Is It Me or My Hormones? with Marcelle Pick

Marcelle Pick

Have you ever wondered why you feel tired, moody and/or overweight and if your hormones are the cause?

On Today’s show, Marcelle Pick covers many aspects of hormones for women of various ages.

Marcelle Pick earned a BS in Nursing from the University of New Hampshire School of Nursing, a BA in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire, and her MS in Nursing from Boston College-Harvard Medical School. She is certified as an OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner and a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

Marcelle co-founded  Women to Women in 1983 with a vision to change the way in which women’s healthcare is delivered. In her practice, Marcelle undertakes an integrative approach which not only treats illness, but also helps women make choices in their lives to prevent disease.  In 2001, Marcelle created womentowomen.com with a goal to inspire and educate women.

Marcelle has served as Medical Advisor to Healthy Living Magazine, writes a weekly newsletter from WomenToWomen.com, and lectures on a variety of topics — including weight loss resistance, infertility, stress and illness, and adrenal dysfunction.  Marcelle has written three books: The Core Balance DietIs It Me or My Adrenals? and Is It Me or My Hormones?  Her PBS show, Is It Me or My Hormones? is a favorite among viewers.

I asked Marcelle some specific questions, based on many of your questions and frustrations expressed to me, and I think you’ll be excited to learn the answers. Whether you’re a woman in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or beyond, I think you’ll take away some great nuggets of information for your superior health and vitality.

So please enjoy this interview with Marcelle Pick…

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For more information on Marcelle Pick, visit her website.

Transcript of Today’s Podcast.

Start Transcription – [0:00:00]

Trevor:  Hi everyone.  I’m Dr. Trevor Cates.  Welcome to the Spa Doctor Show, where we talk about health tips and strategies to help you be smart, sexy and strong.

On today’s show, I have as my guest, Marcelle Pick.  Marcelle earned a BS in Nursing from the University of New Hampshire, School of Nursing, a BA in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire, and her MS in Nursing from Boston College Harvard Medical School.  She is certified as an OBGYN, a Nurse Practitioner and a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.  Marcelle co-founded Women to Women in 1983, with a vision to change the way in which womens health care is delivered.  In her practice Marcelle undertakes an integrative approach, which not only treats illness, but also helps women make choices in their life to prevent disease.

In 2001 Marcelle created WomenToWomen.com with the goal to inspire and educate women.  Marcelle has written 3 books: “The Core Balance Diet,” “Is It Me or My Adrenals?” and “Is It Me or My Hormones?”  Here PBS Show is “Is It Me or My Hormones?” is a favorite among viewers.

On today’s show we cover many aspects of hormones for women of various ages. Because I’ve heard so many of your questions, I asked Marcelle some very specific questions, and I think you’re going to be excited to learn the answers to these questions.  Whether you’re a woman in your 30s, 40s, or 50s or beyond, I think you’ll take away some really great nuggets of information to help you have superior health and vitality.

Please enjoy this interview with Marcelle.

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Begin Interview – 0:01:52

Trevor:  On today’s show, I have as my guest, Marcelle Pick.  It’s so great to have you on Marcelle.

Marcelle:  Thank you so much, I’m glad to be here.

Trevor:  We’re talking about hormones and womens hormones specifically.  I know that you have a goal to inspire and educate women; that’s a big goal for you, a mission for you.

Let’s start with that.  What has inspired you to have that be your big goal, your mission?

Marcelle:  Well, I’ve been doing this a long time.  We started in 1985.  Chris Northrup and I started a practice called Women to Women.  At that time, no one, number one, there were no all women practices around.  Secondly, no one was really talking to women about how do they learn a little bit more about their own bodies.  Since that time, both of us have taken it on as a mission to help women become more educated about themselves so that they can navigate the world of health, especially as they get older.

