#99 Hormone Support For Teens - with Nat Kringoudis

The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast

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THE PODCAST

"Simply walking into a school and being subjected to all kinds of new societal pressures, the workload, and real performance expectations is enough to cause an imbalance in teenage hormones and emotions. That's a situation we need to do a better job of managing."

Dr. Nat Kringoudis | Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Acupuncturist & Founder of The Wellness Collective Tweet This!

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SHOW NOTES

In Episode 99 of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, Natalie Douglas and her guest, Dr. Nat Kringoudis (Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Acupuncturist & Founder of The Wellness Collective), discuss the link between teenage hormones and emotions, and the common signs your period is coming.
  • What is a normal age for teens to start menstruating
  • What does a normal period looks like for teens
  • When to seek help + what signs/symptoms to be aware of
  • How and when to start speaking with your teens about periods
  • What are some DIY tricks/tips for setting them up for healthy balances periods

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Acupuncturist & Founder of The Wellness Collective
https://www.instagram.com/natkringoudis/

Intro 0:00
Hello and welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, with your hosts Natalie K. Douglas, Thyroid Healer, and Kate Callaghan, The Holistic Nutritionist. Nat and Kate are degree-qualified dietitians and nutritionists, certified fitness instructors, speakers, and authors. If you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers, and authentic heart-sharing, then we are your ladies! Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and get ready for our latest tips on living your healthiest life possible.

Natalie K. Douglas 0:36
Hello, hello, lovely friends. Welcome back to the podcast. Now, today’s guest I feel like needs no introduction. However, I’m going to do it anyway because why the heck not? Today we have with us the beautiful Nat Kringoudis, who is a doctor of Chinese medicine and an acupuncturist, best-selling author, and podcast host of The Wellness Collective and The Period Party. Yes, she does like to talk. She recognized the large gap between conventional medicine and supporting wellness and has developed a unique style in women’s natural health care. Integrating the western medical approach with alternative therapies, Chinese medicine, and body wisdom. Nat has accepted the task of inspiring well-being not only to those embarking on becoming parents but equally important to her educating young women of how their choices shape their reproductive health. She believes this is the key to addressing the infertility epidemic. For Nat, fertility isn’t just about babies, it’s about outstanding health. Her knowledge in fertility and natural medicine regularly features in in her column in Australia, Natural Health Magazine in major publications including Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, as well as regular TV appearances as a wellness expert for The Today’s Show and The Morning Show. She is also a two-times Bestselling author. Her latest achievement, Beautiful You, a book dedicated to helping women understand their hormones from the very beginning. You can connect with Nat over on Instagram, Facebook, join her to podcast listenership, check out her books, or find her on Twitter, and I will make sure we put all of those details in the show notes. In this episode, Nat and I chat all the things periods and for teenagers. So what to expect what is normal, what isn’t, how to have those conversations, when to have those conversations, what you can do to help support your teenager’s hormones from a really young age, and so much more. Nat has also very generously given me two copies, two signed copies of Beautiful You to give away to two lucky winners. And I am going to share the details of how to enter that competition in the Instagram post associated with this episode. So keep an eye out for that and let’s go and have a chat with Nat. Nat, welcome to the podcast.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 3:18
Thank you, Nat!

Natalie K. Douglas
I know. Isn’t this weird, Nat and Nat? Do you have that same thing where if someone calls you, Natalie, it’s a bit like, oh, have I done something wrong?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 3:26
Absolutely.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
Like, I’m in big trouble.

Natalie K. Douglas 3:28
Yeah, I’ve done something wrong or I’ve said something absolutely ridiculous so.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 3:33
Yeah, and I never ever, no one calls me Natalie. Like never ever.

Natalie K. Douglas 3:37
Kind of feels like uncomfortable when someone does but I’m glad it’s not just me. So, thats’s a good to know. Well, I’m very very happy that we have you on the podcast today. And we have so many questions to get through. But before we jump in, I like to start off something with a little bit more informal, which is what is your current morning routine?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 3:59
That’s makes me laugh these days, actually, because well, I have two children, eight and 12. And it’s not predictable.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
So I tell you what I do. However, there’s a few things that I stick to but, you know, I guess I could be woken up by my alarm, I could be woken up by a foot between my legs from my eight-year-olds or any other version of that. So before having children, I guess it was a little bit more of a routine. Nowadays, I tend to let the morning roll as it rolls without pressure. However, if I do wake before the kids, the first thing I actually will do is sit and I do a lot of work in the US now. So I’ll actually go straight to my email which is probably some people would cringe at but it’s whilst they’re still awake and working. I need to get that sorted. And so, I’ll jump up, I’ll do that, I’ll then typically get the kids up and get that whole routine happening and out the door. What I then do, however, is I always make sure that I’m completely ready. I dropped them off at school, and I actually come back. And that’s when I carve out time for whether I meditate journal or do whatever, whatever it is I feel like doing, it will be from 9 till 9:30. That’s the only solid part of the morning that’s typically there. The rest is just kind of how it rolls. So that is not something I’ve always done. And I definitely had, yeah, different, you know, different phases, different stages but that’s working for me at the moment.

