“PCOS is complicated and a lot of women with PCOS have other things. They have thyroid issues, Hashimoto’s, or they have other autoimmune, or they have food intolerances, or just other stuff that ties into the PCOS or is worsening the PCOS, and they just need somebody who can orchestrate and dig deep.” – Dr. Carrie Jones
It is important for women with a PCOS diagnosis to find the root of their PCOS symptoms. Only then can you find true, lasting relief. PCOS is a broad diagnosis, and testing beyond the basic blood and ultrasound tests is necessary to begin healing your PCOS in a sustainable way. Dr. Carrie Jones joined the podcast this week to recommend the tests we should consider and offers some helpful, practical advice on relieving our symptoms. Listen as we discuss:
- cutting edge testing options
- tips for balancing cortisol and getting better sleep
- recommended lifestyle changes and supplements
- how stress and cortisol impact other hormones like progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid
- easy stress busters
- the DUTCH test and how it can help
For more from Dr. Jones, read her article, “PCOS Lab Testing- The Missing Piece”
Dr. Carrie Jones graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine, School of Naturopathic Medicine located in Portland, Oregon where she was adjunct faculty for many years teaching gynecology and advanced endocrinology. She completed a 2-year residency in advanced women’s health, gynecology, and hormones and later went on to complete her Master of Public Health at Grand Canyon University in Arizona. She has been the Medical Director for 2 large integrative clinics in Portland, Oregon and is currently the Medical Director at Precision Analytical, Inc. She often writes for women’s health websites and takes part in podcasts and interviews that promote hormone education to both the public and practitioners. She frequently lectures both nationally and internationally on the topics of adrenal and hormone health.
Amy Medling: So, there’s a lot of confusion, I think, around the labs that we need to advocate for in order to, number one, get a PCOS diagnosis, but also to kind of figure out what is at the root of our PCOS. I have a PCOS 101 guide that recommends lots of tests to ask your doctor for and you can find that. If you don’t already have a copy of that, that’s at pcosdiva.com/hope, but today I brought on an expert to talk about labs, to talk about what you should ask for at your doctor’s office, and then also some labs that are somewhat revolutionary and your doctor may not already know about them.
We’re all Divas here. We’re trying to learn more about PCOS because knowledge is power, and I want to dive right into the topic and introduce my guest today. It’s Dr. Carrie Jones. She graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine, School of Naturopathic Medicine, located in Portland, Oregon where she was adjunct faculty for many years teaching gynecology and advanced endocrinology. She is currently the medical director at Precision Analytical, and she frequently lectures both nationally and internationally on the topics of adrenal and hormone health, so a perfect expert to have on talking about this topic, so welcome, Dr. Carrie.
Dr. Carrie J.: Thank you. Yeah, this is great. I love how you said knowledge is power. I think that’s so fantastic.
Amy Medling: Yes, so you’re going to teach us a little bit more about how labs maybe play a role in diagnostic criteria for PCOS. You know, most women, I would say, are probably are diagnosed with PCOS via the Rotterdam criteria, so it’s either absent or menstrual, absent or irregular menstrual cycles, sorry, and excess androgens which would have to be tested on a lab, and then polycystic ovaries, so two out of those three would kind of give you the standard diagnosis, but then there’s lots of other things that we want to be testing for, for women with PCOS. Could you give us sort of an overview about maybe what hormones would be important besides androgens and maybe what androgens are?
Dr. Carrie J.: Yeah, absolutely.
Amy Medling: To get started.
Dr. Carrie J.: I mean, I think definitely with women who have PCOS or maybe think they might have PCOS, the Rotterdam criteria is exactly the same criteria that I use as well with my patients. What I find sometimes is that, as you said, one of the criteria, you have to have elevated androgens and androgenic symptoms. Basically what that is, it’s a fancy word for your testosterone and your DHEA, so it’s your hormones that are more … we call them like our male hormones, even though women need them too. When they’re too elevated, or if they’re going down the wrong pathway, then that’s when you get those not very fun symptoms like acne, cystic acne, and facial hair, or hair in places you don’t want, and hair loss from the head, and maybe mood swings like anger and irritation.
