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    105: How To Treat Cancer Using Integrative Healthcare w/ Dr. Nasha Winters

    Information is empowerment. The more you know about your hormones and body, the better chances you have with your cancer diagnosis. My guest,Dr. Nasha Winters, is an expert on helping women treat their cancer using integrative healthcare.

    Or listen & subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts | Android

    At the age of 19, Nasha was diagnosed with a terminal cervical cancer diagnosis. Years of poor medical advice and heavy prescriptions to try to fix her hormonal issues, which started from the tender age of 9, led Nasha to learn how to take control of her own health. Many years later, she’s now helping other women get a positive outcome from their own diagnosis.

    In this episode, learn how Nasha recreated balance in her body. She did this through a combination of both integrative and standard healthcare, which at the time was an incredibly innovative and new approach to treating cancer. 

    In Nasha’s practice, she insists on taking a series of blood tests that will give her a good overview of her patient’s health and nutrients. She recommends any doctor working with cancer patients to keep a regularly view over their health levels in order to make sure that treatment plans are working.

    When you are given a cancer diagnosis, Nasha says there are 5 things to do right away. Even though the first step might surprise you, it makes total sense and will help you on your way to handling your condition. She also explains what happens to our bodies when we take artificial hormones and why this might not always be the best treatment course for women with cancer.

    We also talk about what types of cancers are hormonally driven and how you can nutritionally support your body over the years. Finally, Nasha shares how she starts and ends her days with intention and how this nurtures her life and why you should, too.

    Have you recently been diagnosed with cancer? Do you know how to support your hormones as you age? How often do you get your vital levels tested?

    In This Episode:

    • How you can recreate a balance in your body
    • Why you should consider both integrative and standard care for your cancer diagnosis
    • What blood tests will give a good overview of your health levels
    • What the first step to approaching your cancer diagnosis should be
    • What happens when you take artificial hormones
    • How often you should test your vital levels when you have cancer, but also when you’re going through menopause
    • What types of cancers are hormonally driven
    • How you can start and end your days by nurturing your life

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    Quotes:

    “99% of the patients I work with are coming to me when I’m their last resort. And they’re also coming to me when they’ve already done multiple rounds of standards of care that has, frankly, left them even more broken than they were before.” (16:42)

    “Human nature pushes us to other things when we’re really young. I know this, I did this dance for 10 years, thinking it’s done now, go back to the way things were. But you cannot heal from the soil in which you got sick.” (42:04)

    “Probably 98% of the women who come to my practice had been on birth control pills, had taken IVF, had been on hormones of some form along the way, and that seems to have clogged their hormonal metabolism.”  (50:31)

     

    Links

    Find Dr. Nasha Winters Online 

    Find Dr. Nasha Winters onFacebook |Instagram |Twitter |LinkedIn

     

    Transcript

    Nasha Winters:
    Think about a garage and think about yourself being a hoarder. That's like taking bioidentical hormones for anybody with some of these epigenetic hiccups I talked about. Your garage is filled up so much that there's no more room for thyroid or insulin or ... Like nothing else gets in there, even other hormones. That's why you'll often see women feel good for a while on exogenous hormones until that garage gets so full they have to take more or change it around a bit. It's like just rearranging the garbage.

    Dr. Anna:
    Hello, everyone, and welcome to Couch Talk, an intimate place for intimate conversation, shamelessly and guiltlessly. We talk about hard subjects here. This week we're talking about cancer. That's something we never want to deal with ourselves, certainly, do we? We have suffered through knowing many people with cancer in our lives certainly by now. The results are devastating for the individual with the diagnosis as well as those who love them, and the fallout from them.

    Dr. Anna:
    We're big on an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and never just look at cancer is a diagnosis. Look at as a signal, as a notice that we've got to figure out what the underlying cause is.

    Dr. Anna:
    That's critical because often, and I've treated so many patients, that their cancer was excised or treated or chemo'ed or radiated, but the cause of their cancer ... And it's not just because we have breasts, we get breast cancer. The cause of the cancer was never addressed, and what were things that could have been done decades earlier to help improve the immune system, help improve the hormonal neuroendocrine system, to help improve the inflammatory system, so all of these things.

    Dr. Anna:
    We're going to touch on some of these things today with my guest, who is Dr. Nasha Winters. She's a naturopathic physician and a sought-after luminary and global health authority in integrative cancer research. She's speaking with me at [Dr. Braun Nick's 00:02:05] breast health and breast cancer event that is going on as a retreat in Atlanta, and just bringing information to physicians and to clients around the world and bridging these ancient therapies with advancements in modern medicine.

    Dr. Anna:
    We do not discriminate. We are like-minded in this. Healing modalities, we do not discriminate on healing modalities. If they work, we want to talk about it.

    Dr. Anna:
    She's a fabulous guest to have on as well. She has her own personal journey with cancer, and a medical career spanning over 25 years. She is on a mission to educate and empower the nearly 50% of the population expected to have cancer in their lifetime. So prevention is the only cure.

    Dr. Anna:
    Dr. Nasha is the bestselling co-author of the Metabolic Approach to Cancer, which has received many accolades, and I can highly recommend it. Nasha, it is great to have you here with me today. Thanks for joining me.

    Nasha Winters:
    Thank you. I'm a little fan-girled out. I'm really excited to be here with you. It's wonderful to be part of your tribe and share our conversation with everyone.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah. Yeah, I'm excited. Just we're chatting ahead of time, and soul sisters, we are soul sisters. I'm thrilled to bring your message to my community. Again, it's a hard topic to talk about. I'd like you to start with, if you don't mind, to share your personal story, because it just blew me away, Nasha. It really did.

    Nasha Winters:
    Well, I think it's very interesting that I'm sitting here talking with the hormone guru in all of this, because so much of my health issues began very, very young, around my hormonal milieu. I really came into this world not responding well to any ... No one was breastfeeding in 1971, mind you. It was not the thing to do in Kansas at that time, or in a lot of places. I had a lot of issues with digestion from the get-go, and they settled on soy formula for me. You can imagine, just in your knowledge, that that really caused me problems. In fact, I started menstruating at age nine.

    Dr. Anna:
    Oh, wow!

    Nasha Winters:
    Back in the early '80s, we didn't see that. We, unfortunately, see far too much of that today, but we weren't seeing this back then. It was kind of like big red flag number one. By the time I was 11, they put me on birth control pills for severe endometriosis. Back again in the '80s, we're talking mega doses of estrogen. The amount in the birth control pills back in that time compared to today was just ... You can't even compare apples to oranges.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah, like three times as much at least.

    Nasha Winters:
    Easily, easily. By the time I was 14, I had been diagnosed with endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, massive acne all over my face, my back, my shoulders, which should have been clues as well. Massive digestive issues. Maybe TMI, but my doctors told my mother that it was normal because it was my normal that I only had a bowel movement once a month.

    Dr. Anna:
    What?

    Nasha Winters:
    Right?

    Dr. Anna:
    What?

    Nasha Winters:
    I can look back and go, "Duh." So no wonder I had cervical cancer at 14 and again at 16. But they were just, "Easy. Let's just go ahead and freeze dry it and scrape it off. We're good to go." Then by the time I was 19, I was in the ER pretty much monthly, around my cycle. It was so excruciatingly painful. But everybody wrote it off as my ongoing PCOS or my ongoing endometriosis patterns.

    Nasha Winters:
    By the time I ended up in the ER tachycardic, end-stage organ failure, eight months of metastatic ascites on board of my abdomen, looking like I was ready to have a baby any second, with little tiny skinny arms and legs and capturing every little gulp of breath I could because I had no oxygenation in my blood, they realized, "Oh, gosh. We've been ignoring this. We've been misdiagnosing, misrepresenting who this young woman is," really labeling me as histrionic, et cetera. By the time they figured it out, I was so far gone that they couldn't even recommend standard of care [inaudible 00:06:08]. They told me, at best, I was looking at a few months and recommended palliative care. And here we are going on 28 years this coming October-

    Dr. Anna:
    That was an ovarian cancer diagnosis. You had stage four ovarian cancer with metastasis.

    Nasha Winters:
    Liver peritoneal cavity-

    Dr. Anna:
    Whoa!

