Diabetes, anxiety and GABA

February 24, 2017


Anxiety and depression are common in patients with diabetes. In this 2016 paper: Prevalence and predictors of depression and anxiety in patients of diabetes mellitus in a tertiary care center, it was found that a significantly larger proportion of diabetic patients had

  • Anxiety: 27.6% vs. 12.7% as compared to healthy controls and
  • Depression: 26.3% vs. 11.2% as compared to healthy controls
  • Both depression andanxiety: 21.0% vs. 7.3% as compared to healthy controls

The paper also reports that diabetic women had higher rates of anxiety than men (17.6% vs. 10.0%) and higher rates of depression than men (17.1% vs. 9.3%). 

GABA is one of the calming amino acids I used with much success with my clients who have the physical type of anxiety (with stiff and tense muscles). As well as addressing this type of anxiety it also helps them to end their sugar addiction, reducing cravings dramatically. Melissa shares her results after using GABA on this blog: GABA for ending sugar cravings (and anxiety and insomnia)

I was cool as a cucumber at the airport and was much calmer when visiting family and friends compared to last year! The true test of its efficacy will be in two weeks when the semester starts. For now, I notice a general calmness and am sleeping well.

An unexpected result was that I stopped craving sweets after about a week of taking it! I didn’t even realize this until I was grocery shopping and out of habit walked towards the ice cream – I stopped and realized I didn’t want ice cream. So I walked toward the chocolate – same reaction. For once in my life, I was not craving sweets.

Now there is some interesting recent research showing how GABA may play a role in diabetes treatment too.

This February 2015 paper, GABAergic system in the endocrine pancreas: a new target for diabetes treatment explains the role of GABA in regulating islet-cell secretion and that it exerts β-cell regenerative effects:

Excessive loss of functional pancreatic β-cell mass, mainly due to apoptosis, is a major factor in the development of hyperglycemia in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes (T1D and T2D).

In T1D, β-cells are destroyed by immunological mechanisms. In T2D, while metabolic factors are known to contribute to β-cell failure and subsequent apoptosis, mounting evidence suggests that islet inflammation also plays an important role in the loss of β-cell mass. Therefore, it is of great importance for clinical intervention to develop new therapies.

γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), a major neurotransmitter, is also produced by islet β-cells, where it functions as an important intraislet transmitter in regulating islet-cell secretion and function. Importantly, recent studies performed in rodents, including in vivo studies of xenotransplanted human islets, reveal that GABA exerts β-cell regenerative effects. Moreover, it protects β-cells against apoptosis induced by cytokines, drugs, and other stresses, and has anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory activities. It ameliorates the manifestations of diabetes in preclinical models, suggesting potential applications for the treatment of diabetic patients.

This paper published in November 2015: Study of GABA in Healthy Volunteers: Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics also reports potential therapeutic benefits for those with diabetes:

Our data show that GABA is rapidly absorbed and tolerated in human beings; its endocrine effects, exemplified by increasing islet hormonal secretion, suggest potential therapeutic benefits for diabetes.

You can read more about this in the blog post: GABA rapidly absorbed and tolerated – benefits for anxiety and diabetes

A paper published in December 2016 on GABA and diabetes: Long-Term GABA Administration Induces Alpha Cell-Mediated Beta-like Cell Neogenesis states that

This newly discovered GABA-induced α cell-mediated β-like cell neogenesis [or the regeneration of tissue] could therefore represent an unprecedented hope toward improved therapies for diabetes.

So here we have the amino amazing acid GABA that when used as a targeted supplement:

  • we know reduces and often eliminates sugar cravings completely
  • calms the anxious mind and reduces physical tension and stress within 5 to 30 minutes
  • has much potential in offering therapeutic benefits for diabetes

I’m proposing oral GABA as a much better option for diabetic patients with anxiety – better than benzodiazepines which have been shown to contribute to cognitive impairment. Using GABA sublingually seems to be most effective.

Do you have diabetes and has GABA helped you with your cravings and anxiety? And enabled you to reduce your diabetes medication?

If you’re a practitioner I’m curious if you commonly see anxiety and depression in your diabetes patients/clients? And do you currently use GABA (and other amino acids like tryptophan and glutamine) to help reduce their anxiety and sugar cravings? And reduce their diabetes medication?

I’ve been invited to speak on the upcoming Diabetes Summit being hosted by Brian Mowll (it airs next month) so if you have questions for Brian or questions you’d like me to address now is your time to ask them.


Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”


The Evolution of Psychiatry: integrative psychiatry, anxiety and the thyroid

February 18, 2017

James Maskell is the founder of The Functional Forum and this month the theme was The Evolution of Psychiatry. It was such a great episode so I’m sharing it with you here today.