A lot of doctors will do testosterone. They’ll test your DHEA in the blood work, and sometimes they’re elevated and sometimes they’re normal, and if they’re normal you may get ruled out as PCOS when in fact you have to look at the pathways. You have to actually do a bigger, broader test and see are you going down the pathway that’s causing the acne and causing the facial hair, and not just scratching the surface by looking at testosterone?
Then you mentioned irregular cycles or and cycles, and of course that has a lot to do with estrogen and progesterone, and we know progesterone is what comes out only after you ovulate, so those women who are experiencing no cycles or experiencing cycles where they don’t release an egg, they’re missing out on progesterone. Progesterone is our calming, our happy, our relaxing anti-anxiety hormone.
Then with estrogen, lastly, estrogen, it’s important. It’s important in the female body to have estrogen. It gives us nice skin and it helps our bones and it helps our mood. Too much of it, of course, causes all sorts of symptoms like tender breasts and heavy periods of PMS, but estrogen has pathways too. also, just like testosterone, so when we’re doing sort of advanced testing, revolutionary testing as you said — I love that — we want to make sure estrogens are going down the healthy pathway. Otherwise, we’ll get more estrogenic symptoms and some of the pathways aren’t good. Some of the pathways head towards cancerous processes, so we need to watch for that.
Amy Medling: Okay, so for those of us laypeople listening, can you explain what you mean by pathways? It might be a sort of a term that some of us aren’t familiar with.
Dr. Carrie J.: Yeah, absolutely. We call them, when you make a hormone and you’re moving the hormone around in your body or it’s converting into other things, they go down certain pathways, and so for example, testosterone can go down what’s called an alpha pathway or a beta pathway. The alpha pathway is when it just converts into other hormones, but the alpha pathway are aggressive, and they cause skin irritation and acne and they cause facial hair, whereas the beta pathway is not as aggressive. It doesn’t cause all those nasty symptoms. With estrogen, estrogen goes through detoxification, so you can have phase one detoxification and you can have phase two detoxification, which is the way your body gets estrogen out of your system safely, hopefully safely, or maybe sometimes that detox is blocked or slow, and now it can’t get out of your body.
Amy Medling: And I think that’s true for a lot of women with PCOS.
Dr. Carrie J.: Yes.
Amy Medling: Yeah, yeah. Can you sort of explain the differences of tests out there, like the type of blood work that you’d get done at your typical doctor’s visit, versus other testing types that we may not really be aware of that are out there?
Dr. Carrie J.: Yeah, absolutely. I’d say probably most Divas are familiar with, you know, they go to the doctor, they get their blood drawn, and they usually get the basics. They get their blood sugar drawn, their glucose, maybe they get their insulin drawn, they’ll get their testosterone checked, they’ll get their estrogen checked, it’s called estradiol, and maybe they’ll get their progesterone checked. Sometimes some doctors will run a few other markers, maybe a screening thyroid marker, a screening cholesterol marker, maybe a vitamin D marker, right? A lot of doctors are on board now with testing vitamin D, but you sort of only get a handful.
You go and you say, “I’m not cycling, and I’ve got all these skin symptoms, and I’m gaining weight, I can’t get pregnant,” and so you get sort of these cursory, just basic stuff. Now, then a little more advanced testing, some of the listeners may be familiar with like saliva testing, so saliva testing came out many, many years ago and that’s when you would literally spit in a tube. You spit in a tube, and from that, you get a better insight into your cortisol, your adrenal health, your HPA health. Now, there’s urinary testing where you basically pee on strips of paper and let them dry. We call it dried urine testing. When you do the urine testing, you can pick up these pathways. It’s the hormones that have gone through the liver and chosen a pathway, and then they’re getting pushed out the other end, and they show up in the urine.
