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Women's Health, Wisdom, and. . . WINE!

Dr. Laurena White

Welcome to the Women’s Health, Wisdom, and. . . WINE! podcast, a weekly conversation with practitioners, providers, patients, and healers about complex reproductive medicine and women’s health challenges, the value of an integrative approach to these challenges, many of the women’s health topics you’re already thinking about but uncomfortable talking about, and my personable favorite. . . WINE! The host, Dr. Laurena White, is an integrative reproductive medicine and women’s health provider, licensed acupuncturist, clinical herbalist, and a former labor support doula in the Washington DC Metro area. Her goal is to bring women’s health-specific evidence and expertise to the forefront of daily health and wellness news through informative conversations.To learn more, visit the website at www.laurenawhite.com. As you enjoy the podcast, conversations, and wine time, please remember that this podcast is not designed to be a substitute for a bonafide relationship with a licensed or certified healthcare professional.
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Sadly, we as a society, often deny men the opportunity to grieve. In the chaos that comes after perinatal loss, men are often left to grieve alone.
About Rob:
You’ll never get over this. You’ll never get past this. You will always be her father. This next year will be hell. It will be full of intense emotions, psychological hurdles, and a pain so deep in your heart that it physically hurts. Your family and friends will be there for you as much as they can. But what you’ve just experienced is something that no one else truly understands. Unless they’ve been through it. You have Jay. You’re both so incredibly unlucky to have the experience of losing your daughters. You’ll meet more dads just like you. There’s a unique, ever lasting, never ending pain in losing your daughter. It won’t destroy you. There’s an endless love. She is your daughter.

I’m writing to you 4 years, 10 months, and 27 days since you lost Lila. It still hurts. You’ll hear that loss is part of life. You needed more life with Lila before losing her. The world is different now. I can’t really remember the way I used to see it before losing her. There is still light. You are living with loss, now. Your context has shifted. Your innocence is shattered. “Shattered” is a word you’ll use a lot when talking to people in these subsequent weeks (months, years...). You’re not shattered anymore. Pieces are missing, but you learn to live fully without ever being “whole.” You’re stronger than you’ve ever been, and more resolved in what is most important in your life. I don’t think losing your daughter caused that change. That would have happened had she lived. That’s the change that occurred when you became a dad. Her father. Lila made you one. I know you don’t feel that way right now, but it’s true. Trust me.
Therapists. You’ll see a handful. All of whom will be uniquely helpful. You’re going to shut down. You won’t talk about Lila often. I get it. You’re still in too much pain. Pain will always exist. There’s nothing wrong with that. Somewhere inside of you, her absence evokes a breathtaking sadness. You’re going to open up and connect with a lot of incredible moms and dads who are living with this same pain. Take whatever time and space you need, always.
Put aside what anyone else thinks. Acknowledge your triggers. It’s not your responsibility to ensure anyone else understands. Hopefully they never do. Keep your compassion and empathy. You will, because you posses those so strongly. No longer waver to ensure the comfort of others. That’s been how you’ve lived before losing her, but you have permission to change that. This experience will open your heart, not close it.
A day won’t pass where you don’t think of Lila. That’s how she stays with you, and is always part of you. Honor her. You still see her, you still feel her, you’ll always love her. You’re her father.
Resources Mentioned:
Sad Dads Club
Loss Dads Open Hour
Stillborn and Infant Loss Support, Episode #7
Connect with RobInstagram: Sad Dads Club
The podcast's hashtag is #nourishyourflourish. You can also find our practice on the following social media outlets:
Facebook: The Eudaimonia Center
Instagram: theeudaimoniacenter
Twitter: eu_daimonism
For more reproductive medicine and women's health information and other valuable resources, make sure to visit our website.

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There are three primary categories that lend to endocrine disruption which women need to be aware:

  • diet
  • lifestyle
  • environment

What a woman eats directly affects how her body produces and expresses hormones, as does the way she lives her daily life. The environment in which a women lives – and especially the types of toxins she’s exposed to on a daily basis – are another major contributing factor to endocrine disruption.
Let’s cut to the chase: the average modern diet is an absolute nightmare for women’s hormones. All that sugar and all those cheap carbohydrates really do a number on blood sugar levels, ramping up production of insulin and consequently altering the way estrogen is metabolized throughout a woman’s body.
High-glycemic foods might as well be called high-stress foods, because the body tends to respond in kind by producing more cortisol, aka the stress hormone. This results in a systemic inflammatory response that further damages bodily systems, and the rest goes progressively downhill from there.
Further steps include avoiding alcohol, which actively decreases human growth hormone (HGH) and consuming foods that are naturally high in magnesium (e.g., organic dark chocolate).
Also, don’t forget to always stay hydrated, sticking with properly filtered or spring water whenever possible.
Speaking of stress hormones, paying close attention to work-life balance will do wonders in helping a women to maintain a healthy hormone profile. Stress is one of the most damaging factors that contributes to endocrine dysfunction, and it can arise from many different things.
Overworking yourself or getting bogged down with anxiety over the everyday affairs of life can contribute to an unhealthy stress response that leads to the body feeling the need to compensate by producing more cortisol.
This excess cortisol production can place an enormous strain on a woman’s adrenal glands, which can result in this important gland become fatigued and unable to produce other needed hormones. Prolonged stress that isn’t mitigated through proper rest, relaxation, and prayer, meditation, or other calming activities that give the body and mind a break is a recipe for hormone disaster.

