About This Episode and Tami Meraglia, MD
Dr. Tami Meraglia is an integrative medicine and skin-health expert. In this episode she shares top strategies from her new book, The Hormone Secret. We discuss natural ways to boost testosterone, slim down, improve mood, lower risk of heart disease, increase energy and libido, prevent osteoporosis, enhances skin tone and texture, and even prevent cognitive decline.
Learn more about Dr. Tami's new book, The Hormone Secret HERE
Maca—it helps with adrenal production, and it is a very ancient medicinal or vitamin.
#1 Lifestyle Tips
Your food is information; it tells your cells what to do now and in the future.
The most beautiful gift you can give yourself is at least seven hours of sleep a night.
2:09 Dr. Tami’s Impetus to writing her Book: Dr. Tami Meraglia is an M.D., board certified in cosmetic medicine and naturopathic medicine. It is an unusual combination. She says that when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you look good. She wanted to be an expert in both. Her book, The Hormone Secret, is her gift to people who cannot come to see her. As a busy mother, wife and physician, she has discovered great shortcuts and evidence based actions that can be taken to reboot your biology.
3:30 Fine is a 4-letter Word: Her patients would come to her from traditional doctors who told them they were fine, and sent them away feeling dismissed or with prescriptions for sleeping meds or antidepressants. Although these are valid medications, we should investigate the reasons behind the issues and address them.
4:17 Testosterone is Dr. Tami’s Favorite Hormone: Women only need a little testosterone, but it has an outsized role in how we look, feel and function. Most women are afraid of testosterone, thinking it will give them facial hair, make them more aggressive and give them acne. You can boost your body’s hormones and testosterone naturally, without medications.
5:40 The Untold Story of Testosterone: In a top quality study where testosterone was tested head-to-head with Fosamax, the most common prescription drug for osteoporosis. Testosterone did just as well, but with no side effects. Fosamax has the side effect of necrosis of the jaw. Testosterone remodels the bone, helps to stimulate bone growth, and helps create resilient strong bones, as opposed to brittle hard bones.
6:44 Testosterone is an Option for Women Who Cannot Takes Estrogen: Many women who have had breast or uterine cancer or a hysterectomy, cannot try to raise estrogen levels, even naturally. Testosterone can bring back life quality and, if taken early on, can prevent osteoporosis.
8:11 Testosterone and Energy: Testosterone is the libido hormone, and will rock your bedroom, but it will also rock your life. It does that by giving you energy. By raising your testosterone naturally, you will shift your fat to muscle ratio and lose fat. You have testosterone receptors in your brain that triggers depression, which is an energy robber.
9:45 The Dwindling of Your Hormones: Hormones are like a symphony. They all must be there and they all need to work together. Progesterone is one of the first to diminish. It is the peaceful hormone. Women, who awaken wide awake between 2 and 4 in the morning, have a progesterone deficiency. Progesterone is available over the counter. If you are not going to get a blood test, you should closely follow the directions on the bottle. It is one of the few hormones that are safe to take orally. It directly stimulates the GABA receptors in your brain. These are the same direct receptors for alcohol, opiates, and sleeping pills. Progesterone is a much better safer option than those three. Topical progesterone is available over the counter, so that is a place to start. Oral progesterone is by prescription and better addresses the associated sleep issues.
13:46 Dr. Tami’s Preferred Testing Methods: Blood testing does not show everything, but it is most often covered by insurance and is a good place to start. Dr. Tami wants to know what the body is doing with all the hormones. Every hormone becomes another hormone, and then another one, and then another one. These are called metabolites. Some metabolites have been linked with increased risk of cancer. A 24 hour urine test will more accurately show the end stage metabolites.
15:29 Cognitive Decline with Menopause: Menopause is defined as 12 consecutive months without a period. The important part is the 10 or 15 years around it where you feel crazy, you don’t feel like yourself, or where you’re not happy and confident in your own body. A lot of this is because of our brains. A study of nuns showed that those with higher levels of estrogen had statistically lower incidences of dementia than the nuns with lower levels of estrogen. The study of nuns was significant because there are so few variables; they eat, sleep, exercise and basically live the same lives. Early results of studies are showing that if you restore estrogen, dementia can improve.
