Done with Dieting Episode #135: Stress and Toxins with Dr. Jannine Krause

Stress and Toxins with Dr. Jannine Krause

Are you ready to thrive in your better years? 

Join my enlightening conversation with Dr. Jannine Krause, a Naturopathic Doctor, Acupuncturist, and host of the Health Fix podcast, as we delve into her mission to help women over 35 flourish. We examine the differences between naturopathic doctors and general practitioners, and how naturopaths focus on root causes and counseling, as opposed to just treating symptoms. Additionally, we discuss the role insurance companies may play in perpetuating a more symptom-based approach.

Discover the impact of plastics, hormones, and health on your well-being. We discuss the three main estrogens in the body, the sneaky additives used by the plastics industry, and the importance of testing for bisphenol levels. Learn about the dangers of heating up plastics in the microwave and drinking bottled water, as well as helpful tips for assisting your liver to process toxins. Dr. Jannine also recommends nutraceuticals like milk thistle, diindolylmethane, and calcium deglutinate to support hormone metabolism.

Lastly, let’s tackle managing cortisol and nervous system responses. We explore the effects of stress on the body, its link to trauma, and how cortisol influences blood sugar and digestion. Janine shares insights on supplements and herbs such as Ashwagandha and Ganoderma, and how to reset your stress levels with breath work. Most importantly, we emphasize the significance of how we think about our problems in managing stress and cortisol levels. 

Don’t miss this episode packed with valuable information to help you take control of your health and improve your well-being.

Chapter Summaries:

Naturopathic Medicine and Root Cause Approach (0:00:06) 

Dr. Jannine and I discussed ageism, the U-curve of happiness, naturopaths, and insurance companies’ symptom-based approach.

Plastics, Hormones, and Health (0:11:42) 

Discussing estrogens, plastics additives, bisphenol levels, and liver detox tips.

Managing Cortisol and Nervous System Responses (0:22:33) 

Stress, trauma, cortisol, ashwagandha, Ganoderma, breath work, and thought management are discussed to reset stress levels.

Understanding Hormones and Cortisol (0:32:14) 

Cortisol, progesterone, and testosterone are discussed, including how cortisol can steal progesterone, leading to low progesterone levels and difficulty sleeping, anxiety, and heavy, irregular periods.

Hormone Balancing and Cortisol Management (0:37:28) 

Nature’s five hormones, soy’s impact on estrogen, cortisol’s role, stress effects, and taking control of health are discussed.

Remote Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Guidance (0:46:20) 

Dr. Jannine offers help with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, hormone testing, and nature’s remedies for hormones.

About Dr. Jannine Krause:

Dr. Jannine Krause is a Naturopathic Doctor, Acupuncturist, and host of the Health Fix Podcast. She is passionate about empowering women over 35 to thrive in their better years. With her expertise in holistic health, acupuncture, and personalized care, Dr. Krause provides valuable insights and support to her patients and podcast audience, inspiring them to embrace vitality and well-being throughout their journey.

“Empowering women over 35 to thrive in their better years.” – Elizabeth Sherman

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • The main difference between a naturopathic doctor and a general practitioner.
  • Both herbal and conventional medicine approaches may rely on band-aid solutions, emphasizing the need to address root causes for lasting healing.
  • The transformative effects of acupuncture as observed by Dr. Jannine through their mother’s acupuncturist, who greatly improved patients’ well-being and appearance.
  • Plastics can leach into food and beverages, increasing estrogen levels and potentially causing hormonal imbalances, PMS, and breast cancer.
  • Fear and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic may potentially affect kidney function, with anecdotal evidence indicating a link between emotional state, reduced kidney filtration, and potential implications for overall health.
  • The effects of elevated cortisol, such as disruptions in blood sugar levels, weight management, cholesterol, and the development of fatty liver conditions, highlight the complex relationship between cortisol, stress, and health issues.
  • Managing stress through thought management and how our thoughts and reactions to stressors can influence cortisol levels and overall hormonal health.
  • How stress affects hormones, particularly progesterone, and can lead to emotional fluctuations and shifts in perspective.
  • The effects of high testosterone levels on blood sugar balance and metabolism, as well as the risks of testosterone replacement therapy and its impact on women’s health.
  • The role of DHEA and the considerations for bioidentical hormone therapy, including micro-dosing and the potential benefits for anti-aging, bone health, and skin.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

It’s one of the things that unfortunately, I think this is kind of happening and it kind of pains me with my medicine in terms of naturopathic medicine is that we’re getting now, I don’t know, more condition to treat things symptomatically.

And so, someone comes in, they come in with anxiety and like, here’s your supplement for that. And off you go. And it pains me because we want to know like you said, what’s triggering anxiety? What is happening in the body? Like not just trading one for the other.

And that’s one of the things that I really want to be strong about with naturopathic medicine that is not natural medicine. That is not what we’re taught to do. And unfortunately, it’s starting to become that way and it pains me quite a bit.

You are listening to the done with dieting podcast. The podcast for women who are experiencing perimenopause and menopause symptoms and want to feel better – like they did before their body started changing.

I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman, Master Certified health, and life coach for women in menopause and peri menopause. I’ve helped thousands of women manage their symptoms, get off the diet roller coaster, and change their relationship with food, exercise, and stop fighting with their bodies. And I do it through a feminist lens – which means exploring how we are socialized as young women has a huge impact on our current relationship with food & exercise, our bodies, health, and ourselves.

What’s different about this podcast is that we’re exploring your health from all sides, not just food and exercise. We also address the mindset shifts that will make you happier and lead to better health.

My goal in this podcast is to illustrate that the reason diets don’t work long term is because your health doesn’t exist in a silo. Your health and your weight are a symptom of the OTHER parts of your life and how you show up. I want to help you to feel good and live the life you desire from a 360 degree approach: body, mind, and soul.

Welcome. Let’s get started.

Hey everyone, welcome to episode number 135 of the Done With Dieting podcast. I have a question for you. Are you tired of feeling like your body is working against you? If so, get excited because today’s episode is going to be a game changer.

