Deb Matthew:

Hormone Imbalance Is Never Normal

In today’s episode I am joined by Dr. Deb Matthew, the Happy Hormones Doctor.  She shares how her health journey prompted her to completely change her medical practice to move from the model of putting Band-Aids on symptoms to treating her patients with a functional medicine approach.  We discuss hormone health as it relates to autoimmunity and Dr. Deb shares her 4 key pillars to hormone and immune health that must be addressed for full health.
Show Notes
In today’s episode I am joined by Dr. Deb Matthew, the Happy Hormones Doctor.

She shares how her health journey prompted her to completely change her medical practice to move from the model of putting Band-Aids on symptoms to treating her patients with a functional medicine approach.

We discuss hormone health as it relates to autoimmunity and Dr. Deb shares her 4 key pillars to hormone and immune health that must be addressed for full health.
Our Guest For This Episode
Deb Matthew
Dr Deb Matthew MD, The Happy Hormones Doctor, is a best-selling author, international speaker, educator, wife and mom of four boys.

After suffering for years with fatigue and irritability, her quest to resolve her personal health led her to change everything about her practice of medicine.

She has been featured on national podcasts, radio, and broadcast shows, including NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX

Connect with Deb Matthew
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Episode Transcript
[00:00:00] Julie Michelson: Welcome back to the inspired living with auto-immunity podcast. I'm your host, Julie Michaelson. And in today's episode, I'm joined by Dr. Deb Matthew, the happy hormones doctor. Today she shares with us how her health journey prompted her to completely change her medical practice, to move from the model of putting band-aids on symptoms, to treating her patients with a functional medicine approach.

[00:00:59] We discuss [00:01:00] hormone health as it relates to auto-immunity and Dr. Deb shares her four key pillars to hormone and immune health.

[00:01:07] Dr Deb, welcome to the podcast. I'm so excited. You're here.

[00:01:11] Deb Matthews: So nice to be here talking to you today.

[00:01:13] Julie Michelson: most of us in the functional medicine space have our own wellness journey that brought us here. And I always think it's so inspiring to hear everybody's story and very reinforcing for listeners that there is hope for all of us. So would you be willing to share with the audience, your journey? I know you'll have your personal health journey as well.

[00:01:36] So how did you get to be doing what you're doing?

[00:01:39] Deb Matthews: Yeah, well, back in the day I was a regular doctor and I had young children. I was in my late thirties and I was healthy, but I was so exhausted. All the time. I mean, napping was just my favorite hobby ever. I used to have to [00:02:00] have a cup of tea before I went to pick up my kids because otherwise I'd fall asleep in the school pickup line.

[00:02:05] And how embarrassing would it be to rear end the person in front of you going like one mile an hour? Right. But I was so tired all the time. And you know, by the end of the night, It didn't matter if there was spaghetti sauce, slopped all over the kitchen floor and dishes piled everywhere. I was done. I could not, it was too much.

[00:02:26] And I just had to. I was cold all the time. I couldn't maintain my weight. And the really confusing thing is that nothing in my medical training helped me understand why I felt this way and what changed for me. Is that my husband found a book written by Suzanne Somers. And when he read the back of the book, it was just sitting out on the table at the gym.

[00:02:51] And when you read the bullet points on the back of the book, he was, he's looking it up. She's got that one and that one and that one. And so he brought it home and suggested that I might want. [00:03:00] And my first reaction as a medical doctor was to kind of be offended. Like I don't need to get my medical information from a celebrity and especially like Chrissy, snow, right.

[00:03:13] From three's company and the member of the ThighMaster. So I didn't want to read the book to be really honest, but I'm so glad that I did, because when I read the stories about all these women in the book who were feeling bad, just like. And then read how much better they felt when they got their hormones back in balance.

