Dr. Anna Cabeca and Ashley James
The Hormone Fix book is an excellent resource for those who want to learn to balance their hormones. Men need it as well, but for this episode, we’ll dive into the contents of The Hormone Fix by focusing on women. No less than the author of The Hormone Fix, Dr. Anna Cabeca, is going to cover all that in this episode.
At the young age of 16, Dr. Anna Cabeca saw her then 52-year old mother has diabetes. She had cardiac bypass surgery after being diabetic for 15 years. Her mom passed away when Dr. Anna Cabeca was 29. That time in her life motivated her to research, and eventually, Dr. Anna Cabeca became a women’s health advocate.
Dr. Anna Cabeca soon fell in love with functional medicine. From college, she researched a lot and went to osteopathic medical school. At 38, Dr. Anna Cabeca struggled with her health. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure and early menopause.
During her health crisis, Dr. Anna Cabeca was told she would never have another child, and that was devastating. She was on the road to diabetes. But when Dr. Anna Cabeca went on a healing journey around the world, she found natural solutions.
Eventually, Dr. Anna Cabeca recovered became pregnant and delivered her youngest child at 41 years old. From her experience, Dr. Anna Cabeca realized that for one to gain health back, it’s 90% lifestyle and nutrition.
When Dr. Anna Cabeca became well enough, she wanted to empower women naturally via a hormone fix through natural supplements and hormones to heal their body.
Dr. Anna Cabeca recalled the time when she was diagnosed with her health issues and told that it’s unlikely to be irreversible as well as infertile. That time, someone advised her to take Maca.
Maca grows above 11,000 feet in Peru. It contains a type of protein that is not found in any other plant. And Maca is an alkalinizing cruciferous vegetable and also good for breast health.
“Maca is rich in arginine. Arginine increases nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is exactly how Viagra works. It increases blood flow. It’s a fascinating root,” said Dr. Anna Cabeca.
But because Dr. Anna Cabeca hated the taste of Maca, she made some taste combinations like adding fruit or greens. Maca is an adrenal adaptogen. And so Dr. Anna Cabeca added some adaptogenic components like turmeric to her formula. Hence, her product Mightly Maca was born.
Role Of Cortisol
Dr. Anna Cabeca went from breastfeeding to completely never having a drop of breast milk after her health trauma. If she intellectualized the physiology of her experience, she says she can recognize complete neuroendocrine access system breakdown. And it’s what people experience with PTSD.
“And to a certain level, adverse childhood experiences. These tend to rear their ugly little head in the perimenopause period when our neuroprotective hormones such as progesterone are dropping,” Dr. Anna Cabeca said.
When we are under stress, we get an outpouring of cortisol. So, our adrenal glands predominantly produce our cortisol. When cortisol goes up, our hormone oxytocin goes down eventually.
And when cortisol is going up, progesterone levels are going down. Furthermore, progesterone starts to decline in our mid-30s. It is also the precursor to the production of cortisol.
“When cortisol is being poured out, that’s your fight or flight responder. It’s the natural rescue hormone. So, we need it in times of crisis. It keeps us on higher alert, but it burns out our system over the long haul,” explains Dr. Anna Cabeca.
She adds, “Everything you do that brings you joy increases oxytocin. It puts cortisol back in balance. Like sex, intimacy, orgasm, laughing, dancing, and hugs. Oxytocin is also the anti-aging hormone.”
Causes of Low Progesterone
Dr. Anna Cabeca says that if you have low progesterone, we experience estrogen dominance. Symptoms include PMS, hot flashes, irregular period, and irritability. We can get this experience of estrogen dominance because we have so many estrogen disruptors.
“We need to do two things when we have low progesterone. First, clear out the excess estrogen. Then empower our body to have a healthy balance of progesterone naturally,” Dr. Anna Cabeca said. “We experience low progesterone naturally just with aging. When our ovarian function declines in our 30s, it also happens because of stress and toxins.”
She adds, “Difficulty sleeping, irritability, waking up in the middle of the night, and PMS are also associated with low progesterone.”
Effects of Sugar
Regarding detoxification, Dr. Anna Cabeca believes it’s about improving nutrition in our diet. We can do this by removing toxins from our body, from alcohol, sugars, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and even chemicals in our skin care products.
“Sugar increases blood glucose, and that’s going to increase our insulin which can further disrupt progesterone and other hormones,” said Dr. Anna Cabeca. “I’m a fan of getting our body into ketosis so having intermittent fasting, having very low carbohydrates. But healthy low carbs, leafy greens, cruciferous veggie are my carbs of choice.”
Dr. Anna Cabeca also advises eliminating many fruits we eat. Because fruit is sugar, too. We need a steady state blood sugar control. And the more glucose, the more insulin in the body, that’s where some people start to suffer from hypoglycemia and low blood sugar reaction.
Women generally in need of a hormone fix are confused about what’s happening to our body and are just in a state of confusion pre-menopause. Moods are all over the place. Hence, Dr. Anna Cabeca says this clarity is getting into the keto green state, heightens awareness. That is the state you don’t want to leave.
On the other hand, when women have fatty liver disease, one of the best types of hormone fix that we can do is intermittent fasting. Dr. Anna Cabeca advises giving your body time to rest and restore. But approach getting alkaline. Start checking urinary PH to get alkaline. And support phase one and phase two liver detox.
Doing a Detox
When we have elevated liver enzymes, Dr. Anna Cabeca says we have to support this detox process. Many people are aware of methylation. And we need to support methylation.
