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Today I’ve got Dr. Taz on the podcast. Her latest book, “The Hormone Shift” is out and we talk all things hormones. She shares that there are five phases of your hormone life. What can you expect? How can you support yourself? And also why it is not your sentence to gain unwanted pounds as you get older, what’s happening or to lose your sex drive for that matter.

She also does an amazing job of bringing together. East and West and the Chinese philosophy around hormones. And also if you want to explore hormone therapy, what really is the best, most safe way to do that? Because I know it can be daunting and sometimes scary. And the other thing is we’re all individuals. So even though we might be going through something similar, the way to remedy it or support you, the answer might be different for each of us.

Resources Mentioned:

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  • 00:01:22 – Prioritizing Women’s Hormones
  • 00:08:40 – The Seven Hormones
  • 00:14:10 – The Science of Emotions
  • 00:18:48 – Stop “Powering Through”
  • 00:22:57 – Hormones and the Gut
  • 00:29:35 – Commit to Your Health
  • 00:32:09 – The Five Hormonal Phases
  • 00:47:07 – Getting Started with Hormones
  • 00:56:13 – Facts About Insulin
  • 00:59:14 – Nutritional Knowledge
  • 01:10:03 – Supportive Partners
  • 01:11:37 – Hormone Help in Stressful Seasons

Show Transcript:

[00:00:58] Gabby Reece: Dr. Taz, welcome to the show. And let’s just dive right in. We’re just, we’re talking about this is what you do. You talk about hormones, you have a practice, but yet you were just sharing that your daughter’s Hey, can you help me get some advice about my skin? And just the best regimen for it.

[00:01:15] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Absolutely. And she didn’t want to hear it from her mom. She definitely wanted to hear it from anybody else. Because of course they had more value and more authority than me.

[00:01:22] Gabby Reece: Yeah. We joke in our house, my husband and I, that an expert is somebody who lives a mile away. Absolutely. And I just want to start with that because you write an entire book called “The Hormone Shift”.

And yet I think it’s really comforting to know that in our homes for all of us, even when we know, and I put that in quotes, it’s we’re all still trying to live and get it done. And before we started, it was, it’s like taking best practices, but mixing that with reality that people, and especially females half my audience is male.

So they might have a partner or a daughter or a sister. And so typically I, I don’t do shows that are so female centric, but today we’re going to do that. And just. How do we do, this notion of doing it all, I don’t think is realistic. I think you can have it all, just not all at the same time.

So how do we really prioritize? And then when we are putting energy towards taking care of ourselves, the most effective way to do that.

[00:02:18] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Definitely. And I know. This is female centric, but I would almost push back a little bit on that, honestly, because I think we need the men on board with this conversation, because if we don’t have them, then we’re back to the superwoman syndrome thinking that we have to do it all.

And what I really hope, and I’m sure you do too, is that all relationships evolve to where there’s not so big of a burden on women. But here’s the fundamental issue. Like we, as women, No matter what we do or don’t do or accomplish, we’re nurturers. We’re wired for nurturing. We’re wired for caretaking. And I think a lot of the frustration that you see out there is that we can’t let that part go, regardless of how many amazing things we may do in the world, or even what.

We’re bringing in financially. It’s almost irrelevant when you walk through the doors of your home. My husband always tells a story and I love it. He talks about the Pepsi, see the CEO in there, a Nuri, I think, I hope I’m not messing up her name, but she talked about that, she was, Hey, look at all the things I’ve done in the world.

Look at how important my job is. But she was reminded when she walked through her door that, Hey, you’re out of milk. Someone needs to go get milk, so for women, that’s our story. We are carrying the crux of what’s at home, what’s outside of the home, what we’re building and we treat anything and everything we do one of our own children because that’s how we’re wired.

And the more we push back on that, I think we only do ourselves more and more of a disservice. So even our businesses, right? I can’t let it go. I don’t know if you can let yours go, but I can’t let things go. My husband can come home. Work is over. He’s on the couch. He’s doing whatever he’s doing. I’m still obsessing.

I’m still thinking. I’m still plotting and planning. So it’s very much just the essential part of us. So what we have to realize. is that we’re not going to change how we’re wired. That’s asking us to go against our nature. But what we can change is how we own ourselves, how we take care of ourselves, how we structure the rhythm of a day, a week, a quarter, a year, and how we become accountable for our own health and our actions.

And that’s a lot. of what I’m really hoping women will learn. And I think my next is a lot of hoping what the family will learn. Because I think at the end of the day, our individual successes are great, but our family successes are actually more important.

[00:04:37] Gabby Reece: Yeah. I think if people choose to have a family, it’s like the, it’s the thing that if you can even get in the area of, Hey, we communicate. We’re connected. There’s a level of respect for me. If when I’m done on, in, on this planet, if my kids go Hey, not bad, I’m going to feel a real victory more than anything else. Cause it’s the, it’s so all dimensional. I want to say that I really appreciate. the way you approach it, because I feel at times what gets thrown around, women can go, it’s not fair.

And I never understood that because the fact that our nature, our biology, it just puts us in a, just a different situation not better or worse. And probably my husband jokes, he’s we have to make buildings and bridges. The fact that you can have a child, if you choose is something that a man.

We’ll never experience. And they have to go to those great lengths to be like, I made something. I created something. And so instead of looking at, yes, it’s, it has its own set of challenges. Having your period, being an athlete and having your period every month, I used to think. What would a guy in the NBA be like?

“Hey guys, like I got cramps and I’m tired. Or I’m out a rhythm”. I think about that. Or how about beach volleyball? You’re in a bikini and you’re like, awesome. Oh yeah. It’s this is amazing. Yeah. I could tell you a really gross story, but I will, I’ll tell you. No, I had an, not a nemesis, but there’s this badass volleyball player.

That’s probably why I didn’t like her. ’cause she’s so good. Elaine Youngs. We didn’t love each other. We respect each other.

[00:06:10] Dr. Taz Bhatia: I remember watching you through the years. I probably watched one of your matches.

[00:06:11] Gabby Reece: She comes up to me in a timeout. She’s not even playing. She’s watching and she’s, this is how, this was a cool moment.

She goes, Hey your string is hanging out. Oh man. And I said, Oh shit. So I’m just saying guys are not, but we’re dealing with things that they’re not. And it’s just, it is what it is. And by the way, our hormones are on a cycle. There’s a reactive. So there’s just. It’s so complex and I don’t know how we are trying to make it all same.

So I really appreciate you writing “The Hormone Shift” as equipment, as here is some information to equip yourself. We make our choices. That’s the other side is like the other thing is getting the mentality switch of sometimes when you’re in the thick of it, you’re about to be running around talking about your book.

You have a practice at home. You’re going to be doing a million things. In the moment when it’s the worst, you go, Oh no, but I’m choosing this totally. And really getting women to be like, I got to take care of myself. I have to defend my health. There’s no tomorrow and my experience is going to be very different than my partners.

[00:07:10] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Definitely. And I think women need to understand we don’t have the luxury of not taking care of ourselves because first of all, we’re living longer and living longer can be living in a way that. is not so great. We look different. We’re not mobile. We can’t think, we can’t feel we’re isolated. We’re depressed, all these other things.

Or it can be like this incredible next chapter. Like I get, and I might’ve written about it in the book, but I get super lit up by the women that come in. Kids are done. They’re off to school, wherever they’re going. And they’re like, you know what? I always wanted to be a lawyer. I’m going back to law school.

You know what? I always wanted to start that business. I’m going to go do that. But they have the vitality. And the energy and the cognitive capacity to do all of those things. But if you’re not like the steward of your own health, if you’re not on top of it, because our medical system is not yet there, it may be there someday, but right now it’s not yet there.

If you’re not on top of it and being that advocate for yourself, then your next chapter may not be the one you want written, right? It may be one. With a lot of different diagnoses, with a lot of different conditions, mental health issue, all these other things that come up, so it’s all in our hands, and that’s really what I hope everyone takes away from the book that the power is really in your hands for you to understand your own health, what the trajectory is, how to get help, how to advocate for yourself and how hormones are playing into that, and then ultimately how all the pieces of your health are coming together.

[00:08:40] Gabby Reece: Yeah. And I, I think Having a relationship with that is so helpful because there are times, even if you have, you’re a period or you’re going through about a pause or whatever, where you also can actually have distance when you have information and you go, I don’t know that I’m really feeling this way.

Something’s off. And let me totally get this dialed in. So let’s dive in. I think we all, when we think of hormones, it’s oh, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. There’s actually seven. Hormones. So maybe we can baby step this and talk about the hormones and then I want to talk about the different phases and stages.