[00:03:31] All of a sudden it made total sense. And my mind was sort of opened to understand that there's so much more out there that they didn't teach me in medical school. And what I realized is that I knew that I was hyperthyroid. I have Hashimoto's I knew. I had already been on Synthroid at this point for 10 years.

[00:03:54] And for 10 years I felt no better. I mean, I could forget to take my thyroid hormone for a whole week at a time [00:04:00] because it just made no difference. I just forgot. And what they taught us right, is we measure your TSH level. And if it's out of range, we give you this pill and now your TSH level goes into.

[00:04:11] And we're done. And if you're still exhausted or you can't lose weight, it means that you're lazy. You need to get up puff at the coach and go exercise. Or maybe you need an antidepressant. Like we're sort of made to feel that it's something about us, we're doing something wrong, but that was not the case.

[00:04:28] And so at that point in my late thirties, also, my female hormones were starting to shift. And when you're in your thirties, you're not thinking about menopause. So I had no idea. And when. I understood what was wrong. And I was able to find the help that I needed, everything changed for me. So I got my energy back.

[00:04:48] My kids got their mom back. My husband got his wife back and I got my life back. And I couldn't go back to just writing prescriptions all day long [00:05:00] because it just didn't make any sense anymore. It was just putting band-aids over symptoms. And so. Retired from my old career. I completely retrained. And now for the last, almost 15 years, I've been helping other men and women get their hormones back in balance and get their lives back.

[00:05:18] And it's really been truly.

[00:05:23] Julie Michelson: Wow. Just, wow. I'm sitting here nodding and shaking my head. And those of you listening on the audio. There's so many. Pieces and your journey. Not only do I hear and see all the time, but I lived, I too. I was on Synthroid for years and I, but even to get on Synthroid, I, I think I have a thyroid problem. I think I have a thyroid problem.

[00:05:46] I then finally, they were like, okay. Yeah. Now you do here's this thing. And it did the same thing. It did nothing for

[00:05:53] Deb Matthews: And you know, when I look back. It had been another 10 years before that, that I first started noticing the [00:06:00] symptoms. And on two different occasions, when I was in medical school, one of the doctors looked at my throat and said, your thyroid is enlarged. You should go get it checked. And I was exhausted and my hair was all limp and falling out.

[00:06:10] And, you know, I had all the symptoms, but my tests were normal. And so I was sent away. So it wasn't until I was all the way off the deep end. And my lab finally went out of range that they finally gave me the pill that didn't work.

[00:06:24] Julie Michelson: Yes. And, and we can, as we move through today, I would love to touch on this normal. You put it in quotes, but for those listening, quote, unquote normal normal versus optimal. And if we're going to talk about hormones, we have to talk about normal versus optimal. Whether it's thyroid normal. Or any other hormone in your body.

[00:06:46] And it is, there's so many passion points for me just in your story alone. Because I, and I love that you brought up Suzanne summers and that, that was that's part of your journey. My doc, [00:07:00] who's been doing hormones practicing for over 20 years ahead of Suzanne Somers clinic. And, and when I had for, you know, I had that same thought about. I don't get it. You're a doctor. Like what? You know, now I understand the contribution she made to hormone health.

[00:07:17] Deb Matthews: And I've had the opportunity to meet her too and tell her my story. And, you know, because of her now I'm able to touch all these people. She's done so much for women's health because she was willing to stand up and take the ridicule. Right. Everybody criticized her. Who were you to be talking about this?

[00:07:35] And I was one of them in the beginning. I'm so ashamed to say, but she was willing to stand up to that. And in the end, she's really helped so many women by helping the doctors change their.

[00:07:45] Julie Michelson: Absolutely. Absolutely. Let's talk a little bit about, oh my gosh. I'm I have like five things I'm going to say. Well, let's talk about ABCD and E let's. Let's talk about, I use the mention the word normal. [00:08:00] I was talking about labs, but. I want to, and I've touched on this in the podcast before. But interestingly, the conversation was with a male doctor.

