By the time they hit middle age, most women have estrogen dominance. Instead of masking the symptoms with the birth control pill, Dr. Tabatha Barber talks about how to actually heal your body. Imagine life with regular periods, balanced hormones, and a clear mind!
Listen to the Episode
How to Target Estrogen Dominance
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Practice intermittent fasting
- Balance your hormones
- Improve your sleep
- Lower your stress levels
- Make time for you
About Dr. Tabatha Barber
Dr. Tabatha Barber devotes her life to giving women a voice and a choice when it comes to their health and well-being. As a young girl, she struggled with self-esteem and identity issues, dealt with peer pressure, and survived the ridicule and stigma of becoming a teenage mother.
As she shared in her first published book titled, From White Trash to White Coat: The Birth of Catherine’s Purpose, those events led Tabatha to find her purpose in life.
With perseverance and grace, she redirected her path in life and become a successful physician. Dr. Tabatha Barber is triple board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, menopause, and functional medicine.
Dr. Tabatha cares for women one on one in her clinic as a functional gynecologist, and is the creator and host of The Functional Gynecologist Podcast; where she shares her wisdom and knowledge with women everywhere to reclaim their health.
She is also a keynote speaker, clinical instructor, mentor, medical director, wife, mom, and grandma!
By incorporating functional medicine into her women’s health practice, she provides women with the tools they need to optimize their health and happiness, which, in turn, allows those women to pursue their purpose in life.
What Estrogen Dominance Is
Dr. Tabatha Barber talks about leaving her conventional gynecological career to take a more functional approach. She believes there are better ways to help women that don’t include masking symptoms with the birth control pill.
Dr. Tabatha believes that nearly all women have estrogen dominance by the time they reach middle age. It’s the toxins we’re exposed to, the chemicals we consume, and our overall lifestyle that causes this estrogen imbalance.
Almost every aspect of modern life contributes. The products we use in our home and on our body, the weight we carry, and the chemicals and toxins in the outside world all have a negative impact on our estrogen levels.
Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss and Hormone Balance
One of Dr. Tabatha’s biggest tips for controlling estrogen dominance is to change our diets and lose weight. Fat cells hold onto so many toxins and contribute to our estrogen overload, that’s why it’s essential to reduce excess weight.
Practicing intermittent fasting is a healthy way to lose weight. It’s best to ease into it and Dr. Tabatha provides advice for how to do this. She explains how creating eating windows is better for our blood sugar and overall health than a constant grazing cycle.
Finally, Dr. Tabatha shares the importance of putting yourself first. It’s true that you can’t pour from an empty cup. We all need to remember to replenish our own energy reserves and make time for ourselves every single day. It’s non-negotiable.
How can you schedule in “me time” to your schedule? What’s the first thing you’ll focus on? Call the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic today and schedule your first appointment at 319-363-0033.
“I feel for gynecologists because they want to help women. They want to take care of women, but they’re just as messed up as the patients are.” [11:05]
“I made a drastic change. I left my conventional practice with my secure salaried paycheck, health insurance, and patients who loved me. I gave all that up because it was so unhealthy and it was destroying me. I opened a functional medicine practice so I was practicing what I was preaching. I got control of my diet. I started eating foods that nourished me, had healthy fats so I can make my hormones. I stopped eating out of plastic. I started doing what was necessary: I got off the caffeine, junk food, and sugar. I started sleeping at night. I started exercising regularly. I started managing my stress in a more appropriate way. I started walking the talk. I did all the things, I practiced what I preached. It was amazing. I have normal periods now! They’re regular every month, they’re not heavy, I’m not crying or ripping my husband’s head off. I don’t have breast tenderness. It all went away!” [13:15]
“I want other women to realize that it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, who you’ve been, who you’ve been with. You still can take control and make a shift in your life.” [24:36]
“The first thing you have to do is admit that you’re worth it and that you’re actually going to invest in and take care of yourself. In the long run, you can’t take care of the people you love. It’s a loving thing to do to take care of yourself.” [37:19]
In This Episode
- The difference between conventional and functional gynecology [9:00]
- The problem with masking the root cause with the birth control pill [12:30]
- The symptoms of Estrogen Dominance [15:15]
- How losing weight will lower estrogen dominance [22:00]
- How to use Intermittent Fasting to support your menstrual cycle [26:00]
- How to start intermittent fasting [33:30]
- Why you need to take care of yourself first [37:15]
- Why it’s essential to schedule in “me time” [37:45]
Links & Resources
Use Code ESTROGENDETOX for 15% Off
Additional Resources Mentioned
Dr. Tabatha Barber 0:04
everything that you're doing in your life is influencing those people that you love your staff, your family, your friends, your husbands, your spouses, your lovers. Everybody is being influenced by what you do. And so if you have some high integrity and take care of yourself and put yourself first they will too. That's the longevity key right there.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:29
Welcome to the longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life.
