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Enhance Reproductive Health Through Female Hormones

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Summary
  • Understand the connection between reproductive health and female hormones
  • Learn how hormone balance can affect overall health and wellness
  • Discover strategies to enhance reproductive health through hormone regulation
  • This video is part of the Reversing Chronic Gut Conditions Summit
Transcript
Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Welcome back. We are continuing our conversation on “Reversing Chronic Gut Conditions.” I am your host, Sinclair Kennallyy. Today I am joined by my wonderful friend and dear colleague, who is quite the luminary in the bioregulatory medicine space and many other circles of medicine as well, because she is so multi-talented. This is Dr. Sharon Stills. Welcome, Sharon.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

Thank you. My sister, my redheaded sister. Great to be here. 

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Before we dive into all of our questions, because I know we want to cover a lot together today, I wanted people to know why it was so important to me to get you to this event. Sharon is not only an MD, of course, but also a bioregulatory luminary, as I mentioned before. But she is actually a pioneer in the space as well, and what she is best known for is really pulling all of these principles together in the bioregulatory space. Actually, not just functional medicine, not just naturopathic medicine, and not just bioregulatory medicine, but also homeopathic TCM and Ayurveda, and really pulling all this together and cherry-picking what other tools might be needed within Western medicine to create a fully fledged, deeply healing experience for some of the most complex and challenging conditions today. One of my favorite things about you is your advocacy for women in this space and how you really made it your mission to demystify menopause and help women make the most of this special time in their lives, take charge again, and feel themselves. We are going to touch on that today, of course. But I also want to pick your brain about reversing chronic gut conditions, because you are a verified expert in this as well, and how this really interacts with the reproductive system for women. We are going to talk about fertility today as it relates to chronic conditions. We are going to talk about chronic conditions as they relate to hormones in general. Then a little bit about peri and menopause, sound good?

 

Sharon Stills, ND

Sounds fantastic.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

That is a lot of ground to cover. Let us dive in.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

I love it. Yes. Thank you for that beautiful intro. I do think it is important. I think, for those listening, that it is really important that you find someone to work with who thinks globally and outside the box, and that you do that for yourself as well. Because I can tell you, after 21 years now in clinical practice and feeling like I am just getting started, what you see in the labs—and we could talk about some things and what we know—does not always play down to what is going on in your physical body, your emotional body, and your mental and spiritual body. I often tease that I can put on my Sherlock Holmes cap because we really need to sometimes be detectives and figure out what plane of the playing field in the human experience the imbalance is occurring on.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

That is so beautifully said. Thank you. I know we both think of it in terms of this, and that is why it is so fun to work with you. Let us touch on some of those pieces together today. Let us start by looking at what has gone wrong in gut health and the female reproductive space because we have just seen an explosion of disease. So why do we not talk about that from the perspective of the biochemical, the bioelectrical, and then some of those more subtle levels that you and I love to work in as well? How can you let us summarize what is going on here in your mind?

 

Sharon Stills, ND

What has gone wrong? I mean, I want to focus on what is going right, but a lot has gone wrong biochemically, from toxicity to the unseen and the seen. Toxins are really clogging up our health system. They are clogging up the communication of the fascial network, which really is a relay for what is going on in the external terrain and what is going on in our internal terrain. They are slugging up the lymphatic system, and by breathing in toxins, we are being exposed to them through the EMFs. I mean, we are. It is a time in society where, in some ways, we are swimming upstream. I do not mean to start off on a Debbie Downer note, because I am not a Debbie Downer, but there is a lot that has gone wrong. then even just biochemically, we see. No one has healthy vitamin D levels, and no one has hydrochloric acid levels that are sufficient. Just a simple thing, hydrochloric acid kicks off our whole digestion. It kicks off: We are all wanting to be alkaline. We want to have this beautiful alkaline space. We do not want to be too acidic, but there are areas in the body where acid is alkaline. We want to be acidic because that is the proper balance, and that is in the vagina and the vaginal canal, and that is certainly in the stomach. If we do not have the hydrochloric acid to acidify the bolus of food that is coming in, then that bolus of food can be purified, and it could backwash. Then we think we have too much acid. Then we take antacids, and then we further complicate the situation. If we do not have that acidification, it does not trigger the bolus of food in the small intestines to release the pancreatic enzymes to release this cholecystokinin. It really stops us from absorbing things. It leaves us open to H. Pylori and other bacteria and parasites: sometimes health is really profound, and sometimes it’s really simple. Just for kicks, for starters, do you have enough hydrochloric acid? Has your doctor checked that out? There are different ways to check it. Some of them are just symptomatic. If you are belching and bloating, if you are constipated, if you have acid reflux and it’s not too much, if it’s hypoglycemia or diarrhea, you can look at it. I see it on the blood work; I am looking at a comprehensive metabolic panel, which everyone runs. When you go to the doctor who does not run much, they run that. You can look at your globulin levels, which are a protein from the liver, and the optimal range is 2.4 to 2.8. If you are too low or too high, it is a good sign you do not have enough stomach acid. If your phosphorus is really low, another sign is that your gastrin is really low. I see this repeatedly all day long in the clinic. It is so common. Then what else I see is a lot of macrocytic anemia, or very large red blood cells, which would be looked at in your MCV and your MCHN from a functional perspective. Not necessarily. A lot of doctors just go down, and if something’s out of range, they flag it. if not, we are looking at optimal. We do not want to just get by. We want to thrive. I will see high homocysteine. We’ll start to see other signs of B12 deficiency. That is because we are not absorbing our B12. We start to see iron anemia, calcium issues, or osteoporosis issues. So a lot, just for starters, can go back to low hydrochloric acid and all these things. I just find myself sometimes, and I am sure you do too, feeling like a broken record when I see a new patient and I am just getting started with them. Because we are just handling stuff, let us look at the playing field.