Humanity faces a barrage of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that target virtually every glandular system responsible for producing hormones. These include the pituitary, pineal, thyroid, thymus, and adrenal glands, as well as the pancreas, testes (in men), and ovaries (in women).
EDCs can both supplant and mimic natural hormones, obstructing the way the body responds to and uses the real thing. EDCs are essentially hormone impostors that confuse the body into either producing too little or too many of its own natural hormones. This results in all kinds of systemic damage, much of which starts out small and worsens over time.

While it’s certain to be an endless battle trying to avoid EDCs entirely, there are ways to help minimize exposure, so long as a woman knows what to look for and what to avoid.

There are a number of endocrine disruptors that can throw hormone production autopilot effect completely out of whack.

Factors such as poor diet, stress, and exposure to toxins represent a few of the more prominent examples of endocrine disruptors. When this scenario occurs, grabbing hold of the hormone wheel and taking over may be necessary to help steer your hormones back on course.
The podcast's hashtag is #nourishyourflourish. You can also find our practice on the following social media outlets:
Facebook: The Eudaimonia Center
Instagram: theeudaimoniacenter
Twitter: eu_daimonism
For more reproductive medicine and women's health information and other valuable resources, make sure to visit our website.

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Long before medical school, conversations with my mentors and colleagues about the intersection of theology and medicine left me desiring something more... something different.
For me and many (silent/less vocal) others, I knew that my beliefs would definitely shape me as a physician, provider, and practitioner.
Physicians are taught implicitly and pretty powerfully that there's a stark division between the private and the public and any and all personal beliefs should be left at the door once you don the white coat. However, like many of the other boxes that others have tried to place me in, separating my faith from my focus, my personal from my professional, wasn't even a remote possibility.
My basic sense of morality guided me to a career in medicine undergirded by my commitment to serving others and caring for them in spaces of vulnerability, sickness, dis-ease, and generally being unwell. This conventional thinking, reductive at the very least, didn't sit well with me as I didn't feel that one's faith, identity, or tradition should have to be left at the door.
My faith has allowed for a more fulfilling and flourishing professional life and I firmly believe that in very tangible ways, it allows me to care for clients better.
About Dr. Varnado:
Dr. Varnado was born and raised in North Carolina and has been living out a childhood dream of taking care of women of all ages as an OB/GYN.
Dr. Varnado left her career of almost 20 years in conventional medicine (Obstetrics and Gynecology) in 2021 to address the broken healthcare system, which currently puts the most resources in treating symptoms, when it really needs to address the root cause of diseases.

Through her years of practice, she has realized that many know what it takes to be healthy but outside of a support system their efforts rarely yield the desired outcome because their environments often reinforce poor habits. Her focus now is to help others achieve optimal mental and physical health by focusing on lifestyle-based treatment, which she believes, could prevent and manage most ailments.
She is a proud graduate of Hampton University and The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. She completed her OB/GYN residency at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, where she learned how to be an excellent surgeon and physician. Being a mother of two, having a marriage of 17 years, a supportive family, and a strong relationship with God are keys to her success.
Resources Mentioned:
Office Visits with Dr. V Podcast - Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts
American College of Lifestyle Medicine
Health Coaching
Connect with Dr. VarnadoInstagram: @office_visits_with_dr_v
Facebook: Office Visits with Dr. V
Website: http://officevisitswithdrv.com/
The podcast's hashtag is #nourishyourflourish. You can also find our practice on the following social media outlets:
Facebook: The Eudaimonia Center
Instagram: theeudaimoniacenter
Twitter: eu_daimonism
For more reproductive medicine and women's health information and other valuable resources, make sure to visit our website.