Hormones are something that a lot of times people don’t pay much attention to.  If somebody goes and has one of their practitioners and asks them, “You know, I think it’s my hormones, I think something’s going on.  I want them to be checked.”  Most often they’ll be told, “Look, they go up and down all the time, it doesn’t really matter, and there’s not a lot we can do.  We can put on on the Pill.”  There’s SO much we can do.

So both of became inspired to make a difference.  It makes a huge difference when we sit down with women and understand what’s going on specifically for them, because we’re all very different.  Our chemistry, and our chemistry lab inside our body is very different for each person, so we have to pay attention.

Trevor:  Right, absolutely.  I hear so many women come in to see me, that are frustrated, saying their doctors wanted to put them on anti-depressants or sleeping medications, and really what they need help with is just balancing their hormones.  I say “just” because it’s not simple, but it is something we have to take a look at.  And there’s so many different aspects of hormones.  I’m so glad to have you on today to clear up some questions that I know my audience has.

Let’s talk about what it means to keep hormones in balance.  When someone’s hormones are balanced, what does that mean?

Marcelle:  What’s so interesting is that I think a lot of people don’t understand that the major hormones we actually have in our body are not estrogen, and progesterone and testosterone and DHEA.  They’re actually insulin, adrenalin and cortisol.  These are the pieces that really make the difference for us.  If you change your diet, you can actually have a huge impact, believe it or not, because of insulin, that affects your hormones. And people don’t know that.  I think it’s very confusing.  Also if we have a lot of stress, we have a hormone called pregnenolone that usually makes progesterone, and it’s pulled to make cortisol.  So you become progesterone deficient.  So this notion of this imbalance can very much be affected by our diet, our lifestyle, and also how much stress we have.  We can make huge changes, just by changing our diet.  People are floored when they see, if they cut the carbs and they cut the sugar, that their hormones are more balanced. Also as they deal with stress, because then progesterone is made and the hormones are more balanced.

When I talk about hormones I usually talk about the symphony and you know when I have [0:05:07 inaudible] and they want bio-identical hormones, I’m always looking at the orchestra, I’m always looking at, do they need some DHEA, do they need some testosterone, do they need some pregnenolone, do they need estrogen, progesterone, and that’s always a composite.  When I have people that are prior to menopause I’m do the same thing.

So what is the balance of those hormones because it makes us feel not so great as people know with PMS, they feel horrible prior to their periods.  Their periods come and it’s like they have their life back.

Trevor:  That’s right.  Yeah, absolutely.  You’ve touched on so many great things.  Now, I have patients that come in, and say to me, “Oh, my hormones are imbalanced, give me bio-identical hormones,” or, “I think I need bio-identical hormones, I think I’m ready.”  And they don’t realize that there’s so much else you can do to balance your hormones besides just taking hormone therapy, or something along those lines, that there is a lot you can do with diet and lifestyle.  It’s so refreshing to hear you talk about that.

What are some of the, let’s just cover some of the signs and symptoms; you touched on a few that your hormones might be out of balance, let’s start with that.

Marcelle:  You know, one of the things that I see a lot of times, is irritability or kind of the notion of they’re reacting like this, when it should be like this.  They’re screaming at their kids, they’re not sleeping at night, they have dry skin, they have irregular periods, they have real fluctuations in how their thinking is, especially in peri-menopause.  It’s one of the big things I hear from people.  Now what I’m seeing more than ever is anxiety.  I’m seeing much more anxiety.  Even than hot flashes and night sweats.  So it depends on where we’re talking about, what age group we’re talking in regards to hormones.

You know, a lot of people have been aware that stress affects their hormones, for years.  But medicine has not caught up with that, for some reason.  Now we’re starting to kind of understand all of those things: diet, lifestyle, especially nutrition, plays a huge part in that, especially if you have metabolic syndrome, when you’re noticing that you may have polycyclic ovarian disease, or you’re starting to know your blood sugar’s are starting to kind of go up, or insulin levels.  All those things are part of the orchestra that affects your hormones.