[00:09:12] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Absolutely. Yes, you’re right. When we think hormones, most people know those. Three right off the top of their heads, right? But in actuality, there are probably over 50 hormones and there are probably more that we haven’t even identified yet and they all have different functions, but I’ve identified the seven major hormones.

The ones that I really think you need to stay on top of those include those three, the estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, but they also include. Androgens, which are derivatives of testosterone. So things like DHT and DHEAS, it includes cortisol because I think it’s so fundamentally important to understand the role of cortisol in the grand scheme of your health for sure.

It includes insulin, which regulates your blood sugar and helps you to understand what’s happening with blood sugar, which is a huge. marker for everything from focus to weight and so much more energy. And then it also includes thyroid. And there’s a whole battery of thyroid hormones that I think you need to put together to really understand if your thyroid is working for you.

And those hormones, that hormone family, because even within those seven, there are even, little derivatives that we talk about in the book, but that hormone family is the one I think that. Everyone, whether you are 13, 21, 28, 35, 55, it doesn’t matter. I think you need to be on top of, because you’ll understand, first of all, what your normal is, which might be different from mine.

And secondly, you’ll be able to see oh my gosh, like that’s why I feel this way. That’s the craziness that’s happening right now. Now I understand it. Here’s the plan for it. I just went through this personally, where my hormones are shifting and fluctuating all over the place. And I know my husband looked at me, he goes you wrote a book on it.

You know what to do is great to have a plan, isn’t it? And I’m like, you’re right. I know exactly what to do. So that’s what we, where we want everyone. Like you know what to do as you’re experiencing these changes in these different hormone levels and the. Old world saying of you’re fine and this is normal and there’s no point checking.

Like we really want to do away with probably those three sentences. So the majority of people here, when they start to first, you have to acknowledge that you feel bad, right? That’s the first step, like something’s wrong. And that takes a lot of. courage to acknowledge that something’s wrong, because most of us want to walk through thinking we’re invincible, right?

This is not happening. My, I got blinders on, surely tomorrow I’m going to wake up and this is going to go away, right? So that’s the first step. Something’s off. Something’s wrong. The second step, which is super courageous is let’s go get it checked out. And then you go and get checked out and you don’t get the answers.

And that’s a really disempowering journey that many people have been on. So we want to stop that, right? So understand these hormones, understand where they are for your body. Use the book to see is this really normal and then. Check yourself. Maybe what I put in there is still not normal for you, but if you’re tracking and checking, at like at least a six month interval or so, then you can start to gain a lot of knowledge on what’s going on with your body and the direction that you need to take and the tools you need to put into place to start making changes.

[00:12:04] Gabby Reece: And it also makes me think. When you talk about that, even keeping track, I feel like once we start to even gain a sensitivity and awareness of when am I going to bed and what am I eating and did I bother to take a walk today? It almost even feels like that awareness will start pushing you in the right direction.

Because I think a lot of us are on autopilot. We’re trying to get everything done. And it, we become disconnected to all those elements of our life. So I think it’s an interesting other part of it. And this book has a ton of tools, which is just getting someone aware of checking in. What’s my day like? What are my best practices? And am I doing enough things to support myself?

[00:12:50] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Very much. And I think it doesn’t have to be Complicated. I think we hear a lot. We were talking about this before we came on about a lot of different experts and podcasts out there and they’re diving into data and they’re, diving into the research and the science says this, and I get all of that.

All of that is relevant and has a place at the table for sure. Cause we don’t want to be stupid about anything we do. But at the end of the day, the best barometer is you. It’s really, how do you feel? Do you have energy? Are you happy? Just your emotional wellbeing, are you able to sleep?

Do you experience joy throughout the day? These are tiny ways of checking on yourself. And if you can’t answer yes, to a lot of those things, then it takes a hard look at what’s going on. I talk a lot in the book, there’s a whole chapter on emotions and hormones in the book.

And I have witnessed this firsthand, both within my home with probably myself to a certain extent, and then definitely with patients, how with certain hormone changes, you can take a happy, optimistic person and all of a sudden. They’re dark, and they make decisions in a place of darkness and that doesn’t really serve them or anybody else in their lives very well.

So I think, again this point of being self aware, understanding that all the bodies are interconnected, they’re all communicating, your hormones are a barometer of what’s going on with you and are going to influence every layer of you. I think that’s really important.

[00:14:10] Gabby Reece: Yeah, you have a chapter on the science of emotions and I was, my daughter and I were going through that.

She goes sometimes I’m a little here. So we’re like, okay, is that, what is that? Is that the spleen? Is that the liver? I love it. And then I was like, this is awesome. And I always have a thing about when I get to Chinese medicine and you talk a lot about east and west melding is they always talk about my kidneys are weak and that’s fear and apprehension, right?

And I was like, I would have been a much better competitor and that, it’s, so it’s an interesting thing. Because you do such an incredible job of also, you did it in a way that it’s so simple, but it makes you even more curious I feel that a lot. Where is that? And even, love in the heart and just different things that you break down.

So maybe if someone’s listening to this and they go, okay, baseline, what are some very common signs like, hey, something’s off?

[00:14:57] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Yeah, and I, these are the ones that I talk to patients about in practice all the time and they’re universal. I’ve been doing this for 15 years. I don’t know how many patients we’ve seen through our doors, but these are the common ones.

I think the first is a disruption in sleep. sleep. There’s been a change in the sleep cycle. You can’t fall asleep or you’re waking up throughout the night. Or of course the hot flashes and night sweats are more obvious signs of that. I think changes in energy, you go from being a super high energy person to suddenly I don’t want to do that.

I don’t feel like going there. I want to stay home. Like those types of shifts are a big deal. I think you need to pay attention to changes in energy. Another big one that I noticed over and over again is just. It’s cognition focus, I’ve got incredible women that come through and they’re like, Oh my gosh, I was at a meeting with over a thousand people and I was supposed to present and I’m forgetting names or words and what’s wrong with me.

This has never happened to me before. So I think if you’re having trouble with focus and concentration and memory, I think those are universal signs that there’s been a shift and something’s off. And then I think mood, same thing. If you’re like. Pretty even keel. It doesn’t, it doesn’t take too much to rattle you.

We all get rattled when too many lovers are pulled at one time. But I think if you’re pretty even killed overall and now you’re like collapsing because the dog barked, like that’s a shift, that’s a change. And so I think it’s really important to understand that those emotional pieces are.

Also, what gives not to call anyone out on the podcast here, but many men I hear say that, we’re emotional or we’re hormonal or we’re, and we are like the reality is that we are. But I think to understand that it’s very difficult to get the answers to that puzzle piece might give everybody a little bit more empathy.

But secondly, for all of us. Like we got to take ownership of that. If we’re on this rollercoaster of emotions, we’ve got to take ownership of that and try to understand what’s happening there. And then I think wait, right? Like tired and over discussed and whatever else we want to say about it.

But wait is definitely a sign, right? So women will as their hormones shift, they may gain weight, they may lose weight, they may have a change in body composition. So now they have more belly fat or less muscle. We see all of these different sort of weight scenarios show up in practice when the hormones are shifting and changing.

So those are probably the ones that I keep seeing over and over again. And the ones that we are usually problem solving most immediately as we’re trying to put this puzzle together.

[00:17:17] Gabby Reece: And I, I just. And you say this in the book, it’s reemphasizing to women, of course there’s changes as you get older.

I’m 54 years old. It’s I’m not the same as when I was 25, but I’m not that different. And I’ve had some kids and I’ve had some injuries. I’ve had some things. It’s so in a way it’s what I find fascinating is we’ll accept feeling like shit and not remembering stuff and having to muscle through everything versus Doing a little bit of extra homework or work and take that time to make, to find out what’s going on. It is interesting to me that we’ll do the one, which is suffering, but not go, Hey, you know what? I need some help. Yeah. Somebody helped me and I’m going to be my advocate. And if you go to your doctor and you go, that’s not working for me or I don’t actually accept that.

Cause that’s just how it is. So maybe I would say to women too, if you’re starting this journey, cause it’s different if you’ve been in it, like if maybe for me, I’ve personally been in self looking out for myself, but if you haven’t get a pushy friend, go to the doctor and have use a book like yours as a tool to go in and go what about this?

And what about that? And not just take it as. Okay because I feel that’s what makes us angry when you see middle aged women and they seem pissed off. It’s I’m left behind. Everyone else has lived their best life. My kids are out. They’re going, my guy’s rolling and we’re pissed. And then all of a sudden the guy’s I don’t want to go home. She’s pissed.

So, I think it’s also that reminder to people that would be a great time to be selfish.