I am so incredibly thrilled to introduce you to Dr. Jannine Krause, a Naturopathic Doctor, Acupuncturist, and host of the Health Fix Podcast. Now, she’s here to empower women over 35 to not just survive but thrive in their better years.

In this episode, Dr. Krause shares her expert insights on naturopathic medicine, hormone balance, and stress management. You’ll discover the importance of addressing the root cause of your health concerns, something that sets naturopathic doctors apart from general practitioners.

We’ll also explore the challenges posed by insurance companies and their focus on symptoms rather than holistic care. Get ready to uncover the hidden dangers of plastics, hormones, and your health. We’re going to dive into the three main estrogens in the body, sneaky additives used by the plastics industry, and the significance of testing for BPA levels in your body.

Dr. Krause also provides tips for supporting your liver in processing toxins and recommends powerful nutraceuticals for hormone metabolism. But that’s not all. We’ll shine a light on managing cortisol and your nervous system responses. You’ll gain insights in the impact of stress on your body and its connection to trauma, how cortisol affects your blood sugar and digestion.

Dr. Krause even shares her favorite supplements, herbs, and breath work techniques to help you regain control over your stress levels.

If you’re ready to revolutionize your wellbeing and unlock the secrets to thriving with a balanced hormones and stress control, you can’t afford to miss today’s episode. Now, let’s dive in and transform your life.

Elizabeth: All right everyone, welcome Jannine to the podcast episode. I am so excited to talk with you today, Jannine. This is going to be so much fun because we’ve talked before on your podcast, and we really felt connected. And so, I had to have Jannine on to the Done with Dieting podcast.

So, thank you for being here. Let’s start with who you are, who you help, what you do, all of that great stuff so that we can start with some context.

Jannine: Thanks, Elizabeth. Sure. Yeah. I’m a naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist and host of the Health Fix Podcast, and my mission is to help women over 35, all the way up to 55. And gosh darn it, if I can get some folks that are in their seventies and eighties and hundreds. So be it. I’d be happy to help them in terms of figuring out hormones.

But also, just surviving and I don’t even like to say survive. Let’s go with thriving in their better years. And understanding their body’s a little better so that you can make little tweaks to yourself and you’re not sitting there succumbing to your doc telling you everything’s fine, you’re normal. There’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just aging. I don’t want anybody to have to deal with that, ever. So, my mission is try to change that. That’s me.

Elizabeth: That’s awesome. So, I just started reading a book called, “this Chair Rocks.” And it’s all about ageism. And in the book, she talks about something called the “U-curve of Happiness.” And I think that for so many people, we dread getting older because we think it’s all downhill. Right?

Jannine: Yeah.

Elizabeth: But this U-curve of Happiness, what they’ve shown is that people are happier at the bookends of their life. And when you look at happiness levels, people are the least happy, like in their forties and fifties. And so, it just only goes up from here.

Jannine: Absolutely. Absolutely. And yeah, we got to change that. We got to have a happy curve like trajectory the whole time. Launching that sucker by the time he gets a hundred and however many, that’s how I get to see it.

Elizabeth: Exactly. So, let’s talk about a naturopath doctor. But I’m sure that many people know or have heard the term, but how is a naturopathic doctor different than your normal, like general practitioner or family doctor.

Jannine: Sure. Sure. We are taught to look at what is going on with someone and what is the root cause. And I know that’s such a trendy term these days and it kind of pains me because we’ve got the functional medicine docs and no disrespect to them. I mean, that’s what naturopathic medicine was before functional medicine became a thing.

And so, we are taught to figure out the systems and go like, what went off the rails in the first place? Is it psycho social emotional? Is it chemicals? Is it toxins? Is it mold? Is it all the things?

And so, really the biggest difference is we spend most of our training designed to figure out root cause. But also, we spend time with counseling. We spend over a year with nutrition. We don’t spend as much time in the emergency medicine services.

So, if someone has an emergency where arm has been lacerated, I am not the person you want to call. If you want to know why you don’t heal up after a normal course of not healing from cutting your arm, I’m the person you want to call.

Our training is different in terms of focus. But I did have all the immunology, all of the same training as a medical doctor. It’s just the more of the counseling, more of the root cause kind of stuff. And gosh, I learned how to cook, really learned how to cook in school. So, that’s pretty dang cool. So, yeah. That’s kind of the difference between us.

Elizabeth: That’s amazing. Well, and I love that. And I love naturopathic doctors because you’re not just treating the symptom. So, if someone comes to you with anxiety, you’re not like, here, take this pill to fix the anxiety. You’re like, okay, why are we getting anxiety in the first place? Like when did you start getting anxiety and what caused it? So that we can back up and fix that because that’s what’s creating this other problem. Yeah?

Jannine: Absolutely. And it’s one of the things that unfortunately, I think this is kind of happening and it kind of pains me with my medicine in terms of naturopathic medicine is that we’re getting now, I don’t know, more condition to treat things symptomatically.

And so, someone comes in, they come in with anxiety and like, here’s your supplement for that. And off you go. And it pains me because we want to know like you said, what’s triggering anxiety? What is happening in the body? Like not just trading one for the other.

And that’s one of the things that I really want to be strong about with naturopathic medicine that is not natural medicine. That is not what we’re taught to do. And unfortunately, it’s starting to become that way and it pains me quite a bit.

Elizabeth: Why do you think that is? Do you think it’s that people are demanding that? Or do you think that it’s that doctors don’t really want to invest the time and energy?

Jannine: I think it’s a combination. If you get stuck in the insurance world, which I was in for a very long time, and still have a little foot in it. It becomes difficult cuz you’re stuck to the 15 minute visits and there’s no way you’re doing root cause medicine in 15 minutes. I don’t care who you are. It’s tough. It’s really tough.

And so, I think some of the medical model, if you try to fit yourself into that. I think the other part of it is unfortunately, with the naturopathic medicine industry, we realized that we have to keep up with the Joneses. And unfortunately, it was kind of this morph of how to take natural medicine and kind of make it cool and not so hippy of sorts, you know?