You're about to hear from Dr. Tabitha Barbra the functional gynecologist she has quite the story and quite the passion for helping women specifically with estrogen dominance. I have a feeling after listening to this you're gonna wish she was your gynecologist. Let's get started. Thanks for joining me for another episode of The your longevity blueprint podcast. today. My guest is Dr. Tabitha barber. She's devoted her life to giving women voice and choice when it comes to their health and well being. As a young girl. She struggled with self esteem and identity issues dealt with peer pressure and survived the ridicule and stigma of becoming a teenage mother. As she shared in her first published book titled from white trash to white coat.
The Birth of Katherine's purpose those events led Tabitha to finding her purpose in life. with perseverance and grace she was able to redirect her path in life and become a successful physician. Dr. Tabitha barber is triple board certified in obstetrics and gynecology menopause and functional medicine. She cares for women one on one in her clinic as a functional gynecologist, and is the creator and host of the functional gynecologist Podcast, where she shares her wisdom and knowledge with women everywhere to reclaim their health. She's also a keynote speaker, clinical instructor, mentor, medical director, wife, mom and grandma. By incorporating functional medicine into her women's health practice. She's able to provide women with the tools they need to optimize their health and happiness, which in turn allows these women to pursue their purpose in life. Love that makes me want to cry. So welcome to the show. Dr. Tabitha.
Dr. Tabatha Barber 2:07
Oh, thank you so much for having me. When you mentioned grandma made me think of your son. Looks just like so I just think it's so cute. I love it. Well, they
Dr. Stephanie Gray 2:19
are little cuties. Yes, I know. I want to hear more of your story. So I want to hear what a functional gynecologist is. But before we get to that, tell me where your story started. What even inspired you to become a functional gynecologist?
Dr. Tabatha Barber 2:32
Yeah, so having my daughter in high school, it was very traumatic. I had a, you know, a long pregnancy, but a very traumatic delivery. And I had a very old gentleman, family physician, as my doctor, and I will tell you, there were not a lot of conversations, just things were done to me. There was no like, hey, let's have an informed discussion about your options. It was like, here's what's happening, or not even that. And so I went through a lot of scary stuff. And I came out of it on the other end thinking, Oh, my gosh, if there's more women like that, who feel like they're not given a choice, and they don't know what's going on what their bodies like, that's really scary. And so I realized, I, you know, I came up with this idea that I want to help women, I want to give them a voice in their health care. And so I thought I would get my GED, I thought it would go to nursing school. And I did the Community College thing. And I realized that I wanted to be in charge of their care, I wanted to help lift them up and not just follow through on orders. And so it put me on this path to becoming a physician.
And it was a long, painful path. Thank goodness, you don't really know what you're getting into when you sign up. But I got out into practice. And what I inherited this practice from an older physician that was retiring and so I had a lot of older ladies. And I learned a lot taking over that practice because they had all had hysterectomy is in the 70s and 80s. And, you know, a lot of things were done to them without discussion. They never knew if they had their body parts still like do you have your ovaries? I don't know. Do you have your appendix? I don't know.
And so I was like, right back in that situation like, Oh my gosh, things are still being done to women and they don't know what to ask. Or they're afraid to ask because they don't want to look disrespectful. That was you know, common thing with my older doctor knows best. Yep, yep. And I also learned that as a conventional ob gyn, we love to just get rid of the symptoms. We just love To get rid of that heavy period, that painful period, we don't really get to the root of the issue, why it's happening. So I would see women who had their uterus is out because their periods got heavy. But then they come to me and they've had breast cancer, or you know, they get an ablation and they're back two years later, because now they're starting to bleed again, and it's painful.
In through this during this time, I'm going through changes and I'm getting heavier periods and having hormone imbalances. I'm having horrible night sweats. I even got a tonsillectomy at 40 because I was having such bad night sweats. The EMT said, Oh, it must be your tonsils. Let's have your tonsils out.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 5:44
Did that help?
Dr. Tabatha Barber 5:45
It did not I
Dr. Stephanie Gray 5:47
was gonna say.
Dr. Tabatha Barber 5:48
So all of this is happening. And I my wheels are turning. I am like what is going on with every woman? I'm seeing? Why is it my birth control pill working for people? Why isn't the ablation working? Why am I so hormonally imbalanced? And that's when I, you know, figured out estrogen dominance, like we are so imbalanced hormonally. And we're just covering up the symptoms left and right. And so I was on this mission to figure out how can I actually get to the root of the issue with my patients and stop doing this algorithm of pills, patches ablation hysterectomy, only to be left with not having fixed the problem? You know, I think it came to a head when I was at a wine tasting dinner. It was like the middle of winter, we were outside, I had this big fluffy white coat on.
