Kate Vazquez:

Is Estrogen Adding Fuel to the Fire?

In today’s episode Kate Vazquez, founder or Radiant Health and author of Estrogen is a Bitch, joins me to discuss all things estrogen imbalance and how that can relate to autoimmunity.  Kate shares her wisdom about what may contribute to estrogen dominance, as well as what symptoms are often experienced.  We talk about birth control pills, and the impact they may have on long term health and Kate suggests steps to take to protect hormone balance.
Show Notes
In today’s episode Kate Vazquez, founder or Radiant Health and author of Estrogen is a Bitch, joins me to discuss all things estrogen imbalance and how that can relate to autoimmunity.

Kate shares her wisdom about what may contribute to estrogen dominance, as well as what symptoms are often experienced.

We talk about birth control pills, and the impact they may have on long term health and Kate suggests steps to take to protect hormone balance.
Our Guest For This Episode
Kate Vazquez
Kate Vazquez is a Functional Medicine Physician Assistant, founder of Radiant Health, and Author.

She loves empowering women to reclaim their health and vitality alongside her husband.

She created an online course, The Estrogen Reset, and wrote a bestseller, Estrogen Is A Bitch, to bring awareness about estrogen dominance.

In her practice, Kate teaches women how to naturally balance their hormones, as well as use their cycle as their superpower, reconnect to themselves within, and tap into their feminine energy at their highest level, so they can create a life by design that they love living.

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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 Michelson. And today I'm talking with Kate Vasquez, founder of radiant health and author of estrogen is a bitch. And today's episode is all about you guys. Estrogen imbalance and the role that it can play in auto-immunity Kate shares with us, the signs and symptoms associated with estrogen imbalance, as well as steps we can take [00:01:00] to protect our hormones.

[00:01:01] Kate welcome to the podcast. It's so great to have you here.

[00:01:06] Kate Vazquez: I Julie, thank you so much. I'm just so blessed and honored to be here today.

[00:01:11] Julie Michelson: I am so excited for what we're going to dig into for the listeners. But first I want to touch on most of us in this functional medicine space got here through our own journey or that if somebody close to us. So tell us how it is that you came to be doing what you're doing.

[00:01:32] Kate Vazquez: Yeah. I'd love to, to share my story because it's just, that's what brought me here. I'm on this path and it's crazy. When I was younger, I, I suffer from migraines since I was a child. And of course, as I got older, I saw different doctors and I got my eyesight checked and saw the neurologist and they're all like, well, it's probably just stress and eventually I was put on anti-anxiety medication going through PA [00:02:00] school because it was definitely a very stressful time of my life.

[00:02:02] Probably the most stressful and hardest time of my life. But at the time it's just like being on this medication. It didn't, it obviously didn't fix the stress and it just really numbed how I felt. And I didn't like that because I hope it was just a pretty happy person. And I just felt like a lot of things just.

[00:02:20] And then everything was just numb. And thankfully I was able to come off that medication after I finished PA school, but the stress anxiety was still there. And not only did I have migraines, but I also had constipation and bloating bloating that started to develop in my twenties and a little bit of constipation, but.

[00:02:41] That big of a deal at the time. I thought it was just something that was just that, that just happened. That my, my family had a lot of GI issues. I'm like, okay, this is probably my fate. Like they have GI issues, I'm going to have GI issues, you know? And so so I didn't really think too much of it, but also had acne too, as a teenager was put on birth control pills for that.

[00:02:59] So I had a [00:03:00] lot of my own health issues and Once I started became a PA. I was working initially in cardiology and then I jumped into urgent care. Did ER a little bit, but mainly was an urgent care. Cause I liked the quick fix. I like to see people in and out, get them to feel better in the moment and then send them back to their primary, send them off to a specialist.

