Episode 152: How To Reverse Autoimmune Diseases with Elaine Morrison

Elaine Morrison shares how she used natural medicine to heal her autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s disease, hypothyroidism, and psoriasis. Today she lives a life free of thyroid medication and has transitioned into menopause without symptoms.

Do not miss these highlights:

03:40 – How did Elaine get involved in looking at autoimmune disease and her journey of looking at a healthy lifestyle

08:50 – The symptoms that you’re having are signals, listen to them

11:23 – Everybody has a place. Everyone has their specialty and their expertise. It’s on you to decide what is the outcome that you want

13:37 – We don’t really have an expert in Autoimmune Diseases, so we need everyone to be team players 

17:10 – Autoimmune disease doesn’t just happen one day, it happens over the course of time from different things

21:12 – What is Hashimoto Disease and what are its symptoms

22:43 – Epstein Barr Virus is the virus that causes Mono and can trigger autoimmune diseases

28:24 – When you start changing your lifestyle, the social aspect of things is a challenge

29:56 – Just because it is healthy does not mean it isn’t delicious

32:25 – How Elaine’s journey to wellness from her autoimmune disorder got started

35:54 – Women have so much to give after 50

40:57 – Keeping your blood sugar steady is a big part of getting through menopause

Resources Mentioned

Whether you are recovering from an illness or just looking to maintain your current overall health, schedule a consult with us at Serenity Health Care  by calling  (262)522-8640 or visit https://www.serenityhealthcarecenter.com 

About our Guest:

Elaine has worked in the wellness industry as a certified pilates instructor for the past 16 years. Nine years ago she developed Hashimoto’s and guttate psoriasis which took her on a health journey of finding the answers to put her autoimmune illnesses into remission. Radically changing her diet reversed her symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, hair loss and dry skin. Supplementing with collagen gave her a whole new head of hair and glowing skin. Coming out on the other side of this gave her an unshakable belief in the profound interconnectedness of health and beauty. In 2015 she launched a collagen water having no previous experience in the beverage industry. In 2019 she relaunched with powdered collagen under the new name, Elaine Wellness. 



Transcription of episode #152:

Debra Muth 0:02
Welcome to Let’s Talk Wellness Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb. This is where we talk about everything wellness, and learn to defy aging and live our lives on our own terms. Welcome back to Let’s Talk wellness. Now I’m your podcast host, Dr. Deb, and I am with Elaine Morrison today, Elaine has worked in the wellness industry as a certified Pilates instructor for the past 16 years. Nine years ago, she developed Hashimotos and psoriasis which took her on a health journey of finding answers to put her autoimmune illnesses into remission. radically changing her diet reverse her symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, hair loss and dry skin. Supplementing with collagen gave her a whole new head of hair and glowing skin. I can’t wait to hear from Elaine how she did this. Because so many people are suffering from autoimmune disease and having these challenges that it’s it’s really becoming a problem. We have more autoimmune disease now than we ever had before. We’ve had more chronic fatigue than we have ever had before in this country. And statistics actually show that 49% of the people who have been sick with COVID are going to suffer from a long term chronic fatigue, along with other complications. And I think that some of the things we’re going to talk to Elaine about today can really help those people who are suffering from chronic fatigue not only from COVID, but also from other viral illnesses, other bacterial infections, things like that, that leave us ridden with chronic ailments after a acute illness.

Debra Muth 1:59
Have you seen 20+ medical doctors only to be told your symptoms are in your head or you need an antidepressant? We understand your frustrations? Are you tired of feeling sick and tired? Tired of not getting the answers you need to regain your health, tired of not feeling listened to by your doctor at Serenity Health Care Center, we understand and we will help you find the cause of your symptoms. Together we will create a path to health. We specialize in combining the best of conventional and natural medicine to get you back to doing what you love. We have worked with the most complex chronic diseases such as chronic Lyme COVID, long hollers autoimmune disease, mold toxicity, and hormonal imbalances. But if you’re not sick, that’s fantastic. We will work with you to maintain your health so that you can prevent illness. give our office a call to see how we can help you regain your health and vitality at 262-522-8640. Or check us out at our website at Serenityhealthcarecenter.com.

Debra Muth 3:18
Elaine, welcome to the show.

Elaine Morrison 3:20
Oh, thank you to have it’s a pleasure to be with you today.

Debra Muth 3:23
So Elaine, I was introducing you before we got started and having you on and telling a little bit about your story. But will you tell us your story like how did you get involved in looking at autoimmune disease and on your journey of looking at a healthy lifestyle?

