Hormone Health with Nat Kringoudis

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On this episode of the Wild Success Podcast I talk with Nat Kringoudis on the topic of Hormones. We chat about how they play a role in our bodies, but also our lives. She also shares tips to inspire your curiosity as to how your body displays its hormones and where to go to look for solutions.

Nat is a two times best-selling author, podcast host all around women’s health and natural fertility practitioner. She founded Melbourne’s home of natural health, her clinic, the Pagoda Tree, where she has helped over 20,000 women rescue their hormones and reclaim their best life. 

CONNECT WITH NAT

Web: www.natkringoudis.com
Instagram: @natkringoudis
Facebook: @nataliekringoudis

CONNECT WITH ME

Web: www.lizziemoult.com
Facebook: @lizziegmoult
Instagram: @lizzie_moult

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SHOWNOTES

Lizzie:

Hello, Nat. Thank you so much for joining me on the show today. 

Nat:

Thank you so much for having me. We’re just been discussing our mornings. Oh my goodness. It’s just one of those days today. And you know, what, the way of being able to work from home sometimes and just, yeah. 

Lizzie:

Rolling with the punches. Do you want to share how you ended up doing what you do?

Nat:

Well, I’m a doctor of Chinese medicine and well, funny story, really. I landed myself in Chinese medicine thinking I was actually studying natural empathy and kind of arrived at school uni and went, Oh, that’s not what I thought I signed up for that, I guess. Okay. We just, we’re talking about rolling with the punches. I don’t know. I just was not looked into very clearly, so I hated it to begin with I’d come from a science background. I remember calling my mom saying this is so not for me, these people, and this doesn’t even make sense. Why am I here? And I’m in his saying to me, I don’t know. I think you should just stick with it a bit longer. I think you need to give it more time. Anyway, fast forward, I ended up opening up my clinic, the pagoda tree, and was pretty fortunate to just by circumstance, be one of only a handful of people who could actually register and practice. 

That got us very busy, very quickly, and then found myself saying, or having so many women with issues about their hormones. It was an area I’ve never treated. I didn’t want to treat women’s health on like women bonkers. Like why would I want to treat women’s health every day where you just don’t know what you’re going to get on any given day. Eventually I just realized that I hadn’t surrendered to trading women’s health. Again, I think I’ve just been fortunate enough to ride that wave and somehow managed to generally right at the front of the wave before anyone else’s doing anything. It just seems to be the same. If I look back over the last 15 years that I continue to I guess, push boundaries and ask questions. This was before people were asking the questions and that kind of led me to a really busy clinic. 

I started writing and writing books and being, just in the public eye, speaking about women’s health and hormones in a different way. That was, I guess I wanted to simplify it. I wanted to help women understand their bodies with no fear. And here we are. 

Lizzie:
Oh my goodness. I love how sometimes, just like the little pieces all add up at the end, it’s just like, 

Nat:
I know you’re so right. If I do look back at it, I mean, it has seemed that all sounds as little waste as the highlight reel always sounds easy. It certainly hasn’t been an easy ride, but it’s been fun. That’s the main thing I think, and really feel very honored and blessed to be doing this work in this space at this time. Just helping women to reconnect with their bodies. It’s a real gift. 

Lizzie:
Yes. You know, what’s really interesting. I’m finding more and more people like want to know more about hormones more so now than ever like years ago, I was like, Oh yeah, hormones. It’s just related to like menstrual cycle. That’s it. There’s actually a deeper level to it. Do you want to explain why do we need to know about our hormones? 

Nat:
Yeah. I think, look, we know I’m certainly not on a mission to, for everyone to be an endocrinologist, but I do think that we lump it just into a category of calm just hotline or what does that even mean if you actually stop and think about that’s crazy because there’s so many hormones and hormones are obviously chemical messages in our bodies and some, we have an influence over and others not as easily. Can we influence without some major changes or some medicine or whatever we might need? if you think about your feel-good hormones, if you are feeling crappy and you go and exercise and you release those gluten endorphins, then they’re hormones that you get to have of an influence over. Whereas something like the estrogen or your pedestrian or your sex hormones, different, you can influence them over time, but it’s not something that you can change today and necessarily. 

