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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Healing Through the Power of Naturopathy with Dr. Margaret Litchi Miller

Meet Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller of Neighborhood Naturopathic in Edina, MN. Dr. Litchey-Miller is an expert on naturopathic medicine who helps to identify and resolve disturbances in an individuals’ health by supporting their body's inherent capacity to function optimally. She shares her journey of becoming a naturopathic doctor and explains the common maladies in women’s health. She also talks about the dangers of generalizing medical prescriptions. To learn more and to make an appointment, visit NeighborhoodNaturopathic.com.

Shownotes:

[00:00:12.490] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Good morning and welcome to Green Tea Conversation, the radio show that delves into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine to bring you local experts who share their progressive ideas and the latest information and insights needed so that you can lead your best life. I'm your host Candi Broeffle, publisher of the Twin Cities edition of Natural Awakenings magazine, and I am honored to bring these experts to you. Today we are visiting with Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller of Neighborhood Naturopathic in Edina.
 
[00:00:41.710] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Dr. Miller will work with you to identify and resolve disturbances in your health by supporting your body's inherent capacity to maintain optimal function. Welcome to our show, Dr. Miller.
 
[00:00:53.680] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Well, good morning. Thank you so much for having me this morning, Candi.
 
[00:00:57.010] - Candi Broeffle, Host
We are so glad you are with us. We have so many different things that we want to get into today with you. Having an expert on our show and naturopathic medicine is always a big deal for us. And we always have so many different topics that we can talk about. But today, before we get started, I always like to ask our guests to share with our listeners what your journey is that brought you into becoming a naturopathic doctor.
 
[00:01:24.190] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
That's such a great question. I love sharing my story. So I was brought up around medicine. My father is actually a traditional medical doctor. So I grew up  following him to home visits and even following him in the lab. And it was always a very strong fascination of mine. After I graduated high school, I went on to obtain a nursing degree and I was a nurse for six years before I decided that I wanted to move forward and become a doctor.
 
[00:02:01.210] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
So at that time, I started studying for my cat. It was during this time that I was doing a lot of shadowing of other medical doctors. And what I was seeing was that the doctors were overwhelmed. They were seeing 30 people a day. They didn't have a lot of time to talk with their patients, explain things and answer their questions. And most of the time, a pharmaceutical was prescribed. And then we would see that patient back a couple of weeks later because they were experiencing side effects of the prescription medication and then they were prescribing another prescription medication on top of the medical prescription that they had prescribed previously.
 
[00:02:42.160] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
So this is something that I saw quite often. It's frequently referred to as poly pharmacy. While I was doing this, I was also going through my own health journey. I was changing how I ate. I was changing how I moved my body. And I was seeing such a dramatic change. And I was really surprised and how powerful these changes could be for my health. Now, while I was studying I was starting to have some conversations with people and I was describing my concern about how I was going to be the kind of doctor that I wanted to be if I only had five minutes with patients. And I couldn't be able to share this experience with them on how maybe doing diet and exercise and doing a more holistic approach could even possibly prevent them from taking these pharmaceutical prescriptions in the first place.
 
[00:03:30.160] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
And that person told me that. I just told them that I wanted to be a naturopathic doctor home. So I looked into that and while I still went forward with my cat, I decided to not go into conventional medicine and I went to naturopathic medical school. And the rest is history.
 
[00:03:50.730] - Candi Broeffle, Host
You know, it's always interesting to me how many nurses I talk to who start the holistic approach and start their own journey. Many of them take different paths. But so many of our practitioners actually come from a nursing background, just like you have. So tell us about your clinic. Tell us about some of the things that you do. And also, your partner at the clinic is your brother, correct?
 
[00:04:22.440] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yes. So I kind of like to joke that we put the new spin on family medicine and naturopathic. I practice alongside my brother, Dr. Andrew Litchey, and I kind of take on the women's health side. And he has his own specialization, such as chronic infections and kiddos on the spectrum. So he does a lot of that stuff. And we both focus in general primary care because that's how we're trained as naturopathic medical doctors. We're trained as primary care providers.
 
