The Magic 5: Naturally Treating PCOS with Dr. Dian Ginsberg [Podcast]
The average doctor examines a woman with PCOS, prescribes the pill, tells her to lose some weight and sends her on her way. Dr. Dian Ginsberg is not your average doctor. Listen to our information-packed 43 minute interview to learn her 5 Magic Elements for treating PCOS. Dr. Ginsberg is a respected traditional doctor who has branched out into functional medicine. Her goal is to help patients heal themselves by understanding the underlying causes of PCOS and achieving balanced wellness naturally. In our interview, she shares a wealth of information about micronutritional deficiencies as well as practical advice about sleep, diet, stress and proper exercise for women with PCOS. Her thoughts on the PCOS diet and the PCOS lifestyle are not to be missed.
*During our interview, Dr. Ginsberg suggested 2 additional resources. For your convenience, here they are:
Dr. Ginsberg completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Bowman-Gray School of Medicine in North Carolina before Houston’s sunny climate brought her to Texas. Dr. Ginsberg has years of experience providing comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology treatment, which is the basis of her special interest in weight management, optimal prenatal and postpartum care, menopause management, and healthy aging. Being a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and an accomplished marathon runner has led her to explore the latest medical advances in wellness for athletes along with anti-aging therapies for both men and women. Dr. Ginsberg is motivated to continue her research in nutritional therapies for many reasons, most significantly for the benefits it has brought to her sons with specific learning needs.
She is Board Certified in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Ginsberg is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, the Harris County Medical Society and the Texas Medical Association. She is on staff at Memorial Hermann Hospital and Park Plaza Hospital in Houston.
If you are interested in an appointment at Dr. Ginsberg’s practice Women’s Specialty Healthcare in Houston, Texas, call (281) 220-2069 or visit her website at womensspecialtyhealthcare.com.
Many of the supplements Dr. Dian speaks about in the podcast can be found in my Essentials Bundle.
Amy: Hello, this is Amy Medling. I’m a Certified Health Coach, and I am the founder of PCOS Diva. I am here today with Dr. Diane Ginsberg. I found Dr. Diane because I was listening to a webinar that she was giving about PCOS, and I was really blown away with her level of understanding about the syndrome and some of the therapies she was suggesting in the webinar. I reached out to her to invite her to come onto my podcast so that you can all learn about this wonderful doctor. Welcome, Dr. Dian.
Dian: Thank you Amy. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Amy: I just want to tell everybody a little bit about you. You completed your residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in North Carolina before Houston’s sunny climate brought you to Texas, which today being up in New Hampshire, where yesterday it was sub-zero. I’m pretty jealous right now.
Dian: Yes, and actually it’s been raining here, but we are probably 66 in the sunshine today, and today was the day of the Houston Marathon so they had a nice run this morning.
Amy: You are a marathon runner, an accomplished marathon runner.
Dian: I am. I love to run, and I am iron man training now. Thank you.
Amy: Wow and a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Wow.
Dian: Yeah, keeping me safe going into the hospital at night, to still deliver babies.
Amy: Right. You are an OB/GYN, and I know that you have an interest in weight management and PCOS and healthy aging too. Tell us about what you’ve been doing with anti-aging.
Dian: I’ll give you another minute of background which takes me in this direction of where I am now.
Dian: Basically, I’ve been an OB/GYN for 20 years and I trained, actually, at Wake Forest. I am 50 years old. I turned 50 this year. I was born in ‘64. Probably about 8 years ago, I was doing my standard OB GYN, and I was one of those docs that would see PCOS on the rise and irregular periods and basically just give birth control pills and say, “Okay, go home and lose weight,” and go onto my next patient. As I got into my own mid 40s and started to see hormonal changes and more and more patients in my office with weight problems. Young people that couldn’t get pregnant, young people with irregular periods. I started to study a little more about why that happens and look into the nutrition part of it. That’s where I discovered the American Academy of Anti-Aging, and they actually look at functional medicine. It seems in general medicine we’ve gotten away from “why did this problem develop in the first place.” That’s when I boarded an anti-aging and regentive medicine and started to use more of the micro nutrient testing and looking at people’s diet and lifestyle at what they were doing and how it affected what their hormones were doing, what their periods were doing.