I see this repeatedly all day long in the clinic. It’s so common. Then what else I see is a lot of mechanistic anemia, so very large red blood cells, which would be looked at in your MCV and your MCHN from a functional perspective. Not necessarily. A lot of doctors just go down, and if something’s out of range, they flag it. If not, but we are looking at optimal. We do not want to just get by. We want to thrive. I will see high homocysteine. We’ll start to see other signs of B12 deficiency. So that is because we are not absorbing our B12. We start to see iron anemia, calcium issues, or osteoporosis issues. So a lot, just for starters, can go back to low hydrochloric acid and all these things. I just find myself sometimes, and I am sure you find this too, feeling like a broken record when I see a new patient and I am just getting started with them. Because we are just handling stuff, let us look at the playing field. I am not saying hydrochloric acid is going to change your life, although it very well could. what? I am not saying that it might not. It’s not the only thing you need. But I found big factors that helped with a lot of issues. That is a big one for your gut. We are just now studying bioregulatory medicine. I mean, I can remember being over in Switzerland 20 years ago and them talking about, We are big bags of bacteria, and we have some human cells stuck on them that are really more bacteria.

Now we have come a long way. The microbiome is very popular, which is fantastic. I am glad that they have caught up. We have to really think about what is going on in other places as well, which affects the microbiome and the bacteria that are there. Hydrochloric acid is a simple one. You can get some hydrochloric acid capsules. I take biotics, but in this one, I use a nice high dose, and you can test yourself in the middle of meals with protein and see. Use your body as a laboratory, and you can get feedback. If you take one in the middle of a meal with protein and right away you get burning, it might mean you have enough acid, but more importantly, it means your mucosa is really hurting. So what I do then is I go in with Slippery Elm, Marshmallow, and Okra and really soothe the lining for a month, and then we try again, and usually then they can tolerate it, and you will not feel burning at the next meal you go to. You just keep challenging the body; if you listen and get into a relationship with the body and start listening, then it will tell you, and it acts as a wonderful laboratory. That is an easy way at home to just even start figuring out, Wow, how deficient! and, if you are lucky, maybe you get to three and you feel that warming sensation, that burning sensation, and then you can take a little baking powder, organize yourself, and eat more protein to get rid of that. But then you would step that back, just if you are doing a magnesium challenge to make your poop at night, so then you would take two if three made you burn, and then you would take that with your meals. Unfortunately, I see patients, and they are, oh, that is still. I keep taking the ten capsules, and they are just chlorhydric. They’re not producing any stomach acid. That is number one.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

You are really set, my love. Let us look at other factors contributing to persistent gut issues. They are also related to our lovely reproductive systems.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

I want to go back to the mouse, and not that we are in the mouse and the stomach, but I am thinking of the mouse. I am thinking, you chew your food. But the oral microbiome and our tonsils are so related to our gut. Yes, we’ll talk about the actual gut and the actual microbiome and what’s going on there with hormones and so forth. But to me, I am the arm, part of the same body, part of the same ecosystem. Things can be going on in different places. This is bioregulatory medicine. This is why we have to pay attention to our teeth. We have to pay attention to the mouth. If we look at it, the tonsils are the lymphatic, the gateway to the lymphatic system, and a reflection of what is going on in the peyer’s patches, which are the lymphatic. It is part of the immune system, and it is part of the gut-associated lymphatic tissue.

When the tonsils swell, we think, Oh, pull them out, then you get to eat ice cream. We do not think, Well, why are they swelling? Well, they are swelling because the peyer’s patches are overloaded and the immune system cannot handle them. So it’s backing up, and we see this expression in swollen tonsils. So I run CRT, which is contact regulation thermography, which is a beautiful diagnostic tool. so a lot of things I see commonly in it. One of the things is tonsil blockages, tonsils that are not regulated. This could be if you have had your tonsils removed, or it could be if you have had them removed and there is a scar there, and that scar needs to be opened up. So I just want to say, for those of you that are listening and that have children, that it’s a common thing. Oh, yes. kissing tonsils. The tonsils are so big; they are coming together, and they are smooching in the back there. That is a sign to look at the gut—that the gut is in trouble and is screaming and asking for help. We also want to be thinking about our teeth and the connection. We have colon teeth on the lower side here that are affected by the gut. So this is a huge thing. To me, it’s about removing the blockages. When we want to get rid of chronic issues, when we want to get rid of gut issues, we are asking, Why is the gut not happy?  We want to remove the big issues because, a lot of times, when we remove the big issues, the problems go away. So we remove the root canal, we remove the mercury, we get rid of the gum disease, we clean up the oral microbiome, and it starts to affect the gut microbiome because this is the beginning of the digestive tract.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Yes.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