And I felt a gush. I touched my crotch and my hand was bloody. And I looked at my girlfriends, I was like, Oh my gosh, what am I gonna do? And it's because I was stressed out, I wasn't taking care of my body. I was living on junk food. I wasn't sleeping, I was doing all the wrong things. And I was the gynecologist who couldn't fix herself. So, you know, fast forward five years, I have it all figured out. Yeah. Now I know how to tackle the root cause and actually help women get back into balance, and quit covering up their symptoms. So that is where I found functional medicine to be so helpful. And it just works so well in gynecology. So I just coined the term functional gynecology. Yeah,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:38
that's what you are literally. Yeah,
Dr. Tabatha Barber 7:40
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:41
I love that you are so open minded because I have come across gynecologist who are open minded, and some who are very close minded, where it's, you know, what they say goes, and that's it. And there are no other tools. And I and I get frustrated, because I think but they're not helping everyone. So what are they? What are they offering their patients who continue to come back with problems, right, we have to think outside the box. And so I want to talk a little bit about would just reiterate what you mentioned, and go over how your tools have changed.
So let's, let's repeat what your tools used to be right practicing solely from conventional medicine, and how your tools have changed. Now, I have an analogy in my book, where I'm comparing conventional medicine to the fire department, right, they're here to put out big, bad, ugly fires, and we need them. But they don't get to what you were saying the root cause of the problem is so guess what a fire can happen again or elsewhere in your home, right? You don't get to that root cause functional medicine in this analogy, I'm more describing as a carpenter or contractor they're here to figure out why you had the you know, faulty circuitry that led to the fire in the first place. They're here to help you rebuild your health. And I and I kind of see that with, with you maybe how your tools used to be more putting out the fires, and now they're more helping rebuild the body. So go over again, for the listeners what your tools used to be. And then let's talk about what some tools are now.
Dr. Tabatha Barber 8:59
Yeah, totally, you hit the nail on the head. So you come to me with symptoms of endometriosis, I'm going to give you the birth control pill you come to me with fibroids and your ultrasound and heavy painful periods, I'm going to give you the birth control pill, you get diagnosed with PCs, I'm going to give you the birth control pill, you know you have irregular periods that are or heavy periods or PMS, any gamut we're going to start with the birth control pill, and when you don't tolerate it, or you're having side effects or it's not working, we're gonna bump it up a notch. We're gonna get you on hormones suppressing medications like Lupron or the Depo shot, you know, and then we're gonna go into surgery, we're either going to do laparoscopy, or start burning things and removing things. So pills and surgery. Those are my options. And I I don't fault conventional gynecologists for practicing this way because
The societies that we adhere to the, you know, governing bodies that give us our certifications. They are very, you know, strong and adamant about how to practice. And so this is drilled into you from early on. And so I don't fault gynecologists, and then you're stuck in this insurance base model of health care where you have 15 minutes to, to tackle this problem. So I get a patient who comes to me, who's like crying all the time, or biting her husband's head off, her periods are heavy to the point where her hemoglobin is down to like, 10. I got 15 minutes to fix it. Here's your pill, or let's get surgery. You know, there's no time to talk about are you being exposed to xeno estrogens in your diet? Are you eating the right food? are you managing your stress? are you abusing your liver, like all of these things that impact it? And so,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 10:55
so those are the new tools.
Dr. Tabatha Barber 10:58
And they work for a time period. That's the that's the frustrating part for patients and for doctors. I feel for gynecologist because they want to help women, they want to take care of women. But they're just as messed up as the patients are. Honestly, I was there. That was me. I probably slept two hours average at night because I was delivering babies all night during surgeries and seeing patients all day. I was grabbing doughnuts from the nurse's station. I was living on whatever garbage and five cups of coffee from Starbucks that I could get my hands on. You know, there was no time to do the right thing because I was taking care of everybody else. Just you were
Dr. Stephanie Gray 11:41
working hard. It's not like you weren't working hard. You're working really hard. Yeah.
Dr. Tabatha Barber 11:44
Right. So I loved my patients, and I thought it was doing the best for them. But when you know better, you do better. Right? So the shift is I'm not trying to come down on anybody I feel terrible for the way I practiced because it was just putting bandaid after bandaid on people. And it wasn't fixing the real issue. And so now I have so many more tools in my toolbox, you know, sometimes we need to give hormones, and that's great. But if we don't do the other stuff that only lasts for so long, you know, like, I get women who are so busy, they just want their hormones replaced, like, okay, you're going to be back in three months, because it's going to feel good for a short time. And then all your other stuffs going to kick in and the imbalance is going to return or we're going to be juggling all day all night. Like, oh, I need more estrogen, I need less they need more progesterone, I need more testosterone, because you're not dealing with the root cause So, so different.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:47
Well, let's talk about root causes. And maybe you can share a little bit of your story also, as far as how you reclaimed your health, you know, using again, some of these these tools. So So tell us yeah, so you are obviously struggling with heavy bleeding and clearly, amongst maybe some other things. So did Were you able to use functional medicine principles to help reclaim your health?
