This week, Dr. Teralyn joins me to discuss what she believes is the missing link for improving mental health. Together we also explore brain health and talk about topics related to health autonomy, including taking a functional medicine approach to your health and more.
Dr. Teralyn has been practicing as a therapist for almost 2 decades. It wasn't until she went into private practice that she noticed clients (primarily women) were getting sicker and sicker despite therapy and medication. Listen as she helps us to think about our health in a broader way and encourages us to uncover the root of the issues to help us feel better.
Some of the topics we discussed include:
- Some of the things women have been told about their health when they try to seek help (5:50)
- What is stress? What is emotional stress versus physiological stress? (9:49)
- Staggering statistics about women's prescriptions for depression/anxiety and even menopause that we may not know about (10:46)
- What is brain health and how we can maintain it (29:40)
- Four of the most helpful things a person can do to take charge of their mental well-being: eat, sleep, move, and meditate (40:19)
You know how I love a good personal development book, right? I’ve compiled a list of book recommendations, as mentioned in past episodes. Check out these amazing book recommendations here. Happy reading!
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Dr. Teralyn has been practicing as a therapist for almost 2 decades. It wasn't until she went into private practice that she noticed clients (primarily women) were getting sicker and sicker despite therapy and medication. She knew there was something really wrong with that picture. So she set out to find alternative solutions that actually help. That's when she began to study what impacts the brain. Finding the root of their issues so they can actually feel better. It’s really the most rewarding thing she does. It is truly the missing link for improving mental health.
Dr. Teralyn 00:00
So even when you think, you know, you've got all the knowledge and you're on top of things, if you're not paying close attention, it could really sneak up on you and mess some things up. And, you know, here I was slugging through the whole winter just blaming it on winter, right? Blaming it on winter blues, the age all this stuff, and it turned out to be something real physiological.
Andrea Owen 00:24
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 503 with guest Teralyn Sell.
Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.
Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode podcast. I'm so glad that you're here. I hope that you're well. I hope that this 4% or 5%, so far that we are into 2023 has been amazing for you. And I wanted to tell you that coming up this year, I have two really amazing things that are very much the same, but the delivery is going to be completely different. So you will know that I am certified in the work of Dr. Brené. Brown. Her methodology is called the Daring Way based on her book daring greatly, which is a 12 module process that I take people through that is around courage, vulnerability and shame, resilience. It's amazing. I've been facilitating it since 2014. So last year, you may have known I did a retreat after having not done one for many years. It was phenomenal. And I'm going to host another one in the fall. I'm also going to be doing this online, which I also haven't done in a long time. And I want to make sure that if you want to get in on it, that you don't miss it. So if you head on over to AndreaOwen.com/retreat, there is a button on that page. Well, first, you can read all about the curriculum and what it is. There's a button on there where you can sign up for early notification on the retreat. But I'm also going to be emailing that list first, when I…because I'm offering the online version first. So that's going to be the notification people. There's going to be an early bird price for both the retreat and the online Daring Way program. Hope this isn't confusing. I really hope this makes sense. Anyway, signing up does not obligate you to purchase either the online program or the retreat, but it will ensure that you hear about it very first and that you get in on that early bird pricing. So AndreaOwen.com/retreat. The online version is going to be six weeks long. We will meet twice a week probably in the evening, because I know a lot of you have regular nine to five jobs. And we'll get through the 12 modules that way. And then of course the retreat is going to be in person, it's going to be here in North Carolina, most likely in Asheville again, with around, I don't know, 8 to 10 women. And I'm really excited. I just I love this curriculum so much I believe in it fiercely. I absolutely love facilitating it. And the women always get so much out of it including a step-by-step process in order to manage a lot of the behaviors that we don't like that we do that you probably read about and How To Stop Feeling Like Shit and a way to manage really difficult situations.
Alright. We are still on the women's health theme that I almost forgot the word theme is anybody else like in that place in your life when you're forgetting words that you use all the time anyway. Alright. Dr.Teralyn is here. And it was such a great conversation. I just have been learning so much from these guests. I hope that you are too. So let me tell you a little bit about her for those that are new to her work as a practicing therapist for almost two decades, it wasn't until Dr.Teralyn went into private practice that she noticed her clients who were primarily women were getting sicker and sicker despite therapy and medication. She knew there was something really wrong with that picture so she set out to find alternative solutions that actually helped them. That's when she began to study what impacts the brain. Dr.Teralyn finds the root of their issues so they can actually feel better by combining functional medicine and psychology. So without further ado, here is Dr.Teralyn.
