Dr. Joel Rosen: Alright, Hello everyone and welcome back to another edition of the less stress life where we teach exhausted and burnt out adults the truth about adrenal fatigue so that they can get their health back quickly. And today I’m joined by Dr. Tabitha barber who’s devoted her life to giving women a voice and choice when it comes to their health and well-being. As a young girl. She struggled with self-esteem and identity issues. she 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 find her purpose in life.
With perseverance and grace, she was able to redirect her path in life and become a successful physician. Dr. Tabitha Barbara is triple board-certified in obstructive abstract tics, and gynecology, menopause, and functional medicine. She cares for a woman, one on women one on one in her clinic as a functional gynecologist, and is the creator of the host and host of the functional gynecologist Podcast, where she shares her wisdom and knowledge with women everywhere to reclaim their health.
She’s a keynote speaker, clinical instructor, mentor, medical director, wife, mom, and even grandma. By incorporating functional medicine into her woman’s health practice, she is able to provide women with the tools they need to optimize their health and happiness, which in turn, allows those women to pursue or pursue their purpose in life. Dr. Tabitha, that’s quite an intro. Welcome to our podcast today.
Dr. Tabatha Barber: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited about this conversation.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, for sure. We were talking a little bit about what we wanted to talk about earlier before we started. And we want to talk about stress and the role that that plays on hormones and women’s health, health, and imbalances and obviously not feeling great. So you have your own story, though. So and we just kind of referred to that. But what made you want to get into that area of medicine?
Dr. Tabatha Barber: Yes. So you know, I come from this long winding path of becoming an OB-GYN because of kind of the trauma I went through having my daughter as a 17-year-old girl, and things were done to me, there weren’t conversations, there was no informed consent, there were no choices. And it left me feeling really unsettled. And I just felt like this deep desire to help women have a voice and a choice in their health, in, you know, their health care.
And so I got my crap together, I went back, I got my GED, and I went to a community college, I wasn’t really sure what I was gonna do. But I knew that I needed to do something related to women’s health. My mother-in-law at the time was in nursing school. So I went into nursing. And I was not a good student growing up. So I didn’t do well in school. You know, I lived in the principal’s office and in detention, and I barely passed. And when I got into the community college, I was excited. And I had, you know, a reason to be there.
And I was getting four points. And I was like, why am I doing so? well in school? Why is this so easy for me now, and it’s because I cared and I was paying attention. I was doing the work. And, you know, it wasn’t that I was dumb growing up, I just wasn’t interested in school. And so all of a sudden, I realized, like, hey, maybe I can do bigger things. And I said to one of my professors, I would love to be the doctor, instead of the nurse, I would love to be the one making the decisions and helping women with their choices, and not just carrying out orders. And he looked at me and he said, you can totally be a doctor.
And now it was a very defining moment for me, right? Like, what I can be a doctor seriously. And he completely believed in me, and that changed the whole trajectory of my life. And so, from that moment, I was like, wow, I’m gonna be a doctor and I didn’t let anything stop me. So, unfortunately, becoming a doctor is one of the worst possible things you can ever do for your health. It’s extremely hypocritical, how we work 120 hours a week we work sleep-deprived, we live on the garbage and junk food we eat while we’re walking to our next patient or to the or, you know, we don’t take care of ourselves because we are committed to taking care of everyone else. And so I spent the next decade destroying myself for my patients and that taught me a much bigger lesson in the end.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, we have a lot of common in that story. And thank you for sharing it, you have to have a little bit of humility to be vulnerable and explain that. And the same thing for me, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t as smart as I knew I could be until I started caring. And I always say, like, you kind of either go out of your way to do well, or you go out of your way to do poorly. And I think that’s resonating with a lot of things in health.
I mean, you go out of your way to be unhealthy, or you go out of your way to be and when I say I went out of my way, I missed classes because they were early. And when you’re 18, and 19, away from home for the first time, and there’s no one to tell you to go to bed, and you’re going to the pubs and the class, whatever, right? I mean, I went out of my way to miss those classes, I went out of my way to not get the notes and study the notes, and I went out of my way to do poorly.
So that’s an amazing lesson that you have. And then the other lesson was, as far as having someone else believe in you, and have that resonate and really hit home and make you realize that you’re capable of doing things. I guess this isn’t really what I was going to head towards.
But how much does that now in terms of the mindset and believing in yourself and going out of your way to do things that are proactive versus going out of your way to not do those things? How much does that impact what you teach you’re doing in your clinic and what you teach with your courses and what you resonate with your, with your just your mission?
Dr. Tabatha Barber: It totally aligns with all of it. And I think of it often because I had to make a huge pivot when, you know, being a traditional doctor was destroying my health, I was so sleep-deprived. And I was you know, doing surgery without sleep, catching babies all night, seeing patients every 15 minutes, not really helping them, you know, just getting them through the door and making them feel okay until their next appointment, but I wasn’t creating health wasn’t doing what I felt like I was put on this earth to do.
