To further the iron discussion from my previous blog, I want to discuss low ferritin and what it means. I've had many clients come to me with concerns of low ferritin levels that, no matter what, they can't seem to increase. With everything I was taught in school, I wondered why increasing iron intake wasn't helping ferritin, and if ferritin did increase, their symptoms didn't get better. The question then became, what else impacts ferritin and iron? This led me to copper, an essential mineral that affects many health areas, but especially iron levels and balance within the body. Before we dig in, let's first get into what ferritin is.
What Is Ferritin?
Ferritin is a protein that's made inside our cells to help store iron. It releases iron when the body needs it. There are two types of ferritin: heavy chain (HC) and light chain (LC). HC Ferritin is loaded with iron using a copper-dependent enzyme. When inflammation is present, LC ferritin...
Like most things with the human body, an iron deficiency is more complicated than meets the eye. If your iron is low, we have to look deeper than just iron levels. Minerals work synergistically in the body, meaning they all impact each other--some more than others. I have a mineral series on my blog that you can read here and here. Low levels of one mineral like copper can lead to low levels of other minerals like iron. We also use vitamins to help us properly convert and move minerals throughout the body. An essential one is vitamin A. If your only solution to an iron deficiency issue is to take iron, that's ignoring a huge part of the iron deficiency picture.
The Iron Recycling System
We all have an Iron Recycling System (RES) that helps our bodies produce 24mg of iron every 24 hours. Our bone marrow uses this iron to help make more red blood cells. Our red blood cells live for about 120 days and are then promptly broken down, and this process is...
SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth is a condition where you have too much bacteria present in the small intestine. This leads to excessive bloating, especially after meals. It also causes constipation and a host of other health issues since digestion is essential for our overall health. So, what does SIBO have to do with our metabolic or thyroid health? The answer is everything! SIBO is not a root cause of health issues but is a symptom of a deeper problem.
I heard Josh Rubin from East West Healing discussed this on a podcast a few years back, and I loved how he explained it:
"Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth might as well be called Self Induced Bacterial Overgrowth. The bacteria are not at the root of your discomfort."
-Josh Rubin, East West Healing
This doesn't mean that SIBO or digestive issues are your fault. What I want you to gain from this is that you can't just focus on taking supplements or antibiotics to treat the...
I often get women that come to me wanting hormone testing, and I totally understand why. They are tired, have painful/heavy periods, irregular cycles, endometriosis, PCOS, etc., which are all related to hormones. BUT, and that’s a big but, we need to think about what is causing these hormone imbalances. This is where the digestive system comes in. If you have an issue in your gut, it’s nearly impossible to heal hormones long-term.
How to achieve healthier hormones?
Ensuring proper digestive health is a key part of this. Why? Our digestive systems impact our hormones in so many more ways than many of us. First things first, we need to make sure we are pooping every day. We poop out our toxins and estrogen. If we are not pooping at least once a day, we are likely recycling estrogen and toxins into the body. This can raise estrogen levels and increase the burden on our lives, which we...
Gelatin has long since been studied and used for its therapeutic effects. Have you heard the craze over gelatin? Have you been wondering if you should give it a try? You’re in luck. I’m going to tell you exactly why you should incorporate gelatin into your diet. I’m even going to give you my favorite gelatin gummy recipe to try at home.
What is gelatin?
Gelatin is an incredibly healing food that has a positive impact on health. Most of us have eaten gelatin at some point since it is commonly used as a gelling agent in food and medications. Gelatin is a colorless, flavorless substance made from the collagen found in animal bones, skin, and tissues. Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen. It makes up about half of the protein found in animals.
Gelatin serves as a pure source of up to 18 amino acids. Gelatin contains no tryptophan and only minimal amounts of cysteine,...
I am pretty conservative about supplements and very conservative when it comes to supplementing with minerals. Minerals aren't just high or low. They all connect, and some are even antagonists. For example, copper and zinc are synergistic, meaning they work together, but having too much can still deplete the other. This is why I don't recommend supplementing with Zinc. Too much zinc will deplete copper, and copper is vital for so many things, but especially energy production within the body. We need the energy to make hormones! I did a blog series on the importance of minerals as it relates to hormone health. Magnesium is one of the minerals that I highlighted. Magnesium is essential for proper thyroid function and happens to be one of the minerals that everyone reacts well to. There are many ways in which you can increase your magnesium levels without taking a supplement, including:
I get asked about many types of diets, but intermittent fasting (IF) is probably the most frequent. And I get it, the idea of not having to worry about food does sound kind of nice, but if the goal is to fix a hormone imbalance or support long term health, fasting isn't the answer. Can it help with temporary weight loss for some? Yes, but it often leads to even more weight gain, cravings, and blood sugar dysregulation. Let's break down the main arguments for fasting below.
IF Is What Our Ancestors Did
Our ancestors had much more scarcity with their food than we do, which meant we had to evolve to deal with the lack of food and uncertainty of when or where their next meal would come. Different seasons like winter also brought their challenges limiting particular foods or not having food at all. Back in those times, there wasn’t access to grocery stores or restaurants. Most of us, on the other hand, have food...
Do you feel like your journey towards healing your hormones is like going through a maze? If so, you’re not alone. I receive questions daily from women on their healing journeys. Many of these questions varied based on their primary health concern, but the theme was the same: where do I go next? So, I started thinking about all of the different ways I help women. There are many things I’ve created to support women on their healing journeys (and more to come) since everyone is at a different place with specific needs. While we are all unique, I believe there is a blueprint that we can all employ to keep things simple and heal.
Since I can’t answer every message or email sent to me, I’ve mapped out this blueprint to help those in need get started and map out what might help them. I hope this goes without saying, but I cannot answer medical questions or comment on lab results. It puts my medical license at risk...
Uterine fibroids are the most common benign uterine tumor. Approximately 60-65% of women develop fibroids by age 50. That's a HUGE part of the population. Unfortunately, there is a lack of great information out there on how to naturally support your body when dealing with fibroids and what can be a contributor to their growth. I have quite a few clients that struggle with fibroids. Some of them have had myomectomies to remove them, and others haven't gone the surgical route. I've seen surgery significantly help many women while others struggle with regrowth down the road. For this reason, I want to talk about the connection between our thyroid, estrogen levels, and fibroids.
Fibroids can range from being very small to being the size of a grapefruit. They typically lead to very heavy periods, pelvic pressure, constipation, and sometimes infertility. Most often, fibroid growth is blamed on excess estrogen, which I agree...
I recently got a great question about why I use hair mineral testing most often and the difference between hair testing and hormone testing. I often get women asking me to run DUTCH comprehensive hormone testing, but I require hair mineral testing along with it. Let's dig into why!
What is hair mineral testing?
A hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) is used to measure the mineral content of the hair. It is easy and painless. Hair mineral testing requires one hair sample that weighs about 100mg, which is about one heaping tsp of hair (depending on your hair). You take the sample from the middle-lower part of your head (ideally), which is nice because it is easy to cover. You then cut the hair sample so that it is only 1.5" long.
This sample shows the body's mineral status for the last 90 days, which is a massive draw for me for using this with clients. The reason is most tests are only looking at a moment in time or...