[00:03:19] But over time, after about five, six years of being in urgent care, I started seeing a lot of the same people over and over and over again. And especially for like a cold and. Things that were like starting to become chronic. And I'm like, okay, you need to go see your doctor. Like you can't come to the urgent care for this, but they would also start asking me like, why am I getting sick all the time?

[00:03:40] Why are these medications not working anymore? And I'm like, I didn't know. I didn't have the answer for them. I wanted. To tell them, oh, well this is what's going on, but I'm like, I'm in urgent care. Like I'm just here for your quick fix, you know? But it definitely got me thinking because growing up I've always been pretty, pretty active and, and definitely believed in nutrition and [00:04:00] fitness and, and medicine.

[00:04:02] I didn't think there was a way to integrate all that because of course I'm a physician assistant PA and, and when we're taught in PA school or medical school or any type of medical program, you're not really focused on lifestyle, you're just focused on. Figuring out, what are the symptoms diagnosing and then the treatment, which is usually a pill.

[00:04:20] And so that's not what we were taught, but I always believe that those things were still important. It was so important to address the lifestyle factors, but we couldn't do that. I definitely couldn't do that in urgent care, you know, because you only have five, 10 minutes with each person. One day. I actually came across Dr.

[00:04:35] Mark Hyman and I listened to him talking about functional medicine. And when he was explaining what functional medicine is and looking at the body as a whole and figuring out why things are happening in the body, it was like a light bulb went on and I was like, this is it. This is how I want to practice medicine, because I felt like I wasn't helping people anymore.

[00:04:54] And once that. Discovered functional medicine. I dove right in and I started my certification through the [00:05:00] Institute for functional medicine. And through that journey, I learned a lot about my body and I learned about how to help heal myself. You will, my gut support, my adrenals manage the stress and a lot of those symptoms that I was having.

[00:05:12] Significantly resolved, but I wasn't off the birth control pills yet. So so, so I started my practice and I started working with a lot of other clients and starting to get significant improvement and a lot of chronic issues that they were having, which was so rewarding. And then finally, a couple years ago, I convinced my husband to, to allow me to come off birth control.

[00:05:33] Cause we weren't ready to have kids at the time, but I told him, I'm like, look, I'm going to do the fertility awareness method. So we won't get pregnant. Like it's all gonna work out. And once I got off the birth control pills, my hormones went crazy and it actually surprised me cause I had done a lot of the work.

[00:05:51] To, to human bite human gut to manage distress. But my hormones still went crazy and I was confused because I never had PMs issues, nothing, no period [00:06:00] problems, nothing like that. Before I got on the pill, when I was a teenager for acne, I had regular periods. And so when I came off the birth control, I started having your regular cycles, some pretty bad menstrual cramps, breast tenderness for the first time.

[00:06:14] Thankfully the acne didn't flare up like it did, but I still would have a breakout here and there. And I knew like something was off. So I did the testing to figure out what was going on with my hormones. And I discovered I had something called estrogen dominance, where there was an imbalance with my estrogen and I needed to support the metabolization of those estrogens.

[00:06:33] Because once I dug a little bit further, I realized I have a couple genes, the MTHFR gene, which is the gene that's required for methylation. You need a lot of support with active B vitamins, like folate and B12. And then I also had the COMT gene and I need a lot of magnesium to support that as well.

[00:06:51] And so I really focused on supporting the metabolism of my estrogens. And I did seed cycling and after it took a few months, but [00:07:00] finally I started having regular cycles again. And my symptoms resolved that didn't have the breast tenderness and the menstrual cramps anymore. And finally, my skin was clear, which was amazing because, you know, it's when you're in your thirties.

[00:07:12] The, the one thing I worried about was like having the acne again, like I had when I was a teenager and being self-conscious of that. But yeah, thankfully for the first time in my life, my skin was, was clear and I didn't have to take all those medications and things that would dry my skin out. And I really finally heal my body and it was just, it was amazing to be able to experience that with myself.

