Advocating For Your Health, And The Importance Of Learning About Your Hormones | Dr. Tara Scott...

Hormones are the building blocks of our entire body. When something happens with our health, if we look deeply most of our ailments can be rooted back to some sort of imbalance or issue with our hormones. Dr. Tara Scott is an expert on integrative functional medicine, hormone disorders and imbalances, and is a certified OB GYN. She’s dedicated her career to helping as many individuals as possible learn about their bodies, the important role hormone’s play when it comes to our health, and advocate for themselves.

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Dr. Tara Scott Hormone Guru

Our bodies are made up of multiple organs, systems, and senses that work together to help us function in our day-to-day lives. At the base of all of the pieces of our bodies are hormones. Hormones are the building blocks that make up our bodies systems and help it run efficiently. When we experience any kind of health issue, most of them can actually be traced back to some sort of hormonal issue that’s contributing to the problem. 

While hormones are such an integral part of our health, it’s seldom discussed in traditional medical settings among both patients and doctors. This is one of the main reasons Dr. Tara Scott has dedicated a majority of her medical career to learning about integrative functional medicine and hormone disorders, imbalances, and overall function. 

On top of that, she’s also a certified OB GYN, and her practice in the specific field is what led her to her mission of educating and advocating for patients around the world, and teaching them about the importance of their hormones. 

“I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. I graduated college after two years and a week later went straight into medical school, so I found myself carrying the title of doctor at 23. During my rotations in medical school, I fell in love with the OBGYN sector, because I could take care of a woman during so many different stages of her life,” Dr. Scott explained.

“I would be taking care of teenagers, their moms, grandmas, etc. and to be able to help such a diverse range of women at those various stages of their lives, and to be able to build those long lasting relationships as they grow older is what made me really want to pursue becoming an OBGYN specifically.”

Dr. Scott initially “earned a Bachelor of Science in natural sciences from the University of Akron and an MD from the Northeast Ohio University College of Medicine, where she has also served as a clinical assistant professor. Dr. Scott completed a residency at Summa Health Systems of Akron City Hospital, where she earned the Teacher of the Year commendation in 2013, and she holds board certification from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Scott is currently the medical director for Forum Health Akron and an expert in well-woman care as well as integrative functional medicine. 

Dr. Scott also maintains active memberships in associated organizations to help her maintain open channels for networking and offer appropriate forums for disseminating her expertise. She is a member of the Fellowship of the American Congress of Obstetricians and of the Fellowship in Anti-Aging Regenerative Medicine. She’s a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and as a North American Menopause Society Certified Menopause Practitioner, Dr. Scott works with patients to find solutions for advanced symptoms and hormonal disorders,” according to Dr. Scott’s recent honor in Marquis Who’s Who.  

With all of the titles, roles, and accolades, it begs the question, how exactly did Dr. Scott get started on this journey of changing the way we all look at medicine and our health?

Dr. Tara Scott Hormone Guru

“In the OB GYN field, we actually get very little training in menopause and hormone disorders. There is a subspecialty called reproductive endocrine, which focuses mostly on infertility. So my first kind of ‘exposure’ was my own experience with infertility. 

Dr. Scott’s Introduction to hormone, integrative and functional medicine: 

“When it came time for me to have children, I found I was unable to get pregnant without the aid of infertility specialists and medication. So as I was navigating my own hormonal disorder, I began to explore more about the options for individuals who were, and weren’t, trying to conceive. 

For the individual trying to conceive, they can go to the reproductive endocrine sector, but if they’re not trying to get pregnant, I asked myself ‘what do we have for the person who’s suffering from a hormonal disorder,’ and the answer was little to nothing at that time. So I dedicated myself to studying and exploring the intricacies of hormone disorders.

While we had some information about menopause, there was practically nothing for that gap of time between when a woman has had her kids and doesn’t plan on conceiving anymore, but they haven’t reached menopause yet; so the 30’s, 40’s, and early 50’s age range. 