And you know, it came to a head in a few different ways. My periods got super heavy, you know, all of a sudden, I couldn’t manage my own periods as a gynecologist. How embarrassing is that, you know, the two tools that I have pills and surgery weren’t cutting it. And so I was dealing with that issue. And then I was also dealing with chronic back pain and a herniated ruptured disc. And so I went down the surgery path I had surgery, it didn’t heal me. And what happened was, I went back after my six-week recovery, I was on call and I re-injured my back and I said, something has got to change, I have to pivot big time. And that’s when I realized I can do whatever I want.
When I set my mind to it and you, you have to take control of your life, you have to make those hard decisions. I gave up my cushy salary job with my 401k and my health insurance, and my 1000s of patients who absolutely adored me being their obstetrician because I needed to save myself and I needed to serve my patients in a way that actually brought them back to health. And so I left that job and it was scary. But you have to do the hard stuff in life. You have to look fear in the face and just say, I know that this is gonna work out and I’m gonna do it. And honestly, what it came down to was my life was a ball of stress. Dr. Joel like I was living, maxed out, adrenal glands pumping 24 seven like I was living on that cortisol and adrenaline. You know, I wasn’t living on sleep running nutritious food, my relationships were suffering like everything was going downhill.
And I needed to get control of it, I needed to set boundaries, I needed to take back my choices for my life and stop letting life just take control of me. And so it was a big shift. And that was about two years ago. And it has been, you know, transformative. It’s been amazing. I’m now spending time with my patients, right? We sit down for an hour, hour, and a half and I help guide them back to the health that they should be and I help get their bodies back into balance. It’s not like here’s another pill. Let’s sign you up for surgery and get rid of the symptom.
You know, we’ve masked the symptom in conventional medicine because that we think that’s how we treat patients but all we’re doing is not getting to the root of the issue. And the issue is going to pop up somewhere else. It’s like whack a mole, right? You whack that malt comes up somewhere else. And we really need to get rid of the mole instead of just keep whacking it. Right?
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, no awesome information. And I like the idea of what I teach a lot with people where my psychology background came into play was the incongruence see between your behavior and how you feel on the inside, they don’t match. And that’s called dissonance. So if I am helping other people be healthy, but I myself am not being healthy. That’s a dissonance. And that’s going to create some kind of turmoil.
So I can do one of two things, I can either just help people and help them be healthy, because I’m not healthy, and they are aligned now. Or I can then change my behavior so that I am also healthy, as well as what I do so that they’re congruent. And you did that. And I think it’s a big part of healing because you are getting away get rid of that internal stress, but at the same time, it’s not it’s not easy, right? It’s a vulnerable position to look yourself in the mirror instead of from the 30,000 view foot and understand your flaws, and harness that as a motivating factor to ultimately get yourself better. So kudos to you for doing that. So I’m curious to know from a conventional medicine point of view because the term Adrenal Fatigue is really controversial not so much.
I wouldn’t say it’s a controversial term, it’s a crappy term. And the name of my website is called the truth about adrenal fatigue, because, quite frankly, it goes so much deeper than the adrenal is not being fatigued and still outputting cortisol, and people like to replace that with the HPA axis because that gives better detail of what’s happening. But I even feel the HPA axis is not a suitable term either, because it’s mitochondrial-based fatigue, and there’s cell danger.
And there are changes that happened in the body and your immune system, your nervous system, your endocrine system, your respiratory system, all of your systems are functioning together and coordinating the response. And the HPA axis is just playing a role in that it’s not the main thing. So with that being said, What’s, what’s your take on Adrenal Fatigue if clients come to see you, and we’ll transition into female and hormonal imbalances, and so forth, but what’s your take on that Tabitha?
Dr. Tabatha Barber: So, I will tell you about six or seven years ago, I don’t remember when but I had a patient come into my office and say, I think I have adrenal fatigue, do you think that’s what’s wrong with me, and I had no idea what the heck she was talking about, I had never heard the term, you know, when you are conventional doctor, you’re in your little world, you don’t have time to, you know, look outside and read anything else or learn anything else. You’re just kind of in this bubble.
And I was really blown away by like, What is she talking about? Why does she know something that I have nothing I don’t know anything about. And so I started studying and I started learning. And I realized that a lot of my colleagues just shut it down. You know, that’s crap. We don’t, you know, that doesn’t exist. And they didn’t question it. And they didn’t want to learn anything new. And I think you have to be a lifelong learner. As soon as you think you know it all. You’re gonna fail. You’re patient, right? Like, there’s always new evidence coming out.
There are new theories and new ideas. And I’m sorry, but I completely think the adrenal glands are extremely important, especially in women’s health, they place so much off of your sex hormones and your insulin and blood sugar and your thyroid, they all ping back and forth and affect each other. You know, our systems are not compartmentalized, they’re not functioning in silos. They’re all connected and affect one another. And so, you know, I deal with estrogen dominance on a regular basis, like I see a day in and day out. I see women in their 40s who are professionals, they are crushing it in their job, they have children that they’re raising, they’re trying to keep their marriage happy and alive.
