugar screening
Min 24:50 Insulin resistance
Min 28:40 Effects of exercise & food on blood sugar
Min 33:10 Dealing with Prediabetes
Min 36:45 Custom lab work
       - Metabolic panel
       - Sugar metabolism & Diabetes screening
       - Thyroid tests (TSH, Free T3, Free T4), Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies (for Hashimoto's)
       - Advanced cholesterol panel

To learn more about Dr. Alan Hopkins, visit his website here.

Resources:

Detoxing From Sugar with Diane Sanfilippo
How High Blood Sugar Wrecks Your Hormones with Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo 
Get 20% discount off your lab work using the discount code "Drr2018"
Practitioner Training Program survey
Custom lab work

Here's the video version of the interview with Dr. Alan Hopkins:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Detox Your Personal Care Products with Bunny Ghatrora

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Bunny Ghatrora runs Ellebox, an online delivery service for organic tampons, pads and other treats you can use during your cycle. In this episode, we will talk about toxins, tampons, deodorants, and different personal care products.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:25 Introduction to Bunny Ghatrora & Ellebox
Min 07:50 What's in regular tampons?
Min 10:40 Tampons vs pads
Min 13:00 The Tween box & transitioning into puberty for girls
Min 19:00 Other menstrual options for women
Min 21:10 Personal products from Ellebox (Antiperspirants & deodorants)
Min 27:00 Phthalates in personal care products
Min 31:00 Customer testimonials on using Ellebox
Min 33:25 Bunny's resources

To learn more about Bunny Ghatrora, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Twitter 
Instagram 
YouTube 

Resources:

 The Essentials box - Get the it for $10.99/ month

The Essentials box - Get the it for $10.99/ month

 The Comfort box - Get it for $29.99 / month

The Comfort box - Get it for $29.99 / month

Use coupon code "wellness30" to get 30% off any Ellebox
Beautycounter products - non-toxic line of beauty products
Bridgit's deodorant 

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Get Your Sex Drive Back!

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Having low sex drive or poor sexual response can damage not only your full experience of life but also your relationship, as sex is a part of bonding with your partner.

There are lots of reasons that you can have low sex drive, including:

Stress, exhaustion, bloating, body image issues, depression, unresolved conflict with your partner, distraction, worries about fertility, worries about your own or your partner's sexual performance, medications like birth control or anti-depressants, headaches or pain.

In this article, I'll focus mainly on the hormonal aspect of healthy sex drive.

A term I learned while researching this article is SIAD or Sex Interest/ Arousal Disorder. I think this acronym portrays the spectrum of what goes on both with a lack of interest in sex and an inability to become aroused and orgasmic during sex.

This research study describes that there are three parts to sexual experience: desire, arousal, and orgasm. I'll explain each stage and also how hormone imbalance can come into play to disrupt each stage.

Stages of Sex Drive

Desire

Sexual experience usually starts with thoughts and fantasies about sex, although the article says that it's not always required for a successful sexual experience.

Hormonally speaking, if you have low levels of testosterone, you'll have less desire. Low thyroid hormone activity could also sap your desire.

Arousal

The next stage is arousal. When there is an initiation of the sexual stimulation does your arousal grow? Arousal is both physical and mental and, usually, both components need to come into play, with the physical arousal coming first and then the mental arousal deepens your interest.

Estrogen is an important hormone to keep your vagina and vulva lubricated. This lubrication increases during sex and without it sex can be uncomfortable and you’ll lose the desire to continue.

Orgasm

This arousal leads the body towards orgasm. According to Women’s Health magazine, “The big bang is the moment when the uterus, vagina, and anus contract simultaneously at 0.8-second intervals. A small orgasm may consist of three to five contractions; a biggie, 10 to 15.”

If you have a high level of cortisol due to chronic stress, it can sometimes be hard to move from your stressed-out state to a relaxed state of enjoying sex that leads to orgasm.

What to Do

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of mental and physical factors that come into play for a healthy sex life. You may want to review the list at the start of the article and determine if health, work or communication challenges are getting in the way of your satisfying sex life.

If you want a great 'shortcut' to a better sex life, I recommend a product we carry called Libido Stim F, which can support all three stages of your sexual experience.