That’s what brought me to my interest also in PCOS to really try to help people get better. They could come back on pills and say, “well I’m not better,” or they would take birth control pills and go off and still not be able to get pregnant. I also have two boys, one is 20 and one is 16, who both have pretty significant dyslexia and learning differences, and I believe it’s blood sugar dis-regulation and a little bit of this toxic society and different genetic predispositions which probably caused that in my own family.
Today, it’s not just about anti-aging. I’d like people to age healthy, so I look at rectangularization of aging. One of the things that we practice in our office is what’s called the “balance interventional wellness” and it’s something that we trademarked. I believe balance interventional wellness is a balance of your nutrients, your stress, your diet and your activity and once you balance that back in the body, most disease process can be reversed. That would bring me to my interest with OBGYN and infertility and PCOS.
Amy: I love that kind of triangle. The stress, the nutrient deficiency, the sleep. I really, as a health coach with women with PCOS, I really take a holistic approach because it’s so much more than you’re given “magic pill” from the doctor sent on your way, told to lose weight and it really is … It takes a holistic lifestyle change, I think to be able to manage PCOS. It sounds like the work that you’ve done with functional medicine has really shifted the way that you think about treating women with PCOS.
Dian: Let’s take a minute and maybe this can help everybody. A lot of problems with PCOS is that people come in and say okay, I have this diagnosis, or they have irregular periods, they have their weight gain and somebody kind of gives them a t-shirt that says okay, you have PCOS here’s your pills. Have a nice day. Let’s go back, and I want everybody to understand where we believe it’s coming from.
Now remember, the diagnosis of PCOS or where it comes from the etiology is some people think it’s a blood sugar insulin problem, some people say there’s no real black and white reason where it comes from. A lot of people say it’s got a genetic predisposition. Although it makes sense. If you have a blood sugar problem or an inflammation or a stress problem, chances are your mother and your grandmother did because, as I told you before we started recording, my mom always said the apple doesn’t far fall from the tree.
Dian: I want everybody that’s listening to understand the basics of ovulation. Understand where it comes from and then we can see why the pills aren’t really the answer but your lifestyle changes are. Your body is meant to have a baby every month, so you need to ovulate, so the typical healthy female will have a period. After the bleeding, or as the bleeding is finishing, her estrogen starts to rise again and mid cycle on day 14 something called her luteinizing hormone will rise and she ovulates. She then secretes progesterone which will hopefully keep the baby alive when the egg meets the sperm. What we believe happens in dis-regulated cycles, often associated even with blood sugar problems, is the female estrogen/male androgen ratio is a problem.
Insulin and blood sugar is off depending upon diet, lack of sleep, stress, the female will secrete too many male hormones and ovulation won’t happen. If there is just too much stress in general then the progesterone will spin to something called cortisol or adrenaline which keeps the fight or flight response, and of course the body is not going to have a baby when it’s too busy running from the tiger.
One of the things that happens is instead of the nice single egg that gets ovulated, the ovary in this dis-regulated state makes a bunch of little cysts. It almost gets confused because of the blood sugar problem and the cortisol problem. The little cysts that show up on the ultra sound is where the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome diagnosis comes from.
We want to go back and say how did that develop? What did the patient do in her lifestyle? What was her diet? What was her sleep? What was her stress? Was that to an excessive point that her body couldn’t handle that even though maybe her best friend’s could and that caused that ovulatory dis-regulation to a point where she’s bleeding irregularly or not bleeding at all with that diagnosis. Now she goes to the doctor and the doctor takes all the control out of her, puts her on birth control pills and her system bleeds, but the actual problem isn’t there. Do you think that helps a little bit?
Amy: Yeah, absolutely. I think, I have a real problem with the birth control pill as a treatment for women with PCOS. I know I talked a lot about it on my site. It really becomes more of a band-aid. You’re not treating the underlying condition. It can also increase insulin resistance. Women with PCOS, I think a lot of doctors don’t tell you that you’re at an elevated risk for blood clots on the pills. It also decreases libido, and it just can become a real issue. I would love to hear alternatives to the pill as a prescription for PCOS. What can women do besides the pill to help treat this condition?