    Nasha Winters:
    ... [crosstalk 00:06:26]. Huge grapefruit on my right ovary, complete cachexia, so metabolic wasting, complete ascites, fluid-filled up in my abdomen, and it was malignant fluid, not just inflammatory fluid. And my kidney, liver completely in disrepair, and my heart almost stopped. That's what actually landed me in the ER and actually landed me in the hands of someone who decided to look a little deeper than just, oh, check off the list, maybe PID, maybe ectopic pregnancy, crazy lady, right? Those were the things that they were facing me with then, and he was a doctor who recognized this.

    Nasha Winters:
    I have the compassion to understand that in 1991, I was that zebra we talk about in medicine. We're not expecting a 19, almost 20-year-old to have a terminal diagnosis of ovarian cancer, just like it was weird to see a nine-year-old menstruating at that time. But I'm here to tell you in the last six months, I've seen five women, girls under the age of 10, with ovarian cancer.

    Dr. Anna:
    No. Nasha, tell me what's not true. I mean I'm a gynecologist. I studied at Emory University. We had the zebras all the time. Zebras were like our normal, and I never never saw a child with ovarian cancer in my years of study.

    Nasha Winters:
    Yeah.

    Dr. Anna:
    Man.

    Nasha Winters:
    The man who refers them to me the most, he himself is a gynecological oncologist. He himself is in that place of, "I've never seen this in all my years. I don't even know what to do. I don't even know where to begin with this." Luckily, we've created a nice collaboration over the years on working together, but over the months around this, really it's devastating. Unfortunately, this is the trajectory where we are moving, and I think it plays very well into part of the terrain issues, but in particular the hormonal destruction in the world around us today that you are so expert in sharing with your listeners.

    Dr. Anna:
    Then what happened? Because obviously you're here today radiantly healthy, gorgeous, energetic. I mean so yeah.

    Nasha Winters:
    I guess my personality, my mom would tell you raising me, I was always stubborn and persistent. I was also at a time in my life at this diagnosis where I really didn't want to be here. I came from some pretty dramatic background. In fact, I tried to take my life on one occasion and contemplated it regularly beyond that point.

    Nasha Winters:
    When this was handed to me on a silver platter, is how I look at the cancer diagnosis for me today, it was this opportunity. It really lit something inside of me that said, "Wait a minute. I'm not ready to go. I don't want to die. This isn't what I want to do.

    Nasha Winters:
    Mind you, everybody, so from that original diagnosis to my follow-up, second opinion, and even a third opinion beyond this was, "There's nothing you can do in palliative care. We would attempt to do the treatment, but it will likely kill you faster. Your organ function doesn't even allow us to consciously, ethically offer this." I mean really they were doing their jobs well of what they were met with at that time.

    Nasha Winters:
    When the doors closed to, "There's nothing we can do," I was determined at least figure out why this was happening in my body and to figure out if there was anything I could do about it. I didn't have any belief system that I was going to survive this. I didn't have any belief system that I was going to live any longer than that three-month expiration date they gave me, but I certainly wanted to be proactive. I did not want to be a victim to it. I wanted to understand it. If I was going to go out, I wanted to go out with a deep understanding of the process.

    Nasha Winters:
    Part of that's my living, learning brain, part of that's my scientific side. I was pre-med in college, and so my brain was already in that zone. I've worked in the library for work studies, so I coached as many off the Dewey decimal system and the microfiche as I could. There was no Dr. Google. I was in a relatively poor liberal arts school, so we didn't have an updated library.

    Nasha Winters:
    That's when I started stumbling up the early works of Dr. Otto Warburg and his concept and his belief system that this is a metabolic disease at the mitochondrial level and not a genetic disease, which at the time of his work in the 1920s, it was like a crossroad happened. That's when a few years down the road Watson and Crick came to be, and we put all of our eggs in the basket of genetics and we hoped and had an expectation when we really figured out the genome, through the genome project in the '80s and '90s, that we have the one cause, one cure anther, and all it did was make more questions.

    Nasha Winters:
    But still the [inaudible 00:11:02] happening at the same time, saying, "Wait a minute. We don't even get DNA damage unless the mitochondrial function is not working well," like they're the protectors of the genome. So we need to back it up a notch and address it from there.

    Nasha Winters:
    That resonated with me and that's what led me on a journey to start to explore how to clean up my own terrain and hopefully change outcomes. I mean literally it's been an unbelievable learning process. I did not get it right the first time. In fact, it took me a good decade or more to start to really figure out what worked for me. I was able to slow down the process. I was able to stabilize the process.

    Nasha Winters:
    Even to this day, no one would ever, on a scan or anything, say that I'm cured. In fact, I don't believe in a cure when it comes to cancer. I believe we all have those cells, science backs me on this, and that it's up to our bodies to create a system that keeps them in checks and balances.

    Nasha Winters:
    I was way out of balance at that time in my life, and I've just sort of eked away and learning different ways for my own body and being, how to recreate a balance. Then in doing so have met hundreds and thousands and even 10,000 patients along the way who helped teach me through their own patterns of what worked and didn't work along the way.

    Nasha Winters:
    Then, luckily, over time, the research started catching up with what I was learning in my own life experience at the bedside. But the bench research was starting to happen at the same time. Luckily, when people like Dr. Siegfried's book hit the world in 2010, 2011 and Travis Christofferson's book hit out a few years after that, and suddenly we have these conversations happening. Now what I talked about for 25 years is now actually being properly studied and applied.

    Dr. Anna:
    I mean that's so great. What's your recommendation? When you're working with someone with cancer, when they've gotten this diagnosis, we definitely want to hit ... Let's hit prevention. Let's start there. Let's start with what can we do to prevent ourselves from getting cancer?

    Dr. Anna:
    I've had a client who's come to me after they've been cured of cancer. I was like, "Well, what caused it in the first place? Let's get rid of those causes." I definitely want to hear your approach as well as the integrative approach to cancer, because I believe that our standard of care model in treating cancer is just so limited, and there is a wide array of things that we can do that certainly will improve the quality of life, if not the quantity of life, of our clients.

    Nasha Winters:
    When I think about this, I see three categories in this. Now ultimately my dream job, and likely yours and all my colleagues in this field, would be to see people before there's a problem. Now that's probably less than one-tenth of a percent of the type of patient I see today.

    Nasha Winters:
    I believe it's just part of just human nature that we're not encouraged or willing or motivated to change until we absolutely have to. I would like to say that's different, but I just don't see it. In that realm, ultimately the ideal place to be would be to have everybody do thorough personal terrain assessments, personal inventories on everything they put in, on, and around their life, including the people. Then also taking inventories of what types of traumatic experiences they had in their youth. We know that things like adverse childhood events significantly increase your risk of chronic illness and cancer in your adulthood.

    Nasha Winters:
    Also look at things like EWG and scorecard.org, which are ways to actually look at zip codes of where you live to assess what's in your water, to assess what's in your environment around you, and see what toxicants you would have been exposed to unbeknownst to you. Then look at things like your genetics, as simple as [inaudible 00:14:53].

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah, give me that website again. EWG.org?

    Nasha Winters:
    Yeah, and scorecard.com.

    Dr. Anna:
    Scorecard.

    Nasha Winters:
    Now Scorecard-

    Dr. Anna:
    Scorecard.org.

    Nasha Winters:
    ... it's a little dated, but there are still some good ... Like you can still know. I grew up in Wichita, Kansas, and it was very easy to see that because of each Boeing Learjet, all the industrial things going on there as well as living in the flight pattern of that, as well as living near a military base, I was exposed to major known carcinogens.

    Nasha Winters:
    In my hometown, in fact, I was just communicating with someone I grew up with, who's all the girls in the family have had cancer, the mothers had cancer, and they all grew up in this area, in the same part of the town that I did. A lot of our colleagues and classmates, and we're in our 40s here, that are coming up with very dire diagnoses and terminal diagnosis of cancers and autoimmune diseases that seem really strange. These are some ways we can start to understand what we're being exposed to.

    Nasha Winters:
    Then I'm a huge of [inaudible 00:15:54] you were dealt in this lifetime, but it's how you play the cards that you have control over, knowing some of your proclivities and predispositions, you can start to head those off at the pass early on, and then some very basic simple blood testing, very basic, to just assess your overall organ function, your metabolic health such as your blood sugar balance, insulin response, and things like your inflammation, vitamin D levels, and your immune function that you can see so much of on a complete blood count test.