[00:08:10] I wanted to touch on this idea of what we as women. Except as normal, what we think is our fate, what we think we're supposed to experience, whether, you know, from a young age or as we enter into and move through menopause let's just start there because I really don't think women can hear often enough. You know, that, that they're normal may not be normal.

[00:08:41] Deb Matthews: Yeah, this is something that drives me completely bonkers and. Women have we have all these different stresses that we're under, right? Where we feel like our purpose is to serve. And we want to be there for our children and our spouses [00:09:00] and our parents and our pets and our careers and our gardens. And right.

[00:09:04] We, we feel like we need to always be doing for everyone else. We always tend to put ourselves last. And of course, you know, you know how that ends up in the end. When we do go into the doctor to complain if we don't feel good, right? Like we know that something is off. We know that we don't feel like ourselves.

[00:09:23] We know that we don't feel normal. We know we don't feel the same as we used to feel, but when we go into complain, one of the challenges is it's not a disease. Right. We don't have, I mean, sometimes we do have a problem. Sometimes it is. But if we're talking about hormones for just a second, It's not a disease and there's no drug for it.

[00:09:41] So if you're tired, you're not sleeping. You're bloated, you're irritable. You know, what have they got? Sleeping pills, antidepressants. And so a lot of times those kinds of things are just putting a bandaid on the symptom and sometimes they make you feel a little bit better, but it's not like they're really making you well.

[00:09:59] [00:10:00] And it's not very satisfying if you're the doctor, if we, if we flip it and say, okay, you're the doctor, the woman comes in. She complains. She's not feeling good. What are you going to do? You got nothing really to offer. So those are not satisfying patients. What we like is, oh, you've got strep throat. I'm going to give you a shot of penicillin and your butt.

[00:10:17] You're going to be right as rain tomorrow. We feel like a hero, but, but so often doctors kind of brush it off. They, they want to make sure that you don't have some terrible medical problem, but assuming that we don't find a terrible medical. Or if you do have a serious medical problem, but we've already got you on the medicines and that's kind of all we know how to do about it.

[00:10:39] We don't have anything left to offer. And so we sort of brushed it away and we are women all the time. Complain. And they come in and they say, I didn't feel heard. He wasn't listening to me or she wasn't listening to me. I knew, I know that something is wrong. You know, I knew that it had to be my thyroid.

[00:10:56] They kept telling me it was normal. I'm so frustrated. [00:11:00] I'm scared. Because I don't know where this is going. I'm losing hope because I don't know where else to turn. And then that worry and hopelessness and frustration just makes everything worse. And, and it's just it's just such a shame and it's, it's partly because doctors generally are very nice people.

[00:11:23] We want to have. But there's a whole bunch of stuff. They didn't teach us at medical school. And even if we, if we talk specifically about auto-immune conditions, so right, lots of times women get all sorts of sort of vague symptoms, right? Achy joints, or this fatigue or skin rashes. And it's not entirely clear what it is.

[00:11:41] Sometimes it takes a long time to get the right diagnosis. And even when you get a diagnosis and you've get the right diagnosis, all they've really got to offer for the most part is the immune suppressing medications.

[00:11:53] Julie Michelson: No.

[00:11:54] Deb Matthews: Put a bandaid on the symptom, but they don't really restore wellness. In fact, sometimes they have pretty significant potential side [00:12:00] effects and there's so much more that can be done so that you can feel great.

[00:12:05] But it's just not part of what we're taught to do at medical school.

[00:12:10] Julie Michelson: It's not. And, and, you know, for my listeners that know my journey, I mean, I say, you know, it's the cursing and the blessed, blessed blessing. I was diagnosed really quickly. Like. Really quickly with rheumatoid arthritis when I was diagnosed, which seemed like such a blessing at the time. But it was exactly, that was exactly it.