We have to just change the way we think. We cannot treat others differently if we do not think differently. We want to take something and fix it, but it’s really okay. And then there are just other things: what are you eating, how are you eating, when are you eating, why are you eating, are you chewing, are you sitting down, and are you actually in the parasympathetic zone before you start to have a meal? Are you digesting? And so, gas, bloating, constipation—all of these gut issues—irritable bowel, Crohn’s, autoimmune issues—are all multifactorial, as I mentioned earlier. We have to really look at all of these things: Am I eating the right foods for myself? I think what you eat is obviously important. But I really need to focus, especially when I am talking to a large group of people because what is medicine for me may be poison for you; we are all biochemically individual. We have different needs, different constitutions, different blood types, and so many other factors. So it really needs to be independently and individually figured out. But are you eating in a good rhythm? Are you eliminating in a good rhythm? Are you a circadian? Are you in tune with the flow of the acupuncture meridians? Are you stopping eating 3 hours before bed, or are you eating so late? then you have chronic issues, and then this is one of those simple things too. It’s then that you are like, Oh my God, I have all these issues, and you go all over the place. No one can figure out what’s wrong with you. It’s, Well, maybe you are not chewing your food well enough. We try our food until it’s liquefied. We should not be eating on the go and stressed out; just be mindful and sit down and break bread with those you love or mindfully appreciate your food. There are so many different pieces that go into it. The mouth is a crucial piece.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

I totally agree. I am so grateful that you are helping people to unpack this because, as we are right now in bioregulatory medicine, it’s so crucial that we understand the role of the world microbiome and our dental health in our body’s systemic health. It’s this gorgeous human kulas, which, for those of you who do not know that word, just means that every part of the body is represented within this area. The ear is a human’s clueless mouth. the teeth are, and there is a minute your hands or feet.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

That’s a clean colon, Irene, then. Before I became a physician, the first thing I did was this, back in 1990. I do not know, 92, 93. It was a long time ago. I went and studied with Bernard Jensen of Colon Cleansing Fame. He is no longer with us on the physical plane, and I became a column head for your therapist. That was how I got introduced to natural medicine—through colon hydrotherapy. The first thing I did was clean my buttocks.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

But.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

That was how I learned.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

To insert. I mean, it starts from the bottom up.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

I was doing coffee enemas. Yes. No, that was my introduction to how I am getting on a healthy path. I am doing my part because the girl that I lived next door to had a colon hydrotherapy table in her basement. Her brother was a colon hydrotherapy therapist. Talk about being in the right place. I just lost my train of thought. Oh, so I’m noticing. I’ve started now. Yes. And I remember that a colon had a therapist, and Bernard Jensen had that beautiful colon, and each little ridge and pouch was related to an organ, related to your body. , made me think about when I was in medical school, Naturopathy Medical School and one of the first classes we took was embryology. We learned that there was the ectoderm, the mesoderm, and the germ, and the end of a germ was where it gave rise. As this fetus is turning into a human being, it gives rise to the foregut, the midgut, and hunger, and these all give rise to the adult gastrointestinal tract. I remember studying that this is where the lung puffs out from, and this is where the stomach pouches down from, as well as the liver and the gall bladder. So from the beginning, the gut was intimately related to all of these organs in our body. So like giants, we are just one big reflection, homunculus everywhere, of what’s going on. So, it drives me crazy, as I am sure it drives you and the listeners. You go to the G.I. doctor, and they say, Oh no, your diet has nothing to do with it. Here, take your mirror and see how your labs look fine. It’s just… It’s just… How could you possibly believe that diet has nothing to do with your lungs? But how could you say your diet has nothing to do with your gut? That just makes things that make you go, Hmm.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Yes. Well, I mean, the aphorism really rings true, but the more specialized the medical professional, the less they tend to be aware of the whole human body or even the whole human sitting in front of them. Unfortunately, that was the case for me in my experience as a patient. We hear that from so many people. There are wonderful specialists out there. Of course, we are not disparaging them. We love our colleagues of all stripes. We’re just questioning the system itself. 

 

Sharon Stills, ND

The system is broken, that’s for sure. It’s not a system of health. As a neutropenic physician, one of the hardest things for me to do was ignore everyone saying, You’ve got to find a niche.  My niece says that I do not have any because Dutch medicine treats the whole body. That is why I came out, for many reasons, but with menopause, because I was, well, menopause, and this is a good segue into talking about some hormones and things, but with menopause, I was, oh, it’s just this beautiful umbrella. It’s just this transition. It’s not a disease, but it’s something we are very conscious of because a lot of us are so imbalanced that we have a lot of disease activity at any given time. I was like, It’s just such a beautiful time to then be like, Hey, do not forget your lymph, do not forget your liver, do not forget your bile, do not forget you got it.  that is.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

How you get to be all over the place.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