[00:07:36] And then I started recognizing that my clients too, we're having a lot of patterns of estrogen dominance. And so that has led me on this journey and into really helping women balance out their hormones and improve the quality of their.

[00:07:52] Julie Michelson: That's amazing. And I'm sure listeners can identify with at least parts and pieces. Not that everybody has estrogen dominance and [00:08:00] we'll, we'll dive into what that even means. But. Th they're just so many pieces of your story that are so common. You know, we normalize our symptoms, we expect things from our family, we tolerate stuff.

[00:08:15] And like so many now in the functional medicine world. And I could hear your frustration with this bandaid approach to, you know, oh, Diagnosis pill, diagnosis, pill. And as you mentioned that, and then often doesn't work. So I'm so thrilled for you and for the rest of us, that, that you've come through this journey, because I know that you're helping so many people.

[00:08:38] I know you're gifting listeners with a PDF copy of your amazing book astrogen as a bitch which I just love tie in. Let's start with estrogen and auto-immunity, and then we can dig into some of the other, like, you know, really, [00:09:00] I want to talk about the birth control piece. I wanted the, I want to talk about the estrogen dominance, but what is the why, you know, why am I discussing this with you on inspired living for auto-immunity?

[00:09:11] Right. Why should our listeners with auto-immunity even be paying attention right now?

[00:09:17] Kate Vazquez: Yeah. Cause when it comes to auto-immune disorders, I like to give an analogy with my clients. It's called the tack analogy. So if they are standing on 10 different tacks, there's like, say for example, there's 10 different tax. I can contribute to autoimmune disorders. So one being like poor gut health, leaky gut food, sensitivities, heavy metals, toxins infections, but another tack is.

[00:09:41] Hormonal imbalance, especially estrogens. So it's important when someone has an auto-immune disorders that we're looking at all the different things that are contributing, because if you're removing only a couple you're not going to get complete resolution or remission about auto immune disorder.

[00:09:57] And so something that doesn't get [00:10:00] addressed or looked at commonly is estrogen and estrogen does play a role because it actually Controls the immune response and inflammation in our, in our body. We have. So for example, and how it, how it does that is that we have estrogen receptors all over our body.

[00:10:16] A lot of women, we know that we have estrogen receptors in our breasts and our, our uterus, but we also have them in our brain. We had them in our thyroid. We have them in the intestines and our loans. They are in any, and also in our lungs. So they are spread out all over our body. And if you look up the studies, excess estrogen and auto immune disorders, there are several auto immune disorders that are actually linked to that.

[00:10:40] So there's an imbalance or excess estrogen in the body. We see that there's a link with rheumatoid arthritis with Hashimoto's, with lupus, even with Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. And a lot of depends that has to do with the, that estrogen receptor, because there are two different estrogen receptors.

[00:10:58] There's estrogen.[00:11:00] Beta and then there's estrogen alpha. And so estrogen beta receptors when they are up-regulated they actually help decrease the mean response, but if estrogen alpha is upregulate and increases that immune response. And so th it's important to be aware because if there's excess estrogen, we're going to increase that inflammation increase that upregulation of the immune system.

[00:11:21] And so that's going to contribute to a lot of. These auto-immune disorders. So that's where that link is. And that's why it's also important when getting the testing to make sure that the hormones are checked as well.

[00:11:33] Julie Michelson: I love that I, as somebody who was diagnosed with RA and Hashimoto's who way later found out that she was also estrogen dominant eye, you're definitely preaching to the choir right now. That's for sure. And it's something that nobody ever looked at with me, you know, again, until I found a good functional medicine provider.

[00:11:54] And then it became so obvious. It really was amazing. So [00:12:00] we've used the term estrogen dominance. We, you touched on imbalance let's, you know, can you really explain to listeners? And that's one of the reasons I think so many people, you know, don't even know they're estrogen dominant is because you don't have to actually have high.

[00:12:19] Astrogen to be estrogen dominant. So, so let's get into what that is. And then we can talk about what might cause it.