[00:18:48] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Very much. And I think that this whole idea of suffering through, and powering through, I’m not sure where we all got it from, but we need to let it go. And I think that, everything from our relationships to just our ability to be in the world and decide what we want to do next would really benefit.

And we do hear about the angry middle-aged women all the time, right? And you can see it from the archetype from the guys.

[00:19:13] Gabby Reece: Yeah. You know why he left. Cause he, it’s all this. So I’m not saying I don’t see both sides. But at some point, I don’t think misery and yeah, it is, it’s different.

We’re always going through changes. But by the way, so is everybody. Yeah. Children, men, everybody’s changing and all of a sudden, making these transitions. But I think for women, we really are putting everything and everyone else first. And I think when you talk about these signs it’s really important for them to listen to that.

The only other interesting part for me is a lot of times you will go to doctors or I’ve heard this. And either they’re not being heard or the doctor, they’ve got seven minutes and they say this is just the way it is, especially with the weight. I have a lot of friends that you’ll see, I’ve been hearing that since I turned 40.

I love that. Your butt’s going to drop and it’s all over and you’re never going to have sex again and all these things. And it’s Yeah. Yeah. Okay, I just block it out and go, I’m going to experience this as it comes to me. So they go to the doctor, but sometimes for whatever reason, that’s not overly helpful either.

[00:20:23] Dr. Taz Bhatia: No, because it’s the same taglines, right? It’s the same. This is normal. Yeah. This is a part of getting older. It’s, it’s, and sometimes it’s it’s all in your head. That’s the other one that I hear a lot of too. Oh, really? Yeah. But but wait, it doesn’t have to be. No. Something that women accept there is a change, right?

So what you did at 20 is no longer going to work when you’re 40 or 50. There’s an absolute change. Even I experienced it. I’m not somebody, we were just talking about this in the car, coming up here. It’s I am not a skinny person. I’m not somebody. That is going to be this way fee person all the time.

So now that I’m in, 51 it’s okay, I’ve got to, I’ve got to switch things up and things happen very quickly when I go off my path or off my track. So then I have to redirect, but there are clear patterns that drive the way. That actually have solutions. And one of them is simply the hormone family that we just talked about is changing what the gut’s doing, right?

Is changing the way your digestion functions and in Eastern systems of medicine, that’s where they always started. They started with the gut, even in homeopathy, which is very German based, right? They start with the gut and they identify that when the gut slows down, however you want to define. Slowing down, whether it’s you’re not going to the bathroom every day, you’re not digesting your food or your gut bacteria is actually changing, which is what the research shows.

Then there is going to be more weight. Blood sugar goes up, insulin goes up. And that’s the reason. So everyone’s like scurrying around. Like, how do I lose weight? How do I lose weight? Like I gotta eat less and work out more and do all these other things. And you’ve got like all this information everywhere.

And there’s a sense of panic, right? I’m gaining weight. I’m gaining weight. But it’s almost okay, can we calm down for a minute? We’re having a shift. We have to honor and acknowledge the shift. The first place to start instead of panicking, it’s I used to work the ER, where do you start in an emergency?

You start like assess the airway first, right? First place to start is assess the gut. What’s happening with your digestive health. It doesn’t have to be a story about weight gain. If you can really dial into your gut health and understand what’s going on there, and then from there, move outward and understand the factors that are influencing that maybe you’re not eating a diet.

That is really serving you best. That’s something to look at. Maybe you need to move in a different way. So many of us, probably not you cause you’re a athlete, but I know for me no, it’s my job is sedentary. I run my mouth all day long, right? I’m looking at the computer, I’m doing all of that stuff.

So getting. Movement throughout the day has to be deliberate. It can’t be like, Oh, I don’t have time for this today. It has to be something that I’m very conscious of, but for you, it’s cardio, right?

[00:22:57] Gabby Reece: And so there’s, I always want women, especially as I get older, grab some weight. Absolutely. The other thing I see, and I, if you’re listening to this, if you don’t want to get your hair messed up or your makeup.

That’s why you’re not exercising. That’s a big question. And it’s everywhere. Listen, I know all the tricks. I’ve heard it all. And I’m just like, you can throw your hair in a ponytail and, put mascara on after you do your workout, even if it’s at one o’clock. Like I think all these little weird things that we are like, Oh, that’s such a hassle.

Yeah. So talking about the gut, because it is so complicated, trillions of micro, microorganisms. How does somebody say, I really, let’s start there? Is it a test? Is it feeling it out like eating more vegetables or eating more meat and seeing how you feel and how you sleep or how do you encourage your patients to, Start there. What does that look like?

[00:23:47] Dr. Taz Bhatia: I think at first, just again, self-assessment, right? Are you going to the bathroom every day? Is it easy to go to the bathroom every day? Are you bloating? Are you having, any reflux or any of these other more obvious gut type symptoms? And if the answer to that is yes, then before let’s say you don’t have access.

Let’s assume you don’t have access to testing and to doctors and all this other stuff. Even if you don’t have access, then you can add a minimum, increase your fiber, increase your water, add in a probiotic, because that’s going to help to start rebalancing the entire environment down there. And even adding something in like a digestive enzyme.

Those are like probably four steps that you could do before you even got to the doctor, but let’s say, okay, that’s not working. And we’re not really moving in any direction. And remember any of these changes, they’re not medications, right? They’re not pharmaceuticals. So you’re not going to see a result tomorrow, but you will see a result. You have to give things about three weeks stretches. That’s how I think in about 21 days or so something should have shifted. And if the answer to that is no, then it’s time to maybe think about testing. And yes, there’s all kinds of testing available. There is testing of your hormones. Like we talked about, you can look at your microbiome, you can look and see what your actual stool is doing.

And if you’re digesting fats and other things well, so you can take that deeper dive. But I’m thinking about everybody out there who’s tired and over informed and not really sure where to start. I would tell them to start there, like at least start with some of these very basic, very element, very sort of elementary level stuff.

And then from there, what I see a lot of is just this idea of inflammation, which is not new, but it increases. As women go through hormone shifts. So many women will describe and I almost feel like after our little holiday in Mexico, I might have it a little bit too, but they describe almost like this, like puffiness, right?

Like it’s almost there’s this water on them or like this, like fat suit or something that they’re wearing that’s inflammation. They’re not fat, they’re inflamed. And when there’s inflammation, then you have to dial into, what are the things in my diet that are triggering this inflammatory response?

Now, I can tell you what I did. I’m not supposed to eat gluten. Tortilla, how are your chips going?

[00:25:57] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Tortilla, chips, and Mexico, and all the other things that happen there. More than usual, but anyhow. All the things that normally happen in Mexico, happened in Mexico, right? Yeah. Exactly. I don’t go to Vegas, but it happens to me in Mexico.

But anyhow, so I think that’s inflammation, right? So then you start dialing into like time to remove corn, time to remove dairy, time to remove sugar and alcohol. So you go on that journey, but you don’t do that journey before you do the journey of fixing your gut, right? So gut first, then the food.

Just doing those couple of things, if we’re going to talk about weight has been dramatic in practice for me personally, for, for everyone, because that in itself solves the issue of blood sugar instability, which is driving the weight, right? When the hormones shift, there’s blood sugar instability, and that ultimately drives weight.

And so you’re solving that and you haven’t even yet gotten to. a test or a visit or any of these things. And so at any point in this journey, test, go see a doctor, do these things. But there’s no reason like even on my social media, I’ll see that this is so expensive. This whole process is so expensive.

And I’m like, actually, it’s not, if you start here, you’re probably going to see results even before you spend a dollar, and so I think that’s what we really need to help people understand is that this. As complicated and as many big words that we can all use as experts and things like that, the starting points are actually relatively simple and they open the door to the conversation that you’re supposed to have with your body.

And then from there you decide, where you want to spend and what needs to happen next.

[00:27:39] Gabby Reece: Yeah. And I think the other thing to remind people cause I do pretty good on the food. I do popcorn and I can feel it instantly. I even do it, I make it with the right oil. I don’t do it, I don’t get it the moment I can feel it instantly.

Literally, I can feel it right away is well, a couple of things. One for me is we never really give stress and it’s due credit. Like I can eat perfect and be training if I’m not sleeping right, or I am having a lot of emotional stress. I can, it, it crushes me the same as a piece of pie, like no problem.

And I just want to remind people the other part of this is that other personal inventory. Like how are my relationships and how do I need to have a real honest conversation with an employee or whatever it is? Because I think we do that too. Sometimes as women, we might talk to our girlfriends, but I also think sometimes we do avoid getting in there and pulling some deep weeds and going, Hey, this isn’t working for me, or I need to change this, or I’m feeling this.