Elaine Morrison 3:40
So it started in 2013 I was teaching Pilates full time I was managing two Pilates studios for a private club and working out and eating well. And all of a sudden I found myself sleeping 10 hours a night and feeling still exhausted. I gained 10 pounds in three months when nothing about my diet or exercise had changed. My hair started falling out and and breaking. My skin was insanely dry. And I went to my doctor and told her this whole list of symptoms and I basically got the pat on the head of like well, but you’re 44 years old. And this is just kind of the norm. Kind of like here you go sign sign on the dotted line. This is what you’re signing up for in midlife and she would only test my TSH. She wouldn’t do a full thyroid panel and she said I absolutely will not test you for thyroid antibodies for Hashimotos. Wow, did she explain why she didn’t. She didn’t and the only reason I had even known about Hashimotos was I started reading one of Sara Gottfried books and That’s where I read about it. And I thought, gosh, you know, a lot of these symptoms, I’m having sound like Hashimotos. But I’ve literally, I had never heard of it before. So that’s where I started. So I was immediately put on level five rock scene and sent on my way. And I did initially start to feel better once I started taking the level of Iraq scene. And then about six weeks later, I broke out in guttate psoriasis from my scalp to my ankles.

Debra Muth 5:33

Elaine Morrison 5:34
Yeah. And I just actually read something the other day that there is a big correlation between thyroid issues and psoriasis, which I just learned that today. Um, and so, again, I was sent for, like, I spent so much money on allergy testing. They thought maybe it was the binders and the level thyroxin. So I was immediately taken off of the level of Iraq scene. And then I’m just curious by nature, so I just started reading, I literally, I went online and started reading, I started reading, I believe her name is Isabella Wentz book, she’s a pharmacist, who wrote a book about Hashimotos. And I just refused to accept the answers that I was being given. So I, I removed gluten from my diet, I was already vegan. And now looking back, I think that was actually part of the problem. I think I was very, very nutrient depleted. So when I went to an endocrinologist, and I was like, all excited, I had my book and I had highlighted and again with my piece of paper in my notes, and again, I kind of got the pat on the head of like, well, if you want to remove gluten and dairy and all of that, that’s fine. But there’s really no science behind it. And I just like a light bulb went off in my head, and I thought I’m not I’m not coming back to her.

Debra Muth 7:02
So Well good for you for a doing your own research and trying to figure out what’s going on. And I hear this a lot in my practice, too is people are told A) we’re not running this test B) it doesn’t matter, C) honey, it’s okay. It’s just your age, you just gonna have to learn to live with it. There’s nothing we can do about it. And it’s unfortunate that practitioners out there feel that way. And that’s the answers that we’re getting. And but but kudos to you for not taking that as an answer and digging in and finding the truth for yourself. Because ultimately, that’s unfortunately, what we have to do. Ultimately, it’s all about you and how you feel. And I really want people to understand that if you’re not getting the answers that you need from your practitioner, it is okay to seek out someone else to find someone that aligns more with you. So many people need that permission to do that. And you’re paying them, you know, whether it’s an insurance payment or cash, you’re still paying them because you pay the premiums. So they should be working for you to do the best for you. But unfortunately, many of them don’t.

Elaine Morrison 8:13
Oh, my gosh, I wrote a blog post about this, that you’re literally hiring a consultant, but I are so trained in our culture, to put a doctor on a pedestal that they somehow have all the answers. Whereas, you know, I’ve been fortunate enough to find a naturopath who is very collaborative with me. And yes, she she gives me the data and the science that she has read, but then ultimately says to me, how do you feel? What what do you think is right? Because I really think what I want women to understand is, is the symptoms that you’re having are signals. They’re messengers, they’re, they’re a little red flag going up saying something’s not right. And I think so often, as women, we drown out our intuition, or we disregard it, we’re talked out of it. And so then we can’t get the the answer to medical issues that we’re experiencing.

Debra Muth 9:15
It’s so true. You know, we have this great intuition as women and we don’t use it, or it’s honey, it’s okay. You don’t understand the research, you don’t understand the literature. But we can read and it’s not complex, right? It’s just, you know, we can find research to support anything we want. It’s, it’s the sad thing about the day, right? But we also have to recognize that practitioners are only taught what pharmaceutical companies want them to know. So there’s not a big hit of money behind something like a pill or a drug or a treatment. We’re not going to be taught it in traditional medical school. So it’s only practitioners want to go out and research that information on their own the same way that you did, will they learn and implement something different for for people? And so when you’re looking for a practitioner, I think it’s important to ask some of those questions, you’re partnering with them, it’s okay to, to interview them, so to speak, and ask them what their philosophy is, and what do they believe? And is this going to be a good working fit for you?