Dr. Tabatha Barber 13:09
I was Dr. Stephanie, but it was really hard. And I will tell you, I made a drastic change. I left my conventional practice with my secure salaried paycheck and my health insurance and like my 1000s of patients who loved me, you know, I gave all that up because it was so unhealthy and it was destroying me. And I went on to open a functional medicine practice. And so I was practicing what I was preaching, I got control of my diet, I started eating foods that nourish me and had healthy fats so I could make my hormones and you know, I stopped eating out of plastic and I started doing what was necessary. I got off the caffeine and the junk food in the sugar. I started sleeping at night I started exercising regularly, I started managing my stress in a more appropriate way. You know, one of my favorite things was I found 10% happier. It's an app that you download on your phone.
And it just does five to 10 minute guided meditations. Like literally you turn it on, and you just do what Joseph Goldstein says. And it helps it brings you back down to your calm and normal self and gets you out of that heightened craziness that you're feeling all day long. So I started walking the talk, I did all the things I practice what I preach, and it was amazing. I have normal periods now. They're regular every month. They're not heavy. I'm not like I'm crying jigs are ripping my husband's head off. I don't have breast tenderness, like it all went away. So what I found is there's five key areas that you need to tackle to get rid of estrogen dominance.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 15:03
Let's define that you mentioned that earlier on. And we've talked about that in my podcast. But for new listeners, let's go over what is estrogen dominance. So what are symptoms or conditions that we believe as functional medicine providers are related to that?
Dr. Tabatha Barber 15:15
Yeah, so it could be an absolute, you have too much estrogen in your system, it could be a relative thing, you have too much estrogen compared to your progesterone levels. It could be an environmental thing, you have too much xeno estrogens in your system from plastics that you've accumulated daily in day out, it could be that you're not metabolizing. And getting rid of the estrogens you've already used, your livers and gallbladder aren't functioning, it could be that your gut isn't balanced, and it's causing you to reabsorb your estrogens. So there's five different ways that you can get this picture of too much estrogen at the wrong times in your cycle, compared to progesterone in estrogen is a growth hormone, it likes to make things grow and makes the lining inside your uterus grow. And so if you don't have progesterone, keeping it in check, it will grow out of control, it can cause uterine cancer, just like breast tissue, if you have estrogen out of control, it can cause breast tissue to grow. It can cause endometriosis to grow and fibroids to grow.
So, when I talk about estrogen dominance, it's this idea that you don't have the right level for you. In your picture, in your scenario, you know, somebody gave me this analogy once like, you know, women's sock sizes are like for shoe size six to 10, and your socks, they fit, okay, but try if your size, any shoe, try to walk around in a size six shoe, it's gonna hurt like hell, and you're not gonna wear them. Or if you try to walk around and attend, they're gonna be fallen off for you, and you're gonna be miserable. So even though there's this range of quote, unquote, normal adult woman's feet, that doesn't mean that it's gonna work for you. And I feel the same way about hormones, our thyroid, our cortisol, our estrogens are just all our hormones. So you need to figure out what estrogen level fits for you in your progesterone in your cycle and everything else. And I will tell you, I've yet to meet a woman who has estrogen dominance in her 40. Who doesn't, like we all do, because of those five things, because we're not managing our stress properly pumping out cortisol all day. It's crazy out of control. So that's number one.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 17:48
Let's pause pause for a moment there and talk a lot about this. I mean, we're speaking the same language. So stress will rob you of progesterone, right? Specifically the most, which is going to render you more estrogen dominant. If you think of a scale estrogen on one side and progesterone on the other, right? Even if your estrogen is not high, per se, if you're if you have no progesterone, right, then again, that's our relative estrogen dominance compared to your progesterone. So stress is not helpful. So yeah, so I just wanted to re emphasize that, but yeah, to the next point, you
Dr. Tabatha Barber 18:19
know, it's such an important point, because they don't realize that progesterone is an ingredient to make cortisol. So here you go, you're trying to isolate every month and make progesterone, but it's a normal factor to not isolate as you age, you know, we run out of eggs over time, they stop popping off every month. And so if you don't ovulate that month, your little corpus luteum in your ovary doesn't make as much progesterone. So you're already deficient. And then you go and steal it to make cortisol and you're even more deficient. And so imagine how high your estrogen looks to your system, when you're that imbalanced and so that's one way and then the liver you know this this is like your doctorate right you if you are abusing your liver, and we do this all the time, we don't mean to but if you're managing your stress with alcohol every night because you deserve that glass or three of wine a day, your liver is busy processing that alcohol that Tylenol pm you're taken to help you sleep all those functions, and it can't possibly methylate your estrogens and help get rid of them.
