384: Solving Women’s Health Holistically
Dr. Ginger Nash And Ashley James
- What is Menopause and perimenopause
- How Vaginal and Vulvar health is very important
- How to have a healthy vaginal and vulvar health
- An overall approach to your hormone health is definitely going to help the vaginal tissue, help the vulvar tissues.
- Change your diet. Eat five cups of vegetables per day. Eat a diet that’s anti-inflammatory for you.
Did you know that having a good and healthy habit in your gut is as important as taking care of your feminine area? That it’s not just important feeling clean “down there” but making sure that it is really clean and free of infections. Today, Dr. Ginger Nash shares her expertise and experiences about feminology in the podcast. Yes, today’s all about us women.
[00:00] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 384. I’m so excited to have back on the show with us Dr. Ginger Nash. She’s a Naturopathic physician and if you’re a long-time listener, you know that my favorite guest is a Naturopath. Dr. Ginger Nash was in episode 317 and she shared about hormone health and her specialty is helping women to balance hormones naturally without using replacements. Like hormone replacements, bioidentical hormones. She doesn’t use that. She helps us to actually help the body get so healthy that it has balanced hormones and today, she’s here to share so much more with us about women’s health. For the male listeners, you might want to listen just because you have a wonderful woman in your life this would be great to pass on the information or maybe to just the whole world going down the rabbit hole you’d never heard of. We’re pretty much going to focus on women’s health but I’m sure there’s some tidbits that men will enjoy. We’re going to let everyone listen. Just know that we’re celebrating women’s health today with Dr. Ginger Nash. Welcome back to the show
[01:21] Dr. Ginger Nash: Thank you, Ashely. I’m so excited to be back. I love your show.
[01:26] Ashley James: It was such a pleasure having you on episode 317. I know my listeners just loved learning from you. Your website is gingernash.com or you also have another website which is feminology.org. You’ve done a lot of really cool things since we had you on the show. Like you created a course for women around vaginal health. We’ll definitely going to talk about that today. Since you’re on the show last share more with us. What’s happened in your life? What’s going on now?
[01:59] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes. I’m a busy gal and I’m an Aries so I tend to take on some project but one of the biggest things is started working out of a another office. One of my offices is in New Haven, Connecticut. I joined another practice. My friend and colleague, Dr. Jaquel Patterson who happens to be the president of our national organization. The Association of Naturopathic Physicians. That’s cool. Jaquel and I have known each other for a number of years. She’s awesome and she bought a practice from a doctor. Dr. Darin Ingles and who really focused in Connecticut as you well know there is a tremendous amount of Lyme and other tech borne diseases and post Lyme syndrome. His practice is very much focused on Lyme and those pathogens which I am also familiar with but Dr. Patterson brought me on as a women’s health expert. I started doing some new therapies down there that I’m excited about and I’d love to share more about with you and your listeners. In two offices now, just making my life that much more complex and fun but it’s really great because as you know Ashley, Naturopathic doctors there’s just never a day where we don’t learn something new. Many days we learn many new things. The body’s so complex and there’s so much to learn and there so much in the world of natural medicine for us to continually investigate.
[03:33] Ashley James: You want to hire a doctor who loves learning and who’s constantly learning and staying up on the science and has their mind open. Wiling to keep looking. If you go to a doctor who’s a know-it-all who kind of goes, “Pft, diet doesn’t matter. Just take this prescription.” Whatever. They close you off. They go, “That doesn’t work. No, that doesn’t do anything. Doesn’t do anything. “ They’re not willing to even investigate or look or learn. Fire that doctor and go find a doctor who loves learning.
[04:07] Dr. Ginger Nash: I love your passion about this Ashley. So true.
[04:09] Ashley James: Right? I think just like in the last day, I’ve had three listeners either private messaged me or in the Facebook group asked about this. It’s frustrating for me because we have been raised to put doctors on the pedestal and we give up our personal power the moment we walk into their office because we’ve been taught that they have all the answers and we don’t know nothing.
[04:32] Dr. Ginger Nash: Right. I say to people all the time, “You know your body better than I do but this is a journey we’re going to do together.”
[04:39] Ashley James: Absolutely. You want to go to a doctor who scratches her head but goes, “You know what, I don’t really understand what’s going on in your body but let’s discover it together. I’m going to dive into the research. Let’s figure out how to support your body holistically. Let’s try get to the root cause.” I love that what you do when you work with women you don’t just go, “Oh, your progesterone’s low. Here let’s slap some cream on you and go home.” That doesn’t solve the problem. Why is the progesterone low? What’s going on in the body as a whole. That’s what you love to look at.
[05:07] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes, totally. Sometimes hormonal balances are part of a normal life cycle because as women, we certainly go through puberty and the we go through puberty in reverse which is menopause and perimenopause. Sometimes there’s things that are happening in the body that may be causing uncomfortable symptoms and discomfort but sometimes you have to normalize some of it and that’s a big role for me as a physician sometimes with women going through those big changes and post-partum is another major transitional phase in a woman’s life. For those of us that have had children.
[05:48] Ashley James: Something I hear is, women are going in menopause earlier and earlier in a very unnatural way because of the level of stress. Physical stress, emotional stress but also the stress of the toxicity in our life, the endocrine-disrupting chemicals are constantly exposed to in our air, water, our food. Even just touching a receipt, the bisphenol touching. Every time you pick up a receipt from the grocery store, you’re touching a chemical that is a endocrine disruptor. We’re exposed constantly to these stressors in the body and then with the emotional stress of having to manage our elderly parents for a lot of people, our children, our partner, our job. Having to manage everything and oftentimes putting ourselves last. All the stress is leading us into early menopause. Have you seen that in your practice?
[06:45] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes. I really have. It’s amazing that you bring that up because just yesterday, I had a 42-year-old woman who does not have post Lyme syndrome or what I suspect in many others a lot of pathogens be that can sometime disrupt the endocrine system and cause premature ovarian failure. I see more and more women that in their early 40’s they’re really starting to show signs of perimenopause where the whole symphony of the female hormones, starting in the brain of course then affecting the ovaries and the adrenal glands. It’s also out of whack that women are experiencing much more severe types of symptoms at an earlier age. That’s a really good point, Ashley. That I definitely see in my practice. The topics are part of it too. Of course, yes, all the endocrine disruptors. There are over 50,000 chemicals that are in our environment that weren’t around a hundred years ago. Our genetics and our epigenetics can’t keep up. We’re just a lot more toxic obviously.
[07:57] Ashley James: Recently the World Health Organization said that the world’s average is age 52 for going into menopause.
[08:09] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes. I’ve read 51 actually.
[08:12] Ashley James: Okay. Yes, 51. Women in the United States more and more and then in other industrialized nations. Where we are over toxic, overstressed and undernourished that we are falling into menopause 10 years early.
[08:30] Dr. Ginger Nash: Then sometimes, of course, women with endocrine disruptors, hormonal imbalances, more of inflammatory estrogen stimulation. They’re maybe more prone to fibroids or endometriosis which is more of an inflammatory condition than anything. If they have severe problems with their bleeding patterns. They get hysterectomy. Sometimes that can really throw women into premature menopause or if they’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer and then they’re treated with chemotherapy or these estrogen blockers. There’s all sorts of chemical interventions and surgical interventions that can make a woman, overnight her hormone levels can really plummet. There’s those types of phenomenon that are happening more frequently as well.
[09:26] Ashley James: Maybe you can help us understand, should we try to stay off menopause as long as possible? Is it part of longevity that we stay in a premenopausal state or a perimenopausal state as much as possible?