[00:12:26] Kate Vazquez: Yeah, absolutely. So estrogen dominance, I guess that is an imbalance of estrogen and ratio to progesterone. And what I like to look at is the estrogen progesterone hormones at a specific time of the cycle. So when women. It's still cycling. I like to look during the luteal phase. So for example, once a woman, if a woman has like a 28 day menstrual cycle, it's easy to be able to determine when is that peak time?

[00:12:54] Cause observation usually occurs halfway in between, which is day 14. And then I like to check [00:13:00] hormones during. Progesterones peak, which was typically days 19 to 22. So I'll usually have my clients to get blood work done on days 21 and to look at the progesterone levels in ratio to estrogen. And so what I've discovered over time, But there are three different patterns that I'll typically see.

[00:13:20] The first pattern is normal levels of progesterone with higher levels of estrogen. The second pattern is low progesterone with normal levels of estrogen. And then the third pattern is low progesterone and high levels of estrogen. And so when I'm doing this blood work, that's what I'm looking for. I'm looking to see is progesterone in its optimal range.

[00:13:40] Which typically is usually around 15 to 25. And then what does estrogen look like? So estrogen doesn't really have like an optimal range, but when I see a woman and with the estrogen level of like 200, 300, that's a lot of estrogen in the system, especially for that time of the month and that time of the cycle.

[00:13:57] So so what I'm seeing that I know, [00:14:00] okay, there is a little bit imbalanced there, but estrogen is like around a hundred and progesterone is like really, really low. That can create that estrogen dominance effect as well. And so I talk mostly about women that are cycling, but there's also women that as they're going through menopause can also develop estrogen dominance too, because the first formal to decline is progesterone.

[00:14:23] And so of course, when progesterone starts to climbing, even if the estrogen levels are within range and normal again, and we'll create that estrogen dominance as that.

[00:14:33] Julie Michelson: I love that explanation. This is really how the two are playing together. For sure. Can you. Tell listeners a little bit about what are some of the symptoms of estrogen dominance? Again, you know, some, maybe somebody who's never had their hormones checked. I think so many of these symptoms are things that people will be like, oh my gosh, I've had that my whole life.

[00:14:53] Or maybe not, maybe that started in your forties or so tell us what some of these [00:15:00] symptoms might be.

[00:15:01] Kate Vazquez: Yeah. Yeah. There's a lot of different symptoms associated with estrogen dominance and some of them can kind of be overlapped with other disorders. So I've created like the five telltale signs of estrogen dominance and the first one is irregular periods. So when women are having your regular periods, love time, women's.

[00:15:18] Associate that with PCLs which with PCLs there's high androgens, but there's also excess estrogen as well. And so what creates those irregular periods is the fact that normally our hormones are fluctuating throughout, throughout the month throughout the cycle. So when we're menstruating, all our hormones that are low baseline level and right before ovulation is when our estrogens peak, then estrogen should start to come down.

[00:15:42] And progesterone should start to increase. And then we get a little bit of bump and estrogen, but when Lindemann are having low levels of progesterone, that usually we don't get that, see that peak in progesterone levels. And especially if they're really, really low, this is what's sending signals to the body.[00:16:00]

[00:16:01] Yeah to the body from the brain, you know, especially when it comes to the endometrium, as the body's getting ready for pregnancy. If we don't have those increase in progesterone levels and that drop it's, it's sending signals to the bodies to say like, you know, That pregnancy didn't incur and that's supposed to normally happen.

[00:16:19] So if we're not seeing that fluctuation of, of the hormones, because there's excess estrogen in the, in the body, we're seeing irregular periods, you know, ministration is not happening when it should, it's it's being postponed or sometimes it doesn't even occur. And so that's a telltale sign as the, those irregular periods, because you're not getting the normal fluctuations like you should in a.