We can’t get that in serum because they haven’t gone through the liver or the kidney yet, of course, and we can’t get that in saliva because, again, saliva is just in your saliva glands and out of your spit, but with urine testing, that’s where we can pick up these neat little like, “How is your detox and which way is your testosterone going? Why do you have acne and why do your breasts hurt?” We can pick up this extra information.
Amy Medling: That extra information is very valuable, and what can doctors like yourself, a naturopath, what can you do with that extra information to help your patients with PCOS?
Dr. Carrie J.: Great question. The information can be very empowering to people. For example, if they see that their estrogen is headed down maybe the cancerous pathway, and it’s also the pathway that’s causing their PMS and heavy periods and tender breasts, there’s a lot of dietary changes that we can suggest. There are supplements that we can suggest, stress management, blood sugar changes that go with that go with diet that we can suggest, and it’ll help divert you from the bad pathway, maybe on to the better pathway. Same with the testosterone. When testosterone is going down that sort of aggressive acne-causing, facial-hair causing pathway, it’s usually pushed that way with inflammation, so I may say, “Oh, you look. One of the reasons is inflammation. What do you have going on? Do you have joint pain? Do you have muscle pain? Do you get gas and bloating? Are you prone to headaches?” Like, let’s figure out where this inflammation is.
Another common reason is an imbalance in people’s blood sugar and insulin, so I talk very heavily about diet and in blood sugar control, in insulin control because if somebody doesn’t have very good control either through their diet or genetically, especially with PCOS — we know that they have a lot of trouble with insulin, which goes with your blood sugar — then we work on that quite heavily because if I work on that, then we may find that their acne gets better and their facial hair stops going crazy and the hair on their head stops falling out, and so it can be everyday really lifestyle changes that people can make, and with the addition of some supplements just to help them along.
Amy Medling: I’m just curious, what type of supplements do you think are kind of like essential for women with PCOS?
Dr. Carrie J.: Absolutely, so let’s start with testosterone, so if your testosterone or your DHEA is going down that aggressive pathway, if you test and find out, we tend to look at things. Believe it or not, like there’s an ingredient in green tea, it’s called EGCG. It’s one of the active and big active ingredients. EGCG, reishi mushrooms. Mushrooms are kind of all the rage now. You’re seeing them in health food stores and in powers and supplements, but reishi in particular can be really helpful. There’s a couple of other herbs. One is saw palmetto and the other is called stinging nettle root, so saw palmetto and stinging nettle are commonly for men. You’ll see them in prostate products.
I always joke to women. I’m like, “I know. I know you think it’s a prostate herb, but it’s actually for this particular pathway and women have the same pathway.” I just manifests in us differently than it manifests in men. Men get an enlarged prostate. We don’t have prostates, so we get facial hair and acne instead. Those are some supplements that can help if that pathway is activated.
Now for estrogen, my most favorite, and I actually take it myself, but broccoli sprout powder, so sprouted greens or broccoli sprouts it’s really high in this thing called sulforaphane, and sulforaphane helps stop estrogen going down the bad pathway, so if it’s headed down the cancer pathway, believe it or not, taking some broccoli sprouts every day can help divert you back so you’re not going down that bad pathway. A lot of other women are familiar with something called DIM, D-I-M, or diindolylmethane. DIM comes from indole-3-carbinol or I3C. Those are very popular sort of women’s health anti-PMS, anti-estrogen support. They come from the broccoli, kale, cauliflower family, Brussel sprouts, the Brassica family, so sometimes even women changing their diet, adding more of those foods in, can make a huge impact on their estrogens, which is really nice.
Amy Medling: I think just adding more fiber to your diet is huge
Dr. Carrie J.: Oh, absolutely.
Amy Medling: I always say like, you really can’t supplement your way out of the bad diet, you know?
Dr. Carrie J.: Yes.
Amy Medling: It really, you have to start with the dietary changes either first or in conjunction with.
Dr. Carrie J.: Agreed. Yep. Absolutely.