I tried this product last Spring. At the time, I certainly wasn't thinking about sex much and I did sometimes have a hard time to become aroused- which as you know is super frustrating! So I tried this product, Libido Stim F, without getting my hopes up too high.

I didn't really notice anything until I had been taking it a couple weeks. Then I noticed more desire and even fantasies of sex. I was really surprised! I found arousal and orgasm became much easier as well. I can definitely recommend Libido Stim F as being effective.

The mechanisms of action in Libido Stim F are:

  • Increase hormone production

  • Maintain hormone balance

  • Improve adrenal function

  • Increase blood flow both to the genitals and the brain (two sex centers!)

Libido Stim F is in a capsule form and one bottle taken at the recommended two capsules a day will last one month. It is important to take it daily for the effect, and please give it some time to kick in. Please see warnings and considerations below before purchasing.

This formula contains a synergistic blend of stimulating and balancing herbs, plus a very small dose of DHEA. DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone that is a precursor to other sex hormones being produced.

I'll highlight one of Libido Stim F's eight herbal ingredients: Tribulus Terrestris.  Tribulus Terrestris is a thorny flowering plant also known as Puncture Vine.  It has been used medicinally in Ayurvedic and Chinese traditions for thousands of years. According to Herbwisdom.com, "the active ingredients in Tribulus Terrestris include saponins, lignin amides, flavonoids, alkaloids, and glycosides."

A small double-blinded, randomized study showed, "a significant improvement in the domains of desire, arousal/lubrication, pain, and anorgasmia in women who used T Terrestris, whereas no improvement was observed in the placebo group. Moreover, free and bioavailable testosterone levels showed a significant increase in the T Terrestris group."

Warnings and Considerations

  • Libido Stim F is not recommended if you have had breast cancer, as it take contains a very small amount of DHEA which is a precursor to estrogen.  

  • This product is not recommended in cases of dominant PCOS or hirsutism (excess hair growth). Note: I myself am on the PCOS spectrum and get acne very easily and I prefer to take this one capsule a day instead of two. I find the taking one a day still helps my sex drive and I avoid the extra testosterone (another hormone produced from DHEA) stimulating my skin cells too much.

  • This product is not vegetarian.

  • Always consult your primary care physician before starting a new regime, especially if you have a complex case.

  • It is dangerous to buy this product from an unknown vendor online.

  • This article is not meant to diagnose or treat disease and is not meant to replace your relationship with your primary care doctor.

Buy Libido Stim F at our shop.

Working on your sex drive and ability to arouse is not only something you do for yourself but for your relationship. You may be surprised at how much your relationship shifts overall when you are connecting well sexually again.

Here’s to your healthy, happy sex life!


Sources:  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3474615/

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/sex-and-love/sex-ed-anatomy-of-an-orgasm

https://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-tribulus-terrestris.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27760089

 

Using Chinese Medicine for Hormone Balance with Dr. Eric Karchmer

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Dr. Eric Karchmer is a doctor of Chinese medicine and co-founder of DAO Labs. In this episode we talk about his clinical experience, the concept of Chinese medicine and how it applies to women's health, and Chinese formulas.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:20 Introduction to Dr. Eric Karchmer & his education
Min 07:50 Dao Labs & Chinese medicine
Min 11:25 The concepts of Chinese medicine for women's cycles
Min 19:20 Eating cold food
Min 21:45 Blood deficiency & Dao Labs' formulas
Min 29:10 Formulas for perimenopause & menopause
Min 36:50 Selling formulas directly to consumers
Min 43:10 Formulas for PMS
Min 44:40 Seeing & treating clients
Min 47:35 Sourcing for herbs & testing for purity

Private Coaching with Bridgit

Apply to be a coaching client with Bridgit and we'll reply with availability and pricing. Bridgit can see you no matter where you live as all appointments are by video chat, but supplement and lab testing access depends on where you live.

Apply Here.

 

To learn more about Dr. Eric Karchmer & DAO Labs, visit their website here and find them on social media:
Facebook 
Twitter 
Instagram 
Pinterest 

Resources:

Take the survey here for a chance to win a 14 day detox kit valued at $150

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening,

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative