Sugar Solved Podcast

Dr. Jennifer Roelands, MD - OB/GYN & Women's Health Expert

June 20, 2022 Sugar Solved Media Season 2 Episode 2
Sugar Solved Podcast
Dr. Jennifer Roelands, MD - OB/GYN & Women's Health Expert
Show Notes Transcript

Dr. Jennifer Roelands is an integrative medicine trained OB/GYN with over a decade of women's health experience. She is the CEO and founder of Well Woman MD, a clinic dedicated to a holistic, whole-body approach to care by using nutrition, lifestyle, and cutting-edge testing. She is also the host of Ignite Your PowHer podcast, a platform for badass female entrepreneurs in the health and wellness industry.

In this episode, we break down everything PCOS and women's hormones. How to get diagnosed, the signs and symptoms to look out for, how to heal your body, and manage PCOS holistically without medications.

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[00:00:02] Rebecca 

Welcome to the Sugar Solved podcast where we're demystifying health one gram of sugar at a time. From eliminating excess sugar to cutting back on carbs, diving into keto, or becoming a devout vegan, today's diet landscape can give you a sugar crash just thinking about it. Sugar Solve is here to demystify all the nutrition and health trends you're bombarded with on a daily basis, bringing you unbiased insight, research and real world experiences from experts in the field of medicine, nutrition, health and wellness. You'll gain knowledge and clarity around the biggest trends in health and nutrition and leave each week feeling empowered to make informed decisions in your own life to optimize your diet and personal wellness for longevity, long lasting energy immunity, improved focus and performance that will leave you feeling better day in and day out. The truth won't be sugar coated here. Welcome back to the Sugar Salad Podcast. Today we'll be speaking with Dr. Jennifer Rowland, who is an integrative medicine trained OB-GYN with over a decade of experience in women's health. She is the CEO and founder of Well Woman MD, a clinic dedicated to a holistic, whole body approach to care by using nutrition, lifestyle and cutting edge testing. She'll be breaking down PCOS for us in this episode. Hi. Dr. Jennifer Rowland. How are you? 

[00:01:33] Jennifer 

I am great. How are you? 

[00:01:36] Rebecca 

Great. Thanks for coming on. Sugar Solved. Can you give our listeners a little bit of background about you, your education? 

[00:01:42] Jennifer 

Yeah. So I am a integrative medicine trained ob gyn. So I did the typical medical school residency for ob gyn, but I also did a two year fellowship in integrative medicine, which is holistic medicine and basically putting complementary and traditional medicine together. And you have integrative medicine. And I spent 14 years in clinical practice in a private practice office, and now I am the owner of my own telehealth GYN practice called Well Woman M.D. and I help partner with women who have hormonal imbalances that want to take a more natural, holistic approach. So I'm conventionally trained, but I also offer that as helping women to really sort of see all the choices that they have for how to balance their hormones. 

[00:02:25] Rebecca 

Were you always interested in this line of medicine or like what sparked the interest to go down this path for your career? 

[00:02:33] Jennifer 

Yeah, it was actually I think a lot of us have the same. I had a personal struggle with infertility when I was trying to conceive my second son. I could not get pregnant and over a year just couldn't get pregnant. Didn't have any answers. Really frustrated. Know I deliver babies all day and I tell people get pregnant. I couldn't get pregnant and I was really frustrated. And so it made me kind of and all the testing looked fine and I was told, just wait. But at 30 years old, you're at least I was not very patient with continuing to wait past a year. So once I actually kind of pushed a little bit and figured out that I likely had PCOS myself, I got the bloodwork, then I was able to determine that I myself had what's called Lean PCOS, which is not as common as sort of the classical PCOS. And by changing my diet and by changing what I was doing and not exercising so hard, actually focusing on eating for my PCOS, I was able to have normal cycles and then I was able to conceive my second son. So it was really my like diving into nutrition. We didn't get taught very much in medical school about nutrition at all, and so I just didn't have any idea what to do to fix my own body so that I could have a baby. And so it was really about taking Institute of Integrative Nutrition courses to try to dive into that aspect, figure out what's so unique about PCOS. Why is it that women can be have weight issues and some woman cannot? And if you look at the list of symptoms of us, it's like endless.