Amy Medling: Yeah. Yeah, so great tips there on the supplements. I want to talk about stress because I had the opportunity to do this test that we’ve been talking about, and it’s called the DUTCH test. I did it this summer. It was actually in June when, moms listening, especially up here in the Northeast when our last month of school before summer goes out is June, and it’s just crazy. Probably not the best time to take a test like this that tests your adrenals, but my cortisol curve, which I knew I was having some issues with cortisol, was pretty much flat-lined, and I was really in some major adrenal fatigue.
I’ve been doing some things, and thank goodness for the test because it really gave me the information I needed to make some lifestyle shifts and some supplement shifts as well, so that was really great information that I could not get at my primary care physician. I mean, if I told him I was having adrenal issues, he would have looked at me and rolled his eyes, so maybe you can talk a little bit about how stress is such a major player in exacerbating PCOS symptoms and how testing can kind of help us, like I said, get that knowledge we need to make changes.
Dr. Carrie J.: Absolutely. I don’t know women realize how much of an impact stress has on their hormones. I mean, you have a couple of stress hormones. Cortisol, of course, is the most famous one, and then adrenaline which is also known as epinephrine, and then noradrenaline or norepinephrine, but cortisol is tested quite commonly. It comes from the adrenal glands at the direction from the brain, but testosterone can also be made in the adrenal glands. 25% of women’s testosterone is made there, and then 20% of your DHEA is made there, and so some women who have this high androgen, high testosterone, it could be your ovaries, but it could also just be you’re under a tremendous amount of stress, and the adrenal glands are going, “Okay, let’s dump out all the hormones we have,” and out comes a whole bunch of testosterone and out comes a whole bunch of DHEA, and now you’re symptomatic. You have, again, acne, facial hair, you’re missing cycles, or you’re not ovulating.
But cortisol can have a huge impact on things like ovulation. I mean, I’m sure a number of Divas listening have had a stressful event or a stressful month or a stressful situation. Their period was late or it was early or it skipped entirely, and if that’s the direction of stress, of cortisol it can absolutely impact other hormones like progesterone, like testosterone, and your thyroid. Your stress can greatly affect the way your thyroid functions and the way your thyroid activates, and of course when you have thyroid problems, you get skipped cycles, you don’t ovulate, you gain weight, you lose your hair, and so it’s very, very interconnected.
Amy Medling: We can’t really often control the stress in our lives, but we can control the reaction to the stress, and maybe you could share some of your favorite sort of stress busters or ways that you help your parents … your patients and you help yourself …
Dr. Carrie J.: Them too.
Amy Medling: Yeah, I know.
Dr. Carrie J.: Them too.
Amy Medling: I’m thinking about my parents because my dad is in the hospital for pneumonia right now, so it’s stressing me out.
Dr. Carrie J.: Oh, goodness. That’s a big stress. That’s a huge stress.
Amy Medling: I know.
Dr. Carrie J.: Yeah.
Amy Medling: But anyway, what do you do personally and recommend to your patients?
Dr. Carrie J.: Absolutely. Well, I mean, I test. Right? I’m a medical director for a hormone lab, and so I check in with my cortisol to see where it is just like when you did to give me that kind of feedback. How am I handling this? The way that the I think I’m handling this, is that actually how my body is responding, and where do I need to make changes? But I would say my top, very top thing is sleep. I highly recommend people get off their phones and their screens and their computers at night, and have a really healthy wind down routine, whether that just means being social and talking with your family or drinking tea or taking a bath or meditating, listening to music.
I don’t really care what it is, but as long as you’re winding down, what that does is it brings your cortisol down and your melatonin up, and so that quality seven to nine hours of sleep is very, very restorative. When you sleep, you produce two big hormones, melatonin being one of them, the other being growth hormone, and they basically go through and clean every cell in your body. That growth hormone is like a Scrubbing Bubbles, so you can wake up feeling refreshed and restored. Sleep is critical, so get good sleep.