I kind of start at the basics.  I’m really looking at, “What’s your diet like?  Are there foods you’re eating that you’re reacting to?  Let’s get those out of your diet.  Let’s look at your lifestyle.  But also let’s look at internal stress.”  A lot of times we’ll say, “Well just reduce your stress.”  And my response is, “Well if they knew how to do that, they would have done that a long time ago, anyway.”  It’s how do we teach them what is causing them stress.  Because for you and for me, our stress levels are going to be different depending upon what our own story and history is.

So when I see somebody I’m looking at all those things, and I’m trying to address everything that they’re coming in with, including looking at thyroid function.  I don’t just look at TSH, I look at BT3, BT4, thyroid antibodies, and will often look at reverse T3, because a lot of times we’ll see the brakes put on the thyroid, and people are not paying attention to that.  So when I see somebody with any of the symptoms, dry skin, brittle nails that are brittle as well, I’m always thinking, is it thyroid? Is it related to other hormones?  Or are we kind of looking at the orchestra together.  And also adrenals, I’m going to be looking at cortisol levels as well.  Because all of that for me is part of the hormone cascade.

Trevor:  So when somebody comes in to see you, what is the first thing that you do?  Do you do a physical exam, do you order some blood work?  What are some things that people should be asking for from their doctors, or when they’re looking for a new doctor maybe?  What should they be looking for?

Marcelle:  I always do a physical.  Because I’m always looking at skin, I’m looking at eyebrows, I’m looking at nails, I’m looking at the tongue, I’m looking at the mouth.  I practice functional medicine so I’m always looking at those pieces to the puzzle.  Then I’m going to be looking at hormone levels.  If somebody is peri-menopausal, I might do a saliva hormone evaluation along with cortisol levels, so I can look at DHEA, cortisol levels at 7 am, noon, afternoon and evening, then I can give an evaluation then to them about what’s going on.  I might do a food sensitivity test as well, because a lot of times people will feel really irritable and it’s actually gluten, or it might be eggs, or something else that’s kind of compounding the problems that they’re having.

If they have GI symptoms, I might do a stool test, to find out what’s going on in the gut, because serotonin’s produced in the intestines and if the intestines are not happy, then they’re not going to have the adequate amounts of serotonin.

I’m always looking at the whole body.  I do a questionnaire, a pretty extensive questionnaire, when they come in.  That’s got many questions on it.  It gives me an idea about what’s that organ system, what’s that body part that’s having the most trouble.  Then I might make a decision then as to what they do.  Some of the tests are done at a local hospital, and some of the tests are, we call specialty tests, that they might get the kit with them, and take them home, and then go and do the testing for that.

Trevor:  Right.  You just mentioned something about serotonin and the gut.  Can you touch on that a little bit more, because that probably surprises people.  First of all, serotonin, explain to me what that is.  And then why that would be related to your gut.  They’re not anywhere near each other, right?

Marcelle:  Well, yes they are.  You know what’s so interesting.  I’ve been doing this for a long time.  I’ve been talking about probiotics, and the importance of the gut, and the gut brain connection.  We’re now, finally, seeing, coming out in magazines as well as CNN, that there’s a direct relationship between our intestines and also our moods.

So somebody that might be a functional medicine psychiatrist is going to be looking always at the intestines, at foods that you might be reacting to, the flora of the gut, bacterial over growth, because all those things impacts serotonin.  Serotonin is a hormone, but actually affects our moods.  When we take an anti-depressant it’s many times what they call a serotonin uptake inhibitor, so it doesn’t really do more with serotonin but it feels like it does, because you have more available.  Many times people are still somewhat depressed so we add then serotonin, perhaps 5HTP or something like that to help.  If they get their gut happier, that can also help, because serotonin’s produced in the gut.  If their gut’s not working properly, they might have bloating, or gas, constipation, diarrhoea or just not be able to be comfortable digesting foods.  And I’m always looking at that, so I can repair that, so I can perhaps then get the serotonin balance a little bit better as well.  Which also affects our hormones, because everything works as an orchestra together to help people feel better.  I’m looking at the whole body,  and not just one organ system.