17:02 Why Should We Detox? We think that the ovaries and adrenals are the hormone factories of the body. But your liver is the gateway and is an important part of the factory. It gets rid spent hormones so they don’t build up and cause problems. It activates hormones and converts them into a safe version of the hormone that can be used by your receptors. The liver deals with everything we put on our skin, everything we breathe, everything in our environment and all of our food we consume. Cleaning it out is essential. Even weight loss includes the liver. Weight loss programs that include the liver are more successful. The liver is the exit for the fat.
19:54 Components of an Effective and Safe Liver Cleanse: In phase one of liver cleanses, toxins are taken apart. This is dangerous. Phase two is where it is conjugated and excreted from the body. To cleanse your liver, you need to address phase one and phase two. For the majority of us, this process takes 2 weeks or more. A liver cleanse should have a nutritional component, a supplemental component and an educational component, so you can learn to take care of your liver and it can take care of you for the rest of your life. During a liver cleanse, you will need to avoid foods that are processed through the liver, like beef, pork, tomatoes and some other foods. It is not a diet, but people tend to lose 3 to 5 pounds. There should be a nutritional guide so you can focus on foods or supplements that pull toxins out of your liver, encourage toxins to leave and heal your liver. Green smoothies and juices provide an alkaline environment that your liver likes. Coffee, sugar, stress, pollution and aging make us more acidic. Studies show that cancer cells cannot survive in an alkaline environment. So look for opportunities to ingest more alkaline foods and drinks.
24:14 How to Protect Your Liver: Your liver has a lot to do with skin health. Parabens are preservatives in our skincare products and they are the biggest hormone disruptors. Parabens are xenoestrogens. They act like bad estrogen in our bodies and hit our estrogen receptors. Parabens are found in copious amounts in the urine of teenagers. A study by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine took urine and blood samples looking for toxins. The average person had 97 toxins in their blood and urine. You do not have control over all toxins in your life, but you can do your best to avoid them in the products you use on our body. Organic products can help maintain your skin, but Dr. Tami’s over-40 patients find that those products do not improve the quality of their skin. Thus, Dr. Tami just created her own skin care lines. One is called Dr. Tami’s Organic Skin Care and the other, for tweens, is called MK Skincare. Look at your product’s list of skin care ingredients at the bottom. If you cannot pronounce it, neither can your liver.
30:47 Stress Reduction Strategies: We often think that sitting in front of the TV or playing on our electronics is relaxation, but it isn’t. It is a state of not adding extra stress. You have to DO something in order to relax. Your relaxation response is governed by the parasympathetic nervous system. That is our rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, healing and digestion nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system governs our ever-present fight-flight-freeze response. Breathing can help activate a parasympathetic response. The phrenic nerve attaches to the bottom of your diaphragm. Every time you take a big slow belly breath, you are turning on your phrenic nerve, which is turning on your relaxation response. Dr. Tami has her patients do 2 or 3 of these breaths 5 times a day: in the morning, before meals, and at night. It completely changes how you feel and it changes your chemistry.
33:00 Vagal Nerve and HeartMath: Dr. Tami loves HeartMath. The vagal nerve is attached to your heart and affects your heart rate. This is why HeartMath is so powerful. It measures variability, not just speed, but how much distance and how even it is between beats. That is the indicator of whether you are in a parasympathetic state. Science is finally catching up with ancient medicine. Studies support 20 minutes, twice each day of meditation or other activities that bring on the parasympathetic response. Dr. Tami has her patients schedule a relaxation session once a day. Everything that is important in our lives gets an appointment. Dr. Tami uses phone reminders laden with guilt to motivate her. Don’t give yourself a To Do list; give yourself a Why List.
39:02 One Herb, Nutrient, or Botanical that Dr. Tami Cannot Live Without: Her choice is maca. It is an adrenal booster and helps hormone production, particularly testosterone. It is the most ancient medicinal herb.
40:11 One Health Tip for Americans: Your food is information that tells your cells what to do now and in the future, so your food requires awareness and attention. The best anti-aging gift that you can give yourself is at least 7 hours of sleep.
Dr. Tami suggests several 5-minute “breath brakes.”
Studies suggest that 20 minutes twice a day of “turning on relaxation” is ideal.
Everything that is important in life gets an appointment; meditation and mindfulness need to get appointments.
Dr. Tami suggests using a little guilt. Her reminder says, “Be healthy and vibrant so you can see your children’s graduation.”
Figure out what makes your soul sing and use that for yourself. Give yourself a “why list.”