Since I was a teenager, it was clear to me that I wanted to become a Gynaecologist. I wanted an answer to my monthly suffering and a long term solution to my irregular painful periods, PMS and skin breakouts.
I am a Gynaecologist Obstetrician ( MD, DNB OBGYN )with an emphasis on INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE.
My dreams came true and I finally became a Gynaecologist and went on to get three postgraduate degrees in Gynaecology. I was doing well and I thought that I knew everything but deep inside I was not satisfied as I had not figured out the answer to my very question, why do I have to suffer from my period every month. I always had a mild PCOS to begin with and I was taking birth control pills off and on to mask my acne and regularise my cycle and painkillers to mask my period cramps. I was also prescribing the same to all my clients with similar issues.
Giving birth control pills and other medications to women to regulate their periods, manage their period pain is like masking the symptoms but not addressing why the symptom is happening in the first place. It’s like putting a piece of tape over the flashing indicator light on the dashboard of your car and pretending you have addressed the engine problem rather than looking under the hood and dealing with the underlying issue. As a board-certified ob/gyn, I spent years and years being indoctrinated into finding better and more sophisticated pieces of tape (in the form of drugs) to put over the indicator lights of women with hormonal imbalances. But deep down I always knew that there had to be a better way.
Then came the final storm in my mid thirties when I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Thyroid disease and premature menopause. I was devastated but little did I know that it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It forced me to take a break from whatever I was doing in my life including my OBGYN practice and I decided to throw myself into researching integrative medicine, nutrition, supplement, and lifestyle biohacks to ease my symptoms. Western medicine didn’t have the tools that would address the root causes of a chronic condition like PCOS and Autoimmune Thyroid, so I decided to figure out on my own.
However Western medicine still has important things to offer. Gynecologists bring a set of skills to the table, which are very valuable indeed. I recommend that every woman has a gynecologist and gets an annual checkup.
No, you won’t likely hear nutrition, lifestyle and holistic advice that is foundational for healing your hormones in the gynecologist’s office (unless you find a very unique integrative practitioner), but you will gain other incredibly valuable things, like access to (and advice on) biometric testing, regular screenings for serious gynecological conditions, and have someone you know, trust, and can get in to see ASAP if a serious problem ever crops up.
To get the most out of your annual visits, however, there are some key things to know before you go as knowledge is power!
Here’s a step-by-step guide to maximizing your gynecology visits:
Step 1: Test regularly, don’t guess.
I strongly recommend annual checkups especially if you have a history of hormone imbalance.If you’ve decided that a visit once every two or three years is fine enough, think again! Yes, some experts have said that a pap smear might not be necessary every year (and whether you need one annually or not is a decision for you and your doc to make together), but that is not the only testing that MDs can run, and it is some of the other key tests that make your annual trip worthwhile. So if you’ve been skipping your annual appointment, it’s time to get back on your doctor’s schedule. Fortunately, many corporates run annual checks for their employees but even if you are not a part of such setup, your health is your responsibility.
Step 2: Find the right gynecologist for you
This might be the most important step in this whole list. That’s because the degree of benefit you get from your annual visit is directly related to the relationship you have with your doctor. When it comes to compatibility, it’s essential to raise your expectation on what you deserve. Your doctor might be the smartest person you’ve ever met and also the nicest, but if you have different values when it comes to how you approach health care, don’t hesitate to look for a new practitioner
The first question you want to ask when looking for the right gynecologist for you is: Does this person value what I value? What’s her personal self care practice? For example, some docs are drug-forward. If you also believe in meds as a first approach, this could be a good fit. But if you’re not keen to use pills to address hormonal health issues (and there are good reasons to be skeptical of using pharmaceuticals when addressing hormone issues), you’ll want to look for someone else. In a professional relationship, you are looking first and foremost for someone who shares your values and is interested in taking an approach that you agree with in reaching your health goals.
And if you’ve been looking for a doc who is open to non-drug choices but haven’t found one yet, don’t give up. You can find gynecologists who believe that it is your body and your choice, so if you don’t want birth control pills, that’s great. There are docs who will support your desire to work on your symptoms naturally.
Step 3: Run some key tests but don’t become obsessed with numbers.
Your Doctor may run the appropriate tests for you.
Yes, data is good—especially when you have a hunch that something is off in your system and you’re being dismissed, but it can be easy to get fixated on the numbers—and before long they are more a source of anxiety than a helpful measure and tool for guidance. My advice is to treat the numbers more as a guide in helping you become an active listener to your own body. Remember that you are getting the data so you can begin to make dietary, self care and lifestyle changes so you can see those numbers change!
Think of testing as a helpful guide and a great way to validate and affirm the progress you’re making by using the holistic approach.Also the definition of normal is pretty bad once it comes to blood tests range. You don’t want to be just normal( borderline), you want to be optimal.
By following Truhealing protocol, many women have addressed their hormonal health issues and returned to their Gynaecologist to receive vastly improved results, without the use of birth control pills or devices. Click here to watch their stories.
Food and Lifestyle medicine should be your first form of self medication. Once you know where you stand, give yourself 3-6 months to heal your body at home through holistic and integrative approach in harmony with Nature.
Simply put, regular testing allows you to better understand how your body works and to respond sooner.
Food and lifestyle medicine combined with Natural supplements, Detoxification done the right way and working with Nature’s circadian cycles can be used to address most hormonal health imbalances, but if you suddenly experience shooting pains, or if you feel a mass in your abdomen or have other dramatic symptoms, this isn’t a time for holistic approach. It’s time to schedule an appointment with your trusted gynecologist. My greatest hope is that trouble like this never strikes, but if it does, it can make a huge difference to have someone you already know and trust in your corner. In summary, you may want to get the best of both worlds.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making better choices that finally start to work for you! We are all in this together, so share this with a girlfriend who is suffering with period problem’s/ Fertility issues.
Cheers to all the mothers!
Originally published July 30, 2021 by Dr Disha Sridhar