Natalie K. Douglas 5:43
I love it. And I agree it is very much a like life circumstances will dictate what your mornings can look like but I love that you carve out some time wherever it can be carved out so.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 5:55
Yeah. What’s interesting is I used to, from 9 to 9:30, with mums at school, we used to catch up for coffee. And I used to find that just as therapeutic and doing this, so it’s but I think the kids being a bit older now, they’ve moved on from that. Not everyone has as much time and yeah.

Natalie K. Douglas 6:14
Yeah. Oh, I love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. Well, speaking of children, or teenagers rather, the first question I wanted to kind of ask or investigate your thoughts around is, when is it normal for a teenage girl to actually start menstruating? And what does the first 12 to 18 months of a cycle actually look like? Because I feel like there’s a lot of confusion around this topic. And I think, as hormones become even more dysregulated, as a collective in our society from outside influences, now environment, like teenagers are getting their periods younger and younger, but what would you say is normal?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 6:58
Yes. So the average age that you and I would have learned would be 13. I was certainly 13 when I got my period. And it definitely is shifting. And I would say that the average age seems to be now around 11. But before we go into that, one of the things I actually really love the opportunity to put on women’s radars as mothers and fathers. But you know, it’s often us as mothers that are advocating for our daughters, is the increase in the incidence of premature or precocious puberty, where girls are actually going through it even earlier. And boys can go through this too, but I am absolutely seeing an increased incidence of that in the clinic. And I don’t know whether it’s because this is just something that I’m passionate about talking about in my most recent book speaks very much to young women, or whether it’s actually on the increase, I think we can safely say it probably is. But we are seeing situations where children as young as five and six are starting to show transitions or signs of puberty. And it doesn’t start with a period and it never does start with a period. So you know, you’ll typically see in a young woman, the breast pads are the first things to typically form alongside then with, you know, pubic hair, and body odor are the main things you start to see, and underarm hair too. And it’s usually around a year after you see the breast buds are formed that you would anticipate for a period to arrive or thereabouts. When we first get a period, there is no necessarily not necessarily a rhyme or reason as to what that will look like for you. We’re all different. Our hormones don’t mature until our early 20s. So what happens from the onset, or the first menses through to around 21 – 22 is that our hormones are finding their groove. And I think where we often can go wrong is that if it’s not regular, we start to freak out as a mother, we start to worry. But in actual fact, it’s more than likely not going to necessarily be regular from the beginning. But it’s using those clues always to prompt what you might do next, or whether you need to investigate anything any further. I’ll use an example that with a patient that I’ve been seeing in the clinic more recently. She got her first period no problem. Four weeks later got a second period, but after the second period was still bleeding four weeks later. And because her her body systems aren’t mature and they just establishing themselves, we can see things like this, and I had the privilege of being able to treat her and obviously work out whether she was actually ovulating or not. Get some blood tests done because bleeding for four weeks isn’t obviously ideal, but why is that happening? And be able to look at the clues that your body gives you and work out exactly what’s going on. Long story short, that’s what we did. We treated her with hopes and acupuncture, and we’re able to. Now finally, oops, now finally just see a regular cycle that she’s not bleeding in. So as in just a period and then not continue to bleed. So the reason I share that is because I always want to rule out anything sinister or questionable. So I sent her to, I say, go get blood tests, go see your doctor, just roulette anything as well. Given that it’s only half their period. I’m sure that this is, you know, this is fine, but you want to do that. The doctor recommended the pill for her, she’s 13. And sadly, that’s not ever going to fix anything as we know. The difficult part, if you were to choose to take the pill at 13. And like I mentioned to you your hormones aren’t really mature until your 20s. You flatline them, and you hope that process of maturation. So the research tends to indicate that the later you can use hormonal contraceptives, like the pill, the less long term implications it has on your body. But if you can understand that, if you started taking it at 13, because you had an irregular period, when you come off it, when you’re 30. You’re as hormonally mature as your 13-year old self. So we need to know this information because I think this is where we go wrong but the main thing I want you to understand, and the audience, and listeners to understand is that there’s no hard rhyme or reason what periods should look like in those years that your body is working out how to cycle. Ideally, you want to see a period every month, but for various reasons, that might not happen and it’s certainly nothing to worry about. There’s definitely an age for most girls that they go through a phase around 16 and 17, where their body actually mimics polycystic ovarian syndrome or when we you know, can see signs of maybe weight gain, periods can go a little bit, become irregular, or become a little bit problematic. And this is another time that we often freak out and go, what what is going on, there’s something wrong, and common that you’ll find yourself in the same circumstances this patient I was talking about. But once you know that, and you know that that’s a normal phase, you can continue to observe. And so, I think allowing hormones to mature is really important. However, the one thing I would say is, there shouldn’t be a pain, and they shouldn’t be problematic. They might be irregular, and you might have a few other needily things happening but they shouldn’t be painful. And if they are, that’s something I would definitely encourage a mother and daughter to go and explore because it’s usually in response to some type of stress and inflammation in the body, which needs to be addressed anyway. So it’s a difficult question. I guess it’s not a short question to answer because there’s so many variables, but the main thing is to use signs as clues and remember that you’re setting a foundation up with that point for your long-term hormonal health. And if we can set that foundation up properly, then you’re going to have far less issues, you know, down the track. And that I think, is a game-changer for women’s health, because we haven’t really looked at it that until now.

