Dr. Welch addressed the following questions & topics in this second Women’s Health Q&A:
  1. [oddly, I didn’t remember that I’d answered this in the previous session….so I answered it again] If cholesterol is a pre-cursor to all hormones, or I believe you said the steroid hormones which must include the sex and stress hormones ( i gather) AND there is an epidemic of high cholesterol and statin drug prescriptions how do-
    1. People not have low cholesterol due to overproduction of stress hormones alone.
    2. How are these statin drugs affecting the whole chain of events regarding balancing..? Is it throwing them into a greater physiologic stress response than their life situation might otherwise dictate?.
    3. Would we find that someone under an inordinate amount of stress might have low cholesterol levels. This person might have facial hair growth, heavy periods, an occasional ovarian cyst, low libido….i imagine that they are not eating enough fat.
    4. The course to which your question is related: Part I
      • Estrogen decreases sex drive during days 1-14. Yet we ovulate and this is when we conceive. So the female naturally has a low sex drive during reproductive sex? If so, this is intriguing.
      • Progesterone acts as an anti-depressant during days 14-28. Yet we get PMS during those final days, with massive depression just before menstruation? Whutsupwidda?
      5. My question is related to the handout for Part I :  If estrogen is dominant from Day 1 of the cycle (beginning of bleed) and causes dilation in the blood vessels – would that be a reason why women get headaches at this time (I’m also thinking pitta is dominant leading up to the bleed and also dilates?) – especially for peri-menopausal women who have less progesterone to counteract the effects of dilation? [Also, I think from the same student, later:] Part I:I have just watched video 1.15 and found that headaches are most likely due to stagnation and apana vayu not happening.  Would yoga poses like hip openers, poses that open front and backs of legs to help prana flow down therefore be useful (as well as castor oil packs) in the week leading up to the bleed?
      6: Related to Part I, [re. a 2 hour and 20 min podcast on the benefits of taking estrogen that the student had heard]. “I am not saying I agree with what they are saying as I do not use bio identical hormones nor do I plan on it at this time… but I am curious your thoughts as this woman was quite against them but has since shifted her view. It’s confusing to know what’s right.”
      7. I was wondering [Dr. Welch’s] thoughts if it is ok to use and consume phytoestrogenic foods/herbs, in general, without any progesterone to balance it, for post menopausal people.

      8. Could Dr. Welch comment on ojas and, in particular, is ojas present in both the male and female reproductive tissue? Sperm and egg? Would CM call ojas, chi? Building ojas is so important for yogis. But it is mainly a male-subject, this ojas-building. Can it be applied to women too? As I read Dr. Welch’s remark about reaching 35 and having the main questions of life resolved so that you don’t have to pump your vitality well into your 50s, like your’s truly, I wonder if this concept of ojas-preserving can also be applied to women’s hormonal balance?

Here’s that quote on ojas that I mention that I’ll include in this summary:

One who wants to protect the heart, the great vessels, and the ojas, should avoid particularly the causes of the affliction of mind. Over and above, he should regularly take the measures which are conducive to heart and ojas and cleansing of srotas and also make efforts for serenity of mind and knowledge. One is the best among each of these factors-life-promoting, strength-promoting, bulk-promoting, happiness-promoting and the paths. In the living beings, non-violence is the best among the life-promoting factors, prowess is the best among the strength-promoting ones, learning is the best among the bulk-promoting ones, control on sense organs is the best among the happiness-promoting ones, knowledge of reality is the best among the pleasure-promoting ones and celibacy is the best among the paths—Thus hold the Āyurvedists.

Caraka Saṃhitā: Sūtrasthāna: XXX:13-15

I hope that this Q&A session might reveal how tricky it is to base all our personal health understanding and decisions on believing we can understand hormones from a Western scientific point of view. Maybe somebody can. I personally find it more helpful and practical to spend my time refining my understanding of Eastern thought in this manner and applying it to what I perceive in my own body.

These calls were recorded live with Dr. Claudia Welch exclusively for alumni of our Women’s Health & Hormones Part I and Part II online courses.
We intend to offer these Women’s Health Q&A sessions for alumni a couple times yearly, and post those sessions here. Once you are a registered student of one of these courses, you will receive emails letting you know when live calls are scheduled, how to join them, and be invited to submit questions on course content. We hope you find these sessions useful or interesting. Or both. Thank you for being here.

New: Women’s Health & Hormones online course taught by Dr. Welch, with an innovative approach to understanding women’s hormones and health conditions. Designed for everybody, regardless of medical background, from MDs to professionals of Ayurveda or TCM, to anyone interested in women’s health.