On this episode, Faraz Khan asks Dr Tabatha how to delay menopause, what’s wrong with birth control, estrogen dominance, how to balance women’s hormones, thyroid conditions, gut health and so much more.

As a young girl, Dr. Tabatha Barber struggled with self-esteem and identity issues, dealt with peer-pressure, and survived the ridicule and stigma of becoming a teenage mother. As she shared in her first published book titled, From White Trash to White Coat: The Birth of Catherine’s Purpose, those events led Tabatha to finding her purpose in life.

Dr. Tabatha Barber is triple board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, menopause, and functional medicine. She is the host of The Gutsy Gynecologist Show (formally the Functional Gynecologist Podcast); where she shares her wisdom and knowledge with women everywhere to reclaim their health. She is also a keynote speaker, mentor, wife, mom, and grandma!

Dr. Tabatha Barber’s Background

  • She had no plans to go to college, didn’t like school
  • The birth of her daughter became an eye-opener; had a very traumatic delivery.
  • After the traumatic experience with her doctor during her daughter’s delivery, she realized that women need advocates for their health, so she went to medical school.

What Is a Functional Gynecologist?

  • As a conventional gynecologist, she had 15 to 20 minutes to see a patient and hear her complaints, come up with a medicine, surgery or procedure that fix that symptom
  • But after a while the patient would come back with the same symptom again.
  • Conventional medicine focuses more on managing symptoms.
  • When she trained in functional medicine, she realized that finding out the root cause of the issue will tend to resolve it long term without medications or surgery.

Why Are So Many Women Struggling with Hormonal Imbalance in Their Earlier And Even Later Years?

  • The huge part of it is our environment has changed so much.
  • Thousands of man-made chemicals  today that did not exist a hundred years ago.
  • These chemicals cause negative effects to our hormones.
  • Another change is how women’s roles have changed today.
  • There is a lot of stress in the roles that women play at present.
  • Women drink a lot of alcohol now than in the past.

Why Is Estrogen Dominance Such a Big Problem For Women?

  • In conventional gynecology, women would be on birth control pills from age 15 to 25 then after having kids, they would stop because of the side effects that they are experiencing.
  • After stopping, they would experience symptoms of estrogen dominance such as have heavy and painful menstrual periods and bad PMS.
  • In a conventional gynecologist, he or she will recommend going back to taking the birth control pills or use an IUD to prevent heavy bleeding.
  • Eventually, some women end up with breast cancer because their estrogen was never kept in check.
  • Estrogens are growth hormones, excess estrogens can feed the breast tissue.

How Do Birth Control Pills Change the Hormonal Balance Inside the Body?

  • Birth control pills are synthetic estrogen and progestin and they shut down the communication from the brain to the ovary.
  • Birth control pills let women stop making their own hormones and just take synthetic hormones.
  • Synthetic progestin increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Her suggestion: take birth control pills just when you need it; don’t be on it for 20 or 30 years
  • Birth control pills deplete the vitamins in the body and cause vitamins deficiency.
  • Birth control pills can trigger autoimmune conditions and chronic issues.

Are There Non-Hormonal Birth Control?

  • ParaGuard IUD is made of copper that has no hormones in it; there’s a diaphragm, sponges, condom; aside from these, everything else is hormonal.

Is There a Natural Way for The Brain And Ovary Communicate Again After Birth Control Pills?

  • There is more than one axis—HPO, HPA, HPT.
  • Women develop thyroid disease when their sex hormones are imbalanced.
  • Women with adrenal issues end up with sex hormones issues.
  • There is an interconnected relationship.

How Long to Get the Gut in Balance?

  • Dr. Tabatha does a three-month gut healing regimen for her patients.
  • Her patients start to feel better for two to three weeks and by three months they make major headways.
  • There’s a bad bacteria that can over grow in our gut that produces  an enzyme that cuts the estrogen.

What Happens with Women Hormonally As They Approach Menopause—Perimenopause, Menopause, and Post Menopause?

  • Menopause is treated like a light switch.
  • It’s five to 10 years transition of peri-menopause.
  • Progesterone continues to decline.
  • Estrogen acts like a roller coaster.
  • But this transition doesn’t have to be terrible it can be smoother.

What Happens to Testosterone During Menopause?

  • When you enter menopause, testosterone decrease because some of it was coming from the ovary , but you’re still making a little from your ovary and you’re still making  it from the adrenal glands.
  • Women can support testosterone production by weight training; lift weight, get strong, use the muscles
  • Testosterone is vital for menopausal women; it keep them good; it keeps them young

Is Skin Aging in Menopausal Women Caused by Estrogen Loss?

  • Yes definitely.
  • During menopause, the collagen starts to get depleted.
  • Women get wrinkles, thinner skin; vaginal tissue gets thinner.

How Should Women Supplement With Hormones?

  • Dr. Tabatha gives her patients more hormones during their 40’s because of the factors such as women experiencing a lot of chronic stress.
  • It’s safe and effective to start hormones earlier.

How To Delay Menopause?

  • “How to delay menopause” can come down to hormone balancing
  • It can definitely be done
  • Women can stay suspended for many years without moving into menopause
  • Other women that choose to not delay get the usual symptoms associated with menopause.

Given That Women Are More Prone to Thyroid Dysfunction And Weight Gain Than Men, What  Are The Tips To Help Them?

  • 80 percent of thyroid disease is in women
  • Women should watch their lifestyle and avoid the extra stress

Which Hormone Tests Does Dr. Tabatha Recommend?

  • There are amazing tests that can be done to see not only hormone production levels also the urine and saliva for the metabolites to see what the body is doing with all these hormones.
  • Dr. Tabatha recommends the Dutch test

How to Reach Out to Dr. Tabatha?

If you want to learn how to boost your energy, check out this interview with my friend Shawn Wells.

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