“Now my trajectory and my vision is that my health is actually only ever-improving and continues to get better because there are layers that you have to peel off. I feel great. The 50s are wonderful.”
– Dr. Kyrin Dunston
In her 40s, Dr. Kyrin Dunston spent her days helping women as an OB/GYN. And yet, behind the scenes she struggled with her own health.
She was cold all the time and suffered from gastrointestinal issues. Her weight steadily crept up, despite dieting and exercising. She couldn’t sleep, was exhausted, and experienced hair loss, heartburn, pain, anxiety, depression and zero sex drive.
“There was no area of my health that wasn’t affected and there was no aspect of my life that wasn’t affected… my very career, my livelihood and then all of my relationships,” she says. “It was a pretty bad time.”
A Fibromyalgia Diagnosis, and Much More
For help, Kyrin turned to her peers, fellow doctors who soon labeled her various ailments: fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, IBS, chronic fatigue and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). And they prescribed numerous pharmaceuticals, including five psychoactive medications.
The diagnoses and medications, however, didn’t help her feel any better.
“I think when we humans think of diagnosis, we think we’re getting to the root of it when nothing could be further from the truth,” she says. “Those are all just symptoms.”
All Too Common… Fatigue, Weight Gain in Mid Life
Kyrin had grown up in Manhattan with a natural-health-minded mom. However, when Kyrin went off to medical school, she left behind natural approaches.
As a practicing OB/GYN, Kyrin saw countless women in midlife suffering just like her with fatigue, weight gain, pain, low sex drive and more. She’d prescribe birth control or other medications, but unfortunately, most patients didn’t report feeling better.
“No one ever came back in my office and said, ‘Oh my gosh, Dr. Kyrin, those five prescriptions you gave me, I feel like a million dollars,’” she says. ‘Oh my God, I feel better than I did when I was 20.’ That just never happened.”
Finally, Gut and Hormone Testing
Then, Kyrin spotted one of her patients – a woman in her 40s – who looked amazing. Previously, she had seen Kyrin for female problems and had eventually had her ovaries removed. But following that, she still suffered from headaches, anxiety, weight issues and low libido.
When Kyrin saw her after about a year, she knew something was different. She was slimmer, her hair was full, her skin glowed and her eyes were bright.
She ultimately learned that the woman had had her hormone levels checked and then balanced – something that, oddly, Kyrin hadn’t really been taught as a conventional OB/GYN.
“Here I am a board-certified OB/GYN,” she says. “I’m supposed to know more about women’s health. And yet I wasn’t trained in checking women’s hormone levels.”
The patient mentioned she had gained inspiration from a book written by Suzanne Somers, an actress. But Kryin wondered, what could Chrissy from Three’s Company teach an OB/GYN about women’s health?
Alone at home one Saturday, Kyrin finally read the book, which interviewed numerous doctors.
“Before long, I was reading this book like it was The DaVinci Code,” she says. “I finished the book that day. And I remember when the sun went down, it was like everything had changed.”
It was a breakthrough moment as she came to understand what tests and interventions she really needed to help herself and other women. She dug more into functional medicine, or root cause medicine, and then began testing herself.
Testing turned up thyroid, progesterone and low cortisol issues. She also uncovered food sensitivities, including many foods she ate regularly. More testing revealed leaky gut, gut dysbiosis, low stomach acid, Candida and pancreatic insufficiency.
She followed the trail of breadcrumbs, addressing one health issue at a time through a customized diet that eliminated her trigger foods. Then, her eating evolved to a modified paleo diet, with gluten and sugar as the biggest no-nos.
She added herbs, vitamins and other nutritional support, along with bioidentical hormone replacement for her her thyroid and help for her adrenals.
With those steps, Kyrin’s energy, digestion and hair growth all improved. She stopped taking medications. And over time, she lost 100 pounds.
Her patients noticed too, and began pulling her aside to ask what she was doing.
In 2011, Kyrin closed her conventional OB/GYN practice and began a new practice focused on functional medicine, or root cause medicine to help women in midlife – like her – truly find what’s behind their health challenges, from low energy to weight challenges to autoimmunity and more. She works directly with individuals and has programs starting regularly, including Jump Start Your Midlife Mojo.
Sometimes Kyrin wonders where she would be now if she had continued on the path she was on.
“Now my trajectory and my vision is that my health is actually only ever-improving and continues to get better because there are layers that you have to peel off,” she says. “I feel great. The 50s are wonderful.”
Dr. Kyrin Dunston’s 4 Pillars of Healing True Vitality
For her and her patients, Kyrin has found these four cornerstones as critical to regaining health:
1. Hormone Balancing
Hormones affect much more than you think, including nervous system function. Kyrin says hormone balance starts with what you eat because it affects the hormone, insulin, which influences your thyroid, cortisol, DHA and sex hormones (which are about much more than sex).
“You have more sex hormone receptors in your brain and central nervous system than anywhere else in your body,” she says.
The average person has traces of 400 toxic chemicals in the body, which can disrupt it in numerous ways. For optimal health, you have to reduce the toxins you’re exposed to and detox the body.
3. Nutrition Deficiency
As Kyrin learned, she was eating foods that triggered her inflammation. At the same time, she had nutritional deficiencies to address. She did both through a modified paleo diet that eliminated trigger foods, plus took vitamins and herbs.
4. Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Balance
Lastly, Kyrin personally found that she had to achieve mental, emotional, spiritual and bio-energetic balance to get better. “Energy animates us. we’ve got to address that energy body if we want to have complete physical healing,” she says. For Kyrin, prayer and meditation were key.
Her advice for others:
“If you’ve got chronic health, you have them for a reason,” she says. “It’s not a simple fix. Most of you have tried, you’ve listened to this podcast or that podcast, or tried this supplement or that supplement. And you haven’t gotten where you wanted to be. So love yourself enough to invest in yourself and find someone who can help you because without your health, really nothing else matters.”
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