You know, they’re doing all this, all the things, they’re hanging out with their girlfriends having cocktails. They’re trying to exercise and look good and stay young and healthy. And when we do all of that stressful stuff all day long, we pump out the cortisol way more than we’re supposed to as a human being, to get us through to give us the energy to To make that happen, and what women don’t realize is every time you pump out the cortisol because you’re pissed off about some email you opened or your kid got in trouble at school, or you’re fighting with your husband, like, then your body has to make sugar from its liver and put that out in the bloodstream because it thinks it’s you’re gonna fight or run in this situation.
It’s just, you know, that’s how our bodies were created. And then insulin has to be pumped out from the pancreas to go handle that sugar and either uses it as energy or stored as fat. And all of a sudden, women are gaining belly fat, you know, it’s from the stress, this stress elevates your blood sugar and makes you store that as fat. It’s all related, you know, and then it steals your progesterone. progesterone is one of the main ingredients to make cortisol. And so every time you make cortisol inappropriately, you’re stealing the beautiful balancing progesterone that you need. And so estrogen starts to dominate, you start having heavy periods, PMS, headaches, you’re ripping your husband’s head off, because you’re so irritable, you have no fuse left, that is all being driven by your excess cortisol production.
And as soon as women realize that they need to get control of their cortisol production, they can shift everything that they’re feeling and everything that’s going on. So I don’t care what you call it. You know, Adrenal Fatigue is the extreme end version of that, where you pump out the cortisol, nonstop. And eventually, you get to the point where your body starts to protect you and say, we’re not doing that anymore. We’re done with you crying wolf, we’re not going to pump out the cortisol, and it pumps the brakes, and you don’t make cortisol, then you’re not wanting to get out of bed, you don’t want to exercise in the morning anymore.
You don’t want to go to work, you don’t even want to take care of your kids. And it’s a real thing. And I see it all day, every day. So I don’t care what medicine wants to call it. But it is real.
Dr. Joel Rosen: You know, it’s a breath of fresh air. And I’m sure we can have a podcast about how your colleagues receive you on that. But you know what the thing that’s very frustrating to me, because I’m from a traditional family, I call myself the black sheep holistic guy, I have a sister who’s a GP and my uncle’s a dermatologist and my cousin, first cousins, a trauma surgeon, and I’m holistic, you know, black sheep member of the family. And the thing that upsets me the most I would even say go as far as say pisses me off is the dogmatic approach of well, we don’t have time to learn.
And I do recognize when you become a physician, you spend a lot you, you trade in your health, like you said, to get through all those long hours. And it can be quite rewarding financially, but as far as you’re overworked, a lot of the times you’re incongruent, you have that dissonance yourself and you’re unhealthy, yet you’re making recommendations. But the thing that upsets me so much is the dogmatic approach like, no, that’s wrong, or it’s black or white, like either you have insufficiency or you don’t, and there’s no Shades of Grey.
And then to make matters worse, and rub salt into the wounds, it’s more of Well, you’re simply a symptom magnifier, you’re a difficult patient, you’re, you know, one of those types of clients that look on the internet, and you’re just difficult, and you know what I want you really out of my office as quick as I possibly can. And I’m going to refer you to therapeutic support for depression and anxiety. And to me, that’s the part that I feel is in violation of the Hippocratic oath, it is because you’re committing errors, whether it’s an omission, or, you know, commission, you’re making judgments with lack of knowledge, and that’s ignorance. And it’s very frustrating. So it’s a fresh breath of fresh, fresh to hear that from you.
So now you kind of opened up the rabbit hole of how stress impacts hormones, especially for estrogen dominance and the role that progesterone plays in the steroid cycle to produce cortisol. So why don’t we just sort of make that a really easy connection for a woman who’s maybe in her Peri menopausal years, or she’s even younger, and we’re seeing those signs a lot earlier? And they are having these hormonal imbalances.
Take us through the ABCs of what happens to those hormones and how they become imbalanced or what the typical trends look like when it’s secondary to all the spinning plates. You are met. of balancing stress and work and life and everything else in between.
Dr. Tabatha Barber: Yeah, so normally, we should be having a nice, gradual rise of estrogen early in our cycle. And then we, you know, have a response from our brain, and our brain and ovaries keep talking back and forth all of the time. And our brain says, okay, the estrogen levels high enough, let’s ovulate an egg, Let’s release an egg. And the egg gets released in the area in the ovary where the egg was released, starts producing progesterone, and that goes up nicely in a gradual fashion and then comes back down along with estrogen.
And when they get low enough, then you bleed and have your period. And so it’s a nice balance between what the ovaries and brain are saying to each other every month. And you want to have a nice amount of estrogen and progesterone in a ratio together, and then you have testosterone in there, which helps with libido and helps with you wanting to have sex right before you ovulate so that you get pregnant. Like that’s how our bodies were created. They were designed for reproduction, right.