[00:04:55.630] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
So at our clinic Neighborhood Naturopathic, we have a fully functioning lab and we do also have three friends that help us treat our patients. And we do a multitude of services and we or we have so many different types of testing options. We also have a full Medicinery that is now open to the public. We just launched our online store that you can find on our website at neighborhood naturopathic.com, which we are very excited about. We mainly deal with a very broad spectrum of the community and we like to be engaged in that and provide education and also help our patients find relief.
 
[00:05:45.580] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah, your website is very, very thorough going through your website. There's just so much great information in there. And I do like your new dispensaries. So congratulations!
 
[00:05:56.650] - Candi Broeffle, Host
It's very, very nice to be able to have. But for people who are interested, I mean, you have a really good explanation of all of the different services that you offer. So I highly recommend people go to that and we'll give them your website again at the end here. But we always have. Well, I guess where I want to start in May is our women's health issue with Natural Awakenings. And because women's health is one of your specialties, I wanted you to come in and kind of share with us some of the different maladies that you may help people with that you treat people for.
 
[00:06:37.930] - Candi Broeffle, Host
But I also want to talk a little bit about give people kind of an explanation about the background of women's medical health and kind of what we've seen in allopathic medicine over many decades, many, many years, perhaps even centuries.
 
[00:06:55.330] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yeah. So I feel that I went into women's health because I feel like so many times and way too often our voices are muffled and it's very disheartening and frustrating. And too many times, women come out of a doctor's appointment, not feeling heard, not having answers and potentially even in a worse place. And then they walked into the appointment. And I think that we deserve a practitioner that will listen to us, validate our concerns, and work with us to get to the root of our health concerns and provide us with the options that we seek.
 
[00:07:43.120] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Mm hmm. And it really has been I mean, when we take a look at women's health in a historical perspective, it tends to be that we get overlooked, that are symptoms are not as easily understood, that sometimes doctors don't get as much education, especially in hormonal health and how that affects. So we tend to get prescribed medications that are very well, a, you wanted to talk about a couple of medications that actually people that you see most often in your clinic.
 
[00:08:18.850] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yes.
 
[00:08:19.900] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
So most medical doctors, the way that they practice is by standard of care. And if you go into a medical doctor with a particular symptom, it's likely that they will prescribe you a particular drug or have a particular protocol based on the symptom. And it's like you go into a box automatically. And I think that is probably the most common problem that women will have. The most common things that I see at the clinic is when women go to the doctor about a specific health concern, they will either leave the office with a prescription for an antidepressant, which is quite shocking to most of them because they walk out thinking, "Well, I didn't know I was depressed. Why am I being given this?"
 
[00:09:05.770] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Or they will be given birth control pills. And that's very common. And that can also be a little bit concerning because many of these women are not necessarily in need of birth control for actual contraception. And then another one that we kind of talked about is a drug called metformin. And this is another standard of care type drug that is prescribed if a woman comes in with symptoms of a condition known as PCOS or polycystic ovary, etc..
 
[00:09:42.460] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So we are going to get started on PCOS right now. So help us to understand what is PCOS.
 
[00:09:51.430] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Great question. So polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition that is a very, very common among women, and that's because it can be diagnosed with a lot of different criteria. So there's going to be three different types of criteria that physicians will use and it can be really easily thrown around. And sometimes I find the words are the diagnosis thrown around when there's no diagnostic procedures such as ultrasound or blood work even performed? And then it gets even more complicated because there are types of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
 
[00:10:35.100] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
There's an insulin-resistant polycystic ovarian syndrome, there's post-pill PCOS, there's inflammatory PCOS, there's adrenal PCOS, and then there's hidden cause PCOS. And these are things that are not discussed by a medical doctor. They're not really educated or informed on these different types. And to be quite honest, a lot of these types can be easily resolved with diet and lifestyle changes. And you're not educated about that.
 