[00:04:00] Jennifer 

There's just pages and pages. So trying to understand how that was affecting my fertility and how that was affecting what I do is really kind of what drove me into that aspect and that holistic medicine. And as I was starting to help more and more patients, this was my son is second son is now 12. So that's 12 years ago. And as I was sort of starting to help other patients and see they were struggling with the same things I was, they were frustrated by their PCOS diagnosis and what to do. They kind of forced me into learning more, and that's how I approach the Andrew Weil Integrative Medicine program to understand how can I like look at us in a whole body approach because it's not about like, let's just get rid of someone's acne or let's fix their periods. There's this whole aspect of looking at someone and saying, How can I help them with nutrition, with lifestyle, with stress management, with sleep, with herbs, with supplements, with my body? Like, I need to look at it from a big outside perspective, and that way I can help someone really reverse their symptoms. So it's really driven by my own struggles with infertility. I have four kids, so I did figure that that little piece out and subsequently later I ended up developing hypothyroidism. So I'm very familiar with women with autoimmune issues and sort of how that affects their fertility and health as well. So that's kind of why I decided to go this route and to really help women have choices. 

[00:05:24] Rebecca 

Wow. Yeah. So now let's back up and let's break down PCOS. So I guess we'll start with like a broad overview, like what is it and what causes it and what are the symptoms that someone might experience? 

[00:05:39] Jennifer 

Yeah. So PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, that's the acronym is PCOS. And most people think of it and even most doctors think of it as a reproductive problem, like a GYN issue. But really it's a GI an issue, but also a metabolic problem because PCOS women have a high risk of later on as they age developing diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, certainly obesity. So it's actually a chronic problem. It's something they have. Once you're diagnosed, you keep that problem. You don't get it to go away. But you really is about managing the symptoms. And the most common symptoms people have are acne, hair growth in places they don't want it, difficulty losing weight, anxiety and depression four times more likely to have anxiety and depression if you have PCOS than if you don't. Certainly women can have like brain fog kind of issues. The less common symptoms are like joint pain rashes on your skin, digestive issues like bloating and stomach issues and certainly irregular periods is very common as well as infertility. 

[00:06:44] Rebecca 

So what are the causes of is this like a genetic disease? Is it something that you can develop because you because of your nutrition or because of something that you did? Like what are the causes? 

[00:06:55] Jennifer 

So it's called PCOS or syndrome because it's not actually classified as a disease, because we don't have a particular gene that we can say, you have a PCOS, not yet. Hopefully in the future we will. We do know that because of the metabolic problem, a lot of women who have us actually have a family history of other people with metabolic issues like high blood pressure, other autoimmune issues, diabetes especially. And so what we think and in the holistic world, we think that people have genes, they have a sort of a predisposition to having a problem, and then you have enough triggers in your life. It could be that you start having an issue with obesity. It could be that you start having environmental toxins that are causing your genes to turn on that then cause you to have PCOS. So it's sort of a combination of sort of being predisposed to it and then other things that kind of are enough of a hit to eventually turn on those genes and you have PCOS and hopefully someday we'll find where the gene is. Because certainly when you talk to women, PCOS, they're like, Oh yeah, I got lots of those people in my family. I have a lot of diabetics in my family, so there is a genetic component. We just don't know yet where that gene is located. 

[00:08:07] Rebecca 

Now, it sounds like a lot of the symptoms can. It may be hard to diagnose because some of them, you know, is it a group of symptoms that you need to look out for? Because obviously it's not just one. So how is it diagnosed and do people have difficulty getting that diagnosis? 

[00:08:21] Jennifer 

Yeah, you hit it on the head, really. I mean, the average time for diagnosis is several years. There are even people who wait and it's seven or ten years before they get a diagnosis, because if you walk into an office and you say, I have difficulty losing weight, I have irregular periods, I have anxiety, I have stomach issues, I have it's just the laundry list can overlap with so many other conditions that 