And so you need to love your liver and be nice to your liver. And then I see women all day long who are constipated. So they're having bowel movements every three or four days. They're not normal. not normal. Yeah, please, ladies. None of this you need to poop every day. You need to have nice formed regular poops because that estrogen your body's trying to get rid of is sitting in that stool and can get ribs So there's actually you know this, there's a bacteria that will create an enzyme called beta glucuronidation. And it will make the garbage CIG on the estrogen get cut off, and you'll reabsorb the estrogen and you'll have too much estrogen from your constipation. So figure that out. Is it a dairy issue? Do you need to get rid of the cow's milk? Do you need to drink more water? Do you need more fiber? What is going on in your gut? balance it out? Right?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 20:28
So I love that. Yeah.
Dr. Tabatha Barber 20:30
These are the things we do in functional medicine.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 20:34
These are the different tools, we are actually taking time to ask patients questions, to figure out what areas in their life you know, they have room for improvement. And for sure, estrogen also i we've, again, talked about this and other episodes, but that can come from toxins, like fragrances and personal care products from herbicides and pesticides, and I live in the Midwest, they're everywhere. I mean, they're everywhere, just rolling down my car with this nice spring weather, there's a good chance I'm going to get away with herbicides and pesticides. So these xeno estrogens that you've alluded to are man made like synthetic estrogens that our bodies don't recognize that will still bind to estrogen receptors, but can cause more harm. Not good. And that's again, why we need to love our livers in our gut so that our bodies can handle process eliminate these these toxins to help balance our hormones.
Dr. Tabatha Barber 21:26
Yeah, exactly. I mean, I see so many women with weight loss resistance because of these xeno estrogens. All these toxins in our environment, you know, our fat cells hold on to them. Our fat cells make estrogen there's another way right there. So if you are carrying too much extra weight around, you have more cells to create more estrogen, and then it's not a good estrogen. It's called estrone. And you don't want that. So we have to decrease our toxic burden to decrease our fat cells get rid of that weight. So we decrease our estrogen. It's in men and
Dr. Stephanie Gray 22:05
men and women. Yeah. So yeah, even men who have extra weight around their their middle, right? Those fat cells secrete an enzyme called aromatase, which converts beneficial testosterone to estrogen. Yeah, so one way to resume
Dr. Tabatha Barber 22:17
manboobs, right? Yes, yes.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 22:19
Again, not normal. But this is, you know, we're speaking the same language. And most of our patients are now understanding and learning this, but there's a whole, there's millions of people who haven't heard this, right, who need to hear this. And so I love I love what you're doing. Because we're working to educate men and women on on these changes and give them hope and use different tools. I want to go back for a minute to your book from white trash to white coat. That is a catchy title. So what prompted you to write that book? Yeah, so
Dr. Tabatha Barber 22:51
I guess I've been through a lot in my 46 years. And people would always say to me, Oh, my God, you should write a book your life is crazy. It like they always say, how did you do it? How do you go from being a high school dropout to being a physician, they like want to know. And so I went through a struggle with my back a few years ago. And when I was off after surgery, I started writing this book, and it just started flowing. And once I started, I couldn't stop because I realized, when we hear stories from each other, we get inspired. And we start to think about our own stories in our own life. And we learned so many lessons. And so I wanted to share that with women. And it was actually really cathartic to go through and relive everything from my childhood and on up. It was painful to it was really hard book to write. But what I realized was, my faith was a huge guiding factor in my strength and believing that I was more than I was told that I was, you know, I was told I was white trash.
And that a burnout, you know, because I hung around with the wrong crowd. And it was just that I was making bad choices. And I didn't have guidance. But I did have that faith, that base of Jesus loves me. It doesn't matter what I did, you know, he'll forgive me and you can always go in a different direction and try again. And once I figured all that out and harnessed that, then I was unstoppable. And I want other women to feel that way. I want them to realize it doesn't matter what you've done, who you've been, who you've been with, like what's going on, you still can take control and make a shift in your life and I've made big shifts multiple times in my life. And I just keep coming out on top and so I thought I wanted you know, it was important to share that with people.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 25:01
Amen. I love that. Love that so much. I have not read your book, so I'm gonna gonna have to read that. Yeah,
Dr. Tabatha Barber 25:07
oh my gosh, I will send it to your address.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 25:11
Be happy to. Well, I know you also guide your patients with like diet changes as far as intermittent fasting is concerned. So tell me how you feel intermittent fasting, which we've also talked about on the podcast is a way to tap into our body's innate intelligence,
Dr. Tabatha Barber 25:27
love, love intermittent fasting as a tool. So, you know, the keto diet has been super popular men get on the keto diet, they dropped 35 pounds, they feel amazing women do the keto diet, and a lot of them feel like crap. Because as we mentioned before, you're carrying so much toxins in your fat cells, that you try and burn those fat cells for fuel. And you you know, feel the effects of those toxins moving around. But even more so we've created this society where we eat from dusk until dawn, like as soon as we wake up, we start eating, and even a conventional medical system, because they're driven by the food industry has got us thinking that we need to eat snacks every couple hours to maintain our blood sugar so that we don't have a crash.
