This is the 100th episode of my podcast, so I’ve got a special treat! Today I’m going to be talking with Raewyn Guerrero all about burnout and how it impacts your body and overall health. We’re also doing a deep dive on the detoxification process and how that can impact your health. It’s going to be amazing!

In this interview, we are going to talk about…

  • Burnout and how it impacts your body

  • Signs of a detoxification issue

  • Steps to take to improve detoxification and eliminate constipation

  • What you should start your day with instead of coffee

  • Things You Can Do to Keep Your Adrenal System in Check

  • How staring at your phone impacts your health

  • How to Recover from Burnout

About Raewyn Guerrero

Raewyn is on a mission to awaken everyone who comes her way to the innate wisdom of the body and the most cutting-edge natural solutions to nourish mind, body, and soul – including the insights gained from functional diagnostics, combined with what you eat, how you think, how you sleep and how you move. She began her own health and wellness journey through family tragedy at a young age and is now an advocate for strengthening the Gut-Brain Connection.

You’re going to get so many golden nuggets in this episode today. 

Welcome Raewyn, to the Gutsy Gynecologist Show!

Raewyn:  

Thank you so much. I’m very excited to be here.

Dr. Tabatha:  

Yeah, I’m really excited for this conversation because I feel like we are kind of on the same mission. We’re trying to help women realize that so much of their health stems from their gut. Right?

Raewyn:  

Exactly. And that’s been my story. You know, the whole gut health, gut brain-gut hormone connection. That’sbeen the whole basis of all my work and my journey.

Tell Us About Your Journey

Dr. Tabatha:  

I would love for you to just share with my listeners this journey because I feel like we can learn so much from each other’s stories and I love that you have turned this into your whole life’s work and passion. It’s amazing.

Raewyn:  

Yeah, it’s quite a funny story because I think it started very, very early on. I was a very sickly child, I was on a ton of antibiotics. I think I took probably about 50 courses of antibiotics in my lifetime. It was always a chronic sinus infection. tonsilitis,(they wanted to take my tonsils out when I was seven and I got up and ran out of the EMTs chair. I was like nobody’s putting a knife there.) Even at seven years old I thought that was a very bad idea. 

Then I moved to the UK In my 20s. I grew up in the tropics, so my immune system took a huge hit from the lack of vitamin D. I was always sick again. The only thing I knew was to go to the doctor. They’ll give you antibiotics and then you’ll get over it. But then it just kept happening. It was just recurring and recurring. By then I started acquiring all these other horrible gut-related symptoms, I became lactose intolerant, I couldn’t eat pizza or ice cream anymore. That was a real bummer. These were staples for me as a kid. I had eczema, terrible migraines and my hormones have never been happy, but they became so much more pronounced as I got older. 

By the time I hit my 30s, I wanted to get pregnant, and that became a real issue. I realized whatever I’m doing is not working. I’m more tired than I have ever been in my entire life. So I had to figure it out. I started looking at alternative routes because I had been to every doctor imaginable. The gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, urologists, basically all the ologists. I had seen them all. Everybody just kept saying, well just take this pill. I remember one urologist wanted me on fluconazole for over a year. She said, you just take this once a week, and you’ll be okay. I started researching and I was like, “doesn’t it screw up your liver?” She’s like, well, there’s this one study that says that it does. I was like one study you’re basing, like how you recommend medication to people based on one study?

I kept looking and eventually had a burnout. I was doing my corporate job in a banking industry where everyone was working 14 hours a day, sleeping for five hours a night, and thinking that they’re all winning. Going to spin classes for two hours every evening. Running first thing in the morning. My hormones just tanked completely, because I was keeping up with everyone else. After 10 years of doing that, you collapse, your body gets exhausted and you break down.

I had to figure something else out that wasn’t medication. I had seen how medication had ruined people in my family. My grandfather had been on valium for anxiety for over 20 years. It led to multiple strokes and vascular dementia. I didn’t want that for myself. “I’m not going to end up dependent on medication for 20 years, because I see what the long-term effects are. They’re designed for short periods, not for chronic conditions, there’s got to be a solution to the chronic conditions.”