    Nasha Winters:
    [inaudible 00:16:27] about $100 of blood testing, I can know very specifically what's going on with someone and what their propensities are. We can head those off as well. That would be in the world of prevention to have that information ahead of time.

    Nasha Winters:
    But 99% of the patients I work with are coming to me when I'm their last resort. They're also coming to me when they've already done multiple rounds of the standard of care that has, frankly, left them even more broken than they were before because we don't end up with cancer, despite everybody telling me I was healthy until I had cancer. That's an absolute impossibility. But by the time they come to me, they've also added insult to injury.

    Nasha Winters:
    That's not to say that standard of care is not warranted. I believe it can be done so much better, so much more efficiently and effectively, and so much more precisely if matched to the patients and their situation, and also at much lower doses, where we're now moving into the world of oncology instead of our maximum tolerated dose approach, which we've taken for years, which is basically like napalm the heck out of and hope there's something still living at the end that will kill all the cancer cells and hopefully not the person along with it.

    Nasha Winters:
    That's been our approach with cancer for 70 years, to a point now of push back some of that tumor burden just enough so that you can help rebuild what's underneath that and clean out what's underneath that to hopefully let the body step in and do this job, or at least make it a very maintenance-friendly disease process, just like diabetes or cardiovascular disease. That's the switch we're starting to make in the world today.

    Nasha Winters:
    Then the other option that I'm starting to see more and more of, which is relatively new, are people newly diagnosed, who are trying to make the best decision of the most best woven, integrative approach, to bring in the best standard of care at what's appropriate for them with the best of integrative care.

    Nasha Winters:
    If [inaudible 00:18:25] all of that testing I just mentioned for the prevention, that also really helps us understand where people are before they start treatment or once treatments have failed them. Then we can really find a more focused, targeted roadmap versus just a guessing game, because the guessing game, especially if you're above a stage two, is dangerous and deadly.

    Dr. Anna:
    I agree so much. For all our listeners, wherever you're at, I mean the biggest thing is to figure out what's going on and are we tracking to keep us better. In my book, The Hormone Fix, I talk about key blood tests, because we can order these ourselves now. We can get our physicians to order them, too. We can, for, like you said, $100 get some key markers.

    Dr. Anna:
    For me, beyond the blood count and the chemistry, it's the hemoglobin A1c, the HSCRO, the DHEAS, and the vitamin D 25-hydroxy. Nothing makes me angrier when I see a client who's had breast cancer or some type of cancer, and I check a vitamin D 25-hydroxy and it's in the teens or single digits. I just want to cry. To me, I'll call it out as malpractice. Why hasn't this been tested? I mean we know that the healthier levels decrease our risk of all kinds of chronic diseases and inflammatory disorders, as cancer is one of those, and how powerful that is.

    Dr. Anna:
    So I love hearing you say that, and also the epigenetics. Like 23andMe, accessible to all of us for $100. There are some key things. Are we MTHFR? What are some red flags? Are there some things that we should consider? There's great ways that we can be the CEO, the president of our own health, right?

    Dr. Anna:
    Yes, and that's what we want, Nasha. So I'm so glad to hear you say that, too. Tell me more. I mean I have a thousand questions for you. I'm like, "Okay. Well, which way do we go from here exactly?" like, "Okay. What would be your first steps when you have a client?" Talk to us about a patient that's a newly diagnosed individual coming to you, and she's coming to you saying, "Dr. Nasha, I've heard that you really help us beyond what I've been offered? What can I do because I have children, I have grandchildren, I have my lover, I have a passion, I have a bucket list? Help me."

    Nasha Winters:
    Yeah. Well, first of all, one of the things I used to do early on in my career, I'd stand up at a conference and say, "How many of you have personally had or had a very close loved one have cancer in your lifetime?" At that time it was anywhere from 20% to 30% of the room would raise their hand. This was 20 years ago.

    Nasha Winters:
    Today, when I ask that question now, it's ridiculous. I now actually say, "How many of you have not?" and there might be three or four hands in the whole room. That's in a quarter-century, folks. That's frightening, with the World Health Organization saying that cancer statistics worldwide are expected to double by 2030. Folks like you and I, we can't get past the ... We're all aware, all these aware movements in healthcare, the cancer ribbon, it's like we're well-aware of this now, but why? Why?

    Nasha Winters:
    When you asked about where do I start with someone, there's two very simple phrases. In fact, I get asked that question so often from even just sitting next to me on an airplane that I created a little free on my website, Dr. Nasha, N-A-S-H-A, .com, when you go to the site, after a moment, a popup will come out, and it's just a little free download of first five steps after a diagnosis.

    Nasha Winters:
    So there's that because it's going to walk through a very tangible set of steps that you can do you before you even start a process on any level. In fact, the number one step, the very first step, is to stop, take a moment, and breathe.

    Dr. Anna:
    Good advice.

    Nasha Winters:
    Honestly, this is probably one of the reasons I'm here today, is because I didn't have social media. I didn't have Dr. Google. I didn't have thousands of well-meaning advisors around me trying to give me their, "Well, my [inaudible 00:22:39] did this treatment and they're doing ... " I didn't have that. In fact, for me, I kind of went into a hobbit hole, because that's my nature. When things get tough for me, I go inward and would go into a cave. That's what worked for me. So I did my own internal work to decide what was next.

    Nasha Winters:
    But I think that it was also helpful because I didn't see [inaudible 00:22:58], I didn't see the confusing mass of which diet, which lifestyle, which treatment do I do. I wasn't being hit with all that overwhelming information. So I want people to take a moment and stop and breathe and go inward.

    Nasha Winters:
    In that moment as well, I want you to remember that this is a process. It's not an event. You did not go to bed last night without cancer and wake up with it today. It's taken anywhere for the research from seven to 10 years to become big enough and loud enough to capture your attention. It was likely something the last six years to two months prior to the actual diagnosis that you had an event, a circumstance, a situation that woke it up and really got it going, because our body actually is dealing with tens of thousands of cancer cells every day that it keeps on checking, excretes, or puts back in a state of dormancy.

    Nasha Winters:
    We have this tendency, this sort of soil that's growing it, but it's like the seedlings are under the soil for years. But then often there's something big in our lives that will cause that to sprout up through the soil and start to reach out to the sun, to start to let us know that it's there and start to grow. That's where we tend to treat that phase in western medicine, but we don't go below the soil level.

    Nasha Winters:
    That's why bringing in a team, that's one of the other recommendations, bring on your tribe. Your doctors in the oncology world at expert at the tumor, but they are not expert at the environment and they're not expert at you. You need to bring on the people who are expert in those areas to support you, the whole person, while you have the experts also looking at the tumor. That's one step.

    Nasha Winters:
    The next option is, in the front of our book, we have put together a 10-part questionnaire. I love questionnaires for myself. I was always, as a teenager, going through my Vogue magazine questionnaires all the time, and you do a beautiful job of that in your book as well. I think it helps give people a starting point, right?

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah. Then your book title, The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, and you have that, the Metabolic Approach to Cancer Facebook page. We can there through drnasha.com. I just want to give that resource out loud and clear.

    Nasha Winters:
    Yeah, within those 10 questions, or those 10 different drops in the bucket, which we'll quickly jump into in a moment, people can do their own assessment. They don't need a doctor, they don't need anybody with them. They just take the questionnaire, there's 10 parts. There's a hundred questions. There are 10 questions under each section. Whichever section have the most yeses for you is where you start. That's your priority.

    Nasha Winters:
    [inaudible 00:25:37]. It's a giant quilt. If you keep pulling one thread anywhere, all of it's going to unravel, or all of it is going to stay together. Anywhere you start is going to be helpful on the whole. Then what you'll also notice is we started our conversation around my wonky hormones, but my wonky hormones were also fed by extreme stress, by really malnourishing my body, by toxicant exposures and endocrine disruptors, by really off circadian rhythm, and lots of inflammation. I was overworking out and not rebuilding myself. I was an uber athlete. These were the things that actually made my hormones wonky. It's not like hormones are in their own box.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah. That's exactly right because in and of itself our hormones are designed to be protective, reproductive, building, restorative, regenerative. It's the dysfunction, the competitors to our natural hormones, it's the toxins to our natural hormones that throw our hormones out of whack. That's something that I'm really trying to fight, Nasha, in this community and the world, these women's fear, the anti-estrogen fear.

