Get Control of Your Hormones!


The following is a guest post written by my good friend and colleague Dr. Anna Cabeca, a hormone and anti-aging specialist. One of her specialties is helping women and men balance their hormones so they can feel better, look younger, and even lose weight.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then this blog post is for you…

  • Your mood changes unpredictably or you’re depressed.
  • You’ve gained weight over the years and dieting doesn’t work as well as it once did.
  • You’re tired most of the time and you use caffeine to help you get through the day.
  • You experience sleep problems such as difficulty getting to sleep or waking up in the wee hours of the night.
  • Your interest in sex is lackluster (or nonexistent).
  • Your mind feels hazy or scattered and you have difficulty concentrating.
  • You’re experiencing obvious hormonal issues such as PMS or hot flashes.
  • You have lost your edge at work or lost interest in your usual activities.

It’s easy to think that these symptoms are just a part of normal aging, but they aren’t.

If your hormones are balanced then there is NO reason why you shouldn’t have abundant energy, a fit body, and feel fantastic for decades to come.

Your body uses many different hormones to stay healthy and happy but in today’s post we are going to discuss three of the most important ones.

Thyroid Hormones

Thyroid hormone is often called “The Master Hormone” because it controls so many processes in our body. Most importantly, it secretes hormones that control how your body converts calories into energy. When the thyroid is underperforming, your metabolism is not burning as many calories as it normally would, and un-used calories are stored as fat much easier.

Warning signs of an underactive thyroid:

  • Weight gain
  • Low energy
  • Bad mood
  • Memory loss
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle Nails
  • Achy joints
  • Cracked heals
  • Hair loss

How to support your thyroid:

  • Eat foods high in iodine like kelp, eat a brazil nut each day and foods rich in tyrosine like oysters and eggs, eat salt water fish and shellfish
  • Eat less foods that interfere with thyroid function like almonds, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, canola oil, peanuts
  • Exercise daily with high intensity intervals for a low duration of time
  • Take 200 mcg of selenium daily = 1-2 brazil nuts


Adrenal Hormones

Your adrenal glands produce cortisol – a hormone that gives you extra energy in stressful situations. This is good if you are a caveman being chased by a lion and you need a quick boost of energy to help you run away and climb a tree.

But what if you are a modern human living in a state of constant stress?

Some of us lead such stressful lives that our cortisol levels are always high and we become addicted to the cortisol rush. If you are too stressed out for too long then you may experience the signs of high cortisol followed by cortisol depletion (low cortisol).

Warning signs of high cortisol:

  • Weight gain around the middle
  • You get a “second wind” around bedtime
  • Low sex drive
  • Gastrointestinal issues, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Backaches and headacheshormones

Warning signs of low cortisol:

  • Trouble getting out of bed in the morning or tired when wake up
  • Extreme fatigue, low energy
  • Carb cravings
  • Hyper sensitive emotions
  • Low blood sugar
  • Frequent urination
  • All over body ache

How to support your adrenal glands:

  • Stop eating processed foods
  • Eat protein and healthy fat at every meal
  • Don’t go too long between meals
  • Take extra Vitamin C and B complex, and maca
  • Exercise regularly
  • Make time for fun and rest
  • Go to bed and eat meals at the same time every day
  • An alkalinizing diet low in red meats, no dairy, no sugar, no gluten, and few grains
  • Do a nutritional detox


Reproductive Hormones

Sex hormones regulate much more than your libido. For women, maintaining a balance between estrogen and progesterone is key if you want to keep extra weight off, have lots of energy, and feel great every day. Most women who come to my clinic with reproductive hormone problems are struggling with a condition called estrogen dominance.