I decided I needed to figure out what it was that I was doing that was causing all this dis ease. Several practitioners later I eventually found someone that worked really well for me. I stuck with her because she genuinely cared about me and my overall health and wellbeing.

Dr. Tabatha:  

oh, my goodness, you said so many important things there. The biggest thing was, you started asking why do I have this dis ease going on in my body? You started asking and searching for those answers. The idea of taking fluconazole for an entire year. That’s just malpractice in my mind. It’s really sad that that is the option that you were given. That is not the solution. 

I would love for you to just talk about where someone should even begin on this path?

Where Should Women Even Begin to Heal Burnout?

Where should women even begin to heal burnout? Should they just start asking what’s going on in my body? Do they need to seek somebody out like you?

Raewyn:  

I think that’s such a wonderful starting point for us. Because when I started, I didn’t know where to begin. I was trusting of the medical professionals that I had been seeing my whole life and my parents had been seeing their whole lives. My dad actually used to run a wellness center for medics, but it was more like an insurance company. 

I was always sort of suspicious of them when I said things like, “I’m always getting these colds and flus. Maybe I should try some Ecninacia.” One of the doctors looked at me and said, “maybe that’s why you’re getting your colds and flus because you’re trying all this herbal nonsense.” I was 16 and I thought, “Whoa, have you researched it? I’ve been reading up on it, it seems to be something that helps the immune system. Clearly, my immune system is not functioning because I’m sick all the time. So maybe I should start investigating what are the things that could help it.” back then I was still looking at it from an allopathic kind of way. I was like, okay, colds and flu. What solves that? Oh, Echinacea. Not what’s wrong with my immunity and how do I fix that.

Look for These Clues

For women who are starting to question what is going on with my body. Start paying attention to the clues that it’s giving you like.. 

Clue 1. Are They Recommending a Medication for Life?

Do you have a sore back at a certain time of the month ex. during that 10 days before your period that’s called your luteal phase, look at what’s going on during those 10 days, that’s a really big indicator of health.

What’s going on with your period is a huge indicator of your health. For me, I used to be extremely depressed, irritable. I remember seeing a psychologist who said, “well, you know, you can go on antidepressants just for 14 days of the month.” I looked at her again, and I thought but that’s not the solution to my problem. Why are my hormones so off that I would need to go on antidepressants for 14 days of the month. why is that the right option? She just seemed to think that that was an OK solution. 

If someone makes these sort of recommendations to you. Ask them, how long should I be on this medication. If they say for the rest of your life maybe you should find another doctor because the idea behind a lot of these medications is that they are designed for short-term usage. The long-term effects, side effects, etc. are so detrimental to your liver, your gut, and all the things that you actually need for producing healthy hormones. If you end up being on them for a long period of time, you’re just going to end up screwing yourself later on. 

Clue 2. Look for Signs That You Aren’t Detoxifying

So lookout for the signs and symptoms that your body is giving you that it’s not detoxifying. These are symptoms like…

  •  sore backs

  • Boobs

  • Migraines

  • Breakouts on your face and body

A lot of people come to me with chin acne, they’re like, it only happens like in the ten days before my period. These are signs of an elimination problem. If you go to the doctor about this, no one ever asks, how much water are you drinking? What kinds of foods are you eating? How often are you eliminating?

When I see my clients, one of the first questions I ask is, How often do you poop? They always want to know why I’m asking that. It’s a key indicator of health. The period is one and pooping is another. I actually call it the four P’s (Peeing pooping perspiring and period). If you’re pooping less than twice a day, then you’re technically constipated. People don’t understand that they should be eliminating after pretty much every meal. If you’re having two meals a day and your absorbing and breaking down your food properly, you should be clearing out the waste that many times too.

If not, then your body is slow. You’ve got slow motility and are probably a slow oxidizer. If you are going less than twice a day, ask yourself, what do I need to do to make that happen and what are the consequences of me not going? Is it my skin? Do I have migraines? Do I have too much estrogen floating around and I’ve got sore boobs, sore back, etc. these are signs and symptoms that you should start paying attention to. These are all things that I ask on my intake forms.

Watch the full video interview here.

