Courtney Guarino, MS, RDN, LD
My career journey began working amongst like-minded individuals in yoga and Ayurveda training schools, fueling my fervor for holistic medicine. Ayurveda, which translates to “science of life,” is a 5,000-year-old Indian health system based on a connection and balance between one’s physical, mental and emotional state. I am thrilled to be able to weave Ayurvedic healing practices into my one-on-one functional medicine nutrition counseling sessions and into our programs and classes at Better Gut Better Health.
My career journey and current focus in women’s health issues were also influenced by growing up with hormonal birth control (HBC) as the “superwoman” solution to teenage girl period problems. When I decided to stop taking my hormonal birth control pill in December 2018, I had been taking it for more than half my life.
The only regret I have is not knowing about the side effects: mood swings, gastrointestinal distress, low libido, painful sex, depression, poor energy. Nor did I know about the risks of taking it, especially for so long, or what could happen when I decided it was no longer for me.
My quest to find safe and effective ways to manage these side effects intensified my knowledge of female hormone balance and the need to support our bodies when we decide to stop taking HBC. In fact, because female hormones are part of the interconnected web of hormones produced in the body, including the adrenal hormones, the strategies I employ benefit other hormone systems as well.
Hormones have a powerful effect on the body in many ways from shifts in body weight throughout the life cycle to changes in other organ systems. My own body weight has shifted with each season of my life, and I am grateful that we are now in an era of food inclusivity and body liberation. Our society is finally moving to a place where we can focus a bit more on the experience of eating rather than just on the food itself. Unfortunately, this was not the case, however, when I hit puberty. The “thin ideal” and fad diets were becoming all the rage. Social media hadn’t been invented yet (thank goodness for that), but there was still pressure to be felt from TV shows, movies, magazines, and of course, family members to lose weight and to be thin.
My work with clients incorporates this agenda of correcting any hormonal imbalances while respecting each client’s unique body, showing it grace and reverence from the inside out. My passion is to endorse the female body as a source of power, elegance, strength, and pleasure. Through individualized lifestyle practices and natural and herbal therapies, I counsel women of all ages in a whole-body approach model that honors bodies of all shapes and sizes and restores each client’s body-mind connection.
Since joining Better Gut Better Health, I have also seen the deep connection between our body’s hormone systems and gastrointestinal disorders and the liver. My expertise has grown to include supporting both the gut and liver while working to find the root cause of your hormone imbalance.
My specialties include PCOS, endometriosis, thyroid imbalances, fertility, pregnancy planning, prenatal care, interstitial cystitis, perimenopause, menopause, pelvic floor dysfunction, skin imbalances, gastrointestinal disorders, autoimmune disorders.
Alas, we mustn’t forget that hormone imbalances do not discriminate. I am happy to meet with people of all genders who are impacted by hormone imbalances.