[00:16:41] The second symptom is heavy periods and that's because estrogen, you know, right when it increases before ovulation is helping to prepare the endometrial lining is helping, helping it to get thick to prepare the uterus and receive an egg. If it does get frozen. And so if there's a [00:17:00] lot of estrogen in the body, excess estrogen is just causing even thicker lining of the endometrium.

[00:17:06] It more thicker than normal. And so when women do finally have their period, they're having a lot of heavy bleeding and sometimes they can have a clot associated with that as well. The third symptoms is PMs symptoms and that's because when women. When they were about to menstruate, the body will produce a lot of prostate gland and some prostate glands increase inflammation also causes the uterus to contract, to help to shed the uterine lining.

[00:17:33] But if there's excess estrogen in the body to help increase even more prostoglandins. And so that's why a lot of women will have those severe menstrual cramps. And then along with a PMs. The mood swings, the headaches and insomnia that's usually because progesterone levels are on the low side. And so when women are having lower progesterone levels and I hear those symptoms, then I'm thinking lower, lower progesterone levels.

[00:17:57] That's contributing to that. And then the [00:18:00] fourth symptom that I commonly will see is breast tenderness, because both progesterone and estrogen are responsible for the development of her breasts as we go through puberty. But when women have excess amount of estrogen in the body, it will cause that breast tissue to swell causes the tissue to fill up with fluid.

[00:18:17] And so when there's that imbalance excess estrogen, a women will have that breast tenderness, you know, right there that week before when progesterone is supposed to be peaking. It's not peaking. And there's a lot of estrogen they'll have that breast tenderness right before they start their period. And then the fifth symptom is weight gain.

[00:18:33] So as women go through puberty, they normally get the curves and their butt hips and thighs, and that's due to estrogen. It's what gives us our curves, but women have. A lot of estrogen in the system or an imbalanced, they'll notice that they start to gain even more weight in that area. And we know like looking at women, like if a lot of women gain a lot of weight in the abdomen, we think, you know, high cortisol or metabolic disorders, like in some resistance.

[00:18:59] So with, we're [00:19:00] seeing waking in the butt hips and thighs, you definitely want to think estrogen dot. So that's probably the, probably the most telltale sign I'll have them all. But what I usually tell my clients is I have your spacing, at least two or three of the out of the five that I listed. That's definitely a likely chance that you have estrogen dominance, but there's also other symptoms that are associated with that as well, such as brain fog, fatigue, a lot of act sometimes acne too.

[00:19:27] So not. The androgens producing like myself, but, you know, I had actually never had high androgens. I do believe it was all from the imbalance of, of the estrogens in my body. So acne can definitely contribute to that low libido and even women that are trying to conceive, having trouble giving pregnant.

[00:19:44] Cause if they're having those irregular periods and especially with lower levels of progesterone, they're having trouble getting pregnant as well.

[00:19:52] Julie Michelson: Wow. That was a lot, you know, in case anyone didn't know all of the ways that estrogen can impact us. [00:20:00] I want to circle back to you. You mentioned, you know, these PMs symptoms, right? The cramps, the breast tenderness, the mood, the headaches sometimes sleep disturbances. These are things that so many women think are normal, quote, unquote, normal either they've had them their whole life, or as I said, you know, even as they're marching toward menopause, maybe, you know, maybe they never had them.

[00:20:29] And then they're marching toward menopause and the progesterone drops. But again, we're told it's normal, we think, oh, we're women. That's just part of it. Tell me about your approach as far as, you know, What would be optimal, you know, just because we've had some of these symptoms, most of our life should be.

[00:20:49] Kate Vazquez: Yeah, no, not at all. It, I don't think that those symptoms are normal and that's actually, to me, that's a sign that there is a hormonal imbalance that we need to get looked at and [00:21:00] address. And unfortunately, in Western medicine, we're taught that if women have these. Insets like Advil leave for the cramps or even get on birth control or some kind of antidepressant or antianxiety medication.

