An interview with Dr. Michelle Sands – Lose 20 pounds in a month diet plan

Michelle Sands is a naturopath and bestselling author Hormonal Harmony Over 35: A New Natural, Whole Body Approach to Women’s Unlimited Health. A well-known speaker, female hormone expert and epigenetics coach, Dr. Sands is passionate about helping women harness the power of nature so that they can lift their genetic expression and live vibrantly, not only optimizing physical but also mental health. emotional. , and spiritual. She is the co-founder of Glow Natural Wellness, a global leader in optimizing women’s health, hormones and well-being through precision genomics, data-driven science and natural therapies.

Dr. Sands spoke to us about her work and the experiences that led her to a career in naturopathy and women’s health.

Michelle Sands, ND

Michelle Sands, ND. A long struggle with hormonal problems in her teens and teens led Dr. Sands to her life’s work: helping women to optimize their physical, mental, and emotional health. Photo courtesy of Dr. Sands

EndocrineWeb: How did you become interested in women’s hormonal health? What’s your story?

Sands: I’ve been battling hormonal issues since I was 11 years old. I was about to start my menstrual cycle and it was a rough road from the beginning. I experienced extreme pain, heavy bleeding and hormonal acne and at the age of 12 I was put on birth control pills (a nightmare for my Italian Roman Catholic mother).

I struggled with acne, weight gain, digestive problems and irregular periods during adolescence. From the age of 18 to 20, I had no menstruation at all. I’ve been an athlete and we always diet. In my second year of college, I collapsed on the runway and was taken to the hospital. After a battery of tests to determine what was wrong, I was released without explanation and was told to stay hydrated.

A few days later, I received a phone call from the clinic about blood tests. They told me that there were some abnormalities in my hormones and that they wanted to do additional tests. After several visits to the doctor, I was diagnosed with primary ovarian failure. I was told at the age of 20, before I could legally buy a drink, that I was prematurely menopausal, that my ovaries were finished, and that I would never have children.

That year I saw over 20 doctors, specialists, obstetricians / gynecologists and endocrinologists hoping for another diagnosis. They all confirmed that my ovaries had stopped working. My fate had been sealed.

I was depressed and troubled; I couldn’t believe this could happen to me. I was a good kid, I was an athlete, why was I broken? In addition to hormonal problems, I also had chronic digestive problems, chronic pain, depression and brain fog.

I decided to try to work on my digestion, so I took courses to get certified as a clinical nutritionist. It was a great addition to my work as a personal trainer that I had during college. And it was also a great opportunity for me to learn how to heal my digestion.

I started changing my meals from low-fat processed foods to real whole foods. This made a huge difference in digestion and pain levels. I focused on colorful fruits and vegetables, lean animal protein, and whole grains. After completing the certification, I learned about something called “functional nutrition” and gravitated to it. Eventually, I decided to change my career goals from a dual majoring in biology and communication to becoming a naturopath.

Along the way I gained access to experts, tests and information that helped me discover more dysfunctions in my body – heavy metal toxicity, celiac disease, Thyroid Hashimoto, and intestinal permeability. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by these discoveries, I felt empowered, knowing that I had the tools to improve them.

[My son] it is living proof that your diagnosis is not your destiny and that the body has a miraculous ability to heal and regenerate, no matter how bad you feel or how many doctors you have visited.

For the next 10 to 15 years, I graduated as a naturopathic physician (ND) from Bridgeport University in Connecticut, worked with a number of extraordinary physicians and naturalists, and cured each of my dysfunctions. I felt energetic, happy and healthy. And then something happened: my period started to come back around the age of 36. Month after month, like a normal woman riding a bike. I now met my husband in 2012, got married in 2015, and gave birth to our amazing son, Paxton Emerson Sands, completely naturally later that year, when I was 40 years old.

Paxton is living proof that your diagnosis is not your destiny and that your body has a miraculous ability to heal and regenerate, no matter how bad you feel or how many doctors you have visited. Paxton serves as a symbol of hope for women diagnosed with infertility, cancer, PCOS, Diabetes, autoimmunityand a variety of other conditions.

What is your expertise? Special areas of interest? Why?

