“If we don’t rehabilitate your immune system and how your immune system is identifying certain things in your body, then you can go on the right diet, you can go on the right supplements, you can do all of those things, and you can feel good, but you almost feel like you can never sort of get off that merry-go-round.” – Dr. Meaghan Kirschling
Gut health is central to many of our body’s critical functions such as hormone regulation and managing the immune system, as well as digestive and neurological systems. Dr. Meaghan Kirschling has had tremendous success in her practice using low-dose immunotherapy for treatment of certain symptoms of PCOS and much more. Listen in (or read the transcript) as we discuss:
- The connection between PCOS and autoimmune issues (such as Hashimoto’s)
- How immunotherapy works
- The differences between Low-Dose Immunotherapy (LDI), Low-Dose Allergen (LDA), & Low-Dose Naltrexone
- The connection between PCOS, endometriosis, yeast, and candida
- Gut Health and sugar cravings
Mentioned in this podcast:
- Research article on PCOS and the gut microbiome
- Lyme therapy
- PCOS Diva Podcast #35 with Meaghan Kirschling: Managing PCOS- Teen Years to Menopause
- PCOS Diva Podcast #47 with Meaghan Kirschling: Essential Oils for PCOS- How and What To Use
- PCOS Diva Essential Oils for PCOS mini course
- Beyond the Basics Health Academy podcast
- One Agora Health
Amy Medling: I’m so thrilled to have Dr. Meaghan Kirschling back on the PCOS Diva podcast. She has appeared on two other episodes, and just to give you a little background about Dr. Meaghan, she has both an allopathic and alternative medical background. She is a doctor of chiropractic, a BS in nursing in exercise science, a master’s of nutrition, and a master’s of nursing. So, she just understands a broad scope of healing PCOS.
And I want to encourage you to listen to episode 35 where we talk about managing PCOS from teen years to menopause. I know I get a lot of questions about what to do for PCOS in menopause and we talk about that in that podcast. And then podcast number 47, which we talk about essential oils for PCOS, how and what to use. And Dr. Meaghan Kirschling teamed up with PCOS Diva on our essential oils mini course. She provides so much in-depth information about how to use essential oils for healing PCOS in that course, so check that out as well.
But today, we’re going to be talking about low-dose immunotherapy and how it can help certain symptoms of PCOS. So welcome to the PCOS Diva podcast again, Dr. Meaghan.
Dr. Meaghan: Thank you so much for having me back, I feel by now it’s just like having tea with a good friend, like we’re just going to sit back and have a good conversation about PCOS and the immune system and how it’s all connected.
Amy Medling: I know, I’m so thrilled to have you back, because you’re right. It’s like having a kindred spirit on the other line. And I was on your podcast, which is a fantastic podcast, it’s called Beyond the Basics Health Academy podcast, and you can find that on iTunes or at their website, and we’ll put that in the show notes, but it’s beyondthebasicshealthacademy.com.
But we were on, this spring I was on your podcast, and after the show we were kind of chit-chatting and I was asking you about any new findings with your work with women with PCOS, because I know you work with a lot of women with PCOS in your practice. And you had mentioned low-dose immunotherapy and how it helps, what you’re saying is, with candida and yeast, which is a problem for so many of us with PCOS. But why don’t we start by, what is low-dose immunotherapy, and we’ll go from there.
Dr. Meaghan: Perfect. So, when we look at this, and one of the things that has sort of come from my experience and my clinical experience is being in the day and day trenches with these women and really being able to see what women that experience hormonal issues, we’re going to talk about gut issues, immune issues, digestive issues in general, and then neurological issues. So they’re all just really connected, and what I’ve really found, and I think there’s a lot of research in physiology that supports this, is that the immune system, the hormone system, and the nervous system really should have been one system. We separated them, I think for ease of the fact that they fit nicely in a textbook if we separate them from function, but they all function together.
And really when we look at the nervous system, immune system, and the hormone system, they should be a compensatory system where we are able to compensate. I think, looking at this and treating a lot of people, that really the seed of this is the immune system. And when the immune system is happy, the nervous system, the immune system, and the hormone system are all happy. And when the immune system is not happy, or that it’s fighting something, especially chronically, we’re going to have compensate, and then we’re going to start to see compensation, especially in its fellow hormone and nervous system.
