Acne

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:

Is Your Gut Messing up Your Hormones?

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

How to Overcome Chronic Health Conditions with Sandie Gascon

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Sandie Gascon is a Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner from Ontario, Canada. She works with men and women to help free them from various health issues, live their lives to their fullest and do the activities they love. She is our guest this week where we talk about overcoming chronic health conditions like migraines, acne & Lupus, and steps to healing.

Click here to download an mp3 of "How to Overcome Chronic Health Conditions with Sandie Gascon".

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:50 Introduction to Sandie Gascon & her training
Min 02:45 Sandie Gascon's health history
Min 11:00 Dealing with Lupus & gadolinium
Min 14:10 Sandie's resources to heal herself
Min 19:05 Amino acid therapy & SSRI
Min 24:20 Trial & error healing, and studying FDN
Min 28:45 Laying the foundation of healing
Min 35:00 Frustrations during healing
Min 43:15 Oxilates & testing
Min 47:00 Sandie's resources

To learn more about Sandie Gascon, visit her website here and follow her on social media:

Facebook Page

Facebook Group

Instagram 

Resources:

Sandie's Free Training Series
Effects of Childhood Trauma on Women's Health With Nikki Gratrix 
Heal Your Pain With Dr. Joe Tatta
Women's Wellness YouTube Channel
 

Here's a video of the interview I did with Sandie Gascon.

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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

Cool Summer Symptoms with Seasonal Eating 

It’s summer and it’s hot! And hot weather can flame your internal heat, causing irritating symptoms. 

Sometimes just the outdoor heat alone is enough to flare your temper. Try getting stuck in a summer traffic jam with no AC in your car and two whining kids in the backseat. You have to have some serious zen to stay ‘cool’ and calm.

If you have excessive internal heat already, summertime can mean a flare up of ‘hot’ symptoms like:

  • Acne
  • Skin rash
  • Moodiness (could be anger, depression or anxiety)
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Constipation.

Things like:

  • Eating spicy foods or inflammatory foods
  • Poor detoxification
  • Poor nutrition (ie: not enough healthy fats and water)

Can cause this excess heat. 

Let’s look at how you can use the traditional wisdom of eating with the seasons to cool your heat and get your feeling more balanced this summer.

Many of us now live in heated and cooled homes, with a supermarket within short distance. But it wasn’t so long ago that we lived in caves and huts, hunting, farming and foraging for food.  

In those days, living within the natural rhythms of the season came, well, naturally.  Observing the gifts of each season was the framework in which the early traditions of medicine were born.

In Chinese medicine, five seasons were observed, and the five elements of water, earth, fire, wind and metal pair with the five seasons. 

You may be wondering, “wait, what is this other season?” It’s late summer, and it corresponds with the Earth element. This does not being until late August. As I write this in late July, we are still in ‘regular summer,’ with the element of Fire dominating.

In Ayurvedic medicine, which originated in India, there are five elements as well and three seasons.  These three seasons represent harvest seasons, with Spring being a lean time without a harvest.  The three seasons also match the three doshas (constitutional types). The three seasons of Ayurveda represent two elements interacting; in the case of summer they are fire and water.

Summer, according to Ayurveda, is dominated by Pitta dosha- that hot, irritable, competitive and inflamed type. But I shouldn’t cast Pitta in too negative a light. We all need the fiery nature of Pitta to drive us forward, to digest our food, to energize us.

Ayurveda teaches that heat needs to be cooled with water, but not only plain water, also other cooling, watery things can tame heat.

Here are some foods that can cool you in summer:

  • Fresh, seasonal, organic fruit 
  • Lots of filtered water
  • Bitter greens
  • Basmati rice
  • Cucumber
  • Bok choy
  • Lettuce
  • Mint
  • Cilantro
  • Fish and seafood
  • Aloe vera juice or gel

You’ll also want to avoid these foods:

  • Fried foods
  • Heavy, greasy meats
  • Dairy products
  • Spicy foods

Eat a lighter diet in the summer, with salads and steamed foods predominating.  Don’t overeatin the summertime, as this can lead to indigestion.