The first presentation was by Janet Settle, MD and Will Van Derveer, MD. They took the stage and presented on the fundamentals of integrative psychiatry, covering root cause-based psychiatry. Together with Scott Shannon, MD, they are also now offering their “Psychiatry Masterclass” training program to other doctors.

This presentation included:

  • The foundations of truly effective, root-cause focused mental health system
  • Typical unresolved physiological dysfunctions that manifest as mental illness
  • Concrete steps for creating the mental health centers of the future

Here is a sampling of what they covered. Isn’t it wonderful to see a slide titled “Integrative Psychiatry Model” and with physiologic root causes listed?

The section on child abuse, trauma and psychospiritual root causes was enlightening:

They cover MDMA- and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and I look forward to learning more from them about these approaches. However, until I learn more I’m wary of these approaches because of the side-effects. Based on the work I do with targeted individual amino acids I would use them before even considering MDMA or ketamine.

You can watch the entire video presentation here:


Next up was Thyroid Pharmacist, Dr. Izabella Wentz, returning to the Functional Forum stage for her first keynote. Dr. Izabella is a dear friend and one of my favorite thyroid experts and she covered the connections between thyroid health and depression and anxiety, looking at proven protocols to address the underlying causes.   Her presentation is titled “The Misdiagnosis Machine: How Thyroid Problems Mimic the Symptoms of Mental Illness.”

Dr. Izabella shares the symptoms of the autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland. As well as fatigue, weight gain, gut issues and apathy, you can experience mood symptoms such as anxiety, OCD-like symptoms and mood swings.

You can watch the entire video presentation here (and listen for a mention of my name and how commonly I see anxiety with clients with thyroid symptoms):


If you enjoyed Dr. Izabella’s presentation you don’t want to miss her upcoming documentary called The Thyroid Secret. I’m thrilled to have been invited to contribute on my expertise on anxiety and how this ties back to thyroid health. You can read more about it and find a few snippets from my interview here.


Dr. Izabella also has a new book that will be released next month: Hashimoto’s Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back. I have a review copy and it’s brilliant! I’ll be sharing more via a book review and interview with Dr. Izabella, taking a deep dive into infections and Hashimoto’s, so stay tuned for that.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these two presentations! For me, hearing presentations like these gives me so much optimism for the future of mental health!

I’d love to hear what has inspired you?

If you’re a practitioner and would like to attend a live Functional Forum meeting in the future or tune in online, you can register here to be notified. James and his team also offer excellent practice resources for functional medicine practitioners. We appreciate him for what he is doing for functional medicine via the Functional Forum!



Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”


Miracles, fish oil, CBD, forgiveness and mindset, with JJ Virgin, author of Miracle Mindset!

February 17, 2017

I had the pleasure of interviewing JJ Virgin for her new book called Miracle Mindset: A Mother, Her Son, and Life’s Hardest Lessons. It launches next week February 21. This book is very different from her other bestsellers, The Virgin Diet and Sugar Impact Diet which were all focused on diet and nutrition.

The Miracle Mindset is about the 7 powerful lessons JJ learned after her 16-year-old son Grant was in a brutal hit-and-run accident and left for dead.

Fighting for your son’s life inspired a new focus on mindset and the power of courage, strength, and resilience to help you not just survive, but thrive during life’s hardest moments.

You can watch our interview here:


This accident happened when her first book The Virgin Diet was about to come out and she was the financial support for her family, so she did everything for her son AND had to make sure the book got finished!

After the fact people kept asking her: “How did you do it?!”

Because I had gone through challenges my whole life and was used to leaning in when I was scared about something. Your comfort zone expands and you can take on more. We are stronger than you think!

When there seemed to be no hope JJ shares it was:

My mindset where I expected to see miracles, where I expect a better outcome, you see only possibility  

She discovered other colleagues had also gone through hard times and had gotten through them, playing bigger and full out.

And the next step was to teach what she had learned as lessons to help others. She shares:

The book takes you through the story, and it’s inspiring, but I wanted it to be a memoir with muscle where you could actually do something with it. You can see the possibility I created in my life. It’s a very specific story but it’s a universal message that you are stronger than you think and you’re never better than when you’re challenged. When you feel afraid you’re playing a big game and that’s where you should be.

For Grant, the things that pulled him through dark times was knowing he had a bigger purpose – even when he couldn’t see it.

These lessons apply to your health challenges, your business, your relationships, your money mindset.

JJ asked her community if you’re not where you want to be with your health right now, why is it? You would have thought it would be “I can’t give up sugar” or “I can’t give up cheese” – but no, the overarching themes were a mindset limitation:

  • I don’t feel good enough
  • I’m not worth it

We talk about the imposter syndrome and not feeling good enough. JJ shares this:

I don’t think you ever overcome it if you’re doing it right. I never even knew it was a thing. I just thought it was my thing …I’m going to get found out…I’m the fraud in this room

Instead of feeling “who am I to do this” it should be “who am I not to”

I think we need to share the struggle and show the vulnerability

When you feel like you have imposter syndrome, lean into it, step up, get courage and you’ll get more capable, more confident and stronger

We discuss asking how important it is to ask for help!

