195 - Get To Know The Newest Member of The PCOS Diva Team [Podcast with Dr. Vinu Jyothi] - PCOS Diva
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195 – Get To Know The Newest Member of The PCOS Diva Team [Podcast with Dr. Vinu Jyothi]

On today’s podcast, we get to know Dr. Vinu Jyothi, MD, MPH. Dr. Vinu is our newest member of the PCOS Diva Team. She is a preventive health expert, public health advocate, medical reviewer and women’s health advocate with a passion for healing PCOS naturally.

In this podcast, Amy interviews Dr. Vinu. Amy and Dr. Vinu both share a passion for holistic PCOS healing. Listen in as we get to know Dr. Vinu and hear about her personal journey with PCOS. She shares what helped her heal her PCOS symptoms and she discusses the importance of sleep, diet, intermittent fasting and more. Dr. Vinu also shares how she’ll be contributing to PCOS Diva team and what her plans are for the future of PCOS Diva.

 

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Dr. Vinu is a preventive health specialist who attended undergraduate medical school at Madras Medical College. Dr. Vinu did her master’s in public health at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, because of her passion for preventive health, especially  women’s health. Along with her passion she also brings her expertise and more than 10 years experience in clinical research and preventive medicine. Dr. Vinu has had her own personal journey with PCOS in her graduate years and firmly believes that a holistic approach is the best and efficient strategy to manage and thrive PCOS in women of all ages. Vinu is an avid intermittent faster and is convinced that a balanced diet can serve as the best medicine. She embraces a holistic lifestyle and spends her free time exploring North Carolina’s greenways with her family.

 

Transcript:

Transcript:

 

Amy:
This year PCOS Diva will mark its 15 year anniversary. What began as a small blog in 2009 has grown tremendously to include coaching online programs, almost 200 podcast episodes, meal plans, PCOS supplements and a best selling book healing PCOS all to support women on their healing PCOS journeys. There continues to be so much hope for women with PCOS to heal and thrive. And as PCOS diva continues to grow, I’m delighted to announce that the PCOS Diva team is expanding. I’m thrilled to welcome an amazing women’s health expert, Dr. Vinu Jyothi. MD, MPH to PCOS Diva, along with her passion for preventative medicine. She also brings her expertise and over 10 years of experience in clinical research. Dr. Vinu has her own journey with PCOS and she firmly believes in a holistic approach for healing. Dr. Vinu lives in Cary, North Carolina, with her husband Senthil and her two sons, Krish and Ishan. Her husband Dr. Senthil Samy, PhD is also a clinical researcher, and is the executive editor for cancer journal. Both Dr. Vinu and Senthil are avid intermittent fasters and believe in a healthy diet as the best medicine. They embrace a holistic lifestyle and spend their free time exploring North Carolina greenways and engaging in activities that their kids are passionate about. I’m thrilled that the addition of Dr. Vinu and Senthil fills a gap at PCOS Diva for detailed medical research. So after 15 years of running PCOS diva, I am going to be taking a step back from the day to day operations of PCSO Diva moving forward. And you are going to be in very good hands with Dr. Vinu for managing clinical content strategies and operations. So, in this podcast, I really want to introduce you to Dr. Vinu and for you to get to know her a little better as she is going to be heading up the clinical research and content of PCOS Diva. So welcome back to the PCOS diva podcast.

Dr. Vinu:
Thank you, Amy. I’m really happy to be here.

Amy:
So we’ve done a couple podcasts kind of, in tandem together teaming up. But I thought this would be a good opportunity for our listeners to get to know a little bit more about you. So in addition to kind of the overview that I gave, tell us a little bit more about yourself.