And move it into a natural paradigm. But I think for a lot of folks, in unfortunately went that way. I don’t think anyone who goes to naturopathic medicine school expects to come out and just become a supplement pill pusher. But unfortunately, it does end up coming that way. And I think a little society, I think a little bit of client demand.

And I also think that unfortunately, if you get stuck in the conventional medical system, you almost start practicing like a conventional medicine doctor. And instead of handing out prescriptions, now you’re just handing out herbs and it sucks.

Elizabeth: Yeah. So interesting. Clearly, both of us are in the; let’s figure out what the root cause is and fix it so that you don’t have to keep going through this. And handing out prescriptions or supplements or whatever is kind of a band aid approach.

And so, I think that people want that because they don’t want to be in pain for a long period of time. They just want it to be fixed yesterday, which I totally get. But it didn’t happen overnight. It’s not going to get fixed overnight.

Jannine: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And trying to find that fine line and definitely I will give herbal prescriptions that I know are band aids. But boy, you better believe we’re working on the baseline of things.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Okay. Lovely.

Jannine: And that’s where it gets tricky, you know. So, finding what’s your pleasure in that department, but also knowing that by taking just a bunch of herbs, you could be band aid. That’s kind of where I look at it.

Elizabeth: I want to find out, what was your path? Like, where did you start because I know we have so much overlap in our lives, which is why I think we probably connected so well. So, tell us your story. Where did you start out from? How did you get into functional medicine? Tell me all the things.

Jannine: Sure. So, I grew up in Illinois, like you. And in a place that was very Midwest, right? We weren’t thinking much about herbal things and folks who were thinking about herbs were hippie kind of department. And so, when my mom ended up with cancer, when I was a sophomore in high school. I thought to myself like, oh gosh, yeah, we got to do the chemo, we got to fight it hard. We’re going to do all these things.

And I started to realize as she was getting sicker and sicker. And at one point, where she had these blisters on her body, no joke. Like the size of a softball with fluid filled, hanging off her. I’m like, something’s just not right here. You’re poisoning yourself and it’s trying to come out to your body. Like, what in the world?

And so, she ended up going to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America that happened, they advertise as being in Chicago. It’s in Zion, Illinois, not Chicago. Nowhere even close, like 40 plus miles north. Fun little quaint town on Lake Michigan. If you’ve ever been there, you might have a different opinion.

But anyway, the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, she went in there. She started seeing the naturopaths and I’m like, oh, this is cool. They’re talking to her about food. I was a twigs and sticks kid. My mom was very into eating healthy. So, it was baffling like, how the heck did you end up with cancer out of all these folks?

So, that baffled me. But then learning more about food combining, not using microwaves because my mom, I mean, eighties kid. Microwave was everything. And so, learned a lot about not microwaving plastics back in those days. And so, I was like, oh, this is pretty cool.

Granted at the time, I still wanted to be a pro snowboarder. So, on my radar was that I was just driving mom to these appointments so I could get my driver’s license. That was my MO.

And so, the naturopath are really cool. But what blew my mind was actually the acupuncturist. My mom’s acupuncturist was this cute Chinese man. He still looks the same today as he did back then. So, I’m not really sure if he reversed age, I don’t know. There’s some Jedi mind tricks in that place.

Elizabeth: Benjamin Button stuff?

Jannine: There’s something going on in that office. And so, he was up over the border in Kenosha, in Wisconsin. And this guy was amazing. Like he took me in and was like, hey, check this out. Hey, look at this. And I would see people go in dragging and then it looked like they’re all floating coming out of there.

My mom included, like she would go in like kind of green and gray from three days after chemo when she’d get pretty sick and then like her color would come back and she looked like a human again. And I was like, there’s something really even cooler about this stuff.

Actually, I dove into the acupuncture first. But because of Midwest root values, everyone’s like, well, you got to be a doctor, you can’t be acupuncturist. I mean, at least if you’re going to be a quack doc, you might as well figure out something here. Don’t go to the needles first off. But secretly underneath, I was like, yeah, I’m going to be an acupuncturist. You guys have no idea.

So, that’s how it all came to be. I just was like, yeah, this snowboarding thing’s cool, but I think I’m going to be a naturopathic doctor. And so, that happened, jumped into that, and did the acupuncture at the same time. And seven years later, Basir cranked out another one of us. So, that’s how it went down. It was fun.

Elizabeth: Wow. Very cool. Okay. So, something that you mentioned was microwaves, and then you also said plastics. And so, let’s take a little bit time talking about like BPAs and all of the other things, the toxins kind of that we are exposed to, and how those can impact our health.

Jannine: Yeah.

Elizabeth: Okay?

Jannine: Yes, absolutely. So, plastics, we’re surrounded by it. Unfortunately, we can’t get rid of all of them, but the more you can minimize it, it’s important. Because here’s the thing, my mom’s cancer was estrogen positive cancer. And she didn’t have any of the genes, like no BRCAs, no her2 neu, I don’t either. I’ve been tested for all of them as well.

She’s deceased now. But the thing that we had in common was that hers was estrogen positive. I had high estrone levels in my body while I was going to baster cause I was like, well, I need to know all this because while I was at baster, she ended up passing before I graduated. But I was lucky enough to get all the education around what should I test for myself.

And so, estrone we have three estrogens. Estrone is our inflammatory one. That’s the one that’s linked to the bisphenol A and unfortunately B, C, D, E, F, X, Y, Z because they got sneaky in the plastics industry. And it may say BPA free. But it could be BPA B or X, Y, Z like I mentioned. And this is a big deal because we’re finding this, I just ran a urine test on a gal, caught last week and her bisphenol levels were off the charts.

Ladies, guys, anyone who’s listening to this, this is stuff that we can test in your urine and see where you’re at. This isn’t just me blowing smoke saying, yeah, plastics are bad. I’ve seen it and I’ve also seen folks have trouble balancing their hormones, whether they’re taking bioidenticals, whether they’re taking testosterone, replacement therapy pellets, whatever it is.