    Dr. Anna:
    Estrogen is our feminine hormone. It is a beautiful hormone. It's the toxic estrogens, it's our body's inability to detoxify estrogens that affect us more. I think that's really important to understand. I love that you got to the antecedents to your cancer. You looked at the environment, certainly the pesticides, the herbicides, the sprays, the toxins, the classroom toxins, the emotional, spiritual stress. Cortisol is the key that unlocks the gate to our boundaries, our borders, our protective barrier. Cortisol is the key that creates these leaky membranes. It's something that, unrelenting, can really affect us.

    Dr. Anna:
    I want to talk to you, because one thing that I would ask my clients is, "How was your ... " Not that we need any more maternal guilt, let me just say that. But I ask this question get, we need no more maternal guilt, but how was the health and stress level of your mom when she was pregnant with you?

    Nasha Winters:
    Here's the thing. I mean the good thing is my mom, I have a relationship now that it brings me to tears of what types of hurdles she and I have gotten through together to survive in this world, as well as even survive things in our relationship. So being almost 48 and her just turning 72, we're in this place where we love each other in a way and see each other in a way that we're like we recognize we did the best we could with the tools we had in the world around us. There is no blame game. So I really want to put that on the table.

    Nasha Winters:
    But here's the reality. My mother did not marry the man she loved. She chose somebody out of hurt of not being with the person she loved. That's one battle to her system. She also had her own extreme traumas. Why I bring up my mother's traumas, grandmother's traumas, and my great grandmother's traumas is we have plenty of evidence now showing that at least four generations previous to us impacts our own epigenetic expression of our own health. The lineage of the women that my mother came from had a lot of trauma as well. It trickles through and down and up if you will.

    Nasha Winters:
    The other thing is that before I was born, my mom had another pregnancy. She knew there was something wrong, and no one listened to her. Is this theme starting to sound familiar? She knew she knew, she knew. By the time she was in her ninth month, they realized, like going into labor time, they realized she had a stillborn child, and ignored her through this whole process even though she knew.

    Nasha Winters:
    Because of that and because of the time around then, no one mourned the loss. There was no space in our culture to help her process that grief. I was the balm of "hurry up and get pregnant very quickly to heal that loss". I was to fill a void, fill a void of loss from other losses in her life, and I came into that zone to fill it.

    Nasha Winters:
    Well, that didn't do it because I was supposed to be a boy in my dad's eyes, and so he was pissed. Honestly, he literally came into the room when I was born and threw the football down and left when he realized I was a girl and not a boy. These are the traumas.

    Nasha Winters:
    So just to give you that flavor and then [inaudible 00:29:57] of the trauma that both of my folks came from and the level of trauma and addictions and poverty and lack of education and abuse and many, many facets, especially after my parents divorced, that really went up in the realm for me of a lot of my father's friends ... I don't even know why I choose those words to say "friends", but associates at the time ... and other things that fed into this.

    Nasha Winters:
    When you look an ACE score, an adverse childhood event score, it looks for 10 critical things [inaudible 00:30:27] before the age of 18. Just to give context to you and your listeners, had 10 out of 10 of those traumas prior to my 18th year on this planet. When you look at that, for basically every yes you have on that questionnaire, of which 64% of Americans have one yes and anybody with three yeses or more has a higher proclivity towards cancer and chronic illness in their adulthood, and we know that each yes above and beyond increases your risk of those conditions by 20%, it was no wonder that that was there.

    Nasha Winters:
    And so recognizing that, as I started in my ... I was a chemistry, biology major in college. My diagnosis switched me to psychology, biology major and basically pre-constructed on my own a psychoneuroimmunology major because I started to also stumble across the work of Candace Pert and other. That's when I started learning from the other world out there of how our psychology and our traumas can impact our physiology and our biology.

    Nasha Winters:
    How lucky was I to stumble upon that? Because if I've just done the diet and just done all the treatments and just focused on that if I've ignored those skeletons in the closet, I would definitely not be here today. [inaudible 00:31:34] ongoing process.

    Nasha Winters:
    I keep thinking I'm done with it like it's such human nature. Then like going back for the funeral of a dear friend recently, back to the area in which I grew up, I'm shocked at how many little triggers are still there. It's like, "Oh, I'm thinking I dealt with that. Oh, good. Still more work to do." Humbling. It's a humbling, beautiful, dynamic, ongoing process.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah, and you're really good about putting the positive twist on it, like looking through rose-colored glasses, as my mom would say, but, I think, how life-saving that is.

    Dr. Anna:
    I asked about the pregnancy because, too, after I lost my son and became pregnant with Ava, I'm sure I lived off her adrenals. Was she going to survive? What's going to happen? I'm sure that affected her. I'm like, "Okay. What can I do now knowing that to give her healthy adrenals, healthy boost?" But I know that I lived off her adrenals during that pregnancy as well. There's that bond.

    Dr. Anna:
    And also the whole generational health, spiritual, emotional, metabolic, soul ties, I mean all that stuff comes through generational health, too. Recognizing that is part of healing. It's one of the many arms or legs, so to speak, that we [inaudible 00:32:52] from. That's powerful.

    Dr. Anna:
    I love that you're saying this because I mean this is true integrative, worldly approach to healing. Then with ACEs, adverse childhood experiences, as well as posttraumatic stress, the area that is my expertise is perimenopause and beyond, this transition stage of our life, one of these transitions of aging, when we're in a transition like this, hormonally, et cetera, these adverse childhood experiences tend to re-flare, they tend to resurge, and that creates a harder perimenopausal or menopausal transition.

    Dr. Anna:
    I believe for men too, but certainly for women, veterans of foreign wars, ACEs, tougher time in the perimenopause, and certainly for me, that was part of my experience. It's like just when you think you've dealt with something, these dragon heads come up, right?

    Nasha Winters:
    [crosstalk 00:33:45]. I love it because you just gave me an aha, because I'm entering into the perimenopause years. I'm like you actually just brought me a huge piece for my own awareness and healing. I'm like, "Oh, yeah. Okay. We'll just roll with this." That's showing that I'm in some transition and, of course, you're going to revisit some things that might still need to be addressed.

    Dr. Anna:
    Mm-hmm (affirmative).

    Nasha Winters:
    Cool, yeah. Thanks for asking that. Like you said, this is your intimate Couch Talk time, but it's also the part of our medical field that no one really likes to talk about. It's not the sexy, fun ... People love to get their IV vitamin C and their potentiated chemotherapy or their herbal remedies, but no one really wants to dive deep into some of the psychological aspects of all of this.

    Dr. Anna:
    It's re-traumatizing, too. It can be traumatizing for the physician as well, understanding that it may cause triggers in their own journey. But I think like ... What did Shrek say, better out than in?

    Nasha Winters:
    Yeah, [inaudible 00:34:48].

    Dr. Anna:
    It is. It's better out than in. That's opening up energetic channels, which hormones are energetic molecules. I use hormones, like in this period of neuroendocrine vulnerability, that entering in a transition of aging. I mean progesterone drops significantly and estrogen.

    Dr. Anna:
    Using ways to empower our body's natural hormone production, but then as well supplementing can be so protective, so beneficial, but we have to do it safely, and, again, on bioidentical hormones. I know we're going to touch on that in these 10 areas.

    Nasha Winters:
    Yeah. When I look at the book, you're right, it's like we've now hit a few of them, just on the outskirts. We actually covered the bookends of the bucket, which was the epigenetics and the mental, emotional. Those are 10 of the big drops that go into our mitochondrial bucket or our internal soil or our terrain or our extracellular matrix, or whatever label you come to understand it, from more of the esoteric to more of the scientific.

    Nasha Winters:
    But the other bucket drops would include things like our sugar intake, our carbohydrate balance, our metabolic factory burning efficiency, which you go so beautifully into your book, because we're supposed to be hybrid engines, but it's like we have a brick on the sugar-burning gas pedal of our car and our body has forgotten how to use these other sources. We've gotten stuck there and that's really rusting us and revving our engine in a way that has never happened in human existence before.