The second thing that I definitely recommend, which I’ve said earlier, but blood sugar balance. Cortisol’s primary job in the body is to manage your blood sugar, so if you skip meals, if you maybe do too much sugar, too many sweets, too many glasses of wine, which can really affect your sugar and your liver, that’s very stressful to the body, and so your cortisol has to deal with it. It has to come out and handle it, so making sure that you’re eating healthy and have your blood sugar where you don’t get hypoglycemic episodes, or I call it hangry, you know? Hungry and angry where I need to eat right now. Hydration is another stress on the body. If you’re drinking enough water, the brain registers as the cells are dehydrated and it stresses out and requires the adrenals, so it’s very simple lifestyle things, right? It’s like almost too easy. You get good sleep, eat healthy, and we know what healthy is. When we know when we put stuff in our mouth whether it’s good or bad. Drink enough water.
Then my most favorite recommendation, it’s my new one that I’m saying for 2017, is pet a dog. When you pet a dog, you get that unconditional love. You know, pet a nice dog and make sure you’re not allergic to dogs, but when you pet a dog you release your love hormone, which is called oxytocin, and it’s your bonding hormone. Women get that when they breastfeed. That’s the hormone that comes out that makes you think your child is the most amazing thing in the whole world. You get it from hugs from people that you love and you get it from when you pet your animals, so if you’re stressed out, pet your animals and hug your loved ones, and get that hormone really high, that oxytocin.
Amy Medling: That’s a great recommendation. You know, I wanted to just share what I’ve done to sort of help my cortisol curve since I found out that it was pretty flat-lined, but I’ve been feeling a lot better since I started wearing like the orange, blue light omitting …
Dr. Carrie J.: They’re so sexy.
Amy Medling: Yeah. Oh, I know. They’re kind of cute, though. It’s sort of that geek chic look, but I put them on if I’m home, like around, I don’t know, seven o’clock at night, 6:30, seven o’clock and I’ll wear them until I go to bed, which I shoot for about 9:30, 9:00-9:30. Then I bought this really fantastic alarm clock that’s the sunrise simulator alarm clock, so it wakes me up gently and now my body is really on a good sort of rhythm and pattern, and I wake up refreshed. I feel so much better. Because of the low cortisol in the morning, I felt like a zombie. I’d wake up and I just couldn’t get myself moving, but I do that and then I jump on my rebounder, have some warm water and lemon with some cayenne, and I just feel so much better, but really that sleep hygiene I think is so important.
Dr. Carrie J.: I have the glasses too. I wear my glasses pretty much every night. I’m a tea drinker. I don’t drink coffee. I never actually got into coffee, which people think is quite weird. My new favorite, and it just works for my body, it may not work for everybody, but it’s called tulsi, which is T-U-L, or T-U-L-S-I. It’s holy basil, and it’s a nice calming adaptogen, and I love the taste of the kind that I have. I wear my lovely orange glasses at night and I drink my tulsi tea, and it’s made a huge difference in my sleep, and just calming my cortisol and calming my brain and helping me wind down.
Amy Medling: Yeah, I do love coffee, but I’m trying to really limit it to weekends. I love my coffee and I love my wine, but that’s something that I’ve been really trying to limit it to like a mindful indulgence, and so I’ve been drinking, something that I have right now is golden milk.
Dr. Carrie J.: It’s my favorite. Yes, yes.
Amy Medling: You know, I have a little café around the corner that makes it themselves, so they freshly squeeze the ginger and turmeric, and they put it in like a blend of coconut milk and almond milk and cinnamon.
Dr. Carrie J.: Oh my gosh.
Amy Medling: It’s so delicious, and I could do that at home too. It’s just …
Dr. Carrie J.: It’s better when somebody else makes it.
Amy Medling: I know. I know, but then I got to take out my juicer and [crosstalk 00:23:07].
Dr. Carrie J.: I know. I actually bought a whisker. It’s a battery-operated, like to make foam. A foamer.