Elaine Morrison 10:24
Right? Well, it’s, do you want to just mask symptoms with a pharmaceutical and go on your way? Or do you want to get to the root cause, and actually deal with the issue and hopefully, like, in my case, I, I no longer have antibodies to my thyroid, even though I was told that you will never you will never get rid of the antibodies, I was actually told you will only get thicker, you will only get sicker, you will require more medication. So you kind of get to decide what do you want to believe? You know, and understanding that I and I, I want to be crystal clear here. I am not throwing doctors under the bus. Western medicine is very important. But they are not trained in nutrition, they are not trained in exercise. So it’s really a choice. What do you want? Yeah,

Debra Muth 11:23
I and I agree with you, you know, we everybody has a place. In western medicine, if I cut my arm off, I’m going to go see somebody that can either sew it back on or do something to save my life. So I don’t bleed to death. But if I have a chronic illness, which autoimmune disease is, yes, they’re not so great at helping me I need somebody that can help me with diet helped me with nutrition helped me with supplements helped me support my immune system. And that is not their expertise. And that’s okay. But there are people out there that have that expertise that can teach us nutrition can teach us those lifestyle changes that we need to address that chronic illness. There’s a place for all of us, unfortunately, in traditional medicine, they only get a couple of hours of nutrition in their entire training of eight years. So they’re not the most, you know, advanced in teaching us that. And I don’t know that we want to pay them for that time anyway, we want their expertise to be for something else. So I’m glad that you pointed that out. Because you’re absolutely right. We’re not throwing anybody under the bus here. But I think it’s important for us to tell for for people that are listening to know that there are great practitioners that do their best things. Mm hmm. You can align with somebody who’s best at a whether it’s nutrition, or supplements, or lifestyle changes or heart surgery, you want the best team in your corner. For all of those things.

Elaine Morrison 12:53
I 100% agree it’s the same, you know, if you’re hiring an accountant, if you’re hiring a lawyer, if you’re hiring, you know, a mechanic to fix your car, you know, everyone has their specialty and their expertise and decide what is what is the outcome that I want here?

Debra Muth 13:09
Absolutely. And it’s sad, you know, autoimmune disease is on the rise. And I suspect it’s going to be higher with post pandemic, you know, the illness itself is going to cause more autoimmune diseases. We’re not exactly sure what that number is going to look like yet. But we know that there is that potential. Not to mention that we know we’re going to see 49% rise in chronic fatigue post illness of COVID. So we know we’re on the rise for this. But the sad thing is, we don’t really have an expert in the way of autoimmune disease, as we’re talking about today. You know, we they manage the medication, they don’t manage, quote, unquote, the illness. So we need team players that can manage that for us manage the symptoms of the disease itself, and help us like you to not have positive antibodies. Again, that’s not their expertise in their role. So let’s transition a little bit in how how you you didn’t get what you needed from your primary care physician. You got on a path to find some way of helping yourself, how did that journey transition for you?

Elaine Morrison 14:15
So I ended up finding a naturopath and went to her and her intake was almost an hour. And it actually, I have managed to figure out if you look at the whole timeline, right. So when I was a kid, I had a lot of strep throat, I had pneumonia, I was on antibiotics, like every year probably. Then as a teenager, I didn’t start my period until I was about 15. And then I would have a period like once a year, maybe until I was 19. Well, looking back no one thought to, I don’t know, look at my endocrine system like that’s, that’s not normal. Right. So the answer to that was birth control pills. Hear, we’ll give you a period take birth control pills. So I took birth control pills for 17 years, being told I’m of the generation that was told it’s good for you. Mm hmm. So then I come off of it when I’m 37 years old. And then it was like just this cascade of health issues from coming off of it. You know, I went, I went through a miscarriage. I started having like, all this, like, digestive issues, and again, never put the pieces of the puzzle together, never realized, like birth control is so nutrient depleting, it really disrupts your gut microbiome, it affects your liver. I never knew any of that. So then I’m in my 40s. And it’s just this cascade of health stuff until I end up with Hashimoto. So I go to the naturopath, she takes the the wide angle view of all of that runs all these tests on me to find out, I was completely anemic. So vitamin D deficient, which I think you can speak to is a huge component underlying autoimmune illnesses. I mean, just a whole host of issues. So she just started to slowly chip away at some of that. I then decided I had been vegetarian and then vegan for 20-25 years. And that was really to deal with the digestive issues, I think of being on birth control. And so I started with some fish. And I just slowly started to add fish, and then some chicken and well, adding back that animal protein made such a difference for me. And so little by little just working on my diet, removing the inflammatory foods, I started to feel better, and then adding in some supplementation made a huge difference.

