On this episode with Faraz Khan, Karen Martel shares how to use ideal tests to measure women’s hormones and how to balance hormones. Karen also discusses how she helps women lose weight at any age.

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Karen Martel is a Certified Hormone Specialist & Transformational Nutrition Coach and women’s weight loss expert. Karen is the host of the top 100 rated women’s health podcast The Other Side of Weight Loss where she helps women to unlock the mysteries of female fat loss and hormone imbalance.

Here are the topics of discussion:

2:15 Karen’s story and how she got into health coaching

  • In her early 30’s after giving birth, Karen rapidly gained weight
  • Tried all the diets, Atkins, vegan
  • Hormonal symptoms got worse, insomnia got worse
  • Doc put her on anti-depressants
  • Found her hormones were off, so she started taking action
  • Found the diet that was best for her and the weight started to come off

11:45 What are the best tests for women’s hormones?

  • Hormonal ranges can vary quite a bit
  • Blood is not too accurate when you are in reproductive age
  • For women’s hormones, always check free levels
  • Stick with saliva
  • ZRT test is great for urine, hormone and metabolites or Dutch test is a good one

16:10 What day of the cycle is it best to test women’s hormones?

  • 7 days prior to the onset of period
  • If you’re irregular, get an ovulation test kit and base the test off those numbers

16:40 What age do hormones start changing in a woman’s body?

  • Peri-menopausal changes are now happening in their 30’s
  • PMS will start to get worse
  • When women don’t ovulate as much, then the periods get worse

23:48 The best tests to diagnose thyroid problems

  • Thyroid is hard to get the right correct
  • Important to get the full thyroid panel done
  • T3 is the active thyroid hormone, it’s important to get this done
  • It’s important to test for the antibodies as well which can show any autoimmune issues

33:25 Desiccated thyroid – is that the right thyroid supplement for you?

  • Majority of people get put on synthroid or levoxythyroxine which are only T4
  • Dessicated thyroid comes from a pig and it contains T4 and some T3
  • Some other people will do better on a compounded T4/T3 mix from a pharmacy

37:25 How common is Iron deficiency – and what can you do about it?

  • Irons are better absorbed from meat sources
  • Or take digestive enzymes to help break down vegan foods better, so that the iron can be absorbed
  • Vit C is important for absorption of iron, so make sure to get enough Vit C
  • Your iron and ferritin should be in the middle of the range
  • Copper helps your body to take iron out of the tissue so they can use it
  • Get the full iron panel

43:55 How to lose weight in your 30’s, 40’s and beyond

  • Find a good diet that matches your hormonal profile
  • For cycling, Vitex or chasteberry can help your body produce more progesterone
  • Take minerals can help improve women’s hormones
  • Manage stress to protect your hormones and health
  • Once ovarian function starts declining, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels fall
  • At this point, bio-identical hormone therapy can be considered

52:15 How to use bio-identical hormones for optimal living and weight loss

57:30 What are the best supplements for women to help balance hormones

  • Maca is great for women with low testosterone, low estrogen and low DHEA
  • Tongkat Ali can increase testosterone
  • Vitex, Black Cohosh, Sage are great phytoestrogen
  • Karen avoids DIIM supplements

1:01:30 Where you can find Karen Martel

  •, take the hormone quiz
  • Includes a 2-week meal plan
  • Karen’s podcast is called The Other Side Of Weight Loss
  • Her handle is @karenmartelhormones on social
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