Amy Medling: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Carrie J.: It’s that what it’s called? Yeah, because I make turmeric tea at home, or golden milk at home. I have a couple of like pre … I mean, it’s not as good.
Pre-packaged, yeah. I heat up coconut milk or almond milk, and then I use my little foamer and I feel all professional. It’s never as good, but it’s so yummy.
Amy Medling: Yeah, but I guess the point being is that’s another kind of like evening elixir, something that’s warm and soothing and healthy, you know? Better than having a glass of wine, which is really hormonally disruptive in the evening, especially if you’re having it outside of a meal.
Dr. Carrie J.: Right, and especially, which doesn’t maybe so much apply to people listening, but I have a lot of perimenopausal, menopausal women who go, “I used to drink wine at dinner or after dinner, at night to wind down and I can’t do that anymore. Now I can’t sleep and my blood sugar is all over the place.” I’m like, “It’s hormonal. It’s hormonal. These hormonal changes affect the way you process alcohol.” “I know. Got to cut it out.” We do, but just like you said, be mindful about it.
Amy Medling: Yeah, and I think women with PCOS are just so hormonally sensitive, and you may not realize that that glass of wine is causing your sleep issues. You know, you may not have put two and two together, but just really being aware of how food is affecting your way of coping with stress and your sleep, your moods as well, and that sense of being hangry.
Dr. Carrie J.: For sure.
Amy Medling: Can you tell us a little bit more about the DUTCH test and how it measures your adrenal function?
Dr. Carrie J.: Yeah, absolutely. It’s actually an acronym. We do not test to see if you are of Dutch heritage, but DUTCH stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones, and it’s a urine test or it is a combination urine, little cotton swabs that you suck on, and so basically you urinate on a piece of paper four times in the day, so once in the morning, two hours later, around dinner, and before bed. Then people let it dry, let it completely dry for about 24 hours, and mail it in to the lab. And off those four pieces of dried filter paper, we can pull all the hormones, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEAS, and then all the pathways.
We can look at phase one estrogen detox, phase two estrogen detox. We can look at testosterone, see which direction testosterone is going. Is it going that aggressive direction or the non-aggressive direction? We can look at melatonin, which we’ve talked about with sleep, all the cortisol markers, that cortisol pattern you were seeing. Yours unfortunately was flat-lined, but other people may see their cortisol is really, really elevated and that can cause a lot of symptoms and can be damaging as well, so it’s important to know how much cortisol you’re making and then what the pattern is.
Amy Medling: Yeah. I think a lot of women with PCOS have that inverse curve. Maybe you could speak to that.
Dr. Carrie J.: Yeah, so cortisol follows, we call it a circadian rhythm. It’s supposed to be high in the morning, high with the sun, get your butt out of bed and get you going, and it’s to be low at night so that you fall asleep and stay asleep. A lot of women have that, we call it a reverse curve, so they’re low in the morning, which means they’re tired and they’re dragging and they hit snooze multiple times and they need caffeine. Then they’re high at night when now they have racing brain and they can’t fall asleep, they can’t stay asleep, they wake up several times during the night, or they’ll say, “I get a second wind. Like, I get tired at six or seven o’clock at night, and then nine o’clock comes around and I have a second wind again.” I’m like, “Yeah, your cortisol is probably going up.”
When you can see that, when you see what your curve is doing, which direction it’s going or if it’s flat-lined, then you can be real specific in the way that you treat and the herbs that you choose or the supplements you choose, or getting the alarm clock like you said, or getting just conscious of the fact that, “Oh, wow, my cortisol goes up at night. I need to really get those orange glasses and get off my phone, and wind down at night and not push myself into a second wind,” so getting that pattern can make a huge difference in the way you treat and help your symptoms go away.
Amy Medling: You talked about the hormones. You talked about the cortisol. Are there any adrenal functions that you test for or inflammation markers?