[00:12:30] I was told there's nothing you can do. You're going to decline. We'll try to keep you comfortable. And it was medication bandaid after bandaid medication, after medication, because I needed med more medications for the side effects of the original, you know, this prescription then caused this downward spiral.

[00:12:48] I had no idea. This is why I do what I do. This is why you do what you do. I heard it in your story too. That whole pattern of, you know, well, of course you're a mom, of course you're exhausted, [00:13:00] right? How many times do, and, and again, like you said, it's not doctors or doctors cause they want to help. Like, it's not that they don't care, but it is this, this limitation of their training.

[00:13:11] So now that you're out of that model and you know what you know, and you do what you do now, What would you say, you know, woman coming to you, what, what should she be dealing with as consequences of being a woman who has fluctuating hormones? Like what, what is an I, I don't even like the word normal because you know, there's typical on there's optimal and they're so different.

[00:13:38] And so, you know, what do you, what do you say your patients should just live with?

[00:13:43] Deb Matthews: Yeah. So I believe that we all deserve to love the way we feel. We should not settle for mediocre health. We should not put up with symptoms. We should feel great. And. Sometimes, you know, when you have serious health challenges, [00:14:00] you know, it's, it's hard. But that should be the goal. And so often I hear women come in and say, well, it's just my age.

[00:14:09] Or my doctor told me I'm just at that time in my life. Or, you know, it's, it's perimenopause as though you're stuck with it. You know, it's, it's menopause. Like you're expected to feel poorly, but we should not. Just settle for feeling poorly. It's not your age. If you're 96, maybe it's your age. But if you're 46 or 56, you know, you're not supposed to feel bad, you're supposed to feel good.

[00:14:32] And so I, I would say that women should not settle if they're having symptoms, but they shouldn't be looking for a pill. They shouldn't be looking for the medicine, the prescription that's magically going to make them better because that's just not how our bodies work. You know, if you don't, if you feel.

[00:14:51] A lot of women who come to see me just feel kind of flat. Like they're maybe not full on depressed and, you know, sobbing and hopeless in the corner, [00:15:00] but they've lost that spark of life. They kind of don't really have a lot of motivation. They're making their way through their life and they're putting one foot in front of the other and whatever has to get done today, they'll make it happen.

[00:15:12] But if it doesn't really have to happen today, they kind of procrastinated or push it to the side. Cause they're just not really feeling it. And that's something that a lot of women in mid-life really resonate with, but it's not a Prozac deficiency. You know, it's not a Xanax deficiency, it's not an Ambien deficiency, but it really could be a hormone imbalance and hormones play such an important role in how we feel on the inside and how we react to other people.

[00:15:42] And we relate to the world around us. It really impacts. How we feel and our behavior and our metabolism and our memory and our sex drive and our sleep, and, you know, all so many things. It's such a fundamental part of who we are. And I believe that we all deserve to have balanced hormones in [00:16:00] order to really feel like ourselves again.

[00:16:02] And you know, the number one complaint that I hear when people come in to see me is literally. I don't feel like myself anymore. I just want to feel normal. I mean, they're not even saying optimal. I just want to feel normal. Like, you know,

[00:16:19] Julie Michelson: No.

[00:16:20] Deb Matthews: and it doesn't seem like so much to ask.

[00:16:23] Julie Michelson: No, it doesn't. And again, it's changing this story that we'd been sold that, you know, even if you're somebody who's lucky enough to, you know, not have your hormones take you out a few days a month, your whole life, or, you know, since puberty you know, never really. Rear up throughout life until you're approaching menopause again, it's, let's change that story of, you know, that's just, that's just the way it is.

[00:16:50] You're you're older. You're done having children. You don't need hormones anymore. You're

[00:16:54] Deb Matthews: Oh, my goodness. That's so not true.

[00:16:56] Julie Michelson: When that was my, my favorite part. I'm an [00:17:00] oversharer and that's why people either love me or don't. I had a complete hysterectomy and oophorectomy last year and my surgeon bless her. She's an amazing surgeon.