Debra Muth 17:00
Yeah, you know, I think it’s so important in what you’re talking about is taking that 100,000 point view of our life, right? Because autoimmune disease doesn’t just happen one day, it happens over the course of time from different things. And we’ve always been in functional medicine, I’ve been in functional medicine over 20 years. So we’ve always said, you start with a gut, that’s the piece. But in the last five to 10 years, we really realize the importance of the gut microbiome and the connection between that and the brain and the immune system, where we never knew that before. We knew it was important, but not to the degree that we know now. And it’s so important for us to look at that whole lifespan of how we got to some place. Because inside there are all the nuggets of what caused the problem. And it’s usually never one thing. It’s multiple things that have happened over time. And fixing that can be what actually fixes your disease. And sounds like that’s kind of where you ended up. You started working on changing your diet, adding in some things looking at the gut microbiome. And as you did all of these pieces, two things is ultimately where your Hashimotos was starting to heal.

Elaine Morrison 18:22
Oh, yeah. I mean, my TSH when I was diagnosed was over eight. And within I would say about six to nine months. I brought it back into line. And mind you I was only on levothyroxine for six weeks. Wow. And then they never put me back on it again because of the guttate psoriasis, psoriasis. Imagine having psoriasis from your scalp to your ankles for six months.

Debra Muth 18:48
That’s awful. It’s painful.

Elaine Morrison 18:50
The crazy thing is it didn’t itch. Ankle. I mean, I’ve been a Pilates instructor and imagine you you’re in people’s personal space and you’re covered with this. Um, so it was definitely a process. But my TSH came back in line and then I would say about a year year and a half in, my antibodies just kept dropping, dropping, dropping until they finally I don’t have antibodies anymore.

Debra Muth 19:18
And as your antibody started to drop is that when you started to notice your TSH pulling into line again?

Elaine Morrison 19:25
Mm hmm.

Debra Muth 19:26
Yeah. So you didn’t have quite as many symptoms then of the underactive thyroid.

Elaine Morrison 19:31
No, like, I got to a place where, you know if I slept eight hours, I would get up and I would feel good. Not that feeling of like I used to literally in the in the early stages. I would drag myself out of bed. I would go teach Pilates. I don’t know how anybody even took Pilates from me. Like, I was, I was so tired. I mean, there were times I would sit there and I would think I don’t like I would lose my place and My teaching and just I was so so, so fatigued, and I would come home and literally just lie on my couch like that was all I could do.

Debra Muth 20:10
Yeah, so the so for those of you that are listening and wondering, what are we talking about Hashimotos is an autoimmune thyroid disease, where your immune system recognizes your thyroid as a foreign entity and starts to attack it. At least that’s how we believe in conventional medicine. In our alternative world, we don’t really believe that the immune system attacks a body part as much as its attacking something that’s around that organ system. And unfortunately, it’s killing the tissue at the same time. And so in that world, we believe there’s a way to heal that autoimmune process where in the traditional world, we don’t believe there’s any way to fix that. So that is exactly what we’re talking about. And as the immune system attacks the thyroid, and it kills off the thyroid or damages the thyroid, your thyroid function is going to either slow down or speed up. And in the case of Hashimotos, it slows down so you have all these underactive thyroid symptoms. Elaine, do you want to share with us some of the underactive thyroid symptoms you had when things started out?

Elaine Morrison 21:12
Well, the fatigue was was one thing the weight gain was another the hair loss. My hair breaking. My hairstylist even was like, what’s what’s going on with your hair like that? Something’s something’s not right. All these little things can be again, these are little symptoms. These are little flares going up the to be aware of my skin, oh my gosh, my skin was just crazy, crazy, dry.

Debra Muth 21:44
Mental fog? Was that one of them that you had too?

Elaine Morrison 21:47
Oh, definitely. And I think that was just the fatigue. And you know, I’m a pretty optimistic person. And I found myself in a place of almost feeling in a depression. And I think, because I was just so tired and so lethargic. I’ve all you know, I was someone who was always at the gym and always exercising and I like to exercise. I didn’t go to the gym for six months. I didn’t I just did not have the energy to do it. And I should also say side note to this, um, maybe four or five years ago, my I went to a new naturopath who found that I have Epstein Barr. And I think that you can speak to that better than I can in terms of how that can often go hand in hand with autoimmune issues.

Debra Muth 22:40
Yeah, definitely. So we know viruses like Epstein Barr Virus, which is the virus that causes moto can trigger autoimmune diseases, and it can reactivate itself. So if you had mono as a kid, one of two things happens you you don’t have a really bad case of mono, you get over it pretty well. It doesn’t seem to bother you. And later in life, it might get retriggered or you have people who had monto as a kid, and they’ll say I’ve never been the same sense. I’ve always been fatigued, I’ve always had problems. In the first part, when you have the Epstein Barr Virus that kind of lays dormant in your body for a while. Any new exposure to a bacterial infection or a viral infection can reactivate Epstein Barr Virus and can make you feel like you have the infection but without full blown being flat on your back type thing. And so when that happens it the immune system starts to go after the virus and a lot of times that virus loves to surround the thyroid. So the immune system is trying to get rid of that virus around the thyroid tissue. And unfortunately, the thyroid is getting attacked at the same time as it’s trying to kill the virus that’s sitting there. Mm

Elaine Morrison 23:49
hmm. Yeah. So that was an extra little layer because I feel like I have had probably twice I’ve had situations where, like, I was feeling so much better. I was back at the gym. I literally remember I went to the gym one day had a good workout came home, and it was like, oh my god, I’m so tired. And it just ran over me. And then literally for like two weeks I’m in this like period of fatigue. So that has not happened, thankfully, in about three or four years. But I have had some situations where Yeah, feels like it gets reactivated.