    Nasha Winters:
    We have to pull that brick off the accelerator pedal and help the body find its way of being that hybrid engine again. I think that you do really a beautiful job in your book to say really it's really hard to correct these imbalances if you're still just chugging down the carbohydrates because they are. They're flinging off cortisol and estrogen and causing inflammation and causing metastasis and angiogenesis and all the scary things in the cancer world, but the scary things in all chronic illness and even symptoms of hormonal dysfunction in the transitional years. That's a big one.

    Nasha Winters:
    Then the quick other drops are environmental, we've alluded to, microbiome, which I know is also your jam in there, and things, immune function, inflammation, cardiovascular oxygenation, and kind of movement, circulatory processes, hormones obviously, and then the circadian rhythm/stress response. Those are the big drops that go in, and each of them need to be addressed accordingly. But even, as I said early on, if you address even one of them, you're impacting the whole.

    Dr. Anna:
    Good point and, exactly, the areas that I think are so important to cover. So everyone listening is like, "Okay, all right. It's not just one thing. It's not just about what I eat. It's not just about these hormones, these hormones that are good for us, not good for us. What's going on there?"

    Dr. Anna:
    Then giving to these 10 areas in an individual, you're doing this assessment, you're reviewing the 10 areas, the one with the most yeses, the one with the highest score essentially, highest toxicity, we're going to just make the biggest impact in. Let's address that first. Then what?

    Nasha Winters:
    Then what? Then what would happen is I encourage people to continue testing. If you're coming to me and you're aggressively cancering, you are going to be doing monthly labs with me to make sure we're on the right path, because my mantra has always been "test, assess, address, and never guess" as well as "adjust course as needed". That's the ongoing.

    Nasha Winters:
    It's not a one and done. We are dynamic, just like the hormone thing. Our hormones are literally not the same day-to-day. Definitely week-to-week, month-to-month, season-to-season, and seasons of our lives as well. So our needs change accordingly.

    Nasha Winters:
    What happens a lot in the world of integrative oncology, or oncology in general, we put somebody on a single treatment and we're like, "See you later," and send them off. When people have a recurrence or a progression, they then blame the treatment, but they don't blame the fact that their body was giving signals well before it became a problem to say, "Hey, we need more attention put over here," or, "Hey, we need to change course. This isn't working."

    Nasha Winters:
    Today, as an example, I have a consult later this afternoon with a physician about a patient of his that I'd seen previously, and she had a very aggressive cancer type that I knew, just because she went through standard of care and I helped her, basically patched her together, to make it through alive her standard of care treatment. That was the role she wanted me to play. I explained to her multiple times that, "At the end of treatment, when you're ringing that bell after chemo or radiation, you're not [inaudible 00:39:34]. In fact, you're just getting started."

    Nasha Winters:
    I warned her back in March, "Your labs have been very frightening to me for a while, and we've been blaming it on the standard of care treatment, but I've done this long enough to know that I have plenty of patients who have gorgeous-looking laps all the way through the standard of care. We can't excuse it away on that. What I need you to do between now and the time we see each other is I need you running your labs every month to make sure that that was, in fact, the treatment side effect and [inaudible 00:40:06] non-responsive cancer cells in your body."

    Nasha Winters:
    Her last test with me was in March. I have an assessment with her today. She's not done a single test until last week, and I have to have the news today with her doctor that will then be shared with her that she's in massive recurrence or progression. I don't think she ever went into remission.

    Nasha Winters:
    This is someone who's very young. It breaks my heart because I knew and I kept trying to tell her, because I've seen she's such an example of how many patients of mine have gotten through this process and just put their head in the sand or, frankly, are just like, "I'm so done with it. I don't want to look at." That's really dangerous if you had a stage three or four cancer diagnosis history. I'm sorry, it's not what people want to hear, but it's the reality.

    Nasha Winters:
    What concerns me is that she really went on. She's, of course, telling both the doctor and myself in her updates, "I'm great. I'm feeling fabulous," like you're not. That's wishful thinking, because her overzealous, "I'm great," and the way she's articulating is literally frankly BS.

    Dr. Anna:
    [crosstalk 00:41:15] liar.

    Nasha Winters:
    It's her wish, and it's like you can't wish this. You can't magically think this way. This is what I've been trying to help you cure because she overtreated everything. I kept telling her that since she started treatment in 2017, "They're over-aggressively treating you. This will only over-aggressively create more resistant cells. You need to be checking everywhere along the way." She'd be ready to do it, but she always fell victim to the big academic universities, the best of the best on what they do, to tell her what to do.

    Nasha Winters:
    Yet every time I would tell her this, within a couple of days or weeks of me having a conversation, research would come out and support exactly what I was telling her. I'd send it to her, she'd send it to her team. We'd think we'd get into the right place, and then stop.

    Nasha Winters:
    I thought, well, at least I know we'll get her through the treatment, and then she'll be ready to hit this hard. But human nature pushes us to do other things. I think when you're also really young, you think ... And I know this because I did this dance for 10 years. I kept thinking, "Oh, it's done now," go back to the way things were, but you cannot heal from the soil in which you got sick.

    Dr. Anna:
    Exactly.

    Nasha Winters:
    This young woman never addressed that soil. She thought she did, but it was more like she was just rubbing around the top and maybe raking a little bit, but she never really dove deep.

    Nasha Winters:
    It's really painful. I think about this and I have anxiety in my chest of I have to have the bearer of bad news. But here's the thing. Her oncology team won't say anything. They'll be like, "Oh, your markers ebb and flow. Your breast cancer markers ebb and flow." They're not ebb and flowing, they're going up each time.

    Nasha Winters:
    These other markers, they don't even know to look at a CRP or to look at a lactase dehydrogenase or sedimentation rate, which is what I run every single month on my patients, because that tells me exactly how they're responding, or a CBC to look at their neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio, which after chemo should come back to normal. If it's not, it's prognostic, that you are within a very narrow window of having a recurrence.

    Nasha Winters:
    This is not Nasha literature, this is PubMed. Well, if you could go right now and Google in in PubMed neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio and all case mortality, and you will start to [crosstalk 00:43:28].

    Dr. Anna:
    So the higher the neutrophil to the lymphocyte ratio, they increase mortality.

    Nasha Winters:
    Across all conditions, not just cancer. It's often our first clue. Like the other person I have a consult with on their behalf today is with a person who has a terrible NLR. They had a stage one breast cancer and they're trying to ... Luckily, they're coming to me before they've added insult to injury, so this will be easy. I'm like, "Your immune system has not been working for a long time. That's why the cancer came on board. You caught it early. Now you can correct the imbalances."

    Nasha Winters:
    I've done this long enough, and maybe you can relate to this, that some people are like, "You're stressing me out just by saying these things," but I guess I look at it ... My nature is I look at this as information and empowerment and education and the ability to make choices in the situation. For me, I like to look at all the data for myself, because then that helps prompt me to go, "I need to be less or more strict in this area of my life. I need to maybe add something else to the mix. I maybe need to explore this component a little bit more of my health."

    Nasha Winters:
    For someone who was given no time on this planet and, still, after years later, we found out I had the BRCA gene, and years after that I got my epigenetics. One of my well-known colleagues in the field of epigenetics, I had my name scratched on, I had them look at my genes. He's like, "This person is effed." Like every broken thing you could have, I had.

    Nasha Winters:
    By western medical scientific standards, there's no reason why we should be having this conversation. But [inaudible 00:44:58] along the way, had changed the trajectory, had to change my own statistics and change my own outcomes. I've empowered thousands and thousands of others to do the same. When I get met with somebody like this, that I know has it in her to change it, it breaks my heart. I don't think it's [crosstalk 00:45:15].

    Dr. Anna:
    [crosstalk 00:45:15] coming.

    Nasha Winters:
    Yeah. I don't think it's too late, but I saw it coming, and I tried to tell her and I tried to head it off at the pass. But that's not my journey. That's not my contract. My contract is to shine the light on the blind spots, and the rest is up to the person I'm coaching or supporting, whether it's their doctor or themselves.

    Dr. Anna:
    I so hear you. I can think of a couple of patients right now, too. It's like I saw it coming year after year after year. I'm like, "Let's do this, do this, do this," and then give them the diagnosis of cancer because they didn't do it.