[00:11:04.020] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So this is a great place for us to take a break. And when we come back, we'll get into each of those and a little bit more in-depth so that we can help people understand that better. So for people who want to learn more about what Dr. Miller and her team does, visit NeighborhoodNaturopathic.com or call 612-259-8529 to make an appointment.
 
[00:11:29.190] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And again, that number is 612-259-8529. To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit NaturalTwinCities.com. You're listening to Green Tea Conversation on AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota. And we will be right back.
 
[00:12:12.710] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversation is where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you. I'm your host Candi Broeffle. In today's guest is Dr. Miller from that neighborhood naturopathic. So just before the break, we were beginning to talk about a syndrome that affects women called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS. And you were sharing with us that there's many different types of PCOS that doctors often treat, kind of all of them as the same.
 
[00:12:48.890] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So let's get into a little bit about what each of them are, how they present, and then what you can do to treat.
 
[00:12:55.010] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yes, that's great. So I just wanted to start out to and how this usually presents most women will go to the doctor if they're having irregular periods, their periods are heavy or they are having symptoms related to acne, excess hair or just basic PMS. So what happens is they go to the doctor, they talk about their symptoms. And if you have irregular periods and you have something called elevated androgens that will usually be evaluated through blood work, another type of diagnostic criteria that needs to be met for a diagnosis of the US will be a vaginal ultrasound.
 
[00:13:39.590] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
And what they're looking for there is something called more frequently called a string of pearls on the ovaries, and that refers to the polycystic, ovarian or ovary poly meaning many and ovaries, cysts on either and or both ovaries. So those are some of the diagnostic criteria. Now, once you meet those, then they will talk about how to treat it. And we talked before the break about common medications such as birth control pills or metformin. Now, on the metformin, let's dove into one of the first types of PCOS known as insulin-resistant PCOS.
 
[00:14:19.730] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Now, when we talk about insulin, a lot of people are going to think about blood sugar. Now, when you go for your annual, you get your fasting glucose measured. And if you're lucky, you're going to get something called an HB A1C measure. And that's going to look at your blood sugar over a three-month period. What you're not going to get measured is your insulin. And this is going to be more of an evaluation for this insulin-resistant PCOS.
 
[00:14:44.030] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
What's probably going to happen if you go to your M.D. is they're just going to give you a prescription for metformin and this will lower your blood sugars. But if your insulin resistance is not going to solve the problem, one of the things that I like to do is evaluate for insulin sensitivity and then talk about how you can resolve that with diet and lifestyle. Unfortunately, one of the things that we would have to work on is quitting the sugar. And that is so hard.
 
[00:15:10.550] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
I mean, who doesn't love to sit down to a nice big ice cream after dinner like we all do? It's so true.
 
[00:15:16.820] - Candi Broeffle, Host
But there are things in those foods that we don't even realize it's in.
 
[00:15:21.510] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Oh, my goodness, that's so true. I mean, how many friends do you have that have a plain yogurt for breakfast every morning?
 
[00:15:28.520] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right?
 
[00:15:29.720] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
And shockingly enough, that you'll play that is so delicious when you have for breakfast has more sugar than a candy bar. And you just don't know that. And if you knew that, how would you even start to make changes that are smart? So one of the things that I work a lot with my patients about is how to modify their diet and how to modify their lifestyle to resolve this insulin resistance. So that is the one one of the types of PCOS.
 
[00:15:59.240] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
And you can know if you have insulin resistance because if you meet all the criteria for the PCOS, such as irregular periods or elevated antigens, plus you have the insulin resistance, you would know if you were evaluated through blood work. And that might be a little bit tricky to get from your end. You specifically have your insurance covered for these tests, and that's something you need to discuss with your M.D. because you don't want to get a bill for a bunch of money unknowingly because money is a lot tight these days.
 
[00:16:30.290] - Candi Broeffle, Host
What is another one of the PCOS?
 