Dian: Okay, great question. Number one, sometimes we will have women that will have a such irregular bleeding with PCOS, because PCOS isn’t just no periods, but sometimes they’ll have a lot of bleeding. Sometimes the doc will use the birth control pill as short term band-aid. I don’t completely, completely demonize the pill because I’ve had a handful of patients where if they have no periods and then I start to do some of the thing I’m going to tell you and their estrogen levels rise, and they make too much uterine lining then they start bleeding all the time. I have had a percentage of patients that I use the pill short term. Get them in a situation where they are at least ovulating. They’re at least bleeding so on a control basis while we’re regulating out their system.
One of the things with the birth control pill though is it will give you a B vitamin deficiency so whether you have PCOS or just on it for birth control, everybody on a birth control pill is you now need the B complex. Having said that, let’s go back to the insulin resistance inflammation kind of dis-regulated system. We want to work on that system. The first thing we need to do is say why is our insulin dis-regulated, one of the biggest reasons is because there’s a dis-regulation in the blood sugar. What will dis-regulate blood sugar?
Number one, what you’re eating the morning. Your body is meant to do … To sleep through the night, pull on your fat that’s there through the night, wake up in the morning and eat a whole food type of meal. Not an immediate high sugar: cereal, toast, not Greek healthy yogurt, but Yoplait any of those sugary morning things. Or the bagel that people run out the door with will cause a massively elevated blood sugar. Then what happens is the insulin goes up. Then at 10:00 in the morning the patient’s hungry again because blood sugar runs low and they feed that again with sugary types of snacks or fruit. That will cause a dis-regulated system. My number one thing to encourage people to do is eat a reasonable whole foods breakfast and don’t be afraid of healthy fats.
We tell people to eat eggs. I tell them to eat avocados. I don’t have a problem with some fruits, just don’t eat fruit by itself. Blend it with that protein- the high fat, whole fat Greek yogurts. A lot patients will like a little bit of oatmeal as long as it’s steel cut oats because we want to put healthy grains in there if you’re going to eat a little bit of that. Balanced with the sugar and the fat it’s not a problem. I also don’t think you have to eat … like when did we wake up and have to eat Captain Crunch? You can left over piece of chicken for breakfast with a little bit of sweet potato.
In other words, I think the key is to balance your blood sugar in the morning. If you do that, you will pull gently on that sugar and fat through the day. You won’t be starving. You’ll be able to eat lunch at a reasonable time, at a reasonable hour. Keeping your diet as stable and balanced as possible is number one.
Number two, we know that nutrient deficiencies depending on how healthy your intestinal system is, can cause a massively dis-regulated system. Even if you think you’re eating right, your intestinal or bacteria may not be in a good place because you’re not sleeping. For example when I resident, I was working 36 hour shifts. No matter how healthy I tried to eat, there’s no way I had healthy gut bacteria. It was just impossible. People that fly in a plane, the three times I learned from the American Academy of Anti-Aging, that your entire gut bacteria blows up flying in an airplane, running a long distance race, or after any kind of surgery. Maintaining a healthy gut is difficult, especially in this travel age. Maintaining healthy flora in your intestines with good probiotics is definitely instrumental. Definitely.
Number three- vitamin wise. The two main vitamins you want to get in everybody which is Omega-3 which is in your fish oil. Not 3, 6, and 9. People will buy 3, 6, and 9. Or 6 and 9. Omega-6 is in most of our processed food. Even if you’re trying to eat clean, if you go out to dinner you don’t know the oils that they’re cooking in. We generally are a society of high levels of Omega-6. If you take a pharmaceutical grade, like you talked to me about that you recommend to your patients a pharmaceutical grade Omega-3, that will balance against the inflammation which will stabilize also blood sugar, which will stabilize the hormone cascade.
Also, I tell patients, we know the importance of vitamin D, but here’s specifically why vitamin D is instrumental, I think, in PCOS patients. There are two receptors on every cell in your body. Only two. Vitamin D and thyroid. If D is low, that will put your body into a hibernation state. Right, the body will think it’s winter. It’s going to hold on to fat. It’s going to shut down your metabolism. It’s going to hibernate and save nutrients. If you are already somebody who genetically is a little more pre-disposed to not be able to handle blood sugar dis-regulation. If your diet is not as clean as we like it, if your sleep is not 8 hours where we want it, that’s all stressors in your body creating blood sugar dis-regulation in your blood.