Natalie K. Douglas 13:35
Yeah. No, I totally agree. And thank you for sharing that because I am not a mother at this stage but I would feel the same if my young daughter was going through having irregular periods because as adult women, we see that as oh no, like something’s wrong, we know when our period starts to go off, so to speak, that it is often more of a red flag. So it’s really good to know about that side of things. And what like what I wanted to clarify as well is, so in terms of not worrying, we’re not worried about if it’s a bit irregular, or they’re a little bit like things that need ironing out. But like painful periods are a red flag. What about flow? What about the how heavy or light a period is? Is that something that parents should be keeping an eye on in terms of needing to intervene if it is heavy?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
Sure. So at the average flow and I always get the mils wrong. For anyone that’s using a cup I apologize because I still measure in pads and tampons. I mean.

Natalie K. Douglas
Same.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 14:39
And I don’t want to get it wrong. I have a number in my head but I don’t, I might get it wrong. So the average flow would be changing a pad or tampon every four hours for the first couple of days of the period, that’s about average. Anything more than that, I would absolutely want to address. The main reason we would see a heavy period is an excess estrogen in the body. And if you’ve got a teenager with excess estrogen that can be problematic in other areas as well and show up with you know, PMS, tend to breasts, irregular cycles, heavy bleeding, mood swings, weight gain, there’s lots of symptoms that come with excess estrogen but we know that is a huge clue because we need estrogen. Our estrogen builds our lining. So more estrogen, more lining, more bleeding. Less estrogen, less lightning, less bleeding. So if we use that as a, I use that as a great diagnostic tool in the clinic to really work out what’s going on. And, of course, estrogen will then influence influence progesterone. So if you’ve got high estrogen, it can lead to actually compromising progesterone, so low progesterone but on the same side of things, or the other side of things, low estrogen usually results in low progesterone. So progesterone is not usually, progesterone is a problem because it’s low usually but you’ve got to work out why it’s low and what, and so using that that amount of flow is a great way of doing that as a general rule. Reasons that we might have excess estrogen and heavy periods can be external influences, environmental factors, chemicals in our body products, our cleaning products, heating in plastic containers, eating food out of cans that are lined with BPA, or you know, these things mimic estrogen in our body. It’s not truly estrogen, but it shows up in our body and our body goes oh, there’s more estrogen, I’m just going to add that to the estrogen part. So those external factors can drive estrogen crazy, then we’ve got internal factors. So how well is our body regulating estrogen, if our guts not doing that, and our liver is not doing that, in some degree our thyroid, then that can result in us not clearing and metabolizing estrogen properly so that can add to the estrogen pile. And the other big factor that adds to the estrogen is probably stress. So stress innately pulls the handbrake on certain hormones like progesterone, and estrogen just keeps climbing. So using those factors, as clues as well, can really help us to make some gentle shifts in the right direction. And if you’re not doing those, and you are bleeding heavily, you must start with those, they are great ways of starting to get a handle and see what then happens from there. So your body’s always giving you clues. This is the part I love and I would want to be always curious. I don’t think you should, if you’re if you’re worried or you’re curious about your teens’ menstrual cycle, that’s innately there for a reason. So I wouldn’t ignore that, so I would still look at signs. So you know, if the period is missing, but you have a highly active athletic teenager it might be missing because of overexercising. Just by the same token period pain, or we’ve talked about heavy bleeding or mood irregularities. Don’t ignore those signs, but use them as clues to dive a little bit deeper into the internal landscape of the body and see if you can add those gentle shifts to make a big difference. It’s not it’s not what you do at your doctor’s office necessarily. It’s actually what you do, when you leave, and they’re ongoing every day. It’s the little things that really add up. And so right now, I think, being aware of that, because we love the magic fix, we love the magic pill, as teenager loves the magic pill. Let me tell you right now, after treating more and more teenagers, they just want to fix. They absolutely the you know, can I just take something for that. So it is really working out why that’s happening and that’s not always easy but there’s so many resources out there nowadays that can help with that. And I have definitely got more tools for people and resources for people if they are needing needing to understand their hormones better.