And so if you understand that cycle, you’ll understand how it can get imbalanced. And so first things first, if you’re doing things to prevent oscillation, which is you’re impacting your estrogen so that it’s either not being created enough early in the cycle, or it’s being created, you know, in a sharp up and down fashion, it’s not a smooth, nice progression, things like that, you’re not going to ovulate, and then you’re not going to make progesterone. And that’s gonna lead to either anovulation or irregular periods. So the things that mess that up are poor diet, you know, not managing your stress, like I said, that cortisol issue.
And if you get into this pattern where you’re consistently not ovulating, not making progesterone, excess estrogen drives a lot of bad things too much bad estrogen can feed breast tissue and uterine tissue and cause causes things to grow. That’s what estrogen does. And progesterone is kind of like the tamer it keeps it from growing too much and keeps it balanced. So you don’t want to be imbalanced. Too much estrogen earlier in life looks like endometriosis and fibroids, right? breast pain, fibrocystic breasts, all that stuff is growing because estrogen is feeding it and there’s no progesterone, as the weed killer to keep it tamed.
So that’s what you’re getting. And then you get later, maybe you start to or you stop ovulating consistently because you’re running out of eggs. That’s a natural progression into perimenopause, but you can get too much estrogen in that situation when you’re overstressed again. And that looks like heavy periods for women, you know, I was trained conventionally that you just get heavy periods in your 40s. And then you stop having them in your 50s. There wasn’t a lot of explanation as to why and how we can mitigate that you don’t have to have heavy periods in your 40s. That is a myth.
You do not have to have raging PMS, women were not designed to be miserable, you know, two to three weeks out of every month. That’s not how our bodies were designed. But that’s what society has trained us to believe they’ve trained us to believe that periods are supposed to be miserable. And you know, we should do whatever we can to get rid of them. That menopause turns you into this evil woman. And it just doesn’t have to be that way.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, great, great answer. And I think about it because I do a lot of genetic testing and the same dogmatic approach from conventional train doctors, have you? Well, MTHFR. All you need to do is take methyl Foley and I want to poke my eyes out when I hear that because not only is it so reductionistic there are so many other what I really love about the genetic components for Tabitha is the fact that it helps us build the roadmap, and it helps us understand the epigenetic or all of the environmental things that could overlap with people that have these bigger genetic potentials. Whether they have them or not, is kind of irrelevant because you have these epigenetic inhibitors that can do so many things, damage To the body.
And as you look in deep detail with that, like you think about estrogen disruptors and plastics in the water sources, and how that will feed to everything that you were just talking about, and then how the communication of the body works to detail to deal with that, where it will upregulate Gluta Fi on, so you don’t have DNA damage, but then your gluten ion is being depleted because of the same things. And then next thing, you know, you’re not clearing out that estrogen effectively, and then it comes.
So there’s all of them but the genetic component is really important because it can give me some ideas as to why you’re going down this Plinko chip remember prices, right? where you would put the thing at the top and it would go down, and hopefully it would go into the big one. But it’s almost like train tracks where you go from point A to point B, but if you have inflammatory responses, it switches the train tracks and you go down another pathway. So one of the genetic polymorphisms that I have, I’m not sure if you’re aware of, but it’s the CYP two, one a two, which basically what that one does, is it helps to convert progesterone into cortisol. And here I am, I’m an adrenal fatigue survivor if you will.
But I didn’t realize that that was a genetic potential that I have, where I’m just not squeezing the sponge as much as I possibly can to get that to produce that cortisol. So the question I would have to you is, do you utilize I know you definitely talk about environmental things and stabilizing blood sugar and the whole mindset and activity and getting rid of chemicals as much as you possibly can. And getting the B vitamins is natural and your food sources.
But I’m curious to know Tabitha, how much of the genetic components are part of your treatment? protocols are not even protocols, but your workup and your forensics, if you will, of assessing what’s going on with your clients?
Dr. Tabatha Barber: Yeah, I mean, I think that is where medicine should go, because we need to be individualized and how we care for patients and look at what’s going on with them. Right. Like we are all unique, we want to think we’re all experiencing the same thing. But we’re not we’re handling our estrogens differently. And I have a lot of women who really like to do the Dutch testing for hormones, the dried urine for comprehensive hormones, because you get to see what your body’s doing and how it’s metabolizing the sex hormones, right?
And so you see that Plinko Board of estrogen and does it go down and get methylated through the liver appropriately? Is it getting, you know, hydroxylated appropriately? And so, there that is where genes come into play. If you have like a CMT snipped or something and you cannot methylate that estrogen well, and your liver cannot handle it, that can also cause estrogen backup, it’s like, you know, the dam is getting backed up. And your estrogens have no way to get out of your body.
So they just go back into circulation, and they go into forms that are not so good that like to feed bad tissue and cause cancer. So that kind of information is really important. Because if we just assume everybody’s got the same genes activated and no mutations, then we don’t know that we need to help this one person with their liver function better, you know, or something like that. So it’s really important. I don’t do you know, I don’t force any of my patients to do this test.
