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Author: Aviva Romm MD

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Natural MD Radio is your place to hear the whole truth on health and natural medicine for women and children, and get the tools you need to take back your health starting now. The focus of this show is women's health, fitness, beauty, natural living, and natural medicine for children. Dr. Romm dishes on everything from thyroid and hormone problems to the truth about antibiotics and vaccinations.
158 Episodes
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So many of us only start to get to know our cycles when we’re looking to get pregnant. But the truth is, tracking and getting to know our cycles is one of the most critical and powerful forms of ‘me-search’ you can practice – at any age: those looking for natural contraceptive, those looking to learn how to use their cycle as a key indicator of their health, and, for those women who are anywhere on their conception journey – from thinking about getting pregnant soon to seeking fertility support, and everywhere in between – to identifying the changes that herald perimenopause and menopause. In this episode, I share a Hormone Intelligence Chat (you can learn all about those here) in which I sat down with Lisa Hendrickson-Jack to discuss her menstrual health journey – and how and why cycle-tracking and fertility-awareness can empower you to take control not just of your fertility, but of your overall health, and your life.
Uterine fibroids (‘fibroids’) are solid, well-defined, non-cancerous growths of muscle tissue in the uterus. They’re highly prevalent in the US, where a woman’s lifetime risk of developing them is estimated to be as high as 75% (the often cited 20% to 50% is likely a significantly underestimated range) by age 50, and as high as an 80% lifetime risk for Black women. Given their remarkably high incidence, their significant impact on women's health, and the high rate of hysterectomies as a result of fibroids, it’s incredibly important for all women to know how to prevent uterine fibroids, and the strategies that are available to reduce them to avoid unnecessary surgery – and possibly unnecessary medications. Like so many chronic women’s health conditions, fibroids may be a symptom of reversible environmental and dietary factors that can be associated with other medical conditions. An integrative approach can therefore not only prevent and reduce fibroids, but can be part of a plan for lifetime hormonal and total health. Join me for today's episode to learn how, and for an accompanying article go to avivaromm.com/159
I started tracking my menstrual cycles 40 years ago. It was 1981, I was 15 years old, not yet sexually active, but curious about my body and already on the path to studying midwifery. Tracking my cycles taught me how my innate hormonal blueprint shows up in my life – my moods, food preferences, energy, sleep, creativity, and so much more – month in and month out, so much so that its patterns allowed much more predictability in my life. I hope it's something you'll start doing as a daily practice, because it also gives you a few minutes each day to ‘drop in' on yourself – to see how you're doing – and use this moment of awareness to ask yourself what you really need right now for hormone health and balance. And I hope, if you have daughters or nieces, you'll let them in on the secrets of cycle self-awareness and the beauty of their hormonal blueprint with this episode. For a companion article go to avivaromm.com/158
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition that causes millions of Americans to suffer with intestinal cramping, bloating, gas, constipation and/or diarrhea. And it affects women twice as often as men. Some of my patients have had such significant problems that they are anxious about social events, and what should be normal activities like going grocery shopping or having to travel any more than short distances for fear of needing a bathroom quickly. If you've been there, I don't need to tell you how uncomfortable it can be. While I want us to let go of the stigma of bloating, and the eternal quest for a flat belly, I also know that you feel very real discomfort - so let's get to the bottom of that so you can be free of all that! And that is possible. For a companion article, go to avivaromm.com/157
Dealing with PCOS is no small matter. Symptoms like acne, hirsutism (hair growth in unwanted places like your chin, breasts, or lower belly), weight gain, alopecia (hair loss), irregular or skipped periods, and possibly even fertility problems are challenging — both physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, most women tell me that they received nothing more than a brochure from their doctor and prescription for the Pill — no further questions asked, no further guidance given. I’m here to tell you there’s a lot more we can do for PCOS. In my new book, Hormone Intelligence, I created a complete Advanced Protocol for PCOS, filled with diet and lifestyle changes that can help treat the underlying causes of PCOS. In this episode I share part of that protocol in the form of the top herbs and supplements for PCOS to address the underlying causes. For a companion article go to avivaromm.com/156
As many of you know, for the past 4 years I’ve been writing a new book. It's called Hormone Intelligence and I wanted to share with you an interview about my book, with talk show host, actor and filmmaker, Ricki Lake, and documentary producer, Abby Epstein, who created The Business of Being Born, and the forthcoming Business of Birth Control.
