Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive and Vitality Naturally
With the Gottfried Protocol
Q. You’re not the usual OB/GYN, yet you were educated at MIT, Harvard Medical School, and are a board-certified gynecologist. What made you go rogue?
A. It’s in my genes to go rogue – my great-grandmother was a radical whole foodist and yogini, decades before there was a yoga studio on every street corner. She would show up at our home in Annapolis, Maryland, not with gum or Barbies like my friend’s grandmothers, but with kale and carob/wheatberry cookies. She drank hot water with lemon and extolled the virtues of fish oil to me at the breakfast table, when I was… 5. But it wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I understood her legacy. I was practicing McMedicine and seeing 40 patients per day, and I felt I couldn’t get to know my patients and really listen to them the way that I wanted to. Like many women, I was burning the candle at both ends – I had 2 kids, a husband who travelled a lot, and I was a working mom trying to be all things to all people. Like most women, I was wired to overprovide and give until I drop. At that time I had the 4Fs: I was frazzled, frumpy, fat, and you can imagine the last F. I was too young to feel so bad. I went to my doctor and was offered exactly the wrong thing – an antidepressant. It didn’t feel right to fill that prescription, so I turned my medical training onto my myself and learned that my hormones were in total chaos: my cortisol was high and responsible for my growing muffintop. My thyroid was borderline, making me depressed and causing my hair to fall out. My estrogen was too high, very common after 35, and that made it hard to lose weight or want to love up my husband. It took me 3 months to turn the ship around, but when I did, I felt like myself again – happy, free, and curious about the world instead of angry and resentful. Then I started me own integrative medicine practice, and offered my new approach to women, and well… it’s been wildly successful. I’ve applied this approach—which I now call The Gottfried Protocol, a progressive, 3-Step natural solution to the top 7 hormonal imbalances that women face – to more than 10,000 women in the past 10 years. Women are hungry for natural treatments and fresh approaches.
Q. What’s the top problem modern women face?
A. We face a silent epidemic of overwhelm – we’re cranky, fat, and have no sex drive because stress has hijacked our hormone balance. Most women run task-to-task and don’t realize how the main stress hormone – cortisol – is depleting the happy brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, pulling your other hormones offline, accelerating the aging process, and setting you up for memory problems and perhaps Alzheimer’s disease. Yet cortisol is a completely tangible hormone that you can manage like you would train a puppy or track your 401K.
Q. What is so unique about your new book, The Hormone Cure?
A. I apply a science-based correction for hormonal balance for women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Rather than randomly seeking every possible cause for a hormonal problem, we identify the small changes that will have the largest impact. Each woman has unique needs, and I meet those needs using whatever it takes: science, nutrition, botanical remedies, ancient methodology, bioidentical hormones. I believe that weight gain, mood swings, fatigue, and low libido aren’t diseases that can be “cured” with a quick injection or a pharmaceutical. This is a huge wakeup call. For 57 years, the mainstream medical community had been prescribing synthetic hormones before knowing the real effect on women’s health.
Q. Why are hormones so important to a woman’s overall health?
A. It’s not fair, but it’s a fact: Women are much more vulnerable to hormonal imbalance than men. Hormonal problems are the top reason I find for accelerated aging. Hormones are chemical messengers, like snail mail in the body. They influence behavior, emotion, brain chemicals, the immune system, and how you turn food into fuel. When your hormones are in balance, neither too high nor too low, you look and feel your best. But when they are imbalanced, they become the mean girls in high school, making your life miserable. You can feel lethargic, irritable, weepy, grumpy, unappreciated, anxious, and depressed.
Q. What role does stress play on a woman’s hormones?
A. According to national polls, women feel more stressed than men: 25 percent of women in the United States are on a pill for anxiety, depression or just feeling unable to cope compared to 15 percent of men. Clearly, our ways of dealing with stress are not working for us, and by the way, antidepressants commonly cause more problems than they fix – they’re linked to weight gain, low sex drive, loss of orgasm, and breast cancer. After 40, we’re wired to be seekers, free of domestic responsibility, but so many of us had kids later in life. No wonder we feel frustrated and burdened by the householder’s to-do list. Stress relief is essential for more than high or low coritsol. That’s why I put a big focus on ways for harried women to reduce stress. I want you to prevent the potential crash of your health because of stress.
Q. Why aren’t more doctors speaking about this problem?
A. As a gynecologist and a woman, I’m fully aware of how women are exquisitely vulnerable to the downstream damage of stress. But in conventional medicine, we’re taught that hormones are unreliable and not to be tracked. I’m here to tell you that is just not true. Like thousands of other obstetricians, gynecologists, internists, and family-practice physicians, I had been doling out the wrong advice. I love mainstream or allopathic medicine—I’m board-certified in it, and many of my closest friends are mainstream physicians. But there are certain problems that allopathic doctors are not educated to treat, especially problems related to stress and hormone imbalance in women.
Q. What do you want readers to take away from your book?
A. Women are told that it’s normal to feel fatigued, anxiety-ridden, unsexy, fat or cranky. It’s not true. And it’s not normal. Women will pay thousands of dollars to “treat” symptoms of what are, in truth, hormone imbalances and nutritional problems. It’s far easier to get your hormones in balance than to live with the consequences of hormonal chaos. Together we will decode your symptoms with The Gottfried Protocol and create a new solution, just for you.