So, we need hormones to tell our body tells other parts of the body, what to do. I think the main hormones I’m really interested in when it comes to women’s health are your stress hormones and your sex hormones. And they’re very influential on each other. When your stress hormones are heightened, you will six women’s, don’t get a look in. It’s really about how do we have this information because we’re living at a time where we are so overextended in many areas and as sex hormones are definitely bearing the brunt of that. As women we can limit on hormones at that point, I can be like, well, I’m fun, one moody or whatever, but on a deeper level, what does that even mean? If you have other issues that you’re seeing headaches or period pain or mood swings or PMs or ovulation pain or whatever it is realizing that’s very interconnected to your other hormones. 

I think just understanding the fundamentals is very empowering. It means that you can join the dots as to what’s going on for you. When all of a sudden you realize, actually I do have a headache at the same time every month, or my breasts do hurt for half of my menstrual cycle. What’s going on and just really profiling your symptoms to work out the clues and the clues as to what’s going on for you. 

Lizzie:
Yeah. Right. I love how, yeah. Like the stress and the sex hormones, I know I had a conversation a while back with somebody, once your sex hormones are like depleted, it’s like how creativity almost stops as women, like our pleasure I’ll feel good vibes to make us actually take action just don’t happen. 

Nat:
Absolutely. I think, this is another layer again, but a lot of women are on hormonal contraceptives and they’re also not getting that ebb and flow of our hormones and they can’t work out why they don’t feel themselves or they’re not as creative as they were, or there’s lots of things tied into that as well. I think just as women also understand that if you’re not on any form of synthetic hormones, because that is a different organization, different on every single day of your menstrual cycle, you’re not like yesterday and you won’t be like today tomorrow. Just take that in and really think about it. The fact that you’re different every single day means you do get these ebbs and flows that you’re talking about. You are supposed to have times where you are more creative and times that you are less creative vice doc on that alone, which I think for a lot of women, we try and push through. 

If we actually understood even our menstrual cycle, we could work out when we perform best and when we don’t perform best and what we need to do around that as well. I think that’s so empowering. If, for example, you have a big presentation coming up and your period’s due tomorrow and your presentations tomorrow, all of a sudden you can work on probably actually I need to do some things so that I really bring it. Whereas if you’re doing that presentation in the middle of your cycle, when you’re ovulating, when your body wants you to go out and meet the world, you’re going to probably find that it’s very different. If you don’t have that ID, that awareness, and they may be some things that you can bring in and around that to help you perform better. 

Lizzie:
So true. I just want to curl up on the couch when I’ve got my period. Right. But yeah, 

Nat:
Any of us just keep on pushing through and eight period pain, shouldn’t be there in the first place. It’s not, it’s common, but it’s not normal. It’s not supposed to be there and be, it’s okay to go inward and rest and do what your body’s asking you to do based on that phase of your sock. Yeah. It’s giving yourself permission to, we love to push on through. We love to just keep going, 

Lizzie:
Powerful women. Yes, we can do it all. What other signs that our hormones might be out of balance? You’ve kind of mentioned a couple of them. 

Nat:
Like I said, if you first and foremost, if you can see a pattern to your symptoms, whatever your symptoms might be, you can probably safely say it’s hormonal. Whether that might be pain, like I say, it could be pelvic pain or it could be headaches and the most common, but it also could be a recurring sore throat or an eye Twitch. It’s whether it’s cyclic, I think that you need to look into that. Beyond that, like I said, pain, headaches, period, pain, backache, even leg pain is very common. Mood swings, acne. Many things long cycle short cycles, like all of this is reliant on your hormones and the symptoms are so wide and varied for us. They’re, I guess are the most common ovulation pain is another big thing that women don’t realize until they actually stop and think, Oh, actually I don’t have my period. 

Maybe it’s in the middle of my cycle. It can be even things like lung cycles or missing periods or other more, diagnosed issues like PCLs and endometriosis and ed miosis, cysts, all of these things come back to what your homelands are doing. That’s crazy. It’s just like. 

Lizzie:
Just one little word. It can affect our whole entire being. 