Dr.Teralyn, thank you so much for being here.
Dr. Teralyn 04:57
I am so excited to have this conversation.
Andrea Owen 05:00
I am too. I have just been loving right now we're in a theme in my podcast called women's health and so it does sort of encompass a lot of different things. But I love your work so much and I want to start because I was perusing your website okay. So on the homepage like right in the very beginning when you land on your website, DrTeralyn.com. I love that you say “the fact is, no matter what you've been told before, despite your age or stage in life, you can have an energetic fun, loving, vivacious, make your own girlfriends jealous kind of life”. So I'm curious about the no matter what you've been told, part. What are you finding your clients have been told that make them feel discouraged, or whatever they're feeling when they find you?
Dr. Teralyn 05:50
Well, firstly, I have to say I am almost 54 years old and so I have been through the wringer with things that I have been told throughout the aging process. That's why I put that on there because we're told things like, as we age, we just kind of have to suck it up really. You know, oh, if you say I'm tired, we've been told things like, well, you know, you've got a busy life, and you've got kids, and you've got all these things like that. I'm still I'm like, more tired than I should be I feel.
Andrea Owen 06:21
I’m not 84.
Dr. Teralyn 06:24
Right, exactly. That actually, nor do I want to act like I'm 84. You know, I was told these things, when really, I started going to the doctor after my second child was born. So I was in my 30s. And I'm like, why am I so tired? And there were no answers. The answers were those blatant things like, you know, you're a mom, you're a new mom. And I'm like, but I just feel so much more tired than that. And now fast forward, the last time I went in with the whole fatigue thing was probably about 10 years ago or so. And I said, I'm so tired. And I walked out of an endocrinologist office with a prescription for an antidepressant, a sleep ait and a stimulant all in 20 minutes.
Andrea Owen 07:11
Oh, wow, that sounds like very 1970s.
Dr. Teralyn 07:14
Needless to say, as she was writing the scripts, I looked at it. I said, don't even like Don't bother, I'm not going to be taking those. And she looked at me and she goes, then why are you here? And I was like, Well, I don't know. I thought maybe you could help me, you know, but clearly not.
Andrea Owen 07:33
Not with uppers and downers right?
Dr. Teralyn 07:36
No. I'm not Elvis Presley, or maybe that's aging me too much. But, you know, I don't want to be propped up in my life just to survive my life. I want to live it. You know. So I found that in my own private practice that those are common things that women go through, you know. We are searching for answers and we're just not getting anywhere. So I started diving into not just mental health stuff, but you know, the functional medicine route and how nutrition impacts your brain health and your fatigue and your stress, you know, how to manage your stress through different modalities. And so now here I am.
Andrea Owen 08:14
Yeah, in my experience, and my audience might be tired of hearing this story. But there might be like one or two of you that don't know, and part of the reason that I have asked you on and a couple other practitioners that are that are similar, is I went through my own health journey similar to yours. And it was right at the onset of COVID and I had just turned 45. So there was those two other big variables of like, is this just COVID stress? Is this perimenopause? Or is it something else? And it took 18 months to figure out it was something else, that I have Hashimotos. And then I was just given a prescription for thyroid medication and was like, sent on my way. And then I did a little bit more research and realized, like, oh, there's this whole other answer that I can look for. It's like, what is the root cause? Like, why is my immune system going haywire? And so that's, I'm in that right now. I just started seeing a functional medicine doctor. And it is fascinating. You know, what's funny, though, is because like, I'm 47 now and like, I have heard about this whole, like, I'm using air quotes, diet and exercise you speak of. I'm kidding. But I think for many of us, we hear it and we're like, yeah, yeah, but we're in our 20s and 30s, and eating Cheetos and Diet Coke, and it's fine, we're resilient. But what I have found is that my body just isn't quite as resilient anymore. And so I think we just are kind of forced to like, you know, someone's taking our head and turning our head towards okay, you really need to look at your stress, your sleep, your hydration, your food, like and exercise.
Dr. Teralyn 09:49
All of that can be cumulated into the word stress because stress is basically anything and everything. What you put in in your body, what you surround your body with. I mean, when I talk about stress, I feel like we need to have a better definition of what that really means because otherwise it seems so like, oh, it's stress. Well, thank you, Captain Obvious now what?