If I’m having someone that’s like, man, I cannot get my stuff balanced, or there’s breakthrough bleeding. And someone who’s been in menopause for years, plastics are a thing. So, microwaving plastics, now we’re heating up the plastic, and now that plastic’s going to go into your food.

Now, there’s some level of debate as to how much plastic just gets in your stuff, even without the heat. And one of my other biggies, I have a lot of people that will tell me like, I’m drinking bottled water. And I’m like, well, that bottled water has to travel in that plastic. And we don’t know how heated up it gets. We don’t even know what’s in your bottled water these days.

I don’t want to turn it into a complete conspiracy theory podcast here, but the truth is you need to be aware of where things are coming from. And so, plastics can leach into your bloodstream, increase your estrogen levels, cause you to have hormonal imbalances, cause you to PMs, cause you to breast pain, and even cancer in this case.

And I’d be willing to bet if the testing would’ve been available to my mom cause I think it was very infant stages in the early two thousands. If that would’ve been available to her, I bet we would’ve seen her estrogen levels off the charts. That is a real deal thing.

And some of these plastics and hormone disruptors can stick in your body forever. Some of them are forever chemicals, and this is another thing to really be thinking about. Eating out, you can’t control it. So, what do we do? Right? What do we do on these things that we can’t control?

I don’t know how much you’ve talked about Elizabeth in terms of helping the liver and things like milk thistle and that. Never. So, that’s a thing. When you go out to eat, I do recommend folks to take some milk thistle before and after to help the liver kind of just process the stuff so we’re not getting even the seed oils and all that stuff stuck in the liver. Let’s try to metabolize it a little bit better.

There are higher end things that help with hormone metabolism too, like Diindolylmethane and something called calcium gluconate. Have you guys talked about those at all?

Elizabeth: No, not at all. Bring it.

Jannine: Okay. Okay.

Elizabeth: I love this.

Jannine: So, we’re going to geek out on some nutraceuticals for a second. These are kind of root causey kind of things, and for some folks who have breast cancer history in their family and are exposed to estrogens, which all of us are, sadly, it is what it is. Especially, those of us who have the cancer history, I recommend taking Diindolylmethane or being legit on quarter cup a day of broccoli sprouts.

If you’re a sprout master and you can make them in your house like no other, do it. We do at our house; I also back up with something called Diindolylmethane. It is an extract from the cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli family in particular. They normally take it from broccoli, just for anybody that wants to really hone down on that. And what it does is it helps your liver pathways to detox hormones.

And in particular, estrogen is the big one. Because unfortunately, it’s one of the biggest ones we can be manipulated by, whether it’s the plastics, whether it’s phthalates, whether it’s parabens in our skincare. And folks, even though we know this information, it is even listed as toxic and having hormone interactions on the CDC website. It’s still there, at least for right now.

Here’s the thing, it’s real. And even though it’s kind of played off a little bit, these things are really messing with your hormones. So, diindolylmethane is one, and then the other is calcium D-Glucarate. Calcium D-Glucarate has a stronger effect in the colon actually, and it gobbles estrogens in the colon, pulls them out. Because what’ll happen is we can take the estrogens and pull them across the colon lining and put it in to our cells and cause trouble.

So, we’re kind of like reabsorbing estrogen. We don’t want to do that. And unfortunately, and I’m sure you see this too is with a lot of ladies have constipation as we get older. That’s where we reabsorb a lot of our estrogens too.

Elizabeth: Yeah, we talked a little bit about that on the Jillian Teta episode.

Jannine: Nice.

Elizabeth: Okay. Well, you just threw a lot of stuff out there and it was all just amazing. Now, it’s my understanding that with many of these chemicals that they get absorbed into the fat, right? And when we lose weight, they actually become more concentrated.

Jannine: Yes. Yes.

Elizabeth: So, you’re not just getting rid of them. Right?

Jannine: No. You don’t just naturally dump them as easy as we think that would happen. We need some optimization of our drainage pathways to help clear it all out. Because you lose some weight, it’s often that they will get stuck in your liver or your lymphatics. And those of you who are listening, your lymphatics, what are those? Those are like where the lymph nodes are connected in.

So, these things can get stuck because some of us will lose weight right here in the neck. They can get stuck in the neck; they can get stuck in your armpits. They can get stuck kind of the breast area too, because the breasts, lot of fattier tissue there. When we lose weight, we tend to drop a little bit in the chest. And your lymphatics are all right in this area.

So, sometimes we can have some really puffy armpits. We’ll be like, what the heck’s going on? They’re bogged down and so lymphatic drainage types of therapy, just the simple dry brushing can help. But sometimes I will be honest, we need to go a little bit deeper there.

And there are little mitts that folks can buy, but there’s also like machinery, which sounds kind of crazy, but there’s electrode type of machinery that can help too, to stimulate our cells electronically. So, we’re all charged. We can stimulate our own charge to move things along. So that can help lymphatically the liver.

The kidneys also too, have to be healthy. And this is a big deal. I’ve been seeing this happening with COVID and what it is that a lot of us were really like fearful of everything happening that has an impact on your kidneys energetically, and it reduces kidney filtration. So, sounds wild and woo woo, but I have lots of people’s labs too, to have seen the trend here and can’t help but think there’s something to it.

Elizabeth: Wow, that’s really interesting that worrying, and fear will impact your kidneys. We’re going to be talking about cortisol today. But to that extent that it’s impacting your kidneys. Wow.

Jannine: It’s wild. You know, I never saw it. I guess I didn’t have a frame of reference, right? I didn’t have anything that had happened. So, impactful on our lives as the pandemic and all of the different things we’re noting with labs since pandemic. It’s interesting. I mean, hormones did shift. And depending on whether someone had one versus four, or five, six vaccination rounds, I’ve seen differences.

It’s very interesting what’s happening right now with the blood. And yeah, the kidney filtration levels. This is conventional medicine. We’ll say, I am battier than batty, but line them up. And let’s look and see.

Overall, if we connect someone’s anxiety, depression, fear of levels, oftentimes we’ll see that kidney function down. And so, what my point was is going back to losing weight and trying to get things out of the body.