[09:44] Dr. Ginger Nash: That’s a really good question. Of course, what happens technically with menopause is you stop ovulating. The role of progesterone, which is only produced after an ovulation once that corpus luteum starts secreting progesterone. The role of progesterone is hugely important women in terms of balancing out the amount of estrogen they have. Of course, if you’re overweight or you do have a lot of endocrine disruptor exposures or you’re toxic etc. You could have a lot more estrogenic activity, your receptors might be extra sensitive, etc. The lack of that progesterone is really what is a big part of the hallmark classic symptoms of menopause as much as the lowering amounts of estrogen and testosterone. It’s an interesting question that you bring up. In some ways, I’m 51 and a half. I’m still menstruating every month and in some ways, just intuitively in my body that feels right. It feels like my youth or my younger tissue levels of hormones and all that is being sustained. I feel like that does contribute to longevity. I agree it’s a probably a good thing, not that you can really stay off menopause naturally, it is a natural process. It is something to be embraced and something that women are really coming to terms within a positive sense. I’m happy to say. I think you know, if these unnatural processes give you a premature perimenopause or menopause then yes, that’s probably going to impact your long term health and your longevity because those hormones are incredibly important. Hormones are so powerful. They do so many things on so many tissues in the body. It’s really fascinating too because human women, I think there’s like a species of whale maybe sperm whales or killer whales. I can’t remember. Are the only species that go through menopause “early” because a lot of species they are able to bear children or offspring much closer to the point of their death. There’s been a lot of interesting conjecture about why that is for humans. We are one of the very few species that does go through menopause early compared to other animals. It’s interesting but we obviously have quite, humans are different in so many ways. We obviously have longer life span than many other animals.
[12:43] Ashley James: I guess my understanding about progesterone is that it’s a youthful hormone. That it helps to make sure that we have strong bones, you can fill in the details. What is it about before menopause these hormone levels that we have what is about these hormone levels that we want to keep as naturally balanced as possible to extend our life and to extend our youth so that tissues doesn’t sag. So that we look when we look younger but also that we have healthier bones. [Crosstalk]
[13:20] Ginger Nash: Yes, definitely. Estrogen is also the queen of female hormones and really important for longevity and youth. A lot of women who are afraid of gynecological cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, they have missed conceived notions about estrogen because healthy levels of estrogen are incredibly important as are healthy levels of progesterone. These two hormones, you really can’t even separate them, Ashley. They’re both so important and they balance the relative balance of estrogen and progesterone is so important. This is why women have a monthly cycle. Where the first two weeks of the cycle is quite different than the 2nd two weeks of the cycle because the first two weeks are really driven by estrogen and 2nd two weeks after you ovulate is driven by progesterone. Progesterone doesn’t have a specific effect on the nervous system so it’s more of the calming hormone where the estrogen is more stimulating and problems of hyper estrogen can maybe even overstimulate the brain sometimes. Of course, if you have low estrogen you can have brain fog and memory issues and all of that. It’s really the relative balance and every tissues that had estrogen receptors also have progesterone receptors. Estrogen makes the uterine lining grow. Estrogen is our main growth hormone. It makes cell turnover in the breast whereas program maintains the uterine lining. Progesterone slows down the cell turnover in the breast. Every part of your body that’s being affected by estrogen it has a balancing effect from progesterone on that same tissue. It’s really critical to understand and like I said earlier, menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life stages just as puberty is when you’re having some cycles where you’re not ovulating in puberty necessarily. Right away, it’s considered normal for young girls up to 2 years to not have regular cycles. At perimenopause the same thing is happening. That’s really where all the symptoms come in at puberty and at menopause it’s because the body has to find and recalibrate that balance point between estrogen and progesterone again. That happens all over including in the vulva and the vaginal tissues, which is another important part of the body that really is affected by both estrogen and progesterone. A lot of women feel uncomfortable talking about this part of their body sadly. The word vagina, classic Eve Ensler. However, many years ago. Must be 20 years ago now.
Photo by Jaime Spaniol on Unsplash
[16:14] Ashley James: Vagina monologues?
[16:16] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes, vagina monologues. She has to make a whole Broadway show just so people can say the word vagina. It’s great. I do think women are getting more comfortable. Really being embodied and that’s certainly part of my work in feminology is to help educate women about what normal function is for their body and really learning to listen to the signals from their body including the vaginal area and the vulvar area. One of the things that my college in feminology Dr. Tara Nayek when we did our little vaginal course which I love. She started out with terminology because a lot of women refer to sort of everything down there. Again, I’m doing the air quotes “down there” as the vagina when really the vagina is actually the canal that gets penetrated during sexual intercourse. It’s the vulvar area in the outside of the bodies that we have a lot more symptomatology and a lot more familiarity with. I do want to say just at the outset I think that was so great for Tara to bring that up. There’s a lot of confusion even just about the anatomy of our own bodies which is just so amazing. In 2019 we’re still –
[17:40] Ashley James: It’s almost 2020. We don’t know our vulva from our vagina. But now we do.
[17:50] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes, totally. Some of the other stuff that we discussed in the course that was really fun to educate women about was how we had this whole, magical vulvar magical vagina because it is this amazing self-cleaning, self-lubricating and it makes it’s own hormones. It really has its own ecosystem. The vaginal canal. Women who have imbalances in hormones and women who have with chronic vaginitis like yeast or BV or chronic herpes conditions etc. they will tell you that when there’s imbalance and symptoms in the area in the body it could be incredibly uncomfortable and distracting making you feel like you can’t really think about anything else. There’s a lot of that going on in my practice certainly. I treat a lot of women with vaginitis and vulvodynia and problems in that area.
[18:54] Ashley James: We want to get into that. I think it’s very interesting. You mention that when we have low estrogen that we have the brain fog. Interesting symptoms that I’ve have in the last is I’ll forget nouns. We’ll know it the certain time of month. My husband will look at me and be like, “Oh, all right.” Looking at the calendar, “Okay. It’s that time of the month again.” Because I’ll be like, “Can you please put that thing in the thing?” I can’t remember. “That thing, can you put that thing? Can you go get that thing and put the thing in the thing?” he has to guess what I’m saying because I don’t remember.
[19:26] Dr. Ginger Nash: In my house, we call that a Johnny. We just refer to everything as a Johnny when we don’t have the noun. Like, “Put the Johnny in the Johnny.” Over there by the Johnny is where the Johnny is.” [Laughter]
[19:36] Ashley James: Until now when I learned that it’s actually a hormone thing. Interesting.
[19:41] Dr. Ginger Nash: Does it happen at the very end of your period or just a few days after your period is over –
[19:48] Ashley James: It’s like sort of beginning of the cycle is when it’s happening the most.
[19:54] Dr. Ginger Nash: That’s when estrogen is the lowest.
[19:56] Ashley James: Right. I don’t find that I do it often in an interview which is great. I’m so thankful my brain doesn’t pay attention to my hormonal levels when I’m doing interviews. I’ll be get off an interview be like, “Honey, could you go get me that thing. The thing, the thing over there.” I do it less and less because I have been balancing my hormones more and more especially just the healthier I get this whole since starting the podcast I’ve lost close to 70 pounds.
[20:35] Dr. Ginger Nash: Oh my goodness. Good for you. That’s amazing.
[20:37] Ashley James: I’ve told my story many times but basically I’ve had chronic adrenal fatigue, type II diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and infertility and chronic infections. All through my 20’s and into the early parts of my 30’s and then I found natural medicine and started shopping the perimeter of the store.
[20:58] Dr. Ginger Nash: On the corner, one day and I bumped right into [Inaudible 21:02] in the corner.
[21:03] Ashley James: Yes. Exactly. She said, shop the perimeter of the store and stop eating crap food. We ended up seeing Naturopaths and getting on this bandwagon and one thing led to another. My diabetes went away. My polycystic ovarian syndrome slowly got better. Everyone I talked to says, “Well, my doctor says I’m going to have it for life.” I’m like, “Yes, my doctor said I’m going to have it for life too but you know what I was seeing an MD, not an ND.” If you see and ND and you see a good ND, they’re going to say let’s see how much you can heal. Let’s get your body as healthy as you can.” All those problems I had are gone. We conceived our son naturally. I was told by an endocrinologist I was never going to have kids. It was all-natural.