Warning signs of estrogen dominance:

  • Increase in PMS symptoms
  • Decreased libido
  • Irritability
  • Infertility
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain around the abdomen and the thighs

How to restore estrogen/progesterone balance:

  • Eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and veggies each day (4 veggies to 1 fruits ratio)
  • Support your adrenal glands and thyroid
  • Decrease exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals like parabens and phthalates (found in many personal care products and artificial fragrances)
  • Use a bio-identical progesterone cream with USP progesterone.
  • Consider taking an herbal supplement called Maca.
  • An alkalinizing diet low in red meats, no dairy, no sugar, no gluten, and few grains
  • Do a nutritional detox


The Power of Hormones

To illustrate just how important these 3 hormones are I will share my story with you.

In 2006, I was a practicing OB/GYN with a busy medical clinic. I was stressed out all the time and I imagine my cortisol was through the roof.

After an incredibly stressful devastating family tragedy … I suddenly began experiencing a series of hormone-related health problems:

  • I went into instant menopause at age 39 (estrogen dominance)
  • My body ballooned to over 200 pounds (low thyroid, estrogen dominance)
  • Every day I was in constant, chronic pain (cortisol depletion)
  • I couldn’t seem to get out of bed but I couldn’t sleep either (cortisol depletion)
  • I cried all the time and felt hopeless (estrogen dominance)
  • My hair started falling out (low thyroid)

I was a practicing OB/GYN at the time, but I didn’t know very much about hormones, so I asked my medical colleagues for advice.   This is what they told me…

  • “You need to be on antidepressants
  • “You will never get pregnant again”
  • “You can’t reverse early menopause
  • “You need to be on sleeping pills



Frustrated with the conventional medical “wis-dumb” I decided to take a 1 year sabbatical and I scoured the globe for answers.

My “miracle discovery” happened in Peru, where the indigenous women living high up in the Andes Mountains don’t suffer with haywire hormones.

Thanks to this ancient herbal remedy I was eventually able to reverse my menopause, conceive and deliver a healthy baby girl, grow back my hair, and lose all the extra weight!

What did I discover in Peru? Find out here »

Sara and Pedram Get Medical Exams with Alan Christianson

On July 30, 2014, Pedram Shojai and Sara Gottfried both flew to Phoenix, AZ to get a thorough medical exam from their friend, Alan Christianson. Both Pedram and Sara are starting 100-day gongs and it’s important to know where they are regarding their health at the beginning so that after 100 days we know the progress that they’ve made. Sara and Pedram also met with the other physicians in Alan’s clinic, Dr. Linda Khoshaba, Dr. Adrienne Stewart, and Dr. Saman Rezaie. After visiting the clinic, Alan then took Sara and Pedram out for a little fun at a rock-climbing facility.

Are You Sitting Too Much?

According to a report from the National Institutes of Health, adult Americans spend on average 7.7 hours a day engaged in “sedentary behavior”. What’s even more alarming is that the Archives of Internal Medicine found that the risk of premature death grows 15 percent for those who sit eight hours a day! And the risk increases 40 percent for those who sit 11 hours a day compared with those who sit just four hours. Too much sitting can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Sitting So Much Should Scare You

Sitting So Much Should Scare You Infographic (Ergotron) / CC BY 3.0

Further on the Topic of Robin Williams

Pedram Shojai and Sara Gottfried share updates on the gongs they recently started. They then dive into a further discussion on Robin Williams which started in the episode with Shawn Stevenson. We received some messages that took concern with Shawn’s statement that suicide is a “selfish” act. Pedram and Sara continue the conversation on this sensitive subject. Pedram discusses his experiences knowing people to have taken their own lives. Sara discusses how the news of Robin Williams affected her family. Most importantly, if you are suffering from depression and thinking of taking your own life, please seek help!

Ask Empowering Questions To Revitalize Your Health (Guest Shawn Stevenson)

This week Pedram Shojai and Sara Gottfried welcome Shawn Stevenson to The Health Bridge. When Shawn was younger, he was physically weak and ill. He broke a hip while running track and was told that his spine was similar to that of an 80-year-old. The doctors told him that nothing can be done to cure him, yet they went ahead and prescribed pills for him to take.