Again, that stress state, pre-hibernation state will shut down your metabolism. There’s a great book by a woman named T.S. Wiley called “Lights Out,” and in it, she talks about pre-hibernation state with elevated cholesterols to keep your cells healthy through the cold winter and elevated sugar to prevent your blood from freezing. The body is smart. If it is doing certain things, it is doing them often to protect itself from the environment. Sometimes the development of PCOS comes from a shutdown because of what we put the body through, which is where your life coaching can come in and help.
SpectraCell does a test called micro-nutrients deficiencies where you can look at your micronutrients-even if you’re eating right, we run SpectraCell testing on all of our patients, and we try to replenish the nutrients that are there. It’ll look at your blood sugar dis-regulation. It’ll look at how you metabolize fructose. It looks at your oxidated stress. All of these are massively instrumental in figuring out where each particular PCOS patient has fallen off the straight and narrow to develop this problem.
They’ll also do something called a cardio metabolic panel which looks at blood sugar markers and cholesterol particles. You can’t look at standard cholesterol numbers anymore because the old fashioned numbers don’t reflect what’s going on in the body. You can have a low normal cholesterol and a massively dis-regulated state because if your body is that dis-regulated. Sometimes your liver will stop making cholesterol completely. A low cholesterol can be a problem. We look at that in patients. Then last but not least …
Amy: Can I just interrupt there?
Amy: The SpectraCell, the panel, how can a patient advocate for themselves? How can they find a doctor that would run those kind of tests?
Dian: If they look up micro nutrient testing or SpectraCell and the city that they’re in, SpectraCell has a great website and they will find a provider or a draw system near them.
Amy: Okay. I’m going to post the link. Okay.
Dian: Yeah. Post SpectraCell, and we do a lot of Skype consults. We did a SpectraCell Skype consult the other day to Italy and Brazil. We do those because it’s so hard to find an OBGYN kind of hormone functional medicine person. I have a bunch of positive things to say. You post a SpectraCell link they have, and people can go to clinical education center on that link and then look at the webinar archives. There are lectures that I think are very understandable, not just by physicians, but by patients that will talk about nutrient deficiencies in certain disease states. We talk about the test itself, and like I said, if they want to call our office we’re happy to do a Skype consult. They can get their blood drawn in their city and we can go over it over the phone. SpectraCell will give you a ton of info on their website.
Amy: Great, and we’ll be posting your information under the call as well.
Dian: Great, thank you.
Amy: Yeah. We were talking about the nutrient deficiencies.
Dian: We talk about replacing those, whether it’s your blood sugar that is really a problem and your chromium’s a problem. Chromium will be very low in people with blood sugar problems because chromium and insulin go hand and hand in keeping blood sugar stable. If you’re somebody that has a blood sugar dis-regulation, you may have used up all your chromium. Now your insulin’s not happy because it doesn’t have its friend to do what it needs to, so the insulin gets more dis-regulated. That’s a vicious cycle that some of the patients will find themselves in. You can find that in your SpectraCell test and know exactly what to replace. Again, I go back to even if you think you’re doing everything right food wise, there’s so many things the GI tract that people just don’t realize.
Chronic stress can make a massive difference in how that bacteria’s effected. That’s why we look at nutrient deficiencies. What I was going to say before was, let’s talk about exercise. I personally am a marathon runner. I enjoy it. I try not to do too many in a year because I know how taxing that is on the body. What I want to talk to PCOS patients about though is that they need to strength train. They need to do more intervals. Again the classic PCOS patient will go to their doc and be told to lose weight, so immediate they’re cutting their calories. Now they go, “I’m going to run more.” Three days a week they’re trying to walk or run. They’re taking a stressed out system and stressing it more.
Dian: Imagine in caveman days. The body hasn’t changed in a long time. They did a lot of day to day lifting. They had to build their home. They had to hunt. They had to gather. Even animals today, I always tell people zebras don’t get PCOS because they sleep and they run in intervals. They get their food. They did what they needed to do.