And so I just want to remind people that doesn’t matter. If we have this stress, it is going to show up in our health and in our weight and around our waist and not to ignore that. I just, I think it’s so important. And obviously sleep is a killer, but sometimes I feel like women. Or men, people who are trying to approach nutritionally a new way. It’s almost like they’re half telling themselves the truth. Like they’ll eat something and then they’ll be like, but that bagel’s okay. It’s no, listen, if you’re going to do it, let’s do it. Let’s see what it’s really let’s get rid of this stuff out of our lives.

Let’s do it. Take the 21 days and let’s really pay attention because the other thing is it’s hidden in everything and everywhere. It’s so frustrating. So make your dressings at home because that’s going to kill you. All the breads, if we lived in France, it’d be great. We don’t. If you’re here, it’s like really just give it a go for 21 days.

[00:29:35] Dr. Taz Bhatia: It’s committing to yourself for 21 days, but this dress piece is huge. I don’t want to, not address that to a certain extent because we have so many. stories on that. Even again the monitors, I don’t know if you’ve ever worn a glucometer or any of those things before.

And it’s been fascinating, the information that you’ll learn from there. Cause there’ll be people like me who are perfect at home, right? You’re doing everything right. You’re eating right. Not drinking, doing all this other stuff. But the numbers are higher in a place like Mexico and higher at home, excuse me, than they are when I go on vacation.

Because maybe I don’t sleep as well or I’m super stressed or over process, all these other things. So stress really is a huge player in all of this. And when it comes to committing to a program, I think you’ve got to take that one into consideration, right? If you’re in a very stressful, and this is a lot of what we do in the exam room in our practices is that okay, where are you?

Are you on five deadlines and three work trips while doing a really deeply intensive. 30 day program might not be the right idea right now. So let’s start over here. But if you’ve cleared some head space and some emotional space to be committed to yourself, which is ultimately what you’re struggling with, then now’s the time to do that deep dive and to look at everything that you’re doing.

And I think that, I think the fundamental issue, and I’m, again, I’m learning too, as we go along, but I think the fundamental issue as we move along is understanding for all of us, is that. We’re caretakers and we’re nurturers. So we don’t like having those hard conversations. We don’t like to tell an employee that X, Y, and Z needs to happen or a partner or a child, because ultimately we want to nurture them, right?

We want to grow them. We want to nurture them. So those hard conversations are a little bit against our nature again. It’s a skill. So just like taking care of yourself is a skill.

I think the ability to advocate for yourself spills into this whole stress piece, so that idea of you being stressed, I would throw it back on you. I throw it back on me. This is my fault. No one did this to me. I’m not a victim. I signed up for all of this, so this is right back on me.

So I think that we just have to, again, be. Very honest and very accepting of ourselves. We’re nurturers. We’re caretakers. We have to honor that part of us. And then within that framework, decide what our bandwidth is so that we don’t walk around saying we can’t take care of ourselves or we’re victims or life is stressful or the world handed us whatever.

I don’t really think that serves us well.

[00:32:09] Gabby Reece: I think it’s really important what you just said about it being a skill and it slides me over to you talk about, we go through these sort of five hormonal. Yeah. Phases in our life and that and we’ll get to five, but it’s commander. And I think that’s when you actually freaking learn how to do it.

Exactly. And you also stop trying to please everybody. I think there comes a point where you go, Oh yeah, I’ve done that. That doesn’t work. And and then you start to learn. That it’s okay to make yourself happy. Totally. If, for example, if it’s your practice and people are there, you go, cool, so this is how I’m designing the rules and how we do it at my practice.

If you want to do it that way, you can go make your own practice. And I do think it takes time to be comfortable with people, even maybe. Not agreeing, not liking us thinking we’re wrong, God forbid, right? Like I don’t need to smell like a rose anymore. Like I’m good. And one of my favorite lines from my friend Byron Katie is what you think of me is none of my business.

So you have these different five phases age 13 through 19 and you have keywords. Fun names. You have keywords. And in this phase it’s like confusion.

[00:33:14] Dr. Taz Bhatia: So that’s the rockstar phase. Yeah. That’s what I call it. Thank you.

You just think that you’re invincible, right? It’s like I can eat whatever, do whatever, be whatever. There’s no consequence to anything, right? Classic rock star phase. So you think you’re, you’re just all over the place. And I think that’s true of the hormone patterns too.

They’re also all over the place. like fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels. Our girls have irregular periods. Their moods often match that their ability to learn often matches that too. And they are nowadays in today’s world, they’re having a lot of different and new diagnoses that are tied to these irregular Patterns of their cycle, right? So we go from the rock stars, which is that 13 ish to 19 to the next phase, and I’ll jump right into that next one, which is women in their 20s. And I call them the hustlers because they’re just, they’re just trying to do it all right. Like busting the candle at both ends and same thing.

They think they’re invincible, so they again are. Staying up late, waking up early, grabbing what grabbing and going, it’s a lot about proving themselves either from a relationship standpoint or a career standpoint. But this is where you start to build on, some of the imbalances that might’ve been there as a teenager.

So this is where you first start to see things like progesterone levels, dropping androgen levels, which caused the acne and the hair loss and some of these things starting to shift. And, again, women at that age, I was one of them. This is actually where my, this is, and I’m super passionate about these younger women because I think I see myself in them.

And I almost feel a sense of desperation. I want you to have this information so you don’t have to go through what I went through, and I was, my journey probably started younger when I didn’t realize it, but where I became conscious of it was 24, 25, right? Medical school, residency, family stuff, all that other stuff.

And so that’s. Really an invitation for those women to be like, I’ve got a lot going on. It’s expected at this age and stage of life. It’s actually a good thing, but how do I take care of myself through it? What are the fundamentals? And so for me, I’m sure you read it, like diet Coke and popcorn was supposed to be healthy, back in our lovely eighties timeframe and nineties timeframe of being fat free, and low calorie, but actually it was, crashing my hormones.

So we moved from that to them. The next. phase, which I’m calling the superstars. And now we’re maturing, right? We’re trying to settle, maybe trying to put down some roots, whether it’s in a job or a career, or whether it’s in a family or trying to create a family of our own, but you’ve inherited now probably two decades worth of imbalanced hormone patterns.

So what’s happening to these women, this is where we really see these diagnoses start to come forward. We see PCOS and it’s. Fullest expression. We see endometriosis. We see a lot of issues with fertility and infertility, having trouble getting pregnant, which again, sends women, on this whole tailspin of trying to do a million different things and a million different procedures.

And we see not just the exaggeration of the low progesterone. We now really, truly see thyroid disorders starting to present themselves. So this is the stage where I’ll find a lot of Hashimoto’s or different forms of hypothyroidism for sure. So again, we’ve got this mix and then the androgen thing is usually worsening too.

And so women will go through this. And a lot of times that means that they will do birth control or IVF or, they go on an anti anxiety medication or an antidepressant and they’re doing all this stuff and no one’s connecting it for them and saying it’s rooted in this like underneath chemistry and you wouldn’t need this medication list or this procedure list.

[00:36:50] Gabby Reece: : If you did these things, so before we leave her, because I feel like that group is. I don’t want to say it’s a sensitive time, but these are when things are really showing up. Like you said, PCOS and a lot of autoimmune and other things are showing up. And then the desire, maybe if they choose to have a child and having a challenge with that.

I think that this can be incredibly difficult for people, on people, like in every way. And what is it, if someone Maybe they just didn’t know and they were on a birth control forever and they ate whatever and they didn’t exercise and they haven’t been sleeping and now they’re here and they’re saying, Hey, before they go in launch into all these medications or procedures, what are, So where do we start them?

Where do we say, Hey, wait a second, let’s start here first.

[00:37:39] Dr. Taz Bhatia: First thing I want to remind women of that age, if they’re listening, is that the body, once you give it what it needs is very compliant. It actually behaves. And so everything’s reversible. I don’t want people listening to this. I was just listening to myself.

I don’t want people listening to them to this and being like, Oh my God, I have wrecked my body. It’s all over, right? The body will change in reverse. But if you’re in that situation, I think, again, I would hope, not to keep plugging the book, but I would hope you would use the book, like the hormone shift to understand where your hormones are to understand where your gut health is and get these numbers checked.

And just even looking at things like key nutrient levels, like, where are you? And I think in today’s environment, Especially for couples trying to have children and start families and things like that. It’s more important now than ever before. The role of toxicity in our environment, you almost want to go into having a child doing a lot of preconception work, which is a very.

Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine concept. You wouldn’t just go have a baby. There was this whole procedure and process of prepping the body before you even thought about fertility and conception. So you want to do that work. Both the male, honestly, and the female should be doing that work to understand where their health is before they take that next step.

Step into parenthood. And I think that’s really important. But I think looking at your hormone levels, understanding what’s happening, getting things like a pelvic ultrasound to understand what the uterine lining is doing and how thick it may be. Do you have ovarian cysts? Do you have fibroids? What’s happening down there, right?

It’s like this mystery area until. We decided to have a baby and then all of a sudden it gets all this attention, I think just really, again, taking that time and energy slowing down for just a second to understand. And it was interesting when we were talking about the angry middle aged women, we don’t also talk about the very frantic.

Pregnant young woman, post pregnancy, new family, trying to get pregnant, what that does for a relationship, right? So you’ve got a lot of husbands, or partners not wanting to go home because they’re dealing with this very angry, mid thirties woman or early thirties woman who’s just like with the burden of child rearing, it’s just so angry about that, but that gets more empathy for whatever reason than maybe the angry middle aged woman does.

But I think again, the point I’m trying to make is that This ownership of your chemistry is important through every stage. It’s been there, right? The same fluctuation in your hormone is showing up in your 20s and 30s as is, as it’s showing up in your 40s and 50s, for sure. So I think for those younger women to answer your question and not get too off in the weeds, I think it’s start by understanding your body chemistry.

Check your hormones, check your nutrients, understand if you have things like inflammation, understand your gut health and you don’t have to have a scientific, encyclopedia on this stuff, but you should understand the main ideas of what’s happening with you. And then from there you can put forth the plan that’s going to work to help you clean all that stuff up.

[00:40:35] Gabby Reece: Yeah. And I always want to encourage people. Part of the things for me on the show is, and I do think there is a place for. And I actually think in the U. S. we do a great job on catastrophic care, like emergency care. I have a fake knee. Yeah. Amazing. I don’t think we do a great job on some of this other stuff and just to get people to slow down before it’s like, Oh, I’ll take that medicine.

It’s Whoa, hang on a sec. Because if your gut’s already screwed up and now you’re taking this new medication that’s kicking it and perforating it. It’s the lining even more. It’s like sometimes I almost feel like it puts them in this frantic. So it’s not about saying no never, but just like you’re saying, Hey, find out first what’s going on.

Just take a second. And don’t by the way, if it doesn’t land right from your doctor, don’t just take their word for it. I also believe we get a sense of Oh, that feels good. What she’s saying or that doctor saying it’s or, I don’t know if that’s what’s happening to me. And just to encourage people, cause we pay so much attention to so many things in our lives. And yet we don’t tune in to that, to the inside of us going, yes, that feels good. And like you said, if you’re frantic and you go, Hey, I’m 37, I’m 38. I got to do this kid thing right now. I’m just never going to have it. It’s okay.

[00:41:52] Dr. Taz Bhatia: And just hold just for a second, and just to remind everyone too, okay. Let’s say you’re 37 or 38, but if you haven’t done the deep dive into this stuff, then even your fancy procedures, your IVF and IUI and all the other million things that are out there, those also don’t go well, so any work you do almost makes anything we have in modern medicine work so much better and you need less with less side effects, less damage, all of that stuff. So it’s really blending again. Yeah. That’s my passion is re imagining all of this stuff, but blending together the best of the two and then the art, the practice of it is what’s going to be right for you in a given moment at your journey.

And how do we make those decisions?

[00:42:31] Gabby Reece: Yeah. I’ve seen some, a lot of friends. So I have, there’s a brothers here in Santa Monica that, they’ll do acupuncture and teas and. They’ve, women have tried everything else and then they’re desperate so then they’re open to that, yeah. Drink stinky tea and lo and behold.

They’re fine, they’re pregnant. And also it’s probably taking some of the urgency away from it. The next phase Is the superwoman. Am I right? Superwomen.

[00:42:55] Dr. Taz Bhatia: So superwomen equate to, all right, you’ve established your foundation, you have grown whatever, whether it’s a career or a family or whatever, your passion, hopefully project is.

And now you’re usually, I call this the most. stressed decade because now you have a lot of responsibility. You’ve got a lot on your plate. You probably have a lot of responsibility at work. Maybe your business is now thriving and you have a lot of responsibility there or you’re in a big role at work.

You have a growing family that has growing needs. Typically you have aging parents and usually remember we’re caretakers, so it usually falls. It doesn’t matter. Whose parents there are, it usually falls back on the female in the family. So anyhow, do you know anything about that? No, not at all. I’m not nothing at all.

But but anyhow, so we’ve got all of those sort of collective responsibilities and then our hormones are shifting. So this is where truly we’ll see the first signs of a drop in estrogen. We’ll see the early rise of a blood sugar or insulin levels. We’ll start to see that belly fat, start to show up.

And it’s also where paired with that, there’s everything else, the sleep disturbances, the changes in being able to focus and concentrate. And so again, women will hit those roadblocks at different. Ages throughout that sort of superwoman phase, but the experience is pretty universal. And so this is where, again, we want to remind women that, if you haven’t done it in the last couple of phases, it is critical to do it here because it’s really going to set the stage for what the commander phase, when you truly go into menopause is going to look like, is that going to be an easy transition?

Is that going to be a harder one? But the other thing, super interesting about the superwoman phase, I feel like it’s What’s a good word to use? It’s almost like a detox phase. That’s a terrible word to say, but it’s almost like where things will fall apart. If you’ve been band aiding and trying to pretend like they’re okay, whether that’s your health, whether that’s a job.

Whether that’s relationships, you literally see this explosion take place, in different women through that. And, this is where I sit with women who are, getting divorced, not expecting to be getting married, not expecting to be, quitting a job, starting a job, changing career, like all of it.

And so in some ways it almost perimenopause is a second puberty. Some way it takes you back to the rockstar phase where there’s, you’re just what the hell is going on? And so I think again, if you can be rooted in how to take care of yourself, and what your numbers are and do you need a little, you may actually in this phase need hormone support.

Now in the other phases, you may not have needed it. I did need some progesterone in my twenties cause I was so far gone. Yeah. Usually in the other sort of phases, Diet, gut work, liver work, mindfulness can get you through it. When you hit the superwoman phase going into the commander phase, then sometimes you need some hormone support and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Many women see it as a failure. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The goal is to be. In your best mind, your best spirit, your best emotional state, getting good, healthy sleep, all of those different things.

[00:46:07] Gabby Reece: Because estrogen is the feel good hormone, right? And if that bugger drops, all of a sudden, it’s, it we have a little different perspective on things. Totally. We get darker. Yeah, we get angrier. I heard a great Elisa Vitti wrote something. Yeah, I love her. Yeah, she said one time, she goes on different parts of your cycle, when the estrogen drop or the progesterone drops, yeah, it was progesterone.

She goes, just keep notes. Don’t do anything crazy. But if it shows up three months in a row, she’s that’s how you actually feel. Yeah. And I was like, oh, so it’s if you’re going to break up or fire somebody, she’s just calm down. Wait. But if it shows up three months in a row, she goes, that’s actually how you feel.

Totally. Yeah. Totally. So in that let’s I also, you also talk about sex drive and skin and all of these things at this time. So regarding hormones, I think for a lot of people, they don’t know what to do and okay, there’s creams, there’s bioidentical. What is your sort of a general principle when you approach people considering hormone replacement therapy?

[00:47:07] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Yeah. So the general kind of guiding principle for all of us is low and slow, like the smaller, the dose, the better. And we’re not trying to do anything heroic here. So we’re not going to put, not to blast pellets, but we’re not going to be doing pellets or heavy handed doses of hormones or things like that.

We start pretty low to see what sort of, especially in the superwoman phase to see what response we’re going to get. Cause same thing. If you’ve got those foundational building blocks of all the other stuff, you don’t need a lot of hormone. You usually need a very small amount. The first. form that we like staying with that philosophy is usually the transdermal creams because we can control them, right?

We can control how much is in a cream. We can titrate them. We can increase and decrease and we can do all those things with it. But then truly there’s some people that don’t respond to that. They don’t. change the levels, patients don’t feel better, so again, that’s where you really have to listen to the person sitting in front of you as a physician and be like, okay, it’s time to move on.

If we’re going to move on, then typically we like estrogen in some other form, whether that’s a vaginal trochee, it’s a patch. You could do sublingual estrogen, but in a bioidentical form, not straight estradiol and then progesterone. Sometimes I’ll. Switch from a cream to a pill if I’m not getting the results that I want.