[21:48] Dr. Ginger Nash: I hate when I hear that. That’s so awful.
[21:51] Ashley James: Yes. For me, I’ve been doing this investing in my health for 10 years. I’m about to be 40 and I feel healthier and younger than I did 10 years ago. It’s worth it.
[22:06] Dr. Ginger Nash: It’s amazing. That’s totally amazing.
[22:07] Ashley James: It’s worth eating healthy and taking supplements when needed making lifestyle changes and doing all the things we learn from guests like you. It’s worth it because 10 years, for now, you’re going to feel younger than you do now.
[22:18] Dr. Ginger Nash: That’s awesome. That’s so great. It’s really about learning and empowering yourself to take care of yourself and not putting giving your power away to a medical intervention and something that, I can’t believe it hasn’t even come up yet when I was talking about estrogen and progesterone balance and the impotence of those. Certainly any women who has been diagnosed with PCOS. It’s like, “Okay, you’ve have all these problems. What’s the solution from the mainstream medical model is to put you on the birth control pill.” What does that do about suppress all your hormones level? There’s very strong connection in the literature actually about longevity and anti-aging and all of that. Women are on the pill for 20-30 years sometimes. It’s unreal. This is just considered normal way to manage your symptoms but what you’re doing is you’re shutting down that entire endocrine system. That entire symphony of your hormones. That’s going to have huge effect on almost every body system. I’m so happy to hear that you were aware enough to take your health into your hands and really heal. Part of a Naturopath’s training is the patient is part of the journey as we said earlier but also just that we learned from our patients and that we need to empower them to take care of their health. That’s really amazing. I can’t believe you lost 75 pounds, that’s radical. Ashley. That’s so radical. You’ve had how may children?
[24:06] Ashley James: One. One amazing son. We might have another one. He’s 4 and a half years old. He’s absolutely the light of our life and it was a very healthy, he was a very healthy baby. Everything was great. It’s just our focus is on supporting the body’s ability to maintain health and do that through food. It’s funny that we have this really interesting concept in modern-day society where we don’t see a connection bet what we put in our mouth and the cells that we grow. We were literally made of food. We started out as this 8-pound baby and we just ate and ate and grew but now as adults we just eat whatever we want. We eat the standard American diet and we don’t see that there is consequence to what we put in our mouth. Because we have this false belief that everything is safe. Otherwise, they shouldn’t produce things that aren’t safe.
[25:12] Dr. Ginger Nash: Do you know who Dr. Peter Osborne is? He’s done a lot of work with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease and I just listen to a friend of mine’s podcast. Excellent podcast. He had Peter Osborne on and was talking about the history of enriched grains in this country. How cereals became this huge part of our diet and how they were never really meant to be used in such high quantities but of course, because of monocrops and monoculture, agriculture and the way that it’s presented to us. I never really had made this connection before I don’t know if you have, Ashley but if you buy a loaf of regular bread which you probably don’t, I don’t usually buy regular bread but it’s like it will say enriched with B vitamins, thiamine, etc. that’s because the grains are not naturally nutritious enough. It’s not because these processes took them out it’s like cereals and grains. We need to be eating way more vegetables, way more whole foods. If you eat animal products from healthy raised animals not fed antibiotics and corn from the time they were born just to be slaughtered. That is not a healthy form of meat consumption and talk about endocrine disruption. The amount of hormone that you’re exposed to in commercially raised meat product and dairy is way beyond what you’d ever get in just exposures of lesser intensity. You’re absolutely right. The whole role of food in our health is just not acknowledged by medicine. Which is crazy right? It’s crazy that doctors literally tell people, “Your diet doesn’t have anything to do with your digestive problems. Not to mention your hormone problems.”
[27:21] Ashley James: Right. In reversing type two diabetes which was – the first thing I reversed was my chronic monthly infections. Every month I was on antibiotics. The first change we made after watching, it was like Forks over Knives. It was in 2008. It was one of the first health documentaries that Netflix ever streamed. Streaming is like brand new. I think it was Fork over Knives or was it Food, Inc.? It was one of those two. I think we saw Food, Inc. in the movie theaters but any as back then we saw both of them. Between 2008-2009 they said, vote with your fork, vote with your fork. If you don’t like something in the industry like don’t put money in something you don’t like put money in the things you do like. Buy organic if you want to support organic. Then they said shop the perimeter of the store. I thought, “Okay, we’re going to give it a shot.” That month my infections went away. I thought, “I just made one change. What else could I change?” I gave my body over to the MD and they just kept giving me drug after drug and never telling me that I could stop the infections by not eating crap food. I wasn’t sitting there with a bunch of Oreos or Lucky Charms or whatever and Twinkies. I wasn’t sitting there with Halloween candy like every day. I was just eating how everyone else ate. That was enough to make my body unable to handle infections. After that then I reversed my type II diabetes and I did it totally with food.
[29:03] Dr. Ginger Nash: That’s amazing. I’m sure that all those antibiotics that you had taken that just makes you overgrow yeast and then if you’re sensitive to yeast then forget it. You’re just going to get inflammatory process after inflammatory process all over your body
[29:19] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes, exactly. Having to fight yeast infection and urinary tract infections at the same time. That made me want to look, “What can I do naturally?” because I didn’t want to have to keep going over and over again to get anti-biotic for this what seemed like that was a wakeup call for me when I saw my vagina’s out of balance. What’s going on? My vulva and vagina, right? Now knowing that there’s both those we should really address the whole thing. we’ve had people in the Learn True Health Facebook group, not people, we’ve had women talk about they have yeast infections and UTIs and what to do about it. There’s so much great holistic information out the. I definitely want to get into how we can create a healthier relationship with our vagina and vulva because you have such a great course that you created talking about microbiome and what we can do on a natural level. The reason why I shared my story is to illustrate that something as simple as food can really shift our health hugely. Traditional doctors like MDs who go to medical school, wonderful people, best of intentions, they’re great to go to when out needed drug, when we needed surgery or procedure but they don’t have any training in how to use diet in healing the body. Oftentimes we’re going to the wrong doctor. Going to a Naturopath to help us to heal the body is the right doctor to go to. There’s my little soapbox and getting off of it.
Photo by Timothy Meinberg on Unsplash
[31:07] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes. Thank you. I appreciate people like you so much that have really taken it to wider audience. It’s not just Naturopaths talking to other Naturopaths and our patients. It really is a much bigger platform that you helped create Ashley. I think that’s great. We need to hear it from more people outside of the profession about what Naturopathic medicine can do for them. Thank you for the support.
[31:35] Ashley James: Absolutely. I’m the biggest cheerleader, biggest fan of Naturopaths. You’ll ever have. You’ll ever have. Can you tell us in your experience working clinically helping women to balance their hormones? What kind of diet changes have you helped women make? That then you’ve seen in the bloodwork that their hormones became into healthier levels because of those diet changes?
[32:00] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes, that’s a great question. Hormones that we’ve talked about so far, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone are all the reproductive hormones. Of course, we’ve got the stress hormones. Cortisol, DHEA, etc. and then the hormones that food affects first and foremost, of course, is insulin and some of the pancreatic secretions that are immediately affected by your diet and this is why I’m sure Ashley, part of your journey in healing yourself of PCOS had to do with your insulin levels. I think a lot of people are familiar with the term insulin resistance. A lot of my dietary recommendations come from one of my main teachers who is Dr. Peter D’Adamo who is the doctor of blood type diet thing and I know you are familiar with his work as well. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot more about Peter’s work because there’s this anti-lectin diet that’s out there in the world now. It just drives me a little baddy because the whole point of lectins is that they’re choosy. Some of them are actually beneficial lectins some of them are negative lectins and depending on what your blood type is.