[00:17:11] Love her. I said to her the next morning, you know, I inquired about hormones and she said, are you having hot flashes already? And I was thinking, well, my gosh, it is like, I don't even think it's been 10 hours since you gang everything out of me. No. And she said, well, and again, she's, I, I, wasn't going to be having her handle my hormones.

[00:17:33] I just wanted to know like, what actions did we need to take? And when, and she said, if you're, if you're struggling, when I see you at your post-op, we'll talk about hormones. And I thought it was. You just took a fully cycling woman and you took out her

[00:17:47] Deb Matthews: Menopause.

[00:17:49] Julie Michelson: I've been just bam. Hello? Menopause. Of course.

[00:17:53] I mean, it's not a question. Am I going to be in bed? Like I am now medically in menopause. Thank you. And it was [00:18:00] just so fascinating to me. And then when I saw her at my followup, she was frustrated because I was still on my gesture. And she was like, you don't need progesterone. You don't have a uterus.

[00:18:11] I was like, well, but I have a brain and a heart and all of these other body part, you know, and I just, and I've known her for almost two decades. And and again, as a surgeon, she's phenomenal, my surgery was amazing. You know, it, no regrets, but the part that kind of kills me a little bit is if you look at her website on her website, she claims to be a hormone dot. And it's like,

[00:18:39] Deb Matthews: see she, what, what you have realized with your encounter. She just doesn't know, you know, she, she believes she's a hormone doctor, but she doesn't have the whole, the whole picture. She's not doing it in a holistic way. She's doing it, how we were trained

[00:18:56] Julie Michelson: She's not exactly. It's that Oregon specific, you [00:19:00] know, uterus, FEMA, you know,

[00:19:03] Deb Matthews: a pill for whatever ill. So if you've got hot flashes, you can have the hormones, but if you're going to have the hot flushes, why do you want hormones?

[00:19:10] Julie Michelson: Yeah. So it is, so this is why this is such a passion point for me, because I just want people to know that. And it's funny as you were saying, you know, the the, that Western compartmentalized approach. When somebody comes in with the vague symptoms and it's a hormone thing that you weren't really trained to spot and help with.

[00:19:33] It's so not satisfying, but the flip side is, I know, like from the clinic I work with, it's so satisfying when you have the tools to be, because it's life-changing and it's quickly life-changing can be. And, and so, yeah, I, I just love it.

[00:19:53] Deb Matthews: our favorite appointments are the one month follow-up appointments because you know, so women come in and [00:20:00] they're tired and you know, they can't lose weight and sex hurts and their brain can't remember why they walked in the room and they can't remember that word. They want to see that they just know that they're like, this is not normal.

[00:20:11] And then we get their labs and we get them started. And then we see them back in a month just to check on them. And we love those one month appointments because people walk back in the door and you know, maybe it's not perfect in a month, but there's such a transformation already in such a short period of time.

[00:20:26] They are themselves again. And you know, then we're just tweaking things from there, but it really is so much more satisfying than just writing somebody, a prescription for some standard pill, even if it's a hormone pill, you know, like it needs to be personalized and we need to put hormones in a healthy body.

[00:20:45] So this is not about a prescription, even if it's a or hormones, right. This is a whole person approach.

[00:20:52] Julie Michelson: Well, and I, and I love that. You know, it's they, to me, it's the bait. I mean, they run our body. Right. They're so [00:21:00] important, but it's not a standalone, you know, even if you have, yeah. Having that imbalance of let's, I would love to address. Connect those dots between full hormone health and auto-immunity or hormone imbalance.

[00:21:19] And auto-immune.

[00:21:20] Deb Matthews: sure. So hormones affects so many parts of our body. They affect whether you store fat or burn fat, whether you sleep or not how your digestion works, your skin, hair, and your nails. You know, it's so many. And one of the important things of hormones impact is your immune system. So cortisol is your main stress hormone.