And that test, I give them the options, we have a discussion, I say I don’t pay your bills, these tests cost money. It’s an investment in your health. That’s great information. A lot of patients have like their 23andme results or their ancestry.com results. And we can download that, you know, in look at it more for health issues, as opposed to like who’s your cousin, right? So you can use basic stuff to get a fair amount of information. And there are more advanced genetic testings out there. I actually just did one with Sam Shea that he’s gonna interpret on me pretty soon. So that was kind of cool. But I do think that’s the future.
I think it’s really important for us to look at individuals and how are you handling their sex hormones? As you said, you had trouble even making cortisol? That’s a big deal. Because if we just keep saying, Oh, you need to, you know, love on your dream nose and support them. Well, it’s more than that, right? You need to help with this. the issue that you have. And so it’s super important.
Dr. Joel Rosen: No, it’s great to hear. And it’s what makes you the functional gynecologists because it really is again, and I get a lot of frustration because when you see what happens behind the curtains, and you’re aware of the I once had an office where it was sharing space with a restaurant, we had a shared hallway. And I would never eat at that restaurant because I couldn’t like they put the potatoes in this big thing of water. And it was just Oh, and when you see what’s behind the scenes, it’s you have more detail. And it’s the same thing with the way convention.
Now, don’t get me wrong, conventional medicine has a purpose. And it’s great when it comes time to acute-based care. But when it’s a chronic health condition, and there are so many environmental things that overlap with that, and it overlaps with the potentials that genetically may be a little wonky, or cause a little extra load to go down the wrong pathways, then it’s not just a matter of, Hey, I’m a functional conventional doctor, and I’m an anti-aging doctor. So let’s just give you bioidenticals, even though you’re not clearing out that phase two of estrogen and I have no idea about that, let’s just reductionistic Lee give you this and hope for the best. So let me ask you this, I’d love to get your take on the indications or when it’s appropriate from your workup.
When you are assessing in a functional gynecological way, where you’re looking at their genetics, or you’re considering their Dutch test, which I love. You’re looking at all of their health histories and their timelines and post-traumatic stressors and really helping them educate themselves as a Hey, it’s just not take a pill and fix this. But when is it appropriate and your practice where you see the best values and indications for I’ve done all of that all things being equal? Let’s get you on some bioidenticals. Now?
Dr. Tabatha Barber: Yeah, that’s a great question. So I have that conversation pretty early on. Because, you know, what I always say is your imbalanced sex hormones are not the cause of your problem. They are the result. They are a byproduct of something else going on.
Dr. Joel Rosen: And so just repeat that one more time. Sorry to interrupt you, because it’s so important to repeat because I think it’s, I think it’s super important where that’s a paradigm shift for not just doctors, but for patients, where just say it as eloquently as you did because I think it’s so important to repeat again.
Dr. Tabatha Barber: Yeah, no, this I’m actually writing this book, ladies stop blaming your hormones, their result, their imbalance is the result, not the cause of your issue. So that being said, we can give you hormones to help give you an early win and help you maybe feel better to go on and do that bigger work. But if you don’t deal with your adrenals, your thyroid, and your sugar, those hormones aren’t going to work for very long, you’re going to be back in my office in three months feeling the same way because of the hormone issue is not your problem. That is a result. That is another symptom.
And so I will go, either way, I will say to my patients, we can get an early win by giving you this testosterone because you’re at like point zero, right? Like you got nothing. Or we can support your adrenal glands, we can give you da ga, we can give you progesterone to help you sleep if that’s what it takes for you to start doing the work like having enough energy to prep your food and cook real food to go out and to move your body every day to do the yoga or whatever it takes. So, I work in a more conservative area. And honestly, most women don’t go for the hormones right away.
They want to do the work. And I appreciate that. And I love that. So I don’t do a lot of bioidentical hormones just because people want to get to the root cause and they want to balance their hormones naturally. That being said, a woman going through perimenopause during that transition, sometimes it helps make a smoother transition, but you got to do the work. Like I’m just not in the business of chasing lab values and, you know, changing your hormone levels and giving you different prescriptions every three months because you’re not doing what it takes to feel better. You know, it’s not going to work. It’s just a temporary band-aid.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, and I love that about traditional conventional medicine is as you go deep down the pathways as the doctor And you see objective testing that tells you in real-time where you are and you put your doctor hat and ask the questions and spend the necessary time and help the decision with the patient to come up as a, hey, what fits your lifestyle, what fits where you are right now. And having that knowledge to understand the way to go, having the tools of the prescriptive or the bioidenticals to I guess, if you want bio-hack, or at least data track and use that much more effectively provided it’s not a set it and forget it, see you later, let’s not worry about your lately your levels of stress have as much modified, you know, corn syrup as you want. And, you know, you got to talk about all of those things.