Means there are certain lectins and foods which are basically sugar-loving proteins that can attach to our blood type antigen which is the sugar. Depending on your blood type antigen, different lectin can have different effects in your body. This is not the veal or anything. Some people have dramatic profound changes just from following a blood type diet. Other people need more tweaking and more finesse but the blood type is always someplace I start because it does mean a tremendous amount about who you are as a biochemical individual to know if you’re blood type O, blood type A, blood type B or AB. That’s always where I’m going to start with diet. Even if I don’t give somebody I use Dr. D’Adamo’s software the SWAMI genotyping diet software for people. In the beginning when I’m working with people, men and women I’m trying to address dietary issues. I may just make some broad stroke recommendations. I always start out with some of the very fundamentals of the blood type diet approach. I have just seen clinically over 20 years a tremendous amount of consistency with people who are blood type A cannot really digest red meat as well as people who are blood type O or B. That might be just one thing I start with.
It’s amazing and maybe you heard this a lot yourself because I know you’ve talked to a lot of people. It’s amazing how a lot of times people will say intuitively that they feel better when they’re eating more according to their blood type. That’s always the starting point or the jumping-off point. When it comes to hormones, one of the things that’s important in terms of hormonal imbalance is whether your gut is clearing the hormones properly. That’s phase three detoxification of all of our hormones. Starting with gut health is always a really commonplace and what’s one of the things that you do several time a day as a therapy for your gut is eat food. Food can be medicine. Food can be therapy. It’s not like I’m specifically saying, “Oh, eat this food which is good for your hormone.” but obviously, we want to minimize the amount of the inflammation in the gut. We want to minimize food sensitivity reactions. We want to minimize the destruction of the gut lining which lectins also play a role in the health of the microvilli in the small intestine which is where all your nutrients are absorbed. That’s always the jumping-off point. The real 30 seconds breakdown is type O’s are tend to be more carnivorous. Type A’s tend to do better with less animal proteins in their diet. Type B’s are what we call idiosyncratic omnivore. There’s some idiosyncratic lectin relationships. Then I’m always interested in looking at someone’s metabolic type. Layered on top of the blood type. For someone if I can use you as an example Ashley I don’t know what your blood type is but if you’ve got PCOS you’ve definitely got some thrifty metabolic tendencies. Meaning when your body is restricted from calories or if it’s eating a lot of empty calories, refined sugars and refined carbohydrates, it’s going to suck those calories away as fat for future times of deprivation. If you’re not giving your body good nutrient-dense foods if you have a thrifty metabolic type. You’re actually going to have a very hard time starving yourself into losing weight and you’re going to feel like crap. You’re going to be irritable, you’re going to be hangry, you’re hormone are going to be completely imbalanced. Your mood can be affected etc.
It’s really important to understand if somebody has that thrifty metabolic type to find the foods that are going to stoke the digestive fires and be healthy sources of calories and nutrients for that person. Depending on whether you’re a type O with a thrifty metabolic type or a type A with a thrifty metabolic type layered on top I would make diff kinds of food recommendations. One thing I can say across the board which I think you probably already know, hopefully, a lot of your listeners already know is that, the amount of whole foods, meaning vegetables and fruits and those types of high fiber foods are going to be excellent for keeping your hormones balanced because the fibers really feed the beneficial bacteria that help your body eliminate excess inflammatory estrogens and some of the excess toxins that are in your system that might be having that feedback to your hormonal balance as well. High fiber is sort of a general statement that I can make across the board that’s beneficial for both gut health and inflammation and the therefore hormonal health. Then also foods that are really beneficial to feed the beneficial bacteria. There’s a lot of types of probiotic supplementation out there that some of those things have the prebiotic fiber in them and healthy fibers and then there things like large arabino galectin and supplements but some of those things can actually just amplify the effects of a healthy diet. It’s always got to address the diet and the gut health no matter what the imbalance or chronic problem is.
[39:25] Ashley James: How much fiber is a good – I mean not like I’m sitting there with Metamucil or flax going, “Well, I got to put another five tablespoons,” not like that but if we were to eat a pound –
[39:39] Dr. Ginger Nash: Five cups.
[39:40] Ashley James: Five cups of vegetables a day?
[39:43] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes. That or fruits because fruits are high in fiber as well. Blueberries are ounce per ounce one of the highest-fiber foods there are. That’s a good rule of thumb. It’s like five cups. Over the summer I lost some weight myself, I was perimenopausal as I’ve mentioned earlier. I’m still cycling but I had put on 10 pounds without really knowing it and then I stepped on the scale and I’m like, “Oh, that’s interesting. My pants feel a little diff.” I did actually start to measure out some of my foods just for a short period of time so I could really get an eyeball. It’s amazing if you start eating five cups of vegetables or fruits per day, your elimination system is going to definitely improve. Last year eating a ton of processed refined flour products which can certainly slow down the bowel movement and create more irritated mucus which can then give you some digestive problems. If you just simply add in foods and I really like to do that as well with my patient base because I like to focus on the things that are beneficial and use food as medicine rather than having people focus on a restrictive mindset all the time. If you just naturally start adding in five cups of veggies that’s going to be so much more filling that you’re just not going to eat as much as the processed refined foods. That’s a good blanket statement that I can make because really all the dietary advice I give is pretty highly individualized.
[41:30] Ashley James: Oh, for sure. Absolutely. Someone with small intestine overgrowth is going to have a totally different diet than someone who has GERD. Right absolutely.
[41:37] Dr. Ginger Nash: Except their vegetables. Yes, totally. Another cool little dietary thing before we leave that topic there is a great carrot salad recipe that I’ve recommend dot a lot of women. If you just grate some organic carrots, of course, they can be heirloom, they can be the regular orange ones whatever you like, a grated carrot with a little tiny bit of lemon juice, little bit of olive oil, sea salt or if you do apple cider vinegar in small amounts. Even some of the other vinegars that can be really excellent for helping balance your estrogens. That’s a little food thing that almost everyone can tolerate carrots. I haven’t met too many patients that are sensitive to carrots. Generally, that’s a rule.
[42:30] Ashley James: Why is a carrot salad good for balancing hormones?
[42:34] Dr. Ginger Nash: It has a certain amount of fibers in it and it feeds some of those beneficial bacteria. It has an effect on the calcium d-glucarate in the gut which helps your body eliminate inflammatory estrogen. Isn’t that cool?
[42:49] Ashley James: Yes, it’s very cool. Before we move on to the vaginal health, I definitely want to get to that. You mentioned gut-clearing hormones being phased three. For those who don’t know, can you just explain what that is? We hear that high estrogens really bad for us but we don’t know the difference between the estrogen the body makes and the estrogen the body want to eliminate?
[43:11] Dr. Ginger Nash: Right. Perfect. There’s three different major metabolic pathways or clearance if you will. It’s what happens in your liver to your hormones to help your hormones break down and be eliminated from your body phase one is the first phase of that process. Phase two and I don’t need to go into a big biochemistry lecture. Basically your liver had to go through phase one and phase two and then it kicks into the gut because the blood that circulates from the liver gets emptied into the gut. Then it’s phase three elimination or detoxification is what is related to the health of your microbiome and actually getting those hormone byproducts into your stool so that you can eliminate them. Some of the hormone testing that I use is a urinary metabolite testing. We can actually see how well those liver enzymes are doing in terms of eliminating the various estrogens and which pathway they’re going down because if you got a high – what’s called 4-hydroxy pathway, if you’ve got a lot of the estrogens going down that pathway you’re going to be a lot more symptomatic.
The 16 pathway also gives you a lot of symptoms like PMS, bloating, the discomfort that a lot of women feel prior to their period and then the 4 pathways is the one that really is more inflammatory and does damage to the DNA. It’s sort of the pre-cancerous pathway. Then the two pathway is the pathway that you would like to see preferentially in a woman. You can do hormone testing through urine metabolites as I’ve said. We can see is your body doing a good job of eliminating these estrogens? Because as we have said from the beginning of the conversation, we don’t want to just have low estrogen that’s not good. Estrogen is really important and it’s especially important after we go through menopause because it is an anti-aging type of hormone in our bodies. Of course, we don’t want to get type of estrogen that’s going to lead to a breast cancer or another type of overgrowth of the cells in an unhealthy way where the DNA is damaged and you’re more likely to have a cancer formation.
