What should a healthy menopause look like and what does an unhealthy hormonal imbalance leads? And what is the significance of insulin, cortisol, and oxytocin?
Dr. Brian Mowll, host of the upcoming Diabetes Summit, interviews Dr. Anna Cabeca on the topic of menopause and metabolic health. Dr. Anna is a board certified gynecologist and obstetrician as well as board certified in anti-aging and regenerative medicine. She is an expert in functional medicine and an expert in women’s health.
She starts with an overview of what menopause should look like and what an unhealthy hormonal imbalance leads to:
Hormonally, what does menopause look like? Yes, we’re going to age. And we’re going to have wrinkles and laugh lines and smile lines and things like that. But that’s awesome. We should be waking up rested, going to sleep on schedule without difficulty and have the sense of peace within us that we’ve become able to enjoy the life that we’ve worked so hard to create and also be able to educate, inspire, and instruct those around us and the generations that follow us. So those are the ideals in menopause.
However, with our environment and toxicities and unhealthy aging and unhealthy hormonal imbalance, what happens is we tend to get overweight, difficulty with weight loss. We tend to have increases in our blood sugar, increases of heart disease. What that feels like, too, is hot flashes, mood swings, itchy skin, night sweats and irritability. The monster within us can come out!
The next part of their discussion is fascinating and rather unexpected. Dr. Brian asks Dr. Anna about the main hormonal players in menopause and this is what she shares:
As a gynecologist, you would think the major players would be estrogen, progesterone, and even testosterone. However, the major players when it comes to a healthy menopause are insulin, cortisol, and oxytocin. I run menopause programs specifically to get these major hormones in balance. And then we can fine tune the minor hormones.
But unless we’re getting the concepts that relate to increasing our body’s ability to have insulin sensitivity and, regarding cortisol, to have reset our cortisol, our natural circadian rhythm, we’re not going to get hormonal balance at all. And we’ll continue to struggle with the inflammation, the weight gain, the mood swings, [the anxiety and insomnia], the night sweats….
Actually, insulin and cortisol have a bigger role than estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone although those are important and DHEA as well which I will replace very frequently. But insulin and cortisol are key to healthy menopause.
And so cortisol is our natural anti-inflammatory. But also, we know that when we excrete high spikes of cortisol, that’s going to affect glucose production. So whether cortisol is too high or too low, we’re going to have an issue with glucose production and metabolism and increasing hemoglobin A1c and inflammation. So from both those areas, we’re going affect our inflammatory pathways.
Dr. Anna also covers some of the following in the interview:
- Issues she sees with ketogenic diets and eating low carbohydrate diets (this one is for women in particular – she feels it throws off our neurotransmitters)
- Why to test for pH and how to do it
- Simple ways to boost oxytocin
- Nutritional support for the adrenals
As I mentioned above, these are a few snippets from the upcoming Diabetes Summit.
In case you’re thinking “I don’t have diabetes, I don’t need to tune in to this one”, or “I’m not menopausal” or “I’m a guy” here are few points to consider:
- If you’re a woman and experience stress this would be applicable whether or not you have diabetes or are in menopause (addressing this could help prevent diabetes and make menopause a breeze)
- If you’re a man and experience stress this topic is also relevant, whether or not you have diabetes – just remove the words “menopause” and “women” and focus on the information about insulin, cortisol and oxytocin
So do consider tuning in to this one and other interviews in the summit!
If you do have diabetes or pre-diabetes then tuning in to the summit is a must! According to a 2015 study, nearly half the US population had diabetes or pre-diabetes. Add to that all the Americans who are overweight, obese, or have insulin resistance and other blood sugar imbalances, that number likely climbs above 75%! Unfortunately it’s not just in the US. Diabetes has become a global epidemic, predicted to get much worse in the next 20 years.
Clearly we need to do something different. Change often starts with information and inspiration. Learning the root causes of the problem and real solutions to correct those causes can motivate action.
That’s why I’m excited about this upcoming online Diabetes Summit. My friend and diabetes expert, Dr. Brian Mowll, is hosting this life-changing event for the fourth year, and this year’s event looks amazing.
I’m really pleased to be a speaker on this summit too. I cover the anxiety diabetes connection and how GABA helps reduce anxiety and how research shows it’s a promising treatment for diabetes. Read more here.
You can register for this online event here.