Women’s Health In Today’s Practice: 5 Cutting-Edge Takeaways From The Women’s Hormones Masterclass

“The best faculty, best providers, best patient outcomes. All based on science, experience, and care. “— Erika Schwartz, MD

As Erika Schwartz, MD, a global pioneer in disease prevention and hormone therapeutics, summarized in the quote above, the Everything About Hormone Health For Women masterclass was an incredible success. The February event gathered a group of forward-thinking health professionals who came to meet, learn from, and engage with acclaimed advanced endocrinology practitioners and educators.

Alongside a fun weekend in Boca Raton, FL, participants enjoyed three days of ground-breaking educational sessions led by top women’s health experts with invaluable expertise. Faculty members shared relevant and practical clinical insights for the modern practitioner committed to patient-centered care, making the experience empowering and informative.

If you couldn’t attend, A4M is hosting round two of the masterclass between March 23-25th – to learn more and save your spot, click here. Whether or not you took part in the masterclass, we invite you to discover five of the (innumerable) takeaways from the renowned speakers’ presentations:

  1. Important considerations when preparing for and leading a primary consultation with a new patient. — Daved Rosensweet, MD

Pioneer in menopause medicine Daved Rosensweet, MD, shared “Monday Morning” strategies for learners to immediately integrate into their practice, including practical tips for conducting a primary consultation with new hormone patients:

  • Before the first consultation, new patients are contacted by office staff to complete personal details, lab and imaging results, medical histories, and an initial questionnaire.
  • During the primary consult, practitioners should review the initial questionnaire, assessing all symptoms, current well-being, health issues, and treatment goals.
  • Afterward, clinicians will review laboratory and imaging results; they may write requisitions for additional testing if needed.
  • They will then address the risks and benefits of their recommended treatment, ask patients if they have any questions or concerns, and transmit the first prescription to a pharmacy.
  • Review and email instructions to the patient along with valuable resources and explain their purpose:
    • Dosage Instructions – initial titration schedule which provides options
    • Optimal Dose Symptoms Card
    • Link to Dose Determination and Application Videos
  • Schedule a follow-up consultation in three to four weeks to assess progress.

2. Optimizing thyroid function is one of the primary goals in treatment; thyroid health is central to restoring other hormones. — Sangeeta Pati, MD

Restorative medicine specialist Sangeeta Pati, MD, explored the female endocrine system and infertility using a systems biology approach. Dr. Pati stressed the importance of maintaining thyroid health to support proper adrenal function, hormone balance, and, consequently, fertility.

  • The thyroid is the most important metabolic hormone; it declines in both males and females around age 40 but can decline prematurely under excess stress, nutritional deficiencies, and exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF).
  • Dietary factors are essential to thyroid function as many processed foods and drugs decrease thyroid activity, as can nutrient deficiencies.
  • Bromine, a common additive to carbohydrates, sports drinks, and enriched products, displaces iodine in the body, which can result in functional hypothyroidism.
  • The thyroid activates all other hormone receptors – hormone restoration therapy protocols must include the thyroid.
  • The potential benefits of early detection and treatment of subclinical thyroid dysfunction far outweigh the potential risks or side effects associated with diagnosis and therapy.

3. Beta brain waves play an under-addressed role in managing PMS and PMDD. — Dian Ginsberg, MD

Dr. Dian Ginsberg, a functional medicine expert focused on women’s health, discussed a vital component of menstrual health rarely addressed in conventional practice. During her lecture, Dr. Ginsberg underlined changes in beta brain waves that occur throughout the menstrual cycle and their association with premenstrual disorders.