The last piece of my story that shaped me and changed how I practiced medicine is my brother’s sudden passing 16-years-ago. He was 38-years-old and had a heart attack while hiking. When I was looking into his medical history further, he had every risk factor for a heart attack but to traditional medicine, he was healthy. He was a diabetic, was on cholesterol medication, was a lawyer so he was stressed and sedentary, so as I was looking into all of this I realized it was a completely preventable death, which profoundly changed me and the way I practiced medicine,” Dr. Scott said.  

Through this experience, Dr. Scott began extending her personal research into hormone disorders to learn more about root cause medicine to find the reasoning behind these disorders and why they manifest the way that they do in certain individuals. She began researching stress related disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and more hormone related ailments that so many people suffer from. 

Dr. Scott then began a fellowship at the American Academy for Anti-Aging, Regenerative, Functional Medicine. 

As Dr. Scott was continuing her fellowships and education in these functional approaches to medicine, she continued her career as an OBGYN, balancing the world’s of both traditional and functional medicine while growing as a medical professional. In 2016, she made the decision to retire from being a practicing OB GYN to focus on integrative and functional medicine. 

Integrative and Functional Medicine VS. Traditional Medicine: 

To best explain the difference between traditional healthcare and integrative and functional medicine, Dr. Scott provided an example that many have, and can likely, relate to:

“As an example, for a woman, let’s say she’s 35 and having heavy periods and weight gain, the only option you’re given in a traditional setting is birth control. Even if she had her tubes tied or her husband had a vasectomy so pregnancy wasn’t something she would have to be concerned about happening, that’ll be all she’s given as a solution for her hormone imbalances that are impacting her menstrual cycle so heavily. 

Birth control pills are essentially synthetic hormones, so while it’s great for preventing pregnancy, there are risks and side effects that can appear from taking them for a long time. So in a traditional setting, our patient would get synthetic hormones year-after-year to ideally alleviate her symptoms. 

In an integrative and functional setting, what we would do is actually look at the specific hormones, and their levels, in our patient. We then look at a multitude of factors that could be contributing to the symptoms, such as genetics, stress levels, diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Those specific pieces of the patient’s life can then guide us as doctors to come up with the best solution for them; replacing hormones, providing herbal supplements, etc.”

Dr. Scott often assists patients going through menopause and hormone replacement, and provides what she calls “precision medicine,” which is an individualized approach to treating each patient.  In the more traditional setting, they focus on symptom control. 

“Say you have a patient with high cholesterol, beyond lifestyle changes a doctor will likely prescribe them medication. Then let’s say the medication causes muscle aches as a side effect, the doctor will then likely tell them to take Advil, which then lets say begins to impact the patients stomach, the cycle will likely continue to treat each new symptom as it appears. This approach is mostly about symptom management, as opposed to health prevention. 

While this lens of treatment is hugely successful for individuals needing surgical intervention or who have a diagnosed illness, it doesn’t exactly work for the individuals in the middle, dealing with chronic issues that doctors essentially have to wait to classify in order to treat.”

“When we look at one’s hormones, what we’re looking for is the root cause of the symptoms the patient is experiencing, and if it’s something we can change.”

“As a gynecologist in private practice, Dr. Scott treated patients with a focus on prevention and wellness, intent on identifying the root causes of symptoms and diseases as well as disruptive imbalances. In fact, Dr. Scott has deliberately pursued the study of functional medicine to partner with her patient base in achieving their best possible health status.” – Marquis Who’s Who

Dr. Scott’s advancement in the field of integrative functional medicine led her to want to help an even wider population of patients looking for answers regarding their health. She decided the best decision she could make to continue educating herself and her patients would be to start her own practice, and eventually, an academy for other doctors. 

“When I finished my fellowship in 2012, I was a partner at an OBGYN practice. As I was working I was continuing my research and education on hormones and functional medicine and updating my fellow partners about my goals, one of which included starting a center that would focus on hormone disorders. 

