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Master Your Stress Reset Your Health

Do you feel like your health is spiraling out of control? Are you struggling to manage your stress and feeling overwhelmed?

If so, you're not alone.

Midlife women are under more stress than ever before, and it's taking a toll on our health. From work to family to our social lives, we are constantly juggling and trying to do it all.

But what if there was a way to reset your health and manage your stress? Dr. Doni Wilson is here to help us do just that.

On this episode of the Hormone Prescription Podcast, Dr. Wilson, a Naturopathic Doctor, certified professional midwife, certified nutrition specialist, and bestselling author of Master Your Stress, Reset Your Health, shares her expertise on how to master your stress and reset your health. She offers practical tips and advice on how to make small changes in your life that can have a big impact on your overall health.

For more than 22 years, she has helped thousands of patients overcome health challenges and achieve wellness by using specific strategies that address the whole body and ultimately resolve the underlying causes of distress. Dr. Doni suffered from migraines for over 20 years, and in the process of solving them, she developed her Stress Recovery Protocol.

Dr. Doni brings awareness to the impact of stress on our health and how it is possible to recover from burnout and become resilient to stress in the media and at public and professional events. You can find her blog, podcast, called How Humans Heal, and her Self C.A.R.E.™ program at DoctorDoni.com

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • How to recover from burnout and become resilient to stress

  • The connection between stress and hormone imbalances

  • Why it's important to get to the root cause of your health problems

  • The different types of stress

  • How stress affects our genetic expression

  • The CARE method of stress recovery

  • How hormones and neurotransmitters influence our stress response

  • And much more!

If you're ready to make some changes in your life and take control of your health, this episode is for you. Tune in now and learn how to master your stress and reset your health with Dr. Doni Wilson.

(00:00): "You can't pour from an empty cup," says Dr. Doni Wilson. She's gonna teach you how to master your stress to reset your health in today's podcast.

(00:10): So the big question is how do women over 40, like us keep weight off, have great energy balance. Our hormones in our moods feel sexy and confident and master midlife. If you're like most of us, you are not getting the answers you need and remain confused and pretty hopeless to ever feel like yourself. Again. As an OB GYN, I had to discover for myself the truth about what creates a rock, solid metabolism, lasting weight loss, and supercharged energy. After 40 in order to lose a hundred pounds and fix my fatigue. Now I'm on a mission. This podcast is designed to share the natural tools you need for impactful results. And to give you clarity on the answers to your midlife metabolism challenges, join me for tangible natural strategies to crush the hormone imbalances you are facing and help you get unstuck from the sidelines of life. My name is Dr. Kyrin. Dunston welcome to the hormone prescription podcast.

(01:04): Hi everybody. And welcome back to the hormone prescription with Dr. Kyrin. Thanks so much for joining me today, where we're gonna talk about mastering your stress to reset your health with Dr. Doni Wilson. It's so true that you can't pour from an empty cup. It's so much of, many of us are living our lives at midlife from an empty cup, wondering why we feel terrible. And our health is tanking. While Dr. Doni Wilson has cracked the code on mastering your stress, which is the key to reset your health. She's gonna tell you all about it today. She is a naturopathic doctor, certified professional midwife certified nutrition specialist and bestselling offer of master your stress, reset your health. For more than 22 years, she has helped thousands of patients overcome health challenges and achieve wellness by using specific strategies that addressed the whole body and ultimately resolved the underlying causes of distress. She suffered from migraines for over 20 years. And in the process of solving this, she developed her stress recovery protocol. Dr. Doni brings awareness to the impact of stress on our health and how it is possible to recover from burnout and become resilient to stress in the media at public and professional events. You can find her blog podcast called how humans heal and her self C a R E program at Dr. doni.com. Please help me welcome Dr. Doni.

(02:31): Thank you so much for having me. I'm super excited about your book. That's already out faster, your stress reset your health, and we're gonna dive into it. I know people hear so much about stress and we can tend to not pay attention when people are talking about it, but I want everyone to really pay attention because here you have a doctor who specializes the, in this and is saying that this is the thing that you need to do to reset your health. How did you come to this?