When women come to me because they want hormones, they want their hormones balanced, and they want to feel good, I am but we have got to move your lymph, your liver, your bile, and your gut. These are some of the basic things we start with, and they are, but I am pooping twice a week. I am fine. So even if you are pooping every day, it still does not mean that your gut and your microbiome are okay. There are so many things going on. So when we think about hormones, we can start by saying that when women think about hormones, they think about progesterone and estrogen. We can start there even though, to me, there are some more master hormones, insulin, and cortisol, that I can umbrella over. But for cycling women and postmenopausal women, progesterone and estrogen are really big. so we’ll just have many of you. There is an astro bloom in the microbiome. Basically, this is an area where, if you have had good drainage and detox and your bile is actually flowing, the estrogen gets to this part of the microbiome called the strobile. Finally, if you are lucky, it’s going to get packaged, and it’s going to get excreted in your poop. If you have a lot of dysbiosis, there is going to be an increase in beta-beta-glucan around two days, and you are going to unwrap the package, send the estrogen back into the body, and get another pass. So estrogen is really interesting. There are some studies that show even estrogen production is influenced by the microbiome. There’s what’s called estrogen sulfate, which is a precursor to aster diol. What I will say is that what I am talking about now is that I think we know this much about what’s actually going on in the microbiome. I am not a researcher. I mean, I can hang out, and I love to go to a good conference. Here’s some research: I am a clinician. That’s my passion; that’s my gift. So I am not studying the microbiome. I am studying human beings, and I am seeing what I am seeing in practice.

Sometimes I do not see an upgraded beta-glucan for a day, but I still see estrogen issues in a cycling woman. I still see that there is estrogen dominance, and we have all these issues. Maybe they are constipated; maybe it’s because they are stressed, and we can talk about that. So that is why we are saying that in the beginning, there are facts and figures, and then there is real life. So I am all about real life. I know the facts and figures, but when it comes to it, it’s the art and practice of medicine. So when it comes down to it, you have to really look at the person in front of you. I had a patient just last night, my last patient of the day yesterday, and she has some things going on. She had some toxic levels and some muscle issues. But she said, I really think there is something going on with my kidneys. 

She really does not have anything going on with her kidneys. It’s, All her labs look good, and so on and so forth. But I am, and I take note of that. You live in your body. I get the honor of having an appointment with you once a month, once a week, once every three months, whatever it is; you are 24, seven inhabitants. When a patient says something to me, I am like, Oh, okay, well, let us explore that more. Let’s really talk about that. Let us maybe just give you some drainage. I am having her put castor oil on her kidneys now, and we are giving her some kidney milieu, some solid dango, and some things to just drain the kidneys because why not? Can’t hurt, and whose kidneys cannot use a little love? So when I work with a patient, it’s really this back and forth, and I went off on a tangent, but it’s because of Beta. Glick, you’re on a date because everyone thinks that’s the problem. I run gut tests all the time. It’s a problem this much of the time and other times. It’s not because there are other problems going on.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

It’s not the only smoking gun, and it does not have

 

Sharon Stills, ND

No, but it’s the one that is really well-known in the world if you read about the Astro.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Bloom.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

You’ve probably heard of beta-glucan. It’s, well, boring. I do these gut tests, and it really breaks down all the different genera and species and then what they’re potentially correlated to. SIBO has 12 different types, and then you get to estrogen; it’s a two-little-bit look; you are on a base; it’s important, and it’s good to rule in or rule out because if it is high, we need to address it. But I am just trying to drive home the point that there is so much we do not know, and even what we do know is not always the smoking gun that we need to go after. But the microbiome is this knowledgeable community of bacteria that we should not be trying to kill. symbiotic.  So it goes back to a terrain-based way of thinking. Thank you. I was born and bred as a doctor of polymorphic terrain-based thinking. so there is no killing of germs. When our terrain is happy, balanced, and flowing and there are no adhesions, we are alkaline in the right places and acidic in the right places, and there are no focal infections, then these bacteria are doing something: they are producing vitamins, they are helping detox, they are supporting our immune system, and they are producing happy hormones. They are doing all sorts of fantastic stuff for us. When things get a little crazy, rather than be mad at the bacteria and try and wipe them out, we need to take responsibility and say, Well, what am I doing? What’s going on in my life? my diet and my sleep and my love and whatever? That my terrain is going out of balance and the bacteria are not happy. So, we need to love our bacteria and realize that symptoms when bacteria are out of balance are just trying to tell us, Hey, we need a reset here.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

I am wrong. Yes, I love the way you say that because I do not want people to be afraid of their bodies, especially not of germs or bugs. If you understand what the body’s response is, then you can have total control over the quality of your life, which nobody really wants anyway. Anyone just wants to feel themselves. I mean, think of one woman who came to me last year; for a year now, she was sleeping maybe once every ten days. It was an extremely painful and scary experience for her, with lots of food sensitivities. She was obsessed with the food piece, blaming the food for going on and off the food wagon. I am on this cleanse. I am on this protocol. I am in the medical media, and blah, blah, blah. It just kept getting worse and worse, and I came to find out, of course, looking at her medical history, that she had a lot of serious issues with her teeth right along. , the gastrointestinal right arms in the call, in the liver, and all the things. She has had a lot of dental dysfunction ever since. She’d had trauma as a kid and some bad dentistry right on top of it. This is going to be resolved at the rate that you are willing to deal with that center and get the 3D communication beam scan. Sure enough, for cavitation, we could be vilifying bugs downstream. Of course, she had SIBO, and of course, she had those things. But what are we doing if we are ignoring the terrain that we have? We set this all up in the first place, right?