So, because the immune system plays such a big role in everything, we really have to look at how we can make a difference and get that immune system happy again and to rehab it. So, in a nutshell, I always explain LDI and low-dose immunotherapy as rehab for the immune system. Ways that we can and are able to get that immune system to reset and rehab how it’s looking at the body, at underlying problems and concerns like yeast and candida, and be able to then get the immune system back on board so it’s not in this state that’s then triggering all of our other systems.
And so, when we look at LDI, how I easily explain it is rehab for the immune system. When we get into it in more detail, it’s really something that’s evolved over the past couple decades. It really started in Europe, has come to the US in the last couple decades, uh, there are a handful of functional medicine doctors and other doctors that use it. And how we can use it is sort of twofold, we can use it to either desensitize the body to allergies, like we do when we talk about sublingual immunotherapy, or we can use it, and this is where we really can use it in candida and yeast is we can use it to get the body and the immune system to look at these pathogens and at these antigens again so that it’s not attacking that antigen in the body so much. So, it’s a really cool, cool way to get the immune system to realize to not be under attack for these things that it shouldn’t be attacking all the time.
Amy Medling: So, when you were talking about allergens, I’m thinking, like histamine, that’s something that’s kind of new in the functional health world, is that there’s a lot of women that actually have histamine intolerance. I just was wondering if this is kind of connected with those that are struggling with histamine issues.
Dr. Meaghan: Yes, and that’s a great question. Because when we really look, and even take a step back maybe even from just PCOS and just, even look at problems in general, a lot of people are in this immune sort of chaos. And it shows up in a lot of different ways, and it shows up differently in each person. And it really does depend on a lot of different things. Are you actively being exposed, at what level are you being exposed? What is your response, which can be due to other factors and other things layered, or due to genetics, and maybe you’re an over-histamine producer, or you don’t produce enough of something called DAO, which is going to degrade the histamine.
And then the part that LDI can really go in is how is your immune response to this antigen or this component, and what is that immune response and what is that, then, also triggering? What cascade of other changes is happening because of the immune system? And when we talk about histamine, those are people that are producing more of a histamine response, which is one part of the immune system. And so it all ties into this too, because you might be having an immune response, and not having as much histamine, you might not be in what we now term mast cell activation or histamine response, for various reasons, but you also might be having the sort of same cascade and not having as much histamine. So, it definitely does present differently in different people, but the histamine responders are definitely in this discussion.
Amy Medling: So, the other question that I have is a lot of women with PCOS seem prone to multiple autoimmune issues. It’s almost like if one is already triggered, like Hashimoto’s, or I’ve recently heard from a lot of women who have psoriasis and PCOS. So, doing some type of immunotherapy, do you feel like that could possibly sort of stop some of these immune issues from escalating, or kind of once you’re predisposed to immune issues that it can kind of stop that in its tracks?
Dr. Meaghan: Yes, so, and those are great back to back questions, because when we really do look at the immune system and the response that it has, there is the acute response, which is very histamine-based, where we’re being exposed to something right now and your immune system’s going after it, and you know it. Your signs and symptoms are very histamine-based, which is, whether it’s a runny nose or whether it’s you becoming more reactive to your environment in different ways, and just think of somebody in an allergic response, whether that’s hives, or like I said, a runny nose, or just itchiness, but you’re having some kind of response in an active stage.
Then there’s the other effect too that we see time and time again, and that’s where, especially with chronic problems and concerns with the immune system, that the immune system becomes confused. And the immune system’s whole job is to go through and identify proteins, because proteins are going to be what we can use to identify things we don’t want there. And so it can identify proteins in foods that our body’s responding to; it can identify proteins in infections, viruses, bacteria, parasites, yeast, that it says “Okay, this is not what’s supposed to be there,” and then it can identify proteins in our body.
And so, when there starts to be a problem with identification, that’s when we start to get into autoimmunity. So especially over time, we can start to see what might start as autoimmunity, maybe in the thyroid, with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, then they start to produce more autoimmunity. So maybe it becomes sclerosis, maybe it becomes psoriasis, maybe it becomes an arthritis, maybe it becomes that there’s neurological changes that are due to the body going after the brain and different components of the nervous system.
But we definitely see that once someone gets down this road, especially if we don’t go after that component, that it’s going to lead to more misidentification of proteins, which leads to more autoimmunity.