Photo by Dario Valenzuela on Unsplash
[45:43] Ashley James: Got it. So once a body’s done with the estrogen we need to clear it out
[45:49] Dr. Ginger Nash: That’s phase three.
[45:52] Dr. Ginger Nash: Right. What I hear is that when we have constipation for example or we’re just not having enough healthy bowel movement in the body that the gut reabsorbs and can actually reactivate the estrogen so we can become estrogen dominant because of our gut health, because of poor gut health.
[46:12] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes, we could recirculate the estrogens and if you’re taking hormone replacement even bioidentical hormones they can be problematic in terms of the recirculation and you can get elevated levels of certain hormones if you’re moving your bowels in a regular basis. Absolutely. Hugely important topic of healthy bowel movement. I talked to people about poop every day. [Laughter] “Hi, nice to meet you. Please take off most of your clothes so I can do a whole-body thermography scan and now we’re going to talk about your poop.” People have to get real conformable real quick. Actually you know, the health of the vaginal microbiome is related to this too. I think it’s really fascinating that the vagina which is designed to have something come in from the outside it’s an area that’s exposed. Its’ muscle membranes that are exposed to the outside world. It doesn’t have the diversity that the gut microbiome has. You actually don’t want a great diversity of flora in the vaginal tissue as you do in the gut. The effects of antibiotics or the effects of the birth control pill or a number of drugs event he effects of PPI’s and other things that are used to manage digestive symptoms can have a huge effect on not just the microbiome of your gut but the vaginal microbiome as well. You can get a lot of problem with overgrowth in both systems and you need to address them differently.
[47:56] Ashley James: How do we address yeast infections or that would be the overgrowth right? We call that a yeast infection?
[48:02] Dr. Ginger Nash: Well, it depends because you can get overgrowth of other things too. Yeast is probably one of the most common organisms that we see overgrowing and not only that Ashley, it doesn’t always – again, it’s like I with everything was a little bit more simple but it’s not. Sometimes for a lot of women it, not a matter of how much yeast they actually have in their bodies. By the way, type O’s definitely have a higher what’s called candida carriage. We just have higher levels of yeast because blood type O antigen is a preferred food source for candida and other yeast. Type O’s might have higher levels of yeast but it’s also a matter of how sensitive the person is to the yeast in their system. This is going down a little bit of a tangent. I’ll get back to answering your question.
[48:58] Ashley James: I love this tangent. Keep going.
[48:59] Dr. Ginger Nash: That’s one of the things that I’m working with these new therapies and the office that I’m working in Fairfield, Connecticut now which is called Fairfield family health is doing LDA and LDI therapy. I don’t know if you’re familiar with these but they’re therapies that have been around basically since the 1950s. They have grown in popularity recently although they’re still pretty new to the world of natural medicine and they were created by medical doctors. What it is it’s immune desensitization or immune tolerance to various substances. You can do the treatment LDA for environmental sensitives for food sensitivities and you give a very small dose. This is why it just made so much sense to me once I started familiarizing myself with this and being educated and now I’ve listened to a tremendous amount of info I’m actually going to my first conference about this on Oct 9th. It just makes so much sense because it’s not a matter of having an infection of having toxins in your system that you can’t get rid of because you’re so overwhelmed with the environmental toxins like food toxins. It’s more a matter of your immune system getting caught in this vicious cycle of creating to something. This is where something like LDA can be really helpful because it gives you infinitesimal doses like homeopathic doses essentially. These substances that give your body a tolerance to various substances. Like I said, the LDAS are more for the environmental and the food sensitivities but the LDI is really the outgrowth from DR. Ty Vincent of LDI therapy and he’s turned it low dose immunotherapy and that’s using more specific pathogens. I’ve used candida and yeast and also I treat a tremendous amount of Lyme disease and co-infection and there’s an entire Lyme next so you can use this specific pathogens to break that cycle of sensitivity. It’s not like you’re using oregano oil or boric acid or diatomaceous earth or all this things that can kill yeast. you’re using something that actually helps your immune system become more tolerant to his thing that’s in our bodies. We all have yeast in our systems. It’s just a matter of have we been antibiotics ten times in the last ten years? Do we have this incredible overgrowth or do we just have a certain sensitivity to the yeast and that’s really what’s driving all of our symptoms.
[52:05] Ashley James: Got it. If someone doesn’t have a massive overgrowth but if their immune system is mounting this massive response to a small amount of yeast which naturally occurs in all of us then it’s more about dealing with an allergy.
[52:20] Dr. Ginger Nash: Exactly. You can even use, it gets really deep. It’s a beautiful approach really and I love that Dr. Vincent is totally transparent about how we really don’t know like the science is not there. The research has not been done, there’s been advances in this type of therapy but we really don’t know. We think we understand what’s happening is that the substances that’s administered in this very small amount Is up regulating the T-lymphocytes and giving your immune system a chance to recognize if you will. This is something that doesn’t need to go crazy and attack. It’s giving you that tolerance and desensitizing your system to this particular substance. One of the things that I’m really excited about treating using this therapy is Hashimoto’s thyroid because there’s a pretty strong case and literature for a pathogen called Yersinia to stimulate to be the trigger to this autoimmune thyroid disease and we can uses LDI to again create a situation in the body where it’s not making the antibodies. You can see this with follow-ups, with blood tests for antibody levels you can see it with yeast. You can see it with Hashimoto’s. The ATA and the TPO anti-bodies you can see it with all the lime pathogens, abicia, Bartonella and I’ve also been starting to treat some women with herpes simplex virus that have had outbreaks of herpes for many years. When you know the offending trigger what the pathogen is that might be involved in any of these processes and certainly in terms of vaginal health and yeast overgrowth you can absolutely sue this type of therapy to desensitize the person to the yeast that is present.
You may also want to do some yeast killing. It depends that’s based on clinical context of “Did they get a wet prep? The gynecologist said, “You know yes, there’s tremendous amount of yeast.” or there’s BV or there’s others organisms or there’s just a lot of white blood cells which means it’s an immune-mediated inflammation and that can happen with chronic UTIs as well. That’s another thing that a lot of women struggle with this chronic UTIs and the more antibiotics they get put on, what’s going to happen? They’re just going develop more candida overgrowth and then that could potentially stimulate an inflammatory process. There’s a lot of creative ways to address this. I just love the idea of supporting the immune system because that to me is through Naturopathic medicine. That’s what we learned in school and what I was definitely reinforced with by Dr. Jaquel, my main homeopathic teacher was that we’re not born with this specific immune system, we have to learn as babies what is self first. Recognize what our self-tissues look like and antigens look like. Then our immune system has to learn specific defenses. Some of this process this immunological process gets really confused that’s why there’s so much autoimmune disease.
Again, we destroyed our microbiomes. We’ve been exposed to all this toxins. We’ve been exposed to all this antigens and climate change has encouraged the rampant spread of tech borne diseases and mosquito-borne disease and all that. As a population, we’re really dealing with a lot more chronic pathogens but even once we’ve cleared the infection stage, we may still have this immune process that’s continuing like a vicious cycle. It’s a really exciting time for me personally as a doctor because I, for many years used a number of complex homeopathic to support the nonspecific aspect of the immune system. With nutrient and with diet as well. I’ve done a lot with supporting the nonspecific aspects of inflammation and histamine reactions. Cytokines and all those kinds of things. Now I’m starting to use more of the specific antigens with it. It’s really been cool. I’m seeing some really great results already. It’s very exciting.
[57:17] Ashley James: Yes. You mentioned all the things that have caused our immune system to go haywire in the last 30 years, what about vaccines? Now, by 2015 by the age of six children would receive 49 doses of vaccines. By the age six. A total of about 70 doses of vaccines are recommended by the time they’re like 21 or something like that. Whereas when I was a child, it was maybe 16?
