To all my crazy bia’ches (beautiful babes) who seriously feel like they are losing the plot sometimes, I just want to say, “everything’s going to be fine”. I want to share with you my story, the whole ugly truth, warts and all, because I know as women, we are continually judging ourselves, blaming ourselves and striving to be perfect and so we sometimes suffer in silence, because of what science simply cannot measure. Hormones and Emotions. When these things get out of whack, it can feel like your whole world is crashing down, my irrational anger outbursts, feelings of paranoia and insecurity followed by days of tears on end and the beautiful yet almost ironic part of it, is that you’re arn’t crazy, you’re perfectly normal, well perfectly normal in your presentation of hormonal imbalances and resulting emotional turmoil.
So let me share my journey as a means of inspiration, as a celebration of victory to help educate and motivate any and all the other beautiful women who desperately know that something isn’t right, but they just don’t know what or where to find the help.
· I gained 8kg in 6 weeks
· I had full body physical and mind fatigue
· My back broke out in lumpy painful acne
· I felt alone, frustrated and scared by what was happening to my body literally over night
At age 27, I was diagnosed as having commenced menopause, with no explanation as to why. It felt like, they didn’t really know what was wrong with me, maybe it was even in my head, but she keeps coming back hassling us for an answer so this diagnosis will do. Under the mainstream medical model, I was just one of the ‘unlucky ones’ and the only advice I was given was to try and start conceiving as soon as possible as the only hope of having a family naturally, well here I was single and hating myself more than ever due to my ballooning weight, grotesque ance and feeling more insecure than ever, yea right, sign me up for Internet dating I’m sure to meet ‘the one’ in an instance and make babies over night!
My symptoms were varied; heavy, irregular periods, unexplained weight gain, emotional lows, severe fatigue, hot flushes and skin break outs.
As deflated as I was, I wasn’t ready to call it quits and I certainly wasn’t ready to accept Menopause at such a young age, so I dug deep, drew on my Naturopathy skills and knowledge and pretty much locked myself indoors for the next 3 months (it was winter in Victoria which helps), I didn’t even get out of bed most weekends, I just read and read and researched everything and anything about hormones and what the hell mine were up to! Thankfully it didn’t take long for me to work out what was going on, and what it all came down too was focusing on why things were going wrong and what was causing them, not merely opting for the Pill to mask it all, as most GP’s and the endocrinologist had recommended.
Adrenal Exhaustion, that’s pretty much what was going on in my body causing my symptoms. So let’s go back to the start, the fun part, the part that got me in this mess in the beginning. In my early twenties, I was living large, partying lots and having an awesome time. I had a huge tribe of outgoing girlfriends and we danced, partied, socialised at least 4 nights a week, at least 2 sometimes 3 of these days involved alcohol, large amounts of alcohol. Because I was studying a Nutrition and Naturopathy degree at the time, I had enough knowledge to look after myself pretty well, I ate great, I exercised lots, I knew a bit about self-care so I was fine, I rarely got hang overs, never got sick which pretty much just meant I was able to push the limits even further. I’d always been a bit of sugar junkie, so to compensate I was strict with my exercise, in fact it wasn’t uncommon for me to go for a run on the beach in the mornings then saddle up to a gym session or class in the evenings, which was usually a social thing with my girlfriends so we could go out and drink calories in the form of alcohol or eat ice cream. To us, that was balance! Fast forward the clock 5 years through lots of late nights or should I say early mornings, lots of abusing my body in general and the cracks were beginning to show. Emotionally I was low, all of a sudden I didn’t enjoy the party scene anymore, I was single and lonely and genuinely depressed. I knew it was time for a change, time to start looking after myself and focusing on self-care. So I did what everyone else was doing at the time and I put myself on a Paleo diet and Quit sugar and carbs. I was sure this would help me to feel better and kick the couple of kg’s that had crept on over the years, but this was actually the worst thing I could have done. Because my adrenal glands were so frazzled from the lack of sleep, over training, over use of stimulants (alcohol and