(02:58): Understanding? It was through life experience. A lot of it really, you know, like, because I, in addition to going through various stresses of my life, like training to be a naturopathic doctor and a midwife and being a mom and running a practice and running a business, you know, but I think a lot of people go through these stresses, right. But it's just that I came through it also with my own health issues. I had migraines for over 20 years, I was getting migraines and these were migraines that would take me out for days. Like I'd be literally in the bed or on the floor. And I would try different treatments, different medications. I tried acupuncture. I tried herbs, I'm trained as naturopathic doctor. So I was like, I'm willing to try anything. And still it wasn't helping. These migraines would just keep coming. And each time it would knock me down.

(03:49): Like, I'd be like, what else am I supposed to do? I can't, how am I supposed to keep going like this in having these unpredictable migraines happening and no solutions. And I think, you know, that's why I relate to a lot of people out there who maybe that's not migraines. Maybe they have some other health issue where they feel like they've been trying and they just are not getting answers and they're not feeling better. And it's just that in my case, because I, of my training and my interest in understanding the human body and willingness, right. I'm willing to do, if it needs to be a diet change, if it needs to be a supplement, if it, what, if it's a test I need to do, I'm like I'm willing to do it. And so I just kept on working on it and I kind of worked on it in isolation actually, honestly, because I felt too ashamed.

(04:41): I, and I think a lot of people feel this way too, when they have symptoms caused by stress, we feel like we're, it's not supposed to happen. We're supposed to be better than that. Right. We're supposed to be able to charge through life and keep up with everything and it's not supposed to affect us. And so I didn't feel like I could say anything cuz I felt embarrassed. And so instead I just worked on it in isolation. I did along the way I was, I was speaking and I was publishing articles and publishing books and say of everything I learned, right? Like what helped. And there were many things along the way, over the past 20 some years where I was like, well, this dietary change made a difference. This approach made a difference. And every time I found something, I would talk about it that way.

(05:26): But I wouldn't necessarily talk about it from my perspective of having migraines. Right? And so only in the past couple years, because I was still getting the migraines, you know, I maybe saw 10% difference or 20% difference or 50% difference. And I was like, but they're still happening. And it was only just a few years ago that I ended up making a whole bunch of additional changes. And the ever since then the migraine stopped that. And one of the major changes I made is I started talking about it and this is why, you know, I'm here talking with you today about it saying if the more we can actually become aware and talk about how stress is affecting us, that's the first step for changing the whole pattern, right? Like get out of silence about it.

(06:16): When you talk about stress, can you define for everybody what you're talking about? Are you just talking about, I have too many things to do on my to-do list. It's never ending. My family makes me crazy. And life just feels stressful. Or are you talking about something else also?

(06:37): Definitely. And I'm so glad you're asking this question. This is one of the questions that when I'm on an airplane, by the way, the person sitting next to me, this is one of the most common questions they ask me is like, what do you mean by stress? You know, cuz they'll ask me, what do you do? And I say, I specialize in stress and they say, what do you really mean by that? And the thing is is that we like the ones you mentioned. We often think about our day to day, psychological stresses, our deadlines, our financial stresses. And these are definitely stresses that affect us. But that's not the only stresses that affects us in the category of stress. I would also include things like lack of sleep. Like when we, you know, last night yesterday, for example, I had to take an early morning flight.

(07:23): I did not get enough sleep. I'm very aware that that was a stress on my body that I'm gonna need to recover from today. Right? But it's the awareness. This was a stress. Also certain foods can be a stress to us, right? If we are consuming foods that are gonna be inflammatory to our bodies, throw off our blood sugar levels, disrupt or cause leaky gut and disrupt our gut bacteria right now, the food we're eating is actually stressing our system. Or another example is toxins toxins, either in the products we're putting on our skin or on our food as pesticides or in our environment, these toxins are also a stress on our system. And so when we look at it from that perspective, a even a injury can be a stress, right? Or a surgery can be a stress like we know from science it's anything that triggers our stress response and causes our body to need to go into a recovery in order to get back to optimal again.