Andrea Owen 10:13
It’s a big bucket. Well, how do you define stress?
Dr. Teralyn 10:17
Emotional stress. So you know, all the emotions that we have. Dietary stress. So the foods that you eat can be causing a stress load on your body. And hidden sources of inflammatory stress, which can be gut health related, it can be illness injury type things. So those are the pretty big three pillars of what comprises of stress. And that emotional stresses, also, you know, interpersonal things and stuff like that, too.
Andrea Owen 10:46
Oh, sure. That's usually what we're talking about over here on this podcast, just like the personal development side. So my audience is very well versed in that. Well, I would love to hear some stats, if you have them off the top of your head, which I'm sure you do. She talks about it a lot around women's prescriptions for depression and anxiety, and maybe even menopause that we may not know about Because I hear a lot of stories like yours like mine, where women go in and they have these problems, and they're like, here's an antidepressant or here's, you know, a sleep med. Do you have any like staggering stats for us?
Dr. Teralyn 11:21
Well, you know, the biggest staggering stress, I'm sorry, staggering, I can't even speak today. I'm so sorry. Staggering stat. Jeez. You know, it helps with that omega three fatty acids. I did not take them this morning.
Andrea Owen 11:38
For sale on Amazon link in my bio.
Dr. Teralyn 11:41
Exactly. Right, exactly. The biggest thing that is concerning to me most is the amount of prescriptions for antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication for women in menopause and higher. That number is growing exponentially and I don't even think we know exactly how many women take it for that purpose. right? It's just an overall prescription number. Like, what is what is it? I think it's more than 40% now, of women in that age category are on antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication for menopause. Okay, and I'm like, yes. And I'm like, if you go on, I don't know if you've ever been on a these Facebook groups, but I'm on Facebook groups for menopause and things like that. The amount of women who are on antidepressants because they go to their provider for menopausal symptoms. I want to cry, like when I like I want to cry, why are we not fixing the real reason? And I understand that, you know, our hormones change throughout our lifetime, and they continue to change. And we can't necessarily turn back the hands of time, but why do we have to accept feeling like garbage and taking an antidepressant which changes the structure of our brain? Why do we have to accept that as our, you know, outcome here? Why don't we fix it with you know, hormone replacement or bioidentical hormone replacement, or supplementation or healthy lifestyle. Reducing our stress load impacts our cortisol, which also impacts our hormones? So again, we go back to stress, how we can manipulate our stress load yields big outcomes in our brain health and our hormonal health. Why are we not doing that? Because antidepressants are easier.
Andrea Owen 13:30
And they're pretty cheap. I mean, most of them are, you know, in terms of like prescription meds, which I know can be super expensive, but I think a lot of the antidepressants are, at least in my experience, you know, under 10 bucks a month.
Dr. Teralyn 13:43
Well, that is so true and that's a huge barrier for so many people. I mean, I do bioidentical hormones, and it is expensive. You know?
Andrea Owen 13:50
I haven't yet I've heard it's expensive. Yeah.
Dr. Teralyn 13:53
Yeah. It can be very expensive. But at this stage of my life, you know, I've also been on antidepressants and those made me feel worse. Yhat was earlier on. That was postpartum stuff for me, that was, you know, a six year journey of quote unquote, postpartum depression just because I couldn't get off of them. You know? But there's so many women who are just like that, you know, you have, you can't, there's no tapering protocols and things like that, because every person is uniquely physiologically different. So there's no one size fits all approach to tapering a med, which is why so many people, particularly women, are on these medications for a lifetime. I mean, there's like twice as many women on antidepressants than men. You know, we can say, Well, men don't go to the doctor as frequently as women. Like well also, when men go to the doctor, and they're complaining about libido problems, they're not going to get an antidepressant because that's gonna cause more problems. You know, they're gonna get had a little blue pill. A woman goes in and complains about libido problems, and she's gonna get a stimulant and an antidepressant like me, you know? So what is that? What is up with that?
Andrea Owen 15:09
I have a side question, do mens hormones change, I know, obviously, they go through puberty and their hormones change, but do they change to the dramatic effect that women's do like at any time in their life after puberty for men?
Dr. Teralyn 15:26
They can. They can, I mean, and men's specially testosterone lowers as they age, of course. I don't think it's nearly as profound though.
Andrea Owen 15:35
And it's primarily just testosterone for them from what I understand.