Menstrual cycles. We have about 400 of them in our lifetime. Yet most of us know so little about how this amazing process really works, and why they’re so important to pay attention to and know how to interpret. It’s led most of us to grow up pretty much in the dark about a fact of life that if you have a uterus, you’re going to experience for 35 to 40 or so years of your life. That right there's a good reason to know more about how your menstrual cycle works. While hormones are a force of nature and we can't control it all, the more you know about your own hormones and cycles, the more you can live in harmony with - and even influence what’s happening below the surface. With this episode you have a roadmap to tell you when they’re getting back on track. For an accompanying article, go to avivaromm.com/154
Throughout history, the menstrual cycle has been shrouded in magic and mystery. In some ancient cultures, menstrual blood was imbued with magical powers, and menstruating women considered to have the ability to even see the future. In the middle-ages, a major religious and with it, cultural shift occurred. Menstruation and menstruating women were no longer treated with reverence. Menstruation was considered dirty; menstruating women dangerous, and menstrual blood toxic enough to make crops wither, leave men impotent, and lead to natural disasters. Vestiges of these attitudes have persisted over centuries and have led to long-held cultural shame and ignorance about periods. As a result, most of us started out on our menstrual journeys more or less in the dark - not knowing what’s normal, what we should be concerned about, or how to get that information. And we have largely internalized that periods are gross and dirty. Fortunately, it’s never too late to gain a deeper understanding of your body and menstrual cycles, and in this episode, I’m going to show you not just how to, but why it’s so important. And if you want an accompanying article, go to avivaromm.com/153
Pregnancy is already a time of heightened concern and sense of responsibility – after all, we know that what we do has an impact on our own health – and our baby’s development, growth, and health. Certainly, for women around the globe, COVID-19 has added multiple new layers of concern, worry, and questions on so many aspects of healthcare and mothering: whether it’s safe to get pregnant during this time, where to have your baby (i.e., home vs. hospital), whether to get the vaccine, how much should you worry, should you be around friends and family while you’re pregnant, what about after baby is born? Making such significant decisions – and one that neither midwives and medical doctors nor pregnant women have had to deal with before – is a tough position to be in, and I know it can be scary. Compared to last year this time, we know a whole lot more about this virus, how to protect ourselves, and about how to navigate pandemic life while pregnant. So let’s take a close look at what we’ve learned so far about COVID-19 in relation to childbearing and breastfeeding. We'll also some of your questions about vaccines for pregnant and nursing mamas. For an accompanying article, visit avivaromm.com/152
The PCOS gut connection is a surprising new approach to a complex condition that Despite the fact that 1 in 10 women experience PCOS, the medical model has little to offer beyond or instead of prescription medications - which can help but aren’t ‘answers.’ One significant root cause that research is revealing is the connection between the microbiome and PCOS. In fact, gut health may play a much bigger role in PCOS than was ever previously considered. Join me in this episode as we explore the PCOS Gut connection. And for a companion article go to avivaromm.com/151
Do you have high estrogen levels? The term “estrogen dominance” gets tossed around a lot in the wellness and functional medicine worlds. It’s a common blanket explanation for many common – and even sometimes more serious – hormone-related issues. But what you’ve heard about estrogen dominance may not be entirely accurate, has some dubious historical underpinnings, and often oversimplifies what’s really going on. Let’s unpack what’s meant by estrogen dominance, what’s really going on, and why it’s important to identify and understand. Then we’ll look at how to address estrogen-related issues to reverse common gynecologic symptoms from breast tenderness to menstrual migraine, heavy periods to hot flashes, and more – as well as protecting yourself against the risks of chronic excess estrogen exposure. For an accompanying article, go to avivaromm.com/150
Have you noticed a change in your menstrual cycle this past year or lately and wondered if it’s just you? In short, it’s not. From longer or shorter cycles, to more cramps and heavy bleeding to heightened PMS symptoms, a substantial number of women are reporting changes in their usual menstrual cycle patterns. And many are trying to understand and adapt, wondering what’s causing their cycles to suddenly take a turn for the irregular or more uncomfortable. . Let’s dive into this unexpected side effect of pandemic life, what it means, and what we can do to keep – or to get – our menstrual cycles on track. For an accompanying article, go to avivaromm.com/149
At some point in your life, it's likely that you’ve noticed a connection between your digestive system and your hormones, probably in the form of annoying or uncomfortable premenstrual bloating, or the loose stools so many women experience like clockwork just before their period starts. But have you ever considered that acne, period pain, PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, or fibroids could be related to not just your hormones, but something going on in your gut? In this episode we're going to focus on the important role of your microbiome on your hormone balance – particularly when it comes to estrogen. You can also read the accompanying article available at avivaromm.com/148.