Amy Medling: So it’s great for those women that are listening that feel so frustrated, because they’re not really sure what to do, because what you’re describing sure sounds like them. Tell us how the low-dose immunotherapy, like what do we ask for?
Dr. Meaghan: Yes.
Amy Medling: How can we advocate for ourselves?
Dr. Meaghan: Yeah, so that’s exactly how I got exposed to LDI and got exposed to it as a tool for my patients, is because I am really into long-term results. I really, I always tell my patients, “I don’t want you to be a revolving door.” Like I don’t want … a lot of times you’re going to have to stack therapy, and I’m going to need to see you a lot maybe at the beginning, but I don’t want you to feel good for two or three months and then come back in five months and say, “I’m right back to where I started from.”
And I see this time and time again. I mean, this is a very, very common situation. And so one of the things that I started to realize a long time ago is that in order to get people long-term results, we really have to focus a little bit more on rehab. And for some reason we do this so well in the muscular-skeletal world, so maybe it’s my chiropractic background, where if you sprain your ankle, we say “Okay, we’ve got to heal your ankle.” But then after that ankle gets to a point where it’s less inflamed and healing, we’ve got to rehab it and reconnect you to the brain.
And say, “Okay, we don’t want you to be clumsy, we don’t want you to always feel like you’re going to roll your ankle, we’ve got to rehab you.” Well, we have to rehab the immune system and the nervous system and the gut, the gut’s a big part of this conversation too, because there is a huge connection between the gut microbiome and PCOS. And so we have to also do that rehab part to get you out of those patterns. Because, especially if you’ve been in this pattern for 20, 30 years, if we don’t rehab your immune system and how your immune system’s identifying certain things in your body, then what happens is you can go on the right diet, you can go on the right supplements, you can do all of those things and you can feel good, but you almost feel like you can never sort of get off that merry-go-round.
And so when we look at this and we look at low-dose immunotherapy, what we can do is we can rehab the major part of the immune system which is called T regulatory lymphocytes to identify these situations like candida and yeast to then say to the immune system “I’m going to give you a low dose of it, and I’m going to allow you to look at that differently.” And so it’s almost like a homeopathic dose, there’s different amounts and doses. But what it then does is it allows your immune system to say “Okay, I’m going to have a response to this and realize that I should not allow your body to cohabitate with it.”
Because that’s the thing that we find all the time is that a lot of these things, you … And candida and yeast is a great conversation for this, because women with candida and yeast issues, they can treat it, but they always feel like it’s just going to come back. And-
Amy Medling: That it’s just sort of hanging out at the surface, if they change their diet or detergent, it comes back with a vengeance, yeah.
Dr. Meaghan: Yep. Exactly. And it makes a lot of sense, because yeast loves reproductive organs, it loves estrogen, and it loves the hormones because of the fact, and that’s why we see so many women who have yeast problems. But what happens is that I always tell people, a lot of the things that we treat with LDI, whether it’s yeast or mold, parasites, flu, Lyme disease, those kinds of things, but yeast especially, I always call it the crazy uncle. And what I mean by that is it’s not something that comes in and just completely causes destructive damage where you say “Something just hit me.” It’s not like going to Mexico and getting giardia and getting back and you know that you just have a major infection.
But I call it the crazy uncle because it moves in and it just makes things not right. But then over time, you start to think that, as that crazy uncle invites more and more people over and starts to sort of overtake your house, that you think that it’s just supposed to be there. Like it almost fools you into, oh, this is just normal.
And so that changes your whole, when your crazy uncle moves in and then invites all your crazy aunts and other uncles and other cousins and things like that, that you start to feel like that’s normal, that’s the new normal, and your immune system does the same thing when it’s been exposed to something for a long period of time, is that it starts to think that it’s the new normal. And so what we need to do is get after the problem, and sort of write that eviction notice to get the people out that we don’t want there. But then we also have to change the security system that goes around and looks to make sure that we get this back to what we want it to be. And that security system is the immune system. And so then we can retrain and use the LDI and low-dose immunotherapy to get the body to start to realize that this isn’t the norm and this isn’t what we should allow, so that you’re not one weekend away or a couple food choices away from it all coming back.
Amy Medling: So, you mentioned that it’s similar to homeopathy, and for those that don’t understand homeopathy or haven’t really heard the term, can you maybe just elaborate on that?