And if that’s still not working, then we’ll go to stronger dosing, right? Like higher dose patches, higher dosed pills and make those decisions. But through that arc of decision making, whether it’s the baby doses or whether it’s stronger doses, you have to look at how the hormones are being metabolized, right?

How are they being broken down? Is your body using them effectively? So in the book, we talk about some of those metabolites, right? We talk about things like Estrone, 17 hydroxypregnenolone, pregnenolone itself. They give you information of the metabolic pathway of the hormones, which again, not to make this sound heavy, but is very genetically Driven.

There are people that don’t have the genetics to break hormones down effectively. And so if you start with a heavy handed dose of hormones on those people, it goes the wrong way. You store them, you hold onto them, then you activate genetics for other stuff that you don’t want to. So I think it’s really important to go slow and be patient, right?

People want to get better. So patients is always a little bit of a challenge, but think about things when you’re doing hormone replacement therapy, regardless of the forum, like I said, 21 days for diet and nutrition and all that other stuff. I think for hormones, you have to give it 90 days, right?

You need to have about a 90 day cycle of understanding. What this regimen has done for you, has it been enough? And usually by the third month, you’ll start to really notice a difference, so that culturally is hard because people are like, I need to feel better right now. I need to see a change right now, but that often doesn’t serve us well, so that’s where I. And with the different hormones, I prefer bioidentical which is going, and let’s clarify what that is. That’s hormones that mimic and look like the hormones that we already have. So the body is able to metabolize them a little bit better. The advantage of some of these creams, and there’s a lot of conversation back and forth everywhere about.

Why compounded? Why not prescription? Why? All that other stuff. The advantage of the compounded one is that the percentage of estradiol, which is the most active form of estrogen is actually lower, which is good. Most of the compounded forms of estrogen have more estriol in it. Estriol is a very protective estrogen actually has been used in Europe and been shown to protect against things like breast cancer and estrogen based cancers. So what we’re trying to do for those of us that use compounded in the form of biased or any of these other things that are out there is we’re trying to manage the amount of active estradiol that you’re getting to minimize the body’s burden of detoxing that hormone, right? And providing you with more estriol, which we have to really help you get the best clinical result. So that’s why we like to start there, but it might not work for everyone, right? We’ve got now, if we go into that commander phase.

Where now I might be dealing with somebody with full out osteoporosis or I might be dealing with someone with complete hormone depletion to the point that it is disrupting their lives. Then we need to move on. We don’t need to be parked in Oh, I want to do low hormone. We need to move on and moving on is now.

Okay. We’re going to do, one of the patches, which are primarily estradiol. And we’re going to make sure that your body’s using that estradiol effectively and support that detox pathway to keep you out of trouble for the long haul. So that’s the mentality around it. So I get super.

Not for us, I don’t know, maybe frustrated with all this noise. I just feel like it’s so much noise. This is good. This is bad.

[00:51:45] Gabby Reece: This is the, it’s just and how do you know, it’s like, how do you get, you…

[00:51:47] Dr. Taz Bhatia: you have to get in there, you have to rhythmically and systematically start and you have to see how your body responds to it.

So I want us to all get out of like good versus bad mentality and more okay, here are all the options. We’re going to start here. It’s not a guarantee that it’s going to work for you, and that’s okay. It’s going to be a little bit of trial and error because your body’s going to respond differently than the person sitting next to you.

And that’s just the reality of who we each are as unique individuals. Yeah.

[00:52:15] Gabby Reece: I, it’s so funny how we do buck reality. Yeah. It’s that’s one thing I do appreciate about the East coast. It is what it is. It’s like people, they want something definitive. They want it in 24 hours. When has any of that ever happened?

What’s what, unless it’s usually something. Not good. That’s the only thing that usually happens very quickly.

[00:52:35] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Yeah, side effects. It’ll show up really fast.

[00:52:36] Gabby Reece: I heard a great expression, why, like, why we’re so flipped out about like when we look at social media and we’ll have a 1, 000 good comments and somebody makes one comment, why we respond so quickly.

And it’s because to do anything positive. Anything at all, build anything, a career, a relationship, it takes a series of so many actions, small actions. It takes forever, but it takes one instance to take something down. And so we’re always responding to that, but somehow we’re still looking for no, I want a good now.

It’s yeah I still yet have, maybe an ice cream, I don’t know, but. I haven’t really seen anything that’s wow, this is good right now. It usually takes a second. Yeah. Good. Good is slow. And yeah. And just reminding people to get that plan, but also do your side because you’re doing all these things, but you’re probably asking them to move around and exercise a little and tighten up their diet and maybe take a breathing yoga class, chill out a little.

Totally. So I think it’s giving them those other things to do and saying, oh, but you’re going to participate. Yeah. So you can benefit.

[00:53:41] Dr. Taz Bhatia: HRT should be last. When you run through the checklist of what we are saying, be an advocate and be healthy and all these other things we’re talking about, HRT is on the list, but it’s last.

It’s towards the bottom, right? Because all these other things, it’s sequential. All these other things are going to influence the amount of HRT you actually need and the form you need. They’re all interrelated. Yeah. So it’s on the list. It’s in the toolbox. But it’s not what we’re going to pull out right away unless of course you’re in a really bad spot and I’m like, okay, we got to do something now and we’ll worry about all this stuff in a minute.

[00:54:14] Gabby Reece: And that’s important to be able to be that flexible. So you have the commander and you do talk about depression as the key word there. Yeah. Yeah. And then. When people are thinking about this, you do talk about if we have too much of a certain hormone or too little of a certain hormone, there are some pretty clear signs.

We talked about the weight, right? Is there anything specific that feels important that maybe wouldn’t be as obvious like a DHEA or something where if it’s like, Hey, you have too much or too little, this could be showing up.

[00:54:47] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Definitely. I think and we work through these with patients. Breast tenderness, right?

If you suddenly grow a cup size with a hormone replacement therapy or your breast hurt, you probably have too much either estrogen or progesterone in your system. So that’s a big one to pay attention to. I think that things like new onset acne or hair loss. Those are huge for a lot of women with testosterone replacement, they’ll convert to those androgens that we talked about and they’ll start to see some of those symptoms again.

So I think that’s a sign that there’s too much on board or even the estrogen that you’re being given is converting over. So I’d pay attention to that as well. If you have a. Pick up in, excuse me, like anxiety or, feeling like you’re edgy or you’re trying to get palpitations, maybe something’s off if you’re doing thyroid replacement or even estrogen and progesterone replacement.

So I think, again, if you have that. Starting handbook on the symptoms to check, which are energy, mood, weight, sleep cognitive energy, a lot of those types of things that can help you with weight. I started that hormone. Why is this off? So that can help you connect the dots on that stuff.

But those are some of the biggest ones. I think one other one I’d probably add to it is you’re foggy. If you’ve got too much progesterone on board, it can almost mimic that pregnancy feeling where you just feel like you’re in a little bit of a.

[00:56:13] Gabby Reece: And I want, you did so many things in this book to it’s all, it’s, it felt you could really get the information for yourself.

Insulin. I, one thing I’ve said after doing this show for all these years is. It has been driven into me the importance, not only of our gut, but of being insulin sensitive. And chronic inflammation, there’s five things, but those are definitely the three. Can you just explain to people, and you do this in the book, about, you How insulin works and where it comes from because I think we hear about it for diabetes, right?

But I don’t actually think we’re connected to what’s happening.

[00:56:48] Dr. Taz Bhatia: I think insulin is the hormone It’s basically screwed by the pancreas, right? But it’s the hormone that is responsible for What your blood sugar levels are doing is reacting to your blood sugar levels. So a bi directional pathway is probably the best way To think about it.

And I think we only think about insulin in relationship to the extremes, right? Where, you’re a type two diabetic, so you have a high blood sugar, you have overproduction of insulin. Everyone has to push all that stuff down with the medications and all that other business, but we don’t think about it in the sort of gray zone where you’re not diabetic, but you are seeing changes in weight and your blood sugar is having either a lot of.

Reactivity, meaning you go from high to low, and stress will do that. Alcohol will do that. There are many different things that will do that. Your hormones will do that or your new baseline standing blood sugar level is elevated from where it was maybe 10 years ago. So when you get a glucometer, Like these little wearables that are out there now, or you do testing in the doctor’s office, you’ll get a normal, right?

Because your levels are usually not over a hundred, except if you eat or do things like that. And what’s happening and what we need to understand that is still too high for modern day society, because at a hundred or over a hundred, We’re having an overproduction of insulin, which in turn is then making us gain belly fat and belly weight.

So we’ve got to pay attention to that for sure. So we want to try to keep our blood sugar somewhere between 80 and 90 is usually what I tell folks, like when you’re spiking much above that’s still problematic. And the goal with exercise or sleep or any of these things is to push it down into that range.