[00:21:12] But those are just band-aids, they're not actually fixing why those symptoms are occurring. And if we can actually look at the hormones and figure out where the issue is, whether we just need to help support metabolization of the estrogen or support progesterone or both, then. There's significant resolution of those symptoms.

[00:21:33] And so I discovered that when myself and I discovered that by working in, bouncing out the hormones in my clients, they were able to what I call have a happy period again, where they're not experiencing the menstrual cramps anymore. And the mood swings, the headaches and they're sleeping well at night.

[00:21:48] So, so yeah, I, I. You know, if you are experiencing those symptoms. No, that it's, it's not normal. And you know, it's, it's definitely important to find a [00:22:00] practitioner that is going to be an advocate for you and be willing to look into your hormones, to get them checked out, to figure out where, where the imbalance is and help support that.

[00:22:10] So you can get resolution of those symptoms because we shouldn't be suffering every month.

[00:22:14] Julie Michelson: Thank you. I just, I want as many people in as many ways. So let our listeners now it's become such a passion point with me. I think some of it is from working with younger women with autoimmune challenges who are, you know, maybe 18, 19 years old and miserable and missing out on life and think that that's okay.

[00:22:38] And that that's expected. I want to kind of jump on. You mentioned some of these band-aids that are often thrown at hormonal symptoms, and this does tie right into it's a passion point for me back to these, especially young women. One of the things that typically Western medicine providers will do [00:23:00] is prescribe birth control for women who are having.

[00:23:04] Irregular periods, a lot of these more severe PMs symptoms. So let's talk about that a little bit and, and give me your thoughts on, obviously that was part of your own journey. So I would love to, to share with listeners what you've learned about birth control.

[00:23:22] Kate Vazquez: Oh, wow. I have learned so much. I mean, unfortunately I wasn't taught either. I learned about birth control in PA school, but I just, I wasn't taught, I mean, I knew like the general side effects. Like if you take it long-term, especially if you're smoking, it increases the risk of clots and strokes, but that was about the extent of it.

[00:23:42] Through my work and learning a lot about birth control and its effects on the body and the long-term effects. And then experiencing that myself, I realized, wow, like women need to be aware of this. And you know, at the end of the day, like I get, if you've done every single thing that you can to bounce your hormones and you still can't get the [00:24:00] hormones in the right place.

[00:24:00] And the birth controls is the thing that you have to do and get on, at least be informed about what it can do to the body. But I am a huge. Let's do everything that we can for, you know, before we, you know, resort to that, because I do believe that once we can balance out those hormones, you won't need it.

[00:24:19] And because a lot of the things that it can impact is first the gut. And I do believe because I didn't really know. Experiencing gut issues until my twenties and I was on birth control since I was 15. So right there, it's like I started in high school and then started experiencing gut. Granted, there was a lot of other things impacting my gut health too, which was the inseds.

[00:24:41] So all the anti-inflammatory medications to take for the migraines that I was experiencing. So that probably impacted and stress too. So there are multiple factors, but if you look up the research, there are studies that do show a link between birth control and affecting the intestinal permeable.

[00:24:57] Meaning the lining of the gut is supposed [00:25:00] to be nice and smooth and have really tight, tight junctions to prevent a lot of large particles from passing through like only nutrients and water should be passing through. But medications, stress, toxins infections, a lot of different things can really impact that intestinal barrier.

[00:25:14] And there's even studies that are showing that birth control can definitely impact that intestinal barrier and integrity and contribute to leaky. And so that is definitely one of the things that I learned. Like, however, we're not taught that it, it does impact fat health and gut health is so, so important in terms of our overall health.

[00:25:34] Because if that's being impact, especially with autoimmune disorders, our immune system is on the other side, you know? And so we don't want large particles like food and bacteria passing through and triggering her. And in fact, birth control too, has been linked to the development of Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.