[57:51] Dr. Ginger Nash: Wow. Yes. You know you’re going to drag me into the vaccine conversation.
[57:55] Ashley James: No. I meant I don’t want to like – because that’s a whole episode onto itself but do you think that – [crosstalk] Yes, many episodes we could spend on that. Could you add that to the list of the things that are causing our immune system to not really understand how to deal with stuff? Like why is the autoimmune in the last 40 years has skyrocketed?
[58:19] Dr. Ginger Nash: That’s really the main thrust of what Dr. Jaquel taught me right when I graduated from Naturopathic medical school all the way back in 1998. My friend and I flew to New York in this French medical doctor came over and just blew our minds. That was the main thing that he would say. It’s not that vaccines cause autism or vaccines cause diarrhea or whatever. It’s that when they’re administered in such high amounts, they can overwhelm in certain individuals. They can overwhelm the immune system and it causes this perturbation in that natural process of what I just said the body’s ability, the baby’s ability really to recognize self from non-self. That’s a lot of information you’re putting into a little child. About from the outside not just the pathogens but all of the adjuvant ingredient and yadah, yadah. We don’t have to go down that rabbit hole. I’m sure you know a lot about it. I’m sure your listeners know a lot about it. Unfortunately, it’s become this insanely polarizing issue in our society and nobody can really even talk to each other about it. It’s really bad.
[59:36] Ashley James: I’ve got a great interview that’s very balanced. Because people really want to get polarized. People really want to be for or against them. I have a wonderful interview that feels very balanced. Honors both sides. I’ll make sure I’ll link it in the show notes. He’s a pediatrician who has a very busy practice in Portland. I think he has three or four other pediatricians and a Naturopath. Sorry, MDs and a Naturopath and nurses all working with him. They have tens of thousands of patients and in his many years of working there, he has not had one case of full-blown autism because what he says is he does an altered schedule but 50% of his patients choose not to vaccinate because they are attracted to him because he believes in informed consent. Then he has the other 50% chose to do altered schedule. One dose at a time they come in for one and then they monitor and see how the child is. He has a very different altered schedule for those who choose to vaccinate. He wrote a book on it. I think it’s called Safe Vaccines or something like that. The second they see a regression in the child or any kind of reaction they stop. 100% stop vaccines and that’s it. No, this child is not a candidate for them. That’s how he prevents having vaccine injury in his clinic.
Before he started his clinic many years ago he worked as an early pediatrician. He was in a clinic where when children were talking or walking and then they had their vaccine doses and they stopped talking or walking, it was encouraged to keep going. Keep giving the doses. Keep going. He felt so bad because he felt as though he was part of basically causing vaccine injury in children. He would see it and he would argue with other doctors in the clinic because he was such a new doctor they’re like, “Who are you? Don’t question big pharma. Don’t question anything. Keep going.” He made it his mission to look into this. Anyway his whole thing is if you’re going to do vaccines here’s the safest way to do it based on his incredible met clinical experience. I love what you said that from birth we’re putting in this foreign antigens and foreign stuff in the baby and the immune system hasn’t even had the chance to learn who is self and who is not-self.
[01:02:20] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes. The only defense that we have is – Dr. Nayek used to say it forces the immune system to try and create this specific antibodies before it’s really mature enough to do so. That’s why for me personally, like with my son, once he was 7 which is when naturally our bodies are able to form specific antibodies, I felt a lot more comfortable thinking about the vaccine question before he was 7. You really only have the non-specific immune defense which is inflammation and fever. That’s why so many people see their children get this incredible inflammatory conditions and of course, fevers after vaccinations. Not to mention what it’s doing to the microbiome. All of that
Photo by Sara Bakhshi on Unsplash
[01:03:16] Ashley James: I didn’t meant to go there. [Crosstalk] We had to cover that.
[01:03:24] Dr. Ginger Nash: Totally. It’s just one of these things that I don’t want to post on social media about it because you just can’t question anything without being accused of being this rabid anti-science, anti-vaxxer you know like crazy person. It’s awful that that’s where we’re at.
[01:03:43] Dr. Ginger Nash: That’s the problem. They’re using a strawman and a red herring, these linguistic fallacies to throw us off our game. The problem is we need to sit down and have an educated discussion about everything so that we can make a better future for ourselves and for our children. They want us fighting against each other because then we don’t if we're fighting amongst ourselves we don’t rise up to make them change things. We’re fighting amongst ourselves and then we’re questioned a being like you said, anti-science or whatever. I’m not either side. I’m pro-kid and pro-health. Let’s just focus on supporting our body’s ability to heal itself. I really want to make sure we cover it. You created a course, now is this course available to purchase?
[01:04:38] Dr. Ginger Nash: No. It was actually just like a little – Dr. Nayek and I just decided we were going to do just a little like, “Hey, let’s just see how this goes in terms of giving women some information.” We have a Facebook group. We share a ton of content for free. It’s just part of building our tribe. Helping empower women, there’s always women that will need more specific support, we’re happy to have more patients from that community. Really at this point, I am just committed to sharing this information as much as possible. We created this little mini-course and we did our first one of vaginal health and we want to do another one about breast health coming up. Just get on our lists and you’ll find out about it. Go to our feminology.org site band, sign up to any one of our free downloads and you’ll be on our email list. We don’t email more than I would say once a month which all of the marketing people say, “Oh, now you’ve got an email every week”. Don’t worry we’re not going to clog up your inbox with tons of emails. Yes, we did this course about vaginal and vulvar health just because as we said earlier, it’s an area of the body that a lot of women are googling about. They’re not actually talking to their doctors or talking to other women because it’s an area that a lot of women have a lot of shame around which is really sad but it’s the truth. We live in a patriarchal society and it’s interesting that we do refer to the area as our vagina because the vagina as I mentioned earlier is really just a canal that is penetrated in sexual intercourse. If you’re having sex with a man but it’s not –
[01:06:27] Ashley James: It’s not the fun part.
[01:06:28] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes, exactly. Even the way we speak about it and talk about it is informed by our culture but we wanted to do this be a lot of women do have vaginitis and we certainly talked about yeast vaginitis and certain natural supplements can be beneficial and sometimes over the counter stuff is fine. It’s not like you have to see a Naturopath if you have a single yeast infection but if you’re getting yeast infection after yeast infection and you can’t clear them and you’ve got another problems. Vulvodynia developing which is painful sex in the vulvar area which is again another thing that a lot of women struggle with. Then yes, you probably need some more focused support. Then of course, if you’ve had imbalances in the vaginal flora. This can lead to a more prone situation to develop bacterial vaginosis and imbalance in the flora can lead to symptoms. Discharge and discharge is normal for women. Vaginal discharge at different points in the month. You obviously discharge more when you’re ovulating. There’s that cervical mucus. Discharge that’s painful or irritating or discharge that’s itchy or causing itching in the vulvar areas then you may want to get checked out or discharge that smells a little off. All these things can be addressed certainly with natural medicine. I’ve had some funny home remedies that are totally safe. One of the things that I love to recommend to women that they can do especially women if you’ve had any kind of chronic yeast can cause almost even features where the tissues is actually splitting and tremendously painful. One of the best things that I’ve found that’s readily available and inexpensive is Ghee clarified butter.
[01:08:39] Ashley James: Really?
[01:08:40] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes. Ghee is super duper rich in butyric acid that where butter gets its name from. Butyric acid is used as enemas. Ulcerative colitis. Butyric acid has an amazing ability to heal up the mucosa of birth the gut and the vaginal tissue and the vulvar tissues. It’s totally safe and it smells nice. You can actually use Ghee topically. I know some women that have used coconut butter or coconut oil. I just tend to like the medicinal aspect of the Ghee a little bit more. Then there’s some other things I recommend like pomegranate oil is an amazing, safe, and natural constituent of some of the – I actually used a particular brand of products that I love that are formulated by a friend of mine and they’re called Curious Intimacy and she makes beautiful product that are all-natural, all organic. One of them, in particular, has a good amount of pomegranate oil. That’s long been known to have these potent antioxidant effects but it also reduces tumor necrosis factor activities. Tumor necrosis factor is a molecule that will damage again epithelial cells throughout the body, in the lining of the gut and the vaginal tract as well. It’s going to reduce inflammation that causes damage to the epithelial cells. You probably aren’t going to get the same effect from drinking pomegranate juice although pomegranate juice is also very medicinal as well. It feeds actually really beneficial bacteria in the gut. Pomegranates are wonderful foods for a variety of women’s health conditions but the oil, in particular, I really like to use for vaginal health.