So I think understanding that we’re too late in acting on blood sugar and insulin changes and that. insulin based weight gain is that belly fat, that arm fat, that back fat, that really is that new fat that you might not have dealt with, through your earlier years. And I think, again, as somebody who sees, the spectrum from zero, to our seniors, I think it’s also super concerning that we’re seeing this blood sugar insulin thing in our youth, more so than ever before.

We’re seeing more kids, if you’ll look, that are going into early puberty because of high blood sugar and high insulin or young boys that have more like fat on their chest or man boobs, as many people call them, like going to the beach, we’ll see this instantly. And I’m like, we have a problem, so I think the earlier we’re done, we’re dialed into this concept, the better.

[00:59:14] Gabby Reece: I think about this question all the time and I’ve asked it different ways to different people. We know more than ever. We have, knowledge at our fingertips and everyone’s been talking for 20 years about how it’s getting worse and people are more and more obese and you just mentioned like young kids, the health, and obviously we have technology so we’re more sedentary and our food is wild, right?

It’s just the wildest, like you go into the grocery store and you go, I think we should stop looking at it. It’s free. food. It’s just something else. It’s packaged goods that we buy and we put in our mouth. I don’t, it’s not really the definition of food. When you sit back from your vantage point of somebody who’s informed and patients all of the time for a regular person who can barely look up from their job and they’ve got kids or they don’t have kids and they’re just trying to do their best.

Yeah. In, in, in just the simplest way. What sort of few things would you say to them because obviously we’re not getting it right. Either we don’t value it. We only value it’s only when it’s too late or we’re just doing lip service to it. Part of me sometimes feels Hey, people are so overloaded.

That they can’t even get to the place cognitively or emotionally to make the better decision. So how do we lovingly kick them in the ass to go, Hey, listen, just these four or five things. If you’re serious and you want to, or you can’t get out of your own way, but you want to try to get to a better place.

This is the part that I’m so interested in because it’s like, how do we reach them? Yeah. What are the basic principles that it’s like, Hey, for two months, for three months focus on this, and this. I don’t know.

[01:01:02] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Yeah. I’ve struggled with that too, because I will deliver massive amounts of information to people and they’re not really able to make the majority of that information actionable.

I’m actually super fascinated by that. And here is where I’ve landed, which. We, this can go in a couple of different directions. I think the fundamental issue is this elevated cortisol and stress that everybody from our children to our seniors experience. And when you’re in that elevated stress state, you can’t decision make. You can have all the intellectual knowledge in the world, but you make decisions emotionally. So you’re going to react to what feels good in the moment, right? Whether all the things you know about it. So I think for everyone, whether you are. And, an adult, whether you’re a mom, a dad, it doesn’t matter who you are.

I would pull back and understand and try to start to define what your values are as an individual or as a family. And I think in that arc of values. The ability to stop and breathe and plan for your health and wellness needs to be there. It needs to actually be present there because if it’s not, you’re going to continue to run from, I’m good.

I’m bad. That’s a lot of what I hear. I was good. I was bad. I was good. I was bad. It’s like the sort of like bebopping mentality that we’re constantly trying to break. So I think really the. First thing that needs to happen is I’ve done this long. I wouldn’t have given you this answer 10 years ago, but the answer today is I think people need to slow down.

I think they need to take a hard inventory and look at their lives. And I think they need to understand that they have to take, whether it’s two hours a week, 10 minutes a day, however they want to structure it. And we do a lot of that too, is trying to help them structure this is. Where is your food coming from for the next five days?

Where, what is your sleep cycle going to look like over the next five days? What do we need to do to plan to help you with recovery? If you’re on a work trip or business trip or whatever it is, and then. Where are the meals that you’re not going to eat within the home and where are the meals that you’re going to eat outside of the home?

And I think once you start to actually execute some planning when you’re in the moment, it’s easier to make a decision. It’s easier to make, you’re not so emotional. But I think aside from that, there’s some rules that everyone, even our kids can follow. Quit snacking, eat three times a day, have good four hour spacing between meals.

Don’t eat about three or four hours before bedtime. The gut needs to rest and get rid of the junk. Just get rid of the processed high salt, fast foods with a lot of dyes and additives in it. If you can at least start there before we start debating gluten and dairy and soy and everything else, if you can at least start there.

That’s a win, cause that stabilizes blood sugar that stabilizes insulin. That’s going to help with a healthier night’s sleep. It’s going to improve gut health and everyone can do that. But again, if you’re not through that planning and through those initial steps, also thinking, like, how do I plan?

My food, our food, whatever else, then you’re not going to be there. Like I came here to LA, I live in Atlanta, I’ve planned the whole week’s food. It’s all set up in the refrigerator, it’s also easy in LA. It’s easy. I don’t live here. But I planned it for the visit here.

Totally. It’s easier. It’s easier here. But I left three people behind. So I had, I supermom did, but I planned it all the way out so that there’s no Oh, we don’t have anything to eat. I’m going to Uber eats. I’m going to Postmates. I’m going to do all this other stuff, so it’s that, but I would have done that anyways.

I do it for me, so it’s that’s this is a value. Like I could have been doing 20 other things yesterday.

[01:04:45] Gabby Reece: It’s like making sure your kid gets picked up if they’re not a driver. It’s we planned on Wednesday. Someone’s grabbing them.

[01:04:52] Dr. Taz Bhatia: I think you build it in, you build it in, like everything, build it into everything else and make it a value and a priority, Rather than I’ll figure it out When we get there.

[01:04:59] Gabby Reece: When you’re sitting there doing the meals and you have a practice and you’re coming here to be a badass and be in front and talk about your book, are you like, I can’t believe I’m sitting in this stand. Cause I actually have learned to have a sense of humor about how ridiculous it is sometimes. Like container. Here’s your food. Yeah. I’m like, these are grown ass people or big people. And I think sometimes just having a little fun with it, but also knowing it makes me feel good.

[01:05:20] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Makes me feel better at the end of the day.

[01:05:22] Gabby Reece: But are you sitting there sometimes? It’s my favorite question. One o’clock, two o’clock, I call my, I tell my friends and actually my middle daughter cooks with me. Yeah. Favorite question in the world. I have a million meetings. What’s for dinner mom? What’s going to be for dinner? And I’m like dinner, like at a certain point I think people have to realize How do you make peace with a rhythm with, if it is important to you, you’re going to feel that way.

You’re not going to be like, I’m so excited to figure out what I’m making for dinner tonight. It’s no, but we’re doing it.

[01:05:51] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Yeah. I think, where am I with this? I’ve been married 20 years. My children are 14 and 16. Yeah. You’re right in the thick of it. Practice is 15 years old. So you’re just talking to me at a different stage.

If you talked to me probably 10 years ago, I’d be pissed off. I’m like, I have all this shit to do. And you guys want me to cook and to meal plan and to do all this stuff. But where I’ve landed is we all do better when I do that, all of us as a unit. So I, that’s where I am now. I’ve accepted that. Yeah. Nobody else caretakes in the family like I can, you know.

[01:06:25] Gabby Reece: Or nor you want to. If you’ve farmed it out, like I do farm out cooking to my one daughter when she offers, but in the beginning, oh I, even though I’m like, oh, thank God she’s doing it. It was like, oh. What do you mean? What is this? Actually, in some ways she’s a better cook, right?

Yeah. And then my husband goes on and I’m like, all right he’s this is amazing. I’m like, yeah, okay. I’ve been doing that for 25 years, but the point is it’s on us too to realize it’s someone said, listen, also the way our brains work, you said it in the beginning of this conversation, there’s things in our nature.

Correct. So within this actually is I’m honoring myself in the way I want to do it. But anger, by the way, can be a really good emotion. Oh yeah. You can get some stuff done. And so I want to remind people, don’t let it eat you from the inside out, but you can use that anger and be in there and be like these people, they can’t make their own dinner and whatever.

But I think. I think sometimes using all the emotions in a healthful way, feeling them, honoring them, even joking with a girlfriend yeah, I think it’s all the phases and stages. Like you spelled it out here in all of the different phases and to encourage people, like what am I feeling? Don’t eat it.

Don’t pack it down. But maybe even have fun with. No, this is what I’m choosing. Because also our brain works differently than everybody else’s. Like my husband, they used to say, Oh, you’re mad. You walk, he walks by the socks 17 times and then someone’s no, you don’t even get it. He doesn’t see the socks.

Why am I pissed? He didn’t see the socks, I see the socks. And so I think it’s also a little bit of that I could go on and on, but I do want to ask you, cause I didn’t know this, that there were three types of hormones, protein hormones, liquid hormones, and amino hormones. I didn’t know that.