[00:21:40] And if your cortisol is out of whack, it, it helps to regulate your immune system. So your immune system becomes dysregulated and now antibodies can start attacking the wrong things like parts of your own body, and you get an autoimmune condition. Astrogen is another one that is really important in immune system function.

[00:21:57] Okay. It's a double-edged sword. [00:22:00] So women are actually getting less severely ill with COVID than men. And it seems like it's because estrogen is helping our immune systems. Cause it's, it's making our immune system a little stronger. On the other hand, women are much more likely to get auto-immunity because we have more estrogen.

[00:22:20] So the, the many of our hormones impact how our immune system functions and at the end of the day, what really matters is about. We want the right balance of hormones. We want the hormones doing their job properly, and it's not just about the actual hormone level in your body. It's about the balance and how it works with the other hormones.

[00:22:40] And it's about your levels of inflammation and your nutrition and your stress, and whether you're moving your body, whether you have enough vitamins and minerals in your system, and you know, whether your digestive tract can absorb the vitamins and minerals from your food. All of these parts together, impact your hormone balance, your hormone balance [00:23:00] impacts all of the other things.

[00:23:01] So that's why we really need a whole person approach and whether or not somebody uses bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is kind of the icing on the cake. But we really want to look at the whole person because that's really how we restore.

[00:23:16] Julie Michelson: I love that. And I want there's again, so many things I want to dig in on. I want to touch on, you mentioned estrogen and, and its role that it can play, you know, protectively and perhaps triggering some of the autoimmune challenges women have or exacerbating When many women, when they think of hormones.

[00:23:38] And so we you've already mentioned. And when we talked about thyroid, we talked about adrenal. I talked about progesterone. You talked about estrogen. One of the things that I find women are often taken aback when they start to, you know, open that door to address whole hormone health is how important testosterone is.

[00:23:59] For [00:24:00] women. Can you talk a little bit about that as a woman? I think it will be received well from you. Because I see it time and time again, women are afraid to even, you know, but I can think we were originally re at least I was raised thinking like testosterone is, is, you know, just male and yeah. Yeah.

[00:24:21] Deb Matthews: how I typically explain it when I'm sitting in front of a patient is estrogen is kind of like a natural antidepressant for gesture. And it's kind of like a natural antianxiety, but testosterone is like a mood stabilizer. It's our motivation. Our self-esteem our competitive drive, our confidence, our decisiveness, our get up and go and get things done and get things accomplished.

[00:24:43] You Excel at your career. You know, you want to be the mom that gets it all done. So testosterone really gives us that zip in our step. And so when testosterone goes down, that's when we just kind of, you know, make our way through our life without, you know, the [00:25:00] joy. And so it really makes a big thing.

[00:25:03] Especially testosterone makes a really big impact on women with auto-immune conditions because it is very anti-inflammatory. So when I have patients who have like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, if we can give them testosterone, if they're low in testosterone and we can boost them back up to where they're supposed to be, they feel so much better.

[00:25:24] They hurt. It just makes a big difference. And another one that's related to testosterone is D H E a, that one come from your adrenal glands, like cortisol. You can use it to make testosterone. A lot of women who have to be, especially on prednisone. It just shuts down your adrenal glands. You don't make DHA anymore.

[00:25:42] And then you don't make much testosterone and then you hurt more. When you have testosterone in your system, whatever amount of inflammation you may have, you hurt less when you have enough thyroid and testosterone compared with when you're low. So some of the medicines that we're giving women make this worse.

[00:25:58] In any case, [00:26:00] back in the olden days, before we had Plaquinel and prednisone and you know, all these other methods. We used to treat auto-immune conditions with estrogen and DHA and some of these other hormones, because we know that they make women feel better. They regulate immune system function. So we used to get really big doses of DHA to women.

[00:26:22] So I'm not arguing to do that today, but out of all of these hormones, for women who have auto-immunity testosterone is fine.

