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Claim The Power Within You to Heal Your Own Body with Dr. Anna Cabeca
We’ve got some phenomenal guest that we’ve had on that we got more in the future. We’ve got my new friend, Anna Cabeca. Anna is like me. She’s a doctor of osteopathic medicine. We’re going to talk about that. I’m a cardiologist. She is a board-certified OB/GYN, obstetrics and gynecology physician and she’s gone to so many amazing places. You’re trying to be true to the osteopathic roots. You’re trying to go after the cause and giving the body what it needs and take away what it doesn’t need to obtain true health. Isn’t that what osteopathic medicine is all about?
That is and my goal is to get to the underlying root cause and know that every part of the body is connected to the rest of it.
What was your epiphany moment? You’re practicing OB/GYN. Was there a moment where all of a sudden you said, “The current model of obstetrics and gynecology of medicine in general is sickness model?” What was that moment for you?
There are many little moments that culminated into one big moment. I was in residency at Emory University. I was doing my OB/GYN residency when my mom needed to undergo a second heart surgery. When I was sixteen years old, my mom was 52 years old and she was undergoing her first heart surgery, cardiac bypass surgery. She’s diabetic in her late 30s. She had one medication after the other. At 52, she had heart bypass surgery. At 67, she was undergoing what was determined to be a valve replacement surgery and I was like, “This doesn’t seem right. She was walking up and down the hill with me and now she needs valve replacement and she’s been on oxygen. It didn’t seem right.”
Jack, I’m very sad to say that my mom didn’t make it out of surgery. It was a perfect operation, perfect procedure, but the patient died and that patient was my mother. From that point, it was like, “What caused it?” The valve they took out was no bigger than the valve they put in. She went into multisystem organ failure. I had to start asking myself, “What is going on here?” It came down to three things: hormone imbalance, inflammation and adrenal dysregulation. Her body was completely inflamed. It led to chronic low cortisol and multisystem organ failure. That cycle, if we can intervene, the surgery wouldn’t have been necessary. Her death, struggling pain and many years of discomfort wouldn’t have been necessary. I’m 52. It’s the age my mom was when she had her first heart surgery. I look and preach and petition all women to take the power of their own health back in their hands because that fate is not for us. I saw my mom go through that and I was right on that path. At 38, I was told I was in premature ovarian failure and completely menopausal. It just isn’t going to get any better. I was able to turn that story around too.
We have such similar stories and my story is about my father. My father died at the age of 63. He was a very successful cardiologist and I followed in his footsteps. In his mid-50s, he became depressed and the psych meds didn’t work for him and then it morphed into more of a Parkinson’s illness. He was diagnosed with PSP, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and they tell him at the Mayo Clinic, “We don’t know why. We have no treatment and he’ll be dead within a few years.” He died just before his 63rd birthday. That time was when I met the woman who becomes my wife and she is a doctor of chiropractic. It’s so much similar in philosophy to the original osteopathic. They occurred at the same time in late 1800.
She starts pointing out all these different factors in my father’s life that were killing him. Mayo Clinic has no idea and she’s got all the answers. I’m like, “I better start making these changes because I’m going down the same path as my old man. I’ve got the same career, I’ve got the same alcohol, I’ve got the same food, I’m living in Chicago, it’s the same lifestyle. This is bad.” That was that springboard. I’d like to say and maybe this agrees with you as well that what happened to your mother created the powerful woman that you are now. It changed where things are going to go for you in the future and change who you are. My father’s demise, my father’s death created the man I am now.
There are hundreds of thousands of people that have benefited. If we can create from our grief, a purpose, a mission, a passion and we go on to serve, we can always say, “I wish I knew then what I know now.” At least for my children and their children, we’re going to ensure that we know as much as possible and practical simple very inexpensive ways. Make it practical, make it real. Reclaiming the power we have within us to heal our own body through nature, through what God’s given us. Through determination, through mindset, through these principles, it can way back stem with Andrew Still with the practice of osteopathy, empower the body to heal itself.
What was the path? Why did you choose an osteopathic school?