[00:25:51] So with that being said, you know, so important to be aware of that. And if someone is developing like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's, or some kind of autoimmune disorder after [00:26:00] starting birth control, It might be something to look into, you know? But not only that, it does increase something called sex hormone, binding globulin, which is a protein that binds up a lot of our sex hormones.

[00:26:10] It primarily has an affinity for testosterone or really likes testosterone, which is our. Hormone that impacts our libido, our hair, our muscle and bones. So when it starts binding up, a lot of that testosterone, a lot of women will notice decrease in their libido. Their character will start falling out.

[00:26:30] And then when they're working out and they noticed that they can't really put on muscle mass and that's because it's just really taking up all that testosterone. And I noticed that that happened with myself when I came off the birth control. And did the testing, not only did I have the imbalance with my estrogen.

[00:26:45] Estrogens. I also had barely any testosterone left and it made sense because my libido was impacted. I was losing a lot of hair at the time. And thankfully I was able to, to work on balancing not only the estrogens, but supporting [00:27:00] testosterone. Testosterone again to, to, to get my libido back into, get my hair back to, which was, you know, so, so important, but yeah, things I didn't know and realized, you know when taking birth control, the long-term impacts that it would have on my body.

[00:27:14] And another thing too, that birth control impacts is, is the gallbladder. In fact, studies show that it decreases the liver. Production of Billy Rubin and Billy Ruben is what makes up bile. We need bile to help bind inactive estrogen. So when estrogen goes through the liver, it gets turned from its active form to inactive form.

[00:27:35] Cause our body w what we need to do is, is to use estrogen, but also get rid of it. So it's not building up. And so it's, it's going through the liver. It's getting converted, you know, from the active to inactive form, and then it binds to bile, or so it either goes to the kidneys. Out goes out through our urine or binds to bile and it goes to our intestines.

[00:27:56] And so if the liver is not producing enough that Billy, or even to produce a [00:28:00] bile can see it's producing liver first. And it goes to our gallbladder, which gets stored. If we're not having enough of that bile to bind, then we're not able to eliminate the estrogen as well. And so I do believe that was it.

[00:28:11] You know, contributors, like it probably was impacting the elimination of, you know, not only in my head for gut health and this probably what's impacting the gallbladder and the production of my bile, you know? And so that's something that a lot of women aren't aware of, either. In fact, a lot of women that With gallbladder issues and gallbladder disorders while on birth control.

[00:28:32] And because there are studies that show a leak and I've actually had clients come to me with gallbladder issues on birth control. And they're like, well, I asked my doctor about it. They're like, no, no, no, it's fine. I'm like, no, but there is a leak there that says like, it's, if you're already having gallbladder issues, you need to get off the birth control because it's impacting your gallbladder.

[00:28:51] And so that's another reason. Thing to, to be aware of is that as impacting the gut, impacting the gallbladder, it can contribute to autoimmune [00:29:00] disorders. And it can also cause low levels of testosterone, which women need as well. You know, so those are the things that I discovered and, you know, it's, it's all about just having awareness and education about that.

[00:29:12] And most importantly, that informed.

[00:29:16] Julie Michelson: Absolutely. And I love that you touched on, you know, the GI connections. People may be surprised. You know, well, why wouldn't the GI doctor, if you have a gallbladder issue, ask if you're on birth control, but I see clients come in with Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, and they're not even told to change diet.

[00:29:37] They're not asked what they're eating either. So it, it really is this different approach of, instead of. Throwing some birth control at somebody to mask those symptoms, figure out what's driving it, which is you just so beautifully explained to us is this hormone imbalance, right? It doesn't mean your estrogen's not necessarily high, but we [00:30:00] need this balance of all these hormones, including the testosterone.

[00:30:03] So many women are afraid of. But it's so important for us for full full health. So what is it? One step that listeners can take today. Something simple that they can start to do to improve their health.