Nat:
Absolutely. That’s the thing too. It’s understanding the symphony. There’s hormones that play out for you that becomes the game changer because we are also different. That it’s where it becomes difficult to talk to one particular hormone and do anything justice. It’s actually about profiling. Like I said, profiling your symptoms and working out what is going on for you. Remind me at the end, I’ll give everybody a tool to help them work that out. 

Lizzie:

Next question. My next question was, but we can still add it in the tool was maybe can share some tips on how to improve our hormone health or just to like, be more conscious of it. 

Nat:
We not going to do this now, but I’ll tell you now, if he’s sitting here and you’re going, Oh my goodness, I have no idea, but I know I’m home. I know whatever that looks like. I have a worksheet that’s on my website. It is the lamest most hilarious like Dolly doctor style quiz that you can go and look at and profile. You’ll see this. Like if you’re mostly ones you’re these, if you’re mostly too, but it’s so simple, it’s so effective in helping you to look at it. Doesn’t list all of the hormone imbalances, but it does give you the most common five that I see in the clinic and make the, will allow you to become more curious, because it’s just about becoming curious and starting to ask the right questions, to get to the. It’s always about the why, and that’s what we have to consider. 

Why am I Homeland is doing these, not just that I have a hormone imbalance, why and when you can actually treat the why, then you can come up with a long-term viable solution. We in the West, we love to treat the symptom. We love it. And it doesn’t work long term. And that’s fine. If you have a headache, go and take some Panadol as a short term solution. If you do that every month or every two weeks or whatever it is over time, that’s problematic. It’s not a solution. As far as I’m concerned, you want to actually come in and go, okay, this is not this I can’t be by this. Why is this happening? Which hormones do I need to go and look further into to help me move past whatever it is. What was the question again? 

Lizzie:
No, this is great. I’m taking notes here. Okay. First of all, I’ve got more questions. I’m going to put a link in the show notes to the quiz. Everyone can go and find where that is. That sounds like a really fun festival who doesn’t love it. Totally. 

Nat:
I never thought of it. I was like, Oh man, I’m a genius, which is really not the case, but it just was, it just took me back to like the sealed section in my latest book, I started one of the field section. I was like, can we have a look, a perforated beat that we pull off, but remember how good that was. I remember opening that up. My mom used to rip it out. I wasn’t allowed to write it when I was really young, but anyway, 

Lizzie:
I wasn’t even allowed to have dolly in my house to be like the sealed section and like doing the quizzes and each everyone asking the quizzes anyway. Okay. Sorry. What I’m understanding is like, one of the things that we need to do first is to prioritize identifying patents, having the observation of, what’s going on in our bodies from there, we want to like, get the curious questioning going on. Is that right? 

Nat:
Yeah, absolutely. Because also you probably don’t even realize that your symptoms are actually all bunched together and we can probably blame it on the one thing or the one imbalance as many imbalances lack. I, it, and the reason that you have period pain and I have period pain can be completely different. Again, that’s why you have to get curious and work out what’s actually going on for you. Starting to look at why is this happening and how can I trade it? What do I need to do? There’s three main things we need to consider our external environment. Our, how our external environments influencing our hormones, whether it’s toxins, whether it’s pollutants, whether it’s a messy house or a job that you don’t like, whatever that is externally pollution. Yeah, exactly. All of that. We must consider our internal environment. Obviously how well is my gut working? How well is my liver detoxifying? My hormones, do I have other growths or pelvic congestion, or is my thyroid not happy or whatever that might be all add to the imbalance. 

The icing on the cake is our mental and emotional wellbeing. And that’s the hardest. That is the hardest. If we consider these three factors, any imbalance that you see or that we can identify is an influence is just a stress. Whether that’s toxins or poor liver function, they’re both stress as far as your body sees. They both impact the body in a similar way when it comes to balancing your hormones. I think that’s actually, what also becomes really important. What are the things that I can change immediately? What are the things that are going to take more time? And when we’re in a state of quite serious hormone imbalance, it can be very overwhelming to work out where to start. That’s why I say, right, let’s look at the external environment, because like I said, your body’s always responding to whatever you are, exposing it to what you’re feeding it, how you’re nourishing yourself. 