I always wanted to be a doctor. My doctors were all osteopaths. I grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and Doylestown, Pennsylvania. They were my doctors. I was the first person in my family to go to college and I was finishing college thinking, “I have too many questions.” I had started doing research in college like, “I need to do research.” I ended up working for the US Navy doing exercise physiology research. We say, “We have some of the best shape men in the world.” I was just too shy to appreciate it and too much of a nerd. I was into research and understanding exercise physiology. From there, I decided to go to medical school. I wasn’t sure how it was going to pay. I applied for the National Health Service Corps and got it. I was great but when I interviewed a coastal person, I just had to go to medical school in Miami. That was how I ended up in osteopathic medical school. Plus, the philosophy of empowering the body to heal itself. I’d seen my mom’s struggling and I grew up with the concept of food as medicine. Whenever your belly hurt or you were foggy-brained, my mom would say, “Eat this. This will help you. Olive oil and thyme together, those two things will make you smarter.” I had to eat a lot of that.Every part of the body is connected to the rest of it. Click To Tweet
I’m cynical. Sometimes people say that I’m anti DO. I get emails all the time from DOs and they’re like, “Why are you always bashing us? Why are you always promoting chiropractic? You never promote osteopathic.” My simple answer is that the osteopaths have lost their way. Would you agree?
There’s yes and no. In the field of women’s health, osteopathic manipulation is so important. That’s something I excelled at. I loved it. Once we get into residency practice with five minutes and no reimbursement, there’s very little time and energy left to do the manipulation. It has its place all over. We have to structure and function first. That’s so important. Our alignment is so critical. In pelvic health, women are struggling. They’re sitting all day, they’re cramped. Students are in chairs all day. Pelvic health is sacrifice right now by our lifestyles. We’re getting incontinence, prolapse, laser surgery, this, that and the other thing because our bottom is neglected and struggling. There’s a good percentage of that that’s related to pelvic floor health.
The osteopaths had such an amazing advantage because we can do manipulation, pelvic floor manipulation and entire spine adjustments. It’s an art and there are very few people that I know that practice it, especially for the pelvic floor where people are coming in now. Also, the pelvic floor physical therapist, but it’s lost in general. We have to go back to that. I implore our osteopathic colleagues to continue the practice of manipulation and/or to re-emphasize it for our patients’ lives. If we’re not doing it, get them to a PT or chiropractor that can do that.
I always knew I wanted to be a cardiologist. I went to osteopathic school. My father was a DO. I wanted to follow right in his footsteps. All of his friends and everybody I knew growing up was DOs. There was never a question where I was going to school, but even though I wanted to be a cardiologist, you have to learn osteopathic manipulation to pass the course and to pass your exams. I learned it in a rudimentary fashion, but it’s interesting that my wife is a chiropractor. She’s brought me back into manipulative medicine or physical medicine. I’m not a chiropractor. I can say I adjust, but she taught me some adjusting techniques similar to osteopathic manipulation techniques. I don’t personally use it on patients. I send that off to the experts in those areas and there are a few DOs that I trust for osteopathic manipulation. The holistic healthcare revolution, is it on? You’ve traveled around. I know you speak all over the country and other countries. I know that you go to all of these meetings with different holistic medical organizations. Is the revolution on? Is it happening now? Are we about to overtake healthcare to the holistic side?
I certainly hope so but I see the struggle. Even in practice, we are under so much pressure. I was a National Service Reserve Corps scholar. I practice in a small town. In Georgia, I’m the only bilingual gynecologist and obstetrician. I was a scientist before I went to medical school. When I started in early 1999, 2004, getting into functional medicine, understanding because I had those questions, “Why did my mom die? There was no reason for her to have suffered and died like this.” My patients, I had to be very industrious about the therapy I gave them because they didn’t have the money to. Some of them would be in shrimp boats or small rural Georgia towns. I’m like, “They don’t have the money for these prescriptions. What could I do? What are some of the things?” It all came back to those osteopathic roots, the lifestyle and then the concept of look to what’s causing it.