Trevor:  Ok, great.  Let’s come up with a fake patient.  Say she’s 50 years old, going through the change, definitely showing signs of menopause.  What are some of the things that you would do differently for her versus someone else, a woman that’s younger?

Marcelle:  It depends on what her symptoms are.  I’m going to be giving a very careful kind of evaluation of what she’s having.  Is she sleeping well at night?  What’s her diet like?  How much exercise is she getting?  What’s her body fat?  Composition?  What’s her muscle mass?  I’m going to be looking at all those things as well.  I see a lot of women that come in complaining they’ve gained that 15 pounds in their abdomen, and they’re so frustrated because they’re doing everything the same way.  Because as we get into menopause, what happens is the body stores a little bit of extra fat in the abdominal area.  Sometimes it’s adrenals, sometimes it’s something else.

I do a good physical on her.  I would also look at the possibility, I’d probably do a FSH level on her to find out where are we in that menopausal cascade.  Are we early, middle, going towards the end?  Some of these patients I might just put on progesterone because that’s all I need to do, is I see their cortisol levels are really up, and their progesterone are off and I might just add progesterone.  But the first place I generally start is with the diet.  But I do have some people that come in, and they want those bio-identical hormones and they won’t go away without them.  So I might do that as well.  But I’m always changing their diet, I’m decreasing carbohydrates, I’m getting sugar out of their diet.  Often times I’ll do gluten.  Sometimes I’ll … depends on who they are, and how motivated they are.  I might take other things out of their diet as well.

Then I’ll have them come back, and we’ll look at the results.  I often times do a 2 hour post  [0:13:47 inaudible] insulin level to see if they’re going to be down the road having problems with blood sugar.  I do blood sugars as well, I’ll do cholesterol levels.  I’ll do what we call vapd cholesterol, so we can look at particle sizes cholesterol.  I’m looking at kind of the big picture.  What do I need to teach her now so that she goes down the road not on lots of medications.  And is going to be healthy in the long run.  Getting her to be motivated to do exercise.  Finding a food plan that really works for her, that she’s comfortable with.  Trying not to take too many things away for her, but many times people are so motivated they’ll do anything that I ask.

Trevor:  It’s true.  A lot of times by the time they come to see you and I, people come see you and I, they have already, they’ve gotten to the point where, “I’ve tried everything, I’ve been on antidepressants, I’ve been on sleeping medications, and I know that that’s not what it is, there’s something else going on.”  So people are usually, women are usually pretty motivated to make a change, which is great because we don’t have to feel like aging is this really bad thing, and we’re always going to be tired and we’re going to be overweight and we’re not going to sleep at night.  It’s not true.  You can go through this time, this change and feel great.  My mom is 75 years old, and she’s still show jumping horses, and doing yoga and painting and doing all the things she loves.  We’re getting ready to go to a trip to Italy together.  It’s one of those things, you know, you look at aging as something you got to experience and knowledge and it’s something we should enjoy.  Right?

Marcelle:  Oh, for sure.  One of the things that I say to my patients is menopause is a wake up call.  It’s a development milestone.  Who are we?  What are we going to do for the second half of our life?  And how are we going to get there?  I think you and I can be great examples for people about how do we kind of do this time in our lives in a different way than our mothers did or our grandmothers.  Because our society feels so much about this menopausal time, you’re old dried up.  It’s so not true.  But people still have that concept in their minds and they don’t have to feel tired, they don’t have to joint pain, they don’t to have no sex drive, they can have a great sex life.  Those are all things that we can motivate our patients about, because it’s so true.

Trevor:  Absolutely.  With you doing bio-identical hormones what kinds of treatments do you do?  Do you do creams?  Do you do gels?  Do you patches, injections, pellets?