[00:30:19] Kate Vazquez: Oh, there's so many steps. I know. I know. Yeah. Picking one. Well, the most important is, is really. Hmm. 'cause cause I, I always like to, to look at nutrition, what you're eating reducing, managing stress and toxins in your environment. So out of those three, I would figure out what is the most important thing to look at and work out work on first because nutrition and impacts gut health.

[00:30:54] And sometimes there's there's pesticides and hormones in our food that can also be contributing. So not just [00:31:00] necessarily. You may not necessarily have excess estrogen, but there are something called Xeno estrogens, which are foreign compounds that it's found in like food that's found in the products we use in our home and in our environment that can, that attaches to the estrogen receptors in our body.

[00:31:17] And so now our bike thinks that there is more estrogen than there might really, you know, th th there might be in our body. And so. It's important. I'd say, yeah. If anything, start looking at the foods that you're eating, the products that you're using in terms of toxins. Cause that can actually make a huge role in a huge difference cause that not only is a trigger from your disease, but then it can you know, create this, this response in the body thinking that there's a lot of estrogen.

[00:31:42] And so you're getting estrogen dominance symptoms just from these toxins. And so there are different. Apps and resources that you can use to really look at what you're using in your home. So for example, I like environmental working group. You can search all the different products that you're using.

[00:31:59] [00:32:00] They also have their EWG clean, dirty, and dirty, or me dirty dozen and clean 15 lists, which lists out all the. The dirty dozen that have a lot of pesticides in them. And usually those are foods that have really thin skins and like leafy greens, like kale, which is a bummer. Cause I'm like, I love kale, but yeah, those foods you definitely want to get organic as possible.

[00:32:23] And then with the clean 15. If, you know, if you're on a tight budget, can't get everything organic, at least get the clean 15. Those could be a non-organic, but the dirty dozen, you definitely want to get those organic as possible. And then two other apps in terms of products to use in your home too, that I really like it's think dirty and Yuca, Y U K a.

[00:32:44] Those are great resources as well because those contain barcodes in the app and you can actually scan all the products that you're using in your home. And you could, you can also scan food. Two, which is really cool. So whether you're at home or whether you're in store, you can figure out which foods, which [00:33:00] products that you're using are good to have better ingredients and which ones have dirty ingredients that can really you know, cause imbalance to your hormones.

[00:33:09] So I would say if anything, that that would probably be the first step is just like looking at the different toxins and foods and stuff in your environment and start working on.

[00:33:17] Julie Michelson: I love that. And we can do a whole nother episode about toxins and products contributing to, to hormone disruption. But that's a great idea to get one of those apps and just start becoming aware of what it is that you're eating and using in on and around your body. So before we wrap up tell listeners where they can find you.

[00:33:43] Kate Vazquez: Yeah, absolutely. So I, I am [email protected] That's where my practice radiant health is. And you can find me there, but also Instagram I'm on Instagram, Kate baskets, underscore PA you can definitely find me there. If you have any [00:34:00] questions, please reach out to me. I'm more than happy to answer any questions and you can also find your.

[00:34:06] And LinkedIn, and I'm not as active there, but the definitely primarily Instagram. And then also my book is available. I'm giving all the listeners, you know, free access to my book. If you also want to gift it to someone it's on Amazon as well. So you can find it there. But yeah, I definitely recommend checking out the book too, as another step.

[00:34:25] Because I dive into everything. I dive into all the different causes of as of estrogen. All the different factors, you know, the nutritions, managing stress, exercise, all these different things, and then five simple steps that you can take to really help balance out your hormones.

[00:34:41] Julie Michelson: I love it. And all those links will be in the show notes for listeners. Kate, thank you so much. You have shared some amazing information with us today. For everyone listening. Remember you can get the show notes and transcripts by visiting inspiredliving.show I hope you had a great time and [00:35:00] enjoyed this episode as much as I did.

[00:35:02] I will see you next week.

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