Natalie K. Douglas 19:20
Yes, you definitely have no shortage of those which is incredible. And we will actually make sure that all of those are linked in the show notes. I think it’s so it’s so in, like it becomes more and more apparent to me how important open conversation is around periods and hormones and cycles because I don’t know about you Nat but I mean, I don’t treat children but I treat many hormonal hormonal imbalances in women. And so many of them just don’t understand their cycle, not even at a really basic level. And I don’t say that to be judgmental. I just think it’s really sad almost, that we don’t have a really thorough understanding, because I personally feel like it is so empowering to know when some hormones are high and low and what that means, your energy, or your mood, or your sex drive, or fertility. And I think it’s something that I’m certainly passionate about educating people on. I guess where I have absolutely no experience in and would love to know your opinion on is, when do we, when do you think is a good idea to actually start having those kind of conversations with your teenager? When do we start talking about cycles and hormones? And how much depth do you think we should go into?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 20:37
Yeah. Nat, I love that you asked that question because I’m so passionate about talking to this. I think we grew up at a different time where it definitely wasn’t appropriate to talk about our bodies and our inner workings. And even how where we came from, up until such a time that your mum set you down and you had the birds and the bees talk. And if, even if that a lot of kids I know my age didn’t get that. So we, it was very much brushed under the carpet. It was not really appropriate to talk about. And it was like this heavy bombshell then just got thrown on you when you turn of certain age where your mum thought that it was appropriate or whoever thought it was appropriate to have this conversation. And I don’t know about you but for me, life got really heavy and really serious at that point. And I, but I was at the same time fascinated by what was going to happen and it seemed like such a mystery. It seemed like something that was so taking an information that was beyond my understanding on my years but I had to know. I think now I encourage mothers to be having these conversations right from when their daughters start to ask the question, and it doesn’t need to be anything other than age appropriate. So for example, your four-year-old comes to you and says, how does the baby get in your tummy? And you, rather than pretending or freaking out, if you have the right tools to say it’s a game-changer because you no longer, are we lying and I don’t think we should ever lie to our children. I think we should be always inviting open and honest conversations. So age-appropriate would be, I remember saying to Olivia, mommy has eggs and daddy has sperm and the egg and sperm have to come together, and that’s called conception, and then that becomes a baby. It grows over time. It grows in mommy’s tummy. That conversation then got to be an evolution at the time that she was so ready to ask the next question. And what’s interesting with kids is they are very happy with the facts. We have an emotional experience around sexual experience. They don’t. So when you say, even if you say well, the penis goes in the vagina, they’re like, okay.

Natalie K. Douglas
Okay. Yeah. There it goes.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
They’re not interested in anything other than okay, well, that makes sense.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
And then move on. But if we’re not having these conversations, and it becomes this taboo subject, then that comes with another whole set of issues when it comes to sexuality and expressing ourselves and, and even when teenagers are exploring and asking questions, they’ve got the internet now, they turned to that to find the answer. And in a lot of these things that you’re googling, you end up on a porn site very often that doesn’t really give you very good even remotely, you know, normal. I hate to use that word, but what it what it is like, especially for your first sexual encounter.

Natalie K. Douglas
Oh, gosh, yes. It’s not how mine look.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 24:04
Right. So, I really am passionate to say to mothers, first of all, you need to understand yourself. And just like you said Nat, there are so many that don’t and it’s not your fault if you don’t, but it’s the fact that maybe you’ve been on contraception for as long as you can remember. And if that’s the case, there’s no way you could know what your cycles are like because you haven’t had one. So I think learning as much as we can about ourselves to pass on that information becomes extremely necessary. And when we were surveying women when Beautiful You, my latest book came out, which is targeted directly at that. We asked mothers and daughters to do, or mothers and love, their daughters, sorry, loved ones because not everybody you might not turn to your mum for this information. And that’s okay. It might be your auntie, your cousin, or a neighbor, or whoever that might be. And we asked, if they understood the difference between their vagina and their vulva. 40% of mothers said no. If 40% of us, as women, don’t understand the difference between the inside and the outside of our female anatomy, that’s a bit of a problem. So it actually starts with us. And the feedback that I’ve received from Beautiful You, my book, has been, it’s not for 15 year old’s Nat, it’s for all women because we’re all we’re all constantly learning, or if we are at a point where we’re teaching more of this to our children, then we need to have the right information. And so, I think we’ve got to keep on giving information as our children asked for it. And it continues to evolve over time to the point where, when you do have the next level discussion. It’s just, it’s just the next level of discussion. And it’s not some big, heavy problem that gets landed on some 13-year-old girl shoulders. All of a sudden, it’s just no different to blowing your nose or moving your bowels. It’s just something that happens and it’s just actually an excellent part of us. That, up until now hasn’t been okay to talk about, I get that also, not everyone is comfortable to talk about it. And that’s where I think having this lots of resources and lots of books that are available to really help children through those phases but I think the worst, it’s such a disservice. And the worst thing you can be doing is lying to your children when you have this beautiful opportunity to answer their questions at a time that they’re ready to learn it. If they’re asking, they’re ready to learn. So how can we continue to deliver that information in a way that is supportive for them?