Marcelle:  I do all the above, but I don’t do injections, I don’t do pellets.  I do troche’s], I do melts, I do drops, I do creams, I do gels, I do vaginal creams, a combination of often times testosterone, DHEA and estriol for creams.  It depends on how comfortable they are and what they want, as to what I do.  I use patches.  Some people want it at the pharmacy, and then I’ll do patches as well.  Whatever works for them, I’ll put into the protocol and then I’ll see how well it works, and I might tweak it or change it, or whatever.  I do pretty much all of it.

Trevor:  I know there’s some people watching going, “What is she talking about? What’s the difference between a patch and …”  Some people are like, “Oh, ya, I have that, and I do this, and I’ve tried that.”  And other people are like, “What are these things, what is she talking about.”  Just kind of a little summary of, what the different forms of bio-identical hormones, how they come in different forms, how we administer them, and how you choose too which one.

Marcelle:  Well the great news is that for a long time we didn’t have any bio-identical estrogens that you can get at the pharmacy.  We have sprays now, and we have patches now, that we didn’t have before, and we have gels now.  And that’s amazing  [0:17:36 inaudible] so long and many years ago everybody was always talking about the options and now we have other options you can get at a regular pharmacy.  The progesterone’s generally the only one that’s bio-identical is from Nutrium.  The problem for me is that it comes in peanut oil.  And so many people are reactive to peanuts.  So it’s not my favorite option, but I will use it if I have to.  And then we have melts.  They’re melts, RDT melts, that you actually put in your mouth, usually at night and it melts in your mouth.  And then they also have troche’s that are very, very small but you have to kind of put them in the inside of your mouth, and a lot of people don’t like them because they take so long for them to dissolve.

There are creams that you can use.  I usually put a combination of things in their cream, and it comes with usually a pump on it, so you know how many clicks to do for the amount that you’re supposed to have.  Then we also have gels as well.  And it comes in dispensers, sometimes in individual syringes, depending upon the pharmacy and what you want.  And then I also have drops.  So that you have so many drops per whatever I’ve recommended for them in terms of estrogen and progesterone.  So I really try to tailor it to their needs, as well as what I see on the hormone evaluation.

I tend to go on the low side, as opposed to the high side, and get people feeling as good as they possibly can, as sexy as they can, and sensual and all those kinds of things.  Most people are pretty happy with the results, along with the dietary changes, along with taking out some of the foods that might have been making them sick, and looking at the gut if I need to, and looking at the thyroid.  Just doing an overall…  And cortisol, dealing with the cortisol issues as well.

There’s so many things we can do for women now.  What we laugh about though, is in menopause is kind of lotions, potions, and everything else.  You know it might be part of it, but they don’t mind.

Trevor:  Yeah.  It makes such a big difference, end symptoms, that it’s definitely worth it.  How much would you say you use a compounding pharmacy or a regular pharmacy?

Marcelle:  Most of them are the compounding pharmacy.  But I do more now than ever with the Obama Care changes, I’m having more and more patients ask for things like Divigel, or Evamist, or some of the patches, all of which we get at a regular pharmacy.

It’s a little hard for me sometimes to manage those because the amounts are, I don’t have much flexibility in the amounts, so if I can get people to use a compounding pharmacy I will.  But I’ll work with people in whatever way I can to help them get to the other side of their symptoms and if they need to go to a regular pharmacy we’ll make it work.

Trevor:  Right.  Excellent.  Now, I want to give you another example of a different patient.  Say we have a 35 year old woman who has had babies and she’s feeling tired, she’s maybe having some trouble sleeping at night.  Maybe her cycles are changing a little bit.  What would you look at for someone that’s younger, obviously not ready for menopause, because menopause is usually around 50, right?  What would you do differently?

Marcelle:  Well, in some ways, some things would be the same, and other ways would be different.  My treatment would be very different.  But I’d be looking at adrenals, because a lot of times a mom is also working, and has a relationship and doesn’t have much time for herself, so I’d be looking at adrenal functions, especially with a sleep problem.  And I’d be looking at foods in the same way as well, depending upon if she had GI issues or not.  I’d be looking at hormones.  I’d be suspicious that she might have a progesterone issue.  Then if I needed to just put her on progesterone I would, depending on what the symptoms were that she’s having.