  • Estrogen affects several neurotransmitters significant to mental health and well-being: serotonin, noradrenaline, gamma butyric acid, dopamine, and acetylcholine. All of these regulate mood, behavior, nervous irritability, and cognitive function.
  • Changes in electrical currents occurring in the brain, or brain waves, have been linked to hormone fluctuations. Most notably, the changes in the right posterior cingulate gyrus in the peri-ovulatory phase correlate with changes in estradiol blood levels and female psychological status.
  • Beta is the signature brain wave reported in people with PMS and those experiencing anxiety, frustration, and high stress levels.
  • The human brain defaults to beta brain waves under survival conditions; beta brain waves are associated with stress, anxiety, and fear.
  • Premenstrual disorders increase stress and thus further increase beta waves in the brain.
  • In the beta state, the alpha brain wave bridge is blocked, which prevents individuals from connecting to calming alpha, theta, and delta waves.
  • Calming down the body and nervous system is critical in managing premenstrual disorders. Effective techniques include meditation, yoga, listening to music, and the emotional freedom technique.

4. Optimize all aspects of the body and soothe the mind to improve fertility. — Sangeeta Pati, MD

As part of her lecture on the endocrine system and female fertility, Dr. Sangeeta Pati outlined the five-point model for achieving optimal health and happiness – as well as fertility. She explored natural techniques for not just improving but optimizing the body’s systems to address the underlying causes of infertility.

  • Using evidence-based protocols, optimizing each component of the modern living five-point model – which includes the body, hormones, heart/mind, detoxification, and nutrition – promotes self-healing and optimal health.
  • Based on this model, the underlying causes of infertility include:
    • Body: Low oxygenation in microcirculation
    • Hormones: Low hormones/adrenal/thyroid/progesterone
    • Heart/Mind: Subconscious and conscious stress
    • Detoxification: Poor detoxification/low water/ acid pH, bowels, EMF
    • Nutrition: Low nutrition/Mg/minerals, active B
  • Addressing each point on the model is crucial to achieving optimal health; some strategies include vitamin D supplementation, endocrine system balancing, moderate exercise, cyclic sighing, oxygenation exercises, meditation, and lymphatic drainage.
  • The goal of the restorative functional medicine practitioner is to optimize (not just normalize) oxygenation, detoxification, hormone levels, and all other system components. Only in this way will patients be able to truly thrive and not just survive.

5. To help patients heal from common health conditions, combat estrogen dominance. — Tara Scott, MD

During her session on estrogen dominance and the numerous health problems it causes, hormone guru Dr. Tara Scott explored common conditions, including endometriosis, uterine fibroids, PMS, PMDD, and infertility. She shared practice pearls and important clinical insights with the audience, focusing on an integrative approach to treatment. Here are a few of Dr. Scott’s practice pearls:

  • Necessary components to address in any estrogen-dominant condition include estrogen detoxification, inflammation, immune system function, and aromatase.
  • Cycle Map testing can identify luteal phase defects, estrogen dominance, and other hormone imbalances.
  • Defining the hormonal imbalance causing a patient’s symptoms instead of treating symptoms with birth control pills is more successful in the long term.
  • Practitioners may consider cyclic progesterone or additional supplements to target hormone abnormalities based on individual patient needs.
  • Common causes of ovulatory dysfunction include PCOS, thyroid disease, hyperprolactinemia, extragluadular estrogen production, excess body weight, and increased insulin levels.
  • In cases of uterine fibroids and most other estrogen-based disorders, clinicians should consider estrogen metabolism and the associated SNPs and employ integrative therapeutic approaches, including nutritional interventions and supplementation.

Addressing the urgent need for comprehensive women’s health education while highlighting the complexity of female endocrine balance, the Everything About Hormone Health For Women masterclass was a game-changing event in the field. Our attendees forged close connections with world leaders in endocrinology, gained unparalleled clinical insights and proven protocols, and left the event with the latest tools and confidence to tackle any patient presentation come Monday morning.

More To Come In March

If you could not attend the first event, you can still join us for round two between March 23-25, 2023, in Boca Raton, FL! Featuring leading functional medicine speakers, an intimate, immersive course structure, and a curriculum covering everything from hormone basics to complex clinical protocols, this program is a can’t-miss for modern health practitioners. Click here to reserve your spot