Eat only responds to that. Even as simple as nutrition, which I think we all understand we need to eat well. Right. I think we all set that whether or not we do it, but we all accept it. If you really think about food is either going to be one of two things benefit or deficit there’s no, in-between, it just either takes your body where you want it to go or exactly what you don’t want it to go. And there’s no gray area with that. Even as something as simple as that, you can start to understand, okay, well, again, my body’s just responding to what I’m fading in. It can be quite powerful, I think. I think it also makes it less stressful. 

Still we’re very good at then going, well, my body’s failing me. This is just useless luck. Why is it doing this to me? And I would turn that around. I would say, your body is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do under the circumstances. If you could see that, it’s just trying to help you to survive. It’s in survival mode right now. How amazing that it knows how to do that. That can be hard to hear too. We can either get stuck in patterns of, well, if I’m not sick or if I don’t have these symptoms, but what would I be that’s scary? Or what do you mean to tell me that I’m doing this to myself? I don’t want to take ownership of this, but it is important to realize your body’s always working for you. 

Lizzie:
I love this. That’s the thing I, I think I’ve learned recently about our skin and how it absorbs. Like it absorbs everything. Everything we put on our skin like that. 

Nat:
Biggest organ. Yeah. Biggest organ. For most women before they’ve left their house, if they’re using conventional products, they’ve probably exposed themselves to that’s at least 80 chemicals. That’s now known as endocrine disruptors. That definitely one of those things that you can start to change really quickly is start to shift towards products that are cleaner, that are less toxic or toxic, if you can. And that extends from everything. From your champion to your washing detergent, your makeup to your dishwashing liquid. Like it doesn’t I think we look at it and go, Oh yeah, okay. Body products, you think of moisturizer and some deodorant, but it’s anything that you’re exposing yourself to. I say to people all the time, please don’t go and throw everything out in one, go that’s stressful. We’re trying to minimize it, replacing it all as, Oh man. I just say just replace things as they finish up are the better version of it. 

And we’re so lucky. Now we live in a time where non-toxic products perform. Whereas when I first started doing this work, I mean, I had to practice what I preach to a degree. Washing your hand with a note or a nontoxic shampoo, 12 or 15 years ago, watching your hair with like dishwashing detergent, it was a horrible triangle. 

Lizzie:
I’m with you that I was using this awful. I think I went to bicarb soda. 


Nat:
Oh, I think I just rinsed my hair for a while. I wish I hadn’t stopped because at first I spent. 

Lizzie:
My curiosity. Right. We got to try the. 

Nat:
Things we did. We totally do have to try the things that anyway, don’t go out and throw it all out. That would be expensive and stressful. Just one at a time slowly start to replacing. 

Lizzie:
Well, I would like someone who feels like they’re hormonal, like where should they go? Obviously you’re a great point of call. There any other practitioners that you think, styles like your Chinese medicine you were saying as well? 


Nat:
I think every health provider has a place for us. It’s about finding the ones that resonate with us because otherwise you’re not going to get results. Whether that’s your GP, your gynecologist or your alternative health care provider. I think that finding someone that specializes in hormones is always my recommendation. The problem is we often seek the help from the wrong person. The GP is often where we would go as a first point of call and they’re still able to prescribe medications or the pill, or even no other uterine devices when maybe the Y’s not being looked. That’s where the gynocologist really should be the person being consulted. Also if you find someone that can ask the wise with someone like myself, then you can still rely on all these people to help you, but you can get the answers that you actually need for you. 

I would say also you want to be heard by your practitioner. Often that’s a problem that doesn’t happen. I mean, there’s lots of modalities that can help so long as someone has a specialist area in hormones, whether it’s natural, pathy aerobatic medicine, Chinese medicine obviously is my gym, but I think there’s plenty of people that are out there to help you just want to make sure that they do have a specialist area, the amount of women I see as a last resort that will say, Oh, I’ve already seen a Chinese medicine practitioner. I’ll be like, okay, that’s awesome. If they’ve got no experience in this area, then really what outcome are you going to get with that? And then the other thing I’ve really looked for in a practitioner is experience because it’s the one thing you can’t buy and it takes time to learn. 