Dr. Tabatha:  

I couldn’t agree more. That’s exactly what I have my patients and clients do. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t get a woman who has a bowel movement once a week and she thinks thats ok. In reality, she’s completely backed up and full of toxins, like you said. She’s got acne, migraines, can’t lose weight, fatigue, and estrogen dominance. It all just comes back to your gut. So what are some quick easy things that women can do to stimulate their gut motility? You mentioned a couple of them. I think we overlook the easy stuff like drinking more water.

How can We Improve Our Gut Motility

Raewyn:  

Yeah, really simple. It’s simple things like…

  • Drinking more water. Keep a bottle next to the bed and add little sea salt and lemon to it to get some minerals.

  • Eat lots of fruits, vegetables

  • Get plenty of vitamin C

  • Focus on getting lots of fiber

  • Eat good fats (you need fat in your diet to go to the bathroom)

  • Get tested for food sensitivities

  • Stop eating every few hours (more on that below)

  • Start the day with a warm beverage (preferably not caffeinated)

One easy way to get a lot of these things in is to have a smoothie first thing in the morning with fruit, veggies like spinach, and healthy fat like avocado. Add some seeds (provided you don’t have any intolerances or anything.) 

Get Functional Medicine Tests of Your Gut Microbiome and Food Sensitivities

Get your gut microbiome and food sensitivity tests done to figure out what’s going on. See what’s actually happening with your body instead of guessing. 

Stop Snacking

Stop snacking. Give your gut a break.I try to sort of eat within a six hour window. That actually helps because it gives your digestion a little bit of a rest rather than constantly clogging it up. Because when you are constantly snacking your body has to divert energy all the time to digest it and you are adding more to clog up your digestive track. Unfortunately, we eat that way, we’re sitting at our desk, and we’re snacking or we’re driving and we’re snacking. For me it’s driving. I’m constantly reaching for something. I know if I’m reaching for something, it’s got to be an apple, not junk food because it’s very easy to grab chips.

Switch to Chicory Root Tea Instead of Coffee

I also love chicory root tea in the morning instead of coffee because the inulin is a great prebiotic fiber. I’ll have that with a little bit of powdered mushrooms like reishi, or some kind of adaptogenic herb along with a tiny amount of collagen and hot water. Hot water is great for stimulating bowel function as well.

Dr. Tabatha:  

Yeah, what an important point. Give your gut a break, give your pancreas a break from making all that insulin all the time to handle all that blood glucose. I think that’s really important. We’ve gotten so into snacking as a culture. We think we need to eat all the time to keep our blood sugar up. That’s just a bunch of crap that was created by the snacking industry.

I love all of those tips. It’s the little things that we do every day right?

Raewyn:  

They’re so easy to do, right? Have a bottle of water next to your bed, not hard. Not snacking all the time. Not hard. Making the choice to snack on whole foods instead of junk…

Take Action to Help Keep Your Adrenal System in Check

There are so many simple little hacks that you can do to, to keep your blood sugar, your adrenals, your cortisol, and everything in check while you go about your day. 

The world, the world’s definitely changed a lot since we were younger. You know, I don’t think we ever worked at the pace that we work at now. Even working for myself, I sometimes have to stop myself from constantly running myself ragged. I left corporate because I don’t want to live like I’m on a conveyor belt running from the next thing to the next thing to the next thing all the time. I need to stop and breathe, I need to have moments. 

One of my favorite hacks if you want to reset your nervous system is to just go outside. Let light hit you. This helps your circadian rhythm to stay in balance, because we’re not meant to be in front of screens all day. We’re meant to be outside in clean air, in nature, looking at trees, maybe climbing a mountain or a height, we’re doing something. That’s actually grounding. being barefoot as well. That’s one of my favorites. I don’t really like shoes.

Dr. Tabatha:  

I am with you. My family’s made fun of me my whole life. Because I’ve always been barefoot.

Raewyn:  

My husband is the same way. He’s like why don’t you put clothes on. You need to get outside, let the light touch your skin, and let your feet touch the ground. We weren’t meant to be confined and cooped up all the time. We also weren’t meant to stare at screens all the time. This brings me to my next point.