Grant was saved by a village!

We discuss brain injuries and how they can cause mood swings, depression, anxiety, dementia; how they affect the HPA axis and can contribute to insulin resistance, Hashimoto’s and more. JJ wants to get everything they did for Grant out to the world and that’s her next project!

Knowing JJ, she would always include fitness and nutrition I asked how she cared for herself during all this: 8 hours of sleep, exercise, perfect eating, and lots of water. She did allow herself coffee!

Her goal for Grant was to get him to 110% and do everything they could. The first thing they did was essential oils – peppermint, lavender, frankincense – and then progesterone cream. He was on 5g of fish oil before the accident but the doctors would only allow 2g right after the accident. Once the feeding tube was out she fed him fish oil pudding and shakes with fish oil, liquid vitamin D, probiotics and amino acids (because he was catabolic). Then she got his fish oil up to 20g and within a matter of days he called JJ speaking full sentences.   He was also given curcumin, acetyl-l-carnitine, GPC, bacopa, P5P, CBD oil, intrathecal stem cell treatments, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, hyperbaric treatments, and neurofeedback.

The CBD oil they used was from hemp and Dr. Michael Lewis advised on this. He also helped them with the fish oil doses and is the author of When Brains Collide: What Every Athlete and Parent Should Know About the Prevention and Treatment of Concussions and Head Injuries (an excellent book on concussions and omega-3s).

It was the fish oil that was most beneficial and yet the doctors said “all we can do is wait – there is nothing we can do.” The doctors were great for what they did with the surgery but after that they didn’t have answers.

She was fortunate in that she had some of the brightest minds helping – Dr. Daniel Amen, Tana Amen, Dr. Hyla Cass, and Dr. Barry Sears and many others.

JJ shares stories of two people hitting their heads – one was depressed and suicidal. How much of mental illness could be due to a brain injury?   We know there is a high incidence of anxiety and depression a few weeks after a TBI.

She shares this about fish oils and brain injuries:

You need to start with fish oil and these other nutrients as soon as possible. Even if you had an injury years prior it’s not too late – the brain can heal at any point. A concussion is a TBI and they are additive.

I end by asking this of JJ: “I’d love to hear what lesson in the Miracle Mindset really surprised you the most?”

You’re going to have to listen to this section (starting from the 31 min mark) – it’s incredible!   (hint: you have to actively go through the process and find the gift from this)

JJ shares this about her documentary You Are Stronger Than You Think. It was really hard for her to re-live everything. But it was so important for her to do because it brings the lessons in the book to life and makes them so much more memorable!

The program that she took a core group through was the Miracle Mindset Academy and it was an amazing group of people who saw wonderful results

You never know when you’re going to be faced with life’s biggest challenges – get suited up now (and be prepared). And pass it on and pay it forward.

 She’ll be offering this Miracle Mindset Academy program again in a few weeks so stay tuned for more on this. Before this starts, JJ will be offering a no-cost Live Training event on February 25.

In the meantime…

Get a copy of the book Miracle Mindset: A Mother, Her Son, and Life’s Hardest Lessons (it launches Feb 21). I read it in 2 sittings cover to cover and never do that with a book! (stay tuned for a book review next week)

And watch the documentary You Are Stronger Than You Think online at no charge (for a few more days only). It’s incredible, heartbreaking, heartwarming and inspiring. JJ has been sharing how both her boys have been reading the comments as folks watch it and are touched.

I love that JJ experiences something, learns from it and then wants to share it to help others! I’ve seen her do this over and over again through the years that I’ve known her

If you’re moved and inspired please share and pay it forward! This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime stories. The documentary and book offer so much hope and inspiration and we can all do with more of that!

Please share your thoughts, feedback and questions below in the comments.


Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

The Thyroid Secret online premiere and my anxiety interview

February 16, 2017

My colleague Dr. Izabella Wentz and her amazing team have produced a powerful 9-part documentary called The Thyroid Secret and it truly is groundbreaking!

Thyroid disease is one of the most overlooked diseases and is so often misdiagnosed. I see this all this time with my anxious clients.

Dr. Izabella is a dear friend of mine and suffered for years with chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety and panic attacks simply because she didn’t know she had a thyroid condition. She saw many doctors and they all said “Your labs are normal.” When she finally did get her Hashimoto’s diagnosis she still couldn’t find a doctor to help her so she read and researched and figured out her own solution! And now her mission is to share what she has learned so you don’t have to suffer like she did!

