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Women's Health is More Than Gynecology

Women's Health is More Than Gynecology

When the presentation was over and the question session started, I found myself staring at dozens of hands popping up like sweet summer corn bursting through warm, fertile ground. For 45 minutes, I answered question after question from the audience who had attended my talk entitled "What Women Want (to Know)." When I finally had to yield the stage for the next presenter, at least 20 women queued up to continue our conversation on excess estrogen and the role plants can play in reversing disease. This was my experience at HealthFest 2016 in Marshall, Texas. It was amazing, humbling, and wonderful to speak to such a receptive group of people. From this experience, I am more convinced than ever that women are hungry to know how to solve their own and their family's health problems, and they are ready to use whole plant foods to satisfy that hunger.

Ironically, hunger is what has driven our culture into many of the chronic health problems we suffer. The rich Western diet filled with meat, eggs, cheese, other dairy products, and refined foods (like pastries and slices of crusty French bread dipped in olive oil) overloads our system with factors which cause our body to produce excess levels of estrogen inside us. It is this excess estrogen that is wreaking havoc in the lives and bodies of many women and the people they love. Stubborn obesity, heavy periods, and unnatural menopause are some of the ways women pay for eating as typical Westerners. The men in our lives are affected by over-estrogenization, too, with prostate cancer and complications from obesity rising in Westernized nations around the world as men's bodies also respond to the rich diet by producing too much estrogen. 

Recently, I sat down to record a conversation with Howard Jacobson, PhD, for his Plant Yourself Podcast. We discussed the epidemic of excess estrogen and how to fight back with our forks. You can listen to the podcast on his website, PlantYourself.com. Not only is Howard easy to talk to, but as the co-author of books like Dr. T. Colin Campbell's Whole and Low Carb Fraud, and Dr. Garth Davis' Proteinaholic, Howard's knowledge of the ways to optimize health and of the problems endemic in modern healthcare make him a dynamic interviewer. My conversation with him was a fast-paced hour that not only covered women's health, but also the story of my own plant-based journey and how it has informed my practice of medicine. We discussed how the modern medical climate is affecting plant-based physicians and why those of us in the field keep plowing ahead, despite the obstacles of the insurance system and the dietary culture surrounding us all. 

Although I serve men, women, and children in my medical practice, the subject of women's health is near to my heart. Women's health is about more than anatomy.  It requires a whole-person approach that recognizes not only the unique threats to women's health, but the diverse roles and responsibilities women enjoy. As women, we are often the "first responders" in any medical crisis. Our families often look to us first for care and answers when questions of health arise. Although there has been some equalizing of roles, women still carry a heavier share of the child care and home responsibilities. That often means we are the ones most responsible for meal preparation and guiding the family's health habits. As family members age and begin to face chronic health issues, women again become invested in how best to battle the illnesses that threaten their family's well-being. For themselves, women want to optimize their health so that they continue to enjoy their lives and make meaningful contributions to their families and communities. That's why I love to talk to women about the power of a low-fat, whole-foods plant-based diet. Eating this way and feeding their loved ones this way can be delicious and can help prevent, stop, or even reverse many illnesses. 

I invite you to listen to the Plant Yourself Podcast which Howard Jacobson recorded with me. In the podcast, you'll learn more about the role estrogen plays in modern illness and how eating a low-fat, whole-foods plant-based diet can benefit you and your loved ones.

For additional reading:

(1) Menstrual Cramping and Heavy Periods

(2) Can a Starch-Smart® diet help to reduce menopause symptoms?

(3) Protect Your Prostate from Cancer

Howard Jacobson PhD Links

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Survive and Thrive: Which common (but seemingly unrelated) factors link many health problems together, including cancer and other women's health issues? Is cancer preventable? This DVD shows you which disease risks are worsened by excess estrogen, which you create in your body by choices in foods and beverages. Banish multiple health problems with the Starch-Smart® System.

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