oftentimes it gets kind of missed or it's not someone's not looking at all of them together to say, what is this thing that can be all of those things? Headaches. That's another one. That's sort of one of those ones that gets pushed off to. So it is difficult to diagnose. To diagnose, you need to have. So there are two different types of criteria. There's a Rotterdam criteria and there's also the Androgen Access Society criteria. But across the board you need irregular cycles. The normal cycle length should be 21 to 35 days. So irregular periods, most people have longer periods like 40, 50, 60 days. You need evidence of high male hormones that can be by blood work or it can be by actual physical science. So if someone has hair growth like a male pattern, they have it on their chin or they have it on their belly. Those are really dark hairs on their arms. Those are all signs of male hormones that are high. And so that can be done by bloodwork that someone has it or they actually physically use it. You can make a diagnosis either way. The diagnosis of actually seeing cyst on someone's ovaries like what the term says on ultrasound. It's not a requirement for PCOS. Some women have it, some women don't. So it's not a requirement anymore to actually say you have to see that. It's those two things irregular periods, evidence of male hormone elevation.

[00:10:03] Rebecca 

Is it dangerous to not get a diagnosis like later on? Let's say you have this undiagnosed PCOS for years and years. Are there like detrimental cancers or things like that that can happen if you never get that diagnosis, you never know that you had it. 

[00:10:19] Jennifer 

Yeah. So the biggest risk factor, the biggest danger is diabetes. Women who are sort of we consider PCOS patients almost like a pre diabetic, most of them are pre diabetics. So left untreated and just no one knows they could become a diabetic. And having diabetes certainly puts you at much higher risk for a lot of things hard of. All cardiovascular stuff for sure heart attack, stroke and vision issues, kidney issues, and certainly not just diabetes, but these women also because of the cardiovascular effects of PCOS, their higher 

insulin resistance, they do have higher risks of having heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and certainly obesity. So, yes, left unchecked and they just keep going about their business and don't ever get that diagnosis, then certainly all of these things can develop. And you do see women who are young with these serious complications. And oftentimes I you know, I hear about something or see something online. I'm always like, I wonder if this woman has PCOS because not very I mean, unless you have a serious issue with obesity, what are the odds that say you have heart disease at 40? Not very likely. There's usually only certain things that will kind of predispose you to that. So definitely it's important to get a diagnosis for women to know that they can actually start treating this, they can actually start managing it to prevent them from having that higher risk later on. 

[00:11:43] Rebecca 

Now, what are the specific effects that it has on fertility and pregnancy? And when young people are trying to get pregnant, what should they be looking out for? What happens? What are the mechanics of that? 

[00:11:54] Jennifer 

Yeah. So the irregular periods is caused by those elevated male hormones and insulin resistance. Both of those prevent ovulation so they don't ovulate consistently. And when you don't ovulate, then you get these prolonged cycles and obviously you need ovulation to get pregnant. So that's one key component of that. The other component is that with high insulin resistance, then some women actually have higher loss rates or miscarriage rates or is causing they do get the egg of the sperm to get to the other, but then it implants and then they have a miscarriage. So it causes issues with infertility, but also higher rates of miscarriage that can happen in the mechanism also with not ovulating. A lot of times those disruptions with those higher levels of male hormones, it interferes with your ovaries. Also ability to produce good hormones for estrogen, progesterone as well. So it kind of gives this sort of your hormones are a little out of whack there. And so you don't consistently ovulate and therefore you get irregular cycles, but you also can't get pregnant that way. 

[00:12:55] Rebecca 

So it seems like the biggest step, the first step is take is going to be that nutrition component. So if you can kind of walk us through what it looks like and changing your diet and how that just affects everything. All of your hormones, your insulin obviously is going to really come into play with like sugar or carbs, all of that. 

[00:13:13] Jennifer 

Yeah. So the basics not really different really because fertility actually has an even more important component because a lot of women have nutrient deficiencies and that does interfere with their ability to get pregnant. There are certain nutrients that actually improve your fertility. So just PCOS alone is one category. Then if someone's trying to get pregnant, I really try to optimize their micronutrients and their vitamins and minerals because there are certain things that you need for good quality and ovulation. And so that's sort of a whole nother piece. But for someone who just has PCOS, the approach that I like, and this is where conventional medicine and holistic medicine kind of are divided. Conventional medicine says you should just eat less, like eat less calories, you'll lose weight. That's what you should do. Well, that's not really first of all, it's not sustainable for most women. Second of all, for us specifically, it's not about calories. It's about the distribution of your macronutrients, your carbs, your fats, your proteins, and also finding the right carb tolerance for you. There are some women who so if we just sort of pick to the standard, you know, you can have 40% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat. Well, some people live and they have less insulin resistance. If they pick a carb count, that's like 30%, you know, like you need to find your macros that work for you. And so that takes some time and some effort to try to figure out where is your metabolic sweet spot, where is the place that you can stay to, where you can lose weight or maintain your weight? And if someone's ready to go to that sort of advanced stage, that's great. 