[01:08:06] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Yeah. And they function differently, but they’re all equally Important, and they work in different ways in the body, which is why when we go back to food, you have to have the spectrum of macronutrients, to be able to build hormone effectively. But even though there are three different types of hormones, the fundamental building block for all of them is cholesterol.

And so many people forget that if we don’t have enough good healthy fat or we’re not metabolizing fat effectively, which is a issue nowadays, then you’re not going to build hormone. So this idea of building hormones, whichever type is really rooted in kind of that, in getting enough good, healthy fats and protein.

[01:08:42] Gabby Reece: And isn’t our brain really made of a lot of it’s made of cholesterol, which always we’re not going to get into this now, but I always thought about people who were taking lowering their cholesterol with cholesterol medicine. And then somehow they end up with Alzheimer’s later down the, you go, Oh, I don’t know. Is there.

[01:08:58] Dr. Taz Bhatia: There’s definitely a link. Some connection. There is a link. Yeah.

[01:09:01] Gabby Reece: And I personally have genetically super high cholesterol. I always have because I started getting my blood work in my 20s. So that’s when I learned. Yeah. And apparently it’s fine. And I have no it’s not they don’t, there isn’t really a connection with your heart Health, there’s, I don’t know where at least got into all that too. Like high cholesterol, dangerous for your heart

[01:09:22] Dr. Taz Bhatia: . It’s is that’s not actually the way, there’s a whole population of folks that have high cholesterol. Yeah. It has nothing to do with their heart health. But there is a subpopulation that have, and cholesterol we can get into In detail another time. But it’s but they actually have a cardiovascular risk. So you have to sift through the different types of people. But it does impact your cognitive health. Yeah. It does impact your brain health.

[01:09:41] Gabby Reece: For sure. Isn’t that, wouldn’t you be pissed like 20 years down the road, you’d be like, Oh yeah, wait, I’ve been taking this for that, that maybe isn’t even for that. And now I’m losing my mind. I. Okay, I know. I’m sorry. You must be really popular at the medical conferences. Popular? Or No, I’m joking. You’re like, excuse me, I don’t know

[01:10:00] Dr. Taz Bhatia: if I feel that way. Why won’t you go away?

[01:10:03] Gabby Reece: There’s probably more of it. Thank God. Justin, you get your one question.

[01:10:07] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Flipping through the book, is there something a supportive partner can do for someone that’s on this path besides, hey, I read this book.

And gently slide it over there. You should check it out too. Or support something a supportive partner can do. Yeah. ’cause I like that it’s, this isn’t the end. It’s not like a death sentence. It’s like you can, it’s super easy steps that anyone can get started, but just how do we, yeah. I think so Do you want me to repeat the question or you want me to just go right into it.

Okay. I think what partners can do is, first of all. They also need to understand that their wives or their partner’s not going crazy, right? That there’s actually chemistry at work and that there really is a shift. So I think for them just to understand that and then to support them in the journey of getting answers.

And one of the things we deal with in practice is because, we’re getting so much information, the husbands are left on the outside of that conversation. And I think if they were brought in and they were able to also see how the puzzle pieces work together, I think that they would.

Be a great accountability partner coach for their wives, and and I don’t mean to just set up husband, wife, but however that dynamic, works. But I think if you can get both people in a family, everybody in a family, like we can even include. Kids, but if you can get the whole family educated about what’s going on with one another, then they can be mirrors for each other and really help them with what needs to happen next, and be supportive in that, let me take you to the doctor.

Let me help you get your labs done. Let me go get whatever you need. Those little things go such a long way.

[01:11:37] Gabby Reece: And I got one for you. On the rare occasion, cause I’m pretty even keeled. My husband’s the emotional one in the family, three daughters and him and he is, he’s amazing, but he just gives me a hug.

Oh, I love that. When he sees me, like he can see Ooh, it’s getting to her today. Or there’s just too many things on the docket. And instead of launching back at me, he’ll just. Come up and give me a hug. Yeah. And he did read somewhere that women need to be held for 30 seconds and it down regulates.

Some men only need 15. So I’ve watched him muscle my daughter. It’s get away from me. I don’t like don’t touch me. And he just has them. Oh, and you can see the body go boom. He’ll do it to some of my friends that are wound up. Yeah. He, I see it and you see the whole body just go. And so Justin, just muscle that hug because it really, sometimes it’s I feel overwhelmed.

Is there anything you have a full life and so you’re not going to get away from the stress. So besides eating well and having a certain perspective and checking your hormones, are there other things that you encourage people who, Hey, it’s like or, college students or they’re getting their masters and they’re working.

It’s just. You’re not going to get away from it. Do you ever say to them, is there something that they can do to support their hormones during that time?

[01:12:54] Dr. Taz Bhatia: I think again, it’s, and I never want to tell people what to do, cause I want them to do things that they get really excited about and they look forward to cause then they’re going to do it more.

But everything from just, First thing in the morning or last thing at night, just 10 minutes of meditation is something I swear by and that could be, it could look like so many different things. It could look like journaling, like you’re actually writing that’s meditative. It could look like a morning yoga practice.

It could look like opening up your apps and playing, hitting Spotify and searching meditation. I’ve done that before. And just listening to one of those, it could be doing a sound bath. Whatever it is that you get really lit up about that you look forward to Oh my gosh, this morning I get to do X.

Then just those 10 minutes set the tone of your entire day down, regulate cortisol, much like that hug you were talking about, and keep you in a better emotional rhythm or vibration for you to make the decisions you need to make. So when you hit 10 o’clock and something’s going on, you’re not going to decompensate or.

Keep reaching for sugar or caffeine or something to medicate you because you’ve already medicated yourself with some of these practices. So when I’m moving around the world, I may not have the opportunity to go do acupuncture or go get a massage or do all the things I like to do or go to hot yoga, which I love, but I can do that, right?

I can do that anywhere I am. And it truly does set the tone of my day. And I look forward to it, every day to do those things.

[01:14:22] Gabby Reece: Dr. Taz, I think the book, whether you are 13 or 80, I think it’s just so clear. And there’s a lot of information, but you did manage to do it in a way that’s completely just easy to understand.

And like I said, I was sharing it with my 20 year old yesterday and we were I was like, Oh yeah, the pelvis anger and this, I was like, that’s me, tight hips, things like that. So “The Hormone Shift” is the book. And also I will say there’s recipes. So for if people really feel like they need a real landing point, you put it all in here.

Can you just direct people to all the places that they can find you?

[01:14:57] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Definitely. The book you can purchase anywhere books are sold. It’s on Amazon and all the other sites. I’m on social media. Dr. TAs md and then I have a podcast, superwoman Wellness as well, where we bring amazing guests on there to dive into some of these different topics.

And I’m on YouTube too, so everywhere, everywhere, all the different platforms. Does it

[01:15:15] Gabby Reece: Does it ever surprise you, I’m always interested in these like highly intelligent, well-educated people, and all of a sudden you’re having to figure out how to communicate on YouTube. Totally. Are you like, what the hell is this my life?

[01:15:27] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Like people, trying to do bite-size nugget information. I don’t think I have an issue with that, but I have an issue with, I’ve said this 20 times. Why do I have to do another video or talk or post about this again? And my team will always remind me people need to hear it. They need to keep hearing it.

And what seems very elementary to you is gold for them. So, I hope that’s true. And all that information is of value as it goes out there.

[01:15:48] Gabby Reece: And these are the principles, right? You’re just reminding and reinforcing the principles. Which actually is comforting. If I’m an audience, I’m like, she seems, this feels really important.

Cause she says it like every six months. Yeah. Thank you for your time. And thanks for spending so much. I don’t know how you had time to do it, but the hormone shift.

[01:16:04] Dr. Taz Bhatia: Congratulations. Thank you so much.​

About Dr. Taz Bhatia

Dr. Taz MD, a renowned medical expert with over 25 years of experience in medicine. She’s the Founder and CEO of CentrespringMD, specializing in Whole Family Primary and Integrative Care. Dr. Taz holds board certifications in Integrative Medicine and Holistic Medicine, along with being a Functional Medicine Doctor, Pediatrician, Licensed Acupuncturist, and Nutritionist. Throughout the conversation, Dr. Taz shares her journey of incorporating Eastern medical wisdom into her Western medical practice to overcome personal health challenges. Her approach focuses on empowering women, men, and children to unlock their superpowers through integrative, functional, Chinese, and holistic medicine. Join us as we dive deep into wellness, the holistic way, with a true champion of superwomen and healthy families, Dr. Taz MD.