She shares this in her interview with Andrea Nakayama:

It’s really really important for a person to realize that how much control they have in their own situation, and how powerful they really are. They can help themselves.

Of course, having a coach, having a guide, having somebody who has maybe done it before with themselves or with other patients helps.

This documentary is one of your guides to educate and empower you!

If you resonate with any of these symptoms then I encourage you to join us:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Depression and/or anxiety and panic attacks
  • Weight gain
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Goiter (which may inhibit your ability to swallow or breathe)
  • Infertility and birth defects in your children

Dr. Izabella has gathered over 100 of the TOP experts in integrative thyroid treatment to unmask the confusion and misinformation surrounding thyroid issues.

I’m honored and thrilled to have been invited to participate in the documentary!

Here is a snippet from my interview:

I’ve got an underactive thyroid. I discovered that at the same time that I was working with the naturopath, and we supported [my thyroid] nutritionally. I still need to really take care of my thyroid. The interesting thing is, a lot of the nutrients that help with anxiety also help with thyroid health. One of them is zinc, a really important nutrient for anxiety. When you’ve got low zinc levels you’ll feel more anxious, you’re prone to panic attacks, and zinc is one of the key nutrients for thyroid health.

Gluten is a factor for autoimmune thyroid conditions. I’ve got a gluten issue and I can’t eat gluten at all, so getting rid of that [out of my diet] helped my anxiety, and it also gave my thyroid a chance to recover.

There are a lot of overlaps between anxiety and thyroid problems.

A lot of people go to the doctor and get a diagnosis, you’ve got anxiety, or you’ve got depression, and they’ll be given a medication: benzodiazepine or an SSRI. It may be the thyroid that’s causing the problems.

It’s common knowledge that thyroid problems can cause depression. It’s less well recognized that thyroid problems can actually contribute to anxiety.

I actually looked at a study that was published in 2010, and they found that there was three times higher incidence of anxiety in women who have an underactive thyroid. It’s more common than a lot of people realize.

Certainly in my practice, working with anxious women (most of the people that I work with are women, I work with men as well) – most of the women that I work with, with anxiety, have thyroid issues. They either have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, they have hypothyroidism, or they may have had Graves’ in the past. It’s very, very common that I see this.

Dr. Izabella also interviewed over 50 thyroid patients who share their personal and sometimes heartbreaking stories. I love this aspect because it helps us realize that we are not alone and there is hope!

I’d love to invite YOU to the premiere of this exciting and empowering ONLINE educational event as my guest! Mark March 1st on your calendar and then click here to reserve your spot for this special online event.

The Thyroid Secret is a 9-part documentary and is available to watch online at no charge. Starting March 1st there will be a brand new episode up for you to watch each day for 24 hours until the next episode is ready

If you have thyroid disease or if you think you may have thyroid disease this documentary is not to be missed! I know I’m going to learn from Dr. Izabella and her guests too!

If you’re NOT sure if you have a thyroid condition (1 in 3 American adults actually have a thyroid condition and many don’t even know it) take the quiz to see how healthy your thyroid is!

Feel free to share with loved ones or friend who may also benefit from this valuable resource

Please share your thyroid story and questions below in the comments.


Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

Interview: Heal Your Pain Now + the fear-pain connection

February 14, 2017

If you struggle with chronic pain from an injury, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, joint pain, arthritis, anxiety, depression or have tried everything without success, Heal Your Pain Now provides natural solutions to eliminate pain and return you to a life worth living.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Joe Tatta, physical therapist and nutritionist, author of this wonderful new book and a dear friend!

You can watch the interview here:


And here is a summary from our great interview:

What is chronic pain – it’s about protection. Acute pain like an ankle sprain tells you to rest and heal; chronic pain – persists beyond 3 months and is less about protection and more about the brain being in a hyper-sensitive state.

The human body has innate ability to heal i.e. the body has a natural anti-inflammatory process and tissue will heal in 3 months. After those 3 months it becomes less about the actual tissue and more about what is going on centrally in the brain and nervous system.

Central sensitization or the hyper-sensitive brain: we have a neural signature specific to you and your pain experience.

It’s based on what you believe about pain, are told about pain, your memories, your emotions, input from body (such as tightness), your thoughts, touch and sound.

With central sensitization pathways light up in the brain causing pain and in some instances those pathways never quiet down. The more we can be educated about pain the faster we can release this central sensitization and the pain.

An example: You and I had backpain – my life: mom is a nurse, my backpain comes and goes, I can move a little, I go to work, do some chores and basic exercise; in your life your grandmother had really bad back pain, was in a wheelchair and said back pain is the worst pain you could ever have. This may make your pain persist. Fear causes pain to persist over a long period of time.