Dr. Teralyn 15:39
Primarily, yup. But even their stress hormone though, right, their cortisol, that can change. That's hormonal to you know, that does impact your hormones, but it's definitely not as profound as a woman's and, you know, because, well, I mean, my poor husband, I always talk about him on podcasts. My husband does this thing. I mean, he gets like night sweats and things like that and that's a hormonal thing. Kind of like a hot flash for a woman but his is only in the nighttime, you know. So they do they do change, but just not as starkly I would say.
Andrea Owen 16:14
I wanted to ask you this question at the very end, but I know I'm feeling drawn to jump ahead a little bit, because I'm thinking about someone listening to this podcast episode, who may be in that age range where she's either sure she's in perimenopause or menopause, or she might suspect that she's in perimenopause and she's been put on an antidepressant for her symptoms, and she doesn't feel all that much better. Maybe she feels a little bit better. But it's suspicious that it might be something else but doesn't know where to start. Because I know from my experience, it is overwhelming to look up hormone replacement therapy and it's just like, what do I see my regular doctor? Do I see a functional medicine doctor? I don't even know what a functional medicine doctor is. Like, where do you recommend that they start?
Dr. Teralyn 16:57
So the first place that I tell people is go online and look up the Institute of Functional Medicine. They have a provider database, and if you look for an MD, they can prescribe hormonal therapy. So that's how I found mine. And, yeah, it's a great resource. Of course, it's just one resource. But to me, I'm like, well, I'm not going to look up 17 different ones, if I have a, an MD provider near me on this list, you know? So the Institute of functional medicine is probably one of the top functional medicine schools out there. And a lot of people with health degrees can take those courses. But if you're looking for someone who could prescribe, make sure there's an MD at the end of their name. Yeah, you know, or a DL something like that at the end of their name.
Andrea Owen 17:45
Dr. Teralyn 17:46
Well, it’s just that, is it just as easy as you would look up any other doctor around. I think people are afraid of functional medicine doctors, I think, private well, there's fear in finances, of course, because most of them do not submit to insurances, but I use my health savings account. So we just load that sucker up. Yeah, every year, I'm like, and my husband says, he's like, I am so glad we have that. You and me both you and me both.
Andrea Owen 18:15
That's what we did. And I was at a point where I was desperate, and also knew that a functional medicine doctor was going to look at my diet and it got to the point where it's like, do you want to feel better than you're gonna have to make these changes.
Dr. Teralyn 18:30
Right, which is counterintuitive, I have to say, because when you feel like garbage, like making changes is so difficult, right? When you are so fatigued, it is really difficult to make changes or recognize that.
Andrea Owen 18:45
You're craving all of these foods or activities that really aren't helping you, I think the thing that, and maybe this is helpful for people listening, so I went to see the functional medicine doctor and even though I knew that her and her team were going to say like you really should cut out gluten even though… Because I've cut out gluten two different times in my life and both times I didn't feel any different. I didn't feel… I was a little tiny, less bloated, but I didn't have more energy. Like I thought I was gonna wake up and feel like a million fucking bucks.
Dr. Teralyn 19:17
I gotta tell you… But hold on a minute, because I okay, so I have been gluten free for about five years. And so if I accidentally or not so accidentally decide that I want something glutenous, I pay for it the next one to two days in fatigue. Meaning like, I thought I was going to have bloating stuff or gastrointestinal problems, you know, all of that and I didn't. So when I first took gluten out of my life, well before this time, this last five years, I thought the same thing and so I took it out for like 60 days and then I put it back in and I was like, well I don't feel any different. You know, I was like what is this gluten magic? You know, the next day, I was so tired. I was like, barely open my eyes tired. And I didn't connect it. I didn't connect it at all. And I was like, oh, I'm just having a really tired day, right? Didn’t connect it. And so I went back to the whole gluten thing and then the whole fatigue thing and, you know, obviously was not connecting any dots. And then the second time I did it, gave it up this time. I think it was just 30 days, I'm like, fine, I'll do it again. And I noticed the same thing like 24 to 48 hours later I just wanted to take an a nap. And then I was like, oh, my gosh, I think it's gluten.
So I think the point is, is we look for certain symptomology and if we don't see that, like, oh, it didn't upset my stomach. So but I'm not going to see that. I couldn't keep my eyes open, and I want to take a nap the next day, you know? So looking outside of what you think is going to be typical for the whole gluten thing, or whatever it is that you're doing with your food. We don't know that we feel like garbage until we don't feel like garbage and we look back, you know? Like, wow, I really felt like shit back then. You know, like, yeah, terrible.