One of the things we really want to look at is making sure before we try to dump too much into the system that the system can handle it. Cause a lot of people, they’ll lose weight, they’ll get to a certain point, and then they’re like, I feel like crap, you know? And that’s it. That’s the liver, the kidneys, and the lymphatics going. I’m not detoxing right now.

Elizabeth: Got it. Okay. So, there are probably a lot of people who are freaked out right now.

Jannine: Yes.

Elizabeth: And they’re like, I remember I went through a whole process where I was like, oh my God, everything is gassing. Like the carpet is gassing, and this new dresser that I bought is gassing. And I was like, I can’t do my nails because that has chemicals on it. And I freaked myself out.

Jannine: Yeah.

Elizabeth: And so, like where I eventually came to was try to control the things that you can and just try to do better. Yeah.

Jannine: Absolutely. We have things coming at us from the air. It’s everywhere. The way we can do better is really just maximizing how our kidneys, our liver, and our lymphatics work. If you can keep those going well and your cells too, and we’ll talk about all those kind of things today. But if you can maximize your body’s functions, you’re good. You’re good. Get the body pooping, get your cells dumping the liquids and not holding onto things.

The body functions, if you can do that, you will be far further ahead than anyone else out there because I don’t want folks to be freaked out that there are ways around this stuff. And being stuck and worried and scared doesn’t help either. So, it’s a matter of just going, okay, great, these things are going to happen. How do we maximize our body’s functions to clear them?

Elizabeth: Cool. Okay. So, let’s talk a little bit about stress management, cortisol, the vagus nerve, all of that great stuff. So, one of the things that I talk a lot about is how as women move into midlife and menopause, that our hormone shift, and we become more reactive to stress in our lives.

And so, what are some of the things that you see? How can we manage it? How do you see stress working with the body? Let’s start there.

Jannine: Yeah. So, I think one of the biggest things with stress is how it impacts our thought process. A lot of us, and this is something we talked about before, we jumped on the call here is the Impact of folks who are like, I’m not stressed, everything’s great in my life.

And this is where I say, I’m going to give you the shirt. I’m fine. Everything’s fine. It’s okay. Because you can tell where the stress is hitting someone’s body and we can be completely resistant to stress cause that’s all we’ve ever really known. And so, this ties into trauma, this ties into how you were raised also your thought processes about life.

So, what will happen with cortisol being elevated for a long period of time, that messes with blood sugar. Someone might be like, I’m totally fine and I’m eating really well. I don’t understand why I can’t lose weight. I don’t understand why my blood sugar levels just keep going up. I don’t understand why my triglycerides, so part of your cholesterol levels are up, or your cholesterol keeps going up too. And you’re like, I’m doing all the things.

Hello, cortisol. That’s step one. And what’s even nuttier is that the longer someone’s been stressed and resistant to stress, sometimes we won’t see elevated cortisol on the left. Sometimes we’ll see the cortisol be absolutely normal. And so, now I’ve got someone being like, you’re crazy. And now, I’ve got to kind of work with that, or we’ll have low cortisol.

And low and high cortisol folks can look exactly the same and can mimic each other too. But the bottom line is that cortisol initially, messes with your blood sugar and then it’ll start to mess with those fats will start to get lodged in the liver. Now, we end up with fatty liver kind of conditions. We’ll mess up what’s going on in terms of absorption.

So, every single aspect of your digestion can be jacked with when it comes to cortisol. Your oxygenation, your circulation. Here I am putting fear in everyone. Guys, calm, let’s take a breath because the stress is going to affect every part of your body only because you have a vagus nerve.

And you know, what happens in vagus doesn’t stay in Vegas, I joke. Because it’s going to follow you in that nerve, and it goes through every single organ of your body. It’s your regulatory system.

Instead of panicking and thinking like, my life is just ruined because of this dang cortisol stuff. It’s like, okay, let’s make friends with cortisol and make friends with your body in terms of how it responds to certain things. That is the bottom line and part of one of my foundations with working with folks is we have to make friends with cortisol. And that’s the bottom line.

And I’m sure you’re working with breathwork and those kind of things with making friends with cortisol. And honestly, I don’t know how much you’ve mentioned about different cortisol. Like herbs, things like ashwagandha working on.

Elizabeth: Yeah, I don’t talk about supplements or herbs that much.

Jannine: Okay. Okay. Cool. So, you can use Altheine, you can use Ashwagandha, you can use even Ganoderma. So, reishi mushrooms to help Zen you out. And what I recommend is doing like a stress reset.

There’s a doc, Bob Rakowski, who created this specific stress reset. I kind of took it and tweaked it to my own liking. And I have people do that before we go into hormone balancing. Because if we can kind of take the notch down a little bit, now we’re not like relying on handfuls of ashwagandha and Altheine to calm down the nervous system responses to things.

So, I’ll take a week with folks in every hour in the hour we’re micro dosing. The ashwagandha, the Altheine, the Ganoderma, which is reishi. And literally, we micro dose it all day, every day while we’re awake for seven days.

And after that, then I start to implement more of the breath work, more of the detailed hormone balancing from there and lifestyle. How do you wake up? What do you do all day? Do you take a break? That kind of stuff.

Elizabeth: I don’t remember if we talked about it on our podcast or your podcast. But one of the things that I do talk about is being able to manage your problems through your thoughts, right? Because we know that two people can experience the same stressful event and have very different stressful responses to that event.

And it all has to do with how we think about it, right? And so, yeah, that’s generally what I talk about the most and how I work with my clients in terms of managing stress is managing how we think about our problems.

Jannine: Absolutely. And honestly, that goes a long way for turning around cortisol issues because unfortunately, we could be our own worst enemies in this department. And really mess ourselves up hormonally, liver wise, cell wise, all the way to the thyroid, and all kinds of other things. And so, getting ahold of how you think is so important.

And that’s why I will do the stress resets at first, especially if someone’s on like overwhelmed mode. Yes. But what I’m trying to say is it’s the thought process and how you react to stressors, that’s really going to move the needle when it comes to cortisol.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Now, something that you also work with is nervous system responses. Yeah? And like when we talk about thought work, thought work doesn’t necessarily always translate when we’re talking about trauma and nervous system. So, how do you treat that?