Debra Muth 24:27
Yeah. How long did it take for you to start feeling relief of the symptoms that you had when you started this whole journey of

Elaine Morrison 24:35
healing? I would say it took probably about a year. Okay. You know, too long,

Unknown Speaker 24:44
but long enough,

Elaine Morrison 24:45
long enough. I mean, I know we live in a culture of quick fixes. Mm hmm. And I’ve learned in this whole journey I’m, I’m I’m tenacious like I’m not I’m not going to give up I’m going to always say Keep seeking answers, and I’m not gonna settle. So the dietary changes were important. The reducing stress, basically removing alcohol, you know, these, these are all hard things to do. And you have to be committed and no, I was not perfect about it. Um, but I realized, I just kept going, and I just kept committing to eating well, getting my sleep, taking care of myself. And I want to say I realized to a certain extent, that is a luxury. It really is.

Debra Muth 25:43
And you know, we are a society of a quick fix, give me a pill, give me something so I can feel better in a week, or tomorrow. And this kind of process is not that quick, it is a minimum of six to 12 months. So start feeling that gut lining. So if you’ve had 15 years of damage to your gut, it’s going to take some time for that to start to work. And along that journey, you’re going to have wins and successes, and you’re going to have some things that don’t work so well. And so it’s a continuous process of changing things to try to find what works best for you, each person’s individual, what works for you might not work for me. So partnering, I’m really glad that your naturopath said let’s partner together because this is a partnership. It’s a journey, you go on with someone together, and you work to make things fit a your lifestyle, what works for you and how you feel and and that does take a commitment and take some time for sure.

Elaine Morrison 26:42
It does. And I and I want to say to people, you know, it’s not just all like, uphill, you know, there have been peaks and valleys and peaks and valleys. And there’s been times where I mean, it. It can be hard. I don’t I don’t want to sugarcoat it. You know, it can be depressing. living with a chronic illness can be challenging, where you’re like, Oh, my God, I’m doing everything, right. I’m eating all the right foods, I’m sleeping yet I don’t feel great. today. I don’t have energy. Whatever the issue is,

Debra Muth 27:19
I’m tired of not being able to eat out because everything has gluten and dairy or it’s contaminated. You know, there are challenges there.

Elaine Morrison 27:28
I want to speak to that. Because you know, I really don’t eat restaurant food. And it can be a challenge socially, it can be a challenge in dating. I mean, I’ve gone on dates where it’s like, oh god, you’re so picky. Or, Oh, it’s you can’t eat that or just or just eat this right? The friend, the well meaning friend who’s like, Oh, my God, just eat this. Like, no, you don’t understand if I eat that I’m going to feel horrible and hungover for a week. Mm hmm. So I think that can be challenging. I’ve always felt like my family didn’t totally understand, like, what what I’m really dealing with here. It’s like, oh, she’s got some weird thing. I don’t know. So you have to find people that can be emotionally supportive, as well.

Debra Muth 28:21
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it’s definitely the social aspect of things is a challenge, you know, when you start changing your lifestyle, to such that it doesn’t match other people’s, it can be hard. But in the same token, it can still be good. You know, if you go to a family gathering, that there’s going to be a lot of food there, you just, you know, ask nicely to the host say, Can I can I bring a couple of dishes, I’d love to share things. And that way, you know, you have things to eat at that event. My daughter has celiac disease. So we’ve gotten really good at this when we go to family gatherings. She’s been celiac now for oh my gosh, I think almost 18 or 19 years. And our my family still doesn’t understand it. So when we go to grandma’s house. Yeah, just make sure that Thanksgiving time comes I bring her own little Thanksgiving dinner. And right, everybody knows, like, Deb is gonna bring an extra Turkey and she’ll bring things for Kayla that she can eat. We don’t have to worry about it. But she doesn’t feel like she is left out and she doesn’t have to worry that what she’s going to eat is going to make her sick. Because otherwise she goes and she doesn’t eat anything. And then people are offended and she feels bad and they feel bad. And we don’t nobody wants to make somebody feel put out. But the last thing that you want to do is eat something to make somebody else feel good only for you to suffer for the next 10 days afterwards. Or set your healing path back six months because you know you ate that food that somebody really wanted you to have.