Fear and pain: it can be actual fear or perceived; fight or flight – muscles tense around the spinal column; blood is shunted away from the spinal muscles because you’re getting ready to run or fight; when it’s persistent there is no blood flow and no healthy nutrients going to the spinal muscles; cortisol levels become elevated – they are inflammatory and very powerful at laying down memory patterns (which can make pain persist).

When you lessen fear you promote relaxation and in general pain disappears very fast.

When you hear all this the brain repatterns – you’re doing a mini cognitive behavior session just listening to and watching the video of us interacting! (I love this!)

Myth: chronic pain has to be chronic – no! Replace the word chronic with persistent because language is really important for creating these pain memories.

Myth: imaging studies like xrays and MRIs are correlated with pain. Often we see intense pain with normal xrays, sometimes no pain with awful rays.

There is also the emotional aspect – when someone in a white coat holds up that xray and says you have this issue it can start that fear response and the pain can be worse.

This fear pain connection is fascinating and I asked if it common knowledge

  • The average physician only receives 4 hours of pain science education in 12 -16 years of education – most of what they learn focused on medications, injections and surgery. We currently have a biomedical model (xray and injection or surgery, injections or medications) but we are moving to a biopsychosocial model (movement, nutrition, mindset, the brain)
  • The book has 40 pages of evidence based research (if you’re a practitioner and would like access to the papers let me know in the comments and Dr. Joe can get them to you)
  • I suggest using the book to educate yourself and your doctor

Medications prescribed for pain: Opioids (oxycontin, codeine, morphine) #1 drug prescribed for pain. CDC and NIH: You should not prescribe opioids as first line of treatment for chronic pain. They are highly addictive – 3 million addicted to them; 2 million die each year; opioid-induced hyperalgesia – the more you take the more pain sensitivity you have and the more medication is needed.

Side effects: constipation caused by opioids and you’re prescribed medications for the constipation; called OIC (opioid induced constipation) – changes the microbiome, fecal matter is bound up, you get leaky gut, inflammation starts in gut and there are impacts on neurotransmitter production like GABA and serotonin (and then increased anxiety and depression).

Other medications used are SSRIs – depression looks very similar to pain in the brain – when you heal the gut you can balance serotonin

Gabapentin and NSAIDs and benzodiazepines are also prescribed.

The book covers ALL pain – any chronic (or persistent) pain that has been around for 3 months or longer

Nutrition: diet is the #1 way to reduce inflammation – food is medicine approach; 100% whole food (if it comes in a box or a can or is made by man it has no place in your diet especially if you have chronic pain); farm-raised beef, wild fish, fruit and vegetables, healthy fats i.e. a modified Mediterranean diet.

Then use a gut-healing protocol for removing inflammation and addressing autoimmunity – remove gluten, dairy and sugar. In 3-7 days people see their pain decrease from 8/10 to 2/10.

“I don’t think I have arthritis and I don’t think I need this Aleve – I think it was the gluten I was eating”

If you slip a little and have some gluten then you realize you can’t even have any and you’re educating yourself that food is medicine. It’s very powerful

With gut healing, if you have autoimmunity take out eggs and GMOs (soy and corn) too; there is more clinical evidence around nightshades – if you can heal the gut you can often tolerate small amounts.

The ketogenic diet is last phase: 65% – 75% fat, 5% carbs (from fibrous vegetables) and the rest is protein. It’s awesome to regulate blood sugar, helps central sensitization (we know because those with seizures do really well on a ketogenic diet). With seizures glutamate is high and GABA low and the ketogenic diet helps balance out these in your brain and calms the nervous system and decreases pain; upregulates ATP (energy molecule) which helps with pain. Brain fogs goes away.

The ketogenic diet is not for someone with type 1 diabetes, who is pregnant or in acute adrenal fatigue

Do a trial of 3-4 weeks and cycle into ketosis every 4-6 months.

Intermittent fasting tricks body into thinking body is starving.

A big plane flies over at the 41 minute mark! Enjoy the laugh with us!

With intermittent fasting do a 14-16 hour fast overnight, say 6pm to 9am the next day

Mini-fasts: protein shake in the morning or evening – the meal is smaller; or use bone broth – healing for gut and collagen for your joints!

Supplements: omega-3s (2000 to 4000mg); curcumin (in oil – really important to help absorption); vitamin D 5000-10,000 IU; some kind of proteolytic enzymes; GABA for pain and anxiety and central sensitization.