[00:26:31] Julie Michelson: I love that. And it's mine too. And you just said something that I've had so many people, literally people mean so many physicians look at me and kind of tilt their head of my many diagnoses when I was not well, Some of my symptoms were, which is typical, right? Like kind of, they didn't know which umbrella it felt, you know?

[00:26:53] I don't know what, I don't think that's RA it's, you know, it's in your back. I don't know why your back hurts so much. And [00:27:00] I put the pieces together for myself later that one of the really like severe debilitating pains I would get. This isn't going to surprise you because I'm cause I'm going there because of what you just said.

[00:27:19] But at around three, four o'clock every day, I would just get this pain. It would start in my back and it would just radiate. And this is on top of my rheumatoid arthritis, pain, and my fibromyalgia and Antonia. And. It was directly related to that was back when I was on Synthroid and my thyroid was not being treated properly.

[00:27:44] That pain was directly related to my thoughts.

[00:27:49] Deb Matthews: Well,

[00:27:49] Julie Michelson: And nothing to do with my RA had none of my testosterone was low then too, but I didn't know it yet. And, and so many doctors like scrap they're like really? I'm like, [00:28:00] yeah, really, you need to be understanding what thyroid is doing in this picture.

[00:28:06] Deb Matthews: Yeah. And so many women who have chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, like low thyroid function, whether that TSH standard test is normal or not. If the thyroid function inside their cells is very often part of the problems. So.

[00:28:23] Julie Michelson: Yeah. So thank you for saying that. I knew I, you know, I, I never wondered if there would be gold and it's just, you know, w which the nuggets were going to be is, is amazing. You, I know you've you mentioned them indirectly, already in conversation, but I know you. Talk about four key pillars, right.

[00:28:47] For immune system and hormones. So let's just kind of tie a little bow on those for listeners.

[00:28:54] Deb Matthews: So when I work with somebody, we always want to look at the whole person, not focus [00:29:00] on any single symptom at a time. So we look at four pillars of health. I look at hormone balance, which would include the women's sex hormones, stress hormones, thyroid hormones, blood sugar, hummus, so hormone balance, and then gut health, because you have to have a good, healthy gut in order to serve your nutrients.

[00:29:16] And for your immune system to function, most of your immune system is in your gut. And then the third one is toxins. And this one is so important because so many were exposed to so many chemicals. Everyday. Most of them never were tested to make sure that they're safe. A lot of them are hormone disruptors, so they mess up our hormones work.

[00:29:34] They kill off the good, healthy bacteria in our gut. So now our digestive function is off and they impact our immune system. So now our immune system is misbehaving and we get the allergies or the Ottawa immunity or whatever. Getting toxins out of our system, making sure that our body's natural pathways to protect us from toxins are working well is important.

[00:29:55] And if we're sort of going back to hormones here, anybody who's going to be [00:30:00] on any kind of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, or God forbid, any kind of synthetic hormone replacement therapy needs to have a healthy detox pathways. And then the fourth pillar is lifestyle habits, because of course we need you to.

[00:30:11] Handling stress in a healthy way, getting enough sleep and, you know, eating a healthy diet. And of course the problem is when you feel crummy, it's so hard to top your broccoli, put your sneakers on, right. It's a two-way street. So where we really get our best results is if we wrap our arms around the big picture and we address all of these factors together because they all impact.

[00:30:36] Julie Michelson: I love that. So well put, and it's such an example of why so many listeners have tried the right things, but they were missing parts and pieces and they didn't get the results. And then unfortunately, often they'll drop those good lifestyle habits or, yeah.

[00:30:54] Deb Matthews: right? You, somebody, I don't know who said this. I can't attribute it to the right person, but I love [00:31:00] the saying is if you're sitting on three times, And we take one tack away. You're still sitting on two tacks. You're not going to be comfortable, but it doesn't mean that that tack, you know, still needed to go.