Dr. Meaghan: So homeopathy, and that’s why too LDI did sort of, well, it did stem from the United Kingdom and Europe, but when we talk about homeopathic remedies, what we’re talking about is more, they have sort of a philosophy to treat things differently than we do. Like we give a drug that’s going to shut down a pathway, or we give a drug that’s going to upregulate a pathway, and so that we can get that pathway to either be dampened or overproduced so that we can have the effects we want.
Homeopathic is to give the body, by doing a pretty good assessment, but finding, then, something that’s a little bit gentler just to stimulate the body to do what we want it to do. And so LDI, we actually make different strengths of the different antigens or the different things that we’re trying to get the body to respond to, and then over time what we can do is sort of increase those strengths to be able to get the immune system to be retrained to not allow these different pathogens to be there.
So, it’s sort of reintroducing it at a very small level so that the immune system looks at it a little bit different and says okay, I’m going to upregulate and change my response so that I don’t allow this pathogen to really take over.
Amy Medling: So, whenever I’ve used homeopathy, it’s always kind of delivered in little pellets that you just put under, sublingual, under your tongue. So how is the immunotherapy delivered?
Dr. Meaghan: So, the immunotherapy is also delivered under the tongue, so it’s sublingual. And what we do is, actually we do it in-office, but we can also mail it to people. What you want to do too is you take a dose, so it’s a one-time dose that you take underneath the tongue and just hold it for about 10, 15 seconds underneath your tongue, and then it gets absorbed into the mucus membrane, and then your immune system will respond to it, and if we do see any kind of response, sometimes what’ll happen, especially when we’re treating yeast or candida is the woman might get a yeast infection, we might notice more menstrual cramping or things like that, because you’re actually upregulating and getting that immune system to respond, and so you do actually want to see an increase in symptoms.
They’re usually pretty tolerable when done right, but you do want to see an increase in symptoms because you are trying to retrain that immune system. You do, though, have to repeat it. So it depends on the severity and the chronicity and how long somebody’s had it for how often you need to repeat it, but you do need to repeat it about every two months in order to sort of teach those new generations of white blood cells, those T regulatory lymphocytes how to respond. So, a lot of times after four or five treatments, sometimes people do need more, but I’d say about four or five treatments, that then people will find that they’re not just, like I said, one weekend and one meal away from feeling like the yeast and candida came back.
Amy Medling: So that is really hopeful for a lot of women that are struggling and have struggled for years. So what other symptoms of PCOS or women’s health issues have, do you think are a possibility for this type of therapy?
Dr. Meaghan: So there is a lot … So I should say, too, take a little step back and say the two different pillars with this is that there is something called LDA, which is low-dose allergen, which you can also then desensitize and do all the foods and inhalants, because a lot of individuals that are in this, they become more reactive to foods and they become more reactive to inhalants and chemicals and things like that.
So LDA, the United States’ sort of grandfather of that is Dr. Shrader, and he’s done a lot of good work about how we can desensitize these individuals that are in these immune complexes to foods, inhalants, chemicals. I mean, he does other things like wood and things like that too that people might react to that are in the … So you can actually desensitize to all the foods and do all of that too while you’re doing LDI.
And then LDI, low-dose immunotherapy also came from some work from Shrader, but there’s also an individual named Ty Vincent who’s really taken over and done a ton of work on it now, and that’s where you get very specific, to say, okay, this is what I’m going to give you at low doses so that we can retrain the immune system. And you can do everything from yeast and Lyme and mold. You can get very specific, if you find that the problem’s more dairy, we can be a little bit more specific with the dairy desensitization. You can do flu, parasites, strep is another big one.
And so it can really be customized and catered specifically to the person. I will tell you, working with a lot of hormone issues, I have just found there is a huge, huge, huge correlation with PCOS, endometriosis, and problems like that, with yeast and candida. And I’ve started to treat all of these women with the LDI for candida and seen really good results, and so there’s usually some underlying issues. And we can do more than one, like you can do candida and strep at the same time. Sometimes at the beginning, we decide to separate them at the beginning, just to see how you respond. But we can also layer them.
Amy Medling: Well it makes sense, because so many women with PCOS and endometriosis, inflammation is kind of underlying factor, and if you’ve got this inflammatory response from the candida and yeast, if you can eliminate that, the inflammation would go down. Is that kind of what happens?