[00:16:33.110] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yes. So the next one, this gets a little the plot thickens here, Candi. One of the next types of PCOS is something called post-pill PCOS. Now, we talked about how a lot of times when people go in with symptoms, of course, they are prescribed to birth control, oral birth control. Now, what happens when you go off that oral birth control? PCOS can sometimes occur. And we're talking about the irregular periods. We're talking about elevated androgens.
 
[00:17:04.610] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
And this can go into something that I refer to as post-birth control syndrome. These symptoms usually will occur. Around three months stopping a birth control pill, and I see these patients in my office frequently and those that have been on the pill for years and now they're trying to conceive and they're wondering where their period went. And they're concerned that they're not going to be able to conceive because they have no idea if they're even ovulating.
 
[00:17:33.540] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So what about some of the newer types of birth control are not pill-based, but more.
 
[00:17:41.760] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yeah, so maybe like an IUD or maybe like an implant.
 
[00:17:45.510] - Candi Broeffle, Host
The implant is more what I was thinking.
 
[00:17:49.590] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Well, this is something that is very good to discuss with your doctor. Is it hormonal? Is it not? If it's hormonal, then you want to understand - is it preventing ovulation or not because there is a difference between that. If you're suppressing ovulation for an extended amount of time, it might be a little bit more difficult for your body to resume that once you take it out and in order to conceive, you need to ovulate. So that's something to consider there.
 
[00:18:17.850] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
And also considering what these types of birth controls are depleting and as far as nutrients.
 
[00:18:24.600] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right. So what about do you see PCOS happening in older women as well? I'm just thinking about some of my friends who I know have been on birth control for decades. So they go into menopause.
 
[00:18:41.100] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yes. That's so true. PCOS can really arise or develop at any stage of life if you're menstruating. So there's no set time or age that this can arise. Most women that I see will come in and they'll say, "Gosh! I've always had horrible periods. This is something that I've lived with my whole life." But also what I will see most very frequently is that women will have a baby and then after they have a baby, things will be very different. And that's concerning to them as well.
 
[00:19:15.780] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So let's talk about that a minute, too, because is it normal for I mean, I know it's normal, but is it I think sometimes we just kind of assume that our periods are really have to be really hard on us. They have to be very uncomfortable for us. And people just kind of get used to having really bad periods.
 
[00:19:38.610] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yes, it's so true. Your period should not be affecting your daily life if you are having to stay home from work because of your period or even if you're popping ibuprofen multiple times a day during your period, that's not normal. And you shouldn't have to do that. And I encourage you to talk with your doctor. And if your doctor is not necessarily receptive, then I also encourage you to keep on looking until you find someone that will listen.
 
[00:20:07.920] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right. And so for people who are looking and who are experiencing this, you may want to go to Dr. Miller and her team to see how they can support your well-being. And to do so, you can get more information at NeighborhoodNaturopathic.com or to make an appointment. You can call 612-259-8529. When we come back, we're going to continue our conversation about PCOS and other syndromes that affect.
 
[00:20:36.460] - Candi Broeffle, Host
You can find a podcast of this show on AM950Radio.com on and Google podcast and anywhere you get your podcast. You're listening to Green Tea Conversation on AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota. And we will be right back.
 
[00:21:17.510] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversation, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle, and we are talking with Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller of Neighborhood Naturopathic in Edina. And just before the break, we were starting to talk about a couple of different types of polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS that can affect women. And there are so we talked about insulin resistant and we talked about post-pill PCOS.
 
[00:21:52.700] - Candi Broeffle, Host
But there's also a couple of other ones that kind of all get lumped in together. So what is another one?
 
[00:22:00.080] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
So the next one that I see frequently is a type of PCOS known as inflammatory PCOS. And I'm sure that most people listening are familiar with the term inflammation and how that can be relevant to chronic issues. So inflammatory PCOS is unique because you have the symptoms of PCOS, such as a regular periods or elevated androgens, but you don't have the insulin resistance and then your periods are not necessarily not necessarily affected by the pill, but you have signs and symptoms of inflammation.
 