In some ways it’s similar.  I’d be looking at the whole person, but the interventions would probably be very different.  Unlikely I’d be putting her on estrogen.  More likely I might be putting her on some DHEA perhaps if she’s really deplete in DHEA because of all of the stress.  I’d be looking at some of the other sex hormones like free and total testosterone to see if that was a piece of the puzzle as well.

I think a lot of times 35 year olds are multi tasking, they’ve got so much going on, because they’re trying to do the kids and the family, and they don’t get much time with their friends and their feeling, and they get often times sleep deprived.  So that is one of the things that causes huge amounts of adrenal function that cause them a lot of hormonal fluctuations, as you know.

We see so many of the same patients, so this is the kind of work we do on a regular basis.

The beautiful thing is that we can get people better.  The beautiful thing is we can see them like that, but it doesn’t take very much time to be able to turn them around to say, “Oh my gosh, look at these adrenals, no wonder you’re so tired.”  And of course I’d be looking at thyroid as well, to see if there was a thyroid issue.  Understanding that when people have adrenal issues it actually can undermine the T4 to T3 conversional or basically that the way that the thyroid works, and that can be a big piece to the puzzle to.

Trevor:  Yeah, right.  All great points.  Let’s talk about one thing that’s going to be common for both of those example patients, and that’s food.  How can food help?  What are the right foods to be eating?  You mentioned avoiding food sensitivities, and foods that we’re intolerant to, and that’s important.  What about the foods that we should be eating, as women in this sort of age range?

Marcelle:  One of the things I say so often is that food is the most powerful drug we have.  If I had nothing else that I was able to offer my patients, if I could just get them to change their diets.  It’s profound, the difference it makes to people.  I have people do as much color as possible.  If you can image a plate, I have to have half the plate with bright colorful fruit or vegetables, only maybe a little bit of fruit in there.  Then protein and carbohydrates.  It’s really more that those are kind of like side dishes, so to speak.  I urge them not to do processed foods.  Getting rid of as much as you can of the white carbs, and the white foods as much as possible, and getting rid of processed and sugar.  If I could do nothing else, is just get sugar out of the diet would be wonderful.

Smoothies are a fantastic way to start the day.  Using kale and some of the other greens, in there, spinach, or even some carrots if you want.  And being mindful if you’re sensitive to carbohydrates, you might need to be kind of mindful of the amount of sugar that you have in your protein drink especially with fruits in there.

Then also being aware that there’s tremendous controversy about should you have a snack or not.  I urge women especially if they’ve got a very slow metabolic function that they may need to do that.  I might get them to get a fit bit, increase their walking or exercise a little bit with that as well.  It’s mostly whole foods, colorful as much as possible, protein at each meal, cutting the carbohydrates down a little bit, especially if they’re carbohydrate sensitive, which so many women are.  Being aware that they also, and I say this to people all the time, eat foods that you love, don’t punish yourself.  Don’t get into this model of, “No, I can’t have that, I can have that.”  But find four breakfasts, four lunches and four dinners that you adore.  Always be thinking about preparing, because mom’s are so busy, they then grab what’s on the run, when they’re on the run, and they don’t eat the best foods because the choices aren’t so great.

I’m always encouraging people, if you’re going to make a meal on the weekends, double it, triple, and then put it in the freezer and mark it.  If you do it often, especially in the winter, then you’ve got some food for yourself, and you have some healthy snacks, if you’re really going to snack on something, have some nuts or something like that, and don’t put raisins in it, or the fruit in it, but just keep it as a good quality nut. Do the nut butters, and have celery around, have cucumbers around, to kind of snack on as well.  That’s basically what I try to do, but also encourage people to have foods that they love.  What’s their palette?  What’s the food that they really love to have?  And color, as much color as possible.

Trevor:  Ok, great.  You’re not saying you should be a vegetarian or you should be Paleo?