Make time to disconnect from your phone and other screens and connect with other people. When you are at dinner, make a point to put your phone away and focus on the people you are with. Phones are actually bad for stress too. I  can’t remember where I saw it, but when we’re on our phones, and we’re scrolling, we’re actually holding our breaths. Not breathing is a huge factor when it comes to stress, pain, and cortisol levels. When you stop breathing, you trigger your stress response. Being on the phone is telling your body that you’re in this constant state of stress.

When your body is thinking it needs to flee or fight, digestion slows, hormone production slows, and fertility is affected. If you’re always on that thing, you’re obviously going to end up with a ton of hormonal issues, stress and your cortisol is going to go up. You might not have great periods, you might not be able to think clearly because lack of oxygen to the brain creates brain fog and being so distracted that it’s impossible to hold a thought and stay focused. These are all things that lead to burnout.

How Burnout Manifests

This is how burnout manifests…

  •  not being able to think clearly 

  • not being able to make good decisions

  • not being able to remember things

  • Exhaustion and inability to recharge

I remember at the worst of my burnout, I couldn’t figure out where I put my keys. I was always losing my keys. Maybe screentime is a factor, maybe not breathing is a factor. Your lifestyle contributes to burnout and it’s important to become more mindful of the way that our behavior is influencing our physiology.

Dr. Tabatha:  

I love all these tips that you’re giving because I feel like, we need to focus on our lifestyle and the little changes that we can make. We just have to start to do something different than we did yesterday the day before and the day before. You know, that’s the only way to get over burnout, right?

How to Recover from Burnout

Raewyn:  

You just gave me chills by what you said. We didn’t do anything crazy. You just got to get up and go outside. You just have to do simple things. Everyone thinks I’m going to have them doing all these fancy things but really is about simple changes. Yes, diet, supplements, etc. is great, but rest and stress reduction play a HUGE part in healing from burnout. Look for the stressors in your environment. Are there environmental toxins? Is it a lack of sunlight? 

We want to remove some of these stressors and change what we can in your life so that you’re more in tune with your body. I think we’ve forgotten that. We’re actually biological beings. We’re not robots, we don’t run on batteries, the way that machines do. We need time to reboot. We do this by getting decent sleep, getting outside, getting in touch with the Earth. Spending time interacting with people and animals. 

Dr. Tabatha:  

Having those physically connected relationships is good for your physiology. Right?

Raewyn:  

Yeah, it’s your biology, you know, you flourish when you have people that you love. They flourish as well. So, it’s been very sad to see the way that things have evolved over the last two years where everyone’s afraid of each other. 

Dr. Tabatha:  

This is great! What else do suggest to reduce stress?

Raewyn:  

The top 4 things you can do to reduce burnout are…

  • Eat real food that didn’t come in a box or contain things you can’t pronounce,

  • Go outside and spend time in nature and in sunlight and move while you are at it.

  • Drink filtered purified water. Don’t drink out of plastic bottles. They are full of microplastics.

  • Reduce toxins in your environment.

Dr. Tabatha:  

We could just go on all day long you and I practice so similarly. It’s wonderful to be with like-minded people who get it. Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge because people just don’t think about these things. It’s really important. Get back to basics like cleaning up your water, getting outside, moving your body, looking at your diet, and getting testing, because not everything works for everybody. You are an individual.

So where can my listeners find you and work with you?

Raewyn:  

Thank you. I’m on Instagram. I love working with women in their mid-30s to 50s. I have a wonderful free Facebook community called Well World because that’s my mission to start creating a well world and helping everybody around me. I want to do help them wake up to the amazing innate wisdom of their bodies. They can also connect with me on my website.

Dr. Tabatha:  

Awesome! I hope people reach out and connect with you! I know you have a book coming out soon, so we’ll have to have you back to talk about that. Thank you so much. Raewyn

Dr. Tabatha:  

I got so much out of that episode. How about the fact that we hold our breath when we’re on social media? That was my golden nugget for this episode. Whatever yours was, I hope that you start to incorporate it into your daily life so you can reduce the stress in your life too. When you make small step changes and repeat them consistently over time, you will see huge improvements in your health and heal burnout for good.

If you want help figuring out the real changes that you need to take to improve your health and reduce the physical issues that are causing your body ongoing stress, you can work with me one on one. Book a FREE consultation here.