[00:22:35.510] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
And these can include but are not limited to digestive problems like IBS, unexplained fatigue, headaches, joint pain, and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

[00:22:51.170] - Candi Broeffle, Host

So what are some of the things that people can do then? So maybe a treatment, some of the treatment options that they have?
 
[00:22:52.820] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yes. So this is going to be all about reducing that inflammation. And in order to do that, we need to determine what is what are some of the main causes of your inflammation. And this can be very broad. Is it your diet? Is it your lifestyle? Is it your job? Is it your your family life? Is it stress like what is causing this inflammation? So that can be take a little bit of digging to really determine what might be the main costs.
 
[00:23:28.010] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Right.
 
[00:23:28.940] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
But once we determine that, we can alter the diet and the lifestyle while also adding on some anti-inflammatory supplements and herbs. So sometimes we need to address the IBS. What is causing the IBS, how to resolve that? A lot of inflammation resides in the gut and then any type of other issues, the fatigue, the headaches. Are you experiencing headaches because you have PMS symptoms relative to estrogen dominance or you are you experiencing headaches because you're dehydrated? These are things that are all gone over in an intake appointment. So we kind of determine what is really causing this.
 
[00:24:11.420] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So you really are both a doctor and a detective.
 
[00:24:14.870] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
It's like Inspector Gadget or you know, it's like you come to me with all these pieces of the puzzle, but can't find those last two pieces. Or maybe you have the pieces, but you just can't figure out where they go. And that's kind of where I come in, because if you'd like to do puzzles, sometimes you just need that extra set of eyes.
 
[00:24:37.760] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes, exactly.
 
[00:24:39.380] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And I think this is what is so exciting about naturopathic medicine is you have the ability to to have that time in order to really delve into what's behind the issue instead of instead of simply treating it. Sometimes we need to have it treated because it's so intense and we're just looking for relief. But in the long term, you really want to delve into and figure out what's causing it so that you can resolve it at that base level.
 
[00:25:09.950] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
That's right, because a lot of people that come to me are on prescription medication and they're just not excited to be on that the rest of their lives know.
 
[00:25:18.020] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah. So what is the what is the final PCOS syndrome that we...?
 
[00:25:24.830] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
So the final one that we're going to talk about today is adrenal PCOS, and I also feel like this is a term that is being talked about a lot in the medical and just health community, adrenal dysfunction, and adrenal glands. You have two of them and they sit right on top of your kidneys here. And what they do is secrete and make hormones. So it makes sense that they could be related to endocrine and hormone-related conditions like PCOS.
 
[00:25:58.580] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Now, the issue here is that adrenal dysfunction can really correlate to that because adrenals correlate with stress. OK, if you can find a woman out there that is managing her stress well and doing awesome, will you please send her my way? Because I want to know all of her tips and tricks and she can probably patent some of those and make a bunch of money.
 
[00:26:29.630] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Exactly
 
[00:26:30.800] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Right. And this is also a common thing with moms to people that have just had babies or they had multiple young children or even one child. It's stressful. And the stress doesn't necessarily stop because you can't pick and choose when you are a mom or when you're not. It's a 24/7 job.
 
[00:26:49.760] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right. So once again, how can people what are some of the protocols that you use for treating this?
 
[00:26:57.740] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Some of the things that we will evaluate with this specific type of PCOS as adrenal function. And you can do that multiple ways. There are saliva tests to evaluate cortisol levels. You can also evaluate your cortisol level by a blood test. And you can also just talk with your practitioner about trying to some nice herbs to help your body adapt to the stress. And then I'm always going to go back to diet and lifestyle. That's a huge factor that should be addressed.
 
[00:27:25.820] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
And not only just giving the patient information on what they can do, but you also really need to talk with a patient about things that will really work for their lifestyle because what will work for me isn't going to necessarily work for you Candi. So we really need to discuss what is your life is like, what is your schedule like so that we can determine a plan that is doable.
 
[00:27:45.980] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So especially if you're talking about like a young mother who has several children, she might not have the time to really do some of the protocols that other people would have, such as brewing teas that take hours and hours and hours to do or or take a lot of attention.
 