[00:14:48] Jennifer 

If you're just starting out and literally you have no idea about nutrition or even how to start, then I have four basic rules one, no naked carbs, so you should not have carbs without having a protein and a fat with it, because those carbs alone will absorb quickly into your system. Your body sees a bunch of glucose and it goes, Woohoo, that is awesome. Bring it on, give me some more. If you pair it with protein and fat, it's more slow absorbing those carbohydrates so that over time you're not having this huge spike. It's just this kind of 

like gradual absorption of your carbohydrates so that when you have those big glucose spikes, then your insulin spikes and then you've now made your PCOS worse. So know naked carbs. That's rule one. Rule two is when you look at your plate, it should really be half of it should be non-starchy vegetables and you should just pick a bunch of them. Just go crazy like a whole rainbow of colors. Just pick whatever you like. Just try new vegetables every week. But half of your plate every time you sit down should be vegetables.

[00:15:49] Jennifer 

Even breakfast, which always women are like, What? But seriously, breakfast too. And so half of your plate should be vegetables three times eating. A lot of women and men both really don't realize that our gut needs time to rest and digest. And so everybody, regardless of PCOS, should be practicing timed eating where you have 12 hours, where you're not eating 12 hours when you're eating fine. That's a very simple, easy thing to do without even introducing the whole fasting world into this. But like stop eating and wait 12 hours before you don't eat. Ideally, that helps sync your gut to the normal circadian rhythm that you have, but also it helps let your gut kind of get rid of all the bad stuff, kind of do some spring cleaning, kind of get ready for the next meal if you don't have time and you're snacking, snacking, snacking, snacking, snacking until you fall asleep and you get up in snacks. Next, you never have time for your gut to actually get back to where it needs to be like it needs to kind of have that time to do that. And then fourth, you know, pay attention to the signals that your body is saying, like if you eat breakfast and then an hour later you're like hangry or you're like, hit the wall, you want to take a nap. Like those are all brain fog. 

[00:17:06] Jennifer 

Those are all symptoms that your blood sugar is all kinds of crazy. So when you feel those, those are signs that your body is telling you something. Most of us just kind of ignore it and go, Oh, well, I should have eaten this or I'll go snack or I'll do this. But paying attention and sometimes writing these things down will really help you figure out, is it did I eat oatmeal? And I didn't put any seeds on it or I didn't put any berries or I didn't add anything to it. And an hour later I'm starving. Like, what are the things that are sort of giving you some information? So you could certainly use that information to then start figuring out what works for you. And those are kind of my four rules for just across the board picks some women also, you and I mentioned it right before with a CGM and sometimes I use CGM for women with us to kind of take the time to. Grind it out faster, get that done faster, because if you do a continuous glucose monitor, you'll certainly be able to know how you respond to foods and how those foods either spike your sugars or what they do to your body and then make it easier to pair them with the right proteins and fats so it can like decrease the learning curve for women with PCOS. 

[00:18:16] Rebecca 

So my take is you probably wouldn't recommend someone do like one of those like keto diets, low carb vegan like. What are your thoughts on like actually like following a strict diet like that? Because obviously, you know, everyone's different. So those diets may not work. But right now there's the huge trend of everyone doing keto and low carb and like completely cutting out carbs and sugar. 

[00:18:39] Jennifer 

Yeah, I never say to women like, you shouldn't try what you want to try. It's if it works for you and keto works for you, you go girl. Awesome, fantastic. But majority of people it does not. And especially with PCOS, because we have a lot of this dysfunction with cravings, this sort of connection because of the insulin resistance we have this dysfunction where our body has higher leptin levels and we don't know that we should stop eating. So then we eat something that's high sugar. So then it causes this insulin resistance part and then it tells our brain, woo hoo, that was awesome. Let's do it again. There's a lot of these sort of abnormal signals that make things worse. So keto especially because it's training like to do keto. If you've ever done keto you kind of it's not something you just start like you really kind of have to train yourself as you're doing this to figure out how you feel because the first time you go down to 20 carbs, you're going to be like, Whoa, what the heck happened to me? And most people know who do keto. You just sort of write it out and it does get better. But initially certainly it is like difficult to do. There is good evidence looking at keto for people specifically who have diabetes and really a catalyst for their weight loss. 