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Lifestyle medicine is a medical specialty that’s been getting a lot of buzz recently and is a medical approach that uses evidence-based behavioral interventions to prevent, treat and manage chronic disease.
Lifestyle medicine is a coordinated team-based approach to healthcare that integrates six vital “pillars” of good health to treat, reverse, and prevent chronic lifestyle-related diseases. Physicians, dietitians, physical therapists, mental health professionals, and other lifestyle medicine practitioners partner with motivated individuals to make meaningful and long-lasting changes that will benefit all aspects of a client’s health for years to come.
And no... lifestyle medicine is not new. It is actually the foundation of traditional medicine. What is new is the recognition of lifestyle medicine as a well-defined practice in today’s healthcare environment.
About Dr. Varnado:
Dr. Varnado was born and raised in North Carolina and has been living out a childhood dream of taking care of women of all ages as an OB/GYN.
Dr. Varnado left her career of almost 20 years in conventional medicine (Obstetrics and Gynecology) in 2021 to address the broken healthcare system, which currently puts the most resources in treating symptoms, when it really needs to address the root cause of diseases.

Through her years of practice, she has realized that many know what it takes to be healthy but outside of a support system their efforts rarely yield the desired outcome because their environments often reinforce poor habits. Her focus now is to help others achieve optimal mental and physical health by focusing on lifestyle-based treatment, which she believes, could prevent and manage most ailments.
She is a proud graduate of Hampton University and The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. She completed her OB/GYN residency at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, where she learned how to be an excellent surgeon and physician. Being a mother of two, having a marriage of 17 years, a supportive family, and a strong relationship with God are keys to her success.
Resources Mentioned:
Office Visits with Dr. V Podcast - Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts
American College of Lifestyle Medicine
Health Coaching
Connect with Dr. VarnadoInstagram: @office_visits_with_dr_v
Facebook: Office Visits with Dr. V
Website: http://officevisitswithdrv.com/
The podcast's hashtag is #nourishyourflourish. You can also find our practice on the following social media outlets:
Facebook: The Eudaimonia Center
Instagram: theeudaimoniacenter
Twitter: eu_daimonism
For more reproductive medicine and women's health information and other valuable resources, make sure to visit our website.

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Good hormone health is critical for your quality of life. It brings longevity, energy, and happiness. Unfortunately, many people are suffering from very real hormone imbalances and their doctors simply tell them “nothing is wrong” or “Everything tests normal.”.
According to 2022 data, generally incurable and ongoing chronic diseases are affecting approximately 133 million Americans, representing more than 40% of the country's total population. If that isn't worrisome enough, nearly 50 million Americans are additionally suffering from one more more mental illnesses.
While the reasons for these health crises are many, one potential catalyst that escapes conventional medicine's purview is unbalanced hormone levels that go undetected by routine testing.
About Ricky:
As a health and wellness advocate, Ricky Brandon employs natural hormone replacement therapy to help his clients address a myriad of life-altering symptoms ranging from general anxiety and depression to chronic pain and fatigue. After he spent years of trial and error trying to solve his own family's health challenges that conventional medicine wasn't solving, Ricky and his wife, Candy, a molecular biologist, opened Hormone Balance Centers, a leading provider of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Resources Mentioned:
How to Achieve Healthy Aging (Neal Rouzier)
Connect with RickyHormone Balance Centers
The podcast's hashtag is #nourishyourflourish. You can also find our practice on the following social media outlets:
Facebook: The Eudaimonia Center
Instagram: theeudaimoniacenter
Twitter: eu_daimonism
For more reproductive medicine and women's health information and other valuable resources, make sure to visit our website.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month 🎀
Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Mammogram are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.
What Is Triple-Negative Breast Cancer?

Triple-negative breast cancer is a kind of breast cancer that does not have any of the receptors that are commonly found in breast cancer.

Think of cancer cells as a house. The front door may have three kinds of locks, called receptors. One is for the female hormone estrogen.
One is for the female hormone progesterone.
One is a protein called human epidermal growth factor (HER2).
If your cancer has any of these three locks, doctors have a few keys (like hormone therapy or other drugs) they can use to help destroy the cancer cells. However, if you have triple-negative breast cancer, it means those three locks aren’t there. So doctors have fewer keys for treatment. Fortunately, chemotherapy is still an effective option.
Often, patients first need to have the lump removed (a lumpectomy) or the entire breast removed (a mastectomy). Then they have chemotherapy treatments to target any cancer cells that can’t be seen—cells remaining in the breast or that may have spread into other parts of the body. Sometimes doctors recommend chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the cancer.
Lumpectomies are usually followed by radiation therapy
. This is where high-energy radiation is given to your breast to kill any remaining cancer cells. It usually takes about 20 minutes per day. Most women go in four to five days a week for about six weeks. You’ll see a radiation doctor to have this done.
Cells from the cancerous lump may have spread somewhere else in your body. The goal of chemotherapy is to kill those cancer cells wherever they may be. Chemotherapy lowers the chance that your cancer will grow or come back.
Your doctor may recommend that you see a genetic counselor. That’s someone who talks to you about any history of cancer in your family to find out if you have a higher risk for getting breast cancer. For example, people of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage have a higher risk of inherited genetic changes (mutations) that may cause breast cancers, including triple-negative breast cancer. The counselor may recommend that you get a genetic test.
If you have a higher risk of getting breast cancer, your doctor may talk about ways to manage your risk. You may also have a higher risk of getting other cancers such as ovarian cancer, and your family may have a higher risk. That’s something you would talk with the genetic counselor about.

