Nurture Yourself, Wellness Advice from Experts

End Anxiety, Beat Burnout and Boost Energy — A Blueprint by Top Holistic Doc Robin Berzin

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If you’re a woman looking to beat burnout, end anxiety or boost your energy, Dr. Robin Berzin, MD, has a blueprint for you.

Dr. Berzin is a physician and the Founder and CEO of Parsley Health, America’s leading holistic medical practice designed to help women overcome chronic conditions. Her new book, State Change, is out now.

We recently caught up with Dr. Berzin to talk about her book and how she has made it her mission to help shine the light on all the intricacies of women’s health and the interconnectedness of mental well-being and its physical barriers. Dr. Berzin offers a path forward, and a call to action for women to take control of their health and to dispel the myth so often heard by many suffering from mysterious and/or chronic ailments that it’s “all in your head.”

Read on to learn more about the premise of Dr. Berzin’s new book, the “state change” that those who are chronically ill can achieve, her 30-day plan to beat burnout, end anxiety and boost energy and more.

4 Questions for Dr. Robin Berzin, MD, author of ‘State Change’

Q. Can you talk about the premise of your new book, “State Change”? Are issues such as IBS, autoimmune disease, weight gain and hormonal imbalances purely physical?

A. Too often, conventional medicine treats the body as separate from the mind–leaving physical health to primary care doctors and mental health to psychiatrists and psychologists. However, science shows that issues like IBS affect neurotransmitter production, autoimmune diseases are intricately linked to inflammation that can increase the risk of depression, and hormonal or blood sugar imbalances can leave our moods jumping and dipping like a ship caught in a storm.

The hidden truth is that physical culprits often masquerade as burnout, depression, anxiety, stress, and persistent fatigue. And that is the premise of State Change. It’s a book that shines a light on the path to overcoming the physical barriers to peak mental health.

Q. In “State Change,” you flip the script on the mind-body connection and place one philosophy at the heart of patient care: Peak mental health starts in the body. Can you explain what you mean by that?

A. When I say, “peak mental health starts in the body,” I mean that there may be things going on physically that are sabotaging your best efforts to feel mentally well. And until we address them, it’s like trying to climb Everest without first getting to basecamp.

When we feel like crap, we’re too often told our symptoms are “all in our heads.” But this isn’t true. My patient Sam was in her late 40s when she came to me. She was experiencing chronic fatigue, brain fog, weight gain and mood swings. She felt like crap. But her previous doctors insisted it was “all in her head” and a result of her age. I knew we had to look deeper, so we ran more advanced diagnostic tests and found out that Sam had an undiagnosed thyroid condition: Hashimoto’s.

No amount of caffeine or mood stabilizers would have resolved Sam’s symptoms. To support her mental health, she needed to take steps to transform her physical health. This included supporting her thyroid and removing inflammatory foods, such as wheat and sugar, that trigger her condition. In the end, the key to unlocking Sam’s mental health was a simple blood test. And everyone, particularly women who have been dismissed by their doctors, need to know that when they’re suffering like Sam, it’s definitely not all in their heads.

Q. What about people who are chronically ill. It’s true that after feeling bad for a while, you start to forget what feeling good even feels like. “Bad” starts to feel normal. So, what’s the first step for people with chronic conditions to take to achieve what you call “state change”?

A. For far too many of us, bad has become the new normal, and we don’t realize that a chronic condition could be lurking under the surface making us feel the way we do. In fact, according to the CDC, one in six Americans have a chronic condition. But because it’s so easy to lose sight of how we’re feeling on a daily basis–to stop listening to those signals our bodies are sending us, the majority of women struggle for 7+ years before getting the care they need.

This means that the first step for anyone is to understand your baseline health. At Parsley, we created an in-depth health assessment called the Parsley Symptoms Index–also found in the book–to connect the dots between a patient’s symptoms and their overall well-being and health. This is an incredibly powerful tool for identifying when “bad” has started to become the “new normal” and to create a path to recovery.

After our patients complete their Symptom Index, the next step is to run some essential diagnostic tests. There’s a list in the book of all the tests every woman in her 20s, 30s, and 40s should order–all covered by basic insurance. Modern diagnostic testing is one of the best things your doctor can do for you; these tests allow us to establish that baseline by tracking shifts in your body, mind, and mood, and they can even catch a chronic condition before symptoms start to show.

This one-two punch is critical for understanding what’s truly going on in your body and paving the way for your own state change.

Q. Tell us about your 30-day program for resetting the body and mind to solve issues such as brain fog, burnout and overall well-being. Walk us through what that might look like.

A. I created the 30-day kickstarter program with accessibility in mind. It’s a simple and easy roadmap that anyone can use to transform their mental health.

1. Start by taking the Parsley Symptoms Index
2. Get tested! Ask your doctor for:

  • Three blood sugar tests: HgBA1C, fasting glucose, and fasting insulin
  • Three inflammation tests: hsCRP, ESR, and ANA
  • Three thyroid tests: TSH, free T4, and free T3
  • Ferritin test for iron deficiency
  • Three tests for nutritional deficiencies: Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, and RBC-folate

3. Eliminate four inflammatory food groups–and cut back on alcohol

  • Processed foods
  • Anything with added sugar, gluten, dairy
  • Limit alcohol consumption to no more than three times a week–this way, you have more time off than on.

4. Start the Parsley Health Supplement Starter Kit, which is a bundle of supplements shown to lower brain inflammation, trigger healthy neurotransmitter production, and plug nutritional deficiencies that can impact mental health.

  • Methylated B12 and folate (800-1,000 mcg daily)
  • Marine omega-3 fatty acids, 300 mg daily (800 mg EPA, 500 mg DHA)
  • Vitamin D3 with K2, 5,000 IU daily
  • Probiotics, 1 daily

5. Start moving meaningfully six days a week:

  • 2 days x 20 mins aerobic
  • 2 days x 30 mins controlled movement
  • 2 days x 20 mins strength building
  • 1 day rest

6. Go to bed no later than 10 p.m.–no matter what time you get up
7. Adopt one-hour daily limit on social media and shut all screens by 9 p.m.
8. Meditate or mindfully breathe for at least 5 minutes/day

(Image: Shutterstock)

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