My field of expertise is women’s health, metabolism, hormones and genetics. I like to solve complex problems and break them down into easy-to-understand concepts.

What is your educational background?

I studied alternative and complementary medicine for my bachelor’s degree and graduated with a degree in naturopathic medicine from the University of Bridgeport. I completed additional courses and certifications at Bastyr University, Stanford School of Medicine, the Institute of Functional Medicine, and the American Academy of Antiaging.

Where are you based?

I have offices in Waterbury, Vermont and Solana Beach, California. However, our practice GLOW Natural Wellness it is virtual and we see clients from all over the world and educate thousands of people through our online courses, coaching programs and telemedicine appointments. We were almost 100% virtual just before the pandemic, so it was an easy transition. I initially decided to convert my internship to telemedicine and online education when my son was a child. It was easier for me to make appointments while he slept, and many of my clients were either mothers, who were soon to be mothers, or busy executives, so the convenience of online visits was well received.

How and why do women’s hormones become unbalanced?

My hormones have been unbalanced for several reasons. My mother had a lot of anxiety and stress during pregnancy and did not eat well. So, I come up with ideas, and to see them flush it out, it’s really fun microbiome. As a child, I ate the standard American diet, with lots of pizza, pasta, pastries, chips, and soda. All processed foods. Whenever we sniff, we receive antibiotics prescribed by our doctor. Add to that the genetics that predisposed me to detoxification problems, celiac disease and autoimmunity and put me to hormonal problems.

As a teenager, I always tried to lose weight, so I would stop eating and skip meals. In college, I ran long distances and ate only low-fat (it was the ’90s, and cardio and low-fat were the things to do to stay healthy.) But all of this was a recipe for hormonal havoc. Genetics, the environment, excessive exercise and poor nutrition are all factors that have led to my hormonal imbalances.

Why do our hormones drop earlier and more suddenly than ever before?

The motif is multi-faceted. First of all, there are several chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system on the planet than ever. These include water, air, processed food and food packaging, cleaning products, personal care products, clothing, fire retardants on furniture and carpets, pesticides and herbicides, glyphosateand GMO foods.

Secondly, we are more stressed than ever. Especially for women, who have the task of raising children, managing the house, excelling in a career, caring for elderly parents, protecting families from harm, constant messages on the mobile phone, social networks, recessions, pandemics. There is much more stress for the average woman in this day and age than ever.

And third, the increased use of prescription drugs that disrupt hormones, such as birth control pills and antibiotics.

How do you think conventional medicine is doing harm to women’s hormonal health?

For women under 35, the answer to all hormonal problems is the birth control pill; for women between the ages of 35 and 45, many doctors blame all symptoms perimenopause and tell women that it is normal to feel tired, soft, blurred, and depressed. Then, after the age of 45, many doctors will blame menopause and tell women that they should feel blah, suffer. Some doctors even hear about women’s problems and recommend hysterectomies.

The problem with conventional medicine is that one rarely wonders why the problem happens. They ignore diet, lifestyle, environment and stress levels, and instead seek to match symptoms with a medication or procedure. If nothing can be matched, women are told how they feel. Or that “nothing can be done.”

What are the top five things women over the age of 35 can do to achieve or maintain balanced hormonal health?

  1. Eat a diet with real whole foods, including a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Make sure you eat protein, healthy fats and fiber at every meal (organic when possible). Multivitamin and mineral supplement.

  2. Practice a stress reduction activity every day.

  3. Exercise 30 minutes every day. This can be walking, flexibility, strength, endurance. Aerobic exercise is ideal, but just moving your body for 30 minutes every day will help your hormones.

  4. Do a night routine and sleep for 7 to 9 hours in a cool, dark room.

  5. Avoid non-organic personal care products and household cleaning products – these are famous for containing endocrine disrupting compounds. Change each item as you finish it with an organic alternative.

I always tell my patients that every day is a chance to improve your hormonal health! Every bite we take, every move we make, every breath we breathe and every thought we have has an impact on our hormones.

Gila Lyons

Gila Lyons writes about health and mental health for The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Salon, Health Magazine, The Huffington Post and other publications.

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