Dr. Vinu: I did my medical school. And once I was done, I knew my heart was in preventive health, as in window treatment was you know, I was passionate about it, it was not more the preventive aspect that I was more interested in. So I did some clinical research, I got involved with clinical research. And that further, you know, cemented it for me that public health and preventive health is where my passion lay. So I did my Master’s in Public Health at the U ut Houston campus. And since then I’ve been involved in public health, preventive health and specially women’s health. So PCOS, as we know, is like a major issue in women’s health. And I’ve had a lot of personal experience and I’ve been with family and friends who have gone through it. So women’s health and PCOS is something that I have always been my focus.

Amy:
well, and you also have your own PCOS journey. So tell us a little bit about that.

Dr. Vinu:
Yes, just like everyone else. This was in 12th grade, I was really young, I was a teenager, you know, it was a lot of stress. I had to study I was awake at night and you know, I ended up having really irregular periods actually missed periods for like a few months and I didn’t know what was going on. So I had to go to a doctor and then they did an ultrasound and they were like you have PCOS. And at that time, it was just you know, alphabet. So what is PCOS you know, and in that busy schedule, I didn’t have time to figure it out. And the other option at the time was to my mom, you know you could watch it for a couple of Months, or you could start her on OCPs. So that was like one of the two options that I was given at the time. And so I was too busy to go investigate or what it was what was going on. But since then I’ve always had irregular periods. And once I went to medical school, I was like, Okay, I need to look into this, see what exactly it is, and kind of see what my options are to help manage the PCOS aspect. So it’s not just me, I think a lot of women go through this, and I’ve had family members experience almost a similar scenario, where, you know, when they are stressed, they have other life stressors going on, and you know, they get diagnosed, and then they feel lost. They’re like, Okay, what am I supposed to do? You know, other than OCPs? What are my options? And there’s not many out there. So it’s like, we’re stuck in the cycle of either treating it or, you know, figure out ways and see what else is out there kind of thing. So,Amy: yeah, well, stress, as we all know, really wreaks havoc on pieces. And, and, you know, your, I think your story sounds so similar to most of us with PCOS, where, you know, we’re not really offered much from mainstream medical, I know, for, for me, it was the birth control pill, Metformin. And those things made me feel worse than with you know, and I was already feeling pretty sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. And way too young to feel so old back when I was really struggling in my 20s and early 30s. So tell us a little bit about your healing PCOS journey.

Dr. Vinu:
In the very beginning, I didn’t even have to try as much, because once I started medical school, and you know, once I was in, on my way to being active, and you know, the stresses were removed, once I finished 12th grade, and you know, it was a little more relaxing, not in medical school is ever relaxing, but, you know, the first couple of years were okay. And I, I was being active, I was eating good food, and I was so you know, just having a better lifestyle. And without me actually making an effort. I, you know, my periods were regular, I was feeling better. But then that was just for a few years in between. And again, whenever life stressors presented, I, it would again, go back to that old cycle. So until I made a conscious decision, and looked it up and saw what it was that would help me manage PCOS to thrive or to confirm my symptoms. That’s when I, that’s when I realized, you know, good sleep, good health. I mean, good diet, all of these kind of play their part, you know, so it’s not like one or the other, but just chill all of those add in to how you feel and how you deal with your PCOS. So, I’ve definitely made a conscious choice since then, you know, there are days I don’t want to exercise. I don’t want to do certain things. But I think, you know, overall, this is what protects my health makes me feel better. And, you know, I tried to stick to that routine and follow that.
Amy: So, you know, as we know that there really isn’t a one size fits all for a dietary approach, but I’m just kind of curious, what has worked for you. You know, are you a low carb person? Are you keto? You know, what, what works for you.