[00:28:05.180] - Candi Broeffle, Host
If there are some things that you can help them do that's not going to add more stress to their life, you really want to be able to look at that.
 
[00:28:12.890] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Right.
 
[00:28:13.310] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
And the other thing is, too, that sometimes when you go to is...I say this is my favorite example, you go to the doctor and you get on the scale and they're like, "Oh, you should probably lose some weight." OK, that's great. Like, "Yes, I want to lose weight, but how do I do it?"
 
[00:28:29.630] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right.
 
[00:28:30.200] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
You're sent home. You're told you need to lose weight, but you have no idea how to do it. What are you supposed to change as far as what you're eating and when you're eating it? So those are things that naturopathic doctors are so good at helping their patients do. How are you going to modify things to to reach your goals and how much can you realistically handle?
 
[00:28:52.430] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right. Well, very good. So that is just one of the many symptoms or the many maladies that you help women with. We want to get into some of the other ones as well.
 
[00:29:04.020] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So another thing that you often treat in their clinic is something called uterine fibroids, something that I think affects a lot of women these days. So what is uterine fibroids and kind of how do they come about?
 
[00:29:18.920] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
So uterine fibroids are basically going to be a mass of excess tissue that is produced in the uterus or in the uterine lining and something called the Maioma treatment. There's multiple places that they can occur where they grow in our reproductive organ. But really what people will come into their doctor complaining about will be painful periods and heavy periods. And this can be one of the best ways that I gauge heavy periods is I will ask the woman what type of menstrual protection they're using and how often they're having to change it on their heaviest day.
 
[00:30:02.420] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
So if you're experiencing things that are a little bit of an abnormal or irregular flow, it could be caused by uterine fibroids. The way that they're going to determine this will be through ultrasound. So it is an invasive procedure. So one of the things that I will definitely talk to people that are coming in with heavy periods or period pain is screen them for iron deficiency anemia. This can be very helpful in causing a reduction in menstrual flow. Unfortunately, when you are anemic or have iron deficiency anemia, the more anemic you become, the heavier your flow becomes.
 
[00:30:44.080] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
It's a vicious cycle.
 
[00:30:46.540] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And you would think that is actually the opposite.
 
[00:30:50.740] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Exactly.
 

[00:30:51.550] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest

You would think that if you're bleeding very heavily that you wouldn't have more blood to give. It's quite the opposite and it can become a vicious cycle very quickly. And many women will become very tired and they won't know why. And it just gets worse. And I will say up to 90% of the women that I work with at the clinic when I screen for iron deficiency anemia, the ones that are menstruating are iron-deficient, 90%.
 
[00:31:22.330] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Oh, my goodness. That's something that has gotten worse over time. Or is this something that we're just noticing more now?
 
[00:31:31.390] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Well, it's hard for me to say because I see women that are already experiencing it. But I do believe that it is getting worse because I think that there is more of a thought that this is normal and that this is something we have to endure. And this is part of being a woman who menstruates we have our period. We need to deal with it, and we're just going to have to suffer, whether it's three days or even 10 days. The women that are bleeding for 10 days a month, that's not OK. You need to talk with a licensed health care professional about that.
 
[00:32:08.410] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So is this also something that you find is hereditary if if you've seen it through generations? And I think sometimes that's why women just assume it's it's normal. It's like there was my grandmother was like this. And you've been suffering for generations.
 
[00:32:25.090] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Oh my goodness! That's such a great point. I always ask my patients about their family history, like, did your mom experiences what all your aunts do you have any sisters? What are they experiencing? Because, yes, I do think that that there is a connecting point in genetics there.
 
[00:32:41.770] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Absolutely.
 
[00:32:42.940] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So what are some of the things that you can do if you're suffering with this? What how are some of the ways that you treat?
 