Chinese medicine has some similar ways to look at controlling heat. Again water tames fire, but note that wood feeds fire. If you have summertime symptoms, you do not want to feed your fire!

Wood has to do with spring season and the body system of your liver. 

What foods burden your liver? 

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Food Additives
  • Lack of healthy fats
  • Dehydration 
  • Xenoestrogens and other toxins 

To avoid caffeine but still have a pleasant summertime drink, try:

  • Keep a pitcher of iced lemon water in the the fridge
  • Try chrysanthemum tea, from the Chinese tradition (more information)
  • Try a Pitta balancing tea, like this one I found online, with hibiscus and shatavari (an herb that is great for women’s health too!)

We have a special podcast, courtesy of Cate Stillman from the Yoga Healer podcast, featuring Cate’s Ayurvedic expertise on summertime, as well of that of her guests Dr. John Doulliard and Kate O’Donnell. Check it out here!

Do you have any tips on keeping cool with diet in the summertime?  We’d love to hear them!

Is Your Blood Sugar Taking Your Hormones for a Ride?

Come to me, my sweets!

Come to me, my sweets!

If you're like me, you have a sweet tooth. And if not a sweet tooth, a love of starches, like pasta or chips. And even if you're trying really hard to avoid carbs, you might still be taking your blood sugar for a ride with stress, coffee or lack of sleep.

When I first started to learn about functional medicine, I didn't get how shifts in blood sugar levels were a stress on my hormones. Sure, I knew devouring a giant cookie wasn't a good choice, but I didn't get how it was a bad choice.

For me, knowing how and why are important. This knowledge helps me say no to giant cookies. And when I make healthy choices, my skin is clear and not greasy, my period is not painful, my mood is more even, and my weight is easy to manage.

I'm going to give you a quick summary of the blood sugar roller coaster, and then give you a helpful eBook so you can take action to manage your blood sugar, and tame your hormonal symptoms.

Your body likes a steady supply of glucose (sugar). It uses this glucose as energy for thinking, walking, breathing...pretty important stuff. If you don't have a steady supply of glucose, you can develop symptoms. Some of these can be immediate, like a headache or feeling irritable. Some of these are more long-term, like a lack of hormone production.

So why would you not have a steady supply of glucose? There are two main reasons: low blood sugar and high blood sugar. These two reasons may appear to be opposites, but they are more often connected.

When you raise your blood sugar by having alcohol, a cupcake, a nice chunk of bread, etc., you often take your blood sugar too high, and your cells block any more sugar from coming inside. That sugar that got shut out will usually be stored as fat, and extra fat makes excess estrogen. Meanwhile your cells, which have blocked sugar, won't have their fuel, and you'll feel fatigued, brain dead, etc.

So now you are gaining weight and dragging ass, and you just want a cookie to pick yourself up...but then the cycle starts all over. And your hormonal system, once again, is getting an unsteady fuel supply for its functioning.

Ok, but what if you have good eating habits? Well coffee and stress spike your blood sugar, and excess protein will turn to glucose too. Chronic stress can lead to a long-term state of low blood sugar, as the adrenal glands (your stress/energy glands) also regulate blood sugar and turned stored energy into real-time energy.

In summary, all this blood sugar wonkiness can prevent your body from making hormones, or can produce excess estrogen, leading to symptoms like heavy periods, acne, low sex drive or brain fog.

Does this issue affect you if you're menopausal? Yes! Steady blood sugar is especially important for you as you weather hormonal changes.

Here's that resource I mentioned, my How To Balance Your Blood Sugar eBook:

Have you noticed the connection between your blood sugar and your hormones? Feel free to share below!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

The Blood Sugar Balancing Act

Before we hit a state of blood sugar pathology (diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood for examples), we most likely spend some time, perhaps decades, in a state of functional blood sugar imbalance.

These functional imbalances probably begin due to diet and lifestyle, and the good news is that they can usually be corrected with diet, lifestyle, and natural supplementation, under the care of a trained functional medicine practitioner.