Dr. Vinu:
I am most of the time in vegetarian, or, you know, at least I prefer vegetarian. I feel better when I take vegetarian. But what has really worked for me though, is intermittent fasting. I know it’s, it’s like the latest trend now, and a lot of people are talking about it. But honestly, how it came about was when oncologists and rheumatologist are kind of prescribing the intermittent fasting approach. And I wouldn’t exactly call it a diet, it’s more of like a lifestyle, I would say. And they were prescribing that approach to their patients, because it helps with autophagy. It helps with you know, removing those toxins from your body, it helps your body heal, and it really keeps your hormones in check. So it kind of does all those wonderful things. And and the best part of that was, it’s almost become a lifestyle for me. My husband and I both do it. And it’s just part of what we do now. And I don’t have to count carbs. I don’t have to watch what I’m eating, as long as it’s healthy food made from scratch, and don’t you know, it’s just easier for me to follow his lifestyle. And personally, I’ve seen In a lot of benefits with intermittent fasting, the very beginning, it’s almost like, you know, the detoxification that you would do, and you don’t feel so well, you know, you kind of feel feverish, and you have all the symptoms, because your body’s used to certain things in certain ways. You know, you’d have some cravings and, but once you get through that, it’s almost like a sense of euphoria that you feel, you know, I actually enjoy not having food. I mean, it feels good. I could think, well, you know, I, I am faster, and I get really good sleep, you know that I have no dreams. And it’s, I feel so well rested. So many benefits that I have personally experienced since I’ve been an intermittent faster, that now I don’t want to do it any other way. It’s almost like Like it says, lifestyle for me at this point.

Amy:
So like, diet, there really is no one size fits all approach. And I think fasting is very much the same. I know, when I wrote my book, Healing PCOS, I was really recommending at least a 12 hour fast. So giving your body a chance to detoxify for 12 hours that would look like you know, is ending eating by 7am. And resuming by, I’m sorry, 7pm, resuming at 7am. But so I wrote healing PCOS in 2018. And now here we are in 2023. And I’m just that much older, my metabolism has even shifted more. And that time, and I have been experimenting with a longer fast, anywhere from kind of having an eating window from eight to six hours, is what seems to really work for me. But I’m just curious, what is your kind of fasting schedule that seems to work best for you.

Dr. Vinu:
I’m actually doing COVID, because we were home a lot, we weren’t getting out and doing active stuff, my husband and I moved to one meal a day, where we would just have one full meal. And that really helped me during that time. And because you know, I wasn’t getting much activity, I was really stressed out with my kids at home. And you know, I was just overwhelmed with all the things that was going on. So about a year, I actually did one meal a day, you know, and it was it was perfect, we would cook this really good big meal and you know, have it together as a family. And then I was done. And you know, it’s just nothing more to cook and do other things in the day kind of thing. So that was easier to manage. But since then I do like a six hour window, which I find is more sustainable, long term. And, you know, especially when, when I’m working and it’s just easier for me because I have better focus, but I’m also reaping all the benefits of intermittent fasting. And like you said, Any, I would say there’s not one size fits all at all. It’s always about what works for you and what works for your body. So each person reacts a different way. And it takes some trial and error to find your sweet spot to you know, know when you if you find it sustainable, but you’re also reaping the benefits from faster. So you know, you you push it you you know, you see your trial a few hours, and you’ll see what works. And finally you figure out, okay, this is where I feel my best.

Amy:
I think what I really like about it is that you you don’t have to be rigid. You know, you can kind of it’s sort of ebbs and flows. For example, my boys were home for spring break, and they wanted to go out for breakfast. And I don’t typically know, fast until about 12 or one o’clock. But of course I’m not going to miss out on the opportunity to go for breakfast with my boys. And that’s you know, and, and I did and it’s in you know, I just kind of get right back on it the next day. So I love the flexibility of it. And and I also have seen the benefits in terms of on certainly being able to maintain my weight with the brain fog and the loading inflammation that kind of comes along with insulin resistance and kind of like that inflammatory root cause of PCOS. But you have mentioned a tautology when you were talking about the benefits. I don’t think all of us really understand what autophagy is and I was wondering if we could explain.