Dr. Meaghan: Yeah, and that’s really what we see a lot too. And I do want to also say, because I hear this all the time, is a lot of women will be like “I don’t think this is me because I’ve never had a yeast infection.” And that is very, very common to never actually even see outside yeast, or know that you have yeast problems, because it can be a lot more internal, and it all does get tied back to the gut. And there’s great, great research, I can actually send you this link, because I think it’s a very easy to understand research article that was done, I think in 2016, about the connection between PCOS and gut microbiome.
And it’s interesting, because I do think that’s a big part too, when you’re treating the candida and yeast is to also make sure that you’re getting the microbiome where it should be, because the better the person’s microbiome and their gut health is, then the better the ability is for you to get that environment right for this to not keep coming back.
And what the research really shows us is it’s all about the connection between that and lactobacillus. They look at some other of the microbiome, but this one especially I think drives home how if we can get the lactobacillus right, we can improve cycles, decrease estrogen dominance, and improve the microbiome. And lactobacillus is such-
Amy Medling: Oh, that’s interesting.
Dr. Meaghan: … Yeah, I will send you the article to link, because it’s an easy … I mean it’s definitely sort of a lot of information, but I do think, and I know your PCOS Divas are so smart, so they’ll understand it, but it really does read pretty easy for research. But when we look at lactobacillus, the other place we see a ton of lactobacillus is the reproductive system. Not only the vaginal canal but also the uterus, ovaries.
And so, what we find in the gut is not separate from what we find in the reproductive organs, and this article specifically really dives into that research of PCOS and the microbiome. And that then goes back into the immune system and how important it is, then, because that microbiome is part of the immune system. So when we look at this it’s about how do we get the balance back, how do we get the inflammation down, how do we do all of that? Because that’s still necessary, and so important. But then how do we also do that rehab part of the nervous system, the immune system, and the hormone system so you’re not just in these patterns waiting for them to pick up again?
Amy Medling: So, when I was really struggling with sugar cravings, I think a lot of women with PCOS think that it’s like a, obviously it’s a blood sugar issue, if you’re eating a really carb-heavy, sugar-laden diet it just creates more sugar cravings. But I think when you have candida, it just adds to those absolutely insane sugar cravings that we get.
Dr. Meaghan: And I say that all the time, because I think it’s so important to realize too, like when you talk about yeast and candida, and you talk about the way it can rea- and that’s the thing, the thing that surprises me being in the clinical setting is just the degree that some of this stuff happens, and how smart some of these, especially pathogens like parasites and candida are, in the sense that they’re able to sort of take over your environment and do what’s right to make them thrive.
And we see that with candida because of the fact that it really does thrive on simple sugar. And when you get cravings and you have yeast and candida, it’s on a different level. It’s not like a, I’m sitting here at night and it’d be really nice to maybe have a slice of pie, or a taste of cake. It’s like, I’m sitting here and out of nowhere, who can I fight and get to to be able to get to some kind of sugar? And it’s a whole different kind of sensation and desire, because of the fact that it’s not just the simple desire for sweetness or the simple desire for sugar, it’s that candida and yeast really will, on all levels, fight for what it wants, which is that sugar. And once you get into those cravings, it knows how to keep you in that loop to want more and more and more and more and more.
Amy Medling: Yeah, that was really important for me to kind of break that. And I did it with cleanses, so that was really helpful for me. But I would’ve really liked to have tried this low-dose immunotherapy. So if somebody’s listening and they’re kind of nodding their head with our whole conversation, is this something that you can do for women remotely, or how could somebody-
Dr. Meaghan: Yes.
So, I definitely think, too, it would be good to, because I am a firm believer, and I should say this too, because I think I might differ a little bit from some other people who use low-dose immunotherapy. And we all are sort of in the trenches trying to figure out the best way to use it. But I’m a firm believer in get the inflammation and get the antigen down as much as possible before you do the low-dose immunotherapy.
I know a couple other people will, and as you’re exploring this and looking into it, you’ll read a lot of people that say “I had terrible responses,” especially with Lyme. I don’t see it as much with candida, but I see it with some of my Lyme patients. And that they get bedridden from it, because you’ve upregulated that immune system and all of a sudden it has this huge battle to fight. And it says “Okay, you’ve woken me up to realize that this is a pathogen and I want to get rid of it.” But if you have a large amount of it, then it’s going to be more of a reaction to it.
