Dr. McCarthy has been up to something super secret, but very exciting! And we’re here to share some of it with you today. Dr. McCarthy has been working on his first ever book, and it is almost ready to see the light of day. But we wanted to get ahead of the curve and give you all a special preview of the book before it’s officially published and released.
This currently untitled project is slated to be released in early fall, so keep your eyes peeled for details regarding that. And we will also be throwing a celebratory launch party once the book is released!
Dr. McCarthy wrote this book to give power back to the patients — his patients and those who haven’t had the pleasure of being treated by Dr. McCarthy. Far too often women are treated poorly by the medical community. Appointments are quick, a bedside manner is nonexistent and symptoms are treated with hasty prescriptions.
This book is designed to educate and empower the reader. Read below to see a preview of chapter two from Dr. McCarthty’s soon to be released book!
I want to share with you the story of a woman named Julie.
It begins at age thirteen, when Julie experiences her first period. Her menstrual cycle is compli- cated and irregular, with cramping over the first few days. Her mother assures her this is normal, but when Julie begins missing a day of school every month, her parents take her to see the family doctor. “These symptoms are normal for a girl your age,” he tells her, and prescribes oral contra- ceptive pills for the cramps. Julie’s parents assume that their doctor would warn them of any sig- nificant side effects, and they fill the prescription.
By college, Julie no longer has difficult periods, but she feels as if she has to be very strict with her diet to prevent weight gain. When Julie brings this up at the campus clinic, the nurse assures her that the weight gain has nothing to do with the birth control pills. “Just exercise more and eat less,” advises the nurse.
Julie graduates, begins her career, and at twenty-six, she meets a guy and falls in love. They get married. Two years later, she stops her birth control. By age twenty-nine, she conceives her first child.
Julie experiences post-partum depression. When she reports this to her OB, he prescribes her Zoloft for six months.
Over the next four years, Julie has two more children. After each childbirth, she experiences some depression and uses Zoloft.
Her anxiety comes back and won’t be ignored. Her regular doctor prescribes Xanax.
By thirty-five, Julie stops taking Zoloft, gets back on birth control, and goes back to work. She works harder than ever before. Every morning, Julie wakes up early to exercise, then gets the kids up and ready for school and sees them out the door. She puts in a full day at the office, then shuttles the kids to after-school activities before coming home to supervise homework while making dinner. After dinner, she cleans the kitchen, puts the kids to bed, and folds laundry while watching TV. Then she falls into bed and gets up early to start all over again.
Since college, Julie has worked hard to keep her weight in the healthy range. This all changes in her forties, when she gains fifteen pounds. Her routine of careful diet and regular exercise no longer works for her. She restricts her diet to 1,000 calories per day and trains for and completes several marathons. But Julie still can’t keep her weight under control.
Additionally, Julie now begins experiencing insomnia, low libido, fatigue, and depression. Her physician listens to the list of symptoms, runs a battery of tests, and tells her she is “fine.” He prescribes Ambien for sleep, recommends going back on Zoloft, and renews her prescription for Xanax. “Don’t forget that you need to eat less and exercise more,” he reminds her. He also im- plies that if she lost weight, her libido would return.
Julie wants to ask, “What happened to my body? What happened to my zest, my happiness? Why do I need all these medications—and then when I take them, I still don’t feel right?”
Could there have been another way? she wonders.
The Owner’s Manual
Julie is an amalgam of many patients I have seen, and her story is a universal and depressing one. As you read through the rest of this book, see if you recognize Julie—or yourself. Her plight oc- curs because, too often, doctors only focus on a patient’s symptoms. They don’t apply them- selves to the question of why she has those symptoms to begin with.
This is where we step in.
We are going to break this cycle. And it begins by understanding what is happening in your body and mind, and taking charge of both.
You may be asking yourself, “Why is this so important? I’ve lived in this body all my life. Don’t I know everything I really need to know about it, by now?”
Think of the information in this chapter as the owner’s manual to your body.
When you learn how to drive, you are taught the basics of a car and how it works. You need to know where the engine is, that it has brakes, and how the steering wheel controls the four tires. After that, you learn about which gasoline to put in it and why. You learn about oil and how it keeps the engine running. You may even choose to discover more about the finer systems that work within your vehicle.
And just as you need this information before you get behind the wheel, you also need to know the basics of your body and its functions.
This information orients you within the systems of your body. With that understanding, you also take control of your mind and your ability to do something when one of those systems misfires.
You take your car to a mechanic for tune-ups. Similarly, you see your doctor to keep everything running smoothly in your body. As most women have experienced, Mechanics are not always acting in a woman’s best interest. In the case of Julie, neither were her doctors.
Once you understand the different pieces and how they work together, you can make educated decisions about your health. You can have effective conversations with your doctor to help you get everything back in balance.
You are empowered to take control of your body, your mind, and your life.
In this chapter, we will cover the physical parts of your body, including your brain, and how they work. We’ll also break down twelve of the hormones and neurotransmitters that affect your body and mind the most.