So I love what you’re talking about. Sadly, Tabitha, I had a client that I was talking to the other day, and she had a hysterectomy, a full hysterectomy. And there was no she actually had ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer, and there was no discussion whatsoever of the game plan afterward. And I think that’s so sad. And she felt bad. She felt her low self-esteem was low, which was contributed to I’m sure the fact that her hormones are low now, right? Plus, on top of whatever stressors post traumatically, she’s had, and she was blaming herself for asking me these questions that no one ever told her about. I said, first of all, you need to stop blaming yourself.
It’s not you’re not the doctor, doctors need to tell you like, Okay, this is what we’ve done. This is our game plan. And I told her equally important is to figure out what went wrong, like cancer didn’t just fall out of the sky and hit you on the female reproductive system on the way down. Right. So we moving it is is is a therapeutic strategy, but why did it get there in the first place it should be on the doctor’s radar, and, and subsequently. Okay, what do we do now that we radically took this out there? So would you say at that point that might be more indicated for someone who’ve had those removals and hysterectomy is whether they’re full or partial? What’s your feeling on the necessity for supplementing or bioidentical hormones for those demographics.
Dr. Tabatha Barber: So more importantly, what I want to share is, it’s really important to still figure out what’s going on hormonally. So she’s probably making a lot fewer hormones because she has her ovaries removed, but your adrenal glands, your fat cells, they still do make some testosterone and estrogen. And so this is a common scenario. I see. Women have heavy periods, they go to the gynecologist they get an ablation, where we burn the lining inside the uterus so that you’re you don’t bleed anymore. You either have much lighter periods or no periods. And then you go into menopause. And that is the fix, right? 510 years down the line, these same women who had the ablation for heavy periods now come to me with breast cancer, because we didn’t fix the estrogen dominance.
We didn’t take care of that hormone imbalance, we just hit the symptom of our body screaming, hey, something’s wrong. Something’s going on. Please pay attention to me. And so, unfortunately, I see this scenario all the time, either they had an ablation or hysterectomy. I’m all good. My doctor fixed me. But now I have breast cancer, right? Not cool. Not cool at all. And so even if you got rid of that nagging symptom, you still need to know what your hormones are doing. It’s super important. And like you said, cancer doesn’t come out of anywhere. Things don’t just happen overnight. You know, I like to think of diabetes. It’s a prime example. Like, we are trained that if your hemoglobin a one, see your average blood sugar is 5.6. You’re fine. You’re good. We’ll see it in a year 5.7 you have pre-diabetes.
And, you know, you probably, you know, should have that rechecked in six months, six months later, you have diabetes, there’s no discussion about, hey, it took you five to seven years to get down this path. let’s reverse it and go the other direction. So you don’t get diabetes. Things don’t just happen overnight. You don’t wake up one day with diabetes. You don’t wake up one day with ovarian cancer, right? That’s not how it works or breast cancer. things develop over time. Your body is trying ridiculously hard. To counteract and stay in balance and combat all that crap that’s going on, it doesn’t want to grow crazy abnormal cells, it doesn’t want to grow cancer and have diabetes. It wants to be balanced.
But we just keep ignoring all the symptoms, we keep ignoring all the signals from our body year after year after year until we finally have a diagnosis that we can take care of, you know, and so I want to shift that to be, we need to get you before you get the diagnosis, and we need to turn you around and send you the other direction. Like, that’s all there is to it.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Awesome stuff, like that, ‘s the mic drop in terms of, you know, and I think that’s where pharmaceutical companies and insurance policymakers have to get on board because ultimately, insurance companies should get on board on that. And that’s a whole other topic. But if you can save my insurance companies are all about saving money. And so if I can save money by getting you healthier, why would we not have inundations and, and, and certain policies that encourage that, so that we can spend a little bit money on the front end, but save a mass amount on the back end. Number one, it also implies that the approach to that’s why you’re the functional gynecologist, but the approach to healthcare is, hey, we’re not waiting for you to get an F on the grade here, we see a D, we see a C plus.
And that’s where we need to intervene now. And that’s a huge paradigm shift as well. So kudos to you for thinking that. And the other thing I would say lastly is if you’re going in if you’re listening to this podcast, and you’re going in because you’re getting excessive bleeding, and they want to do an ablation, or you have fibroids or endometriosis, and they want to take care of it with a radical procedure, then make sure that a doesn’t get to that point in the first place. And you have a functional gynecologist to see the warning signs. But at the same time, ask the question, why did I get here? How did I get here? And what do I need to do in conjunction with what I just did radically, to support?
You know, I had, I used to do a lot of thyroid workshops. And I had a client one time say, Hey, can I come to your workshop? I got my thyroid removed. Did I say you still have your immune system? She said, I said, Well come on into the workshop, because that was one of the main reasons that you had to have that thyroid removed, amongst other things. So to come up with a plan of why did you get here in the first place? And how do we give you commensurate recommendations now that we’ve done these things, so awesome to hear these things? Another question I have, if it’s okay, if I asked you, with with with a lot of the clients that I work with, they there is a certain demographic that have had hormonal imbalances from females from a young age, irregular bleeding, so they were put on birth control, and they were on it for so many years, can you kind of get-go down that rabbit hole as to what the doctor is thinking with doing it in that approach? What the long-term consequences could be? And what alternatives would be for that type of female that’s presenting like that?