As I did and as the scientist I was, I got into organic acid testing. I created a women’s health profile for Metametrix. Looking at fatty acids, organic acids, understanding the Krebs cycle, it’s such a cool thing. ADMA to look for risk for Preeclampsia on this high-risk population as it was. What could I do earlier to intervene so they don’t struggle and have to go an hour and a half away to another hospital? Then I got nailed. It was one of the major and all the testing was preapproved. Everyone helped with this intervention. Even though it was approved ahead of time, the insurance company came back and said, “No, these aren’t indicated testing.” I was like, “You approved it.” One had liver cirrhosis, this other had a cancer diagnosis, you name it. They were like, “I’m sorry. You owe us this $100,000 back of funds that even though we agreed to pay them to you, you’ve got to give them back.” I was like, “Certainly, this is an approved task. There’s science behind it.” They were like, “It’s not indicated in this instance.” I was like, “What instance?” They were like, “We can’t tell you.” I had to fight a big legal battle. It was bad. It was Blue Cross Blue Shield. They were knocking on my door. If you look at the records, everything was OCD. It’s a very detailed record. It didn’t have a lick on me yet.
I fought them for two years and they took every lick of money plus overage back. I’m a solo OB/GYN provider in a small town and as a single mom, that was a struggle. That was disheartening because my patients got better, my risk of breast cancer, my practice is a fraction of other doctors in our area. Thank you, Jesus. I’m the only OB/GYN in our town that was never sued. Yet, the insurance companies were like, “I don’t like what you’re doing because it’s not standard of care.” It’s one of the other things. Even in ordering vitamin D, the Blue Cross Blue Shield physician said, “You’ve ordered two vitamin D test in two months on the same patient.” I was like, “Yeah, because her level was nineteen. She has breast cancer and I want to make sure that I’m moving in the right direction.” They were like, “That’s not indicated. That’s considered fraudulent ordering.” They have to bring in fraudulent so you can go to this route of fighting with them. The other thing too was B12 injections. They were like, “Why are you giving B12 injection?” I was like, “The B12 is suboptimal and they’re struggling and they’re worn out.” They were like, “It’s not pernicious anemia and that’s fraudulent billing.”
It was unbelievable. I completely dropped insurance from there, which is sad because it’s a challenge for people to get the care they need. My passion now is to put it back into the individual’s hands. Our first choices are the prescription and the surgery. What can I write for you? What can I cut for you? There’s a place. I’ve been a surgeon, gynecologist and an obstetrician for a long time, but it’s the power that we have to heal ourselves. As I became a functional medicine provider and as I understood hormonal balance, I went from doing two to three surgeries a week to two to three a year. It’s a huge difference. Patients went from hating their husbands two weeks out of the month to loving them continuously.
When you say putting it back into the patient’s hands, do you mean you’re going to just put their healthcare and say, “Don’t rely on me for you to be healthy because that’s not going to work? You need to make yourself healthy and let me be your guide. Let me help you with that endeavor.” We’re going to put it back into their hands there. You are also talking about putting the healthcare dollars back into the patient’s hands as well as opposed to, “I’ve got to rely on my insurance over here.” The whole insurance racket is what’s destroying the medical system. It’s government healthcare and private healthcare companies. We need to get them out and let’s go back to the old barter system either using cash or, “Thank you for the osteopathic manipulation and thank you for the pap smear. Here’s the chicken.”
