Dr. Sammons: [00:00:00] We have an OB G Y N for women’s health, and we have a cardiologist and an gastroenterologist, and in every kind of ologist, but nobody’s talking integrally.
To see this beautifully interlaced organism that we are
Irene Ortiz-Glass: Hello and welcome to What I Wish I knew. I’m your host, Irene Ortiz Glass. What I wish I knew is dedicated to providing women with information and a guided path to find purpose, healing, and joy. It is to give women power and permission to go inward during the time of perimenopause and menopause, to find their inner compass, while also actively making changes to allow them to thrive during this period of time in life.
In this season, we will focus on the challenges surrounding menopause and what I wish I knew. Today’s podcast, we are blessed to have Dr. Jacqueline Sammons with us, who is going to be [00:01:00] talking to us about what is actually happening in our bodies during this critical change in our lives. Um, it’s really wonderful to have you here, and I’ll just give a short bio on Dr.
Salmons, which is quite impressive. Um, Dr. Sammons was raised in Orange County. She graduated with high honors from California State University Fullerton in 1997. She then went to medical school at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, graduating in 2003 at the top of her class with a DO degree.
She did her internship in Obstetrics and gynecology at U C L A and did her residency at U C S D. She also worked at St. Jude Medical Center from 2007 to 2018 as a traditional. O B G Y N. Dr. Salmons, thank you so much for being with us. It is my honor and privilege to have you on. There’s so much wonderful news for everyone here today.
Um, so maybe just start with telling us how did you decide to start your practice and get into this in the first place?[00:02:00]
Dr. Sammons: For sure. No, I’m happy to be here. Thank you so much for having me. I think that this is a realm that is largely, um, underrepresented in, even though women comprise 50, 51% of the population. So it’s really nice to spread the word about how people can regain their health. So I started my medical practice here at Transformation Health and Wellness in Anaheim Hills in 2019, after having been in the traditional realm of ob kind of in the corporate medicine structure, um, it became very apparent to me that we weren’t able to give as many resources to our patients with each visit that I would’ve liked to see.
So I dealt with primarily a lot of postpartum patients and then some of my patient base was getting a little bit more mature and kind of. Approaching perimenopause and menopause and we were literally given seven to 10 minute time windows in which to see these patients. Um, I was constantly being scrutinized as far as how long it took me to see each patient, how long it took from the time they were put in the room [00:03:00] for me to get in the room.
When I got in the room to out of the room, I mean, they were looking at every single dynamic. Um, and then we are piling on more and more patient load as well. So I’m seeing 40, 50 patients a day, um, and needing to give them my best, needing to give them the best knowledge, the best education so that they can go forth and, and.
Pursue their own best health, and you just can’t do that in a seven or 10 minute timeframe. So I thought, okay, how can I do this? How can I build a practice so that I can actually help these women understand what’s going on in their bodies? And then it led to, can you help my husband? Can you help my son?
Can you see other members of the family? And it really grew into this very beautiful, holistic integrative, more of like a family practice, but with this hormone twist. So as opposed to being family med who, yes, I see people for ear infections and I’ll do ear lavage and state stitches and that kind of thing.
But um, [00:04:00] really it’s more of a matter of how do we approach our whole health so that patients can feel better as a family. It’s been beautiful.
Irene Ortiz-Glass: That’s wonderful. That is so what we’re email@example.com, and so I just would love to hear from you, right? We’re all about understanding hormones and this period of change that we go through, you know, from our cycles to perimenopause and then menopause. Can you help us understand what is actually happening in the body during that change?
There’s so much misconception out there about this. I’d love to just get this record straight, like why do we feel the way we feel during per and
Dr. Sammons: Yes, absolutely. No. I think it’s critically important that we understand where hormones come from and what they are functionally. So of course we know about hormonal cycles and menstruation. Yes, the understood, but what we’ve fundamentally forgotten is that the derivation of hormones is from cholesterol.
We actually get our hormones from cholesterol intake. So we take in cholesterol through our nutrition and then [00:05:00] convert them into our sex hormones, which are steroids. So sterol in cholesterol is basically a form of steroid. So what these are acting as as anti-inflammatory agents and builders. So they are the gold standard in our bodies to help diminish inflammation and help to facilitate tissue building and repair.
As we approach perimenopause and menopause, we don’t manufacture those hormones as well as we did pre previously. One from a functional reproductive standpoint, right? Our body’s not gonna spend energy building these hormones if we’re not going to reproduce. So it looks at us and says, Hey, look, you’re sick, you’re old, you’re dying.