If this feels overwhelming and you feel you need more support (in addition to reading the book) Dr. Joe does have a group program

It’s called Heal your Pain Heal your Life  – 6 week process, a Facebook group group, Q and A calls, and social support (which is huge if you have pain and can’t get out of house, or if others can’t relate to your pain, plus for the community support)

Movement, sedentary syndrome, sit rise test: movement is medicine and has to be in your life in some form. Even 5 minutes twice a day can help. It sends signal to your brain “I can move a bit and I’m safe”, you build confidence and fear decreases, releases endorphins, quiets down the nervous system

Sit rise test – cross your legs and lower yourself down to the floor without your hands and then stand back up. It indicates a long life-expectancy; they are not sure why – cardio effects? Balance? It tests strength and vitality; if you can’t do it – practice each day. Third world cultures sit on the floor to communicate – when you move joints in full range it lubricates them.

I’m a climber, skier, mountain biker, windsurfer and have had many injuries and worked with wonderful physical therapist and yet I have learned so much from Dr. Joe and this book! I will use it for prevention of injuries and pain and for the next time I am injured and in pain.

Dr. Joe ended by saying

Keep moving forward, we’re going to change the pain paradigm and give people their lives back!

This is the book summary:

In Heal Your Pain Now, Dr. Joe Tatta teaches you how to regain control of your life by breaking the cycle of persistent pain. Following Dr. Tatta’s program, you learn the role of the brain in pain–and how to use your brain to STOP your pain; how nutrition can eliminate the inflammation in your body, which is exacerbating your pain; and how to overcome Sedentary Syndrome and choose the best movement strategy. Dr. Tatta provides quizzes, self-assessments, meal plans, shopping lists, recipes, and exercises to support you throughout the program.

As I mentioned in the interview I really appreciate the very unique perspective Dr. Joe brings to healing from pain. His expertise from the physical therapy and movement world is so beautifully meshed with the power of nutrition! He covers the foundational information for eating an anti-inflammatory diet, an excellent gut healing protocol, healing supplements and with much fascinating reading on intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet.

Dr. Joe explains these concepts brilliantly: the brain in pain, central sensitization, myths around pain and the biospychosocial model of pain. With the work that I do with anxious women like you (and men too), the pain connection to fear is very relevant; and the fact that stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or depression are danger signals that can actually make the pain worse depending on how “sensitive” your nervous system has become.

Also, since many of the same pain medications are also often prescribed for anxiety, this book is a wonderful resource for someone with both pain and anxiety. But best of all, this book offers real solutions for everyone suffering from any kind of pain, and a solid understanding of the mechanisms.

I’m sure you’d like access to what we talked about during the interview:


Please let us know which parts of this really resonated with you and what you’re looking forward to implementing for your pain.



Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

Vulvodynia: oxalates, GABA, tryptophan and physical therapy

February 10, 2017

On a recent webinar with Julie Matthews, I shared how healthy foods that are high in oxalates caused me excruciating foot pain: Oxalates and leaky gut for Anxiety.

We also mentioned how oxalates can be a factor in vulvodynia and someone asked this question on the blog:

I just listened to the webinar talking about oxalates. I was shocked and delighted to hear the mention of the connection between high oxalates and vulvodynia. My friend has suffered with this for 18 months with little improvement. She has painful feet so I am wondering if there is indeed a connection for her situation. Could you please explain a bit more of the vulvodynia/ oxalates connection? I would like to give my friend the information.

Before I share the resources I offered her for her friend, let me share this about vulvodynia:

Vulvodynia is defined as chronic vulvar burning, stinging, rawness, soreness or pain in the absence of objective clinical or laboratory findings to explain these symptoms. Vulvodynia is a chronic pain syndrome affecting up to 18% of the female population and is generally regarded as an underdiagnosed difficult to treat gynecological disorder.

There is still much we have to learn about vulvodynia and the causes are multifactorial:

The etiology [cause] of vulvodynia is still enigmatic and is probably multifactorial-including physiological concerns (eg, pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, neuropathic pain, and psychosocial) and sexual issues (eg, anxiety and sexual dysfunction). Although it is a common syndrome, most patients are neither correctly diagnosed nor treated. A diagnosis of vulvodynia is based upon patient history and lack of physical findings upon careful examination. No clinical or histological findings are present to aid in diagnosis. Most treatment options for vulvodynia are neither well studied nor have an evidence base, relying instead upon expert opinion, care provider experience, and use of data from other pain syndromes. However, many patients show marked improvement after physical therapy for the pelvic floor, medications for neuropathic pain, and psychosexual therapy.

You’ll notice that oxalates and other dietary approaches are not mentioned. There are actually 2 studies that state there is NO connection between dietary oxlalates and vulvodynia. This is the first one: Influence of dietary oxalates on the risk of adult-onset vulvodynia. The second paper: Urinary oxalate excretion and its role in vulvar pain syndrome concludes that:

Urinary oxalates may be nonspecific irritants that aggravate vulvodynia; however, the role of oxalates as instigators is doubtful.