Elaine Morrison 29:54
Right? Right. You know, it’s cute. My mom My mom is 91 and I Every Christmas Eve, I would make dinner for her and a friend. She lives in a retirement community. So I cook the way I cook for myself, but it’s very you know, I use a lot of herbs and spices, you can still eat delicious food. Absolutely. I make everything that I would eat. There’s, you know, they literally dead they’re practically licking their plates. So much the thing that they are obsessed with is cauliflower mash. Oh, yeah. My mind’s blown like, potatoes. This isn’t mashed potatoes. This is cauliflower mash. That is they literally requested from me now. So I think, you know, you can cook for people and show people that No, I’m not just over here eating like bland porridge or something. You know, I eat there’s a, there’s a mindset. I think in our culture that eating quote, healthy means I’m going to eat some like bland cardboard, rice cake or something. Not sticks

Debra Muth 31:01
in weeds, right?

Elaine Morrison 31:04
Exactly, exactly. It does not have to be that way at all. It

Debra Muth 31:08
does not it can be delicious. I mean, I make dessert. We have family Mealtime at our house, every Sunday, my kids come. And we always make a dessert. And it can be a healthy dessert. It doesn’t have to be a sugar laden dessert, I use monkfruit. I use all kinds of alternative sweeteners, like honey or maple syrup, and I use gluten free flour. And we make all kinds of things. And nobody knows the difference. And, and my boys will say, Well, Mom, you’ve gotten really good at making this gluten free stuff tastes pretty good. Because back in the day, it wasn’t so great, you know, bean flowers and stuff like that. It was disgusting. And now we’re blessed. We have so many great things and alternatives and people have made recipes and it can be good. It doesn’t have to mean you’re left out. It just means that we look at things differently.

Elaine Morrison 32:01
Right, right. And as you say, I mean, my gosh, there’s so many recipes out there. Now. There’s so many creative, talented people out there us making really, really delicious things.

Debra Muth 32:15
So exactly. So Elaine, tell us how Elaine wellness got started. I’m assuming it got started because of your journey. But share with us how that got started.

Elaine Morrison 32:25
Yeah, it got started really out of my own journey. And so as I said, I was my hair was falling out and breaking. And I’ve always had a lot of hair and long hair. And that was really, really traumatic to me. So I was like, oh my god, I’m gonna read everything and anything, what can I do to help my hair and I read about collagen. And collagen is a protein we all have within us. As we get to our mid 20s, we stopped producing as much and we no longer eat a collagen rich diet. So I was like, Oh, I got nothing to lose, add that into smoothies. And about six months later, my hairstylist was like, Oh my gosh, what’s going on? Like you have all this little baby hair growth coming in. I said I found this collagen. So she was like, well keep taking it. And so then I got to thinking, well, maybe I could come up with a company and a brand. So I originally came out with a collagen water. knowing nothing about the beverage industry, launched that in 2017 had a lot of hard lessons. My product was oh my gosh, beverage industry, my product got copied. And so ultimately, I pivoted and came out now with powdered collagen. And really, the the whole purpose of my brand is I want to change the narrative around beauty and aging. You know, aging is a privilege. And I I don’t think any of us that are in midlife want to go back to being in our 20s

Debra Muth 34:01
Really not!

Elaine Morrison 34:03
No and so I want to change the narrative around perimenopause and menopause where you can age beautifully. You can age well, you can eat well, you can exercise you can take care of yourself. And, you know, I think there’s lots of opportunity to build community around that I find that women are craving information about how can I look and feel my best in midlife. Because there’s such a narrative again. The medical community literally tells women you’re only going to get fatter, you’re supposed to not feel well here we go again with that message, that it’s normal to not feel well. And I’m here to say, You know what, my autoimmune disorder completely set me up to really go through perimenopause and menopause with hardly a blip on the radar. And I think it’s because I eat so well, that I have not had symptoms like hot flashes, I haven’t had night sweats. I haven’t had all those issues. And I have to think it’s because I eat well, I don’t drink alcohol and I prioritize sleep.