    Dr. Anna:
    I specifically remember one client. She ended up being diagnosed, so I found her lab, breast cancer. She goes, "Man, you've been telling me for years. Now tell me, I'll do it," and she did and it changed her life. But it took that. It took that and it breaks your heart because you're like, "I can see the writing on the wall. I can see the writing on the wall and that we take these steps." Nasha, let's move into hormones. Let's move into this hormone discussion, while [crosstalk 00:46:11].

    Nasha Winters:
    [crosstalk 00:46:11]. I'm a little scared to go here with you.

    Dr. Anna:
    Bring it, bring it. All right. There's the good and the bad. This is my area of expertise. This is what I lecture on. I'm always in the research. I'm like, "Show me the research." But I've had the clinical years of experience with my clients as well, because I would often get the clients who've had cancer diagnoses and are just left to die slowly. I mean just that, just to suffer. So integrating modalities and integrative treatments, bioidentical hormone therapy as indicated, and always looking at the detox pathways, opening that up, and the whole lifestyle medicine that we incorporate.

    Dr. Anna:
    Definitely, this is your area of expertise. I would love to talk with you about this, and what you're seeing again and what improvements are being made and where are those fine lines of concern.

    Nasha Winters:
    Perfect. Well, first of all, I had a general family practice for many years. Then in the area where I lived, there was no endocrinologist, so I had to basically become an endocrinologist. I really love it. It's fascinating to me. I love the HPA axis. All those things are fun for me. I'm that puzzle piece person.

    Nasha Winters:
    What I started learning early on, because I was also [inaudible 00:47:23] in bioidentical hormones, the whole bit, is that most ... Well, I should say every time because I've been at this for so long. But in my personal clinical experience, I could probably count on one hand how many times I've actually had to use exogenous hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical obviously. Because what happened is, just like we've talked about, whatever drop your work on in the bucket, you will affect the whole.

    Nasha Winters:
    I started personally seeing in the world today ... And again we all draw on the patients that we connect with, and so knowing that that's my filter, you've probably drawn a whole different filter of patients. That's perfect. But what I was seeing is that we kind of put menopause, the disease, out there, but it's been a natural right of who we all are since the beginning of time.

    Nasha Winters:
    The real disease is western civilization and the stressors that it puts on us and the exposures we have, because when a woman goes through menopause in a natural state of being, her adrenal stays ... The ovaries clam up and say, "Hey, we're going to retire. We're going to hand you the baton and we need you to take over," because that's really what theoretically happens in that moment.

    Nasha Winters:
    But today, by the time that call comes into the adrenals, the adrenals are already ... They're like laying on a hammock somewhere. They might even be buried. They might be dead. They might just be burning, fizzling up. They're so broken down, there's no place for the ovaries to hand that baton to.

    Nasha Winters:
    That's where we start to self-medicate with the more exogenous hormones or lots of sugar or over-exercising, or whenever we start to try and patchwork together a system, and it will definitely make us feel a little bit better in the short term, but fast forward to what I see at the bedside in my realm, because now my filter, mind you, is through the cancer filter, is that if you have epigenetic hiccups, SNPs with COMT, which is the catecholamine SNP, with MTHFR, with SHBG, so the sex hormone-binding globulin, with ESR 1 or 2, which is all about basically blood clot factors and its relationship to hormones and fibrinogen levels.

    Nasha Winters:
    If you have SNPs around CYP2D6 and CYP1B1, these are the SNPs that are trying to filter the exogenous hormones that are coming out of plastics and Roundup and things in our food supply and drug supply, [inaudible 00:49:48] goes into your [inaudible 00:49:49] bladder system, and it doesn't filter out there. You're filtering it to your own body.

    Nasha Winters:
    If you have those hiccups, especially if you have COMT, CYP1B1, and VDR, that's what I see pretty much, because I now categorize these things. My patients with most aggressive cancers tend to have that collection of SNPs. Because of the nature of my practice, I've mostly seen ... I mean you see everything now. But the majority of my patient load has been in the ovarian, endometrial, and breast cancer world, mainly because women are people who are going to reach out to somebody like you and I. So I'm getting more men over time. But those are the most classic ones I see.

    Nasha Winters:
    Most of them were very hormonally hiccupped somewhere along the way. I would say probably 98% of them had been on birth control pills, had taken IVF, had been on hormones somewhere in some form along the way, and that seemed to have clogged the works when we really started looking at their hormonal metabolism, their SNPs, and their labs.

    Nasha Winters:
    I'm a fan of more salivary or urine testing because I want to look at the metabolites and I want to look at the relationships of the hormones and I want to see how the body is processing them. I am not a fan of serum testing because, frankly, hormones should be in the receptor sites, not in the serum. If they are in the serum, that's usually a problem. If anybody says, "Oh, your hormones on serum are low. We need to give you more hormones," I get hackles up my back pretty quickly, and then say, "Let's look at the data again and look at relationships, especially the metabolites, especially 216s and 4-hydroxy estrone.

    Nasha Winters:
    Then what I also explain to people, this is where I'll get into when I'm at a big medical conference, I'll ask doctors, "How many of you think bioidentical hormones are natural hormones?" Probably every hand in the audience is raised. Then my biochemist husband comes out of my brain, who wants to scream a lot of ... Drop f-bombs and get up on a soapbox, scream at the top of my lungs, "That's completely wrong."

    Nasha Winters:
    These are synthetic hormones. The only reason they're called bioidentical is because our body recognizes them as their own. But they also have a much higher binding affinity than our natural, endogenously produced hormones, or even phytohormones that are much more difficult to pop off the receptor site and metabolize and process through.

    Nasha Winters:
    I tell people, it's like, "Think about a garage and think about yourself being a hoarder. That's what like taking bioidentical hormones are like for anybody with some of these epigenetic hiccups I talked about. Your garage is filled up so much that there's no more room for thyroid or insulin or ... ," nothing else gets in there, even other hormones. That's why you'll often see women feel good for a while on exogenous hormones, until that garage gets so full they have to take more or change it around a bit. It's like just rearranging the garbage.

    Nasha Winters:
    That's what I've seen. What I've been able to do with these women who have come to me on these hormones is get them safely and gently off of them, or women who've had cancer and are free to go back on them, which, in my opinion, from what I've seen, is probably a good idea otherwise. We've been able to come in and correct other imbalances, mostly due to blood sugar, mostly through the adrenals, and mostly through the gut microbiome and just opening the [inaudible 00:53:01], seems to right things enough that their hormonal relationships and metabolism and even levels go up naturally.

    Nasha Winters:
    I wouldn't see this except by test, test, test. I'm like a test freak. I can see this in real-time. Then I also get the person on the other side saying, "Wow! I was on hormones for 20 years, and I feel better now than I did on them." I think we've gotten into this habit. So that's me.

    Nasha Winters:
    I get a lot of people in the functional medicine world up in arms because I don't think, especially in the cancer world, anybody has any business being on these, unless you can show me the data that it's absolutely safe and that you're testing them if you've got money like Suzanne Sommers to test yourself basically monthly or at least quarterly in all of those metabolites that we've talked about, as well as your other labs. Then maybe and only then could I feel comfortable in the cancer world using exogenous hormones.

    Nasha Winters:
    But I just don't see it today on the planet because we're swimming and so much exogenous hormones soup that's toxic hormones that the system is getting jammed up, the communication system is getting jammed up in ourselves.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah, I know. I definitely hear your argument here, and just through clinical experience, being able to see, it takes more than hormones to fix our hormones. It takes more than hormones to fix our hormones, and it's never just one thing. Certainly, the nutrition, the lifestyle, that's key, and, clinically, where I've used natural bioidentical hormones, bioidentical progesterone.

    Dr. Anna:
    I agree, there's many hormones touted as bioidentical, but aren't. Even the Makena, the progesterone intramuscular injection, it's not. It has additional molecules on it that makes it not bioidentical progesterone. The research was done in bioidentical, same molecule progesterone. Those are alarming. Estradiol, certain forms of estradiol are not bioidentical. We need to be really clear about that. Also, again, always, I'm always looking at detoxification markers. But, again, I would never prescribe hormones if we weren't doing these other things.

    Dr. Anna:
    Areas that I am an advocate certainly with bioidentical progesterone, bioidentical DHEA, bioidentical and through transdermal methods versus oral and getting the oral metabolites and 90% metabolites, or oral versus transdermal, and looking at the research on big scales, looking at the benefits, and then certainly the work ... A lot of the work in androgens, Dr. Rebecca Glaser's work with testosterone and how that can help certain individuals with the life consequences. Again, there are many ways we want to improve metabolism. We want to improve cell-to-cell communication. That's what caused the cancer in the first place.

