Dr. Northrup: So your body has made antibodies against your ovaries. Are you having any other autoimmune symptoms? Like has your thyroid been fully tested?
Reena: I do get checked regularly for that and diabetes and any of the other autoimmune diseases, and so far those have all been okay.
Dr. Northrup: Okay, good. I would also ask you, and you don't have to tell us—
Dr. Northrup: —but I want you to meditate on what happened to you in the five years, two years, one year before that diagnosis was made. All right? Because an auto—autoimmunity, the autoimmune diseases are much more common in women and they're often related to some kind of stress or trauma and some kind of message that your body is getting, and there's no way, by the way, you can know this consciously.
Dr. Northrup: But if you work with your dreams and so on—
Reena: I've got some ideas.
Dr. Northrup: Good. See, people do know. This is the wisdom of the body.
Dr. Northrup: Yeah.
Reena: My sister's been diagnosed with the same thing, though, as well. So—and she's six years—she's 30. I'm 36.
Dr. Northrup: Fascinating.
Dr. Northrup: I want you to read a book called Inconceivable by Julia Indochova, I-n-d-o-c-h-o-v-a.
Dr. Northrup: And the reason is, and Julia has another book, but her website is FertileHeart.com.
Dr. Northrup: FertileHeart.com. Just go there.
Dr. Northrup: And she's worked with a lot of gynecologic endocrinologists and so on to help women restore their ovarian function. So there's ways to do this.
Dr. Northrup: I just want you to know there's ways you can work with your body. Also, traditional Chinese medicine often works very well. Dr. Randine Lewis has written a book called The Fertility Cure that also works with this particular issue.
Dr. Northrup: So I want you to work with those things. So thanks, Reena. Thank you very much.
Reena: And what about working with my doctor in the meantime to get those customized levels?
Dr. Northrup: Oh, that should be easy. Just go in and say to your doctor, "I want to work with you and get customized levels and you want to work with me? I want a partner."
Reena: And maybe I'll bring your book in to state my case.
Dr. Northrup: Absolutely. And nurse practitioners, by the way, are wonderful at this. All right?
Reena: Okay. Thank you so. Bye, bye.
Dr. Northrup: Now we've got Terri from Manhattan, Kansas, on the phone.
Terri: Hi, Dr. Northrup.
Dr. Northrup: Hi, Terri.
Terri: Thank you for taking my call.
Dr. Northrup: Yes.
Terri: I'm 49 years old. Since my mid-40s I've had a lot of—more increasingly difficult time with PMS and with my periods, and so I did some research and I came to the conclusion that I'm estrogen dominant. So I tried bioidentical progesterone, which worked really, really good the first two months. I felt so much better, but by the third month it's like my symptoms got even worse than they did before. So my question is, can using bioidentical progesterone in a woman who is estrogen dominant make the estrogen dominance worse before it gets better?
Dr. Northrup: It actually can because the first thing that happens with progesterone, but this usually happens within a month and then it's over with, is the first thing progesterone will do is it up regulates the estrogen receptors and then it down regulates them. So it might give you a bump. Like, for instance in breast tenderness, but then that will go away. The other thing I want you to check, many, many women, up to 13 percent, are iodine deficient—and I haven't gotten to this yet, so I'm getting to it now—iodine deficient because people don't use table salt anymore and they don't eat eggs and they don't eat seafood, because they're afraid of mercury. So I want you to eat two eggs a week and begin to take kelp tablets. That's a very safe way to get your iodine levels up. And iodine levels are very related to menopausal symptoms. So also get your vitamin D level checked. And another thing, in someone like you who starts with the bioidentical progesterone and it's working well and you're calmer and so on, your body, remember, through its symptoms is always trying to get your attention. So symptoms are your friends. Get your adrenals checked. I'd be very interested to see what's going on with your adrenals. And this can be tested with a saliva test. It's called an adrenal stress index. And many labs do this. You collect your saliva over the day. About four to five different samples.
Dr. Northrup: And when you do that, you might find the key to your problem is adrenal exhaustion. Not really an estrogen dominance problem. All right?
Terri: I suspected that, too, and I am going to see a natural doctor and hopefully find some answers, so thank you very much.
Dr. Northrup: Perfect. Thank you, Terri. Now many people want to know if they're on testosterone will they grow a lot of hair or get other masculine qualities? One of my colleagues who is a—was one of the real pioneers in bioidentical hormones is Dr. Joel Hargrove, formerly of the Menopause Center at Vanderbilt University. And he's an old farm boy, and he says the way to do the testosterone supplementation is you've got to strike a balance between making sure that she's horny enough but not too hairy. So that's the sort of straightforward way to say you can—you can do the right thing with testosterone, but you've got to watch it because too much, you'll grow hair in the wrong places. Too little, it won't have any effect at all. Many, many women, by the way, get through menopause and into perimenopause, and their testosterone levels are fine. They remain fine because their adrenal health is good and their ovary adrenal connection is good, and you just need a small amount of progesterone to protect your bones. It may be protective of the heart, and certainly libido, but there's a lot of research now going on on testosterone replacement in women. But, again, you just use a very small amount and you start small. Remember this stuff especially with the skin cream—the stuff is absorbed into your body fat and it can take two, three, four weeks for you to get the blood levels you need. All right. So Susan's on the phone from Hawaii. Hi, Susan.