Debra Muth 35:16
Yeah, it’s so true. You know, people who suffer from menopause, the most have the traditional American diets, you know, processed foods, junk, a lot of sugar, a lot of alcohol. And we know all of those things trigger hot flashes and night sweats and they create problems for us. And I’m so glad you’re doing this. You know, for people who know me, they know my love is women’s health. I started there 20 years ago, I love it. I’ve always work with perimenopause and menopause, all women spend my love from day one. And I still love doing it. And you’re so right. Like, we have this huge aging population of people, but we have so much to give after 50. And, you know, when our parents were 50, it was kind of like, well, you’re winding down, you’re ending your life, you know, you don’t really have much to contribute. And now over 50, we have people starting businesses, raising children, I mean, just the there are endless things for people over 50. And it’s so great, because we have all the knowledge that we wish we would have had at 20 When we started things, and we can still have stamina and energy and an amazing life over 50 We still have so much to contribute. But I think the concern for people is, am I going to have enough energy? How am I going to feel? How’s my focus and concentration going to be? can I compete with these 20 year olds, and then ultimately, we do have a little vanity there. Like, I want to still look and feel amazing. And I want to be sexy and have this vibrant life? Because now I have the time and the money to do it? And how do I do it? How do I do it? How do I stay in this because the narrative is, you’re going to get fat, you’re gonna have your hair is not going to look the same, you’re gonna have wrinkles, you’re going to lose your eyesight, and you’re not going to have a sex drive and your vagina is gonna dry up and blow away. And that’s just the way it is.

Elaine Morrison 37:07
Great. So where do I sign?

Debra Muth 37:09
Right? Can I sign up for some of that?

Elaine Morrison 37:14
dry up and blow away

Debra Muth 37:22
I mean, that that’s what we’re taught. And it turns out to be that way. Like, I work with women that are beautiful and amazing. And they’re having the best sex of their life. And they’re starting businesses, and they’re, they’re traveling and they look great, and they feel great. And that is what menopause and actually, regardless of age, that’s what life should be about. But the focus for menopausal women can be that narrative. Right?

Elaine Morrison 37:55
Right. So Deb, you and I are going to change that. Definitely because, you know, I’ve taught Pilates as I said for last 16 years. So I’ve had this focus group as I call them coming through my door and all I’ve heard is, you know, oh, the hot flashes, I can’t sleep at night I’ve gained all this weight and so they’re just being given antidepressants and all these different pills and medications. And so I honestly listening to all this I was like, oh my god, okay, menopause is just gonna kick my ass. Mm hmm. You know, like if autoimmunity was tricky, here we go, like, put my seatbelt on, I’m strapping in this is gonna be hard. And then I got through it. And my girlfriends are like, I don’t know, you seem kind of unfazed. And I said, I don’t really know. I mean, I will say my naturopath had me do some bio identical hormones. I did the patch, and some oral progesterone. And I, again, here’s the collaborative part. I said to her, I don’t really notice a difference. And she was like, if you don’t need it, then you don’t need it. And go off of it. And if you feel like you change your mind, then let’s revisit it. Mm hmm. I just don’t feel like I need it. So I’m just kind of over here going about my business.

Debra Muth 39:19
Hmm. It is such a great thing because we have those tools for women who need them. And there’s all kinds of different things that we can do to make your life more comfortable. And I was the same way I I’ve been in this gig a long time right? And so I progesterone a long time and, and I thought okay, well I’ll use estrogen when I need it. Well, I never needed it because I was had so much damn testosterone, I didn’t need estrogen. And one day I’m like, Okay, I gotta check my hormones. Again. I’ll do an FSH, I’ll see where I’m at. And lo and behold, I’m like, Oh my God, my FSH is like 90. I’m like, I never felt like I went through menopause. Nothing really transitioned, other than I got a little calmer. I wasn’t quite so aggressive. And that was only because my testosterone started to go down. But it was like, I had to check it to figure out if I where I was because I didn’t have a clue. I had a hysterectomy when I was young, so I couldn’t use bleeding as my, my role of telling me where I was. And so when I checked my levels, and I was like, holy cow, I’ve already passed through this, and I had to think back and go like, did I notice anything? Because I didn’t think I did. So I was like you, you know, never really had hot flashes, never really had night sweats never really had any blip on the radar. And, and I think it’s because of all of the things that I do are like what you do and what I tell my patients to do. So I never really had a big transitional swing there. So people don’t have to go through that if you know ahead of time what to do. You don’t have to suffer through that.

Elaine Morrison 40:51
Right, right. And I’m, I’ve been doing a little bit of reading, I’m sure you can speak to this. It’s like is keeping your blood sugar steady a big part of getting through menopause?

Debra Muth 41:03

Elaine Morrison 41:03
I’m curious to learn more about that.

Debra Muth 41:05
Yeah, you know, we’ve used Metformin, which is a drug for type two diabetes as an anti aging tool for about the last 15 years. And it’s one of the drugs that that I do align with, because it does have some great anti aging tools, prevents cancer does a whole bunch of great things. But that helps to keep your blood sugar from rising and falling and having these huge spikes, but it’s a great anti aging tool. And, and if you can do that with diet. It’s wonderful because you don’t have all that swinging back and forth of rise and crash and rise and crash. And so if you’re looking for a way to control your focus and concentration, keeping that blood sugar nice and steady and stable is huge for that.

