Bottom Line/HEALTH: Are birth control pills bad for you?

Holly Lucille, ND, RN: The short answer is absolutely yes. Obviously, everybody is individual. The longer answer is, listen, birth control pills, I have seen the #1 thing that they do is they decrease thyroid function. When you start decreasing active thyroid function, you have signs of hypometabolism. What’s that? Depression, weight gain, hair thinning, and constipation.

Also known to plummet are levels of vitamin B6. What’s that important for? Well, you can’t get serotonin, your feel-good neurotransmitter from tryptophan, the building block, without B6. Serotonin can’t go on to become melatonin, which helps you sleep, without B6. It is a cascade of a lot of problems. And it increases the viscosity of blood, which leads to heart issues.

Bottom Line: Is there ever a time that somebody should use birth control pills?

Dr. Lucille: In my opinion, absolutely not. I think there are alternatives, and they need to be fully sought out if this is a recommendation.

Bottom Line: And even when people are having extreme cramps or extreme cycling issues, there are other ways to be able to handle it?

Dr. Lucille: Yes. There are, because one of the things there that we’ve got to understand, these are hormonal issues. The last thing you want to do if your hormonal system is out of balance creating symptoms or side effects of that imbalance is just put more hormones in the tank. It’s like putting clean gas into a dirty gas tank. It’s never going to work in the long term. We need to slow down and figure it out.

Bottom Line: All right, great. Thank you.