Marcelle:  Well, it’s a really good question.  If I said anything it would be more Mediterranean.  Having really good quality fats in your diet.  Avocados, some of the great olive oils, using grape seed oils for cooking because that can tolerate a higher heat.  What I’ve come to see in my practice is that anything in peri-menopause, people really don’t tolerate carbohydrates as well as they used to before.  For somebody that’s a vegetarian, in my practice, and there’s a lot of controversy around this, there’s a couple of us that kind of laugh together because we say, I don’t see people being able to do it long term.  They do great for a while, and then there’s so much literature, as you well know, from the China study, showing that vegetarian eating really seems to be the way to go.  But I don’t see women being able to do it long term.  That’s just my practice perhaps, but I don’t see it.

Trevor:  Why is that?

Marcelle:  I’m not really sure.  I think for so many people the carbs, if you become really insulin sensitive, the carbs really feed into that mechanism.  I’ve done a number of workshops, and I did one for one of the groups in NY for the raw foods, and I was on a panel, and one of the other women who’s an actress, and I was sitting there back, “What are we going to do, we can’t support this way of eating, so how we are going to tell them that we think we need to have more protein.”  So we were just honest and said our experience has been that we’d seen women needing more protein.  Perhaps they can get away with vegetarian eating if they feel well on it, I’m totally supportive of that.  Because we’re all a little bit different.  I know from my experience that one size fits all, it doesn’t.  I have some women that do better with a little bit more carbohydrates, and I have some others that really don’t do so well.  And they’re doing more of the Paleo Mediterranean.  But I think we need to support women, in my practice, to find out what model works for them, and how do we get them there.

If binging or if they’re overeating, or if they’re doing any of that stuff, then I’m really interested in looking at what’s the mechanism that’s off, what’s the neurotransmitter that’s off, are they that person so sugar sensitive that it sends them off into this cascade of I can’t get enough, or is there some emotional tide of wanting to kind of fill that black box that will never be filled with food because food’s not the issue.

I’m always looking at all of those things when I’m seeing people for the first time.  What’s their relationship with food like?  It’s a great question, because so many women have struggled with too much, too little, what’s the right food to eat, they’ve been on every diet on the planet, and they don’t have a great relationship with food any more.  It’s very much a defence mechanism for them.  Sometimes they’ll go to certain things or won’t go to certain things.  There’s been a lot denial for so many women, as well as, “I can’t have that, I shouldn’t have that,” kind of thing too.  So it’s a big deal.  Food for many women is a big deal.

Trevor:  I completely agree.  There’s certainly isn’t a one size fits all.  You can’t say the perfect diet for everyone is “this.”

Marcelle:  I doesn’t make sense at all.  For everyone, they all need to be Paleo.  How’s that possible?  It just doesn’t make sense.  We’re all so different, our biochemistry’s so different.

Trevor:  If someone is on a diet, what are some of the signs that it’s not a good diet for them?  What do you think, other than food cravings, you mentioned food cravings, I think is part of what you were saying.  Any other signs that maybe they’re not on the right diet?

Marcelle:  Well, it could be many of the things we’ve already talked about.  They could have skin that wasn’t really good, they could have fatigue, they could have falling asleep after lunch, they could have nail  [0:29:27 inaudible] healthy because that could be a zinc deficiency and many other things.  Many of the things we’ve talked about, are often times related to food.  Is it because their food that they’re consuming is something they’re reacting to, or is their insulin too high, or is that a food that they’re craving because their neurotransmitters are off, or because they’ve had too much of it in their lives, or their fats not healthy.  It’s looking at all those things together to figure out for them what the problem is.

When I wrote my first book in 2009 I talked a lot about this whole notion of our issues are in our tissues, it was one of the chapters.  For many of us, food has became this fear based object.  Trying to get women to eat in a healthy way is oftentimes complicated and difficult.  I work with a lot of people trying to get them to understand what healthy food is for them, what’s the food plan that really works for them?  How do they feel?  If they eat this way, do they feel good, do they have energy, do they rebound after meals, or do they feel like they’re falling asleep.  A lot of times  [0:30:34 inaudible].