[00:19:50] Jennifer 

So the studies of where it's most effective is type two diabetes women who are like, You know what, I got to start losing weight. If I start losing weight pretty quickly, I will exercise more, I will feel better, my depression will be less, and I will overall be able to figure out long term my plan. So keto has been studied really well in women with diabetes and that is actually a great tool for patients who might say, you know what, I really just got to get going. Like I want to just start losing £10 and now I can feel better, my joints feel better, I can start working out and doing things that I want to do. So that's definitely from that perspective, vegan diet is I think I see that more of most people have an ethical reason why they're on a vegan diet. I would say that I have seen many patients with us with a vegan diet who have nutrient deficiencies that we have to work on. So it's about how good you are on the vegan diet. Not vegan alone isn't necessarily healthy unless you're sort of getting the proper nutrients that you need and low fat diets, there's really not a lot of data looking at us specifically on low fat diets. 

[00:20:55] Jennifer 

There is a study that talked about actually high fat dairy was better if you're going to choose to do berry with us, high fat dairy or regular fat, I should say. I don't want to say high. I mean, there's not like you can't go to the store and pick like low, medium and high fat on your yogurt, but full fat, I should say that's a better term. Full fat diet. Full fat dairy is better for you than the low fat. And probably because as you get down to low fat, people tend to add sugar to make it taste better. So in general, if you go to Dannon, go pick some Dannon. If you look on the back, you'll be shocked at the amount of sugar that's in Dannon because if you make it low fat people are like, you better add something to it. So that's probably related to the amount of sugar that you're getting. But no one, you can't really piece that out. When people do studies like this, they don't say, let's compare Dannon to play to like they just pick one. So ultimately full fat has been shown that it's probably a better option for people. 

[00:21:55] Rebecca 

Now you briefly said something about working out. So obviously fitness is going to play a big role in these lifestyle changes that you should be making. So how does fitness come into play? What should someone's relationship be with fitness and then tying that in with their nutrition?

[00:22:12] Jennifer 

Yeah. So for PCOS specifically, you need to move your body daily and it doesn't have to be a workout. I don't like the word exercise because I feel like people I know, I feel like when I go exercise, it's like, Oh God, no. Like nobody wants to do it. What else can I do? But I'll clean the closet, like I'll do anything. So I like the word movement and I talk to patients about movement. Move your body. The best time actually is right after a meal because muscle does not require insulin to get sugar into its cells. So if you have insulin resistance and you want to burn extra glucose or sugar in your blood walking, go for a walk, eat your dinner, go for a walk. That's perfect. 30 minutes, perfect. Because you're burning that glucose that's sitting in your bloodstream and you didn't have to require insulin. So it's out of there. Your body senses, oh, we have less glucose. We actually don't need a lot of insulin around anymore. And so it will help your insulin sensitivity muscle burns glucose at rest and while it's active so. Moving your body 30 minutes a day is great. If you're taking it to a different level, then you can certainly have a mix. I feel a mix of cardio and a mix of resistance training and it can be whatever options like make you happy. Don't run if you hate running because all you do is make your stress levels or your cortisol levels high. 

[00:23:37] Jennifer 

So pick stuff you love. If you love dancing, dance, if you want to do a Zumba class or a belly dancing class or you want to do hit great, pick something that you enjoy that's not taxing. Because if it taxes your body and your cortisol levels are high, you just basically ruined all the benefits of exercise. So I always prefer that people sort of have a combination of cardio and resistance, however that works in what you enjoy. There are so many options in each of those categories, and even if you just frankly don't want to do cardio and resistance, you can walk and you can do yoga, like very simple. Or you could even do like my mother in law, she's in her seventies. And I told her, like we talked about she in the morning, she turns her coffee pot on and so she's got 5 to 7 minutes. And so she does arm weights, she does resistance training while her coffee is making. And she's, like done like she just that's the way she feels. Like it's easy to do something. She's got to wait 5 minutes for the coffee pot or 10 minutes for the coffee pot. And she's like, Now I get it done. So make it part of your life that it's like, you want to do that. You want to move your body but doesn't have to be hardcore. 

