Your hormones play a big role in how your body functions. And so, hormone imbalance signs can cause health issues. Many women live hectic lives and forget to adequately take care of themselves, leading to imbalances in their estrogen levels. Unfortunately, conventional medicine seems to focus on invasive solutions without addressing the root causes of hormonal imbalance. Functional gynecology, which integrates a holistic, whole-body approach to treatment, can help women find effective solutions for their well-being.
In this episode, Dr Tabatha Barber talks about how functional gynecology works to help patients with estrogen dominance and shares hormone imbalance signs common among women. She also discusses the importance of self-care and why women often prioritise others over themselves. Finally, she talks about the current systemic issues that plague the field of medicine. Through functional gynecology, Dr Tabatha believes that patients can overcome these challenges and live truly healthy lives.
Tune in to the full episode if you want to learn more about functional gynecology and hormonal health for women!
Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
- Find out how estrogen is metabolised by the different organs in your body.
- Learn more about how using medications can cause unwanted side effects and why women need more holistic alternatives.
- Discover how functional gynecology adopts a natural approach to women’s healthcare.
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[05:50] Dr Tabatha's Beginnings
Dr Tabatha got into a lot of trouble during her teenage years, which resulted in her dropping out of high school and getting pregnant. Her experience as a pregnant teenager made her realise the daily struggles of girls like her.
She learned the importance of living an authentic life in the pursuit of fulfilment. Dr Tabatha thus commits to enabling similar opportunities for other women. She now practices a functional approach in medicine. This allows her to take care of patients without surgical interventions.
[08:56] Working Hard to be a Doctor
Dr Tabatha turned to her faith in her times of struggle. She also drew inspiration from her parents’ work ethic. By envisioning how she wanted to be as a person, she told herself that it was all worth it.
As a female physician, she has to work twice as hard as her male counterparts. But she realised that abusing her body was breaking her. So, Dr Tabatha wants to help women understand that their purpose, goals and dreams change as they grow.
To be happy, they have to be authentic to themselves and what they want out of their lives.
[17:21] The Importance of Self-Care for Women
The pressures of modern life push women to sacrifice their personal well-being in pursuit of success. This line of thinking makes women lose confidence when it comes to finding solutions for their own problems. They opt to persist despite their suffering.
Many women think that self-care is selfish and indulgent. So, they don't give it as much importance as it deserves. In truth, taking care of yourself means that you're better able to take care of others. Self-care is essential if you want to help your loved ones.
No one else will put you first, so make sure to take care of yourself first. In the same way, we should support each other in prioritising and taking care of ourselves.
[22:10] Female Hormonal Health
Most advice on hormonal health focuses on how to avoid the discomfort that comes from periods. Unfortunately, many women are taught to treat these processes as annoyances that need to be suppressed.
All women need to be aware of their metabolism and their energy requirements to stay at peak health. Making the effort to learn about your hormones and hormone imbalance signs can help you better understand your specific health needs as a woman.
[24:27] Birth Control Pills
Hormone pills seem to fix hormone imbalance signs, but they do so by interrupting the chemical signals between your brain and ovaries. Issues that your birth control pills suppress tend to resurface once you stop taking them.
Without addressing the root causes of hormone imbalance signs, pills do not offer lasting resolutions for this problem. Birth control pills are also linked to an increased risk of autoimmune diseases, leaky gut, and breast cancer.
[29:53] Hormone Imbalance Signs
Hormonal imbalance has acute and long-term effects. Therefore, it’s important to have them managed by a professional. We make three forms of estrogen, with several organs involved in the processing and eventual elimination of this hormone.
Aging also impacts the hormone imbalance by reducing egg production and progesterone release. Dr Tabatha discusses further details of more causes and hormone imbalance signs that lead to abnormal accumulation and how you can address them with alternative medicine in the full episode.
[39:42] Maintaining Hormonal Balance
Traditional gynecologists tend to rely on surgery and birth control pills as their go-to treatment options. A functional approach can target the various root causes of hormone imbalance signs.
Treatments can include increasing fibre intake, reducing alcohol consumption, and taking steps to protect your gut microbiome.
[45:23] The Dangers of Exposure to Increased Level of Estrogen
As we increase the use of birth control pills, the waste we produce also causes water pollution. Plastics in our environment also act as xenoestrogens or fake estrogens.
Because these pollutants exist in our water supply, the estrogen levels of men are increasing too. There’s also a noticeable change in children’s bodies compared to a few decades ago.
[49:21] Fighting the System
The traditional system of medicine is strenuous and draining for both doctors and patients. Functional medicine allows both doctors and patients to gain better healthcare. However, patients should not vent their frustrations on their doctors, as they are also victims of a broken system.
We need to keep advocating for a more holistic approach to medicine, especially in gynecology.
[54:00] Dr Tabatha's Struggles
Dr Tabatha was repeatedly told that her health conditions required increasingly invasive medical intervention. She had thyroid issues during young adulthood, and doctors kept recommending her the same medicine. Her symptoms only improved when she fixed her diet.
The same patterns of recommending surgery occurred when she had a back injury during exercise and developed a ruptured disc. In reality, functional medicine has provided an alternative that kept her healthy all these years.
7 Powerful Quotes
‘As a female physician, you have to do double the amount to prove your worth than a male does.’
‘Why aren’t they happy? It’s because they really aren’t being true and authentic to themselves and what they want out of their life.’
‘Self-care is selfless, and it’s necessary.’
‘Periods should not be miserable. Periods should be a mild inconvenience. And we should know why we’re feeling the different weeks and why.’
“[Birth control pills] shut down the communication between your brain and your ovaries… and gives you a fake period.’
‘Men do not get their body parts removed the way women do.’
‘Our bodies were created to heal. You need to remove the impedance. You need to support, and replace, and replenish. And things will go back into balance.’
‘You have to have time to rejuvenate, and restore, and heal all the damage you’ve done during the day.’
About Dr Tabatha
Dr Tabatha Barber is a triple board-certified OB/GYN and an advocate for functional gynecology, which introduces a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to women's health. She hosts The Functional Gynecologist Podcast, where she helps women use natural choices on diet, lifestyle, and environment to gain control over their health.
Dr Tabatha struggled with health and personal problems during her youth, including pregnancy at age 17. After delivering her baby, she encountered problems with her thyroid and was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. She was able to understand her condition after completing medical school. Her experiences resolved her to help other women with similar struggles.
Her hectic schedule as a physician made her adopt an unhealthy lifestyle, eventually leading to more health problems. What seemed like a hamstring injury turned out to be a herniated disc in her spine. After an initial surgery to correct her condition, orthopedics said that her condition will only worsen and that she would need more surgery in the future.
Determined to find another approach to healing, Dr Tabatha focused on learning as much as possible on functional medicine. She now dedicates herself to helping women learn how to overhaul their lives through self-care and healthy habits.
Learn more about functional gynecology at Dr Tabatha’s website.
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