Natalie K. Douglas 26:47
Yeah, totally. I hear you. And it’s funny, I have to share that my first when I got my period, for the first time, I was very shocked, especially as a tomboy who did was just didn’t know what that meant for me. And I remember, a girl in my primary school, got her period until I thought I will I must get it, I’m gonna get mine then. I went and took a pad from my mom’s bathroom and put it on sticky side up and gave myself thrash. And that was the entry into my conversation around.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 27:19
You know, I mean, my daughter is 12. So we’re right at the age that this is in full swing for me right now. And I feel really privileged to be able to not only have written the resource for her but to be able to now have a new way of approaching this because up until I didn’t, I can’t say that I got it completely right by any means. I wish I had spoken to her even earlier. But the nice thing now is that Jordi, my son is always around when we’re having these conversations. And this is just normal for him, all the way they keep tuning in and out. Jordi came to me the other week, and he’s like, so what’s period? Because he heard us talk about it enough times. And even that doesn’t have to be scary, it is that every month, there’s an egg that’s released. And if that egg isn’t fertilized to become a baby, then the mum’s uterine lining comes away and that’s a period. You don’t even have to talk about blood if you don’t want to. It doesn’t have to be scary. It’s just biology really.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
Physiology, you know, so I think that that that being able to do that, I think is really important. However, what I was going to say she was. Olivia came home from school not too long ago and she was mortified because the teachers have pull them in to have a conversation in a way that I thought that they probably thought that we’re doing the right thing. And they talked about how problematic their periods were going to be. So Olivia came home and she was like, mum, this is going to be awful. They said, it’s going to hurt, and we’re going to be moody, and all these things are gonna happen. And I was like, no sweetie, that’s not going to happen. That’s why I’m here to help you but there’s a, there are clues as to something else that’s going on. And if that was to happen, then we’ll fix it. So, I think being able to empower them and not put the fear of blood in them is really important. I was pretty upset with that played out to be honest.

Natalie K. Douglas 29:16
Yeah, I can imagine because, you know, we just we shouldn’t be scared of our bodies. I think we should feel deeply connected and empowered in them. And I think knowledge is is power and who is anyone to put maybe their experience or their period onto someone else because as you and I know, period certainly don’t have to be painful. You certainly don’t have to be turn into a bitch the week before or cry.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
Sign.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, you know, I love that you say that all just, you know, messages from your body, your signs that, hey, something’s a little bit out of balance, and we can fix that. We do have the ability to influence that. So I really like that. A question I’m curious to ask you about is, do you use the actual names of the anatomy when you are educating teenagers about their body? Because there is a lot of times where different words are used for anatomy. And I personally think, why do we do that? Like, it just creates shame around the actual name, but what’s your feeling on them?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 30:21
I think you should be using definitely when you’re talking about it in a more educational sense. Having said that, you know, Jordi knows that his penis is his penis, yet we still call it a willy, because I think that’s hilarious.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
Um, so I think that it should be used. And we use both words. And I think yeah, definitely, in an educational sense, we should be using that. But what’s really lovely, and I have to say that the current education in schools is so much better than what you and I got when it comes to this. And when I had the opportunity to sit with Olivia, last year, and they were learning, they spoke about this a lot. They like you might have heard of these words. And this is actually what it’s called. And they listed funny words for various parts of the anatomy.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
But I will always with Olivia be encouraging her to use the right at least know what the right word is. Yeah. And then if she wants to call it something else, then that’s fine. And I still think that that helps to create a little bit of the light-hearted and like light-hearted part, that’s a lot to say, of this, because it can feel really heavy, and it can feel really overwhelming. So I feel like having that just helps to bring a little bit of fun and humor to the situation because most names for your private parts are pretty hilarious. If the most of the names that are made up are pretty hilarious. You’ve got to admit them.

Natalie K. Douglas
They are.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
So, I think both are appropriate in context.