[01:10:42] Ashley James: Topically?
[01:10:43] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes. Topically. Then one of the other things that I like to do topically is cumin seed oil. If you do get it’s found as an essential oil and I believe if you put just one or two drops into a carrier oil like almond oil or even ghee or pomegranate I’ll if you get some pome oil. That can be really beneficial as an anti-yeast as is oregano. Oregano people take oral, encapsulated oregano oil which is wonderful for infections and yeast. That’s another thing that I’ve recommend to women. If you get essential oil just be sure you don’t put straight oregano oil or cumin seed oil on the vaginal tissues. You absolutely have to have a carrier oil. That’s something that I’ve recommended to women as well. It’s great because a little thing of essential oils lasts a long time you only need one or two drops. It’s not a drug. It’s not a pharmaceutical and it’s going to have any other side effects that some of the medicines that are used to treat yeast-like Diflucan which is a very common prescription from your gynecologist. If you’ve got yeast infection take one or two doses of Diflucan. Puts a little bit of stress in your liver if you don’t need to do that I’m sure there’s lots of listeners who would rather try something natural.
[01:12:23] Ashley James: Absolutely. Then there’s more studies that are coming out. They’re showing that there’s several antibiotics that inhibit the body from producing collagen and that later on they’re seeing that aortic aneurysm and things like the Achilles tendon erupting.
[01:12:42] Dr. Ginger Nash: Oh, you’ve hit on one of my favorite topics, which is fluoroquinolones. Okay. So here’s a little story about Dr. Ginger. I was training for a half marathon and I was a chronic UTI sufferer. For many years I had [inaudible 01:12:57]. I carried myself into [Inaudible 01:12:59]. I tend it’s just one of my weak spots. I tend to get bladder infections. I’m training for this half marathon it’s during the summer that I training and I get totally dehydrated it was a really hot summer. This was a few years ago. A number of years ago actually eight. Anyway, I get a UTI. I do all of my usual stuff and it’s just not working, I can’t keep up and I can feel it. Sort of, I’ve had 2 kidney infections as well. I feel it traveling into my kidney. I’ve been training for this race for several months and I really don’t want to miss this race because I have a UTI or it’s going to my kidney because you feel really crappy when you’ve got kidney infections. You get a fever and it’s very serious you need antibiotics immediately. I call my medical doctor friend and I say, “Can you call me in a script for an antibiotic? I have a bladder infection that I’m afraid is traveling to my kidney.” He’s a surgeon. That was a bad idea. He was being nice and doing me a favor but this is a lesson in like go to your regular doctors that take care of you and get prescriptions from people that know your comprehensive health history. He called in a script for Cipro.
I didn’t want to bother him and call him back. He’s a really busy surgeon so I took the Cipro and I ran the half marathon. I can’t believe I didn’t blow up my Achilles but I developed tendonitis in every major tendon in my body. I broke out in hives all over my back. All over my chest. I remember I was caught in traffic in 95. For those of you that live on the east coast 95’s middle name is traffic. I was caught in traffic and I’m looking in the rear view mirror and am like, “My face looks kind of weird and I’m itchy.” and I looked up my neck and I’ve got hives in my neck, hives on my back, hives all over my torso. Of course, my doctor wanted to put me on steroids I was like, “No way. I’m not going on steroids.” I developed this Cipro reaction and I’m sure it was because I stressed my body running the 13 miles and had been taking this medication which you are exactly right, it upsets the collagen. It actually disrupts the DNA and it can cause permanent disability in various connective tissues in the body.
That’s why the aortic aneurysm is coming to light. Those drugs are bad news. They should really be, I would be willing to back they’re going to get pulled from the market. I really strongly recommended if you have UTI if you need some antibiotics get some Bactrim. Get some milder antibiotics, Macrobid, etc. stay away from those fluoroquinolones. They’re really hellacious and some people have had permanent disability from them. I feel like managed over time to get over the tendonitis but I got a tremendous amount of neuromuscular work and bodywork. I was taking a tremendous amount of natural anti-inflammatories and it took me a long time and I still have it’s not my Achilles but on the lower right limb I have a tendon on the outside of my leg I think it’s my peroneal tendon or something like that. Not peroneal because that’s your peroneus muscle but the peroneus muscle which is a postural muscle that had a tendon still bothers me like on a daily basis. Those drugs are super-duper scary. A lot of people have reactions to them.
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[01:16:41] Ashley James: We have to remember that every drug that’s been taken off the market for killing people was first approved safe. When we come back to that vaccine argument, everyone’s yelling it’s safe. We have to remember that every single drug that’s been taken off the market for killing and naming people was first absolutely 100% stamped safe. We need to have a little bit of paranoia to survive in this world. We need to question everything. Do our research. Be willing to go get a second opinion or a third opinion by different kinds of doctors. Be willing to take in different information and weigh it. Weigh the pros and cons and not just go with the flow. I like saying this in the show if you want to be a statistic, if you want to be the one in three people that dies of cancer or one in three people dies of heart disease, the one in three people that has diabetes or pre-diabetes or is obese. If you want to be a statistic, then do what everyone else is doing. If you don’t want to be statistic and you want to live to your genetic potential of 120 years old disease-free and healthy, then you’ve got to go against the grain. We’ve got to be the oddball that says no to gluten and eats organic and goes get put essential oils in vulva and vagina. Those kinds of things. We’ve got to be a little bit out there but were going to make sure if we’re going against the grain that we’re not going to be statistic. Can you share with us what we can do? Let’s say now we recovered from our yeast infection or from everything’s back to normal after using the Ghee or using all the wonderful things you’ve mentioned or maybe adjusted our diet. Maybe looked at some emotional work because I heard that there’s a connection between stress levels emotional levels when women feel betrayed by their partner for example or when they have an affair and they feel guilty or shameful around it that there is an increase in UTIs and yeast infections. Looking at emotional state and emotional stress like the body’s a whole lifestyle, the body’s a whole. Once we come back and we’re no longer infected. How can we support the vagina and vulvar to have a healthy microbiome?
[01:19:10] Dr. Ginger Nash: Actually great question. First of all, stay away from bleached tampons. Stay away from all the chemical that are in most of your run of the mill feminine hygiene products, investigate using more of cups if those are comfortable for you. You know other types of ways of managing your menstrual blood. If you don’t mind using just pads, use pads. Watch out for sex toys that are made from inferior quality materials. Latex is a common allergy but there’s definitely you get what you pay for in terms of anything you’re putting inside your vagina. Buy the high-end sex toys if you’re going to go there. It’s something to invest in. Those are two things. Then something really simple that gets overlooked too is just staying hydrated because the vaginal tissue is a sensitive ecosystem. When you get dehydrated there’s a really strong correlation for dryness and when you get dry, you tend to get more tissue damage and keeping your hormone’s balanced overall is really – our vaginas and our vulvas are obviously connected to our bodies. An overall approach to your hormone health is definitely going to help the vaginal tissue, help the vulvar tissues. Eating a diet that’s anti-inflammatory for you. Some of that I mentioned earlier is pretty individualized but there’s definitely some broad strokes that we’ve touched upon and you touched upon Ashely, which is great. Hydrogenated fats and refined sugars and refined flours are pretty much bad for everybody. High fructose corn syrup is not going to make your body a happy place. No matter who you are, what your blood type is, what your metabolic type is, no matter what. Simple things like diet and hydration also just be careful what you put on your body including your vaginal tissue and your vulvar area. I do tend to use a lot of products and certainly recommend to many women not to use soaps. There’s been a lot about the purel and anti-bacterial hand sanitizers. Same thing applies to anything vaginally. You really don’t want to try and kill the good bacteria there. Staying away from harsh chemicals and perfumes and synthetics on that tissue would be definitely an important thing. Also the classic, peeing after sex if you need to wash after sex. Some women I know definitely like to do a little rinse. The products that I mentioned earlier made by my friend Elizabeth Moriarty, Curious intimacy. They have a wonderful After Play products which you can use which is oils as well with some essential oils with some beautiful natural ingredients, that’s definite a way to be proactive and preventive in terms of getting yeast infections. One of the oils, the After Play has the black cumin seed in it. There’s a number of things to do just to keep things healthy and balanced and lot of that is just some of your basic Naturopathic recommendations. Definitely tampons do not use bleached tampons at all.