 

Sharon Stills, ND

Exactly.  Is this food? Most people have some trigger trauma around food unless you have done your work with it. I am not saying everyone, but it’s very easy to just go down that addictive pathway, even if it’s called Ortho, Vecchia, or whatever. It’s an addiction.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Yes. Yes.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

When ortho. Right. Or orthorexia right away; it’s an addiction to eating, eating clean, eating organic, and not eating this and not eating that. It’s all about balance. When I had my clinic open, my byline, and maybe it’ll be in the one I am opening again, was the Center for Balanced Living, because it really is about balance. Speaking from experience, I was in that situation when I first started, after my colons and my coffee, and maybe I did one too many coffee enemas at one point getting started. You’re going to eat non-organic, and I swung all the way.

This is in my early twenties, so this is 30 years ago. I was way out here, a little judgy, a little zealous. I swung and found, Oh, I am so much healthier being balanced.  Yes, I have a good consciousness and eat a healthy diet, but when you get too far out and food becomes the enemy, then you need to look at that as well. That was estrogen. I want to talk about progesterone.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Yes, let us do it. Why do you not do a one-liner recap for estrogen? Since we went to stray, what have we covered so far about it? How is it related to progesterone?

 

Sharon Stills, ND

what you will see. Let me clear up some estrogen myths here. What you will typically see when you are younger, when you are cycling, is that the most common diagnosis is that of estrogen dominance. So you know, why do you have estrogen dominance? It’s not cut and dry. Are you producing too much estrogen? Maybe. Are you getting all the xenoestrogens and all the toxic astronauts? I mean, even just touching the receipt at the grocery store contains estrogen. I am always no, thank you. You can keep the receipt. You should put gloves on. For the beauty care that there are so many ways of doing, I remember one of my teachers saying, We are just swimming in a sea of estrogens, and that stuck with me. Estrogen gets vilified. Now, you can also have an excess of estrogen because of what we talked about in the microbiome, where you are not clearing it. That can go back to making sure your bile is draining, making sure your liver is detoxing, eating, and making sure you have hydrochloric acid and ample pancreatic enzymes. It’s this whole little choo-choo train.

You might just have too much because you are not getting rid of it properly, or you might have too much because it’s a relationship. It’s yin and yang. If you think about traditional Chinese medicine, it’s that we cannot know if we do not know the dark. If we do not know, sure, we have to have something to compare to. So sometimes estrogen dominance does not mean you have too much estrogen. It just means that in relation to your progesterone, you have too much because you have no estrogen and no progesterone. Hormones are always dancing. They’re always a concert; they are always a symphony. They’re always interacting with each other. They are always this way and need to be balanced. In some ways, when you are menopausal or postmenopausal, it’s a lot easier because there is not that cycle happening in that rhythm. So it’s easier to be balanced, to have hormonal balance. It shifts. I do not really give bioidentical estrogen sometimes, but on the whole, it’s usually not something you need before menopause now. We all have, oh, estrogen dominance, and estrogen is bad.

But estrogen is your female hormone; she is the queen; she makes you curvy; she makes you feminine. She does a lot of beautiful things in your body. So I do not want it to be vilified because, if estrogen was bad when we went through puberty, we would start having breast cancers, God forbid. It’s going to say, teenagers. But now, with the exodus of hormones, kids are going into puberty a lot younger than they should be. but we do not see these kinds of things. We do not see problems with that. We see it after estrogen levels drop. So postmenopausal estrogen is your best friend. I sleep with my estrogen. She read on Monday night my nightstand, my bioidentical bias. I love her, and she loves me, and I need it because estrogen is so dominant. But estrogen feeds our brains. There’s a high incidence of Alzheimer’s in postmenopausal women. When estrogen drops, there is a high incidence of osteoporosis. Also, due to progesterone and testosterone, there is a high incidence of breast cancer. When estrogen drops, the whole women’s health study gets totally skewed. What a big surprise! Even with the synthetic estrogens, I said, Take home the scale, but take home this: never, never, never use synthetic estrogens in your body. No birth control pills, no premarin, nothing. Because you do not want pregnant horse urine or estrogen metabolites in your human body, they do not even work with non-pregnant horses. They are certainly not going to work. You want bioidentical, and while you are cycling, you want to make sure that it’s normal for estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, etc., to decline when you go through menopause, which is why I replace it gently. But before that, your body should be producing it. So if you are not producing it or you are producing it at the wrong letter levels, then we need to look at why. So take home estrogen. There are a lot of things there.

But as a cycling woman, fibroids, endometriosis, and all of these inflammatory cycling diseases are often caused by estrogen dominance. Then you have to go in and figure out why. Why is there dominance, and usually it’s not just one thing? Usually, it’s because you’re getting too much oxygen. This influences your gut; if you are not pooping, you are not draining. You have to work really hard to fix the whole thing. Being healthy in the modern world takes some time and attention. But what better thing to put your time into and what better thing to invest in than your actual health? Because your health is everything. You could have everything you dreamed of, but if you feel crap, then you are not going to enjoy it. You cannot participate in it. So it really is. Sometimes I think when we do not feel good, it’s the body’s way of calling us home to what’s really important.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Oh, I bet. Absolutely. I mean, of course, a fixed price for you.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

I do not believe it.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

I mean, this is so interesting to me because the first thing that I became aware of was my difficulty losing weight, my extreme fatigue, my anxiety, and my depression because I was so dissociated from my body that I did not really notice how dysregulated my digestion was. We’re so used to saying, Oh, that is just me; that is just my body. This is how we do it in my family. Oh, I have always been this way because it’s so common. But that does not mean it’s normal, right?