Yes, to both of those. It’s 90% of the patient’s own hands if they want to heal themselves. As the egotistical doctor, I’m claiming 10% for me. 90% on the patient’s hands and I want 10% here like, “I told you to eat gluten-free and go into green and read my book.” I get 10% but 90% is in your hands. The second part is the healthcare document. That is a fascinating argument because I use HSA, I use Liberty HealthShare insurance. It’s that conglomerate of likeminded people who are healthy and like, “If there’s a crisis, we got you. We’re in this together.” I can help others and if my kids need help one day, they can help them. It’s that type of health sharing account. I believe in that 100%. I’ve loved the practice of medicine, but the way it’s governed with the institution between FDA and insurances, it’s mafioso medicine.We have empower the body to heal itself. Click To Tweet
The other one I like is pharmafia instead of pharmaceutical companies. That flows so well. Everybody knows how we were wined and dined. Back in the ‘90s and the early 2000s, they could take us out and they could take us golfing or into restaurants. In 1988, when I was in high school, we went to Hawaii. We went to Hawaii, we traveled, we flew there and flew back, we stayed seven nights in Hawaii. All meals were courtesy of Merck Pharmaceuticals. My father spoke for one hour and they paid for the entire thing. You’d never take a nickel from them. I would never take a nickel from them. They are the pharmafia and they are listening. I do think that the health revolution is on in the sense that there are so many DOs that are reembracing osteopathic philosophy and holistic health and wellness. There are so many MDs. When we go to these events, every year they seem to be getting more and more. They’re getting bigger and bigger and I’m excited.
We’re not going away. We can keep speaking up louder and louder. Before, it’s a big fish in a small pond issue. Now, we’re becoming a bigger pond. There’s a lot more of us to deal with. It makes a difference because the current modality is not working. Crisis interventions are great, but wellness, well care and tax. We own that as the individual. To your audience, you own your health. Your body has an innate ability to heal itself. That’s where we want to get everyone back to recognize that. Less is sometimes more. From manipulation, chiropractic manipulation, dietary intervention, the structure and function and the environment. Another huge thing that we have to deal with that our parents and grandparents weren’t dealing with to this degree is the toxins in the environment. We have to be armed with what works.
Female hormones and heart health. Tell me about it.
Females have such the advantage over guys when it comes to this until we hit menopause. That’s a big issue. I saw it with my mom. She was 52 getting a cardiac bypass surgery. I’m like, “What’s going on? There is genetics at play.” Hormones are a big factor. We know that estrogen is a protective factor, but what we’re dealing with now are the estrogen disruptors. Speaking of toxins in the environment, things that disrupt our body’s natural ability to receive and use the estrogen that’s in our body and remove it appropriately. That leads to estrogen toxicity. Even with low estrogen, we can have this estrogen dominance. I prefer to call it estrogen toxicity. That has to be healed because it creates that sticky and thick non-elastic vessels that are sluggish and troublesome for our activity level, for our mind, for our brain, which starts to go first. That’s where hormones can be very powerful. Dietary and lifestyle interventions can change the trajectory of that road going downhill. The idea with menopausal women now, over 100,000 women from around the world who are just struggling to regain their mind, their body, their sanity. Sanity comes into play the relationships and it’s all interrelated. It stems from getting those hormones in balance.
The uterus and hysterectomy, hysteria, hysterical, that was the source of the woman’s craziness. It’s coming from the uterus. My father was a hardcore cardiologist and a Cleveland clinic trained. He wasn’t of the generation of total pill pushers and stuff like that. He was so interested in the valvular heart disease and in the diagnosis of it. One of those things that he always would correct people is if they said hysterectomy because it’s ureterectomy. You’re removing the uterus. You’re not removing the hysteria. If somebody was to ask me about female hormones or male hormones, I’m not going to just blanket you with male hormones or female hormones. We’re going to talk about nutrition. We’re going to talk about sunshine, sleep, stress, physical activity, removing the chemicals from your life and doing cleanses and stuff. We’ll see where we’re at with your male or female hormones. There are even holistic providers on the male side, that’s for sure. You can go to any doctor on the street corner and they’ll give the male testosterone. They’ll do that. Even amongst the holistic female doctors that there’s this like, “Better living through hormones. Every postmenopausal woman needs to be on hormones.” What do you say to that?
I am a big believer in using bioidentical hormones in the right conditions and in the right circumstances. Even if we are doing all those things, I always get the question, “Dr. Anna, why should I be on hormones?” I would say, “Because if we lived in the Amazon, we lived outside the way we were designed to be. We get a lot more than vitamin D from the sun or out of the earth’s magnetic field that we can’t even quantify right now.” If we could do that to stay in the state where nature helps you balance, then we might not need some bioidentical hormones. Because we’re seeing increasing rates of dementia, increasing rates of heart disease, increasing rates of Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, cancer, we’re passing it down to our youth. We have got to get to the healthiest state possible. We have to live longer quality lives. I talk about this a lot in my book. Understand the mother hormones and the major hormones and minor hormones.