[01:22:57] Ashley James: What about the organic they’re like, they’re white but they say they’re organic. Is that okay or they’re also bleached?
[01:23:01] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes. They should say whether they’re bleached I think there are some tampons that are made from organic cotton but they’re still bleached. I wouldn’t like that. Bleach is definitely going to mess up your microbiome and cause pain for some women.
[01:23:22] Ashley James: What about douching with yogurt? That’s kind of a home remedy I learned from my mom. I haven’t need to do it since I was a teenager I think I did it once because my mom was like, “This is what we do.” Is that helpful?
[01:23:37] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes. I mean I wouldn’t call it douching per se because I think of douching as like washing but you could certainly do a yogurt infusion. I’ve actually along with the Ghee there something else I recommend to women that I didn’t mention already for yeast. The Ghee is more soothing and healing up the irritated the mucosal membranes. For yeast, you could actually nick a little clove of garlic and insert that too. You definitely want to be aware that it’s going to burn for a little bit. I wouldn’t necessarily do it many days in a row. I’m a little cautious about saying this in a public forum because I certainly don’t want anybody to hurt themselves but for most women that can be incredibly soothing and anti-infective as well.
[01:24:32] Ashley James: I’ve totally done the garlic thing. You will smell like garlic. You’re going to walk around being like, “I’m smelling Italian food all the time.” This was back when I was a teenager but it worked.
[01:24:42] Dr. Ginger Nash: You should work up with the oregano essential oil and the garlic. It’ll be like a food fest.
[01:24:43] Ashley James: Right. Mix it with the oregano that’s so funny, yes. Absolutely. It has been such a pleasure having you on the show today. Two more quick things. One, colloidal silver for the vagina, vagina right? The canal. Would you say that that is a good thing to use if we’re looking to combat an overgrowth?
[01:25:08] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes. I’ve never used colloidal silver vaginally. I’ve used it in the sinuses and in net pots and washes. I’ve used colloidal silver spray and I’ve used it orally for viruses and whatnot. I tend to think of the silver as anti-viral so it wouldn’t be the first thing I would think of vaginally but I’m sure it could be beneficial if that’s the main issue. I just tend to think of it more as an anti-viral than an anti-bacterial or anti-yeast.
[01:25:42] Ashley James: It’s less likely we have a viral infection down there
[01:25:46] Dr. Ginger Nash: Yes, it’s less likely. Usually, if it’s a viral thing, it’s a herpes virus and it’s going to be transmitted through the nerve tissue. That’s why viral infections are so painful because it’s affecting the nerves. Doing something topically in the vaginal canal isn’t going to be as effective as doing some antivirals that would hit the nerve tissue.
[01:26:09] Ashley James: Yes. Man, I can’t wait to have you back on the show. Just keep coming back. You’ve got so much to share.
[01:26:13] Dr. Ginger Nash: Aww, thanks, Ashley.
[01:26:14] Ashley James: This is so much fun. Now I’m going to make sure all the links to everything that Dr. Ginger Nash does is in the show notes of today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com. Gingernash.com and feminology.org and everything else. Your Facebook group. We’ll put all the information in the show notes today. To wrap up today’s interview, I’d love for you to share some homework. Give us some homework. What do you want us to do? Get us to go out there and do something for our health.
[01:26:41] Dr. Ginger Nash: I think that what I mentioned earlier about that five cups of vegetables a day. If you make one change in your diet. Just start trying to eat five cups of vegetables a day. Like I said earlier, fill you up it’s going to automatically decrease the amount of processed foods you’re going to want to eat because those vegetables are not calorically dense. They’re tremendously beneficial for all the fiber content, all the antioxidant content, all the nutrients, the micro-minerals. I particularly love to recommended seaweed salad to people because so many people are mineral deficient. I know you live in Seattle, you have all the good sushi restaurants around you. That’s a really wonderful source of micro-minerals. That would be a good way to go. Get eating your veggies.
[01:27:34] Ashley James: I love it. Get your veggies in. I start my day with one pound of steamed vegetables because it’s the easiest thing to do. I can throw either fresh or frozen I could just throw a pound that’s about two cups and I throw that in the steamer. Well, I have like this bamboo thing at the Asian market we got this really cool bamboo steamer and you just put it on top of a wok or a big pot. I steam it while I’m getting the family ready to go in the morning. I eat my 1 pound of steamed vegetables and if I start my day that way, I am so satiated and so balanced. When I wait until the end of the day to get my vegetables in it’s just like, oh whatever. I’m like, “Why make an excuse?” So I get my vegetables in as soon as I can. One pound of vegetables and then I get another pound either for lunch or dinner or I split it up. I just found to just steam it and then I could throw stuff on it. I could throw hot sauce on it or some coconut aminos or some Bragg’s amino liquid or nutritional yeast. Whatever or cayenne or smoked paprika and it might be the same. I could have broccoli for entire week if I wanted to if I got lazy but it always tastes different because I put different stuff on it. I do rotate my vegetables and man that has been a life-changer.
[01:28:54] Dr. Ginger Nash: That’s so great. That’s such a good tip. Thank you for teaching me that because I tell people that all the time about exercise if you exercise in the morning you’re much more likely to stick to an exercise regimen and it’s true for vegetables too. I can totally see. We have such a perturbed crazy understanding of what breakfast is in this country. Eat vegetables for breakfast. The five cups of vegetables but try to get at least two cups or a cup there least for breakfast.
[01:29:22] Ashley James: Get two cups. Oh, come on. One cup is like a snack. One cup I could like – I eat one cup like popcorn. If I have any leftover vegetables because I try to not eat after dinner because it’s I don’t need to fill up on calories to go to bed. It’s not like I’m running a marathon in my sleep but if I feel like a little puckish or carve something I will eat steamed vegetables after dinner as a snack and it’s like, “Yes. You know what? If you’re hungry you’re hungry for vegetables. If you’re hungry and you say no to vegetables then you’re not really hungry.” I have to keep facing that. More and more vegetables. Five cups, that’s our homework. We’re going to go do it.
[01:30:05] Dr. Ginger Nash: Homework, assignment. Next time I’m on I’m going to check in on everybody. Make sure you report back to Ashley that you’re doing this.
[01:30:13] Ashley James: Awesome. Thank you so much, Dr. Ginger Nash. It was such a pleasure having you on the show today. Can’t wait to have you back.
[01:30:20] Dr. Ginger Nash: Thanks so much, Ashley. Bye.
Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition and how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity? Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business, support people in their success? Do you love helping people? You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health-coaching sort of vacation program and it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition but from the standpoint on how we can help people to shift their life, to shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can google Institute for Integrated Nutrition or IIN, or give them a call or you can go to learntruehealth.com/coach and you can receive a free module of their training. So check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name, Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they would give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information. We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctor’s offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help with your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them and their success and their health goals. There’s so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach. So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. Mention my name. Get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month, so you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. If you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.
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Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing
Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.
Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.
In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!
The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine
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