The Importance Of Understanding Your Body From A Health And Wellness Perspective

Dr. Leita Harris has been delivering health care to women in the Inland Empire in California since 1990. Harris started Nurturing You Women’s Health & Wellness in June of 2015 after 25 years of practicing in multi-specialty groups, with the first 15 years was a full scope OB/GYN practice. Throughout her career, Dr. Harris has found the need to re-examine ‘medicine’ and the methods with which she was practicing. In 2008, Dr. Harris transitioned into a role that allowed her to see only GYN clinic patients and her use of bio-identical hormones in practice began to blossom as she continued at this practice until 2015, at which time she founded Nurturing You. Throughout her research and studies, Dr. Harris has also learned how to manage male hormone patients so that she can leave her female patients feeling great, and their partners as well. For Dr. Harris, the best part of her day is seeing someone experience tremendous life-changing benefits, especially after they have been ignored or neglected truly exceptional care.

Knowledge is power. Haute Beauty Editor, Brooke Klaiman went live on Instagram with Haute Beauty expert, Dr. Leita Harris, to discuss the importance of understanding your body. From wellness exams to her Menopause Women’s Wellness Guide, here are some of the highlights from the conversation:

Haute Beauty: Where does your passion for health and wellness stem from?

Dr. Leita Harris: Wellness is a very different concept than just going to the doctor because you are sick. In fact, wellness is all about being preventive. It is looking at things through the lens of “I feel okay or I might feel little changes that are happening, so let me go in and see if there is something going on that I might not be able to detect.” A lot of the times when people feel sick, it has been brewing for a while. And we are no longer being able to prevent but rather repair. My concept of health and wellness is to move to that standpoint, (prevention) where you can live optimally.

HB: As we are in the first quarter of the year, how important is it for women to come in for a yearly wellness exam?

LH: Spring time for me is a time that has me wanting to be attentive to different things that we weren’t focused on in the previous seasons. It is important to think of a wellness exam as a screening because there is a difference between screenings and diagnostic tests. Screenings are tests done when you feel okay versus diagnostic tests, which are done to diagnose, when you don’t feel okay. We have to ensure that we are being mindful that not all the time are you able to feel everything. By the time you feel like something is wrong, you can be far down the road.

HB: What is covered in a general wellness exam?

LH: It depends on the age group. If you are in your late teens, and may be considering sexual activity you may want to be informed on the best contraceptive method. For the person who is already sexually active, in their early 20’s, that is when pap smears begin (specifically at 21 years old), breast examinations, screening, and sexually transmitted diseases are tested (not all contraceptives are foolproof). And as you near the age of 65+, continue to come in for exams because there is a lot more going on beyond your Cervix. Colon cancer screenings, breast exams, vitamin deficiencies, mammograms, thyroid checks, these are all things you should be looking out for.

HB: You just launched the Menopause Women’s Wellness Guide, what inspired you to write it?

LH: Menopause is like a sisterhood. It is a whole bunch of women in a huge population. The average age for women to be menopausal is 50+. The reason I am so focused on menopause is because I really do believe that we are, and I say “we” because I have been menopausal, and I started menopause in my mid-40s, are surrounded by tons of misinformation and lack of information about what can be done to help. There are women who are suffering and might not understand that the symptoms they are experiencing are from the hormonal balance they are experiencing from menopause and they just chalk it up and blame it on “getting older.” As a matter of fact, we are all getting older.

The whole idea behind the guide is that if you are living a life where you don’t feel good and are truly suffering, and you’re feeling like nothing can be done, you are wrong. My passion is to educate women to know and understand the symptoms that are way more than hot flashes or night sweats. It is so much more than that, it affects you from inside and out. Giving people the information they need to make sound choices and decisions as to what can be done (changing your diet, hormone replacements, etc.) is so important to me and if people don’t have to suffer, why should they?

Watch the entire conversation below: 

If Dr. Harris did miss any of your questions, please feel free to send her a direct message on Instagram! 

Written by Invigo