sugar) and general ‘burning the candle’ at both ends when I deprived them of the only sure source of energy they were receiving (sugars and carbs) they basically went into hibernation, I had adrenal fatigue. When it comes to hormones, think of them like Dominoes’ if one is out of whack when then usually eventually the whole pack are disrupted and that’s exactly what was going on with me. My Thyroid slowed down due to shortages of Thyroid hormones due to the inflammation and stress in my body, my body couldn’t sort the Oestrogen and Progesterone balance out so my periods because super irregular and with the sudden cessation of sugar and alcohol my body went into detox mode, which is kinda good, but in this case it was kinda bad because I was too depleted and adrenally stressed for my body to do a good job of it, so I was releasing toxins in all the wrong places causing the acne, headaches, mood swings, digestive problems, weight gain and fatigue. On top of this because my liver was so sluggish from all the partying days and my history of really high sugar intake meant that I had a candida overgrowth, I had developed elevated kryptopyrrole molecules in my body which literally made me feel CRAZY. Anxiety, paranoia, depression, irritability and all the associated mood swings, mentally and physically I was a mess. It was the lowest period of my life and I’m just so thankful with my university degree behind me I was able to make sense of exactly what was going on, otherwise I know I’d probably still be suffering in some way, 5 years on!
This story does have a happy ending though, it only took me a solid 6 months to clean up all the mess, but it had to be done slowly and correctly. It had to be done in order, I mean I couldn’t restore my Thyroid health unless my Adrenals were up and running again and I couldn’t nourish my adrenal glands unless I healed my digestion and corrected my diet and I couldn’t lose weight until I stimulated my liver and I couldn’t manage my moods until I corrected the nutritional deficiencies and I couldn’t reduce the inflammation before I detoxed the chemicals, so you see it was quite a process, but so worth it! I completely reversed all the debilitating symptoms, with some simple lifestyle changes and nutritional and herbal medicine, based on healing and treating the body at a cellular level and honing in on the causes of these dysfunctions. I shudder to think how very different the outcome could have been if it wasn’t for my knowledge in the Natural medicine field.
And so it for these reasons I have developed a burning desire to help women suffering from the same issues I experienced and bridge the gap between conventional medicine and natural therapies, and offer hope to those who have accepted monthly PMS as normal or worse continue to expose themselves to dangerous synthetic hormone treatments which merely mask symptoms and create havoc on the precious reproductive system.
It’s about educating women about hormonal imbalances, to recognize them and treat them naturally & safely so they can feel better and stay well. But my mission is also much bigger than this, it’s about preventing disease and in particular, preventing breast cancer. Too many women’s lives are being ruined by this fateful diagnosis, a condition which is extremely easy to prevent when we are Intune with our bodies and conscious of everyday symptoms which are merely our bodies way of communicating with us or trying to get our attention. Poor health is rarely just bad luck, it’s the result of long term lifestyle choices, inadequate diet and self-care routines and regular, poorly managed stress, exposure to toxicity & harmful chemicals. The silver lining in this is that we have the power to shape our lives and our health by our everyday choices, so my goal is to inspire, motivate and educate women to be able to recognise the causes of poor health and act before the body breaks down. And to guide and support women towards making decisions for themselves based on honouring themselves and not putting their self-care behind those around them.
It is my dream to help woman reach their full potential be that a mother, a wife, career woman or friend. I want women to share this same enthusiasm and curiosity for life, through conquering self-esteem, self-realisation and never limiting one’s self-potential through negative thinking or feeling out of balance hormonally. We were all born with brilliance burning within us and to live your best life is to allow this to flow and spread this infectious brilliance around those we share our daily lives with.
If this sounds like a movement you want in on, I invite you to join our community of women, finding their balance. We’d love to help you heal and find your way alongside us