Today on the podcast:

Orla O’ Flaherty is a herbalist, naturopath, and nutritionist who specialises in female health.

She’s also one of my closest friends, and we go deep on hormones (for women and men) in today’s podcast.

This one is worth saving for a couple of relistens as there are knowledge bombs left, right, and center in today’s episode.

Brought to you in partnership with Lets Get Checked. To get 30% OFF your first time order, enter the code KEANE30 at checkout.

Episode Outline

  • 07:16 Her background and how being sick as a teenager lead her down her current career path
  • 11:06 Why food is medicine
  • 13:48 Foods that the general public think are healthy when they’re actually not
  • 17:07 Cortisol and estrogen and their impact on female fat loss
  • 20:41 Things (not only food) we ingest that may have a negative impact on our hormones
  • 23:46 How to increase male and female sex drive and what to avoid that brings it down
  • 26:11 The contraceptive pill – what stops it working (a must know for anyone who is sexually active and using this form of birth control) and what supplements or foods can minimise the negative effects of PMS.
  • 36:38 Can the contraceptive pill cause weight gain?
  • 40:49 Thyroid – managing underactive or overactive and its effect on your metabolism
  • 50:49 Fixing fertility issues

Key Points

  • Most people know that what we put into our system has a direct effect on our health. That said, the general public has accepted as healthy certain foods that actually have negative effects on your body. Oats are a great source of carbohydrates, reduce anxiety, and promote sleep; but at the same time oats are proinflammatory because they contain what are known as phytates. Then there is soy, which contains phytoestrogens that may adversely affect hormones. Unless your soy is organic, non-GMO, and fermented, Orla advises keeping it out of your diet.
  • Before looking at how to boost your sex drive, the first thing to ask yourself is why your sex drive is low in the first place. For women, predominantly, there is an issue with their estrogen and testosterone—their estrogen levels may not be rising optimally, and their testosterone isn’t being activated. Women on the pill will automatically have a lower sex drive. For men, especially those over 45, low sex drive is usually due to low testosterone levels. Men under 45 with low sex drive, on the other hand, may be experiencing psychological issues.
  • Stress is not only one of the biggest culprits when it comes to fertility issues, but it makes the sex act itself robotic. “My first thing is to get women to stop trying,” says Orla. In addition, beware “The Two-Week Wait” following ovulation when a woman waits to see whether they are pregnant. Those two weeks may turn into two months or two years, which only serves to compound their stress levels.

Powerful Quotes by Orla

  • Think of our bodies like the soil in the Earth. If you have poor soil, nothing’s going to grow. Our bodies are the same—what we’re putting in our system has a direct effect on our health.
  • I love and hate the pill. The pill has given women body autonomy. It has given them a chance to live their lives without getting pregnant when they didn’t want to get pregnant. That, in itself, is huge when it comes to overall female health and wellness. But, what people don’t realize is that with the pill comes a whole host of side effects. All you have to do is look at the insert of the side effects of the pill. It’s massive, and it ranges from headaches, bloating, mood disorders, and suicidal thoughts. You really have to be mindful.
  • If you decide to get on the pill, there are three things that you need to be taking: a methylated B-complex, an essential fatty acid, and a probiotic. The reason for this is because the pill inhibits the absorption of your B vitamins and also your essential fatty acids. You need to have the probiotic because the synthetic version of estrogen, estradiol, is having a corrosive effect on the lining of your gut wall and it’s also killing off your good gut bacteria.
  • When we’re looking at any condition in the body, it takes four months to have any long-lasting physiological effects when you make changes—be that nutrition, herbs, allopathic medicine, etc.

Guest Info

Orla O’ Flaherty

Orla O’ Flaherty is a herbalist, naturopath, and nutritionist who specialises in female health.

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