    Dr. Anna:
    This is just one little addition that we can make as a choice to improve us. But I will tell you too, and the clients, being a clinician, working 20 years in gynecology, doing breast biopsies, spinal needle aspirations, watching with ultrasound, thermography, and everything else, the clients I use bioidentical progesterone on, those symptoms resolved. They resolved. But I'm doing other things, too. I'm doing other things, too.

    Dr. Anna:
    The client that refused the progesterone, I diagnosed her with breast cancer. I can specifically think of a doctor's wife, that I was like, "I feel like you're estrogen-dominant. We're working on these things. But this will help," because not everyone, with the motivation of cancer, you're going to make all these lifestyle changes. You're pretty motivated. The average population's like, "I'm invincible. I'm this," "I'm a doctor's wife. I go out to eat five nights a week, have wine every night." I'm like, "Well, let me help you." No, diagnosed with breast cancer. Another client, I can think of the same thing.

    Dr. Anna:
    These are, again, in the context of empowering our health, it's never one thing. I would never write a hormone prescription if we're not doing other things as well. I think it's important to understand. Those in this space that are looking and that are just part of the vitality clinics or testosterone clinics, I have big gripes with that. I have huge gripes with that because we're not monitoring where the hormones are going, and it's just what's the overall benefit? We're increasing divorce rates in the clinic.

    Nasha Winters:
    Yeah, [crosstalk 00:57:27].

    Dr. Anna:
    I mean let's be honest.

    Nasha Winters:
    You're absolutely right.

    Dr. Anna:
    Let's be honest. We are not helping the whole individual. I'm 100% with you. I definitely want to hear the metabolic code, like healing the metabolic code, because that's key no matter what we're doing. I think improving cell-to-cell communication, I want to get to those levels of cell-to-cell communication so we turn off those metastatic cells, right?

    Nasha Winters:
    [crosstalk 00:57:50]. It's so funny because when I think about ... For me, it's hard for me to think sex hormones without also saying ... So I call it the three 'S's: sex, sugar, stress. They're all embedded together.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yes.

    Nasha Winters:
    Right? Always.

    Dr. Anna:
    [crosstalk 00:58:03].

    Nasha Winters:
    [crosstalk 00:58:03] they never go anywhere without each other. If you are someone who's throwing in, like this is the beauty of you compared to many, many of our colleagues out there, is you are thoughtful about the whole organism wrapped around that bioidentical hormone offering. You are looking at other inroads to change it.

    Nasha Winters:
    It sounds like you're also testing and analyzing and making sure it's still safe them for them and you actually do have the understanding of the metabolomics and the estrogenomics, estrobolomics, and all those concepts that change that communication, that signaling pathway. You don't even have to be an oncology expert to know when it's backfiring and when it's moving and how to support it on either direction. But many people don't.

    Nasha Winters:
    It's very sexy and nice and very lucrative to give hormones. It just is. There's entire conferences and people who make an entire living on this. The hard part is there was even a person in my community who was a nurse practitioner, who was considered the first person in my community, small community, to offer bioidentical hormones. They frankly were being dished out like M&Ms. They were just everywhere.

    Nasha Winters:
    For years, we have these conversations back and forth, both with each other but also behind-the-scenes. She was telling everybody how bad I was and I was telling everyone how bad she was. Basically, there was a point when she told my patients that she will stay on her bioidentical hormones until she either, number one, has a heart attack or gets cancer. It was sort of like, oh, we don't want to put that energy out into the universe for anybody, right?

    Dr. Anna:
    No, no, no. Never say that, you all. There's so much negativity with that statement. You're just calling it on. It's like game on.

    Nasha Winters:
    [inaudible 00:59:41]. I think she was trying to do it more to empower a patient, like, "This is fine. I'm doing it. You're doing it." In general, life experience, which is our human nature, that prompted her to start reading more in ancestral health and Paleo health and low-carb health and the three 'S's as they relate to one another in her own metabolomics and epigenomics and all these different components, reading your book, reading my book, and shifted. She's like, "I need to be doing things differently for myself and for my patients."

    Nasha Winters:
    Now she's more of an overall terrain-centric functioning person who super rarely uses hormones at this point. That's what she built her empire on in our community. It's really cool to see that now, in the later stages of her life, that she's healthier now than she was all the time she was pumping this up, because she got everything else in harmony, because I think our human nature, even, Dr. Anna, as you think about it, you have this beautiful, thoughtful approach to it, but the patient doesn't think about it this way. They're just like, "If I'm taking my metformin, I can eat my donuts. "If I'm taking my hormones, I cannot worry about hydrating and eating well to keep my skin integrity up." Do you know what I'm saying?

    Nasha Winters:
    Just like today in the keto world, everyone's like, "I can just keep eating crap and take exogenous ketones." These are dangerous things. It is [inaudible 01:01:03]. It's our human nature to take the pill and take the easy road. There's that side of danger as well, but because I do test so much, I do see that most of us are pretty gummed up in the works and tend to hibernate and hold on to a lot of these hormones in the tissues where they don't belong.

    Nasha Winters:
    The main cancers that are hormonally driven by exogenous hormones, both bioidentical and natural, and xenoestrogens, are breast, endometrial, ovarian, lung, colorectal, and prostate. Interestingly enough, the seventh one that's really come to my attention, because I'm testing much more frequently, brain. When you think about all these organs, they are part of that three-'S' process. They're very much going to be sensitive to stress response, stress hormone, sugar response, and sex hormone response.

    Nasha Winters:
    It's not so much by having too much or too little, it's about the balance and the timing and the flow and interplay. But, as I've said, we've all been pushed into a brick on the sugar burner. We've all been pushed into living on a planet that's incredibly stressful. We've all been pushed into a place where we have so much hormonal information coming into us and out of us at all times, we can't process it fast enough.

    Nasha Winters:
    It's just skewed, our environmental, epigenetic, evolutionary ... Call it the evolutionary mismatch, or mitochondrial mismatch. We're living in a world that basically takes us away from our natural tendencies, our natural patterns. The job of what you and I get to do with people, and I love this about your book, is return people back to the Garden of Eden, back to their mitochondrial match that resonates in their own true nature.

    Dr. Anna:
    Mm-hmm (affirmative). Test, don't guess, right? Test, don't guess. I love that. If you can share a day in your life, somehow you start your day or a day in your life, share that with our audience, because ... Again, for those of you that are listening in Podcast Addict or iTunes, you've got to come and watch the video on YouTube, because you see the passion, the energy, the radiance of this woman, Dr. Nasha. She has just been rocking it. I'm just awed. So tell what you're doing because we're on board.

    Nasha Winters:
    I love it. Well, I mean again things I've learned over the years, but my current routine that's working for me is that in the last couple of years, my husband and I, we used to make fun of snowbirds, but we're now increasingly becoming them-

    Dr. Anna:
    I know.

    Nasha Winters:
    ... which is-

    Dr. Anna:
    I come to Georgia, Saint Simon's Island. Here we are.

    Nasha Winters:
    [crosstalk 01:03:34]. I'll be there when you won't be there, which is unfortunate. But I've been a mountain girl through and through. I grew up in the plains of Kansas. I went to college, met and married my husband. I have this beautiful home, living world, in Durango, Colorado. But as pretty much June 23rd comes around, I start to already mourn the loss of summer and the light of [inaudible 01:03:55] so much of that is around the transition, as you so alluded to earlier. It's like I'm needing other things to prime the pump of the HPA axis and my gut-brain axis and my overall health and well-being.

    Nasha Winters:
    Now we spend half our year in Mexico and the other half in Colorado. Although this year, we're both traveling so much internationally. But trying to travel anywhere from Durango is like Trains, Planes, and Automobiles and was adding to our stress, including the fact that this year in Durango, on their newspaper this last week, showed that we've had more flight cancellations in the last year than ever before. That was creating massive stress when we try to get to places.

    Nasha Winters:
    So we decided to relocate to live at my sister's in Altadena for the rest of the year to see how this feels to be closer to some large airports that can get us options because there's only two options in Durango and things like that. We're trying to create a lifestyle that though we're always in stress, we have a different ability to respond to the stress. That fast-forward is that I'm recognizing things in my life that help brings ease into my being.