(08:24): Yes. So I hear you mentioning, it's not just psychosocial and this is what I want everyone to hear because if you only think it's that you'll miss. Yeah. The rest of the iceberg under the ice, <laugh>,

(08:39): It's a big ice for Gunda there for

(08:42): Right. The chemical stressors I heard you mentioned, which could be foods that you're eating, that you think are healthy, but might be causing you a stress response. It, it could be so many things. It could be something in the deodorant that, that you're using. It can be flying in an airplane itself is stressful. Right?

(09:00): <laugh> exactly. And so the key is that because a lot of people will say to me, well, can you teach me how to be stress free? And I say to them, that's not my goal. It would be impossible. First of all, because as humans we're gonna have stress. And in fact, we want to have some stress there's stresses that are good for us. Exercise create is a stress that at a certain quantity is good for us. It helps our bodies to be challenged, to grow muscles, you know, and, and use our heart. It's not about eliminating all stress. Really? The goal is how do we understand where the stress is? So just conversation we're having, how do we notice the stresses that we have in our lives and how do we ensure that we have enough to counterbalance it enough? What I call anti-stress to counterbalance the stress so that our bodies can come back to optimal on a regular basis. It's when we, when we don't have enough, anti-stress we get thrown off, right? I know you're familiar with this where we just get, we get burned out. We get, it becomes normal and familiar to feel constantly stressed.

(10:13): Yes. I love that. It's about having enough anti-stress to counterbalance the stress we have. It's not about teaching people how to be stress free. That is a quotable. I love that. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and Donny, you talk about five different types of stress and that's the first time I've heard that. So I'm super excited for you to talk about that. What are the five types?

(10:37): Okay. So this is based on cortisol and adrenaline levels. So let's, this is understanding the stress response. We have a built in stress response system. We have these stress hormones that communicate stress throughout our bodies. We have cortisol, which a lot of people have heard about cortisol as a stress hormone and adrenaline. We want our cortisol adrenaline. Actually, we don't have enough. That's not good either. We need to have just the right amount at a certain time of day under certain circumstances, right? So we need a Al amount of cortisol adrenaline. And so what happens is when we're under this chronic stress that you and I are talking about, our cortisol and adrenaline levels become disrupted either too high or too low. And it's not the same for everyone, but the treatment is different. So here's the thing is a lot, a big mistake I see often is people, maybe they notice they have stress.

(11:34): Maybe they even have their cortisol levels tested. And then they decide I'm gonna take a supplement to help with my cortisol. But if they're not taking the right herbs and nutrients in that supplement to address their specific imbalance, they're not gonna feel better. And I see this mistake happen all the time, right? That all the time they're taking the wrong supplement for this situation. So this is why I'm so standing out and saying, listen, we have different stress type patterns when you're under stress is different than when I'm under stress likely, right? Like, so we need to know are us dress type pattern where your cortisol and adrenaline are stuck in a high mode. In which case we are gonna give specific treatment for that to help bring it back to optimal or our us dress type where your cortisol and adrenaline are stuck in a low mode where they're too low.

(12:30): And now your're functioning with two little cortisol adrenaline. Well, we can address that, but we need to use the right herbs and nutrients that help raise it back up to optimal, right. Or there can also be the opposites. What a person could have high cortisol, low adrenaline or high adrenaline, low cortisol. So it's imp what I found in my, in my practice and in my research is it's so important to know where you are so that we can give you the right treatment. And even then we need the treatment to be specific to your stress type, to be effective.

(13:04): Yes. So true. I see it all the time. In fact, someone had, I think reached out to me on social media last week and said something about, I think I have adrenal fatigue is what she said. And I've been taking, she named this supplement, but I don't feel any better was her complaint. And of course I said, well, you need to get tested <laugh> yeah. Yeah. So talk about like, how do you figure out your stress type? How do you know if you're high, low, low, high everybody's high everybody's low?