Dr. Vinu:
Sure. With cancer or let’s say any autoimmune condition, right, your body is producing toxins, you know, all the time when you’re digesting, when you’re, you know, when some kind of digestion is going on, or any kind of activity is going on your body is producing these toxins. And when you take food, there’s so much energy that is needed to digest that food, that all of your body’s resources are being sent, you know, just imagine, like, this is a war and, you know, all of all of the, you know, the soldiers all of the whatever resources you have, it’s being focused in one spot, because that’s where it’s all need, you know, so that what happens, your stomach, you know, all of your energy is being sent there. Because digestion is a huge process, you know, and you need that kind of energy to process food. So when you are giving your body the kind of rest, literally letting your body rest, because now it’s just doing the basic function of breathing and circulation, but it doesn’t have to take care of digestion, it now has to go protect, or to discard the toxins, or to repair the cells that need to be repaired, it’s like it can focus its energy elsewhere, you know, so we, as we get older, you know, there are cells that are dying in our body, and, you know, our body’s changing in ways and, you know, so those cells need to be repaired. So this kind of gives the body or, you know, time and energy to go spend on those cells. And then in the process, all of the toxins that are in the body are getting removed as well. So autophagy is like a beautiful thing, and our body can self repair, which is such an amazing that can do, we just need to give it the space and the time to do that. So that’s what intermittent fasting basically does, like, lets you let your body do its thing, just let it you know, go free for a few hours, and so that it can focus his energy elsewhere.

Amy:
Yeah, I think of this analogy of being in an office after hours. So I remember when I was working in corporate America, I had a little office and I often would work late, and the cleaning people would come by, you know, wanting to empty my trash or, or clean vacuum, my office, you know, after hours, but if I was in the office, often they would just pass by, and that you wouldn’t clean my office, but they would clean the other offices that are empty. So I think it’s a lot like that cleaning crew. If you have food that you’re still trying to digest that process of offered autophagy or like the detoxification, that cleaning crew doesn’t visit your office when it’s time for cleaning up and detoxification.
Dr. Vinu: Yeah, that’s a great analogy. Yeah, exactly what you said, you know, so and, and even, I would suggest, even if you cannot go into full blown intermittent fasting for whatever reasons, sometimes just having an early dinner, and you know, kind of a late breakfast, like you said at least a minimum of 12 hours, right. And just having that early dinner, helps your body to finish all of the digestion before you go to bed, which gives you then a good night’s sleep. Because when your body is still digesting food that you ate, which goes on for about three to four hours after you’re done, you know, and when you go to bed, you know, just say an hour or two after you’re after you had your dinner, your body’s still working on it. And that’s when you get dreams and you know, because your brains active too because some other function is going on. But just having that early dinner, I feel it gives a lot of benefits, especially a good night’s sleep, which then carries over into the next day and into how you feel the next day as well.

Amy:
Yeah, and sleep is is so underrated for women with us. When we sleep well. We feel so much better. And you know a lot of women with PCOS have a hard time sleeping. So if you do definitely experiment with intermittent fasting, I want to just call out a couple resources. I really love gin Stevens work. She has a book Fast feast repeat. I think that’s one of her latest and she’s also you know that the acronym omad one meal a day she’s kind of an omad person like you back to renew. But I really I really like her her books and and the research and time that she’s put in to show the The benefits of intermittent fasting. And then I just picked up this book. It’s it’s it’s just been released. It’s called fast like a girl by Dr. Mindy pelts. And I’m actually just I’m reading through it right now. And I wanted to just call out something that Dr. pelts wrote about PCOS and some latest research about intermittent fasting in women with PCOS. So, if you bear with me, I’m just going to read this little excerpt. So, Dr. Powell says your ovaries are very responsive to a tautology. This makes a toffee G fasting useful during your perimenopause years, and when you are trying to get pregnant, or with a diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, as they can bring health back to your ovaries and balance out your hormones. studies done on PCOS are proving that a key root cause of this hormonal condition is dysfunctional autophagy in 2021. A small study of 15 women with PCOS revealed that five weeks of restricting their eating window to an eight hour timeframe not only improved menstruation, but also contributed to weight loss, a reduction in inflammation and lower insulin levels, all hot Hallmark challenges of PCOS. Because the fetal cells surrounding your ovaries are so influenced by autophagy. hormone production is best balanced using a longer fast. And although that study was relatively small, I hope that in the future that will be you know, reproduced with a larger cohort. But I think that even at that it’s you know, it’s worth a try. A lot of PCOS is managing it is trial and error. And, you know, it’s worth a shot.