Trevor:  Absolutely.  Ideally this all plays back in our hormones of when we eat healthy our hormones are good.  What about, you’ve talked about this some.  Skin, our skin health and hormones.  Let’s talk a little bit about the connection between that.  You mentioned dry skin, and hypothyroidism.  What about other hormones affecting skin?

Marcelle:  I’m probably biased, I really see a difference in women that are on hormones versus not.  Especially past menopause.  But there are plenty of women that have really healthy digestive systems, that are eating really well, that are using lots of essential acids, omega 3, omega 6, omega 9s and their skin looks amazing.  Skin is very much a reflection of what’s going on the inside of our body.  If I see somebody with rosacia, I’m interested to look at the gut, because it’s not just a topical problem on their skin.  It’s related to inflamation and digestion.  So skin is the great marker for me about how healthy their body is.  And then we can make adjustments accordingly so if they have great amounts of essential fatty acids and they’re doing healthy quality fats which affects the brain as well, all of those things make a huge difference in people’s skin and their complexion.

Trevor:  Absolutely.

Marcelle:  It’s what you put on the outside, but it’s also really what we’re taking on the inside too that makes a difference.

Trevor:  Absolutely.  If people are, women are looking at one tip they can do to help with balancing their hormones, what would be the number one thing that would be a great place to start?

Marcelle:  Stop processed, change your diet.  If you’re eating processed foods, be mindful of having protein and also having lots and lots of vegetables.  The more anti-oxidants you can have, the better.  And cutting the carbohydrates down.  That is standard for me in that people are floored every time they do it.  I’m sure you see it in your practice as well, it’s like, “Oh my god, I had no idea that the food that I ate made such a difference.”  And it does.  So the biggest tip would be, look at the possibilities that you can make surrounding you.  And we all have to eat, so it’s not such a hard thing to do.

Trevor:  Absolutely.

Marcelle:  Except the seduction of the sugar, which is the problem for so many people.  The breads, the sugars.

Trevor:  So, Marcelle, tell us how people can find you?  Where can people find out more about you?

Marcelle:  I’ve written a couple books.  They can go to Amazon and type my name in.  I wrote a book called “The Core Balance Diet,” “Is It Me or My Adrenals?”, and “Is It Me or My Hormones?”  Those are the three books.  They can also go to WomenToWomen.com and all the information is readily accessible.  I have lots articles.  I’ve written articles for a long, long time.  Then we have a website with nutrients there as well.

Trevor:  Great.  Are you still doing the PBS show?

Marcelle:  The PBS, it still gets aired.  Once you do PBS, it kind of comes from they like playing it years later, so yes it’s still, but not actively.  I’ll probably do another one next year.

Trevor:  Excellent.  Thank you for everything that you’re doing to help educate women about their hormones, and living healthy vibrant lives.

Marcelle:  So welcome.

Trevor:  Thank you for the interview.  Love to have you back on some time.

Marcelle:  Ok, sounds great.  Thanks so much.  Have a great afternoon.  Bye, bye.

End Interview – 0:34:06

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Trevor:  I hope you enjoyed this interview today with Marcelle Pick.  To learn more about Marcelle you can go to my website, DrTrevorCates.com.  Go to the podcast page with her interview and you’ll find all the information about her and links to her website there.

While you’re there, you can subscribe to the Spa Doctor podcast, on my website or on iTunes, so you don’t miss any of our upcoming shows.  If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend that you get your customized skin report at the SkinQuiz.com.  Based upon the answers to your questions on the quiz you get some great tips on glowing skin and vibrant health.  It only takes a few minutes to take the quiz and it gives you some great information.  It’s all free.  At the SkinQuiz.com.

Also, don’t miss out on the latest tips and information on social media, on Facebook, Pinterest, InstaGram and Twitter.  Join the conversation, ask your questions.

Thanks for joining us.  We’ll see you next time.