Andrea Owen 21:15
And what she the way she explained it to me is she said, you're right, you might not feel any different right now she's like, but I can tell you, especially someone with an autoimmune disorder, eventually it will catch up with you. You know, it might be when you're 57, or when you're 67. You don't want to get to that place where you're start to, you're starting to really feel the symptoms, and then you it's going to be even harder for you to make changes. And so when she said that I was like, god dammit, like I really, I really want there to be evidence I want like, I want it right in front of me. I don't want it to be like
Dr. Teralyn 21:52
Go journal out what you feel like now and when you're 70 read the journal.
Andrea Owen 21:57
That’s what they keep saying. Yeah. And I want to say this, too, is that I was very pleasantly surprised that when because there's also a nutritionist that works at this office that I've been talking to, and I came into the nutritionists office, and I said, alright, I'm going to be really transparent with you. I am grieving the fact that I have to change my diet. And she was like, of course you are. And I was like oh my god, thank you for acknowledging that.
Dr. Teralyn 22:23
That whole emotional piece of that. And so it's an interesting conversation to have. And I'm glad we're having it because what I want to say is, you know, we all vacillate in and out of, I'll say health, like different levels of health and wellness. And it is definitely not a linear process. And even if you're doing all the right things, something may go wrong that you have to backtrack and figure out. So last winter, I was not feeling well. I was so tired all winter long. And, and I'm in Wisconsin, and I know as I age, vitamin D, you know, takes a toll and all this stuff. And I'm like, gosh, this winter is such a hard winter for me.
Andrea Owen 23:13
Wisconsin gets like a dusting of snow, doesn't it?
Dr. Teralyn 23:18
Oh, yeah, just a small dusting. And the sky is our low hanging gray and it's just icky. But anyway, I just kept grinding and I'm like, why do I feel so terrible? I had everything checked, like, like six months prior and I was like, wow, it's just again, it must be because I'm getting old, you know, all these things? Well, I actually that's when I hit up a functional medicine doctor again and my thyroid was in severe hypo. Like it had not been hypothyroid like this in years. I still don't know why it got there. I have no idea. Could just be hormonal changes. Yeah, no clue. But I looked back and I was like, oh my gosh, no wonder Yeah, no wonder I was feeling so terrible. And I knew I was feeling awful, but I didn't I just couldn't put my thumb on it because I felt like things had been managed for so long. Actually, also switched up thyroid medications, which I had been told previously, don't use the natural stuff. It won't work for you. You've been on this other stuff for so long. And I'm like, but I want to try it. Well, I tried it and then I've been in hyperthyroid for the last half a year. And I'm like, holy crap. That's what my TikTok’s are amazing right now because like, you know…
Andrea Owen 24:33
Dr. Teralyn 24:35
Yes. I'm like, these are my manic TikTok’s versus last winter where my sluggish TikToks, you know.
Andrea Owen 24:40
That's so interesting.
Dr. Teralyn 24:43
Yeah. So even when you think you know, you've got all the knowledge and you're on top of things, if you're not paying close attention, it can really sneak up on you and mess some things up. And you know, here I was slugging through the whole winter just blaming it on winter. Right? Like blaming it on winter, the blues, the age, all this stuff and it turned out to be something real physiological.
Andrea Owen 25:04
I appreciate that. And one thing that I've learned on this health journey and everyone, quick disclaimer, I am no thyroid expert. I do not have a medical degree. I just know my own body. Is that I have gotten very familiar with my labs and what I do now is I print everything out. And this is this is what brought me to kind of like demand to my general practitioner that I see an endocrinologist when I got diagnosed was because I looked for patterns, because my labs kept coming back mostly normal, but I would be like on the border and be like subclinical levels. And I'm like, but I feel like shit. This shouldn't be happily. So I looked at the pattern, and I'm watching like from 2015, and I took out my highlighter and just started highlighting as watching my thyroid get higher and higher over the years, to the point where it was at 4.47. And for most doctors, you don't cross over into the high range until you're at 4.5. So they were like, nope, you’re good.
Dr. Teralyn 26:06
Oh my gosh, I would have felt terrible. My thyroid was over five. Mine was a little over five and I was horrible the whole winter.