And we are completely away from how God created us as humans, God created us to go time periods without food we did not you know, we were not created with grocery stores on every corner, you should be able to go 123 days without food and not feel miserable. You know, the misconception is that you need food for energy. Whereas food actually requires energy to be digested and absorbed. And so eating is a time of rest, you know, so people think I gotta eat, I'm going to the gym, I gotta eat, I'm doing this. And that is the wrong way to think about it. So we get into this cycle where we're eating all day long, you know, we're snacking, they're healthy snacks, they're almonds, they're cheese sticks, they're, you know, whatever. But you're getting this constant intake of sugar in your bloodstream. So your body never has to tap into your fat stores to burn fat for fuel, how could you possibly lose weight, then when you do want to lose weight, your body doesn't even remember how to tap into those fat stores and burn ketones for fuel. Like I have seen so much insulin resistance pre diabetes in my women, gestational diabetes in my pregnant women, because we have retrained our body to be in this constant sugar burning mode as opposed to fat burning.
And so getting back to the way our bodies were created to be by not eating all of the time reminds our body, hey, you can tap into those fat stores, you can burn ketones for fuel. And the amazing thing is ketones are cleaner. They're easier on your brain, you know, all the sugar and the carbohydrates that we ingest all day long, is very inflammatory. And it can create brain fog. I get so many patients are just like so foggy throughout the day. And as soon as they give up that breakfast, and that coffee creamer and all that crap that they're starting their day out with to get clarity because they're burning fat for fuel, they're burning ketones, and they're decreasing the inflammation. And so it's an amazing tool to reverse pcls insulin resistance, pre diabetes and diabetes. It's how we were created to be not eating 24 seven Yeah, love that. Yeah, I haven't eaten yet. today. It's what like 1230 my time, you know, and I feel just fine. I actually feel better when I don't eat right away.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 29:01
What's your um, I have to ask now that you you shared, what is your kind of your intermittent fasting routine? So do you every day are you on like a 16? Eight are
Dr. Tabatha Barber 29:10
usually Yeah. And then some days I'll do like a 20 or 22 hours, maybe once a month or twice a month. And I like to correlate it with my cycle because it feels best earlier in your cycle. When you're not trying to ovulate. Make progesterone, those times you do need some complex carbohydrates. I love to eat sweet potatoes and things like that. But earlier in your cycle, you know you're already feeling energized from the estrogen. If you go and do some intermittent fasting, you can like triple that and get so much done.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 29:48
So are you talking about so for our listeners again? So Day One is the first day of bleeding. So if you have a 28 day cycle, you probably oscillate between like day 10 and 14, right? So she's saying make sure You're not depriving yourself of beneficial fats during that time. I would think you wouldn't want to intermittent fast if you were bleeding heavily like day 123 or four. But are you kind of saying the sweet spot would be like, day five through 10, then?
Dr. Tabatha Barber 30:12
Yeah, exactly, exactly. For me, I'm at a point where the first day I bleed in maybe the second, I'm tired, and I want to sleep a little more, and I give my buddy grace. But then usually, by day three, I'm like raring to go, my brain is on fire. I'm ready to tackle the projects. I'm ready to do all the stuff, right? And then after you ovulate, you kind of chill. That's when I'm doing more of my enjoying life downtime with my kids, that kind of stuff. And just eating more complex carbohydrates, always with the healthy fats, though, like you said. And then right before my period, it used to be a nightmare. You don't you know, the slight crazy town, I don't have that anymore. Like I wake up, I go to the bathroom. Oh, I started bleeding. It's just beautiful. The the contrast from just switching my lifestyle, what a difference it has made on my period.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 31:13
I totally agree. I had stage four endometriosis, which I've shared before. And yeah, long story long. I mean, I had my first kid at 35. I'm hoping to have more kids later in life, not necessarily by choice, because I literally could not, you know. And I had just horrendous cycles, I mean, excruciating pain, and nausea and heavy bleeding as well. And I have that contrast as well. I'm just like, still in shock. That my cycles, I don't want to jinx them or that I don't even know. I mean, I do know, because my cycles are very predictable, like 28 days, but I don't even know I don't have those nasty symptoms that took days and actually years out of my life. I mean, when I look back at all those and all those days of suffering and that I now I'm, you know, in a way I'm ticked off that I didn't know all this earlier, but I'm also empowered and, and encouraged. Like you're that now we can share this information with others so that those women don't have to suffer so they can suffer less. Right. So I have that same contrast with my cycle. And I'm just elated on cloud nine.