Many women using bioidentical progesterone, bioidentical estrogen, bioidentical DHEA. Estrogen is one of the last ones I prescribed. It’s a little different than many of my colleagues because I’m using progesterone and DHEA first and then maybe testosterone and/or estrogen. More than that, we have to control the major hormones to get balanced. I believe a little bit of exogenous supplementation, especially progesterone at night, it’s a restful sleep so your body can do what it’s designed to do, is supportive. Supporting the adrenal glands through natural sources and lifestyle as well as sometimes through supplementation and adaptogens, that makes a huge difference. If we’re looking at the cascade of hormones, approaching it from these two major angles and then down here come the reproductive hormones further downstream. We’re gaining balance, but we’ve got to get control with the major hormones. That’s what governs the quality of our life.
How does someone find a good local doctor to balance their hormones? Dr. Anna Cabeca is a movie star now. She’s a bestselling author. She’s got a book coming out and she’s going to tell us about that as well. If they’re not going to come to see you, how do they find a good doctor in their area to work with?
Always do your homework. I would love for you to visit my website at DrAnna.com. Ask your friends who are they getting great results with. From website sources, I would go to The Institute for Functional Medicine or FunctionalMedicine.org and look for a functional medicine trained doctor that also has hormonal training. We’re anti-aging regenerative medicine board certified. I’m also board certified in integrative medicine. Look for the combination or just the experience. Look at who’s doing well, who’s living a good quality life, who can you look up to that is around you, that has a great relationship with their spouse, that is vibrant, is active, is kind, has a resting smiling face. We want that kind of person and interact with them. What are they doing? Who’s helping them? Who’s their guide along the way? I would start there.
Who is this mythical person you speak out and is always walking around with a smile on their face and stuff like that?Get a good restful sleep so your body can do what it's designed to do. Click To Tweet
They’re my ladies in Magic Menopause. We do our cheer word regularly. We want resting smiling faces.
I think radiation causes cancer, radiation causes heart disease, radiation causes dementia. When I was a cardiologist, I was exposed to a lot of ionizing radiation doing angiograms and pacemakers so with my father. My father is gone. I am anti mammogram. What do you say?
Thermography is a great option for you and there’s a place for the goal. My last mammogram was several years ago. I had thermography in between. That’s a perfect place to be. Each one has its benefits and each one has its misses. Do your own breast exam, have your partner do it for you. Learn temperature changes. We learned that in osteopathic school. You can feel very carefully when there’s a change in your temperature. If you are consistently doing your exam and you’re thinking about that temperature, when something is off, your fingers will know it. You’ll be like, “Something feels off.” Trust that inner voice and get it and evaluate it.
You’re very intelligent, you’re very mobile and stuff like that. There’s no doubt. You’re anti-aged, you are not your age. You’re 25 so you’re totally moving around. For example, I’m a 25-year-old woman. I’ve slept with several people, but I get my annual pap smears. I eat healthily and live a healthy life. Do I need the HPV shot?
I’ve looked at the research. I’ve spoken with some of the original researchers for the HPV vaccine because this is an issue not only as a gynecologist and obstetrician. That company was pushing us to vaccinate. I’m like, “What does the research say? What are the benefits? What are the risks?” You start to hear, “Neurologic issues.” We already knew the issue with the vaccine. It’s not for everyone and if so, what are the benefits? How should it be delivered? I looked at that and I was like, “There are no real benefits. I can’t recommend it.”
They talk about it being the first cancer prevention vaccine. There’s no long-term data. The thing has only been out for a short-term. How do we know what’s going to happen to these young women 30 or 40 years down the road? When I do my presentations, I talk about the Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Clinic proceedings had a whole case series of 33 women that developed POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome shortly after the HPV. That’s scary stuff.