Natalie K. Douglas 31:54
Yeah, yeah, totally. I can understand that. And I think that it’s good to know that they can say all of them, I think it’s, it’s what I feel strongly about is is not like, women or teenagers, or whoever it is feeling uncomfortable saying the actual names, because I think then that for me personally, in my own body, it creates a sense of disconnect. And I like being able to choose to name it, whatever, or call it whatever I want. So I love that.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 32:27
Yeah. And I think, definitely, as you’re explaining it, that’s important. You don’t want to be making fun of that, at that time of them asking a questions even when they’re little. But you can just use it. I think using all variations, kind of can work, depending on the situation.

Natalie K. Douglas 32:45
Yep. And out of curiosity, kind of just backtracking very slightly on this. But it’s a question I know that pops up a fair bit. And that or at least that comes up in my consultations is a lot of women will say oh, I’ve had a heavy period so my teenager is going to have one too. So oh, that just happens in our family. Do you feel like there’s any truth to that in terms of your mother’s or your grandmother’s experience of their period is going to be yours? And what would you like to share with parents that maybe have a question around that?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 33:24
Yes, I think what we’ve experienced as mothers is a good clue into what potentially could be presented in our daughters definitely but that doesn’t mean it has to. And I think using that information, especially if there has been a history of a known diagnosis, like endometriosis, or PCOS, or even just heavy bleeding, or painful periods, then doing everything you can to make sure that doesn’t present for your daughter, I think is really important. And there’s so much you can do knowing that. I would also hope that most women who either have a diagnosis or have problematic periods realize that they can do something about that as well and hopefully have because it’s not normal. It’s just common. So I love to ask that question. However, it can go the other way. Maybe I didn’t have any problems, but maybe my daughter will, because she’s living in a completely different time through that, that, you know, pubescent is and beyond. And so, I can see this in the clinic work the other way where patients say, well, my mum’s fine. And I’m like, well, actually, if she was probably living with under the same circumstances right now, she’d probably have the same symptoms, because it doesn’t most most times these things don’t come out of nowhere. It’s genetic. You can’t change your genes, you can just change the way that your genes behave. And so, I think knowing that can go either way is really important. And depending on what’s the lifestyle you’ve lived, will generally be a factor when it comes to the symptoms that you’re seeing. And that can be a bitter pill to swallow because we’re not sitting here going well, I’m not, willingly giving myself period pain, but maybe you are because you don’t know what you don’t know. And until you can see problematic factors, whether it is environmental, or you know, some type of imbalance within you, or you’re not living a healthy life, they are all factors that contribute. So, clues, you take any clue you can get, whether it’s hereditary clues, whether it’s just your own body. I think that we can never discount those and there’s always, there’s always a solution. I find that you can always improve things.

Natalie K. Douglas 35:56
Yeah, Yeah. Absolutely. I think that’s something that’s really important to, to remember, because so often, there’s just not an awareness of actually how much we can do to influence them that doesn’t involve having to take the pill. And that’s not to say like, everyone’s in charge of their own decisions. But I think, you know, I, I know, personally, that when I work with women who have imbalances in their hormones and period issues, things like, you know, TCM and acupuncture, and herbs and nutrients, and diet and all that kind of stuff have so much power and influence over that. And I guess that kind of leads me into my next question, which is just around really basic DIY kind of at-home tools or tricks that parents could start helping to implement with their teenagers to support their hormones as they do start to get periods. Is there anything that’s really simple that they can recommend or start to put in place?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 37:00
Yeah, I think everybody nowadays appreciates how important healthy lifestyle is, I think, I don’t think that’s revolutionary anymore. It’s like eat the right things, look after your body, and move your body, sleep enough, no brainer. It’s what else is missing, if you are doing those things, and it’s not working, because they are basic 101. Nowadays, I think most of us would agree that we know that we need to live with our health in mind, I think where we are seeing issues is that we are stressed more than ever. And stress doesn’t just mean that you’re busy or under pressure, it can be so many various things, as we’ve spoken about environmental stress, internal stress, emotional stress, trauma. And we all deal with things differently as well. So I think that’s something that I would say, absolutely as parents, we need to be aware of even walking into a school and seeing what they’re subject to in terms of the pressure and the workload and the expectations is enough for any teenager to have some type of hormone imbalance. And so, I think that’s something we need to do a better job of managing. And when I look at, to go back to what we spoke about at the beginning, these these young women that are experiencing puberty earlier than they should, that seems to be the common denominator that they have had some type of stress or trauma early on, that’s activated their adrenals way too early. So it’s definitely a factor and I think we definitely can be better at that but I think we also need to be an example. And if we are not looking after ourselves, burning the candle at both ends, and highly stressed, then we’re not setting a good example for our, our younger generation anyway, they’ll do exactly what they see you doing, whether you realize it or not. And so I think that actually is also equally important and beautiful because we need to check in with ourselves as well. So it means that we all get something out of it for the collective. And as you spoke about that, I think that’s something that absolutely we need to consider is the collective.