Dr. Vinu:
Yes, Amy, I’m glad you brought that up, you know, because just a personal story. I had a cousin who was trying to conceive at a very late age, and I was willing to fasting by then. So I told her, you know, why don’t you try intermittent fasting, you know, because let’s see how it goes along with, you know, good sleep, good exercise, especially yoga. So yoga is more than just, that’s the other thing I believe in yoga is just more than exercise, right? Exercise, your heartbeat rate goes up, and it’s all good for you. But yoga, on the other hand, it’s kind of like massaging your endocrine system, like literally. So it works in ways where your, your hormone, your hormonal axis, like they call it the your pituitary, ovarian adrenal axis, right? That is being set into place. And whenever I practice, yoga, religiously, like you know, as an everyday thing, again, just like intermittent fasting, I’ve seen a huge change in how I feel. And you know, I, I do have my regular periods, you know, my face clears up in so many benefits that I noticed happening internally, and not just as part of an exercise, you know. So anyway, I was telling her to, you know, do yoga and intermittent fasting, and she was almost like, giving up hope. And, and, you know, how she wasn’t like, you know, very, she wasn’t in a good place, I should say, but I was like, you know, just give it some time, make a plan, you know, stick with it for a few months. And if not, you know, you have some of the plan a plan B to fall back on. And it really worked for her, she is now the mom to a little girl. And, you know, I I was very excited. She was very excited. And so even more it strengthened my belief that you know, hormonally it’s it keeps you in a good place. You know, it’s not just a diet, but just giving your body a break. You know, it really does help.
Amy: Yes, and I think for so many women with PCOS, as we mentioned, stress really wreaks havoc, and women have come that adrenal androgen form of PCOS. So, it’s really important to try to keep your cortisol levels balanced. And I think mine mind body exercises like yoga. You know, gentle stretching can be really really helpful.Amy: I’m thrilled that you joined the PCOS diva team, but Tell me why that was something that you wanted to do and why that was, you know, kind of a lead that you made.

Dr. Vinu:
So when I was researching PCOS Diva right, I was looking for a holistic way of treating it or managing it, I should say, because that’s what I grew up with. In my home, my grandmother, we rarely went for medication, if you had a cold, you would grind something up, and, you know, boil it in water, you had all of these herbs and these tried seeds, and you know, berries, and she knew a lot more names than I could name right now. But that’s what I grew up with, you know, that system of treating, or, you know, whatever food you have is, you know, nutritious food. And it is medicine in itself kind of thing. And always believed in like a holistic way of treating, not just pills, not just hormonal pills, you know, not just the symptom itself. But just looking at the person as a whole to see, what are the lifestyle changes would help? How are you going to better manage this kind of thing? So I actually Google to see what was out there to kind of see, you know, what are other? You know, what other way is there available to manage PCOS. And I should say, Amy, you kind of hit the nail on its head with whatever you proposing it aligned with exactly what my thought process was, and what I believe, you know, what helps a person with PCOS thrive. So, when I saw all that you are, and you know, all that you’re doing, and just my interest in passion for women, you know, women’s health in general, and anyone with PCOS, with just dealing with so many family members and friends going through it. And it just was like, you know, it was like meant to be.