Elaine Morrison 41:46
Mm hmm. Yeah, that seems like that’s gonna be a key component to aging. Ultimately. Yeah, so I hope I can help women change the narrative. I do see a lot of women that are very stuck on like, No, I’ve got to sign up for all the horrible thing. I just think we together we have to educate women that it doesn’t have to be hard I also think your mindset about it right? What is your mindset about aging? Do you think you just need to go get a house coat and slippers and, you know, just be fluffy and unhappy? Or can you reframe midlife and menopause as a powerful transition, which wrote an Instagram post about that blew up? Because people are like, Oh, wow. Oh, you mean midlife isn’t downhill? I’m like, No sister, it were taken off from here. And I find it interesting because I’m an entrepreneur. I’m in a lot of these groups, with women. Well, a lot of them are half my age, literally half my age, I’m the age of their mothers. And I’m interested in what they gravitate towards me. Is that that wisdom, man calm that, like, you know what? It’s gonna be okay. I know it life feels hard right now, you don’t have all the answers. But there’s something to be said about getting to this point in life. Got the lessons, you’ve written a bunch of waves up and down in life hardships, this and that, you kind of know, it’s gonna be okay, you’re gonna make it. And that can only come with time and experience and wisdom. And when I reassure them that it’s like, you see that the temperature come down a little bit?

Debra Muth 43:32
Absolutely. You know, midlife does not have to be a difficult thing. I see women going back to school in their families and doing what they always wanted to do. But either didn’t have the time, the money, the energy, they were raising kids, whatever the reason is, they’re going back and doing what they love. Because remember, we still have 20 to 30 years post menopause to live in this world. And we don’t have to retire at 57. If you want to retire at 57. Hey, go for it. Right? Most people don’t want to belly up and say I’m done. And most people financially can’t. So you might as well spend the last 20 or 30 years of your life doing what you absolutely love, instead of doing it with something that you don’t want to do anyway.

Elaine Morrison 44:15
Right. And I hear purpose and staying mentally engaged. Yeah, are super important to aging. Well, as I said, my mom’s 91 She still wants the economist and the New York Times. Now she’s got a lot of short term stuff going on cognitive decline. My brother and I are like, I’m like, I don’t care if she reads one sentence of it. The fact that she wants to be up on the world. I’m gonna send you whatever you want. I send her books from Amazon, because she wants to be up on the world. And that is so important. So I think your mindset as well as what you’re putting in your mind and what you’re putting in your mouth, are equally important to age. Well, and you know, I have a client who came to me and told me this story when she was 4040. She decided to go to medical school. It had always been a dream of her now she’s a little pistol, this lady, and I’m here in Los Angeles, she went down to USC, and she basically said to them, you will let me into the medical school. Good for her. So and I mean, this was like, 30 plus years ago, she got into medical school. She said it was the hardest thing. Mind you. She had two children shoot two boys. She was raising two years into medical school, her husband drops dead of a heart attack.

Debra Muth 45:41
Oh my gosh.

Elaine Morrison 45:42
Okay, now you’re a widow. And you’ve got like her boys were like 10 and 12 years old. She decided I’m not quitting. I’m not giving up. She hired a nanny. She kept going to medical school, graduated, did her residency, finished her residency at 49 years old and became a pediatrician, worked as a pediatrician until she was 75 years old. She said, I’ve loved every minute. And now I’m ready to retire.

Debra Muth 46:08
Good for her, wow.

Elaine Morrison 46:10
I always take little stories like that and carry them with me as a reminder that if she can do it, I can do it.

Debra Muth 46:17
Hmm. That’s right. That I mean, all we need is the gumption and a little support around us and we can do anything we put our minds to.

Elaine Morrison 46:26
Absolutely. So go do what lights you up and then rest will fall into place.

Debra Muth 46:31
I think. Yeah, absolutely. Elaine, this has been such a great conversation and tell people how they can get in touch with you and they can work with you if they want to.

Elaine Morrison 46:40
Absolutely you can come to my website which is Elainewellness.com, or you can come find me on Instagram, same handle @Elainewellness, I answer all my own DMS so I love to meet people talk to people. And so yeah, any any way I can connect, I love to do it.

Debra Muth 47:00
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining us today. This has been an amazing conversation.

Elaine Morrison 47:05
I’ve loved every minute. I hope you’ll come do an Instagram Live with me.

Debra Muth 47:09
Absolutely. I’d love to.

Debra Muth 47:15
Hey, it has been really great sharing this time with you guys on the let’s talk wellness now podcast. If this episode has helped you or you feel as though this episode would help someone else we’d love for you to leave us a review. Share this podcast. And if you don’t want to miss the most exciting episodes we have coming. We’d love for you to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Until next time, live every day to the fullest

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