You’re not gonna reproduce anymore at 55, so we’re gonna shut this system down. So that, that’s understandable from that reproductive energy expenditure standpoint. But again, when we add other things to it, decrease low fat diets. Um, [00:06:00] avoid animal fats, be on sterile or, uh, Excuse me, statin medications to lower cholesterol.
The lower the better. You know, we keep this mantra up that we’ve been taught for the last 40, 50 years. And we’re not healthier for it as a population, we’re dying in droves of heart attacks and strokes. Um, and now we’re seeing more and more sexual dysfunction. We’re seeing more and more dementia, and it’s because we’ve dropped down steroid, or excuse me, cholesterol levels such that we are not able to build that brain tissue.
We are having sexual dysfunction and we’re just miserable for it as a population.
Irene Ortiz-Glass: So it’s so fascinating, right? Like everyone starves themselves when they’re like going through this cuz they gain weight and then they’re, you know, and they’re having dryness, vaginal dryness. They’re also sweating and having, you know, so hormonally, what symptoms do you see? What do you, what do women come in say?
Let listen, I am not doing okay. You know, help me out. What, what do you, what do you hear?
Dr. Sammons: Yes. So it’s a lot of that, the [00:07:00] hot flashes, the night sweats, the irritability and emotionality. And I often say this is God’s little sense of humor, shining, shining through, that we give menopausal women, teenage children.
Irene Ortiz-Glass: So true.
Dr. Sammons: This is always a fun dynamic. So some of that irritability is because of, you know, just circumstantial, but also just shorter, quicker fuses.
Um, a lot of the brain fog, the chronic fatigue. I just, I can’t. Find certain words. I can’t get a thought process. I can’t focus on a project and the weight gain, and again, it will be in the absence of huge nutritional changes. So it’s not like all of a sudden my healthful fit women go to McDonald’s three times a week.
That’s not what’s happening. They’re not all of a sudden picking up a coffee habit and so forth. So this is with the absence of that. They may already be working out, they’re eating well. And they’re just gaining weight. And I think this is where again, the mantra of, you know, being [00:08:00] overweight or obese comes from calories in, calories out.
You need to move more, stop eating, you know, all of these foods. Yes, that is true to some degree. But when we look at fat as an endocrine organ, as an inflammatory signaler, then it starts to make sense that as we’ve lost our sex hormones, we’ve lost those steroids and anti-inflammatories. Then the lid gets lifted off of inflammation.
Our brain becomes inflamed. Our thermo regulators become inflamed and dysregulated. Our fat cells begin to. Swell and hold more and more and more toxins because we’re not able to clear them out in the same fashion that we could when we were premenopausal.
Irene Ortiz-Glass: Yeah. And so those are just like the symptoms that we hear about too a lot in our practice. And then there’s this other part of, of it that you’re sort of touching on now, which is the mental health component of this. And, and it’s one that, you know, I was talking about before we started the podcast had a woman coming to me who was quite, you know, disturbed mentally and, and you know, [00:09:00] she had a hysterectomy with zero hormones after and it’s like fallen off a cliff and now is on five medications.
But no one prescribed any hormones. So what is that mental health impact that you’re seeing on women? Because I’m starting to realize that I wasn’t the only person that thought she was absolutely losing her mind.
Dr. Sammons: Yeah. And that this is what also why I’m so grateful that you’re creating this community, because we all feel like we’re on this ship alone. You know, our moms oftentimes either aren’t here anymore or they don’t remember. I mean, if they’re 25, 30 years older than we are, they, they don’t remember their journey.
They’re not used to. And that generation really discussing their health issues,
Irene Ortiz-Glass: didn’t talk about
Dr. Sammons: I’m just going to the doctor. But nobody ever knew why. Um, so I think building this community, so we have that understanding that we’re not the only ones going through this transition. Um, How it affects our mental health as we begin to understand neurology and psycho neurology a lot [00:10:00] better.
We are still in the infancy here, um, but as we understand more, we understand that so many psychological. I wanna say issues rather than disorder, cuz it’s not really a disorder at this point, really just when you’re having symptoms, um, that it comes from inflammation as a baseline. So we’ve got a brain on fire or we’ve got a brain that’s frozen, right?