Jannine: Good question. A lot of times what we’re looking at is like, okay, what was the trauma in the first place? I’m not going to rehash things with folks. Likely, they’ve been to therapy for years and didn’t work, so that’s why we’re here. But what I’m looking at is how does your body respond getting very curious about your body? Because gut issues, acid reflux.

Even to the extent of where we have emptying issues. So, gastroparesis, if anyone’s been diagnosed with that, IBS. Even constipation, a lot of these things that show up in our gut are clues that something’s off with our nervous system communication, especially the longer they’ve been around and the more that you’ve thrown different medications at it and nothing is working.

So, what I find with folks is we look at all of the weird kind of, not so weird symptoms that are chronic for them and go, okay, does this show up when you’re more stressed? Does this show up when you’re working on something or haven’t slept? And so, using those things, that’s where I’m going to go back to like, okay, that’s your connection to the nervous system. So, I’ll take thought and the symptom and bring them together.

But I’ll also say, if someone has chronic acid reflux, we’re also looking at think about when you eat. Are you terrified to eat because you don’t know if you’re going to get acid reflux? So, back to thought but also some habitual kind of things too.

I also will do some nervous system resetting. So, acupuncture has given us the beautiful ability of points to tap into the nervous system. And so, there are lots of them in the neck.

There’s a lot behind the ear, I often talk about behind the ear. I’m kind of weird like this, I will have people pressing or tapping on points before they eat. I will have the massaging areas. I’ll have them poking into something and doing what I call as like a dance move where you’re looking up and moving around to release the fascia.

Dunno if you’ve seen the Gary guy from Human garage. He’s got like a lot of what I do in my practice down and made it quite popular. So, I don’t look as goofy. But yeah, there’s a lot of body techniques. Because what I learned probably from Covid more than anything, and not being able to see people in person as much is that we really need our tools at home and to know how to take care of ourselves. And really that’s where my whole process has been now. What can I do to teach people to take care of themselves and not have to see me? They can be their own best doctors and if things get a little out to whack, I’m still here.

Elizabeth: Yeah. And I love the idea of really understanding what your trauma and nervous system responses are so that you can have more compassion for yourself. Right? Because oftentimes, we will fly off the handle for lack of a better phrase. And then we’ll be like, oh, what did I do? And have so much shame about our behavior in response to something.

And then, realize, oh, wait a minute, that was a trauma response, or that was a nervous system shut down. And it’s not my fault, it’s just how my body functions. And so, it allows us to then like having the thought work, can then also help us to yeah, just have more compassion with ourselves on the other side of that.

Jannine: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Knowing yourself like, I just did one of my group calls last night and the gals are telling me like, how amazing it is to connect the dots and get to know yourself better and be like, oh, all right. It gives you power, right? Your power’s back now because you can connect it. It’s beautiful stuff. I love doing that stuff.

Elizabeth: Yeah.

Jannine: Let’s talk a little bit about cortisol and the hormones and what happens. I just put out on Instagram a couple of posts the last couple days and I got a lot of comments and a lot of damns because folks were like, oh, that’s hormones.

So, for example, when you get pretty stressed, your body will tend to steal progesterone. Meaning the precursors to progesterone, it steals it. And now, you have lowered progesterone. Some folks argue this theory and they say it’s not a hundred percent accurate, but I’m like, dang, I keep seeing it happen over and over again. So, I don’t know, I’m going with it.

So, what happens is you’ll get to this point where you’re like, I don’t want anybody around me. I want you to leave me alone. Don’t touch me. Everything’s wrong in the world. I need a new job. I hate my life. And you’re like contemplating in your head like, wow, dude, what is wrong with me? Maybe I do need a new job. Maybe I need a vacation. Maybe I need to divorce my partner. Like things are crashing down.

And then the next week you’re like, I love you. Everything’s great. I really love my job. And like, am I losing my sh*t? What is going on here? Progesterone. Hello, progesterone.

So, progesterone is very sensitive to cortisol and I call it the grab, it’s just the hormone that it grabs you, and it like takes you, and it has you angry, and it has you frustrated. It’s like mama bears claws out. And it’s something that we don’t talk about a lot because we’re like in our heads like, I don’t know if I should tell anyone my thoughts cause I’m not be going crazy. I’m not really sure.

So, these are things to think about progesterone very sensitive. And when that happens, when progesterone goes low, we start to have trouble sleeping. We also start to have trouble with anxiety and difficulty calming ourselves. And so, this is why I’m a huge fan. I’m not a huge fan of blood labs of hormones. You can get them, but progesterone’s not going to show up accurate on blood labs.

Saliva, you can see what’s in your tissues. Also, back to what we mentioned earlier, that’s where you see the estrone and see how inflamed and how much inflammatory estrogen you got hanging out. But the big factor with progesterone will be, it’ll drop. And then, the subsequent cascade from there is after you stay stressed for a little while now the progesterone’s down low and your estrogens are high.

Now, we’re seeing more of the breast tenderness, heavy periods, fibroids, thick uterine linings, and so we’ve got, crazy periods. We’re afraid to leave the house, back to 14 years old and messing your pants because of your blood. It’s crazy stuff happening. And that’s a high estrogen effect.

It also can be when that estrogen goes high and then drops down low on a rollercoaster, we’ll have tears. We’ll be like the world’s falling and crashing down. But this time we’re not angry and frustrated with it, we’re just so depressed. And we just can’t put our finger on like, what is keeping me down? I don’t know what it is and we don’t want to share it with most because now back to, I think I’m losing my mind.

We also might have some memory issues at this time. We might be like, I can’t concentrate. Maybe I should get some ADD medication. That’s your estrogen talking. That is estrogen. And so, it has voices.

Those are the two voices between estrogen and progesterone. Keep in mind, cortisol will jack with progesterone most of the time first, and then the estrogen gets thrown off because progesterone helps keep your estrogen and balance. And where does testosterone fall in all of that? Well, testosterone’s kind of like our even keel like hormone. It just kind of chugs along. And it will stay steady on you unless we’ve got some blood sugar imbalances.