[00:32:50.290] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
So when we come in with people, come in with heavy periods, uterine fibroids, some of the things that we will be discussing is if they've seen their M.D., there are going to be invasive procedures that their M.D. will discuss as options. So a lot of times we'll discuss those and that will really depend on the size of the fibroid if they found one. Now, there are herbs and nutraceuticals that I have used to actually shrink fibroids. I have been successful with this.
 
[00:33:20.440] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
I can't guarantee success with everybody because I'd be an irresponsible doctor if I said that. But there are great alternative options for people to consider if they really want to avoid surgery

[00:33:32.170] - Candi Broeffle, Host

and if they do end up having to have surgery.
 
[00:33:34.930] - Candi Broeffle, Host
How do you support after that? Because I'm sure that's where they can come in and really get some great care from you.
 
[00:33:41.260] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Oh, that's such a great question. I'm glad you asked that. There are lots of options that we can discuss and provide to patients to increase the healing, to prevent infection and make sure that those that the tissue remodels the best that it can.
 
[00:34:00.540] - Candi Broeffle, Host
For people who want to learn more about what Dr. Miller does and how her team may support your wellbeing, visit NeighborhoodNaturopathic.com. You're listening to Green Tea Conversation son, AM950 Radio, The Progressive Voice of Minnesota. And we will be right back.

[00:34:41.220] - Candi Broeffle, Host

Welcome back to Green Tea Conversation, I'm your host, Candi Broeffle, and today we're visiting with Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller of Neighborhood Naturopathic in Edina just before the break, we have been talking about so many different issues facing women and getting into several of the different maladies that can affect women, including PCOS and uterine fibroids.
 
[00:35:04.650] - Candi Broeffle, Host
But one of the ones that we hear, actually, I hear a lot about, more so now than ever before, is endometriosis. Help us to understand what endometriosis is and how you help support your patients who come to you with this.
 
[00:35:21.100] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
So, endometriosis is one of those conditions that is the least understood by the medical community as a whole. So we're all still learning a lot about it and trying to understand it. And really the best way to diagnose this is through an invasive procedure, unfortunately. So if you really want a true diagnosis of endometriosis, well, then you're probably going to have to go undergo a really exploratory surgery. They're going to go in there and going to look for endometrial tissue, OK?
 
[00:35:53.100] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
And the enemy trail tissue is not just necessarily present around your uterus and your ovaries. It can be in your bowels. It can be anywhere in your abdominal cavity and it will potentially create adhesions. And these type of complications can result in extremely painful days from women, and it doesn't even correlate necessarily with their cycle. So most of the time, women that have endometrium, they will come into their doctor because they are just experiencing so much abdominal pain.
 
[00:36:26.250] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So explain to us what the endometriosis actually looks like or what it how it actually presents kind of physical level.
 
[00:36:34.740] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yeah, it will usually present on a physical level with abdominal pain. Sometimes it will also present with digestive issues, especially if they're adhesions in the bowel. But really what's going on is the material tissue that is supposed to remain in the uterus is going outside of the uterus and growing in the abdominal cavity. And this, again, is not as understood. But if we do know that estrogens are a growth hormone, they make things, they create healthy eggs, they create a healthy endometrial tissue lining to create or support a healthy pregnancy.
 
[00:37:13.800] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
If we think about it in that respect, you could potentially correlate and Demetrius this with excess and estrogen or imbalanced hormones. So when I'm dealing with patients with endometriosis, I am looking at the hormones and then I'm also looking at how they are processing their hormones or lack thereof because it's not important just to look at your levels of hormones, but it's also equally, if not more important, to understand how they are being broken down and gotten rid of, because if you're not getting rid of them, they're going to be going back into circulation and creating havoc.
 
[00:37:52.950] - Candi Broeffle, Host
In this endometriosis can really affect a woman's ability to get pregnant as well.
 
[00:37:58.140] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yes, and this is how I am seeing most of my interview process patients currently. I am seeing them when they are basically establishing care with a fertility clinic
 
[00:38:10.680] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And the endometriosis. Actually, it's almost like a web correct. That kind of spreads out inside your abdominal cavity and it can actually wrap itself around your organs.
 