In this paper: Vulvar vestibulitis-a complex clinical entity, a low oxalate diet and calcium citrate did help:

Successful outcomes were achieved in 14.3% of patients using a low oxalate diet and calcium citrate supplementation

The Vulval Pain Society is a wealth of information on vulvodynvia and they have this information on the low oxalate diet, saying it helps many women and it worth trying:

A diet low in oxalate salts has been suggested as a treatment for women who experience unexplained vulval pain or vulvodynia… it is widely used in the United States as a treatment for vulvodynia. The diet may be supplemented with the use of oral calcium citrate.

There are few doctors in the UK who are aware of or routinely use this treatment. Many specialist doctors who run vulval clinics in this country [the UK] are skeptical about the treatment, as much of the evidence has not been published in the medical literature and the treatment is not of proven value. A diet low in oxalate with or without calcium citrate may, however, benefit some women with vulval pain and this is certainly an option for some women to try.

The vulvar pain is often described as a “burning” or “cutting” or “sharp” kind of pain. You’ll see medications recommended for the neuropathic pain in many of the studies and on the Vulval Pain society site.

It does concern me that so many women are prescribed SSRIs and medications like gabapentin and benzodiazepines when there are the safer and more effective options of the amino acids such as tryptophan and GABA.   When dosed correctly these individual amino acids help with some of the pain and anxiety right away while other root causes are addressed. 

For my clients, I recommend targeted individual amino acids instead of the medications. I recommend a trial of tryptophan instead of an antidepressant, assuming they score low on the serotonin section of the amino acid questionnaire.

Research shows there is serotonin involvement with vulvodynia. In this study of women with PVD (provoked vestibulodynia i.e. pain in the entrance of the vagina, common with vulvodynia):

Polymorphism in the serotonin receptor gene, 5HT-2A, has been associated with other chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia…. The results [of this study] indicate a contribution of alterations in the serotonergic system to the patho-genesis of PVD and gives further evidence of PVD being a general pain disorder similar to other chronic pain disorders.

I also recommend a trial of GABA instead of gabapentin or one of the benzodiazepines, assuming they score low on the GABA section of the amino acid questionnaire.

Tryptophan and GABA can help with both the pain, and the anxiety and depression that is commonly seen with vulvodynia and other pelvic floor conditions – right away while other root causes are addressed.

Since acupuncture is often reported to be helpful, I also consider a trial of DPA for endorphin boosting and hence some pain reduction too.

Physical therapy is often extremely beneficial and frequently overlooked, so finding a good pelvic floor PT to be part of your healing team is key too.

When responding to the blog question I commented that “your friend is fortunate to have you looking out for her”. Using some or all of the above approaches I would expect her to find some relief of the vulva pain, the foot pain and experience reduced anxiety and depression (assuming these are her root causes).

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of contributing factors for vulvoldynia – other factors could include candida, infections such as HPV, IBS/SIBO, and trauma and sexual abuse. My colleague, Jessica Drummond, nutritionist and physical therapist, and an expert on female pelvic pain, writes about immunity, dysbiosis, gluten and other food sensitivities, cortisol and sex hormone imbalances in this article: Vulvovaginal Pain and The Immune System: Practical Steps for Vulvovaginal Pain Relief. A full functional workup is required and your root cause can be different from someone else’s root cause.

I’d also like to add that although dietary oxalates cause excruciating pain in my feet, I’m so fortunate, in that I do not have vulvodynia.

Have you had success with a low oxalate diet and calcium citrate for vulvodynia? And other pain (in the feet or hips or elsewhere in the body)?

Has physical therapy with a pelvic floor specialist helped?

Have you found tryptophan, GABA or DPA to help with the pain and the anxiety and/or depression too?

Have any other treatments helped you?

If you’re a practitioner what approaches have helped your clients/patients?

Please share questions or feedback below.


Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”


“You Are Stronger Than You Think” – join me for the premiere?

February 9, 2017

I’d love to invite you to join me for the premiere of my friend and colleague, JJ Virgin’s, movie You Are Stronger Than You Think.

It just opened, and it truly is such a powerful conversation about miracles and mindset!

JJ shares this about miracles:

The world’s leading minds debate that miracles are even possible.

But this movie has created a powerful idea to consider: not only are miracles possible, they come from you, not happen to you.

Here are some of the facts (both heart-breaking and heart-warming!)

  • JJ’s 16-year-old son was in a near-tragic hit-and-run accident and left for dead
  • He was given a VERY low chance of survival
  • This story – and what happened next – are life-altering (for her son, for JJ and now everyone she shares this powerful story with)

Click here to register for the premiere.

This movie (and the book that launched it) create a powerful invitation… that any situation can be a turning point.

This is how JJ proved what a strong, positive mindset can achieve. This story is an empowering example of what’s possible for all of us!