Half of my partners were supportive, but not confident that I could make that fit within an OB GYN practice, so I decided to start my own. 

In 2013, Dr. Scott started her own practice which at the time was known as Revitalize. She continued her work as an OBGYN while working to grow the separate practice. She ended up leaving the OB GYN practice, as mentioned before, in 2016 to fully focus on the amazing developments she was making within her integrative functional medicine space. 

Around that same time, a pharmacist friend of Dr. Scott recommended to her for a job which would entail writing and teaching a course for other doctors so they could learn and practice the same things that Dr. Scott was doing. She began working for a company with an international presence, where she was able to write and teach pharmacists, homeopathic doctors, M.D.’s, D.O.’s, etc. about menopause, hormone testing, disorders, and more. 

“What I found as I was going through my journey as an instructor and grew my presence on social media is that there are a lot of people who are struggling to find this level of specific care. As a traditionally trained OBGYN, I knew we didn’t receive the training regarding hormones and menopause that a lot of patients would benefit from. It’s not any doctor’s fault, it just simply isn’t in our training as we become doctors.”

Dr. Scott’s Hormone Guru Academy is aimed at patient specific care:

“While I was giving lectures a few times a year on this specific sector of medicine, it’s not enough for doctors who are learning in the traditional setting to take on, so I started the Academy to be a place where they could dedicate themselves to expanding their knowledge of medicine. 

When Covid began, I had a period of time where I wasn’t seeing any patients, which I took as an opportunity to record a multitude of lectures that could benefit not only doctors, but patients who are looking for solutions for their specific ailments relating to hormones, and hopefully find an answer that would guide them in the right direction to improve their health. 

My initial goal was to obviously help as many patients as possible, but as a doctor you can only do so much in the space you’re in as one person. In 2021 I sold my practice to Forum Health Akron, which has placed me in a much larger network of integrative and functional medicine practices. As a physician, this allowed me to focus more on the actual medicine and less on the logistics of running the practice so I could truly dedicate myself to the patients. 

Now, my goal is of course to see patients in the office and continue to help as many people as I can, but I also have a broader goal of allowing patients everywhere to have access to this medicine. My speaking engagements with multiple organizations at various events, even in traditional medicine spaces, has given me that opportunity. 

I want to help educate doctors on how they can help their patients even further, and I want to educate patients on the various types of medical practices and treatments that could be the answer they’ve been looking for.”

Dr. Scott’s increasing social media presence has also assisted her greatly in this goal. She’s gained over half a million followers on her TikTok where she goes live once a week to answer questions, and educate her followers of integrative and functional medicine, as well as hormones, disorders, and reasons for certain ailments and symptoms. 

Dr. Tara Scott Hormone Guru

“Anything that I can answer regarding hormone, integrative, and functional medicine, I will do. I will always be dedicated to advocating and educating as many people as possible.”

Why is this work so important for Dr. Scott? 

“Part of it is my own struggles with my own hormone issues, and as I mentioned before I feel like my brother’s death was completely preventable, and a lot of people around the world can unfortunately relate to that. 

A lot of what we do now is metabolic disease, hormones impact every system in the body and its function, so if I can get people to realize that they don’t have to wait to receive a diagnosis to better their health and they can actually prevent certain ailments from developing, than I’m doing my job. 

I just want to give as many people the best chance to have the highest quality of life. Whether it’s answering a question in my TikTok Live’s or speaking to a patient in the office, I’m always dedicating myself to advocate and educate the individual. 

The biggest message I want to convey is that I want people to feel confident in their ability to advocate for their health.

Doctors are doing the best they can with the training they have, so when it comes to getting to the root cause of a specific issue, ask questions, seek out the professionals within the hormone, functional, and integrative medicine space who are knowledgeable and ready to help you find a real solution to bettering your health,” Dr. Scott concluded. 

To learn more about the groundbreaking, life-changing work Dr. Scott does regarding hormone integrative functional medicine, check out her website by clicking here!