And so, the next step, if that cortisol is messing with your blood sugar, we’re getting a fatty liver, sometimes that testosterone will be involved there too. It’s one of the biggest pet peeves I have with testosterone replacement therapy.

I don’t know how many guys come in to my office. They’re like, this testosterone isn’t really working. Their levels are way up here. When I look at their saliva levels and they’re like, yeah, my labs are terrible. My cholesterol went up, my blood sugar went up. And I’m like, yeah, high levels of testosterone, mess with your blood sugar.

So, if we’re adding testosterone to someone that already has elevated cortisol, we are creating a monster for metabolism, blood sugar, balance, and all kinds of issues. And I’m going to be very frank, like I would love to know who started the rumor for women to take testosterone for weight loss. I would love to find who talked about that because you’ve created a monster, literally.

Because now we have women getting the testosterone in their system and now their blood sugar gets worse, their weight gets worse, the hair starts falling out. And now, we’ve got double trouble trying to back that out and balance it again. So, this is why I’m such a huge proponent of get your cortisol levels tested when you look at your hormones and don’t mess with anything till you’ve got that cortisol in check.

So, testosterone on the long end, like I said, it plugs along and stays stable. It will end up long term having you look kind of like grandpa. That’s why grandpa and grandma kind of look like each other. Because your testosterone is maintained quite well if you’re working out, if you’re staying active.

Now, there are a few cases in which I would say, okay, do some testosterone replacement therapy. These are for extremely fatigued folks who are having trouble getting through the day or even getting out of bed. And they’re free, not total, their free testosterone.

Now, this can be in blood if we check it or we’re looking at saliva being low. If the free blood testosterone is low, or saliva is low, and it’s consistently low, and this person has no libido, can’t get out to bed, all those things. Then, I would say a milligram. Just a milligram not 10 milligrams, not injecting stuff, not craziness, not crazy town in that department.

So, just something to keep in mind. Unfortunately, I am probably the one that people see when things don’t go right with hormone balancing. And so, I do have more extreme cases. I’ve had multiple cases of brain tumors from too high of testosterone and women.

And so, these are things you really want to be aware of when you think about these fancy pop-up clinics that are showing up all the time now, and they’re giving everybody the same treatment. We are not one size fits all.

Elizabeth: Yeah. So, okay.

Jannine: Yeah, that’s a lot.

Elizabeth: Let’s pick that apart. Yeah. So, you mentioned five different hormones right now.

Jannine: Yes.

Elizabeth: You mentioned cortisol, progesterone, estrogen, thyroid, and testosterone. Okay? And so, those are generally the hormones that come out of balance when women move into midlife and menopause. Yeah?

Jannine: Absolutely. Yep. And one little caveat.

Elizabeth: Yeah.

Jannine: There are three sisters with the estrogens. There’s estradiol, which is our most useful estrogen. We want that sucker around, we want her. Estrone, that’s the inflammatory, I call her wicked stepsister. We don’t want so much of her around. We want to keep her in check.

Estriol, we want her. She is our weakest estrogen, but she’s got a little secret. She helps with our vaginal health. We want her around. So, she’s keeping us from UTIs, keeping us from chronic bladder stuff, and not even that like vaginal stuff and keeps things moving nicely in that department.

Elizabeth: Awesome. Thank you for sharing that.

Jannine: No problem.

Elizabeth: Now, I know that for women in midlife, we want to minimize soy. So, since we’re talking about estrogen right now.

Jannine: Yes.

Elizabeth: Because soy will impact one of those sisters. Yeah? Negatively?

Jannine: Yes. Soy, I wish that all of the Japanese studies and Chinese studies would’ve come out and said, our soy is good. Now, American soy, we jack with it. We put glyphosate all over it. It’s not the same thing. Eating soy chicken, its process does all get out.

So, I just don’t recommend it at all for women in my practice. I do try to stay away from it. Cuz we just don’t have a great source, unless someone can guarantee me that they’ve got the cleanest source of tofu or Tempe or any of that stuff. I have not seen it yet. If you can guarantee it, then you know, let me know.

I do have women watch that because it will boost inflammatory estrogen levels. I see it in teenagers too, with all the soy venti lattes that people love to sip on in the Pacific Northwest. It is a problem.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Okay. So, no soy whatsoever, or limited soy.

Jannine: Limited soy.

Elizabeth: And that includes like edamame and things like that.

Jannine: I say limited soy because if we’re going to choose something, if you can get ahold of an organic edamame, that’s a clean source, by all means. Go for that. Tofu, hit or miss, not every meal, maybe once a week.

Elizabeth: Got it.

Jannine: That’s kind of the standard.

Elizabeth: Cool. Thanks. With all of those five different hormones, we can have cortisol high and low at the same time, or high or low. Yeah?

Jannine: Yeah. It can be high and low. You can have what we call like kind of a rollercoaster going on where like, morning high, afternoon low, at a nighttime high and back down. It can do that. And we can have flatline low, we can have across the board high. It’s all possible.

Elizabeth: Okay. And what I interpreted what you said was that cortisol is kind of the little instigator for all of the other hormones being out of whack. Did I hear that right?

Jannine: You did. Yep. You did.

Elizabeth: Okay.

Jannine: And if we look back and we kind of trace things back, what provokes us to get microwave meals and eat out? Not enough time. Stress.

Elizabeth: Yeah.

Jannine: What provokes us to find the easier routes that are going to have things that have chemicals in them? The easy route in life. So, I will look at the cortisol being the big factor, and then I will branch it out to chemicals and overload in our lifestyle. And then, that’s where that estrogen plays in, in terms of estrone. But keep in mind my sequence is usually cortisol, progesterone, then estrogen goes off.

Elizabeth: Got it. Okay. And so, what you recommend for folks who want to reduce their cortisol, other than taking supplements. Do you have any lifestyle factors? Saying no, maybe?