So when it’s very acute, we’ve just started this injury, we’ve just reduced all of those steroids and hormones. All of a sudden it’s very inflamed. Everything’s on fire, and that affects people in different ways. So my brain on fire might look like anxiety. Somebody else’s brain on fire looks like dementia, forgetfulness, somebody else that’s gonna look like insomnia.
So it’s difficult to, we, we put all these diagnoses on it, but really at the end of the day, it comes down to that brain being on fire. When that fire burns out of fuel, we’ve basically inflamed the neurons such as there’s kind of nothing left to burn. [00:11:00] We now get like a cold fireplace. Right. So now we have chronic injury and everything’s not getting enough blood flow and oxygen to rebuild and repair.
It’s not getting the nutrients that we need. So we’re not seeing that plasticity in the brain and in the emotions and moods that we would when we were younger. Um, it’s not that it’s unattainable, it’s that we have not been taught how to pursue those things, to really rebuild the tissue in the manner that we expect.
Irene Ortiz-Glass: Yeah, I mean, I was diagnosed with OCD in the middle of my perimenopause challenge and was so scared of being diagnosed with a label and I, I decided, you know, in my walk to refuse the label and to just understand the why. And I did study some of this inflammatory process and how it affects the brain, and it was very tied to my lack of estrogen.
And my body needing to get used to a patch and sort of. Finding its way through what I call a prosthetic leg, because I had a bilateral oophorectomy I don’t have ovaries that I have nothing [00:12:00] being made in my body, and it isn’t, it isn’t the same, you know, full transparency. It isn’t the same. I’m in a, I’m on a prosthetic leg, but I know how to manage it so, Let’s talk about healing for a moment.
You know, how do you work with women? We’re, we’re so blessed that you wanna work with us and you’re a partner and, and we’re vetting, you know, we’ve, we’ve vetted you carefully as part of our program to help our women. And so what we wanna know is like, what is your approach to healing for women? And obviously it’s not a one size fits all, but generally
Dr. Sammons: For sure. Yeah, and I think that that’s the key to understand is that we’re very multifaceted. You know, again, I think that in this segmented western culture of medicine, it’s very much specialists, right? We have an OB G Y N for women’s health, and we have a cardiologist and an gastroenterologist, and in every kind of ologist, but nobody’s talking integrally.
To see this beautifully interlaced organism that we are. Um, so I try to have a multifaceted but simplified approach. So a lot of times it does come back to [00:13:00] hormones, but there are, are a few patients, a fair number of patients who can’t pursue hormones for whatever reason. Um, it’s important to educate them about what those expectations look like.
Are there herbal supplements? Are there other medications? I. Gut health is critical cuz if we’re inflamed in the gut, then we have typically inflamed brains. We’re gonna have inflamed other aspects of the system. So we talk a lot about nutrition, replacing probiotics and replacing that microbiome, I should say, rebuilding and repairing.
Um, so bringing again those fatty acids, omegas into the tissue to rebuild myelin, which is the covering on our nerves, allow those dendrites to reform.
Irene Ortiz-Glass: No, that’s great. And so, you know, the reason why we work together is you see the system and my experience was I couldn’t find a doctor to see the system. They, it was the specialist route. I had an OB and then I had, you know, a psych person and then I had someone over here who was, you know, looking at other parts of my body.
It, it just wasn’t connected. And, and that’s what [00:14:00] led me to this. I’m like, there has to be one stop for the interconnection of all these things, and. Peeling back the layer, right? Some women, it seems like do great on hormone therapy and that’s it. And they’re good.
Dr. Sammons: we’re good. it.
Irene Ortiz-Glass: Other women, it’s like there’s something else missing.
We need to look at the gut. We need to look at the thyroid. We need to like look at just your basic blood panel and see if there’s some like something going on there that nobody found, right? Like so many hidden things. And so we’re just so happy you’re here and, and you know, so what I wanna do is make sure.
What are some things, maybe a couple of tips on how women can ease into the transition. You know, let’s say they don’t come see you or they don’t see us, what can they be doing to just get themselves through?
Dr. Sammons: Yes, I would say the, to the best that you can. Um, and, and this is the beautiful part of my practice as well. I don’t want you to need me, I want to be able to provide you with the tools so your body can then support itself. Your body has every ability to it itself. We just, I just fill in some gaps.
Right. So what is the biggest [00:15:00] gap I see as Americans in general is nutrition. Really eating nutritive whole foods is very, very critical. And getting processed, you know, ultra processed, they talk about, but really any processed foods out of our system don’t go crazy cuz I hear these other extremes where they’re like, I would never give my patients spinach cuz there’s oxalates and what?