Dr. Tabatha Barber: Yeah. So you know, the thought is, if you’re not making your hormones appropriately, you are showing up with hormone imbalance, irregular periods, things like that. We put you on a birth control pill because it’s a synthetic form of a hormone to mimic your own cycle. But it’s, and what they found over the years was some women got rid of their acne, some women had fewer PMS symptoms, but some women have worse acne and worse PMS. So everybody responds differently.
But what happens is that communication between your brain and your ovaries is shut down, there is no longer a communication going on, you are not making your own hormones, you are taking synthetic hormones. And unfortunately, if you take it long enough, a lot of times that communication never comes back online when you go off of the pill. And so you got a woman on birth control starting at age 14 or 15 because her periods are a little irregular, and she’s got some acne because she junk food, but it’s a whole nother story.
She gets on the pill, you know, 1015 years later, she wants to have babies, she goes off and there’s no period and well, how come what’s the problem because the ovaries and the brain haven’t talked for over a decade. They need some guidance, they need some help, they might never talk again. And so that can be really discouraging for women, right. And it can also push an imbalance toward too much testosterone, it can damage your gut health and cause dysbiosis and lead to insulin resistance. We’ve seen pals develop from being on birth control pills, you know, what conventional doctors are taught is that there’s no harm in this, and it hasn’t been linked to breast cancer, and it probably decreases your risk of ovarian cancer.
So it’s all good, and all women should be on it, that those are kind of the blanket statements by our society’s a colleague, you know, American College of ob-gyn. And so that’s how gynecologists practice. And I will tell you, the rates of breast cancer have gone up in the past few decades. And there are more and more women on birth control pills, just because we don’t have a study. evaluating it directly doesn’t mean it’s not causing it. I’m not saying it does. But I would venture to say synthetic hormones and menopausal women caused cancer, why wouldn’t they? In premenopausal women, so that’s my little nervousness. Having said that, I am in favor of birth control, right?
If I would have had more babies after my 17-year-old pregnancy, I don’t know that I could have become a physician very easily. So I am all for women having a choice and making that decision if they want to use that for birth control, more power to them that should be available. But I want you to know what you’re getting into in the long run, and what possible consequences might happen from it. Hey, there are other actions that don’t cut down that communication between your brain and ovary. Let’s talk about other options, right?
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, well, you know, it’s, it’s an important point that you make in terms of communication runs you at the cellular level, and it runs your relationships at the 30,000-foot level, right? I mean, if you’re not communicating with your spouse, or your kids, or your colleagues or your parents, and there’s a breakdown, then there’s going to be turmoil, and there’s going to be miscommunication. And the same thing happens at the cellular level where that pituitary is sedated. And it’s already sedated with cytokines and inflammation and blood sugar imbalances. And again, coming up with the repetitive theme of Okay, if you’re having irregular periods at this young age, let’s figure out why.
And address that and blood sugar comes up. And actually what’s coming up now, which is scary is Wi-Fi. It’s really 5g, as I’m sure you’re aware of which you know, they sleep with their phone underneath their head with not in airplane mode, and every little notification their Pavlovian dog reflexive, answering that text and eating sugary foods and not having a protein or fat to be seen. And you know what, let’s just put you on birth control. Now again, if, if you’re, if you’re discussing the other things, and it’s, it’s symptomatically painful, and it’s disruptive to your life, and you need to, as you said earlier, bide some time and get some early wins, then let’s do this or for whatever other but let’s not ignore neglect the physiology that led to this in the first place.
So we can synergistically do healthy things at the same time. And that’s what I think the beauty of medicine is headed towards as well where we can harness these interventions pharmaceutically to Biohack the body and do it short-term-wise as well, like Metformin and other at a lot of other things, lots of other things. So awesome information, I can see why your patients must love you and why you’re the functional gynecologist. So tell us a little bit about how we get in contact with you. If this resonates with our listeners and they’re looking for someone, do you work with people distantly? Tell us a little bit about your private practice and how to get in contact with you.
Dr. Tabatha Barber: Oh, yeah, thanks, Dr. Joel. So I’m licensed in over half of the country, I can see patients and be your physician and many, many states. In the states I’m not licensed in, I can at least act as your coach and give you guidance and really delve into the issues that you need to handle. I just can’t necessarily give you your thyroid medication, that kind of thing. But don’t hesitate to reach out to me because we can help you for sure. So I recommend women go to my website www. dr tabitha.com. It’s three A’s ta B at AJ and you know, reach To me, email me call the office, and see if we can work together. I do a group program a few times a year where it’s a seven-week, you know, a program we get you hormonally balanced by getting you eating the right foods. Incorporating intermittent fasting, healing your gut, managing your stressors, dealing with all your emotional baggage, all that stuff.