Natalie K. Douglas 39:24
Absolutely. And I love that you said the modeling of behavior because I think there’s like no greater gift than modeling healthy boundaries because we’re living in a world that will, you know, push you to drop them if you don’t, if you aren’t holding them tightly there. And I think there’s kind of this misconception that having boundaries is selfish when I think it’s such, I mean, I don’t know about you, but whenever I see a woman or a man with really healthy boundaries, it almost is like a permission slip to be like, you know, you can do this too, and still be a really kind and generous person. So I love that you mentioned that there.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 40:06
Yeah, absolutely. I think that we have to bring in these little gems and and be aware and the more of us that are doing this together, the more normal this become as well.

Natalie K. Douglas 40:18
Absolutely. Now, speaking of gems, your book that, when when was it? When was it released? What month was it released? Was it last year or?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 40:28
It was last year.

Natalie K. Douglas
I thought so. Yeah.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
So it’s been out for quite a while but I have to say it’s not easy to market a book for teenagers, that you’re relying on a mother to realize that, you know, no teenager is going to be like, oh, I need this book. Most of them run away from it. Um, so that’s been a challenge but that’s definitely very well received. It’s just a matter of helping having these conversations, I think, to help us realize because I just don’t think that we think about it. I don’t, it’s not it’s it’s this is new territory, I think for a lot of people.

Natalie K. Douglas 41:05
Yeah. So tell us a little bit more about it. And what’s included in the book for our moms listening or aunties listening, that are really interested in helping empower their teenagers?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 41:18
Yeah, I think it teaches you the 101 of everything from what hormones are, what they do, why you need them to be balanced. I’ve talked pretty heavily on the symptom side of things. So if you’ve got acne, what does that mean? If you’ve got period pain, what does that mean? And, and definitely giving everyday solutions for any of these imbalances that we might see. I talk a lot about emotions, empowerment, talk about sex. It goes into I think, I hope I feel like I’ve covered all areas and all questions, or at least I hope I have. And it also actually includes, obviously, you know how to understand your cycle, all of that, but also recipes as well, because I find that, you know, no teenager is going to necessarily be interested in serving up dinner, but they’re probably preparing their breakfast, and maybe their lunch. So some, you know, ideas around that. So I’m going to talk about the right foods and lowering inflammation and those sorts of topics, I need to actually then deliver something that they can then have an example of. So it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s definitely, it’s interactive. It’s got places to write and journal and record your cycle and symptoms and all of that. So there’s a fair bit packed into it.

Natalie K. Douglas 42:42
Amazing. And it sounds like a good book for adults too. I’m just.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 42:47
But as the feedback, I think everyone keeps saying, why are you marketing this at teenagers? And like, well, it’s not. It’s not just for teenagers, it’s for anyone. I would say it’s appropriate for 14 and over.

Natalie K. Douglas 42:56
Yep. Amazing. And where can people access that? Where can people buy it?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 43:01
Yeah, absolutely. So, um, all the bookstores, are also on my website, NatKringoudis.com. The other thing I want to say is, if you’re listening, and you’re like, oh, gosh, do I have a hormone imbalance? I don’t even know where to start, I’ve got painful periods, or I don’t know acne. On my website, you can access a hormone worksheet, which is very simple. And it just helps you to categorize your symptoms and point you in the right direction of what actually might be your hormone imbalance. So I talked about the most common ones there. And it’s just a good way of diving deeper into your signs and symptoms, which I’m so passionate about, to help to lead you in the right direction. So when you do head to my website, you’ll find that there as well as a great place to start.

Natalie K. Douglas 43:47
Amazing. And yes, your website is full of a lot of helpful information, as I was saying before, so we’ll definitely make sure we link it in the show notes as well as your book. Now you also have a clinic in Melbourne. Is that right? And can you share with people? Can they, I know the question that is going to be asked is, can I actually see you Nat and because I know that that will pop up. So what do you have to say to that?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 44:12
Yes, so my clinic The Pagoda tree is in Melbourne, but we do online consultations all around the world. So which can sound a bit weird. It’s like you can’t give acupuncture online, but I actually find great results. I don’t know what you find, but I get great results with Telemedicine as well. So, I do treat patients but I also have a team of staff. We’re all there to help everybody and it doesn’t really matter where you are in the world. We’re able to support and help you which is what we’d love to do.

Natalie K. Douglas 44:45
I love it. And yes, I run my whole business online so I feel you so far so good.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
Yeah, exactly.