I don’t want to make anybody miserable and I don’t want to make anyone bedridden, so I feel like it’s really important to get that threshold down as much as possible and then do the low-dose immunotherapy, which is where a lot of people are at and a lot of my PCOS patients are at, because these women really do take care of themselves and have done everything to really try to balance this as much as possible, and then they’re a great candidate for it, because then we can go in, and yes they might get a yeast infection, yes they might feel some flu-like symptoms, which are all good signs that they’re responding, but they’re not going to be bottomed out or bedridden for two months, because nobody has time for that.
So I think that’s important to understand, that my approach is more, let’s get this down, let’s get it controlled, before we put the low-dose immunotherapy. And so it’s not that we wake up this immune system to rehab it and there’s a big, big, big inflammation problem there because there’s a lot to fight off. Just like I wouldn’t try to rehab your ankle like a week after you’re in that inflammation, sprained state. I’m going to wait for that to go down and then rehab it.
So, I think that’s really important, and I’ve had much better results that way, than to use this as maybe the main treatment or therapy. And I just like to say that, because I do know that when you look this up, you will get those … I mean they’re sort of like horror stories, but they’re stories that just people who really didn’t respond very well to it, but I also think it’s because of the fact that you have to really get that antigen or pathogen down as much as possible, and then we have really good results with it.
But what we can do, then, is these are doses that we can send to people, so we can do a good phone consultation, see if you’re a good candidate, sort of explain it to you and how it would work with you, talk about whether or not we’d want to do LDI and LDA together, because a lot of people, we do combine that. Decrease your response to the foods and inhalants, and then be able to increase sort of a response to any antigen that should be there.
And both myself and then another practitioner here, her name’s Jenny, she’s also a nurse practitioner, we both do LDI and LDA. So we both can help you out and we’ve both had fantastic results. It’s really changed the long-term game for us, with being able to get people out of these patterns.
Amy Medling: And I just want to clarify that I’ve been hearing from a lot of women who are having a hard time with their diet, because it seems like they’re sensitive to everything. So women that are having tons of food sensitivities, is this a good protocol for them?
Dr. Meaghan: This is an excellent protocol for them, and that’s exactly what I was seeing clinical, where I was like, we need more. Like we need more to be able to get these people that are working so hard for their health and sanity to be able to … And like you’ve heard all the time too, Amy, is these individuals, whatever they’re dealing with, they’re not looking to be able to eat McDonald’s three times a day. They’re not looking to be able to have a diet of all ice cream. They’re just looking to have some kind of normalcy and some kind of sanity and not feel like they’re being followed by this dark cloud that could at any time rain on them.
Amy Medling: Yeah, and honestly, it’s like the natural foods that they’re sensitive to, they’re trying their best to eat a good, healthy diet, but it seems like a lot of fruits and vegetables they’re having a hard time with and they’re sensitive to, so then that just adds to the frustration. Because they’re trying to do what they’re supposed to do to reduce inflammation, but it’s just creating more inflammation, which is really a tough place to be.
Dr. Meaghan: And then, clinically these are the people that come in and do food sensitivity one year and we find weird things like blueberries and broccoli and foods like that, and they’re like “Yeah, that makes sense, I’ve been eating a lot of it, I’ll take it out,” and then they come back the next year and we do food sensitivity and now it’s fish and carrots or something like that, and it’s like, okay, the food allergies and food sensitivities at that time, then, are almost a sign and symptom that there’s an immune response. And that’s where, if we can go after the immune system, it’s not that then you’re going to start to respond to whatever foods you’re eating, it’s going to be that we can actually go and get your immune system to be reeducated to not be at this state of heightened alert.
And so that’s where we can really see a huge difference, and like I said, we can do the LDA which is desensitization to food and sort of get, then, that you’re not being so reactive to foods and inhalants as we then also go after and do the immunotherapy of what is sort of triggering that immune system to be at a heightened state and go after different proteins.
Amy Medling: The other thing you had mentioned working with lots of women with PCOS is that’s something that you can do remotely as well.
Dr. Meaghan: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yep. So we can definitely help, and sort of the approach to PCOS and hormone issues is to look at the nervous system, hormone system, and immune system, and how we can get people out of these patterns. And then a lot of times too what I see is a lot of people haven’t even started to address their gut, and that research, when you read it, it reads really cool that there’s such a connection between hormonal problems and the gut microbiome. And they’re not just neighbors, our reproductive organs and gut don’t just sit close to each other, they constantly communicate with each other.