Even the lion. That dude’s a walking muscle, right? He runs only when he has to. He sleeps in the sun. When PCOS patients are looking at an exercise profile, especially since we’re all so busy, what they need to look at is how to be efficient and not to just go walk three miles. Remember when we eat, 85% of what we eat goes to sugar and straight to our skeletal muscle. It’s got to feed our muscle. It’s got to feed our brain. It’s got to feed our heart. The rest gets turned into fatty acids and stored so it can be pulled on when you’re sleeping or when you’re in times of famine.
What will happen if you’re in a fight or flight kind of broken down state? Your body will often use your muscle. Muscle, remember, is expensive to keep. Fat is cheap. A lot of PCOS patients have a dis-regulated fat/muscle ratio. If you take that ratio and you run, it will create more stress, and you’ll hold onto what you eat after that workout. Give the body resistance training, and it can be a good yoga class, it can be a body pump, it can be working out with a trainer, a YMCA class, something. You don’t have to use heavy weights. You can use your own body. You can do push-ups. You can do sit ups. You can do the plank. You can stand up and down in a chair. Whatever you can do to work your resistance. Academy sells those bands, they’re like resistance bands. They can be done anytime any place. Build that muscle mass.
Amy: Sorry to interrupt. I love body pump, by the way. I talk about it all the time, but I get a lot of emails from women and posts from women that say that they already have elevated testosterone and their doctors are telling them don’t work-out with weights because it’s just going to increase your testosterone, or you’re going to have huge muscles because of the extra testosterone. Could you address that for us?
Dian: Yes, and I hear that all the time and it’s just plain wrong. It’s wrong. There’s no way you’re going to lift small resistance bands or your own female body weight and build bulk. The reason their testosterone is elevated goes back to what I said in the beginning. What happens is that your blood sugar is dis-regulated and insulin is elevated. Insulin, a lot of the new literature shows will act directly on the ovary to make androgens. That’s where it comes from.
The second thing that happens is when the body is dis-regulated in the fight or flight state, cortisol is up and cortisol will pack fat on your belly, right, so you can fight or flight for the winter. In your abdomen or that belly fat that you have you will turn testosterone into estrogen and back and forth. That’s why you’ll see those PCOS patients that have hormones acting on their ovaries. The testosterone is elevated. Their estrogen is elevated from what’s going on in the body fat and that’s the dis-regulated state.
If you lift to an appropriate amount, what will you find is you will give that blood sugar somewhere to go when you eat. Remember, we’re not eating that high sugary food, just oatmeal in the morning. The sugar is not going to be through the roof in the morning, and you’re going to stabilize it through the day. What will happen is that the ovaries won’t make so much testosterone and those numbers will go down. There’s no way a female, an average female, is going to lift their way to too much bulk or too much muscle mass in this situation. It’s just wrong.
Amy: Thanks for clarifying that. I know personally I’ve seen a tremendous improvement in my body composition from doing body pump two times a week. That high intensity interval training, it’s just so much more effective than cardio on the treadmill for an hour. It definitely impacts the cortisol. Could you talk just a little bit more about that kind of hormone cascade when we have chronic stress and high cortisol?
Dian: Sure. The way that the hormone cascade is put together is B 5 and carbon chains and cholesterol come together in the body to make the mother hormone called pregnenolone. Pregnenolone will then be converted into estrogen and also testosterone, and then, after ovulation, into progesterone. That’s “the I’m going to have a baby” part. The glands on our kidneys called our adrenal glands make the fight or flight hormones- a real significant differentiation.
Here’s what I explain to my patients. You get up in the morning and it’s time to start your day. Imagine you’ve been sleeping. When you open your eyes, people don’t realize this, when you open your eyes, you just say “okay I have to get up, I have to brush my teeth, I heave to get the kids up. I heave to do this. My boss is going to yell at me. I didn’t get this done.” Okay, your body is going from laying still to 400 miles an hour.