Okay, stop it.
Irene Ortiz-Glass: Yeah, don’t make it harder for me,
Dr. Sammons: don’t make it tougher. So just things that look like they do when you pick them up out of the ground. Spirit in the river, shoot it across the prairie. That’s what we wanna be eating. We wanna eat what our ancestors ate. That’s primary number one. Number two, hydrate. Well, um, so good whole water.
So I prefer alkaline ionized water if you can. If you cannot, and all you are stuck with is like filtered tack water. Fine, drink it. You know? So as long as we’re getting some cellular hydration, that is gonna help to maintain that integrity of each of your [00:16:00] cells. So instead of little shriveled raisins, we have nice little, whole fat and grapes.
That’s what we want, right? Um, correct your vitamin D levels. Um, find out what your vitamin D levels and most of us are deficient, or at the very least insufficient. And I prefer to have my patients operating with a vitamin D level of about 80 to a hundred. Most of us are under 30. Um, I’ve had patients who are as low as 11, and I’m like, no wonder you feel.
Terrible. So I will even tell my patients in the office, look, if you’ve got $47 to spend, just correct your vitamin D. Like if you don’t have all the fancy money and a great prescription plan, just take your vitamin D. You’re gonna feel about 80% better. Exercise is another thing that you have whole control over.
So we know the study after study that supports that women who are going through this transitional stage, if they exercise, it will minimize hot flashes, night sweats. It corrects insomnia. Um, particularly if you can exercise [00:17:00] outside during the daytime hours because it stimulates more of that natural circadian rhythm.
We’re supposed to be out on the planes hunting and gathering in the day, and then in the evening we’re supposed to rest, nest, and digest. Um, and what we don’t think about is rest, nest, and digest is also reproductive. That’s when we should be rest, nest, digest in sex. If we’re running, running, running on a treadmill, I e running from a lion across the plains, we are not gonna have a great drive to have sex or go to sleep because we are running for survival.
We are not gonna spend energy trying to reproduce. So I think if we think about it from that very primal standpoint, it starts making a lot more sense what we can do for our bodies to help secure their health.
Irene Ortiz-Glass: And we’re in, we, you know, when I went through hormone practitioner school, my facilitator coach, who’s part of our team, Jennifer Faigy, who also did a podcast with us, she talked about we live in a maladaptive world. So we live in a, in a, there’s toxins. You’re sitting in this chair all day on Zoom. You’re not getting up and moving around.
So we have to choose for ourselves to make active choices that make [00:18:00] us well, and, and that’s what you’re talking about. So, um, people can find you on our firstname.lastname@example.org if they would like to go directly to you, where and how can they find you? And we’ll have all of your information on our website, but how can they find you?
Dr. Sammons: Definitely. So our website is www.transformationhealthtoday.com. The practice name is Transformation Health and Wellness. Um, and we’re open to all comers, all ages. You don’t necessarily have to be going through this transition. We can just be preemptively optimizing your health to make it a lot smoother.
If you’re looking at getting a surgery done and so forth, that may alter what your body’s experiencing. Let’s walk through that.
Irene Ortiz-Glass: If you’re thinking about surgery, please, please get some, get another opinion. Like I, I really just cannot believe what goes on today with that. Uh, it’s very frightening. So thank you for being here again. We’re just so blessed to have you on our team. Um, to all of those listening today on the podcast, you know, there are very few people I’ve told you all I’ve worked with.
I don’t know, 20 [00:19:00] or 30 different people I have yet to meet someone like Dr. Salmons. She is one of a kind people do not view the system the way she does, so please take advantage of having her on our team. And if you so wish, you know, reaching out to her directly, please follow us on Apple iTunes for what I wish I knew series on the podcast. Please take a look at our website. We have resources there, we’re here to support you and are just so thankful you’re here with us today. Um, and we’ll see you again soon. Thanks.
Kearstin Jordan: What I wish I knew is produced and distributed by E I Q, media Group L L C. Elevate your Emotional IQ with podcasts and content focused on leadership, mental health, spirituality, women’s health, overcoming adversity, and more. [00:20:00]
Dr. Sammons: [00:00:00] We have an OB G Y N for women’s health, and we have a cardiologist and an gastroenterologist, and in every kind of ologist, but nobody’s talking integrally.