Andrea Owen 26:15
I could barely keep my eyes open. Another person, another woman who's my age might be at that 4.47 and she might feel fine. And so what I have now come to understand is that some people, once they even crossover into three or three and a half and on their TSH for their thyroid, they might start feeling like shit. And so I say this to encourage people to really take a good look at your labs and like print them out and have them in a file. And if you can go back and the portals have made things so much easier for us to get access to our records. And I've never did that before and didn't need to. And so now I just kind of pour over and I'm Googling like, what is this mean? And what does that mean? And does this have to do with this? And I'm kind of getting my own quasi degree and labs. But I think it's important to figure out like what numbers you need to be at to where you feel good, because it might not look different. It might look different from someone else, or even what's in their range.
Dr. Teralyn 27:12
Oh, yeah, the thyroid number that I feel the best at is one. It’s one. Yeah, even two and a half. So my one of my friends came to me and she's like, can you just look take a look at the labs. And I'm like, sure, I'll take a look. And her thyroid was around three. And she's like, I just can't figure out why I'm so tired. I said, you know, it could be partly this. This number here. And maybe that number is not your optimal number, even though you know, the doctor is like, well, you're in range, you know, didn't flag anything, right. But are you in your range? You know? Do you even know what your range is? Because you guys, you are more than a sum of a lab value. I can't wait to see that. You are more than that. You have to figure out where your best self lives within those value ranges. You know, and that's a tough thing unless you really start tuning in. Like you looked back. Yeah, you looked back and you're like, wow, this is when I was feeling good, this is when I wasn't feeling so good. Like, wow, my value is right around here.
Andrea Owen 28:24
And it took feeling pretty desperate for me to do that. I just I wanted some answers and wasn't getting them and had to take it into my own hands.
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I want to switch gears slightly though and talk about the brain and in your in your experience and your expertise, what do you consider brain health?
Dr. Teralyn 29:41
What don't I consider brain health a more important question. Pretty much anything in the brain… If you don't have a brain you've gotten nothing. Just kind of like if you don't have a heart you cannot live. Like if you don’t have a brain you cannot live and that is the one organ that we have, unless you have like migraine headaches or you've suffered a traumatic brain injury or stroke, nobody's really talking about it. And yet it is the one organ that you need to have thought processes, you know, moods, everything is centralized in your brain. So unless we start taking care of the health of our brain through our thoughts, right? Again, we go back to those pillars. So our thoughts, our emotions. And the biggest one that is missed is food primarily when you think of food, like regulating your blood sugar is huge for brain health. And that is a very basic concept. So you know, how can you easily regulate blood sugar? Well eat protein every two to three hours. So protein and blood sugar are the two biggest things. Now you can get granular with leafy greens and things like that but most people when they're struggling, they're barely eating anything. And they're definitely not eating anything of nutritional value. And certainly, their blood sugar is off a lot. So just straightening that up. Like straightening up your blood sugar, hydration a little bit more. You know, blood sugar and proteins. And, you know, proteins are the building blocks of your neurotransmitters. So, when you eat protein, you're actually improving your serotonin and dopamine.
And I've also found that so many, I'll just talk about women, but men too, who struggle with fatigue, like when you get prescribed an antidepressant, it's targeting serotonin, right? It's targeting so an SSRI is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. So it's targeting how your serotonin moves between neurons, right? Well, here's the thing. Cortisol, your stress hormone, is implicated in your dopamine pathway, which is your reward pathway, you're getting up and go, your drive, your motivation. So if you go to the doctor, and you complain that you've got low energy and fatigue, and they're like, well, you must be depressed, I'm like, or, or you need to optimize your dopamine pathway. Right? So it's very different than just saying you're depressed, you need more happy serotonin. No, I need more drive. I need more energy, right? And so that that cortisol in the dopamine pathway is a strong implication there. You need cortisol to create adrenaline and noradrenaline within that pathway. So if you are running low on cortisol… And here's the other thing, most people think that if they're under stress, they're running high and cortisol. Well, sure, in the beginning, when you reach my age, you are low. You've got nothing else. Like you maybe have like a spert.
Andrea Owen 32:51
Is it like gas in the tank type of thing, or…
Dr. Teralyn 32:55
Yes, it's a lot like gas in the tank. Now you're running on fumes at this point.
Andrea Owen 33:00
We call that angel farts in our house. That's so funny.
