When Alisa Vitti started college at Johns Hopkins University, she didn’t just gain the “Freshman 15,” she put on 60 pounds. Her acne went from mild, teenage breakouts to full-blown cystic acne and she developed severe insomnia, anxiety, and depression. It wasn’t just the transition and stress of starting something new that triggered these issues— she was dealing with endocrine issues that led to her only getting her period six times between the ages of 12 and 22.
After seven years of trying to get a diagnosis, she realized she had to figure something out herself. She found a journal of obstetrics and gynecology in the school library, which led her to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
When she told her gynecologist what she found— her symptoms checked every box —Vitti finally got tested and they found that her ovaries were covered in cysts. But then, her doctor told her there was nothing she could do; she’d be stuck with it for life and it’d only get worse and put her at an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and being unable to conceive naturally, if at all.
Even though she’d intended to become an OB-GYN, this experience made Vitti realize the limitations of Western medicine for chronic hormonal conditions for women. She turned her efforts toward studying ways to improve her health.
“When I applied it to myself, [I] watched such a massive transformation. My skin cleared up, my weight melted off, my cycle was restored,” she told WellBe.
Vitti used that protocol when she created FLO Living, the first virtual hormone health center for women aged 25-45. FLO Living aims to help women get to the root cause of their symptoms using functional medicine.
Watch more from WellBe’s interview with Vitti below. Vitti discussed a range of topics related to women’s health, including: Why PMS shouldn’t be a joke, why your period while taking the pill really isn’t a period, how hormonal birth control affects future fertility, how being on the pill covers up pre-existing conditions, the alarming rise of precocious puberty, her favorite online resource to avoid harmful chemicals, the importance of addressing hormonal issues when you’re young, how meal timing affects the endocrine system, what your period blood can tell you, her non-negotiables for her health, what to do for each phase of your cycle, and why she wrote “WomanCode.”