Interesting, and I learned this from a brilliant woman who speaks often at the American Academy of Anti-Aging named Lena Edwards. About two hours before you get up in the morning, the adrenal glands actually disconnect from the brain and they make two things. The first is adrenaline-that’s fight or flight. That is a hormone that is made from your pregnenolone that will elevate your blood pressure, get your heart rate up, get your muscles moving so you can actually perform the acts you need. That needs to be fed, and that gets fed with sugar. That’s where cortisol, the other main hormone, comes. Cortisol is what’s called a glucocorticoid- sugar glucocorticoid. It dumps sugar into the blood stream to feed the adrenaline. The adrenaline says, “get this heart rate up give me sugar.” Cortisol goes, “Got it.” That’s prepped and ready to go.
Now adrenal glands reengage, eyes open, brain says, “Let’s go,” and the day starts. What you’re supposed to do is get up, deal with your day and at the end … hopefully not be stressed all day mentally, but on top of that have had 8 hours sleep because that’s a stressor too. Hopefully, you have eaten a decent non-blood sugar dis-regulating breakfast because blood sugar dis-regulation is a stressor. You can pile everything else on. If your gut bacteria is a problem, that’s a stressor. If you have just had surgery, that’s a stressor. If you have an auto immune problem, which can talk down the road on; it’s a problem. All of these things are stresses. Your body can’t differentiate that.
If you are somebody that has all these things going on, which most of us do: running to the airport, or worry whether school is closed; your body which is meant to just get up, use the adrenaline, use the cortisol and then finally calm down an hour or two later, has that constantly dumping into their system. That is what’s draining your system from making healthy hormones.
I always say if everybody is working at home and there’s plenty of money, you can buy the car and pay your mortgage and shop where you want and go on vacation, when you lose your job and man everything shuts down. That’s kind of a hormone system. You have these carbon chains, and you have this cholesterol making pregnenolone, but if it’s constantly making adrenaline and cortisol, adrenaline and cortisol, it will make hormones. There’s just not enough to go around. Now estrogen is massively important in the female brain. It keeps the brain going- all the hormones are, but estrogen is huge with memory, so the body will spare that estrogen and sacrifice that progesterone and cortisol. We call that the pregnenolone steal. Cortisol steals pregnenolone from making healthy hormones.
That’s where your lifestyle balance becomes significant. I tell people my magic five is 8 hours sleep, vitamin D, Omega-3, weight intervals and whole food diet. Those five things, if you would do that, I tell people, we wouldn’t have a health care crisis. You would probably reverse 90% of PCOS.
Amy: I agree. Can you say that again for us? What are your magic five?
Dian: Magic five are: 8 hours sleep, weights and intervals, Omega-3. I tell people 2000 of Omega, 2000 of D and a whole food diet.
Dian: Your weights and intervals, you mentioned that. Those actually come off the biosphere study where they put people in artificial biosphere and they lifted their cellular health. What they found is that at a 40% caloric restriction a cell just kicked it. Kind of like everybody’s heard the story of the lady who took the car off her kid. Right, in the accident with all this adrenaline and strength came in. Our cells are meant to do that. They’re meant to really kick it in during times of starvation. What happened though in the 40% caloric restriction is everybody was so hungry all the time they couldn’t even function.
In bringing that to reality, you do two things. A weight in intervals where you’ll do 20 to 30 minutes of weights and 20 to 30 minutes of intervals four days a week. You and I talked a little bit about this, a 12 hour fast, four nights a week from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM when you don’t eat. That creates a fast and it creates a stress. If you’re eating a whole food diet and you’re not loaded with all the sugar, that’s where your body will start to burn your fat while you’re sleeping. Weight will go down, insulin will stabilize, growth hormone actually goes up as you burn fat and growth hormone makes us fit and feel better.
That’s where that whole balance comes in. It’s four days a week of those weights and intervals and a 12 hour fast four days a week. 6 to 6 is what they prefer but I get it that people have life and work so if you’re eating dinner at 6:30 or 7:00 you’re doing 7 to 7 fast, that’s fine.
Amy: I think that really works. That’s what I do, and I usually have a cup of herbal tea at 7:00 or 8:00. Then I’m ready for bed. I’m usually in bed by 9:00. It’s so doable because then you’re up again at 6:00 and have the low glycemic protein rich breakfast, and it hasn’t been that difficult to do at all, I find.