Dr. Teralyn 33:03
That's so funny because in my brain, I was gonna say, should I say fart or not. Yeah. Okay, good. But that's brain health and understanding your pathways and what your body needs is like next generation brain health, right? In the in the early stages, we're just really looking at brain fuel. And brain fuel can also be like, I hate the word toxic, but I'm going to use it like a toxic work environment, or even a relationship that you know, you shouldn't be in but you are. Right? All of that is brain fuel. All of it. It's not just one thing. So again, we can't work our way out, we can't think our way out of it of shitty nutritional status, and we cannot nutrition our way out of crappy relationships. Right? So we have to kind of take a step back globally and look at our lives and say, like, what is it that's causing me the most duress in my life and make changes from there too?
You know, I years ago, before I went into private practice, it's been a decade over a decade now, which just floors me, I left my state job, you know, the sure thing job, and I left that to go into private practice, but I left it… Well, that was that was when I went to the doctor and she gave me all the meds and I remember driving home and I got into the driveway and I walked in the house and I looked at my husband straight up, he was sitting on the couch and I was standing in front of him, and I said, okay, so I can medicate my way through this job, or I can quit my job and do something else. And he looked at me and he goes, you're quitting your job? I said, you're right. You're right, I am. And it changed everything.
So and I know I feel that, you know, people are like, well, I can't quit my job. And I'm like, I didn't think I could either. You know, I didn't think that that was even an option. But what is the value of staying? Yeah, you know, or what is the price you pay when you stay in situations you shouldn't be in? Well, your brain. Your brain is the price you pay. Your well being. Like, I don't want to have brain problems when I'm 70. You know? I don't and sometimes, you know, kind of flipping the conversation back to menopause, like, some of the things that I've experienced in menopause, and a lot of people also have our brain functioning problems, like, inability to find certain words. You know? It's funny because I like look at something I'll be like, I want to talk about my phone and I'll say, you know, the thing that you dial and you call people on like, I can't find the word phone, you know, but all of those things tell me that something is up. Usually, it's a blood sugar issue or an omega three fatty acid issue. That helps me with word finding so much.
Andrea Owen 35:58
I'm glad you mentioned that because I want to ask about supplements that are the most helpful to the brain and I do not want to let you go before I ask you this very specific question. Do you have a recommendation for an Omega three supplement that does not give you fish burps? Yeah, no, because…
Dr. Teralyn 36:24
Am I okay to say a brand?
Andrea Owen 36:25
I don't think you have a supplement line. So it's like nobody's making any commission. Like if it's an Amazon link then somebody's gonna make five cents. You know, it's like it's, but yeah, every single one that I found, gives me fish burps and it's just, ugh, I can't stomach it.
Dr. Teralyn 36:39
Okay, well, first thing I have to tell people is do not go to a big box retailer and buy two for one.
Andrea Owen 36:44
Don't get them at Costco.
Dr. Teralyn 36:46
Don't get them at Costco. I actually I did a I did a whole series on this on my TikTok. Te love Costco, just not for their omega threes. But anyway, I did a whole tic tac video on this where I compared different brands just for the EPA DHA values on omega three fatty acids and found out that you had to eat like 40 of them to get a value… And I was like, no wonder they're two for one you have to eat a lot of these things like to get there. So you kind of have to know what you're looking for in the values but also some of the fish burps stuff has to do with the quality of the fish oil itself. So honestly, using the higher quality stuff, I mean, there's a couple different brands. Nordic Naturals usually is okay, but sometimes that gives me burps but I really do love Designs For Health. Designs For Health has wonderful omega threes. I've never had a problem with them. My husband doesn't have a problem with them. So I just kind of stick with what works for me. But higher quality is going to yield better results. Unfortunately, it is true, especially with supplementation, and especially with omega three fatty acids. Okay, so don't go cheap.
Andrea Owen 37:59
I've heard if you put them in the freezer that might help or that might have… So don't quote me on that.
Dr. Teralyn 38:07
I've not had success because I have tried. When I went on vacation so last year, I took a six weeks of self-discovery and I just kind of left my life for six weeks and I did not pack any supplements so I had to purchase them. So I went to the store and I purchased some and I believe that they were they were Nordic Naturals. Sorry Nordic Naturals. But anyway, I threw those suckers in the freezer. I did all these things. And I kept thinking like, did I just eat tuna? What's going on? Because I haven't experienced that for so long, but because I changed brands that's what happened to me. So, you know, you kind of have to find the brand that works for you. You know that you don't get.
Andrea Owen 38:50
I actually there was one brand that I had bought for my kids when they were younger called I think it's called Barleans and it's a liquid and it comes in lemon I think is the one that I got and it was pretty tasty actually. And I used to mix it in their yogurt and it was expensive though.