That is what I see so often coming into our practice, which is part of why I wanted you to speak about this today, because people come and say, Well, I think I have a hormone problem. Why do you think that? Well, because Oprah talks about it a lot, I am really fatigued, I do not feel good, and nothing works. Okay, well, let’s unpack that. Maybe you do, but that would be on the other side of all of this dysfunction that we have developed that would create those expressions, right? Yes.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

I mean, a hormone problem before menopause is a global problem in your ecosystem. There are cases; maybe you are going into premature ovarian failure, but even if that happens, why? When we look at fertility, that is a big one. It breaks my heart that for so many women, if you want to have a baby and can, that could be one of the most stressful situations. What do I see? Because one of the things I love to do is help women get their fertility on and get little neutropenic babies out there. One of the things we see is the stress of going through these cycles and trying. Sometimes women will just give up, and then, lo and behold, they end up pregnant a month or two later because their stress levels are low. But those high fertility drugs, these fake estrogens and progestins, unfortunately, I see the effects of them years down the road. We really need to be thinking. Even I am so happy that a new patient the other day, just Brendan of my practice, came for good as she is, but then she was. I have a sinus infection, and they want to give me an antibiotic and a steroid.

She is, and I do not want to do it. I was like, hallelujah, , because it could be, and sometimes you are like, Oh, I am just going to get this antibiotic. But you do not think about what that is going to mean down the road, what that is doing to your microbiome, what cell wall-deficient forms of bacteria are being created, or what autoimmune disease is brewing. So, we really have to think. It’s when you take a fever reducer and you are not really thinking about what you are doing. Yes, it’s a quick fix, but what’s going on with your immune system long-term? fertility, and often some of the big things that I see missed are stress levels. We haven’t talked about cortisol, and cortisol will decrease prostaglandins, which will decrease hydrochloric acid. It’s also going to weaken your gut barrier. It’s also going to create higher visceral hypersensitivity.

going to have a lot of pain. It’s going to reduce mucus in the gastrointestinal tract, where you need it. It is, so stress accounts for 99.99999% of all problems. You can really start stepping back. The longer I do this, the more I just keep drilling down to that. We have these toxic loads that we cannot overcome until we find a detoxified planet and set up shop on it. That’s something we have to deal with. We have all the stresses and some of the others: the subconscious stresses, the transgenerational stresses, the PHI and MF stresses, the infection stresses, the structural stresses in our spine, and the bio-energetic stresses. So increased cortisol is going to decrease progesterone. We need our progesterone production just as much as we need to carry a baby. It breaks my heart because I work with people of all shapes, sizes, genders, and premenopausal statuses. I am postmenopausal, ten years old, and 90 years old, and it’s sad. I had a woman just the other day, and she was saying, Yes, I had a hysterectomy.  She is, and I regret it because, knowing what she had, she had fibroids, and if she would have come to see me or you, we could have helped her, and she should not have had to have a hysterectomy. But hindsight is often 20/20, and we are on a journey, and we do not always learn things that we need to know when it’s time. I have talked her through that. We have to just love ourselves for where we are and for having arrived where we are. But I see that so much with her having constant miscarriages. When I get the history, it’s that I just wasn’t producing enough progesterone to carry me to term. So, managing the cortisol levels and the progesterone, which links to the thyroid, is also necessary. You also need an active, healthy thyroid to conceive. Infertility, or any other diagnosis, is a disease process. It all starts going back to just the organism that you are and the terrain. There are different tweaks for each thing, but it does not really matter whether you are listening and you are looking to become pregnant, or you have an autoimmune disease, or you are constipated; a lot of the things are going to apply to all of you. Yes, there’ll be some tweaks, but infertility does not need to be as rampant as it is. It certainly is not a deficiency of these fertility drugs, which are just too harsh. Yes. Harsh as.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Yes.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

and progesterone, when we are talking about it affecting the gut, can slow down motility; too much progesterone can increase it. It just depends. But it can affect your gut, how things are moving, and whether you are constipated or bloated. It’s a lot of hormones—the Goldilocks thing. Too much progesterone can cause constipation, and not enough progesterone can come after you; you need just the right amount.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Thank you for clarifying that, because people will have to talk about one side of that coin or the other, and they do not have to discuss that. Is there anything else that would be really helpful for the audience to know, especially if they are female? Because we are progesterone and estrogen and have different gut symptoms, what other connections can we draw between these factors that we have already brought up today?