Dian: Absolutely, and people say oh I can’t fall asleep. There are two times that your body has a natural drop to go to sleep. One is about 2:00 in the afternoon, where the body naturally gets a little bit fatigued. I always say in Mexico they’re smart, they siesta and in Europe they have tea when it gets dusk. The pineal gland, which is the gland in your brain, sees it’s getting dark knows it’s time to find shelter and body tries to shut down. One of the problems I think we have in society today is the computer and all of that in the bedroom and people are so active into the dark with the light that they miss that window and then lay down at 10:00, 11:00 and get one of two things. Either they’re watching the news, which please nobody do that at 10:00, 11:00 at night because you will never be healthy if you don’t sleep.
Number two, it wires your brain. Sleep hygiene becomes very instrumental here. This is just not complicated to fix. That’s where your herbal tea comes in; we do a lot of essential oils. Peace and calm, lavender, some of the essential oils, you can rub them on. Those are great at night. I’m old fashioned. I tell people to read a book. Don’t read your Kindle. Don’t get the computer stuff. Turn on a little bit of a light that’s going to make you think a little. Don’t get deep into a mystery novel. Some kind of maybe educational material or something I’ll read and then those things naturally just kind of bring you down so you can get to sleep at a reasonable hour.
Amy: Yeah, I’m a big fan of Epsom salt baths. I think that warm bath with a little bit of magnesium just really helps me calm down. I put some essential oil in the bath too.
Amy: Yeah, I think it’s true. You need to find some sleep hygiene strategies if you’re having trouble getting to sleep. I like to tell my clients to be in bed, asleep by 10:00 and up by 6:00. I think that really matches with that circadian rhythm and it seems to really help people’s hormones kind of come back into balance too.
Diane: I think to be more effective. I think that we spend a lot of time spinning our wheels. I know I did that in med school. There were times when I spent so many weekends studying, and I’m think if I had just focused, slept, and taken myself to the movies, I’d probably have been more efficient. Something that people have to understand too is that the body will always win. When your brain in 20% of your ATP( or your energy) that you use and only 2% of your body weight. At the end of the day, your brain is depleted in energy. It doesn’t have what’s called ATP to function. It needs to make that energy. ATP is energy. You have to make that when you’re sleeping.
If you cut your sleep short, you won’t make ATP. Your body will feel it the next day and throw that pregnenolone steal cascade again, and that’s where sugar cravings come from too. If your body is behind the 8 ball and it needs more sugar to function and can’t stay in front of it, you’ll crave.
Amy: Yeah, so reducing stress, getting more sleep, looking at your minerals and …
Dian: Micro nutrients.
Amy: Your micro nutrients and how you need to supplement and practicing that magic five. You’ve given us so many great tips and this short interview and you talk really fast so we can get a lot in.
Dian: I’m sorry.
Amy: No, it’s great. I want you to leave us with a message of hope. I always ask docs. So many women feel very hopeless. They’re told that they’ll never get pregnant or they have to be on Metformin or the pill for the rest of their life. Or they’re told to lose weight and not given any strategies like you’ve given us today, and they’re really hopeless. I like to leave these calls with a message of hope, so shoot.
Dian: Okay, so number one, what’s coming is functional medicine. Where ever they are find somebody local that practices a type of functional medicine. I believe in in allopaths. I am a MD. Fellow of the American College of OBGYN. I just kind of stepped outside the box into functional medicine, and there are doctors all over the country that are moving in that direction. Wherever they are, if they can lean to somebody that practices functional medicine, that will help.
Number two, it’s really about … My biggest frustration that I find even in my office, is about taking the step to carry it home and do the right thing day to day and to realize that the pill doesn’t solve it. What I want to tell PCOS patients is don’t be hopeless, but you guys have the control and you have the ability to reverse this on your own. It’s not in anybody else’s hands. I don’t want you depending on your doc.
I’m okay if you’re on the pill, and if it’s giving you normal periods for a while, but understand what your body is and feed it well and rest it, and step outside the box a little bit. Look at healthy sleep habits and find somebody that can, like I said, that will talk to you a little bit about functional medicine, and do a little bit of stuff in the gym where you’re building your own body and your own muscle. I promise if you do that and watch what you’re eating, that is the most important thing. You’ll get better. You’ll get better.