(13:34): How do you know? So, and here's the thing is you mentioned the, the NA the word adrenal fatigue. This is a common terminology that's used, but it's really vague. It doesn't tell us anything, right? It doesn't tell us what's going on with your cortisol and adrenaline. So I tend to call it instead. Adrenal distress, adrenals distress means to me, there's some imbalance with your cortisone adrenaline, but now we need to find out what that imbalance is. And I did develop in, in the book, the master, your stress reset your health book, mm-hmm <affirmative>. And on my website, I developed a quiz. You can take where you go through and you, you answer the questions and it tells you likely what your stress type is. So at least your close to, you know, knowing what it is. So you can treat it specifically best is if you can do a test, and this is where we do cortisol testing, but we don't just test the cortisol at one time a day, right?

(14:26): We gotta test the cortisol in the morning when you wake up, when it should be a little higher, and then we're gonna test it in the middle of the day, the evening and the bedtime, when it should be lowest, right? If we only tested one time a day, we're missing a lot of the information. We need to measure it at different times a day, which we can do either in saliva or urine. So people can do this test at home. Like you can spit in a tube at different times a day, or we collect urine at different times of day to measure your cortisol. And then you're gonna know, is my cortisol too low or too high? Or maybe it's even a combination of the two. Maybe you have too low at certain times of day too high at certain times of day, right? Yes.

(15:04): And this, and then we can also measure the adrenaline levels. Adrenaline can be measured in the urine. So this, again, a test you can do at home. So then we actually know what, how stress is affecting you. These are your internal stress messages, and they're not just responding to the stress of today or the stress of yesterday. They're actually responding to the stress of your life and even your parents' life, right? Like this is when we look at your cortisol and adrenaline levels, it's showing us your unique pattern that exists in your body at this point in time, based on your genetics and your stress exposure. And we need that information because then we can actually help you feel better. So if you, like you said, this person said they're taking something, but they don't feel better. That's a clear sign to me that they're probably taking the wrong product for their stress time.

(15:58): Right. And I hear that all the time. I'd love what a couple things you just said, I wanna highlight. So you mentioned that your body's responding to stress, not only that you're dealing with, but of your parents. Can you talk a little bit about that? Cuz I think that's probably foreign to most people.

(16:16): Yeah. It's actually a study show. I mean, we, we look at, first of all, childhood exposure to stress, we know that when we are exposed to, to stress in childhood, which most, all of us had some degree of stress in our childhood that that influences our health throughout our lives. Unless we start doing stress recovery and helping our bodies recover. Right. And not only that, but the studies show that stress that from our parents and our grandparents affects our genetic expression. So it affects how our body responds to stress in this lifetime is so amazing. Right? And I look at it as, I mean, there's always two sides of the coin, right? We could look at it as well. My grandparents went through all this stress or I had all this stress in my childhood. So now I'm doomed to have increased risk of diabetes and dementia and heart disease and cancer. Or you could look at the other side of the coin and you could say, wow, I know my parents had stress. I know I had stress, but I also know that I can do something about it. Starting at whatever point you are in your life, you can make diet changes. You can start doing recovery activities, start addressing your stress type so that you can decrease your risk of health issues going forward.

(17:33): So true. And you mentioned something else about genetics, is that, is that how our trans the stress is transported from generation to generation? Isn't it through the, through genetics?

(17:44): Yeah. Through what we call epigenetics or genetic expression mm-hmm <affirmative> so we, you know, for so long, even scientists were like, we, they thought we were gonna figure out the human genome and be able to match up to every health condition. And we were gonna solve all the health conditions by knowing our genes. Right. We were like, oh, you know, all the genes we're gonna solve everything. And so they ran this huge human genome project and studied all the genes. And when they came out the end of it, they figured out that that was not the case. That actually what's more determinant of our health and our risk of health issues is our stress exposure and our environment <laugh>. So that says like, okay, yes, of course we have genes and we have this genetic interplay from that we are born with, from our ancestors. However, that doesn't mean it's set in stone. We have every ability to shift that genetic expression going forward and for future generations.

(18:43): Yes. Super important to know. Can you talk a little bit about your care method of stress recovery?