After being hospitalized due to postpartum complications, Brandi Frazier knew that something had to be done to help women. If she had not advocated for herself throughout her pregnancy and postpartum, she could have lost her life, a fate that has befallen to a shocking number of other African-American mothers. From these experiences she created Bee Empowered Mama, an organization that provides online resources, workshops and community to coach mamas to self advocate for themselves from the moment they find out they’re pregnant, and beyond. Join me for this inspired and inspiring conversation with Brandi.
Heavy periods. At least 50% of women struggle with them enough to, well, absolutely skip wearing white pants during that time of the month, and for 1 in 6 women, they’re severe enough to significant impact quality of life – from disruptive, frequent trips to the bathroom to change pads or tampons, to serious at-work period accidents, to staying home from work social engagements, and basically living life for fear of public period accidents. Maybe this is something you’ve heard is “just a normal” part of having a menstrual cycle. (Nope!) Perhaps, like so many women, you’ve even heard this from your doctor! (Wrong!) Blowing through pads or tampons each cycle, stressing about ‘period accidents,’ arranging your life around your period, or feeling dang tired each month – or all the time – is anything but normal – and it’s certainly not something you should just have to ‘deal with, ’ever! In this episode, I’ll share the causes of heavy periods – along with what you can do to identify your underlying causes, lighten your flow, and take back your life if heavy periods have been getting your down. For a companion article, go to avivaromm.com/146
Endometriosis. If you've been suffering with it silently, as so many women are, you know how much it can impact your life. In this podcast I share some of the science-backed herbs and supplements I use in my medical practice for helping my patients address the symptoms and associated underlying causes of endometriosis, including inflammation and immune dysregulation in endometrium-like tissue. While studies on natural therapies and endometriosis are still in their infancy (as is the study of endometriosis in general!), these therapies provide you with options your physician is unlikely to be aware of, and which may provide relief and even endometriosis reversal that might allow you to reduce your need for medications and surgery. For a companion article go to avivaromm.com/145
While acne is something we tend to think of as making our teenager’s lives miserable – and for many young women it certainly does – it also plagues many women well into their adult lives. Moderate to severe acne can really take a toll on you emotionally and mentally. It causes women to skip school or work, pass on social occasions, cancel dates, and feel horribly self-conscious. And it can lead to depression. Even mild break outs and flare ups can be distressing in a culture that places so much value on women’s appearance. In this episode I discuss what's known about the underlying causes of hormonal acne, and I share an integrative approach - what I call a total ecosystem approach - you can take to heal hormonal acne from the inside out, so you can feel at peace in your skin again, finally. For an companion article, go to avivaromm.com/144
I invite you into an entirely new way of understanding your cycles and hormones – as your inner-hormone GPS – and to learn to tap into your innate body wisdom. Knowing the language of your cycles is not only empowering and really interesting, your menstrual cycle is your 6th Vital Sign and can tell you a tremendous amount about your hormonal and overall health. Listen to this episode to explore women's hormones - the background music of our lives. An accompanying article can be found at avivaromm.com/143
If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant any time in the next year, preparing your body for a healthy pregnancy and nourishing your growing baby are probably top of mind. Along with eating as well as you can to optimize your fertility and pregnancy health, this is the time many women consider whether or not they should be taking a prenatal vitamin and which one of the many options to choose. In fact, one of the most common questions I get is: do I need a prenatal vitamin? And if so, how do I know if I’m getting a good quality one? In this episode I'll share why prenatal vitamins help optimize preconception and pregnancy and what exactly I recommend to the women I work with. Let’s clear the confusion so you can feel confident in the choice you make for your health and baby’s health.  For an accompanying article, go to avivaromm.com/142
In today’s very special Birth Circle episode of Natural MD Radio I sit down with multi-time-NYT best-selling author, Oprah Super Soul Sunday guest, and dear friend Gabby Bernstein to talk about her experience with Postpartum anxiety. After a 3 year journey to conception, followed by a beautiful birth - that I was very blessed to attend - Gabby found herself paralyzed with postpartum anxiety: not eating, not sleeping, afraid to socialize, afraid to leave her house, and in a constant state of fear and despair. In this episode, Gabby shares her experience of facing her postpartum anxiety and her decision to seek help and go on psychiatric medications to get her thru this very painful period of time. For show notes, go to avivaromm.com/141
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Comments (10)