[00:38:23.310] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yeah, and it can be a very exquisitely painful.
 
[00:38:25.120]- Candi Broeffle, Host
And for you to treat your treating with more natural remedies. So you're treating with the herbs and that. Do you find that sometimes if if caught early enough, you're able to help people to keep them from having to go in and have surgery?
 
[00:38:43.260] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
It's possible. I'm actually working with a patient right now who is very young and was brought in because the mother has a history of this and the history is so strong in the family and the patient is already experiencing symptoms that they want to be very proactive. And while the patient is not anywhere near interested in growing a family right now, they would like to in the future. So, you know, protecting their fertility is their No.1 priority.

[00:39:11.550] - Candi Broeffle, Host

So that's interesting. So you're actually helping them in the teenage years? Yeah, it'll be interesting to see if you're able to kind of stave off or help them to stave off the need to have surgery in order to have this removed, because actually, that's what women end up doing, correct?
 
[00:39:28.110] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yes, it is.
 
[00:39:30.240] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And then is there a point in their life where the endometriosis then shuts off? Is it after the menopause or do they continue to...?
 
[00:39:38.820] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Oh, yeah, not to fairly, I I've worked with women who are postmenopausal and still experiencing symptoms related to the process, and that would make sense if we're going back to the estrogen pills because even when you're postmenopausal, you don't stop making estrogen, you just make less of it and you make different forms. So if this is theoretically a condition where this tissue and the growth of the tissue is reliant on estrogens, you are going to be dealing with this long-term, even post-menopause.
 
[00:40:14.430] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And as long as we're talking about hormones, let's talk a little bit about testing hormones.

[00:40:20.940] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest

Yes. So most of these are going to be evaluating your hormone levels through your blood. This can be helpful. However, this only gives a snapshot of what your hormones look like on that day. And what is being missed is how your hormones are being processed and broken down in your liver. And what also is being missed is if you are, for lack of a better phrase, pooping your estrogens out. If you're not doing that, they will be going back into circulation.
 
[00:40:52.840] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
OK, so the way that I like to test hormones, my favorite form is something called a Dutch test. A lot of people have probably heard of this. It's produced by a lab called Precision Analytical. And your listeners can actually Google that lab and look at the Dutch test and what it entails in detail online.
 
[00:41:11.310] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And you're saying Dutch as in D-U-T-C-H?
 
[00:41:14.370] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Correct. Yes, there are lots of different types of them. And you can get a basic type of hormone evaluation and you can even get a Dutch test that will evaluate your hormones through your entire cycle, meaning that you're going to be obtaining samples throughout your entire cycle, which is very cool.
 
[00:41:34.140] - Candi Broeffle, Host
This is one of the tests that you use to help us understand hormones better.

[00:41:39.690] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest

Yeah, it's one of my favorite tests. It provides so much information and is so valuable to not only the practitioner into providing effective treatment plans, but also helping the patient understand what is going on in their body.
 
[00:41:54.470] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I think that we are coming up at the end of our show. I wish we could get into this more, but really in traditional allopathic medicine, doctors in their training only get ours. Just a few hours of training on hormones and hormones are the things that run our entire body all of our lives. And so if you're really looking at getting some good information about your hormones, seek out a clinic such as Neighborhood Naturopathic.
 
[00:42:24.150] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And for people who really want to learn more about what Dr. Miller and her team can do to support your wellbeing, visit natural NeighborhoodNaturopathic.com or to make an appointment, call 612-259-8529.
 
[00:42:40.210] 
Well, thank you so much for being with us today, Dr. Miller. It's been a pleasure having you.
 
[00:42:45.240] - Dr. Margaret Litchey-Miller, Guest
Yeah, it's been a lot of fun. Thank you so much for having me.
 
[00:42:48.180] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And thank you for joining us today. As we awaken to natural health, you've been listening to Green Tea Conversation Sun AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota. And I am wishing for you a lovely day!
Read the full July 2022 Magazine