 

Sharon Stills, ND

Well, I think: bloating, constipation, SIBO, nausea, nausea. Is your bile moving? Is your gallbladder happy? It’s not. Am I missing Zofran? Do I need medication? It’s nowhere to be found in my missing ginger. Yes. Can help soothe your nausea, but it’s green allopathic medicine. Then it’s using something natural to treat a symptom. Sometimes that is okay as we are figuring things out, but it’s really about looking at how things are working and how they are working in concert with each other. If you are having hormone issues, again, there is definitely a differentiation, and I just want to reiterate that if you are postmenopausal, your hormone issues are going to be different because now all your hormones have skydived and they have jumped off a cliff, and that is a natural progression. When you are cycling, it’s very different. so the treatments become very different. Just keep that in mind, no matter where you are. But to just look at your hormones and say, Oh yes, I have some symptoms that sound like I have low progesterone, so I am just going to take some bioidentical progesterone, is just mandating, because why is your progesterone low? Why is your microbiome not balancing and sending the signals for hormone production? Why are you constipated, why are you bloated, or why are you belching? Or why do you have IBS? Or why do you have food sensitivities? I mean, every patient I see has a leaky gut right off the bat. It’s just rampant inflammatory markers, parasites, bacteria, and viruses. It’s something that you want to address on your hormonal journey because they are all connected. You do not want to.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Just.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

Signal in an, oh, I have this symptom. I did not talk about it, and I know we are probably running out of time, but castor oil is one of the reasons I love it. I use castor oil packs for ovarian cysts, constipation, uterine fibroids, breast cysts, and everything else. It’s not the only thing I do, but why, if you are constipated, bloated, or having gut pain and you put on a castor oil pack, what is it doing? It’s detoxifying; it’s draining and moving the lymphatic system. You need to be thinking about your lymph. There’s all this lymph in the gut, above and below it, and it’s a system. So moving your lymphatic system is how hormones travel; it’s how we get good things in and bad things out. We need to be thinking again about our lymphatic system. Progesterone loves to travel through the lymphatic system. Do you have low progesterone or a congested lymphatic tract?

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Yes, so many good points. I would love to give you the opportunity, as we are wrapping up, to impart any last pieces of wisdom, especially tips for taking action, to three different viewers. We have our beloved people who are just getting started on taking on their own health advocacy. Right.  I am going to become an expert on my own body, maybe for the first time. I have been struggling with gut health issues for years. Of course, if you are watching this interview, you are also aware of stuff going on or are very curious about it. Then, of course, we have our beloved gluten-free yogis stuck in crap who are doing everything right in this desert yet. Then, of course, we have our beloved practitioners who are on the hunt for new tools to support people in this very complex day and age. What would your gems parting thoughts be for each one of our lovely audience members?

 

Sharon Stills, ND

Well, that is such a good question. Let me think about that. Okay.  Let us start with the first group. You are here, and you want to learn. I mean, first of all, bravo for being here. choosing someone amazing like Sinclair to be your guide. You are attracted to the right information. That’s for sure. So even just talking about hydrochloric acid, just some of the basics of eating your largest meal from an eye or Vedic perspective of eating your largest meal in the middle of the day and stopping eating 3 hours before you go to bed. Hopefully, you are going to bed at nine or 10:00. One of our friends is teasing Nique’s existence. She is, and she knows how early I go to bed. She is saying, Well, you go to bed at 8:00.  I was. Actually, I am a night owl now. I go to bed at 9:15 for me; I am done with dinner by six, and that is it. Its kitchen is closed. That’s it.  that helps your digestion, helps you to really regenerate and repair while you are sleeping and be in the parasympathetic mode, not eating while you are stressed, really seeing your food as an act of kindness and nourishment to yourself, and really carving out the space for it.

I remember when I first got into practice, I saw visions of me eating at the back, in between patients, and I was all right. I am a big believer in practicing what I preach, and this has got to stop. I am going to sit down. It might not be for a glorious hour. When I sit down for 20 minutes I am going to chew my food and I am going to liquefy it and I am going to have a meal and I am going to give thanks, I am going to bless your food, and give thanks. We haven’t, and we do not really get into the emotions and the, Oh, I doubt. But how you perceive it is how you will digest it. There is a lot to be said for if you have swung as yours truly did in the beginning, if you are zealous in your whatever and you are eating your organic broccoli because you are on your little high horse, and that is not going to get integrated very well and absorbed into your cells as loving-kindness and nourishment.

If you are going to have the 80/20 rule, maybe 9010, and we say 8020, but maybe 9010, but if you are going to do something, then do it mindfully, enjoy it, and do not beat yourself up. Love what you are doing because that really changes the energy. Make sure you are chewing and liquefying your food. Take a drink of water. Make sure you are hydrated. I cannot tell you. I think I was just watching a little video, and they were saying 95% of the population is subclinically dehydrated. I talk about this, and I see it all the time. We could do a whole other talk on water intake, proper water use, and so forth. But, really, learning about hydration and getting hydrated is one of those simple things that could be profound. I mean, I have had patients who move their bowels once a week, and then I, before I start, am, well, let us just get you hydrated. Let us just get you hydrated and see how your energy, your headaches, your bowel movements, your joint pain, your energy, and your brain fog change at the end of 45 or 60 days of proper hydration. You might not be, but often at least half of those symptoms are gone.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

sometimes all, especially if it’s clean water. Yes.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

Yes. Got clean water. That is what I would say, for lack of more time, to see the newbies among the people here just getting started on their journey. Then the second group—what was it? I already forgot what the second group was.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Grad students are yogis.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

Oh right. The glute. How could I forget the gluten-free yogurt? I am a gluten-free yogi, so I have been gluten-free. I used to say 25 years, but I keep getting older, so I do not know. I might be closer to 30 years old now because I am 55, not 50 anymore. Being gluten-free forever was one of the first things I learned about and discovered for myself before there was a gluten-free movement. I would get crazy looks in restaurants when I just wanted a burger on the plate. They did not know what to do with themselves. I just take the bun and leave it in the kitchen. Just give me the burger on the plate. but there is a whole thing with molecular mimicry. So eating for free is not often enough. It’s a great place to start. But first of all, there are different variations if you are going gluten-free, but you are just eating gluten-free bread and gluten-free cookies. English is for donuts and gluten-free pizza. You are still getting some of that stuff. They put a lot of things that are not so healthy for your body into the ingredients.