Dr. Tabatha Barber 32:17
so wonderful. I mean, so many women have a real struggle reversing endo, or getting under control. So that is so wonderful. But it just, it's the truth, right? It works. If you get all this stuff in control, you can change your hormones completely
Dr. Stephanie Gray 32:39
like and change one thing at a time. You know, for me, I had that moment where I was like, wow, I'm using chlorine soaked tampons. probably not a good idea, right? I just had these epiphanies I knew a lot of this stuff. But once I had to apply it to myself, right? I'm like, okay, maybe I should get organic products. And maybe for the listeners, listen to your body's intuition. Maybe the diet changes need to be first, you know, maybe choosing safe personal care products need to come first. Like, whatever you're motivated to change, make that change master one thing at a time. And then you can move on to the house.
Dr. Tabatha Barber 33:10
Yes. Oh, I'm so glad you brought that up. Because that's key with intermittent fasting as well. Like, you can't just start intermittent fasting. If you've been snacking five times a day, you know, you need to work up to it, because you will get hangry you will get shaky, you will feel horrible, and you'll curse intermittent fasting and never do it again. Because your body needs to feel safe. And it needs to be reminded that you're not trying to starve it that it's safe to burn that fat. And so I love to tell women you know, just start eating more healthy fats remind your body how to use fat for fuel. So eat the healthy fats like a keto diet, but make it clean. Make sure it's grass fed beef, clarified butter, or either grass fed butter, make sure you're getting organic clean olive oils, nuts and seeds, that kind of stuff. Remind your body you can burn fat, and then you can start to push breakfast back in our two and then maybe drop it off like this is not something that you just do tomorrow. You got to break up with sugar before you do anything. That's a whole nother story. But I like your stepwise approach just tackle one thing at a time.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 34:32
You may have heard me mentioned the nutrient dim on several episodes and I want to take a moment to describe exactly what that is. When I was in graduate school my doctorate focused on estrogen metabolism. Now you're probably wondering what that even means and why it matters to your health. Well, research has shown that our risks for fibroids cysts and breast ovarian uterine prostate and colon cancer can all be linked back to estrogen but it's not the levels of estrogens that can increase our risk instead it's the way our bodies handle that estrogen that matters, we can run individual lab tests for this, which I often recommend to my patients. That's called estrogen metabolism testing, which has to be done in the urine. Even without the test, however, it is safe to take a supplement an extract of cruciferous vegetables to improve your estrogen metabolism. That's basically like taking in six pounds of those veggies per day in a capsule form without the gaps.
That supplement is called dem the aim. You can also use methylated B vitamins as well as specific targeted antioxidants like resveratrol to help improve your estrogen metabolism and help protect you from that cancer risk. Of course, also, make sure you have your practitioner run a comprehensive genetic analysis to see from another perspective, if you are at increased risk and help you learn what you can do to lower that. If you're interested in learning more about dim, read chapter six of my book, Your longevity blueprint. And check out our product info sheet at your longevity blueprint.com Ford slash product board slash dim to get 10% off dim alone, use code dim or to get 15% off our estrogen detox bundle with dim methylated Bs and antioxidant support. Just use the code estrogen detox when checking out at your longevity blueprint calm. Now let's get back to the show. Kind of as answering the next question I was gonna ask you, but I was gonna ask, like in your story, how can women in this day and age put themselves first, if they want to be there for their loved ones?
Dr. Tabatha Barber 36:26
Oh my gosh, this, I think we are all struggling with this one, right? It's ingrained in us to put ourselves last to help everybody else first that's part of being a woman is we take care of other people. But we can't take care of them if we don't take care of ourselves. And I was the prime example. Like, I was everybody's favorite ob gyn. And it was to the point where my body was broken. You know, I had a herniated ruptured disc
Dr. Stephanie Gray 36:53
delivering a baby, right. Did I hear have I heard that on another podcast? delivering a baby you
Dr. Tabatha Barber 37:00
lots of bad things. So yeah, I mean, I ended up having a back surgery. And you know, my crazy heavy periods, and I have hashimotos. And I wiped out my adrenal glands. And I abused my body taking care of everybody else, because I always put myself last. And so the first thing you got to do is to admit that you're worth it. And that you're going to actually invest in yourself and take care of yourself. Because in the long run, you can't take care of the people you love. So it's a loving thing to do to take care of yourself. And for me, I had to set boundaries, I had to start saying no, I had to put blocks in my schedule. Because what I learned was people will take take, take, take take, and you're going to give, give, give, give, give until there's nothing left.