Jannine: Yes. Yes. Really taking control of your life at this point. And yes, knowing that I’ll tell a little story for a second. I really did not realize that I was in control of my own life. I kind of had this idea that my business was in control of my life, and I just followed whatever it did for a lot of years.

I’m 18 years in now, and for a lot of the first probably, 12. I had no idea. And really where I’m getting at is that you have the choice to slow down. You can slow down. It’s your thoughts telling you that you can’t. So, it’s a matter of, okay, harness that, like get on that. That’s going to help.

Supplements can secondarily help while you’re working on the lifestyle and thought process. Because I’d be lying if I said that the lifestyle and thought process happens like in a month. It takes years. It does. Looking at how could you incorporate something like L-Theanine, which is an extract from green tea. But how can it help you to regulate how you respond to stress?

I like to use it in the moment a lot, and I’ll titrate it throughout the day. The standard folks say that there’s 1600 milligram max on it. I’ve found you can tweak that. Obviously, work with your medical provider, make sure you know if there’s any drugs interactions before you jump on something like that. But it can be completely helpful.

Ashwagandha can be as well. For some people, it’s not as great as Altheine. It’s kind of a hit or miss. And holy basil is another one of my favorites, tulsi. It can be quite useful. So, those are like my biggies in terms of what I love, and then I’d mentioned the Ganoderma, reishi mushrooms, which are more of an adaptogenic mushroom.

So, yes. I would say, like how do you actually treat the cortisol issues? You got to have twofold for a little bit. And once you feel in control and once, you’re like solid on your new habits and thought processes, you could drop off the Ashwagandha’s and altheine. You don’t need them. I’ll find people don’t need them.

Same thing goes with the adrenal app, adaptogenics. They’ll find they don’t need them, or if they know there’s a big day that’s coming up that they have to be on point for, take them then to get through that day. Yeah. The beauty of these things like Ashwaganda, holy basil, and altheine, you can take whenever you want and stop them. You can take it as needed.

Elizabeth: I love that you started off with, “you are in control.” I actually have a sign that you can’t see. It’s off screen that says, “Everything you do in life is a choice, even though it doesn’t feel like it.” It’s true.

Jannine: Yeah.

Elizabeth: Like everything you do, you only have to die. You don’t even have to pay taxes.

Jannine: You could do whatever you want. It kills me how brainwashed we’ve been. And I mean this with all the love in my heart, folks. It’s brainwashed because by people who took care of us who are only doing the best for us. And they didn’t know.

And now, we have to unlearn these things. And hopefully, at some point in life, if things go the way I want them to, we will have grade schoolers, learning this valuable information. So that they don’t end up like us older folks having to figure it out.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Ugh. So good. Okay. If someone wants to work with you, can they work with you remotely? Do they have to see you in person? Do they have to live in Kenosha?

Jannine: No, no, no. I go back to Washington regularly. So, anyone who’s looking for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and wants some guidance and prescriptive, capabilities. I am in Washington regularly, Montana as well. The two states are where I’m licensed to be able to prescribe. So, if you’re looking in that department, that’s what we can do.

Now, all the rest of the states, I have some folks in Wisconsin who help me out because I can’t prescribe in Wisconsin. But I have some lovely nurse practitioners who I teamed up with.

Now, the other side of it is if you’re just trying to figure out like, do I need hormones, do I not? That is another real factor because sometimes folks will do just fine with herbs, if there’s enough D H E A, I didn’t even throw this hormone out at us. DHEA is a precursor to your testosterone and estrogen and all of your cortisol in your brain.

And sometimes, folks will find that D H E A, that signaling from brain and to your adrenals can be lowered. And if that’s lowered, then you might be better candidate for bioidentical hormones. And so, I do have to weed that out with folks.

Of course, I’m a naturopath, so I’m going to always try to be like, what’s off in the first place? Because I’ve had plenty of ladies, no joke, Elizabeth. I’ve had plenty of ladies, we get their cortisol on point. They don’t need their bioidentical hormones anymore. The hot flashes go away. They feel fine, everything’s good.

Now, there’s the argument of anti-aging. And do we need the estradiol for our bones and skin and things of that nature? I am a believer in that, but I’m not a believer in very high dosages of these things. I’m in a believer of like micro dosing them once we get things on point. I definitely am in that.

So, working with me, Washington, Montana, Wisconsin in particular, the other states I am counseling and coaching. And you can go to Dr. Spelled out DOCTORJ, Krause, K r a u s e, ND for naturopathic doctor That’s the best place to find me. And if you want my personality, of course, podcasts and drjaninne, J a n n i n e, Krause, k r a u s e on Instagram. You will see all of the things that are going through my head at any given day.

Elizabeth: Yeah. And all of that is obviously going to be in the show notes. Okay, great. Well, thank you so much for sharing everything. I feel like we covered a lot of ground today.

Jannine: Yes. I hope everyone is feeling okay. You guys take a big breath, maybe listen again and just digest it. One step at a time with this stuff. It’s definitely, enjoyable once you get into it, but it’s a little learning curve.

Elizabeth: Thanks so much for being here.

Jannine: No problem.

Wow, what an incredible episode we had today with Dr. Jannine Krause. We dove deep into the world of naturopathic medicine. The impact of plastics and toxins on our hormones and the importance of stress management and cortisol control. It’s clear that taking control of our health and wellbeing is essential. And I truly hope that you gain some valuable insights from our conversation today.

As we wrap up, I encourage you to take action on some of the things that you learned today. Start by assessing your environment and making small tweaks to reduce your exposure to harmful plastics and toxins. Look into supporting your liver, kidneys, and lymphatic system to help your body function optimally. And don’t forget the power of stress management through breath work and mindset shifts.

Now, if you’d like to learn more about Dr. Jannine Krause and her work, reach out to her. Her information is in the show notes. She’s an incredible resource and is so passionate about helping women thrive in their health and wellbeing.

Remember, knowledge is power. And by taking control of our health, we can truly transform our lives.

Thank you so much for tuning in today. I can’t wait to hear your success stories and the positive changes you’ve made in your health journey. That’s all I have for you today. Have an amazing week, and I’ll see you next time.


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