(18:50): Mm-hmm <affirmative> so I use the acronym care to mean clean eating, adequate sleep, recovery activities, and exercise. So these are all daily activities that we can choose, right? And even eating is something we definitely do every day. Sleeping is something we hope we do every day. <laugh> recovery activities and exercise. There's ways that we can choose each of these areas. That's gonna help us with our stress recovery. And there's a ton of research on all of these areas. This is, I have all the references in the book because I was so interested. I really wanted to see, is it even possible that we should be implementing diet and sleep and exercise and even recover activities like meditation based on our stress type. Like, is there a certain time of day or duration or type of activity, that's gonna be better for someone who has high cortisol, high adrenaline, I call a stress magnet, you know, where, how should they be implementing care versus the person who has low cortisol, adrenaline, who I call blah and blue, how should they be implementing care? And so that's, what's in the book is like, so I want you to be able to know your stress time and then know how to implement your clean, eating, your sleep, your recovery activities and your exercise in a way that matches your body. So your body can actually recover.

(20:21): Yeah. I think a unique approach for each person is so important and I love how you outline the different phases in your book, and you give details on what everybody should be doing. So we'll for sure link to the quiz so they can take it. I do encourage everyone to get the book cuz it's she really, Dr. Donny has done an excellent job of outlining exactly what you need to do, how to know what your stress type is. Three step approach, unique for your situation. So you can kind of sort this out. And I have seen so many people actually who use this type of very structured, detailed information that you offer, fix this without ever having a test.

(21:04): Yeah. It's definitely possible. You can. That's why in the book it's like you could fo literally follow the steps in the book and have such an improvement. And the key here is that, you know, because I know people hear about all different kinds of approaches to health. What I'm doing is I'm looking from a bird's eye view. I'm looking at it as how can we be most strategic about recovering from any health issue? So let's say a person has autoimmunity, right? And we know that autoimmunity is triggered by stress, right? The research says it very clearly, but they don't give you any directions on what to do about it. We just know stress causes autoimmunity. So what we wanna say is, oh my gosh, if there's an autoimmune condition, say Hashimotos or Crohn's disease or rheumatoid arthritis or any other of the hundreds of autoimmune conditions we need, if we really wanna be solving it effectively, we need to be thinking of it from how do we help the body recover from stress so that we can turn off the autoimmunity and the person can then go through their life without having autoimmunity.

(22:10): Amazing. I see it in all the time with my patients, right? Or you name it any other health, even if it's a, you know, even if it's say a blood sugar imbalance or fatigue or anxiety, these are symptoms to me, these are indications that the body is overstressed. And it's trying to tell us that, right? It's giving us symptoms that are saying, it's a stress alarm going off saying some there's a stress signal that's ending up causing these either digestive issues, hormone imbalances, immune related issues and neurological or nervous system issues. That's how it shows up. And so this strategy to me is so important for everyone as an underlying root cause strategy, right?

(22:56): Yes. It's so true. Can you share maybe some stories of clients you work with? You know, most of the women who listen to my podcast are somewhere between 40 to 60, some older, some younger, and invariably they know that stress is affecting their health. Yeah. And I know when it happened to me, when I was in my forties, <laugh>, you know, late forties and I weighed 243 pounds and I only had enough energy to work and sleep. And I had depression, anxiety. My hair was falling out, no sex drive. I had irrit all about, like I had this laundry list of what I call, right. The laundry list of midlife, metabolic complaints about the effects of stress right here. I was board certified OB GYN. And I know there are women listening right now who are saying like, okay, I get it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Stress. But how do I know that if this is for me, I'd love, love it. If you could share some stories of some patients that you've worked with, who this they might identify with and say, oh my gosh, that's me. I have those symptoms. I need to take that quiz. I need to read that book.

(24:05): Yeah. Because a lot of times we're kind of functioning and we're not even really, we're like, it's so unusual and familiar. We don't even realize, oh, this, this was caused by stress. Like sometimes it's, it's something like if you're grinding your teeth at night, or you mentioned your hair's falling out. Right. So it could be symptoms like that where you're like, okay, now I've gotta go to get a mouth guard from my teeth because I'm grinding my teeth. I have maybe it's anxiety, but maybe you're not calling it anxiety. Maybe it's like just constant worry. Right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> maybe this worry, ruminating thoughts where you feel like you can't turn your brain off and it's like, you have a long list of things and you never, lot of, lot of times women say to me, I feel like I never get a break. Right. They're running from taking care o