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You may have heard that there are several types of PCOS. There are also several categorization systems for polycystic ovary syndrome. More importantly, you may also be wondering how to find out what type of PCOS you have.
According to conventional medicine, there are 4 main types of PCOS:

  1. Type A - High androgens (plus symptoms), irregular periods/irregular ovulation (or no periods), and polycystic ovaries
  2. Type B - High androgens (plus symptoms), irregular periods/irregular ovulation (or no periods), and normal ovaries
  3. Type C - High androgens (plus symptoms), regular periods/regular ovulation (</= 35 days), and polycystic ovaries
  4. Type D - Normal androgens, irregular periods/irregular ovulation (or no periods), and polycystic ovaries

Type A is considered the most severe and is the most typical presentation while Type D is considered the mildest form. It IS possible to move from one category to another with treatment, diet, and lifestyle changes.
In our practice, we also utilize this type of categorization:

  1. Insulin Resistant PCOS – dominated by symptoms like high blood sugar, darkened skin around the neck and armpits, carb & sugar cravings, and weight gain.
  2. Inflammatory PCOS – dominated by symptoms of chronic inflammation like acne and skin rashes, fatigue, joint pain, gut issues, and weight gain.
  3. Adrenal PCOS – where the primary androgen that is high is DHEA, which is made primarily by the adrenal glands (in contrast to testosterone, which is made primarily by the ovaries)
  4. Post-Pill PCOS – seen in women who had normal periods before being on the pill, but experience PCOS symptoms after coming off the pill

We rarely classify PCOS by any of these types because very few people fit neatly into just one of these subtypes. More often than not, we see a combination as people with PCOS can have several of these types of PCOS at once.
Ways to Address PCOS:

  • Address inflammation
  • Treat insulin resistance
  • Balance adrenals
  • Treat excess androgens
  • Address hormonal imbalances
  • Balance thyroid
  • Create a healthy environment
  • Eat a balanced diet

Each person with PCOS is different! Focusing on the factors which are strongest in your case (moderate and especially severe) will give you the best results in terms of your health, wellness, reversal of PCOS, and ultimately your healing.

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Not a day, but a SEASON .... With fall comes change. Our culture pushes us to hurry, get it done... now! For our spiritual integrity, we do well to take a longer view beyond the present moment, to look out into the future, beyond today, this week, this year .... Thanksgiving is not about a day but about a season .... A season of gratitude.
Gratitude is of the heart....
It can only grow from there, and when it blooms it is expressed in each of us as JOY! Beyond nice thoughts and pithy words is the struggle that is our daily manner of living. Life can be messy but it is also manageable. Few of us escape the messiness of our current culture and the challenges we face in our careers and families. Life inevitably proves to be difficult, but it does not have to be burdensome. We possess all that is needed to nurture gratitude in our lives.
To remember and to recall .... Remember those who have gone before us in the faith and in our families. We are who we are as a result of those who formed and molded our lives. So the first fruit of gratitude is to remember those people who positively influenced our lives and nurtured us. The goal is to pass along wisdom, knowledge and understanding to those who surround us; parents, siblings, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors and co-workers. Fill the lives of other people with good things.
Joy, joy, heartfelt Joy! .... Thanksgiving begins with a gaze upon gratitude. Many suffer from an inability to be grateful as they suffer homelessness, malnutrition, lack of basic healthcare, racism, fear of deportation, loss of affection, and broken relationships. The list is long and any one of us could find ourselves in a seemingly hopeless situation. Hope nurtures gratitude which is rooted in the heart, and feeds the soul. Gratitude always stands ready to be embraced. It beckons us to turn a cheek to the hurts of the world, it brings light to the darkness in any situation, and leads us to thanksgiving. Gratitude helps to protect our soul from doubt and fear. With gratitude the soul rejoices and experiences the gift of Joy – heartfelt Joy.
Gratitude is not quaint thought, or a nostalgic feeling. The key to a happy Thanksgiving? Recognizing that it is in giving that we receive.
May abundant blessings accompany us in the coming days. May we respond with heartfelt joy so that our countenance will be for all an encounter with mercy, compassion, and love. Even if we eat too much, there is still plenty of room for lots of gratitude and joy! Happy Thanksgiving!
Looking for a nutritional advantage this holiday season? Try LIFE and get 40% off when you visit aminoco.com/LW30 and receive a free gift with purchase.

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