    Nasha Winters:
    The first part of my day is always a massive cuddle fest with my two dogs, my husband, and my cat in bed before we even get out in the morning. We get up early. We're Sunrisers. In the winter months, even before sunrise, 5:00-ish in the morning is a really normal and natural wake-up time for us. But we're also in bed by 9:00 or 930 typically. Summer's a little bit later because it's lighter later.

    Nasha Winters:
    Sleep is my drug of choice. That is what helps keep me in rhythm. My balance, my hormones, and my stress response and my sugars actually are very sensitive and responsive if I don't get good sleep. Probably a lot of your listeners can attest to that for themselves.

    Nasha Winters:
    Then what I do is typically either get in my infrared sauna and meditate, or just go outside and meditate if I'm not saunaing because it's 93 degrees right here and doesn't feel very good to hop into a sauna. I might stand in front of the Joovv light for 20 minutes and do some stretching or definitely find a time in the morning to do some thoughtful meditation practice.

    Nasha Winters:
    That's how my day starts. I don't pick up the cell phone. I don't get on the computer. I don't immediately jump into technology because my engine starts revving the moment I do that.

    Nasha Winters:
    Then I typically fast in the morning, anywhere from 13 hours to 16 hours every day during the week. Once a week, I do an all-day fast. I have a metabolic system that I actually ... My husband would say if I could be a breatharian, I would be. I actually feel best when I don't eat. I've had so many digestive issues, so many food allergen issue, so many things in my life that I think just giving my body a break to let the gut just do its thing and clean out before I put something new in has been really instrumental in helping me and my own health.

    Nasha Winters:
    Then at some point I try and always get in my 15,000 steps a day. So walking is my also exercise of choice. Then two to three times a week, anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, I have a little bit of HIT training. I like to start little high-intensity things that I can just do, like push-ups, burpees, pull-ups, jumping jacks, like simple. I hate gyms. I can't be indoors. Wherever I need to be, in the winter, when we're in Mexico, we could do stand up paddle board and do lunges out there and play on that. That's more of whatever I can do in nature is what really sets my soul on fire.

    Nasha Winters:
    Then specifically I work a lot, and it's my passion. I just make sure I start and end my day with ways that are nurturing and self-care. I try and make sure I'm watching the sunrise and the sunset, or at least be out in the light of the day that's doing that, because that's resetting my pineal gland and my HPA axis and really charging my mitochondrial batteries as well. Those are my non-negotiables.

    Nasha Winters:
    That's the simple routine. It seems really basic, but I recognize, from most of the people I talk to, and especially the average of Americans spend less than 15 minutes outdoors a day, definitely aren't getting even 5,000 steps in a day, definitely aren't getting exposure to light. Last night was the moonlight. I make sure I sit out under the moonlight during full moon and new moon to keep my cycles balanced, which I'm almost to the absolute rhythm of the moon cycle with my own menstrual cycle, even in my going into perimenopause years. These are the things that nature and the rhythms of her really fuel me.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah, I know. I love that. I'm just nodding away, saying, yes, these are the practice I want every one of you doing out there. I want every one of you doing. Are there any supplements that you are like, "Man, I've just got to keep up with this"?

    Nasha Winters:
    The only pharmaceutical I've taken that only been in the last few years, that I didn't realize how helpful it was for me until I started, is low-dose naltrexone. With my collection of autoimmune conditions and my cancer [inaudible 01:08:44] celiac, polycystic ovarian, Hashimoto's, and endometriosis, all of which are autoimmune diseases. If I skip out on my low-dose naltrexone for more than a few weeks, I can feel it in my ankles where my [inaudible 01:08:57] had initially settled. I stay on that, but I pulse it, because there's also a good anti-cancer approach when you do four days on, three nights off.

    Nasha Winters:
    That's my only pharmaceutical, and that's relatively new, six, seven years into my life of me taking it, though I've used it in thousands of patients over the years successfully. Then I am pretty much non-negotiable with vitamin D, and my dose varies winter, summer based on my lab results. When I got my levels run, they were 11 the first time I ran them.

    Nasha Winters:
    When you said that, it just drives me crazy because if a patient has ... We should all be at least at 50, just for baseline, if you're dealing [inaudible 01:09:34]. If you're dealing with a disease, it should be therapeutically higher. If someone is below 30, I'm already looking for cancer. If it's below 20, there's definitely no way cancer isn't on board. It [inaudible 01:09:50] shores up so much in our system.

    Nasha Winters:
    The other thing, because I'm this double-homozygous COMT and lots of other fun issues there, I need a lot of magnesium for my nervous system, and to help my catecholamine process through my body. Stress is my biggest beast. No matter how I eat and no matter how my hormones are, my stress is what I'm always working on. That's why mindfulness and those rhythm and patterns are really critical for my balance of my cortisol and balance of my stress response system.

    Nasha Winters:
    So magnesium, D3, LDN are my always. Then I just use whatever I need as needed. I'm really a terrible pill-taker. My patients are like, "Oh, I'm taking all these pills." I'm like, "Well, get to the point in your diet and lifestyle where you don't need them anymore."

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah, good points. Good points. Then, too, just empowering our digestion. Sometimes it's like that's just improving ... Apple cider vinegar, natural digestive enzymes, or taking digestive enzymes so we're absorbing what we're getting. We're doing such a good job of focusing on, we're absorbing more of that.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well, Dr. Nasha, I know I obviously could speak to you for days. I am just glad you're doing everything you're doing and with such integrity and energy and passion. I want to thank you for being part of our community here today. Tell our listeners again how they get to you.

    Nasha Winters:
    Sure. Come check me out at drnasha, D-R-N-A-S-H-A, .com. You can also find me on all those social media handles, at DrNasha, INC, or Metabolic Approach to Cancer. Then that is my co-authored book with Jess Higgins Kelley on the metabolic approach to cancer. We also have a couple more books coming out in the next couple years, so keep watching us for that.

    Nasha Winters:
    I think that's it. I'm still trying to get the handle ... Social media stresses me out, so I try really hard to minimize that. I'm always super grateful for the offer that you have for me to give a shot out so that people can find me organically that way.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yes, absolutely. For our listeners, this has been a huge discussion. This is something that you're going to want to listen to again and again. Be sure to share this podcast with your friends, with your social media channels. Tag Dr. Nasha, tag me, Dr. Anna Cabeca, and let's share this message.

    Dr. Anna:
    This is a powerful one, so I ask one request of you today. Just share this message, that this conversation, this awareness that we as a community have to shift the trajectory of the health in our communities right now. We have to take the lead. I know so many amazing women and men that are listening, that are leaders in their own lives, in their own families, in their communities.

    Dr. Anna:
    With that terrifying statistics of the increasing numbers of cancer, like 50% of us are expected have cancer. I mean, seriously? It's interesting because I was looking at this issue on other countries. There was a question I had on social media about maca being estrogenic. I'm like, "Well, let's look at this." Estrogen, first of all, is not a negative. Toxic estrogens are negatives. What's the research show about maca? Supportive, adaptogenic.

    Dr. Anna:
    I also went and just looked up cancer statistics. Lo and behold, United States right now, 33% of us below age 75 will have a diagnosis of cancer. In Peru, it's 15% percent. In Peru, where maca comes from, it's 15%.

    Dr. Anna:
    So it's not just that. It's not just that maca is a staple for them, it's all these other things, like Nasha talked about, like I talk about in my book, the sunrise, the sunset, grounding, and mostly, mostly, having loving, affectionate relationship, nurturing that most important relationship in your life, your marriage, nourishing the relationships with your kids, magnetizing your health so that you magnetized healthy relationships around you.

    Dr. Anna:
    That in and of itself is a gift. It's the biggest gift we can give ourselves, and enables us to actually treat ourselves better and accomplish more health. I want to thank you all for listening to Couch Talk. Join me next week. Thank you.

    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Dr. Anna is a Triple Board Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging Medicine expert, and author of the best selling book, The Hormone Fix.

    Dr. Anna helps women heal the 9 most dreadful symptoms of menopause with natural, safe solutions. Follow her for content on hormonal imbalances, vaginal dryness, menopause (and more) that are medically backed, and created to empower women — not just treat them.