Amy: Yeah, and we see that happening all the time here at PCOS Diva- wonderful success stories when you do … When women start taking control of their lifestyle and their PCOS. Great, great advice and it’s just been such a pleasure to have you on the call today, and I can’t wait to have you back. You’re just a wealth of knowledge, Dr. Diane.
Dian: It was my pleasure, and we are actually in the process of doing our website so in about a month, my old website that is up now is going to go down, and we’ve got a brand new site coming up. The reason I did that is I’m dividing the new site into not only stuff we do in our office, but I’d like to create a big section of it that’s nothing but info. In other words, something that people can go to because there aren’t a lot of allopaths, a lot MD’s, that do what I do, the functional medicine stuff. Take everything that I gave you guys and we’re going to do video presentations.
It’s all going to be free, the info, websites people can go to in order to learn about different genetic problems and how they can figure out how they can help themselves and protocols that they can follow. In the next month to two months, I’m hoping that’ll go up. We’re going to do a blog and try to put new info on just to get more real functional info out to everybody. Kind of like how you do Amy, that we can really help everybody.
Amy: Oh, fantastic. I can’t wait to see it. In the meantime, tell us how we can reach you now. What’s your phone number, what’s the current website?
Dian: My name is Dian Ginsberg, and I have kind of a double website. It’s Women’s Specialty Healthcare, and then I have a site that kind of goes with it, Specialty Healthcare and Wellness because we also do athletes and male health and low testosterone because, same thing, PCOS kind of links the guys with the low T. It all goes … It all follows the same thing. We don’t just want to shoot people up with hormones or just give guys testosterone. What we want to do is fix their dis-regulation so that they can do it themselves. We’re in Houston, Texas and my office number is 281-220-2069. Everybody Google Dian Ginsberg Houston, that should come up. Go to our site. We’ve got a bit of info on there now, but in the next couple months we’ve got a brand new site coming up that’ll really give people info I think to help them.
Amy: Great and when it’s ready I’ll put the word out there that you’re open for business.
Dian: Perfect, and again one good read … It’s a tough read but read, “Lights Out” by T.S. Wiley. It’s a very, very interesting read that talks about blood sugar and insulin and sleep and the light bulb and kind of how that effects everybody. She goes into things that I talked a little bit about, how elevated cholesterol and sugar has a purpose, and we can fix that in people because of their stress. It’s kind of neat; she has a PhD and it’s a really wonderful read. I read the book about 50 times and I get something out of it every time I read it.
Amy: Oh, great. I will post the link to that as well.
Dian: Oh perfect. “Lights Out” by T.S. Wiley. Yeah, it’s a great read. It is.
Amy: I’m going to have to take a sip of water. Hold on. You should be the one without the voice, not me.
Dian: No, I’m good. It was a pleasure. I enjoyed it.
Amy: Thank you so much and thank you everyone for listening. Until next time. Bye-bye.
Dian: Thanks. Bye-bye.
This is so great! I have a question about lifting for those who are pregnant/trying to become pregnant. My doctor and acupuncturist have both advised against starting a lifting regimen while trying to become pregnant or during pregnancy. Is there anything I can do to strength train that is safe?
Kelly, Have you considered yoga? It is a gentle and effective way to build muscle, and I suggest it for many of my clients. Check out my article outlining additional benefits: http://pcosdiva.com/2013/02/4-reasons-why-yoga-is-beneficial-for-pcos/
Amy, that is a great idea! I have tried it once but I of course had a giant corpus luteum cyst from my letrozole and it was exruciating. I should give it another go!
This is the first podcast I have listened to and so thankful I did. Super informative! Thank you!
I’m glad you enjoyed it. She packed a lot of great info into a short interview!
Great podcast! I am OK getting to sleep, but I wake up several times in the night. Are there any tips for having a solid 8hrs sleep?
I’m glad you enjoyed the podcast. Yes, I do have tips for a great sleep. Check out my article: http://pcosdiva.designbyansley.com/2014/01/a-dozen-tips-for-a-better-nights-sleep/
I am glad you enjoyed the podcast. Yes, I have good sleep tips. Check out my article: http://pcosdiva.com/2014/01/a-dozen-tips-for-a-better-nights-sleep/
That was the best I’ve heard. She covered so much. Thank you Amy! I’m calling her to see if she knows of a Dr. in San Antonio who can help.