P.S. I know you’re going to be moved, inspired and motivated by this experience! JJ’s memoir, The Miracle Mindset launches soon, so stay tuned for my review of this (I read it cover to cover in 2 sittings – I could not put it down!) and the interview we did.

PPS. This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime stories. The movie (available to watch from February 8-17) offers hope and inspiration, is uplifting and life-altering. Feel free to share this email and the invitation with your family and friends and communities. Here is the registration link again.


Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution – a new book by Dr. Aviva Romm

February 3, 2017

Congrats to my colleague Aviva Romm, MD on the launch of her new book The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution: A Proven 4-Week Program to Rescue Your Metabolism, Hormones, Mind & Mood. This book addresses stress so well and is so needed because ….

According to the Annual Stress Survey by the American Psychological Association, 75 percent of women experience moderate to severe stress, 49 percent report sleep problems, and more than 40 percent report physical symptoms as a direct result of stress. Recent studies show that most are also experiencing chronic overwhelm and exhaustion.

She shares how common anxiety and depression are:

One in four women experiences an extended time of major depression in her life, and as many women are on an antidepressant, an antianxiety medication, or often, both, not living their lives with the joy and satisfaction we are meant to experience.

She shares that the stress and insomnia, the anxiety and depression, as well as obesity and autoimmunity has this at their root:

the fact that women are living in chronic overload emotionally and physically. We are stuck in survival mode.

It’s a brilliant book and she eloquently explains how to get out of survival mode and how to actually thrive:

  • with a big focus on finding the root causes of your adrenal and thyroid issues
  • removing food triggers and eating a “real- food, energy- boosting, fat-burning version of the Mediterranean diet”
  • tools and exercises to calm your mind
  • healing your gut, boosting immunity, supporting detoxification, and balancing your hormones

With Dr. Aviva Romm’s herbal expertise I particularly appreciate the section on nourishing your adrenals with herbal adaptogens:

Adaptogens are a category of herbal medicines that are specifically restorative to the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. Used for centuries in China and India they are considered the “royalty” of herbs for helping you respond to stress, restore health, vitality, immunity, stamina and sense of well-being. Adaptogens help your body to cope more easily with the demands of everyday life, providing a sense of calm and energy at a deep level.  

She writes about these adaptogens for adrenal support for their calming effects, lowering high cortisol and to help with energy, insomnia and more: rhodiola (this is one of my favorites), schizandra, reishi mushrooms, maca, holy basil, eleuthero and shatavari.

Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is new to me and Dr. Romm shares about this adaptogen:

Shatavari is considered the “queen of herbs” in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is beloved as a rejuvenating tonic for women. It is nourishing and calming as well as hormonally balancing, and is used for irritability and many hormonal imbalances affecting the mood.

I’m impressed by the research on shatavari and will be sharing more as I learn more and may consider this as an option for some of my anxious female clients.

Rhodiola is an adaptogen I use with the majority of clients who have adrenal issues. Dr. Romm shares her feedback on rhodiola, which she calls “the spirit calmer”:

Rhodiola is perhaps the most important adaptogen for anxiety…. While it shouldn’t be taken before bed because it’s stimulating, its mood-regulating and nervous-system-supporting effects lead to improved sleep and reduced stress, irritability, and “burn-out.”

I really like her emphasis that the use of adaptogens does not mean you can keep going “at a twenty-first century pace.” You do need to address all the aspects she covers in the book!

The thyroid chapter is also very thorough with a detailed section on testing. I just received this positive feedback from a reader on Facebook:

I’ve been slowly reading it today and I can tell you there’s a heavy emphasis on both gut issues and Hashis. Her chapter on thyroid (I skipped ahead because I have a doctor appointment tomorrow to discuss test results) helped me understand it all like no one else has.

I was able to take my latest results, read the section on thyroid, actually understand what it all meant and compare my numbers with her charts. Now I feel more equipped to discuss with my own doctor.

Dr. Aviva Romm is a Yale-trained, board-certified family physician with a specialty in women’s health and obstetrics; certified professional midwife; and herbalist. Referred to as “the face of natural medicine in the 21st century” by Prevention Magazine, she is a member of the Yale Integrative Medicine Program’s Advisory Board, and currently serves as an Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.

She has been one of my favorite authors for a long time – long before I had the pleasure of meeting her in person. I’m really excited to be celebrating her book launch and sharing it here with you!

We’re planning a video interview so please let me know if you have questions for her.

If you’ve used shatavari personally or with clients/patients please share what you think. If you have questions about this adaptogen now is the time to ask them!

Be sure to check out her Adrenal Thyroid Revolution community here.

Check out the book and get your copy here on Amazon.

If you’ve already picked up the book and read it please do share areas that were highlights for you.


Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”