[00:24:45] Rebecca 

Yeah. And a lot of people end up going over that point and they, they over exercise and then that, that creates all that stress. So how does stress and inflammation, how does that play into PCOS? 

[00:24:57] Jennifer 

Yeah. So I talk about the three big drivers of pick up symptoms. So insulin resistance, gut health and inflammation. So most people have inflammation, right? I mean, most people have it's it's not like one. People just have one or the other. It's a lot of times a combination of those. So what I tell people is like, you can do all the things in the world, you can have a great nutrition plan, you can exercise. But if you're a stress case and you're all the day living at high, high, high, high cortisol, everything you're doing is just getting pushed aside because inflammation will just it'll ruin all those benefits because inflammation drives insulin resistance. Inflammation causes your your gut to be leaky. And inflammation certainly keeps your cortisol levels, which attacks your adrenal glands. And your adrenal glands are like, well, I'm supposed to be supporting you here. And certainly then people have difficulty sleeping. They're like the wired and tired people. They're sitting there at 10:00 like, Oh, do do, do, do, do, do. Like, what am I going to do tomorrow? What am I? They're exhausted, but they still can't sleep. 

[00:25:59] Jennifer 

And so it'll sort of negate all those positive effects. So when I look at that sort of overall picture, I talk about nutrition and lifestyle and then mind body medicine, which really addresses stress. And certainly sleep is a huge, huge, huge component of that. So there's sort of this multipronged, multimodal way of treating us. It's not just about diet and exercise, it's about those other components, too. And then the last piece is really community. Community and relationships are so important to your health. People who do this in a very isolated, who don't have support often fail because, you know, you have a lot of bumps in the road as you go through your health journey with peaks. And so if you don't have anything to be like, Oh my gosh, I eat chocolate, it was awesome, but I got to get back to where I was doing. You know, if you have somebody to support you on these things, then it becomes really hard. Humans aren't meant to be by themselves. We're meant to be with other people. So community is another aspect. 

[00:26:57] Rebecca 

Yeah. And that obviously having that support system, that reduces the stress, that just makes it easier for just so many things. So if all of these lifestyle changes still don't work, are there supplements or medications that treat PCOS or is it something that really can you ever cure it? Is it ever completely cured or is it something where you have to now stick to these lifestyle choices forever like you need to? Obviously, everyone should be healthy, but are there other types of. Cures or remedies or things that people can think about.

[00:27:31] Jennifer 

Yeah. So you don't cure PCOS, you have it. It's like having hypothyroidism, a low thyroid, you have it and you learn to manage your PCOS to understand your body so that when things do get out of whack again, like if you're going great and things are good, you hit perimenopause in your forties and you're like, What the heck happened here? You know what to do to kind of get yourself out of those symptoms because you understand what what it means, what what your body is like. But also what are the drivers for your us? What does this mean for how to treat it? So the conventional approach for us is to offer women birth control pills, because what they're doing is saying, well, you have a hormonal issue. If I give you hormones to control your hormones, then you won't have these symptoms. Well, in some part, it's a Band-Aid approach because, yes, it does control their symptoms. It does give them a regular period. But I know many, many, many women, including myself, who still have persistent symptoms like anxiety, depression, brain fog, hair loss, libido, all these other symptoms still, despite the birth control pill, because you're really all you're doing is sort of controlling the female hormones. You're not addressing insulin resistance, you're not addressing their gut, you're not addressing inflammation. You're not doing any of that part. You're just saying, here you go. I gave you a period. You're welcome. So that's the difference between conventional and sort of and you can then they say, okay, you have anxiety, let's put you on Zoloft, you're having hair problems, let's put you on a lockdown. So it's always treating a symptom with a medication. And I am not opposed. I prescribe birth control pills all the time. 

