Ben Greenfield Fitness
The Pill - Everything You Need To Know About The Dangers Of The Pill, How To Get Off It Safely & Safer, More Natural Birth Control Alternatives.
Jan 9, 2020 · 1 hr 25 min
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My guest on today's show, Dr. Jolene Brighten, is a functional medicine naturopathic doctor and the founder of , a women's medicine clinic that specializes in women's hormones. She is recognized as a leading expert in post-birth control syndrome and the long-term side effects associated with hormonal contraceptives. Dr. Brighten is the best-selling author, speaker, and regular contributor to several online publications including . She is a medical advisor for one of the first data-driven apps to offer women personalized birth control recommendations. You might be familiar with her also as the author of Out of the 100 million women (almost 11 million in the United States alone) who are on the pill, roughly 60 percent take it for non-contraceptive reasons like painful periods, endometriosis, PCOS, and acne. While the birth control pill is widely prescribed as a quick-fix solution to a variety of women’s health conditions, taking it can also result in other more serious and dangerous health consequences. Did you know that women on the pill are more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant? That they are at significantly increased risk for autoimmune disease, heart attack, thyroid and adrenal disorders, and even breast and cervical cancer? That the pill can even cause vaginal dryness, unexplained hair loss, flagging libido, extreme fatigue, and chronic infection. As if women didn’t have enough to worry about, that little pill we’re taking to manage our symptoms is only making things worse. Dr. Brighten specializes in treating women’s hormone imbalances caused by the pill and shares her proven 30-day program designed to reverse the myriad of symptoms women experience every day—whether you choose to stay on the pill or not. Featuring simple diet and lifestyle interventions, this podcast will be a crucial step to reversing the risky side effects of the pill, finally finding hormonal health, and getting your badass self back. During our discussion, you'll discover: -An overview of how the pill works...9:38 Dr. Brighten is a former user of the pill; didn't understand the ramifications until studying in natural medicine It works at your brain level How do the ovaries know when to ovulate? The pill distorts FSH/LH levels, thus affecting ovulation, menstrual cycles, etc.  Causes mood alterations and even difficulty getting pregnant once off the pill What normal FSH/LH levels should be sans the pill Day 1 of the period begins the "flow" of maturing eggs FSH and estrogen rise Once ovulation occurs, the corpus luteum secretes progesterone Every form of birth control produces progestin, not progesterone Weight gain is common  Water retention due to lack of progesterone Moodiness is common Key point: A woman stops ovulating because the pill is affecting her body at the brain level -Dr. Brighten's thoughts on supplementing w/ progesterone...16:03 There's a time and place for it, but first ask "why" you need it Can help w/ anxiety, sleep quality,  Women need progesterone to strengthen the myelin sheath in the brain; also w/ neuroplasticity Important for bone health and the immune system Book: Some men can benefit from progesterone supplements A safe environment is vital for progesterone levels Stressful environments affect natural progesterone levels The body will produce cortisol rather than reproductive hormones -Why women are not equitably represented in the scientific community...23:43 Lean females should use caution while participating in intermittent fasting  Laws forbidding women from participating in studies have inhibited accurate data The scientific field as a whole is underrepresented by women  Article: Article: Basic economics: it's more cheaper and easier to study males, be it humans or animals -Real-time consequences of being on the pill...33:30 It affects which partner a woman is attracted to Makes a woman less attractive to ideal partners A woman may not be attracted to their partner when they come off the pill -Effects of the pill on athletic performance...45:20 Shuts down testosterone production by as much as 50% Affects energy, bone health, etc. Fatigue faster Leverage menstrual cycles (Ex. U.S. women's soccer team) Affects both endurance and power/strength negatively Book: Book: I "Listen to your body"; design your lifestyle around your cycle as much as possible Woman athlete accused Nike of destroying her body w/ their training regimen -How to go about getting off the pill...57:15 "All or nothing situation"; don't wean yourself off The brain is confused w/ reduced amounts of the pill if taking smaller quantities Women use the pill for symptom management, vs. birth control The symptoms will return if you don't adjust your lifestyle Prep the body for 90 days before going off the pill Organ meats are good (nature's multivitamin) Focus on every system in the body  Women have been able to save their own lives, advocating for themselves w/ doctors, in the ER, etc. (medical gender bias) -Thoughts on other means of birth control...1:08:38 Copper IUD is among the most popular  Beware of copper toxicity Indirectly affects the thyroid deleteriously Carefully track and notate your own personal data  Female condoms suck Females should know how to apply male condoms -And much more... Resources from this episode: - Book: - Book: - - - Book: - Book: I - - - Episode sponsors: -The BGF VIP Text Club: Get early access to deals, discount codes, and insider tips. Just text the word "FITNESS" to 411-247 -: The ultimate recovery formula, Kion Flex is a bioavailable blend to support joint comfort, mobility and flexibility, and bone health. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners, receive a 10% discount off your entire order at when you use discount code: BGF10. -: After using the Joovv for close to 2 years, it's the only light therapy device I'd ever recommend. Give it a try: you won't be disappointed. Order using and receive a month's supply of Kion Berry Aminos absolutely free. -: Activewear and athletic clothing for ultimate performance. Vuori is built to move and sweat in, yet designed with a West Coast aesthetic that transitions effortlessly into everyday life. Receive 25% off your first order when you use discount code: “BENG25" -: You can be sure that I researched all the saunas before I bought mine and Clearlight was the one that stood out from all the rest because of their EMF and ELF Shielding and their Lifetime Warranty. Use discount code: BENGREENFIELD to get $500 off your sauna and a free bonus gift! Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Jolene Brighton or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!
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