And so a lot of times too when we look at this is to really put that whole picture together, and that’s where I think having a good clinician, because we live in a great time of being able to sort of have any information we want at our fingertips, but that also can be a curse in sometimes putting it together and figuring out what we need to do. So when we see somebody, it’s really, then, a good idea to just start from the very beginning and put it all together for them, because everybody’s so different in where we’re at. And so I think we’re really good too at meeting you where you’re at, we’re not going to start you from square one if you’re already halfway through the marathon or near the finish line. But then also to put together some of the other components of it that all go along with hormone issues, insulin issues, the things that we see with PCOS.
Amy Medling: Well, if you’re listening out there and you haven’t found that good clinician, and I’ll tell you, it can be a real headache to find somebody. You go to multiple doctor after doctor and they just don’t really get it. I can tell you that Dr. Meaghan gets it. So-
Dr. Meaghan: Well thank you.
Amy Medling: … Yeah, you absolutely do, and you’re so welcome. So if somebody would like to work with you, where do they go to kind of get things started?
Dr. Meaghan: Well, so there’s probably two places that I have the most presence on the web. And so the number one thing I would look at is my clinics. So I’m in Bloomington, Minnesota, which is outside the Twin Cities area, and I’m at a clinic called One Agora Health. And so agora means community, and I’m a big fan of community. So you can go to one, spelled out, agora, which is A-G-O-R-A, and then health.com. So oneagorahealth.com is the clinic, you can find more information there and you can schedule just right online.
I also work with a great team, I’m also a big believer that it takes a team to help people, so you’ll also find some of the other team members. And we all do work together, so any one of us can really help you. Jenny Knudtson is another nurse practitioner that I work with, and she does a lot with hormones, she’s also fantastic.
And then I also love community and I love education, so I also have tried to build sort of an educational site at Beyond the Basics Health Academy, with my podcast, and so you can find that at either btbha.com or beyondthebasicshealthacademy.com. Or you can just go to One Agora Health and you can find some blogs and podcasts and it just connects right to that website, so those are the places you can sort of find out more information about me.
Amy Medling: Excellent, and I will be putting all of those links, as well as the article that Dr. Megan’s going to send me in the show notes, and all of my podcasts are transcribed, so you can go to the pcosdiva.com page with the podcast and get all of that information there. Well-
Dr. Meaghan: There’s one other thing I just wanted to talk about really quick.
Amy Medling: Sure.
Dr. Meaghan: Because I think it’s important just to clarify too, because the other question I get all the time is “How is this different from low-dose naltrexone?”
Amy Medling: Good question.
Dr. Meaghan: Yeah, yeah, so I do think it’s important, because they can be used together, but they are different mechanisms. And so low-dose naltrexone, for those that don’t know, it’s a compounded prescription where we can use naltrexone, which is used sometimes for addiction and things like that, at a very low, low dose, so much lower than we use for addiction and things like that to help modulate the immune system, to sort of get it so that it’s not responding as much, so it’s great for autoimmunity. So a lot of people in the autoimmune world will use low-dose naltrexone.
I use a lot of that too, and I use it a lot with LDI and LDA. Because we can sort of get it so your immune system’s not at such a heightened state and not in such these autoimmune patterns, and then we can retrain and rehab with LDA and LDI. So if you’re on LDN, you’re also a great candidate for LDI and LDA. And LDN’s a good way to sort of dampen that immune system, to get people out of autoimmunity, and then LDA and LDI can be used while they’re on LDN in order to help, again, rehab.
Amy Medling: Excellent. And I do have an article about LDN, we’ll link to that as well in the show notes.
Dr. Meaghan: Love the education.
Amy Medling: Well, that’s really what PCOS Diva is about, is giving evidence-based information to women with PCOS so that they can advocate for themselves and really regain that sense of power that we often feel like we’ve lost over our bodies. But we have so much power and there’s so much that you can do to feel better. And I’m just so grateful that you came onto the podcast to shed some light on another modality that we can use to feel better.
Dr. Meaghan: Well, excited and always happy to sit down and talk to you.
Amy Medling: Well thank you for everyone listening, and I look forward to being with you again soon. Buh-bye.