Dr. Teralyn 39:06
Put them in a smoothie or anything. Yes it is. Yeah, it was like so yeah, Designed for Health also has the liquid stuff to it's called Omega Veil but it is expensive. And again, you need a lot of Well, kids don't need as much as adults but we're looking at like 1500 to 3000 combined EPA DHA, which is on the label on the back. The front of the bottle will say 2000 milligrams of fish oil and then when you look at the EPA DHA it'll say 10. Then you’re like, oh my gosh, no, no, no, no. So you do need a high quality and you do need more of it. There's a disclaimer here if you guys, if anybody is on blood thinners, you gotta get permission from your doctor to use omega threes because they do have some blood thinning thinning effects. So that's really what the only side note to that. But otherwise, they really… I can tell when I don't take them as far as like my thoughts, like how I… Word retrieval is the biggest one, you know?
Andrea Owen 40:08
Yeah, word retrieval is getting trickier for me. I've noticed for handful of years and I'm not…
Dr. Teralyn 40:14
Andrea Owen 40:19
I have one more question for you before we close out, but I'm curious if you could tell us what's one or two of the most helpful things that you can think of that that someone could do to help their mental well-being?
Dr. Teralyn 40:35
There are four, four big ones. There's four big ones. And when I say these four, I'm gonna… You guys are gonna like, yeah, here we go again. What I want to say is pick one of these pillars and start working from there before you add to the next one. Okay, so eat, sleep, move, meditate. So nutrition, again, we talked about blood sugar regulation as a starting point and protein as a starting point. That's it. Don't think about nutrition in terms of weight loss. Think about nutrition in terms of brain health. Okay? So eat sleep. So most of us, and I've done it too, are up scrolling social media till all hours of the night. It's like the rabbit hole that you fall down every night
Andrea Owen 41:23
Speaking of dopamine and serotonin…
Dr. Teralyn 41:27
Right? That does not help you're sleep. It’s called sleep hygiene. And you can look up easy sleep hygiene, things to do. I think the National Sleep Center has a really nice sleep hygiene download to look at. Again, there's a there's a ton of things on the on the list, pick one or two, try that and be consistent.
So movement. Find something you enjoy, or can at least tolerate, like just going for a walk. You know? Those are easy things. In the winter, it gets more challenging last year i Well, you know, I was having a funky last year anyway. But I had to go by myself the appropriate gear, because I kept convincing myself that it was too cold to go outside. So I'm like, you know, I don't buy all the clothes, so I will not be cold and I have no excuse. So I did that. So find something. And we're looking at starting with 15 minutes, righ? 15 minutes.
And then meditation is the last one. And a lot of us get that wrong in the Western world because people go, I can't meditate, because I cannot clear my mind. Well, when I was on my six weeks to self-discovery, actually learn how to meditate with some Buddhist priests, which was a pretty cool experience. I was like, wow, I was doing this all wrong. I was doing it all wrong. It's really just an individual sustained attention on your breath. And then you just bring your breath back. If your mind wanders. But you know, so I just started with five minutes because it takes your body about five to seven minutes to recognize that it's not being chased by a bear and there's no threat. Okay? So start with five to seven minutes of just breathing and focusing on your breath in and out for five to seven minutes and start with that. So we have eat, sleep, move, meditate.
Andrea Owen 43:23
Eat, sleep, move, meditate. I love it. Thank you so so so much. Before we close, is there anything that you wanted to circle back to that you feel like you forgot to mention or wanted to tie up or do you feel complete?
Dr. Teralyn 43:34
I feel very complete.
Andrea Owen 43:36
You feel complete? Okay, I am so glad. I appreciate you and tell everyone where you want them to go to learn more about you. Where can where can they find you on the internet's?
Dr. Teralyn 43:48
I would guess that so many of your listeners are on TikTok. So if you haven't already, head over to TikTok and it's @DrTerilyn. That is my name across all social media. That's probably the biggest place you can find me.
Andrea Owen 44:00
@DrTerilyn on TikTok, and then all these links will be in the show notes, everybody, even the supplements that we talked about, as well as Dr. Teralyn's website. Thank you again, so much for being here. I have enjoyed you. And this conversation and I have really been enjoying the women's theme of the theme of women's health, I should say. And listeners, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate your time and know how valuable it is. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now, everybody.
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