Amy:
I know, we there’s so much synergy between the way that, you know, I view PCOS healing, and you do, I think what I’ve loved that you bring to the the PCOS diva team, is your background and clinical research. And that’s something that, you know, I, you know, I have a background in business in art history, that was my, my majors in, in, in college. And, you know, I, I’ve done the best that I could kind of fumbling through the research. But it was really exciting to me to have, you know, you and your husband, who are both, you know, doctors in your own right, and really wrote, you know, have a robust clinical research background. So, so I’d love to hear more about, like, your future thoughts on the direction of PCSD?

Dr. Vinu:
yes, you know, how science is, like, ever changing. And, you know, we always, you know, we, we do what we think is best at this point in time, but down the road, there’s new research, there’s new articles coming out, there’s like a new thought process. So I always believe, you know, you look at the evidence, you look at these articles, you know, you kind of see what the sample size is, is and, and I’ve been in a place where I can do my own research on, you know, who is sponsoring these articles? What kind of findings do they have? And, you know, what kind of sample size are they using? How effective are these results? Because, like they say, just because they say research suggests it doesn’t mean you believe what it says. So I, I do have that advantage point where I can look deeper, dig deeper, to see what exactly the research says, and if it does have the data to back it up. And I am hoping that I will be able to share that with the PCOS diva team, and kind of, you know, segregate what’s good, and what is possibly good, but down the line, you know, could change or what I would just based on research available, but I would think you know, you would hold off right now, and let’s look forward to more research, kind of just present that and, you know, stay on top of all of the latest offerings that do come out in the market. So that’s where I see myself contributing as part of the team and hopefully help women out there, you know, even better than what they are right now. And I also see a global on a global perspective there. Just because you know, I come from, from a country where not all women can afford this kind of, you know, the kind of information or have access to a kind of health care information we Do I do have a, you know, some part of me that wants to give back in a way to these women to kind of, you know, provide them with the, you know, the research that’s available or whatever resources that they would need to manage their PCOS just the way you know, we do. So, those are the two things I have in mind right now.
Amy:
That’s fantastic. I mean, I think I’ve always sort of prided myself in trying to be on top of sort of the latest trends. The latest, for instance ozempic is and by blue tide is all the rage in the PCOS community but trying to give women accurate information to make informed decisions on their health and definitely if that’s something that you’re interested in check out the podcast that I did late last year 2022 with Dr. fluey skirmish, and you know, we’d love for you know, maybe Dr. Vinu can weigh in on her her thoughts after looking at the research on ozempic and semaglutide and PCOS but that’s what you know, we hope to do is to continue to be kind of on the cutting edge of of the latest research and get that information to use from from a source that that you that you trust.

Dr. Vinu:
Yes, Sounds good, Amy.

Amy:
So, Dr. Vinu, thank you so much for joining me today on the DCS diva podcast and giving you know giving our listeners an opportunity to get to know you now that you’re joining the PCSD the team and kind of allowing me to make you know what I think of after Gosh, I’ve been been really in the PCOS based on working with PCOS diva for 15 years but before that working with the PCOS Association and you know, other PCOS organizations, I think now it’s gonna we’re going to be going into my 18 year and I’m ready to kind of take a step back and I appreciate you sort of stepping in and helping me to, to do that.

Dr. Vinu:
Absolutely. And you have a ton of resources in here and a great group. I’m really happy to be pitching in. And as always, anyone listening you can always reach me at Amy at PCOS diva.com And in addition to continuing doing private coaching, I will still be here to support you. It really has been such an honor and a blessing to serve this community of amazing women. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting your trust in PCOS Diva and you know, I’m going to be handing over the the PCOS diva podcast to Dr. V News. So she’s got she has some exciting episodes that she’s going to be recording in the very near future.

Amy:
And I’ll be looking forward to listening to those speakers. Thank you everyone for listening to this episode and we will look forward to supporting you on PCOS diva.com

 

KEYWORDS

pcos, fasting, works, feel, diva, women, clinical research, research, body, benefits, manage, intermittent fasting, tautology, detoxification, intermittent, eating, healing, late, stress

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