“Because that’s one way our body takes toxic compounds and makes them less toxic. So that they can be removed safely from our body,” Dr. Anna Cabeca said. “Dark leafy veggies, cruciferous veggies, eggs, healthy proteins, and fats can help that process. Supplementation also helps.”
One product Dr. Anna Cabeca recommends for women with gallbladder disease, or those who had their gallbladder removed is LV-GB complex. A company called Designs for Health produces it.
Another key to gaining optimal health is making sure you get an excellent laboratory to administer your tests. Lab tests dig deeper. Look for essential lab markers like your vitamin D level.
The DHEA hormone in men and women spike in our 20s. Then it goes downhill from there. But the healthier optimal number for women is over 100 and 200. For men, it should ideally be over 300. It depends on your lab results.
Urinary PH and ketone testing are also important because we see how our lifestyle affects us. The hot flashes eventually go away, but many women suffer for five to ten years.
“Insulin resistance is one of the reasons why women suffer. My program helps eliminate it. But vaginal dryness continues as well as loss of lubrication, discomfort, and urinary leaking,” said Dr. Anna Cabeca.
She adds, “So that’s where I add in DHEA and natural moisturizer in a topical form. I created Julva, anti-aging topical cream for the vulva. Plant stem cells also add to the anti-aging benefits.”
Progesterone and Estrogen
According to Dr. Anna Cabeca, progesterone as we age, when we’re ovulating, should ideally be around above 10 or 20. It declines in the mid-30s. For 70 to 80-year-olds, she recommends using bioidentical topical progesterone cream as a hormone fix. Ultimately, there are a lot of factors why our hormones are not balanced. That’s why we need hormone replacements.
“Testosterone levels should also be in check. If a woman is post-menopausal, I avoid oral hormones especially oral estrogens. For those over 56 years old, I get them on oral estrogens to a transdermal estrogen, which is a topical estrogen formulation,” Dr. Anna Cabeca said.
She adds, “Estrogen is important for brain health. It is important for hormone receptor status and balance with progesterone. Transdermal estrogen is safer than oral estrogen especially over the age of 56.”
Dr. Anna Cabeca shares that a great example of a keto green breakfast is smoked salmon with capers, tomatoes, onions with steamed spinach. And drizzle it olive oil. It’s less than five grams of carbs and keeps blood sugar healthy for five hours or so.
For lunch, Dr. Anna Cabeca likes a salad based on arugula, cilantro, and mint. Then add curry chicken salad on top of it. It’s chunk chicken with mayo, extra olive oil with turmeric or curry seasoning, and cut onions with sprouts. Then drizzle with olive oil and olive oil vinaigrette.
An ideal dinner would be bone broth. Dr. Anna Cabeca usually has a tabouli salad with lots of parsley. You could also use cauliflower rice, but Dr. Anna Cabeca likes using broccoli sprouts for that extra crunch. Then add some cut tomatoes and onions with lemon juice, olive oil, and some dressing.
Dealing With Cravings
Dr. Anna Cabeca says when it comes to cravings, physiology drives behavior. It’s about willpower and physiological factors. We have to empower our physiology to improve our willpower. To enable yourself to say yes when you need to and no when you don’t.
“Start the morning doing the right steps. Do it by working with digestive juices in the morning. Start with healthy fats. And fast between 12 to 15 hours,” advises Dr. Anna Cabeca.
As for chocolate cravings, opt for dark chocolate. But periodically detox from sweeteners. Instead of stevia, Dr. Anna Cabeca suggests trying vanilla extract. Then blend with cinnamon.
Dr. Anna Cabeca is no different from most of us. She also struggled with weight her entire life. And she struggled with cravings. She realizes that part of that was due to food sensitivity.
She knew keto was good for weight loss. There are even studies that show improved ketone secretion in the combination of adding alkaline components in the animal study model.
Dr. Anna Cabeca also believes that there’s also a spiritual clarity that comes with fasting. That’s what we can also experience doing this keto green lifestyle.
“No matter what you are doing, there’s hope. The more we take care of ourselves, better care we can take of everyone else. Put yourself on your priority list,” said Dr. Anna Cabeca.
Dr. Anna Cabeca, an Emory University trained gynecologist and women’s health expert was diagnosed with early menopause at age 38 y.o. Devastated she went around the world looking for answers and healing and found it. She is now a triple board-certified, menopause and hormone expert. She is internationally acclaimed for her work in gynecology and obstetrics, integrative medicine, and anti-aging and regenerative medicine.
Dr. Anna Cabeca has changed the lives of thousands of women across the globe, connecting to others through humor, honesty, and passion. Her book “The Hormone Fix” and other empowering transformation programs have helped women of all ages become their best selves again. Her successful line of all-natural products features the alkaline superfoods drink Mighty Maca® PLUS and the rejuvenating vulvar cream Julva®.
Recently, Dr. Anna Cabeca was named “2018 Innovator of the Year” by Mindshare Collaborative, the premier community for health and wellness influencers and entrepreneurs. In 2017, the Age Management Medicine Group presented her the prestigious Alan P. Mintz Award for Clinical Excellence.
Get Connected With Dr. Anna Cabeca!
Books by Dr. Anna Cabeca
What’s Happening To My Hormones (Free E-book)
Coming soon on Feb: The Hormone Fix (For pre-orders)
Breeze Through Menopause Masterclass (Free class by Dr. Anna Cabeca)