Dr. Carrie J.: Actually, we test for an oxidative stress marker, so when your body is fighting infections and dealing with things that are inflammation. We have all heard of antioxidants. We know like, vitamin C is an antioxidant, and vitamin E, we hear that word, but your body has its own internal antioxidant system. If it gets overwhelmed, if it’s been fighting something for a while or dealing with something for a while, then you can get an increase in what’s called oxidative stress and that can actually damage your DNA, which we don’t want. When the DNA gets damaged, it releases another marker, and we test it on the DUTCH test, and it’s a big fancy word. I don’t know who names these names. It’s called 8-Hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine. We just shorten it, 8-OHdG, because that’s way easier, but we look at that as well, so people who are dealing with a lot of inflammation or infection, or maybe women who’ve had a history of cancer or are concerned about cancer, it can give you some insight. It can show you like, how is your oxidative stress system working in your body with all this going on?
Amy Medling: For somebody that’s listening today, and this just sounds really great, to have this information, how can you move from here? Like, so you want to do the DUTCH test. What can you do?
Dr. Carrie J.: Yeah. Absolutely. You can go to our website which is www.dutchtest.com, D-U-T-C-H test dot com, and there is a link. You can order a test yourself right off the website, and we actually have a discount code for you today. The discount code, if you buy a test, when you are entering all your information, there’ll be a coupon code section. The coupon code is very easy. It’s PCOSDIVA, all one word, all are caps. PCOSDIVA, and that will get you $50 off the ordering of a test, which is great.
If you’d like a practitioner, let’s say you’re listening to this and you think, “You know, I think I want a practitioner to really help me walk me through this, do more than my current doctor is doing,” we can help direct you with that as well. You can call the office or you can email us right off the website. Let us know where you live, what’s your zip code, what city are you in and around, and we will definitely give you like, “Okay, here are the doctors in your area that do wellness medicine, functional medicine, and can maybe dive deeper and order the DUTCH test for you.”
Amy Medling: Yeah. I think that’s really valuable because there are so many women that reach out to me. You know, “I live in this state and I haven’t been able to find anyone that has really helped me get to the root of my PCOS symptoms.” I do find that if I direct people to the Institute of Functional Medicine, they have a practitioner finder, or the Naturopathic Association, they also have a physician finder, but you have a physician finder, which is really valuable information for people listening, so if you’re looking for a doctor, reach out to the folks at DUTCH test and they can match you up with someone.
Dr. Carrie J.: Which is nice because I think, like you said, PCOS is complicated and a lot of women with PCOS have other things. You know, they have thyroid issues, Hashimoto’s, or they have other autoimmune or they have food intolerances or just other stuff that it just ties into the PCOS or is worsening the PCOS, and they just need somebody who can orchestrate and dig deep.
Amy Medling: Yeah. I mean, the food sensitivities, I think, is a huge piece of the puzzle too, and detoxification, a good detoxification program I think is so important as well.
Dr. Carrie J.: Right.
Amy Medling: These are just things that I find that your typical mainstream medical doc who’s not familiar with all of this, they have a hard time sort of putting all of these pieces together.
Dr. Carrie J.: Agreed.
Amy Medling: Just as a great resource. Dr. Carrie, thank you so much for coming on and sharing today.
Dr. Carrie J.: Yeah. You’re welcome. This has been a lot of fun. I hope it was helpful to your listeners.
Amy Medling: Absolutely. Well, it’s definitely helpful to me too.
Dr. Carrie J.: Good.
Amy Medling: Thank you, everyone, for joining us on today’s PCOS Diva Podcast. I hope you enjoyed it. If you liked this episode, please subscribe to PCOS Diva on iTunes or wherever else you might be listening, and if you have a minute, please leave me a quick review on iTunes. I love to hear from you. I read every one. If you can think of somebody else that might benefit from this free podcast, please take a minute to share it with her so she can benefit from it too, and don’t forget to sign up for my free weekly newsletter with lots of great valuable content from PCOS Diva and my guest bloggers. Just enter your email on pcosdiva.com to make sure you never miss a future episode, a future podcast episode. This is Amy Medling wishing you good health. Bye, bye.