[00:29:07] Jennifer 

But what I want to know is like what is the underlying cause of what's going on in their body? Because can we minimize the number of medications that they're on? I mean, honestly, I think doctors should be judged by their ability to get people off medications, not on how awesome would that be, right? Like we had ratings online. That was like Roland's got 90% of her patients down to one medication. I mean, like, that would be great, but medicine is not there yet. So when people use need medications, I prescribe standard medications. I also give them I'm also trained in herbs and supplements. So some patients choose to do supplements instead of say maybe they want to treat their anxiety with magnesium as opposed to Zoloft. Maybe they want to treat their irregular hormones with progesterone. So I'll use Chase Berry instead of a birth control pill. It just depends on ultimately what is the patient's goal, how do they want to treat it, how do they want the process to go? Because I have patients often who are like, oh, my gosh, just help me, help me get my anxiety under control. Then I can start working on these other things. And so then we talk about using herbs and supplements and adjusting. They're so almost like getting some relief. And then we work on the long term plan together. So I do all of those things. I definitely think an insulin resistance is a perfect example because metformin is the medication that's used in the conventional sense. But there are a handful of other things you can do, including cinnamon, including Berberine, including inositol. I mean, there's just a lot more options, but it's about again, what, what is the bigger picture? 

[00:30:44] Rebecca 

So I guess if someone suspects that this might be what they have now, after listening to this, you're like, oh, my gosh, this this sounds like me. What would be the first step that they should take? 

[00:30:54] Jennifer 

They should get tested. So they need to go to their doctor and get tested and make sure that they're testing. I actually do have on my website a lab guide so that people get the appropriate tests. Or if you watch my Instagram or TikTok videos, all about what tests are the right test, but you need to get tested. If you feel like you have it, get yourself tested and you cannot do it on a birth control pill. It has to be off because if the birth control is there to make your hormones look good, if you do testing, they're going to look good. So it's not accurate. You need to be off of a birth control pill for at least 2 to 3 weeks to try to get an actual accurate reading of what your hormones are. And if you get diagnosed with PCOS, so you have high levels of male hormones and again, you can do it by physical science too. So if you walk into a doctor's office and you tell them, my periods are irregular and they see you in here, and evidence of horrible acne, chin acne, then they may not need to test you per se, unless you want to be tested with lab lab work. Otherwise physical science can be it as well. And then if you get diagnosed with us, make sure that they do those other components. Test you look for your long term risks, right? What are your inflammatory markers? What is your insulin resistance markers? Making sure that you're looking at those other components that often are not checked by conventional doctors because you want to know where you're starting from, what's going on in your body at that time. 

[00:32:16] Rebecca 

So are there any other final take home points that you want our listeners to come away with? 

[00:32:21] Jennifer 

Yeah, you know, I have heard this before where patients have gone to doctors and they have. Told him, I don't think it is and kind of blown off the way they feel. I'm a big proponent of trusting your gut. I was blown off as well. I literally had my OBGYN down the hallway and they didn't really think of Lean Pick US because Lean US is not as common, especially 12 years ago. We really just weren't thinking about it. And so I was never tested right off the bat, even though I was like, Something is wrong, so trust your gut. If you feel like something is not right, go find somebody who listens to you and be heard. Because that's really, really important. You need to just trust your gut and know that that you're not alone. There are other people that probably have the same thing, so finding that community of women is really important. 

[00:33:09] Rebecca 

Well, I'm sure our listeners will some people will probably want to reach out to you. So give us your website, your social handles where they can find you.

[00:33:17] Jennifer 

Yeah, I have a website. It's called Well Woman MD. So wellw0man md. I have the exact same handle on Instagram on Tik Tok. I have a YouTube channel, so I post every week. I do a open office hours with my practice. So women, so it's free to everybody in my Facebook group, but also women in the practice. So I do it topic every single week and that gets streamed to YouTube. And those are things like holistic approach to anxiety or, you know, hormone testing, different topics. So you can any of those things you can find me on. 

[00:33:50] Rebecca 

Awesome. Thank you so much. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. Thank you. 

[00:33:55] Jennifer 

Yes, thank you. Oh, I forgot about my podcast, Ignite Your Power. That's my podcast. So we're sitting here on a podcast and I forgot, but thank you so, so much for I appreciate so much that you're here doing this and spreading these messages. And it's just really important to have more people talking about health and wellness. 

[00:34:12] Rebecca 

Thank you. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of the Sugar Solved podcast. As always, if you like what you hear. Share it with a friend. Leave a rating and review on your favorite podcast player and tune in next week for another episode of the Sugar Solved podcast, where we demystify health and nutrition. One gram of sugar at a time.