So I physically started putting stuff on my schedule. For me time exercise was on schedule, massage was on the schedule, going to concerts with my girlfriend was on the schedule. And it was no longer negotiable. It was like, Oh, I have to exercise it's on the schedule. Because before it was always a dream and aspiration, I'll go running when I'll go to the gym, when when this is done. When that's done when nobody else wants me. That's never gonna happen. That's a bunch of crap. Like you have to set boundaries. That is the loving thing to do. And you're teaching the people that you love and care for how to set boundaries as well. And so that point yeah, was a real eye opening point for me was, what am I teaching my kids by always having, you know, this crazy life where I'm giving, giving, giving, and I'm always depleted.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 38:50
I love that. I think that same is even true for like my staff, I think, because I'm trying I'm still working on setting better boundaries. But I also think what am I teaching them when anytime any patient just wants to put a you know, an appointment on the schedule, sneak it in here, stick it in there. No, that burns me out. And I so what am I teaching them that it's okay to just, you know, no, you don't let the patients don't run the run the practice. And so, yeah, I try to be as accommodating as I can but and I used to feel tremendous guilt if I didn't get everybody and all the time. We're not going to be around to see patients period if we you know, if we don't set boundaries, so we can be at our best when we're with patients. We deserve vacation and we deserve you know, downtime as well. So I've I've I like what you just said, because I think of that also as just with my staff like what example Am I setting for them because I want them to also learn to set healthy boundaries in their lives by love that. Yeah, it's so important and I have physically said to my staff on more than one occasion, you need to protect me. You need to keep me in a good space so that I can give back to my patients because honestly
Dr. Tabatha Barber 40:00
You know, our work is very emotionally depleting. I care about my patients, they sit and they talk to me and they tell me their life story and everything they're going through. And I take that on, and I feel emotionally drained at the end of the day sometimes. And so I need to protect myself, my staff needs to protect me so that I can keep giving back. And so I think if we just look at it in that way, like, if you want to keep showing up at your job, and being a rock star and showing up for your kids and showing up for your husband, you got to show up for yourself.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 40:36
Yes, love that.
yes, I gotta write this down. That was a good line. I loved having you on the podcast today. And as I kind of warned you, I ask all of my guests what their top longevity tip would be. And quite frankly, showing up for yourself is a great one. But But tell me what what would your top absolute top longevity tip be?
Dr. Tabatha Barber 40:59
That is my My top tip is show up for yourself. Put yourself first, you know, as selfish as you feel. It's the way it has to be. And that's how God wants it. God wants us to take care of our bodies so that we can take care of others as women, we are the healers, the nurturers, the lovers, the influencers of our family's health, our everybody. So what we do, projects on to the world, what we do is what our children learn to do, what we do is what our husbands do, this is key. So I see this all the time. My patients tell me their husbands won't eat well, they won't exercise it when do all these things. Men, the women start doing it, you better be darned The guys are jumping on board because they want to keep up with their women. They want to live a long, beautiful life with their women, we have so much more influence than we realize or accept. So everything that you're doing in your life is influencing those people that you love, your staff, your family, your friends, your husbands, your spouse's, your lovers, everybody is being influenced by what you do. And so if you have some high integrity and take care of yourself and put yourself first they will too. That's the longevity key right there.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:25
That's so good. I'm sure all the listeners are thinking, I wish you were my gynecologist. You have a great story. And I love what you do. I'm not a gynecologist, I don't have that experience. But we have very similar patient bases. And we're, we're working towards the same mission. So thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story and really just reminding us that God wants us to take care of ourselves that it's not selfish, but it's what we're called to do so that we can take care of others. So thank you so much for
Dr. Tabatha Barber 42:52
having me. I love all the work you've done, you know, such important work with estrogen metabolism and helping us understand like how our body functions. And if people do want to work with me, I'm licensed in over 20 states in the country so I can see lots of women you know, I'm here for you. If you need me, that is a lot.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 43:12
Well tell our listeners, I know you have a free gift. So last but not least tell our listeners what that gift is.
Dr. Tabatha Barber 43:17
Yeah, definitely check out the functional gynecologist guide to balancing your hormones naturally, because it really talks about all the things that we talked about today in more depth. And sometimes you need to see it on paper and get reminded and you know, use it as a cheat sheet, a little checklist. So download that and start incorporating do something one little thing, right?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 43:41
one thing at a time. Yeah. And you also have a podcast, the functional gynecologist podcast, and your book, as well. So we will post all of those links in the show notes.
Dr. Tabatha Barber 43:50
Thank you, Dr. Stephanie.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 43:52
Thank you so much for coming on. I'm so very thankful Dr. Barber brought attention to estrogen dominance as it is extremely common and I hope that you today gain some tips on how to conquer it. She is changing gynecological care using more tools than ever before. To help women truly get to the root cause of their symptoms. Be sure to check out her free guide to balancing hormones link of which I'll post in the show notes. And lastly, as she so eagerly reminded us today, please show up for yourself, put yourself first so that you can be there for those you love. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck, you can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the course tab.
One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. And leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics, guests or how you're applying what you've learned on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative. As always, thanks so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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