Nicole Jakubiak

I am so glad you had this interview. I had almost the exact experience. I had a missed miscarriage back in Dec of 2019, at 10 weeks or earlier. After taking medications to try to eliminate tissues of the conception, I still experienced an incomplete miscarriage and needed a D&C. My team took wonderful care of me and were so compassionate, but I didn't know that my body needed healing and down time in the post partum. I got pregnant again in June of 2020, but recently experienced a second miscarriage on Nov of 2021 when I went into premature labor at 23 weeks. It was such an amazing experience, but of course not the outcome my husband and I wanted. I was so happy to have gotten everything on my birth plan, delivering unmedicated. It was so beautiful seeing him respond to my voice, but ultimately his lungs were not developed enough and passed after 4 hours. Amazingly, my son Jacob was born at the same day and time as one of my massage therapy patient's grandchild! Birth is a portal, and it has propelled me to let go, work on change in my life, find balance, and healing within my body, but also. To habits. I was a GO-GO-GO person. Birth has opened me up to understand how much I truly want to be a mom, and have a family. I can't explain the joy and love I felt after seeing my son and hearing the nurses the me he was responding to my voice. I too wasn't educated in the first or second miscarriage how important it is to honor the postpartum period. Working towards recovery and honoring the experience of what I went through helps healing emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I have been reading to learn so much more about my health, thyroid, pregns2, nutrition, etc. I am learning how to have fun, and rest, and honor what my body needs. Prioritizing my body's nutrient requirements, replenishing workouts, mindful meditation, and working towards creating better boundaries in my Holistic wellness center business! I hesitated to listen to this episode, but recognized I needed to hear as part of my healing process. I am blessed to have the gifts of support and kindness from my friends and family with recovering. This healing process has also given me awareness to help others who have experienced loss through the work I do at my wellness center in massage therapy, reiki, and with the other practitioners services at my studio for prenatal and postnatal support services, Naturopathics, herbalism, Esthetics and so forth. I am now focusing more on helping services at my studio like fertility and prenatal massage, prenatal and postnatal yoga, reflexology, and sharing this podcast and other resources to my patients on their pregnancy journey! I hope to also offer healing art classes for emotional support in the future too! I am so grateful to Dr. Sarah Hung, the Naturopath at my studio, referred me to this podcast! She utilizes your information resources in her practice too. I also purchased Adrenal Thyroid Revolution, and am beginning to implement that 28 day plan as I prepare for family planning in the next few months. The book has been a wonderful asset at recharging and helping to getting out of SOS. Thank you Dr. Aviva for all to do; your dedication to helping educate and support woman naturally!

Feb 24th
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Amanda Asmus Tiberghien

love your podcast and help, please know you make a difference and we are so grateful.

May 12th
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PANTHER ROSE

thankyou Aviva!

Mar 29th
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Samantha Jayne

I love your podcast so much but have listened to all of them.. do you have any podcast you enjoy or could recommend aviva?

Nov 25th
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Samantha Jayne

I'm addicted! fantastic information, very well explained. this podcast can change your life. I'm recommending to everyone I know. Dr Romm-could you consider making a podcast on addiction?

Nov 12th
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Ma Za

Great podcasts full of educational information about women and family health and well-being. Thank you for the great job!

Sep 24th
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Audrey Butler

Thank you so much! Everyone needs this information about antibiotics! I loved learning about some new herbs!

Sep 23rd
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Eron Waking

your podcasts are such wonderful truths. I've learned so much about my body and it's functions. love your balance of medical information and herbal wisdom, it was just what I was looking for.

Dec 29th
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Keesha Doss

Interesting info! Thanks for your time and dedication!

Jul 23rd
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Samantha Perry

I'm blown away by the information presented in this podcast! Unreal, in the best way! Aviva, you're amazing.

Jan 5th
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