If you are going gluten-free, now it’s so much easier because you can go pick up a green tea pasta or, sure, turkey noodles or yam noodles or lentil noodles, or every time I go to the store, there is a new noodle. It’s very exciting. But even then, I do not even eat a lot of that. It’s… So you have… What are you eating? Are you getting a high-quality source of protein? Are you getting your variety of fruits, veggies, and things of that nature? Then there is molecular mimicry, and this is a huge one. I see this way more often than I would like. I have patients who say they are gluten-free, but then they are glitched and antibodies come back off the charts. I am, my love; either you are not telling me the full truth or you are, and you are getting exposed. So rice, this is what happened with me: I went gluten-free and became a rice addict, and I was still bloated and not pooping. I am; what the heck? But rice cross-reacted just like gluten in my body. Dairy can cross-react, eggs can cross-react, and corn can cross-react. Sometimes you have to look at what’s cross-reacting, and then you have to ask, Well, why am I sensitive to these things in the first place? What’s going on at my gut barrier? What’s going on with my immune system? So digging deeper, yes, when I go to Europe, I eat some gluten because I know there’s glyphosate in it, and it’s tolerating the gluten here in the States. It’s pretty toxic, and that is why a lot of people are suffering from it. It’s very inflammatory and can inflame the brain, so I am not saying not to be gluten-free. I mean, I am gluten-free, and my patients are.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Based on it. Right. But I just love how you are unpacking this because, well, I did the same thing. I went through a stage of that. Then I became very dependent on almonds and processed foods that were, quote-unquote, gluten-free. We start relying on these ancient grains and seeds that are actually super inflammatory and cost the body a lot of energy to digest. If your gut lining is already really on the back foot, you are hunting it all day long with the stuff.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

Exactly.  That is what I would say, and I would just say to the gluten-free yogis, Remember what I said about stress and so much cortisol, and we do not have time to get into it. But that is another fallacy: your cortisol is always high at halftime; your cortisol is done being high; it’s been screwing you, and now it’s flatlined. That is, I see that more than I see the other honestly in practice. But with stress, alcohol, and antibiotics, what’s inflaming the gut lining, and how are they doing? We have to be thinking about that as well. then, for the practitioners, Sinclair’s training.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Now.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

That’s the first thing that comes to mind. I think for the practitioners, you have to keep a note if you are here. Yes, I have been practicing for almost 21 years. I am a legal adult of 21 years. That is a long time to be doing something. I still study and learn something every day. The most I learn is from my patients. God bless them. They teach me so much because I listen, have an open mind, and explore with an open mind. Of course, I have to put in a plug for bioregulatory medicine. If you are here and you are a functional medicine practitioner, that is great.

 You have come a little to the dark side, but meet us, meet us in the lights that meet us in the real dark, the light, and learn about bioregulatory medicine, because it really is the overarching of how to think and how to help someone heal. It’s not just about replacing: Oh, my lactobacillus plantarum is low and I need to raise it up, or it’s the way we think and the way we view the body and the extracellular space. Don’t be so focused on the cells; be focused on the space where the cells live, because that is truly where health begins and ends. That is what I would say. and Sinclair does have amazing training programs, so

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Used to that. It’s funny how we talk about this. We really tightly screen applicants for our program as practitioners, and they go through almost two months of unlearning. Okay, here’s some stuff that is no longer working. Let us unpack that, and then let us continually, forevermore, be in a space of learning and curiosity. What is a beginner’s mind? Take know. In this day and age, it gets more and more complicated. It does not mean that health is unavailable to us, though; it’s a really important thing.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

Yes, it’s really a balancing act. If you think about all the things we have just talked about, some are more detailed and biochemical and testing, and others are lifestyle and simple things. That is really what I have found about health: sometimes it needs to be a little more complicated, sometimes it’s just very simple, and sometimes it’s a mix of the two.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Yes.  This is being held and witnessed as we heal in the community. Yes, so good. Well, I hope, if you are listening to us and you have made it through our wonderful journey today, that you are in our community and in communion with us and both Dr. Sharon Stills and our practice here at detox rejuvenation. We are rooting for you or cheering you on in the healing process we have both been through. It’s a very intense, multi-chapter health history, and we are here on the other side of it. Nothing is more amazing than becoming an expert in your own body and home.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

You are so lucky to have Sinclair as your guide. She is just so beautiful.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

Thank you. I miss you.

 

Sharon Stills, ND

Thank you for having me. Be a part of this. for how much I love and appreciate you. You do such beautiful, powerful work. I mean that those who were attracted to this should follow their senses because if you were attracted to Sinclair’s summit, you have good sense and are attracted to the right things. trust yourselves. Trust your gut. Trust your gut. There you go. Trust your gut.

 

Sinclair Kennally, CNHP, CNC

You.

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