I’ve had two patients in my clinic that were vaccinated by their primary pediatrician or family physician. The one mom came to me. She was a nurse. She was like, “Dr. Anna, my daughter had the HPV vaccine two weeks ago. I’m not making this up. She’s in her room, in the dark, just sitting. It shifted her entire personality. What’s going on?” I did some testing, a heart rate variability testing. I had some functional testing to figure out some stuff. Her body was in an adrenaline rush. I don’t understand exactly that combination, but that was one firsthand witness. There was a second client that was a very similar situation and more. That dug me into the research because I have four daughters. Am I vaccinating any of them? I am not. Each individual has to make those decisions for themselves, but I recognize it only covers four of the vaccine, four of the HPV and four of the strains. We have over 100 strains of HPV, some benign and some associated with cancer. However, we’re only covering for four strains.
You’ve got a book coming out. Tell me what’s going on with the book and why everybody needs to get a copy of it. I know I’m going to get a copy. I know I’m going to recommend it to my people. You tell me why.
It’s called The Hormone Fix. The reason is that I do want to empower everyone reading it to stop the struggling, to reverse their aging, to improve the quality of their health and the relationships, like themselves better, like other people better and be better too. That’s what my clients say who do my program. My book is called The Hormone Fix. It’s being published by Ballantine Penguin Random House. It will help you burn fat naturally, boost energy, stop hot flashes, sleep better and the keto greenway. Combining intermittent fasting with healthy dietary choices. There are great recipes in there, great lifestyle and a whole vaginal health chapter in there too.
There are so many people that are struggling with disinformation and those medical doctors that are so in that ilk. They’re just governed by ACOG. In my case, it’s the ACC. It’s a travesty of what these people are going through.If something feels off, trust that inner voice and get an evaluation on it. Click To Tweet
The Hormone Fix book is designed to help with lifestyle, nutrition and creating this overall empowerment. I have a ten-day detox keto green diet in there. It’s a ten-day quick start diet. You can do a lot in ten days. It’s shifting the trajectory of our health.
Dr. Anna, thank you so much for being on this episode. Everybody, check out her book. You can preorder it and it’s on your website, DrAnna.com. What about the men? Is it female stuff or should us, men, read it to understand the female better as well?
There’s a lot in there. If it works for a woman, it’s going to work for a man, not necessarily the other way around, especially the menopausal women. There are strict components and it’s geared to women. Get on the program too. I have had so many men go through with their wives, my Magic Menopause program and they are hot men now.
We can all benefit from keto green, we can all benefit from intermittent fasting, we can all benefit from going gluten-free and switching to organic food. That’s so critical as well. Dr. Anna, thank you so much for being on this episode. We’ll see you next time.
About Dr. Anna Cabeca
Dr. Anna Cabeca is triple board certified in Gynecology and Obstetrics, Integrative Medicine, and in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, as well as an expert in Functional Medicine, menopause, and women’s sexual health. She specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and natural alternatives, successful menopause and age management medicine. Dr. Cabeca earned her medical degree from Nova-Southeastern University of the Health Sciences in Florida. Since completing her residency at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, she has maintained a private practice in Southeast Georgia through 2014. Dr. Cabeca frequently lectures nationally and internationally regarding restorative health and women’s health issues. She is a consultant and trainer for other physicians in Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy and Functional Medicine Principles.
A mother of five, Dr. Cabeca is a native English speaker who is conversant in four languages. Growing up in a multi-lingual and cultural household nurtured her love for international medicine and travel, which she pursues to this day. Her belief is that the advantages of creating health and hormone balance are that we not only improve our own health but also improve the health of our generations to follow. She is the co-creator of the Sexy Younger You! telesummit and the creator of the highly acclaimed virtual transformational programs: MagicMenopause.com, WomensRestorativeHealth.com, and SexualCPR.com. Given her passion relating to medical research, she researched and developed Mighty Maca Greens, a powerful superfood, in 2010. This medically formulated drink contains over 30 natural, healing ingredients. Learn more at www.MightyMaca.com.
And Julva® an anti-aging feminine cream for the vulva that has been literally saving marriages and enhancing lives! See more at Julva.com
Dr. Cabeca can be found at DrAnnaCabeca.com.