Instead, Shawn took it upon himself to make lifestyle changes that eventually cured him. What impact did Shawn make to his health when he cut out fast food? What sort of improvements occured? How did his overall quality of life change?

Food Sensitivities Vs. Food Allergies

According to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly a third of the people that live in the U.S. believe that they have a food allergy. Yet, only 4% of teens/adults and 5% of children actually have food allergies.

Why do so many people have difficulty identifying food allergies?

Some researchers believe that “food allergy” is often misused because people are not fully aware of what the term actually means. And this results in their loose use of the term.

Food Allergies

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Needs vs. Wants with Guest Cliff Hodges

Some of us think we need that cup of coffee in the morning or the newest gadget, but is that really a need? This week Pedram Shojai and Sara Gottfried welcome Cliff Hodges of Adventure Out to The Health Bridge. Cliff runs a survival training program that aims to re-acclimate the 21st century human back to our primal instincts.

When we’re worried about actual survival, how does the list of needs vs. wants shift? Is that coffee still a need to stay awake? Or does it become a need to sustain ourselves. Is the smartphone still important? Or should we worry more about staying warm after the sun sets? What can spending time disconnected from the 21st century out in the woods do for our perspective of the world?


The Hike to Chino Canyon, Palm Springs


Our journey began on an arid Tuesday in Palm Springs. Most of us (Pedram, Summer Bock, Tom O’Bryan, Dave Asprey, Abel James and Alyson Bridge) had been stuck at this golf resort for over four days and we were looking for a sweet escape. We were sane enough to feel the insanity creeping up and we had to do something about it. So we decided to take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of Chino Canyon at Mt. San Jacinto State Park and unplug for the day.

We thrive in the presence of nature and suffer in its absence. Only when we reached the top of Chino Canyon and looked down at the miles and miles of endless forest did we realize that we had deprived ourselves of real nature. Yes, the golf course at the resort was nicely designed and maintained, but we weren’t hungry for that. We needed something wild… something worth exploring.

The trip to Chino Canyon really did feed us – emotionally, mentally, and physically. We hiked a good six miles. Stopped at a peaceful meadow to enjoy our lunches. We packed lots of organic blueberries, bananas, cucumbers, carrots, wild salmon, and almonds. We shared everything. And it was awesome! We kicked off our shoes and soaked in the sunshine. There was no cellphone reception… and I was so grateful for that. It was so refreshing to be “off the grid”, even if it was only for eight hours.

I wanted to share some photos of our hike with you in the hopes that this will inspire you to go out and have a journey of your own.

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Talking Trash: How to Sort Your Waste

That’s a lot of waste:

Did you know that the average person produces 4.3 pounds of waste per day? No? Now, imagine how much waste is produced if there are 7,253,563,313 billion people who live on this Earth.

It’s time to take out the trash.

Waste Management

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Staying Cool and Saving Water


We’re pretty much all the same. What make us different are our experiences. Whether you’ve been environmentally conscious since you were a kid or if you just started using reusable bags to carry groceries, it just takes a smidge of conscious effort to make an impact. It doesn’t have to be hard. You might need to change your old habits, but it will definitely be worth it.

I realized the importance of taking care of the environment and everything around us when I was in middle school. This passion of mine began as a small flame and little did I know that it could ignite a fire inside me. Today, I am a student at UC Irvine who is pursuing a degree in Urban Studies and a minor in Global Sustainability. Here’s my perspective as a student… I want to share with you some small changes that you can make to save water and energy this summer!

I have been fortunate enough to meet some amazing people and work with inspiring individuals who constantly push me to work harder and to never forget to be thankful for all that I have. In this day and age, I feel that a lot of people take things for granted. Not just our loved ones, but also our time, our health, and the environment we call “our home”. Why not take that extra step, and hit two birds- excuse me, four birds with one stone?

[Read more...]