[00:31:11] So it's so true. And especially if we think of weight loss, right? How many women struggle with their weight? And so they joined the gym, but then they don't lose weight. So they give up. So then they go and work with a nutritionist, but that, you know, they don't lose weight or they don't lose very much weight or it just comes back.

[00:31:26] But there are so many of these other things that are impacting our metabolism and yes, going to the gym is important and yes, eating right. Is it important? But if you're, you know, rest of you is not doing what it needs to do. It, it just, it doesn't work. And it's just so frustrating. And I see women all the time, they're doing all the right things and they don't know what else to do.

[00:31:45] Am I eating, drinking too much wine? Is it because I eat that one cookie and you know, it's not your fault. They're not getting the right information.

[00:31:55] Julie Michelson: Yeah. Well, I, I. Love. I cannot thank you enough for [00:32:00] reiterating the importance of just like we are whole people, you know, we do need, and I know it can sound overwhelming, but I know, you know, how you work with people. How I work with people, we don't, we don't throw everything at you at once, you know, you're supported and then we prioritize and that's how.

[00:32:20] It is a process and that's why it is lifestyle. It's not a diet, a fad of this or that it's not a short-term program. It is, you know, and it is life-changing and can certainly, as you know, and I know give you a full life back for me beyond what I could imagine. I mean, really never thought I could be this one.

[00:32:44] Deb Matthews: Yeah. And for me to write, I, I couldn't even get the floor mopped after dinner, and now I've put in books and been on TV and these podcast, right. Like if I started my own practice, none of that would have been even remotely possible.

[00:32:59] Julie Michelson: It's so [00:33:00] true. I'm so grateful for everything that you've shared. I love to ask guests at the end of the interview before we wrap up, because you, you did you, I mean, it's like huge piles of gold that you gave listeners. But if you were to just say one simple. You know, what's that one thing that they could do starting immediately to start to improve their health and reclaim that full life.

[00:33:25] Deb Matthews: Yeah. So the one thing that I think is the most important is that we all need to take responsibility for our own health. You cannot expect your doctor to fix you. You can't expect your doctor's going to have the magical prescription. That's going to do it for you. You need to recognize that. That you are the one that needs to take charge of your wellness.

[00:33:45] And if that means finding another practitioner that, that does functional medicine that can really help you, but it's that understanding that you are in control of your own wellness and that we all need to, to, to just take it back to.[00:34:00]

[00:34:00] Julie Michelson: I love that I have. I'm so passionate about encouraging people to take their power back because as you know, We lose our power when we faced chronic illness and auto-immune issues. And, and I love that as a first step, because so many of us were raised to, you know, the doctor's the expert. If there's a problem they're going to fix you.

[00:34:21] And so, you know, if the doctor says nothing you can do about it, that must be true. So everybody listening that that is the ed is the number one step, but it's, it is, you know, you are, you didn't create the illness, but you can. Keep searching for that right doc, that right partner to get you. Well, again, I'd love that.

[00:34:44] So before we wrap up, tell me where listeners can find you. And also, I know you so generously gifted listeners, your free hormone guide and the link to that will be in the show notes, but, but where can they find you?

[00:34:56] Deb Matthews: Sure. So my physical practices in Charlotte, North Carolina, [00:35:00] my website is So signature And there's lots of resources on the website and there's lots of information in the hormone guide.

[00:35:10] Julie Michelson: I love that Dr. Deb Matthews, that happy hormone doctor. Thank you so much for being with us today. You have shared just some incredible information with listeners. I hope people listen to this more than once really. There's just so much there. So I, I thank you so much for joining.

[00:35:29] Deb Matthews: Thank you.

[00:35:30] Julie Michelson: And for everyone listening.

[00:35:31] Remember, you can get the show notes and transcripts by visiting inspired I hope you had a great time and enjoyed this episode as much as I did. I'll see you next week.


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