Natalie K. Douglas
It is just as a just as effective. So I really, am glad that more people are doing it because it’s just opened up the access so much. Now, my final question to you which I ask all guests is, what’s one thing you do for your health every day?

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 45:07
Mm-hmm. Good question. I am a mad fan of fasting. So I fast nowadays not even consciously, but in the past, it was actually a choice. And I just just the tremendous effects and that that has on the body is kind of second to none in terms of balancing pretty much everything. So I would say that’s the one thing that I am very committed to doing. And again, if you want more information on that, there’s a whole lot of information on my website that I’ve written about fasting and the benefits and why it won’t mess up your hormones if you do it properly. And so, that’s the one thing I definitely am diligent and then not so much at the moment. But I usually like to move my body every day, if not every second day, I’ve really struggled throughout gym closures.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis
So anyone when you’re listening to this, but but I’m excited for that to open back up again into. I actually really don’t do very well exercising at home, it turns out are really pretty useless of that so.

Natalie K. Douglas 46:16
I don’t think you’re alone.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 46:21
Oh, we’ve got no space either where we live in a fairly small home. So it’s like, you know, that whole minimalist thing is great until you actually need to all live there together, like oh, we’ve got seven. It works really well when you get to go out into the world and go to school and work. But when you’re all actually bunkering down, it’s like we don’t have enough space. Yeah.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yes. I definitely, I’ve definitely had a lot of those moments with people sharing that in families. Really find out how much how much quality time is too much.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 46:56
Yes. Yes, well, I set up office in the front room in my bedroom. That’s how much I was like, oh, my goodness, I need some space but anyway, it’s all good. We’re all just moving in hopefully the right direction. So that’s but I would like to also chance of movement move a little bit more. So usually, resistance and weights and those sorts of things I’ve found to be a game-changer as well. And I’ll definitely be getting back into that as soon as possible.

Natalie K. Douglas 47:19
Amazing. Well, thank you so much for sharing your heart and your brain and everything else with us today. And I’ll make sure that all those links go up and people know where to find you and more of your information.

Dr. Nat Kringoudis 47:30
Awesome. Thank you so much for having me.

Natalie K. Douglas
My pleasure.

Outro
Thanks for tuning in to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. Remember, we love to make the show relevant to you. If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to discuss, just submit them to [email protected] and we’ll get them answered for you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on iTunes and share it with your friend. And if you’re looking for more info about how we can accelerate your journey to your optimal health, you can find me, Nat, over at NatalieKDouglas.com, and Kate, at TheHolisticNutritionist.com. See you next time!

OUR MISSION

The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast - with Natalie K. Douglas and Kate Callaghan

Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast!

If a professional, polished, well-edited podcast is what you’re after…then we’re not for you!

But if you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers and authentic heart sharing then we are your ladies.

We also have the most practical tips on holistic and alternative health care too 😉

Have a question that you want answered on the podcast or want to be interviewed? Get in touch!

YOUR HOSTS

Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas ("Nat") is a Holistic Dietitian and Nutritionist dedicated to Thyroid, gut and hormone healing.

Nat shows stressed, burnt out, overwhelmed women how to value their worth again, change their mindset habits, prioritize healing, and reclaim their vitality. Guaranteed.

Her clients say she’s the right girl to see if you’ve tried the conventional approach and nothing has worked.

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan is a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach who specializes in women's hormone healing.

She recognizes that there is no “one size fits all” diet or “magic bullet” which is going to cure all illnesses.

She focuses on having a thorough understanding of your personal goals, needs, likes/dislikes, support networks and lifestyle in order to create a food and lifestyle approach that suits YOU.

OUR GUEST

Dr. Nat Kringoudis | Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Acupuncturist & Founder of The Wellness Collective

Dr. Nat Kringoudis | Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Acupuncturist & Founder of The Wellness Collective

ABOUT NAT

Nat Kringoudis is a Dr of Chinese Medicine & Acupuncturist, Best Selling Author and podcast host of The Wellness Collective and The Period Party (she likes to talk....)

She recognised the large gap between conventional medicine and supporting wellness and has developed a unique style to women’s natural health care – integrating the western medical approach with alternative therapies, Chinese medicine and body wisdom.

Natalie has accepted the task of inspiring wellbeing, not only to those embarking on becoming parents, but equally important to her, educating young women of how their choices shape their reproductive health. She believes this is the key to addressing the infertility epidemic. For Natalie, fertility isn’t just about babies, it’s about outstanding health. Her knowledge in fertility and natural medicine regularly features in her column in Australian Natural Health magazine, in major publications, including Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan as well as regular TV appearances as a wellness expert for the Today Show & The Morning Show. She is also a two times best selling author, her latest achievement Beautiful You a book dedicated to helping women understand their hormones from the very beginning.

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