I would say 80% of what I do with patients is anecdotal and based on anecdotal evidence of what I’ve seen in my career. Sometimes it’s not even published in a health journal yet. Sometimes it’s not even a thing. I mean, when I first started saying ovulation pain and it was so common many years ago, no one had answered. I had to go and find the answers as to what the heck is going on and which ones are at play. So yeah. Look for someone that has a specialist interest in that area that has experienced. Definitely. Wow. 

Lizzie:
That’s the thing like, so many of us just go straight to the GP and they’re like, Whoa. And you’re like, Whoa, 

Nat:
When it comes to hormones, it’s problematic. As far as I’m concerned, because like I said, the solution is the pill or the solution is the medication to ovulate or the solution. And it’s flat. It’s still not fixing the why. For something like, if you’re going to your GP and they run a bunch of blood tests and they lie, they don’t know necessarily what they’re doing. They don’t, I see this all the time and I know it sounds horrible, but some of it as well, right. They read it wrong and they send you on and then all of a sudden you’ll five years down the road and still not feeling any better. Really it’s not, unless they go to specialists, interesting hormones, it’s not their fault, but we need to be able to get the answers. That’s where I think empowering women to ask these questions and ask the why do you think this is happening? Could you explain me why? Like, if we all just did that one thing, when we go to our health provider, I think the approach would be very different. 

The answers that we got and the solutions that we got would be even more different. 

Lizzie:
This is like music to my ears. I’m like holistic health care, everybody to the root cause to convince me, I live in the Northern rivers. I’m like in the hippiest area of possible Australia on. 

Nat:
Smack bang in the middle of Melbourne. 

Lizzie:
Oh my goodness. What a year you’ve had. 

Nat:
Oh my goodness. 

Lizzie:
The cloud lifted the cloud. 

Nat:
On the back of that. It’s actually made everyone so much nicer. 

Lizzie:
Oh my goodness. Yes. I feel using the words, awareness and like, looking at what’s happening in observing you and what’s around you. 

Nat:
People don’t get it. Everyone’s just nicer and everyone’s got time. Everyone’s just, I don’t know. It was horrible. And it sucks. I can’t say, I wouldn’t want to do that again, anytime, but on this side of it so far, people were just different. 

Lizzie:
It’s, Australia-wide like, I’ve, like you guys had a much more intense experience, but yeah, everyone’s shifted. It’s been beautiful to witness. I’ve got two quick more questions before we wrap up. 

Nat:
Yes. Success. How do you define success? I think success is actually getting to the point in your life where you do what you do, because it’s fun. I’m all about it because it’s fun. Because I now look at my days and I think I’m so grateful, but I like I’ve worked hard and I end it. I think your curiosity has driven you in what you do. Of course it fuels you in your work, but then in your everyday life as well. Like it’s just awesome. I love that fun, well fun people. The last one best piece of advice you’ve ever been given best piece of advice that I’ve ever been given. I’m going to say this wrong, but you’ll get my drift along the lines of worry about your character, not your reputation. Your character is who you are. Your reputation is who people think you are. 

And I was like, it’s so true. I am forever having to have the courage to be disliked. I don’t know. I just think that and not worry about it in a nice way. Not an arrogant way. It’s powerful. Like every woman, every person needs to do them. And it’s so simple. Like there is a lot of practice to it, saying similarly the practice actually owning it and doing it is like immense, but once you nail it, so freeing, that’s like success in itself as well. Thank you so much for being on the show today. I’m going to put the link obviously to your website and to that awesome quiz that you have. I’m sure everyone’s going to be taking it in the show notes and thank you so much for your time. Thank you for having me. 

Lizzie:
Thanks so much for listening to the wild success podcast. You can find the show notes [email protected] until next time, keep inspiring.

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Hey I'm Lizzie

MARKETING & MINDSET COACH, SPEAKER & AUTHOR

An Aussie country gal, Mumma & world traveller who broke all the rules … I started my first business when I was 23 back in 2006 and have never looked back. I run an award winning blog, spoken on stages in front of thousands – my background is in marketing, branding and CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) 

My mission is to empower ambitious entrepreneurs, creatives & online business owners to grow, expand and scale their business to increase their impact & income – mixing mindset, business strategy that feels good with consistent daily inspired action. Encouraging them to go for the life they desire, without self-doubt, fear or hesitation. 

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