So that is called the renew you seven-week challenge. That’s pretty amazing. And it’s a sisterhood of women who do it together, we lift each other up, we support each other through it, it’s an awesome course. And then you can listen to my podcast, the functional gynecologist right. And I always have awesome guests like Dr. Joel, we talk about anything and everything that relates to women’s health because women just need to hear the information. They need to know that there’s an alternative to the pill and the surgery. You know, there are other options. You just need to know about them. So yeah, definitely check me out or Facebook, Instagram, Dr. Tabitha.
Dr. Joel Rosen: That’s awesome information. So in parting, I always ask my guest Tabitha. So with your knowledge and your Sage wisdom now that you’ve acquired over your trials and tribulations and continuing to search for answers and having a purpose-driven mission to help women that aren’t being heard?
What would you have told the younger I call it bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Tabitha, that you didn’t know then that you know, now that would have helped your stress response would have helped you adapt quicker, or even just any information that would have helped you from a health standpoint.
Dr. Tabatha Barber: Yeah, so I would have put my oxygen mask on before I put others on, I would have taken care of myself first and foremost, from the get-go before my patients, as hard as that was for is for me to swallow, I have to take care of me before I can take care of the people that I love. Because you cannot feel from an empty cup.
Dr. Joel Rosen: It’s a good point, we have a lot in common in that regards to I think that a lot of the time we are the shoemakers with massive holes in our shoes. And we are so busy working on other people’s holes no matter what, even if we’re doing it from a functional standpoint, we always have to be reminded that self-care is it’s not helpful if it’s not happening first. It is selfish, right? I mean, because if you’re not able to put your oxygen mask on yourself, you can’t help other people.
And I find that a lot of people in the holistic area or people you probably have this as well, where clients that you work with, they’ve been through so much. And so many doctors and the journey has been so arduous and long, but they really like and love and embrace the new concepts that they themselves now go on and help other people in different capacities based on their own hero’s journey. And I think the thing to remind them about is always, always and that’s talking to you and to me, is always take care of yourself.
First, It’s not selfish. I mean, they say to pay yourself first, put the oxygen mask on yourself first, fix the holes in your shoes first. And I think a lot of people that are exhausted and burnt out or having hormone imbalances, in a lot of ways they are those over empathetic clients that have that predisposition to be caring and helping people do you find that as well.
Dr. Tabatha Barber: Oh, yeah, that, you know, they say yes to everybody else, because they want to make people happy. They want their people pleaser. And that’s okay, that’s a beautiful thing that you know, you’re like that you have a huge heart. But it’s gonna kill you, man. It’s gonna deplete you. So you have to give yourself as much grace as you’d give somebody else and give to yourself. It’s just as important.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Awesome. And so and then I think you mentioned a way for them to get ahold of your book, where would they go to do that? Oh, yeah.
Dr. Tabatha Barber: So it’s on Amazon, you know, or Barnes and Noble, but you can get it off my website as well. So if they want to check that out, that’s fun. It’s an inspirational autobiography like I just want to share my story because I think it inspires people to remember that they are capable of going for their dreams and doing what they want to do and whatever roadblocks there are. There’s always a way around, you know, so I just want to inspire women like hey, you can do this it. I did it. It was rough. So you can do it too.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Well. You have integrity in that sense. Like you’re not just telling other women to walk the walk when you haven’t done it yourself. Right. So that’s great as far as did you mention And also that you have a new book coming out or you’re working on another book.
Dr. Tabatha Barber: I am it’s an owl, I’ll come back on when it comes out.
Dr. Joel Rosen: All right, that’s great. Well, we will have you back on, I love to have that open invitation for our guests. Because I know like yourself, I’m sure, whatever, whenever I, you know, six months or later, I always say anyone that I’ve consulted with six months or later, I would love to talk to you again because so much has changed in terms of the research. We know, in terms of practice, as we talked about earlier, where practices, you don’t know it all.
As soon as you feel you know, it all you probably are in big problems with not knowing it all. And ultimately, the practice continues to make perfect and we have these clinical nuggets and tools of the trade that we find aha moments like oh my gosh, I’m connecting these dots all the time. So we’d love to keep that invitation open and just want to thank you for your time today and and and just commend you on all the hard work and dedication and the taking the not easy role Tabitha in terms of it’s not easy to shine the light on yourself.
It’s not easy to shine the light on the faults and the flaws of conventional medicine and take the criticism and being vulnerable to your colleagues and just continue to hold that mission-driven purpose because it’s sure is going notice. So thank you so much for all you do.
Dr. Tabatha Barber: Welcome. Thank you so much. And for your listeners, I do have a free guide. It’s called the functional gynecologists guide to balancing your hormones naturally. So if you can throw the link in there for them, that would be awesome.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Okay, great. I will. Yes. Awesome. All right. Well, you have a good rest of your day Tabitha, and we’ll catch up soon.
Dr. Tabatha Barber: Thank you. Take care.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Bye.